360 Fitness, Tyler, TX

Overlooked: Weight Training to Control Weight

Many people begin a new physical fitness training program with one goal in mind: weight control. Whether it is weight-loss or weight-gain centered, their program is in place to control their weight one way or another.

Oftentimes, people who engage in weight control training programs focus on cardiovascular fitness. While cardiovascular fitness is important to weight control — no other type of training offers as much intensity over such a short period of time — one of the other outstanding sources of weight control is often over-looked: weightlifting.

Weightlifting for weight control may seem counter-intuitive at first, but when examined closely the benefits become obvious.  While cardiovascular exercises promote high heart rates and great caloric expenditures, they do not have the lasting or long-term effects that weightlifting can provide. Cardio routines last anywhere from 8 to 60 minutes, depending on the program. Throw in an additional 5 minutes for cool down time, and the workout is over, its’ entire benefit expended.

Weightlifting, except in extremes, provides lower cardiovascular involvement, but it also provides a longer term muscular involvement. By increasing the amount of activity in major muscle groups, non-aerobic activity increases over a longer period of time. The cool down period from a weightlifting training session is often on the order of days, rather than minutes. Entire days where the muscles are continuing to work at a greater than normal rate, extending weight control efforts over significant periods of time.

Contact us now to get involved with a training coach that can help you achieve your personal goals, and explain many of the other benefits of weightlifting program.

Unlock Functional Fitness with our HEAT Program

Our bodies are designed to move.

Our bodies are designed to move adventurously in all directions, with or without a load.  We can develop big bulky muscles if we do the right exercises over and over and over, but when we move across a natural range and variance of motions, we develop long, strong, toned bodies that let us move with assurance through our world.  The details of how and why get complicated, but the simple fact is that our bodies are designed to move.

At its most simple, cross training is nothing more than using different types of movements throughout a workout cycle.  Those types of movements can vary to a nearly infinite degree, depending on your levels of fitness, imagination, and motivation.

The effect can be dramatic, as shown in a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health.  The women studied were Soldiers in the United States Army, and divided into groups who cross trained, ran only, weight trained only, or had no personal fitness program.  The conclusion says it all.

Women who participated in a cross-training program for personal physical fitness training had higher muscular endurance compared to the other fitness groups and higher aerobic endurance when compared to the no personal fitness group. There were no differences for all injuries and lower body injuries between cross-training and other fitness programs. Cross-training may be the best option for improving physical fitness when compared to just one mode of fitness training.

In other words, when we train our bodies for multiple events in the same session, we allow ourselves to work more fluid and stronger in our environment.  That concept is called functional fitness.

If you would like to develop a cross training program that can free the potential within you, contact us and let one of our fitness experts introduce you to our HEAT Training Program!

Use Physical Fitness to Change your Life: It All Starts With the Gym

Do you want to change your life for the better?

One of the best positive changes you can make is to begin an exercise routine. The benefits of routine exercise on the overall health of the human body have long been marked and marketed.

Change isn’t always easy though, and becoming the best version of yourself takes real work and dedication. Don’t worry though, the hardest part is just getting started!

One of the easiest ways to consider your own fitness options is to check out your nearest gym.

Why even exercise, can’t I just watch my diet?

Exercise has proven physical benefits to the body, including physical shape, energy levels, libido, life expectancy, and even sex appeal! It is tremendously beneficial to raise your heart-rate by controlled physical exertion. Building aerobic fitness assists your body in mastering its ability to move oxygen and blood into your muscles, which builds strength and efficiency.

So while dietary intake is important, even crucial, it alone is not a suitable stand-in for exercise.

Not sold on physical fitness alone? Consider the mental benefits

Perhaps you have a desire to engage in glorious battle against the mounting stresses of everyday life, or to actively attain more self-confidence to finally reel in a date with that elusive crush at work. More than that, isn’t it important to feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror?

Formulating a routine at the gym is an amazingly effective do-it-yourself therapy. As most gym-goers will attest to, a visit to the gym is often “just the thing” needed to help manage a stressful day, and to regain mental focus. Why not channel your excess energy or passion into a life-long hobby with endless benefits?

So, whether you’re interested in becoming brutish big, luxuriously limber, or wise in the ways of health and stress management, the gym might be just the place for you!

All right, so exercise is important. But why the gym?

Time and time again, the gym has proven itself as the perfect starting point to begin one’s adventure into the world of fitness. Here is just a small list containing some of what a gym membership can offer you, regardless of your current fitness level:

  1. Free Weights: This classic lifting method offers endless possibilities for weight-training, and requires minimal learning. Perfect for any level of fitness, with a high degree of customization.
  2. Machines: These offer singular or limited-motion resistance movements. Machines focus on a single muscle or group of muscles, and each machine has labels to demonstrate safe execution of the motion as well as the targeted muscles. As a side note, these machines and their corresponding labels are the perfect answer for newcomers that would rather teach themselves the ropes. Observe the labels carefully to ensure proper form and safety.
  3. Cardiovascular Machines: These include machines such as the treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine, step-climbers, bikes and more. These are great for improving cardiovascular endurance, weight loss, and targeted strength gains.
  4. External Training & Motivation: Scheduled classes are available for group sessions! Pilates, yoga, spinning and boot camps are available for those who prefer to work with others in a group setting. For those who are looking for a more 1-on-1 setting, there are personal trainers available to spend their time teaching you how to achieve your goals.
  5. Lifelong Knowledge of Health and Wellness: Everything you learn at the gym will go home with you, and after 20 hours at the gym it is very possible that you may find yourself with a new outlook on life!

The gym has something very real to offer anyone who wants to become a better version of themselves. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you reach your fitness goals, and take a free tour!

Tasty Ways to Spice Up Your Meal Plan!

One of the biggest challenges faced by those committed to a healthy lifestyle is eating the right foods. It’s easy to grab what’s convenient when life gets hectic, but the quick choice isn’t always the healthiest one. These easy and tasty recipes are a great addition to any meal plan and give you the fuel you need for your workouts!

Bananas are known for their potassium, which helps to support healthy blood pressure. It also helps to maintain the electrolyte balance in the body, keeping cells hydrated. Get in your potassium with this tasty treat: peel and freeze a couple of bananas. Throw the frozen bananas in a blender with a little vanilla extract to taste. Blend, scraping down the sides with a spatula until you get a creamy consistency. Guilt free ice cream!

Avocados are a great source of healthy fatty acids, vitamin c and antioxidants which help to maintain cardiovascular health and fight free radicals. Indulge with this easy idea: toast two slices of whole grain bread, slice an avocado in half and scoop out the flesh. Mash with a little sea salt to taste and spread on the slices of toast. Sprinkle some chopped tomato and grated parmesan cheese on top.

Sweet potatoes contain Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and beta carotene and anthocyamin which has been known to have an anti-imflammatory effect. Peel and slice up some sweet potatoes into sticks. Toss with melted coconut oil, cinnamon and sea salt and bake in an oven heated to 450 degrees for 15 minutes. A sweet and salty treat!

Pineapple contains vitamins A, C and B6, and minerals and antioxidants that can have an antiaging effect on the body. Slice a pineapple into sticks about an inch thick, and brush with olive oil. On a grill (indoor or out) heat pineapple for 6 to 8 minutes on each side. Enjoy as is, or dip into Greek yogurt.

For more on healthy eating to support an active lifestyle, contact us today!

Focus Workout: 5 Exercises for Developing Stronger Feet and Ankles

When people perform their fitness routine, they normally concentrate on back, shoulders, arms, abs and legs. Many seem to forget to exercise the part of the body that holds them up—their feet and ankles! It’s important to keep your feet and ankles strong to provide you with better balance, flexibility, circulation and to avoid injuries. A focus workout of stretching exercises for the feet and strength, balancing and plyometric exercises for the ankles will do wonders for accomplishing this. The best part is that this simple workout is done in just 5-10 minutes each day in the comfort of your own home before or after your gym routine.

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Heel Raises – This is a terrific foot activity to do before your cardio program since your feet’s reflex points corresponding to the lungs and heart will be stimulated. You might want to stand near a wall or counter to help keep your balance. Stand with your back straight, tight abs and feet hip-width apart. Raise both of your heels off the floor high enough that you’re standing on the balls of your feet; hold for 3-5 seconds and slowly lower your heels back down to the floor. Perform this exercise 10 times. For an added challenge, attempt to stand on one foot and raise your heel of the foot you’re standing on; perform 10 reps and then exercise the other foot.

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Single Leg Balance Reach – To perform this ankle balancing exercise, stand with your back straight, contracted abs and feet hip-width apart. Your feet need to be flat on the floor with your arches raised; don’t roll your ankles or move the rest of your body as you perform this routine. Lift your right leg an inch off of the floor. Stretch your right leg out in front of you, hold this position for 5 seconds then bring it back next to your left leg. Move your right leg out to the right side maintaining good form and hold this for 5 seconds before bringing your leg back to the standing position. Extend your right leg backwards holding for 5 seconds and return the leg next to your left leg. Now repeat all of these for your left leg.

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Squat Jumps – To start this plyometric exercise for the ankles, your arms should be at your sides and relaxed; feet should be side by side and hip-width apart. Bend your knees, as you jump swing your arms over your head to aid you in getting more height; during the jump, point your toes down. As you gently land form a squat; this absorbs the jump and gets your ready for the next jump. Perform these for one minute.

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Rock Out – This quick and easy activity will reduce the chance of any ankle injuries and improve your balance. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, abs tight and your back straight. Turn your feet to one side so that you’re now standing on the outside of your feet; return to the start position and complete 5 more of these. Take a short break keeping your feet flat on the floor. Next, turn your feet so that you’re standing on the inside of your feet; return your feet flat on the floor and perform these 5 more times.

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Band Inversion/Eversion – For this foot- and ankle-strengthening exercise you’ll need to sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you and toes pointed up. Loop a resistance band around the ball of the inside of your left foot and tie the other end of the band around a secure piece of furniture that’s foot high—like a couch leg. Now, turn your left foot inward—an inversion—and you’ll feel the pull against the band. You should do 2 sets of 10-20 repetitions. Remember to exercise the right foot too! To perform an eversion, reposition the band so that the loop is now on the outside of the ball of your foot; rotate your foot out and feel that resistance! Again, exercise the other foot 2 sets of 10-20 reps. While you’re performing these band exercises, make sure your legs remain unmoved; only your ankle and foot should be turning.

If you take time to perform these simple exercises every day, you’ll discover that you’ll be better aligned, have improved balance and enhanced flexibility. Thus, you’ll get more out of your fitness program at the gym. If you’d like more advice on strengthening your feet and ankles or would like a custom workout, please contact us.

What to Look For in a Personal Trainer

Everyone wants to be fit. However, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Should you lift weights or should you focus on cardio? Should I go on a diet or not? How can I keep myself from getting bored? Hiring a personal trainer is a good way to answering those questions. But what should you look for in a personal trainer?

Listening Ability

A personal trainer is a “personal” trainer. The trainer is being paid to train you. That means that he or she should listen to you. You have to state your own goals and expectations as well as your reasons why you want to be fit. It is up to the trainer to make an exercise plan that fits them. You should not have to go through a program that does not fit your needs. If you want to lose a few pounds, your trainer should not put you through BUD/S training. Your needs and goals come first, not the trainer’s ego.

Knowledge

When you’re looking for a personal trainer, you want someone who has a vast knowledge of fitness and nutrition. Your trainer needs to understand that if you don’t workout properly, you will get injured. If you don’t do the right workouts, you’re not going to make any improvements. If you don’t properly feed yourself, you’re not going to have the energy to exercise and you won’t be able to recover properly from your workouts. Your trainer should have knowledge and the ability to use it to get the best results for you.

Communication

In order to achieve results, you need to communicate. Your trainer should be talking with you about your health the make sure that you’re feeling alright and if you are improving. If something isn’t going right, it can be fixed. If your trainer doesn’t talk with you, that’s a problem and you need to find a new trainer.

For more information about personal trainers, contact us.

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