January Gym Challenge: AMRAP

AMRAP, known in the world of CrossFit as ‘As Many Rounds as Possible’. What does that mean? Exactly what is says. For this month’s gym challenge, it’s all about how many rounds of the following circuit you can complete in 8 minutes: 

  • 10 Bodyweight Squats 
  • 10 Push ups 
  • 10 V-sits  

This particular AMRAP workout focuses on strength and endurance using bodyweight only. The exercises focus on lower body (squats), upper body (push ups) and abs (v-sits). In order to complete a round, all reps of each exercise much be completed fully and with correct form is important, especially when fatigue/tiredness beings to set in. The key to being able to complete a higher number of rounds is to not start off too fast. This can cause you to burn out towards the end of your workout and be unable to complete further reps and rounds. Starting with a steady pace that can be maintained throughout is the ideal and pace should be intense enough that you are able to push yourself for the whole 8 minutes. You should try to complete each rep/exercise/round back to back, taking rest only when it is desperately needed. A warm up should be completed prior to participating in this challenge. 

AMRAP workouts have been known to focus on cardiovascular fitness, strength and conditioning and muscular endurance. You will therefore be able to use this workout as a test of fitness to see how you are doing in your training. Or you can create your own by substituting the exercise, number of reps or the time. You can then choose to complete the AMRAP workout in 6 weeks’ time to see how you are further progressing in training. You could also incorporate the workout itself as training and see if the more you complete it, the more rounds you can do in the 8 minutes.  

How many rounds do you think you can complete? Head to the fitness centre to find out and ask one of the Fitness Instructors about the January Gym Challenge.  

 

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Rules 

  1. Only full rounds count. If the time runs out and the person had few reps to finish on V-sits – the round does not count.
  2. If the person does exercises incorrectly – he has to start from the beginning
  3. Exercises done using body only
  4. Squats – technique
  • Stand up straight with your feet at approximately shoulder-width apart. 
  • Keep your feet pointed either straight or angled slightly outward. 
  • Initiate the movement with a fold at the hips by reaching your bum behind you, as if sitting in a chair. 
  • Maintain a mid-foot balance and a lengthened spine as you fold at the hips and bend at the knees – squatting between your legs, not on top of them. 
  • Keep your knees in line with your feet, being careful not to allow them to bow inward. 
  • Lower yourself to 90 degrees angle. 
  • In the bottom position, your hips and knees should be fully flexed, your posture “tall” and feet flat on the ground. Arms reaching forward to help with balance. 
  • To get back up, reverse the motion by contracting your core, glutes, and thighs and driving your feet into the ground with a mid-foot balance while extending your hips until you are back in the standing position. 

 

  1. Pushups – technique 
  • Start by placing your hands underneath your shoulders. 
  • Your legs should extend straight out behind you, so that the balls of your feet are on the ground. You’re now in a high plank position. 

 

  • Keep your core tight and your glutes engaged as you lower down until your chest touches the ground. 
  • Continue to keep your body in a straight line as you push away from the floor and bring your body back up to the starting position. 

 

  1. V-sits– technique  
  • Begin in a seated position with hands and feet on the floor. 
  • Contract your abdominal muscles and core and lift your legs up to a 45-degree angle. 
  • Reach your arms straight forward or reach up toward your shins as you are able. 
  • It’s important to maintain good core posture and a strong spine throughout the movement and to avoid rounding the shoulders forward. 
  • Return to your starting position while continuing to keep your abs engaged and tight. 
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Exercise of the Month: Headstand

Headstand might sound scary at first, but don’t run away just yet. Read about the benefits of the headstand first!  

Mostly, when people think about headstand, they think it is a yoga practice. Which partly is true. The science of yoga is extremely beneficial for the mind and body and the knowledge comes from ancient times. Headstand happens to be one of the inversion postures (asanas) in yoga and it is called sirsasana in Sanskrit.  

How to perform a head stand (Sirsasana): 

  1. Kneel on the floor.To create a strong base imagine a triangle on your mat. The top angle should be your head and the two bellow your hands. Another base positioncould be done by interlocking your fingers and placing your forearms on the floor. Keeping elbows shoulder-width apart and rest the crown of your head on the top angle or against the clasped hands.  
  2. 2. Come into an upside-down “V” position. Walk your feetcloser to your elbows, heels raised.
  3. 3. Slowly, uplift your feet off the floor and bring your knees closer to your chest.
  4. 4. Gently straighten your legs and keep them perpendicular to the ground.
  5. 5. Keep your weight evenly balanced on the two forearms and stay in this pose for 15-20 seconds.
  6. 6. After lowering the legs, keep the head lowfor few secondsand slowly raise your body to normal position. 

Benefits 

  1. 1.Calms the Brain:The upside-down position of headstand amplifies the flow of blood to the brain. The freshly-oxygenated blood stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands which calm and rejuvenate the mind.  
  2. 2.Increases focus:When you go upside-down, the blood flow is directed from the feet to the head. This improves mental function and in turn, elevates the focus of the person. 
  3. 3.Therapeutic for a Headache and Migraine:Sirsasana effectively relaxes and strengthens the blood vessels in the brain thereby preventing headaches and migraine. Also, the practice of headstands increases nutrients in the mind that tranquilizes the brain and prevents headaches. 
  4. 4.Strengthens Arms,Shoulders and Core: Sirsasana strengthens the core by improving the upper body strength, and muscle endurance. 

 

  1. 5.Improves Digestion: By performing an inversion, you allow the effects of gravity to be reversed on the digestive system that removes stuck material, releases trapped gases, and increases the blood flow to the digestive organs.
  2. 6.Triggers Lymphatic System: The lymphatic system is responsible for the removal of fluids from the tissues and waste products from the blood. When you flip onto your head, you stimulate the lymphatic system and assist in removal of toxins from the body.
  3. Cure for Piles and Varicose Vein:The disease of piles and enlarged veins occur due to the accumulation of the blood within the anus and legs. The sirsasana yoga posture breaks down the blood build-up in the veins and anus and transfers it to other parts of the body while alleviating the problem of piles and varicose veins effectively. 

For advice on practice, please consult with our SportsDock fitness professionals first. Good luck!

Hatha Yoga

The word hatha means wilful or forceful. Hatha yoga refers to a set of physical exercises and sequences of postures, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. Hatha is also translated as ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon.” This refers to the balance of masculine aspects—active, hot, sun—and feminine aspects—receptive, cool, moon—within all of us. Hatha yoga is a path toward creating balance and uniting opposites. 

How often to practice? 

Even if you only practice for one hour a week, you will experience the benefits of the practice. If you can do more than that, you will certainly experience more benefits. Don’t let time constraints or unrealistic goals be an obstacle—do what you can and don’t worry about it. 

Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures. Even within the physical practice, yoga is unique because it connects the movement of the body and the fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath. 

Postures to try: 

  • Downward Facing Dog – used in most yoga practices and it stretches and strengthens the entire body. 
  • Plank – teaches to balance on forearms while using the entire body for support. It is a great way to strengthen the abdominals and back muscles. 
  • Tree pose – an awesome standing balance for beginners to work on to gain focus and clarity, and learn to breathe while standing and keeping the body balanced on one foot. 
  • Cobbler pose– strengthens and improves flexibility in the inner thighs, groins and the knees. Helps prepare the hips and groins for meditative seated poses, which require more flexibility in these areas. 
  • Childs pose – everyone needs a good resting pose and Child’s pose is an awesome one not just for beginners but for yoga practitioners of all levels. 

 

Feel free to try our live studio yoga classes at SportsDock: 

  • Monday Detox Yoga at 12.40-13.10 
  • Wednesday Hatha Yoga at 19.30-20.20 
  • Saturday Hatha Yoga at 19.00-19.50 
  • Selection of virtual Wexer classes as a free user choice from 13.45 to 17.00 on weekdays. 

Another fantastic new! SportsDock is starting a Yoga club very soon. If you want to learn more or join the club, speak to our fitness instructors for more information.

Wall Sit

Wall sit – everyone knows it and everyone has tried it at some point of their training sessions. Well this month it is a challenge! Keep reading to find out more about this amazing exercise. 

A wall sit is an exercise done to strengthen primarily the quadriceps muscles. Other muscle included are glutes, calves, hamstrings and adductor muscles. The technique is to create two right angles formed by the body, one at the hips and one at the knees. Wall sit is a static exercise, also known as isometrics, a form of training where the body performs little to no movement while contracting its muscle fibres.  

Key benefits of static training are: 

  • Increased muscular endurance 
  • Increased muscular strength 
  • Toning 
  • Focus and mental toughness 

The number of calories you burn depends on your weight, how long you perform a wall sit and how hard you’re working. According to the Health Status website, a 150-pound person can burn about 5 calories per minute performing moderate-intensity calisthenics. 

Wall sit is one way to exercise, however, to make more challenging you can do a combinations of other exercises while performing wall sit. You can try: 

  • Wall sit with hip adduction 
  • Wall sit with med ball press-out 
  • Single-leg wall sit 
  • Wall sit with lateral raise 
  • Wall sit with biceps curl and many more 

In terms of timings, try holding the positions for 60 seconds and rest for 30 seconds, then repeat. Try to do 5 sits or until your muscles become too fatigued to hold the sitting position the get best results. Don’t forgets to stretch afterwards to avoid muscle stiffness! 

For question and advice, please speak to SportsDock Fitness Team. Good luck! 

Why health related goals don’t motivate us

Logical rewards like “health” and “weight loss” do not motivate people to sustain health related behavior. 

 

Reasons for lifestyle change such as future health benefits sounds great but people quickly revert to old habits as physical activity is not made explicitly relevant to our most important daily roles and priorities. It is a fact that human beings are hard wired to choose immediate gratification over benefits that we have to wait to receive. Our health and wellbeing exists in the context of our daily, busy, crazy, complex, unpredictable daily lives. Therefore being physically active should be based on the desire to make self-care a priority and a good fit with your life.  

Our meaning for exercise powerfully influences our subsequent motivation, decisions, how we cope with challenges and whether we sustain physically active lives. Motivating reasons such as weight loss and better health do not provide immediate rewards and feedback we need to consistently do it. Most people who intend to get healthy or start exercising quit within 6 months because exercise does not appear to be essential to their daily lives in immediate and noticeable ways.   

Every failure at sticking to a workout program and every bad experience you have with exercise reinforces the meaning we hold for exercise – which is bound to be negative. We start to feel discouraged about our ability to be physically active and then become to dislike being physically active. Exercise easily becomes a chore we force ourselves to do.  

To start to see exercise as a gift rather than chore we must draw on positive experiences and create new and more motivating experiences. Even those that think they despise exercise can discover that they have at least one good exercise movement. Below are some types of physical activities you can copy and mark whether you have positive or negative feeling towards them:  

Activity type   Positive   Negative  
Gym class      
Team sports (e.g. football)     
Individual sports (e.g. tennis)     
Exercising at clubs      
Walking with a friend     
Walking outside     
Walking your dog     
Walking on a treadmill (perhaps with music or watching something)      
Dancing      
Using home equipment      
Group exercise (e.g. Zumba)      
Exercising while watching a video at home      
Jump roping      
Ice skating      
Pilates      
Yoga      
Daily living physical activities (household cleaning, gardening, walking to do errands)      

 

Adopting a positive meaning for exercise can turn it in to something we actually want to do. When we chose to make exercise part of our lives for personally compelling reasons, also choosing to move in ways that make us feel good, we are more likely to maintain exercising. We must realize there is infinite variety of physical activities and intensities that will reap benefits equal to or greater than a strict regimen of intense workouts. Take any and every opportunity to move, in any way possible, at whatever speed you like, for any amount of time. Logic doesn’t motivate us nearly as much as emotions do. This is why moving in ways that make us feel good is a better motivating factor than the promise of future health benefits.  

If you are seeking for an advice, please speak to our fitness professionals at SportsDock. 

Intermittent Fasting

What is intermittent fasting? 

Fasting is the voluntary withholding of food for spiritual, health, or other reasons. This can be for any period of time, from a few hours up to days or even weeks on end. At its very core, fasting simply allows the body to burn off excess body fat. 

 

You can fast for as long or short as you like. Most common intermittent fasting involves daily fasting for 16 hours. You eat all your meals within an 8-hour time period and fast for the remaining 16 hours.  

Benefits 

Benefits include weight loss, increased energy, reversal of type 2 diabetes, improved mental clarity and concentration, increased growth hormone, reduction of blood cholesterol and inflammation. 

Who should NOT fast? 

You should not do intermittent fasting if you are: 

  • Underweight (BMI < 18.5) 
  • Pregnant – you need extra nutrients for your child 
  • Breastfeeding – you need extra nutrients for your child 
  • A child under 18 – you need extra nutrients to grow 

For any further advice, ask our Fitness team at SportsDock. 

The Bear Complex

The Bear Complex is lifting move that is suited for more intermediate/advanced gym goers. The 5 lift involves 5 different parts which are: A power clean from the floor, front squat, push press (bringing bar behind head to rear rack position), back squat, and push press (bringing bar to chest to front-rack position) and then back to the floor. The completion of all 5 moves counts as one repetition (rep). There is the option to perform this exercise with a pause after each of the moves (to break them up) or it can be performed as one continuous movement with no pauses.  

It is important to be well accustomed to all the individual parts of the complex, on their own, before attempting to do the full movement. It is also advised that if this is the first time you are performing the complex, you should start with a lighter weight than you usually squat or power clean with. This is to ensure that you are safely able to perform the complex and then you can gradually begin to increase your weight as you get used to the movements.  

The Bear complex is good for developing power and strength. It is also good for conditioning your full body due to having to stabilise yourself whilst performing the movements. It can also be used for development of muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness if the weight is kept light and performed at a faster rate. 

So if you’re looking for a way to take your Olympic/Power lifting to the next level, try incorporating the Bear Complex into your workout. 

 

1) Power Clean 

 

2) Front Squat 

 

3) Push Press (to behind head) 

 

4) Back squat 

 

 

5) Push Press (to chest)