Tag Archives: wellbeing

YOU AND YOUR TRAINER: IT’S A WIN WIN PARTNERSHIP

traintwo  This week on the blog, instead of writing about fitness and fashion, I feel compelled to write about fitness and how it relates to me personally. In sharing this with you it is my hope that you will see exercise and your relationship with your trainer as so much more than just a means to getting into a pair of pants or ready for a family reunion.

Life is not always sunshine and roses – you know that. A lifetime of ups and downs can sometimes leave you feeling beaten up and , sad and maybe like you have no sense of control. I know this has been the case for me, but as far as I can look back the one thing that has kept me from giving up has been exercise.   In all seriousness, no matter what the crisis was, working out has always made me a stronger person physically and mentally and I always felt better after a workout. I felt so adamant about this that I was always encouraging friends, relatives etc. to use exercise as a tool to not only look better but to feel better.   It eventually became clear to me that this was the career for me and frankly, I’m very good at what I do…. because I BELIEVE in what I do. As a trainer I want the best for my clients, I want them to succeed. I leave them feeling great and am happy for them ; high-fives all around! If they are having a bad day, working out with me will be a bright spot because they did something good for themselves and for that hour were in control of their life. When life is chaotic, that bit of control can be just enough to help someone get through the day. In fact, I believe in the exercise-client-trainer relationship so much I hired my own trainer. When I am finished working out with my trainer I feel accomplished, happy and….sweaty!!! All good things! And one of the best realizations is that There is a bond between trainer and client. Each person wants to do the best for the other. An inner strength can pop out of nowhere because you want to do your best and succeed, and that goes for both parties. Working out brings confidence and confidence can get you through a bevy of stressful situations, as I know all too well.

Time to get a little personal, and I’m not doing this to generate sympathy, I’m sharing this because my workouts, my trainer and that little slice of control has been THE thing that has helped me to keep my head up. This year has left me with 2 deceased dogs, a loss of a home and, oh yeah, a soon to be ex- husband….he somehow landed at the end of this sentence (wink wink) . I never saw this coming and there were many times I thought “How can I even work and encourage and be enthusiastic for my clients? How can I function without knowing where I will live and what will become of my life?” The truth is that my clients were the reason I got through it! My clients were my biggest supporters who made me feel important and worthy – I was helping them and that in turn helped me. And the decision to move my body every day, even when I didn’t want to get out of bed, helped me to make sense of what was happening. I was able to see the bigger picture. I took my tired self and started hiking again and getting stronger. A fire was lit and I made it work. I can thank my trainer and my clients for that (and of course my wonderful friends and colleagues). This is a work in progress, but I know for a fact that exercise will keep me on the right track. We have all faced adversity and will continue to do so, but the moral of this story is that if you believe in yourself and your abilities, you will be able to conquer the obstacles and that the best medicine is to take care of yourself by moving your body every single day. When you have a trainer in your corner you know that there is always going to be someone who does believe in you. When life is hitting you hard don’t run in the other direction, instead run through the obstacles! Keep moving and your head will clear and you will be able to make decisions. Speaking of running, we will talk sports bras soon !! HA And don’t forget to high-five your trainer!!!

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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.

3

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.

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

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

Running, it propels us forward

By: Geoff Rubin, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Hitting the pavement and accruing mileage is certainly a physical feat, but what is the motive behind doing it? Running is a sport which is definitely not for the meek, so what is it that drives us to put on our shoes, tie those laces and exit that front door?

The reasons to run come from a multitude of places whether it is for health reasons, physique, weight loss, accomplishments, etc. Whether it is intrinsic or extrinsic motivational factors that lead you to run, you’re doing yourself a phenomenal favor. In fact, running blasts the most calories: In a study done by the Medical College of Wisconsin and the VA Medical Center, the treadmill (used at a “hard” exertion level) torched an average of 705-865 calories in an hour. Not only are you torching the calories while running, but running boosts “afterburn”—that is, the number of calories you burn after exercise. (Scientists call this EPOC, which stands for excess post oxygen consumption.)

Additional physical benefits of running include:

– Bolsters your cartilage by increasing oxygen flow and flushing out toxins, and by strengthening the ligaments around your joints.

– Your time on the treadmill can even prevent vision loss, or so it seems. Two studies from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that running reduced the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

– One recent study in the British Journal of Cancer calculated that the “most active” (e.g. walked briskly 5-6 hours/week) people were 24 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than the “least active” people

Additional mental benefits of running include:

– Stress-busting powers of their regular jog. “Nothing beats that feeling when you settle into a strong stride with a powerful rhythm,” says Brooke Stevens, a four-time NYC marathoner, “The tension in my neck, back, and shoulders starts to loosen up, and I can think more clearly too.”

– Running is used by mental health experts to help treat clinical depression and other psychological disorders such as drug and alcohol addiction.

– In a 2006 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers found that even a single bout of exercise—30 minutes of walking on a treadmill—could instantly lift the mood of someone suffering from a major depressive order.

Regardless of the reasons that you are hitting the concrete, trail-head or treadmill, the benefits of this readily available sport are right there for your taking.

 

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Sources:

– Womens Health – Health Benefits of Running, 2013

– Runners World – 6 ways running helps improve your health

 

Why Integrate heart rate training into your running program?

ImageBy: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled (CPT/CIFT/TRX II)

I am a runner; however I am not one with a strap tightly fastened across my chest. However, more recently as I progress in my running distances and pace, I wanted to garner an understanding of the basic rationale for wearing a heart rate monitor while running. Heart rate monitors are not essential tools for training, but when used properly, they can be a valuable training aid.

Wearing a heart rate monitor while running provides an indicator of exercise intensity. A heart rate monitor, therefore, allows you to monitor and control the intensity of your running. Starting runners often make the mistake of not sufficiently varying the intensity of their running pace. A heart rate monitor can help you accomplish this variation through monitoring.

To do this, you first need to determine your individual heart rate response to running intensity. Step one is to determine what is called your lactate threshold heart rate. Lactate threshold is a moderately high running intensity — the highest intensity that can be sustained without significant discomfort. At exercise intensities below the lactate threshold, your breathing is controlled. When you exceed lactate threshold intensity, there is a sudden increase in breathing rate.

Strap on your heart rate monitor and jog for two to three minutes at a very comfortable pace. Then increase your pace moderately and sustain the new pace for two to three minutes. Continue this pattern, noting your heart rate at each pace, until you reach a pace at which your breathing rate spikes. You are now above your lactate threshold. Your lactate threshold heart rate is the heart rate you noted at the preceding pace.

Heart rate-based training involves targeting different heart rate zones in different workouts. The most popular zone system is the following:

Zone 1

Active Recovery

<80% lactate threshold heart rate (LT HR)

Zone 2

Aerobic Threshold

81-89% LT HR

Zone 3

Tempo

90-95% LT HR

Zone 4

Sublactate Threshold

96-99% LT HR

Zone 5a

Lactate Threshold

100-101% LT HR

Zone 5b

Aerobic Capacity

102-105% LT HR

Zone 5c

Anaerobic Capacity

>106% LT HR

Each zone holds its own benefits and is appropriate for different types of workouts. Zone 1 is so light it barely qualifies as exercise, and is appropriate on days when you are especially fatigued from prior days’ running and for “active recoveries” between high-intensity intervals. Zone 2 is very comfortable and quite useful for building aerobic fitness, fat-burning capacity, and endurance. Running in Zone 2 more than in any other zone is recommended.

Zone 3 is just a bit faster than your natural jogging pace — that is, the pace you automatically adopt when you go out for a run without even thinking about the intensity. It is useful for extending the benefits of training in Zone 2. Zone 4 is a running intensity that requires a conscious effort to go fast but is still comfortable. It is close to the intensity that is associated with longer running races, and should be incorporated into your training in moderate amounts to get your body used to that intensity.

Zone 5a is your lactate threshold intensity. It is more stressful than the lower zones, so you can not do a lot of running in this zone, but it is a powerful fitness booster, so you will want to do some Zone 5a running each week. The typical Zone 5a workout contains one or more sustained blocks of Zone 5a running sandwiched between a warm-up and a cool down. For example: 10 minutes Zone 2 (warm-up), 20 minutes Zone 5a, 10 minutes Zone 2 (cool-down).

Zone 5b is very intense, but when incorporated into your training in small amounts it will elevate your running performance significantly. Zone 5b is too intense to be done in sustained blocks, so instead it is incorporated into interval workouts featuring multiple short segments of fast running separated by active recoveries. For example, you might run 5 x 3 minutes @ Zone 5b with 3 minutes @ Zone 1 after each Zone 5B interval.

Zone 5c covers everything between the fastest pace you could sustain for a mile or so and a full sprint. It is incorporated into very short intervals and should be used very sparingly in your training because it’s so stressful. You will not want to make the mistake of avoiding it, though, as it is a great way to boost speed and running economy.

The content above contains some basic guidelines for using heart rate to monitor and control the intensity of your running. The biggest limitation of heart rate-based training is that, while heart rate is a good indicator of running intensity, it is not a perfect indicator. Heart rate is affected by a number of other factors, including fatigue level, sleep patterns, psychological state, hydration status, and diet, which make it somewhat unreliable in certain circumstances.

For example, while heart rate tends to be lower at any given pace on a treadmill than it is outdoors, running at any given pace actually feels easier outdoors, and one can also sustain higher heart rates outdoors, possibly for psychological reasons. The relationship between heart rate and running intensity also changes continuously as your fitness level changes, so you need to repeat the lactate threshold test frequently to keep your target zones accurate.

Many experienced runners, including elite runners, train without heart rate monitors, instead they rely on a combination of perceived exertion and pace to monitor and control the intensity of their workouts. The success of these runners is proof that a heart rate monitor is not needed to realize your full potential as a runner.

The most comprehensive indicator of running intensity is perceived exertion, or how hard running feels. Perceived exertion attributes for not only heart rate but also all of the other physiological and psychological factors that influence exercise intensity. You will always want to pay more attention to how hard running feels than you do to your heart rate when running.

Heart rate monitors provide users with important data that can be used towards improving running intensity, duration and speed; just do not use it as an end all.

ImageSources:

Matt Fitzgerald -Running 101: Training With A Heart Rate Monitor

 

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Contribute your strong suits….

ImageBy: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled (CPT/CIFT/TRX II)

Contribute (Verb) give (something, such as money or time) in order to help achieve or provide something. (Dictionary.com). I’ve often wondered how could one person, especially me!, “contribute” to make a difference. Well, it took some internal investigating, but I had always known that through fitness, I could create a special bond with young men and women on the Autism Spectrum. Having a broad career of working with youth and young adults on the Autism Spectrum as an adaptive P. E. teacher for years and as a fitness professional with specifically designed fitness programs, that have delivered resounding results, I knew this would be my avenue to “Contribute”.  

Recently, I took my experience and volunteered some time to teach the teens and youth of Phoenix High Functioning Autism how to jump rope and play a few fun games. When you enter into a room and can see the nerves of the youth group escalating, know that many sensory needs must be addressed and turn an overwhelming consensus of “I do not want to do this” into O my goodness, look I am doing it. Where you can see children sitting off to the side and then engage them in the group and even get a good two thirds of the group to crack a smile. That is a powerful contribution. On behalf of all the youth there that night, I think it’s safe to say, we ALL HAD A BLAST.

I encourage you to respond to this post or connect with myself and Fitness Propelled LLC, where we have a specifically designed personal training program “Personal Power” that has shown to contribute to the empowering of young men and women on the Autism Spectrum. Please let me know how you “Contribute”.

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Let us be your one stop shop for fitness. Check out http://www.fitnesspropelled.com

Follow us on Twitter @ FPropelled

Like us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/FitnessPropelled

View us on Yelp @ http://www.yelp.com/biz/fitness-propelled-llc-scottsdale