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.

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  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

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

 

The Power to Stop the Flu, Starts with You!

 

Kashmoné Hamilton, MPH
Health Educator, Health Promotion Department

 

rec-woman-coughing-Darkcloud-isp-1-30-12-mdAre you hearing more coughing and sneezing in the classroom this semester? If you are, don’t be surprised. The flu virus has been pretty sneaky this season. As of late December, all national key flu indicators are elevated and about half of the country is experiencing high flu activity! Flu activity is expected to continue into the coming weeks, with increases occurring especially in those states that have not yet had significant activity. With this in mind, it is importance to take precautionary measures to protect yourself from the flu. Not sure how? Here are some recommendations provided by Student Health Services…..

  1. Get the Flu Vaccine!
    • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends influenza (“flu”) immunization for all individuals 6 months of age or older. The flu vaccine has been shown to prevent illness in 70-90% of healthy people under age 65. To build adequate immunity, the CDC suggests vaccination as soon as the vaccine becomes available, which is now!

Don’t think the flu shot is worth it?

  • Some of you have noticed that the vaccine hasn’t been as effective in protecting us from the flu as it has in recent years – but don’t get discouraged. The flu vaccine can still reduce your risks and lessen the severity of the flu symptoms. This year, there has been a 23% estimated effectiveness of this year’s vaccine. “A CDC modeling study suggests that a vaccine with only 10% effectiveness in older adults still could prevent about 13,000 flu-related hospitalizations in that age- group in a moderately severe season.” While this may not directly impact our usual patients, if we can reduce flu infections in all age groups, there will be less transmission to those at the highest risk.

Okay, but where can I get the flu shot?

  • Student Health Services provides flu vaccines to students for a low cost. Seasonal flu vaccine injections are available to currently enrolledSDSU students, faculty and staff for $15 at Student Health Services in Calpulli  Vaccinations are given Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday, from 8:45 – 11:30 am and 1:00 – 4:45 pm. You can sign up and make your appointment at HealtheConnection at healtheconnect.sdsu.edu
  1. Take Everyday Preventive Actions to Stop the Spread of Germs:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol based cleanser for at least 20 seconds
    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu. Studies have shown that human influenza viruses generally can survive on surfaces between 2 and 8 hours! Influenza viruses can be destroyed by heat (167-212°F [75-100°C]). In addition, several chemical germicides, including chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents (soap), iodophors(iodine-based antiseptics) and alcohols are effective against influenza viruses if used in proper concentrations for a sufficient length of time.
  1. Know When to See the Doctor!rbk-sick-men-man-visiting-doctor-de

Are you already sick? We hope you feel better soon! But until, then make sure you know when to see a doctor.

  • The flu doesn’t always mean you have to go to the doctor. If you do feel cold or flu symptoms, please follow the flu and cold treatment guide to determine if medical attention is needed. Avoiding unnecessary doctor visits saves you money, time, and help prevent spreading the flu to others, or even contracting a new strain yourself!

 

For more credible Information on the flu, please visit the flowing resources….

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/index.htm

Health Update for the SDSU community: http://go.sdsu.edu/student_affairs/healthupdates.aspx

Check out our new website: http://go.sdsu.edu/student_affairs/healthpromotion/

Good luck and stay flu free!

 

 

 

Reach Your Goals With Group Fitness

Group fitness classes are included in the Aztec Recreation membership and are a great way to help you with your 2015 fitness goals! We offer cardio, strength, mind/body, and dance formats so you can enjoy a huge variety of classes that make exercise fun. Beginners are welcome; previous experience is not required! If it’s your first class, feel free to introduce yourself to the instructor prior to class. That way he/she will be better able to cater to your experience and fitness level. Check out the current schedule.

Looking to achieve internal balance and reduce tension and stress? This class uses breath-synchronized movement to create internal heat that purifies muscles and organs by expelling unwanted toxins from the body in the form of sweat. Dynamic, flowing posture sequences will build strength and flexibility. You will learn to set an intention for your personal yoga practice and take the necessary steps toward reaching that goal.

Heard of the at-home Insanity® program? Now it’s in your group fitness studio! This class utilizes the concept of max interval training, where longer high intensity cardio intervals are interspersed with short rest periods so that you can get the most out of your workout. All levels are welcome in this body weight workout that can increase your cardiovascular endurance, as well as muscular strength. Just one question: are you ready to dig deep?

Article by: Liana Tsirklin

Synrgy 360 Video

The Synergy 360 is the standout piece of equipment at the ARC Express. Whether you are trying toSynrgy 360 Video Screenshot add some variety to your workout or create a fun circuit the Synergy 360 has a diverse set of multipurpose attachments which will revive your routine.

 

I highlighted a few of my favorite attachments on the Synergy 360 in this video, but I would also like to point out that there are many more stations in which you could use. For example, there are alternating monkey bars in the center of the station, rock climber grips for pull-ups, and adjustable cables.

The Synergy 360 is a great way to add resistance training to your circuit, and with its many attachments its great for friends of all fitness levels to workout together. Be creative and challenge your workout!

 

Written by: Anthony Sawh