Category: Fitness Advice
At Alive, we have top of the range Nautilus Training Equipment. Here are some principles for its use:
Intensity: The higher the intensity the better the muscles are stimulated. Performing a Nautilus exercise to the point of momentary muscular failure assures that you’ve trained to maximum intensity. Muscular failure occurs when no additional repetitions are possible. As with any weight lifting it is the last few reps that count because the intensity is high.
Progression: The cornerstone of Nautilus Training is progression. Experience hads shown that at least 8 reps and mot more than 12 should be performed. If you cannot do 8 reps the weight is too heavy; over 12 then the weight is not heavy enough.
Form: Form refers to the speed and range of movement and is very important to your Nautilus Training Program. When repetitions are performed in a slow smooth manner steady force is applied throughout the entire movement. The range of movement of each repetition fromfull extension to full flexion – should be as complete as possible. To contract fully a muscle must always work through a full range of movement.
The Negative: In normal positive – negative exercise perfromed on Nautilus equipment you should always concentrate on the lowering – negative – part of the movement. If it takes two seconds to lift a weight smoothly it should take four seconds to lower it.
Duration: If each Nautilus exercise is done properly in a high intensity fashion brief workouts must be the rule. If high intensity work is followed by an adequate period of rest muscular growth and an increase in strength will result. Intensive work however must not be overdone. The advanced athletes must reduce their overall Nautilus exercise from 12 to 10 and train at high intensity only twice a week for instance Monday they might train hard, on wednesday less strenuous and on friday hard again. The wenesday workout does not stimulat growth but prevents muscle atrophy.
When Training With Nautilus…
1. Perform one set of 4-6 exercises for the lower body and 6-8 exercises for the upper body and not more than 12 exercises in a workout.
2. Select a weight for each exercise that allows you to do between 8 and 12 reps.
3. Continue each exercise until no additional reps are possible. When 12 or more reps are performed increase the weight.
4. Work the largest muscles first and move swiftly from one exercise to the next. This procedure developes cardiovascular endurance.
5. Concentrate on flexibility by slowly stretching during the first three repetitions of each exercise.
6. Accentuate the lowering portion of each rep.
7. Move slower never faster, if in doubt about the speed of movement.
8. Do everything possible to isolate and work each large muscle group to exhaustion.
9. Attempt to constantly increase the number of reps or the amount of weight, or both. But do not sacrifice form in an attempt to produce results.
10. Train no more than 3x a week on Nautilus. You can do a ‘light’ cardiovascular sessions on none weight bearing days .
11. Keep accurate records of your training; dates resistance and reps.
12. Vary your workouts
Hit that plateau? Try a circuit for the next two weeks. Instead of doing a set, resting, and then doing your second set move on to multiple exercises in a circuit, so that you don’t rest between exercises but do rest each muscle group. This will give you a good cardio workout while you do your strength training.
|| Limit your workouts
Though the tendency of some people who really want to get a lot out of their workouts is to spend a lot of time at the gym, the truth is that after 30 or 40 minutes, the benefit isn’t as great. To go that long, you’d have to lower the intensity of the workout, and that means that you’re spending too much time working out. It’s better to work out at a higher intensity for a shorter amount of time.
If you’re just starting out with exercise, it’s best to take it slow. If you’re running or cycling, for example, build up your endurance for at least a month before you get into anything more intense. That means going at a rate where you can easily talk without being out of breath. However, once you have that base of endurance, step up the intensity to step up the effectiveness of the workout.
|| Pick a cardio exercise you enjoy
It’s no fun to exercise if you hate it. And you won’t keep it up for very long. Pick something that you enjoy; the treadmill for jogging or hill walking, cycling or spinning for a more intense and instructed workout. Rowing and the stairmaster excellent for legs and glutes and the cross trainer for an all over non-impact workout. After the initial phase when you’re getting used to exercise, you’ll start to have a blast and look forward to it.
Slow lifting: Many people contract their muscles slowly and then release more quickly. But if you lift slowly in both directions, you are maximizing each move. Lift and lower to a 5-second count in each direction.
Heavier weight: When you’re starting out, it’s best to start with lower weights so you can focus on good form. But once you’ve gotten your form down, it’s best to lift the heaviest weights you can lift while still keeping good form. Don’t sacrifice form for heavy weights — that is ineffective.
Try maximizing the time you spend in a workout by doing exercises that work out multiple muscle groups at once. With just a few exercises, you could get a full-body workout. Another benefit is that your muscles are working together functionally as they do in the real world, rather than alone. Some great compound exercises include squats, dead-lifts, good mornings, lunges, push-ups, bench presses, military presses, rows, pull-ups, dips, and more.
Personal trainer, Matt Dunn, runs through a highly effective training system which can easily be done as part of your gym routine.
There are numerous approaches to resistance training and deciding which one to apply to your own routine can be confusing. In truth as individuals we all respond differently to varying types of exercise. The majority of people respond well to new stimulus, “keeping your body guessing” if you like.
If you are looking for some variety to your weights (resistance) routine why not give the SuperSlow training system a go. The tempo of an exercise refers to how long it takes to complete each stroke/phase of the movement, it is commonly around 1:1 (1 second lifting and 1 second lowering) or 2:2. SuperSlow exercises are performed at a much slower tempo, the idea being that muscles are under tension for a much longer period of time, typically 80-120 seconds. Exercises are performed for a single set until you can’t continue. Because of the increased time under load you will have to reduce the amount of weight used for a given exercise by up to 60%.
There are a number of benefits to adopting the SuperSlow approach. Firstly, because of the decreased loads used it is structurally less demanding for the body so it is well suited for people with joint/arthritic problems, older people or those suffering from injury. Working at a slow tempo also encourages a greater level of muscle awareness throughout a full range of movement. If you are short of time then SuperSlow training can be very effective as workouts tend to be under for the whole body and completed within 20 min! It should be noted that whilst SuperSlow training is beneficial in many ways it doesn’t have much crossover for most sports/activities that require increased acceleration and will not be as effective if you want to achieve maximal strength and power from your training. However as a tool to add new stimulus and variety to your program and as a method of maintaining strength during injury it is a great approach.
Don’t be mistaken into thinking that because you are working slowly and for only 20 mins that the SuperSlow training is easy. Because you are working to exhaustion on each set it proves a challenging workout!
Have a go at the workout below; perform 1 set of each exercise with as many reps as possible. The tempo remains the same throughout. As you become stronger increase the load or the number of repetitions to progress your training.
1 – Leg Press 10:10
2 – Chest Press 8:8
3 – Leg Curls 6:6
4 – Shoulder Press 8:8
5 – Lat Pull Down 8:8
6 – Abdominal Crunch 5:5
For more help on how to apply SuperSlow training to your sessions or advice on how to refresh your gym routine, talk to one of the personal trainers in the gym or book in for a program review on reception.
Personal Trainer Joe Addison gives us his top tips for avoiding injury whilst Running.
Statistically , around 75% of runners will be injured at least once a year.
Many people assume this is just part of being a runner, but it doesn’t have
to be the case. Learning to run with better form can help reduce the risk
of injury significantly.
Once of the most common types of running injury is simply overuse. Going
out and running 6 times a week is going to lead to all sorts of problems.
If you are just starting out as a runner, you need to avoid doing Too Much
Too Soon. Many injuries can be dodged by keeping the volume and
intensity low and build up gradually. 3 times a week is plenty.
Stay Off Your Heels
If you over stride, you are more likely to land heel first with your leg
straight, which sends a huge impact spike up through your ankles, knees and
hips. The only reason you don’t notice this is because you have a layer of
foam under your heel which masks (but doesn’t stop) the spike.
Keep your stride short, with your feet landing underneath rather than in
front of you. Try to keep your knees bent and land on the balls of your
feet. Studies have shown that this significantly reduces impact forces.
Mix It Up
Plodding along at the same pace every time you run will usually result in
either boredom or a plateau (or both). If you want to improve as a runner
you need to vary your training a bit.
My favourite method is *Fartlek *(no laughing!). Fartlek is Swedish for
‘speed play’ and basically involves speeding up or slowing down whenever
you feel like it. You could say “I’m going to sprint to the next lamp post”
or “I’ll speed up until the end of this song, then walk for a bit”
Now I’m not saying that these things will magically result in you running
injury free for the rest of your life, but they will go a long way towards
helping you avoid the most common runners complaints.
Recovery after exercise is essential to muscle and tissue repair and strength building. This is even more critical after a heavy weight training session. A muscle needs anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild depending on the intensity of your exercise
session, your adaptation to training, level of fitness, and past exercise
nutrition and working it again too soon simply leads to tissue breakdown instead of building. For weight training routines, never work the same muscles groups two days in a row.
No matter how hard you train you will not gain optimal benefit from your training without
That first hour following intensive exercise can be said to be the most important in
ensuring quick full recovery. So………
- Warm down properly on a bike or rowing machine
- Ensure adequate nutrition
- Ensure adequate rest, making sure you gain enough rest between exercise bouts
- Plan your workouts, try to include lighter workouts to enable your body time to recover from more intensive sessions
- Stretch – it will aid in the flexibility of muscles and reduce the likelihood of injury
The most important thing you can do to recovery quickly is to listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, sore or notice decreased performance you may need more recovery time or a break from training altogether. If you are feeling strong the day after a hard workout, you don’t have to force yourself to go slow. If you pay attention, in most cases, your body will let you know what it needs, when it needs it. The problem for many of us is that we don’t listen to those warnings or we dismiss them with our own self talk (“I can’t be tired, I didn’t run my best yesterday” or “No one else needs two rest days after that workout; they’ll think I’m a wimp if I go slow today.”).
Listen to your body to get the most from it!
As Toby has been on his holidays, we asked Personal Trainer Matt Dunn to step in and give us his tip of the month!
Spring in your step!
As March draws to a close its hard to believe that summer hasn’t arrived early. The spring weather has been unseasonably hot and Brighton and Hove seafront and beach has been busy with locals and tourists alike. The sunny weather is an incentive for many to move up a gear with their exercise routine in order to look and feel their best for the summer.
Most people like familiarity and routine which can lead to a training plateau if you are in the habit of doing the same exercises every time you come to the gym. If you want to stimulate change in your body then you have to approach your training differently – change the order of the exercises in your programme or substitute new exercises in place of familiar ones. Speak to one of our personal trainers about designing a new programme in order to overcome an exercise plateau and maximise the results of your effort in the gym.
One of the best ways of introducing variety into your exercise routine is mixing classes in with your gym work. As the evenings are getting lighter and the weather has been so warm and dry we have decided to take some of our classes outside onto Regency Square – weather and participants permitting! If you are a class regular, why not try a completely new and different class or add a gym session into your weekly routine and use some of the equipment, you’ll be surprised at how the variety can promote positive change!
Personal Training Benefits
The benefits of exercise are widely documented and using the gym is a great way of enjoying them. Whether you are coming to the gym to improve your fitness, change your body shape, improve your energy or relieve some of the stress of modern life. Personal training at Alive can make that experience more effective for you!
Using a personal trainer is a great way of helping you achieve your goals safely and effectively. At Alive we have a team of highly experienced personal trainers available to support you in getting the most out of your time in the gym.
Our trainers offer a free consultation to find out about you so you can work together in a relaxed environment to discuss your goals and come up with a challenging realistic plan on how to achieve them whatever your current fitness level. There is a wealth of conflicting information out there and ours trainers can work with you to tailor your training to suit your individual needs in an enjoyable and effective way. We believe that if you are enjoying your exercise you will put more in and get more out of it!
Why not work with one of our personal trainers to get more from your gym sessions PLUS mention this newsletter and receive £5 off your first session! You can approach Toby, Matt or Jenny directly or ask at Reception for more information.
By Matt Dunn
The human soul, each of us will recognise its existence as well as its mystery. There is in each of us that infinite ability to be touched, to be inspired and overwhelmed by wonder. There is also in each of us a driving force that strives for significance, yearns for intimacy, longs to know and to be known. Such is the power of the human soul. Each man is an individual, made for a purpose, with the capacity to enjoy the miraculous experience of being human. We find personal well-being not through self-seeking but by giving of ourselves to others.
Spiritual fitness is achieved through exercising out capacity to care for and help another person. Too often we are victimised by cultural existence that our work be the sourse of our greatness and purpose. We are taught to measure our success by the money that we earn, the promotion that we achieve or the material goods that we possess. The health of our soul depends upon exercising our abilities in service to others. As we give ourselves away we find purpose and spiritual fitness.
A healthy soul needs to exercise a close loving relationship. Intimacy means being vulnerable to another person experiencing your true self. It means being entrusted with the same self-disclosure made by someone else. Intimacy is one soul touching another. It is the lover listening to and acknowledging his lovers deepest concern and feelings…
While resolutions are well-intentioned, unfortunately most people fail at keeping them. With all the hype surrounding these promises, it’s easy to get caught up in them without really taking them seriously. We live in a throw-away society and even our resolutions, I’m afraid, are not immune. However, especially for promises that include improving our health it’s in our best interest to not take them lightly. So, what’s the secret to successful resolutions? While you can’t wave a magic wand and make your resolution come true, there are some easy steps to take to make it easier to fulfil your promise to yourself.
Choose an obtainable goal. Resolving to look like a super model is not realistic for the majority of us, but promising to include daily physical activity in our lives is very possible.
Avoid choosing a resolution that you’ve been unsuccessful at achieving year after year. This will only set you up for failure, frustration and disappointment. If you are still tempted to make a promise that you’ve made before, then try altering it. For example, instead of stating that you are going to lose 30 pounds, try promising to eat healthier and increase your weekly exercise.
Create a game plan. At the beginning of January, write a comprehensive plan. All successful businesses start with a business plan that describes their mission and specifics on how they will achieve it. Write your own personal plan and you’ll be more likely to succeed as well.
Break it down and make it less intimidating. Rather than one BIG end goal, dissect it into smaller pieces. Set several smaller goals to achieve throughout the year that will help you to reach the ultimate goal. Then even if you aren’t able to reach your final goal, you will have many smaller, but still significant, achievements along the way. For example, if your goal is to complete a 10K race, your smaller goals could be running a 5K in less than 30 minutes, adding upper and lower body strength training to increase your muscular endurance, and running 2 miles with a personal best completion time.
Ask friends and family members to help you so you have someone to be accountable to. Just be sure to set limits so that this doesn’t backfire and become more irritating than helpful. For example, if you resolve to be more positive ask them to gently remind you when you start talking negatively.
Reward yourself with each milestone. If you’ve stuck with your resolution for 2 months, treat yourself to something special. But, be careful of your reward type. If you’ve lost 5 pounds, don’t give yourself a piece of cake as an award. Instead, treat yourself to a something non-food related, like a professional massage.
Don’t go it alone! Get professional assistance. Everyone needs help and sometimes a friend just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the help of a trained professional. Don’t feel that seeking help is a way of copping out. Especially when it comes to fitness, research studies have shown that assistance from a fitness professional greatly improves peoples success rate.
Limit your number of promises. You’ll spread yourself too thin trying to make multiple changes in your life. This will just lead to failure of all of the resolutions.
On average only about 20% of us keep our New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, some of the biggest failures are found in fitness resolutions. But don’t let the statistics get you down. By following the tips above you’ll be better equipped to fall into the successful 20% category.
Please don’t hesitate to ask one of the PT’s here for help kickstarting your new year.
Skiing is a great and exciting hobby to have. However a week away skiing can often end in sore limbs and bruised bottoms. Skiing involves muscles you never knew you had. If you are planning on skiing this winter, our personal trainers have the means to prepare your body for the demands of skiing. It a good idea to start this programme as soon as you can because you can’t practice skiing before you’re on the snow, not only that many of us ski only a few times a year, so we don’t have enough consistency to keep our bodies conditioned for it.
Get your body ready with this ski fit ready program by Jonathan.
Start on the x-trainer using the x-train aerobics program; choose the level that you like to work with for 10-20 min.
Next squats 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps
Lunges 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps
Chin up 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps
Dips 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps
Wobble board squats 2 sets of 8-20 reps
Gym ball wall squats and static hold 2 sets of 8-20 reps
Gym ball crunches
Row machine or stepper for 10-30 min at moderate intensity
Finish with a good long stretch session.
Lets hit the slopes!