<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=424649934352787&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

NIFS Healthy Living Blog

TRI a New Challenge This Summer—NIFS Triathlon Training Can Help!

tri-1.jpgThere are so many different types of races out there to challenge yourself with this summer. Maybe you are signed up for a Spartan Race, a trail run, or a half marathon; but have you ever considered giving a triathlon a shot? If you haven’t done one before, I can say from first-hand experience: they are challenging, but very fun!

Triathlon is the combination of swimming, biking, and running. Now most of us would say, “Okay the last two don’t sound too bad…but no way, I am not a good swimmer.” One of the biggest deterrents keeping people from going out for a tri is the swim aspect. It is true that for most this is the most intimidating part, but just like the other two events, you just have to practice and get comfortable with it! Let’s take a quick look at the three events.

Swim

The length of the tri you sign up for will determine the distance you have to swim. The swim portion is done in open water (Tri Indy does theirs in the downtown canal, and Go Girl has their swim at Eagle Creek Park). Most people are not able to train in open water, but get into the pool as much as you can before the race. Find a training plan to follow, making sure that you are getting both distance and speed work, as well as drills, in your swimming sessions. Also, if you do not have any experience in swimming, I would suggest getting a lesson or two to learn proper breathing, strokes, and efficiency in the water.

Bike

The bike portion of the triathlon is done on the road. And like the swim, the distance will depend on what race you sign up for. A common misconception is that you have to go out and spend $2,000 on a great road bike. When race day comes, you will see every shape and size of bikes! The important thing to remember is, before getting out on your bike, to make sure it’s tuned up and in good shape to ride. Then practice running with it for the transitions, ride different distances and speeds, practice shifting gears, and just get comfortable using it.

Run

For many, next to swimming this may be one of the most challenging elements of the race. Just think you have already swum and biked, and now you have to get off and run! In the beginning your legs feel like jello and your body is telling you that you can’t possibly put one foot in front of the other and keep going. But you can do it! During your training, get in some longer runs and be sure to practice some bike-then-run days as well.

***

Seems like it could be a lot, but thousands of people finish triathlons every year around the world. Make 2018 your year to scratch that off the list. There are training programs out there: get one, follow it, and finish that race!

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 2.55.53 PM-1ATTENTION WOMEN: If you are interested in completing the 2018 Go Girl Triathlon at Eagle Creek, we have a triathlon training program at NIFS!

Early Bird Registration is happening now! Sign up before May 31st and save $10 off training!

This blog was written by Amanda Bireline, Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: NIFS running group training swimming triathlon NIFS programs summer training biking women

Weightlifting for Women: Enhance Weight Loss and More

ThinkstockPhotos-512273152.jpgLet’s play out a little scenario. Judy just renewed her gym membership because it’s almost time for her annual summer vacation. She currently weighs 170 pounds but wants to lose around 30 pounds before she goes on vacation. She has taken herself through this transformation once before by running 4 miles on the treadmill every other day until she finally got to her desired weight. She plans to come to the gym this year with the same game plan as last time. Judy does not lift weights because she only wants to lose fat, not gain muscle.

Now here is the question: Should Judy repeat her cardio routine this year, or should she incorporate heavy resistance training?

Lifting Heavy Weights Has More Benefits Than Cardio Alone

This may be the approach many females take when trying to lose weight. Doing cardiovascular exercise is much easier and more effective at weight loss than weight training, right? WRONG! In fact, I strongly believe any woman who is looking to lose weight should invest more of her time into weight training. But I don’t recommend just any weight training; it needs to be heavy weight training!

Reasons to Add Weightlifting

It’s easy to understand why many females prefer not to lift heavy weights when in the gym. It often causes a lack of comfort if you are not used to pushing your body to its max strength levels. In addition, the female lifting recommendation for years has been to stick with light to moderate weight with an abundance of sets and reps. While this is not a bad recommendation, lifting heavy can add a great list of benefits that lighter weight (and cardio) just cannot compare to, all while possibly giving you faster, more dramatic results.   

  • Burn more calories. In terms of fat loss, forcing your body to lift heavy weight repeatedly will stimulate muscle growth, which creates a higher metabolism. The more muscle in the body, the more fat-burning potential will be created. When you are done lifting weights, your body continues to burn calories due to its need for muscle recovery. This is called EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. So even when you are no longer in the gym working out, your body is still burning calories for you. EPOC does not happen with non-resistance training.  
  • Get toned, not ripped. Lifting weights brings out a woman’s natural curves and body structure. It’s easy to believe lifting weights will cause bulky muscles to form, just as many guys become bulky when we lift. However, there is one huge difference between males and females and that’s the presence of testosterone. As you may know, one responsibility of testosterone is muscle hypertrophy. Since females have very low amounts of testosterone, becoming bulky is often not a realistic expectation. Instead, when females participate in heavy weight training, their bodies actually become smaller due to more muscle and less fat. Females actually become leaner and curvier, which often leads to an increase in body image and self-confidence. 
  • Gain confidence. I believe a strong reason many females would rather do cardio instead of weightlifting may be due to their lack of confidence. If the treadmill or the elliptical has always been your best friend, you may find it hard to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself with a heavy weight-training program. However, what many females come to find out is once weightlifting barriers have been torn down, confidence levels rise. I have heard many women in the gym say there is nothing more satisfying than when they are finally able to lift a weight that they could not lift previously. It not only reassures you that with some hard work and consistency you can push your body to new levels, but it also confirms that women do, in fact, belong in the weight room lifting heavy weight.

The Question Again: Should You Add Weight Training?

I will raise my question again: should Judy repeat her routine this year, or should she incorporate heavy resistance training into her program for different results? Sure doing 4 miles a day may get Judy to her ultimate weight-loss goal, but how much of her weight loss will be due to actual fat loss instead of muscle loss? Typically when cardio is a large portion of the workout routine, you tend to lose muscle, whereas when resistance training makes up a large portion of the workout routine, you tend to gain muscle. Remember, the more muscle in the body, the higher the metabolism, and the higher the rate of caloric burn—and the more weight you lose.

Like what you've just read? Click here to subscribe to our blog!

This blog was written by Darius Felix, Health Fitness Specialist. For more on the NIFS bloggers, click here.

 

Topics: cardio weight loss calories weightlifting women toning

Triathlon Swimming Training: Tips from NIFS

tri.jpgFor many triathlon participants, the swim is the most difficult discipline. Open-water swimming is different than following the black line on the bottom of a pool. Here are some tips to help the swim portion of the race go more smoothly.

Get Good Equipment

Get a good suit and goggles (there are specific ones for different face shapes). Spend some extra money and get advice from a good swim shop.

Get Help with Form, Drills, and Workouts

You need to make sure your stroke is efficient and repeatable, so that you will be confident in the race. Here are a few drills to get you started. Most of your swim workouts will include a drill set. Pick from the variety of drills here:

  • Catch-up Freestyle: Promotes better rotation and arm-stroke mechanics.
    Start by kicking facedown with both arms extended in front of you. After 3-4 seconds, perform a complete pull with one arm and rotate fully to that side. Immediately rotate back on your belly and catch up to the forward arm with the arm that just pulled. Kick for 3-4 seconds and then pull with the other arm and rotate.
  • Count Stroke: Helps to improve overall stroke efficiency.
    Count the number of strokes you take while swimming one complete length of the pool with normal freestyle. Try to lower the number of strokes taken in each length. You will achieve this by taking longer, more powerful pulls, rotating more, and allowing yourself to glide a little bit. Feel free to exaggerate these elements in order to decrease the stroke count.
  • Fingertip Drag: Promotes complete arm extension and proper hand position in the release.
    Swim a normal freestyle stroke, except consciously drag your fingertips across the surface of the water during the recovery phase.
  • Fist: Helps with shoulder rotation and increases pull. 
    Swim with your fists clenched. This drill helps with rotation and working on the elbow bend in the catch portion of the arm cycle in order to create a powerful “paddle” for the pull.
  • Bilateral Breathing: Practice breathing on both sides.
    Most triathletes are only able to breathe to one side while swimming, but breathing on the non-dominant side is very important during a triathlon (and during training, too!). Swim your normal freestyle stroke while breathing on every third stroke (right-left-right) instead of every second or fourth (right or left only). Stick with it and you’ll steadily improve.
  • Sighting: Simulates race-day skills. 
    Sighting is an important skill when you swim in open water without lane lines to guide you. It consists of modifying your swim stroke to look ahead and spot a landmark to aim toward. In a normal freestyle stroke, you turn your head directly to one side to inhale and then turn your head back to a neutral position with your eyes looking toward the bottom. When you sight, you instead turn your head to look forward to spot a landmark, inhale, then put your face back in the water. When practicing, swim normally and sight every 4 to 6 strokes.

Practice in Open Water

This is important! The pool is great for getting in mileage and form work, but the dark water with no lane lines can add stress to race day. Try to find a open swim area to practice sighting and getting used to swimming in a straight line.

Do Plenty of Mileage

If your race is 500 meters, make sure you can do almost twice the distance. In the beginning that may seem like a lot, but you will be much more comfortable on race day if you are always doing extra work beforehand.

Train with Others in Your Lane (or in Your Way)

This is important if you cannot get to open water. During a race there are often fellow racers swimming by, over, or near you. Have someone swim next to you and occasionally hit you, splash you, or harass you. This will help you focus on your stroke, focus on breathing to the opposite side, and get you ready for all challenges on race day.


TRI-HEADER-pink.jpgRegister_Button_Icon_for_client_website.jpg

This blog was written by Kris Simpson BS, ACSM-PT, HFS, personal trainer at NIFS. To read more about Kris and NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: NIFS fitness equipment workouts group training swimming triathlon NIFS programs training women

Wonder Woman: The Indy Women Fitness 2015

IWF2015As a fitness professional, I have had the honor and the privilege to work with some amazing women over the past decade. Strength, passion, and a focus on excellence are just a few of the characteristics that I have witnessed women displaying day in and day out, and I have gained strength and motivation from them. So when I was asked to join some of the strongest fitness minds on the planet to celebrate and inspire some of the women of our wonderful Indianapolis community, it was a no-brainer. I’m IN!

Using What You Learn

I have been attending seminars and fitness summits for some time now. I love them, because I absolutely love to learn. I have gained so much from attending different events, but mainly I have learned that you have to be a lifetime learner, no matter what you do vocationally or personally. 

Inspiration and motivation are served up in buckets at these events, and you can’t help but get amped up about the impact we as fitness pros have on people. I always return from summits refreshed, revived, and ready to rock. My Group Training warriors know when I go to these events and prepare for when I return from them. They know that we are going to take it to the next level and learn some very cool ideas. I just can’t wait to get back and share what I have learned. I believe that when you catch fire, you just can’t help but to spread it. 

A Preview of the Event

Unlike any other event in our great city, the Indy Women Fitness 2015 event is designed for women of all fitness ages (from enthusiasts to those just starting out) to come and learn, train, and be inspired on their journey to greatness. The event will be held July 18, 2015 at NIFS. One of the keynote speakers for this event, Molly Galbraith, puts it best by saying that “unleashing the inner wonder woman” inside all women will be a side-effect of attending this event. Molly is the co-founder of Girls Gone Strong and dedicates her life to the education and empowerment of women everywhere; I really look forward to meeting and working with her.

Mike Robertson, our other keynote, will be breaking down many fitness misconceptions and teaching how to transform cookie-cutter exercise programs into individual-driven programming. I have attended one of Mike’s presentations and walked out of it having gained so much in so little time. Mike’s partner in crime, Bill Hartman, will be covering “Butts & Guts”; I love that title, by the way. Bill will be speaking the truth about what strategies and principles are actually effective in building “strong abs and a shapely posterior.” These two guys are fountains of knowledge and are sure to lay it all out for you.

The NIFS Presenters

Our very own Kris Simpson dives into those daily habits that women may fall into which negatively affect posture and increase pain. Kris will cover strategies to help you shoulder the load of your daily tasks to maximize productivity in the real world and in the gym. One of the super members of NIFS, Buffy Linville, will be discussing the habit of a new normal and ways to stop sabotaging your health and fitness. Buffy is a complete story of health and fitness success and will explore what has worked for her and what will work for you.

As for me? Presenting and public speaking is something I truly enjoy! Since I have been attending different seminars and summits over the years, it has been my ultimate goal to be one of those presenters and be considered good enough to rub elbows with the best in my field. Through many opportunities leading up this July 18th event, I have been honing my skills for this awesome chance to join a team of great presenters and impact our community. It truly is a dream come true to take this first of many steps to be one of those great presenters I have revered for so long. 

I am so excited to cover what an effective, movement-based, and fun program will look like for any woman at any level of fitness. Consistent with what I love to do, we will start the session moving and not stop till that bell rings! We will cover everything from warm-up to metabolic finishers and grab a taste of everything. By no means will this session be exhaustive, but will certainly cover the crucial basics of any program.

If you are a woman searching for some direction, new to fitness or looking to take your health and performance to the next level, you won’t want to miss this event. Join me in the excitement of learning, training, and being inspired to be a better you! Early bird pricing runs through June 18, 2015 and you will receive $100 off the registration cost.

Get Registered

This blog was written by Tony Maloney, Health Fitness Specialist and Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: NIFS fitness NIFS programs education Indianapolis women