Categorized as: How To

How To: Ab Wheel Rollout

An Ab Wheel Rollout perfectly executed by #Rep1 Trainer, Jamiel! Work those abs and keep your core strong with this exercise! #FocusFriday

Foam Rolling

If you are a gym rat and have been for the past decade, you’ve noticed a change in the gym. People have been starting to use this weird roller and grimacing while sitting on it. You are probably aware of the name of this practice: foam rolling or self myo-fascial release (SMR). But why are people doing it if it hurts so much?

WHAT IS FOAM ROLLING?

  • Foam rolling, or SMR, is a fancy term for self massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. It can be performed with rollers, Theracane, trigger point balls or even your bare hands.
  • Trigger points are “knots” (a bunch of overactive muscle fibres) that can be found in the muscle. It is very easy to find them: they hurt under pressure. A common example is the tenderness you feel when you put pressure on some specific area of your IT band (side of your thigh).

WHY SHOULD YOU SPEND TIME ON THE ROLLER?

There are many reasons why, here are the most common:

  • foam rolling can assist in releasing trigger points and breaking up adhesions and scar tissue.
  • foam rolling increases the blood flow in the muscle.
  • foam rolling forces the muscle to relax. It stops the overactive muscle from starting the movement and allowing the under-firing muscle to work properly. This gives you a short window of time where you can teach your body a proper movement pattern. As you probably guessed, this is my favourite reason.  An example would be the client that performs push-ups with a shoulder shrug: chances are the upper trapezius are overactive, and start before the rhomboids can kick in, releasing the upper traps with SMR and stretching allow you to perform a proper push up (article coming soon).

  • I like to use rolling as a compliment to stretching. Imagine an elastic band with a knot in the middle, if you pull on it, the elastic stretches but the knot doesn’t. Foam rolling allows you to “untie” the knot before stretching, making your stretching session more efficient.

HOW NOT TO DO IT

  1. do not simply roll back and forth. It takes longer to get the relaxation that you are going for
  2. Make sure not to roll the same body part every day: you will be rolling your muscle/tendon to a pulp, creating dysfunction, and increasing the chances of injury.

HOW TO DO IT

There are two techniques that I like to use:

  1. find a tender spot and hold for a while (usually 30 seconds). You want to hold the tender spot until the pain disappears. I don’t like to give a number because it adds tension/stress to a practice that is designed to actually relax you. I like to tell my clients to breathe deeply while rolling, inhale through the nose, and exhaling completely through the mouth. This helps with the relaxation. The more relaxed you are, the quicker the pain will go.
  2. find a tender spot, and then stretch/contract the muscle. This is a more “aggressive” technique. Yes, it is my pick! One example of this method is rolling your quads (front of the thigh), then curling the leg as you would do in a hamstring curl 3 times.

A few muscles that could typically use some SMR love:

  • Calves
  • Quads
  • Hip external rotators
  • Lats
  • Rhomboids
  • Pecs

Let’s recap:

  • make sure you spend some time rolling before or after your work out, it can really help you stay injury free
  • roll out different muscle groups, and make sure you don’t always do the same spot.
  • do some stretching after to make sure the knot is completely released

How To Do Chin Ups

The Why and How of Proper Chin Ups

There is nothing more impressive in a gym than a person who can rip off perfect chin ups and make it look easy. If you have spent time in a fitness facility it is something we have all struggled with at one point. The jealousy of someone who can have great form and do over 10 chin ups is something we have all known. How did that guy, or girl, make doing chin ups look so easy?? How do I do that myself? Why should I do that? Well, here’s your explanation and here’s your plan. Stick to this program and not only see your strength go up but your waistline go down!

Why you should do them:

-Chin ups are a compound exercise: more than one joint is moving and therefore it uses lots of muscles… which equals more bang for your buck! This exercise targets the latissimus dorsi muscles of your back, but also involves a number of muscles in your arms, shoulders and chest, including your posterior deltoids, triceps, biceps and lower and middle trapezius.

-They are extremely convenient and are one of the most simple (but hard) exercises to do. You also reach your max very quickly, meaning they can be used in a superset and allow you to save time.

-Fat loss: Lots of muscles involved does mean that you will burn more calories in a shorter amount of time: they increase your basal metabolic rate (you burn even more fat even when you are sleeping).

-They are one the best core exercises around as your abs are fighting the pull of your lats to keep your rib cage from flying off your chest. It is not rare to have sore abs for days after a chin up work out

Technique:

Grab a straight bar, get your feet off the floor, and lift yourself up. Don’t over think it, just do it!

There are few rules though:

1: if you are kipping, it is not a chin up

2: if you are not fully extending your arms, it is not a chin up (except if you have an injury, but then, maybe chin ups are not for you)

3: if your clavicle doesn’t touch the bar, it is not a chin up

4: if you move your legs, it is not a chin up either (you can bend your knee at the starting point, but the leg position should not change throughout the exercise)

Program: 10 chinups in 6 weeks

To follow this program you need to be able to do at least 3 chin ups. Here is how the program works, first you will be doing THREE chin ups, rest (or work on something else -hint, hint: superset), then go on to the next set: TWO chin ups, rest, then ONE chinup, rest and finally ONE chin up. On the following day, you are going to add one rep in the following manner:

Week 1

Day 1: 3-2-1-1

Day 2: 3-2-1-1

Day 3: 3-2-2-1

Day 4: 3-3-2-1

Day 5: 4-3-2-1

Day 6: off

Day 7: off

Week 2:

Day 1: 4-3-2-1-1

Day 2: 4-3-2-1-1

Day 3: 4-3-2-2-1

Day 4: 4-3-3-2-1

Day 5: 4-4-3-2-1

Day 6: off

Day 7: off

Week 3:

Day 1: 5-4-3-2-1

Day 2: 5-4-3-2-2

Day 3: 5-4-3-3-2

Day 4: 5-4-4-3-2

Day 5: 5-5-4-3-2

Day 6: off

Day 7: off

Week 4:

Day 1: 6-5-4-3-2

Day 2: 6-5-4-3-3

Day 3: 6-5-4-4-3

Day 4: 6-5-5-4-3

Day 5: 6-6-5-4-3

Day 6: off

Day 7: off

Week 5:

Day 1: 7-6-5-4-3

Day 2: 7-6-5-4-4

Day 3: 7-6-5-5-4

Day 4: 7-6-6-5-4

Day 5: 7-7-6-5-4

Day 6: off

Day 7: off

Week 6:

Day 1: 8-7-6-5-4

Day 2: 8-7-6-5-5

Day 3: 8-7-6-6-5

Day 4: 8-7-7-6-5

Day 5: 8-8-7-6-5

Day 6: off

Day 7: off

Test yourself at the end of the week 6, and VOILA you should now be able to do 10 chin ups.

What if you can’t do 3 chin ups?

If you are not currently able to do one pull up, here are a list of exercises you can do:

Lat pull down:

the easiest one, make sure to train the grip that you will be using for the chin up.

Do 5 sets of 5 reps with the maximum weight you can use with proper form.

Negative pull ups:

use a chair, a bench or jump to the top position, slowly lower yourself, the descent should take 10seconds, then repeat 5 times

ISO hold:

use a chair, a bench or jump to the top position, hold for 10 seconds, rest for 90 seconds then repeat 5 times. I personally like this exercise better than the negative pull ups.

Band: use a pull up band to assist you in doing pull ups. You can use the same program described in this article with the band

So you can do 10 chin ups, now what?

Side to side pull ups:

if you are able to do 10 chin ups, try the side to side chin ups:

pull yourself up, then pull yourself to one side and switch. Do 3-5 sets of 5-8 reps

Weighted chin ups:

simply hold a weight with your feet or a dip belt and do 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps

One arm braced on the side:

progression toward the single arm chin. Hold the bar with one hand, and use the other hand to stabilize yourself in the door frame or the squat rack

Single hand chin-up:

grab the bar with one hand and lift yourself up 🙂

21 Chins:

Lift yourself up, then lower yourself halfway down, and repeat 7 times. After the 7th rep, lower yourself all the way down and lift yourself halfway up, repeat 7 times. When you finish the seventh rep, you do 7 full range-of-motion chins. I don’t think there is anything special about the number 7, it is probably just gym tradition, but it burns so it must be good!

Challenge:

Who will be the first person doing a set of 21 and sending us a video as proof? The first person to do so will get a high 5 from me, and a huge amount of respect from the Rep1 team!

Future Cat1 Racer

This has been an amazing summer for my kids, not only has the weather been fantastic for them to be outside all day but my daughter has learned to ride her bike. My daughter, “Kitty” watches her brother, “Jackson”, get on his bike everyday and rip around. She is so envious of him. I tried to teach her to ride but it usually ended in some form of an argument. We decided to put her in bike camp to teach her how to ride properly. After her first day at camp, I went to pick her up all I could see what this huge smile across her face. She was so excited that she could ride her bike and could keep up with her brother!!

Everyday I get home from work now we are out riding!! How awesome is that… Look out here comes the future in bike racing.

Click on the link below to see Kitty riding her bike.

Take The Time!

Taking time to do the “extra” is usually not one of the priorities with regards to our training regime but it is one of the most important!

What is the “extra”?  It’s taking and making time to take care of our bodies, stretching protocol, foam rolling, massage, physio and sleep are all examples of the “extra”!  How often do we hear or say, I just didn’t have time after a run, ride or workout, to do the “extra”?  The answer, to often!
Lets all get to bed early and use this as a reminder to make the time, we will all feel better!

Workout Music

Do you need motivation to get yourself to the gym or to continue your workout when fatigue starts to set in?

A new study was recently released describing the best motivational music and it all has to do with the number of beats per minute in the song! Apparently a song with 125-140 beats per minute boots your stamina and helps you conserve energy to keep going. The study suggested the following songs:
– “Single Ladies” by Beyonce
– “Thrift Shop” by Mackle Moore…you can ask some of my regular spin attendees, they all LOVE this song!
– “Birthday” by The Beatles
– “Take It Easy” by The Eagles
Try adding these songs to your playlist and hopefully they help!

What NOT To Eat Before Bed!

Everyone is different, but there are certain foods that most should avoid eating before bed. The following foods tend to negatively affect your quality of sleep, and we all know maximizing one’s amount of sleep before the next day’s workout is crucial!

 
#1 Milk- Milk is a healthy source of calcium and protein but its lactose content often induces a sugar high, resulting in having difficulty to fall asleep! Instead, try drinking lactose-free milk. This type of milk generally has a higher protein content than regular milk, and has a delicious creamy taste.
 
#2- Chocolate- Chocolate often contains caffeine, which will definitely inhibit your ability to fall asleep! Instead, try making your own chocolate-flavored protein brownie. Many low-carb and great tasting recipes are easily found on the Internet!
 
#3- Meat- Most meats are heavy and require a lot of energy to digest. Eating this before bed will cause your body to focus on digestion, and less on relaxing and falling asleep. Try filling your before-bed protein requirements with turkey meat, which contains tryptophan (a sleep-promoting amino acid). A slow-digesting protein powder, ie. a casein protein, is also a good option to have before bed.
 
#4- Celery- Celery is a natural diuretic, which means you will use the washroom more than usual after consumption (you don’t want this to happen throughout the course of the night!). Try having broccoli or cauliflower (I know, such delicious alternatives) instead!
 
#5- Fruit Juice- Fruit juice can be very acidic, causing issues for those with heart burn. It also contains lots of simple sugars which will cause the body to have a large sugar high and crash during the night. Instead, mix some fresh berries with cottage cheese. The cottage cheese provides slow digesting amino acids for your body throughout the night, and fresh berries have very little glycemic content.

Why Should I Try A Spinning Class?

When considering participating in a spin class, almost everyone’s initial thought is: “I am not fit enough to last a full hour in a hardcore spin class.” To this statement, we say: “Everyone had to start somewhere!”

Spin classes are designed to be entertaining and all-inclusive. All participants are in charge of their hour, and this applies to the resistance used, the speed worked, and the various options given for all individuals’ differing fitness levels.

The main reasons you should make it a 2013 goal to try a spin class are:

#1- Entertainment: An hour of working out on your own feels much longer than an hour. An hour in a spinning class, where you are told what to do and are guided by a trained instructor, is a much more enjoyable and “quick” workout!

#2- Community Atmosphere: Everyone works together to get through the ride and finish the hour. Cheering and laughter are highly encouraged…and we all know you Rep1ers know how to be heard!

#3- Music and Energy: The hour is packed with up-beat, unique, and motivating music!

#4- Education: Learn how to set up your bike and how to position your body when cycling. These skills can be extended to recreational outside cycling, or even to other daily activities.

#5- Your Hour: Make attending a spinning class an appointment, much like a meeting for work, and give yourself that hour to relax and focus on yourself!

Your first class is free so what are you waiting for??

Don’t Let Travelling Or Holidays Sabotage Your Fitness

Flying to California for a conference, Hawaii for a holiday, or Whistler for a weekend away, your fitness

regime DOES NOT and SHOULD NOT have to suffer. Wheither you are staying in a top hotel or a cozy

cabin, wheither its sunny, raining or snowing there will be lots of exercise options.

The key is to keep it short and sweet.

I usually exercise when I am away for a minimum of 20min per day. If there is a fully equipped gym then

all the better, if there is not it gives you the chance to get creative and do those funky exercises your

trainer makes you do, crab walks, scapular protractions, spider walking:

If there is the option for a jog outside, it’s a great way to explore, add some pushups, walking lunges,

tricep dips on your journey

Here are 3 different workouts that can be done when away from home,

In the Gym include these exercises

Ball Chest Press X 15

Ball crunches X 20

Squat and Bicep Curl X15

Ball Extensions X 20

Walking Lunges with

shoulder press X 20

Ball Balance 1min

Ball Bridge and Hip Thrust X 20

Prone Rows X 20

In a Hotel Room 2-3 sets depending on time

50 squats

20 pushups

Plank 1min

20 Back Extensions

20 Tricep Dips (bed/chair)

Single leg step ups (bed/

chair)- 1min/ side

50 Lunges

Side Plank 30sec/ side

Lateral Hop and stabilize

Outdoors

Go for a jog ,

Find a park bench-

20 step ups

20 Tricep Dips

20 Sumo squats

15 Pushups

20 Reverse Lunges

Single leg balance walk out

to side plank X10 / side

Suicide Pushups 10/ side

Jog and repeat 2-3 times during run

Homeworkout for Riel

I made this list for Riel, one of my clients.

Since he’s also the web master and he’s been bugging me to blog about something…

I figured I’d post his workout on here in the hopes that it helps some of you reading this as well

So here it goes … your home workout for when I’m not around …

Legs

  • 50 Lunges
  • 50 squats
  • Lateral Bounding 1 min
  • Sit down stand up 1 leg 1min / side

Upper body

  • 15 Pushups
  • Hindu Push Up
  • Hand walkouts
  • Bear Crawl

Core

  • 1 min plank
  • Side plank 45 sec X 2
  • Superman 1 min
  • Supine Hip Thrusts 1 leg 1 min

Pelvic Floor

  • Lie on Back- knees bent over hips
  • Prone & Supine:
  • Unilateral knee Int / Ext rotation
  • Bilateral Knee Int / Ext rotation

Lie on side

  • Hip abduction
  • Hip abduction circles
  • Hip extension (long leg behind)
  • Hip Ext circles
  • Hip Flexion
  • Hip Flexion circles

Weak Points

  • Prone Shoulder Press 1 min
  • Prone Flutter Kicks 1 min
  • Scapular Protraction / Retraction