Fit Reads

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    The Weakest Link
     
    Weak-point training is commonly designated as a muscle or a group of muscles that are focused on more when weight training in an effort to develop more balance and symmetry for the body. No muscle group should lack development compared to other muscle groups in the body. This is very important in the bodybuilding community. I feel it’s something that is of great importance, but not just for aesthetics. 
I’d like to share the importance of what is referred to as weak-point training in the trainer community. This indicates situations when the body lacks physiologically in a certain area and requires additional attention and development. As a trainer, I train my clients to develop muscular proportion and the ideal length/tension relationship in the body. I want people to move better, be injury free, and have no pain in their daily lives. It’s very important to know what is preventing progress on a movement and increase in strength while gaining aesthetics in order to have the right balance in posture as well as muscular symmetry. This will help prevent injuries in all aspects of daily life. That’s why my clients are successful while using my FitRight 6 programs. It combines the corrective exercise library with the strength training and flexibility along with three other components for faster results.
     
    
For example, the squat is a movement many individuals need to improve. In my opinion, squatting is the best primal movement and exercise you can do for your body, with dead-lifting in a close second. When doing a squat it is important to get a range of motion that is ideal for the joints to move safely, while lengthening and shortening the muscles involved for full muscular action and movement efficiency. Traditional squatting should never be done at the expense of having the heels lift up or doing something that would alter a healthy movement pattern. In most cases this would be an ankle mobility issue. The calves should be stretched and the opposing muscles of the front lower leg, the tibialis anterior and posterior, should be strengthened. This would help with ankle mobility and keep the body more upright when doing squats. Many individuals with ankle mobility issues may commonly place small lifts under the heels. This approach helps achieve an increased range of motion while eliminating the ankle limitations by shortening the ankle joint movement, thus taking the calf limitations out of the equation. Work on the weak link and move naturally. This is why I always squat with a flat shoe with little to no rise in the heel and advise others to work toward doing the same. It keeps the movement more natural. Another approach could be taken if the upper body has limitations, as well. This, along with stretching the hip flexors and adding in some corrective exercises, can help anyone achieve a safer and deeper squat as well as get more development from the muscles involved with the movement. The same can be done for any area in the body for both movement and muscular development. When training something that lacks development don’t just think you need to do more exercises or increase the intensity for that body part. Look at the range of motion limitations you have that can prevent you from activating that muscle group more effectively.
    Train smarter, not just harder.

     
    James DiMuzio CPT, CES, PES, IFS

    July, 3rd 2014
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    Prepare
     
    When it comes to preparing for your workout, there are many factors to consider. Your mindset, the atmosphere, your energy level and many other factors play a role in a workout. Having your focus on what you’re going to do is obviously important to accomplish the task at hand. You certainly can’t expect to get much of a result from a workout that kept you distracted from exercises while focusing on other things around you or thoughts in your mind. You MUST put your focus into each exercise with the attention on form and pushing to a limit that is appropriate to reach a new level of fitness, which is something I discuss in a previous FitRead titled, “Focus”.
    The atmosphere plays a significant role not only in regards to the training facility or gym, but the amount of people in the same area of your workout as well. You need to prepare for what limited equipment may be available for the workout you need, but allow yourself to be okay with having just a few pairs of dumbbells and some good floor space if that’s all you can have.
    If you have great energy for a workout and ate the right foods at the right time to prepare for a workout that you are going to push hard through, that’s great! However, sometimes people tend to not have time to eat much, but still want to get a workout in. This is okay, but it needs to be considered not much of a “hard core” workout. Base your exercises on the energy you have available. If you do too much too fast, you’ll quickly be zapped of all your energy. This is when it may be ideal to not go as heavy on your lifts or as fast on your runs, but instead do some lighter variations of a workout and just appreciate that you’re doing something healthy and active instead of nothing at all. It is a smart approach to help prevent fainting or just a big “crash” in your energy, which could be un-productive more than anything.
     
    When preparing for your workout, remember to focus on the task at hand, consider the available space and equipment around you and prepare with the right energy by eating at the appropriate time for your specific workout. If you need something quick for energy to get you through the workout, have a banana a half hour before or sip on a beverage that has some fast acting carbohydrates. Be smart by being prepared for every workout.
    Failing to PREPARE is the same as preparing to FAIL.
     
    James DiMuzio CPT, CES, PES, IFS

    May, 6th 2014
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    What’s your Style?
     
    People prefer all types of workout styles, from free weight-circuit training to standing on a BOSU for an hour. When considering your workout, first consider your goal. Not all workouts are designed or intended to have the same effect, both regarding their ability to reach a fitness goal and the amount of fun it is for the person doing it. When people only understand one or two types of exercise styles because of their own personal experience, it is wrong for them to ever talk bad about another style just because they feel it’s not what’s right or ideal for them. A lot of people go through fitness trends because they feel they want to try something new and change up their own personal routine. All types of exercise will burn calories, which is one of the first things people think about when choosing a style of exercise, regarding weight loss. Though different energy systems are used to burn calories, most people think of what will help them lose weight the fastest.
     
    Another primary component to exercise style and choice of workout is, fun. A fun workout is going to keep someone consistent and happy while feeling great about exercising. If you’re looking to change something because you don’t enjoy it, try something new that will help keep you active, fit and happy! All types of fitness activities create lifestyles for people who love their daily exercise, whether it is weight training, Zumba, spinning, jogging, gymnastics or yoga.
     
    I always advise people to take safety into consideration, which is commonly overlooked by many who follow an exercise style. A person doesn’t need to create high impact stress on the joints during an exercise or risk being in a position that can cause damage to the nerves. Always follow safety over anything else with the exercises chosen for your individual needs. It’s all about exercise choice and style that will get each person to their respected goal and will also create a healthy and positive lifestyle while minimizing risk and danger to their body. Take your workouts, safety and happiness to a new level with what’s best for your goals, your lifestyle, your sport and above all else, YOU!
     
    James DiMuzio CPT, CES, PES, IFS

    April 28th, 2014
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    Over Training
     
    Ever wake up or finish your day at work with the feeling of not wanting to go to the gym? Of course! We all do. One sign that can show an increase in the risk of Over Training Syndrome, (OTS) is a lack of motivation or decrease in energy. If you’ve worked out for 4 or 5 days in a row or had many workouts lasting more than a couple hours, chances are you can use a day of rest or just light activity. OTS is very common and can lead to a decrease in performance, lack of results and increase the risk of injury. It is one of the most common problems for people struggling to get results from their workouts. The way to benefit from all those hard workouts that you put your body through is to let the body recover.
     
    If you have enough energy or maybe only worked out a few days at most in a row, try taking a short walk. Get some fresh air and relax your mind. Stress can be a cause for your low energy. Think about what causes you to feel a lack of motivation or lack of energy. If you need rest, take it. Don’t let your workouts get stale and don’t let your energy level rob you from getting an invigorating workout. Whatever you need, find it and take action!
     
    Take rest when necessary. Change your workout styles and/or goals. Listen to your body and it will give you what you want.
     
    James DiMuzio CPT, CES, PES, IFS

    April 14th, 2014

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    Focus
     
    When it comes to a goal, the first thing you need to ask yourself is, “What do I need to do to get to where I want?” To have the mind-set of preparation for whatever obstacles come your way is of great importance. To do this, you must be willing to ignore whatever could possibly distract you. When committing to a fitness program that you’re hoping will lead you to your goal, you have to focus your attention on all things necessary to get there and block out anything else that could prevent that focus.
     
    I believe that it takes one hundred percent of your attention to get the most out of anything. How can anyone say they pushed as hard as they could on an exercise while at the same time having a conversation or looking around at TV’s or other people? The focus must be on that exercise in that moment. The amount of focus to push past your limits is of the utmost importance. Only then can one achieve the results one is looking for.
     
    When doing an exercise and wanting more from it, be sure to focus on form and recruiting every muscle fiber needed to get that exercise done effectively. If you want to be stronger, faster or leaner, you must do what you need to do when training. Don’t allow distractions to interfere with your goal. Commit to what you want and get yourself dialed in toward pushing to where you want to be.
    The results are waiting. Now, FOCUS!
     
    James DiMuzio CPT, CES, PES, IFS

    April 7th, 2014
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    Routine Change-up
     
    Is your workout routine becoming a little too “routine”? As the Spring and Summer months approach, most people have their minds set on losing some body fat for the pool parties and barbeques that are coming up. Changing your workout routine and setting a specific goal will certainly help you attain the results your looking for. Change the amount of time you’re resting between sets. Try using different variations of exercises. Setting a goal makes you more driven to accomplish exactly what you’re looking to get out of your workout routine and in a timely dedicated manner.
     
    Try to prevent yourself from “going through the motions” when at the gym. If you feel you need to jump-start your routine with a new variety of exercises or just train your body differently, don’t hesitate to take advice from an experienced trainer or an educated athlete based on what your needs are. At least get some ideas to help get you on the right path. Just a small change in your workout can help you achieve new results. Remember, your workouts must be goal oriented. So, if you’re looking to achieve a harder body for the Summer months, become more flexible, or even accomplish new strengths, choose the right routine to get you there. Stay focused and stay on top of your health and Fitness. To create change with your fitness and health you must change what you’ve been doing that has been preventing you from getting there. Have fun and stay focused!
     
    James DiMuzio CPT, CES, PES, IFS

    March 31st, 2014
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    Movement for health
     
    Any time I’m approached with the question, “What is the most important component of exercise?” I give the same answer regardless of goals. Mobility or movement in all planes of motion is by far the most important part of fitness and overall exercise health. The range of motion in our joints is dependent on our flexibility and extensibility of our soft tissue, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Whether It’s how much movement you expose a muscle to simply by doing a bicep curl with the elbow joint or something such as rotating the trunk while going into a golf swing and enhancing movement at the shoulder and hip, it all has value. The more movement you expose yourself to daily, the easier it will be to keep that mobility and prevent pain and tightness accumulation throughout the body. Flexibility is to achieve a greater range by increasing length and distance between joints, however mobility is using muscles and movement patterns by keeping the body active in different planes of motion. So get moving and be sure to involve all types of mobility to prevent your body from “locking up” and to increase overall health of the body.
     
    James DiMuzio CPT, CES, PES, IFS

    March 24th, 2014
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    Stress Release Circuit
     
    Don’t let a busy day keep you from staying on top of your fitness and wellness routine. After a stressful day be sure to get in some form of exercise. It doesn’t have to be the typical routine in the gym. A very efficient and fast way of increasing your fitness, cardiovascular and fat burning goals is interval training. Try choosing a few weight training exercises and throwing in a minute or two of cardiovascular work in between your weighted exercises. You don’t need a treadmill or bike. Use your body’s natural mobility patterns. Jumping jacks, burpees, or even jogging in place all work great in increasing your body’s ability to use a lot of muscles at once and increase your heart rate. As soon as you finish your time of cardio bursts, jump right back into your weight training circuit. Keep this going until you finish 3-4 sets. You can get this all done within 10-20 minutes. Opt for compound or multi-joint movements; Rows, Presses, lunges and squats.
     
    Don’t let a stressful, long and busy day bring you down. You release positive hormones known as endorphins while exercising and will feel energized afterwards. A little bit of time is all you will need to get a great workout and take you out of what may be a “comfort zone” style workout your used to doing for an hour or so. So spice things up!! Get it in and get it done!
     
    James DiMuzio CPT, CES, PES, IFS

    March 17th, 2014
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