Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Labor Day Schedule

I can't believe summer practically flew by..but it's not over yet! Bootcampers are still going strong and kicking ass! Humidity or not, people show up week after week to get fitter and overcome their obstacles! Good job for keeping up and not making a billon excuses! The rest of you have a lot of making up to do...

In the meantime, the labor day schedule is as follows:

Tues 9/1 630 and 730pm classes taught by me
Wed 9/2 7pm class taught by Adriano

NO THURSDAY OR SATURDAY CLASSES. Regular schedule resumes Tues 9/8.

You MUST reserve in order to guarantee space.

Thanks and see you soon!

Cindy Lai Fitness

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What is being healthy? Pics from last week's Cindy Lai Fitness bootcamps

Despite the heat, humidity, rain and the heavy air, Cindy Lai Fitness bootcampers roughed it out and came to class ready to kick ass!! Like real troopers, everyone came ready to work and brought their energy after a hard day of work or woke their butts up on an early Saturday morning. Good job to you all!! That kind of discipline will keep you healthy and happy in the long run. Being healthy is a lifestyle, not something you tend to once in a blue moon. The more you discipline yourself and learn to balance what's important in your life, the better you will feel!

I hear excuses day in and day out. I'm tired too, sometimes dont feel like working out, no energy, it's too hot, etc, etc. If I operated like that all the time, I'd fall apart!! Between training private clients, bootcamp, working out, maintaining my blog, marketing, errands, social life..I barely have time to sleep! I'm a workaholic by nature and am basically working 24/7 running around like a madwoman. By no means do I expect anyone to be like me, but I absolutely believe in good work ethics. Us New Yorkers never have enough time for anything, but if it's important to you, you WILL make the time to be healthy in your mind, body and soul. Life is all about balance. Of course, if you look good, you feel good too ;-)

So, Rock on!! Keep up the good work but remember to give yourself a break every now and then to rest up. See you next week!

Here are some pics from the bootcamps this past week. Impressive!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Exercising in the humidity, electrolytes and potassium

Are you dying or out of breath when you're going for that run or taking bootcamp? How about just walking outside? The weather has been extremely brutal this month with the humidity making it feel like it's almost 100 degrees! It becomes almost unbearable running around in this heat all day...but you get used to it.

If you are not used to this weather, you need to acclimate yourself to it. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Water is essential but your body needs electrolytes especially if you're sweating most of the day.

Electrolytes are chemical substances which, when dissolved or lost in sweat, are missing the electrically charged particles or ions. Nutritionally, they serve as aids to rehydration and many bodily functions are dependent on these substances. If you consume large amounts of pure water during periods of physical exertion, the water can dissolve salts in your cells, impeding the normal function of the cells. In extreme cases, it can even lead to fatal water poisoning. But a drink containing electolytes allows your body to use the water to rehydrate without suffering those ill effects.

Normal body functions, not to mention performance, are severely compromised if adequate levels of electrolytes are not present, especially in the heat and/or when exercise goes beyond the two-hour mark.

With that said, one of my favorite electrolyte drink is Coconot Water. I prefer Zico or One which you can easily find in your gourmet grocery, whole foods and delis.

Coconut water naturally has about 650 mg of potassium (15x more than a banana), 25mg of magnesium, and 35 mg of sodium! All of this in a 10 oz, 60 calorie package. It's like nature's gatorade!

Coconut water is high in electrolytes and potassium making it a great workout recovery drink. It hydrates the body, replacing fluids and minerals that are lost while sweating. The essential electrolytes it contains are potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium and phosporous. It is nearly fat free, low in carbs, and low in sugar. (The sugar being all natural). If you drink it regularly you will notice a difference in your skin. It smoothes and hydrates your skin leaving it noticeably softer.

Exercising rigorously and sweating causes a mineral imbalance and depletion in potassium levels. You MUST replenish what your body has lost in order to stay healthy! If you can't get your hands on coconut water, you can opt for Gatorade which has more sugar. It does the job but there are definitely more calories. Upon many ocassions, I've turned to Gatorade to save me during long endurance activities.
Whether Gatorade or Coconut Water is better, it's up to you. See which one works more effectively. I like to use both.

As for Potassium rich foods, here's a list of foods loaded with it:
Bell pepper
Crimini mushrooms
Brussels sprouts

Aside from replenishing your body's nutrients, you need to acclimate yourself to the high humidity. Just like exercise, anything you haven't done in a while you need to go at your own pace. Take it one step at a time! Get yourself used to the weather and don't overdo it, wear sunscreen, avoid exercising during the peak times of the day and stay by the shady areas. Wear comfortable clothes. Mesh-like fabrics and cottons are preferable since they allow the skin to dry faster. Always warmup and cool down, no excuses!

Of course, if you're coming to my bootcamp, You know you are not allowed to faint! Hydrate and keep up your fitness level! Most importantly...DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE!!!

Cindy Lai Fitness

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Must you feel sore after every workout?

So you felt intense muscle soreness upon your initial workouts, lasting up to days but over time you felt less and less sore. Does that mean your workouts aren't effective anymore? Do you feel that you didn't have as good of a workout on some days because you don't have that crippling soreness you first felt? People seem to equate muscle soreness to an effective workout and if you're one of those people, this is why you shouldn't.

Muscle soreness is NOT, I repeat, is NOT an indicator of a good workout. Sore muscles the day after does not mean you had an effective workout or productive workout or a results-causing workout. Therefore, NOT being sore the day after doesn't mean your workout was bad, or ineffective, or unproductive, or useless. As far as effectiveness, muscle soreness means nothing.

So then, what's the deal? How come you only get sore some times and not others? How come you used to get sore every time, but now you hardly ever do? Well, it's all pretty simple. Muscle soreness usually occurs when you make your muscles do something that they just aren't used to doing. For example, when you first started working out, that was very likely when you experienced the most soreness. Forget the next day... you were probably sore for the entire next week! But then as your body gradually gets more accustomed to what you're doing, your body gradually experiences less and less muscle soreness until it reaches the point where you are barely sore or even not sore at all anymore the day(s) after a workout.

But this only explains the "why was I sore then, but not now" question. What about the "why was I sore after this bootcamp workout, but not my last 10 bootcamp workouts" question?

Muscle soreness in the day or days following a workout is caused by your muscles having to do something they aren't used to doing.

If all you've been doing is running, yoga, biking, swimming, etc and never did strength training, plyometrics, calisthenics or kettlebells. All of a sudden you're subjecting your body to something different, you can't move the next few days!
Was it because this workout or these exercises were better or more effective in some way? Not at all. It was only because you changed something (in this case exercises), and in doing so you caused your body to do something it wasn't used to doing. This is what would cause muscle soreness.

In time, it's very possible that this new workout may not cause you to be sore just like the original workout did. Is it not longer effective? Of course not... it's just that your body has become more and more used to doing it. It's not just changing exercises that may cause the muscles to be sore. It can be a change in the way you did the same exercises. Did you do more reps? Or maybe lift more weight? Were you on the treadmill or bike longer than last time? Did you increase intensity? Any of the above could be enough to cause muscle soreness the next day.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some people just get sore after certain workouts (no matter how long they've done them) and never get sore after others. For example, my back is always sore for the 2 days following a back workout. My legs? sometimes. My abs? Always. My shoulders? hardly, if anything. Sometimes if I change something I still don't get sore. However, my progress is just fine. Muscle soreness or not, my results are just the same.

So, no... muscle soreness is in no way an indicator of a good or bad workout. If anything, it may just indicate you did something different in some way. Use a scale, a mirror, pictures, tape measure and/or workout log to judge whether or not what you're doing is actually working. Use muscle soreness as an excuse not to have to take out the garbage.

The real results in terms of toning and weight loss comes from the consistency of a good program and proper nutrition. You can work out until you're blue in the face, even overtraining, but that's no indicator of weight loss or building lean muscle mass to burn more calories.

Nutrition is key in changing your physique. The exercise just accelerates your result. Yes, you must shock your body from time to time so you don't plateau. At the same time, discipline in clean eating and cutting out the alochol will make a huge difference.

Cindy Lai Fitness

Monday, August 3, 2009

Why isn't your body changing?

Are you doing the same routine over and over? Increasing your cardio doing the same exact exercise as you have been doing the last few months? Don't you know your body adapats very quickly to cardio and as result you burn fewer calories? You can run for miles and even do a marathon but that doesn't mean you're going to tone up or lose weight.

Are you doing strength training to build lean muscle? Are you eating properly? (Go to my previous blog "why diets don't work" for more info on nutrition) It's the same formula day in and day out. Eat well, increase lean muscle mass by doing your strength training in additional to your cardio and voila! Magic!! Oh, I forgot to mention, it's hard work!! Discipline, motivation, consistency are all elements necessary to achieve success!! We can't all look like superheroes but even tney have to work! Learn to balance out your life and everything will fall into place.

The key to results is CHANGE! Shock that body, STOP doing the same routine you did last year and incorporate your strength exercises! Or you can just come to my Central Park Bootcamp Tuesdays and Thursdays at 630 and 730p or Kettlebell Saturday @9 and 10am by the West Side Highway. You need to reserve in advance as all classes are full and email me for more details.

I am always pushing my students to new limits, challenging themselves to work harder to develop that strength, endurance and mindset to achieve the best of their abilities! If you don't push yourself, how are you going to accomplish new goals? You will only stay in that comfort zone and therfore plateau!! You're not allowed to plateau in my classes. Yes, fun is involved and the group environment is very encouraging. Mostly everyone is working towards similar goals and we are all hear to motivate each other to do better!

So change it up entirely! Start fresh, throw out the old and shock your system! If you're up for a challenge, Cindy Lai Fitness will help you bring it up a notch! Bst, Cindy Lai