Today I spent the day getting my yard cleaned up. It is amazing how exhausting this chore can be! My husband made fun of my as I volunteered to rake, because it was better exercise than leaf blowing. Something must be wrong with me!
As the wind blew and stirred up more leaves where I had just raked I was reminded of how important it is to be engaged in what you are doing...even when it is chores! I didn't do any kind of warm up and I was thinking about how that was kinda numb, because my shoulders were totally burning.
Raking will soon be over with and winter will approach quickly so let's think about shoveling. Every year we have so many students come in with a sore back or hurt shoulder from shoveling. There is twisting and bending and tossing involved here. I double dog dare you to wear your Myzone this winter when your are shoveling- it is a serious workout, but do we warm up before shoveling? Doubtful. I know I don't.
How about weeding? Every spring we talk about how much our back hurts after spending hours in the garden. We hold this horrid position for hours- of course it hurts! But dang, our gardens look pretty!! We have to pay attention. We have to be engaged in what we are doing.
This is my reminder to be mindful when you are doing your chores. These are the activities that we train for, right? Breathe, brace, warm up and rest! Be mindful of your form. We are all on a time crunch, but an extra 5 minutes can save you hours, days, weeks of pain and soreness.
First things first - this is all information, I'm not going to bash golf or tell you shouldn’t do it. Not only will these tips keep you from getting injured or aggravating something to the point of injury, it will improve your game as well, trust me. The three most often places we see pain when it comes to golf are: the lower back, the knees, and the elbows, all of which are often a result of lack of mobility somewhere or that you are coming into it cold. Each problem area has a tip associated with it to both improve your game and keep you safe.
#1. The lower back
Possible issue: Most often this is a result of a lack of mobility in one of two places, either the thoracic spine or the hips. If your thoracic spine (the upper back portion of the spine) is unable to rotate as far as it should, that rotation when you drive the ball has to come from somewhere. Most often that comes from the lower back. The thoracic spine (upper back), by design, is meant to rotate 5 to 6 times further than the lumbar spine (lower back). When you make the lower back rotate father than it is supposed to, pain is almost certain. The other possible issue spot is the hips. If the hips are tight and can't rotate to transfer the power on the swing, that rotation has to come from somewhere else, most often the lower back.
Tip #1: Doing both thoracic spine warm-ups and hip warm-ups will not only greatly reduce your risk of injury, but also create more power in your swing because you will be able to rotate further and drive your hips through better. Examples of exercises you can do are 10 reps of open book on each side and 5 groiners on each side. Even some foam rolling through the glutes and hip flexors have be very helpful.
#2. The knees
Possible issue: Just like with the example of the lower back, when one place is supposed to move and it can’t, that movement has to be made up somewhere. If you try to rotate to follow through on your swing and your hips are tight, that rotation has to be made up somewhere. The other place it will be made up is at the knees. The hip joint is designed to move in pretty much any direction. The knee is not. The knee is designed to move forward and backward, and that’s pretty much it. Think about it like joints in your fingers - your fingers can bend and extend but what would happen if someone grabbed the tip of your finger and twisted it? Not good.
Tip #2: Hip warmups such as groiners, triangle mobility, and even foam rolling through the glutes and hip flexors will help you gain mobility in your hips and avoid knee issues. Not only will doing these exercises help your knees, but it'll also help increase the power of your swing since the hips are the most important part of driving the ball.
#3. The elbows
Possible issue: This issue is less common and often comes more from a lack of strength in the joint than a lack of mobility. Golf swings involve major transfers of energy and if you aren’t careful, the whip of that transfer through the elbow can cause some issues. Think about what would happen if someone grabbed your hand and quickly jerked it side to side…not too great on the elbow. That’s what happens on every golf swing. If you aren’t taking the preparations to strengthen and protect the connective tissue that holds that joint together it could take a toll on your elbows.
Tip #3: Work on grip strength. Holding heavy kettle bells or hanging from the bar are both great ways to do this.
I hail from the Great Plains of Nebraska. I was born with crooked legs and had to wear braces to straighten them out for years when I was an infant and toddler. Growing up, I was also the kid that was always too skinny. Some people would say this is a good thing but it was an issue when it came to playing football in high school. That was an era where strength conditioning was becoming common place in the high schools. My experience with weight training started in the high school program in the mid ‘80s and I loved it immediately. I didn’t get much bigger, but I did get much stronger.
After high school, I continued to train with weights and run. I also began my life in coaching as I assisted with the high school wrestling program for grade schoolers. Coaching is very fulfilling, fun, sometimes frustrating, but so satisfying.
When I was 21 I joined the US Navy and was stationed in Adak, Alaska and Yokosuka, Japan. I am also a veteran of Desert Storm as a crew member of the USS Bunker Hill (CG-52). While in Alaska, on a remote island out in the middle of the Aleutian Islands, I was a volunteer assistant wrestling coach for the base high school. This is where I realized I had a knack for coaching as every member of our team qualified for the Alaska State Wrestling Tournament my first year assisting with the program.
After I honorably discharged from the NAVY (just to be clear), I enrolled in two art schools in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Art is also a talent of mine and I continue to create every opportunity I can. But, like a lot of people, while in college this is where my physical activity dropped off considerably and I was not very consistent as I was becoming unfit for the first time in my life. I was also blessed with the birth of my first child, while still going to college, I did not make time for my physical training.
When my family and I decided to move from Minnesota to Kansas, once settled in our new home I knew I had to get back in shape. I immediately got back into a regular training routine after settling in. While in Kansas, I also got back into coaching in grade school soccer. I loved being around the kids and meeting their families, teaching them about the fundamentals, teamwork, sportsmanship and what it means to take that into their personal lives as well.
As the years moved on and I was approaching 40, I was craving to be more competitive. Simply training with weights and running was not fulfilling me as it once I had. I decided to start playing rugby for the Topeka Wizards RFC. It was exactly what I needed. One thing about my personality is that I love practice. It would kill me to miss any time on the pitch. Once my first season was complete, I was elected “Rookie of The Year” at 40 years old! I was elevated to team co-captain and media director for the club the following seasons.
One of the many lessons rugby taught me is that, if you want to do it, do it! You are never too old.
Again, my family and I decided it was time to pack up and try something new, so we made our way from the Midwest and moved to New Hampshire in 2013. We love it here! I am now the soccer coach of Strafford School and a volunteer art instructor at the Hill Library in Strafford. My family has really thrived here.
In 2014 I decided I wanted to take my passion for fitness and helping others develop theirs, I began my personal training certification process. Before I came to GET FIT NH, I started out with one on one personal training, which I enjoyed a great deal. Now that I am on Dean and Nancy’s team, my personal and professional growth has been tremendous. I have learned so much about coaching and the leadership at GET FIT NH has really worked hard to give me the tools and information I need to become the best coach I can be. Meagan and Adam have been nothing but the best in helping me settle in and to develop my coaching skills. The students at the gym have been so awesome and welcoming. It is the students that make it all worth it. It is only going to get better.
GET FIT NH is a fantastic training facility and it is exciting to be part of a system that MAKES IT HAPPEN!
This week we are highlighting Brittany Collins as our 6:15 superstar! I asked Brittany to share her results with us, because they are pretty amazing and she is quite humble about the progress she has made. I, on the other hand, am going to brag on Brittany for a minute before I share what she had to say.
When S3 came around, she was on the fence about participating. Brittany is in the Army Active Reserves so she was scheduled to go to Canada for a good part of the challenge. She asked if she could participate, but not have a partner since she would not be around for weigh ins. She did S3 with no partner and blew it out of the water. She lost 2.2 inches off of her waist and 2 inches off of her hips in the short amount of time she has been training with us (just since April 2017!). These results are excellent. She will share more about her progress below.
I want you all to know and Brittany to know that I am SO proud of her and how far she has come. Her body composition is important to her for her job and also her confidence and she looks fantastic and is performing at a higher level than she was in April. She has already screened out of her red band, which is another huge accomplishment worth mentioning. I don't get to see Brittany as much as I would like to since she trains in the morning, but my goodness, there is such a visible difference when I look at her. I am so excited to see how Brittany performs at this time next year! Keep at it! Here is what she has to say...
What was your absolute biggest challenge prior to starting at Get Fit NH?
Nutrition. I would just work out like crazy and eat whatever I wanted thinking I "earned" it. I also struggled with weights, never really knowing what to do I would really only stick to running which from doing it so much would cause pain in my hips.
What changed after starting at Get Fit NH?
After I started I realized how nutrition is the biggest part in fitness. I now weigh my food, meal prep, log how many calories and carbs I've had. I also learned how important strength training is and aimlessly running can only get you so far.
What specific results can you share?
So far I've lost around 16 pounds, I'm the lightest I can ever remember being and feel awesome.
What would you say to somebody on the fence about starting?
If you're struggling with fitness and are ready to be given the tools to make real life changes, join.
What has kept you coming back?
I like the group setting and also how knowledgeable coaches are there to help. I like how nutrition is included.
There you have it. Real people. Real results. Keep making it happen!
Peter Hallock is shining bright in the spotlight today! Peter joined our 6:45 training hour in April. Since then I have had the opportunity to witness an incredible change in him. His form, mobility, strength and weight have all improved in a short time. Peter is a prime example of when the work is put in, the results follow! I am really proud of Peter for working so hard these past couple of months. His results have been earned and I cannot even imagine the Peter we will know this time next year!
"I came to Get Fit NH, because I had been going to different gyms for a long time and never found a routine I could stick with because I really didn't know what to do. I decided to stay because after two weeks I was already feeling better. I also really enjoyed the classes and how varied the classes were. I was excited to go to every class which was not something I had experienced before. It didn't feel like a chore going to class. It was something I wanted to do instead of something I felt I needed to do.
In the couple of months that I have been training with Get Fit NH, I have lost 20lbs which was a complete surprise to me. I have been working hard on both my nutrition and exercise and was really excited for these results. It is really motivating. I am feeling good and the classes are interesting and the people are great. The coaches and the other people in class are really motivating and friendly. For someone on the fence about getting started I would say to them to give it a shot. I was apprehensive at first, but the people and coaches make you feel welcome from day one and the workouts are always different and fun. Thanks Meagan for letting me do this. I am really enjoy the classes and I appreciate the hard work that you Cari and Adam put into the classes."
And thank you, Peter, for your hard work and your consistency! Keep making it happen!
I love how Sam has included in her spotlight how she took responsibility for her actions. She knew she had to make time, she knew she had to change what she was doing and what she was eating. Get Fit NH is part of who Sam is. She makes us part of her scheduled day. By making herself a priority, she is changing herself and helping those around her change too. Get Fit NH wants to make the world a happier place. It automagically happens when we get healthier. Take it from Sam- it’s working.
What was your absolute biggest challenge prior to joining Get Fit NH?
My biggest challenge prior to returning to Get Fit was making time for training. My work schedule could be pretty unpredictable. I had convinced myself that I never had time to work out.
How did that challenge make you feel?
I admit it, claiming I had no time to exercise was a cop out!
What changed after becoming a member of the Get Fit NH family?
After becoming a member of the Epsom 6pm class, I committed myself to at least 2 days of training a week as well as participating in 5k races. I also utilized time during my work day to take walks with co-workers and compete in minor challenges, like the squat challenge. But, the physical aspect was really just one piece. Committing to learning healthy eating habits has improved results.
What specific results can you share?
"Results" can be measured in different ways! I can say I've lost 17 lbs since February (which I have) but the more meaningful results are changing the bad habits that were ultimately holding me back from doing the things I wanted to do. I see no issue in drinking water all day or not eating bread (ok, the bread thing is pretty difficult). What I love the most is how easy it is to get friends and family on board with healthy habits! Some people will help you get moving and some will commit to clean eating. I've utilized my entire network in some way.
What would you say to somebody on the fence about joining?
Results lie in your hands. Get Fit can help you achieve your fitness goals, whatever they may be, but it starts with you. If you need help with healthy eating, they can do that. If you need modifications due to prior injuries, they will work with you. If you want to find a network of goal minded individuals, they've got that. You will feel sore! But you may even like it! (It means it's working!)
Anything else to add?
Have I said "thank you" yet?! 🙂
Keep the great work and attitude going, Sam!
We have been training athletes ages 13+ for years, both in our Summer Academies and our year round Long Term Youth Development training programs.
For about the same length of time parents of younger kids have been whining "But what about uuuuuuussss?" 🙂
And while we have been listening, we just didn't have the capacity to do anything about it.
We are pumped about introducing our Summer Youth Academy, and it's right up your alley if you have kids ages 9 to 12!
It's no secret. Our kids are just not as active as we were at the same age. There are so many more distractions - 500 channels on TV, Xbox and Playstation, Facebook, iPhones and Android - you get the picture. None of these are harmful in and of themselves, but add them all up and you have a whole lot of sitting and not much movement. Add into that the fact that PE is limited in our schools, and we have kind of a "movement mess" on our hands when it comes to our kids.
Where is your child on the "get out and move spectrum"? You see, moving well is the foundation for a lifetime of activity and enjoyment. And while we all want to think our kids is going to "go pro", the fact of the matter is that ALL our kids need to learn that activity and exercise can be fun. For some that means winning on the playing field, for others that means going to the skate park, and for others keeping up in gym class would be really cool. No matter the ultimate goal, kids need a foundation on which to build.
A foundation which includes:
Get Fit NH's Summer Youth Academy is for girls and boys ages 9 to 12, and will run six weeks, from July 10th to August 17th, on Monday and Friday's from 11:30am to 12:30pm.
It's a great chance to get the kids out of the house a few hours a week and into a environment where they can learn, laugh, build confidence and have a great time.
Tuition is only $199 for the six-week summer session, and we are capping the class at 12 students, so don't sleep on this one.
All you have to do is click the "Enroll Now" button below to send in your payment and reserve your spot. As soon as we receive your enrollment, we will contact you with our registration and health history forms for you to fill out with your child, and set your first coaching appointment. It's that easy!
Questions? Contact us here, or give Coach Adam a call at (603) 340-7281
See you (and your kids) there!
Today I got an email from Rock Star Jennifer. She had just tried a new recipe. She made Jashbrowns (no, I didn’t spell that wrong). Jennifer had used a vegetable called Jicama. She used shredded Jicama to make a variation of hash browns for her breakfast. Now you can see why they are called Jashbrowns. Served with 2 eggs, they had made a wonderful meal she just had to share with someone. I was one of those lucky people.
In fact, this is not unusual for Jennifer. We talk food a lot. Jennifer is has been training with us for almost 5 years. She’s made a lot of changes physically but her kitchen skills have changed too. While she has always been an amazing cook - her kids rave about her meals - the type of foods she fixes have changed. I’m proud of Jennifer. She is helping to change the world. She keeps working at eating healthy for her and her husband. She shares her new found kitchen gadgets with those next to her in training, and she sends recipes out over emails and Facebook.
Jennifer has taken hold of new eating habits and translated her knowledge into a healthier world for her and her husband. But since she doesn’t keep that to herself, she shares it with her children who live across the US, she is changing the world one family at a time.
Here is the recipe for Jashbrowns from Jennifer:
"Very easy - I modified it from a cookbook called “Necessary Food”. Since the amount of jicama differs depending on the size, it’s hard to make an exact recipe. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to doing it.
Jash-browns with Eggs
Heat a dollop of butter or ghee in a skillet on medium high heat until it starts to brown. Add as much grated jicama as you want, spreading it out into a thin layer. Let the jicama fry uncovered so the moisture can escape. Fry for several minutes, flipping once in a while. As the jicama loses its moisture, it will start to get brown. When your jashbrowns have enough of a sear for your liking, season them liberally with salt and pepper and set them aside to keep warm.
Fry two eggs in some butter in your skillet, season them with salt & pepper, and serve them over the jashbrowns.
Like I said, very easy! I was surprised at how easily jicama shredded and how much there is in one small one! I shredded the whole jicama. Since I didn’t want to eat it all today I froze the rest. I also added garlic salt to the jicama along with the salt and pepper before freezing. Jashbrowns are very interesting, with a crunchy texture and just a little hint of sweetness. I can’t wait to serve this again."
I’d like to help Jennifer change the world to a healthier place. We all know healthier people are happier people and the world needs more happy.
Who is joining Jennifer and I?
Most of you that know me know that I hate cooking. Because I hate cooking I am not patient, which means when I cook it doesn’t always come out as planned, because I tend to miss important steps. Anyone else like that? For years I have tried to overcome this hatred, but here I am still not enjoying it.
Here is what I do- I am totally one of those people who CAN eat the same thing over and over, BUT eventually it will get old. Each week I make a meal plan. On that plan, I include ONE brand new (easy) recipe. If I like it then it gets added to an index card and I file it in my recipe box, if I don’t care for it then it gets trashed. The rest of my meals are pulled from the front of the recipe box then I make my grocery list. I ALWAYS cook the new recipe on a Wednesday or a weekend when I have more time to pay attention.
Once the week is over and I am ready to make my new meal plan I file the week’s recipe cards in the BACK of the box (with or without new recipe if I liked it) so that I am keeping it fresh, with what I know I like and what I know I can cook. And I am gradually growing my recipe bank.
What is your system? Is there a system or are you constantly on Google trying to find next week's meal plan? Don’t reinvent the wheel each week- keep it simple!
To some of y'all it might seem strange that as a gym owner and physical prep coach that I would suggest you can get too MUCH exercise, but it's true.
With our next scheduled recovery week coming up, I want you to explore further with me the concept of "enough" in relation to exercise.
It seems counterintuitive - do less, gain more? Well, as the answer to many exercise related questions;
There are two sides to the story. On the one hand some of us don't have the skill (and sometimes will) to push ourselves hard enough to make progress. Skill? How hard can it be to sweat? When I speak of skill I mean being able to cleanly move through an exercise pattern with proper form. You know what I mean. You get a lot more "bang for your buck" when you can do a full range squat than just a little "halfsy" right? That's why we work on cleaning up your movements; so you can do them safely and with maximum effectiveness.
On the other hand some people are just exercise junkies. Seriously. Strenuous exercise releases endorphins, which are chemicals that make us feel good. Endorphins are why we can feel so good even though we just got our butts kicked. The downside is they can literally become our "drug". Pushing our bodies to the limit is a high we start to seek.
But too much of a good thing is a bad thing. There is a point of diminishing returns. There comes a point when excessive exercise along with too low of calories will become a vicious cycle of fatigue, injury and even weight gain. UGHHH!
Learning to push harder is good. Exercising hard and pushing it to the max, every so often, is a very beneficial thing to do as we seek to hit new goals and discover what we are capable of.
But there are limits on both the intensity of exercise and the frequency of exercise.
We've talked about the "hierarchy of training" before.
In other words, which type of exercise will give me the most bang for my buck, depending on the number of hours I have to allocate per week?
I absolutely love this graphic from our partners over at Precision Nutrition. It perfectly illustrates this concept.
MORE isn't better, BETTER is better.
Here's the focus points I want you to get.
We structure our training in the gym around these principles. The big rock is going to be strength training. You see that manifested in dedicated strength training days, and also on other days where we do "metabolic resistance training" - training that uses resistance (all the tools; dumbbells, kettlebells, bands, suspension trainers, etc.) but where we move at a faster pace. Our finishers revolve around the interval and sprint work, and we also get some mobility and flexibility work in there as well, which is part of your active recovery.
And then there is recovery. Training hard and under-recovering is bad mojo. Eventually there is going to be one too many straws on the camels back.
That's why we schedule Recovery Weeks as part of our Training Program. They are not willy-nilly, random, or unnecessary. They are an integral part of each training cycle. (You read last Tuesday's post, right?)
Recovery. It's up to YOU to Make It Happen!