Monthly Archives: February 2013

Spotters Jump For Spring

Tough Spot Gym Plyometrics — also known as jump training — is a training technique designed to increase muscular power and explosiveness. Originally developed for Olympic athletes, plyometric training has become a popular workout routine here at The Tough Spot Gym popular with  people of all ages, including children and adolescents. Plyometric training conditions the body with dynamic resistance exercises that rapidly stretch a muscle (eccentric phase) and then rapidly shorten it (concentric phase). Hopping and jumping exercises, for example, subject the quadriceps to a stretch-shortening cycle that can strengthen these muscles, increase vertical jump, and reduce the force of impact on the joints. Because plyometric exercises mimic the motions used in sports such as skiing, tennis, football, basketball, volleyball, and boxing, plyometric training often is used to condition professional and amateur adult athletes. But children and adolescents also can benefit from a properly designed and supervised plyometric routine, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Plyometric training is associated with many benefits. First popularized in the 1970s by state sports trainers in the former East Germany, it’s based on scientific evidence showing that the stretch-shortening cycle prompts the stretch or “myotactic” reflex of muscle and improves the power of muscular contraction. But plyometric training is also associated with some risks, including an increased risk of injury, especially in participants who don’t have adequate strength to begin with. So if you’re considering plyometrics, it’s important to consult with a sports medicine doctor or therapist who can assess your suitability for a plyometrics training program, and then selectThe KATMA Strength & Conditioning Guide which will can gradually introduce you to more difficult exercises.

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The Importance of Nutrition in the Fitness Equation

One of the common questions that we receive at the Tough Spot Gym is, “How can I lose weight and get in shape?” (Or one of the many variants thereof- “What’s the fastest way I can lose 10 lbs?”, “How can I slim down my hips and thighs?”, “How can I lose the post-baby weight?”, “How can I reduce fat and build muscle?”, etc.).  Our philosophy at the Tough Spot Gym is that each person is unique and what works for one person may not be the right formula for another individual.  However, although the specifics may differ for each person, many may be surprised to learn that the fitness hierarchy does not actually start with physical activity- the cardio, the cross-training, and the weight-lifting.  Whether your fitness goal is weight loss, muscle gain, sports performance improvement, or chronic disease symptom reduction, one common factor is absolutely essential to your success…NUTRITION.
The importance of nutrition in the fitness equation cannot be over-emphasized.  It is simply impossible to out-train a poor diet.  No amount of time spent pounding the treadmill or hoisting the weights will be able to catch up with excessive amounts of hydrogenated fats, processed sugars and carbohydrates, and additives in your diet (or equally as devastating severe calorie restriction or malnutrition that is caused by many popular “diet” plans).  In the health and fitness world, this is sometimes referred to as the “80/10/10 Rule”.  It is estimated that for the average person, what you put into your mouth accounts for about 80% of your body’s appearance.  The remaining part of the equation is impacted by exercise (10%) and genetics (10%).

In our practice, we have seen rare exceptions to the 80/10/10 rule and the impact of nutrition on fitness goals is certainly irrefutable.  The proper combination of foods and timing of meals ensures that the body has the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function optimally,  increase the metabolism, and recover faster from workouts.  It is important to note that “healthy nutrition” does not equal “diet”.  Research shows that diets simply don’t work long-term.  Furthermore, many diets are actually unhealthy because they don’t provide the body with varied nutrients and they usually contain highly processed ingredients preservatives, and chemical additives.

Our nutrition philosophy is fairly simple- fuel your body with real, whole foods that are as close as possible to their natural form.  As inspired by the words of Michael Pollen (a nutrition journalist), if your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, don’t eat it!  At each meal, combine protein, carbohydrates (only those that are properly prepared), and healthy fats.  For the macronutrient composition, most people should obtain approximately 40% of their total caloric intake from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 30% from fats.


Strength Agility Speed Multi Dimensional Conditioning & Training

At The Tough Spot Gym our  goal, focus, &  direction are to enhance each individual’s speed, quickness, agility, & body control relative to conditioning & training. Linear speed is important, but the ability to change direction is quite possibly more important than flat out speed. Speed development & enhancement is a careful balance and combination of strength training, sport training, skill training,  speed & agility training. At  The Tough Spot Gym , each athlete is provided the opportunity to participate in “Speed, Quickness, & Agility” training sessions four  times each week for approximately seventeen weeks. The KATMA Strength & Conditioning Guide.


Hardcore Leg Training Spice It Up

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It’s been said that the main reason many trainees avoid leg training is because it hurts too much. Maybe they’re right. After all, leg training can be painful. Chances are, if you’re going to “yawn” in the gym garbage bin after a workout, it’s probably going to happen after squatting. Do you know what it feels like to have your legs hurt so bad that you don’t want to take another step, or have difficulty ascending stairs or getting on and off the can? Of course you do…or do you? Perhaps you’ve forgotten what it’s like to have quads so sore that when someone brushes up against your leg accidentally, you swear that they had just stabbed you with a knife. In case you’ve forgotten that feeling, or in case you want to experience it for the first time (silly you), you might want to try the following our KATMA Leg routine. It’s the type of routine that you may read and think to yourself, “Easy,” but you’ll later find yourself wondering how such simple exercises could have caused so much pain. It is, however, a workout only for those who are more concerned about the training effect than the visual effect. You can’t worry about how hard the routine looks to others. If that’s of more concern to you than the effect of the workout, you’re not ready.


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