- You will lose weight. I know that’s on many people’s mind during this week. It is better and more healthy than a crash diet. We have had people in our company lose as much as 40–50 pounds just training for the half marathon.
- You will get in the best shape of your life. Even if you are not exercising right now, you still have plenty of time to get in shape before the race. You begin by walking. Some people chose to walk the race itself. Regardless, you will be surprised at how far you can come in just four months.
- You will feel more energetic and productive at work. This is a benefit I didn’t expect when I first started. I thought regular exercise—especially training for a half marathon—would sap my energy. It had exactly the opposite effect. I am never more focused and energetic than when I am in the middle of training.
- You will have a positive way of dealing with the stress in your life. The stress of modern life takes its toll. The economic realities of the past two years haven’t helped. Training for a half marathon will give you a positive outlet for your stress. You will even sleep better. Guaranteed.
- You will have an incredible sense of accomplishment when you finish. There’s nothing like crossing the finish line after running 13.1 miles, especially if you have never done it. The feeling is exhilarating. You will feel rightly proud of yourself.
- You will gain the confidence to take on other challenges. This is one of the main reasons I love to run. It gives me the opportunity to tackle my biggest challenge—me. If I can overcome the mental obstacles I encounter on the way to the race, I can put those skills to use in other endeavors.
- You will provide an example for others. True leadership begins with self-leadership. When you lead yourself, you inspire others to want to follow. Maybe it’s a spouse, or a friend, or one of your children. They need to exercise, but they don’t have an example to follow. You can be that example.
- You can help raise money for a worthy cause. This takes running to a whole new level. It’s no longer just about me, but about something significant that makes a difference.
What are some of your reasons???
Want to look like a Victoria Secret model? Try the same workout Miranda Kerr uses and I can almost guarantee you will (just kidding). Really though, this is a high-intensity, circuit workout that helps keep her in top shape. Miranda usually spends about 90 minutes in the gym, 4 days a week. If you don’t have time for that, try spreading it out over 6 days. Miranda always begins with a 15 minute sprint/jog session to get her heart rate up. Try jogging for 2 minutes, then sprinting as hard as you can for 30 seconds. Repeat until 15 minutes are up. As she moves over to the jump rope, her trainer makes sure the intensity stays high. She’ll do 5 minutes of regular jump rope, followed by 5 minutes of advanced jump roping. Advanced jump roping includes double skips, one-legged jumps, and knee tucks.
Miranda always makes sure to add a resistence component to her routine. Her trainer says that by adding weights to the routine, Miranda is able to build muscle and keep her metabolism high. She will do snatches, in ladder form. What this means is she’ll lay out 4 dumbbells in increasing weight. She’ll start with the first and do 1 rep, then move on to the next heaviest and repeat. Once she’s done all four, she starts back at the lowest weight and does 2. She repeats this process until she has worked her way up to 10 reps for each weight. The focus of this is not just on resistance training, but on the cardio aspect as well. She moves fast and takes little breaks during the ladder snatch drill.
From here she will spend 20 minutes working exclusively on the lower body. Miranda is able to completely target her lower body with just one barbell and a few weights. She combines barbell squats, barbell lunges, barbell reverse lunges, and box jumps to make up her lower body routine. She does 3 sets of 12 for each and takes just 30 seconds of rest between each set.
Miranda repeats her jump rope drills for another 10 minutes at this point. All the while she is keeping up the pace and seldom taking breaks. The goal of a circuit training routine is to keep the heart rate high. This burns a massive amount of calories and vastly improves cardiovascular capabilities.
From here it’s back onto the treadmill. Although this time, the incline is bumped up to at least 15 degrees. Miranda will spend 3 minutes sprinting using the HIIT method, 6 minutes walking, and 6 minutes walking backwards. This is the final piece of her exercise plan and is sure to completely wear even the most fit individual out.
- 15 minutes: Jog/sprint – sprint 30 seconds, jog 2 minutes, repeat.
- 10 minutes: Jump rope – 5 minutes regular jumping, 5 minutes advanced jumping technique
- 20 minutes: Ladder snatches – see above for description
- 20 minutes: Lower body work – BB squats, BB lunges, BB reverse lunges, box jumps
- 10 minutes: Jump rope – 5 minutes regular jumping, 5 minutes advanced jumping technique
- 15 minutes: Inclined treadmill (at LEAST 15 degrees) - 3 minutes sprinting, 6 minutes walking, 6 minutes walking backwards
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People are always talking about how they want to FINALLY get healthy. They talk and talk about getting healthy, making commitments, and bearing down. They swear off certain foods for good and make promises that will rarely be kept. For many people, they put a healthy and fit lifestyle up on a pedestal. By this point, it has become a mythical and intimidating goal to reach.
Part of this is their own fault. However, the health and fitness industry also shares some of the blame. Their job is to convince us that attaining a healthy lifestyle is hard to achieve, and almost impossible to achieve without their help. They compound the problem by showing us how complex and confusing an effective fitness plan can be. They convince us that if we do not follow their specifically detailed and complex plan, we will simply be wasting our time. No one wants to kill themselves in the gym if they are just “wasting time”, so we buy into their claims.
This is partly the reason they are able to charge extortionate rates from clients. Should a personal trainer really be getting paid the same as a doctor or lawyer? I don’t think so. It is our willingness to pay for these people that allows the cycle to continue. Now, I’m not suggesting a personal trainer isn’t beneficial. A skilled personal trainer, or other health and fitness professional can make ALL the difference in the world. However, you should be paying them for their expertise in health and fitness, not to stand over you and count.
Health and fitness is NOT difficult. It is actually very simple. Follow the below formula for a great foundation towards a healthy life:
3 days of cardiovascular activity, minimum of 30 minutes + 3 days of weightlifting + eating right 80% of the time = a healthy life.
It’s really that simple. Of course, there can be much more detail and attention paid to an individual plan, but for starters, this is a great option. If people did the above, the overwhelming majority of this country would be far better off than they are now.
By introducing a personal trainer into the mix, you are able to maximize your time spent in the gym. He/she will be able to provide you goal specific exercises, continually confuse your body by varying workouts, and be able to answer any questions you may have. Just remember, you don’t need to pay someone $50+ an hour to stand over you and count.
Health and fitness is not some crazy, complex thing that only a select few can attain. It comes down to overcoming laziness, plain and simple. If you can simply make yourself WANT to change, change will come easy. The facts are out there; lack of exercise leads to a premature death. It’s pretty black and white. Either you want to be overweight, unhealthy, and face an early death, or you want to be fit, muscular and live a long and productive life. The choice is yours.
The inverted row is a move most people don’t think to do. It is however, one of the best kept secrets for developing your upper-back, lats, and traps. This body weight exercise is especially good for people whose joints cannot take the stress of deadlifts or bent over rows.
A few things to keep in mind when performing this exercise:
- Palms away from you.
- Elbows tucked in.
- Keep your chin tucked and chest forward
- Keep a flat back throughout the range of motion.
To vary this exercise for more advanced workouts, try these suggestions:
- Feet elevated – prop your feet up on a box or bench.
- Use rings or straps – instead of using a bar, hang straps or rings and use them to grab onto.
- Add weight – Wear a weighted backpack or place a plate on your chest when you perform the move.
Running records are dropping like flies. Today’s elite distance runners are performing some remarkable feats and running some incredible times. It wasn’t long ago that most experts thought that running a sub four minute mile was impossible. Today the mile record is far below that mythical 4 minute barrier. Why do running records continue to fall? Why are today’s runners able to faster than ever before? The higher performance levels are partially due to improvements in nutrition and health care. But the lion’s share of the credit has to go to superior training techniques. Scientific research gives us new ways to train and have shown that some of the training techniques and beliefs of the past may not be the most efficient way to train. Even though studies have proven the newer techniques are superior, some of the old school beliefs and methods continue to hang on. They are the running myths of the past. Here are our top ten running myths.
Lactic Acid is a Waste Product
This one just keeps hanging on. Even many running experts continue to believe that lactic acid is a fatigue inducing waste product. Nearly every running event I watch on TV has a running commentator telling us how lactic acid build up is causing the runners to go into “oxygen debt” and slow down. Nothing could be further from the truth. Lactic acid is not a waste product. It’s a valuable compound, produced at all times, that is used to produce energy to fuel your running. It doesn’t cause fatigue – recent research has even suggested that lactic acid acts to prevent fatigue caused by a reduction in cellular potassium.
Runners Don’t Need Strength Training
When I was a young high school runner, my coach wouldn’t let me strength train. I wanted to because I felt I was a more powerful runner with strength training, but the coach was adamant about it. He said it would slow me down – so no strength training. Still today some coaches and runners are holding on to the belief that strength training provides no benefits to runners. Researchers, runners and coaches have proven this one wrong. Strength training improves your injury resistance, your running strength, your muscle elasticity and your running economy. It makes you a better, faster, more efficient runner. Don’t worry about getting muscle bound -endurance training won’t allow it.
Tempo Runs are the Best Way to Improve Your Lactate Turn Point
For years, runners and coaches have believed that tempo runs – steady state runs of 20 minutes or more, at a pace that is about 15 to 20 seconds slower than your 10K race pace – were the best way to improve your lactate turn point. There is no question that tempo runs are valuable workouts. They improve your ability to hold a quality pace for long distances, a necessary skill for a distance runner. But, to maximize the improvement of your lactate turn point you need to run at a pace that floods your body with high amounts of lactate. To do that you need to run at faster paces – paces at or faster than your 10K race pace. Performing workouts at your LT pace will make your body more efficient at dealing with both the physiological and mental aspects of running at LT pace.
Runners Should Drink as Much Fluid as Possible
Hydration recommendations have been on a roller coaster ride. Many years ago we were told not to drink. Coaches thought that drinking during competition would cause cramps and decrease your performance. Thank goodness that crazy idea was abandoned before we lost more runners to heat stroke. Unfortunately the pendulum then swung too far the other direction. We were told to drink early and often. It was suggested that we should try to stay ahead of dehydration by drinking copious amounts of water and fluids. This brought up a new problem – hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is an imbalance of the fluid-electrolyte levels in your blood. Basically, your blood sodium levels plummet because of excessive fluid intake. New guidelines suggest drinking only when thirsty. Try to drink only enough to replace lost fluids and consume sports drinks containing sodium rather than plain water.
You Must Carbo Load Before a Marathon
What’s a marathon without the traditional pre race carbo loading dinner? Those heaping plates of pasta the evening before your marathon have become an accepted part of marathon racing. But, do you need those huge helpings of pasta? Not really. Your pre race taper combined with your normal high carbohydrate helpings of food will get you ready for your race. You neither need nor want excessive portion sizes before your race. The large amounts of food can actually make you sluggish and tired on race morning.
Running Mechanics Aren’t Important
Many runners believe that running form and mechanics are something you are born with and can’t change. They think that working on running mechanics is a waste of time. The truth is that proper running form can be learned and is also one of the greatest predictors of running performance. Proper running mechanics will make you a more efficient runner – it will allow you to run faster using less energy. Can you think of anything more important?
Higher Mileage is Always Better
There’s no question in my mind that this one is a myth, but it’s really only a half myth. Higher mileage isn’t always better, but it may be under certain circumstances. There are a lot of runners out there that think the more miles they put in the better they will do. That is only half true. It’s true that more mileage will usually result in better performance, but only up to a point. Up to about 70 miles per week you will reap a lot of benefits from increasing your running volume. After 70 miles per week you still see some gains but they are much smaller. It’s like an improvement curve where the curve moves up steeply until you reach around 70 miles, and then it nearly flattens out. There are still small gains, but they are very small. Since most running injuries are caused by high running volume you need to decide if the small gains are worth the risk of injury and burnout. For most runners the answer is no. If your experience level, availability of time and level of fitness is high enough to withstand the physical and mental stress of very high mileage then it may be worth the risk for you, but for most runners going further than around 70 miles per week is counterproductive.
Classic Periodization is the Best Training Technique
Imagine doing only one workout, using the same pace and the same distance. Not only would you be bored to death, but your fitness would never improve. Your body would learn the workout and stop adapting. That is why we do various types of workouts during different times. That is the essence of periodization. It is dividing your training program into separate phases that are intended to train different energy and body systems. There are many types of periodization techniques. The most widely used and accepted is the classic technique of several weeks of long slow distance running followed by other periods of solely shorter, higher intensity runs. The theory behind classic periodization is to build a base of endurance in the initial weeks to support the higher intensity runs to follow. The problem with classic periodization is that it ignores the all important lactate turn point training, vVO2 max runs, hill training, neuromuscular workouts and goal pace running for long periods of time. You lose fitness in those systems and then must rebuild that fitness later on. For most of today’s runners a multi pace periodization technique in which you perform all types of training runs consistently on a year round basis is a more effective way to train. You maintain full fitness and simply emphasize different paces according to where you are in your training cycle and what your specific goal is.
Long Slow Distance Running Should Dominate Your Training
Here’s another one of those pesky half myth things. There’s no question that the majority of all distance runners weekly mileage is composed of endurance training. But that should be in relation to total volume – not number of workouts. If the majority of your workouts are performed at an easy endurance pace you will be training yourself to run slowly. If you want to run at a fast pace you should practice at a fast pace. Try to include at least 3 quality workouts per week that are performed at between 10K race pace and 3K race pace. The faster paced running will improve your speed, power, strength and neuromuscular conditioning.
Article Via RunningPlanet.com
1. Three men ran 4,000 miles across the Sahara desert in 111 days. Charlie Engle, Ray Zahab, and Kevin Lin ran the equivalent of two marathons a day for 100 days to become the first modern runners to cross the Sahara Desert’s grueling 4,000 miles. They were stricken with tendinitis, severe diarrhea, and knee injuries all while running through the intense heat and wind, often without a paved road in sight. Temperatures varied from over 100°F during the day to below freezing at night. Typical day: up at 4:00am, run until lunch, eat, run until 9:30pm. Then get up and do it again… for 111 days.
2. Xu Zhenjun ran a 3:43 marathon – backwards. In a world where 99% of people never finish a marathon in their lifetimes and of those who do, 90% don’t run under 4 hours, Xu Zhenjun of China managed both, in reverse. I thought Zhenjun was a rare person who ran backwards for fun, but it turns out there are a bunch of people who prefer to run backwards. Timothy “Bud” Badyna, the father of backwards running (pictured right), has also completed a sub-4 marathon backwards and a 10K in 45:37.
3. Mark Covert has run at least one mile every day since July 23, 1968. In the decades since he started the streak, Covert has covered more than 136,000 miles. At his competitive peak, he ran more than 150 miles a week and was one of the top road racers in the country, finishing seventh in the 1972 Olympic trials marathon. He still averages eight miles a day. Sure, on some days his running may only consist of 9 or 10 minutes, but did you read how long? Since 1968. Covert has said:
“I’ve trained through illness and injury, run plenty of times when I shouldn’t have. I ran on the days my parents passed away and I’ve run when every one of my four kids was born. I still look forward to running every day, although the trees go by more slowly now.”
Covert is now the Cross Country Coach for Antelope Valley College (he knows a little about running). I guarantee his runners have trouble finding excuses to miss practice.
4. 7 Days, 7 Continents, 7 Marathons. Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Dr. Michael Stroud went seven for seven during a grueling week of marathon running and transcontinental travel. The pair ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents from October 26 – November 2, 2003. The men ran in Chile, the Falkland Islands, Sydney, Singapore, London, and Cairo before completing their marathon of marathons by running the New York City Marathon. Besides battling the exhaustion that any marathon runner faces, Fiennes and Stround also had to battle jet lag and dramatic changes in temperature and humidity during each race. The feat was especially impressive for Fiennes, who suffered a heart attack just four months earlier.
5. Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie’s marathon world record. Haile Gebrselassie ran a marathon in 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 36 seconds in 2007, crushing the old world record by nearly 30 seconds. These days marathon winners are consistently throwing down times like 2 hours and 6 minutes. It’s so common, I think we have forgotten exactly how fast it is. That is keeping a 4 minute, 48 second-per-mile pace for 26.2 straight miles! For a non-runner, it may be difficult to comprehend just how remarkable this feat is. Very few people in the world can even keep that pace for 1 mile.
6. Finishing Badwater (anyone). Plain and simple, Badwater is the toughest endurance run in the word. Each year, approximately 70 people attempt to run 135 miles from Bad Water, Death Valley to the portals of Mt. Whitney. In case you’re not familiar with Badwater or Mt. Whitney, Badwater is the lowest place in the Western Hemisphere and Mt. Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States. Basically you’re running from the lowest place in the U.S. to the highest. In addition to the 13,000 feet worth of ascent, there are the 130°F (55°C) temperatures to deal with. Participants are forced to run on the white lines on the side of the road to keep the soles of their shoes from melting and a heat suit to keep them from frying in the sun. The winner from the last two years has finished in the 24-25 hour range but the average finish time is in the 35 hour range. My first question was “How in the world does someone train for this type of event?” Luckily for me they have a training guide on the Badwater homepage. Here are a few examples of training recommendations I picked off the site:
(1) – HEAT is the main nemesis, acclimate your body NOW!! Start using a sauna on your EXPOSED body. Do not wear any protective clothing.
(2) – ENDURANCE is very slow to develop. Set a target of being able to WALK, ONLY, at 20-30 minute per mile pace, NON STOP (NO SLEEP) for 24-30 hours. Do not exceed this pace, nor train in this way more than once a week.
7. Dean Karnaze ran 350 miles non-stop. ”The Relay” is a 200-mile, 12 person relay race. Not only did Dean Karnaze run this race by himself, he ran an extra 150 miles from his home to the starting point. Karnaze ran 80 hours straight and burned an estimated 40,000 Calories to cover the 350 miles. I couldn’t even stay away that long, yet he kept a good pace the whole way. Karnaze has also has finished the Western 100 ten times, the Badwater four times, and most recently he ran 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days in all 50 United States.
Article Via EliteFeet.com
Article By Alex Dial of Share It Fitness
The word “acrobatic” can be quite daunting. It conjures up images of tightly muscled gymnasts soaring expertly through the air in defiance of gravity, or perhaps of martial arts masters kicking and rolling effortlessly around one another. The truth is, “acrobatic” simply means “to be skilled in feats of balance and agility.” Almost any activity requires balance and agility, therefore, acrobatic skill or conditioning can be a useful addition to any physical fitness program. So even if you don’t plan on executing barrel turns or cartwheels (but why WOULDN’T you?) it’s a sound idea to introduce a few basic acrobatic conditioning techniques into your regimen.
A background concept: Hollow-body.
Hollow body is what the Pilates instructors are talking about when they tell you to pull in your navel. To achieve this lower back neutrality, lets get into a supine (on your back) position on the floor.
Naturally enough, there’ll be a gap between your low back and the ground, due to the curve of your lumbar spine. Lets now draw your belly button inward and slightly rock your pelvis up. The gap should disappear. This is a neutral spine position, vertebrae nicely stacked, and is the basis for many balance and abdominally-focused exercises.
Acro Exercise #1: V-ups.
A V-up is like a combination of a sit-up and a leg-lift. First, make sure you’re parked on your back on something comfortable. A hardwood floor may be a bit too hard, while a pillow may rob you of your stability. Assume hollow-body and bring your thighs together, pointing your toes. Guys, point those toes! Lift your legs as one off the floor, just a few inches. Now, bring your arms back straight over your head, maintaining hollow-body, and lift your shoulders clear, just a few inches. So here you are in starting position, like a really flat V. Now lift your legs straight up, together, and bring your hands toward your pointed toes. If you hold this, you’ll be balanced right on your butt, and nothing else. Now ease back down to starting position. Do these much more slowly than a typical sit-up, focusing on the squeeze. This is a nice variant of traditional sit-ups.
Acro Exercise #2: The Bridge
The Bridge is a great exercise to complement any ab workout. Try it after the V-up for a nice stretch-and-strengthen combination. To perform a Bridge. Start supine, then slide your feet up until they’re flat on the floor, your knees bent. Make sure your heels are flat. Place your hands on either side of your head, palms down, and when you’re ready, press yourself up into the backbend. Try to keep your knees in as close as is comfortable, and straighten your legs slowly. Press heavily through your flat palms and concentrate on opening your shoulders through the chest. Lean into your chest, taking weight off of your legs little by little. The Bridge is a wonderful exercise for low back pain and also for anyone with a weak core in general. Do NOT do the Bridge if you have had low back surgery, or are suffering from compressed and painful discs, or a broken spine.
Acro Exercise #3 The Tuck-Jump
The Tuck-Jump is similar to the Squat jump, except this jump factors in some explosive training for the lower abs, while increasing vertical jumping height.
Stand erect with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your arms straight up over your head. This is called Set Position. Do not arch your back. Now to prepare for the jump, swing your arms down to the ground as you bend your knees, sinking into your arches, then leap upward and (this is important) SWING your arms UP, driving your body off the ground. At the height of your leap, tuck your knees to your chest momentarily, and then release them to return to Set Position.
Perform these exercises in sets, like you would any other. The first time you do them, take it easy. These are dynamic, full-body movements and they take practice to master. Expect a pinch or stumble while you’re first practicing them, and if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
- 10 Tuck Jumps
- 10 Super Climbers
- 10 Lateral Hops
- 10 Kick Back Planks
- 10 Plie Squat Jumps
- 10 Jumping Jacks
60 second rest
Let’s face it, if you want to have a ripped, massive appearance, you are going to need some massive shoulders. Some say they are the foundation of the upper body. That classic “V” look is what every guy in the gym is going for, whether they realize it or not.
Shoulders are unfortunately a stubborn muscle to grow and need to be continually shocked into making any sort of gains. Like other muscles in the body, changing an exercise routine every 6 weeks is the best way to do this. This is done by either differing the WAY you lift or the type of exercises you do.
Follow along with the below schedule and you are guaranteed to see some serious growth in your delts by mid-summer.
- Seated Rear Delt Raise – 3 sets of 12
- One-arm Side Raise – 3 sets of 8-10
- Arnold Press – 3 sets of 8-10
- Front Plate Raise – 2 sets of 20
- Seated Arnold Press: 3 sets of 10
- Front Plate Raise: 3 sets of 10-12
- One Arm Side Raise: 3 sets of 10-12
- Bent Over Rear Delt Raise: 3 sets of 20
- Arnold Press: 15 reps
- Seated Rear Delt Raise: 15 reps
- Front Plate Raise: 15 reps
- One arm Side Raise: 2 sets of 25
*Cycle through the 4 exercises as fast as possible. Take 2 minute break between cycles. Repeat for a total of 3 cycles.
- One Arm Side Raise: 3 sets of 12
- Seated Arnold Press: 3 sets of 12
- Seated Rear Delt Raise
- Front Plate Raise