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The Truth Behind 5 Common HIIT Myths


One of the most effective and time-saving workouts is High-Intensity Interval Training, also known as HIIT. It’s a great way to build muscle and burn fat while spending less time at the gym. As its popularity has increased, so have a few misconceptions. Here are several of the myths to help you understand it better.


Myth #1:  Anyone Can Do HIIT


Truth: While this is true to some degree, beginners should be more cautious to avoid the risk of injury and soreness. It’s recommended that one should be able to consistently do 30 minutes of low-intensity before kicking it up to high intensity. Like any new program, it’s best to ease into it.


Myth #2: HIIT Only Works for Cardio


Truth: Most people associate High-Intensity Interval Training with cardio, especially running. However, it can be applied to other exercises. Its main purpose is to alternate short periods of higher intensity with longer periods of lower intensity. Whether that time is spent hitting the treadmill, or doing other things such as swinging a kettlebell or performing bodyweight exercises, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about alternating intervals of briefly taking it up a notch and then bringing back down to normal.


Myth #3: All You Need is HIIT


Truth: Sticking to HIIT is a great way to stay active, but it should be just a part of your fitness regimen. It’s important to include regular strength training. It’s also beneficial to add steady state cardio without the bursts of increased intensity. Cardio done at a steady state can help you build endurance. In addition, only doing lighter intensity aerobic activity can be ideal on those recovery days when your body needs a rest. 


Myth #4: More is Better


Truth: Just because the idea is to train hard, you don’t want to overdo it. It’s best to keep your workout between 20 -30 minutes. You’ll want to limit the duration as well as the frequency. It’s best to follow it up with a recover day and stay with three sessions per week.


Myth #5: HIIT Alternates Between High Intensity and Rest


Truth: The high-intensity periods are meant to be followed by low-intensity periods, and not complete rests. Many people confuse this and simply stop activity after the high-intensity spurts. It’s not really considered HIIT if you don’t keep the activity going at a slower rate.  


posted Oct 16th, 04:13 pm

New Products Announcement: The Surge and the Kamagon Ball


Hedstrom Fitess, the same brand that created BOSU, is now providing a few more innovative ways to train. The Surge and the Kamagon Ball, both water-filled products, challenge the user to perform better in the real world through the use of dynamic-fluid living resistance training.


Whether you’re carrying around your young child, handling groceries, working on the job, or playing hard in your sport, life demands that you deal with unstable objects. Dynamic-fluid resistance requires our bodies to constantly adapt to the shifting water inside the product. It also involves an increased focus, which translates to a more productive workout. This intense style results in building a stronger core, as well as training muscles to handle life as we live it on a day to day basis. 


Other things that fall under the living resistance category are sandbags, heavy ropes, and chains. If you’re already working with these items, or interested in something comparable, the Surge and the Kamagon Ball will yield similar results and come with some unique benefits, including adjustability.


The Surge, which was originally developed for the training of emergency responders, is a 42” long tube that can be filled with 10 – 65 lbs of water. Users can easily progress at their own pace without needing to purchase heavier tubes. The handles and easier to hold design set it apart from the more basic slosh pipes, which have tried to accomplish the same thing. The Surge also includes a fitness DVD. 


The Kamagon Ball is a different design, but similar in the results it produces. It utilizes multiple groups of muscles at the same time. It comes in several sizes and colors, and is also adjustable with the amount of water it holds. The two handles allow for various ways to grip the ball. It has similar benefits of a medicine ball or kettle bell, except it adds the element of the unpredictable movement of the shifting water.


Both the Surge and the Kamagon Ball are a great addition to any home gym. They take strength training and functional fitness to a new level by improving core, flexibility, strength, and balance in one workout. It’s an effective tool for anyone looking to boost athletic performance, or simply gain strength for their daily lives!

posted Oct 9th, 04:04 pm

7 Reasons You Should Be Weightlifting


Ask anyone the benefits of weightlifting and the most popular responses are usually building more muscle and increasing strength. However, there are many added benefits that we forget or don’t even realize. Here’s a reminder on a few reasons why it’s important not to shy away from lifting weights.


1. Fight Fat – Building muscle can increase your body’s metabolism and help you fight body fat. Your body burns more calories while building and maintain muscle than it does for fat. Even if you don’t make any changes to your diet, you can still see some results by following a weightlifting program.


2. Lessen Back Pain – It may seem like lifting weights would contribute to back pain, but it can actually help prevent it. Working on your back muscles can stabilize your spine, improve your posture, and strengthen any weak muscles that could cause pain. You’ll also find relief by working on the core, legs, and the body as a whole.


3. Improve Balance – Lifting weights doesn’t just target your larger muscle groups. It also works your smaller, stabilizer muscles. Good balance is essential for completing daily tasks, such as reaching up for things or walking over slippery surfaces. It decreases your chances of falling, which becomes more and more important as we age.  


4. Add Energy and Combat Depression – You can elevate your level of endorphins with strength training, which can boost your mood. Even if you’re not at risk for depression, it can still leave you feeling happier and more energized so you’re ready to tackle the day.


5. Maintain Healthy Bones – Our bones naturally weaken as we age. Strength training is a great way to prevent this from happening.  Anytime our bones experience stress, they respond by building more bone mass. Women tend to fear lifting weights, but their increased risk for developing osteoporosis is one reason why it’s important for them to make it a part of their routine.


6. Improve Heart Health –Weightlifting can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure after each session. Having stronger muscles can lessen the demand that’s placed on our heart. Given how important heart health is, that’s reason enough to pick up some weights.  


7. Control Blood Sugar – Diabetes is a growing worldwide problem. Lifting weights can lower the risk of developing the disease. It also assists in regulating blood sugar.


No matter what your health and fitness goals are, these 7 benefits are certainly worth putting in the time and effort for weightlifting.

posted Oct 2nd, 03:54 pm

5 Ways to Break Through a Training Plateau


It can be frustrating to train hard and see and fewer results. For those who are fairly new to strength training, you may have been able to make some dramatic strength gains during the initial stages of your training. Over time, though, the strength gains lessen and it gets harder to keep progressing. Usually after about six months, people start to reach a plateau and their gains begin to level off. If you find yourself at or nearing a plateau, there are some adjustments you can make to help you break past it.


1. Increase Intensity – Instead of doing more reps at a lower weight, try a higher weight at a lower amount of reps. It will force your muscles to work harder.  Making your muscles work harder, rather than for a longer a period of time, is one of the best ways to break through a plateau. Just remember to make gradual weight increases. Microloading by adding fractional weights is a great way to do this. It’s also a good idea not to rush your movements and lift in a controlled manner to get the most out of your efforts.


2. Change the Order – You probably have a set routine established and perform a specific pattern of exercises. Simply just breaking free from your normal pattern and doing things out of order can challenge your muscles in a new way. You may find certain exercises may be a lot harder when performed at the end of your workout. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that it’s usually best to work out the bigger muscle groups at the beginning of your regimen.


3. Add Variation – Aside from just switching up the order, it’s ideal to introduce new challenges to your routine. If you’re used to working out with machines, try free weights, or vice versa. Making little adjustments to keep your program interesting and work your muscles in new ways can be enough to break through that plateau.


4. Evaluate Your Program – It might be time to take a good look at your routine. Now that you’ve been sticking to it for quite some time, is there anything that you’ve outgrown? Are there exercises that you weren’t previously ready for but are now up to the challenge? If you’re uncertain, you can consult a personal trainer for a few sessions.


5. Get Enough Rest – Adequate rest is an essential part of making healthy strength gains. Your muscles need the time to recover. If they don’t get the proper rest, you’ll be too fatigued to maintain your program and you’ll put yourself at risk of an injury.


Overall, the important thing is to stick with your training and don’t give up when you hit a plateau. They can pop up from time to time but making those small adjustments will keep you going strong!


posted Sep 25th, 03:22 pm

5 Common Cardio Myths You Can Put to Rest


When it comes to exercising, there are plenty of misconceptions people have that keep them from staying fit. Here are 5 myths that people tend to believe about cardio routines.


Myth #1: Cardio is only for people who are concerned with weight loss.


The Truth: Whether you’re looking to shed some extra pounds or want to bulk up, cardio is beneficial to everyone. Among many other things, it helps get your blood pumping, strengthens your heart, improves your endurance, and increases your lung capacity. So, it’s not something to shy away from even if you’re looking to add muscle. It’s important to include some amount of cardio in your routine.


Myth #2: The machine displays an accurate count of calories burned.


The Truth: A display that shows calories burned is helpful, as long as it’s used as a guide. The amount of calories burned will vary from person to person so the number that is shown is just an estimate. An additional way to determine how many calories you’ve burned is to invest in a good heart rate monitor that will better evaluate your workout intensity.


Myth #3: More cardio means you can eat whatever you want.


The Truth: Wouldn’t it be great if this were true? Unfortunately, it’s not. Many people use their cardio workouts to burn off the extra junk food they just ate. However, it usually takes a lot longer to burn off the calories of a big splurge than we tend to think. If you consider the amount of calories consumed in a typical fast food meal, it may actually take hours. Anyone who works out with this in mind is not actually burning off those calories in the time they allotted. If they are able to accomplish that, then they are probably working out too long. Spending hours on a cardio machine day after day can lead to overtraining and can be damaging.


Myth #4: Steady-state cardio is best for burning fat.


The Truth: Doing cardio at the same pace for a longer period of time may be easier, so you may wind up burning more calories during your workout time. But high intensity interval training (HIIT), where you alternate short bursts of intense cardio and periods of rest, will actually help you burn more calories throughout the entire day. Your body will be burning more even when you’re not exercising. The goal is to focus less on the amount of time and more on the intensity.


Myth #5: If you only have a short time to devote, you might as well skip it.


The Truth: Even if all you have is ten minutes, it’s still worth the time you’ll take. Any amount of time that you can devote to being active is better than doing nothing.

posted Sep 18th, 03:58 pm

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