Posts Tagged ‘stationary bike

Survival of the Fittest: Update

- May 8th, 2013

Survival of the Fittest

The metamorphosis has begun. I feel like I should be wearing a T-shirt that says: “Under construction.”

The first two weeks of the eight-week fitness challenge between yours truly and curling legend Randy Ferbey is in the books.

I’ve dubbed this Darwinian challenge “Survival of the Fittest.”

And the fittest will be the one who can maintain (or build) the most muscle and lose the most bodyfat. We’re both following the exercise and nutrition principles laid out in celeb fitness guru Mark Macdonald‘s New York Times bestseller, Body Confidence.

And although it’s set for eight weeks, this is merely the beginning of what is designed as a lifelong journey.

The changes have been incremental through these first two weeks because this ain’t no sprint — it’s a marathon! Let me say it again: this is for life!

Sure, I’m down about five pounds. But more importantly, I’ve been making some small lifestyle habits that are slowly adding up and I’m already feeling the shift.

Brettany Sorokowsky of The Blood Sugar Stabilization Clinic has been working with me on nutrition, while Kelly Hanscom of the Core Fitness team has been putting me through some kick-butt workouts at Athletes Nation in St. Albert.

The key now is to continue to build on this early momentum. I’ve celebrated some small victories along the way and I’m intent on enjoying the journey, but my sights are firmly set on achieving my longer-term fitness goals. That vision is now what drives me. It’s top of mind when I get up in the morning, it stays with me all day and it’s still there when I go to bed at night.

Yup, methinks Ferbey is in tough.

Of course, he’s a world champ. And you can bet he’s got an ultra-competitive side to him.

But he also has a household name and a recognizable face, which means all the pressure is on him to beat me.

Don’t feel bad for Ferbey, though. He’s got Shari Reiniger of Fuel 2 Perform in his corner. And Hanscom is also making him sweat at Athletes Nation. Plus, Ferbey’s friend Jason Rimmer has joined him for moral support.

Indeed, it’s going to be an epic battle.

But like I said before, this isn’t just about Castagna and Ferbey. This is so much more. Our greatest hope out of all of this is to inspire others to take control of their lives.

We want to inspire YOU!

And if you’ve answered the challenge, we want to hear from you. Tell us how you’re doing. What are your struggles? What are you doing to overcome them?

C’mon, we’re all in this together! Let’s build a community, so we can build each other up to ultimately live healthier and happier lives!

You are welcome to comment below, find me on Facebook and Twitter, or email me at cary.castagna@sunmedia.ca.

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Here are some pics from the challenge so far:

CaryAndMark

Sharing a laugh with celeb fitness guru Mark Macdonald while getting his book signed after a bodyweight workout at Athletes Nation.                                 (Photo by Mackenzie McLeod)

waterbottles

Look, custom-designed water bottles for the eight-week challenge! Emblazoned with the “Eight to Life” motto, the bottles are courtesy The Blood Sugar Stabilization Clinic, Core Fitness and Fuel 2 Perform.

weighin

The dreaded weigh-in. Trainer Kelly Hanscom weighs me at Athletes Nation in St. Albert.                   (Photo by Brettany Sorokowsky)

muscles

Yours truly is ready to rock! (Photo by Brettany Sorokowsky)

randy ferbey and jason rimmer

Randy Ferbey, left, and his pal, Jason Rimmer, perform planks on the turf at Athletes Nation as part of the initial assessment, while trainer Kelly Hanscom looks on. (Photo by Shari Reiniger)

Wall sit

Does this wall sit make me look fat? Who knew this part of the initial assessment would be so unflattering? Nevertheless, trainer Kelly Hanscom was impressed with the muscular endurance in my powerful legs. (Photo by Shari Reiniger)

Randy Ferbey stationary bike

Randy Ferbey pumps the pedals and proves his mettle during the stationary bike portion of the initial assessment.                            (Photo by Shari Reiniger)

Randy Ferbey and Mark Macdonald

Randy Ferbey, left, shows celeb fitness guru Mark Macdonald how a world curling champ does it. The two got together prior to the challenge at the Sherwood Park Curling Club. (Photo by Shari Reiniger)

Cary and Kelly

Trainer Kelly Hanscom, right, puts the ‘fun’ in functional training during one of our first gruelling workouts at Athletes Nation in St. Albert. (Photo by Megan Lalor)

Cary side profile

Time for a breather. But as is evident by my protruding paunch, I’ve got lots of work to do in the coming weeks and months.                (Photo by Megan Lalor)

Jarred and Cary

Jarred Berndt, my other trainer at Athletes Nation and the inspiration behind my new haircut, is all smiles after our first kick-butt session together. I, on the other hand, am sporting more of a deer-in-the-headlights look. (Photo by Aaron Kilian, manager of Core Fitness at Athletes Nation)

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Hanscom, Berndt, Reiniger and Sorokowsky are all available to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

Call Athletes Nation at 780-458-3700 to reach Hanscom and Berndt, or email them at khanscom@athletesnation.com or jberndt@athletesnation.com.

Sorokowsky is available on her cell at 780-914-5411 or via email at Brettany@balancedbloodsugar.com, while Reiniger is at 780-918-8809 or shari.reiniger@venicenutrition.com.

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For more on Mark Macdonald, check out the following columns I’ve written:

• Fit inside and out (April 2013)

• A defined balance (November 2012)

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Website:http://www.edmontonsun.com/author/cary-castagna

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Common cardio mistakes (and how to fix them)

- March 6th, 2013

(Note: The following post is courtesy trainer Bruce Krahn of www.ebodi.com.)

BruceKrahn

Bruce Krahn

Hi, Coach Bruce here from www.ebodi.com checking in with you.

Walk into any gym and you will observe men and women exercising on a variety of different cardio machines, the three most common being;

Treadmill

Elliptical

Stationary Bike

All three of these have their strengths and weaknesses. Personally I prefer the treadmill (because I love to perform interval sprints) but there are benefits to including variety in your exercise program. Regardless of what modality you choose here are some common mistakes and how you can fix them;

Treadmill — when it comes to using the treadmill many people forget about using the incline to increase difficulty. For some people running isn’t a good option however walking on a steep incline can produce similar results. Start low and increase in increments of 1%. This makes for a more difficult workout without overstressing your joints.

Elliptical — Most folks love this machine because the motion is easy to do. Problem is that nothing that is easy ever works worth a darn. To fix this simply increase the resistance so that you are having to push hard with each “step”. This will increase calories burned and results while still being easy on your joints.

Stationary Bike — This my least favourite machine simply due to the fact that sitting on those little seats can reduce blood flow to vital parts of your anatomy!  I can recall feeling numb “down there” after a long stint on a bike seat — not good for the manly parts. Also, the seated position lends itself to further tightening of the hip flexors which most of us have a problem due to being seated most of the day. To combat this always stand at regular intervals to improve blood flow and increase range of motion.

There are three simple tips to help you get more out of your exercise program. Have a great week!

Bruce

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Six biggest cardio mistakes

- January 23rd, 2012

(Note: The following post is courtesy Bruce Krahn of www.ebodi.com.)

treadmill

Are you guilty of one or more of these 'cardio mistakes?'

Hi, Bruce here from www.ebodi.com.

When it comes to losing body fat, performing cardio exercise can make the difference between OK results and fantastic results. However, just because you are performing regular cardio exercise doesn’t mean that you are doing it correctly.

Because of the simplistic nature of cardio activities (running, elliptical, biking etc) people often make the mistake of simply “going through the motions” and then wonder why they are not seeing any results. If this sounds like you or someone you know, then the following list will shed some light on the problem and provide you with an effective solution.

Cardio Mistake #1: Always Doing the Same Thing

Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Listen, if it hasn’t worked for the past nine months, it isn’t going to start working anytime soon. Change is what is needed. Here is a simple change you can try — instead of regular “steady state” cardio, give this simple HIT program a try:

Note: To be performed on a stationary bike, elliptical or treadmill.

Begin with a 5 minute warm-up. Perform 60 seconds of high intensity effort followed by 60 seconds of low to moderate intensity effort. Repeat 10 times. Each workout, add 2 seconds to the high time and subtract 2 seconds from the low time. Finish with a 5 minute cool down.

Cardio Mistake #2: Not Sweating

Some folks do sweat more than others but if your cardio isn’t at least causing you some light perspiration, then it is time to increase the difficulty.

Cardio Mistake #3: Reading the Newspaper

I once observed a person reading the newspaper while performing bicep curls. If you are reading the newspaper while performing ANY exercise, then don’t be surprised when your results are less than stellar.

Cardio Mistake #4: Talking on the Phone

Please — don’t be that guy. You know the one — the person who loves to share the details of last night’s bar escapades with his buddy on the other end of the line for everyone to hear. This is so annoying that it should be illegal and any offenders banished from the gym for life. If you can carry a conversation, then you are not working out hard enough.

Cardio Mistake #5: Watching Television

Ok, I am going to get some resistance on this one. I know that cardio time can be boring and watching television helps pass the time, BUT it is still distracting you from the task at hand. The more you focus your attention and energy into what you are doing, the better your results will be. Your boss doesn’t allow you to have a TV on your desk at work for the same reason.

Cardio Mistake #6: Wimpy Workouts

Most people don’t get results because they don’t work hard enough. If you are using a treadmill or elliptical, try speeding it up or raising the incline. Crank up that resistance on the exercise bike, too. Challenge your body by trying to progress one aspect of your program each week. This is the way to ensure results keep coming.

Like your resistance training, cardio needn’t be boring or ineffective. Fix these mistakes and you will start seeing results again.

Bruce www.ebodi.com

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Hotel rooms for gym rats

- December 30th, 2011

Hey, gym rat. Planning to take a trip in 2012 but you can’t bear to be away from your favourite cardio machine?

Well, check this out …

TRYP by Wyndham, an international select-service hotel brand, offers a selection of Fitness rooms.

port11949_en

Each of TRYP’s unique Fitness rooms, according to a PR rep, includes:

• A treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical machine

• Complimentary exercise mat

• Fitness attire (T-shirt and shorts)

• Mineral water and extra towels

port11948_en

The signature Fitness rooms are at TRYP San José Sabana in San José, Costa Rica, and will be coming soon to TRYP Quebec Hotel PUR in Quebec City, Quebec, and TRYP New York City Times Square South.

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Website: http://www.edmontonsun.com/author/cary-castagna

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