Do we HAVE to run hills?
By Darnelle Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Well, of course you don’t HAVE to do anything. However, if you are interested in becoming a stronger, faster and healthier runner then you should join us at Eastside Fitness Run Club every other Tuesday for great hill workouts. Because we do them in a group the time flies by. Because someone else is telling you to do them you don’t have to talk yourself into anything. It’s what’s known as a “win-win” situation!
Hill training offers the following benefits:
1) Helps develop power and muscle elasticity. Because you are lifting your entire body weight against gravity with every step, your muscle recruitment patterns will become more efficient. This will transfer over to when you are running on a flat surface making it look and feel effortless.
2) Improves stride frequency and length. Otherwise known as “cadence”, your stride will become smooth and seamless. You will never overstride which causes your leg muscles to tire out more quickly and your shorter stride will feel less choppy and more natural.
3) Develops coordination, encouraging the proper use of arm action during the driving phase and feet in the support phase. When fighting gravity you need to use your entire body to help propel you up the hill. Your arms are essential for maintaining momentum. You will engage your core muscles to help transfer the energy of your arms through to your legs and move you onwards and upwards. You will also notice that when running uphill you will never use the taboo “heel strike” that has been blamed for many chronic and overuse running injuries.
4) Develops control and stabilisation as well as improved speed. Downhill running is not as easy as it sounds. When running downhill your mind has to work as quickly as your feet. This combination is a great trainer for agility reflexes.
Sound good? Meet us tonight for some QE Park hill running. We leave the studio at 6:30pm.
5 Reasons Group Fitness is Great
By Darnelle Wednesday, 31 August 2011
It’s not just aerobics and leg warmers anymore…although I have heard that leg warmers are making a comeback. (Don’t tell anyone but I sort of hope they are because I have a few pairs leftover from the 80’s that I’m dying to wear) More and more people from beginner exercisers to experienced athletes are adding group fitness classes or clubs as part of their regular workout routine. Here’s why:
1. Affordable - Fitness classes are very reasonably priced usually because they require minimal equipment and can be completed almost anywhere from sparse industrial locations to outdoor venues such as parks and playing fields. The cost of valuing the instructor’s expertise and qualifications is spread among all the participants. In the old days, participants would often have to buy a series of classes that started and ended on specific dates. If you missed a class that was money down the drain. Now-a-days most studios and clubs offer flexible “unlimited” passes and they allow you to sign up for the classes you want on the days that are convenient for you.
2. Social – Made up of similarly motivated individuals, group fitness classes can be a great way to bond with others over your common goals and experiences.
3. Motivational – No matter what, there will always be someone who shows up at class feeling less than inspired. Sometimes that someone may be you. Luckily, the opposite is also true, there will always be someone working hard and feeling great and that person or persons will raise the energy of the class. You will have no choice but to get sucked along, having fun and getting a great workout in spite of yourself. In a worst case scenario where the entire class is feeling low, the instructor (who may or may not be wearing leg warmers) will be able to cheer the entire class on to completion.
4. Variety – Many fitness clubs, gyms and studios offer a variety of classes from weight training circuits, interesting dance classes to yoga and Pilates. From these choices you can customize a weekly routine that targets different aspects of physical fitness. As well, there are many types of “fusion” classes that combine one or more disciplines to keep things interesting and fun. Even if you attend just one type of class per week, the variety from week to week is enough to keep you interested.
5. Adherence to Routine – If you are like me you can probably think of a million reasons why you can’t exercise tonight after work – your goldfish is sick, there is sale at The Gap etc.. If it was just me and a date at the gym, those excuses (I mean completely valid reasons!) would have precedence. However, if you miss your GROUP class you will never find out if Sara’s sister’s best friend’s boyfriend got his driver’s license or if Gary’s mom’s check-up went well. Also, this is the night that everyone goes out for Sushi after the workout. You just can’t miss it!