"Help! I've hit a plateau!"
There are two areas we can attack when we hit a plateau. The first is what we're eating and how much. The second area is what we're doing (or not doing).
This Summer I hosted the First Annual Camp Turbo Kick for fitness instructors and fans of Turbo Kick alike. Now, for those of you who don't know, Turbo Kick is the program I created for health clubs nearly 10 years ago. It's basically the same "dealio" as Turbo Jam, except that with Turbo Jam I have a bit more creative freedom. That, and of course, Turbo Jam was created for the at-home exerciser! Great music, great moves...party central.
Well....several of the folks at camp this was their very first "live" class. Can you imagine? Your very first live class and you decide to do it with 150 strangers from all over the country, plus the people you workout with in the videos? Pretty brave on their part! Camp was in Newport Beach, CA this August. (Well do it again next year and to eliminate the questions... 1. There will only be one. 2. It will only be in Orange County. 3. It will be in August 2007) As is often the case, many commented that they noticed they had not been working nearly as hard when they were doing the workout at home. Most all agreed the experience changed the way they do Turbo and were excited to apply the tips to their "at home" workout regimine! Very cool. I think the main reason is that when you put a workout to DVD it becomes two dimentional. It looks flater and lower energy than what we're doing in person. When you experience it live you feel that energy and can better see the subtlties in form that result in higher energy.
So if you missed Camp Turbo Kick this year or if you too have been wondering what is the difference between working out live and in person and an at-home workout here's what you'll learn...
SHORT WORKOUT = USE MORE INTENSITY: When we are working out by ourselves, with no one BUT ourselves to be accountable to when it comes to intensity. Our intensity might be lower than we think. Especially for those of you who love the "quick" workouts, i.e. the 20 and 30 minute workouts, high intensity is a must. The harder you exert yourself, the greater your calorie and fat burn. Putting in the time is not nearly enough. When you kick up your intensity you speed up the results! That means it's also very important to 'go for it' as soon as you push play. With a short workout, consider that every minute counts!
LOWER, WIDER, HARDER AND FULLER: So how does one kick up the intensity? Simple, if you're not opposed to jumping, add some impact to your workout. Bounce around a little bit more. But if impact and your joints just don't get along, then the best way to add intensity is to get in a much lower and wider stance. Check out this photo.
It demonstrates how you're supposed to stand.
Notice, her feet are much wider apart, toes turned out, knees slightly bent, and leg muscles engaged. This stance alone does two things, 1. It's easier on the knees because the feet are wide and toes turned out for easier pivoting 2. You burn more calories because you engage the muscles of the lower body! 3. You sculpt long lean muscles in the thighs, like a dancer.
BIGGER RANGE OF MOTION: Next, get in the habit of punching much harder, and using fuller range of motion. When you watch the DVD;s notice how high I reach overhead on the knee strikes, how long each punch reaches, and how full the range of motion is for nearly every on camera exerciser. Beginners of course are encouraged to use smaller range of motion and take it easy. But once you mastered the movement and you've become comfortable, it's time to go for more! Watch your own reflection. Can you reach higher? Punch harder? Get lower? Stand wider? Lift you kneess higher? Can you do more? Do more and you'll burn more!
WEIGHTED HAND GLOVES: If you haven't heard, the long awaited second shipment of the Turbo Jam weighted hand gloves have just arrived. How would you like to slip on a pair of gloves and burn 15% more calories? Why not? Word of caution... these gloves are serious business. Don't expect to slip a pair on and be able to do the whole workout the first time. Start by wearing them just for the warm-up. Each time you do the workout, try to go another 5 minutes. In no time you'll be doing the whole workout with the gloves on. Let me just say that when you get used to wearing the gloves, taking them off to do a Turbo workout just feels like you're cheating. Wow! Find them at http://www.beachbody.com/jump.jsp?itemID=82&itemType=GATEWAY The gloves are one pound each and perfect for cardio workouts.
HIT REWIND: Everyone knows the toughest part of any Turbo workout is the "Turbo" section.... highlighted by our signature siren. Why do just one? When I'm teaching a live class, I give everyone about 45 seconds to "walk it off", keep moving and bring their heart rates down a bit, then I hit rewind and we do it again! So go for it! How many can you do today? Try Fat Burner, it's 30 minutes of Turbo's back to back to back to backl! It includes a free pass to eat whatever you want for dinner!
HEART RATE MONITOR: Heart rate monitors are great way to monitor your intensity. It takes out the guess work of "how hard am I working?" If a heart rate monitor is not in the budget (found at NIKE.com or Fogdog.com) then the next best way to monitor intensity in my humble opinion is to ask yourself how hard you're working on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 should represent how hard your working when you're casually walking from one short point to the next. 8 would be hard, 9 very hard and 10 very, very, hard... near your maximum exertion and not something you could maintain for more than a two minutes. In general, when you do a "Turbo" section, you should feel like you're at 9 or 10 and during the other portions of the workout, you should slide between 7 and 9. If you're feeling too comfortable, you've probably slipped to a 5 or 6. Kick it up baby!
MATCH US! When you're in a live class you often try to match the energy of the person next to or in front of you. You find someone whose effort level is something you hope to obtain. You watch them and work to match their movement. When they lift their arms you work to lift yours as high. When they bend from side to side you look to see that your squat is as low and your bend is as deep. Do the same when you watch a video. Pick a person, Jenelle, myself, Holly, or your favorite person and work to match their energy. Match their movement. Are you as low? Are your punches extending as long as theirs? Are you kicking with the same intensity? Pick your person and match their movement!
We'll talk about breaking a plateau from a food perspective next. Stay tuned!