Lisa Welko

Fitness Tip of the Week: TRX Lower Body Mountain Climber

Planks on a stable surface are an awesome exercise for core, hip and shoulder strength however planks on the TRX are even more challenging and effective as the core works harder to stabilize the body. 

Now let’s take the intensity up a notch and create more movement by adding a lower body mountain climber.  This new move will multiply the abdominal workout while simultaneously spiking the heart rate.  With that spiked heart rate comes a higher metabolism and a greater calorie burn both during and post workout as your body recovers back to its original, homeostatic state. 

  1.  Begin by adjusting your TRX to mid-calf length. 

  2.  Then face away from the TRX anchor point and put your toes in the straps. 

  3. Get into a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders, and keeping the back straight, begin your lower body mountain climber. 

Go hard and fast until exhaustion.  Rest and repeat as many times as you are able.  Enjoy the burn! 

Fitness Tip: TRX Overhead Back Extension

TRX Suspension Training was initially created by Navy Seal, Randy Hedrick, by using the straps of his parachute to train overseas.
The TRX is:
1. Scale able to accommodate all fitness levels.
2. Trains in 3-D to work all planes of motion.
3. Displaces the center of gravity thereby activating the core in all moves.
The TRX Overhead Back Extension integrates hip, back, shoulder and core strength simultaneously.
1. Adjust the TRX straps to mid length.
2. Hold the handles straight above the head palms facing forward and arms straight and next to the ears.
3. Keeping the head between the arms, hinge back at the hips and roll onto the heels as you drop into an “L” position.
4. Drive the hips forward and return to your starting position.

Yolkless Deviled Eggs by Ellipse Fitness

Yolkless Deviled Eggs

12  Hard-boiled Eggs

1   Cup Non-fat Cottage Cheese

1   Tbsp. Green Onion, minced

2   Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

2   Cloves Garlic, minced

1/4 Tsp. Curry Powder

Paprika to Taste

Ground Pepper to taste


Directions:  Shell eggs and cut in half lengthwise.  Discard yolks.  Puree cottage cheese, mustard, onion, garlic, and curry powder in a blender or food processor.  Spoon mixture into the egg halves.  Sprinkle with paprika & pepper.

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.


Stability Ball: Planks

One of the most versatile ways to strengthen the entire core is the Stability Ball Plank.

The incline forearm plank is done with feet on the floor, forearms on the ball, and belly off the ball.  This alone is a great ab workout, but if you want to take it up a notch, add a shift forward and back, side to side or in a circular pattern.  If you’d like to take it down a notch but still get a great core workout, drop to your knees while keeping your forearms on the ball and belly off the ball.

Another version of the plank is the decline plank with the legs on the stability ball, and hands on the floor. This move can be intensified by having only your feet or toes on the ball, and can be modified by having the ball make contact with your thighs or hips instead of toes.

Planks are one of the most effective core moves and planks on the Stability Ball are the best way to strength your core at the intensity level that is best for you!



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!

Zucchini Bread is not a Vegetable!

Hi There!   

Hey, It’s Lisa at Ellipse!  Do you have zucchini coming out of your ears yet!?  I wanted to share a delicious recipe that my friend Brett Riesenhuber developed a few years ago (This is HIS photo, mine wasn’t as pretty!)  We’ve loaded it to the Ellipse Blog for everyone!

Stuffed Zucchini Squash – Healthy Weight Loss!


  • 2-6 Large Freshly Picked (if possible) Zucchini
  • Pot of salted boiling water, large enough to fit all the Zucchini.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Sliced Fresh Tomatoes
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Garlic Powder
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chipolte Powder (or any chili powder you like)


  • Boil the Zucchini for 4-8 minutes depending on size.  The goal is to heat them through to the center, but not overcook and make mushy.  Allow to cool.
  • Slice in half lengthwise.
  • Scoop out the centers being careful not to break the skin, place in a bowl, and mash.
  • In the bowl add equal quantities of the Panko and the Parmesan and mix.
  • Add 1/4 as much of the sun dried tomatoes as the Panko and Parmesan.
  • Add the seasonings to taste and mix together.
  • Spoon into the Zucchini halves leaving a bit lose (don’t pack it in hard)
  • Layer the fresh tomato slices over the tops.
  • Dust tops with a bit more Parmesan Cheese.
  • Grill on the BBQ, covered until heated through.

Remove from the grill, slice, and serve!

This recipe is great with grilled fish or chicken, and is great as a leftover…Tastes kind of like Pizza!

Enjoy this recipe sometime this week and let us know what you think!  We’ve loaded lots of healthy recipes on our Ellipse Blog! It’s all part of our commitment to serve you on the path to transforming your body, and your life.  And the recipes are FREE!

Want to add even more delicious simplicity to your diet this week?  You may want to consider the Ellipse 8 week jump start program!  We’ve had several members and guests “jump” onto this program after their strategy sessions! It’s an 8 week program, complete with meal suggestions and WEEKLY meetings with a coach to check in and confirm that they’re losing FAT and NOT MUSCLE as the embark on a more focused journey!

Enjoy this tasty METABOLIC BOOSTING recipe!  We’re looking forward to seeing you in class!

Ellipse Fitness Appleton West Announces New Training Center


August 27, 2013

Ellipse Fitness Appleton West Announces New Training Center

Appleton, WI. – Ellipse Fitness Appleton West is expanding and will open a new training center in September 2013.  The new training center will be adjacent to the current large group exercise studio at 1200 N. Mayflower Drive, Appleton, WI.

According to Ellipse Fitness President Lisa Welko:

“Eleven years ago we changed the way fitness is done by doing all classes all the time.  We are now changing the way fitness is done again by offering personal training at an affordable rate.  I’m excited to offer another way for people to make fitness a part of their healthy lifestyle.”

Scheduled training center hours are 5:00am – 7:00pm.  Personal training services include customized programs, guidance and access to large group fitness classes.


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


Perfect Plan? No Such Thing…

One of the major blocks to body change is the idea that there is a perfect plan for you and all that is required is to diligently follow that plan without deviation. Since when do things in life go exactly according to plan?

The only certainty in life is that things are not certain and are going to change. The name Ellipse Fitness comes from the fact that “Life isn’t a Perfect Circle, it’s an ellipse!  If you want to succeed you should be planning for change not certainty. This is why rigidly defined plans do not work, because they can’t accommodate the uncertainty of daily living. People say failing to plan is planning to fail, but this is only true if your plan has built in flexibility.

What good is a plan if it only works when conditions are perfect? If you want a system that works, switch from structured plans to flexible blueprints. This gives you “structured flexibility” and allows you to adapt with your circumstances. This allows you to build lifestyles that fit, not diets that don’t.  Did you see the recent article by David Berreby?  It’s a long article, but it really talks about the reason for America’s obesity epidemic.

Ellipse Fitness is currently scheduling FREE 30-45 minute strategy sessions to help our guests determine the right path to help them reach their fitness and weight loss milestones.  If this sounds like something you’d like to schedule before our September rush when these spots fill up FAST, please call our office this week. We’ll get you started with a FREE session and a FREE class so you’ll be rocking those jeans when Fall rolls around!