Severe weather can put a crimp in anyone’s schedule. Luckily, Chris was able to add me into the system so I could more easily schedule and reschedule appointments. Though the craziness meant a lot of rescheduling, I was able to get in two training sessions. This week, my fitness level became embarrassingly clear. Omega’s warm up routine was as difficult as most of the workouts I’d been muddling through for the past couple years. Called the Active Dynamic Warmup, this sequence is designed to stretch the body through movement. This warm up is tough. Omega’s ADW is specifically designed to get as many muscles, ligaments, and joints moving and working together. It pushes the limits of your strength, stability, mobility, and flexibility. At the same time, it gets your heart rate up and gets you focused for the workout. Right now, the warm up is also my baseline. I can complete it in 20 – 25 minutes, but my heart rate has spiked above 90 percent of its maximum at least twice. It’s awesome for burning calories, but it also causes enough fatigue that any additional exercise is difficult. In only three workouts, I’ve shaved a couple minutes off my time for the ADW. My heart rate doesn’t spike quite as quickly, and I’ve gotten through a few more reps every time. Despite how incredibly out of shape I am, it’s been encouraging to see these (tiny, tiny) gains. I’ve also been sleeping more soundly, which gives me more energy to write and exercise and live. The gains might be small, but they’re mine. If two weeks has yielded this much, I’m looking forward to seeing what six weeks can do.
Making exercise a priority is tough, but being out of shape is worse. Since exercise helps control weight, improves mood, helps with sleep, and can fight health conditions, it should be the easy choice, right? I wish. Over the past three years, I’ve conditioned myself to think of exercise as a luxury rather than a necessity for my physical and mental health. During this time, I’ve started and abandoned at least four exercise programs after my initial excitement wore off. Let me give you a bit more background about myself. My name is Clair, and I’m a 25-year-old bartender. During the day, I’m a freelance writer and high school tutor. I keep weird hours, don’t eat right, and sit on the couch more than I like to admit. I’m also completely out of shape. You wouldn’t know it by looking at me – I’m 6’1” and slender – but I have very little muscle and get winded pretty easily. Last week, I went through Omega’s intake and assessment. Since this was my first time working with a personal trainer, I was somewhat nervous about revealing how out of shape I am. Luckily, I didn’t have to. Chris Conn, a personal trainer and Omega’s owner, figured it all out from my poor squatting form. Three days later, I started my first actual workout. After making it through an ADW, or Active Dynamic Workout (more on that later), Chris started me on a Tabata circuit. This brand of high intensity interval training (HIIT for short) alternates 20 seconds of extremely intense exercise with 10 seconds of rest in four-minute segments. After each four minute block, individuals rest for 45 seconds. This workout is supposed to last approximately 32 minutes. I made it halfway. Throughout the workout, Chris was there to push me hard and encourage me through the workout. When I reached my limit, he acknowledged it and helped me switch over into recovery mode. Over the next few weeks and months, I’m looking forward to scheduling an exercise routine. Though I may not work out on the same days every week, I’ll be getting into the habit of doing it regularly. On a more personal level, I’m looking forward to gaining muscle mass and feeling my body get stronger and leaner. Between Chris’s coaching and weekly blogging, I hope to be kept accountable to making gradual changes in my lifestyle to get in shape. After all, it’s past time for me to put my health and wellness first.
HIIT vs Steady State Cardio – Less is More !
Exercise physiologists used to believe that “steady state” cardio was superior for fat loss because relatively more fat is used by the body as fuel at lower exercise intensities than at higher intensities. The “Fat Burning Zone” shown on most cardio equipment as only 60%-65% of max heart rate is really a myth and is NOT optimal for burning fat. Yes, you burn more fat relative to glycogen when going for a walk, but what we care about is total fat burn. At higher intensities, you are burning far more fat, even though the fat/glycogen ratio is lower.1 2 In addition, interval training allows you to exercise at very high intensities for a much longer period of time than steady state, so you burn more fat. Long Duration Cardio / Steady State Cardio. This is cardio for 30-45mins at a steady state. On a machine or long runs outside. Pros & cons of long duration cardio: Burns Fat. 30mins long duration cardio burns about 500kcal. This allows you to create a caloric deficit without dropping your daily calorie intake. Increases Endurance. If you’re out of shape, long duration cardio is the easiest way to increase your cardiovascular fitness. Boring & Time Consuming. For maximal fat loss you’ll need 3 sessions of 30-45 mins per week. This can be boring & repetitive. HIIT. High-intensity interval training. Example: alternate 60sec jogging with 30sec sprints for 15mins. Pros & cons of HIIT cardio: More Efficient. Burns more fat and increases your cardiovascular fitness more than long duration cardio does. More Fun, Less Time-Consuming. Takes only 15-20mins and is much more fun than 30-45mins long duration cardio. More Difficult. HIIT will make you puke if you’re a beginner with zero endurance. HIIT can also mess with your recovery. Other Benefits Of HIIT • Increased Aerobic Capacity – The amount of oxygen your body can use (oxygen uptake) is increased, so your overall aerobic capacity can increase faster than with low intensity endurance exercise3 • Increased Lactate Threshold – Your ability to handle increased lactic acid buildup in your muscles increases • Improved Insulin Sensitivity – Your muscles more readily suck in glucose, instead of the glucose going to your fat stores4 5 • Anabolic Effect – Some studies show that interval training combined with consuming slightly more calories than you burn creates an anabolic effect, which helps you put on muscle. The opposite occurs with steady state cardio, which for long durations is catabolic.6 As an added bonus, there’s also an after-burn effect known as EPOC (excess-post exercise oxygen consumption). You increase your metabolism and burn more calories for up to 24 hours after interval training, whereas going for a jog burns almost NO calories after.
Functional Training…The New Gym Industry
Staying one step ahead of the game is what we all strive to do. We see this evident in the most successful business men to the best athletes in the world. The gym industry is no different. Society is always looking for the next best workout video, the coolest class our friends are taking, or wondering what the fittest athletes are up to. Evolution of health has changed immensely in the last 50 years. We thank Arnold Schwarzenegger and other body builders for turning us on to fitness and ‘getting into shape’ in the late 1960s. The body building craze to sculpt with isolated movements and heavy weights was seen as fit, but now these old timers are in PT offices across the nation…you are welcome physical therapists! We now look to prevent these body ailments in our present population. In recent past we wonder how in the world Travis Pastrana completes his arial acrobatics in motorcycle flight, how gymnasts in the olympics are completing feats never imagined before, but more importantly why is it just now we see the human body go to such athletic extremes of amazing talent? Any athlete from professional snowboarders to top NFL players will attest to some form of functional training that took them one step ahead. Until recently there is science behind what we do and why we do it. Functional training takes on many forms but all types (if done properly) will increase the body’s proper function, reduce physical ailments, and improve any activity of daily living. Instead of using a heavy weight in one plane of motion like we did in the past, science is not only suggesting but telling us to use bodyweight movements, resistance band apparatus, other simple objects for exercise, and most important is multiple joint movements in any given exercise. Functional training will take your body to the healthy state you strive for while improving so many aspects in our lives we either once did before or have never been able to complete. Now pick up those bands you used once, get on that BOSU ball you always wonder about, and with the proper training regimen complete your new multi-joint exercises for the better-than-ever you!
What is Corrective Exercise??
In everyday life, we repeatedly do activities that create imbalances in the body. Sitting at a desk for long periods of time, driving, sleeping on your side,or participating in sports like tennis and golf allow the body to develop strengths and weaknesses that cause the body to be out of symmetry. These posture and movement imbalances in the body make us more susceptible to chronic pain and injuries. The point of corrective exercise is to find posture and movement imbalances and joint limitation and create a program to correct them. The focus is on movements designed to create balance, stability, and/or range of motion in the body that are not functioning at maximum potential. It’s all about choosing the right exercises, knowing when and how to progress them and making sure you perform them with good technique and posture. As technology and automation becomes more and more common, physical activity for most of us becomes less and less. In addition to that our common, everyday activities put our bodies in a de-conditioned state. To top it off, most training programs do not properly assess and determine these imbalances which can increase your potential for injury. Did you know that a corrective exercise program could save most people from common injuries and chronic pain even before they occur? BACK-The annual cost attributable to low back pain in the US is greater than $26 billion/year. 60-80% of the general population have reported to have had low back pain and nearly 80% of adults have musculoskeletal degeneration in the low back. NECK- An estimated 2/3 of people will have neck pain at some point in the life. SHOULDERS- Shoulder pain, most commonly Impingement Syndrome, is present in 21% of the general population and costs approximately $39 billion/year. HIPS- According to the agency for healthcare, research and quality, more than 285,000 total hip replacements are performed each year. KNEES- An estimated 80,000-100,000 ACL injuries occur each year with approx. 70-75% being non-contact injuries. ACL injuries have a strong correlation with arthritis. Common knee problems such as Patella Femoral Sydrome and Ligament Injuries cost $2.5 billion/year. FOOT & ANKLE- In the general population Plantar Fasciitis accounts for more than 1 million doctor visits each year.
Fad Diets, Why They Don’t Work
Before you begin a new diet, here are a couple of things to think about. Remember that the weight you want to lose was not gained overnight, so beware of any “quick fixes”, you are going to have to work hard to lose the weight, and keep it off. Beware of fad diets. Some nutritionists define a fad diet by a series of questions rather than assessing popularity: Recommendations that promise a quick fix Dire warnings of dangers from a single product or regimen Claims that sound too good to be true Simplistic conclusions drawn from a complex study Recommendations based on a single study Dramatic statements that are refuted by reputable scientific organizations Lists of “good” and “bad” foods Recommendations made to help sell a product Recommendations based on studies published without review by other researchers Recommendations from studies that ignore differences among individuals or groups Eliminated one or more of the five food groups The key to a good diet is, meeting with a professional and determining your daily metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn to function). From there a professional can determine the calorie deficit (how many calories you need to burn through exercise / or restrict through dieting) to reach your goal weight. Lets face it, most of us don’t like exercising, but the best weight loss is achieved through a combination of exercise and clean eating.
Yes, you can do yoga
“If you can breathe, you can do yoga.” I love this yoga quote- so simple and true. Yoga is ultimately the connection of body, breath, and mind, therefore, anyone can benefit from a yoga practice. The thing people get confused about is how the Western society views yoga, which mostly focuses on yoga postures and many believe you have to be flexible and stand on your head! Yoga encompasses much more than just postures- meditation, breathing exercises (pranayama), self-control, purpose, awareness, chant, and the list goes on. So YES, anyone and everyone can and would benefit from doing yoga. Whether you are practicing just postures or just breathing exercises there are healing powers in all yoga provides if appropriately applied to you. Personally, my yoga has changed from when I first started 5 years ago. It was a form of exercise and increased my flexibility. Now yoga enlightens me, calms my mind, and although I still get an exercise and still increase my flexibility, yoga has grown with me as I have grown with yoga. It has become MY yoga- adapted to me. Yoga can be whatever you want it to be for yourself and regardless of age, body type, injury, fitness level or goals, yoga is a tool that can help anyone.
I hadn’t worked out as successfully as I did in college until I started the OmegaFX classes at Omega Wellness in June. I would recommend Omega Wellness to anyone getting back to fitness, looking for new ways of achieving their goals, or wanting to start a fitness regimen for the first time.
Chris and Lara are both excellent trainers and motivators as they’ve challenged us to push ourselves and reach better personal fitness levels. n addition this place has a great community that makes the experience invaluable.
What I love about working out at Omega is that I am constantly being challenged, and I never get bored!! The OmegaFX crossfit classes are designed for people of every fitness level to reach their desired goals.
Trainers take the time to ensure I understand the workout and that I am doing the exercises correctly and to the best of my ability. I highly recommend this gym.
If you’re looking for one-on-one attention without the intimidation of a “big-box” gym then you’ve found the right place.
I have had the chance to workout with both Chris and Lara, and think that they are both fabulous. The nutritional guidance has been reasonable (no crazy entire food group eliminations or cleanses) and easy to adhere to. Best of all, I am seeing results!! Plus, on a whole, I just feel better.
Having never regularly working outed or played competitive sports of any kind, I was fairly apprehensive about diving into a rigorous work out regimen. However, the team at Omega made it an extremely easy transition! They are always ready to modify any exercise that I can’t do on my own to something more manageable and have helped me reach a much higher fitness level.
I was an aerobic and spin instructor in college and law school, so I’ve always been very independent with my exercise. However, once I entered my 30′s I realized that I needed more of a push than I was giving myself. In January 2013, I made my very first living social purchase, which included 10 yoga classes and 5 fx classes. I had no intentions of ever using the fx classes. But . . . 5 classes turned into the next 9 months as a full member and I’ve never felt better. These guys will push you, encourage you, and really connect with you. I feel like I have 2 brothers at Omega, and they always want to see me at my very best!
After playing professional baseball 5 years, for the Brewers, Chris & Lara are the only people I trust with my fitness. Having had my knee surgically repaired I was hesitant to work with a trainer but Chris has helped my recovery tremendously with manual therapy and corrective exercise. The facility is top notch, I travel a lot with work and have visited many other boutique training facilities, this rivals those I have seen in Miami, Vegas, LA, and NY. These guys are great and approach your fitness as an individual. When not training one on one with Chris, I attend the OmegaFX classes which I have found much safer than CrossFit.