Fitness Equipment Tutorial: The Back Extension Machine

Muscles targeted
This machine is primarily used to strengthen the muscles of the lower back, but also works the glutes and hamstrings.
Setup
You want to make sure you adjust the thigh pads so the tops of the pads come to just below the crease in your hips. This allows your body to hinge forward at the waist while providing you with as much support as possible. Place your feet fully on the platform and ensure your calves are supported by the calf pads.
Movement
Keeping a flat back, lower yourself down as low as possible while hinging at the hips.  You should look like an upside-down V from the side. Maintaining the flat back, bring yourself back up until your body is in a straight line. Repeat.
back extension machine exercise example
If you have any questions about how to use the equipment in the Fitness Center, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our certified fitness professionals. They are always there to help at Elite Sports Clubs! Want more advice & tips on how to get fit, just let us know a little bit about your interests and goals by submitting this short form. Or if you are just interested in what equipment we have to offer at Elite Sports Clubs, contact one of our Fitness Directors using this form.

There is Not Only One Way to Approach Eating, Diet & Nutrition-Finding the Program That Works for You!

Here's what 500 calories of food looks like! Each of these is 500cal!
Here’s what 500 calories of food looks like! Each of these are 500 calories that you could easily eliminate!

By Rita Larsen, R.D., Professional Dietary Counseling, Elite Sports Clubs

Many people will be confused in the thought that there is only one way to approach a new eating plan. If they do not follow it, they are sure to be a failure. Truthfully, diet and related eating plans will work in your favor almost every time as long as you have created enough change. This change will come through a number of situations, such as exercise, a new eating plan, or an alteration in the eating schedule. Let’s examine this idea a little further.

Experts suggest that any time there is a desire to change the quantity or quality of the foods we are eating for the ultimate “body transformation” it is possible to do with minimal changes to your current program. For example:

Weight loss occurs with the reduction of 500 calories at the most for a day. It does not need to be any more than that. If this is true, find the food in the least important spot; as a snack in the afternoon of a bag of chips or a candy, and eliminate it. It could be all that you need to do!

Next, plan to regroup the foods that you are eating into a new “schedule”. Eating earlier in the day works the best! If you cannot do this, then divide the foods evenly throughout the day so that it will make sense for your schedule. Never too much at any one time is a good guide!

Finally, plan to put a little more exercise in the works! Another 60 minutes per week will help your program a great deal. Most of the time, people have a harder time taking time for exercise than any concern with the exercise. Allow yourself the chance to do something new for you!

Ideas: Plan the food in a way that works for you!

  • Cut one food item out that doesn’t even mean anything!
  • Add just a little more exercise a week!

WHATEVER PLAN YOU COME UP WITH SHOULD BE THE ONE THAT WORKS ONLY FOR YOU!

Rita is available for one-on-one consultations and also offers group programs to help you reach your weight loss goals, starting with an easy approach to eating as mentioned above! Get started today by letting us know a little more about you and your goals!

Congratulations to our Weight Loss Challenge Participants & Winners!

We are so proud of all of our Weight Loss Challenge participants & winners! You guys did an amazing job of taking (and keeping) the weight off! Here’s some stats to show how all the clubs did:

Weight Loss Challenge Congratulations

All Club Totals:
81 winners (lost 8 or more pounds)
896.7 pounds lost between all participants (who weighed out)

Brookfield Totals:
23 winners (lost 8 or more pounds)
244.5 pounds lost between all participants (who weighed out)

Mequon Totals:
21 winners (lost 8 or more pounds)
247 pounds lost between all participants (who weighed out)

North Shore Totals:
14 winners (lost 8 or more pounds)
167 pounds lost between all participants (who weighed out)

River Glen Totals:
14 winners (lost 8 or more pounds)
153.4 pounds lost between all participants (who weighed out)

West Brookfield Totals:
9 winners (lost 8 or more pounds)
84.8 pounds lost between all participants (who weighed out)

Using Rates of Perceived Exertion to Help You Determine Your Exercise Zones

Everyone is unique when they exercise and the use of standardized formulas to determine your target heart rate zones can often lead you to exercise at either higher or lower than your actual effective rate. By combining the “Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale” with “Target Heart Rate Zones” you can more effectively estimate how hard your heart should be working while you are exercising.

Exercise can be divided into three different intensity zones:

  • Zone 1 Light Intensity Zone (heart beating at 60 to 70% of Heart Rate Max)
    Helps in weight control, improves endurance, and improves aerobic fitness.
  • Zone 2 Moderate Intensity Zone (70 to 80% of Heart Rate Max)
    Improves aerobic fitness, improves endurance, helps in weight control, accustoms your body to exercising at a faster pace, and begins to raise the speed that you can maintain without building up lactic acid.
  • Zone 3 Hard Intensity Zone (80 to 90% of Heart Rate Max)
    Increases muscles’ tolerance to lactic acid and improves hard, short effort ability.

There are tests available that can accurately determine your heart rate ranges but they can be beyond the reach of many people. So, how can you start to figure out your heart rate ranges and then begin to vary your workouts to achieve the results you want?

While you are exercising, picture a scale from 0 to 10 and ask yourself “how hard am I working?” Use the following descriptions to figure out how hard you are working and then convert that number to a %. For example, if you choose level 6 it roughly corresponds to 60% of your heart rate max. Measure your heart rate at that point and plug your number into the ranges above. It’s a start at heart rate training.

If your answer is 0 to 5 you may not be working hard enough to accomplish your goals or you are just beginning an exercise program.

Perceived Exertion Chart

Level 6: This is the feeling you might get when you are walking somewhere and are very late for an appointment. You know you can maintain this level for your exercise session. Your breathing is somewhat deep and you are aware of it.

Level 7: You are exercising vigorously. There is a definite feeling of fatigue, but you are quite sure you can maintain this level through your exercise session. Your breathing is deep. You can carry on a conversation but you would probably prefer not to.

Level 8: You are exercising very vigorously. There is a definite feeling of fatigue. You think you can maintain this pace for your exercise session but you are not completely sure. You can carry on a conversation but you definitely don’t want to.

Level 9: You are exercising very, very vigorously. You can’t maintain this level for a whole exercise session. Your breathing is labored and you can’t carry on a conversation. Be cautious before trying this level and have a significant aerobic training base.

Use these ranges as a guideline and get to know YOUR BODY and YOUR HEART as you workout. If you need additional help measuring your ranges, or would just like some advice on exercises for each zone, visit us in the Fitness Center! One of our certified personal trainers would be happy to give you advice on how to use the fitness center equipment or our training services to better reach your goals.

Prepared by Anne Tremel
Certified Personal Trainer
Exercise Is Medicine Program Director
Elite Sports Clubs-Brookfield
www.eliteclubs.com

Recreational Sports: The forgotten cardio workout

Can recreational sports be a supplementary part of your cardio workouts? I seem to be asking myself this question on a regular basis as I try to decide whether clients, and myself, should only participate in a workout designed for the fitness center. Would playing basketball three days a week be a good replacement for running on the treadmill?

As a sports junkie it is hard for me to continually run on a treadmill because it gets very monotonous with no chance of any of the conditions changing as I keep pounding away on that belt on the treadmill. Wouldn’t one rather take part in a sport during which the conditions constantly change, and still get the needed workout for your goals?

I am definitely an enthusiast for recreational sports as a part of your workout. It keeps one coming to the gym because they never know what will happen in a game of volleyball, basketball or even soccer at the club. Running on a treadmill or even using an elliptical would be great workouts as well, but as a “sports person” I can’t bring myself to participate in these activities on a regular basis.

If you are an individual that has been a sports enthusiast for much of your life it would make sense that you have trouble transitioning your workouts into a fitness center as you bypass your high school, and collegiate days on the courts. A typical fitness center or health club in general isn’t designed well for a former competitive athlete because everyone is there doing their own individual workouts. As athletes we are used to being a part of team workouts, or even competitions that bring us all closer together.

The best way we can get that feeling from our clubs is by participating in the recreational sports that our respective club may offer or even a group exercise class. For Elite Sports Clubs this could range all the way in the spectrum of sports from swimming, tennis, basketball, and volleyball to even indoor soccer in one of our Milwaukee Wave clinics. If one is used to the competitive spirit of sports then these recreational sports can at least help you offset your desire for competition. It is also a great way to get a workout in if you are an individual who only worked out because of sports in high school or college.

Men playing basketball photo

Playing basketball for an hour is an aerobic activity that can easily help offset running on a treadmill or using an elliptical machine. So, if you are someone who is looking for workouts that will not only challenge you physically, but also mentally then my club, Elite Sports Clubs, like many others offer opportunities to compete against others in a recreational sport of your choice.

Do you prefer machines for cardio or recreational sports? Does your health club offer recreational sports? How do you change up your treadmill runs, stationary bike rides or elliptical workouts to keep it new? Please share your comments.

Plus check out the recreational sports offered at Elite Sports Clubs.

Thank you,

Kyle Krogmann
Personal Trainer
Elite Sports Club-Mequon