Friday, May 30, 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
By Patrick Striet
Many women have been programmed to believe they can’t get strong, they shouldn’t train hard “like the guys,” and they should opt for the pretty, pink three-pound weights to avoid bulking up. As a result, when it comes to setting fitness goals, many women are very subjective. Instead of setting quantifiable and objective goals centered around performance, many women simply say, “I want to get rid of cellulite on my legs,” or “I want to get rid of this,” while pinching fat on the back of their arms. While having broad goals like these are fine, the truth of the matter is that focusing on achieving quantifiable and performance-oriented goals on various exercises is the fastest way to meet general aesthetic goals. If more women want to get a better body and see their “problem areas” improve, there needs to be a paradigm shift: Women are not delicate flowers that shouldn’t train hard. With this in mind, here are some recommended strength benchmarks for women.
Benchmark #1: The Barbell Bench Press for 1 Rep at 75 Percent of Your Body Weight A good goal is to bench press 75 percent of your body weight for one repetition, or 85 percent of that number for five repetitions. For example, a 145-pound woman should be able to bench press 110 pounds for one rep, or about 95 pounds five times. Matt Kasee, owner of Matt Kasee Training & Performance in Cincinnati, advises women to embrace multiple sets of lower repetitions. “To achieve this goal, you need to work with weights that only allow three to six repetitions because this rep and loading range is best for building raw strength,” says Kasee. HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back, grasp a barbell at shoulder width or slightly wider, lower the bar to the middle of the chest and drive the bar back up to full extension. Make sure you pull your shoulder blades together to ensure a good base of support and protect your shoulders. The elbows should tuck in slightly towards your torso at about a 45-degree angle. Grip the bar hard and try to rip it apart throughout the movement.
Benchmark #2: The Standing Barbell Press for 1 Rep at 60 Percent of Your Body Weight The standing barbell press is a strong indicator of your maximal strength while pressing in a vertical plane and focuses on the front shoulders, triceps and core muscles. Because you are standing on your feet, it is also a very functional indicator of your pressing strength. A good goal is to press 60 percent of your body weight for one rep, or 85 percent of that number for five reps. A 145-pound woman should be able to press 85 to 90 pounds once or 70 to 75 pounds five times. Holly Mitchell, an International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) figure pro, nutrition coach with Lean Bodies Consulting, and co-owner of Live Fit Cincinnati believes that increasing training volume in this exercise is key. Mitchell advises working up to a weekly three- to five-repetition maximum on the standing barbell press and then backing the weight down significantly and performing four to five sets of eight to 12 reps. “The increased training volume serves two purposes,” Mitchell explains. “One, it allows women to practice the movement and hone technique. And, two, it helps to build muscle, which is what women need more of to press bigger weights.” HOW TO DO IT: Grasp a bar about shoulder width, starting with the bar on the upper chest. Tense your whole body and, without using your lower back, drive the bar over your head and slightly back. Make sure to squeeze your glutes and brace your abs while pressing.
Benchmark #3: 10 “Full Range of Motion” Pushups The good old-fashioned pushup is a fantastic indicator of your upper-body strength endurance -- specifically in your chest, front shoulders, triceps and core muscles -- as well as your relative strength (strength to body-weight ratio) and body composition. A good goal for women to strive for is 10 repetitions. If you currently are unable to perform any full-range pushups, Matt Kasee of Matt Kasee Training & Performance advises using a barbell set three to four feet above the ground in a power rack to reduce the percentage of your body weight you must use. “Doing a regressed version of the pushup, such as a barbell pushup in the rack, allows women to develop perfect technique while getting enough training volume to elicit a training response,” says Kasee. “I would not recommend performing pushups from your knees if you currently cannot perform full pushups, as this disengages the core and changes the mechanics of the exercise.” HOW TO DO IT: Assume a standard pushup position with your hands outside your chest. Lower yourself down to the floor, keeping the elbows tucked to about 45 degrees, the core tight and the neck in a neutral position (don’t look up). Drive back through the floor without letting your back sag. To ensure adequate depth, place a roll of toilet paper on the floor and touch your forehead on each rep.
Benchmark #4: 1 Body-Weight Chin-Up Like the pushup, the chin-up is another great indicator of your upper-body strength endurance and your strength relative to body weight. While the pushup tests the pushing muscles -- chest, shoulders and triceps -- the chin-up tests the opposite muscles: the upper back, lats, biceps and gripping muscles used in pulling. A fantastic goal to shoot for is one full-range repetition. John Meadows, an accomplished bodybuilder, trainer and creator of the Mountain Dog Diet, thinks that, while difficult, most women can hit this goal with 12 to 20 weeks of proper training and advocates the use of assistance mechanisms. “Start by using a chin-up assistance machine to learn how to properly activate your lats and other muscles involved,” recommends Meadows. “After making progress in the assistance machine, move on to banded chin-ups and pull-ups. Start with one or two orange EliteFTS bands and progress from there.” HOW TO DO IT: Start from a dead hang from an overhead bar. Aggressively drive your elbows down -- focusing on pulling your shoulder blades into your back pockets -- and pull yourself up over the bar until it hits your upper chest. Return to the fully extended position under control and repeat. Make sure to minimize any body English: Keep the repetitions strict and smooth.
Benchmark #5: The Deadlift for 1 Rep at 150 Percent of Your Body Weight Perhaps no other exercise indicates your full-body strength better than the deadlift. Shoot for pulling 150 percent of your body weight for a single rep, or 85 percent of that number for five reps. A 145-pound woman should try to work up to a 220-pound single-rep pull or 185 pounds for five reps. Jon-Erik Kawamoto, a strength and conditioning coach and owner of JKConditioning in Canada, feels mindset is crucial to hitting this goal. “Lift with intent and purpose,” says Kawamoto. “Going through the motions is not going to make you tough when the weight gets heavy. I always tell my clients to lift it like you mean it.” HOW TO DO IT: Align a loaded barbell with the middle of your feet (feet inside shoulder width). Bend over and grasp the bar. Pull your hips down, flex your lats, brace your core and grip the bar hard. Break the bar from the floor and pull upward, making sure not to round the back, until standing. Take caution not to hyperextend your spine in the top position.
Benchmark #8: The Two-Minute Plank Having a strong core and set of abdominals is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also essential for lifting heavy weights, performing better and staying injury free. The ability to hold a perfect plank for two minutes ensures your core will be bulletproof and can withstand heavy loads while squatting, pressing and deadlifting. Chiropractor and strength and conditioning specialist Jason Placeway feels performing more challenging and dynamic plank variations is the best way to build up the endurance to hold a standard plank for two minutes. “You should definitely perform the standard plank once a week for maximum time, but performing more-demanding versions, like ball saws and stir-the-pot planks on a stability ball, for shorter periods will develop strength faster and allow you to perform better during the regressed exercise. It’s no different than increasing your one-repetition bench press: If you do that, you’ll be able to perform better and get more reps using lighter loads.” HOW TO DO IT: Simply set up in a pushup position, but instead of having your weight on your hands, place it on your elbows. Maintain a neutral spine from head to toe. You should be in a perfectly straight line. While performing, do not allow the back to sag. Flexing your rear end and quadriceps will create more stability while performing this exercise.
Friday, May 23, 2014
Come stop by Gold's Gym today to get yourself a new Gold's Gym Saipan shirt. The latest collection from Gold'sGear is available with the "SAIPAN" text.
Yes, we're open on Memorial Day!
Start your day right with a Spin Bike Class at 5:45am!
Yes, we're open on Memorial Day!
Start your day right with a Spin Bike Class at 5:45am!
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Friday, May 16, 2014
A study that looked for common dietary patterns in a population of extremely healthy men and women would most likely yield a similar result. This belief is based partly on the findings of the National Weight Control Registry. Maintenance of a healthy body weight is one major component of overall health. If all kinds of different diets are able to help people attain and then maintain a healthy body weight, we have reason to believe that all kinds of different diets can support maximum all-around health.
Other evidence that there are many "healthiest" diets comes from the real world. In my work as a sports nutritionist, I have analyzed the diets of large numbers of world-class endurance athletes. This is an extremely healthy population. Without a doubt, most elite cyclists, runners, swimmers and triathletes would come out very near the top of general health rankings based on a battery of tests like the ones described above. Very few of these men and women are members of what I call "diet cults" (e.g. the Paleo Diet), which are based on the premise that there is only one correct way for all humans to eat.
Most world-class endurance athletes instead practice what I call agnostic healthy eating, a broad dietary approach where no food types are completely excluded but there is a heavy emphasis on high-quality foods such as fruit and fish.
There is a minority of world-class endurance athletes who do follow diet cults, but they don't all follow the same one. Some are Paleo, others vegan, and so forth. This is further proof that a wide variety of diets are capable of sustaining maximum health. But the greatest variety is seen within the majority of elite endurance athletes who are agnostic healthy eaters. The diet of a runner from Kenya looks nothing like the diet of a cyclist from England, yet both would certainly score exceptionally well on tests for general health.
By no means should it be inferred that anything goes with diet. Most people in affluent nations—even most recreational endurance athletes—do not eat well enough to attain the highest level of health. If you're like most of your peers, you need to change your diet in order to become as healthy as you can be. The point is merely that there is no single better diet; you have options—so pick your favorite.
Excerpt taken from http://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/what-s-the-healthiest-diet-in-the-world?page=2
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
8 Ways to Maintain Weight Loss
Head’s up yo-yo dieters! Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute expert Robert Reames is here to help you lose weight for the long term.
If you have a love/hate relationship with the bathroom scale, you’re about to get some great—and free—therapy. Robert Reames, Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute expert and author of Make Over Your Metabolism, has helped his personal clients and guests on The Dr. Phil Show drop pounds and keep them off, and he’s here to give you his top eight pieces of advice on keeping your waistline in check.
“People who lose an incredible amount of weight on a TV show rarely keep it off,” Reames says. “That’s why you don’t see a lot of follow-ups on the participants.” The problem is that those dieters have reached those goals in an unrealistic setting. You have to accept certain constrictions on your time and how disciplined you’re willing to be in the long term. So when you decide what exact weight you want to maintain, do it honestly. “To configure that number, think about when you were at your personal best,” Reames explains. Think about what you had to do—the gym time, the meal preparation—and honestly assess what you could and couldn’t do. “Create it visually: What do you realistically have to do to get there? Are you willing to do 80% of that? 50%?”
2GET YOUR REM
“Good sleep is essential to keeping weight off,” Reames says. “You can be eating great and working out, but if you aren’t sleeping well, that tiredness catches up with you.” Your workouts can become sluggish, and sleep deprivation causes hunger, which brings on an urge to snack throughout the day and choose high-calorie dishes. He recommends at least eight hours of sleep a night.
3KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS
We all know that certain things have an immediate effect on our emotions. A post from @dailypuppy on Instagram might make you instantly chirpy, while an e-mail from passive-aggressive Andy over in cubicle 240 is sure to set you off. “Knowing the good triggers can often help you manage the bad ones in a healthy way,” Reames explains. So if you know a bad meeting with a boss usually sends you to the nearest bar after work, try to snap out of it with a good trigger—such as the afterglow from a good yoga class.
4KEEP YOUR “EYE OF THE TIGER”
Just like the song says—went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop—you have to remember how you got to this weight and let that motivate you. “This is why I suggest journaling,” Reames says. “Nothing long—just small notes on your smartphone to discuss how you’re feeling, so when you’re struggling, you can look back at when you were highly motivated.” Use modern technology to its full advantage, too, and keep encouraging photos at the ready. “I have a photo of me as a heavy kid,” he says.
5DITCH THE OLD CLOTHES
“Those pants that no longer fit? Donate them or alter them,” Reames says. “Keeping them around just gives you an exit route.” Make sure to bring this mind-set to anything else that doesn’t fit in your new life. Maybe football on Sunday always meant a six-pack of beer and potato chips. Swap those out for one beer and a veggie platter.
6DON'T SKIP THE WEIGHTS
Cardio might help you shed pounds fast, but to stay in shape—especially as you age—you need to do total-body strength training. “The amount of muscle you have dictates your metabolism," Reames says. If you don’t know where to start, grab a session with a Gold’s Gym personal trainer and get a tutorial on machines and free weights. Many gyms offer one free session with your membership.
7PROTECT YOUR NEW ECOSYSTEM
To get where you are now, you probably made some healthy choices, such as scheduling your gym time or making fruit your go-to snack. “You created an environment of success and that is integral to your health,” Reames explains. And within that you have to allow for a cheat day and a little personal forgiveness.
“No one is on track all the time, but as long as you stay on track most of the time, then you’re doing well,” he says.
8MAKE A WEEKLY DATE WITH THE BATHROOM SCALE
That’s right. Time to get friendly with your former enemy. “Weigh in weekly,” he advises. “It’s easy to get out of check, so use it as a self-assessment.” If the scale doesn’t serve up the number you were hoping for, don’t get mad—get even. Use it as motivator for that week. Maybe you do an extra workout class, or make plans for a big weekend bike ride. Remember: Your scale never meant to hurt your feelings.
Monday, May 5, 2014
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