Powerlifting consists of three exercises. The squat, the deadlift and bench press. Most CrossFit coaches and Personal Trainers believe these core movements to be the base from which all great movements can grow. Gaining strength in the squat, the deadlift and bench press will build the foundation for increasing bone density, improving speed and positively affecting the body's engine or metabolism.
Building a strong base is essential for all movements, especially dynamic movements such as the Olympic Lifts (the clean, the snatch and the jerk) that one commonly sees in a CrossFit class or workout. Technique aside, a person doesn't move up to any significant load (weight) on any of these lifts without having a strong squat or deadlift. The majority of power for an Olympic Lift is generated through the hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and glutes. Heavy squats and deadlifts are essential in building strength in these areas. The bench press has the same effect but on the opposite end of the body. Focusing on the chest, shoulders and triceps, gains in the bench press are essential for strength in pressing and overhead movements.
Powerlifting should not be limited to workouts in the gym. Our personal trainers have many clients who wish to improve their activities outside of the gym as well. For example, one member competes in numerous races in Los Angeles throughout the year and was hoping to finish with better times than she had previously. Her personal trainer had her build strength in her legs through sets of heavier squats and deadlifts which resulted in her demolishing her previous scores. Her speed improved immensely as well as her ability to maintain a faster pace for a longer distance.
The squat, the deadlift and bench press are not the end-all-be-all movements for building a strong base. There are many other strength building exercises out there in the fitness world that have positive benefits and effects. But establishing a sturdy foundation of strength is beneficial to any fitness-related goal, from building muscle, to burning fat and losing weight.
It's the age old battle that seems to ramp up every January when resolutions are in excess and motivation is in overdrive. I want to lose weight. I want build muscle. I want to be fit. Listed below are a few fail safe methods for sustaining a healthy lifestyle.
1. CLEAN EATING
Most experts will tell you time and again that an extremely important element of maintaining a healthy body weight relies on what we put into our mouths. The word diet usually means a prison sentence to most people so let's just call it a new and improved way to look at food. The term clean eating has made quite a splash within the fitness community with it's focus on eating lean proteins, good fats and fiber rich vegetables. Cutting back on simple carbohydrates (starches) and sugar rich foods is a must when trying to achieve optimal health and wellness. The USDA defines lean proteins as having less than 10 grams of total fat per a 3.5 ounce serving. Some good examples would be the white meat from a chicken, most types of fish (also rich in omega-3 fatty acids) and cuts of beef that meet the standards for lean meat. Unsaturated fats when eaten in moderation can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease. Some of the best unsaturated fats are avocados, walnuts, and olive oil. Substituting unsaturated fats for processed carbohydrates will lower insulin levels. They can also quell your appetite, cutting the amount of calories you eat per day, while improving your metabolism. Fiber rich vegetables or whole carbohydrates are unprocessed and contain the fiber found naturally in the food. Some fabulous whole carbohydrate options are broccoli, spinach, green leafy lettuce, apples, berries, yams and sweet potatoes. If you switch to a clean eating regiment, you can lose up to 10 lbs in one week. The members at our West Los Angeles gym noticed significant changes in their bodies after they cleaned up their eating habits.
2. Calories In vs. Calories Out
Once you adopt a clean eating regiment into your daily routine, you will automatically cut your calorie intake. A pound of fat is 3500 calories. If you limit your calorie consumption by 500 per day, in 7 days you will have lost a pound of fat. It is pretty simple math. What is not simple is the fact that different foods can have different effects on the body. Only focusing on the calorie content of foods and disregarding the metabolic effects of certain foods can be a disadvantage. All calories are not created equal. For example, a 100 calories of fructose (soda, candy, sweetened yogurt) will have completely different effects on the body than a 100 calories of lean protein. There is really no nutritional benefit from eating 100 calories of fructose so you are likely to stay hungry and eventually consume more calories. Therefore adopting a clean eating lifestyle will automatically reduce caloric intake and ensure beneficial effects on the body. A good personal trainer or nutrition coach can help you determine the most nutrient rich foods to include in your diet.
3. Strength training / Building Muscle
The human body burns more calories each day when you have more muscle mass. Image muscle as firewood, the more firewood you add the bigger the flame. When strength training, your body continues to burn calories during the reparation of damaged muscle tissue. That recovery process and increased fat burning can continue for 72 hours post workout. Cardiovascular training is essential for heart health and building endurance but when it pertains to losing weight you only burn the calories you expended during that period of training. A good CrossFit workout that includes strength exercises like a Squat, Deadlift or Strict Pull-Up could have you burning calories for up to three days post workout. Finding a knowledgeable personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach or CrossFit gym will optimize your fitness goals.
These three tips are integral for consistent weight loss and ideal health.
Our main approach for all of our members at A4 Fitness CrossFit and Boxing in West Los Angeles whether they are personal training clients, CrossFit members, or MMA members is to be more specific when trying to assess their fitness goals. All too often people have a broad sense of what fitness goals they would like to achieve. For example, when a coach or personal trainer asks his/her personal training client or CrossFit member a specific goal they would like to attain the typical response is usually pretty general. "I want to lose weight. I want to get stronger. I want to be more fit."
So how can we as personal trainers, CrossFit coaches and the fitness community as a whole measure fitness goals in a tangible way? "How many pounds would you like to lose in a month? Would you like to get a strict pull-up? How much weight would you like to back squat? Would you like to be able to do a handstand? Would you like to enter an amateur fight?" Such questions are usually met with enthusiasm and intrigue. It gives our members something clearly measurable to strive for. If certain goals still seem a bit daunting to our clients and members, it is our job as personal trainers and CrossFit coaches to work as a team with our members and our fitness community to offer alternatives while still being specific. "A strict pull-up may seem a bit out of reach for you at this time. I noticed you are currently using a thick green pull-up assisted band let's shoot for switching to a thinner purple assisted pull-up band in the next month." Such goals, once attained, ignite a fire in a majority of our A4 Fitness members. They set a clear and specific goal, achieved it, and have already set their next goals in motion.The possibilities then become endless.
Whether it's running a 6 minute mile, squatting more than your body weight, stringing multiple muscle-ups together, gaining more muscle mass, fighting in an amateur boxing match or getting upside down and walking on your hands BE SPECIFIC.
Floyd Mayweather took over the biggest PPV fight in boxing and MMA history to TKO McGregor in the tenth round of their historic match up, but how did he do it? Let a pro boxing and MMA coach help you understand how this fight was always just a matter of time. If you have any questions, come visit us for a boxing class in West Los Angeles at A4 Boxing.
It's PR week and you know what that means! Everyone in our Crossfit class competing for a spot on our leaderboard. Clean & jerk, back squat, bench press, pull-ups, rowing, handstand walks.... Do you have what it takes to make it? Come on in for a CrossFit class and show us your strength. #fitness #straightflexing #a4beasts #westla #santamonica #losangeles #a4fitness #a4fitnessla #prweek #healthybodyhealthymind #health #fitlife #inglewood #culvercity
Wanna learn boxing and MMA striking from one of the best coach / fighter teams in the world? Learn how to counter punch the jab in this first installment of "Adam And Flash". An instructional series from the hottest boxing coach in MMA (Adam Lerner) recently finished a 2 year winning streak in Boxing and MMA and the #1 ranked bantamweight in California (Terrion "Flash" Ware) after a 5 fight winning streak.
Watch the entire episode and more episodes on Google Plus on the A4 Fitness CrossFit, Boxing and Personal Training page.
A4 MMA's Chris Padilla beat Mexico's #2 ranked MMA lightweight Ivan "Choco" Castillo at Brave 7 in Mexico last Saturday night. He used his boxing and wrestling to put on a great show. "Taco is now ranked #11 in California and is on the rise. UFC.... Here we come!
Staying on top of your fitness routine takes more than remembering what time to show up for class and packing water in your bag to get you through your workout. There’s more to creating the body you want than eating the right foods and flexing your muscles daily.
Keeping fit, for a lifetime, requires dedication on a mental and physical level that will reach into most aspects of your life. Being healthy and in good shape means that you need to adopt a mindset of self-esteem, self-care, and self-exploration.
For those of you who are new to fitness, and to our long-time fitness friends, the following are just a few things to remember as you approach your personal training - and fitness classes - at A4Fitness and even as you train at home.
Don’t Turn to Magazines for the Perfect Body Image
If you’ve been thinking about what your ideal body will look like, after you’ve worked out for a while, don’t turn to magazines for any ideas. The images in magazines, fitness publications or otherwise, are not indicative of your body and its potential so disregard them completely. The ideal body for your will be one that is naturally created based on your healthy eating habits and your daily movements, whether those movements come from lifting weights, taking a Muay Thai class, or enjoying some other workout. Everyone’s body is different, so keep your thoughts on yourself and work out to look like what’s healthy and perfect for you.
Constantly Challenge Yourself
After a few weeks of engaging in fitness, you’ll likely notice physical changes to your body that are dramatic and well-received. But, as your body adapts to your fitness schedule and regime, these changes decrease and your body needs more challenges to lose extra weight or to build muscle mass. If your goal is to get leaner or stronger, you should evaluate and adjust your workout on a continuous basis. Check in on your fitness levels and goals regularly, ideally every few weeks, to see more progress in the long term.
Fitness Should Take Place Out of the House
In order to challenge the body physically (and mentally), most people will need to get out of their house on a regular basis to work out. There is simply not enough stimulation for the body and mind in most individuals’ homes. Which means, you’ll want to utilize equipment at the gym like heavier weights, take new fitness classes that move your body in different ways, and even consider walking or taking public transportation to the fitness studio so that your outlook on life (and health) stays open to possibility. When we constantly push our physical and mental boundaries, we open ourselves up to increased levels of fitness and satisfaction with our lives.
In addition to remembering these key fitness factors, anyone looking to get fit and maintain optimal wellness should approach each workout fully engaged. Exercises and classes that are done half way won’t get you the results you’re looking for, and they could hinder your progress if you become discouraged that you’re not seeing the changes you want. When it comes to fitness, it’s best if you set aside a dedicated time in your day when you can be completely present and focused on your workout. Your mind, body, and spirit should be able to give everything to the task at hand, so that proper form and movements can deliver maximum results.
For more information on fitness and health, please call or visit us at out A4 Fitness gym in Los Angeles.
There’s no denying that martial arts practice does wonders for the body physically. Many people who walk into our Los Angeles fitness studio realize this, and they’re eager to take classes to improve their flexibility and muscle tone.
But, some of the new students we get have no idea of the tremendous benefits of practicing martial arts that go well beyond creating a great physical form. They don’t yet know how simply taking a class a week, in one of our martial arts-influenced disciplines, can increase wellbeing holistically.
Martial Arts for Overall Mental and Physical Health
Practicing martial arts is not only a good way to get a fantastic looking body, it’s an ideal form of exercise to strengthen the mind and the body’s internal systems. When you engage in martial arts, you relax, stimulate, challenge, and workout the brain, muscles, skeletal system, and many other parts of your body, which encourages the body to work as one cohesive unit for the benefit of your total health.
People who practice martial arts have seen improvement in mental health conditions, disease, and physical challenges of different scopes and scales. They’ve successfully overcome problems with organ systems and brain chemistry, leading to more enjoyment of life in terms of doing things that were difficult for them before or finally living stress free.
Martial arts practice is a great way to heal the body, and it’s an excellent means to preventing stresses and diseases that are all too common in today’s crazy world.
Choose Any Martial Arts Practice
There are many types of martial arts, including traditional practices and variations of those practices that were born of certain influences but offer new approaches to mind and body wellness. At A4Fitness, we encourage you to explore many kinds of martial arts disciplines and to step into our studio to see how we take the core tenants of martial arts practice to a new and exciting level.
At its most basic, martial arts includes aerobic and/ or strength (stretching) training. Sometimes, martial arts practice is multidimensional and it draws on several influences to benefit the practitioner in a multitude of ways. No matter what martial arts practice you choose, you’re still engaging your body in total mental and physical exercise, which helps prevent disease and promote allover wellness.
Martial Arts to Transform the Body
By practicing martial arts, you give your body the training it needs for many physiological changes to take place – which happen for the better to strengthen all of your body’s systems. Most people start noticing these changes about three weeks into their practice. As you take martial arts classes, you will likely see a profound positive change in blood sugar, circulation, blood pressure, and metabolism, among other health indicators. These changes are noticeable in the body, but they’re also happening in the brain as anxiety is reduced, depression goes away, and chronic fatigue is no longer an issue.
Martial arts does amazing things for the brain first, which translates to positivity throughout the body. While practicing martial arts, concentrations of neurotransmitters that regulate the body’s systems are brought into balance so that the entire body can function in harmony. Many clinical studies prove these emotional and physiological changes that accompany martial arts practice, most of which directly relate to the balancing of neurotransmitters.
In fact, many martial arts practitioners who are in their 70s and 80s credit martial arts for their good mental and physical health, and their avoidance of depression, thyroid disease, respiratory ailments, liver problems, bone fragility, and brain illnesses.
We encourage you to come visit us at A4Fitness to talk about martial arts in Los Angeles and how practicing this ancient form, and variations of it, can help you prevent disease and come to a place of total health and wellness. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Adam & Amanda
We have spent most of our adult lives training and guiding hundreds of people toward better health & fitness. We have created this A4 Blog in order to better educate our friends & members. We will answer any of your health / fitness / nutrition questions as well as keeping you posted on what's new at A4.