VIDA Blog

Mar 30 2014

April U Street Group Fitness Programs

Please email our Group Program Manager, Alexx Zamudio, at azamudio@vidafitness.com if you’d like to join us for any of the programs below.

Foundations of Pilates Reformer – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Thursdays at 7:00pm & Saturdays at 9:30am beginning April 10th
DETAILS: Enjoy a full-body workout with the Pilates Reformer. Improve your overall muscle tone, strength, and posture. Precise movements emphasize abdominal and lower back development to enhance strength, muscular symmetry, alignment, and flexibility. A series of weighted springs adds resistance, while the pulley system provides a gentle, lengthening of muscles.

VIDA X-Fit – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Sundays at 11:15am beginning April 15th
DETAILS: Join us for these constantly varying high intensity workouts. You’ll learn a variety of functional movements incorporating gymnastics-based strength exercises and endurance training techniques. You’ll become stronger and more explosive while working as part of a team.

Pre-Summer Weight Loss Challenge – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 21st
Mondays & Wednesdays at 6:00am, Saturdays at 9:30am Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6:00am, Saturdays at 9:30am Wednesdays & Fridays at 5:00pm, Saturdays at 9:30am
DETAILS: It’s not too late to make your New Year’s Resolutions come true this year with the Spring Weight Loss Challenge. This program is guaranteed to help you shed those extra Holiday pounds and includes a comprehensive nutritional component.

TRX – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 21st
Mondays & Wednesdays at 7:00am, 6:30pm, or 7:30pm Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6:30am, 1:00pm, 6:00pm or 7:00pm Wednesdays at 5:30pm & Sundays at 10:30am Saturdays at 12 Noon
DETAILS: Achieve your maximum potential using a variety of functional equipment in combination with the TRX straps. TRX training not only burns calories, it increases the RATE at which your body burns calories. We provide a fast-paced circuit of compound and functional exercises targeting all major muscle groups. Our goal is to improve your overall strength, balance, core, and cardiovascular fitness.

Outdoor Boot Camp – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 29th
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6:30am Tuesdays & Thursdays 6:45am, Saturdays at 8:30am
DETAILS: This outdoor cross-training adventure will work your entire body by going from one exercise to another without rest. Pushups, jumping jacks, and crunches are only the beginning of this powerful caloric burn. Reduce stress, lose fat, tone-up, and build confidence with your new Boot Camp buddies.

VIDA Metabolic Blast – 4 Week Program
WHEN: Wednesdays at 6:00am & Saturdays at 12 Noon beginning April 30th
DETAILS: It beats running on the treadmill and delivers a great workout in just a fraction of the time. VIDA Metabolic Blast is exactly what it sounds like; a cardiovascular workout of short, intense intervals designed to improve your overall fitness level. You’ll exert maximum effort for a few seconds at a time followed by a series of short breaks. These workouts burn fat faster and we promise you won’t get bored.

Mar 30 2014

April Verizon Group Fitness Programs

Please email our Group Program Manager, Tami Devitis, at tami@vidafitness.com if you’d like to join us for any of the programs below.

Barre Bikini Challenge – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Saturdays at 1:00pm beginning April 5th
DETAILS: We’ll combine a healthy eating plan with our fun, high-energy Barre classes in this fast-paced 90-minute workout. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up while building core strength and flexibility. Tone and sculpt your body while learning to make healthier food choices.

TRX 101 – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Sundays at 9:00am beginning April 6th
DETAILS: TRX 101 is your first step into the wonderful world of TRX training. You’ll train your entire body through functional movements targeting muscles you never knew existed.

VIDA X-Fit – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Tuesdays & Thursdays at 11:00am beginning April 8th
DETAILS: Join us for these constantly varying high intensity workouts. You’ll learn a variety of functional movements incorporating gymnastics-based strength exercises and endurance training techniques. You’ll become stronger and more explosive while working as part of a team.

Pilates for Runners – 1 Day Workshop
WHEN: Sunday, April 13th from 2:00pm to 3:30pm
DETAILS: Get your body ready to perform at your best, improve your core strength, and become a faster and more efficient runner. Pilates exercises create a stronger, more flexible spine, and also promote faster recovery from strains or injuries. For a runner, posture is one of the key ingredients to success.

VIDA Fighter Camp – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Mondays at 7:30pm and Saturdays at 1:30pm beginning April 14th
DETAILS: You’ll also learn basic techniques like striking, kicking, and grappling to move like a fighter while we sculpt you into amazing shape. This workout focuses on training techniques found in a boxer’s regimen, with 30 minutes devoted to intense core strength and conditioning drills followed by 20 minutes of intense heavy bag drills.

Outdoor Fit Camp – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 15th
Tuesdays & Thursdays at 12 Noon
DETAILS: Fit Camp is a 45-minute express outdoor workout designed to focus on full body fitness by going from one exercise to another without rest. Your challenge is to take your body to its limit. You’ll work, sweat, and most of all have fun.

Foundations of Pilates Reformer – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 21st
Mondays at 5:30pm
Wednesdays at 12 Noon
Sundays at 4:00pm
DETAILS: Enjoy a full-body workout with the Pilates Reformer. Improve your overall muscle tone, strength, and posture. Precise movements emphasize abdominal and lower back development to enhance strength, muscular symmetry, alignment, and flexibility. A series of weighted springs adds resistance, while the pulley system provides a gentle, lengthening of muscles.

Outdoor Boot Camp – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 21st
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6:00am Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6:30am, Saturdays at 8:30am
DETAILS: This outdoor cross-training adventure will work your entire body by going from one exercise to another without rest. Pushups, jumping jacks, and crunches are only the beginning of this powerful caloric burn. Reduce stress, lose fat, tone-up, and build confidence with your new Boot Camp buddies.

TRX Tabata – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 22nd
Mondays & Wednesdays at 4:30pm
Tuesdays & Thursdays at 7:30am
DETAILS: Supercharge your workout and experience High Intensity interval training (HIIT) with the TRX. This intense fitness class includes non-traditional exercises utilizing the TRX, kettlebells, battling ropes, BOSU balls, and much more. You’ll be moving non-stop towards your fitness goals.

Weekend Warrior Boot Camp – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Saturdays at 8:30am beginning April 26th
DETAILS: This indoor cross-training adventure will work your entire body by going from one exercise to another without rest. Pushups, jumping jacks, and crunches are only the beginning of this powerful caloric burn. Reduce stress, lose fat, tone-up, and build confidence with your new Boot Camp buddies.

Mar 30 2014

April Metropole Group Fitness Programs

Please email our Group Program Manager, Colleen Palomaa, at cpalomaa@vidafitness.com if you’d like to join us for any of the programs below.

Barre Resolutions Challenge – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Saturdays at 2:30pm beginning April 12th

DETAILS: We’ll combine a healthy eating plan with our fun, high-energy Barre classes in this fast-paced 90-minute workout. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up while building core strength and flexibility. Tone and sculpt your body while learning to make healthier food choices.

Foundations of Pilates Reformer – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 14th
Mondays at 6:00pm
Saturdays at 11:30am
Sundays at 12:15pm

DETAILS: Enjoy a full-body workout with the Pilates Reformer. Improve your overall muscle tone, strength, and posture. Precise movements emphasize abdominal and lower back development to enhance strength, muscular symmetry, alignment, and flexibility. A series of weighted springs adds resistance, while the pulley system provides a gentle, lengthening of muscles.

Outdoor Boot Camp – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 21st
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6:00am Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6:30am, Saturdays at 9:30am Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6:00pm, Saturdays at 9:30am

DETAILS: This outdoor cross-training adventure will work your entire body by going from one exercise to another without rest. Pushups, jumping jacks, and crunches are only the beginning of this powerful caloric burn. Reduce stress, lose fat, tone-up, build confidence, and watch your body transform while developing new friendships.

Self Defense and Combat Conditioning – 4 Week Program
WHEN: Tuesdays & Thursdays at 8:00pm beginning April 24th

DETAILS: Learn the art of Self-Defense training in precise and situational scenarios. Defend yourself and your family on foot and off your back (ground fighting). This class will boost your confidence, eliminate fear, get you in shape, and tone your entire body. Have fun in a group setting, meet new friends, and push yourself to meet new challenges.

VIDA Run Club – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 27th
Sundays at 9:00am

DETAILS: Join us for 3-5 mile runs across the District during the year’s fair weather months. Whether you run a 6-minute mile or are just getting started, this will be a great way to improve your pace, get in a great workout, and make some friends.

TRX – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 28th
Mondays & Wednesdays at 7:00am or 7:30pm Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6:00am or 7:15am Saturdays at 8:00am Sundays at 5:00pm

DETAILS: Achieve your maximum potential using a variety of functional equipment in combination with the TRX straps. TRX training not only burns calories, it increases the RATE at which your body burns calories. We provide a fast-paced circuit of compound and functional exercises targeting all major muscle groups. Our goal is to improve your overall strength, balance, core, and cardiovascular fitness.

Boxing Series – 4 Week Program
WHEN: Mondays & Wednesdays at 8:30pm beginning April 28th

DETAILS: Develop and understand the fundamentals of footwork, head movement, punching, blocking, and evading. All levels are welcome as we’ll provide you with plenty of progressions. You’ll learn how to throw perfect jabs, hooks, uppercuts, and power punches; all during an awesome workout designed to get you fit fast. Training equipment will consist of focus mitts, heavy bag, speed bag, jump rope, and bodyweight exercises.

Mar 30 2014

April City Vista Group Fitness Programs

Please email our Group Program Manager, Eric Schwarz, at eschwarz@vidafitness.com if you’d like to join us for any of the programs below.

TRX – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 22nd – Try for FREE the week of April 14th Tuesdays & Thursdays at 5:30pm Tuesdays & Thursdays at 7:30pm

DETAILS: Achieve your maximum potential using a variety of functional equipment in combination with the TRX straps. TRX training not only burns calories, it increases the RATE at which your body burns calories. We provide a fast-paced circuit of compound and functional exercises targeting all major muscle groups. Our goal is to improve your overall strength, balance, core, and cardiovascular fitness.

Outdoor Boot Camp – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Mondays & Wednesdays at 6:00am, Saturdays at 9:00am begins April 21st
DETAILS: This indoor cross-training adventure will work your entire body by going from one exercise to another without rest. Pushups, jumping jacks, and crunches are only the beginning of this powerful caloric burn. Reduce stress, lose fat, tone-up, and build confidence with your new Boot Camp buddies.

Weight Loss Challenge – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 28th
Mondays & Wednesdays at 5:30pm
Tuesdays & Thursdays at 5:30pm

DETAILS: Dig your heels in and achieve your fitness goals for 2014 with VIDA’s Weight Loss Challenge. This integrative program includes elements of fitness, nutrition, and psychology to ensure that you have all the tools for success. Each team works cohesively in a group setting to shed the highest percentage of body fat.

Foundations of Pilates Reformer – 6 Week Program
WHEN: Beginning April 28th
Tuesdays at 6:00pm
Wednesdays at 6:00pm and 7:00pm
Saturdays at 8:00am
Sundays at 4:00pm

DETAILS: Enjoy a full-body workout with the Pilates Reformer. Improve your overall muscle tone, strength, and posture. Precise movements emphasize abdominal and lower back development to enhance strength, muscular symmetry, alignment, and flexibility. A series of weighted springs adds resistance, while the pulley system provides a gentle, lengthening of muscles.

Mar 29 2014

The Truth About Flexibility And Why You Are Likely Wasting Your Efforts Part 4

By Erik Strouse, MS
VIDA Fitness Trainer

VIDA Fitness Members! Welcome back for the second to last rendition of “The Truth About Flexibility And Why You Are Likely Wasting Your Efforts.” I hope thus far I have been able to highlight some key points as to why Flexibility Training is not as simple as Static Stretching. I have talked about why the body actually tightens up, Self-Myofascial Release, and Dynamic Flexibility.

In my first article I made the point that Static Stretching as a standalone effort to improve range of motion simply is not effective. It is, however, incredibly important in your efforts to continuously improve your overall flexibility. Static Stretching is very well documented to increase muscle length and Range Of Motion (ROM) around the joint. In order for this kind of flexibility training to be effective, just holding a stretch is not going to guarantee improvement in ROM. There are a few things that you have to do to ensure you receive the desired effect.

When a muscle is stretched, there are sensors called proprioceptors within the muscle that cause it to tense up to ensure it is not harmed. So in other words, that muscle actually contracts when you first immediately apply tension, and thus does not truly lengthen to be stretched. To ensure that you get that muscle tissue to lengthen, you have to “defeat” the proprioceptors to allow the muscle tissue to relax. There are several ways you can do this.

stretch1The first method is known as Passive Stretching, and it means you simply hold the stretch at the same length for a specific amount of time, usually 20-40 seconds. This does not guarantee the muscle will relax and lengthen, and therefore may not truly help you increase your ROM. If applying this method, you may have to teach yourself how to relax the muscle to cause the desired lengthening. The second method is known as Active Stretching. When using this method, you purposely contract the opposing muscle of the one you are trying to stretch. Through a process called “Reciprocal Inhibition,” when you contract a muscle, the opposing muscle relaxes, and thus when being stretched, defeats the proprioceptor response. So, put simply, you will be able to lengthen the muscle you are trying to stretch almost immediately. To give you an example of an Active Stretch, lets say you are targeting your calf muscle. For an easy mental picture, you are stretching it by standing on a stair with your toes on the edge and heels dipping below the surface. When doing this, you then pull your toes up toward your chin to engage your shin muscles. This will then relax your calf muscles, thus dropping the heels even lower than if just letting gravity pull them downward, to allow a greater stretch.

stretch2The last article talked about Dynamic Stretching and how this is essential to perform because our bodies move in three dimensions. Static stretching can also target multiple dimensions, but only by stretching the same muscle at different angles. To continue with the calf stretch on the stairs, you would simply stand in a normal stance for one angle on the calf muscle, then turn your feet 45 degrees and let the heels drop for another angle. You would repeat this on both sides, and should feel different stresses on the muscle each way you stand. Not all muscles can easily be targeted this way, so this method does have limitations. Yoga is actually a great way to target the same muscles at different angles given the wide variety of poses you practice. VIDA’s yoga classes have several formats to find a style and variety that works best for your taste. Please note, though, that some yoga poses could cause injury. Much like any workout program, please do not rush into the more advanced classes. Flexibility TAKES TIME, and A LOT OF IT. Start simple, and over several months, start progressing to harder classes.

So as a quick recap of the steps to improving flexibility, step #1 is Self Myofascial Release, step #2 is Dynamic Flexibility, and now step #3 is Static Stretching. Next month, I will talk about the 4th and final step to the process! Thanks for tuning in, and as usual, don’t hesitate to contact me with questions at erik@vidafitness.com.

Mar 27 2014

VIDA Fitness Healthy Lifestyle Tip

Check out this weeks Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Easy Ways to Stress Less

Stress is bad for your overall well-being, including your cholesterol, but small changes to your everyday routine can help reduce stress.

Sip a Cup of Tea
Black tea is rich in stress-busting antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavonoids, and amino acids.

Try a Little Aromatherapy
It’s time to stop and smell the roses especially since they contain linalool, a chemical that helps reduce stress. So do herbs, such as lavender and basil, and fruit, such as oranges, grapes, and mangoes.

Laugh Away Stress
When it comes to stress, laughter really is good medicine. A good belly laugh triggers the production of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. It also relaxes your blood vessels and increases blood flow — the ideal antidote to tension.

Take a Walk
If stress is a constant companion, add a 20- to 30-minute walk to your daily routine. Walking and other forms of exercise help reduce anxiety.

Find a Room with a View
Next time you’re overwhelmed, turn off the computer screen and look out the window instead. The more time people spend gazing at the view, the faster their heart rates drop back to normal.

Listen to Relaxing Music
Listening to mellow tunes with a slow, steady rhythm helps slow down your breathing and heart rate so you feel calmer.

Eat Happy Meals
A smart diet is as important for managing stress as it is to keeping cholesterol in check. Be sure to include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help boost your mood (along with “good” HDL cholesterol), and magnesium, a mineral that may help soothe an overactive stress-response system.

Mar 24 2014

A Discussion With Cat Taylor — VIDA Fitness Nutritionist — Part 2

Cat This Month we celebrate National Nutrition Month with a 2 part interview with VIDA Fitness Nutritionist Catherine (Cat) Taylor, RD. Cat studied Dietetics and Gerontology at James Madison University and in the process discovered a great passion for helping others improve their lives through nutrition. Cat believes in a total diet approach to healthy eating based on the principles of balance, adequacy, moderation, variety, and portion control. There is no “one size fits all” in nutrition and Cat wants to empower VIDA’s members to find their “fit.”. Cat sat down with VIDA Fitness blogger Paris Achenbach to discuss a wide range of topics related to nutrition. Below please find Part 2 of this interview. If you would like to find out more about VIDA Fitness’s Nutritional Programs you can email Catherine Taylor.

P: What’s the Mediterranean diet?

C: A lot of chicken, fish, lean proteins, nuts and beans, fruits and vegetables, and oils.

P: No dairy?

C: Well, yogurt. And also, there’s nothing wrong with dairy. If you’re concerned about the hormones in milk, get organic. So many people are going to soymilk and almond milk when they’re not even lactose intolerant, and they’re removing a really, really beneficial nutrient and really the perfect formula, and replacing with something that’s not as good. People assume that because almond milk is a milk replacement, it’s going to be the same. But there’s only one gram of protein. And any sugar in soymilk is added, which isn’t as good as drinking sugar from its natural state in milk.

P: What do you think about bread?

C: I think it’s fine. Have a freakin’ sandwich! People struggle with lunch because they’re in meetings all the time, and it’s hard to sit down and eat a salads or something like that. And I just say, make a sandwich! Whole wheat bread, turkey, or a veggie burger, and avocado, or hummus, and mustard. A lot of people will do really fatty things instead. And fats add up in calories far faster than whole wheat piece of bread would. A piece of bread is a hundred calories, whereas that size amount of almonds is 400 calories. The same volume of almonds or oil or anything that’s mostly fat is going to be double the amount of calories of that volume of carbs and protein. Carbs and protein are four calories per gram of food. Fats are nine calories per gram of food.

P: I never thought about that.

C: Yeah, carbs have gotten a bad rep because we started making them processed and refined, stripping all the nutrients out of them to make white bread and sourdough and white pasta and white rice, and then filled our whole plate with it, instead of a portion of your plate. A portion would mean having meat with it, have veggies with it. It means having minimum 3 food groups per meal.

P: Do you suggest to your clients to go out to eat less?

C: Ideally they should. Even if you are making the healthiest choices at a restaurant, a restaurant’s number-one focus is to make you like the food, so they’re going to put more salt on it and more fat in it, than if you made the same thing at home. And the portions are just going to be bigger. So it’s always better to make it at home, but that’s not realistic, especially in DC. People are always going out. I just suggest to pack lunch at least, because it saves money, saves time, it’s healthier, you don’t have to leave the office to get it, you can come to VIDA on your lunch break and then eat your lunch at home.

P: So what do you eat in a typical day?

C: Unfortunately I am creature of habit, and I try to switch it up because I tell my clients to switch it up. But breakfast almost always the same: oatmeal or overnight oats, blueberries, walnuts for the omega-3s, sometimes flaxmeal or chia seeds, and skim milk. And a little glass of orange juice, because I can’t live without that. And coffee with skim milk. For a snack, I’ll have a banana with almonds or nut butter, and Chobani yogurt. For snacks I always try to have two or more food groups. For lunch, either a sandwich or a wrap with chicken or a veggie burger, and avocado, mustard, and lettuce, and I’ll pair that with a snack like yogurt or fruit. I always have something before I work out, too. After my workout, I try to have some protein powder with water, and a piece of fruit. And for dinner, my favorite thing to do is to make a big salad-bar-type salad, loaded with spinach and romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peas, sunflower seeds, beets, always a protein of some kind, whether it’s a veggie burger from home, or salmon or chicken or tuna. I might throw on some brown rice or quinoa too, and use oil and vinegar as a dressing.

P: So no dessert usually, but maybe on special occasions…?

C: If I need something sweet I’ll eat dark chocolate. Or, since I’m lactose intolerant, I’ll go to a place like frozen yo, and I get frozen yogurt and top it with fruit and granola and nuts. That’s a good way to fix that sweet tooth in a healthy way.

P: Does a sweet tooth dissipate over time?

C: It does! Part of that, from my own personal experience is, when I cut out artificial sweeteners, my sweet tooth went away. A research study shows that artificial sweeteners don’t go through our body without any affect. For one, they show hormonal affects in in our insulin response. And they’re also increasing our need for sugar, for sweet. Because those artificial sweeteners are still having the same neurological responses as regular sugar would. It constantly keeps that sweet tooth going. So actually now that I’ve eliminated artificial sweeteners, I don’t need sugar like I used to. Before, if I had passed a cupcake, I had to eat one. Now I’m just like, eh. I don’t need it.

P: I strive to be like you.

C: Might want to cut out artificial sweeteners!

P: I don’t think I eat a lot of artificial sweeteners though. I wonder how many things have them without me knowing?

C: Probably more than you think. Any diet soda, any drink that’s “low-sugar,” they’ve added Splenda or Stevia. Some protein powder has artificial sugars in there, and some cereals still do it. And all the light yogurts, not low-fat but the “light” yogurts, so “Chobani Simply 100” or “Dannon Light and Fit” – all of those have either Stevia or Splenda, which in the ingredients label is sucralose.

P: Sucralose is Splenda?

C: Yep. Just as a P.S. – the “Extra” blue packet is aspartame, the pink “Sweet-and-Low” is saccharin, and Splenda is sucralose. A lot of people don’t realize that.

Mar 20 2014

Help VIDA Fitness find a cure for ALS

ALS LogoTeam-up with VIDA Fitness during May to raise awareness and work towards finding a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Many of you may also be familiar with the world famous Ice Bucket Challenge.

We’re hosting a rooftop Cocktail Party and Silent Auction at The Penthouse Pool and Lounge at The Yards at 1212 4th St SE, Washington, DC 20003. Please join us on Friday, May 29th from 7pm to 12 Midnight and purchase your tickets today at http://bit.ly/1Rm4fAw. You may also make a general donation using this link if you’d like to support this amazing cause, but are unable to attend the event. We have some wonderful items for our Silent Auction that you won’t want to miss!

Tickets are only $25 and all proceeds from ticket sales, cash bar, and the Silent Auction will go directly to Augie’s Quest, a non-profit ALS research initiative dedicated to finding a cure for the disease. The ticket price includes food from The Penthouse Pool and Lounge as well as participating restaurants in the neighborhood. We also have 3 remaining sponsorships available for $1000 that includes a cabana for your group along with bottle service and 10 tickets to the event.

We’re also looking for personal stories from our members and other DC residents that have been affected by ALS. Please contact us if you or someone you know has a personal connection to this aggressive disease.

Augie’s Quest and ALS TDI

The purpose of Augie’s Quest has always been to fund research and drug development aimed at ending ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. Since 2007, Augie’s Quest has raised over $44 million in support of finding effective ALS treatments- making it the largest individual fundraising program for ALS!

All funds raised by Augie’s Quest benefit ALS TDI, the world’s largest ALS-dedicated drug development organization. Support comes from a huge network of national events and promotions, including the BASH for Augie’s Quest, Tradition of Hope Gala and widely successful campaigns within the very generous fitness industry, such as the Clubs for the Quest, as well as a hugely innovative joint-fundraising initiative called the ClubCorp Charity Classic which benefits Augie’s Quest and other local charities chosen by that networks members directly.

The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) is the world’s leader in ALS research. Our mission has precise focus: to discover and develop effective treatments to end ALS. As a nonprofit biotech, ALS TDI combines the ambition and strategy of a pharmaceutical company with the dedicated spirit of a 501c3, with incredible flexibility to expedite promising potential treatments from lab bench to people living with the disease today. Founded by a patient and his family, and featuring PALS and their loved ones in the highest leadership roles, a sense of urgency and perseverance drives every decision made at the Cambridge, MA-based institute.

augie

Mar 19 2014

Maximizing your Cardio Workouts: The Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training

By Rachel Morrison
VIDA Fitness City Vista, Personal Trainer

Most people know that an effective fitness regimen means combining weight training and cardio. However, often cardio becomes the time when people zone out. Getting on a machine where you can watch TV or read while mindlessly pedaling or letting the elliptical carry you may make the time pass quicker, but it is also not going to produce the kind of concrete results you want. Cardio capacity is defined by your ability to get your heart rate higher, not just the endurance to stay on a machine for 45 minutes.  So if you want to maximize your body’s ability to burn fat and hang on to that hard earned muscle, try introducing high intensity interval training to your cardio regimen.

There are three heart rate training zones for cardio training, ranging from 65-95% of your Heart Rate Max.  A quick estimation of HRmax can be calculated by subtracting your age from 220. So, if you use a 30 year old as an example, their HRmax would be 190, and their training zones would be as follows:

1)      Zone 1 =  65-75% HRmax =  123.5 – 142.5
2)      Zone 2 = 76-85% HRmax = 144.4 – 161.5
3)      Zone 3 = 86 – 95% HRmax = 163.4 – 180.5

Often when people do steady state cardio, they only work in zone 1, or maybe 2. But if you have been doing that for a while, it is high time to push yourself if you want to advance your fitness.  To do an interval workout, start by pushing into your zone 2 heart rate range for 1 minute and then bring it back into zone 1 for 3 minutes to recover and repeat that 10 times. You can increase intensity to achieve the higher heart rate by increasing resistance, speed or incline for example.  This can be done on the bike, treadmill or stair climber, all of which have heart rate sensors.  Once you can handle that, try true high intensity intervals or sprints. This means a ratio of 1 to 3 time wise, so that the 1 is all out effort and 3 is recovery.  So your all out effort should take you well into heart rate zone 3 and you should be breathing hard and feeling like you can’t make it. This will be a shorter interval so a good starting example would be 30 seconds all out sprint and 1.5 minutes of recovery where you allow the heart rate to come back down.   Again, repeat 10 times, or go for 20 minutes. The faster your heart rate drops during recovery, the fitter your heart is getting so look to this to measure your progress.

The effort of pushing your body to the max, recovering, and then doing it over again will place the highest demand on your cardiovascular system to seriously boost your capacity over time and contribute to any goal whether it be weight loss, body fat reduction or just plain getting and staying lean.  This quick demand for energy puts the body in what is called an anaerobic state where it metabolizes stored energy from carbohydrates or glucose.  But because the intensity is higher, the overall burn will be higher so your body will also metabolize a higher percentage of fat than it would in a low-intensity bout of steady state cardio activity. When you challenge your body this way, it will also cause your metabolism to function at a higher level for an extended time after you finish your workout. Sometimes this is referred to as “after burn,” or it’s more technical name, “excess post exercise oxygen consumption.”
MP Cardio
Another way to achieve this would be using the battle ropes. Using more of what’s called a Tabata style of interval training, go as hard as you can slamming the ropes for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat until you get to 4 minutes total.

The bottom line is that interval cardio training to your regimen has the greatest capacity to alter body composition and get you results you can see and feel.  The body constantly needs new challenges in order to achieve new results. Is it time for you to step it up?

Happy Sprinting!

Mar 18 2014

A Discussion With Cat Taylor — VIDA Fitness Nutritionist — Part 1

Cat This Month we celebrate National Nutrition Month with a 2 part interview with VIDA Fitness Nutritionist Catherine (Cat) Taylor, RD. Cat studied Dietetics and Gerontology at James Madison University and in the process discovered a great passion for helping others improve their lives through nutrition. Cat believes in a total diet approach to healthy eating based on the principles of balance, adequacy, moderation, variety, and portion control. There is no “one size fits all” in nutrition and Cat wants to empower VIDA’s members to find their “fit.”. Cat sat down with VIDA Fitness blogger Paris Achenbach to discuss a wide range of topics related to nutrition. If you would like to find out more about VIDA Fitness’s Nutritional Programs you can email Catherine Taylor.

Paris: What exactly do you do as a nutritionist here at VIDA Fitness?

Cat: I’m an extension of the personal training department. They brought me on to fulfill the full package of health, because equally important if not more important than exercise for health is nutrition. You can’t out-train a bad diet. No matter how much you’re putting out in exercise, if you’re eating your exercise or putting the wrong things in your body you’re not going to get to the goal you need to be at. I also do consultations for clients, similar to purchasing a personal training package. So that consists of an initial consultation of an hour where we set a nutrition plan. It’s really catered to the individual, every session is a little different based on where people are at in their journey with nutrition, and what their needs are. Sometimes calories aren’t even pertinent, and we don’t even end up calculating calories. And there are follow-up sessions to ensure their success and keep them on track.

P: So you probably work with a variety of people with a variety of diets, such as vegetarianism and gluten-free. How do you deal with that? What is your background in?

C: My background is in dietetics, which is food science, and it’s very clinical. I worked in a hospital last year, and I’m taking that experience into the wellness industry. A lot of my clients are general weight loss who just need general healthful diets, not vegan or gluten free – just a basic diet that will fuel a healthy lifestyle. I have a few clients who are more strategic in doing nutrient timing, specific food pairings for different times of the day, what exactly to eat before and after exercise. Nutrition can get very detailed. It can go from very general to very complicated.

P: For general weight loss, is it just setting goals for what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and how to cut back on calories, and basic things like that?

C: Even before I get to calories, it’s “What are those calories made up of?” So I don’t like to do a whole lot of focusing on cutting back on calories. That’s never the first thing I bring up. I bring up, number one, what are you eating? What is breakfast lunch and dinner? More than anything, 1800 calories could be a really healthful diet, or it could be a piece of pizza. So I ask, what is a typical day? And not just what they’re eating, but what is their typical routine? So that I can understand challenges they face in the day, what kind of responsibilities they have.

P: Do you find any trends among your clients? Or is everyone really different?

C: There’s a lot of different, but I do see a continual theme of not eating breakfast.

P: …And not eating breakfast is bad?

C: Right. The idea is to fuel yourself throughout the day starting by first thing in the morning to start your metabolism going. A lot of people don’t eat breakfast and then maybe eat lunch. We live in a city where everyone’s working and it’s all about work. Everyone’s very busy, especially here in Penn Quarter, so a lot of people don’t plan for breakfast and lunch.

P: They probably just think their metabolism is getting started on coffee.

C: Right. So when they don’t plan for it, they don’t have breakfast, and most of their calories are happening at night when they go home. They eat a big dinner, or are grazing and snacking throughout the day. So the first thing I say is, if you don’t do anything different, eat breakfast. I don’t care what it is. Well, I kind of care what it is. And another the big thing is misconceptions on protein and carbs. There’s so much misinformation out there, or there’s so much information it makes people a danger to themselves.

P: How so?

C: Because they see something good about protein and they take it to the extreme and forget about the other nutrients you need. Or they read, “Dairy is bad for you! Soy is bad for you! Gluten is bad for you!” And they take it to the extreme, or they become confused. Without guidance, the information out there can be harmful.

P: What fueled your interest in nutrition in the first place?

C: It’s a funny story. My senior year of high school I decided to join a gym and become more conscious about what I was eating. I was always a healthy eater but I decided to not eat as many sweets, and fast food and stuff like that. So you know, I was eating just well, nothing crazy, I wasn’t cutting anything out. And I lost ten pounds, got toned up… but unfortunately that led to an obsession, and once it was summertime and I wasn’t working out, I gained the weight back that before I didn’t notice was a problem, but when you lose weight and you’re seventeen and there’s this whole body image issue, focusing on it became a good and a bad thing. Because it showed that I was interested in nutrition, because I thought it was so interesting how food really did make a difference in how you felt and looked. But majoring in dietetics at school helped me heal, and become healthier again with nutrition and exercise. It brought me back to that balance because it taught me what nutrition is really about.

P: What is nutrition really about then?

C: It’s not about depriving yourself, it’s not about reducing yourself to 1200 calories and seeing how few you can have in a day. It’s about fueling yourself and your lifestyle in the healthiest way possible, in the sense of eating healthy whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats, drinking water. And fitting in those things you really like but in moderation, and learning what balance is, and learning what nutrition really needs to do for our bodies. There’s just such an interesting relationship with food in this country, it’s either over-indulgence or deprivation. So I really strive to help bring that medium back in, trying to pull people back into the center, as well as keeping myself that way. So still having goals, still keeping people accountable, but at the same time not killing yourself over it and keeping yourself sane.

P: So what do you think of diets like intermittent fasting?

C: I think it’s silly, and certainly not eating to fuel your lifestyle. That’s just in my mind one of those “different way to do things.” People aren’t ready to just accept that you just need to eat five groups in moderation and you’ll get there. They want something else. The only diet I do believe in is the Mediterranean diet.

Stay Tuned Next Week for Part 2

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