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Posts Tagged ‘Weight training’

Body Fat meter

Body fat meter. Image via Wikipedia

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I am a big believer in being clear about our goals so that we don’t waste a lot of time pursing a fitness or nutritious goal that isn’t realistic or attainable. To me, saying “I need to lose weight” is inaccurate. What most people really mean is that they want to reduce their total body fat. If we wanted to simply lose weight, it wold mean we would lose muscle, fat and bone mass across the board. And that is NOT healthy.

I cam across a good article on fat loss and weight training myths. Check out this article for some great ideas on spot reduction, lower abdominal myths and the myth that high repetitions burn more fat from exrx.net, Fat Loss & Weight Training Myths

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I belong to a gym, but with work and graduate school, adding an additional 30 minutes of travel time to my already packed schedule is tough for workouts. And I tend to work out more at home in the winter. We have already have yoga equipment, Wii Fit and some dumbbells that I already use, as well as a wall lined with mirrors to assess form for yoga and resistance training in my small Chicago apartment. Now, as the fall weather signals the start of colder temperatures, shorter days (at least less sun) and soon-to-be snow-covered streets, I decided it was time to do a scouting trip for my readers to see where would be the best place for an inexpensive free weight set in Chicago.

Our first stop was at a higher end home gym equipment store in a strip mall on Elston Avenue. The store showcased the Powerblock dumbbells and we wanted to see how these worked from an “expert” perspective. The lone salesman was more than happy to tell us all about the dumbbells and even demonstrated their use for us. I found them extremely cumbersome and uncomfortable. He told me that I would “get used to using them.” (I can tell you know, I would never use them. And if I did use them I’d probably injure my wrist because of the cumbersome construction.) He also told us another great benefit of the Powerblock dumbbells: they sell well on Craigslist.  He discouraged us from using free weight dumbbells because they were so much more expensive (at least in his store) and took up a lot of space. Despite the salesman’s high pressure sales tactics (“I can’t see any reason why you WOULDN’T buy these today?!”) and high prices, we were able to get out of his store without buying an expensive set of dumbbells that we would never use and would need to sell on Craiglist!

Our next stop was Play it Again Sports, on Ashland near Irving Park Road. I haven’t been to this location before and it was overwhelming!  From the outside it doesn’t look like a very big store, but inside it was a jam-packed sporting goods emporium!  Hundreds of bicycles, a skateboarding section, hockey skates, sleds, baseball equipment, free weights, some used weight benches, and much much more. The sales people were mercifully low maintenance. Aside from asking us if we needed help, they pretty much left us alone. But the selection of free weight equipment was sparse and unorganized and we didn’t see anything we really wanted. I will be back for other sporting equipment though now that I see how well stocked this store is!

Lastly we went to our normal one-stop-sports store: Sports Authority. I know Sports Authority is not a high-end store. It doesn’t have ALL the latest and greatest equipment. But what it does have is EXACTLY WHAT WE NEEDED at HALF the price of the high-end store. Our salesman, Rolando Batchelor, was helpful without being obnoxious. He showed us the different equipment they had and explained how each type of  free weight set was different. Sports Authority had a surprisingly good range of free weight equipment. And most of it was on sale! We got an adjustable, 7-position weight bench (that collapses for storage) for about $74 (versus a similar bench for $229 at the high-end store). We selected a plate rack to store our free weight plates in our apartment (approx $50). And we bought a 100-pound free weight set with bar bell and two dumbbells which Rolando helped us get out to the car ($90 on sale from about $120)). As a child my father used to use a plated set of weights and I prefer the plates set to other types of dumbbells because then not only can I use the set, but my man can use them (he does lift a bit more than I can!) and I can also use them for clients on occasion. And surprisingly (maybe not so surprisingly) the entire weight set from Sports Authority, including plate stand, weight bench AND 100 pound dumbbells set, was less expensive than the weight bench at the high-end store.

If you have room and money to buy an expensive weight set or Body-Solid Home Gym, hats off to you! But for people living in Chicago with limited funds, small living quarters and a need for an efficient, easy to store and use set of free weights, my money is with Sports Authority.

And to be clear. I am not being paid by Sports Authority, nor do I get any special deals for this post. I simply like the store, and encourage people to go where they can get the best deals and value for your hard-earned dollars!

P.S. Sports Authority has great deals on clothing too!

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, ACSM Personal Trainer, Certified Wellness Coach, Licensed Massage Therapist

Digitlal Miniposters from Produtive Fitness

I write a lot about increasing activity and fitness in and outside the workplace.  Companies can provide employees with education about fitness to help improve employee health. One easy way to give employees great information about stretching and weight training is to put up posters from Productive Fitness. At home, Productive Fitness provides mini versions of these posters via digital download.

What’s So Great About Productive Fitness?

Productive Fitness Products Inc. is the #1 supplier of fitness books to exercise equipment stores in North America. Mike Jespersen started Productive Fitness Products Inc. with the publication of The Great Dumbbell Handbook. The idea of publishing a book specific to dumbbells came when Mike was working at a local fitness equipment store in Vancouver, B.C. Many of the customers purchasing dumbbells also wanted a reference guide to performing the exercises. The book was an instant success and has now sold over 300,000 copies. This success has been expanded upon with The Great Body Ball Handbook now having sold over 300,000 copies, and The Great Handbook series having sales of over 1.2 million.

Since Productive Fitness Products’ incorporation in 1998, it has continued to publish books, expanding on its series of “Great Books” which offer instruction on specific exercise topics such as the Body Ball, Stretch Tubing, and multi-station gyms.
The “Great Books” are designed as quick-reference handbooks which allow readers to instantly access exercise descriptions for a particular body part. Each exercise description has a start and finish photo with clear, concise, step-by-step exercise descriptions.

• See a sample of Productive Fitness videos on You Tube here.

Who Writes and Reviews Productive Fitness Products?

• Andre Noël Potvin is an internationally accredited author, fitness educator and medical exercise specialist with 24 years of leadership experience and clinical experience. Owner and operator of both a medical fitness clinic and school for fitness professionals, Andre is frequently invited to lecture at international public and professional conferences.
Read more about Andre here.
• James Talo has an extensive background in individual and team sports. His endeavors have ranged from track and field to lacrosse and the martial art, aikido. However, it wasn’t until Jim suffered a spinal injury in 1993 where his appreciation for the human body and how it should optimally move and function became apparent. This injury shifted his attention to the method of kettlebell lifting and the teachings of some of the world’s best coaches. He began his search for knowledge on this niche sport and obtained his first kettlebell certification in 2004.Jim’s coaching philosophy is one he shares with his students, clients and colleagues: “My purpose is to create an awareness… to educate coaches and their athletes on the merits of kettlebell lifting both as a training protocol and as a sport…I am here to serve, and to instruct technique that is safe and highly effective.”

Read more about Jim here.

Fitness Posters from Productive Fitness

• Large Size Posters for the workplace

Large Stretching Poster from Productive Fitness

• Digital Download Posters (8.5 x 11) for home workouts.

Disital Posters from Productive Fitness

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