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September 2005 Newsletter

Maximize Your Workout

Dear Fellow Business Traveler,

Having trouble finding time to workout while you're on the road? Maximize your workout by increasing its intensity but decreasing its duration. You'll burn more calories in less time, so you can still squeeze in an effective workout between the office and that client dinner! This month, we provide some ways to maximize your strength training. Next month, we'll focus on increasing the intensity of your cardio routine.

As always, there's plenty of new activity in the Travel Fitness Blog, including Travel Fit Tips and news releases from your favorite hotels and airlines. Finally, much thanks to John and Sharon, our Healthy Travel models for this month's article!

To Your Health,
Customer Service, Healthy Travel Network and Chief Fitness Officer

squareCrank It Up

The two keys to increasing the intensity of your strength training routine are minimizing rest time and combining exercises.

By minimizing rest time, you'll keep your heart rate elevated for longer periods of time--hopefully for the entire workout--which will allow you to burn more calories. You'll effectively turn your weight lifting session into a cardio session.

Consider this:
A 130-pound woman will burn about 88 calories during a regular 30-minute weight lifting session. Increase the intensity to a vigorous session, and she'll up her calories burned to about 177. Double! Gentlemen, you get the same bang for your buck. A 180-pound man will burn about 122 calories during a normal session, and 245 during a vigorous session.

To move your workout up a notch, move quickly from exercise to exercise without resting. Rather than performing several sets in a row of the same exercise, make a circuit, performing one set of each exercise before going back to the first exercise. Muscles can recover while you're doing your next exercise, rather than while you stand around watching TV!

Remember: Move quickly between the exercises, not during the exercises. Perform sets with slow, controlled movements. Carry your water bottle with you so that you can grab a sip as you move to the next exercise.
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The analytical crowd out there has already calculated that if they eliminate rest time, they'll cut the duration of their workout to 41.5 minutes, which is exactly 13.2 minutes longer than they have to spend at the gym. Not to fear, you can shave more precious minutes by finding two-for-one exercises that combine two or more major muscle groups. You can create dozens of combinations; here are a few to get you started:
  • Squats with arm curls, front raises, or lateral raises
  • Lunges with overhead press or arm curls
  • Squat thrusts
  • Mountain climbers

Squats with Arm CurlsSquats with Arm Curls

Squats with Arms

Combine squats with arm curls to target glutes, hamstrings, quads, and biceps. Start by standing with feet shoulder width apart, both on a resistance band. Squat down and as you come up, curl your arms up. For a different variation and to target shoulders, replace the curls with lateral or front arm raises. At right, Sharon demonstrates with a bicep curl.

Tips: As with lunges, keep your knees over your ankles. Keep your head up and eyes straight ahead. For maximum range of motion, squat so that your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Lunges with Overhead Press

Combine any type of lunge--standing, walking, backwards--with an overhead press to simultaneously target quads, glutes, hamstrings, deltoids and triceps. These work equally well with an arm curl.

At right, John demonstrates a standing lunge with overhead press using a resistance band. This exercise works equally well with free weights, if your Fit Hotel has any available.

Start in a lunge position, resistance band under your back foot and hands down. Drop your back knee down to the floor and then push up with your legs while simultaneously pushing up with your arms.

Tips: Keep your front knee over your ankle to avoid stressing your knee. Drop your back knee as far down as you can, to maximize your range of motion.

Standing Lunge with Overhead Press

Squat Thrusts

Squat thrusts are an excellent strength building and cardiovascular exercise. Start in a standing position, crouch down, thrust (jump) both legs back simultaneously into a push up position, jump both legs forward again, and return to a standing position. Shron demonstrates these five positions below.
Squat Thrust Squat Thrust Squat Thrust
Squat Thrust
Squat Thrust

Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

Like squat thrusts, mountain climbers are a great combination strength exercise and cardiovascular exercise. They simultaneously target glutes, hamstrings, quads, chest, and abdominals, and will get your heart pumping!

Begin in a push-up position. Jump one leg forward into a low lunge position. Alternate to the other leg. The trick is to do these continually, back and forth, back and forth. John demonstrates at the start position at left, and finish at right.

Consider replacing several of your traditional exercises with these two-for-one combos to maximize your next travel workout.

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