in the fitness industry we create goals using the acronym SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and time specific).
These are great guidelines but can be too inhibiting for the general masses who may not know how to place goals that can meet all criteria. Furthermore, it can be deemed as too hands on and quickly abandoned; such as calorie logging (have you ever tried to get all the calorie counts of the food you eat; it's a pretty frustrating task).
Most of the population is looking for failure and helplessness when they have visions of grandeur in their head by setting unobtainable goals such as 30lbs in two months, the average is 1-2 pounds per week, but that can be skewed as the first week you can lose water weight and possibly muscle depending on exercise mode and diet you choose. Following that the scale can stick, from muscles storing more glycogen an adaption from the new resistances you are putting your body through, this is pre-hypertrophy.
Instead of putting hard numbers and times, simply stating I want to become healthier, or look better, is all that may be necessary for success.
Awhile back, I wrote an article for a news paper based on goal setting and it basically goes like this:
Simplicity of easy but having multiple goals, I have found works best with my clients. This way they have many healthy actions that are simple to follow, and if they lapse in one area, it will not lead to a total relapse in all areas, which can be seen with goals that are unobtainable, yet these small goals are small steps and a means to an end.
What I am trying to say if you mess up on one goal others are in place to help keep you in line!
Lets look at a good New Years Resolution goal outline (in the case of this article since it's the end of January, your replacement resolution).
1- Eat smaller Meals (ordering smaller portions, setting up your plate with food and storing the rest to prevent second helpings).
2- Workout 4 days a week.
3- Improve my mile run/walk time.
4- Improve squats performed in a minute.
5-Eat 5 healthy meals per week.
These are all very easy goals, and if you miss one or two of them in a week, it's no sweat, because the others will keep you on pace with reaching your overall goal such as becoming healthier and this inadvertently or advertently losing 30 lbs. As I stated before these small easy goals are simply just means to an end of getting you healthier!
Thanks, and look for a future article "Failure of our Goals, is more Catastrophic to our health than Perceived."
Let me guess, you saw someone in one of these forms of media with an incredible body, and said to yourself, "I want to look like that!" And boom a spark of motivation ignited a fire in you to start doing!
So with this new found charismatic enthusiasm you religiously, pound away pouring sweat in hopes of the new body featured in the magazine. If your motivation kept you going for more than 3 weeks, you may start noticing some changes (However, any increase in activity will do this), and that of course refuels your motivation, so you keep pounding away. Then all of a sudden the results stopped coming, what gives?
First of all, these are all patch work trendy exercises, that's why editors post them. There is no real personalized programming or progressions for you body to adapt too.
Secondly, intensity...there is no real way to gauge it within the media realm, at first the exercises seem challenging, then before you know it, you are just haphazardly going through the motions (especially after the 20th time going through the same exercise video). Apex-fitness.com overcomes this hurdle by timing safe exercises, to constantly challenge intensity! Studies have shown exercisers who follow more intense workouts yield better results than those who exercise at moderate intensities.
Thirdly, you most likely are performing the exercise wrong! It never ceases to amaze me, that after performing the exercise, instructing the exercise, and guiding clients through the exercise, how many clients do it wrong after a few repititions on their own. Your body wants to take the path of least resistance, in doing so, once prime muscles become fatigued, synergistic or auxiliary muscles will take over, leading to muscle imbalances, dysfunctional arthrokinetics (joint malfunction), and/or postural deviations all of which can lead to injury either chronic or acute.
I know we are in the age of Internet enlightenment and DIYer's, but when it comes to efficiency and your health, you just can't beat a trainer, even if it's only for a session or two a month to help keep you on track and injury free.
Here it is the next big thing that shows up in your Facebook feed, the answer to all your training plateaus, the product that will get you bigger and stronger than your friends!
It has to be, right? There are a bunch of scientific words, backed by some Scandinavian study...Guess what for the right $$$ anyone can get a study to produce the "right" result, "disclosure" is key...all that means to me is someone did some marketing research, on how to best exploit the unknowing.
Disclaimer...I have not used the product, nor have any of my clients . However, judging by what I have read in the product description, it sounds exactly like the high altitude training mask, which is a scam (read my blog for more on that).
Why would you use an apparatus, that would put your training at a disadvantage, when you exercise we want blood vessel dilation not constriction, we want to deliver nurishment to the working muscles and have the opportunity to carry away toxins. THIS DEVICE MIMICS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE! How many people do you know with high blood pressure that have a physique that you would die for?
This product restricts oxygenated blood from reaching the mitochondria of slow twitch muscles...bad idea, those usually are stabilizers that help prevent injury...toning and mass usually rely on anaerobic muscle energy.
Another claim they make is that it can help with injury prevention by getting better benefits with less weight, therefore less musculoskeletal strain...how about saving your money, doing a little research or visiting an orthopedic exercise specialist, on proper training to help you rehab an injury.
Once again, if you want results, work hard, progress, be consistent, and be smart with nutrition and recovery...and most of all save your money!!!
We have all been in that burning squatting position, whether it be gym class, exercise, or using a public restroom.
The question is though, is it an effective exercise, or can my time be better served?
The truth is...different strokes for different folks! If you are trying to lose weight, tone up, or add mass, then you are wasting your time!
Isometric exercises, improve muscle in only the short range that you hold the position, they do not burn a lot of calories, and in the case of the wall squat you take the core out of function to isolate the quadriceps and gluteal muscles.
For goals of losing weight, and toning up; you are best using compound functional exercises, and if you are coordinated enough, use a speedy tempo to maximize muscle fatigue and calorie burn.
For instance, instead of a wall squat you can try Barre squats with little bounces sinking deeper and deeper until your thighs get parallel to the floor then jump, and start over.
That being said there is benefit in isometric exercises, such as: less repetitive joint stress, post surgery, recovering from an injury, correcting posture, joint stabilization, and helping develop the mental toughness to push through the burn (which can help to raise the intensity in all other exercises).
There can be some functional training to it, such as some sports that require extended time in a semi squatted position: skiing, baseball, volleyball, etc. or if you find yourself routinely using public restrooms!
Once again the fitness industry markets a catchy product, that grabs the attention of the masses, and this time it is the altitude training mask.
This mask limits the amount of oxygen you can take in while performing cardio based exercises...the result: you get tired very quickly because you can not deliver oxygen to the aerobic working muscles, thus giving you a less than stellar workout that is perceived as strenuous...it would be like trying to exercise with a major cold.
Your best bet is to increase your intensity naturally, run harder: breathe more, the whole concept of training is forced physiological adaptations, in this case building more mitochondria in muscle cells to uptake more oxygen, this happens by progressing exercises not regressing muscular ability with a mask.
On a pro side the participant in the photo said it has helped him regulate exercise induced asthma, this can be by limiting his production or maybe filtering atmospheric triggers. It may also aid in strengthening deep breathing muscles, but you are better off developing them by working harder to breath more.
first off if you have any back issues you may want to find a core exercise that has less trunk flexion than the traditional crunch. continuous curling of the spine can deteriorate the disks in your back.
Start by pushing lower back firmly into the mat slowly lifting shoulder blades off the mat by curling your trunk pushing your hips towards your chest.
Move very slowly try to hold at the top of the Motion, and slowly lower yourself down, keeping lower back pressed into the mat through the duration of the exercise.
Cheating this exercise can occur by using momentum and quick movements through the motion. Move slowly enough and hold long enough; and you will feel your abdominal muscles start shaking in the confusion of how they're supposed to be working.
Do not lock your fingers behind your head place fingers by temples this will prevent you pulling your chin towards your collarbone and stressing your neck.
Holding on the treadmill focuses on the hip flexors, which for most people are tight and overactive.
This negates: gluteal extension, core stability, dynamic balance and coordination through the kinetic chain.
You will get half the workout, and teach faulty mechanics