Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Just in time for Spring : How to Sculpt an Amazing Body
   By Bob Wells, CPT, PES

Now that fashion week is over here in New York, you can turn your attention toward spring and bikini season. In just a few weeks, you will head to the beaches ready to show off your well-sculpted abs and defined arms and legs.

Don't be caught unprepared! Add these five moves to your program to get a hotter, leaner body and be ready for an amazing season:

1. lateral lunge with reach. Michael Baker, a Tier 3+ trainer at Equinox loves this exercise, since it "...builds strength in the horizontal plane." Baker adds that the lateral lunge "...is a great way to work your glutes, hamstrings, and quads, and get you a tighter, firmer butt."

2. pushup into side plankThis exercise is a favorite of Paige Waehner, since "it works everything, with a particular focus on the obliques as you rotate to the side and send the arm up in the air." To make the exercise harder, Waehner suggests holding a light weight in each hand as you lift the arm up."

3. db. chest press on physio ball. A chest press is a great way to work the chest, triceps, and shoulders. By increasing the complexity and adding the physio ball, the abdominal muscles have to work much harder than they would on a bench. They become stronger and leaner in the process.

4. bent over row on physio ball. The bent over row is a complement to the chest press, strengthening the back and shoulders to help maintain proper posture. The complexity of the physio ball challenges the core in a similar fashion as the chest press on physio ball.

5. unilateral squat jump. Ron McKeefery, former head strength and conditioning coach at the University of Tennessee, says the squat jump is a great exercise, since "It works all of the major muscles (glutes, hamstrings, thighs) on the leg that is doing the work."

An added reason to do these on one leg is "...to prevent bilateral dominance. This way you train to prevent muscular imbalances and deficiencies."

Do each exercise for 10-15 repetitions, for 3-5 sets, at least once a week and watch the pounds and the fat melt away. Your hot new body awaits!

Comments? Questions?

A special thank you to Ron McKeefery, Michael Baker (Equinox), and Paige Waehner (About.com) for their help, and Ashley Castle for modeling the exercises.

Monday, February 25, 2013

BWF February Challenge : Final Results Leaderboard

Congratulations to everyone who took our February Challenge! Stay tuned for our March challenge, which begins with the workout of the day on Monday!
PULLUPS (Complete as many as possible in 60 seconds.)
MEN                                                 WOMEN
1. 30 : Maxi W.                                 1. 14 : Marie M.
2. 24 : Nick T.                                   2. 14 : Laura F.

KOBE PUSHUPS (Complete as many as possible in 60 seconds.)
MEN                                               WOMEN
1. 25 : Bob W.                                  1. 29 : Marie M. (on bench)
DT Circuit (12 deadlifts, 8 power cleans, 4 push presses) (Complete 4 rounds as quickly as possible.)
MEN                                               WOMEN
1.  4:32 Bob W.                                1. 2:42 Marie M.                                            

Questions? Comments?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Why Eating Three Meals a Day Isn’t Good Enough
   By Bob Wells, CPT, PES

When dealing with many things, we are creatures of habit. We often do what we have always done, and we seldom question the rationale or the efficacy of such actions.

For example, we have long held to the antiquated notion of consuming three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For the majority of people, this feeding schedule is rooted more in habit than in scientific rationale.

Scientifically, we know that daily energy (caloric) balance is necessary to properly manage our weight. For example, if we consume 2500 calories daily, we must expend that much, or more, or our weight will increase.

Therefore, all we need to do each day is to consume fewer calories than we expend, and we will achieve our desired weight and body composition, right?

Actually, this is wrong, or rather not enough, according to some research.

Deutz et al. discovered that people who deviated widely from energy balance during the day (e.g. big gaps between a few large meals) had the highest levels of body fat. An amazing finding is that this was true whether the person was in positive or negative energy balance.

Therefore, how often you eat can be as important as how much you eat when it comes to achieving the body composition and toned body that most of us want.

This idea is easy to understand when you consider the following:

Our blood glucose levels fluctuate every 3 hours. If we delay eating, then blood glucose levels drop. Muscle tissue is then used to provide energy. This means that blood glucose stabilization happens at the cost of muscle mass, meaning that we lose muscle definition and gain fat in the process.

You can prevent this fat gain by staying in energy balance throughout the day. This means eating 4-6 smaller meals approximately every 2-4 hours.

By adopting this strategy of eating several small meals daily, we prevent hunger and avoid energy deviations throughout the day. We also get a leaner and tighter body in the process.

For more information on getting the most from your diet, check out “Sculpting the Perfect Body: One Bite at a Time”

Questions? Comments?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Workout : Bob Wells Fitness Challenge (February)

It's Friday and that means two things: the weekend is here, and so is the Friday workout. Let's have fun and go to work.

For the first circuit, do:
  1. 5 reps. Kobe pushups
  2. 10 reps. Bulgarian split squat
  3. 15 reps. lat. pulldowns
  4. 10 reps. oblique mountain climbers
Complete the above circuit 3 times, resting 60-90seconds between each round. For the second part of today's workout, we are doing the following exercise:

  1. 5 reps barbell hang clean and press
Do three rounds of the clean and press, resting up to 2 minutes, if necessary. For today's cardio, we are doing the following:

  1.  5 rounds each of 60 second sprints (e.g. rower, elliptical, treadmill) with a 60 second rest period between each sprint. 
  2. 15 minutes at a medium intensity.
Enjoy and have a great weekend. Questions? Comments?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bob Wells Fitness Challenge : Wednesday Workout

It's the middle of the week and we know that everyone's looking forward to the next workout in our February challenge. Well, wait no more. Here it is:

1. 8 reps. kettlebell swings
2. 8 reps. ViPR lateral shuffle
3. 8 reps. ViPR shovel
4. DT circuit (3 reps each of deadlifts, power cleans, and push presses)

Do 3 rounds of the above circuit as quickly as you can. 

1. 8 reps. reverse lunges
2. 8 reps. bent over row
3. 8 reps. split squat jumps
4. 500 meter row as fast as you can or 2:00 sprint on treadmill

Complete the above circuit 4 times.

Finish with a 30 minute run, aiming for 4-6 miles. Enjoy.

Questions? Comments?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bob Wells Fitness Challenge : Monday Workout

Welcome to February's challenge, and good luck. It's going to be intense and lots of fun. Here is the first workout for February:

First circuit:

  1. 12 reps. barbell deadlift
  2. 12 reps. barbell upright row
  3. 12 reps. barbell squat
  4. 12 reps. shoulder press
Do 4 rounds, only taking a 90 second break between the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

Second circuit:
  1. 25 pushups
  2. 12 reps. lateral lunges
  3. 12 reps. burpees
Do 4 rounds, again only taking a 90 second break between the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

If you have comments or questions, please feel free to email me at bob@bobwellsfitness.com. Good luck!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Bob Wells Fitness Challenge : February

It's February and that means it is going to be a super month.

Tonight the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens will square off in the 47th edition of the Super Bowl. Tomorrow you begin the Bob Wells Fitness Challenge, February edition.

Here are the tests for February:

1. Modified DT circuit (12 deadlifts, 8 hang cleans, 4 push presses) for 4 rounds (timed)
( Weight: Men: 135 pounds / Women: 50 pounds)
2. Kobe pushups (as many as you can in 60 seconds)
3. pullups (as many as you can in 60 seconds)(women add assist of 40% of bw)

Your workouts begin tomorrow. Enjoy the Super Bowl and rest up; you'll need it. Good luck!

For more information or questions, email me at bob@bobwellsfitness.com.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Balance Training : Take Your Workout and Body to the Next Level
   By Bob Wells, CPT, PES

Whether you are on a soccer pitch, BOSU, or simply walking flights of stairs, you need balance. In fact, maintaining balance is key to all functional movements.

Still, many of us think of balance as a static process. In reality, functional balance is a dynamic process involving multiple neurologic pathways and numerous muscles.

The physical and neurological efforts required to maintain balance can result in leaner, more athletic bodies. In other words, balance training helps us look and perform better.

Balance training is therefore a vital part of any training program. This training program must be systematic and progressive.

Progressing too quickly can lead to injury, while going too slowly can lead to boredom and non-compliance. In either situation, training results are delayed or not achieved.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) provides a great protocol for balance training progression. They list three ascending levels of balance training: stabilization, strength, and power.

In balance stabilization, exercises involve little joint motion. The primary objective at this level is to increase joint stability. Some exercises include: single-leg balance and single-leg lift and chop.

single leg balance
The next step is balance strength. In this phase of balance training, there is more dynamic movement of the balance leg. These exercises are designed to improve the efficiency of the entire body. Some exercises include: single-leg squat, single-leg squat touchdown, and lunge to balance.

lunge to balance start
lunge to balance finish
Balance power exercises are designed to develop high levels of strength, neuromuscular efficiency and joint stabilization. Some exercises include: single-leg box hop-up and box hop-down.

box hop-down start
box hop-down finish

By incorporating balance training into your program, you become leaner, faster, and stronger. For more great balance exercises, check out the Bob Wells Fitness YouTube Channel.

Special thanks to Broadway Artist Sarah Silverman for taking the time to stop by and demonstrate some great balance exercises.