Holiday Survival Guide!


 

Hi Fusers!

Happy holidays!! Thank you all so much for being such a supportive fitness community and inspiring us to always challenge ourselves and strive to serve you better! We truly appreciate how giving you all are, and thank you for committing to help others in our community by participating in our food drive, adopt-a-family program, coat drive and winter wonderland donations every year. We love you and thank you for being so generous.

images

It has been awesome seeing many of you balance out the start to your holiday indulging during Thanksgiving and still attend classes–way to go!! Now that Thanksgiving is over, we will now be entering into the next phase of holidays with Christmas, Hanukah and the New Year, which means lots of parties and probably some traveling as well. It can be very challenging to balance out holiday indulging, so we decided it would be beneficial to share a few tips on how to survive the holidays this month without getting too far off track.

I believe the most important rule is to never go to a party hungry. We have all done this before, and most likely it didn’t end well, right? We begin by eating every hors d’oeuvre  that is passed around, then gorging ourselves with our meal, then dessert and 2, 3, 4 glasses of wine–whew, that’s a lot of extra calories consumed! I can feel my belly swelling from writing this. Then we feel bad about ourselves and wonder how much damage was done…an endless cycle. The average American gains 5+ pounds during the holidays–let’s not let that happen to us! So, it’s best to plan ahead and eat a light and healthy meal or snack prior to attending the party, so you can make healthier choices at the party, and choose just a few indulges that are worth it, but not go crazy.

unknown-2Another important rule is to continue to prioritize your workouts–if you have to miss one, then find another time to exercise. Even if you are traveling or with family members during the holidays, you can invite them to go for a hike, a bike ride or a brisk walk to burn off those extra calories. Stay consistent with your workouts and you’ll feel much better about the extra holiday indulgences.

images-1Saving the best for last!  Let’s discuss the calorie goblin–whether you call it hooch, sauce, vino, juice, moonshine, cocktails, booze, whatever…this is the hardest part for many of us. The rule of thumb is for every cocktail or glass of wine you have, be sure to follow up with one glass of water. This will help keep you hydrated and will fill your belly up. When you are hydrated, this keeps you from drinking excessively as well as overeating. So be sure to drink at least 8 cups of water per day (plus an extra cup per drink consumed) to help detox your system and stay hydrated.

unknown-3While I understand I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, it’s always good to have a good friend looking out for you and remind you of these things. Because once you step into your next party, all of your hard work may go out of the window. So I hope these tips will be a helpful reminder that of course you should indulge, but do so in moderation. With that said.. I will see many of you on December 5th at the Hotsy Totsy for the Fuse Fitness’ Annual Christmas Party! I hope we will all survive!

Yours In Health,

Pascha Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is good flexibility important?


Hi Fusers!

This November, we will be focusing on flexibility at Fuse Fitness. While seemingly not everyone’s favorite part of their workout, it’s mighty important and many of you could really benefit from ramping it up in this department. Too many of you are frequently complaining about how tight you are and how it hurts to get up from bed in the morning.

This, my friends, is not acceptable. Get to class a little early so you don’t skip out on the foam rolling. Definitely at least get to class on time so you don’t miss the dynamic movements and mobility work in the warmup. And if you have to leave early, then stop a few minutes before you have to go and do your stretches!! And while you’re at it, commit to going once a week to Kelly’s amazing Gentle Yoga class on Monday evenings at 7:20pm, I promise, this is an absolutely wonderful way to end your day! Here’s a bit more about the what and why of flexibility….

What is flexibility? In simple terms, it means the ability to bend without breaking. However, in regards to fitness and exercise, the definition isn’t quite so simple. Most of us can bend without breaking, however this does not necessarily qualify as being flexible.

7'4" semi gun Ricky Carroll surfboard with "Crystal Lip" print, #1/10

According to the Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine, flexibility in regards to fitness is the range of movement/motion around a joint. This range of motion is dependent upon a number of factors, including the size and shape of the bones, the ability of tendons to stretch, the condition of the ligaments, normal joint mechanics, soft tissue mobility and extensibility of the muscles.

Let me break this down so it’s easier to understand. Range of motion (ROM) is simply the distance and direction your joints can move. The more flexible you are, the better ROM you have, and thus the greater mobility you have. Good mobility is the body’s ability to move with little to no restrictions.

pigeon-pose

Why is this a good thing? Because moving without restriction means moving without pain. And for those of us who have suffered through pain caused by tightness, poor mobility and/or decreased ROM, we now know the extreme value in working on our flexibility. Because pain is just not fun.

We’ve all noticed the ease and freedom that babies and children move with. Their little bodies are so pliable, bendy and free from restriction. How many times have we watched our kids move, and wished for the same ability to move freely? To get up and down without any strain, pain or tightness? We all have, and the older we get, the more we wish for this.

Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 5.44.24 PM.png

That is because naturally, we lose flexibility as we age. Coupled with the fact that flexibility training is the most overlooked aspect of most people’s fitness routines, we’re looking at some pretty tight, often painful, bodies. I get it–when you’ve only got 30 to 45 minutes to work out, who wants spend any of that precious time sitting around stretching? Afterall, isn’t the reason why we’re at the gym to combat sitting around too much? Everyone’s just trying to get the most bang for their buck with the limited time they have to exercise.

However, these things combine to create the perfect storm. Not implementing a plan to work on the decreased flexibility that naturally occurs from aging will quickly lead to pain, strains and restricted movement. Thus, it must not be skipped. So many injuries can be prevented with proper mobility and flexibility training. Some of the other benefits of flexibility training are improved posture, reduced lower back pain and increased blood flow to the soft tissues.

foam-rolling

Our fitness programs always include plenty of mobility and flexibility training. We have all clients foam roll prior to beginning their workout, then we take everyone through a proper warm-up of all the joints. The beginning portion of all workouts is a combination of dynamic moments and mobility exercises designed to properly loosen up the body for the programmed workout. And we finish up the workout by taking the time to stretch out everything that was used. We also encourage our clients to take our awesome weekly Gentle Yoga class with Kelly, on Monday evenings at 7:20m.

yoga-class-picture-share-on-facebook

So fellow Fusers, let’s work together toward increasing our flexibility! Less strains and pulled muscles, more fluid movement that feels good. Sound good?

As always, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Yours in health,

Kristin

Get A Total Body Workout TRX Style!


Hi Fusers!

We are springing into summer! This means vacations, summer camps for kids, hopefully sunny days and more outdoor activities. It’s easy to slack off  with your fitness program during the summer months, so we decided to switch things up this month, to focus on total body workouts using the TRX. So we hope you will appreciate the fact that we like to keep things interesting and push you outside of your comfort zone. You may even decide at the end of the month, to purchase a TRX for yourselves and take it with you on your vacations this summer🙂

images

Many of you have taken a TRX class with myself, Kristin or Beverly. You may have also performed a few TRX exercises in our other classes, so you have a general understanding, but I’ll explain further.

The TRX, is a nylon suspension training device, that leverages gravity and your body weight to perform a variety of total body exercises. There is an anchor that is either mounted to the ceiling or wall that holds the suspension trainer. You can adjust the resistance by moving your body toward the anchor for more body weight resistance or away from the anchor to ease the resistance. The straps can be adjusted to perform standing, seated, prone(lying face down) or supine movements(lying face up). Some basic examples are squats, planks, bridges and rows. But of course as you build your strength and stamina there are plenty of advanced movements that can be done. In my TRX Power class on Saturdays we even add dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, dynamax balls as well as other equipment. Here is a video of one of our members doing a vinyasa flow series on the TRX as a 4 minute AMRAP.

The reason the TRX is so awesome, is because you can perform strength exercises, conditioning, balance, mobility and flexibility training and every exercise strengthens and trains your core. The TRX can also be programmed into an interval, an AMRAP(As Many Rounds As Possible), a ladder, pyramid, or RFT(Rounds For Time) just like any other fitness program. The TRX works every muscle in your body, including your forearms when performing a row, biceps curl, or a fly, and the muscles in your ankles and feet while performing lunges. The TRX is an all around great functional fitness training device.

Lastly, You can travel with it! It’s easy to pack and set up on the beach, at a park and in a hotel room, it’s easy to attach to the door. So it’s effective and convenient. I hope I have listed enough positives for you to give it a try.  I challenge you to have an open mind and get ready for TRX! See you in class!

 

With Love,

Pascha Brown

 

 

 

 

Jack Be Nimble and Jane Be Quick!

Image


 Hey Fusers!

Throughout March, we have been focusing on power in our workouts. Check out this quick video from our excursion to Sky High, where we generated lots of power jumping on indoor trampolines. I hope you all have been enjoying the plyometric movements we have worked on this month–wall balls, ball slams, heavy rope etc. and are feeling stronger and more powerful🙂 Personally, I have been pretty sore this month from all of the jump squats and have thoroughly enjoyed all of the wall balls! But I can’t seem to shake those horrible thrusters:/

This month, we will be shifting from power onto agility! I’m so excited because we get to work on moving quickly, while pivoting and being light on your feet. This takes a lot of coordination and focus. We bought an extra agility ladder to take you all through some fun drills, so get ready!

Agility is an important modality of fitness, as it requires a person to be able to move quickly, and change directions with control and without reducing speed. There is also an element of dynamic balance, which is the ability to maintain your balance while remaining coordinated, utilizing your body’s sensory organs to achieve this. For example, if Jack is performing drills on the agility ladder, he has to be able to change foot positions quickly while stepping, jumping, running or hopping in a specific spot. The object is to refrain from stepping on the ladder rung and maintain balance, thus efficiency is key.

images-2

In addition to agility being good for speed, balance and coordination, performing agility drills correctly can also reduce injuries. Because you are training your body to control eccentric forces (movements that provide a braking mechanism for muscle and tendon groups, that are experiencing concentric movement, to protect joints from damage as the contraction is released- Wikipedia) in all directions, you develop better movement patterns and performance with a faster and more efficient response.

For example, if Jane is playing tennis and her opponent hits a poor return, Jane has to anticipate the opponent’s stroke. She has to  respond quickly and put herself in an optimal position to retrieve the shot in enough time to execute the play. This takes proper speed and balance and the ability to stop herself quickly and start again quickly with efficient hand/eye coordination.  These movements also require Jane to pivot and cut with control in different movement patterns. If not done correctly, Jane can easily injure herself, whether it be her ankle, knee, wrists, rotator cuff, calves, etc. Matches are often won by players who move better and whose game is more stable even while fatigued.

MTM1OTc1NDUzNTY3MDg2NTYy

Most sports, including soccer, tennis, baseball, football, track and field just to name of few, do a great deal of agility training. At Fuse, we think of our members as athletes as well and recognize that agility is important to work on regardless of being a competitive athlete. So, we hope you are looking forward to some cone drills, agility ladder drills, single-leg drills, high knee drills and more this month. Be nimble and be quick. Be like Jack and Jane🙂

With love,

Pascha

Power Month!!


Hi Fusers!

Last month we focused on speed, and you all did a great job! Lots of shuttle sprints, staggered sprints, fast feet, agility ladder work and a couple of track workouts thrown in for good measure–whew, you guys are getting fast!! Congrats, and keep up the great work!

This month we will be shifting our focus to power. The definition of power, simply put, is power=force and velocity. What this translates to is that power is the maximal amount of force in the shortest amount of time. Think explosive movements, such as wall ball, box jumps, and tuck jumps. Here’s a quick power video we made.

boxjumps

In most sports, power is extremely important. Think of a sprinter jumping off his/her block as soon as the gun shoots to go. Without power (aka extreme force in a very short time frame), it would be impossible to get moving fast and get a good start on the race. Another example is a baseball/softball player swinging his/her bat. The pitch is coming hard and fast, and the player needs to react extremely quickly and generate a lot of power in order to make contact with the ball to get a solid hit. Without explosive power, the player would never come close to hitting the ball.

swing

How does this relate to us, you might be wondering. Some of us may still be competing or playing sports, but many of us just have enough time to workout a few times a week. The main benefit of power training for the general population is that it teaches our nervous systems to recruit muscles quickly–think reaction speed. In the real world, reaction time and strength can be what makes or breaks you. Think about it this way, imagine you were standing, and someone comes running by and knocks into you. Your ability to generate strength quickly could be the difference between getting bumped or getting knocked down and out.

POWER TRAINING EXERCISE

If power movements are a part of your fitness program, as they should (however, power should only be trained as the client has progressed to do this safely; there needs to be a baseline of sufficient strength and balance before progressing to power moves), you are training your nervous system to be able to react quickly. Thus if you were to lose your balance for any reason, your body has a much greater chance of being able to recruit the correct muscles quickly, leading to regaining balance quickly and reducing your chance of injury.

Some fun ways to train power involve jumping, which we’re going to celebrate with a Fuse field trip this month! If you haven’t already signed up, we’re heading to Sky High (an indoor trampoline place) Saturday, March 19 from 1:30-2:30pm–kiddos are welcome too!

trampoline

Hope to see you at Sky High for a fun afternoon of jumping!

Yours in Health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

“Power and Speed Be Hands and Feet”


Good Morning Fusers and Happy Presidents Week!

Last month we focused on interval training and you all did an amazing job! By the end of the month I’m sure you have noticed improvements in your strength and cardiovascular endurance.  We loved watching the progress all of you have made, so Bravo to putting in the work.

This month we have been putting you through the ringer with speed drills and sprints during classes. You have been sprinting the hill, doing staggered sprints, high skips, backwards run, lateral side shuffles, shuttle sprints, traveling high knees, fast feet, jump rope, ladder drills, boxing drills for speed and various conditioning intervals. Whoo! sounds exhausting just writing it all out.

So, why do we feel “the need for speed”?  Working on speed drills are beneficial for everyone not just runners and athletes. Depending on what your goal is speed training is great for metabolic training and increasing your ability to run or move faster and more efficiently.

Metabolic training as you learned from our last blog is a fantastic calorie burner, creating a shock to our bodies making us more fit and strong because of the lack of oxygen and rest periods. For example, when doing stagger sprints, you have to be able to run quickly, but stop with ease to touch the line, pivot and then sprint again to the next line and back. At that moment your heart rate has increased without a rest period before sprinting to the next line, while still trying to keep up your speed and efficiency.

Moving or running quickly with efficiency is very challenging. You have to pay close attention to how your arms, legs and feet are moving, how you are breathing- and how your body’s imbalances.  There is just so much to think about. But in order to create a powerful and efficient stride that builds strength and endurance, you have to focus on these things.

Sometimes I get so tired that I feel my arms and legs flailing about like a fish out of water. In a recent running workshop I attended, we worked with an awesome speed and testing coach Nick Winkelman.  He explained to us that you should be able to run faster with less energy and feel light when you run. The trick is to zip up your core and stand in an upright position, and pretend your are sliding the heels of your feet against a wall behind you, while striking the balls of your feet downward and driving your knees forward. That’s a lot to take in and coordinate. He also said “running should look like you are taking off like a jet plane running through hot coals from a cheetah”. Get the picture?

 

So for this month, I challenge you to set a specific goal for yourself, are you working on metabolic training, efficiency or both? Decide now and work on it during class or in your training sessions.  And if you are traveling, you have no excuses because I have put together a quick speed workout for you below. Don’t forget to join us for our next outdoor track workout on Saturday, February 27th at 10:45am. I expect to see many of you getting chased through hot coals by cheetahs!

Speed workout-Interval 40/10 seconds – 4 rounds

  1. Fast feet
  2. Traveling high skips
  3. Shuttle sprints
  4. Speed skaters

 

Best of luck!

Yours in Health,

Pascha at The Fuse Fitness

HIIT it!


Hey Fusers!

Isn’t it crazy that January is almost over?! How does time get away so quickly? While I never can quite figure out the answer to that question, what I do know is that there have been lots of awesome, challenging and rewarding workouts in 2016 thus far!

The year is off to a great start at The Fuse–you all have been kicking ass and working really hard! And I know, because we haven’t been easy on you🙂 As you all know, this month’s focus has been high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and we have really been pushing the envelope. I remember the first week of the month, and everyone seemed to really be huffing and puffing more than usual through the intervals (especially coming off of the holidays). However, heading into the last week of the month, I can easily say that the focus on HIIT is really showing, and you are all doing amazing! We’re at a normal rate of huffing and puffing, and out of the “I’m going to die!!!!” place we were all living at the first week of January. So, great job everyone, the hard work is paying off😉

keep calm

So let’s talk about why HIIT works. First off, it’s efficient–you truly only need 15 minutes to get in a solid, sweat-inducing workout. HIIT utilizes short (generally under a minute), intense (hence the name) bursts of movement, followed by a short rest interval. Generally it’s just enough time to take the edge off and let your heart rate drop a bit, so that you can go all out in your next interval. Because the workouts are short, you can really push yourself. It is proven that just 15 minutes of HIIT is more effective and will have much greater results than one-hour of steady rate cardio. Short and sweet. Who doesn’t love that?HIIT1CRSecondly, it’s extremely effective for fat loss. According to Eric Salvador, NASM and NSCA certified personal trainer and head instructor at The Fhitting Room in NYC, “A high-intensity workout increases the body’s need for oxygen during the effort and creates an oxygen shortage, causing your body to ask for more oxygen during recovery. This afterburn effect is referred to as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) and is the reason why intense exercise will help burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic and steady-state workouts.” In other words, it really ramps up your metabolism, burning more energy thus leading to fat loss. Winning.

loss2Lastly, HIIT is convenient. Meaning you can do it anywhere. Also meaning you can no longer make any excuses. Seriously. Here’s what I mean: let’s choose 5 bodyweight exercises. We’ll make it easy (not easy to do, easy to choose) and go with jump squats, skater jumps, mountain climbers, push-ups and burpees. Remember, I didn’t say easy to do. We’ll create the interval–30 seconds of all out, balls to the wall movement followed by 15 seconds of rest, 4 rounds total. All in all, we’re talking 15 minutes total from start to finish. That’s it. Which is why you are going to push as hard as you can. And you’re not going to complain about it!! Because it beats running on a treadmill for an hour, remember that!

So Fusers, keep up the awesome work through the rest of January, and start getting excited for our February focus, which will be speed. Weather permitting, we’ll have a couple scheduled track workouts, which are going to be fun! And by fun, I mean hard. But in the best way possible🙂

Yours in health,

Kristin at The Fuse Fitness