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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Make The Most Of Your Time On The Treadmill

If you are a follower of my blog, you may notice that some of my posts are strictly rants. So as long as I am on a role, this will add to the list.
Let's just get this out of the way, if you use a treadmill, an elliptical or bike, and are looking to lose weight, please stop wasting your time walking at a 4.0 incline for 30-40 minutes. This is a very slow paced way to get results, if any. In other words, you might as well jog in place while eating a bowl of ice cream, and may have a better chance of seeing a change in your body. (Please don't literally do this.)
Most of us know that any type of permanent weight loss is not from a direct cause of any piece of equipment or crazy diet, but from a lifestyle change. Lifestyle changes is not limited to what you do but as most importantly, how you go about doing it.  Somebody please explain to me how you can mindlessly pump away at a piece of equipment and think that you are on the right path to reaching your fitness goals! Unfortunately, it is not going to happen that easily. I advice for you to put down the magazine or cell phone, and limit talking to your friend that is right next to you and GET TO WORK.
If your choice of equipment, which happens to be a treadmill, that you think is going to help you reach all of your fitness goals, I am here to help change your mindset on how you use this piece of equipments and lead you into the right direction.

Here are 4 tips that will help you get to your fitness goals while using the treadmill:
Tip #1:  Set Goals
Take a look at all the people that are successful in the business world and you will find one thing in common, Goal Sheets. If you do not know where you want to go, then it will be almost impossible for you to find the right path to help you get there. When you are putting goals together, make sure that you are being realistic. If the goals are too easy, then you are just wasting your time and slowing yourself down. If the goals are unrealistic and out of reach, then you are setting yourself up for failure.
When it comes to goal setting, I recommend starting off with time, whether it be straight running or interval training. After setting the foundation, look to set a certain number of calories burned in a particular time. Look to increase the amount of calories burned by 5, and keep the length of time the same. This guarantees that the client is challenging themselves, working harder every time in that same allotted time.

Tip #2:  Warm-Up
A major pet peeve of mine is seeing clients hopping on the treadmill and going into their sprints or long distance running without preparing their bodies for work. The second I see this, I kick my clients off the treadmill. (Not literally kicking, but I push them.) I always ask them, "Do you believe that Usain Bolt warms up before a race? What about before practice?"  The answer is always the same, "Yes". I come back with the same answer, "If you know that Usain Bolt needs to warm up before any kind of physical activity, what makes you think that you are excused from doing any type of warm up?" After a few laughs, I reiterate the importance of warming up. The fact is that if you are not warming up, then you are drastically increasing chances of injury, which in turn decreases the amount of time it takes to get to your fitness goals.

Tip #3:  Push Yourself
The main reason why most individuals don’t start or struggle to continue with an exercise program is time. Complaining that there is not enough time in the day, but being able to watch 3 hours of TV a night, does not balance out. Make the effort to go to bed a little earlier, and wake up an extra hour early to get your workout in. If time does not seem to be a problem with a client we start to train, there should not be a reason why they should not see results, if following the program suggested. If the client does not, what will make them want to come back and continue? Push yourself to your limit, every day, every time! Maybe not to the point where you want to puke, but to the point where you have left everything you have on the gym floor. Using calories or miles, can help you push your limits. If I ran for 20 minutes today and burned 150 calories, when it is time for me to come to the gym next time, I want to be able to run that same 20 minutes, but looking to burn 155 calories. 


Tip #4 Cool Down
Just as important as it is to Warm-Up, it is just as important to Cool Down. More often than not, I see clients have a great session, then head right into the locker room. The purpose of the Cool Down is to start the recovery process, making sure that the next time that you are back in the gym, your body can come back 100%, ready to push yourself as hard as you can go.

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