Exercising in the heat can
endanger health and impede exercise performance. Hot and
humid days pose a particular risk: when it’s humid, the
ability to dissipate heat is minimized, which can
ultimately lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The
two most important things your clients can do to prepare
themselves for their summer outdoor training sessions are
hydrate and acclimatize.
of research has been done on how to overcome, or at least
blunt, the effects of
dehydration. Beginning the workout fully hydrated or
even “hyperhydrating” (hydrating to a greater degree than
normal) before a workout can delay dehydration during
exercise, maintain exercise performance and decrease the
risk for heat-related illnesses.
Pre-exercise fluid intake
enhances the ability to control body temperature and
increases plasma volume to maintain
cardiac output. Your clients
should drink enough fluids before exercising in the heat
to begin every workout fully hydrated and should continue
to drink during workouts longer than 1 hour. Since
running or cycling necessitates carrying fluids,
clients should plan some way of drinking during prolonged
exercise in the heat. Given the growing popularity of
boot camps and of portable equipment that takes
resistance training outside, making sure your clients
rehydrate during these workouts is more important than
A good indicator of
clients’ hydration levels is urine color. You can educate
your clients on how to monitor their hydration status. The
lighter the urine color, the better the level of
hydration, so tell your clients their urine should look
like lemonade rather than apple juice.
Chronically exposing oneself to a hot and humid
environment simulates adaptations that lessen the stress.
Cardiovascular adaptations to exercising in the heat
(e.g., decreased heart rate, increased plasma volume) are
nearly complete within 3-6 days. Full acclimatization
becomes complete after 2 weeks as the increased sweating
response catches up to the other adaptations. To be fully
acclimatized and prepared for prolonged continuous
exercise, your clients should take 2 weeks to introduce
themselves slowly to the heat.
- Attain adequate fitness
in cool environments before attempting to acclimatize to
- Exercise at intensities
> 50% VO2max, and gradually increase the duration (up to
90–100 minutes per day) and
intensity of the workouts during the first 2 weeks.
highest-intensity workouts during the cooler morning or
evening hours and other training during the hotter times
of the day.
- Monitor body weight to
ensure that proper hydration is maintained as sweat rate
for Exercising in the Heat If you’re training
clients or holding a boot camp outdoors in the summer, the
best time to choose is the morning, when the temperature
is lower. Not only is it cooler and thus safer, but your
participants may also get a better workout. Research has
shown that endurance exercise capacity in the heat is
significantly greater in the morning than in the evening.
If a client must train with you during the hotter part of
the day, do the workout in the shade and recommend
loose-fitting, moisture-wicking, light-colored
exercise clothing that reflects the sunlight.
The next time your clients
run in the heat or take part in a summer outdoor boot
camp, make sure they follow these guidelines. If they take
the necessary precautions, they will get more out of their
workouts and greatly reduce the risk of heat illness
I drives me crazy when people
make a big fuss about scheduling when they will be able to
start working out again based upon getting a gym membership,
or buying some type of equipment for use at home.
While these options can certainly enhance your workout
experience, they should not be a reason why you can't be
doing something RIGHT NOW! I must know several dozens
of pushup variations that you could do with absolutely no
equipment. The same goes for other upper body, as well
as abdominal and lower body exercises.
Although motivation plays a HUGE
factor in getting into a workout routine you can stick with,
and gyms and equipment can certainly be a motivating
factor... the first real complaint that I hear when I talk
about bodyweight training is about the muscle stress and
challenge being insufficient for real gains.
Seriously? I've seen some serious studs that can put
up some high iron numbers on the bar, cry about doing
chin-ups. If you look around, you will find a chin-up
bar at your club or gym... and it's usually empty while
there are lines at the lat machine. Why? Because
chin-ups, pull-ups, and related variations on that little
bar are FRIGGIN HARD!
Have you ever tried to do a
set of 1 legged bodyweight squats? Go ahead and tell
me that they are easy. Step-ups, piked presses, split
squats, lunges, dips, all of these exercises can be a
challenge if performed with good form and a sufficient
number of repetitions. BUT... if you are that much of
an animal, and want an easy way to kick it up a notch, throw
on a weighted vest.
I have a 20 lb vest and I'm
getting ready to pick up a 40 lb one. They typically
fit close to the body, allowing your arms and legs to be
free, rather than holding a set of dumbbells, a bar, sandbag,
medicine ball, whatever. With your arms and legs free,
this allows you to add resistance to any number of
bodyweight exercises that you may want to eat for breakfast.
This is an especially good option if you want to exercise at
home but don't have a lot of room for equipment.
Partner Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!
This partner exercise is meant to replicate the explosive
total body power of the Olympic cleans. It's important
to focus on the lower body force generation rather than trying
to lift with the arms. This combination exercise
involves multiple large muscle groups which will burn
mega-calories in addition to improving athletic performance
and power generation.
Target: legs, hips,
(quadriceps, gluteals, deltoids,
Description: Start in
a cross-body lift by underhooking your arm on one side and
coming between the legs on the other side before lifting off
the ground. Squat your partner down to your knees before
exploding up and lifting your partner up as high as you can.
Immediately drop down and explode up again for the desired
number of repetitions.
by Carolanne Leone
you, by now, are familiar with the word “core” and the
concept of “core stability.” But, the terminology is often
referred to only the lumbar spine and abdomen. In this
concept, the deepest muscles of the abdomen called the
transverse abdominus, and the muscles deep to the low back
called the multifidus, are certainly targeted to balance and
strength and stability of the spine. With these areas in
check, the average exerciser is preventing pain or injury to
the spine during activity. In addition, all movements can
be performed efficiently since they can be initiated from
research demonstrates that this concept of stability can
also be applied to all joints and girdles in the body. In
the spine, the deep muscles, like the transverse abdominus,
have been named, “local muscles,” and they include all of
the small, deep muscles that generally only cross one
joint. They control and stabilize that joint---think of
them as the glue that holds them together. The larger more
superficial muscles, like the rectus abdominus, have been
named “global muscles” and they often cross more than one
joint producing movement through long-lever arms---think of
them as the big, dumb muscles that pull us around.
concept is applied to the other joints of the body, the
muscles are classified as either “stabilizers” or
“mobilizers.” Stabilizer muscles contract first to provide
a stable base from which the mobilizer muscles can produce
motion. There needs to be a significant contraction of the
stabilizer muscle to balance the mobilizer strength.
Basically, these two forces are a couple that need to stay
fitness workout does a great job of strengthening the
mobilizer muscles on the outside of the body, but does not
guarantee the same benefits to the stabilizer muscles on the
inside of the body. The mobilizer muscles are the
superficial muscles that we see and feel most; so we only
emphasize them. Exercises like lat pull downs, hamstring
curls, leg extensions, and lateral raises focuses on these
mobilizer muscles. Often, it is when the stabilizer muscles
and mobilizer muscles get out of balance that one will
experience pain and injury. So, it is extremely important
that as one builds strength, and even flexibility, the
delicate balance between groups of muscles is maintained.
How are you
ensured that the local and stabilizer muscles are gaining
strength at the same rate as the mobilizer and global
muscles? Performing whole-body exercises in perfect
alignment is one sure way to prevent an imbalance from
occurring. When movement is controlled and alignment is
maintained, balance comes naturally. For example, when you
perform hip extension with good alignment of the pelvis, you
gain strength of the gluteus maximus, but you also gain
strength of the local abdominal muscles that keep the
lumbar spine from going into extension from the stretch on
the hip flexors. You gain length of the hip flexors, too.
This builds not only strength and flexibility, but a good
relationship between the muscles around the low back and the
exercise is based on this concept of balance—each exercise
performed in good alignment will build healthy relationships
between muscles. Think of them as an orchestra where all of
the instruments play to create the music. There is not a
focus on just one muscle, but more of a focus on the
alignment of the body during the exercise. This concept is
invaluable to anyone involved in exercise or sport because
they can apply the same concept to any activity in which
they choose to engage and reap benefits.
In addition to
being a good friend of mine, Carolanne Leone is owner of
"The Studio" in Wilmington, Delaware. The Studio
specializes in Pilates, personal training, dance and
choreography. Through the art of movement, Carolanne
has trained world -ranked figure skaters, international
dancers, and professional athletes.
2000 Pennsylvania Ave.,
It's Go Time!
That's right, it's September
already. Where did the summer go? Back to school,
back to work, back to routine... What are you getting back to?
How about back to the
gym, back to smart eating, and back to healthy stuff in
general? Hey, I'll be the first to admit that my diet
could have been better this summer... but I did try to offset
it with my exercise regime as best I could. Work hard,
play hard... that's what it's all about!|
you're going to have temptations around at any time during the
year... certainly some times more than others. How you
deal with the temptations are another story and having the
mental toughness to make the good decisions consistently is
what will make the difference in your progress.
Unfortunately, mental toughness is not something easily
taught. The desire has to come from within and the
persistence to stick to your guns when it would be much easier
not to does not come easy. In the end, it's up to YOU to
decide between good and evil : )
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people never run far enough on their first wind to find out
if they've got a second." - William James
youtube of the month -->
Weighted Vest Workout
Not a bad example of some bodyweight exercises that can be
enhanced with the use of a weighted vest.