Sunday, June 30, 2019

Can Drinking Cold Water Increase Fat Burning?

Believe it or not the answer appears to be YES!   A recent study looked at this phenomenon and found that after drinking 16 ounces of cold water increased metabolic rate by 30% in both men and in women. 

The increase in metabolic rate was observed within 10 min after finishing the water and reached a maximum 30–40 min after water drinking.   This increased metabolic rate was sustained for more than an hour. 

The researchers estimated that increasing daily water intake by 1.5 liters would increase daily energy expenditure by approximately 47 calories. Over 1 yr, energy expenditure would increase by 17,400 calories which is 5.28 lbs of fat!.

So enjoy that cold water!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Key Movement Variables to Optimize the Benefits of Strength Training

Although the amount of resistance you use and how many repetitions of each exercise you do and how many total sets you perform in a workout are important – there is much more to an effective resistance training program.
It’s not just about what you are lifting – how you are lifting it is equally important.     Here are some of the key movement variables to consider:

What is your movement speed and is it constant or does it change and what are the effects of changes in movement speed or acceleration and deceleration during an exercise?    As a general rule of thumb slower, controlled movements are safer and generate more time under tension for a muscle group.   However the deliberate use of higher velocity movement or explosive movements can be very beneficial if done correctly using good form.

Body Position including placement of feet, position of the torso and hands during an exercise?    Small changes in the position of your hands, feet and body can dramatically change what muscles are used.   For example a squat done with feet and hips externally rotated will result in very different loading than a squat with feet and hips straight or only slightly rotated out.
 Where is the load and line of resistance relation to your body?  When using free weights of any kind (dumbbell, kettlebell, sandbag, etc.) gravity will pull down directly to the ground in a straight line from the load, and depending on the position of your body will determine which muscle/s are being challenged. If using a machine of any type the line of resistance is not always straight up and down because many machines use pulleys which redirect the force of gravity on a weight stack in differing directions.         
What is the position of the resistance/load that you are using?  For example doing a squat with a bar on your back is very different than doing a front squat with a bar in front of your shoulders and completely changes the emphasis of which muscles are producing the movement and the stabilization requirements of the other muscles such as torso muscles.  Holding resistance on one side or the other such as single arm overhead press creates very different loading than using two arms at one time.      Even doing the same exercise with dumbbells versus barbells substantially changes the loading and challenge.
What plane/s of motion are you moving through during each exercise and how does this relate to the activity or sport you are training for?   The bulk of exercises most people think of are done solely in the sagittal plane meaning the movement is forward/backward or up or down.   However the body also moves side to side and rotates not to mention movements that involve all three planes of motion.     For example a squat with an overhead press can be done solely in the sagittal plane – you squat down holding the weight at shoulder height and then at the top press it overhead.    If you take the same movement but rotate the body to one side as you pivot one leg to facilitate the turn you introduce rotational movement which really changes the exercise substantially.
How stable or unstable is the resistance/load you are using?
Using a fixed unmoving object such as a dumbbell, kettlebell or weight ball as resistance is very different than doing the same exercise with a less stable form of handheld resistance such as a sandbag.    Unstable loads dramatically increase the challenge of an exercise requiring substantially lower loads for the same metabolic response.

How stable or unstable is your base of support during an exercise?
Try any exercise on the beach in sand versus a stable surface of any kind and you will immediately get the point here!

Change any one of these variables and you have a whole new exercise not to mention changing more than one at once and/or also changing the amount of load you are using.     In general do NOT change everything at once but you can easily create variation in your program by adjusting more than just your sets, reps, and amount of resistance used!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

What Should a Coach Do When They feel Nervous Asking Clients to Pay?

This is a typical issue for many trainers, and here is true story to illustrate the problem (and how to fix it!).    Joe was a young trainer who had a really hard time asking his clients for money.     He had no formal education in health and fitness, but he was very passionate about helping people!  Joe also had a lot of experience, but he felt like a fraud.

Joe got all nervous every time he had to ask a prospect to sign-up or a client to renew their training package.      His internal dialogue went like this:  “Why should this person pay me for this?   How will they feel when they discover that I am making everything up as I go?”

The good news for Joe is that he worked under a Fitness Director who cared about him a lot who also had several decades of experience coaching trainers.     The Fitness Director quickly saw Joe’s problem and knew what he needed to do to fix it.

The real problem was not that Joe had a problem asking for money – the real problem was that Joe had a self-esteem problem himself, and it was killing his business and his personal life!

Feeling inadequate is a common challenge for many trainers.      The good news is that there IS a way to get through this to be the kind of Coach you want to be.    

When you feel like you are not adequate as a trainer it is not because you are bad or unworthy – those feelings are an indication that there is a gap in your knowledge or skills (or both).  
Joe’s problem asking for the money was that he did not think he knew how to get great results for his clients!

Joe’s Fitness Director knew this and suggested that Joe do whatever it took to fill the gaps in his knowledge and skills and offered his assistance in Coaching Joe.    

Joe took him up on the offer and they made a plan together to work through this important career and life challenge.    Joe signed up for a NASM certification after their first meeting, and they set-up weekly meetings to review each of Joe’s client’s progress and goals.

Long story short, Joe completed his NASM certification (and several others!) and worked with his Fitness Director.   Joe is now the top trainer at his club.  He never stops learning and growing, and he is actively coaching other trainers who have the same confidence problem he had.   Most importantly Joe has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals and live the life they were meant to live!
By the way – this story is not just about Joe – for a lot of you reading this it is about YOU! 

Know there is a way out and we are here to help you!    Brandon, Crystal, and I believe in you!   We know you can be great – so acknowledge the gaps in your knowledge and skills and let us help you build your confidence!

Yours in health and fitness – Greg Maurer – Vice President of Fitness – Workout Anytime

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Many Benefits of Stand-up Paddleboarding

Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is a fun activity that almost anyone can learn, and it is one of the best workouts available!   Stand-up Paddle Boarding is low impact and provides a combination of balance, core, strength, and endurance.     Since you are standing you have to use everything from your feet (wow do you use your feet!) all the way up through your entire shoulder girdle.    Because you are standing your arms never have to go above shoulder height which means that there is much less stress on the rotator cuff muscles than kayaking.    You use your shoulders heavily but your shoulders are stressed in the position where they are naturally most stable and strong so much better than kayaking for those with shoulder and neck issues!

Just standing on a Paddle Board forces you to stabilize your entire body and core, and it is one of the best activities available to develop balance.   Best of all if you do fall you land in the water and getting back on the board is very easy!  

SUP Technique Breakdown
Learning to SUP is easy but mastering the stroke and maximizing your speed takes lot of practice.   The first thing to focus on is NOT pulling the water!   Instead you want to plant the blade in the water and pull yourself and the board up to the paddle blade.   Imagine that you are stabbing the paddle firmly into soft sand then pulling yourself and the board up to the paddle.     If you can clearly visualize the difference here it will go a long way to getting your stroke where it needs to be for optimum speed.   Think about grabbing the water NOT pulling the water by you!

Once you get a little feel for it start looking at how far you are reaching forward to put your paddle in the water.   You want to reach as far as possible each time you stroke, BUT there is a limit based on your particular anatomy, shoulder strength and balance.    If you reach too far you can over-stress your low back, shoulder or just be off balance which is counter-productive.

This is where the blade of the paddle enters the water.    Make sure the entire blade enters the water before you begin to pull.   The catch should be as smooth and clean as possible with no splashing.

Now you are ready to apply power to the paddle.   Use your entire body for this part of the stroke.   It is NOT about using your arms.   Rather your arms merely connect you to the paddle through your hands and you use the rotation of your torso, hips, and shoulders to drive your paddle!  Try to relax your arms as much as possible to perfect this technique. Do not pull too far back as this will actually slow you down.   Once the paddle passes your hips if you keep pull you are actually pulling the paddle up meaning you are pulling the paddle board down and this only slows you down.

After the pull you need to release the paddle from the water.    Like the catch you want this movement to be quick, smooth, and with zero splashing.   Feathering the blade of the paddle creates a smooth release and set-up for the next catch.   You feather by dropping your top shoulder, “breaking your wrist inward”, or a combination of both.  

Once you release the paddle you are ready to set-up for the next catch and pull.   Try to relax during this phase – the key to optimum paddle technique is learning to set a rhythm between tension and relaxation and ultimately getting your breathing into a rhythm with the stroke.  The first time you feel this come together it is amazing – really zen!  So stay relaxed and let go of the tension you produced in the catch and pull and smoothly swing the paddle forward to prepare to drive the blade fully into the water for the next pull!

How many calories can you burn Paddle Boarding?
Obviously your actual calorie burn will depend on the intensity of effort you are putting into to paddling along with your height, weight, and the wind and water conditions you are paddling in.     However here are some estimates based on people weighing between 165 and 200lbs :

            Casual Paddle Boarding – 300 – 430 calories per hour
Yoga on Paddle Board – 416 – 540 calories per hour
Touring on a Paddle Board – 615 – 708 calories per hour
Surfing on a Paddle Board – 623 – 735 calories per hour
Racing a Paddle Board – 715 – 1,125 calories per hour

So if you have not taken the plunge yet – google “Stand-up Paddle Board Rental” and find a rental location and give it a whirl.   Rentals including paddle, board, and lifejacket are generally $25 - $35 per hour so get out there and give it a go!   

For a great tutorial on the paddleboard check out this excellent article: 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Ultraprocessed Foods and Weight Gain

A recent National Institute of Health Study showed why Ultraprocessed foods drive weight gain.   The study showed that those eating Ultraprocessed diet ate 459 calories per day more than those eating a diet of unprocessed foods – both groups were allowed to eat as much as they wanted during three meals per day and food intake was closely measured as participants lived in a control setting for the four weeks of the study.

What are Ultraprocessed Foods?

For this study Ultraprocessed foods were defined as foods with ingredients predominantly found in manufacturing such as high fructose corn syrup, flavoring agents and emulsifiers.     Examples of food used in study include Cheerios, Check Boyardee Ravioli, diet lemonade and Hellman’s Mayonnaise.

Researchers found that participants eating the Ultraprocessed diet had increased levels of Ghrelin – a hormone released by the body to trigger hunger.     Researchers believe that Ultraprocessed foods have altered taste and texture making them easier to overeat including being easier to chew and swallow.

In addition, those eating the Ultraprocessed diet had higher levels of fasting glucose and insulin which means increased fat storage and decreased fat utilization.

In another related study on Ultraprocessed foods researchers found that for each 10% increase in Ultraprocessed foods the risk of death rose by 14% even after accounting for confounding factors such as smoking and obesity.

So the take home message is eat whole foods that have not been processed or minimally processed!