functional training workouts

The Inside Scoop (Part II)

Welcome back to day-to-day life for those of you who’ve been traveling or “Up North” as they say here in Wisconsin! We hope you all had a great 4th of July, and we know many of you haven’t made as many workouts as is routine this week so you will definitely want to read on to see what you missed during this week’s educational series!

Every day our workouts are a little bit different here at Ellipse Fitness, and we wanted to be sure that all of our members have some understanding of what we are aiming for with our workout programming. Here is our day-by-day look for this week:

(Monday)
Metabolic Conditioning in the broadest sense is a work:rest ratio implemented to elicit a specific response from the body. Different work to rest ratios call upon different energy systems of the body and help us work towards different goals (i.e sports performance, reducing body fat, increasing endurance). The key to getting the most out of “Met Con” is to push as hard as you can through the work period – “GO, GO, GO!” This increases your EPOC (excess post oxygen consumption) after your workout so you can continue to burn fat hours after your session is over!

(Tuesday)
Energy Systems: Ready? It’s about to get a little nerdy up in here…
Tuesday boxing combines cardio and strength. By combining both formats we can recruit all three energy systems (phosphagen, glycolytic and aerobic), boost metabolism, help prevent injury, and break the monotony of standard training protocol while still achieving significant results. The phosphagen system provides energy for all-out type exercises you can only do for 10 seconds or less, the glycolytic system is our intermediary system so to speak – for exercises lasting 30 seconds up to a few minutes minutes, and the aerobic system is utilized for those movements you can sustain longer.

(Wednesday)
HYPERTROPHY!! So much of what we design our workouts around revolves around muscle hypertrophy. In the simplest terms, this means “building muscle”. Hypertrophy includes both the ability to store more glycogen (stored glucose that is mobilized during the above-mentioned glycolytic cycle) and increase of myofibril size (the actual size and strength of the muscle fiber). We want to build more muscle for many reasons, not the least of which are an elevated metabolism and a less injury-prone body!

(Thursday)
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been shown to offer greater benefits to your heart than moderate, steady-state workouts, and it is extremely effective for achieving fat loss, increasing endurance, decreasing blood glucose levels and promoting EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption). EPOC means your metabolism is elevated and you are burning calories/fat for hours following your workout. But there is a catch! During the peak times of the workout you have to push yourself to the limit to truly reap all the benefits of HIIT!

(Friday & Saturday)
Periodization may very well get its very own blog post dedicated to it in the future, because this here is a major piece of what separates a decent exercise routine from an exceptional one. We look at periodization on a day-to-day level, but also on a much broader scale with the understanding that many of our members are here for life! And while it is important to exercise throughout your life, if you just do the same movements the same way over and over and over and over and over…you get the idea…it will eventually lead to imbalance, chronic pain, boredom and most likely injury.

Periodization is a plan. Planned progressions to prevent plateaus. Planned management of fatigue to achieve continual muscular adaptations. Planned program design to avoid repetitive stress which can result in over-training and can set you back months or more.

Results at Ellipse Fitness come from our careful planning and management of your training program. To get the best results from your Ellipse program, arrive early to foam roll and warm up properly, understand the goal of the day’s workout, work to your full potential during the session, and then recover properly after you leave by eating well, getting enough sleep, and balancing stress. The program can’t work quite as well as it is designed if you don’t also do your part – and THAT is why we are stronger together, healthier together, and better together!

The Inside Scoop on Ellipse Workout Programming

A lot goes into our programming at Ellipse Fitness. This week we’ve brought you a sneak peek into the what some of the components are, and the how’s and why’s of what we do at Ellipse to get RESULTS from our members. Each paragraph corresponds to the respective workout of the day, in order throughout this week!

(Monday)
One important component we look at is Training Volume. # of sets X # of reps. More Volume = More Results/Muscle Growth. No matter the reps, the key here is to work up to – or close to – fatigue to continue to achieve results. However, ONLY doing high volume work can lead to burnout or injury which is why we do not perform high volume workouts exclusively.

(Tuesday)
Power is another factor we take into account when designing workouts. Remember our partner-resisted runs and broad jumps earlier this week? Power is a combination of strength and speed that reflects how quickly you can exert force to produce a desired movement. As we age, power diminishes even quicker than strength, so it’s important to make it a part of your fitness program. Power training increases reaction time (think catching yourself during a trip or fall). You can’t be powerful without speed, so if you are strong, work on your speed; if you are fast/reactive, work on the strength piece. It is important to train both aspects for overall health and quality of life.

(Wednesday)
How can you get better at a specific movement or activity? In short, work on the movement pattern! If you struggle stepping up on the boxes, to a specific height or with weight? Work on your split squat, increasing your range of motion first and then adding weight to the movement. If you can’t perform a solid chest press, a push-up will be a real challenge. Both movements require core stability in addition to chest, triceps, shoulders, and back strength, however a push-up forces the core stabilization and works on relative body-weight strength – making it a more difficult move. You may have heard us reference ways to practice push-ups without dropping down to the knees because this common regression takes most of the core work out of the movement, making it difficult to ever progress to a push-up from the full plank position. This principle is called Specificity.

(Thursday)
Much like power, Mobility declines drastically as we age if we don’t continue to work through a full range of motion. Mobility training also promotes healthy joints and helps to prevent injury! Flexibility is only one component of mobility. Mobility is flexibility under tension – think flexibility that you can actually put into practice in your day-to-day life. Passive stretching to improve flexibility can last as little as a few minutes sometimes, while mobility exercises actually change the way your body is able to move. Walking like a monkey is a lot more than just a fun move to practice

(Friday)
Rest Based Training (RBT) is another really effective way to achieve strength gains and fitness results. The motto: Push until you can’t; rest until you can again. This training format prevents overexertion, allowing even high intensity workouts to be executed safely. Studies have shown that when individuals are given the opportunity to control their own work to rest ratios, people exercise at a higher intensity than predicted by the researchers. The rest is shown to make exercise psychologically easier, often providing a more enjoyable workout in addition to being safe and effective.

(Saturday)
If you’re one of our members you’ve probably been waiting to hear us talk about this next one: Kickboxing! In addition to being a really great cathartic experience that allows you to melt stress right out of your body, kickboxing complements our strength training perfectly by addressing some other key factors related to health and well-being. It sharpens the mind by improving neuromuscular connections, coordination and proprioception, it has been shown to slow the effects of degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and it increases you aerobic capacity, abdominal and upper body strength!

Tune in next week for more!

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.

Ellipse Valentine’s Day Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1 15 oz. container part-skim ricotta cheese

1/4 cup fat free half and half

1/2 tsp vanilla

Raspberries or small strawberries (optional)

Directions

1. Place chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on 70% power (med-high) for 1 minute; stir. Microwave on 70% power for 1-2 minutes more, or until chocolate is melted, stirring every 15 seconds.

2. In a food processor bowl combine cheese, half and half and vanilla. Cover and process until combined. Add melted chocolate while food processor is run-ning. Process until well combined.

3. Spoon into small bowls, cover and chill for up to 24 hours. If desired, garnish with fresh berries.

Makes 10 servings—1/4 cup per serving

Nutrition: 153 Calories ; 9g Total fat (2g Saturated fat, 2g Monosaturated fat);

 

Fitness Tip of the Week: TRX Hamstring Runner

The Hamstring Runner is a powerful move to strengthen the hamstrings, hips, glutes, back extensors and overall core.

  1.  Begin by adjusting your straps to about mid-calf height.
  2. Then lie supine and put your heels into the straps below the anchor point of the TRX.  Note that the further you move back from the anchor point, the more challenging the move.
  3. Place your arms next to your side with palms facing up.
  4. Keeping your hips off the ground, alternate pulling in towards your glute to simulate a marching movement.

 

No’s vs. Knows

I read a blog recently with this title.  It was business based, but I couldn’t help but think of my successful members and how, when they learned the difference between these words, their world’s opened up!

There are a number of reasons people lose weight or fat and successfully keep it off.  It boils down to what you KNOW and what you say NO to.

Everybody KNOWS that when it comes to weight loss, nutrition is important. Most KNOW that if you want to succeed in changing your body shape, muscle is important.  Saying NO to sugar and empty calories is important to both, too!

But then here is the reality when we walk into the gym. Often we try to outwork a bad diet or a bad weekend of eating by doubling up on workouts or depriving ourselves of carbs, thinking that we can “fix” things in a quick hurry.  We KNOW we should’ve said NO a few more times, but we didn’t, so now we punish ourselves.

I’m encouraging everyone to apply KNOW and NO this week.  KNOW that if you’re eating healthy it’s good for your BODY.  Not just fat loss or weight loss or competition or vanity, but it’s good for your health!  KNOW that it’s ok to eat fruit and protein and vegetables and healthy fat, because those things are GOOD for us.  KNOW that it’s ok to say NO to processed carbs, because those aren’t good for us.  Trust that working out hard for 45 min to an hour a day 4-5 times a week is GOOD for us.  Saying NO to distractions or “crabs” in our life that get in the way of our goals is ok, too!  Focus on the end result, let the process be your success!

Fitness Tip of the Week – Dumbbell: Plank w/Renegade Row

The plank with Renegade row is an awesome and one of our most challenging core stability moves, combing a lat row with a plank.

Begin in a plank position with your dumbbells under your shoulders and your feet wide for balance.  Alternate your rowing arm by leading with the elbow and contracting the shoulder blade; or modify this move by rowing only one arm, or rowing on your knees or in a table position with the opposite leg extended.

Remember, full body strength cannot be obtained without first developing a strong core and the Plank with Renegade Row is one of the most effective moves for getting the job done!

Resistance Tube Lat Pull Back

Did you know that a Lat Pull Back with a resistance tube strengthens the Latissimus Dorsi which is Latin for “broad back”?  The Lats are the biggest and broadest muscles of the back.  We use our Lats to open the refrigerator (probably more often than we should!), to open car doors and to climb.  A strong lat will give you that ”V” tapered look of back strength.

To do a Lat Pull Back, put your resistance tube over a bar and hold the handles with a closed grip (thumbs wrapped under handles).  Kneel down on one knee and hinge forward slightly at your hips keeping your head and neck in line with your spine.    Pull your elbows out and back in an arc motion (which is the same direction as the lat muscle fibers), squeezing the shoulder blades together as you contract the Lats.

As an added bonus, stronger Lats will increase your metabolism as bigger muscles burn more calories to sustain themselves, yeah!

True or False: Stretching before Exercise Reduces Injury

A myth is defined by Webster as : a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon an untrue explanation for a natural phenomenon. Stretching before exercise to reduce injury is one of those myths.

Historically, it has been generally accepted that stretching decreases the risk of injury. This myth is based on the idea that pre-exercise stretching reduces the risk of injury through improvements in range of motion and blood flow, better proprioception and decreased stiffness in the muscle (Fredette, 2001). 
The fact that authority figures (e.g., coaches and sports medicine doctors) have long practiced pre-exercise stretching for lowering injury risk is likely the reason it has been so widely accepted as standard practice. However, researchers began to more closely scrutinize the evidence supporting this. Recently, Witvrouw and colleagues (2004) concluded that pre-exercise stretching has no beneficial effect on injury prevention for activities such as cycling, jogging and swimming. Also, in a current review (McHugh and Cosgrave, 2010), the general consensus was that stretching in addition to aerobic warm-up does not affect the incidence of overuse injuries.
Does this mean stretching has no impact on risk of injury? Absolutely not! In fact, it has been reported that stretching at other times, including post exercise and in the evening, can reduce injury risk. At Ellipse Fitness we do what we call a RAMP prior to our workouts. RAMP stands for Range of Motion, Activation and Movement Preparation. We work on movement patterns that we’ll be doing that day in effort to prepare the body for the workout.  We also suggest foam rolling prior to a workout, however we strongly suggest, in the essence of not wasting time, that our members save the stretches for AFTER their workout, when the muscles are warmed up and ready for the TRUE BENEFIT that stretching provides.
The Bottom Line: Stretching before exercise DOES NOT reduce the risk of injury

 

 

 

 

Ellipse Fitness Talks “Metabolism” at Fab Five Woman’s Expo!

Appleton, WI. – Ellipse Fitness President Lisa Welko was a featured speaker at the Woman’s Fab Five Woman’s Expo at the Grand Meridian Hotel in Appleton, WI last Saturday.  The event was designed to help woman explore and improve the 5 priorities in their lives.  The five aspects discussed were “faith”, “family”, “finance”, “fun, and “fitness”.  The event featured over 75 local businesses, provided workshops and demonstrations to help people explore a variety of ways to live a happy and healthy life.

Ellipse Fitness President Lisa Welko was the featured speaker on both fitness and nutrition.  Welko helped co-found Ellipse Fitness which is celebrating their 10 year anniversary this month.  Ellipse Fitness is a fitness and weight loss franchise with 8 locations in Wisconsin and St Louis.

Since they opened, they have helped hundreds of people lose weight and get back into shape.  One of their greatest accomplishments is their nutrition and weight loss program.   To date they have helped many people lose more than 100 pounds!

Ellipse’s workout programs are designed to work with people of all fitness levels.  Some people simply want to lose a few unwanted pounds, while others wish to shed more weight.  The bottom line is everyone has different needs and goals so it’s important to understand the needs of the client.

Welko’s presentation focused on one of her favorite topics – helping people learn how to safely and effectively increase their metabolism.  It’s designed to teach people the importance of the concept of metabolism, and how they can make changes in their daily eating and exercise routines to improve their fitness and weight loss results.  According the Welko:

“One of our core principles is that life is NOT a perfect circle.  We all need coaching and accountability. Our goal is to help both our members and the surrounding community live happier and healthier lives.  This is something we are very passionate about.  We strive to help people not only get healthier, but feel better about themselves.”

Lisa Welko is heavily involved in the fitness industry.  She is a best selling author, featured speaker and a regular participant on the Fox morning television program Real Milwaukee.
About Ellipse Fitness

Founded in 2002, Ellipse Fitness is a classes-only fitness and nutrition franchise specializing in providing regularly scheduled exercise classes and nutrition programs for our members.  Our proprietary workout programs are set in a group exercise format and emphasize functional movement, cardiovascular training, building core strength and adding lean muscle mass.  For information on programs and locations please visit ellipsefitness.com.  For information about owning an Ellipse Fitness franchise please visit ellipsefitnessfranchise.com.

 

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For More Information, Contact:

Todd Weiss

Ellipse Fitness

Phone: 866-934-7167

Email: info@ellipsefitness.com