Ditch the Weight Machines, Pick Up the Free Weights

When you first walk into a gym, there’s a sea of contraptions sitting everywhere on the gym floor. Then, you see the dumbbells, benches, and barbells… You’re unsure of where to start with your workout, so you walk over to the nearest machine, look at the label to see how it works and what muscles it works, adjust the pins, and start moving some weight. This can be a great option if you’re unfamiliar with the gym, but is using these machines the best option for you to reach your goals?

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Imbalances and My Favorite Exercises to Work on Them

Muscular Imbalance

Do you perform the same functions at your job day in and day out? Do you regularly perform similar movement patterns in the gym when working out? Repeating the same patterns over and over allows your body to become incredibly efficient with those movements but can create muscular imbalances. Are you recovering from an injury you’ve been dealing with for awhile? Chances are you’ll have some muscular imbalances from compensating movement patterns. You’ll even naturally have imbalances between your right and left sides due to being right or left hand dominant. You won’t be able to get everything completely balanced, but working on and reducing muscular imbalances reduces risk for injury.

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Planet Fitness: Reviewed

First Impressions

Recently moving to a new area, I was in need of a gym. Planet Fitness is right around the corner from where I’m staying, is a well-known name, and is cheap…like dirt cheap. Fortunately for me, this particular location had just recently opened for business, so it still has that new gym smell. You know what I’m talking about…that weird new rubber smell that lingers on your clothes after you’ve left the facility. Now, I will be honest, I am not a fan of the “Judgement Free Zone” thing they tout at Planet Fitness; not because I judge people, but because it brings me a weird awareness to judgement…like now I feel I’m being judged..I don’t know. It’s almost like they’re pushing it too hard. This is probably just a me problem.

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If Nutrition Accounts For A Majority Of Your Success, Why Exercise?

Last week I wrote about the importance of nutrition in achieving your fitness goals. Nutrition is HUGE. It’s so huge, in fact, that if you do not change your diet; it is most likely that you will not be able to achieve the end result weight loss goals that you have set for yourself. So you may be asking yourself right now, “What’s the point of working out, then? If I change my diet, I’ll reach my weight loss goals.” Yes, that may be true, but here’s why you want to workout. Here’s why you want to participate in regular cardiovascular and resistance training.

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And the Winner of “The Best (Diet, Exercise, Exercise Routine, etc.)” Goes To…

I don’t know if any of you notice the same things that I do when scrolling through the news feed of my phone, but something that’s really stood out to me lately are headlines that include the word “Best” or some other synonym when referencing what types of exercises we should be doing or what types of foods we should be eating. This is being applied to ANYTHING food/fitness related it seems like. These are the best foods to eat for burning fat….this is the best exercise routine for gaining muscle…..which is best, steady state cardio or interval training…..The list seems to go on and on.

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Healthy Habits – Fitting Them In?

My philosophy to reaching fitness goals is to slowly introduce sustainable changes that will help you to reach your health/fitness/wellness goals. Baby steps are HUGE! Well, they’re not huge, obviously…they’re baby steps… but, they’re incredibly important. If done correctly, I feel these baby steps will build on each other to help develop a lifestyle, helping you reach your ultimate goal. Over my years in the gym I’ve seen many people come and go. You’ve probably seen or experienced this yourself around January 1st. Huge goals are set; hit the gym to run the treadmill 30 minutes 5x/week and do 45 minutes of resistance training 3x/week. Then, all carbs are gone, pizza….gone. Bread….gone. Rice….Gone. It goes something like that….

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How to Really Lose Weight

The Secret

Here’s the secret to weight loss:  Eat less calories and move more. That’s it!  Nope, this strategy won’t make magazine headlines for being able to get your body ready for bikini season.  It’s just not as flashy. Sure, there are other variables such as optimizing hormones at certain times by doing certain types of training, sleeping right, and eating the right things at the right times will help you there as well, but the major part of losing weight is eat less and move more.  The concept is so simple, but putting it into practice is not. Should you be doing certain types of movement? Should you be weight training, doing cardio, or both?! Should you be eating eggs, or are those bad for you now? Or, maybe you can eat just the egg whites? It’s hard to navigate the world of fitness and nutrition.  It seems like everyone is an expert, yet you see different answers to the same questions all the time. How do you know who or what to believe?

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Fitness is Art??

I was on vacation with some of my family in Philadelphia, and we’re sightseeing some of the historical and interesting places around town.  We saw the Mutter Museum; a place full of strange and interesting medical phenomena and oddities, the Philadelphia Magic Gardens; a piece of property turned into a beautiful work of art to help an artist cope with his thoughts and emotions, and the Eastern State Penitentiary; a prison originally developed to detain a person in total silence for the duration of their sentence.  We also visited the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and some other tourist attractions while in town. Thinking about the Magic Gardens and these historical sites had gotten me thinking about fitness and our own individual paths. I wanted to write down some of my thoughts, particularly concerning the Magic Gardens and how it relates. I know what you’re thinking; How could I draw parallels between an art exhibit and fitness?  Here’s how: Continue reading “Fitness is Art??”