Race with me!!!

 

Hey everyone April is a very big month for me and I have some awesome news to share in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned. In the meantime, I’m participating in my first Spartan Race next month and I’m really excited. As someone who has been athletic and involved in fitness all of my life, I see this as a new and fun challenge. I will be participating the the event at Citi Field on May 9th but there are a bunch of events coming up in the tri-state area. I have been talking a lot of trash to my friends who do compete so it’s time to put up or shut up and my goal is to finish with the best time possible. The goal is to complete the sprint as well as the “Super” (8 miles) and the “Beast” (12 miles) all within the year. If you are interested in joining me at Citi Field, or participating in any of the upcoming events, check here for more info. If you do sign up, use the code SPARTANBLOGGER for 10% off of any race.

 

 

Recipe: Cold Oatmeal

Here is a recipe for y new favorite snack. What I love about it is how flexible it can be, you can really be creative and make it however you’d like. Here is how I do it:

Makes 2 servings
1 cup of Quaker instant oatmeal
1 1/4 cup of almond silk (any milk will work)
1 ts of vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp Hershey chocolate syrup
1/4 cup of chocolate chips
1 ts cinnamon
5 hazelnuts crushed

Preparation: mix everything together, refrigerate overnight and you have a quick and delicious snack.

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Guest post on Eccentric training

Strength Training out, Eccentric Exercise In

By Jim Rollince of Gym Source, a vendor of home fitness equipment, including bikes, arc trainers, treadmills, ellipticals and more!

For most gym dwellers, it is believed that strength training is the ultimate way to “get in shape.” However, recent studies have show that a decent amount of eccentric exercise may provide serious benefits.

If you aren’t already familiar with eccentric exercises, they consist of lengthening the muscles. Leg extensions are a fine example of this type of exercise. The more popular concentric exercises consist of things like curling, whereas your contracting muscles to lift something.

A study that will appear in the January issue of the journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, there will be significant evidence that supports the theory of eccentric exercise as more beneficial. In this study, twenty women were randomly doled out various exercise groups that performed either concentric or eccentric movements once a week, for eight weeks. Congruently, each exercise group was tasked to perform leg extensions (targeting the quadriceps). The results were quite shocking!

According to the researchers conducting the study, the eccentric group displayed the following:

Increased muscle strength and performance
Decrease insulin resistance
Improved blood lipid profiles

In fact, each category of improvement was significantly higher than that of the concentric group of exercisers. But it didn’t end there, they found that after two months the eccentric group’s resting energy expenditure (calories burned) increased 5 percent – Very similar to what’s normally seen during an immense bout of endurance training.

Not only does this provide beneficial for gym junkies and those looking to stay in shape, but it also gives athletes and intramural players a competitive advantage. Keeping up with seasonal sports like soccer and basketball can be extremely tough during the off-season, and this is a great way to smoothly kick it back into gear.

Accordingly, these doctors and examiners came to the conclusion that entertaining these ‘bouts’ of eccentric exercise each week may certainly gain better results than that of traditional concentric practices.

Ask the trainer: When to stretch?

Question: Hi Ryan, I would like to know if it is better to stretch before or after I work out. People tell me different things and it can be very confusing. Thanks for your help.

Answer: The proper order of exercise, especially when it comes to stretching is one of those topics where you can ask 10 people and get 10 different answers. While I will answer your question, I will also try to answer the larger order of how to combine all of the different training modalities.

Warm up– When we work out, it is always important to warm up. The warm up can be a light jog or performing specific exercises or movments slowly or with little resistence. The idea is to get the body lose and the blood flowing in preparation for the intense exercise. Working out cold can sometimes lead to injury.

Resistence training– Resistence or strength training should be the first thing you do after the warmup if you are planning on it. The energy stores and muscle fiber types needed for resistence training will be the first to go so it’s important that if you are going to strength train that you do it first as you will likely not have as much energy later.

Cardiovascular training– Cardiovascular training relies primiraly on oxygen so it should always be done after your strength training. Some people prefer to do it first and while this is fine, it will take away from the energy needed for the workout.

Flexibility– Flexibility, or stretching should always be saved for the end of the work out unless there is a specific injury or severe tightnedd which needs work on prior to a workout. Stretching prior to a workout can interfere with the neuromuscular system and can cause the muscles to work in a less than efficient manner.

Cooldown– A cooldoen should always be done at the end of a workout. A stretch can be a way of cooling down but if you chose not to stretch, it is important to do something which will serve to cool the body down, rather than to stop

In home fitness training tip of the week

Every week I will be posting useful and interesting ideas for those who prefer at home fitness training to working out at a gym. These tips range will range from what equipment to buy to little things I’ve learned over the years.

This weeks tip: use an ottoman as a bench and storage. I train a couple and they live in a studio apartment. While they have a pair of bowflex dumbbells, there is not enough space to have a lot of fitness equipment. They came up with a brilliant idea to use a storage ottoman. It serves multiple purposes. In addition to it’s normal function, it is used to store fitness equipment when not in use and can be used as a bench for dumbbell presses, dips and tons of other exercises.

Fitness Journal: The Race

After making the decision to train to compete in Muay Thai, I had one major goal in advance of my serious training. My goal was to improve my conditioning to a point where I would feel like conditioning was a strength. I have always been a very good athlete but I have felt as if my physical conditioning was always a bit of an Achilles heel for me. I used to blame it on any number of things from my having mild asthma to the fact that my body itches whenever I run for an extended period of time but at the end of the day, my conditioning was poor because I don’t like to run and I simply had to get over that.
I have always hated running. I used to find it boring and hard, a deadly combination. I’d find any excuse in the world not to do it. When training for a sport which requires extremely high levels of conditioning and endurance, running becomes a way of life and it was something that I would have to accept. Prior to this summer, I had never run more that one mile so I began by attempting to run 1.5 miles a couple of days a week. Runners always talk about how you hit a wall and once you break through it, you can simply keep going. I used to laugh at that but one day it happened and out of nowhere, I was consistently running 5 miles without a problem. Now after two months of consistent running, I’m finding that not only is it tolerable but I’m actually liking it a lot. It doesn’t hurt that I run in Central Park which is my favorite place in the city.

The Race
Before I leave you, I’ll share a pretty funny running experience I had recently. I was running the loop in central park one day, this was the first time I had attempted the entire loop (6 miles). About 3 miles into it, just after finishing the trecherous Harlem Hill, an older gentleman passes me. While it’s not uncommon for someone to pass me, once this person had advanced about 3 yards ahead of me he slowed down and maintained the same pace as I was at. Immediately the competetive juices started flowing as i couldn’t deal with someone in front of me at my pace. I was tired but motivated so i pulled ahead of him and created some distance between us. After about a half of a mile, he passed me and we exchange a glance which basically said “it’s on”. We spent the next mile and a half passing eachother. With a mile to go, he pulled ahead and took a significant lead. At this point I was pretty much resigned to losing this unofficial race as I just didn’t think I had much left in the gas tank. This held up for about the next 3/4 of a mile and then the thought passed in my head, “when I’m competing, I can’t simply resign myself to losing. If I quit during a fight, I can get seriously hurt. I’ll have to muster up whatever energy I have to finish fights and I’m going to do the same here.” So, with 1/4 of a mile left I turned it on and sprinted to the end. I passed him with about 10 yards of so to go and could hear him yell something at me as I passed. I had won my first unofficial central park race.

Next week I will talk a little about how training is going so far at the Wat.

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