Britney Spears and Brian Getting Sweaty at the Bellagio in Las Vegas

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As some of you may know, I spent a few days in Las Vegas for a fitness-related event. I stayed at the Bellagio, and that’s where Britney Spears and I got sweaty! Well, I didn’t say that we got sweaty together. But sure, both of us have gotten sweaty while in the Bellagio, because well, I do a lot of working out and she does a lot of dancing.

The important thing here that I want to share with you is about staying fit while you are traveling. Sure, it would have been easy for me to grab a few drinks and just hang out by the pool all day. But I wouldn’t have went home feeling very good about myself and I would have set my fitness back some. Believe it or not, you can stay in shape when you are traveling!  The first thing that most people think of when they are traveling and want to keep up with their working out is the hotel fitness room. But if you have spent any time in hotel fitness rooms you know well that it’s hit or miss. I’ve seen hotel fitness rooms that were surprisingly great, but most are subpar, offering very little in the way of actually getting a good workout. So start out by checking out the hotel fitness center to see how useful it will actually be for helping you to stay in shape while you are staying there.

Here are a few other options, just in case your hotel room leaves a lot to be desired:

  • Look for any health clubs that may be in the area that will let you get a day pass. Many offer the opportunity to pay just a few dollars to use the facility.
  • Make use of the pool for more than just sitting by it. You can actually get in a great cardio workout by doing some laps.
  • Put your running shoes on and take a run to get a good cardio workout.
  • Follow your own workout right in your hotel room, or add it to whatever you can do in the fitness center the hotel offers.

The good news it that even though you are away from your regular routine you can still put together a great workout with a little effort. Be creative and look for ways to get in your weight training and cardio, challenging yourself to do something you may be not be used to doing. That’s what I did when Britney Spears and I were getting sweaty in Las Vegas. Of course, she was doing her kind of workout and I was doing mine, but still…

Here is a quick 20 minute work out you can do while you are on vacation to help you stay in shape:

Do this circuit 3 times Pushups 20 reps, Alternate Lunges 20 each leg, Mountain climbers 45 seconds

Do this circuit next 3 times Jumping jacks 60 seconds, 30 Lower leg raises, Plank 60 seconds, 20 burpies;)

Aches and Pains – What do they mean?

10394567_822127597835919_2048834069246516979_nIf you managed to come to our Charity Boot Camp this last weekend, you might notice that you’re a little more sore than usual. Getting out of bed might seem like more of a chore, the stairs seem a little steeper than usual, or it might seem a little more difficult to raise your arm to brush your teeth. When you’re sore, you suddenly realize how many muscles you use in your daily life.

So why do we get sore? It’s happened our whole lives, but it might seem like the older we get, the less it takes for our muscles to ache after a workout. Especially after we do a completely new set of exercises at the gym. Our arms ache, our legs ache, our shoulders ache… What is our body trying to tell us?

Even though it might not seem like it, sore muscles are telling us that we are making progress in our personal fitness. Take a look at some of the science behind your Aches and Pains:

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Those aches and pains you feel after a workout is referred to by physiologists as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, and is completely normal for anyone who does strenuous activity. From those just starting their workout regimen to body builders who spend hours lifting weights, everybody feels sore at some point after a workout.

When you’re exercising, your putting your muscles through strenuous activity they haven’t had to endure before. Your muscles are going through some minor stress, which causes some microscopic tears to occur. Exercise physiologists believe these tears, paired with the minor inflammation that accompanies it, cause the minor aches you feel.

But despite how you feel when you wake up and struggle to get out of bed the next morning, these pains are actually a good thing! As your muscles endure your exercise regimen, they adjust to better accommodate your strenuous fitness activity. The next time you do deadlifts, squats, lunges, or bicep curls, you may notice you ache a little bit less… at least until you increase the resistance you’re using.

How do I ease these aches?

One thing I always recommend to my clients is stretch, stretch, stretch! Stretching your muscles better prepares them for strenuous activity, lessening the sudden shock of jumping off the couch and into your gym shoes. It also allows your muscles to limber up, providing less of a chance for injury.

Once you’re done working out, be sure to spend some extra time doing some easier, aerobic activity. This allows your muscles to cool down, again lessening the sudden shock of strenuous movement to less strenuous activity.

Another way to ease your sore muscles is to pace yourself while you work out. Spend one day doing a solid workout, pushing yourself to the limit. Maybe take part in on of our charity Boot Camps! But after pushing your limits, spend the next day or two working on something less strenuous, such as cardio. Your muscles need time to recover from the activity you just put them through.

Believe it or not, one of the best ways of easing muscle aches is to keep on exercising. In order to get the proper nutrients into your muscles, such as Vitamin C or those antioxidants in those blueberries you had for breakfast, your muscles have to move. Exercising allows your muscles to get the nutrients they need to prepare for the next bout of strenuous activity you throw at them.

So instead of waiting out sore muscles on the couch, give your muscles the attention they need! And remember that despite how they might feel at the time, the good kind of aches you feel after a good workout is the feeling of progress.

What Makes a Great Gym? Part II

IMG_4833On Tuesday, I wrote about some of the most important factors that we look for in a gym. I break the factors into two major groups: Time well spent in the gym, and time enjoyed at the gym.

You want to spend some well-earned time at the gym, but you also want to enjoy yourself while you’re there. But sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Enjoying time well spent is something we search for in all aspects of life, like with your job or hobbies.

So how do you find it at a gym?

Many larger corporate gyms will always have the state-of-the-art equipment that is on the cutting edge. And Boomer Fitness isn’t on the low end of the spectrum either. I’m very proud of the equipment we have in-house, and I know it helps us work the entire spectrum of your muscles.

Many larger corporate gyms have multiple locations, which means they can cover a lot more ground than a smaller gym. But like I wrote on Tuesday, many people seem to go out of their way to get to their own particular gym, rather than settling with the one that’s closer to their location.

Boomer Fitness measures up to any gym in either of those regards, but I know that it has something that no other corporate gym can boast at having: a community that cares about your fitness.

A community is more than a group of people you see from time to time. Its a group of people who you know on a first name basis, who asks you how your weekend was, or how your hike up to Mt. Hood went. It’s a group of people who genuinely care about whether you’re making improvements in your life, and who are there to support you when you’re making those improvements.

So how does Boomer Fitness have such a great community? Let me count the ways:

Personal Trainers that Care – There’s a terrible plague I’ve noticed that has taken root in a lot of corporate gyms: many personal trainers simply don’t put their clients fitness as their first priority. Unfortunately, many gyms have started putting their focus in sales quotas, getting as many people signed on with a personal trainer as possible. Trainers don’t have much of a choice in the matter, either. It’s either bring in a certain amount of new clients, or we will have to reexamine your place at this gym.

It’s not like that here at Boomer Fitness. Fitness is always the priority among the personal trainers who choose to work here. I know this is the case because none of the trainers here stop working after you leave the gym. We say hello when you come in for a seminar, or we pat you on the back when you do that extra set of squats, or cheer you from the sidelines when you finish the 5k you trained for the last 6 months. We’re here because we want you here.

Group Sessions – Whether it’s one of our Saturday morning Boot Camps, a class on the dangers of sugar, or just a busy day at the gym, Boomer Fitness always has something going on. Having group sessions is a great way of motivating yourself to push a little farther, do one extra squat, or do one extra push-up. You have to work together as a group to achieve your overall goal, and you go much farther when you’re working with someone rather than on your own. Plus, it’s always more fun to do something when you have others to talk to.

Best of all, some of our group events help contribute to a local charity. Last week, we had the chance to donate 100% of the donations from our Saturday Boot Camp to the Pink Lemonade Project.

It’s Your Gym – This isn’t just any other gym that has the standard music playlist in the background. We don’t tune out the world and just watch SportsCenter while we run on the treadmill.

We talk about how your March Madness Bracket is doing, or how your son Matt is enjoying school. We talk about how we really liked that movie we saw last night, or how you’ve been making some great progress since our last measurement check-in 4 weeks ago. We talk about your dog GiGi, or about the Boot Camp session that’s coming up this next Saturday, and how you’re planning on coming to that, right?

Why do we do this? Because we aren’t just any gym. You can get “any gym” anywhere else. We’re your gym!

To me, the community is the most important thing about any gym. You can’t substitute it with space-age technology, nor can your simulate it with inspirational words written in huge lettering on the wall. It’s something that you have to create and work on. And that’s the difference between an average gym and a Great Gym.

Completing a 5k: The Biggest Competition is You!

iStock_000009546366XSmallSpring and Summer is a great time to get outside. Despite the rain, overcast skies and even the wind that comes with early spring, we still get some beautiful days outside which give us a taste of summer time.

One staple of the warmer season are the multiple marathons, triathlons, and 5ks that make an appearance around the Portland and Vancouver area. Whether it’s for a great cause you believe in, or just because it’s something to do, 5ks are a great way to put your fitness to the test.

Some clients at the gym like to get themselves prepared for a local 5k, but I have noticed others don’t even consider the opportunity to take part in a 5k. I like to recommend participating in a 5k for a couple reasons:

It’s A Way to Challenge Yourself – When I bring up running a 5k, a lot of clients outright say “I can’t do something like that,” or “I’m not a runner.” But this kind of outlook misses the point of taking part in one of these events. Running in a 5k is about beating your own limits, not about beating the others in the competition.

Just by signing up, you’re already beating the prior version of yourself who was so adamant that you could never take part in a 5k.

It’s a Tangible Goal – A running event like a 5k as a scheduled start date. It has a measured distance (5 kilometers) and a detailed route, so you know exactly where you’re going to be running. Why is this important?

Because when you sign up for a 5k, you know exactly what kind of improvements you will need to make in order to participate in the event. You and I can work on endurance and spend a little extra time on legs. If you’re feeling some extra incentive, you can even practice on the route before the event even happens, so you can anticipate the kind of track you need to practice for.

It Gives Measurable Improvements – When you first start training for an event like this, I like to measure where you start off, so you can compare it to where you end up on the day of the 5k. Not only is a 5k event a great way to set goals, it’s also a great way to measure how much improvement you make leading up to the event.

Think about it like this: When you sign up for a 5k, you know you have to eventually get up to travelling 5 kilometers at a set pace. That’s a long distance, but we don’t do it all at once. Instead, we make a goal of getting to 1 kilometer, and then we move up from there. Eventually, getting 5 kilometers won’t be so far out of your grasp.

Finishing is Better than Never Starting – Whether you sprint, jog, or walk across the finish line, you are still beating the version of yourself who never started. It doesn’t matter to me what pace you take during the 5k, as long as you are pushing yourself to do the best that you can.

The pace that you finish only matters to one person: yourself. If you have kept the best pace you can and completed the 5k, you have already beaten your prior time. No one can beat that.

Competitng in a 5k really is a no-lose scenario. Most runs in the area are meant to benefit a local organization, like MS research or the Humane Society run. You get a chance to spend some time running outdoors, and most of all, it gives you a goal to work toward. Where can you go wrong?

Let me know when you’re ready to take part in a 5k, and we’ll start a timeline to get you ready for the occasion!

The Traits of a Good Personal Trainer, Part II

10431670_755150081200338_3174578138695952538_nOn Tuesday I wrote about the important qualities you want to look for in a personal trainer. Some are obvious traits you want to keep your eyes open for, but other traits seem to slip under the radar, especially if you’re just entering the world of fitness for the first time.

Boomer Fitness does training a little differently than larger corporate gyms. To me, personal training is not just a side benefit of signing up for a gym membership. Instead, I find personal training to be one of the most important tools you can utilize at the gym. Of course, learning from a trainer is only worthwhile if we, the personal trainers, know what we’re talking about.

Here are four more traits you should look for in a personal trainer, and traits that you will find here at Boomer Fitness:

Multiple Certifications – When done correctly, becoming a Personal Trainer takes a lot of training. It requires hard work, reviews, tests, and experience. And after enduring this work, we get certifications proving that we know our stuff.

But it doesn’t stop there. Just like the physical side of fitness, education is an ongoing experience that requires constant upkeep. Nothing replaces lifelong experience, but multiple certifications go a long way in showing a Trainer has the experience and the knowledge.

Boomer Fitness puts a lot of value in the certifications our Trainers carry with them. To me, Personal Training is the perfect combination of physical and mental knowledge. You cannot have one at the gym without having the other.

Healthy Lifestyle – It might sound vain to say your personal trainer should look good. But if someone can’t walk the walk, why should you listen to them when they talk the talk? Trainers that take their work seriously live and breath personal fitness. It’s an all encompassing goal we want to achieve and help you achieve.

It’s not just about looking good, either. Having a healthy lifestyle goes much deeper, spanning to a healthy diet, healthy habits, and even a healthy outlook on life. These traits can be found here at Boomer Fitness, and we love to share this lifestyle with you!

Different Plans for Different People – Every single person is different. It’s not just a phrase we learn in elementary school, but rather a truth a good Personal Trainer should take to heart. So why do some corporate gyms allow for for simple, generic plans to be used for multiple clients? It’s like they expect a cookie-cutter fitness plan to work for anyone.

A good Personal Trainer will recognize that every fitness plan needs to be tailored to each individual. A plan that is set up for Carol isn’t going to meet the needs of Susan, who might have much different goals in her future. At Boomer Fitness, we recognize different people have different goals. That’s why the trainers here go to lengths to make sure we get a fitness program dedicated to your specific needs.

Personal Connection – Let’s be honest. If you’re going to be working with someone, especially when it comes to something as important to your fitness, you want to make sure you work well with that individual. You don’t want to dread coming into the gym because you don’t like the trainer you’re working with. But you also want someone who can help push you, to help you reach your goals.

You will recognize that the atmosphere at Boomer Fitness is a lot friendlier than anything you’re going to find at a corporate gym. Members of Boomer Fitness recognize each other from past seminars, or from past group training sessions. Trainers reach out to all members of the gym to catch up. We aren’t just any gym; we’re your gym.

Good personal trainers can be hard to come by at times, and I know how lucky I am to have such a great team here at Boomer Fitness. Give me a call today to get yourself a tour of the gym, and we’ll get you started toward fitness today!

Facebook FAQ Part III – Continuing with Mobility Work

Picking up where we left off from the last two blog posts, we will look more at mobility workouts. Many people are unclear about what mobility work is and why it’s important. Whether you are a personal training client of mine in the Vancouver, Washington area, or you follow me on Facebook, there are benefits to mobility workouts that everyone needs. It is especially important for seniors and baby boomers to make mobility work part of their weekly routine.

Mobility, by definition, is the ability to move. As they age, many people complain to me that it seems more difficult for them to move. They don’t have the mobility they once had. Well, that’s because they are no longer doing the things they once did. As many people age they become more sedentary. When that happens, they will begin to lose their mobility. Doing mobility work each week is not only going to keep you more mobile, but it’s going to make it easier. The best way to have mobility that is free and easy is to do the work to help your body get there and stay there. It doesn’t matter how old you are, either, because mobility is something you can work on and achieve at any age.

When it comes to mobility work, follow this workout plan:

Monday – Mobility/Workout 1

Tuesday – Mobility/Cardio

Wednesday – Mobility/Workout 2

Thursday – Mobility/Cardio of choice

Friday – Mobility/Workout 3/Cardio of choice

Saturday – Cardio of choice

Again, when we are discussing cardio as we have in prior posts, it is important for you to do activities that will get your heart going. This can include walking, jogging, biking, hiking, row machines, or any other activities that will get your heart rate up more. Here are some specific mobility work examples:

1)    Piriformis stretch

2)    Glute stretch

3)    Spiderman stretch

4)    RDL

5)    DB Row

6)    Step-up

7)    Push-ups

8)    Lateral lunge

9)    Leg Raise

10) Bird dog

11)Side plank

You will want to do all of your mobility work in 2-4 sets, with 8-10 reps, or if you are doing  static hold go for 20-40 seconds. Be sure to add in the day one mobility work, as well as the day two mobility work. For the resistance training, you will want to do:

1 round week one 15-20 reps

2 rounds week two and three 15-20 reps

3 rounds week four and five 15-20 reps

During week 6-8 do three rounds, bringing the rep range down to 10-15 reps. Also, focus on bringing up the intensity. You can do that by increasing the weight you are using, but always keep form in mind, as it is priority. If you can’t control the weight or maintain form, then do not increase the weight.

Following this three part series will help keep your mobility in a range that will have you feeling great and doing things with ease. It’s never too late to get started with mobility work, so make it part of your workout plan today!

IF YOU MISSED PART 2 CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

TO GET YOUR COMPLETE BOOMER FITNESS PROGRAM CLICK HERE

Facebook FAQ Part II – The Specifics of an Outline

In the prior post, I discussed how you can go about getting started down the path of health and wellness. I laid out what it is that you need to start with so your exercise routine will be on the right track right from the beginning. In this one, part two, I’m going to take things a little bit further and go into the specifics of an outline for you all.

Every baby boomer or senior citizen I work with comes to understand the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and what exercise can do for you. Working out regularly can do for your body what nothing else can. There is no doctor or magic pill that is going to help you get stronger and healthier. Eating healthy and exercising regularly is the only way that you will achieve this. That goes for the clients that I work with here in personal training in the Vancouver, Washington area, as well as the many people I assist online and on Facebook.

Print this outline of a workout and hang it somewhere you will see it each day, so it serves as a reminder of what you need to be doing to be healthy. First you need to start with your weekly workout schedule, which looks like this:

Monday – Mobility/Workout 1

Tuesday – Mobility/Cardio

Wednesday – Mobility/Workout 2

Thursday – Mobility/Cardio of choice

Friday – Mobility/Workout 3/Cardio of choice

Saturday – Cardio of choice

Again, it is important to remember that cardio exercises are those that are going to get your heart beating faster. The government recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of such moderate physical activity each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Moderate physical activity includes biking, walking, the elliptical or row machine, or step machine. A vigorous activity would be running.

Here’s what your workout 2 will include:

Mobility

1)    hamstring stretch

2)    IT band foam roller

3)    Low back stretch

4)    Split squat

5)    Shoulder press

6)    Pull down

7)    Rope to neck

8)    Kettle bell dead lift

9)    Y, I, T,

10)Anti-rotational

11)Plank

Do all of your mobility work in 2-4 sets, with 8-10 reps per set, or if you are doing a static hold aim for 20-40 seconds. Be sure to add in the day one mobility work as well. For the resistance training, do:

1 round week one 15-20 reps

2 rounds week two and three 15-20 reps

3 rounds week four and five 15-20 reps

During weeks 6-8 do three rounds, bringing the rep range down to 10-15 reps. You will also want to bring up the intensity. You can bring up the intensity by increasing the weight you are using, but always keep your form in mind, as it is important to have the right form. If you find that you can’t maintain the form then don’t increase the weight.

Once you get started with this workout outline, you will be surprised at just how great you being to feel. Stick with it and over time you will become healthier, stronger, and feel great. If you are in the Vancouver, Washington area and need a personal trainer contact me. If you are not in the area, be sure to follow me on Facebook for fitness tips and information that every baby boomer can benefit from!

If you missed part one CLICK HERE

To get your specific workout line GET IT HERE NOW

Facebook Frequently Asked Question: How to Get Motivated

Whether I am taking questions from my followers on Facebook, or meeting up with my personal training clients in the Vancouver, Washington area, many have similar concerns. One recent question that I received from a Lisa H. on Facebook involved getting back into shape after not exercising for so long. Perhaps you can relate!

Lisa explained that she hasn’t worked out in years, and although she used to be in great shape, she has gained a significant amount of weight over the years. Like many people, she plans to start a new routine each Monday, only to not see it through. So she wants to know how to get out of the cycle so that she can make her way back to a healthy lifestyle. Great question!

This is one of the top challenges that I run into with baby boomers who I work with in personal training. They want to exercise and be healthy, but they lack the motivation to get them going in the right direction. The key to this, I believe, is in having a strong reason for why you are going to exercise. You need to feel and believe it, so that the motivation from it not only gets you started, but carries you on. Most people tend to beat themselves up when they have not been active in a while. They may feel guilty, frustrated, overwhelmed, and even feel they are on a path to self-destruction.

The first step in stopping this cycle is to re-invent yourself and remember your dreams. In a past blog post I wrote about reclaiming your identity. What I mean by that is: Who would you be if you were to achieve your goals? Who are you really? Start there! Once you have identified who you really are, it is time to make some goals, both short- and long-term. Examples of short-term goals may be to do weight training three times per week, and go for a 30-minute walk six times per week. A medium-term goal would be to do a 5K, fit into your clothing again, or take a 5-mile hike. Long-term goals are the ones that include losing 50 pounds, wearing a special dress to your daughter’s wedding, completing a marathon, taking an adventurous long hike, or doing a local bike race.

It’s important that you also celebrate your successes on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Just be sure to make them healthy celebrations, rather than junk food rewards. Take a moment each day to write down how your identity is improving and you are moving closer to being your true self. By doing this you will start to reinforce the best characteristics of who you are.

Now, on to the part of overcoming the exercise drought if it has been a while. The first thing to do is get some accountability by hiring a personal trainer. When you do that, you will be more likely to stick with it because you are paying for that service. Here are some additional tips for gaining momentum to get started:

  • Define what success in your exercise plan is going to include.
  • What dreams did you give up on and really want back in your life? What are those things that get you excited and motivate you to be your best each day?
  • How do you feel about your starting point? Do you have health concerns, for example?
  • How do you rate your confidence level in reaching your goals? What can you do to improve that confidence level?
  • What can you do to improve your desire to exercise?
  • What are some of the comments that people have made about your health, and how do you view your health?
  • If you could change one thing about your views, what would it be? How would your life be different if you were to do this?

By taking the time to answer those questions, you will have a good starting place. This should put you in a good position to get motivated and start exercising. You only have your health once and the most important thing you can do for yourself is to take care of.

Here is a plan that will keep you motivated CLICK HERE