News

Use this section to provide a description of your blog.

Are You Training To Become Muscle Ripped, Or Muscle Fit?

I’m a big fan of all the new Marvel movies. One of my favorites is the Captain America films and the ones he is in with the Avengers. Watching those movies kind of makes everyone daydreams a little about how they would look if they were in the same shape as these superheroes. But if you look at their physique’s while they are definitely in great shape, none, except maybe the Hulk has an over-abundance of muscles rippling as they toss around those villains. So why are looking to get those large oversized muscles, when in doing so, most people later find that being muscle bound does not provide them with the overall endurance and for the most part strength to go the distance in a long, hard-fought athletic game. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a firm believer in strength training but I’ve also found that you need to find a balance in almost everything and training to be fit, strong and able to keep going, to me is a lot better than having your shirt stretched tight over large pecs and biceps!

After if you think about it, in watching most athletic games, most of these athletes and I mean the most successful ones look like they’ve never set foot in a gym. While large muscles provide the power needed to perform work, even those with bulging biceps find it difficult to perform work over time. Muscular endurance can be a far more valuable fitness trait than pure strength, especially for those who play sports that require sustained effort for the duration of a game. The best way to build muscular endurance is simple: lower the intensity and increase the frequency.

It's a given that one of the reasons that weight training for building muscles for strength appeals to so many people is that it takes less of a time commitment. After all, you do a series of squats, some deadlifting and bench presses three times a week and you call it a good session. But muscular endurance requires more commitment to your workout routines. Like a good cardio workout, there’s no minimum for calling it a day. The more frequently you push your body and the muscles under that skin the more your body will be able to power through whatever you're demanding of it!

Keeping track of how well your performing is also key to being successful at your training. To do this right you need to monitor just how well you're doing at each phase of your workout. A good Activity Monitor can keep your workouts honest when you may be tempted to let a few things slide because you’re a bit tired today. Tracking your workouts via that Activity Monitor, and it's ability to supply you with data every time it syncs with Garmin Connect™, can go a long way to allowing you to view just how well your actually doing. A tracker like the Garmin Vivosport GPS Sport & Activity Tracker can provide automatic uploads to the online Garmin community, where you can see your personalized data on detailed graphs.  It can provide the ability to let you join like-groups so that you can compete in weekly challenges and connect with other fitness enthusiasts. This way you're really not ever alone in your quest for building up your endurance while still creating a toned, muscular body, that will stand the test of time, (sports time that is!). And while the Vivosport monitors key aspects of your fitness, because it also monitors your heart rate, with help from Elevate 24/7, it’s a wrist-based heart rate monitoring feature, specific to Garmin. With the heart rate data it collects, Vívosport is able to estimate your VO2 Max and Fitness Age, 2 indicators of physical fitness that can improve over time with regular exercise. It also tracks your HRV (heart rate variability), which is used to calculate and display your stress level.


Keep in mind that those who hit the gym two or three days a week might have lukewarm muscular endurance, but those who add just one additional workout day, a week, begin to exact a bigger demand on your body, by pushing it a little farther than it's usual exercise regimen. Especially if you change up your routine with some cardio and maybe a HIIT session where you're pushing your routines faster with less resting time between reps. or sessions.

Now, while we’re not talking about building your body, so it looks like it can take on a tank, we still are a firm believer in using weights to get in shape, just not using hundreds of pounds as a goal in seeing just how much you can lift, One-Time! After all, you can't develop much muscular endurance by squatting 300-400 pounds and walk away thinking you've done your best. But if you lower the weight by say half, your actually putting new stress on the twitch muscle fibers (those that first fire in a workout) rather than on the muscular cell mass. This allows your body to develop these fibers and reduces the stress on any given workout. After all, by using less weight and increasing the number of reps, your muscular mass will stay the same but at the same time it becomes more elastic and can maintain that strength for longer periods of time. This results in your ability to have more endurance during an activity or physical work.

Overall, endurance workouts should aim for 10 to fifteen reps per set, which is twice as much as muscular strength builders do.

You know your body and it’s up to you to keep track of how much weight you need, in order to perform these extra reps. And naturally, as the session becomes easier, increase the number of reps, but gradually so you don't lessen the reps that you've already worked towards. Then after a time, increase the amount of weight with the extra reps. In this way, you are continuously pushing yourself each time your peak, so that your body does not grow used to a stale exercise regimen and will continue to grow muscle mass and in turn become well toned.

Bottom line, this is YOUR call, but again, don't go to extremes with adding more and more weight, add more reps instead!

In about 8 weeks of using this new method, you’re going to be able to see that you have quite a bit more strength that can sustain you through the other aspects of your training workouts. And you may be pleasantly surprised that you're also getting a leaner sculpted look to your overall body mass.

From your gym buddies here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com

 

 

Read more

I’m a big fan of all the new Marvel movies. One of my favorites is the Captain America films and the ones he is in with the Avengers. Watching those movies kind of makes everyone daydreams a little about how they would look if they were in the same shape as these superheroes. But if you look at their physique’s while they are definitely in great shape, none, except maybe the Hulk has an over-abundance of muscles rippling as they toss around those villains. So why are looking to get those large oversized muscles, when in doing so, most people later find that being muscle bound does not provide them with the overall endurance and for the most part strength to go the distance in a long, hard-fought athletic game. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a firm believer in strength training but I’ve also found that you need to find a balance in almost everything and training to be fit, strong and able to keep going, to me is a lot better than having your shirt stretched tight over large pecs and biceps!

After if you think about it, in watching most athletic games, most of these athletes and I mean the most successful ones look like they’ve never set foot in a gym. While large muscles provide the power needed to perform work, even those with bulging biceps find it difficult to perform work over time. Muscular endurance can be a far more valuable fitness trait than pure strength, especially for those who play sports that require sustained effort for the duration of a game. The best way to build muscular endurance is simple: lower the intensity and increase the frequency.

It's a given that one of the reasons that weight training for building muscles for strength appeals to so many people is that it takes less of a time commitment. After all, you do a series of squats, some deadlifting and bench presses three times a week and you call it a good session. But muscular endurance requires more commitment to your workout routines. Like a good cardio workout, there’s no minimum for calling it a day. The more frequently you push your body and the muscles under that skin the more your body will be able to power through whatever you're demanding of it!

Keeping track of how well your performing is also key to being successful at your training. To do this right you need to monitor just how well you're doing at each phase of your workout. A good Activity Monitor can keep your workouts honest when you may be tempted to let a few things slide because you’re a bit tired today. Tracking your workouts via that Activity Monitor, and it's ability to supply you with data every time it syncs with Garmin Connect™, can go a long way to allowing you to view just how well your actually doing. A tracker like the Garmin Vivosport GPS Sport & Activity Tracker can provide automatic uploads to the online Garmin community, where you can see your personalized data on detailed graphs.  It can provide the ability to let you join like-groups so that you can compete in weekly challenges and connect with other fitness enthusiasts. This way you're really not ever alone in your quest for building up your endurance while still creating a toned, muscular body, that will stand the test of time, (sports time that is!). And while the Vivosport monitors key aspects of your fitness, because it also monitors your heart rate, with help from Elevate 24/7, it’s a wrist-based heart rate monitoring feature, specific to Garmin. With the heart rate data it collects, Vívosport is able to estimate your VO2 Max and Fitness Age, 2 indicators of physical fitness that can improve over time with regular exercise. It also tracks your HRV (heart rate variability), which is used to calculate and display your stress level.


Keep in mind that those who hit the gym two or three days a week might have lukewarm muscular endurance, but those who add just one additional workout day, a week, begin to exact a bigger demand on your body, by pushing it a little farther than it's usual exercise regimen. Especially if you change up your routine with some cardio and maybe a HIIT session where you're pushing your routines faster with less resting time between reps. or sessions.

Now, while we’re not talking about building your body, so it looks like it can take on a tank, we still are a firm believer in using weights to get in shape, just not using hundreds of pounds as a goal in seeing just how much you can lift, One-Time! After all, you can't develop much muscular endurance by squatting 300-400 pounds and walk away thinking you've done your best. But if you lower the weight by say half, your actually putting new stress on the twitch muscle fibers (those that first fire in a workout) rather than on the muscular cell mass. This allows your body to develop these fibers and reduces the stress on any given workout. After all, by using less weight and increasing the number of reps, your muscular mass will stay the same but at the same time it becomes more elastic and can maintain that strength for longer periods of time. This results in your ability to have more endurance during an activity or physical work.

Overall, endurance workouts should aim for 10 to fifteen reps per set, which is twice as much as muscular strength builders do.

You know your body and it’s up to you to keep track of how much weight you need, in order to perform these extra reps. And naturally, as the session becomes easier, increase the number of reps, but gradually so you don't lessen the reps that you've already worked towards. Then after a time, increase the amount of weight with the extra reps. In this way, you are continuously pushing yourself each time your peak, so that your body does not grow used to a stale exercise regimen and will continue to grow muscle mass and in turn become well toned.

Bottom line, this is YOUR call, but again, don't go to extremes with adding more and more weight, add more reps instead!

In about 8 weeks of using this new method, you’re going to be able to see that you have quite a bit more strength that can sustain you through the other aspects of your training workouts. And you may be pleasantly surprised that you're also getting a leaner sculpted look to your overall body mass.

From your gym buddies here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com

 

 

Read more

Fitness Building Blocks, Let’s Start With Your Core!

Ok, anyone that is looking to get in better shape has probably heard all kind of fitness conversations about what to do, how to do it, and how you can get results faster. If you’re like most people now a days, you’re clicking around through the internet, searching on current fitness trends and what would work best for you and how to go about implementing it.

Well, here’s one more for you to contemplate. Work on building up your “Core” So do you really know what people mean when they’re talking about “Core”?
The “core” is a term used to describe just about everything on your body that isn't your legs and arms. This means you can think of your glutes, hips, abdominal muscles, inner abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, and scapula as your core. Your core is where your power is generated in order to carry out any movement. Your core muscles help strengthen and stabilize your spine and pelvis, which is why developing a powerful core is the first step to making your whole body stronger.

But you need to “Own” your commitment to building up your “Core” and it's not getting any easier to find the time to do this. Remember, those New Year resolutions you made about 8 weeks back? Well, if you’re like most Americans, about 41% made a New Year resolution after that ball dropped at midnight. Out of those 41%, 21% of them made the resolution to get fitter for 2018. But as in preceding years, at this time of year, by the end of February, only about 8% of those resolutions made are still being kept. Something we can probably all agree on: It's freakin' tough to stay fit when life's just this busy, and it only seems to get harder every year, especially when it means blocking off time to get in your exercises!

So, what is a beginner fitter, “Want-To-Be to do”?
So maybe you aren’t in good enough shape to get down and give us 50 crunches. But we know you’re not looking to ignore your core either. Well here’s no small truth: A strong midsection isn’t all about six-pack abs. Every time you lug in the groceries, shovel some heavy snow, or get out there (weather permitting) to do some landscaping around your home that involves digging, raking or picking up cut branches, to some extent your relying on your core as a foundation of strength to be able to accomplish these tasks.

Lots of beginners have upper back tension or lower back issues. Your core is located in your posterior chain and strengthening it will help keep your chest up and your spine strong, which can correlate to some back pain relief.

Whether you’re getting back into fitness after a lapse or you’re an exercise newbie, developing a solid core will increase your stability and balance. Translation: You’ll be able to perform more advanced moves with confidence as you regain your strength.

Below are a few exercises you can do, without the need to get to a gym and use their equipment. But to keep you honest and to track your exercise routines to make sure you're accomplishing your goals of working your “Core” and getting the maximum out of your workout routines, you should use an activity tracker. This way it automatically records your activity levels and provides that data to you so you can track just how well you're doing against what you need to attain your weekly or monthly fitness goals. One such tracker is the Garmin Vivofit 3 ) You can actually set daily goals for yourself in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Vívofit 3 acquires information about your current activity levels and accordingly assigns daily goals. It keeps on refreshing your daily goals as you achieve the previous ones and helps you march towards a better and healthier life. And if you happen to be sitting a little too much throughout the day, it’s going to remind you that its time you moved so that you maintain the proper movement within your daily lifestyle. So, take advantage of what technology has to offer you in helping you to achieve that “Core” that will carry you through any kind of life obstacle!

Bird-Dog Crunch
Targets: Abs, hamstrings, glutes, and shoulders
Stronger abs don’t develop overnight — you’ll have to first learn how to activate your core. For this essential True Beginner core exercise, start on the floor on all fours, hands placed directly underneath your shoulders, hips in line with your knees. This is your starting position. Lift your right hand and extend your arm straight out in on you, keeping it shoulder height, while simultaneously lifting your left leg and extending it straight back (a). Your whole body should be in a straight line from right fingertips to left toes. Bring your left leg to touch your right elbow under your stomach. Extend your leg and arm out again. Return to starting position (b). Repeat on the other side (c). Do five reps on each side.

Modification: If you’re unable to maintain form, simplify this movement by forgoing the crunch. Instead, extend your arm and opposite leg out and hold for three seconds, then switch sides.

Standing Bicycle Crunches
Targets: Oblique’s, rotational muscles
Do traditional crunches cause discomfort? Rubin suggests this True Beginner variation instead. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands placed behind your head. With a tight core, straight back and relaxed shoulders lift your right leg and simultaneously raise your right knee and lower your left elbow towards each other (a). Return to the starting position (b). Repeat on the opposite side. Do five reps on each side.

Modification: If rotating your upper body downwards is too difficult, simply lift your knee to your chest while keeping your upper body still, alternating legs.

Seated Leg Lifts
Targets: Abs, hamstrings
Don’t be fooled by this basic-looking leg lift: Beginners to even more advanced folks will start feeling the burn after a few reps. Sit on the floor, legs extended straight out in front of you. Keeping your core engaged, lean back slightly, so you’re able to place your hands on either side of your glutes. Take a deep breath and lift one leg six inches off the ground (a). Hold for five seconds, and then put it down. Repeat with the other leg (b). Continue alternating for one-minute straight, then take a 20-second break. Repeat for five rounds.

Modification: To make this exercise easier, lift one leg at a time without stopping to hold each one extended for five seconds. Need more of a challenge? After lifting a heel, bring your knee into your chest, then extend your heel back out and lower down. Repeat on the opposite side.

Sit-Ups
Targets: Abs, possibly hip flexors depending on range of motion
If performed incorrectly, sit-ups can cause more pain than they’re worth. Rubin breaks down how to safely and effectively perform the move. To start, sit on the floor with your knees bent, heels touching the floor, hands on either side of your head, shoulders dropped and relaxed to avoid tension in the neck. Keeping your feet on the ground, lay back until your back is flat on the floor, or as far as you’re able (a). Rise back up (b). Continue for one minute straight, then take a 20-second break. Repeat for five rounds.

Modification: Having trouble keeping your core and back engaged? Slowly lower yourself as far as you can, and work up to lowering completely down to the floor. There’s no need to go all the way back until you can maintain perfect form.

Modified Bicycle Crunch
Targets: Oblique’s, rotational muscles
Start in the same neutral position as the set-up, sitting with knees bent, heels flat on the floor, hands on either side of your head (a). Bring the right knee and left elbow towards one another, with a simple and gentle twist (b). Return to the start position (c). Complete the movement with the left knee and right elbow. Continue for one minute straight, then take a 20-second break. Repeat for five rounds.

Modification: This is a major progression from the sit-up, so if this movement is tough for you, keep practicing sit-ups

Spider Plank Crunch
Targets: Lower abs, glutes
Still, have fuel left in the tank? Rubin challenges True Beginners to tap into their Spidey sense. Start in a push-up position, hands on the ground directly underneath your shoulders, legs extended backward with your toes on the ground, so your body is in a straight line. Lift your right leg and bring your knee towards the outside of your right elbow (a). Return to plank position (b). Repeat the movement with the other leg. Do five reps with each leg.

Modification: If this is too challenging, simply hold a plank on your elbows or hands for 30 seconds at a time, for three rounds. (If you have a wrist issue, try doing this movement on your elbows.)

Now, remember, these exercises are geared to help you increase the strength to your overall “Core” if one or two of them seem a little hard when you first try them. Lay back a bit but continue to work your way up to the recommended reps associated with each and in time you’re going to be cranking them out on a consistent basis.

 

Read more

Ok, anyone that is looking to get in better shape has probably heard all kind of fitness conversations about what to do, how to do it, and how you can get results faster. If you’re like most people now a days, you’re clicking around through the internet, searching on current fitness trends and what would work best for you and how to go about implementing it.

Well, here’s one more for you to contemplate. Work on building up your “Core” So do you really know what people mean when they’re talking about “Core”?
The “core” is a term used to describe just about everything on your body that isn't your legs and arms. This means you can think of your glutes, hips, abdominal muscles, inner abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, and scapula as your core. Your core is where your power is generated in order to carry out any movement. Your core muscles help strengthen and stabilize your spine and pelvis, which is why developing a powerful core is the first step to making your whole body stronger.

But you need to “Own” your commitment to building up your “Core” and it's not getting any easier to find the time to do this. Remember, those New Year resolutions you made about 8 weeks back? Well, if you’re like most Americans, about 41% made a New Year resolution after that ball dropped at midnight. Out of those 41%, 21% of them made the resolution to get fitter for 2018. But as in preceding years, at this time of year, by the end of February, only about 8% of those resolutions made are still being kept. Something we can probably all agree on: It's freakin' tough to stay fit when life's just this busy, and it only seems to get harder every year, especially when it means blocking off time to get in your exercises!

So, what is a beginner fitter, “Want-To-Be to do”?
So maybe you aren’t in good enough shape to get down and give us 50 crunches. But we know you’re not looking to ignore your core either. Well here’s no small truth: A strong midsection isn’t all about six-pack abs. Every time you lug in the groceries, shovel some heavy snow, or get out there (weather permitting) to do some landscaping around your home that involves digging, raking or picking up cut branches, to some extent your relying on your core as a foundation of strength to be able to accomplish these tasks.

Lots of beginners have upper back tension or lower back issues. Your core is located in your posterior chain and strengthening it will help keep your chest up and your spine strong, which can correlate to some back pain relief.

Whether you’re getting back into fitness after a lapse or you’re an exercise newbie, developing a solid core will increase your stability and balance. Translation: You’ll be able to perform more advanced moves with confidence as you regain your strength.

Below are a few exercises you can do, without the need to get to a gym and use their equipment. But to keep you honest and to track your exercise routines to make sure you're accomplishing your goals of working your “Core” and getting the maximum out of your workout routines, you should use an activity tracker. This way it automatically records your activity levels and provides that data to you so you can track just how well you're doing against what you need to attain your weekly or monthly fitness goals. One such tracker is the Garmin Vivofit 3 ) You can actually set daily goals for yourself in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Vívofit 3 acquires information about your current activity levels and accordingly assigns daily goals. It keeps on refreshing your daily goals as you achieve the previous ones and helps you march towards a better and healthier life. And if you happen to be sitting a little too much throughout the day, it’s going to remind you that its time you moved so that you maintain the proper movement within your daily lifestyle. So, take advantage of what technology has to offer you in helping you to achieve that “Core” that will carry you through any kind of life obstacle!

Bird-Dog Crunch
Targets: Abs, hamstrings, glutes, and shoulders
Stronger abs don’t develop overnight — you’ll have to first learn how to activate your core. For this essential True Beginner core exercise, start on the floor on all fours, hands placed directly underneath your shoulders, hips in line with your knees. This is your starting position. Lift your right hand and extend your arm straight out in on you, keeping it shoulder height, while simultaneously lifting your left leg and extending it straight back (a). Your whole body should be in a straight line from right fingertips to left toes. Bring your left leg to touch your right elbow under your stomach. Extend your leg and arm out again. Return to starting position (b). Repeat on the other side (c). Do five reps on each side.

Modification: If you’re unable to maintain form, simplify this movement by forgoing the crunch. Instead, extend your arm and opposite leg out and hold for three seconds, then switch sides.

Standing Bicycle Crunches
Targets: Oblique’s, rotational muscles
Do traditional crunches cause discomfort? Rubin suggests this True Beginner variation instead. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands placed behind your head. With a tight core, straight back and relaxed shoulders lift your right leg and simultaneously raise your right knee and lower your left elbow towards each other (a). Return to the starting position (b). Repeat on the opposite side. Do five reps on each side.

Modification: If rotating your upper body downwards is too difficult, simply lift your knee to your chest while keeping your upper body still, alternating legs.

Seated Leg Lifts
Targets: Abs, hamstrings
Don’t be fooled by this basic-looking leg lift: Beginners to even more advanced folks will start feeling the burn after a few reps. Sit on the floor, legs extended straight out in front of you. Keeping your core engaged, lean back slightly, so you’re able to place your hands on either side of your glutes. Take a deep breath and lift one leg six inches off the ground (a). Hold for five seconds, and then put it down. Repeat with the other leg (b). Continue alternating for one-minute straight, then take a 20-second break. Repeat for five rounds.

Modification: To make this exercise easier, lift one leg at a time without stopping to hold each one extended for five seconds. Need more of a challenge? After lifting a heel, bring your knee into your chest, then extend your heel back out and lower down. Repeat on the opposite side.

Sit-Ups
Targets: Abs, possibly hip flexors depending on range of motion
If performed incorrectly, sit-ups can cause more pain than they’re worth. Rubin breaks down how to safely and effectively perform the move. To start, sit on the floor with your knees bent, heels touching the floor, hands on either side of your head, shoulders dropped and relaxed to avoid tension in the neck. Keeping your feet on the ground, lay back until your back is flat on the floor, or as far as you’re able (a). Rise back up (b). Continue for one minute straight, then take a 20-second break. Repeat for five rounds.

Modification: Having trouble keeping your core and back engaged? Slowly lower yourself as far as you can, and work up to lowering completely down to the floor. There’s no need to go all the way back until you can maintain perfect form.

Modified Bicycle Crunch
Targets: Oblique’s, rotational muscles
Start in the same neutral position as the set-up, sitting with knees bent, heels flat on the floor, hands on either side of your head (a). Bring the right knee and left elbow towards one another, with a simple and gentle twist (b). Return to the start position (c). Complete the movement with the left knee and right elbow. Continue for one minute straight, then take a 20-second break. Repeat for five rounds.

Modification: This is a major progression from the sit-up, so if this movement is tough for you, keep practicing sit-ups

Spider Plank Crunch
Targets: Lower abs, glutes
Still, have fuel left in the tank? Rubin challenges True Beginners to tap into their Spidey sense. Start in a push-up position, hands on the ground directly underneath your shoulders, legs extended backward with your toes on the ground, so your body is in a straight line. Lift your right leg and bring your knee towards the outside of your right elbow (a). Return to plank position (b). Repeat the movement with the other leg. Do five reps with each leg.

Modification: If this is too challenging, simply hold a plank on your elbows or hands for 30 seconds at a time, for three rounds. (If you have a wrist issue, try doing this movement on your elbows.)

Now, remember, these exercises are geared to help you increase the strength to your overall “Core” if one or two of them seem a little hard when you first try them. Lay back a bit but continue to work your way up to the recommended reps associated with each and in time you’re going to be cranking them out on a consistent basis.

 

Read more