3 Reasons Exercise Form is a Priority Over Lifting Heavy

We see it at least once every time we’re working out at the gym. Someone is lifting heavy weights, which is a good thing, but exercise form and technique is lacking. Is good form more important than lifting heavy? Both are needed of course, and with the right mindset, both can be an integral part of a workout. Here are three reasons why it’s so important to use good form and technique each time you workout.

You’re Only a Rep Away from Getting Injured

Executing proper form during each repetition with every set of each exercise, is important mainly because of one word…injury. Mastering technique for each lift you perform, in the gym or at home, will help keep injuries at bay. If for no other reason, this one is a big one. The last thing you want is to pull a back muscle during a deadlift or strain a shoulder pushing weight overhead. Rounding your back while executing a deadlift or squat will do exactly that! Good form, proper body mechanics, and core stabilization during any lift, will improve the efficiency of the movement and help to prevent an injury.

Improper Form Recruits Other Muscle Groups into Play

An exercise like a barbell biceps curl is not meant to be a total body lift. When someone uses momentum, swinging the upper body, in order to “assist” in curling the weight, it takes away from working the biceps fully (100%). Another exercise that is often performed using improper form is the bench press. You can feel that low back arching off the bench as you read this. Any time someone uses improper form during a lift, especially during an isolation movement, that area will not get worked efficiently as it would with perfect form.

Good Exercise Form Helps You Reach Goals Faster

It takes someone typically much longer to reach their fitness goals when improper form is continually used. Not to mention, that person usually has to deal with a higher rate of injury. Using proper form places your muscle in perfect alignment, and from this vantage point, the muscle is able to generate the highest amount of force. This in turn, can potentially increase strength at a faster rate while reaching your fitness goals quicker, like hitting a new 1-RM.

It is your call but using good form when lifting heavy continues to beneficial in regard goals faster and avoiding injuries.

Use Jefit to Record and Track Your Strength Training Workouts

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. In addition, the app has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

Five Tips to Keep You Healthy Inside and Out

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There’s so much more to looking good and feeling fit than building up muscles. Fitness starts within the body and is a combination of fitness of the mind and body. The western culture has lost the connection between the mind and body, so we embark on the latest fitness craze and fad diet, only to fail a few weeks down the line. Reconnecting the mind with your fitness goals will help you to achieve a lifelong regiment of good health.

To really focus on fitness goals you need to feel fit on the inside. You also need to feel good about yourself. If there is anything you can change do it! For example, perhaps you’re feeling stressed at work, which is causing you to choose unhealthy foods or alcohol as a quick fix?

Here are five tips to help you develop a healthy mindset in order to meet your fitness goals and most importantly, stick to them!

Regular Health Checkups

Make sure to attend all of your regular health checkups to check on your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. This will ensure you have a clean bill of health for starting any exercise regime and will flag any potential health concerns. Make sure you raise any concerns that you have with your physician.

Eat Healthy

The old adage of “you are what you eat” is true and not just an old wives tale. If you eat foods that are considered healthy, you will automatically feel healthier. Try to avoid processed foods, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and unhealthy fats. Include in your diet fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain foods, protein and keep hydrated with plenty of water.

Sleep

Sleep is our bodies opportunity to regenerate. Getting too little or too much sleep can affect our physical and mental health massively. A lack of sleep can affect the whole body, causing lack of concentration, reduced motor skills, impaired immune system and even our cardiovascular health. Feeling exhausted will tempt you to eat unhealthy foods as your body will crave carbohydrates and sugar to give you energy.

Try to get into natural daylight during the day. Artificial lights and darkness doesn’t provide us with a clear definition between night and day. Avoid looking at your smartphone before bed and don’t drink any caffeine after 2 pm. If all else fails visit your medical practitioner.

Exercise

The combination of exercise and a healthy diet are what ultimately enables you to reach optimal health. Have clear goals and start gradually. Mix up your routines, for variety so that you don’t become bored. Seek expert advice from personal trainers as to how to develop the best routine for you. Most importantly, use Jefit app to help track and stick to your goals.

Be consistent and make small changes to your life. Once you have formed the habit of keeping yourself healthy – you are on your way. Exercise helps decrease stress in your life, in addition to keeping you healthier, both mentally and physically.

Work on Your Mobility

Mobility refers to the ability to move freely around a specific joint. When you have healthy range of motion (ROM) in all the joints, your body is free to move and adjust to its position in the most efficient way. As a result, activities and movement are more natural and less restrictive. When you have sufficient joint mobility you also get more out of your workouts at the gym. As a result of inactivity, chronic stress, and aging, your ROM and mobility begin to decrease. It is important that a regular mobility routine is incorporated into your exercise program. Specific areas should be addressed to improve joint mobility such as the hips, shoulders and lumbar and thoracic spine as a start.

Use the Jefit App to Keep You Healthy

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep track of their fitness goals. Not only does it give you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community, it has the largest exercise library that covers both weight training and cardio.

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How to Get a Fitness Mindset for Success in 3 Easy Steps

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Getting in shape and becoming healthier is one of the most common resolutions that people make. While it is great that people want to make these changes, there are a few steps that you need to take to really put this resolution into action. Rather than tackle it as one large goal, it is best to break your plan into separate parts. The first thing you need to focus on is your fitness mindset for success.

Your mindset refers to your attitude. Your mental state plays such an important role in getting in shape. Without the proper mindset, you may find it a struggle to keep to your health and fitness journey. Cultivate your fitness mindset now so that when the initial motivation begins to slowly wane, you will be able to get through the tough times and stick to your guns.

Here Are 3 Ways on How to Make Sure That You Have the Right Fitness Mindset to Become the Healthier Version of You

1. Know Your Why

Don’t make this another year where you say you are going to do it but don’t. Make this year your year, and that means deciding to commit with the intention of remaining committed. It’s easy to become sidetracked when things become difficult or it takes longer than expected, but this is why you need to go into this with the attitude of sticking to it when the going gets tough.

So when you decide to get healthier, know your why. Your why determines why you want to make these changes and this is what you will have to remember every time you think of quitting and giving up. It is what sets you up for success. If you don’t know what your why is, then just ask yourself why are you doing it in the first place?!

You may want to become fitter, get more energy, lose weight, gain muscle, become stronger.

When you hit setbacks and obstacles, go back to your why. When you feel like quitting and giving up, think back to it. Doing so will give you a renewed sense of determination and motivation. Then, you can keep going with a fitness mindset set up for success.

2. Set Your Goals

Now that you know your why and have the right mindset, set your goals. Saying things like, “I want to lose weight,” is not good enough. It is too generic and broad and does not give you any direction. You need to set smart goals and be more specific when naming your goals. A trick is to follow the S.M.A.R.T principle which is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Once you have done that, write your goal down on a piece of paper or post-it note and stick it somewhere you can easily see it every day. For example, above your desk or door. Also, put it in places where you have the most trouble with. If nutrition is your downfall, then put it on your fridge where you can see it every time you feel temptation.

3. Find a Support Group

Just remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Get a support group that knows your mission and can help you get there. They will also hold you accountable.

Find a workout/gym buddy. This way, your workouts can be more fun and sociable. If you are a fan of group fitness, then your class can be workout friends. If you like running, it doesn’t need to be a solo venture. Try finding some local running groups in your area that you can join. You will also be less tempted to skip out on the Sunday morning run if you know you will be letting other people down.

But it doesn’t just stop there. Your support group can even extend to an online community. There are plenty of fitness apps, Facebook or Twitter groups as well as other social media pages. Take advantage of them.

For example, Jefit has a membership page on Facebook where Jefit members can post and share any tips and wins with each other. Even if you have hit an obstacle, it is great to turn to your support group so that you can get encouragement and advice. It can really make a difference in your health journey.

So the first step into getting in shape is to train your mind first. Get in the right fitness mindset from the start so that you can better your progress in achieving your goals. Without the proper mental state, then you are automatically diminishing your chances of success.

Join a Supportive Community

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. It has an extensive exercise library database, as well as the ability to update and share your workout log. One of the best parts of Jefit is that it comes with a community forum and member-only Facebook page. Here, you will be surrounded by like-minded people who can help you! Join now for a fun, motivating, and encouraging support system!

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An Amazing Body Transformation Journey Using the Jefit App

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It is a special feeling when all your hard work in the gym finally pays off. The ultimate goal for most people is to hopefully experience a body transformation when it’s all said and done. This change, however, requires months or even years of hard work and dedication to occur. It usually includes hours upon hours of exercise, plenty of sleep and a strict nutrition plan. Proper nutrition is required to get the most out of each exercise session. Eating healthy also plays a big role in keeping muscle and body fat ratios at respectable levels.

One Jefit member, Steven Duckwiler, has experienced this type of body transformation success, losing almost hundred pounds. His journey over the past four years has been nothing short of sensational. You can follow his personal journey on his personal YouTube page, Duck Fitness.

What actually needs to happen in order for your body to dramatically transform over time?

The Right Mindset is Needed to Experience a Body Transformation

Something usually “clicks” with regard to the way you think about yourself, your body or your relationship with food. For Steven it was a few things. One hobby ended (football) and he then decided to get totally immersed in his passion, fitness. With a shift in mindset, he adjusted his eating style. What he did differently on the nutrition side was he started recording and tracking his calories. He began paying more attention to the types of food he was consuming at each meal. He also started tracking his strength workouts, using the Jefit app.

Nutrition & Exercise Play a Critical Role in Successful Body Transformation

The driving force for Steven was to lose weight when he finished up his final season of high school football. During his last year, he served as the varsity offensive line Captain. Following graduation, he started monitoring his diet and became cognizant of his daily macronutrient intake. What he did differently, as previously mentioned, was recording his calories and macronutrients each day. He also tracked his workouts with the Jefit app. As Steven got deeper into his journey, he started learning more about nutrition and exercise. This allowed him to make healthier and smarter food choices along the way.

A typical week for Steven includes weight training 6 times per week (focused around heavy compound movements). He also likes to keep active with cardio, typically light cycling and outdoor activities such as golfing and hiking. As a result of of his dedication and training over the past four years, he has competed in a USAPL Powerlifting meet. He plans on doing a mock meet in December and would like to return to competing in 2021 and eventually bodybuilding as well. His YouTube channel currently has a video of his weight loss journey. He will be posting more videos including his mock meet in December!

Turning Your Passion into a Coaching Career

Steven is studying Kinesiology and will have his degree in 2021. His next goal is to become a sports strength and conditioning coach. He would also like to continue to grow his personal training business working with athletes and individual clients. Steven has been working as an NFPT certified personal trainer since 2018. He has worked with both NFL and collegiate athletes in addition to a wide range of other clients. You can follow Steven on Instagram @steven.duckwiler and his Youtube channel, Duck Fitness.

Since Steven began his body transformation four years ago, he has lost close to hundred pounds. He continues to build metabolically active lean muscle mass with his consistent training. Steven mentioned that he likes using the Jefit app for motivation and to track his strength and cardio workouts. He also plans to use the award-winning app for his training business as a tool for coaching his clients. Congratulations Steven! You are setting a great example for many others who are looking to experience a similar body transformation.

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Steven Duckwiler Transformation
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Image Credit: Steven Duckwiler

Use the Jefit App to Help With Your Own Personal Health Journey

Millions of members have had great success transforming their bodies using the Jefit app. The app is a customizable workout planner, training log, can track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Stay strong with Jefit.




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Maintaining an Active Lifestyle Now Impacts How You Age

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When we’re young we can feel invincible, but as we age, that invincibility can slowly deteriorate. The short-term goal for many is to maintain an active lifestyle throughout their twenties and thirties. The thinking behind this is that if you start young, the habit will carryover into the golden years. One of the key ingredients in this scenario is sustainability. The long-term goal should be to maintain a healthy lifestyle no matter what decade of life someone is in.

An Active Lifestyle is a Mindset

In its simplest form an active lifestyle incorporates physical activity into every day life. The time invested in activities like walking, biking, running and strength training are well worth it. Maintaining a consistent routine with such activities will keep chronic disease at bay. A physically active lifestyle is beneficial for the body and the mind. The by-product of an active lifestyle improves everything from quality of sleep to

Three Types of Physical Activity

Physical activity consists of three components, muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility. It’s important to focus on these individual components and add each one into your weekly training program.

  • MUSCULAR STRENGTH

Muscular strength is defined as the maximum amount of force a muscle or group of muscles can produce during a single bout of exercise. There are many reasons why this is so important to maintain throughout ones life. One of those big reasons is lean muscle mass. If you don’t engage in regular strength training you lose muscle mass. Period. If you do not strength train regularly, as you age, you become part of a statistical group that loses approximately 5-8 pounds of lean muscle mass with each passing decade starting at about age thirty-five. Let’s just end by saying those numbers get much worse after fifty.

  • CARDIOVASCULAR ENDURANCE

Is the ability to move the body over a sustained period of time. It’s critical to improve and maintain cardiovascular fitness throughout your lifetime. By doing so, you’ll reduce your risk of developing heart disease by increasing the efficiency of your heart, lungs, and blood vessels.

  • FLEXIBILITY

This is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to move through a range of motion. Flexibility is a component of mobility.

“Given what we know about the health benefits of physical activity, it should be mandatory to get a doctor’s permission not to exercise.”

~ PER-OLOF ASTRAND, MD, PHD, KAROLINSKA INSTITUTE, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

Benefits of Maintaining a Lifelong Active Lifestyle

Here are a few examples of the benefits associated with enjoying an active lifestyle.

  • Research published in 2013, in the journal Lancet, reported among people with early signs of pre-diabetes, taking an extra 2,000 steps each day, or the equivalent of a 20-minute moderate-paced walk, helped lower their chances of heart problems.
  • Over the course of a yearlong study, an additional 8 percent lower risk of heart disease was observed for every 2,000 steps walked a day.
  • Scientists from University College London performed a meta-analysis of peer-reviewed journals between 1970 and 2007. The studies evaluated 459,833 test-subjects who were absent of cardiovascular disease at the start of the investigation. The subjects were followed for an average of 11.3 years with all cardiovascular events recorded. Their analysis makes a strong case for the benefits of good old walking. The study showed walking reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 31 percent and decreased the risk of dying by 32 percent.
  • The Harvard Alumni study found men who average at least eight flights of stairs a day enjoy a 33 percent lower mortality rate compared to men who are sedentary.
  • Research shows that people who sit the most have a 112 percent increase in the Relative Risk (RR) of diabetes and a 147 percent increase in the RR of cardiovascular events compared to people who sit the least.

Review of Physical Activity on Awareness & Mood Levels

A research paper published by Berger titled Psychological Benefits of an Active Lifestyle looked at the key benefits derived from an active lifestyle. According to Berger, “exercise has many benefits…, it is important to explore ways in which exercise might become something one “wants” to do several days a week. Possible sources of enjoyment and motivation for physical activity may include “feeling better” or mood alteration; stress reduction; and enhancement of self-concept, self-awareness, and even self-knowledge.”

Adding the components of physical activity (strength, endurance, flexibility) into your workouts will allow you to make the most of each day. Finally, turning this into a habit now when your young will pay back stronger dividends when you’re older. Stay Strong!

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