Total Gym’s 4 Week Belt Tightening Workout: Week 4

Why It’s Important to Slim Down

NCAA March Madness and the upcoming Final Four is a perfect coincidence for the finale of our blog series. Why do we LOVE watching these awesome athletic endeavors like March Madness? We relish in witnessing these athletes performing at their best, right? It feels good to watch success just as it feels good when we succeed in life.

What does this have to do with our blog series? Change is challenging! When the going gets tough and things get in the way, let the benefits of what you’re trying to accomplish spur you on to be your best and succeed. Specifically, when you don’t feel like doing a workout, ask yourself two questions: First, why is it important to you? Then, if you succeed, how will it make you feel? These two questions add positive emotions behind your goal. They give your intention to work out some motivating power.

Let’s do a recap of what we’ve covered the last three weeks and the corresponding benefits. I’ll provide a few examples but to get the most out of this post, you should answer each question for yourself. Let’s start with the title.
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Become a Triathlon Warrior with the Total Gym: Week 4

The Difference Between Pushing and Pulling Weight

In a well-balanced resistance-training program, you need to work the muscles on the posterior and anterior sides of the body. Generally speaking, the muscles of the posterior side are used in pulling and the anterior or front are used for pushing. The Total Gym makes this concept very easy when the cable pulley is connected to the glideboard: when you face the column, you are pulling your body weight up the rails. When you face away from the column, you are pushing.

In the various triathlon events, you will need to pull yourself and push yourself. During swimming, you pull yourself through the water with your arms, but your legs push you as you kick. While biking, you push on the downstroke during pedaling and you should pull across the bottom-stroke with your hamstring muscles, according to musculoskeletal physiotherapist, Emma Colson. Running requires that you push off the ground to propel yourself forward, but there’s also a pulling up of the opposite leg as you stride forward. So, continue to build strength by using the Total Gym to specifically target muscle groups crucial to success in each event.

Upper Body (arms, shoulders, back and chest)

Attach the pulley cable for the following exercises.

  • Upright Row: Sit on the glideboard facing the column. Hold the cable handles with palms down and elbows straight. Then bend your elbows until your wrists are even with your shoulders. Concentrate on keeping your chest lifted, your wrists flat and back straight. You will feel this in your traps, deltoids, rhomboids and biceps.
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What Kind of Sugar is Best For You?

Sugar vs. Sugar Substitutes

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What Type of Sugar is Best?

White sugar is produced from sugar cane or sugar beets that are refined to remove the molasses and then bleached to make it white. Raw, or turbinado sugar, is not bleached. Brown sugar contains some molasses, giving it a rich flavor and brown color.

Although you may not be able to taste the difference in sugar produced from cane or beets, sugar beets may be be genetically modified whereas sugar cane currently is not. So if you are avoiding GMO’s, read the label to find out the source of your sugar product prior to purchasing.

Why So Much Sugar?

Sugar was once so rare and expensive that it was called white gold. Today, sugar is abundant, cheap, and can be found in many foods. Because of its low cost and abundance, according to the USDA, the average American consumes around 31 bags (5lb.) of refined sugars in a year. At 110 calories per ounce, 155 pounds of refined sugar can add up to 273,000 empty calories per year!

It’s no wonder that American’s are consuming many products with non-caloric sugar substitutes, or artificial sugars, to keep their calorie intake down. But, are these sugar substitutes any better for you than sugar? Well, that depends.
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Total Gym’s 4-Week Belt Tightening Workout: Week 3

Strengthen Your Core and Legs

Welcome to the third week of men’s workouts that are designed to help you burn fat, become stronger, and create a healthy lifestyle using your Total Gym. If you’re sick of having to loosen your belt to accommodate a growing potbelly, read on to learn how you can improve and get ready to move!

If you missed week one, week two or both, please review them before moving on with this week.

Ok, let’s party!

Workout #3: Legs and Abs

If you refer back to the first workout, we talked about the importance of waking up your muscles to start torching calories. Well guess where the biggest muscles in your body reside? Yes, the lower body. Your gluteal and leg muscles are huge sources of fat burning muscle. To lose weight and tighten up the belt, you want to get these lower body muscles hungry. Plus, you don’t want to be one of those guys with a ripped upper body and teeny legs!

The great thing about working your legs on the Total Gym is that you are using your own body weight as resistance and not having to fool with heavy weight plates. We will also be having some FUN with plyometric jumps to get the heart rate pumping to burn even more calories.
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Become a Triathlon Warrior with the Total Gym: Week 3

Triathlon Preparation: Develop a HIIT Routine

During week three of your triathlon training, you should consistently be putting in the time biking, swimming, and running on the road or treadmill. Intermediate level athletes should be training three times a week in each event. Elite athletes can train five or six days a week in each event, which means two or three workouts a day.

Be sure to fit resistance exercises into your training plan two to three times a week. Elite athletes can get away with one or two thirty-minute sessions a week. Creating a high intensity interval program can cut down on the amount of time spent in the gym. Eight exercises performed over the course of four minutes can be repeated five times. Perform an exercise for 20 seconds on, ten seconds rest, and then switch to the next one. In four minutes, you can complete eight different exercises. Repeat this set of eight five times.

Upper body strength in the rotator cuff of the shoulder is very important for swimming. The exercises this week focus on the rotator cuff.

Upper Body (arms, shoulders, back and chest)

  1. Inverted Iron Cross: On the Total Gym, this dynamic move targets the top of the shoulder, the biceps, forearms, chest and the back. It is similar to the iron cross in gymnastics performed on the rings. This is not to be confused with the standing cable iron cross which works mostly the chest. Lie back with your feet on the glideboard and the handles in your hands, palms in, by your hips. Pull the handles by raising your arms to shoulder-height. Hold the position and don’t arch your back. Return to the beginning.
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Lower Body Workout with the Cyclo Trainer

Total Gym Attachment Spotlight: Cyclo Trainer

Adding a Cyclo Trainer Total Gym attachment to your Total Gym workout is like adding a secret ingredient to your power shake; it boosts your metabolism, helps you burn more calories and gives your aerobic workout more dimension. That’s in addition to sculpting your legs and glutes. The Cyclo Trainer is an improvement to a stationary recumbent bike that is easy on your body and comfortable. It has the potential to provide an intense, killer workout just by moving up the glideboard during incline resistance training. It’s simple to attach without taking up a lot of extra space. It may very well turn into your favorite piece of equipment when you need a break from running or biking during triathlon training.

Cyclo Trainer: Therapy vs. Exercise

The Cyclo Trainer is perfect to rehab weakened lower extremities after injury or surgery. It’s easy to use even to those who can’t use a traditional stationary bike due to back, shoulder and arm problems. The glideboard provides a stable support platform for the entire spine. You can avoid sore wrists, arms and hands because there is no pressure applied to the shoulders or arms when lying back on the glideboard.
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Total Gym’s 4-Week Belt Tightening Workout: Week 2

Chisel Your Back and Eat Clean To Look and Feel Slimmer

Welcome to the second week of men’s workouts that are designed to help you burn fat, become stronger, and create a healthy lifestyle using your Total Gym. If you’re sick of having to loosen your belt to accommodate a growing potbelly, read on to learn how you can improve and get ready to move!

If you missed week one, please review it first here.

Why A Four Week Series?

That’s how long to it takes to create a habit. Positive psychologists are telling us that habits are much more powerful than willpower when creating changes. For example, when is the last time you had to talk yourself into brushing your teeth? You just get up and do it without thinking. Hopefully after this four-week series you will be working out regularly without having to think about it.
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Become a Triathlon Warrior With Total Gym: Week 2

Triathlon Training with the Total Gym: Build A Strong Body Foundation

Congratulations on deciding to commit to the task of completing a triathlon. You’ve chosen the length of the race; you’ve got a location for the event; and you’ve given yourself enough lead time to train. Now comes the work of designing a training regimen that will condition the muscle groups to best serve you in a foot race, a bicycle race and swimming race. The Total Gym is your go-to conditioning tool when you aren’t on your bicycle, running or swimming. Over the next six weeks you will find specific exercises focusing on muscle groups that will improve your performance in each leg of the triathlon.

Be sure to fit these resistance exercises into your training plan two to three times a week. Elite athletes can get away with one or two thirty minute sessions a week. The option of creating a high intensity interval program can cut down on the amount of time spent in the gym. Eight exercises performed over the course of four minutes can be repeated five times. Perform an exercise for 20 seconds on, ten seconds rest, then switch to the next one. In four minutes, you can complete eight different exercises. Repeat this set of eight exercises five times.

Upper Body (arms, shoulders, back and chest)

Swimming uses the most upper body of the three events, but having strong arms will also help you during cycling. Your arms support the body while seated or standing on the bike. Building muscle in the shoulders, forearms and biceps prevents fatigue.

Research shows that arm power provides swimmers with the best competitive edge when it comes to increasing sprint swim speed. Although amateur swimmers may think that their kick is what propels them through the water faster, it’s actually their swim stroke, powered by the muscles of the back, shoulders and core.

The following three exercises target the upper body:
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Tips For Falling In Love With Working Out

Exercise Tips for People Who Hate to Workout

Love, hate, or want nothing to do with it, we all feel a certain way when it comes to exercise. Movement can add pleasure in our daily lives, provide satisfaction from accomplishing great goals, and keeps our bodies healthy and strong for life. Exercise doesn’t have to be something painful and not all of us are training to become high performance athletes! It can be simple, even fun. But how do you turn your hate for exercising into enduring and potentially life altering habits?

Ways To Stop Hating Exercise & Love It


Let’s be honest with each other, the cold and snow of the winter season is a serious motivation killer. We tend to find other projects or “things to do” rather than what we know our body needs: exercise. Personally, I am very passionate about fitness, however there are those days when I struggle to round up even an ounce of motivation. But, knowing I will feel better after challenging my body is how I motivate myself to start moving.
My goal has always been to motivate others to move and live a healthy lifestyle. Instead of using your same old excuse, plan to do something active throughout your daily routines. I have some excellent ideas that can be added into your busy schedule and help you not miss a beat.

  1. Try an incentive program. Give yourself a “star” for each of your workouts and see how many stars you can accomplish in a week. After so many, you can treat yourself to something fun like a spa treatment, a vacation, or a shopping spree!
  2. Choose one or two simple exercises to do every day.
  3. Choose an exercise to do during a commercial break for your favorite show.
  4. Sit on an exercise ball at work or at home.
  5. Take the stairs at work or at home, you’d be surprised by how many calories you can burn by skipping the elevator.
  6. Park in the back row and power walk to the door.
  7. Squeeze your butt and suck in the gut when you are standing still in a line or driving in your car.
  8. Put your favorite music on and have a dance party!
  9. Roll your way to fitness. A roller helps slenderize muscles while reducing fatigue, tension, and water retention.
  10. Play again! Playtime with your kids burns extra calories, especially lifting or chasing the little ones around the house! As a bonus it’s a great way to bond and build your relationship.
  11. Grab a buddy and hit the trail, take a class, or workout at home.
  12. Make chores fun and work for you.

Here are a few ideas on how to turn a simple chore into a great workout. Some examples include:

  • Laundry – seated squats and squat holds
  • Dusting – leg lifts
  • Vacuuming – lunges, pulses
  • Steps – run the stairs, step-ups, hop ups
  • Dishes – twists & isometric (utility holds)
  • Getting the Mail – walking lunges, skips, side squats, back peddle, run

Enjoy a short video I have put together for you to see how you can transform daily tasks into easy workouts!

Use Apps and Wearables to Exercise Smarter


If these tips aren’t enough to convince you to get up and move, then maybe try an app or a fitness device to help you stay motivated.

Fitness apps and wearable devices are now everywhere in the fitness world, with no sign of slowing down. The best of wearables and apps provide a way to track progress and integrate your goals into your routine. Wearable devices easily clip to your clothing, wrap around your wrist/chest, on your ear, or attach to your shoe. Most retail or online stores carry some type of fitness tracking device. Depending of the device, they can monitor heart rate, count steps taken in a day, track sleeping patterns, track caloric intake, calories burned, and provide feedback on your diet, record or manage your workouts. You can check out some of the best apps and wearables to help you love workouts here.
Best Always,
Maria
www.groovysweat.com

*I have a unique YouTube channel that demonstrates exercises you can do anywhere, at anytime in unique locations around the world! Some videos may be silly, but the point is to be active and find a way to incorporate your surroundings to challenge your body wherever you may be. Enjoy!
www.youtube.com/groovysweat

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Total Gym’s 4-Week Belt Tightening Workout: Week 1

Chest, Shoulder, Triceps, and Cardio Workouts to Slim Your Waist

Okay, let’s get serious about losing some inches off that waist. This four-week, home workout series is for men who want to burn fat and build muscle to achieve an overall better level of fitness.

One of the main reasons your metabolism slows down as you age is loss of muscle mass. The great news is you can rebuild your muscles at any age. This is critical for keeping your metabolism up as you age. Proper intensity in each exercise is one of the most important components to improving your muscle mass.

Total Gym Cardio Interval Training

Cardio Interval Training is doing short bursts of exercise until you’re out of breath and then slowing down until you recover. Then you repeat. Anyone can do this because you’re in charge of your own pace. Your “out of breath” is unique to your level of fitness. In the beginning, your bursts will be shorter and your recovery time will be longer. How you progress is up to you, but soon enough your bursts will get longer and your recovery time will lessen. Focusing on building muscle alone, without cardio, will not be enough to lose that belly fat. In addition to increasing your metabolism, incorporating an interval training component to each workout will give you energy, improve sleep, and boost your mood.
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