Here’s a list of fitness-related press releases that have crossed my desk in recent days (click on any that may interest you):
* * *
Here’s a list of fitness-related press releases that have crossed my desk in recent days (click on any that may interest you):
* * *
Summer officially starts in two days (June 21).
Need a tune-up before you squeeze into that bikini?
Read on …
Xtend Barre® Workout, a pilates-and-dance amplified cardio barre program with over 70 locations in the U.S. and beyond, has released an “Xpress Xtend Barre Bikini Barre-Camp” to get you lean, chiseled and confident just in time for swimsuit season.
“Skip the crash diets and cardio-overload,” explains Andrea Rogers, founder of Xtend Barre Workout and host of best-selling workout DVD, Xtend Barre: Lean and Chiseled (available on Amazon.com). “Incorporate a daily routine at the barre — or using a chair at home — that will help you get lean without making yourself miserable. We’ve put together our favorite micro-targeted moves so you can bare your body on any beach.”
Nix the Unsightly Underarms with Bent-Over Boxing
Stand with feet hips width apart, weights in each hand. Hinge forward at hips, bending knees slightly. Reach right arm forward, palm facing down as you extend left arm backward, palm facing up. Pulse arms upward 3 times, swing arms with control to switch alternating sides. 8-16 reps on each side.
Cinch the Waist with Side Reach
Open legs to a wide second position, natural turn out; plie. Hold 1 arm to side of body in a 90 degree bend. Reach arm up and over the head, staying in frontal plane, bring elbow to the hip, cinching the waistband as you return. 16 reps then alternate sides.
Melt love handles with Barre Pretzel
Sit on the floor with one leg bent in front of body and one leg bent behind. The front leg should have shins parallel to the front, the back leg has knee in line with hip or further behind. Hands are placed on floor surrounding front knee.
Knee Lifts: Keeping toes on floor lift the back knee up, lower back to floor. Repeat 8 reps.
Leg Lifts: Lift and lower the entire back leg off floor. Repeat 8 reps.
Knee Pulse Back: Keeping back leg in the air, press the knee back, engaging seat muscles deeper. Work to keep leg parallel to floor. Repeat 8 reps.
Combo: Combine leg lift and knee back series. Lift and lower the leg (but keep it still in the air) then pulse it back and forward. Repeat 8 reps.
Straight Leg Lifts Side: Extend back leg straight to the side. Trying not to lean, lower and lift the leg. Repeat 8 reps. This is advanced!
Lift your glutes with Back Tendu Lifts
Face barre with feet in first position. Demi plie, keep heels on the floor. Place weight onto one foot and extend the other leg into a back attitude (bent knee rotated away from body). Keep supporting leg bent and hips forward. Softly bend the working leg and quickly press into extension. Keep the movement small, never bending the knee fully, but always extending the leg fully. 16 reps.
Keep the leg extended (between back and side of body) lower/lift the leg with a pointed toe. 16 reps, then hold leg in air and pulse up. 16 reps. Try with flexed foot for a challenge.
Lengthen with Lunge Battement Kicks
Plie one leg as you extend the other arm and leg in opposition. Straighten the supporting leg as you kick the leg up to a forward battement (big kick). Repeat 8 slow/ repeat series with 8 reps at tempo.
Add a releve on supporting leg as you bring battement the other. (Advanced) 8 slow/8 tempo.
About Xtend Barre ® and Andrea Rogers
The Xtend Barre® Workout has been sought after by national top Pilates instructors, dancers and leading fitness experts, and now has quickly expanded to over 70 locations around the world, including studios in the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Paris, London, Brazil, Canada and more.
Andrea Rogers, the creator and founder of Xtend Barre, boasts an extensive career as a professional dancer and choreographer. Having shared the stage with numerous celebrities, Andrea traveled the country with several professional dance companies, including her role as a principal dancer for Walt Disney World Co.
Andrea aligned her passion for dance and Pilates in 2006 when she cultivated Xtend Barre, Pilates and dance Amplified. Her creative combination of traditional Pilates methods and ballet basics sculpts bodies into lean, strong, ‘dancer-like’ physiques, helping people of all fitness levels.
Andrea holds various credentials including: Pilates Method Alliance member, America Council on Exercise Certified Group Fitness Instructor, Member of IDEA Health & Fitness Association and Classical Pilates instructor. She has appeared on programs such as on ABC News, CNN, NBC, and has been featured in Shape, Pilates Style, Fitness, OK!, and Marie Claire Magazines.
One more reason to wish I was a teenager again: a free GoodLife Fitness membership this summer.
For the fourth year in a row, GoodLife Fitness is offering its free Teen Fitness Summer Program. That means youth from 12 to 17 years old get complimentary access to GoodLife gyms across Canada from July 2 to Aug. 31.
Here’s the press release:
Research Study Reports: ‘Canadian Teens need to be more active.’
GoodLife Fitness Responds with FREE Teen Fitness Summer Program!
For Immediate Release
[London, ON]— GoodLife Fitness launched on-line registration for the 4th annual FREE Teen Fitness Program. The program is available for youth between the ages of 12 and 17, providing complimentary access to GoodLife Fitness Clubs from coast-to-coast from July 2nd to August 31st.
The statistics tell the story. According to the Canada Health Measures Survey 2010 over 26 percent of children and youth are overweight or obese and 60 percent of Canadian youth do not get the required daily physical activity for optimum growth and development. Additionally, 93 percent of children and youth are not meeting Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines as outlined by Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP).
More recently, Active Healthy Kids Canada gave Canadian Children a D- on their annual Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. In addition to low levels of inactivity, 69 percent of youth, ages 12-17, are spending increasing amounts of their lives sedentary and watching much more than the CSEP recommended two hours or less of screen time per day.
“Many different research studies clearly show that Canadian Teens NEED to become more active,” says David “Patch” Patchell-Evans, GoodLife Founder & CEO. “GoodLife’s Free Teen Fitness Program was implemented because we knew it was important to take a leadership role and be a part of the solution. At GoodLife, we are passionate about helping Canadians of all ages get moving and active and we are thrilled that so many Canadian Teens have gotten involved in our program.”
“We want to provide all Canadians with the opportunity to live a fit and healthy good life and we know the importance of starting these healthy habits at a young age,” says Patch, who has four teenagers. “The growth of the Teen Fitness Program has been fantastic over the past three summers, with more than 38,000 teens participating last summer.”
Last year, teens who signed up for the FREE summer program averaged approximately three workouts per week, the recommended amount of vigorous activity and strength training for youth ages 12-17 as outlined by CSEP (Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines).
“GoodLife is very excited for the growth of the program and the fact that the teens who sign up are using the club regularly and reaping the benefits,” says Kathy MacKinnon, GoodLife Vice President of Operations and the lead for Teen Fitness. This year we have even more enthusiastic GoodLife Associates are available to ensure that all teens have the proper club orientation, instructions and tips to ensure their workout experience is safe, fun, effective, and a building block for a healthier and more active future.”
All Teen Fitness participants must register with a parent or guardian at www.teenfitness.ca and bring the completed registration form into the club.
Upon receiving their membership, teens will be given a full orientation that outlines: club etiquette, rules and safety guidelines, workout tips, safe and proper use of strength training and cardiovascular equipment, Group EXercise classes, and appropriate workout apparel.
For more information or TO REGISTER YOUR TEEN, visit: www.teenfitness.ca
Just wanted to share a thoughtful reader response regarding a recent Keeping Fit column that touches on fasting. In the column, I quote Jillian Michaels (from an exclusive interview with yours truly) explaining why fasting and cleansing aren’t good ideas. Here’s the reader’s response …
I enjoy reading your fitness column and use it to add to my awareness in this field. I’m also a PTS with CanFitPro as well as a senior fitness instructor with the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging (a research centre of Western University).
I found myself disagreeing with Jillian’s statement about fasting, not in principle — because fasting past a set length of time will indeed activate the “starvation response” of conserving energy (stored as fat) — but in nuance. I’m referring to what has become known as “intermittent fasting.” The pioneer in this field is Brad Pilon (based in Toronto I believe), who has demonstrated that fasting for 24 (and even as long as 72) hours does not trigger the “starvation response” when combined with resistance training and high intensity training. As one who has experimented with this numerous times, I have been surprised to discover the body’s capacity to deliver high energy in the absence of caloric intake (I’ve never gone longer than 24 hours). Because muscle sugar is quickly depleted without the usual ready supply of carbs, the liver is forced to convert fat to sugar to meet the demands you are placing on the body. And because you are requiring muscle activation (again, over a limited time), you don’t experience the muscle wasting that accompanies many “fad diets.”
Anyway, Brad Pilon does a much better job of explaining the science behind intermittent fasting (which has various other benefits besides fat loss). If you haven’t already looked into his work, you can find it here:
Interesting. I’m curious to know what others think, especially as the fasting trend picks up steam.
Angela Robinson‘s shoulders used to be her physique’s weakest link.
But that was many dumbbell presses and lateral raises ago.
Now, Robinson’s deltoids are among her best features.
“They’re one of my strong points,” the 31-year-old national-level physique competitor tells me proudly. “I always get complimented on them.”
Indeed, who says you can’t turn a weakness into a strength?
Certainly not Robinson.
Here’s a basic routine Robinson uses to forge her shapely shoulders:
• Dumbbell presses
Robinson will perform one warm-up set, followed by four working sets for most of these exercises. The number of repetitions varies.
“It depends on what my goals are, but I’ll do eight to about 15 reps,” she notes. “Eight is to build muscle. Higher reps is to work on the endurance.”
• Side dumbbell raises
Of course, Robinson occasionally opts for a variation of this exercise.
“Or I’ll put a handle on a low pulley and do one arm at a time for side laterals,” she says. “I find the cable just puts a little bit different tension on the muscle.”
• Front raises
“I just take a 45-pound plate, hold it in both hands and do a front raise with both arms,” she says.
That covers the front (anterior) and side (medial) heads of the deltoids. But many people neglect the third head (the posterior deltoid) because it’s in the back and is hard to see.
“You want to work your front, medial and rear ones. And that’ll give you the most balance, even through your shoulder joint, too, and more stability,” Robinson says. “You don’t want to create more imbalance by not working all of those three.”
• Bent-over side laterals
For a variation on this, Robinson also uses the pec-deck flye machine (sitting facing the machine).
“I go fairly light with rear delts just so I can actually focus on the muscle and not engage my back and traps at all so I can actually feel it burn,” she explains.
Robinson, roughly 120 pounds at five-foot-one, trains at World Health in Edmonton and the Hayabusa Training Centre in St. Albert.
She’s at Hayabusa several times a week doing MMA-style training, which she also credits for her strong shoulders.
All that punching has helped round her shoulders, says Robinson.
“It’s a completely different workout,” she adds.
The key to strong and shapely shoulders, according to Robinson, is to lift heavy.
That means shooting for 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps for each exercise, she adds.
“I had to train hard. I had nothing (for shoulder development). I’ve worked hard to bring them up,and make them wider and rounder for competition,” Robinson says.
“For most women to build up the muscle, I’d say 6-8 reps, train heavy, train hard and listen to your body, too, because you don’t want to get injured. If you’re feeling anything sore, make sure that you’re listening to that so you’re not pushing through it. You dont want to mess up your shoulder.”
Robinson offers a few more key tips for workout newbies:
1. Set your goals small to start.
“Make them small and attainable, because too much too quick is going to be overwhelming,” she advises. “Even if it’s 30 minutes a day of anything. Do an ab video. Do a walk. Go for a hike. If you’re an inactive person, those things are going to make a difference.”
2. Cut back on sugar.
“Nutrition-wise, I would cut out your sugars,” she says. “It would make such a difference and you would see changes drastically. Once you get past the two-week mark without sugar, it does get better. The first few days is the worst.”
3. Push yourself and love yourself.
“Keep challenging yourself. You get there week by week, gradually making changes and before you know it, you’ve totally changed your lifestyle,” she adds. “And make sure to take time every day for yourself because mental health is as important as physical health.”
* * *