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!