Archive for the ‘Strengthening and Conditioning’ Category

Never EVER let your mistakes bring you down. They say experience is the best teacher and we can learn from our mistakes. Remember that there is always a second chance – another chance to improve, to do better, and to succeed.

Just look at this soccer player from Maldives, Ashad Ali Adubarey. He had this chance to score a goal for his team with a penalty kick – a one on one match between him and the goal keeper. While running towards the ball, he slipped and lost his momentum. But that did not stop him. He quickly got up and continued a few more steps toward the ball. He proceeded to kick, and scored a goal to beat Afghanistan. Some reporters say that he intentionally feigned the fall, but you could watch the video for yourself to see for yourself if it was a total wipe out or a fake.

The point is that, even after such a bad fall, we can always get up and try harder.

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Skill Factor: Premier League Soccer [Import]

Really Bend It Like Beckham: David Beckham’s Official Soccer Skills

Complete Conditioning for Soccer

Soccer Coaching:34 Soccer Goalie Drills  

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Having a well-programmed training plan and taking some precautions can greatly minimize risks to these injuries and ailments.

Here are some tips to prevent running injuries.

– Don’t Ignore Pain: From my experience as a sports therapist, most runners (and other athletes) who come to the sports clinic and complain with unbearable pain are usually those who have been ignoring the pain and discomfort for some time and waited for the pain to worsen before going to be checked and treated. Muscle soreness is natural and it is sometimes okay to ‘run through the pain‘ especially if you only feel slight soreness from your legs, but if the pain has been consistent and increasing, then it’s a sign that what you are feeling is more than just regular DOMS. If you run with sore legs, it might also mean that other muscles will be compensating for the effort. So if you feel sore but you need to add mileage, run at a slower pace.

Read about the difference between “Chronic” and “Acute” Injury here.

Rest Adequately: Most of these running injuries result from lack of enough recovery time for the body to repair and strengthen itself for your next run. At the slight feeling of unusual discomfort or pain, lessen your running load or activity and rest adequately.

Warm up and Stretch: Tightness of muscles causes an imbalance in your body. Make sure that you stretch especially after you run, holding the stretch for each area for at least 20 seconds. Before you run, warm-up properly and try to do dynamic stretching and reach the muscles ROM to ensure that they are ready. Some people and websites advice focusing the stretch for the calves, hamstring, groin and quadriceps, but a whole body stretching routine which includes other body parts that are involved with running (shins, hips, low back, abdominals, and even chest and shoulders) will ensure that your body is well-balanced and ready for your run. A good warm-up routine lasts for 5 to 10 minutes and conditions the whole body, not just the legs.

Lift those weights: Resistance or strength training can help you develop muscle strength and endurance for your runs. Resistance training also adds to your core strength. Don’t worry about bulking up from weight training – having a balanced training program will ensure that you reach your goals without adding extra weight.

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Cross train: Doing other activities or sports will develop your body in different aspects and may help you improve your agility, stamina, and coordination. This helps prevent injuries because your body becomes prepared to react to different kinds of stresses. Don’t just run – try swimming, biking, basketball, football, even wall climbing! Cross-training also minimizes risk for overuse injuries which occurs especially when you repeat the same activity (i.e., running) over and over again.

Dress appropriately: Make sure that your shoes fit right. If you have flat feet or high arc, wear appropriate shoes that meets your specific needs. Check the soles of your running shoes – running shoes are usually good after 400 to 500 kilometers. If possible, wear a separate pair for every day walking and running to prevent your shoes from wearing out quickly.

Patience is a virtue: Don’t force yourself to run longer distances too soon. A safe range for increasing distance is 10% per week. Do not try to run uphill or downhill if your body is not ready for it. It is commonly thought that running downhill is easier because you get gravity to lessen your effort, but running downhill can actually be more stressful to your joints and muscles as the body tries to ‘brake’ and control the fall.

Stay hydrated: Long duration physical activities like running may require additional 1 1/2 to 2 /12 cups of water on running days. drink 150 to 250ml of water 15 to 30 minutes prior to your run. Try to drink at least 150ml of water after every 15 minutes during your run. Hydrate with a sports drink after your long run to replenish lost liquids and electrolytes.

Talk to a coach or trainer: If you are serious about wanting to improve your performance and adding up to your mileage, talking to a professional is the best thing to do. Reading about training programs and running regimens may not be enough. Doing what other seasoned runners in your club may not even be beneficial. Individualization of your running program is very important not only because it will significantly improve your performance, but it will also decrease risks for injuries.

Check out running shoes and other gears from Amazon.

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Have you experienced any running injuries? How did you recover?

Do you find these tips helpful?
What else do you want to know about running injuries and ailments?
Let me know in the comments?

Check out these ebooks for your Kindle and iPad:

Running Injuries: Treatment and Prevention by Jeff Galloway

Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running: The Best Advice to Get Started, Stay Motivated, Lose Weight, Run Injury-Free, Be Safe, and Train for Any Distance

ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running




Get Ripped in 90 Days


10 Minute Trainer - Workout for the Busiest People

Today marks the two weeks I’m finally employed as a Personal Trainer at a prime gym in Toronto. As a starter, I am still trying to establish a client base so I have to devote more of my time to meet clients and have them booked. Hopefully as weeks pass, I’d be able to have a saner and more regular schedule. It’s hard to find time to write for now, but I will try to do it more often as I adjust to my schedule.

As a personal trainer, I prefer dynamic and functional exercises more than using weight machines like as a runner, I prefer running outside than on the treadmill. Machines have their value-  beginners benefit from them as they learn how to activate their muscles; body builders can use them to supplement their sets and work their muscles to exhaustion; the elderly rely on them for additional support and stability while they pursue their fitness goals. However, if you are someone who trains in the gym to be stronger, improve your performance, increase muscle mass, or lose fat mass, you wouldn’t want to restrict yourself to those limited weight machines. You burn more calories if you do exercises in an athletic stance compared to doing exercises sitting down on a machine. Your core gets activated because you have to engage not just the agonist muscles, but also the antagonist and synergist muscles when you use free weights. One of the best free weights available are the kettle bells. Today kettle bells come in different shapes and sizes, and advanced ones are easily weight-adjustable but you can always rely on a traditional kettle bell. Start to learn the basic primal movements with a light kettle bell (usually 10 lbs) and build up to improve your balance, coordination, and power.

Here is a great video that shows lots of amazing things you can do with a kettle bell:

Get your kettle bells from Amazon. Click here for more choices.
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Are you looking for a dynamic body weight workout? Do you want to do a challenging circuit but you don’t have time for the gym? Are you bored of doing the same exercises again and again?

Then you should try the TRX suspension training system! 

What is the TRX suspension training system?
The TRX suspension training system, or simply the TRX was designed by a Navy Seal who wanted and needed to stay in shape even while at work. Since they are usually on the field, he had to develop something that requires a limited amount of space and use whatever equipment available. He adapted the rope exercise system and developed it into a cable and further into suspension training. The whole idea is to let your body weight “hang” using the suspension system for a whole body workout. Realizing how effective yet compact the training system was, TRX made its way into the fitness industry and is now being used by professional sports teams, MMA fighters, coaches, and top trainers around the world.

 

How does TRX suspension training work?
TRX is a type of training that uses gravity and your own body weight to build strength, endurance, balance, coordination, flexibility, core and joint stability. It is completely safe to use by anyone and even minimizes risk of strain and other injuries. Even without using weighted plates for resistance, the challenging suspension exercises helps improve muscular performance and bone density.

Here are the advantages of the TRX suspension training system and some tips on how to maximize your workouts:

TRX RIP Training
What is the TRX suspension trainer?

    • No matter what your training goals may be, the TRX can help! If you are a beginner, you can lessen your training time by working your whole body, switching from one exercise to another in literally just seconds! This efficient tool also strengthens the core muscles – your abdominals, hips, gluteals, back, and lats. Because your body is constantly challenged by gravity, every exercise using the TRX suspension training system engages and totally works the core! You will improve not just your strength and stamina, but also your flexibility, balance, coordination, and stability. Since every physical activity that we do in life needs a strong core, you will definitely benefit from this versatile exercise equipment. Whether it is bending over to pick up the pen you dropped in your office, washing your car, playing sports with your kids, or participating in the Ironman, you will benefit from a strong core that is well developed by the TRX suspension training system. Having a strong core is important to minimize the risks and prevent injuries not just on your low back, but throughout your entire body. Think about how getting a strong core and stable trunk improves not just exercise performance but more importantly your way of life!
    • With the TRX suspension training system, you use your own body weight to workout according to your own fitness level, needs, and goals. You can easily decrease the intensity of the exercises just by stepping closer to where you anchored your cable system. If you think you are ready for more challenging workouts, then step away from your anchor and you already increased the intensity of your TRX workout. You don’t need to keep adjusting the plates on your barbell or dumbbell! You can constantly challenge your body and quickly adjust the intensity that you need specifically per exercise.
    • If you want to build muscle size and strength, the TRX suspension training system is also the exercise equipment of choice.This dependable exercise tool actually works better than using gym equipment like machines, barbells or dumbbells since apart from working out targeted muscles, you also challenge your core constantly in every workout! TRX also strengthens all the stabilizing muscles around the joints that you are currently working on and challenges your whole body in a way that it has not been challenged before when you were using gym weights or machines. The TRX suspension training system offers workouts that results to more strength and power from your exercise routines and gives you a strong foundation with less chances of muscle strains and injury. If you are up to a more challenging workout, TRX can also be a great tool for plyometric type training for an added increase in your power output.
    • The TRX suspension training system can indeed be very challenging and intense but it is also low impact, ensuring the safety of each exercise that you do.  You can wear a weight vest to make the exercises even more challenging. The TRX helps you reach some ranges of motion that you may not have been able to reach before. It offers great support while recruiting more muscles.
    • Are you looking for a cardio workout to lose weight and build muscle endurance? The TRX will fire multiple muscles, which increases the heart rate, burning more calories than sitting or standing through a “traditional” exercise. TRX can keep you constantly moving from one exercise to the next in a circuit-like manner. This strengthens your heart as well as increases muscular endurance.


10 Minute Trainer - Workout for the Busiest People

Can I use the TRX suspension training system for cardio workouts?

Yes, you can! The TRX fires multiple muscles, including the large muscles of the hips, back, and core, which will increase the heart rate and burn more calories. In fact, it burns more fat than sitting or standing through a “traditional” exercise routine. With the TRX suspension training system, you can constantly move from one exercise to another, just like in a circuit or high intensity interval training. This will surely strengthen your heart (cardiovascular system) as well as increase muscular endurance.

What is the advantage of training using the TRX over traditional training?
Traditional styles of training are usually performed in one plane of movement – forward or backward as in pulling or pushing types of exercises. If you are a beginner in most gym, you may even be required to do the exercise in a seated position to minimize injury. For most exercises that use big muscle groups in the upper body, you do it sitting down. An example would be doing a seated chest press, a seated cable row, or a leg press, none of which challenge the core the way we need it to work for our daily activities. The TRX is a functional training system which means that it mimics the movements that we do in our daily routine. We don’t always move in a forward, backward motion and supported by a seat in our day to day physical activities. We need to engage the core as we move left, right, forward, backward, diagonal, twist, and bend. This is exactly how the TRX suspension training helps prevent injuries while developing a strong and stable core. By challenging the body in other planes of motion, you are training and exercising for daily activities and reducing chances of injury.

What are the exercises that I can do to enhance my performance?
Like any new exercise program or introduction to new equipment you have to start with the basics until you have mastered the proper form and technique. This helps you recruit the appropriate muscles and prevent injuries after a couple of weeks of training. The TRX suspension training package includes exercises that you can do safely and effectively at home, in the office, or anywhere you bring your TRX to! Here are some of the basic exercises that you would start off with when you first get going on the TRX: Chest Press, Row, Lunge, Squat, Plank, Tucks, Pike, Side Lunge, Oblique Twist, Back Extension.

Read more about the TRX suspension trainer here and see some exercises.

Who is TRX training for?
You can see that the TRX system is very versatile for everyone: young, old, pro-athlete, recreational athlete, stay at home mom, body builder – no matter what your goals are and what your fitness level is, the TRX suspension trainer is for you!

Get started and take your physique to the next level!

Click the banner below to order your gym in a bag now!



Become a TRX Trainer

This month, I posted about how to prepare for the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist written exam and Tips about the Canfitpro – PTS exam. I already got my certification from Canfitpro as a Personal Training Specialist but it took me a while to post this blog because I got caught up editing my resume and searching for jobs as a Personal Trainer. In any case, here’s the third part of my blog on how to prepare, study, and pass your Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist certification.

Click the links below for my previous posts about the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist written exam:

Reviewing for the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist Exam

Passing the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist Written Exam

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Canfitpro foundationsI finally was able to take my Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist practical evaluation exam a couple of weeks ago, a day before Black Friday. It wasn’t as maundy that day because after the long wait and preparation, I passed my Canfitpro – PTS practical evaluation! My wife also passed her G driving license exam, and it was just her first take. If you have passed your Canfitpro – PTS theory exam, then your Canfitpro instructor-trainer will set a schedule with you on when to have your practical evaluation, which is the last part in Canfitpro Personal Training Specialist certification.

I passed my theory exam with a score of 83%the passing score is 80% for the Canfitpro Personal Training Specialist theory exam. The written exam is a combination of multiple choice questions and short answer portions worth 100 points each. I did not take the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist course and just studied by myself since I have a degree in Sports Science. I alloted almost a month to study the book and DVD, and answered the Study Guide thrice. Some people I know who did take the Canfitpro – PTS course got scores around 85%, so getting away with 83% without taking the course is considerably good.

canfitpro study guideThe instructor-trainer sent me a congratulatory email indicating that I passed the written part of the certification and instructions on what to expect on the practical part of the certification. I set a schedule to have my practical evaluation after two weeks which I thought was enough time for me to prepare, and also because my instructor-trainer’s schedule limitations. The day finally came and after an hour of the Canfitpro – PTS practical evaluation exam, the instructor-trainer discussed with me my scores, my strengths and weaknesses, my points for improvement, and then congratulated me for passing my practical evaluation and finally being certified as a Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist. I got a total score of 157 over 160 points which is equivalent to a 98% grade.

I have been teaching Pilates since 2010 and have had an experience in Personal Training in the Philippines, so I am used to the practical part of being a Personal Trainer. The most important thing to do to prepare and pass your Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist practical evaluation is to practice, practice, and practice.

When you’re done practicing, practice a little more! You’re through with the written part of your exam. That is supposed to test your ‘theory‘ – how much you know about fitness and exercise science. The practical evaluation is to test how good you apply your knowledge to actual situations as a Personal Trainer.
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Here are my tips for passing the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist practical evaluation:
Read the instructions carefully. The email that your instructor-trainer will send you after passing your theory exam will contain ALL of the information you need for your practical evaluation. It includes a case study client, and the evaluation form that your instructor-trainer will use on the day of your practical evaluation. Read through your client case, understand each part of the evaluation form and if possible, practice by yourself using the evaluation form.


Become a TRX Trainer

Take your time. No matter how badly you want to start your career as a Personal Trainer and get a job, finishing your certification is a crucial step. Someone who took the written exam on the same day I did already scheduled for a job interview, and after the written exam, she was worried because she might not pass the theory part and not get certified in time for her job interview. Take one step at a time, but take each step carefully and excellently! After getting your congratulatory email, think about how long you might need to study and prepare for your practical evaluation – yes, you still need to study and review. You can read from the email which sections of the book Foundations of Personal Training you will need to review.

Practice makes perfect, really. If you haven’t done Personal Training before, practice with a pseudo-client for at least three sessions. Ask a friend or a relative to be your client and ask him/her to observe your teaching techniques and even evaluate you after every session. Use the client card format from Canfitpro to make a real exercise program for your practice. Compute for the HRR and BMI, and use these values to make your program. You will need to bring with you your own client to your practical evaluation, so practicing with a pseudo-client is good because that person will already know what to expect from a training session on the day of your evaluation.

Get the Canfitpro – Foundations of Professional Personal Training here.

Bring a client who is familiar with the gym. You are supposed to bring one client with you on your Canfitpro – PTS practical evaluation. You will use the case-study data given through your email to make a program for your client. Having someone who is familiar with the gym will save you from awkward moments during the practical evaluation and save you time because he or she already knows what to do. For me, I had someone who is taking Kinesiology as my pseudo-client, and she is also a certified personal trainer, so she already knew what to do and what to expect. She even comments hints and clues during my practical evaluation! You don’t need to befriend a Kinesiology student or personal trainer tomorrow to have a pseudo-client. As I’ve said, pracitise with a friend or relative so that your pseudo-client will already have an idea of what you will make him/her do during the practical evaluation.

Translate and communicate. As I have said, the Canfitpro – PTS practical evaluation part is to test how good you are in applying your knowledge to actual situations. Practice talking your pseudo-client through the program: goals, FITT principle for muscular capacity and cardiovascular capacity, muscles used, and flexibility. You can read from the instructions from your email about this – take note of the points you will be graded for and practice. The point of the practical evaluation is to see how you translate exercise science into a language that is understandable to your client.

Practice the physical assessments. My instructor-trainer told me that most people who fail the Canfitpro – PTS practical evaluation flunks the physical assessment part. Don’t be one of them. Study how to do the sit-and-reach test and the 1-minute push up test, and how to interpret the results. Again, translate the data from the physical assessments and communicate well to your client why it is relevant for them. For me, I did a modified sit-and-reach test by doing a V-sit test and using a tape measure that I personally brought. I confidently showed my instructor-trainer that I knew what I was doing, and I interpreted the results to my client. Basically, the table from the book shows a percentile comparison for appropriate age and values. You just have to relate how the fitness results of your client is close to the average, which is the 50th percentile. Match the result with your client’s age and if she’s on a lower percentile (below average, less than 50%) then tell your client that you would want to improve on it. If your client’s result is on the higher percentile (above average, more than 50%) then affirm your client and tell your client the implications of the fitness result.

Buy the Canfitpro – Foundations of Professional Personal Training Study Guide from Amazon.

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Talk the talk. The Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist practical evaluation will not only test you on how much you know, but on how you communicate to your client. Do you affirm the correct things your client does during the exercise? Do you know how to motivate well? Do you use the right words and cues for each exercise? Practice motivating your pseudo-client and teaching him/her how each exercise should be done, which muscles are targeted or worked on, and the practical uses of each exercise.

Train as if you meant it. Your Canfitpro instructor-trainer will also look for qualities like enthusiasm, confidence, and sincerity in you as a potential Personal Trainer. Internalize the program that you wrote on the client card. Even if you are only helping a pseudo-client, train as if you meant it.

Dress up. Dress like you meant it! Wear comfortable but appropriate clothes. You can wear training shoes, track pants, and a collared shirt on your practical evaluation.

Be yourself. If you have really studied, planned, and prepared for your practical evaluation and you feel that you did everything to be ready, then that’s it! Be confident and just be yourself. It’s important to bring your personality to the table as you go through your session. On a job interview the other day, I was asked by the Fitness Manager to describe what type of a trainer I am, or what is my approach in Personal Training. Develop your own approach and style that fits your personality and characteristics. This will help you be more comfortable as a personal trainer and ace your Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist practical exam!

Do you think you’re ready to be a Canfitpro Certified Personal Trainer?

You can read my posts about the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist written exam from the links here:

Reviewing for the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist Exam

Passing the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist Written Exam

I hope you found these helpful! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or how your exam goes!

All the best!


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What’s your motivation for running and being fit?

Click here for more motivational posts.

People often go to the gym and workout to be strong, get ripped, or improve their figure but apart from that, exercise has more practical benefits. Even if you are not a competitive athlete, you still have a reason to aim for optimal strength, endurance, and fitness. If you think you are not motivated to be fit and you really just can’t find a reason to exercise, watch the video below.

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The “super dad” in this video was able to save his daughter from being hit and ran over by a speeding wagon carrying two other children from a hill. If that guy was not fit enough or can’t run, his daughter may have been badly hurt and injured. Have you ever thought that you can be fit for your family or for other people who are special to you?

Getting fit is not merely about looking great and being able to do weird things. Being healthy and strong may also mean being the best that you can be for your family and those who are important to you. Fitness is not merely an egoistic and self-centered goal, but we can aim to be fit for others around us.

Start working out!




Get Ripped in 90 Days


10 Minute Trainer - Workout for the Busiest People


The TRX suspension trainer  is the best versatile tool that is portable and easy to use. You can easily attach it to your doorpost or a pole if you are on the go and have no access to your gym. The exercises that you can do will challenge your core and work your upper body muscles and even your legs. Because it works the whole body, you are sure to burn calories and tone muscles on the go. You can easily shift from one exercise to another and do your own circuit training using your body weight.

Read about the TRX here.

You still don’t believe that you can do lots of exercises by just using the TRX suspension trainer and your body weight and work your upper body muscles, core, and legs? Check out this video below and see 70 various exercises that you can do with the TRX suspension training system!

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The TRX suspension trainer is safe to use and the package comes with a easy-to-read guide for exercises that you can do at home, in your office, or even at the beach!

If you don’t have your TRX yet, get yours now from amazon through the links below!


TRX Suspension Trainer


TRX HOME Suspension Trainer


Become a TRX Trainer