Saturday, November 28, 2009

Don't forget your form! Cardio the Right Way

Performing proper form at the gym is essential to getting the most our of your workout and also preventing injuries that could keep you out of the weight room and out of shape for weeks or even months! So why risk it? Always make sure that you are executing the exercise correctly and with proper form. If you are unsure, ask one of the personal trainers at the gym that you go to. They will most likely want to help and if they don't...then you are probably going to the wrong gym. So, going back to form. Many times when people think about proper form they think about form when lifting heavy free weights or using the strength training machines but the truth is that correct form applies to everything you do in the gym - from simply how you pick weights up from the floor to how you keep good form when do your cardio sessions. Cardio is the part I want to emphasize on because its the area that I see most people forget about. How many times have you seen someone on the treadmill holding on for dear life with the speed cranked up all the way? Or someone who's loud stomping on the treadmill disrupts your favorite tune on your ipod? How many times have you seen someone on the StairMaster but they look like they might as well be lying down or taking a nap because eventhough their legs are moving the rest of their body is hanging off the machine? Take Notice next time you go to the gym. Cardio equipment should be used with proper form too. Incorrect repeated motion can cause your body a lot of damage in the long run. By preforming proper from you may also be able to even burn more calories so don't cheat your body out of having a complete body workout! If you feel your body is having to compensate during the exercise then slow down! Reduce the speed or the intensity level and build your capacity slowly over time. Get familiar with the machine and its various settings. Again don't be shy to talk to a personal trainer at your gym! As you progress, increase the intensity of your workouts by increasing speed, platform grade or program from time to time. Burning more calories is all about keeping your workout exciting and changing all the time. Also, keep a neutral spine during cardio exercises like the StairMaster, treadmill, and elliptical machines and use the handles or bars with a light grip if needed. Also when using stationary bikes make sure that the bike is set to your height and that your legs when completely extend still have a slight bend. Over extending the knee in this machine in repeated motion can cause injury to the knee. So go on take your cardio to another level and do it right!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Spirit Boxing by Emily Kramer

October 19, 26
November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Dec 7

[Additional 6 session Sunday afternoon class may be scheduled pending interest ... ]

Each session will include:

Vinyasa flow / held asanas
Core / upper body conditioning
Jump Rope / Cardio
Shadow boxing / footwork
Heavy bag / Pad work
Breathe / Focus Technique
Restorative stretches

Jump rope, hand wraps and yoga mat required.
(Hand wraps will be available for purchase on the first day.)

Be prepared for a strenuous workout!

** The class is open to women and trans people of all levels **

Register through email by September 30th

Emily has trained as an amateur boxer since 2005, and is a 2x finalist in the New York Daily News Golden Gloves. She was an assistant faculty coach with "Discover Your Hidden Warrior Boxing Camp" at Kripalu in 2008 & 2009. She has practiced hatha and vinyasa yoga for over 8 years, and will be RYT certified in January 2010.

For more info contact Emily at

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Max-OT Cardio ? An Introduction

Max-OT Cardio ? An Introduction

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Putting Max-OT Cardio to Work For You

Now it’s time to rev up your metabolism and spend less time doing it. Less time plus more effort will equal greater results. Greater results in less time – as Ted Nugent would say, “Ya gotta like that!” Below is an outline of Max-OT Cardio high points.

Max-OT Cardio is performed for 16 minutes.

Max-OT Cardio is performed on a Recumbent Bike, Stair Climber, or any device that will allow for maximum intensity to be exerted safely and without the need for excessive balance or skill. If you can’t perform your cardio with maximum intensity without the possibility of falling off, tripping, etc. then it’s the wrong type of exercise for Max-OT Cardio.

Max-OT Cardio is performed with an “Interval” setting. This allows for intermittent resistance levels during the 16-minute sessions resulting in greater overall energy output.

Each Max-OT Cardio workout is more intense than the one before. Two ways to increase the intensity on a Recumbent Bike are to increase the resistance and/or increase the pedal RPM. Technically this is measured in wattage output. Intesity is measured by distance traveled and calories burned.

Intensity! Max-OT Cardio is always performed using maximum intensity and effort.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What things to look for in a gym?

I decided to write down a list of things that I look out for when scoping out a new gym. I thought this might help some of you who are in the search and don’t know where to start. Like anything else there is the low-end and high-end gyms but that doesn’t necessarily mean better. Today, I’ll focus on few of the things that I think are important when assessing whether your future gym is a good fit.

Variety of free weights available – Make sure there is a range of weights, you don’t want to be spending extra time trying to find the ones you need. They gym should be equipped with at least one set if not more of every weight starting at the lower end at as low as 5 lbs to 100+lbs.

Functioning and clean equipment – if there are too many repair signs or chains on the equipment you know it’s a bad sign. You shouldn’t have to worry about things falling off the equipment when you are using it or drawing attention to yourself when making embarrassing squeaking sounds.

Clean locker room facilities – This is not only important for your health but having a clean shower and locker room to change at can make a world of difference when debating on weather you want to come back. If you find yourself having to change your mind about changing or taking a shower at the gym then that is not going to help you stay consistent then what is the point of having a locker room. If it becomes an inconvenience then you’ll find a way to avoid going. Also, do your part and help keep the space clean by taking care of your mess and to the staff who cleans…be nice to them and thank them often!

Lots of cardio equipment – No body wants to wait around, having lots of cardio equipment and a variety of them is good. Keep cardio fun and explore different options. Don’t shy away from the stair master…it burns more calories per hour than if you were gliding on the elliptical which we all love…also its low-impact and better for your knees than say the treadmill.

Friendly staff – no one likes to walk into a gym and have the staff treat you like they don’t know why you are there. Every client or potential client is important. You are the client, expect good service! Ask to see the facilities and speak to a sales rep to discuss the rates. Remember, you don’t have to commit! Most gyms offer free day or week passes so take advantage of that and check out the gym for a few days before you commit.

Sauna/Steam room – always a plus when you want to relax your muscles after a hard day at work and a tough workout.

Childcare – when you have a kid, you need a place to drop them off if the babysitter falls through so make sure to check the childcare schedule and see if the facility is adequately equipped with a safe and entertaining space for your child whether they are 2 or 10.

Stretching room area – Is the area safe or do you risk being clocked the forward by the dude with the barbell?, do you have enough space? Is it clean? Do you have access to mats you can place on the floor?

Variety of classes – What if I’m not into aerobics??? Are there boxing, kickboxing, spinning, yoga, and other classes available that I haven’t tried before?

Towel Service – Its nice to have a towel to dry your sweat from your forehead after a cardio session but its also good to wipe off any nasty sweat somebody else left on the bench you are about to use. I suggest carrying two in this case. Your own and the one to clean up. I suggest making yours a different color so you don’t’ get confused or you can also use the paper towels and the squirt bottle with cleaning solution available at some gyms.

Is it close to Public Transportation, home or work? - Having your gym close to your work or home is essential. It will increase the likely-hood that you will actually go and keep going.

Do you have friends who workout there? Having a workout buddy or meeting up with a friend to check out a spinning class might be what you need to get you motivated.

Ok, so this is not everything but I hope that these are helpful tips to get you started. If you need any additional help or recommendations please let me know. I’m also available to set you up with a personal training evaluation and training plan to get you where you want to be in your fitness goals.

Contact: Gael, Certified Fitness Trainer at 917-459-8779

Monday, September 28, 2009

Follow Me on Twitter! GaelArt_Fitness

Thank you to all of you who have been following on Twitter! Get all my Art and Fitness Training Updates all in one place. For graphic design and illustration needs for next project check out

Friday, September 25, 2009

Don't go to the gym without them...

Have some of these? Before you head out to the gym for your next workout consider stopping by your local sports store (Paragon Sports, Modell's or even Target's sports section) and checking out the workout gloves. Gloves are not only for serious body builders. They come in all sizes, colors and different types of materials so make sure to scope out which ones feel the most comfortable. Try them on at the store before you buy them!!! Don't be intimidated. Not all the gloves of the same size are the same. They can vary depending on the brand so...yes try them on! You want to make sure that they feel snug in your hands and not too tight or too loose. Gloves will not only prevent you from getting painful blisters and/or rough calluses on your hands but will also improve your grip, giving you better control and a safer workout.

Post a comment to this entry and get a free complimentary workout.
Contact Gael at 917-459-8779

Gael Guevara, Certified Fitness Trainer
(You can also find me at Crunch Fitness, Park Slope - Contact me for an appointment)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Prospect Park Soccer Sundays

Looking for players for upcoming Prospect Park Soccer Sundays. 5 on 5 pickup game for players of all levels. PPSS plays every Sunday at around 4pm in front of the picnic house in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Join the fan page on facebook for information on upcoming games.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Health Clubs - Fitness Gyms The Fitness Source | Bally Total Fitness

Health Clubs - Fitness Gyms The Fitness Source | Bally Total Fitness

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Bally's is also offering memberships for friends and family of existing members for $20/month, access to any gym nationwide and no contract!

Plus, this is my gym so you can get some personal training sessions too at a special price. Contact me for more info at

Monday, August 24, 2009

Free Fitness Evaluations

I am currently offering a free fitness evaluation for folks who visit my site. If you have been thinking about starting a fitness program and don't know where to start contact me and I'll set up an appointment to go over the basics of what you need to get you started. I will also help you set up a workout plan that works for your schedule and your budget. Also, believe it or not there are many free options that you can take advantage of here in NYC and I can give you the inside scoop on how to get them. I will also demonstrate some safety tips and great exercises you can implement into your workout plan. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a good workout at home or in the park so get out there and take advantage of the beautiful weather. I also offer ongoing fitness coaching and training. Contact me so we can start working towards your fitness goals.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

No need for approval...gym etiquette and safety

As a gender non-conforming/genderqueer identified person I often find it difficult to feel comfortable in gyms and other fitness spaces. These spaces are often so hyper-gendered and unwelcoming to folks like us. Aside from the usual confusion about why I'm going into the women's restroom or not knowing what pronouns to use for me other interaction arise that make me feel uncomfortable. When I'm read as a female-bodied person I often get congratulated by "dudes" who are impressed at my strength like "I give you big props for being so strong!" (yelling at my side) during the middle of my set while I'm trying to concentrate on my form and making sure I dont' hurt myself. First its bad gym etiquette to interrupt or distract anyone while they are in the middle for lifting weights or performing an exercise - no matter who it is period. If you need to ask something, wait till the person is done and has put down the weights or has finished their set completely. Otherwise, you are invading that person's space and potentially putting them at risk for injury. Its not ok to do this just because you feel entitled to give your sign of approval of how impressed you are at that particular moment. I think its also disrespectful to the person and is implying that person doesn't deserve the space to have serious workout. What are we supposed to do stop in the middle of our set and nod or smile for your acknowledgement??? What does it say about male entitlement and privilege created and tolerated in these spaces that have been traditionally un-welcoming towards genderqueer folks but also elders, female-bodied and differently-abled people. Yeah, women, genderqueers and differently-abled folks are strong and we don't need your approval.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back on Track...

Hello Everyone,
I've been finally able to get up to date on my personal training blog. So I hope to have more updated information on my site from now on. First, I am happy to announce that I received my certification from the International Sports Sciences Association this past June. I was also attended a weekend seminar with NY Strength on Wellness Coaching that was really helpful in giving me additional information on creating a holistic approach to fitness and nutrition for my clients. I'm excited to start training folks and applying what I have learned. I'll keep you posted on what is next.