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Jul 4

Is Fitness The Key To Swimming Faster? Are You Sure? – SwimSwam

Courtesy: Bob Prichard

The preponderance of modern swim training is improving fitness. Sure, there is a dollop on technique, but since the prevailing sentiment is that everyone has their own technique, why spend a lot of time on it?

Here is the idea. Swimming a ton of yardage will stimulate your heart to grow bigger (like any other muscle), it will squirt out more blood with each beat, that bigger squirt will carry more oxygen to your muscles, you wont tire out so fast and you will swim faster. Along the way, your capillary bed with grow, improving the delivery of oxygen to your frazzled muscles.

Its easy to measure your fitness. Just get a VO2max test. If you are really fit, you will be in the 70-90 category, or world-class.

Seems simple enough. After all, everyone has had the experience of falling behind on the last leg because they ran out of gas.

But is it that simple?

Lets take Janet Evans as an example. Janet simultaneously held World Records in the 400, 800- and 1500-meter freestyle. Some of her records lasted 19 years. Janet must have been a VO2max beast.


Janet had a VO2max of only 56. How low is that? Well, a couch potato has a VO2max of 46. Her competitors were in the 70-80 group. In other words, Janet was closer to being a couch potato than a world-class swimmer.

But she was world-class. In fact, she was the best for 18-19 years.

Was it her stroke? Was it much more efficient than anyone elses?

It wasnt. It was just average. She did have an unusual over the water recovery stroke, but underwater her stroke was average according to her hand force output curve.

Sowhat did coaches and swim scientists do? Did they put her under a microscope to see why she was so much faster than anyone else with such a low VO2max?

No. They just continued increasing yardage by distance or intensity. Oh yes. They also added in weightlifting.

But I have a habit of investigating highly successful athletes, so I flew down to Southern California where she was competing in a meet and asked her if I could measure her flexibility. It sounds unusual, but I have done this with dozens of elite athletes in many sports.

Janet had average flexibility in her legs, hips and shoulders. When I say average, I mean for elite swimmers.

But there were three areas where she had 50% more flexibility.

Her breathing ranges.

I measure breathing ranges in a three-step process that compensates for athlete size so I can compare a five-year-old age group swimmer with a 68 goliath.

First, I measure the circumference of the stomach (at the belly button), the diaphragm (the top of the costal arch) and the chest (nipple line for men, just below the breasts for women).

Then I have them blow out all their air, ask them to take a deep breath (expanding all three areas) and measure the amount of expansion. I then divide the amount of each expansion by its circumference to get their breathing range.

Janets breathing ranges were all 16%. This means that someone with a 36 chest expands 5.76.

Her competition? The many I have measured were all 10-12%.

So, does this mean anything? It does. When I doubled the chest expansion of one of my athletes from 2 to 4, his lung capacity increased 33%, from 3.22 liters to 4.3 liters.

Do you think you might be able to swim faster if your chest expanded 50-100% more than your competitors?

Another swimmer I measured did. He was a national record holder in the 100-meter freestyle. He had the biggest amount of expansion I have ever measured. His chest was 45 and expanded 9, or 20%. I asked him if he ever got tired during a race. He looked puzzled. Why would I get tired? It was only 100 meters was his response.

Age group swimmers in my swim camps have improved their times up to 18% after just one week of stroke improvement and chest expansion. The most surprising thing? Following up with their parents six months later I found that their grade point average had improved a full letter grade. One gal went from a C+ average to a B+ average, with an A- in physics!

Now, you are probably thinking that 20% chest expansion is something you are born with and have for the rest of your life.

Not true. 20% is something you are born with, but most people lose.

The kids entering my swim camps in 2000 all had less chest expansion than before. I had never seen an across-the-board drop like this in the 15 years I had been running these camps. As I was releasing the microfibers (mild scar tissue) that were restricting their chest expansion, they recalled the stress that tightened up their chests.

Their school backpack.

I was dumbfounded. How could a school backpack permanently reduce chest expansion and lung capacity? So, I did some research. First, I found out that larger and heavier backpacks became common in the mid-90s as schools required more and more books and supplies be carried to school every day. Then I found 8 studies from around the world that measured a reduction in lung capacity when kids put on their school backpack. The reduction was measurable when the backpack weighed only 5% of body weight (no one carries a load that light) and climbed to a 40% reduction when the weight was increased. A survey by the US Department of Education found a 40% drop in freshmen STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) majors between 1996 and 2004. In 1996, college freshmen had been carrying bigger, heavier backpacks for 1 year. In 2004, they had been carrying them for 8 years.

Did these kids swim faster after we undid the damage from their backpacks? Of course they did. Did their grades improve? Yes, they did.

But there are other ways to lose your 20% expansion. Chronic colds and allergies, asthma, bronchitis, pneumoniaespecially when you are youngcan permanently cut chest expansion in half. Sports impacts like trapping a soccer ball with your chest, getting tackled or elbowed in the chest, falling on a football, a car accident or bike fall, texting, playing video games, vaping and emotional or mental stress. In reaction to all these stresses we tighten our muscles and the connective tissue (which is not very bright) thinks we have cracked a rib and so starts to create microfibers to immobilize the area so it can heal. The problem then is two-fold. First, the connective tissue never figured out how to release those microfibers. Second, they tend to accumulate over time, gradually reducing flexibility. Chest, diaphragm and stomach expansion are lost by the ordinary happenings of life.

Oh yes. There are some other ways swimmers lose their breathing ranges (this is not going to make a lot of coaches very happy). Bench presses, push-ups, pull-ups, swim benches, hand paddles, pull buoys, sit-ups and core work are other stresses our swimmers have recalled as we have released microfibers around their chest and stomach. They then took deeper breaths and swam faster.

Sowhat does all this mean?

Should you measure your breathing ranges? Should your whole team measure their breathing ranges? Should you stop doing things that reduce chest expansion and lung capacity?

No. I wouldnt bother. It will just confuse everyone. They already have so much on their plate anyway.

The best thing is just to keep doing what you have always been doing. Maybe increase your yardage or weights just a little bit. Dont do anything too different. After all, everyone knows the formula for success. Why mess with it?

Bob Prichard is President of Somax Performance Institute in Tiburon, CA. His 18 Olympic swimmers have won 43 Gold Medals and set 11 World Records.His age group and mastersswimmers have won state, national and regional championships.A former columnist for theNew York Times, he has worked as an analyst for NBC Sports Olympics and has been cited inSports IllustratedandSportmagazine among many others.

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Jul 4

Fitness Industry Calls on Congress for Desperately Needed Relief – Club Industry

Club Industry was not involved in the creation of this content.

Hard-hit health and fitness clubs ask Congress for relief, protection, and stimulus.

BOSTON, MAJune 23, 2020Forced into near-total shut down since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), is calling on the Senate to help Americas health and fitness industry survive so it can continue to employ its nearly three million workers.

As an industry uniquely impacted by the coronavirus, health and fitness clubs are in desperate need of relief to get back on their feet, pay their employees and continue to provide safe, secure, proven places for millions of Americans to achieve their health and fitness goals.

Health and Fitness Clubs are uniquely impacted by the crisis because:

IHRSA, the trade association for the health club industry, has been sounding the alarm on the dire consequences the industry is facing since the early days of the pandemic, even before Congress took up the CARES Act.

With near-total closures and no real opportunities to earn revenues since mid-March, fitness clubs and gyms across the country require financial relief.

I have taken on the responsibility to continue to pay my employees for the time being, but those funds, without income from the business, are finite. We need to support our workers, but for our workers to have jobs in the future, we need to make sure that the economy of the health and wellness industry can rebound, said Kevin Johnson, CEO and owner of Team85 Fitness & Wellness in Bordentown, NJ [which as of June 12 has yet to announce an opening date for clubs.] We need the support of our government to protect our employees, and the actions put in place thus far are not enough to continue this assistance. Without a concerted effort, we will see this industry begin to crumble. Even if the larger facilities can remain open, the small business will not be able to sustain paying the employees without support.

When Congress passed the CARES Act, a large and important segment of the fitness industry, operators with more than 500 employees, was left out. Even those who were able to access some emergency funding found that aid insufficient to keep their businesses open, as many clubs go into their third month of closure. And those eligible for the SBAs Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) were not able to take advantage of the loans with their businesses remaining closed, many with no opening date in sight.

Without much-needed relief, the health and fitness industry, which represents a vital portion of the U.S. economy and the nations health and well-being, faces dire consequences:

If we have learned anything from this experience, it is that those who are healthy have a better chance of being able to survive this type of virus, and it is imperative that the fitness industry be at the forefront of all government entities to improve the health and wellbeing of all their constituents now and in the future, said Johnson. Without Congressional support, one of the most important industries in this world will be withered away to nothing.

Health clubs serve as an integral part of the solution to returning our citizens to a state of good health, a strengthened immune system, better mental health and prosperity. They are deeply ingrained in their communities, serving as community centers in many places, and providing daycare options, swimming lessons, educational classes, and other services that would be lost if they close.

For Americas gyms, studios, health and fitness clubs, and the companies that supply them to survive, and continue to maintain the physical and emotional health of communities across the country, Congress must include relief that can help fitness businesses in any of its upcoming legislative attempts to address COVID-19 related issues.

In its lobbying efforts to save the U.S. health and fitness industry, IHRSA is asking for three categories of relief from Congress: relief, protection, and stimulus.

Without immediate assistance, as many as a quarter of Americas health and fitness clubs will close by the end of 2020. This would be catastrophic to these small business owners, their hundreds of thousands of employees, and the millions of people who use them, said Joe Moore, IHRSA president and CEO. In a time where increased physical activity is critical to the countrys physical and mental health, the closure of these clubs would be devastating to communities across the country and could leave many without access to any health and fitness options at a time when they need them the most.


Note: This press release was sent by IHRSA to hundreds of national and political media contacts to highlight the fitness industry's plight. A version of this release was sent to US fitness industry trade media and can be seen here:ihrsa-launches-campaign-for-relief-and-stimulus-from-congress/.

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Jul 4

Fitness tracker study finds signs of coronavirus – The Denver Channel

Roughly 40 million people are estimated to wear a fitness tracker of some kind. Now one of those brands, Fitbit, has teamed up with researchers to try and predict COVID-19 symptoms before they start.

"About seven years ago when these Fitbits and things were coming out as fitness trackers, we said, Well they're probably pretty good physiological markers, not just fitness markers," said Dr. Michael Snyder with Stanford University's School of Medicine.

Dr. Snyder says they were first able to use the technology to help them catch early signs of Lyme disease. The current pandemic has prompted them to take their research a step further.

"They're mostly built around heart rate which we think is better than skin temperature because not everyone gets a fever with COVID," said Dr. Snyder.

Stanford's study is taking place in two phases. In the first, researchers evaluated six months of data in a majority of patients who tested positive for COVID-19. Their research showed COVID-19 patients had an elevated resting heart rate up to nine days before showing any symptoms of the virus.

"I view these as health monitors in the current pandemic. If we start flagging people as early as possible were going to be way [ahead in reducing] the number of cases, probably help people in saying no you shouldnt go to work today. So, it has broad implications for the economy, pandemic spread and personal health period," said Dr. Snyder.

Senior Vice President and General Manager of Fitbit Health Solutions, Amy McDonough, agrees.

"In particular, resting heart rate, heart rate variability, breathing rate all might change as your body is fighting off illness. So the study is really to look at what are the expressed changes that might happen," said McDonough.

"I think your immune system engages pretty quickly when you get ill and the cells are probably consuming a lot of energy and your heart needs to pound away to create some of them," said Dr. Snyder.

Stanford's second phase of the study starts soon. People who have a fitness tracker can sign up and anonymously share their fitness data. Then, they can get alerted when researchers detect an elevated resting heart rate and possible early signs of contracting a virus.

"To be able to do that earlier detection can help keep people safe and help understand their body and when they might be fighting off illness," said McDonough.

Dr. Snyder is confident in the technology, which he says helped him detect his own case of Lyme disease. "In one case which was on me, it was pretty clear I was ill because of the bio marker but I didnt feel symptoms and my watch even picked that up. So what that tells you is it can detect disease when youre presymptomatic as well as in asymptomatic cases which is pretty powerful," said Dr. Snyder.

People can sign up for Stanford's study by logging into their Fitbit app or heading to

As for what Dr. Snyder hopes to take away from this study, he said "I hope to plant a wearable device on every person on the planet. Sixty percent of people have a smartphone so it's totally scalable. These are not expensive devices. They could be a lot cheaper than they are and obviously the ones in the future will be much more health-oriented."

Eventually they hope to be able to detect the severity of an illness, as well.

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Jul 4

Registration for Year Two of The Iron Games Fitness Festival Opens Up – Morning Chalk Up

Registration for Year Two of The Iron Games Fitness Festival Opens Up | Morning Chalk Up

Photo Credit: The Iron Games

The campus of Southern Utah University will once again play host to the Iron Games Fitness Festival on September 10-12 in Cedar City, Utah. Hosted by Larry H. Miller Utah Summer Games, The Iron Games registration opened upon Tuesday and will run till August 7.

The details:The Iron Games is in its second year of existence after debuting last year with great fanfare and media coverage as the Buttery Bros and the Morning Chalk Ups very own Tommy Marquez competed and documented their exploitscompeting in the Elite Team of Three Division.

One big thing: The COVID-19 pandemic caused cancelations to competitions globally, including the majority of the 2020 Sanctional season. Competitions big and small were forced to cancel due to state-level public health guidelines. Following Mayhem Madness (August 2-9), the Masters Fitness Collective (August 20-23) and Pit Fitness Ranch Teen Games (September 3-6) the Iron Games is the first planned, in-person, major individual and team competition since the Brazil CrossFit Championship and Australian CrossFit Championship each concluded on March 8. For Games and Sanctional hopefuls that saw their season come to an end due to the pandemic, the Iron Games could provide a conclusion to their 2020 training season before the upcoming season begins.

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Jul 4

Home gyms, online training give hope to fitness freaks – The Tribune India

Neha Saini

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 3

With several businesses beginning to find their feet after the Covid pandemic, the fitness industry, however, is still awaiting resumption. With no immediate scope of reopening in sight, the professionals of the industry say that it will be a very slow transition towards the new normal whenever the gyms are allowed to open.

Though the awareness related to health and fitness has increased during the lockdown, given that people have been consciously working to build their immunity, the business will take quite some time to adjust to the new normal, said Aman Aggarwal, who is a manufacturer and supplier for fitness equipment.

In the absence of gyms and fitness studios, other alternatives have mushroomed as being fit has always been a prime priority for the masses. As a result, home gyms have captured the limelight and is the new fitness trend among the fitness freaks. Apart from that, personal training through social media platforms and online portals too has come up. A majority of city-based fitness coaches are going for online fitness videos and personalised home training.

There has been a huge emphasis on fitness and immunity during last few months due to pandemic. People are becoming aware and with social media and online platforms, its easier to train and exercise safely at home. So, a lot of people are opting for online training and classes, whether its Zumba, power yoga, dance-based workouts, said Preeti Singh, a fitness coach and a dance coach.


Aman Aggarwal, manufacture and supplier of fitness equipments

The shift towards home gyms has contributed to 300% to 400% increase in demand and sales of fitness equipment used in home gyms, both offline and online. Dumbles, light rods, plates, treadmills and basic gym equipment demands are so high that its difficult to meet with requirement.

Preeti Singh, power yoga instructor

I have been conducting power yoga classes five days a week and we have received tremendous response on our online platform. The fact that fitness industry has shifted to digital platforms to survive this challenging period is what would become the future of this industry as well.

Neeraj Nayyar, gym and fitness equipment manufacturer

The trend of home gyms have provided the boost to business with people inclined to buy basic workout equipment. The sales are promising and would continue to be so if the gyms and health studios do not open for long. The fitness industry was already booming before the lockdown.

Sunil Sharma, fitness coach

People have become more aware about fitness regimen during the lockdown. Until the gym and fitness arenas open, we are giving online personal training and home classes depending upon the safety and assurance by the clients. All the safety mandations including masks, gloves are used while home training. The workouts are done keeping in mind social distancing so only one or two clients are scheduled for home appointments in a day.

Home gyms, online training give hope to fitness freaks - The Tribune India

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Jul 4

Falls Aquatic Center & Cedar Falls Recreation and Fitness Center to reopen after positive COVID-19 cases –

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Cedar Falls Recreation and Fitness Center and The Falls Aquatic Center announced plans to reopen after employees at both facilities tested positive for COVID-19.

The Recreation and Fitness Center will reopen on Monday, July 6, at 5:00 a.m., to members. Operating hours will be Monday through Friday from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. until July 17. The City plans to resume regular summer hours after July 17.

Weather permitting, The Falls Aquatic Center will reopen on Saturday, July 4, at noon to season pass holders. The City of Cedar Falls announced the closure of both facilities on June 30 after an employee at each facility tested positive for COVID-19. The City says the facilities have been deep-cleaned in accordance with CDC guidelines.

A press release says city officials continue to comply with CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health guidelines. Due to privacy reasons, no additional information is being released regarding the two infected employees.

Both facilities will continue to follow COVID-19 precautions and all customers must abide by the rules in order to use the facilities. This includes wearing a mask at the Rec and at the Falls and following all social distancing rules. Those in the pool do not need to wear a mask at that time.

Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, including fever or cough, should not enter the facilities.

Click here to stay updated on announcements from the City of Cedar Falls and find local and national resources concerning the virus.

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Jul 4

Best Fitness eager to reopen gyms in New York – NEWS10 ABC

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Best Fitness Vice President of Sales and Personal Training, Andy Marino, says its gyms are preparing to reopen in New York with new protocols to keep its staff and members safe from COVID-19. Marino says while they havent received any guidance from the state on procedures, they are using multiple sources for its plan.

Best Fitness has created a plan for the reopening of gyms in New Hampshire. Marino says they will be using this along with general guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control for their New York plan.

Marino says Best Fitness has always focused on keeping gyms safe for its members and that the new protocols are an extension of that. Nationally, Marino says members are respecting the rules and are being diligent about cleanliness.

AtBestFitness, we are committed to re-opening our gyms in accordance with state regulations and guidelines to ensure public safety while supporting the health, safety and livelihoods of our employees, says Marino. The health and well-being of our members, employees, and the community we serve is our number one priority. We are eager to re-open and help our members safely continue toward theirfitnessgoals.

Gyms in Massachusetts are scheduled to reopen on July 6. New York has yet to set a date when gyms will reopen.

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Jul 4

Apply the fitness mindset to improve financial health – The Times of India Blog

Indian culture handles fitness and finance in diametrically different ways. Our societies love to discuss, dissect and talk about our fitness, whether its asking what we ate to commenting on our bodies, but when it comes to finance there is complete silence, almost a stigma around it. Thats probably why Indians have one of the most sophisticated and nuanced approach to food, but are flying blind when it comes to their finances. However, physical well-being and financial well-being are similar in approach, and drawing analogies from one can help shape our thinking about the other.

Budget like you diet: We manage our diet to assess how much to eat on the basis of our fitness goals, choosing between food groups and options available. In personal finance, this is budgeting where we take control of how and where income is used, understand goals, priorities and allocate accordingly.

Plan investments like workout routines: Investments are so complicated that hearing the word makes us run to someone else to make decisions for us. Experts are like personal trainers, they can force accountability, but the decisions we make are our own.

Just like with food, all investment too is goal-based. What are the outcomes we want to achieve? Someone with the goal of retiring on a beach at 40 would have a very different path than someone who wants their company to IPO at a billion dollars. Once your goals are clear, define outputs just like you would with your workout. Which specific muscle groups do you need to work on to achieve the desired outcomes? In the financial world, this involves creating a specific portfolio that will help achieve goals.

There are two main types of investment instruments you can use Debt and Equity. Debt instruments which include corporate or government bonds, treasury bills, etc., tend to be less risky but offer lower, more consistent returns. Equity instruments such as stocks, mutual funds etc are more risky and volatile, yet offer higher, less consistent returns. Think of these options as cardio and weight training, both fall under exercise and help us achieve the physical goals we want, but their approaches are different.

While putting together a portfolio, dont forget to consider your risk appetite and profile. A professional athlete will have different tolerance compared to a 35-year-old office-goer. Young people can push themselves harder than those with chronic back issues.

Lifestyle choices make all the difference: Apart from food and exercise, the choices we make every day, the habits we build and the identity we associate with looking and feeling good contribute to overall wellness. Similarly, the choices we make on where we invest every rupee even that which we spend contributes to the quality of lifestyle. If we have Rs 5,000 to spend, would you do it on a movie night or on dinner and a museum visit? Smart lifestyle choices set us up for a better life, just like smart wellness choices put us in the right headspace to feel better. The 10% extra you pay for organic tomatoes feels like a long-term investment, which it is. Similarly, before you spend, think about whether its a smart long-term choice. CRED creates opportunities for these smart lifestyle experiences which members access by spending coins.

Measure what matters: Once youve set a program of inputs and outputs, monitoring and tracking on a daily basis is important. Fitness KPIs operate just like financial KPIs in that real-time visibility into the state of our finances gives us the information that nudges smart choices. This tells us how much cash we have, the value of investments, our spending patterns and where we can potentially reallocate. This is tough because a lot of financial data is buried in fine print or somewhere in statements that we never open. We realized how unfriendly it is to review personal financial metrics, and thats why at CRED we make it really easy to see the exact status, spending patterns and hidden charges real-time.

Keep your eye on the (long-term) prize: There are some core behavioral principles that make smart income, investments, credit and lifestyle choices easier to follow, and reflect that for our bodies and our wealth, the well-being mindset has the same elements goal-setting, discipline and moderation..Getting a gym membership in January and forgetting in February does nothing for your fitness. The same outlook should be extended to managing your finances, where it isnt a once in a year exercise that you resolve to work on- mostly during new years eve or tax season. Be consistent in mapping, tracking and budgeting in order to ensure you are aware of your financial situation and informed to make the right decisions.

Short term goals are just that short term. So when looking at your mental and physical wellbeing or finances adopt a broad, long term outlook. Start with outcomes, think about the output metrics that will get you there and finally identify and work on the right inputs. Money and financial fitness is an output that lets you achieve the life you want, and everything related to it is just a tool that is available for you to make informed choices. If youve already shown the commitment to get your health in order, youre a step closer to financial fitness because the same principles apply.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.

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Jul 4

Watch Bear Grylls and His Son Take on the Royal Marines Physical Fitness Test –

Anthony DevlinGetty Images

Since the widespread closure of gyms due to the pandemic, more and more of us have been turning to live-streamed, at-home workouts. Some of them have been led by athletes and fitness junkies at the height of their field, like tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, CrossFit legend Rich Froning, and shredded movie star Mark Wahlberg.

Today, outdoorsman and survivalist Bear Grylls just took on a particularly challenging workout: the pre-joining fitness test for the Royal Marines, designed to challenge an individuals' strength, endurance, and mental fortitude. Led via video link by an active service member, Bear and his teenage son Jesse attempted to complete a remote version of the four-exercise circuit.

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"There's a strong link between the fitness needed for a soldier and the fitness needed for an adventurer," says Bear. "For me, it's about functional fitness, and being fit for purpose."

They start off with a set of burpees comprising 20 reps. This exercise is included in the fitness test as it allows recruiters to assess a candidate's flexibility when performing the full movement, as well as their stamina.

Next up, after a 10-second rest, is a set of 20 situps, performed with very specific form requirements: Bear and Jesse have to keep their knees squeezed together, creating muscle adduction which will then beneficial in rope-climbing exercises.

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They follow that with 20 pushups, ensuring that their arms are fully extended at the upper end of each rep, and finish off by testing the strength and stability of their core and posterior chain with a 60-second plank.

While Bear and Jesse only complete one circuit, the instructor, Ben, explains that usually candidates are required to do three of each set and officers are expected to be able to do four. "I don't know if I could do three rounds of that," says a breathless Jesse after completing the abbreviated test.

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Jul 4

Think WFH is a challenge? Not compared to WOFH: Working Out From Home – NBC News

With many gyms closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, WFH is making way for WOFH: Working Out From Home.

I use a lot of makeshift materials to work out, says Anne Barreca, of Brooklyn, New York. Without access to a gym or swimming pool, she uses whats in her environment for exercise, including the stairs leading to her third-floor walkup, groceries, resistance bands, furniture sliders, dish towels even her 5-month-old son, Benjamin, whom she calls the worlds cutest kettlebell. Hes the perfect size for squats and lunges (comes with the noises too, her husband, Brian, jokes).

Its better than nothing, Barreca said. Something is always better than just being lazy or sitting around. There's no such thing as a perfect workout.

Exercising using ones body weight or with whats available, of course, isnt a new phenomenon.

In 1976s Rocky, the underdog boxer trained by punching slabs of beef in a meat freezer and running up the 72 steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 1982, Jane Fonda donned spandex and leg warmers to bring her total body aerobics routine, Jane Fondas Workout, to women around the world. It sold over 17 million copies, becoming the best-selling VHS tape of all time.

In that same spirit, fitness enthusiasts are discovering new ways to work out and get back to basics in the age of COVID-19.

For Barreca, finding creative hacks to get moving and accepting this new normal wasnt easy. Being an avid runner and swimmer, she continued her exercise regimen well into her pregnancy and was eager to get back to her routine after giving birth. As fate would have it, her doctors gave her the all-clear to resume working out on March 16 the day gyms and pools closed in New York. It was like a cruel joke, she says.

But she didnt let the gym shutdowns, or that shes parenting a newborn during a pandemic, discourage her.

It forces you to tap into the inner reserves you have of patience and creativity, Barreca said. I love gyms as much as anyone. I hope I get to go back, but its not a necessity for maintaining your fitness, which is a very beautiful reminder.

In Largo, Florida, Shani Bryant says she has also learned this lesson while sheltering-in-place and working from home. Her pre-COVID workout group consisted of fellow fitness enthusiasts in her office, all moms, who worked out together every day during their lunch hour, from weight training and HIIT (high intensity interval training) to spin class. They even wore matching shirts and drank the same pre-workout supplement.

It was legit, like a sisterhood, Bryant said.

And while they all tried to keep up that sisterhood when they began working from home, exercising together online via Microsoft Teams, Bryant says she eventually started getting busier and working through lunchtime. She also pointed out that not everyone in the group has the same equipment or resources at home.

All the weights were sold out in the stores, so I couldnt find any barbells or kettlebells, Bryant said. Between January and March, orders for fitness equipment (kettlebells, dumbbells, stationary bikes and treadmills) saw a 55 percent boost in online sales, according to Adobes Digital Economy Index.

Despite those challenges, and sometimes missing the rigor of her old gym workouts, Bryant says shes giving herself some grace and putting less pressure on herself to maintain her old routine. Though shes visited the gym twice since reopening, with social distancing measures in place, she says its difficult to work out in a mask and shes unsure about going back, as cases in Florida continue to rise. She tells herself: Relax, youre in a pandemic. Its OK if you cant lose those other 10 pounds that you were trying to do before your birthday. Its OK.

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She says she has learned to appreciate slower workouts, such as long walks outside with her 3-year-old son.

He loves chasing the birds, riding his bike, looking at all the trees, Bryant said. Now were definitely outdoors and exploring a little bit more, which is nice.

Stacey Tinianov, in Santa Clara, California, has also been forced to slow down. A mom of two teens and a cancer survivor, Tinianov was attending 5 a.m. classes at a nearby Orangetheory fitness studio four days a week and when she didnt make it to a class, she went to 24 Hour Fitness in the evenings to work out on the elliptical. On weekend mornings, she would go on three- to four-hour walks with friends or do a tandem bicycle ride with her husband.

Now, with fitness centers closed, her family has created some new habits.

Every morning, we get up, I go on my walk and he commutes to work, Tinianov said about her husbands daily bike ride. And so he does this 20-mile loop, comes home, showers and then goes to the garage and works all day.

But she admits its challenging to exercise outside and do the constant calculus of social distancing.

It's really weird to walk in a neighborhood because you'll see people and you're like: OK, who should walk in the street? Who should stay on the sidewalk? Who needs to cross the road? Tinianov said. It doesn't feel relaxing, because you're constantly trying to gauge what you should do and it just seems to be a lot involved now in kind of calculating it, rather than just going out for a walk.

Although she hasnt been able to recreate Orangetheory at home (the app doesnt translate the same vibes as an in-person workout, she says), a small silver lining has been finding new activities she tried a zumba class for the first time over Zoom and she started doing some yoga thanks to YouTube. She also completed a four-week exercise challenge, Chloe Tings Summer Shred Challenge, with her 19-year-old daughter.

I definitely would not have done yoga online, Tinianov said. I just wouldn't have. And I don't know why I tried it this time, but I'm glad I did. I like it. I find it incredibly calming.

More walking and yoga matches up with how Fitbit users are working out during the pandemic, according to a recent Fitbit analysis that looked at data from mid-April.

Walk exercises, or brisk walks that last for at least 15 minutes, are up, and walks still constitute a large portion of user exercises, the analysis said. Weve also seen substantial increases in the popularity of biking, yoga and aerobic workouts. Among users who exercised at least once per week, yoga and biking have seen an increase of over 40 percent, while aerobic workouts have increased by more than 20 percent meaning that users are taking this time to switch up their fitness routines.

When it comes to exercising during this new normal without access to old routines and resources, the key is motivation, said Dr. Sari Shepphird, a sports psychologist and psychotherapist in California.

It takes some creative thought, which is why motivations so important because if you're lacking the motivation, you're not going to want to put in the time to creatively problem solve, Shepphird said.

She suggests finding a sense of community, even virtually, if possible. Coaches and trainers online are trying to do just that, even with exercises that might typically require physical contact.

Joey DeMalavez, owner of Joltin Jabs in Philadelphia, just reopened his boxing gym, but is continuing some virtual sessions. At one point during Pennsylvanias stay-at-home order, he was leading 11 Zoom classes per week. Known for his discipline and a stickler for form, the former pro boxer had to adapt technologically to continue reaching his clients. He says while he cant be there physically to adjust their form, doing the workout with them and yelling through his computer screen has been working pretty well.

I won't call them out by name but as I'm looking, I'll say, Put that hand up, DeMalavez said.

I remind them, Remember that checklist, check it off, chin down, shoulder pointed, hands up, knees bent, balls of your feet, 45 your front foot. So I'm constantly going like that.

It can be harder to read the room when clients are in different places with their mics often muted, says Tasha Gray, co-owner and a trainer at FitnessSocial, a studio in Fresno, California that recently resumed in-person sessions. You just learn to make it work, she said.

During months of remote sessions, Grays studio went ahead and gave away or rented kettlebells to clients depending on their membership level.

For Amber Patty, a personal trainer and gymnast in Salt Lake City, online classes have meant more clients and a broader reach. With Upside Down Ambo, she blends body weight exercises with gymnastics movements, and even teaches classes on how to do a handstand.

Theres ways to train people without being there, Patty said. If somebody can't kick up to a wall, I have ways to get them upside down and get them strengthened and get them to a place where they can kick up without being there. ... There definitely is a benefit if I'm right there, but there are camps and classes where the teacher has like 20 people and they just can't really help everyone. So it's still helpful, and I've seen a lot of progress with my clients through Zoom with the handstands.

And as Americans spend more time indoors or socially distantanced, whether youre working out or just trying to survive, Shepphird recommends fighting anxiety or whats the point? thoughts by using tips and tricks from sports psychology.

This is a lot about mindset, Shepphird said. To identify what youcan control, and then focus on putting your effort there is going to make a big difference in the quality of your life on an emotional and mental level. And then another skill that's often used in sport is mindfulness To be aware of what it is that you're experiencing and not judge yourself for whatever it is that you feel, but to just observe it. Not be afraid of your own thoughts, but to allow them to come and then problem solve once you realize what it is that you're feeling.

To say fitness habits are changing is an understatement, Shepphird says. People are working out in new ways and with new frequency.

Tinianov is embracing more family time and different ways to move. Barreca, who used to spend one or two hours on the perfect workout, now does multiple mini-workouts throughout the day while her baby naps. When she does jog, she pretends her mask is a VO2 max increaser because thinking of it as a pandemic mask is sad and thinking of it as a way to increase VO2 max makes it slightly mentally easier. Bryant, who still keeps in touch with her workout crew, has delved into healthier cooking and gets outside more.

Maybe our bodies needed this break, Bryant said. Maybe this is a time we needed to take a break and rest our bodies, rest our minds a little bit, regroup and just use this time wisely.

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