Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Even if you're anxious to reap the health rewards of a regular rowing machine workout, don't rush headlong into the activity. For beginners, aerobic exercises such as rowing are ideal to perform three times per week. Ideally, allow a rest day between workout days to give your muscles a chance to recover. As you raise your endurance, perform aerobic exercise three to five times per week. If your body is extremely sore after a session, take two days to recover before your next rowing workout.
Short vs. Long Workouts
When you're new to aerobic exercises, you might find exercising for more than a few minutes at a time to be a challenge. Don't be resistant, however, to breaking your rowing workout into several short intervals. If you don't have the endurance for an hour-long workout, for example, perform four 15-minute workouts. According to MayoClinic.com, long workouts don't have any benefit over several short workouts. To lessen your risk of injury, gradually increase the duration of each rowing workout.
Related Reading: How Does Rowing Affect Your Chest?
Consider Your Workout Goals
Although aerobic exercise contributes to your health in a variety of ways, many people closely associate it with weight loss because of its quick calorie burn. Evaluate your reason for working out before deciding how frequently to use the rowing machine. Adults should spend a minimum of 150 minutes engaging in aerobic exercises each week to maintain their weight and 300 or more minutes of aerobic exercise per week to work toward weight loss. Reaching either guideline is possible through three to five sessions per week.
Rowing Toward a Slimmer Body
Three to five rowing workouts per week can be enough to help you build a slimmer body. The exercise burns calories quickly. According to HealthStatus, a 200-pound person will burn 792 calories during a 60-minute rowing machine workout at a vigorous pace. Provided you're careful about consuming a healthy, low-calorie diet and get a moderate amount of activity throughout the remainder of the day, the calorie burn you'll experience during this workout is often enough to lose weight slowly.
You'll know you're working at moderate intensity if your heart starts beating faster and you break a light sweat after about 10 minutes on the rowing machine. If you want an even "better" workout that will help you burn more calories and build muscle faster, speed up your pace -- while remaining in control -- or increase the tension level on the machine. This can move you from a moderate-intensity workout to a vigorous-intensity workout. Vigorous-intensity workouts will cause you to break a sweat after just a few minutes, your breathing will be deep and fast and it will be hard to say more than a few words without taking another breath.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Burpees. The suck. Whatever you call them, if you have ever done them, this topic probably makes you a bit uneasy, perhaps because you fear that you have unknowingly stumbled onto a feature that’s going to encourage you to get up RIGHT NOW and bang out 100 of these bad boys. Never fear. I, too, have had the best intentions of learning to love burpees, but even after performing literally thousands of them over the years, I have failed. Miserably.
CrossFit aficionados participate in the “fun” tradition of yelling “Yay, Burpees!” when their coach says the word and/or they appear in a workout. However, this is meant to be ironic (at least, I think it is—the Alanis Morissette song has confused me and an entire generation about the actual definition of that word). Indeed, there doesn’t seem to be a single exercise that inspires in athletes the kind of invective and old-fashioned cussin’ that burpees do.
To wit, the very same CrossFit community described above recently posted the following prompt on its Facebook page : “If burpee had an alternate name, it would be _____” .
Out of the 885 comments people posted, note the following sample of responses: • Hell
• Burpee! Thy name is DEATH
• Suck jumps
• T.T.I.M.M = taste throw-up in my mouth
• The devil
• Satan’s idea of fun
• My ex-wife
• Skunks ‘cause they stink
There were many more in the same vein, far outstripping the number of responses that actually had something positive to say about burpees. And these don’t even include any of the many R-rated suggestions.
Why all the fuss about burpees? What is it about them that strikes fear and revulsion in our hearts? Descriptions of how to perform burpees don’t sound that bad, and they are legion (simply conduct a Youtube or Google search and you’ll see what I mean). Individual descriptions are vary somewhat, but they are all variations on the same theme; all you have to do is squat, sprawl, execute a pushup, jump back to the squat position, and execute a vertical jump. How bad can it be....
Well, anyone who has ever read a CrossFit workout on the whiteboard and thought those famous last words has also experienced the phlegmmy, dry-heaving, days-of-recovery aftermath of such workouts. So let’s investigate a bit further. When you read the above description, can you identify a major muscle group that *isn’t* implicated in the execution of a burpee? No, they are full-body exercises—no part of you is immune. Also, their explosive nature ups the intensity; not one, not two, but THREE jumps are required to complete a single burpee. (Yes, one and possibly two of the jumps is executed when your hands are on the ground, but after a workout that incorporates burpees, ask your hindquarters and shoulders whether that was a difference that made a difference.) This means that both your muscles and your lungs will be making their displeasure known before too long.
Burpees are also known as a staple of “prison workouts,” workouts that require very little equipment and space, ostensibly because they can be performed by people who have space and equipment restrictions placed on them, including those who are incarcerated. With all due respect, most of us probably wouldn’t choose to associate our workouts with a prison sentence. Having that as a bit of context, let’s break down the burpee into its component parts. Perhaps this will provide additional insight into why it inspires such intensely negative reactions among the initiated.
The squat: According to legendary strength coach Mark Rippetoe, “There is simply no other exercise, and certainly no machine, that produces the level of central nervous system activity, improved balance and coordination, skeletal loading and bone density enhancement, muscular stimulation and growth, connective tissue stress and strength, psychological demand and toughness, and overall systemic conditioning than the correctly performed full squat.”
Coach Rip was likely referring here to the back squat, which is commonly referred to simply as “squat.” In a back squat, the practitioner executes a squat while supporting a barbell on the shoulders. (Where, exactly, on the shoulders is a matter of some discussion and preference.) The barbell is loaded to a weight that produces the desired training effect in that specific practitioner, and this will obviously vary depending on the strength and experience of the lifter. The back squat is not to be confused with the air squat, however, which is also routinely referred to as “squat”. The important point, however, is that there is no back squat without a solid air squat, so even if the air squat doesn’t confer all of the benefits Coach Rip describes, there’s still a lot going on.
The sprawl: Fling yourself face-first at the ground. Repeatedly. See how many times you can do this before you want to rip your own face off from frustration and fatigue. Chances are you will start to breathe heavily after the first 2 or 3, and if you’re like me, the full training effect won’t set in until after you have stopped. That’s when the effects of the exertion catch up and grab hold like a boa constrictor. Sprawling is what wrestlers do (except for the face ripping), over and over and over, to practice removing their hips and legs from the reach of an opponent who might be trying to close the distance and take them down. And any of you who know a wrestler have probably marveled at that person’s “cardio,” explosiveness, and just plain focus and intensity. Complete ten sprawls in rapid succession, and you will probably see why this might follow.
The pushup: Based on my observations of accomplished burpeeists (both ones I have seen in person and watched in videos), it appears that the most efficient way to hit the pushup seems to be to sprawl to the bottom of it, so that when you fling yourself at the ground, you land in a plank position with your chest almost to the deck and your arms bent just enough to catch yourself before you slam into the earth. I know people who even take flinging themselves at the ground a step further and let their chests break their falls. This may be the most efficient way, but the self-preserving among us might find it difficult psychologically as well as coordination-wise. It’s also difficult to maintain over multiple reps because of the intensity, explosiveness, and control required.
Then, once you’ve made yourself one with the ground, you have to push yourself away from it, in direct opposition to the substantial energy you have expended getting there in the first place. Not to mention in direct opposition to gravity.
The jump: Finally, there’s the jump. You gather your feet back under you into another squat by jumping them forward between your hands, and then you jump as high as you can, achieving triple extension and throwing your hands in the air (like you just don’t care) or clapping overhead. Starting from the squat position increases the intensity of the jump, as does the fact that you must execute it after you have already executed steps 1-3 at least once. And if this is anything other than your first rep, you have executed steps 1-4 multiple times.
Perhaps after this synopsis it’s a bit easier to see where the burpee vitriol comes from. Any one of these elements of the burpee is going to challenge us physically, mentally, and neurologically. Put it all together, and it’s a veritable cornucopia of physiological challenges. Also, keep in mind that the descriptions above are the ideal way to perform burpees, but that it doesn’t usually take long for form to break down once fatigue sets in. As we tire, our squats become less squatty. Our sprawls become unholy alliances of donkey kicks and inchworms. Our pushups resemble nothing so much as bad break dancing. And our jumps barely clear the ground. The tendency for these things to happen increases as the number of reps increases. And the knowledge that we are falling short of the standard for performance adds to the mental challenge.
All this being said about how we hate burpees, I suspect we actually LOVE to hate them. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have the strong reactions we do; remember that the opposite of love is indifference. This means we do love burpees, on some level; it’s the very things about the burpee that we hate that are the things that are good for us. Burpees are the spinach of the physical fitness world. Think about it: How good do we feel when we’re done burpeeing? It’s not just because the immediate discomfort has stopped. We feel good because we know we have accomplished something.
So, I guess I lied. This IS a feature that will encourage you to go forth and squat, sprawl, pushup, and jump. Maybe you don’t have to do 100, but go, and then go again, with feeling! Yay, burpees!
To my experience I did 3 burpees at the boot camp. I called BURPEES IS A BEAST!!
Topic: Strength & Conditioning
See more about: strength and conditioning, mind body, burpees
Sunday, June 08, 2014
Open to changing your body you need to be willing to let go of what you THINK you know about what it means to have a fitness physique.
You do not need to do 3 hours of cardio a day and in fact doing so can be VERY unhealthy and metabolically damaging.
You do not need to live off of tilapia and asparagus
There are no aerobics classes
You do not need to avoid dietary fat
You do not need to opt for the “low cal”, “low fat”, “no fat” or “sugar free” versions of things.
You do not need the colored weights. You do NOT need to lift light!
Special K is not a breakfastDiet Coke does not count for hyrdration
You do not need to live off lettuce
You do not need to under eat all the time
You do not need to “no carb”, “low carb” or “carb free” it
You do not need expensive gadgets, heart rate monitors, fancy computer programs or the latest Dr Oz detox to get the body you want
INSTEAD, you need to
Eat at levels to support your activity but not promote bodyfat
Eat carbs (the RIGHT kinds)
Eat fat (the RIGHT kinds)
Eat lean proteins
Hydrate with water
Pick up a barbell. A kettlebell. A sandbag. A tire. A dumbbell. I don’t care, but PICK UP HEAVY WEIGHT
Master the basics. The pushup. The pullup. The squat. The deadlift.
Don’t think of “cardio” as being confined to the elliptical. Think of plyometrics, sprint drills, hill runs, prowler pushes, sled drags, tire flips
Get intense. IF you’re training heavy GO HEAVY. If you’re doing sprints pound them out!
Abandon long duration cardio and try to rely mostly on plyometrics and HIIT for the “cardio” component of your training. Or use a barbell. Clean a barbell 50x. You’ll sweat trust me.
Reduce or eliminate refined sugars completely (not fruit but doughnuts and the like)
Rely on whole natural foods for your primary source of fuel (no bars, pre packaged items etc)
Stick to the outer isles of the grocery store
Think lean meats, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, etc
EAT! Resist the urge to reduce calories, cut macronutrients from your diet or resort to other drastic measures.
Until you master solid nutrition and proper training don’t waste your hard earned money on a bazillion different supplements or other “get fit quick” fixes
Train for YOU, at YOUR level, for YOUR goals. What works for your neighbor works for them, great. You need to do what works for you.
Eat real food. Lift real weight. Get real results. That’s the bottom line. No gimmicks. No pills, powders, or potions. Eating lean, nutrient dense natural foods and lifting real weight WILL put you in the feminine, muscular, tight body you’re craving ladies.
Now grab a barbell, and get to work
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Make Me Like You, Lord
If you have prayed, "Oh Lord, make me more like Thee", and have, for that prayer, experienced greater submission to the voice of the Holy Spirit, greater victory, answered prayer, deeper intimacy and revelation and the deep, abiding peace that only comes from righteousness found in Him, you have experienced the "first half' of your journey in obedience. It's likely that you have also experienced at least SOME of the second part of the journey-the rejection and the suffering. Jesus said we would, and then He gave us the cure for the feelings and temptations that would follow suffering-He gave us the command to REJOICE AND BE GLAD!!
Applying Pressure Against The Enemy's Kingdom
Saints, it is time to increase praise and apply more, not less, pressure against the enemy's kingdom. Praise and thanksgiving truly ARE the wings that bear the Christian back up to the seats in heavenly places with Christ! There is a new anointing for praise and thanksgiving, and an invitation by the Holy Spirit to go deeper and higher with your personal and corporate praise!
It is time to accept misunderstanding and rejection as the common experience of the believer, for it is the common experience of God Himself, and of His Son. God does not feel insecure when He is rejected-He is confident about His true motives, His clean conscience, His true love, character and ability. He is not rattled or anxious or nervous. And He is not deterred from His purpose to spread the good news and to love all men equally.
Scattering Seed Everywhere
Jesus, in the parable, said that the sower scatters the Word on ALL the soil-types. He doesn't worry about the condition of the soil or whether it responds, he just scatters good seed WHEREVER he goes. Even the harvest itself will always have both tares and true wheat growing up side-by-side until the end. If we worry about the condition of the harvest too much, we'll stop sowing seed and we'll give up working in the fields. Our job is not to focus on the condition of the soil or the integrity of the harvest-we are only called to sow seed and work in the fields, and to be no respecter of persons in the process.
Press Through-REJOICE! !
When you feel discouraged, when you feel blue, when you want to give up, instead-press THROUGH! Begin to rejoice and give praise to the Lord. Clap your hands and jump and shout about what you DON'T see yet. Thank Him for the honor and privilege of carrying the good news throughout the earth as He enables you to do so. Thank Him for letting you do what little you have done. Ask Him for more. But don't give up, and let's stop murmuring and complaining like the generation of Israelites who died in the wilderness. Be like Joshua and Caleb-truly, my friends, the enemy is like a grasshopper in our sight, and WE WERE BORN TO KILL GIANTS!
An exhortation, given through Nola Smith, published by Steve Shultz: THE ELIJAH LIST. Reprinted by permission of the author.
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