Tag Archives: fitness

Why Isn’t Everyone Exercising?

11 Sep

family-riding-exercising-together-on-bikes-in-autumn[1]The benefits of exercise and physical activity are indisputable.  Regular exercise can improve strength, mobility, balance, coordination, fitness, health, wellness, energy level, mood, sleep, and confidence.

Yet, despite all these benefits, the majority of people in our country — children and adults — don’t get adequate, regular physical activity.

Anne-Marie Spencer, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for PlayCore in Chattanooga TN, looks at some top reasons for not exercising, as well as possible solutions:

It’s too difficult. Sadly, a lot of advertising for fitness-related products and programs have taken it to an extreme. In these cases, the standards for fitness have become elevated in such a way that too much focus is placed on what your body can’t do, rather than what it can do. One does not need to aspire to body builder status to improve their overall health, nor run in an endurance race, join a team, or order the latest set of extreme fitness DVDs. It can be as simple as talking a daily brisk walk, riding a bike, taking a few laps at the local pool, or finding a free outdoor fitness park and exercising at one’s own pace. The key is to make it enjoyable so the behavior is repeated. This may take several attempts to discover, but with so many options, there is most certainly something for everyone.

It’s boring or I just don’t care for it. If this is your opinion of exercise, you haven’t found the right thing. Brisk walks while listening to music, biking, dancing, joining a team, obstacle racing, gardening, skating, playing catch with the kids, doing agility with your family dog, there are so many options! If it’s not done sitting and it elevates your heart rate, it’s exercise! Don’t let preconceived notions define what you consider exercise; just get moving. Does it make your joints ache? Try swimming or cycling. Do you hate to get sweaty? Find an indoor activity. Do you get lonely exercising or lack motivation? Find a local boot camp, yoga class, or dance team to get group dynamics and encouragement. Whatever you try, give it time. Behaviors aren’t changed overnight, and it may take several weeks before the activity feels enjoyable, or part of your regular routine.

I don’t have time. To address this concern, write out what you do each day. Yes, everyone leads busy lives, but carving out 30 minutes a day should be easily attainable. Do you watch TV at night? Television and video games are the predominant form of “resting” for most regular families. Thanks to the Internet, television, live streaming, social media, texting, and an abundance of video games, people are becoming more and more sedentary. Families can all benefit by getting active instead. Sitting at a desk all day, whether in school or at work, should not be followed by more sitting at night. Find the time to get active; it’s always worth it.

I’m too tired. Working out actually gives you energy as your body produces endorphins and circulation is increased. Experiment with different times of day. It might make sense to get up 30 minutes earlier and start your day with exercise to increase productivity throughout the day. Try taking a walk at lunch, or bike to and from work. Remember, your daily exercise does not need to be all at once to be beneficial.

I can’t leave the kids alone. Take them with you! Head to the park, the local playground, and/or schedule family meet ups with other families. It’s much more beneficial to exercise with your children. You reinforce the importance of exercise, create fun memories that children are likely to emulate when they become parents, and instill exercise as a regular behavior. If you’re struggling with regular exercise as an adult, you know how beneficial that can be!

It doesn’t work for me. Don’t give up! This one is especially common when people are trying to lose weight. The right combination of exercise and nutrition are critical. Keep a journal. If you stop exercising for a while due to injury or a break in the routine, pick it back up. Good or bad habits aren’t formed in a day or even a week. Just keep at it!

I don’t want to be all muscular.Surprisingly, very few people do. That middle-aged woman swinging the kettlebell? She wants to be able to pick up and play with her grandchild. The elderly man in yoga class? He wants to ensure he maintains good posture and balance to avoid potential falls and resulting injury. Unless you are specifically training to build oversize muscles, it won’t happen just because you are exercising, even when you use weights. What it WILL do is increase functional fitness. The ability to go through a normal day, run for a bus, carry several bags of groceries, play with your pet, comfortably bend over to tie a shoe, all are more easily and comfortably achieved as a result of exercise to help us stay fit and limber.

No matter what our age, we all benefit from exercise. Without it, we are adversely affecting our health, our long-term ability to move independently, and our children’s ability to balance healthy activity with sedentary behavior. Call it play, call it exercise, call it fun, call it whatever you like, but make sure you make time with your family to get active. Our very lives depend on it.


Your thoughts?


Join the Train with APTC Premium Workout Group

1 Sep


We Want To Be Your Coach!

We’ve recently partnered with WeightTraining.com to offer the Train with APTC Premium Workout Group, where we become your virtual strength coach and trainer for less than a dollar a day.

We take over your training, take all the thinking out of your hands, and show you how to follow a well-designed, well-structured, easy-to-follow, LONG-TERM training program.  You will get stronger, feel betterlook better, and perform better.

We understand that distance or online training means different things to different people.  We’ll be the first to advocate that IN-PERSON training with a qualified, experienced, professional trainer is ideal (for more about our credentials, experience, and publications, please visit our website).  That being said, we realize that it’s just not logistically reasonable for everyone to train at Athletic Performance Training Center.  Our goal is to make the Train with APTC Premium Workout Group the next best thing to training at our facility.

Here’s What It Is

Our goal for this group is to create a community where we train hard and smart, encourage one another, and have fun doing it.  We want to provide goal-oriented, structured, quality training for those who don’t have access to “good” training or for those who can’t afford to have a trainer work with them individually, and all for less than a dollar a day.

There’s no long-term commitment and you can stay in the group for as long as you’d like.

This is more than just casually following the latest exercise fad or fitness trend.

This is about improving your life and achieving your goals.

Whatever that means, of course, is up to you.  For some, it may be about getting stronger; for others, getting fitter, or improving the way they feel, look, and perform.

But for everyone it’s also about the journey, the performance improvement process, and getting outside your comfort zone.

Here’s What You Need To Do

  1. Go HERE and sign-up for the Train with APTC Premium Workout Group on WeightTraining.com, and click on the “Join This Group” button (Note:  If you’re not already a member of the site, you’ll first sign-up for a FREE account.  Don’t worry, it’s easy)
  2. From there you’ll create your account by entering the appropriate information (e.g., email address, personal info, password, etc.), and then click “Register”
  3. Enter your payment information and click “Complete Purchase”

Additional Information

  • Once you sign-up, not only are you an official member of the APTC Premium Workout Group, where you’ll have the opportunity to follow our monthly programming, but you’ll also be given automatic access as a PRO-MEMBER to the entire WeightTraining.com site, which offers a plethora of other programs and tools to use.
  • One cool feature is that you’ll be able to organize your workouts as you see fit, according to your own weekly schedule, and WeightTraining.com will send you reminder emails of the days you’re supposed to workout.  (you know, to keep you accountable)  If you want to train on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you can set the workout scheduler to that setting.  If that doesn’t work, and you’d prefer other days, you’ll be able to modify the settings.
  • For those with an iPhone, iPad, iPod, iTouch, or Android device, you can use the WeightTraining.com App to follow and log your workouts.  (but even if you don’t have an Apple or Android device, you can still print out the worksheets and keep track of your workouts the old-fashioned way)
  • Remember, it’s a COMMUNITY. The objective of the group is to train together, encourage one-another, leave comments, be competitive (if that’s your thing), and  have fun!

Are you ready? Click the link below to get started!

Train with APTC Premium Workout Group


Your thoughts?

Make Waves to Get Stronger

9 Jul

Battle-ropes[1]At our facility, the goal is always the same — improve athletic performance and fitness through the development of strength and conditioning.  But we use a wide variety of tools to help our clients reach (and exceed) their goals.

Battling ropes are one of the tools we use to improve strength, muscular endurance, and build lean muscle mass.  They work each arm independently, eliminating strength imbalances, and provide a great cardio workout in the process.

Battling ropes are available in a variety of lengths and thicknesses, but a 50-foot, 1 & 1/2-inch-thick rope tends to work best for most people.  You can purchase them from a fitness retailer or website, or make your own.  To anchor it, just loop it around a pole.

Here are some battling ropes training tips:

  • Don’t just wave the ropes up and down.  Different motions will work different muscles and skills.  Swing the ropes in circles, side-to-side, or diagonally.  Alternate between simultaneous and alternating swings.
  • Use the ropes anytime during your workout.  Battling ropes can be used for a dynamic warmup, finisher, or an entire workout in and of themselves.
  • Adjust the resistance by moving closer to or farther away from the anchor point.  The amount of slack in the rope determines the load.  Moving toward the anchor point (more slack) increases the intensity.
  • Switch your grip.  Hold the rope underhand, overhand, or double (fold over) the ends.
  • Keep both feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart; to start, hold the ends of the rope at arm’s length in front of your hips; knees bent, hips down and back, chin up, chest up.


Your thoughts?

What’s More Important — Diet or Exercise?

7 Jul

hiit-high-intensity-interval-training-work-out-cover[1]Your genetic “blueprint” dictates a lot about your fitness, health, and wellness.  But we all have a window of opportunity within which we can have an impact.

And, while diet and exercise are both significant contributors, you can impact your metabolism to a greater extent through exercise.

Simply stated, pound-for-pound, muscle burns more calories than fat.

The best way to build muscle and burn fat is high-intensity interval resistance training (HIRT).  HIRT continues to build muscle and burn fat even after you have left the gym.

In one recent Italian study, lifters doing HIRT burned 18% more calories 22 hours after exercising than individuals who did traditional strength training.

Next time you’re in the weight room, try this approach:  Choose three exercises.  Start with the first exercise and, using 80-85% of your 1 rep max, do 6 reps and rest 20 seconds; do 2-3 reps and rest 20 seconds; do 2-3 reps.  That’s one set.  Do 7 sets of all three exercises.


Your thoughts?

Should You Skip Breakfast?

26 Aug

470_2677148[1]In the interest of balance, I thought I would share a recent article from Healthy Living titled, 5 Reasons to Skip Breakfast.  Obviously, I’ve extolled the virtues of breakfast in this blog — as well as in my personal and professional life — repeatedly.

This is the type of conflicting information that can make it confusing for people to make sound, educated choices regarding diet and nutrition.  Clearly, this article is more of an editorial than evidence-based research.

The article also lacks balance, as it only addresses a high-carb breakfast, and not the benefits of incorporating lean protein into your morning meal or snack.  There is a voluminous (and growing) body of research that supports eating something — anything — within 90 minutes of waking, especially for athletes.

A balanced, nutritious breakfast — along with smaller, more frequent meals and snacks throughout the day — can improve energy level and cognition, and help you reach your fitness, weight-loss, and/or performance goals.


Your thoughts?

It’s Not About How Much

9 Aug

HansFranz[1]How do you gauge success in the gym?  Lots of men and women focus solely on the amount of weight they can lose or lift.  And while these may be steps on your path to success, perhaps they shouldn’t be the ultimate goals.

Working out can increase your strength and improve your fitness, health, and wellness.  And, while the physical benefits are obvious, research shows that the benefits of working out may carry over into your mental, emotional, and even spiritual well-being.  Regular exercise has also been linked to productivity at work, satisfaction in relationships, and less stress.

Have fun working out by making exercise more like play.  Try new moves, learn new skills, and take on new challenges.  Variety in your routine can be motivating.

Keep track of how happy, confident, and energized you feel, as a result of your workout.  Improvements in fitness and increases in the amount of weight you push or pull will be valuable by-products.


Your thoughts?

Avoid These 3 Overrated Exercises

16 Jan

qa-what-are-the-most-overrated-exercises1[1]Whether your goals include improving athletic performance — through strength and conditioning — or improving your overall fitness, changing your workout, from time to time, is necessary if you want to continue to see results. Performing the same exercises (and movements) all the time is boring and ineffective because your body adapts, which limits your results. Additionally, there are some exercises that provide very little return on your exercise “investment,” and probably should not be incorporated into your regimen, at all.

Try swapping some of your old exercises for some new ones.  Here are three examples of “overrated” exercises, and alternatives:

  • Traditional crunches (pictured) can be tough on your neck and back, and only target a small portion of your abs (and not your entire core).  Try the Plank with Knee to Chest (mountain climbers) instead, and work your entire core — shoulders, torso, and hips — while improving your stability and posture.  Start in a push-up position with your hands beneath your shoulders and feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your hips and torso still, draw one knee toward your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.
  • The Seated Machine Chest Press “locks” your body into a fixed path, limiting your range of motion.  This exercise neglects important stabilizing muscles of your shoulders because, when the machine provides the stability, your body doesn’t have to.  Replace this exercise with the 1 Arm Dumbbell Bench Press, which  places the weight on one side of your body, forcing you to stabilize your body using your core. You’ll develop core strength and upper-body power that transfer to everyday activities and the sports court or field.  Here’s a video to get you started.
  • The Seated Knee Extension is low-functional and limited focus, isolating the quadriceps.  Swap this exercise for the Bulgarian Split Squat, which provides a superior total-body workout.  This video provides a detailed, “how-to” demonstration.


Your thoughts?

Welcome to My Blog

1 Aug

Well, after much thought and discussion (and some prodding), I’ve decided to start a blog.  I plan to share evidence-based, Strength and Conditioning information to help others reach their goals.  The information I share won’t necessarily be the “best” way, the “only” way, or the “right” way; but it will be supported by credible, reputable data from the field of Exercise Science and Physiology.  My blog will focus on (but not be limited to) Strength and Fitness; Speed and Agility; Diet and Nutrition; and I’ll also incorporate some Inspiration and Motivation.  Ultimately, I hope my passion, enthusiasm, experience, and expertise can benefit others to improve athletic performance, fitness, and/or nutrition.  You can follow my blog by clicking on the “Follow” button, and each new post will be sent directly to your email address.  You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please let me know what you think… I welcome your comments.  Thanks!


%d bloggers like this: