Saturday, October 31, 2015

How to Avoid Wasting Time and Effort In The Gym

Well I finally made the move from a small town to a much larger one on the west coast of Florida. One of the many reasons I decided to move was the fact I enjoy living in an area that has the population to handle a multiple number of  large gyms and, other assorted fitness centers in the area.

One thing that does not change however no matter where you work out is seeing people that have walked in with good intentions to start an exercise program and are going about things in the wrong fashion. There are no exceptions.

Now I understand when it comes to training,  what works for one, does not work for another along with the fact that everyone has their own style and more then likely have also got just enough information to stay completely confused when first starting out. I went through the same learning curve myself.

What I am getting at are new members that come in and you can see that their form on the equipment, how much weight they are using to start with and, their exercise selection is something that spells out the word  INJURY!

I firmly believe that the personal trainers that are working the floor, rather then just walk by these individuals, should stop and help these members with not only their form to avoid injury but, for newcomers, get them started on a basic full body workout that uses compound movements that will build basic strength and develop a good foundation for the future.

Rather then seeing someone who is older and frail to begin with, jumping on a cable machine doing chest flyes and haphazardly at that, they may want to consider working on something like light dumbbell presses or modified push-ups to help develop a strong foundation to build from and, to help with their functional strength and core development.

Rather then seeing someone who has never trained a day in their life walk into the gym and start doing triceps push-downs because they see someone else doing it, maybe the personal trainers who again are present at the time, could instruct these individuals on using a close grip triceps press standing while using their body weight for example. These are just examples and there are many more.

Watching these people day after day come into the gym and work the same muscle groups every day on the same equipment is not beneficial when it comes to making progress and seeing results.

Now I have found over the years that some are happy to receive some instruction and I have seen others that agree with what you are saying but, revert back to what they know and feel comfortable with.

Sure there is contradictory information in the world of fitness and everyone has to learn their own bodies and how it responds. But to avoid wasting your time in the gym and increasing your chances of getting injured, seek the help of the staff about getting a weight training program designed for you.

There are certain laws in biomechanics and physiology that we all should follow to assure a safe and effective exercise program.

Most of the big commercial gyms may come with an introductory training session with a trainer that gives you a chance to learn some basic movements and exercises along with a question and answer session.

No doubt if you are first starting there is a learning curve you have to go through and in fact, if you have been weight training for years, there is always something new out there to learn as well. No one knows it all!

The most important thing is to keep things simple and avoid chasing the latest fitness craze or routine.

The take home message is if you are just starting out, seek help from the personal training staff and, make sure you begin to self educate yourself on strength and cardiovascular training. There are tons of books and information on the internet that can help you.

Making every exercise repetition count and avoiding injury is the best way to assure you  have a successful venture in your exercise program.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT

" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends"

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Staying Motivated To Exercise

Staying motivated to exercise is at times really no differnt then staying motivated to do anything in life. You have to have a  plan and a vision on why you are doing something and what is the goal you are try ng to achieve.

If you do not have a  goal of how you want to look and feel for instance, and can see it and feel it, then you will have difficulty staying motivated to get to the gym.

Also, like anything we do in life, we have to want it bad enough that we will see through the obstacles to achieve it. We have to be internally driven to accomplish  the task or goal of getting the workout in before we do anything else for instance.

My day does not start without at least 60 minutes of exercise, this is six days a week. I make sure its done early in the morning because later in the day, there will be 100 reasons that are found why now is not the time, after getting beat up all day just living life.

You need to have a vision of what you want to become physically and mentally for that matter and just start. Starting with just 10 minutes a day is better then nothing  then, you slowly each day progress from there adding additional time.

Once you begin to make it a daily habit to attend the workout and, once you begin to see the transformation taking place both in your mind and body then, it starts to become a lifestyle that you want to maintain and build upon.

Your new look and, the new energy you experience is something that you look forward to making a part of your daily ritual and experience.

Getting a good medical report at the doctors office also for those of us over the age of 50 also goes a long way in maintaining the new active lifestyle along with the fact that you medical costs are reduced when you stay in excellent condition as well.

That ought to be motivation enough right there to stay active and make it a part of your life.

You always will have to invest in yourself no matter what road you take in life. You can either lead a life of general malaise and figure that exercising is just not for me and end up paying by feeling and looking tired and then, paying large amounts of money and time with the medical community  or, you can invest in yourself by taking the time right now to get started on an exercise program and spending the money needed to get proper instruction and learn how to eat properly for starters.

Getting expert advice to avoid needless injuries and, obtaining a solid foundation to build from increases your chances exponentially in staying motivated.

You make the choice on how you want to live.

You will stay motivated as long as you begin to adopt the internal drive to start working out and do it for you, not your husband or wife, your neighbors but you!

Experiencing a whole new world by looking and feeling good will keep the fire burning inside to begin to live life full of energy and becoming vibrant again.

Motivation and self-discipline is not something we are born with, its developed just like a muscle, you have to practice it everyday.

Begin one small step at a time find some sort of exercise
you enjoy doing and then sit back and watch the transformation take place.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Develop Change and Variety In Your Workouts

Variety is something both our minds and bodies need to flourish and continue to grow. In fact, we as humans crave variety in many different ways. But for the sake of this short blog, lets talk for a moment about exercise variety.

Our bodies are very smart in being able to adjust to maintain homeostasis, in fact it will do whatever it takes to maintain the status quo.

When it comes to our fitness and  physical rehabilitation, it is good to change your exercise routines up a bit to throw the body off, in other words to keep it guessing. I let my patients and clients know that we will not be going through the same ole routine time and time again. Change is about to come.

I am let them know up front I am here and so they can see results and changes in strength levels, muscle growth, fat loss and for my physical therapy patients, it may be changes in their abilities to transfer from assorted surfaces, knee replacement range of motion and, overall functional independence to name a few.

No one likes redundancy and the mind and body will become too comfortable if you expect growth and change in the look and feel of your body.

Growth in life and in the gym or rehabilitation center, comes from change, to be fearful of change is the number one reason people do not progress in life. Fear of change whether its in life or a fitness program leads to a slow but steady decline.

Even when I go the gym, I never park in the same place twice in a row speaking of change. Notice how many of your fitness friends park in the same spot every morning, they are probably the same ones that have been doing the same lifting or fitness routine since 1993.

There are multiple ways to change your fitness or physical rehabilitation routines and yet still remain in the confines of safety and avoiding possible injury. Like life in general, everyone will present different problems and discrepancies that will have to be considered when developing exercise programs for yourself or a patient.

Things like changing repetition schemes with exercises for instance will activate different types of muscle fibers when it comes to developing strength or endurance.

Exercising your body at different angles will present new challenges to muscle groups and, works the muscle fibers in distinct ways. Examples like changing from a flat bench to an incline bench is a very common change for chest development or, hand placement on a barbell going either with a wide or narrow grip.

Many of exercises can be changed, by you going from lifting with free weights for four to six weeks to using machines for instance. Some workouts you can go from completing three sets total to four or five sets total, this will change the workload on the muscles involved and force growth if you are consistent.

When I am working in the home with my patients, I will not go in each session and do the same exercises or balance routines in the same order etc..., I will change them up working the muscle groups with different variations along with changing up the order in which we do them.

Seek out different options every four to six weeks, some prefer to change the routine just a bit every session. Finds what works with you and that stimulates both your mind and body.

For more ideas on how to change your fitness routines or, exercises that will help prepare your body strength and endurance wise for that upcoming joint replacement surgery, you can email me at

Lift and live your life with new intensity by changing the mental world which lives inside of you.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

Monday, October 5, 2015

Taking Possession Of Your Life Mentally And Physically

Taking back possession of our own body in today's world is not as easy as it sounds. Unless you are grounded in staunch self  discipline and know how to turn off the internal chatter that plagues many of us, you will continue to give in to the numerous temptations that are all around us.

Its easy to make the decision early in the morning that I am not going to get out of bed and go to the gym for instance. Its easy to say  that tomorrows a better day when in fact, tomorrow is not a better day, who said you even have tomorrow to begin with?

As we get older, are days get numbered and we have to make the most out of each one. Putting your exercise program off another day or procrastinating about when you are going to clean up your food intake and lose a few pounds is a dead end street!

To take back possession of both your mind and body, you need to start with and understand that no one will care about you until you care for yourself. When you come down with some type of chronic  disease or other medical problems, sure your friends say one thing and are concerned and want to help in any way they can however, the bottom line is it does not affect them physically, its affects only you.

Decide today, right now, that you are going to be the driver of your bus in life, not the TV, not your neighbors and definitely  not your doctor who makes his income on the fact that you will not take personal responsibility  of your own health and, get started on a hardcore massive physical and mental transformation to clean up your life.

You want to be sure you do not start one more day from here on out without first flooding your mind in  the morning with positive and empowering thoughts that you are in control and, that you have and will generate all the strength and power to conquer whatever the day throws at you.

Importantly,be sure also that you start your day with some sort of physical activity five to six days a week. Power walking, jogging, or speed biking  along with strength training are ideal for older adults to begin to get in shape to control your own physical destiny for once.

If that type of lifestyle is for you, then take charge of your own health right now through exercise, eating cleaner, healthier foods and staying leaner and more muscular.

And yes, that can be done at any age. If you are from the old school that thinks " I am too old " or have doubts about what  I am saying then this article will not be for you.

Clearing your mind of doubt and procrastination and, filling your mind with thoughts of power and strength and mentally rehearsing what you need to do on each day before getting out of bed will give you the strength you need to over come obstacles in life.

Why pay the health field a steady income which I  work in by the way, because of lazy, procrastinating thoughts and habits both mentally and physically, when you can be paying yourself a nice healthy dividend with a more proactive approach to your overall health.

Your Destiny in life lies in your hands now!

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness And Rehabilitation Never Ends"

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Physical and Mental Fitness

Exercise and eating a low fat diet high in protein and complex carbs is what a body needs as we age.
As time goes on and we have a generation of us baby boomers putting heavy pressure on the US medical system, we also have fortunately a generation that is more active and beginning to understand the importance of taking better care of our bodies.

Though the number is small, more people understand that being pro-active in their healthcare will not only give them the ability to possibly cut down on future healthcare costs but, allow them to lead a much higher quality of life.

By not only taking care of our physical bodies do we feel better, look better and perform physically at a much higher level.

Also we now know that physical activity is also good for our mental outlook on life. By feeling good and looking good for instance, our self esteem increases along with our confidence levels.

Exercise that is strenuous enough, starts a cascade of hormones that promote a feeling of relaxation, well-being, stimulates muscle growth and, of course helps us sleep much better at night too.

Endorphin's for instance is just one hormone that gives you that peaceful feeling after strenuous exercise. There are a host of others like the increase in the production of growth hormone and testosterone just to name a couple.

This is all proven science and written about ad nauseam on the internet.

The idea here is that when you work the body in a committed strenuous exercise program with consistency, you are also training your mind an increasing its fitness as well.

Also being committed to a fitness program builds self discipline and increases our self esteem when we commit to being consistent to the fitness goals we set forth.

Whether its through improving blood flow to the brain or increasing our feeling of well-being, our minds benefit from exercise as well.

Its been said and reported that some of the best medicine that can be prescribed for depression  may be a obtaining a gym membership and using it!

However you shake it out, the mind and body are strongly connected in everything you do. If you plan on living a healthy and more fulfilling life as you age, get going in developing a strength and cardiovascular exercise program now.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC
Bradenton, Florida.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

In Physical Rehabilitation, " The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday"

Some you you may have heard this quote made popular by the United States Navy Seals, " the only easy day was yesterday" . I personally prescribe and live my life by it. In other words, I plan ahead of schedule what I plan to accomplish that day then, push forward at all costs to get it done. Once done and the day is over, its now in my book considered finished! Now that was easy.

When it comes to your physical rehabilitation after having a knee, hip ,or shoulder replacement, some of us dread each morning when we get up knowing someone like myself will be visiting your home to take you through your rehabilitation, or maybe you are headed out to a local out-patient clinic for your physical therapy.

Of course we as physical therapists are not there to see how much pain we can cause or, how uncomfortable we can make you feel no, we are there to get you educated and inspired along with setting you up for a successful physical outcome after your joint replacement.

No one said the physical rehabilitation was going to be easy did they? In fact most patients I talk with have somewhat of an understanding how tough its going to be to a point.

I say somewhat because, no one knows for sure until they go through it. And, as I have mentioned before in my humble estimation, the knee replacement rehabilitation program is the toughest.

So you take each day separately. You will have been given a plan by your Physical Therapist as to what exercises to do along with your daily frequency etc....

Don't worry about tomorrow, concentrate on today's exercise plan only. Focus on today, give your rehabilitation all you got.

There will be days you will not feel like doing the exercises, there will be days when you have more chronic pain and swelling, expect it and be mentally tough enough to deal with it.

Find a way to push through some of this and get it done. Once done, you can put that days exercises in the bank as complete.

When you wake  up the following day, you realize you made it, you got done what needed to get done in other words.

 Then you will look back knowing yesterday has come and gone therefore it is now easy in comparison what is in store for you today. A new day and new challenges await.

Look at your physical rehabilitation for the first six weeks after joint replacement as a version of military basic training, take it one day at a time. If you think too far ahead its get overwhelming.

Carry on you rehab warrior.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends"

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Life After 50, You Are In Charge Now How To Keep Those Years Golden

The Golden Years, we all have heard about them, but for many of the people I deal with from day to day due to my occupation, the years have not been so golden, more like cheap copper for most.

Now there are many ways that someone can help in assuring that their retirement years coming up soon will be golden, because I am more interested in the health aspect of those years which also bleeds into your overall quality of life and financial resources to work with as well.

You see, your health is tied in directly to your finances as well right? We all heard of the adage " health is wealth" you can have all the money in the world but if you have lived a destructive lifestyle then, that money that you worked so hard to accumulate, will be passed on  the people like me in the medical community.

Most doctors and hospitals are more then happy to take your money, after all they have to make a living too.

One of the ways you can be proactive in your overall health care in the 21st century is to become informed and active in a committed exercise program, combined with a solid nutritional program as you age.

You see, our bodies are like your automobile that gets older with accumulated miles on it, it needs preventive maintenance on it  to run smoothly and to help keep the breakdowns to a minimum, so does your body.

Your health and life in general, does not care what you used to do for exercise or, how you lived or, who you knew, when you were younger, it cares about today, what are you doing today?

You should have a plan to get up first thing in the morning and spend time on your exercise program followed by a hearty ,nutritious breakfast to get your mind and body prepared for the day.

I recommend early in the morning because as the day goes on in our busy day to day lives, putting your exercise program off until later in the day means the chances skyrocket that you will not get it done.

Put the time in today to get working on your physical exercise program and, start planning your meals in advance to assure you are eating properly and not eating on a binge program because you do not have anything prepared at home.

Poor meal planning alone counts for the increase in obesity and unhealthy amounts of body fat that degrade your health in general.

Preparation in life is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful.

Either you take the time today to work on both your mental and physical health or, plan on having someone else do it for you later in life at a cost that will leave you dependent on someone else to care for you and, possibly financially strapped to boot!

Sure, we cannot tell what will take place in the future due to other variables however, you can play a major role in your own destiny when it comes to your health and finances by taking a good long hard look where you are at now and where you want to be tomorrow.

Put your hands around your future today by being aggressive in planning your own healthcare through exercise and quality nutritional practices.

Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC
Bradenton, Florida.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Air Squats After Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Over the past 15 years after knee replacement surgery, I have noticed more loosening inside the joint in other words their is more joint play as the polyethylene components wear over the years. There is no pain or discomfort involved just a little more " clunking" inside the knee in certain positions.

This is expected over the many years I have been not only walking and on my feet all day but, with the resistance training as well.

I do not squat with heavy poundage's any longer but, one of the exercises I still do twice a week is the air squat.

Air squats is an exercise that you use with your body weight only.  I also immediately superset the air squats with leg extensions for instance to add intensity to the exercise. I may for instance do 20-25 air squats and immediately  follow with 15 leg extensions. I perform three to four sets total with 30 to 60 second rest period between sets.

This is not only a good strengthening routine for your legs but, a nice cardiovascular workout as well.

The idea with the leg squat is to lower yourself as deep as possible, not only does this work your quadriceps and hamstrings but, kicks in the glutes as well, a muscle group that most older Americans if asked, think that it is used for sitting only.

Another exercise combination I use to keep my knee replacement and, legs in general strong is air squats combined with barbell or dumbbell straight legged deadlifts. These work again not only your glutes but, is a great compound exercise for your hamstrings.

The key that I have mentioned in multiple posts over the years is the importance of keeping your knee replacement strong by strengthening the muscles that support the knee joint itself.

Walking alone will not get it done. The geriatric crowd many that I see for instance, would not be able to do air squats or progressive hamstring work that I have mentioned but, for you boomers like myself that are not ready to roll over and die because I have a joint replacement, these are just a couple of effective exercises you can do.

I have done them for over 15 years now so I am living proof they will not harm you. Just make sure if you are not active to begin with, to work yourself up slowly to the exercises mentioned.

Keeping your legs and body in general strong and with lean muscle as we age and after surgery is the best way to assure a better, more vibrant quality of life and looking pretty darn good isn't so bad either.

Richard Haynes PTA,CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC

" Where Fitness And Rehabilitation Never Ends"