Mix Fitness's Blog


Where to Purchase Fitness Equipment

Posted in Uncategorized by mixfitness on November 27, 2009
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Hi blog followers!  I’m now writing for Examiner.com.  You can continue to follow me there.  I will still be writing about fitness and getting more specific about exercises and topics.  Check out this article I wrote:

If you are considering buying fitness equipment as a gift this season, read this first. Sporting goods stores tend to mark up prices.  Here are some alternative companies you should consider.  Read more…

Cardio or Weights – Which First?

Posted in Uncategorized by mixfitness on July 28, 2009
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“Should I do cardio or weights first?”  This is a question I often get.  Usually, my answer is “it depends.”  Today’s blog will help you identify which comes first if you plan to do both in one workout.

Cardio First

The reason I say “it depends” is because your training goal is a factor in determining which comes first.  Let’s say you are training for a running event.  Whether it’s a 5K or a marathon, your focus is (at least) to complete the race.  Your energy during training should be devoted to accomplishing your planned mileage.  Train yourself in an environment that is as close to the reality of race day as you can make it.  Think of it this way, you wouldn’t lift weights before heading out to the starting line!  Of course, the likelihood of lifting weights after a race is slim to none as well.  But, if you don’t have the time to schedule a separate weight workout, it’s best to train the cardio aspect first.

Weights First

If you have a particularly heavy weight day planned – like if you increased the number of sets or increased weight – it’s a good idea to dedicate your energy towards the resistance portion first.  Also, if your weight training goal is develop strength and power, your body will need to be fresh in order to be effectively trained.

What About the Warm-Up?

Many people hop on a treadmill to get warmed up prior to a resistance workout.  There is nothing wrong with that.  However, there is another way to warm up before your lift.  I like to do a cardio warm up before a cardio workout and a weighted warm up before a weighted workout.  A weighted warm up can be the same exercises you are going to do without the weight.  Consider the squat or lunge.  Both work the majority of muscles in your lower body and can be performed without holding extra weight.  Doing several reps with only your body weight as resistance is a good way to warm up.

Whether your goal is to be more fit or to compete, there is an appropriate workout order for everyone.  Start with the purpose of the workout and go from there.

Dumbbells vs. Bands

Posted in Uncategorized by mixfitness on June 22, 2009
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Just yesterday, I had a conversation with my mom about the difference between resistance training with bands and hand-held weights.  For whatever reason, my mom finds the bands more fun than dumbbells.  So, today’s blog was inspired by our conversation.

Resistance training is a method of muscular conditioning that involves progressive use of resistance.  It helps both your muscles and bones get stronger.  And, is a very important part of any workout routine.  The form of resistance can be a variety of items including:  dumbbells, bands, medicine balls, weighted bars, kettlebells, and body weight.  It’s great to use a variety of equipment to keep your workouts interesting and keep your muscles guessing.

Dumbbells come in many shapes and colors, but at the end of the day, are hand-held.  They provide you with the same amount of resistance throughout the exercise.  Meaning, if you lift a 5-pound dumbbell, it weighs 5 pounds at the beginning and the end of the motion.  You may be thinking, duh!  But, hold on.  Bands, too, come in lots of colors and are elastic.  The key difference between bands and dumbbells is the band’s elastic property.  And, this is what I explained to my mom.  Bands have a variable amount of resistance throughout the exercise.  The more the band stretches, the harder the exercise becomes.  Let’s use the bicep curl as an example.  To perform this exercise standing, you anchor one end of the band under your right foot and hold the opposite end in your right hand.  As you begin the curl, the band provides moderate resistance.  As you lift higher, the band provides heavier resistance.  There’s nothing wrong with that!   It’s just something to be aware of.

Bands are great to bring with you on travel since they easily fit into a suitcase without adding weight.  When using the bands, make sure that you anchor one end of the band under your foot or tie it to a doorknob or table.  Just like when using dumbells, at some point, you will need to increase to a thicker band in order to stimulate results.  So, if you’re like my mom – and prefer the bands – use them.  But, remember that variety is the spice of life.  Try all the fitness toys available to you!