In the spirit of Valentine’s and celebrating the power of individuals and complementary couples, we wanted to highlight two of the best exercise couples. These aren’t any type of couples–they are SUPER SET couples!
What’s a super set?
“The superset system uses two exercises performed in rapid succession of one another.”
Couple 1: Bench Press + Push Ups
This is an example of “performing two exercises for the same muscle group back to back.” Completing exercises in this format improves muscle endurance and size. If you want to kick it up a notch, try adding one or two more exercises targeting the same muscle. Using the example above, you could add a Dumbbell Chest Press and Resistance Band Chest Press.
Couple 2: Squats + Dead Lift
This is an example of “performing two exercises back to back that involve antagonist[, or opposing,] muscle groups.” Performing super sets in this manner allows you to place a higher load on target muscle(s) in each exercise. While one muscle group is working, the other is resting.
Want to learn how to integrate super sets into your workout routine? Contact us today!
Source: (National Academy of Sports Medicine, 2014)
There’s a fine line between making eye contact and giving a head nod–whether it’s to the music in your ears or to the person who caught you looking–and inappropriately staring at someone at the gym. Let’s face it. Everyone is at the gym for a different reasons and each person has different levels of experience, knowledge, and good ol’ fashioned home training–or the lack thereof.
So, the next time you’re at the gym, please keep a few things in mind as you get your workout on.
Do not step on someone’s exercise mat. That’s just plain out rude.
Speaking of exercise mats, when you’re done, clean it off and put it back where you found it. It is simply disgusting to put back a sweaty mat.
Unload and re-stack weight plates on exercise equipment. Everyone can’t lift a 5, 10, 20, 30+ pound weight. Plus, stop inconveniencing someone else’s gym flow by making them waste time unloading your weights.
Try your best not to walk in front of someone who is noticeably looking at a mirror to help improve their exercise form.
Do not take photos of yourself or your friends with other people you do not know in the background. Better yet. If you do need your phone, don’t use it to take photos at the gym. Go ahead and use it for music and other fitness apps, but please do your best to minimize taking photos. It’s an unnecessary distraction to others.
Clean equipment after use. See #2.
Respect everyone’s purpose at the gym. Do not judge fitness levels and motivation based on size, clothing and/or perceived ethnicity, gender, or ability. You do you. Let the person next to you do their thing. If anything, encourage and uplift one another. Oftentimes, it takes a tremendous amount of energy just getting to the gym.
If you see someone struggling with lifting a weight, please don’t ignore them. HELP them! Of course, it’s not your job to spot strangers, but come on… it’s just the right thing to do.
Share equipment. Don’t stay on the elliptical forever and don’t put your towel on the bench, your water bottle next to the rowing machine, and your notebook on the calf machine to “mark” your territory at the gym. Inform others about working into your set. It is possible to stay focused, be efficient, and share equipment.
Hygiene. Hygiene. Hygiene. Just let that marinate for a minute. Wash your hands. Don’t come to the gym sick and spread germs. Use deodorant. See #2 & #6.
Use your inside voice. Yelling can often times scare others and inadvertently make someone drop a weight and hurt themselves or trigger PTSD and other mental illnesses. Breathe, yes. Small grunts, sure. Yelling and blatantly dropping heavy weights, no. No bueno. If you love yelling and dropping heavy weights, find a gym that embraces that culture. Yes, there are gyms where yelling and dropping heavy weights are the norm.
Remember, group fitness classes are for the group. Don’t go to group fitness classes and insist on doing your own thing for the entire class. Trying to outshine others or up the instructor is not a good look.
Speaking of group fitness classes, arrive early if you’re new or have a recent injury. Let the instructor know so they can properly set you up on equipment and safely modify any exercises for you during class.
If you don’t know how to use a piece of equipment, ask a staff member. Why set yourself up for a potential injury? Grab a trainer and ask them to show you how to use it. Can’t find anyone? Don’t use it. Perhaps you can schedule a quick appointment with a trainer the next time you’re at them gym to show you how to use it.
Do not wear your street shoes and/or clothes in the sauna. Better yet, shower or rinse off prior to going in. It’s just plain out nasty to go in the sauna fully clothed, dirty shoes on the benches, and funky. The sauna is hot and a breeding site for bacteria to multiply. Why bring in extra cooties into this space? Also, the temperature in a sauna is 100+ degrees. It’s not safe to wear all of those clothes in such an environment. You could overheat. The heat will open your pores. If you don’t shower beforehand, any and all lotions, deodorants, fragrances, and germs will seep inside your skin. Nasty, huh? Read more about why and how to use a sauna.
What have you seen or experienced that needs to be added to this list? Let us know!
Are you thinking about purchasing a gift for an active person in your life? Does that active person happen to be you? Check out our top five fitness gift ideas for 2016.
Apple Watch Series 2 – Water resistant. GPS. Heart rate sensor. Activity tracker. Workout apps. Sync third party apps. Receive notifications. Ask Siri a question. Coaching. Wheel chair use feature. Breathe app. Customized bands and faces to dress up or down. Be careful. This little shiny gadget costs a pretty penny. Save up and invest in you! Be on the look out for the new wireless airpods to listen to your music! ($300-$1000)
Socks – Most of us do not replace our athletic socks often enough. Remember that soft, cushy feeling of brand spankin’ new socks freshly pulled out of the plastic bag at the store? Well, that’s the way your socks should feel. Believe it or not, good socks tend to be a bit expensive, too. Look for sales online or discounts at warehouse stores. Take care of your feet. They are the foundation of everything you do that uses them. ($10-$30)
Bluetooth Headphones – Confession. I’ve tried 6 or 7 brands. I honestly felt like Goldilocks and the 3 Bears during this process. Headphones were too tight. Ear buds were too small. Headphones were too big. Headphones were too small. No one could hear me on voice calls. And the list goes on and on. Needless to say, I ended up liking the Plantronics Backbeat Fit Bluetooth Headphones (they come with an arm band). They are over ear headphones and sound great! It looks they are on sale at Costco now. ($90-$150)
Underwear – Not trying to break the bank? Time and tested again and again by grandmother and mama gift-giving everywhere! Cotton underwear is best for breathability and comfort. You definitely need a pair that fits and isn’t too small. Talk about a workout buster…who likes underwear creeping up and in unwanted places while trying to do a burpee? You can find good deals at your local sports store, bulk item warehouse store, and outlet malls. Check out Men’s Health Magazine’s top 10 athletic underwear picks. Shape Magazine offers a similar list catering to women. ($10)
Foam Roller – These are excellent for muscle recovery and preparing for productive workout! They are so amazingn that I already schooled you about them way back in 2014. My favorite brand is TriggerPoint. Take a gander at their foam rollers, cold rollers, and guidebooks. CEbFit is a TriggerPoint affiliate and receives sales commissions from our client referrals. NOTE: You must access the TriggerPoint website from these hyperlinks in order to accurately track sales referred by CEbFit. Or you can copy and paste: http://shrsl.com/?~98l1 ($25-$65)
And there you have it! But before you rush and buy anything, ask yourself the following question.
“Have I paid all of my bills for this month and will I have enough money to pay my bills next month after I make this purchase?”
If not, give the gift of time and share a walk, run, sled ride, ice skating, or hike with your family member or friend.
What do you think is the best piece of gym equipment? The leg press? Oh, I know! Dumbbells! How about the big, bouncy exercise ball? Wait, is it the treadmill? It’s gotta be the treadmill, right? Well, I hate to bust your bubble, but the best piece of exercise equipment is YOU!
Why, you ask?
Let me break it down 8 ways!
Top 8 Reasons your body is the absolute best piece of exercise equipment.
#1: There are no extra baggage fees to bring your body with you when you travel.
#2: It’s always with you! You cannot forget to bring your body anywhere. There’s no need to write “bring body” on a to-do list!
#3: Your body operates with two things called your body weight and gravity—–also known as the.best.resistance.ever! Bodyweight training is better for you (you don’t need to load extra weight on your joints).
#4: It costs way less to use your body as an exercise tool. Think about how much money you will save by not purchasing the latest and greatest fitness gadget. It adds up!
#5: You don’t have to lug around any extra equipment to and from home. Easy breezy!
#6: You can do all kinds of total body exercises that involve multiple muscle groups. This helps you burn more calories and fat!
#7: You minimize excuses to exercise. Traffic was bad. Nope, not gonna work. I forgot my shoes. Nuh-uh. I don’t know how to use this piece of equipment. Um, it’s your body! You’ve had it for ump-teen years. I think you can figure something out.
#8. Your workouts will get more and more creative with no fancy fitness equipment and gadgets. There are so many ways to do lunges and squats! Oh, and jumping jacks, too!
What would you add to this list?
Need a few body weight exercises to get you started? Try these…
- mountain climbers.
Having difficulty doing any of the exercises above? Ask me how to safely modify it! -Candice, CEbFit Personal Trainer
Have you ever seen someone in the gym that looks a little bit like the Predator?
You know, wearing a breathing mask on their face? Curious about these masks and their use?
They are called “hypoxia masks.”
Hypoxia (also known as hypoxiation) is a condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply. (Merriam-Webster, 2016)
A 2010 research study concluded that “hypoxia as a supplement to training is not consistently found to be advantageous for performance at sea level. Stronger evidence exists for benefits of hypoxic training on performance at altitude.”
In other words, if you’re going to compete or begin training in Denver (5,280 ft above sea level), hike in Tibet (14,000 ft above sea level), or compete on Mount Everest (29,035 ft above sea level) anytime soon, you might want to add hypoxia training to your fitness regimen. But before you do, PLEASE CONSULT A MEDICAL DOCTOR.
So, what’s the point of using a hypoxia mask if you are not a hard core athlete?
Another research study conducted back in 2007 concluded that “acute exposure of moderately trained subjects to normobaric hypoxia [i.e., a barometric pressure equivalent to pressure at sea level] during a short-term training program consisting of moderate- to high-intensity intermittent exercise has no enhanced effect on the degree of improvement in either aerobic or anaerobic performance.”
What does this mean? The average person who exercises to stay in shape and be healthy does not need to add hypoxia training to their workouts, because it doesn’t really have any benefits to your fitness performance. Why buy something that costs between $30-$100 if you simply don’t need it?
Another study (2001) concluded that when done correctly, intermittent hypoxia training has been shown to increases red blood cell count and aerobic capacity. Here, intermittent was defined as “5-7 minutes of steady or progressive hypoxia, interrupted by equal periods of recovery.”
So, wait. Who trains the trainer about how to effectively and safely conduct and supervise hypoxic training?
Close to nobody!
After conducting a preliminary web search, I only found a “Hypoxia and Hypoxic Training for High Performance” certification course conducted in Ireland.
Other than that, I found a few airlines that conduct employee training sessions about hypoxia altitude conditions for their flight staff–not the type of training we are talking about…
Your best bet is to read the user’s manual, consult your M.D., pray, and tell someone when you are using it (just in case you pass out from doing too much all at once).
One of the master trainers for the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Karl Sterling, provides some very helpful firsthand feedback about wearing and using a hypoxic training mask (HTM).
In a nutshell, here are the pros and cons of using HTMs.
- Add variation to your workouts
- Helps you focus on your breathing during exercise
- Become more efficient using oxygen and increase performance
- Look cool at the gym
- Cost ($30-$100)
- One more thing to carry in your gym bag
- Minimal experts available to teach you how to safely train with a hypoxic training mask
- Limited research
- Look creepy at the gym
Google scholar search results for “hypoxic training benefits.”
Hingerhofer-Szalkay H. (2010, Jan.). Intermittent hypoxic training risks versus benefits. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 108(2), 417. doi 10.1007/s00421-009-1274-4
Roberts, A. (n.d.) The truth about hypoxic training and oxygen reducing masks.
Walther, J. (2015). Can a hypoxic training mask improve performance? National Association of Sports Medicine.
Shi, B. Watanabe, T., Shin, S., Yabumoto, T., Takemura, M., & Matsuoka, T. (2014, Jan.) Effect of hypoxic training on inflammatory and metabolic risk factors: a crossover study in healthy subjects. doi 10.1002/phy2.198
This infamously happens when I train one of my clients. Recently, my client sent me a few articles about what she believes is happening to her sinuses when she performs various exercises. And of course, I looked a bit more into it. Here is what I found.
What Is It?
It’s called exercise-induced rhinitis (EIR). The root word is rhino, meaning nose, and the suffix, itis, meaning inflammation. In other words, exercising can inflame your nose.
What are the Symptoms?
When you stop to think about it, it makes sense to experience rhinitis when performing physical activity. Increased blood flow and oxygen to your nasal passages may negatively impact your sinuses and cause airborne irritants such as mold and pollen to get into your system and result in congestion, sneezing, runny nose, itchiness, and watery eyes. Basically, EIR is annoying and you should add tissues to your list of essential items to bring to your workouts!
What Does the Research Say?
A 2006 research study examined EIR in adults “with and without nasal allergy who exercise regularly to determine the prevalence and nature of nasal symptoms induced by indoor exercise.”
Forty percent of participants indicated that indoor EIR negatively impacted physical activity. This more frequently occurred in individuals with nasal allergies. Likewise, outdoor EIR occurred in 56.1% of the total population–with participants with nasal allergies reporting more rhinitis (71.6% vs. 41%).
The study concluded that EIR “commonly occurs in athletes regardless of underlying nasal allergy.”
What does this mean? Well, if you already have nasal allergies, you are more likely to experience EIR compared to folks who do not already have nasal allergies. However, EIR is fair game to all of us.
Causes of EIR
There is limited research about the causes of EIR. Your guess is as good as mine and the next researcher. Check out with Livestrong.com writer, Matthew Lee, found out about the causes of EIR.
How to Manage EIR
In a nutshell, the most natural and drug free way to manage EIR is to carry a small pack of tissues during your workouts. However, some folks may want or need to take antihistamines. (Silvers, 1992)
Whatever you do, do NOT let a runny nose hold you back from your BEST workout! Pack some tissues in a sweat proof container and get to it! Happy training!
Okay, maybe this meal is not free. However, it is not overpriced, salty, and tasteless airplane food. Here’s one of my go-to meals when traveling. Yes, it does require some food prep, but your stomach will thank me later!
- cooked quinoa
- kalamata olives
- feta cheese
- sliced cucumber
- grape tomatoes
- shredded kale and/or spinach
- fresh herb (your choice! I like basil or oregano)
- sliced red bell pepper
- lemon juice
- extra virgin olive oil
- baked eggplant slices
- whole wheat lavash bread, tortilla, or pita
Make a little eggplant and salad sandwich on your whole grain!
- bonus dressing for sandwhich – mix minced garlic and fresh basil with canola mayo
Essentials to Make This a Success
- Frozen ice pack
I like to freeze water inside of a food storage bag and use it as an ice pack. You can empty melted ice water as it melts during your travels. Plus, you can reuse the bag on your return trip. A frozen bag of water does NOT count as a liquid according to TSA. Tip: double bag it to eliminate excess condensation as your homemade ice pack melts.
- Insulated food bag
This is an easy way to store your food and keep it chilled (and sanitary) while traveling. Note: Organic (raw) foods tend to trigger TSA systems. You might get pulled to the side and asked what’s in your bag.
- Plastic fork and spoon
- Hand sanitizer
- Food storage bag or recyclable plastic container to store foods.
And you’re welcome.
Photo credit: womenshealthmagazine.com
Let’s face it. These are two areas that tend to be the hardest places to lose inches and see muscle definition. In our respective weight loss and muscle defining journeys, we often begin to see results, get excited, smile really big when no one is watching, and then BOOM!
Then it happens.
You look in the mirror feeling pretty good about yourself and BAM!
You see it. Or rather you see them–the infamous tummy pouch and fat back.
Wait. Not fat back. I meant back fat.
What should you do to lose those last extra rolls in unwanted places?
I recommend 6 things you can do to begin to say good-bye to the unwanted tummy pouch and back fat.
- Total body exercises – It’s simple. The more physical movement you add to any exercise uses more muscle groups. Moving more muscle groups burns more calories. Burning more calories, burns more fat!
- Hydration – Over two thirds of your body is water. Women should drink a minimum 2.2 L (9 cups) and men should drink a minimum of 3.0 L (13 cups) of water daily. There are several other factors to consider when determining what your daily water intake should be. For example, water lost during perspiration, consuming foods with a high water content, and duration of exercise. Check out this helpful American College of Sports Medicine brochure about Hydration for Fitness.
- Cardio. Cardio. Cardio. – Physical activity in a lower training zone (65-75% of your heart rate max) for an extended duration of time (over 30 minutes) sends signals to your body’s energy systems to use a higher percentage of FAT as a fueling source. This is what you want right? Without getting to scientific on you–your body becomes more and more efficient using oxygen and as a result, it oxidizes fat at a higher rate in your body–this is called beta oxidation. So go ahead, oxidize some fat! And of course, physical activity in a higher training zone (>76% of your heart rate max) is beneficial, too! A key difference is that the duration of your cardio can decrease and yield similar fat and calorie burning benefits. So, if you prefer higher intensity interval training, DO IT!
- Core Exercises – Similar to #1, don’t just do concentrated crunches or a plank on the floor. Jazz it up a bit and involve more of your body. Check out these plank variations you can do at home, work, or the gym!
- Portion Control – This is a no brainer. If you want to lose fat and see greater muscle definition, you must eat healthy and carefully monitor your food portions at every meal. Eat healthy. Eat slowly. Eat without distractions. Drink water. Eat breakfast. The ChooseMyPlate provides great visuals to help you with portion control.
- Rest – Without enough sleep, leptin (hormone) levels decrease and ghrelin (hormone) rises, leading to an increase in appetite. The added fatigue from lack of sleep may also lead you to skipping out on exercising, another set back for reaching weight loss goals.
(NASM, 2014)The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults sleep for 7-9 hours daily. Twenty minute naps are also helpful before the latter half of your day.
A short nap is usually recommended (20-30 minutes) for short-term alertness. This type of nap provides significant benefit for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep. (NSF, 2016)
In summary, several research studies (NIH, 2008) have shown a positive correlation between midsection or abdominal circumference and risk for chronic disease. In other words, as your midsection increases in size, so does your risk for chronic diseases (e.g., high blood pressure, Type-2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity).
The last time I checked, no one wants a chronic disease that is preventable.
Set some new goals that fall within the parameters listed above and start losing that unwanted tummy pouch and back fat!
Contact us about specific exercise recommendations that target your core and back.
I recently saw this list posted on social media and thought it would be worth sharing with you this month. The list was generated by a medical doctor who maintains a website about natural health information. I do not exactly know what is meant by the term “natural” within this context; nevertheless, I believe the list is pretty accurate! Of course, you may not live forever by following these 11 healthy lifestyle tenets, but hopefully you will live a long, healthy life.
Photo source. http://www.mercola.com
After reading the list, what do you need to improve upon?
Is there anything you would add?
Notice how the first six items all relate to nutrition? Hmm… I think we’re on to something!
Eat right AND move more!
C.E.b. Fitness & Wellness will host groups of 4 people for personally guided tours of MOM’s Organic Market located in Woodbridge, VA. MOM’s staff will provide an overview of the importance of buying organic and sustainable products, and share unique in-store services and products. Dr. Candice Elaine brooks will discuss how to read food labels, shopping-on-the-go, saving money and eating healthy, and share quick meal ideas.
All participants will be given a MOM’s reusable bag, MOM’s coupon book, food and beverage samples, and a ticket to enter a drawing for a $20 MOM’s gift card.