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How Boot Camp Training Can Strengthen your Core without Sit-ups

Friday March 29, 2013

How to get your core strong without doing a single sit-up

Spend enough time in a gym, and you see them: the common ab-seeker. They work for hours, days, months, and years at getting the perfect abs. You see them doing sit-ups, crunches, and every inverted and weighted version of these exercises without stopping. They sweat, moan, and groan, but their core is never quite what they want.

Ab and core training are a little different here at Fit Body Boot Camp Billings.

Believe it or not most people spend too much time on their core training, but they’re doing all the wrong things in that time. So whether you’re interested in getting that flat tone mid section that the magazines all say is necessary to be hot or you just want to have a more stable core… a good way to begin is by dropping the core-specific exercises and doing things a little bit different.

Set Your Routine Free

In most gyms, there is an incredible amount of equipment. At one end stands the treadmills, sturdy and nestled next to the stair steppers and recumbent bikes. Then taking up the majority of the space is a wide range of exercise equipment. Full of pulleys and levers, these machines aren’t just cold hard steel. We have none of that here at our
boot camp, yet we manage to help our clients get amazing results every time.
Billings Fit Body Boot Camp
Working your entire body is the fastest way to getting a strong core and flat abs. Now in the gym, the way to do it is with free weights. The magic of free weights is that every movement you make with them requires more than one muscle to be used. At least when you use them right. What way is that? By standing up, sitting upright, or lying down. From the bench press to the military press to squats or rows, core stabilization required from free weights gives your core a workout.

Now, here at Billings boot camp we don’t have any free weights, bench presses or squat racks. We’re all about training in a unique way by using battling ropes, dumbbells, suspension straps, smash balls, and weighted sleds. Sounds pretty primal? Yes. Effective? Very.

Think Big.

Want nice abs? Focus on your body’s largest muscles and train your body as a whole. To do this try burprees, wave with battling ropes, body weight squats, pushups, and suspension strap rows. All of these engage the total body including the core and help you burn more calories in the same amount of time. Push yourself hard during your workouts. That makes a world of difference. By doing this, the extra muscle tone you pack on will help the other parts of your body get leaner as well —including your core. If you’re still having trouble thinking BIG, then consider Fit Body Boot Camp Billings, a Billings boot camp where you’ll get expert advice on perfecting your core and gain a huge support system of friends who have similar fitness goals.

On the Ball

Billings Boot CampEverybody remembers the first time trying out an exercise ball. It was kind of fun, kind of awkward, and lasted a kind of short time. Many of the training programs we do incorporate exercises balls in some way to help you with you balance and engage your core more.

But there’s more than just exercise balls for balance… at our boot camp we’ll perform battling rope exercises on one leg to help improve balance. Same with dumbbell work, smash balls and even sliders – anything to work the total body, balance and core.

To the Core.

Your core consists of the muscles located around your trunk and pelvis. Strong core muscles are not only important, but they help tone your abs, improve stability, balance, and posture by making any physical activity you do easier. So stop wasting time in the gym and find yourself Fit Body Boot Camp location near by and lets get your core and entire body in tip top shape.

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The Keys to Containing Healthy Cholestorel Levels

Wednesday March 27, 2013

As nasty a reputation as it has, cholesterol is actually needed by your body. It helps create new cells, transmit nerves, and produce hormones. But don’t go grab a cholesterol-laden burger just yet. Because your liver produces all the cholesterol you need? So when you add cholesterol to your body by eating a diet high in cholesterol, you’re getting more than you need. This extra cholesterol sticks to your artery walls and causes them to harden, which puts your body at risk for heart disease and stroke.

Though you could consume all cholesterol in your path and trust your fate to cholesterol-lowering medication, there is a better way to live life. With the right diet, weight management, and plenty of exercise, you can actually keep your cholesterol under control without the pharmacy.

What Goes In

A diet high in saturated fats, trans fats, simple sugars, and cholesterol from animal-based foods will instantly raise your cholesterol levels. Eat a breakfast of bacon, sausage, and eggs cooked in butter; a lunch made of processed, packaged simple sugars; and a big steak dinner with an ice cream sundae for dessert, and you may as well kiss your cholesterol levels goodbye, because they’re going to skyrocket.

However, lowering cholesterol doesn’t just mean avoiding certain foods. It also means eating more heart-healthy foods: healthy fats, fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber-rich foods, and nuts are a good start. A diet combining these foods may work just as well as medication, but without the expense and negative side effects.

You should also substitute saturated fats, butter, lard, and vegetable oil with healthy fats such as olive oil or canola oil. Rather than beef or pork every night for dinner, eat fish two to three nights a week. And instead of processed snack foods eat high-fiber options such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains. You can also snack on almonds, walnuts, and other nuts to cut your cholesterol.

Of course, you shouldn’t forget about beverages. Green tea contains compounds that work to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Since this is the bad kind of cholesterol, this is a good thing. Additionally, drinking alcohol in moderation has been shown to raise your good cholesterol—high-density lipoprotein (HDL)—a bit. Just be careful. Drink more than one (women) or two (men) drinks a day, and you’ll wind up negating any potential health benefit.

Moving and Sweating

Besides diet, exercise is the second most effective way to reduce cholesterol without medication. Exercise helps you lose weight and decrease your LDL, while increasing the production of enzymes that remove LDL from the blood. Getting up and about also raises your HDL lessens the chance that cholesterol will be able to clog your arteries.488122_475756999140773_1501132457_n

When it comes to controlling cholesterol, vigorous exercise is better than moderate exercise, though moderate exercise is better than none. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.

Boot camps offer great 30 minute workouts.  Good boot camps like the Portland boot camp provide support and accountability combined with new and exciting exercises so clients have fun while working out.

Losing Lbs.

The final part in managing cholesterol on your own is maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your cholesterol levels. This may be because those who are overweight tend to eat foods high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Obesity may also be related to high cholesterol, since many obese people don’t get enough exercise. Don’t let this be you!

If you’re genetically predisposed to high cholesterol or if you have a medical condition that raises cholesterol, medication may be necessary. But it may not. Work with your physician to ensure you take the best steps for a healthy today and tomorrow.

Twice the Cholesterol

Wondering what that LDL and HDL stuff is? Well, there are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol. LDL clogs arteries, whereas HDL does the exact opposite, working to rid the blood of cholesterol.

Too much LDL and too little HDL leads to high blood pressure. You may not know you have high blood pressure, so it’s vitally important for all adults over 20 to get their cholesterol levels checked every five years with a simple blood test.

You’re in the safe zone if your total cholesterol measures less than 200 mm/Hg. Over 240 and you have high cholesterol. Optimal LDL should measure less than 100. If yours is over 190, it’s way too high. But high numbers aren’t all bad, because you actually want high HDL readings. You want to have no less than 40 mm/Hg HDL, with the optimum amount being over 60.

 

This blog was submitted by the Portland Personal Trainer from  Fit Body Boot Camp Portland.

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Tips on How to Tighten and Firm 4 Key Trouble Spots

Monday March 25, 2013

Everyone on planet Earth has at least one area of his or her body that could be improved. Unfortunately, despite the promise of new gadgets, these trouble spots don’t turn into toned muscle overnight. It takes time and effort to get the look you want. Four of the most troubling areas to target in your workouts are the arms, legs, abs, and glutes. What’s your trouble spot?

Whatever your target area, here are the best exercises for each.

Take Aim at Arms

For the first exercise, dips, all you need is a chair. Put your hands on the edge of the seat and walk your feet forward until your bottom is several inches away from the seat. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Raise back up. Do two sets of 15 reps.

Two more great arm exercises are the kickback and bicep curl. Holding dumbbells in each hand (use whatever weight is comfortable, but still a challenge), lean your upper body forward while keeping your back flat. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and then slowly straighten your arms, one at a time, behind you. Hold for a second, then return to start. Do 20 reps.

For the bicep curl, stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and slowly curl the weight up to your shoulder, alternating arms. Perform 20 reps.

Kicking Legs and Butt

Troubled by your lower half? Three of the best exercises for your legs and glutes are lunges, squats, and step-ups. These can be done with or without weights.

To perform a lunge, step your right leg out in front of you and lower your left knee down toward the floor, not letting your right knee extend past your toes. Stand back up, step forward with your left leg, and lower your right knee. Repeat. Hold dumbbells down by your sides if you want.

For a squat, stand with your feet placed shoulder-width apart. Rest a barbell over the back your shoulders for extra resistance. Bend your knees and lower your rear down as if to sit in a chair until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Return to standing position and repeat, keeping your back straight throughout the movement.

Step-ups are a simple exercise that can be catered to your fitness level. Adjust the height of the step or hold dumbbells or a barbell to increase resistance. Stand in front of a step and step up with your right foot, using your right thigh to push down on the step as you pull your left foot up on the step. Step down and then step up with your left foot. Repeat.

Lunges, squats and set-ups are true and proven exercises that successful boot camps like Fit Body Boot Chino, a Chino boot camp, to use to help clients sculpt their legs and butts efficiently and effectively.

Carving Abdominals

Who doesn’t want a stronger core and firm abs? Try doing an opposite arm and leg raise exercise to get your midsection in the shape you want.

Get on all fours on the floor. Place your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Raise your right arm straight in front of you to shoulder height while raising and straightening your left leg out behind you at the same time. Reach your fingers forward and your heel backwards. Hold for a couple seconds, and then lower to the floor. Then lift your left arm and right foot. Repeat on each side.

Another great exercise to tone your abs is the abdominal hold. You may look funny doing it, but it’s worth it. Sit on a chair and place your hands on the front edge. Using your abs, lift your feet off the floor and your butt off the chair, balancing yourself with your hands. Hold for as long as you can, return to the starting position, and repeat.

You’ve heard of the crunch, but have you tried a reverse crunch? Lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Rest your hands behind your head on the floor. Lift your knees up toward your chest to a 90 degree angle. Using your abs, lift your hips up, keeping your shoulders on the ground. Lower your legs back to the floor and repeat.

Patience!

Think you’ll get firmed up with a few days of exercise? Think again. The longer it’s been since you worked out, the longer it’ll take to get your flab firm. But don’t give up. With consistency and persistence, you’ll find the firm you seek!

 

This blog was submitted by the Chino Personal Trainer from  Fit Body Boot Camp Chino.

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The Basics on Carb Loading that Everyone Should Know.

Friday March 22, 2013

Short for carbohydrate loading, carb loading is a strategy used by endurance athletes to increase the amount of energy stored in the muscles to provide the extra fuel needed to finish a long, arduous workout. These workouts are typically endurance races, but the need for carb loading can come about for other reasons as well.

Physical activity of any kind requires energy. With normal activity, your body has enough energy stored for fuel. But if you’re a marathon runner, long-distance cyclist, or swimmer, your body may use up its stored energy, making you feel like you’ve hit a rock wall and can’t move forward. To prevent this from happening, endurance athletes increase the amount of carbs they eat while scaling back their activity in the days leading up to a race. Don’t load up on carbs just yet. Because athletes competing in events shorter than 90 minutes probably don’t need to go on a carb loading diet.

How does carb loading work? Here’s what every endurance athlete should know to make the most of their carbohydrate intake.

Carbs for Stored Energy

Carbohydrates, also called sugars and starches, provide your body with energy. There are two types of carbs: complex and simple. Simple carbs consist of one or two molecules, are low in nutritious value, are quickly digested, and therefore provide a fast burst of energy. Examples include sugars, honey, syrup, jams, candy, fruit, milk, and soda.

Complex carbs, on the other hand, are made of multiple sugar molecules, digest slowly, are high in fiber and nutrients, and keep your blood sugar more stable. Whole plant foods such as green vegetables, starchy vegetables (corn, potatoes, pumpkin), whole grains (pasta, breads, oatmeal), peas, beans, and lentils are all complex carbohydrates.

As you eat carbs, they’re converted to glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles. When you need energy, your body draws on both stored glycogen and then on fat. Fat, however, isn’t burned as easily as glycocen, so your body has to work harder to draw energy from fat. Run out of glycogen, and fatigue may overwhelm you. At this point, your body will turn to fat for energy and your performance will likely suffer.

Load Up with Carbs

How do you avoid depleting your glycogen stores? By filling your muscles full of carbs in the week prior to a race. Seven days before your event, adjust the amount of carbs you consume to be about half of your total calories. At this point, you may need to increase the fat and protein in your diet. Continue to train at your normal pace. By doing this, you’ll empty your glycogen stores to make room for new energy.
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Three to four days out, increase the amount of carbs in your diet to take up 70 to 90 percent of your calories. At the same time, reduce the fat in your diet and cut back on training so the carbs will fill your muscles to the brim. The day before your event, rest completely.

Many boot camp participants have asked whether they need to carb load to prepare for a boot camp challenge event like the ones held at Fit Bodyt Boot Camp Culver City, a Culver City boot camp.  The answer is no as boot camp challenge events are not endurance-based events so boot campers should have enough energy stored for fuel.The amount of carbs you need depends on your weight, sport, and calorie goal. For most athletes, this equals about four grams of carbs for every pound of body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, this translates to 600 grams of carbohydrates or 2400 calories of carbohydrates the days before an event.

What to Expect

A carb-loading diet may increase your energy during your performance, you may not experience as much fatigue as usual, and your time may improve. This strategy, however, may not work for everyone. Your performance depends on other factors, including your fitness level and hydration. Additionally, you’ll need to replenish your glycogen stores periodically during and following the event.

Strangely, carb loading seems to be more effective for men rather than women. Planning to load up on carbs? Expect to gain at least four pounds. But don’t sweat it. Much of this is water weight, which will help keep you hydrated during the race.

And don’t hop on the carb-loading train right before a race. Practice carb loading weeks before your event. You may find some foods cause digestive discomfort, and you’ll want to figure that out before you really need to load up on carbs.

Finally, you should recognize that carb loading affects your blood sugar levels. Therefore, if you’re living with diabetes, consult your physician before attempting such a diet.

Not Going Long? Remember, if you’re not training for some sort of endurance race, there’s no need to carb load. Instead, maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet for optimal health and performance.

This blog was submitted by the Culver City Personal Trainer from  Fit Body Boot Camp Culver City.

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Triceps Exercises are Key to Building Stronger Arms.

Thursday March 21, 2013

Your body has a lot of muscles. Unfortunately, some can be neglected during your routine. But don’t forget your triceps during strength training. If you do, you may wind up with huge biceps and disproportional arms. Why? Because your triceps (the muscles on the back side of your upper arms) are actually larger muscles than your biceps.

Want strong arms with defined muscles? Add a few of these triceps exercises into your weekly training and you’ll see results within a couple of months.

Close Grip Bench Press

A great exercise to build your triceps is a variation of the bench press. To do a close grip bench press, lie on your back on the bench and place your hands on the bar. Position your hands so they are shoulder width apart or less. Lower the bar toward your lower chest, but instead of angling your elbows out to the side, keep them in. Raise the bar back up to starting position and repeat. If possible, keep your forearms perpendicular to the floor through the entire movement.

Dips

Another classic triceps workout is the dip. You’ll need two supports (parallel bars, rings, or two stable chairs back to back). Hold the bars, rings, or chair backs, raise your body up, and lock your elbows. Lower your body down until your elbows are higher than your shoulders, then raise back up. Keep your torso and chest upright and your shoulders back. Slightly bend your legs and cross your feet. Look in front of you the whole time. Breath when you reach the top, not during your movement.

For extra challenge, add weight to your dips by holding a dumbbell between your feet, wearing a rucksack with plates, or wearing a belt with plates.

Close Grip Push-Ups

brea boot camp
Similar to the standard push-up, the close-grip push-up really works your triceps. Place your hands under your chest and in a diamond shape (thumbs and index fingers of the left hand touching thumbs and index fingers of the right hand). Lower your body down, and then raise back up. When you’re able to do 10 of these and want an extra challenge, try adding a clap. Push your body up high enough to clap your hands before lowering back down.  This is an advanced exercise that is a core movement at cutting-edge boot camps like Fit Body Boot Camp Brea, a Brea boot camp.

Pulley Pushdowns

Training the entire triceps muscle, the pulley pushdown requires a pulley machine. Place your hands over the middle of the bar about three to five inches apart. Standing approximately 12 inches from the bar, place your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your upper arms against your body, bend your arms, lean slightly forward, and pull the bar down until your arms are straight. Hold for a second, feeling the burn in your triceps, then slowly return the bar to starting position. Repeat.

Barbell Triceps Extension

This triceps exercise has many variations. You can hold the barbell at different widths; using an over-hand or under-hand grip; and you can lie on your back on a bench, sit, or stand. But the gist of the movement is the same. Hold the barbell and extend your arms above your head. Keeping your upper arms as still as possible, bend your elbows and lower the barbell to your forehead if you’re lying down, or behind your head if you’re sitting or standing. Raise the barbell back up and repeat.

One-Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Hold a dumbbell with both hands so the weight is perpendicular to the floor. Lift the dumbbell and straighten your arms above your head. Slowly lower the weight down behind your head until your elbows are bent, and then raise the dumbbell back up.

Reap the Rewards

Aim to do three to five sets of five reps per exercise. Then watch your triceps grow and strengthen. If you’re a lady, you’ll enjoy the toned, non-flabby look. And men, you’ll finally have the well-rounded arms you’ve been seeking.

 

This blog was submitted by the Brea personal trainer at Fit Body Boot Camp Brea.

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A Message from Huntington Boot Camp: Exercise Modification to Avoid Injuries

Tuesday March 05, 2013

Huntington Boot Camp: Kathleen Tafti I am grateful for my masters degree in Physical Therapy and my Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification. Both were a lot of work, time, dedication and money but so worth it. Why? Because I am confident that I can help anyone design a safe and effective exercise program. As a trainer at Huntington Boot Camp, I have learned that most people have some type of pain or injury or have had pain or an injury in their past. And most of these people think that they can not exercise at all or are afraid to exercise. My answer to this is “unless the doctor has told you to not do any form of exercise at all, you can exercise safely and still get amazing results of increased strength, decreased body fat, increased flexibility, etc.” And not exercising at all can increase your risk of more injuries and illness.

How do you exercise safely? Other than learning with a trainer at Huntington Boot Camp, you do it by learning to MODIFY your exercise program around your injuries. There are many different ways to do most exercises. And if none of the modifications are working then you can replace it with a completely different exercise that does work for you. Here is an example: a jumping jack. You can do a full jumping jack by jumping and bringing your legs apart and together and lifting your arms all the way up over your head and back down. Or you can keep it low impact without jumping and alternating moving the right leg out then the left leg out. Or you can lift your arms to shoulder height only. Or you can keep your arms at your side. Or you can do any combination of all of these.

So if you are concerned about working out and exacerbating an injury, the best thing to do is to talk with your doctor. Your doctor can reassure you that you can exercise safely with the correct modifications. Certified personal trainers can help you do the exercises that are right for you. And remember that modifying an exercise doesnt mean making it easy. If modifications are done correctly it will be intense hard work that will get you to the physical goals you have set out to achieve.

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