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Strength Training  Home Fitness Equipment Experts Blog

Functional Movements we all should be using

Posted by Chris A on December 24, 2008 under Fitness, Fitness Equipment, Fitness Habits, Strength Training, Workout Variety Be the First to Comment

     Has it ever dawned on you that the exercises that the “top fitness coaches” continuously recommend are never the latest Hi-Tech machines? Why is it then that equipment manufacturers and commercial gyms are constantly bombarding us with their latest creations of reinventing the wheel? You know, like the new cybertron calf or glute toner machine guaranteed to tone or shape those hardgainer bodyparts with its patented spring technology! It’s because there is a lot more profit in a complex $5000 piece of equipment than there is in a dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell, or god forbid your own body weight. Not that machines don’t have their place, but come on enough already. If you can’t master body weight movements, do you think you really should be using leverage machines to make your exercise easier or more convenient?

   Anyway, sorry about the rant. I’ll save that debate for later… Back to the topic at hand. Functional Movements that we all should be doing! Now the following list isn’t cutting edge, in fact you’ve probably been told to use these exercises in the past, but glanced over them thinking “I’m not a beginner” or “I use them”. But do you? And even if you do use them, do you vary the methods and countless variations of them in your routine to keep it fresh?

Squatting                    bodyweight, free weights, kettlebell, bands

Deadlifting                  free weights, bands, kettlebells, sandbags 

Horizontal Pressing      bench press, pushup, bands, cables

Horizontal Pulling        cable rows, bands, free weights

Vertical Pressing         military presses w/free weights, bands, KB’s

Vertical Pulling            chins, pulldowns, bands, cables

Dragging/Pushing        sled drags/sled pushing

     These functional movements should make up the core of your training program. As you can see there are plenty of variations and methods to use with them (and these are only a few). This is where an experienced strength coach can help you implement them into your training based on your goals. The main reason you should be incorporating these functional exercises into your fitness routine is that, well their “functional exercises”. This basically means that they will transfer to your every day life in terms of benefit or value. You see, focusing on isolation exercises or machine exercises where leverage assists you takes away the balance and stability necessary to perform real world movements. Functional exercise movements use many muscle groups at once both to move the body and stabilize and balance all at the same time. Clearly a much better return on investment than performing a bicep isolation curl. So if your still doing the same Circuit machine routine from the 80’s, maybe you should try incorporating these movements into your routine and start getting some real results. I promise you’ll see a huge difference in your efforts!

Using the Home Fitness Video DVD

Posted by Chris A on December 2, 2008 under Cardio Training, Fitness, Strength Training, Workout Variety Be the First to Comment

There are many ways that you can workout. The question is not which is the best type, but rather, which one can you stick with for the long haul. Each type of exercise has benefits and downfalls, but those are not as important as you might think. You can try many things only to give up within weeks or even days because it is not something that you are enjoying. One option is the home exercise video DVD, and that is something that anyone can try. Many people like starting a new fitness program after a long layoff in the comfort and privacy of their own home.

You don’t have to stick with the same exercise video DVD if you don’t wish to, but you can find four or five of them that you really like and rotate them. When you do that, you know you have something that you can do without feeling as if you are bored and stuck in a rut, and you can then switch them up. Some find only one exercise video DVD, and that is all that they use, but that can backfire in the long run. Find one style that you like and see if you can find at least five that fit the bill but offer some variety.

There are different types of exercise video DVD you can go with. You can try to see what is pleasing to the mind before you try them. There are your standard aerobics types of DVD that you can try, and if you have done those in the past and liked them, then that might be what you want to try first. You can also find an exercise video DVD that has dance moves. These are done for many different types of dance. Some prefer this as they feel as if they are learning to dance and not just doing the same old exercise routines.

There are special or trendy exercise video DVD series that you can use as well, but don’t get them just because they are trendy and everyone you know is using them. You should really take a moment and look at what is involved to see if that might be appealing to you. If not, they are just going to collect dust along with some of the other things you have gotten for exercise but never used. If you think about physical activities that you love to do, you can probably find a fitness exercise video that caters to that niche.

Don’t just focus on Aerobic exercise DVD’s either, make sure to incorporate some strength training videos. Perhaps try some bodyweight workouts, Kettlebell workouts, free weights, home gyms, etc…

When choosing your new exercise video DVD collection, you can try a few out first by going somewhere to get a free preview, or you can buy cheap on eBay. Once you know what you like, you can see what you can find online both new and used. You may even want to sell your old sets of video exercises online so that you can then use that money to get the ones that you know you really like and are going to use longer than for just a few days or weeks. You will be glad that you did.

Tags: dvd, exercise videos, fitness DVD''s, home workout videos

Posted by Chris A on November 10, 2008 under Fat Loss, Strength Training Be the First to Comment

Review of Turbulence Training: The Program that Promises Maximum Fat Loss in Minimum Workout Time

Turbulence Training promises fast fat loss results for men and women who don’t have a lot of time for exercise. This is a bold promise, and the workouts promise maximum results in only three workouts per week.

Let’s take a look at this claim, and see if it really measures up!

Before we get to the program, let’s take a look at the expert behind the workouts. I’ve come across Craig Ballantyne’s name many times in popular fitness magazines such as Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness, and even in Oxygen and Shape magazines. So the program is clearly put together by a trusted fitness expert.

I’ve also talked to Craig about his training and education background, and I’ll be honest, it was impressive, unlike the trainers with weekend certifications that pop up at large commercial gyms. Craig’s experience goes back to the mid-nineties, in both the gym and in the research lab. He’s actually led research trials on sport supplements, strength training, and cardiovascular training.

Plus, Craig has been a strength coach and has worked with hundreds of clients in thousands of training sessions. This is a unique, and thorough background, so its not surprising he’s come up with a new training system for fat loss.

In fact, Craig’s articles are always pretty hard on traditional aerobic cardio workouts. So if you’re looking for new ways to spend 30 or 60-minutes doing cardio, then this program is not for you. But if you only have 45 minutes to workout, a couple of times per week, and you have access to only a bench, dumbells, and an exercise ball, then you’ll like what Craig has for you here.

Now one of the biggest questions about the program is simply, “What is Turbulence Training?” Well according to Craig, its the combination of resistance training and interval training used to boost your metabolism so that your body burns calories and fat between workouts. He says, “Cardio doesn’t boost your metabolism after exercise. Only strength training and interval training do that - while you work, sleep, and eat - your body will be shedding fat.”

Fortunately, Craig’s unique system of bodyweight exercises, dumbell exercises, and interval training can all be done at home, with minimal equipment (if you are really strong, it might help to have a chinup bar). So again, if you are one of those people who loves machines, or cardio equipment, or marathon workouts, then this program is not for you.

Frankly, I’ve used the program myself and recommended to many others. Why? Because no one has time for long workouts! That’s why. After an eight or ten hour workday, a round-trip commute of 90 minutes, and spending time with my family, I just don’t have time to do another 90 minute workout every day of the week.

In fact, I either get up early and do the workout before work, or I do it just before bed. This workout is perfect for busy men and women. But its not the type of routine that is going to turn anyone into a pro bodybuilder. If you want maximum muscle and want to bulk up, try another one of Craig’s programs. But the Turbulence Training system is best for burning fat without sacrificing muscle - so you end up lean, defined, chiseled and toned.

And its fun! So many workouts are boring (i.e. long cardio) or repetitive (i.e. doing the same bodybuilding workout over and over again). But Turbulence Training uses a lot of unique (but not fluffy) exercises, including some cool, killer bodyweight moves that will make you more athletic and increase your functional and core strength - again, all with minimal equipment needs.

But, I am even able to recommend this program to friends who are just starting out, because Craig has put together a 6-week introductory program, and a 4-week intermediate program in addition to the 16-week advanced training phase (PLUS, the Turbulence Training program comes with a massive amount of bonus workouts for muscle building, bodyweight only, advanced fat loss, and even a female specific bonus).

But each workout progresses into the next. He’s used all of these workouts with hundreds of clients - so they are safe and effective. Sure, you can get other programs that leave you smashed and puking after the first workout, but Turbulence Training is not like that. Soreness doesn’t matter, only results matter! And you are in expert hands with Turbulence Training, and Men’s Health expert, Craig Ballantyne.

Craig’s Turbulence Training also contains a contract — basically, your pledge to being committed to the program. It also includes an ebook on Nutrition Guidelines from expert, Dr. Chris Mohr, Ph.D., and an extensive Q&A section, a 21-Healthy Habit Building Plan, plus the complete Turbulence Training workouts for beginner, intermediate and advanced level individuals.

All users will benefit from the Turbulence Training MP3 audio where Craig goes over the program, plus you can find every single exercise explained in detail, complete with photos.

Okay, so bottom line. Turbulence Training is NOT….

A bodybuilding program to gain bulk

A workout with lots of time-wasting isolation exercises

Turbulence Training provides NONE of the above. On the other hand, Turbulence Training is perfect for busy men and women who want to burn fat in the comfort of their own homes without spending a lot of money on equipment or space on exercise machines. Oh, and you’ll actually have fun and you won’t “dread” these workouts - heck, they will be over before you know it!

If you’re in the slightest bit curious, I recommend you look closely at Craig’s program. I was very impressed with all of the Turbulence Training workouts, the bonuses, the guarantee, and Craig’s expertise. For the money, it’s the best deal in the fitness and fat loss industry - so much better than diet pills! And remember…

Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training is backed by a 8-week money back guarantee. And this is a real guarantee… if you are not completely satisfied, you will receive your money back, no “ifs,” “ands,” or “buts.” So you really have nothing to lose.

Tags: Fat Loss, Interval Training, Strength Training

What is the best for fat loss?

Posted by Coach Blue on October 5, 2008 under Fat Loss, Strength Training Be the First to Comment

     Too many times a day I am asked the same question,  “I want to lose weight should I get a treadmill or an elliptical”   While both pieces ares better than doing nothing they are not your best answer if you want to get long term results and benefits.  The secret to faster and quicker results that can transform your body is :  Drum roll please…..Strength training!   The benefits of adding strength training to your fat loss  regimen are unbelievable.  By adding strength training to your routine you increase your lean muscle mass  (this is a good thing!)   Lean muscle is a more active tissue that requires your body to burn more calories at rest.  Woo Hoo!  So while you are sitting there watching “Dancing with the stars”  you are burning more calories than the marshmallow that is sitting next to you that only walks on the treadmill because they don’t want to “bulk up” doing weights.  We will discuss this “bulk up” fallacy  in future blogs,   but for now you need to hit the weights.  Trust me you will like the results and you will save a lot of time.

Tags: Fat Loss, Fitness, Fitness Habits, Strength Training

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Functional Movements we all should be using

Using the Home Fitness Video DVD

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