Fitness & Wellness

Do Workouts Increase Testosterone?

Do Workouts Increase Testosterone?

Whether its from aging, diabetes, obesity, sudden weight loss or illness, low testosterone can occur. Most testosterone loss occurs after the age of 45 and is a natural occurrence, but it can be delayed. Low testosterone levels affect how much muscle mass you have, sex drive and even mental health. Men can increase testosterone levels with workouts specifically created to help. Not all exercise is alike, some are better at building testosterone levels.

When you build your muscles, you boost your testosterone.

If you have more muscle mass, you have a higher testosterone level. Weight lifting is one way to do that. As you build your muscles, your testosterone levels increase, which can start to reverse the loss from aging. Just doing a couple of sets with three to five reps at 95% of your maximum potential two to three times a week, targeting larger muscles, such as quadriceps or the chest, can be a great way to start and help boost your testosterone levels. A personal trainer can create a 30 to 45 minute program that’s based on your fitness level and goals.

Do HIIT—high intensity interval training.

Several studies show that doing HIIT on those days you don’t do strength training, like weight lifting, can also help boost your testosterone levels. HIIT are not specific exercises, but a way of training. It starts you off slowly for a few minutes, then switches to maximum effort for the same length of time or less, moving back to the recovery intensity level. Combining the two provides both cardio and strength training. Be sure to include flexibility training in the mix to avoid injury.

While you might think of barbells and dumbbells for strength-training, there are other tools that help.

A kettlebell workout can combine HIIT training with strength-training to get maximum benefit. One study on kettlebells showed that doing twelve sets that included 30-seconds of work, then 30 seconds of rest could increase both human growth hormone and testosterone levels in the body. That not only helps build muscle tissue, it helps burn fat.

  • Obesity can lead to decreased testosterone levels and that can lead to eating more, gaining more weight and a lower energy level. It’s a vicious circle, but one that starting an exercise program can often change.
  • If you want to boost your testosterone levels, try working out in the afternoon. It’s the best for boosting testosterone. If you want to boost your metabolism, morning is the best time.
  • Don’t wait until you’re so run-down that just going to the gym sounds like it’s too hard. Lack of exercise makes low testosterone levels even worse.
  • If you love running, long hours of cycling or other high-endurance exercises and have low testosterone levels, consider switching your workout for a while. These types of exercises have been shown to break down muscle tissue and lower testosterone level.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness

Best Lower Ab Workouts

Best Lower Ab Workouts

So many people come to Prime Performance Fitness Studio in Totowa, New Jersey, wanting help to flatten their stomach and get great abs. They often want lower ab workouts. There is just one called the Rectus Abdominis muscle. That muscle runs the full length of the abdomen and splits into the left side and right side, but isn’t upper or lower. They’re crossed over by the Linea Alba, those are the muscles that make you look like you have a six-pack. So to get lower abs strong, you have to get the Rectus Abdominis strong. In other words, you have to strengthen your abs.

Get a great ab workout and full body workout with kettlebells.

You’ll work all the muscles in your body, especially your abs, with the right kettlebell exercises. Because of their center of gravity is outside your hand, unlike dumbbells, it changes as you move and forces your core muscles to work to keep you stable. That means almost all kettlebell workouts indirectly work your abs. However, some will directly make them stronger, such as kettlebell windmills, the kettlebell Turkish get up, sit and press, straight arm sit and lateral swings. We provide instruction with kettlebells that will help make your workout safer.

Bodyweight workouts can get you a six-pack.

Whether you’re doing a plank, a bridge or bicycle crunches, they all help you get a flatter stomach. A reverse plank is one exercise that gets you into shape fast. It works the muscles deep inside your stomach. Lay on your back with both arms and legs fully extended. Tighten your abs, then raise your hands and feet off the floor and hold for twenty seconds. Lower both back to the floor.

No matter what exercises you do, if you are overweight, nobody will see those tight muscles.

One of the biggest problems faced by people that want a flat stomach and great abs is that they won’t ever get them unless they lose weight. No matter how long you workout, if you have a layer of fat hiding that muscle, nobody will ever know it and your stomach won’t be flat. It will still be flabby. Eat healthy and lose weight if you’re overweight. It’s the only way to have the great abs you want.

  • You can use a regular plank and modify it to work muscles on all planes. Try a side plank, plank with a kick out and plank with a leg raise. If you’re new to working out, a traditional plank on your forearms is the best place to start.
  • Just tightening your muscles using isometrics helps. Stand tall, inhale and then pull your stomach in like you want to touch your backbone as you exhale. Hold that position as long as you can. Do it frequently throughout the day.
  • Traditional leg lifts and modified ones that include scissoring your legs after you raise them or bicycling your legs work your abs.
  • If you’re just starting a workout program, we can help. We’ll create a program designed for you to help you achieve your goals.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness

Hydration Is Key

It doesn’t have to be summer or even hot outside to get dehydrated. It can happen easier in the winter, since you aren’t as thirsty and not thinking about the problem. In order to look and feel your best, hydration is key. When you’re working out, staying hydrated is important for both your body and maximizing the benefits of your workout. If you’re feeling tired, try a bottle of cold water, first. You’ll probably find it’s better than even a cup of coffee as a picker upper.

Do you have a headache or are you feeling brain fog?

There might be a reason for this. You might be dehydrated. Your brain is approximately 75% water. Water is necessary for the electrical energy your brain requires. It needs twice as much energy as other cells, which adequate hydration requires. Your brain requires water to remove toxins and carry nutrition for the brain. If your body drops a mere two percent of its water, you could experience fuzzy memory, focusing problems and difficulty with simple math problems. Dehydration is often mistaken for dementia in seniors, accounts for low blood pressure and rapid heart rate.

Sipping on water throughout the day can help you lose weight.

Water can become your best friend when you’re working on weight loss. It can keep you feeling full and help you eat less at a meal if you drink an eight ounce glass before that meal. Mild dehydration often masks itself as hunger. You know those times when you know you want something and the juicer it is, the better it sounds. If you think you’re hungry, drink a bottle of water first. You might just find you were just thirsty and save yourself some calories.

Increase the amount of water you drink and make it a healthy habit.

Increase the amount of water you drink, not just the amount of liquid. If you’re big on soft drinks, or even sports drinks, switch out for a tall bottle of water. Drinks like Gatorade and soft drinks contain a lot of sugar. They aren’t as good for your body as plain ole’ water. If you’ve worked out less than an hour that day or had an hour workout that wasn’t strenuous, you won’t need to replenish your electrolytes. Plain water is the best route to go.

  • If you’re experiencing side effects of dehydration, such as head aches or brain fog, drink a glass of water and within 20 minutes the symptoms will reverse. All this time, you thought the aspirin you were taking cured the headache, it may have just been the water you drank to wash it down.
  • As you age, you become more prone to dehydration. As an adult, it’s at its worse when you’re a senior. Not only do many seniors fail to recognize they’re thirsty and drink less, they dehydrate quicker.
  • Who doesn’t want to look his or her best? You can do it with the miracle of water. Not only does spritzing water on your face keep your skin moist, drinking does too. It also helps keep your skin free of blemishes.
  • At Prime Performance, we want you to stay your fittest and healthiest. We can help you with exercise and tips on healthy eating. Don’t forget to make this small change today and drink more water. Your body will thank you.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance

The Benefits Of Walking

The Benefits Of Walking

As everyone knows too well, sometimes, it’s impossible to come to Prime Performance in Totowa, New Jersey. For those days, finding an easy alternative is important. While working out at home is one option, an easier one could be taking a daily walk. Getting out in the fresh air and enjoying Mother Nature on a walk in a park or wooded area is best. You’ll get the peace and serenity it offers. There are, however, benefits of walking, no matter where you walk, whether it’s in the city or countryside.

Are you out of shape and want a way to ease into fitness?

There’s nothing better than walking to get you out of a sedentary lifestyle and into one of fitness. You may not be able to start off running or feel fit enough to go to the gym, no matter how we scale down your workout to your fitness level. Start a program of walking. Some studies show it’s actually better for you than running. As you get fitter, you need to add other types of workouts to address strength, flexibility and balance or even boost your cardio health.

You might be surprised at all the health benefits walking provides.

Do you want to lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and hypertension? If you already have one of those conditions, do you want to control it better? Walking can help you do that. You do need to make the pace brisk, but you don’t have to run. In fact, a brisk walk provides more benefits than a run does. Walking is good to help prevent bone density loss and aids in building muscle strength and balance. For weight loss, working out in the gym is still better, but in a pinch, walking is a good alternative if you have no other option.

Walking more every day is important for fitness, but doesn’t solve all problems.

Walking won’t make your arms stronger or give you flexibility. It won’t build muscles in all areas of your body or provide all the benefits that a complete fitness program will do, but it’s a great place to begin. It builds your endurance and there’s an easy way to measure intensity, just walk further in the same amount of time. Walking is low impact and won’t hurt the joints. It works the upper and lower legs, and the hip flexors. While it won’t provide a complete workout, it’s an excellent supplement.

  • Walking in wooded or natural settings also provides more than just beautiful scenery to see. It brings a feeling of relaxation and makes your experience more than just good exercise.
  • Try to find ways to increase the amount you walk every day. Walk to places that are close. If you live near a grocery, get your own personal cart and walk to do your grocery shopping. Park further from the store when you shop.
  • If you want to lose weight or get a sculpted look, walking won’t provide those benefits. It will help you lose weight, so when you do build your abs and other muscles, they won’t be hidden by a layer of fat.
  • You need a program that offers all types of exercise, total body workouts and toning. We offer that at Prime Performance with our group and personal training. If you want an effective and quick workout, you’ll love our kettlebell and PRIMEHIT programs.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance

Staying Active While Socially Distancing

Staying Active While Socially Distancing

The people of Totowa, NJ, have valiantly followed the rules and regulations to help prevent the spread of the virus and staying active is part of that fight, but staying active, while also social distancing. We are proud of how the people of our area have handled this time of crisis and vowed to do our part to ensure success. Staying healthy and fit is a key component in that struggle. That’s why we’ve offered a number of ways to help clients do that. It’s also why we’ve taken special measures to make sure that the gym is clean, at reduced capacity and people are safely spaced apart.

Private sessions are a safe way to go and easy to control.

It makes sense that if you want to follow social distancing dictates, private training sessions would be the best way to do it. While it gives you the benefit of a smaller potential of exposure to others, it also provides more benefits. Working one-on-one with a trainer is the ultimate training experience and one of the best ways to social distance. The trainer creates a program designed specifically for your needs and can identify more clearly areas where you need extra help, while also checking your form.

Working out in a group, but keeping a safe distance.

Group workouts may seem difficult to social distance, but it’s far easier than it is in a retail store. I’m proud to say that, while it seems hard to workout in a group and keep people at the same time, we tackled the problem and found the solution. Smaller and fewer groups at one time, so people can stay safe distances from one another. It’s actually easier to maintain that social distance in the gym than it is in the grocery or other retail store. It’s a smaller group of people and ones who are more aware of taking care of their health.

We have a cleaning strategy in place and instructions on maintaining social distancing.

Ensuring that Prime Performance is a clean and well-maintained gym has always been part of our mission, but more focus has been placed on immediately cleaning equipment and the area, since Covid-19. We focus on small groups and individual workouts, until it’s safe. Part of avoiding the ravages of the virus is staying healthy and we can help you reach that with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

  • Obesity is now the leading cause of preventable deaths and Covid-19 has made us all more aware of the dangers. All studies show that obesity and the diseases it causes, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, increase the risk of mortality from this virus.
  • To maintain social distancing, we limit the number of people in our classes. Please call ahead to ensure there’s a spot for you.
  • Create your own group session by coming with immediate family members, caretakers, household members or your significant other. It limits the exposure from people outside your family.
  • High touch areas are sanitized frequently for your safety.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance

Do You Need a 7-Day Sugar Detox

Do You Need a 7-Day Sugar Detox

Sugar seems to be added to almost all foods. In fact, if you grab for that low fat yogurt, thinking it’s a healthy option, read the label first. It probably contains sugar to make it more palatable. Barbecue, soft drinks, fruit juice, ketchup and even protein bars and granola all contain hidden sugar. Too much sugar in your diet has a detrimental affect on your health, so to combat those problems and reset your taste buds, a 7-day sugar detox could be right for you.

What are the problems you face with a seven-day sugar detox?

Depending on your normal eating habits, giving up added sugar can be difficult. It seems like sugar is in everything that’s processed, so it requires more cooking from scratch, so you can control the ingredients. Sugar is also addictive and you’ll find you crave sugary treats, especially after a meal of for a snack. Some people experience depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and even the inability to focus. Others may experience dizziness, nausea and fatigue. It all depends on how much sugar you normally consume.

While it isn’t a traditional detox with a strict menu, it does require planning your menus.

The only way to ensure the food doesn’t contain added sugar is to read packages and plan meals ahead. There are at least 65 different names for sugar, and even more if you count artificial sweeteners, which also need to be banned, so unless you know them all, stick with homemade and simple ingredients. Avoid tortilla shells and make a lettuce wrap taco instead. Yes, they contain sugar. Make your own salad dressing and avoid bottled dressing, since it has added sugar. Make your own vinaigrette and use fruit in the salad to sweeten it.

Don’t give up fruit, but limit the intake.

Fruit is naturally sweet, but that doesn’t help you kick the sugar habit if you eat too much. Luckily, sugar also contains fiber, so it doesn’t cause a spike in your blood sugar level. You can use fresh fruit as a snack but limit the amount or mix small amounts in a salad for flavor. If you are having severe withdrawal symptoms, an apple or mashed frozen or fresh fruit with nuts in yogurt is a good dessert to help you get past the craving. It becomes easier and easier the longer you cut out sugar. Eat a higher amount of fat and protein. Nuts are the greatest for snacks and contain absolutely no sugar. So are fresh veggies and hummus.

  • Fruit juice often has added sugar and those that don’t still have a high amount of natural sugar. You’re better off eating the fruit that has fiber, to slow the absorption of sugar and the sugar high.
  • You also have to watch more than just what you eat. What you drink is important, too, which includes soft drinks and performance drinks.
  • Focus on simple meals. A salad with homemade dressing, baked fish, Buddha bowls from leftovers and soups are easy dishes. There are so many recipes without added sweetener, your choice is almost unlimited.
  • You’ll be amazed at how much your taste seems to change after just a week. Natural fruit tastes sweet and food with added sugar tastes too sweet. After a strict week of no sugar, you may find you like the flavor of natural foods.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance

What Is Gut Health?

What Is Gut Health?

Besides getting adequate nutrition and reducing calories, eating healthy improves gut health. At Prime Performance in Totowa, New Jersey, we focus on working out, which actually improves gut health, but also helps you boost your endurance, strength and flexibility. Gut health involves having the right balance of microbes with beneficial bacteria and microbes that aid in digestion and fight off those detrimental to the body.

Getting your microbiome—all the microbes in your body and gut—balanced is important.

When you stop and think about it, it’s a bit creepy to think you have trillions of living organisms inside you. These microorganisms are important, however. The right balance helps maintain bodily functions and can prevent an overtake of harmful organisms that are detrimental to your body. Estimates on the number of microbes are as high as 100 trillion with as many different types as 1000. There are between 30 and 40 more common types found. All these microbes only weigh a pound or two, but play a significant role in your health. If you didn’t have any microbes, you’d die of malnutrition, since they aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients.

The food you eat affects your microbiome.

You affect the balance of beneficial microbes and harmful ones. Too much sugar increases fungi, such as yeast and other pathogens. The bigger the colony, the more sugar you’ll crave and the more weight you’ll gain. You’d be amazed at how many diseases are linked to a bad mix of microbes in your gut. Besides malnutrition, an unhealthy gut can cause mood disorders, mental health issues, autoimmune diseases, skin conditions and some forms of cancer.

You can improve your gut health.

Eating probiotic foods, such as fermented food, can improve your gut health, which then improves your overall health. Kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and live culture yogurt are examples of these. Increasing the fiber in your diet helps by providing prebiotics. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria in the large intestines and can boost the number of healthy microbes. Food that are prebiotic are asparagus, garlic, onions, bananas, Jerusalem artichoke and dandelion greens.

  • If you take an antibiotic, you could be disrupting your gut health. Not only does frequent use create antibiotic resistant germs, they also kill off the good bacteria in your gut. Eat probiotic foods when you take antibiotics.
  • Sleep is extremely important to gut health. Adequate hydration is also important. They both help improve the number of healthy bacteria, while provide other benefits for the body.
  • While friendly bacteria and microbes do help digest your food, so does chewing your food better. Chewing food longer increases the digestion taking place in your mouth, putting less burden on the digestive system.
  • Processed food and even non-organic food that have pesticides can disrupt your microbiome. Both contain chemicals that can poison your healthy microbes and your body and omit the necessary fiber to keep healthy microbes alive.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness

The Benefits Of Regular Exercise

The Benefits Of Regular Exercise

It may sound hokey saying that exercise puts more years on your life and life to those years, but it’s absolutely true. Not only does exercise help you live longer, it makes those extra years a blessing, allowing you to live on your own and function fully. There are benefits of regular exercise besides longevity. For instance, it can help you deal with giving up bad habits like drinking too much, quitting smoking and even drug addiction. The stress from quitting those things is reduced and you’ll get a high from the workout to replace the stimulation from the addictive substances.

Most people consider exercise as a way to aid weight loss.

That’s very true. It does help you control your weight. Not only does exercise help increase the calories you burn, it also can permanently boost your metabolism. You’ll build muscle tissue when you workout and muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does. That means it boosts your resting metabolic rate, burning more calories around the clock, even when you don’t exercise.

You’ll increase your heart health and help manage diabetes with regular exercise.

Exercise gets your blood pumping and makes your heart work more. Just like any muscle, it gets stronger. That extra effort improves circulation, which increases the oxygen levels in the body. Exercise lowers the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, regulates cholesterol levels by reducing bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and a heart attack. Exercise also reduces insulin resistance, a precursor of diabetes. In fact, one of the treatments for insulin resistance is to switch to a healthy diet and get regular exercise.

You’ll improve your attitude and reduce stress with exercise.

Stress kills. It causes the brain to send chemical messengers, hormones, to parts of the body to make changes to prepare it for fighting or running. When you don’t, those changes actually affect your health if they’re not burned off with exercise. Studies show that exercise can also be beneficial in reducing anxiety and depression. In fact, mental health specialists often use it as a complementary therapy. It also increases circulation, sending nutrients to the brain and stimulates the body to increase the release the chemicals and proteins that improve brain structure and functioning.

  • Osteoporosis causes weaker bones, particularly in seniors. Exercise helps improve muscles that tug on the bone and make the bone uptake calcium to strengthen it, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and even reversing some of the effect.
  • You can reduce your risk of some types of cancer when you exercise. These include breast cancer, uterine cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer.
  • Sleep is important for heart health and mental health. A program of regular exercise can help you sleep at night and get a higher quality of sleep.
  • If you want to be better in the bedroom, consider exercising regularly. It can help reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction in men and improves sexual arousal in women.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness

Home Workouts That Burn The Most Calories

Home Workouts That Burn The Most Calories

We love working with our clients at Prime Performance in Totowa, New Jersey, but also know that sometimes coming to the gym isn’t possible. For those times, I put together a few home workouts that burn the most calories, to help for those days. While working out at home doesn’t provide the benefits of working with a personal trainer, it’s a good way to stay fit and stick with your workout schedule if you can’t come into the gym.

Make your workout HIIT—high intensity interval training.

HIIT focuses on the process rather than the actual exercise. Any exercise can become a HIIT workout. HIIT is all about varying the speed and intensity of the exercise. If running is your favorite, just adjust the speed. Run at a moderate pace for a few minutes and then kick it up to high gear, maxing your heart rate for a minute or two and back to the recovery pace for up to twice as long. Continue the top speed, recovery cycle for the rest of the run. It burns tons of calories and gets you into shape faster than any steady state run could ever do. A study in Quebec, Canada identified that HIIT running was far more effective than steady-state running for fat loss by eight times as much.

Kettlebells can burn 200 calories in ten minutes.

If you’re working out with kettlebells, remember, you need to have good instruction and proper form in order to use them safely. If you already have experience, then it’s a great workout that can keep you in shape and burn fat quickly. The off-center nature works core muscles and provides a total body workout, helping strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. 1. Start with the swing. 2. Go for the one arm swing. 3. Follow with the Turkish get up. 4. A one arm squat will challenge you. 5. The final move is a wind mill.

Circuit training will sizzle calories.

When you minimize resting time, you boost the amount of calories you burn. That’s why circuit training can be quite effective in helping you burn calories and lose weight. While almost any exercise will do, working out with weights will get a huge return. You don’t need a full set of weights, just ones that let you do only 10 to 12 with comfort. You’ll burn 30 percent more calories making the workout circuit training than you would leaving it a regular workout and get more benefits than you would with a cardio. With this workout, you need steps. 1. Warm up. 2. Do as many step ups as possible in two minutes. 3. Do 12 dumbbells curls on each side in 90 seconds. 4. Do 10 dumbbell twist lunges on each side in 90 seconds. 5. Step ups. 6. Dumbbell squats, 20 in two minutes. Rest two minutes and repeat.

  • Keep it simple. Run in place or around the backyard with high knee running. It burns between 240 and 300 calories per half hour.
  • Butt kicks are also great calorie burners. They also burn between 240 to 300 calories per half hour.
  • Go to the pool and enjoy a swim. It’s perfect if you have joint problems and is a low impact way to build muscle strength and burn calories.
  • Bicycling, jumping rope, calisthenics, hiking and dancing the night away are also great calorie burners.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness

Do You Need Weights To Workout?

Do You Need Weights To Workout?

If you think you need a lot of equipment to create the perfect, healthy body, you’d be wrong. You don’t need any extra equipment, like weights to workout. People have been building fitness and muscle for years without added equipment. Weights, kettlebells and other exercise equipment just add variety to the workout and provide a few other benefits.

Think bodyweight exercises.

You carry weights with you. It’s the weight of your body. Upper body exercises using bodyweight include push-ups, pull-ups, rope climb, dips and muscle-ups, to name a few more popular ones. You do need a bar or rope to do these, but a tree limb or go to the playground and use the monkey bars.

Lower body bodyweight exercises work the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. All types of squats, mountain climbers, high knee runs, donkey kicks, bridges and planks are examples that will get you fit and build muscle, too.

If you want to maintain strength without equipment, try isometrics.

You may not build muscles or added strength with isometrics, but you can maintain your strength. While they can build muscle tissue, they aren’t the most effective way to do it. You don’t move during isometrics, so you’ll only build strength when the muscles are in that particular position. The good news is that there are a variety of isometric workouts to do and you can do them almost anywhere. Stomach suction and planks are good examples.

Make your workout a non-workout.

It’s amazing how much exercise you can get when you throw your whole self into something. Consider daily tasks as a workout, but instead of using your same normal slower way, throw your whole self into the job. Scrub the floor with vigor. Wash the windows enthusiastically. Run through each task if you can and if you’re doing something in place, keep your feet moving to music. Tidy the room with music and dance your way through it. Enjoy every movement and marvel at how magnificent the body is.

  • Make your own equipment and do your workout. If you don’t have weights, fill milk jugs or laundry liquid bottles with sand until you get weights that challenge you. Use soup cans for dumbbells.
  • Swim. It’s harder to move your body against the resistance of the water. That means you’ll build strength and burn calories, while making it easier on joints.
  • Try this circuit workout you can do anywhere. Do 10 body-weight squats, 10 supermans, 10 push-ups, and 20 crunches one following the other. Take a short breather and start the circuit again. Do the rounds up to ten times.
  • Take the stairs and go as many flights as you can. Just taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help you get fit, without going to the gym. Climbing eight flights of stairs a day lowers mortality by 33%.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness