INTRO TO HOLISTIC FITNESS TRAINING
I. BALANCE: balance strength and flexibility between opposing muscles group and opposing motions
II. BREATH: breathe consciously and use full abdominal breathing coordinated with your movements
III. POSTURE: Follow FIVE POSTURE POINTS :
1) Relax down: sink your shoulders down and back, release your hips, lower abdomen, and lower back, bend your knees slightly.
2) Extend Upright: imagine a string attached to the top of your head drawing you gently upright. Tuck your chin slightly lengthening the back of your neck.
3) Breathe from the Center: Imagine a sphere in the center of your lower abdomen. When you inhale feel as if that sphere fills up your lower abdomen and lower back. Let it relax inward and empty out as you exhale. Feel the connection from the bottom of your feet to the center and from the top of your head to the center.
4) Soften your hands: relax and release any tension in your hands and fingers.
5) Sink into your Root: center your weight in the middle of your feet, just behind the balls of your feet.
IV. MIND IN BODY: Focus your attention into your posture, breathing, and the muscles being worked.
HFT APPLIES THESE PRINCIPLES TO:
A. AEROBIC TRAINING:
Type of exercise: Continuous, rhythmic, large-muscle movements (walking, biking, stairmaster, aerobics, etc.)
Duration, Intensity, Frequency: Begin workouts with 3-5 min. of easy warm-up.
For C-V fitness: 15-30 minutes at 75-85% of Heart Rate Maximum (220-age) 3-5 times/week.
For fat burning: 30-60 minutes at 60-75% of Heart Rate Max (220-age) 5-7 times/week.
Cool down for 1-3 minutes at an easy pace.
The aerobic warm-up heats up the muscles and connective tissues increasing their elasticity and readying them for more intense work. The warm-up also increases heart rate and oxygen delivery which prepares the body to exercise more intensely with less fatigue.
The benefits of aerobic training include increased C-V function, including greater heart stroke volume, greater ability to utilize oxygen, greater ability to burn body fat, lower resting heart rate, and lower blood pressure. Other benefits include greater bone strength from weight bearing exercise, increase of HDL "good" cholesterol, and body-fat loss. These factors decrease the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, and increase immune function and energy levels.
B. STRENGTH TRAINING:
Type of Exercise: Progressive resistance training involving bodyweight, free-weights, and machines.
Intensity, Duration, Frequency:
For maximal muscle hypertrophy: perform 1-2 exercises per muscle group, 2-3 sets per exercise to the point of momentary muscle failure at 8-12 rep max, 3 times/week. Rest 30-60 seconds between sets.
For general muscle tone and conditioning, perform 1 exercise per muscle group, 1-2 sets of 12-15 reps per exercise, 2 times/week. Rest 60-90 seconds between sets.
BENEFITS: Besides the aesthetic benefit of muscle size, shape, and definition, strength training increases muscle and connective tissue strength and bone density, and supports joint integrity to improve function and prevent or rehabilitate injuries. Muscular strength makes any of life's activities easier.
C. FLEXIBILITY TRAINING:
Type, Intensity, Duration, & Frequency: Stretch all major muscle groups at the pain-free limit of range of motion. When alone, static stretches held for at least 30 seconds are safest. With a partner or personal trainer, both dynamic assisted (8-12 reps) and contract-relax stretching (6-10 second contractions) greatly enhance flexibility. Stretch at the end of workouts. Do not stretch cold.
BENEFITS: Increased range of motion about all major joints. Flexibility training is a good cool-down, a great stress and tension reliever, and facilitates muscle recovery. Balanced flexibility enhances function, improves posture, and prevents injuries. For example, most lower back pain is the result of limited or unbalanced flexibility paired with unbalanced strength and poor posture.