Monthly Archives: April 2011

Why You Should Lift Weights!

Weight Training 101

If you want to shed fat or change the way your body looks, lift weights. Yes, it’s that simple.  When it comes to changing how your body looks, weight training is hands down the biggest factor.  Obviously nutrition is extremely important, but there are plenty of people who eat “healthy” and look like crap.  If you don’t believe me, it may motivate you to know that weight training will:

  • Raise your metabolism. Fact: Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn; that’s just simple math.
  • Strengthen bones, especially important for women and the elderly.  
  • Make you stronger and increase muscular endurance.  Life will get easier.
  • Help you avoid injuries.  You’ll be able to play harder and worry less.
  • Increase your confidence and self-esteem.  Just don’t get an ego!
  • Improve coordination and balance.  You’ll move better!

Getting started with strength training isn’t as complicated as some make it out to be.  The routine you choose will be based on your fitness goals as well as the equipment you have available and the time you have for workouts.  If you have trouble figuring out what to do, consult a professional.

If you’re setting up your own program, you should know some of the basic strength training principles. These principles will teach you how to make sure you’re using the correct weight, and performing the proper movements that assist you in reaching your goal(s).   Listen to your body! and insure you’re always progressing in your workouts.

  1. Specificity. This principle means you should train for your goal.   Your program should be designed around your goal(s). To lose weight, choose a variety of high rep movements that target your whole body; i.e. large movements.  To increase strength – High weight, low rep movements.  BE SPECIFIC!
  2. Overload: To build muscle, you need to use more resistance than your muscles are used to moving. This is important because our bodies adapt to whatever stress we continually put them under.  Simply put, the more you do, the more your body is capable of doing!  Elevating your workload will also insure that you avoid plateaus.
  3. Progression. To avoid hitting plateaus (or adaptation), you need to vary your levels of intensity.  This can be done by increasing the amount of weight lifted, changing your sets/reps, changing the movement/exercises and changing the amount of resistance used.  Progress can be made everyday!
  4. Rest and Recovery. Rest days can be just as important as workout days. It is during these rest periods that your muscles grow and recover.

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Why Kettlebells?

  • Full-body conditioning. You gain strength & power through full Ranges of Motion (ROM), something machines can’t offer.
  • Big results in less time.  Kettlebell training involves multiple muscle groups and energy systems at the same time, providing results unmatched by any other form of weight lifting.
  • Increased resistance to injury.  This is one of my favorites.  Kettlebell training makes the body very resilient.  You’ll strengthen your joints and muscles.
  • The ability to work both aerobically and anaerobically at the same time.  Very few forms of exercise can offer this.  Working strength & cardio at the same time is beyond beneficial.
  • Improved mobility and range of motion.  One of the benefits of my job is watching people improve their ability to move.  Moving properly and efficiently makes everything we do so much easier.
  • Increased strength without increase of mass.  Kettlebell exercises build lean & toned muscle, a benefit that appeals to women and men alike.
  • Enhanced performance in athletics and everyday functioning.  Every athlete I’ve worked with has drastically increased their performance due to kettlebell training.  They’ve become faster, more agile, powerful, and their endurance is unmatched.
  • Major calorie burning.   I’m not big on calorie counting, although I know many people are, which is why I listed this as a reason to use kettlebells.  There have been many studies recently that have proved kettlebell exercises burn more calories than almost any other form of exercise.

Stay Away From Machines

It’s rare that I read something on Yahoo about exercise that I agree with.  I read this article to day from the homepage about “Exercise Machines to Avoid”.  It further explains things that I’ve been telling people for years, machine exercises are extremely overrated.

Here is the link:

The only machine that was built for you to move better is your body!

Get Moving!

The benefits of regular exercise cannot be overstated. It is now generally accepted knowledge that even moderate physical activity performed regularly improves the health and well-being of all individuals. Despite this knowledge, studies show that more than 60% of American adults are not regularly active and that an astonishing 25% of adults are not active at all.

How Exercise Impacts Health

Lack of physical activity combined with poor diet is the second largest underlying cause of death in the United States. Studies show that even the most inactive people can gain significant health benefits if they spend 30 minutes or more exercising each day.

Daily physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke by strengthening the heart muscle, lowering blood pressure, raising the levels of good cholesterol, lowering bad cholesterol, improving blood flow, increasing the heart’s working capacity and efficiency.

By increasing muscle strength and endurance and improving flexibility and posture, regular exercise helps to prevent back pain and many injuries. Regular resistance training exercise promotes bone formation and may prevent many forms of bone loss associated with aging.

Regular physical activity, combined with healthy eating habits, is considered the most efficient and healthful way to control weight and overall bodily function. Regular exercise uses excess calories that otherwise would be stored as fat. By reducing body fat, physical activity helps prevent obesity and may help to prevent and control noninsulin-dependent diabetes. It also builds and preserves muscle mass, and improves the body’s ability to use and burn calories.

Studies on the psychological effects of exercise have found that regular physical activity can improve your mood and confidence. Researchers also have found that exercise is likely to reduce depression and anxiety and help you to better manage stress.

Anyone and everyone can and should exercise! You will see the benefits almost immediately, as you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and feel better overall.  Exercise will also have a positive impact on your lifestyle.  It will open up opportunities for your career as well.

Whatever you decide, make physical activity a part of your everyday life.

I will get you in the best shape of your life!

Click the link below and start today!

10 Common Fat Loss Myths

MYTH 1.  There is a “magical pill” that will make you lose fat, regardless of diet or exercise.

Sorry to burst your bubble, this is about as realistic as the magic beans from Jack and the Beanstalk.  While there are drugs and supplements available and in development to aid in weight loss, there is no magic cure.  Most of the available drugs have long lists of side effects and must be combined with sensible eating and exercise plans in order to be effective.  Exercise and Nutrition are essential, supplements are meant to boost results!

MYTH 2. Weight training will only bulk you up.

Resistance exercise tones the body and improves overall fitness. Normal weight training does not build bulky muscles.  Getting “bulky” results from a specific type of training and diet. Muscle increases the rate at which fat is burned.

MYTH 3. It’s possible to lose or reduce fat in one specific spot on your body.

Spot reducing does not work. When the body loses fat, it is lost throughout the body. Focusing on one area of the body for exercise may develop better muscle tone in that area making the body part appear tighter and more fit, but it will not remove fat. It is important to exercise the whole body, in a well-balanced fashion; this is the best way to reduce fat.  This is why Kettlebells are the most effective tool for shredding fat and building muscle, you add resistance to full body movements.

MYTH 4.  Doing cardio & aerobic exercises are the only ways to burn fat.

Doing aerobics, like doing any exercise, is a good way to stay fit and burn some calories.  But, it is not substantially better at fat reducing than any other type of exercise.  I’m all for people moving and exercising, I just want people to be effective and get the bet results and aerobics alone won’t do that.  In fact, weight and resistance training builds more muscle and helps the body to burn fat faster.

MYTH 5. If you get liposuction, you can’t get fat in the same area.

While liposuction does remove fat cells, your body can easily make new fat cells in the same area. Let’s make this perfectly clear, just because you remove some fat from a specific part of your body, doesn’t mean that the source fat production is gone.  Fat will always find a home as long as your body is producing it. Liposuction is like a band-aid, it does not take care of the problem.  Don’t be lazy, put in some work and really take care of the issue!

MYTH 6. If you don’t eat fat, you can’t get fat.

The body can convert any fuel into fat, as long as it takes in more fuel than it expends in a day. Every calorie we consume is either used by the body or stored, regardless of whether the calorie started as protein, fat or carbohydrate.  Nutrition is the foundation of all forms of healthy weight loss.

MYTH 7.  Your body is mostly burning fat after 20 minutes of exercise.

The body uses both carbs and fats for energy at all times.  Over the course of exercise, the body will burn more fat, but there is no magic 20-minute mark when the body starts burning only fat.  I recommend a minimum of 30 – 60 minutes of exercise, at least 3 – 4 times per week.

MYTH 8.  Genes and hormones control your fat burning ability more than diet and exercise.

Genetics do have an impact on a person’s ability to burn fat, although the effect is far less than that of diet and exercise. I can’t stress it enough, Nutrition is the foundation.  The factors in our control are far more important than those out of our control.

MYTH 9.  Eating late at night causes you to gain more fat than eating at other times of the day.

A calorie is a calorie, and a carb is a carb!  The body accepts these regardless of the time of day.  It is healthier for your digestive system to move and process foods rather than laying down right after eating.  It isn’t a bad idea to avoid poor snacking late at night, but a later dinner will not make you fatter than an early one!  Food quality and quantity play a large roll in determining your bodies output, performance, and appearance.

MYTH 10.  Cellulite is harder to burn than normal fat.


Cellulite is a combination of fat and fluid, close to the upper layers of the skin. The fat in cellulite is no different from any other fat in the body. Eating healthy and exercising is the best way to get rid of cellulite.

For more facts contact me:

Kurt Hartmann