Stay in touch Facebook

Strength & Conditioning

Fat Burning

on Tuesday, 23 October 2012. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Fitness Training, Weight Loss, Weight Training, Strength & Conditioning, Fitness

If you’re trying to lose weight, chances are you’ve turned to some sort of cardio workout like the treadmill or elliptical machine to help you shed those extra pounds. If so, you’re not alone. Around the world, millions of people spend countless hours logging hundreds of miles walking, jogging, climbing bicycling and running in place, all the while hoping their in-the-gym journeys melt away pounds and body fat.

The sad news is, a lot of them really are going nowhere.

Today, some personal trainers have completely eliminated traditional cardio workouts from their programs because they believe those endless hours on the treadmill are nothing more than a waste of time. Fitness experts have been cited in numerous articles for several less-than-glowing reviews of cardio, claiming cardio machines grossly overestimate the number of calories they burn, that cardio does not lead to dramatic weight loss and that it may actually increase hunger and cause people to eat more!

Great. Then what exactly should you be doing to burn fat?

The answer appears to be a combination of strength training and interval training.

Strength training, which includes training with free weights and resistance devices, works by building muscle mass, which then boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more fat all day long.

Interval training involves traditional cardio exercises, like pedaling a bike or running on a treadmill, but alternating quick bursts of high intensity exercise with longer, lower paced intervals instead of maintaining a steady, moderate pace. This cuts down on fatigue, allowing you to burn fat – and calories – faster.

Alternate interval and strength training every week, and you should see great results –plus it’s a lot more fun than spending hours on the treadmill!

Proper Posture

on Tuesday, 10 July 2012. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Toning & Shaping, Strength & Conditioning

Your mother was right – you need to stand up straight! 

But not just because standing (or sitting) with your shoulders pulled back and your stomach pulled in makes you look taller, thinner and more confident.  It turns out that good posture actually has some real health benefits as well. 

First and most importantly, the simple act of sitting or standing up straight strengthens your spine.  On the other hand, getting into the habit of hunching over, either in your chair at work or while you’re standing, can result in changes to the curvature of your spine that could be permanent.  Since your spine is incredibly important to your overall health, keeping it strong and healthy should be a priority – and good posture is an excellent starting point. 

Second, there’s pain – or more specifically, the avoidance of pain.  All that hunching and scrunching puts pressure on your spine and your joints, and can lead to everything from headaches and muscle pain to arthritis to carpal tunnel syndrome.  Taking a moment to adjust your posture and stand up straight can reduce some of that strain and pain instantaneously, while helping you avoid more serious issues later on down the line.

Last, but not least, is performance.  Good posture keeps your body in proper alignment, and a properly aligned body is in the ideal position to perform at its peak.  Whether you’re exercising, working or just hanging out and having fun, practicing good posture while you do it takes less energy, leads to less wear and tear on your body, and lets you keep doing whatever you’re doing longer and better.

So the next time your mother tells you to stand up straight, throw those shoulders back and stand a little taller. 

And while we’re on the subject, it won’t hurt to eat your vegetables either.

#1 mistake women make in the gym

Written by Dr. Lee Mancini on Tuesday, 18 October 2011. Posted in Fitness Training, Toning & Shaping, Weight Training, Fitness for Women, Strength & Conditioning, Fitness

Tip Number One For Women: Not including weight training in their fitness routine. Most women have the incorrect notion that lifting weights will cause then to bulk up like a Patriot’s offensive lineman. This is one of the biggest fallacies that I hear over and over when training women. First of all, to add a significant amount of muscle mass to one’s body requires an increase in calories consumed. This is why training and nutrition are so interconnected. Secondly, women have 1/20 the testosterone level of men. Testosterone is an anabolic hormone, meaning that one of its effects is to create tissue growth, and in the case of strength training, this means muscle tissue. Lastly, most women have the pictures of androgenous female bodybuilders etched in their minds from the covers of popular fitness magazines, and fear turning into those pictures and losing their femininity. Rest assured that most of these professional bodybuilders are taking a tremendous amount of anabolic steroids and male hormones. Most amateur or natural female bodybuilders have healthy athlete physiques. So please do not fear strength training.

What men are missing

Written by Dr. Lee Mancini on Thursday, 29 September 2011. Posted in Fitness Training, Weight Training, Athletes, Strength & Conditioning, Fitness

The #1 Mistake Men Make In Their Workouts

Having trained hundreds of clients over the years, as well as having examined injured patients in the UMass Sports Medicine Center, I have gained a vast amount of expertise with regards to training program design.

Here's the top mistake MEN make in the gym. In all fairness, in my next post, I'll give you the top mistake WOMEN make in the gym.

Tip Number One For Men: Over-emphasizing the bench press. The first question that I always hear from one male weight lifter to another is the following, “So how much do you bench?” The bench press is an excellent exercise for building strength and power, but most male athletes include too many pressing movement variations in their workouts, such as incline and decline presses. Also most male athletes bench the first day of the week and always the first exercise of a training session. Monday in most gyms means male bench day! By constantly benching first in a session and first in the week, these men are creating a strength imbalance between their chest and their back and rotator cuff muscles. Over the course of many training sessions and years this will definitely lead to shoulder and rotator cuff problems.