Andy here. It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog, and I’ve finally ended my year-long writers block, it seems. I’m going to try and make these happen a lot more frequently going forward, so here goes nothing!
When it Comes to Fitness, Think Outside of the Box for Progress….
I think that everyone who belongs to this facility has seen me in “lifting mode” at least once. You know, the whole deal- angry music blaring from the back room, grunts, loud weights clanging, chalk dust, a lifting belt made out of at least 10lbs of leather and bloody shins. This barbaric practice is my sport and I assure you that I’m a nice guy if you don’t know me already. My next powerlifting meet is in December, so I’m dedicating a lot of my time to getting stronger than I’ve ever been before. Weight training comes easy to me. I never have to talk myself into chalking up the hands and getting into lifting the heavy stuff. It’s my thing, I guess.
Cardio and conditioning, however, are NOT my thing! I’m the first to admit that I’m stubborn and stuck in my iron slinging ways.
I knew that I needed to do something to keep my heart healthy as well as burn some extra calories, especially since I plan on competing at 181lbs this December, instead of my normal weight class of 198lbs.
This past April, I was given the opportunity to complete a Spinning Instructor Certification course that we hosted at the club. Not only did it provide me with some continuing education credits to maintain my Personal Trainer certification, but also allowed me to begin instructing my own classes.
I began teaching the 6:30am Wednesday class in early June and I’ll be the first to admit, I went from dreading Wednesdays to looking forward to it! It’s a smaller class that usually consists of 4-5 riders-sometimes less, but that smaller class enables me to really focus on the individual participants. Once I got the hang of planning out our rides, I became less nervous and a more confident instructor. I adjusted to the super early workouts. In fact, after completing the class, I feel like I’ve accomplished so much before 7:30am rolls around that my table is set to have a great day!
I always preach to my personal training clients the importance of doing cardio the right way. Steady state cardio isn’t the best solution for fat loss. If someone wants effective, long-term fat loss, they should look no further than HIIT, which stands for high intensity interval training. Using this method, you will, in a nutshell, burn more calories throughout the workout and maintain an elevated metabolism for hours after the pedals have stopped moving! It creates an afterburn effect, so to speak. From an efficiency standpoint, HIIT blows steady state cardio out of the water when it comes to fat loss as well as conserving muscle.
Even teaching one class per week holds ME accountable to perform some form of conditioning work that I normally wouldn’t do on my own, so it’s also beneficial for me! Since I started teaching, I have lost an additional 5lbs that was being stubborn and pesky! My lifts have been better as a result of being in better shape from a conditioning standpoint. High rep compound lifts such as the squat, bench press, and deadlift no longer leave me in a heap on the ground, gasping for air.
In conclusion, I urge you to break out of your fitness routine. Chances are, you’ll break through a plateau and have fun doing it. If a meathead like myself can get on a bike and pedal, so can you!
Once September hits, I’ll be teaching a couple more classes during the week. They will most likely be evening classes that might include another component in conjunction with Spinning. For example, I might have a class that consists of a 30 minute TRX Suspension Training class, followed by a 30-minute Power Ride. It’s still in brainstorm mode, but that should provide people with a good fusion of strength training and cardio, all done in an hour!
So I’ll be doing this weekly again, so next week, stay tuned for another good one! I have the gears turning!