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Quick Tip for Runners

By Andrew Turner on April 21, 2014

runningAs the beautiful weather is rolling in (finally), a lot of runners are hitting the streets. Who wants to run on a treadmill when the warm sun is shining…?!

Here’s a quick tip for you to thinking about when running outside. If you are not using a sidewalk, run against traffic. You should never be running with your back towards oncoming drivers.

Think of it this way: if they aren’t paying attention and start to vier to the side of the road, at least you’ll see the car coming and can avoid a bad situation. If you’re back is turned, especially when wearing headphones (loud music), you will have no idea they are coming right at you.sunset

Avoid dangerous situations. Let them see you and make sure you can see them! Also, always wear reflective clothing if starting your run in the evening as the sun is setting (or early in the morning). Most of the streets in Hamilton are very dark, especially outside the village.

Maximal Heart Rate

By Andrew Turner on February 13, 2014

New York Times article was brought to my attention by a regular user here at the Trudy Fitness Center.


The article, titled Maximal Heart Rate discusses the old and now new way to calculate an individuals maximal heart rate in the Wellness section on The New York Times website.

The highest heart rate an individual can achieve without severe problems through exercise stress (wikipedia) defines maximal heart rate. Knowing this number is important for determining different intensities for cardiovascular exercise. For example, a 25 minute elliptical workout maintaining 60 percent of your maximal heart rate.

A simple, very common but outdated way to find out an individuals maximal heart rate is to subtract their age from the number 220 (220 – age). This article by The New York Times explains the problems with this method and why the new method of taking 64% of the individuals age then subtracting that number from 211 is more accurate.

Maximal Heart Rate = 211 – (age x 64%)

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5 Reasons to Full Squat

By Andrew Turner on February 6, 2014

While chatting about exercises and workouts with some friends (a mix of former clients and colleagues) the topic of squatting came up. We went back and forth about a few different angles of the exercise mainly agreeing since we all share a similar philosophy about training in general. The discussion included:

What is the best technique for performing squats?

What muscles are being activated the most, and why?

Why should everyone incorporate squats into their routine?

During our chat, I was presented an article titled ‘5 Reasons To Full Squat’ written by James Speck. After reading this article, I couldn’t agree more with why everyone should perform the full squat in their workouts. The five main reasons are:

  • Ankle Mobility
  • Back Pain Relief
  • Hip Strengthening
  • Glute Strengthening
  • Posture Correction

Take a look at the article, 5 Reasons to Full Squat yourself to better understand why you should start performing full squats immediately as part of your workout routine! It is very simple and to the point. If you’d like to start a discussion, use Twitter: @ColgateFitness.

Seasonal Training

By Andrew Turner on February 5, 2014

Guest post from David Pavia, CSCS, USAW of Integrated Athletic Performance & World Gym in Oakville, CT.


The easiest way to understand the concept of seasonal training is to follow the seasons. In the northeast its pretty easy but I think the principle applies everywhere. The reason it applies everywhere is because it has more to do with us and our ability to focus on a specific task, than it does the weather.

Through years of reading, research and experience there is about an 8-12 week window, give or take a couple weeks, in which we can focus on a singular training goal. At the extremes of this window so

me people go all in for about a week or two and then fall off for months while others run the same route everyday for years without missing a day. Although the latter might be commendable it is my opinion that those who focus that hard for a year or more will eventually fall off harder without a change of focus or goal.

So here are some things to consider before the next post on seasonal training. What does your physical activity volume look like from season to season? What activities or exercise modes (run, bike, swim, strength training etc.) do you do in each season? Do you have trouble finding different ways to exercise in the winter or summer? Do you fall off completely for an 8-12 week period and then go hard for 8-12 weeks?

In the next post I will outline what works and has worked for many of our clients and also outline my own seasonal training habits. Habits that make exercise fun, challenging, life changing, and a cornerstone for the rest of your life.

Four Hours to a Happier Heart

By Andrew Turner on February 4, 2014

From Men’s Fitness Magazine, Jan/Feb 2014Soccer

Running, cycling, or playing ball just four hours a week can lower your risk of high blood pressure by 19% – and even one to three hours can lower it by 11% says a review in the journal Hypertension. “Do your recreational physical activity throughout the week rather than all at once,” says study author Wei Ma, M.D., Ph.D. “Four hours at once is too long for most people – they won’t get sufficient rest afterward.” Think of it like walking a dog – do it regularly and it’s fun, socialable, and invigorating. Don’t do it and you’ll really wish you had.

How Much Exercise Is Actually Enough?

By Andrew Turner on October 9, 2013

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommendations on Quantity and Quality of Exercise:

Cardiorespiratory Exercise (Aerobic)

  • Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
  • Exercise recommendations can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
  • One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions (of at least 10 minutes) are both acceptable to accumulate desired amount of daily exercise.
  • Gradual progression of exercise time, frequency and intensity is recommended for best adherence and least injury risk.
  • People unable to meet these minimums can still benefit from some activity.

Resistance Exercise

  • Adults should train each major muscle group two or three days each week using a variety of exercises and equipment.
  • Very light or light intensity is best for older persons or previously sedentary adults starting exercise.
  • Two to four sets of each exercise will help adults improve strength and power.
  • For each exercise, 8-12 repetitions improve strength and power, 10-15 repetitions improve strength in middle-age and older persons starting exercise, and 15-20 repetitions improve muscular endurance.
  • Adults should wait at least 48 hours between resistance training sessions.

Flexibility Exercise

  • Adults should do flexibility exercises at least two or three days each week to improve range of motion.
  • Each stretch should be held for 10-30 seconds to the point of tightness or slight discomfort.
  • Repeat each stretch two to four times, accumulating 60 seconds per stretch.
  • Static, dynamic, ballistic and PNF stretches are all effective.
  • Flexibility exercise is most effective when the muscle is warm. Try light aerobic activity or a hot bath to warm the muscles before stretching.

Neuromotor Exercise

  • Neuromotor exercise (sometimes called “functional fitness training”) is recommended for two or three days per week.
  • Exercises should involve motor skills (balance, agility, coordination and gait), proprioceptive exercise training and multifaceted activities (tai ji and yoga) to improve physical function and prevent falls in older adults.
  • 20-30 minutes per day is appropriate for neuromotor exercise.

Think Vertical, Not Horizontal

By Andrew Turner on August 21, 2013

When setting up your positioning for an exercise, start using a vertical grip position as opposed to a horizontal one. A vertical grip is not the usual positioning for most lifters, but let’s change that.

Horizontal grip.

Horizontal grip.

Proper form and technique are keys to a successful lift. This will help prevent injury and maximize strength in the muscles being worked. In either a pushing (dumbbell chest press) or pulling (cable high row) exercise with a horizontal grip positioning, the elbows flare out to the sides which in turn will elevate the shoulders. When this shoulder elevation occurs, such as in a dumbbell chest press, a lot of stress is created at the shoulder joint (glenoid) through the pushing motion.

Constant stress creates injuries. The most typical injury occurred is ‘Biceps Tendonitis‘ characterized by pain in the anterior (front) of the shoulder. This inflammation of the long head of the biceps tendon will not go away without eliminating unnecessary stress at the shoulder joint.

Solution: use a vertical grip by tucking elbows in close to the body. Also depress your shoulders and pinch back your shoulder blades (retraction – will activate rhomboids and lower trapezius).

Vertical grip starting position.

Vertical grip starting position.

Vertical grip bottom position.

Vertical grip bottom position.









In the example of a dumbbell chest press, this vertical grip will minimize shoulder joint stress and maximize the muscles doing all the work – chest and triceps. For some, this may feel a bit uncomfortable and even harder but that’s ok. In time, the benefits include no shoulder pain and more strength through the chest and triceps.

Stop doing this exercise! Part 1

By Andrew Turner on May 3, 2013

tfblog_hoistYes, here at the Trudy Fitness Center we have a state-of-the-art Hoist Leg Extension. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you should being using it …

Used to: increase strength and cross-sectional area of the quadriceps (rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and vastus intermedius) by bringing the knees to extension against resistance.

Why not to use: although this machine actively recruits muscle kneespecifically the patellar tendon is unsafe. With the motion of the leg extension starting at the front of the ankles against the resistance, a lot of the force is placed first on the patellar tendon before the quadriceps and is then relied upon, just as greatly in the eccentric (lowering) motion of the repetition. Read more

Happy Earth Day

By Andrew Turner on April 22, 2013

April 22, 2013 is being celebrated as Earth Day!

With this special occasion and “fairly” warm weather (the sun is shining) why not take your exercise routine or workout outside today… Here in Hamilton, the possibilities are endless!

If you want to run today, there are plenty of routes to take along the streets but if you want to try something different head up to the Colgate Cross-Country Trails. A softer terrain and wooded scenery is a great change up from the asphalt and cars zooming by (always run against traffic – you’ll see them, when they don’t see you).

Not a runner, no problem! There is always hiking around the many hills in the area or even just simply walking around. Enjoy the fresh air of spring. Take the time to focus on yourself and let your stresses go away.

Looking for something even more, Colgate’s Outdoor Education program is amazing! There are so many options for different adventures to try. Check out their website and stop by Base Camp located behind the Trudy Fitness Center and Lineberry Pool at the bottom of the ski hill.

What’s next for our cardio equipment!

By Andrew Turner on April 12, 2013
Students, staff, and faculty using the 25 treadmills, 24 ellipticals, a dozen stationary bicycles, and several Precor adaptive motion trainers.

Students, staff, and faculty using some of the 25 treadmills, 24 ellipticals, a dozen stationary bicycles, and several Precor adaptive motion trainers.

As many of you should already know (because you regularly use the Trudy Fitness Center) we have A LOT of machines to use for cardiovascular exercise. Actually, 73 machines to be exact but who’s counting… Our brand of choice is PRECOR and this is because they produce an exceptional, top of the line pieces of equipment. It also helps that the President of PRECOR, Paul Bryne is a Colgate Alumni – they’re everywhere! Read more