Blog

Rainy Day Fitness: Working Out in the Rain

It rains nine months out the year here in Seattle, which means Seattleites are pretty used to the damp: whether they’re commuting, exploring, or exercising, we are accustomed to a regular drizzle. If you want to improve your outdoor fitness in Seattle, you are probably a veteran of coping with the rain But did you know that exercising in the rain could actually be better for you? A...

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Choosing a Personal Trainer

Choosing the right personal trainer can be challenging, but it is not impossible. You should want to work with someone who knows what they are talking about and who can help you reach your goals, and there are plenty of trainers out there who do and can. The trick is telling the difference between the real fitness professionals and those who are just pretending to be. Why is it hard to tell the...

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Overcoming Plateaus

Are you one of those people who continue to trudge through the exact same workout routine that you always have and wonder why you are not seeing the results that you would like? Well, you are not alone. As fitness trainers, we find that all too often people are inclined to stick with the same routine year in and year out. Of course, doing something is better than nothing, but with the addition of...

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How to Become a Runner

Whether you are preparing for a 5K, a half marathon, or the Army Physical Fitness Test, the road to improving your cardiovascular performance is relatively straightforward. There are many aspects of cardiovascular training that are often ignored and/or overlooked, but with the right approach you can avoid injury and become the runner that you always hoped to (or never thought you could) be. The...

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Fasted Cardio: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

What is it? A type of cardiovascular training that has become popular recently is commonly referred to as fasted cardio training. The term “fasted cardio” refers to the practice of performing low intensity cardiovascular exercise immediately after waking up, before eating breakfast. Why does it sound like a good idea? Those who choose to conduct fasted cardio typically have two hopes: First,...

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Does Muscle Weigh more than Fat?

This question has been circulating amongst the fitness community for as long as I have been a part of it. It is one of the more popular questions I receive from my clientele here at Varta Fitness, and I overhear people discussing it in the gym every once in a while (sometimes somewhat argumentatively). Recently I noticed it bouncing around the social media platforms we frequent, and as a result...

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How Many Calories am I Burning…Really?

Calorie counting tools are becoming increasingly popular. They are available as part of many fitness apps, on heart rate monitors, and most commonly, they are attached to cardio machines that adorn our basement as well as the gyms we frequent. But, how accurate are they? In two words: not very. Do not be completely disheartened, though, as there is more to the story. The accuracy of your calorie...

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Lift First, or Run?

Lift First, or Run?

This is a question that we are asked at Varta Fitness quite a bit: “Should I do my cardio first, or hit the weights?” The answer is somewhat ambiguous because depends on your personal fitness goals. So…we always discuss it First, we need to define what  the term “cardio” means because you should be participating in a light cardiovascular warm up before executing...

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What does not Kill You…

…might still hurt you really badly. Have you ever heard someone mention that “what does not kill you makes you stronger”? While that statement may hold true for some situations in life, it is far from universal. Something that does not kill you may still reduce your overall quality of life. Putting your body through regular unhealthful situations does not build immunity to those...

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Women and Weights

Many women have similar goals and fears associated with resistance training (i.e. lifting weights). Most commonly we find that women express the desire to lose fat and improve muscle tone, but fear getting “bulky”. This often leads women to avoid the weight room altogether, and in our opinion is one of the primary reasons why there is a gender barrier between the cardiovascular and resistance...

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Olympic Lifting

Olympic-style and/or Power weightlifting is a long-established and commonly misunderstood form of resistance training. When performed correctly, Olympic lifts can be some of the most beneficial exercises that exist today, and may likely have a place in your regular workout routine. What are “Olympic-Style and Power Lifts”? Olympic lifts are exercises where you move relatively heavy weight...

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Why do Cardio?

Cardiovascular exercise is called cardio for a reason: because cardiovascular exercise primarily benefits the cardiovascular system. The primary function of the cardiovascular system is to deliver oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to the muscles. Large components of our cardiovascular system include the heart, blood, blood vessels (e.g. veins, arteries, capillaries), and the lungs. The more regular...

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The Life Curve

As individuals who make a habit of eating healthfully and exercising regularly, from time to time we find ourselves defending our healthful lifestyle choices. Many of you who are reading this have likely experienced this as well. People are often interested, and sometimes appalled, to hear that we would rather spend a Friday night in the gym than at happy hour, or that we would gladly choose some...

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Body Mass Index

Do you need to know your BMI? BMI is as a number calculated from a person’s weight and height. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. Basically, the higher your BMI, the greater your risk for the aforementioned health...

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Cardio versus Lifting

There is a great deal of confusion surrounding body composition improvement. Conflicting information saturates the media concerning what methodology is most appropriate to help us reach our goals, which leads to many of us expending unnecessary time and energy in the gym doing the wrong things. Approaching our goals from the wrong direction, unfortunately, keeps them out of reach. First, we...

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