The importance of stretching

August 12, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

How to stretch and Bulild a lean body Knowing that one must stretch really is old news that we all picked up back in our physical education days. But as the years go own, it seems more and more people seem to forget not only that they need to stretch, but the importance of doing so. A scenario for you:

”You workout at the gym and your friends Tom, Dick and Harry all start their workout after you at every session. You notice (subconsciously) that Tom and Dick stretch before every session, but you also notice (subconsciously) that Harry doesn’t. A few months pass and one day you are having a conversation with Tom, Dick and some other gym friends and in-between that conversation some one asks ‘By the way, where’s Harry these days?’ and Tom would say ‘ I think he’s injured…pulled a muscle or something not to sure why or how!’.

Deja vu for anyone?

I’ve seen this scenario time and time again at every single gym I’ve been to, and I believe that this is a no.1 reason for interruptions and injury in the gym (along with doing it all wrong). But in this case it’s about what people aren’t doing right!

Like most people I learned early on, the importance of stretching before taking up any high performance activity, as I saw first hand the results and damage caused from not doing so from other family members activities. But one must act on that knowledge once it’s acquired. It seems that some people think they are either invincible, lazy or for guys, they may have an immature or stubborn view that stretching is for girls or wimps! This unfortunately happens quite often, and when it does, you’ve got a Harry on your hands.

So what does stretching do for you?

Stretching improves joint range of motion, improves the function of your muscles and improves neuro-muscular control or efficiency.

Flexibility is the range of motion around a specific joint or a set of joints. Every movement you make from daily activities, exercise and sports require your joints to move through a full range of motion. Therefore a lack of flexibility will lead to muscular imbalances and eventually injury. (Harry)

The good thing about stretching is that it can be done anywhere, at home, on the track or at the gym, but it’s important to first understand the principles of warming up and warming down.

Warming up

Prepares and readies your muscles for exercising and this will prevent injury.

Warming down

Is what you do after you exercise.  Doing this will help your muscles recover and reduce soreness.

Just be sure not to stretch for more than 30 seconds on any one muscle and to never bounce. Always hold firm and still.

What stretches should one perform?

building lean body

All of the above are stretches that you should perform. My favorites have always been quadriceps, calf, standing hamstring and hip flexor stretches.

What will stretching improve?

  • Improve you flexibility
  • Feel better overall
  • Improve your posture
  • Reduce your risk of injury
  • Relieve pain
  • Counteract aging
  • Improve muscle recovery after workouts
  • Reduce stress

That’s really all there is to it and is aimed mostly at all the ‘Harry’s’ out there (You know who you are)! Be a Tom…. or be a Dick! 😉

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Finding Love at the gym – The Do’s and Don’ts

July 30, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Find love at the gym while building muscle

OK, in the last post i talked about if you can really find love in the gym. Go read the post if you haven’t yet done so already. But here I’ll show you how (both ladies and gents) to actually go about approaching that guy or gal you’ve got your eye on.

Secrets for the shy type

Let me share a few secrets that will enable you to break the ice without looking like a stalker. Remember, while the gym is a great place to meet someone special, it is not as appropriate to flirt as you may do in a night club (you already know my thoughts on the night club!), yet it can require an equally detailed and thought-out approach.

Tips for men

Do’s:
• Be funny, relaxed, and playful.

• The biggest obstacle to socializing would have to be the iPod. If your person of interest is stuck in their iPod universe you’ll need to be clever and use non-intrusive solid eye contact. Be friendly, smile and look for a positive response. Be patient and work it sloooow (if you’re after one thing, she’ll sense it in a flash) and wear down the barriers. If you are receiving negative feedback it is time to move on and respect their space.

• Be prepared, pay attention to their workout regime (without becoming creepy about it!) as otherwise your person of interest may appear out of the blue, which could leave you a stuttering mess, causing you to lose that opportunity to interact. Have an ice-breaker prepared in advance, compliment her (again without seeming creepy) and once you know her name, use it! (I’m serious, do not forget her name!!!)

• Spin class is an excellent way to break the ice, the lights are down, music is high everyone is relaxed and playful. A great time to talk is either before or after the class. Just remember keep it relaxed, light and smile!

• Be friendly and fun! As i mentioned previously, great relationships often begin with friendships. Challenge them to a race on the treadmill, see who can crunch the most curls or hold the longest plank! It could leave you both in stitches (in a good way, not the medical way).

Don’ts:
• Flex in the mirror, grunt or act like Mr I’m-too-sexy for my….(you know the song)

• Over spray your cologne, heavy breathing requires fresh air, a nice light deodorant and fragrance is sufficient. (consider a nice smelling cream – it has worked for me. She’ll easily remember you this way too)

• Stare continuously like a stalker or disrespect personal space.

Tips for women

The gym a great place to find a partner who cares about their body and health. But how do you approach the guy your interested in, as he is there to exercise not socialize? (I am your prime example ;)) The last thing you want is a public rejection and have to return day in day out. There is a way to make this a win-win situation though, read on!

Do’s:
• Be warm, open and smile, you will ooze mystery and charisma. Men (and women!) love a lady who is light-hearted and fun. You will appear fresh, easy going, ensuring you will have them coming back for more.

• Make friends with the staff and other members; the more networks you are a part of the closer you will get to them.

• Ask around and see who might already know them. Find out if they are single for a start. Keep it casual and it will probably get back to them that you were showing an interest, which may motivate them to break the ice first!

• Ask them for help, for example, lifting a heavy weight on or off a machine (this is an acceptable reason). Then observe if they are happy to oblige and if so, try starting up a conversation. Of course if it feels/looks like you’re taking their valuable time and that the task is more a bother than a privilege, then you’ll know that making a move is probably not going to be well received. (this is goal driven time time ladies)

• Of course, if they are beginning to pay more attention to you and their gaze is getting more intense, ask them out! Seriously, girls…you are allowed to do it! Just keep it casual and light-hearted. If you have all the signs, casually ask them if they would like to join you for a drink. Short and relaxed is the key.

Don’ts:
• Avoid wearing overwhelming perfumes. (I don’t want to faint!)

• Don’t dress up as you were in a bar. Avoid the heavy makeup and, instead, opt for a new gym outfit, smell fresh and keep your look natural. (If you look great natural, i can’t wait to see you at your best! :))

• Don’t wear headphones as this can make you appear unapproachable (take the white buds off). To make it easy for him, invite him in with your smile, eye contact and a compliment to break the ice.

Meeting that someone special at the gym can be fun, so take a deep breath, be brave and say ‘hi’. After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen?….. just had a funny thought :D, but i’ll leave those thoughts in the comments. Now go get your girl (or guy)!

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Is the gym a good place to find love?

July 29, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

exercise at the gym and find a dateI have always debated on places that are considered to be ‘good’ when finding a potential new partner. Some common places would include work places, the super market, private parties, a friend of a friend, online social networking/ dating sites and night clubs. Everyone reading this would have definitely met an ex or a current partner through one of those mediums, but lets talk about one of my favorite places to meet a potential future partner, lover, date, one night stand. 😐

The Gym

When i first started going to the gym some 10 years ago, my prime goal was (and still is) to exercise to get results with minimum distractions. That would mean less chit-chat with regular gym buddies and those beings that i do love ever so much (to an extent). WOMEN! Now the chit chat with other male buddies is an easy thing to not get distracted by, especially if your gym buddies have a similar ‘results driven’ attitude towards working out as you do, as at some point during the session everyone goes off and does their own thing. But if you attend a commercial gym, then the chances are really high that you will meet women.

Now i’m not just talking about normal women here. These ladies would be toned, shaped, fit, have sex appeal or any other positive words you want to use to describe them. In the outside world they may have a tendency to hide their bodies. As i mentioned in a previous post, if they are of a slim build and don’t flaunt what they’ve got, you would never know that they possess those lovely curves. But this is not the outside world, this is the gym, everything is on display and women will flaunt it (sometimes to impress the male species).

From personal experience, that is all one big distraction that i find hard to deal with when going to the gym with a hard core ‘results driven’ mentality. So i tend to stick to local gyms where everyone there has the results driven mentality…and nothing else but that. Now I’m not saying working out along side women or in a commercial gym is a bad thing, but one needs to determine there goals before choosing what gym they go to. It’s usually one of the two:

1) ‘results driven’ mentality = local gym (possibly single sex)
2) ‘results driven’ mentality and socialize, network….FIND LOVE

Now that we have that established…lets get back to the burning question.

Can you find love in the gym?
Of course you can find love in the gym, I know i have stated that i generally have a ‘results driven’ mentality. But if I’m going for an all round session (gym, swim, sauna) then a top notch commercial gym it will be. I get to socialize, relax, learn from others, use better equipment and meet ladies (sorry…i refuse to turn that switch off). Studies have shown that Some 75 per cent of women and 84 per cent of men say that the gym is a great place to pick up a date. And i agree. But why is this?

Show you what I’ve got (i see you looking…ever so discretely)

Now i would consider myself to be quite educated in the ‘reading peoples body language’ department, and after all these years, i can definitely say both sexes will show off to get each others attention. This happens every day/ everywhere in the outside world, but in the gym it really is in your face. The showing off has definitely caught my attention in the past, and probably will in the future to, but i have also been known to flaunt it at times too (i like to play the game to :P). Which ever sex does this..one thing this does do (assuming there has been no ‘aural’ communication as yet) is give incentive for that gym goer to keep coming back. Then they may find themselves purposely going to the gym on days they know they will both be there. Body language plays its part here, words eventually get exchanged…skip the nitty gritty details, and hey presto…you got a date!

Like minded

The gym is a great place to meet not just beautifully sculpted individuals…but to meet people with the same mind set at yours. This is why you could meet a potential partner, not just a date (like night clubs), as we all know… a good relationship is based more on compatibility of personalities rather than looks alone. Similarities to point out would be:
– both health conscious
– both results driven individuals
– both have a strong appreciation for presentation and appearance

Surely, the gym can’t be that good of a dating place, otherwise every one would be there?

That’s right, no one place in the world is good for every one, the gym included. Many women wouldn’t date men that approach them at the gym, they may see it as out of place. Although some women state that they don’t mind it as long as common sense is used, such as not approaching them in the middle of a set. Some women wouldn’t date a guy at the gym as they may think guys use the gym as a pick up place (some men do) and think ‘ OK, this guy is hitting on me today, who was he hitting on yesterday?’ But it’s all down to the individual, and for me, the gym is still a better place to meet someone than say a night club, as every one there (men and women) tend to be there for one thing.(I’ll let you figure that one out ;))

I would love a woman’s version of this. So if there any women readers here do drop me a line in the comments section.

Stay tuned. Part 2 ‘Finding Love at the gym Do’s and don’ts’ is up next!

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Treadmill vs Outdoors

July 28, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Cardio on the treadmill or on outside

We all know running is a vital part of exercising when maintaining a fit and healthy body. We can choose to run on the treadmill, or stretch and flex our legs in the outside terrain.

But which do you choose?

As someone who had sport built into me from a young age, the majority of training/running sessions happened outdoors. So for me, any running that i do will usually happen outdoors. It’s not to say running on a treadmill is a bad thing, it does have its benefits. Below i’ll describe the pro’s and cons of both:

As i stated, running on the treadmill isn’t a bad thing at all. And using the treadmill during those winter months will be more favorable for sure. The cold, rain, ice and snow of winter will wreak havoc on our fitness level and the condition of our bodies. No matter how hard we try to stay in shape, the bad weather and short days make keeping fit a difficult task. Running on the treadmill offers fitness and calorie burning benefits that are very similar to outside running. However, there are differences between outdoor running and treadmill running. The primary differences are:

– The lack of wind resistance

– A flat and unchanging surface

– The effect the moving belt has on your running or walking stride.

The main way to overcome this would be to have your treadmill workout routines mimic your outdoor training routine. But lets look fiurther into each of those that i have mentioned above.

The lack of Wind resistance

Ever since i was introduced to the treadmill in my teens, i never had been a big fan of this running machine. As i mentioned earlier, i was raised on the ‘train outdoors’ mentality. But i didn’t find out until later on the reasons why i disliked treadmill running so much. It was because of lack of wind resistance. The lack of wind resistance and the assistance of the moving belt make treadmill running slightly easier than outdoor running. So therefore i found it too easy, and going down a level in performance certainly will not improve your progress. When running on the treadmill you are running in place. You are not moving through the air. When you run outside the air creates resistance. It is estimated that outside air resistance creates an increase in your workload of between 2% and 10%, depending upon your running speed. The faster you run, the more of an effect the air resistance has on you. This problem is very easily overcome by elevating your treadmill to 1% or level 1. The slight incline will make your treadmill workout more equal to running outdoors.

A flat and unchanging surface

I have done quite a bit of outdoor running over the years and watched many others do their run also (which i’m sure most of you have), And every scenario goes a little like this (not necessarily in this order):

– A long run through the grass

– On to the pavement

– Dodging people or animals

-Run onto gravel

– A short hill to run down, run around puddles

Unless those reading this know better than me, there is no treadmill in the world that can mimic all the things that you face there (although it would be interesting to see such a thing built 🙂 ). The main negative result of this is the lack of proprioceptive training. Proprioception is an important skill when running on the treadmill. Proprioception is basically intuitively feeling and knowing the position and motion of your body, feet, legs, arms, etc. at all times. It is being aware of all of the different actions of your running stride. This is something that, to a limited extent, you do naturally. But to maximize your level of awareness, practice consciously being aware of your position on the belt, the amount of forward lean, the position of your hips, the angle of your feet and all stages of your running stride.

When running outside, you encounter all types of uneven and unstable running surfaces such as those i mentioned above. A changing surface will force your neuro-muscular system to become more proprioceptive because it must make split second adjustments in order to keep your body stable and moving in the right direction. The flat and even surface of the treadmill removes this valuable training opportunity. So, if you do most or all of your workouts on the treadmill, you should practice proprioception at all times. You can also use a wobble board. A wobble board is just what it sounds like. It is a board with a half sphere on the bottom of it. It “wobbles” when you step or stand on it. Performing exercises on this type of board will help build and maintain those proprioceptive skills.

Proprioception is important in all running activities, but even more so when running on the treadmill. Runners tend to allow the action of the belt and the lack of wind resistance to change their stride to a more upright, bouncy form with a shorter, less powerful stride. Being more aware of your running mechanics will make it easier to transfer your normal stride to the treadmill and visa versa.

The effect the moving belt has on your running or walking

I won’t talk about my dislike of the treadmill anymore, as i think you would have heard enough of it by now. But the only reason i do use it is to do what i call ‘entertainment running’. Which basically means taking it ‘easy’ while watching TV at the same time (don’t make a habit of this).

In general your running form should not change when you are training on the treadmill. Unfortunately, the moving belt of the treadmill can create havoc with your running mechanics. The moving belt can cause some runners to lean too far forward at the waist in an attempt to “keep up” with the belt. Other runners may run with an extremely “bouncy” stride or may run with a very short and tight stride. You can avoid these form problems by focusing on your running mechanics.

All runners should concentrate on proper form when they run, whether they train on a treadmill or the road. This is especially important for new treadmill users. It is much better to perfect your form right away, rather than acquire bad running form habits that may be hard to break. Good running form is the same no matter where you train.

The most efficient running posture is one that is mostly upright and relaxed, with a slight, whole body, forward lean beginning at the ankles. You should not lean forward at the waist. Your chest should be pushed out and your shoulders back and relaxed. Avoid all tension in your upper body. Tension is a form wrecker.
Leaning too far forward at the waist will cause a stumbling, high impact motion that will slow you down and put excessive stress on your knees, hips and ankles. Leaning backward will cause you to run with too much vertical motion and will also stress your hips and back. Even the totally vertical posture that many running experts recommend has some built in stride issues. When running with a very vertical posture, you tend to reach out with both your legs and arms. This wastes energy and slows you down A slight, whole body, forward lean will enlist the help of gravity just enough to assist with directing your momentum smoothly forward. Keep your hips pressed forward and your butt tucked in. Visualize standing face first against a wall. Press your hips forward so the front of your hips touches the wall. Running with your hips forward will help keep your motion going forward instead of up and down. It will also allow you to drive your knees efficiently forward. Your foot should touchdown on the ball of your foot, with your foot directly under your center of gravity, not on your heel with your foot in front of your body. If you land on your heel you are over striding and are putting too much stress on your knees and hips. You are also putting on the brakes with each stride. Landing either flat footed or on the ball of your foot minimizes the impact and keeps your forward momentum going strong.

So there you have it, the treadmill does have its good points and bad points. The main issue and most obvious issue is where the moving belt can suddenly swipe you off your feet (Youtube for many a demonstration!). This can lead to sudden embarresment and cause possible injury to your knees, hips and back. Be careful!

You have to be swift if this does occur. Quickly grab the sides of the treadmill and lift yourself up.

You need to have a quick, compact running stride, which is also the best outside running stride. Count the number of strides you are taking in 1 minute. If you are running correctly you should be taking approximately 85 – 95 full strides per minute. If you are taking less than that you are spending too much time on your feet.

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How to increase your metabolism

July 23, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug, The Food Bug

how to increase metabolism and build a lean body

As i mentioned in the last post. For all you low metabolism types out there, I really do have your best interests at heart. So…how can you become more like us high metabolism types? Well before you do anything change your mind set from ‘I’

Learn more about HCG weight loss diet.

to ‘I need to increase my metabolism’. Over the years I have always heard people say that ‘they need to lose weight’. This is wrong, and I would frequently have to correct these individuals and get them to say ‘I need to increase my metabolism. Why? Yes… you will lose weight, but without increasing your metabolism, you will put that weight straight back on!

So what are the benefits of increased metabolism?

– Lose weight and burn fat with less amount of activity
– Process food a lot quicker which prevents your body from having unwanted fats during workouts

Oh…us high metabolism types have it good 😀

However, as i have previously mentioned, there are many factors that affect the metabolism such as age, gender, weight, hormonal changes, diet, genetics and daily physical activities.

Ok, that’s great. But how can i actually do this and become like you skinny people?

Here’s How:

Build up lean body mass

Metabolism decreases with age. To improve metabolism and exercising is one way to offset this problem. Lean muscle burns calories and the more you have the more calories you burn, even while resting. The amount of muscle you have is a strong determinant to the ability to burn calories and fat. Doing cardio exercises can boost your metabolism rate, and doing resistance or weight training can help building muscle. Building muscle is one of the key ingredients in losing fat and it is more effective than any weight loss or diet plan. Besides doing the cardio exercises, you might first take some simple tasks as walking or going up and down stairs to burn off calories.

Eat breakfast daily

Many people do not eat breakfast (I still don’t understand how people can do this!). Most of them think that it might help in losing weight if they consume as less meals as possible a day. However, they don’t realize that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast boosts your metabolism rate and provides energy for the day. Alternately, the metabolism decreases if you don’t eat breakfast or eat later in the day. Haven’t you noticed that those people who eat breakfast are thinner than those don’t?

Don’t skip meals

Skipping meals is a wrong concept to most people who want to lose weight. What they don’t realize is that skipping meals will only make your metabolism slower, making the food you eat digest slower. This in turn will pack on the fats and turn the excess energy to unwanted fat.

Have a well planned meal

It is much easier to lose weight if you have a daily or weekly meal plan. You may plan what, when, where, and serving size daily. Also, you might want to write down what you have eaten for every meal, and check whether it is as healthy as possible.

Have smaller portion meals

Consuming 4 to 6 meals a day every 2 to 4 hours can increase your metabolism rate. It also gives the body a steady supply of energy and prevent over eating. You should increase your intake of healthy meals rather than stuffing your face full of junk food!

Drink more water

Water is not only a lubricant of the body, it also flushes the body out and keeps the kidneys operating at maximum efficiency. Lack of water causes the operation of the body’s functions to decrease and lower the metabolism rate. You should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

Sleep well

Getting a good night’s sleep can boost the body’s operations and metabolism. According to some researches, it stated that people who do not get enough sleep tend to gain more weight. In addition, the body uses sleep to heal and muscles are regenerated.

Sugar is bad

Taking too much sugar might overload the body and cause many serious health problems such as obesity and diabetes. Sugar might transform into fat and stick onto your body if it is excess. The human body cannot deal with a large amount of refined sugar that maybe present in your meals.

Spicy food

Spicy food is a good friend to boost the metabolism rate and help losing weight because of its ingredients. Therefore, eating some spicy food is good for your body. (Nandos anyone? :P)

Green tea is good

As we all know, the Japanese have healthier body’s and live better than most of us over in the West. Drinking green tea is one of the key reasons behind that. Both green tea and coffee contain caffeine, however green tea can boost metabolism without any side effects to the body, and it can prevent oxidation to the skin.

Take higher energy foods including whole grain, beans, fruits, and vegetables

Taking these meals can provide more balanced energy to your body and assist with losing weight. It can also improve the process of digesting food.

Increase daily activities

Increasing your daily activities not only gives you a higher level metabolism rate, but also tend to burn more calories.

Reduce fat consumption

Increasing metabolism and losing fat is a simple equation. The fact is that you must always burn more fat than you take in, so let’s start by reducing fatty and oily food. You should also reduce your intake of sugar and carbohydrates.

By doing the above, it might improve your metabolism rate. If you stick to it you will start to see result within 3-4 week, and then you will truly be on your way to entering the world of the skinnys. Don’t stress over each little thing, but if you eat right and exercise, you should see a decrease in body fat. Most importantly you will have a healthier lifestyle and a much more energetic and happy YOU!

And of course, as we age, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Prevention rather than detection by taking up health insurance.

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10 Reasons to workout

July 20, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

workout tips

Why do you work out? Might seem like a no brainer question to answer, but I do get asked this on the odd occasion. May be you should ask yourself this question too. Once you have, the answers should be something like this:

1. Better Sex

Exercise increases circulation, which helps with muscle endurance, strength and flexibility. It also helps prevent erectile dysfunction and impotence.

2. Less Stress

Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel happier and more relaxed

3. Fight Disease

Exercise helps fight cholesterol, heart disease and osteoporosis

4. Lose Weight

Exercising increases metabolism, which helps you lose weight and keep it off!

5. Better Immune System

Exercise strengthens the heart and lungs and slows down decay of the immune system, making for a healthier body

6. Better Sleep

Exercise creates a natural dip in body temperature 5-6 hours after working out, helping you fall asleep faster and have a deeper sleep.

7. Reduce Blood Pressure

Exercise not only reduces high blood pressure, it helps prevent it.

8. Prevents Cancer

Exercising regularly could help prevent colon and breast cancer.

9. Prevents Diabetes

Exercise reduces the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

10. Longer Life Expectancy

Exercise prolongs life. People who exercise regularly live longer.

There you have it. The next time some one throws this ‘no brainer’ question your way, respond with your 10 reason arsenal. Better yet, show and prove it. Which ones you choose… I’ll let you decide 😉

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Home workout vs Gym workout

July 19, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

fitness at home in a home gym and home workout plan

Now this is something that i have debated over with myself for a few years. Which is better for you? The home work out or the gym workout? Well, both are good. But which one you choose comes down to your needs and desires. From a personal experience i would choose the gym work out, simply because i have always achieved better results from using the best equipment ( and to actually WORKOUT).

The best routine for people with busy schedules (which is the majority) would be to have a variation of both home workout routines and gym workout routines in any given week. The days you go to the gym will give you your optimum results, and the home workout days will allow you to maintain those results. But lets break down all the possible factors of which can help you determine which to choose.

Privacy

Many people who are body concious tend not to want to show off to a group of strangers. This mainly affects people who are trying to lose weight and is probably one of the key reasons these people put off going to a gym. If this is you then a home workout may suit you best.

Gym open hours

I have personally experienced a conflict with this. You will always have to schedule your workout times around the gym open hours. But the gym open hours  may conflict with your daily/weekly schedule. If so, again…you may want to opt for the home workout.

Crowded gym

This coincides with the above. First you have to schedule your routine around gym open hours. Secondly, you will have to schedule your routine around the ‘non busy’ periods in that gym. You can:

a) Choose a non commercial/ local gym

b) Use my method of gym/ home workout routines

Pay as you go vs memberships

If you are affected by gym open hours and crowded gyms, then you probably have quite a dynamic yet busy schedule (non 9- 5ers). If so then it maybe be a good idea to opt for a pay as you go gym and utilize my method of gym/home work out routines. Believe me, you will save a lot of money doing so!

Workout time, no excuses

Now having a home gym has its benefits, but since your gym its at HOME you now have no excuse to put the ‘workout time’ off. Easier said then done when your favorite TV series comes on, wife and kids come home, girlfriend steps in, friends come over…(sound familair?). This is when going to gym wins in 2 ways:

1) Damn i’ve paid this membership fee…i need to use it.

2) Pushes your motivation and you tend to workout to your max.

The weather

It maybe winter, or you live in a country where it frequently rains (The UK!). If this is the case…home gym is for you

Location

Is the gym far from your home? if so and if you have no means of transport. Home gym it is.

The Look of Love

Now i am not one to go out looking for love, as i believe that love will find you when it’s ready (but thats a different matter). But if you are, then you could well and truly find it at the gym. I for sure have met quite a few like minded ladies in all of the gyms i attended over the years. So if you are looking, then stay out of the home and get yourself down to the gym.

Home suitable gym

Not all homes can be tailored to be built into a gym setting. You would usually need a fair amount of space and understanding housemates/family. If not, then you better keep that membership going. But if your home can be tailored, then you’ll be saving a lot of money, as home gyms are less costly than gym membership costs overtime.

Home gym equipment

Ok, so your home is suitable to be converted into a gym setting.

If you do decide that you prefer to exercise at home vs gym, you will need to carefully select the best home gym equipment for you.  The best home gym equipment allows you to perform several types of exercises on one piece of equipment, is suitable for people at various levels of physical fitness, and is easy to store in your home.  It is also affordable for the average person.

I’m no pro, who do i learn from?

One negative to going the home gym route is that you do not have access to trained professionals to help you learn to use the equipment and develop an exercise routine that is best for you.  There are a couple of ways you can deal with that.  Exercise equipment that you purchase frequently comes with an instructional video.  If so, watch the video carefully.  Sales representatives may be trained in helping you learn to use the equipment but they may not, so ask about their credentials before seeking their assistance with this.  You can also hire a personal trainer for a session or two just to help you get started on your exercise routine.

This is a negative for sure and a huge positive to going to a gym. Although the professionals are there, the best people you will learn from are the regulars that you train with. They will tell you when you are doing something wrong (something i mentioned in an earlier post). Without that you could well be doing yourself more harm then good. No amount of money saved can compensate for damaging your health.

If you have training experience and a home suitable to be gym equipped, then going the home gym route can work pretty well. You will probably maintain your exercise plan for a lot longer than those paying gym memberships to. If not, then you would probably be best suited to sticking with your local gym, membership or Pay as you go.

If you have any other thoughts or experiences on Home vs Gym workouts, do send your comments. I would love to hear them!

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