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Archive for the ‘Training Tips’ Category


Maintaining Your Fitness Motivation: The Before-and-After Technique

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

We write a lot about exercise motivation on this blog, because at Smooth Fitness, we know that for many people it can be difficult to stay motivated to do what need to be done when we’re tired, busy, or stressed. One effective method to keep your workouts going and your goal within reach is to have your progress continually reaffirmed for you as you go. A great way to do this is to have before and after comparisons.

If your reason for exercising is weight loss, then you’ll want to snap a few photos and record your baseline information—how much you weigh, how long it takes you to run a mile, how much you can lift—whatever it is that you’re using to measure your weight loss and fitness success. Having photos to reference is a particularly powerful way to see progress happening right before your eyes. Tracking your measurements is also a great way to keep tabs on weight loss progress.

If your goal is to improve your health, then your first step will be a doctor’s visit, when you can discuss with your doctor what health issues need addressing, how to address them, and how to safely monitor that progress.

Those trying to improve their athletic performance or train for a major event (like a marathon) will find themselves tracking all kinds of stats. Weight lifted, personal records, the time it took to run x number of miles, heart rate—all kinds of metrics can be used to measure athletic success. Fitness accessories like a heart monitor watch or ankle and wrist weights can help you get there.

If you’re a number cruncher, track your stats in a spreadsheet for in-depth analysis. If you’re more of a visual person, take frequent photos and measurements to refer to—and gradually create an ever-more-powerful motivational tool as you go!

 

Diving Into A New Workout Routine: Don’t Skip The Checkup

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Here at Smooth Fitness, we love being able to provide people all over the world with the tools they need to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Whether the goal is weight loss or heightened athletic performance, it’s remarkable the impact one can achieve with enough motivation and the right exercise equipment.

But there is something that we also encourage any exercise enthusiast to consider, and that’s the safety of your workouts. Many people who become passionate about their fitness are so enthusiastic initially that they dive in without taking one very important step: going to see their doctor.

For people trying to lose weight in particular, this can be a costly mistake. Often those pursuing weight loss are incredibly motivated when they start out, so they run the risk of serious injury if their bodies can’t handle the abrupt lifestyle change. Since obesity and being overweight are often accompanied by health issues like plaque buildup in the arteries, high blood pressure, joint problems, poor circulation, and much more, subjecting your body to higher levels of exertion than it’s used to can be very dangerous. A fitness checkup can help a doctor determine what a safe level of activity is for you when you’re starting out, as well as ways you can maximize your fitness and avoid injuries if you have specific health issues to keep in mind. What kind of exercise equipment you need, what type of exercise you should be doing, for how long, and how intensely—these are all things a doctor can help you determine.

So don’t put yourself at risk for the sake of jump-starting your workouts. We love seeing people full of workout motivation, but in the end fitness should be a lifelong pursuit, and injuring yourself is not a great way to start out. Don’t forget to check in with your doctor if you’re about to start any kind of new exercise, whether it’s on a treadmill or a home gym.

 

 

Make it Happen: Get Your Fitness Motivation Mojo Back

Friday, September 27th, 2013

We know that it can be pretty difficult fitting your workouts in around family, career, and other demands. As the weather gets colder, our bodies go into hibernation mode, and all we seem to want to do is eat and sleep. But when you’ve got your own fitness equipment at home, there’s really no excuse for falling behind on your home exercise, no matter how cold it is outside or how tired you are.

There are many things that impact how you exercise, and how effective your workouts are. We’ve discussed most of them on this blog—workout nutrition, fitness goals, routine, the fitness accessories and equipment you’re using.  And of course, any health issues or doctor’s recommendations you may have. But a common complaint that sets back millions of Americans, even those with the loftiest of weight loss goals, is motivation. Sometimes, it takes a lot to win back your spark, to reignite what got you on the road of your fitness journey in the first place. Fitness motivations fall all across a spectrum—some people want to be able to keep up with their families as they grow, others have athletic goals, others want to look good in that suit/dress/bikini, and still others simply want to improve their overall quality of life by getting in shape. Many times your motivation is very personal.  Whatever your reasons were for picking up the weights or jumping on your treadmill in the first place, here are a few quick tips to help you get it back if you find yourself falling off the horse.

  1. Visualize it. An image of what you’re working toward is a powerful mental tool. Maybe this means taking regular progress photos to remind yourself of your success so far, or a collection of images that represents places you’ll go/things you’ll do to reward yourself once you reach your goal.
  2. Reward yourself. Set up a rewards system to help keep you on track, and watch yourself earn them with each minute spend exercising or each pound lost.
  3. Get a buddy. A reliable workout friend is priceless. Accountability is a huge factor in getting things done, and this person can also cheer you on when you’re struggling.

How do you maintain your motivation?

 

 

Breathing and Exercise: Optimizing Your Workouts For Better Air Flow

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

We all know that exercise is important for health, but did you know how important it is to make sure you’re breathing correctly while you’re working out? Not only do you need to get your body moving and your blood pumping, but depending on what kind of exercise you’re doing, you’ll need to optimize your breathing technique, too! Whether you want to exercise longer, harder, or faster, you can start with a few basic breathing techniques to improve. Read on to learn more about what it takes to get the fresh air your body needs while you’re sweating it out on your treadmill or elliptical trainer. (more…)

Fitness Isn’t All Weights and Cardio: Remember Your Work in the Kitchen

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

No matter how hard you’ve been working to bring those chiseled abs to the surface, there’s one factor that may be working against you without you even knowing. When you get down to basics, it becomes a matter of calories in vs. calories out, but where you’re getting your calories from matters. No matter whether you prefer to use a smooth treadmill or an elliptical to get your exercise in, diet is something you should be paying very close attention to in order to properly fuel your workouts. (more…)

Weight Lifting and Cardio: Get Both When You Cross Train

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Sometimes, it’s hard to choose. If both options are excellent, how can you be expected to decide just one? We feel the same way about exercise. Cardio and strength training both have their own unique benefits, but it takes a blend of the two to really get a comprehensive workout (and smart nutrition for optimum fitness and health.) So at Smooth Fitness, we invite you NOT to choose.

How is that possible, you ask? It’s simple: start cross training. The beautiful thing about cross training workouts is that they allow you to incorporate cardio, fitness accessories, and strength training however you need to in order to obtain your results. They can be tailored to individual needs, meaning that your cross training workouts will accommodate injuries, illness, and any other physical issues you may have. So you don’t have to feel restricted or held back—because when you cross train, all you’re doing is giving yourself more freedom in your exercise.

Cross-training may be all the rage right now, but it’s anything but a passing craze. We think the many benefits of cross training workouts make it a valuable and effective approach to exercise that will definitely stick around. And from what we’re seeing, fitness enthusiasts love that they can use so many different techniques, fitness accessories and types of exercise equipment to get the results they’re looking for. The great thing about the fitness industry is that it’s constantly moving forward—new discoveries in health and technology can be continually applied to help us achieve better health and life long fitness.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to incorporate your trusty smooth treadmill into a more comprehensive cross training workout routine, don’t hesitate to get in touch! We’d love to help you put together everything that you need to reap the benefits of cross training workouts.

 

Break free from the limitations of traditional fitness gender roles!

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

If you’re anything like the team here at Smooth Fitness, you’re probably sick of every magazine, TV show and advertisement bombarding you with airbrushed photos of what your “ideal” physique is supposed to resemble: ethereal thinness for women, bulging biceps for men. Unfortunately, those annoying stereotypes set the scene for plenty of consequences, among them an unfairly gendered approach to fitness. Today, we’re here to set the record straight!

When planning a home exercise routine, women often focus solely on burning fat, while men tend to put all their efforts into bulking up. But doing this can leave crucial parts of your body sorely out of shape, which has detrimental effects on your overall health and wellness.

There are plenty of body composition-related differences between the sexes that should not be overlooked when it comes to developing and honing an exercise regimen. For example, men are more prone to heart disease, while women are more susceptible to knee problems. But none of these issues dictate that women must spend all their time on the treadmill and men should set up camp on the weight machines! You can combat the undesirable aspects of your body’s science by tackling workouts designed to strengthen your weaknesses.

So what does that entail? Ladies, it’s time to pick up the weights; gentlemen, start stretching.

It’s important for women to devote time and energy into strength training, since higher muscle mass has all kinds of great health benefits for your body – including increasing your metabolic rate, which enhances that fat burn so many women try to achieve through cardio alone. Leaner, toned muscles can help reduce age-related diseases like arthritis, osteoporosis and depression, while also strengthening your bones. Try the Smooth Fitness Strength Bundle for a great collection of fitness accessories designed to ease you into a comprehensive strength training regimen.

Similarly, it’s essential that men take on forms of exercise that they might not be completely comfortable with, especially as they begin to lose muscle elasticity with age. Working on honing your flexibility will not only improve your athletic performance and decrease your risk for injury, but also reduce muscle soreness and increase the flow of blood and nutrients to your body tissues. What’s not to love? Check out the Smooth Fitness Flexibility Bundle of fitness accessories to start getting long and limber today.

 

This month’s cross workout with Smooth Fitness equipment!

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Last month, Smooth Fitness introduced you to an intense full-body workout called cross training. This kind of home exercise can come in all shapes and sizes, but the gist of it is to challenge your body by incorporating all kinds of movements into a single workout. That means your cardio exercise is interrupted with spurts of strength training designed to burn more fat in less time. Sounds awesome, right?

It is, but it’s also going to kick your butt, especially if you’ve never attempted a cross workout before. So it’s best to ease into it! Here at Smooth Fitness, your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, we’ve put together a beginner’s cross workout that will hopefully help introduce you to the wonderful world of cross training. Of course, one of the best parts is you don’t have to go to a gym to get all the benefits – this workout can be completed with the fitness equipment you already have at home.

Remember, this is a full-body workout, which means you’re going to get full-body sore. But the more you challenge all your muscle groups, the stronger they’ll become – and the more weight you’ll lose in the meantime. So gather up your Smooth fitness equipment and fitness accessories, and get ready for your first cross workout in the comfort of your own home!

  • To begin, put 30 minutes on the clock, prepare your Smooth treadmill and collect the following fitness accessories:
    • Resistance tubes
    • Pushup bars
    • Medicine ball
    • Warm up with some light stretching or walking on the treadmill.
    • Start the clock. During the first five minutes, complete as many rounds as possible of the following:
      • Five resistance tube pull-ups. Sit with your legs extended straight out in front of you, each hand grasping a handle of your resistance tube. Place the middle of the tube at the bottom of your feet, then pull both handles toward your armpits in a slow, rowing motion.
      • Ten pushup bar pushups. Complete ten pushups using your pushup bars. Using these fitness accessories will help alleviate pressure to your shoulder and wrist joints.
      • 15 medicine ball squats. Holding your medicine ball in front of your stomach, place your feet shoulder-width apart and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground (from the side, it should look like you are sitting in a chair). Make sure your knees do not pass the threshold of your toes, as this could cause pain and damage.
      • After the first five minutes, run on your Smooth treadmill for two and a half minutes at an mph that should qualify as about 70 percent of your maximum sprint speed. This will be tough, but it’s only a couple of minutes, so stay strong!
      • Repeat these two steps until the 30 minutes are up. You should end up with four 5-minute strength-training intervals, separated by four 2.5-minute treadmill intervals. Remember, there are no rest breaks in between, so make sure you make every second count!

We hope your first cross workout was successful. If you have any questions or concerns before or after completing your home exercise routine, don’t hesitate to contact the Smooth Fitness team for a bit of friendly advice. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals for personal health and wellness!

 

 

Create your own cross workout with Smooth fitness accessories

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Last week, Smooth Fitness introduced you to a very effective form of exercise called cross training. If you like what you learned, you’ll be interested to discover how easy it is to incorporate cross workouts into your daily home exercise routine – all with the home fitness equipment available for purchase here on our website!

Recall that cross training workouts utilize a unique blend of aerobic and anaerobic activity, fostering functional movements in all areas of strength and conditioning. Brace yourself – your cross workout will demand some pretty extreme physical exertion on your part. But after you notice how much your fitness improves across multiple varieties of exercise, we think you’ll be thanking us after just a few cross training workouts.

So what makes a cross workout so difficult? By combining cardio with strength training, cross workouts require you to develop functional movement proficiency in multiple muscle groups and fitness skills – all in just one workout. In terms of your Smooth fitness equipment, that means running hard – we’re talking sprint level, or at least 80 percent of your maximum speed – on your treadmill or elliptical for intervals of two to four minutes. In between, your “rest” periods should incorporate an ab workout on your yoga mat or exercise ball; arm strengthening with your push up bars or kettle bells; or leg resistance work with slow and even squats, made more difficult with the weight of your medicine ball. You only have a few minutes before you’re back at cardio, so make every crunch count!

Like we said, it’s no walk in the park, but cross training workouts have some serious benefits for your overall health. Best of all, if you’re trying to squeeze in a workout between all the obligations of your busy schedule, cross training is perfect for you: thanks to the high intensity of each exercise interval, most cross workouts can be completed in 30 minutes or less!

In the coming months, Smooth Fitness will provide more specific tips on how to use your fitness accessories alongside your cardio exercise to get the most out of your cross workouts, depending on your goals. So stay tuned to the blog of your favorite source for home fitness equipment and news! We look forward to helping you hone your home exercise routine so you can continue on your path to optimal personal fitness.

Open up new fitness possibilities: the benefits of cross training

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

As your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, Smooth Fitness is always eager to share with you all the exciting ways you can achieve your own optimal levels of health and wellness. Home exercise encompasses everything from running hard on your Smooth treadmill to squeezing in some quick mat work before heading into the office, so today we’d like to suggest you add one more workout program to your repertoire: a cross training workout.

The benefits of cross training come into play in situations like when you’re in great shape from running three miles a day five times a week for years, but you’re somehow out of breath and covered in sweat after a few minutes of rock climbing. That imbalance springs from a lack of cross workouts, which you’ll find provide you with some of the best full body exercise you’ll ever experience thanks to their ability to build comprehensive fitness and stamina – in addition to introducing you to constantly varied types of activities that add flavor to your daily workout routine.

Based on the concept that constantly varied activity better prepares your body for general fitness, cross training workouts tackle head-on the problem that working out only one set of muscles leaves the others sorely out of shape. Not to mention, mixing it up with cross training helps prevent injury to those oft-used muscle sets by giving them a well-deserved break. Win, win, right?

In a typical cross workout, you’ll use a combination of cardio aerobic activity with fitness accessories like kettle bells and similar workout equipment, in order to challenge your body in unfamiliar ways. One particularly successful cross training method is high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which refers to an enhanced form of interval workouts that alternate periods of short intense activity with recovery breaks in between. As one of the best workouts you’ll find that blends cardio with strengthening, HIIT training not only gets your heart pumping and burns tons of fat, but also improves your overall conditioning for future cross workouts.

Now that you know what it means to cross train and what this kind of workout program can do for your body and health, stay tuned to the Smooth Fitness blog for more info – like how you can use your Smooth fitness accessories to create your own personal cross workout at home!

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