- Improves flexibility: practicing yoga will allow your over-worked muscles to lengthen and become more flexible. The yoga poses target muscles that are not used in conventional cardio routines
- Points out faults: practicing yoga will help you to grasp a better understanding of your body and where you are strong and weak, over-stretched and under-stretched
- Prevents injuries: the strengthening, lengthening, and stretching of muscles during your yoga practice will help you to prevent overuse injuries
- Tones and strengthens your body: the unconventional poses in yoga enhance your overall physique through the endless strengthening poses
- Increases muscle endurance: poses can be held for several seconds and are repeated throughout your practice. With a lot of focus on the core, muscles are strengthened to improve your form in your respective sport.
Still not convinced to practice yoga? Stanford’s director of football sports performance, Shannon Turley, has his players take yoga classes regularly to work on balance and flexibility. According to the New York Times, Turley used yoga to condition Stanford Football Players and reduce injuries by 87%. Combining strength training, flexibility and stretching is the perfect recipe for injury prevention among athletes.
For real trainer tips and to build your own yoga flow, visit GAIN Yoga and stay tuned for GAIN personal trainers in your area that specialize in yoga for athletes!
How often do you practice yoga?
Ready to fire up your workout routine in preparation for 4th of July weekend? Try our GAIN Fitness Firecracker workout to start your holiday weekend off on the right foot, literally. We designed this quick, high intensity workout so that you can squeeze it in before the weekend festivities take over. (Plus, a sneak preview of what our new service has to offer…stay tuned for more!)
1-leg, 1-arm Stiff Leg Deadlifts (15x each side)
Burpees (15 reps, push-up at bottom)
Ab Plank (hold for the amount of stars on the American Flag (in seconds, that’s 50!))
Bodyweight Jump Lunge (15x each side)
One push up for each of the original 13 colonies
(repeat five times)
Good luck! And have a happy and healthy 4th of July weekend!
Business traveler? You can do one of two things: Give up on your fitness plan, or bring it with you across the globe. Don’t let your business plans and family vacations shatter your workout regimen, instead you can bring it with you.
Contrary to popular belief, barbells, dumbbells, and treadmills are not essential for an intense workout. You can still get a sweat-inducing, rigorous workout using just your bodyweight in your hotel room.
Many people are hung up on the fact that working out is all about the setting you are in and the accessible equipment; however, bodyweight exercises can be even more effective.
Bodyweight vs. Non-bodyweight exercise
Winner = Bodyweight!
There are two types of exercises: open kinetic chain exercises (OKC) and closed kinetic chain exercises (CKC). Both are effective in their own way.
Closed chain exercises involve one or more muscle groups moving simultaneously. Your hand (for upper-body exercises) or foot (for lower-body exercises) is fixed on the surface. These exercises are generally performed using only your bodyweight such as push-ups, lunges, and squats. Closely related to daily activities, CKC exercises are seen as more functional and safer than open kinetic chain exercises.
Open kinetic chain exercises, on the other hand, are generally isolation movements. Your hand or foot is free to move and does not have to be fixated on a surface. OKC exercises are seen as less functional and generally involve exercises such as lat pull-downs, bench press, and dumbbell bicep curls.
So, why are bodyweight exercises so great?
- More efficient workouts: you aren’t running around the gym waiting for the next piece of equipment
- Effective for everyone, from young athletes to professional bodybuilders
- Easily modifiable: you can increase repetitions or vary speed from slow to fast to adjust the difficulty
- Improves balance: since there is no weight added, you will automatically shift your focus to balancing for added resistance (one-leg squat, one-arm push-up, etc.)
With the busy traveler in mind, GAIN Fitness developed a series of self-guided workouts that focus on CKC exercises (Road Warrior App). These “hotel room” workouts require no equipment and challenge every muscle group and movement function. You’ll conquer computer posture, slay fat and sculpt a body your colleagues will envy, all while being in your hotel room.
What is your favorite exercise routine while traveling?
Learn how to reap the full benefits of your workout by avoiding these common post-workout mistakes
- Insufficient cool-down
Taking the extra 5-10 minutes to cool-down after an intense workout can make the difference between not being able to walk up the stairs the next day and being able to complete another intense workout. Getting your vitals back to their resting level is also essential in preventing injuries and cutting your chances of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
- Choosing the wrong sports drink
Read your labels! All sports drinks are not created equal! Sure, your favorite Gatorade flavor may quench your thirst after a grueling workout, but be sure to check the label before you reach for it next time. Several sports drinks are packed with sugar that can defeat the purpose of working out—some contain up to 300 calories! It is best to stick to water or low-calorie/low-sugar options to replenish your electrolytes.
- Overcompensating with high-calorie food
Congratulations! You just finished an intense workout with your friends, so now it’s time to head to an all-you-can-eat boozy brunch. You may want to think twice about ordering your fifth mimosa and diving into your fried chicken and waffle. We tend to overestimate the calories we burn and overcompensate by eating more post-workout. Your favorite guilty pleasures are healthy sometimes, but don’t get into the habit of working out for the sake of indulging twice as much.
- Skipping your recovery snack
On the other hand, make sure you DO eat something post-workout! The first hour after your workout is crucial for refueling. It helps prevent your body from breaking down muscle. It is best to have a snack that is high in protein and carbohydrates (ie fruit and nuts, banana and peanut butter, etc.)
Too often people hit the gym and head straight for the cardio machines, with the idea that jogging for 30 minutes and then heading to the weight room will give them the most benefits from their workout regimen. However, the science behind this proves that resistance training should be completed before any cardiovascular exercise takes place.
In order for your body to build muscle, it needs to use its stored fat as fuel. In order to do this, you must burn off your glycogen stores first (where carbohydrates are stored as energy). When you lift weights, you tap into your glycogen stores. From there you will burn more fat during your cardio exercise because you have already depleted your body of carbohydrates.
On the reverse side, if you decide to do cardio first, it may take the entire workout of 30 minutes, or however long you do your cardio routine, to burn off your glycogen stores. So then you are only burning fat for a very small percentage of time in addition to depleting your body of the necessary fuel from glycogen to do your resistance training. In this case, your body resorts to breaking down muscle tissue to use amino acids as fuel—thus leading to muscle loss rather than muscle gain.
“GAIN constantly introduces me to new exercises that I would never ever do on my own otherwise. The app keeps my body learning new things and helps me power through ruts.” – Mike Barash, GAIN Fitness user
At GAIN, we believe fitness is about the many different kinds of positive benefits you get from working out. What do you personally gain from being fit?
Discipline, pride, enjoyment, structure, new exercises and discovery, and competition (against myself and others).
What do you like about the GAIN app(s)?
GAIN constantly introduces me to new exercises that I would never ever do on my own otherwise. It’s easy to get in a rut and do the same stuff every day; GAIN helps me mix it up and keep it fresh. The app keeps my body learning new things and helps me power through those ruts so that I’m always progressing and moving forward.
It’s also really easy to use. I can load a new workout and be ready to go in seconds. I love that it integrates into everything else I’m doing seamlessly. For example, I can listen to playlists on Rdio and Spotify, go in and out of the app with ease and without interruption, staying focused on my routine the whole time.
I usually use GAIN in the gym, but when I’m traveling or at home, or just have 15-30 minutes to exercise, it’s super easy to create a workout that’s built around my time, access to equipment and fitness goals.
What advice would you give someone else just starting out with a fitness goal — especially those who just downloaded the app?
Take it slow, respect the process, and put in the time. GAIN isn’t a miracle worker; it’s a guide and a personal training partner that can help you achieve your goals and then some if you follow the plans, create workouts to push yourself, and exert yourself. Like anything else, there are no shortcuts.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in reaching peak fitness? How did you overcome it?
I wouldn’t say I’m at peak fitness, because I’m always trying to improve. But, staying committed can be a challenge. It’s important to stay true to the plan. I’m human though; I’ll allow myself to slip up every now and then, but then get back on track.
What was it that initially motivated you to commit to being healthy?
I’ve always been healthy and fit, but went through what I like to call a “rough patch”. I just let everything slip too far. Next thing I knew, I was wearing fat pants, big shirts, feeling like shit and looking even worse. GAIN was a huge motivator and pace-car for me as I started back down the road to being fit.
How do you hold yourself accountable?
My clothes need to fit. I need to feel good about who’s looking back at me in the mirror. And I need to see progress along my fitness goals.
How did you discover GAIN?
The founder and CEO is a friend. When I first heard about Nick’s vision, I wanted to try it immediately. I couldn’t wait. When I tried it, I became a believer. And while every instinct tells me to be a skeptic, the results speak for themselves. I’ve used a ton of fitness apps, and none of them even come close to GAIN in terms of experience and results.