@ellipsefitness

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/

 

Stress Incontinence? Don’t Worry. Pee Happy!

Have you ever experienced urine leakage while exercising or even coughing?  Do you think it only happens to mothers or females in general?

We are so lucky to have an Ellipse Fitness super hero member whose alter-ego is an expert on the pelvic floor. Veronica Lane, MHS, PT works with women all the time to strengthen their pelvic floor and stop the evil villain, we call, Stress Incontinence in its tracks.

Veronica noticed women heading off to the restroom during activities such as jumping jacks. Some members would joke, “darn kids,” and some coaches who empathize, “happens all the time.”

Lane says, “Yes.  It is common, but it doesn’t have to be tolerated, accepted, or considered a new normal.” Leaking, or incontinence, is not a hopeless result of vaginal births. Similarly, getting up in the middle of the night, at any age, can be resolved.

First, what is the pelvic floor and what does it do?

Confused emoticon

These are the muscles that control urinary and fecal continence.  Strong pelvic floor muscles help to lift the bladder higher in the pelvic cavity, stop the flow of urine, and, along with the anal sphincter, control gas and stool. Poor muscle function can lead to problems with prolapse!

Functions of the Pelvic Floor include

  • Support
  • Sphinteric
  • Sexual
  • Stability

The pelvic floor is part of the core and works with the abdominal cylinder. These muscles need to be able to relax and contract. It is important to build your pelvic floor muscles to support other muscles of the torso.

Stress incontinence is the most diagnosed type of incontinence.  This often occurs when laughing, sneezing, coughing, and participating in physical activity. These activities are directly related to abdominal muscles more commonly referred to when trying to build a six pack.

Do I have to have surgery?

There are some procedures that should be discussed with your doctor. Of course, there are several methods of relief to try in advance of surgery. Lane suggests physical therapy for incontinence, prolapse, frequency, etc. “Conservative treatment should always be the first option!  Also, I still see many women following procedures such as bladder slings. The procedure may fix one problem, but cause another, or maybe it helped the problem(s) without complete resolution.”

Reduce Bladder Irritants

Alcohol*Beer/Wine              Carbonated Drinks*             Caffeine*

*evidence-based

Coffee/Tea (decaf & reg)

Citrus Fruits/Juices             Tomatoes

Spicy Foods                             Sweets                                    Chocolate

Dairy Products                                                                         Artificial Sweeteners

Top 10 Activities  to Increase Bladder Fitness

  1. Go to the bathroom every 3-4 hours or 5-7x in 24 hours
  1. Go for 8 Mississippi’s
  • A full bladder typically takes this long to empty. This can help individuals to determine how full their bladder is when the sensation to go
  1. SIT on the toilet
  • Don’t hover. Yeah. Easier said than done in many public situations!
  1. Go before and after sex
  • Voiding before and after sex is part of the contracting and relaxing process, as well as the cleansing process.
  1. Avoid using the wrong pads
  • Use pads specifically for incontinence. Others can irritate the vagina when worn regularly.
  1. Abdominal strength
  • Participate in exercises that strengthen your abdominal muscles. Try diaphragmatic breathing through a straw, single-leg lowers, and hollow body holds.
  1. Drink plenty of water.
  1. Kegal
  • Correctly! Completely contract. Completely relax. Avoid just squeezing over and over.
  1. Orgasm
  • We will leave the “how” that gets done up to you!
  1. NO “Just in case” urinating, aka JIC-ing. Not even in the middle of the night!

Just In Case Peeing or JIC-ing

JICing pronounce /JIK-ing/ is “just in case” urination. This practice is often supported by society in many ways.  We teach our children from a very early age to go JUST IN CASE before leaving the house, during school, or prior to a sports activity.

JICing trains the bladder to empty before it is full.  JICing regularly will increase the need to go at the first sensation recognized by the bladder. Sometimes that sensation will be laughing, coughing, sneezing, jumping, bracing the abdominal muscles in general, or even riding on a bumpy road.  Ever scurry off to the restroom during a workout because of a strong urge to “GO” yet only to have a few drops?  That is the result of chronic JICing.

The duration between trips to the restroom will also shorten. For example, many people get up in the middle of the night several times to empty the bladder.  Try to avoid going at the first sensation.  Breath and relax to see if the urge passes.  Sometimes habits are so deeply rooted, waking up seems to be normal. This may create some nights of poor sleep.  If we can play the long game, sleep hygiene will only improve.

Lane stresses, “I see a major issue, not as much with weak pelvic floor muscles, but we never ‘let them go’ or relax.  This is common when we have leakage, go too often, and/or have pelvic pain.  Think of bicep muscle.  If we always had our elbows bent and biceps contracted, not relaxed, we would not be able to pick up a gallon of milk.  The biceps would fail.  The same scenario occurs with PF muscles.  If we never let them relax for fear of leaking, going way too often, etc. these muscles will fail when it is time to stop leakage.

We would suggest eliminating just one bladder irritant and adding just one action item in the beginning.  Practice makes permanent. Be patient. Practice. Pee happy!

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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Not Your Basic BBQ

At Ellipse Fitness, BBQ is not what you think. Last week, Ellipse studios took on the challenge of BBQ Week. No, this is not similar to a hamburger eating or milk chugging contest! Rather, BBQ week was filled with workouts focusing on the Biceps, the Booty, and the Quads.

In addition to intense workouts all week long that focused on moves associated with these areas of the body, the contest portion was to get members to check-in on Facebook each time they came to workout. The studio with the most check-ins at the end of BBQ week would be rewarded a new kickboxing bag for their gym. After all was said and done and the BBQ burn was real, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Dumbroll……

Congratulations to Allouez! Ellipse Fitness Allouez location took home the gold with 68 Facebook check-ins from their members! Team work makes the dream work. 🙂

 

Ellipse’s Take On Periodization

Periodization is a technique that trainers and coaches use to vary intensity, duration and volume of workouts from period to period..hence the word periodization! This is what is used with most athletes when they are ramping up for a specific challenge or event. Creating a program using this method always depends on the goals of the client. A big factor to consider when writing training programs using periodization is if the client has a specific event coming up that they are getting physically ready for. (i.e. a triathlon, not their wedding 🙂 ) In this case, we want them to be in peak shape at the time of the event.

To explain periodization further, we spoke to the trainers.

Lead Trainer Doug M. of Third Ward says, “Periods can be as long as a couple months, to every week.  One period could be focused on higher volume of exercise, and the next period could lower volume but higher intensity and heavier weights.” This is just an example to show how training periods can vary depending on the athlete and their goals.

At Ellipse, this type of training also comes in handy for any member and our group sessions. Often times we have long time members that plateau in their workouts.  This is where splitting their workout regimen into periods could help them “get out of their rut” and see great results again. In terms of group sessions, this is part of the reason you never see the same workout twice. We want to avoid plateaus and rather provide workouts that insist on progression.

Continuous progression in our programs at Ellipse is another important aspect of why planning a training program with periodization is a positive idea. Once the specific event is finished or an athlete has reached desired outcome, we don’t want anyone to just stop. We’re always looking for opportunities to help client’s continue progression and periodization training aids in that.

So how do you know that it’s time for a client to move to the next period of their training? Our very own Josh Mac of the Darboy location explains it best, “There are several quantitative measurements we use: body measurements, increase in strength/cardio, lack of gains, medical markers (cholesterol levels, blood pressure, heart rate, etc.). There are also qualitative measures such as “burnout”, which is an indicator for a new cycle to re-motivate.”

Owner of Neenah, Trey, states he uses periodization for 100 % of the programs that he writes. He says he designs the program on a basis of building blocks of periodization from mini to macro cycles in correlation with the individual’s goals and when they are looking to achieve them. Trey says, “Depending on the starting condition of the individual and the activity level outside the program of that person is where I start, also the monitoring of the progress would, in addition, be pending the program length and is different for each individual but would normally run every four to six weeks.”

So you see, periodization depends on the client’s goals and when they want to achieve them. Trainers design their programs based on time periods, leading up to an event and so that athletes will continue progression afterwards. Periodization is used in the designing of any training program at Ellipse Fitness, personal and group.

5 Strategies to Reduce Muscle Soreness

Exercise induces free radicals, boosts serotonin, and energizes. It aids us in burning fat and building muscle. If all goes as planned, we leave the gym feeling awake and accomplished! Exercise also causes our muscles to contract and our bodies to sweat, increasing our chances of muscle cramps, fatigue and dehydration. This is why it is equally important to not only exercise, but to take care of yourself before and after a workout. A large part of getting fit is dealing with muscle fatigue and soreness. Here are 5 Ellipse tips to help reduce muscle soreness and keep you heading back to us for more!

Foam Rolling

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.”

Stretching

Like foam rolling, stretching is a must do when it comes to combatting soreness. Intense training contracts muscles and shortens the fibers. By lengthening them before and after a workout, you’re increasing your mobility and recovery. A post-workout stretch series is excellent for bringing your heart rate back down. Use your breathe to guide you and stretch into each move.

Recovery Fuel(s)

Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery. BCAAs preserve the bulk of muscle fibers through increased protein synthesis and reduction of muscle breakage. BCAAs can be added to your diet easily by adding a scoop into your water bottle before you workout. Sip during your workout and finish afterwards. Ask your Ellipse trainer to hook you up with some from the pro shop!

Eating Right

Getting those BCAAs is a big part of proper nutrition intake for a healthy post-workout recovery. However, you also need to actually eat. Though you might be trying to consume less during your fitness journey, it is what you eat and how you prepare it that matters. Make sure to be getting enough protein, carbs, and healthy fats in order to repair muscles.

Ultimately when we experience soreness, it is because of inflammation. After your post workout protein, add foods such as salmon, avocado, or flaxseed. These foods are rich in Omega-3s and have anti-inflammatory compounds; Properties that will help to dial back inflammation and soreness.

Movement

When your trainer tells you to cool down, we usually don’t listen because we have to run and pick up our kids or get to work. The cool down instructions are to encourage you to keep moving, even when you have finished your sweat session. The importance behind this is that circulation promotes healing.

Active recovery is something we talk about at Ellipse often. A low-intensity exercise that gets your blood flowing without taxing your muscles is what we consider active recovery, such as yoga or walking. Though you may be tempted to hit the couch after an evening workout, try to keep the movement going for a bit to avoid muscle cramps and enhanced soreness.

Ellipse Fitness Chocolate-Watermelon Wedges

Ingredients
8 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
5 lbs seedless watermelon, cut into 1″ wedges

Directions
1. Place chocolate in heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Stir until melted.
2. Dip watermelon in chocolate and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
3. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if desired, and refrigerate.

Makes 25 wedges.
NUTRITION (per wedge) 77 cal, 1g protein, 12g carb, 1g fiber, 10g sugar, 3g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 3mg sodium