The Great Glute Article

Sir Mix a Lot told us that he “don’t want none unless you got buns hun.” Well how can we build our “buns?” First we must learn what exactly our “buns” are. The gluteal muscles or commonly called glutes are actually a group of three individual muscles. The first and most common muscle in the glute is the gluteus maximus. The most posterior muscle in the group, the gluteus maximus is actually the single largest muscle in the body. It is responsible for a lot of movement in the hip including extension, external rotation, adduction (movement into the body), and transverse abduction (movement away from the body on a horizontal plane) of the hip. The glute maximus originates on a body structure of the hips bone called the ilium as well as the sacrum and inserts into the femur and part of the tibia.

The next muscle in the glute is the gluteus medius. Located a little deeper in the body, the glute medius is much smaller than the maximus but is just as functionally important. The glute medius is responsible for abduction (movement away from the body), transvers abduction, internal rotation, and external rotation (during abduction) of the hip. The medius originates at the same place as the glute maximus; the ilium. It inserts, or ends, higher on the femur.

The final and deepest of the gluteal muscles is the gluteus minimus. The minimus is responsible for hip abduction, transverse abduction, and internal rotation. The insertion of the muscle is located on the external surface of the ilium below the glute medius and inserts on the front of the femur.

The glutes have become an important muscle group for a number of reasons. From a functional stand point, they are responsible for a large portion of our locomotion. Simple tasks such as walking, climbing upstairs, and running wouldn’t be possible without our glutes. The also support the hips as well as the knee in the glute medius’s case which prevents inward rotation of the knee. Finally, the glute have become important in an aesthetic sense. It seems society has come to appreciate well trained glutes. Why else would so many songs be written about them?

Glute training isn’t too complicated. It is common to say that squatting will grow glutes quickest. This is true, partly. Proper squats to full depth will activate the glutes better than improper half squats. The lower we can go (safely) the more activation in the glutes. We also have to make sure the glutes are firing and activating properly. If our glutes aren’t being activated properly, oftentimes our lower back and hamstrings take a brunt of the work and injuries become more common. So assuming our glutes are firing properly, there are a number of exercises we can perform to build glute strength. Squats, lunges, step ups, and deadlifts are all great functional exercises to work our glutes. Isolation exercises such as machine kickbacks are also great for isolating our glutes. As we’ve said before, a combination of functional and isolation work will yield the best results.

Now that we understand what our glutes actually are, we can properly train them.

Body Elite Trainer, Sean Willitts

Body Elite Trainer, Sean Willitts

Sean Willitts is an ACE certified personal trainer. He graduated from Kutztown University in 2015 with a bachelor’s is sport management and a minor in fitness. Including training at Body Elite, he is also a record holding powerlifter. He uses his practical experience and knowledge to help his clients achieve their strength and fitness goals.

7 Strength Training Myths Every Woman Should Know

Talking to women clients is always eye opening to me. When I tell them that I specialize in strength training, I always get the same response. “I don’t want to get big and bulky, I just want to tone.” I’m not sure where women have heard this rumor that strength training will turn them into a bodybuilder the second they touch a weight. Other women clients that I work with love lifting weights. It’s a mixed bag. Let’s take a look at some of the myths out there that draw women away from lifting.

Women shouldn’t lift heavy or they’ll get bulky

If your fear is that you’ll look a body builder with muscles popping out with veins covering your body, you’re wrong. Those women that look like that have trained for years, eat for muscle gain, and take supplements (some illegal) to look like that. Lifting heavy weights and eating at a caloric deficit will make muscles stronger and denser. When this happens, fat is also burned and that “toned” look is achieved.

You can spot reduce fat

You don’t get to choose where fat goes so why would you be able to choose where to lose it. Doing a specific exercise for a specific muscle (isolation training) will make that muscle stronger but will not burn fat in that specific area. You are actually genetically predisposed to storing fat is certain parts of your body. Eating right will help to reduce fat everywhere.

You need cardio to lose weight

Some people like to run. They find enjoyment in it. Some people like to lift because they find it enjoyable. It’s up to you. Lifting weights is a great way to burn calories not only while lifting but for hours after lifting. Just like before, nutrition will make all the difference in losing weight.

One plan will work for every woman

Everyone is different. There is no cookie cutter program that is going to work for everyone. The body reacts differently to different stimuli.

Men and Women should train differently

While sometimes, women may seem like different creatures, they don’t need to train like it. Women can train the same way as men. Often times they can train even harder than men. They can do the same exercises.

Eat less to lose weight

My wife is a prime example of this thought. When she doesn’t eat she gets “hangry.” A combination of hungry and angry. Eating less will help you lose weight on paper but you might just turn into a hangry monster. The truth is we need food to operate. Not eating is a recipe for disaster. If you don’t eat you won’t have a good training session as you will run out of energy quickly. Think of your food as gas. If you don’t fill up your car you won’t move. If you fill it up with the right fuel you’ll go much further.

Older women shouldn’t strength train

Studies have shown that post-menopausal women have healthier bones and improved muscle mass, strength, and balance in comparison to those women who don’t strength train.

https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/7-strength-training-myths-every-woman-should-know/

Body Elite Trainer, Sean Willitts

Body Elite Trainer, Sean Willitts

Sean Willitts is an ACE certified personal trainer. He graduated from Kutztown University in 2015 with a bachelor’s is sport management and a minor in fitness. Including training at Body Elite, he is also a record holding powerlifter. He uses his practical experience and knowledge to help his clients achieve their strength and fitness goals.


Quads Are The Largest Group Of Muscles In Your Body

Quads: What are they and what do they do?

Quadriceps are the largest group of muscles in the body.  The group is composed of; you guessed it, four muscles. These include the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius. The rectus femoris is located in the middle of the thigh and is the most superficial muscle of the quad. The others are located deeper within the leg. The vastus lateralis is located on the lateral side of the leg (outside of the thigh). The vastus medialis is located on the medial side of the leg (inside of the thigh). Finally, the vastus intermedius is between the prior two muscles. The rectus femoris covers this muscle and cannot be seen unless you get cut open. All of these muscles are connected to our tibial tuberosity (the little bump below our knee cap). There is a fifth muscle of the quad called the articularis genus. It often isn’t included in the grouping as it is a small muscle and unique as it lies on the surface of the femur. For our purposes, we won’t go into too much detail on this muscle. To further complicate things, a sixth muscle has been discovered in recent studies. The tensor vastus intermedius runs between the vastus lateralis and intermdius. At one point it was considered part of the vastus lateralis. However, the actual muscle can be separated and has its own independent nerve supply that branches off from the femoral nerve. The presence of the muscle is variable however, and has not been seen in every subject. Because of this we will be excluding this muscle. Further research has to be done.

The function of the muscles in the quad group are all very similar. All four are responsible for extension at the knee joint. In simple terms, it causes your lower leg to move forward as if you were kicking a ball. Since the rectus femoris originates from the ilium (the top of the hip bone) it is a flexor of the hip. Again, simply put, this causes the knee to come up closer to the chest. Muscles, on top of allowing movement to occur, often have other functions. We often say deep muscles act as stabilizer muscles. Well the three deeper muscles of the quads, especially the vastus medialis, help to stabilize the knee joint and the patella.

Training the quadriceps is a relatively simple thing to do as they are involved in a lot of our daily lives. Exercises such as squats and lunges work the quads as well as other muscle groups. Isolation exercises like a leg extension will work the quads directly. As any kind of exercise program, a combination of isolation and compound movements will yield the best results.

As far as injuries go, the quads are not bulletproof. Being relatively larger muscles, injuries are not as debilitating as a rotator cuff for example. Muscle tears, strains, and contusions can happen. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation will be effective in these injuries. One of the more harmful injuries that can occur to the quads is tearing the quad tendon. Depending on the severity of the tear, surgery might be necessary. 

In conclusion, the quads are comprised of four muscles (sometimes 6). They are responsible for extension of the lower leg, flexion of the hip, and stabilization of the knee. Hopefully now that we have this knowledge, we can train smarter and keep our joints healthy.

Body Elite Trainer, Sean Willitts

Body Elite Trainer, Sean Willitts

Sean Willitts is an ACE certified personal trainer. He graduated from Kutztown University in 2015 with a bachelor’s is sport management and a minor in fitness. Including training at Body Elite, he is also a record holding powerlifter. He uses his practical experience and knowledge to help his clients achieve their strength and fitness goals.

10 Ways To Improve Health and Save Money

10 Ways to Improve health and Save Money

If you’re like me, you like to save money whenever possible. Some would call me cheap while I consider myself thrifty. When people start a fitness journey, a common thing to do is to go out and buy new workout clothes, new shoes, or even supplements that you can’t pronounce the name of. These things don’t matter. How you exercise is much more important than how you look while exercising. When embarking on your fitness journey, it is a perfect time to not only look at your physical health but also your financial health. Here are a couple tips on how you can save money and improve your health at the same time.

1. Vitamins and supplements

Unless you have a medical reason to take a vitamin or supplement, you can skip them. Often times, the health benefits are limited. For example, the body can only absorb so much from a multivitamin so you’d literally be flushing money down the toilet. A counterpoint to this would be if a doctor tells you that since you are vegetarian, you should take a protein supplement. We also live in a Vitamin D deficient area so a vitamin D supplement is smart to take. By skipping out on these often unnecessary things you could save up to $1000/year.

2. Reduce eating out

A client and I had a conversation the other day. She told me she knew people that ate out 3 times a week. We figured it out and they were spending about $200 a week on eating out alone. I encourage you to take a look at how much you’re eating out and how much you’re spending. Not only is eating at home cheaper but is typically healthier. By cutting down eating out by 50%, you can expect savings of up to $5000.

3. Not eating lunch out

Going out to lunch is tough sometimes. Sometimes you’re meeting someone or conducting business over lunch. Other times, we go down to the deli and something quick and easy and unhealthy. Pack your lunch by using leftovers from dinner the night before. Don’t go out to eat unless someone else is buying or you have a business obligation. By doing this you can expect saving of up to $3000 a year.

4. At-home entertainment

Cancelling cable or satellite is definitely a millennial move but is a major money saver. Using an antenna or Netflix/Hulu/amazon can provide plenty of entertainment at a fraction of the cost saving you up to $1000 per year.

5. Thermos

If you’re like my wife and mother-in-law, you’re addicted to coffee. Not only coffee but expensive coffee. Many people go out and get their morning coffee from a Starbucks or a dunkin donuts. You can save money by brewing coffee at home and investing in a thermos or a travel mug to take it to work with you. It doesn’t sound like much but by doing this you can save up to $500 a year.

With all this money you’ll be saving you can now invest more into your health. Below are some great things to spend your money on while still staying healthy.

6. Join a CSA farm sharing program

What better way to get fresh fruits and vegetables than to get them straight from the farm. Not only do you get super fresh fruits and vegetables but you can save money and eat way healthier. You’ll also know exactly where your food is coming from. 

7. Join a gym

Investing in your health is the best thing you can do. The cost of a gym membership is nothing compared to the cost of the health car you’d incur from staying sedentary.

8. Enjoy an active hobby

Biking, skiing, hiking, etc. are great ways to get out and enjoy the outdoors while also staying healthy. 

9. Cooking class

Taking a cooking class can introduce you to new dishes, new techniques, and new experiences.

10. Take a vacation

With all the money you’ll be saving, you can justify taking some time to yourself on a vacation.

http://www.weightymatters.ca/2018/12/10-easy-ways-to-save-your-money-and.html

Body Elite Trainer, Sean Willitts

Body Elite Trainer, Sean Willitts





Sean Willitts is an ACE certified personal trainer. He graduated from Kutztown University in 2015 with a bachelor’s is sport management and a minor in fitness. Including training at Body Elite, he is also a record holding powerlifter. He uses his practical experience and knowledge to help his clients achieve their strength and fitness goals









Can you still work out with sore muscles?

Working out sore muscles?

We all get sore, even those individuals who have been working out for a while. We can be as smart with our training as possible and still feel the pain of a tired muscle. It can be the day after or a couple of days after that we’ll experience soreness. Well what if your next scheduled workout comes and you’re still feeling sore? Can you work out a sore muscle? Short answer, depends.

When we experience muscle soreness, it is the body trying to repair the muscle tissue that has been broken down. This soreness can range from minor discomfort to severe discomfort. We have to determine how sore we are if we want to work out the same muscles. If you are feeling slight discomfort, lighter resistance should be used as well as some lighter, low impact cardio. This ensures that blood and oxygen are getting to those sore muscles and speeding up the healing process. In fact, I always recommend some light cardio a day after a lift to help in the recovery process. If you are experiencing any more discomfort than this, by all means, rest. Further damage can be caused. If we keep pushing our bodies hard without proper recovery we can overreach. This can lead to overtraining and actually decrease our performance (see my article on the Law of Accommodation). This overtraining can lead to an increased heart rate, depression, illness, injury, fatigue, insomnia, decreased appetite, or worsening performance.

Fortunately, we can avoid this overtraining. By using a combination of recovery strategies such as myofascial release and sleep as well as splitting your training up we can reduce the likelihood of overtraining. Splitting up your workout so you aren’t doing the same muscle groups or the same loads on the same muscle group can help you to organize your training. For example, if you go to the gym twice a week, do an anterior/posterior split. There is only one proper split out there. That’s the one that works best for you.

Source: https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/685/if-my-muscles-are-sore-from-previous-workouts-is-it-safe-to-exercise-them

BE Sean Photo.jpg

Sean Willitts is an ACE certified personal trainer. He graduated from Kutztown University in 2015 with a bachelor’s is sport management and a minor in fitness. Including training at Body Elite, he is also a record holding powerlifter. He uses his practical experience and knowledge to help his clients achieve their strength and fitness goals.