Burpee-the most badass exercise on the market (did I sell you?)


Hi Fusers!

It’s March!! Woohoo, spring is just around the corner, and I’m pretty sure we’re all sick of the rain. So here’s to sunny, drier days ahead! And burpees.

That’s right, although that looks like a misplaced word in the paragraph above, I want to assure you that you read correctly. This month we will be focusing on burpees. I know, I know….here’s what you’re all thinking….

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The poor burpee. Seriously, for an exercise that is so incredibly effective and efficient, why can’t there be more love for it?! Did you ever think about that? Well guess what??

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I get it. Burpees are hard AF. However, they get results, and that’s what we’re after, right?Burpees are a full body exercise that work pretty much every muscle in the body, meaning that you can burn more calories in a lot less time. They help you develop strength, explosive power and anaerobic endurance. And conveniently, they can be done anywhere with no equipment necessary. That’s right, ANYWHERE. So next time you’re at Whole Foods….just saying 🙂

According to Wikipedia, the burpee was named in the 1930s for American physiologist Royal H. Burpee who developed the burpee test. As part of his PhD thesis, he created the burpee as a simple way to assess fitness. The exercise became popular during WWII, when it was adopted by the US Army to assess the fitness level of recruits. Originally, the burpee consisted of four steps:

  1. Squat down and place both hands on the floor in front of you.
  2. Jump feet back into plank position
  3. Jump feet forward.
  4. Return to standing.

Today, it is commonly done as a 6 step exercise:

  1. Bend over or squat down and place both hands on the floor in front of you, just outside of your feet.
  2. Jump both feet back into plank position.
  3. Drop to a push-up—your chest should touch the floor.
  4. Push or snake up to return to plank position.
  5. Jump feet back in toward hands.
  6. Explosively jump up into the air, reaching arms straight overhead.

Here at Fuse, we generally do the 6 step variation, and prefer this definition:

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Commonly done among inmates….so this month, you guys will be our inmates, and we will be working on the most badass exercise around.

The challenge for the month will be to increase your burpee stamina and will be tested as such: 5 rounds of 60 seconds of burpees followed by 60 seconds of rest in between rounds. You will tally the total amount of burpees you do in all 5 rounds, and that will be your score. Each week, you will perform this challenge (you only need to do once a week, you will have something else to do during this time if you have already completed yours for the week) and the goal is to improve your score each week. We will be giving out prizes to the awesome coffee cart at Flowerland on Solano Avenue for best improvements. However, the strategy is not to go super slow the first week on purpose just to win. While we will be awarding the biggest improvements, we will also be taking into consideration the best efforts all the way through the challenge.

Alright, let’s do this! And maybe, just maybe, we can get just a few likes for the dreaded burpee by the end of March.

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At the very least, Pascha and I will increase that number to 2 people 🙂

Yours in health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

Barbara Higbie’s Fuse Fitness Success Story!


Hi Fusers!

This week Fuse Fitness is taking the opportunity to highlight Barbara Higbie, one of our longest members, who has been working out consistently with us since the summer of 2012! She is an amazingly talented, Grammy nominated musician – check out her website/bio/upcoming events here!

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Barbara and her beautiful teenage daughter Lena!

Before joining Fuse, Barbara was trying to manage her weight and stress levels. At the time she joined, she had been jogging about 30 minutes a day, five days a week for the past 20 years. She had also tried lots of other classes throughout the years, but nothing stuck.  The weight was beginning to pile on in new places and her mood was up and down, because she was taking care of both her young daughter and mother with Alzheimer’s disease, while also maintaining her music career. Barbara saw the Fuse Fitness sign one day while in the neighborhood, decided to drop by to try out a class, and has been hooked ever since. She says, “It’s one of the easiest and best things I’ve ever done in my life.”

As most of us at the studio have figured out, Barbara loves interval training! She is one of the only clients who always wants intervals – she says it’s because she doesn’t like to count reps or keep track of the exercises herself. She prefers not to have to think too much about what comes next, and would rather have a set of exercises that get her heart rate up and get what she calls “a good work out in.” Outside of interval training, her other favorite thing to work on is handstands, and can’t get enough of them. Barbara once told us, “Who knew I’d ever crave doing a hand stand? It is so hard to believe!”

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Working on her handstands!

The challenges that Barbara has encountered along the way have been minimal. She still has trouble doing a free-standing pistol squat, a very challenging move that can take quite a long time to master. Despite that difficulty, she says, “It feels like one big positive wave that moves me along. The environment is great – high standards and low pressure.” Due to her demanding music career, sometimes she is out of town for a couple of weeks at a time touring, thus having to miss her workouts. It is always challenging for her to deal with the muscle aches/soreness that come from having missed a couple weeks of classes.

Looking back to her start at Fuse, she still remembers her first class, when she couldn’t do a Turkish get-up – now she can do many in a row with great form. Barbara says she has never been great at following extreme diets, but has slowly cut out lots of sugar and flour since working out at Fuse and it has made a big difference.

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One of the results Barbara is most proud of achieving since working out at Fuse is having great core strength. “As a professional singer, it has made a HUGE difference to have a strong core!” Barbara recognizes that her consistency with coming to class has really paid off in regards to seeing such great results – she has maintained her weight loss and continues to manage her stress levels, keeping a steady, positive outlook on life. According to her, “It’s easy for me to get to class. The community at Fuse is made up of real, down to earth people, who enjoy working hard and having fun while staying focused.”

Barbara has been very supportive of us and our business from the very beginning – we are so lucky and grateful to have someone as loyal as her. She brings a fun, upbeat energy to class each day. We love her random comedic outbursts in class when performing an awkward or suggestive movement, which makes teaching class so much fun – we always get a good laugh in.

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As you can see from Barbara’s success story, working out isn’t just to stay fit and look good. Fitness is a lifestyle that requires consistency in order to achieve results. While clients may have different goals and seek different results, a fitness program is beneficial to everyone. If you are currently not getting the results you want with your fitness program, we encourage you to sign-up today for a free fitness consult by filling in the form below. As Barbara says, “Having a fitness ‘home’ makes my whole life so much better! Finding Fuse was the biggest gift of the last five years! Thank you Pascha, Kristin and team Fuse!”

Barbara, thank you for your love and continued support. We love having you as an integral part of our Fuse Fitness community! Class would not be the same without you!

 

Let’s H.I.I.T. it!


Hey Fusers,

Happy New Year! We finished off the year strong with a tough, New Year’s themed outdoor bootcamp. It was awesome to end the year on a good note with some pretty great people–thanks to everyone who came out!

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Many of us have had our fair share of indulgent food, drinks and treats over the last month or two–hopefully you downloaded our Holiday Survival Guide, which provided healthy tips and ideas on how to balance out all the splurging. We’re big proponents of taking the time to enjoy special moments with family and friends, and the holidays are a wonderful time to do just that. We hope you all had a wonderful, magical holiday season!

Now it’s time to get back on track! This month we’re focusing on resetting our metabolisms and burning off those extra holiday indulgences! The best way to do that is with high-intensity interval training, otherwise known as H.I.I.T. This type of training involves repeated timed intervals of high intensity effort followed by timed recovery times. It’s done at 85–100 percent of one’s maximum heart rate rather than at 50–70 percent which is typically done in moderate endurance activity.

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Due to the timed rest periods (note: they’re not very long), this type of workout gives you a run for your money. There’s usually just enough time to catch a couple of breaths, then the timer rings, and you’re right back at going full speed. In just 20 minutes, you will likely do much more than most people will do in an hour wandering around the gym from set to set. It’s a super effective, time-efficient way to work out. Let’s just say H.I.I.T. gets the job done.

While that might be just enough info to get you feeling pumped about H.I.I.T. month, there is an even greater reason why it’s so awesome. Interval training produces a great afterburn effect, meaning that after your workout is done, your body’s metabolism is still amped up and burning calories. The scientific name for this is exercise post oxygen consumption, otherwise known as EPOC, meaning the amount of oxygen required to restore your body back to homeostasis after exercise (American Council of Exercise). Basically, exercise that consumes more oxygen burns more calories. And if you’ve ever done a H.I.I.T. workout before, you know a lot of oxygen is being consumed.

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Interval training is also great for your heart–it improves both your heart’s strength and performance by increasing aerobic performance and improving cardiorespiratory function.  When you workout at this intensity, your heart and lungs are supplying oxygen to your body. As your heart becomes stronger, it does this more efficiently, maximizing the body’s oxygen intake levels–and like I mentioned before, greater consumption of oxygen leads to greater calorie burn. Win!

These results sure sound great, don’t they, maybe even too good to be true? Well, the benefits are real, as the results have been scientifically studied and proven. So what’s the catch? While H.I.I.T. doesn’t need to take a lot of time, it is challenging. During your high intensity work intervals, you need to be going all out, 85-100% of your max. heart rate. If you are able to chat with the person next to you about weekend plans or what the kids have going on, you are not working hard enough. Let me repeat–you must bust your ass.

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Nothing that gets results is easy, so this month, commit to working really hard during the interval training sets. As always, you will be properly warmed-up in all workouts at Fuse Fitness. You will still be doing strength training. You will still get your core work in. And YOU WILL give it your all during the interval training sets in each workout.

Cheers to a fat-burning start to the year!

Yours in health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness