Mixing Up Fitness Activities with Luke Milton

Erik Ledin - Luke Milton

Luke Milton

Many trends are swirling around the fitness community as being healthy has become a top priority for many across the globe. Sometimes, the best way to stay fit and healthy is to use good old-fashioned camaraderie in the place of apps or scare tactics by personal trainers. That is what Luke Milton, a 33 year old australian told Fox News. He is a 10 year veteran of of the professional rugby community in Sydney and through his decade of team play, he learned the best motivation comes from those around you.

After retiring from rugby, Milton started a gym environment called Training Mate, in West Hollywood, CA. He hired a number of ex-pro athletes from Australia to bring the atmosphere he was attempting to capture, a fun, supportive team building type of gym.

Classes are structured into 45 minute lengths and is split into 4 stations for a rotating high intensity interval training experience. The constant change of pace is designed to get the blood moving and the heart rate up. This allows for muscles to be pushed harder and can lead to accelerated fat burning.

Milton’s coaching style is similar to his leadership style he illustrated as a pro-athlete, he encourages laughter with bad jokes and keeps the mood light in the room.

Bringing an Aussie flare to the room, he incorporates exercises such as the kangaroo jump, and the koala walk. For those looking to try these at home, the kangaroo jump is where you perform a “burpee” or squat down, kick your legs back and lower chest to the ground before completing a push up and jumping back into a squat. He then takes it one step further and moves his trainees into a split lung for both legs.

The koala walk is where you squat with one hand on the ground and then walk your hands out in front of you until you find yourself in a plank, or push up position. Then, do a pushup as you bring your left knee to your left elbow, returning to a plank when you reach the top. Then alternate sides, and start all over!

Mixing up fitness activities is good for the mind and body so do not be deterred to give a few of these exercises a try and check out the original article on Milton here.

Smaller Gyms Taking Down Bigger Gyms

A new wave of gyms is taking marketshare from those more well established gyms that we are known to hearing from. In the United Kingdom, smaller gyms are taking over the industry. LA Fitness, no relation to the LA Fitness of the United States has is being destroyed in the UK by budget gyms. In fact, Pure Gym has bought LA Fitness. New gyms like Pure, PayasUgym, and TheGym are taking over the industry.

The old model was getting long term contracts at a high rate. With so many gyms now under cutting the competition with short month to month terms at fewer dollars for months, they are now taking everyones business.  For more on this interesting article, check it out on businessinsider.com.

Fitness Apps for Different Needs

Believe it or not, applications made today to enhance personal fitness can help you get to know yourself better. Not every app has to be a personal fitness coach who designs your daily heated workouts. It’s important to recognize the many aspects at play in developing good fitness. Different apps are good for different things, and it’s never a bad idea to find your best fit for each type to build an arsenal of tools. While some focus on the workout routine itself, others focus on how to mold the rest of your schedule around the workout. Just like a gym has a universal machine, free weights, and treadmills to work the different parts of the body, apps exist to serve different dimensions of fitness such as diet, routine, sleep schedule. Some more unorthodox than others, the apps on this list should offer real support in areas of your life that need some assistance.

erik ledin - myfitnesspalTo manage your dietary needs and intake, I suggest MyFitnessPal which makes logging calories easy with accessible interface and a knowledgeable database of brand name foods you often see. As you develop your habits, MyFitnessPal’s food diary remembers your routines. HealthyOut makes it easy to enjoy special occasions out on the town while keeping faithful to your dietary restrictions. Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean always cooking your own foods under house arrest.

Sleep Cycle is the most useful coach because it helps you with areas you can’t consciously control. Every night, sleep patterns change, and often we wake up with inexplicable muscular tension and spasms. As you move throughout the night, the app recognizes your movements and REM cycles, and tries to communicate with you accordingly. It won’t wake you up when you’re in your deepest sleep, that’s a sensitivity the everyday alarm clock just cannot offer.

One new and never before seen way to make sure you’ll lose weight and get in shape is to put your money where your mouth is. With DietBet, Healthywage, and similar budding programs, you have the opportunity to set up a wager on how much you will lose. If the muscle isn’t motivation enough, the money will help. If you hit your weekly goals, or exceed them, you’ll get paid for the bets you made. That’ll feel doubly rewarding.

Pick an app, try it out, and see if it works for you. Everybody is motivated differently, so listen to yourself and do what works for you.

Workout Mentality

It can be hard to begin a lifestyle dedicated to good fitness and health, but there are ways to make it easier; pointers and some rules-of-thumb may make the routinization of new habits slide more smoothly into your already stressful life. For the inexperienced trainee, here are two general guides to stick by on your quest to better health.

Goals you can attain

Have you ever done fifteen push-ups or sit-ups and looked immediately after to see the results? Similar to the “think globally, act locally” mindset, we want to imagine big, but hold ourselves to attainable goals and draw up realistic blueprints for reaching them. Just as a book is written a chapter at a time, weight loss and strengthening require the patience of the process to achieve. It is always better to start small and work your way up than to collapse under pressure and quit cold turkey.
In a slightly separate vein, do not get hung up on externalized desires, or reaching goals that do not truly represent you and what you want. Work for yourself and your own confidence, not the approval of someone else. You are the greatest source of motivation for yourself. Do not get carried away with image you want to match or become (ex. a famous celebrity), just keep in mind a healthier, stronger, authentic version of yourself.

Work efficiently; Focus wisely

The Pareto axiom found universally states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the cause.” To exemplify this, 80% of the apples in an orchard come from 20% of the trees. Simply, this means that some efforts are contributing more to your workout than others. This includes the more fundamental components of good health such as good quality sleep and nutrition. If it is easier to run a long time and work on cardio than it is to do heavy lifting for bulk, stick to the cardio.
Good nutrition involves staying away from processed foods, foods high in saturated and trans fats and bad cholesterol. It doesn’t mean stripping all your meals of zest, in fact a lifestyle that approaches ascetic tendencies may endanger you by diminishing general happiness and inspiration. A good workout calls for a good meal, and its okay to eat what you like, as long as you remove the unnecessary factors such as cheap, processed snacks. Julian Hayes II writing with the Huffington Post says “pleasing your palate and meshing with your lifestyle” is the most important part of a good diet.
Sleep is the most crucial player in maintaining good health, and yet, it is the quietest. Lack of sleep and irregular sleeping patterns affect the levels of hormones in your body and throws off homeostasis. Good fitness presupposes bodily equilibrium. Commit to a sleep schedule, and use a bedtime routine if it helps secure those needed hours.

For more on this interesting article, check it out at the Huffington Post.

New Fitness Devices to Debut

With the tech industry booming, many companies are pulling out all the stops. They want to create a device or app for just about anything. With that said, many are developing fitness or nutrition apps to help people keep a diet or workout routine consistent. With many individuals on smartphones nearly 24/7, it’s the perfect place to store some sort of fitness or nutritional app to help people stay focused on the goal at hand. Let’s take a look at some of the newest fitness devices that are ready to launch at the Wearable Technology Show in mid-March.

Erik LedinGlofaster: Glofaster is a company with a jacket design for your bicycle. The jacket connects to an app and uses vibrations and lights to help provide the user with feedback on their cycling performance.

Ambiotex: This German start-up has a prototype that measures biometrical data with medical precision. It gives you extensive analysis to help optimize training performance and health.

Beast Technologies: Beast Technologies will be launching the Beast sensor. This sensor helps track gym workouts.

SmartLife: This company will be showing off a product similar to that of Beast Technologies. SmartLife has a smart garment sensor system that will read your body signals with high accuracy. This technology lets you view data like breathing rate, heart rate, and calorie burn.

For more on this article, check it this link out here.

Why Despite Working Out, You’re Not Losing Weight

You begin working out and after two weeks, you get discouraged because you’re not seeing desired results. This is to be expected. Everybody wants to see results as soon as possible but we have to be patient. If it were this easy, everyone would not have such a hard time looking great. Now fast forward to two months from now. You’d probably expect some sort of progress, but no, still nothing. Here are six reasons as to why this imgres-2could be happening to you.

1. Diet
While it’s great to work out, that is only half the battle. Part of getting in shape or trying to lose weight, or gain weight for that matter is what you eat. You should really look closely on your caloric intake each day. Also look into the types of foods you’re eating. Try to keep your food choice as close to natural/whole foods.

2. How Much Am I Eating?
Maybe you’ve nailed down the diet in terms of what foods to eat, but you find yourself maybe eating too much of it? You need to run a caloric deficit. What this means is you need to be burning more calories a day than taking in. Other tactics are eating slowly so you can easily recognize yourself getting full and stop at the right time.

3. Too Much Cardio?
While cardio is definitely a part of the process in losing weight, you can in fact be doing too much cardio and as a result hinder your weight loss. If you are doing cardio for too long, you can essentially burn away lean muscle which is good for increasing your metabolism and burning more calories.

4. Your Not Lifting Weights
If your ultimate goal is fat loss and lean muscle, you absolutely should be lifting weights. It’s ok to bike, run, eat right in order to help lose weight but you’ll want to incorporate strength training as well.

5. You’re Not Pushing Yourself
There isn’t a perfect recipe that says if you do this exact amount of exercise or eat this exact amount of healthy foods that you’ll look perfect. Everyones body varies from person to person. You should roughly be working out for an hour a day. Now if you’ve been coming up short of this mark, you may not be pushing yourself enough.

6. You’re Not Recovering
Everyone loves that burn after a great workout. But are you working out the same spots everyday? Are you working out your whole body at once? You should break up your workouts into different body parts everyday. This way each section has time to recover before you get back to that body area. Your body does its actual fat burning on its rest days.

For more on this topic, check out this link here.

Targeting Glutes and Hamstrings

Not happy with your legs? Or even worse, are you the type of person who tends to skip legs because you don’t want to be sore with every step you take during the following days? Skipping out on your legs can lead to an undesirable look. Sometimes, if you workout your upper half too much and not enough your bottom half, you can in fact look a bit funky. Lets take a look at some of the workouts that target your glutes and hamstrings.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

Knee Lifts

Basic Bridge

Leg Lock Bridge

A Great Success Story

Every now and then, people tend to get lazy with their workout. Whether it be because of the holidays, they get busy, or they get hurt and once they heal they have a hard time getting back to the gym on their own. We look for reasons as to why to get back to the gym, or even go to the gym initially in the first place. Sure we’ve seen the commercials with the outrageous before and after photos, but do we believe them. How about this one. Clarence Ilderton of High Point, North Carolina is still lifting to this day. Doesn’t really seem like a big deal does it? Well Clarence is 88 years young!

B9315615327Z.1_20141223190254_000_GO29GDVHL.1-0Clarence has come a long way. He remembers the day he first started running. It was May 16th 1968. Why does he remember this date? It was the day after he quit smoking, at age 42! At age 42, Clarence proves right here that it is never too late to make a change.

Five years later, at now age 47 Clarence began taking Korean taekwondo where he eventually achieved the status of a black belt. He then went onto join the YMCA of Greater High Point where he has been a member for 40 years. Clarence to this day works out normally four times a week with sometimes the occasional extra workout on the weekend. To this day, he can bench press more than 200 pounds. Just five years ago, he was able to bench press his max weight of 255 pounds.

It all started with a simple mile walk. As he walked a mile everyday, he then would run a mile. After running a mile every day, one mile then turned into three miles and so on. Clarence Ilderton is a model citizen to show us all that its never too late to get back to the gym to strive for results that you desire. He also goes to show that you’re never too old to stop working out as well.  For more on Clarence, check out this article here.

Healthy Eating Helps to Build Muscle

erik ledin weightThere are many ways to build muscles. As you begin to employ weight training, you will quickly feel your body getting stronger. However, there is another important element to add to your routine if you want to build muscle bulk as well as strength.

To really build up your muscle size, particularly if you’re a big guy, you need to greatly increase food intake and make sure that you are eating consistently, every day. It may be hard to eat as much food as you need to not only maintain, but also gain weight. You may feel too lazy or not feel a great appetite. However, eating a large amount of food consistently is the only way to really bulk up and gain desired muscle mass.

Gaining muscle is not an easy endeavor. It requires enough tension and volume accompanied by enough calories to help to build the muscle. Building muscle is a slow process and takes consistent work and time to see results.

Many people identify the fact that they want to lose fat while gaining muscle. This is very difficult because as you cut back on calories, your body responds with hormones that dictate it should preserve body fat. Additionally, if you are operating on a caloric deficit your body will not waste valuable energy on building muscle. Therefore, the only way to build muscle is to ensure that your body is getting enough food. Even if it feels counterintuitive because you’ve just scaled back your diet to help with weight loss, you need to ramp your diet back up to help build muscle.

This can sometimes be a balancing act. Eating more will make you gain weight, but if you are training correctly it will build muscle. There may be times that your fat to muscle ratio will change and you may need to diet again to get to where you want to be. The bottom line is that building muscle is a slow process and you need to feed your body to help muscles develop.

Cardio/Interval for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain?

erik ledin cardioCommon questions from those looking to lose weight or gain muscle: Should I use cardio? Intervals? How much? My answers usually depends on each individual person–their goals, their timeframes, etc. But there are a few general things I can say here.

Cardio/Interval for Fat Loss?

First of all, for fat loss, I usually like to put the main focus on diet and nutrition, secondary focus on interval training, and tertiary focus on low intensity cardio. If you’re not eating right, the exercise won’t do you much good. With an average client, I’ll usually assign them somewhere between one and three interval sessions each week with varying work/rest ratios. I’ll often give my lighter clients more cardio because their calorie intake isn’t going to be that big to start with.

Here’s an example. One client is 230 pounds and eats about 3,450 calories a week. Another client is 110 pounds and eats about 1,650. Right off the bat I like to create a 20% deficit in calorie intake and see where that gets us. So, if you do the math, client one  will be consuming 690 less calories and client two will be consuming 330 less calories. If they stick to the diet, client one is well on the way to losing over a pound of fat per week, but client two is not. So I’ll prescribe client two some additional interval or cardio to get a reasonable fat loss rate.

Cardio/Interval for Muscle Gain?

If gaining muscle is the goal, I’ll often ditch interval training entirely, since the calories you’d lose could have been used towards gaining the muscle you’re looking for. If it’s your heart you’re worried about, weight training will provide plenty of cardiorespiratory benefits. If you don’t believe me, the next time you’re lifting, take your pulse.