It’s Summer….Are you Still Going to the Gym?
Ok all you work out fanatics, enough is enough. We are in family reunion and vacation mode, and your New Year’s resolutions are finally paying off…or are they? Jonathan Simos is here to let you know your hard work doesn’t need to be so hard. Check out this podcast to learn how to give your exercise routine a boost and achieve Total Fitness!
Mindset is Everything
According to this nationally acclaimed “Fitness and Performance Enhancement Specialist,” fitness is a combination of many things, the first being a mental shift to understanding your “why.” “Why do I work out?”…”Why am I still hitting the gym when I could be watching Netflix?”….”Is my quality of life really getting better?” In other words, why do we put in so much effort, and get back so little return sometimes?The answer lies in working out the “right way.”
What Does Total Fitness Demand of Us?
Some people go to the gym for its social scene, others for access to world-class equipment and a TV screen so large you can’t help but be distracted from your pain. But according to Jonathan, total fitness requires a combination of commitment, knowing your “why,” and some training from those who know what they’re doing.
“Weight training is a must, and flexibility training as well. The cardiovascular side of fitness is also very important, and when you combine all of these together, you get a great cross-training program to help you achieve peak fitness (5:00). Cross-training also helps you become more immune to injury, says this expert.
What is “Cross-Training”?
Since there are many opinions on what constitutes the “perfect workout,” we had to ask Jonathan, “What is Cross-Training?” and what’s the best way to do it? Drum roll please….
“Cross training is a variety of exercises designed to enhance mobility and strength that includes fundamental movement patterns repeated over and over again.” Sounds simple enough. But the trick is in the improvising of the amount of weight as the ratio of reps decreases. The more reps, the lighter the weight. The lower the reps, the higher weight load.
Newcomers are so full of excitement and enthusiasm, but “you can’t shoot a cannon from a canoe.” (6:45) A foundation must be built by using slow movements, lower weights and higher reps. Once that foundation is set up, you can start building a battle ship.
- Using your own body weight works for some, but not all exercises are created equal
- The order of exercises matters a lot. The rep range (how many you do of each lift) also matters
- Keeping your body in “surprise mode” makes a big difference in how it responds to workouts. Always keep your body guessing (9:15)
- Maximum muscle building usually comes through lower reps with increased weight
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Reppin’ the Weights
- Reps of 15 or more increase endurance
- 8-12 Reps of heavier weight encourages muscle growth
- 6-8 Reps of even heavier weights focuses the body on strength enhancement
- 1-5 Reps of heaviest weight you can handle doesn’t actually improve muscle size, but rather it enhances the nervous system and mental strength. Who knew?
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Flexibility and Mobility…The Neglected Part of Fitness
- Muscles become too tight when flexibility training is neglected, and injury is more likely
- Energy and alertness levels increase with flexibility and mobility training
- Proper breathing is an important component of this training
The Journey of Fitness
Jonathan recommends that a new-comer to the world of fitness begins with a 2-3 day a week program focusing on an overall body workout routine. Once this baseline, or foundational level of fitness is achieved, the rookie becomes more prepared to begin a strength training program focused on certain muscle groups of the body. (18:30)
Personal training is highly beneficial, but working out on your own with professional guidance can also make a huge difference. A friend, You Tube videos, and Dvd’s can all be great assets in helping you reach your goals. Just remember…
- Properly warming up is a must to avoid injury and to improve your performance
- Stretching is better after working out, not before. Stretching can actually weaken your muscles by elongating the muscle. Save the stretching for after your workout.
- Start with the large muscle groups, the legs and glutes: Reverse lunges, squats, hip bridges, etc.
- Next, move to the core exercises (think apple core…the middle of your body) such as rotations and swivels with weights, including cross body pulls.
- Then lastly, move to the chest, arms and shoulders: Table presses, arm pulls/rowing, push and pull exercises back-to-back
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HIIT is all the Rage
High Intensity Interval Training is very popular these days. You spend 15 minutes in intense pain, basically, rather than stretching it out over the course of an hour.
“HIIT training is great for metabolic and hormonal boost which combats aging, but you have to be ready for it by building a foundation of fitness.” You can build up your cardio ability through jogging and walking before trying out HIIT, because you’re going to need it. Be sure to include intervals of jogging and running in those walks. “HIIT is most helpful when done about 2-3 times per week. And remember, a combination of strength and flexibility training is mandatory along with HIIT/ cardio. When you’re talking about fitness, the body needs all three.