4 Ways to Get More Flexible

You eat the right foods, drink the right drinks, and exercise regularly. In other words, you’re strong and healthy. There is only one hole in your overall good health. You’re as flexible as a piece of plywood. But there’s good news! You don’t have to stay inflexible your entire life. With the right steps, you can improve your flexibility, which will make life that much better.

Ready to get started building a more flexible you? Here’s how.

Roll Before

For many years, it was common practice to stretch before working out. In recent years, folks have ditched that advice for something better: lightly performing whatever you plan to do. Going to run? Walk and then jog before getting into a run. For those who want to take their routines to the stretchy limit, it’s time to use a foam roller.

With a foam roller, you work to gently stretch your muscles before working them out, and better yet, you stretch them out safely. Essentially a massage for your muscles, foam rolling helps your muscles relax and stretch. This, in turn, allows your entire muscle to be worked out in the gym afterward and prevents an already tight muscle from growing tighter through your exercise routine. Once you knock out a little foam rolling, the time is right for a round of body-weight exercises or light activity before going full force.

Go All the Way

As you exercise, you can help your flexibility by working throughout your entire range of motion. Initially, you may have a harder time squatting your full range of motion, but sticking with it will allow your muscles to work all the way and will lead to their being more flexible.

To get to where you can squat or perform other exercises as deep as your body allows, you will probably want to reduce the amount of weight you use. As your body grows accustomed to going through a fuller range of motion, you can increase the weight and enjoy improved flexibility.

Stretch Afterwards

Your routine winds down, and your muscles feel tight and want to stay that way. Folks who are new to working out often enjoy the feeling. It lets them know their body has worked hard, and so they allow the tightness to remain as they leave the gym and return to their daily routines.

However, this is when your stretches become most important. By taking 10 minutes to slowly stretch, you can take a huge step toward your overall flexibility. A good post-workout stretch will focus on the areas worked during your routine, but will provide a little stretching for the entire body. You can also finish your stretching with more foam rolling if you have time, as this will help further your flexibility goals.

Take It Slow

When stretching for increased flexibility, you may be tempted to push it as far as you can. But don’t give in. Instead, you should relax and take the slow and easy-going path to flexibility. Going too far too fast will actually have the opposite result that you want, as your body will have to repair itself from small injuries that occur from stretching and won’t want to stretch further in the future. Instead, take your time and allow your body to ease into stretches.

Feel an uncomfortable burning sensation that actually hurts? That is not your body’s way of thanking you. Back off and stretch to the point of slight discomfort. Accept that you can’t increase your flexibility overnight, and you will make better headway than beating your muscles into flexible submission.

If you would like more stretching and fitness information try our 15 Day Jumpstart at :

https://advantagepersonaltraining.leadpages.co/15-day-jumpstart/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your 5-Step Injury Prevention Plan

Injuries don’t have to slow you from meeting your fitness goals. The following 5 steps will dramatically reduce your chance of injury and if you do find yourself injured, but have been following these 5 steps, your recovery will be quick and efficient.

Step 1: Stretch

What is more boring than stretching? You want to exercise, not sit around touching your toes—right? Even though it isn’t exciting, stretching is the best way to increase muscle elasticity and durability. Tight muscles are big contributors to strains—remember? Take the time to stretch everyday before and after your workout to stave off injury.

Step 2: Warm Up

Preparing for your workout should not begin and end with putting on your gym clothes. Your muscles need to be coaxed into motion by way of a 10-15 minute warm up in order to prepare them for injury-free use. Cold muscles are less elastic and are therefore more prone to tears.

Step 3: Proper Gear

For most fitness enthusiasts proper gear has everything to do with their shoes. Don’t be fooled—not just any shoe will do. Find shoes that offer support and traction for your exercise of choice, and make sure that they aren’t too tight or too loose. If you are prone to ankle injuries then try a pair of high-tops for extra support.

Step 4: Lifestyle

Stop for a moment and think about your car—if you don’t maintain it with regular tune ups, oil changes and quality fuel then you can’t expect it to perform well on the road. The same applies to your body. Getting healthy amounts of sleep, eating well balanced meals and staying hydrated will all contribute to your performance during exercise. The healthier your lifestyle is the less likely you are to suffer an injury.

Step 5: Condition

This may seem like the most obvious step to injury prevention, but unfortunately it is the most overlooked. People who keep their bodies in top condition by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are the least likely to injure themselves. When exercise programs are started and stopped sporadically your muscles are most likely to become injured.

Of course being conditioned also has another great benefit that everyone enjoys – you get to look and feel great! And who doesn’t what that, right?

The ultimate injury prevention plan is to work with me, your qualified fitness expert! Together we will explore proper technique and will craft a plan for your unique fitness goals. Simply call or email me today to get started.

It’s time to take action and get the results that you deserve!

Franz Edson

I recently retired from a fantastic job as a Director at a large defense firm. After 35 years, it was time to start enjoying the fruits of my labor. I wanted to pursue retirement with the same zeal that I pursued my career. However, in order to do the things I wanted to do, including skiing, golf, sailing, and travel, I needed to be in better shape. Although I had worked out for years in my basement with a Bowflex and Nordic Track, there was no rhyme or reason to my workouts, and I kept doing the same routine over and over again.

After talking to several friends, and visiting a few gyms, I stopped by Advantage Personal Training in Niantic and had a long talk with the owner, Calvin McCoy. I was pleasantly surprised when the first question he asked me was what I wanted out of an exercise program. Was it conditioning, toning, weight loss, etc. I told him that I wanted to be stronger, with more stamina so I could spend more time at sports and working in the yard. Based on my goals, he set up a graduated program, where I work with a trainer one day a week, and work on my own two days a week in accordance with a specialized program they developed.

Fast forward 15 months. I have been working with Paul Palazzo regularly in accordance with the plan we set up. I can ski aggressively all day, I’m hitting the golf ball farther than I ever have, and I just feel better and stronger. As a bonus, I lost five pounds and my blood pressure dropped from 120/80 to 115/75. Each workout with Paul is different, which keeps it interesting and also works different muscle groups, and my “own your own” regimen changes monthly. Paul is a great motivator, extremely knowledgeable, and fun to be with.

I cannot state strongly enough how Advantage has improved my life. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to improve their level of physical fitness.

Mari & Ed Success story

Mari & Ed Suter

Mari & Ed Success storyThough we have different trainers, by training at the same facility we support and motivate each other. APT is integral to our goals–to remain healthy and active as long as possible.

Mari– Ten years ago, I was winded after a  short walk and realized years of desk-jockeying were taking their toll.  Our family physician recommended APT–best advice ever! For the past 7 years, APT and regular exercise have enabled me to maintain my ideal weight, take no prescription meds and enjoy blessedly good health, unlike my inactive peers. AND–I walk far and fast without being winded.

Ed– Six years ago following extensive back surgery, I started training at APT. My trainer used his vast knowledge to work his magic and move me from a post-operative state to being able to participate in more robust workouts. With regular vigorous workouts and my doctor’s consent, my hypertension medication dosage has been cut in half.

One size doesn’t fit all and the word “personal” in Advantage Personal Training assures that we both are safely trained to our maximum personal potential. Each trainer is a bit different; all are excellent.  Greg and his trainers are all top-rate!

 

Lucy Burr

I started working out to at Advantage Personal Training in 2008 to retain flexibility, stamina, and general well-being. My goals were also to improve posture and control my body weight. Working with a trainer has enabled me to continue an active and interesting lifestyle at the young age of 91. I love traveling and playing golf.

Last year I was sick for several months with pneumonia. I lost a lot of muscle and energy. In fact several of my friends thought I would not have made it if I did not exercise and have my body built up. Now I am back to working out 5 times a week and I feel great. Thanks to my training at Advantage!

Christine Booth Success Story

Chrystine Williams-Booth

Christine Booth Success StoryI stumbled upon Advantage Personal training by taking a wrong turn. Little did I know that it would be the best turn I would ever make for myself. I was 48 with two knee replacements and just didn’t know how to work out anymore without hurting for days. I was always active and played sports my whole life, but after my first knee replacement, exercise just was too painful, or I was too tired.

We had a son the year before my first replacement and I was determined that I would be active and healthy for him. Thanks to Paul, I have achieved so many goals with my body that I was told I would never do again. Squats, lunges, resistance and weight training, side-to-side exercises and jumping were thought to be things of the past. Never mind that I have always been told that I had to live with the size of my thighs and that cellulite won’t go away without surgery!!! Let’s just say all those myths are completely wrong if you are willing to put in the time and effort into yourself with a trainer that knows what he is doing and is making sure you’re always doing the exercises right, constantly asking what I feel, where I feel it or if it hurts. Paul took me through baby steps to amazingly challenging workouts. Two years later I am stronger, healthier, and more confident than I have been in years. It still amazes me that when I see someone that I have not seen in awhile that his or her first comment is: “Wow you look great, you lost so much weight.”  In reality, I have only lost 10 lbs in two years but I am wearing clothes that I have had in my closet for years that were two sizes too small. Thank you Paul and the amazing staff at Advantage for being a team that cares about all of us that walks through your doors, not just your personal clients! Working out 5 days a week was something I never dreamed I would love and do again. I am a client for life!

 

 

 

Michaela Hardink

My fitness journey began about this time last year when my friends challenged me to participate in a 5 mile mud run, Muderella.  It was just a few months away and I hadn’t run a mile or basically been off the couch in five years.  I had a four and two year old at home and was labeled as AMA (advanced maternal age) on my medical record because I had my children at 37 and 40.  I was also in treatment for C-PTSD and Postpartum depression, as well as taking Zoloft.  My therapist had been reminding me on and off for a couple years that I needed to exercise as part of my healing and treatment but I would always put it off and use time away from the family as an excuse not to take care of myself. Thinking about and having the determination to be healthy for my family, and the love of my friends, along with this challenge was exactly what I needed.

I had belonged to a “big box” gym years ago and got nothing out of it, but was intrigued by this little place I drove by almost daily close to my house, “Advantage Personal Training”.  This little place has become a huge part of my life.  I completed the Muderella, the Color Run 5K, as well as the Men’s Health Urbanathlon (a challenge from Greg), in the first six months of the journey.

I am grateful to all of the trainers (now friends) whom I have worked with individually, as well as in Team, for helping me gain strength and confidence in a safe, non-intimidating, non-judgmental atmosphere.  I have discontinued my antidepressant and no longer need my therapist as I have found that my fitness is all the therapy I need now. In 2015, I will run the Mystic Irish 5K and have accepted the biggest challenge, to run the Spartan with Greg and the gang in June. I look forward to accepting any other challenge that comes up.

Advantage truly has made a significant change in me and I will be a member for life!     

John Scot Success Story

John Scott

John Scot Success StoryMy weight loss and physical fitness journey started 15 years ago. I was turning 30. I was going grey. What wasn’t turning grey was attempting to go away. I was diagnosed with incredibly high blood pressure. And I was significantly overweight. Needless to say it was a traumatizing time in my life.

As I was pondering what to do with all this stuff in the gym I had joined I had the good fortune to receive a phone call from Greg Drab who was calling my office regarding a product I administer. It was just luck that I was covering the phones that day. I’m pretty sure I answered his questions but I also made an appointment to become a client at Advantage.

That phone call was ten years ago and I now know how to properly use the gym and I really enjoy it. It is my morning coffee and de-stressor. I went from being a lifelong fat guy to an athlete. Through the guidance of Greg and his team of coaches I have done all kinds of things that I would not have done before such as a Triathlon, Tough Mudder or the Men’s Health Urbanathlon. I find the challenge of training for these events to be incredibly fun and have made some great friends along the way.

What I like the best about Advantage is the fact that it truly is a judgment free zone. People come in all shapes and sizes and many different capabilities combined with our own fears and idiosyncrasies. None of that matters at Advantage and it truly made a difference with me as I now feel very comfortable working out and competing with some amazing athletes who would have intimidated the you know what out of me in the past.

So now at 45, I am in the best shape of my life. 30 days made it a habit. 15 years later it’s a vocation!

Fitness Mistakes to Avoid

5 Fitness Mistakes to Avoid

Stroll through any gym and you’ll notice many mistakes. Mistakes that waste time. Mistakes that put people in danger. And mistakes that are just plain crazy.

Maybe you even make a few of these mistakes yourself.

By avoiding these common blunders, you’ll put yourself on the fast track to results.

Check out the following 5 fitness mistakes and the solutions you need to avoid danger and to get fit fast.

Mistake 1: You use the wrong weight

The goal is to challenge your muscles, not to simply go through the motions. If you are able to complete 15 repetitions easily, then the weight is too light. On the flip side, if you aren’t able to perform an exercise through its full range of motion, and find yourself cheating on form, then the weight is too heavy.

The correct weights will feel challenging by your last few repetitions, but won’t force you to sacrifice form.

Mistake 2: You do the same routine

You may have noticed that most people do the same exercises each time they visit the gym. Maybe you’ve been doing the same exercise routine as long as you can remember—if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it, right?

The truth is that exercise routines have expiration dates, and that is the date that they begin to lose their effectiveness. As a rule of thumb never use the same routine for more than 4 weeks.

Mistake 3: You don’t warm up

Most people consider warm up time to be wasted time—they’d rather jump right into the heart of the routine. What they don’t realize is that a good warm up will allow you to perform at a higher intensity, which means greater results.

The point of a warm up is to increase your muscle temperature. This increases blood flow, muscle contraction and reduces muscle resistance. Your warm up should last 5-10 minutes.

Mistake 4: You use bad form

Gyms are filled with people performing exercises with bad form. The two biggest reasons are that you aren’t concentrating on the exercise, or you’re trying to lift weight that is too heavy. Lifting with improper form almost always results in injury.

Take the time to achieve proper form, by doing so you’ll avoid injury and will reap the full benefit from each exercise.

Mistake 5: You workout alone

People who exercise alone are less challenged, less accountable and typically see fewer results. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Why rush to the gym if no one is there waiting for you? Why push yourself if no one is watching? Exercising alone is a recipe for disaster.

The best way to avoid injury and to see results is to work with me, your trusted source on fitness.

I am passionate about seeing my clients achieve results—without wasting time, energy and effort on mistakes.

Don’t know where to start when it comes to exercise? That’s where I come in. Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that is right for you.

10 Min Workouts

The Truth About 10-Minute Workouts

The latest trends in fitness are leaning toward the ‘shorter is better’ philosophy…but do dramatically shortened workouts really get the job done?

No one can deny that the days of spending hours running, biking or doing any other number of slow, cardio-based exercise sessions (Jazzercise anyone?) are long gone. We simply don’t have the time, and have come to realize that these long, drawn out workout sessions don’t give us the best return on our time investment.

But how much of this desire for short, efficient workouts stems from shortened attention spans or just plain laziness? Is there true science behind the claims that 10 minute workouts deliver results?

In fact, there is a slew of new research that points to the true benefits of short, intense bursts of exercise.

This is great news for all of us with hectic schedules, especially during these crazy holiday months. Short, intense workouts are manageable and even enjoyable.

Here are the top 3 reasons that 10-minute workouts are worth your time…

#1. It Burns Fat

Multiple studies have proven the effectiveness of both Tabata and HIIT exercise sessions. These techniques take short bursts of activity and create a heart-pounding workout in 10 minutes or less. The key to making these workouts as effective as possible is to crank up your intensity to the max.

#2. It Makes You Happy

We all know that exercise releases endorphins, which makes us feel oh-so-good in the aftermath of a great workout. But don’t fret if you only have 10 minutes to exercise, studies have shown that an intense 10-minute burst of exercise is enough to get those feel-good juices flowing.

#3. It Protects Your Heart

According to researchers in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, people who get just 7 minutes of intense exercise each day are 45 percent less likely to die from heart disease. It’s also worth noting that people who maintained their exercise routine for six years or longer saw the greatest benefit.

I hope that I’ve convinced you of the value of an intense, 10-minute workout. In this busy holiday season it’s so crucial to our health and physiques that we make time to exercise – even if it’s just 10 minutes.

Call or email me today to get started on a fat loss program that that will make all of your fat loss dreams come true in the New Year. Make 2015 your best year yet!