Snowstorm Workout: When you can’t get to the gym

If you live in the Midwest, you know snow And this snow is snow joke. I was literally trapped the other day, and couldn’t get to the gym for several hours. Since it’s my job to actually be at the gym, I eventually got there and was able to sneak in a workout after my…

Snowstorm Workout: When you can’t get to the gym was originally published on Self Evolve

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If you live in the Midwest, you know snow

snowstorm workoutAnd this snow is snow joke. I was literally trapped the other day, and couldn’t get to the gym for several hours. Since it’s my job to actually be at the gym, I eventually got there and was able to sneak in a workout after my shift. But if I didn’t work at the gym, I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the gym that day. And I would’ve either missed my workout (not an option) or had to have created a snowstorm workout. Being a personal trainer, this is easy for me. But for the average Joe, it may be hard to create a workout on a whim.

Of course, you could try to google a home workout, but the results may overwhelm you. With so many to choose from, you may just opt to sit on the couch surfing the internet instead. Well, no fear! Today I will share a great and easy workout that you can do virtually anywhere.

Snowstorm Workout

Tabata workout! Make the most of your time with a simple workout that can be done in as little as 4 minutes. This is all that’s needed to work up a sweat. The idea is to do an exercise for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. You do that 8 times and you’re at 4 minutes. You can stop there, or repeat the entire set to increase the time. Be sure to rest for a minute between sets though! Here are some body weight exercises you can do anywhere:

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Burpees
  • Squats
  • Push ups

How do you stay active on snow days?

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Snowstorm Workout: When you can’t get to the gym was originally published on Self Evolve

Supersets and why you should do them

What is a superset? And does it make you Superman? Yes and yes! A superset is performing two exercises back to back with little to no rest between them. Why, you ask? Because gainz! But in all seriousness, supersets are a great way to utilize your time and hit multiple muscles quickly. Typically, they use…

Supersets and why you should do them was originally published on Self Evolve

What is a superset?

And does it make you Superman? Yes and yes! A superset is performing two exercises back to back with little to no rest between them. Why, you ask? Because gainz! But in all seriousness, supersets are a great way to utilize your time and hit multiple muscles quickly. Typically, they use different muscle groups or movement patterns, though not always. Here’s why you should incorporate this method in your workout routine.

Benefits of supersets

  1. Short on time? The idea is that you’re doing exercises on different muscle groups during the time you’d normally be resting. So you get the same amount of exercises done in half the time.
  2. Build muscle! Supersets are a good protocol for hypertrophy as they help create the biological and hormonal environment necessary for muscle growth. By using your rest periods to do more work, the exercises in effect serve as active recovery for each other.
  3. Increase intensity! Shortening the rest period between sets will increase intensity by performing more work in less time. This is especially true if you are used to long periods of rest between sets.

How to build good supersets

supersetsAlternating upper body with lower body is a great way to get a total body workout done quickly. Put together three or four supersets using multi-joint exercises and do each for 8 to 12 reps and two to three times through. This is a solid resistance workout that’ll take 30 minutes or less. Other ideas include a push/pull upper body workout, utilizing antagonistic muscles. A sample superset workout is below:

2 Sets, 12 Reps

  • Squats
  • Lateral lunges (12 each leg)
  • 1 min rest
  • Barbell row
  • Push ups
  • 1 min rest
  • Shoulder press
  • Dumbbell chest press
  • 1 min rest

Do you use supersets as a part of your fitness regime?

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Why everyone needs a personal trainer

One of the main questions I ask every person I meet at my job is if they’ve ever worked with a personal trainer before. And if they have, was it a positive experience. If not, I dig deeper to see why. Most of the time, the response is that it was a great experience where…

Why everyone needs a personal trainer was originally published on Self Evolve

personal trainer

One of the main questions I ask every person I meet at my job is if they’ve ever worked with a personal trainer before. And if they have, was it a positive experience. If not, I dig deeper to see why. Most of the time, the response is that it was a great experience where they were able to reach their goals and have the body they wanted. If they’ve never had a personal trainer, I always ask if they have ever considered getting one. I ask this because I feel like most of us, at one time or another, have thought of hiring a personal trainer to help us achieve our goals. But we may have hesitated, likely over the cost of a trainer. Today I’m going to go over why I feel like everyone needs a personal trainer, at some point(s) in their life.

Why you need a personal trainer

  • Workout planning. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin had it right. If you go to the gym without a workout plan, you will just be winging it every time. And with that comes a lot of guessing and free-styling it, but also you’ll likely just do the same routine every time they’re at the gym. This isn’t ideal as our bodies get used to the same exercise and you will stop seeing results.
  • Tracking your progress. Most people only track their progress by weighing themselves, but this can be very discouraging. Especially since muscle is more dense than fat, the number on the scale may not change as much as your measurements and body fat. A personal trainer will take your measurements at least once every month or two to verify you’re seeing results.
  • Proper form and technique. Without any prior training or education in relation to exercise, it’s hard to know the proper form and technique for all exercises. Also, it’s hard to know what type of exercises will help you get to your specific goals. That’s where a certified trainer can help immensely.
  • Health advice. In addition to fitness and exercise advice, personal trainers can also help provide overall guidelines in regards to health. While we aren’t nutritionists or dietitians, we can give our clients a general idea of what they should be focusing on when it comes to their diet.
  • Avoid injury. This is huge. The amount of injuries that occur at the gym is substantial. Without proper form and technique, it is easy to hurt yourself. Having a personal trainer to demonstrate and verify that you’re performing exercises correctly mitigates the risk of injury.
  • Accountability & motivation. Having a trainer keeps you accountable. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t pay for a trainer and then not show up to my sessions. Money is a great motivator, and once you start seeing results the motivation will just start pouring in!

Exercise is complex

Exercise isn’t just science, it’s also an art form. The key to exercise is variety, and to know not only the right type of exercise but also the different variations is needed to reach your goals. Without proper knowledge and education, it’s hard to walk into a gym without feeling intimated. Big weights and barbells can scare off anyone. That’s where a trainer comes in.

Have you ever had a trainer? Or do you currently have a trainer?

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Why everyone needs a personal trainer was originally published on Self Evolve

Heart-rate: Where your heart’s at matters

Do you track your heart-rate? If you’re running on a treadmill or riding an exercise bike, there are usually heart-rate sensors on the handlebars. And when doing cardio, it’s normal to keep track of your heart rate. The general rule of thumb is to keep your heart rate between 60 to 70% max to burn…

Heart-rate: Where your heart’s at matters was originally published on Self Evolve

Do you track your heart-rate?

If you’re running on a treadmill or riding an exercise bike, there are usually heart-rate sensors on the handlebars. And when doing cardio, it’s normal to keep track of your heart rate. The general rule of thumb is to keep your heart rate between 60 to 70% max to burn fat, or 70 to 85% to be in the maximum cardio benefit zone. Your max heart rate is based on your age; it’s the equation of 220 minus your age. For me, my max heart rate is 189. But most people don’t know that they should also track their heart-rate when doing strength training.

Strength training and your heart

heart-rateIt isn’t enough to just lift heavy weights. You have to maintain an elevated heart-rate while lifting as well. If you rest for too long, your heart rate will drop and you won’t get as many benefits from your workout. Rest between sets is important, but you don’t want to go below 50% of max heart rate during your workout. If needed, do some squats, jumping jacks, or high knees between sets to keep your heart-rate going.

Beginners to strength training should aim to keep their heart-rate between 50 to 60% max. As you become more advanced, you can up this to 70 to 80% max. Most importantly, you should listen to your body to determine the overall intensity of your workout. Keep in mind, our bodies adapt and get used to exercises, so be sure to push yourself and increase the intensity over time.

Do you track your heart rate while lifting?

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Peloton bikes: changing the way we workout

Have you heard of the Peloton bikes? You know, those bikes that you can live-stream spin classes from the comfort of your own home? With a small payment of $1995 plus the monthly subscription service ($39/mo), you can have unlimited spin classes in your living room! With 0% financing, all of this can be an…

Peloton bikes: changing the way we workout was originally published on Self Evolve

Have you heard of the Peloton bikes?

You know, those bikes that you can live-stream spin classes from the comfort of your own home? With a small payment of $1995 plus the monthly subscription service ($39/mo), you can have unlimited spin classes in your living room! With 0% financing, all of this can be an easy payment of around $120/month for 39 months. In addition to the catchy commercial (thanks to Sia), these Peloton bikes pack a big punch. Mostly popular in urban environments, these bikes are taking over condos and apartments everywhere.

Benefits of in home training

peloton bikes

First of all, you don’t have to go anywhere. In cities such as Chicago, New York, and Boston there are many winter days where the temperature is low or the snow is high and the last thing you want to do is go outside. Thankfully, with the Peloton bike, you can avoid ever having to go outside again. No excuses for getting a great cardio workout in!

Also, you may feel intimidated at the gym or a spin class studio, so training in the comfort of your own home is ideal. You can sweat and make as many weird noises as you want. No one can judge you for farting, either.

You save time. Think about how long it takes you to get to the gym. On average, people spend at least ten to twenty minutes travelling to their local gym. Instead of wasting time driving or taking the train, you can spend that extra time in any way you’d like after you get your spin on. The Peloton bikes open up a whole new world of opportunity.

You save money. The average spin class in Chicago or New York city costs $20 to $30 each. With the Peloton bike, you only spend $39 a month for unlimited classes.

Local Adventures

peloton bikes

After visiting my local Peloton store (Oak Brook Center), I had the pleasure of speaking with Nick Rife (chicago@onepeloton.com), a sales pro. He showed me the many features of the Peloton bike and all that it offers. They record every live class, and you can find a class you love out of the thousands of classes they have by filtering based on: class length, instructor, music type, and level of expertise. There are also scenic rides where you can just pedal for fun and not focus so much on the higher intensity stats. In addition to spinning, there are many off-bike exercise classes. You can cast the video to your TV to be able to have more space to workout.

Have you considered investing in a Peloton bike?

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Slowing Parkinson’s: Pedaling for Parkinson’s

In a recent study done on patients with Parkinson’s disease, a huge discovery was found. Patients who partook in exercise three times a week for 45 minutes at a time at 80 to 85% maximum heart rate saw their symptoms slow down. Parkinson’s symptoms include tremor, rigid muscles and problems with movement. While early treatment…

Slowing Parkinson’s: Pedaling for Parkinson’s was originally published on Self Evolve

In a recent study done on patients with Parkinson’s disease, a huge discovery was found. Patients who partook in exercise three times a week for 45 minutes at a time at 80 to 85% maximum heart rate saw their symptoms slow down. Parkinson’s symptoms include tremor, rigid muscles and problems with movement. While early treatment can delay the worst symptoms, people almost always get worse. About 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year and about a million Americans have Parkinson’s currently.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s

Unfortunately, there’s no medical cure for Parkinson’s. Exercise has always been regarded as a way to help you feel better, but it wasn’t seen as true therapy until recently. It’s not a treatment, but it’s a way to manage the symptoms and help patients feel closer to normal.

In the study, they worked with 128 patients with early stage Parkinson’s. They randomly assigned them to either moderate exercise four days a week, intense exercise four days a week, or no additional exercise. The results showed that for the intense exercise group, their disease wasn’t getting worse. The symptoms remained the same over the 6 months of the study. For the moderate exercise group, their disease worsened slightly. For the non-exercisers, their disease worsened to the point that was noticeable.

Slowing the progression is huge

With only 2 and a half hours a week of high intensity exercise, Parkinson’s patients can slow their disease. It may not cure it, but it’s significant to even slow down the symptoms and to have them feeling better.

parkinson's

About 60 YMCA’s offer a Pedaling for Parkinson’s class to help those with Parkinson’s out by offering spin classes with the proper intensity needed. Check out your local YMCA today!

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Proper gym etiquette: what not to do at the gym

Stay classy, my friend The gym can be intimidating, especially for beginners. Outside of the normal gym rules, there are several unspoken rules that you should follow at every gym. Following these rules will help you have proper gym etiquette. Gym Rules 101 Shower and wear clean clothes to the gym. Don’t be stinky, no…

Proper gym etiquette: what not to do at the gym was originally published on Self Evolve

Stay classy, my friend

The gym can be intimidating, especially for beginners. Outside of the normal gym rules, there are several unspoken rules that you should follow at every gym. Following these rules will help you have proper gym etiquette.

Gym Rules 101

  • Shower and wear clean clothes to the gym. Don’t be stinky, no one likes to work out next to B.O. gym etiquette
  • Wipe down equipment. I wipe before and after using equipment, mostly because I don’t want to sit in someone else’s sweat.
  • Put equipment away! Put away those weights! If you’re using a bar, please put away the weights in some sort of order. Don’t make it hard for the next person.
  • Step away from the dumbbells. Let other people use the dumbbell rack, take a few seconds and move over after grabbing your weights.
  • Give people space. Don’t be creepy, don’t stare, and don’t get in people’s way. They might accidentally hit you with a weight if you get too close.
  • Don’t drop weights. Don’t drop dumbbells after a set, and don’t let the weight machines slam the weight down. If the weight is too heavy, go lighter.
  • Make sure others aren’t using a piece of equipment before using it. Especially if there’s a towel, water bottle, or other piece of training equipment nearby.
  • “Working in” with someone. If you see someone using the same equipment you need, you can see if you can work in with them. Keep in mind that if your weight is way different than what they’re using it may be best to wait until their done with the equipment first.
  • Getting advice from randos: smile and nod, say something like ‘I appreciate your input, but I’ve got to finish my workout now. I’m on a tight schedule.’ and move on.
  • Giving advice to randos: Don’t do it unless they are putting themselves or someone else in immediate danger.
  • Hitting on fellow gym goers. You know that cute girl who usually works out with the same guy all the time? Then she shows up alone one day and you’re all over her? Don’t be that guy. This happens to me all the time, please stop!

Proper Gym Etiquette

Overall, just keep in mind the following three rules and you should be fine: be aware of your surroundings, be cool, and act like it’s your equipment. For the guys and gals out there looking for their swolemate, keep in mind that confidence and independence are some of the sexiest traits you can have. 

What drives you nuts at the gym?

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Proper gym etiquette: what not to do at the gym was originally published on Self Evolve