Welcome to the 2017 Fitness Challenge!
With the goal of building community through friendly competition, this year we are going to be introducing monthly challenges at our gym! These are fun activities that you can perform as part of your workout to challenge your fitness and compete against other people in the gym. Doesn’t matter if you are a trainer, a member, or a client, everyone is welcome to participate in these challenges! Nobody is forced to take part, but it’s a great way to motivate yourself to get fit in 2017.
How does it work?
At the beginning of each month a new challenge will be presented. This challenge will be featured in our monthly newsletter, on our blog, and on the chalk board beside the office in the gym.
The necessary criteria for performing the challenge will be described, as well as the benefits of performing the exercise and the history of where it came from. Participants will be able to view a video put together by training coach Norma Sheane of the methodology for each challenge so they know exactly what to do.
Participants will have until the last day of each month to complete the challenge. All results will be posted on the chalk board in the gym. Winners will be announced in the following month’s newsletter and a small prize will be awarded. We hope you can take part!
January Fitness Challenge
To start this competition off, the January fitness challenge will be finishing a 3-mile bike ride on the Keiser stationary bike as fast as you can!
Have fun playing with this challenge all month long. Multiple attempts are welcome. Maybe you’ll find that a higher gear with more resistance that tests your muscles suits you the best. Or maybe you’ll find yourself more successful on a lower resistance gear that let’s you sprint while challenging your cardio. We encourage you to find your strengths within this challenge!
In order to have the most effective results, it is important to set the bike up to fit your body.
Step 1 is to determine the height in which your seat should be. To establish the height your seat should be at, do the following:
- sit on the bike
- take one of the pedals and press it down to the bottom
- with a straight leg place your heel on the pedal. To know
- if your seat is at the right height, your hips should be level even (not one hip higher than the other)
Step 2 is to set the resistance to the appropriate amount for you. Having the resistance high will mimic biking up a hill which will cause you to have to apply more force with your muscles. Having the resistance on a lighter level allows you to mimic a down hill slope. Middle levels are really good for doing sprint intervals. The bike is a simple exercise in that if you want to go faster, you simply have to pedal faster.
While riding, the movement should predominantly be in the lower body with relatively no movement in the upper body. Your back should not be rounded or overly arched, it should be flat with a subtle inward curve in your lower back. Shoulders should not shrug up to the ears, keep them down and slightly back.
A model of the stationary bike was invented in 1796 by Francis Lowndes and it was called the “Gymnasticon”. It was a massive machine constructed of wood and metal parts and had a larger seat for more comfortable and relaxed exercise. His invention was built with the intension of helping those with medical problems such as disability, rheumatism, palsy, etc. It was designed to apply motion and well being to the joints and muscles of the body.
From there the next designs were also based around the intention of health and weight management. In the 1980s a man named Johnny Goldberg changed the ideologies around the stationary bike. He wanted a way to train for races during the bad weather months. He teamed up with manufacturers to build a suitable indoor cycling bike and he also created training programs called “Spinning” which is still popular even today. The new design of the stationary bike included a weighted fly wheel that simulated an outdoor bike.
There are many benefits to the stationary bike. To begin with, it is a great machine for increasing cardiovascular endurance. It is also good for performing a warm up on. Especially those “leg days”.
The bike is a very low-impact machine making it suitable for those with joint issues or other injuries. Along with being joint-friendly, the bike is simple to use and there is little room for injury to occur so it can be preformed by a wide variety of ages and fitness ranges. Besides increasing your cardio, the bike will also help to build up the muscles in your lower body including your butt and legs! It is also great for adding some cross-training into your routine.
Check out this video of Norma Sheane working hard on the stationary bike:
Training Coach Norma Sheane’s Biography:
Having played soccer from a very young age, I quickly fell in love with a lifestyle revolving around health and fitness. Growing up I followed that passion and continued playing soccer at the university level. The leadership skills I developed along the way landed me the role of Team Captain in my final seasons. This allowed me to continue practicing my leadership skills, as well as giving me the opportunity to lead by example while still being a part of a team. Now having finished my university career I still play soccer however, I am now expanding my horizons in the realm of fitness and always looking to try new ways of being active. With my personal training clients I continue to let my leadership skills shine through but I also like to think of my clients and I as a team that works together to help them reach, and surpass, their fitness goals. We are in this together, so let’s get moving!