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Better than Running, Better than Weights New Year, New Workout
Better than Running, Better than Weights

In life we need to be open-minded and ready to accept change. If we stay stuck in our old habits we're doomed to stay forever the same.

This article is about approaching exercise in a new way. I've been lucky enough to have been introduced to this concept with kettlebell training. Kettlebells, an old staple from mother Russia, have begun to permeate the United States because of their amazing effectiveness.

Focusing on a quality known as strength-endurance (one word), kettlebell lifting is all about time and repetitions, versus how much you can lift once (or even ten times).

While actual kettlebell training explodes this process, you can get in on some of the benefits with run-of-the-mill dumbbells, especially early on in the process. Eventually, you'll want to make the shift to the real thing (and be sure your instruction is real as well). >> Personalized Online Programs

Holiday overeating affects just about everybody, and we all sense it's time for a change. This New Year why not approach exercise in a new way? Master a couple of classic full body moves, done with a relatively light weight, for a specified period of time. Every day you'll work on increasing duration (not weight lifted).

This is not to say you need to increase duration every day, but over time (say each week), focus on adding a minute or two. Some days you'll feel strong and raring to go - that's when you push harder. If you're feeling under the weather, back off time or intensity (pace), or at least don't advance. It can be a bit of a roller coaster ride, so it's recommended that you keep a journal of your progress, noting time, reps, pace, and how you felt before, during and after your training.

All movements are done with a single dumbbell. As a way to add intensity down the road (not before at least one month), you can add a second bell to the Push Press.

·The Dumbbell Snatch (see video)
·The Dumbbell Push Press (see video)

This routine can be incorporated into your current exercise program, or it can stand alone. If combined, be sure to perform at the end of your program.

On day one, establish a baseline by timing yourself for a maximum duration set with each arm, with each exercise. For the entire first week, do one round with each arm, each exercise, at this level. Perfect your form and breathing.

Every week try and add at least a minute to each round. If you can't get through the set, switch arms or rest, but complete the set. Don't move on until you can complete the set without stopping or switching in the time alotted.

This type of training can become very intense. Clear this program and any new exercise with your doctor before beginning.

Custom Workouts by Fitness Pro, Mike Stefano MICHAEL STEFANO is the creator and author of the Firefighter's Workout (Harper Collins 2000). Mr. Stefano is a health and fitness writer, contributor to eDiets, eFitness, and Firehouse.Com. Michael's articles have appeared on AOL, MSN, and Yahoo! His workouts have been featured in magazine and newspapers from around the country, as well as in numerous network and cable TV segments. He also offers an online version of his custom program, via a comprehensive 22-point fitness profile.

Mike offers personalized workouts for firefighters, candidates, and civilians.


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