Strength vs. Cardio

If you only have time for one or two workouts a week, they have got to be strength.

Why “Strength” over “Cardio”?

Your muscles are the powerhouses of the metabolism and the key to living a vibrant, youthful life, no matter what your age may be.

So why “Strength” over “Cardio”?

There is a Hierarchy of Fitness and “strength” reigns as King, while “cardio” plays the role of a mere peasant. Strength training increases your work capacity to improve the ease at which you can perform daily activities. Strength training will stimulate your body to burn more calories in the hours after your workout than cardio does. A strong body is a youthful body and will help to make you look years younger than you really are. Strong bodies move well and experience less injuries.

While cardio on the other hand slows the bodies metabolism over time, as the body adapts easily to this type of exercise. Cardio does very little to increase work capacity, so while you can run 10 miles easily, carrying a suitcase up a flight of stairs will be exhausting.

Worse yet, excessive cardio will actually age the body due to the oxidative stress it places on the body, as well as and not promote an injury resistent body.

Focus on getting your strength workouts in each week, once you have done three you can still go for a short run or two if you really enjoy your cardio. Keep this order and you will get amazing results and feel wonderful.

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Never Bulk Up Again

If you are afraid to lift weights because you are afraid of bulking up, you need to look at how you eat.

Women need to lift and need to lift heavy weight. Lifting doesn’t not bulk up women; it is poor choices that bulk up women when they lift. Or as Dwight Schrute from the Office puts it, “False, it’s not lifting weights that makes women bulky. It’s eating cupcakes that makes women bulky.”

As much as you may want to believe that you can go out Friday and Saturday night and eat and drink whatever you please and then burn it off in the gym simply doesn’t work. This is why most people fail to see their body change, at least change for the better. You can blame the workout program, but it is really the food and lifestyle habits that need changed.

This does not mean you can never enjoy your favorite foods or have a drink, but they do need to be controlled. Cheat 20% of the time and you should be fine that means 20% of your weekly calories come from “bad” foods and the other 80% come from “good” foods. Tracking it this way for a week usually reveals that you are only eating clean 50-60% of the time, here lies the problem.

And what about alcohol? Keep it to no more than six drinks a week and you will be fine. (Just don’t go out and buy bigger wine glasses.)

Here are three tips to ensure you never bulk up:

  1. Eat Clean. This means lean proteins, lots of veggies, good quality carbs such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and whole-wheat pasta (1 cup serving, not 4) make up 80% of your weekly calories.
  2. Stop The Latte Habit. Drinking calories is the fastest way to pack on extra weight. Lattes, soda, juices, and sports drinks are loaded with sugar and as little as one or two a day can cause you gain weight.
  3. Lift Three Days A Week. Three 45 minute strength training sessions that focus on total body movements will create changes in your body cardio can never do. In a short time people will begin to notice that something has changed and ask what you are doing different because you look amazing. And if you still would like to do some cardio go for it, just make sure you always get your three strength workouts in each week.

Stop worrying about bulking and start lifting!

 

If you are interested in seeing our strength training can change your body, get started with our 6-Week “Strong is the New Sexy” Challenge by clicking the link below.

What To Expect At A Gym

We get it, walking into a gym for the first time is very intimidating. Will you know what to do? Will you fit in? Will you be able to do everything? Will you be so sore tomorrow that you can’t move? And many more valid concerns. Here’s the good news everyone has those same thoughts the first time they come to the gym. No one wants to look out of place or feel embarrassed.

Here are a few things to expect at a gym.

  1. Greeted by name when you walk in the door. We know you and are happy to see you.
  2. No yelling coaches. No one wants yelled at by a super fit coach that is 20 years younger than they are. Yelling is not motivational. Instead you will find coaches who will guide you and support you. They will meet you where you are today. If you had a stressful day, didn’t get enough sleep, and ate poorly that is okay. We will adjust the workout to fit your energy level and give you strategies to improve on your struggle. Bottom line is we want you leave with a smile on your face and feeling good.
  3. Everyone’s success is celebrated no matter how big or how small. Whether you did your first push-up or set a new PR in your clean each success is treated equally. There is no award ceremony after each workout to celebrate how awesome the “gym superstar” is, because each member is awesome is different ways.
  4. Don’t know what to do, or if you are doing in properly. No problem. That is what makes us different from many gyms. We are a training gym, that means instead of coming in and being left to your own devices to decide what to do, we will provide a program, coaching, and guidance to help you each step of the way.
  5. It’s exercise, not brain surgery. Fitness should be fun and coming to the gym for an hour should be best part of your day, at least we think so. We want you to enjoy being here, to laugh, to socialize, to have fun, and get fit in the process.
  6. You are more than a membership payment. Sure we are here to make money, but that is not the only thing we care about. When you join, we want you to come. If we haven’t seen you in a week or too some one will follow up with you. When you join PNF you become part of the PNF Fitness Family and  will be treated like family. Our goal is to help people live healthier, more enjoyable lives through fitness, not just collect payments.

Coming to a gym should not be intimidating and it shouldn’t be a place you go to once you are fit. At PNF the gym is a place to feel welcomed, to be supported, and to have a little fun while creating the best version of you possible through fitness.

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5 Fitness Mistakes

With all the conflicting advice and information available on exercise it can be difficult to know what to do and what works best to get into awesome shape, feel good, and have a body that you feel confident in.

Using our 16 years of experience in the fitness industry here are five mistakes we see many people make in their workout and fitness plans.

 

You Use Exercise As Punishment

Exercise is intended to be a reward for your body. Exercise should be something that makes you feel better, more confident, and add to your life. It should not be beat down that leaves you laying dead on the floor, or as a punishment for what you ate or gaining a few pounds.

 

You Only Do Cardio and High Intensity Interval Training

While cardio and HIIT can be beneficial and have a place in fitness, when they are the only form of exercise they can hinder your results. Overtime they both will cause a loss in muscle tissue, which leads to increased body fat percentages, and HIIT tends to make you extremely hungry afterward causing you to overeat.

This doesn’t mean that you have to give up your cardio or HIIT, you just need to limit them to 1-2 workouts per week and get in 2-3 total body strength workouts first. Following this order will get better results and create positive change.

 

You Don’t Eat Enough

You cannot restrict calories forever. Your body needs fuel to power through your workouts and keep everything running like a well oiled machine. When calorie restriction goes too long the body begins to lose muscle and gain body fat, leading to the dreaded skinny fat body type.

Also, as you change your nutritional requirements will change. As you get leaner and stronger your body needs more daily calories and needs a higher daily carb intake.

 

You Don’t Allow Your Body Time To Rest

Working out every day may work for short period of time, but it soon leads to burn out and an achy, tired body.

Three to four workouts per week is optimal and if you want to add a daily walk or light mobility work that will help you recover faster between workouts. Again as you get stronger you are able to stress the body more each workout and that stress requires more time to recover in order to keep making progress.

 

You’re Only Focused On Burning Calories

How many calories you burn in your workout plays a very small role in the results you get. It is very easy to get caught up in the calorie burn of your workout and feel the need to do more cardio and HIIT, as those tend to create a higher burn.

You will never out exercise a bad diet. So thinking you can go out drinking and eat bad tonight and then burn it all off in the gym is a recipe for failure. Clean eating done 80% of the time with a few strength workouts each week will beat the pants off of cardio and HIIT workouts when in comes to getting results and decreasing body fat.

 

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How To Effectively Use Your MyZone Heart Rate Monitor

 

 

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Do Less, But Better

Do less, but better.

Fitness is the result of quality, not quantity.

It seems like every time you turn on the TV and see something about fitness is a clip of someone punishing themselves in a grueling workout.

Scroll through Instagram and you will find a young 20-something doing some cool looking exercise. While these may look cool and even be appropriate for some clients, it typically isn’t right for the client over 50.

Then you have the promotion of all that matters is calorie burn and heart rate intensity.

None of this is what fitness is about and it is all this false info that is making the general population believe they have to work themselves to exhaustion to get into shape.

You don’t have to workout everyday to get results. Three times per week with an average heart rate in the 60-70s most of the time is perfect.

It is not the workouts intensity or kicking up the cardio that gets results. We see over and over that those who get the best results are those who focus on strength, resting between sets and allowing their heart rates to come back down get leaner and those who don’t lose muscle and gain body fat.

It doesn’t matter how high of a calorie burn you get. The higher the hungrier you get and the more you eat.

Fitness is not a competition. It is about giving you the ability to live your best life and having the energy to be activity and experience all that life has to offer.

Fitness is not a punishment for bad eating. It is a tool for a healthier more active life living on your terms.

In a world full of “experts” we have made fitness much more complicated than it has to be.

If you’d like more information about fitness coaching check us out here:

https://pittsburghnorthfitness.leadpages.co/21-day-fitness-kickstart/

Too High, Too Hard, Too Often

Fitness is dose specific and you can get too much of a good thing.

More than 3-4 days a week of strength training doesn’t make you leaner or more muscular. In many cases more than the recommend 3-4 days will cause you to either gain body fat or lose muscle, or both.

Keeping your heart rate in the 80’s and 90’s for the entire workout and not letting it come back down to a resting rate in between sets doesn’t make you more fit. It makes you more hungry and causes you to overeat. Which is counterproductive for weight loss.

High intensity done all the time doesn’t make your body stronger. It causes damage to all of its tissues. There is even evidence beginning to come out that those who do a lot of high-intensity interval training for years on end damage their heart.

Fitness isn’t about burning a high number of calories. It’s about strengthening and improving your body.

Fitness is a lifelong journey where slow and steady wins the race. There can be periods of increased intensity, but they need followed by periods of decreased intensity. If this doesn’t happen the body breaks down, gets injured, and burns out.

Get in three workouts per week, give about 70% effort most of the time and you will see the best results.

 

If you’d like more information about fitness coaching check us out here:

https://pittsburghnorthfitness.leadpages.co/21-day-fitness-kickstart/

Athletes Have Off-Seasons, Do You?

Athletes have off-seasons, do you?

The off-season allows the body time to recover. No athlete would ever try to compete and perform at a high level year-round, because this would wear done their body.

While athletes’ have off-seasons, the regular exerciser never does. Instead he or she goes to the gym 3-4 times per week, pushes hard, and expects to see results without ever slowing doing. They then wonder why joints get achy, strength decreases, and body fat occasionally increases.

The body is tired. It has been pushed hard for months on end. Not to mention that this pace has continued through a stressful life event or two, and more weekend hangovers than proud to admit.

Occasionally taking a week or two off from exercise is good for the body. It allows the muscles to get fully rested and recovered and come back stronger. This is especially true when strength plateaus are hit or weight loss stalls. Give the body some time to rest and those plateaus can be then be broken through.

If you have been working out consistently for six months or more you could probably benefit from a week off. Then continue to take a recovery week once every 16-20 weeks. During this week still eat well, maybe get a message, take a few walks, but skip your regular workouts.

Recovery is part of training, but it is the most often neglected part.

If you’d like more information about fitness coaching click here:

https://pittsburghnorthfitness.leadpages.co/21-day-shape-up-challenge/

Move It, Or Lose It

Move to keep moving.

The only reason people lose the ability to move and do things like getting up and down from the floor is because at some point that movement stopped happening in life.

When a movement is no longer performed, deconditioning and poor ability to move in that pattern happens.

This then leads to pain in the movement, which further leads to a fear of moving because movement hurts, or once on the floor there may not be the strength to get back up.

And finally the fear of movement leads to a lack of any movement and overall decreased health.

We get our clients up and down from the floor, teach them to regain and restore their ability to squat, to hinge and swing a kettlebell, to crawl, to carry a heavy sandbag, and get moving well again.

Movement is life and life is movement.

If you’d like more information about fitness coaching click here:

https://pittsburghnorthfitness.leadpages.co/21-day-shape-up-challenge/

Movement Is Life

Denver Neck and Shoulder Pain Treatment

The body was made to thrive on movement.

Daily movement is essential for life, yet the modern lifestyle promotes being sedentary. A typical day results in an hour commute to work, eight to ten hours at a desk in front of a computer, an evening filled with running kids to activities, and then crashing down on the couch or in bed at ten in the evening to unwind with a book or TV before going to bed. Outside of walking the dog the entire day is spent sitting.

But, the body was meant to move. It is this lack of movement that causes aches and pains, poor posture, and a host health of issues. It’s also why weekend warriors get hurt skiing, playing pick up basketball, or doing yard work. The body has been sedentary all week and then it’s pushed to be physical, but isn’t prepared to handle the physicality of those activities, so it gets injured.

Finding ways to move more each day can prevent this. Go to the gym two or three days a week and do some strength training, get up from the desk every hour and do a short two minute body-weight routine, take a ten minute walk a few times through out the day, join a gym that is near the kids places of activity and go there in evening rather than sitting in the car or watching them practice, find as many ways as possible to be more active.

Movement is life.

If you want more information about fitness coaching click here:
https://pittsburghnorthfitness.leadpages.co/21-day-shape-up-challenge/