strength

Why on Earth Do We Keep Lifting These Heavy Things??

It is frequently thought, pondered, and questioned, but often this question is not directly asked. Recently a former member inquired:

Why does we push heavy lifting here at Ellipse Fitness?

We can start with the 7 basics that most fitness professionals, weight loss experts, and physical therapist agree with.

7 Basic Reasons to Strength training and Lift Heavy

1. Builds confidence.
2. Burns more fat.
3. Strengthen bones.
4. Builds and strengthens muscles.
5. Prevents injury.
6. Improves endurance.
7. Defines the shape of a human body.

Enough said. Let’s just lift heavy, right? If only it were that simple…

The 4 Problems with Heavy Lifting

1. The term heavy is subjective. For so many of us, our body weight is heavy enough until we can move through the entire range of motion for any prescribed movement pattern. (That is semi-fancy trainer talk for perform an exercise, like a squat, correctly and without a load)

2. Adding a load and knowing when to increase it is confusing. Start small and increase minimally overtime. Increasing weights 2.5% each week or two can deliver amazing results overtime. The key is consistency. One heavy session is more likely to cause soreness, pain or injury as opposed to a progressive training program. Earning each pound added to any movement is required. Try adding load in small increments over the course of 4 weeks.

3. Fear of bulking up is something women tend to worry about more often than men. Some trainers respond with a line about women not having enough testosterone to bulk up, but the problem with this statement is not that it is entirely untrue – which is is. The problem is that the statement doesn’t even address the concerns of the client! Some women do build muscle fast and feel like they are bulking up. Many factors can be considered in this situation. Consuming too many calories, lifting too heavy too soon, etc. Accepting myths about women that change your perception like the “long, lean Pilates look.” That’s not real! We can’t lengthen muscles! These muscles are as long as they are going to be for adults. What we can do is tone and strengthen and maybe most importantly improve your health and quality of life.

4. Lifting as heavy as possible is not recommended every day. Discuss with your trainer how often you should lift heavy, max out, or PR (Personal Record). Muscles need recovery time to avoid injury. Limited recovery time is one of the most prominent issues we see. We are impressed by those who want to give 110% all the time. Inspiring? Of course. Smart? Maybe not always. Proper nutrition, sleep, stretching and foam rolling, and rest is the realm in which our bodies get stronger. Think about it. Lifting heavy causes fatigue and muscle soreness. We cannot, and should not, lift as heavy as possible again until we are fully recovered.

Program design plays a pivotal role in increasing muscle strength and endurance, changing the shape of our bodies, and fat loss. Ellipse Fitness provides many opportunities, on various days of the week, to lift heavy. When scheduling your sessions or selecting your weights on any given day, decide which day is best for you to lift heavy based on what physical activities you’ve planned for the rest of the week, whether you have time to eat a high quality meal near your workout, whether or not you expect to get a full night of sleep, etc. Discuss with your coach/trainer. Goal setting sessions are always available to our members.

Small group sessions allow our members to make strength training a priority. These sessions are available several days a week to ensure that we can get and stay strong. Custom programing is available for our members who have specific goals or limitations.

How heavy is heavy?

I don’t want to be a body builder. Do I really need to bench press my weight?

I don’t like Turkish Get Ups. Why do we do them?

I heard a loaded carry should be 75% of my body weight for 100 yards. Is this true?

We will find many landmarks for activities such as these. It is important to train the body to maintain strength. Once we stop challenging ourselves or even just visiting our perceived limitations, we begin to lose strength and definition. Our work capacity lowers. Our ability to get up and down off the floor weakens. We lose strength. We fall. We break bones. We gain fat. We lose confidence.

WHY should we lift heavy?

Because we can, and because it will ensure that we can into the future.

Ellipse Fitness Members – Must Read!

Welcome to the Blog Help Desk!

It’s come to our attention that many of our members don’t fully understand how to best utilize the blog AND some of our members didn’t even realize it existed! So if you are new to the Ellipse Fitness Blog – Welcome!

FORMAT

Every day at Ellipse Fitness we strive to be the best part of your day – EVERY DAY! Part of that dedication includes keeping you up to date with the latest health and fitness information, nutrition information, and more!

Each time you come to a session here with us we aim to leave you with at least one tidbit of useful information to help you reach your goals, but alas! Most people cannot come every day so you all inevitably miss something along the way, but that’s where the Blog comes in! Catch up on anything you missed, find links to information or recipes we’ve discussed, and learn more about the topics we’ve covered!

HOW TO USE THIS TOOL

The Blog is just that – a tool to help make your path a little bit easier towards a happier, healthier life!

• Search – To the right of this article you should see a box that says “To search type and hit enter”. The blog is searchable by keywords to make it easier for you to reference things you want to read again or look for information on a subject of interest!

• Categories – Below search you’ll see a drop down selection box that says “Select a Category”. Here you can easily filter posts only pertaining to the category you’re interested in! Try selecting “Workouts” and bookmark a few for days you can’t make it to the gym or are out of town.

• Comments – At the end of each entry is a comment box – use this! Ask questions or relate experiences and get engaged in the conversation. This is about your health after all!

• More! – Also on the right side of the browser you’ll see some of our most popular blog posts, and our most recent tweets!

LET'S GET STARTED!

Summer is practically here, so to point you in the right direction – here are some of our best blog posts to help you jump into this Summer the right way!

Training outdoors this summer, at home, or at Ellipse learn why HIIT training is top of the pyramid!

Check out these Summer grilling recipes. Your health AND your tastebuds will thank you!

Running this summer? According to Runner’s World up to 66% of runners suffer an injury every year!

Keep your nutrition in check when it comes to sports drinks. Read on for some of the biggest junk foods disguised as health food!

Keep those lips in shape this Summer with this DIY Mock Burt’s Bees chapstick and other EASY skin/body care recipes!

Keep those gardening hands clean this season and save some cash with castile soap DIY foaming hand wash and more easy recipes!

Osteoporosis and Osteopenia: What You Need to Know

Bone density is a measure of how strong and durable your bones are. Osteopenia is diagnosed when density levels drop, but aren’t quite low enough for an osteoporosis diagnosis. Bones naturally weaken with age as bone cells become reabsorbed into the body quicker than they are reproduced causing them to become weaker and more likely to break during normal everyday activity.

Why Are Women More Susceptible?

About HALF of Americans over the age of 50 get osteopenia! However, women tend to develop osteopenia/porosis much more often than men due to lower peak bone densities and the hormonal effects of menopause. Peak bone density occurs around the age of 30-35 and then begins to decline thereafter. So, young folks out there: try to do whatever you can to attain the highest possible bone density by age 30 to help prevent the natural decline as you age!

Am I at Risk?

Risk factors include, but are not limited to:
• diet low in calcium/vitamin D
• smoking
• inactivity
• regularly drinking colas
• family history
• heavy drinking
• removal of ovaries before menopause.
• chemotherapy
• steroid usage
• metabolic disorders
• GENETICS! Approximately 50-85% of bone mass density is genetic, so take heed if your mother or father suffered from osteoporosis.

Lifestyle changes can stop and/or reduce the progression of osteopenia/osteoporosis. Although some cases may require medication, there are many ways to stop or reduce the progression of bone density loss!

What Can You Do?

Exercise!

But unfortunately not just any exercise counts. Weight-bearing activity is critical, so things like swimming, cycling, etc while they have their own benefits with regards to osteoporosis resistance training is number 1.

Strength training helps prevent osteopenia/osteoporosis by adding stress to the bone causing it to grow stronger and denser – it is basically that simple. Ask your bones to handle higher load and they will respond by building themselves stronger!

Weight bearing is key, but jumping has higher force than jogging so jumping triggers more bone growth for instance, so plyometric movements are particularly effective for improving bone density!
*It’s important to note that for someone currently diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis you should consult your physician before engaging in high intensity exercise given the risks*

Get a Little Sunshine!

About 50% of people worldwide are low in vitamin D due to a combination of living in places with very little sun in the winter along with concerns around skin cancer many have avoided any sun exposure without sunscreen. Merely 10 or 15 minutes a day is enough for significant vitamin D levels!

Sources

Shake It Up

Every weekend we’ve been posting our Shake It Up recipes on Facebook. Each shake is jam pack with different ingredients that coordinate smoothly and nutritiously with our Ellipse Fitness Protein Powders. These recipes are fun because they’re not your average mixtures. Take the Peanut Butter and Jelly Shake for example. This might sound a bit off-putting, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! Here are a few of our favorites that we’ve shared with you. Keep your eyes peeled for new recipes each weekend on our Facebook page!

Snickerdoodle

  • 8 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Ellipse Protein Powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 5 ice cubes
  • And Blend!

Raspberry Mint Chocolate

  • 8 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop of Chocolate Ellipse Protein Powder
  • 30 frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 5 ice cubes
  • Blend!

Banana Split

  • 8 oz. unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Ellipse Protein Powder
  • 1 small banana (6 inches)
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 4 ice cubes
  • Blend until smooth!

Enjoy!

Compassion

To do anything well, you have to be a bit critical, but you also have to be compassionate toward yourself.

How do you typically react to yourself making a mistake in life?  What type of language do you use with yourself when you don’t follow your healthy eating plan or don’t exercise as much as you planned?  Do you insult yourself or take a more kind and understanding tone?  What are the consequences of being so hard on yourself?  Does it make you more motivated and happy or discouraged and depressed?

I think we can all benefit by learning to be more self-compassionate and now is the perfect time to start.

We’ve all got preconceived notions and ideas about “what works”.  We may accidentally fall into old habits, even though we’ve learned new information.  For example, I started running again.  I thought it may help decrease the time it took for me to lose the weight I’ve put on in the past 6 months of stress. Hmmm….think, Lisa.  What do you to preach to members?  You can’t do enough cardio or run long enough to escape your food and diet choices.  Weight training will change the shape of your body—lifting heavy and pushing limits is the BEST and FASTEST way to results.

Dear Lisa…TAKE YOUR OWN ADVICE.  So—hello AMP’D, oh how I’ve missed you! WEIGHT TRAINING! FUNCTIONAL (yet challenging) movement!  I’ve seen change already and AMP’D started exactly 2 weeks ago.  SO….should I beat myself up for focusing on my challenges in the last 6 months that kept me away from AMP’D?  Should I dwell and blame others for my lack of self control when asked to join them for a bottle of wine?  Nope…I take full responsibility for my choices…THEN AND NOW!  So…taking the advice I would share with everyone willing to listen…CHALLENGE YOURSELF when it comes to strength and resistance! PUSH YOUR LIMITS in all cardio and strength workouts and take responsibility for your life.  Start now.  Start fast and don’t stop…be compassionate in your failures, but take the turn toward the positive.

Everyone, THAT’S AN ELLIPSE!  We’re not a perfect circle…we’re going to veer off the straight and narrow, AND we’re going to get back on the path, too.  Ellipse is the SHAPE of our life….straight…..curve….STRAIGHTcurve….straightcurve….

26.2

Just like my first marathon that took me more than 5 hours to complete, I didn’t reach my goal because I didn’t really want to reach it.

I ran the Go! In 4:36:33. It’s a huge improvement. I gave it all I had to give and could not have improved on that time, on that day, on that course. I did find time to facebook and twitter my thoughts during the course. I stopped to talk to someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. I searched my IPOD for my favorite songs. I adjusted my ponytail so many times that I broke it and had to run with my hair down. I forgot my inserts for my shoes. All excuses. Want to know the real reason it took me 4:36:33?

I enjoyed it! It was a brutal course. Make no mistake that it did kick my behind, but I loved the time to think. I savored the time I was able to run with friends. I made the most of the time I spent running alone. The text messages I received along the way from my very dearest of friends lifted me up to a level of happiness I have never experienced before. I was running on air. I didn’t want it to ever be over. (My thighs did. They are reading this post under protest.) There were friends behind me if I fell back, at the finish line to greet me, and precious angels on the sidelines and on my phone! Coach, I’d like to thank you especially for your comment when I thought I was hitting the “wall.”

Once I saw the flag at Union Station, I knew I was all but done. I started walking. I knew I didn’t make my goal time. It was all but over. I was sad. I was defeated. Then I heard the most beautiful voice yelling “Go Ann.” Screaming at me to go! It was one of my original running partners, an Ellipse instructor (that explains the screaming), and a savior. I was so tired, but after a big hug I sprinted to the end. I felt like a winner. I’ve never felt that way before. I’d never felt so strong. Incredibly, it wasn’t my strength that made me feel strong. It was yours!

I’m forever grateful.