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7 Ways to Make Your Lunges More Effective

By Maire,

drink h2o

These aren’t your average lunges.

by: Alexa Tucker | Self.com

 

Lunges are a fantastic compound exercise to target your legs and glutes, but if you rely on the same movement to work your lower body in every workout, you might be hampering the butt-strengthening benefits of the exercise. You can avoid this by mixing in different lunge variations, explains David Juhn, CPT, personal training manager at Life Time Athletic at Sky in NYC.

“The body can adapt to same sequence of exercise over time,” says Juhn. “It’s important to constantly challenge our bodies with different movements.” Changing things up can help avoid fitness plateaus, whether your goal is to gain strength or lose fat.

Plus, many lunge variations incorporate other fitness benefits, including twists that work your core and plyometric jumps that jack up your heart rate. “[Variations] can turn normal mundane workout to dynamic and challenging routines,” says Juhn. Here are seven amazing ones that will make your regular lunge envious.

Lunge Exercise Tip

Step Up With Reverse Lunge

“This entire sequence demands coordination, balance, and core stability,” says Juhn.

  • Stand in front of a box or step, about one foot away.
  • Step up with your left foot and drive your right knee up towards your chest.
  • Step your right foot back to the starting position and step your left back into a lunge, lowering your knee toward the ground (make sure your right knee doesn’t go past your right toes).
  • Step your left leg back onto the step or box to repeat the movement.

3 Reasons Why You Hate Running

By Bianca M,

1. You’re doing it all wrong 

When most people think of running, they chalk it up in their minds to be this huge ordeal in which they should be huffing and puffing, bent over with hands on knees at every stop light, and drenched in sweat about 30 seconds in – sound familiar? In fact, this is the experience that a lot of people have. Why? Because they’re basically going out for a sprint, not a run.  More

30-Minute Indoor Workout to Beat the Cold Weather Blues

By Maire,

There are going to be days when you just don’t want to go to the gym. It might be raining, snowing or it might just be darn right cold. There are a lot of exercises that you can do at home to get an efficient and challenging workout on those days.

Here is a quick workout routine that targets your entire body in approximately 30 minutes without using weights or bulky machines.  More

6 Reasons You Should Workout With A Partner

By Maire,

Here’s why hitting the gym with a workout partner is a good idea.

1. YOU’LL BE MORE MOTIVATED.

Don’t feel like working out after work? It’s one thing to cancel plans with yourself—it’s another to cancel on a friend or partner who’s counting on you. “No one wants to be Debbie Downer by bailing and letting down your friend,” says Steve Stonehouse, personal training manager at Crunch in New YorkCity. You’re much more likely to meet your friend for a planned workout session at 6 p.m. compared to tentative plans you made with yourself for, say, sometime after lunch.

“After three or four weeks, once you’re in the habit, you won’t even think about canceling on your friend,” adds Stonehouse. (But if your main man keeps bailing on you, then you might be better off picking a new gym partner.)

2. YOUR WORKOUTS CAN BE MORE FUN.

News flash: The treadmill and the bench press aren’t the most exciting ways to pass the time. With a partner, though, you can get your heart racing with some one-on-one basketball, racquetball, or even just a partner workout like the ones in our three-day program for training partners.

Workout Partner

 

“You can also take turns leading new exercises and switching up the routine,” suggests Stonehouse. Maybe you know a brutal leg lunge that you used to do on your own? Teach it to your buddy one day, and the next, let him teach you something new. “Your body adapts and becomes efficient at moves that you’ve done again and again,” says Stonehouse. “The more you change up your workout, the better your body is going to respond.”

3. YOU’LL WORK OUT HARDER.

“Whenever you’re working out with someone else, the intensity is always going to be greater than when you’re alone,” points out Stonehouse. (You don’t want to be the wimp who can’t keep up with a seven-minutes mile.) One key tip when picking your partner: Your athletic abilities should be in the same ballpark. A more seasoned gym-goer won’t get as much out of working out with a newbie, while a beginner can find it frustrating if he’s only doing a third of what his partner can do.

“If you’re on the same level, you can push each other,” Stonehouse says. Odds are, you’ll both want to quit around the same time but you’ll go a little longer if your friend is still at it.

4. YOU’LL FINALLY BE ABLE TO AFFORD A PERSONAL TRAINER.

Sharing a cheeseburger is cheaper than buying one yourself (and fewer calories). The same math applies when it comes to a personal trainer. At Crunch, for example, a one-on-one session costs about $85, but a partner training session runs around $50 per person. “One-on-one training is still the bulk of my day, but I’m seeing more and more partner training for financial reasons alone,” says Stonehouse.

5. YOU’LL ALWAYS HAVE A SPOTTER.

Never again will you have to approach a random meathead and ask him to spot you. Never again will you have to count your own reps.

It’ll also save you from forced reps: “Let’s say you’re on the bench press and you want to stop at 10 because you’re not sure you can make it to 11,” Stonehouse says. “If you have a spotter, you don’t have to worry as much. You’re more likely to power through the 11th, 12th, and 13th reps—and each of those little lifts will add up and make a difference.” Use your spotter to keep an eye on your form as you work, too.

6. YOUR FRIENDS WILL BE THINNER.

Before you judge us, we’re not being totally shallow here—having thin friends is for your own good. Researchers at Harvard University found that you can “catch” obesity (along with smoking habits and happiness) because it spreads like an infectious disease. The experts found that a person’s risk of becoming obese rises by two percent for every five obese social contacts they have.

Fortunately, the reverse is true, too. Overweight people tend to lose more weight if they spend time with their fit friends—and the more time they spend together, the more weight they lose, according to a 2016 study published in the journal Obesity. “If you’re surrounded by people who are active and eat well, there’s a good chance you’re going to do the same,” Stonehouse says.

A Beginner’s Guide to Getting in Shape

By Maire,

A Beginner’s Guide to Getting in Shape – by Steve – NerdFitness.com

You woke up today and looked in the mirror.

And you said to yourself, “Gosh darnit (or #$^@  $#@$@%), I’m going to get in shape!”

Just one problem – you don’t quite know HOW.

It’s okay; we’ve all been there.   This might be the first, tenth, or the fiftieth time you’ve tried to lose weight and get healthy.  Sure, things didn’t work last time, or the time before that, or even the time before that…”but things are going to be different THIS time,” right?

So you hop on the internet, search “how to lose weight,” and see 7.8 billion websites that promise you fast results with minimal effort.  You get overwhelmed, intimidated, and then go back to playing Modern Warfare 3 or Hello Kitty 2: Island Adventure.

Somehow, you stumbled across Nerd Fitness…which means there is hope for you yet 🙂

By the end of this article, you’re going to know exactly how to get in shape.

Get your act together

First and foremost, if you suck at life…it’s time to stop.

I know it.  You know it.  Even your mom knows it (she called me).

So let’s get started.  Think back to the last time(s) you tried to get in shape and lose weight.  How successful were you?  What made you fall off the wagon?  Congratulations, you already know what “get in shape” method doesn’t work for you.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Unless you’re insane, don’t try to get in shape the same way you did last time…it’ AIN’T gonna work!  If you counted calories, ran on a treadmill, did kickboxing, tried starving yourself, or whatever, and you’re not happy with the results, it’s time to try something new.

May I recommend the Nerd Fitness method of success: the Triforce of Winning!  Well, I just came up with that title, but now that’s what I’ll call it henceforth.  If you want to succeed at changing your life, you need three things:

  • Education: know HOW to get in shape
  • Inspiration: know WHY you’re getting in shape
  • Support: having others help you along the way to get in shape

If you can successfully combine these three crucial pieces, then you’lldefeat Ganon and save Hyrule have a fightin’ chance at getting in the best damn shape of your life.

Education

1) If you made some New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, make sure they don’t suck.  Be incredibly specific with your goals so that you can actively plan what steps are needed to achieve those goals.  Alternatively, if you somebody that NEVER succeeds at your goals, instead try making a new habit every 30 days…put the focus on the habit and not the goal.

Whichever method you decide, it’s important to be deliberate in your actions:

  • If you are setting goals – be SUPER SPECIFIC, write them down, and plan them out.
  • If you are making new habits – add them to your calendar, set phone alarms or alerts, and do them EVERY DAY.
  • Understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Optimus Prime didn’t transform in one move.  This is NOT a diet, or a quick fix, but a LIFESTYLE CHANGE.  Don’t expect overnight results, or abs in two weeks.  Slow, steady progress.

2) Identify your kryptonite.  If you tried to get in shape in the past and failed, it’s important to know WHY.  Did you get sick and give up after a few days?  Did you go on vacation and say “why bother?”  Maybe you just got bored?  If you sucked at getting in shape last time, educate yourself on the hurdles and kryptonite that made you suck, and work on either avoiding those pitfalls or develop methods to deal with them.

3) Clean up your diet.  Believe it or not, 80% of your success when it comes to getting healthy will depend on your diet – unless you are running marathons on a daily basis, you cannot outrun your fork, and you can’t out-train a bad diet.  I honestly cannot stress the importance of this enough.  Whether you want to count calories, cut out certain foods, or attempt a new diet all together, this is the most important step you can take:

Now, most people suck at eating better because they try to make TOO many changes at once, their stomach freaks out and they run back to their comfort foods.  My advice?  Pick one food change every few weeks, and stick with it.  Whether it’s eating less calories per day, drinking one less soda, eating more vegetables or cooking your own meal once a week…small changes can lead to big successes in the long run.

4) Find an activity that makes you happy, and do it all of the time.  Do you like to run?  Awesome, do that (just do it right).  Do you like to lift weights?  Awesome, make sure your workouts don’t suck.   Maybe you like yoga, or dodgeball, or Ultimate Frisbee, or rock climbing, or whatever!  If you tell me that “I don’t like to exercise,” then you just haven’t found the activity that makes you happy yet.

We’re genetically designed to be active.  If you don’t like to move, then it’s time to try new things until you find something that you DO like.  Sign up for a new class, join your company’s running club for a day, try out something in your basement or living room, just keep trying new stuff until you find something that you like.  And then do it as often as you can.

Remember, your diet is 80% of your success or failure.   Exercising regularly will help you build muscle, strengthen your heart, lose weight, increase your endurance, stamina, and/or flexibility.  On top of that, regular exercise keeps your mind thinking healthy, which in turn will keep your stomach thinking healthy, which will cause your mouth to want to continue eating healthy foods.  It’s the circle of life, sucka.

Now, if you want specific direction on weight lifting, weight loss, or running, I’ve offer a few premium resources on Nerd Fitness.  Yes, they cost money, but they work.  These guides have helped hundreds upon hundreds of NF readers transform their lives.  Each guide comes with specific workout plans depending on your fitness level, video demonstration of exercises, and more…they all come with 1-year, 100% money-back guarantees as well.

  • Rebel Fitness Guide: a fitness guide for beginners who want specific diet and exercise advice.
  • Rebel Strength Guide: a guide for people looking to build strength and muscle, either bulking up or slimming down
  • Rebel Running Guide: a guide for new runners who want to have fun while AVOIDING INJURY

If you want to buy more than one guide, email me atSteve@NerdFitness.com for combo pricing.

If you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person, you can build your own workout, or get started with a free resource like my Angry Birds workout.  The important thing is to GET STARTED, and then try to get better each time.

5) Put it all together:  These are the steps you can take today:

  • Determine your goals or habits you want to establish.  Write them down and hang them up.
  • Determine why you sucked in the past and how you can avoid it in the future.
  • Start cleaning up your diet in whatever method works best for you.
  • Pick an activity that makes you happy, and do it.  A lot.

Inspiration

WHY do you want to get in shape?  What is your reason for wanting to do so? Do you want to get in shape to…

  • Impress a cute coworker?
  • Win a weight loss competition at work?
  • Eventually play with your newborn son?
  • Grow old with your significant other?
  • Prove everybody wrong who said “you can’t do it?”

Have a freaking reason, friend!  Write it down, hang it up in your bedroom, have a calendar alert pop up every day, whatever.  But keep that reason for wanting a better life at the front of your mind at all times.

Many people get inspired by reading success stories of folks like them.

Lucky for you, Fit Radio has plenty of them on our blog.

Support

Last but not least, you need support.

Yes, I understand its kind of fun to be an army of one: the lone ranger trying to succeed against insurmountable odds….but it’s not necessary.

Once you decide to get in shape, want to know the best way to guarantee success?  Make it public.  Tell all of your friends, start a blog, and/or inform your co-workers and ask them to keep you accountable!  Unless you like being called a quitter, you’ll probably think twice about skipping out on your workouts.

Maybe your word isn’t your bond, and you need a different kind of motivation and support to succeed.  Try money.  My buddy Saint said he would pay his friends $500 if he didn’t get in absolutely incredible shape for his wedding six months down the road.  Saint didn’t have $500 to lose, so he decided instead to just get in great shape…and it worked.

Build your own Jedi Council – find people who are stronger than you and work out with them, or faster than you and run with them, or more educated than you and ask them questions.  These are people that you can turn to when you need advice or help.  If you don’t know anybody in real life, keep reading…

Find a workout buddy!  There are going to be days when you want to sleep in and skip your workout.  There will be afternoons following a crappy day of work where all you want to do is play Halo.  Find somebody who’s at a similar level of fitness as you, and work out with them!  He/she will push you on days when you’re dragging, and vice versa.  You can inspire and support each other, feed off of each other’s success, and offer up tough love when the complaining gets too much (and yes, there will be complaining).

 

Read more about how Fit Radio, the number 1 fitness music app, is designed to help keep you motivated and reach your fitness goals here.

10 Reasons Exercising on Vacation is Worth it

By Maire,

With the last days of summer upon us and the holiday season rapidly approaching, we want to know: Do I really have to workout when I’m on vacation?

It only took a little research to find a clear answer. While it might feel like vacation is the perfect excuse to hit the beach chair rather than the gym, there are actually a ton of benefits to working out on your time off. And best of all, it really doesn’t have to be hard. Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn’t “forget” your running shoes on your next trip.

 

1.It’s meditation in motion.

According to the Mayo Clinic, focusing on a single task, such as physical activity, can result in energy and optimism. It can calm you down and clear your mind. The Fit Radio yoga mixes can help you get in the zone for a relaxing yoga session.

corepoweryoga

 

2. It improves your mood.

Elle Woods said it first: “Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy.” And isn’t the whole point of vacation to be happy?

tumblr_npjg29L3EX1r9n4hjo1_500

 

3. It’s a chance for extra alone time.

We’ve all wished for just five minutes of alone time on family vacation before. Going for a run, or even just a brisk walk, is a great way to enjoy some time to yourself. (Plus, have you tried our new Running Feature?)

StaffPicks-edit

 

4. Or, it can be a great family activity.

Maybe you just can’t get enough of your loved ones, in which case physical activity is a great way to bond. Plan a family tennis tournament or basketball game. Go for a hike or rent kayaks. No matter the activity, it’ll bring everyone closer together and get everyone’s heart rate up.

 

5. It’s a great way to sightsee.

If you’re in a beautiful location with a lot to see, don’t spend valuable sightseeing time on the treadmill! Run through a local park or on the beach or up a mountain. Use exercise as an opportunity to do things you might not otherwise, like hitting the other side of town or catching the sunrise.

Asian woman running on waterfront path

 

6. It doesn’t have to take long.

Strapped for time? Don’t stress yourself out by trying to fit in an hour-long workout. Exercise trends like HIIT and tabata training can be done in as little as seven minutes and there are plenty of Fit Radio mixes to keep you entertained.

 

7. It doesn’t have to involve any equipment.

Skip taking the elevator and put on Fit Radio’s Stair Climber station as you take the stairs to your room. Workout complete.

stair-climbing

 

8. It’ll get you outside in the fresh air.

Running outside is reportedly connected with “greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression, and increased energy.” Plus weather conditions can be a bonus; wind resistance creates a tougher workout and sunny skies provide much needed Vitamin D.

 

9. It will help you sleep.

It’s much-cited fact that exercising can help you sleep better. Vacation workouts will help you not only catch up on sleep, but get better quality sleep.

 

10. It’s part of your routine.

Could you really go a week, or even a long weekend, without listening to your favorite Fit Radio DJs? We sure couldn’t.