VIDA Blog
Jun 30 2014

VIDA Instructor Profile- Erik Strouse.

Erik StrouseErik Strouse has been a VIDA trainer for the past three years bringing his talents to the personal training department as well as to the group exercise classrooms of VIDA U Street and now City Vista. He’s been training for a total of eight years, which began with his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Rowan University and then George Washington for his Masters. After his Thursday 12:30 p.m. VIDA Xtreme class at City Vista we got the background story on what Erik loves about fitness along with some insider tips.

What is your favorite thing about teaching VIDA Xtreme and teaching group exercise classes in general?

Teaching VIDA Xtreme is great because I can show people that effective, hard workouts don’t need to be acrobatics. VIDA Xtreme isn’t a “trendy” workout; it’s a workout that helps build strength and is cardio effective all by using functional movements.

Group fitness in general is fun to teach because of the energy. One-on-one training is a lot about fine tuning and breaking down movements. Group fitness is much more of an endorphin rush and it’s easy to thrive off of the energy of the group.

What got you into the fitness world?

It sounds like a cliché story, but I was heavy as a kid, and once I hit high school I was motivated to do the work and lose the weight. When it came time to go to college, I wasn’t really interested in attending, but once I took a few classes related to fitness in the physical, mental and spiritual sense it all came together and that’s how my path to training started.

What is a client or student success story that has stuck with you?

More specifically, I had one client, a 65-year-old, who lost five inches in six weeks. It just goes to show that the motivation shouldn’t just lie in looking a certain way. Make the effort to be mobile and active and the rest will follow.

What is an exercise mantra you go by?

Do what feels good.

Whether it’s physically or mentally, if you don’t like it, don’t do it. And take time to rest.

When it comes to nutrition, what’s your mantra on that aspect of health?

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Begin building healthy habits over time to sustain those behaviors; they’ll soon become second nature. Also, go for foods that have had as little manufacturing as possible. Food has powerful abilities, and the whole food source in it’s most natural state is going to be the best for you.

Jun 27 2014

Top 5 Reasons You Should Take Up Yoga

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1) To be more in tune with your body – Sometimes we take our body’s abilities

and functions for granted, but the pace of yoga allows us to slow down and

find intention in each movement and posture. This intention can really open

your eyes to where your body is strongest, and what areas of your overall

health you would like to improve.

2) To relieve stress –While running or lifting weights may also be a stress relief

for you, the breathing methods and tuning out of the outside world in yoga

can do wonders during times of tension and stress. The meditative nature of

yoga is something you might find yourself craving after you’ve discovered

true relaxation during exercise.

3) Pain relief – The practice of yoga is used to supplement treatment for a

variety of medical conditions such as hypertension and arthritis. Even back

and neck pain caused from sitting all day or not having a chance to sit all day

(sometimes it feels like we can’t win) will be greatly improved with yoga.

4) Increased Flexibility – Your excuse for not doing yoga because you’re not

flexible is no longer valid. Yoga is the form of exercise that will transform you

from not being able to touch your toes to touching your nose to your knees

with a little bit of time and patience.

5) Better sleep – At the most basic level yoga assists in being able to become

mentally “quiet” along with increased blood circulation helping your muscles

relax, both of which aid in sleep. Doing Cat and Child poses before bed is also

great way to ease in to a good night’s sleep.

For more information about VIDA YOGA Classes please visit our website.

Jun 25 2014

VIDA Member Profile – Darin Volwiler

Easily the most high-energy and enthusiastic member of the class besides the instructor, we had to track down VIDA member, Darin, after VIDA Xtreme and find out where he gets all that excitement for fitness from. Darin has been a member for three years, but his love for fitness has been lifelong. Darin Volwiler

Why is fitness a main motivator for you?

It’s really a lifestyle. It’s not a task I just check off my to-do list and it’s done. I’m a yoga instructor, so being active is just a part of my everyday life, not an afterthought. I was also always active growing up doing things like volleyball, softball, dodgeball, you name it.

How often do you take VIDA Xtreme?

This was actually my first VIDA Xtreme class! I mainly take spin classes at VIDA, but I train with Erik and follow him to whatever location he travels to. I love Erik’s style of training, it’s always high intensity, which is what I need to balance out yoga and spin.

What was your favorite part of the VIDA Xtreme class?

The end.. just kidding! I loved the mix of cardio and strength and that the movements apply to real life. You’re doing exercises that are functional and going to benefit your body in both the short and long term.

What are some of your current fitness goals?

I really don’t have any specific goals at the moment, currently I’m just focusing on maintenance and staying in good health. I like to eat less-than-healthy things, like fries, whenever I want and to do that I have to keep it up with the intense workouts. I’ve also been in the best shape of my life since I started training with Erik (he was my personal trainer match for my initial vidafit session when I first became a VIDA member) and I want to keep that going.

This is a random question just for fun, but what’s your favorite workout song right now?

The song “Wooly” by Breathe Carolina is just the perfect poppy-rock song right now that can push me through the toughest part of a workout. Like when I’m at mile 2.7 of a 4 mile run, that’s the song I want blasting through my earbuds.

Jun 24 2014

VIDA Fitness Class Profile: VIDA Xtreme

Our advice for this class: come prepared to work non-stop for 45 minutes, bring a water bottle filled with ice cold water and give yourself a pep talk.

While VIDA Xtreme isn’t for the faint of heart, it is for everyone regardless of if you’re just starting out on your journey to a healthy and fit lifestyle, or you’ve been a gym rat for years.

You’ll find the class description on the VIDA schedule to read, “A challenging total body workout combining various sport specific exercises to increase muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance. VIDA Xtreme progresses in difficulty with each class to push you to your limit and achieve your maximum potential.”

That’s VIDA Xtreme in a nutshell, but while you’re in the class you’ll get a feel for what any small group training class feels like, which is pounding out a killer workout with peers and getting individual feedback on form from the instructor.

During Erik Strouse’s Thursday 12:30 pm VIDA Xtreme class we were prepared to sweat as the heat of the day had already set in. Erik advised to drink ice cold water to keep the core temperature of our bodies down, but also be aware not to fill up too much since many movements in the class involved plyometrics.

We started out with a 5 to 10 minute warm up that got our bodies ready to move and our heart rates up. Throughout the rest of the class we did four rounds of two exercises completing as many reps as we could in 40 seconds. Erik also advised everyone to not push too hard at risk of getting injured or not completing the exercises in proper form (a lesson we could all use at times whether we’re in a class or working out on our own). So although the class is called VIDA Xtreme, be mindful to listen to your body. It’s okay to take resting breaks.

Some exercises involved working with a partner, while others utilized various pieces of equipment or just our own body weight. For anyone who finds themselves looking at the clock to see when class is over you won’t be experiencing that in VIDA Xtreme. Erik kept our attention from the get-go giving us tips on proper form (my push-up is now completely transformed) and circulating the room to provide guidance and motivation.

Before I knew it the 45 minutes flew by, and the end of the class left me at complete muscle failure. For someone who usually has a maxed out schedule, this workout is the best use of your time; you’re in, you’re out and you got a calorie-torching/muscle building workout in less than an hour.

To find out when the next VIDA Xtreme class is happening take a look at our class schedules!

Jun 22 2014

Basic Resistance Bands Biceps & Tricep Exercises

RESISTANCE BANDS BICEP CURLS:
Grasp the two ends of a resistance band.
Place the center of the band under your feet as an anchor.
Let your arms hang by your hips. There should be a bit of slack in the band.
Keep your back straight.
Bending your elbows, slowly raise your hands to your shoulders, pulling the resistance band taut.
Slowly lower your arms.

RESISTANCE BANDS OVERHEAD TRICEP EXTENSION:
Place one end of the band under your foot and hold the other end in your hand.
Bend your elbow so it is pointing to the ceiling and your hand is behind you.
Straighten your elbow and point your hand to the ceiling.
Slowly return to the starting position.