Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Finally getting back to the MissFit Blog I started a few years back on Crotonblog. Here it is again. Feel free to comment and ask any questions - I'm here to help.


One of my clients told me she has problems starting her workout when she’s not with me (pretty typical). It’s not that she doesn’t want to workout or not remember she needs to do it; it’s not that she doesn’t have appropriate equipment at her home; it’s more of a motivation disconnect and a need to find enough time to get a “real” workout in.

I can relate to these difficulties. When I’m training clients at the gym, or going from house to house, I don’t have an entire hour or even half-hour to fit in a "real" workout. But does a workout have to be lengthy to be effective? No. Not if you're really challenging your whole body.

While training, I often demonstrate proper form for a plank or push up and get a few in myself. Yet for me, that’s not workout (I’m used to it), though it’s better than sitting in a chair facing a computer all day. Whenever I can find a spare 20 minutes, I try to make that 20 minutes work, choosing exercises I cannot perform for that many reps, functional exercises that challenge multiple muscle groups (it’s like multi-tasking) and those that also challenge my endurance (both muscular and aerobic). I also move quickly between the exercises, so there’s no wasted time and alternate between upper and lower body movements and core-focused exercises so there's less need to rest than when you're doing as multiple exercises on only one body part.


Another technique to save time and get results is to use higher weights that stress your muscles more so you can’t perform that many reps. The April 5, 2010 NY Times reported that to “tone and tighten,” people should use weights they can only do about 8 reps with. They will not get “too big,” unless they’re eating a high-calorie diet. So grab the larger weights, do what you can (with proper form, I should remind you) and you’re reached muscle failure (what you need to do to see results) more quickly.


The best way to get fast results is to use your own body weight. So a 140 lb. woman would be getting an appropriate workout for someone her size, as would an 200 lb. man. She wouldn’t need to lift as much weight as he does, but they would both be getting the challenge they need. Doing body weight exercises (such as the most well-known, the pushup) also challenges your core muscles (as long as you are keeping a neutral spine and using your abdominal rather than your back muscles). The TRX trainer is a great aid for people of all abilities to create appropriate and challenging body weight training exercises. Here's a link to find out more:

Fitness Anywhere: Make your body your machine.

To learn the proper techniques to get results and keep motivated, contact me, MissFit, at missfittrainer@gmail.com

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