5 TINY TWEAKS FOR BIGGER MUSCLE GAINS

You have heard it over and over again- quality not quantity. Let’s examine how and why. You’re investing time and effort in your workout, you might as well get the results you deserve!

Moving halfway through an exercise, you’ll see half the results. If you are sacrificing the proper form for higher sets you are doing yourself a true disadvantage. Getting the most of each exercise, fully engaging targeted specific muscles will maximize results (sooner!) Very often, all it takes is one small tweak to get you seeing results.

Here are some tiny tweaks that just may lead to BIGGER and BETTER muscle gains for you in five of the best exercises known to mankind.

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  1. DO THE FULL SQUAT.

    Of all the moves you do in your workout program, perhaps the full squat is the most important. Squats work multiple muscle groups at once, boost your heart rate, and will enhance your balance and agility. The biggest error made with this movement is not going low enough.. When you squat to a parallel position or lower, you’ll get greater glute activation, meaning better butt building results. If you want that round, curved backside, squatting as low down to the ground as possible is a necessity. Okay, I realize that may not be easily done. Very often restrictions in ankle and hip flexibly are restricting to get there. Check out our squat flexibility video for details. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbaOclCVDEQ.Personal trainer Brian Tabor adds, “When you are squatting, challenge yourself to get the tops of your thighs parallel with the floor or lower. This increases the overall range of motion, glute activation, and can actually reduce strain on the knees.”

 

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  1. ADD INCLINE TO YOUR RUN.

    If you’re a pro on the treadmill and run often, your body is becoming familiar with your routine.  Trick your body and switch it up by adding an incline.  If you typically walk on the treadmill, turn the incline up and feel the burn in your calves.  If you typically run, add in some hill sprints. You may be impressed with the results, even if you don’t do this challenge every time.

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  1. THINK ABOUT CORE IN THE BENT OVER ROW.

    Now we come to the bent over row. The biggest mistake here is letting momentum take over the exercise.As you bend over, you want to really think of squeezing the shoulder blades back and together as you lift the bar up towards the chest. Never swing the weight upward or you’ll have very little muscle activation and put yourself at risk for lower back pain. Keep the back as stationary as possible and that too will help ensure it’s only muscular power driving this movement. Check out our rowing machine video for expert instruction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7yUK7lbeA8

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  1. FOCUS WHEN YOU CRUNCH.

    This move is all about the mind-muscle connection. You need to really focus on squeezing those abs as you let the upper body rise up into the crunch position and then lower it back down again. Never pull on the back of your head with your hands or swing the body upward using momentum in this movement as well. Do your crunches as slow as you can stand it! Slow, controlled, and steady – that needs to be how this exercise is performed.

Man-Push-up

  1. AVOID THE SHORT PUSH-UP.

    Finally, when doing push-ups, make sure that you don’t short yourself here.Go all the way down to the ground so that your chest is just millimeters from the ground. Half push-ups will do very little to build muscular strength. If anything, they’ll just put excess stress on your shoulder and elbow joints as you bounce up and down through the movement. As you lower yourself, keep your heels moving away – this helps you engage your lower abdomen and keep a great plank form. As in the row, you’ll want to keep your shoulder blades pressing into your back. Lower down on a three count, pause at the bottom for a one count, and then press up over a two count. This will really have you feeling the muscles you’re targeting. Slow is the theme here, too.

It’s amazing how the smallest changes can bust a plateau. Adjust your stance or grip, set the bench to an incline instead of flat, or change implements from a barbell to a dumbbell, and you’ve suddenly expanded your exercise options with only strategic slight changes.

Article by: Reyanne Mustafa

Stepping Outside Your Comfort-zone, Try an ENS Class

We’ve got a brain scratcher for you:
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When was the last time you did something different? When was the last time you did something that excited you? And I mean REALLY got you pumped.  Something that filled your whole body with adrenaline, fear, and pleasure?  How about the last time you did something for YOU just because? Can you recall the last time that you tried to inquire a new skill or shall we dare say.. stepped outside your comfort zone?
As children, we’re natural risk-takers. But as we get older and learn to fear failure, we start holding ourselves back and attempting fewer new things.

The best personal growth comes from the moment we are focused out of ourcomfort-zone comfort zone. That is why we encourage all our Aztec Recreation members take a risk and try some of the ENS/ Credit Classes. From salsa dancing, rock climbing, to that surfing class you’ve been dying to try since your freshman year, we highly encourage you to wait no longer.  A great way to break you out of your mundane routine is to do something you’ve never done before, or try something you’ve never tried. Wake your brain up and tell it that you’re not just here to go through the motions. You’re here for a purpose! Break out of routine and fall in love with a new hobby.

DRUM-ROLL please! The list of our ENS/ Credit classes is finally here.

We are especially excited to announce some of our newest class additions this fall semester highlighted in red. Did we forget to mention.. You get CLASS CREDIT for the ENS classes?!

credit classsws

Sports

  • Half Marathon Trainingcredit classsws sport
  • Beginning & Intermediate Basketball
  • Beginning & Intermediate Soccer
  • Beginning & Intermediate Bowling
  • Beginning & Intermediate Volleyball
  • Beginning & Intermediate Tennis

Fitness

  • Beginning & Intermediate Weight Trainingcredit classsws fitness
  • Intermediate & Advanced Swim Fitness
  • Functional Fitness Training
  • Fitness Training for Women
  • Progressive Pilates
  • Pilates Yoga Fusion
  • Group Fitness Fundamentals
  • Yoga Inversions
  • Restorative Yoga and Breathwork

Martial Artscredit classsws mar art

  • Self Defense for Women
  • Beginning, Intermediate & Advanced Judo
  • Tae Kwon Do
  • Jiu Jitsu

Dancecredit classsws dance

  • Ballroom Dance
  • Salsa Dance
  • Beginning & Intermediate Hip Hop
  • Lindy Hop

Outdoor Skills and Leadershipaaaa

  • Rock Climbing
  • River Canoeing
  • Backpacking

Water Sportsmbac sports classes

  • Sailing
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Wakeboarding
  • Wakesurfing
  • Rowing
  • Windsurfing
  • Surfing
  • Stand Up Paddling
  • Stand Up Paddling Yoga


Steps to register:
1. Login onto webportal.
2. Search for classes under Exercise and Nutrition Science (ENS) lists.
3. Register for class and time slot that works best.
4. A syllabus will be sent to your email regarding further details. 

Article by: Reyanne Mustafa

ARC Fitness Room Gets A Summer Makeover!

V06A9946The ARC Fitness Room was upgraded in the summer of 2015 with numerous Hoist cross cable machines as well as Life Fitness®, Paramount® and Cybex® selectorized circuits. Cross cable equipment enables you to perform a huge range of exercise and also supports high speed movements for functional training. Check out our video blog with oblique training tips on cross cable. All the selectorized machines complete three full circuit sets and many support unilateral movement to help build strength and symmetry in your workout. The Cybex® Total Access line-up accommodates exercisers of all abilities and allows wheelchair access. The Life Fitness® machines include rep counters and timers as well as QR codes linking you to specific instruction to use the machines for peak results.

4 Steps to Fitting Wellness into Your Schedule

The semester has started and your calendar is probably filling up quickly! This is an exciting who metime, full of new experiences and opportunities, but don’t forget to make time for a very important person…YOU! It’s very easy to overbook your schedule without leaving time to actually take care of yourself.  By treating your personal well-being like any other activity or commitment, you can make fitting wellness into your schedule part of your daily routine. Follow our step-by-step guide and start making your wellness a priority today!

Using a calendar or planner is extremely helpful in keeping yourself schuduleorganized. You schedule your classes, work, meetings, etc., but we also want you to understand that wellness should be scheduled into your daily routine. Don’t start a new calendar for your wellness activities, rather we want you to identify what works for you and get in the routine of also fitting in wellness. If you don’t currently use anything, check out digital calendars like Google Calendar or smart phone applications. You can set-up alerts and share your schedule with other people.

Step 1: Stick to a Sleep Schedule

The first wellness component you need to add to your calendar is your sleep. Yes, you read that right! We want you to schedule your sleep and commit to it! Scheduling your sleep makes it a priority and reminds you to complete your other tasks before the deadline, your bed time. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that young adults aged 18-24 years old get 7-9 hours per night. Want extra credit? Avoid looking at electronic devices at least an hour before bed to ensure that you are getting better quality sleep.

Step 2: Prioritize Time for Exercise & Follow Through

First, ask yourself what type of exercise do I enjoy? Do you like hiking? Great, explore San Diego! Do you like lifting weights? The Aztec Recreation Center is calling your name! Just make sure you are doing some form of exercise you enjoy, because it’s more likely that you remain active down the road.

You’re probably asking yourself, how much time should I schedule for exercise? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking) every week and perform two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities per week (CDC, 2015). As the intensity of the aerobic exercise increases, the recommended weekly time decreases.  You can check out the website to see how exercise intensity is determined. If it doesn’t seem like you have room in your schedule for 30+ minutes at a time, research shows that doing 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise 3 times per day is just as effective (CDC, 2015)! Also, remember to fit in activity whenever you can. Try parking across campus from your class, so you can walk farther to give yourself an energy boost before class. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Carry a grocery basket instead of pushing a cart. Get coffee with friends and walk instead of sitting at a table. Every little bit counts!

Once you decide on the type and length of exercise, schedule it into your open time slots and pledge to keep that appointment. You reserved this time to improve your health, don’t let yourself down!

Step 3.  Embrace Meal Planning & Prepping

Sometimes eating a balanced diet is easier said than done, but can be more achievable with meal planning and prepping. By setting aside some time each week to plan your meals, go meal prepgrocery shopping and prep your food, you’re setting yourself up for success. We want this to be enjoyable for you, so Health Promotion has some tips to make eating healthy even easier:

  1. Keep it simple. When mapping out your meals for the week, find recipes with very few ingredients. This will save you money and cut down the cooking time.
  2. Shop your kitchen first. Get creative and use what you already have in your fridge and pantry. There’s no point in buying more of what you already have!
  3. Look for deals. Use the local grocery store ads to find discounts on foods and shop the sales! Check out the Sprouts, Windmill Farms, Vons, and Ralphs weekly deals!
  4. Buy frozen, ready to cook ingredients. Fresh produce is great, but we don’t always have time to prep and cook it. Frozen fruits and vegetables are a great option for quick and nutritious meal additions!
  5. Cook more than you need. You are already spending time cooking, so make extra to take for lunch the next day or freeze for another day when you are short on time.

Now look at your calendar and find some time that you would like to devote to meal planning, prepping and grocery shopping. Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once. Find a routine that works for you and makes eating nutritious meals easier and part of your schedule!

Step 4. Schedule Some Me-Time

I 3 me timeYes, prioritizing yourself is just as important as getting an A on that exam. Don’t forget to take care of your emotional, spiritual and social wellness. This will look different for everyone. If you need some “me time” on campus, the Center for Well-Being is a great place to relax, meditate, read and even sit in a massage chair! Based on your schedule, you may have more time some weeks than others, but always try to squeeze in some time to unwind.

Remember to be patient with yourself as you begin integrating wellness into your schedule. Make small goals that help you develop healthy habits and make them part of your normal routine. Before you know it, making wellness part of your schedule will become second nature and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is and how much better you’ll feel!

By: Shantille Thompson, MPH, CHES

Sources:

http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need/page/0/1

http://www.brighamandwomens.org/about_bwh/publicaffairs/news/pressreleases/PressRelease.aspx?sub=0&PageID=1962

http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm

 

SEXUAL VIOLENCE ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES

Sexual Violence on College Campuses

Campus safety impacts the entire San Diego State University (SDSU) population, making it a community responsibility to increase knowledge and awareness of issues currently affecting the safety on campus. One of the prominent concerns of campus safety is sexual violence due to its psychological, emotional, and physical consequences.

Sexual violence occurs in many different forms and can affect anyone. The term itself  means any physical sexual act (such as unwelcome sexual touching, sexual assault, sexual battery and rape) perpetrated against an individual without consent or against an individual who is incapable of giving consent due to that individual’s use of drugs or alcohol, or disability. Consent requires clear communication between participants and is the agreement to engage in sexual activity. It does not need to be verbal however; verbal agreement can help participants to understand boundaries. It is extremely important to understand that consent can be withdrawn at any point if a participant becomes uncomfortable. Sexual assault is extremely underreported which results in many perpetrators not experiencing any legal repercussions.

College campuses are beginning to stand up against sexual violence! This progressive movement is in part a result of the White House initiative called the Campus Save Act. This act strives to increase transparency about the scope of sexual violence on campus, guarantee victims enhanced rights, provide for standards in institutional conduct proceedings, and provide campus community wide prevention educational programming. To learn more about the Campus Save Act, visit: http://campussaveact.org/.

Check out RAINN Day 2015!

Sexual violence has become an increasingly widespread topic across college campuses resulting in the creation and implementation of many significant campaigns and events. Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization educating more than 120 million Americans each year about sexual violence. RAINN uses community partnerships to put critical sexual assault information into the hands of young people. RAINN has created an annual day of action, which aims to motivate campuses to take a stand against sexual violence. This year, on September 17th, SDSU will be participating in RAINN Day. The event will have many opportunities for interaction with peers and staff and will include information about consent, survivor resources, and sex positive choices. Come out to this event at Campanile Walkway near Hepner Hall to help raise awareness on a serious issue that affects the SDSU community!

SDSU’s Let’s Talk Campaign

Let’s Talk is a current rape and sexual violence resource campaign at SDSU. The Let’s Talk campaign aims to raise awareness of sexual violence by increasing the communication about awareness, prevention, intervention, and survivor support. Let’s Talk is a collaboration of rape and sexual violence resources specific to each college campus. Police, medical, counseling, community, and specialized campus services are involved in the resource collaboration. The SDSUTalks.sdsu.edu website is a great resource for information about survivor rights and options, understanding consent, and for information on Let’s Talk programs and events happening throughout the year at SDSU.

Get Involved

Are you looking for more opportunities to get involved in taking a stand against sexual violence? Check out these resources in the SDSU community!

Aztecs for Awareness (AFA)

Aztecs for Awareness is an organization at SDSU that works to raise awareness of, and provide education about sexual assault and violence. The organization focuses on preventing sexual assault and violence along with responding to friends or family members who may become victim of rape, sexual assault and or domestic violence. AFA encourages students to be proactive about sexual assault and violence prevention on campus and in their home communities. For more information regarding Aztecs for Awareness, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AztecsForAwareness

Womyn’s Outreach Association (WOA)

The Womyn’s Outreach Association is currently the only organization at SDSU with the explicit mission to empower and liberate the female student population of the University. The organization creates activist events, and programs raising awareness of women’s issues and social justice. WOA implements the SDSU Take Back the Night each year in April. To learn more about WOA, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/aodwoasdsu/info?tab=page_info

Article by: Samantha Greeney, MPH Candidate, Graduate Health Promotion Assistant

Resources

http://campussaveact.org/

http://sdsutalks.sdsu.edu/sdsutalks/

https://www.rainn.org/

http://go.sdsu.edu/student_affairs/healthpromotion/Default.aspx

Debunking Stretching Myths with Matt Dawson.

Fact or Fiction?

If you already include stretching in your regular fitness routine, congratulations—you’re ahead of the curve. But for the 90% of us, who seem to overlook this crucial aspect of fitness, it is time to rethink how important stretching truly is.screen-shot-2014-07-28-at-10-34-44-am1

Recently celebrating his 12 year anniversary here in Aztec Recreation, personal trainer Matt Dawson has endless knowledge when it comes to the value of flexibility training to avoid and recover from injury.

 “I feel so blessed to do something for 12 years and love it just as much.”

Along with training, Matt’s passion for organic gardening, yoga, and wellbeing truly illustrates his belief that without your health, you don’t have wealth. Matt’s philosophy is that health comes from the inside out. Unfortunately, Matt is not accepting new clients at this time so we decided to sit down and pick his brain to set straight stretching truths and myths.

 1. Stretching before your workout is crucial.

False.
Matt: “In my experience, my clients have performed much better stretching after a 25-minute or longer cardio session. Think of your muscles as silly putty. When it’s cold, it will just tear apart verses when it’s had contact with heat it is the most elastic. Same goes for your muscles.”

Be sure to warm up!!

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