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Oct 22

Loud And Live Sports Introduces "The Trials" International Online Fitness Competition – Morning Chalk Up

Loud And Live Sports Introduces "The Trials" International Online Fitness Competition | Morning Chalk Up

Photo Credit: Loud And Live Sports (

Loud And Live Sports announced on their Instagram pagethe debut of The Trials, an online international fitness competition that starts December 4 with Regional qualifiers and concludes in January with a live broadcast of the finals.

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Introducing... the Trials. Ten days, five workouts & three distinct regional qualifiers. Compete in the online event to earn the right to rep your region within a professional global broadcast. It all starts December 4th. Learn more at the link in bio. #USTrials #SpanishTrials #LATAMTrials #TrialsFinals

A post shared by Loud And Live Sports (@loudlivesports) on

The details: The competition begins with region-specific qualifiers, broken up into three regions; Latin America, Spanish and the United States Trials for a total of 73 Countries.

The bottomline:The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on the community and specifically large-scale competitions like the ones that Loud And Live hosts. To combat this, L&L has followed in the footsteps of other online competitions such as Rogue, the Dubai CrossFit Challengeand even the CrossFit Games. As an innovator of the sport and an organization that doesnt shy away from ideas and technologies, Loud And Live has taken on the challenge of broadcasting a live event and has added options previously unseen in the sport. The ability to pick and choose which athlete and in what division you want to follow from the comfort of your home is brand new. Loud And Live is promising that The Trials will create the new standard for online competitive fitness coverage and that this new format will promote a broad base of local, international participation culminating in a unified broadcast experience giving viewers control over their coverage. After a tumultuous and unpredictable 2020 CrossFit season, this is what the community needs and hopefully Loud And Live can deliver on those promises.

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Oct 22

How will fitness studios and outdoor workouts survive Covid-19 during the winter? –

In the shadow of the Vessel, the sky-scraping copper honeycomb structure in New York Citys Hudson Yards, is a huge tent full of bikes that go nowhere. In the parking lot of the Beverly Center, the famed Los Angeles shopping center, theres a blocked-off section peppered with treadmills and benches. And this summer, the Southampton Arts Centers west lawn was transformed into a dance-workout space.

These outdoor gyms are the new normal of group fitness.

Because companies like SoulCycle, Barrys, and the up-and-coming dance-inspired workout FORWARD__Space havent been allowed to reopen in major cities like New York and Los Angeles, those companies (and many others, from CrossFit boxes to local Planets Fitness) brought the workouts outside.

I feel very safe working out outside, Anna Lev, a devotee of Forward Space told me. She says her trainers have created a really safe environment for everyone.

Before the pandemic, Lev was going to Forward Space classes with Rachel, her favorite teacher, every day. The pandemic put a stop to that. But when Forward Space opened its Southampton outdoor space for the summer, Lev would make the trek from her home in the Rockaways to Southampton every Saturday to take two classes. If she stayed out East, shed go every day theyre held, Thursday to Monday.

Levs devotion and fidelity to Forward Space isnt unique. Outdoor classes at Barrys and SoulCycle have been selling out and provide revenue for the companies. Fitness companies, like restaurants and bars, have pivoted to survive, and moving classes outdoors has been a public health strategy to cope with a pandemic that forced everyone into lockdown. Being outside is safer.

But in embracing outdoor exercise, both enthusiasts and the trainers they love found only a temporary relief. In the coming months, temperatures will drop, the weather will sour, and winter will be in full effect. Fitness enthusiasts may have to go back to square one. Boutique fitness studios have to start over, too, figuring out how to make money while their doors still arent open. And with all the improvisations and compromises, both sides have to deal with the reality that the future is not in their control.

The big motivation behind these outdoor classes is the health of clients.

Teaching safe and spacious sweat sessions outside has been truly incredible and an absolute gift, Kristin Sudeikis, the founder of Forward Space, told me. Being outside certainly provided an element of safety and we also appreciated giving cues during class to look up to the sky, from the sternum up, to take in the sun and the wind I had intuited that at some point and this was pre-Covid that we would create outdoor sweat sessions similar to that of a music festival vibe, and here we are.

But the moves outside go a bit deeper than that and are more connected to how health policy and lawmakers define safety. Back in March, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsom were among the first to put their states in lockdown and shut down gyms, which were seen as high risk because of the lack of social distancing and factors like heavy breathing and lots of shared-surface contact. Now, as we know more about the virus and spread, gyms are reopening or have reopened many of which had to implement new capacity and social distancing rules.

Going outside, social distancing, eliminating shared equipment, and instituting measures like cleaning and temperature checks are all measures that make clients, according to current research, safer than they would be if fitness studios continued to operate the way they had pre-pandemic.

We managed to rework the foundations of how we program sessions to adapt everything to body weight, Lauren Vickers, F45 Training athletics team manager, told me, explaining how the company adapted to taking its exercise programs outside. Those programs usually involved equipment like weights and kettlebells, and cardio equipment like bikes or rowers.

Vickers and the team at F45 pointed out that without consistent, across-the-board rules about outside fitness, theyve had to work within different restrictions something theyve figured out by keeping things simple.

Members can bring their own equipment if they wish to add progressions, but essentially you just need a towel and a water bottle and youre ready to go, Vickers told me.

As Vickers told me, the problem for fitness studios is that in major cities like New York and Los Angeles, they still havent been given the green light to open. Even though they provide essentially the same fitness service, companies like Forward Space and Barrys arent considered gyms and are often subject to a different set of rules.

The argument is that boutique fitness classes often taking place in rooms full of sweaty, heavy-breathing people might present a higher risk of transmission. All the things that make group fitness successful people gathering, socializing, yelling, being in an enclosed studio are things that make it high risk.

One notable study from South Korea reported fitness dance classes that infected 112 people over 24 days, and the fear is that something similar could happen in these boutique fitness classes. More recently, 74 people were infected over a week at a Canadian spin studio earlier this month the studio had followed rules like cutting capacity and distancing bikes but it did not require riders to wear masks.

To curb potential outbreaks, rules regarding fitness studios were adjusted accordingly. For example, while gyms in New York City were allowed to open their doors, New York Citys health department and Mayor Bill de Blasio were given discretion to keep those establishments closed, which they did.

By taking classes outside and maintaining social distancing rules, boutique fitness companies keep their clients safer research has shown that outdoor transmission risk is lower than indoor but also can bypass city mandates about indoor fitness classes.

For fitness companies, its also provided some much-needed cash.

The health shutdowns across the country gutted the group fitness industry. Companies bled expenses and continued to pay rent. Even in reopening, they arent making the same money that they used to because of capacity measures and health directives. Companies like Rowgatta shut down their physical spaces, and Flywheel went out of business. Others like Solidcore laid off more than 90 percent of their staff. SoulCycle also furloughed a majority of its instructors.

Group fitness companies innovated by going online. But online workouts in your living room dont quite replicate the real-life experience. Outdoor classes are closer to that pre-pandemic workout adventure, and are a revenue stream for studios and companies that cant yet open.

Outdoors is definitely a big contributor to the business, Chris Hudson, chief curriculum lead at Barrys, told me. The concept has allowed us to safely offer Barrys classes in markets such as Los Angeles and Mexico City where our studios remain closed.

The biggest question among people who arent group fitness enthusiasts about group fitness enthusiasts is: Why? Why not just exercise on your own? Why not just bike outside or go to a gym if you want to work out?

Id say, to each his or her own, Lev told me. Some people only want to work out at home [or at the gym]. I will say that Forward Space is the only thing that has ever gotten me to work out at home. Thats it, thats the truth.

As Lev told me, she just doesnt respond as well to the gym or working out alone. The idea of going back to the gym bores her to death. Working out with a group of people motivates her in a way that working out solo doesnt. And being able to work out outside with her favorite program and with her favorite teachers has been a blessing for her fitness and her mental health.

Returning to in-person classes has taken away the quarantine isolation cloud for me, so I dont want to lose that, she said.

Sarah Luetto, an attorney in Los Angeles, goes to Barrys outdoor classes as a way to mix up her routine but also as a way to exercise while still keeping her health in mind. Like Lev, she was going to fitness classes multiple times per week, but those classes shifted online during the pandemic. Shes been taking Barrys classes at the Beverly Center, whose parking area has been outfitted as an outdoor Barrys location with social distancing and cleaning measures implemented.

I think its a good alternative for people like me who are not ready to do indoor [classes] and hope they keep the option available even when studios reopen indoor in the LA area, she told me. I like that they clean the room halfway through class and hope that protocol continues. Im still taking online classes a few days a week, but it has been nice to have the modified studio experience in person and see some of my Barrys friends in real life.

The question for Luetto, Lev, and the fitness programs they enjoy is whether these outdoor classes will continue as the weather gets colder and working out outdoors becomes tougher.

Sudeikis said the outdoor Forward Space classes, which ended on September 21, prompted an increase in demand and made her think about offering a handful of outdoor classes in New York City. She also mentioned that shes looking to offer outdoor classes in other cities throughout 2020 and into 2021.

But the main strategy for Sudeikis and Forward Space is investing in more virtual classes. She said they launched new eight- and 24-minute classes and are thinking of ways to expand their virtual offerings like making their live classes more interactive. We are passionately committed as teachers, creators, coaches, and team members to be doing and creating everything we can right now to keep all moving and dancing for the peoples overall mental, physical, and emotional health, she said.

Hudson said Barrys will continue to offer its classes as long as it can. That seems to be good news for Luetto in Los Angeles, where it stays warmer longer. Hudson, like Sudeikis, also mentioned the companys desire to be innovative and that they will follow the safety rules in each city.

We strive to offer a premium and safe experience in all our offerings, abiding by all local government mandates, Hudson said.

The X-factor that will determine the future of group fitness classes is how well the virus is contained. In New York City, flare-ups of the virus have prompted school and business closures in hot spots. Indoor dining is still in a touch-and-go stage. Its hard to see allowing indoor fitness classes if schools and restaurants which are considered more essential still arent fully open. On the other side of that equation, people might be reluctant to go back to indoor fitness classes, even if theyre open, until they feel safe.

Its all a moving target at this point.

I think every person should decide what their risk is and what they are okay with, Lev said, explaining that she is trying to be positive about the future of Forward Space. And I would be okay with going to class. Im just keeping my fingers crossed that it will be sooner than later. Because theres nothing like it.

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Oct 22

Fitness Innovator Teams with Leading Fitness Platform to Enhance Customer Training Experience with In-App Exercise Programs –

LITTLE CANADA, Minn., Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --As fitness app usage soars, with over 84 million consumers using apps in the US alone, Dragon Door announced they would be making their best-selling fitness content available on the TriadXP fitness platform and Dragon Door will use TriadXP to convert their exercise routines into in-app workouts that are performed with the TriadXP app. The app's voice and visual cues walk exercisers through all exercise routines guiding them onwhat to do, when, how many, or for how long. With guidance and tracking, customers enhance their training experience and improve workout efficiency. And, since the TriadXP mobile fitness app tracks the user's performance as they workout with minimal effort on the users part, it eliminates the need for other apps or pen and paper to track results.

"TriadXP supports virtually any kind of workout," said John Du Cane, CEO of Dragon Door Publications. "As fitness innovators, we know that long-term results are usually the result of consistent goal setting and the consistent measurement of results. You get what you measure for, and the measurement motivates you to maintain your progress. In that regard, we see TriadXP as the perfect solution to help our customers optimize their workout results."

Addressing the need for home-based and callisthenic workouts, the bestselling 16-week Get Strongprogram from fitness gurus Al Kavadlo and Danny Kavadlo will be the first program launched.

Dragon Door,credited with launching the modern kettlebell movement, is a publisher and online fitness retailer and provides advanced training and certification for fitness instructors. When searching for a partner who would provide the requisite technology platform from content conversion thru mobile app, Dragon Door found their answer with TriadXP. TriadXP knows fitness technology and delivers an optimal workout experience for a fitness enthusiast. The easy-to-use mobile fitness app and its versatility were critical in the decision. Equally important was TriadXP's AI-driven conversion tools, which quickly convert content without needing any technical knowledge at Dragon Door.

"We are excited to partner with a leader like Dragon Door," said Mike Elia, CEO of Triad Fitness Group. "They have a lot of great content, and we know their users will find it easier to work out and perform their routines on our TriadXP app."

About Dragon Door PublicationsDragon Door Publications is a publisher of innovative fitness content that offers effective, safe, and proven methods for maintaining a high level of health and physical performance over the long-term. The company is best known for having launched the modern kettlebell movement in 2001. Learn more at

About, a fitness content platform from Triad Fitness Group, provides services and technology to allow content providers to convert text-based programs and related exercise imagery and videos into in-app exercise programs to be performed and tracked with the TriadXP mobile app. The app is free and compatible with iOS and Android devices. TriadXP is making workouts better for everyone. Learn more at

Contact: John Du CaneTel: +1 651-487-3828Email:

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Oct 22

Gillibrand asks for pause on Army’s new fitness test – Olean Times Herald

TheSenates version of the bill, passed in July, includes a provision requiring an independent study of the ACFTs potential to adversely impact current and future troops. But the provision is not included in the House bill, also passed this summer.

The independent study is intended to determine the extent, if any, to which the test would adversely impact" soldiers stationed or deployed" to areas that make it difficult to conduct "outdoor physical training on a frequent or sustained basis, the Senate version reads.

The provision also asks for the study to determine whether the ACFT would affect recruitment and retention in critical support military occupational specialties ... such as medical personnel."

Though the Army is transitioning to the ACFT this year, soldiers' scores arent expected to count until March 2022. Soldiers are still challenged to train for and pass the new test, but no adverse actions will be taken against those who fail it.

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Oct 22

I’ve Tried a Lot of Fitness Apps, and Chris Hemsworth’s Might Be My Favorite – POPSUGAR

In the fitness world, 2020 will probably be known as the year everyone discovered working out in their living rooms. As gyms shuttered due to the pandemic and at-home exercise gear sold out across the world, there was a predictable rise in at-home bodyweight workouts. But working out is hard at least I think so. Honestly, I suck at it. I lack the motivation to get sweaty without a trainer there to catch me when I'm slacking, and without the financial accountability of a gym membership, I struggle to pull on my workout clothes and move my body.

It was a couple of months into lockdown, once I'd exhausted my options for one-off celebrity workouts that got me moving under the guise of having a laugh (like that time I tried Arnold Schwarzenegger's retro home workout), that I noticed my body was becoming increasingly stiff and sore from doing, well, absolutely nothing. That's when Chris Hemsworth's fitness app, Centr, entered my life.

I'd seen the ads with Chris and his wife, Elsa, looking sweaty and strong, and honestly, I was skeptical about whether it would be the right program for me. After a brief look at the app, I noticed that there is actually more than one program to suit different fitness levels. I was most interested in the newly launched bodyweight-only program that runs for six weeks called "Unleashed," which was perfect for me because the only equipment I have in my apartment is a workout mat, and because it had an option for beginners. Like I mentioned, I hadn't really worked out in months, so it was straight into the beginner program for me.

Ahead, see my breakdown of Chris Hemsworth's fitness app, Centr, and what I liked about it.

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Oct 22

DC gyms and fitness studios adapt, hope for mild weather or close for good as winter nears – WTOP

D.C. gyms and fitness studios have been faced with a daunting realization: winter is coming. See how they are making changes, building workout pods, opening new facilities and also closing for good due to the coronavirus pandemic.

WTOP/Dan Friedell

WTOP/Dan Friedell

Courtesy Candice Geller

Courtesy Reggie Smith

WTOP/Dan Friedell

WTOP/Dan Friedell

Courtesy Reggie Smith

When the coronavirus pandemic swept across North America in March, it closed schools, businesses, restaurants and fitness centers, forcing many people to work from home and limit their mixing in society.

There was one silver lining: the weather, while brisk and blustery some of the time, was generally good, and getting better. It made exercising outside tolerable, and even appealing most days.

While many people continued their fitness programs over the last seven months with Zoom classes or dripping sweat on a treadmill or Peloton bike indoors, many moved outside.

Lured by good weather in the spring and fall, some people even survived the sultriest days by working out early in the morning or late in the evening.

But now, winter is coming.

What will fitness studios and gyms, many of which have moved workouts outside, do at the end of October as days get shorter and frigid mornings make it harder for clients to peel back the blankets and get out of bed?

For the owners of four D.C. independent fitness studios, there are four distinct choices: invest in a new studio that supports a hybrid indoor/outdoor workout; encourage athletes to come back indoors while working out in masks and maintaining their distance; build individual workout pods separated by a frame and plastic sheeting; or, sadly, decide to shut down for good.

For Chris and Alex Perrin, the husband and wife team who own Cut Seven, a facility that offers an intense, boot-camp style workout in Logan Circle, the pandemic put on hold expansion plans, moved classes outside onto a D.C. schools soccer field, and prompted the search for a new studio.

Reggie Smith, who co-owns BOOMBOX, a boxing/fitness studio across the street from Nationals Park, pushed his workouts outside to both D.C. Uniteds Audi Field and the roof of Union Market.

Now that things are cooling off and daylight is fading, he hopes fitness fans will come back inside while taking pandemic precautions.

Candice Gellers Election Cycle, a small spinning studio on the east end of H Street N.E., will be celebrating its three-year anniversary in January.

After putting indoor classes on hiatus and renting out her bikes for months, then moving classes outdoors, Geller said she hopes her business will hang on to celebrate the milestone.

She has outfitted her studio with individual indoor workout pods with frames and plastic sheeting so riders might be more comfortable coming back inside.

All three of those studios said they will try to survive the winter and keep their fingers crossed for a mild winter and early spring.

But, for Betsy Poos and Alyson Shade, partners in Realignment Studio, a two-story yoga studio on Pennsylvania Ave. SE in Capitol Hill, the story is different.

After a spring, summer and fall of Zoom classes mixed with the occasional distanced outdoor flow at a nearby schools soccer field, their three-year partnership has come to an end: Realignment Studio will close at the end of the month.

For Poos, she said she felt there was just no end in sight for the restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The clincher for us was not just in getting through the next three months, but that after the next three months, we come into the spring and we are still sitting in the very same place and not able to return indoors safely for classes, she said after a morning sunrise yoga class at Watkins Elementary School in early October.

Smith, who only opened BOOMBOX in the summer of 2019, said his client count was steadily rising in the months leading up to March. Now, he said darker days and cooler weather will make people cross the threshold into his gym on Van Street SE.

As we lose some daylight, people who were reluctant to workout previously, they maybe take a chance and come out try a class, they see were checking temperatures, were staying distant, were wearing masks, and were as safe as you can be, working out, said Smith.

Classes at BOOMBOX are capped to 11 people, one-third of the normal capacity. That means theres more, Smith said, than six feet between each persons punching bag.

Poos, however, said her business two spaces were not set up with social distancing in mind, and even retrofitting would not have made a difference.

One space, in the basement, did not have proper ventilation, and the other, while it was upstairs with high ceilings, would allow so few yoga students that it was not worth running classes in-person.

The last thing I would ever feel is OK is being an owner of a business, being a teacher, trying to put people together for wellness that then did result in a COVID case. There just wasnt enough to balance that, she said.

For now, Poos, Shade and her employees will continue teaching yoga virtually. Poos will run Zoom classes via her website,

Realignment Studio isnt the only yoga studio thats been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. A neighboring Capitol Hill yoga studio, Be Here Now, is also closing.

While it didnt make sense to stay open any longer from a business perspective, Poos said she and Shade tried to hang in as long as possible because they recognize that yoga, for many people, is more than just a workout.

That hits hard, Poos said of another D.C. studio closing its doors.

Theres folks, with yoga being an experience thats a bit different than other fitness modalities, they feel like I really need this community. They may have a spiritual connection. They feel really let down right now. So for that reason, it was that much harder to decide to close. [But], for our financial health, that was what we had to do, said Poos.

While some studios are closing, others are feeling optimistic, as the pandemic brought on new opportunities.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia|Maryland|D.C.

Chris and Alex Perrins original Cut Seven location, in a triangular-shaped studio on the corner of 11th Street and Rhode Island Ave. NW, was known among fitness aficionados to provide one of the hardest workouts in the District.

But the space was not conducive to social distancing. Over the last five months, however, D.C. sports fields, even including one summer morning at Audi Field, have played host to the Perrins brand of team-oriented workouts.

In fact, a steady stream of new clients who have felt comfortable doing outdoor workouts with weighted bags, kettlebells, heavy elastic bands and a good dose of bear crawls and 20-yard sprints migrated from their old gyms and studios and joined the Cut Seven family.

Two claps, instructor Marcus Lowe yelled one recent morning, standing on freshly-laid red turf at the gyms new indoor/outdoor location at the corner of 14th and Swann Street NW.

As members warmed up for a sweat session that included banded side lunges and squat jumps, Perrin described how a spring phone call to a number listed on a For Lease sign resulted in Cut Sevens newest location opening in late September.

Winter is definitely everyones what are we gonna do?, Perrin said.

Its cold. Picking up dumbbells and kettlebells in the cold is not very comfortable. It rains a lot. So that was the idea behind opening up the 1401 Swann Street studio, because we can cover it. We intend to put a roof structure so we can keep the elements at bay, said Perrin.

He said months of work went into leveling and repaving the parking lot of an old auto shop, giving the indoor structure a deep clean, building racks for weights and anchors for elastic bands, putting up a new fence, and laying fresh bright red turf.

We said, if were going to survive, this is how its going to happen, so lets put all of our resources into it, so we did, and I think people are catching onto it. And if we can solve the winter issue, well definitely do very well, Perrin said.

Geller, the owner of Election Cycle, is innovating to solve the what are we gonna do? question.

She built individual, plastic-framed workout pods so her clients can feel safe coming back into her spinning studio. It might seem strange for people to work out inside a plastic bubble, but Geller said she has tried doing a spin class while wearing a mask, and its not easy.

I understand why we cant do it without a mask, but also that its almost impossible to do with a mask. Which is why we created these little pods, she said.

Geller said she hopes to continue offering outdoor rides through partnerships with neighboring businesses like Pursuit and Duffys. She also hopes to take advantage of grants provided by the city to winterize its streeteries.

If those places are still providing a space that is climate controlled, that will obviously be really helpful to us, she said.

Geller said she had a recent conversation with a D.C. government representative who said many small businesses are closing due to the pandemic, and the winter will force still more to shut down.

So while these three fitness studios have every intention of making it through the winter, the virus and business conditions will dictate their success. Geller said her landlord at 1108 H St. NE. has been reluctant to make rent concessions.

Our landlord has not worked with us all, not given us one cent of rent reduction, despite the fact we havent been able to use the space for anything, she said. The big business, bank, landlord-type mentality is in the end going to kill us.

Perrin and Smiths businesses Cut Seven and BOOMBOX have been more fortunate, getting some rent leeway from their landlords.

Smith was able to put off paying rent while BOOMBOX was closed, and Perrin got a rent reduction for his old studio, which has served as a studio for his online classes, but he hopes to reopen for distanced workouts soon.

Smith said his business survival requires life getting somewhat back to normal after the winter.

With the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program), I think were fine for the next few months for sure, he said.

If this thing drags on through 2021, were talking next summer, then it gets very difficult to survive. Were running capacity about one-third of our space, the revenue approximates our capacity, so it certainly isnt what we modeled when we opened.

Perrin said he hopes the combination of fully outdoor classes when the weather allows, the new hybrid studio, and the reopening of his old space will bring in enough revenue to withstand the coming months.

We do hope this is an attractive offering to this street and the folks that used to come to our studio, he said. No situation is ideal right now, but were doing the best we can, which I think people really do appreciate.

For now, however, it seems gym-goers are still interested in squeezing every last bit of outdoor activity during the fall months before they have to face going inside for a sweat session.

Fall in D.C. anyway, we see a decrease in riders, Geller said, because everyone wants to be outside. Same thing in spring, before its too hot. Its hard to gauge right now what will happen with that, but were hopeful people will start to feel a little more secure and safe. I understand the hesitation. Its a scary time.

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Oct 22

British Gymnast Nile Wilson Tries Military Fitness Test Events –

British Olympic gymnast Nile Wilson is taking a challenge that YouTubers and athletes alike love to try: military physical fitness tests. There's an entire genre of fit guys testing their mettle with the physical trials members of the forces must passfrom British bodybuilder Obi Vincent trying the Marine Corps Fitness Test, MattDoesFitness attempting the U.S. Air Force's Physical Fitness Test, and Olympic runners Nick Symmonds and Ryan Hall taking on the Marine Corps Fitness Test.

Men's Health

But Wilson isn't interested in one specific military outfit's protocol. For his challenge, Wilson plans to take on a custom challenge comprised of pullups, pushups and situps, all common events in the genre. To fit the theme, Wilson and his friends don faux-camouflage fatigues and wear dog tags (the face paint they apply might just be a step to far).

Wilson sets out a goal number of reps for each exercise:

Chinups: 23Situps: 70Pushups: 40

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"We'll see how far we can push the boundaries today," says Wilson.

Wilson gets to his chinups, and he knocks out 25 reps without dropping.

Next up is situps, which he plans to do for 2 minutes. But he comes up short with only 66.

"Ahhhhh!" he says as he struggles through his last reps. "We're putting ourselves through hell and high water."

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Finally, he hits the pushups, which will be until he fatigues.

"I'll be really happy with 87," he says.

He grabs a yoga block to put under his chest to tap for each rep. He gets to it, and he manages to get to 61 pushups before collapsing. He's not close to his goal, but it's a solid effort nonetheless.

In place of the 1.5 mile run standard with military fitness tests, Wilson decides to do an assault course in the gymnasium instead. The challenge uses the gymnastics rings, crawling underneath gym mats, scaling a wall, flips on a trampoline, walking across balance beams, and uneven bars. He completes it in 1:25. That might be more like a military obstacle course than a fitness testbut we'll give him credit for the effort.

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Oct 22

Fitness Facts: Halloween and COVID safety – GCU Today

Connie Colbert

By Connie ColbertDirector, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic

Halloween might look a little different this year because of COVID, but here are some tips from Johns Hopkins Hospital to help make it just as memorable while being safe.

Virtual costume contests and other online fun are the safest ways for kids to get together with their friends. Avoid parties, haunted houses and other indoor group activities especially when screaming is involved. (Screaming is a big part of Halloween, but it projects a lot of respiratory droplets.)

Door-to-door trick-or-treating is riskier since it involves interacting with many people. But if you choose to go ahead with the tradition, ask around in advance and find out who in your neighborhood is planning to participate. Ensure you and your children are physically distancing, wearing masks and practicing hand hygiene.

Keep large groups of kids from crowding around the same door, especially if theyre shouting trick or treat! Coach your children: If they encounter candy givers or other neighbors who arent wearing masks, wish them Happy Halloween and move on.

Giving out candy? Wear your mask, plus gloves, and toss the candy or pre-filled goodie bags on a sanitized table for physically distanced pickup. Look for clever ideas, such as making candy chutes and zip lines, or other fun ways to get candy to trick-or-treaters while maintaining 6 feet distance.

Parents dont need to wash or sterilize candy wrappers; hand hygiene is more important. Remind children that they can dive into their tasty treasures only after returning home and thoroughly washing their hands.

If your childs costume includes a mask, save it for later since costume masks may not prevent spreading the coronavirus. Substitute acoronavirus-approved mask, decorated to match the theme of your childs costume.

Alternatives to trick-or-treating still can be fun:

How about a spooky scavenger hunt in your yard? Tuck away treats for your children to find, give them flashlights and let the adventure begin. If you include others from outside your household, make sure everyone wears COVID-appropriate masks and stays at least 6 feet apart.

Carving pumpkins, decorating masks, watching movies and sharing funny, scary stories around thefireplace or outdoor firepit with family members can make memories to cherish.

Take plenty of pictures. This Halloween might be a little different as you take precautions such as mask-wearing, physical distancing, hand hygiene and avoiding crowds. But even while you are staying safe, you and your children still can have great times to look back on years from now.

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Fitness Facts: Halloween and COVID safety - GCU Today

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Oct 22

How technology is helping to reshape fitness and outdoor recreation – Fast Company

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, people increasingly have turned to exercise as a way to relax and rechargeoften in droves. Yellowstone National Park, one of the crown jewels of the National Park Service, recorded its second busiest August ever as nearly 900,000 visitors passed through its gates.

But as with most everything in the COVID era, the usual rules dont apply when it comes to staying active, whether hiking to Old Faithful or just working up a sweat at home. At this years Fast Company Innovation Festival, a panel discussion presented by Booz Allen Hamilton explored how digital innovations are helping to reshape recreation today, and in the years to come. Here are five key takeaways from the event:

1. Trip-planning goes digital

Forget poring over guidebooks and asking friends for their favorite hiking trails. Julie McPherson, executive vice president of digital solutions at Booz Allen Hamilton, says planning an outdoor adventure often starts with pulling out a smartphone. Booz Allen serves as innovative partner and main contractor to the federal governments service, which helps people find outdoor activities ranging from backcountry camping to ranger-led tours. The sites mobile app was downloaded nearly 500,000 times during a three-month span this springmore than the total downloads in all of 2019. Were all used to doing mobile, McPherson said, but were seeing so much more volumewhether its actually making reservations or just getting access to information.

2. Slowing down, tuning in

As COVID-19 ground regular routines to a near-halt, many people found themselves with much more free time. Kristen Holmes, vice president of performance at WHOOP, which makes a wearable device that tracks fitness, sleep, and other physiological data, decided to embrace it. She has spent more time with family and has a renewed focus on her physical health. Ive just been trying to be more aware of the signals that my body is giving me, Holmes said. I want to make sure I create space for that during the day.

Holmes is not alone. While the consensus assumed that COVID lockdowns would lead to less-than-savory habits, WHOOP collected data that showed the opposite: users were sleeping better, exercising more, and improving their cardiovascular fitness. These are really crazy times, she said. We actually saw our cohort get healthier during this time of uncertainty and unrest.

3. Outdoor retailers have had to adapt

These days, many people are embracing outdoor activities for the first time. Doing that is a processfrom looking for inspiration and planning trips to getting kitted out with the necessary gear. Outdoor retailer REI has worked to make the purchasing process easier and safer for customers, from contactless pick-up at stores to more bespoke offerings, such as virtual outfitting and scheduled consultations with gear experts. They can get the time they need with an expert to talk them through [the process], said Christine Putur, REIs executive vice president of technology and operations. Were very obsessed about removing friction from that cycle.

4. Tech tools will help improve the great outdoors

With a spike of interest in outdoor activities, McPherson said that responded by designing new ways to get visitors into outdoor areas more safely and efficiently. That included the creation of a timed-entry service to help set the number of vehicles and people who enter a recreation area at intervals throughout the day, as well as innovative ways to provide contact-free transactions, such as cashless entry and same-day campsite reservations.

McPherson noted that these innovations may have a long-lasting impact beyond COVID: By minimizing person-to-person interactions for such actions as paying entrance fees and checking-in visitors, for example, rangers may be able to focus on more important tasks. Were fundamentally trying to take as many of the administrative responsibilities off of them and automate that through technology, she said.

Following the panel discussion, Janelle Smith, a spokesperson, added, We are hearing from many of our local recreation managers that converting their sites or activities as reservable on has dramatically reduced their workload, allowing them to focus on other visitor services.

5. Balancing the work-life pendulum

So, what does the post-pandemic future hold for companies and organizations involved in the recreation industry? Like those in other industries, theyll need to remain flexible, according to Holmes. That means giving employees more latitude to determine what works best for their personal situation, whether its coming into the office or managing a more hybrid work-from-home schedule. Being able to have those conversations and come to a conclusion together is going to be really important, Holmes said. Because generally speaking, whats best for the individual is going to be best for the corporation, right?

McPherson noted that digital technologies such as videoconference apps have made that transition easier, and have helped companies and employees figure out how to find balance between their work and their personal lives. It really is about striking a balance, she said. We used to fight crazy traffic and go to the office every day no matter what. Theres never going to be a pendulum swinging back to where we were. I think thats good.

Click here to watch this panel from the Fast Company Innovation Festival.

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How technology is helping to reshape fitness and outdoor recreation - Fast Company

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Oct 22

Apple Watch Series 6 vs. Fitbit Sense: Health, fitness and smartwatch features compared – CNET

The Apple Watch Series 6 and Fitbit Sense are top smartwatches that can help keep an eye on your fitness levels and act as a phone alternative on your wrist. Both also have an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG -- Apple uses ECG) app, track workouts, sleep and blood oxygen levels, but they're different in the way they go about doing these things. To help you decide which is right for you, I've compared them on everything from fitness tracking to battery life and overall performance.

If you have an Android phone, the Fitbit is your only option, but both work with iOS devices, making the decision trickier if you have an iPhone. After two weeks of wearing these watches, I can tell you that there is no one-size-fits-all option. If you want the best overall smartwatch, with seamless fitness tracking and safety features, get the $399 (379, AU$599)Apple Watch. If you want the most robust sleep tracking, temperature sensor and the best battery life, get the $329 (299, AU$499) Fitbit Sense.

The latest Apple Watch has a robust set of fitness tracking features, an FDA-cleared ECG, blood oxygen tracking and all the responsiveness you could want from a smartwatch. It's also the better option if you need built-in LTE to use your watch without your iPhone nearby. Read the Apple Watch review.

The Fitbit Sense also offers an FDA-cleared ECG, strong sleep tracking, a temperature sensor and a stress tracking sensor. Unlike the Apple Watch, it also works with Android, has plenty of third-party watch faces to choose from, and offers the better battery life of the two watches. Read the Fitbit Sense review.

The Series 6 looks like every other Apple Watch that has come before it, with a square face available in two sizes (either 40 or 44mm) plus a digital crown and side button. The Sense looks like a higher-end Versa and comes in just one 40mm size with a stainless steel rim around the square face, but instead of a physical button, it has an indentation on the side that vibrates when pressed and can be used to control the screen. While the Fitbit is physically larger than the 40mm Apple Watch, the actual screen size is only a hair bigger than the Apple Watch because of the bezels. The Apple Watch also has bezels around the screen, although they're slimmer than those on the Sense.

Each watch has a color, always-on screen that's easy to see in broad daylight, although I found the Apple Watch takes the edge for overall brightness when glancing down at my wrist during an outdoor workout.

The Sense has many more watch faces to choose from than the Apple Watch, including third-party ones. However, you can further customize some Apple Watch faces to include complications, which are similar to shortcuts: They can display information such as weather or calendar appointments at a glance. Both also have different colors and hardware finishes to choose from.

Straps on both are easy to swap in and out with quick release buttons and you can change up the look with a wide variety of bands including leather, woven and silicone options.

Each watch can scan for potential signs of a heart condition called atrial fibrillation or aFib with their ECG apps. Place your finger on the digital crown for 30 seconds on the Apple Watch, while you place your index and thumb on the opposite corners of the Fitbit Sense for the same amount of time to take a reading.

You can share results from both with your doctor. See where the ECG is available around the world on the Apple Watch and on the Fitbit Sense. Each watch can also monitor for signs of high or low heart rate and notify you accordingly.

ECG on the Fitbit Sense

Both can also track SpO2, or blood oxygen saturation, while you sleep. Check levels in the Health app on youriPhone for the Apple Watch, or wait for the Fitbit to calculate your nightly average on the SpO2 watch-face about an hour after waking up. It's also displayed in the sleep section within the Fitbit app as a graph, but will only show variations throughout the night and not exact percentages. The Apple Watch also lets you take a spot check of SpO2 and takes background readings throughout the day -- the Fitbit doesn't have an on-demand reading. Neither one of these watches are intended to be used as medical devices and may not be as accurate as a traditional pulse oximeter which is what doctors use to measure SpO2.

Fitbit's watch has two additional sensors that the Apple Watch lacks: a temperature sensor that measures variations in skin temperature throughout the night, and an EDA or electrodermal activity sensor that uses sweat to determine stress levels. Changes in baseline temperature (like what's monitored with the Sense) can indicate a number of different conditions like the onset of a fever or changes in menstrual cycle.

But as interesting as having all this data is, stress detection on the Sense in particular seems more like a work in progress than a fully fledged health feature at the moment. To take a measurement you first place your palm over the watch face for 2 minutes while the EDA sensor analyzes sweat levels. The watch then uses this metric, along with sleep, activity and heart rate variability data to calculate a stress score that can give you insight into how your body responds to stress. The problem is the Sense doesn't give you any indication of what to do with a high or low stress management score, like getting more sleep or holding off on a strenuous workout. There are some guided meditations in the Fitbit app, but I'm not sure how effective they were at reducing my stress levels.

The daily Stress Management Score from the Fitbit Sense

To access these guided meditations, as well as guided workouts, more nuanced health data sleep and temperature variations you will need to pay $10 a month for a Fitbit Premium account. Apple will soon roll out its $10 a month Fitness Plus service that offers workout classes to cast on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV and sync directly to your Apple Watch.

Both also offer native sleep tracking, but the Fitbit Sense has a lot more data about your sleep than the Apple Watch. Premium subscribers can get a breakdown of their sleep stages -- like deep, REM and light -- breathing rate, SpO2 and temperature variations culminating in a sleep score in the morning. The Apple Watch focuses more on establishing a healthy bedtime routine and mostly looks at duration of sleep which shows periods of awake time during the night as well as heart rate and SpO2 data.

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The Apple Watch also has a fall detection feature that can call emergency services and contacts if you remain motionless after a hard fall. It also has noise level alerts, irregular heart rate alerts, VO2 max measurements and mobility metrics. And it's also the only one that you can potentially give to kids or elderly relatives to keep an eye on their daily health data with Family Setup.

Each watch has a range of different exercises that it can track, on top of general metrics like steps and calories. The Apple Watch has over 40 different workouts to choose from while Fitbit has over 20 available that cover all the main options. Both watches also automatically detect certain workouts including walks and runs, so you get credit for your effort even if you forget to start a workout manually. They're also water-resistant, allowing them to track swims.

Both have built-in GPS so you can track the route of your outdoor workouts without bringing your phone, but the Sense takes around 10 seconds to acquire a signal outdoors while the Apple Watch is within 1 to 2 seconds. I did a 4-kilometer outdoor run on both and the distance and route were pretty much the same when I compared the Sense and Apple Watch results on a map.

The Sense can show you what heart rate zone you're in and encourage you to push harder (or back off).

The Sense also shows you heart rate zones such as cardio, fat burn and peak, on the screen in real time. It can buzz as you enter different heart rate zones, which may be helpful if you're trying to train at a particular intensity.

However, when I compared the heart rate tracking on the Apple Watch and Sense for an outdoor run against a chest strap, the standard for this type of metric during workouts, I noticed the Apple Watch kept up while the Sense often lagged behind by about 20 to 30 beats per minute. After around 10 to 15 minutes, the Sense caught up to the strap's readings.

After your workout, the watches break down your metrics in either the iPhone Fitness app (Apple Watch), or the Fitbit app (Sense). I love how clearly the Fitbit app presents your workout data, including splits and heart rate zones. The Apple Watch only gives you your range, splits and heart rate on a graph rather than breaking it down into zones.

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While the Fitbit focuses on health tracking, the Apple Watch is the better package if you also want a designated smartwatch. You'll get more third-party apps, much tighter integration with the iPhone and faster performance overall. On the Fitbit Sense, even minor tasks like changing watch faces or syncing apps can take 30 seconds or more to complete, whereas on the Apple Watch it's almost instantaneous.

Responding to notifications or text messages is easy on the Apple Watch: dictate, send a quick canned response, or scribble on the keyboard. You can also take calls from your wrist because the mic and speaker are decent quality. If you have an iPhone, the Sense won't let you respond to notifications, but if you're on Android you can either send a quick response or dictate a message. The same goes for phone calls -- only Android users can make or answer calls from their wrist with the Sense as long as it's in range of the phone.

The Apple Watch is the only one that has an LTE option for $100 more than the Wi-Fi only model (it costs $499 in the US) to take calls and stay connected without your phone nearby.

Each has the option to use a voice assistant: Siri on the Apple Watch, or Alexa on the Fitbit Sense. Google Assistant support is coming at some stage on the Sense, although at the time of this review it hasn't been activated on my watch. Put simply, Siri can do a lot more on the Apple Watch than Alexa on the Sense, like start a workout, send a text message or start a timer. Alexa is limited in what it can do, and it's a lot slower, but it does let you control smart home devices if you have any. The Apple Watch also lets you control smart home devices with Siri.

Finally, you can't store your own music on the Fitbit Sense. Instead, you're limited to downloading music for offline listening from Deezer or Pandora with a premium subscription. The Apple Watch on the other hand lets you store your own music (it has 32GB of storage) or download music from Apple Music for offline listening with a subscription.

With notifications from your phone, sleep tracking and the always-on display active, I was able to get a day and change out of the 40mm Apple Watch Series 6. You'll need at least 30% battery remaining to track your sleep, so you'll probably need to charge this watch every day to keep it topped up, unless you turn off the always-on display which can extend the battery life to almost two days.

The Fitbit Sense lasts two full days with notifications, always-on display and sleep tracking and can extend it to almost 5 full days by turning off the always-on display.

Each watch charges with a proprietary magnetic puck that snaps on to the back. The Apple Watch charger is forwards and backwards-compatible with earlier Apple Watches, while the Fitbit Sense charger is designed specifically for the watch (so you can't use earlier Fitbit chargers from the Versa, for example, with the Sense). Both charge to 100% in about an hour and a half.

The Apple Watch is the stronger overall smartwatch that blends fitness tracking with an ECG and SpO2 sensor, but only if you have an iPhone. The Fitbit Sense has a lot to offer for Android users, specifically if you want an ECG, robust sleep tracking and are intrigued by stress and temperature tracking.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs. Fitbit Sense: Health, fitness and smartwatch features compared - CNET

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