By CJ Kostranchuk
Increasingly popular in gyms, and commonly utilized by boot camps and personal trainers, battle ropes are a dynamic, effective training tool. They are available in a variety of diameters and length, creating progressive levels of difficulty.
Longer ropes ideal for pulling movements; thicker ropes are advantageous for developing power and grip strength. Battle Ropes are also great because their portability lets you take your workout outside.
To find out the primary benefits of using battle ropes in your training, click the link below:
By Coach Meredith
Spring is here and the weather is finally getting warmer. Now is the perfect time to think about ways to switch up your gym routine and bring your workouts outside! Besides fitting in more physical activity, there are also many other benefits to working out outside such as fresh air, sunshine, and enjoying a wide range of activities that are perfect for the outdoors which you may not be able to do during your normal indoor workouts. Not sure how to get the same intensity as your indoor workouts? Try one of these ideas to get started:
Just a reminder-- No matter what activity you try outside:
Depending on where you go, whether you’re in the park, at the beach, in a field, a parking lot, or maybe just in your own backyard—workouts that are typically done inside can always be modified to bring to the great outdoors. No one said exercise has to stay inside, so get out there and enjoy the benefits of some fresh air and sunshine while becoming a stronger, healthier you!
By Coach Meredith
What is HIIT?
High Intensity Interval Training. This type of training is going to give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to exercise. Want cardio? It’s got it. Want to gain strength? You will. Want to burn fat? This is your solution.
Luckily, The Bar Athletics offers TWO great exercise programs that use high intensity interval training: Crossfit and B-FHIIT.
While our Crossfit program does offer workouts with HIIT, our B-FHIIT program is completely based off of it (if you couldn’t already tell by its name… Bar-Fitness High Intensity Interval Training)
HIIT (B-FHIIT) alternates between periods of high and low intensity and periods of rest. For example: 40 seconds of a set of burpees followed by a set of ring rows and then 20 seconds of rest OR 30 second sprint followed by 1 minute of walking.
HIIT is an important form of exercise because it is impossible to sustain maximal intensities during an extended amount of time. This is due to how our body processes fuel. Let’s take this a step further and explore a magic molecule called: Oxygen.
One thing everyone knows is we need oxygen to breathe. When our bodies work at low intensity exercise, such as a brisk walk, we utilize aerobic metabolism. What does this mean?
-This means we use oxygen to break down carbohydrate and fat for energy. This is great! It’s an efficient process, however we can’t work at top speed so we lose intensity.
When our bodies work at higher intensity, such as sprinting, we utilize anaerobic metabolism. What does this mean?
-This means our bodies can’t get oxygen to where it needs to go fast enough. This is inefficient, but it allows us to produce short bursts of speed or high energy.
So, we have these two systems, both of which have advantages and disadvantages. How can we make the best of both worlds when exercising? – HIIT.
-The alternating of short bursts of intense exercise (anaerobic metabolism) with periods of low intensity exercise (aerobic metabolism) allow for long-term fat loss, overall conditioning, and muscle recovery.
Again, just to recap-- Why HIIT?
HIIT is excellent for:
HIIT is extremely efficient. It lets you get a bigger training effect with less time spent. And compared to a 45-minute jog, 45 minutes of HIIT is a lot easier on the joints.
If you’re tired of seeing the same results from lifting weights in front of a mirror and doing the same old circuit, check out our 45 minute B-FHIIT class or 60 minute Crossfit classes for some HIIT fun!
By Coach Meredith
I hope you all have been enjoying the milder Ohio weather and may have even gotten outside for some recent physical activity. Which brings me to my next topic: Physical Activity in the new year.
There are a number of reasons why we exercise. Although one of the main goals is to lose weight or maintain fitness, some of those reasons have absolutely nothing to do with losing weight. Regular physical activity can boost mental health benefits, improve quality of sleep, strengthen our immune systems, and is an overall essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise doesn’t have to be just about losing weight. For some it is a source of therapy or even just an escape from their day to day routine.
That being said, if your goal is to lose weight, you should know that working out isn’t enough on its own to actually make that happen. There is so much else that goes into weight loss and body fat loss; one of the main factors being good nutrition. Majority of weight loss regimens will include exercise because it is a great tool and is healthy for you. Something to remember: because there are so many aspects that go into weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle, even if you are doing everything “right”, working out regularly and eating appropriately may not be enough. Lifestyle habits such as sleep and stress as well as health conditions (thyroid issues, depression, chronic disease) can get in the way of your weight loss efforts. Weight loss is an extremely personal journey that doesn’t look or work the exact same way for each individual.
That being said there are definitely certain exercises and workouts that can be useful in helping you lose weight or burn fat or change your body composition to gain lean muscle mass for a fitter, healthier you. These exercises are generally high-intensity and they burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Let’s explore a few common high-intensity exercise routines:
This is any form of exercise where your heart rate spikes and then comes down repeatedly within a period of time. This type of training keeps your heart rate elevated in a general range according to your age, which in turn keeps your metabolism going. The result: you burn more calories.
If you are generally crunched for time, Tabata workouts are your solution. Tabata is high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that consists of 20 seconds of all-out effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, or any combination of work to rest in a repeated fashion. You can perform Tabata-style exercise for any length of time as long as you are focusing on a work to rest ratio in order to spike and recover the heart rate. This is also great because you can use different exercises to constantly keep the body guessing and increase the metabolism. Think this is your style of workout? Check out The Bar Athletics’ new B-FHIIT class held on M-W-F from 6:30pm-7:15pm. This class is an instructor led, 45 minute session that is guaranteed to get you sweating! This class is perfect for anyone interested in losing weight, increasing stamina, or just trying to have a great time. You can expect great music, great coaches, great friends all while achieving a great workout! This class is for all levels of fitness, beginner to advanced. All movements can be scaled to accommodate for any personal mobility restrictions. Furthermore, the importance of nutrition will also be discussed to promote a healthy lifestyle in and out of the gym.
CrossFit is a form of interval training and can also be considered high-intensity. Traditional CrossFit classes include a skill-based warm-up, skill or strength training, the Workout of the Day (or “WOD”), and mobility work. The workouts can always be scaled so that new athletes can workout alongside veteran athletes. Some days the WOD will be a 10-20 minute metabolic conditioning workout that combines several movements grouped into sets to be completed for time or in as many rounds a possible (“AMRAP”). Other days, the class will focus on a strength piece (like a 1 rep max deadlift) followed by a shorter metabolic conditioning “finisher” workout. We encourage all CrossFit athletes to record their workout times/scores in the ‘Beyond The Whiteboard’ app in order to track their progress over time. Because the workouts vary every single day, you may be doing anything from kettlebell swings to rope climbs and box jumps to front squats. That is the beauty of it: NO MONOTONY. Every day is different and there is always something to work on improving. Many people are intimidated by CrossFit, but must realize that the movements performed are basic fundamental movements you use in your daily life (aka deadlift- picking something up off the ground). And remember: ALL movements can be modified according to your individual skill level and limitations. So if you’re having hesitations because of your age or limitations, don’t. Come try out a class! I guarantee you’ll leave learning something about your own body movement and strength and make at least one new friend!
Check out the class schedule found under the ‘Schedule’ tab for available class times. See you at The Bar!