Preliminary research on high-intensity training benefits may motivate people who prefer short training sessions and are concerned about diabetes risk. University of Glasgow researchers in Scotland found that 15-minute strength training workouts, done three times a week for 6 weeks, dramatically improved insulin sensitivity and boosted muscle size and strength among 10 young, overweight men.Read More
If you’re looking for a different way to progress a client’s lower-body strength, consider adding a weighted vest to the training program. Specifically, wearing a progressively heavier weighted vest while stepping may be effective in boosting lower-body power and functional ability among older women.Read More
It’s not over in 9 months. A new mother’s body keeps changing long after the baby arrives. Hormonal shifts, breastfeeding and risks like pelvic organ prolapse (see “3 Issues for Postpartum Exercisers,” below) complicate the weeks and months after childbirth.Read More
Resistance training volume (RTV) is the total amount of work performed during a session of lifting; in other words, RTV = reps x sets x load (the product of repetitions times number of sets times intensity of load) (Figueiredo, de Salles & Trajano 2018). Any one of these variables can be adjusted to increase volume in a resistance training (RT) program. For example, you can increase RTV by performing extra sets of an exercise, adding more repetitions or increasing the weight being lifted.Read More
It’s that time of year when springtime reinvigorates clients and participants, coaxing them to come out of hibernation and play. Why not leave the fluorescent lights behind and take class outside? Parks, fields, even parking lots are great places to lead outdoor workouts. There are options for everyone—and you don’t have to lug around a bunch of equipment, either. Maximize your time and space by incorporating simple, effective body-weight exercises that improve strength, speed, power and flexibility.Read More
Mindful movement practices like yoga and Pilates allow you to incorporate flexibility, core work and body awareness into your current client programming. Core yoga is a practice that blends the precision, control and core-strengthening benefits of Pilates with the mindful and meditative benefits of yoga.
Try this core yoga slow-flow sequence and share it with your clients!Read More
If you teach high-intensity classes, you may have noticed that many of your devoted students don’t take advantage of gentler options, such as restorative yoga, foam rolling or low-impact classes. Cross-training is necessary for peak fitness and reduced injury risk, yet persuading participants to try something new or different is not so easy. This class, Mindfulness and Strength, prioritizes mindfulness and flexibility.Read More
It’s 2 a.m. Your 3-month-old son is screaming at the top of his tiny lungs, waking up everyone in the household. You lie still, pretending to be asleep, knowing it’s your turn to get up and console your little one. Then you feel a nice solid push in the back: Your partner knows your game—and is not playing.Read More
The more we move, the better we live. Even a few minutes of exercise is better than sitting still.
These are just two of the conclusions in the recent report from the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, whose recommendations form a sound foundation for integrating exercise into our daily lives.Read More
Resistance training does much more than build strong muscles and bones. Research in the past few years has confirmed that lifting weights changes human metabolism in ways that improve health and well-being. That’s good news for clients with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol levels.Read More
The dynamic motions of sport require peak power—that is, the most strength a muscular contraction can muster in one of these quick bursts. Sporting athletes depend on peak power for jumping, running, throwing, striking, swinging and kicking. Scientists prefer the term “neuromuscular power” (to just “power” itself) because neural factors—including motor unit recruitment, muscle fiber firing frequency and synchronization of a muscle’s contractile forces—are involved.Read More
“Have a ball” with your class using this fun format, which incorporates exercise balls into cardiovascular and strength intervals. Each 8-minute round uses either a stability ball or a medicine ball, 4 minutes of high-intensity cardio training (combined), and about 4 minutes of strength-focused work (combined). For those who also enjoy a core challenge, this class delivers.Read More
Indoor cycling remains one of the hottest formats; it’s still credited with being a turnkey class that introduces men to the group exercise schedule. One reason indoor cycling is still viable is that it’s always reinventing itself. Over the past 20 years, it has evolved and survived many changes: new bike options, top-line educational programs and metric technology, to name a few. Currently, fusion classes are trending, and boutique studios are marketing their unique claims to a total-body workout.Read More
At the medical clinic where I work as an exercise physiologist, a patient came to see me; let’s call him John. He was healthy, but his fasting blood glucose levels were high. He was in his mid-40s and had low muscle mass. John was not on medication and wanted to avoid it. He asked my advice.Read More
Forearm plank, side plank, plank with hip dips—all are group exercise favorites. The plank is one of the most familiar and effective choices for core work, and it’s an easy addition. However, how many times can you program that same old plank? Fortunately, with a little creativity, a basic plank can be amazingly versatile. Just add simple movements and a little resistance to make an already challenging move even more interesting and effective.
The following variations are best for participants who can hold a plank with
good form for at least a minute.
Do your over-55 clients or class members want to travel for pleasure but need more strength, stamina and mobility? Do they worry they’ll miss seeing the world because they lack physical ability?Read More
STUDIES REVIEWED: Cormie, P., McGuigan, M.R., & Newton, R.U. 2011a. Developing maximal neuromuscular power: Part 1—Biological basis of maximal power production. Sports Medicine, 41 (1), 17–38.
Cormie, P., McGuigan, M.R., & Newton, R.U. 2011b. Developing maximal neuromuscular power: Part 2—Training considerations for improving maximal power production. Sports Medicine, 41 (2), 125–46.Read More
IDEA Fitness Journal