Things I've Heard at the Gym

I've heard (and seen) some interesting things at the gym... and I swear that all of them are true. 1. One exerciser said to another exerciser, "I won't lift weights because it will build muscle on top of my fat." Ok, let me start with a fact: muscle is under fat, near the bone. When we lift weights, we are building and toning the muscle. In order to make the muscle magically appear, the fat must disappear. More on that below. 2. A very slim gym member approached me and pointed to her ankle. “I have a pocket of fat on my ankle. How do I get rid of it?” I won’t even address the body image issue here – that’s for another blog. However, many people do want to spot reduce just on their thighs, stomach, glutes, or ankles...

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What is Functional Training?

Functional training is a term that is used quite a bit in fitness circles, but what exactly is it? Traditional weight-lifting machines are designed to concentrate on one muscle group, isolating it in order to make it stronger. So, if you’re doing a bicep curl, you are just moving your forearm up and down with the elbow fixed in order to work that muscle. These machines would have us think that the body only moves on certain planes and that it doesn’t exist in a three-dimensional world. We all know that the body has an amazing range of motion – simply look at a gymnast, dancer or any athlete for some incredible examples of the body’s capabilities. By strengthening the muscles of the core and back with weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing exercises, a person can perform their daily activities with ease and without injury...

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Yoga and Pilates

Posted August 12, 2009
Category yoga
One question I am asked frequently is, "What's the difference between Pilates and yoga?" Both are mind-body disciplines, both work the core, strength and flexibility, but each approach the body (and mind) in a different way. Joseph Pilates, a physical trainer, developed his technique working with recovering World War I wounded in England. He utilized the hospital beds and springs to help his patients use their body weight as resistance to get stronger, which later led to the development of the Reformer. The Pilates system (or Contrology at the time) focused on improving flexibility, strength, and body awareness, without necessarily building bulk. He reasoned that since the majority of the body’s muscles originate or connect in the torso (or "powerhouse"), by targeting the deep muscles in that area the body would be less prone to injury and also stronger...

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