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Monthly Archives: July 2016

About Pound Fitness

Do you find your typical exercise class boring? Well, if that is the case the newest trend in exercise could be right up your street. Pound fitness is the newest exercise trend taking the world by storm. In this article I am going to tell you all about it as well as what makes it so popular.

# What is a Pound Class?

Have you ever pretended to be a rockstar? Maybe banging out some rhythms on imaginary drums with a pair of bread sticks? Okay, so imagine you can do that as a form of exercise! If that sounds like the best idea ever created for you, then it is time to hit a POUND class!

Pound is a fitness class which is inspired by drumming. It uses two lightly weighted drumsticks which are specifically designed for exercise called Ripstix.

The workout will leave you feeling the burn throughout your whole body. Combining cardio, strength training and conditioning it is engineered to give you a high intensity workout. But as the premise of the class is to focus on rhythm and music and not think about counting exercise reps or workout time.

Because this session focuses on musicality, it makes you feel at one with the beat. Getting lost in the music and being able to rock out with your ripstix is one of the things that make this class so addictive for many people who try it.

From beginning to end a pound class is fast paced and will easily make you lose track of time in the best way possible. You will find a 30 minute session flies by super quick and the constant intensive moments leave you no time to get bored. There is no holding poses or slow and steady movements everything is fun and fast.

You will experience a complete body workout. With your ripstix working your upper body and maximising each arm movement and performing most of the session in a squatted position will leave your lower body seriously pushed to its limits.

The best part is, even though it will work your entire body, you will not feel overly tired at any point. If anything, the loud pumping beats will leave you energised. Even better focusing on drumming will help ease the worries and woes for a short time helping to reduce your stress levels.

Classes last usually 30-45 minutes and will go through a warm up, workout and cool down. Sessions are available for all ability levels and good instructors will offer alternatives on their movements to make them easier or harder to suit everyone in the class.

# How Was Pound Created?

Pound fitness is the brainchild of two former drummers Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom. They took the fun of drumming and their love of fitness and combined it to make this incredibly popular workout.

The two former athletes were always heavily into working out and used traditional forms of exercise to keep themselves in shape. However, after a drumming session without a stool, squatting over the kit gave them the idea on how to bring fun back to fitness.

This inspiration was all it took to create Pound fitness. What started as one small class is now practiced in over 35 countries and has built up a team of over 7000 instructors.

# What are Ripstix?

Ripstix are a piece of exercise equipment specifically engineered to assist you during a pound session. Because these lightly weighted drumsticks add weight to each movement they knock your body off balance, making you work harder especially your core.

They also give a small amount resistance which is effective for the entire body but especially good for your arms and shoulders.

# What are the Benefits of Pound Fitness?

The number one benefit of Pound is probably how much fun it is. This enjoyment factor is what will get you hooked and keep you going back to sessions week in and week out. Often people find it difficult to stay motivated and stick to exercise classes, so having so much fun is definitely a good thing.

Also pound will leave you feeling a serious burn. With a class burning over 900 calories per session it will leave you sweating!

There are a number of other benefits pound has to offer including improvements of:

  • Rhythm
  • Musicality
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Endurance
  • Speed
  • Timing
  • Muscle Tone
  • Stability
  • Strength

Turn Runing Into a Meditation Session

Most of us know that both meditation and running are activities that have powerful physical and psychological benefits, some of which the two have in common (reduced depression, reduced stress and improved blood pressure to name a few). But most people would never consider combining the two. In fact, I bet suggesting this would cause a fair percentage of people to look at you like you were crazy. Despite what these naysayers think, you’ll soon see that pairing running and meditation is as natural as Kobe beef.

First, a word of caution: you shouldn’t meditate while running anywhere where your personal safety is at risk. In general, you should only run and meditate on a safe, closed course like a track, trail or park. Meditating while jogging along a busy road or on city streets is not advised, both because it might be dangerous and because it’s really difficult to meditate effectively when you have to constantly pay close attention to the changing conditions around you.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are the basic steps for meditating effectively while you run:

# Start running

I know this seems obvious, but I think it’s important to note that you should start running before you start meditating. Why? Because the focus of this meditation is the muscles being worked (the legs). You can’t focus on muscles being worked when they’re at rest.

# Do a body scan

As soon as you start jogging, start doing a basic, head-to-toe body scan. This lets you get in tune with your body and eases you closer to the meditation mindset while helping you identify any physical tension so you can eliminate it. To do this, you focus your awareness on each region of your body, progressively scanning for any clenched muscles. When you identify tight muscles, try to relax them. When all the muscles in a region are relaxed, you move on to the next section start with your scalp and face, then focus on your neck and throat, arms and chest, midriff and diaphragm, pelvic region, and finally your legs. You don’t have to use these specific groupings- the important point is to move from your head down, hitting every part of your body.

# Listen to binaural beats music

Binaural beats music, for those who don’t know, is specially designed music that use a scientifically proven mental phenomena to change the operating frequency of the brain. Depending on the music, this effect can help you focus, sleep, work creatively, or meditate, to name a few applications. So, if you listen to binaural music designed for meditation, it will make it much easier for you to meditate.

So, get yourself a 15 min or less piece of binaural beats meditation music and listen to it first on your running playlist (look for something in the Alpha range). If you don’t ordinarily listen to music while you run you can skip this step, but it will definitely make it easier to meditate if you do.

Also, while I list this third, feel free to start this before you start running.

# Focus on your working muscles

As mentioned before, when you are meditating and running your focus should be on your legs. This is because it is much easier to focus on them than ignore them completely. Plus, it helps you keep track of your fatigue level and maintain good stride form. However, if this doesn’t work for you, I would suggest making the track in front of you or the music you are listening to your focus.

# Returning Attention

As you run along, your focus will occasionally shift to something else- a past conversation, a future project, a goal, someone walking by, and so on. This happens to everyone sometimes, no matter how good they are, and it’s nothing to worry about. The important thing to remember when you catch yourself doing this is to not punish yourself or get frustrated, just to gently bring your attention back to your meditation focus.

For me, meditating while jogging has been a revelation. It used to be that I dreaded jogging as an unwelcome, exhausting chore. I would groan inwardly and steel myself before each and every run. While I would feel a little better once I started running, I would have to fight boredom actively- I often changed my route to spice things up a bit. All of those problems have vanished now: I look forward to each and every run. Now, I often end each run more invigorated than I was before, and boredom has been replaced by a feeling of calm. I even run the same course each time, around a local soccer field, without ever getting bored.

It’s pretty simple when you break it down like this. In fact, it’s completely the same as running by itself, except you add a mental step (two, if you do the body scan at the beginning). I encourage everyone that runs to give this a try, especially if they don’t already practice meditation on a daily basis. It’s an easy way to incorporate meditation into your existing schedule without taking extra time out of it.

If you’ve tried running or meditation before without it sticking, give this a try- it might just be the thing that finally turns an “I wish I did it” into an “I’m glad I do it”.

Factor that Boosting Your Results In Fitness

So, you’ve learned how to get fit. You know that your diet accounts for 80% of your fitness success, and you know you should be eating quality proteins, carbs, and fats. You know your nutrition should be on point and you should rock out compound workouts at the gym. Yet, you’re fat. In your head and in your mind you’re a fitness expert by now, but you haven’t seen the results you want. And it could all possibly boil down to the fact that you just aren’t being consistent!

You could be doing the right thing, but if you’re only eating healthy 2 or 3 times a week and then the rest you cave to the pressure of eating pizza and candy the other 4 days, you’re not going to see results. If you know you should go to the gym, but you just got off work and you’re tired and you’re just going to skip today (which we all know can happen more like 4 times a week), you’re not going to see results. See, you could actually have the best workout plan ever and nothings wrong with it, it is flawless – but if you aren’t consistent in your plan, it will fail for you! The key to seeing the results you want is to be consistent in doing them. It’s funny how you see the same people in the gym all the time – the gym rats who are huge and you wonder why you can’t get like that. Well, why do you see them there everytime in the first place? Because they are consistent!

# So how do I get consistent?

Well, first things first. Stop making excuses. “But Connor, I’m not making excuses! I have 2 jobs and kids and I just have no time!” I’m sorry to say, but even though it’s a good one, it’s still an excuse. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and the way the way we spend it is up to us. Even if you can’t give up a job to free more time, you could purchase an at-home gym set and pull-up bars. Honestly, all you really need is your bodyweight to become completely fit. And when you get home from work, instead of relaxing for a couple hours, you can bust out a quick 45 minute workout. No one said it would be easy! Now thankfully, not all of us have such a demanding schedule – my point is to find a way to make it work. If it’s truly a priority to you, you will find a way.

Secondly, minimize distracting obstacles in your way. Every time you go to the gym, you have to pass your flat screen TV, your awesome gaming computer, and your fridge packed with deliciously unhealthy food. It’s painful to have to look at those things and say no! So fill your fridge with healthy food that you know will fill you with nutrients to make you strong and healthy, and cover your TV and computer or something – or if you’re really extreme put them away in storage! Don’t give yourself options to do your workout “later” and then coincidently end up with not enough time at the end of the day to even do your workout.

Thirdly, treat yourself to gifts for succeeding! Give yourself goals – If I am consistent with my diet for a month, then after a month I get to treat myself to a 50$ Lobster Dinner! Yummy! Or if you are consistent with your running daily for a month, reward yourself with new running shoes. Always give yourself a gift that aligns with your current goals.

Those are 3 ways to be more consistent in your workout goals. They say knowledge is power, but I slightly disagree. Knowledge put into action is power. Workout, be consistent, and see your results sky rocket in no time.