Skip to main content

Posts

Stretching is Not Enough

If you feel like you've been stretching a tight muscle forever and not making progress, you're not alone.  Most people do static stretches and some myofascial release (foam rolling), either on their own or in stretching or yoga classes.  These are valuable techniques but they may not be enough to get the results you want and may not target you individualized needs.


Muscles become tight from extended periods of sitting and repetitive motion.  Remember isometric exercises?  Exercises where you hold a muscle in a contracted position to strengthen it?


Sit in front of a computer for extended periods of time and you're doing isometrics.  Literally strengthening and shortening the hip flexors, upper trapezius, chest lats, and anterior shoulder muscles.  At the same time, you're stretching and lengthening the glutes, middle trapezius and rhomboids and shoulder external rotators.


If a muscle is tight and short, the antagonist or opposite muscle is extended and relatively weaker.  …
Recent posts

15 Minutes Can Get You Better Results and Reduce Your Risk of Injury

Thanks for your readership of my fitness blog. To show my appreciation, I am pleased to offer a complimentary fitness program review .  We will discuss your goals, fitness level, current program and results, and give you a chance to ask questions.  This is a must if any of the following apply: you're just starting out or returning you've been working hard but aren't getting the results you want you've plateaued  you've had an injury, medical issue, pregnancy you're bored, routine has gotten stale you aren't working with a trainer you have a special event -- wedding, trip, beach, etc. you've been a reader for some time and just have some questions Please note availability is limited and we need to schedule in advance.

Add Horsepower to Your Cardio: Increase Your Cardiac Ouput

QUESTION: True or false:  to improve your cardiovascular conditioning,  get your heart rate as high as possible in aerobic exercise?


ANSWER: False.  You improve your cardio condition by increasing cardiac output at lower heart rates.   Here's the mathematical equation used by doctors and exercise physiologists:

Q = HR x SV
Your cardiac output, Q,  is the product of your heart rate times your stroke volume - that's the amount of blood exiting the heart from the left ventricle every time it beats.   A strong heart pumps more blood with every beat.  At rest, Q is typically about 5-6 liters per minute.  During exercise it can be 3-6 times as much.  
Extra Horsepower
To improve your cardiovascular conditioning, we focus on improving your Stroke Volume, conditioning the muscle fibers in the heart to pump more blood each time it beats.  Think of it as adding horsepower to a pump.

We do this with a training program designed to increase your heart rate reserve --- the difference between your…

BUSTED: Haagen-Dazs Corn Syrup Ingredient Alert

If you think that paying the price for super-premium products is a way to avoid ingredients WE don't want - like corn syrup - think again. After reading the fine print ingredients when I got it home, I recently discovered that the pint of Haagen-Dazs gelato that I paid about $5 for was made with corn syrup. I wrote to complain and was a bit taken aback by their response shown below. Let's forget that he called me Ms Raffle instead of Mr Raffle, and misspelled Karo syrup. Can we talk about arrogance?

According to Haagen-Dazs, corn syrup is a "kitchen friendly" ingredient. Is Lard also kitchen friendly? I think they really mean "bottom-line friendly." The thing that concerns me is that I like Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream, and I don't think it contains corn syrup ... yet. But I don't want to have to read the fine print to make sure I am not getting ingredients I don't want.

No apology for my dissatisfaction. No refund. No suggestion that i…

Do You Need To Change Your Workout?

Whether your goal is to improve performance, slim down, cut-up, bulk-up, reduce risk of injury or work around a problem area, a carefully considered change up in your workout might be just what the doctor ordered.  In this issue, the signs that your fitness program needs a change and the changes that can take you to the next level.  
If any of these statements are true, a change in program is overdue.
You've been doing the same exercises for more than 6-8 weeks, the only change has been to increase weight.   Your body adapts to the exercises, you will experience a diminished return on investment in terms of muscle development, and changing body composition (gaining or losing weight). Planned changes, or periodization, can help you break through the plateau.   What's more, continually performing the same exact movements makes you more susceptible to repetitive motion injuries.  Read more here Machines vs. Free Weights

You're taking up or increasing participation in a sport or …

What NOT To Do: The Six DO NOTS of Weight Loss

Happy New Year to all, it is good to be back.
We've all got the same thing on our minds after the holidays: getting back into shape and getting the most out of our fitness programs. In this issue, six simple tips about the things that don't work and alternative that do to help you get the most out of your efforts.  
1.  Don't Starve- Watching your calories is good, starving yourself and skipping meals actually works against you. When you skip meals or reduce your calorie intake too low, your body thinks you're starving and goes into "survival mode." It actually lowers your metabolism so that you burn less calories. Instead, plan on increasing exercise and reducing caloric intake so that you have a daily "calorie deficit" of 500-1000 calories. At this rate, you should lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. The American Dietetic Association and American College of Sports Medicine consider this level optimal for long term weight loss.
2.  Don't Do Just Card…

Get the Results YOU Want

Whether you're new to the gym, returning after a break, or resolved to bust through a plateau and take your fitness to a new level in 2013, this newsletter has you covered.  In this issue,  the tools you need including  help Setting Goals, Assessing Your Current Fitness, Scheduling and Commitment, Program Design and Measurement, and sample programs that you can adopt or adapt.  Effective Fitness Goalsare measurable, achievable, yet challenging.  Break big goals up into smaller goals so that you can track progress and be motivated by little successes along the way. Choose the right measurements of success: Some goals like strength and athletic performance and weight loss are easily measured in pounds, or with a ruler or stopwatch. For toning, body measurements, clothes size and subjective assessments of how you look and feel and move are often a better indication of change in body composition. Ensure successby incorporating the following into your plan:…