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

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 🙂

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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!

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 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.

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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.

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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 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