Tag Archives: healthy lifestyles

New Study Shows The Benefits Of Working With A Personal Trainer

20150625_151816  Over the course of my career in fitness, it has become obvious to me the benefits that come from using a personal trainer, especially when it is combined with a proper nutrition plan. Clients lose fat, look better, feel healthier and have increased energy. As you can see from testimonials page, my clients also see that benefit.

While I see these benefits on a daily basis when working with clients, a recent study conducted by supplementcritique.com to gauge consumer perceptions of personal fitness trainers reinforces that. The study found that an overwhelming number of people are satisfied with their experience when they worked with a personal trainer. The survey, conducted in the United States, targeted consumers that currently workout at least three times a week.

Key Takeaways:

  •  83% of people that have used a personal trainer were satisfied with the results.
  •   Experience is the most important factor people consider when choosing a personal trainer, with 35% of respondents stating this was their most important consideration

Satisfied Customers

Of those surveyed, 56% of respondents who exercised three times or more per week stated that they had used the services of a personal trainer in the past. Of those that had used the services of a personal trainer as part of their workout regime, a whopping 83% were satisfied with the results, underlining the value that personal trainers bring to those looking to achieve their fitness goals.

1  Of those respondents that had not used a personal trainer in the past, there was a clear understanding of the benefit of using a personal trainer as evidenced by the fact that 68% of respondents believed that working with a personal trainer would help them reach their fitness goals.

Experience Matters

Consumers were asked what the most important factors they would consider when hiring a personal trainer. 35% of respondents said that the experience of the personal trainer was the most important factor followed by 27% of people saying that personality and likeability were most important. 26% of respondents cited cost as being the most important factor they would consider when choosing a trainer to work with.

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Education

The study asked respondents what they thought was the education level of the average personal trainer. 61% of those surveyed believed that the average personal trainer has less than a college degree. 15% believed that the average education level was high school, while 46% believed that the average personal trainer had some college. 38% believed that the average personal trainer had obtained a college degree. I found this part of the study interesting as I have a B.S in Sports Management from ASU.

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What is striking about this study is the satisfaction level that people have when they work with a personal trainer. Working with a personal trainer that you can connect with is far more likely to lead to you having success while also increasing your enjoyment level.

The study was conducted in April of 2015 in order to understand how personal trainers are perceived in the marketplace by consumers who make fitness a part of their daily lives. You can view the entire survey by clicking here.

Utilize this information to make an informed decision when hiring a personal trainer and make sure
they address your individual needs not lump you into a “program”.

Visit www.fitnesspropelled.com or simply give us a call @ 480-522-7874 with any questions on getting started with your own training program.

Fitness: Dress for the Occasion

ye (1) By: June-Ellen Ottoson, Fitness Propelled, AFAA Certified

Working out is a great lifestyle and having the right attire makes it that much better! Below are a few fashion suggestions to enhance your workout experience:

Cute-Workout-ClothingLoungewear vs Activewear

Having been a trainer for over a decade I have seen a lot of “loungewear” being translated into “activewear,” and it doesn’t translate very well. It might sound cozy to work out in pajamas, but an overly-casual outfit can make for a sloppy workout. Oversized T-shirts and baggy shorts can make it hard for the trainer to observe, and, if needed, to correct your form. Outfits that are too big and baggy can get in your way of performing exercises such as push-ups, planks, any twisting motion, etc. As trainers we want you to succeed, and the right outfit can make a very big difference.

Fitness Fashion vs Fitness “Flashin”

I firmly believe that working out gives one confidence and a feeling of accomplishment. There is an abundance of workout wear for every “body.” Showing off one’s accomplishments from their hard work and dedication should be appreciated. But from time to time we see a little too much of people’s “assets.” A fitness garment should be allowed a little “wiggle room”…it needs to get the job done with you and not distract you. A lot of “adjusting” can waste some serious energy J

Expensive vs Not Expensive

The great news is that there is workout gear for every budget! You can find all the popular attire, Adidas, Under Armor, etc. at TJ Maxx or Marshalls if you don’t mind looking a bit. You can also find anything on Amazon.com. I like to mix a good top with a lower priced short/sweats and vice versa. Fitness fashion is fun and can be worn both to work out in or to go practically anywhere. The moral of this blog is that fitness is a fabulous thing and so should be your fitness aesthetic. You are an individual whose workouts and fashion are who you are, not someone else, or an ad on tv promoting the “latest and greatest” thing to wear or way to achieve your goals. Have a great workout !!!

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5 Dumbbell Exercises to Shape Your Back

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

The use of #dumbbells is a fantastic way to train one’s body. Dumbbells provide us with an ease of use, open options on ranges of motion and a thorough workout. Dumbbell training puts us in positions to use our whole body and not become reliant on machines or circuit training. Using dumbbells engage the exerciser to connect with each exercise and focus on form, positioning and the development of strength. In this blog post, I share 5 dumbbell exercises that are sure to shape your “back”.

Complete 3 sets with 15 repetitions of the 5 exercises listed below with 1:00 minute rest periods between sets.

1) Bent Over Row

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  1. With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing your torso), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist; as you bend make sure to keep your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor.  The weights should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso.
  2. While keeping the torso stationary, lift the dumbbells to your side, keeping the elbows close to the body. At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second.
  3. Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position. Repeat.

2) Bent Over Rear Fly’s

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Bent Over  Rear Fly’s

  1. While keeping your back straight and maintaining the natural arch of your back, lean forward. Let the arms hang in front of you perpendicular to the ground. The palms of your hands should be facing each other and your torso should be parallel to the floor.
  2. Keeping your torso forward and stationary, and the arms straight with a slight bend at the elbows, lift the dumbbells straight to the side until both arms are parallel to the floor.
  3. After a one second contraction at the top, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat.

3) Renegade Rows

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  1. Place two dumbbells on the floor about shoulder width apart. Position yourself on your toes and your hands as though you were doing a pushup, with the body straight and extended. Use the handles of the dumbbells to support your upper body. You may need to position your feet wide for support.
  2. Push one dumbbell into the floor and row the other dumbbell, retracting the shoulder blade of the working side as you flex the elbow, pulling it to your side.
  3. Then lower the dumbbell to the floor and begin the dumbbell row in the opposite hand. Repeat.

4) Bent Over Row w/ Palm’s Up

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  1. With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing away from your torso), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist; as you bend make sure to keep your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor.  The weights should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso.
  2. While keeping the torso stationary, lift the dumbbells to your with palms facing away, keeping the elbows close to the body. At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second.
  3. Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position. Repeat.

5) Lateral Raises

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  1. With your dumbbells stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells by your side at arms length with the palms of the hand facing you.
  2. While maintaining the torso in a stationary position lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward. Continue to go up until your arms are parallel to the floor.
  3. Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position. Repeat

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Sources:

– Bodybuilding.com

5 Body Weight Exercises for a Chiseled Back

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Body weight conditioning #Bodyweightconditioning has always been an excellent way of training ones’ body, it requires little to no equipment and exercise routines can be done at almost any location. Body weight conditioning often restores our commitment to fitness and makes us concentrate on our form throughout each movement pattern. In this blog post, I share 5 body weight excises that will help you chisel out your back.

Complete 3 sets with 15 repetitions of the 5 exercises listed below with 1:30 minute rest periods between sets.

1) Pull-up

pull - up

  • The pull-up is performed with a palms facing forward position.
  • The body is suspended by the arms, gripping something, and pulls up.
  • The wrists remain in neutral (straight, neither flexed nor extended) position, the elbows flex and the shoulder adducts and/or extends to bring the elbows to or sometimes behind the torso.
  • The knees may be bent by choice or if the bar is not high enough. Bending the knees may reduce pendulum-type swinging.
  • Repeat

2) Inverted row

Inverted row

  • Lay flat on your back under a bar, a table or other sturdy surface
  • Grab your bar or bar substitute with your arms fully extended and your palms facing away from you.
  • Keep your body straight and lift yourself up. Slowly return to your starting position. You can make this easier by sitting on your hips or harder by raising your feet on a bench.

3) Pike push-up

Pike push-up

  • Start from a classic pushup position. Keep your legs straight and walk your hands back so you are in a pike position.
  • Your upper body and lower body should be at about a 90 degree angle.
  • Extend the arms overhead so that they are in line with your spine and reaching straight out from the shoulders.
  • Contract the core. Bend the elbows and lower yourself down until your head almost contacts the ground. Press back up.

4) Isometric wide grip pull ups

Isometric wide grip pull up’s

  • Set your hands palms down and facing away from you at a wide grip on the bar.
  • Pull yourself up so that your chin is above the bar and hold the position. Try to hold each repetition for the same amount of time.

5) Superman’s

Superman’s

  • Lay face down with your arms straight ahead of you.
  • In a controlled motion, lift your upper body and legs off the floor.
  • Hold the final position for 5 seconds before slowly returning to the first position.Superman’s

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Sources:

5 TRX Exercises for a Defined Back

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Starting off this article by explaining what exactly is TRX would be critical before attempting its’ exercises. Born in the Navy SEALs, Suspension Training (#TRX) bodyweight exercise develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously.

The TRX Suspension Trainer:

  • Delivers a fast, effective total-body workout
  • Helps build a rock-solid core
  • Increases muscular endurance
  • Benefits people of all fitness levels (pro athletes to seniors)
  • Can be set-up anywhere (gym, home, hotel or outside)

By utilizing your own bodyweight, the TRX Suspension Trainer provides greater performance and functionality than large exercise machines costing thousands of dollars.

Continuing from our previous article posted, we are now checking out a multitude of pieces of equipment and how they can be applied towards creating a #DefinedBack. Check out these 5 exercises below and be sure to incorporate them into your “back” routine.

1) TRX Y Deltoid Fly:

Deltoids - 3Deltoids - 4  Builds strength and stability in the rear and middle parts of the shoulders.

2) TRX T Deltoid Fly

DSC_1051DSC_1053  Builds strength and stability in the rear shoulders and upper back.

 3) TRX L Deltoid Fly

TRX L Deltoid Fly  Strengthens external rotators with some stabilization support from the lats, biceps and forearms.

4) TRX Row

Row - 1Row - 2  Strengthens back muscles dependent on the position of a high or low row. Apply the pendulum theory and stance in order to increase exercise difficulty.

5) TRX Supine Plank

TRX Supine Plank  Increases flexibility in the anterior shoulder and builds strength and stability in the upper body.

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Sources:

https://www.trxtraining.com/suspension-training

 

5 Must Include Upper Back Stretches

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

In our previous posts we have taken a look at some incredible #Muscledeveloping “Back Exercises”. Be sure to check them out @ https://fitnesspropelled.wordpress.com/ . This post will address some upper back stretching exercises that are designed to restore flexibility to the joints and muscles of the upper back. Be sure to incorporate a targeted stretching routine to your workout regimen.  Below are five #UpperBackStretches that you will want to include into your flexibility program.

1) Shoulder Blade Squeezes 

Shoulder Blade Squeezes Begin sitting or standing tall with your back straight. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as hard and far as possible pain-free. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 – 15 times.

2) Extension in Sitting 

Extension in Sitting  Begin sitting tall, with your hands behind your neck. Gently arch backwards and look up towards the ceiling until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 – 15 times.

3) Rotation in Sitting 

Rotation in Sitting  Begin sitting tall, with your arms across your chest. Keeping your legs still, gently rotate to one side until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 – 15 times to each side.

4) Side Bend in Sitting 

Side Bend in Sitting  Begin sitting tall, back straight, hands behind your head or neck. Gently bend to one side, moving your elbow towards your hip until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Make sure you do not lean forwards. Repeat 10 – 15 times on each side.

5) Flexion in Sitting

Flexion in Sitting  Begin sitting tall, with your hands behind your neck. Gently bend forwards allowing your elbows to move towards your thighs. Move until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 – 15 times.

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Sources:

Upper Back Stretches – Basic Exercises

http://www.physioadvisor.com.au/8110950/upper-back-stretches-upperback-flexibility-exer.htm

3 Must Use Dynamic Abdominal Exercises on the Bosu Balance Trainer

imagesBy: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Exercise programs that scream effective are often centered on the inclusion of both, dynamic or isotonic routines as well as stable or isometric routines. Dynamic or “isotonic” exercise consists of continuous and sustained movements of the arms and legs which is beneficial to the cardiorespiratory system. When you couple a dynamic exercise with a stable or “isometric” exercise per say a plank, then your exercise routine’s difficulty dramatically increases. Isometric exercises are performed by the exertion of effort against a resistance that strengthens and tones the muscle without changing the length of the muscle fibers.

In the sixth video of our series of abdominal exercises on the Bosu Balance Trainer, this video emphasizes the incorporation of a stable base exercise paired with its dynamic counterpart.

Fitness Propelled’s 3 Must Use Dynamic Abdominal Exercises

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUUeuNEGlf9yilJ6Yd-pI5XQ&v=1TBbg2PxAVI

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 Sources:

– Dictionary.com

Sugar, it isn’t always so sweet to your body

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

With Halloween coming quickly, I felt it relevant to share a fantastic posting through the American Council on Exercise which discusses the negative effects that “Sugar” has on ones’ body.   Who can deny our societies love for “Sugar”? Shoot, I cannot even deny my own sweet tooth cravings at times. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average American consumes roughly 47 pounds of sugar and 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year. Wow, if I were to have guessed at how much “Sugar” I consume, my guess would have been pretty far off. With so much “Sugar” being consumed, this being simple table sugars and high-fructose corn syrup, it is important for us to understand the effects it is having on our bodies.

Let’s examine “Sugars” effects on our bodies from head to toe:

Brain: Sugar impairs memory

UCLA researchers found that fructose may actually damage memory and slow learning. Results of the studies with rats showed that sugar can affect neural connections in the brain and have a detrimental effect on these functions.

Stomach: Increases appetite

Sugar is fantastic at providing us with little more than empty calories that seem to aid us with putting on those unwanted extra pounds. Researchers are finding that the consumption of “Sugar” may trigger you to eat even more calories. This study out of Yale, found evidence suggesting that fructose may actually increase appetite by interfering with the body’s satiety hormones.

Circulatory System: Increase the risk for heart disease

New research is suggesting that sugar is having a big impact on heart health. Certain levels of sugar intake may even double the risk of heart disease. This being from the increased risk factors; being sugars effect on weight, blood pressure, triglycerides and negative impact on insulin.

Mouth: Creates a breeding ground for bacteria

Eating sugar increases the acidity in your mouth creating a perfect environment for bacteria. Increased bacteria can wreak havoc on tooth enamel and cause plaque and gingivitis that can lead to periodontal disease in not controlled.

Pancreas: Increased risk in developing diabetes

After a thorough review of over 175 countries; scientists found a direct correlation between rising levels of sugar in the food supply and rising rates of diabetes, independent of obesity rates.

Heart, Joints: Increase joint inflammation

Chronic inflammation is a contributing cause of processed sugars and other refined carbohydrates. This has been shown to have various negative effects on the body from increased risk of heart disease to muscle and joint pain.

Entire Body: Affects energy levels

Simple carbohydrates like sugar, are processed quickly and cause blood sugar to spike and inevitably crash. As blood sugar crashes so does our energy, so case in point remove yourself from simple carbs and work towards consuming more complex carbs such as whole grains.

We all realize that the transition away from “Sugar” will be a difficult journey, but may this article be a resource towards pointing you in a healthier direction, well, then that would be fantastic.

Be sure to connect with us & utilize our FREE fitness resources!

Sources:

  • American Council on Exercise Science
  • Registered Dieticians @ Evolution Nutrition

8 Mobile Fitness Apps That Enhance Your Health and Wellness Experience

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Utilizing mobile apps along with your workout regime is an overall enhancing health and fitness experience that will ultimately lead you towards successfully reaching your goals. It quite simple to pull out your phone, which we all have on us and plug in some data that will help us make healthier decisions as we have that “watch dog” with us. If you’re a numbers cruncher then inputting the results from your workouts is key to tracking improvements and it is much more organized than putting down all that you did on a piece of paper and trying to remember where you put it next time you need that data.

Below are a few recommended Apps for you to check out and start using in the categories of……

  • Walking and Running
  • Home and Travel Workouts
  • Nutrition and Weight Loss
  • Client Communication

Walking and Running

  • WalkJogRun: Touted as the “most accurate” IPhone GPS tracker, clients can follow recommended routes in their area or create their own. The app includes walks, training plans, goal setting and pace management.
  • Charity Miles: This App is a great tool for giving back and all you have to do is accrue miles. The App donates 25 cents per walking/running mile or 10 cents per cycling mile to a charity that you choose that is listed on the App. Charities include Feeding America, ASPCA, and Stand up to Cancer to name a few.

Home and Travel Workouts

  • FitnessGLO: Offers guided, on-demand video workouts that clients can follow, preferably from and ipad or tablet. Videos come in a variety of formats using a multitude of different equipment options, length, etc. Accessing the videos are free but a subscription will allow you to access and store the workouts.
  • PopSugar Active: Includes video workouts, articles, and set scheduled workouts in a user friendly manner.

Nutrition and Weight Loss:

  • Fooducate: Grading food products based on nutrition facts and ingredients this app will provide non-bias based information about the food you are consuming. The app also, scans barcodes to display nutritional details and suggest health alternatives. Users can also receive nutritional tips, search the apps database and track food intake, exercise, and weight loss progress.
  • PACT: Who, doesn’t like to earn money, will if you do like to earn a little extra cash, then PACT might be an option for you. Users commit to weekly goals for exercise, nutrition and fruit and vegetable intake; then they have to prove they are doing it by sending snapshots of what they are consuming. Clients can earn a small monetary value of 30 cents up to $5 dollars a week. However, there is a flip side that if you don’t hold your end of the bargain, you pay PACT anywhere from $5 to $10 per missed activity.

Client Communication:

  • WhatsApp Messenger: This app allows users to send text-style messages without having to pay for SMS texting charges and will work on most smartphones with Wi-Fi.
  • Viber: Send out text, photo, video messages, or call your clients anywhere in the world for free as long as they have it as well.

It is with pleasure to be able to provide readers with useable tools for you to add to your health and fitness toolbox. Utilize these tools as valuable additions to your workout regime on your own or with the assistance of a trainer, however, please do not replace one or the other.

Be sure to connect with us & utilize our FREE fitness resources!

Sources:

– Fitness Technology – Fred Hoffman & Amanda Vogel (Idea Fitness Journal 10/2014)

3 Helpful Core Exercises for Runners

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

All runners would agree that having strong legs is essential for their sport, but integrating core exercises into your overall routine is a must as you look towards becoming a more competitive runner. Full body, core and hip-focused exercises are a must if you want to stay injury-free and run to your best potential (Jon-Erik Kawamoto).

In a recent study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Gottschall et al., 2013) examined the difference between isolation-type core exercises, like crunches, and compared them to integration-type core exercises that incorporated distal trunk muscle activation, like the pushup plank with alternating knees. The researchers found greater core muscle activation during the integration-type exercises and concluded “an integrated routine that incorporates the activation of distal trunk musculature would be optimal in terms of maximizing strength, improving endurance, enhancing stability, reducing injury, and maintaining mobility.”

 Let’s get started then and integrate some of these helpful core exercises listed below into our own routine.

Exercises:

1) Superman’s

How to: Start lying face down on a matt. Simultaneously raise your arms, legs, and chest off of the floor and hold this contraction for 3 seconds. Tip: Squeeze your lower back to get the best results from this exercise. Repeat about 10 to 15 repetitions with multiple sets.  

2) Russian Twists

How to: Grab a medicine ball, dumbbell, or weight plate and sit on the floor face up. Hold the weight straight out in front of you and keep your back straight (your torso should be at about 45 degrees to the floor). Explosively twist your torso as far as you can to the left, and then reverse the motion, twisting as far as you can to the right. That’s one rep. Repeat 10 – 15 repetitions, multiple sets.

3) Push-up plank with alternating knee tucks (to the abdomen)

How to: Go into the top of a pushup. Brace your abs and squeeze your butt to form a straight line from the top of your head to your ankles. Without moving your body, bring one knee into your chest. Do not round your back. Return the leg to the starting position and switch sides. Repeat 10 – 15 repetitions, multiple sets.

Sources:

Four Key Core Exercises For Runners – Linzay Logan http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/injury-prevention/four-key-core-exercises-for-runners_41874/4

The Crunchless Core Workout For Runners – Jon-Erik Kawamoto – http://running.competitor.com/2014/06/training/the-crunchless-core-workout-for-runners_78042/3

Google Images