Posts Tagged ‘rock creek sports club’

Benefits of the Bench Press

Written by Sharon Sellers. Posted in Blog, RCSC News, Wellness Bites

The Bench Press is the most popular lift in the gym. It’s the upper-body exercise that lets you lift the most weight and builds upper-body strength like no other exercise since it activates so many muscle groups in the upper-body. These muscles include the pecs, deltoids, triceps, forearms, hand muscles and abdominals.Sharon-bench

If done correctly, the bench press can increase range of motion in the upper body and increase bone density. Bench Press is a free-weight exercise, requiring more activation of smaller stabilizing muscles in the shoulders, vs a chest press machine that guides the movement through a fixed plane. In a fixed environment balancing and stabilizing is not required, making the chest press machine a good learning tool for the elementary movements of a chest press. But to fully develop the strength and flexibility of the upper body a move to the Bench Press is necessary.

With proper progression and safe practices the Bench Press can be very effective. Start with just the bar to build strength in the small muscles. Always use collars on the bar when plates are added. A spotter is strongly recommended, especially when attempting maximum weights. Learn proper form to avoid injuries to the shoulders, wrists and lower back.

RCSC’s free 15-minute clinic for the month of May is instruction in the Bench Press. Three different days and times are available, making this clinic accessible for everyone. Sign up at the front desk for one of the following times: Mondays at 9:30am with Sharon, Thursdays at 6:00pm with Robert or Saturdays at 11:00am with Devin. Sharon is a former competitive bodybuilder and Devin and Robert have each won medals in several PowerLifting competitions and they are excited to share the secrets to proper Bench Pressing! Then compete in our Bench Competition to be held May 28! See the front desk for more details.

5 Common Cardiovascular Training Mistakes to Avoid

Written by Marc Rothschild. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

Getting your heart in shape matters.  That’s why cardiovascular training should be part of your workout. Some people think cardiovascular exercise is boring and monotonous, something they begrudgingly do without enthusiasm, just to get it done. Cardio CAN be monotonous if you approach it the wrong way. Here are five common mistakes people make when they do cardiovascular workouts. How many of these do you do?

Use Cardio to Compensate for Diet

You spent an hour sweating through a cardio session. Then you head to the kitchen for a snack – the wrong kind of snack. Of course you need to refuel, but don’t think an hour of cardio means you can eat what you want. Think like that and you’ll end up with problems controlling your weight. Sure, you may have burned 400 calories during your cardio session, but you can compensate for that calorie deficit quickly if you eat the wrong foods. Research also shows people overestimate how many calories they actually burn when they work out. If you compensate for every poor food choice with cardio, you’ll quickly end up overtrained or injured. You can’t out train the wrong food choices. Be smart – plan what you eat and keep it clean.

Overdo the Cardio

Cardio overkill is a common problem, especially for women. Visit a gym and you usually see more men pumping iron while women are staking out the cardio machines. Don’t follow the crowd. There’s a smarter option. Devote at least as much time to strength-training as you do to cardio – and maybe more. Cardio won’t change the shape of your body. It may help with weight loss, assuming you watch your diet, at least until your body adapts to the stress of the cardio you’re doing. Most research shows steady-state exercise doesn’t lead to appreciable fat loss. Plus, long periods of cardio and calorie restriction leads to loss of metabolically-active muscle tissue. Ultimately, that works against you when your metabolism slows in response. Don’t make strength-training an afterthought. Make it the primary focus if you want to see real change in how your body looks.

Never Vary the Intensity

Have you ever seen someone who runs at the same steady pace every day on an elliptical machine or treadmill? Chances are their body composition or weight hasn’t changed much over time. Working out at the same intensity doesn’t challenge your body enough to trigger significant fat loss unless you’re watching your diet very closely.

Research shows high-intensity interval training, where you work out at a high intensity and then recover, activates fat-burning hormones like adrenaline and growth hormone that help you shed body fat. In one study, researchers looked at the growth hormone response to steady state endurance exercise versus a high-intensity sprint. Growth hormone release was greater in the sprinters and was elevated up to 10 times above baseline an hour after recovery. High-intensity exercise creates an after-burn effect that forces your body to oxidize fat for hours after you’ve stopped.

There’s also some evidence that high-intensity exercise suppresses appetite more than exercising at a steady state. In addition, studies show high-intensity exercise is more effective for overall fat loss and loss of deep belly fat. Isn’t it time to up the intensity and infuse new life and fire into your workout? A little “cardio shock” can do wonders for your cardiovascular health – and your physique.

Do the Same Old Boring Cardio

Ever seen anyone in a “cardio rut?” Their eyes are glazed over as they go through the motions. Every few minutes they dart toward the clock to see how much time they have left. With so many ways to do cardio, cardio ruts should never be an issue. Spin and cycling workouts, step training, kickboxing, bootcamp and circuit workouts, high-intensity intervals including Tabatas are all ways to get your heart rate up and burn fat. Why do just one? If you do the same cardio workout every day, your body will become efficient at doing it and you’ll burn fewer calories. Mix it up and add variety. Variety is as good for your mind as it is for your body.

Do Cardio before Weights

Doing cardio before weights isn’t always a bad thing. It depends on the intensity and duration of your cardio session. If you weight train after an intense or long cardio session, you probably won’t have the energy to train with enough intensity. If you’re exhausted it can also affect your form and increase your risk for injury. To get the most out of resistance training, do it before cardio while you’re still refreshed or do cardio and resistance training on opposite days – unless you’re doing a light cardio session. Don’t resistance train when you’re already tapped out.

The Bottom Line

Cardiovascular exercise is important, but approach it the wrong way and it’ll make it harder to shed fat and change how your body looks. Cardio isn’t “king” when it comes to changing your body composition and moderate-intensity cardio isn’t necessarily the most effective way to make your body change. Keep doing cardio but avoid making these five all too common mistakes.

 

Source: cathe.com

Join the Rock Creek Sports Club team at the Merrell Down & Dirty Race!

Written by Sharon Sellers. Posted in Blog, RCSC News

Join Hector and the rest of the Rock Creek Sports Club team at this year’s Merrell Down & Dirty Race, July 13, 2014 at Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie, MD. This obstacle-climbing, trail-blazing race comes in two sizes – 3 miles and 6 miles, plus a kid’s race for ages 4-13.  Sponsored by Subaru, this event series raises money for Operation Gratitude, a Los Angeles based charity that sends care packages to deployed U.S. military. Register before April 6th to get the best pricing and be sure to select “racing with a team” and then select “Rock Creek Sports Club”. See Hector for details of race day.  And join Hector every Wednesday at 7pm for his 5k race through Rock Creek park.  This training run is open to members and non-members and will help you improve your race time. Check out this video of last years Down and Dirty race – you want to be there! Washington DC Merrell Down & Dirty Obstacle Race

Join Hector’s Run Club!

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in RCSC News

 Run ClubIt’s back!  Starting April 2, Hector will once again lead a 5K every Wednesday at 7 pm through Rock Creek Park. Members and non-members are welcome!  Runners will be timed, to help you gauge where you are at with your training (or just for fun!) and afterward we’ll provide water and snacks to refuel.

Also be sure to visit Hector’s running board, located in the the hallway to the basement, for the latest news on local races.

How Alcohol Effects Muscles Building

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

Women OutdoorYou probably don’t need a scientific study to tell you that if you’re trying to stay healthy, build muscle, etc., you probably shouldn’t drink copious amounts of alcohol.  But does alcohol effect the recovery process? That’s what one group of Australian scientists decided to find out.

Runner’s World explains the experiment as such:

“The basic idea of the study was straightforward. Put volunteers through a rigorous exercise routine (it was a mix of weights, sustained cycling, and high-intensity sprints, designed to simulate the demands of a team-sport match); have them do it three times. After two of the trials, give them the “optimal” post-exercise nutrition: 25 grams of protein immediately after, a carbohydrate-rich meal two hours later, and another 25 grams of protein four hours later. During this recovery period, have them drink a bunch of drinks, either containing placebo or a total of 1.5 grams of alcohol per kilogram of body weight. In a third trial, give them alcohol but replace the protein with calorie-equivalent carbohydrate.”

The Findings:  Not really surprising —  the scientists found that even when the men ate well,  alcohol can impair the recovery process AND adaptation to training and/or subsequent performance. Just something to keep in mind the next time you’re celebrating on a Saturday while you’re in the middle of training for that 5K or weightlifting competition.

Read the full Runner World’s story Here: How Alcohol Effects Muscle Building