I worked at quite a few different health clubs in my years in New Orleans. I am guessing that what goes on in New Orleans in no different than what goes on in other gyms around the country. In 34 years in the fitness business, this is what I have observed every January. The first two weeks, the gym is filled to capacity. There are a lot of new faces. I remember my first year working with a guy who was 290 pounds. He told me he would be doing the butterfly across the pool in six months. He came into gym for hours every single night for five nights in a row. The next week I didn't see him, and I never saw him again. The second two weeks, the gym thins out a bit. The second month, things are pretty much back to normal. There are the same faces you see the year round, plus there are some new faces.
John Kelly's blog
The Olympics are just around the corner. It got me to thinking. Not everyone can be the best in the world, but they can do some surprising things. Some of our clients from our New Orleans and Austin locations:
Helen (New Orleans) 74 had both knees, both hips, and a partial shoulder replaced. She was a very active tennis player when she was younger. Strength training was the one form of exercise she enjoyed doing at 74.
Darcy (New Orleans) was given the green light to work out during her entire pregnancy. She really did. She worked out on a Thursday and had her baby the following Monday.
Sylvia (Austin) worked out with us until she past at the age of 95.
A series of injuries including a ruptured Achilles tendon resulted in nine month of no exercise - none. I didn’t even work for a couple of months. I started back lifting what I could handle and began a sprint training program three times a week on a stationary recumbent bike - 120 seconds warm-up followed by a 30 second all-out sprint followed by at 90 second easy recovery pace. Eventually I worked up to a total of eight sprints. If you can do more you are pacing yourself.
Frankie was a fanatical exerciser. He exercised with a trainer four times a week for an hour before going to work. On the weekends he went for hours-long bike rides. He decided to give our training program a try, and I put him through a workout. He worked out hard. The last exercise was the chest press and he was spent. During the last couple of reps he made agonizing sounds like the Mel Gibson character in Braveheart – really unnecessary but it got him through to the end. It was a little bit scary.
I suspected that he was over-trained, so for the next few weeks I convinced him to train just once a week, and I put him through moderately intense sessions. Six week later I put him through the workout we did in our initial session. On the last exercise the chest press he completed the exercise without the dramatic Braveheart sounds of cry Freedom.
Overtraining occurs when one trains too often, too long, too hard or any combination of these. Plenty of other factors in life can contribute as well such as lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and stress. Overtraining appears to build up slowly and can go unnoticed. When I first began training I was hell-bent on increasing the weights I lifted. I thought I was improving, but I was fooling myself. I’d change the cadence a bit, take an extra second rest between reps, ever so slightly decrease the range of motion, subtly cheat your way through the sticking point a ¼ second in order to complete the rep and voila I improved. On paper I continued to improve but I was gradually becoming increasingly over-trained. The end result is usually burn-out, injury or sickness. I had my share of that.
From what I have observed it take weeks to build up overtraining and weeks for it to dissipate. Example One:
From this BBC article Kenyans chase down and catch goat-killing cheetahs these quotes:
“The men waited until the hottest part of the day before launching the chase over a distance of four miles (6.4km).
The cheetahs got so tired they could not run any more. The villagers captured them alive and handed them over to the Kenya Wildlife Service.”
“He said he decided to return to his village to organise their capture at a time of day when cheetahs get very tired and usually rest in shade.
"I was sipping a cup of tea when I saw them killing another goat," he said, explaining that this was early in the morning.
He said he waited until several hours later when the sun was high to go after them.
"I called some youths and we ran after them," he said.
"We caught them and we brought them to the local authorities."
Two groups of stable patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) regularly walked on treadmills three times a week for ten weeks. One group walked at high intensity (80-90% of VO2peak); the other groups walked at moderate intensity (50-60% of VO2peak)
After training VO2peak increased by 17.9% (P=0.012) in the high intensity group and 7.9% (P=0.038) in the moderate intensity group. The training-induced adaptation was significantly higher in the high intensity group (P=0.011).
High intensity aerobic interval exercise is superior to moderate exercise for increasing VO2peak in stable CAD-patients.
From this article Weight Training Has Unique Heart Benefits, Study Suggests:
“An acute bout of resistance exercise shows many favorable cardiovascular benefits and should therefore be considered as part of a daily exercise training program".
When compared to aerobic training resistance training resulted in increased blood flow to the limbs and a longer-lasting drop in blood pressure after exercise.
"Resistance exercise may offer greater benefits from the increases in blood flow to active muscles and could be implemented as companion to an aerobic training regimen, according to the new study".
Especially because of its ability to increase blood flow to active muscles, weight training could be a valuable companion to an aerobic training regimen. "This may be of greatest importance to women, as they can derive important weight-bearing benefits of resistance training to help prevent and/or treat osteoporosis,"
A New York times article asks Do the Brain Benefits of Exercise Last? In a word, no. It appears that desirable changes are not permanent, much like when a person stops exercising the body reverts to its former de-conditioned state.
Experimenters took two groups of rats, one group exercised on a treadmill and the other did not exercise. Afterward, the researchers
compared the animals’ performance on the memory test, as well as the number of new brain cells in the hippocampus of each group of rats.
They found that:
”The rats that had run were much faster on the water maze test than the control animals. They also had at least twice as many newborn neurons in the hippocampus.
But those advantages faded after several more weeks of not running. The brains of the animals that had been inactive for three weeks contained far fewer newborn neurons than the brains of the animals that had rested for only one week. The brains of the animals that had been inactive for six weeks had fewer still”.
Kelly Personal Training New Orleans moved to a new location this past year. Meanwhile, Kelly Personal Training Austin has had a total makeover - new floors (no small feat with several tons of equipment to move), newly painted walls with accent walls and stripes, new signage, tinted windows, new furniture, remodeled bath and shower rooms, two new pieces of equipment to bring our total to 25 pieces, and Stella, the red cocker, got a new pack member, the brown and white cocker named Bella both shown here on the yellow couch.