Strength Training | True Fitness Blog

So if you don’t know by now about JETT Training’s WEEKEND WARRIORS Class, shame on you! The class is every Saturday, 10:30am-11:30am at Sport and Spine Rehab Center, Wintergreen Plaza, in Rockville Maryland. Its a group circuit workout, “boot-camp” style, focusing on functional exercise. Its only 10 bucks per class to attend. Sales pitch completed, what I’d like to do today is give a shoutout to Dave Arnold, who came out last Saturday and totally ROCKED his workout. So what did Dave do? He did a great endurance workout, focusing on total body endurance. Here’s how it went: Warmup and Stretch, then… 10 Single Leg Squats per leg stabilized with TRX Straps 20 Pullups 15 “Perfect Pushups” 30 Kettlbell Swings with 16 kilos 10 more Single Leg Squats per leg 20 more Pullups 15 more “Perfect Pushups” 30 more KB Swings 10 Upward Chops from a Single leg kneel w/ 16 kilo KB, each side 20 Accordion Crunches 20 Twisting Crunches 20 “Toe-touch” Crunches 15 “Perfect Pushups” 20 Alternating Leg backward lunges w/ 16 kilo KB on the chest 10 more Single Leg Squats per leg 10 more Pullups 15 more “Perfect Pushups” 30 more KB Swings 10 Upward Chops from a Single leg kneel w/ 16 kilo KB, each side 20 Accordion Crunches 20 Twisting Crunches 20 “Toe-touch” Crunches 15 “Perfect Pushups” 20 Alternating Leg backward lunges w/ 16 kilo KB on the chest Cooldown and Stretch. Total Workout time 1 hour.

Great job Dave, can’t wait to see you at WEEKEND WARRIORS next week!

This fall Sara has been involved in coaching two youth sports teams; Girls on the Track and a 4th grade boys’ soccer team.  Working with athletes and kids has always been a passion for her so coaching is the perfect fit.

Girls on the Track is an afterschool program for girls in 6th-8th grade in which they have lessons about issues they are likely to deal with while training for a 5k. The best way it’s been described is a combination of Girl Scouts and running. Sara has really enjoyed her time working with these girls and seeing them improve. She is really looking forward to running with them in their 5k on November 13th!

Coaching the soccer team has been a major test of Sara’s patience; managing and attempting to corral ten 9 year olds has been quite the feat. Her main goal with the team was to help them continue to learn basic ball handling skills and develop a better understanding of the game so they play less heard ball. Though they haven’t won too many games, each week they are improving and having fun and Sara hopes to continue coaching this team in the spring!

Bed rest can be a fairly common scenario to alleviate certain pregnancy complications.  Bed rest can vary greatly with a range of simple periodic resting at home to full blown hospitalization.

There can be a number of reasons why Doctors put expectant mothers on best rest. In most cases, bed rest is used to help the body have the best chance to normalize. Here is a quick list of some of the risk factor involved.

Bed rest will tend to cause muscles to lose tone and can cause joints ache. Lying down for long periods of time can also reduce your blood circulation. Changing from side to side will help stimulate your muscles and relieve pressure. Exercise is important for your blood circulation, but make sure that you check with your Doctor before you begin any exercises. Below are some common exercises that may be used:

  • Squeezing stress balls
  • Pressing your hands and feet against the bed
  • Turning your arms and feet in circles
  • Tensing or tightening your arm and leg muscles

I hope that no one that may read this will ever have to deal with a bed rest situation, but hopefully some of this information will be helpful if needed. When in doubt always check with you Doctor.

Last Saturday, I ran in the Baltimore Half-Marathon.  When I initially decided to do this race, I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting into, and for everyone out there who has considered it in the past, I have a few things to say about my experience.

First, why did I even decide to do it?  Frankly, I wanted nothing more than so prove to myself that I could.  I wasn’t exactly starting from scratch, I run quite a bit, but had never before gone beyond 10 miles. 13.1 seemed like a perfectly attainable goal.  I began gradually increasing the distances of my training runs over the course of 3 months.  I had no doubts until a couple weeks before the race, on a 12 mile run, I finished, but by the end my right foot and left knee were aching so bad that I could do little but ice them for the following 2 days while I could barely walk.  My confidence was admittedly a little shaken, but I determined that I would stay the course.  For the last weeks leading up to the race I continued my lifting regimen, but did little running.  I wanted to give myself the chance to heal.

Race day arrives.  I’m excited but not nervous, remembering the foot and knee incident, I have told myself that finishing is my goal, I am not running for time.  Finally FINALLY it is time to start, and I set off at a conservative pace in the 3rd wave.  After the first mile, I start feeling confident, I pick up the pace.  I feel so good, there is so much encouragement from the watchers as well as the other runners, that I find that I am truly enjoying this run.  Suddenly, I have to pee so bad it hurts.  Crap, there goes my time… maybe I can hold it for the next 9 miles.  No, I had told myself not to worry about time, and I didn’t want this discomfort to ruin my fun, so I sucked it up and stopped at the next bathroom stop.  I lost 3 or 4 minutes in line, but I felt infinitely better.

Resuming the race, and feeling great I picked up the pace again.  Going going on this beautiful day, before I knew it I was halfway there, then more.  Hell, it felt easy.  Then mile 11 hit.  Every muscle in my body screamed.  I thought maybe that I’d slow to a walk, just for a minute, just to give my legs and feet a break.  Very tempting.  Then again I noticed all the people along the street, cheering genuine encouragement to total strangers, their support was just the push I needed.  Reason took over, I knew if I started walking, I wouldn’t be able to run any more, so I grit my teeth and kept going.  From then on it was a mental, not a physical challenge, I just willed myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other and ignore the protests of my body.  The last 3.1 miles felt like it took 3.1 years, but I made it.  I ran through the finish line grinning like an idiot.  I had done what I set forth to do for no better reason than to prove to myself that I could.

Ultimately, I ran a 2:04:24.  Not a terrible time.  More importantly though, I felt proud of my accomplishment, and I felt warmth and gratitude for all the other runners out there, my loved ones who came to support me, and for all the strangers along the course who didn’t know me, but still wanted me to succeed.

Maybe next year I’ll run the full marathon.

Have you ever wondered how certain people are able to exercise so much?

I’ll let you in on a little secret, it just takes a little prep time to keep you ready to switch gears from work to exercise mode in minutes.

Here are some tips that will help you to “change gears” when time opens up for you.  Your day could change, you could take a long lunch, a client could cancel. Perhaps you have some time in your day but you haven’t been efficient enough to take advantage it.

Always have your exercise clothes with you, the simplest change of clothes is if you are going it the gym. Shoes, shorts, shirt, socks, a lock, and your toiletries.

If you are into multiple sports keep a set of clothes ready for each type of workout you do.

If you swim, have your suit, a towel, shower shoes (no athletes foot please!), goggles, deodorant and a lock.

If you run have your shoes, running clothes, sunblock if outside, a water belt or bottle, your gel packs (gu, acccel gel, cliff shots etc.) and your heart rate monitor and iPod if you use them. Don’t forget baby wipes if you don’t have access to a shower.

If you’re a cyclist put your bike on the back of your car (lock it or lose it), have your kit ready in your cycling bag.  Don’t forget sunblock.  Baby wipes are key for cycling as well if you don’t gave access to a shower if you are a commuter.

There are some days where you just might not have time to get a workout in, but you do have a small break.  No worries, exercise your mind – have a book with you at all times (preferably a kindle, you won’t kill a tree and you have access to many books at once without taking up any extra space that could be saved for exercise gear.

The most important thing to remember is planning.  Plan your workouts for the week and have your respective gear ready to go.  But even more important is to be ready for the change of schedule. Be ready to SWITCH GEARS and jump into a workout at anytime.

Poor shoulder mobility can result in poor posture (shoulders rounded forward), excess tension in the shoulder, upper back and/or neck, or ultimately can increase the chance of injury.  Here is a great exercise to help you improve the mobility of the shoulder.  Perform 15 repetitions each side, 3 times per day.

Everyone knows or at least I hope they do that running is one of best forms of exercise.  So what other reason could one need than just doing it?

Now that summer is here, and I have been running outside, let me just tell you what I have come across that made my runs all the more enjoyable.

I was recently in Sonoma, where my wife and I did some trail running.  One morning we came across a coyote on the trail that was by no means yielding for me or Marianne.  After what seemed an eternity, and being a little worried that this coyote was rabid; he made a fast aggressive lunge toward what he had been stalking.  I don’t know what it was but he got it and then faded away into the brush.

Just fifteen minutes later, we came across a field of the most beautiful purple flowers and what must have been at least 50 Orioles.

Two days later my wife and I drove out to the Armstrong Redwood Reserve to continue our running adventures.  It was one the most impressive things I have ever seen in my life – 1400-year-old trees, beautiful colors, and it was nice being far from the hustle and bustle of the city.  Amongst the Redwoods, we came across a doe and her little bambi, who both felt quite comfortable with the many onlookers who had gathered to watch their little family eat, but suddenly another doe attacked the mother, and the pour thing ended up limping away. Ok so this wasn’t the happiest moment in my recent running adventures but it was definitely noteworthy.

Now bringing it back to Maryland, just last week I saw a fox when I was running in Rock Creek Park…very cool!

I have a client that I train in Rockville, MD very close to Wootton Parkway, and when weather and time permits I run from Wintergreen Plaza towards Wootton High School.  There, I have kept up with a family of geese and  am happy to report that as of last week there were four goslings to be seen following Mommy, marching in perfect order and it instantly made me smile.

I also at times run in Bethesda, which is where I train most of my clients, and when I get a break in between appointments…I am running.  I have a Bradley Blvd. loop that I run regularly.  During my run today, I came across four baby rabbits frolicking about and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

If these aren’t reasons enough to run I don’t know what is.

Anyone who’s been working out for an extended period of time has hit a plateau.  You may begin to notice that your improvements have slowed and you seem to be levelling off in your performance.   Instead of grinding away with the same old routine, overcome your plateau and think FIT.  FIT is an acronym for the three ways that you can improve or alter your existing workouts:  Frequency, Intensity, and Time.   Frequency refers to how often you’re working out.  If you’re strength training and you feel that your improvements have tapered off, add another session each week!  Two workouts may have helped before, but your body may have gotten used to it; its old hat and no longer challenging.  By adding a third, you might again see greater progress.   Intensity refers to how hard you exert yourself while you’re working out.  Perhaps you’ve been grinding along on the treadmill at 6mph for 30 minutes at a time for weeks now.  You might be ready to push it up to 6.5mph for 30 minutes to burn off a few extra calories.   Time can refer to both the duration of your workouts, and the “time under tension” during your strenth training.  If you’ve hit a plateau doing hour-long training workouts, try adding a few more sets and training for an hour and fifteen minutes.  Or within each rep, you can increase the time that your muscle is in tension by doing slow “negatives.”

Remember, just showing up isn’t going to cut it!  The only way to see continuous improvement is by constantly challenging yourself!  FIT provides some easy guidlines to help improve the quality of your training without a complete overhaul.  Happy training!