Pain or discomfort is something we are always asking you, our wonderful clients. There is a big difference between these two and we always get asked if it is ok to train with pain. This is a big subject and coach Adam took some time to talk about it!
Travel kits are here! If you are going on vacation or a business trip just sign out one of our travel kits! It includes a red band, a jump rope and a fun training video with Coach Brian and Coach Meagan! Never feel deprived of Get Fit NH love again!
I know that we have a lot of clients who do recreational activities, whether that is running, or hiking both need strength. It is often quoted that one of the riskiest forms of exercise, from an injury standpoint, is recreational running. The question then is why? Why is it something that seems so simple to start has such a high risk of injury? By simple I just mean doesn’t take any specialized equipment, anyone who can walk could conceivably wake up on Saturday morning and go for a run if they wanted to. The other notion that is not fully understood when it comes to running is that you need to be strong, a.k.a you need to strength train.
Why though? Most of the time when it comes to running people think that the worst thing they can do is strength train because it seems to be the complete opposite of running. That however is a misconception, the answer to why can be found in physics. Most people have probably heard the phrase “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” what does that mean? It means that every time force is exerted on an object, that object exerts that force back. For example when running, every time your foot hits the ground, the ground hits back. In the example of plyometric exercise, which is a category running falls under, 2 to 3x as much force is exerted back up your legs. For some prospective, that means in order to be able to take that pounding most sources suggest that you should be able to squat 1.5 to 2x your body-weight at least, before you start running. This is one of many reasons why when it comes to running strength training is SOOOOOO important.
Over this past phase you may have noticed we have been working you up towards lifting some HEAVVVYYYY weights. You all have taken the challenge and I don’t believe I am mistaken in saying that many of you push yourselves beyond where you thought you could. I am proud of all of you for pushing yourself. With that being known, the next Fitranx Badge we will be focusing on for the month is the 300 and 500lb club! The way to earn this badge is simple (notice I said simple, not easy), in order to earn this badge your deadlift, squat, and bench press must add up to over 300 or 500 lbs respectively. Some of you may have already broken that barrier with just the deadlift and squats alone over the past week!
During the month of February we will have note cards for you to record your weights on so that we can give you that badge when you earn it. If you have any questions, please ask your coach! Good luck to all.
This has to do with what it means when you may hear the term “inefficient exercise”. Simply put this means making the exercise as challenging as possible, within your own personal abilities. For example, a squat thrust where the person keeps perfect squat form until they get low enough for their hands to touch the floor, then kicking back to a full pushup hold, is much more “inefficient” than just bending over and kicking your feet halfway back. Another way to think about it is, the more perfect the form, and the more deliberate the movement, the less inefficient it will be.
Why is being inefficient important? Here is an easy reason to grasp, if a machine is inefficient what does it use more of? Fuel, what is fuel? Calories, if you want to burn more calories/fat/get a better training effect when you train, the more inefficient the better. Muscles being used burns calories, so its an easy subject to grasp that the more muscles we affect during an exercise, the more fuel we need→the more calories we burn.
However your body is very different from a machine, for one very huge reason, your body adapts. Have you ever wondered why we you are introduced to a new exercise you wake up the next morning with soreness in a bunch of places you wouldn’t have expected? Or you are just sorer than you would have expected in general? Its because whenever your body is introduced to something its not used to it doesn’t know which muscles to fully use and which ones can be put on standby. As you do that movement more however your body learns to be as “efficient” as possible, which is why we (coaches and clients) then respond by adding resistance. Adding more resistance makes a movement more inefficient. Your body wants to be efficient, it wants to use as little energy as possible to accomplish its goal. That however does you a disservice. Other than injury prevention, that is why good form and focus are so important. The more inefficient, the better. Keep that in mind.
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!