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.

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



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.

Three questions for the competitors

Earlier this month we posted a quick note on Facebook about two of our staff members, Chelsey and Vanessa after they competed in local fitness competitions. We are so proud of them and we wanted to know more. Here’s three questions for the competitors.

How would you describe the training?Chelsey 05-2016

Chelsey: I typically train 5–6 days a week for 1.5–2 hours per session. Most days include some form of squats, pulls from the floor, technique work for snatch or clean and jerk, and other accessory strength work. I lift with a team and work one-on-one with a coach!

Vanessa: My training involved split body training that put me in the gym 5–6 days a week; three of those days were 2-a-day workouts (cardio on my lunch break). My diet was based off of macros and certain percentages of carbs, protein and fats I had to meet everyday which required me to weigh and measure the majority of my foods for about 4 months.

HVanessa 05-2016ow would you describe the competition?

Chelsey: The competitions are a blast! They are organized by weight class and gender. All lifters get 3 attempts to record, first, their best snatch, and then 3 attempts to find their best clean and jerk. Each session usually takes about 2–3 hours.

Vanessa: Body building competitions are broken down into 4 divisions that consist of Bikini, Figure, Fit Body, Physique and Bodybuilding. You enter the division where you think your body type fits in the best. I competed in the Figure and Fit Body Divisions. Figure Judges are looking for symmetry, tone and stage presence. Suits are embellished with rhinestones and high heels are required! The judges look for balance and proportion and well has good muscle tone and leanness. Fit Body competitors usually have look for a “hard” athletic physique, especially in the shoulders and arms. They’re usually a little more lean and have more striation in their muscles. I did this category just for fun because I love the poses.

Is there another competition in your future and what might that look like?

Chelsey: I will be competing in another competition either this summer or fall with the end goal to qualify for the American Open in Orlando in December!

Vanessa: This is my third show since October and it’s time for a break! I definitely plan to keep up with my lifting but probably won’t step n stage until next Spring. This summer I plan to enjoying a lot of biking and camping!

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

Three Reasons to Join a Gym

Three Reasons to Join a Gym

Every once in awhile a person needs to take an inventory of the tools we have in life. Are we moving towards our goals? Do I have the right tools for the job? Are we using our tools to the best of our ability? We often think about our health in terms of work and home. But the common denominator here is our personal health. Am I healthy enough to perform where I work? Am I healthy enough to contribute to my family life? Maybe the answer is yes, maybe the answer is no, but either way we can always conclude: “I want to take my health to the next level.”

At Pinnacle Health + Fitness we opened our doors so people could pursue their health. We are always trying to improve our facilities and services to give members the tools they need to be successful.

Own your health

Workouts at home are hard to come by. I know that many of my clients are successful working out at home but most experience a significant drop off from their workouts at the gym. Own your health. Sign up for a membership and use it as a tool to pursue your health. For a reasonable monthly rate, becoming a member is a great investment. You can’t purchase all the equipment you want, but we can (and did!). title
Buying a membership gets you access to weights, cardio machines, and functional exercise equipment like medicine balls, kettle bells and TRX suspension straps. If you value your health, a gym membership makes a lot of sense. The next step is to design your own workout, or…

Be trained by the pros

It’s not that you can’t design your own workout. It’s just that you need a little push (sometimes a big push, right Mondays?). Most of my clients get in 3–5 workouts per week but they choose to have at least one of them designed and implemented by me. Personal trainers track your workouts and progress you to new challenges that are hard to do on your own. You could view a personal trainer as another tool to have in your back pocket to pursue your health.
personal training
If you look at any successful athlete (don’t fool yourself, you’re an athlete), they have a coach. From Jordan to Ironman the best in the world benefit when they have a coach, and you will, too. Having a coach allows for critical decision making and challenges that can be difficult when managed alone. Which brings us to…

Join a team

When you join a club you join a team. During your first workout at Pinnacle Health + Fitness, look closely at the other members. Many of them know each other well enough to share friendly greetings, both personally and as it relates to their workout. Join a teamJoining a club gets you on that team. It could also get you onto a group exercise team that will expect you to be at class. Or it could get you on a smaller team, one-on-one with a personal trainer. That’s my personal favorite! What about you? Are you ready to join the Pinnacle team?

Working with a Trainer made a difference

karlbarton5My name is Tracy Roth and I have a success story that I would like to share.  I have been working with Karl Barton for about two months.  In these past two months I have seen drastic changes in my over all mental and physical health.  Words alone cannot express how much Karl has done for me.  I have to say it took me a while to find the right fit.  I have had many experiences with trainers and none have been a success for me.  The first day I started working with Karl I knew it was the right.  What was immediately evident was that Karl really cares about his clients.  It is so easy to feel his passion. Some days I just don’t feel like coming to the gym, but Karl inspires me so much, I don’t want to miss.  Even if I am having a bad day it pays to be coached by him because I know when my workout is done I will feel great.    No matter where you are in your journey you will see results.  Maintaining has been difficult for me. Without Karl’s help it could not have been done.  Karl takes the time to listen to me. He will go above and beyond to listen and he cares what you have to say.  There have even been days where I have felt down and he has taken time out of his day to listen.

In working with Karl I have gained confidence in myself, which never has happened.  I would always tell Karl I can’t do this exercise but he got me to do it.  It has really helped me mentally as well as physically. Every time I leave Pinnacle I feel great about myself.


In two short months I have been able to do boot camps and INSANITY classes, which I was never able to do. I asked Karl to come up with things that he has noticed about my improvement. This is what he had to say:  “Endurance and upper body strength has increased. Your jumping ability both long and standing jumps has really improved. You are now willing to try new things like hand eye coordination and ladder jumps for stability and stamina.”  Without Karl’s help maintaining my weight would not happen.  I have always struggled with weight issues.


He even keeps me dedicated to my workouts when we are not training together.

The staff at Pinnacle is awesome.

Thank you Karl for all your support and help.  I would not be where I am in life if it wasn’t for you.

Hire a Personal Trainer. Reap the Benefits

personaltrain10 Benefits of having a personal trainer:

  1. Motivation
    One of the main reasons people benefit from a personal trainer is that they lose motivation to stick with a consistent exercise program. Certified personal trainers can provide structure and accountability as well as help you develop a lifestyle that encourages health.
  2. Individualized program
    If you have any chronic health conditions, injuries or training goals (running a marathon, for example) a trainer will work with you and your health care provider to plan a safe, efficient program that considers these needs and enable you to reach your health goals.
  3. Efficiency
    Personal Trainers help you focus on results and stop wasting your time doing inefficient workouts. A personal trainer has a plan and will help you get maximum results in minimum time.
  4. Improve technical skills
    If you play a particular sport, the right personal trainer will help you improve your skill by showing you new training techniques specific to your sport. The Trainer will incorporate skills training into your program so you improve not only your strength and endurance, but your agility and mental focus as well.
  5. You are new to exercise
    If you are an absolute beginner, a personal trainer is the ultimate fitness coach. A good trainer will introduce you to a very simple, effective routine and build efficiently so before you know it, you have the confidence and knowledge to decide what is right for you.
  6. Break through plateaus
    Ok, you are already in pretty decent shape, but you’ve been there for years. If you are stuck in the same routine and want to break out of a rut, a personal trainer is the perfect solution. A trainer will jump start, not only your motivation, but your routine as well.
  7. Learn how to go it alone
    If you ultimately want to learn all the facets of designing your own routines so you don’t need to use a personal trainer, going for a few months may be all you need. All good personal trainers will teach you the basics of building and modifying a fitness program to achieve maximum results.
  8. Workout Safely
    A personal trainer watches your form, monitors your vitals and can provide objective feedback about your limits and strengths. Most of us tend to ignore some of the subtle signals that our bodies provide. We either push through pain or give up too soon. Because a personal trainer can watch what you are doing while you are doing it, they can help push you or slow you down as necessary.
  9. Workout at home
    Many personal trainers make house calls. If you don’t have the type or interest in going to a gym, but have a hard time knowing what to do on your own at home, a personal trainer can bring fitness into your living room.
  10. Lose Weight
    There is a good reason that the number one reason people hire personal trainers is to lose weight and get into shape — it works. If you made a resolution to lose the fat and build the muscle, a trainer can keep you on track and help you realize that goal.

I am Karl Barton a trainer in the industry for over 20 years.  I hope that you will consider working with a personal trainer. Either myself or one of my co-workers.  Try out our New Year New You 8 Week Nutrition and body shape program which gives you access to personal training.

Trainer/Masters Swim Coach/Educator