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Warm UpFrequency, Intensity, & Duration

These are the key components of your individualized fitness program; they determine it's success and effectiveness in bringing on positive fitness adaptations. Frequency is a measure of how often you stimulate your body with exercise. Intensity determines "how hard" you work yourself. Duration determines how hard you hold a certain yoga pose, how long you run or how much time you spend weight training. The devil is in the details - you want these to be specific to you as an individual based on your fitness level and desired pace of progression. To an extent, increasing one of these can compensate for another. If you are time crunched, for example, and cannot workout for a long duration, you can increase the intensity to maintain positive fitness adaptations.

Warm Up - the warm up is a critical component of any workout. It increases the effectiveness of the subsequent workout in several ways. First, it brings fresh blood flow and nutrients to the muscles and joints, warming and loosening them for impending action. Second, it significantly reduces the risk of exercise injury. We highly recommend you follow our warm up routines for a most targeted and efficient workout. They will no doubt help you work harder in your workout and also last longer.

Cool Down - the cool down is also a critical component of any workouts. During a workout, an effect called "blood pooling" happens where blood is pulled into muscles that are used during that session. Stretching immediately after the workout breaks up those blood pools and sends it back to where it should be - throughout the rest of your body. This will reduce post workout soreness significantly, and is important to facilitate the process of remove waist products, such as lactic acid, that build up in your muscles during the workout. Remember these two words "Just Stretch."

Consistency - the phrase "consistency is key" most definitely applies to exercise. A little bit each day, or every other day, is better than the "weekend warrior" approach every time. Even if you can put in only 10 or 15 minutes, it's important and you use your body's resources and push its limits in terms of both cardiorespiratory work and muscular contractions. If you don't use your muscles, they will weaken and eventually be lost.

Duration vs. Intensity - there's an important relationship between these two training variables, which is not understand well by many. As intensity of a training session increases, duration should decrease. Many people think about working out in standard blocks of time - 60 minutes is a common one. However, certain types of intense exercise, which we very highly recommend, should not be maintained for longer than 20-40 minutes.

Take any block of time and create the most efficient and effective training for it

Prioritized Exercise Sequencing

The number one excuse people have for not exercising is "I don't have the time."

Compound vs. Isolation exercises - compound exercises involve multiple joints. A bench press, for example, involves flexion, or bending, in the elbows and also the shoulders. Isolation exercises, such as a dumbbell curl, involves flexion only at a single joint - the elbows. In general, the more complex movements of compound exercises involve greater muscle mass than isolation moves, working more of you in the same amount of time.

Exercise Volume - this is the measure of how many reps, sets, and work you perform overall. How much weight did you move today and how many times? How much did you run overall, and at what pace? Many people make the mistake of fixating on single performance acts within a workout session - max bench press, for example. Rather than focusing on getting 200 lbs. for 1 repetition, you'd probably be best to focus on pushing 150 lbs. 5 times. This would give you a volume of 750 lbs, versus just 200 in the previous case.

Opposing Muscle Groups - working opposing muscle groups within a single exercise session is often wise for several reasons. Working opposing muscle groups - a "pull" exercise like bent row, followed immediately by a "push" exercise like bench press - will maintain a balance among your muscles. It also works well for efficiency purposes, since when you're working your "push" muscles in an exercise, your "push" muscles can temporarily rest, preparing them to perform well at another "push" exercise later in the workout. Opposing muscle groups is another good exercise organizing principle.

Local vs. Global energy stores - related to above, people possess both a "local" energy store and a "global" store. Consider how the triceps feel very tired immediately after finishing a challenging set of dips, but are ready to work again after a couple minutes of rest. This illustrates that their is a very local energy and recovery process occurring in the tricep muscles. Consider also, your last set of any exercise at the end of a 45 minute workout. It's probably not as good as your first set - your full body is feeling pretty tired, and it effects whatever exercise you're doing at the moment, even if targeting a muscle you haven't yet hit that day. Both local and global energy stores are at play when you're exercising, and it's important to design workouts with this in mind as well.

Free Weights vs. Machines - exercise equipment can be great for those who are relatively new to strength training and who have not yet developed the coordination to perform more challenging free weight exercises. However, once that baseline coordination is developed, most people should move on to free weights, as they are simply more efficient. The reason is because more balancing and stabilization is needed to move the weights through an often greater range of motion. Your body recruits other muscles to help with the effort. Viola! you're working more muscles in less time with almost the same motion.

Workouts balance multiple muscles, energy systems, and fitness qualities

Energy Systems

The body has 3 distinct pathways to produce energy - Aerobic, Anaerobic 1, and Anaerobic 2. While the different pathways often work simultaneously and are, to an extent, interchangeable, each can be more or less directly channeled by different types of training.

Fitness Qualities

Strength - this quality determines how much force you can exert on objects. Whether you want to lift up objects (or people), open jars of sandwich spread like Hercules, or otherwise push or pull your way through life, this fitness quality can be a very useful one to develop. Strength can be further broken down into maximal strength and functional strength - the former is about how much "pop" you can apply in a single, one-time motion, and the latter involves how well you can apply your strength at varying intensities over time.

Overhead Stretch

Endurance - this is all about how long you can sustain effort over time. Your endurance dictates how long you can dance, play, or work the room before you have to call it quits. Back in the day, when commuting to or fro was part of everyone's daily life, this was essential. Today, we may have cars and videoconferencing, but endurance still comes in handy when you need to escape danger and it often facilities playtime activities for kids and adults alike. Endurance can be divided further into cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular endurance - the former is all about how hard your heart (a muscle, too!) and lungs have to work to move blood and oxygen throughout your body. The latter is about how long in duration you can sustain exerting your muscles on things.

Flexibility - this quality is all about function! Flexibility dictates over what range of motion you can move and apply forces, and is often a limiting factor in exerting all that strength and endurance through the various angles and demands that the real world imposes. Flexibility bridges all your specific fitness training with function, and is a critical part of any fitness plan (and individual workout). It can be further broken down into static and dynamic flexibility - the former is about how far you can stretch your body in a specific pose, the latter is more about how smooth you move through various ranges of motion while the body is in action.

With an understanding of your different energy systems and fitness qualities in mind, it's now very important to understand this next principle in order to understand how to build a specific training plan to develop your fitness.


Free Weights
SAID Principle - Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands: this principle says that specific exercises will train your body to adapt in very specific ways. If you want to get better at endurance running, for example, you should train by doing long runs at an endurance pace. This kind of training will NOT make you run faster or jump higher. If you want to jump higher, you should train specifically by practicing jump your highest, and repeat that task several times. Similarly, if you want to increase your max bench press, lift heavy weight at low reps. If you frequently bench press lower weights for 8-12 reps, you will not increase you bench press most efficiently. 



Train the specific qualities that you want to improve, and if you want to train multiple fitness qualities, as many people do, you will need a well-rounded and balanced fitness plan.

Build workouts around the time and equipment you have, and tune them to your personal preferences

Practical matters - this is where real life comes into play. Everybody has been there - you've got a great fitness plan, on paper. 60 minutes, 4 days a week sounds so great and very doable in theory. But then life intervenes. You feel tired, or sick. Your last meeting of the day ran way over. The baby is crying and needs you. You're supposed to go to the gym, but you just don't feel like it! We're building our system for these kind of real life scenarios.

Individual preferences - again, everybody is different. People have varying pain tolerances, and derive pleasure from different types of activities. We want to balance what works best with what you like and can handle. Some people love the high intensity workouts and fast progressions, others would be happier to take more time and see gradual progress. Some love basketball, others have a knack for swimming. We provide tools and technologies to not only balance all the different fitness qualities, training goals, and immediate resources into account, but also your likes and other lifestyle factors.

Constant, incremental progress - no more plateaus, no stagnation

DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: this is the term used to describe the soreness that you feel after a stimulating workout. It's a sign that your body is working to adapt to the training, and is caused by the build-up of lactic acid and other waste products in your muscle tissues. The "delayed" part describes how it is usually sets in not immediately after the workout, but the next day or even 2-3 days after the workout. It's a sign that the exercise is working. But there is such a thing as working out too much, and experiencing soreness for 4 days or longer after a workout is usually an indication that you went a little too hard. We are constantly adapting our algorithms to make sure that you are getting the right frequency, intensity, and duration of exercise so that your DOMS is just enough and not too much.

Overload - this principle describes how, in order to improve a particular fitness quality, you must place an increased demand on that particular quality to spur positive adaptation. And this increased demand must not only be continually met but increased over time in order to ensure ongoing progress for that fitness quality. To improve strength in your calf muscles, for example, you could perform calf presses with a frequency, intensity, and duration that exceeds what you would normally get from walking up stairs in your daily life. And after performing that exercise for a couple weeks, you need to increase the overload on your calves to continue the strength building effect.

Neuromuscular coordination - improving the ability of your muscles and nervous system to work together when performing movements often accounts for much of the "fast response" to training that newcomers often experience when getting started or returning to exercise after a hiatus. Improving your coordination for particular exercises, whether running, stretching, or leg extensions, involves the re-wiring your nervous system to perform that particular activity more efficiently. This type of adaptation usually occurs faster than actual muscle fiber growth. If you're new to exercise, it's important to appreciate these fast improvements but also to acknowledge that your next phase of gains main not come as quickly. Be patient, and keep challenging your body to adapt. More positive adaptations will follow.

Rest and Recovery - this is a critically important component of making fitness gains. Your muscles and energy systems do not actually become stronger or longer lasting while you're working out. Rather, they're being stressed and this is taxing on them. It's only when you follow up your exercise with rest that your body rebuilds these systems, and this natural recovery process makes them stronger and more robust, readying them for next time. Your rest and recovery periods also becomes more efficient over time, so as your improve your fitness, you can enjoy shorter rest periods for the same effort. We are working to build appropriate rest and recovery periods into your workout plan, and these "off days" should be considered as critically important to your fitness as are the workouts themselves.

Strong by Zumba™

Introducing Strong by Zuma™

YouTube Video

Instructors and Trainers

  • Zumba STRONG - Abigail (Monday)
  • Zumba - Abigail (Tuesday)
  • Super Aerobics - Archie

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