Crossroads Fitness Blog

Crossroads Fitness Blog

Small group training provides big advantages

April 20, 2022

Most people are familiar with one-on-one fitness training sessions. These sessions are available at most health clubs and independent studios. But what’s changed might surprise you.

Crossroads Fitness Centers in Grand Junction is an industry leader in small group personal training. Although the concept seems to have only recently hit the market, we’ve been doing it for years.

Why is this best-kept secret so successful for reaching fitness goals?

Many people believe they can work out alone. Many can. For most of us, though, the reality is we won’t do it with success. Individuals who exercise on their own have a 45 percent dropout rate within the first year. The second year it’s 52 percent. That leaves only a 3 percent rate for someone to succeed with an exercise plan.

  Small group training is successful for many reasons. Leaders are personal trainers with knowledge of anatomy, exercise science and nutrition. Because of their education and experience, you feel comfortable in their abilities to train you.

Small group training also offers a cost-effective way to work out with trainers. Trainers split the cost of their time between a few people. Everyone benefits by sharing the cost.      

Another benefit of small group training is the variety. Each workout is carefully Quick read more or view full article designed for your group. Classes might include cardiovascular exercise, circuits, core work, interval training and weights.

Some of these tools used in workouts include kettle bells, plyo boxes, slam balls and suspension training.Many of these tools require proper technique and form to not only get the most benefit, but also reduce the risk of injury.

One of the most important benefits to achieving your fitness goals through small group training is structure. By having a class you attend two or three times every week with the same trainer and same people, you develop a workout habit. All you have to do is show up. That structure becomes part of not only your weekly schedule, but also your lifestyle.

The part I like best? The social aspect. A small group training class can become a close-knit group of people all trying to achieve their individual goals. I’ve seen it over and over at Crossroads Fitness. People who start out exercising together don’t know each other. After a while, they become friends in and out of the club.

Some classes might include businesspeople exercising before work. Others classes might include moms with young children. Other classes are a mix. The fact these people now have a support group that cares about them constitutes one of the most beneficial aspects of small group training.   

Working out in a group yields more success than attempting to do it on your own. Give small group training a try and experience the benefits for yourself. You’ll be amazed to find a trainer and group of people who are there to cheer you on.

 

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Row, row, row your way to fitness and good health

March 23, 2022

What if there was an exercise machine that burns calories to help you lose weight, strengthens and tones muscles and provides a great cardiovascular workout —  in other words, a total body workout?

You’d probably say, “Tell me more.”

There is such a piece of equipment — a rowing machine. Just a few years ago, rowing machines could be found near the back wall in health clubs and you never saw anyone using them. Why the change in popularity?  The secret of it’s amazing benefits have been revealed.

The No. 1 reason why more people don’t hop on rowing machines is simple: They don’t know how to use them. Almost anyone can figure out how to walk on a treadmill or pedal a recumbent bicycle. A rowing machine takes a little more finesse, but you’ve got this.

Let’s go over of benefits for choosing a rowing machine for your workout, basic rowing techniques, avoiding common mistakes and ways you can start rowing today.

As a non-impact exercise, rowing is easy on the back and joints and an excellent form of exercise for older fitness enthusiasts. Rowing burns substantial calories, making it a great tool for weight loss. Since rowing is an endurance exercise, there are cardiovascular benefits, including improved Quick read more or view full article lung, heart and circulation systems.

Because rowing involves almost every major muscle group, stronger, toned muscles are another benefit. Rowing works both the upper body (shoulders, arms and back) and lower body (legs, hips and buttocks) with each stroke. It’s also a performance abdominal exercise since the core remains engaged throughout the exercise.

Learning proper rowing technique isn’t as difficult as it seems. According to Concept2, a maker of rowing machines, there’s a four-step process to the rowing stroke:

The catch: This is your starting position where your legs are compressed, arms extended and you’re gripping the handle.

The drive: Focus on pushing with the legs first, next pivoting backward at the hips so your shoulders pass your pelvis (you should be in a slight lay back) and then pulling the arms into your chest.

The finish: This is where the abs stabilize the body and the glutes and quads are contracting as well as the biceps and back muscles.

The recovery: This is the final stage where the arms are pushed away from the body and the torso moves forward as you slide up to the catch position.

Some of the most common rowing technique mistakes are to row only with your arms or hunch your back during the stroke. It takes practice to get the sequence down and create a smooth stroke.

There are many ways to incorporate rowing into your exercise routine. It can be performed as a warmup prior to a strength training class or as a cooldown. You might choose to row during a high-intensity interval training program in which you engage in short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by short periods of slower-paced rowing. You might incorporate rowing as your primary cardiovascular workout as you would exercise on a stationary bike or treadmill.

Rowing machines are used by everyone from cardiac rehabilitation patients to Olympic athletes. Because of the wide range of health benefits associated with rowing, you might consider making rowing part of your lifelong fitness routine.

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Functional training preparation for daily activities

February 16, 2022

Think of the movements you go through every day: getting into and out of your car, reaching for an item on the top shelf at the grocery store or bending down to pick up a child. Most of the time, we don’t even think about these movements — until, that is, we can’t do them with ease.

This is where functional fitness exercises can help by training your muscles to handle everyday activities efficiently and safely.

Functional fitness training has become popular in training regimens. Personal trainers include this type of training in their client workouts. These types of exercises train your muscles to work together to simulate common movements. This is different from conventional strength training and working on isolated muscle groups.

Working a combination of muscle groups — your upper and lower body, for example — at the same time could duplicate the movement you make while lifting something off the floor. The exercise that might be performed for this movement would include a squat and then a bicep curl.

The body can perform seven basics movements: gait, hinge, lunge, pull, push, squat and rotate. All exercises constitute variations on these movements. In performing these movements, you’ll exercise all the major muscle groups of your body.

Functional fitness exercises concentrate not only on upper and lower muscle groups, but also the core muscles in your middle from Quick read more or view full article your chest to your pelvic bone. By strengthening core muscles, you gain flexibility and stability. As your core strengthens, your balance and posture improve. Strong core muscles reduce injuries, promote stability and improve overall health.

Functional fitness exercises are low impact and can be performed by almost everyone, from beginners to athletes. Step-ups and lunges focus on balance. Try a lunge where you step back instead of forward with hand weights. Develop core strength by performing sit-ups with a medicine ball you move from side to side.

Use such props as weights, kettle bells, fitness balls and aerobic steps. Many exercises can be performed without equipment, though, using only the resistance of your body weight.

Athletes often use these multi-joint and multi-muscle exercises are also used by athletes. Sports specific training can benefit from functional training as well.

Personal trainers often use a Bosu — both sides utilized — ball, which is rounded on one side and flat on the other. If you stand on the flat side, you must engage your core to retain balance. Moving a weighted medicine ball from one side of your body to the other while standing on the ball simulates the movement in a golf swing. This can be used for many other sports as well, such as basketball and hockey.

Functional fitness training offers numerous benefits.  Think of it as life training that creates a balance between your muscles and prepares you for your daily real life activities.

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Trends show there are a variety of ways to stay fit

January 18, 2022

Every year for the last 16 years, the American College of Sports Medicine has compiled a list of what’s hot in the fitness industry for the coming year.

As with any industry, trends are established by the people who use the products and services. What’s great about the fitness industry, though, is trends offer not only new ideas about how to stay healthy, but also variety we all could integrate into our lives. Some fitness trends date back a century, but have come back because the basic principles remain sound. While technology and education have changed, the basic need for movement hasn’t.

Here are the top 10 trends for 2022, keeping in mind the fitness industry continues to experience the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire to return to normal lifestyles:

The No. 1 trend is wearable technology, including such devices as fitness bands, GPS trackers and heart rate monitors. These devices count calories and steps, track heart rates and monitor sleep. They’ve become so popular because they provide immediate feedback, making users more aware of their fitness levels and motivating them to achieve their goals. Moreover, anyone at any fitness level can wear them.

Home exercise gyms placed second. As more people work from home, such equipment as bikes, treadmills and small weights can help them keep fit. Home gyms haven’t Quick read more or view full article taken the place of health clubs, but have added to overall fitness options.

Outdoor activities came in a third. Walking, riding, and hiking are among the most popular forms of outdoor exercise.

Strength training with free weights ranked fourth. This includes using barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells and medicine balls.

Exercising for weight loss placed fifth. An exercise program often combines with a nutrition plan to promote weight loss.

Personal training ranked sixth. Hiring a certified personal trainer or other experienced fitness professional is on the rise. By working out with a trainer, people not only enjoy the benefits of strength training, but also a coach who’s preparing a workout program to fit their needs, personalities and goals.

High-intensity interval training came in seventh.This type of workout involves short bursts of exercise followed by short periods of recovery. HIIT provides a dynamic workout with many health benefits and is performed in a short session, usually less than 30 minutes.

Body weight training placed eighth. Using body weight to create an effective workout goes back to the basics. Think of the such familiar exercises as lunges, squats and pushups. These types of exercises require little to no equipment and can be incorporated into many different types of workouts.   

Online live and on-demand classes dropped from the top spot to ninth. By using digital streaming technology, group exercise and training instruction can be accessed online. Many of these services are fee- and subscription- based and can be viewed at your convenience.

Health and wellness coaching ranked 10th.Whether it’s one-on-one or in small groups, a trained health coach can combine behavior, exercise and nutrition — as well as encouragement — to promote healthy lifestyles.

This list offers some ideas of what’s available.  Whether you’re looking for a fitness facility or just getting started on your fitness journey, the goal is to keep you moving. Whether it’s a studied trend or something new, finding activities you enjoy is the key.

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Plan now to keep off those holiday pounds

November 24, 2021

It’s estimated the average American gains between 5 pounds and 9 pounds of weight between Halloween and the new year.

It’s not an easy time to keep pounds off. Why? People eat more and exercise less, which results in weight gain. It’s as simple as that.

It all starts with Halloween. You stockpile bags of candy for the one evening when a few trick-or-treaters might come to your door. The day after, there’s leftover candy. And the kids have a sugar source that will fuel unhealthy eating habits into the holidays. Then, people put off losing weight until they start making their New Year’s resolutions.

So why is it so hard to stay committed to your healthy eating and exercise plan? The holidays are known for socializing — parties and events centered on food. Many of these food choices are high in calories.

Another reason is a trap we all fall into, and that’s our busy schedules. We’re busy nearly all the time.
But during the holidays, add in kids’ events, Christmas cards, decorating, shopping and traveling. The list goes on. The stress of the holiday season can leave you exhausted.

What’s the best way to survive the holiday season and avoid putting on those extra pounds? Make a plan.

Here are a few tips to Quick read more or view full article help:

Take out a calendar early — like now. Mark off time for exercise each day. Schedule a little exercise between things on busy days — 10 minutes is better than nothing. Keep your goals in mind throughout the holiday season. The time you allow for yourself for exercise, nutrition, organizaton and sleep will make the busyness of the season more manageable.

Eat right. Buy healthy snacks. Plan for parties and other activities that involve food. Eat some healthy and filing foods before you go. Attending an event hungry sets you up failure.

Exercise during the mornings of the holidays to burn off some of those extra treats you’ll eat later in the day. Thanksgiving offers an opporutnity to get in some eexercise early in the day before the feast.

Don’t fall into the trap of “I’ll start after the new year.” This is really saying you’ll find an excuse no matter the time of the year. There will always be birthdays and special events — think about Super Bowl parties and Valentine’s Day.

Remember: Celebrations are really about family and friends, not food.

Lifestyle changes in nutrition and exercise, even during the busy holiday season, provide long-lasting results. It’s about making healthy, productive changes that work for you over the long term. It’s about your health forever.

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