Motivation and Inspiration

How are your New Year’s Resolutions Going?

Revisit your goals!

We say it often. Write them down. Cross them out. Highlight them. Whatever you can do to make them more tangible – more real. Because that is the secret…there is no magic, there is no trick (not one that works anyways) to realizing your goals. Write down attainable goals somewhere that you will walk past them several times a day, interact with your list when progress is made – or when you feel stagnant! Write little sub-goals under your major goals that will help point you in the direction of them, for instance:

Goal: Run a marathon
a.) buy proper footwear
b.) run 1/2 mile today
c.) run total of 2 miles this week
d.) run 5 out of 7 days next week
etc.

Or get creative with something like this!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

The reason we are urging you to revisit your resolutions this week is because this is the time of year when your life gets back to normal. You settle back into a routine after Summer insanity, and that is a great time to implement new habits, to set goals, to re-focus.

There is one thing in particular that we are asking you to focus in on right now, and that is to take care of YOU! So in case you have surpassed all your New Year’s Resolutions – or maybe you have just forgotten them altogether – we’ve got a whole set of resolutions for you to adopt into your routine!

1. Workout
Make your workout a priority! This one is a little bit obvious, but being consistent with your workout routine will increase your overall energy and lead to better food choices as well as better sleep.

2. Sleep
Speaking of sleep – this too should be a priority! Plan for 7-8 hours of shut eye each night, and start winding down one hour before you intend to be asleep in order to avoid sleeplessness. TV before bed is one common mistake a lot of people make, but that intense stimulation actually makes it more difficult for your mind to relax – especially those crime shows! Cut it out!

3. Floss
This is an easy way to start taking care of yourself in a big way! Have trouble remembering to work it into your routine? Try keeping floss in the shower to make it part of your bathing routine.

4. Hydrate
One of the most important things we can do to take care of ourselves is to drink enough water. Being dehydrated affects your cognitive ability, your performance, and even your skin! Feel AND look better just by drinking adequate water. Spread it out throughout the day though! Trying to catch up on all your fluids for the day at once can lead to discomfort or in rare cases hyponatremia.

5. Take a multivitamin
If your diet throughout the day does not consist of a wide variety of foods in all colors of the rainbow, most likely you could benefit from a good multivitamin supplement. Place them somewhere you will see them every day and pop one as your insurance policy that you are getting everything your body needs to function optimally.

Make yourself a priority! Remember: if your cup is empty, you cannot fill anyone else’s. If you don’t take care of yourself regularly, you won’t be able to provide adequate care for anyone else.

Running: Do’s & Don’ts!

Running (and walking) is an incredibly functional movement; your body is literally built for it! The cross-body movement pattern of driving the opposite arm and leg forward in unison helps improve our coordination and stability by nurturing the relationship our disparate muscles share via the muscle fascia.

What is Fascia?

Basically, Fascia is connective tissue superficial to the muscles that helps connect them to other parts of the body. It’s been described as big rubber bands that help us transfer energy during certain movement (such as the see-saw/back-and-forth type movement involved in running….left, right, left, right). But this fascia can get stuck and lose some elasticity when we don’t move it to keep it loose! Then we are stuck with this rigid strap limiting our movement, instead of a supple rubber band which allows us to move and then “snap” back in place.

For more reading and understanding of fascia check out this link below to see how unhealthy fascia can lead to low back pain
http://traineradvice.blogspot.com/2013/01/thoracolumbar-fascia-forgotten-culprit.html
____________________
RUNNING TIPS:

DO

– Your Research! Shoes are a major factor contributing to an effective running program, especially if you’re intending to run on asphalt and/or concrete surfaces.

– Your Homework! If you’ve set your sights on an upcoming run be it a 5k, 10k, marathon or more you need to give yourself adequate time to prepare if you want to finish without injury! There are “proper” running mechanics that will help you not only land a better time, but protect your body from the repetitive stress of running. Bend your arms at 90 degrees and pump them along with the opposite leg during stride, engage your core muscles for stability to avoid excess strain on your low back throughout the run, Relax the shoulders down onto the back and don’t over-stretch your stride length – keep it comfortable and you will be able to hold a steadier pace for a longer period of time. Seek the advice of a professional for help analyzing your gait and setting up an appropriate training program to prepare for your big run.

– Prepare! Be aware of your environment! Don’t decide at the last minute to go for a run at night, through a neighborhood with no sidewalks in all black! It sounds funny, but be aware that it is VERY difficult to see runners! Wear bright colored clothing – even reflective material if running at night. Also, be mindful of WHERE you are running. If you’re trying to achieve a multiple mile run you might easily find yourself in an area of the city that is not runner friendly or safe for that matter. Run with a buddy if possible or plan and drive your route ahead of time.

– Hydrate!

DON’T

– Be a Hero! Running is one of those things people seem to think they can just pick up at any time and go-go-go! While we applaud your motivation, it’s important to approach it just like any other physical activity and ease into it to avoid injury. According to Runner’s World up to 66% of runners suffer an injury every year!!

– ALWAYS Run as FAR as you can! the 80/20 principal is widely used by many top endurance athletes. This means that 80% of their training is in the “low intensity” range (<77% max HR or breathing comfortably through the nose) and only 20% is at the moderate or higher intensity. For instance if you run 100 minutes per week, 80 of those should be in the low range, maybe 15 at moderate intensity (77 to 92% max HR, able to speak in short sentences) and 5 at high intensity (over 92% max HR and breathing as hard as you can after just a couple minutes). HAPPY TRAILS

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

Celebrating 10 Years in Allouez!

Happy birthday to Allouez!

Here is a special letter from Heather Trevarthen, owner of the Allouez (Green Bay) Ellipse Fitness:

It’s amazing how much can change in 10 years. How did it all start you may (or may not) have wondered?

In 2005, I married my wonderful and supportive husband John. John had recently been hired for a job that required us to move from the Green Bay to Appleton/Darboy. Our new adventure would pull me away from the only community I had ever known.

One of my first missions was to find out where my new fitness home would be. I had received a postcard from some place called Livewell (today known as Ellipse Fitness). I attended 5 classes and remember not only having a blast with kickboxing, to an actual boxing bag, but also asking the coach if it was normal to feel EXHAUSTED by the end of the week..seriously could not keep my eyes open. I was no stranger to the gym, by that point, and was used to spending hours in a gym each night…I knew there was something different going on, but what? I was curious how this would work. The trainer assured me it was normal and it was just my body adjusting to something new. He was right. I trusted that my goals were his/their goals. The workouts, even then, were unlike any other place I had ever been to. I HAD to join and be a part of this. I was extremely happy at the results I saw in my body and became more confident in my own abilities.

I knew it was my turn to give back when, in the summer of 2006, I saw this little Livewell studio was rebranding to be Ellipse Fitness and was looking to grow. Even then, I believed in Ellipse and saw the huge potential there was to change lives with this unique fitness concept. A few months later I, and my husband, took a huge risk and began the construction process, of the very first expanded location, in a virtually empty strip mall in Allouez.

Today the Allouez Village Shoppes filled to capacity and running strong!

And so it began! My goal and passion became us, Ellipse Fitness Allouez. We started to reach goals in Allouez. We started to feel better, move better, perform better, and look better!

Michelle was our very first “published” success story.

“Congratulations to you, and to the success of Ellipse!! I miss you and wish I was closer as Ellipse was a true highlight of my life!! I never felt better and my confidence was shining at Ellipse!!! I will always be grateful for that, it will always be home and highly recommended!!!” – Michelle

Thank you for trusting Ellipse and your support over the years! 

Guests and Friends of Ellipse Fitness – We would love for you to see what has kept us in business for 10 years. Community, amazing trainers, and professional group programming …all to get you RESULTS. In the end, that is why Ellipse members keep coming back. Try your first Ellipse Fitness session for just $10.

Watch in the coming months as we spotlight more locations  and some of our members too! If you would like to be part of our spotlight, let us know! We would love to feature your story!

Victory Over Violence

Victory Over Violence

What is Victory Over Violence?

We are so glad you asked!  Victory Over Violence, or VOV as we call it, is our 4-hour fitness marathon hosted annually by all the Ellipse Fitness locations to raise money to support local domestic violence shelters and programs to help eliminate violence and abuse.

Ellipse Fitness locations have raised over $100,000 for domestic violence shelters in the Midwest over the last 14 years.

Ellipse Fitness Milwaukee Third Ward hosted their VOV event on March 4 of this year.  Check out their before and after photos:


“Way to go Ellipse Family! We raised $3209 for Sojourner Family Peace Center A HUGE THANK YOU to all our members, friends and fellow business partners! We couldn’t have done it without you! A BIG shout out to #Ellipse3w members Meredith E. and Amanda J. for rallying the troops and raising money outside of the event’s hours! We are so grateful!” -Ashley Haag, Owner Ellipse Fitness Milwaukee Third Ward

Would you like to join the VOV movement against domestic violence at one of our locations?  Check out the dates below and consider yourself invited.

Ellipse Fitness Neenah March 18, 2017

Ellipse Fitness Allouez March 25, 2017

Ellipse Fitness St. Louis March 25, 2017

Ellipse Fitness Appleton West April 15, 2017

Working out for 4 hours may sound a little daunting, but we make this a party at Ellipse Fitness!  Yes, we work out, and we offer snacks and refreshments.  We, also, shop and bid on all our silent auction items.

The adrenaline rush from the generosity of our fitness family is truly the best.  All the proceeds are donated locally to help families, just like ours, during dark and scary times.  It’s okay to be safe. No one should have to live in fear of family.

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.

Cancer Fighting Foods

How many of you worked cabbage into your diet after last week’s blog post? If your answer is no, then maybe we have some other, more tasty options for you!

In honor of October being breast Cancer awareness month, let’s talk about a few more Cancer fighting foods. Look no further than your fridge for these healthy warriors.

Broccoli

All cauriferous veggies have cancer fighting properties, but broccoli has a decent amount of sulforaphane, a potent compund that flushes out chemicals involved in causing cancer and boosts protective enzymes in the body.

Berries

These cancer-fighers are packed with phytonutrients. Particularly, black raspberries contain high concentrations of phytochemicals, called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins aid in slowing down the growth of premalignant cells, keeping new blood vessels from forming (potentially feeding a cancerous tumor). Add a half a cup a day to your diet for overall health benefits

Tomatoes

A juicy red tomato is the best dietary source of lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red hue. And that’s good news, because lycopene was found to stop endometrial cancer cell growth in a study inNutrition and Cancer.

broccoliblackraspberriestomato

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!

slide-a

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.