Monthly Archives: January 2015

Elliptical Express – Cardio Meets Muscle Conditioning

Last week we set your training on course with our Top Tips for a Super-Fit Home Body. This week we’re stepping your cardio exercise up a gear with the foot holds and grab bars of the formidable elliptical machine. It’s time to bring further synergy between your goals, limited time, and your efforts. So let’s start …

 

The Basics
Nowadays, the Elliptical Trainer covers every necessary element for complete conditioning success in one unique package; sleek, streamlined, ergonomic, stylish and affordable commercial grade styles have replaced the bulky space-consuming options of earlier days.

 

Low Impact, Total Body Blast
As with any piece of equipment you add to your training repertoire, extracting the quickest results is first and foremost. And since getting started can be frustrating if you don’t have direction, we’ve got some tactical tips to reorganize your training plan come workout day.

With a commercial grade elliptical in your home gym you’ll be equipped to tax your heart rate while stimulating total body muscle recruitment at the same time for intense calorie burning –- all in one low impact cardio outing!

 

The Switch-Up
Just for cardio? Think again! The way in which you leverage your body will dictate how you engage the different muscles on your body and dramatically enhance results. So switch up your program modes as well as types of resistance (elevation, direction and body position) from time to time during your elliptical workout.

 

Want to guarantee faster results? Follow the training tips below with eLifestyl’s Furious 4.”

 
eLifestyle’s Furious 4

1. Power Grade will have you elevate to bigger results by adding varying degrees of incline to your elliptical workout. It’s the uphill battle you want to engage in!

 

Method: Periodically over the span of your cardio session, insert an elevation change to throw your body off of its steady course, forcing it into an accelerated fat-burning mode.

 

2. Push-Pull Super Strokes can really roar up your heart rate while engaging rear and posterior muscles of the upper body at the same time. Of course, doing so will further spur on additional calorie expenditure.

 

Method: Focus on pulling with power for a pre-determined amount of time. Then do the same on a reverse approach, focusing on pushing with the same intensity.

 

3. Heel Pull-Backs put your hamstrings under steady fire.In most strength training outings, the quadriceps that make up the anterior (front) thigh muscles are most often trained in isolation. This leaves the hard-to-hit posterior (rear) ham muscles out of sync to provide a balance of strength and flexibility.

 

Method: While in a forward motion, focus on pulling with your heel on the foot pedal during each stride, and minimally with your arms. This works to isolate your hamstrings to keep you moving at a good pace.

 

4. 12-Minute Mash-Ups really tax your ticker while forcibly working muscles fibers to their max at the same time during this circuit-style approach.

 

Method: (Inserted into the mid-point of your cardio session). Focus on upper body by pushing for 3 minutes on an incline of level 5, then on pulling for 3 minutes going in reverse at level 5. Next, still at level 5, focus on lower body only by using your legs and core muscles to balance, striding forward for 3 minutes, then finishing off by doing the same, but in reverse.

 

Remember: Keep hydrated throughout each training and cardio session. Proper intake will not only replenish lost body fluids but will also limit muscle cramping and help maintain energy levels longer.

 

Training Quick Tip:
Avoid over-training. Keep your weight workouts under an hour. After 60 minutes, your body starts producing more of the stress hormone cortisol, which can block testosterone while also inducing a muscle-wasting effect.

 

Weight Loss Quick Tip:
Avoid snacking at night. Keep in mind that if you do snack in the evening and these are excess calories above and beyond your bodies need, they’ll get stored.

 

Fit Body Fact:
Get ready to hit the slopes before the snow of winter is over. Sport-specific training allows you to focus on the various skills associated with a particular activity, plus you’ll be better equipped to avoid injury.

 

Remember, no fitness goal can be met without covering all of your nutritional basis too. Check out our life-changing eTransformation Program. You get an incredible package that covers everything you need, including a Customized Training and Nutrition Plan so you can reach your goals faster than you ever thought possible!

 

Top Tips For a Super-Fit Home Body!

If your goal is to get slim and trim but time for exercise is looking grim, get super-fit by training in your own home gym!

 

Home gyms have become ever more popular due to the level of convenience they offer. And outfitting a home gym with the right accessories can play an important role in how you meet your personal fitness goals – not to mention avoiding the madness of the local workout joint. Here’s our top 5 fit-tastic tools to get you organized …

5 Tools for Total Home Training

Match your goals with the right tools …

 

1. Write it down. Although the most basic rule for any worthy endeavor, putting your goals on paper will serve as a steady reminder to stay on track. Start by listing your most important goals in order, from losing weight to toning to simply having more energy, that way you’ll be sure to see results with your home gym.

 

2. Make your goals attainable and realistic. That doesn’t mean you can’t think big, just make sure to break large goals down into smaller bits that you can aim for to successfully conquer along each step of the journey.

 

3. Make time for research. Discover what you’ll need to match the right equipment with your goals. If you’re looking to improve cardiovascular health, then a stepper, treadmill or cross trainer will be the right ingredient. To bolster strength and muscle tone, a few dumbbells may be sufficient. Better yet, a multi-gym unit or Functional Trainer, as they are commonly known, offers the advantage of covering the needs of all muscle groups in the convenience of one machine. Plus, when you hire a certified in-home personal trainer from eLifestyle you’ll learn all the exercise tips, form and techniques to accelerate your training results! info@elifestyle.ca or  https://elifestyle.ca/mobile-fitness/

 

4. Establish your perfect space. The spot you choose to serve as your home workout area has to be both suitable and comfortable. An area you’ll want to spend time in should be well lit and have optimal space to maneuver while doing exercises that require you to take steps foreword and back. Contact us for our in-home personal training rates!

 

5. Take in proper nutrition. Simply guessing at what foods are necessary to reach your goals can have you over-eating, under-eating or taking in the wrong types of nutrition altogether. Consult with a fitness and lifestyle expert from eLifestyle to help you construct the ideal nutrition plan to meet your individual health and fitness requirements. https://elifestyle.ca/start-losing-weight-today/

 

Bonus Tip: Discover the right fitness equipment tools to match your goals. From Steppers to stability balls, eLifestyle can help you with equipment ideas and a customized personal training package that will cover all your fitness needs!

 

Plus, when you’re in a pinch or need a boost to get your exercise rhythm in sync with your goals, drop in to our eLifestyle Fitness Studio — Location & Current Schedule.

 

Training Quick Tip

Hire an In-Home Personal Trainer from eLifestyle! Saving precious time in your hectic schedule can leave more time for family. Having a personal trainer come to your home can get you head-turning results in a fraction of the time. Plus, you save on costly gym memberships, gas, driving time, parking, and the equipment is supplied if needed! https://elifestyle.ca/mobile-fitness/ or contact Leah: info@elifestyle.ca

Weight Loss Quick Tip

Consistency is key. Like any body part, sculpting tight, toned abs takes time and diligence. So plan ahead. Incorporate all muscle groups, not just your midsection when you train because you cannot “spot reduce.” Revealing each toned muscle along with your abs is a result of consistently burning more calories than you consume daily throughout each week. Check out our previous blog on getting great abs fast — https://elifestyle.ca/2015/01/abs-abs-abs/

 

Fit Body Fact

Don’t neglect your micronutrient needs. Micronutrients play an important role in energy production, hemoglobin synthesis, maintenance of bone health, adequate immune function, and protection of the body against oxidative damage. They assist with synthesis and repair of muscle tissue during recovery from exercise and injury. Exercise stresses many of the metabolic pathways where micronutrients are required, and exercise training may result in muscle biochemical adaptations that increase micronutrient needs. Routine exercise may also increase the turnover and loss of these micronutrients from the body. As a result, greater intakes of micronutrients may be required to cover increased needs for building, repair, and maintenance of lean body mass in athletes.

Where more intense exercise regimens are apparent, the most common vitamins and minerals found to be of concern are calcium and vitamin D, the B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, as well as some antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, β-carotene, and selenium.

 

What’s more, to enhance performance and recovery during and post-exercise, check out the eLifestyle Sports Drink Recipe — https://elifestyle.ca/recipes/elifestyle-sport-drink/

 

Happy Training!

Abs, Abs, Abs!

This week we’re putting your abs on blast so you can get the results this winter that will be sure to last.

Blast Off!

There’s no tricks or gimmicks involved in a true ab-defining plan. And the key word here is “plan,” so we’ll get to that in a moment. But first, once you take the fitness fluff out of the mix like ridiculous (and dangerous) cleansing protocols, juice-only options, and caffeine-laden “fat burning” supplements saturating the quick-fix market today, you’re left with what’s really been proven to work – proper nutrition and exercise!

 

Your 3 Ab-Defining Plan Must-Haves

All exercise enthusiasts have a different means to achieving their exercise goals. If you tend to be the type who builds your exercise repertoire through watching random others, you may want to rethink your strategy.

To avoid learning bad habits and poor technique, best practice is to consult with an educated (and certified) fitness professional to build a plan that is:

 

  1. Customized for your abilities. This way you’ll be sure they have the knowledge to properly instruct you on the exercises best suited for you.
  2. Phased approach. Your trainer will be able to set the right course and outline the progression of exercises and intensities to come as you progress along your plan.
  3. Nutritional guidance. Your trainer will be able to get your nutritional habits on point so you’ll be sure to not only make great progress in terms of your core health – strength and conditioning – but in managing weight loss too (if required) to reveal your hard work in sculpting a tight, toned midsection.

 

2 Core Tips to Tone & Tighten:

  1. Breathing. Focus on breathing out on exertion (the “push” part of the movement), and breathing in when returning to rest (the “relaxed” part of the movement).

Result: This leads to better control over abdominal muscles so you’re able maintain control of your midsection at any time. This leads to better isolation of the core muscles so you’ll achieve better, faster results.

 

  1. Squeeze each repetition. For every repetition be sure to pause briefly each time.

Result: A mind-to-muscle connection is created that over time enables more control over your muscles. Plus, you’ll better understand what you should feel while performing a given exercise in the correct manner.

 

Training Quick Tip

Core stability is mental too.

Proper core stability needs to be developed through exercises that groove motor patterns to ensure a stable spine during movement.

 

Weight Loss Quick Tip

You CAN NOT spot-reduce belly fat!

Just simply performing abdominal exercises will not burn the unwanted fat from this problem area. You actually need to perform structured exercises for each muscle group and add in proper nutrition with a cardio regime. This will allow you to burn more calories than you are consuming daily, leading to weight loss and reduced inches in all areas!

 

Cardio Quick Tip

Intensity is key.

Higher repetitions and little rest between each ab move allows for a great caloric expenditure and cardiovascular output which leads to a higher level of not only core fitness, but heart health as well.

 

PLUS, if your weight loss goals have you at a stand-still, and you just need a boost to get you going in the right direction and get results fast, check out our 12-Week Online Weight Loss & Lifestyle Program. It’s a customized solution that can change your life!

Muscle Soreness Post-Exercise – Good or Bad?

You may think that if you don’t get sore your training’s a bore. However, exercising smart from the start will have you soon realizing more gains than pains!

 

With new health goals top of mind, this month will have many people reviving or beginning fresh with some type of fitness or wellness program. When it comes to assessing the effectiveness of a fitness outing, some individuals are using a feeling of soreness as a guage – the more, the better. They tend to look at pain as the goal marker that tells them they’ve pushed themselves to the max. This “No pain, no gain” philosophy can be a little misleading, however, due to the stigma attached to it that if the individual doesn’t feel any pain post-exercise then it was a wasted effort.

Distinguishing Between Good and Bad Muscle Pain

When it comes to pushing towards making gains with any training program, the words should more aptly be said; “No fatigue, no gain” because you are trying to exhaust your muscles, not cause damage.

It is important to note that microscopic tearing is good (actual tearing of the muscle fibers), whereas slight rearing of the muscles (inflammation of the tendons) is bad.

DOMS

Delayed-onset muscle soreness is the pain caused by the microscopic tearing of muscle fibers, and it actually allows your muscles to grow. The best way to combat the soreness is adequate rest between bouts of exercise accompanied by proper nutrition.
Just how much rest and how many and which type of calories will depend on the intensity level and goal of the individual.

DOMS can be caused by:

  • Being new to working out
  • Trying a new exercise you are not accustomed to
  • Pushing muscles beyond their normal range of motion
  • Performing different types of resistance contractions such as eccentric or negatives
  • Performing an exercise not tried in a while
  • Increasing intensity, frequency or duration
  • Aerobic or anaerobic activity

Should You Be Sore Every Day?

If you train regularly your body will adapt, thus keeping muscle soreness minimal. If you are sore most days then it’s possible you may be over-training (not enough rest days between exercise) or training too hard, which can lead to injuries down the road due to over-use.

So, be sure to keep your muscle soreness in check and you’ll be pushing yourself safely toward new fitness gains.

 

eLifestyle Fitness & Nutrition Programs

Not sure how to put together the right exercise and nutrition program? We can help!

If your weight loss and exercise goals have you at a stand-still, and you need a boost to get you going in the right direction, ASK US about our Customized In-Home Personal Training Packages by contacting leah@elifestyle.ca , and click for our 12-Week eTransformation Customized Online Weight Loss & Lifestyle Package.

 

2015 Brings Top Fitness and Nutrition Tips for Staying Fit

Your Year for a New Body and a New You!

 

Part 1 – New Year Fitness Tips

Spinning your fitness wheels to start the New Year? Get a grip on your training trip fast with exercise and nutrition tips that put you in the right gear to tackle the New Year.

From nutrition to training methods and equipment, this week we help you remain true to your resolution commitments with top tips to triumph over your fitness goals in 2015. Check out the eLifestyle Fitness 4-Play below!

 

Fitness 4-Play

1. Cardio can torch calories and help reveal muscle definition at the same time!

Cardiovascular exercise is an essential part of the fat-burning equation. Plus, the way in which you leverage your body on your treadmill, elliptical or cross trainer will dictate how you’ll stimulate total body muscle recruitment at the same time to dramatically enhance overall results. Inject some tactical techniques into your cardio regiment by switching up your program modes as well as types of resistance (elevation, direction and body position) during your workout.

 

2. Utilize Squats for a full-body advantage.

Requiring over-all body strength, and one of the only exercises that works 75% of your muscles with one, single movement – mainly hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes. As a bonus, balance, core strength and stability are also greatly utilized. And no matter your ability level, there are always a few ways to modify this gem to fit any training program. To test your limits, try out Traditional Squats, Stability Ball Squats and BOSU Squats.

 

3. Employ different strength-training techniques when you exercise.

There are some must-have moves proven to not only build lean muscle and burn fat, but also totally tax your ticker while you train. Shorter rest periods maximize calorie expenditure while challenging your cardiovascular ability at the same time, and employing extended set options such as supersets, drop sets and pyramids improve strength and muscle endurance.

 

4. Work your core!

Hitting your midsection at the end of your workout with only a couple of sets and reps is really treating them as more of an afterthought than anything. With no successful fitness or exercise program being complete without proper focus, the importance of core stability reaches far beyond just aiding your fitness program. It actually determines the state of your overall health and wellness too!

 

Part 2 – New Year Nutrition Tips

Avoid the bad fats.

1. Trans Fats. Also known as hydrogenated fats, these fats not only raise total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, but lower HDL (good) cholesterol at the same time. Some main sources are commercially fried foods and bakery product sources such as crackers, cookies, donuts, muffins, croissants, snack foods and fried foods, such as French fries and breaded foods.

 

2. Saturated Fats. Solid at room temperature, these types of fats clog arteries and raise total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the body. Some main sources are animal-based sources such as red meat and whole-milk dairy products, including ice cream, butter, cheese and sour cream, and plant-based sources like palm oil, coconut oil and coconut milk and cocoa butter.

 
3. Follow a proper diet specific to YOUR needs.

The right combination of carbs, proteins and fats eaten at regular intervals throughout the day will ensure energy levels are kept high. Skipping meals will zap your energy when you least expect it.
Healthy snacks eaten between meals will stabilize your blood sugar levels so you won’t experience energy “highs” and “lows.”

 
4. Utilize natural supplementation for a healthy energy boost.

With so many on the market today, here are a few that are most common, due to the fact that they have been backed by leading research: Guarana Extract, Vitamin B6, and Green Tea Extract. (*Please check with your health professional before taking any supplement, natural or not, to ensure it’s right for your health.)

 
5. Limit alcohol consumption and drink plenty of water.

Alcohol is a depressant, slowing the central nervous system and delivering a sedative effect. Feeling sleepy isn’t the best thing when heading to the gym after work, so don’t be mislead by thinking a quick “social” drink with friends on the way won’t slow you down! Plus, increasing your H2O intake to ensure healthy hydration is a must. Follow the standard rule of 8 10oz glasses per day.