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Archive for the ‘Training Tips’ Category


Smooth Fitness weighs the costs of popular home workout videos

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Home exercise comes in all shapes and sizes, and as your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, Smooth Fitness generally supports anything designed to promote health and wellness. But when it comes to weight loss, many people will do anything – and we mean anything! – to try to shed a couple pounds. Hey, we’ve all been there, but sometimes the risks of fad weight loss programs can significantly outweigh the benefits.

Consider popular branded high-impact home workout videos, many of which utilize intense progressive training cycles and highly strenuous stamina routines. As a Smooth Fitness client, you probably know at least one super-fit friend who swears by the “push through the pain” mantra of these kinds of rigorous workout videos. But the biggest problem with home exercise programs that utilize high-impact workouts is that fitness should never adhere to a “one size fits all” philosophy.

Even if we (reluctantly) ignore that such high-impact home workout videos can significantly increase your potential for injury and long-term joint or muscle damage, the fact remains that these kinds of extreme routines are simply not sustainable.

  • The You Factor: Because no two people have the exact same body, everyone requires a different exercise routine that is catered to their own physical limitations and fitness goals. Blame genetics, health history and a whole slew of lifestyle factors, but some people will simply never be capable of achieving the kind of lean, mean bodies promised by many of the popular branded workout video programs on the market today. And that’s not something to be ashamed of! You should be working toward your own personal level of optimal fitness, not one prescribed by a professional, paid athlete.
  • The Future Factor: Most high-impact home video exercise schedules offer only one day of rest in an entire week of hardcore workouts. That might sound like the kind of discipline required to achieve a rockin’ set of abs, but without supplementing these harsh sessions with lighter ones, your body is less likely to adapt to more demanding routines later down the line. This is not the way to build a lasting dedication to fitness; in fact, it’s hardly sustainable for the length of time each workout series requires, let alone for the rest of your life.

So, do home workout videos work? Sure, for a select type of person, for a fixed period of time. If you’re able to complete these high-impact workout video schedules consistently, safely and efficiently – and you can keep it up for years to come – we at Smooth Fitness applaud you. But if you can’t, there’s no need to beat yourself up! Successful home exercise can come in any form, from running on the soft belt of a treadmill, to getting your heart pumping on an elliptical machine, to lifting weights in your basement.

Achieving your own best health possible should be your #1 priority. And at the end of the day, you are the only one who knows just exactly what that should look like.

Add a Little Substance to Your Spring Accessorizing

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

With shorts suits, sporty dresses and low heels ushering in a new season for fashion, spring of 2013 is already shaping up to be an exciting time to splurge on some trendy new accessories. But here at Smooth Fitness, the #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, we invite you to invest in a new kind of accessory: one that can help you slip back into those high-waisted cropped palazzo pants you’ve been unable to squeeze into since Christmas, just in time for bikini season. They’re called fitness accessories, and they’ll help you pull off any new style that strikes your fancy this spring.

Find Your Center

  • Ab wheel: Capable of providing one of the best core workouts of any fitness accessory on the market, the ab wheel helps you work muscles in not only your abdominals but also the oft-hard-to-reach lower back – improving your posture all the while.
  • Stability ball: Supported by the Mayo Clinic as one of the best fitness accessories for strengthening your core, the stability ball is a staple in Pilates and yoga classes thanks to its emphasis on incorporating balance and spinal stability into every workout.

Build Your Strength

  • Kettle bells: The main difference between a kettle bell and other forms of resistance training is that you only use one at a time, which offsets your center of gravity and forces your body to work extra hard at maintaining balance. That means you’re challenging all kinds of different muscle groups as well as your heart and lungs – all with just one simple fitness accessory.
  • Medicine ball: Originally used during World War I as a rehabilitation tool for the elderly, the medicine ball has come a long way to develop into one of the most versatile fitness accessories available. Choose between six- and ten-pound medicine balls here at Smooth Fitness to round out your home exercise with a flexible accessory that serves multiple functions in the world of strength training.

Smooth Fitness offers a variety of other home fitness accessories, including balance toners, exercise mats, wrist weights, resistance tubes and more! If you want to achieve the best wellness possible for you, you’ll need a comprehensive collection of home fitness equipment, and a key component of that is fitness accessories like the ones described here. So do your health a favor this spring! New fitness accessories from Smooth Fitness might be just what your home exercise routine has been missing.

Take a Spin on the All-New SitNCycle by Smooth Fitness!

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Trying to strengthen your core, but feel like you might scream if you have to do one more crunch? Smooth Fitness is pleased to introduce you to an all-new product that combines core, cardio and convenience in one portable package: the SitNCycle!

Although it’s technically classified as an exercise bike, the new SitNCycle utilizes a super-unique hands-free design that forces you to engage your core while you’re pedaling. Yoga and pilates fans already know how important balance is when it comes to strengthening your muscles; when you incorporate it into a cardio workout, the results are truly one of a kind. Since increasing your muscle mass makes you burn more calories when you’re simply going about your daily activities, imagine what that muscle training will do for your body while you’re already in the process of burning calories – up to 500 in just one hour on the SitNCycle, by the way, depending on your level of intensity. Now THAT’S how you get the most out of exercising at home!

Like all the best stationary bikes, the SitNCycle allows you to adjust your resistance to determine the intensity of each workout, making it the perfect piece of fitness equipment for beginners and veterans alike. But the best part about the SitNCycle is the convenience it provides anyone who is looking to buy gym equipment that they can accommodate in tight spots and tighter schedules. Since you don’t need your hands, “I’m too busy” as an excuse for skipping your workout becomes a thing of the past. Park the SitNCycle in front of the TV; pedal while catching up on your studies; move it to the computer room to check your emails. Whatever you need to get done today, the SitNCycle allows you to do it without neglecting your health and well-being.

If you’ve been searching for the best stationary bike to help you exercise at home, the SitNCycle should be at the top of your list. And if you’re feeling lost in your efforts to buy gym equipment online, you’ve already found your way! As the #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment since 1996, Smooth Fitness is happy to provide a variety of solutions for achieving your personal health goals.

How to Get Over the “I’m Just Not a Runner” Mentality

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Ever heard that saying “anyone can be a runner,” and automatically roll your eyes in irritation?

We’ve all been there. It’s annoying because while it’s technically true – barring a disability, we all have legs and are capable of putting one foot in front of the other in a repetitive motion – it certainly doesn’t seem like it sometimes. Watching the confident, muscular athletes of a professional track team or the graceful, lithe participants of a marathon, it’s almost second nature to respond with a simple shrug and an accompanying “that’s not me, it’s never been me, and it never will be me.”

But as logical as it seems at the time, comparing yourself to other (perhaps more objectively “successful”) runners does nothing but hold you back from your own running potential. Sure, you might never finish a marathon or even enter a race, let alone win one. But you don’t have to be a pro athlete to make running a part of your lifestyle – especially if you ease into it with help from a treadmill.

Running on a treadmill is great for beginners for a few reasons. First of all, the cushion of the treadmill belt helps prevent those injuries that are all too common when you start moving your body in a way it deems foreign and unfamiliar. Second, running on a treadmill eliminates the potential for encountering pesky hills, wind, rain, and anything else the outdoors might throw your way, allowing you to focus on perfecting your stride and learning to breathe rather than conquering more advanced challenges.

Finally, the treadmill is your best friend when it comes to brutal honesty. Because running will inevitably be difficult at first, it’s easy to fall into the “I’ve been running FOREVER” trap when you’ve really only logged three minutes. The treadmill displays your distance, time, speed and heart rate right in front of you at all times, so it won’t let you fool yourself into thinking “mehhh, good enough” about a mediocre workout.

If you’re ready to enter the heart-pumping, lung-strengthening, fat-burning world of running, start by buying an affordable treadmill from Smooth Fitness. As your #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, Smooth Fitness can be trusted to sell you a quality product at a reasonable price – which must sound pretty good when the end result means a happier, healthier you.

Avoid the Pitfalls of the Treadmill-to-Outdoors Switch

Friday, April 5th, 2013

It might not feel like spring with all the snow we’ve seen in places like New York over the last couple of weeks. With temperatures in the mid-50s in Washington DC and low 70s in California, however, it does seem like all that wintry weather might finally be behind us. Which means that many of you home fitness enthusiasts are probably considering trading in some of those evenings on the treadmill for mornings on the trails.

The team at Smooth Fitness is just as excited about spring springing as you are. But transitioning from the soft cushion of a treadmill belt to the unforgiving rigidity of concrete can mean harsh consequences for your body and your psyche. Before you hit the pavement, keep a few things in mind:

  • Losing momentum: If logging 3 miles on the treadmill feels slightly easier than logging three miles around your neighborhood, that’s because it is. It’s not noticeable enough to detract much from your workout, but by propelling you forward, the treadmill belt does some of the running work for you – and that’s without taking into account factors like hills and wind. So don’t be a hero; start off slow and give yourself time to adjust to running outdoors.
  • Problems with pacing: One of the best parts of a treadmill is that it keeps your pace for you. Whether a 5K or a marathon, everyone who’s completed a race knows that pacing is perhaps the most vital aspect of becoming a good runner – and often one of the hardest. Try running with a friend so you can pace each other, or plan a playlist of high-tempo running songs.
  • Pavement pains: There’s just no getting around the fact that running on pavement is terrible for your joints, not to mention it makes you more prone to shin splints and muscle cramps. If there’s a shortage of dirt trails around your area, avoid pavement pains by taking a few minutes to walk, warm up your muscles, and stretch them out before you begin running. Stretching cold muscles is useless, so try to make post-run stretching a habit as well.

Of course, if you’re in the market for a new treadmill, warmer weather doesn’t necessarily mean you should put off buying one until November. April is famous for rain showers and other wet weather that’s less than ideal for a jog in the park, and the 100-degree-plus weather of summer isn’t always the most encouraging, either. Stay prepared for whatever the fickle weather throws your way by browsing through our Smooth treadmill selection for the home fitness equipment that keeps you fit, rain or shine!

How to Skip the Gym and Still Lose Weight: the Beauty of the At-Home Workout

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Whether you’re trying to lose a few inches off your waistline or you just want to keep your heart healthy, you’ve probably never been encouraged to skip the gym in order to achieve your goals. But here at Smooth Fitness, we’d like to suggest that a gym membership isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you can just kick back, pop some popcorn, and watch the pounds melt away. But investing in home fitness equipment can be a smarter decision than hitting a gym every day – especially if you plan on making fitness a way of life rather than a short-term fad. Read on about the benefits of at-home cardio workouts and buying your own fitness equipment.

  • Money in the bank: Between signup fees, ongoing monthly payments, and hidden annual or contract charges, gyms usually know just how to milk you for all you’re worth. If you’re planning on making fitness part of your lifestyle, all those membership costs really add up over the span of even just a couple years. So while you might shell out $1,000 for a quality treadmill, you’ll be saving tons of money in the long run.
  • In-your-face motivation: We’ve all experienced ignoring the alarm clock when it tries to wake us up for that early morning drive to the gym. But if your elliptical is staring you down every time you walk into your TV room, it’s a little more difficult to make excuses for skipping your workout because it’s raining, because the gym is too far away, because you woke up late, etc. Simply by sitting there where you can see it all day, every day, home fitness equipment provides all the exercise motivation – not to mention convenience – you need to truly commit to an active lifestyle.
  • Power of investment: Knowing you’ve just spent a large amount of money on something can be a pretty powerful impetus. If you spend money on a treadmill or elliptical and then it sits covered up in your basement, you’re going to feel horribly guilty. You can cancel a gym membership at any time, but the “I bought the treadmill, now I have to use it” mentality could be enough to psychologically force you to complete those oft-dreaded cardio workouts.

So next time you start thinking it’s time to get back to your New Year’s resolution by getting back in the gym, think again! Instead, take a look at the affordable treadmills or ellipticals available here at the #1 internet retailer of home fitness equipment, and don’t forget to browse through our selection of comprehensive home gyms and fitness accessories while you’re at it. Smooth Fitness is your resource for everything you need to complete your own home gym collection today!

The Importance of Stretching

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

How many times have you seen someone not stretch before they work out? Maybe you’ve jumped on the treadmill yourself once or twice without loosening your muscles first. There are many benefits of stretching you might want to consider before skipping and hopping directly in to your exercise routine.

The first and most important benefit to gain from stretching is relieving of pain! Most of the stiffness and tightness you feel in your muscles after a workout can be prevented by stretching. Another important benefit of stretching is that it releases a lubricating substance from the cartilage within your joints; which allows your joints to move more smoothly, preserving the cartilage in your joints and keeping your bones from scraping. Stretching is also known to improve the circulation of water and nutrients through your body, which slows the aging process. Studies have also shown that stretching can lengthen muscles and, by doing so, can improve your posture.

Here’s the kicker. All these benefits are achievable, even if you don’t regularly work out. You can experience a healthier, more comfortable day, just by stretching.

In order for stretching to be effective, you’ll need to warm up your muscles first. A simple ten minute walk or jog will make a huge difference. Remember, cold muscles are tighter, and will make you have a harder and more uncomfortable time stretching.

However, there are times when stretching should be avoided. Don’t stretch before intense workout sessions like sprinting or other high-intensity cardio training. Also, some chronic health issues can be exacerbated by stretching. Consult a Doctor if you have an injury or other health issues that may cause problems.

The Simple Guide to Cardiovascular Exercise-Making the best use of your Smooth exercise equipment. (Part 1 of 4)

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Victor Tringali MS, CSCS, PES, CPT

Consistent endurance exercise—which can be performed on your Smooth treadmill or stationary cycle 3-7 days a week—causes a long list of cardiovascular improvements.[i]

All healthy adults aged 18–65 years should aim to take part in at least 150 min of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week. Your aerobic activity may be undertaken in bouts of as little as 10 min and, ideally, should be performed on five or more days a week. Beginners should work steadily towards meeting these physical activity levels. In these early stages, even small increases in activity will bring health benefits. During this stage the aim should be adherence and consistency. And progression should be in the form of adding time to the workout. As an example, you might walk or cycle an extra 10 minutes every other day for several weeks before slowly increasing this amount until you reach the recommended levels of activity.

Exercise Intensity

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends an intensity level of 55 percent-90 percent of maximum heart rate for aerobic exercise.[ii] As a beginner you should aim for the lower end (65-75%) of this range. Training Heart Rate can be determined using the following formula:

Step 1  220-age = Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)

Step 2  MHR x Intensity (.55-.65) =Training Heart Rate (THR)

Moderate intensity and vigorous-intensity activity can also be identified without the use of Heart Rate Monitoring by using the 6–20 ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) scale. This is an individual’s perception of his/her effort. In men and women of all ages, an RPE of 12–13 represents moderate intensity.[iii]

The above protocol should be maintained until you are able to complete at least 30 minutes 2-3 times per week. For many beginners this may take 2-3 months.

Small increases in activity will bring health benefits. Aim for adherence and consistency and you will soon be ready for an intermediate training program.

 Train Smart and Good Luck

Victor Tringali MS, CSCS, PES, CPT  

Victor Tringali earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Salisbury University and a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from California University. He has multiple nationally-accredited health and fitness-related certifications-including specialties in Strength and Conditioning, Performance Enhancement, Speed Development, and Personal Fitness training. For more than 20 years he’s designed exercise programs for many population sub-segments-including elite athletes, women, physically challenged persons and senior citizens. He has authored numerous articles and research reviews and has lectured and presented for numerous schools and corporations on various topics of health and fitness.

Victor began a competitive bodybuilding career in 1994. And he continued by winning numerous titles and awards before retiring in 2007. From 2000-2007 he was a well-recognized 5-time National Finalist at the NPC National Bodybuilding Championships and NPC USA Championships. He continues to support the bodybuilding community as a professional judge for the National Physique Committee (NPC) as well as offering coaching, presentations and consulting to physique athletes, health clubs, and personal trainers.

Victor formerly served as an adjunct faculty member at Howard Community College and is currently the Executive Director of Health and Wellness for Drexel University where he designs, develops, and implements policies and programs that affect health and well-being of faculty, staff, and students. He is a professional member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the Wellness Counsel of America.

Certifications and Credentials:

  • World-Class and Nationally-Ranked Bodybuilder
  • Master of Science- Exercise Science and Health
  • Professional Sports Nutritionist
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist –National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • Performance Enhancement Specialist- National Academy of Sports Medicine
  • Speed and Explosion Specialist-National Association of Speed and Explosion
  • Certified Personal Trainer- National Academy of Sports Medicine
  • Professional Judge-(Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure, Bikini)- National Physique Committee

 

For information about Vic, visit www.teamvic.com

[i] Zuhl, Micah; Kravitz, Len, HIIT vs. Continuous Endurance Training: Battle of the Aerobic Titans; IDEA Fitness Journal Feb2012, Vol. 9 Issue 2, p34
[ii] American College of Sports Medicine. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining CR and muscular fitness in healthy adults. Med and Science in sport and exercise 1990;22(2) 265-274
 [iii] O’Donovan, Gary; Blazevich, Anthony J.; Boreham, Colin; Cooper, Ashley R.; Crank, Helen; Ekelund, Ulf; Fox, Kenneth R.; Gately, Paul; Giles-Corti, Billie; Gill, Jason M. R.; Hamer, Mark; McDermott, Ian; Murphy, Marie; Mutrie, Nanette; Reilly, John J.; Saxton, John M.; Stamatakis, Emmanuel. The ABC of Physical Activity for Health: A consensus statement from the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences; Journal of Sports Sciences. Apr2010, Vol. 28 Issue 6, p573-591. 

Benefits of Using Treadmill Programs

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

It’s important to stay motivated to workout. Doing the same workout everyday can lead to workout-boredom, which can eventually lead to giving up on fitness goals. It’s not just your mind that gets bored after a while of the same exercise, sooner or later your body will adapt to the workout you’re doing and will be challenged less (if at all). In order to keep you and your body actively engaged in fitness, you should choose a program that fits you and your objectives best. (more…)

How to Choose a Treadmill

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Choosing a treadmill to purchase can be very difficult and confusing these days. With so much contradictive information on the internet, a person looking for a home treadmill for the first time may not have or understand all the available information in order to choose the right treadmill, even after doing research. How much horsepower does the motor need? What’s the difference between peak performance, intermediate duty, and continuous duty? What indicators do I need on a console? These are a few of the many questions people have when searching for a treadmill for their home. (more…)

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