Full Workout Friday – Build a Booty!

Happy Friday beautiful people!

Today’s workout is all about the booty – yes, that’s right, we’re building the glutes today. I figured I’d send you off into your weekend will a full leg workout, focusing on the glutes and hamstrings!

This workout is a little more advanced, as it focuses on compound moves with a barbell. If you’re just beginning your fitness journey, please enlist the help of a trainer at your gym or a friend to learn the proper movement for each exercise. Enjoy the video below!

Workout:

  • Wide Stance Barbell Back Squats 3 X 10-12
  • Landmine Single Leg Romanian Deadlift to Step-Out Lunge 3 X 10-12/leg
  • Landmine Back Squat 4 X 8-10
  • Barbell Hip Thrust 4 X 12-15
  • Bulgarian Split Squat 4 X 10-12/leg

*Always consult a doctor or health professional before beginning any new workout program

**Also, please excuse the sound of my dorky voice. I can’t handle it…

 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend – catch you on Tuesday!

 

 

Cardio DO’S and DON’TS for Weight Loss

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I hear a lot of talk about cardio from my clients at Panthro Fitness, especially when we begin a gym-wide weight loss challenge. Everyone all of a sudden feels like they need to go for a run after their workout, or slave away on the elliptical for an hour every day to lose weight.

Is cardio beneficial for your overall health? Hellllll to the yes. Can cardio help you lose some weight? Absolutely. Do you NEED cardio to lose weight? Not necessarily. Can your cardio become ineffective and less efficient over time? YES. Let me explain.

First, we need to understand what factors affect our bodies’ ability to burn energy (aka, calories). There are several equations out there, but most of them are very similar, so let’s take a look at this one:

For Men: 
Calories Burned = [(AGE X 0.074) + (WEIGHT X 0.09036) + (HEART RATE X 0.6309) – 55.0969] X (DURATION OF EXERCISE/4.184)

For Women:
Calories Burned = [(AGE X 0.074) + (WEIGHT X 0.05741) + (HEART RATE X 0.4472) – 20.4022] X (DURATION OF EXERCISE/4.184)

Now let’s look closer at those equations. Your total calorie expenditure for a workout is dependent on your age, weight, heart rate, and duration of exercise. Let’s specifically talk about heart rate…

According to this equation, heart rate has a direct correlation to the number of calories you burn, meaning, the higher your heart rate is during exercise, the more calories you burn. For instance, if I were to go on a 3-mile run right now, my heart rate would be incredibly high because my body is not used to running at all… as in, I haven’t run over a mile at one time in over a year, but I digress. As a result, I’ll probably burn a decently large number of calories during that run. However, let’s say I do that same 3-mile run, 4 times a week for the next 3 weeks. Because the muscles I’m using for that run are getting stronger, my body begins to adapt to the level of intensity, and consequently, my heart rate isn’t nearly as high as the first time I completed that run. Because my heart rate isn’t as high as it was before, I’m burning less calories for the same exact run.

Our bodies are incredibly smart and efficient, and while this is awesome (yay, science!), it also sucks for weight loss. Because your body begins to adapt to a cardio routine, it’ll be harder and harder to elevate your heart rate for the same exercise routine time after time. To burn more calories for the same exact workout, you have to either A) increase the intensity of what you’re doing, or B) increase the duration/frequency of the exercise you’re doing. Without realizing this, most people fall into the “cardio trap” – they initially lose weight from adding in some cardio, but once their body adapts, they do more and more of the same cardio until it adapts again, then they do MORE cardio, etc. Before you know it, you’re taking hour-long spin classes five times a week and wondering why the heck you aren’t losing weight.

So what exactly should you do with cardio? Let cardio be a tool for weight loss, but not your main tool. It is completely fine to add some cardio into your routine (in fact, it’s important for overall cardiovascular health), but be smart about it. Start with the weight loss basics – get your diet on track and start on a strength training routine/program (if you aren’t already on one.) After you master your diet and you’ve been consistently strength training and emphasizing compound movements,  maybe add in one or two 15-minute cardio sessions for the first 2-3 weeks in the form of incline walking, elliptical, or whatever your heart desires. After that, raise those two, 15-minute sessions to 20-minutes each for the next few weeks. In another 2 or 3 weeks, you might increase those sessions to 30 minutes each. Maybe after that, you scale it back down to two, 15-minute sessions again, but this time you perform HIIT (high intensity interval training) instead of steady state cardio. By slowly introducing various duration, intensities, and types of cardio activity into your schedule, you keep your body guessing and essentially “less efficient” at adapting to your cardio routine. Because your body is LESS efficient at adapting, it will burn MORE calories during your cardio.

Just a small note –  depending on your fitness goals, your type and amount of cardio will vary. A person training for a marathon obviously wants their body to adapt to running so they don’t feel like death when they attempt 26.2 miles. In this post, I’m specifically referring to the average person trying to lose a little weight, not to elite athletes, marathon runners, or people who just enjoy cardio for fitness-sake.

Cardio is not inherently bad. In fact, it’s an important part of maintaining your cardiovascular health. However, it can definitely propel people into a vicious cycle of eating too much and trying to “burn off” what they ate with more and more cardio. So remember, you don’t NEED cardio to lose weight, but use it as a tool for weight loss, not as a punishment for eating too much. Be smart about it. Keep diet and heavy strength training as the main ingredients to your weight-loss sundae, and save cardio as the little sprinkle of cherries on top. (I realize the absurdity of that sentence, but I had to throw some kind of ice-cream reference in there.) 

I hope this post wasn’t too long and draining – have an amazing Tuesday!

What is your favorite type of cardio?

Form Fix Friday: Barbell Romanian Deadlifts

Happy Friday!

Today’s post is the first Fitness Sprinkle “Form Fix” of many to come, focusing on the Barbell Romanian Deadlift. When performed correctly, this move is an all around amazing glute and hamstring builder, not to mention a killer total body movement.

When my clients perform this movement, regardless if they are experienced or new, a natural tendency is to look at themselves in the mirror. I can’t blame them because they all look fantastic (and who wouldn’t want to check out their own amazing muscles in action?!), but looking up during a deadlift isn’t the greatest idea.

As you’ll see in the video below, looking up during a Romanian Deadlift (or any deadlift, for that matter), causes the neck to go into extension, which leads to an arched back and non-neutral spine. This looseness in the core and arch in the back can lead to injury, especially under heavier loads.

So how do we fix it? Simple! Instead of checking your sexy self out, keep your neck neutral by finding a spot on the ground a few feet in front of you to stare at. It may not be as gorgeous as your bad-ass self, but it will help to keep your spine in a neutral position, creating a more safe and stable Romanian deadlift. Check out the video below!

I hope this Form Fix helped you out! Now go get your deadlift on, and keep that neck and spine neutral!

Have a fantastic Friday and weekend!

The Fitness Sprinkle

Hello there!

Welcome to The Fitness Sprinkle – a place where you’ll find a plethora of workouts, video demos, nutrition and fitness tips, and other fun health and related fitness topics.

I realize the online world is now saturated with fitness blogs; however, I wanted to create a helpful and informative space that could help people both new and experienced to fitness.

As a self-declared awkward person, I won’t subject you to a long introduction other than to say I’m a 30-year-old NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist who currently works at an amazing studio gym (Panthro Fitness) in the Pittsburgh area. Though my profession is all about health and fitness, I ironically love all things dessert and ice cream. Nothing is better than ice cream.

What you will find on this blog:

New posts on Tuesdays and Fridays, written workouts, workout videos, exercise video demonstrations, recipes, fitness and nutrition tips, randomness, spelling errors, grammatical errors…

What you will not find on this blog:

Perfect grammar and spelling, a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness and nutrition… and cilantro – bleh. Ain’t nobody got time for cilantro (sorry to all of you cilantro lovers out there!)

I can’t wait to connect and share content with you all! Have a wonderful day!