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Showing posts from November, 2012

Fattening Up for the Holidays

Every single year, the same thing happens.  We get through Thanksgiving thinking of it as a single binge before Christmas and instead, find our pants have gotten a bit tighter than we intended and have no intention of slowing down.  Its hard.  There is good food everywhere, the weather does its best to discourage us from getting outside and exercising, and the stress of the holidays makes it hard to keep a consistent schedule.  And so, we begin to put on a bit of weight.  I am particularly good at this, I believe one year I gained 10 lbs within a two week period and I don't think I was pregnant at the time.

Anyway, weight loss is something I discuss a lot with my clients.  There are a lot of gimmicks, fad diets, fad exercise programs, books, and lots of pills and powders out there that would have one believe that weight loss can be easy and the truth is, its not.  Its simple, but its not easy.  Before anyone gives me crap for having never been overweight, let me correct you.  I&…

Elementary School Fitness Testing

I'm about to start my seventh week of teaching strength to the third and fourth graders at my children's elementary school and it has been a great learning experience.  The class I'm teaching is part of the school's "clubs" program which is basically a series of special classes that the children can choose from.  These classes cover everything from art to music to physical fitness.  After volunteering with the PE classes last year, the PE teacher asked me if I'd like to teach a strength class and I gladly agreed.

I've talked a lot in other articles about how I feel that proper strength development is essential for kids, especially since they do not get out and play like we did when we were kids.  Additionally, sports injuries in children are rampant and usually the result of overuse injuries and/or a sorely lacking strength base.  However, the main reason I decided to teach this class at my children's elementary school was for one reason in parti…

The Trap Bar Deadlift

In my training practice, I work with a lot of different individuals with different goals, fitness levels, and body types.  I believe that strength is the one quality that transfers the most to other aspects of fitness and so strength training is a large part of what I do with my clients.  However, the challenge to find exercises that my clients can do both safely and effectively is one that I deal with on an almost daily basis.  The deadlift in particular can be a challenge to both teach and execute for a number of reasons and yet, it is my favorite loaded strength exercise for most people.

The problem with the basic barbell deadlift is that for a lot of folks, they can be dangerous.  Now don't get me wrong, I love deadlifting and its the one lift I use most often, but a lot of my clients are older and inexperienced with barbell training.  They often lack the balance, kinesthetic awareness, and/or posterior chain strength to recruit the right muscles to deadlift properly.  As fat…