Even at a health club — a place where tank tops, profuse sweating, and mild grunting are perfectly acceptable — rules of etiquette should be followed. Sure, the social graces expected in a weight room are a bit different from those expected at the symphony or the Louvre, but manners are important just the same. Here are the rituals and customs unique to gyms.
In a gym, weight equipment is considered communal property, so don’t sit on a machine while you rest between sets. Especially don’t sit there reading a magazine, talking on your cellphone, or rehearsing an opera. Instead, stand up and let a fellow gym member work in — let the member alternate sets with you. The same rule applies if you’re using a pair of dumbbells. When you complete a set, place the weights on the floor so someone else can sneak in a set while you rest.
The only time you should retain possession of weight equipment while you rest is when you’re using a barbell stacked with weight plates. Suppose that you’re bench-pressing 75 pounds and someone else wants to bench-press 225 pounds, you can see what a hassle it would be for the two of you to work in with each other; between each set, you’d need to slide eight plates on and off the bar. So you’re under no obligation to let the other person work in with you. (However, if people are waiting for the equipment, have the courtesy not to perform 15 sets.)
Unloading your weight bar
After you finish using a bar, leave it completely empty. Don’t assume that everyone can lift the same amount of weight you can. Removing weight plates from a bar takes a fair amount of strength as well as good technique. Don’t assume that the next person who comes along has the ability (or desire) to clean up after you.
By Adam Campbell, Men’s Health
Wed, Nov 23, 2011
The fitness industry is a crazy business, especially when it comes to abs. For example, if you want to reveal your six-pack, you generally have two product choices.
1. The too-easy-to-work method.
You know this better as “5-minute abs!” or some such hype. But if this approach were really effective, even Chris Christie would have a washboard.
2. The so-hard-it-has-to-work method.
Think 60 to 90 minutes of exercise, 6 days a week. Now if you have the time and energy for this kind of regimen, we commend you. But plenty of people are missing one or the other. And that’s just reality, not a cop-out.
So we wondered: Could there be an ab-sculpting program that actually works and is doable for most people? For the answer, we turned to Mike Wunsch, C.S.C.S., and Craig Rasmussen, C.S.C.S., creators of Men’s Health’s newest fat-loss plan, 24-Hour Abs! The answer: “Absolutely,” says Wunsch, who teams up with Rasmussen to design the workout programs at Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California. “That’s exactly how we make our living.”
One important fact about Results Fitness: Even in a recession, this Southern California gym has expanded. Twice. Why? Because its trainers have developed a fat-loss formula tailored specifically for busy people. (Read: mostly everyone.) The requirements are simple: 30 to 40 minutes a day, 3 days a week. So how do these trainers do it when so many others have failed? They threw out the old guidelines. The new ones they’ve created are based on 21st-century science and the methods that work best with their clients. Now you can benefit, too.
By Julie Upton, RD, Prevention
Mon, Nov 21, 2011
An extra serving of sweet potatoes, a sliver of pecan pie, a Campari cocktail or two. By itself, each of these festive splurges seems so innocent. But like holiday presents, dietary indulgences come at a cost. Most of us never lose the 1 to 2 pounds we gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve–and over the years, they add up. The damage is even worse when December’s hearty eating patterns take hold and last well into spring, as they often do.
That is why we developed this 3-day quick weight loss plan–to get you out of party excess mode and put you on a healthy eating track for the new year. It’s simple, fast, and effective. Stick with it and you will have those extra pounds gone before you take down a single decoration.
Goal #1: Break the Sugar Cycle
The Splurge: Those dreams of sugarplums dancing in your head may be more like a nightmare brought on by too many sweet treats. While experts used to dismiss the notion of sugar addiction, a growing body of research suggests that the sweet stuff can hijack the same brain circuitry that’s affected by drugs and alcohol, leading to a vicious cycle of cravings and binges. And holiday desserts with high levels of both sugar and fat provide a double whammy. The sugar hooks you, while the fat piles on the pounds.
The Solution: Eliminate desserts that are rich in sugar and fat for at least 3 days–7 to 10 would be even better. This will help quell cravings while you start to reestablish a taste for naturally sweet foods, such as fruit and starchy vegetables.
The Editors of Men’s Health
Fri, Sep 30, 2011
A fighter’s body should be a streamlined machine, as lean and muscular as it needs to be—no more, no less. That requires efficient training, says mixed martial arts trainer Chad Waterbury, M.S., author of Huge in a Hurry. This cutting-edge workout develops upper-body strength, size, and endurance simultaneously, packing so much exercise into just 15 minutes that you’ll shrink your waistline in the process. And to find out the regimen and training secrets that turned welterweight king Georges St-Pierre into a champion, read The Ultimate Fighter Workout.
Start with 6 reps of each exercise, with no rest between moves. Then do 5 reps of each, and continue to count down until you do 1 of each. If you complete the workout in less than 15 minutes, add a rep to your first set next time—so you’ll start with 7 instead of 6. If you can start with 8 reps and finish in 15 minutes or less, consider yourself ready to rumble.
1 Judo pushup
Start in a modified pushup position, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your feet far enough forward that your hips rise. Now lower your body until your chin nearly touches the floor. In a continuous motion, raise your head and shoulders while lowering your hips until they almost touch the floor. Reverse the move to return to the starting position. Want to see more variations of this classic exercise? Then try out these 14 Smart Pushup Improvements.
Are you still using the leg-curl machine? Then you should know this: “It’s not the best way to work your hamstrings,” says Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., Men’s Health fitness adviser and co-owner of Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California. “In fact, it’s not even close.”
A quick explanation: The leg-curl machine targets your hamstrings because it requires you to flex your knees against a resistance. This is called knee flexion. (Get it?) Knee flexion is certainly one of the jobs of your hamstrings — but it’s not the most important one. At least not in terms of why you need your hamstrings to be strong in the real world. (For a real-world fitness plan that fits even the busiest schedule, try The Zero Excuses Workout.)
“The main function of your hamstrings is to extend your hips,” says Cosgrove. If you need a visual, think of the movement you use when you thrust your hips. An example: When you sprint, you forcefully thrust — or extend — your hips each time you push off the ground with your foot. This helps you propel your body forward.
You perform hip extension in plenty of exercises — the stepup, deadlift, Romanian deadlift, hip raise, and even the squat, to name a few. So if you want to strengthen your hamstrings, these exercises are all better choices than the leg-curl machine. After all, you rarely have to flex your knees against a resistance in every day life.
That said, if your knee flexion is weak, it’s certainly smart to strengthen this function of your hamstrings. However, there’s an even better exercise for this than the leg-curl machine. It’s called the Swiss-ball hip raise and leg curl. This movement actually requires both knee flexion and hip extension. So it works two of your hamstring functions at once. “It doesn’t matter that you aren’t ‘isolating’ knee flexion,” says Cosgrove. “With this exercise, the weakest link automatically gets the best training effect.” (Make sure The 8 Scariest Restaurant Meals aren’t the weak link in your diet.)
And though you may think it’s a simple movement, few people in the gym get this exercise right. So watch the video below to learn how to do the Swiss-ball hip raise and leg curl with perfect form.
Oh, and a note to those who feel this exercise is too easy. Remember: You can always use progressions to make an exercise harder. In this case, you can perform the same movement, but with just one leg on the ball instead of two. (You hold the other in the air.) That’s tough by almost anyone’s standards.
Want to learn more great moves to sculpt your body? Then check out The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises and The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises, where you’ll find full-color photos of more than 500 exercises, and dozens of great workouts.
December 5, 2011 – Seattle – Magnuson Athletic Club (MAC) is pleased to announce Brian Sutton – one of Seattle’s sought after group fitness instructors and designer of Lifestyle Integrated Fitness Training (LIFT) fitness program has joined the MAC sport training team. Sutton will serve as a personal trainer.
“Brian brings a high level of knowledge and passion for fitness to the MAC. He brings a skill set to help people of all fitness levels reach their full potential. The community has gained a great resource with Brian joining the MAC team,” said Preston Crouser, Head MAC Trainer.
Sutton brings twelve years of experience and an extensive resume of specialty training to the MAC, including a Masters in Exercise Science, strength and conditioning coaches certification and personal trainer certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He is a co-founder of LIFT in New York, and has been a Keynote speaker for the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Utilizing an array of his own original programs along with other proven techniques, Sutton has nurtured active adults and recreational athletes, as well as high school, collegiate and pro athletes.
The pleasures of the holiday season are many but the pain can be equally powerful come January when we realize the damage we’ve done. This year wouldn’t it be nice to not have regrets for a change? We asked celebrity fitness and nutrition experts– the pros who keep Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Jennifer Aniston in line–to give us their tips for getting through the holidays without those extra 10 pounds. Are you in?
BOBBY STROM, celebrity trainer who has worked with Jessica Biel and Britney Spears and whipped Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively into shape for “Green Lantern”
“Give yourself one meal a week. Christmas dinner is only one meal, not a three day long event. For that one meal, say, ‘I’m going to have some candied yams and pumpkin pie and potatoes.’ That’s it. Doesn’t mean you eat like crap for the whole day. Before you eat something think, ‘If it’s not worth it, don’t waste it.’ If someone says, ‘You have to try this cake it’s awesome!’ Ok, maybe it’s worth the calories. But picking at a bowl of pretzels—that’s not worth the work you’ll have to do to take it off.”
GUNNAR PETERSON, celebrity trainer who keeps Kim Kardashian and Sofia Vergara in good form, and helped Jennifer Lopez train for a triathlon after having twins
“Get a training partner for these six weeks who will help motivate you to get up and out of bed. And get it done early. Set your alarm for an hour earlier—or even 30 minutes. You’ll make better choices for the rest of the day. And at night, you’ll be less likely to stay out too late because you’ll have to get up early. Mindset is also incredibly important. You have to mentally set the table. You will not gain weight. You’ve got to know it to make better choices. Draw a line in the sand.”
Fitness Innovator, Katherine Kaufman Joins Magnuson Athletic Club Leadership Team. Kaufman Will Deliver Challenging, Yet Flexible Programs to New Club’s Growing Membership.
November 23, 2011 – Seattle – Magnuson Athletic Club is pleased to announce Katherine Kaufman – one of Seattle’s most sought after group fitness instructors, and designer of the C.U.T.™ exercise program has joined the MAC leadership team. Ms. Kaufman will serve as Operations and Membership Development Director.
“We are thrilled to have Katherine join the MAC team. She has a contagious passion for fitness. She has connected with the community as a group fitness instructor and
trainer. She will be a great collaborator in developing the MAC vision,” said Tarn Sublett, MAC General Manager.
Our very own Breanne Curran gives us some tips on how to intensify your abdominal workouts and a quick nutrition tip too!