Goal setting


Tips for training
1. Write down your goals
If you don’t right down your goal they are still dreams and wishes. Put it on paper and develop a plan to reach that goal. If you don’t have any direction then you don’t have a plan

2. Make sure your goals are specific and obtainable.
Goals like taking over the world or get down to 1% body fat  are not obtainable goals( well maybe taking over the world). A good example is lose 20lbs in 10 weeks. Is a good goal. It gives your a specific goal and a timeline to accomplish the goal.

4. One Goal at a time
I have a lot of clients that have list of  goals and they try to achieve all of them at once and end up failing. Order your goals by priority and then go down the list. If your goal is fat loss go for Fat loss. If you want to build strength then build strength. Remember a jack of all trades is a master of none.

3. Schedule in assessments
Put in reassessments into your program. This will be crucial to make sure that the program is putting you on pace to reach your goal.   Reevaluating your program can help you find flaws that could potentially keep your from getting to where you want to be.

4. Have fun 
Give your program some flexibility( not a lot though) because life will get in the way. Which you can’t plan for so stick to your plan but be able to make adjustments when “life” come at you.

 

Forward Lunge vs Reverse Lunge


Now this is a little issue that has been on my mind for about the last week or so. The forward lunge vs the Reverse lunge. Two exercises that look very similar on the surface but target different muscles in the legs. Now if you were to tell someone  they will look at you like you’re crazy. IT is the same motion just one stepping forward the other stepping backwards.  But lets look at in-depth

Forward Lunge
 The Forward lunge from a standing position you want to step forward which will cause center of gravity to go forward as well when your front foot hits the ground your glutes, Hamstring, and quadriceps will contract eccentrically to slow your momentum hip stabilizers will fire to keep the knee in line.  As you descend down you will get more glutes and hamstring activation especially if you are pushing through your arch to heel on your front foot. Towards the bottom end of the movement you will get more glutes  and hamstring activation. On the concentric portion of the movement most of the work is through quadriceps. The last bit of the movement is knee extension. Think about when you’re doing dynamic lunges(alternating lunges) you have to kick a little with your front leg to get you back to the standing position. What major muscles are responsible for knee extension? The answer is quadriceps.  Many people usually don’t go the full range of motion in the Lunge and that is why they really feel the burn in the quads because they stay in the range were quad activation in greater. Even in the picture I believe the woman can go even further down and have her back knee touch the ground.  Front Lunges will target your quads better than Reverse lunges.

Reverse Lunges
 Lets take a look at the Reverse Lunge it start the same way as the Front long instead of stepping forward you take a step backwards.  First thing you notice is that you body starts to move in reverse. Second thing you notice is that it is a slightly slower movement. Let think about it for a second with the forward lunge you are shifting the weight from the back leg to the front. In the reverse lunge the weight doesn’t shift in the beginning instead the support leg( the leg that did not step back) has to control your body weight and lower you through the motion. As you lower yourself though the motion your glutes and hamstrings are engage immediately  to help lower yourself down.  You lower until your knee touches the ground then you stand back up. The up motion is completely different from the front lunge  The front lunge ended up being a pushing motion. The reverse lunge on the way back up is a pulling motion through the hip.  You are pulling yourself forward, it basically the same motion when your running and walk.  Hip extension is controlled by the glutes and Hamstrings.  Some people will argue that you push-off the back the back leg to get forward. Yes there is some help with a push to help get your momentum forward but I will argue that your hips are more involved in a reverse lunge than the front lunge. Why do you think women who want to tone they hips and buttocks do reverse lunges over front lunges.  IF you still don’t believe me grab some dumbbells and do a couple of sets of reverse lunges and tell me what hurts 2 days later. I bet it will be your glutes.

Conclusion

If you’re trying to make a decision between forward and reverse lunges it will depend on what muscles(movements) you’re trying to target.  If you’re going for a knee dominate  quadriceps movement go with the Forward lunge. If you are looking more Posterior chain movement then I suggest the Reverse lunge  it will hit your hamstring and glutes more.

Random thought about Health and Fitness


Random thoughts this is what I’ve been thinking about in the last week or so.

My girlfriend has posed a question last week that got me thinking. She asked why there isn’t any uniform or standard that all fitness and health professionals agree upon. For example a doctor will tell a person they need to go for a walk occasionally. While a fitness professional will say that walking will do little to nothing to improve your health. Why is that? Couldn’t all the professionals come together and agree upon a standard that all people follow. I was thinking that would be way too difficult because the definition for fitness or being healthy is subjective.  There are many people who believe that being able to run  10+ plus miles as being in shape. Others believe that being able lift double your body weight in different exercises is a sign of being in shape. I personally consider being in shape doing being able to perform in my sport without problem. With so many definitions of Fitness it is hard to develop a standard without conflicts with another group.  If I had a choice between cardiovascular exercises and resistance exercises. I would choose resistance exercises. Others would choose cardiovascular exercise. Is there anything wrong with either choose? I don’t think so people will argue. I think if you are in good health if you’re able to perform daily activities without problem.
Another problem is that there are several different certifications that you can find throughout the world each certifications have different recommendations, and standards of practice.   The major Personal trainer certifications are ACE, NASM, ACSM, NSCA, NCSF, NFPT, NESTA, and IFPA.  8 different certifications that are recognized in the United States alone what about the international companies. Each of the companies have different standard and practices. Not to mention there are several other major certifications that do not fall into those 8 groups as well. Not to mention people go to universities to study Exercise science,  and Kinesiology. It is honestly pretty ridiculous because for all these groups to come together to come up with a standard is most likely not happening.