Archive for the ‘Fitness Equipment’ Category
If you have been a user of my workouts for any of the past 15 years, you will notice I do not do jump roping as part of my written programming. It does not mean I disapprove of jumping rope, in fact, I have many years of jumping rope when I wrestled and played football in high school and played rugby in college. We also used jump ropes while on deployments when visiting on submarines or boats when in the SEAL Teams. I just never pushed jump roping as a training option when the focus of my writing has been mainly running, rucking, swimming as a cardio foundation.
However, after learning about this new jump rope called the Crossrope (www.crossrope.com) at the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Tactical Strength and Conditioning Conference, I actually have added jump roping to my training programs.
The unique design of the handles makes this jump rope system versatile like no other. The detachable, ball-bearing handles offer a smooth speed and rotation of any size rope. Connect the Speed cable for max double under performance, traditional cardio or high speed, high intensity workouts. Then clip in your explode cable to really condition and tone your upper body. Then add the three pound Titan cable and see how many jumps you can get in 1 minute. The record on the site’s competition videos show people getting hundreds of jumps / double unders and other complex challenges with a rope. With CrossRope, you can easily change the weight of your jump rope by snapping in one of seven different weights of rope. These ropes and handles will help increase your strength, coordination, and fitness quicker and more effectively. The ball bearing handles ensure that the heaviest rope rotates as smoothly as the lightest so these ropes will spin as fast as you can move them!
The creator of Crossrope is Dave Hunt a Naval Academy graduate and pilot who launched Crossrope in 2012. This is a new system that will change the way people train and think about jump ropes. It has changed the way I train. In the workout below, we used the Titan Heavy Rope / Handles and strive to get 100–120 jumps per minute as one element of our circuit below. See how we mix the Crossrope, Pullups, Kettlebells, TRXs, Sandbags, and Running (then swimming) all into a challenging circuit video. Here is how we added these ropes to our workout circuits:
Repeat 4–5 times
1 min TRX Atomic Pushups
1 min TRX Rollouts
1 min Cross Rope Titan
Run with Sandbag 1/4 mile
*One guy will skip all the above but constantly move a Kettlebell during the time it takes to do this circuit — roughly 6–7 minutes. Everyone will do the KB swings, snatch, walk etc only 1 round of 6–7 minutes — no resting…
After this we went swimming and practiced treading water in between sets. We tried jump ropes once on the pool deck but after a few toes getting hit with the rope we added shoes. OUCH!
We will be developing new workouts with these jump ropes and monitoring the progress. Already after a few short weeks, everyone in the group are better jump ropers and pushing the limits of their abilities in a new way we have not tried. So check out CrossRope.com and see the insane jump rope videos of how well you can progress with this device.
Who knows? It could become your favorite form of cardio training.
Go to any gym and what do you see?
Bodybuilding and fitness equipment fills every square inch that’s not already occupied with sweaty bodies.
But do you really need all this equipment to sculpt, tone, and carve you into body perfection?
In my opinion, the absolute best bodybuilding equipment you could ever use for building muscle and burning fat at the same time is your own body!
In fact, using a military-style bodyweight exercise program, you can create better results than the fanciest bodybuilding equipment on the market could ever provide.
Feel and look great this summer from what you eat, to how you sleep and what you wear with my new NikkiFitness Faves!
SUMMER CLEAN EATING
Gardein – Why spend an hour chopping and cooking when you can spend 30 minutes working out and 30 minutes showering and getting gorgeous for dinner? When I don’t have time for a workout and a home-cooked meal, I go for these great-tasting, meat-free protein options for people looking to live a healthier lifestyle. If you are trying to limit your red meat consumption, and include more fat-belly fiber in veggies, try these quick meals. They are low-calorie too. Find them at a grocery store nearby by visiting www.gardein.com and putting your zip code into their handy store-locator.
Each year, it is estimated that the military discharges nearly 300,000 Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard members. For those of us who have been in the military or are members of military families, the transition to the civilian word can be challenging. My husband, Mark, worked tirelessly to develop an initiative here in Maine called the High Tech Patriot Program (HTPP) helping guardsmen and women attain high tech jobs. It was a win-win for the employer and the military member. Here are some of my other favorite organizations that may provide support to you and your family.
One of my favorite classic skits from Saturday Night Live was when comedian, Billy Crystal, played Fernando, a superficial and overtly sexual latin night club performer who greeted everyone with the phrase, “Dahling, you look mahvelous.” His character lived by a personal credo that it was always “better to look good than to feel good.” Maybe we all have a little Fernando in each of us with our desire to look good. While I don’t believe we are all vain and self-absorbed like Fernando, could it be that we put a bigger price tag on our outward appearance than our inner health? This month, let’s focus on ways to feel good from the inside out starting with our body composition.
Hey Stew, I am working on a project and was curious what your opinion on today’s warrior and Special Ops fitness and which training disciplines best achieve this?
Great question! Over the past decade Special Ops Fitness has morphed into a new fitness genre along with military, police, and fire fighter fitness called Tactical Fitness. In fact, the National Strength and Conditioning Association has created the Tactical Strength and Conditioning Certification Program and hold some of the best conferences I have ever been to. Speakers include those physiologists and athletic trainers who train active duty Special Ops Team such as Delta Force and SEAL Team Six. But the real progress in training is in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, FBI, Border Patrol, and other federal law enforcement programs. Now many of our nation’s branches of service are hiring sports team trainers to run their indoctrination (boot camp), special operations maintenance and injury / rehabilitation programs for instance.
If you are like most people, you spend most of your days sitting in a cubicle or office with your only exercise being a trip to the bathroom. This constant sitting literally takes years off your life. Even though the gym may be only a couple miles away, it seems like a hundred miles while stuck in the office. Don’t worry, I have invented the perfect solution, I call this workout the Co-Worker Drop. All you need are some co-workers to play along.
By Sergeant Michael Volkin (aka: The Volkinator) of Strength Stack 52
A typical gym workout lasts 30 minutes to 1 hour, and often includes significant weight-lifting. If exercises are performed incorrectly, the load on the muscles and stress on the joints of these repeated movements causes both short and long-term damage to your body.
Most people continue to work out despite a known injury, aching back, or sore muscles because of the improved appearance of their physique as a result of the working out. However, over time, the improved appearance becomes harder to maintain and a “plateau” eventually occurs.
A workout plateau is when someone continues to exercise and sees diminishing returns on the improvement of their physique. In addition to these hardships, a gym workout causes a time constraint for many would-be gym goers. In addition to the 30 to 60 minute workout, the average gym member has to factor in the time for driving and parking.
Recently, several scientific studies – see Further Reading below – have been conducted which analyzes the optimal duration and intensity for a proper workout. Some experts claim high intensity and fast workouts are the most beneficial, others claim slow meticulous movements with heavy loads is the easiest way to maintain a great physique and optimal health.
The gym is a great place to meet other like– minded fitness fans, and dating partners. I could never marry a couch potato, and if you feel the same, you might get help finding the girl of your dreams with the advice in this Men’s Fitness article I participated in.
Got more tips? Tweet them to me at @NikkiFitness.
Fitness-fit it in your dating life too! –Nikki (Married to my jogging partner for life)
I have heard it said that Feb 7th marks the time when people give up their New Year Resolutions. Don’t let that happen to you. If you need some extra help, you might find these products will bring your goals a little closer to reality! I did two product segments recently on Fox & Friends First and Fox & Friends weekend, incase you missed them, here they are:
Products: fashion, food, yoga mats, undergarments, bathing suits that do double duty!
Did your parents make you take music lessons when you were a kid? I had to learn to play the piano. At the time, I considered it sheer torture. Especially since my piano lessons with Mrs. Mauthe included bicycling past the meanest dogs in the neighborhood. No matter how hard I pedaled, they always seemed to catch up, nipping at my heels and terrorizing me for a full block until I reached my teacher’s driveway. Then another form of torture ensued…piano lessons! In spite of my youth-filled drama, I decided to give it another go and I’m reteaching myself how to play minus the task-master teacher and the crazed canines. It’s a bit arduous, but there is something calming about a music filled house. Science seems to agree especially for those dealing with combat related challenges.
If you’re all tangled up in a tinsel tizzy over what to get the fitness enthusiast in your life, here are some of my favorite gifts to get you moving, grooving and feeling great. The following innovations are my salute to the the American spirit. These companies and organizations have a great track record of supporting our military community. Happy shopping and be sure to stay tuned for Part III for special gifts that keep on giving long after the holiday season.
A review by Stew Smith CSCS
Combat Fat for Kids is my favorite workout book for kids written by long time friend and exceptional trainer and fitness author James Villepigue. This one appealed to me not only as a father of active kids, but as an elementary school track coach. I loved this book as it offers a tool for parents to get their children more active, eating right, and most importantly — having FUN doing it.
If you’re in a “present” panic , I thought it would be fun to share with you some innovative products and inspiring organizations that may be a perfect fit for your gift list. It is also a great way to celebrate entrepreneurship by supporting Made in the USA products and U.S. companies. The following gifts, gadgets, and giving opportunities are my salute to ingenuity. These organizations and companies are either founded by veterans or have a great track record of supporting our military community. Happy shopping and be sure to stay tuned for Part II and III.
This one drives me crazy. Far too often I see this comment followed by the question — “why aren’t I getting stronger in my PT?” This question is about adding PT everyday into a workout program for hundreds of repetitions each day!
“Stew, I have been doing 500 pushups and situps along with 100+ pullups everyday for the past few months. I saw some great increases but now my increases have stopped and starting to turn into decreases on some days I test. What is going on? I thought it was OK to do calisthenics everyday?”
As we work our way through 2012, we have seen certain fitness trends fade (such as use of bulky cardio equipment and long-lasting high-impact aerobic sessions), and others gain tremendous popularity (like Zumba and Bootcamp-style classes). Here is my list of upcoming fitness trends, which I have formulated using my own experience and observations working in the fitness industry, as well as some research.
1) Functional training. The objective of functional fitness is to improve strength, balance, conditioning, and coordination by doing movements that we use in our everyday lives – such as squatting, lifting, bending, and reaching. Functional training programs not only make us stronger and more fit, but help us do real world tasks like lifting our children and carrying luggage or groceries.
The questions of how to gain weight and do I need to lift weights are often thrown around by Spec Ops candidates preparing for the upcoming year or more long training pipeline. There are many avenues to get the results you seek. I will recommend a few but our military / spec ops audience may have some more ideas to pass around in the comments section below. Here is the question:
I’m a freshmen in college and plan on joining the Navy to go for the SEALS afterwards. My PT scores are pretty good and I’m working on getting them better, but my real question is do I need to gain more weight and muscle. I only weight 141 lbs and am 5’11″. I know you say weight lifting is not needed to prepare, though I feel like I do need to gain more weight by lifting and taking massive amounts of protein. Also, your opinion on Creatine would be greatly appreciated! Thanks,
Here is a very commonly asked question about adding calisthenics like pushups, dips, and pullups into a standard weight training program. The answer is that is can be done but it is not recommended one of the ways it is asked in this question:
“Stew, I am a little confused about adding pullups and pushups into my weight training program. I mean should I mix them into the days I do upperbody like bench press and pulldowns or should I do them on separate days in between?”
“Sit Down! Sit Still! Be Quiet!” As kids, we all experienced more than a few of those commands from our parents. Remember how we just couldn’t keep still? We always had to be doing something whether it was running around the yard, fidgeting in our seats at school counting the seconds until recess or jumping on our beds refusing to go to sleep. Somewhere along the way we must have bought into our parents’ mantra to sit down as we’ve become a decidedly sedentary society. From computer screens to cell phones to remote controls, we don’t have to get up for anything.
Here is a commonly asked email from military members who are placed in charge of their command’s group PT program, but this one is a request for more advanced workouts for his hardcore group at his command. See his request:
Stew, Thanks for your numerous articles / books as I have used them since I was a civilian several years ago. Now, I am placed in a position to spice up our Command PT and we have many advanced level athletes who spend much of their free time at the gym, running races, or preparing for their future Spec Ops careers. Any recommendations for tougher than average workouts we can do as a group?