Not so sure which deadlift to incorporate into your Greenville health center weight training routine?

The answer to whether you select the sumo deadlift or conventional deadlift is: it all depends.

Both are good. Both emphasize your backside. But often, one works better for your particular body composition. It all depends on your level of flexibility, as well as your torso and limb length.

For those of average to short height, the standard deadlift generally works better.

For the long torso and/or long-limbed folk, the sumo is often better.

If you’re of the long-limbed, long torso category, the sumo lowers your center of balance and shortens the range of motion by widening your stance. This makes it more suitable because you don’t have to worry about your knees getting in the way on the way up as they are out to the side, which lends more efficiency to the movement.

Also, if you have lower back issues (or a tight lower back), the traditional deadlift, which requires you bend over more, may cause some lower back flare-ups. If that’s the case, the sumo is probably your best bet, as it’s more upright and easier to keep your spine long.

To really determine which one you should go with, try experimenting with both variations.

Be sure you practice your deadlift – sumo or standard – with good form. If you aren’t sure, seek the guidance of a Greenville gym trainer to learn how to execute proper technique before incorporating the movement into your Greenville sports club routine. There are so many benefits to this movement, including planting more muscle on your whole body, but without good technique you won’t get all of the benefits deadlifts have to offer. Plus, you will be more likely to suffer an injury.

Be smart! Be safe!

Have questions regarding the Greenville health club personal training service? Call (864) 292-8875 or email


Think the bench press is best reserved for bodybuilders?

Think again.

There are reasons why the movement is so trendy in the bodybuilding world. And these reasons extend to the casual lifter, as well.

Here are three reasons why you should consider incorporating the bench press into your Greenville health club weight lifting regimen:

  • Muscle building. The bench press targets the upper-body with a special focus on the pectoralis major muscles of the chest. Though predominantly a chest-building exercise, the movement also engages and works the deltoids, triceps, biceps, rhomboids, rotator cuff, serratus anterior and abdominals. As such, the bench press is a compound workout, meaning that almost all the muscles of your body are involved. If performed correctly and consistently, this movement is bound to boost the muscle definition and strength of your chest area and upper-body as a whole, with the added bonus of fat loss. If you’re short on time and need your upper-body workout fix, bench press is what you want to do.
  • Bone health. As research has suggested again and again, weight training does wonders for your bones, increasing your bone density while also, decreasing your odds of developing osteoarthritis. If nothing else, bench press to keep your bones happy and healthy!
  • Pushing power. When it comes to making you stronger for pushing exercises, the bench press is where it’s at! The movement hits the upper-body hard, which will increase your pushing power for other pushing exercises including standard push-ups, overhead press, handstands, handstand push-ups, bridge push-ups, or dips. For anything that requires a good push, the bench press is the best exercise to boost your power.

To really absorb the benefits of bench press, be sure you practice with proper form. If unsure, seek the guidance of a Greenville gym trainer and learn how to execute proper technique before integrating the movement into your Greenville athletic club routine.

Countless myths are constantly circulating with regards to fitness, health, and weight loss. There’s one in particular that I would like to debunk…

Myth: Weight training makes women look bulky.

Many women shy away from weight training because they are under the impression that they’ll end up expanding instead of leaning down.

Sure, if you’re a woman abusing steroids.

The truth is, to be bulky and appear manly you have to be producing lots of testosterone. The average man produces 10 times more testosterone than the average female. So, unless you are popping steroids, fear not morphing into a man. You will retain your womanly physique if you lift weights, all the while gaining muscle and loosing fat.

Lots of women also believe that the key to weight loss is loads of cardio. Wrong. While cardio is beneficial to your health, you have to be careful because lots of cardio will result in loss of muscle. Loss of muscle makes it that much harder to stay fit and keep the weight off. As you shed fat and muscle simultaneously, you weaken your digestive fire. Less muscle, then, correlates to a lower metabolism. No good.

So, what’s the best weight loss solution?

You may not want to hear this: Diet is first and foremost the most important component in cutting fat. Second to diet is a solid weight training program. Cardio comes in last. In fact, it’s not even necessary to kill yourself with cardio. Clean eating combined with weight (or strength) training creates a highly effective fat loss package all on its own, sans cardio.

So, it’s always odd to me to see so many people (especially women) killing themselves with cardio and avoiding lifting. While a cardio craze may yield temporary weight loss results, it’s not effective for sustained weight loss. To sustain, you must watch what you put in your body and boost your strength.

Next time you are at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym opt for a weight training routine over cardio. Maybe even consult a Greenville gym personal trainer to help you design a customized diet plan and weight training program.

Shift your perspective and make strength and diet a priority to realize true, lasting weight loss results.

Next time you are at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym, destroy yourself with these killer chest and back circuits inspired by fitness innovators and educators Krissy Cags and Travis Baker.

First, enjoy this dirty, giant set of fortifying chest and back exercises:

  • Incline Barbell Press x 12 reps
  • Pull Up x 12 reps
  • Flat Bench Press x 12 reps
  • Bent Over Row x 12 reps
  • Dip x 12 reps
  • Reverse Grip Chin Up x 12 reps
  • Push-ups x 12 reps

Repeat this circuit 5 times, resting 45 seconds between rounds. Ouch.

Not going to lie, this will hurt. You’ll immediately feel like you put on some extra pounds of muscle after manning your way through this circuit beast. What’s more, you’ll definitely feel this one the next day. That’s a good thing! It means you successfully worked those chest and back muscles. It means you are moving forward, tackling your Greenville gym fitness goals and creating your best you.

To add more brutality to the fitness mix, here is a further series of exercises you can perform at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym to fire up the muscles of the chest, back, and more. Get ready and pumped to slam, swing, and slam some more.

Slam. Swing. Slam. via Krissy Mae Cags Webstagram

  • Rope Slams
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Ball Slams

Fun, right? Right. You definitely gotta muster up some enthusiasm for this set!

Perform exercises as repeats of 40-30-20-10-20-30-40. That’s 40 of each exercise, 30 of each, 20 of each, and so on. We’ve got plenty of exercise equipment at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. However, if you can’t find some of the equipment necessary, ask a trainer or staff member at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club to help steer you in the right direction or modify the exercise. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

What’s the hold up? Transport yourself to the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. Suffer the burn. Generate a sweat. Strengthen and sculpt those chest and back muscles. Meet your fitness goals. Create your best version of you.

Kill it.

Last week, we talked about the comparison between the benefits of resistance training or aerobic exercise. The consensus is that a combination of both — along with the correct diet and lifestyle choices — are the holistic way to reach your peak of health.

But for a long time, many fitness officials claimed that it was a bad idea to practice both resistance and aerobic exercises on the same day. That greatly changed how people viewed coming to the gym. For example, they’d have to rotate days and come back more days per week in order to do a complete regimen. And for many, that kind of restriction and limitation could be a setback to pursuing optimal workouts — and some people who would greatly benefit from membership became hesitate to join a gym at all, because it simply seemed like too much work.

The reason that it backed the concept that these two regimens couldn’t intersect was called “muscle interference,” an explanation that stated aerobic exercise would cause muscle fatigue and people would not be able to get the most out of weight training. Conversely, muscle interference meant that weight training first might tire the muscles and keep people from performing as well during cardio. This systemic belief wasn’t a matter of ignorance; it was a widely held belief that top trainers commonly advocated for their clients.

That’s why many people in the fitness community, including those of us at Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym, were overjoyed when scientists once and for all denounced and disproved this theory. Studies came in from McMaster University in Ontario, Karolinska Institute and several Swedish organizations that finally challenged muscle interference by comparing workouts with young and middle-aged males. The reporters of each independent study stated that they did not see any indications of muscle interference for the men who did both resistance training and aerobics in one day, as opposed to one each.

The bottom line is that gym-going can now conclusively become as convenient as you’d like for it to be – and you don’t have to worry about doing too much of different tactics all in one day. So if you ever had doubt, never fear — and happy workouts!

A few weeks ago, we discussed three fitness videos that can help you shed pounds fast. There was one that didn’t make the cut, but it’s been garnering a lot of attention ever since it was unofficially publicized via a high-profile politician in recent weeks.

Republican Party candidate for vice president — the athletically built, 42-year-old Paul Ryan, who shares the GOP ticket with presidential hopeful Mitt Romney — has stated in interviews that he stays fit by using the P90X. The fitness plan is broken down into 12 segments, led by fitness celebrity Tony Horton, and comes in kits for Base, Deluxe or Ultimate. The 90-day workout blends weight training, yoga, cardio and martial arts.

Surely its promoters were instantly overjoyed by the free publicity and the nationwide attention that the workout program suddenly received. Now it’s a regimen that’s on everyone’s tongues, on par with the previously popular Insanity workouts that we mentioned in our previous blog. The P90X makers told Huffington Post in August that they were “excited” to have a hand in Ryan’s fitness plan and the way he promotes the benefits of exercise on a global stage. In fact, reported that P90X eventually went ahead and purchased Google Ads featuring searches for “Paul Ryan fitness” leading back to their product and website.

Both appearance and health have proven to be important factors when it comes to how Americans choose their leaders. They want to elect officials who have endurance, strength and youth on their sides. And it helps that first lady Michelle Obama has set a recent standard for politicians taking a public stand on countrywide health, both with her own fit form and her promotion of the Let’s Move! program to combat obesity, especially in children.

Even those who would typically oppose the Romney/Ryan ticket are finding common grounds with the White House hopefuls thanks to this workout plan. Notedly, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister brought it up while speaking to the media about the fact that the band asked the GOP not to use “We’re Not Gonna Take It” for its campaign playlist, stating: “There is almost nothing on which I agree with Paul Ryan, except perhaps the use of the P90X.”

The purpose of resistance training is to strengthen muscles through a continued system of tests in which they’re typically working against a given force. That force may be immovable, like a floor or wall, or it may be mobile like a free weight. Weight training is one of the most commonly known forms of resistance training.

There are two standard types of resistance training: isometric and isotonic. These represent putting pressure on unmoving muscles or giving muscles greater range and motion during resistance training, respectively.

With isometric training, your body resists a given force – such as during a bench press, when you’re sustaining a single motion rather than flexing at the joint. Your muscle contracts without extended and shortening repeatedly. The advantage is that your endurance can increase for static exercises, such as a sustained pull-up. This type of exercise can also be used if you’ve recently overworked or injured the training site; the muscle sustains less wear-and-tear with isometric activity.

With isotonic training, your muscle moves in accordance with a preexisting force, like in the event of lifting and lowering bicep curls. In this case, your muscle gains the most strength at the weakest point in the exercise. But the downside is that your muscle can also be sorer at this point of stress because it’s where the muscle contracts in the repeated movement.

Another type of well-known resistance training that gained popularity in recent years is the resistance band workout, which we’ll talk about next week.

Our Greenville sports club offers a variety of equipment to get you started. Our knowledgeable staff can help you find out what type of resistance training can help you meet your muscle-building goals. And then you can create a regular schedule with a Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym trainer to stick with your sets of choice until you see the results you desire. Remember, practice makes perfect!