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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Making Time for Fitness During the School Year

GettyImages-1352437839With the new school year upon us, it’s time to start thinking about “back to school” fitness. Summer was a time for adventure, vacation, trying new foods, and so much more. Although all that stuff is fun, it can get us out of a routine. As a newly graduated college student, I know how much a routine helped me stay on track for my classes. One thing I always included was exercise. Having consistent workouts is the first step toward a disciplined life.

Studies show that working out consistently actually helps you stay with your schedule. When you plan specific times to exercise, you become more committed, and you can track your progress. When you see that you can stick to a workout schedule and are successful at it, you can start to change your view on other tasks in your life. When one area of your life becomes more manageable, it is easier to do the same with other aspects of your life.

Now you might be asking yourself, “Where do I even start?” Here are a couple of easy steps to making sure you create a workout routine that is a perfect fit for your schedule.

  1. Make fitness a priority: If fitness is important for you, you need to make time for it. Your health should always be your number-one priority. And as a wise person once said, “If you don’t make time for your health, you will make time for your illness." If working out is not one of your top priorities, it will not happen. If you really want to get the most out of it, you need to prioritize it.
  2. Be realistic: The key is to consistently do your best. Make sure you don’t sign up for too much. If you keep missing classes or training sessions because your schedule is too crazy, you’re going to get really discouraged when you don’t see the results you want. When starting a workout routine, start small. At NIFS we offer free classes to members throughout the week at different times (see the schedule here). This is a great way to get started, especially if you don’t know exactly where to start.
  3. Make goals: Making goals is one of the best ways to start your workout routine. If you know what you are working toward, you’re going to work harder to get it. Make sure these goals are SMART. This means that they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. This will help you track your progress and really see successful results.
  4. Time it right: Make sure you go to the gym at a time that is good for you. If you have a lot of morning classes, go in the afternoon or evening or vice versa. If you're more of a morning person, make sure you get up early in the morning and work out. If you know you have a lot of schoolwork, only work out for 30 minutes. When it comes to timing everything, make sure you come up with a good plan and discern when is the best time for you.
  5. Short workouts count, too: Everyone is busy and sometimes crazy schedules are what stop people from working out. People think that they need to train for 60 to 90 minutes straight or else they won’t see any results. Research shows that 10 to 15 minutes of training can be beneficial for people throughout the day. So, if you want to, you could do a quick 10-minute workout four times a day and you would have completed a 40-minute workout!
  6. Come prepared: Make it a habit to pack a gym bag before you go to classes or work. This way you can go straight to the gym without any additional trips that can get you sidetracked.
  7. Get in more daily fitness: You can get in easy workouts by just doing everyday things. For example, you can take the stairs instead of the elevator, or walk instead of taking the bus. These seem simple, but they add up over the course of the week. A study from The Ohio State University found that you can burn around 20% more calories by just altering your walking pace instead of keeping a consistent speed. You can even make sure you’re active over the weekend. Go for a walk, go for a bike ride, go hiking, or even play a game of baseball.
  8. Be accountable, but reasonable: Some days are going to be harder than others, and you’re just trying to tackle it all. There are going to be many days where you don’t honestly have the time or energy to work out, and that’s okay! When those days happen, allow yourself to miss. But make sure you get moving the next day. Although you don’t want to create the habit of not working out, give yourself room to be human.

Working out does not have to be a scary or daunting thing. Make the most out of it and make it yours! Trying to balance school and fitness can be a lot, but it’s totally doable. Whether you are a student or parent of a student, do your best and keep pushing toward your goals!

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This blog was written by Emily Lesich, NIFS Health Fitness Specialist. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: goal setting group fitness college school fall time management exercise plan workout plan

Finding Sustainability in Your Exercise Program

GettyImages-829938260Have you ever started an exercise program and for whatever reason were not able to stick with it? There are many reasons that you may not be able to stick with an exercise program. It might be too hard, and you are not able to maintain the amount of work that is required. Maybe your workouts take too much time, and you are not able to fit it into your schedule. Or maybe you are not seeing the results you want. Whatever the reason that you were not able to find sustainability within your exercise program, there is always a solution. The best way I have found to find sustainability in exercise is to figure out your goals, then pick your programming, and lastly find consistency in your exercise.

Figure Out Your Goals

If you are just starting your fitness journey, choose SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Whether your goals are for weight loss, strength, endurance, or overall well-being, make sure that you are choosing goals that follow the SMART principle. In my opinion, the most import part of your goal is that it is Achievable. If you are not setting realistic goals for yourself, you will never be satisfied, and will be more likely to give up in the long run. If you do make long-term goals, make sure you are setting short-term goals that help you reach those long-term goals. Think of your short-term goals as rest stops on your way to your final destination.

Pick a Program

After you determine your fitness goals, the next step is to find a program that fits those goals. The best way to do this is to find a certified fitness professional to help you. There are plenty of online options, but the safest option is to find a trusted trainer that you can meet with in person. A trainer that you can meet with in person will enable you to get a program that fits your needs the best.

Lastly, one of the most important aspects of picking programming is finding what you enjoy. If you do not enjoy what you are doing, you will not stick with it for the long haul. That could mean finding a group atmosphere or a personal trainer who can keep you accountable. Whatever it is, if you enjoy it, you are more likely to return.

Stick with the Program

The worst thing you can do for yourself is to be a “program hopper.” A program hopper is someone who starts a new program and runs it for a few weeks, then switches programs. There are variety of reasons you might want to hop around from program to program. However, you will not get anything out of the program if you do not finish it. Results do not come overnight. Fitness is not short-term. Your physical fitness and health are something that you will be working on for the rest of your life. So if you are not seeing the results you want, as fast as you want, chances are you need to be patient and trust the process. If you can trust your coach or trainer, be patient and run the system all the way through.

Finding a program that you enjoy is by far the easiest way to stick with the program. Just like with anything in life, if you do not enjoy what you are doing, you are less likely to return. There are a wide variety of routes you can go in the fitness industry, including large group classes, small group personal training, and personal training. Any of these routes can be effective if it works for you!

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Finding sustainability in your exercise program is not very complicated. However, it will be challenging at first if you are venturing into something new. To find a program that works for you, first figure out your goals. Then pick a program that matches your goals the best. If you can match your preferences to a trainer, group, or program, you will be set up for success in the long run. For guidance on finding the right program for you, contact the NIFS track desk at any time to talk to a licensed professional today to help you get started!

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This blog was written by Evan James, NIFS Exercise Physiologist EP-C, Health Fitness Instructor, and Personal Trainer. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: goal setting group fitness personal training fitness program smart goals workout programs

High-Intensity Circuit Training: Time-Efficient Results

Triple Threat with Jessie_poster newWith the world now instantly accessible through technology, it’s easy to understand why a growing number of people expect things to be done in a shorter amount of time. Like many others, I’m a big fan of things that are fast and effective, and that includes my workouts. High-intensity circuit training does just that by providing an effective and convenient way to increase exercise results in less time.

Whether you’re a career-driven adult or hardworking student, you’re probably a time-conscious person, so it may not be realistic to devote half of your week to aerobic and strength training separately. To really hammer this home, let’s do the math:

ACSM’s standard guidelines for aerobic training recommend 75–150 minutes a week of exercise, depending on the intensity. Let’s say you do 30 minutes of moderately intense cardio 4 days per week. That’s 120 minutes. Now let’s add strength training. Typically done 2–3 days each week, strength training should hit each major muscle group in 2–4 sets with 8–12 repetitions per set. Depending on the muscle group, this could take you 45–90 minutes. Average that out to about 60 minutes, 3 days a week. That’s 180 minutes. 180 + 120 = 300 minutes of time spent in the gym. 300! That’s as impractical as it is exhausting. Honestly, I’m tired just from doing the math on that.

With HICT, you’re combining both traditional training methods into one complete, high-energy workout that you’ll leave with a muscle and endorphin pump. Plus, you’ll be in and out of the door in less than an hour. What more could you ask for?

Benefits of High-Intensity Circuit Training

The concept of high-intensity circuit training is simple. By increasing the intensity of exercises that elevate the heart rate and limiting rest time, HICT can prompt greater gains in a shorter amount of time. In several studies, it’s been proven that the benefits of this type of training surpass those of the traditional protocols of aerobic and strength training. Let’s start with fat loss.

If you’re looking to lose excess body fat, tone up, or lean out, this type of training is the ticket. The strength training component accelerates the amount of fat burned during the workout. When this is paired with little rest between sets, the aerobic and metabolic benefits skyrocket, with results lasting up to 72 hours after the session. Even more interesting, the combination of high-intensity aerobic activity and resistance training may have a greater impact on subcutaneous fat loss. This is the type of fat that is troublesome for some people around their waistline, hips, and other areas.

Another significant benefit is the fact that HICT elicits the same if not greater gains in VO2 max, or peak oxygen uptake, when compared to traditional steady-state cardiovascular exercise. With the exercise volume substantially lower, high-intensity circuit training easily stands up to its traditional counterpart in improving cardiopulmonary health.

Other benefits of HICT include

  • Improved strength across all major muscle groups
  • Increased stability and movement efficiency
  • Lowered stress levels
  • Improved mental health
  • Increased adaptability to regressions and progressions of exercises
  • Saving time during the week that would have otherwise been spent on traditional programs

Sample HICT Program

Strength exercises for this type of program should be in an order of opposing muscle groups. For example, an upper-body station would be followed by a lower-body station. This allows the individual to have alternating rest and work throughout the circuit. On the same note, a highly intense aerobic exercise should be followed by an exercise with a low to moderate intensity. An example of this would be burpees followed by a stationary plank. If this is executed correctly, you should successfully complete these exercises at fast and intense pace with minimal rest. A typical format for a HICT session is as follows:

  • 9–12 exercise stations
  • 15–20 repetitions or 30 seconds of work
  • 30 seconds or less of rest time
  • 2–3 sets/rounds

What’s Next?

Not all programs are created equal, and traditional workouts are still the most effective methods if you want to specifically improve your strength and power or aerobic endurance. However, if you are looking for a new and exciting type of workout that helps you burn fat and build muscle in a short amount of time, HICT is worth a try! Our newest class at NIFS, Triple Threat, uses this type of format across three different areas of fitness: cardio, strength, and power. Join in on the class and start your journey to better health!

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This blog was written by Jessica Phelps, BS, ACE CPT, Health Coach. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Sources: https://www.acsm.org/docs/default-source/files-for-resource-library/high-intensity-interval-training.pdf
https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/fulltext/2013/05000/high_intensity_circuit_training_using_body_weight_.5.aspx

Topics: cardio group fitness workouts muscles strength power high intensity circuit training high-intensity circuit training

Get Started with Group Fitness to Improve Your Mental Health

Screen Shot 2021-04-15 at 1.33.39 PMPicture this: It’s the last 10 minutes of your favorite group fitness class on the NIFS Fitness Center’s basketball court. You have already completed dozens of repetitions of strength-training exercises and now it’s time for a cardio finisher. You are sweating, tired, and ready to be done, but you keep going. You are so close… it’s the final 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 seconds of cardio, and you made it. Wow, you feel exhausted, but accomplished. Your body is tired, but mentally you are at ease. Why does exercise make your mind feel so good?

Mental Health Benefits of Group Exercise

Exercise has many perks that are relevant to daily life, but focusing on mental health, exercise has loads of benefits.

  • Exercise increases the blood supply to your brain. More blood means more oxygen and more nutrients.
  • Exercise works as a distraction. When you’re working out and pushing yourself, the things that usually occupy your mind to make you anxious are not the main focus.
  • Exercise helps you sleep. Pushing yourself daily in a workout can help you regulate your sleep cycle.
  • Exercise reduces tension. Moving your body in a workout can help relieve the tension built up from stress.
  • Exercise boosts your overall energy. Yes, working out makes you tired, but it also releases endorphins that boost your mood, memory, and energy level.

Getting Started with Group Fitness

Now that you know some of the benefits of exercise, how can you get started on improving your mental health with group fitness?

If you do not regularly attend group fitness classes, start slow. Set a target of one or two classes to attend a week. It’s important not to push yourself too hard by trying to attend a class every day of one week, causing you to be burnt out or unmotivated to go the next week. The main objective for you is to set an attainable goal for several classes to attend weekly and then gradually increase your weekly participation once you are comfortable.

Don’t be afraid to mix up the formats. At this point, any exercise led by our instructors will be good for you. Try out formats that you have never tried before, or even try a format you have enjoyed in the past with a new instructor. Mix it up!

The key to success within group fitness is to find formats that you enjoy with instructors that you look forward to going to. After all, attending a class that you dread is not going to be beneficial for your mental health. The more consistent you get with your workout attendance, the more constant the benefits will be.  

Group Fitness at NIFS

Come join us in our group fitness community. NIFS has a wide variety of group fitness offerings, so you are sure to find a class to boost your mood, increase your energy, and improve your mental health.

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This blog was written by Payton Gross, Group Fitness Coordinator and Barre Above Instructor. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers here.

Topics: NIFS fitness center group fitness group training emotional mental health

The Three P’s of Group Fitness at NIFS

bootcamp-outsideGroup fitness classes are fitting for many people because the classes provide participants with predetermined workouts led by highly motivated instructors in a group setting. The niche of group fitness is constantly evolving. Classes in the category of group fitness look a lot different than they did 10 or 20 years ago. Not only do the classes look different, but they are more diverse than ever. Many participants use group fitness as supplementation for a typical workout at the gym because all you have to do is show up. Ease of participation coupled with the accountability of other members makes group fitness classes a unique environment.

NIFS takes pride in its group fitness offerings. This is why I want to share a little more about the three P’s our instructors prioritize in every class.

Prioritizing Purposeful Education

Educating members by encouraging them to attend workouts in complementary categories to get the most from their workouts while protecting their bodies.  

Group fitness classes are goal-oriented. No matter the format, every class has a goal that falls into one of these categories: endurance, strength, flexibility, or toning. A balanced group fitness schedule for a participant could look like this:

  • Monday: Les Mills Core and BODYPUMP Express
  • Tuesday: Cycling
  • Wednesday: Vinyasa Yoga
  • Thursday: Tabata and Core n More
  • Friday: Yoga
  • Saturday: Cycling

Group Fitness Schedule

Prioritizing Positive Experiences

Group fitness is a community. Studies have shown when you work out with others, there is a level of trust formed that enables people to be vulnerable and push each other to reach fitness goals. 

Encouragement within the group emphasizing small victories within classes makes the environment positive for participants. Our main goal is to make sure everyone feels good after their workout here at NIFS.

Prioritizing Participation

Group fitness cannot be group fitness without a group. NIFS instructors make participant needs and wants a priority. If a class time is not working to maximize participation, we edit it. Monthly revisions to the schedule are common to test and try class times and formats. 

Whatever works for participants, works with us. Additionally, these are unprecedented times; this is why a majority of our classes take place on the basketball court. We know how important mirrors are when checking form in group fitness classes, so we bought safe, glassless mirrors specifically for group fitness. Participation is the heart of group fitness, so the more the better. Come join us!

Come work out with us. Joining is easy, and once you’ve committed, the community is for a lifetime.

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This blog was written by Payton Gross, Group Fitness Coordinator and Barre Above Instructor. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers here.

Topics: NIFS fitness center motivation group fitness accountability Les Mills education

The Culture of Group Fitness

Screen Shot 2021-02-02 at 11.47.30 AMGroup fitness is so much more than doing the same workout as everyone in a group of others. Research on people who participate in group fitness classes has shown that participants work harder in a group setting than they do in solo workouts because of their subconscious thoughts.

Find Motivation and Accountability

There is a driving force within group fitness that makes you think that if the person next to you can push through something such as the challenging 45-second plank, you can too. Group fitness classes are a safe space where participants can push themselves to complete a workout alongside others who are right there with them. When a participant completes the challenging metcon of the workout alongside others, they inevitably feel a sense of community or connectedness because they did that together.

If I were to describe the type of culture present within group fitness, I would say group fitness classes are comprised of motivated individuals who use positive social stimulation to make their workouts better.

Meet Likeminded People and Work Together

Group fitness for many is a crucial aspect of their daily socialization. Friendships made in the gym are strong because of the shared fitness. Sharing a hobby with someone can be the foundation of a great friendship outside of the group fitness atmosphere. Friendships within the world of group fitness can be a healthy motivator to work harder in every workout. No matter your strength or fitness, there is a place for your within group fitness. Everyone there has the same goal as you: to complete the workout and have a good time doing it. Don’t be afraid to share your goals with the group because, in the end, you'll have more friendships and workout buddies to conquer challenges with.

Your Workouts Are Already Planned for You

Another pro of attending group fitness classes is that you do not have to think or plan your workout. Just show up and allow our certified instructors to lead you through a structured warm-up, killer workout, and dynamic cool-down. In addition to a planned workout, the instructors are also there to cue you into the correct form to prevent injuries and push you to get the most from your workout. What more could you ask for? You get a free workout plan, motivation, and a group of like-minded individuals to do it with you!

Check out our monthly group fitness schedule and try a new class today either online or at NIFS!

Group Fitness Schedule

This blog was written by Payton Gross, NIFS Group Fitness Coordinator. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: motivation group fitness workouts group training accountability group fitness culture social aspects

Meet You at the Barre! A Total-body Group Fitness Workout

Screen Shot 2020-12-08 at 3.29.43 PMAre you looking for a workout to strengthen and tone muscles without increasing bulk, but have not found anything that you like doing? Have you always wanted to increase your cardiovascular endurance and metabolism but hate doing regular old boring cardio? Well I might have an answer for you…

Barre is a workout that you can do every day. That’s right, a workout that you will want to do because it challenges you, but is low-impact enough that your joints will not be screaming at you the following day. Actually, studies have shown that Barre has various positive health effects! This fun and relatively new workout can help increase bone density while tightening skin and reducing cellulite.

What Is Barre Above?

Alright, well now you’re interested… so what is Barre, anyway? NIFS offers two Barre-based classes (Barre Above and Barre Fusion) (see the Group Fitness class schedule here). Today I dive a little bit deeper into what Barre Above is.

Barre Above is a fusion of yoga, Pilates, strength training, and ballet. Barre classes incorporate specific sequencing patterns and isometric movements that target specific muscle groups. This pattern of exercise helps improve strength, balance, flexibility, and posture. Barre exercise movements are low-impact and are made for all fitness levels. In Barre, the movements consist of plie squats, leg kicks, lifts, and holds as well as an array of core exercises.

At a Barre class, you can expect your whole body to be challenged in a way other group fitness workouts do not. Expect a great playlist to motivate you throughout the exercises because barre is a beat-based format. What does this mean? Beat-based formats are taught to the beat of the music. For example, you will squat to the main beat of the music up and down and eventually pulse it out until the beat changes. This type of workout is a blast because the music is the focal point of class. Expect playlists of popular and fun songs to move your body to at Barre every week.

A Total-body Workout

Do you know the shaking feeling you get in your core when you hold a plank position or when you hold a weight in your hand in an outstretched arm for an extended period of time? This is the type of challenge you will feel throughout your entire body at Barre. Barre offers an effective total-body workout focused on low-impact, high-intensity movements that lift and tone muscles to improve strength and flexibility made for every body.

If you are ready for a workout you enjoy coming to and feel accomplished afterwards, join us for Barre at NIFS.

See you at the Barre!

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This blog was written by Payton Gross, Group Fitness Coordinator and Barre Above Instructor. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers here.

Topics: NIFS cardio group fitness endurance metabolism core music strength training total-body workouts low-impact barre

Finding Community in Group Fitness

Screen Shot 2020-10-20 at 11.38.06 AMDo you want to be part of a community and hold yourself accountable while working out? Group fitness classes just might have what you are looking for!

Group fitness has been around for decades. Many probably remember classes such as Jazzercise and aerobics that were common in the 1970s and ‘80s, followed by Tae Bo and step aerobics in the ‘90s. Not much has changed in the realm of group fitness except the current trending workouts. Today, group fitness participants enjoy Zumba, Barre, CrossFit, as well as Pilates, yoga, and Boot Camp formats. Nevertheless, all group fitness classes have essentially the same benefits.

Benefits of Group Fitness

What are some of the benefits of group fitness? Group fitness…

  • teaches you motivation and to push others to be their best
  • adds variety to your workout
  • supplies you with people to work out with
  • leads to positive competition

As the Group Fitness Coordinator here at NIFS, I have witnessed firsthand throughout my years of experience that group fitness communities are unlike any other. I have developed lifelong friendships with those who have pushed me and held me accountable. As an instructor, there is no better feeling than watching others achieve their fitness goals. I look forward to my "regulars" in my classes, and often over time they feel like family. The community of group fitness is not just people who work out together, but also individuals you enjoy spending time with as a de-stressor from daily life.

Group Fitness Is Where You Need to Be

If you are looking for a group of likeminded individuals who enjoy setting goals, exceeding expectations, and using each other as motivation to complete challenges, group fitness classes are exactly where you need to be. I look forward to seeing you participate in our group fitness offerings here at NIFS! 

Try a Class for Free!

There are lots of options when it comes to group fitness classes. Come try one of our classes for free!

GF_E-news Header 1This blog was written by Payton Gross, NIFS Group Fitness Coordinator. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: stress group fitness accountability competition fitness community group fitness culture friendship

Why I Do BODYPUMP™

BodyPump ScreensnapLes Mills® BODYPUMP™ has changed my life. There are hundreds of workouts to choose from, but this one…it’s all mine. It’s my workout rock, the base of my week, and the base of my training. Why do I do it? Keep reading.

How I Got Started with BODYPUMP™ and Why I Stay With It

I have to give credit to my sister for starting what some would call an obsession. She discovered BODYPUMP™ and became an instructor. She knew I wanted to be a group fitness instructor and she showed me how to do it through Les Mills. She invited me to take her BODYPUMP™ class and I fell in love with it after the first class. I very clearly remember her telling me that I burned 400 to 500 calories and I thought, “That’s like an extra meal!” I was hooked. The music, the repetitions, the strength behind it; it’s not traditional weightlifting—it’s better!

After the initial love bubble, the true test of a program comes: will you keep coming back? What kept me coming and still does to this day is the effectiveness of the workout. Before starting BODYPUMP™ I was unable to do a single pull-up on my own. After about 6 months, I was able to do one. Then two… then three…without actually practicing pull-ups. It doesn’t matter how many different workouts I try, I always own them and continue to impress others with my strength. I may be small, but I’m mighty and I wouldn’t have gotten there without BODYPUMP™.

The Dynamic BODYPUMP™ WorkoutTasha Bodypump 2

Les Mills BODYPUMP™ is a very dynamic program. It’s always changing and evolving. It’s stable enough that I know I will always get a good workout, but it’s never stagnant. It continues to push me and my fitness level with every release. I am now a National Trainer, Presenter and Assessor for Les Mills BODYPUMP™ and I see every day how both new participants and experienced weightlifters can be both welcomed and challenged by this program. When I look out in class and see 20+ people waking up at 6am to work out with me and do BODYPUMP™, I know we have something special. I can speak from experience that we get stronger with every class. We are more than just a group of people who work out. We are a team of friends working toward a common goal of increasing our fitness and enjoying the feeling of success that only BODYPUMPers know when they finish a set with 8 bottom halves.

BODYPUMP™ has made me strong and keeps me strong. And that is why I do what I do. BODYPUMP™ is offered every day of the week, so check out the Group Fitness Schedule to find a class that works with your schedule. Aim for 2 to 3x per week for the best results. Request a class for free and enjoy!

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This blog was written by Tasha Nichols, Group Fitness Manager and Program Coordinator at NIFS and a Les Mills US National Trainer, Presenter, and Assessor. Meet our NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS group fitness workouts group training muscles strength Les Mills BODYPUMP

Concrete Core: Les Mills CORE at NIFS

FEBRUARY 2021 LES MILLS CORE_webThe “core” is a fitness buzzword that has rung in people’s ears for some time now. If you have been in the gym in the past 10–15 years, you have heard about the importance of a strong core in performance and for activities of daily living. And it’s so true: a weak center can lead to many issues throughout the entire body, mainly low-back pain and tight hips. I am not reporting anything new here; a strong trunk is super, super important!

Core Defined

Gray Cook of FMS posed a question once:

“While driving in your car, what would you rather fail, the engine or the brakes?”

Your core is the brakes for your body. Being able to stop movement as opposed to creating movement is the important function of the musculature of the trunk.

Let’s back up for a second and define the core. The definition has been argued for years on message boards, social media, and countless blogs, but I define the core as pretty much everything minus your extremities—chin to knees. The abs, glutes, obliques, and lats are all major assets of the core system. The trunk serves as your stability, your brakes, the glue that holds everything together and keeps you strong.

Group Fitness for Your Core

In recent posts, we have demonstrated core strategies such as marching, crawling, and dead bugs as great ways to get the job done on your own; but what if you love exercising in a group and want to target your core?

Les Mills CORE (was CXWORX) is a 30-minute group fitness class that is centered around your center. It is a challenging core workout that utilizes resistance tubing and plate weight in an array of different ways. Exercises are performed standing and on the ground, adding many dimensions to your training. Each class begins with a warmup and can consist of up to five different core segments all choreographed to music.

Screen Shot 2019-09-17 at 12.49.00 PM

How to Get the Most Out of Your LM CORE Class

Here are 5 tips for getting started and getting the most from your class:

  • Get there early and check in with the instructor to get the lowdown on what you can expect.
  • Grab a lighter resistance tube to start and really focus on the technique and tempo.
  • Pay attention to your instructor and the teaching cues they give for each of the movements.
  • Try a few classes to really get a good feel for the movements—don’t stop after one.
  • Be receptive to technique cues. You joined a class led by an expert, so utilize their knowledge.

Developing and maintaining a strong, durable core will improve all areas of fitness and movement. Everything really derives from the center, and a stronger center equals a stronger whole.

Les Mills at NIFS

Find out if  Les Mills CORE is right for you. Check out the Group Fitness Schedule for class times.

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This blog was written by Tony Maloney, ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: group fitness core Les Mills Group Fitness Class of the Month CXWORX