Circuit training is not just for beginners but it is an excellent system for beginners. The primary goal of circuit training is to improve general fitness.
The main objective in completing all of the “stations” in the circuit is to decrease time. In designing a circuit program ensure to choose exercises most important to your sport, or those exercises most important to eliminating your weaknesses. The most important exercises are placed earlier in the circuit and the least important are placed later in the circuit. You then perform each in succession, attempting always to improve upon your time and weights. The results of an effective circuit program are to improve cardiovascular, strength and toning. As targets are reached or as new weaknesses crop up, changes in the circuit should occur.
The circuit may be repeated for as many sets as desired, by resting between sets at each station, or by going through the circuit non-stop several times.
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Most athletes warm up before working out or competing to improve performance and to help prevent injury.
But to come up with a complete answer, you must be specific. What kind of warm-up are you doing? For what kind of activity are you warming up and what is your current conditioning level.
In this 2 part series you will discover the theoretical purpose of warm-up exercises, the psychological factors created by warming up and 4 styles of warm-up that will help improve your game!.
Physical Purpose Of Warming Up
Increased Muscle Temperature
Improved Metabolic Adjustment
Increased Velocity Of Nerve Conduction
Increased Capillaries Opened In Muscle
Psychological Factors Of Warming Up
- Skilled performance improves with activity identical or directly related to actual workouts and corresponding sports activities.
- Prior physical activity improves the “mental set” or attitude of the athlete, especially when the activity is related to the workout or corresponding sporting activity.
- Increased arousal or enthusiasm, eagerness and mental readiness.
One potential drawback of warming up is: Fatigue
Don’t mistake a good warm-up session for your workout.
Field Warm Up
This is the first of 4 warm-up styles you will learn over the next 2 blog posts.
Field warm-up is an athletic series of exercises done on an open field used for outdoor or indoor. Performed at a light pace with some stretching similar to bootcamp style exercise not using any equipment, jogging and light calisthenics are examples.
Coming In Our Next Posting
Interval Warm Ups / Bar Warm Ups / 430’s Dynamic Treadmill
Stretching is one of the most overlooked aspects of a workout program / active lifestyle. The reality is that our bodies are designed to move on a near constant basis. But modern lifestyles have drastically changed human behavior and routines to a more sedentary lifestyle.
Hard physical labor has been replaced with more sedentary “mental” work styles which involve sitting at desk or standing in one place for extended periods of time.
A way to combat this sedentary lifestyle is to get up and MOVE. Take a walk, do some pushups and yes even stretch. And always, always- it is important to stretch your body before, during and after every workout. Stretching will keep your body warm and lubricated and it will help reduce injuries.
There are several ways to stretch. The two we will discuss are static stretching and ballistic stretching.
Static stretching is the typical method of stretching. Usually it is longer in duration lasting 30 to 60 seconds during each stretch. Ballistic stretching is the style Olympic swimmers use to warm up. They swing their arms back and forth very rapidly but smoothly to avoid injury. Both techniques work. But I recommend sticking mostly to the static technique and then add ballistic occasionally.
- Reduces muscle tension
- Improves performance
- Increases range of motion
- Increases flexibility
- Spend 10 – 30 seconds in each stretch. Don’t bounce.
- Good idea to stretch / warm-up at the same time.
- Perform before/during/after a work out and throughout the day.
- Along with stretching I recommend monthly or bi-monthly massage therapy. Deep massage helps the body eliminate lactic acid build up from weight training or other intense muscle activity.
- It is good to schedule chiropractic alignments.
Checkout your Virtual Trainer for many stretching routines!
Exercise of the Day
Uni Low Cable Row
Uni Low Cable Row
Learning a new exercise doesn’t begin with how heavy of a weight I can use or with how fast I can get it done; it begins with practicing the proper form. That’s one thing I love about personal training-I’ve been doing certain exercises a certain way for years thinking I’m killing it and then I learn the proper form and I’m like, “Ohhhh, so that’s what its supposed to feel like”.
Today I practiced my uni low cable rows (that’s a one arm, one leg row using a low pulley). This video of me is great not only because I lose my balance (that happens a lot when I work out), but also because I want you all to see how I struggle to keep my chest out and my shoulders down. The reason I do that is because my body wants to pull with my arms, but your lats should be doing the work in this exercise, not your arms.
My not so pretty uni low cable row
Here’s Fadi showing me what its supposed to look like. Looks effortless, doesn’t it?
Fadi doing it the right way
I worked out for an hour at the gym this morning and it took me a good portion of that time to get this exercise right. So, when you get out to the gym today to show off your perfect uni low cable rows, concentrate on those lats and you’ll have a, “ohhhh, so that’s what its supposed to feel like” moment too! Enjoy, and to your health!
The term “Superfood” is often misused, over-used or even misunderstood by many people. But generally most experts do agree that there are certain foods that are low caloric / high nutrient foods.
Superfoods typically contain superior sources of anti-oxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and other essential life giving nutrients that other foods do not.
Superfoods can be found in various forms and locations. Unfortunately, most cannot be found in your local grocery stores or even farmers markets.
In the next few postings we will be discovering what superfoods are the best and which we choose to use.
In this first post we will be discussing what we call the daily basics. These superfoods or supplements are not normally considered superfoods but with them you will feel super!
The Daily Basics
Enzymes – Many nutrition experts call enzymes the ―spark‖ of life because they play a necessary role in virtually all of the biochemical activities that occur in the body. They are essential for digesting food, for metabolizing nutrients, for stimulating the brain, for providing cellular energy and for repairing tissues, organs and cells.
The functions of enzymes are so many and so diverse that it would be impossible to list all. But the easiest designation is that enzymes are often divided into two main groups: digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes.
Digestive enzymes will be the focus for this discussion.
Digestive enzymes breakdown the foods you eat. They metabolize the nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals enabling them so they can be absorbed into the bloodstream for use in multiple bodily functions.
While the body does manufacture a supply of enzymes, it can and does also obtain enzymes from the fruits and vegetables you eat. Unfortunately enzymes are sensitive to heat and most will denature at temperatures between 102 and 115 degrees. Therefore, maintaining a temperature at or below 100 degrees, or consuming raw foods yields the highest and most benefit from the enzymes.
Taking enzyme supplements before every cooked meal will greatly improve your nutritional absorption rate of cooked foods. And taking enzymes after a raw meal will greatly improve your absorption rate of living foods.
For the best benefit, any enzyme supplements you chose should contain all of the major enzyme groups to include amylase, protease and lipase.
For even better digestion also use the following items on an as-needed basis: apple cider vinegar, HCl pills to quickly strengthen weak stomach acid, Celtic sea salt and at night take probiotics.
Probiotics – In a healthy state, the body has a higher concentration of good bacteria than bad, or disease-causing, bacteria.
But most of us do not live in a healthy state. Instead the human body has become full of bacteria-destroying elements called antibiotics. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria alike. These nasty little things are in many of the foods you eat; milk, fish, meat and anything else that big farms raised. Animals that are raised in crowded conditions and live in close proximity to each other, contract and share diseases with each other. To combat sickness, farmers administer massive amounts of antibiotics to livestock. When meat or milk products are consumed, these antibiotics persist and are transferred to you. These antibiotics deplete your bacteria levels and drain your immune system leaving you vulnerable to infection.
Research on probiotics is fascinating. In short, probiotics are the best line of defense your body has to defend itself from infection. Most people do not realize it but the ―gut‖ carries as much as 70% of your immune system. And in your gut sits millions if not billions of bacteria. These bacteria keep us healthy and aid in many other functions. Probiotics are good bacteria and should remain in high levels in your gut. I recommend consuming natural and supplemental probiotics on a daily basis!
Good bacteria can be obtained through two sources. The first is direct from the Earth. As children, we play in the dirt and bacteria invades the body. Yes, some of the bacteria sources are harmful but much of the soil based bacteria is beneficial. But in this clean world of antiviral soaps and cleaners and most of us no longer working outdoors I fear we have lost touch with nature. This departure from nature, coupled with the bacteria killing cleaners moves us farther and farther away from good bacteria and good health.
The second way to obtain good bacteria is to purchase probiotic supplements. There are many on the market. Look for the highest probiotic count possible when purchasing these supplements. Probiotics that utilize ―soil based organisms‖ are better and stronger.
I suggest you ingest ample amounts of probiotics every day and go outside every now and again and walk barefoot through the dirt and grass (watch out for the dog poo). You will be much happier and healthier for it.
Essential Fatty Acids – All fats are not created equally. PERIOD.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are fats that the body cannot produce on its own and are available through one of two sources: 1) Plant sources like Flax, Borage, Primrose, Hemp, Chia and other plants. 2) Fish, specifically deep sea fish like mackerel, salmon and krill.
EFAs remain liquid at room temp and stay liquid in your body. EFA’s help tremendously with many bodily functions such as, but certainly not limited to, hair growth, digestion, cell repair, cell detoxing, skin repair and growth, proper brain functions, stabilizing blood sugar levels, keeping proper HDL/LDL levels in balance and much more!
The primary function of essential fats is to coat and protect your cell walls. Your cell walls are susceptible to damage without this protective barrier.
I recommend that you put a little research into this subject and you will be the better for it. I highlight a few other facts about EFA’s later in the book but please note that this is yet another substance the body requires daily.
Green leafy vegetables – Green leafy vegetables are the rock stars of the plant kingdom. They are highly nutritious and readily available. But if you are American then you probably do not eat enough of them.
Fresh, raw, green, leafy vegetables contain high doses of chlorophyll, easily digestible proteins, enzymes and a wide range of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. These particular vegetables also act as a health tonic for the brain and immune system and a cleanser of the kidneys.
Leafy greens are denser in nutrients than other vegetables and contain awesome amounts of calcium.
Leafy greens should definitely be a large part of your daily diet!