Dropped 22 pounds on the 12-week test panel and 30 pounds overall
Elizabeth Woodard knew she needed to make a healthy change.
“I was up thirty pounds over my ideal weight — meaning the weight I wanted to be at,” she says. A former exercise physiologist, Woodard was already very active, walking six to eight miles every day and going to the gym regularly. So she knew if she was going to drop those unwanted pounds, it meant changing her diet [AARP 2022]. Read her full weight loss challenge article now.
I’m often asked, what’s the best way to get in shape and lose weight in the era of Covid19? The first thing that comes to mind, you must find an exercise activity program that’s relevant for you. After many client consults throughout the years, it’s not surprising to learn – If you don’t connect with an indoor/outdoor aerobic exercise acivity passion, it will be more challenging to achieve a set fitness goal(s) that can be sustained to live the lifestyle and build the ageless body you need, want and deserve now… regardless of the current environment!
To optimally increase energy and become more active to lose weight and strengthen the body, one should start by increasing aerobic exercise daily. To be successful at daily aerobic exercise, you’ll need to find an aerobic activity of interest that motivates you to move more and stick with it. Once you do this, the will power to stay the course WILL happen in a short period of time.
Most aerobic and anaerobic exercise routines/programs center on a 3 to 5 day per week frequency at 30-60 minutes in duration. Personal fitness goals on average look to achieve weight loss, muscular endurance and body tone and increased range of motion and mobility.
Increased muscle bulk and strength gains are typically secondary to weight loss programming requests for a majority of people interested in bodybuilding and sports.
Anaerobic activity is defined, where strength, power and high muscular intensity effort and THR is within 80-90% cardio-muscular endurance effort. Whereas aerobic exercise intesity of cardio-muscular effort can be correlated to: low-medium [50-70% THR effort).THR is often used to monitor heart beat rate/min at the carotid (neck) or radial (wrist) artery at rest, or new technolgies can monitor THR on the fly.
Find a THR monitor that’s right for your active lifestyle:
Target Heart Rate (THR) tells us when to increase or decrease exercise intensity to stay within the fat burning zone “to burn more body fat weight” and achieve the best weight loss or other fitness goal results, stay within the fat burning THR to achieve the objective.
Science shows us that aerobic exercise intensity of effort at ~50-60% THR zone is the fat burning “sweet spot” to burn more fat and reduce body weight (see THR Zone chart above).
How does one determine and build an individual fitness program that will work long term?Many individuals have self-learned through time how to build a program that works for them and have developed a daily fitness habit.However, those who’ve not had success at this approach for lack of resources, or whatever may require the services of a professional fitness trainer to help customize a personalized fitness program that becomes a daily habit.
Who do I consider a professional fitness trainer?An undergraduate [exercise and health sciences] that is certified and experienced in fitness profiling, which should also include: habits and behavioral change strategies, diet and current lifestyle analysis and fitness goal orientation, general health and medical history analysis and postural and body type analysis, etc.Thereafter, capable of analyzing the data to build a fit healthy habits and lifestyle change program that includes a customized fitness program. This will provide the healthy lifestyle change program direction to set and achieve the desired fitness results relevant for the individual.
For many Americans the number one fitness goal is weight loss.
Monitor your weight and body fat loss success by using a “Body Weight Digital Body Fat Scale and/or Auto Monitor Body Weight, Fat, BMI, Water, BMR (Basil Metobolic Rate), Muscle Mass with Smartphone APP… Check out these scales and other technologies now! At: https://amzn.to/3iLbjco
All too often, confirmed by past clients… those who jump on other fitness and diet program band wagons hope to receive the same weight loss and body building results.It is often thought if one follows anothers program, they’ll receive the same fitness results.Sometimes this strategy works – but all too often it fails because it’s not right for every body type, fitness level, medical condition, lifestyle, environmental situation, will power, motivation, etc.
What ever training method or process programs others use to achieve a fitness goal – It won’t work for everyone in the same way all the time. Why?Plain and simple, we’re all wired differently.For example, what exercise activities would best compliment your ability to stay the fitness goal course? Is it the same as your next door neighbor? Likely not.
I’ve seen people buy a gym membership, purchase home exercise equipment they rarely use and/or work out with a buddy that pushes them too hard… , then get too sore, or hurt themselves. Since it was a bad experience they drop out of the program because they began their fitness training program without analysis of current lifestyle habits and environment and fitness levels and goals, etc.
Find the right home DVD exercise program by fitness experts to help you stick with and achieve your fitness goals now!
Increasing exercise intensity is important if the fitness goal is to increased fitness levels and performance above and beyond the norm. But one must ease into muscular endurance and stength intensity effort if it’s been awhile since one has exercised. If you’ve been sendentary for a while, start your exercise with a daily walk to get the muscle memory and circulatory systems and balance conditioned for a faster walk pace.Once you become conditioned to increase exercise activity… there is an intensity of effort, or sustainable “sweet spot” relevant to your fitness goal.
Those involved in intermural or professional sports activities who condition themselves at higher intensity levels can sustain those levels at a competitive levels outside of a gym by using a weighted workout vest.Professional athletes often train above 85% THR intensities conditioning themselves for a muscular endurance and/or strength event. Outside of gyms athletes often train by adding more weight to their bodies to increase intensity of exercise effort to increase performance results.
If you are not conditioned to exercise above 70-85% THR, you”ll likely have a bad experience and/or you’re New Year’s resolution may go right out the window. If you are beginning an exercise program, or it’s been awhile since you trained, stick to a basic aerobic and anerobic exercise program. Then work your way up from there.
Physically fit walkers, joggers and runners and trained athletes workout with Adjustable Weighted Vest Workout Equipment, 4-10lbs/11-20lbs/20-32lbs Body Weight Vest for Men, Women, Kids. Find additional individual sports training equipment for home and field use now!
For the novice, it is recommended a 1:1 session and orientation to exercise programming by a certified fitness trainer.I highly recommend purchasing a seasoned and certified fitness trainer that includes fitness and dietary profiling and physical assessments to build the BEST customized fitness and healthy lifestyle program that’s right for you.Especially if you’ve failed previously at a fitness goal, or have been out of the exercise circuit for a long period of time, or have not been able to stick with any other form of exercise or weight loss program.The cost of these professional services is usually reasonable for the time spent and information gained in programming and follow up consultations.
A good trainer will balance a variety of aerobic and anaerobic exercise activities inside/outside of the gym environment to help you maintain motivation and will power to stay on target.
On the same, or alternate days you may also make a commitment to participate in a low-to-high impact aerobics activity independent of anaerobic exercises… .Such as participating in instructor lead classes, i.e.,Spinning (stationary bike), Zumba [dance moves of salsa, reggaeton, mambo, flamenco, rumba and hip-hop], Yoga, or boot camp exercise classes. Or sign up for a swimming, ballroom dance, or competitive intermural sports (indoor racquetball, basketball, squash, etc.).
Or instead of organized fitness instructor led classes – typical with gym membership, you may be more comfortable, or interested in engaging within a self-paced DVD instructed exercise activity at home; and mix up outdoors on alternate days with other types of aerobic exercise: walking, jogging, biking, etc.
There is also stationary aerobic exercise equipment found in most gyms with membership. Its becoming more convenient during the era of Covid19 – to invest in home equipment at a reasonable cost… Learn more about the variety of exercise equipment for home use and how it can help you achieve your fitness goal. E.g., stair-stepper, treadmill, recombinant bike-steppers, cross trainer elliptical, etc.
What is elliptical?These are aerobic stationary exercise machines that simulate stair climbing, rowing, walking and running and increase range of motion without causing extreme stress on weight bearing joints. Thereby reducing the likelihood of injuries and optimizing the fat burning benefits within the THR – while toning core muscle groups.
People recovering from injury often rehabilitate themselves at a low intensity pace on these types of machines.But don’t underestimate their usefulness.Resistance can be set to provide an intense workout to lose more body fat while toning muscles and optimizing cardiovascular and muscular endurance performance and results.
For intermediate and advanced exercise enthusiasts, if you’ve been working out for years and feel like you’re physical performance, or competitive advantage, or fitness goal is stagnant – you may need the services of a fitness trainer that specializes in competitive task specific/or sports profiling and assessment.A professional sports trainer can help design and develop a program that’s relevant to achieving the desired competitive advantage and overall sports goal.Sports trainer specialists can design a task specific exercise program to get you to the next competitive level.
These 12 intense workouts are by a personal trainer… on 12 DVDs, will get you great results by burning more body fat and building lean muscle in just 35 minutes a day for 90 days. Check out this program and others like it now! At: https://amzn.to/2Fo00c1
Regardless of experience, fitness level or lifestyle change goals, once you become exercise and activities conditioned, don’t be afraid to take your intensity of exercise effort to the next level.Weekly – Try increasing intensity of effort through increased duration and frequency of weekly exercise. You will then burn more body fat weight as you sustain 60-70% THR – get stronger and leaner and look and feel better. Continuous body toning and shaping improvements WILL occur through a sustainable customized fit healthy lifestyle plan and program that’s right for you.
I recall cross training during the 80’s. The training facilities didn’t have all the fancy exercise equipment and indoor obstacle and Parkour setups, but the principled fitness programming strategies were the same. Today those same cross train exercise activities are used by a new generation of athletes and fitness enthusiasts to sustain a superior fitness and competitive sport condition year round. Cross training is not a new concept…
The cross train fitness concepts were branded and made popular two decades ago by CrossFit training. CrossFit, Inc. is a fitness company founded by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai in 2000. Its training philosophy and programs make use of a wide variety of age old sports conditioning, physical activities and exercise to sustain high fitness and performance levels. They popularized and evolved cross training exercise and activities throughout the globe. In 2014 a mix of cross train facilities were offered in over 9,000 affiliated gyms with the CrossFit brand.
Cross fit facilities may consist of various indoor and outdoor obstacle courses, or exercise stations specifically designed to cross train and condition the body to free-run with free-form type acrobats around-over structures, climb, jump, roll, leap, as seen on a Parkour setup. The first Parkour field courses originated within the military and are still used today to condition and cross train soldiers for the rigors of war.
To better relate to cross train principles and competitive events, think of the popular game show survivor, ultimate tag and American Ninja Warrior for example… which uses a variety and variation of Parkour type obstacles that are mentally and physically challenging. To be competitive in Parkour, one should consider cross-training in multiple task specific exercise to be competitive in these types of events. To win Parkour and other obstacle events requires a customized cross train program; that includes, but not limited to: running, gymnastics, and various exercise that targets and develops muscular endurance and strength and explosive speed, with jump, leap and bound capabilities. Free running makes use of environmental structures outside of the gym.
When free running and cross train programs are combined… you have an unbeatable Parkour training and fitness conditioning program.
Cross train training programs often incorporate a mix of other high-intensity interval training: i.e., rope/peg/ring/bar climb, girevoy sport (Russia KettleBell lifting), plyometrics (jump training), strongman tasks: powerlifting… swimming, boxing, calisthenics, gymnastics and other cross train exercise activities that include rock face climbing.
If a gym offers CrossFit programs then there will be exercise area(s) that offer more than free weights, stationary weight lifting equipment and aerobics room and equipment, swimming pool, racquet ball courts and aerobic dance floor areas, etc.
There are now numerous facilities throughout the globe offering cross-training classes with Cross Fit certification. As a matter of fact the CrossFit brand and principled ideology now falls under many cross train fitness facility brands.
In the 80’s fitness enthusiasts including myself used cross train techniques and routines to sustain superior physical conditioning. Other cross fit conditioning programs and activities I used to sustain competitive fitness levels included: martial arts, gymnastics, rope/peg climbing, field and track events, running, jumping and leaping through field obstacle courses, natural rock face climbing, free weights, power lifting, racquetball, handball, squash, kettlebells, hiking, swimming, kayaking, racquetball, hiking and cycling. My primary competitive sport of choice: football, baseball, track and field, martial arts and bodybuilding.
Nothing was off the table when developing a customized cross train program to achieve a superior fitness condition and competitive edge within any sport, or fitness challenge.
Before CrossFit was a house hold word, our generation created custom built cross train facilities in our local gyms, back yards, field, or natural wooded area, or garage. We customized our cross training space based on the best fitness training information of the day.
Cross fit facilities back then didn’t exist in the marketplace like they do today. For instance, you couldn’t go into any gym and find a rock climbing wall, Parkour obstacle course. The floor design and equipment layout catered to bodybuilders. This was an era of Joe Weider and other bodybuilding celebrities’ who ruled the fitness industry, which included promoting the next Olympia bodybuilding champion and anabolic supplement. “He popularized bodybuilding and spread the message of health and fitness worldwide with such publications as Muscle & Fitness, Flex, and Shape. Schwarzenegger himself is the executive editor of Muscle & Fitness and Flex” [The Guardian, 2013] .
Today you can find a plethora of cross train programs, equipment and bodybuilding resources and services built into one fitness facility. If you want to take your fitness and competitive skill sets to the next level… I’m convinced a competitive athlete regardless of chosen sport must incorporate cross train programming into a customized fitness program. This is especially true if one hopes to compete against the best in any professional sport.
Take rock climbing for example… ? I’d say it qualifies as a unique and professional sport. What type(s) of cross fit or specialized fitness programing should they focus on seasonally and/or annually?
Should a rock climber climb only vertical walls to be the best at what they do? Or should they focus more on gym workouts? What I’ve learned… to be the best at something, you have to train specifically for that skill set. However, incorporating a cross train program will make a better and more competitive climber. How should he/she cross train in preparation for the real event?
In consideration of selecting a gym for rock climb conditioning… I would look for an indoor and/or outdoor rock climbing facility, or rockface outcrop nearby to train daily, even during inclement weather. Other secondary fitness conditioning should include: yoga and high intensity interval dance and karate classes, with programmed resistive weight and hang time training that develops grip and lower and upper body strength and improved muscular endurance for extended periods of hang time. If you can’t hang for a minimum of 2-minutes at one-two points of contact [e.g., leg-foot], until finding a vertical rest hold position… your fall risk increases.
Cross-training “mostly” indoors is in no way a substitute for the real thing. You have to train in a similar environment if you expect to be the best at what you do. Rock climbers that don’t cross train and within natural environmental are at greater risk of injury or worse. If your chosen sport is rock climbing you must also plan a safety/survivor backup strategy in the event you become injured and/or stationary affixed in place. For example, how will you shelter, hydrate, perform first aid, consume calories, make contact with emergency task force and survive until rescued. …
If your training to become the next American Ninja Warrior then your cross train program must focus on upper body and grip strength, powerful and explosive legs for jumping, vaulting, swinging and leaping; also free-form running up, around, through obstacles… achieving the cardio and muscular endurance of a gazelle.
I’ve studied professional sport players who compete in physical challenges outside of their trained profession. Body type, passion, genetics and training techniques, medical history, fitness goals, etc., all count. And genetics is a thing. Whereas others like you and I have to work and train very hard to achieve the competitive fitness condition. Every one of us is wired to be competitive at different levels of sport play within certain exercise activities within similar environments. Understanding your competitive strengths and weaknesses must be considered when programming cross train exercise to excel in any chosen competitive arena.
The point is, if you’re looking to be physically good or competitive at something, you’ll have to cross train similar to your competitor in a similar environment. But if you simply want to body build, stay in shape, and/or sustain superior physical fitness: strength, cardio and muscular endurance and flexibility, you don’t need to cross-train, or workout at elite levels.
Cross training, or certified CrossFit centers may not offer a training program specific to your competitive or specific fitness or sports activity needs. However, if you’re serious about taking your physical condition to the next level… you can find a skilled cross fit trainer-consultant who specializes in a customized program to help you achieve superior fitness and competitive and winning results.
Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2014-20 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.org, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.