We Are Fitness Blog

Which Is The Best Cardio Machine In The Gym?

Gyms contain a dizzying array of aerobic equipment, such as treadmills, stair climbers, elliptical trainers, rowing machines and stationary bikes.

Which is best? The overall winner is treadmill running. It builds cardiovascular fitness and burns calories faster than any other form of exercise you can do on cardio equipment.

Modern treadmills have knee friendly surfaces, sophisticated programmers that allow varied and interesting training routines, but provide enough shock to build or maintain strong bones.

After the treadmill, the elliptical trainer is a close second. While granted it’s less effective than the treadmill for bone development, its easy action makes it an exerciser’s joy and its variable workload can accommodate everyone from rank beginner to a world class athlete.

The elliptical trainer is particularly good for people with knee cap pain. The motion places minimal stress on the knee, while promoting joint lubrication.

The rowing machine is best for people who want a total body workout. Modern rowing machines take more skill than other cardio machines. Also, poor technique may increase the risk of back pain (Something I found out the hard way).

After saying all that, the real winner is the machine that YOU will use. Choose the machines you like and fulfil your needs and exercise on them regularly. Ultimately whatever machine you choose, commitment and enjoying the process will reward you with results.

Until the next time, have a good one.

The Core Stiffness Revolution

Isometric core exercises are superior to traditional dynamic exercises for building core muscles because they develop core stiffness and spinal stability.

Core stiffness is vital for gym goers and athletes alike because it strengthens core muscles and improves endurance, reduces lower back pain and boosts sports performance and day to day activities. Greater core stiffness transfers strength and speed to the limbs, increases the load bearing capacity of the spine and protects the internal organs during sports movements.

A series of studies directed by the University of Waterloo in Canada showed that isometric exercises for the core resulted in greater core stiffness than whole body dynamic exercises that activated core muscles.

So the next time you’re thinking of changing up your workout routine, consider including some form of core workout. Exercises such as side planks, TRX mountain climbers, wheel roll outs, carry exercises, landmines, cable chops and bear crawls could be in your arsenal.

Until the next time, keep it healthy and keep it simple.

Tilapia is Supposedly Unhealthy For You

Eating fish containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of heart attack and heart related sudden death. The risk of heart disease decreases by 7 percent for every 20 grams of fish consumed per day. This information has caused explosive growth in the fishing industry.

Unfortunately, people are gravitating toward less healthy farmed fish, such as tilapia, because it is inexpensive. A wake Forest University study found that farm raised tilapia is high in arachidonic acid, an omega -6 fatty acid. Which causes inflammation linked to heart disease, blood vessel damage and cell aging. To make matters worse, tilapia contains few heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which is one of the reasons for eating more fish in the first place.

Fish high in omega-3s include mackerel, trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon.

The take home message here is that fish is healthy for you as long as you eat the right kind.

Let me close by wishing all our valued members a successful and peaceful Ramadan Kareem.

Until the next time, happy training.

Strength Linked to Longer Life

Get strong if you want to live longer.

Most exercise recommendations mention muscle strength as an afterthought. Aerobic exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system, protects the heart and blood vessels from disease, and reduces the risk of heart attack and heart –related sudden death.

A 19 year old study of 8,762 men aged 20 to 80 conducted at the Karolinska institute in Sweden found that men with the highest levels of strength were less likely to die each year from heart disease, cancer or any other cause. The men received medical exams and physical fitness tests and their status was re-evaluated nearly 20 years later.

Greater strength reduced the risk of death from all causes by 32 percent, 50 percent from heart attack and 32 percent from cancer compared to the weakest one third of the men.

Increasing strength might make you live longer and increase the quality of life.

Weight training should not however be a substitute for aerobic exercise. You should do both.

Have a good one and see you next time.

Training to Failure: How much and How Often?

Feeling the burn and pushing reps to the max have always been part of effective training for bodybuilding. Failure training involves doing an exercise until the muscles no longer respond.

A recent study from Eastern Illinois University discussed the pluses and minuses of failure training methods. Many studies have examined the optimal number of sets in a program, but few have looked at the effects of failure training on muscle size and strength.

Failure training allows advanced bodybuilders and lifters to break training plateaus and move to the next level. These highly intense workouts must be incorporated into short term cycles to avoid overtraining. Failure training is effective because it recruits more motor units  (Muscle fibres and their nerve supply) and stimulates the secretion of anabolic hormones such as growth hormone, insulin like growth factor and testosterone, and increases insulin sensitivity (Insulin is a powerful and anabolic hormone).

Increases in strength require high intensity overload, so bodybuilders should not rely on high rep burn programs for making progress. Bodybuilders and power athletes must push the big iron if they want to get stronger and bigger.

Excessive failure training leads to injury, overtraining and loss of motivation. Failure training can move you to the next level, but don’t overdo it.

Good luck with your intensive workout.

Bench Press Secrets

 

Most guys measure their strength by their bench press. Why is it that some men bench houses, while others have trouble benching much more than 225 pounds or less?

A recent study looked at tried and true methods for boosting your bench. Just as in golf, tennis and discuss throwing, the setup is critical for maximum performance. Minimize the range of motion by arching your back and pushing the bar straight up from your chest. The arch is continuous from your lower to upper back and does not involve lifting your butt off the bench.

The arch reduces the range of motion and provides significant spinal support for the motion. Set your feet firmly underneath your body as far back on the bench as possible, so you can get a powerful leg drive during the lift. When performing the exercise, push your upper back toward your butt by retracting and depressing the scapula (large wing bone in your back). This will keep you tight and add stability during the lift.

Get a hand off from an experienced lifter or trainer not from someone inexperienced or a kid from high school.

Use a belt when going for a maximum lift. Wear shoes with a bit of a lift to increase stability. Set up the same way every time you do the exercise and you will soon be benching with the big boys.

Until the next time, keep lifting and make 2019 the year that you increase your bench press.