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Improving quality of life

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

Quite a few years back I got a call from Laurence, one of my clients.
He informed me that he had just got out of Lake Pontchartrain after his weekly swim. I didn't even know you're allowed to swim in Lake Pontchartrain, but that's another story. He told me that his times had been trending lower, and that he had just swum his best time in years.

We had another client named Marcus who was 72 years old when he had his knee replaced.  After that for the next few years he could play nine holes of golf. The next day was too washed out from the heat to play again.  He was nearing the end of his golf playing days or so he thought.  At age 75 he started strength training. After a year of strength training he could play 18 holes of golf, and the very next day he would play eighteen more holes. The strength training improved his fitness, so did the 27 extra holes golf he regularly played.

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Losing belly fat by strength training

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

From this article The best exercise for controlling belly fat, this quote: 

"Men who did regular weight-training had less gain in their waistline (-0.67 cm) over the 12-year period, compared with those who participated in moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise (-0.33 cm), or physical labor from daily life such as yard work or stair climbing (-0.16 cm)."

Losing muscle is part of the aging process. As adults we lose about 5 pounds of muscle a decade, and with that comes a lower metabolism. If you don’t cut back on the calories you will replace that muscle with fat.

If you attempt to lose weight with a severe caloric restriction your body received the message that it's not receiving enough calories to survive. The body will catabolize lean body mass to lower the body’s metabolism to compensate for the decreased caloric intake.

If you diet and also strength training the body, instead of losing muscle mass, you will maintain and even add to the muscle mass and thereby increase metabolism. 

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What will your quality of life be like eight years from now? An anecdote

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

After reaching middle age, most people will likely see a decline in their physical abilities over an eight year span.  That is not unavoidable. At Austin Personal Training and New Orleans Fitness trainers  we present our clients with challenges they hopefully can achieve.  If you give someone a goal that is not achievable why bother attempting it?  If you have a goal that is not really challenging there will be little in the way of improvement. A good trainer will know where to set the bar.  

Timothy is a one of our trainers, and Leif is one of his clients.  One of the challenges Timothy gave Leif was a static hold on the chin-up.  Timothy had Leif hold himself with his chin above the chin-up bar with his knees bent and held as high as possible for as long as possible. This requires tremendous effort and toward the end it requires every fiber of your being just to maintain that position. This exercise works the upper-back, chest, arms, and abdominal muscles.

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A Strength Training Program For Cancer Survivors

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

Several years ago I was discussing with a cancer survivor the possibility of her starting an exercise program.  I told her it might be difficult.  She replied, “John, I survived cancer; I can do your workout.”  Boy was she right.  She responded very well to exercise.  All the cancer patients we worked with have responded positively to exercise - everyone, but some cancer survivors were often discouraged from exercising.   A quote from this New York Times article,Balancing Painful Swelling With a Desire to Exercise:

 “FOR almost 20 years, the prevailing wisdom among most doctors has been that breast cancer survivors at risk of contracting lymphedema — a debilitating, irreversible swelling of one or both arms — should avoid most upper-body exercise or lifting anything heavier than five pounds. For many women, the stern warnings meant they could not shop for groceries or even carry their children. Running and walking were safe, but anything that taxed the arms was considered dangerous. ”

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Winning more but training less

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

A few years back Laurence participated in the New York City Triathlon. He did well but didn’t win his age group.  Three years later, he finished 24th overall in the New York City Triathlon overall and finished first in his age group, 45 to 49. He beat his nearest competitor by over five minutes.

He attributed a large part of his success to HIIT, high intensity interval training, a strength/cardio workout taken to a deep fatigue. He had been doing it four years along with his usual swimming, running, biking, and kayaking. His times in triathlon events came down. The strength training program enabled him to spend less time on his bike and in the pool. More time for recovery resulted in continuing improvement. 

I am stronger, recover faster and only devote 30 minutes a week to weightlifting. It is like discovering the fountain of youth. It really does work.