Brevi Fitness

Gaining Weight and Staying Fast

Anu has been trying to gain weight. He is trying to be part of a competition team and weighing in at 160lbs comes with its set of disadvantages, when you are stacked against 185lbs - 200lbs athletes with 4-5 inch vertical advantage as well. In order to gain weight (healthy way) is to eat more and back off too much 'speed' oriented drills. That said, he has backed off on doing so much cardiovascular stuff i.e "metcons" in CrossFit speak.  The only problem is, he has gotten a bit slower (Expected initially).  SO what do you do when you want to put on weight but maintain your speed? The main thing is to be patient and realize that your body is now doing double the work.

So if you added an extra bit of weight training to your routine, expect to be a bit fatigued on your metcon days...Just remember, all this training is cumulative right?  And the stronger you get, the faster you will also be.  Just don't forget to recover properly...massage, foam roll, stretch, yoga...whatever it takes.

One thing we are going to discuss today is VO2 Max.  So, what is that anyway?

VO2 max goes under a number of different names, but they all refer to the same thing. You may hear it called maximal oxygen intake, maximal consumption of oxygen, or maximal oxygen uptake. No matter what it is called, VO2 max refers to your body’s ability to take in and use oxygen when you are exercising. Your maximum level can affect your ability to exercise and your ability to exercise effectively.

For the most part, people who are out of shape or not used to regular exercise will have a lower VO2 max. This means they will only be able to exercise for a shorter amount of time before getting tired and their exercise will not be as productive as possible. Additionally, your VO2 max will be affected by genetics. Some people simply are not as capable of taking in as much oxygen during exercise as others.

No matter the reason, improving your VO2 max will help you workout more effectively and will build your stamina. One of the best ways to improve your number would be through consistent exercise. The more you train, the higher the number will go. However, not just any exercise will work to build your VO2 max. You need to take part in aerobic exercises. These are events that speed up your heart rate and require more oxygen. Some specialists recommend quick changes between slow and fast exercises in one half hour period. As long as you are consistent, you will be able to train your body to make use of more and more oxygen. This will help you workout more effectively and take part in stamina based exercises.

No matter the name it is called, your VO2 max is an important number to know when you are trying to become more physically fit.

Try this workout below to improve your VO2 Max:

30/30 and 60/60 Intervals

Basically 30/60 second sprints with 30/60 seconds light jog...12-20 rounds

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Quick and Beautiful Get Away from NYC

Anu and I are preparing for our annual trip to India to visit his parents.  Before we go, we always meet my parents to let our dog (bummer) stay with them.  This year, we had the pleasure of meeting them in Harper's Ferry West Virginia.  Wow was it gorgeous!  This was a much needed trip for us for three reasons:

1. We do not get to spend enough time with our family.

In terms of your health, socializing and being close to those you love rank right up there with some of the top preventive measures for a heart attack. Also, who doesn't want a hug from their mother every chance they get.

2. We needed a vacation from working out.  Anu tends to overdo the gym.  I practically have to force him to stay home and take his rest day.  The weekend was a great excuse for him to chill the F* out.

We all need to rest.  People debate whether or not "over training" actually exists (my husband being one of them).  But I am positive that a day off from the gym and a cheap massage makes a world of difference in terms of performance.  Plus, I tend to get sick, if I train too hard.  No Fun

3. We haven't been getting outdoors enough either.

Being outdoors is vital to our health, yet us city dwellers are notoriously bad for this.

So please, remember that your workout schedule, although critical is only part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


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Transitioning To Barefoot Running

Tips for Transitioning to Barefoot Running

There is a great deal of research that has gone into methods of running. Most of that research all indicates the same thing. Wearing shoes, even those designed for running, are high impact and can actually be the cause of injury. Our feet were made to be highly efficient all on their own. This is why many people are choosing to switch to barefoot running.

However, barefoot running is not something that you can just jump into. Actually me and Ruschelle learnt from our personal experience that you can do more damage to your foot without a proper transition plan. Many foot doctors admit that 'barefoot' running craze has helped their practice since they have so much traffic with people coming in with injuries.

Instead, it takes a transition process. Here are some tips for transitioning to barefoot running.

Start with Walking

You need to spend a few weeks getting your feet ready to run. That means you should start with walking and work your way up. For the first three or four weeks, try to walk about half an hour a day. Over time, you can switch to jogging and then eventually move on to running.

Learn the Ground

You have been wearing shoes for a long time and the feel of the ground could be foreign to you. This can lead to trips and falls. When you are barefoot/have minimalistic shoes, force yourself to think about how the ground feels and how to use your feet to sense uneven spots.

Stretch Your Muscles

When you first start barefoot running, your ankle and calf muscles will be tight because you are using different parts of your feet. You need to take the time before each run to stretch those muscles and get them more flexible.

Barefoot running can be rewarding and a good workout to avoid damage or injury to your body. However, this is not something you can just walk out the door and start. You must transition into it over time. Most people find that they can get used to the running method in about eight weeks, so be sure to give yourself that time for the transition.

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The Gokhale Method: Simplified

Proper Posture: the Gokhale Method Simplified

Many people suffer from back pain on a regular basis. That back pain can get in the way of normal life and it can definitely keep a person from their physical fitness goals. There are medications out there and surgeries for back pain, but they all have harmful side effects that most people would prefer to avoid. This is when the Gokhale Method should be considered. This method focuses on proper posture and the right posture can help to relieve a great deal of back pain. Additionally, proper posture just creates a better profile.

We came across Gokhale method, while we were educating ourselves about barefoot running, Paleo eating and that whole sub culture. What appealed to me and Ruschelle was the fact that this method took inspiration from indigenous folks/primitive cultures, how the adults moved still, how they were able to hold squat for long periods at a time, without excruciating knee pain or the urgency to get out of this position.

The Gokhale Method actually hearkens back to the posture of primal natives who had to spend their time gathering food and working in the outdoors. This method does not just treat the symptoms of back pain. Instead, it gets to the roots of back pain from poor posture, joint pain, and muscle strain. The Gokhale Method allows people to re-learn their posture for a more comfortable life.

Some of the things that the Gokhale Method teaches include:

  • Sitting with proper posture in which the back is kept straight and even.
  • Standing in a position that evenly distributes weight throughout the bones, muscles, and feet.
  • Walking with proper posture to avoid too much impact on the feet and joints like the knees and hips.


The Gokhale Method is a training method that will require the help of experienced professionals. You will need to completely learn again how your posture should be situated. When you take part in a training course, you can expect it to last about six weeks. During that time, you will learn how to sit, stand, walk, and even sleep with the proper posture. This will relieve the back and joint pain that you should not have to live with but may be currently.

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Fall Into Fitness

Ok, summer is technically over, but there might be a few good days left.  And hey, It is PERFECT whether for running.  Transitioning into fall, you will actually find plenty of opportunities to continue getting in shape and enjoy the subtly changing weather. Here are a few workouts to consider.

During the hottest months of the season, trying to run can be a little on the miserable side because it is simply too hot out. However, the last few weeks of the season are the months when the weather is just starting to change. As the air turns cooler, you will find it much more pleasant to take a run. Additionally, if you continue running into the autumn, you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of changing leaves.

Try out these running workouts (under 30 minutes)  to spice up your routine:

Twenty minutes medium pace: run out 11 minutes at a medium pace, then turn around and try to get back to your starting point in the remaining 9 minutes. If you pace yourself well, don’t start too slow or too fast, this is a great workout because you will be running back 20% faster than your way out.

Fartlek workout: after 10 minutes warm-up, alternate 3 minutes fast pace and 3 minutes slower pace for the remaining of the 30 minutes. How fast is fast? It depends on your level, but probably a 10KM or 5Km pace could be a good start. How much slower for the recovery time. This should be faster than the recovery jog pace you use during your repeat workouts, but still be slow enough to allow your heart to recover.

Fall is a time when change is in the air. It may seem that it is also the time when summer exercise routines may wind down, but that is not the case. Your transition into fall is a great time to add intensity and diversity to your workout.

So keep running and we will see you in the park!

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