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     The Official eNewsletter of TODAY! Fitness

vol. 2013 issue 10



Tabata Training Proves Effective

Tabata training -- a protocol in which 20 seconds of high-intensity activity are followed by 10 seconds of rest, with that cycle repeating for 4 minutes -- could be considered one of the earlier versions of high-intensity interval training (HIIT).  Researchers from Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama, recently looked at Tabata training to determine its effectiveness.

Led by Michele Olson, PhD, FACSM, professor of exercise science at the university, the small study involved 15 individuals (12 women, 3 men) whose caloric expenditure was measured before, during and 30 minutes after a Tabata workout.  Results showed that participants burned 13.5 calories per minute.  Olson also discovered that at the 30-minute mark, each individual's metabolic rate was double what it had been before the workout.

"This particular style of interval training has profound effects even on short-term, postexercise metabolism," Olson explained.  "It would take five times the amount of typical cardio exercise, like a 20-minute brisk walk, toed the same number of calories that [are burned in] a 4-minute Tabata." 

Want to introduce Tabata to your clients?  Here are Olson's tips for a safe and successful training session:

  • Be sure everyone is sufficiently warmed up.
  • Use exercises or equipment that rely on large muscle groups; examples include jump squats or a stationary bicycle.
  • Use modifications like body weight squats or treadmill walking at a brisk pace for less fit individuals.
  • For new participants, start with four or six rounds, working up to the full eight. 

The research was presented at the 60th annual conference of the American College of Sports Medicine and the forth annual World Conference on Exercise.  An abstract was published in Medicine Science in Sports and Exercise (2013; 45 [5], S421).

ref:  IDEA Fitness Journal, Sept. 2013

Chin/Dip Combo

I thought I'd throw another non-standard exercise into the newsletter this month... just because I thought it was cool, and because we really feel the effort when we incorporate them into our workout circuits!  This one combines a push and pull, simultaneously to work both your triceps, chest, back, and biceps at the same time.

It's not always easy to find a way to line up a pair of dip bars parallel with a chinup bar...but if you can, I recommend giving this exercise a shot.  You'll want to give about 2 feet of space between the chinup bar and the dip bars underneath for a comfortable grip. 

To perform the exercise:  step up and grab the dip bars with your left hand, and your chinup bar with your right hand.  Push up and pull up at the same time for desired reps.  Once you completed one side, turn around in the other direction so that you can do the other side.  Feel the burn!




Sandbag Exercise of the Month!

Seated Russian Twist


Russian twist is a core burner if done properly.  Whether you use a sandbag, medicine ball, dumbbell, weight plate, kettlebell... whatever... you can really get a good workout for your sides and stomach, as well as some shoulders.


Target:  abs, sides, shoulders (rectus abdominis, obliques, deltoids)

Description:  Start in a seated position with the sandbag to one side.  Lean back slightly to engage your abs and lift the bag up with both hands.  Try to keep your elbows locked as straight as possible as you bring the bag to the other side and then back again.  Repeat for desired repetitions.

Get Active!

I figured that I'd take a moment to talk about a new team competition that I was just recruited for... Get Active!  Personally, I'm all for any type of motivation that helps people get up and moving.  Team based competitions, or really anything that pairs you up with friends for exercise, can be powerful motivators that make you want to keep going and not let people down... including yourself!

"Get fit and healthy with your colleagues! Connect through our online social network for fitness, health, and wellness.  Get Active is a way for you to meet your healthy goals in a fun, easy, and approachable way. Join your colleagues in team challenges, track your progress towards your goals, share tips and encouragement with your supporters, and ask others to join you as you create better habits.

Get Active! allows colleagues at a corporation to form teams and compete for prizes based upon fitness activities.  It allows you to enter any of 3 competitions:  weight loss, steps per week, and hours of exercise.  The Get Active! program is provided by the Aetna health and powered by Shape Up.

It's Go Time!

So how was your September?  Mine was awesome!  We had absolutely outstanding weather for both the MS Bike to the Bay as well as the Delaware Mud Run the following day!  What a great way to finish up my events for the year! 

Unfortunately, I didn't complete ALL of my goals for the year L.  I really wanted to participate in my first mini-triathlon this summer.  However, after training and completing the Tough Mudder, and thinking that I was in pretty decent shape, I was quickly humbled when I realized how much stamina that swimming required that I had not specifically trained for!  I went out to swim laps in my pool, and quickly realized that I had a lot more training to do when I ran out of gas pretty quickly and got out of the pool with my tail between my legs!  Alas, without enough time to get to where I needed to be, I was forced to reassess my priorities and move the triathlon to my 2014 list of goals. 

I'm ok with that.  Preparation is key for performance in any competition and I certainly plan to prepare appropriately for all of my 2014 events!  On my wish list currently is another Tough Mudder, a Spartan Race, MS Bike to the Bay, Delaware Mud Run, and Dewey Beach Triathlon.  PREPARE - PERFORM - PREVAIL!

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Exceed Your Potential!

Pete Mazzeo, CPT


"Develop a backbone, not a wishbone”

youtube of the month --> Rocky IV Training Clip
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