Archive for May, 2011

Got Your Back????

May 31, 2011

How’s your neck feel? How about the top of your shoulders? Do you have a tightness between your shoulder blades?

Well it turns out your not alone.

In the last couple of years I’ve had several of the executives I train complain of these symptoms. Even to the point of seeking out medical advice.

I only bring up that they’re executives because this is one of a few things that these people have in common. They sit at a desk in front of a computer. Other common traits are that they are in high stress occupations. And another is that they workout every chance that they can (very frequently). You would think that the latter would be their saving grace.

When it comes to weight training balance is what you want to strive for. You see the one body part you don’t want to forget about is your BACK. The reason that a lot of people who do resistance training suffer with upper back problems is that they forget to include back exercises. The tone and muscle that is made, especially with chest moves pulls your shoulders in and forward. Combine this with sitting at a desk and not taking the time to consider correct posture and you’ve got the formula for a tight neck and shoulders…..OF COURSE!!!

But take time to strengthen your back and you can counteract this.

In a previous post I listed chest and back as the 2 upper body parts to always train. But you must include your back both upper and lower. Lowers should be trained with your ab moves to make it a complete core workout. And upper back is just as important due to its connection with your posture.

Back exercises include dumbbell rows, lat pulldowns and pullovers and the list goes on and on. There are plenty of movements to perform so that you can counter the effect your other upper body training is doing to your posture.

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Are You Experienced???

May 17, 2011

Are you experienced?

Not long after I moved to Phoenix and joined those who would climb the local mountains, did I find myself remarking about other “novice” hikers. You know what I mean. When you see the helicopters circling Camelback or Piestewa Peak Mountains don’t you knee jerk in thought and say to yourself, “dumb tourist” or “first time hiker” almost in disgust?

Last October I was running the “Camelback Loop”. (run from one parking area to the other and then up one side of the mountain and down the other to the original spot where we began). It was a great day for me. Everything felt really good. I was on FIRE! Once on the mountain especially as I was coming down, dodging hikers, wondering why they were in my way. A stumble here and a stumble there but recovering every time. I was the King!…..Until about 10 yards from the end. I dodged around the last hiker, and my right foot caught a rock. When I pushed off of another with my left I heard my hamstring pop and I landed hard off trail. It took about 20 minutes for me to get up and limp away. Aggressive Physical Therapy for the next week allowed me to walk upright again. It would be another month before I could hike and a second month before I could run again.

Are you experienced?

In the past couple of months the news has been sprinkled with athletic tragedy. Sally Meyerhoff an experienced and accomplished athlete lost her life while biking. Clint McHale lost his while rock climbing at Camelback Mountain.

There are simple rules of the road to follow when biking and running on the streets. Wheels go with wheels (in other words, bikes should be riding in the same direction as cars) and runners should be running, facing traffic. Stop at traffic signs. These should be easy to follow yet we still find situations where we choose to play with the “edge” and push ourselves into danger zones.

What is it in our mind set that allows us to push the edge no matter the consequence but then fault others as if we should be immune to the same scrutiny? Is it that magical line that takes us from safety to danger that is alluring?  Is it in the name of that higher level of competition that we play with this?

I’m certainly not sure of the answers. But I am very aware of the fact that it could be me or any one of us that could be getting a free helicopter ride off the mountain. I have often been heard to say during training sessions “you have to train so that you can train another day”.

I certainly do not want to hear your name in the news tomorrow. And I have no intent in you hearing mine. Please be careful. Enjoy this environment that we live and play in. And respect it as well.

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One on One vs Group Training

May 3, 2011

In most cases there are two types of training that you can receive from a trainer. The first one is one on one and the second is group training. First off the type of training I do is one on one. There are times that I will see two people at a time, but rarely if ever do I train more than two. So I’m a little biased as to my approach. But let it be known that there are positives to both and yes negatives as well. Let’s explore both.

Advantages of Group Training include

  • Affordability
  • Energy from the group to keep you motivated
  • Social

Advantages of One on One Training include

  • Focused attention
  • Increased availability by the Trainer
  • Sessions are directed to your goals not the group

Disadvantages of Group Training include

  • Lack of attention by the group trainer (especially when the group has over 6 participants)
  • Time – The participants have to train at the same time (not flexible)
  • Difficult to individualize goals

Disadvantages of One on One Training include

  • Expense
  • Have to have a good rapport with the trainer in order for the program to be effective
  • Sorry I told you I was biased

Since I have been in the fitness industry for many years now I have seen both the good sides and the bad to both styles of training. If you are a self-motivated person and don’t need a lot of attention, then group training may be for you. If you seek guidance and need direction then one on one training may be what works best for you.

So what say you? Have you worked with trainers in the past? Did they provide one on one or were you in a group setting? What worked best for your needs? Trainers, although I realize that groups can be very lucrative, what kind of training do you do? Did you start training in one type and then evolve into another, and how did that evolution take place and why?

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