The Importance of Core Strength

March 10, 2019


Everyone yearns to have that six-pack because it looks amazing and shows you are in great physical condition, but there is so much more to core than just having the six pack. Having a strong core is a key component to a well-rounded fitness program. Core exercises help to strengthen your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen allowing for more stability in athletic activities and in daily life.

The interesting fact about strengthening your core is that you are engaging it with just about every exercise that you do. For example, if you are using free weights for bicep curls you are automatically stabilizing your trunk which in turn strengthens several muscles including your core muscles. What I find best about working the core is that you can do it anywhere, no specialized gym equipment is needed. Some basic core exercises include planks, crunches and fitness ball exercises also the bridge is a classic core exercise.

I think of my core as the foundation for my body, the core stabilizes us and allows us to move in any direction. A strong core can assist with all different types of activities from swinging a golf club to bending down to tie your shoe. When your core is weak you become more susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain, less endurance and injuries.

There are many of us that want those washboard abs, which can be achieved with core exercise, trimming body fat thru your diet and aerobic exercise. But the priority of everyone should be to focus on building your core strength within your fitness routine. By doing this it allows for a well-rounded program and will help you to be a stronger version of yourself.

“Find Your Strong 2019”

Accountability = Results

March 3, 2019


We all know that morning feeling of dread when the alarm goes off at 5am for your 6am workout. How easy is it to just roll over and go back to sleep, let’s be honest, it is way too easy. But, what if someone or a small group of work-out friends were waiting for you to start their day? In this scenario you are being held accountable to get to that session, you can’t not show up for your personal trainer or for that crew. This motivation of knowing that someone is waiting for you on the other end is just the push that most people need to get their fitness journey started.

In the fitness industry and in everyday life we hear the same phrases over and over… “New Year, New You”, “Time to Make a Change”, “I am going on a diet”, My New Year’s Resolution is to lose 50lbs.” or one of my personal favorites, “Starting tomorrow I will go to the gym every day.” Why is it necessary to make a statement to everyone what you are going to do? As Nike says “Just Do It”!

Start by setting yourself some realistic goals instead of goals that will set you up for failure. Be “real” with yourself and that is half the battle, do not settle for less than what you actually want. It will take time and consistency to reach any new level of fitness, you have to be ready and willing to work every day. This is where you will begin to hold yourself accountable.

After you have set your goals and you are ready to go it is time to set up a plan and stick to it. You will have to make a lifestyle change, it didn’t take you two days to get where you are right now so you can’t expect to see results in two days. It is important to make a conscious effort to do the following:

Plan workout time into your daily schedule, join group training or hire a personal trainer so you know that not showing up isn’t an option. It is also important to track your measurable outcomes, such as inches lost, fat or BMI percentages going down. It is not so much the number on the scale but be aware of how your clothes are fitting, also take note of how your feeling both mentally and physically. Try keeping a food journal so you can visually see what you ate and how you felt afterwards, make adjustments if necessary, keep track of water intake. Drinking water is an essential part of losing weight and changing your body. Last but certainly not least, surround yourself with positive, motivating people who will support your goals and help you achieve them. Have every decision that you make contribute to a positive reaction in becoming the “best version of you”.

Find Your Strong in 2019

Find a Common Bond...

February 3, 2019


Here at the Shoppe we offer a multitude of training services, we are certain that we can meet all of our clients wants and needs. We see all sizes, shapes and forms, young, old, female, male, youth and seniors come thru the door. Everyone is different but all looking for one common outcome… to become a better version of themselves. What sets these individuals apart is how they will work to reach their goals.

So… let me get a little more specific, we have a group of young men… two are 14 and one is 15. This group could not be more different in size and shape, along with what they are trying to attain thru training. These three kids don’t know each other, they all go to different schools and are from different social circles. As I observe them on a weekly basis, I am caught up in how they have gained a mutual respect for one another. The enthusiasm they show towards one another when milestones are hit is absolutely infectious, there is a genuine innocence in their emotions that has me captivated. These kids are not only learning about fitness and weight training but they are learning life lessons about respect, acceptance and tolerance. There is no competition here because each of them are training to better themselves as individuals. When one is benching 115lbs and the other is benching 205lbs, there is no embarrassment or “I wish I was able to go that heavy,” there is only positive encouragement for each doing their respective weight. There is no doubt that as they continue to train together, they will form a deeper friendship and admiration for one another.

This is also a lesson for me in knowing there are parents out there that are taking the time to raise young men with real values. At some point over the next few weeks I will make a point of letting each of these parents know that they are doing a “great job” parenting and they should be extremely proud of these young men. As a parent myself, I know there is no greater compliment then when someone else sees the best in your child. I look forward to learning and watching this group over the next few months and see where the “common bond” of fitness takes them.

“Find Your Strong in 2019”

Shout Out to Arlene!

January 27, 2019


Who is Arlene????? Well, Arlene is one of my senior clients, I will tell you she is 75 because that is what she tells everyone else but in reality, she is a bit older. Just walking in the door of a fitness studio at that age should tell something about her personality. Arlene is sharp as tack, focused and determined to stay strong and healthy, she is an inspiration to all ages.

We all know that exercise is important for everyone but the benefits for seniors are in abundance. Exercise will keep seniors staying agile which will help them with issues of flexibility and balance. Daily exercise helps with all sorts of ailments from heart disease to osteoporosis, along with that exercise improves your mental state, keeping the brain active. A very interesting fact about muscle loss… Did you know, it’s possible to lose more than 5lbs. of muscle each decade between the ages of 25 – 55 if we don’t exercise and lift weights on a regular basis. That loss of muscle leads to weight gain as well as a higher risk of falling and hurting yourself.

Where do you begin if you’re a senior… first and always most important at any age, get medical clearance from your doctor. It is important to incorporate both cardio and weight training into your fitness plan. Regular cardio exercise is essential for older adults, this helps to strengthen your heart and lungs, giving you more energy to exercise. Find something that you enjoy, walking, biking, rowing there is a cardio activity for everyone. As for weight training or strength training this is essential to reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, back pain, and depression. It will also help you sleep better, increase strength and muscle mass while raising your metabolism. You will want to find 8 to 10 exercises that will involve all the major muscle groups, chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, legs and core. Doing these exercises 2 to 3 times per week with a low weight that will allow you to do 10-15 reps on non-consecutive days is key.

Take your time, start out slow… its not a race. Your basic plan should be cardio two days a week and total body strength training 2 days a week. Getting started is the hardest part and here at the Shoppe we can help guide you and give you the confidence in taking the first steps to staying fit and young at heart. Drop by the Shoppe you may also get to meet Arlene!!!

“Find Your Strong in 2019”

Why “Crew Training” at the Shoppe?

January 20, 2019


When I first started in the fitness industry as a part-time instructor during my college years, classes were all the rage. Having watched the industry evolve for many years and now becoming a fitness studio owner, there are some types of training that just work, no ifs, ands or buts. I want to focus on Small Group Training or what we call at the Shoppe “Crew Training”.

Crew Training has a max of 6 participants, why 6? I chose this number based on my own experiences as both a member and instructor. I feel in this small setting of six, one trainer can give each individual optimum attention, allowing each member to have that one-on-one connection. It is an absolute must that the trainer is able to know the strengths and weakness of each member so they never feel lost. “Crew Training” is a perfect solution for an individual that may not be able to afford Personal Training but are yearning for that experience. One of the greatest values of “Crew Training” is the comradery, there is something to be said for having someone exercising right beside you. Workouts love company and sharing in the training will just enhance your overall experience. In fact, research does show that being involved with a program or team holds you accountable and you are more likely to stick with it.

I read this description of Small Group Training and I believe this sums it up best…

“Big enough to be fun, but small enough to still be quality.”

In essence “Crew Training” is an affordable, fun way for clients to take advantage of a trainer’s expertise at a lower financial investment — all while keeping the fun and competitiveness of the group class dynamic.

So, if you are in the neighborhood… stop by and check out “Crew Training” at the Body Shoppe in Boonton, you will not be disappointed.

“Find Your Strong in 2019”