The push up is a fantastic way to build strength throughout the entire body. It engages our chest, back, core, arms and even our legs.  By changing arm position we can target our tricep while also getting some of those fantastic benefits of a push-up.

To perform a tricep-push-up start with your hands positioned directly under each shoulder joint.  Your body should be straight from your neck to your feet.  The key to target the tricep is to keep your elbows close to your rig cage as you lower your chest to the floor.  Inhale chest down just a few inches from the floor for advanced and about 6 inches from the floor for a beginner, pause then exhale as you return to where your started keeping the elbows pined to your rib cage.

Variations would be to do this from your knees. This is OK and many of us will need to start here. Over time push yourself to a few from your toes.

Remember to engage that core. The body should be in a straight line from your neck through the knees and heels.

Try it out! Talk about an exercise that targets multiple areas all at once!

A Burrito in a Bowl from Ellipse Fitness

Burrito in a Bowl

4     Oz. Chicken Breast, cut into bite sized pieces

1/4 Cup Black Beans

1/2 Cup Brown Rice, cooked

2   Tbsp. Lemon juice

2   Tbsp. Chopped cilantro

2   Tbsp. Salsa

Directions:  Cook chicken and cut into bite sized pieces.  Meanwhile cook rice.  When rice is cooked and tender, add lemon juice and cilantro; let mixture sit covered for about 5 minutes.  Mix chicken, rice, beans, and salsa together in a bowl!

Serves: 1

Exchanges:  2 Carbs, 5 Extra Lean Protein, 1 Vegetable

Are you a VICTOR or a VICTIM?

I traveled to Chicago recently and participated in a conference led by some of the nation’s most reputable personal trainers and fitness industry leaders where I did some training on functional movement, advanced workouts for fat loss and even a few words on customer service in our industry.

Occasionally when I visit events like this, I get overwhelmed at the amount of learning there is to be had, but also, who broad scope our industry has become.  In most cases, and in this case, I’m THRILLED to report that Ellipse continues to be on target and even AHEAD of the GAME when it comes to current science being applied to our classes.

When we started Ellipse 10 years ago, a CLASSES ONLY fitness center wasn’t the norm.  We wanted to get the RESULTS of personal trainers, BUT get those results in a group setting, so it was affordable to more of the general public. Well, 10 years later…WE NAILED IT!

We’ve touched SO many lives at Ellipse, it’s almost difficult to keep track!  Strength training and cardio intervals have definitely changed the shape of 1000s of people!  I try to save those emails, as they keep me going when the monotony of running a business becomes overwhelming.  From Katie and Tiffany and others who have lost more than 100 pounds, to the hundreds who have lost in the 10-70 pound range—that’s a lot of emails!  Of course, there’s always those who say—“it didn’t work for them” or they point the finger at a “poor support system at home” or a “Carb addiction” that keeps them from seeing the results they were hoping for, and believe me…I’ve been there!  Trust me though, there’s a point in your life when you say…am I going to be a victim or a victor?  In many cases, it’s usually the difference of a few choices and changes that yield dramatic results!

There’s a book called BEING FULFILLED by Jeffrey St. Laurent in which he states…

“Success is not a matter of circumstance; it is largely a matter of conscious choice.”

I think when you learn this you become the victor.  Circumstances are external things like your weight, your friends, your job, etc.  If you keep limiting what you can and cannot do by your circumstances, you become the victim.

Becoming a VICTOR means you adjust the circumstances and realize you’re limited only by your dreams and how hard you’re willing to work with the circumstance you’re in.  Maybe, in fact, there are changes you need to make so that your dream can become a reality.  Maybe waking an hour earlier, or starting a rule that you don’t eat out during the week will make a BIG IMPACT on your life.

The next time you find yourself making an excuse based on CIRCUMSTANCE, think about stepping up and making a CHOICE based on your goals.  What’s the one thing you can do today that will make the biggest impact on your goals tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and after a month of tomorrow’s?  Focus your energy THERE and the rest will begin to take shape.

Avoid Overtraining – Rest!

Overtraining is defined as any training that repeatedly stresses your body without allowing adequate time to regenerate, rebuild and therefore recover.  Overtraining can occur in both resistance training (sympathetic overtraining); or endurance training (parasympathetic overtraining).

How do you know if you’re overtraining?  The most common symptoms include persistent fatigue, persistent muscle soreness, elevated resting heart rate, increased susceptibility to infections, increased incidence of injuries and irritability.

There is a fine line between effective training, and overtraining.  Effective strength training results in microtrauma to the muscles, and through the repair of those muscles, we build muscle mass and strength.  That is a good thing!   Overtraining occurs when the trama to muscles is created faster than the body can heal them.  We can prevent overtraining by allowing our body to recover between workouts.

We can also prevent overtraining by providing our body with a nutritious, high protein diet.   When we train, our body uses up the amino acids we have stored.  If these amino acids are used up faster than they are supplied in our diet, we create a calorie and protein deficit causing our body to break down muscle tissue for energy, resulting in muscle loss.

Finally, do not fear that if you workout 6 days per week, or if you workout with crazy intensity, that you are overtraining!  There are many factors to consider in determining what amount of training is right for you including age, body type, and fitness level among others.  The key to improved strength and overall fitness is to work hard, eat healthy and allow your body time to regenerate, rebuild and recover thru rest.  Happy training!

The “MAN SALAD” from Ellipse Fitness

Romaine lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and vitamin C. In addition, romaine lettuce is a very good source of dietary fiber, which helps you stay full longer!


Man Salad

9    Oz. Cooked Flank Steak, trimmed & sliced

2    Plum Tomatoes

1/3 Cup Chopped Onion

1    Crushed Garlic Clove

2    Cups Romaine Lettuce

Juice of 1 Lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:  Grill flank steak, trim, and slice into small strips.  Meanwhile, stir together lemon juice, crushed garlic, salt, & pepper.  Top greens with steak, onions, tomatoes, and lemon juice mixture.


Serves:  1

Exchanges:  2 Vegetable, 5 Lean Protein