By: Antoinette De la EspriellaAs a fitness enthusiast I am definitely missing the gym and all of its glory. Whether you are a sound pumping spin class addict, an olympic lifter or hardcore crossfitter, a cardio junky on the elliptical or even a lone wolf, headphones-in, doing your own thing, I think it's safe to say, we all miss the gym and the different ways to get our fitness in. The most difficult part of this all, is that we just don't know when or how we will be able to return. Most gyms, like us at Beach Fitness, have pivoted into the online training world, and I have to say it’s incredible to see all of the options and creativity that people have shown. This new exercise norm is starting to take off, and I don't know about you, but I am starting to like it! If you are still having trouble adapting, here is why and how you should continue your fitness at home.
When people hear the words “strength training,” what often comes to mind is big guys in the gym grunting and getting swole. But it is so much more than that and holds a very important role in our exercise routine. It provides us with so many benefits such as: bone health, increased muscle mass, controlled body fat and better body mechanics. Not only that, but it improves mental health as well! This can include boosted brain health and improvement in depression and anxiety. For diabetics, it controls blood sugar levels, and for our older population it can help fight osteoporosis. The U.S News shares the top 11 benefits of strength training, and guess what? None of them directly relate to “gains” in the weight room. Although we first associate strength training with weight lifting in the gym, there are a multitude of ways to achieve this goal right from your very own home.
There are many basic body weight exercises that we all know of such as pushups, squats, lunges, planks, and the like. Within those movement options, there are various ways to challenge yourself. These can be through progressive loads, time under tension, metabolic conditioning, tempo, and isometrics. For example, an article from Healthline about time under tension states, by incorporating this type of training you actually create more growth in the muscles overall. This type of training also uses tempo to slow down the movements, thus creating more activation, equally providing larger gains. We will share more about those types of exercises in future blogs, but for now, let's get creative!Searching around your home, you may not see the potential in a pillow, a can of beans, water bottles, laundry detergent, tables or couch, but I do! Try grabbing two cans that are the same size, and perform a standing side raise to maximum height as allowed by the shoulder, maintain the arms long, with proper form (tail tucked, abs braced, soft bend in the knee, stand tall) for two minutes with a three count tempo as you lower your arms down to your side, rest for 30 seconds, and repeat three total rounds. I dare you to try it out and comment what you think! This simple added weight, which doesn't seem like much, is providing your body with the many benefits of strength training. Yup, that's right, you don't need 15 lb. dumbbells to work your shoulders and feel the burn. I am not saying that you will get a full pump or massive gains with just that one move, but that's what trainers like us at Beach Fitness are for.
The secret to gains and strength training is … in the power of the programming. At Beach Fitness, we start by assessing your goals, and testing your baseline strength to build a program that is personalized for you. We will diversify it by adding in accessory work to strengthen your core, and add variation in movements that will target multiple areas of the muscles. For example, did you know that your shoulder can move in 8 different ways, and contains 5 joints? That’s a whole lot of movement that you might be missing out on. We can help solve the problem of accountability, motivation, program design, and creativity by using different objects in your home to get that strength workout. Personal Trainers are meant to do just that - train you personally and give the attention to detail that you can't always provide yourself. We are here to push you to your limits, provide live feedback and execute your program.
If you are not into personal training, we have more options for you! Check out our strength class on Facebook Live with co-owners and highly experienced certified trainers, Barb and Bryce. They will guide you through an intense strength workout, using minimal weights or household equipment. Find out more about our group here. You won’t regret it, and most importantly, your body won't either! Don’t let this lockdown hold you back. Keep perfecting your form, and maintain the strength gains you've worked so hard for. It will be worth it! Moral of the story: we won't let you give up.