Get the Body You’ve Always Wanted
In the fitness world, certain truths are held to be self-evident: Big lifts produce big gains, greater intensity fuels greater results, and less rest equals less fat and more strength. But science is now finding that many of these hard-and-fast muscle rules are not as immutable as we once thought. “We’re a lot smarter than we were even 5 years ago,” says Bill Hartman, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training. “Researchers and trainers are all starting to agree on what works and what doesn’t.”
The guessing game, in other words, is finally coming to an end. Read on to discover how the nation’s top fitness coaches are incorporating lab-tested strength secrets into their workout plans, and how you can do the same to lift more weight, build more muscle, and lose those 10 extra pounds you’ve been complaining about since college. The path to the body you’ve always wanted starts here.
Old Way: Stretch for Strength
NEW WAY: Warm up with jumps
There’s a reason why sprinters hop a few times before stepping into the starting blocks: Jumping kick-starts the central nervous system, helping to activate more muscle fibers. “The name for this neuromuscular priming is postactivation potentiation (PAP),” says Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Cressey Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts. “And it’s a key to greater strength both in and out of the gym.” Consider this: Separate studies published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research show that inducing PAP through jumps can help you leap more than 7 percent higher and squat nearly 18 more pounds.
APPLY IT: For an immediate boost prior to a lower-body exercise, do three quick countermovement jumps: Push your hips back, bend your knees, and leap vertically. For upper-body moves, Gentilcore recommends a single, extra-heavy rep at the beginning of an exercise. “It fires up your nervous system and makes the subsequent reps feel significantly lighter.” Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for category Stretching
As you probably know, stretching before and after you exercise is essential, but stretching is also important in its own right. This mayo clinic article explains the basics of stretching and how stretching improves blood flow to the muscles, flexibility and your ability to move your joints. Studies have shown mixed results on the benefits of stretching, but it’s generally thought that better flexibility means better athletic performance and a decreased risk of injury. Read the rest of this entry »
Studies from the CDC have found that muscle-building exercise can also improve balance, reduce the likelihood of falls, improve blood-sugar control, and improve sleep and mental health.
Exercise doesn’t only have to mean running at the track or working out at the gym. You can find ways to fit in some much needed activity at work! Sitting still for long periods of time may cause aches and pains and/or long-term musculoskeletal issues.
- Exercising at your desk may not replace regular workouts, but they can help keep you in shape when you can’t get away from the office. Follow these simple exercises to tone up at your desk: Try getting up and sitting down without using your hands. Read the rest of this entry »
Being active doesn’t mean having to spend hours at the gym. You can find ways to work exercise into your life doing things that you love. Pick an activity that you enjoy doing, like going for a walk, gardening, dancing, or something new you haven’t tried before. You’ll be getting your daily exercise and barely noticing it!
Having a consistent fitness routine is an easy way to make activity part of your daily life. When planning your exercise, aim for SMART moves (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely): pick a time, place and activity that fits into your life and stick with it! Find three places in your schedule during the week where you can fit in fitness. It may be in the morning, during your lunch break, before dinner or in the evening. Recommit to these times at the end of the week, or adjust your work-out schedule if need be. Read the rest of this entry »
Did you know that exercising with others can help you meet your health goals?
Don’t do it alone. Exercising with others helps you stay motivated and consistent. Join an activity like a walking group where you can participate at your own fitness level and pace. Lunchtime activities like Walk to Wellness will start you on the right path to fitness. Read the rest of this entry »