Seated Leg Extension (exercise)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amJyUQfDXTs

Hope you don’t mind loud background noise and hard breathing because that is what the video is full of, oh and a guy without his shirt, who has abs, don’t pass out women, I promise I posted this for the example of the exercise, not to deliver massive heart attacks.  On a more serious note, how many of you have completed a seated leg extension? how many of you start to feel it after like 8 reps? okay, and how many of you like this exercise? Okay, so we have a rough crowd tonight, not many hand raises or I do’s, as a matter of fact, I heard the wind blow and that is hard to hear when you are indoors. I will assume most of you have done this exercise whether it was at the gym on the machine or at home using a chair, and if you haven’t yet tried this exercise, next time you have a chance, give it a go. 

I normally tell all of you “I like this exercise and would highly recommend it” right, because that is how I feel about many exercises and wouldn’t lead my audience over a cliff if I knew they couldn’t swim, LOL. I have jokes today, but this particular exercise isn’t something I am going to necessarily say I love and enjoy and would highly recommend it, but it is one that I would say can be implemented into your workout sessions as a warm up for the lower body or after a strenuous workout if you use low weights. Like many machines it has its pros and cons, and it is relatively easy to do with or without the machine. Where I go to the gym, I don’t see many people use this, but the ones that do, usually switch between this and the seated leg curls, which could make for a good circuit, if you add maybe a lunge exercise or something that will do the full ROM. Me, personally I don’t use this machine very often, but when I do use it, I normally also do the seated leg curl as a switch off as well because they are placed right next to one another and I can go back and forth working on the hamstrings and Quads. However, there are other ways to go about working the quad muscles and hamstrings, avoiding the use of the hopping from one machine to the next, a more functional exercise. I will mention that this is a good beginners strength exercise, so if you are new to the fitness world and want an easy exercise for the quads, look into this workout. 

How to perform a “Seated leg extension”

  1. Sit on the machine with your legs under the pad, feet pointed forward and hands holding the handles (you will want to adjust the pad so that it falls on top of your lower leg), make sure the legs form a 90 degree angle. I have heard of machines being designed a way that you are not capable of forming a 90 degree angle, I would skip the machine or make sure to only go as far down as 90 degrees. 
  2. Using the quadriceps, extend your legs to the maximum as you exhale. Pause a second on the contraction and make sure the body is stationary on the seat.
  3. Slowly lower the weight back down to the normal position, as you inhale, ensuring to not go past the 90 degree angle. 
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Reason to not go past the 90 degree angle is to prevent the knees from going over the toes, which in turn can cause a stress at the knee joint.
Pros:
  • Easy to perform
  • hard to do incorrectly
  • good if you wish to work only the quad muscles
Cons:
  • Is said to apply “constant ACL tension” (people with ligament injuries should avoid this exercise)
  • Increased risk of lateral patellar deviation
  • when you do this exercise with high weights, your chances of knee injury increases
  • exercise is not practical, only for kicking movements – again not a functional exercise
Now, you can see why I don’t highly recommend this machine exercise, nor am I a huge fan of it, but it does make for a good beginner exercise. 
Your fitness blogger,
Shay-lon xoxo
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First day of Personal training a friend for practice – Day one

personal-trainer

Today was the first day of helping one of the two friends who have come to me to lose weight, get in shape, stay healthy, and it went well. I got permission to share his name and workouts he does from this time on, and share any and all feedback from him or myself during out workout session. 

Client name: Johnathon Boyce

Age: 26 

goals: lose weight (20+ pounds), become more confident with his outer appearance, and live a healthier lifestyle that he can sustain.

Today’s Agenda:

Warm-up: 10 minutes on the treadmill, no incline, 3.5 speed. The reason being is because he rates his fitness level as a beginner and hasn’t touched cardio for 3 or more months, I needed him to get warmed up but not yet fatigued, and I wanted to see how he handled a low speed so I knew where to go from there for next time. Now normally I would do a proper assessment, but given I am not yet certified, I have to be generic. 

Workout session: 45 minutes on the elliptical, level 7, and speed between 5 and 6. 

Cool down: 5 minute cool down on the treadmill, 2.0 speed. 

Now his workout session was a fault, I probably could have started him off at a level 1 or 3 at most, but wanted to see how well he did with a higher level but slower speed. He manged the first 10-15 minutes with no issue but after that he was taking frequent stops, and frequent water breaks with a complete stop.  I realized he has poor cardiovascular oxidation but because I wanted him to finish like a champ, I had him lower his speed to a comfortable number and finish the 45 minutes while maintaining the level 7. 

After the cool down, we did some static stretches, then sat at a table to talk about the pros and cons of today’s workout, talk about how he feels, any pains/soreness, answer questions, go over tomorrow’s workout agenda, etc. We both agreed he would need to work on his cardiovascular oxidation, breathing techniques, and his mentality in order to push himself when his brain thinks he can’t. However, I don’t plan on going the same route I did today after finding out his flaws, especially since I don’t want him to feel like he didn’t do well and lose confidence in his abilities, instead I told him tomorrow, we will still use the elliptical (he did like the elliptical after all) but instead of 45 minutes straight though like we did today, I am going to break it up into segments, so it is easier to manage and he can focus on breathing properly and maintain a comfortable pace without the frequent stops (I am hoping).  I am thinking about doing 5-10 minute splits, and 1 minute breaks between each segment (the breaks are slower pace and lower level) unless he needs to completely stop for an emergency, he seems to think he wants to do 5 minutes splits, so I am more than likely going to do that first and see how well he adapts, if I feel it is too easy we will do 8 minute splits, the level will be kept around 3 this time to see how he adapts to this level and the pace will be between 5.0 and 6.0 again. 

Obviously, we will eventually need to overload and work him up to his full potential, but as of right now, it is about working on his breathing, pacing, and mental endurance. I want him to know the difference between soreness and legitimate pain. I am hoping each week we will see growth from him, but there is no doubt that this will be a journey and if he wants to meet his goals, he will need to focus and work hard. 

Your fitness blogger,

Shay-lon xoxo

If any of you have ideas as far as cardio exercises you like doing for beginners, any recommendations, etc.. please feel free to add, I love hearing feedback and again I am practicing and learning as I go about what works and what doesn’t, so hopefully by the time I get certified I will be even more knowledgeable and have more experience under my belt. I have worked as a strength and conditioning coach intern and was a personal train

The Gym Goers Job

obligation

In a world full of body savvy, nutritional professionals, where I am only less than the 1 percent who actually cares about the well-being of others not just how their ass looks in jeans or the shirtless pictures they post on social media. Although, we all look, guilty as charged. I found out recently after reading a Facebook post from a group member of a fitness group I have joined (I joined many to share my blog post and Youtube videos) that is our obligation to look a certain way so that others will want to look as we do. I laughed loudly, very loudly to myself because I wanted to know how such a person even came up with that conclusion, as if I am some model citizen that people should praise and look up to in such a way where they feel the need to compare themselves to myself and others in our profession. Forgive me if this next sentence makes me sound like a whining bitch, but “who in the hell said I wanted others to look like me”, why is this a hard concept to grasp when I make mention that isn’t my goal. I don’t ever feel the need to strike an argument with a fellow personal trainer, because I know we all have our own ideas and ways of doing things but when a personal trainer makes such a statement that involves how we should look in order to make others “want our bodies”, “praise our hard work”, and “give us a round of applause for being attractive”, I find that kinda absurd, maybe because over the course of the years my body hasn’t made head line news and I don’t feel like it is any better than the next females, sure it looks nice but improvement is always needed no matter how “flawless” it may look to others, I find it needs improvement because I am not perfect and this whole I should feel obligated to make sure it is this perfect canvas is bullshit. I have my days where I am drowning in sloppy joe sauce and stuffing my face with french fries, and so if I choose to do that and get a small pouch on my tummy from eating such amazing food, that is my business, doesn’t mean I am any less a personal trainer than the next person in line who treats themselves to a salad on the weekends with a decent amount of croutons. 

 

For one, I take care of my body to my liking, not someone else’s, I stopped wanting to be a show doll years ago when I realized people won’t be satisfied no matter which direction I take. Looking at me you would assume I eat veggies all week and stay away from any kind of fast food, or dining out but hanging with me, I am smashing my face with gourmet burgers and waiting for the next margerita to be served. Seriously, and I still manage a healthy weight, confidence, and muscle definition that goes beyond my expectations most days and I get complimented on my physique more often than not most days, not to mention if you have seen my recent pictures on Facebook of me at the gym, then you would know I know what I am doing when it comes to taking care of myself and it is not to appeal to my others and/or society but to appeal to myself. It is a bonus to appeal to others, because it makes us feel good, but on the other hand, I am not perfect, I bloat when PMSing, I gain weight, I lose muscle, my abs look like shit some days, my hair is never on point, my thighs jiggle to the beat of the music sometimes and I have stretch marks that I have had since being kid that switch between being noticeable and unnoticeable. Shit, I would hate for someone to be like me, and did I mention I don’t wear make up so you can see my pimples when they stop by to visit. Here it is folks, the truth. I think this whole I need to look a certain way in order to get clients may be true, of course, I have to workout, stay in shape and be healthy and not to mention have some confidence and pride in myself. I do. I have a lovely personality and I lift heavy weight, I can run sprints like a champ, and I maintain a healthy balance of food in my fridge, I have self control when I eat, I am knowledgeable in my profession, I have my degree,  I work hard and I carry myself with dignity whenever I have the chance, I failed to mention I have determination,I am disciplined and I strive to be great in everything I do. Always have. 

 

So here we are discussing why I need to look a certain way in order to get clients, I don’t have to look like the chick on muscle and fitness magazine, I am okay with being myself and representing who I am to people in order to get clients and build my rapport. I feel as though no one would hardly know my lifestyle choices unless I told them, and I do eat healthy foods, drink water and stay active, I love having a fit body and looking good in pictures, but deep down, I am not a show doll, I want to be treated like I would treat my clients, “normal”. I don’t need praise, I don’t need another personal trainers approval and I sure the hell don’t have to put up a front like I am some hot shot in order to have clients and gain exposure. My only job at the gym is to work on me and improving my weaknesses, my only obligation is to help other people feel good about themselves, improve their health and well being and bring awareness to people all over in how important fitness/health is. Yes, I will need to look the part for people to believe I am good at what I do, but hopefully once they step into my world and train with me, they won’t need to feel the need to base my quality from how I look but from how they look instead. 

 

Your Fitness blogger,

 

Shay-lon xoxo

The Wii Fitness

wii-fitness

Okay bloggers, this is that thing called “old news”, but this old news will soon be the new “trendy” thing to do again, just give it another few months to a year and everyone will be back on this bandwagon. How many of you remember when the Wii introduced itself and how eager your children were to own one. Let’s not forget it was competing against two other systems at the same time, but with its kid friendly games and family fun commercials, it was a must have. I love video games, I have always been a Xbox fan and enjoyed RPG games, but growing up, Mario was my brother and I’s go to video game on our Nintendo 64 system, talk about “old”. I remember when I first heard of this Wii system, I was 14 and probably waiting for my parents to purchase one for me, but of course.. that never happened, but we got another game system in place of, not complaining. Skip to a more recent time period, when I was working retail at BestBuy (worked for them for about 4.5 years) and we had families asking about the system and comparing it to other game systems, I remember always mentioning the kid friendly gaming and the easy controls. Typically the Wii always came with a bundle (a new game and extra controller or a special edition bonus) and people love those deals. Fast forwarding to the time it released fitness friendly video games that parents and children both could enjoy, it was a phenomenal idea I thought, I mean I wasn’t into fitness/health in same way as I am now but it still struck me as a great idea, considering other gaming systems were more of a sit on your behind and watch the TV screen kind of thing.  

The “Just Dance” games were popular, people would show off their moves inside the stores, at their house, friend’s house, anywhere the music was playing and the Wii was sitting, it made for a great time.  Then let’s not forget the Wii sports games, the various choices in sports and still maintaining that you stand while playing vs sitting. If that wasn’t your cup of tea, you could use the Wii Fit Trainer and workout using yoga, strength training, balancing, aerobics, etc. Don’t get me started on Zumba, that was another popular game choice among older adults looking to keep in shape.  All of these games proved to be trendy, fun, family/friend oriented, and got you up and moving, but for some reason it only lasted for so long before people were looking to sell their Wii’s/ Wii games, what happened?

If we were to consider all the possibilities it gave us as adults and children alike, then there should be no reason to sell it, right? I mean it did exactly what the world is trending on now: being fit and healthy, big muscles, abs, Zumba, etc. It provided a way for your child and yourself to exercise without having to leave your house, it gave you a chance to bond with friends and family, to compete, to practice your skills, and something to talk about at dinners. I often wonder why it no longer is as popular as it was, I mean granted new games and new systems were released, kids grow up and families split up, finances sometimes get in the way, and somewhere along the road you decide your job is more important than your health, we all know life happens.  I could see the pros and cons of the Wii, I am not saying it was perfect and everyone should use it in place of going to the gym or eating healthier, or going out to a fitness event, but it was something you could do on your downtime, rest days, lonely nights, sleepovers, etc. Sure, at some point we just need to get outside and be among other people, but there are still some people who enjoy the comforts of their home vs going to a gym and those same people would have benefited from something like this, the same way they could benefit from workout videos if they wanted to, I know people have their likes and dislikes, video games aren’t everyone’s thing, but I just wonder with the way the world is now with promoting big muscles, nice abs, and nice butts, would the Wii still stand a chance in getting people motivated and moving, or should we leave it where it is now, in the past. 

What do all my readers think, please share your thoughts, opinions. If you enjoyed the read, share, like, comment and follow! Thank you for reading.

Your fitness blogger,

Shay-lon xoxo

Shay-lon is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Say Buh-bye to the treadmill

treadmill

I hate to say it, but it is time to let your treadmill go. Not forever, but for awhile because it is time for you take on new obstacles and new adventures with different cardio workouts. In my opinion the treadmill is an excuse to keep from having to push yourself, you set the time, the incline and the pace you want to go and you have no goals, because there is no finish line. Don’t get me wrong, it comes handy for cool-downs and warm-up exercises, but it becomes a go to for people who are afraid to explore other options. Not saying the elliptical or arc trainer are any better necessarily, but they are because they force you to use your arms, force you to go at a faster pace because going at a slow and steady walk will not get you anywhere on either one of those machines – in my opinion.  In fact I used to make the treadmill my go to cardio workout as well, but I noticed something, I noticed that I would tell myself to run 1 mile with no incline and at 6 speed and what would happen? I would either stop before making it to my goal or I would decide “eh half a mile”, why? because I had no motivation to continue that mile most days, I had the control over how fast I wanted to go, how long, and the amount of time and if I decided I didn’t want to follow through, I could choose to walk instead and get a “basic” exercise done. 

This isn’t saying, all of you have the same problems as I did, hell I see people going to town on the treadmill every few weeks, but most people use it as a walking machine and don’t use their arms and go at a very slow pace, a pace that isn’t going to do much if they plan on losing weight. However, some people can and should make use of the treadmill depending on their fitness level and depending on their circumstances, but some people know better and run to the treadmill to keep from doing any hardy work because they can negotiate whether they want to run or walk that day. Why use a machine to limit your capabilities, when you are capable of doing so much more. I will commend the ones who  will get on the treadmill and use it wisely in order to maintain or reach goals, but the ones using it to avoid other exercises, we need to get you out of your shell. The world offers many ways to get in shape utilizing cardio, and the majority of people have chosen the treadmill. After learning why some people I know use the treadmill, I gathered these three main reasons:

  1. Easy to use
  2. I feel comfortable on the treadmill
  3. I want to lose weight – cardio
Weird thing is, this was my reasoning for using the treadmill as well when I started my journey. So, I totally get it, I get that it is easy, the feeling of not being judged, and simply helps with weight loss. All great reasons to start at the treadmill, but at some point, you need to either overload or change your cardio routine, otherwise getting the most out of your workout is not going to happen. It is simply a machine that hinders people from pushing themselves because you are comfortable being at a certain pace, you are comfortable at stopping at 30 minutes, and you are uncomfortable about trying something new.  Time to rise and shine and gather some things before deciding to hop on the treadmill again today:
  1. Have you plateaued? 
  2. Are you bored?
  3. What are your goals?
These three questions may be the boost of inspiration you need in order to decide what needs to be done so that you can avoid plateauing so much, being bored and unmotivated and not meeting goals. Like I have mentioned previously, using the treadmill as a warm up or cool down is great, using it appropriately to meet your needs is great as well and using it but making sure to add variety is also good. “The best athletes had to try something new when shit stopped working”-Shay-lon Moss, this means that the best athletes had to change up their routine, their pace, their time, their distance, their methods, in order to see results. Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this post, share, like, comment and follow. 
Your fitness blogger, 
Shay-lon xoxo
P.S I am not a treadmill hater, I just taught myself it isn’t the only mode of cardio. 

When you are called upon as the HELP

friendship

I can only hope that when things get harder, they decide to push through instead of giving up.  Sometimes I feel compelled to help those close to me in thinking that I am obligated and other times  I just assume if I have the time, why not. In the past 2 days I have had two friends come to me about wanting to get shape and lose weight. I figured this would be a fun opportunity to help someone who I consider a friend and lead them on a path where they can feel confident.  It has occur to me that this would be a sacrifice in friendship in order to get them where they want to be, because I can’t be there friend at the gym during the session, I have to be their trainer. I have to treat them as I would anyone else I would be training, while having fun is on the agenda, it cannot be the basis of the workout all the time.  This may seem harsh, but in order for people to take me seriously as a trainer, I have to take their goals seriously and put them through the motions because otherwise we are at square one where our gym session is all laughs and no work.  While this journey I am starting with two friends will be essentially helping them, it will be helping me to build my resume and create a portfolio showing what I am capable of if given a chance, with that being said, I am going to take this opportunity fairly seriously, as I can only hope they do as well. I am not yet certified, so nothing I do will be charged and nothing I do will be 100 percent, because I am still learning and bettering myself but this gives me an opportunity to practice and tweak things as I go. I have sent my “terms and conditions” to one of my friends who wants to start on Monday, because I want to treat this as I would if I was working anyone in the community as a personal trainer and since that will be my career soon, why not make the most of it now. 

I also decided I would email him Monday’s workout plan, and since I am not sure where his fitness level is, I will have Monday be a typical cardiovascular workout and once I add strength training then we will need to start from scratch there as well. I am not performing any assessments, as I normally would on a client because I don’t have all the means in doing so, even at our gym, so this means I will need be creative and use what I do have in order to make the best judgments. Nothing is expected to be perfect the first day or any day after that, I will eventually mess up, he will eventually complain and this could lead to “friendship self destruction”; which I want to avoid during this journey. In order to avoid that happening, we will need to learn to respect each other as friends, but also have a level of respect for each other on a client-trainer basis, this is very important and I outlined that in the terms and conditions when I sent it to him.  As long as he is gives me permission, I will outline his workout on my blogs and keep everyone informed of all the good and bad, and share with you our workout sessions, I am hoping he will also eventually allow me to do an interview with him that goes along with one of my topics I plan on discussing in the future. I have some other ideas flying around, which I will be sure to give all of you a heads up on when these ideas launch. 

We pretty much have a plan set in place as to what needs to happen and how to go about it, but it will take some work because he lacks motivation and willpower, and that is hard to get back sometimes, so that will be another goal, to keep him motivated so that eventually this all becomes routine and habit.  I have him keeping track of his diet and workouts in a notebook, along with his moods and sleep patterns, because I want to know all of this, and make my decisions based on it (no worries he has a fitbit so he practically can keep track of all it the easy way), I just want him to write it down so that he can pay more attention to it. He seems  very excited about starting this adventure with me, not only as his friend but now trainer in practice. 

As for the other friend, who is a female, she wants to start sometime in October instead for her own reasons I will not disclose, but that is fine, she also wants to lose weight and needs the extra boost of motivation and wants to make it routine and habit.  I have yet to send her any term and conditions until I sit down and have a one on one chit chat about her goals and thoughts, and questions she may have for me. I want to make the best of this opportunity with her because she seems to really want this and has made some better decisions, but still feels as though it isn’t getting her very far yet. I hope that with my help and guide, she will eventually feel more confident with herself and begin to shine. 

With all this being said, I can only hope that they both see the results they want, but also that I see my strengths and weaknesses and work on them to better myself, I hope that while on this ride, I can develop great testimonies and build a stronger bond with my friends in and out of the gym. I hope that when we fall or collide, we can work through it together and not divided.  “I think everything will be just fine once the rain stops” -Shay-lon Moss

Thank you for reading, I hope that if you enjoyed this, you will continue to follow me as I take this leap with two friends, feel free to share, comment or like. 

Your fitness blogger,

Shay-lon xoxo

Leg curl (machine) Exercise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELOCsoDSmrg

Fitness enthusiast and gym goers, I wanted to introduce you to another beginner’s machine based workout that you will find at most if not all gyms.  This particular exercise is very simple and doesn’t take much to learn how to use it, I posted a video up top for those who would like a video demonstration but will also post the “how to” portion in writing so that you can read the steps and use proper form and technique. 

This is not necessarily a go to exercise for me, but when and if I need a lower body warm up or want a steady workout regimen, this is one of the workouts that hit the spot.  Normally I don’t push for machine workouts only, depending on the client this could be a helpful exercise and it does work wonders if you use it correctly to match your needs.  I find that many older adults make good use of this, not saying the younger crowd would not benefit (because you can and will) but many older adults to seniors tend to use this machine, along with others and I think that is a solid idea; especially if you are beginner and not sure where to start.  

This particular exercise is one that does use isolation, so it does not use the full ROM that other exercises could very well do, so if you do use this exercise, also try to add some exercises to your regimen that use a full ROM that are safe and are capable of using so that you can work others muscle groups as well. 

How Do I do this exercise?:

  1. Firstly, you will need to adjust the machine lever to fit your height, then will need to sit on the machine with your back against the cushioned part of the machine.
  2. Place the back of your lower leg to the padded lever, then secure the lap pad against your thighs (this is very important), grasp the side handles on the machine as you point your toes.  Ensure that your body is straight (not slouched) and make sure your legs are straight as well. 
  3. As you are exhaling, pull the machine lever as far as possible to the back of your thighs, you will need to keep your torso stationary.  
  4. Slowly return to the starting position. 
  5. Repeat for the recommended repetitions. 
 

So as you can see, the steps are very short and to the point. Specifically this machine is used to work the hamstring muscles,but like I said, it is an isolated movement, so you will need and want to make sure that you add other aspects your workout in order to get more out of your workout in the long run. I would highly suggest this workout for all ages and make sure to load it appropriately, do not do more than what you can handle, use proper form/technique when using any machine, and be controlled. There is no need to be super fast when doing this exercise (I see speed demons flying through this exercise).  Thanks for reading, feel free to follow, share, comment!

 

Your fitness blogger,

Shay-lon xoxox