Monday, May 16, 2011

balance ball for exercise and improve posture right at your desk

Here are a few great balance ball exercises you can do on the floor close to your desk or right at home!!  These exercises are designed to improve posture and energy!  The following exercises can be performed daily.  It will only take you 5 minutes!  Please consult your doctor before trying any of these exercises:

1.  Hip and back extension:  Starting position:  Place heels on top of the ball, legs almost fully extended and hips resting on the floor.  You are in the 'face up position.'  End position:  Lift your hips off the floor until legs are fully extended and it feels like you are pushing up with your heels and your body weight is balanced between your shoulder blades and heels.  Do not push up with your neck.  repeat 10 times, breathe out while pushing up and breathe in while returning to the starting position.

2.  Leg Curl:  Starting position:  This exercise begins exactly like the Hip and Back extension above, except you place the ball behind your knees.  End Position:  Begin by lifting your hips off the floor until they are in line with your knees and shoulders, then pull your heels toward your buttocks until the bottom of your feet touch the ball, repeat 10 times.

Pacing is important! Lift up to a count of two and descend to the floor to a count of four.  Breathe and relax through the entire exercise, even if you get tired.  have fun!!

Fitness for Fun!: heart rate zones for endurance training and weekly diagramming

Fitness for Fun!: heart rate zones for endurance training and weekly diagramming

Thursday, April 21, 2011

heart rate zones for endurance training and weekly diagramming

back again!  We have 5 heart rate (HR) 'zones' to use for us to be our best for our next race! Again, I encourage you to read ''SERIOUS training for endurance athletes."  The first two HR zones, (OD and EN), are focused on building your capacity to use oxygen, phosphates, sugars, and fats efficiently so your muscles, (cardiovascular and skeletal), can work better for longer periods of time.  Also, your blood vessels, (capillary density), need to improve.

It is easier to work on mechanics at a lower intensity.  You have more time to focus on how you should move when you get into a higher intensity level so you can run faster for a longer period of time while keeping your HR as low as possible.  In other words, working through your full range of motion, (ROM) as relaxed as you can while working as fast as you can through your entire ROM.

You spend the greatest amount of time in these two HR zones throughout your training, especially at the beginning of your training.  In addition, you spend more time doing resistance training at the beginning, (WT) so you can tolerate greater stressors of high endurance training with respect to your bones, muscles, ligament, and tendons.

When you chart your weekly minutes, you will be spending 90% of your time, in the first eight (8) weeks of training, in these two zones as well as resistance training, (WT).  Keep in mind, I have created two different periodization schedules, (fixed and variable), one for beginners and one for advanced endurance athletes.  Please reference my website for these periodization schedules.  Enjoy!!

My next blog will focus on the next two HR zones, Interval Training (IT) and Race Pace (R/P) , and more detail about weekly diagramming!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

HR Zones and setting a weekly baseline in and out of periodization training

If you are a high endurance athlete doing marathons or triathlons, you need to read the book, "SERIOUS training for endurance athletes," by Rob Sleamaker and Ray Browning.  It is a wonderful book about periodization training.  Periodization training is a cyclical system designed to assist a person's ability to train at higher heart rate for a longer period of time when training for a high endurance event.

When I do periodization training with my athletes, I have used much of their information in designing a periodization plan.  I have created my own type of periodization plan and user-friendly documentation system from beginners to seasoned athletes.  Again, I use much of their information to create a customized plan that is safe, re-produceable, user-friendly, and effective.  Go to the downloads section of my website and click on the periodization training links to see the spreadsheets on what a marathon or triathlon periodization plan looks like!

It is important to remember different heart rate zones have different purposes no matter if you are training for an event or just want to increase your aerobic abilities.  Heart rate zone training is very motivating! You know what the heart rate zone is as well as how long you need to be in each heart rate zone every workout!

For example, your lowest heart rate zone will help the body burn more fat over a longer period of time, will enable to the body to enhance the ability to transport more blood to more parts of the body, take away more waste products, and help the person move more efficiently.  We spend at least 50% of our total time exercising in this zone, therefore; each workout should include 50% of this intensity.

There are several other benefits elicited when training in the lowest zone, but you can read about it in their book or call me.

My next blog will focus on the other heart rate zones and the effects these zones have on the body and setting a minimum number of minutes weekly.  Also, we will look at diagramming your workout schedule for the week!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Aerobic endurance training for fitness and performance

Alright, testing is done, now it is time to calculate your target heart rate range (THRR) and the zones with that range if you are planning a marathon or triathlon.  After getting clearance from your doctor, if applicable according to your risk factors and exercise history, is to calculate your resting heart rate (RHR).  There are several ways of doing this.  Contact me to get more details on the variety of ways to get your RHR.

You need to calculate your max heart rate and then use the calculation to find your THRR, again dependent on your exercise history as well as your RHR.  Go to the link and refer to the article on calculating your max HR if you wish to try this on your own.

My next blog will discuss HR zones and setting a baseline number of weekly minutes, (NOT MILES),  for fitness or periodization training for marathons or triathlons.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Diagramming weekly and documentation daily-think ahead for more and better strength training sessions

So now you have had your first fitness test.  The tests we performed evaluated your present body composition, risk for heart disease, cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength & endurance, and range of motion respectively.  Diagramming weekly and documenting daily will help you focus where you need to spend your time so you can reduce your stress, risk for disease, and reach your fitness or performance goals.

There are three (3) types of diagramming & documentation forms I use for my clients as we proceed through the strength or performance program. The difference between a strength training and a performance training program will ultimately be the reduction in time needed to perform the exercise while maintaining optimal technique as well as achieving or maintaining the strength ratio(s) between opposing muscle groups. 

When you design your workout for the week, there are several elements needing consideration.  They include a review of your fitness testing results to help you focus on the primary muscle groups needing attention, balanced scope of exercises, the correct protocol, frequency of activity, intensity, and recovery for you to feel good and stay motivated.  

I pre-load the documentation forms with a protocol customized for each client.  The documentation forms you see on the website include a universal protocol of exercises.  You can reference the strength training articles in the fitness section for more guidance and direction when deciding what is right for you.

It is important to diagram your workout for the week on the day before or the day of your first session.  As you progress through your week, knowing how much time, intensity, type of exercises, and the number of sessions needed are all important elements in reducing stress, doing more workouts, and maintaining your journey.  You can find all of these diagramming and strength training documentation forms in the fitness section of my downloads page on the website.

The next blog will focus on aerobic training as well as periodization training for an endurance event such as triathlon or marathon.