Author Archives: Hans Schiefelbein

About Hans Schiefelbein

In pursuit of a healthy and disciplined lifestyle. My goal is to help people attain and sustain their health.

NaNoWriMo Chapter 8: Squats

The most fundamental exercise that prepares us for life is the squat. It’s requires our biggest muscles so it’s not only efficient but strategic. We stand and sit all day. The squat also requires a straight torso so it trains a healthy spine. Every training plan should incorporate the squat as the first strength movement. Now which version of the squat should we introduce?

I’m going to call this the dumbbell squat. Holding One light dumbbells in Each hand, look straight forward with your shoulders back and your chest out, keep your heels flat on the ground and lower your backside as low as you can to 90 degrees at the knees and stand back up. The DBs shouldn’t track forward or backwards, you should always be able to keep eye contact with yourself in the mirror, and your heels need to stay flat. If you’re tight in the hamstrings you may not be able to get to 90 degrees and thighs parallel to the ground – work up to this.

Perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions of these DB squats on three non-consecutive days each week. There are many other variations of squats for another chapter. For today, happy squatting!

NaNoWritMo Chapter 7: Specificity Principle

Sometimes clients suggest a proficiency in one sport or exercise should correlate to another, and I have to tell them about the specificity principle. An example: I will be competing in triathlon next summer and my weakest leg is the swim. This off-season I’ll be getting in the pool to work on my technique, endurance, and confidence. And the only way to get better at swimming is… swimming! Sure, if I run and bike and lift weights the swim will go better. My cardiovascular and muscular systems will be stronger, but don’t forget about the principle of specificity: only swimming will make swimming better.

With exercise training, the Specificity Principle says a particular muscle or movement is only improved by working that same muscle or movement. So you may be asking what ‘specifics’ should we be working?

That’s what the next six chapters will be about: specifics. See you tomorrow.

NaNoWriMo Chapter 6: Lifestyle

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I want to remind you that health and fitness is a lifestyle decision, a long-term play as opposed to a group of exercises. Training is something we do with purpose and a game plan. We can execute the game plan because we know it leads to our intended goal. And the process to reach that goal is best suited to a lifestyle rather than a task list.

I have learned as a trainer to fully educate potential clients on the lifestyle requirement of health. I often use playing a musical instrument as an example. You cannot expect to get better at the instrument if you practice one or two times per week. Proficiency requires a lifestyle. You don’t get better at push-ups read or talking about push-ups: you need to put in the work.

Before you push-back on the lifestyle of fitness, know that I’m not suggesting people become gym rats or start a home gym. What I’m proposing is realistic expectations of what it takes to build the human body into a healthier version of its current state. Anything less than a dedicated and strategic lifestyle is setting yourself up for failure.

NaNoWriMo Chapter 5: Exercise Less

I believe we should be exercising less and training more. Exercise sounds like a chore, a task, something you ‘should’ do, an obligation.

Training has purpose. Training is strategic. Training is for people trying to be their best.

Today you’ve been given a challenge: leave exercise behind and start training.

NaNoWriMo Chapter 4: Training Daily

Training daily doesn’t mean you workout every day. Training daily means every day contributes to your training plan. Depending on how you’ve started to implement this Fitness Novel I’m writing in November, you are probably due for a rest.

So take it.

But when you rest it’s important to understand why (and how) you’re resting. You’re resting because you’ve trained hard. You’ve stressed the body in an appropriate way such that the stimulus (training) will produce an advantageous adaptation: you’ll get more fit. You’ll improve your health. You’re bettering yourself. But just like a sponge can only hold so much water before it’s maxed out, your body can only work so hard before it needs a rest. In my experience five days of workouts per week are the max for most people. If you’re at 3-4, you’re in a good place. One goal I try to make for myself and my clients is never take two days off in a row.

To rest doesn’t mean to fully let loose. You still need to eat healthy. You still need to get 7-8 hours of sleep. You still need to keep your stress under control. Remember, you’re training daily. But on days when there’s no workout scheduled, stay in tune with your body. Is it capable of living an active day? Is it fueled and rested? Is it getting ready to work hard tomorrow?

NaNoWriMo Chapter 3: Game Plan

One question I get a lot when I start people on an exercise program is “what should my weekly training look like?” I love this question! Let’s put together a game plan: cardio is king and the number one thing you’re not doing is strength training. Now I suppose that kind of sounds like I’m saying both are of primary importance: “Hans, which One should I do first?”

Yes.

Cardio is king. Look up the statistics on heart disease or just take my word for it: it’s wrecking havoc on our country. Train your heart and lungs to improve your vitals. It’s my number one recommendation.

More strength will do wonders for you. Metabolism, body composition, confidence. Imagine tight biceps, strong shoulders, powerful legs. Lift weights for two weeks and you’ll take that imagination to your first results of this new training. And if we play our cards right, you’ll never go back.

This is your game plan: cardio plus strength. Simple, right?

NaNoWriMo Chapter 2: KISS

Yesterday I started NaNoWriMo with a simple challenge: show up. Be consistent, have a routine, even if it means focusing on quantity rather than quality. As they say, 90% of life is (just) showing up. And so if you took the challenge to heart and put it into practice, you’re at it again for this second day. The next logical question: what should I be doing? KISS: keep it simple stupid. Or if that offends you… “keep it stupid simple.” My simple workout are four body weight exercises I call the Faithful Four. Faithful in that they’ll never leave you, they’re always with you, they can be relied on for effective results. Push-ups, sit-ups, squats and lunges. Simple, right? Depending on your fitness, these four exercise can be a supplement, they can be a full workout, and with the right push they could be your toughest workout of the week.

NaNoWriMo2019 Chapter 1: In Pursuit

Here we are again, the wonderful month of November. Usually this means full-force autumn but here in Wisconsin we’re already covered in snow. But the 5th is still Katie and my wedding anniversary (14 years), many men will stop shaving, Thanksgiving will be just around the corner, and between now and then some of your writer and creative friends will be participating in National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. Although I have zero ambition to write a novel, I have a lot of ambition to continue to tell the story of my pursuit of a healthy and disciplined lifestyle. So every day in November 2019 I’ll be posting on my blog something that will document, educate and hopefully inspire you in your pursuit.

Today’s topic is an appropriate challenge: show up

So much of what I do as an exercise specialist is help clients show up every day. Valuing your health is at first a cognitive task but that doesn’t improve our fitness. We need to show up to the gym, we need to put on those running shoes and head outside, or we need to get to the basement or garage and lift those dumbbells, jump some rope, and utilize our home gym. Once that workout is over, it’s time to plan for the next one. People sometimes ask me “how much” they need to do to get in shape, to get where they want to go. My answer comes in two parts: first you need to begin with something you can repeat for three weeks, then you need to build to five days per week. That is a principle, not a rule, but it’s pretty accurate.

In the words of Todd Durkin, “get your mind right!” and value your health. Then hear the challenge of Stephen Covey: “put the big rocks (in your schedule) first” – prioritize that workout. And since you don’t know either of those men personally, the last words are from yours truly: “I’m here for whatever coaching you need. Fitness, nutrition, rest and recovery, life balance, goal-setting… you name it, in this space I’ll coach it. The pursuit is worth the effort. And I believe in you.”

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Here’s the rest of my NaNoWriMo 2019 posts:

Chapter 2: KISS

Chapter 3: Game Plan

Chapter 4: Training Daily

Chapter 5: Exercise Less

Chapter 6: Lifestyle

Chapter 7: Specificity Principle

Wisconsin Sports

Your goals + Hans’ plan

Thanks for watching me on Best of Wisconsin Sports. I’m not sure what exactly interested you from the interview but I’m fairly confident that your goals + my plan will lead to your next level of health and fitness.

There is no better investment than your health, which is why my goal is to help everyone pursue a healthy and disciplined lifestyle. If you need a jump start to your health or a refresh and new challenge to your fitness, online training with me is probably what will make this your best summer ever!

Sign up for monthly online training and you’ll get 24/7 access to me. We will establish a couple S.MA.R.T. goals and put together a plan to get this next journey started. I’m offering Wisconsin Sports viewers 25% off my monthly training with the promo code WISCOSPORTS.

After signing up, follow me on Instagram and Facebook for my weekly updates and please say hi! Life is a team sport – does anyone else in your world need a trainer! If you refer someone drop me a line – I’ve got a special thank you for spreading the love!

Happy Training!

Online training with Hans 24/7

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Fit and Fabulous Interval Workouts

Today I joined Krista and Tracy on Fit and Fabulous and we discussed interval training. Anyone who has worked with or watched me train know that this is one of my staples. Interval training is quite simply the fastest way to improve your fitness.

Why interval training?

  • the intervals are fully customizable (novice and experts challenged in the same workout!)
  • Extremely efficient: 20 minutes and this personal trainer awards you all-star status
  • Helps your slower cardio workouts to get better
  • You’re more likely to stick to it because the challenges are endless, no two workouts are the same
  • Google it – HIIT and interval training are the real deal

Here’s how to start interval training. Get an interval timer app on your phone. For iPhone is use Interval Timer. Set your timer for two intervals, 20 seconds for one and 10 seconds for the other. For the 20-second interval pick one of these exercises and do 4 rounds.

  • Kettlebell swings
  • Jump rope
  • Battle rope
  • Med ball slams
  • Med ball toss
  • Box jumps
  • Kettlebell squats
  • Burpees
  • Push-ups
  • Reverse lunges

Interval training will feel challenging at first. But as you slowly and methodically incorporate a few rounds into your workout routine, you will notice not only your body getting stronger but also your mind getting stronger. I believe it is your fastest track to better fitness this spring.

Happy training! Let me know if you have any questions!