Fitness Success Story: Janet Murff

Janet and Candice

Club Fit Member Janet Murff and Personal Trainer Candice O’Brien — working together to help Janet reach her goals.

Healthier and happier — Club Fit Member Janet Murff started training with Personal Trainer Candice O’Brien in 2015 and is now stronger, fitter, and happier.

I’d like to express my appreciation to my trainer Candice and Club Fit. I am thrilled! The physical & mental benefits of exercise are amazing.

When I made my decision in November 2015 to have a personal trainer, I was out of shape and feeling stressed from two years of the life changing activities of caring for one’s parents; too much driving, too much sitting. Realizing what a difference a trainer would mean to my success, I signed up — and as luck would have it, I was paired with the right trainer from day one. I began with the goals of improved health and fitness. I knew that I could only commit to two or three gym visits per week. Consistency would make it work. Weight loss was far down my list. Today, I am much stronger, fitter, more toned, and happier than I was a year ago. Weight loss has been a bonus. I know that I could not have done this alone. I am excited to set new goals for 2017 and look forward to continue working with Candice to help me reach these.

Congratulations to Janet on her hard work and her commitment to health!

Fitness Success Story: Kathi Grossman

Kathi before and after

Kathi before, and how she looks today. Amazing progress on her fitness journey!

Kathi Grossman joined Club Fit in October of 2013 at the recommendation
of her doctors. Read how Club Fit has helped to impact her life and help her reach her fitness goals.

I have been morbidly obese all my life. I ended up with Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, arthritis, and no cartilage in one of my knees. I was injecting insulin up to four times a day and taking numerous medications. I finally had enough! I had WLS (weight loss surgery) on September 22, 2011, and lost 210 pounds, which changed my life more than I ever could have imagined. Within hours of the WLS I was off all medications. I am still medication free, except for supplements. Having been obese all my life, as the weight came off, other issues arose. No core, no muscle tone, loose skin EVERYWHERE!! My doctor gave me a prescription to join Club Fit on the HelpRx program, which was the best thing that could have happened to me. Personal Trainer Russ was my first encounter with a trainer. I was pretty intimidated, but Russ took his time, listened to me and my physical limitations, and designed a routine just for me. This was the beginning — I started taking classes, and I mean everything, even things I thought I couldn’t do just to challenge myself. I started with Retro-Low, Low-impact Zumba, Kickboxing, Definitions, 4×4, Corebar, Spin, and Yoga. If they had a class I was there. I started to see where I fit and what I liked to do. This could have been overwhelming as exercise was NEVER a part of my life. Now I love to spin and weight train and do a few machines. The instructors were excellent and most helpful. There are so many wonderful people who have escorted me on my journey. There is, however, one person who stands out and that is General Manager Mark Cuatt. He took me under his wing and gave me a crash course in nutrition and then an exercise regimen for me to follow. He didn’t have to do that; he has enormous responsibilities running the club on a day-to-day basis. Nonetheless, we would meet at the gym, I would email him my food menus and things started to change again! This has not been an easy journey. I had a few setbacks but, to date, I have lost 250 pounds!! As I type the number it seems surreal.

I take advantage of most of the things Club Fit offers. I have a MYZONE belt, I use it always and should I forget it, I am lost. I do the FIT-3D scans, which help you see the transformation you are attaining. This experience would not have been as successful without the help of so many of the personal trainers, instructors and coaches. I wish I could name all of you, as you are all very special to me, because at one time you made it a point to help me with your time, advice or even a friendly “Hello!”. ALL of you have made an impact in changing NOT only my outward appearance but teaching me that being healthy is an everyday choice. Mark Cuatt told me once, I am always going to wage this battle in my head with my weight. Some days I’ll win and some days I’ll lose; but “never give up” is the moral of this story.

So I thank Club Fit for helping me find ME — the me I was meant to be. You have helped
to give a healthy me back to my husband, children and granddaughter. Hopefully I
will be around a long time still working out, and if I can inspire ONE person
through my story, then I have made a difference!

Your Commitment and Our Equipment

Reach your fitness goals with our exciting new equipment arriving soon in the Fitness department.

Keiser Squat and Keiser Runner 

Keiser Technology: With Keiser Pneumatic Technology, the muscles remain active and engaged throughout the entire range of motion and velocities, with reduced shock loading to muscles, connective tissues and joints, which allows for workout regimens that can safely improve physical performance in ways not seen with traditional strength-training methods.

Keiser Squat: Combining a low impact workout with the ability to move safely at higher speeds, the AIR300 Squat enhances explosive Power. The AIR300 squat work for all users through its self-adjusting comfort pads and a sturdy wide base. A range-limiting feature helps prevent ligament and joint injury to the knee. Adjust the air pressure at your fingertips for a functional, safe, and explosive workout!

Keiser Runner: The Air300 Runner is a unique and innovative product designed for the athletic performance and functional training market. It allows users to train speed, resistance, and form of the lower body to improve functional movement and pattern. Whether you are looking to improve your acceleration for sport or form and strength in the lower body, this equipment is for you!

THE FROG!

This Total Body Training Device will work every major muscle in your body with a variety of exercises in unique planes of motion. Get ready for a killer core workout. Stay tuned to see the Frog in our new CORE-FIT class starting soon.

CORE-FIT — Core and Cardio Circuit:

We will be incorporating three new pieces of equipment into this NEW Circuit class on the Group Fitness Schedule (formerly known as Abs Express).

Total Gym Core Trainer: A unique piece of core exercise equipment that strengthens the abdominals, while engaging the entire core musculature.  The Core Trainer helps enhance basic core stability for beginners while providing advanced strengthening and a competitive edge for the most seasoned athletes.

Total Gym Row Trainer: A new and unique rower that emulates a rowing movement pattern using adjustable bodyweight resistance, the Total Gym Row Trainer produces a full body workout, integrating a strength component into a traditional cardio machine. Built on an incline, the Total Gym Row Trainer targets all the muscles groups simultaneously and enables a smooth consistent load through the entire range of motion, due to loaded concentric and eccentric phases of the exercise. Designed for multi-planar movement including exercises such as biceps curls and an alternating side to side row, the Row Trainer is fun to use and user friendly, accommodating all fitness levels.

Cybex Eagle Abdominal Machine: Innovative design isolates abdominal muscles and allows different body types to enjoy a comfortable range of motion. The counterbalance mechanism offsets the user’s trunk weight for more consistent loading and greater effectiveness, and the patented pelvic stabilization eliminates hip flexor involvement while rear foot pegs provide for expanded training variation.

See a Fitness Coach to learn how to use any of our new equipment. We strive to bring you the best and newest machines on the market to help you achieve your fitness goals at Club Fit.

Fitness Success Story: Mary Healy

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Mary Healy joined Club Fit in February 2015 and began personal training with Master Trainer Beth Kear in March. Here is what she has to say about her fitness journey with Club Fit:

Most of my life I have been overweight. After much time and effort, at this point in my fitness journey, I have lost over 65lbs and I am now off Hypertension medications. My main interest in joining Club Fit was to use the pool for exercise post back surgery. Once I felt stronger I wanted to learn how to use the Fitness Center but was anxious regarding safety. Soon after, a club manager suggested working with a personal trainer to ease my way into a new fitness regime and help with my balance and strength weaknesses. Master Trainer, Beth Kear stepped into my life and everything changed. She has shared her knowledge as tools to use everyday until they become part of you. My strength, balance, and endurance has all increased, but most of all — my confidence. This is my first experience joining a health club, it has been one of my best decisions I have made. It is true you never stop learning!

We are so happy for your success Mary, congratulations in your progress and your accomplishments!

Mary before and after

Mary’s fitness journey had yielded amazing progress, as shown in these before and after photos.

These are photos of Mary before her weight loss and after.

Rosemary’s Fitness Success Story

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My name is Rose Burgos-Bennett, and I have been struggling with weight loss for most of my life. I am the type of person that loses interest quickly, and I have explored many different ways to lose weight. I have even taking my plans to the extreme. After I had my son, I was at my heaviest — 280 lbs! I tried various home programs to lose weight; the P.I.N.K method, Shaun T’s Insanity and T-25. From these programs, I lost approximately 45 to 50 lbs. I also tried Crossfit and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but due to a shoulder injury and then a neck injury, I had to stop. I was in physical therapy for almost 2 1/2 years, but my weight remained at 230 lbs. I needed to get into Physical Therapy, and this is when Club Fit came into my life. Once recovered, I wanted to try to get fit and healthy and continue my weight loss journey.

My husband and I decided to join the Summer Shape Up program with personal trainers Tiana Gonzalez and Nick Paganelli. Both my husband and I had completely different goals. Steven’s goal was to gain muscle mass and mine was to lose weight. I was hesitant at first to begin personal training but Tiana has been a class act! She has been extremely helpful, and worked with my abilities and pushed me to do more. She has been an incredible coach and cheerleader and has celebrated my success every step of the way. She was also attentive to form and intensity to ensure I never injured myself during the workouts. During the 8-week program I lost 17lbs! MYZONE has been an essential tool in the process. Tiana used it to monitor me during training and paced me accordingly. I love that it tells me how many calories burned during an activity and that it shows how much I am pushing myself during my workouts. I am always trying to get to the red…LOL. It has been excellent — and I love it.

My husband and I use our MYZONE belts even when we are not in the Club. We monitor each other when jogging/walking on the outside track. We go out there as a family and we try to engage both our kids in all we do. I know I am not at my goal weight yet, but I am going in the right direction. I am taking it a day at a time and celebrating my successes in my continual journey to lose weight.

Ann’s Ultimate Jump Roping Sequence for breaking Plateaus!

“Anytime I’m at a plateau in weight I break out the jumprope for a good 30 minute set of roping. It benefits my tennis footwork and I honestly feel like I am out dancing and just out having a blast.” -Ann Krobath

Here’s her ultimate jump roping sequence . . .

TREES- Marty Casey & Lovehammers

IS THERE A SWITCH FOR THAT-Cookies

CHASE THIS LIGHT- Jimmy Eat World

THE DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA- Outlaws (You’ll have to settle for this version since we couldn’t find the Outlaw video)

and finally wind down with…

FIX YOU….Coldplay

TRX: The Benefits of Band Suspension Training

Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher

Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher


By Jennifer Schildwachter, Master Trainer

What does TRX really stand for? Many members and clients constantly ask when in awe of those yellow and black dangling straps in our functional area where our TRX classes are held regularly each day. It stands for Total body Resistance Exercises. It is a type of training that uses your own body weight and forces of gravity to build strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, core/joint stability. Plus it’s an excellent tool for corrective exercises and to ultimately prevent injuries.

TRX was originated by the US Navy Seals as a way to stay fit while on missions in remote areas. No matter what your fitness level, TRX is a perfect and versatile way for all. Several fitness types like: athletes, post rehab patients, stay-at-home moms, body builders, the young and the old are all reaping the benefits of TRX!

Whether you’re chasing after the kids or family dog or playing sports or cleaning the house, you are using your “core”. You are mostly in multiple planes. Simply, TRX is a total body work out!

For Starters, you can minimize your training time by working your entire body; at all times you’re keeping your “core” engaged. Also transitioning from one exercise to the next by making simple adjustments can be so easy and you can regress or progress the same exercise to fit the type of client you are working with. You can control the intensity of your work out by walking yourself closer or further away from the anchoring point. So instead of adjusting a seat position or having to grab a different set of dumbbells you simply adjust your foot placement. The direct benefit of transitioning through various exercises can help keep your heart rate up. You can even do great stretches, like stretching more than one body part at a time. TRX is also light weight and easily portable. Workouts could be done virtually anywhere: inside a gym, hotel room or in the great outdoors. To have an affordable, light weight, durable and easily portable band suspension system like the TRX, you can add a new dimension to your work out.

Hit those straps, you won’t be sorry!

If you are itching to take your training to the next level, check out Jen’s specialized class that focuses on Kettlebels, TRX Suspension Straps, and Balance Boards: KBells, Straps, Boards & BEYOND!

For a list of free classes offered at our locations:
Free TRX Classes at Club Fit Jefferson Valley Schedule of classes: Group Fitness Schedule.
Free TRX Classes at Club Fit Briarcliff Schedule of Classes: Group Fitness Schedule.

The Benefits of The Kettlebell Swing: One hand or two?

By Master Trainer, Jennifer Schildwachter

Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher

Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher


The kettlebell swing has been found to bring forth therapeutic relief by preventing further injury and relieving pain. It also can have a corrective benefit, coupled with natural physics, which demands correct spine mechanics throughout the actual swing. The kettlebell swing also reinforces proper functional spine mechanics and in some studies, it has helped back pain sufferers. From a corrective standpoint, kettlebells can be a great tool for individuals with prior low back, shoulder, knee and ankle injuries.

So how does one embark on a kettlebell program? Does the person start with heavy or light weight? Does that same person, start with one handed grip or two?

In general, the kettlebell swing targets practically every muscle in your body, but in particular those of the posterior side; glutes, hamstrings and back. It would make logical sense the more muscles you can hit or fire in one go around with the kettlebell, the more energy(calorie expenditure) is required to fuel the movement. Kettlebell swings are huge fat burners as well as great for your posture.

So if the swing in general is so great, why would it matter if you wanted to do a two handed or one handed swing?

The one handed swing offers similar benefits of the two handed swing plus:

1) The one handed swing helps to recruit smaller and stabilizing shoulder muscles that help keep your shoulder joint in correct position and safely in its socket. That is the main reason, from a rehabilitative and corrective standpoint, the one handed swing is great to strengthen each shoulder and prevent future shoulder injuries.
2) Using the one handed kettlebell swing puts more rotational torque or rotational through the core muscles resulting in additional core recruitment.
3) When using the one handed kettlebell swing it basically doubles the amount of grip strength required to keep hold of the actual kettlebell. As we age, grip diminishes and it’s important to look after a steady and firm grip. Grip strength tends to illustrate a natural sign of overall full body strength.

So if you’re looking forward to starting a kettlebell program or you are incorporating them into your current routine, but don’t know where to begin with utilizing a one handed grip, it’s important to acknowledge mastering the double handed grip first before going to a single handed grip.

In general, there are so many wonderful benefits to kettlebell swinging and in some circles it’s almost revered as a “practice”. The Swing is dynamic and mechanical, but when done correctly, it is an art form because it demands perfect muscle activation which in turn protects and stabilizes the body.

Whether you wish to swing for fun, fitness or corrective reasons, swing with two hands first then ease your way into a one handed grip and stay in that sequence as you begin progressing to heavier kettlebells. So swing away!!

Double Arm Kettlebell Swing:

Single Arm Kettlebell Swing:

If you are interested in taking your training to the next level, Jen is currently teaching Kettlebells, Straps, Boards and Beyond. That is a great way to challenge yourself and change up old workouts. Not sure about taking a class, but would like some individual attention? Jen is available for personal trainings as well! Feel free to send her an email at jschildwachter@clubfit.com or call her extension at Club Fit Jefferson Valley: 914.245.4040 ext. 1216.

Parisi Speed School has a New Director

— Written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Joy Cain

 

Prescott Perry comes to Club Fit as the New Director for Parisi Speed School.

Parisi Speed School’s mission is to help young athletes become better, faster, stronger.

Who, then, is better equipped to help them than a young man who is on the fast track?

Enter Prescott Perry, the new director of the Parisi Speed School at Club Fit.

Prescott played lacrosse and studied kinesiology at the University of Rhode Island. He snowboarded competitively and worked as a personal trainer on Coronado Island (off the coast of San Diego). He also sailed competitively, participating in races in Newport and Larchmont. And he earned his MBA from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.

One can only imagine what he’ll do when he finally turns 26.

“I’ve always thought that I wanted to be successful more than I wanted air to breathe, “ Prescott says, “so I try to do as much as I can with what I’ve got. ”

Indeed. And the success he’s chasing after now involves getting more athletes and teams to jump on the Parisi bandwagon. While noting that Westchester and Putnam counties have no shortage of gyms, health clubs, and exercise facilities, Prescott says that the type of training that Parisi offers is a cut above.

“Parisi has a measurable standard. When you’re able to show how much a certain drill or exercise is improving an athlete’s performance, there’s a certain amount of buy-in. ”

Prescott will be reaching out to local coaches to encourage them to bring their teams in to train with Parisi. Eventually he hopes to get a tie-in along with the buy-in; since a company he once worked for helps athletes get recruited for college, Prescott wants to introduce a similar protocol at Club Fit and post the stats of our Parisi-trained athletes on a nationally-recognized recruiting database. In this way, college coaches nationwide could view the athletes’ progressions and measure their athletic potential. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

But while the focus on jocks and jockettes is important, it shouldn’t be the entire Parisi picture. Citing an upward trend of childhood obesity, Prescott says that Parisi needs to make room for couch potatoes, too.

“We want to focus more on the kids who get picked last in gym,” he says. “We want to let them see that what we’re doing is not hard, that it doesn’t take much to be considered athletic. You can be athletic and not know it. You just have to tap that inner athlete inside yourself. And that’s one thing I think Parisi is able to do. ”

Typically, Parisi’s small group sessions are broken up by age. The Jump Start program (ages 7–11) sets the foundation for success in any sport by focusing on speed, agility, and overall coordination. The Total Performance program (ages 12–16) focuses on techniques used in speed, agility and strength to maximize improvements in athletic performance. And the Peak program (ages 17–21) is an individualized coaching program for the elite athlete. It focuses on individual needs, goals and improvements needed to compete at a competitive level.

Although upwards of 100 young people are involved in the program right now, a demographic shift may be in the wind. Prescott hopes to see more adults train with Parisi—tennis players, swimmers and Weekend Warriors who could benefit from agility and strength drills that are tailor-made for their sport. “I don’t think it’s ever too late for adults to try and do something like that, to make themselves into better athletes,” he says.

His competitive snowboarding days are behind him, but Prescott, a bachelor, still plays in an adult lacrosse league. And although he hasn’t done much of it lately, he still sails competitively. “Yeah…. with a name like Prescott, I kinda had to do sailing,” he jokes. “I’m a stereotypical guy; my name is Prescott, I’m from Connecticut, I sail and do everything that goes with it…. ”

But all jokes aside, Prescott is committed to taking Club Fit’s Parisi program to the next level. Besides watching the bottom line and drumming up new business for the program, Prescott, along with Vince Wright and Jen Ritz, will also be one of the Parisi instructors. “I want to get this facility to be the new standard of training for this area,” he declares.

Better. Faster. Stronger. Now.

If anyone can get Parisi on the fast track, Prescott can.

From Couch to 5K… and beyond!

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

Club Fit Member Linda Adair goes from couch to 5K, and farther — losing 45 lbs and getting stronger in the process!

Linda before and after

Linda lost 45 lbs — gained speed, strength and fitness!

Change is good! But only if you make the right changes. Linda Adair decided that she wanted to get back into shape last summer, and 45 pounds later, she has achieved that goal.

Last June, Linda reached a point where she was tired of being overweight, and wanted to return to her former fit, energetic self. With the support of fellow Club Fit Briarcliff member and friend, Denyse, a marathon runner, she attempted the Couch to 5K program, and by August she was running 3 miles every other day. “The first day was tough, but then I got back up on day two and did it again,” she says.

In the fall she joined Club Fit, and she feels it made a huge difference in her fitness quest. “I had adjusted my diet and increased my exercise, but Club Fit pushed me over the top with the addition of Group Fitness classes and access to the Fitness Center,” she says. Linda, a paralegal (she graduated in March!), is a regular in the Spin Studio, and uses the treadmill, the women’s circuit and the free weight area. She completed her first 5K, slowly, last July, and now she has thirteen 5Ks and one 10K planned for 2015!

So the exercise increased, but what did she change in her diet? “I eat tons of fruit, cut out carbs and replaced white rice and potatoes with healthier starches like yams and brown rice.” She adds, “My diet is constantly evolving, and I continue to do research, but I definitely don’t starve myself. If I want something that doesn’t fall into my ‘healthy’ list, I don’t deprive myself.” The key is to become educated, and learn how to maintain a good balance, something she feels should also be stressed to young people, who today can so easily succumb to eating disorders.

Speaking of young people, two of the reasons Linda was motivated to regain her health were her daughters. Both girls are active and athletic, but her younger daughter also suffers from cystic fibrosis. Because of this, Linda and her family have become active supporters of Team Boomer, a program within the Boomer Esiason Foundation that encourages people with CF to incorporate exercise into their everyday lives, and supports athletes in raising money for CF through fundraising events. The Foundation, launched by former New York Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason, works to heighten awareness, education and quality of life for those affected by CF. “One hundred percent of the money they raise goes to research, so I am happy to support them!”

At this point, Linda has achieved what she set out to do… “I am healthy now!” She dropped from a size 16 to size 6, and feels much stronger and faster since her decision to commit to fitness last summer. Her husband and daughters also are benefitting from the adjustments she made to her diet, which of course impacted the foods she brings into their Pleasantville home. “There are always things you can work on at the gym, but at this point I am simply grateful to be healthy!”

For more information on the Couch to 5K program that started Linda on her way, visit www.fromcouchto5k.com, and if you want to give a philanthropic twist to your fitness plan and join the Adairs in their support of Team Boomer, visit www.teamboomer.org.

Stabilization & Balance: From Athletes to the Elderly

Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher

Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher

By Jennifer Schildwachter
Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach Leader

When you hear the terms “corrective exercises”, “prevention of injury”, and “functional strength”, what type of person comes to mind? Although the common answer to this question would be possibly a post-rehab senior with serious injuries, these terms also apply to athletes on their off season maybe dealing with a pre or post season injury or muscle imbalances to correct. When you think “athlete” you often think speed & agility drills or Olympic weight lifting, but the need for core stabilization and balance are needed for all!

Balance is the key to all functional movement and it should also stress a person’s limits of stability, or their “balance threshold”. By training in a multi-sensory environment, the nervous system’s ability to activate the right muscles, at the right time, and in the right plane of motion is vital to the elderly and athletes alike to enhance performance in every day life or an athletic event. All levels of fitness need to infuse this much needed balance and core stabilization exercises to benefit all planes of motion. Both of these needs can be fulfilled in NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Performance Enhancement Specialist Jennifer Schildwachter’s paid program; Correct, Select, and Never Neglect. Participants of all adult ages and fitness levels, learn that there is an inherent difference between functional strength and functional stabilization, which both come into play when trying to improve balance.

Core Stabilization and balance go hand in hand. The main goal of an athlete or senior would be to continually increase their limit of stability by creating progressive balance exercises in a controlled but unstable environment.

A good example of an exercise that you could give an athlete or senior, would be: “Single-Leg Dumbbell Shoulder Scaption”

How to do it:
A. Stand with a light dumbbell in each hand; lift one leg directly beside balanced leg.
B. Keep thumbs pointed up while raising arms to shoulder height at a 45-degree angle in front. Slowly lower. Repeat; alternate legs in each set.

This exercise and more can be learned in this class as well as the improvement in balance and stabilization in all physical abilities!

Interested in taking Correct Select and Never Neglect with Jen? You can sign up for the upcoming session beginning on February 17! Feel free to email Jen with any questions at jschildwachter@clubfit.com!

A Winter Fitness Boost!

By Liza Forster, RYT
Group Fitness Manager
Club Fit Jefferson Valley

Has Old Man Winter got you grounded? Being confined to home because of winter weather doesn’t need to put a cramp in your fitness routine. In fact, changing up how and where you exercise can actually give you an unexpected fitness boost.

First of all, remember that you don’t have to do everything all at once. 10 minute “legs” or intervals of exercise lets you crosstrain and keep you interested and more likely to push your own personal envelope. Three or four of these and you’ve exercised for 30 or 40 highly respectable minutes by the end of your day. Plus, jumping from isometrics, to endurance to strength work, etc, will keep your body and heart out of it’s comfortable routine, and out of it’s comfort zone. Combine the following as you like. Get your kids off of the laptops and make it a competition.

Ropeless jumproping- Put on your favorite music, and jump, jump, jump. One minute interval, 30 seconds of rest, repeat until you are at ten minutes total. Fast jump, joggy jump, skipping jump. Not only is jumping great cardio, but the impact lays bone on bone, increasing bone density. If you have bone issues, land lightly. Stepping in place is a safe alternative for delicate, more fragile bones.

Plank – Nothing like a straight arm plank to build some super strength. This one isn’t just for fighting the winter blues. Make this part of a daily practice all year round. Start at 30 seconds, and you progress, rock a 90 second plank. Pull your belly button firmly into your spine and keep it there. Wrists under shoulders, knees under hips. Can you say arms to die for?

Bicycle – Your grade school gym teacher got this right. Bicycle is a game changer. Back to one minute intervals on your back, 30 seconds rest in between. Alternate the work, fast bicycle for the first one, then S-L-O-W it way way down. Third one normal speed but hold the the elbow to the opposite knee as you cross, stay out of your comfort zone Keep your lower back flat on the ground.

Prisoner Squats – Nothing like squats to cut and define the glutes, quads, and hams. Lace fingers behind neck, elbows pulled back. Take a wide stance with feet parallel. Sit back into an imaginary chair, keeping knees over ankles and elbows pulled back. Up slowly and repeat. Exhale on the descend, inhale up and keep it slow. 4-6 rounds of 45 seconds with 30 seconds rest in between.

Wall handstand. Take a down dog (facing away from wall) with heels against a bare wall. Look in between hands at the floor. Walk your feet up the wall so that your legs are at a right angle from the wall. Hold for thirty seconds and walk down. As you progress, walk legs farther up so body is straight and almost perpendicular to the wall.

Repeat the series, and switch it up as needed throughout your snow day. Don’t forget to stretch everything out. 10 long breaths in a beautiful down dog hits the entire back of the body, sink into those heels, bend knees if you have any back pain. Don’t forget to shovel and have a snowball fight!
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Winter Weather Workout with Susie!

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By Susie Reiner, M.S., HFS, PES
Fitness Director, Club Fit Briarcliff

Unfortunately sometimes Mother Nature gets in the way of getting your workout in at Club Fit. Your safety is the most important on days where it’s dangerous to travel, so here are some exercise ideas for you to try at home:

Shoveling – the dreaded activity that is an essential part of living in the Northeast! Shoveling can be a great workout – if you do it right. Warm up ahead of time, do some dynamic stretches -toe touches side to side, side reaches, back extensions (hands support lower back), high knee pulls, quad stretches alternating, etc. Dress warmly with layers that you can take off if you get overheated. Be sure you are bending your knees EVERY time you pick up snow and switch sides/hands that you are throwing the snow with. Stretch your lower back, shoulders, and neck afterwards to avoid strain later on in the day. If you complete all these steps you will have a safe total body cardio and resistance workout. I’ve personally worn my Myzone belt while shoveling and got up to 200 MEPS in that time!

Got stairs? – There are a number of exercises you can do that strengthen your lower body and core while engaging cardiovascular benefits as well.
1. Step ups (up up down down) facing the step
2. Lateral step ups (step knee step touch)
3. Running the stairs – use the way down as recovery
4. Or try these fun exercises!

A great online resource for body weight workouts is Fitness Blender, a free website created by a husband and wife duo who felt like there was a lack of reliable health and fitness information on the web, and too many people in the industry were more focused on appearance than they were on good health. I’ve completed several of the workouts at home on this website and I can attest that they are safe and effective!

Need more advice? Please contact me at sreiner@clubfit.com and be safe in the snow!
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Doing a Bosu Burpee

If you’re a fan of the burpee this is for you! The Bosu Burpee is a variation on the traditional burpee. This exercise adds weight to the upper phase and stability to the lower phase.

Here’s a closer look at what a Bosu Burpee should look like:

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Demonstrating this move is Maura Maloney. Maura is training for the NYC Half Marathon and is a hopeful for the 2015 NYC Marathon! Good luck Maura!

Vince Wright shares “Some of the Good Stuff”

— Written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Joy Cain

 

Meet Club Fit Personal Trainer Vince Wright

Vince Wright is in the Club Fit café, happily munching on a plate of chicken tenders and mashed potatoes from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Hmmmm. This is not the typical type of meal you’d expect to see Jefferson Valley’s newest personal trainer eat . . . but then again, Vince is not your typical type of trainer. “It’s not about restricting yourself,” he says in defense of his occasional foray into KFC-land. “It’s about getting into a healthy lifestyle and making it so that you can enjoy some of the good stuff.”

Born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan, Vince was a small, sickly kid who suffered from asthma. He vividly remembers not being able to climb the rope in gym and not being able to play with his classmates at recess. Vince couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for breath. And he was bullied. Determined to get stronger, he asked for and received a set of weights from his father—not that he really knew how to use them. But Vince desperately wanted to change his physical condition. He just didn’t know how.

Then one day a friend challenged him to see who could jump furthest on a bike. What happened next was Light Bulb Moment No. 1. Vince’s fifth-grade mind reasoned that jumping on a bike was basically a matter of lifting the bike, while in motion, and then landing. So to train for the upcoming bike jump challenge, every day for two weeks Vince lifted his bike. When competition day came, he was more than ready. “I smoked him– just smoked him, “ Vince recalls. “I remember the bike felt so light when I went to lift it, and I thought—‘Wow, that really worked!’ So that began my fascination with weight training and how it could improve my performance and make me better.”

During high school, Vince spent countless hours in the family garage lifting weights and reading Muscle and Fitness magazine, but his results were mixed. On the plus side, his asthma symptoms disappeared. But on the minus side, despite eating healthfully and working out for hours each day, Vince wasn’t bulking up. His 5’8” frame wouldn’t budge above 140 pounds.

It wasn’t until he was 21 years old that Vince experienced Light Bulb Moment No. 2, which basically came down to this: Simpler is better. Everyday, Vince had been spending hours trying to exercise each muscle group—when in reality he should have been focusing on one muscle group for just 45 minutes a day. Moreover, he was doing some of the exercises incorrectly. And although Vince often ate a healthy dinner, he never ate breakfast and lunch, at best, was a crapshoot. Bottom line: His food intake was off. Vince made some adjustments.

“I looked at my workout program and whittled it down. I made it lean and effective. I started focusing on certain muscle groups on certain days, and I didn’t go beyond a certain period of time in each session,” Vince says. “And I made sure that I was providing the proper nutrition for myself in order to sustain those workouts. The result was like night and day. My body—it was like a plant. It finally got the light. It finally got the water. And it finally got the food to grow. “ By making those changes, Vince gained a much-desired 40 pounds in one year. He felt empowered by his newfound knowledge and the transformation he had made in his life. And he hasn’t looked back since.

Vince has been certified by the National Strength Conditioning Association and currently holds an International Sports Science Association certification. Since moving east, he has worked in three Westchester gyms and experienced numerous success stories among his clients. One woman had shin splints, terrible posture, and bad feet-–but she wanted to be a marathoner. Says Vince: “I thought I was a little bit out of my league because I wasn’t a runner, but I always had a need for information so I researched what was going on with her and what she needed to do.” Long story short—after training with Vince for over a year, the woman’s body was transformed. She developed a little six pack, some muscle definition in her arms and her posture improved. Most importantly, she ran in two marathons, completing the second one in under four hours.

Another success story was that of the high school swimmer who, after training with Vince, won a New York State swimming championship. And no, Vince isn’t really a swimmer, either. But as with the marathoner, Vince’s persistence, his knowledge base, and his willingness to research and cross-train made all of the difference for his young client. Here at Club Fit, Vince hopes to create group classes that help women transform themselves and eventually, he hopes to work with all types of athletes through the Parisi program. Naturally, personal training sessions are on his agenda as well.

“I’m in this to help people,” Vince says. “ I’m in this to make a change in someone’s life, just the way I made a change in my own life. That’s what I look forward to. That’s what drives me and keeps me going.”

Vince Wright

What else keeps Vince going? Here’s a quick connection with Vince Wright, Club Fit style:

Favorite guilty pleasureMoosetracks ice cream.

Most exciting G-rated experience– Going across country, from Chicago to San Francisco, with my mother on a bus. I was in the fourth grade. It was an amazing trip, seeing the countryside.

Favorite type of musicDrum and bass (electronic dance music from England)

Favorite TV show—Breaking Bad.

Least favorite vegetableRed beets.

Favorite actor, and whyI like Morgan Freeman. Morgan Freeman’s my man. You know why? When I was a kid, he was on the Electric Company, and then as I grew up, he was always out there somewhere. I’ve always respected Morgan Freeman.

Fitness goalRight now I’m at about 12 percent body fat; I want to be at 8 or 9 percent. And I want to be bigger. Right now I’m about 190 pounds, but I want to be like 200, 205. It’s almost like being anorexic. When I look in the mirror, I see a small guy. For as hard as I work out, I don’t feel like my body represents that.

Weightlifting routine– On my heavy days, I’ll deadlift 430 pounds for 5 reps. On my chest day, I’ll bench press 325 for 5 reps. On my leg day, I’ll squat 430 for 5 reps.

But that’s on my heavy days. Then I have lighter days and I have moderate days—you can’t always go heavy, not at my age, you’ll beat yourself up. I’m 43. When I was 20-something I could do that, but at 43, you have to cycle it a little bit.

Favorite Sports teamEither the Chicago Bears or the New York Giants. I’m torn because I’m a hometown boy, but at the same time, I’m here now–and I love the Giants. I love my football.

A perfect day consists ofSpending time with my three sons (ages 21, 16, and 8) and going to the beach and barbequing. I enjoy cooking out.

What would people be most surprised to find out about you? That I’m a nerd. I’m a tech nerd. I enjoy computers, I like talking about the technical aspects of things.

Learn more about Personal Training at Club Fit! Click here for Personal Trainer Bios.

Personal Trainer Nick Paganelli shows how a well executed squat is performed

Over the weekend an old friend brought one of our posts to our attention. It was of a poster that offered a holiday special on personal training packages. The form of the person doing a squat was not spot on. We asked Personal Trainer, Nick Paganelli, to demonstrate what a squat that is done using proper technique looks like:

And as a bonus for the more advanced gym-goers . . . here he is doing an advanced balance exercise!

We are proud to have a staff that exemplifies professionalism! If you are interested in learning more about our Personal Trainers and their extensive backgrounds, click here. From now through December 31st we are offering a holiday special on Personal Training packages. For more information, email Susie at sreiner@clubfit.com.

Digging deeper into Fall running

Tim Robinson

Club Fit Personal Trainer, Tim Robinson

by Tim Robinson

The Fall has arrived and that means prime running weather. The air is crisp and cool and this means it’s easier to dig a little deeper, exploring your limits as runner . . . just do it safely. Yes, you will find it easier on these cooler days to step up the pace, but do so in a considered way. It’s too easy to feel that extra seasonal bounce and go out too hard, without a warm-up, or to push that long run at too frisky a pace and then regret it later. There are lots of races in the Fall and it’s a great idea to pick one, a month or more down the road, and use the favorable conditions to build your strength and speed. Incorporate intervals and tempo runs twice a week and maybe even venture onto the track, where the real nitty gritty gets done. Put a stopwatch to your workouts and see exactly where you stand. It’s a good time to meet with other runners, outdoors, to push each other into that zone where the body really starts to transform. It’s also a good time of year to shift some runs to the morning. The evening light is going away and soon enough the clocks will shift. If you’re used to getting up early for a run, surviving the winter in good shape becomes a real possibility. In short, get out outside, enjoy the perfect temperatures and push yourself. Dress for the temperature, hydrate, even if you don’t feel as thirsty as you did in August, and make sure your shoes are still in decent shape. Go for it – this is the time!

Need a little added help with your running? Check out some of our structured programs from beginner to marathon training: Running Programs at Club Fit Briarcliff.

Tim received a B.F.A. from Syracuse University, he is an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer and a certified Heartsaver CPR/AED.
Tim’s specialties include Running, Cross Country, Track and Roads, Triathlon, Swim, Bike, Run, TRX. Some of his hobbies are Trail running, Hiking, Kayaking, Cooking, Gardening, Music and Art.

Do you have questions for Tim? Ask him in the comments!

Social Media Contest: Buddy Up for Workouts!

What better way to get and stay motivated than to buddy up for workouts? To help keep you motivated this Summer, buddy up to workout and we’ll reward the effort! Snap a picture of you and a friend working out together at the club or outdoors, share it on our facebook, instagram or twitter account and we’ll give you a $5 Club Fit café gift card! It’s that simple! Tweet at one of our Club Fit handles @cfbriarcliff or @cfjeffvalley, post it to one of our facebook pages or tag us on instagram @clubfitny. Feel free to use the hashtag #fitbuddy in your posts!

We have a great refer a friend deal now until August 31st. Refer a friend- get $100 e-cash AND you and a friend will have a chance to win a $200 AMEX gift card.

Everyone who submits a photo will receive a $5 Club Fit Café gift card. One Gift Card per person regardless of number of photos entered. Gift Cards will expire 10/31/14. Club Fit reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any entry at any time if it is determined that the entry is offensive or inappropriate. Each participant grants to Club Fit an irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide and transferable license to use his or her submitted photograph, name, hometown, likeness and/or prize information, without limitation, for promotional purposes without further permission or compensation. Club Fit reserves the right to change these Official Rules at any time, in its sole discretion, or cancel the promotion at any time.
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The Benefits of Exercise during the Childbearing Year

Denise Weber

Perinatal Specialist Denise Weber


Exercise and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a perfectly normal time in a woman’s life. Sure, there are “bumps and hiccups” along the way, literally, but exercise can help us to deal with all of the changes we experience, physically, mentally, and, emotionally.

Prior to beginning ANY exercise program, it is advisable to seek the approval of your
OB.

One question I get asked a lot is,” WHEN do I start a Prenatal exercise program?” The answer is as soon as possible! While you may continue to do your regular exercise regime, a prenatal class or training session will target specific topics and exercises that pertain to pregnancy and prepare you for birth and beyond! Also, you are with other women and the camaraderie you share and friendships you make, can stay with you for a lifetime.

Here is my list of the top 10 reasons to exercise during pregnancy:

1. Improves fetal growth

2. Decreases maternal symptoms of pregnancy.

3. Maintains/Improves cardiovascular fitness levels.

4. Maintains and/ or improves muscle strength and tone, thus decreasing the risk of

injury, and increasing the stabilization of the joints.

5. Improves circulation which lessens swelling and helps to prevent varicosities.

6. Improves balance.

7 Improves body image, self esteem, and emotional well being.

8. Helps to achieve and maintain, a healthy pregnancy body weight.

9. Enhances sleep

10. Labor is hard work! Regular physical exercise increases stamina and
endurance, which can actually lead to a shorter, easier labor, and a faster
recovery!

Read what the ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) has to say about Exercise During Pregnancy.

Denise Weber teaches various prenatal and postnatal classes. She is available for Personal Training, private and semi-private. Do you have a group of friends you would like to take a prenatal or postnatal class with but nothing is scheduled? No problem! Small group classes can be arranged!

Click here to check out the current sessions of prenatal and postnatal group classes at Club Fit Briarcliff!

For information on Prenatal and Postnatal classes at our Jefferson Valley location Click here or contact Tricia Weinbaum at tweinbaum@clubfit.com for more information!

Prenatal Yoga

Prayer

Click here to check out the current sessions of prenatal and postnatal group classes!

MYZONE “Fanatic” and Club Fit Member Rich Polombo

MYZONE user Rich Palombo

Club Fit member Rich Palombo stays motivated with MYZONE.

When it comes to MYZONE, everyone has their own approach. Some are more laid back about it, but there are also the MYZONE fanatics! These people check their numbers religiously, enter every MYZONE Challenge (the Summer Sizzle Challenge begins July 1st at both clubs), and truly track their progress while keeping an eye on everyone else’s numbers on the MYZONE screen. Rich Palombo is in this second camp, and is happy to admit it.

Rich, who has been a Club Fit member for close to 15 years, started using his MYZONE belt last August, when the program was rolled out. And it fell right in line with his competitive nature. Not only did he participate in the various MYZONE challenges, he compared his numbers to his fellow members, at times trying to outpace them, or just keep up. In fact, in one of the early challenges, he spent the entire first weekend working out just to be the first in the club to make the required 1800 MEPs (MYZONE effort points, based on duration of activity and heart rate). And he did it!

The long and short of it? The MYZONE belt gives him the incentive to put more effort into his workout. It is a motivator! “I am all about measurements and metrics,” says Rich. “MYZONE actually made me realize that I could push myself a little bit harder and still work out safely.” At the club, Rich primarily uses the elliptical machines in the Fitness Center, and also plays Tennis and Racquetball. “I’ve always been active, but was never a ‘health club type.’ Club Fit and MYZONE changed that for me.” He also brings his seven-year-old daughter to the pool on weekends, and feels that the club is a great place for people to go as a family. “You may not be working out together, but you are all there to feel better and can leave happy, together.”

Because of Rich’s current job, which takes him to Long Island from his home in Putnam Valley, his workout time has been limited, but he still gets in five workouts a week. “I try to come twice on Saturdays and Sundays, and once during the week,” he says. But even outside of the club, Rich stays active, and wears his MYZONE belt to track his MEPs. He has worn it playing hockey and doing yardwork, and was amazed at how much effort was put forth during these activities.

While some people are using the belt to help them lose weight, at this point in his busy life Rich is happy to maintain. But he does know how effective it can be. “I took a month off between my last job and current job, and was at the gym religiously. I dropped almost 10 pounds in that month by staying focused.” He loves the fact that he can check his numbers after every workout, even on his phone. “With MYZONE you can hold yourself accountable. Unless other people know your user name and follow you on the screen, only you know exactly how hard you are working and whether you are meeting your personal goals.”

Even though his time at the club is now limited, Rich is a huge fan of Club Fit. “The staff and the facility are wonderful,” he says. “I love that I can go there and get a smile from everyone, and that most people know my name. I’ve developed great relationships with some staff members as well as others who use the club.” Rich works in the customer service industry managing call centers, and feels that Club Fit is a definite leader in this area. “In general, people will spend up to 10 percent more on a product or service if the customer service is top-notch. With the personalized attention I get at Club Fit and the great facility, I’m happy to spend a few more dollars to belong here as opposed to a bare bones or quick service gym.”

Even if you are not as much of a MYZONE fanatic as Rich, you can join him this month in the Summer Sizzle Challenge, taking place at both Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley! Simply log in to your MYZONE account and accept the challenge. You only need to rack up 1800 MEPs to earn an entry into a raffle for great prizes. Make it fun, like Rich does; follow fellow members as they rack up points, and set little challenges for yourself. And if you don’t have a belt yet? Stop by the Service Desk at Briarcliff or the Reception Desk at Jefferson Valley and invest in one! “It was such a great investment for me because I like to stay on top of things and know what I am accomplishing,” says Rich. If you are working out at Jefferson Valley, look for “RICHPA” on the MYZONE screen and see if you can keep up!

Want to hear more about Rich’s MYZONE experience? 
Click here to read a MYZONE interview with Rich.