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!

The Traits of a Good Personal Trainer, Part I

DSC_1198Most fitness blogs talk about the right nutrition you need to look for in a diet plan. Most will write about the kinds of exercises you need to be focusing on to properly work your biceps, triceps, glutes, core… Any muscle you might want to focus an exercise on.

My own blog features a long list of these subjects. I’ve got write-ups and videos detailing the most important nutritional aspects of any good diet. I’ve got a long list of write-ups and videos detailing various workout routines you can do at home.

But how do you know that what I’m saying is true? Or for that matter, how do you know if any personal trainer is worthwhile? If you’re going to be spending a lot of time making progress with your own personal trainer, you want to make sure he or she knows what they’re talking about, not just blowing hot air.

Not all personal trainers are created equal. True, we all go through rigorous training. We get certifications and credentials. We’re required to endure years of reviews, self appraisals, and tests before we begin training. But even after all this, some bad trainers still manage to slip through the cracks at larger corporate gyms. It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

So what do you look for in a good trainer? At Boomer Fitness, I put a lot of pride in my team of personal trainers. I know they are some of the best trainers in the area, and I wouldn’t invite them to the gym if I was not 100% sure of that fact. Take a look at some of the things you should look for in a personal trainer, and some of the things we do here at Boomer Fitness:

Assessments – I love recording data. To me, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing quantifiable results when coming to the gym. But more importantly, it is a sign of a good trainer to make assessments of your improvement. This includes the initial measurement, and standard measurements every few weeks to record change.

At Boomer Fitness, we take this measurement process very seriously. The very first thing you do when starting work with a personal trainer is an assessment of your body. This gives us a baseline to judge your improvement every four weeks. During one of our assessments, we measure your range of movement, weight, diet, and even your willingness to make changes to your daily life. If it’s quantifiable, we will record it.

Want a quick telltale whether a personal trainer is measuring you? See if they’re carrying a clipboard with them through the gym. If they’re not, they aren’t measuring nearly as much as a trainer should be.

Planning and Setting Goals – One of the most important aspects of heading to the gym is having a goal for the future. Without a goal, we don’t have a direction to align ourselves toward, or a rudder to steer us. With a goal, we know where we will be in 3 months time. A good trainer knows how important planning is, and will sit down with you in the beginning of your fitness regimen to help you plan your future.

At Boomer Fitness, we always discuss goals as a part of our initial assessment. When we know where you want to be down the road, we begin planning out 4 week milestones to gauge your success factors. No matter how well trained we are or how sophisticated the gym equipment is, we cannot make progress without a game plan.

Integration of Training and Nutrition – Exercise alone does not get you results. You can spend hours each week at the gym, but if you don’t make the change to your diet as well, your time is going to make little to no change on your lifestyle. A good diet will ensure you’re getting the nutrition you need, without excessive sugars or carbs that usually are found in unhealthy diets. Good trainers know the relation between nutrition and fitness, and create dietary plans as well as fitness plans.

Trainers at Boomer Fitness don’t stop their work when you leave the gym. We make sure we outline a dietary plan to accompany your total fitness plan. This way, your fitness plan will be the most effective at helping you reach your goals.

This isn’t even half of the traits found in good trainers. Be sure to check my blog next week for more traits you want to look for when choosing a Personal Trainer, and all the traits you will find at Boomer Fitness. And when you’re ready to make a healthy change with some of the best personal trainers around, contact us for more information!

The Relationship Between the Gym and Your Health

Progress in Action - Road Barricade Improvement and Change for FLast week I wrote about the dangers of not working out. It might have sounded a little harsh, but I meant every word. Too few people know the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, especially when paired with the unhealthy foods so many of us find on grocery shelves.

With an unhealthy lifestyle comes heart disease, plaque in the arteries, a proneness to diabetes… the list can go on and on. It’s scary to think about what can happen if we choose to do nothing. But like I wrote last Tuesday, I would much rather you hear the truth than hiding behind a set of lies.

Sometimes, we all need a kick in the pants to get started on our long journey. But on the other hand, we always hear about the doom and gloom surrounding an unhealthy lifestyle. What about the positive effects of a mobile lifestyle? And not just the long term effects, either.

Believe it or not, your body starts changing the exact moment you start working out at the gym. Big results take a long time, but that doesn’t mean you’re accomplishing nothing when you start doing lunges for the first time. Take a look at what’s happening to your body when you first start working out:

Metabolism Boost – Minutes after you start working your body, your metabolism is going to get a huge boost in energy. As your body starts to recognize that it’s using more energy than normal, it’s going to start producing neurochemicals responsible for metabolism to compensate for this new motion. This boost can last anywhere between a few hours and a few days. To get the best results, you will have to continue exercise so your body continues to boost.

Improvement in Mood -After a workout, you might notice that you’re having a better day now compared to when you walked in. It’s not just in your head; those same neurochemicals I talked about boosting your metabolism are also responsible for boosting your mood. Working out at the gym will produce these neurochemicals, and you will feel more relaxed, more confident, and have more energy to hit the day.

Regulate Blood Sugar – Blood sugar, or glucose, is used as an energy source throughout our body, but we can’t have too much of it floating around in us. Your body produces insulin to control the amount of glucose found in our blood stream, but having too much glucose can lead to Type II diabetes. So how do we balance it? Exercising goes a long way to combating excessive blood sugar, burning it as you move more. As your body burns more energy, it will compensate less.

Lowering Blood Pressure – You might be thinking “how does making my heart work more cause blood pressure to drop?” As we get older, our blood vessels start to get stiff, causing more pressure throughout our system. While it’s true that your heart might be beating more frequently during your time in the gym, you’re also flexing and moving your blood vessels, which loosens them up and allows blood to move freely. You might not notice a difference in how you feel, but your blood pressure monitor sure will.

These improvements don’t take months to acquire. Your body is designed to move, and doing so means it will react positively! The first day at the gym is always tough, but just showing up and doing something is better than sitting in front of the TV. I like to think that no matter how slow you’re moving, you’re still lapping the version of yourself on the couch!

But don’t think you can get away with minimal time at the gym. While small improvements are a good stepping stone, ramping up your effort at the gym is an important aspect of winning back your health. As we like to say at Boomer Fitness, you only have your health once!

Email me when you’re ready to start getting your body in motion! We will start getting you on track to a healthier tomorrow.