Your Weight Loss Journey: How to Make a Change

By Rita Larsen, Elite Dietian & Nutrition Counselor

There are “Stages of Change” that each person must go through in order to actually do anything new. The Academy of Nutrition has the following listing of processes for every person’s development towards change in behavior:

  • Pre-contemplation: Stage before any thought is given to modify any behaviors.
  • Contemplation: Subject is aware they have a change they would like to make, but have not made the commitment.
  • Preparation: Decision-making has arrived; and the person will take action within about 30 days. They are already making small behavioral changes.
  • Action: Subjects make notable overt efforts to change; and have targeted behavior they want to be different.
  • Maintenance: Persons stabilize behavioral changes to avoid relapse.

All in all, everyone must go through these steps in order to arrive at a good outcome.

One other excellent source of input on this matter of change is the work at the University of Pennsylvania Foundation for Positive Psychology. Dr. Martin Seligman, is a world renowned expert on the “positive approach” and its necessity in the change process. The Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program has been used by the military, workforce development, and many other social institutions that benefited greatly by the use of this process.

So, with that said, I challenge you to approach everything as though it is a new and wonderful day of experience.

  • Go to the gym with renewed energy and excitement.
  • Plan to meet friends at the gym and use teamwork to obtain a positive outcome for all.
  • Each day eat the best nutritious foods that you can find. Learn that perhaps a full feeling at all times throughout the day is not needed, and that waiting for the next meal is a positive experience.
  • Make the scale your friend and, for sure, your scorecard to success!

Energy and persistence conquer all things. -Benjamin Franklin

For more detailed information on the topics discussed above and how they can help you, let us know more about your goals and what you would like to change.

Where are you in the stages of change? Do you use positive emotions & psychology to get through your change process?

Member Spotlight: Dan Buss “I decided I needed to make a change”

We’re extremely proud of our members. Over the years their work out agendas and sporting endeavors serve as healthy examples of how it feels to be Elite, and how exercise not only adds years to your life, but life to your years! Today we’d like to highlight another member’s accomplishments:

Photo of Elite Member Dan Buss My name is Dan Buss and I’ve been a member of Elite for about two years now. I’ve never been someone who lived a very active lifestyle and have been overweight most of my life. Two years ago, it all came to a head. I hit an all-time high weight, the result of bad eating habits and no exercise while I juggled getting my MBA and frequent travel for work. I decided I needed to make a change!

That’s where Elite comes in. I decided to join the club on the recommendation of a coworker. It was a great experience from day one. Since I was so new to the fitness scene, I took advantage of a promotion the club was running for a package of personal trainer sessions. I worked with Ariel to do a fitness assessment and come up with a base workout plan that I could build on. What I appreciated most was how comfortable everyone made me feel. Ariel would offer encouragement whenever she saw me, and other trainers like Rob and Sue would stop and give me pointers when they saw me trying something new. While the facilities at Elite are wonderful, it really is all the great people that make it such an outstanding experience!

Today, I’m happy to say that I’m down over 100 lbs from my peak! That’s a goal I thought was impossible two years ago. I’m working out six days a week doing strength training and some running. I’ve participated in several 5K races, including the Warrior Dash and have even started taking swimming lessons with Laura, for a new challenge. My time at Elite has become part of my routine and I look forward to it every day. Thanks for helping me completely change my life!

We are so proud of Dan for reaching his goal and exceeding his own expectations. We are happy our staff could be there to help you on your fitness and health journey! You are truly an “elite” member!

If you have an “elite” story to share about your own personal accomplishment or someone else’s please share it with us at or tweet it to us @MyEliteStory! We’d love to hear from you too!

Youth Tennis Progression: How to Become a Top Junior Tennis Player

Progressing your child’s tennis game can be a daunting task. Elite Sports Clubs, through its decades leading Wisconsin junior tennis players to the top, has a suggested progression for your child. We provide two paths, one for the 10 and under tennis player and another for the 11 and over tennis player. Each path offers 9-10 steps with the ultimate goal of collegiate tennis. Most junior tennis players do not exceed step 4. These steps should be guidelines as each child is unique and you should consult their tennis professional for more personalized advice. Continue reading Youth Tennis Progression: How to Become a Top Junior Tennis Player

Benefits of the Gravity Training System

The Gravity Training System (GTS) is used in clubs throughout the world to teach a series of high intensity muscular endurance exercises while providing a time efficient full body workout. For those of you who are not familiar with GTS, it is very similar to the Total Gym used by Chuck Norris that can be seen on television. Gravity is divided into group training sessions and private training sessions at health clubs in order to provide a variety of workouts for members. GTS uses your body weight on a glideboard with an adjustable incline, while incorporating a dynamic pulley system to perform strength training exercises.

Often, people will complain that there is not enough time to get in a full body workout, however the primary advantage of using GTS is time efficiency. Most Gravity training sessions vary from 30-minute to 45-minute strength training sessions. You might be asking yourself how can you get a full body strength training workout in 30 minutes? When training on the GTS in a class format or in personal training, a sequence of exercises can be performed without even getting up off of the machine. In each selected body position on the glideboard multiple exercises can be executed to utilize time in an effective manner. The GTS workouts also minimize transitions in order to do as many exercises in each body position as possible. The GTS muscle sequences are put into an order that maximizes performance for efficiency and recovery while providing an intense endurance workout.

Gravity sessions are taught by certified personal trainers that have been certified through EFI Sports Medicine on how to use GTS and teach training sessions. Getting the guidance of a personal trainer while exercising will provide a more specific workout based on each individuals’ needs and exercise goals while eliminating the stress of figuring out what exercises to perform. You will not have to figure out how many sets, repetitions, or how long to perform each exercise.

The design of GTS is a benefit in itself. By performing exercises at an incline clients do not have to bear their entire weight load. This will minimize stress on the joints especially for clients who are beginners, overweight, or who have had injury issues. For example, if someone is at level 6 (or 21 degrees) on the glideboard and weighs 200 lbs, that individual is only moving 40% of their body weight or 81 lbs. If the exercise were to be done using the pulleys it would cut the resistance in half.

By employing the use of the free motion pulley/cable system on the GTS, individuals are able to do over 150 different exercises with variations. The pulley systems offer a free range of motion during upper body exercises, which helps you move beyond a fixed range of motion. The pulley system will improve overall strength through multiple ranges of motion. For example, I have personally worked with individuals who have had limited range of motion in the shoulder joint capsule who now have full range of motion.

The Gravity Training System has many strength training advantages. The GTS works all of the major muscles in the body while minimizing the time in the process. Formats for the training sessions last 30-45 minutes while transitioning from one exercise to the next with minimal interruptions. By not resting between exercises little to no time is wasted and the heart rate of clients stays at a high level, burning more total calories while also improving cardiovascular fitness. Working with a personal trainer on the GTS or using the Total Gym at home is a very time efficient and fun way to workout.

Are you interested in a Gravity group training session? Check out our fitness calendar for current small group training options. And as mentioned above, Elite Sports Clubs always offers personal training or semi-private training on the GTS machines. Please fill out this form to receive more information on the Gravity Training System.

Have you ever tried using a Gravity machine or the Total Gym? What did you like about it? Is there anything you didn’t like about it? Tell us in the comments!

Ray Hirn, BS
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
Elite Sports Club-Brookfield

Why the Word Diet is Often Seen in a Negative Way

By Rita Larsen, Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian & Nutrition Counselor Diet Vegetable Word

As early as the 1920’s, the American Academy of Nutrition began to speak about the changes you made in the foods that you ate, as your “diet.” That is; any change that you made to improve health or for the better was a good diet. Today, in a more popular way, we can often be seen discussing new and different diets and how they can help us achieve our personal goals, quickly. Some are healthy, some are not so healthy. It is possible that the only thing that makes the word diet seem negative, is how we treat a normally sound principle, like eating right. So, what are some of the things we do that will make diet a difficult process? After all, we are just trying to eat healthy and lose some weight, right? For example,

  • Many people feel they would like to fast for a day? That cleansing in this way with only liquids is a good plan. I have never worried about this too much because people do end up hungry. And, it may help to reduce body stores of calories, if you do not overeat the day after.
  • Some feel that waiting all day until they eat a meal will help them avoid kicking off some response to overwhelming hunger. As, “the longer I wait, the better it is.” You run a risk of becoming very hungry and overeating by the end of the day. After all, you did not eat ALL day.
  • Yet others feel that perhaps, they can avoid eating entire groups of foods; like carbohydrates or fats, to keep their unwanted pounds away. Science works fine on these concepts until we completely eliminate whole food groups. It does not work well and you may miss important nutrients.
  • Lastly, many feel that if they really bare down during the week, they can have a little extra on the weekend. Sorry to say, but it does not take much added food on the weekends to cause a plateau.

What is wrong here is the manipulation of the schedules, the timing, the food choices or lack thereof, that can make you feel tired and worn out as a result of doing any of these choices.

Your body wants to cooperate with anything you do! It “records” what you did yesterday, and tries to repeat it. But along the way, your metabolic rate is going to need to readjust downward to what you are doing, and what you thought you were trying to do, just became worse. Eat responsibly throughout the day, give your body fuel to work on, don’t store too much for another day, and feel proud that you have eaten what your body needs to go another mile!

Want more advice on dieting in it’s true form? Let us know, by filling out this form and telling us a little more about you and your goals!

What does the word “diet” mean to you? Tell us in the comments!