Jon: Let’s get started. Tell me about your experience with back pain.
Jill: When I was 14 I didn’t have a bedroom and I slept on a pull-out sofa in my parent’s living room (life in Jersey City). This was when I first experienced back pain.
When I was in my 30s and 40s I would be crippled with back pain for weeks at a time. One day, my daughter asked if we could join the Atlantic Club (a health club). One of the perks of being a new member is you are given a free personal training session, and the trainer I got was you!
You told me I had back pain because my core muscles where weak. This was confusing because I thought I had strong abdominal muscles because I did sit-ups. You told me the most important core muscle is the butt muscle and you were very blunt about how weak mine was!
You wrote me a detailed exercise plan, and I’ll never forget bracing and bridging while on my lunch break in my office trying to get my butt muscles to “turn on”.
Jon: I feel like your story is very common; people suffer with pain (back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, etc.) and don’t know what to do about it.
Jill: So true! I went to countless doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and personal trainers. No one ever told me my butt muscles where weak. Often times, I would get varying diagnoses and treatments and I would feel better for a day or two, but the pain and tightness would always return.
It can be very confusing, and the amount of information we are privy to is overwhelming. What I’ve found works best is to keep it simple and not over think things, which is really difficult when you deal with pain everyday. I guess what I am saying is just do core exercises, and that’s it! It so simple!
Jon: I am a big fan of keeping it simple!
Jill: When I first came to you I wanted to address my L4-L5 herniation and my spondylolisthesis and this and that, and you had to reign me in. Just do core exercises is all you told me.
Jon: What tips would you have for someone who suffers with back pain?
Jill: Do core exercises until your butt muscles are sore. If you have trouble with commitment, come to Core Fitness. Core Fitness is so much fun, and the environment is extremely motivating!
Jon: Is there anything else you would like to ad?
Jill: I talk to people all the time about their exercise routines and they are all injured! It drives me up a wall!
I work without pain. I stand long hours without pain. I sit long hours without pain. I play tennis three times a week without pain. If you stick with a consistent core exercise routine, you can cure yourself. I know because I did!
Jon: Thanks for taking the time to sit down with me!
Jill: You’re welcome!
Do you make excuses why you can’t get to the gym?
Do you have difficulty losing weight?
Core Fitness has been helping individuals just like you accomplish their exercise and weight loss goals for ten years, and guarantees that if you follow these three simple steps, you will accomplish your goals!
1. Write it Down Everyday
The most successful individuals are focussed and disciplined, and daily goal setting helps refine that focus and discipline. Writing your goals everyday cements in your mind where you need to be tomorrow, and it helps you make better decisions throughout the course of the day that supports those goals.
2. Tell Other People
Sticking to an exercise and weight loss regiment requires focus and discipline… but a little peer pressure never hurt either! By telling other people about your goals, you create accountability. After all, you don’t want to disappoint your Facebook friends! Or mom!
3. Hire a Personal Trainer
Hiring a personal trainer can improve your odds of success by as much as 65%. When you hire a personal trainer, you ask someone else to hold you accountable. Core Fitness personal trainers have more than 40,000 hours helping people just like you reach their exercise and weight loss goals, and they will help you too!
Millions of Americans compete in road races every year. Racing is alluring and addicting, and registering for a 5k may motivate someone to change their diet and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
The secret to running your fastest 5k is sprinting. Sprint training for a 5k may seem counterintuitive, but it’s not! Think of it this way: if you train fast, then you will race fast! A Lamborghini’s engine does less work at 50 m.p.h than a Prius’s engine at 50 m.p.h. Why? Because the Lamborghini has a stronger engine and higher top speed! By training fast you will be able to maintain that 8-minute mile pace longer because you have a higher top speed. Speed work has other benefits too!
We are busy! We have work. We have family. We have obligations. Running short sprints does not take a lot of time. Running six (yes, only six), 15-seconds sprints, with a 2-minute walking recovery takes about twenty minutes. That’s less than 2% of your day, and if you run three times a week, that is less than 1% of your week!
Speed work puts the body in “caloric-debt”. Caloric debt is when the body continues to burn fat after the workout is over. So, even in the evening, long after your morning speed session, your body will still be churning through fat. It’s as if you hired someone else to workout for you! Not only is speed work super-time efficient, it continues to work for you while you are getting on with your life!
Running a 5k is challenging. For the first-timer, running is an extremely daunting and rewarding task. For a veteran, the challenge may come from trying to set a personal record (PR). Speed work is the key, and not only will you run faster, you will save time and burn more fat in the process!
1. Food is More Important Than Exercise
“I can’t tell you how often someone wants to hire me because they want to lose weight. I find it ironic because they are willing to spend a lot of money on personal training but quite often are unwilling to give up bread, pasta, and alcohol. With that being said, I have had clients decide after they hired me to make dietary changes. I guess what I am trying to say is either give up grains and alcohol or start exercising, but don’t do both at the same time.”
2. Simple Exercise are Better
“Members at my health club injure themselves doing the latest, craziest exercises. The best exercises are the simple ones; bracing, bridging, etc. These exercises work the core muscles without stressing problem areas such as the shoulders, low back, and knees.”
3. Walking is Great Cardio
“I don’t know why people are so fixated on jogging long slow distance or sitting on the recumbent bike for an hour. Not only would that bore me, I would probably get hurt! Many of my clients walk for cardio, and they never have any issues. Personally, I enjoy hiking with my girlfriend on the weekends. We have a lot of amazing parks in the area and I feel energized afterward!”
4. Everyone Has Back Pain
“Most everyone I have met at the health club has some kind of back issue; tightness, L4-L5 herniation, spondylosis, etc. Flexion exercise such as sit-ups and crunches seem to make back pain worse. Exercises that stiffen the low back muscles such as bracing and bridging can help quite a bit.”
5. Client’s Who Pay for Personal Training are More Consistent
“This is going to sound like a plug for personal training, but whatever. Client’s who pay for personal training are more consistent than those who don’t pay for personal training. Yes, there are some individuals who are intrinsically motivated who don’t need a trainer, but the vast majority of the members at my health club are inconsistent. Not only are my clients consistent with training, they seem to listen to my advice more than someone who doesn’t pay for my services.”
Drew is a personal trainer at a Robert Wood Johnson Fitness & Wellness.
Shoulder pain can be a daily struggle. Even slight changes in body position can cause discomfort. Working on the computer, getting dressed, and even sleeping can be very challenging.
But fear not because we are here to help! We have hundreds of hours working on painful shoulders and will walk you through the necessary steps so you can return to your old self.
Adjustable Height Work Surface
Slouching for long periods shortens the chest muscles (the pectorals) and over-stretches the upper back muscles (the trapezius), which are major contributors to shoulder weakness and shoulder pain. Standing upright just a little bit more can help the shoulder muscles recover that much faster. Also, standing with good posture looks better!
Often times, shoulder pain is only the symptom of an injury elsewhere. An example of this phenomenon is back pain; most back pain sufferers have a hip injury that causes them to feel pain in the low back.
Even though the shoulder may hurt, the actual cause of the pain is usually in the chest muscles and upper back muscles, and a good massage therapist will focus on trigger points in these areas. If hiring a massage therapist is cost prohibitive, a great alternative is using a foam roller. There is always a solution!
Master the Seated Row
The seated row is our go-to exercise for shoulder strength. Rowing with perfect technique strengthens the muscles of the shoulder while improving posture at the same time! It’s like a magic trick! A good place to start is with three sets of five reps, performed slowly (with a 5-second count).
Shoulder pain can be crippling, but the good news is we have a tried and tested solution! We have used these three steps repeatedly with great effect, and most individuals feel better within one month.