What Makes a Great Gym? Part I

10420366_800561496659196_5160659795092338580_n“What makes a great gym?” Is it the equipment? The location? The atmosphere?

It’s a question I used to ask myself when I was starting Boomer Fitness. When I was planning this program, I wanted to make sure that my ideal gym had all the best traits you could ask for. Sometimes, I still find myself asking the same question when I’m reviewing my progress over the last few years. I love Boomer Fitness, and I know it’s got some of the best features you could find in any gym out there. But I still like to ask myself: What really makes a Great Gym?

When I ask clients about why they join a gym, I usually get a few variations of the same handful of answers. “It has some great equipment that I don’t have at home.” “It’s really close to where I work.” “My friends go to that gym, and I figured I would do the same.”

All perfectly valid reasons to go to the gym, but it just doesn’t seem like the right kind of answer. Most gyms have comparable equipment, and a lot of people seem to go out of their way to get to a particular gym. So what really makes a gym a place you want to go back to?

To discover what’s in a great gym, we actually have to ask another question: What do you want to get out of your gym? I break that question down into two answers: Time Well Spent and Time Enjoyed.

Time Well Spent – Let’s face it, when you’re going to be spending a lot of time working out, you want to be spending the right kind of time there. I have said time and time again that fitness is a long-term process, and not something that you can get results in with half-hearted effort. You have to give it your all, 100% of the time. That means a lot of dedicated hours at a gym.

So why would you want to go to a place where you feel like your time is being wasted? Heading to a gym and getting nothing done is like going to a Packers Game and playing angry birds on your phone. But so many times when I worked at a larger gym, I would see people who weren’t using their gym time to its fullest.

It’s game time when you’re at the gym! Use it to your full advantage!

Time Enjoyed –  It’s a lot easier to go to the gym to work out if you’re looking forward to your time there, but sometimes that isn’t always the case. One of my clients has told me that in the past, the hardest part about going to a gym was resolving herself to get out the door. Going to work out wasn’t something she necessarily enjoyed; it was a chore that she had to do.

Sure, it’s a workout, and it’s probably going to push your physical condition. But that doesn’t mean you have to dread going to the gym! You want to enjoy the time that you spend at the gym because you will be more willing to back to the gym. Turn the idea of ” I could go to the gym” to “I get to go to the gym,” and you’re going to find you’re spending a lot more time working your muscles.

It’s not rocket science. When you go to the gym, you want to spend your time working on relevant parts of your body, but you also want to enjoy yourself while you do it. But like a lot of things in life, this might sound easier said than done. What do you factor in when you’re signing up for a gym to make sure you hit these two marks?

To me, both of these points can be attained by making sure your gym has one key factor: the right kind of community. This ranges from the personal trainers to the people you work out with, from the group work out sessions to the individual one-on-one meetings we have. It differs from person to person, but having the right type of community that fits your work-out style is the difference between having an average gym an a Great Gym.

So how do you find that kind of community? Where do you start to look for the right kind of atmosphere that will help you be your best at the gym?

Be sure to check in with my blog on Thursday to find out!

How We Get Ready for a 5K

iStock_000009329788XSmallIf you missed my blog last Tuesday, I wrote a bit about why I like getting people ready for a 5k. It’s a great way to set goals, test our fitness, and succeed our prior selves. Best of all, there’s no greater feeling than crossing that finish line, knowing that you were able to accomplish what you thought was impossible mere months ago.

So now you’re amped! You want to start training for a 5k, but if you have never done it before, training might be a little difficult to find a good place to start. Running long distances might be something you did a long time ago, or it might be something you have never attempted in your life.

The best thing about Boomer Fitness is we take your entire history of training into account when we put together a plan for you. It’s all about realizing where you are now, planning a course of action and setting goals, and then achieving those goals through measurable time frames.

Maybe you want to train for a 5k, but what if your running experience consists of a treadmill? We can work around that and start with the very basics of running. Maybe you used to be a cross country running in high school, but it’s more of a recreational activity for you now. Instead of focusing on the basics, we can instead work on getting your endurance up.

So what are we going to do first? Take a look at a few of the basics that we might cover when you come in to Boomer Fitness:

Training Beyond your Legs– Running is a full body exercise, and we need to make sure your body is prepped for endurance running. A lot of people make the mistake of only exercising their legs when they get ready for a run. While you’re legs are certainly going to be doing the bulk of the work, It’s vital to make sure your entire body is ready to go. After all, you’re entire self is going for the run, not just your pair of legs.

Think about it this way: If you want to tune up a car, you don’t just add new tires and expect the car to drive faster. You would have to tune up the engine, the transmission, change the oil, maybe add some high-octane fuel… It’s the same idea for working on your body.

Instead of just focusing on the muscles in your legs, Boomer Fitness Trainers will be focusing on your entire self. We will spend a lot of time on your legs, sure, but we will also work on your core, back, and even your arms.

Goal Planning – So you want to run a 5k at the end of August? Great! Lets get started now.

The sooner you start getting ready for an event, the sooner you can start making improvement. Many participants in 5ks leave training until the last minute, thinking they can cram enough training into a month, or even just a few weeks prior to the event. We have to remember that marked improvement takes a lot of time and dedication, and it isn’t something you can just cram in at the end.

If you start now? You will be in a much better place come summertime than if you start mid July.

Escaping the Treadmill – If you know me, you know how much I dislike constant use of bicycle machines or treadmills. Running on a treadmill is great training for a treadmill edition of a 5K, but these events aren’t done on a treadmill. They’re done outdoors!

The outdoors have hills, slopes, different types of pavement, and other variables you just can’t train for on a treadmill. Our training for a 5k is going to be much more intense than just ramping up the difficulty on a machine and calling it good. We will look at getting your heart rate up, resistance training your legs, endurance building, and switching up your diet as we get closer to the race.

Getting in the Right Mindset – I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: Fitness is only half physical. The other half of fitness is purely a mental state, and it’s vitally important that we get in the right frame of mind when we start.

Boomer Fitness puts a huge amount of emphasis on the mental side of fitness. True, we spend a lot of time on the machines, free weights, and mats, but we also spend a lot of time talking to you. After all, it’s your fitness we are working on, so we want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your program.

The hardest part about getting ready for a 5K is telling yourself that you can finish the event. It’s about starting the run and knowing that it’s not a question of if you manage to get to the finish line, but a matter of when and how you feel when you do it.

I know you can do this event. I know because I’ve seen many clients make the transformation from “I can’t” to “I will.” One of my favorite moments of being a Personal Trainer is seeing you make that transformation, and I want to help you get there. Send me an email when you’re ready to make the transformation!

Mental Fortitude: The Other Side of Personal Fitness.

DSC_0938Well, it’s coming up to the end of January, the first real road bump of our scheduled resolutions. January 1st, we got to the gym determined to hit the ground running, cycling, lifting, and kettlebelling. We throw out the cookies and bring in the kale, swear off the beer and grab some protein mixture. 2015 is going to be great!

But by week three or four, you get home from work and you’re dead tired. You’ve been on your feet for eight hours, and the last thing you want to do right now is more work. Besides, you’ve been good all week! Right now, a drink would really hit the spot…

Stop! Put the drink down. You’re right, you have been good all week. Now let’s make it another good week.

It’s important to remember that Fitness isn’t just a physical exercise; it’s just as much a mental one! You can go to the gym every single week, but unless you’ve got the Mental Fortitude to keep yourself on track with your fitness goals, you’re just wasting gas.

Mental Fortitude is a common barrier when we’re entering the fitness barrier. We set a goal of looking like Mr. Universe, and expect ourselves to reach that goal by this coming Thursday, 9AM. But come Thursday, we don’t seem to have changed at all. It can get disheartening.

Instead of setting yourself up for disappointment, lets take a step back and take a realistic look at your 2015 resolutions, and the Mental Fortitude that is required:

Set Realistic, Timely Goals. I have some unfortunate news: You’re not going to look like Schwarzenegger this month. Probably not next month, either. And you know what? That’s ok! Instead of holding yourself to these far-flung goals, get yourself up to smaller, more reasonable goals that are attainable. Maybe try jogging a half mile this month. When you hit that goal, lets get to a full mile the month after that. Keep up that pace, and you’re running a 5k in 6 months.

Be Reasonably Diligent. Been hitting the gym hard this week? Lets take it easy and keep it to cardio tonight. Working at 100% capacity every single day can start to wear out your body and mentally burn you out. Push yourself to reach your goals, but make sure you also pace yourself.

Pat Yourself on the Back. Did you spend an extra 20 minutes on the bicycle today? High Five! No matter how fast you were going on that bike, you still lapped the version of you who decided to stop 20 minutes ago. Recognize that what you’re doing is making a difference, no matter how small the increments might be.

Mix it Up. Doing the same three workouts over and over again will really work those 3 sets of muscles. But what about the other 650 muscles in your body? Keep it interesting and mix up your workout routine to get the whole body into it. Besides, doing new things keeps the gym interesting, not monotonous.

Get Some Support. Lets face it, working out alone gets lonely. Getting some outside support not only helps pass the time, but helps you push yourself farther than you might on your own. A supportive network is just as important, if not more so, than the most high-tech workout equipment in the world.

Is it going to take some time? Yes. Is it going to be difficult? Of course. And is it going to be worth the hard work when you hit those goals? Yes.

Want to take another step in the right direction? Talk to us about signing up with a personal trainer.  Not only are we a friendly support network you need, we’ve got the knowledge and foresight to help you reach the physical goals while keeping up the Mental Fortitude. Give me a call, and we’ll set you up with a tour of the gym!

Sexual Patterns and Aging

Intertwined gender symbols

Sex is a wonderful activity that provides amazing benefits to both your mind and body! It has the powerful ability to release tension, stress and anxiety. It also boosts circulation and helps to improves physical and psychological well being!

With aging, a vast array of changes can take place throughout the entire body. The way that we function is altered and one of these functions is our sexual behavior. Many people may come across difficulties in this area through the progression of aging but there are many things that can be done in order to maintain a healthy and enjoyable sex life!

What Changes Occur?

Changes in Men:

Inconsistency in Erections

Difficulty Reaching Ejaculation

Increased stimulation required

Problems experiencing orgasms

Changes in Women:

Difficulty becoming aroused

Lack of lubrication

Sex may be painful or uncomfortable

Increased stimulation required

Reduced orgasms

What is the cause of these changes?

A combination of factors can contribute to changes in sexual behavior. The desire to participate in sexual activity can be diminished due to changes in hormones and increased pain that is commonly accompanies aging. Medications and physical restrictions can also have a dramatic impact on sexual desire and performance.

What can we do?

Sex is not just for the young but is fantastic for the young at heart! With the changes of aging, the act of sex can sometimes be more daunting or challenging. However, don’t give up and be sure to persevere because with so many benefits, you’ve got nothing to lose!

Steps to improve your sexual enjoyment today!

Communicate

Be open and honest with your partner. Don’t take it so seriously all the time and take the time to be playful and enjoy the experience. Consider initiating sexual activity in the morning, when energy levels are usually higher. Most importantly, explore and experiment to find what works best for you and your partner!

Love Yourself!

Release any feelings of inadequacy or low self esteem. Embrace your body and appreciate everything that it is capable of. Be positive and confidant!

Intimacy

Sex doesn’t just include intercourse. It encompasses strong emotional connections that are highly rewarding. A romantic outing, physical contact and kissing are perfect ways to increase intimacy.

Get moving and get physical

By maintaining good levels of physical fitness, you won’t just improve your physical health and wellbeing – you will also improve your sexual activity.  You will feel much more energetic and vibrant – and that is always going to be conducive to good sexual health as well.

Additional Help

Sexual changes are a natural progression of aging. Instead of fighting these changes, discover the many ways around them to allow you to embrace you and partner’s bodies. If you are concerned or would like to know more about your sexual enjoyment, schedule an appointment with your local doctor. You will be amazed with the knowledge and assistance that is available!