February 6

Sustainable fitness through diverse exercise routines

If you have ever exercised regularly, then you probably know how easily your weekly workouts can get unexpectedly derailed every once in a while. Illness, injuries, bad weather, stress and lack of time are just a handful of things that can force you to miss a period of all-important physical activity.

Unfortunately, the longer you go without exercise, the harder it can be to get back on track. All too often we hit one of life’s speed bumps, only to lose our momentum and then potentially miss weeks or months of exercise afterward. An important key to achieving sustainable fitness is resilience: the ability to get back to your normal workouts after life gives you a temporary detour.

If your knee or ankle is hurt, then it may be quite some time before you are able to resume running. Time away from home may keep you from doing your regular weight training for much longer than you’d like. Bad weather may keep you from your outdoor exercise for days or weeks.

Fortunately, by keeping a diverse array of activities in your athletic repertoire, you may find it easier to sustain an exercise routine during very demanding or difficult periods.

For the injured runner, swimming laps may be a good alternative to just sitting idly while waiting to heal. Doing the stairs or treadmill is a great way to maintain the aerobic capacity of a cyclist who is sidelined by cold or inclement weather. If you’re out of town with no convenient access to a gym, vigorous walking could be just the way to help keep your metabolism high and reduce the loss of muscle mass.

But alternate exercises should not be thought of merely as replacements for your normal routine. Instead, they should be seen as complementing your regimen by offering variety and versatility when done on a regular basis, which can provide us with better flexibility, reduced physical pain, good joint and cardiovascular health, a positive mental outlook and stable body weight. Try to find at least two or three activities that you can intersperse with each other; for instance, strength training two days a week coupled with another two days of aerobic exercise.

All of us who have ever been physically active have probably hit a patch where a short-term disruption in our workouts ended up giving us much greater down time than we expected. During these periods, you should try to maintain at least a minimum level of physical activity in order to keep your spirits high and body limber, until you can get back to your normal routine. This is when alternate exercises are irreplaceable.

Doing complementary exercises, such as strength and aerobic training, can help ensure that we work out in a variety of ways to give us well-rounded support of both mind and body. Chances also are that one of the exercises in a diverse workout program may very well be the one that helps you otherwise avoid long periods of complete physical inactivity.

Adaptability is the key to overcoming adversity and maintaining sustainable fitness. When obstacles present themselves, being able to make adjustments increases our resilience, stability and overall happiness. A diverse workout regimen gives you the flexibility to take a break from your primary exercise(s) when needed, while providing alternate exercises to help bridge the gap in the meantime.

Category: Uncategorized | LEAVE A COMMENT
February 6

Tracy Anderson reveals Jennifer Lopez's workout, diet and weight loss secrets

Jennifer Lopez maintains her age-defying physique a portion-controlled , mostly vegan diet and rigorous 90-minute workouts, Celebrity Health reported.

“She does the Tracy Anderson Method, which includes muscular structure work and between nine and 13 different exercises that change every 10 days, and dance aerobics as well,” said Anderson.

“I keep [her butt] toned and in position. We do planks, moving the legs and butt at different angles.”

Lopez, who lost 40 pounds after giving birth to twins in 2008, tries to stick to a 1,200 to 1,400-calorie-a-day diet. She said her No. 1 diet and weight-loss secret is portion control. “Just like anybody, I try to watch what I eat,” she said. “There’s no big science to it.

Anderson’s workouts with JLo typically combine high-intensity cardio dance exercise with light strength-training using body weight and high repetitions done with tiny hand weights (three pounds maximum).

“While bulkier muscle looks OK on women in their 20s and 30s, it doesn’t age well,” said Tracy, who once trained the super-ripped Madonna.

Anderson’s exercise tips contradict the advice of most fitness experts, who recommend that women lift heavy weights and should not be concerned that weight-lifting will bulk them up.

Earlier this year, Tracy was slammed after saying women shouldn’t take spinning classes because they give women huge thighs. “Spin may burn calories in the short term, but if that’s all you’re doing, it’ll bulk up your thighs,” said Anderson.

Most weight-loss experts disagreed with Anderson. “It’s so wrong and there is so much data that clearly shows otherwise,” said exercise physiologist James O. Hill.

Whether you agree with her methods or not, there’s no denying Anderson has sculpted some of Hollywood’s fittest bodies, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham and Kim Kardashian. Anderson shared her weight loss tips in her book, Tracy Anderson’s 30-Day Method.

Category: Uncategorized | LEAVE A COMMENT
February 6

6 Fitness Fads for Spring

Here’s a run down of some of the latest exercise fads, fitness regimes and gyms that are beginning to catch on in New York City and across the country.

1. The November Project (Free buddy workout movement)

Grassroots at its finest. After two former college rowing buddies met up and recalled the yesteryears of early morning workouts. They each promised to get the other out of bed starting November 1st several years later an exercise movement was born.

The aim of the November Project is to encourage participates to get out of bed and exercise in the early mornings of the cold winter months. Spreading from Boston where the two former rowers lived to over 15 cities, this voluntary free workout program continues to gain followers and new locations. New York City is the next to be launched. To stay in touch with when a November Project will get underway in the Big Apple, stay tuned to the group’s Twitter feed — @Nov_Project

2. Bklyn Beast

Brklyn Beast is the first indoor Parkour gym. I wrote about the new fitness routine (some would call an art form) of Parkour back in May of last year. Parkour is an outdoor workout for individuals who are tasked to move from Point A to Point B in the most efficient manner within a cityscape. The key to the fun is to use whatever means possible – subway stairs, park benches, building walls, and park trees. Now that large scale outdoor Parkour course has been brought indoors at Bklyn Beast.

Bklyn Beast is a huge space with bars, walls, platforms, and other common city obstacles. Parkour participants use backflips, wall climbing, and other crazy moves to navigate through the course. The gym also offers street style dance classes and other forms of exercise that fit into the Parkour mindset.

3. Aqua Studio (underwater cycling)

A great workout for descendants of the Lost City of Atlantis and from all accounts it is killer! With a focus on low impact exercise, these submerged bikes provide an intense workout that will build strong legs and super gluts. The classes are divided into speed and cardio fitness, strength and power, or restoration. The Aqua Studio features sessions in their candlelit pool and their space offers high-end amenities. Currently classes are only available in Tribeca, but this exercise fad that began in Europe is likely to continue to spread. Price point: $34 per class, plus rental fee of $2 for special underwater biking footwear.

4. AIR Aerial Fitness (Suspension Training)

So the last one was biking underwater, this fitness fad is workouts in the air. Yes, “suspension training” is an entire exercise class that takes place in the air via suspended hammock equipment. This definitely isn’t a muscle head type of workout, but it definitely requires coordination and stamina. Suspension training is a combination of Pilates, dance, and yoga.

Using the body’s own weight, the participant uses the hammock device to perform routines that are essentially resistance exercises and deep stretching. Suspended in air can be a unique experience that most often illicit childlike giggles and large smiles. A fun workout that will seem part circus routine with a dash of hardcore calisthenics. No plans for a NYC location, but stay tuned, it could be the next fitness trend that your friends will be clamoring to join.

5. Pound (Drumming workouts)

Frustrated musicians and wanna be rock stars will flock to this unique work out. This drumming-based exercise routine is all cardio and set to music with a beat. During a session, drummers beat out 15,000 reps on their appointment drum. The drumsticks are weighted and are called Ripstix?. The goal of Pound is to burn calories, but also to lower stress levels and boost brain power — backed by science according to Pound staff. Currently there are Pound classes throughout the U.S. A quick glance of the Pound website shows classes throughout the New York City tri-state region. Check with your closest venue for pricing details.

6. Fitwall (Off the ground fitness)

Currently a La Jolla, CA based fitness fad, the Fitwall is a 40 minute low impact workout that requires “Fitwallers” to be attached to a fitness wall to perform exercises like squats, ab pulls, hops, leg swings, pull-ups, and jumps. All of these are done “off the ground” and are focused on developing flexibility, cardio, and strength.

Participants are hooked up to a heart monitor and an iPad during the routine. They are constantly apprised of their “F Factor” so that they know if they are working hard enough and as hard as the other members of the class. The F Factor is determined by a combination of sex, age, weight, height, basic heart rate and fitness level. Plans include opening new Fitwall gyms in the Bay area and New York in 2014.

– Kevin Feather

Kevin is the Lifestyle Editor and a contributing writer for LuxuriousPROTOTYPE. He is also a contributing writer for the Examiner.com. He can be found on Twitter @Kfeat and also on Google.


Category: Uncategorized | LEAVE A COMMENT
February 6

AntiGravity Fitness offering free classes in September for National Yoga Month

Free things in NYC are hard to come by. AntiGravity Fitness has changed that. The entire month of September the aerial yoga studio will be providing free AntiGravity Aerial Yoga classes for first-time fliers in celebration of National Yoga Month.

Created by Christopher Harrison, the evolutionary mind/body practice was the first elevated yoga classes offered. AntiGravity Aerial Yoga combines traditional yoga poses with moves from the aerial arts, Pilates and dance conditioning with the use of an original invention, the Harrison AntiGravity Hammock. Using the practice’s signature Zero-Compression inversions relieve spinal pressure and force realignment while reconnecting body and mind. This technique helps reduce back and neck pain along with other benefits.

“I first discovered yoga at an Ayurvedic center in India in the 90s,” says Christopher Harrison. “During my quest to find relief for my own joint pain, I discovered that my silk hammock invention, used for aerial dance, also allowed me to adapt traditional yoga poses and movements, up into the air. AntiGravity Yoga was born from both the desire to create beautiful poses and my need to relieve back pain.”

Visit www.antigravityfitness.com/locations and look for the green “featured studio” babe to find a participating studio near you. Mention this offer when you call to book your free class. Spaces are limited and will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis.


Category: Uncategorized | LEAVE A COMMENT
February 6

Ironman Triathlon Winter training: Maintain fitness, improve technique

As mid-December arrives the triathlon race season has pretty much come to a close with the Christmas holidays just around the corner but there is no reason to give up on Ironman Triathlon Winter training.

Cold, snowy weather can easily be circumnavigated and there are always ways to not only maintain your current fitness level, but also improve it immensely.

As a rule, Winter is a great time to work on technique as opposed to biking, swimming, and running great distances. The distance part of Ironman Triathlon training can be left for the Spring.

Ironman Triathlon Winter Swim Training

Winter is a great time to hit the pool and work on improving your stroke. Break it down to the basic fundamentals and begin to improve your technique through specific drills that target each specific component of the swim stroke.

For example body roll, arm extension, and proper kick technique to reduce drag and minimize energy use.

Instead of swimming non-stop for lap after lap and putting in long distance, break your workout down into 100-meter lengths while at the same time concentrating on achieving perfect technique.

The one-arm front crawl is perhaps one of the best drills to attempt when trying to improve front crawl technique. Stretch one arm out in front of you and use the other one to power your was across the water. After each lap alternate arms. It forces you to use the best possible technique or you will end up with little forward progress and will swallow lots of water.

Ironman Triathlon Winter Bike Training

The wind-trainer(or indoor bicycle training stand)is perhaps the most valuable piece of equipment a triathlete will ever purchase.

It’s perfect for those long cold Winter days when training indoors is the only viable option. Simply park your wind-trainer in your basement or in front of the T.V. and away you go.

There are Spinverval videos available that will guide you through actual Ironman Triathlon bike courses and you can follow along.

There is no need to bike great distances in the Winter months and if you prefer you can also work on cycling technique.

The spin is the key when it comes to making it through the 112-mile Ironman distance bike leg and there are several drills that can help you improve the smoothness and efficiency of your spin while biking on your wind-trainer.

Give the one-legged spin exercise a try.

Rest one leg on a stool beside the bike while spinning with the other. Spin for one minute non-stop while concentrating on maintaining as smooth a spin as possible. After one minute switch legs and repeat five or six times. As your spin becomes smoother and more efficient you can increase the amount of time you spin to 90 seconds, two minutes, or even three minutes.

You can also try doing hill training intervals on your wind-trainer. Begin with a five minute warm-up and then shift into a big gear and stand up on the pedals for 90 seconds much as you would while hill-climbing outside. Rest for one minute and repeat six or eight times.
As you become more proficient, increase the exercise time to two minutes or three minutes, or another option is to shift into a bigger gear.

Ironman Triathlon Winter Run Training

There is no reason you can’t run outside in frigid temperatures if you are dressed properly for it. However there is always a chance of taking a nasty spill on icy running surfaces and often it’s simply not worth the risk.

An excellent alternative is to find yourself an Indoor track and work on interval run training.

A good place to start if you are Ironman training is six or eight quarter mile repeats with one minute rest intervals. Best results are often realized if you run at a speed that is approximately 60%-65% of your maximum as you start out on the program.

Depending on your fitness level you can increase the degree of difficulty in four ways.

-increase the number of intervals from six or eight to perhaps ten.

-increase the speed of the intervals so that you are running at 70%-80% of your maximum.

-increase the distance you run.

-decrease the interval time between each repeat.

You might also choose to increase both the speed, distance, amount, and length of the intervals all at the same time or any combination of the four.

For instance run 10 repeats an eight of a mile further than a quarter mile, with a 45 second rest interval, and at 70%-75% of your maximum instead of 60%-65%.

Regardless of the workouts you decide to incorporate into your training program there is always an option when it comes to Ironman Triathlon Winter training.

Visit Ironstruck.com for some essential tools for Ironman Triathlon success.

Category: Uncategorized | LEAVE A COMMENT
February 6

Top 5 exercises for overall fitness and strength

As a personal trainer, I am constantly asked what exercises people should do to get stronger or faster or lose weight more quickly. When I answer that question, I focus on quality of life. In other words, what types of activities are you going to do on a daily basis? I talk to the person, find out what activities they like to do, and go from there.

If I wanted to boil that question down and find the five best exercises, I would think of them in terms of overall fitness. What actions will I need to do at any time, with or without warning? I want to pick the exercises that will not only increase my overall fitness level but have me ready for anything at any time. I picked the following five exercises for these reasons and because I can continually modify them so that they never get easy or boring.

Sprints Examiner


Running is a basic human movement and a great way to stay in shape. I focus on sprints because jogging will help improve endurance but it will not provide all of the benefits that sprinting does. Sprints are a great way to increase anaerobic capacity, burn fat and even build strength when done properly. Sprinting can be done over shorter or longer distances and up or down hills. Walter Payton, one of the best football players of all time, used to sprint up sandy hills as a key part of his training regimen.


Category: Uncategorized | LEAVE A COMMENT
February 6

Mad Fitness 101: Gaiam gets with Kohl's for 'studio to street' wear

We have been visiting the gym a lot as in “rehab.” Just recently I was in an accident with another person and fell, and fractured the femur in the hip ball joint. Luckily we had screws put in a few days later and didn’t need hip replacement surgery. It was surgery just the same, and the recuperation is going well. So a major portion of our week is spent doing mobility and exercise with weights in order to recoup the use of the hip joint—hey, I am hoping it will be better (and my doctor tells me I should even be able to run again in time).

In any event, we are avid fitness advocates and do a variety of disciplines such as running, Pilates, weight training and Yoga. That’s why when Kohl’s came by to talk to us about their new collaboration with Gaiam the fitness folks, we said, “Let’s take a look.”

To that end we received a pair of Gaiam Studio to Street Flow Yoga Harem Capris (they are on sale now at $36.!). Anyway we love them because:

  • The soft touch fabric is very good to the hand
  • There is a “stay-put” waistband
  • The harem look is hot: that is to say, slouchy and long-rise
  • The pants are flowy yet won’t interfere with Yoga moves
  • There are two great over-sized pockets
  • Care is wash and hang; Rayon, Spandex

Besides, this ‘studio to street’ phenomenon will probably never go away; the clothing is so chic; the fit and comfort means you will wear this style all the time if you can.


Take a look at the other products, I am sure you will find something you love.
* * *

And to help celebrate this showing, here are some ideas on how to ‘Get the best of your first Yoga fitness class‘, whether that is live, from a book or a television show.

  • Take your time to look at different yoga types
  • Invest in some DVDs to watch and learn; get a drawing of body movements to help you visualize; stop the video freeze frame to get all angles
  • Allow plenty of space
  • Set a mood; you will need a quiet space with no lookie-loo’s
  • Dress appropriately—jeans are not for this and over-sized tops will get in your way; clothing should be flexible and fit well (like Gaiam wear)
  • Invest in a sticky mat (you will use it for other exercises too); oh, yes, keep it clean
  • Stretching is part and parcel of the discipline but don’t push your limits until you know what you can do
  • Breathing correctly and at the right time makes a lot of difference
  • Practice the postures slowly; if unsure, take a class in your neighborhood to be sure you are doing it correctly
  • Try a hand at meditation

Don’t expect to do it without practice and effort; some poses take a long time to get and you may never master others; keep a journal of your progress but stay positive


Category: Uncategorized | LEAVE A COMMENT
February 6

Curves Fitness launches new workout clothing line

Jillian Michaels workouts aren’t the only new addition to Curves fitness centers. The company just relaunched its online store and added a 20-piece line of workout wear.

The new line, which is available for women of all sizes, features tops and jackets with longer backs and contoured seaming, cushioned socks, wicking materials, stay-put waistbands and compression fabrics.

They also have workout accessories like workout totes and a workout towel that has an ingenious little magnet sewn into a corner so it can stick onto a machine and avoid hitting the floor.

Prices are very affordable – tops average $15 and bottoms average $30.

We got an opportunity to “road test” some pieces and especially like the Crossover Tummy Control Pant, which is a boot-cut yoga-style workout pant with a power mesh waistband that crosses in front (and offers a great spot to tuck in a fitness tracker, like a Fitbit). It retails for $35.95 but is currently on sale for $29.99.

The Energy Color-Block Top has color-blocked side panels that give a streamlined look. It retails for $19.95 and is on sale for $12.99.

The Eternity Jacket features a longer back, a fitted silhouette with a funnel neck and zip pockets that can stash your keys or iPod. It retails for $39.95 and is also currently on sale for $29.99.

Sizing on most items goes from extra-small to 4X and we found the pieces run fairly roomy.

You can check out the store at curvesstore.curves.com and many of the items are on sale.

Category: Uncategorized | LEAVE A COMMENT