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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Whataburger and My Personal Weekly Movement Quota

November 11, 2019

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I love lists. Short or small. Big or tall. It’s a huge part of my strategy to maximize precious Time & Energy. Obviously, I highly recommend them. They need not be fancy or complicated. I often use my phone for list making but I also prefer the old fashioned way of writing things down. This is/was a quick list of movement (exercises) that I like to practice at least 1 time each week. It looks like a lot but spread out over seven days it’s not. Things become more clear when written down. I find things get done when I write them down. The one danger is developing an unhealthy addiction to “getting things done”, which is fine for those things that are truly necessary but maybe not for the rest. The trick is to be deliberate and efficient. Do only what needs to be done. Prioritize action. Save “the wants” for later. Enjoy them. The wants are sometimes more fun when left to spontaneity and improvisation. Anyway, I’ve already said too much. #bssbbooks #carltonlists #austinpersonaltrainer #austinpersonaltraining #listofexercises #carltonsmixtapegumbo #blueskystrongbox

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Dumbbell vs. Kettlebell

October 25, 2019

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My last post earlier this week I demonstrated a workout consisting of 2 exercises using 1 Dumbbell. You could just as easily use a Kettlebell as well. Not everything, but most things that can be done using a Dumbbell can also be done using a Kettlebell. However, pressing a Kettlebell overhead requires holding it correctly in a specific way. In the photo collage above there is one picture of what NOT to do (it’s stated above the photo). The other photos show the correct way, from various angles. Keep in mind that it does take getting used to. For some, it may be quite uncomfortable for a few days/weeks. I would suggest using wrist sweatbands if so. The MAIN IDEA is to always keep the wrists STRAIGHT at ALL times while using a KB. Personally, I love Kettlebells so naturally I think it is worth the effort. They are quite unique and very versatile. If I could only have one piece of fitness equipment, it would be a single Kettlebell. In the end, do remember that they are only one tool of many. Find tools that works well for you and the job you need it for. The tool never matters as much as actually accomplishing the task at hand. #austinpersonaltrainer #austinpersonaltraining #kettlebellbasics #kettlebellpress #kettlebellrows #kettlebellsquats #blueskystrongbox

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Fitness Equipment Minimalism

October 18, 2019

 

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STRENGTH TRAINING WORKOUTS NEED NOT BE LONG OR REQUIRE MUCH EQUIPMENT. Whether you exercise at home, at work or on-the-go, short workouts with minimal equipment are your best friend. No more excuses. In the next few weeks i plan to demonstrate a few simple routines. It’s important to note that equipment is not actually necessary for resistance training. It is 💯 % possible to work the entire body using only your body weight, for FREE. With that said, equipment can be very useful and help make things more interesting. My top 3 equipment recommendations are: 1) Resistance Bands 2) a single Kettlebell 3) a single Dumbbell. Resistance Bands are typically inexpensive and kettlebells or dumbbells can often be found used (and you really only need ONE of either). Last week I talked about the essential exercises for a short total body workout. Next week I will demonstrate an example. #austinpersonaltrainer #austinpersonaltraining #resistancetraining #strengthtrainingathome #dumbbellworkout #kettlebellworkout #blueskystrongbox

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Strength Training requires at least 3 Exercises

October 15, 2019

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EVERY ADULT NEEDS TO DO STRENGTH TRAINING AT LEAST 1 DAY A WEEK. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Workouts don’t need to be longer than 30-45minutes max. 5-10minutes of a really good exercise done really well could do the trick (think Deadlift, Heavy carries, Kettlebell Swings, Heavy Squats, Turkish Getup, Squat to Row). For health, 1 workout a week can work. For health and to look better, 2-3 days a week is better. Oh yeah, don’t forget Diet, which is THE most important factor in approving appearance. You can never out-exercise a bad diet and too many liquid calories. How many exercises, and which ones? Regardless of how often you Strength Train, each workout must include a Lower Body Leg/Hip Exercise, an Upper Body Push and an Upper Body Pull. There are a ton of choices. Keep it simple. You can do more but I would limit it to a total of 6 exercises. Try to find exercises that involve the entire body while targeting the specific areas I just mentioned. How many sets and reps? I personally like 2-3 sets per exercise. For reps, l like 15 reps some days, 10 reps on other days and a heavy 5 reps on days I feel rested. Any rep range will work so long as you challenge yourself without beating yourself up or allowing form to degrade. Variety is nice. The secret to getting results is NOT missing workouts, walking a lot each day, proper rest and above average diet/nutrition. Never forget that. Get to it! #blueskystrongbox #strengthtrainingathome #strengthtraining #resistancetraining #austinpersonaltrainer #austinpersonaltraining #blueskystrongbox #johntylerhighschool #cujonation

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Books on Injuries, Prevention of Injuries

September 11, 2019

 


Part 2: Injuries, Pain, Soreness

September 11, 2019

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PART 2 : INJURIES-PAIN-SORENESS. Just because a medical professional “cleared” you does not mean all problems are over. At some point, all medical/therapy roads come to an end. When they do, then what? Ask a lot of questions. Anything you can think of. Most importantly, find out what things you should probably limit, avoid or NOT DO in the future. But after that, most likely, you’ll be on your own. Discomfort, pain and things-in-general “not feeling the same” might be a reality. Do everything you can not to take pain killers unless you really need them or your doctor has had a long conversation with you about the option. The most important thing now is to get back to as normal of a life as possible. With regards to movement and exercise, you will need to start VERY slow and experiment with everything. You may be surprised at what you CAN do but also what you CAN’T do, at least not yet. Remember, first make sure there aren’t things you shouldn’t be doing. Besides that, always listen to your body. Start LIGHT, SIMPLE AND SLOW. Learn to move well using only your bodyweight. If using some form of external/manual resistance, start with very light weights, simple movements (that you understand), and can perform near-perfect form. Lastly, make sure to start by moving SLOW. If something hurts, see if you can safely modify or maybe try doing something different. There might very well be some things that you won’t be able to do. It’s ok. Learn to work around them. There are many options. Research. Explore. Don’t be too cautious but also don’t be reckless. Use that beautiful brain! #blueskystrongbox #austinpersonaltrainer #austinpersonaltraining

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…more thoughts on Resting Heart Rate & Heart Rate Zone training

September 7, 2019

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You don’t need to own a heart rate monitor to exercise effectively. That is a myth. With that said, I do think monitoring heart rate has value. Just know that you can absolutely gauge most any exercise of any type by the way you feel while doing it. This is often referred as the Talk Test. If you can easily talk, the exercise is considered lower-intensity. If you can’t, it’s more intense. Obviously, there is plenty of room in between. Don’t make the mistake of thinking all exercise need be intense to be effective. It’s not just about burning as many calories in one session as possible, it’s also about sustainability. In other words, can you repeat this for a long time to come without quitting? The average person quits exercise within the first six months. I would argue that the average American needs more lower-intensity exercise… done more often. I’m talking about something like dedicated Walking most days of the week. It’s great if someone does some form of really intense exercise once or twice a week (if they are healthy enough to to so) but not if the other 5 days are all rest days. Move more often, even if it’s low-intensity. Adequate DAILY movement is always the correct choice. Our bodies were made to move. Walking is the best choice, that is why we have legs. Aim for a goal of lowering your resting heart rate by the end of the year. (For healthy heart rate zones, Google: “karvonen formula calculator”). If you really want to do higher-intensity (HIIT) exercise, try getting your resting heart rate UNDER 60 before doing so if possible. Consult with a medical professional if you have any specific concerns or conditions. #bssbbooks #restingheartrate #walkingasexercise #austinpersonaltrainer #austinpersonaltraining #blueskystrongbox

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Resting Heart Rate is important…

September 7, 2019

 

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RESTING HEART RATE. This number can say quite a bit about health and fitness. Keep in mind, it doesn’t say everything. It is pretty easy to check. You can download a free app and check it using your phone. The best time to check it is obviously while RESTING. Lol. So first thing in the morning is best (before sitting up) or lie down for 2-5 minutes then check it. Check it for a few days, or even a week. Just get an average. Don’t overthink it. The goal is to get this number under 60. It’s ok if it’s not. The average person is in the 70’s. You could be higher. How do you get this number down? Get better rest. Exercise regularly but not too hard or too long. For most folks, I recommend daily walks for 30minutes. 1-2 weekly resistance training sessions (45min max). Get a minimum of 7 hours each night of quality rest. Avoid unnecessary stress whenever possible (this one may be the most challenging but worth the effort.) PS if you want to do intense HIIT exercise, i highly recommend getting that number down as quickly as possible by doing lower intensity work for a while. #bssbbooks #restingheartrate #austinpersonaltrainer #austinpersonaltraining #blueskystrongbox

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Oxygen = LIFE

September 3, 2019

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Oxygen is our best friend. Remember to breathe. It sounds silly but research clearly shows Americans as bad breathers, like clinically dysfunctional. In other words, we don’t do it well. Obviously, most of us get by. We survive. We just don’t thrive. Thriving happens when we optimize any given situation. Of all the things worthy of optimization, oxygen (breathing) is arguable the best choice. Proper breathing should involve inhaling in through the nose and exhaling out the mouth. It should also involve the diaphragm muscle, which sits just above the stomach and under the bottom of the lowest rib. It’s not too difficult to find it or understand how it works but I do recommend might reading more and maybe watching a few video examples. Once we learn to breathe better, then it must be practiced. Repetition reinforces this habit. I feel the absolute best time to do this is while being active or exercising. It could be walking, Yoga, weight-lifting, carrying your luggage at the airport, etc. The video tip above will also help my favorite suggestion. Lastly, know that active movement/exercise is not only the best way to teach the body to breathe better but also to better use oxygen once it is within the body. This, my friends, is key to surviving and thriving. Why would you not start practicing breathing today! #bssbbooks #breathingexercises #breathingladders #diaphragmbreathing #austinpersonaltrainer #austinpersonaltraining #blueskystrongbox

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