Archive for the ‘Interval Training’ Category

It’s the time of the year for giving!

If you have been good the past year with your fitness goals, and have consistently made gains from your training, then don’t miss time to share the gift of fitness. Fitness is not just about abs and arms, but about improving your health and overall quality of life. If you have exercised regularly enough, you probably have felt more energetic, alive, and just happier about life. This is something that you would want your family and friends to have, right?

As a Personal Trainer both in-person and online, I know it could be tough most of the time to motivate other people to get into fitness, especially family and friends. But like what I always say, “Consistency is the key to success” and I’m sure eventually they will agree with you and might even come with you to the gym!

So start them off by giving them something inspiring and useful this Christmas from my list below that would hopefully get them to think more about their fitness. Maybe you could even get one for yourself! Simply click the links below to lead you to an Amazon page where you can easily order your gifts. Amazon offers FREE SHIPPING for orders over $25.00!

Here’s my Top 5 Fitness Gift Ideas for Christmas 2016:

1.) Ab roller – the ab roller is a small but absolutely effective equipment to work the abs. When used properly, it could target not just every muscle of the “core” but also the arms, shoulders,and even legs! I personally like the dual ab roller, because it provides more challenge to shoulder stabilizers and core, but better give a standard uni-wheel ab roller for beginners and intermediate exercisers.

ab-wheel_dumbbellClick the link to get it from Amazon:
SKLZ Core Wheels Dynamic Strength and Ab Trainer

fitness-depot-ab-wheel

Click the link to get it from Amazon:
Fitness Depot Ab Wheel

2.) Exercise Bands – yet another small but tough fitness equipment to have, exercise bands are very portable and could be used almost anywhere! There will be no excuse left not to workout with these ones! Exercise bands promote eccentric contraction when used in a controlled manner (vs. jerky, fast movements) which is great for building strength and muscle tone. This is a good choice if the person you’re thinking of giving a gift to is someone who is not confident of their body and overall strength, and needs something simple to get started with. You can also give them an exercise band manual to compete the package.

synergee-exercise-bands

Get it from Amazon:
Synergee Exercise Bands with Guide

3.) Suspension Trainers – suspension training have been a hit a few years ago, but like any fitness trends, the hype about them has subsided. Whether it’s still an “in” thing to do or not, it’s effectiveness remains unchanged! This is an option for people who have a significant base strength and are looking for a challenge. As long as they have something to anchor it to, suspension Trainers can be a fitness friend for frequent travelers or out-of-gym exercisers. There were a few types and brands that came out during its peak, but below is my personal choice:

trx

Get the TRX Suspension Trainer Full Workout Kit from Amazon.

4.) Nutrition App – the notion “abs are made in the kitchen” is true. For tech savvy individuals who are looking to eat healthier and/or lose weight, surprising them with a nutrition app installed in their phone could be a simple but thoughtful gift. Below are apps that I recommend, some of them I even used with my clients:

Eat this much

My Fitness Pal

Fitbit App

5.) Fitness Tracking Device – some people say they don’t work because steps aren’t measured accurately. What I say in response is, how can you expect it to measure accurate steps if it’s strapped in your hand?? I don’t intend to start a group of people wearing anklets of fitness trackers, but the point of wearing one is not to measure how many steps a person does in a day exactly. Wearing a Fitbit myself, I realised how it’s very motivating to ‘put in steps’ each day and just keep being active. They are a great tool to motivate people to move and be active, and even ‘compete’ with their family or friends for more fun and challenge! Here’s a couple of choices of awesome fitness trackers you could get:

fitbit-charge-2

Fitbit Charge 2

samsung-gear-fit-2Samsung Gear Fit 2

If the person you’re thinking about is seriously considering committed training whether in the gym or at home, then signing them up for Online Training is the best choice! As a treat, I’m offering a 12-Days til Christmas special: Sign up on or 12-days before December 25 2016 and get a 25% off on any Fitness Coaching Package offered from Fitness Coaching for Me. Simply answer the form on the Services page here, and we’ll get started.

Don’t miss the opportunity, sign up NOW!

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Steven has been training with me on my Online Fitness Coaching program for 8 months now and has improved a lot since we started! He initially wants to lose body fat and gain more muscle mass but upon achieving that goal, he now trains for athleticism and overall fitness. I give him a three to four workout day routine each week that he does in his own pace and time. When he started the Online Fitness Coaching, the routine included a cardio guide, the strengthening or resistance exercises, and some home core workouts. The routine keeps changing and adapting to his progress and now his workout even includes Agility Drills! You see, progress is not only measured by how many pounds you lost, or how much more weight you can lift, but also on how many other stuff you can do — and that is Fitness.

My Online Fitness Coaching program provided Steven some serious guidance through periodized training programs that elite athletes follow, but customized to his fitness level, abilities, and schedule.

“My trainer, Billy, is an amazing motivator and always challenges me to push my boundaries and strive for excellence bringing  me to new heights. Billy quickly identified my strengths and my weaknesses and showed me how i could improve and regain my health. Billy has designed a training program that has made it possible to achieve my goals and consistently pushes me to prove to myself that I can exceed my expectations.

He tailors my workouts to my individual goals and needs. Although the workouts can be tough, Billy makes them fun and gets me excited, I dropped from 180lb of mostly  fat to 165lb of mostly muscle.

With Billy’s Online Fitness Coaching I have been able to reclaim my life in terms of my health, and all on my own schedule. Thanks for making my workouts fun and keeping me on track!!”

– Steven, a Successful Online Fitness Coaching Client.

Watch Steven do perfect squats even after finishing 20 minutes of Agility Ladder Drills:

https://youtu.be/hsDKF3gAjyA


TRX RIP Training
What is the TRX suspension trainer?
The TRX suspension trainer is the most versatile piece of equipment that anyone can use in the gym, office, or even in your own home! It is very portable and compact yet the exercises can be challenging. Regardless of your fitness level, TRX is a perfect tool for body weight exercises. The TRX training system was created by Randy Hetrick, a former U.S. Navy Seal who wanted to continue developing his physical fitness while on the field. He developed a strap system that can be attached almost anywhere stable to provide resistance exercises using bodyweight. Because the Navy Seals are always on the go, the exercises of the TRX system is best for people who want to workout with limited space and a minimum amount of time.

How does the TRX suspension trainer work?
The TRX suspension trainer offers anyone the same amount of world class workouts for whole body conditioning, anytime you want and anywhere you want to go. It is like having your gym in a bag! You can do different exercises using the TRX suspension trainer that works the whole body and develops strength, flexibility, balance and coordination to improve your performance. The TRX suspension trainer has a multiple anchoring system that you can attach anywhere so you can continue toning up and working out even if you’re in your home, office, or hotel.

The TRX suspension trainer is a very flexible tool that you can use to work out your core and burn calories with intense exercises for maximum calorie burn in less time. This is because transition from one exercise to another is quick and easy! Unlike in the gym where you have to set up plates, bars, and equipment, TRX allows many different exercises while using just one tool. You don’t have to line up to wait for your turn on gym equipment. Just attach your TRX suspension trainer to a pole or doorpost and you can do your own circuit workout!

Shop TRX Training Bundle Now!

Can I use the TRX suspension trainer?
TRX suspension trainer has been used by MMA fighters, professional athletes, and competitive bodybuilders because it delivers results efficiently and effectively. It has also been featured in the Biggest Loser and has proven itself to be an effective workout equipment even for people who want to start in fitness or if your goal is to lose weight. It is a trusted tool by professional coaches and trainers which ensures that it will help you to reach your fitness goals.

Watch the video below for more information about the TRX suspension trainer and see the TRX in action!

What kind of Suspension Training should I get?
If you are someone who is looking for a dynamic bodyweight workout that you can do in your home, get the TRX Home suspension Trainer and anchor, you’ll also receive a workout guide and 6 bonus workouts for 15 to 30 minute sessions. It will help you build lean muscle and burn fat as you workout with just your body weight! TRX will work your core muscles, chest, and even legs and improve your flexibility and endurance.

If you are a trainer or coach who is looking for creative and effective sports conditioning tool, get the TRX Pro Suspension Training Kit which includes videos and workout cards. It also includes workout programs for your clients or team.

If you want to level up in strengthening your core, the Rip Trainer is for you! The Rip Trainer is an innovative system that helps you develop core strength, power, flexibility, and endurance. It is also a portable device that anyone can use anywhere! The Rip Trainer is a functional training tool with exercises that can easily mimic movements in sports and everyday life. It will help you build core strength and burn calories by challenging your body with unequal loads.

Get your TRX suspension training system now! Click the photo link below:




Become a TRX Trainer

How people usually do Resistance/Weight Training:
The traditional method of resistance or ‘weight training‘ that people do in the gym is called ‘Station Training.‘ In this method, the exercises are arranged in such a way that you have to finish all the sets in one exercise first before proceeding to the next. This is good and reasonable because you can focus on developing one muscle group by doing a specific exercise. Below is an example of a traditional resistance training workout:

SHOP1. Leg exercise: Barbell Squats- 8 reps x 3 sets
2. Chest exercise: Bench Press- 8 reps x 3 sets
3. Arms: Biceps Curl- 8 reps x 3 sets
4. Triceps Extension- 8 reps x 3 sets
5. Lat Pull Down- 8 reps x 3 sets

What is Circuit Training?
Circuit Training is a method of doing exercises in sequence so that two or more sets of an exercise are not done in a row. It is another type of High Intensity Training that works both muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance. Instead of completing all of the sets of a specific exercise first before doing the next exercise, circuit training allows for continuous movement by doing consecutive exercises that targets different muscle groups. Circuit Training is different from High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) because each exercise have the same number of repetitions throughout the whole circuit. Below is an example of a circuit training:

1. Squats: 12 reps x 1 setWeight-Training-Women-Dumbbell-Circuit-Workout
2. Bench Press: 12 reps x 1 set
3. Biceps Curl: 12 reps x 1 set
4. Triceps Extension: 12 reps x 1 set
5. Lat Pull Down: 12 reps x 1 set
6. Squats: 12 reps x 1 set
7. Bench Press: 12 reps x 1 set
8. Biceps Curl: 12 reps x 1 set
9. Triceps Extension: 12 reps x 1 set
10. Lat Pull Down: 12 reps x 1 set

What are the advantages of Circuit Training over the traditional Station Training?
Compared to the traditional method of resistance training, Circuit Training allows for faster transition in between exercises. In the traditional resistance training method, rest periods are done for every set of every exercise. This is unfavorable if you are pressed for time in the gym. Circuit training also allows for greater energy system benefits because your body is working continuously as a different muscle group will be working while previously worked muscle groups will be ‘resting.’ Compared to traditional strength training, there is an improvement in cardiovascular capacity when doing circuit training and may lead to greater fat loss.

What are the disadvantages of Circuit Training?
Because exercises are done continuously one after another, the load should be lighter than usual to maintain quality and safety when doing the exercises. Also, even if it does improve cardiovascular capacity, it won’t beat endurance training with regards to benefits.

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Let’s get to the workout! How can I program my own circuit training at home?

Here are some tips on how to design a good Circuit Training workout:
1402213_orig1. Opposing muscle groups (agonist and antagonist) should be alternated between resting and exercising. For example, after doing bicep curls, your next exercise can be tricep extensions.
2. Upper body and Lower body exercises can also be alternated between resting and exercising. For example, after doing push ups, you can do squats after. This allows for the ‘push up muscles’ (pectoralis major and minor, latissimus dorsi, triceps, abdominals) to recover while you target different muscle groups and you’ll be able to perform push ups with proper form and technique at the next circuit set.
3. You can adjust the volume of training by doing a specific number of reps, or you do the most repetitions in a specific time duration. For example, you can either program your circuit to require 10 repetitions for every exercise, or you can set 30 seconds for each exercise and do the most number of repetitions as you can for each exercise.
4. In circuit training, your body will be working continuously, so putting heavy loads is not advisable. Lift lighter weights or do exercises that uses only your body weight.
5. If you are doing circuit training with weights, it is better to stick with the least number of equipment or station that you will use. For example, you can use free weights or just dumbbells for all exercises instead of going from one machine to another.
6. The original protocol for circuit training has 9 to 12 exercise stations. There is no ideal number but for a general program, it is important to keep in mind that you want to work all muscles at appropriate intensities during the whole exercise session. Personally, I recommend having at least 8 exercise stations which I think would be enough for all muscle groups to be worked on. Also, it is better to do exercises that work on muscle groups compared to doing single-joint exercises (bicep curls, tricep extension, lateral raises, etc).
7. If you are using light weights or just your body weight, you can do 15 to 20 repetitions per exercise. If you are adding additional load to each exercise, try doing less repetitions. Remember that quality and safety is still more important than the total volume of your exercise.
8. How long should you rest in between exercises in circuit training? If rest intervals are too long, it diminishes the effect of circuit training to overall cardiovascular capacity. To maximize the benefit of circuit training, rest for 30 seconds or less in between circuit sets. In between individual exercises, I recommend resting for 10 to 15 seconds max for time efficiency and maintain appropriate overall exercise intensity.
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Let’s really get on with the workout!

Here’s a sample Circuit Training workout using only bodyweight which means that you can do it at home, in your office and even in your hotel room if you are travelling.

1. Jumping Jacks- 15 repsJumping-Jacks-Shoulder-Press
2. Alternating Lunges- 15 reps
3. Push ups- 15 reps
4. Oblique crunches- 15 reps per side
5. Hip bridge- 15 reps
6. Bulgarian squats- 15 reps per leg
7. Single leg superman- 15 reps per leg
8. Pike to plank- 15 reps

Circuit Training is an efficient way to decrease body fat, improve VO2 max (respiratory capacity), and even minimize risk for diabetes. As people today have less and less time for the gym, exercise methods such as circuit training may be the best option for busier individuals.

If you think you have no time for exercise, then you can now exchange total exercise time (doing the traditional station method) for total exercise effort (High Intensity Circuit Training) and get the same, or even better, health and fitness benefits.

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If you are only starting your journey into fitness, check out this mini-circuit sequence called “April wings” for the arms.

For a more elaborate article about Circuit Training, check out this ACSM Health and Fitness journal: HIGH INTENSITY CIRCUIT TRAINING USING BODYWEIGHT- Maximum Results with Minimum Investment.

strength training

Here are three bodyweight exercises that utilizes Plyometrics and works on multi-directional movements. If you are looking for very advanced functional core exercises, then these three are for you! These exercises will really work not just your core but your cardiovascular system as well, so be prepared to sweat it out.

The exercises are shown by Naudi Aguilar of Functional Patterns. He mostly trains MMA fighters but I find his exercises useful for other sports that works on agility, strength, power, and balance.

Here’s the list of the exercises with a brief description of each. They are done for 5 to 6 repetitions per exercise, with no rest in between exercises:

SHOP1. Plyometric Step-Lunge with rotation – Doing lunges is hard enough for most people, and doing plyometric lunges or ‘split squats’ is even harder. But here, Naudi Aguilar shows how to do a plyometric step-lunge (short stance) while twisting in the air to switch between legs! Proper form is definitely a must to keep yourself from busting your knee and get power from your hips.

2. Donkey Kong – the name sounds playful but this one’s really a killer. Starting on a deep squat position, you roll down on your back and then roll back to squat and stand up, then quickly exploding to a forward jump. Get your oxygen tank ready after this one!

3. Plank with Contralateral Arm and Leg Lift – for those who love planks, this one may be familiar with you. But the plank comes after those two explosive exercises, so you’ll be catching your breath a lot while holding this plank position which makes it harder. For those who aren’t familiar, it’s a full plank with an arm and the opposite leg lifted off the floor while holding the proper form of the plank. It can be quite challenging given that you’re still catching your breath at this time. Naudi does it for 10 counts or 10 long breaths per side.

Here’s the video:

 

As a gentle reminder, always make sure that you get enough rest in between sets. Don’t force yourself to finish it if you’re feeling dizzy in between the exercises.

 

Enjoy!

 

SHOP

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TRX HOME Suspension Trainer

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Here’s another rainy day workout to start your week strong and fit!

It’s an HIIT routine focusing on lower extremity strength and endurance and using just your bodyweight, so there’s no excuse not to do it if you’re just stuck at home because of the rain:

40 seconds on, 20 seconds off

ON – Wall sprints: Press both your hands against a wall then sprint!
OFF – Jog in place.
ON – Ankle Jacks: Jumping jacks with added reaching for your ankles when you go down (narrow squat).
OFF – High knees
ON – T-push ups: Push up then go to side bridge as you go up, forming a “T” with your arms; alternate sides.
OFF – Superman
ON – Burpees
OFF – Butt kicks

Do 4 to 5 sets which would last for 16 to 20mins and you’re good!

Happy workout!


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