Using Heart Rate Variability to Optimize Recovery

When embarking on an exercise program it is natural to focus most of your attention on workouts because without the stimulus of appropriate exercise done at the correct frequency, intensity and for the right amount of time you will not make progress.   However it is easy to lose sight of the fact that exercise is a stimulus and stressor and that progress actually occurs during recovery from exercise!  So while providing the correct amount of exercise stimulus is important -- optimizing recovery is as or more important.  This is particularly the case as we get older because our ability to recover from exercise stress tends to decrease as we age.…
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Balancing Anaerobic and Aerobic Exercises

No two workouts are created equal, as each routine and movement works on a specific muscle group. Building each of these muscle groups requires a specific understanding of both anaerobic and aerobic activities. Anaerobic activities are brief, strength-based activities that are completed in short bursts. Activities like sprinting and weightlifting trigger lactate formation, increase joint flexibility and helps to quickly build up muscle strength. This is done by inducing micro-trauma and micro tears in your muscle fibers. This trauma activates satellite cells in your cell membranes, which replace and grow the muscle area that was damaged during working out. On the other hand, aerobic activities are exercises sustained over a…
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The Incredible Benefits of Regular Exercise

“Your attitude determines your altitude in life”.  We all have experienced having a “good” day versus a “bad” day and it all starts with your attitude.     Exercise immediately affects your attitude towards yourself, your day and everyone you meet in an extremely positive way!  Exercise directly and measurably affects your brain chemistry and has been shown in several studies, to be more effective than anti-depressant medication in treating depression! Proven Benefits of Exercise and Consequences of Inactivity Lack of activity is the single most significant modifiable risk factor for all causes of disease! According to the CDC “more Americans are at risk of heart disease through physical inactivity than through…
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HOW TO BURN FAT AND GAIN MUSCLE

Fitness is a balancing act; in order to get the best results, you must create a routine that builds strength while giving you time to work on your problem areas. Regardless of your personal fitness goals, it is important to remember that adding muscle will burn more fat and boosts your overall metabolism. So gaining muscle is key if you are trying to decrease your BMI and tone your body. This means properly training your skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscles in order to reach peak overall performance. This, however, does not mean you necessarily have to ‘bulk up,’ particularly if your fitness goals are more about cycling, running and endurance…
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Creating a Strategic Plan for Your Club

As the saying goes “those who fail to plan – plan to fail”, and this is particularly true of clubs.  Strategic planning starts with conducting a “big picture” analysis of your club by using the S.W.O.T. technique.   The SWOT acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The SWOT analysis is one of the most commonly used strategic planning techniques in business, however it is also one of the most misunderstood techniques.      It is primarily used to provide structure to or summarize your strategic analysis. Your strategic analysis will focus on identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in three key strategic areas: Internal Environment – about identifying your club’s…
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Watching Your Electrolyte Levels During Summer Workouts

Summer is about enjoying some outdoor fun and much-needed sunshine; but those same rays and high temperatures can wreak havoc on your workout routines. If you are not adequately prepared for a high-intensity fitness routine outside during the “dog days of summer,” you might not perform at an optimal level.  The Mayo Clinic reminds athletes that heat adds extra stress to your body, as your body sends blood from your muscles to your skin in order to keep you cool. This loss of circulating blood in your tissues and muscles can lead to heat cramps, heatstroke or heat exhaustion. Humidity can exasperate these problems, as your body’s increased temperature causes…
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Using the Foster Talk Test to Determine your Ideal Heart Rate Training Zones

Unfortunately using any of the age and sex based formulas to predict maximum heart rate significantly over or underpredict an person's actual maximum heart rate.   The end result is the person is training much too hard or not nearly hard enough which defeats the entire purpose of using heart rate monitoring to insure optimal exercise intensity. The good news is that there is a simple test that accurately determines a person’s maximum heart rate WITHOUT having to push a person to their true maximum level of effort which can be dangerous and is very challenging. The “Foster Talk Test” has been heavily researched and proven to be a highly accurate…
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Modern Fitness and the Rise of Boutique Gyms

More than ever, on-the-go working professionals are crunched for time. While many attempt to strike the proper work-life balance, it can still be hard to find the time and motivation to squeeze in a workout between the office and home. Queue the boutique gym. These one-off fitness studios are often individually owned and provide only one sort of class or exercise experience. More and more, these boutique gyms are reaching a captive audience of people who are looking to shake up the traditional workout routine while optimizing the time put in to working out. And it looks like this trend is here to stay. By focusing on one specific workout…
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Successfully Launching New Club Programs

As the fitness industry continues to evolve there is a growing focus on providing effective programming to attract new members, boost retention, and drive club revenue and profits.    There are many vendors providing turn-key programs, and clubs themselves are designing custom programs for nutrition, small group training, group exercise classes, etc. However without an effective launch process and strategy any new program will fail!   It is important to have a formal process in place to evaluate, plan and then execute effective program launches including a detailed timeline with tasks, responsibilities and dates to insure that a new program is successful. There are several key areas to consider for any new…
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Explaining Oxidative Stress To Your Gym Members

While there are seemingly endless benefits to exercising, it is important to note that there can be some negative side effects to intense workout routines. One of the biggest problems - oxidative stress - builds up in your body slowly overtime with few indicators of any imbalance. Without proper nutritional intake, oxidative stress can negate the work you put in during gym sessions and can lead to long-term health problems. Oxidative stress, created by the production of free radicals, is a complicated chemical and biological process that is studied by exercise physiologists and nutritionists alike. While fitness buffs may take the time to understand this bodily procedure, the average gym…
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