Author Archive

Are You Accommodating?

Picture2  Still doing the same old routine? Daily you get on a piece of cardio equipment for the prescribed 30min time block, same pace,etc. Perhaps you have been doing 3×10 reps resistance training with same exercises load and same rest as usual. You probably are struggling to make progress towards your goals in whatever aspect of fitness you are seeking. What is happening is a biological phenomenon called accomodation. “According to this law, the response of a biological object to a constant stimulus decreases over time”(Zatsiorsky V.M., 5) Therefore you have lost the effective stimulus needed to adapt (improve fitness) and it would be beneficial to apply an Overload (increase in training load, duration, intensity or ) stimulus to your program. To continue to see results this overload must be progressing over time as your body adapts to the exercise stimulus. NO progressive overload, NO improvement it’s that simple. Some simple ways of progressing include changing the duration and intensity of training or mixing up exercise types and getting a scientific personalized program to follow.

Zatsiorsky, V.M., Kraemer W.J. Science and Practice of Strength Training 2nd Ed. Champaigne, IL: Human Kinetics; 2006


Got Pain? Factors that can make you better or worse.


Ryan Johnson, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Adjunct Professor, speaks on the topic of pain.

Wednesday, February 19th


 HFC Room 175

Spring Functional Training Schedule

Check Out the Functional Training Room!


Practice your functional training and Weightlifting  in a supervised setting and feel free to ask questions!


Monday-Thursday 11-1pm & 3-6pm

Friday 11-1pm

Weight Belts Are Not A Fashion Statement

When used correctly a weight belt can potentially help avoid injury however, should not be used as an excuse for neglecting to learn proper lifting mechanics. The function of the weight belt is to brace the lower back increasing intra-abdominal pressure and stabilizing the spine from the inside as shown in one study. Another study showed decreased spinal compression forces when inhaling before lifting while wearing a belt. Contrary to popular belief the belt acts primarily against the abdominals to create this stability. Given that the belt’s purpose is to protect the low back, the National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends a belt for near maximal loads and exercises that stress the low back. Included in these exercises are squats, deadlifts and overhead press. Strength and conditioning expert Mark Rippetoe recommends a belt that is 4” in diameter for the entire circumference to maximize effectiveness as shown below.

Fitting the weight belt properly is essential for optimal function. The belt should be worn around the natural waist (between the ribs and pelvis). Tightness of the belt varies with preference and experience, however it should be snug enough that you can exert pressure against it with the abdominals. Weight belts are special equipment designed to assist in lifting safely, they are not an excuse to attempt lift more than you are capable of.  


Baechle T.R. Earle R.W. National Strength and Conditioning Association. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning 3rd Edition. Human Kinetics 2008. 328

Kingma I, Faber GS, Suwarganda EK, Bruijnen TB, Peters RJ, van Dieën JH.Effect of a stiff

lifting belt on spine compression during lifting. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2006 Oct 15;31(22):E833-9.

Miyamoto K, Iinuma N, Maeda M, Wada E, Shimizu K. Effects of abdominal belts on

intra-abdominal pressure, intra-muscular pressure in the erector spinae muscles and myoelectrical activities of trunk muscles. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 1999 Feb;14(2):79-87.

Rippetoe M. Starting Strength Basic Barbell Training 2nd Ed.

Got GAS?

The principle of General Adaptation Syndrome explains the adaptation that occurs as a result of physical training. There are 3 stages of G.A.S.: Alarm/Shock, Resistance and Exhaustion. Initial contact with a new stressor/stimulus such as starting a new weight training program causes a shock to the body which reacts with possible soreness and decreased performance lasting days to weeks. Then the body’s adaptation kicks in as the Resistance stage also known as supercompensation occurs. Within this time return to normal function and gains in fitness are achieved as the body adapts to the stimulus. This time frame varies depending on initial fitness levels and genetics recovery practices etc. If the stress continues for a prolonged time (individually varied) or increases too quickly staleness can occur and performance is hindered in the Exhaustion phase leading to injury, overreaching or overtraining.   Therefore adequate rest and recovery should occur before reaching the exhaustion stage. Planning rest/recovery days and cycles into training is essential to avoiding the pitfall of overtraining and maximizing gains in performance. Listen to your body and plan accordingly!




Baechle T.R., Earle R.W. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, 3rd Ed. Champaigne, IL: Human Kinetics, 2008

Free Kettlebell Workshop

Kettlebells are a great all around strength and conditioning tool that have been used for centuries. Come learn how to utilize this versatile tool.

Technique will be taught in depth for: the Kettlebell swing, Press, Dead clean and more.

Meet the Fitness Staff office Tuesday April 16th at 11am

Led by CrossFit Kettlebell Instructor Kevin Erickson


Photo credit

Goal Setting

Why Set Goals?  

If you are not reaching for anything it is very unlikely you will grab onto it.

What types of goals?

Short and Long term

How to set goals effectively:

Try the acronym SMART.

Specific: Know exactly what you would like to accomplish

Measurable: Be sure to measure progress with a number: pounds, inches, percentages.

Action based: What action should be taken to achieve this specific goal? Minimizing junk food, lifting weights, running etc.

Realistic: Is it realistic? This depends on whether it is a Short or Long term goal, genetics, time constraints etc.

Time bound: A good time frame for noticeable physical results is 4-6 weeks (Shorter end of the spectrum) Whereas a Longer time frame for a bigger goal may be a year down the road.

Another thing to think about is either picking a long term goal, and breaking it down into several short term goals following SMART. Be sure to record the measurable variables and look back at them from time to time to see that progress has been made. Pick something hard, break it into manageable chunks and practice!