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Star of Kiana's Flex Appeal ESPN

Tips: Intensity

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A funny thing happened at the gym today. After 25+ years of going to the gym 5 days per week, I thought I'd seen everything! Today, there was a man sitting on the leg press machine for an hour+. His "duration" in the gym was an hour, but his "intensity" was non existent. He literally read the entire L.A. Times cover to cover while sitting on the machine. I could not make such a thing up!? He did not do any exercise, only read the newspaper. When he finished reading, he got up and left. Last time I checked, the gym doesn't work through osmosis. You actually need to do something.

Duration: The key is that you don't need to spend 3 hours in the gym. In today's busy lifestyles, "intensity" is much more important than duration. I believe in realistic fitness. Meaning, if you are a very busy person, it may not be realistic to think you can workout 6 days per week, 3 hours per day. It may be realistic for you to train 4 days per week, 1 hour per day. It is vital to look at your schedule and realistically set your fitness goals. If you are too ambitious and set your goals to high, you will set yourself up for failure and most likely be frustrated and give up. I believe in setting realistic fitness goals and be motivated and empowered by your successes. Baby steps.

Intensity: Thisrefers to your effort in a given time frame. You get the best results if you train hard at 100% effort in a shorter amount of time as opposed to 50% effort in a longer time. I get the best workouts in 30-45 minutes of hard and heavy, non-stop strength training, cardio. and/or sports. Be a bit selfish during "your" workout time. Personally, I do not like to read, chat or look around while I workout. This time is my time, to take care of my body, to improve my health.

Size: As far as the size issue. Yes, size does matter! If you aren't using heavy enough weights to provide enough resistance, you aren't maximizing your time. You are cheating yourself. If the weight is too heavy, you risk injury. Solution: Select a size weight or amount of weight that is equal to 65% of your one rep maximum. i.e., if you can curl 100 lbs. one time (ONE rep), select 65 lbs. for 10-15 reps.

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