Archives for July 2010

Get Outta Here!

Hello, everyone! I hope you’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful weather we’ve been having. It’s the start of summer and and great time to get out, be active and have a great time.
Today I’m going to talk about some things you can do outside that can help get some weight off and keep it off during these summer months. First, however, let me say this: if you’re going to do an outdoor workout don’t forget your three best friends: water, sunblock and a hat. Dehydration is nothing to mess with and either is a nasty sunburn. Anyway, here we go.

1. Take a walk.

It seems simple, but when the weather is nice this can a great way to be active, get your blood flowing and get that Vitamin D you missed during the rainy season. Also, you burn about 275 calories an hour during an easy stroll. You can do at least that walking around Lake Chabot on a nice afternoon!

2. If you want to do something a little more intense, how about a beach workout.

With the uneven ground and the give and shifting of the sand, it can make some pretty simple exercises very challenging. Have you ever tried running in sand? It’s not easy. How about plain old jumping jacks? Pretty tough.

After a good warm-up and stretching session try the following workout:

20 second plank
15 second sprint
20 second Jumping Jacks
15 second sprint
30 second rest
Do three rounds and see how you feel.

3. Do you not like the beach and want something a little more hardcore? One word: Sandbag!

Get some contractors trash bags, some duct tape and a bag of play sand. Loosely fill some trash bags with five or ten pounds of sand each and duct tape them closed. It wouldn’t hurt to double bag them, either. Make sure the bags are filled a little loosely because you want the sand to be able to move around just a bit. Put the bags you made into an old duffel bag, bear hug it and go for a walk. Half a block should be a good distance to start. If you can go longer, please do. If it’s too light, make another sandbag.

If going for a walk is a little too boring, try this: pick the bag up from the floor and throw it over one shoulder. Put it back down, then pick it up and throw it over the other shoulder. That’s called shouldering. Try this complex:

10 squats holding the bag however you like
10 shoulderings
10 overhead presses
Rest 45 seconds and do it again.

There you go! Really the only thing getting in the way of a great summer workout is your imagination. If you need some more ideas, just let me know, and remember to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT
Discover Your Strength!

Some Updates

Hello, everyone. Wow, I blinked and it’s been a month and a half since an update. Sorry about that. I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m still here and I have a few things coming up.

My next three article are all written or at least planned out. The first one appears in the Castro Valley Forum tomorrow and possibly in the San Leandro Times on Thursday. I never know if it will make it into the Times until the paper comes out. Anyway here are the dates and subjects of the next three:

July 14 Forum – July 21 Blog: Outdoor workouts
July 28 Forum – August 4 Blog: The Secret
August 11 Forum – August 18 Blog: The Last 10 Pounds

Let me know if you have any suggestions or questions for these or any ideas for future writing.

Well, since the meet in May my training has pretty much been for s**t. I injured my back the week after the meet and it still is giving me some very weird problems. It’s getting better but I have to watch it. It’s frustrating because I feel like I’ve had to waste the last month, specifically with my squat and deadlift.

On the flip side it seems like my bench might be movin’ on up a bit. I’ve tried a couple of new things, going back to dynamic work but structuring it a bit differently and also doing some high rep work in my accessory movements. It feels like it’s helping. Last week I hit 320 off a three board with a terrible set-up. I couldn’t do a proper set-up with my back feeling like it did, so even though my PR is 325, the 320 felt pretty easy even with the bad positioning. I’ll keep going with this and see where we are when I can really get tight again. Right now I am pretty much stuck doing only floor press because laying on a bench with my feet on the floor is very uncomfortable. That’s OK though, because the floor press is something that will help me in the lower portion of the bench which is where my weakness is anyway.

Another thing that this injury has forced me to do is re-think my own core training. I’m basically going to start over, focusing on basic anti-extension movements to re-establish better lumbar posture. I’m going to start with the very beginning dead-bug progressions and advance one a week (Read this excellent Mike Robertson article to see what dead-bugs are). I’ll also be doing a lot more hip flexor stretching and hip mobility work in general to improve my posture and performance, and to make sure that this injury doesn’t happen again.

Anyway, that pretty much catches you up. One more thing, on July 25th Re-Active Gym in Pleasanton, where I work and and where I do my own training is hosting a powerlifting meet. There will be all sorts of lifters competing, both men and women, beginners and elite level. It will be fun and it’s free to attend. Come by and say hi! The lifting starts at 10am and the gym is located at 7075 Commerce Circle, Suite B in Pleasanton. Let me know if you need directions or if you have any questions.

I leave you with this. What does it mean? (Make sure your sound is up.)

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT
Discover Your Strength!