Benefits of Rear Delt Training

I have to admit- when it comes to my lifting days- I tend to want to train the big muscles and the muscles I deem important. You know…glutes, biceps, shoulders…the ones that look good on the beach and in tank tops. But in actuality, I need my lifting days as a tool to improve my CrossTraining workouts. And the little muscles play a bigger role in our olympic lifts than we realize.

personal-trainers-monmouth-county

So after an intense AMRAP workout today that includes pull-ups, toes to bar, barbell over head and burpees- I asked Eddie, ‘Should I do any extra lifting?’. And to my surprise- he told me to work on my rear delts. Really? Those little muscles back there?? Those forgotten muscles that I hardly ever flex when checking out my back in the mirror? Yep.

Ok so I never argue with Eddie when he tells me what to do in the gym, because he is the expert and his workouts and programming are part of the reason I am where I am today, physically. The other part, of course, is my diet. So he set me up to do rear delt cable flies and rear delt bent over rows with dumbbells.

Some advice he was giving me during my sets- which I have said to many of you during circuit workouts, ‘Work the muscle, don’t just pull the weight. Feel the muscle, MOVE the muscle.’ He pointed out that in our cross training workouts, we are moving barbells. Not so much really moving our muscles (of course they are activated to move the weight, but we aren’t focusing on their movement as much). Isolating muscles in weight training (like we do on circuit days) is a good way to not only concentrate on the movement of the muscle itself, but to build size and definition.

It also turns out that having strong rear delts plays a huge role in the health of your shoulders and upper back. If you suffer from shoulder pain as a result of poor posture, being hunched over all day, or just pronated shoulders (rounded forward), strengthening your rear delts will help pull them back into proper position and alleviate some of this pain.

Aside from the aesthetics of improving rounded shoulders, working the rear delts will also improve your bench by helping you control the bar down to your chest better and thereby giving you more power and speed to bring it back up. Rear delts help strengthen your shoulders which will also improve your bench.

If you’re only coming to the CrossTraining workouts, take at least 2 days a week to hit the gym for some regular lifting sessions. You can ask Eddie for ideas as far as what to work and how often. Or after the Zone workout, just ask us for some extra lifting homework.

You are only as strong as your weakest link. Paying attention to the little guys will go a long way in your olympic lifts and other exercises we do.

Paleo Turkey Meatballs Recipe

Pair these dairy free, grain free paleo turkey meatballs with some zucchini noodles for a high protein, low carb dinner. Perfect way to re-fuel after a rigorous session at Ultimate Fit Zone!

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz (1.3 lb) ground turkey breast (if you buy a larger or smaller package of meat, be sure to adjust the ingredients)
  • 1/4 cup almond meal flour
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes, (found in health food stores in the Bulk Organic Section (Wegman’s sells this in their organic bulk section behind the floral area. This way you can take as much or as little as you need).
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (I buy it already minced, in the jar)
  • 1 tsp salt + fresh pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Form into medium sized meatballs- less than a ¼ cup of meat each.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.  Check at about 25 minutes to see if they are done. Add more time if needed.

Apple Pie Oats for Breakfast

Breakfast can be delicious and filling. A few extra minutes plus some common ingredients can turn your morning oats into a sweet and satisfying treat. Regular flavored ‘apple cinnamon’ oatmeal packets from the store contain too much refined sugar. This recipe uses natural sweeteners plus adds the goodness of chia seeds (if you have them on hand) to give you a healthy boost of Essential Omega 3 fatty acids. This will make 2 servings (or a little more depending on how much your serving size is.

Oatmeal helps transport cholesterol from our bodies. The fiber also helps keeps us regular. If you don’t like oatmeal, I really encourage you to try this recipe! Enjoy!

*This recipe is from Oh She Glows. I may have changed a few things slightly

Original recipe: https://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/24/apple-pie-oatmeal/

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped into dice size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (buy from the bulk bins so you can take as much or as little as you want)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized pot over medium heat, whisk together the oats, apple, chia seeds, cinnamon, ginger, salt, milk, maple syrup, and applesauce until combined.
  2. Cook over medium heat for about 9 to 15 minutes, stirring often. When the mixture thickens and the oats soften, it is ready.
  3. Stir in the pure vanilla extract.
  4. Pour into a dish and serve

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas make great snacks or salad toppers. As a snack, they are highly portable. Pack them up in a small Tupperware or a Ziplock baggie and take them with you wherever you are going. Having a high protein/high fiber snack on hand or in-between meals can actually help curb cravings and ensure you don’t overeat at your next meal. Protein and fiber help keep you fuller for a longer period of time.

The Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Earth Balance (Vegan alternative butter)
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • 15 oz can chickpeas beans (drain/rinse well)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Drain and rinse garbanzo beans. Pat dry with towel.
  • Place chickpeas in large mixing bowl or large Tupperware with lid.
  • In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat melt Earth Balance (or microwave). Add hot sauce and stir until combined.
  • Pour the hot sauce mixture over the beans. Toss to coat evenly or cover Tupperware with lid and shake to coat.
  • Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, until browned.  I would check them half way through baking and stir them up a little to flip them around. Keep your eye on time because they can burn FAST.  So keep checking,

At Sixty Years Old, Boot Camp Keeps Him Strong

Monmouth County Boot Camp is home to more than one sexagenarian fitness enthusiast

Ultimate Fit Zone in Monmouth County has a reputation for its punishing cross training workouts that include boot camp circuits and HIIT training sessions. When the workouts are in session, barbells are slamming to the ground, sweat is pouring off of every body in there and metal music is blasting. One might expect to find a bunch of 20 something year olds battling the workouts but the gym is home to more than a handful of fitness fanatics in their 50s and even some that are nearing or just hit the 60 year milestone!

Nick Falcone will turn 60 this August and has been a devout boot camp client at Ultimate Fit Zone since the gym opened its doors in 2012. Staying loyal to the Monmouth County gym over the past 7 years has kept him strong and able to fight off Father Time. Most 60 year olds could not dream of doing what Nick is able to do in the gym. Heck, most 30 or 40 year olds couldn’t! Cross Training is intense and combines cardiovascular exercises such as running, rowing, jumping rope, kettle bell swings, burpees and more with strength training exercises using barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells and body weight movements in one workout. Over the years Nick has honed his skills in jumping rope, pull-ups, Olympic lifts, power lifts, hand stands (yes hand stands) and more.

While many people complain that they are ‘too old’ for certain things, Nick takes each day as a new challenge. Excited to see what else he can do, always getting better and trying his hardest.

Pictured below, Nick Falcone push presses a 115 pound barbell above his head, jumps a 24″ box and swings a 53 pound kettle bell in his recent cross training workout at Ultimate Fit Zone.

Saturday’s HIIT Circuit Boot Camp Highlights!

The Saturday HIIT Circuit boot camp workouts at our Monmouth County gym are always fun and full of energy! This Saturday was no different as we tackled the fireman’s carry with the heavy bag for the first time! Members either had to carry or drag the bag for four :30 rounds. There were two different bags to try, one being a little heavier. It was a lot of fun watching people hoist the bag up with a victory smile! We also did a lot of TRX training, some great strength and resistance work and of course..two rounds of calorie burning Tabata to really get that heart rate going! Check out the highlight reel below!

Ultimate Fit Zone opened its doors in 2012 as a Cross Training and Circuit Boot camp gym in Monmouth County. We offer HIIT workouts in three different formats; ZONE 360, IT 360 and HEAT.

ZONE 360 is our hallmark cross training workout program. This program is based on the method and style of CrossFit training BUT we de-emphasize heavy weight and instead focus on longer, intense workouts. For those that want to incorporate the heavy weights- don’t worry- we offer that too. It’s customizable for any fitness level and we have an excellent beginner program to educate you on the program and ease you into the new workout routine.

IT 360 is our Interval Training circuit workout (check out video above). We cycle through different circuits of timed intervals which bring our heart rate up and down for maximum fat burning effectiveness!

HEAT is our unique program created by our personal trainer and fitness coach, Bonnie. This workout is very high energy- lots of body weight movements (think burpees, squats, pushups) combined with light weight/high rep strength exercises with light dumbbells. Fun music- lots of energy. Don’t miss this calorie burning workout!

See our full schedule of training times online by clicking here: https://ultimatefitzone.com/training-schedule/

Also please text us for more info at 732-757-7944.

Red Lentil Bolognese Recipe

This amazingly tasty recipe uses lentils in place of ground beef to deliver you a chunky, filling, protein packed and healthy Italian style dinner. I promise you that you will be craving this sauce over and over again! To reduce carbohydrates, I used two zucchinis, spiraled into noodles, instead of pasta. I always use raw zucchini noodles. The heat from the sauce will warm them. If you try to cook them they get incredibly soggy and watery.

Lentils are packed with protein and fiber, vitamins and minerals too. Unlike ground beef they have nearly zero fat (not even 1 gram in a cup) and cholesterol. Whereas ground beef has over 23 grams of fat in one cup. See recipe below!

Red Lentil Bolognese Recipe:

Ingredients

Lentils

  • 1 cup dry red lentils (if you want to use canned lentils it would be about 2.5 cups canned)
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf  (if you don’t have just omit- I know a lot of people don’t keep bay leaves on hand)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Bolognese

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced ( I always use Vidalia, just a preference)
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½  teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons organic brown sugar (or coconut sugar or raw unrefined sugar crystals)
  • ½ cup red wine (I use inexpensive red wine, whatever I have in the house for cooking since I don’t actually drink it J )
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon vegan (ore regular if you’re not vegan) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1, 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

Lentils

(If using dried lentils, if not—skip) Combine lentils, vegetable broth, bay leaf, oregano, basil, salt and pepper in a small pot. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook covered until lentils are very soft, 20-25 minutes. I found that the lentils absorbed the broth quickly so I added a little more water as needed.  Remove from heat and allow lentils to cool. Do not drain. I left the lentils as a ‘soupy’ consistency.  Set aside as you prepare the sauce.

Bolognese

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper, salt and black pepper to pot and cook until vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar and cook 1 minute more. Add wine to pot and stir to scrape up browned bits. Continue to simmer until most of the wine cooks off, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce to pot and cook 1 minute more. Add crushed tomatoes, prepared lentils, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook partially covered for 20 to 25 minutes.

Season Bolognese with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot over zucchini noodles or with roasted vegetables.

Calorie Saver!

1 Cup Ground Beef 1 Cup Lentils
340 calories 250 calories
23 g fat 0.8 g fat
490 mg sodium 10 mg sodium
108 mg cholesterol 0 mg cholesterol
29 g protein 18 g protein

Women Dominate Monmouth County Boot Camp Workout

Monday’s ‘911’ Cross Training boot camp workout was dominated by the women! Ranging in age from early twenties to early 60s (!) the women showed up and worked fiercely to finish the long workout!

It was a day of many ‘firsts’ for the cross training women who tackled 2,000 meters worth of rowing, 50 push-ups, 50 butter fly sit-ups, 50 pull-ups and 50 barbell push presses. For several women it was their first attempt at band assisted pull-ups on the rig!

The arduous workout took roughly 27-33 minutes to complete (each woman achieving their own personal time) and targeted every muscle in the body with high repetitions and a true test of cardiovascular endurance. From rowing to pushups, to setups to pull-ups and barbell presses, this comprehensive routine activated muscles from the every part of the body, calling upon thousands of nerve cells to be stimulated with compound movements and a strong showing of physical and mental toughness.

“I think it’s important for women to be strong,” says Co-Owner and Fitness Coach Stacey Albert. “Since the dawn of time women have been viewed as the weaker sex. It’s time to show we can be strong not just physically, but mentally too.”

“The beauty of cross training is that it takes just as much mental acuity as it does physical strength. Pacing yourself. Strategizing the workout. Mentally talking yourself through the fatigue to finish,” she adds.

Ultimate Fit Zone is a Cross Training and Circuit Boot Camp gym in Monmouth County serving men and women of all fitness levels. The program teaches goal setting, strength training, cardiovascular endurance and spirited team and individual camaraderie in a workout setting. The gym is owned by husband and wife fitness team Edward and Stacey Albert. Eddie is a former body builder and long time personal trainer in the NJ area. Stacey is a fitness coach, cross training enthusiast and Nutritionist.

For more information please text Stacey at 732-757-7944 or email the gym.

Barbell Workouts Are Superior For Getting Stronger

Ultimate Fit Zone, Monmouth County, NJ

There’s a reason why CrossFit athletes are some of the strongest athletes in the world, they do a lot of barbell work. Many strength training experts agree, if you want to get stronger, one of the best tools in your toolbox is the barbell. Compound lifts (multi-joint exercises) can produce impressive results, and traditionally they are performed with a barbell (as with any fitness training however, modifications can be made to work with dumbbells, kettle bells, etc). Compound lifts require work from many different muscles working together but moving in different patterns. This stimulates nerve cells, which is all a part of getting stronger.

A simple barbell push press will activate your legs, core and shoulders. Whereas a traditional press will largely activate the shoulders with some core. Not to say that one is better, they are just different.

For strictly isolating muscles, traditional movements are best, especially with dumbbells where each side of the body must do its own work and can’t rely on the other. For overall muscle training and working your cardiovascular system as well, CrossFit has the right idea with the barbell movements and cardio work.

At our Monmouth County cross training gym, we incorporate the barbell exercises into high intensity workouts that can last anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. The goal is to increase cardiovascular endurance, increase strength, fine tune skills such as balance and explosive power and of course, build lean muscle tissue.

It’s the high rep count of these cross training workouts combined with the intense cardio (jumping rope, rowing, running, etc) that really produces changes in the body. Combined with the right diet, these are the workouts that will start showing you results in the mirror much faster. You are knocking out strength and cardio in one condensed workout. I always like to add at least 2-3 traditional lifting sessions in each week as well, for isolated muscle targeting. This accelerates strength building and also muscle development.

If you are interested in trying a cross training program, please send us an email or text us at 732-757-7944. You never know what you can do until you try.

CPR Certification at Monmouth County Gym

Ultimate Fit Zone, a large boot camp fitness gym in Monmouth County, is hosting a CPR Certification course on Saturday April 13, 2019 at 12pm. The event is open to the public and the cost per person is $60 paid directly to the company. Your certification will be good for two years.cpr

Learn to save a life! SRD CPR Training is coming back to our gym to certify participants in CPR (adult, child, infant and choking) and AED. Be trained on what to do in an emergency and potentially save someone’s life. Parents, caretakers, fitness professionals, teachers, and even kids who babysit should be certified!

Participants MUST pre-register and pre-pay before the event. There are no refunds. For more information please call or text Stacey at 732-757-7944.