Women's Wellness Series:  How SMART goals can help put you on the right track

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Oct 3, 2018 2:51:52 PM

 

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Would you like to make a change to help you live a healthier life but don’t know where to start? Have you set big goals for yourself only to find yourself feeling so overwhelmed that you give up? It’s time for a SMART approach to fitness goal setting. This approach allows you to define goals in a specific and measurable way so that your progress can be easily tracked. SMART goals are:

Specific: Goals must be clear and unambiguous. For example, “I want to be healthier” is very vague. What exactly does “being healthy” look like? Does it mean losing weight? Eating less processed foods? Beginning an exercise program? Specifically identifying what “healthy” means to you will help to create a clear goal.

Measurable: Goals must be measurable so you can tell if you are making progress. How will you measure your progress? Making a goal measurable will also allow you to know when you have reached your goal.

Attainable: Goals should be realistically attainable. A goal that is too easily attained or very unrealistic can be very demotivating.

Relevant: The goal should have relevance and be important to you. Setting a goal that someone else would like for you to achieve is not very motivating!

Time-bound: Goals should have an estimated time for completion. Knowing that you have a deadline can help keep you motivated!

Need some help setting up goals that are right for you? Make an appointment with any member of our personal training staff to get you set on the right path! 

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Topics: women's health, goal setting, health tips, personal training, personal training for women

3 Three Reasons Why We Love TRX Suspension Training (and you should too)!

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Aug 31, 2018 10:51:11 AM

 

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Photo by M. Plt on Unsplash

By now you've probably seen those crazy straps hanging around in the gym and wondered what on Earth they are used for! The TRX suspension trainerwhich stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise, was developed by a Navy SEAL who needed a quick and effective way to exercise in a confined space. Here are three reasons personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts alike love TRX:

Increased muscle activation- By creating an unstable environment suspension training makes your core muscles work harder even when working other body parts. This instability forces your muscles to work together instead of in isolation. More bang for your buck!

Appropriate for all Fitness Levels- Suspension training leverages body weight and gravity to develop strength and endurance. An exercise feels too difficult? Take a step away from the anchor point to make it easier. Want to make it harder? Step closer to the anchor point. Being able to make small, incremental adjustments allows for constant progress.

Versatile, Efficient, and Fun- There are hundreds of different exercises you can do on the TRX suspension trainer, and since your muscles have to work together there is no wasted time. Because you can move quickly from one exercise to the next not only do you build great muscle strength and endurance, but can get a great cardio workout as well. Additionally, TRX can be used to enhance yoga poses and assist in stretches leaving you feeling long,lean, and relaxed.

So...are you ready to check out TRX Suspension Training for yourself? Good news! We have new four-week TRX small group training classes beginning the week of September 17. Get more info on how you can participate here, you will be glad that you did!

 

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Topics: personal training, personal training for women, TRX Training, TRX, TRX Suspension Training

The Coolest Abs Exercise on the Planet

Posted by Angie Quehl on Aug 15, 2013 2:44:00 PM

Up Against the Wall!

If you're looking for ways to keep your ab workout challenging and interesting, then you must try this

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 month's essential exercise for women, the wall mountain climber. Much as the name would suggest, this move is like your traditional “mountain climber" only done  with your feet against a wall. It is without a doubt the coolest abs exercise we've seen in a while and it can be done anywhere! While it is challenging, the mountain climber on the wall will not only fry your abs and core, but it also works your shoulders and glutes. Oh and bonus...it’ll help improve your performance at all the other exercises in your workout!

 

WALL MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

  1. Assume a pushup position with feet firmly planted on a stable wall.
  2. Place hands directly under shoulders. (You may place your hands slightly in front of your forehead for maximum leverage.)
  3. Drive heels into the wall. Bring shoulders down and back, brace through the core and squeeze the glutes.
  4. In a slow and controlled movement, bring one knee forward. (Make sure to push firmly through the foot that is against the wall, to maintain proper form. Do not allow your lower back to move up or down.) 
  5. Repeat on opposite leg. 

Repeat this move for 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions

Here's How It's Done

 

**The mountain climber with feet on the wall is an advanced exercise! If you cannot do mountain climbers on the floor, you should not attempt this exercise.**

 

Wanna Try It?

If you would like to modify the wall mountain climber and work up to it, consult a personal trainer . If you are living in the Northern Virginia (Chantilly, Centreville, Fairfax, Herndon) and want to find out how one of our trainers can help you learn to do this and many more moves just like it, schedule your free consultation today!

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Topics: abs exercises, exercise programs for women, personal training for women

Keys to Succeeding at Your New Year's Resolution

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jan 4, 2013 4:02:00 PM

The Plan for Success is to be Uncomfortable...Honestly!

 
Sounds like an odd statement but stay with us! With this New Year comes many new year's resolutions with weight loss being on top of the list.  However, many people start off with a bang, but fizzle oh-so-quickly out of our determined resolution spirit. Why?  Well, in order to create success with your fitness and weight loss goals, you must be unstoppable and uncomfortable.  The two go hand-in-hand and many people do not allow themselves to leave their comfort zone, therefore, their present situation never changes. 

new year's resolution keys to success


Leaving your comfort zone can be very daunting but it is this discomfort we must face in order to truly reach our goals.  Here are a few examples of emotional and physical "discomfort zones" and how you can get through them.

Being Intimidated to Work Out at a Gym

It’s very common for people to feel intimidated and uncomfortable when being seen in a fitness center. Are you feeling so out of shape and have the thought that you won’t be able to keep up with the already in-shape people in the gym?  Maybe you feel everyone will be staring at you and wondering why an overweight, out-of-shape person is at the gym anyway.
 
To overcome this obstacle, you need to turn your thoughts around.  Instead of feeling intimidated think of the fit people as role models in the gym.  Mimic their tenacity and realize that they are in shape because they are not only working out consistently, but they are working out hard.  They commonly put themselves in a physically uncomfortable place to reach their goals and so can you.  Also, pick your chin up and realize that instead of wondering why you are there, being overweight and out of shape, change your thoughts to how they are applauding you for stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a positive step in the right direction.  Once you start realizing that you have just as much right to be there as they do, you will get past that uncomfortable place and move forward with your goals.

Feeling Deprived and Restricted When Eating in Front of Friends and Family

 
Do you ever feel as though your family and friends are the food and health police as soon as you start a healthier lifestyle?  Do you find it to be uncomfortable when dining with friends and family and do you feel like they are watching every move you make when you are making your food selections?  Sometimes you just want to eat what their eating and not feel so deprived as well as feel like everyone is judging you.

Jump out of your comfort zone and have what you want without the feeling that you need to apologize or explain yourself. Planning your dining out or simple indulgences into your program is fine as long as it’s controlled.

Not Enjoying the Discomfort Exercise Sometimes Brings

With exercise comes emotional and physical discomfort.  Experiencing the feeling of doubt when faced with high levels of exercise intensity and feeling as though you just want to quit or disconnect from the level of discomfort can be pretty common.  Not many people enjoy the leg burn when doing squats or the high heart rate when sprinting in boot camp, however, in order to get results there needs to be that level of commitment as well as discomfort.
 
So, unless your exercise intention is purely for pleasure or recreation and you choose comfortable and painless, consider the possibility of experiencing some discomfort in order to achieve your fitness and weight loss goals. 

The Hard Truth

We'll just go ahead and put it out there...most people fail when it comes to achieving their new

succeed in your new year's resolutionyear's resolutions. Some of the big reasons we have shared with you. Some others include lack of motivation, lack of commitment and discipline, or just plain not planning for you own success.

Anything worth having is worth working for even if that means sometimes the work maybe be hard or uncomfortable you are taking one giant step forward in achieving the success you have always wanted with your new years resolutions. Always remember that when in doubt, seek out a professioanl. It is the job of a good personal trainer or nutritionist to help you set goals then motivate you and guide you toward achieving those goals.

 

Need some help setting realistic goals this year? Check out our blog section on the subject for some great tips and tricks to get you heading in the right direction!

 

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Topics: goal setting, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, personal training for women, weight loss for women

How to have a Fat-Blasting, Calorie-Burning Post-Thanksgiving Workout

Posted by Angie Quehl on Nov 21, 2012 11:45:00 AM

We have all been there. It's the day after Thanksgiving and you feel like you may have eaten the entire turkey by yourself. All that is on your mind is burning off those calories and fast!

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Because practically everyone has experienced a moment or two of over-indulgence, we thought we would bring you the perfect "morning after" advice on how you can have a calorie-burning, fat-blasting Post-Thanksgiving workout today and any day!

How to Make Your Workout Count!

You make the time to exercise, right? Take a moment and think about your workout…. Are you coasting? Doing the same old thing? Get the most from your workout by using the following tips.

  • Focus your mental energy.  If you're lifting weights, focus on that specific muscle group. Researchers saw a significant increase in muscle activity when people focused on what they were doing, compared to thinking about unrelated topics.
  • Pump up the volume. Listen to upbeat music while you exercise. Researchers found that personal music motivated weightlifters to complete two more repetitions on average than those who were not listening to music.  Try this Post-Thanksgiving workout playlist...
  • Keep things fresh.  Change your routine often. This will help you to avoid plateaus and will continue to challenge your body. Try new exercises, and new intensities. Check out a Group Exercise class you haven’t tried before! Post-Thanksgiving Zumba anyone? 

how to make your workouts count
  • Stay nourished and hydrated. Pay attention to your food and your hydration levels. You'd be amazed how much being dehydrated can affect your performance even away from the gym. 

 

 

Main article body submitted by: Pennie Waston, 

 

Want More tips on maximizing your workout?

Drop us a note in the comments sections as to what area of the bod you would like to see us tackle next or if you are in the Chantilly, Herndon, Fairfax, Centreville area schedule a free consulation with one of our wellness coaches. Already a member? Stop one of our certified personal trainers and ask...we are always here to help!

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Topics: exercises for women, fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, personal training for women

Why Do You Need a Personal Trainer?

Posted by Angie Quehl on Oct 18, 2012 11:49:00 AM

For More Reasons Than You Think...

I was a dancer -- ballet primarily. During the years in dance class, two things happened: I developed an internal mind/body connection balanced with an external good eye for form. Years later I tried Pilates, and just as with dance, the choreography and flow of Pilates came easily and made sense to me. After being an active gym member for years, teaching Pilates was my first professional foray into the Fitness Industry. I found that I really enjoyed seeing that people who regularly took my classes increased their strength and flexibility, and hadworking with a personal trainer more control of their bodies. Yet, I discovered that in a class setting, I was unable to give the personal attention some people needed. I decided to take the next step for my clients and became a Personal Trainer working with people one on one.

My Pilates training definitely influences the types of workouts I design for my personal training clients. I always have Pilates Principles in mind during their exercises. "Do the clients have proper form?" "Are their movements controlled?" "Is their strength and flexibility balanced?"

That idea of "balance" is so important in the lives of women asomething I understand as the mom of three teens and is expressed in my larger exercise philosophy. The stress of
every day life needs to be balanced by activities that make a woman feel good physically and mentally.  Exercise is one of the core things you can do for  yourself to live your life successfully. If you are  a gardener, get in shape so you can work in the yard without suffering days of back pain.  If you like to travel, get in shape so you can walk on cobblestones in Europe without losing your balance or haul a suitcase without hurting your shoulder. If you enjoy a sport, train for it so you can play your game, injury-free, for many years to come. Exercise can balance out your stress and makes your body feel and work better.

A Personal Trainer can help you achieve that body. It is worth the investment in you.

Find out More about What a Personal Trainer Can Do For You...

 

Article submitted by:

Jen R resized 600

Jennifer Rogers

Certified Personal Trainer at The Women's Club

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Topics: personal training, fitness for women, personal training for women

Essential Exercises for Women: Get Beach Ready Abs Fast!

Posted by Angie Quehl on May 22, 2012 11:00:00 AM

 

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As we stare down the barrel of the "unofficial start of summer" this Memorial Day weekend, we may not be exactly where we would like in terms of how we will look poolside or at the beach. Fear not...it is never too late to start working those problem areas. In this month's edition of Essential Exercises for Women, we are focusing on the dreaded mid-section. So let's all get ready to draw our belly button to our spine and get crackin'! Combine this move with regular cardio, a clean (or cleaner) diet including foods that will blast belly fat, and you could have a much flatter tum by time the "official" start to summer rolls around in June!

 

Get on the Ball!

The exercise ball is an excellent tool to strengthen the abs and is quite effective for targeting the rectus abdominsi (that is the fancy term for six pack!). What makes this move a bit more effective than crunches on the floor is that the legs are often involved in floor crunches. On the ball, the abs do more work, but you still involve the entire body to help stabilize you throughout the movement, a nice bonus that floor crunches don't always offer. There is also the ability to bring the head and shoulders further back, increasing your range of motion as well as intensity.

best abs exercises for women

Here is the "How to":

  1. Lie on the ball, positioning it under the lower back.
  2. Cross your arms over the chest or place them behind your head.
  3. Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball towards the ceiling, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips.
  4. As you curl up, keep the ball stable (i.e., the ball shouldn't roll).
  5. Lower back down, getting a stretch in the abs, and repeat for 1-3 sets of 12-15 reps.

VERY IMPORTANT TIP……

SLOOOOOOOOW DOWN!
You'll get the body you want faster by doing 10 slow repetitions instead of 20 fast ones. Moving slowly--two counts up and two counts down--allows you to use more precise form, which can stimulate your muscles better and make them stronger, says Rodney Corn of the National Academy of Sports Medicine. (The faster you go, the more likely you are to use momentum instead of your abs.) Your muscles should feel tired in 15 reps.

 

Beach Body 911? We can help!

If the thought of putting on a bathing suit makes you cringe, we can help. We have a full staff of personal trainers and exercise experts who are willing to answer any question you throw at us. Remember it is never too late to get started! Drop us your question in the comments section below or if you are in the Chantilly, Centreville, Herndon, Fairfax area, schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with one of our fitness professionals who can help you map out a plan for success that extends way beyond the beach.

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Topics: exercises for women, abs exercises, fitness tips, personal training for women

Essential Exercises for Women: Building a Better Butt

Posted by Angie Quehl on Dec 6, 2011 2:42:00 PM

It is the age of the booty-licious! From Beyonce, to Kim Kardashian to Pippa Middleton it seems that having a more shapely backside is all the rage.  No matter what the current shape of your bum, chances are you want it to look better in your favorite pair of jeans. Granted, some of what you see in the rear view is genetic, but there are things you can do to to work with what you've got. We're not saying you can get a bum a la Jessica Biel overnight, but this glute toning exercise can help you impove upon what your mama gave you and why its featured in this month's edition of Essential Exercises for Women.

The Bridge

The Bridge is a classic yoga move that is also a great toning exercise for glutes and hamstrings as well as your core.

the bridge exercise for a better butt

  1. Lie on your back with knees bent, feet on the floor, hip width apart.
  2. Beginning with a pelvic tilt (tucking the hips), peel the spine off the floor one vertebrae at a time until you've created a diagonal line from the shoulders to the knees. (The heels should be directly under the knees at the highest point.
  3. Hold for a few counts, then slowly lower spine squeezing the butt so it is the last thing to touch the ground. Repeat 10-15 times.

Variation: For more of a challenge, from the top of the bridge, lower the spine halfway down, then squeeze the butt to lift back up in quicker smaller repetitions. Raising one leg as you complete the repetition also adds a bum lifting boost!

modified bridge exercise for a better butt

Check out these articles for more ways to maximize your "assets":

How To Build a Better Butt

Sculpt a Better Butt

Get a Better Butt in 20 Minutes

 

Have areas of your body you would like to see us target? Drop us a note below in the comment box. Our team of experts are here to help and have a wide variety of tips to share!

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Topics: exercises for women, butt toning, personal training for women

Essential Exercises for Women: Having a Ball on the Ball

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jul 15, 2011 11:20:00 AM

Push-ups for your abs??? Yes m'am!

In this month's edition of essential exercises for women we bring you a great way to intensify the traditional push up and add balance and stability AND utilize your ab muscles at the same time and that makes this Move of the Month twice as nice!

exercise ball

You will need an exercise ball -- also known as Swiss balls, or fit balls --  these are large, vinyl balls you can use to strengthen and stretch your body, improving core stability and balance.

How it's done:

  1. Lie face down with the exercise ball underneath your belly and your palms flat on the floor in front of you  

  2. Use your hands to walk out to a plank position, resting the ball anywhere from your hips to your ankles. (The further out you walk your hands, the more difficult the exercise will be.   

  3. Bend your elbows to lower your upper body toward the floor, keeping your shoulders away from your ears and your abdominal muscles engaged. Your chest should remain between your hands.

  4. Repeat 10- 15 times.

Watch the Video:

How to Do Push-Ups With an Exercise Ball —powered by eHow.com

 

Using a ball can be a terrific way to kick your whole exercise routine up a notch. From push-ups to squats to even a daring side split, once you have overcome the feeling of being unstable, using a exercise ball can help you work just about every part of your body. Another little secret... it can be fun too!

Try some of our favorites stability ball exercises:

 

question markHave trouble spots that you just can't seem to fix? Help is on the way! Click the link below or submit them in them Comments Section below! 

Ask a Question about fitness for women

 

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Topics: exercises for women, fitness tips, personal training for women

The Resolution Solution, Final Chapter - How to Get & Stay Motivated!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 9, 2011 5:01:00 PM

Motivate ME!

As a personal trainer and motivator, it’s a great feeling to solve the puzzle for an individual and get them on the right track to a fitter and more complete person.  The motivator will be different for each person; some will thrive on competition with peers while others may need a consequence or reward to maintain their focus. But no matter what, an individual’s motivation is as unique as their personality. Dangling the proverbial carrot in front of someone only works if they’re hungry! Finding the motivation to keep your fitness routine going can be a real challenge...but the benefits far out way the work!

We all need to get to the root of what drives our specific behaviors. For some monetary and material rewards work, for others working towards an event like a wedding or beach trip is the answer.  But these types of motivation are rarely beneficial in the long term.  Somewhere deep within ourselves we must find some type of unique behavior trigger that will inspire us for the long haul.  I love to show each of my personal training clients how the hard work they put into today directly moves them towards the goals they have set for their life. And perhaps the weight is slowly coming off or their endurance is slowing improving, but it is moving forward and that is the goal.   

Another way to search for common motivators is by taking a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, yeah, think back to college Psych 101. This is a motivation model developed in 1943 whose premise is that we all have a common hierarchy of needs from hunger to self-esteem. If we aren’t satisfying the lower-level needs (hunger, thirst, bodily needs), then we’ll never be able to reach our goals at the next level (self-esteem / self-awareness). Using this model in our fitness motivation puzzle, you can see where materialistic rewards are good for short-term goals only. But sooner or later, your fitness motivation goals will need to be based on a solid foundation of self-improvement and that vision you have of a better you far into the future. A reunion or vacation may motivate us to lose 10 pounds in a month, but what will sustain our good habits to help us walk around the block when we’re in our 80s? Answering questions like these will help you find the keys to unlock the secret to your personal motivation.

Motivation thorugh personal training chantilly

What is it that you ultimately want

...a finisher’s medal from a marathon may get you that foundation of confidence and self-respect that you’re looking for …or involvement in a health club may be help you fill a social void in your life. No matter what path you take to better health and fitness, you’ll increase the quality and quantity of your life – but you’ve got to want it to get it. Find out what will spark your fitness motivation energy and get out there and try it!

Article Submitted by:

Meredith Chiapello Personal Trainers Northern Virginia resized 600Meredith Chiapello, Director of Personal Training and Group Exercise, The Women's Club 

 

question markHave questions for Meredith? Click the link below or submit them in them Comments Section below! 

Ask a Question about fitness for women

 

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Topics: women's health, gym chantilly, Women's Wellness, health tips, exercise programs for women, personal training for women, the women's club

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