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Fitness for Swimming

When we choose to train in specific sports, let’s say swimming, we are often under the impression that all the training takes place while performing that particular sport. For example in swimming, one thinks that all training takes place in the pool.

 

Think about the most important traits a good swimmer should possess. These are:

 

1. Power/Strength

2. Co-ordination

3. Agility

4. Muscle as well as aerobic endurance

5. Reaction time (Balance)

 

We have discussed each one of them in different entries. For example, boot camp exercises we had posted here increase your power and both your muscle and aerobic endurance. The drills that most soccer players follow allow them to improve their coordination, agility, and balance. Pilates is proven to improve all of the aforementioned skills.

 

As you can see, liking one sport does not necessarily mean practicing only during the time allotted to that sport. If you are good at basketball and wish to improve your game, spending time at the gym performing focused exercises that would improve your reaction time, agility, and acceleration would greatly benefit you.

 

In the end, making that trip to the gym will allow you to discover a whole lot about yourself and about your abilities as a swimmer, soccer player, basketball champion or tennis star. Fitness is the key word here, rather than swimming. Have you hit the gym yet?

 

(Post by Thomai Serdari)

 


Exercise and winter blues

 

I have been inconsistent for the last three months. In November I was preparing for a trip, which became a good excuse for me to skip the gym. There was always a project that had to be completed and my usual trick of taking the train that gets me to the gym before it gets me home did not work!

The trip was wonderful and I remained active throughout the ten days of my stay in a different city. But I did not go to the gym. I didn’t even go to the gym in December when I was back in New York. A few new projects came up and kept me away from my fitness routine. While I am not the type of person who gets involved with the holiday frenzy, the prospect of Christmas and the idea that during the break I would have plenty of opportunities to resume my training were the perfect excuse for missing even more work outs in December.

The rest will sound a little bit like a weather forecast. The blizzard was impressive and completely inconvenient. The trains were not running. I lost my TV, phone, and Internet connections for three days, and, in reality, I had a few miserable days stuck at home. Even worse, my break from work was over, the illusion that I would be working out like mad for two weeks completely evaporated.

Fast forward to the last week of January: Here we are!  It is freezing cold and everything has become too heavy. The boots, the overcoat, the gym bag are all weighing me down. Yet, the desire to work out is back with me… along with a few more minutes of daylight at the end of my workday. What a delight! I challenged myself with a difficult workout during the weekend and was overwhelmed with a sense of satisfaction when my routine was over.  In fact, I cannot wait to hit the gym again today. Looking back, I cannot comprehend how I was able to bare these last three months without a consistent fitness routine.

 

(Post by Thomai Serdari)

 


Balance. Core. Agility.

 

These are three powerful words.  Do you own them in life? Most of us think we do. Yet, the only way to realize whether we possess these traits is to actually put them to the test. In real life, this would mean facing pernicious situations. Where else can one test her person other than at the gym? The new work out presented in the video here is based on three fundamental properties we tend to take for granted. I challenge you to try these for yourself.

 

 




 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qovs9T80hh4

(Post by Thomai Serdari. Email us at: workoutworkup@yahoo.com)

 


The language of physical training

        While I mainly work out on my own, there was a time when I decided to hire a trainer to learn how to exercise properly with free weights. Before agreeing on our partnership (because it is a partnership), what I thought I would get out of it was skills in proper form when training, since this is so important. In addition, I was hoping to learn a repertory of exercises to rely on when I work out on my own. Even though this was accomplished, I knew by the time our partnership came to an end that having a repertory is not enough by itself. One needs to know how the muscles work and how to challenge them on a regular basis with new movements and a variety of weights. I would like to return to this discussion some other time. For now it suffices to say that what I was expecting to gain by hiring a trainer was only a small percentage of the real value a good trainer brings to the table.

        Lisa, my trainer at Equinox at the time, works as a freelancer now, which is why we stopped working out together. My exercise time is limited to the time I spend at the gym and my schedule does not allow for additional training time with Lisa, which I now consider a luxury. Not that I ever took her for granted. The trainer-client relationship is already difficult because a trainer is a service provider. The service, which is of course physical training instruction, is measurable only up to a certain point. At least 50% of it has to do with the chemistry between the two parties and mainly with the importance the client places on the relationship. For many people this ends up being very complicated because they think that since they pay they are entitled to results for which, alas, they are mainly responsible. No matter how many routines the trainer develops, if the client does not pay attention and if she does not give it all her energy and focus, results will be very slow to materialize.

        My relationship with Lisa was wonderful. If she is reading this entry now I hope she agrees. Admittedly, we had a slow start because when I begin a project I want to know what to expect, what is the overall concept, what are the goals, and what is the strategy to achieve them. I like having the “big picture” first and then break it down to measurable and easy to accomplish tasks. I know that other people prefer taking it minute by minute because the “big picture” is something they cannot fathom. Be that as it may, I felt particularly challenged through my workouts with Lisa and eternally grateful to her for having pushed me to my limits. I felt the same gratitude twice a week and every time we trained together. I particularly felt it when I received a holiday card from her, six months into our partnership, in which she praised me for certain character traits I posses but also motivated me in a most personal way to keep it up.

        You may be wondering what is so special about that. Well, for those who know me it is noticeable that I don’t talk much and certainly not about personal matters, certainly not about myself. During a conversation, I am much more interested in finding out about the other person. One question that comes up therefore is how did Lisa know so much about me? The other issue to consider is that she really worked me very, very hard and even though we were doing weight training my heart rate was so high that I regularly felt out of breath and not able to keep up with any sort of lengthy conversation. This is when I realized that exercise is a form of language and that the way we perform it reveals a lot about our personality and our point of view. I also realized that Lisa was a keen observer of her clients as any good trainer should be and fluent in the language of exercise. I benefited tremendously from this relationship both on a technical level in perfecting my routine and an emotional one in connecting with my own body and challenging myself through my own self-discovery.

Post by Thomai Serdari 

Does Heidi Klum have the power to motivate you to work out?

It was announced today that New Balance teamed up with Heidi Klum who promised to upgrade the brand's profile by designing an active-wear line of cottons and silks. The super-model, and Project Runway star, is also a busy mother. She claims that even she has to worry about looking chic while comfortable in her active lifestyle. Her line is designed with every body in mind. So here is the question to you: can Heidi Klum motivate you to be physically active and get to the gym on a regular basis? If not Heidi, then what motivates you?

We are seriously looking for answers here at “Gym Memberships for Teens Inc.” Feel free to leave your response as a comment to the blog or write on our Wall on Facebook. We would love to hear from you and we would specifically love to know what motivates people to get to the gym.

Feeling shy? Send a private email to workoutworkup@yahoo.com

 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Post by Thomai Serdari (We welcome guest posts. Email us at: workoutworkup@yahoo.com)