Machine weights VS. free weights

Jeff Bettag Fitness

Is there really a difference between using free weights and machine weights?  Is it true you work the muscle better with free weights?  Are free weights really free or is that a bait and switch technique used by gyms to get you in the door?  🙂

The fact that you have to balance the weight when using free weights makes it more effective.  Try taking a weight and holding it over your head.  You will probably be a little shaky depending on the amount of weight that you have.  This is forcing so many smaller muscles to fire to keep it stable compared to having a weight on a machine stack and having that stability.   This, however, doesn’t mean there is no benefit to using machines. I use the machines for my clients as well as my own workout.  As you may have heard, it is good to do…

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There is a better way than whey!

Jeff Bettag Fitness

Protein drinks are all the rage.   And, really, it isn’t a bad idea to get some extra protein to fuel your body.  Whether it is for a meal replacement or pre/post workout, having the right nutrition is vital.

I am a Juice Plus guy.  Fruits, vegetables and berries in a capsule, backed by research, is a great way to go.  We need the variety that Juice Plus offers, not just the nutrition of one or two berries or synthetic man-made vitamins.

The same is true for our protein needs.  Getting protein from a variety of sources is better than just getting it from one.  And the reality is that plants offer a great source!   I’ll discuss what whey is at another time but know that Juice Plus Complete has protein from  different plant sources as well as both soluble and insoluble fiber!  This is almost unheard of in…

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Use the Scale!

You have probably heard it before, “throw away the scale, it doesn’t tell the whole story!” There is truth to this but you can use the scale to your advantage.
How much we weigh is important for our overall fitness but the fact we need to remember is that muscle, while it doesn’t weigh more than fat, is more dense than fat. This just means that someone who may look lean could reflect on the scale a little more weight. When someone is trying to lose weight, they need to take this into consideration, especially if they are looking at the scale. I tell my clients to limit how much they check the scale, but when they do, make sure everything is the same from weight-in to weight-in. That means the same time of day, with the same clothes and whether or not they ate anything before getting on the scale. We can drive ourselves crazy with the fluctuation of weight from day to day, but keeping things the same can help! I have found for myself when I purchased a scale for the first time that it was helpful to see how things can change but also in losing those pounds that can really make a difference!

Until next time…

What is your excuse?

Jeff Bettag Fitness

I think I have heard just about every excuse in the book why people can’t exercise or change eating habits.

I don’t have time, it’s too expensive to buy healthy food, I can’t afford a gym, I have a bad knee, I don’t like to sweat, I need an event to train for, it takes too much time, I only like the elliptical and it is always being used when I get to the gym, it takes too much time to make healthy meals/snacks…there could be a couple of pages here so you get the idea.  You may even hear yourself in some of these!

The reality is simple.  We all need to exercise and eat right to be healthy.  Everyone has time issues but when you realize how important it is you will make the time.  And when you know what you need to be doing and have a…

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Bicyclist on the road!

This is the time of year more cyclist are out so I thought it is appropriate.

Jeff Bettag Fitness

A friend asked me about the responsibilities and rights of people who cycle on the road.  This is something that probably causes heated arguments in some circles.  Very simply put, someone on a bike is just like someone driving a car.  After that statement, everyone should get along on the road right?  Not so!

There are many problems that arise when car people and bike people meet.  Cyclist do have the same rights as cars do but the problem, as I see it, has to do with a lot of cyclists think that only applies when it benefits them.  We want the lane but when we get to a stop sign/light it doesn’t necessarily mean we have to follow that.  As a cyclist I can tell you that is something that drives me crazy when I am in my car.

Now,  the flip side is this.  For so many people…

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Run the Track!

I’m one of those people who enjoys running on the track. There are many who think it is the absolute most boring way to run but, for me, it gets the job done! A big reason is there is so much motivation when you get there. As I ran the other evening there were coaches working with young kids, other track and field athletes such as long jumpers, soccer teams training of the field, not to mention the others like me who were out to do some laps. That got me thinking about people in the stands who were waiting on their kids to finish whatever they were practicing. I say make use of that time! Instead of being in the stands, come down to the track and just walk some laps. Taking that time to exercise for yourself eliminates your excuse of “there just isn’t enough time in the day”. The simple act of walking for an hour, compared to sitting, will change your health outlook drastically! Wear your walking shoes next time you are taking the kids to practice.

Until next time…

I need my FitBit!


Everyone wants to talk about what information their fitbit is giving them this week.  There is a lot of great technology that can help you with your wellness goals, some of it good, some not so good.  When it comes to the fitbit, it can be valuable but shouldn’t be used as a means of showing how much exercise you are getting.  We can get wrapped up in how many steps we take in a day, and that can be good to know.  The problem is when we think that is exercise and we don’t have to do anything more.  When we start using the fitbit it is good to have a baseline that we can gauge what we normally walk throughout the day.  Some have a more active job than others, which is fine, but most of the time, just because we walk more it is still not a pass from actual exercise.  There is nothing better than getting that heart rate up for an extended period of time to optimize the caloric burn and get the heart healthy.  Finding your target heart rate range and getting in that range will be much better for you!

Until next time…