Questions for the trainers have been pouring in lately, and this month, Steve Lopes takes on a few of them.
An ex-Marine, Steve once competed on a national level for the Caribbean island of St. Kitts as a Power Lifter and Bodybuilder. He moved to Rochester in 2003, and became a full-time Personal Trainer. With the club since 2006, “Sergeant” Steve teaches two early-morning Boot Camp classes per week and runs S.E.A.L. Training with Bruce Hedlund.
His favorite part of his job is the significant role and impact he has in his clients’ lives.
Reader Question: I made a New Year’s resolution to finally lose about 30 pounds. I started the year off by going to the club almost every day. I’m already slacking off. How do I stay motivated?
Steve: This is very common because people tend to set expectations a little high when making goals. In order to prevent the loss of motivation, you should set realistic expectations. For example: if you have never done cardio and decide that you are going to do a half hour of cardio every day, if you miss a day or two you might thing, “Well, I’ve already failed at my goal so why bother?”
A better goal in this case would be 3 days a week for 15-20mins. Once you add this short duration to your current workout, it may have the opposite effect, for example “Well, I’m already here, and it doesn’t feel so bad, I can do more.”
Reader Question: What’s the best group exercise class to take to improve the overall look of my body? I am a slender woman in my 50s, but I want to tone up as much as Mother Nature will allow. The schedule can be a bit overwhelming.
Steve: There are some factors to consider here. First, what type of exercise do you do regularly? Do you play tennis? Do resistance training? Cardio only? Only classes? All of the above? For example, if you only play tennis, then a Group Power class might be a good investment of your time, because of the amount of stress on your joints from the sometimes explosive movement and unpredictable ball direction.
As a woman in your 50s, you are going to need your connective tissue (tendons and ligaments) to be strong and you’ll need to maintain a certain amount of muscle mass to protect your joints. If you do resistance training and yoga, then a spinning class, step class, zumba, and a core class could be good choices, so that you can build your cardio and core strength to help compliment and support your overall fitness level.
And if you are a tennis player who does yoga, does cardio and resistance training, and you just want to take an additional class, then a bootcamp class could be the way to go because it will tie it all together.
Reader Question: I’ve seen other members moving very fast on the elliptical machines and the Arc Trainers, but I tend to increase my resistance and take it slower. Which is better if my goal is to stay in shape (and not get in shape)?
Variety is key. Challenge yourself with intensity and time. Use higher resistance for longer and shorter durations. If you want to move fast, try and be aware of when your body is moving because you are moving it versus when you have built up so much momentum that your body is just going through the motions. Use lower resistance with a slow movement and total focus on muscle contraction through the whole cycle of movement.
Have you ever tried to use the elliptical at a medium incline of around 6 and a resistance of 5 or 6 and tried to not use any momentum and total muscle focus? It’s pretty challenging. I would also recommend using more than one machine during a cardio workout; it will be more interesting and effective in challenging your body’s ability to adapt to different types of cardiovascular requirements.
Also, don’t be afraid of getting off the machine and spicing up a 30-minute bike or elliptical session with 1 minute of jumping rope for every 5 minutes on the machine.
Reader Question: Is tennis a good workout? My doubles partner says yes, but I don’t have the same feeling after a match that I do after a good run on the treadmill.
It really depends on the person and his/her athletic ability. If you have good hand/eye coordination, are light on your feet, and can move quickly while having good ball placement/judgement, then it may feel like less work for you.
If you want to try and increase your workout on the court, try running on the treadmill before your match for whatever may be a challenge to you (time or distance), and when you get on the court, keep moving. Don’t stand still. Bounce around a little and keep in constant motion. Not only will this increase your readiness and increase the amount of exercise you are getting, it may also rattle your opponents.
Reader Question: What do personal trainers eat for breakfast?
Well, we are people too, so we eat a variety of things. Cereal, oatmeal, fruits, sandwiches, eggs, protein shakes, bagels w/ peanut butter and/or cream cheese, and yogurt with nuts. The list is long.
Depending on our day ahead, food allergies, time between appointments, and personal goals, we believe in setting the proper examples while also enjoying some treats from time to time. Two of my early morning favorites, which are quick and easy to make at 4am are:
1/3 cup of dry oatmeal
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
One scoop of protein powder
Mix together nad enjoy.
4 egg whites
1/3 cup of oatmeal
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon of splenda
Mix together, brown on a skillet for a minute or on each side, and voila-a great and healthy breakfast.
Do you have a question for one of the trainers? Post your question as a comment to this post, or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you email the question, I will ask it anonymously on your behalf, and post the question and answer (but not your name) on the next “Ask the Trainer” post. You do not need to be a member to ask a question.
Today is the last day of January, and if you’re like me, you’re reviewing your New Year’s goals to see how the first month of execution went.
Not so well.
I wanted to be much further along in my “pre-half-marathon” training. I did manage to take the first session of Ramp Up Your Run (an excellent class, by the way), but I also wanted to increase my weekly miles in preparation for the official kick-off to my training next week.
Unfortunately, sick kids (who then generously passed on their illness to me) have kept me home-bound and out of the club, and a heavy workload that has to take precedence have meant a delay to my pre-training.
Betty Becker, Group Exercise Director, is right on track to meet her goals for 2011, however.
When she approached me about spotlighting a different group exercise class each month of 2011, I was happy to help.
The goal, she says, is to make the awesomely packed schedule more accessible and to encourage members who might not have tried a class to give it a shot.
Of course, you already know about new and wildly popular MXT (now with both a 12:15pm Wednesday class and a brand new Saturday class at 12:30), but there are literally dozens of other classes on the schedule too.
This month, Betty’s shining the spotlight on Cardio Kickboxing.
Here’s Betty’s pitch for why you need to give this class a go:
If you’re bored with your aerobics class and looking for a high-intensity workout that will increase your endurance, strength, and flexibility, while you burn fat, then Cardio Kickboxing is for you.
This high-energy, explosive, exciting, and motivating class is a no-contact kickboxing workout that blends elements of boxing, martial arts, plyometrics, balance, and strength conditioning into a 60-minute exercise routine.
Why take Cardio Kickboxing?
You can burn 500-700 calories
It’s easy enough for a beginner to learn and tough enough for an advanced member to master
From shoulders to calves, you’ll become lean, toned, and strong with a complete body workout.
It’s a fun and results-driven workout
You’ll learn self-defense moves to protect yourself
Cardio Kickboxing will help you build a positive self-image, increase your self-confidence, and reduce your stress level (Kristi here: that last benefit alone makes me want to take this class right now).
Don’t let fears of trying a new class get in the way of giving Cardio Kickboxing a try. I’m the instructor, and I can tell you that my class members move at their own individual pace. The movements are easy-to-learn, and you can perform them either low or high-impact. Whether you want to get in shape or you’re just looking for a challenging workout, I encourage you to give Cardio Kickboxing a try.
See you on Tuesday nights at 5:50pm in the Group Exercise Studio!
One of the suggestions emailed to me in response to my 2010 wrap-up post was to write about group exercise classes I’ve taken to give you an idea of what to expect if you haven’t ever taken the class. I hope to be able to do that going forward as Betty highlights a new class each month.
Have you taken Cardio Kickboxing with Betty? What do you like about the class?
2010 is coming to a close. Newspapers are printing their “Best of” and “Worst of” lists, Time has named its Person of the Year, Merriam-Webster has selected “austerity” as its Word of the Year (no surprise there), and people everywhere are reflecting on the year’s top stories.
I thought Midtown should get in on the action, so here are some of the club’s 2010′s highlights:
Kettlebells arrived at Midtown and have quickly become one of the more popular training methods. Kettlebells are being used in two of the new Group Exercise Classes: MXT(Midtown Xtreme Training) and Triple Fusion, which start in January. Check out the new class schedule and give them a try.
Personal Trainer, Psyclewerks superstar, and Group Cycle instructor Doug Rusho was named the Top Male Indoor Cycling Instructor in the nation. Doug won a Keiser M3 Stationary Power Bike (just like those in the Cycling Room). He also taught a class at the Indoor Cycle Instructor PRO Conference in Boston in October.
Personal Trainers Steve Lopes and Bruce Hedlund launched their new S.E.A.L. (Strength, Endurance, Agility, and Life) small Group Training Program this past summer. The class had a total of 16 participants and is running again in January.
Early this month, group exercise instructors underwent Keiser cycle educational training to better acquaint them with using the new M3 bikes, which are the same ones used in Doug Rusho’s Psyclewerksprogram. The bikes have only been in the club for a few week, and positive member feedback has been phenomenal.
In addition to MXT and Triple Fusion, two other new classes have hit the schedule: Cardio Aerobics, a fun cardio calorie-burner aerobics class for all fitness levels, which may include strength-training and abs, and Sports Conditioning, a challenging, fun class, which used various non-choreographed strength and conditioning drills to improve flexibility, mobility, strength, and conditioning level.
The new schedule also includes two evening Cycle Express classes, and a Saturday Spinyasa class.
Camp Midtown had huge participation numbers throughout the entire season.
The Midtown Currents Swim Team came in 3rd overall in the RPSL Championships (14 teams) with the younger swimmers winning their respective age groups. In two years, the team plans on being the fastest summer swim team in Rochester. Of course, it’s already the most fun.
The USTA recognized Midtown as a pioneer in the field of 10 and Under Tennis, and an industry leader in adapting to the needs of younger players and helping them to hone their technique. This recognition came after the USTA set in place new rules for teaching tennis to kids, all of which Midtown has been implementing for years.
Camp attendance continues to increase, and whenever there is a school holiday, parents have come to rely on Camp Kidtown as a place for younger children to have a blast in a creative, active, and fun atmosphere.
As for me, the year has been a mixed bag. I’m wrapping up my first year as a member, and I have nothing but positive things to say about my member experience. That’s the good.
The bad? Well, the Rochester Half-Marathon I spent months training for in the spring and summer never happened. Sidelined by a double calf strain, I enjoyed a pity party for one on a weight bench in the club as I watched the clock tick over to 7:45am on September 12th, the time the race was beginning.
However, eight sessions of ART (Active Release Technique) in the fall, followed by a strict regime of stretching put me back in the running business. And I plan on rocking the Flower City Half-Marathon on May 1st of next year.
2010 also marked the debut of this blog and the re-launch of the Midtown RochesterFacebook page.
What have you liked about the posts I’ve run on Meet Me at Midtown? What haven’t you liked? What would you like to see more of, or less of?
We also want the club’s Facebook page to be as useful for you as possible, so please let us know what you’ve liked and haven’t liked, or would like to see more of on Facebook as well.
One current Midtown member who submits their feedback in the Comments section or emails it to me at email@example.com will win this high-quality Midtown Sports Bag!
I will select one winner via Random.org on Tuesday, January 4th, at 5pm, and post the name of the winner on our Facebook page and here on the blog on January 5th.