Pivotal Fitness Get Fit. Stay Fit. Perfect Fit. Pivotal Fitness. 2015-08-27T15:21:09Z http://pivotalfitness.com/feed/atom/ Lyndsi Stafford <![CDATA[Sitting is the New Smoking]]> http://pivotalfitness.com/?p=987 2015-08-27T15:21:09Z 2015-08-27T15:21:09Z   One of the largest pieces of research to date—over 800,000 subjects (the study was carried out by researchers from Loughborough University and University of Leicester in the UK, peer-reviewed in the medical journal Diabetologia), found that compared with those who sat the least, people who sat the longest had a: 112% increase risk in diabetes 147% increase in cardiovascular events 90% increase in death caused by cardiovascular events 49% increase in death from any cause. Additionally the research suggests that remaining seated for too long is bad for your […]

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One of the largest pieces of research to date—over 800,000 subjects (the study was carried out by researchers from Loughborough University and University of Leicester in the UK, peer-reviewed in the medical journal Diabetologia), found that compared with those who sat the least, people who sat the longest had a:

  • 112% increase risk in diabetes
  • 147% increase in cardiovascular events
  • 90% increase in death caused by cardiovascular events
  • 49% increase in death from any cause.

Additionally the research suggests that remaining seated for too long is bad for your health, regardless of how much exercise you do.

That is bad news for those of us who have to sit to make a living.

Today, the ability to make a living for many of us is based on what we can get done on the computer and/or on the phone, not to mention commuting time. But being desk-bound 8 or more hours a day does not have to mean increased risk of heart diseases, diabetes and premature death.

New research!

The University of Utah provides and easy and effective solution: every hour, walk for 2 minutes. The study of 3,200 people showed that doing so each hour helped to negate the effects of prolonged sitting up to 33%. Researchers commented that these spurts of light activity helped to offset the negative effects of sitting better than just standing, so get up and walk a little bit each hour.

Keep Track of Time!

Most phones are capable of giving you a little prod every hour if you program it to do so. Use the Timer on the Clock App. Set it to 1 hour. Choose a ringtone (or use the default). In an hour the phone will give you the sound that an hour is up. Walk for 2 minutes to the file cabinet, coffee station, or deliver a colleague a message rather than sending an email.

Track your Activity!

To get a good picture of how much you really move during the day, consider getting either a pedometer app for your phone (if you carry your phone all day), or investing in a wearable Activity Tracker. The market has exploded with models and makes; some track sleep, all track steps. Bottom Line: try and build up to 10,000 steps on most days.

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Lyndsi Stafford <![CDATA[Want to be healthy? Here’s the key ingredient.]]> http://pivotalfitness.com/?p=981 2015-08-12T13:50:56Z 2015-08-12T13:50:56Z Want to be healthy? Don’t look at the “low-fat” label. Or the “fat free” label. The ‘low-carb’ claims. Or the “Whole Grain” gains. All this marketing junk, is simply, well,  junk. Have you ever read the back of a nutrition label? It is filled with ingredients that should be saved for the final round of the National Spelling Bee, not your food. “Yes, waiter I would like to start off my meal with Azodicarbonamide. Can I have the recombinant bovine growth hormone on the side? Then for my entree please include Ammonium […]

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Want to be healthy?

Don’t look at the “low-fat” label.
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Or the “fat free” label.

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The ‘low-carb’ claims.

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Or the “Whole Grain” gains.

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All this marketing junk, is simply, well,  junk. Have you ever read the back of a nutrition label?
It is filled with ingredients that should be saved for the final round of the National Spelling Bee, not your food.

“Yes, waiter I would like to start off my meal with Azodicarbonamide. Can I have the recombinant bovine growth hormone on the side? Then for my entree please include Ammonium Sulfate, finished off with Tartrazine.

You laugh at how ridiculous this sounds, but the amount of “unknown” ingredients we consume is no funny matter.

Reading the nutrition label is a new concept for many. Most people are use to browsing the grocery aisles, picking out ingredients that were marketed “low fat” or “fat free,” which only equates to a chemical disaster.

The goal is to pick foods that have 5 or less ingredients that you KNOW what they are.  At the end of the day, it’s about eating natural.

This isn’t a “fad diet” or a “celebrity secret,” it’s a better way of living. In fact, forget every diet tip you have ever received and just remember thisIf you can’t digest the pronunciation of the word, your body won’t either.

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Lyndsi Stafford <![CDATA[Performance Shop: By Athletes For Athletes]]> http://pivotalfitness.com/?p=965 2015-07-31T20:11:49Z 2015-07-30T15:55:40Z Performance Shop was created to maximum your fitness goals. In this exclusive area of our gym, we provide personal training, semi-private training, small group training and athletic training. By having a certified trainer at your side, you are provided immediate feedback and a personalized program. Want to experience Pivotal Fitness? Click Here to Get Your 5 Day Pass to Pivotal Fitness Today. No rules, no exceptions, just sweat.

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Performance Shop was created to maximum your fitness goals. In this exclusive area of our gym, we provide personal training, semi-private training, small group training and athletic training. By having a certified trainer at your side, you are provided immediate feedback and a personalized program.

Want to experience Pivotal Fitness? Click Here to Get Your 5 Day Pass to Pivotal Fitness Today. No rules, no exceptions, just sweat.

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Lyndsi Stafford <![CDATA[Lift Weights, Lose Weight]]> http://pivotalfitness.com/?p=961 2015-07-20T16:35:37Z 2015-07-20T16:35:37Z The newest statistics indicate that 75% of men, 67% of women, and one-third of the teens in the U.S. are either overweight or obese, it’s time to revisit one of the easiest entries to exercise with the best return on investment: strength training. Strength training has many forms. From weight room workouts, to studio strength workouts, to ballet barre and yoga classes, if your muscles are burning within a minute (or less) they will get stronger. Your ability to burn energy, i.e. calories, depends largely on the amount of muscle […]

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The newest statistics indicate that 75% of men, 67% of women, and one-third of the teens in the U.S. are either overweight or obese, it’s time to revisit one of the easiest entries to exercise with the best return on investment: strength training.

Strength training has many forms. From weight room workouts, to studio strength workouts, to ballet barre and yoga classes, if your muscles are burning within a minute (or less) they will get stronger.

Your ability to burn energy, i.e. calories, depends largely on the amount of muscle you have in relationship to your weight. If you have a higher percentage of muscle per pound of bodyweight your body will be a better furnace. Muscle consumes significantly more calories per day per pound than fat (6.5 calories per pound per hour compared to 1.2 for fat), which in turn facilitates fat loss.

Throughout life, we lose muscle mass largely from lack of physical challenges that force us to be strong. Since carrying our water from the well, growing our food, and chopping wood for the fireplace are not on the to-do list, if you want to have a strong, lean body, fight back by lifting weights. It is hands down the quickest way to reshape the body, restore lost muscle mass, and stoke your metabolic furnace.

BUST THE MYTHS

No, ladies, you are not going to bulk up. You just aren’t. Your hormonal balance lacks the amount of testosterone necessary to look like those beefy people you have seen in the gym. They are following a specific nutritional regime, using supplements, and are spending an inordinate amount of time lifting. That is not us. We need this.

We all need it. Research overwhelmingly proves that strength training benefits all age groups.

Another myth: you lose strength as you age. Wrong. Loss of strength is not a function of aging, it is a function of disuse. Especially for women: use it or lose it.

Men, on the other hand, peak in strength in their late 20s. As men age, there is a small decrease in testosterone levels, thus their potential for strength will decrease. Key word here is ‘potential.’ Since most men never trained to their actual potential, most men can be stronger through consistent strength training as they age too. Additionally, because of their hormonal advantage, men generally have an easier time re-capturing lost muscle mass.

GO FOR OVERLOAD

For strength training to be effective, the intensity of the exercise needs to be difficult enough that your muscles fatigue (or be at “failure,” the point when you lose form) in about 30 seconds to one minute. This caveat of strength training is also what makes it so time efficient.

Cardio benefits heart health, but it does not make you strong. And no, it doesn’t count as strength training if you are sore the next day from a cardio workout. When muscles are not used to something, they will get sore. But since cardio is sustainable (the intensity is low enough that it can be done for extended periods of time), it will not reap the benefits of reshaping the body like lifting weights will.

GOT TIME?

Research has proven repeatedly that with minimal time strength training, the body will show results. With just 3 half-hour strength training workouts per week, in 8 weeks participants showed a body composition change on average of an increase of 3 pounds of muscle mass and a loss of 5 pounds of fat. The investment of time for results is highest with strength training.

BREATHLESS?

Good! Cardio does not have exclusive rights to elevating the heart rate. Strength training, when the exercise is challenging, will elevate your heart rate toward and even to breathlessness. You will get out of it what you put into it; greater challenge and effort equals better results.

WHAT ABOUT WEIGHTS?

Lifting weights will make you strong. But your body has plenty of weight to supply ample resistance when used against gravity. The problem with body weight is this: most of us are not strong enough to use our bodies against gravity, which makes weights a necessity. Take pull ups for example; for most of us, not going to happen. Planks are pretty awesome and most people can do a plank for a few seconds to a minute or more. But many of us cannot take that plank, lower our body weight to the floor and push it back up (the classic push up). We can modify a push up by dropping to our knees, effectively lowering the amount of load/weight that we push up. And we can make it even easier with light dumbbells: lie on your back, hold a couple of dumbbells at your chest, and push them up, i.e the chest press. The advantage of the push up (even the modified knee version) over the chest press is the superior activation of deep core muscles to stabilize your body during the push up, giving those important core muscles a work out too. So no, strength training does not mean having to lift dumbbells….YOU can be the weight. But you might need to work up to it.

HOW OFTEN?

Since strength training overloads the muscles to the point of fatigue in a short amount of time, it only needs to be performed every few days; every other day works great! If you add some cardio into your workout week, fat loss results will be further enhanced by the extra calories burned via the extra activity. One of the best investments you can make in the technology world is a pedometer. Pedometers range from simple mechanical models, which cost just a few dollars, to clip-ons, wristbands and watches. Phone apps will count your steps if you carry your phone all day. A good rule of thumb to work up to: aim for 10,000 steps per day.

NEED HELP?

To get results, strength training, lifting weights, and body weight training need to be performed with good technique and form. Injury can be avoided through proper biomechanics. A good trainer will not only keep you safe during the workout by coaching you on form, they will also be able to uncover details in your execution that will help you avoid repetitive stress injuries that could happen down the road. Good form and posture are the foundation to build on. If you need help, our staff of professionals is here to help.

GET STARTED TODAY!

Your future-self is not going to be any more motivated than your today-self. What you are not willing to do today, you are probably not going to be willing to do tomorrow. Start your program now. Many of our classes and group workouts at Pivotal Fitness have a strength component. See our schedule on-line or on our App. Or drop and do those push-ups right now!

You deserve a lean, strong body. It is within reach with a consistent, sensible, well-organized program of lifting weights and strength training. Reap the benefits and get started today!

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Lyndsi Stafford <![CDATA[12 Reasons Why You Should Strength Train]]> http://pivotalfitness.com/?p=956 2015-07-13T22:29:56Z 2015-07-13T22:29:56Z We were made to move. Our bodies were designed to tolerate a lifetime of physical work and to adapt to all kinds of stressors. The conveniences and benefits of technology make us more productive, make us faster at what we do, and for the most part, make us sit. Look at all the physically difficult tasks that are now incredibly easy. We turn the faucet and out comes water. How many calories would you burn and how much strength would you need if you had to carry that water ½ […]

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We were made to move. Our bodies were designed to tolerate a lifetime of physical work and to adapt to all kinds of stressors. The conveniences and benefits of technology make us more productive, make us faster at what we do, and for the most part, make us sit.

Look at all the physically difficult tasks that are now incredibly easy. We turn the faucet and out comes water. How many calories would you burn and how much strength would you need if you had to carry that water ½ mile? We reset the thermometer of our heater if we are cold. How many calories would you have to burn to chop the wood needed for a full winter? We drive everywhere. We don’t walk to see the neighbors; we text or email. Do we even get up to turn on the TV? No way, couch commando! I can do that from here.

Our wonderful technology has a consequence; no real need for muscles. Therefore, per the principle of adaptability (i.e. use it or lose it) we become weak and deconditioned.

The solution? Fight back through strength training.

Strength training is your FastPass to recapturing muscle mass. It is hands down the fastest road to re-shaping the body. Minute for minute, strength training gives you the absolute fastest results of any mode of exercise. There is a wealth of research that supports the claims that strength training is safe and effective and that the benefits go far beyond body composition. With only one half hour, 3 times a week, you will see changes and have great results, removing the obstacle: “I don’t have enough time!”

If you need more reasons than having toned, defined muscles, here are 12 good ones that go far beyond cosmetic beauty.

1. Strength Training retains muscle mass.

If you think you can skip your workouts for a while and just stay the same, think again. You will lose muscle mass even if you focus on cardio exercise. It’s not fair, but without the stimulus to stay strong, you won’t. Sorry about the bad news, cardio junkies.

2. Strength Training increases muscle mass.

Adults who don’t strength training, have lost muscle mass. For that matter, by age 16, most teen girls have started losing muscle mass. First on the docket is to regain the muscle mass that has been lost through inactivity. Research has confirmed that even one half hour of strength training 3 times a week can increase muscle mass by 3 pounds over an eight-week period. Participants lost an average of 5 pounds of fat, gained 3 pounds of muscle, with a net loss of only 2 pounds of “weight” but made significant body composition changes.

3. Strength Training Increases Metabolic Rate

After regaining or increasing muscle mass, you can expect a rise in your metabolic rate. Metabolism is the chemical processes that occur within a living organism to maintain life. It is the sum total of all the chemical reactions in the body. Popularly, metabolism is used to refer specifically to the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. At rest, fat tissue burns about 1.2 calories per pound per hour. At rest, muscle burns about 6.5 calories per pound per hour. Changing your body composition changes your resting metabolic rate. Adding just 3 pounds of muscle increases metabolic rate by about 7%. Good news! Keeping your body strong helps to avoid fat accumulation.

4. Strength Training Reduces Body Fat

The wealth of research to confirm this fact is overwhelming. Even with a moderate program of 8 weeks, 3 times per week, ½ hour sessions, average results were 4 pounds of fat lost, 3 pounds of muscle gained and 370 additional calories per day were needed to maintain body weight.

5. Strength Training Increases Bone Density

The effects of strength training are similar for muscle and bone tissue. Research confirms that strength training increases bone mass. An interesting study on post-menopausal women who are at high risk for losing bone mass done by Dr. Miriam Nelson of Tufts University showed that over the course of a year, the women who strength trained consistently for ½ hour just 2 times a week gained 1% bone mass. That may not seem like much, but the control group (those who did not do the strength training workouts) LOST 2%, giving the strength group a 3% advantage.

6. Improved Glucose Metabolism

Research performed by Hurley and others confirms that after 4 months of strength training glucose uptake increased by an average of 23%. Poor glucose metabolism is associated with increased risk in adult onset diabetes, making increased glucose metabolism an important benefit of strength training.

7. Increased Gastrointestinal Time

Strength training also improves transit time for food to be digested and excreted. This important benefit is related to risk factors for colon cancer.

8. Reduced Resting Blood Pressure

It will lower resting blood pressure. Additionally, the combination of aerobic training and strength training has been shown to have even greater benefits.

9. Reduced Resting Heart Rate

Strength training has been found to have similar benefits as aerobic exercise in regards to a lower resting heart rate.

10. Reduced Low Back Pain

When done with good form and proper posture, strength training impacts the core muscles around the spine. Slumping places damaging compressive forces on the spine, and proper posture when strength training, reduces slumping, and when done consistently, improves posture.

11. Reduction of Arthritic Pain

Strength training can reduce the pain from both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This is good news since most adults afflicted with this pain need strength training for other external and internal benefits.

12. Improve Blood Lipid Levels

It has also been proven to improve blood lipid levels as well as the ratio between blood lipid levels. HDL cholesterol (High Density Lipoproteins, the good cholesterol) levels will increase with consistent strength training, improving the ratio between total cholesterol and HDLs. In most subjects total cholesterol levels decreased, LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins, the bad cholesterol) levels decreased, and triglyceride levels decreased. Decreasing the intake of sugar will further emphasize this benefit.

What are my Strength Training Options at Pivotal Fitness?

Strength is an important component in many of our programs at Pivotal Fitness. If you have never done any strength training before, like any lessons (tennis, swimming, martial arts) the best place to start is with a professional who specializes in strength training: a Personal Trainer.

Personal Trainers are experts at form and technique and at individualizing exercise to meet a variety of goals. It is by far the best option for your best start in strength training. Beyond the challenge of the exercise, if the exercise is ever uncomfortable or painful, your trainer will customize details in your form to teach you the intricacies of each move.

Small Group Training such as REDZONE, FORGE, and Team Training give you the added benefit of small group energy and the expertise of a trainer. Small Group Training has a lower price point than personal training but if you need more individualized help with form, start with single sessions with a trainer. For those who need occasional form corrections, but have some exercise/strength training experience, Small Group Training is for you!

Strength is a component in many of our Group Fitness Classes. Because classes are generally fast paced and often large, there are less opportunities for individual attention in a group fitness class. Group Fitness Instructors are masters at keeping a group organized, verbally cueing each exercise in a variety of ways, and doing it all to music, and even the beat of the music! If you are new to exercise it might take a couple of classes to acclimatize to the workout, but you will be glad you did! Group Fitness Classes are fun! Let the instructor know before class if you have any special needs because of previous injuries on any other concerns. The instructor will do their best to help you during class. If you need instruction beyond the class setting, it is best to work with a personal trainer to nail down form at your own pace.

For specific recommendations, our front desk staff will be happy to guide you in the right direction. Our website www.pivotalfitness.com has lots of information about each workout or class and the daily schedule.

 

Keep Calm and Get Your Strength On!

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Lyndsi Stafford <![CDATA[Want Better Dieting Success? Here is the one thing you need to do.]]> http://pivotalfitness.com/?p=953 2015-07-08T00:40:31Z 2015-07-08T00:40:31Z Weigh yourself daily! Not only is it one of the Habits of Successful Losers, it has also been shown on it’s own, to be a highly successful habit that motivates losers to stay consistent. Additionally, those who weighed themselves daily had higher body satisfaction ratings than control groups. In other words, they felt good about themselves! So keep calm and weigh on!  

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Weigh yourself daily!

Not only is it one of the Habits of Successful Losers, it has also been shown on it’s own, to be a highly successful habit that motivates losers to stay consistent.

Additionally, those who weighed themselves daily had higher body satisfaction ratings than control groups. In other words, they felt good about themselves!

So keep calm and weigh on!

 

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Lyndsi Stafford <![CDATA[Why you mess up your diet at the end of the day, and how to avoid it.]]> http://pivotalfitness.com/?p=948 2015-07-01T20:51:29Z 2015-07-01T20:51:29Z We make a lot of decisions, from the moment we wake up, to the time we go to bed. As the day progresses, our healthy decision-making depletes. Your coworker prances into the morning meeting holding two dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. You stare with desire, but resist the urge.  Fast forward 12 hours and you’re in the pantry shoving Hershey Kisses in your mouth without blinking. Where did that strong willpower go?! Psychologists have found an answer to why it occurs. Referred to as ego-depletion, it is believed that we all have a pool of […]

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We make a lot of decisions, from the moment we wake up, to the time we go to bed. As the day progresses, our healthy decision-making depletes.

Your coworker prances into the morning meeting holding two dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. You stare with desire, but resist the urge.  Fast forward 12 hours and you’re in the pantry shoving Hershey Kisses in your mouth without blinking. Where did that strong willpower go?!

Psychologists have found an answer to why it occurs. Referred to as ego-depletion, it is believed that we all have a pool of willpower. Throughout the day that pool is slowly drained, leaving us empty and lacking self control. In a nut shell: the more self control/decisions a person undertakes throughout the day, the more likely their willpower will deplete. Flashback to the image of you ransacking the pantry after a long stressful day. 

We have devised 3 ways to overcome ego-depletion and maintain self-control.

1. Make easy decisions simple. President Barack Obama wears the same suit everyday because he doesn’t want to waste the brain power on choosing an new outfit every morning. He’s got more important things to worry about. Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein also executed this practice. 

2. Plan Ahead. This ties in nicely with the previous point. If you plan everything ahead, it is more difficult to deviate. On Sunday, plan out your meals for the week. So even after a long day at work, followed by an even longer commute home, you have a plan in place. (May we also suggest Crockpot recipes. Since the food is already cooked, you have to eat it.)

3. Complete Deprivation is a No-No: If we gave up sweets completely, we would be a sweet tooth King Kong destroying everything in our path. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet. Allow yourself a portioned-control sweet snack. Then drink a cup a water or tea and close down the kitchen.

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Lyndsi Stafford <![CDATA[Cross Training at Pivotal Fitness]]> http://pivotalfitness.com/?p=938 2015-07-01T20:17:51Z 2015-06-30T13:35:50Z The post Cross Training at Pivotal Fitness appeared first on Pivotal Fitness.

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Lyndsi Stafford <![CDATA[How to Avoid Snacking While Cooking]]> http://pivotalfitness.com/?p=934 2015-06-26T21:50:22Z 2015-06-26T21:50:22Z It’s a dangerous situation when you cook dinner: you’re hungry, in the kitchen,  staring at the ready-to-eat ingredients. As you whip up your dish, your right hand subconsciously slips food in your mouth. A slice of cucumber, a spoonful of rice,  a sliver of cheese, a crunchy crouton… that by the time your dinner is served you are no longer hungry. We are on a mission to eliminate the dangerous situation at hand, providing tips on how to reduce the amount of snacking during our cooking sessions. Nothing ruins a meal more than the hodgepodge of unconventional apps. […]

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How to avoid snacking while cooking

It’s a dangerous situation when you cook dinner: you’re hungry, in the kitchen,  staring at the ready-to-eat ingredients. As you whip up your dish, your right hand subconsciously slips food in your mouth. A slice of cucumber, a spoonful of rice,  a sliver of cheese, a crunchy crouton… that by the time your dinner is served you are no longer hungry.

We are on a mission to eliminate the dangerous situation at hand, providing tips on how to reduce the amount of snacking during our cooking sessions. Nothing ruins a meal more than the hodgepodge of unconventional apps.

Five Tricks to Avoid Eating while you Cook:

  1. Chew Gum.
  2. Brush your teeth before you cook.
  3. Drink Water or Club Soda
  4. Drink hot tea.
  5. Have a side of veggies or fruits to snack on like carrots, edamame, cucumber, grape tomatoes or frozen grapes.
  6. Pretend you are on Top Chef
  7. Write down every time you taste, this will hold you accountable!

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Lyndsi Stafford <![CDATA[Get the Inside Scoop: The Work Out that Burns Up to 1000 Calories]]> http://pivotalfitness.com/?p=920 2015-06-19T12:14:00Z 2015-06-19T12:08:02Z  REDZONE: What is it? Red Zone is a heart-rated based, interval training workout that incorporates a mix of cardio and strength drills. Modalities can include most cardio machines (including treadmills, rowers, etc.) and a variety of strength equipment. All fitness levels are welcome in the REDZONE. If you are new to fitness, strength, or interval workouts, our REDZONE coaches will guide you through the workouts, and teach you how to modify the workout to make it perfect for you. Since the workout is heart-rate based, you can perfectly customize every […]

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 REDZONE: What is it?

Red Zone is a heart-rated based, interval training workout that incorporates a mix of cardio and strength drills. Modalities can include most cardio machines (including treadmills, rowers, etc.) and a variety of strength equipment. All fitness levels are welcome in the REDZONE. If you are new to fitness, strength, or interval workouts, our REDZONE coaches will guide you through the workouts, and teach you how to modify the workout to make it perfect for you. Since the workout is heart-rate based, you can perfectly customize every aspect of the workout to how you are feeling each time you enter the REDZONE.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Continuous Cardio

Research on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been hitting the fitness community fast and furiously over the past decade, and it’s clear, HIIT wins the metabolic wars. Continuous cardio, as addictive as it can be, and with all the internal benefits it has, loses the battle of ‘Best Results’.

This is not to say that continuous cardio has lost favor in the workout world. The benefits are well documented. In some cases the best entry back into a fitness routine is continuous cardio. For best results, after an acclimatization period of 3-4 weeks, HIIT workouts need to be incorporated. Plateaus are a distinct possibility as the body adapts to endurance training; HIIT workouts incorporated at this point of the conditioning phase keeps results from stalling out.

HIIT: What is it?

Simply put, High Intensity Interval Training workouts incorporate intervals of intensity (where you push yourself to go faster or harder: your heart rate will increase), followed by recovery (where you do active rest and let your heart rate and ventilatory rate decrease).

Aerobic and Lactate Thresholds

As you increase intensity to the upper limit of the comfortable cardio zone (the aerobic threshold), you first bump into Lactate Threshold Zone 1 (L1). Intensity gets serious, and the sustainability of this intensity is questionable (especially to your mind…your body can do more than you think it can). Increase intensity a little more and you approach Lactate Threshold Zone 2 (L2). L2 is not sustainable for longer than about a minute for highly trained athletes. As lactic acid accumulates and intensity increases, ventilatory rate also increases; recovery becomes necessary. You will want recovery at L1, but you will need recovery at L2. Max effort is the final push. Burn your last match. All three intensity zones, L1, L2, and Max Effort are HIIT workouts, and increase EPOC.

WHAT IS EPOC?

Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) is the phenomenon that occurs when the body has been pushed beyond comfortable limits into and beyond the Lactate Threshold Zones. EPOC simply means that you are burning more oxygen post exercise than you would normally burn, thus more total calories because your body needs time to return its systems back to homeostasis. The period of time varies based on intensity; harder workouts mean longer EPOC.

Shut up Brain!

Your right/primal/reptilian brain wants you safe, sated, and happy. As long as you are safe and sated, the right brain will be fairly quiet. Then one day, your left/logical brain has a wake-up call; it decides that you better exercise and lose some weight. It seems like a good idea; the happy left brain devises a plan: 250 calories less per day in the diet, 250 calories more per day of exercise; reasonable and do-able. Perfect. Enter first meal since awesome decision is made. The battle begins. The primal/right brain protests that food is NOT scarce, I am not sated, I am NOT A HAPPY CAMPER. The brain gathers its arsenals to fight back. It uses excuses, recruits hormones, and erodes willpower by employing memories and rationalizations. Add to this battle, exercise. Exercise beyond what has been the norm sends another set of primal signals to the brain that not only are we not sated, we are not safe either. Sprinting and maximal efforts in the primal world were means of escape or for survival. We did them because we HAD to, not because we WANTED to. However, now we know that best results include the incorporation of maximal efforts. Our logical brain decides to change it up, do some sprints; go for broke. This will be great! The right brain is completely alarmed at this new turn of events.

So the right brain will fight you on this one too. Not sated. Not safe. Not happy. It does not fight fair and it fights to win.

Enter: The Conversation:

Left Brain (LB): Not looking so good. Better lose some weight and exercise.

Right Brain (RB): Why? I am happy.

LB: Here’s the plan. Eat less and go to the gym.

RB: Fine. (But it’s really just rallying its weapons).

LB: Here you go: the perfect 500-calorie meal. You get 3 of these a day.

RB: I AM STILL HUNGRY. How about seconds just on the fish? Or a cookie. Can I have just one cookie? It’s only 55 calories. OK?

LB: This workout is great. Let’s throw in a sprint here.

RB: Noooooooo! Tomorrow I am going to make sure we sleep in.

The right brain will relentlessly battle the good intentions of the left/logical brain eroding the plan, undoing good intentions. It’s not being “bad.” Its primary responsibility is survival: keep the body alive and happy. Food is not scarce, why act like it is? Why do I have to eat less? I’m hungry. There is food everywhere! Why do I have to go uphill on this treadmill fast? I think I better go do some work (translation: I think I will go sit).

The brain’s logical left brain goes back to the initial message: you need to lose weight and exercise. Round and round and round they go. This argument puts your consistency is at risk in the initial stages of forming a habit. The right brain usually wins. Evidence: the percentage of overweight and obese adults and teens has grown exponentially over the last decades. The winner usually is….the RIGHT BRAIN. Understanding this conversation/clash improves the odds of the left/logical brain winning.

Enter: REDZONE

Primal man formed tribes for individual survival and to protect their circle of family and friends. REDZONE is your tribe. Your REDZONE coach and workout buddies, i.e. your tribe, make you accountable. Not only that, but as intensity increases to your fierce place…that place where your brain might protest…you will find that you can do it. Amazingly, there is more energy for execution than you thought you had. The REDZONE tribe inspires you to go to there: to L1, to L2, to Max Effort.

Enter: Habits

With some consistency amidst the whispers, rationalizations, and right brain protests, is a series of successes, especially if you have achieved these with your REDZONE tribe. The right brain, with enough consistency, quiets down when it realizes that this is not only safe, but it also feels good. Remember, when you are happy, the right brain is pretty quiet. Habits, once developed over the course of a couple months, become sustainable.

Enter: SUCCESS!

Habits are automatic. The more we do something, the more it defines us. As you listen to the argument of the brains, it is easier to sift through which one to listen to; we can react to the right brain, or quiet it down by creating the habit of listening to the logic of the left. Your REDZONE coach and tribe will help you safely increase intensity and find that place where the habit is ingrained; the body knows the workout will feel good; your body looks forward to it. Habits don’t always breed success: GOOD HABITS do. Enlist help from your friends, family and your REDZONE coach to create the habits that will give you results and improve your health.

Don’t forget Variety!

Endurance is increased by HIIT workouts. Speed for your endurance endeavors is best accomplished through HIITS. You don’t need to forgo your continuous cardio, but if you are not incorporating REDZONE HIITS, you are missing the fastest road to results.

REDZONE results are measurable and sustainable. They go beyond the body to the mind. Exercise is the only magic pill we know, and REDZONE is the place to take it. Come burn your last match with us; the first workout is free! You will be glad you did!

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Pivotal Fitness is excited to announce the launch of our new RedZone program. Contact one of our clubs to learn more and participate in our new classes: www.pivotalfitness.com 

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