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Weight Resistance/Bodybuilding

When designing a Strength/Bodybuilding program there are a number of important things to consider for success.

After testing and assessment of the client, consideration is then given to:

1) Exercise Selection - There are hundreds of exercises to choose from when designing a program, but they can be classified as either "CORE-multi-joint" or ASSISTANCE-single joint" based on the size of the muscle area involved.

2) Training Frequency - The general  guideline is to schedule training sessions so there is at least one recovery day but not more than three. A "Split Routine"-grouping exercises that train a portion of the body. For intermediate/advanced trained persons this can allow adequate recovery between similar sessions.

3) Exercise Order - Decisions are based on how one exercise affects the quality of effort or the technique of another exercise

bulletPre-Exhaustion- A method that purposely fatigues a large muscle group as a  result of a single-joint exercise being performed prior to a multi-joint exercise that involves the same muscle
bulletUpper & Lower Body Exercises (Alternated)- This arrangement is helpful for untrained individuals where several upper or lower body exercises would be too strenuous
bulletPush & Pull Exercises (Alternated) -A good method of improving recovery time between exercises

4) Supersets & Compound Sets - A superset involves sequentially performing two exercises that stress two opposing muscles

Compound Set-Sequentially performing 2 different exercises for the same muscle.

5) Training Load & Repetitions- The amount of weight assigned to an exercise and the number of movements to be performed

6) Volume- Total amount of  weight lifted in a session (Sets X Repetitions)

7) Rest Periods- the time of recovery between sets which is highly dependent on goal of training, the load lifted, and the individual's training status.

Common Mistakes Made by Gym-Goers

Some of the more common mistakes made my gym-goers are:

bulletPoor exercise selection and exercise order
bulletTraining Frequency
bulletDuration of each exercise session
bulletInappropriate training load
bulletToo many or not enough Repetitions (movements)
bulletToo long a rest period
bulletWaiting too long after training to consume a balanced meal
bulletRelying on Bars and Shakes for Proper Nutrition.


Anaerobic Exercise- HIGH Intensity, SHORT duration to reap its benefits!

Aerobic Exercise- LOW Intensity, LONG duration to reap its benefits!

I work closely with all my clients to ensure that the training program is appropriate for



 Senior Health & Fitness

The 4 types of Exercises that Seniors Need

For older Adults and Seniors who want to stay healthy and independent, the National Institute of Health (NIH) recommend four types of exercises:

Strength Exercises build muscles and increase your metabolism, which helps to keep your weight and blood sugar in check.

Balance Exercises build leg muscles, and this helps to prevent falls. According to the NIH, U.S. hospitals have over 300,000 admissions for broken hips each year, many of them seniors, and falling is often the cause of these fractures. Balance exercises can help seniors stay independent by helping you avoid the disabilities that could result from falling.

Stretching Exercises can give you more freedom of movement, which will allow you to be more active during your senior years. Stretching exercises alone will not improve your endurance or strength.

Endurance Exercises are any activity- walking, jogging, swimming, biking, even raking leaves- that increases your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time. Build you your endurance gradually, starting with as little as 5 minutes of endurance activities at a time.
#1- Strength Exercises for Seniors: Build Muscle, Increase Metabolism

Before You Start! Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program!

Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises. This could affect your blood pressure.

Use smooth, steady movements to bring weights into position. Avoid jerky or thrusting movements

Avoid locking the joints of your arms and legs into a strained position. Breathe out as you lift or push a weight and breathe in as you relax. (breathe normally!)

Muscle soreness lasting a few days and slight fatigue are normal after muscle building (weight resistance) training.

Exhaustion, sore joints, and painful muscles pulls are NOT normal!

#2 - Balance

Before You Start! Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program!

Hold onto a table or chair for balance when you use only one hand

As you progress, try holding on with only one fingertip.

If you are very steady on your feet, move on to doing the exercises using no hands, with your eyes closed. Have someone stand close by if you are unsteady

Balance & Strength Exercises being performed by Seniors requires supervision by a Fitness Professional!

#3-Endurance & Cardiovascular Exercises: For a Healthy Heart

Before You Start! Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program!

Cardiovascular exercises are very good for improving heart health and they also contribute to weight loss by increasing your metabolism. If you are just starting a cardiovascular exercise program or you have been inactive for a long time, start your cardio exercise program slowly and build your endurance gradually. It may take months to go from a very long-standing sedentary lifestyle to doing some of the following activities:

Raking the leaves
You can start with as little as 5 minutes of cardiovascular activities at a time. As your endurance improves, and as suggested by your Professional Personal Trainer add more time!

#4-Stretching Exercises: Increase Freedom of Movement

Before You Start! Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program

Check with your Professional Personal Trainer or your Physician to make sure the stretching exercises are appropriate for you.

Always warm up before stretching exercises by doing some easy walking. Stretching exercises can also be done after endurance or strength exercises.

Mild discomfort or mild pulling sensation is normal, but stretching should never cause pain, especially joint pain. If you feel pain, STOP! at once and consult your health care provider (physician)

Never bounce into a stretch—make slow, steady movements to help your muscles stretch naturally

Protecting Your Joints & Discs from Injury! 


The knee joint is one of the most complex joints in the human body.  Moreover, the knee is more likely  to be injured  than any other joint in the body. 

The knee is made up of four bones.  The femur which is the largest bone in the thigh, attaches to ligaments and a capsule to the tibia.  Just below and next to the tibia is the fibula, which runs parallel to the tibia.  The patella, or what we call the knee cap, rides on the knee joint as the knee bends. 

The knee muscles which run across the knee are the quadriceps which are on the front of the knee and the hamstrings which are on the back of the knee.  The ligaments are just as important as they hold the joint together.  The knee also has a structure made of cartilage, which is called the meniscus which helps to protect the joint and allows the bones to slide freely on each other.  There is also a fluid sac called the bursa which also allows help to the muscles and tendons to slide freely as the knee moves.  In the center of the knee are two cruciate ligaments; the anterior cruciate (ACL) and the posterior cruciate (PCL) which are the major stabilizing ligaments of the knee. 

To function well, a person needs to have strong and flexible muscles.  In addition, the meniscal cartilage, articular cartilage and ligaments must be smooth and strong. If some problems arise with the knee, a supervised exercise program can be extremely beneficial.

The Shoulder Joint

The rotator cuff is a component of the shoulder joint that aids in allowing the shoulder to function as the most unique joint in the body.  Due to the rotator cuff muscles, the shoulder can move and turn through a wider range than any other joint in the body, allowing us to perform an amazing variety of tasks  with our arms. 


The rotator cuff muscles consist of :

1) Supraspinatus- lateral rotation of the humerus and abduction of the arm

2) Infraspinatus-lateral rotation of the arm

3) Subscapularis- rotates the humerus medially

4) Teres Minor- adduction of the arm and rotates it laterally

These four muscles attach to the shoulder blade (scapula) and wrap around the front, back, and top of the shoulder joint.  The rotator cuff is part of of a mechanism that when healthy functions very well, but when injured can be a difficult and frustrating problem.  The most common rotator cuff injuries are from "repetitive use" and trauma.  Repetitive motion as seen in baseball pitchers and weight lifters leads to this injury and traumatic events such as falling. 

This type of injury is seen in both young and old.  In younger people it is because of the demanding use of the shoulder as seen in "weight lifting" or professional athletes.  As people age, the muscles and tendons tissue of the rotator cuff loses some elasticity, becomes more susceptible to injuries, and is often damaged while performing everyday activities.

The Plan

The plan I utilize with all my athletic clients is the same plan I use with my everyday clients; strengthen the rotator cuff muscles as these muscles initiate every upper extremity movement, keeping them strong you will avoid injury!

The Spine & Lower Back

The spinal column is one of the most important part of the human body, supporting the trunk and making all of our movements possible.  The spine  has four regions-the CERVICAL, THORACIC, LUMBAR, and SACRUM regions.  All are of equal importance, however according to estimates more than 80 percent of  Americans will experience low back pain (lumbar & sacrum) at least once in their lifetime and a certain amount of patients will develop chronic or degenerative spinal disorders that can be disabling.  Most lower back pain develops between the ages of 25-60; however, no age is completely immune.

In addition to regular cardiovascular exercise, weight resistance training is recommended to strengthen and condition the muscles that support the spinal column.  The primary focus are the muscles of the back, stomach, hips and thighs. 


Prior to starting any exercise program we recommend you check with your doctor to make sure there are no other medical considerations that would change your approach to the exercise program such as the abnormal curvatures of the spine.

1) Scoliosis - A condition where the natural curves of the spine are affected resulting in a lateral deviation of the spine. You may experience back pain, and uneven waist and shoulders, and prominent shoulder blades or elevated hips.

IA supervised  exercise program to strengthen and stretch the muscles of the body is one form of non-surgical alternative treatment

2) Kyphosis - A curving of the spine that causes a bowing of the back or slouching posture.  This condition can also be seen in association with scoliosis.

IA supervised exercise program to strengthen the abdomen and stretch the hamstring group may help correct postural kyphosis.   As posture improves the condition naturally diminishes.

3) Lordosis - An excessive inward curving of the spine primarily affecting the lumbar spine. The patient may appear swayback, the buttocks more prominent, and in general an exaggerated posture.  A lumbar lordosis can be painful sometimes affecting movement.

IA supervised exercise program to build strength, flexibility, and increase range of     motion is a primary non-surgical recommendation.

When performing any weight resistance exercise program primarily with any of the above mentioned spinal condition we recommend that the program is supervised. Body alignment, exercise technique and exercise selection is of utmost importance!


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