Archive for the ‘Workouts’ Category

Fit Tips with @nickjpetrella

Try these tips to add some functionality into your training!

Are you stuck in a rut doing the same routine over and over and over again? Are you looking for something new to add some variety into your workouts? Have your gains leveled off? Are you bored of your workouts?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are in desperate need of some added functionality into your workout! Adding variables of functionality into your workouts can enhance gains, overcome plateaus, stimulate new gains, increase the challenge of your workouts and add some fun into your training! Too often we forget that by simply changing the tempo of the movement, adding some variable of instability or adding some dimension of movement into our workouts we can overcome plateaus and increase the intensity of the workout!

Partner Resisted (adding live resistance requires your mind to connect with the muscle in order to stabilize and move at the same time)

What is Functionality?

Functional can be defined as something with purpose or of purpose. In reference to strength and conditioning we can define functional as exercise that involves preparation for performance of daily activities. Essentially, functional has a different meaning to everyone as every person has a unique perspective of what is purposeful in his or her day-to-day life. Functional training is movement-based training or training that is designed to enhance the body’s ability to communicate. Functional training is designed to improve the connection between the mind and the body and therefore increase the body’s efficiency of movement. That being said, every strength and conditioning enthusiast can benefit from purposeful training.

Pushup with Weight Vest (training with a weight vest not only adds resistance, it increases the caloric expenditure of your workout)

Who can benefit from Functional Training?

Mistakenly, functional training is thought to be solely for the athletic population however, the non-athletic population has just as much to gain if not more than an athlete. Similar to athletes, every-day people require efficiency and the ability to move laterally or diagonally and rotate through their hips! These are not just athletic based skills! Try to think about everything you do throughout the course of your day and how many times you need to take a lateral step and reach for something (reaching to stop your child from getting around you) just like a tennis player might reach to return a volley. Try to think about the number of times you have to reach down to the ground and pick up an object that might be slightly outside of your stance (for example, picking up a bag of groceries) similar to what a rugby player might have to do outside of a scrum. All of these tasks require efficient communication between the brain and the muscles in order to make these movements smooth and fluid. Elderly, children, weekend warriors and athletes can all benefit from movement-based training!

Towel Inverted Row (using items like towels will help strengthen muscles that are often overlooked)

How do you implement Functional Training?

Functional training can be very simple to implement into your training plan and even the smallest variable of functional training is enough to add new dimensions of gain to your programs! Essentially, any variable or variation to your training that requires your brain to communicate on a different level with your muscle is a method of functional training. For example, altering your program so that the exercises you do seated are now done while standing, exercises that are done while seated on a bench are now completed while sitting on a stability ball, exercises that are done while standing are now done while standing on a BOSU ball, exercises that are typically done bilaterally (two legs or two arms) are now done unilaterally (single leg or single arm), exercises that are done while working in one plane of motion are now completed in multiple planes of motion. There are many ways to add functionality into your program aside from those mentioned above! Tools like ViPR, Sandbells, BOSU Balls, Stability Balls, Reebok Core Boards, Weighted Vests, Medicine Balls, Lifting Chains, Landmines, Deadballs, Battling Ropes, Ballast Balls, Resistance Bands, Balance Boards, Cable Systems, TRX, and Kettelbells are all awesome pieces of equipment that can add functionality into your workouts!

Pushup with Rotation (adding movement and weight to your traditional exercise activates muscles that would otherwise be inactive)

Why should YOU add functional training into your workout?

Functional training can

* Reduce the risk of injury

* Stimulate new muscle fiber growth

* Increase muscular power

* Increase movement efficiency

* Improve performance of daily activities

* Improve the strength of the core musculature which will in turn reduce the risk of the incidence of low back pain

* Increase muscular endurance

* Increase muscular strength

* Improve performance of recreational activities

* Improve your quality of life!

If you have any questions about how to add functionality into your workout do not hesitate to contact me at or on Twitter @nickjpetrella or Facebook, Nick Petrella.

Your friends at Socially Fit

Find What Works For You

Re-blogged from Micah J. Murray

Five days a week, I roll out of bed and stumble into the gym half-asleep.
I don’t warm up before lifting.
I don’t drink water whilst in the gym; I drink coffee.
I don’t track my progress from week to week.
I never do legs, core, or cardio work.
My only diet strategy is “eat as much protein as possible”.

I have the worst work-out plan ever. 

Fitness: In the Gym

But it’s working for me. You know why?
Because I show up.
I’m there, five days a week.
And I have a buddy who’s there every day too.
If I don’t push myself, he will.
I lift a little more every week than the week before.

And I’m getting the results I want. 

Bicep Flex

Don’t do what I’m doing. Everyone has different goals; mine is to fill out a medium t-shirt. My workout plan is working for me, but it probably won’t work for you. And it probably won’t be the right plan for me a year from now.

You know what will work for you? Showing up. 

There are a lot of fitness tips and hints and plans out there. Some of them work, some of them don’t. What does work is making fitness part of your life. Forming a work-out rhythm that becomes a habit. Eating what you need to eat. Don’t wait until you have the perfect plan. Just start.

Because even the worst work-out plan ever is better than a perfect plan that never turns into action.

The only plan you need.

For more, read “How I’m Getting My Sexy Back” (no pun intended)

Your friends at Socially Fit


Southern Belle

“Growing up Southern is a privilege, really. It’s more than where you’re born – it’s an idea, a state of mind that seems imparted at birth. It’s more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, high school football, beer, country music, and acoustic guitars. It’s being hospitable, being devoted to front porches, magnolias, the good Lord, and each other. We don’t become Southern – we’re born that way.”

I grew up the third youngest of four children in your typical southern household, with traditional “southern” foods being served on a daily basis. The only physical activity I did through elementary and secondary school was participating in gym class. In high school I played basketball. My eating habits where all over the place, sweets, heavy starch, some vegetables and little protein. I didn’t really notice my weight until I hit middle school, when I started to receive remarks about my size here and there. In high school I got attention from some boys, but I was considered a “big” girl. I can’t say I had self-esteem issues, as I guess I was oblivious to my size at that time.

Later on, I started to develop some lower back issues and I hated to go shopping because I could not find clothes to fit in regular stores. I had to shop at the plus size stores. In May of 2009, I really started to take notice of how big I had become and the fact that my husband was obese as well. He had tried to diet (unsuccessfully) however since I did the majority of the cooking, I didn’t always make the healthiest of choices. We both talked about our physical conditions, prayed about it and decided to make immediate changes the next day.

I never want to go back to how big I was. Life is so much more enjoyable now, not only mentally and physically, but spiritually as well. It has brought a whole new quiet discipline to my everyday life. I look forward to working out with my husband as we always seem to come up with new challenges to keep us motivated. We have maintained our (over 200lbs combined) loss for over 2 years now. The changing of one’s lifestyle can be a spiritual battle. Without my relationship with my creator and my savior Jesus Christ, I don’t think we could have done what we did. Without prayer, I’m certain we would have been tempted to blow it, but we didn’t. 

My husband and I built a small gym in our garage and we train together all the time. He is very knowledgeable about nutrition, and he plans our eating programs for us. I tried weight watchers, nutri system and other popular diets prior but failed, so I’m blessed to have this available in-house.  Our Facebook friends began to cheer us on as they watched our transformation through pictures.

My current fitness goals  are to improve my body composition, run a couple 5-10k races, and  to ultimately step on stage and compete in a fitness show. My daily vitamin/supplement intake includes a multi vitamin, CLA, Omegas, BCAA’s and Protein Powder.

 Meals on an average day may consist of:

– a protein powder/almond butter shake, egg whites and oatmeal

–  lean protein/veggies

–  protein shake

– lean protein/veggies

An average day of training legs may consist of:

Squats, Front Squats, Lunges, Kettlebells swings & barbell glute raises. 3-4 sets 6-15 reps

Be encouraged and stay inspired. I know that if I can do it, you can do it. Don’t give up, if you fall down, get right back on the horse. Look for people and stories that you identify with and learn from their journey’s, our website not only has our transformation story it has over 30 stories from men and women who are winning the battle against obesity.

Learn about nutrition, keep a food journal, learn how different foods affect your body. Experiment with different activities until you find the one’s that you can do for life. I pray for anyone out there, that is about to take the first steps of their journey to better health. You can do it, even if you don’t have a support system in place, it can be done.


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Instagram transformationpics

Somebody Else is Putting the Effort In

Please take a look at the link attached. I’m not asking you to do what this guy is doing; but hey don’t get me wrong, if you can, go right ahead. More power to you! Sometimes I feel like throwing in the towel, breezing through my workout, or skipping my run but I think of all the people in my circle kicking ass, and I take it up a notch.

 My message to you is simple; There’s absolutely no limit to what you can do.

Act or accept.

Your friends at “Socially Fit”

Are You Up for The Challenge?

Here’s a little burn out for you to try at home as per one of our followers on twitter:

Thanks @jhbitting!!

Eat clean. Train dirty.  Be “Socially Fit”

The Loud Sound Of Regret

When working out becomes a staple in your everyday routine, it becomes less of a chore and more of a necessity for life. This begins to creep into your subconscious and before you know it your good friend Mr./Mrs. Conscience haunts you for having missed your daily exercise routine. Next thing you know you’re craving a workout, or some form of energy release. Last night I was knee-deep into a video game (yes, I’m an avid gamer) and tossed my evening workout to the side. It was fine until about 8 o’clock. Then suddenly I’m receiving all of these messages from my brain constantly letting me know how disappointed my body was for missing the workout.

This morning I felt like crap!

I missed a workout last night and now I feel like I’ve set myself back. I have tried to justify it in my head but none of it is working. No do over! I can not go back in time, I can however ensure that this does not happen again. When it comes to “workout guilt”, how exactly do you deal with it? Do you cave in under the pressure and try to squeeze a workout in, or are you able to shut your conscience up?


Pace Yourself

Yesterday I felt a little under the weather. My body was sore, and something that I ate was reeking its revenge on me. I had a workout scheduled, and I had no intention of cancelling it. So I got myself dressed and off I went to the gym. As I went through the paces, my mind drifting, my stomach aching, I kept reminding myself to focus. I couldn’t feel a thing. I couldn’t feel my muscles working, yet I knew that they were. Even though intensity and enthusiasm were lacking, I was still able to push myself to maintain the numbers, and in some cases increase the weight. I felt like I was in a bubble. There physically, but not mentally, I left feeling like it was a waste of time.

Today I feel amazing! My head is clear, my stomach ache gone, and my legs are killing me. I guess we all have those days? My partner normally writes the blog post, and today he finds himself going through the paces, mind drifting, not really knowing what to touch on. He’s collecting his thoughts after an early morning run.  The only advice that I have for him and for all of us in our daily lives, is to pace ourselves. We’re in it for the long haul.

Remain consistent.