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:

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!

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.

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!

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!

Fitness Tip: Kettlebell Single Arm Squat Push Press

Kettlebells were developed in Russia in the 1700s and are holistic in their nature in that they work several muscles simultaneously.

The Kettlebell Single Arm Squat Push-Press engages and strengthens the lower body, the core and the unilateral shoulder.

Start standing with your legs slightly wider than hip width apart and the kettlebell between your feet with the horn of the kettlebell horizontal.

Next hinge back at the hips and keep the back straight as you squat down to reach the kettlebell with your palm facing back.

To begin, dead clean the kettlebell from the ground straight up the center of the body to the chest in a rack position, keeping the upper arm next to the body, the wrist straight and the grip on the kettlebell relaxed.

Then squat down with the kettlebell locked into the shoulder and as you drive through the heels out of the squat, press the kettlebell overhead and finish with the palm facing forward.

Then bring the kettlebell back to the rack position at the chest and repeat your squat push-press.

Fitness Tip: Kettlebell Bottoms Up Reverse Lunge

Many sports such require overhead action such as throwing a ball, however many athletes struggle with the overhead postural stability that’s required to excel in their sport.

One of the most effective ways to train overhead postural stability is with an unstable overhead load such as the Kettlebell in the Bottoms Up Reverse Lunge.

1. Begin standing with feet hip width apart, holding the kettlebell by the horns in the bottoms up position.
2. Next straighten the elbows extending the arms overhead.
3. Once your arms and trunk are stabilized, alternate stepping back into a reverse lunge, pausing at the bottom before returning to your upright position.

To modify this move:
1. move to a stationary lunge
2. decrease the load

To intensify this move:
1. increase the pause time at the bottom of the lunge
2. simultaneously lunge while you overhead press the kettlebell
3. increase the load
4. move to a single arm position with the kettlebell

Fitness Tip: Kettlebell 2 Arm Swing

Kettlebells were developed in Russia in the 1700s and are holistic in their nature working several muscles simultaneously.

The two arm Kettlebell swing develops strength, endurance and coordination using mainly the glutes and hamstrings for power, while also engaging the quads, core, deltoids, low back, and lats for stabilization.

1. Start with the Kettlebell in front of the body and feet about hip width apart.

2. Grab the KB with 2 hands. With your chest up and back straight, hinge back at the hips, bending the knees and bring the Kettlebell between the legs and behind the body until the forearms are between the thighs.

3. Keeping the big toe pressed into the floor, drive the hips forward, and straighten the legs, propelling the Kettlebell forward to approximately shoulder height.

Fitness Tip: Step Back Lunge with Kettlebell Pass

Kettlebells were developed in Russia in the 1700s and are holistic in their nature working several muscles simultaneously.

The Step Back Lunge with Kettlebell Pass is a version of a weighted lunge.  However with the addition of the kettlebell we incorporate core stability into the move as the core engages to keep the body balanced while the kettlebell swings from side to side.

There are two versions to this move.

  1. One version is to step back in your alternating lunge first, and then bring the kettlebell directly down between the legs and under the bent knee to the outside of the body.
  2. The second and more core advanced version, is to bring the kettlebell wide  to the outside of your body, then under the bent knee side and up through the middle as you stand.


Fitness Tip of the Week: Kettlebell Figure 8 Wide Stance Squat

Are you looking for a move that will tone your inner thighs while tightening your booty as well?  Look no further than the Kettlebell Figure 8 Wide Stance Squat!

The wide stance position allows you to drop deeper in your squat with less pressure on your knees and lower back, and then engages and contracts the inner thighs and glute as you drive through your heels and return to a standing position.

In addition, by adding the kettlebell in a figure 8 movement between and around the outside of your legs, you will not only increase your aerobic output, but you’ll burn more calories, as well!  A win, win for low body toning and calorie burning!



Kettlebell: Triple Crush

If you’re looking for an effective move to tone up your arms (biceps and triceps) and your shoulders this holiday season, then the Kettlebell Triple Crush is for you!

Kettlebells were developed in Russia in the 1700s, and are holistic in their nature as they work several muscles simultaneously.

Begin by holding the base of the kettlebell with both hands with your arms down at your sides.  Then curl the kettlebell up to your chest.  Next, push the kettlebell up into an overhead press.  Finally, hinge at the elbows to bring the kettlebell behind your head (keeping upper arms close to you head).  Then reverse the order… extend the arms overhead, bring the kettlebell to your chest and then to the starting position.  Repeat.


Kettlebell: Seated Halo/Chop

Want to combine upper body and core strength with one effective and fun move? Try the Seated Halo/Chop!

Start sitting on mat with legs extended forward and knees slightly bent. Grap the Kettlebell by the horns and beginning at the left hip, bring it up towards the right shoulder, around the back of the head and to the right hip. Then reverse directions!
Not only will you be working the upper body (pectorials, deltoids, triceps and trapezious) , but you’ll be engaging the core the entire time and breaking up any scar tissue in the deltoids, as well!

Kettlebell Halo Chop with Pivot

Want to combine full body strength with effective cardio in one fun move?  Try the Halo/Chop!

Start with feet slightly wider than hip with apart, and knees bent.  Grap the kettlebell beginning at the left hip, bring it up towards the right shoulder, around the back of the head, then pivot on your left foot as the kettlebell  comes to the right hip.  Then Reverse directions and pivot on the opposite foot!

Combining cardio and strength in one great move ensures that we preserve muscle while simultaneously burning fat!

Ellipse Fitness Names Nikki Smith – K-Bell Fitness Specialist

February 22, 2011

Ellipse Fitness Names Nikki Smith – K-Bell Fitness Specialist

Nikki Smith

Appleton, WI. – Ellipse Fitness is pleased to announce they have named Nikki Smith, K-Bell Fitness Specialist. Smith, who has been with Ellipse Fitness since 2007, has previously served as a Fitness Coach as well as Fitness Director. K-Bell is a program she helped create in 2008.

Kettlebells are an old-school type of training that has recently increased in popularity. The benefits of a kettlebell workout are an increase in lean muscle mass, greater core strength and improved cardiovascular exercise, all in one workout. Given the technical expertise required to properly train with kettlebells, it was determined a new position was required to oversee continued development and growth of the program. According to Smith:

“I am thrilled with my new role and am ready for the challenge. The increase in popularity of kettlebells warrants additional attention. While we think our program is one of the best in the market, we want to stay ahead of the curve and continue to make it better.”

One of the main responsibilities in her new role will be certification of the 80 plus Fitness Coaches who work at Ellipse. Given the special nature of the program, they’re required to pass a special internal certification program if they want to teach the class. While the Aerobic Fitness Association of America (AFAA) offers a certification program, Ellipse Fitness has developed their own certification that goes into greater details. Fitness Coaches who wish to achieve the certification must complete a rigorous training course and pass a video test where they’re graded on the proper technique. Lisa Welko, President of Ellipse Fitness is looking forward to working with Smith to take the program to the next level.

“Nikki was one of the first members of our Management Team. She was instrumental in the creation of this program. Now that she can focus entirely on enhancing and more importantly growing K-Bell.”

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

For More Information, Contact:
Todd Weiss
Ellipse Fitness
Phone: 866-934-7167