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Apr
21

GETTING BACK IN THE PILOT’S SEAT WITH GRAVITY

Mission Valley ymca images- GRAVITY- SMALLNancy Vaughan used to be a regular at the gym until she began experiencing constant hip pain and had to stop working out. A private pilot for 30 years, she could no longer get in and out of a plane; she couldn’t event go to Padres or Chargers games because she couldn’t walk the stadium stairs without pain.

Then Nancy had total hip replacement surgery, but her road to recovery only started there…

“After hip replacement surgery, your body mechanics are off – you have a foreign object in your leg – suddenly your bad leg is your good leg but you’re not sure how to move. You’re terrified of doing something wrong, so you don’t do anything.

I experienced severe muscle pain in my lower back after walking only a few steps.  I’d stopped working out prior to my surgery and had become deconditioned and I realized that I needed to get back into shape – I needed to take control of my pain”

So Nancy joined the Mission Valley YMCA

“I started aqua exercise classes with an instructor that specialized in pre and post-operative patients. Once I felt I could complete a workout in the gym, I joined the ‘Team Challenge’ where I got a free pass to try GRAVITY using the Total Gym GTS  – I pretty much stopped everything else after that first class. Now I attend GRAVITY classes as often as I can. I go four to five days a week; sometimes I even go every day. The instructors are all great and I love the variety of classes offered – some emphasize stretching, some posture and balance, others focus on building core strength and overall muscle – but they’re all fun – and it works!

Working out on the Total Gym GTS has helped me regain strength in my legs, strengthen my core and has greatly improved my posture. I feel like I’m standing taller and straighter than before.

Even though my physician had sent me to physical therapy, it was GRAVITY and working out with Total Gym equipment that saved my life.

Now I have the freedom to get up and go do whatever I want. I knew after my surgery, that once I was able to climb back into my airplane, I could fly it and GRAVITY helped me feel more confident about trying it.  And of course it helped me to have the energy to be able to do the physical things that go along with recreational flying, like pulling the plane out of the hangar, loading it up, putting fuel into it, and then putting it away and unloading it at the end of the day.

Part of the recovery process from any total joint replacement is getting people back to good conditioning – I believe if there had been a Total Gym machine available to me during my post-op physical therapy, I would have been six months ahead of the game. I personally don’t feel there is any reason physical therapy clinics can’t run their own GRAVITY classes – it’s the missing link!  Total Gym should be a part of any physical rehab program.”

Total Gym and GRAVITY allowed me to get back to my active lifestyle pain free with confidence!

Mar
20

EVERYONE’S JUMPING LIKE JORDAN

basketballTonight San Diego State University takes on St. Johns University in the NCAA Tournament. While I’m torn on who to cheer for – the Aztec’s who have become my local team over the past 10 years or the Red Storm who I grew up with (literally just a few blocks away from the University) – I’m excited to watch some of the finest college basketball players in the country go head-to-head as they try to advance to the next round.

And while, personally, I’m more interested in who can make the 3-point jump shot, I can’t deny the drama and awe that comes with the infamous “slam dunk.”

Propelling themselves to heights of 44”, 45” and even 46”, players like Sam “Slam” Thompson (Sr. Forward, Ohio State), Michael Qualls (Jr. Guard, Arkansas) and  Keifer Sykes (Sr. Guard, Green Bay) all seemingly defy gravity as they explode into the air, ball in hand, to make the glorious dunk shot.

But how are they able to do it?

Generally, people who can jump so high are born with a high percentage of fast-twitch muscles, which gives them explosive speed.  However, those that aren’t as genetically blessed can still increase their vertical leap with plyometric training.

Traditionally, basketball players perform various squats and box jumps to work their “vert” and develop their leg muscles for increased strength and power.  Popular exercises like the depth jump and barbell squat jumps have proven to add inches but also tend to leave athletes at risk for possible injury if not performed properly.

And for those who are not quite at the level of the pros or likely soon-to-be pros… jumping, while highly beneficial, is not as easy as it looks.

Luckily, here at Total Gym, we’ve just launched the NEW Jump Trainer09_Jump Squat_B small

Since full weight-bearing plyometric exercises, even at low intensities, can expose joints to considerable forces and substantial speeds of movement, the Jump Trainer acts as a transitional piece of equipment, allowing users to gradually progress by incrementally unloading their bodyweight.

Providing a safe and fun environment to perform squats and squat jumps, the Jump Trainer features a large, ergonomic glideboard that fully supports the spine during movements so that users can comfortably control the descending and ascending phases while exercising.

Not to say that the likes of Lebron James and Zach LaVine wouldn’t benefit from jumping aboard the Jump Trainer.

Its unique design allows EVERYONE –  from the mom or dad that just had their hip replaced to professional athletes who want to work on their “hang time” –  to develop all the major muscles of the lower body, from the intrinsic muscles of the foot to the glutes (and everything in between needed fto jump like Jordan).

How can one machine accommodate so many different users of so many different abilities? It’s all in the engineering.

Like all Total Gym products, the Jump Trainer uses incline body weight resistance, allowing users to train using anywhere between 20-80 percent of their own bodyweight. There’s plenty of room to progress from basic squats to complex plyometric movements that challenge a user’s proprioception while using maximal force and resistance.

And for the first time, Total Gym has incorporated optional variable band resistance (VBR) into the Jump Trainer. Four resistance bands offer an additional 10 -70 pounds of resistance in 10 pound increments, allowing for a maximum resistance of up to 150 percent of a user’s bodyweight when all four bands are engaged.

Leveraging band resistance allows users the unique opportunity to train the eccentric contraction of a squat or squat jump. Not only do the bands intensify the force needed to accelerate upwards, they also provide accelerated eccentric force that requires users to control the down phase – therefore training muscle deceleration which helps strengthen and protect ligaments and joints while developing fast-twitch muscles fibers and explosive power for improved athleticism and of course… an increased vertical.

So whilJacquie Jumping in Heelse I’m watching tonight’s game with my fingers crossed (Go Red Storm!!!), tomorrow, I’ll be back testing my jumping tenacity on the Jump Trainer (in heels no less ). I’ll keep you posted on any impressive leaps…

Jun
12

IT’S TIME TO ELEVATE YOUR WORKOUTS

Oct
1

READY, SET, SQUAT!

The Total Gym team is taking the 30 Day Squat Challenge!
Challenge

The benefits of squats are numerous. This one simple move doesn’t just develop the muscles of the lower body (legs, glutes, abs and lower back),  but provides a complete cardio workout.

According to Dr. Mercola’s Peak Fitness, squats are an essential total-body exercise. They’re one of the best functional exercises that anyone can do, whether standing on the floor or laying on a Total Gym.

squatAnd aside from getting stronger, sexier “stems”, squats  help build endurance and improve flexibility while promoting balance, mobility, fat burning, and body-wide muscle development.

So how does the 30 Day Squat Challenge work?

It’s easy!

On day one, do 50 squats consecutively. After that, each day you do squats, increase the number of repetitions by 5 and then rest (do NO leg exercises) every fourth day. The day after each rest-day, you should add 10 more reps than the last day you did your squats. The final 8 days of exercise, increase reps by 20 instead of 10.

So join us for the next month and by November you’ll be boasting about the benefits of squatting too!

 

Jun
18

AVOID EXERCISE BURNOUT BY CHANGING UP YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE

TG soloSummer is here and no doubt you’ve been working out for months prepping for bathing suit season. But chances are, by now, you’re growing bored with your workout routine.  And when it comes to fitness, boredom = burnout  and that does not bode well for your body.

To keep things interesting, add variety to your Total Gym workout routine by getting creative with new exercise combinations, music or a change of scenery.

Music:

If you don’t normally workout with music, try. Recent studies and research suggest that working out with music not only improves your mental acuity while you train, but also helps you train longer and harder since you’re more focused on the rhythm of the music than the difficulty of your exercises.

Avoid predictability by mixing things up on your MP3 player.  While you may have a favorite artist or band, listening to just one record will not result in waking up your fitness routine. Create playlists with various artists and songs with different beats. An unexpected change in tempo can rev up your workout and challenge you without you even realizing. Don’t have an MP3 player, no worries, a radio is the original ipod shuffle.

Change of Scenery:

A change of scenery is also key. Although we know you love working out at home on your Total Gym, it’s Summer! So take advantage of the beautiful, warm weather. There’s nothing like taking a workout outdoors for a change of pace and fresh air.  Indulge in outdoor activities like volleyball, swimming or softball.

Can’t bare to tear yourself away from your Total Gym completely – there’s a compromise. Spend 10 minutes on your Total Gym for a quick tone-up and then take your Woman with Weightsworkout for a walk, run or light jog outside to boost your cardio.

New Exercise Combinations:

You don’t ever need to get off your Total Gym to get a great workout, but you can…

Get “off the board” in-between Total Gym sets and add functional exercises like squats, skaters and lunges to your workout. Adding hand weights, kettle bells or Plyo Balls as you perform these will further challenge you and create a more exciting and intense workout.

Don’t believe us? Then just give this workout a shot:

*Perform each exercise for 1 min

*proceed to the next exercise with little or no rest.

*TG is set to a Mid to High level with the squat stand connected.

On Total Gym:

1. Jump Squats

2. Splits Jumps

3. Pendulum Jumps

4. Side-to-Side Ski Hops

Repeat two times 

8 minutes total

Off Total Gym:

1. Jack Squats (for beginners you can also so Plyo Jacks)

2. Skaters

Repeat two times 

4 minutes total

On Total Gym:

1. Mogel Hops

2. Single Leg Mogel Hops

3. Single Leg Hops

4. Side Lying Single Leg Jumps – Right Leg

5. Mogel Hops

6.  Single Leg Mogel Hops

7. Single Leg Hops

8. Side Lying Single Leg Jumps – LeftLeg

8 minutes total

Off Total Gym:

1. Jump Lunges (or regular Alternating Leg Lunges without jumping)

2. High Knees (to decrease intensity try High Knee Raises)

Repeat two times 

4 minutes total

 

Total Workout Time: 24 minutes if no rest is taken. ( To be safe, plan for 30 minutes)

 

Workout and tips provided by Total Gym Inside Blog Contributor, Maria Sollon Scally.

 

Maria Sollon ScallyMaria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Masters Degree in Performance Enhancement/ Injury Prevention and Kinesiology.  She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national fitness conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, and MVe Peak Pilates.  Maria teaches traditional and progressive fitness classes throughout Southeast Florida.  She has also added her own brand of classes suited for her more advanced training clients.  Maria is also active in free lance writing for Fitness accredited magazines. www.groovysweat.com

 

Jun
12

TOTAL GYM INSIDE – WAREHOUSE WORKOUTS

Warehouse workout 1At Total Gym, our mission is this: Helping millions of people get healthier! And we’re starting with ourselves…

Of course we work out using our own Total Gym equipment and GRAVITY programming, but we also like to try other types of workouts  – as they say- variety is the spice of life.

To keep things interesting Scott Lord, our Physical Therapy Sales Associate, has introduced our team to CrossFit style workouts in our warehouse. IMAG1377

The interesting thing about these workouts is the “challenge” aspect. We find ourselves constantly challenging each other and ourselves to better our performance.

Whether trying to complete sets faster, do more cycles in the allotted time or just keep up or surpass our fellow colleagues, the challenge keeps us motivated and that motivation keeps us improving.  sets faster, do more cycles in the allotted time.

But the same could be said for business. In fact, it often has:

“Our business in life is not to get ahead of others but to get ahead of ourselveses. To break our own record, to outstrip our yesterday by our today, to do our work with more force and finer finish than ever, this is the true idea, to get ahead of ourselves” – Stewart B. Johnson

We live in a competitive world. Whether its competing for business, a job or a sport – competition is unavoidable.

Why not use it to become the best that WE can be – as a business, as a team and as individuals – this is our mentality everyday. There is no downside to competing if it makes us better in the end.

So as we continue our warehouse workouts, we’ll focus on doing and being the best we can. We’ll try a little harder with each day, dig a little deeper within ourselves and IMAG1382mark our growth as we go along. We’ll challenge ourselves to do better than the week before and in this way, we’ll always be moving forward, both in our health and our business.

Now we challenge you to do the same…

 

Mar
26

TUESDAY TESTIMONIAL: GRAVITY “LIVESTRONG” AT THE YMCA IN SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.

In November 2012, the Saratoga Regional YMCA kicked off its pilot session of the GRAVITY “LIVESTRONG at the YMCA” program. “LIVESTRONG at the YMCA” is a 12-week small group exercise program for adults affected by cancer, under the guidance of specially trained health and wellness staff, and offered at no cost.Saratoga GAVITY 2

“We welcomed six survivors to our program and within the first few classes, realized we wanted to keep the group together during class as often as possible, but with such varying ability and fitness levels, it was difficult to do.

One of our instructors asked the group one day if they’d be willing to try GRAVITY on our Total Gym machines and they jumped on the opportunity. After one 30-minute session on the machines they were sold – and so were we! Total Gym machines allowed all the survivors to participate in the same activities, at the same time while remaining at their own ability and comfort level. GRAVITY quickly became a staple of the program and several of the survivors plan to continue GRAVITY classes at our facility post-program.” – Melissa McCreary, Group Health & Wellness Director

 

Saratoga GRAVITY“GRAVITY makes me feel younger – it allows me to do so much more on the machine like jumping and leg work that I cannot normally do because of my feet and balance issues. It leveled the playing field for all of us survivors. We could all do the same activity at the same time. Not to mention, it’s fun!” – Mary (survivor)

 

“In addition to being a good time, it’s a great workout. My mastectomy and reconstruction rendered my upper body weak. However after a few sessions on the Total Gym machines, I was able to increase my range of motion and strength. It’s a great alternative to the basic nautilus machines and free weights.” – Tracey (survivor)