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


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



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. 

Rest may be the best thing for your body right now

When I am designing workouts for my clients, I’m working with four different variables. The first three are the most common: resistance, repetitions, and sets. But the fourth? Rest. Some exercises are meant to be performed continuously. But usually a workout is designed to be performed at a higher intensity that requires some sort of break. For example, if I asked you to do 100 push-ups, you probably wouldn’t do those without a break. But what if you did ten and then had a 2-minute break? Easier, right? Need it easier? How about two push-ups 50 times with that same 2-minute rest? That’s a very different challenge, right?

I use this extreme example to demonstrate that rest is an active component to an exercise routine. It’s important between exercises, between sets and also during entire seasons.

Rest DayA couple weeks ago I was on vacation with my family. What I’ve learned is that me being gone is usually a good time for clients to get a little break. In case you haven’t noticed, I like high intensity workouts. We are all training safely and people are getting stronger, faster and more confident. But this training takes a toll on the body. I’ve found that me being gone is a good time for clients to have an easier week or even take the week off from intervals. Do you want to know what I often see when I return? Some of the best days of training all year! The reason for this is that the body sometimes just needs to take a break and rest. I’ve seen this as a runner on many occasions: training is going well, “life happens” and I miss anywhere from 4-9 days of training, and I start to worry I’ve lost my edge. Just the opposite! The time off was just what I needed to pop out a great workout and take my training to the next level.

There are four variables to every workout. In the next couple weeks, take note of how the rest component is affecting your effort and results.

Protein Powders: How do I buy a safe product? Which one is best?

When choosing a protein powder the choice can be quite difficult.  You see the list of ingredients and get overwhelmed. did the work for you.  They did a comprehensive study of over 675 products and 111 different brands while getting the advice of dietitians and fitness experts.  They considered the concerns of artificial sweeteners, illegal substances and food colorings.

And the winners are:  Click here and find out.


The sports nutrition industry has a history littered with lawsuits, misleading product labels, and hyperbolized products, especially when it comes to protein powder – which is a multi-billion dollar industry. Outrageous branding campaigns have been convincing people they need extra protein to build muscle since the ‘70s, and that perception is still going strong. Sales are up, spiked proteins are rampant, and the war for the best-tasting whey isolate continues.

We spent 180 hours researching the industry to discover what the frenzy was all about. During that time we built a list of 697 different flavors of protein powder, consulted with nationally renowned fitness and health experts, and investigated the nutritional pros and cons of 191 artificial sweeteners, food colorings, and illegal substances.  Continue Reading

Artificial ingredients are useless and can lower your overall health

The general consensus among online fitness and nutrition communities is that the artificial sweeteners and colorings used in protein powders are bad for you. We took our research a step further and asked over 4,000 registered dietitians for their opinions on the matter. Their response was unanimous (and much stronger): If possible, artificial sugars and colorings should be completely avoided. Not only are they unnecessary; they’re potentially dangerous. Continue Reading