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Why You Should Get Rid Of Your Scale

07 June
Image by © Michael A. Keller/zefa/

Image by © Michael A. Keller/zefa/

Throw out the scale. Just throw it out.

I know, I know.  I’m being a bit over dramatic here so you don’t have to junk pile it, just give it away.

O.k. Don’t give it away, but at least hide it in the closet so it’s out of sight and you won’t feel compelled to use it.

You really don’t need it to reach your goal anyway.

 

Reasons to get rid of your scale.

We “diet” to “lose weight” and track weight loss by using a scale.

We think the scale can accurately capture our progress. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. It’s neither a good indicator of fat loss nor does it give a good picture of your fitness level.

If anything, it can add even more frustration to the process of losing weight.

Here’s what I mean.

 

1. It only measures body weight

Duh, you know that already.

There is one big problem with this.

Losing weight doesn’t necessarily mean you’re losing fat.

You could just be losing water or more importantly, you could be losing precious lean muscle mass.  Losing lean muscle mass slowly decreases your metabolism over time, thwarting any attempts of accomplishing your ideal physique.

If you take two individuals who both weigh 150 pounds but one has 10% body fat while the other has 20% body fat there is a drastic difference in how they look, even when they weigh the same.

That’s why it’s more about how much body fat and lean muscle you have, the weight is irrelevant to how you look and feel. Less body fat and more muscle is your way to a better physique.

 

2. Water can swing your weight up and down

Have you ever followed your diet program to the “T” only to step on the scale at the end of the week and find that you’ve gained weight?

If you’ve experienced this before then you know how frustrating it can be. If you’re not losing weight why bother? Right?

Before you give up consider this, your fluid levels fluctuate based on the needs of your body.

If you dropped 7 pounds in one week there’s a good chance a large portion of that weight loss was water, up to 6 pounds.

As a result, your body must now retain more of the water you drink to make up for all fluids lost from the previous week. We then see little to no change on the scale or in some cases weight gain.

 

3. It’s out of your control

You can follow your diet and do everything right but still not lose weight.

How is this possible?

There are numerous variables that can have a big impact on your body weight.

When you take into consideration the time of day, the amount of food you may have just eaten, sodium intake from the previous and current day, carbohydrate intake, scale calibration, water retention and muscle gain you can begin to see how little control we have on accurately measuring our body weight at any given time.

That’s playing a high stakes game with your frustration levels so avoid this mental setback by avoiding the scale all together.

 

Here’s something you can be more confident about.

Focus your energy and time on creating the behaviors that move you toward improving your health and sculpting a better physique.

This can be done by eating 5-6 small meals per day, going shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables 2 times per week, walking 30 minutes every day, eating 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables, or resistance training three times per week.

You’ve got to track your action steps to see change.

Instead of using a scale to measure body weight, focus your time and energy using a food diary or work out log.

You’re now taking actual steps by creating certain behaviors or habits in your daily routine to help your body lose fat and improve your health.

 

Let your coach handle the numbers

Let your coach track your progress with your full physical measurements. He or she will have an accurate and in depth look to continuously assess your fitness program.

Your coach can then make the necessary adjustments to your nutrition or change your exercise regimen for your desired results.

So ditch the scale and let your coach focus on the game plan while you focus on taking consistent action.

It’s what makes the whole thing work without all the extra frustration.

 

In Strength and Longevity,

Edward Scaduto

 

If you need a coach or just need your measurements taken, please feel free to contact us at 719-640-0141 or email at info@precisionfitnesstrainer.com

 

P.S. Let me know what you think in the comments section below. Can you do it with out a weight scale? or do you absolutely need one?

How Much Water Should I Drink?

10 May

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leanordo Da Vinci

 

Photo credit: mcrub via photobucket

Feeling a little sluggish during your workouts?

Do you get the afternoon slump?

Working through that mild head ache again?

If so you may not be drinking enough water.

It’s hard to imagine that something so simple can have that much of an impact on your health.

Drinking enough fluids to keep your body hydrated can be one the healthiest things you do and it’s relatively easy to accomplish.

Yet it’s my experience that it’s often overlooked. It may be that it’s just too basic or too simple to demand the attention it deserves.

Whatever the case may be, proper hydration has a large impact on your health as well as on your workouts.

 

The Health Benefits

Here’s a list of why drinking plenty of water is so important.

1. Adequate water balance is vital for protecting organs and tissue.

2. Water lubricates joints and even acts as a shock absorber for the eyes and spinal cord.

3. Regulates body temperature by sweating.

4. Helps dissolve nutrients and helps to carry these nutrients and oxygen to our cells.

5. Helps control caloric intake and appetite.

 

Dehydration

Perhaps the biggest benefit of drinking water is that it prevents dehydration.

A state of Dehydration occurs when your drinking less water than what your body needs.

Dehydration can cause some serious health problems.

Even with just mild to moderate dehydration you can experience symptoms of fatigue, dizziness and even headaches. With severe dehydration you may experience low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, loss of the ability to sweat, unconsciousness and even death.

 

Dehydration and Exercise Performance

Dehydration can have a big impact on your performance as well. If you become dehydrated during exercise your aerobic capacity is reduced (your bodies ability to deliver oxygen to the muscles and body).

It also results in an increased body temperature, heart rate, perceived exertion and possibly an increased reliance on carbohydrates as fuel source. Depending on the severity you may also experience reduced muscle endurance and strength, cramps, reduced motor skills, and fatigue.

So what does this mean for your exercise program and your results?

It means your going to struggle, and you’re going to struggle big time. You’re going to hit the “wall” sooner and severely reduce your fat burning potential.

 

How Much Water Do You Need?

So how much water do you need on a daily basis?

There are no concrete rules as to how much you should drink. There are however, some good general recommendations that can give you a good starting point.

 

For Starters:

Start by drinking “8 of 8”. That is, drink 8 glasses of 8 ounces of fluids every day.

It’s a recommended minimum to drink 64 oz of fluids daily, chances are you’ll need more but drinking 64 oz is a nice goal to work towards.

 

Advance Recommendations:

If your looking to get more specific with how much fluid your body needs then try this recommendation.

Drink half your body weight in ounces every day.

Let’s use a quick example. If you weigh 150 pounds, then you should drink 75 ounces (150 pounds/2). This method is more personalized and you may find that it meets your body’s hydration demands better than the recommended 64 oz.

 

Apply It – Your Action Plan

Now it’s up to you.

Information and knowledge is great but it’s meaningless unless you put consistent action behind it.

Start planning on how your going to get this accomplished each and every day.

 

Here are a few action steps that I recommend.

1. Get in the habit of drinking two glasses of water upon waking up in the morning.

2. Bring a bottle of water to work.

3. Schedule water breaks away from your desk during your work day.

4. Have water with all your meals and snacks.

5. Drink water during your workouts. You’re going to take breaks anyway, might as well benefit from the down time.

 

Pick One Action Step

All you have to do is pick one action step mentioned above and work on it for a month or two.

Before you know it that one action step nailed down to a habit.

Then you’re ready to take another step towards better health and greater fitness.

 

In strength and longevity,

Edward Scaduto

 

 

Please leave a comment below and let us know how you are planning to increase your water intake. Or if you already drink more than 64 oz. then share with us how you do it. We’d love to hear how you’ve created this healthy habit.

 

The Precision Fitness Approach to Personal and Group Training

30 April
Colorado Springs Personal and Group Training

 

Many personal and group training programs focus primarily on altering physical appearance. Their programs help you lose weight, improve muscle tone and increase cardiovascular conditioning. This all sounds great. The question is, what price is being paid in order to accomplish these changes?

 

In big box gyms, the injury rate to new members is staggering. It’s estimated, based on random surveys, that close to 40% of their new members obtain an injury during the first six months of their membership. That leaves a lot of folks in pain and unable to make progress towards their goals.

 

The “no pain, no gain” philosophy is perhaps out of vogue but it’s still commonly practiced among personal trainers and group fitness instructors. It can be found in boot camps, cross fit gyms and also at home with programs seen on TV.  The problem with the no pain, no gain philosophy is that it leads to over training and greatly increases your chance of injury and once hurt you’re less likely to actually accomplish your goals.

 

Here’s the deal, you don’t have to hurt in order to improve your fitness levels. You don’t have to suffer from chronic injuries to lose weight. Just like it’s not necessary to spend countless hours doing cardio for the sake of burning calories. You can get stronger, healthier, and leaner by implementing a program that improves your movement and challenges you physically while allowing adequate time to recover. Combine this with eating healthy whole foods and you’ll consistently see improvement while staying injury free and improving your over all health.

 

Here’s a quick look at our approach to Personal and Group Training.

 

We have a movement first approach. Starting with your warm up all the way to your recovery, every aspect of training is movement focused. The reason? No matter your personal goal, you’re going to need to move correctly and move often in order to accomplish it. If you add over training to incorrect exercise technique you have the perfect recipe for injury. That’s why our training emphasis is on learning and eventually mastering the movements needed to accomplish your goal. This sets you up for an injury free training program that provides improved health and an increasingly better looking physique.

 

A good program contains several key components. Planned progression will help take you where you are now to where you want to go. A solid program also improves your weak points so that they no longer limit your ability to perform and get results. Movement assessments help your coach identify your weak points so that a program can be designed to address them. This results in a safer and more effective program customized for you and your needs.

 

Recovery is crucial to long term success. One can avoid common training injuries by not over training and making sure you have optimal recovery between sessions and with each phase of training. Weaving active recovery like corrective stretching, movement recovery, mobility, yoga, and even Tai Chi into your training can help you become stronger and move better with each passing day.

 

Less machines means more function and better results. Machines provide support and stability and therefore a false sense of strength. Unfortunately, if done too long your body becomes imbalanced as the extremities strengthened by machines surpasses the strength of your core. This imbalance leads to injuries related to your spine, shoulder blades and hips as they try to keep up with strong arms and legs. By working with body weight, dumbbells, barbells, club bells, kettle bells, medicine balls, etc. we improve the function of your core and your stability while increasing your over all body awareness, coordination and function. This not only leaves you feeling like you had a great work out, you also begin to create a smarter body that is more resilient to injury.

 

Our approach to nutrition is a simple one. Return to eating healthy, whole real foods. Diets are not the answer and making long term habit changes are the focus. We’ll guide you to make the small changes that will add up to the big changes in how you look, feel and perform.

 

Our training programs are designed to improve your movement patterns, fortify your physical and mental strength, and increase your body’s ability to recover. Train just long enough to create a positive response but short enough to allow adequate recovery. This provides a long term, intelligent and healthy approach to fitness that allows you to fully express your physical ability.

 

It’s not an easy road and it takes a lot of work but with dedication and consistent effort you’ll transform the way you look, move and feel.

 

If you have any questions on our personal or group training programs or would like to schedule a complimentary fitness evaluation, please don’t hesitate to call or email us at (719) 640-0141 or info@precisionfitnesstrainer.com

 

In Strength and Longevity,

Edward Scaduto

Body Weight Training Seminar – 5 Lessons Learned

21 November

The Body Weight Training seminar was a blast.We covered some of the latest techniques in body weight training and finished on a high note – a 20 minute personalized exercise program you can do anywhere, anytime.

If you missed the seminar, you missed a good one.

The good news, I’m going to share some of the key lessons we covered with you here.

Let’s get to it!

The 5 Lessons learned from the Body Weight Training Seminar

1. Keep it simple: Find exercises that aren’t complex. Ones you can repeat and perform even when you are tired. This is critical because when you get tired it’s difficult to focus on technique. Your movements can get a little sloppy and that increases your chance of injury. Something you want to avoid at all cost. Try basic exercises like push ups, squats, lunges and planks.

2. Keep the session short: 20 -25 minutes is the ideal time frame for a short and intense work out. Any longer and you risk injury.  Your exercise intensity and your focus will start to lower. Worst case scenario, you end up just going through the motions and watching the clock eagerly waiting for the end of the session.

So keep it short and sweet.

You’ll have better technique and your program can fit into your schedule easier making it more likely that you’ll be consistent with program.

3. Mobility warm up: It’s not recommended to jump into any exercise program with out a proper warm up. I wish there was a way around but there isn’t. In the seminar we used a bit of a short cut that I think you can use too.

Using mobility exercises is a simple alternative to the standard warm up. It’s all about continuous circular movements at all the major joints. Start with your neck, then move to shoulders, elbows and wrists. Circle your hips (like a hula hoop) and do a few leg circles along with knee (bend the knees) and ankle circles. You basically want to flow from one joint to the next with out pausing in between. This can all be done in about 3 minutes.

4. Make it full body: The exercises that you choose must be full body because it will provide you more “bang for your buck”. That means when you’re using both your upper and lower body muscles at the same time you’re going to burn more calories per minute than if you just did an isolated exercise (exercises just for your legs or arms). This can make a sizable difference in the results that you experience.

5. Short burst of training: One of the best formats for burning fat is doing 20 second bursts of exercise with 10 seconds of rest between sets. Try working up to 8 sets of one exercise in a row. That’s a complete 4 minutes of work using only one exercise.

It’s important to use a timer of some kind here so you can solely focus on the exercise and not on how many reps or how much time is left. Have the timer set up for 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for 8 intervals total. Make sure you turn up the volume so you can hear the beeps.

Here’s a quick example of a program:

Each exercise is performed up to 8 sets of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds of rest before moving on to the next.

1. Upward facing Plank

2. Stationary Lunges

3. Standard Planks

4. Body Weight Squats

5. Mountain Climbers

 

This is just a starter template that you can use when designing your own body weight program. You’ll have to modify each of the exercises based on your own fitness level however.

You now have the information to design your own body weight training program. Now you have to go out there and apply it. Remember you just need 20 minutes and you can do this program anytime, anywhere.

Keep the 5 key points in mind and work out consistently!

I know you can do it!

 

Stay Healthy, Stay Strong,

Ed Scaduto

Colorado Springs Precision Fitness

P.S. If you have any comments or questions please leave it below in the comments section. I would love to hear from you.

Body Weight Training Seminar

04 November

Body Weight Training Seminar

Colorado Springs Precision Fitness

November 10, 2012

9:00 am – 10:30 am

 

 

Holiday Survival Guide – Learn by Doing Seminar this Saturday

 

Prevent The Holiday weight gain by using this cutting edge body weight program designed to burn fat 9x faster than other generic aerobic programs.

 

  • Learn why a body weight exercise program is perfect for the holidays as well as for recovery.
  • Discover new body weight exercises that will set your metabolism on high.
  • Improve your cardio and muscle endurance with out any equipment.

 

We’ll be teaching three different levels of each exercise so that you can find the appropriate challenge for you. You’ll also learn how to progress each exercise so that you are always improving.

New exciting body weight exercises, not your regular push-ups, sit ups or jumping jacks.

 

**Exercises you can do anywhere and anytime.**

 

Once we find the appropriate level for you, you’re going to complete a whole body, fat burning exercise session in about 20 minutes.

 

Free for active clients and only $10.00 for non-active clients and guests.

 

Space is limited, Don’t miss out!

 

Contact me at info@precisionfitnesstrainer.com or leave a comment below and simply state “I’m in” and we’ll get you registered for the seminar.

 

Hope to see you there,

 

Edward Scaduto

Make Every Exercise Session Better Than The One Before – 5 Proven Tips

09 October

 

Are you spinning your wheels in the gym?
Working hard but not making any progress?
Lack of results can easily dishearten the best of us.
With a little bit of planning you can avoid this feeling altogether.
Follow the five principles below to make the most of every exercise session.

1. Review Your Goals 
Take a look at your primary fitness goal.
It’s a good idea to review this daily.
It’s even better if you can do the review right before your exercise session.
Know why you’re working out and what you want to improve.
This will give you the extra fuel you’re going to need to push to the next level.

 

2. Proper Warm Up 
Stepping right into exercise can be a big shock to your body.
Similar to jumping into a cold pool of water on hot summer day.
A proper warm up eases your body into the work out.
It prevents injuries and can improve your exercise output by up to 48%.
A complete warm up consists of foam rolling, corrective stretching, activating the core, performing dynamic flexibility and movement pattern training.
All of this can be done inside of 15 minutes and will prime your muscles, joints and nervous system for your workout.

 

3. Have a plan 
Any plan is better than no plan.
Have your exercise session written out before you walk into the gym.
It’s going to put you in the right mind set.
Knowing exactly what you’re going to do helps you mentally prepare for the work.
As an example, if you’re lifting heavy you’ll need more intensity and longer rest periods.
Plan to spend 10-15 minutes for your warm-up.
Add another 40-50 minutes for your strength and conditioning.
Leave an additional few minutes at the end for your cool down.

 

4. Cool Down and Recovery
So you just finished your workout. Now it’s time to call it a day, right?
Not so fast.
Don’t forget to cool down.
Take a walk for a few minutes or lightly ride the bike to help lower your heart rate.
This will help circulation and prevent muscles from getting too sore after your workout.
Then perform a couple of stretches to help release the tension created from lifting weights. Include stretches for the muscles of the chest, shoulders, back and legs.
Your recovery from the session starts right after your cool down.
This is the perfect time to have a meal replacement shake.
Look for a shake that has a 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein (four grams of carbohydrate for each gram of protein).
That’s the perfect post-workout blend for your body.
Make sure you drink it with-in 45 minutes of your workout.
Miss this window and your recovery will take twice as long.

 

5. Track What You Do 
We improve the numbers that we track.
Writing down your weights, sets and reps each time you train is the best way to ensure that you are constantly improving. Any notebook can serve this purpose. There are even specific journals to track your exercises as well as smart phone apps if you prefer the hi-tech method.
I use pen and paper as it seems to work the fastest for me.
Take a look at what you’ve done in the past and challenge yourself to improve.
It doesn’t have to be heavier weights. An extra set or shorter rest period are also signs of improvement.
Jot a few notes on how your session went over all and list some specifics on what you can adjust to make your next work out even better.

 

So you’re probably thinking “All of this just for an exercise session?”
Remember this, anyone can work out and go through the motions. But not everyone can work out and get results.
You need to follow these principles. Set your goals, work your plan, and track your workouts.
Make the time you spend in the gym as effective as possible.
Your hard work will pay off.

 

Dedicated to your success,
Ed Scaduto
Precision Fitness
“Helping you become more”

 

P.S. Let me know what you do to get the most out of your exercise session. Do you already use these principles? Did I leave something out?
Please leave your comments below. They are greatly appreciated.

photo credit: jerryonlife via photopin cc

Precision Fitness Has A New Home

27 May

I am happy to announce that Precision Fitness has a new home. Yes, it’s been one crazy month (we put together the fastest deal in history, at least it felt like it anyway) but we have opened our doors at our new location on 5610 N. Union Blvd.

Our boxes are unpacked and the exercise equipment is ready to go!

I just want to say Thank You to everyone who helped this dream become a reality.

I am truly grateful for all the help and I couldn’t have done it with out you.

 

Here’s our new address:

5610 N.Union Blvd.

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

 

Thanks

Ed Scaduto

 

 

 

Use This Instead Of Willpower

24 January

Achieving your goals is simply a matter of having enough willpower, would you agree?

Well, recent research suggests that in many cases, willpower isn’t what’s needed to reach your body transformation goals…

Instead, it’s the disruption of “mindless” habits.

Let me explain.

Have you ever snacked in front of the television while watching your favorite show?

If the answer is “yes,” then it’s likely that there have been times where you ate an entire bag of chips or popcorn (or whatever you like to snack on) without realizing it.

It’s little habits like these that operate out of your conscious awareness that could be jeopardizing your ability to stick with the goals that you’ve set.

Researchers at the University of Southern California decided to find out what disrupts mindless habits and what keeps them going.

They invited participants to watch just fifteen minutes of movie previews while sitting in an actual movie theatre.

Then, each participant was given a free bag of popcorn to eat. What the participants did not know is that the researchers randomly gave the them one of two possible bags of popcorn:

1. A bag of fresh popcorn.

2. A bag of stale popcorn (a week old, actually).

After the movie previews, researchers measured the amount of popcorn the viewers ate.

Those with a weak popcorn habit (meaning they don’t normally eat popcorn while at the movies) ate significantly more fresh popcorn than stale.

But get this –

Those with a STRONG popcorn habit – ate the same amount, regardless of the bag they received (i.e. fresh or stale)!

That means that the people with the “mindless” popcorn eating habit didn’t even notice how stale the popcorn was.

That’s because the behavior is automatic and mostly unconscious.

The researchers didn’t stop there, however…

This time, they invited the same group of participants to a conference room where they were to watch movie previews. Again, each participant randomly received either a fresh or stale bag of popcorn.

The group of folks who had eaten the majority of the stale popcorn at the movie theatre (because of their strong popcorn habit) actually STOPPED eating the popcorn in the context of a conference room.

This means that just changing your environment or context of where your automatic habit is triggered, is enough to disrupt it.

And in yet another study, these same researchers conducted the same movie theatre experiment.

This time, they asked the participants to eat the popcorn with their non-dominant hand.

Again, those who had strong popcorn eating habits did not eat the stale popcorn.

Which means, also changing up how you do something is enough to disrupt an automatic habit or behavior.

So how can you use this in your quest to transform your health and your physique?

Well, much of getting in shape lies in your nutrition.

So if you have “bad” habits that involve snacking or eating mindlessly, you now have two tools you can use to change it.

For example, if every night after work, you like to relax on the couch and watch some television while snacking on cookies, chips or whatever, you can change one of two things.

Instead of snacking on chips or anything unhealthy, snack on veggies like carrot sticks, broccoli, or snap peas.

Alternatively, instead of sitting on the couch to relax, maybe you can lie down in bed and read a book… or go for a leisurely walk… or call up an old friend. You get the idea.

Whatever it is, focus on changing the context and/or how you normally do the “mindless” activity.

Focus on breaking one unhealthy habit a month, and by the end of the year you’ll be a whole new you!

We actually do this on the Precision Fitness Face Book page. Starting in February we begin the One Habit Per Month Challenge. Come join us!
Click here.

Create A New Habit In Four Easy Steps

05 December

Want to create a new habit?

Creating a new habit is not an easy thing to do. It’s takes a lot of energy, plenty of time and a sound strategy.

The four steps listed below are designed to help make the task of creating a new habit slightly easier.

 

 

1. Identify the new habit – The habit needs to be important to you. It needs to be relevant and help progress you to a bigger goal.  Remember it’s a hard road ahead, so make sure the habit is one you want to create.

 

2. Make it measurable – Sometimes a habit needs to be broken down to a smaller component or modified slightly in order for it to be measured. As an example, eating better is a great goal however it’s not specific enough. Eating 5 servings a day of vegetables is more precise and it can be measured. At the end of each day, you want to be able to review your habit and know whether or not you accomplished it.

 

3. Anchor it to an existing habit – We all have habits, some we are proud of and some we’re not. Either way we can use our existing habits to our advantage. This means you want to take an established habit and attempt to execute the new habit immediately after. If you already stretch every morning and want to start a walking program, try walking right after you’re done stretching.

 

4. Track it – You’ve got one measurable habit now and an anchor to attach it to. All you need to do is track your habit on a daily basis. It’s as simple as tracking the habit as “done” or “not today.” You can use a calendar to track your habit or stop by our Facebook fan page here. We track our habits there and you’re welcome to stop by and join in the fun.

 

I hope these four steps can help you create new habits and assist you in reaching new heights in your fitness program.

If you have any questions or need help identifying some new habits to work on, please don’t hesitate to write an email or call me at 719-640-0141.

Thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate it and hope to hear from you soon.

Thanks again,

Edward Scaduto

 

 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Doing Sit-Ups

05 October
by Edward Scaduto, Colorado Springs Personal Trainer and Owner of Precision Fitness

 

 

“Change means that what was before wasn’t perfect. People want things to be better.” – Esther Dyson

 

It’s time to change your abdominal training program, change it for the better.

It’s time to say no to sit-ups; by doing so you allow room for safer and more effective exercises that will fortify and strengthen your abs and spine.

At Precision Fitness our official recommendation is to avoid the traditional sit – up.

The reason you may ask? This exercise poses too much of a risk compared to the benefits and no matter how you put it, getting hurt is not a lot of fun.

 

Here are 5 reasons why you should avoid doing sit ups:

 

1. You can’t spot reduce, you can only spot build.

 

I know you want a flatter stomach or you want those wash board abs so it may seem logical that doing sit-ups and crunches will help your tummy fat go away.

Fat loss just doesn’t work that way. You can build the muscles of the abs but that does nothing to reduce the fat storage sitting on top of them.

Fat loss can only be accomplished through a sound nutrition program and a comprehensive exercise program like the Precision Fitness Training System.

 

 

2. Over training one movement pattern at the expense of others is a sure-fire way to muscle imbalances.

 

The body was designed to move in many ways.

Nowhere in the body is that more apparent than the abs.

They help you bend, extend and twist in countless ways.

Your body strives to perfect a hundred different movement patterns that activate a countless number of muscles.

By performing the same movement over and over again, like crunches and sit-ups, you set the body up for repetitive stress injuries.

These small movements done over and over again can create muscle imbalances in the torso. This creates a sub-optimal environment that can decrease the function and the potential of your body. In worst case scenarios it can cause low back pain and more.

 

 

3. The Abs do more than flex the spine, they do much more.

 

The abs have two primary jobs.

The first one is bracing the body. You brace every time you reach, push, pull, throw, swing or kick.

Any athletic movement requires bracing at some time during the movement and in most cases, twice.

You also brace during every day activities like when you pick up an object from the floor with one hand and even when you’re only opening a door.

The second primary job is to create the bridge between the legs and upper body to transfer power.

Take a tennis fore-hand swing for example.

The upper body and trunk rotates back in preparation to hit the ball, then the hips will rotate forward creating power for the swing. The the abs will then brace creating the ‘bridge’ that will work to rotate the torso and arms forward to strike the ball.

This is just one example of how the abs are designed to function. If you look closely you can find many examples of this function through out our daily and athletic lives.

 

 

4. Your spine flexes all day long

 

We flex our spine all day long.

A typical day for the average person starts by waking up and sitting at breakfast with one’s spine flexed (bent forward).

Then this person commutes to work for an hour and then sits at work for eight hours all with the spine flexed.

After a day of sitting, the individual drives home and eats dinner flexed and then sits on the couch and watches a couple hours of TV with the spine in a flexed position.

There should be one place the abs and spine should not have to flex and that is during your fitness program.

The health of your back depends on your ability to balance the work load, movements and stress that you place on it.

 

 

5. Sit-Ups produce the same force in the disc that can create a disc bulge or disc herniation.

 

It’s estimated that 80% of the population will see a doctor or chiropractor at some point in their life due to back pain.

According to Stuart McGill, a professor of spine bio-mechanics at the University of Waterloo, sit ups produce the exact same force in the spine that can create disc bulge and disc herniation, two of the most common low back injuries.

Does it make sense to perform exercises that can create common back injuries?

I didn’t think so either.

 

The Bottom Line

 

These are the 5 reasons of why you need to stop doing sit-ups immediately.

In it’s place start using planks and leg lifts to strengthen your core. These two types of abdominal exercises are much safer on your spine and there are countless variations and modification that you can use.

Take these recommendations and apply them today in your program, your back will thank you for it.

 

If you have any questions on how to implement correct abdominal training into your fitness program please do not hesitate to contact Colorado Springs Best Personal Trainers at Precision Fitness at 719-640-0141.

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