Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quick Workouts

Lack of time and motivation seem to be the most common roadblocks for not participating in a regular exercise program for many people nowadays. The recent  economic times have caused many people to take on more than one job to make ends meet. If you fall into this category and cannot even fathom having time to exercise, it is time to rethink your exercise strategy now.
A common misconception is that one has to spend countless hours in the gym to gain any health benefit. According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) recommendations, most adults need to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Key points that ACSM adds are:
  • Exercise can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
  • One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions (of at least 10 minutes) are both acceptable to accumulate desired amount of daily exercise.
These guidelines help people understand how even a little goes a long way. Breaking up exercise sessions could have several benefits, including:
  • Finding 10-15 minutes in the morning or during lunch break for exercise, such as a brisk walk, can be much easier than blocking off an entire hour.
  • During and after exercise, your metabolism will increase. Doing two shorter workout sessions in one day will help keep your internal engines fuming.
  • Realizing that you are not getting ready to spend one to two hours in the gym can help motivate you and help you stick with a routine. It’s easier to anticipate and participate in two shorter bouts of exercise.
Try early morning cardio exercise before breakfast and the workday and then finish out your day by a post-work or end of the day resistance training session or yoga class. I have an extremely busy schedule. I find that if I split up my cardio and resistance training in the day, I am much more consistent with my exercise, as well as more motivated to get the gym and knock out a great workout.
Other tips for getting in quick workouts:
  • Keep a small clean up kit in your gym bag: baby wipes, extra makeup, deodorant and dry shampoo
  • Store your gym bag and an extra set of clothes in your car to get a workout in whenever the opportunity arises.
  • Find a friend to go with you on quick walks or runs during lunch.
  • Keep a few quick, total-body workouts in your back pocket to do at home
Remember that everyone is unique. Find a time that works for your schedule and go from there. And keep pressing forward. Don’t dwell on past failures; focus on the here and now and what your daily schedule is composed of.
You can do it. Make a decision and start today.

 This Fit Tip was provided by Life Fitness July 24th, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012



Most sports fans can rattle off the names and recent successes of their favorite athletes without giving it much thought, so why not use them as fitness inspiration?

If you want to take your workouts up a notch, follow these tips from Life Fitness to train like a pro.

Be committed. Make exercise a part of your everyday life, instead of just temporary activity. Athletes are always thinking about how to improve their performance and stay committed to reaching new goals. Start by being committed enough to work out even on those days even when you don't feel like it.

Do drills. You can improve your fitness with conditioning drills that pro's use:
  • Take it to the court and try 20 minutes of hoop shots, inspired by basketball
  • Find the punching bag in your gym and do three sets of 30 jabs, inspired by boxing
  • Head outdoors and try three sets of 30 quick high knees, inspired by football
  • Try out three sets of 15 diagonal lunge hops, inspired by speed skating
Do intervals. Intervals are one of the quickest ways to lose fat and annihilate your competition. In their simplest form, intervals are short bursts of high-intensity exercise separated by periods of lower intensity effort.

Intervals activate the metabolic systems in the body and improve athletic performance while sizzling off body fat.

Regularly update your goals. Set a specific goal and put all of your focus on that one goal until you achieve it; then set a new goal and work toward it. Athletes often push themselves to continually up their game by meeting and setting new goals.

Watch any top athlete compete and you will be inspired by their superb coordination, quick reflexes and sculpted body. Bring out your inner athlete and ramp up your workouts. Game on!

 This Fit Tip was provided by Life Fitness July 16th, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Use Data for More Engaging Group Cycling Classes

The measure of a great cycling class comes down to a great instructor. On top of a killer soundtrack and upbeat attitude, having a wide variety of tools available to increase participants’ performance levels is going to keep your classes full. Here are a few ways to use computer feedback to keep your riders engaged and coming back for more.
Resistance Level
Use a number to benchmark what resistance should be, and allow the rider to increase or decrease resistance based on skill level. This is a very intuitive tool for those new to group cycling because it will allow them to gauge what the average resistance should be for their sprints and climbs.

Calories Per Hour
Set a Calorie Per Hour output the class should reach, letting each class member dictate the resistance and RPM. This will give a real-time view of their power output, and allows riders to measure their cycling strength and efficiency over time. It’s also a great motivator for those tough hills!

Percent of Heart Rate Max
Instead of dictating the speed and resistance to your class, use heart rate for riders to measure their performance. Riders benefit by being able to set the resistance and RPM based on their skill level; you benefit by only calling out one value to the whole class. This evens the playing field and is great for classes with riders of varying skill levels.

Sample 60 Minute % of Heart Rate Max Class
Drop Downs
Warm Up
• 4mins - 60-65% MHR - Position 1
• 3mins going up each minute in % MHR from 70-75% / 75-80% / 80-85% - Position 3
• 2mins - 60-65% MHR - Position 1
• 1min - 85-95% MHR - Position 2
• 5mins - 60-65% MHR - Position 1
Repeat x3
• 1min - 85-95% MHR - Position 2 out the saddle
• 2mins - 80-85% MHR - Position 2 seated
• 4mins - 75-80% MHR - Position 3
• 5mins - 60-65% MHR - Position 1
Repeat x1
• 1min - 85-95% MHR -Position 2 out the saddle
• 1min - 80-85% MHR - Position 2 seated
• 1min - 75-80% MHR - Position 3
Cool Down
• 6mins - 60-65% MHR - Position 1

 This Fit Tip was provided by Life Fitness July 5th, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Create a Tour De France-inspired fitness plan this month!With Tour de France taking place the next few weeks, it's the perfect time to use this famous race as inspiration for your own workouts by following these tips from Life Fitness and adding cycling to your fitness repertoire.

Enjoy the health benefits. Cycling is a heart-pumping cardio activity that can increase your endurance and stamina, and lead to better overall fitness and muscle tone. When cycling, your quads, hamstrings and glutes do most of the work, but your core muscles will get a great workout, too. Outdoor cycling is particularly beneficial because you have to deal with the challenges of gravity, weather and terrain. Mix up your daily routine by using your bike as a means of transportation this summer and you'll notice a difference in your endurance after a couple weeks.

Go for group rides. Cycling is an activity the whole family can do together. The smallest child can climb into a bike seat or tow-along buggy, and because cycling is kind on joints, it's a low-impact workout people of almost all fitness levels can enjoy. If you go out for a ride with a friend and your paces aren't perfectly matched, just slow down and enjoy each other's company. Consider partnering up with your spouse and make a date out of a healthy bike ride.

Stay Safe. Make sure you are properly equipped when you head out for a ride by wearing a helmet that fits properly. If you're riding outdoors, skip the distracting headphones and instead of flip-flops, wear shoes that give you control of the pedals. Keep your bike in good condition by checking your breaks and tires regularly. If you are going to be riding in the road, use extreme caution when cycling among cars and follow the rules of the road. Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you and use hand signals to let motorists know what you are doing.

This Fit Tip was provided by Life Fitness July 3rd, 2012