Workout length is one of the most common questions trainers answer each day. People want to know whether or not short workouts are effective and if it's better to break up workout routines or develop one long routine. Longer workouts aren't necessarily better. For a number of reasons, they can actually be less effective than shorter workouts. Consider the following benefits of shorter workouts.
Increased Calorie Burning
Every time your workout, your metabolism slowly speeds up and then slowly returns to a normal rate. During the slowdown period, you burn calories more quickly than usual. With multiple shorter workouts in a day, you get multiple high calorie burning periods instead of the single period you would get with a longer workout.
After you've been working out for an hour or two, you get really hungry. Putting in that much energy also makes many people adopt an “I deserve this” mentality. They end up eating more than they would normally as a reward for their hard work, which results in a weight loss plateau or even weight gain. Working out in shorter bursts decreases this risk.
Fewer Energy Slumps
Working out for an hour or two at a time often comes with energy slumps. As long as you're drinking lots of water and eating healthy meals or snacks in between the workouts, you'll be able to put in a full effort for each workout session.
If you like the idea of an occasional longer exercise session, but only have time for shorter sessions most days, think about setting up a combination routine. Maybe it makes sense to spend a couple hours at the gym with the weights or in the pool twice a week and then do shorter aerobic routines on your own at home the rest of the week.
The bottom line is that the best workout routine for you is the one that you'll actually do. If it isn't feasible to block out an hour to spend at the gym, look for 20-minute workout routines you can complete from the comfort of your home. If 20 minutes is too much, look for ways to carve out 15 or even 10 minutes from your current schedule, and then build from there.
Ralph Roberts is a nationally certified personal trainer working at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo, Texas. Whether you're looking for an individual or group training program, he has something that fits the bill.
Can't get to the gym, but you want an effective workout? While the gym is a great place to get in shape, it isn't always possible to get there everyday. Although the gym provides social and motivational benefits with a variety of equipment, classes and amenities, you can get in a great workout at home, too.
One option for at-home fitness is a good workout DVD. While there are certainly some bad ones out there, you will also find some quality workouts to get you results. It’s a good idea to have more than one, so you don't get bored.
Which Workout DVD Should I Buy?
When choosing a DVD, you should keep in mind the following factors:
Chris Freytag's 10 Pound Slimdown
Chris is a renowned personal trainer and this DVD is great for the person who wants to get started shedding pounds.
Todd Durkin Beginner Gym DVD
Todd is another well-known and loved trainer who shares his love for fitness with his clients. He has a wealth of training knowledge and is worth checking out.
Dolvett Quince "8 Minute Body Blasters"
You may know Dolvett Quince from "The Biggest Loser" television show. This DVD is packed with moves that will not only help you shed pounds, but will also get those problem areas toned in no time.
A workout DVD can be a little like having a personal trainer right in your living room. If you feel like you need a little extra push though, an actual personal trainer can give you the boost you need to really reach your fitness goals. Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo works with people just like you every day. Check out his free exercise videos to get a feel for his training style.
If you want to get your core in shape, but dread those evil crunches, don't worry. You can still tighten and tone your stomach without doing sit-ups or crunches. Below, we take a look at a few non-crunch exercises that will help flatten your tummy.
New Age Non-Crunch
Begin this exercise by sitting on the ground so that your upper torso and thighs create a V shape. Cross and lift the lower part of your legs. Hold a 5 pound dumbbell or medicine ball. Then swivel to each side and back while pulling the ball across your body. Take care to maintain the V shape during the entirety of the exercise. Perform this three times a week in sets of three. About 10-15 reps constitutes a single set.
Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Lift your feet off of the ground. Tighten your abs, inhale and lift your arms back and over your head. Exhale before swinging your arms out in front of you. Now straighten your legs so you create a V shape. You can put your hands on the floor if necessary. Perform 15 reps of the knee arm lift.
Six Pack Stretch
You can perform this exercise just about anywhere. Start out lying on the ground, face up. Bend your left knee while keeping your left foot pressed against the ground. Extend your right leg as high as you can. Then reach up with your left arm while keeping your right arm by your side. Keep your shoulders and hips still while opening your raised leg and raised the arm in opposite directions. Keep your abs tight and flexed and bring the raised limbs back to the center position. Perform this exercise 10 times before switching sides.
Kneel down on all fours and tuck your toes under. Keep your back straight as you pull your stomach in toward your spine. Now tightly contract your abs and lift your knees off the floor. Keep your abs tight and pull your right knee to your nose. Kick your right leg backward and clench your gluteus maximus along with your abs as tightly as you can.
Each of these exercises will trim fat from your core and strengthen your ab muscles. However, sometimes you can't do it all alone. Lean on the fitness advice of a professional trainer and you won't have to struggle through it by yourself. Consider training with fitness pro Ralph Roberts. Ralph Roberts has worked at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo for years. You won't find anyone better to help you build a rock solid core.
There is a dizzying array of diet and nutrition tactics and strategies available today – low-carb, no-carb, high protein, low-fat, high-fat, Paleo and more – and it can be difficult to know what is and isn't effective. Another weight loss and nutrition tool that is wildly popular right now is juicing.
What Is Juicing?
Basically, you make your own juice from the fruits and vegetables of your choice using an extractor. Some commonly juiced veggies include kale, spinach, beets, carrots and cucumbers.
There are varying degrees of juicing, with some people using it as a way to cleanse. These juicing fasts are thought to cleanse, detoxify and speed weight loss.
For some, juicing is just a way to get fruits and vegetables in their diet in a pleasant and convenient way.
Just about any fruit or veggie can be juiced. "Green juice" is popular, because it allows you to load up on a variety of healthy vegetables and drink them on the go.
What Are Juicing Drawbacks?
There are a couple of notable drawbacks to juicing. The biggest downside is that the extractors separate out the pulp, which is an important nutritional aspect of fruits and vegetables. The solution to this is to either add back some of the fiber-rich pulp or use it for something else, such as soup.
Another drawback is that the juice spoils easily. It is best to drink your juice right after you make it. If you want to save the juice overnight, be sure that it is stored in a secure container and refrigerated.
Juicing can get expensive; some people who juice complain about waste because they don't finish it or they don't end up consuming the pulp.
Should I Juice?
If you are having difficulty getting your daily dose of vegetables, juicing may be a good alternative. There are a ton of wonderful recipes out there for healthy, tasty juices for people who normally don't like vegetables. You can make your juice in the morning and take it with your on your commute as a healthy time saver.
If you already eat a good amount of vegetables in your daily diet, you don't need to juice. But if you like the idea, by all means, try it. Just remember to always get the amount of nutrition you need to fuel your body.
For more information on nutrition and fitness, contact personal trainer Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo. He can help you design a nutrition and exercise plan tailored to your needs and provide you with motivation and encouragement to achieve your health and fitness goals.
Long gone are the days when you had to invest a half hour or more per day exercising in order to get the full health benefits of working out. Studies have shown that even bursts of 5-10 minutes of vigorous activity can provide a fitness boost to increase your longevity and improve your cardiovascular wellbeing. The good news is that you don’t have to pick just one workout and give it your all: Any pumped-up movement where you’re exerting around 60-85% of your maximum heart rate will provide the same benefits, such as swimming, biking or running. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Quick Ways To Burn Those Calories
1. Sweat along to your favorite tunes. Many of the best high-energy, foot-tapping songs are around 3-5 minutes in length. Stringing a few of them together will put you around the target time for a vigorous workout. Grab your earbuds and run around the block or hop on your bike for a quick ride. Make sure to stay safe if you’ll be exercising around busy streets.
2. Pump some iron during TV time. In between commercials, most TV shows run a little over 10 minutes. This is a perfect time to get off the couch and do some jumping jacks or burpees. If you’ve got access to stairs, take a few trips up and down to focus on the lower body.
3. Try the 7-Minute Workout. There’s a good amount of science behind this workout, which builds upon the concepts of high-intensity interval training. Essentially, you’ll be doing 11 different exercises for 30 seconds in succession, with a 5-10 second rest in between. You’ll get a powerful full-body workout in a fraction of the time you’d expect.
4. Make it a game. Motivating yourself to do that sweat session is easier if you make it more interesting. Grab a deck of cards and write a workout on the back of each. Give the cards a good shuffle and then pick a few to do for 5-10 minutes, with short rest times in between exercises.
5. Run around the block. The beauty about the quick workout concept is that you do have the time in the morning before your shower. Even when you're busy, chances are you can spare a few minutes to run around the block. Heading outdoors for some fresh air and invigorating activity goes a long way to preparing you for the day ahead.
Would you like more ideas on how to fit in your recommended exercise in a day? Please contact personal trainer Ralph Roberts in Amarillo for other ways to get your heart pumping.
Most people who go to the gym regularly know that there are certain things that you just don't do. Some of these are clearly posted rules, but some are more unspoken etiquette. If you are new to the gym, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with these practices in order to avoid feeling awkward or getting a bad reputation at the gym.
What Should I Not Do At The Gym?
1. Leave Equipment Sweaty
This is a huge faux pas at any gym. It is inevitable that equipment is going to get sweaty. Carry a small towel with you to wipe down equipment after use.
2. Talk On The Phone
Having an animated conversation while you are on the treadmill, or even worse, standing around on the phone while other people are trying to exercise is just plain rude. Leave your phone in the locker, or don't use it. If you have to, step outside.
3. Hogging Equipment
This can be frustrating. There is no reason to hog any equipment. Remember that you can come back to it later.
Hogging equipment is annoying, but hovering over someone while you’re waiting for the equipment is equally annoying. Go find something else to do.
5. Not Putting Weights Back
This is on many a pet peeve list. It can be frustrating to those who are looking for a certain weight to have to go searching for it because someone didn't put it away.
These are a few of the major faux pas that can make you unpopular at your local gym. If you are new and not sure about rules or etiquette, either ask a fellow member, or ask staff. They will be happy to fill you in.
Common courtesy is always your best bet, but don't be paranoid that you don't know everything or that you will make a mistake. Relax and have fun.
When it comes to getting the most out of your workouts, a personal trainer can help save you time and get you the results you’re looking for. Too often, people go to the gym without a plan and just start exercising. Knowing what machines and exercises will get you the best results can help you reach your goals faster. A personal trainer can develop a personalized workout plan based on your goals, current level of fitness and body type.
Ralph Roberts has been coaching people just like you for years. He can help keep you motivated and get you where you want to be. You canfind Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo.
Working out can be challenging. Finding the time, finding the energy and finding the motivation are not always easy. At the end of the day, you’re tired from a full day; in the morning, you may have to choose between a workout and an extra hour of sleep and the bed is warm and comfy.
If you’re struggling with finding the motivation to work out, you may benefit from having an exercise partner. There are many reasons why this works so well. It’s part accountability, part competition and part just plain fun.
Normally, when you workout solo, you are the only one being let down if you don't show up. If you add a partner to your workout, you’re less likely to cancel your workout because you don't want to let down your partner.
Healthy competition is fun and motivational, both of which you get when you work out with a partner. Also, time spent exercising with a friend is more social, which is good for you and makes you look forward to and enjoy your routine that much more.
What Exercises Can I Do With A Partner?
Here are some easy and fun exercises for two to try with your partner. Common equipment you can use includes a medicine ball, bosu ball and resistance bands.
1. Squat Jump: Try this with a resistance band. Each of you hold one end of the band, facing each other with enough distance to create good tension. Squat and jump (simultaneously, of course).
2. Lunge To Chest Pass: This is a great dynamic exercise to do with a medicine ball. Face your partner, staying about 3 to 5 feet apart. Now, you do a forward lunge, tossing the ball toward your standing partner. Then you get back into the standing position, ready to catch the ball from your lunging partner.
3. Overhead Pass With Squat: Stand back to back, raising the ball above your head and passing it to your partner. Both of you squat down and in that position pass the ball back.
4. Sit-ups Pass: Face each other and pass the ball back and forth as you do your sit-ups.
These are just a few of the many exercises you can do with a partner.
A personal trainer is part coach, instructor and partner. Ralph Roberts can design a custom exercise plan that works for you or you and a partner. He’ll help keep you motivated and accountable. You can find Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo.
Did you get engaged over the holidays? If so, congratulations! You may already be thinking about dresses and styles for your wedding. And, you may be thinking about getting into shape for the big day and the honeymoon to follow.
How Do I Get In Shape For My Wedding?
First, identify your goals, keeping them realistic. Don't fall into the trap of trying to starve yourself or workout until you drop to lose an unrealistic amount of weight. Wedding planning is exciting, but it can also be stressful, so you need to get lots of rest and take good care of yourself.
Fad dieting can wreak havoc on your health and your looks. What good is it to lose weight if your hair is dull and thinning and your skin looks awful? Get excellent nutrition, plenty of sleep and stay hydrated so you can look your best for the big day – and keep that look going for a lifetime.
Wedding Fitness Plans That Work
A good fitness plan includes smart eating and healthy exercise. If you’re trying to tone up problem areas, make sure you’re doing it right. For example, women often do a ton of crunches in order to flatten their tummy, but the reality is that crunches don't do all that much. You need to work your deep abdominal muscles to make a real difference. Planks are great for this, and work other parts of your body as well.
Another common concern is looking good in a strapless or halter-style dress. There are some great moves that can get rid of arm flab and give you beautifully toned shoulders, back and arms.
The basics are this: move everyday. You don't have to workout for hours on end in order to lose weight and get in shape. This belief often keeps people from working out at all. Even if you have 20 minutes, you can exercise.
Eat fresh vegetables, lean meats and proteins. Drink lots of water. Avoid sodas, refined sugars and processed foods.
Should I Hire A Personal Trainer?
There are many benefits to a personal trainer. If you’re trying to reach a specific fitness goal under a deadline, an experienced trainer is your best bet for getting there. Ralph Roberts has years of experience in fitness and nutrition and can design a workout plan that fits your goals, lifestyle and body type.
You can find Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo. He has helped people just like you get lean, strong and fit, and can help keep you motivated to look your best on the big day.
Does the idea of making resolutions for the new year make you groan and roll your eyes? Have you made resolutions in the past and abandoned them before the first week of the new year was even over? Well, you are not alone.
Most resolutions for the new year tend to focus on health-related goals, such as losing weight, quitting smoking or eating healthier.
How Can I Keep My Resolutions This Year?
One way to ensure that you keep your resolutions is to be realistic and specific. Don't just tell yourself "I want to lose some weight" or "I want to get in shape." What does that mean to you? Do you want to lose ten pounds or twenty pounds? Do you want defined muscles? Where?
It is also a good idea to be realistic. Sure, it might be nice to look like a swimsuit model or one of those guys on the front of a weight-lifting magazine, but don't put that much pressure on yourself. You can feel good about exceeding your expectations, but you don't feel good when you fall short. Yes, it is good to think big, but focus your efforts on the process. Tell yourself specifically what you want to achieve and then focus on the steps that will get you there.
Write Them Down
Write your resolutions down, along with what steps you will take to achieve them. You may want to add dates to them if they are time sensitive. For example, you may write:
I will lose 10 pounds by the time I go on vacation in July.
I will do this by going to the gym three times a week and by cutting out sugar, soda and other unhealthy items from my diet.
Get A Buddy
Resolutions are no fun when you are on your own. Recruit a friend to become your accountability partner. They do not have to have the same goals as you, but they need to be able to be honest and give you a nudge when you are slacking. Having an accountability partner can make a huge difference when it comes to keeping resolutions.
A personal trainer makes a great accountability partner and also offers years of expertise in the health and fitness field. Ralph Roberts is a personal trainer in Amarillo who knows how to get results. He can design a personalized training program based on your needs and goals. Make this the year you stick to your resolutions. Find Ralph at the Downtown Athletic Club.
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