Crossroads Fitness Blog

Crossroads Fitness Blog

Personal trainers are not just for celebrities anymore

July 24, 2013
It used to be only Hollywood celebrities who attributed their fabulously fit bodies to personal trainers. Not anymore. People of all ages, fitness levels and income brackets hire personal trainers to help them meet their fitness goals.
While a healthy lifestyle has become a top priority for many people, they lack the direction and guidance they need to be successful. Here’s where a personal trainer comes in. 
After you’ve decided to hire a personal trainer, it’s important to find a trainer who constitutes the best fit for you. There are many factors to consider. Many trainers provide a wide variety of services and have different areas of expertise. Finding a trainer whose work schedule matches your schedule or fees that match your budget also constitute important factors.
First, identify what you want. What are your goals, not only in terms of fitness, but also your overall lifestyle? Making a change is hardly ever easy. You could only have the goal of being “healthy.” Your trainer can help you set realistic, attainable and specific goals. Communication is the most important step in selecting a trainer. You need to be able to talk openly with this person about yourself — not only telling them why you’re there and what you want to achieve, but also your medical history. By setting goals, you have a starting point from which to move forward.
Personal training certifications let you know your trainer has been educated in the field of exercise physiology, anatomy and injury Quick read more or view full article prevention. Many trainers also hold a four-year college degree in a fitness-related field. The higher levels of experience and education offer additional confidence to you when making your choice. Some trainers also specialize in a certain area, such as nutrition, sports specific training, dealing with certain injuries or age-specific training. Seek out a trainer who specializes in the type of training you desire.
Another important factor is the availability and price of a trainer. You might want to work out two or three times a week during your lunch hours. Finding a trainer who fits into your schedule will help set you up for success. Price is also important.  Hiring a personal trainer is an investment in you! You have options as to the frequency of your sessions. Some trainers offer a discounted package if you buy a certain number of sessions.  You could even ask if a trainer will give you a free session to see their training style in action. Many trainers build their businesses through referrals, so don’t hesitate to ask for references.
One alternative to the traditional, one-on-one personal training session is the concept of small group training. This type of training allows a personal trainer to train up to five clients in a class at the same time. This not only allows you a chance to meet other people and hold each other accountable in class, but in many instances reduces the cost of the sessions.
There’s also workshop-style training, another option that’s becoming increasingly popular. A small group workshop allows a trainer to focus on a specific type of training — such as functional fitness, kettle bell, sport specific, weight loss. Each session is usually six to eight weeks long.  If one of these approaches sounds appealing, find a trainer who teaches these types of sessions.
Give careful consideration to the importance of personality.  Make sure your trainer’s style fits your personality style. You might want a trainer who’s more aggressive, or perhaps your style is more relaxed and low-key.
Making the decision to hire a personal trainer can help you on your journey to a healthy lifestyle. Taking the time to carefully choose your personal trainer will motivate you; keep you on track; and make sure your workouts are safe, enjoyable and effective.  Above all, find a trainer who inspires you.   Read Less
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Ready to overcome obstacles? Races offer opportunities

July 3, 2013
Have you heard about the events in which people race up a mountain, crawl through mud and jump over fire? It’s called obstacle racing, and its gaining popularity at a rapid pace. Last year, more than a million people in the United States participated in an obstacle racing event. This new sport is not for the faint hearted, though: It takes some serious training, determination and endurance.

Obstacle racing involves more than just running a race. Participants run from one obstacle to another.  These obstacles vary from event to event, but often include obstacles similar to ones used in military training, like rope courses and wall climbing. Swimming through a pool of ice, climbing a hay bale stack and crawling through a series of pipes are unique to obstacle racing events. Each event varies as to the distance of the course and degree of difficulty.  

An event called the Tough Guy claims to be the first official obstacle event with its origin in 1989. Two of the most well-known races — the Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder — both began in 2010. The Warrior Dash is a 3-mile event with 12 obstacles. The race offers a competitive, yet also fun and social event. Designed by British Special Forces, the Tough Mudder is a 10- to 12-mile course with many obstacles. This hard-core event is not technically a race, however. Not everyone completes the course.

Why are these obstacle races so appealing to athletes?  There are Quick read more or view full article many reasons. These events are team oriented. A group of friends get together and train for months. Many have matching clothing to designate their team spirit.  “It’s a way to set a goal you can accomplish with your friends,” said Suzanne Hatch, who just completed her second Tough Mudder. “We are competitive, so we push each other. There are obstacles that we have to work as a team to complete.”

Athletes like these events for other reasons as well. Some like the idea of doing something different. There are always such traditional races as a 5K, triathlon or biking event. But the appeal seems to be competing in an event in which participants push themselves almost in a war-like setting and cross the finish line covered in mud. There’s nothing boring about an obstacle race.
“It was a real eye-opener,” said Lisa Carroll, who has completed two Warrior Dash races. “It’s quite an accomplishment to finish.” 
Although obstacle races aren’t for everyone, most people with the desire to participate can train and do it. Training for an obstacle race involves strength, speed and endurance. Running is the main activity of the event. John Ball, a certified personal trainer at Crossroads Fitness, helps his clients by bumping up their cardio workouts to train for such an event. “I include running stairs, doing line sprints and mountain climbers in their routine,” he said.

Total body strength training is also important. The “burpee” is a favorite training exercise used by race participants. This exercise engages the lower body, core and upper body in one fluid movement. Concentrating on balance and strengthening the core helps with many of the race obstacles. Health clubs offer a boot camp exercise class that could include some forms of obstacles, just on a smaller scale, that would be helpful during training. 

If obstacle racing seems like a sport you might want to try, check out the different races available in the area. Choose one that best fits your activity level. Round up some friends and start training. 

Who said grownups can’t climb monkey bars and play in the mud? Read Less
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