Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘resistance training’

An Important Addition To Any Workout

Posted by terrepruitt on October 14, 2014

You may be familiar with cycles of a cardio class.  Most modalities or classes have a warm-up, a “moving portion”, and a cool down.  Not every form of cardio class includes a “flexibility” portion.  As I mentioned in my last post, I was in a training recently and they include flexibility in their class structure.  That is awesome.  Their required class structure is:  warm-up, endurance phase (cardio), cool down, then flexibility.  I love that they are including flexibility.  It is great to see.  That is four portions.  As you may be aware, Nia has seven.  We call our sections of class cycles.  The cycles are:

1. Setting your focus and intent

2. Stepping In

3. Warm up

4. Get Moving

5. Cool Down

6. Floorplay

7. Stepping out

Nia’s cycle #4, the “Get Moving” is comparable to the endurance phase or the cardio phase.  That is where we really move.  We can use big movements and move through the planes to get the heart rate up, so our cardio does not consist of running and jumping.  In order to get the heart pumping we move our body up and down, using the muscles.  We also move our arms and hands — a lot.  Could be we are punching or it could be we are just moving them in a way consistent with the body’s way but that helps get the blood moving.

Nia’s cycle #6, Floorplay, is multiple types of movement.  It is stretching and/or strengthening.  It could be rolling on the floor or even crawling.  With floorplay we do exactly that . . . . we play on the floor.  There is definitely “flexibility” going on.

I was happy to see the flexibility component added.  In fact, it might be so new that it wasn’t even included in the copy of the slides that we received for hand outs.

Flexibility is important.  We there is tightness in the muscles sometimes they do not move properly.  Where there is tightness in the joints they do not move properly.  We our body does not move properly it tries to compensate and often ends up creating more issues.  Or the tightness does not allow us to fully straighten so it might feel as if it can’t move at all so then people stop moving.  It is somewhat a cycle.  Perhaps you would like to read Simple Stretches Could Bring Relief.

Working on flexibility is just as important as working on cardio and resistance training.  Flexibility is great to include in your workout routine.  It should be scheduled into your workout time.  Just like a savasana is done at the end of a yoga routine, stretching should be part of any workout routine you do.

It would be best if you stretched the muscles that you just worked in your workout.  Being specific would be good.  But in general it seems a safe bet would be to start at the top and work your way down.  Stretching each muscles/muscle group.  As I mentioned it would be best to stretch what you just worked so if you know how to do that, spend an extra minute or two on those muscles/muscle groups.  I know it might feel like you don’t have time for it, but it will actually prove to save you time in the long run.

Do you have stretching as part of your workout?  Do you work on your flexibility?

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Measuring Instead Of Weighing

Posted by terrepruitt on August 21, 2012

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaSo if you are participating in the little challenge of not getting on the scale for either 21 days or 30 days, today is the 21st day.  I assigned 21 days so that is would land on a posting day (I post Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays).  I will let you know that due to more “stuff” as I had posted about before, I got off to a late start on my own challenge!  So how is it going for you?  Has it been a challenge to stay off the scale?  Have you noticed that you are not obsessing about the number the scale displays because you are not looking at it?  Now the thing with measuring with a measuring tape instead of scale means you need to keep doing what you’re doing.  So if you were doing some type of cardio three times a week and adding some strength training in and weighing yourself, looking for that number to change when you stop using the scale it doesn’t mean to stop doing the other stuff.  It is just a different way to track progress.  And for some it could be a little bit of a reprieve IF they allow the scale to affect their mood.  I found it funny that today on FaceBook someone posted about the scale stealing motivation and she reminded people it doesn’t tell the whole story.  That is what I am saying too.  That is why I thought it would be nice to change it up.

I know that some people don’t even have a scale.  Some people don’t even use one.  Everyone is different.  I just hear a lot about people being upset because they didn’t lose a pound “today” and they’ve been trying so hard.  So I think that maybe for those people it is nice to try a different way to track progress.

My schedule is a bit “off” this month as I am spending time dealing with “stuff” and I have picked up a lot of classes that I am subbing for the City of San Jose.  I picked up eleven classes which is great but I have not been able to concentrate as much on my resistance training as I would like.  My numbers did not change as much as I was hoping to see when I thought of this challenge.  What about you?  Did you see a change in numbers?  Are you stopping at day 21 or going to continue on and see what 30 days will do?

Not only do I have the added class times to do I have a little bit of added prep time for each class and the travel time to and from each class.  Since I am subbing in Nia for other classes such as Zumba, Zumba Gold, Pilates, Kick Boxing, and Cardio Toning, I do try to pick Nia routines that will fit.  I am not changing Nia to fit the class, because I explained how that turned out in a post earlier this month, but I do try to pick routines that might fit a little better.  With a Zumba Gold class I might do a Nia routine that is a bit mellow or doesn’t have a lot of bow stances.  And with subbing a Zumba class I might put together a lot of the higher energy “get moving songs”. So all of that cuts into my plan.  But I’m going to buckle down a bit because I have some stuff that I needed to get done this month behind me.  I am going to keep up with this little challenge myself and see where that tape leads me.

Well?  How are you still with me?  Are doing the challenge?  How is it going?  Doing it for 21 days?  Doing it for 30 days?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

No Pain, No Gain – Whatever! Relief!

Posted by terrepruitt on July 17, 2012

Because I teach Nia I am not used to wearing shoes when I workout.  Nia is a workout done in bare feet, so I don’t wear socks and shoes.  Yoga, Pilates, even resistance training can be done without shoes.  Recently I was in a training that required me to wear shoes.  And it was an all day training, eight hours.  Since my feet do not really like shoes AND my tennis shoes are kind of old, I decided to wear some additional cushion in my shoes to help my feet.  My right foot is very sensitive because the middle toes no longer straighten fully so the middle of my foot does not lie flat on the ground.  The ball of my right foot and the pinky edge get sore.  They get more work than they should.  So I decided to employ a method that I used when I was young, in addition to the extra cushion I had added relief later.

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaMaybe this method can help some females that wear those REALLY high-heeled shoes that are so popular now-a-days.  When I was younger the style was to wear pumps.  I have a wide foot and pumps were not always comfortable.  What I would do was, I would put a gym sock on my foot but I would roll the sock down to around the ball of my foot, then I would shove my foot – with the sock on – into my shoe.  Then I would get ready.  And back then I was one of those girls who took a ridiculous amount of time to get ready.  So I would end up wearing the gym sock-shoe combination for at least an hour and a half.  This accomplished two things: 1)  It somewhat stretched out my shoe and 2) (after walking around and standing while getting ready to go out with my foot squeezed into the shoe) ANYTHING felt better than that!

One time I was getting ready and I was walking around the house and after passing my dad three or four times he finally said, “You’re not going out like THAT right?”.  And I laughed and I had to explain it to him.  No rolled gym socks were not part of the outfit.

So while I did not wear rolled up gym socks in the training I wore these foot huggers that have a little gel in them.  So I had extra cushion and I had something that felt nice when half way through the day I slipped them off.  While they were not hurting me as my gym-sock-wrapped feet did they did feel more roomy and happy after I took them off.

I think this method could possibly be applied to many things.  When you have to wear shoes all day if you wear something to help cushion your foot, but might take up a bit of room in your shoe, it will feel nice when you take the cushion off in the middle of the day.  At least that is what happened to me, plus it helped when I was young and smooshing my feet into pumps.

You know everything is just easier to handle when your feet are comfortable.  That is why they make those “gellin'” insoles.  That is also why I don’t wear uncomfortable shoes any longer.  I don’t think it looks nice when a female has on a pretty shoe, but you can tell she is in pain with every step she takes.  I would rather walk with comfort.  So sometimes using the stretch-y method might help.  The “No Pain, No Gain” is just a play on that famous saying . . . although when I was young I did it just while I was getting ready, I did not do it recently.  My feet were comfortable all day.  It was just that halfway through when they were a little sweaty and tired, I took off the huggers, changed my socks and gave them more room.  Ahhhh.  I was very happy that I had thought to do that.  It worked out very well for me.

Do you have shoes that you wear that you might benefit from if applying this method?  C’mon we all have at one time in our lives.

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Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

Posted by terrepruitt on August 2, 2011

I think you have probably heard that before.  You might have even said it.  I know that I have.  It doesn’t make sense.  One pound of muscle CANNOT weigh more than one pound of fat, that is impossible.  A pound of something does not weigh more than a pound of something else.  Nope, just not possible.  Doesn’t matter if one pound is feathers and another pound is rocks. As you probably know, it is really about volume or the SPACE that one takes up over the other.  A POUND of fat actually takes up more space than a POUND of muscle, but they still WEIGH the same.  There is really no getting around that weight thing.

Sometimes a scale that measures weight might be a little deceiving in terms of size and health.  It all depends upon your goal.  Right?  I always say that, but it is true.  If your mainly concerned with how much you weigh then that is what you should focus on.  If you want to be smaller then maybe a scale is not the best way to measure that.  If you want to build muscle or be stronger then you might not want to be concerned with the weight because it is difficult to get weight to go down and muscle to go up.  Of course, this is all very general, I am not saying one is good or one is bad, I am really just trying explain the point a bit.

I find, on occasion, one of the best ways to explain something is to use a visual aide.  Here is a picture.

What you see is three pounds of butter with a three pound weight.  What is butter?  Fat.  I am using the weight as a rough sample of muscle.  This is three pounds of fat compared to three pounds of muscle.  Yeah, yeah, I know it is not exact, but it gives us a rough idea right?  You can clearly see that three pounds of fat take up much more room than three pounds of “muscle”.

If you are working out and exercising to “lose weight” your scale might not always tell you the accurate truth. Because first of all usually we are working out and exercising to lose fat and one of the best ways to do that is with strength training.  A muscled body burns more calories than a fatty body, no matter what the body is doing.  So one way to help lose the fat is to gain muscle.  But if you gain muscle the number on your scale might not go down as much as you think it should.  Second, if you are not doing some type of resistance training you would be losing muscle.

If you are doing something in your fitness routine that builds muscle and the scale is not moving down or it is not going down fast enough for you, don’t get discouraged.  Maybe it is time to take out the measure tape.  It could be that you are going down in size but staying the same or even gaining pounds.

Also remember that in order for you to actually build bigger muscles you have to follow a specific training plan so chances are you are not going to get bigger. Women – in general – don’t need to be concerned with that.  That is another great reason to measure because the body will change so it might look different or seem bigger to you, but with a measure of it, you will know.

Not too long before I hurt my foot I thought my scale was broken.  It kept showing me the same weight but my clothes weren’t fitting the same.  I threw my scale away.  Turns out it really wasn’t broken,  I was NOT gaining weight,  I was just losing muscle mass.  So now that my foot is better (better, not the same, but better) I want to get back to having more muscle.  I thought this would be a great way to remind me.  Sometimes I know things, I just need a reminder, what about you?  Do you sometimes need a reminder?  I am sure that you know that muscles DOES NOT weigh more than fat — not possible, but I thought I’d give us a visual to keep in our heads.

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Build it Big

Posted by terrepruitt on February 24, 2011

In Nia classes we have the opportunity to experience flexibility AND mobility AND agility AND strength AND stability. Depending on the starting point we can either be increasing or maintaining.   I also believe it is good for people to participate in a weight training program. I believe it is good to use weights to keep strength or build strength. I think having muscle strength in important. Most people do not have to concern themselves about getting big and bulking up. I have heard women say they don’t lift weights because they don’t want to do either of those things.

First of all, as a reminder, weights are not the only way to build strength, any type of resistance can work muscles. Depending on your starting point different things can be used, for example body weight alone without the use of weights is a great place to start. The use of resistance bands or tubing can be a great way to work muscles without having to deal with storing the weights. Working with weights (resistance) is a great way to stave off the aging process.

I think it might help people who are afraid of building big muscles to know how it happens. Basically if you want to build big muscles you have to work really, really, really hard at it. It doesn’t happen from going to the gym two or three times a week doing a few exercises at 8 repetitions each. Hypertrophy (muscles getting bigger) occurs when heavy weights are lifted in a specific way . . . more than the average person is going to lift (75% to 85% of what you can absolutely lift), more exercises than the average person takes time for, and with less rest time than most people take in the gym. It really takes work and concentration. It is very stressful on the body and people often don’t like to be sore. The type of lifting required to cause hypertrophy is not something the average woman is going to do. Doing 8 to 12 repetitions of a few exercise two or three times a week will enable your muscles to stay toned or it might even build some strength, but it will not make the muscles really big. If you want to increase your strength add more resistance or more reps.

What could actually happen if you start working with weights is the shape of the muscle might adjust and it you might think it is bigger because you actually start sensing it. I would recommend you measure your limbs with a flexible tape measure before you start a weight regimen. After a couple of weeks measure again, see if there is actually an increase in size. I’ll be waiting to hear . . . .

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Strength Training

Posted by terrepruitt on October 16, 2010

I have said it before that resistance training or strength training has many benefits.  I even have posted about it in my Resistance Training Benefits post.  But as I see people in my life age I am reminded daily that having strength can also equal independence.  Being able to do everyday tasks is a great incentive.

Everyday tasks like carrying the laundry, carrying the groceries, and moving the garbage can full of garbage, all things that many of us might not think about, but we would if we couldn’t do them.  So in addition to the health benefits there are also many other reasons to train with weights or resistance.

After age 20, most of us lose about a half pound of muscle a year. By the time we’re 65, we will have lost 25 percent of our peak strength.  Aging plays a part in s muscle mass, but it does not have to be as severe.  If you want to keep doing what your doing—be independent–it is good to put a little muscle into it.  A way to keep the muscles you have or build some is to work them two to three times a week.   Working your muscles does not have to be with weights, but it does have to be resistance.  Anything that you have to exert force to move.  It helps you stay young and independent.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Getting What You Want

Posted by terrepruitt on August 28, 2010

So what is it you want? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to build strength? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to be able to lift a 15 pound weight 100 times? Do you want to touch your nose to your knees? Whatever you want, whatever your goal the best way to reach it is to train for it specifically.

There is a principle of specificity.  If your goal is to run a marathon running ten miles every day is not going to get your body ready for the 26 miles that make up a marathon. If you want to build up strength lifting a 15 pound weight 50 times a day will not build strength. You actually have to give your body what it needs in order to allow it to reach your goal.  You must train the specific physiological system.

Losing weight requires your body to burn more calories than you consume. Not that doing that is always easy, but that is the simple fact. How you burn the calories is up to you. If losing weight is your primary goal then your options for burning calories is almost limit less.

If you want to build strength, then the key is to use more resistance than you can presently move. This type of goal usually has some limitations, but still, there are a lot of options out there that will enable you to build strength. There are several factors to take into account, but once you have those things accounted for you can go from there.

Running a marathon takes a lot of training, but eventually if you are planning on participating in one you would be better prepared if you included some 26 mile runs in your training.  As I mentioned previously you can’t run for 10 miles — even if it is everyday — and expect to be able to complete 26 miles during the marathon.

If it is muscle endurance you want, then you need to train your body in that manner.  Doing cardio for a hour or lifting the heaviest weight you can lift a couple of times will not allow your muscles to grow accustom to the repetitiveness required for muscle endurance.  Likewise, if you want to become flexible enough to be able to touch your toes or touch your nose to your knees, jogging three miles a day will not help you reach that goal.  Specificity, that is how you get what you want.   That is how you reach your goal–work the specific system specifically.

So what is it you want?  And what type of activity are you doing to get it?

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Resistance Training Benefits

Posted by terrepruitt on November 10, 2009

Resistance Training has many benefits.  I say resistance training because the resistance may be any force the body has to overcome.  It does not have to be weights, it can be bands, springs, or even your own body weight.  In addition to doing something that you like you want to train according to your goals.

Some of the benefits of resistance training:

  • Increase in strength, power, and endurance in the muscles
  • Increase in size of the muscle
  • Increase in lean mass (or maintained lean mass)
  • Increase in the tone of the muscles
  • Increase in metabolism
  • Increase in bone density
  • Increase in energy
  • Improvement in the body’s muscle to fat ratio
  • Improvement in mood
  • Improvement in Insulin Sensitivity

and

  • can assist in lower your resting blood pressure
  • can assist in preventing sarcopenia
  • can assist in lowering your resting heart rate

I met up with a friend today in San Jose at the gym we had a nice workout.  We played with some of the equipment and managed to get a great set of exercises in.  It is nice to be reminded of why resistance training is important.

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