Tag Archives: gym

My Big, HUGE, Exciting Announcement!!!!!!!

25 Apr

fitness logo

HELLO Lucky13’ers!!! I have some very special news and I have been practically BURSTING at the seams to share it with you all!!

Since 2010, Lucky13Fitness has provided one-on-one and small group personal training, Bootcamp classes, and fitness coaching to individuals of all fitness levels. From training sessions at home or in the gym to helping clients develop healthy lifestyle behaviors outside of structured exercise sessions, Lucky13Fitness inspires individuals to push past their supposed limits and achieve their goals.  As founder and owner of Lucky13Fitness, it has always been my dream to take Lucky13Fitness to the next level and help as many people as possible.  One of the ways I’ve hoped to do this is by opening my own Personal Training studio as a space for Lucky13Fitness to soar.  For a long time, I had a vision of what it would look like, what it would feel like in there & what the potential would be for a private training space.  I could see all these things in my mind’s eye but I knew it was not yet time for that to happen.  I put this idea on the back burner in my head and focused on becoming better at my craft, meeting people, & understanding what my clients want/need from me as a trainer/motivator.  I did everything in my power to prepare myself for when the golden opportunity arrived…

At the start of 2012, that golden opportunity presented itself right in front of my very eyes.  I was given an opportunity to create a new home for Lucky13Fitness and I finally felt ready to take on the endeavour.  For the past several months, I have been planning, researching, preparing and working toward making this happen.  I am FINALLY ready to announce and share with you all that Lucky13Fitness has its VERY OWN Personal Training studio HOME!!!!  I could not be more excited for this huge step forward for Lucky13Fitness and the “family” it has created.  I know that this studio will be a place where goals are created, worked toward, and achieved.  It will be a place where individuals will come together and motivate one another to push past their supposed limits and achieve what they once saw as a dream.  It will be a place where hard work, healthy habits, positive mental attitude and SWEATFESTS will combine to transform people’s lives.  It will be a GREAT place with AMAZING energy and I would LOVE for you to be a part of it all!!!

The Lucky13Fitness personal training studio will be opening early this Summer for one-on-one and small group training as well as BOOTCAMP classes and fitness coaching!  I will keep you all posted on the exact Grand Opening date as well as other details as they get sorted out.  For now, I am happy and proud to share with you pictures of the studio after it got a fresh coat of paint, new mirrors and rubberized flooring.  Check it out!!!!

personal training studio

The new home of Lucky13Fitness!!!!

personal training studio

Can’t you just picture yourself doing push ups, planks, squats and BURPEES!?!?!

personal training studio

This is the place where DREAMS will become REALITY!!!

As the photos illustrate, the studio is not exactly ready for opening just yet.  There is a LOT more work to be done to make sure that this space is just perfect for me and for my clients; I have a huge “To Do” list and I am crossing things off one by one!  To this end, I know I must devote all of my time and focus on my new journey and this means a big transition away from my current role at Beacon Hill Athletic Club as a full-time trainer.  The transition will be happening slowly and in a way that will allow me to maintain the training sessions I have with my current clients (don’t worry, guys, I’m still going to be there to kick your BADONKS every week per usual!!) but at the same time, will give me the flexibility I need to get the Lucky13Fitness studio up and running as soon as possible!!!!

I am SO excited for this endeavour and for the possibility it brings!! I will continue to keep you all posted on how things are coming along, and will continue to post pictures of the studio space as it gets more decorated!  Get EXCITED & ENERGIZED  for a new level of Lucky13 that will be bigger and better than ever before!!!

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Gym Etiquette: what to do & what NOT to do.

1 Jan

rules of the gym

I recently got a request from a Lucky13’er to write a blog post about gym etiquette.  I thought it was a great topic, and what better time to address something so important than the New Year.  January 1st brings the biggest influx of new members to the fitness world, full of ambition to fulfill their resolutions of getting fit.  Whether you are brand new or a seasoned vet at the gym, this post is for you.  My goal here today is to inform/remind folks of the often unspoken gym etiquette.  Read and heed!

The “DO NOT” list:

1) DO NOT sweat all over any type of equipment without properly and immediately cleaning it.

I am a firm believer that a GOOD workout means a SWEATY workout, so I’m definitely not telling you to refrain from sweating.  However, once you are done using a piece of equipment WIPE IT DOWN.  Be sure to use the cleaning solution and/or towels provided by the gym.  People hit the gym to get fit, not to get ringworm.  There shouldn’t be a trail of sweat behind you during your workout.

2) DO NOT sit on a piece of equipment while resting between sets.

Unless you are in a private training studio, you are likely sharing the equipment with many other patrons who want to get their workout done in a timely manner.  If you are doing multiple sets using one piece of equipment, do not occupy it while you rest.  Get up and allow others to use it while you’re not.  You can even let someone else know you’re planning on returning in a minute by saying something like “I have 2 more sets left but you’re welcome to work in with me”.

3) DO NOT drop or slam weights.

If you can not put the weight down properly, then don’t pick it up in the first place.  Trust me, nobody else appreciates or cares that you can drop heavy things repeatedly.  If you’re trying to gain strength, find a spotter to help you lift heavy.

4) DO NOT talk/text on your cell phone.

This coincides well with #2.  Do not, under any circumstances, take a rest between sets and strike up a conversation on your cell while occupying a piece of equipment.  This accomplishes one thing- establishing yourself as “THAT guy/girl” in the gym.  You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who wants to “work in with you” on your sets after that.

5) DO NOT do what the guy/girl next to you is doing.

By this I mean, do not try to duplicate the exercises that people around you are performing.  This is for several reasons, the most important being your safety.  Not everyone in the gym knows what they’re doing; copying someone’s improper form can be a recipe for disaster.  Need another reason?  The person who you’re attempting to copy might be a very skilled & very fit.  So fit, in fact, that they could make a difficult exercise look easy as pie.  Incorrectly assuming you can do it just as well, only to pull/tear/break something is definitely not worth your while.

The Please DO list:

1) Please DO be courteous and respectful of those working out around you.

Let folks have their space and try not to cramp people’s style.  During peak hours, the gym can get very crowded but it makes all the difference when everyone is attempting to be respectful of other patrons.

2) Please DO oblige if someone else asks you to spot them and you can safely do so.

If the load is too heavy or you do not know how to correctly spot someone, now is NOT the time for trial and error.  Simply let the person know that you don’t think you can do it safely.  They will be happy you did.  If you CAN safely spot them, take  a second out of your own routine to do so.  Why? There’s this thing called karma…..

3) Please DO return all equipment to its proper “home” in the gym.

Pick up heavy things & put them back down…..but do so in the proper place.  There’s nothing worse than reaching for the 30lb dumbbells and instead finding 65lbs instead.  Re-rack all plates, barbels & dumbbells when you’ve finished using them.  Put away medicine balls, tubing, mats, jump ropes, etc. after your workout.  Take it from me- the gym staff will like you a LOT better if you do!

4) Please DO remember to clean up after yourself.

I realize I’ve mentioned cleanliness several times already, but I can not stress this enough.  The gym is not yours to sweat all over; it is a public, shared space that should be clean for all patrons.  Clean up your dripping sweat, put your sweat-soaked towels in the proper bins, and take all of your belongings home with you.

5) Please DO consult a certified trainer if you have questions about proper form.

Instead of watching those around you & trying to mimic their routines, ask a trainer your questions.  Yes, 99% of the time it will cost extra money, but paying for a safe and effective program is well worth it.

MONSTER Monday, Music, & Makeover

13 Dec

Howdy Everyone!  I have 3 topics I’d like to cover today!

exercise music

***1)*** First things first… I had a fabulous MONSTER Monday workout yesterday!  It was a solo workout but what I lacked in motivation from my workout pal, I made up for in some kick-ass tunes!!! (more about this below)  My workout consisted of the following:

Dynamic warmup & 20 mins on ARC trainer to start

– 20 box jumps

– 55lb overhead barbell carry

– Reverse lunges on Airex pad carrying 25lbs  x12/leg

– Bent over rows using 25lb plates  x10

– Single arm chest press using 25lb DB  x10/side

– Rotational chops w/tubing  x10/side

I originally was going for 5 rounds, but decided to give it a little extra push and did 6 rounds.  All in all, it took me a little over an hour.  My heart rate monitor clocked me burning around 1,000 calories.  I use that as a ballpark estimate [it’s never 100% accurate], but regardless of what it said I KNOW I got a kick-ass workout!  It felt great to start the week off on a positive note!!

 

 

exercise motivation

***2)*** As I mentioned above, I had a FABULOUS music selection for my workout yesterday.  And it absolutely made all the difference.  I got the new Mary J Blige “My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1)” CD and there are some songs with GREAT beats.  My favorite 2 tracks are Feel Inside feat. NAS & a remake of an oldie but goodie, Ain’t Nobody.  I put the CD on in the car on my way to the gym, and with each beat of the bass I got more and more pumped up.  It reminded me just how important good music is when I work out. 

When your energy is lacking & you just don’t feel like truckin’ it to the gym to work out, put on your favorite jam and let the music move you!  It is always just a bit easier to work out when you’ve got a good soundtrack.  You will push yourself to work faster, harder & stronger.  So if you’ve been working with the same ol’ stale playlist, go download some new tunes and SWEAT!!!!

 

***3)***  I have developed a new initiative for Lucky13’ers called “Monday Makeover”.  This is not a makeover in the traditional sense, but a “Makeover” of one small & achievable goal toward being the BEST version of you!  The Monday Makeover goal can be on any topic: fitness, nutrition, health, finances, friendships, etc. 

 I have always considered Monday to be the beginning of a fresh start and clean slate.  It is a new opportunity for improvement and reaching goals.  Last week I decided to start my week with a small yet important goal.  Beginning on Monday, I aimed to get to bed earlier and sleep for 7.5-8hrs per night.  It took a lot of planning, but I did it!  This week, I incorporated a new goal: drink 1 gallon of water each day.  So far, so good.  Next week, it’ll be something else small yet achievable.  Each week building upon the previous week.  At the end of a month, I’ll have made 4 positive, healthy changes.  Over time, this can add up to some serious transformation!  The key is to keep the goals achievable & sustainable [refer to SMART goals picture above].

I encourage each of you to bring positive and healthy change to your lives by starting Monday Makeover!  Start thinking of goals of your own, and prepare yourself.  And when next Monday comes, BRING IT!!!   Share your goal with a friend, workout pal, or on the Lucky13Fitness Facebook page.  Having the support of others will encourage you even more & hold you accountable!

 

Half Marathon Training: week 3 recap

22 Aug

When the novelty of something wears off, its a whole new ballgame.  Thats what I learned during week 3 of training for my first half marathon.  Weeks 1 & 2 of training for the Smuttynose Rockfest were exciting, new, and fun.  I was all amped up to stick to the training regimen, get new shoes, and log some miles!  Although I was traveling and had to shuffle around my training schedule, I didn’t have much issue.  Week 3, though, was a bit different.

I was NOT out of town as much but I was BUSY! Work and life take up a lot of hours, and making sure to block out training time each day was a huge challenge.  The novelty of it all had worn off, and I felt it start to become a chore.  I did not like this feeling at ALL.  I started thinking about some of my clients- plenty of folks in the past have told me that exercise is such a chore for them and they dread it.  My response had always been a combination of disbelief and inability to comprehend such a thing.  However, this past week I was in the same boat.  I was having some issues with my new sneakers and couldn’t decide if they were helping or hindering my runs.  I decided to do a little test- I did a 4mile run with the Newtons and another 4 mile run with my old Nike Free’s.  In the end, the Newtons ended up winning by a long shot.  It will take a few weeks for me to fully adjust to new sneakers but I now have the hard evidence that my new shoes make me feel better during and after my runs.

On Sunday, I decided against running a 5k as my training program suggested, and instead I went to the Newton North High School track and did a speed workout.  I warmed up with a half mile run, then did a “ladder”:

100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m

and I ended with running another mile.  Man, it was HUMBLING.  My legs were screaming by the end; talk about lactic acid buildup!  I finished just as the rain started to fall, and though it was a huge challenge, I felt very accomplished in the end. 

 

Newton North High School Track

Though the novelty has worn off, and the training program has started becoming a bit more challenging, I am determined to stay focused and reach my goal of completing this half marathon as BEST I can.  Quitting is NOT an option.  Sulking and whining about what I have to do is NOT an option.  Going through the motions and training in a half-assed manner is NOT an option.  I promise myself to put in 150% whenever I train, and I know it will pay off when race day comes. 

 I’m learning to take my own words to heart: when it stops being fun, thats when the work happens!!!

Exercise burnout: what is it, and how can it be avoided?

15 Aug

Exercise burnout is a term I hear all the time amongst colleagues and clients.  I hear stories of folks who have been going to the gym; doing their routine day in and day out, over and over, and are getting quite sick and tired of it.  The workout that once brought them relief from the stress of a long day now is a looming monster.  It serves as another obstacle and another stress bomb to face before unwinding for the evening.  The pleasure and satisfaction once gleaned from pumping iron, hitting the cardio machines, and getting a good sweat has long been replaced with boredom, annoyance, resentment, and anger.  For some, the burnout goes beyond the mental exhaustion and carries over to physical exhaustion as well.  People overuse, overwork, and over train their bodies to the point of intense exhaustion, bodily fatigue, and injury.  Without time off the body has no time to rest and repair itself, leaving it always playing catch-up and never operating at 100%.  [and if you want to BE your best, you gotta BRING your best!]

Why does this happen to so many people and so often?  What causes people to reach the point of such profound burnout?  I believe it stems from the lack of understanding the importance of two concepts: diversity and rest.  The first of the two, diversity in exercise,  is crucial to practice in order to avoid burnout, boredom, and injury.  Most people get into a routine at the gym: they come in, use certain machines [because they know and feel comfortable with them] and then leave.  They do this day in and day out.  While ANY exercise/activity will initially produce change and results, eventually the body gets used to the same repetitive motion/action [our bodies are so much smarter than we give them credit for!!] and the benefits begin to diminish.  What once produced significant calorie burn and muscle hypertrophy will, over time, no longer be challenging.  Exercise is meant to be progressive, that is changing and becoming more challenging as a person’s fitness level increases.  Without progression a person’s fitness level becomes “stuck”.  The elliptical machine might still say you’re burning X number of calories every time you get on it, but the calorie counters on cardio machines are rarely accurate and do not take into account enough information to make a precise assessment of what’s going on during the workout. 

In order to maximize the benefits of exercise, you MUST change it up!!! Don’t get comfortable using that one specific machine [3rd elliptical from the left, right by the TV that always plays BRAVO], instead discover something new! Give your body and your mind a new challenge.  Hop on a machine that you’ve never used before.  Its okay, it won’t bite!  And if you don’t know how to use it, just start pedaling and something will happen!  All else fails, ask a staff member at your gym to show you how to properly use it!   If that doesn’t sound appealing, find an activity outdoors that piques your interest: rollerblading, biking, swimming, hiking, walking, running.  If you’ve never done it before, try it!! The key is to always change it up.  Instead of spinning 5 days a week, try using the stair master, treadmill or ARC trainer.   If you’re a hard-core runner, try spin on one of your cardio days!  Something else to consider is group fitness classes; many gyms offer a wide variety of classes that are different from what goes on out on the cardio/weight room floor.   This also applies to strength training; if you are simply lifting barbells and dumbbells, try a body weight circuit or a Bootcamp class.  Increase sets, reps, and try doing unilateral exercises instead of bilateral.  Throwing a change into the mix will confuse your body and produce greater results.  And not only will this keep you from getting bored, but it will prevent you from getting injured.  Because exercise diversity forces you to work different muscles in different ways, it strengthens the body from different angles and gives all body parts a chance to work.   No single muscle (or muscle group) will be overused or over trained, and no muscle will be left under trained or ignored.

The second factor I believe contributes to exercise burnout is lack of rest.  When people get serious about working out and get into a groove, they rarely give themselves time to rest and repair.   They are so caught up with and focused on their goal [losing weight, gaining muscle, training for an event, transforming their bodies and minds, etc] that they may start to believe a day of rest will put them behind schedule and a day further away from reaching their goal.  Let me say: REST IS A MUST!!!  Exercise puts the body through the wringer: muscle fibers rip and tear apart during strength training, and we take a beating moving around during cardio exercise.  The work does not happen when we are in the gym, on the court, track or street.  The work- the lean muscle repair and growth, and fat loss- happen when we are asleep and otherwise at rest.  One day of FULL rest from exercise per week is recommended for people working out at a moderate intensity on a regular basis.  I personally believe that of the 7 days in a week, one day should be full rest and another should be an “Active Recovery” day.  Active Recovery can be anything that is LOW impact, does not raise the heart rate to its maximal levels, and is considered fun!  For my active rest, I enjoy going for a walk, taking a yoga class, or doing the elliptical for 15-20 minutes on a low setting.  Other folks enjoy doing Zumba or other dance classes for active recovery.  The remaining 5 days can be devoted to training well and training hard. 

Exercise burnout can cause people to abandon their workout routine all together.   This can lead to further deviation from a healthy lifestyle- becoming inactive, abandoning healthy eating habits, and allowing the mental muscle to weaken considerably.  In extreme cases, focus and determination become lost to apathy and self-loathing.  Don’t let yourself get to that point!!  If you feel yourself getting there, stop and check the nature of your routine.  Are you bored? Do you need to diversify your workout? Go ahead, try something new TODAY!  Are you letting yourself rest? Or have you been exercising hard every day for the past 2+ weeks?? Take a day of rest; it will do you a world of good! 

Have you ever experienced exercise burnout? What caused it? And how did you combat it?

Half Marathon Training: week 1 recap

9 Aug

As I stated in a recent blog, I am in the process of training for a half marathon.  This is something I have always wanted to do, so I guess you could say I’m crossing it off my “bucket list”.  For those of you who don’t know, I am running the Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon on October 2nd (just shy of my 30th birthday!!).  I decided to go with a 9 week training program because I am already able to log several miles without a problem, and 9 weeks will be the ideal amount of time for me to work on building endurance, shaving time off my mile, and getting myself mentally prepared to run 13.1 miles. 

The training program I am using is the Hal Higdon Half Marathon Training program.  I am using it as a skeleton and adjusting it a bit to fit my schedule and add speed/hill workouts.  So far, so good.  The thing I realized in Week 1 was that training (of any sort) takes a LOT of planning.  I work out 6 days a week with no problem, but always have the flexibility of switching things up, or doing what I want when I want.  Having to keep track of runs and log X amount of miles per week is a bit more challenging.  I have had to block off specific time during each day for my workouts to make sure I have enough time to stretch, warm up, run, and cool down.  I find that if I don’t do so, its VERY easy to get sidetracked by other things.  I was in Maine this past weekend and had to be very disciplined to run my long run (5 miles) while I was there.  But I did it on Friday instead of Sunday, when I knew I had a bit of extra time.  So I think being flexible a bit with the program will be key. 

I also realized that it will be nice to have a buddy to run with when the mileage starts getting up there! I signed up for this race with a good friend, so its nice to have someone to talk with about the training, and also to help out with mental motivation.  Thank you Heather 🙂

Week 2 is under way and going well! Will give a report next week! 🙂

just cuz it hurts doesn’t mean it works!

9 Aug

On an average day of work at Beacon Hill Athletic Clubs I see a handful of people doing exercises with improper form.  Sometimes they just need a small tweak or two in the way they execute the exercise and sometime their form is so grossly off that I wonder what they are trying to accomplish.  I absolutely understand that not everyone knows the proper mechanics and it is this very fact that often deters people [especially women] from doing any strength/resistance training.  It is only normal to start out as a novice and then, with the tutelage of a certified professional, become more knowledgeable.  Eventually you can make your way around the weight room with an understanding of which exercises work which muscles, and the proper form for lifting.  I commend and respect those folks who take the time and make the effort to learn to train properly.  It makes a world of difference: results come quicker and last longer, injury is avoided, and with it all comes the satisfaction of knowing things are being done properly! 

But what drives me nuts more than anything else is when people exercise with improper form and then say “wow I’m so sore today, that was a GREAT workout yesterday!” At the risk of sounding crass and a little harsh, here’s a little newsflash: just because it hurts doesn’t mean it works!!!! Yes it is absolutely true that the day(or two) following resistance/strength training, the muscles worked will feel sore [and should have at least a day of rest before they are used in this capacity again].  This is due to muscle hypertrophy, or the growth and increase in size of the muscle cells.  This is a good, healthy thing and is indicative of gains in strength.  However, there are PLENTY of other reasons why muscles may be sore the day after a workout.  Lifting weights in a way that makes your muscles hurt/ache/feel sore during the exercise itself or after does NOT necessarily mean you’re doing things the right way.  Bones, ligaments, tendons,  nerves, and other important parts of the body can be severely injured doing exercises improperly. 

Don’t put yourself at risk for injury, don’t be an inefficient exerciser, and don’t be your body’s own greatest risk.  Take the time and make the effort to work with a trainer and learn how to do things properly.  Your body will thank you!

Ready to do it to it?!?! Email me and lets WORK IT OUTTT!!!!!  lucky13fitness@gmail.com