Training Gimmicks and Training that Works

Training Gimmicks and Training that Works

Exercise should be fun is a common sentiment I hear all the time from clients, prospective clients, health club members, and trainers trying to build their client base, but should it be fun?

That depends on what you consider fun, I suppose. Some people love grueling hard work and find enormous physical efforts bordering on the impossible to be fun. Most people don’t.

The argument is often made that any activity that gets a person doing more than they normally would have, must also be beneficial; hence *exercise classes like Zumba and SoulCycle*

[Wendy Learns to SoulCycle – YouTube](

“Wendy Learns to SoulCycle – YouTube”)

that are only marginally more intense than a fast paced walk are promoted as fun alternatives to the harder workouts associated with traditional weight lifting, Spinning, running, etc.

On the other end of the exercise spectrum you have the *extreme intensity activities like CrossFit [What is CrossFit? – YouTube](

“What is CrossFit? – YouTube”)

[The Problem(s) With Crossfit – Gawker](http://gawker.com/5928989/the-problems-with-crossfit “The Problem(s) With Crossfit – Gawker”)

and all its derivatives*. These encourage you to workout at extreme intensities with no real specific goal in mind beyond getting better at doing those specific workouts, unpredictable body shaping results (maybe you’ll bulk up or maybe get skinny), no transferable improvements for sports or other athletic activities, and an extremely high risk of injuries.

Michael Boyle is one of the most highly respected strength and Conditioning coaches in the world of NCAA collegiate athletics and professional sports, with dozens of published books to his credit. This is what he has to say about CrossFit.

Members and inexperienced trainers often fail to understand that the chronically out of shape civilian has no concept of what exercise intensity means. They actually believe that coming to the gym 2 hours a week is a lot of work. They believe pushing 50 lb. on a leg press is tremendous, even though they might weigh 180 lbs themselves. It’s not their fault. They have no reference points at all. Also, they’re really not that interested in whatever goals they might tell you and themselves, they have. Anyone who really cared about fitness and athletics would likely have been engaging in fitness and athletic activities most of their lives to begin with. And then there is belief. Most of our clients don’t really believe they can get in shape. They don’t really have goals. They have fantasies that deep down they believe are impossible to achieve, and so undermine their own efforts every chance they get by consuming junk food or too much food or exercising without consistency or jumping from fad diet to fad workout to discouragement and abandonment of any effort.

Many believe it is just strictly the luck of good genetics or bad, and there is some truth in that. But good genetics that get you by when your 20 will fail you when you’re in your 30’s unless you take action. The sooner you start the better, but it’s never too late.

Photo 1

Photo 1

First, I’d like to thank Monica for the kind praise, as it was all her hard work and willingness to follow my slightly sadistic advice to the letter.

Monica isn’t an actress or professional model. She’s a “real” woman with a real job and has a real commitment to her workouts and getting the results that she wants. She doesn’t live in the gym 4 hours a day, and she knows that when it’s time to work out you work out damn hard and real smart (or hire a real smart trainer like me) and then you go home. I won’t be specific about her age, but she wasn’t a child when we started, and 10 years later she looks better than she ever did. Period.

Forget the trends. This isn’t rocket science. I’ve been at this for 29 years and the fundamentals haven’t changed. Do what I say you need to do in order to achieve your goals (or whatever shorter term measures I deem more appropriate for each individual) and you will.

Train smart. Train hard. Don’t be a mark for every con game that comes around.

See you in the gym.

 

Indoor Cycling

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There is no such thing as the best kind of exercise…but when it comes to cardiovascular training indoor cycling comes close.

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With a good instructor you’ll get an awesome cardio/aerobic workout helping you burn enormous amounts of calories, and that helps you control your weight and body fat. You will strengthen unarguably the most important muscle in your body; your heart. That’ll keep you alive. It will improve your lung capacity so you don’t get winded going up a couple of flights of stairs when an elevator is out.

There’s more benefits, too. Unlike a 1 mile (or longer run), cycling can incorporate anaerobic training. Anaerobic training uses different sources of energy and challenges the skeletal muscles of the legs and hips to a far greater degree than aerobic training is designed to. This builds true muscle tone and strength creating shape. And that shape also enhances your ability to generate more power to go longer distances at lower levels of intensity and to overcome obstacles like hills and rough terrain along the way, or going up those two flights of stairs with a couple of heavy grocery bags, too.

Spinning and other indoor cycling programs give you all these benefits. Running and other forms of aerobics can, as well, but because of the pounding impact of jogging, running, and other aerobic type classes you also dramatically increase your risks of injury.

You can find me at the new cycling boutique studio in Forest Hills: SUN CYCLE Studio Tuesdays at 6am and 6pm, and Saturday at noon and as always at New York Sports clubs in Forest Hills, Rego Park, and Manhattan locations at 38th & Broadway and 23rd & 8th. My schedule there has not changed.

Join me and all the other great instructors for a great indoor cycling ride.

Come get the ride of your life, and get in the shape you’ve dreamed about.

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Spinning enhanced

Want to push your spinning performance and your overall fitness to a higher level? Cadence (RPM) is how fast you’re peddling. On the next fast flat road, take one hand off the bar and place it over one knee, allowing your knee to tap it on every up stroke. Measure how many times your knee taps your hand for 60 seconds (or 30 sec x 2). Try to get a cadence between 70-80. ┬áThen add 1/2 to 1 turn of resistance while forcing yourself to maintain that same cadence you just measured. When a real cyclist wants to go faster, they use higher gears which make each pedal stroke harder, but generating much more power per stroke. Your legs will work harder, your cardiovascular system will work harder, and you won’t be as limited by genetic factors that dictate how fast you can pedal. On a sprint, add another 1/2 to 1 turn of resistance, and then pedal as fast as possible until exhaustion. Be warned: It will be a much harder class.