Planning on jumping right into the most strenuous part of your workout routine the minute you hit the gym floor? Think again. Failing to properly warm up before exercising can make injury more likely and can also reduce the effectiveness of your workout.
Warming-up before exercise is just as important as every other aspect of your exercise plan, such as doing the right exercises and using nutritional bars and protein supplements to enhance muscle-building. Exercise experts suggest the following workouts to ensure a safe and effective workout:
Increase Your Heart Rate
Pumping up your heart rate helps prepare your muscles for exercises and activates your nervous system. Before your workout, briefly jog, or run on the treadmill or bike. Jumping jacks or skipping rope can also help get your blood pumping at a faster rate.
Dynamic stretching can help prepare you for a workout. Make continuous motions to stretch your muscles and prepare them for a workout. Some suggested exercises include: moving your arms in circles, toe touches, and kicking your legs forward. You should avoid static stretches, as these stretches are detrimental to exercise performance.
Try a Few Lunges
Rotating lunges are great warm-up activities because they help to build balance and stability. To perform a rotating lunge, stand with your feet spread hip-width apart. Hold an object at chest level, and then take a big step forward with your left leg.
Bend your left knee and move downward until your thigh is more or less parallel to the floor. Next, hold and turn your torso to the right for a few seconds while keeping the object you’re holding in front of your chest. Then rotate back to the center and stand up again. Next, repeat this exercise with your right foot.
For Squat Enthusiasts
Pre-squat warm-up – Squats have become incredibly popular in recent years as they are great for building muscle and burning fat. However, there is a risk of injury involved that a proper warm-up can mitigate. If you’re planning to do squats, perform a kneeling glute mobilization warm-up. This movement helps to increase mobility in your hips.
To perform the kneeling glute mobilization:
- Get on your hands and knees, and keep your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Cross one ankle behind the opposite knee, pushing the knee of the crossed ankle/leg into the ground.
- Gradually ease your rear back to your heels. While doing this, keep your arms straight and your abs tight.
- Sit back until you feel that the glute on your crossed ankle side has been stretched. Once it has, return to the starting position.
By getting a good warm-up in before you exercise, you maximize your potential gains from your workout and reduce your chance of injury. It’s well worth the investment of 5-15 minutes.
Promax Nutrition provides exercise enthusiasts with health fuel to build bigger, stronger muscles. Promax Nutrition’s wide range of protein bars and snacks provide targeted nutritional support to men and women building better bodies.
Working out during the hotter summer months can make you want to retreat to the indoors and avoid going outside until fall. However, with some minor adjustments, you can maintain your routines and stay fit. If you are going to train outdoors, you will want to avoid the hottest parts of the day, which are from around 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
It is recommended to work out early in the morning before heading off to work. Not only is it much cooler outside, your body will have increased energy and higher cognitive functioning throughout the day. If you are unable to get to your routines at this time, consider doing them in the evening after the sun has started to set.
If you are a night owl, you could even get in your workout routines in the evening, when it is much cooler. Just remember to wear reflective, brightly colored, or white clothing, and carry a flashlight to make it easier for motorists to see you.
One viable alternative for summertime workouts is to spend more time swimming and in the pool. There are plenty of water-type physical fitness exercises you can perform to help maintain and improve your abilities.
Regardless of the outdoor routines you prefer, remember to slather on the sunscreen and reapply frequently to protect your skin. You should also wear a baseball cap to shade your eyes, and UV protectant sunglasses. Take time to rehydrate yourself while working out by drinking plenty of water. Most people suggest drinking a small amount every fifteen minutes.
If you simply cannot handle the heat of the outdoors, look for a gym or fitness center in your area that offers short-term summer memberships. These facilities offer the comforts of air conditioning and access to a wide array of equipment you can use to ensure your entire body gets the attention it needs.
If you are finding it hard to stay motivated, even with these various options, try implementing these tips:
- Start listening to music to liven up your mood and motivate you to exercise.
- Take time out to reward yourself for reaching fitness goals. Schedule a massage, go shopping, have a “cheat” day, or anything else you like.
- Set easy-to-obtain goals. During the summer months, you will want to adjust your short-term and long-term goals. It can be harder to set higher demands on your body and, if you fall short, you can be discouraged and lose your motivation. For instance, if a short-term goal is to shed 10 pounds in a month, you might want to adjust this to losing a minimum of a pound a week for 10 weeks.
- Don’t punish yourself if you skip working out for a day or two. If it is simply too hot outside, and you need to stay indoors, avoid feeling guilty about it. Instead, do some pushups, sit ups, or house cleaning to get in some physical activity.
After intensive workouts during the summer and throughout the rest of the year, remember to refuel your body with workout and sports nutrition bars from Promax Nutrition. Order yours today online, or call us at (888) 728-8962 for further help in selecting the right bars to fit your needs.
We’ve all heard the stories of boxers trying to make weight or pro athletes coming to camp out of shape—they have to lose some weight in a hurry, so they put on a sweat suit or plastic trash bags and start running. But is it true that exercising in hotter temperatures will help you lose more weight? It may certainly feel like you’re sweating enough that you should be losing weight, but that’s not always a great indicator of a successful workout. So what’s the deal with exercising in the heat?
The way your body burns calories depends on a number of different variables, but it is true that working out in the heat is different from working out when it’s cold or mild outside.
- You will actually burn more calories if you work out in the heat rather than in cold weather. That’s because your body is working extra hard to keep itself cool, and it needs more energy to do that. However, this doesn’t mean that running in the hottest temperature possible, or putting on a trash bag will actually give you the weight loss you’re looking for. That’s because when your body is pushed hard in the extreme temperatures, you’re burning more carbohydrates than fat.
- In fact, it appears that moderate to warm temperatures are best to work out in if you want to lose weight. The reason being that you can actually sustain a longer workout under those conditions. Yes, you might be sweating buckets and feel like you put in a ton of work when it’s extremely hot out, but that’s mainly due to the fact that your body is working so hard to pump blood to the skin and help you sweat. Working out in moderate temperatures means you can keep your body in a fat burning state for a longer amount of time.
- Running or working out in more moderate temperatures also lessens the likelihood of overheating or dehydration—two things that will stop any workout in its tracks, as well as put you in danger. Even the weight you lose while working out in the heat is probably not going to stay off very long. That’s because you’ve most likely lost a lot of water, not fat. If the scale reads that you’ve lost a pound after a workout in the heat, remember that you’ve been sweating, and that you would have to burn 3,500 calories to actually lose a pound during a workout.
Simply put, there isn’t an easy way to lose those pounds—it all comes down to regular exercise and your diet. The only thing you’ll be losing in an extreme-heat workout is fluid, which can be dangerous.
So stick with your normal workout regimen, go for runs in the morning or evening when it’s cooler, and make sure you always refuel your body with the water and protein it needs after a hard workout.
Everyone knows that guys who lift a lot of weights are always talking about protein. It helps build muscle and quickens recovery time, so there actually is a reason these guys make protein sound as essential as water to their everyday lifestyle. But not everyone is throwing around serious weights every day, and not everyone wants to get huge muscles. There are plenty of different workout routines out there, and as you might have already guessed, they all require a modified diet to be effective. Check out some of the more popular workout regimens and their respective diets.
Training for endurance events like a marathon, ironman, or a long bicycle race means you are going to need a lot of energy. As with any diet, you should be getting your calories from a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, but you’ll be focusing more on carbohydrates. That’s because carbs are the perfect fuel for endurance trainers. They’re easily digestible and your body can use them quickly, staving off early fatigue and providing energy. Make sure that you get your carbs from healthy sources like whole wheat bread, legumes, nuts, or vegetables, and avoid white bread, sugary cereals, cakes, or refined potato products. And keep in mind that you’ll still need a healthy amount of fat and protein in your diet.
As we mentioned before, protein is king if you’re looking to pack on muscle. That means you’re going to want to up your intake of lean protein, while still avoiding bad carbs and sugary snacks or drinks. That means lean beef, skinless chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, and yes, your whey protein supplement. But there’s no need to go overboard, because while protein is extremely important for muscle growth, your body can only utilize so much of it for protein synthesis. So a protein supplement after your workout is great, but there’s no need to be adding that 40-50g protein shake to a diet that’s already full of protein.
Sprinters have to walk a fine line, keeping their bodies in peak physical shape without adding on the muscle mass that weightlifters are looking for. Still, they do need to prioritize protein in their diet. That’s because unlike long distance runners, sprinters don’t need large quantities of carbohydrates in their diet. It’s also recommended that you get these carbs from clean sources like vegetables, sweet potatoes, or whole grain bread and oatmeal. And remember that the carbs will give you an energy boost, so look to time the majority of your carb intake around training or events.
Remember that no matter what you’re training for, a healthy diet will always have some balance to it. Your body needs calories from a variety of different sources, and you won’t see the results you want if you’re cutting carbs or fat out of your diet altogether. That being said, the best way to help your body recover after a tough day of training is with a supplement like our protein bars. They’ve got all the protein and nutrition your body is looking for!
When you were a kid, did your mom ever scold you for eating between meals? Her heart may have been in the right place, but it turns out she was wrong: Not only will snacking not spoil your meal, it’s also an important part of staying healthy and losing weight.
Snacking Keeps Blood Sugar Balanced
Maintaining a consistent blood sugar level is an incredibly important part of staying healthy. Three to five hours after eating, blood sugar levels take a dive, slowing down our metabolism. When our blood sugar undergoes constant dips and spikes, it increases our chances of developing serious health problems like insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.
One of the best ways to keep your blood sugar steady? Snacking, especially if you eat a consistent amount of carbs.
Snacking Prevents Overeating
We all sometimes get hungry between meals. When we don’t slake our hunger with a little snack before mealtime, those hunger pangs are more likely to make us overeat. If you’re feeling bad about grabbing a snack a couple of hours before lunch or dinner, don’t – instead, grab something rich in carbs like fruit or whole grains, and combine it with nuts, dairy, or other protein-rich foods. Not only do these food contain important nutrients, they’re also the most filling.
Snacking Helps Us Lose Weight
It may sound counterintuitive, but snacking is one of the best ways to start losing weight. Specifically, moving from a schedule of a couple of big meals to one with smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day helps us keep our intake and output consistent, and makes it less likely that we’ll overeat. The trick is to keep your meals small, and space them out consistently throughout the day.
Snacking Improves Mood and Helps Us Focus
Remember what we said earlier about blood sugar drops and slowed down metabolisms? After your body burns through the food you’ve ingested, the body reacts by slowing down, which leads to crankiness, tiredness, and an inability to concentrate. Grabbing a snack between meals will keep your energy levels up and prevent the onset of foul moods that affect productivity and make the day seem longer.
A Few Tips for Snacking
Snacking may be good for us, but that doesn’t mean that every type of snack is healthy. Candy bars and other sugary snacks should be avoided as much as possible; not only do they pack on the pounds, they also burn up quickly, leaving you more hungry and cranky than you were before you grabbed a snack.
The best in-between meal snacks are ones that are rich in protein and amino acids (cheese, meat, tofu), carbohydrates (fruit, honey, whole grains, vegetables), and/or omega-3 fatty acids (fish, yogurt).
If you’re looking for the perfect, healthy snack to keep your energy up and help you lose weight, Promax Nutrition bars are the perfect choice available in many different flavors and varieties, including lower sugar. Learn more by looking through our website today.
Summertime, and the living’s easy. That is, unless you’re still trying to get that beach body ready. Then you may be panicking a little and pushing yourself to workout more and eat right. But don’t freak out, because even if you’re not quite ready to yank that shirt off, you’ve still got a lot of time left to get yourself in shape. It is already summer, though, so we thought we’d bring you some summer themed workouts that are as at home on the beach as they are in the air-conditioned gym.
Both workouts are high-intensity workouts that you can take outside, and even onto the beach. Get tanned and toned at the same time while you push yourself. For the first, do 10 reps of each exercise, with three sets each. Make sure you rest for 30 seconds in between each exercise.
First, do a set of lateral lunges. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, step to your right, putting your weight on your right leg, squatting to a ninety-degree angle at the right knee. Keep your left leg straight. Then push off to come back to center and complete the rep. If you are on the beach, you can drag your foot through the sand to increase the resistance you get.
180 Degree Jump Squats
Squat down like you normally would, but as you push off, jump and turn your body 180 degrees. Repeat that by jumping back the other way on your next squat. Two of them equals one rep.
Choose whatever variation of pushups you’d like to use for this routine, or you can switch it up each time you come to the pushup portion of the workout. Change your grip from wide to narrow, or do raised leg pushups for an extra challenge.
For your last exercise, place two markers about twenty yards apart, and sprint between them. Sprint back and forth between them five times to get in the ten reps.
You can try this next workout at the beach, as well. All you need to do is bring along a jump rope! Complete the circuit four times, and rest for one minute at the end of each circuit.
Get yourself in an upright pushup position, and then quickly bring your right leg forward so that your knee is near your chest. Return it and do the same with your left leg. That’s one rep. Try to do at least thirty.
Again, choose your variation, and aim for at least twenty.
The most common plank—place your forearms on the ground in front of you, and straighten your back so that your toes and forearms are the only part of you touching the ground. Engage your core and hold for one minute.
Now finish up with a minute of jumping rope, and then take your minute rest before starting up with the mountain climbers again.
Check out our blog for more great tips on how to stay fit and ready for swimsuit season!
The Fourth of July is not known as being one of our healthiest holidays. Whether there really are any “healthy” holidays is up for debate, but we can all agree that hot dogs, beer, and bomb pops aren’t a recipe for clean and healthy living. Still, you want to have fun, but without totally killing your diet and setting you back two weeks. It may seem tough, but it’s actually pretty easy to make yourself some healthy—and patriotic—snacks that you can enjoy all month long.
Red White and Blue Smoothie
Technically, it won’t come out looking red, white, and blue, but it will look amazing in the blender before you fire it up. Strawberries, banana slices, and blueberries layered in a blender just scream independence from your waistline. Use soy milk and coconut water to keep it from getting too thick, and feel free to top it with any other fruit you want.
Red, Mint, and Blue Fruit Salad
What this dish lacks in complexity, it makes up for in deliciousness. Add watermelon slices, blueberries, and finely chopped mint in a bowl. Add lime juice and an optional tablespoon of honey, and you’re good to go.
Ants on a Log
Cut up some celery sticks, and spread them with low-fat cream cheese. Then top them with blueberries and raspberries for this patriotic take on an old favorite.
Need something with a little more substance? Make a baked potato, but top it with low-fat Swiss cheese and salsa. If you’re looking for that blue to make it a little more flag-like, then snag some purple potatoes while you’re at the store.
And if you did pick up some purple potatoes, you probably noticed that there are a ton of different varieties and colors to choose from. Pick out the closest varieties you can to red, white, and blue, and chop them up for a potato salad. A simple oil and vinegar dressing will get you plenty of flavor without loading up on extra calories.
Missing those bomb pops from your childhood, but looking for a healthy adult version? Peel a banana, cover it in yogurt and roll it through crushed cereal, sliced strawberries, and blueberries. Stick it in the freezer the night before, and you can enjoy the adult version of your childhood frozen treat.
Get yourself some whole grain pita pockets, and stuff them with ricotta cheese and raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries, and you’ve quickly got yourself a great red white and blue treat for the Fourth.
In July we celebrate our independence, so don’t get trapped by empty calories and fried food. Try some of these healthy alternatives, and you’ll still find yourself feeling fit and looking good for your next trip to the beach.
Group fitness classes have been popular for a long time. After all, it’s a lot easier to make a schedule and push yourself if you have a group, rather than working out by yourself. There are more and more different types of group classes popping up as people try new workouts and find what works for them. If you’ve been doing group fitness for a while, you may have thought to yourself that you’d like to teach a class someday. Well, check out the steps you need to take to get your own class, and maybe you’ll find yourself at the front of the room giving instructions.
WhatDo You Love?
Spin classes are very popular, and there are probably already quite a few of them in your area. But do you really love spin class, or does it just seem like a safe bet? Find a class that you love to take, and chances are much better that you’ll love to teach it, too. Teaching something you’re not enthusiastic about is a good way to burn out and become unhappy with what you’re doing.
It’s very important to find the best certification you possibly can for the class you want to teach. For group fitness, you should look into ACE or AFAA to begin. The class you want to teach might have a special certification or training that you have to go through, but getting a respected general certification will make it easier to find work. It might be a little more expensive, but obtaining the best certification will pay for itself in the long run.
Find a Gym
The best place to start looking for a class is the gym you already go to. You’re a recognized face, and it can’t hurt to talk to the management about any opportunities they have. Also, if you’re just starting out, try smaller local gyms so that you can get the experience you need to get hired at your dream gym. Even if there aren’t any permanent classes available, ask to be put on a substitute list. Subbing is a great way to gain experience while you look for a permanent class.
And remember that your first classes probably aren’t going to be in ideal time slots. Veteran instructors are going to have those times, and you’ll need to work your way up to it, just like any other job.
Practice Makes Perfect
Even with your certification and experience, getting up in front of a group and leading them through a workout can be an intimidating experience, even if you’re naturally outgoing. Practicing your routine in front of the mirror or giving your speech to yourself in the car will help you nail it when you get to class. You’ll probably have some nerves early on, but that’s perfectly natural.
If you love fitness and want to help others achieve their fitness goals, then becoming a group fitness instructor might just be right for you. And when you’re done with class, you’ll need something to refuel, so pick up some Promax protein bars!
Have you ever thought about becoming a personal trainer, but didn’t know where to start? There are a lot of programs out there that promise easy certification, but not all of them are worth your time, and not all of them are entirely legitimate. If you love fitness, and you love helping others achieve their fitness goals, then becoming a personal trainer might be right up your alley. Here’s what you need to do if you want to make the leap and become a personal trainer.
The first step is always going to be some heavy research. As with anything you do that requires a significant investment, you would be wise not to simply jump at the first option that looks good. There are plenty of resources out there, but make sure you’re looking for a program that is nationally recognized and accredited. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies is generally recognized as the authority on accreditation. The last thing you want to do is spend time and money on a certificate that doesn’t mean anything to employers.
You don’t have to specialize immediately, but becoming a specialist in an area gives you more credibility and you have the opportunity to become an authority in your field. People will actually feel more confident about your services if you present yourself as a specialist, rather than saying you know about all facets of fitness—even if that’s true.
Invest In Yourself
You’re going to have some upfront costs, mainly the cost of your certification classes and everything that goes along with that. The expense can be daunting, but if you’ve done your research and know that you’re capable of excelling as a personal trainer, then you should invest in yourself. And that also means studying and doing well on your exam. The certification isn’t cheap, so make sure you give it everything you have to pass that exam and make it worth your while.
Where To Work
You have two basic options for work once you get certified. You can work in a health club, or go it alone and work as an independent personal trainer. Working for yourself lets you be your own boss and set your own schedule, but you’ll have to work harder to get clients, as well as finding a space to use for your business.
Working at a gym or studio gives you a little more job security and stability. You’ll also have a much easier time getting clients through the club you’re working at. Just remember that most employers will have you sign a noncompetition agreement that prevents you from jumping ship with all the clients you’ve accumulated while working for them. Make sure you carefully read your contract and understand exactly what you’re signing.
If you want to read about some regular people just like you who’ve made fitness their goal, check out our Promax DOers. And while you’re there, find the protein bar for you with our Pick Your Protein tool!
Let’s face it, even the strongest, fastest, fittest athletes among us don’t like working out in the summer heat. Sure, there are ways around it—running in the morning, or evening—but when the dog days of summer come around, sometimes all you want to do is stay inside where it’s cool. So if you don’t feel like braving a 300-degree seatbelt buckle on the drive to the gym, then you need something to do at home. Luckily, there are literally thousands of workout videos, shows, and YouTube channels that you can choose from. We brought you the best so your workout routine doesn’t have to suffer when the mercury spikes.
If you haven’t heard about these workout videos from Tony Horton, then you’re probably in the minority. Nearly everyone has a friend that bought the 90-day program and talks it up whenever they get a chance to take their shirt off. Like we said, though, this is a 90-day program. If you’ve already got a fitness routine that you like and are just looking for something to do on a hot day, then this one might not be for you. But if you’re willing to give it your all for 90 days, then you should definitely consider P90X.
Bikini Body: Absolution
If it’s so hot that you’re staying inside, that probably means it’s swimsuit season. This DVD is full of core exercises for burning fat and getting toned this summer. It has all the core exercises you’re used to, and plenty more you’ve probably never tried. It’s not as intense a commitment as some other workout programs, but you’ll be on your way to a flat stomach and toned abs.
5 Day Yoga
Some relaxation out of the sun might be just what you’re looking for, and with Element 5 Day Yoga, you get a workout, as well. It gives you all the guidance you need, and the 15 minute sequences are perfect for starting your day, refocusing yourself in the afternoon, or cooling down in the evening.
If you’re stuck inside and didn’t prepare ahead of time, you might not have any of these DVDs. Luckily, there are plenty of free YouTube channels dedicated to fitness. You’ll absolutely want to check out Bodyrock. High quality video, creative moves, and high intensity workouts with basic equipment make this the perfect YouTube channel for finding a workout while avoiding the heat. You get all the moves without all the cost or commitment that comes with purchasing other videos.
So if you’re thinking about changing up your workout routine and heading indoors this summer, just remember that there are plenty of workout videos out there to help you get started. And when you’re done with that workout, recharge with a Promax protein bar. Promax bars come in a variety of flavors and nutritional values, so whatever your goals are, we’ve got a protein bar for you.
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