How To Turn Your Home Into A Personal Gym

We all know I love a bit of HIIT action first thing in the morning, it’s my favorite type of workout and it’s the most effective training method for burning fat. Not only does it get your fat burners fired up like nothing else, but it also boosts your metabolism and will get you super fit by improving your cardiovascular fitness.

Click here to read my blog about: 7 reasons why I love HIIT training 

One the best things about HIIT workouts is that you can do it anywhere, and lots of people on my 90 Day SSS Plan prefer to train at home and they achieve amazing results. For cycle one of the plan, you actually don’t need any equipment at all and you can burn fat by following my home HIIT workouts on YouTube. 

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to training at home or in a gym (I like to mix up my training and do both), but if you want to turn your home into the ultimate personal workout space, here’s some simple equipment you might want to invest that will turbocharge your home workouts and let you burn more fat, build lean muscle and transform your body.


One of the best pieces of kit you can have at home is a set of dumbbells. A simple, adjustable set won’t cost too much and they can be stored away easily in a small space. Dumbbells can be used to increase the intensity of lots of different exercises and to help in building muscle. For example, by holding a dumbbell on either side when doing lunges, you’ll increase resistance and make it that much tougher.

You should be able to find an adjustable set of dumbbells (up to 24kg) for around £30.

Try this dumbbell legs burner at home:

Resistance bands

A simple rubber resistance band can be anchored to a door handle or bannister to replicate lots of exercises you’d usually need a massive multigym to do. Movements with push-pull actions such as bicep curls or back rows can be done easily by attaching a resistance band to a door handle, for example. You can also use your body and stand on a resistance band to work parts of the body including shoulders. A resistance band is also a great piece of kit to travel with and can be used for those cheeky hotel room HIIT sessions.

Try this upper body resistance band workout at home:

Skipping rope

There’s a reason Rocky used a skipping rope – they’re awesome for cardiovascular fitness and you can burn some serious fat with a skipping HIIT. This simple piece of equipment will add a great new exercise to your workout routines and it’ll also help improve balance and coordination. Bosh! Let’s get skippy!


Kettlebells are a great strength and conditioning tool and can give you a full-body workout in the time it takes to do a usual HIIT session. Moves such as squats, deadlifts and overhead presses are a great alternative to using large bits of equipment that take up a lot of space, like barbells. You can get them in range of weights so you can progress as you get stronger.

Use your furniture

That’s right, you can even use bits of furniture you’d find in the front room to enhance your workouts. For example, use your couch for triceps dips, your coffee table for bulgarian split squats (remember the dumbbells) and a dining room chair for elevated press-ups.

Alternatively, try this fat burning HIIT workout that I did in my front room with no equipment at all! 

So there it is – you don’t need a gym to get fit, healthy and lean. Any of the above equipment can be used effectively at home, even if you don’t have much space – just watch the lights with the skipping rope!

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3 Ways The Kettlebell Deadlift Can Improve Your Barbell Deadlift

3 Ways the Kettlebell Deadlift Can Improve Your Barbell Deadlift

The kettlebell deadlift can help you improve your barbell deadlift and the hip hinge.

I know what you are thinking…. “There can be only one!”


Hopefully by the end of this article I will have convinced you of the value of both and how you can improve your barbell deadlift with the kettlebell deadlift.

Key Benefits & Differences

Deadlifts can be performed two ways: conventional and sumo. A conventional deadlift has the feet placed inside the grip and a sumo deadlift has the feet placed outside the grip.

If this is confusing, I highly encourage you to go back and read Tony’s blog The Deadlift: Beginner Basics as well as his E-Book Pick Heavy Things Up which can you get for FREE by subscribing at the bottom of this article.

Note from TG: I agree. They’re both life changing. And come with a lifetime supply of hugs.

There are three main differences between the kettlebell and barbell deadlift: Grip, Stance, and The Path of the Handle.

1) Grip

In the barbell deadlift you maintain an overhand grip (palms down, knuckles up) for as long as you can maintain perfect technique or until you get to a heavy enough weight. At this point you will switch to an alternate grip. In the kettlebell deadlift you maintain an overhand grip the entire time.

One of the limiting factors in being able to deadlift heavier weight is your grip strength. Usually a person’s grip will fatigue before their posterior chain does. As Boston based coach, owner of Iron Body Studios, and Xena herself, Artemis Scantalides, notes in THIS article:

“As kettlebell sizes increases so does the thickness of the handle. A thicker handle requires more muscle activation!”


Another added benefit is that when performing the double kettlebell deadlift you will be training the grip of each hand independently while simultaneously learning to maintain equal tension through the left and right sides of your back and latissmus dorsi. You can easily monitor this, by noting if one of your shoulders becomes unpacked or you have greater difficulty maintaining control with one hand over the other.

This really helps to develop the mind/body connection or in scientific terms the neuromuscular connection.

2) Stance

In the conventional barbell deadlift your feet will be about 12 inches apart and toes pointed at about 30 degrees. The handle of the barbell should align over your midfoot as seen in the pictures below.



In the kettlebell deadlift your stance will fluctuate depending on whether you are deadlifting one or two kettlebells and the bell size. The kettlebell deadlift by nature is more similar to a sumo barbell deadlift as your hands are going between your legs and you’re in a wider stance (picture below).

One of the most difficult aspects in the barbell deadlift is finding the correct back position and making sure the chest is ‘up’ (I should be able to see the logo on your t-shirt!).

Mark Rippetoe makes a great point in Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training:

“Everything else can be wrong with the deadlift and nothing really bad will happen but if your low back is round under a big load, safety will be compromised.”

It is very difficult to round your back with the kettlebell deadlift because the weight is behind you. If you round your back you will shift weight to the balls of your feet and tip over.


3) The Path of the Handle

This is probably where the greatest difference lies and the biggest benefit as well.

The path of a barbell deadlift should be vertical, always. It is the most efficient way to get the bar off the floor.

With the kettlebell deadlift that’s not possible due to the placement of the bells level or behind the malleolus.

The path of the kettlebell takes the shape of a “J” as it travels from the ground through full hip extension.

Now this actually works to one’s advantage because it elicits a stronger stretch reflex in the glutes and the hamstrings. This is because the weight is traveling behind our center of mass. This helps to really groove a solid hip hinge for the barbell deadlift and build some serious strength in the posterior chain, not to mention it makes for a lot of fun picking heavy things up!

Focus on really building control and coordination with the kettlebell deadlift and see your barbell deadlift improve as well.

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Winter Is Coming Up – Time To UP Your Warm Up Game

Winter is coming.  With cold weather on its way, your warm up is about to become even more important. That brisk fall feeling is about to usher in a season of tight, cold muscles and decreased mobility.  For optimum performance all winter long and an injury-free return to spring, a serious warm up is your best friend.  It’s time to step up your warm-up game.

Here are three explanations of why warm ups improve your performance, followed by three mobility-boosting exercises to ease you into your workouts.

Icy Temperatures, Frozen Performance

Cold tightens. Cold slows. It freezes you up, making your muscles sluggish and unprepared. This has two major implications for your strength-training routine:

  1. Cold, tight muscles are more prone to injury. Constricted into limited mobility, muscles tend to strain and pull under stress. Imagine trying to stretch a rubber band over a very big box. If you pull it hard and fast, it’ll snap in half. Slowly warm it up, and it will stretch to take the force of your pull. Now imagine putting that rubber band in the freezer for a while first. That’s your muscles in the winter. Flash-frozen rubber bands.
  2. Cold muscles don’t perform as well. They don’t operate at maximum range of motion, they don’t access their full potential strength, and they’re generally less ready for action. Consider your warm up a gentle awakening for your sleepy muscles, followed by a slow cup of coffee, chased by a jolt of espresso. Warming up muscles is the wake-up call that lets you get the most out of your workout.

Turn Up the Heat

Much of the power of the warm up, especially in the winter, lies in the “warm” part. Increasing muscle temperature loosens muscles for injury-preventing flexibility and mobility. It also eases them into movement so they can access their full range of motion. Properly warmed up muscles can execute exercises with proper form, for better results and fewer injuries. Warm muscles are also more responsive. They contract and relax more quickly, allowing for better performance.

“[I]magine putting that rubber band in the freezer for a while first. That’s your muscles in the winter. Flash-frozen rubber bands.”

Proper warm ups also increase all-over body temperature, so your body can work according to its amazing integrated design. If you’re the tin man, a good warm up is your oil can, getting the joints and muscles flowing so they can work together at maximum efficiency. Not only is this key for building functional, full-body strength, but it’s also vital for injury prevention. Nothing in the body works in isolation, and one unresponsive link in the chain can cause a major malfunction.  A good warm up keeps your body running like a well-oiled machine.

Light a Bonfire, Not a Match

Warming up only works if you do it right. I hate to break it to you, but a couple static stretches and a five-minute jaunt on the treadmill isn’t going to cut it. In fact, static stretching can actually decrease the efficacy of your strength-training workout, though to what degree is up for debate. Some studies conclude that while static stretching doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t help either. Others, however, fall firmly in the anti-static stretching camp, concluding it’s actually detrimental to power output and prevents maximum performance. Either way, sitting and doing a couple half-hearted attempts at touching your toes isn’t going to cut it.

Neither is that just-enough-to-break-a-sweat treadmill run. A recent study found that as far as performance is concerned, a five-minute cardio warm up had the same effect as no warm up at all.  A high-intensity, fifteen-minute warm up reduced strength. The lower intensity fifteen-minute workout, however, created a strength increase. Long and mellow trumps quick and intense, bringing the desired increased body temperature without the pre-routine fatigue.

Bodyweight Is Best

Bodyweight mobility exercises make the ideal warm up. As dynamic stretches, they provide the kind of movement proven to enhance muscular performance. They increase heart rate, but are of adjustable intensity, so you can craft the kind of longer, lower-intensity warm up found to be most effective. Best yet, bodyweight exercises are inherently focused on functional strength and mobility, making for an excellent full-body warm up.


For a fun and effective warm up, start your workout with these three mobility-boosting exercises. These enjoyable sequences of movements will help you gently ease into your workout and give you a pleasant start on even the chilliest winter days. Start slow, gradually picking up speed as you build heat. The sequences grow more active as the warm up progresses, so moving through them in the listed order is recommended.


1. The Morning Stretch:

Being lying on your back with your knees bent and feet hip width apart.


  1. Bridge lift: Inhale to lift your hips as high as possible, then exhale to drop them back down. Repeat three times.
  2. Seedling Stretch: Inhale to draw your knees to your chest, bringing your forehead to meet your knees. Exhale to extend the legs all the way out, engaging the abdominal muscles and bringing your legs over your head. Repeat three times.
  3. Roll-up: Roll up to seated on an inhale, then roll back down on an exhale. Repeat three times, finishing in seated.
  4. Cat Spine Stretch: Come to hands and knees. Exhale to drop your tailbone, arching your back like a cat. Inhale to lift it, rolling the shoulders back as the chest opens. Repeat three times.
  5. Cat Paw Stretch: Exhale to walk your hands forward, keeping your hips stationary as your chest drops towards the ground. Inhale to walk back. Repeat three times.

Come back to your back and repeat the sequence three to five times. You’ll move right from your last Cat Paw Stretch to the next sequence.


2. The Warm up Wave:

  1. Walk the Dog: Curl your toes under and lift your hips, straightening your legs as much possible in a “down dog” position. Shift your weight from foot to foot, curling through your toes and shifting your hips for around five breaths.
  2. Back-and-forth Lunges: Return to hands and knees. Inhale to lift your right leg, exhaling to bring the right foot between the hands into a lunge position. Inhale to bring your hands straight up as you sink into the lunge. Exhale to sink back, bringing the hands to the floor as you straighten the front leg. Repeat three times, then do the left side. Return to the first position. Bending your knees as much as necessary, walk the hands to the feet. Roll up slowly to standing.
  3. Shoulder-Squat Sync-Up: Stand feet slightly more than shoulder width apart, toes pointing out. Exhale into a low squat, reaching the arms out in front of you, extending through the low back so that the shoulder blades move apart (external rotation). Inhale back to standing, reaching the arms straight up. Exhale to interlace your fingers behind your back. Inhale to lift the chest, reaching the hands down as you pull the shoulder blades together. Exhale back into the squat. Repeat three times.


Place your hands on the floor and walk back to downward facing dog to begin again. Repeat the sequence three to five times. You’ll move from standing into the next sequence.


3. The Sun Salute:

This is a variation on a yoga sun salutation. It’s a traditional dynamic exercise designed to effectively and efficiently build heat throughout the body, making it a perfect wintertime warm up. Repeat five to ten times.


  • Inhale. Reach your arms straight overhead, bringing palms together if possible. Look up.
  • Exhale. Fold down, placing hands on the floor if possible, or on your shins. Bend your knees as necessary.
  • Inhale. Lift to a half bend, looking forward as you straighten your back.
  • Exhale. Step back to plank and lower through a push up.
  • Inhale. Upward Facing Dog. Move your chest forward and up, rolling your shoulders down and back. Engage your thighs.
  • Exhale. Curl back, lifting the hips into Downward Facing Dog.

LEFT: Upward facing dog; RIGHT: Downward dog

  • Inhale. Warrior 1. Bring the right foot between the hands in a lunge. Turn your left foot to seal it to the ground. Come upright, raising your arms overhead.
  • Exhale. Step back to plank and lower through a push up.
  • Inhale. Come forward to Upward Facing Dog, as before.
  • Exhale. Curl back to Downward Facing Dog, as before.
  • Inhale. Repeat Warrior 1 on the left side.

Warrior 1

  • Exhale. Step back to plank and lower through a push up.
  • Inhale. Come forward to Upward Facing Dog, as before.
  • Exhale. Curl back to Downward Facing Dog, as before.
  • Inhale to jump both feet forward between the hands.
  • Exhale. Fold forward, bending the knees as necessary.
  • Inhale. Come to standing, arms overhead as in the first position.

While all this might seem like a lot of effort for a warm up, it’s worth spending some time preparing your body for your workout. Whatever warm up you choose this winter, treat it with the importance it deserves. After all, without this vital part of your workout, you might quickly find your results frozen solid all winter long.

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5 Quick Tips For Crossfit Workout Recovery

As you go about your CrossFit workout sessions, paying close attention to the recovery process will be pivotal to your long-term success.

One thing that newcomers and seasoned fitness enthusiasts alike run into with CrossFit is the ‘too much, too soon’ syndrome.


It’s easy to keep going at maximum intensity for the first while because you’re excited about the workout and seeing great results, but it’s highly likely to catch up to you, with potential consequences including fatigue, injuries, or both.

Since most CrossFit workout sessions are physically demanding and intense, if you are not allowing for optimal downtime between them for rest and recovery, you may pay the price.

By focusing on the recovery you give your body, your fitness goals can be more readily realized and health increasingly improved – let’s go over a few of the best tips out there for recovery maximization.

Tip 1: Foam Roller And Mobility Tools

First, consider integrating some foam rolling into your program.

With foam rolling, you’ll simply place the foam under the muscle that’s sore and roll back and forth. This will place extra tension on those muscle tissues, helping them loosen up as you relax and the recovery process ensues.

If you are very tight, it can be slightly uncomfortable at first, but keep at it and you’ll find you feel quicker recovery by doing it.

Use smaller tools such as lacrosse balls or innovative devices like the MobilityWOD SuperNova against a wall or on the floor to pinpoint and work those troublesome deep muscle sites.

This Is How I Roll!

These smaller, lighter, and highly portable muscle grinders are a must-have for your recovery and muscle work, and are a perfect way to get similar benefits that a deep tissue massage would provide, at a fraction of the cost.

Tip 2: Take A Hot Bath, Get Some Sleep, And Hydrate!

A hot bath is another great way to foster a faster recovery. This will increase blood circulation to the muscle tissue, which then means greater oxygen and nutrient delivery – two things that your tissues need for repair.

A hot bath before bed can also lull you to sleep easier, and sleep is another very vital part of the recovery equation.

If you aren’t getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night, it could be one reason you aren’t seeing the recovery you hope you would.  Stay away from the alcohol and caffeine several hours before bedtime, but drink plenty of water.

Try reading a book with soft light before bed to help get you relaxed and sleepy.  Running the risk of being accused of sacrilege here – but if possible, try turning off or muting your phones and tablets too.

Get Some Sleep, Dude!

If you’re not getting at least 8 hours of sleep, don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor or a specialist. Sleep doctors can change your life, and help you get the sleep you need.

Hydrating before, sometimes during, and especially after working out is essential for muscle endurance and recovery. Your CrossFit gym should have a water jug or fountain, so bring a big cup with you and swig some H2O.

One of the main reasons for tiredness and feeling sluggish during the day is a lack of hydration. You morning routine should include gulping water, at least a full glass or two – your body and mind will thank you!

Tip 3: Activation Of The Muscles And Mobility Exercises

Activation and contraction of the muscles leads to blood flow and draining of the lymphatic vessels and helps with muscle recovery.

Although mobility should be practiced daily, consider scheduling 1 or 2 yoga or athlete mobility classes into your week to increase activation and help improve flexibility, mobility, blood flow, and lymphatic drainage.

Drop And Give Me Zen!

These classes will also allow you to focus on your weak spots and increase muscle and mind self-awareness.

Use resistance bands for low-intensity upper and lower-body movements to re-activate the muscles and get the stiffness out of your system. Use loop bands or bands with handles, such as Crossover Symmetry HIIT Bands, to stretch, lengthen, and pull your muscles for increased flexibility and mobility.

Use PushX3 pushup equipment for static and dynamic mobility training. This versatile pushup tool can also be used to better engage your muscles during a pushup.

There are several useful variations you can incorporate into your mobility exercises; for example, try holding plank position and slowly rolling the shoulders, or even slowly rocking back and forth while lowering and raising in pushup position using PushX3.

Other activities such as surfing, swimming, hiking, or climbing trees – anything to get you moving will work great; just make sure you get out there and get active!

Tip 4: Fuel Your Body With Nutrients For Repair

It’s also going to be a must that you fuel your body well after each workout is over.

Taking in both carbohydrates as well as protein immediately after the workout session will help to provide your body with exactly what it needs to kick-start the recovery process.

Make sure you don’t wait too long before eating after the session is over, the time period immediately following the workout your body will be extra sensitive to taking up those nutrients.

Tip 5: Take Two Or Three Days Off Per Week

Finally, your body needs rest – the professional athlete standard of no days or only one day off per week will likely not be enough for those of us doing intense CrossFit training sessions. Instead, aim for two or three days off per week from all intense exercise.

Do some leisure exercise if you wish, schedule mobility or yoga classes as mentioned previously, but most importantly, re-energize yourself for the week ahead.

So there you have the most vital points to remember if you hope to see a maximum recovery between CrossFit training sessions. Use these tips and you can be sure you will be coming back to each workout ready to give 110%!

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Recovery Between Sets: What’s The Best Strategy?

How long you rest between sets matters more than you think. In fact, it’s another training variable that can impact the results you get. If the rest period between sets is too short, your muscles won’t have recovered enough to maximize performance on the subsequent set, too long and you’ll burn fewer calories and reduce the intensity of your workout. So, how do you strike the perfect balance?

Rest Periods Are Another Training Variable

How long you rest between sets depends on your training goals, your level of conditioning, and the intensity of your workouts. If you’re using lighter weights, with the goal of increasing muscle endurance and burning lots of calories, keep your rest periods short, less than 30 seconds.

If you’re lifting heavy to develop strength, longer rest periods, as long as 3 to 5 minutes, will allow creatine phosphate/ATP stores to be restored enough to maximize your lift on the set that follows. For a hypertrophy workout, rest periods of between 30 and 60 seconds are typical. If you’re just starting out and haven’t developed a high level of conditioning, you may need longer rest periods between sets.

While there’s no doubt you need to rest between sets, especially if you’re lifting heavy, how you approach it can vary. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looked at this issue.

In this study, researchers looked at four types of recovery methods. Let’s looks at each type of recovery mode they used:

Active recovery – Lifting a light weight between sets using the same muscles you just worked. The idea is to keep oxygenated blood flowing to the muscles you just trained. In the study, participants did leg extensions without added resistance between sets.

Passive recovery – Allowing your muscles to relax completely between sets. In the study, the participants simply rested after doing each set.

Passive diverting – Keeping your nervous system active but in a way that differs from the exercise you just did. For example, in the study, they asked participants to squeeze a sponge ball during each two-minute recovery period after completing each set of leg extensions.

Active diverting – This employs a combination of active recovery and passive diverting. You work the muscle group you just trained lightly between sets AND do an unrelated exercise. In the study, the participants did leg extensions without weights and squeezed on a sponge ball.

As part of the study, researchers asked participants to do 50 leg extensions and recover for two minutes after each set using one of the four recovery methods. They used different recovery methods on different days. The researchers monitored the participants’ performance by measuring the loss of peak torque on the subsequent set.

Their findings? Peak torque was reduced most on the subsequent set when the participants did a passive recovery or rested between sets than when they used any of the other three recovery strategies. Although the difference wasn’t dramatic, about 3%, this study suggests keeping your nervous system active, by lightly working the muscles you just trained or lightly working another muscle group may allow you to perform slightly better on the next set compared to just resting.

Other Rest Period Tips

How long do YOU rest between sets? It’s important to know. Unless you keep tabs on how long you’re resting between sets, you may stand around too long and reduce the intensity of your workouts – not to mention waste time. A 5-minute rest period is appropriate for a strength workout but not for a muscle endurance workout when you’re using lighter weights and performing high reps.

Long rest periods are also counterproductive if you’re trying to maximize the number of calories you burn. The reason a long rest period works best for strength training is because it gives your muscles time to recover before the next set. As a result, you can lift more weight or do more reps than if you gave your muscles only a minute or 30 seconds to recover. The goal of strength training is to maximize the resistance you use and thereby force your muscles and nervous system to adapt so you become stronger.

Another advantage of shorter rest periods is they offer more cardiovascular benefits because you’re not giving your heart rate time to drop back to baseline.  Short rest periods also maximize release of growth hormone and testosterone, two hormones that help burn fat and build lean body mass.

As you can see, the time between sets depends on your training goals. Are you trying to build strength, muscle size, or increase muscle endurance? Adjust your rest period accordingly. One point to consider is that your muscles recover almost 100% of their function with 2 to 5 minutes of rest, about 75% with a minute of rest, and only half after a 30-second rest period.

Doing Cardio Between Sets

Another approach is to do a cardiovascular exercise like jumping jacks or high knees between sets. If you’re trying to increase calorie burn and improve your cardiovascular fitness, this strategy is effective, however, cardio is an energy zapper that can impact your performance on the subsequent set. If you’re doing a circuit/muscle endurance workout, that’s not a problem, however, it works against you if you’re lifting for strength or hypertrophy gains and need to maximize your lifts.

The Bottom Line

Rest periods are a training variable you can manipulate to achieve your goals. Active rest periods may offer advantages, depending on the type of training you’re doing. As the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research study suggests lightly working the muscles you just trained or other muscles between sets, without using a significant load, keeps your nervous system “primed” for the next set without exhausting the muscles.

In cases where you’re working muscle endurance, very short rest periods or cardio sets between resistance exercises can be beneficial to increase the calorie burn. What you do want to avoid is standing around too much between sets to the point that you waste time or lose your focus.


7 Steps To Start Running

Are you thinking of starting a running program? Congrats, you are on the right thinking track.

Running can help you get into the best shape of your life because you can do it almost anywhere anytime. All you need is a pair of good running shoes, a good fitness watch (ok you don’t neeeeed this but I find it really helps!) and off you go for a killer workout.

But if you are really out of shape and/or have never run before, then starting out is tricky. In fact, the high impact nature of this sport can take a toll on your body (and mind) if you don’t start on the right foot.

Nevertheless, don’t fret yet.

Today I’m sharing with you the exact training steps you need to take in order to start running right, stay injury free, and keep it up for the long haul.

So without further ado, here are the 5 steps you need to take to start and keep an injury-free running program.

Build it up with walking

In order to run, you have to walk first. And this is key if you are new comer to the sport of running.

The walking will help you lay the endurance foundation you need to make the transition to running with the least amount of trouble – provided that you are willing to invest the time and some effort into it.

So start out your training program with some consistent walks first. Do 20 to 30 minutes walks the first few weeks, three times per week, then slowly work it up to 60 minutes walks at a brisk pace by week 4 or 5.

Once you are comfortable walking for 60 minutes without much trouble, then and only then you can take it to the next level: add segments of running into the walks.

Add Running intervals

After two, four , or even six of week of regular walking, you should be fit enough to pick up the pace by adding a few 10 to 20 seconds of running intervals, every two to three minutes, into your walks. This will definitely raise your heart rate up, but it won’t be putting too much stress on your body.

So make sure to run/walk at least three times per week with one rest day between sessions. The length and intensity of the running intervals depends, mostly, on your fitness level first, then fitness goals second. Your body’s feedback is the ultimate judge here, so do the wise thing and keep listening to it and act accordingly.

Lengthen the running

Once you are able to alternate between 30-seconds of running and one to two minutes of walking for 20 minutes, then start running a little longer.

Keep increasing your running time until you can 30 to 40 minutes of running at a time, three days a week.

To make sure you are doing it right, you shouldn’t be feeling sore or completely worn out at the end of your sessions. Instead you should feel like you still have energy left in the tank and could have done more rounds if you wanted to.

Take your running to the next level

After gaining enough endurance to run straight for 30 minutes without stopping you should pat yourself on the back because now, in my book, you are officially a runner. But it’s not the end of the road here. You are basically faced with two options:

You can stay within your current training intensity and decide to not push it (this will eventually lead to boredom and training plateaus). Or, you could choose to take your running to the next level (I strongly urge you to do so because that’s when real change starts to happen).

You can basically take your running to the next level by doing the following:

  • Gradually increase your running time to 60 to 90 minutes by following the 10 percent rule.
  • Sign for up for a 5K or 10K race
  • Start doing intervals and fartleks
  • Embrace the hills

Injury proof your runs

Injury are runners worst enemy so do your best to stay injury free for the long haul. Good news is you can do that by following some simple and straightforward rules. And here are few:

  • Keep a keen eye (and ear) on your body throughout your runs and afterwards. The feedback you get from your body is vital, so use it wisely.
  • Make sure to take plenty of recovery days especially when you start feeling that you are venturing into overtraining land. Burnouts will only make you a bitter runner, so avoid them at all costs.
  • Practice good running form at all time. Be sure to run as tall as possible, breathe deep, keep your body relaxed the entire time.
  • Make recovery a priority so have plenty of quality sleep, take care of your nutrition and feel free to back off from running in the incident of injury. If you are injured, stop. No need to make it worse.

Kit out your run:

Gadgets: If you can’t record or track your run, did it even happen…? My solution is the new Swatch Touch Zero One, sure they come in a range of colours from modest black to bright (male/female), but you can dig a little deeper post run with the Swatch Touch Zero One App for extra info and statistics – including calories burned, the average hit power, the ability to count your steps, distance traveled and activity time – all on your wrist. The App also gives you a graphical activity overview: how many steps walking vs. how many running, 31-day step counter memory. I particularly like that there is a ‘coach’, the guy who motivates and rewards you with an ice cream cone if you reach your daily step goal (hey I work on rewards) and the closer you get, the bigger the ice cream! To spur you on, the App lets you choose between 3 built-in coaches with different personalities and motivational styles: LAZY DUDE, TOUGH GUY or SUPERHERO.

Wear: As mentioned above, correct running shoes is a must. Get a pro fit for your unique foot and running needs over style. For example if you have never run, don’t choose a Nike Free for your first running shoe, rather, go for something with a little more stability. Your ankle will thank you for it. I’m digging the two colour-ways Nike Air Zoom Structure 19, sure they look cool… but there is a whole bunch of research behind the range. From the flymesh upper to the triple density foam midsole, they give plenty of support and the response you need for a smooth, stable ride that feels extra fast.

Hydrate: tick the hydration box and protein box in one go post run with Raw C’s new diary free coconut water with cacao powder and protein. And it tastes good. #winning

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This Kickboxing Class Will Change Your Life For The Rest Of Time!

Cardio kickboxing integrates the center-healthy eating habits study an aerobics class combined with the one-two punch facet of fighting techniques and provides a whole body exercise. One particular hour of cardio kickboxing will melt away to 800 calories, supplying you with the lean and healthy body that you need.

However, beyond this massive fat burn, you will also obtain lots of other advantages from Nashville kickboxing including fat loss, muscle training, cardio enhancement, self-defense and stress reduction. The exercise increases your heartbeat, that can surely assist in burning fat and calories plus hone your reflexes, enhancing overall balance. In the following paragraphs, we will mention 7 most effective benefits of cardio kickboxing.

1. Reduces Stress

You can actually kick along with punch on your path to some stress-free experience within minutes with the kickboxing program. What in Nashville kickboxing will challenge the main muscle tissues and gives you an entire workout, quickly.

2. Enhances Confidence Levels

Kickboxing can help you discharge endorphins which will offer your mood a good start thereby allow you to feel additional confident. Endorphins will additionally help you feel more joyful and also more positive for a couple of hours following the workout.

3. Promotes Coordination

Should you be being affected by posture problems and, in addition, have poor coordination, cardio kickboxing will assist you to reinforce your core and in addition enhance your reflexes plus coordination skills. Rapid punches and kicks within the kickboxing regimen will provide the opportunity to concentrate your time to complete each movement effectively.

4. Burns Calories

Research has revealed that cardio kickboxing can readily burn 800-1,000 calories hourly, and you’ll be toning up your muscles your whole body when you ramp up your metabolic rate. This is a high-power cardio regimen that is designed for weight loss plus most dependable who is fit, fast.

5. Perfect Cross-Training Exercise

Can you dislike jogging or doing cardio training for a substantial time period? Kickboxing is the better cross-training exercise when combined with a training routine or perhaps just wearing some boxing gloves for additional resistance. Only one or two workouts each week can allow you to liberate from the fitness rut, quickly.

6. Boosts Energy

Kickboxing is in reality a high-energy cardio program which will provide your body and mind an enhancement, and may transform your levels of energy. You’ll be breathing hard as well as sweating out the toxins this technique will provide your efforts levels balance-needed boost.

7. Improves Posture

In case you sit before some type of computer all day long, cardio kickboxing exercises will challenge muscle tissues that won’t get adequate attention throughout the day, and you will start to develop your core. Core muscle tissues throughout the abdominal wall are usually targeted with kickboxing workouts since you need to takes place waist in addition to abs for balance and perform each meticulously coordinated action.

In the above-mentioned facts, obviously cardio kickboxing exercises provide several amazing benefits for your as well as your mind. Regardless if you are an exercise enthusiast or simply just starting out with a workout schedule, cardio kickboxing will surely help you in achieving your workout goals.

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Shoulder Dislocation Rehabilitation For Weightlifting

I realize that when I wrote the first article in this series I said I’d write every 1-2 weeks and it’s now been about 11 weeks, but in my defense, there wasn’t much to say for at least five of those weeks.
The MRI showed an extensively torn labrum and a tear in the rotator cuff (supraspinatus), but the extent of the latter wasn’t clear. I went in for surgery on September 4th, and once inside the shoulder, the surgeon confirmed the extent of the labral tear and that the RC tear was a lot worse than the MRI suggested—complete thickness tear. He described the operation as two surgeries at once, and the surgery report concluded with the phrase “an extraordinary effort was required…”. (If you’ll recall, the original ortho I met with told me I didn’t need an MRI… good doctor.)
The labrum was torn 270 degrees around—I’m told that with a shoulder dislocation, 90 degrees is typical, so I tore triple the normal amount. That explains the sound of green tree branches tearing that I heard at the time of the injury. Basically I tore my arm off. He used 4 anchors to reattach the labrum and 2 for the rotator cuff.
The pain in the first 36 hours post-op was considerably worse than the pain of the original injury. It wasn’t helped by the PA accidentally prescribing me half the correct dose of hydrocodone, but it abated pretty quickly and I was off the pain meds by the third day.
I was in a sling for 4 weeks after the surgery, which was easily the most miserable part of the entire experience to date. It was like having a duffle bag slung over my shoulder while being rear naked choked by a really weak guy for a month. Sleeping was also a near impossibility—it was like being in a fight with my wife for a month straight and having to sleep on the couch, but only in a single uncomfortable position.
The biggest concern the surgeon had was joint capsule tightness due to the extensiveness of the injury and subsequent repair, and the extended period of immobilization. The capsular tightness turned out to be very real—once I finally got out of the sling, it felt like my joint capsule was full of concrete. When you’re stretching tight muscles, there’s still a sense of elasticity at the end range—with my shoulder, the end range feels running into a brick wall. He’s predicted a 10-12 month recovery.
The day I got out of the sling, I had essentially zero active range of motion—I basically couldn’t move my arm at all except for a few degrees of internal-external rotation with my elbow tucked against my side. Passively, I could get about 45 degrees of shoulder flexion, about 20 degrees of abduction (although not even directly lateral), with my elbow bent to 90 degrees, I couldn’t even get my forearm straight forward, and with my arm hanging at my side, I couldn’t get my hand behind my hip. Suffice to say it was pretty depressing.
I also had some lingering partial numbness in my fingertips even after I was out of the sling. That took a couple weeks to disappear. Presumably it was the result of inflammation around the nerves.
I started physical therapy the next day, which was primarily testing range of motion, some simple passive stretches, some light isometrics, and then a bout of ice. I was given a short list of stretches and exercises to do 2-3 times daily:
  • Assisted active shoulder flexion (using my good arm to help raise my bad arm and trying as much as I can to lift the bad arm itself, which was virtually not at all)
  • Passive external rotation (elbow at side and bent to 90, pushing my hand out with a PVC pipe)
  • Wall crawl (inching fingers up along the wall to try to get passive shoulder flexion)
  • Internal and external rotation isometrics against a band
  • Prone scapular retraction/depression with 10 second holds
Every couple PT sessions, I would get a few new exercises or new versions as ROM and strength progressed.
The week of October 12th, my passive flexion reached 140 degrees—by passive, I mean after 30 min of being worked on and having my PT just about standing on my arm to push it into position—and could get about 90 degrees active flexion. External rotation was a little better but I could still barely get past 90 degrees (90 degrees being my forearm pointed straight forward with my elbow bent to 90 degrees).
The PT added some more stretches and exercises that week:
  • Presses with a PVC pipe (“press” is a generous description for this movement – more like a partial standing incline bench with an oddly internally rotated left arm being dragged along by my right arm)
  • Internal and external rotation isometrics against a doorjamb
  • Push and pull isometrics against a door jamb
  • Passive abduction (using a PVC pipe to push my hand up)
  • Snatch and clean grip flexion while lying on a foam roller
  • Pulley flexion (using a cord and pulley to lift the arm into shoulder flexion)
  • Band scapular retraction and depression
The week of the 26th, the PT was able to get me into 155 degrees of passive flexion, and after getting warmed up and stretched, I was able to get about 110 degrees of painful active flexion. Passive abduction was about 100 degrees, and active close to 90. External rotation was about 100 degrees active (if the forearm straight forward is 90). With the elbow at my side, the PT was able to get about 110 degrees of passive external rotation; with my arm abducted a bit, a little more. I could also get my hand slightly behind my back.
The PT warned me early on that the ROM would initially improve relatively quickly, and then the final range would take considerably longer. I’m beginning to see that slowdown now.
The therapy generally is very painful—passive stretches and PNF contract-relax stretches, and occasionally some movement against her light resistance. At the end ranges of motion, it feels like the capsule is about to rip in half. It is entirely unenjoyable.
I did essentially no training at all during the period of time when I was in the sling save for some unweighted squats, lunges, split squats, crunches, back extensions and the like, along with all the shoulder work. A week after I got out of the sling, I tried safety squat bar squats again—definitely a little painful but tolerable with light weight.
By last week, I was able to load the squats more with less pain, but my strength is not particularly impressive right now after doing little to nothing for two months and losing 8kg. Once I can squat consistently again, I suspect it will come back relatively quickly. I’m also hoping I’m a month or so away from being able to hold a barbell on my back for squatting, but that may be overly optimistic—I couldn’t even hold a 6” cambered bar today. I think I may be able to front squat sooner using a strap on the left side to hold the bar rather than getting my hand under it.
I’ve also been sneaking in some very light dumbbell curls (10-12 lbs) 2-3 days/week, and have tried some bent rows with the same weight, but with a bit too much pain to be able to convince myself that the PT was wrong to tell me not to start this stuff yet. I’ve also done some dumbbell shrugs with 30-35 lbs very slowly and cautiously to try to bring my traps back from the verge of extinction.
This injury has become a bit of a delineation in my lifting career (if you can call it that—I’ll be generous today). Had it happened years ago, I don’t think it would have had the same effect. The reality, however, is that by the time I can lift again, I’ll be 36 years old and still have all the same non-lifting responsibilities I have now, such as coaching a large team, running a business, and trying to keep my wife and daughter and dog from hating me. I was hanging in there fairly well for my age and obligations, but this setback may prove to be more than I can truly rebound from due to the circumstances. There’s no question I’ll return to lifting in the gym at the very least, but whether or not I return to competition, at least at the national level, is questionable at this point. But who knows. I said that before a few years ago after quitting competition for 5 years to focus on coaching and building Catalyst Athletics, and that didn’t last. Ten-twelve months is a long time, and I’m only at the leading edge of it. I suppose a lot can change.

Some great benefits of Cardio Kickboxing

Kickboxing is an alternative exercise routine to indoor digital cameras workouts and aerobics workouts. Its popularity continues to rise. In accordance with the American Council on Education, the Tae-Bo kind of Vancouver kickboxing along with forms of exercise inspired by martial arts training are the most favored fitness classes inside a majority of gyms in the us. There are a variety of advantages to fitness kickboxing.

Combines Weight Lifting Workout and Aerobic Workout

Undertaking either an anaerobic workout (for example calisthenics, Nautilus, and resistance training) or even an aerobic workout (including using a fitness bike, stairmaster, and running) will not likely offer you maximum benefits. Your best bet for achieving overall fitness efficiently is by doing both.

For example, a high level runner, you’ll be able to choose to do less running and taking part in weight training. In reality, you will see that you are going to convey more strength for the runs. On the other hand, should your exercise routine focuses on strength training, you’ll be able to improve your muscle and definition by doing some cardio. With fitness kickboxing, you are able to incorporate two dimensions with your workout regimen.

Complete-body Exercise

The ideal exercise regimen works out the entire body, rather than simply a few parts. Men with surplus fat over their abdominals are recognized to focus read more about crunches so that you can reduce their mid-section. Kickboxing in Vancouver incorporates the cardio component. This reduces the risk of an increase in waist size. To develop abdominals and get as well as-desired washboard effect, excess stomach fat ought to be removed.

Similarly, women are likely to be more concerned about their thighs and hips. Conventional wisdom dictates that they can do lunges and squats to tone muscles in these regions. However, with no holistic exercise program, like fitness kickboxing, developed muscles will still be paid by fat as well as the buttocks and legs appear bigger. Cardio- or fitness-kickboxing works out the complete body.

Time is utilized Efficiently

Out of the 168 hours available per week, all you need is at the very least three hours of cardio or fitness kickboxing–roughly 1.8% in the total time–to get results. Such as travel time to and from the martial arts school or fitness center pushes the amount around four percent, leaving ninety-6 % of your energy to pay attention to other important things.

The apparent “inconvenience” of squeezing a workout program into the lifestyle will yield long-term benefits. There’s no doubt within the wisdom of buying your longevity, which will result through the five basic pieces of the kickboxing fitness routine: flexibility, body composition, muscular endurance, muscular strength, and cardiovascular fitness.

Note that while cardio or fitness kickboxing doesn’t require one to make use of the same intensity and pace as a specialist fighting techniques fighter, you’ll still benefit from the same fitness benefits. Even kids can profit from the youngsters martial arts training in Brooklyn.

Offers Useful Self-Defense Capabilities

With fitness kickboxing, you’re able to learn valuable self-defense skills at the same time you happen to be working out. However, to learn practical use of the fighting techniques techniques you practice in mid-air, you want to use them with a bag or a dummy. WEBSITE, click here, cardio kickboxing classes near Vancouver


Kickboxing is a popular sport done by millions people worldwide, this sport operates as a recreation activity, professional kick boxers earn a living through this discipline. However a specific way of the game called cardiovascular kickboxing has brought shape today, this can be different in the original discipline because it involves a mix of boxing, aerobics and martial arts training, for the sole purpose of health insurance physical conditioning. On this specific discipline there’s no physical contact between partners performing the game. Cheltenham kickboxing is a great workout program that engages every muscle in the body, doing exercises the arms,abs, thighs, knees and butt in a single routine exercise, enhances muscle sculpting. Your workout involves starting to heat up with pushups and crunches then gradually proceeds to intense workouts, that happen to be punching, crosses, jabs round kicks, front kicks, hooks and upper cuts. Getting involved in practicing kickboxing has numerous good things about a person. When a person is an everyday in this sport discipline spending a portion of your day’s time performing various moves and exercises, implies that at the conclusion of your day they’ll be exhausted this also reduces body fatigue and stress in an exceedingly advanced level. The average man who will kickboxing often burns between 800 and 1200 calories after every one hour with the exercise, in addition they undergo 10% to fifteenPer-cent higher metabolism for the next twenty four hours. Most of the people spend long enduring hours in weight lifting gymnasiums, whereas whenever they spend that time practicing kickboxing in Cheltenham the pace of movement has a higher rate of muscle building capability, the reason being the sport’s combination of doing round kicks jabs and front kicks will involve all muscles inside a synchronized activity. Most chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiac event are due to accumulation of surplus fat by the body processes, most people are unwilling to start exercising due the long boring routine that accompany it, however everything that can alter with a good cardio kickboxing, case mainly because that a majority of kickboxing classes have a lot of participants which has a common goal of weight-loss. Here there’s motivation to keep exercising along with the whole process is fun, beginning the warm up session to body exercises therefore the actual kickboxing practice you were bound to burn too much fat, therefore when done frequently the situation of extra fat turns into a thing of the past. Kickboxing like all other fighting techniques oriented disciplines contains one of the keys that is learning martial arts techniques, an excessive amount of tasks are put in mastering moves including the fighting stance, the hook, the jab, the best way to initiate an uppercut , top and the side kick. Learning this sport sculptures somebody physically this really is by toning one’s body and muscles, it also empowers someone to work hard as well as enables you to definitely be more confident because they are trained on self defense tactics, and lastly improves someone’s health.

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