Member Stories: Emily Sydnor “Motivation was the most difficult part.”

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:

About a year ago, I had a bit of a wake up call. For a time prior, I was under a lot of stress and, in turn, gained a bit of weight. I knew I something needed to change.

My family joined Elite many years ago and I had always been around the club. I was a multi-sport athlete in high school, so I was no stranger to training and conditioning. Like most people, motivation was the most difficult part of change. Training for sports is much different, and in my opinion less difficult, than training for “pleasure.” When training for sports, coaches and other players are there to guide and motivate you through the process. When training by yourself, you have to push yourself.

Luckily, my mom has been going to Body Pump class at West Brookfield for years. I began going to Body Pump three mornings a week and developed relationships with the other members in the class. Having someone to workout with made the process so much easier. They were always so positive and complimented me as my weight loss became apparent.

After months of Body Pump class, cardio training, weight training, and watching what I ate, I lost 60 pounds. Everyone, including me, was so proud. My Body Pump family and support from family and friends were instrumental in my weight loss journey. Thank you, Elite, for helping me attain my goal!

Congratulations Emily for meeting your goal! Body Pump is a great class, and we are happy that along with support from others, it could help you lose weight.

For those of you out there still trying to lose the weight, have you considered incorporating regular exercise classes in your routine? Clearly it’s not just about exercise, it’s also very much about support and finding those who will help you push yourself.

What’s your favorite group exercise class? What about it makes the class “awesome”?

Submit your own “elite” story. Or tweet us @MyEliteStory with not just your major accomplishments, but also those little everyday wins too.

4 Benefits of Training With Your Significant Other

By Gage Livingston, Personal Trainer, Elite Sports Club-North Shore

Couples Personal TrainingDo you and your significant other want to try something new together? Do you want to improve your relationship? I was just reading an article from Ace Fitness that was discussing the benefits of couples that participate in a personal training program together. I thought it was excellent and I would like to share some of the highlights with you.

The article mentioned a number of key benefits to training with your partner.

  1. The chances of sticking with a fitness program are greatly increased when you train with your partner – a little peer pressure is always good for staying on track.
  2. You will both benefit from a customized workout from a personal trainer.
  3. Personal training together allows you both to benefit from an opportunity to support each other’s goals in a very focused way.
  4. Personal training with your partner will enhance your fitness level and your relationship. It will give you something new to talk about, laugh about, and enjoy.

So, go get your honey off the sofa and get to the gym!

Get started with a customized personal training program today, we offer couples rates! Haven’t been to an Elite Sports Club yet? Schedule a tour to check out our fitness & training facilities.

Do you work out with your significant other? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments!

Keeping Up Your Fitness Routine Through Pregnancy

By Jen Bauman, Elite Sports Club-Brookfield Group Exercise Director, ACE-certified Personal Trainer, Prenatal/Postpartum Exercise Certification

You have all heard of those women who talk about how they absolutely LOVED being pregnant. Well I have to say, I am one of them. I felt great throughout my entire nine months. I truly believe that the reason I felt so good, was that I kept up with my regular workouts. Now before I go any further, one thing I will say is that you must check with your doctor to make sure working out is okay for you as an individual. Every body and every pregnancy is different.

One of the first things I noticed was the fatigue. My heart rate was higher and it took much more out of me to perform my pre-pregnancy routine. I continued with my normal workouts but realized that I would have to slow down a bit to allow my body to take in enough oxygen for both the baby and myself. I also added a small snack before my workouts. I loved my banana, yogurt, and granola parfait that I’d whip up about 30 minutes before exercise. (As a general rule, 300 additional calories are needed per day during pregnancy.) Other than having to modify my intensity, I initially was able to continue with my cardio and strength workouts as I had pre-pregnancy.

pregnant woman on treadmillAs my pregnancy progressed, however, I did make several adjustments to my workouts. For cardio, I taught regular kickboxing and step classes, both of which I was able to continue. Nonetheless, my movements overall became smaller. Joints become more flexible during pregnancy so it is important to be aware of the range of motion you are taking your body through. I do remember around 8 ½ months feeling really light-headed after one of my step classes. This was my body telling me to stop what I was doing–always listen to what your body is telling you. From that point on, I replaced my step workouts with a walk on the treadmill.

Pregnant woman exercising with kettlebellFor my strength training workouts, it was really just a matter of adjusting my weights. As my belly got bigger, my weights got smaller. I continued to work all areas of the body, concentrating on my back to keep my posture strong. Standing for a prolonged period of time is not recommended, so I used a stability ball to sit on and perform rows, shoulder presses, bicep curls, and overhead triceps extensions. If I was standing, I would make sure to maintain a wide stance, with my toes turned out. This provided a good base for stability. I also avoided lying flat on my back because it can decrease blood flow to the uterus. One option I used was lying on an exercise step with two risers on one end to provide an incline that was comfortable.

I have heard many women say they avoided working their abs entirely during pregnancy. I believe this is one of the most important areas to concentrate on. You can’t exactly perform bicycles until you’re exhausted, but you can work your core in other ways. I often used the stability ball to do slow, small crunches or did planks on my knees. Just this little isometric contraction is a great way to keep your abs tight and strong. However, avoid excessive oblique work, it can cause strain on the lower back.

These are just some of the concepts that helped me during my pregnancy. I can’t say that it helped me through the horrible, painful back labor I had, but I absolutely believe it helped keep my weight gain under control. It also allowed me a quicker return to my normal routine after giving birth. I plan on doing it all again with the next one!

Do you need help determining which exercises you should do while pregnant? Our certified personal trainers can help you set up a personalized plan! When you are in a group exercise class, you can also ask the instructor to for modifications.

What were your (or your significant others’) favorite ways to exercise while pregnant? Did you find that you had to temporarily give up certain workouts? Tell us in the comments!

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.

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)