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Gym Pricing, What Should you Pay For?

22 Sep 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

Many wonder what a reasonable price is for a gym membership. But, it is really a very broad -based question which is completely dependant on your needs and your perceived value of the services. Let's start with your fitness goals. Would you like to lose weight, gain lean muscle, have more energy, be more productive and live a longer more enriched life? Or are you someone who has a short term goal of perhaps losing weight to impress your old high school friends at your upcoming reunion, or looking your very best in your bikini on an upcoming vacation. There is no right or wrong answer here and no gym should grade your responses. Whatever's important to you is the proper response and the only one that truly matters. So what are the options that you have for attaining your personal fitness goals? What are the pluses and minuses that accompany these options?

Personal trainers who have successfully helped people reach and maintain their fitness goals for years have some very definite and somewhat biased opinions. Whether your goals are short- or long-term, if they are important to you and if you have never exercised before, get a personal training package so you can learn how to exercise, how to use the equipment and feel comfortable in a gym environment. There are so many positives the pluses outweigh cost. Making the lifestyle changes won't be easy. It is imperative that you join a health club that is dedicated to providing you with the guidance, motivation and accountability necessary for you to reach your goals.

Would you rather spend very little money and fail or spend a little more to be successful?

For more information on how Best Fitness can help you reach your fitness goals, contact us.

Fitness Myths Busted! Part IV

12 Sep 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

For every two fitness truths, there’s a lie, and sometimes it’s hard to determine which is which. Letting go of these 12 fitness misconceptions will help you get better, faster, stronger, and more powerful. This blog will cover myths 7, 8, and 9, and we’ll cover the rest in subsequent blogs.

Myth #10: You need to stretch before a workout.

Truth: While it’s true that you shouldn’t just jump right into a workout, dynamic warm-ups are where it’s at—you can save those static stretches for afterwards. Your pre-workout goal should be to improve mobility and elasticity in the muscles. This is best done with foam rolling and a dynamic warm-up, where you keep your body moving (instead of holding stretches still). This preps your body for work and helps increase your range of motion, which means you can get deeper into exercises (and strengthen more of those ~muscles~).

Myth #11: Yoga isn’t a “real” workout.

Truth: People who write off yoga probably have an image of yoga as series of gentle stretches—they clearly haven’t taken a tough yoga class. Yoga can be a radically humbling experience. It is one of the best additions to an exercise routine, both for body and mind. While there are some blissfully relaxing yoga classes out there, tougher types (like Bikram and power Vinyasa yoga) can definitely leave you sweaty, sore, and satisfied.

Myth #12: You should work out every day.

Truth: Definitely not true—hallelujah! When you work out, you’re breaking down muscle fibers so they can rebuild stronger. However, to do this, you need to give your body time to recover from working out. Aim for one to two days per week of active recovery rest days—that means doing something that doesn’t put stress on your body, like gentle stretching or a walk. So, you’re definitely off the hook for that seven-days-a-week workout plan.

For more information on weight loss and fitness, contact Best Fitness in your area.


Fitness Myths, BUSTED! Part III

06 Sep 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

For every two fitness truths, there’s a lie, and sometimes it’s hard to determine which is which. Letting go of these 12 fitness misconceptions will help you get better, faster, stronger, and more powerful. This blog will cover myths 7, 8, and 9, and we’ll cover the rest in subsequent blogs.

Myth #7: Sweating a ton means you worked your butt off.

Truth: Not necessarily. You sweat because your core temperature increases. Yes, your muscles create heat when you exercise so a tough workout will increase your internal temp, but it also has to do with the temperature you’re working out in. For example, you’re not going to sweat as much in 40-degree weather as you would in 80-degree weather.

The humidity in the air also plays a role. It’s not sweating that cools you off, it’s the evaporation of sweat. You’ll feel like you’re sweating more when it’s humid because sweat can’t evaporate. This is also a reason to be careful exercising in hot, humid climates, because your body temperature will keep increasing.

Myth #8: Crunches are a great exercise for your abs.

Truth: Meh. Crunches probably aren’t going to hurt your core strength, but they’re not the most efficient exercise you can do to strengthen your midsection. Your ab muscles are designed to work most effectively when you’re standing upright. Of course, there are plenty of great abs exercises that aren’t completely upright.

Myth #9: You have to do at least 20 minutes of cardio to make it worth your while.

Truth: You can get an amazing cardio workout in less time by utilizing high-intensity interval training. High-intensity cardio challenges the respiratory system to work efficiently to deliver oxygen to working muscles. If the system is stressed hard enough, it doesn’t require a lengthy workout for results. Plus, high-intensity training creates an afterburn effect, meaning you continue burning calories after you’re done.

Check in next week for fitness myths 7-9 that are Busted! For more information on weight loss and fitness, contact Best Fitness in your area.


Fitness Myths, BUSTED! – Part II

29 Aug 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

For every two fitness truths, there’s a lie, and sometimes it’s hard to determine which is which. Letting go of these 12 fitness misconceptions will help you get better, faster, stronger, and more powerful. This blog will cover the next 3 and we’ll cover the rest in subsequent blogs.

Myth #4: Not feeling sore means you didn’t get a good workout.

Truth: While soreness and workout intensity are sometimes connected, how tired your muscles feel isn’t always a good indicator of a solid exercise session. Being sore doesn’t necessarily mean it was a great workout—it just means that a significant amount of stress was applied to the tissue. You can have a great workout and not be sore the next day. Proper recovery will help prevent achy muscles. Refuel within the first 30 to 45 minutes post-exercise, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep—all of these things can help boost recovery and minimize soreness.

Myth #5: You should give 100 percent effort during every workout.

Truth: Sort of. You should try your best to stay focused, be present, and give 100 percent during every workout. But not every gym session should require a balls-to-the-wall level of intensity. And if you are sore every day, that may be a sign that you’re going too hard. It’s not a good idea to exercise at too high of an intensity too frequently—it limits recovery and can lead to over training. Ideally, to avoid putting too much stress on your body, you should only be going extra hard two to three times per week.

Myth #6: Strength training means using machines and heavy weights.

Truth: Strength training means using resistance to work your muscles—and that resistance doesn’t necessarily have to come from a machine or a heavy weight. Aside from your own body weight, you can also use tools like kettlebells, medicine balls, and resistance bands to add resistance.

Check in next week for fitness myths 7-9 that are Busted! For more information on weight loss and fitness, contact Best Fitness in your area.


Fitness Myths, BUSTED! - Part I

25 Aug 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

For every two fitness truths, there’s a lie, and sometimes it’s hard to determine which is which. Letting go of these 12 fitness misconceptions will help you get better, faster, stronger, and more powerful. This blog will cover the first 3 and we’ll cover the rest in subsequent blogs.

Myth #1: Strength training will make you bulk up.

Truth: It’s pretty hard for women to bulk up from a normal strength-training routine because they don’t have as much testosterone as men (the difference in this hormone level makes men more prone to bulking up). In fact, if weight loss is your goal, strength training can actually help you lean out, but you have to keep your nutrition in check, too. Muscle is metabolically active. Simply maintaining lean muscle mass requires higher energy. So, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest.

Myth #2: You can focus on losing fat from certain body parts.

Truth: Spot-training is not a thing. Fat cells are distributed across your entire body. If you want to lose fat from a specific spot, you need to lose overall body fat. High-intensity interval training can work wonders—after an intense workout, your body needs to take in oxygen at a higher rate to help it return to its natural resting state. This process requires the body to work harder, burning more calories in the process. Incorporating strength training can help you hit your goals too, since having more lean muscle will help your body burn more calories at rest.

Myth #3: Doing lots of cardio is the best way to lose weight.

Truth: If your goal is weight loss, logging endless miles on the treadmill isn’t always the best approach. Yes, traditional cardio workouts will help create a day-to-day calorie deficit (in addition to a healthy diet), which is essential for losing weight. But in the long-term, since having more lean muscle mass helps your body burn more calories at rest, you’ll be adding to this deficit without doing a thing. A combination of both high-intensity cardio and strength training is a good idea. And don’t forget, when it comes to weight loss, having a smart nutrition plan is key.

Check in next week for fitness myths 4-6 that are Busted! For more information on weight loss and fitness, contact Best Fitness in your area.


Successful Workout Habits of Olympic Athletes

15 Aug 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

Heart rate monitors

Olympic athletes are able to do some pretty amazing things. Many of them will tell you that being successful requires more than talent and proper training, it also takes discipline. But what you may not know is that they also have another secret weapon: their habits. We have met current and former Olympians and have talked with them about their secrets of success. We think these habits can help you achieve your personal goals, too!

Corinna Kuhnle, world champion in 2010 and 2011, overall world cup champion in 2014 and 2015, ranked number one in the world in 2014, number 2 in the world in 2015, placed 8th in the canoe slalom at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

“Your body recovers faster as you sleep.” Kuhnle

Recover with a power nap: “When I have a hard whitewater session in the morning, I like to recharge my batteries with a power nap after lunch. Your body recovers faster as you sleep. Afterwards, I am able to concentrate better, and I feel fresh and full of energy for my afternoon and evening training sessions. But it is important to be awake for a while before the next workout so I have time to warm up my muscles again.”

Thomas Daniel, modern pentathlete since 2000, professional athlete in the Austrian Military Sports Center since 2003, placed 6th at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London

“My secret of success? I visualize my personal goals!” Daniel

Visualize your goals: “For a long time before the Olympic Games in London, I would start and end each day by imagining how the event would be. I would make a detailed picture of the place and my personal goals. This visualization habit is my secret of success. The routine helped me a lot to deliver my best performance on competition day.”

Jonathan Wyatt is a two-time Olympian in the 5,000m and marathon. From 1998 to 2008 he won the World Championships of Mountain Running 6 times.

“Be prepared for different situations, pack important items in your hand luggage.” Wyatt

Be prepared for different situations: “When I travel, I always pack my racing shoes and race clothes in the hand luggage. You never know if there is a chance the airlines will lose your bag or if the flight is delayed. One time our track and field team had a delay until 3 a.m. in Singapore so we could take out our running shoes and go for a run inside the airport because there were only a few people about. Then have a shower and feel good for the next flight… Not so easy if you do the pole vault though!”

Petra Zahrl, swimmer and two-time Olympian of Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004.

“Establish a routine and gain self-confidence.” Zahrl

Establish a routine: “Following the same routine before competitions helped me do three things. First, I didn’t feel pressed for time. Second, it made me less nervous. And third, I gained self-confidence. It was always important for me to do things the same way before a competition. I’m talking about, for example, packing my bag ahead of time, warming up early and talking to my coach. Then I knew in good conscience that everything was done and that I hadn’t forgot anything important. This helped me feel more confident: I would tell myself I did the same things as last time and everything went fine, so why shouldn’t it work out this time?”

Alexander Huber, U23 European champion in 2006, ranked 7th in the world in 2013, placed 9th at the European Championships in 2013 and 2015, two-time national champion, winner of the 2016 Continental Cup Final and 2012 World Cup Final, qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“Cross training helps me recharge my batteries.” Huber

Cross training for mental energy: “In beach volleyball, we spend a lot of time working on tiny details and tweaking little things to perfection. This requires a lot of concentration and mental toughness. It can be really frustrating at times. I like to recharge my batteries with a little cross training. I am a big fan of the NBA and a passionate streetball player. Basketball is my cross-training sport. Since my training sessions are pretty intense physically, basketball is good in two ways. I can shoot a couple of hoops without much effort and clear my head at the same time.”

Andreas Vojta, competed in the 1,500 meters at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Austrian Athlete of the Year in 2012 and 2013, multiple national champion in the 1,500-meter run

“I do my last workout a few days before the race.” Vojt

Last workout before competition: “Before I go to a big meet or an international championship, I always do the same last training run. This takes place three to four days before the race. I run this session at race pace and even faster. I break it down into short intervals to keep from fatiguing myself. This final workout gets my body and my muscles working in perfect rhythm. If the repetitions are no trouble, then I know that I am ready for a strong race!”

For more workout success tips, contact Best Fitness in your area.


Stay Fit on Summer Vacation

12 Aug 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

Summer is winding down, and many of you may be sneaking in a last vacation before school starts up again. Summer vacations can be challenging on your diet and fitness goals because, unfortunately, high-calorie meals and snacks are almost unavoidable when you are on vacation.

But you can have fun, without gaining weight.

Don’t eat out every meal. Just because you are traveling does not mean you need to eat out for every meal. Stopping by a local market or food store when you reach your destination can end up saving you money and calories on vacation.

Grabbing some healthy snacks and meals is also a great way to skip the drive-through on a road trip.

Be active. Find out what activities are included at your hotel or that are nearby. Does the hotel have a gym, tennis courts, bike rentals or a yoga studio? At the beach, sign up for surfing or paddle board lessons. It's easy to stay active when the activities are fun and special to vacation.

Watch portion sizes. Don't eat too much at the buffet. Learn your portion sizes at home, first. By measuring your food at home once or twice, you will be able to estimate appropriate sizes in restaurants. Take your time when eating to allow your stomach to let you know when you're full. In fact, it may be best to avoid the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Eat out smart. Look for restaurants that are within walking distance from the hotel so you can stay active to-and-from your meal. Also, eat a planned snack about one hour before you go out so you won’t be hungry when you get there. Avoid the bread basket.

Ask. Ask if you can substitute a carb or starch with an extra serving of vegetables, and request sauces and dressings on the side. In many situations, you can chose how you want your food served.

Bring a resistance band. Resistance bands are light, small and easy to pack in a suitcase of any size. Find opportunities to grab a quick workout -- even in your hotel room.

Stay hydrated. Don't forget to drink plenty of water while traveling.

No matter where you are, make healthy choices and stick to your routine the best you can. Anticipate the wonderful things you'll be doing, the sights you'll be seeing and remind yourself how great it feels to be able to walk and move more.

For more weight loss tips, contact Best Fitness in your area.

Source: WTOP

Want to Lose Weight Faster?

02 Aug 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

Cardio and Losing Weight

Maybe you exercise regularly but have stopped losing weight. Maybe you have an event this fall that you want to tone up for and look a little better, a little sleeker.

Add interval training to your cardio workouts. Doing interval training just 2 times/ week burns more calories than standard cardio workouts. In fact, when you add interval training to your exercise routine you can actually lose 2 times as much weight.

If you can, break your workout into two shorter sessions. Walk or run on your lunch break and do 15 minutes of weight training after work. You could burn up to an extra 200 calories in a day. You can even run up the stairs at work and other small bursts of activity can get your metabolism going.

Eat breakfast! When you eat breakfast you lose more weight, it's a fact. Your metabolism slows down as you sleep and speeds back up again once you eat again in the morning. Turn you metabolism back on after sleeping at night by eating breakfast.

Eating extra protein can cause you to burn and extra 150-200 calories/day. It is harder for your body to burn protein so your metabolism works harder to break it down.

Eating more often is better too. Five to seven smaller meals is better than 3 larger meals. If you eat healthy and small all day, your metabolism works all day every day.

Need help losing weight or sticking with your fitness routine? Contact Best Fitness in your area.

Being Specific is a Surefire Way to Reach Your Fitness Goals

25 Jul 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

Setting Fitness Goals for Weight Loss

"A goal without a plan is just a wish."

Don't wait for the perfect time to start working out and living a healthy life. There will always be something to make you say: "I'll start next week, month, year." Now is as good a time as any. And, don't just work out for the sake of working out. Goals and plans give you direction, a way to measure progress and also keep you motivated. Having no goals is like walking out of your house and not knowing where you are going. So set goals, make a plan and go!

Here are a few tips to guide you and keep you on track for your next fitness goal:


"I want to get healthy" and "I want to get in shape" are too generic. Instead, try "I'll run a half marathon next spring." I'll earn a black belt in karate" or I'll lose 55 of my current body weight within 10 months."


Setting a measurable goal is key to achievement )and determining when it's been accomplished). Measure goals in time, weight, percentage or even clothing size!


It's good to shoot for the starts, but don't be too extreme. Likewise, a goal that's too easy is not very motivating. Know your potential and limits.


Set goals that are important to you and are relevant to your long-term personal vision.


Include an endpoint. There is no greater motivator than a deadline.

Set both short and long-term goals. Short ones are more motivating (stepping stones) and once you've achieved them, they can give you inspiration for your long term goals.

What to include in your plan

  1. Cardio - Walking, swimming, running, cycling, stair climbing or aerobic classes
  2. Strength - Bodyweight training
  3. Flexibility - yoga

Don't forget to keep track of progress, sleep hydration and nutrition.

For more information on setting fitness goals, contact Best Fitness in your area.


Foam Rolling in Group Personal Training

19 Jul 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

Foam rolling, also known as self-myofascial release (SMR), is based on a hands-on technique therapists have been using for years. It is achieved by applying a low load, long duration dragging force across layers of soft tissue. After a period of time (between 90–120 sec. in most cases) the body will release the tissue and mobility between those sliding surfaces will be restored.

To make these changes on oneself, a foam roller can be used in place of a therapist’s hands. While the foam roller will never completely replace a therapist, it serves as a great daily alternative to help maintain the changes therapy has made.

Get the body moving

The key to replicating this is to have a program of foam rolling. As the body moves across the roller, blood flow can increase and may have an influence on some microscopic fibers between the muscles, skin and other tissue. This is a great way to either prepare the body for movement or to help the body recover.

Why don’t people move well?

This is an interesting question that’s not easily answered. Different theories include the sedentary culture we’ve created, computers, cell phones, stress, nutrition, dehydration, restrictive clothing, even air pollution—it could be a combination of all of these. The human body has 206 bones, more than 300 joints and approximately 650 muscles. This means the body is made to move. The capacity of human movement can be seen in dancers, gymnasts, and many other athletic feats that appear to defy normal limits.

The body is made to move. In fact, when we don’t move the body has a very fitting response—it adapts to what we ask it to do the most. This is one of the principles of specificity. The more one squats the better he gets at squatting), or for a lack of movement, the more one sits, the better he gets at sitting. In both cases the body is trying to be the best it can be for the dominant task. These small changes can become actual structural alterations over time.

The body’s ability will adapt to pressure, it’s called mechanotransduction. This basically means that if someone is sitting all day, every day, week after week, the areas that are compressed will actually grow little fibers around them, similar to scar tissue.

The alarming issue is not from one night, day or week, but from months or years of these patterns. Consider the typical average day:

7:00 a.m.—wake up (was sleeping in the fetal position)
7:02 a.m.—get coffee
7:20 a.m.—sit to eat breakfast
8:00 a.m.—sit to drive to work (average U.S. commute is 60 minutes)
9:00 a.m.—sit at work
12:00 p.m.—sit to eat lunch
1:00 p.m.—sit at work
5:00 p.m.—sit to drive home
7:00 p.m.—sit to eat dinner
8:00 p.m.—sit to watch The Bachelor
11:00 p.m.—go to sleep (in fetal position)

See the recurring pattern? We sit more than anything else.

Foam Rolling as Part of Training

Foam rolling can be a great solution. Foam rolling is a quick, simple and effective mobility work method that can be integrated before and after a personal training session, and typically takes less than five minutes.

Begin by identifying the area to be rolled. Then, apply body weight compression onto the roller. Roll through the muscle slowly, about an inch per second, until a tender spot is found. The spot can be something rated as a 6 to 8 on a pain scale of 1 to 10 (10 being most painful). Once found, hold pressure on the tender spot for 20 to 30 seconds or until the tenderness begins to reduce, then move to the next spot. It is recommended to identify up to two spots in each muscle group. Rolling can be repeated daily and followed with static stretching to help maximize the results.

For more information on getting your body moving, contact Best Fitness in your area.

Source: NASM

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