Tuesday, 8 March 2011

quick mention - Bellyfit

Just want to mention that one of the fitness programs I teach is a women-only fitness class called Bellyfit.  It's great fun, and if you are a lady who loves world-beat, this is the workout for you!

Here's the home page:

And here's a recent review of the Bellyfit: Earth home workout DVD:

Monday, 7 March 2011

What's the most important piece of equipment in the gym?

There's two things I always tell people in the gym and fitness classes.  1) Everything you really need to know about fitness you learned in grade 11 Physics. 2) The MP3 Player is the most important piece of fitness equipment you'll ever own.

One of the most key elements to an effective workout (and this goes for cardio & weights) is what you're listening to.  Folks who don't listen to music in the gym are never nearly as consistent as those who do.  Seriously, it just makes your exercising better.

And musicians, you guys and gals are a trainer's favourite clients!! You're so easy for us to train because you already know how to count. Well, not the drummers. KIDDING, just kidding!!   We love having you in the gym!

The key to music and weight training is understanding the timing of what we call the positive and the negative of an exercise.  So, for example, if I you to do a bicep curl you'd have the positive - bringing the weight up towards your shoulder, contracting the bicep and extending the tricep - and the negative in which you return to the starting position of the exercise. Far too often I see people really hauling a weight up too fast and just sort of flopping out on the return.  Those folks are relying more on momentum than actual muscle contraction.  The right music, for those who will listen, can make all the difference in the timing. In a 4/4 time, a simple 2 beats to go up and 2 to come down works for starters.  From there you can vary it all kinds of way. 

When it comes to cardio, you want to get up around the 126 bpm mark or higher.  Music for aerobics classes starts at this speed for warming up and then goes up from there, depending on the class type. Yes, that's why your old favs get re-mixed for aerobics classes.  They have to be the right speed and mixed into blocks of 32 beats so we instructors know when to change to the next block of moves.  Sorry.  We know musically it's not usually very good.

Music & Health Blog

Hello dear friends,
So the plan here is for this to be an "ask the trainer" type of blog.  So go head, fire away with the questions.  I can't promise how quickly I'll get to them all, but at some point I will get to them.  

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


My name is Terri.  I'm a professional fitness leader, dancer and dance instructor.  I'm also a very amateur musician.  My aim on this blog is to offer fitness advice specifically to dancers and musicians to help us become more fit and more effective in what we do.