Client of the Month – Joe

My trainer, Vikki Hettiger, and I have been working together twice a week for just over a year. During this period, I’ve made a number of observations that explain the extraordinary advantages of hiring a Personal Trainer.

Client of the Month Joe 2

 

First, there are a number of exercises I wouldn’t be able to perform without Vikki encouraging me. She is the cheerleader that reaches across to my inner resources, enabling them to succeed, where alone I would have failed.

 

Second, Vikki offers a view I could not otherwise have. It’s like having a “mirror”, and acquiring a level of critical vision that is beyond my capabilities when I’m working out by myself.

 

Third, working with a good trainer is a “cumulative” experience. The brain and the body do not grasp it all at once. Acquiring muscle memory takes time and repetition. The rigor eventually pays off, but only when there is consistency. Each session ‘builds’ on every detail of the experience – some of it works at a conscious level, and some of it is the subconscious effort of acquiring habits so they become “ingrained”. The things I learned early on in our sessions have become the building blocks that have eventually allowed me to perform more advanced exercises.


Another thing I realized is that even though I am reasonably body-conscious, there are still muscle groups that I barely had control over in the beginning. Through Vikki’s attentive and consistent training sessions, I gradually gained a much keener awareness of how my muscles inter-relate… and how to coordinate and control them consciously. This is, undoubtedly, what people mean when they say ‘I’m discovering muscles I didn’t know I had’!
Working with a trainer is sort of an extreme form of therapy. The aims are general, yet amazingly, the effects can be highly specific. While individual exercises usually aim for a specific muscle group, all seem almost inadvertently to enhance the ‘core.’ Strengthening the core muscles plays a role in everything you perform while training; and the benefit can be as dramatic as it is surprising. I happen to be subject to some pretty bad lower back problems; however, effectively training my core has helped immensely in avoiding bouts of serious back pain. Wouldn’t you rather spend the money on training than on drugs?

 

Finally, I have learned that the body has an innate desire to “cheat” or to find the easy way out. This cannot be helped; it’s practically instinctive. Vikki is there to be watchful and to point out exactly how and where my body is trying to ‘cheat’ when performing an exercise. This is important because any cheating in movements undermines the training process, preventing me from reaching my best potential. In this respect, working with Vikki has been invaluable.
I find working with Vikki to be a luxury experience. She has more faith in me than I do in myself. It’s part of her professionalism. She focuses on me during our time together, which in turn, helps me focus on myself. And I’m delighted that she calls the agenda – it is always a surprise, so there can be no dread, nor false anticipation. When training with Vikki, I live entirely in the moment, no extraneous worries, no apprehensions. That’s what I call a luxury service.
Client of the Month Vikki and Joe

Fitness Tracker Training Spring 2017

Master Trainer Hans Schiefelbein teaches FT2 Mondays at 6:15am

Did you know that wearable technology is the #1 trend in 2017? If you have a FitBit, Garmin, Apple Watch, or other fitness tracker, you are in great company. While some of these trackers are more expensive than others, at the end of the day they all worth their investment if they are used properly and to their fullest. Tracking steps is one thing; taking your 24/7 movements and exercise data and developing a custom workout and adjusting your lifestyle is another thing.

Apple Watch vs. FitBit: The Device Doesn’t Matter

In 2016 I used a FitBit and in 2017 I’ve moved to Apple Watch to track my health and fitness. Both are great devices! They both track steps, FitBit is better for tracking sleep, but Apple Watch has coached me to relax and move better. My wife really wants to get a Garmin. It really doesn’t matter which device you get. I suggest everyone who wants to take their health and fitness to the next level get a device and start learning more about their day but more importantly their week and month. We all know life happens and the next thing you know you haven’t worked out for four days. Wearing a fitness tracker has changed my mentality without making me into a fitness crazy-person. When I had the FitBit, I realized how poorly I was sleeping and I learning to connect my sleep (or lack thereof) with my mood and performance on any given day. As I’ve worn Apple Watch, I’ve dedicated myself to listening and responding when it prompts me to breathe (it encourages you to stop and focus on controlled breathing get for one minute). I’ve also listened when it tells me to stand up if I haven’t stood in an hour. Your device will tell you similar things and it’s up to you to listen to it. It’s up to me to coach you through that process through my FT2 Series.

Steps vs. Exercise

One of the biggest issues I see with clients and members tracking their fitness is the focus on steps vs. exercise. Tracking steps is great for beginners like the Sandwich Walker who used walking to lose considerable weight (100 pounds!). I talk about this in terms of exercise adherence: when you’re just gettting into fitness it starts with steps. After you’ve committed to and executed a weekly routine of working out 4-6 days per week, the next step (see what I did there?) is to challenge the body to exercise differently. This is where Fitness Tracker 2.0 comes in. FT2 Training is the third component in the FT2 series. This 10-week class is designed to do three things: (1) teach you the advanced features of your fitness tracker, (2) analyze your weekly workouts and design new progressions to reach your goals, and (3) expose you to new exercise routines, specifically HIIT training. Yes, it’s ok for older adults to do high-intensity interval training.

FT2 Training

For the past year I have taught five sessions of FT2 Training. Members sign up primarily to have a coach look over their exercises and their weekly routines. But they also find great value working with the other class members. I put aside five minutes at the end of class for everyone to check in; every week this discussion carries over past our allotted time. I move on to other clients while class participants keep chatting as long as necessary. This social component has proven to be very beneficial for each member.

FT2 Training starts next Monday (April 17). The 10-week class meets from 6:15-7:15am Mondays. The two requirements are you need to have a fitness tracker and you need to sign up for a free MyFitnessPal account so I can monitor your workouts. If FT2 Training isn’t for you, try 8 weeks of FT2 Online and we’ll conduct our training on the internet – awesome! FT Online is the second component of the Series. Also keep an eye out for FT2 Seminar where I conduct a presentation and Q&A about all things fitness tracker. As always, happy training! Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Tennis Training

Pinnacle is proud to offer tennis training this spring. Join trainer Sally Wolff for conditioning in a small group setting to prepare you for this summers’ tennis season. We sat down with Sally to discuss what you can expect at tennis training.
What is your experience with tennis conditioning?

I have taken classes over the years that focus on tennis conditioning, but they are few and far between. Most tennis facilities do not offer a conditioning program along with the membership. That is why I am so excited that Pinnacle Health and Fitness is offering a class.

How have you seen conditioning help people’s game?

Tennis conditioning and training has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. The changes in racquet and string technology have changed the game at all levels, from recreational player to professional. As the equipment has changed, so has the training, with increased focus on core strength, agility, flexibility, and balance training, Professional tennis players today have highly sophisticated training regimens and a team to help them stay strong and injury free. Recreational players can certainly benefit from many of the same exercises. Tennis players are often stronger on one side than the other, since tennis is a one sided sport. Training both sides helps with balance in all areas of life, and can reduce injury risk as well.

What can participants expect in tennis camp/training?

We will incorporate many of the USTA, (United States Tennis Association), exercises for tennis conditioning in the class. Participants can expect a mixture of cardio, movement training, balance, core strength and flexibility training. Each class will also incorporate some injury prevention/training specific to shoulders and wrists. Modifications to the exercises will be offered to allow all levels of participation.

For more info and to sign up, visit our tennis page.

American Heart Month

Pinnacle is proud to celebrate American Hearth Month. Help your heart and assist the American Heart Association. Join this month and save up to $129 + Pinnacle will donate $20 for each new member who joins in February.

This offer is for new members only. Offer Expires 2-28-17. Offer cannot be combined with other promotional offers or discounts.

Super Saturday Success!

Last Saturday was another successful Super Saturday Event! We launched Body Pump 100 and offered a bunch of other group exercise classes. It was a fantastic and fun-filled day for all!  Our next “Super” event will take place in early spring, be sure to watch your email and our Facebook page for the date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friends and family are always welcome. Whether you attended or missed this event, make a point next time to bring anyone who has been thinking about this type of format – you can see it works for so many people!

 

We are excited to announce the addition of another awesome Les Mills program to our clubs!  CX WORX will be joining its “sister programs”, BodyPump, BodyStep and BodyCombat on our Group Ex schedules in the very near future!  Not familiar with CX WORX?  Check it out!

Fitness Tracker 2.0 Training Starts Monday

Fitness Tracker 2.0 Training

Next 10-week training session starts January 9

Did you get a new fitness tracker over the holidays? According to ACSM’s annual survey, fitness trackers are the number one fitness trend for 2017. For the past year, master trainer Hans Schiefelbein has been creating the FT2 Series. The FT2 (Fitness Tracker 2.0) series is based on the premise that many people have wearable devices but they don’t use them to their fullest potential or they aren’t getting the results they had hoped for, thus FT2.

The next FT2 Training starts January 9th. Each week the class meets for group training on Mondays at 6:15am. At that time Hans delivers the entire week’s workouts for each participant. Throughout the week, Hans monitors all workouts and non-workout physical activity and nutrition through MyFitnessPal, which every participant is required to join. MFP acts as the central hub between the participant, the fitness device, and the trainer. Along with way Hans will be making adjustments to workouts and coaching each member to their personal best. Last year the class renewed their training three times – fitness tracking with Hans works!

If you’re not sure that FT2 Training is for you, try FT2 Online. This 8-week online training is exactly that – eight weeks of online training where members send their fitness tracker to MyFitnessPal where Hans delivers weekly workouts and monitors them throughout the week as your digital coach.

If you’re a self-starter that needs an expert coach, sign up for FT2 Online. For ten of the most challenging weeks and to start of 2017 in a sprint, join us next Monday for FT2 Training. Sign-up is required so email Hans today.

Snow Sport: “Ideal cross-training”

 

No one wants to think about the winter months, the snow, the cold while we’re still in September. But if you’re a winter sports person and you want to have a great season, the time to start training is now. That’s why we developed Snow Sport. Here’s what Rich Schifreen has to say about the class: *“The snow sports class has been an ideal cross-training opportunity for me to build balance and core and limb strength to complement my bicycle training and help transition into downhill and cross country skiing for the winter. It’s also played a major role in helping me rehab from surgery to repair a ruptured quadriceps tendon in my left knee and a total reverse shoulder replacement. Christine worked with my physical therapist to help me return to the snow sports class safely and with a plan for a slow but progressive build to my limits.” *

Snow Sport is already the most popular class at Pinnacle. But we want to make it grow this year! Here’s our special this fall: Bring a friend and get a free smoothie on the first day of class. If you’re looking forward to the winter athletic season, your preparation starts with Snow Sport!

Snow Sport sign up button

Q&A with Master Trainer Christine James

Christine James (ACE certified, 23 years experience) has seen a lot in the fitness industry. In response, her approach has changed and results keep pouring in. On September 26th she begins the first session of our most popular class at Pinnacle: Snow Sport. We sat down with Christine to talk about personal training, her own fitness, and why Snow Sport is so effective.

Snow Sport 2016

1. What is your training philosophy with your clients?

My training philosophy revolves around movement and motion. I believe in promoting movement and maintaining maximum motion, and this can be applied to any person, with any goal, at any fitness level.

2. What kind of success stories have you seen in your 23 years of training?

I’ve been a certified trainer working with clients for over 23 years. My training style has most definitely changed over the years as the industry continues to grow and evolve. I’ve worked with so many individuals ranging from post-injury rehabilitation, to training for the Police Academy Fitness test, to supplemental training for Ironman, and anywhere in-between. My favorite success story, though, centers around watching a client achieve something they couldn’t do before – or do something they didn’t think they could do. I see this every day in every workout with every client. To me, that’s the definition of success.

3. What would be your advice to someone interested in personal training?

Do this for yourself. When you work with a trainer, you will be guaranteed a personalized workout every time. You will be challenged to the level that works for you, and pushed to do things you didn’t think you could do!

4. How do you maintain your level of fitness?

Variety is the spice of life! I thrive on mixing things up with my personal fitness. I teach cycling class at Pinnacle, and I really like taking other fitness classes too! While I also enjoy running and taking my dogs for walks, I find that strength training mixed with cardio intervals works best to keep me feeling strong and healthy.

5. Your classes at Pinnacle are very well attended. Why?

I like to promote hard work, fun, laughter and friendship. I strive to combine all of those qualities in every class I teach. I believe by promoting welcomeness and acceptance, people will want to continue showing up. It’s contagious and that feeling spreads throughout the group, and all of a sudden we have an entire class of welcoming and accepting people working hard to be fit and healthy together. It’s a beautiful thing.Snow Sport sign up button

Last Call: Summer Outdoor Boot Camps (Fitchburg)

signupbootcampThis is the last call for outdoor boot camps this summer. The newest member of our team, Sally Wolff, will help you end the summer well and launch you into the fall. This boot camp has the opportunity to get you into the best shape of your life! From the boot camp instructor herself:

“Boot Camp is designed to be a fun, high intensity class that combines cardiac endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility training. The exercises focus on total body movements and core strengthening. Exercises can always be modified to protect an area of the body, or to increase the intensity of the workout.” – Sally

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One of Sally’s satisfied participants, Lori, has this to about boot camp:

“I just wanted to send a note to let you know how much I am enjoying and benefitting from the boot camp you do! I have never participated in a boot camp before, so I was a little intimidated at the idea. But I wanted to challenge myself, I give it a try, and I am loving it! I look forward to Mondays and Wednesdays after work, even though it has been very hot! It’s a great workout! Your encouragement and tips for proper form are so helpful. I am signing up for the next four weeks! – Lori

Member price for this last 4-week session (two classes per week) is just $80. You can sign up on the boot camp page and end the summer on a great note.DSC_0668

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HIIT Tabata Training

We all work out for various reasons. Some of us just want to get our steps in. Others are trying to lose some pounds. Some are trying to finish their first race or set a personal best at a particular distance. Whatever your reason for working out, new research tells us everyone can benefit from cranking up the intensity every once in awhile.

High intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, is exactly what it sounds like… and then some. Here’s how it works. Pick an exercise and do it as hard as you can for 10-40 seconds. Take a short rest, usually less than 20 seconds. Then repeat 4-8 times. What is high intensity? High intensity is classified as all-out effort. For example, if you’re slamming a ball on the ground, you’re trying to get as many reps as possible; you’re going as hard as you possibly can.

HIIT Tabata

HIIT training is a national trend, but the most popular protocol has a local connection. The Tabata protocol was designed by head coach Irisawa Koichi, the head coach for a Japanese speed skating team. Coach Koichi wanted to see how short could a workout be and still be effective. They’re template was a high intensity bout followed by short rests. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science conducted a study in 1996 that determined participants improved both cardiovascular fitness and modified body composition.

As a trainer, I use the Tabata protocol every day with my clients. I have seen both qualitative and quantitative results. Some clients have lost significant weight, some have gotten stronger, and all of them have improved their ability to complete more repetitions in the short interval and handle the workload more efficiently. When your body is physically able to perform high intensity exercises, you demonstrate increased cardiovascular and muscular fitness. This should be a primary goal for our workout.

Of course high intensity training is not for everyone and you should always consult with your physician first. Consider if your training would benefit from Tabata one day per week. Next week on the blog we’ll have a free HIIT workout.