The Official eNewsletter of TODAY! Fitness

vol. 2006 issue 6



Flex your weight-loss muscles

So what if you only want to loose weight and trim down?  Go right to the cardio to burn calories and trim the fat, right?  Absolutely... although you can make even more progress towards your goal by incorporating resistance training into your workouts.  While aerobic activities burn calories during the exercise activity, resistance training (strength training) exercise will burn calories for hours after the workout.  Even while we sleep, our skeletal muscles are responsible for more than 25% of our calorie use. 

Although you don't have to "bulk up", lean muscle mass has the added benefit of increasing your metabolism.  An increase in muscle tissue causes a corresponding increase in our metabolic rate.  The gradual loss of muscle tissue in non-training adults leads to a 5% reduction in metabolic rate every decade of life.  This gradual decrease in metabolism is closely related to the gradual increase in body fat that typically accompanies the aging process.  Decreases in metabolism and other degenerative processes can be markedly delayed through regular strength training.

Since resistance can come from a multitude of sources, there are a wide variety of exercise modes that can be used for resistance training.  It's not just about pumping iron (lifting weights)... newcomers can sometimes feel intimidated and/or awkward when jumping right into a free-weight program.  Other modes of strength training can include: isometric exercises (muscle contraction against stationary objects), resistance band exercises, bodyweight exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups), medicine balls, sandbags, and a host of other methods that can all contribute to accomplishing your goals.

In addition to burning calories and increasing your metabolism, resistance training enhances physical capacity, strength, physical appearance, body composition, and injury prevention.  The functional benefits of resistance training can range from improved abilities to accomplish routine tasks (ie. yard work, walking up stairs) to enhanced athletic performance.

Something is better than nothing!

So you don't have time to work out?  Do me a favor...  next time you come home for work, get changed and just do 10 push-ups, 10 crunches, and 10 bodyweight squats.  So that only took you 1-2 minutes if you did them one after another, right?  That's less than one TV commercial!  This very basic workout was a resistance training circuit that worked your chest, triceps, abdominals, thighs and butt.  Hey, it wasn't much, but something is surely better than nothing.  Take a day off (muscles should be rested 48 hours after resistance training) and then do your circuit again after work, but try to add another repetition or so to each exercise.  Continue to make little improvements here and there, add a few new exercises, and start to challenge yourself more each week.  If you keep procrastinating until you can bang out a solid hour in the gym or health club, you may very well be waiting for an extended period of time while missing all the potential benefits and progress you could have been making.  Start training the day after yesterday!

If you can make it a priority, and incorporate fitness into your weekly routine, it is recommended that you perform resistance training (anaerobic) exercises 2-3 times per week and cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise  3-5 times per week (for 30 minutes per session). Depending on your time availability, all 3 types of exercise can be done on the same day and during the same exercise workout or split on different days as time allows.   All workouts should include both a warm-up and cool-down in addition to full body flexibility exercises.

Something IS better than nothing... it also will typically lead to other somethings!  Motivation is something that you have to find for yourself.  Whether you want to feel better, look better, or just be a healthier person, decide what motivates you and use it to find the desire and determination to succeed!


Elite Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!

Bodyweight Squats

The bodyweight squat is a simple exercise that is easy to perform and can be done just about anywhere.  As you perform your first 10 or so repetitions, they still seem easy... but as you get upwards of 50, 75, or 100 repetitions per set, you will definitely feel the burn!  A great exercise for toning and muscle endurance.

Thighs and butt (quadriceps, gluteals)

Count:  2 count

Description:  Starting in standing position, squat all the way down pointing both arms forward (1), return to standing position (2) .  For emphasis on your form, you can start off by placing a basketball between your knees to keep your legs and hips in the proper alignment.

MS150 Bike to the Bay

For the past 10 years I have participated in the National MS Society's annual MS150 Bike Tour to help raise funds for research and local programs. It's a small thing for me to do for people who face the devastating and relentless effects of MS every day. With each mile I ride, I hope to bring the National MS Society closer to a cure.  The 2006 ride is scheduled for Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1st.

Multiple sclerosis affects lives every moment of every year. At any time, someone with MS may suddenly be unable to stand up, hug their child or see a friend across the room.

Will you help by sponsoring me in this year’s MS Bike Tour? With your generous support, we can end the devastating effects of MS, sooner rather than later.

If you are interested in participating in the Delaware MS150 Bike to the Bay this year, you can email me at
pmazzeo@todayfitness.netThanks for your support!

Click Here to Sponsor Pete for the
2006 MS 150 Bike to the Bay


It's Go Time!

It's all about routine.  If you have trouble getting started, don't use the excuse of lack of time or equipment.  Just do it!  Even it's only doing a few sets of push-ups, sit-ups, or bodyweight squats... if you get into a routine of doing them every other day or so, you will begin to realize improvements in addition to starting to form a habit.  Getting started is half the battle, but once you take action, you will find that it's much easier to keep it going.   

Make fitness a habit that you plan to continue for the rest of your life.  It is a healthy addiction that can benefit you in many different ways.

For prior issues of this newsletter go to  

Good Luck!

Pete Mazzeo

"A Champion is someone who gets up,
even when he can't" | Personal Training | Nutrition Supplements | Exercise Equipment | Cycling Gear | Health & Fitness Books




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