Extreme Workouts

In the spirit of doing group exercises I thought we could also take a look at some extreme workouts! At Westmoreland Athletic Club some of the trainers use unusual methods to push their clients to the next level. I’m going to show you a video we came up with to demonstrate some of the things that you never thought you could do! (the file is to big so I’m just going to give you the link.. sorry! i hate doing that but the video is just to long!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfG1ZAG6eVk&feature=youtube_gdata

So I’m going to assume you watched the video.. why wouldn’t you want to! 🙂 Anyways, there are some great benefits to this type of workout.

Change of Routine- Your getting something out of the ordinary, not every trainer is going to take you outside and tell you to throw some tires!

Working Different Muscles- This kind of workout will use muscles that you normally don’t use because you are doing different moves and exercises. Pushing tires and using a sledge hammer uses your shoulder and arms muscles differently than you normally do.

Full Body Workout- You get a full body workout with training like this, you aren’t just working one area of  your body or one type of muscles. Each thing that goes on in this video you are using everything.

Working Your Core- All of these exercises require you to use your core. You strengthen it so much which will help you with balance, strong abs and back pain.

Its Fun!– This kind of workout is fun, you never get bored with doing these types of exercises. Often when working out with or with out a trainer you sometimes do the same type of exercises and it tends to get boring after awhile right?

Its Challenging- This kind of workout is challenging! When I tried it I almost died (not really but it was hard hence the need for me to workout more 🙂 lol).  When you go to a fitness club you aren’t expecting this kind of workout to come your way!

You Feel Accomplished- After this kind of workout you know that you improved yourself. Sometimes you go for your run or you lifts some weights but with this your out there in the sun and dirt lifting and throwing heavy things. It makes you feel strong and powerful that you can throw a tire or use a sledge hammer.

So there you go! Something a little different that the norm. Hopefully we will be doing something along these lines at Galaxy in the future and I’ll put the video up for that as well!

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7 Benefits of Group Fitness Classes

Yesterday I told you how you could succeed in group fitness classes. Today I’m going to tell you the benefits of taking the group fitness classes are. I kind of like the top reasons sort of posts so we might do more of those, like today’s! So here are the benefits to group fitness classes!

You Get Proper instruction

-Correct technique is important in any workout for the prevention of injury and to maximize results. Group class instruction is great for those who may be intimidated to use particular equipment, by learning about proper technique in a group environment. In our classes our instructors often go over moves to make sure you are doing them properly during the workout.

You Get Motivation

-Exercising side by side with others brings out the ego in all of us. Being able to keep up with the class is great motivation for pushing personal boundaries and achieving goals. Especially when the instructor is saying “just 5 more!” You are able to push yourself a little more to finish out the set with the rest of the class!

Make New Friends

-Interaction with other class members who share common interests is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. You get to talk to a variety of people you wouldn’t normally meet unless you were taking those classes. You also will want to go back for each class just to talk with your new friends!

Consistency in Routine

-Scheduled classes are particularly good for those who like to work to a routine. They enable people with limited time to fit in a full body workout in a set timeframe.

Get a Full Body Workout

-In most of these classes you are working a variety of muscles groups throughout the class. You’re more likely to complete a well-rounded exercise routine and get a potentially tougher workout.

Push Yourself Further

-A class can help you move past a plateau, if you want to push yourself a little bit and improve.

It’s FUN!

-Working out in a group fitness class is fun and energetic. Most classes have energetic music that keeps you pumped up through out the class and pushes you through the workout!

So those are some great benefits to group fitness classes! Make sure you try and take a class soon to get these benefits!!

5 Ways For You to Succeed in Group Fitness Classes!

As everyone knows we have a bunch of different group fitness classes here at Galaxy. We have Les Mills classes, Body Pump, Body Attack, Body Combat, then yoga and step classes. Now if you are new to group classes you might think that they are intimidating and to fast paced for you. But you should always atleast give it a try because you never know if your going to like it or not! Here are 7 ways for you to succeed in these classes!

1. Examine the Crowd: Before you walk into the class examine the crowd. The kind of people in the class can give you a lot of information about the experience you are going to get. Remember, just because the class has older or younger people than yourself does not mean you won’t have fun with it or get nothing out of the class. Everyone has different happiness or comfort levels when working out so the age of your fellow participants may not be an issue. If there are younger participants they may have a great amount of energy for you to feed off of just as older participants may offer you inspiration to keep going!

2. Understand the Type of Class You are Taking: It’s best to know what kind of class it is that you are going in to take. If you hate to run, you might not enjoy a sports inspired class or a class with a lot of aerobic/running around activity. But if you like to run you may love a bootcamp or sports conditioning type class. Here at Galaxy we have a variety of classes.

  • Body Pump- The ORINGINAL barbell class, that strengthens your entire body & works all major muscle groups.
  • Body Combat- Fiercely energetic, inspired by martial arts including: boxing, karate and taekwondo. (My favorite class! I can’t help but pretend to be punching things, it helps a lot! )
  • Step- Simple, athletic and FUN! Using an adjustable step to tone lower body & improve strength.
  • Body Attack- High energy athletic interval cardio calorie burning class. Build stamina & strength to powerful music.
  • Zumba- Hot latin dance moves broken down into simple steps anyone can follow!
  • Yoga- A flowing blend of Yoga practices, developing long, lean muscles, increasing strength and flexibility.

3. Arrive Early– It is really important to arrive early to a new class. This will make sure you don’t miss a single second of the class, some of our instructors will preview or show you how to do certain moves before the class starts and you don’t want to miss that!

4. Talk to Your Instructor– A few minutes with your instructor can help you understand the intensity and duration of the class. You might find it comforting by talking to the instructor which will result in a better class experience.

5. Location– Your location could possibly make our break your group class experience. No one really wants to be singled out, stand in the very front or appear uncoordinated in a new class. But being able to see and hear your instructor is extremely important. It is best to try and find a spot in front of your instructor but not necessarily in the front row. Until you are familiar and know the steps to the routine being able to view your instructor easily will be helpful.

Having people around you experiencing the same workout as you and pushing toward a similar goal can be very encouraging. The energy of the others in the room can be contagious, in a good way of course! Make sure you choose your classes wisely but try to take a class that is a little bit out of your comfort zone, you might just like it!

Easy & Delicious Post-Workout Meals

So after yesterday’s recipes for smoothies lets switch it up to a more fulfilling meal post workout! Now remember it is most beneficial to you if you get your meal into you as quickly as possible so the nutrients can get to your muscles! So you could maybe make these meals before you go to workout and bring them with you, or make them at home after you have had a smoothie or even chocolate milk (which is very good for you after a workout!!) So here are some great ideas and recipes for after your workout!

Maple Grilled Salmon (From CookingLight.com)

Ingredients

  • 1/4  cup  rice wine vinegar
  • 3  tablespoons  maple syrup
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh orange juice
  • 4  (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add fish. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 3 hours.

2. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

3. Remove fish from bag, reserving the marinade. Pour marinade into a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 5 minutes).

4. Place fish on grill rack or pan coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness, basting occasionally with marinade. Remove fish from grill; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

From CookingLight.com Glazed Salmon

Chicken Sate Wraps (From CookingLight.com)

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  cup  matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1/3  cup  chopped green onions
  • 2/3  cup  light coconut milk
  • 1  tablespoon  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1  tablespoon  rice vinegar
  • 3  tablespoons  creamy peanut butter
  • 1  teaspoon  curry powder
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground red pepper
  • 2  cups  shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 4  (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
  • 1 1/3  cups  packaged angel hair slaw

Preparation

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add carrots and onions; sauté 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk and next 5 ingredients (through pepper); cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chicken; cook 1 minute, stirring to coat. Remove from heat; cool. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla, and top each with 1/3 cup angel hair slaw. Roll up. Cover and chill.

From CookingLight.com Chicken Sate Wrap

Grilled Turkey & Ham Sandwiches (From CookingLight.com)

Ingredients

  • 1  tablespoon  light mayonnaise
  • 1  teaspoon  Dijon mustard
  • 8  (1-ounce) slices country white bread
  • 4  (1-ounce) slices deli, lower-salt turkey breast
  • 4  (1/2-ounce) slices deli, lower-salt ham
  • 4  (1/2-ounce) slices reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 8  (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

1. Combine mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl. Spread about 1 teaspoon mayonnaise mixture over 1 side of each of 4 bread slices. Top each slice with 1 turkey slice, 1 ham slice, 1 cheese slice, and 2 tomato slices. Top with remaining bread slices.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sandwiches to pan; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn sandwiches over; cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Here are some other meals that would be fast to make and delicious!

  • Stir-fried chicken and vegetables (try pepper, zucchini and carrot) over brown rice. (I love snap peas, carrots and peppers in mine!)
  • Whole-wheat pasta tossed with chicken, broccoli and eggplant (maybe add a little bit of cheese while cooking to let it melt)
  • Whole-grain cereal or oatmeal, with milk and fruit (such as a sliced banana)

Here are some quick and easy post work out snacks that you could bring with you for when your done!

  • Tuna ‘n Crackers
  • Mini can (3oz) of tuna mixed with salt, pepper and lemon juice (to taste) on 5 whole wheat crackers
  • Low-fat string cheese and an apple (one of my favorites!!)
  • Nuts (24 almonds) and an orange
  • Baby Carrots (14 sticks or other veggie sticks) and 1 hard boiled egg
  • Hummus roll up mini whole wheat tortilla with 2Tbps hummus (any flavor would be good, I love roasted red pepper hummus.)
  • Light Yogurt Parfait
  • Fat Free Yogurt with a handful of berries or whole grain cereal
  • One or two poached eggs on whole-wheat toast
  • Bean burrito: a whole-wheat tortilla filled with black beans, salsa and reduced-fat cheese.

Those are some great delicious recipes and ideas for some post-workout meals. You can obviously changed them to fit what you like and how much you like to eat but keep it mind that some things like, peanut butter, hummus and nuts are high in calories so try to keep those ingredients low. Anyone have any other ideas for meals that they like?

100 Pushup, 200 Squats and 200 Sit-up Challenges

I already knew about the 100 Push Up website and I’m sure some of you have as well but today I was googling (literally addicted to searching things) and I found out that theres a 200 Squats website and a 200 Sit-Up website! So I thought well why not see if anyone would like to join me in these challenges! They each are a 6-week program where you do a number of each (either push ups, sit-ups or squats) 3 times a week. Each week the number that you do increases and by the end of each program you should be able to do 100 or 200 in a row (depending on which one your doing).

So what does everyone think? Want to join me in the challenge? I’m thinking about starting on July 1st to get a fresh start!

There is also a site to log the amount that you are doing as you go. Logger So I’m going to sign up for that too!

Let me know if you want to do one or more of the challenges and I’m going to maybe make a list so we know whose doing it!! If you can’t comment on here that’s fine just do it on our Facebook!!

Yummy Post-Workout Smoothies!

Yesterday I told you that its important to get the nutrients to your muscles as fast as possible after you exercise, which is why a liquid meal or snack after your workout is better than a solid food meal. So I’m super excited to share with everyone a few smoothie recipes I found! I’ve tried a couple of these but not all of them, but they all sound delicious!!

Now some of these include some type of protein or whey powder to give your body an extra boost of protein. You don’t always need to add it, only if you want the extra protein. Some of the ones that do have it though specify a flavor (chocolate or vanilla usually) so I would suggest trying different things to substitute for extra protein (cashews work well, a cup or so ground up.)

Chocolate Banana –

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • one and a half frozen bananas
  • 2 tbsp organic maple syrup
  • 30 grams chocolate whey protein

Pineapple Vanilla –

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt
  • one cup frozen pineapples
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 30 grams vanilla whey protein powder

Banana Berry– (This one is very good!)

  • 4 strawberries, frozen
  • 2-ounces blueberries, frozen
  • ½ banana, frozen
  • Âľ cup reduced fat milk
  • 8 ounces yogurt

Vanilla Watermelon (I haven’t tried this one but I do love watermelon…)

  • 2 Cups of seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup of non-fat plain (or vanilla yogurt)
  • 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 Tsp of honey

Banana Cream Pie (Delicious!!) (from http://www.CookingLight.com)

  • 1 cup  sliced frozen ripe banana (about 1 large banana)
  • 1  cup  vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2  cup  1% low-fat milk
  • 2  tablespoons  whole wheat graham cracker crumbs (about 1/2 cookie sheet)
  • 1  tablespoon  nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 3  ice cubes (about 1/4 cup)
  • Graham cracker crumbs (gets sprinkled on top)

This is the one from CookingLight.com, mine didn't turn out as pretty!

Chocolate Peanut Butter (Different from the first one I posted above)

  • 1 cup light Silk chocolate soymilk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1Tbs peanut butter

If you’re someone who doesn’t have enough time to make your own smoothie always try one of our City Blends Smoothies! I tried the Purple Rain one yesterday.. its my new favorite for sure! Filled with raspberries, strawberries and pineapple, along with a gainer protein! Soooooo good! You could try the Slender U as well, it has the same flavors just with a burner protein instead of gainer protein!

So there are a bunch of smoothies you could try but also just try to come up with your own combination! Anyone have his or her favorite post-workout smoothie?

I’m going to post some solid food recipes for your post-workout tomorrow!

Why You Need to Eat Post-Workout!

I’ve been talking about pre-workout nutrition for the past couple of days so today I am going to move on and tell you why your post-workout meal is even more important than your pre-workout meal!

Everyone now knows, after reading Monday’s blog how our bodies need carbs for energy before you workout. Well after you do your intense workout your body is now without those carbs since you used them all up!

We have learned that when you exercise your body breaks down glycogen (sugar molecules that you can get from carbs that turn into energy), as well as some fat and some protein. Glycogen is the fuel for us to not only exercise but to also allow us to really push through to the next level, which is why you want your glycogen level to be high before you workout. But what happens after you are done working out?

After your exercise routine your bodies ability to rebuild the stored glycogen in your body is at its highest. Because of that you want to make sure you save your high glycemic foods to this time. Many people think that if you don’t eat after you’re finished working out then you are losing more fat molecules. Wrong. If your working out at a high intensity the glycogen stored in your body will decrease substantially. Your body will then turn to protein first and then fat for energy. The bad part is, is that you need that protein for your muscles that you just spent so much energy building up! You are then breaking down muscles sooner that your body breaks down fat for energy. When you think about it, it makes sense. Our bodies have learned to store fat for times when food isn’t available, just like a bear hibernating for winter, so of course fat would be broken down last.

If you starve your body after exercise you are going to be hit by a few negative consequences.

Firstly, if you don’t get enough high quality carbohydrates within 60 minutes after your workout then the glycogen stored in your body will not be at their optimal level next time you workout. This means your won’t have as much energy to workout next time, and we don’t want that right?

Secondly, it can also reduce your metabolism by not eating and it will begin to store more food as fat just incase it doesn’t get food again, just like a bear and hibernation.

So now that you know you should definitely eat after you workout, lets find out why carbs and proteins are the best choice!

The carbs you eat after you workout will be used by your body to restore muscle glycogen. Which means your body won’t break down your muscle tissue for the same purpose, like we learned above. Carbs also create a spike in insulin, which will help your body move important nutrients into your muscle tissues quicker.

Now the reason for making sure you get protein in your body is because protein stops your muscles from wasting away and helps in rebuilding their structure.

The best time to have this post-workout meal is within the next hour. Even better would be in the first 15 minutes after working out. The faster you can get carbs and proteins into your body the faster they can be broken down and the nutrients sent to your muscles. It is also best if your meal is in liquid form. Carbs and proteins found in solid foods take longer to break down and you want the nutrients to get to your muscles as fast as possible.

Wow lots of science talk! Tomorrow I’m going to give you a bunch of ideas for post-workout meals and smoothies you can make!

I didn’t have any fun pictures for this entry but here is a bowl of wild fresh blackberries I picked from my woods last night! These are the ones I use in my Blackberry and Banana Smoothie, the recipe is in yesterday’s post!

Climbed through a jagger bush to get these wild blackberries!!