What is Functional Training?
You may have heard us describe our training style as more “Functional Training” as opposed to traditional training. But, what exactly is Functional Training? The concept of Functional Training began with Physical Therapy. The idea was to rehab patients through specific exercises that would allow them to return to their normal, everyday activities. If the patient’s occupation involved heavy lifting, the therapy would focus on proper lifting techniques and strengthening the muscles involved. Likewise, if the patient ran around chasing kids all day, muscular strength and endurance was addressed in order to minimize re-injury.
Developing strength to assist the body through the daily stresses and activites of life makes perfect sense to us. We believe Functional Training is the future of our industry because it is simply, training for life! At Body Basics, our focus is to train you in the gym for the activities you do (and/or want to do) outside the gym.
Functional vs. Traditional
What makes Functional Training different from traditional training is that very little equipment is needed to train someone functionally. Much of traditional training involves the use of weight-bearing machines or benches for support. Many times, these machines will target one muscle group at a time and the benches are used to support a specific body position during an exercise. Functional Training utilizes many muscle groups at the same time to strengthen your body as a whole. As we compare certain exercises, we want to point out that there are definite benefits to traditional training and many times, they are needed to help build a foundation for fitness or to supplement a routine.
The leg press, for example, may be used to train someone traditionally. This is a great machine to help build leg strength and flexibility. The client sits or lies down in a pre-set position supported by the machine. The machine will only allow movement in particular direction. The muscle groups specifically targeted are the quadriceps and hamstrings. In comparison, a squat would be more of a functional exercise due to the fact that the person has to use his/her entire body’s stability and strength to balance and perform the squat properly. The quadriceps and hamstrings are targeted, but so are the “core” muscles of the abdominals, hips, glutes, lower and upper back. And whether you know it or not, you perform a squat every day when you sit down in a chair. Therefore, training functionally by performing squats as part of your exercise routine can to help strengthen your body to ensure you are sitting down and standing back up properly to minimize injury.
Functional Training = A Total Body Workout!
When training functionally, upper-body exercises often times combine with lower-body exercises to become total body exercises. Most of the exercises that utilize the “funky” equipment, such as the physioballs, medicine balls, bands, balance discs, the BOSU, foam rollers, etc. are used for functional training. These exercises will use more of your body’s balance, stability and strength to perform as opposed to more traditional exercises that tend to work one muscle group at a time. For example, take the exercise of performing a dumbbell chest press on the bench. This is a very good exercise to strengthen your chest, triceps and shoulders. However, lying on the bench supports your lower body and back so you can focus on your chest. If you were to take the same exercise and replace the bench with a phyisoball, you would now be working your lower-body and your “core” in addition to your chest. Your body becomes the bench and therefore, your support. That simple adjustment turns a traditional upper-body exercise into a more functional, total-body exercise.
Functional Training Sets us Apart
Our focus on Functional Training is just one of the many things that set Body Basics apart from other gyms or personal training businesses. Just walk into our studio and you will see that we are not set up like a typical gym. We have very few machines, lots of dumbbells, and a plethora of colorful physioballs, bands, balance discs, foam rollers, etc. When Chris, President of Body Basics, was designing his studio, he wanted to create an environment that allowed for more Functional Training. To accomplish this, he chose the few traditional machines that we currently have and use. As many of our clients will attest to, we are constantly creating new exercises to mimic specific movements to meet the needs of our clients. If you are training for a hike, we will develop an exercise that simulates what the knees, ankles, hips, and back go through while out on a trail. If you are looking to improve your golf swing, we will have you work on rotational exercises that involve twisting and accelerating just as you would on the golf course. Gardening or doing yard work? You bet we will have you squatting, kneeling, swinging, lifting, pushing, pulling, etc. These exercises may look goofy and will definitely be “out of the box,” but they are sure to help you stay strong in your daily activities.
Functional Training for Life!
The focus of Functional Training is to strengthen your body in ways that will make your everyday activities easier, pain and injury-free, and ultimately, more enjoyable. It is also about strengthening your body to do the activities you may not do every day, but still enjoy like hiking, playing tennis or golf, scuba diving, skiing, etc. The Functional Training focus is all about moving your body to keep it strong and healthy in order for you to do what you want to live and enjoy your life to the fullest! We, the Fitness Coaches at Body Basics, strive to be there with you every squat, lunge, jump and step of the way!
Nutrition Corner – Planning is the Key!
All too often, we hear the following words about nutrition, “We know what to do, we just don’t do it!” When it comes to better nutrition, whether you are looking to eliminate body fat, gain muscle, or simply maintain a healthy body, having a plan and following through, is the key to success.
As important as time management is with keeping on task throughout your day, food management is equally important in helping you succeed with your healthy lifestyle goals. The following scenario is a common day-in-the-life of someone who may struggle with their weight loss and lacks energy throughout the day:
Jack wakes up around 6:00am. He hurries along getting ready for his day, giving himself only coffee for his much-needed burst of morning “energy.” Long about 10:00 or 11:00, he starts to feel hungry and reaches for candy dish nearby and/or maybe the Snickers bar he has stashed in his desk for a quick “pick-me-up.” Or he may simply have another cup of coffee, hoping this will curb his hunger until lunch. By lunchtime, Jack is famished and since he didn’t pack a meal for lunch, he will go out to eat. Being so hungry, he will order something that may not be the healthiest choice on the menu and he will eat the whole thing justifying this behavior because he didn’t have breakfast this morning, so “it’s okay for today.” Then it’s back to the office for the second half of his day. A couple of hours later and Jack is now feeling the 3:00 slump. He fishes around for some change and visits the vending machines for another sugary snack and maybe a diet soda. When the workday is over and Jack arrives home, he is ravenous again and no matter how perfect the portion sizes may be Jack is still hungry so he goes back for seconds. Relaxing on the couch for a couple of hours, Jack gives into his sweet tooth and gets a bowl of ice cream before heading to bed.
The next day, he does it all over again.
Does this scenario sound even remotely familiar to you? When reading through this, you may think that Jack is falling victim to poor decisions throughout his day. In reality, Jack is feeling the direct results of poor planning or, in other words, poor food management.
Set Yourself Up for Success!
No doubt, you have heard that eating smaller meals throughout your day is better than eating two to three larger meals. The reason for this is to help balance your blood sugar levels, and therefore, your energy throughout your day. In other words, if you do not eat on a regular basis, i.e. every three to four hours, you are setting yourself up for feeling overly-hungry and out of control when you finally do eat. Allowing five, six, even seven hours or more between meals will cause your blood sugar to rise and fall drastically, giving you an energy roller-coaster feel throughout your day. For better results, more balanced energy, and the “will-power” to make healthier choices in your day, plan your meals before your day begins.
Just like planning your daily to-do list, meal planning will help you increase your productivity and improve your chances for success with your goals. This doesn’t mean that you must know exactly what you will be eating at a specific time each and every day, but having a general idea will help you set yourself up for success. If you pack your lunch, make sure to pack healthy snacks as well. Even if you are planning on eating lunch out, having a healthy, mid-morning snack will help you make a more conscious and healthy choice at lunch. You may need to set your watch to remind you to eat every three to four hours in order to help you create the habit. The idea is to construct a more regular schedule for your meals so you can stay in control of your hunger and have more energy throughout your day.
What’s For Dinner?
Ask yourself this question: Do I know what I am having for dinner tonight? If the answer is “no,” you may be setting yourself up for a night of not-so-healthy choices.
If you really want to be organized, plan your meals for the week and buy your groceries in one big trip. This will help you save time, as well as money throughout your week. It will especially answer that “What’s for dinner” question and help avoid the quick, last-minute decision of eating dinner out.
Of course, there will be times when things don’t always go as planned. For these times, it is important to have a back-up plan ready. Back-up plans are usually executed when time is running short, so if you are up for cooking at home, you will most likely want a quick-prep meal. The following recipe in the “Healthy Recipe” section of this newsletter is healthful and utilizes pantry items that you can keep on hand. The best part is that this meal can be prepared in about 15 minutes. If cooking at home is just not feasible, you can rest assured that you have been eating well throughout the day, so you have set your self up to make good, healthful decisions for your evening meal.
Planning equals Success!
Planning your meals throughout your day can help you stay in control of your hunger and keep your energy level high so you will continue moving forward toward your goals. Being prepared will reduce the last-minute, quick stops to pick up food that may not be in line with these goals. When it comes to making healthy nutritional changes in your life, meal planning and following through with your plan is truly the key to success!
Healthy Recipe: Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger, RD of the Food Network. Ellie is the author of “The Food You Crave.” The recipe can be found in her cookbook as well as online at Food Network – Ellie Krieger
Serves 6 – serving size 1 and 1/4 cups
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 cup crumbled feta cheese or a 6-ounce block
1 pound whole-wheat fettuccine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 10 minutes. Add roasted peppers and saute until heated through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Place mixture in the bowl of a food processor with stock and all but 2 tablespoons of the feta. Process until combined and smooth, about 30 seconds. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Toss pasta with sauce, adding pasta water by the tablespoon, if needed. Sauce should cling nicely to pasta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide among pasta bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and remaining feta cheese.
Nutritional Analysis per Serving: Calories 470, Carbohydrates 73 grams, Total fat 11 grams, Saturated fat 4.5 grams, Protein 18 grams, Fiber 10 grams, Sodium 1050 milligrams
Guest Article: Go Gently into the Day
Tips on Wellness by Carol Bartol RN,MS,CS
Jennifer’s alarm blared loudly, jolting her out of her peaceful sleep. She hit the snooze button, hoping for a few more winks. But her mind was racing as she began to think of all the tasks and appointments on her agenda that day. I might as well get up she grumbled to herself. Why didn’t I go to bed earlier last night! Grabbing a large cup of coffee, she took it to the bathroom with her as she hopped into the shower. No time for breakfast this morning she thought. I’ll grab a muffin when the pastry guy comes around at the office. Does any of this sound familiar? How many people do you know who blast their way into the day? Perhaps you have had mornings that began like Jennifer’s
Is their another way to begin your day more gently? Here are a number of tips and suggestions that will alter the way you do mornings:
1) Most importantly, make a to-do list the night before and tuck it away in your appointment book. Then, begin to train yourself to use the precious early awakening time in gentle reflections, prayer, or meditation. Listen to the sound of the birds chirping They don’t begin their day with worry or stress!
2) Remember how cats and dogs awaken from their slumber? They stretch and yawn! So take about 10 minutes and do a series of stretches and twists. Use the bathroom first, if you wish, but then return to your bedroom and stretch out all the kinks from your night of sleep. Some people like to do this while they are still in bed, if it doesnâ€™t mean bonking their mates in the head.
3) Time now to flush out your system and start your body flow. Many cultures recommend that you drink 16- 20 oz of pure water at this time in the morning. ( It is easier to drink that much if you use a fat drinking straw) You might also add some lemon juice to the water for greater cleansing and to make your system more alkaline (That’s right, lemon juice is an acid juice that actually becomes alkaline within your body!)
4) About the coffee There are differing perspectives on the benefit of coffee to your body. If you are an A blood type, coffee could be beneficial. An O blood type would generally not have a positive response to the coffee, or to the caffeine. (If you would like to learn more, read Dr. Adamos book Eat Right for Your Type)
5) Skipping breakfast is a nutritional mistake! We frequently hear But, I’m just not hungry in the morning Chances are, you ate too much or too late the night before! Having protein in the morning as you break the fast is one of the best ways to keep your blood sugar balanced for the rest of the day. If you want an easy way to breakfast, find a high quality protein shake, select a delicious flavor, and enjoy sipping your way into the day. Add fruit and fiber for more staying power. Be creative and enjoy!
6) Still having trouble getting your engine started. Breathe deeply about 10 times to clear out the stale air in you lungs and bring more oxygen to your brain! Stretch our your arms as wide as you can and make circles in the air forward and then backwards. Continue breathing deeply as you do this! (As if you weren’t already breathing deeply!!) Lastly, try tapping your chest like Tarzan. This thumps the thymus gland and stimulates your immune system. (Where do you think Tarzan learned this? Why of course from the gorillas, who instinctively knew that it would make them stronger!)
7) Many people are deciding that they feel better and more energized by adding high quality nutritional supplements to their morning routine. Find some products that work well for you and enjoy the benefits of nhanced health.
8) Lastly, a word about the benefits of sleep. Research shows that most adults are healthier when they get 7-8 hours of restful sleep each night. In fact, there is now a correlation showing a greater incidence of obesity in people who get less than 6 hours of sleep at night. What are the most valuable hours for sleep? Our bodies heal and regenerate during our sleeping hours. Studies reflect that the maximum healing time for our bodies is
between the hours of 11PM and 2PM! So make sure that this is the time when you are sleeping peacefully.
So it is good to remember that the morning is a precious time when you are emerging from the healing hours of the night. Allow yourselt to enter the day with an attitude of gratitude. Go gently into this new day!
Carol Bartol RN,MS,CS is the founder of Imagine Wellness, where you can Experience the Art of Healthy Living. She is an RN and a certified herbal specialist, and provides experienced Nutrition/Lifestyle consultation and a personalized program for wellness. Imagine Wellness, a unique wellness center is located at 7493 N Oracle, #115, Tucson, AZ 85704. Call 520 797-4099 to set up an individual appointment.
Ali Walrath – September
Ali started at Body Basics in January 2008 with the group sessions as a guest of Susie Hilkemeyer. To deepen her movement awareness she then participated in personal coaching sessions. In a short period of time she has mastered the infamous in-line lunge and has realized marked improvements in her strength. Go Ali!
Ali has demonstrated that with consistency and determination many things are possible. We are proud of your progress. Keep up the good work.
Richard Rhynard – October
Richard started his journey to better health and fitness at Body Basics in June of 07. Dr. Shapiro, our very own, referred him to Chris with the goal of decreasing his body fat and improving his overall fitness. Our guy has definitely done that. To date, he has lowered his body fat by over 10% and eliminated 30+ pounds of fat! Richard has learned to replace unhealthy foods with healthier ones and he continues to practice what he has learned on a daily basis now. Richard also remains consistent, both at BodyBasics and at home where he regularly spends time exercising on his own. Richard, we are all very proud of you. Keep it up!
Remember to get a photo with your favorite Body Basics T-shirt on. We will post it in the next newsletter.
In this newsletter we have an insert from Lou Petti enjoying the wonderful beaches of Nantucket!
To empower people to realize their innate abilities by providing an environment that nurtures, educates, and inspires.
Keep Up the Great Work!
We are very proud of all of you!
Chris, Mike, Kathleen, Katrina, Cecile, and Jenny