How to Make ANy Exercise More Difficult

November 15, 2019

 

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HOW TO MAKE ANY EXERCISE MORE DIFFICULT. There are many ways to make any exercise more challenging without adding more weight or doing more reps. Today I offer one such technique. It involves manipulating the tempo (speed). In other words, purposely moving faster and/or slower. It could also involve some deliberate pauses, often called isometrics. This can be a very useful tool. There may come a time when you want more from an exercise or a piece of equipment. If so, try some new options before adding weight or reps. With that said, it’s important to note that there is no magical rep range for the average person. That means that there might not be a huge difference if do 5 reps, 8 reps, 12reps, 15reps, 50reps, 100reps, etc of certain exercises. The magic is found in the effort. 100 reps done sh*tty is of little value. 3 reps done with smooth form and a ton of intensity may in fact be worth more. It’s always about the quality not the quantity. Find creative ways to get more out of any exercise by demanding more from your own body. Do more with less. The power is within. #tempotraining #trainingvariables #isometricexercise #austinpersonaltrainer #austinpersonaltraining #blueskystrongbox

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Dr. Andrew Weil’s 4/7/8 Breathing Method

October 4, 2019

Books on Injuries, Prevention of Injuries

September 11, 2019

 


Thoughts on Posture

August 27, 2019

 

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POSTURE. There is good posture and there is bad posture. Most of us would agree what each of these look like. Just look around. There seems to be more slumping and slouching now than ever before. Even children look “bent”. Smart phones, as great as they are, have certainly made this issue worse. If you stay in a “bad posture” too often it can become almost permanent. By “almost permanent” I mean it’s potentially reversible but often very difficult and highly unlikely without regular practice and an astounding awareness. The best thing you can do is limit your time sitting and using your phone. I know that sounds like madness. I also know most folks have to sit while working. Do everything you can to find creative ways to build “good posture” into your every day. It helps all things health and even helps drastically improve appearance. “Pull yourself TALL”. And don’t forget to breathe. #blueskystrongbox #austinpersonaltraining #austinpersonaltrainer #bssbbooks #fundamentalsofhealthyliving #healthandfitness #heathsndwellness #posturecorrection #posturecorrector #posture

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Balance Tension & Relaxation!

March 1, 2019

 

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Our bodies need a healthy balance between Tension and Relaxation. Too often, many of us stay “tightly wound” from overworking our minds and bodies. I’m all for 100% effort (both physical & mental) but it needs to be balanced with some Calmness & Relaxation after. When it comes to exercise and being physical, there is nothing wrong with pushing hard if done safely but again this needs balancing. This balance I’m talking about can come from many different things (warm baths, adequate sleep/rest, taking a day off, massage, stretching, relaxing yoga flows, easy walks, etc) This same concept can also be applied WITHIN the actual workout between each set of any exercise. This works great when there is no time for stretching (or a warm shower). The great Russian fitness expert, Pavel coined these ideas as “fast & loose” exercises. Call them what you want. The idea is that in a very short amount of time we can greatly reduce tension inside our bodies by shaking certain areas of the body in a controlled yet relaxed manner. I believe by shaking the JAW, the SHOULDERS (via the arms) & the HIPS (via the legs & butt) we can achieve this “dumping of tension” in less than one minute. I typically shake each area 10-20 times between any exercise that feels intense or heavy. I normally first jump around to shake my arms & shoulders out, then shake both hips/legs while also moving my jawbones back and forth sideways. The more jiggle and floppiness the better. The idea is to “get loose” as fast as possible. It may look AND feel ridiculously silly but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it for a while. I’ve done this for years and can honestly say that it has helped me a lot. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox #healthandwellness #strengthtraining #strengthandconditioning #

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Strength Training in Space

February 6, 2019

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The negative effects on the body while in space can be dramatic. The lack of gravity can leave muscles & bones under-stimulated, resulting in a serious decrease in strength and bone density (think… NOT being able to walk.) Nowadays, everyone spending time at the Space Station is required to do exercise, especially Strength Training and Aerobic Training. While they have the option to do a variety of different exercises using a custom resistance setup, the DEADLIFT is an important exercise because it strengthens many of the body’s muscles involved with maintaining upright Posture. Even with the aid of gravity here on Earth, many humans do not get enough weight-bearing activity to maintain optimal levels of Muscular Strength and Bone Density. These are just a few reasons why Resistance Training is so important. In the late 18oo’s/early 19oo’s, the Deadlift exercise was actually called the HEALTH-LIFT because of it’s many known health benefits. Everyone needs to Strength Train. The Deadlift can be a great choice for many. There are many different ways to do a Deadlift that can be safe and effective for most any human, regardless of age, gender, health status, fitness level or experience. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox

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How Well Can You Crawl?

August 3, 2018

 

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I appreciate simple things. I also appreciate that simple and easy are not the same thing. They say you can tell a lot about someone by the shoes they wear and how they walk. I can do the same watching someone crawl. A very simple thing to try (but may prove to be more difficult for some) is to walk/crawl down to the ground and come back up to standing using mostly your upper body and whatever flexibility you currently have. Try to do several in a row if you want. (After years working as a fitness professional, I can honestly say that, as easy as this may be for regular exercisers, it’s often quite difficult for those that are sedentary.) Did it make you breathe heavy? Was it challenging to move the weight of your body around? Did you feel tight in a few areas? Perfect. This would be a great place for you to start exploring movement with your body. Yes, it also burns calories too. Just make sure nothing hurts when you do it. It is ok if it doesn’t look perfect. The point is to begin getting more comfortable being uncomfortable. I recommend practicing this daily. You don’t need to get all sweaty while doing it. Not yet anyway. For now, don’t even worry about counting any reps if you don’t want to. I would rather you put all of your energy toward simply moving better. You’ll know you’ve made progress when it feels easier to do AND begins to look more and more graceful over time. You can always upgrade to BEAST MODE later on if or when things drastically improve. But for now, master the fundamentals. They are never to be overlooked. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox

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Workout that only requires a Shoe (Turkish Getup – Part 1 ) – Time Warner News’ ACTIVE NOW

December 3, 2015

Time Warner News’ (Austin) “Active Now” spot showed me a little love last week. Here, I do my best to demonstrate the main first move of the Turkish Getup using a shoe. It’s like a sit-up but much much more.

http://www.twcnews.com/tx/austin/lifestyles/2015/10/30/workout-that-only-requires-a-shoe.html

Screen shot 2015-12-03 at 12.35.15 PM
http://www.twcnews.com/tx/austin/lifestyles/2015/10/30/workout-that-only-requires-a-shoe.html


New Health & Fitness Tipz! Today i talk about “Squatting”. Most people hear that and think: an exercise. But it’s much more than that. Even if you never plan to “workout” again, you still should be able to squat down without it looking like total dogsh*t. The point is, you need to be able to safely squat down fairly low till the day you die. But this requires some knowledge and will take some practice. Today’s video is not about trying to teach anyone how to squat correctly(that would be a much longer video), but more for ideas on where to begin. Start today. Learn to squat again. If you are not an “exerciser” then try getting down and hanging out in the bottom part of the squat, much like a daily stretch. If you have seen the light and do practice movement on a regular basis, include squats in every workout, either as part of your warmup or as a main dish. The point is to move better and squatting is a fundamental part of that huge equation. Enjoy.

March 25, 2015


January 23, 2015

Ideas for a better warmup:
THE “Old” WARMUP (5-15min): Most people just hop on a treadmill or stationary bike for anywhere from 5-20 minutes to “warmup”. This works but it’s most likely not as effective as other options. Guys who plan on lifting “heavy” weights often ONLY warmup by doing light warmup-sets of their chosen exercise(s) for the day. Again, this also works but considering the fact that most of us know we need more stretching in our lives, including at least a few simple stretches in the warmup might be more optimal. Often guys are also scared to stretch before they lift because, “rumor has it”, you won’t get as big and strong. While it may be true that doing a marathon stretching session before lifting might be counterproductive for some, including other “types” of stretching has proven to actually increase strength & performance when done correctly. Lastly, some folks do their “cardio” first before lifting “weights”, i would assume in hopes of losing some unwanted body fat. Again, this is probably not the best idea UNLESS you are primarily seeking to increase your endurance for a specific event, competition or occupation. But for everyone else, i don’t recommend it. Ever, really. Normally, too much “cardio” before “lifting weights” interferes with… you guessed it, the weights. (And just to clarify, “weights”, “lifting”, “lifting weights” “strength machines”, “strength training”, “resistance training”, “body weight training”, “calisthenics”, “hard yoga”, “hard pilates”, etc are ALL basically the same thing!) “The primary purpose of resistance training is to get stronger, and for some, also build muscle. Both these things can also indirectly aid with fat loss. But keep in mind, getting stronger and building muscle both require INTENSITY to get the desired results. So don’t empty your fuel tank too early by doing too much in the warmup. If your goal is fat-loss, getting stronger or packing on more muscle, try including a short, intense 10-minute “interval session” after “weights” (aka “a finisher”). I’d also recommend doing your longer “cardio” workouts or group classes on another day, all by themselves, if you have the time available.

THE “New” WARMUP (5-10) So here we go. Here are some new things to try as your “warmup”. First and foremost, correct breathing is essential and often overlooked. This means breathing deeply from your diaphragm, through your nose. Keep this in mind as you warmup and proceed to the rest of your workout. I often tell people to do all movements at a pace that allows you sync your breathing with each repeat of that movement. Start your warmup by massaging some of the major muscles regions (back, legs, hips, calves) with a Foam Roller. (This is what most professional athletes do.)Most gyms have them. Walmart, Target, Amazon, etc all sell them for $30 or less). Then do a few safe Dynamic Stretches (aka “moving stretches”). Google this. Then perform a few easy body-weight warmup movements, focusing on stabilizing your spine and moving your many joints about (especially the hip & arm sockets). To summarize, you could very quickly Foam Roll 2-3 major areas of your body, do 2-3 full body stretches and 2-3 major body-weight movements (easy pushups, easy pulling & easy squatting), and be done in less than 10 minutes. You could even include 1-2 “core” exercises near the end or even devote some of the time to practice a new exercise (with no weight or a light weight) that maybe needs some practice. If you really want to hit everything, perform all the primitive movement patterns every time you warmup. (Check out any of Mark Verstegen’s Books). Research all this stuff! Educate yourself. It’s free. Keep things simple. Many things could work. Just keep this in mind, the purpose of a “warmup” is to get you prepared/ramped-up for the harder work ahead, not beat you done prematurely. The key is always to maximize your time, this should include not wasting any precious time doing useless sh*t during a warmup. You may want extend your warmup longer if you are sore or dealing with an injury, have specific “corrective exercises” you know you need to include, it’s really cold outside or you just woke up. We all know we need to stretch more, etc. Include these type things in your warmup and you can always get a lot done in each session, regardless of time. Density is the key.
– Carlton

p.s. Keep things simple. Always. I know i mentioned a lot of things, and that was just the silly warmup. lol. The reality is that the details of exercise and programming can easily start to bog any mind down. So don’t let it. Start by including just one new thing next time your workout. Build on that over time. The point is to move more, move better. There will probably never be a “perfect” way. And while some will waste time searching tirelessly for that, you should be out there getting work done. Time is of the essence. Ask for help if you need it. Work hard. Play hard. Enjoy.


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