Push ups, pull ups and fat loss, oh my!
I think we can all agree that push ups and pull ups are hard…..really hard. A common goal I hear when students begin training with us is, “I want to be able to do a chin up” or “I want to be able to do a push up.”
I have been lucky to see hundreds of students meet these goals over the past 5 years. It is one of the coolest things to see as a coach!
So let’s talk about each of these and come up with 3 ways you can get better at them this year
If you are a fat loss student then step one to being able to do a push up is to lose the fat. How do I lose fat, you ask? Food, it’s all about the food. We can help you get a better relationship with food so you can lose the fat so you are able to push your bodyweight up and down. We offer a ton of nutrition coaching- talk to us!
Learn to keep your body TIGHT. When we coach you to bring your toes and knees together and squeeze your cheeks it is not because we are knit picky. It is because to be able to push yourself from the floor and get your body to talk to each other from the head down to the toes you need to keep your whole body tight. If you can teach yourself to keep your body that tight during all of your training- squats, deadlifts, swing, planks, etc then it will become a more natural feeling
Working on your trunk stability. Let us teach you about rolling patterns (or see it for yourself on our website!) Practice perfect reps. Be PATIENT Be CONSISTENT and STOP telling yourself you’ll never be able to do it.
Same as the push ups. If you are a fat loss student then you need to lose the fat before you can get your chin over the bar. I’ll address relative strength in a moment
Hollow body holds. We’ve been working on them in training. Do them regularly. Do them right. We talked above about keeping your body tight. This is the same thing for a pull up.
Hang on the bar. In order to get your chin over the bar you have to first be able to hang on the bar. If you keep your body tight and just hang on the bar I can STILL help you get strong. If you lose the fat and you are strong, you will pull your chin over the bar
Here is a little education for you…
Relative strength- is the amount of strength to body size, or how strong you are for your size. This reflects a person's ability to control or move their body with no more weight than their own. Think push ups and pull ups for repetition.
Absolute strength- is the maximum amount of force exerted, regardless of muscle or body size. Think heavy deadlifts and heavy squats. If I am 140 pounds and I can lift 225 pounds off of the ground then I am stronger than someone who is 215 pounds and can lift 300 pounds off of the ground because I am able to lift 1.5 times my body weight but the other person can only lift 1.3 time their body weight.
There are many ways to prove you are strong, but relative strength proves you are strong AND lean.
Why are we doing upper body rolling and how do we do it to get the most out of it? Watch below to find out!
We have been working on patterning the full Turkish Get Up and it has been so awesome to see everyone doing so well and building skills!
As you have seen the Turkish Get Up is a pretty complicated skills with a lot of moving parts. It takes a lot of focus and patience to become proficient in this movement. On our instagram, (@GetFitNH), I took some time to talk about some common things we see to help build this skill better!
#1: Proper Hip Placement
In the picture below you see a very common thing we see when people are placing their hand down to the ground when working their way down from the top of the Turkish Get Up. People tend to sit the hips back to get the hand down to the ground, which limits mobility and space when trying to pull the foot through. Make sure to keep the hip over the knee by walking the hand down the thigh to make sure you stay in the right position.
#2: Roll Don't Crunch
This one tip can be a BIG game changer for people working on the Turkish Get Up. Get the first movement of the TGU down can be the most challenging. The first video below shows what it looks like when you try to crunch or sit up from the starting position. Trying to do this is very difficult because the body is trying to move against its natural mechanics and gravity.
The second video shows what happens when instead of sitting up you roll over to the elbow. The body will follow the natural angles you make. Drive the shin towards the hand on the plant foot and try rolling your body up to the elbow and watch that movement become a lot more smooth!
#3: Joint Stacking
When working together your joints are very STRONG! We can make them work together by joint stacking. What that means is aligning multiple joints on top of each other to build a strong support beam.
In the first picture the hand is placed to far away from the body which is not allowing the joints to stack and be strong. When you do not joint stack all the weight and pressure will go to where every the bend point is and stress that single joint. Think if you have a support beam and hit it in the middle with a sledge hammer, now that bent in point is taking most of the stress. The same will happen with your joints if they are not properly stacked!
Hopefully these tips can help you master the Turkish Get Up!
Keep Making It Happen!
Some of you might have seen these videos on Facebook last week, but for those of you who are not on Facebook this is for you! Check out the videos below along with the brief explanation of what we are looking at. If you are on Facebook and you missed this then you will want to head here and like our page right away (I'll wait...)
Video 1 shows thumbs up high at the bottom of the swing. “Thumb to bum!”
Also shows the correct way to start a swing which is from the floor! Starting from the floor encourages an aggressive hike from the bottom which reinforces the power of this movement right from the first touch of the bell.
Video 2 shows what we often see in the gym which is starting the swing from the standing position which not only compromises your back, but again the power of this movement. You will also notice the bell is way low which forces the chest to dip below the hips. The thumbs should be up high to keep the hips engaged and generate power from glutes and hamstrings
Video 1 shows neutral spine and shoulders above the hips. We often see what video 2 shows which puts the spine in a compromised position. Find a spot on the floor! When you break spine alignment you compromise not only a whole lot of power, but also risk of injury. Same thing when your chest dips below your hips you are seriously compromising your low back.
Video 1 shows proper follow through technique meaning at the top of the swing there is “triple extension.” That’s a fancy way to say ankles, knees and hips are locked out at the top. It also shows shoulders pulled back at the top which protects from the reach at the top and hyperextension.
Video 2 shows the top of the swing with soft knees. Triple extension promotes the explosiveness of this exercise so lock it out! Also you’ll notice the bell is reaching forward at the top which does not make for happy shoulders so pin those shoulder blades together.
Next time we do kettlebell swings in training keep these techniques in mind. We hope this clears up some coaching cues along with visual aid to help you have the best kettlbell swing in the world!
Keep making it happen,
We cannot get better unless you tell us how we are doing and what you need so let's do just that! Please click here to take a quick survey so we can serve you better.
Also, let me put your mind at ease, we have no intentions of making big changes. Get Fit NH is a solid business and culture that does not need tweaking. Our goal is to keep you happy, give you more of things that you want, continue earning your trust and get you results!
We appreciate your support more than you know,
Get Fit NH Team
Next Scheduled Recovery Week: Sept 3 - Sept 7, 2018
Is summer really almost over? We are wrapping up our 8 week summer session. We take a break the week of Labor Day as it gives us that mental break to prep for life to pick back up and allow us to get our head on straight and be physically prepared as we head into the longest training phase of the year! Our next recovery week is not until the end of December!
You may have noticed that as we get closer to recovery week the daily and weekly training intensity has increased.
That is purposeful.
Because we are working toward a week of MacroRecovery, we are intentionally working at a higher level.
Then we will take a scheduled, purposeful rest.
Because whether you think so or not, you cannot and should not train really hard, all the time.
In fact one of our training program design principles is what is referred to as MED.
Minimum Effective Dose.
In other words, what is the MINIMUM stimulus we need to get better - stronger, leaner, better conditioned, etc.?
What? The minimum you say? That is NOT my style. Go hard or go home!
That WILL work, at least for a short time. Until your training overwhelms your ability to recover, and you start breaking down.
How can you tell that is happening? That you're not recovering fast enough from your training? Here's a few warning signs:
Altered Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
You are having a hard time getting your heart rate up, or it's beating like a racehorse when you feel like you aren't really doing much.
Poor Sleep Patterns
An increasing pattern of the inability to sleep restfully.
Your training loads have stagnated or even decreased.
Mr. Crank-Pants, anyone?
Eating Habits Disrupted or Compromised
It's not just a matter of will power. Overreaching and overtraining can cause physical cravings if our bodies are missing crucial nutrients because of too much physiological or psychological stress.
If you are getting sick frequently (eg. more than one cold a year) your immune system is probably compromised.
Increase In Injury
This could be not recovering from the normal microtrauma caused by training, for example you are sore for 2 or 3 days after training, or you are getting strains, sprains, aches and pains that you normally do not.
Lack of Progress (Plateau)
This could be either in body composition (not losing bodyfat/gaining muscle) or not making gains in the gym.
Enter Recovery Weeks
Recovery weeks are designed to give you rest; physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
You see stress is not just a "mental" thing. Do you realize when you train you are stressing yourself out, on purpose? That gets added on top of all the other stress in your life, whether it be work, home, or the jerk who cut you off in traffic. Your central nervous system doesn't care, it just knows when you have too much of it, and it doesn't like it!
And while you can't stop the knucklehead from driving like an idiot, there are things you can do to avoid excess systemic stress, and taking recovery weeks is one of them.
Here's My Top 5 Things To Do On Recovery Week
What about you?
You see you don't have to "not move" for a week. There is nothing wrong with getting outdoors, taking a walk, hitting the rock climbing gym, spending some time on the foam roller and stretching, getting a massage, and/or taking some long showers or baths.
Those things will aid your recovery and help you relax; running 2 or 3 or 5 miles every day (or every other day), or going to spin class, will not.
I train hard, but more importantly I train and recover appropriately.
I am in it for the long game. When I am sick, or excessively tired, or injured I cannot train.
THAT is what sets me back.
Recovery is what drives me forward. On a daily, weekly, and quarterly basis.
You ready to get better with me?
MAKE IT HAPPEN!
The Get Fit NH Team
PS. Below is the "Science Stuff" I promised - Enjoy!
Our recovery weeks are what I would call Macro-Recovery. In other words we take a planned week off every training phase in order to let the body rest up from hard training and get ready for the next phase.
The Recovery Curve
I saw the recovery curve for the first time during my time with Australian physical preparation coach Ian King. His principles laid the foundation for the way we program, train and especially recover here at Get Fit NH. The principles that work with professional athletes apply to us too!
The following illustrates a “good” recovery curve:
The green line represents what we are all looking for – continual, never ending progress over time. We are getting stronger, faster, thinner, better looking (ok at least that’s what I wish for).
Reality Check – ain’t gonna happen. The process of changing your body is not linear, in fact what we are looking at in an optimal training environment is more of a “One step back brings me Two steps forward”.
A closer look at the chart will help explain what I mean.
The red line represents Equilibrium. This is where your body wants to stay, no matter if your goal is losing fat, gaining lean, or both. As you have no doubt found out, forcing your body to change is hard work – really hard work. When you walk into Get Fit NH, our training is designed to elicit that change. But it’s not as simple as “working out” day after day after day. In fact as I am about to illustrate, training without proper recovery is actually hurting you, not making you better.
The blue line represents the “recovery curve”. Starting at the left hand of the chart all the lines intersect. For this illustration that point is where your first training occurred – you “worked out”.
But what’s going on?
Instead of performance going up, that line is actually heading down – this is what is called Depletion. If you think about it makes sense – you have worked hard, you are fatigued, your body is depleted of nutrients – you are spent!
Don’t worry, your body will get over it, if you treat it right! This is what we call Adaptation. Your body wants to be able to handle the increased demand that was placed on it, and starts the process of getting better.
You are in charge of if and how fast that happens. A few of the factors that influence this adaptation include recovery nutrition, stress levels, sleep habits, supportive nutrition, age, and training history.
The recovery curve continues with Supercompensation. Here is how Coach King describes this process:
“It is only when recovery is allowed that we see the super-compensation effect, the unique phenomenon where the bodies physical capacity is elevated in response to training, in anticipation of another exposure to the same stimulus.” – King, I, 1999/2000, Foundations of Physical Preparation
In other words your body has gotten better in response to your training, a new Equilibrium is established and this state is when we will ideally train again. Our programming at Get Fit NH is carefully designed to give this the best chance of occurring, but as I hope you are discovering, you have a lot to do with this with how you treat your recovery!
As you can see, when things are clicking, this process when repeated over and over means you are getting better and better, the blue line is headed up – pretty cool!
The flip side to all this is what happens when the recovery process isn’t working so well.
This chart represents recovery gone “bad”:
When we continue to train in a state of “Depletion”, regardless of the reason, the adaptation to super-compensation effect doesn’t occur, and instead of getting better, we find ourselves in a downward cycle. This can happen when we train the same muscle groups too soon, when we haven’t taken the steps described above to recover optimally (sleep and nutrition for instance) regardless of time between training, when we train too hard coming off an illness, etc. The last thing we want to happen is new equilibrium to be established in a downward pattern – not good.
The long and short of it is your body absolutely needs to recover from hard training. Consistently training in a fatigued state results in injury and illness. Your body is an amazing machine designed to put up with a lot, but it was also designed to need rest.
Which leads us to:
Face it – you can get beat up anywhere. Our responsibility at Get Fit NH is to help you get better!
That includes recovery weeks. We have found that somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks of training is just about right to take a full week off and let your body recover.
That doesn’t mean that you spend your training time on the couch eating bon-bons, but if you insist on going down to PF and hitting the weights or running 10 miles every morning, your body will suffer in the long run, and perhaps even in the short term.
If you find yourself fighting this concept, ask yourself this – Is your unwillingness to take a week off a well reasoned decision based on what you know to be true, or is it that your attachment to training is so strong emotionally that makes it so hard? You will not lose all you have gained by taking the week off, I assure you! Again to quote Coach King, “…if you don’t (take time off)…most of you are going to lose it anyway!”
So now that we have established you are ready, willing and able to embrace recovery week, what do you do?
Glad you asked!
1.) Physical Rest and Regeneration
– Our bodies must rest and recover to prevent over-training (or under-recovering) issues so that we can come back 100% healthy and energized for the next phase of the program
– Focus on maintaining and/or increasing flexibility and tissue health by stretching and foam rolling daily. 15-30 minutes is fantastic!
– Daily restorative walks are beneficial during this week. 30-60 minutes briskly walking (not jogging/running) will keep your body refreshed and active, without negating the purpose of this week. Don’t overdo it!
2.) Physiological and Psychological Rest and Regeneration
– We must normalize key anabolic hormones, refill muscle glycogen, increase caloric intake, and prevent any diet induced catabolism (losses of lean body mass) so that we can enjoy greater fat loss for the next phase of the program
– We have taken the road less traveled by being flexible eaters with a long-term approach to success and thus we will take a break from our aggressive fat loss nutrition plans. This is not a free for all, so stay away from your “trigger foods” (junk foods and sweets) that open the door to excessive calorie intake.
– Instead plan (key word) and enjoy 2 or 3 controlled free meals to reward yourself for all of your hard work, but do not overdo it!
– Caveat: If your nutrition habits have been less than optimal, more than likely none of this applies to you. Instead now is the time to plan and prepare to make the changes necessary to see the results you want. Spend some time with a coach and your Jumpstart Nutrition Guide if you need help.
3.) Celebrate the Fruits of Your Labor
– Take some time to reflect on how far you have come since you joined Get Fit NH in terms of improving your overall health, body composition, and performance
– Enjoy your results!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
We would just like to take the time to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your hard work and dedication to improving your health and fitness… keep Making It Happen!
The Get Fit NH Team
In August we are going to have a friendly competition between yourselves and between the training hours. What will you win, you ask? Bragging rights, pride and of course strong muscles! Here is how it works!
For the month of August we will have a challenge of the day for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Those who accept the challenge will be given an index card so you can personally record your repetitions. Your training hour will also have a designated "block" on the white board where you will tally your reps each day for your class. This is a great tactic to scare the other training times with your big numbers!
Monday: Sled push day! For the month of August we will leave out the sled so you can push it (on Mondays) to get points for yourself and for your class. 1 tally is down and back on the green turf. This can be done before or after training. Please just make sure you are cognizant of your surroundings. We don't want to clip any ankles with the sled- youch!
Tuesday: Sled pull day! Again, the sled will be out and 1 tally is the length the green turf down and back. You will mark your points on your index card and also on the white board for your training hour.
Thursday: Ski erg day! 1000 meters will earn you 1 tally for yourself on your index card and 1 tally for your training hour on the white board! You can come in early or stay late to get your Ski Erg meters in!
Friday is for farmers! Farmer walk with 2 kettlebells or 2 dumbbells the length of the green turf down and back will earn you 1 tally for yourself and 1 tally for your training hour! This can be done before or after training on Fun Fridays!
The challenge of the day must be done on the designated day to earn points for yourself and for your team. If you will not be at training then they cannot be made up. All the more reason to shoot for perfect attendance in August!
Who will end up with the most tallies on their index card and which training hour will have bragging rights and the strongest muscles of all? We will have to see! Stay tuned for those cards in training!!!
Kicking off: Monday August 6th at 5 AM!
Wrapping it up: Friday August 31st, 2017 at 7:45PM
It's that time of year again, challenge time! We run TWO class challenges each summer. July kicks off the attendance challenge. This is a great way to be accountable to your training even when the weather is nice!
Let me take this opportunity to remind you that long walks and bike rides are exercise, but it is not strength training. Training is the magic that keeps your bones healthy and strong and is what gives you the ability to get up and down off the floor and maintain your independence as you age. None of us are getting out of this world any younger, so we need to do our part now to make life easier later!
Here is how the attendance challenge works...
For the month of July we are looking for 100% accountability from everyone in every class. This means that if you are NOT in training then you let a coach know BEFORE a coach reaches out to you! Your coaches email, call or text over 150 clients PER WEEK for not making it to training. This is a tool we use to keep you accountable and for the month of July (and hopefully moving forward) we want to work on building that accountability habit and put the ball in your court. So here is how you get POSITIVE credit for your team..you either show up to training or let a coach know (in person, through call, text or email) that you are not going to be in training. If you need to come to a different training time then that is just fine- you will still get credit for your "home room" training time. This contact must be done BEFORE the coach gets to you- which should be within 24 hours of missed training. If you a coach contacts you first then that will NEGATIVELY effect your team- so just let us know! I will include our emails and my phone number at the bottom.
The class with the best average will win a class party. To give you some examples of previous parties...we have done breakfast parties, glow stick parties, Taco Tuesday parties and more! The possibilities are endless! Each week we will update the average to show you which class is in the lead.
For all students who achieve perfect attendance in July, YOU will get a FitRanx "Check Point" sticker to add to your name plate. This means that you came to each training in the month of july. This only for perfect attendance recipients!
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask Meagan! Our emails are:
My phone number is 603-848-6138. You can call or text anytime to let me know you won't be in. Just be sure to declare yourself 🙂
Looking forward to this challenge kicking off! It starts when we return from recovery week! Monday July 9, 2018 - Friday August 3, 2018
Functional Movement Rescreens are upon us!
I want to take this opportunity to encourage you as it is just about that time in the quarter where we take everyone through a new Functional Movement Screen (FMS). With these rescreens around the corner I wanted to take a moment to talk about why we do them, what we are looking for and how it benefits you..
The purpose of the FMS is so that we can train you safely and personalize your training in a group setting . Our mission is to keep you training forever and minimize risk. This is a giant injury prevention tool. It is a little scary to us that we are one of the only training facilities in New Hampshire to take everyone through this screen before they ever step foot on our training floor. Rest assured- this is screen is because we care, not because we don’t want you to do certain exercises .
We are looking for several things when taking our students through the FMS. We are checking out range of motion, asymmetries, tightness, pain, mobility, flexibility and more! This 7 sequence screen doesn’t solve all of the problems in the world, but it gives us a ton of useful information.
The FMS benefits our students, because they know we are doing everything in our power to keep them training safe in a group setting. It benefits our students, because they know and we know what exercises are appropriate for them based on a wrist band color. The FMS is also a measuring tool. Since we do rescreens quarterly it is a great way to see where are getting better! It feels good to screen out of a wrist band! This is feedback that our body is changing. On the flip side it also shows us where we may need to focus for a little while so that we don’t get hurt. It is totally normal to screen in and out of wrist bands forever.
Keep in mind as we approach FMS rescreens that this screen is not a character judgement, but a tool to keep you training smarter and training safe. Wear your wrist bands. It helps us, help you! Be coachable. Our purpose is help you be the very best version of yourself.
In life we are not always able to plan and control outcomes. As many of you may know even the best-laid plans are not always something that will work. You have your whole day planned out, you have your food prepared based on your current information. What happens if it changes? What happens if you plan to have your lunch at 12, and you’ll be home in time for dinner so you’re good. Now what happens when you get stuck at work longer than expected, you’re super hungry and you decide to make a unsupportive decision with what you eat. Planning is great but the true secret lies in developing the skill to think two steps ahead.
What do I mean by that? I mean working through the different possible outcomes in your head so that you are prepared if any of them happen. This takes time, practice, and experience to do. You can’t always predict what may happen until you have seen a bunch of different possible outcomes. Lets take the example above, you plan it out, but what is one step further? One step further is “well what is my plan going to be if that doesn’t work out”? What is your plan “B”, what if you are wrong and you will be stuck at work? Do you have another meal with you just in case? Is there a place you know you can find healthy food near your work? If you know there isn’t a place near you that you can find something healthy, do you know that and did you use that information to prepare yourself? Start working on trying to think two steps ahead, it takes time but it can be a valuable tool to add to your toolbox.