Monday, July 24, 2017

Long Bars, Short Bars, Mini Bars?

A common question when working with clients in the pool is “Which is harder the long bars or the short bars?”  

The answer to the question depends on the exercises that you will be doing and the goals of your exercise program.  Understanding the equipment and the differences will help you choose the appropriate tools to make your workout the most effective.  

Using bars with more buoyancy will create more resistance when trying to move them through the water.  This will make these types of exercises more difficult.  However, exercise where you are in the hanging position will be easier with more buoyant bars because they will provide more support and stability.

Using bars with less buoyancy creates less resistance when trying to move them through the water.  Less buoyant bars will make these types of exercises easier.  The less buoyant bars will make exercises more difficult in the hanging position.  The reduced support and stability will require your body to work harder to maintain alignment therefore challenging your core muscles more.

Example of progression from easy to difficult using equipment for an exercise that requires you to move the bars in and out of the water vs. a hanging exercise.

Pump and Walk
Mini Bar → Short Bars Level 1 → Short Bars Level 2 → Long Bars

Splits and Spreads
Long Bars→ Short Bars Level 2 → Short Bars Level 1 → Mini Bars


Long Bars
Long bars provide the most buoyancy, therefore they will give you the most support and resistance.  

Short Bars Level 2
These bars have slightly less buoyancy than the long bars.  They will be a little easier for exercises that require movement through the water and slightly harder for hanging exercises than the long bars.

Short Bars Level 1
The level 1 short bars have less buoyancy than level 2 short bars and long bars.  They will be easier for exercises that require movement through the water and more difficult for hanging exercises.

Mini Bars
Mini bars provide the least amount buoyancy.  These bars will be the easiest for exercises that require movement through the water and the most difficult for hanging exercises.  

Blog post by Eric Chandler.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Don't Drink Your Calories

It's summer, it's hot, and you're thirsty. While those sports drinks and "Zero" thirst quenchers look tempting, think twice before packing your gym bag full of them.

While they taste great the drink you reach for could have more calories than you think. Sugars, sugar substitutes, and food dyes are all too common in the drinks we choose to cure our summer thirst.

All calories add up, the ones you eat and the ones you drink, but there is a difference in how our bodies react to them. Calories you eat from your meals, protein bars, and other snack help cure hunger and give our bodies a feeling of fullness. The calories that come from beverages on the other hand may make you feel refreshed, they have little to no impact on the feelings of hunger or fullness. This is a calorie over look that can cause us to add hundreds of calories to our daily intake without even realizing it and it could be why your summer diet of lean proteins and lots of salads may not be showing results. 

Some common beverages to watch out for:
  • Gatorade = 34 g sugar, 130 cal
  • Minute Maid Lemonade = 67g, 260 cal
  • Snapple Iced Tea = 46 g sugar, 200 cal
  • Coca-Cola 12oz = 39g sugar, 140 cal
  • Vitamin Water = 33g sugar, 125 cal
  • Apple Juice = 52g sugar, 240 cal
  • Red Bull = 27g sugar, 108 cal

Sweeteners have many names, be familiar with them!
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup (equivalent to 10 teaspoons of table sugar)
  • Aspartame (Asp)
  • Acesulfame (A.k)
  • Steviol
  • Saccharine (Sac)
  • Dextrose
  • Maltose

Hydration is an important part of our diets and fitness routines, just be aware of what else your drink may be adding to your diet. When in doubt stick to what's natural to our bodies... water!

Blog post by Erin Womboldt.