Fitness Tips

Mind Over Matter

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

Henry Ford

Mindset is often hard to grasp. It’s so abstract and subjective. Regardless of what your goals are, the reality is that the proper mindset is backed by science and proven to positively influence outcomes. Have faith in yourself!

How many times have you found yourself saying, “Can this day get any worse??” only to find later in the day that – yes…yes it can. Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a person who is constantly telling themselves, “I can do this. I will be better. I am strong enough to achieve what I have set out to.” is MUCH more likely to achieve their goals than someone who keeps beating themselves up, “Why did I even try? This is impossible. I should just give up.”

But we all do it. Things get tougher than we thought and we doubt our ability, or worse yet we get fixated on how far away we are from our goal instead of focusing on how far we have come! Luckily, there are concrete, simple steps you can take to greatly increase your chance of success:


Write it Down!
When you write down your goal and actions you can take to reach it, everything becomes more real. But don’t write it down and throw it away! Out of sight; out of mind. Write it down and put it somewhere you will see it. Edit and rewrite along your path towards the end goal to keep yourself motivated and continue to keep your mind in the right place.


Share Your Success!
Not everything must be as public as sharing on Facebook. Choose a confidant and keep them updated on your specific achievements, and make sure they are keen to why you are sharing with them! One study in particular (link below) showed that people who wrote down their goals and actions, rated them by difficulty, and sent a weekly progress report to a friend were far more likely than any other group to achieve their goals. In this study, 73% of that group were marked as successful as compared with only 43% for those who did none of the above.


Stay in the Present!
Build a ritual: Wake up every morning and identify ONE thing you can do TODAY that will bring you closer to your goal. It can be as small as “Go workout!” or “Drink a glass of warm lemon water”. Or go big! Change careers to offer your life more flexibility if you find you just never have time to commit to the life-changes you want to achieve.


Trust the Process!
We all can be impatient, we get it. 10 days into your new routine and you step on the scale…UP 2 POUNDS?!?! WTH? First off, it is important to note that it is recommended that you seek the guidance of a professional when it comes to making nutritional changes and engaging in high intensity exercise, but if you are eating right, exercising regularly, and keep your stress in check it WILL happen. Sometimes success isn’t measured in numbers and doesn’t occur at the speed at which you think it should. Trust the process of change. Stay the course, and don’t let life derail you! One bad weekend over the holiday? So what! Get back to work on your goals the next morning.

And last, but certainly not least…

Don’t Be A Crab!
If you watch crabs in a bucket, you’ll eventually see that when one tries to climb out that the others will pull it back to its eventual doom. Rather than everyone getting out individually, they collectively pull each other back in and die together. It almost sounds morosely poetic in some kind of darkly romantic way…

Not for the one getting pulled back! If you surround yourself with people that do not support your goals – perhaps your new “fit” lifestyle – you need to change your environment. First, discuss with those people close to you that it is important that they support you, and if they don’t? Find people that will lift you up and share in your decisions and successes, not tear you down or temp you to fall back into the habits you have spent so much effort breaking.

“There is nothing impossible to him who will try.”
– Alexander the Great

http://www.dominican.edu/dominicannews/study-highlights-strategies-for-achieving-goals

K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple for Success!!

Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.

Great advice; hurts my feelings every time.

The more complex your strategy, the harder it is to execute. Especially when we are trying to build NEW habits, it is extremely important that we pace ourselves and keep it SIMPLE! This week we wanted to share some great, high protein, high veggie recipes to help you make good choices throughout the day!

Go shopping! You will only need: cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, eggs, chicken, tuna, lemons/limes and raw vegetables/avocado.

Classic Cottage Cheese Dip:
Don’t run away yet! Cottage cheese haters must give this dip a try before knocking it! Mix it all together and dip your fresh veggies (carrots, celery, peppers, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, etc)

  • 1 c Cottage Cheese
  • 1 c Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Dill Weed, Celery Salt, Onion Powder to taste
  • tiny pinch of Sugar

** Take the leftover dip and toss in chopped veggies for a high protein salad on the go!

Classic Protein Pancakes:
Who doesn’t love pancakes?! Get funky with your add-ins – berries, cooked apple, peanut butter, raisins, cinnamon, honey – you name it! Blend these three ingredients below to make your batter and bust out the griddle.

  • 1/2 c Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 c Cottage Cheese
  • 3 Eggs

Simple Chicken Salad
Avocado and Plain Greek Yogurt are an excellent swap for the mayonnaise in traditional chicken salad, and dare we say it may have a better texture and taste. Mix it all up for an easy go-to To-Go recipe! (Quantities will depend on desired consistency and how much veggies you add-in)

  • Avocado
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Chopped Chicken
  • Onion (preferably red)
  • Lime Juice
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder to taste

*Add an assortment of Veggies, Craisins, Chopped Almonds – whatever you like! Or swap the Chicken for Tuna and try a whole different flavor profile!*

See the link for this recipe below:
http://www.organizeyourselfskinny.com/2014/06/18/avocado-and-greek-yogurt-chicken-salad-no-mayonnaise/

 

Set New Goals. Achieve More. March FORTH!

March FORTH is a little-known holiday we celebrate each year.  It is the only day of the year that is a command encouraging us all to take on new experiences, celebrate our accomplishments, and set new goals.

It is said that more than 80% of all New Year’s Resolutions fail. The word resolve, when used as a noun, is defined as “firm determination to do something.” As a verb, resolve means to “settle or find a solution.”

9 weeks into 2017, March fourth, FORTH rather, brings an invitation to resolve instead of re-solve lingering problems.  This is a time to acknowledge barriers and bust through them.

Here are four simple things we can use to change our life now, energize our bodies all day, provide more joy to our families forever, and add years to your life:

4 Strategies to SSS-HIIT Yourself Fit and March FORTH

  1. Set a goal.

Social goals look good on paper and tend to be based on norms or societal demands.  “Lose weight. Tone up.”  Set personal goals.  What do YOU want? Don’t conform. Change! The best way to do this is to ask one very important question regarding your goal.  WHY?

Dig deep. Once a sincere, personal goal has been established and the motivation behind it is understood, there is no stopping you from achieving it! Our expert staff will reverse engineer your goal to show you the first step to achieving it. The rest snowballs from here! Don’t re-solve. RESOLVE.

  1. Eat better.

We know that knowledge is power, but only “doing” equals change. Try swapping out all those diet plans, quick fixes, pills, and punishments for a simple template that we suggest to our members.

SSS

Enjoy a SHAKE for breakfast.  Protein shakes are fast, affordable, convenient, and available everywhere.  Avoid powders with a long list of ingredients. Dress that shake up with greens, fruit, or veggies instead of chemicals and faux flavors.

SALADS are perfect for lunch.  Veggies, salads, stir fry, and broth-based soups are a great way to satisfy hungry, produce results, and energize our bodies all afternoon. It’s tough to overdo foods high in protein, fiber, and water. So, no need to stress over portions when it comes to vegetables and proteins.  Eat until 80% full, also known as satisfied.

Save the STARCH-y carbohydrates for dinner or post-workout.  That’s the final S in our SSS template. Save half of your plate for vegetables.  25% of your plate contains a protein source such as chicken, beef, or fish.  Reserve the remainder of your plate for a starch.  This starch could range from a sweet potato or wild rice to a glass of wine or a small dessert.  Did you know you can get amazing results without totally depriving yourself? It’s true!

  1. Move more, better, and often!

 HIIT

That’s right! The secret to having energy all day is to HIIT it and keep marching forth, literally! High intensity interval training has been a hot topic lately.  No need to overdo it because everyone is doing it. That’s the beauty of HIIT.  Just 10,000 steps each day and 3 Ellipse Fitness training sessions each week are fundamental to achieving results.   Boxing, strength, and interval training are cornerstones of our program design.  We do more than train you. We educate you!  Learn how to use your body instead of abuse it with our HIIT sessions in a way that is safe, effective, and so much FUN!

  1. Surround yourself with like-minded people

Research supports the fact that we are often a product of our environment.  It’s difficult not to adopt the habits and values of those we spend the most time with.  Choosing a healthy lifestyle means choosing a community of commitment, positivity, and empowerment.  Ellipse believes that we are stronger, healthier, and better together.

Consistency is key.  Start with a positive mindset and a strong goal. Add a Shake, Salad, and a Starch.  Finally, get moving. HIIT it! We will design a safe, effective, comprehensive, and fun program just for you.  So, SSS + HIIT  = SssHIIT yourself fit!  It works.  No sh*t.  There is plenty of success to go around and YOU have exactly what it takes to succeed.

 

 

 

 

 

Supplementation

Supplementation can be misleading and often times implemented poorly. There is no magic pill, drop, or powder that can get you into the best mindset, while helping you to fuel your body and build muscle. True success starts from a drive within you and it is not about a special, or fast fix.

You can think of supplements in this sense….they are like an insurance policy. These “supplement” your diet because you can’t get everything you need from food alone. However, it is key that supplements aren’t replacing your food! If you learn one thing from this blog post, we hope that’s what you remember and the words you think of as you continue on your fitness journey. Food is the ultimate fuel and should never be replaced.

Ashley Haag, owner and trainer, at Ellipse Fitness Milwaukee Third Ward states, “I take these 4 every day: Ellipse protein powder, which contains BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acid) L-Carnitine, Multi-vitamin and Fish Oil. Our high grade Ellipse clean protein will add proper nutrients and adequate amount of protein to repair and assist in lean muscle build. Ellipse recovery fuel with BCAAs will lower post workout stiffness and help in fast recovery so you can give 100% in all of your workouts. I just drink it during my workouts!”

Heather Trevarthen, owner and trainer, at Ellipse Fitness Allouez states, “I personally think everyone can use a protein powder due to the ease, convenience, and simplicity of it. The Ellipse Fitness protein powder has five ingredients and tastes great!  We have not found a better one out there!”

L-Carnitine

First of all, what’s L-Carnitine?

L-Carnitine is an amino acid known for promoting growth and development. It has been used to aid in fat-burning, increasing energy, and improving resistance to muscle fatigue.

Fat burning L-Carnitine plays a critical metabolic role in stimulating weight loss, as it helps transport fats to the mitochondria, where they are burned for energy.
Boost Endurance & Performance Clinical research has shown L-Carnitine supports athletic performance and endurance. Through a greater reliance on fat for energy, the body reduces depletion of muscle glycogen. This, combined with the reduction of lactic acid accumulation in muscles, can extend exercise capacity before fatigue.

Ann Morrow, owner of our St. Louis location, says,  “L-Carnitine is said to have great benefits for the heart.  It’s an amino acid that can aid in muscle recovery. We always suggest to our members that they receive the bulk of their nutrients from food. Egg whites are a great source of amino acids. When combined with the omega 3,6,9s found in the yolk and a diet rich in proteins and some animal proteins, the need for a supplement may be minimized or unnecessary.”

At Ellipse Fitness, no two fitness programs are alike. We take the time to figure out what works best for you and will help you achieve lifelong results. In terms of L-Carnitine, we do know that it may adversely affect those who have underachieving thyroid function, or hypothyroidism. In this case, it should not be taken by someone with this condition unless their medical doctor has approved it.

Should I be taking L-Carnitine? We suggest to take L-Carnitine right after a workout, while you’re having your protein shake. Again, no two members are alike. Therefore, we don’t automatically recommend this supplement to everyone. The dosage you need can vary. Most commonly, we recommend L-Carnitine to members that avoid animal products, though to consider this supplement in the absence of any thyroid issues and that it is added, not simply to expedite results, but to facilitate lifestyle programs. As we’ve stated, at Ellipse Fitness we always suggest to our members to use food as fuel for it’s nutrients and benefits. Contact your Ellipse Fitness trainer to discuss if you think L-Carnitine may be right for you.

At Home BBQ

Last week, the type of “BBQ” that Ellipse was up to was brought to your attention…and it was not your average BBQ! If you missed it, here’s your refresher…

BICEPS. BOOTY. QUADS.

This week, we want to share with you some at home moves that you can perform over the long weekend or on your Labor Day weekend travels. These moves don’t require equipment and will give you that bit of sweat you need until you return to us next week! (Don’t forget, most of our locations have particular hours for this weekend. Check with your studio to make sure you’re aware of the workout times.)

BICEPS

We usually think we need to be doing bicep curls to focus on these particular muscles, which isn’t wrong, but what is often forgotten is that zoning in on the other areas of the arm can also give the biceps a burn. Our muscles should always be working together! Owner and trainer Ann Morrow, of Ellipse St. Louis says, “A great way to make the biceps look better is to challenge the triceps! Try to use the triceps more during a pushup by keeping the elbows below the shoulder and moving back towards the ribs at a 45 degree
angle. That is sure to make both muscles work together and look great!”

Ann gives a perfect example here of what you can do on your own and without equipment. Use pushups to challenge different muscles around the arms and shoulders. Use hand placement variations and leg variations (i.e. lift one leg) to challenge you and you can get a great sweat out of this!

 

BOOTY

All you need is a mat and you can perform your own booty burner at home or on the road! Using a movement like the glute bridge will have you feeling the burn in no time.

An option is to do about 4 to 8 sets, and anywhere from 6 to 20 reps. If you have weight options, rest them on your hips. We recommend to start with lighter, more manageable weight, then add to it and decrease reps as needed.

 

QUADS

Combining squats, lunges, wall sits and proper form will surely give you the workout your looking for, no equipment necessary. Take on something like this for 3 rounds and consider yourself golden!

  • 25 squats*
  • 30 sec wall sit
  • 25 (each side) alternating lunges*
  • 30 sec wall sit
  • 25 wide leg squats*
  • 1 minute wall sit (stay low!)

*To add extra challenge add 10 seconds of pulsing to finish the move

Good luck this weekend and happy BBQing!

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Stiffness and Foam Rolling

When you think about the average person’s day in terms of movement, it looks a bit like this:

7:00 a.m.—wake up (was sleeping in the fetal position)
7:20 a.m.—sit to eat breakfast
8:00 a.m.—sit to drive to work

9:00 a.m.—sit at work
12:00 p.m.—sit to eat lunch
1:00 p.m.—sit at work
5:00 p.m.—sit to drive home
7:00 p.m.—sit to eat dinner
8:00 p.m.—sit to watch TV/Read/Relax
11:00 p.m.—go to sleep (in fetal position)

As you can see, we do a lot of sitting! Areas of our bodies that are more commonly affected by this include the hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, and the back. If someone sits all day, day after day, week after week, little fibers actually grow around these compressed areas. This is what happens when there’s that feeling of stiffness after sitting for several hours or after a long night’s rest. The stiffness can be from the inactivity and the growing fibers. Luckily, this is very common and with a little movement this feeling and those fibers will melt away! This is where foam rolling can provide massive relief in these areas!

So trainers, here are a few pointers for what to look for and suggest to your client(s):

 

Feet Turn Out
If their feet turn out during the overhead squat, suggest rolling out the calves.

Knees Cave In
If the knees cave in, suggest rolling the adductors.

Pelvis dips forward
If their pelvis dips forward, suggest rolling out the hip flexors.

Arms Drop
If their arms fall forward, suggest rolling the upper back.

Foam Rolling

Foam Rolling came from a hands-on technique that’s been in use for years and has a technical name of self-myofascial release (SMR). Therapists would apply pressure and drag the force on the body for a long period of time. In doing so, the body releases the tissue tightness and restores mobility. From this tactic, the foam roller was born to allow one to be able to do this to themselves. What an inexpensive deep tissue massage, am I right?

At Ellipse Fitness we encourage members to foam roll for 5 – 15 minutes before and after each workout session. Foam rolling can inhibit overactive muscles by breaking up adhesions and loosening up muscle knots. Before a workout, foam rolling hydrates the tissue and gets blood flowing. After a workout, rolling over tight spots and trigger points can relax the muscle. By rolling them out, you help to clean up some of the lactic acid that builds up when you exercise.

Foam Rollers do not break the bank, but even so, a tennis ball will also do the trick. Heather Trevarthen, Owner and Trainer of the Allouez location, says they keep tennis balls at the studio and hand them out to members to use at home.  Heather says, “Tennis Balls help to grind into those hard to reach areas of the body, like the Piriformis.” These inexpensive rollers are a great habit to implement before and after a workout and help to reduce muscle soreness.

 

Healthy Snacking

Coach Cujo at Ellipse Fitness Allouez started with us only last month! Since his first day, he has wowed us and graced us with his great knowledge. Cujo is ACSM certified as a Exercise Physiologist. Today, we’ve decided to share with you this awesome information Cujo brought to his studio in Allouez. Here’s what he had to say about HEALTHY SNACKING! (Save this information and use it to your advantage during cravings!)

“Healthy Snacking is almost imperative to master if you want to achieve your health and fitness goals. If you go through your workout with little or no food before and/or after exercising you won’t get the full benefits of the workout, and you’ll likely have more soreness and fatigue than you should. If your body begins ‘starving’ it will go into survival mode and pack on more fat from the meals you do eat. And finally, if you mentally deprive yourself of all your cravings you will eventually quit whatever routine you are building – or you will go crazy trying to stick to it!”

Here are a few tips for things people commonly experience:

1. Are you feeling light-headed or weak during or immediately following your workout?

Try having a snack with some healthy fats and carbs, but also a high level of protein 1 – 2 hours before your workout. This will ensure your body has the proper fuel to engage in rigorous physical activity

2. Are you suffering from extreme soreness for 24-48 hours following your workout?

Supplying your body with a source of complete protein immediately after exercise – within 1 hour, and the sooner the better – can often drastically reduce muscle soreness. If time and convenience are a limiting factor for you, try a BCAA (Branch-Chain Amino Acid) supplement that can quickly be mixed with water. During strength/power exercises your muscle fibers are literally tearing, and protein is required for them to recover and grow to prevent future muscle soreness.

3. Are you having a hard time putting your finger on what exactly it is that you are craving?

You may just be thirsty! Keep water near by and easily accessible at all times! Sometimes when you are dehydrated your body will send signals to eat what is in front of you, because it contains water! Water is 100% integral to a properly functioning body. If you are dehydrated, nothing from working out to excellent nutritional habits will help you achieve your goals!

Craving this? Substitute that!

Salty! (french fries, potato chips, etc)
Try some edamame (boiled and sprinkled with sea salt), raw snap peas (snow peas), or raw nuts! (roasted/salted nuts are ok too as long as you can control portions)

Greasy! (burger, hot dog, fried cheese)
Instead reach for smoked salmon or beef jerky – both of which don’t require refrigeration before opening! Also, a slice or two of cheese with some grapes or apple slices can just as well satisfy that craving!

Sweet! (you get the picture)
Chocolate? Try a couple small pieces of 50% or more Dark Chocolate! Cookies? A couple of figs or dates might do the trick. Ice cream? Try blending chick peas or frozen bananas with peanut butter and a few semi-sweet chocolate chips and vanilla extract for a healthier alternative.

Alcohol! (also bread)
Oatmeal or granola, nuts, or dark leafy greens can provide good substitutes for the micronutrients you might be craving.

Maybe you are just bored or need to unwind? Try a bath (add Epsom Salt for sore muscles!), go for a walk at sunset or any other activity that gets fresh air into your lungs, and if it’s too cold? Play a game with a friend, child or spouse that forces you to think a little!

If you find that nutrition is one thing that you keep getting stuck on, ask about our Results in 42 program! 6-weeks of working with a coach to get back on track and pick up some new tips along the way.

Self-Love

Last week we spoke about confidence and how we, as trainers, deal with issues surrounding this topic. If you missed it, read here and then come back! When a person comes to Ellipse Fitness and has low confidence, it could be a number of things that are at the root of this. Often, and unfortunately, it stems from having low self-love. We’re usually the ones that beat ourselves up the most and are concerned about what others are going to think.

Why are we hard on ourselves? It seems many people have a hard time with balance. We all have experience with someone who is eating junk food one minute, then counting calories the next. People go back and forth with these extremes, sometimes for years. When we fail at these impossible expectations we set, then our confidence takes a beating as well. At Ellipse Fitness, we try to teach balance. Balance is the goal to a successful life! Let’s face it…we are all crazy busy, so one extreme probably won’t last long. These extremes that people set are not healthy and honestly, living that way is just not that fun!!!!

“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.” -Muhammad Ali 

I asked coach Bryanna Tremillo from Ellipse Fitness Allouez, How do you react to a client who is too hard on themselves? “Of course, during our initial meeting I would never say “Hey, you should stop talking that way about yourself,” because I don’t know how they would react at that point. But as they continue working in the studio, I make sure that I get to know them to build a relationship and THEN address it when I feel the time is right and they are more comfortable.”

A lot of the time, clients or members don’t see their progress the way we see it. It’s so obvious to us when certain things become easier or their confidence is changing and they have not noticed there’s a difference from when they started. But believe us, there is and we will tell you!

How can we help our members improve confidence? Heather Trevarthen of Allouez states, “Beyond helping them meet their physical goals, we meet with them before a workout and make sure to check in with them after.  If it is someone that needs a lot of positive feedback, we continue to check in with them regularly to see how they are feeling.  A couple times we’ve had to have a heart to heart with clients and remind them about the importance of self-love.  You CAN do this!  You ARE worth the work/effort.  YOU are not a number on a scale!”

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