Challenge Yourself

Challenge Yourself

You won’t get fitter by simply doing the same routine for years. In fact, you might even backslide a bit. In order to see the results you want, you have to challenge yourself and go beyond your comfort level. If you feel like quitting after ten push-ups, trying doing just one more. That “one more” attitude can get you to your goal faster, but also help build mental toughness. Nothing great was ever achieved by settling for less. People pushed beyond their frustration, exhaustion and the belief they could do no more.

What’s the fun in doing the same thing repeatedly?

There’s a lot of reasons for varying your workout, which include preventing plateauing and complete boredom. If you do the same workout daily for weeks at a time, pretty soon you don’t even have to think, you put your body on automatic. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make you any healthier, but continues to keep you at the same level of fitness. It’s like studying the same five historical facts over and over and then taking a full history test. You’ll get those five facts right, but probably won’t do well on the rest of the test.

Challenging yourself with a new workout that pushes you a step further exercises your muscles on different planes.

If you’re only working out your muscles on one plane, when you use them in a different way, it can cause injury and pain. You need to vary your workout and challenge yourself to ensure you have functional fitness. It’s the type of fitness that can prevent injury from doing simple tasks, like picking up a bag of groceries or even bending to tie your shoes.

Challenging yourself means building mental toughness.

Besides a healthy body, a program of fitness can help build mental toughness. What is mental toughness? It’s the ability and desire to continue even after others would have quit. It’s what separates those who succeed from those who tried and failed. Just trying isn’t enough. You have to go beyond what your mind is telling you that you can do. If you added just one more rep each workout, it can result in better results and more confidence.

  • How do you challenge yourself? You can increase the speed that you do your workout, taking fewer breaks between exercises or sets.
  • Another way to challenge yourself is increasing the number of reps each set. If you’re tired, try doing just one more.
  • Increasing the weight you use for strength building is another way to challenge yourself. It doesn’t have to be a huge increase, just one extra pound at a time can help.
  • No matter what you do in life, using the energy and confidence you developed from your workout program can help. Challenging yourself can reap rewards, while making life more interesting and enjoyable.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

At Home Workouts For Abs

At Home Workouts For Abs

I marvel at the dedication of my clients in Stamford, CT. Even when the weather is bad or they’ve had a long day at work, they come to the gym to workout. However, sometimes life deals a bad hand that makes coming in impossible. That’s why I created an at home workouts for abs. It can keep you on track and doesn’t require any equipment, making it the perfect travel workout, too.

If your body fat is low, this workout will give you a six-pack.

There are multiple levels of muscles, so working all of them is important. If you want that six pack to show, you’ll workout the rectus abdominis, that outer muscle we think of as the abs. For that V waist, you’ll need to exercise the oblique muscles that run along your sides. There are both internal and external obliques with the external ones closer to the outside of the body. The transverse abdominis is deep and wraps around your body under the ribs and above the hips. Exercising core muscles includes exercising the abs.

Work all the muscles in the core with this plank based workout.

Start with the plank, which looks simple, but is tough to hold for long if you’re not fit. Move to the forearm plank, which takes the weight off the palms of the hand and puts it on the forearms. It’s time to move back to plank position with your arms straight and palms on the floor, but this time you’re going to walk like a crab, sideways. Left foot and left hand to the left, joined by the right foot and right hand. Plank with side turn is next, lifting one hand to the sky as you turn. Plank to downward dog, then forward plank rock and move to a side plank are the next three sets. Complete the routine with a mountain climber.

You’ll burn calories and get a cardio workout, too, with this at home ab workout.

If you want a tough workout that will do more than give you a six-pack, but improve your endurance, too, this one was meant for you. Do it as a circuit training workout, that’s where you get the calorie torching. You’ll do two to three, depending on your level of fitness and rest a minute or two between sets, also depending on your fitness level. Start with skater lunges. For each exercise, start with 10 if you’re out of shape and 20 if you’re fit, except for the side plank which you’ll hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Move on to mountain climbers, then burpees, a side plank and finish with knee to shoulder knee ins followed by knee-to-opposite-shoulder knee-ins.

  • Do a dead bug exercise at home. Lay on your back with legs extended and arms straight up. Bring your right leg up with knee bent at a 90 degree angle to the thigh. At the same time lower your left arm and point it above your head. Switch sides.
  • While there are plenty of no equipment exercises for abs, one inexpensive piece of equipment you might want to add for strong abs is a stability ball. It’s made to help build core muscles and just sitting on one can be a workout.
  • You can build your abs all you want, but if those muscles are hidden under a layer of fat, nobody will ever see that six-pack. That’s why eating healthy is also a necessary.
  • Besides getting a flatter stomach and a great look, strengthening your ab muscles can also help prevent back problems and even help improve chronic backaches.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Why Is Leg Day So Exhausting

Why Is Leg Day So Exhausting

If you feel like taking to the couch after leg day, you’re not alone. It can be extremely exhausting. Why would leg day be any different from other workouts? Your legs are half your body, more or less and they’re designed to hold up the entire body. That’s a lot of work. Just like any muscle group, when you push those muscles hard, you’ll feel tired and sore. Because they compose so much of the body, that also means you’ll feel more fatigued and ready for a nap.

So is fatigue is inevitable, or is there any way to avoid it.

What you do after your leg day workout can help you avoid the aches and exhaustion. It starts about 45 minutes after the workout. Simply eat a small meal that has both protein and carbohydrates. That gives the muscles nutrients it needs. Think protein shake and fruit or a small potato and some chicken. Don’t stop there. Wait a few more hours and feed those muscles one more time in a similar manner. That allows the muscles to proceed further with recovery.

There’s nothing wrong with getting some sleep.

In fact, it’s one of the best things you can do. When you sleep, your body heals those microtears in the muscles, which allows you to recover. Without the right amount of sleep, or maybe a little extra, you’ll feel your pain from the workout far longer. While a quick nap can help, uninterrupted sleep is the best way to get your body on the mend after a tough workout.

Don’t forget the water!

Staying hydrated during exercise is crucial. That’s one reason we suggest drinking water before working out, during and after you end it. Dehydration can add to that feeling of exhaustion and make the problem worse. It’s best to sip water throughout your leg day workout, rather than drink a lot at one time, which can cause abdominal distress. Too much water at one time can actually dilute electrolytes in the blood and cause low sodium concentration.

  • Eating healthy, not just after a workout, but always, provides the right fuel for your body. You need to eat a meal of carbs, fat and protein two to three hours before you workout. If you can’t, eat something smaller before you workout.
  • If you’re muscles are still sore when it’s time for your next leg workout, put the workout on hold. That soreness means they still need rest or you could end up with an injury from overworking them.
  • Sometimes, leg day will make you feel like you want to vomit. That’s because the volume of blood demanded by the leg muscles takes the flow of blood away from the intestines and stomach.
  • You can try Revolution Training free. We offer nutritional consultation, a fat burning workout and goal assessment. We’ll help you get the most from leg day.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Pineapple For Weight Loss?

Pineapple For Weight Loss?

Fresh fruits and vegetables are good for you if you’re on a low calorie diet, but some hold even more benefits if you’re trying to shed those extra pounds. For instance, pineapple for weight loss does benefit you for more than just it’s lower calorie benefits. However, it is a sweet snack that can help fill you up, while supplying your body with a huge amount of nutrients. That sweet flavor of pineapple can make it an exceptionally good snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

A study in 2018 found that pineapple helped burn fat.

A rat study found that when chubby little rodents who were on a high fat diet were given pineapple juice, these rotund rats tended to make changes in their body that would indicate drinking pineapple juice or eating fresh pineapple may have an affect on burning body fat and/or slow the body’s ability to create fat.

Some people believe the bromelain in pineapple juice helps burn fat.

That’s simply not true. Bromelain digests protein, not fat. While there’s no human study showing pineapple can help burn fat, it is a low calorie fruit that will help you cut calorie. Bromelain can help reduce inflammation and those anti-inflammatory powers may actually help make your waistline thinner. Inflammation causes your cortisol levels to rise, which in turn can increase the development of abdominal—visceral fat. That belly fat then increases the inflammation, which then increases cortisol and again increases abdominal fat. It’s a cycle you can break by eating more anti-inflammatory foods, such as pineapple. Exercising also burns off the cortisol to help you get your body functioning at its best.

The fiber in pineapple can also help you shed more weight.

Pineapple contains fiber that can help keep your blood sugar level and make you feel fuller. Pineapple contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps slow the processing of food, so it stays in the digestive system longer, making you feel fuller longer. It also helps improve diversity of gut bacteria and that helps with digestion. Both reasons can aid in reducing the amount of belly fat, which is the hardest type of fat to lose.

  • Eating pineapple can help boost your immune system and keep you healthier with its antioxidants. Antioxidants protect you at the cellular level and can aid in preventing aging and disease.
  • Pineapple does more for you than simply help in weight loss. It also is high in nutrition, which includes manganese, vitamins C, B6, E and K, folate, iron, phosphorus, zinc and potassium.
  • Pineapple contains a higher amount of vitamin B. Those help your brain deal better with stress. Less stress means a lower amount of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to belly fat.
  • You’ll boost your energy level when you eat pineapple. It contains manganese, which helps boost the creation of enzymes that re required to create energy.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Exercises For Knee And Joint Relief

Exercises For Knee And Joint Relief

You might not think working out can bring pain relief, but it’s true. Just ask some of my clients in Stamford, CT, who do exercises for knee and joint relief a lot of reason for joint pain, but tow of them that area often at the top of the list include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. When you exercise the knees and other joints, it can strengthen the muscles that surround the joint, improve the range of motion and create stronger muscles to absorb shock and relive pain.

Start with a warm up like standing leg lifts.

Standing side leg lifts can help build your muscles and helps build the muscles in the hips and buttocks. Simply stand with one side against a wall, hands on your hips and feet together. Raise the outer leg up to the side, keeping your feet pointing forward and allowing the wall to help you maintain your balance. Lower the leg and repeat ten times building to twenty. Switch to the other side.

Work on your knees’ range of motion by stretching the quadriceps.

Take this stretching exercise easy when you start. Laying on your stomach with your left arm pointed straight ahead to support the body, bend the right knee so your lower leg is at a 90 degree angle to the floor. Grab your ankle with your right hand. Pull it gently until you feel the knee lift off the floor, feeling the muscle stretch as you do. Hold, then repeat a few times. Switch sides and lift your left side with the left hand.

A hamstring stretch can improve the range of motion of your knee.

There’s a lot of ways to do a hamstring stretch. You can do it lying on your back, with one knee bent. Grasp the calf with both hands and pull the leg toward you, still bent at a twenty degree angle. You’ll feel a stretch. Hold, then repeat. If it’s too hard to grab your leg, you can hook a towel behind your legs and pull with that. Another hamstring stretch is done when you’re seated. Loop a towel under one foot, holding an end in each hand. Pull as you slowly straighten the knee, as you raise the foot a few inches off the floor.

  • Even walking daily can help relieve pain. It gets the fluid in the joints moving and increases the lubrication of the joint. Don’t try to do it all at once, build your time slowly and include other activities, such as cycling to build the muscles around the joints.
  • Another simple exercise is to sit and stand. Sitting in a chair with your back straight and arms across your chest, stand up slowly, keeping your weight evenly distributed on both feet. Then sit down again.
  • Keep it simple with a range of motion exercise. Lay on your back with knees bent. Wrap your arms around one leg and gently pull it toward you. Lower it and then do the other leg.
  • If you have knee or joint problems, first check with your health care professional and once you have the okay, come in to Revolution Training for a personalized program that will help ease the pain and make movement easier.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Let Exercise Be Your Stress Reliever

Let Exercise Be Your Stress Reliever

There’s no better stress reliever than exercise. A rigorous workout can burn off the hormones of stress that cause that sick-to-your-stomach, uncomfortable feeling that come with stress. We have clients at Revolution Training in Stamford, CT that workout specifically to ease the stress of their daily job and get relief. Many find that one of our boxing programs can be one of the best ways to eliminate stress and get their system functioning smoothly.

What does stress cause?

When you’re under stress, the body creates hormones that make changes, which prepares it to run or fight. In ancient times, when man first walked upright, stress came from attacks by predators and rivals. Today, attacks may occur, but often they’re verbal and even traffic jams can induce stress. There’s no place to run and no reason to fight, but that doesn’t prevent the body from creating the hormones that make the change. Our programs not only provide a great workout, some actually involve boxing!

When you’re burning off the stress hormones, the body then creates ones that make you feel good.

Not only do you get the benefit of reversing the changes that the stress hormones made to your body, you also trigger the creation of new ones that leave you feeling happy, refreshed and exhilarated, while also blocking any pain. It seems logical, since early man either ran or fought with all his or her might and might end up with injuries or pulled muscles.

Our yoga classes can help you learn to avoid the feeling of stress.

Why do people undergo stress from small things? They simply learn it. When you’re running late, sure, you might have some explaining to do and may even get into trouble, but if there’s a traffic jam, there’s nothing you can do about it. However, that sense of urgency also works in your favor when you need that extra push to get going, so you don’t want to dull it entirely. Learning to calm yourself with breathing exercises before stress takes hold can be used anywhere to prevent the stress reaction from occurring.

  • Working out not only helps you get into shape and burn off stress hormones, it also builds confidence. That extra confidence and self-assurance can also help you from feeling stressed.
  • There are aspects of boxing that fit all types of training, whether it’s cardio, strength or flexibility. Some of our classes focus on specific types of fitness, such as power boxing.
  • Stress isn’t reserved for men, women suffer from it, too. That’s why we have so many women that sign up for our boxing sessions. In fact, we believe that being strong and tough really is “ladylike.”
  • At Revolution Training, we know you’re going to love how you feel after working out. We offer a special for five bootcamp classes, one personal training session, goal assessment and nutritional counseling for just $49.99.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Easy Workouts To Do On Your Lunch Break

Easy Workouts To Do On Your Lunch Break

Everyone has been there at one time or another, swamped with work and no break in sight. If you have a regularly scheduled workout, it may have to be put to the sidelines on those days. That doesn’t mean you can’t get exercise that day. There are workouts to do on your lunch break that can help fill in the gap. While a planned program of exercise that addresses all types of fitness and all muscle groups is important. These workouts can fill in occasionally or supplement your exercise program.

The first thing you might consider is going out for lunch.

Of course, the simplest of all the workouts is the rush down the stairs and the brisk walk to your favorite spot for lunch. Rather than eating at your lunch emporium, phone ahead for take out, giving you more time. Take the stairs, not the elevator and then walk briskly to your destination. You can adjust your speed and make it a HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout, spending a few minutes at top speed and a few at a recovery rate then back up to top walking speed. Purchase your lunch and briskly return, taking the stairs to your office. Now you can eat, after your brisk walk is complete.

Workout at your desk.

There are several exercises you can do right in your office or cubicle. If you don’t have that type of privacy, find a place, such as the employees lounge or even a stock room. Bodyweight exercises and calisthenics don’t require equipment. Start with squats, standing crunches, desk pushups or tricep dips from your chair. If you have the luxury of changing your clothes and privacy, a quick ten minute workout doing burpees, pushups, a one minute plank, walking lunges and tricep dips is great.

Take your resistance bands to work and do a strength training workout.

Resistance bands are perfect for working out in an area with limited space and there are plenty of exercises that don’t require laying on the floor. Ten reps of each; kickbacks, side pulls, squats and forward walk can burn calories and build strength. If you can change clothes and lay on the floor, add ten fire hydrants and leg raises to the mix. You’ll feel the stretch and build your strength.

  • Take your weights to work and get a quick workout at lunch. Low to high wood chop, overhead dumbbell side bend, row with a twist and kick crunch interspersed with intervals of jogging in place can provide a quick workout.
  • Studies show that you can break up your thirty minute workout into three ten minute sessions and get the same benefits. Three quick ten minute sessions, one in the morning, one at lunch and one after work can substitute for your normal workout.
  • Desk stretches can provide flexibility and help make the rest of the day more comfortable. Stretch your shoulders, back, upper body at the waist and legs. End the workout by raising your arms above your head, clasping your hands and bending side to side to get whole body stretching and relief.
  • At Revolution Training, we offer yoga classes that teach poses you can use anywhere, even during a lunch hour workout. Check with the instructor for a workout you can do at your office on those rushed days.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Is Snacking Healthy

Is Snacking Healthy

I have a lot of people bring snacks to the gym in Stamford, CT. Snacking can be detrimental to your health or extremely healthy. What makes the difference is the type of snack you choose. If you opt for a candy bar or bag of potato chips, then snacking definitely isn’t healthy. However, if you’re choosing fresh fruit or a cup of yogurt, then by all means, grab a snack.

Healthy snacks can help you lose weight.

If you’re ravenous, you’ll probably eat whatever is available first, which can be quite unhealthy. I’ve had clients go to the grocery right after working out and they end up buying cookies or other sweets. By the time they hit the checkout, they’ve eaten their purchase and simply scan the wrapper, often with seconds in their cart. That’s not healthy. You end up eating too much junk. Even if you do wait, dinner or lunch could end up being a super binge and your healthy eating program will go out the window. Instead, having a healthy snack available can keep your energy up and keep your appetite manageable.

Plan ahead for mid morning and mid afternoon snacks.

If you don’t have access to a refrigerator, keep your snacks simple, like single servings of nuts and seeds or a piece of fruit. In fact, natural peanut butter and sliced apples make a healthy low calorie snack. Fresh grapes with string cheese or popcorn. If you have a microwave at your office, make your own microwave popcorn. It only takes small paper lunch bags and a bag of popcorn kernels. Simple put a fourth cup of popcorn in the bag, fold the bag over at the top and put in the microwave until there are three seconds between pops.

You need extra energy for the best workout.

Don’t eat a big meal before a workout or you’re liable to leave it on the gym floor. If you eat a full meal, make it two to three hours before you workout. If it’s been longer, boost your energy level about a half hour to an hour before working out with both carbs for energy and some protein. Consider some crackers and a hard boiled egg or Greek yogurt and fruit. After the workout, you also need protein and complex carbs to repair the muscles and replenish the glycogen. You can have a bowl of brown rice with a bit of chicken and some broccoli, a hard boiled egg and toast or even just a glass of chocolate milk.

  • If you’re a grazer, have snacks ready in the refrigerator and don’t stock up on those bags of chips and pretzels. Buy a watermelon or a cantaloupe and cut it in small squares or have other fresh fruit and vegetables ready to eat. You’ll be more likely to munch on those if you have them ready.
  • Try varying your snacks. Maybe you love celery. Some people do. If you like to stuff your celery, consider thin strips of cheese or a some peanut butter.
  • Keep some healthy snacks in your car if you’re on the road a lot. Having individual bags of nuts or trail mix can be the perfect way to keep you on the straight and narrow, while boosting your nutrition with a healthy snack.
  • At Revolution Training we provide help with nutrition and a workout program. In fact, we have an introductory special that offers five classes and a session with a personal trainer, plus nutrition counseling and goal assessment. It gives you a chance to test the waters with for a super low price.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Foods To Avoid For A Flat Tummy

Foods To Avoid For A Flat Tummy

Everyone wants that tummy that’s so flat, you could bounce a quarter off it or one that looks dazzling in low riders and a midriff top. There are a lot of steps to achieving it. Of course, exercise is one of those ways. Diet is another. Diet helps in two ways. First, if you have a layer of fat covering those toned abs, nobody will see that flat stomach. The second reason diet helps is that there are foods to avoid for a flat tummy.

Soft drinks should never be part of your diet.

Whether you’re choosing full calorie/full sugar soft drinks or diet drinks, they’ll both sabotage your efforts. Full calorie soft drinks put added sugar in your diet, which is both habit forming and fattening. These are empty calories, providing no benefit but to slather on the pounds. Drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup are even worse and add inches to your middle. Even diet drinks have a drawback. One recent study showed diet drinks also add to your circumference and add visceral fat, belly fat.

Refined carbohydrates are not your friend, even though they may be your comfort food.

Does fresh baked bread sound delicious? Is a donut or bagel a great start to your day? If you want to get a flatter tummy, drop that habit and choose fresh fruit and a hard boiled egg or other protein. Not only will you be keeping fat off your midsection, you’ll also be boosting your energy level. While white bread and refined carbs may be off limits, having a whole grain option is better. It offers more nutrition and keeps you feeling full longer.

So called diet foods may be deceptive and add inches to your middle.

Something happens to the flavor of food when you take the fat out. It just doesn’t taste good. Manufacturers often cure that problem by adding sugar. That sugar can increase your blood glucose level quickly and drop it just as quickly, so you’re hungry soon after eating. However, even though the food had fat, foods like yogurt have healthy fat. That fat increases the leptin in your body, the satiety hormone that makes you feel full. Full fat yogurt also contains conjugated linoleic acid—CLA—which helps burn fat! Other low fat foods, such as salad dressings also have added sugar and don’t have the fat necessary to transport fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

  • Expect all manufacturers to jump on the low fat bandwagon, even though the full fat is often better for you. Don’t trade in healthy natural peanut butter for the low fat type that can pack on the pounds and increase your midsection.
  • Instead of stopping for a drink to get rid of the day’s stress, go to the gym. A thirty day study showed that people who had more than a single drink in a sitting, even once a week, had more abdominal fat than those who drank smaller amounts.
  • Too much dairy, or should I say, the wrong type of dairy can put inches on your middle. You can eat healthy cheese like fromage, a soft cheese, in small amounts.
  • Come into Revolution Training and we’ll help you with both your diet and your workout. Before you know it, you’ll have that flat stomach you’ve always wanted.

For more information, contact us today at Evolution Training

Find Strength With Yoga

Find Strength With Yoga

Strength building is important and most people think of those weight machines or lifting barbells or dumbbells. They don’t normally think of building strength with yoga. You do lift when you’re doing yoga, but you’re not lifting metal weights, you’re lifting your own body weight. Holding positions requires strong muscles.

Yoga isn’t for sissies.

Yoga may look easy, but once you try it you’ll change your mind. There are a lot of different types of yoga, which may vary from Hatha yoga and chair yoga for seniors to power, Vinyasa or other strength building yoga. While it might not seem like moving slowly and exercising without lifting actual weights may seem like a breeze, it’s absolutely not!! It builds muscle tissue, but not big bulky muscles. For that, you need to add more weight.

Yoga builds flexibility as it builds strength.

If you want to reduce the potential for injury, while building your strength and muscle tissue, yoga is perfect. It helps build your body and conditions it for daily types of movements. You’ll be improving your overall flexibility as you build strength, which won’t necessarily happen when you build by lifting weights. It provides a type of functional fitness training, moving your muscles in many different plains as it works it. It has built in flexibility training that extends the range of motion to prevent injury.

Try to hold a pose. It’s tough.

If you want to work on endurance, while boosting strength and flexibility, hold a yoga pose for a while longer each time. It won’t take long before you’ll be ready for a rest if you aren’t used to the workout. To make it even more difficult, you don’t just hold that pose once, but often several times throughout each session. There are a variety of different types of poses that build each muscle group in different ways. Many work multiple muscle groups at once, making them extremely effective in overall fitness.

  • The difference in the type of muscles built by yoga and weights comes from how the muscles contract. In yoga, it stretches while it contracts, developing sleek, sinewy muscles. When lifting weights, it gets smaller as it contracts, providing the bulky look.
  • Since yoga is good for building muscle, while also promoting muscle coordination, flexibility and endurance, it’s a good compliment to lifting weights and other strength building exercises.
  • If you’re a boxer, you’ll benefit from the balance and coordination that yoga brings to your workout, as well as the strength building. People who don’t box can benefit from those attributes as well.
  • Our gym offers many options for healthy workouts from boxing to yoga that can help you boost your energy, build your strength and improve your overall appearance and confidence. Our introductory offer even includes nutritional advice.

Want to Learn More?

If you want more information about yoga, contact me here today.