Fran: Don't let the sweet name fool you. Perhaps CrossFit’s most famous workout, Fran is a 21-15-9 rep scheme of thrusters (95 pounds for men, 65 for women) and pull-ups. For those keeping track at home, that’s 21 thrusters and 21 pull-ups, followed by 15 thrusters and 15 pull-ups, and so on. Elite CrossFitters can finish this monstrosity in less than three minutes, but don’t expect to break twice that during the first try.


Few interventions exist whereby patients can hope to achieve improvements in both psychiatric symptoms and physical health simultaneously without significant risks of adverse effects. Physical activity offers substantial promise for improving outcomes for people living with mental illness, and the inclusion of physical activity and exercise programs within treatment facilities is warranted given the results of this review.

Jumping and throwing moves, punches, kicks, and swinging a club or a racket all require power, which comes from your core—and, yes, causes those ab muscles to cinch. "The core is the crossroads of your system, helping transfer force between your upper and lower body," says Rick Richey, a faculty member for the National Academy of Sports Medicine in New York City. Add medicine ball throws to your sets: A study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found they are ideal core strengtheners. (Don't just stop at tossing, medicine balls can be used for a full body workout.)
Hold off on buying that gym membership! These workout DVDs are a great alternative for busy women who still want to get toned. Just pop one of these DVDs into your computer or television when you get home and see how much easier it is to integrate working out into your everyday schedule. From yoga to strength training, there's a workout for everyone.
There are TONS of exercise videos on the market today and trying to decide which ones are good and which ones will just end up on the shelf unused. The three exercise video sets featured here are all on the top ten lists on review sites and customers love them. While they may not be good for every fitness level, they are challenging, they bring results and users love them.
I believe we are coming around to the conclusion that what was recommended for years by the medical community (30 minutes of "aerobic exercise" 3-5 times a week, getting the heart rate up to 80% max. for age, etc.) has been inadequate, and of too low an intensity level. When an activity is of sufficient intensity, and not of a certain duration or repeated a certain number of times, the body will initiate a total-body response (metabolic, HDL, glucose tolerance, blood pressure, bone mineral density, immune competency, etc.) It appears that if this level of intensity is never reached, regardless of the amount of time spent or the frequency it is repeated, the beneficial response by the body never occurs, or is at least blunted.

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject's functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 −9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T0 −15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 −8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults.
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