Category: Getting Started

How Many Days a Week Should I Lift Weights?

A Guest Post by David Williams from A Lean Life If you are like most people who have an interest in fitness and well-being, you have likely wondered “How many days a week should I lift weights?” This is an important question and one that is often misunderstood. And like many things related to fitness, it is a personal decision based on your fitness goals. So to answer this question, you first need to clarify and identify your fitness goals. If your goal is to become a competitive bodybuilder, that will likely require four or more days a week in the gym.  However, if you are living a normal, working life and trying to get fit and lean, then two days a week are all you need in the gym to achieve your fitness goals.

Keep the Process Simple

Many fitness gurus over complicate the process of getting lean and getting fit, which is why many people lose interest. They throw their arms and think, “Gosh who has time for all that!” This might, in part, explain the obesity epidemic in Western countries.  For the first time ever, the obesity rate in the United States is more than 40% in 2020. And it has increased 10% in the last 20 years. These are staggering numbers indeed, and present an ever-growing burden on our healthcare system. Therefore, it’s best to keep the process simple, so that it fits well into your working life. And two days a week are all that are required to build lean muscle and get in great shape. 

A Simple and Effective Workout Schedule

Here is a simple and very effective workout schedule that fits well into nearly any working person’s life: (1) A-day, (1) B-day A-days Chest Shoulders Triceps B-days Back Biceps Abs Legs Aim for 2-3 sets for each muscle group, and 6-15 reps per set. Each day, A and B, can be done in 30-60 minutes in the gym, so it can fit into almost any busy schedule. This workout schedule is sustainable for the long term, which is one of the most important factors!

Intensity is Key in Your Workouts

The key is to make these two days count. Make sure you are doing good resistance training and pushing yourself with enough intensity to build your muscles. If you do this each week, then most weeks your muscles will be sore for a few days. This is a good sign and tells you that your muscles are building and getting stronger. If you’re a beginner, then start very slowly. You want to be very cautious out of the gate, to ensure you avoid a workout injury. So start with very light weights, and gradually increase the intensity over time. And building lean muscle is one of the very best ways to get lean for the long haul. Muscle burns more two to three times more calories than fat. So if you add muscle to your frame then your body will be more proficient at burning fat, even when not working out.

Eat a Nutritious and Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is paramount to building lean muscle. If you’re going to put in the effort in the gym, make sure you feed your muscles with healthy food to maximize these efforts! Make sure to eat lots of veggies, whole grains, lean meats, healthy fats, and healthy snacks. Here are a few items as an example of a healthy diet: LEAN MEATS Chicken Breast (skinless) Sirloin Steak (look for “loin”) HEALTHY FRUITS Avocado Blueberries Strawberries HEALTHY VEGETABLES Broccoli Kale Spinach COMPLEX CARBS Bread (must say “100% Whole Wheat”) Brown Rice Oatmeal Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) NUTS & OILS Olive Oil Walnuts HEALTHY SNACKS / MISCELLANEOUS Low-Carb Wraps Protein Bars

Plan Your Workout Schedule Around Your Cheat Days

We all have cheat days when we like to pig out on our favorite foods. It’s part of life. And if you try to deny yourself a cheat day or two each week, you’ll likely not be able to sustain your routine.  You need a cheat day a week for mental sanity. Just keep these days to one or two days a week. And the key is to keep them under control. If not, you can throw away a week of clean eating in two days. If possible, schedule your lifting days around your cheat days. This will help you to burn more calories, and also really fuel your muscles in the gym. For most people, cheat days are on the weekend, so maybe plan your lifting days on Friday and Saturday. This way, your body will have more energy to improve intensity.

The Importance of Cardio

The biggest challenge most people have in their fitness journey is weight control. Lifting weights is an important factor in getting lean, but also important is doing frequent cardio. This is key to losing weight and getting fit. There are many other cardio benefits, but one of the most important is losing fat. If you do cardio on a near-daily basis, then over time you will likely be able to get lean.  The combined effect of lifting weights two days a week plus doing frequent cardio is a powerhouse combination. And this routine is simple, but it’s not easy. But by doing this you’ll be in the top 10% of adults in terms of their fitness schedule.

Wrapping it All Up

So when you ask yourself how many days a week should I lift weights, it’s best to keep it simple. This way it will fit into your busy schedule, and more importantly, it will be sustainable for the long term. Two days a week are all you really need to do resistance training to get lean, get fit, and feel great.

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5 Simple Tips to Set Up for First Time Spinners

Looking for an amazing low-impact cardio workout that will burn a ton of calories? Look no further than Spinning, indoor cycling classes. But what if you’ve never taken a Spin class before? Won’t you be overwhelmed by bike set-up and trying to figure out how everything works? Not if you follow our easy 5 step guide for beginner spinners! 5 Simple Steps For Your First Spinning Class at Elevate Fitness Gyms in Syracuse, Dewitt and Liverpool  
At Elevate, we help our members become the best version of themselves with a huge variety of quality programs and cutting-edge fitness technology in a high-value, low-cost, clean, full-service fitness facility. At Elevate Fitness, we believe that high VALUE doesn’t have to mean high cost. We deliver high-quality customized programs and services, many included with membership, for much less than you’d expect. At Elevate you won’t find a candy dish by the door or pizza in the lobby, that because we FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS: creating a high-quality experience that generates positive, lasting results through lifestyle change, community involvement, and an outstanding member experience. Locally owned and operated for over 30 years, Elevate is committed to helping its members achieve positive, lasting results through innovative programming, technology, and lifestyle change. Other clubs offer equipment, Elevate offers RESULTS.

Not a member yet? Schedule a no-obligation tour today!

Four Ways a Gym Membership Can Improve Your Life

Are you wondering if joining a gym is worth it for you? Are you concerned that a membership is too expensive? Worried that you’ll stand out as the one unfit person in a building full of muscular, fit bodies?

You’ll be pleased to know that joining a gym isn’t as intimidating as you might think!

The gym can both motivate you and provide you with effective tools to help you create the body you desire. In addition, there are other important benefits that you can glean from your gym membership, including greater physical fitness, increased self-confidence, a more exciting social life, and fun!

Physical Fitness

The most obvious and noticeable benefit of a gym membership is the improvement you see in the mirror. If you stick to a sensible workout plan, your arms, legs, and abs will look more toned in a few short weeks. You’ll be able to run longer distances without becoming short of breath. Plus, you’ll have more stamina and physical strength to tackle the stresses of everyday life.

Increased Self-Confidence

Beginning a workout routine in the gym can be overwhelming. It’s important to be patient with yourself while you’re settling into a regimen that works best for your body. As you progress, however, the success you experience will boost your confidence and make your trip to the gym something you look forward to each day.

The more you work out, the better you’ll feel about your gym membership. Instead of dreading your workout, you’ll actually crave it (as crazy as it sounds!). Instead of pain, you’ll feel exhilaration as you look forward to your next trip to the gym.

As your physique improves, your self-image will become more and more positive.

You’ll feel more comfortable with your body and less nervous about being around others at the gym.

More Exciting Social Life

As you look in the mirror and see the progress you’re making, you’ll also feel more attractive and eager to partake in social activities. If you’re shy because of your looks, your improved physical fitness and self-confidence will help you overcome your shyness.

You’ll be able to connect more confidently with others you find interesting. It’ll be easier to start conversations with strangers who might become lifelong friends. Your physical appearance will support your social goals, rather than standing as an obstacle in the way of your social life.

Having Fun

Joining a gym is a surefire antidote to boredom. A gym membership gives you access to state-of-the-art exercise equipment and tools that will inspire you to dream big dreams. The progress you experience will motivate you to continue working out instead of sitting on the couch and on the sidelines.

With so many equipment and workout options available at your local gym, you can vary your workouts to keep things fresh. Your workout can always be new and exciting. Varying your workouts challenges your body in different ways, also, which increases the effectiveness of your workout.

A gym membership affects much more than your physical appearance. Working out regularly at a gym can help you to create the physical body you deserve, while increasing your self-confidence. Your social life will improve, and you’ll experience a lot more fun in your workouts and in your life. So what are you waiting for? Why not give a gym membership a try?

Ready to Try a Gym Membership for Yourself?

How to Make Fitness a Habit

Fitness can be elusive. We all want to be fit but we can’t quite seem to make it happen.

The challenge is that fitness can only be improved minimally from day to day, so it requires many days to really create a significant amount of improvement. That’s where we falter; we are unable to make a habit out of the behaviors that will make us fit.

Try these strategies to make fitness a daily part of your life:

1. Make fitness more social. It can be tough to stick with your exercise if you try to do it alone. Find an exercise partner or join a team sport. When you can share the time with others, you have something else to focus on besides how tired, sweaty, and bored you are.

If you don’t like team sports and don’t have anyone else to exercise with, there are other options. Join a group fitness class, a great way to connect with other people in the same boat.

2. Only change one thing at a time. Becoming fit requires adopting several new habits. However, for the greatest success, it’s highly recommended that you only adopt one new habit at a time. New habits involve a lot of focus and energy. Pick one thing to fix; when that has become a habit, pick another.

3. Make it a priority. Do you put off exercising because there are too many other things going on in your life? The truth is if you’re going to be successful in this area of your life, it has to be a top priority. The less enjoyable something is, the more it will have to be prioritized to get it done successfully.

If you don’t have the time, you’ll have to create the space in your life to make it happen.

4. Find a way to enjoy it. Obviously, keeping up with your fitness routine is going to be a lot easier if you enjoy the activity. So find something you enjoy; think about the physical activities you enjoyed as a child or in high school. It might not be practical to go to Karate classes anymore, but many gyms like Elevate Fitness offer martial-arts inspired group fitness classes.

Another alternative is to take an activity and find ways to make it more enjoyable. For example, running might be a lot more fun if you train specifically for a road race and then race. You could also find new places to run. Or find a group of people to join for runs.

5. Take the first step. The most important thing is to just get started. Avoid the temptation to have everything perfectly in place before you take a single step. Just throw on your shoes and go for a walk. Decide to skip the donut and have an apple instead. All fitness requires is simple decisions like these.

You don’t need to plan your exercise routine for the next 6 months. You’re not trying to launch the space shuttle; you’re just trying to move around more than you have been in the recent past.

Getting in shape is the result of taking the proper actions repeatedly over an extended period of time.

Fitness doesn’t improve very much in a day, so making a habit of the behaviors that improve fitness has to be a priority. Focus on making a single change at a time and attempt to make that change as enjoyable as possible. You can do it!

Ready to start building your fitness habit, but not sure where to start? Elevate Fitness can help.

Top 10 Fitness Tips for Beginners

Getting started is always the hardest part. If you’ve been physically inactive for a while, it’s hard to begin an exercise routine. The gym can be an intimidating place if you don’t know your way around. Where do you start if you haven’t done a crunch or walked more than the distance from your car to your desk at work?

Get started with a new fitness routine with these ten tips to keep you focus and comfortable:

1. Start slowly. Your level of fitness during your senior year of high school is still fresh in your mind. You could lift 200 pounds over your head, do the splits, run a 6-minute mile, and still have energy left for the dance after the football game. However, you’re (probably) not 18 anymore.

Perform workouts that match your current physical condition. Hurting yourself is the fastest way to ensure that you never get in shape.

2. Stress yourself, but not too much. The perfect workout will stress your body enough that it must adapt, but not so much that your recovery time is lengthened or you hurt yourself.

There’s great news: you don’t need to do much at first to see real results if you’ve been switching back and forth between sitting at a desk and sitting on the couch. A short walk on the treadmill will provide a lot of benefit. If you haven’t done a push up in 20 years, doing pushups against the wall is enough.

Enjoy the advantages of being a beginner. You can get more results from 10 minutes of easy exercise than a highly fit person can get from 90 minutes of hard work.

3. It’s all about consistency. A mild, daily workout will do more for your fitness than one hard workout each week. Instead of focusing on your effort, focus on making it to the gym regularly.

4. What you eat is important. Assuming you want to lose weight, what you eat is far more important than the exercise you perform. It’s easy to eat more calories in an hour than a professional athlete can burn off in three hours. Pushing yourself away from the table might be the best form of exercise.

5. Find a workout buddy. It’s not easy to make it to the gym or to put on your running shoes each day. Knowing that someone else is counting on you increases your compliance.

6. Use a trainer. Get some professional guidance if you’ve never exercised before. Learn effective techniques and have your coach design an intelligent program for you. A personal trainer can also keep you accountable.

7. Keep it simple. A few exercises are enough to provide all the benefits you’ll ever need. The basics never go out of style.

8. Make it fun. Love basketball? Join a basketball league. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy. Unless you’re training for a bodybuilding contest, there are many forms of exercise that can fit the bill of increasing your fitness. Group fitness classes are a great way to get fit while having fun.

9. Be well-rounded. Flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, and strength are all important, especially as you age. If all you do is run, your flexibility and strength will suffer. Ensure that you’re hitting these three areas of concern.

10. Focus on progress. Just a little bit of progress each week can keep your motivation high. Enjoy the fact that beginners make great progress!

Get excited and start on a new exercise routine today. A pair of walking shoes and a set of exercise bands are enough to get started. Get some expert advice for an effective plan. Take your time and enjoy the journey.

Are you ready and motivated to get started but still unsure where to begin? Schedule a complimentary, no-obligation appointment with a fitness professional.

Look Beyond the “Gym Near Me”

Look Beyond Gyms Near Me with Elevate Fitness

Look Beyond the “Gym Near Me” when deciding what gym you’re going to join to meet your fitness goals. It’s not surprising that one of the top Google searches that people use when looking for someplace to work out is “gym near me,” after all, the closer the gym is to your home or work, the more likely you are to use it regularly.

But of course, there’s more to finding the perfect place to exercise than just proximity.

So what’s a better way to search for a place to reach your goals? Before you can determine the best thing to look for, let’s rule out the things that we think matter, but actually have very little effect on someone’s success in the gym.

  1. Location – while we’re not likely to drive to the next city to go to a gym, a mile or two makes much less difference in your success and longevity than things like amenities, culture and hours might.
  2. Price – someone who pays $9 a month and gets no results from their membership is overpaying whereas someone who pays $90 a month and gets great results, probably feels that their investment is worthwhile.
  3. Look of the Facility – Similar to price, the best facility isn’t the newest or the brightest or the most high-tech – it’s the one you’re willing to visit regularly and put in the work. Plenty of people have gotten into fantastic shape in their basements. It’s not the design of the gym that’s going to get you results – it’s the work you do.

Once you’ve realized what you SHOULDN’T be considering when making decisions about your fitness future, it’s easier to focus on the things that really matter when choosing a gym or fitness facility. Here are the top three we recommend you consider in your search:

  1. Your Goal – If your goal is weight loss, then joining a weight lifting gym isn’t likely to be the easiest way for you to get results. Or if your goal is to train for a marathon, joining a weight loss program probably won’t be the way you get ready for those twenty-six miles. Instead, try, “best gym for …” and look around based on your goals. Sample searches: “best gym for weight loss”, “best gym for bodybuilding”, “best gym for marathon training”.
  2. Amenities –  If you know that you don’t know how to use free weights safely, then you’ll probably want a health club with weighted machines that are easier to use without continuous instruction. Similarly, if you hate cardio, but love to swim – a pool would be an amenity worth paying for. Sample searches: “best gym with a pool”, “gyms with spinning”, “gyms that have juice bars”.
  3. Testimonials – Before you open your wallet, make sure that other people are recommending the club (or any other business, for that matter) – look for a club with testimonials that are easy to find on their website. If you don’t see testimonials, it’s possible that there’s not enough positive feedback that it’s ever occurred to anyone to use them online. Sample searches: “Elevate Fitness testimonials”, “gym near me testimonials”, “what members say about Elevate Fitness”.


If you’re ready to try out Elevate Fitness to see if we can meet your fitness needs and help you get into the best shape of your life, sign up for 30 days FREE!

How to Make Working Out a Part of Your Daily Routine

How to Lose Weight Easily with the Calories In/Calories Out Strategy at Elevate Fitness in Syracuse

By guest writer Mollie Wilson

As we get older, a tragic shift occurs. We play less, work more, eat more, and drink more. Our bodies grow, get older and get a bit more worn out. It’s the natural circle of life and it’s an inevitability that one day, you’re going to wake up with knees a bit more tired than usual and a waistline protruding a bit further than it should for the good of your overall health. While a little bit of weight gain is natural as you age, a plethora of it isn’t good and can be detrimental not only to your physical health but to your mental health and overall lifestyle as well. After all, no one wants to be the guy at the office that runs out of breath when he has to take the stairs. The cause of this weight gain and decline in health as you age is a simple one: as we get older, we move our bodies less.

As a kid, you’re constantly running around, playing, and generally causing a ruckus; however, the older you get, the bigger problems and more important priorities you have. We begin to play less, be that outside or in sport, and thus, we gain weight and our bodies become less accustomed to moving, meaning the natural aging that occurs affects us that much more. While this isn’t the best news for those of us working in an office, as it can be tough to get moving when you need to do your work behind a computer every day, there is a bright spot in the drudgery of office life. Moving your body and exercising for just 150 minutes a week has been shown to greatly improve the overall health of the average person. That means working out 5 days a week for just 30 minutes can make a huge difference in your overall health and in your overall quality of life.

While this may sound like a miracle cure, we realize it’s far from that. Finding 150 minutes within your already full week can be a mountain of a task. However, it’s a task that must take a priority if you want to improve your health and set a good example for the health of your family. If you’re trying to incorporate a workout into your every-day (or near every-day) life, then try some of our go-to tricks for making sure we get a sweat on, each and every day!

Start Your Day on a Sweaty Note. 

The biggest excuse people have to not go to the gym is that they ‘simply don’t have the time’, and we can agree that sometimes, (okay a lot of the time) your day can really just get away from you. You have to stay late at the office, pick up kids from practice, cook dinner, run errands, and the list goes on. That’s why, if you’re serious about making the gym and exercise a part of your daily routine, you should consider incorporating it into your morning routine, before you even go to work. There are fewer people demanding your time at this hour and it’ll wake you up better than that first cup of coffee! If you have trouble waking up early, try the app that wakes you up at the best time during your sleep cycle. This way, you’re the least tired for when you wake up and are less likely to hit snooze.

Pack your Gear the Night Before.

Whether or not you take our first tip to heart (we see you night owls), another great way to ensure you get to the gym before or after work is to pack your gear the night before. This eliminates the excuses you could provide yourself and, if you get yourself a cute gym bag, you can take your gym clothes with you. The powers of Netflix are a lot less strong when you’re going straight from the office to the gym instead of having to stop at home first.

Plan your Meals a Week Ahead.

If you haven’t quite caught on yet, planning ahead is a major key when it comes to making time for the gym. By planning your meals, a week in advance, you can cut down on the number of trips to the store you have to make, can request help on nights you need it, and can meal prep. In addition, planning meals ahead tends to lend itself to healthier eating in general, a great habit to accompany your daily trip to the gym.

Focus on Recovery.

This is especially important both as you age and for those just starting to exercise and go to the gym. Chances are, you’re going to be sore and achy when you first start, no matter who you are, and when you’re sore, you want to go back to the gym the next day significantly less than when you’re not sore. A good way to combat this is proper stretching, good hydration, and finding
ways to loosen your muscles. A great way to do this is with a CBD oil. Finding a coconut oil with CBD in it and convincing your spouse to rub it on your sore muscles will leave you feeling much better and ready to get back in the gym!

Motivate Yourself.

This is an age-old trick, but it’s stuck around because it works. Finding ways to motivate yourself, be that through a reward or a competition with friends can be a great way to get in the habit of going to the gym regularly and making healthy habits. We suggest, if you’re looking for a way to motivate yourself, not to do it with food but instead with tools that will make going to the gym easier and more fun! So, if you hit your goal of going to the gym 5 days in a row, reward yourself a new water bottle or set of workout bands, if you hit your goal for a whole month, reward yourself with a new Apple Watch. In terms of competition, it can be as simple as starting a Facebook group with friends who also have health and fitness goals, or you can set up a challenge with other friends on your Fitbit or Apple Watch. Utilizing social media and following body-positive fitness influencers can be another great way to motivate yourself and surround yourself with like-minded individuals as well!

While every method might not work for you, that’s okay, the point isn’t to all of a sudden start trying every single new thing that comes along in order to get to the gym. Instead, find what works for you and stick to it. Getting into a healthy habit, such as going to the gym and getting daily exercise is much more related to the persistence you have rather than the perfection you have doing it.


Not a member of Elevate Fitness yet? Try us out for FREE!

Are You Too Busy to Workout Smarter?

Elevate Fitness Syracuse Asks Are You Too Busy to Workout Smarter?

Are you too busy or too stubborn to workout smarter?

Imagine you are assigned the age-old task of building a fire so that you can cook a meal outdoors. Now imagine that you are limited to using only the tools the cavemen used. Are you going to be cooking anytime soon? Or are you going to die of hunger before you ever see a spark?

Now imagine someone is in the same scenario, but you have the ability to give them a tool to make things easier – a match. You offer the sorry individual (furiously rubbing two sticks together) your book of matches, but much to your surprise, they decline! Their excuse is probably a variation of one of the following:

– I don’t understand how that works.
– I don’t have time to learn how to use that.
– This is how I’ve always done this (followed but a tummy rumble).

Sounds kind of ridiculous, doesn’t it? Mealtime could come so much faster (versus maybe never coming at all!) if only the fire-starter embraced the tool and took a little time to learn how to use it.

Now imagine that instead of building a fire, the task is something else. Maybe it’s losing ten pounds or running a 5K or learning to play tennis. And instead of a lighter, maybe the tools are heart rate monitors or smartwatches or coaches.

People working toward fitness and wellness goals often choose the path of least resistance. Training for a 5K? Run on the treadmill. Trying to lose weight? Try to eat less. Joining a gym? Use the machines you already know how to use and avoid the confusing ones at all costs.

There are tools available to all of us. Some are free like MyFitnessPal, a great resource for tracking calories in and out and helping you reach your weight loss goals. Some are one-time investments like heart rate monitors and smartwatches that you can use for years to come to get better results. Some are ongoing investments like coaches and personal trainers who can help you get the most out the time you put into pursuing your fitness and athletic goals.

The point is, it’s not the stone age and there’s a way better way to build a fire that with two sticks. And there’s a better way train for a 5K than a treadmill (try Elevate’s Run Club programs including a Couch to 5K training plan), a better way to lose weight (check out our heart rate monitors that work great with free apps like MyFitnessPal), and a better way to learn how to play tennis (and make lifelong friends in the process at Elevate).

Before you put in the time and energy to attack your goals, isn’t it worth taking a moment to review the tools available to you and learning how to use them so that you can reach your goals in the most effective and efficient manner possible? We think so.

What are some of the tools you love to use for your fitness goals?

What If You Couldn’t Fail?

Fast, easy weight loss at Elevate Fitness in Syracuse

We’re all guilty of letting the voice in our heads get the best of us. Deciding “I can’t do that,” or “I’m not ready for…” without really thinking things through.

Here’s an example: most people learning what an Ultramarathon is who have not completed regular marathons previously would say, “I can’t do that,” or “I’m not ready for an Ultramarathon.” And while some people would still come to the same conclusion after really considering things, some would discover that they probably could and they are ready.

Note: Interested in running, but not sure where to start? Check out our running programs.

But that’s an extreme example. Have you ever heard someone lament that they have to lose some weight before they can join a gym? You know, the place where people go to lose weight? Or someone tells you they’re not flexible enough to take a yoga class? You know, the classes people take to become more flexible?

We tend to think that we have to get “ready” or be at a certain level before we can do things – especially things that are physical. But that’s simply not true.

Sure, you’re probably not going to win your first marathon, but you could probably finish by reframing your expectations of what it means to succeed. Frankly, for 90% of the population, isn’t crossing the finish line the definition of success when it comes to a marathon or even a 5K? Check out this book review on Running With a Police Escort for a unique and positive perspective on finishing a race.

It’s not just our fitness we allow to be affected by this type of thinking: we don’t write because we need a “really good idea” first, we don’t pick up an instrument we’ve always wanted to learn to play because we “need to learn to read music first” or some other nonsense that keeps us safe from failure … but there’s a downside to that.

By eliminating the possibility of failure, we’re also eliminating the possibility for success. And if we redefine success (finishing the race instead of winning it, exercising three times this week instead of losing five pounds, learning to play a couple of notes on the piano instead of learning Mozart) we’re likely to find that once we attack our goals without the fear of failure or the limiting self-talk, we’re really likely to succeed.

So what have you been telling yourself you can’t do yet? What are you waiting to succeed at? And now, ask yourself what you’re really waiting for.

Ready to give Elevate Fitness a shot? Try us out for FREE.

My Weight Loss Update

How to Lose Weight Fast

by Jason Jaquays-Tarbox, Elevate Fitness Marketing Director and Certified Spinning Instructor

Previously I wrote about how I lost 15 pounds in 40 days. Well, I’m now another week in (47 days total) and down a total of 17.5 pounds and wanted to share some things I’ve learned along the way.

First, let me reiterate how this entire process has been about finally getting my efforts focused on my fitness and my nutrition at the same time (I’m great at working out really hard while eating badly or eating super clean for weeks without ever breaking a sweat). If I hadn’t made the commitment to both increasing my activity level AND getting a handle on some bad eating habits, I’d not be seeing the results I’m seeing, and I know that from experience.

I also knew that because I was already active (having recently gotten re-certified as a Spinning instructor I was teaching and taking a lot of Spin classes, often burning in the neighborhood of 1,000 calories) that it wouldn’t be enough to just start eating better – I’d have to up my activity. Having experienced a lot of joy as a runner in the past, even completing an ultra-marathon, it seemed like running would be a good addition to my strategy.

So here are the five most important things I’ve learned about losing weight in my mid-forties:

  1. As you age, your metabolism becomes MUCH less forgiving. You absolutely have to train yourself to eat clean 95% of the time and to really limit the treats, cheats, and sweets to the remaining 5% of the time. This was tough for me at first, but I think I’m finally at a point where I can eat clean 6.5 days of the week knowing I’m going to have something “off-plan” eventually. And when I say eating clean, I mean really taking a look at how hard you can push yourself. Personally, I’m vegan, gluten-free, caffeine-free, and sugar-free 95% of the time. It’s not exciting – but it makes that other 5% of my eating that much more enjoyable!
  2. You can’t phone in your workouts. You have to be mentally present enough when you’re working out to actually push yourself a little further and to accomplish a little more. I mentioned that I’ve been running. Running didn’t happen at the beginning of my 47-day journey – I actually only started adding runs to my workouts 17 days ago, running a minimum of 5K ever day for a running total of 90 miles so far.  I only accomplished this many miles because when I feel like I want to stop, I push myself another mile or two or three. And I’ve gone from about a 13-minute mile (super slow) to an 11-minute mile (kinda slow) in those 17 days. Not bad, and the weight is still dropping – so it must be working!
  3. Accountability is imperative. Everyone in my life knows what I’m doing and how I’m accomplishing it. And that’s necessary to avoid someone approaching me at a July 4th barbeque and offering me potato chips or a hotdog. Not only does it help me avoid unnecessary (but not all) temptation – it creates a level of accountability that I’m constantly focused on. Because everyone knows that I’m not eating meat or dairy, I hold myself to that lest I be seen eating chicken nuggets and exposing myself as a fraud.
  4. You shouldn’t use just a single metric to determine your success. Some days I get on the scanner (I do Fit3D Scans several times a week to track my progress) and I’ve gained a pound instead of losing a pound, but usually, on those days my BodyFat percentage is lower. Sometimes I find my win on the scale, some days I find it on the trail by running a little further or a little faster. Or some days the win is in how many minutes I’ve been able to be active. There is ALWAYS a win when you’re moving forward – you just have to be open to looking for it.
  5. Every day won’t be perfect. Okay – so this is clearly a theme in the lessons I’ve learned. But it’s so important. Not every meal will meet my program (dinner with my father-in-law meant gluten and dairy with dinner) and not every workout will meet my expectations (only burned 600 calories in spin class last week for example) and I won’t always like what the scanner tells me is happening in my body (how’d I gain two pounds since yesterday when I ate virtually nothing since my last scan?). And it most certainly won’t always be pretty. But I’m taking care of myself, and for that reason, it will always be worth it.

I’ll check-in and share my results and discoveries with you in another week or so!

Not a member of Elevate Fitness yet, but want to give it a try for FREE?

Truths to Help You Practice Yoga Consistently

Truths to Help You Practice Yoga Consistently from Elevate Fitness in Syracuse

Guest post by Dana Bender, MS, ACSM, CWWS, E-RYT

As a fitness professional and yoga instructor for more than a decade, I have received tons of feedback from yoga

More often than I can count, I have heard students and members express the following:
“I can’t do yoga because I am not flexible.”
“I tried yoga, and I liked it, but I couldn’t do the poses like others in the room.”
Or, “yoga is too challenging.”

Most often, I hear this from beginner yoga students. However, I also get this feedback from people who cycle in and
out of yoga classes: not quite a beginner, but not quite committed to a consistent yoga practice.

In both situations, the common limitation is the mindset. One that has adopted myths and unrealistic expectations about
practicing yoga.

Regardless of the situation, mindset plays an important role in our successes or struggles. Our thoughts affect our
feelings, which then impact whether our behavior is consistent or inconsistent.

Throughout my years of teaching, I have seen when such mindsets prevent people from practicing yoga consistently.
(Or even for the first time!)

If you or a client share any of the above sentiments, the truths from this article can help overcome those barriers.
Let’s begin!

Truth #1: You Do NOT Need to Be Flexible to Practice Yoga

I can’t do yoga because I am inflexible is my favorite yoga myth to challenge.

This statement implies that we need to be great at something before we do it.

In this example, we need to be remarkably flexible before we can do yoga.

If we applied this mindset outside of yoga:

We have to be a great driver before learning how to drive.

We have to be a great chef before trying a new recipe.

We have to be a great artist before painting on our first piece.

Seems unrealistic and unnecessarily hard on ourselves, right?

The truth is flexibility is not a prerequisite to practice yoga. The only prerequisite is the willingness to practice and
keep going.

By practicing yoga poses over time you will increase muscle flexibility and joint mobility (in addition to muscular
strength and endurance). Practice makes greatness.

Truth #2: Yoga is Hard. Period.

I have been practicing yoga since 2006, and it is still challenging.

Yes, certain poses have gotten easier, and some of the challenges are more intricate, but at the end of the day, yoga
is hard. Period.

The truth is yoga can be challenging for anyone.

Yoga offers challenges for both the beginner student and the advanced practitioner. Yoga can be tough even for
seasoned athletes who have heightened body awareness. Yes, even yoga teachers struggle with yoga sometimes.

So why do it?

Challenges make us better.

One of my yoga teachers always said, “If this came easy, we wouldn’t be here.”

In other words, if there is no sense of challenge or accomplishment then there is no point.

We wouldn’t do yoga at all if it didn’t improve our lives. And self-improvement comes from doing hard things. It’s
supposed to be hard.

The challenges of yoga will help you become stronger and flexible, physically and mentally. Practice yoga
consistently and you will develop discipline and grit. These traits will help you achieve your ambitions outside of
the studio.

When we practice yoga with this understanding, it frees and motivates us to keep practicing.

Truth #3: Modifications Are Key to Practicing Yoga

I partially tore my semimembranosus in 2014, which significantly affected my yoga practice.

I had to take time off, work with a physical therapist, and modify my yoga practice when I went back to it.

While recovering, modifications were key to practicing yoga and obtaining its benefits.

Even without an active injury, I still modify my yoga practice to accommodate muscle soreness and tightness.

As a yoga teacher, I often suggest modifications in class. I see many students not following the suggestions.

These students end up feeling discouraged. Sometimes even misaligning their bodies in a way that leads to
discomfort and pain.

The truth is modifications are a part of practicing yoga.

There are many reasons to modify a pose or improve a movement pattern

You might be a new yoga student. You might be sore from a workout. Like me in 2014, you might be dealing with
an injury. The reason does not matter.

There is nothing wrong with modifying.

Modifications are key in making yoga poses feel good and meeting your body where it’s at. If you are receptive to physical cues and open to modifications, success with yoga awaits.

Share These Truths!
I encourage everyone to share these truths. A simple shift in mindset can help increase consistency and joy in practicing yoga. Together, we can spread the life-changing benefits of a consistent yoga practice.

BIO: Dana Bender, MS, ACSM, CWWS, E-RYT. Dana Bender works as a fitness and wellness Program Manager for Health Fitness Corporation in downtown Chicago. Dana is also a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, an adjunct professor with Rowan University, and an E-RYT 200 hour Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher.

Try a Yoga Class for FREE at Elevate Fitness in Syracuse:

10 Things Holding You Back

Guest Post by Amanda Turner

Editor’s Note: the links and destination sites included in this article are the authors and Elevate Fitness makes no claims, implied or otherwise, regarding the information contained therein.

When it comes to setting fitness goals, a major step toward achieving them is understanding how to avoid failure. Simply stated, if you begin with a list of goals, knowing the things that might hold you back from achieving them is the key to success. When you know what has the potential to hold you back, you can avoid those things and achieve your goals! The point is – by knowing the potential shortfalls, you can avoid them and set your self up for success from the beginning.

Many times, no matter how large or small the goal, the key to achieving it is believing in yourself. When you believe in yourself, you are well on the way to achieving your goals – fitness and otherwise. Another common stumbling block is lack of knowledge when setting fitness goals – whether it be in too intense a regimen or an unrealistic diet plan, a little information can go a long way to helping you achieve your fitness goals in a fun and easy way.

Let’s explore the 10 things that might hold you back from your fitness goals:


While these 10 things are in no particular order, lack of consistency may well be the number one reason your fitness goals aren’t being met. When it comes to fitness, daily practice along with genuine dedication is needed to accomplish your goals.


When you begin listing your fitness goals, your “why” should be at the top of the list. If you don’t the “why” – weight loss, fitness, health – behind your fitness goals, you won’t likely stay motivated enough to achieve them.


Health and fitness goals need to be simple, clear, and realistic. Don’t set goals that seem impossible to reach. For example, instead of “I want to lose 100 pounds” a better goal would be “I want to lose 20 pounds.” With a specific, realistic goal, once it is achieved, you gain confidence and can set a new goal.


When setting your fitness goals, you need to have a specific workout and nutrition plan and stick to it. Staying with a solid, proven plan for exercise and nutrition, you will achieve better results.


Quality sleep is the key to achieving your fitness goals. To get the necessary rest, you need to be mindful of your sleep environment and design it in a way that supports a quality night’s sleep. Utilizing a cheap home warranty can ensure the needed rest and alleviate stress because you always have someone to call if your home needs repairs.


A supportive community, whether it be a workout buddy or social media group will hold you accountable and help you stay committed to achieving your fitness goals.


Are you enjoying the fitness process? Your workout should be simple, fun, and enjoyable not complex, boring, and mundane. If you are enjoying your workout plan, you’ll be much more likely to reach your fitness goals.


You can’t expect to make all the positive changes in a single day. The goal is health and fitness for the long-term, which means making changes gradually, focusing on adding positives one at a time for success.


No one is perfect. When you fall short or hit a roadblock, don’t stop. Count any challenges as chances to learn, to power through, make yourself better, and achieve your goals.


If discouragement sets in, maybe because your fitness goals aren’t being achieved as quickly as you’d like, don’t give up. Create 30-day challenges within your goals and give yourself the time to reach them successfully.

Focus on the positives and your progress, and you’ll find yourself well on the way to overcoming the 10 things that might be holding back your fitness goals!

The Best Workout and Weight Loss Program EVER

The Best Workout and Weight Loss Program EVER at Elevate Fitness in SyracuseBy Certified Spinning Instructor and Marketing Director, Jason Jaquays-Tarbox

My favorite question to get asked is a simple one: “what’s the best exercise program for me to achieve my goal?” I love this question because it’s so easy to answer, and the answer is always the same, regardless of the goal that the person asking wants to achieve.

Are you ready for a revolutionary answer to a question that, combined with the other information in this blog, will help all your fitness dreams come true?

Whichever program you’ll actually DO.

If you ask ten different people who’ve lost weight, for example, what the secret to their weight loss success is, you’ll get ten different answers. It’s not just because weight loss is an intensely personal experience, but because everyone’s perception of what actually did the trick can vary significantly from person to person.

When you add in the unending parade of misleading articles and resources online, countless self-appointed experts and increasing demand on your time and energy and it’s no wonder why so many people struggle to create their own success stories with weight loss.

If you ask most people, they understand the importance of fitness, diet, and exercise as preventative healthcare. If you ask those same people if they believe they’re doing enough to stay healthy – they’ll probably tell you no.


For most of us, simply knowing we need to exercise more isn’t enough information. Where do we start? What kind of exercise is best for me? How often should I workout? How long do I rest between workouts?

The internet can be helpful, but it can also be overwhelming and misleading. Try doing a search for “best workouts” and Google will say, “Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s talk about the specific workouts.” So in an attempt to find the best workout for me, Google wants me to tell it what kind of workout I want to know about … this is beginning to look like work. And if figuring out the best workout for me takes this much work, just imagine the workout itself!

Sometimes the best answer is the simplest answer. In fact, Occam’s Razor is a principle from philosophy that tells us the simplest answer is usually the best answer. And this principle holds true when it comes to your fitness. Let’s look at two possible scenarios:


Cathy spends hours researching various weight loss programs online, after deciding she’s had enough of looking in the mirror and feeling unhappy with what she sees. She looks at countless websites, watches a ton of videos on YouTube and reads dozens of Amazon customer reviews.

Cathy walks away from her computer even less sure of where to start than she was when she sat down. She takes a break and returns to her search a few days later.

After revisiting some websites and checking out new ones that she read about in a Women’s Health magazine, she decides to join an online training program designed to help people lose weight. She enters her credit card information, pays $50 for her first month and tells herself “job well done” as she walks away from her computer again.

She’s done it – she’s started on her path to fitness. She’s certain she’s going to get started first thing tomorrow morning.

The next morning, Cathy forgets until she’s already dressed for work, and then after work, she’s just too exhausted to start something new. This repeats a few times. On the fourth day, she pops out of bed ready for her new program. She logs into the website and spends almost 20 minutes answering questions and clicking on buttons until the system knows enough about Cathy and her goals to assign her to a program. Now, Cathy has to get ready for work. She’ll do her first workout tomorrow, but at least now she’s ready.

It’s now morning and Cathy struggles to see the program as it plays out on her laptop screen. She spends 40 minutes trying to figure out how to get her laptop to stream to her television. She’s not successful, so off to work she goes.

You can see where this is going, right? Now let’s consider Cathy’s neighbor, Wendy.


Wendy decides she needs to lose some weight. She tried before and can’t seem to make it happen. She talks to a friend who tells her to start small, make one change at a time and if that change doesn’t work, try something else. Her friend stresses to KEEP IT SIMPLE.

Wendy decides to walk for 15 minutes on her lunch break every day. For a month, she walks 15 minutes, 5 days a week on her lunch break. But something else happens, Wendy notices she feels good after her walks, so she’s also walking on the weekends for about 30-45 minutes per day when the weather allows.

Before you know it, Wendy has purchased new sneakers and learned to download podcasts to her phone to listen to while she’s out on her walks. She’s increased her walking time to a full hour at lunch, using her walks as an excuse to introduce another healthy change: a giant lunch salad eaten at her desk with tons of fresh veggies.

After about a month, Wendy has lost some weight, has tons of energy, feels great and more importantly, she’s so proud, that she keeps challenging herself to make small changes, one at a time, and she’s really seeing the results!

What’s the difference between Cathy and Wendy? Not a lot. In fact, they could be the same person – it’s simply that Cathy wasn’t able to DO what she set out to do. Wendy was. So the best program was the one that Wendy/Cathy would actually DO.

We can easily change the example:


Cathy spends hours researching various weight loss programs online, after deciding she’s had enough of looking in the mirror and feeling unhappy with what she sees. She looks at countless websites, watches a ton of videos on YouTube and reads dozens of Amazon customer reviews.

Cathy decides to join an online training program designed to help people lose weight. She enters her credit card information, pays $50 for her first month and decides to click around the site and check out the program. She sees she’ll need to answer some questions to get her “customized” workout, so she decides to do that now since tomorrow morning she can’t trust herself to answer the questions properly. She clicks on the first workout once the system has chosen a program for her and sees that it may be hard to see on her laptop. She googles “how to stream from my laptop to my television” and tells herself “job well done” as she walks away from her computer all set to get started in the morning.

She’s done it – she’s started on her path to fitness. She’s certain she’s going to get started first thing tomorrow morning.

The next morning, Cathy wakes up about 40 minutes earlier than usual (thank goodness for that cell phone alarm!) and within ten minutes she’s in front of her television doing her first workout.

Cathy gets to work after her first workout and feels a real sense of accomplishment. She’s finally on the road to achieving her fitness goals. The good feeling she has all day is enough to get her out of bed a full hour earlier the next day, and she uses that extra time to plan a healthy lunch and dinner.

You can see where this is going, right? Now let’s go back and see what Cathy’s neighbor, Wendy is up to in this parallel universe.


Wendy decides she needs to lose some weight. She tried before and can’t seem to make it happen. She talks to a friend who tells her to start small, make one change at a time and if that change doesn’t work, try something else.

So Wendy decides to walk for 15 minutes on her lunch break every day. Wendy is excited to give her new plan a serious effort. The only problem is that it rains for the next six days straight. And on the seventh day, she has a staff meeting that goes long and she needs to use those extra 15 minutes from her lunch hour to get caught up on some emails.

Before you know it, a month has passed and Wendy hasn’t made it out for a walk yet. Worse yet, she’s completely abandoned the idea altogether. She decides she’s just too busy and she’ll worry about her fitness goals when she has more time.

So what are our lessons?

Keep it simple: simple solutions are easier to implement and stick to and you can always build upon success as you go,
Have a backup plan: weather won’t always cooperate, your work schedule won’t always cooperate, heck – your body won’t always cooperate – so have a backup plan for when it rains, or work gets busy or your feet are sore from yesterday’s walk,
There is no single, right program for you and your goals, the best program is whatever you’ll DO.

Want to go the simplest route and try a gym? Try Elevate Fitness for FREE!

When You Believe You CAN, You WILL

Lose weight with the right attitude at Elevate Fitness in Syracuse

By Elevate Fitness Spinning Instructor and Marketing Director, Jason Jaquays-Tarbox

One random day, a friend of mine had mentioned something about seeing an ultramarathon on Facebook. As someone who’d only recently completed his first half-marathon, and was in the very beginning stages of training for his first marathon – it sounded insane. I marveled that there are human bodies out there capable of such a feat and mentally moved on to my next distraction.

At some point weeks later, she mentioned it to me again in passing. Within the context of it being an insane undertaking for a runner. I agreed and continued on with my day.

Twice this ultramarathon entered my attention span, and twice I’d dismissed it as insane. Twice.

Reviewing a local calendar online, the event came to my attention again the morning before the race. Fresh off a recent semi-successful 16-mile training run, my ego and enthusiasm prompted me to joke with my friend, “so, are we doing that ultramarathon tomorrow or what?” … or something similar.

What I wasn’t expecting, was for her to take me seriously.

The next couple of hours are a blur:

Using calculators to figure the slowest possible pace we could run a 50K race and still finish within the allocated time.

Carefully plotting best and worst-case scenarios (including death).

Joking about what great training it would be to run an ultramarathon.

Scouring the internet for tips for running your first ultra.

Trying to register for the race online –

Wait. What? Trying to register???

Well – thank goodness the race had shut down online registrations. So short of driving to the packet pickup location (Fleet Feet) and begging the race director to let us – two novices who’d not trained for an ultra-endurance event – to run on a hot Saturday in August, there was no way for us to make the ridiculous (and in hindsight, dangerous) decision to register for an ultra.

So guess what we did?


We drove to the packet pickup location and begged the race director to let us register. He was clearly not prepared to address such an idiotic request. His response was something very close to, “I don’t want to offend your intelligence, but you understand this is an event people train a very long time for?”

Well at this point, any sane person would heed the warning of an experienced race director and walk away, right? RIGHT?

Let’s just go ahead and cut to 6 am the next morning when two very sleepy and ignorant (and therefore blissful) runners are lined up with those people the director had told us about (you know, the ones who’d trained a very long time for this event?) waiting for the race to begin. We were lined up with folks, like us, running the 50K and folks who were running a 100K (this was the Green Lakes Endurance Race).

Now, my friend is a runner. She’s run marathons, halfs, 10Ks, you name it – she’s done it. More impressively, she often placed in the races she runs. I had, however, only the dubious distinction of having never died in a race. But we were there and this was happening, so we did the only thing either of us was programmed to do: finish. One foot in front of the other, sometimes running, sometimes walking, sometimes hopping painfully down a steep hill; but always one foot in front of the other. We had only one goal: finish. Make four laps around the course and revel in the moment we’d receive our medals allowing us to proudly proclaim (as we’d decided on lap 3) in our email signatures that we were Ultramarathoners.

Here’s the crazy part (I know, I know – most people reading this far have decided the entire thing sounds crazy, but wait for it) not only did we decide to run an ultramarathon with less than 24 hours to prepare. Not only did we continue to push past every sign the universe shoved in our face telling us that we weren’t meant to run this race. Not only did we callously disregard a race director’s warning (accompanied by waivers I’m sure he was certain he’d have to invoke). Not only did we then show up at the crack of dawn. Here’s the crazy part: we finished.

We finished.

Not because we were prepared. Not because we are stronger or tougher or more athletic than anyone else. But because we kept putting one foot in front of the other. Because we simply decided this was something we could do.

Sure, there were times I wasn’t sure if I’d pooped my pants or not. There were several times I instructed nearby runners to look away from me as I was sure I was about to erupt into a flow of tears rivaled only by the most talented toddlers (in tiaras).

But the bottom line is we crossed the finish line, collected our medals (and promptly hightailed it to the nearest soda fountain for bucket-sized Mountain Dews) and completed an ultramarathon with zero preparation (and in my case, zero experience).

The response from people (who didn’t know ahead of time that we were doing this – we didn’t have time to tell anyone!) was always a variation on a theme:

“Wow, I could NEVER …”

You know, exactly what I’d been saying to myself up until 24 hours before the race. That it was crazy, insane and I could NEVER run an ultramarathon. But then I did. How? Am I super athletic by nature and able to do superhuman things? No. Am I such an accomplished runner that this was merely a stretch of existing talents? No. Then what? How?

Was I wrong when I said, “I could never…”? No, I was right.

BUT I was also right that Friday afternoon when I said: “We could do this…” And then ignorance being bliss, and with stubbornness and conviction that if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you’ll eventually reach your destination – I did the impossible. The insane. The crazy. And the totally achievable.

And this, as you can imagine, changes your perspective significantly. You start to wonder what else you can do. Like, maybe I could do a triathlon even though I’m not a swimmer?

(Famous last words:) No, that’s crazy. I could never do that.

So next time you think that something is out of your reach, or that something could never be accomplished. Change your mind. Literally, decide that you’re going to do it. You’re going to run that race. You’re going to lose that weight. You’re going to do that thing you want to do. Decide that you CAN and then DO.

DISCLAIMER: There are obviously instances where it is not SAFE to attempt certain feats. You should ALWAYS consult your doctor before beginning ANY exercise program.

Is a race on your bucket list? Are you looking forward to the day you claim a medal of your own? Check out the Run Club and it’s various training programs at Elevate Fitness!

Think You Don’t Have Time to Workout? Think Again.

There's always time for weight loss and fitness at Elevate Fitness in Syracuse

“Tumble outta bed and I stumble to the kitchen. Pour myself a cup of ambition. Yawn and stretch and try to come to life.” – Dolly Parton, 9 to 5

While we may no longer work the 9 to 5 schedule made famous by Dolly Parton, the themes of hectic days full of too many obligations, responsibilities and commitments still ring true, probably more than ever.

So where does fitness and wellness fall in when it comes to planning our busy lives? When there’s laundry needing to be done and dishes needing to be washed, and a million other things happening, how do we justify taking time to run to the gym?

The best way to make the most of our time is to implement good time management hacks. Here are six favorite tips for managing your workout time.


Use a workout buddy to keep you accountable to your commitments.

By having a workout buddy, you’re accountable to someone other than yourself. It’s easy to let ourselves down (think about it, we do it all the time, don’t we?) but it’s harder to let someone else down. So when you’re deciding if you should skip that spin class to go catch up on Game of Thrones, you’re less likely to, knowing that you won’t be the only one who’s disappointed.

Always schedule your workouts. On an actual calendar.

Having a basic idea in your head that you’re going to the gym is way too easy to edit. Deciding to wait another hour, or to skip altogether is easy to do when it’s not an actual plan. Writing down an appointment for the gym in a physical calendar has a sort of solidifying effect on your intentions. You took the time to write it down. It’s there in black (or blue, or something really fun if you’re still into those cool gel pens from the 1980s) looking back at you. It’s real.

Plus, once you start seeing those consecutive workouts piling up on your calendar or in your planner, you’re likely to fall victim to gamification and then the desire to protect your “streaks” or fill your rows up will compel you to visit the gym even when you otherwise wouldn’t feel motivated.

Do something you enjoy and you’ll make fewer excuses to skip it.

There’s a reason so many people love group fitness classes. They’re social and feature fun music and lots of motivation from an instructor and your peers. They’re enjoyable. And if you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to make (and leave) time for it than if you see it as a chore or its unenjoyable.

Group fitness classes aren’t your thing? How about tennis? Or swimming? Running? Raquetball? Yoga? Spinning? You get the idea…

Switch up your workouts to keep things from getting stale or boring.

This is similar to the last tip, but also be aware that something you enjoy can become stale and boring over time if you don’t get enough variety in your workouts. Shlepping into the gym to plop on the same treadmill or hit up the same row of machines day after day will lose its appeal before long and you’ll find yourself missing more and more workouts.

Make sure you belong to a gym (like Elevate, hint, hint) that has enough variety and programming to keep you busy and entertained with options.

Get up early and get your workout in before your brain has a chance to sabotage your body by creating excuses.

This is a trick that works surprisingly well. Ever noticed that the longer you wait during the day to work out the harder you have to fight yourself to make sure the workout actually happens? Getting up and checking this to-do item off your list first thing is a great way to ensure your brain doesn’t have the power/time to create excuses.

It’s also a simple fact that the beginning of the day is when we have the most time ahead of us. By getting our workout in early, we leave the rest of the day wide open to manage all of those other responsibilities, expectations, and commitments.

Find someplace to workout. You’re more likely to keep an appointment if you’re paying for it.

The simple truth is that if you’re paying for something you’re more motivated to make sure you’re getting value for your money. Invest in a gym membership so that you have the financial responsibility of using it. And to send a message to yourself that you and your health and wellness are worth investing in. After all, if you invest financially, then surely you can invest your time?

What are you waiting for? Try it out:

A Gym is a Valuable Weight Loss Tool

Join a gym to lose weight - try Elevate Fitness in SyracuseWhen we talk about reaching your weight goals, we talk a lot about gyms and fitness clubs. This is because we believe in them completely and totally. We would never be able to make weight loss a priority in life if we weren’t surrounded by it on a regular basis.

We like to have access to more equipment than we’d ever need because we know we’ll never get bored and there will always be new frontiers for us to explore in our fitness and weight loss journeys. We like to be surrounded by people who are like-minded and also working toward their fitness goals because that motivates us. They say you are who you surround yourself with, so going to the gym means we’re surrounding ourselves with people who make fitness a priority – and that’s who we want to be.

With this in mind, we’d like to talk about one of the barriers that stop people from taking action by joining a gym to begin their weight loss journey. That barrier is VALUE.

We make decisions based on value on a daily basis. You want a coffee, so you stop at the coffee shop. You look at the menu board and you ask yourself the following questions:

Do they have the kind of coffee I like to drink?
How much are they charging for the coffee I like to drink?
Do I want to spend that much money on coffee?

It seems like we should be able to do the same for fitness and weight loss. In fact, this should be easy because we’ve already answered some of the questions, right? (See blog posts from the past two days.) WRONG.

Can this product/program/gym help me achieve my fitness goal?
How much does this product/program/gym membership cost?
Do I want to spend that much money on reaching my goal?

The reason this scenario doesn’t play out is that in the first example, you know you’re going to get a cup of coffee. It might be bad coffee, it might not be the roast you prefer, it might be warmer than you like or not as warm as you like it, but it will almost assuredly be coffee.

What you don’t know when you invest x dollars into your fitness product/program/gym membership that you’ll get [insert the desired result here]. And that’s why it’s so hard for us to justify the cost of fitness.

But that’s not even all that makes it hard.

When you’re buying coffee it’s almost exclusively money that is the cost. When it comes to your fitness there’s the financial investment if you’re buying a program or joining a gym (or maybe it’s buying sneakers or investing in a food journal) and then there’s the investment of your time and energy!

So let’s fix this so that we can justify the cost of getting fit, shall we?

In a typical situation, the ideal cost/value scenario would look like this:


It’s in these circumstances that we can justify the expense of whatever it is that we’re considering. We can’t justify the expense when the equation looks like this:


And what’s worse is that when we can’t actually quantify the cost or the value, then the equation doesn’t even help us make the decision. BUT if we can agree that the above assumptions about cost and value are true, then we should be able to determine what we’re willing to invest in our fitness by going back to Chapter One and looking at our WHAT and our WHY and answering two questions:

What is the VALUE we can associate with reaching our WHAT (this will likely be a variation or quantification of our WHY) and,
What is the COST associated with achieving our goal?

Some examples of the value you might associate with getting fit include:

Weight loss and/or control
Reduced risk of certain types of disease and illness
Improved mood
Increased energy
Increased sex drive
Slowed or decreased signs of aging
Increased immune function

But let’s assume that you think in more financial terms, after all – people generally struggle most with the financial cost of getting fit when making the initial commitment to getting fit. So let’s look at what the possible financial value is in reaching your fitness goals.

In 2016 a study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association resulting from the survey of over 26,000 people, which indicated that exercise saves the average person $2,500 per year in reduced medical costs. Not only can you save over 2K a year, but a program as simple as 30-minutes of walking, 5 days a week was enough to achieve a significant reduction in annual medical costs. (Read it here.)

Now, if you can take your list of non-financial value and place a dollar value on that – go for it! What is your own, unique, personal value in getting fit?

Once we’ve determined our VALUE, financial and otherwise, we need to take a look at the cost. This is where it’s very easy to see the financial impact: how much will that program/product/membership COST you?

And maybe you want to factor in the cost of your time – that’s fair. But keep in mind, the increase you’re likely to see in your energy and productivity from getting fit are likely to offset the time you invest. In other words, you’re likely to get more time OUT of your fitness journey than you put INTO it.

Consider your value. Consider your cost. What does YOUR equation look like?

TIP: Like any other investment you’re considering it’s always wise to start with a budget. How much are you willing to spend? In this case, factor in both how much money you’re willing to spend as well as how much time you’re willing to spend. Now, with a working budget, you can find a program/product/membership that works for you!

Want to find out how Elevate can provide you value that far exceeds the cost? Give us a try for FREE!

Step Two in Starting Your Weight Loss Journey

Step Two in Starting Your Weight Loss Journey at Elevate Fitness in Syracuse

Yesterday we discussed the fact that you need to know WHAT you want to accomplish (and how to turn that into an actionable SMART Goal) in order to start your weight loss journey. Today it’s time to explore Step Two of Getting Started ….

Step Two: Determine WHY you want to accomplish your goal.

This sounds easier than step one, right? But don’t be deceived – if you don’t have a strong, honest, and inspired WHY, you will fail. Every. Single. Time.

Make your WHY stronger than your excuses.

So here’s a good project. Take a minute to sit down with a notebook. Or a sticky note. Or the back of an old receipt. Use one of the blank pages or the margins in this book. Draw a line horizontally across your page. Above the line, figure out your WHAT. Then, below the line, start to write about your WHY.

Don’t just imagine this exercise, actually put pen (or pencil) to paper and WRITE IT DOWN. Don’t type it into the notes field in your phone, don’t text it to your significant other, go old-school and write it down. Go ahead and set this book down, it’ll be here when you’re done…


Welcome back! Did you do it? Did you write down your WHAT and your WHY? Congratulations! You’ve done it! You’ve begun that journey of a thousand steps! You’ve put into motion something that will gain inertia as you continue forward and will change your life FOREVER.

Want to explore a great program to help you put your WHAT AND WHY into action? Check out the Six-Week Weight Loss Challenge at Elevate Fitness to see how you can get into the best shape of your life in just six short weeks!

How to Start Your Weight Loss Journey

How to Start Your Weight Loss Journey at Elevate Fitness in Syracuse

It’s been said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. We’ve all heard this phrase from Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. That sounds great and all, but the single step is still just 1/1000 of the overall workload – so how are you supposed to get all excited over the first step?

Instead of Chinese philosophy, let’s look to the science of momentum and inertia (don’t worry – we won’t get too scientific or dwell for too long).

The amount of energy or force required to put an object in motion is usually greater than the energy or force required to keep an object in motion (there are, of course, exceptions to this generality, but let’s not nerd-out just yet). And Newton’s First Law of Motion tells us that once an object is in motion, it takes a significant amount of force to stop it.


And the good news is that getting started is simplified in weight loss, because the first step will always be the same for 100% of the people who are trying to lose weight, and it’s the easiest half of our preparation.

Ready? Here it is:

Step One: Define what success looks like to you.

Decide how you’ll define your success and WRITE IT DOWN. Is it pounds lost? The fit of your favorite jeans? The number of uninterrupted minutes you can spend running? Whatever it is, define it. And make it a part of your tracking habits. Tracking weight? Weigh yourself regularly and write it down. Tracking the fit of your clothes? Take a pic in your favorite jeans twice a week. Minutes spent running? Create a running or activity log.

You MUST have a clearly defined goal and measurement chosen in order to know when/if you’ve created your success story. It’s not enough to say, “I want to lose weight.” You have to say, “I want to lose 10 pounds by the time we open the pool this year.” Or “I want to fit into my favorite jeans before my high-school reunion.” And write it down. Write it down several times. Put it with your tracking logs/journals/diary/whatever you choose. Write it on a post-it note and stick it on your fridge or in the cupboard with those crackers you always run to at the end of a long day. Stick one on your mirror in the bathroom or on your closet door.

This step, although simple, can make or break you when it comes to sticking to your goals.

Consider this: big change is the result of a series of small, targeted actions executed consistently over a period of time. Take for example the Grand Canyon. This marvel of nature wasn’t created by one, giant, defining event – it was carved out of the earth over a period of time, the result of erosion happening on a scale so small, you couldn’t tell it was happening apart from the emergence of the canyon!

This is why people who create a series of small, seemingly unimpressive goals are often more successful than people who set big, headline-worthy goals. You don’t get your Masters Degree by showing up on a school campus one day and performing one giant, remarkable feat. You go credit by credit, class by class, assignment by assignment, semester by semester.

Think about it this way: which seems more doable to you? Finishing your first 5K or winning your age group in your first marathon?

Probably the 5K, right? And that’s because most of us haven’t run a marathon before, so the idea of winning our age group seems preposterous. But what if we win our age group in some 5ks? And then did the same in a few half marathons? Now that marathon seems in reach right?

Winning a marathon is a GREAT goal. But it shouldn’t be your FIRST goal. Take your pipe-dream fitness goals and break them into small, simple SMART goals and see how quickly you find yourself considering that marathon.

You probably learned about SMART Goals at some point in your life, but because this is important, let’s do a quick review:

What is a SMART Goal? A SMART Goal is …

Relevant and

Let’s dissect the previous example to create a SMART Goal for running your first 5K:

Specific: I want to run (and finish) my first 5k race in September
Measurable: I will run three times a week for 8 weeks to prepare (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays before work)
Achievable: I am in good health and have no medical issues or concerns preventing me from running a 5k, and 8 weeks is sufficient time for me to train for a 5k
Realistic: People run official and unofficial 5ks all over the world every day
Time Bound: the 5k is in 8 weeks on [date] at [time]

Now that you know WHAT you want to accomplish (and how to turn that into an actionable SMART Goal), it’s time for Step Two of Getting Started on your weight loss journey. And that post is coming soon, so keep an eye out – but for now – focus on getting step one right.

Want to take all the guesswork out of weight loss? Try the Elevate Fitness Six-Week Weight Loss Challenge and SAVE 50% off your first Challenge!

Lose Weight Easily with Calories In/Calories Out

How to Lose Weight Easily with the Calories In/Calories Out Strategy at Elevate Fitness in Syracuse

For years we’ve known that the simple truth of weight loss is that you must burn more calories than you take in (called creating a caloric deficit) in order to lose weight. In fact, you can get very mathematical about weight loss.

According to The Mayo Clinic, a pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. Therefore, to lose one pound, you need to create a 3,500 calorie deficit. If you create a 500 calorie deficit daily, you’d lose a pound by the end of a week.

Now, of course, there are other factors that affect weight loss, but the basic principle of managing calories out and in will provide some weight loss for everyone. And for many, this strategy alone, when implemented and maintained properly, will provide remarkable weight loss results.

So, armed with the knowledge that this is the best strategy for weight loss, how do we implement a program to track and monitor our progress and success? This is the key to our success, after all, the science won’t fail us – if anything fails us, it will be our consistency, accuracy or commitment to the process.

Let’s assume you want to lose some weight and you’ve chosen the caloric deficit method as your strategy. The easiest way to implement your strategy is to start tracking the calories you consume (what you eat) and the calories you expend (what you burn). As a first step, the simple task of tracking your calories will make you more aware and accountable.

The first step in tracking is to determine what method you want to use. The most basic option is to grab a pen and a notepad and start writing down what you’re eating. Another option is to use an app. The advantage of using an app is having access to a database of food items and their caloric content saving you the trouble of having to determine or guesstimate those values.

We recommend MyFitnessPal as its free version is incredibly robust and the database of foods is unmatched.

The most important part of tracking your food, though, isn’t the method you choose, it’s the consistency. You must, must, must log every calorie that you consume in order for this strategy to be effective.

Once you’ve master tracking the calories in, you’ll want to start tracking the calories out. This requires a little more work because you’ll either be using estimates and averages (like doing a Google search for “how many calories does a 190-pound male burn in an hour of jogging?”) or you’ll be using some equipment that may need some calibration in order to turn out accurate data.

Our recommendation for tracking calories out is going to be the high-tech option again, for its accuracy and simplicity. Because it’s accurate it will work. And because it’s simple you’ll stick with it.

We recommend using a heart rate monitor that measures caloric expenditure during your workouts. By using a monitor you can simply pull the number of calories burned from your device at the end of a workout and plug it into your tracker (like MyFitnessPal).

If you’re able to answer the all of following questions with a YES relative to your tracking method (notebook, spreadsheet, app, etc.) then you’re on the right path the successful weight loss!

1. Is this method easy for me to access throughout the day as I eat and/or workout?
2. Is this method easy enough that I can use it quickly and easily without interrupting my day?
3. Is this method something I can commit to using every single day, sometimes multiple times per day?
4. Am I excited about getting started with this method of tracking?

Great! So you’re tracking your calories in and out. Now what?

Now it’s time to create and MANAGE a daily deficit. The formula for determining a deficit is simple:


Now, this begs an important question: how does the basal metabolic rate figure into this equation? Basal metabolic rate or BMR is the calorie burn required by your body to sustain basic day-to-day life.

Some people include their BMR in the equation and that okay, but know that if you choose this method it may slow your progress as BMR can be tricky to determine and it can vary wildly from day to day.

Instead, we recommend clarifying the above formula to mean the following:


This removes a lot of guesswork and provides you with easily obtainable data to work with. It’s also likely to create more dramatic results as you’ll have to work a little bit harder to create that deficit using this formula.

Now to MANAGE your deficit, you’ll want to determine how much weight you’re going to lose and in what time frame. We recommend no more than two pounds per week (on the aggressive side of things) as anything more brings A LOT of additional variables into the equation that can affect your results.

Let’s use a pound per week (a very good goal for most people looking to lose weight, in our opinion). We determined previously that you’d need a 3,500 deficit at the end of the week to achieve this goal. Now you can set out to create a plan to ensure you achieve this.

If you’re looking for a more aggressive weight loss program, you’ll want to work with a fitness professional who is trained to create and manage aggressive strategies. A great example of this type of training is the Elevate Fitness 6-Week Weight Loss Challenge, where past participants have lost as many as 8 pounds a week*!

*Results not typical.

How Group Classes Train You For Life

Get Fit for Life at Elevate Fitness in Syracuse

by Group Fitness Instructor, Tonya Warner

When new class participants embark upon their fitness journeys, they most likely won’t realize what’s in store for them. Sure, they understand that they will torch a lot of calories, get more fit, get leaner and maybe even have some fun in the process. But a fantastic side effect is the benefit they will see outside of the gym walls.

Walking into a new group fitness class can be hugely intimidating. There are all kinds of new equipment that you’ve never used before, there are people milling around and gathering their weights, steps, mats, or adjusting their bikes like old pros. Don’t be afraid to speak up! The instructor is there to help you get the best workout possible – so ask for any assistance you need in getting set up. But eventually, you find your groove. Each class is easier, and before you know it, setting up and gathering your equipment is natural and seamless.

Fast forward a few weeks to a few months and you realize a noticeable change when you’re NOT at the gym. You may be doing simple tasks at home. You may be on the tennis court, ski slopes, or you may be simply walking to your car on an icy day. Members that have consistently taken group fitness classes on a weekly basis have noticed things about their bodies for possibly the first time in their lives. They’re physically stronger, more coordinated, more balanced, have postural improvements, and experience a brand new mind/body connection.

They can now ski longer and harder because their cycle classes have greatly improved their quad strength and control. Their footwork and agility now show on the tennis courts because of all the work on the step in Group Blast and Group Active.  Because Group Power and Group Blast focuses on building muscular strength and endurance, runners have found significant improvements with their race times. They’re able to prevent a potential tumble because their balance has dramatically improved thanks to all the Will Power and Grace classes. Even all the bending and reaching while gardening feels easier because people are more flexible thanks to all the yoga classes.

The examples of the benefits of group fitness classes are endless. Try one of our classes at Elevate and you’ll be hooked for life!!


Top 5 Reasons to Try a Group Fitness Class

Top 5 Reasons to Try Group Fitness Classes at Elevate Fitness in Syracuse

In gyms all across the country, there are two types of people: those who swear by group fitness classes as the best way to spend their time in the gym, and those who haven’t tried group fitness yet. Here, in no particular order, are our top five reasons that you should try a group fitness class if you fall into that second category!

If you don’t want to spend the money to hire a personal trainer (which is the best way to get the results you want from your fitness program quickly and effectively), then group fitness classes might just be the next best thing for you.

Whether it’s getting expert coaching on your form, expert program design or expert motivation – you get lot of benefit from the experts that are group fitness instructors. Take the guesswork out of your workouts by attending a predesigned and progressive workout being coached and led by a qualified (and certified) fitness professional.

Make sure you’re working with a certified instructor who’s delivering a quality program. And don’t be afraid to speak up! Introducing yourself before class and explaining any physical limitations you may have, or specific results you’re looking for will allow the instructor to provide you with customized coaching specific to you!

Sometimes it’s hard to keep yourself motivated in the gym. Whether it’s because you’ve had a long day at work, or because you didn’t sleep well the night before, it can be tough getting yourself motivated in the gym day after day.

Being in a room full of like-minded people all looking to get their sweat on and have a good time can be INCREDIBLY motivating. And it can mean the difference between an hour wasted at the gym half-heartedly run/walking on the treadmill and getting an effective full-body workout that leaves you feeling accomplished and energized.

It’s the same experience you might have at a concert or a sporting event where you get swept up in the energy of the crowd – sometimes the right group fitness class can be so motivating that it turns an otherwise ho-hum day into a great one!

Group fitness classes are great at providing your workout routine with structure. From a predictable schedule to expertly structured classes, group fitness can do all the prep and planning work for you.

Another favorite expression is “failing to plan is planning to fail” and this applies to your fitness goals as well. You can’t just join a gym or take up running and expect results. You need a plan to get you there. The great thing about group fitness is that you can simply work with a program coordinator to determine the best classes for you based on your goals and your schedule and then boom – you have a plan! Once you have a plan, it’s just a matter of executing – which in the case of group fitness, means showing up and doing what the instructor tells you to do!

Not only is the structure great for getting you results, but having a schedule that you’ve committed to makes it easier to hold yourself accountable.

It’s easy to fall into a rut when you’re working out on your own. You sign into the gym and throw your stuff in a locker and then off you go to your favorite (same old) machine to do your favorite (same old) workout. This is the most common reason people fail to get the results they’re looking for at the gym: failure to keep the body challenged!

Falling into a workout rut can cause you to plateau – after all, as they say, what doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you, and after a while, the same old will fail to challenge you.

You don’t have to worry about that in a good group fitness class. Between the expert design of the classes and the wide variety available to you, you can make sure you have enough variety in your workout plan to keep your body challenged and changing.

Our final reason is our favorite reason. Group fitness feels more like a party than a workout. Think about it: group fitness is a social activity. You get the support, encouragement, and motivation of your fellow participants. There’s an instructor helping you get a great physical workout. There’s awesome music pumping through the speakers.

You’d be surprised how the party-like elements of group fitness can make an hour pass so much faster than an hour on a treadmill. Find an entertaining instructor and you’ll find your workouts are over in the blink of an eye! Making fitness fun is a key to increasing exercise adherence (meaning you’ll work out more often) which means you’ll see results faster!

When Mary Poppins sang that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, she could have been talking about group fitness (sugar) and exercise (medicine).


With so many great reasons to try group fitness, why not slip into a class and see what all the fuss is about? Not a member yet and want to try Elevate Fitness classes anyway? No problem, your first class at Elevate Fitness is free!

5 Common Mistakes Beginners Make in the Gym

5 Common Mistakes Beginners Make in the Gym

Being new to the gym can be overwhelming. You walk in and assume everyone knows what they’re doing, they’re super fit and it comes really easily to them. Of course, these assumptions aren’t true 99% of the time, but it’s something we all think when we’re getting started. Add to that that most machines look like they can do some damage if used improperly (and they can) and it’s not always super obvious how they’re meant to be used. Layer on all the conflicting and bad information we see about fitness and working out online and in magazines and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll make mistakes as a new gym member. Here we’re going to break down the 5 most common mistakes that beginners make in the gym.

They Don’t Take Advantage of Fitness Consultations.

We get it. You’re new and that Personal Trainer with the great biceps is intimidating. But letting your misconceptions about trainers stop you from meeting someone who can get you started on the right foot and could potentially become one of your biggest cheerleaders would be a mistake.

A Fitness Consultation gives you a chance to talk to someone who is educated and passionate about how to help people just like you reach their fitness goals. It’s also a great opportunity to figure out exactly what you should be doing when you come into the gym so that you’re making the most of your time.

Even if you never plan to meet with your trainer again after that complimentary consultation session, you’re going to get a lot of good information from it that can have a direct impact on not only your results, but how quickly you start seeing results.

They Give Up Too Quickly.

People expect to see results overnight. They spend years engaged in the behaviors that made them unhealthy in the first place and expect to undo all that effort in just a couple of weeks at the gym. The worst part of this scenario is that most people who start a fitness program and give up, end up giving up just before they’d start seeing real results!

Think about it. Skipping one trip to the gym won’t make you fat. And likewise, one trip to the gym won’t make you fit. But just because you’re not seeing results doesn’t mean that changes aren’t happening. It’s just that it takes a while for those changes to be visible in the mirror, or for those changes to show up on the scale.

Some benefits, while not immediately visible, are instant. For example, when you exercise your body pumps more blood to your muscles, which increases your blood flow which can increase your brain function. And this is an IMMEDIATE benefit.

They Do The Same Thing Over And Over.

We’ve all heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. Similarly, you’re not going to get the body you want or achieve the fitness goals you’ve set for yourself by going to the gym and doing the same thing over and over again. Your body will adapt and the repetitive nature of your workouts will stop producing results. This is why so many people experience exercise plateaus.

One of the reasons for joining a gym instead of a fitness studio (see our take on that here) is that you have so much more variety available to you. Not only will this help prevent boredom from setting in (and making you less likely to stick with your program) but it will keep your body guessing and stop it from adapting to your workouts.

Get out of your comfort zone and try that group fitness class, hire that trainer or just learn a new machine. Your body (and results) will thank you for it.

They Go Too Hard Too Fast.

Unless you’ve been pretty active prior to joining the gym, you have to expect your body is going to experience some initial discomfort. You’re going to be sore. That’s natural.

It’s your body’s way of telling you, “Oh! This is new. I need a little time to recover from that.” Listen to your body.

Meet with a trainer for a fitness consultation and ASK the question: “If I’m just starting out, how much time should I be spending working out?” and then follow that advise. Going too hard too fast can cause a number of issues that derail you from reaching your goals from injury to increased recovery time.

They Try To Go It Alone.

We are social creatures. There’s no denying it. It’s been shown over and over again in a multitude of studies that people who work out with a friend, in groups or in social environments get better results and stick with it longer.

One study actually discovered that 95 % of people in a weight-loss program with a friend or partner finished their program, compared to 76%of those who went solo. The social participants were also 42%  more likely to maintain their results.

Whether you find a social environment like Cross Training workouts or Group Fitness classes, or you bring a friend to the gym using your gym’s Buddy Program – consider making your solo act a group effort to see better (and longer lasting) results!

BONUS MISTAKE: Not getting started at all.

There is, of course, only one way to guarantee you’ll get NO results and see NO changes. And that’s by not getting started at all. Sure, beginners make a lot of mistakes and have a lot to learn before becoming seasoned pros who are reaching their goals predictably and reliably – but the good news is that nobody is a beginner forever.

Need a place to start? Try Elevate Fitness for FREE:


Best Gym Tips for Seniors

Best Gym Tips for Seniors

In the movies and on televisions gyms are always full of young, fit, attractive members. But like most of what we see from Hollywood, this isn’t the most accurate representation of a gym or health club. They’re frequented by members as diverse as you’d see anywhere else – members of all ages, body types, ethnicities, and professions. And thanks to programs like Silver Sneakers and other insurance programs that pay for memberships, we’re seeing more Baby Boomers and seniors in health clubs than ever before. And that’s why we’re excited to share our best gym tips for seniors.

Tip #1: Take group fitness classes. There are a number of reasons you’ll want to include group fitness classes in your fitness program, and we’ve covered some of those in depth in other posts. Today, we’re going to talk specifically about aqua group fitness classes. With the ability to increase your strength, cardiovascular health, and flexibility in all one workout while reducing pressure on your joints in a low-impact format, you’d be hard pressed to find a form of exercise more perfectly suited to a mature body!

Plus, there’s a great social component in group fitness classes which can help combat stress and loneliness and keep you engaged in your fitness program for the long haul! Need more reasons? See what Elevate Fitness Aqua Instructor Sue had to say about why you should be working out in the water.

Tip #2: Find out what special programs your gym offers seniors. For example, at Elevate Fitness, we offer coffee clubs where members can meet before or after group classes to socialize and connect. A community is an important part of a successful fitness program as connecting with other members and with staff will increase your exercise adherence by keeping you accountable to other people.

And while we’re all for making new friends, maybe you’d prefer to bring an existing friend with you? Most gyms (including Elevate Fitness) have referral programs. Not only can you usually get a guest pass for a friend to try out the gym with you, but most clubs (at least the good ones) will reward you if your friend joins! At Elevate Fitness you’ll earn 500 rewards points that can be spent in our online Rewards Store!

Tip #3: Make time to be consistent. Today’s seniors are busier than ever. Whether it’s staying involved in the workforce longer, family obligations or recreational pursuits and hobbies, seniors often find their agendas and calendars just as full as when they were younger.

Take time to put together a schedule for yourself (group exercise classes make this a very easy step) and follow the advice we have for people trying to reach their fitness goals with busy schedules.

Tip #4: Set a goal. Have something to train FOR and you’ll find it easier to get into the gym to train. We suggest training for a 5K as a good starting place. Most towns have an abundance of 5ks to choose from that allow you to support causes near and dear to your heart. And most 5ks are considered run/walks so you don’t even need to become a very advanced runner to participate.

Find a program that will help you reach your goal, like Elevate’s Run to Walk program, designed to take non-runners to point where they can successfully complete a 5k. And once you’ve committed, talk your friends into committing with you!

Tip #5: Find out if you’re eligible to have some or all of your membership paid for. Silver Sneakers and Silver and Fit are just two examples of programs that pay for a portion or all of your gym membership for you! And if the gym you’ve joined doesn’t have a program – reach out to your insurance company and be the catalyst! Someone has to be the first, right?


Not a member of a gym yet and want to try out Elevate Fitness? Try us out for FREE!

The Best Gym Tips for Beginners

The Best Gym Tips for Beginners

As the expression goes, hindsight is 20/20. Think back to most major accomplishments in your life and ask yourself, if you knew at the beginning what you knew when you reached your goal – how would that have changed your journey? For most of us, it would have meant a less bumpy road, right? And with that in mind, we present you with Elevate Fitness’s gym tips for beginners.

Tip #1: Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s going to take time to reach your fitness goals, and more importantly, it’s probably going to take some time before you even start to notice progress. Think about it this way: one workout isn’t going to magically get you into shape just like it wasn’t missing one workout, or spending one lazy day on the couch that got you out of shape in the first place.

If you start your journey toward fitness with the expectation that you’ll see big results fast, you’re going to end up disappointed and back on the coach. The best way to avoid this is to be realistic about both your goals and the program you’re going to use to achieve them. Consider sitting down with a personal trainer or fitness coach to discuss what you hope to achieve. Not only will it help you decide on the best action plan to meet your goals, but you’ll also have a better understanding of what you can expect to see happening when.

Not only is this a good way to start your fitness journey, but most gyms, including Elevate Fitness, want you to do this so they’ll give you a complimentary training session when you join!

Tip #2: Take group fitness classes. We cannot emphasize this enough. When you walk into a gym for the first time and see the sea of equipment laid out for your use, keep in mind that depending on your exercise experience and your goals, not every piece of equipment is the right piece for you to be using. Not only that – it’s highly unlikely that without instruction you’ll be able to use the equipment properly on your first try.

Instead of throwing yourself at the machines (which are likely to slow your progress, see tip #1) consider taking a group fitness class where you’ll have an instructor providing you with a proven program, real-time coaching and helping to keep you safe to minimize your downtime (recovery) between workouts and increase the effectiveness of your workouts getting your noticeable results more quickly!

Think classes aren’t for you? Well if you immediately imagined a bunch of women in leotards with perfect makeup and hair bounding along to some great 80’s music (yes, we said 80’s music is great and we stand by that) then you need to see how group fitness has evolved. It’s now more inclusive on all fronts and less dance-driven and much more athletic in nature. Check out our fun post on The Evolution of Group Fitness Classes.

Tip #3: Create playlists that will get you pumped up (no pun intended) for your workout! Don’t underestimate the motivating power of the Theme from Rocky or Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing when you’re in the gym. And it’s not just a crazy idea that music can help you power through a tough workout or finish your cardio strong – there’s actual science to back it up! In 2012, Psychology Today published this intriguing article about The Neuroscience of Music, Mindset, and Motivation.

In fact, looking back at Tip #2, motivating music is one of the key components of effective group exercise classes in keeping participants motivated and coming back for more. Ask any Spin Instructor (we’re looking at YOU Lisa Dolbear) who’s spent hours pouring over the perfect playlist how important song choice is in creating the perfect workout, and they’ll consistently rank it among the most important factors of a successful class.

Tip #4: Don’t overestimate how hard you’ve worked out at the gym when you get into the kitchen. Often, when people become newly active at the gym, they convince themselves that they need an additional reward in the kitchen to offset all the hard work they’ve been doing. Research has shown that people, when guestimating, often overestimate the number of calories burned during a workout.

Our suggestion for avoiding this fate? Math. Track how many calories you’re burning and how many calories you’re consuming. But how, if guestimations are so often wrong? Simple: invest in a heart rate monitor. You’ll get pretty accurate data concerning your calories burned during a workout (not exact, but a lot more accurate than a guestimate) that will allow you to plan your calories in (based on your unique goals) with a lot more accuracy.

Honestly, we’re obsessed with heart rate training and would never consider putting ourselves through the effort of working out without one because it’s honestly the best way to get real-time feedback about the effectiveness of your efforts in the gym. Read our post on Why Heart Rate Monitors Are the Most Important Thing You Can Buy to Achieve Your Fitness Goals and then check out some of the heart rate monitors available at Elevate Fitness (although you can use any ANT+ compatible heart rate monitor at Elevate Fitness).

Tip #5: Make friends. And if you’re not good at making new friends – bring an old one with you! There’s power and safety in numbers. And that applies to your gym life, as well.

There’s power in community and the old adage that none of us is as smart as all of us applies to your fitness goals. Even the top athletes in the world work with personal trainers and coaches. And a lot of them train with teammates or other athletes because the power of many is so much strong than the power of one. Not only is it motivating, but you’re likely to increase your “fitness vocabulary” and “library of exercises” by working out with a buddy or two. And always having a spotter available will keep you safer, too!

Looking to make new gym friends? See tip #2 – group fitness classes are a great way to meet new friends. Want to bring an old friend? Most gyms (including Elevate Fitness) have referral programs. Not only can you usually get a guest pass for a friend to try out the gym with you, but most clubs (at least the good ones) will reward you if your friend joins! At Elevate Fitness you’ll earn 500 rewards points that can be spent in our online Rewards Store!

So whether you’re an absolute beginner, or if you’re just beginning again – apply this advice to your fitness journey, and we’re confident that you’ll experience results, enjoy the process more and maybe even create a lasting lifestyle that allows the rest of your life to truly be the best of your life.


Need a place to begin? Try Elevate Fitness for FREE!

Why Choose a Gym Over a Fitness Studio

Which Is Better - a gym or a fitness studio?

You can’t drive much more than a block these days without passing a fitness studio of some sorts. From barre to kickboxing to boot camps to HIIT – there seems to be a studio for every type of exercise you can imagine.

There’s a reason these studios are popping up all over – more people are realizing the benefits of physical fitness than ever before, and in response, there are a ton of studios out there ready to promise you the world and take your money.

So why choose a traditional gym or fitness center when there are so many trendy studios to choose from instead? We’re glad you asked. Here are five reasons to choose a gym over a fitness studio.

  1. Convenience: Most studios have a schedule of classes or workouts throughout the week to choose from. Most people pick a schedule and that’s it – that’s when they’re working out. Most gyms, however, offer classes and workouts at scheduled times just like the studios AND give you the option to work out on your own for SEVERAL additional hours throughout the day meaning you’ll never have to use your schedule as an excuse for missing a workout.
  2. Cost: Usually, we prefer to talk about value, after all, spending a dollar on a cup of coffee has a different value than spending a dollar on an entire meal does, right? But even using basic cost as a comparison, you’ll find that you’ll spend less on a monthly membership at a gym than you would on a program at a studio. Why? It’s simple: gyms have more members so they don’t need to charge each individual as much to create a sustainable business model.
  3. Variety: Back to the value point – if you join a kickboxing studio, you’re going to get pretty tired of kickboxing after a while and then what other options will you have? But at a gym like Elevate Fitness, if you get tired of lifting weights, you can try swimming, or if you’re tired of the pool, you can try group fitness classes. Greater variety will mean greater value.
  4. Experience: Gyms take a lot more to open and operate than a studio, so you’ll usually find that most gyms have been around a while and they’re likely to be around for a while. Take Elevate Fitness as an example, Elevate has been a staple of the community (in one form or another) for over thirty years. Those years translate into experience that you can use to your advantage.
  5. Expertise: Gyms are larger than studios. They, therefore, have larger staffs than studios. You get the advantage of having the knowledge and support of so many people with so many specialties and areas of expertise when you join a gym. Elevate has personal trainers, yoga instructors, Pilates instructors, swim coaches, weight loss coaches, tennis pros, spinning instructors, etc. With so many people with so many areas of expertise, you’re getting more for your money (again) and getting more value from your membership!

We’re not saying studios are bad. Ultimately the best workout is the one you’ll actually do – and you have to decide for yourself where that is. But if you’re struggling with choosing between a studio and a traditional gym, keep these benefits in mind as you make your decision.

Need more help making a decision that’s right for you? Let the experts at Elevate Fitness answer your questions:

Weight Training Tips for Beginners

Elevate Fitness Weight Training Tips for Beginners

Weight training exercise has long been recognized to provide many health and fitness advantages. From helping to improve basic physical function to increasing your body’s capacity to burn fat, the benefits of lifting weights are well documented and wide-reaching.

For those just beginning with weight training, though, it can be intimidating to walk into the gym and join those in the weight room so we’ve prepared these beginner tips that will help you to avoid some of the common mistakes and pitfalls that most beginners make. By following these guidelines, you’ll reduce your risk of injury, get more out of each exercise, and have the confidence to hit the weights in the gym without feeling out of your comfort zone.

As with most exercises, it’s always a good idea to start with a warm-up or some light stretching.  Done properly, it will help you to loosen up your joints so you can move more freely and may help in reducing the risk of injury. However, you don’t want to overstretch because it might lead to unstable joints. Holding each stretch for 10 seconds or at the most thirty seconds is adequate.

The first question beginners often have when hitting the weights, is exactly how much weight to lift. This answer is going to vary from person to person and body part to body part and maybe even day to day. A general rule is that you want to lift enough weight that completing three sets of 10-15 repetitions is maxing out your lifting capacity but light enough that you’re not falling short of the three set, 10-15 rep goal.

Starting with heavier weights might be tempting, especially if you’re the type who might be concerned about how much you’re lifting compared to those around you, but you want to withstand the temptation – your body will thank you for it later.  As you acclimate yourself to weight lifting, you’ll find that you can quickly determine what the proper amount of weight is for you.

One of the most important factors in determining how much weight you can lift and how effective lifting that weight will be is the form that you use while lifting. We always recommend that beginners work with a Personal Trainer to learn the proper technique and form to reduce the risk of injury. For true beginners, Elevate Fitness offers a complimentary personal training session to help you get started on the right foot.

Every well-rounded fitness plan includes some form of resistance training, and the most popular form of this exercise is weight training. If you’re not including this fundamental type of exercise in your program, it may be time to consider all the benefits you’re missing out on. Plus, who doesn’t like a little variety in their workouts to keep things from getting boring?


Not a member of Elevate Fitness yet? Try us out for FREE!

Health Experts Strongly Recommend Group Fitness

Why Many Health Experts Strongly Recommend Group Fitness Training

By Anthony Holton

One of the best ways to improve health and maintain a healthy fitness level is through exercise and fitness training. However, not everyone likes to exercise especially when they do not have anyone with them. And so, many health experts actually recommend group fitness training. As with anything, each kind of training comes with its own advantages, so it is worthwhile to determine which type best fits you and your overall goals.

If the boredom and lack of motivation describe you, you should seriously consider group fitness training which is strongly recommended by many health experts. Expert fitness trainers share the advantage of this type of training or exercise.

One of the main advantages of group fitness training, many people ought to know, is that it will provide the motivation to train harder. As you see other people in the class sweating, grunting and overcoming training obstacles, you will be inspired to push past your limitations. When you feel yourself progressing, you get motivated to train consistently, which then allows you to reach your fitness goals faster and be more encouraged to stay fit.

Additionally, training regularly allows you to form a special bond with fellow members of your group fitness training. People in your neighborhood or in your circle of friends can use as a form of accountability. When you know that other people are expecting you to show up, when there are people who actually care about your success, it makes it more difficult to skip a workout or go back to your unhealthy habits.

Fitness training groups offer a wider array of classes, ranging from high-intensity cardio sessions to get your heart pumping, to weight training using a variety of equipment designed to get you functionally fit, and explosively fun boxing classes. This means that you can select classes that fit your personality and goals or perhaps even discover a new passion. As many fitness experts say, finding an activity that you truly enjoy is one of the greatest ways to motivate yourself to train consistently.

And lastly, group training is a great opportunity to meet new people. In these classes, you will meet a diverse number of people, many of which share a common goal with you. This allows you to build a solid network that can help you not only with your fitness goals but in other aspects of your life as well, including your professional career.

Know more about this here.

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Whether you’re trying to lose weight or tone up or train for an event, find out why Elevate Syracuse is your best choice!

5 Common Running Shoe Buying Mistakes

5 Common Running Shoe Buying Mistakes

By Leo Eigenberg

Running is a very effective cardio activity, but it is essential to wear the proper footwear to enjoy the healthy running routine. It is a great physical activity to burn calories, strengthen the joints, and benefit the heart. Let’s take a look at a few of the common mistakes to avoid when buying running shoes:

Don’t simply buy for looks

Many first time runners get too concerned with fashion and forget about the most important issues like proper support, fit and comfort. Don’t let the color or the style of the footwear influence the decision-making process. If the running shoes don’t give the desired support, they will soon leave the feet feeling irritated and sore.

Shoes are too tight

Wearing a pair of running shoes that are too tight can soon lead to black toenails, blisters, or similar issues, like bunions. Luckily, there are bunion exercises you can do to help with this, but getting your shoes right is also crucial. Many runners prefer to wear close-fitting shoes for their normal everyday activities, but this same rule shouldn’t apply when engaged in physical activity. The preferred option is to have a little extra space in the forefoot to avoid squashing the feet. Try to leave a space of about half an inch in this area for the most comfortable fit.

Don’t wear shoes for too long

On average, a decent pair of running shoes should last in the region of 300 to 500 miles. It is not practical to wear this type of footwear unit they are completely worn out. A good indicator of when it is necessary to replace the footwear is when aches and pains start to become a common issue. Other indicators of the worn out footwear include lumpy foam inside which leads to the uneven sole and smooth grooves on the bottom.

Shop at the right time of day

The preferred time to buy footwear is later in the day. Our feet will continue to sweat throughout the day and this can continue until about 4 PM. So, it makes sense to wait until the evening to try on the running shoes to increase the chance of finding the most comfortable fit.

Don’t assume the shoe size

It is important to get the feet measured every time a new pair of running shoes is needed. The shoe size is very likely to differ between different brands and types of shoes. Also, the stitching, shape of the upper and foot forms can have an impact on the all-around fit and comfort.

Discover more about all types of sportswear by visiting li-ning shop.

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Why Train for Strength

by Michael Meola, Elevate Fitness Personal Trainer

Why Train for Strength at Elevate Fitness

With so many ways to exercise and workout, it seems as though muscle building, or rather strength training exercises have really taken a back seat in people’s minds, either being some people feel it isn’t needed or it belongs to a certain group of gym goers- the meatheads in the weight rooms of gyms.

Before your next gym session considering some of these benefits to strength training.

Better Cardiovascular Health: 2013 research study in the Journal of Applied Physiology demonstrates that applied strength training to young men showed improved numbers in HDL, or good cholesterol compared to those who have never touched a barbell. The study explains that proper strength training improved blood pressure and triglyceride levels similar to those who cardio train, BUT even better impact of HDL.

Controls Blood Sugar Levels: Resistance training is something that should be incorporated for anyone with Type 2 diabetes. In a 2013 review published in the Journal BioMed research it showed that in addition to building muscle, strength training also helps the body use glucose, or blood sugar, getting it out of the blood and into the muscle, thus decreasing blood sugar levels.

Lowered Risk of Injury: Strength training also helps with bone density, which can help counteract forms of arthritis and fibromyalgia (which is more of a musculoskeletal disorder) as well as increasing muscle mass which can help protect ligaments and soft tissue. If a muscle is too weak, it places added stress on connective tissue.

Helping with Flexibility and Mobility: Results from a 2017 study in the Journal of IsoKinetics and Exercise Science shows that strength training improves flexibility in both men and women. Eccentric focused strength training showed twice as much hamstring flexibility than normal static stretching. If you take the muscles and joints through their full range of motion through strength training, you will increase that range over time.

Outside of these reasons, I want to dive into a more anecdotal reason I want to change people’s lives through strength training. 10 years ago I busted up my back pretty bad. L4 L5 herniated. I can still remember the pain to this day. The sharp bolts down my leg, not being able to move right or ever stand up straight. I remember randomly falling because my body would give out, my mom having to carry me, tears rolling down my face. I remember bouncing from Physical Therapists to Chiropractors for almost 5 years; I remember doctors telling me I’d need shots every 6 months and that surgery was the only way to fix me up. I remember being told I’d never be able to exercise the same or do much of anything regarding my back and exercise. Cut to today 5 years into dedicated strength training with squats, deadlifts, hinges, pushing and pulling with a barbell I can say I never went through surgery, never once had any injections in my back, and I have been pain free lifting more than I ever thought possible with a 545 lb Squat and a 505 lb deadlift.

Now, this may not be everyone’s comeback story. I’m not saying everyone should try and squat crazy weight. I’m not saying this is the only way to workout, or that it is superior to other forms of exercise. What I am saying is more people should give strength training and barbell training a real chance.

My mission statement in life is to empower my clients and people through strength. Strength is never a weakness.


Michael Meola is a certified personal trainer at Elevate Fitness in Liverpool, NY. To book a complimentary* consultation session with him, fill out the form at the bottom of this page and request Michael when booking your session.

*First time clients, local residents aged 18 and over, other restrictions may apply

Getting Started with Group Groove

Group Groove Class at Elevate Fitness in Dewitt and Liverpool



Group Groove will make you sweat with a smile during this energizing hour of dance fitness. It’s a sizzling cardio experience that is a fusion of club, urban, and Latin dance styles set to the hottest current hits and the best dance songs ever produced! IF YOU CAN MOVE, YOU CAN GROOVE!

WHAT WILL I DO? Group Groove’s cool approach will have you moving to a variety of dance styles, including Disco, Club, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Latin, Musical Theater, African, Swing, Country, and more! Ten tracks with top-charting songs will get your heart pounding and sweat pouring as you feel the freedom of dance. Each track has been expertly choreographed to be easily followed and with a specific fitness and workout aim:

1. Warm-Up – We hit the dance floor early with dance-inspired moves designed to help us get our Groove on!
2. FirstDANCE – Not wanting to peak too early, this track helps us get our “dance face” on. Mostly low-impact dance moves help us continue to warm up and get to work!
3. PartyDANCE – The Groove party has really started now! Sometimes Latin-inspired, sometimes the best of Disco…but no matter what, this one puts a smile on your dial and gets the heart working.
4. LowDANCE 1 – We work on shaping and toning the legs and glutes with dance styles that drop us low in the legs so we feel the burn…did we say urban, anybody?!
5. CardioDANCE 1 – As the name implies, this one serves up the work, meaning hearts will be pounding and sweat will be pouring! Could cardio really be this fun???
6. LowDANCE 2 – The low-down on this track is that we get lower than before. This one is designed to give us a “leg training hangover.” Urban tunes will drive this track.
7. CardioDANCE 2 – Climb to the second cardio peak with this hot, sweaty, and pounding Groove!
8. BreakDANCE – Not to be confused with resting…this is the calm before the storm.
9. Finale – The class finishes on an emotional and physical high with this big dance fusion!
10. Cool Down – Think slow, cool dance – the one before you go home. We’ll stretch out those dancing muscles to make sure you recover and are ready for your next Groove!


Group Groove is for anyone of any age who wants to have fun…lots of fun, and sweat a ton! Group Groove is ideal for:
• Anyone looking for a fun way to get a great cardio workout
• Those who might find “exercise” a bit too serious and just need to smile
• Anyone who has danced in their bedroom while using a hairbrush as a microphone
• Anyone who can’t stop tapping their foot or wiggling their hips whenever they hear any song
• Those who just want to express themselves
• Anyone who wants to feel young again
• Anyone who watches Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance


Because Group Groove is an all-out cardio-fitness jam, you can do it once a week or Groove every day. How you feel is your best gauge of your body’s recovery needs between workouts. Keep in mind, the more you Groove, the cooler you’ll be!

HELPFUL HINTS? Just remember that it is only your first time once! These tips will ensure your success and enjoyment:
• Wear comfortable workout attire. Most people wear sweatpants, cargo pants, or shorts with tanks or t-shirts. Basically anything that makes you feel cool and lets you move.
• Wear comfortable athletic shoes. We suggest not wearing platform shoes.
• Bring a water bottle and a towel.
• Arrive 15 minutes before class and introduce yourself to the instructor. The instructor will answer any questions you may have to help put you at ease.
• Stand close to the center of the room so you can see the instructor clearly. It is not necessary to be at the front, and having a couple of other participants in front of you can help provide visual information about the movements.
• Try to ignore any mirrors in the room, as they can be distracting. Just have fun and remember that the instructor is the best source of visual technique information.
• Speak with the instructor at the end of class to ask questions and to check in about your experience.


It’s perfectly normal to feel apprehensive and nervous before your first Group Groove class. Once you get your first class out of the way, much of the apprehension will disappear. Remember there is safety in numbers. Allow yourself to have fun because, as long as you’re going in the general direction, you’re hip! During class, time will fly! You might experience mixed emotions. Just go with it. Remind yourself you are new. Adults often have very high expectations of themselves, but you have to start somewhere. It might seem like the class is moving a little faster than you would like. That is simply because the terminology and movements may be new to you. With each class, you will become more comfortable and confident. After class, you’ll probably be disappointed that the class is over. You’ll be amazed that an hour is already gone. You may be surprised the next day that you are sore all over. This is a great sign; it means you got a great workout even while you were smiling and laughing.

If you’re ready to find YOUR Groove – remember your first class is always FREE at Elevate Fitness. Download the Group Groove Getting Started Guide here, and check out our schedule of classes here.

Getting Started with Group Power

Group Power Class at Elevate Fitness in Liverpool and Dewitt


Group Power will blast all your muscles with a high-rep weight training workout. Using an adjustable barbell, weight plates, and body weight, Group Power combines squats, lunges, presses, and curls with functional integrated exercises. Dynamic music and a motivating group atmosphere will get your heart rate up, make you sweat, and push you to a personal best! POWER UP!


Group Power combines traditional strength exercises and the hottest functional training moves, utilizing a barbell, weight plates, and your body weight to make you fitter and stronger. High-rep training and athletic movements are key components of this results-driven workout. Group Power is developed with a periodized approach to ensure you are constantly changing your workout and challenging your body.

Ten tracks are expertly programmed with specific workout objectives:
1. Warm-Up – We grab the barbell with lightweight and introduce many of the exercises you’ll be doing over the next hour, warming the body and practicing the movements.
2. Legs – Working the big muscles first, we do Squats and sometimes add in Lunges to get the heart rate going and ignite a fire in the legs, creating great shape and definition.
3. Chest – We strengthen the chest with a variety of exercises, such as the Chest Press, Chest Fly, and Push Ups. You’ll often find new twists on these exercises to maximize your results!
4. Back & Legs – Full-body exercises like Deadlifts, Deadrows, and the Clean & Press really fire up the back and hamstrings and get the heart rate up! Plus, you’ll learn innovative Power movements like the Power Clean, Deadsquats, Reverse Flys, and the Single-Arm Row.
5. Triceps – Shape, build, and define the back of the arms with Tricep Presses, Extensions, Pullovers, and Kickbacks. But beware of the Tricep Push Ups – they’ll push you over the top!
6. Biceps – The best of high-rep weight training, combined with new and unique biceps exercises. Experience the difference with variations on barbell curls, wide grip, offset grip, bicep rows, and even weight plate work.
7. More Legs –This is functional integrated training at its best. Challenge your legs with Power Lunges, Crouches, lateral movements, balance challenges, offset loading, and even plyometrics! You’ll feel like a pro when you learn these moves!
8. Shoulders – A ton of exercises to give you great-looking shoulders. Work the front, top, and back of the shoulders with Upright Rows, Shoulder Presses, Lateral Raises, and Rear Delt Extensions. Plus, groundbreaking functional movements will make you feel like an athlete in training!
9. Core – Concentrate on your core with exercises that train the front, back, and sides of your midsection. There’s always a new way to shake up the routine and ensure your core is strong, solid, and good looking!
10. Stretch – You’ve earned it. Stretching out the muscles from head to toe helps improve overall range of motion and muscular recovery.


Group Power is for just about everyone. Strength training is essential to staying healthy, and Group Power is ideal for:
• New exercisers because of the simplicity of the class
• Men and women of all ages because you get to select how much weight you use.
• Anyone who wants a fun way to add strength training to their workout
• Athletes looking for a training edge
• Women because weight-bearing exercise is proven to reduce the incidence of osteoporosis
• The time-pressed exerciser because one hour two times per week delivers results fast
• Serious weight trainers that want to challenge their muscles in a different way


Group Power is designed to be done two to three times per week. It is recommended that you not exceed three times in one week. This is not a case of “the more you do, the better.” The body needs time to recover in order to grow stronger. For at least your first month of Group Power, twice a week is sufficient. A schedule allowing for two days of rest between class experiences is ideal.

HELPFUL HINTS? Remember that your first class only happens once. After attending Group Power three times, you will get into the rhythm of things and will start to feel like a pro.

These tips will ensure your success in your first few classes:
• Wear comfortable workout clothing and comfortable athletic shoes.
• Bring a towel and a water bottle.
• Some people prefer to wear weight training gloves, but they are certainly not essential.
• Arrive 15 minutes before class and introduce yourself to the instructor. The instructor will help you set up your equipment, provide starting weight recommendations, and answer any questions you may have to help put you at ease.
• It is not essential that you be up front, but stand near the center of the room and where you have a clear view of the instructor.
• Your instructor will coach you and include exercise options to ensure your success.
• You should feel comfortable stopping at any point in a track, either to rest or adjust your weight.
• Speak with the instructor at the end of class to ask questions and to check in about your experience.


It is perfectly normal to feel apprehensive prior to your first Group Power class. Once you get your first class out of the way, much of that apprehension will disappear. Remember, there is safety in numbers. You will be amazed at how many others will be willing to help you. The objective of your first few classes is to familiarize yourself with the format, the equipment, and the technique of the various exercises. The instructor will probably recommend a starting weight or weights that may seem too light to you at first. Keep in mind that you will be doing high numbers of repetitions, and the lighter weight will help you learn proper technique from the beginning. Allow yourself to be a student; proper technique leads to safer, more effective exercises, and better results. After you get the feel, you can slowly start to increase your weight selections to increase your workout intensity. Talk to the instructor after class to let him or her know how you felt and if anything felt particularly challenging for you. The instructor will then make recommendations for your next class. Keep in mind that you may be sore for several days afterwards because your body is adjusting to the new demands on your muscles. This is perfectly normal. Have fun during your Group Power experience as you build strength, confidence, and a sense of accomplishment that comes with improved fitness.

Get your power on, your first class is always FREE at Elevate Fitness. Download our Group Power Getting Started Guide here and check out the class schedules over here!

Getting Started with Group Fight

Group Fight Class at Elevate Fitness in Dewitt and Liverpool


Group Fight™ is a gripping hour that burns a ton of calories and builds total body strength. Tap into the hottest mixed martial arts movements done at a rapid-fire pace to smash your cardio fitness! From the boxing ring to the fighting cage, Group Fight combines cutting-edge moves with thrilling music. This electric experience is addictive! FIGHT FOR IT!


Group Fight is an explosive cardio workout fueled by MMA moves from inside and outside the octagon. You are your own opponent in this high-energy experience that borrows training styles from mixed martial arts, kickboxing, Muay Thai, karate, functional athletic training, and more!

The hour is divided into ten parts, each with its own objective:
1. Warm-Up – Steadily warm your body with simple upper-body boxing moves and basic footwork. Consider this a rehearsal for the workout ahead!
2. Box – Get straight into the workout with upper-body boxing moves. Jabs, hooks, and crosses coupled with authentic footwork keep you on your toes.
3. Muay Thai – Lower-body work is introduced with movements borrowed from the exciting Muay Thai discipline. Think sharp elbow and knee strikes, all with power and gusto!
4. Kicks – Consider this a working and rehearsal track combined – concentrating on your kick technique is a great way to define and strengthen your lower body.
5. Mixed Martial Arts – Anything goes! Upper-body and lower-body strikes are combined in exciting and intense combinations, all to take your cardio fitness to a whole new level.
6. Super Box – Take the Box track and supersize it! Harder, faster, and more intense. Did we say harder and faster?!
7. Mixed Martial Arts – This second round of Mixed Martial Arts is not all-out like the first. You have a chance to catch your breath as you prepare for the next working round. Here we train additional elements like balance and kick finesse.
8. Muay Thai – Empty your tank as you hit the final cardio peak by using the best strikes Muay Thai has to offer!
9. Conditioning – It can be core conditioning, leg conditioning, upper body conditioning, or a combination of each. You will get results!
10. Cool Down – Stretch and recover with basic flexibility training, with the addition of kata sequences from various martial arts disciplines.


Group Fight is for anyone wanting a challenging, athletic, and motivating workout in a realistic time frame. Group Fight would be ideal for:
• New exercisers, because the workout is a blast and you have the ability to adjust the level of challenge to suit yourself
• Anyone wanting to add variety to his or her training and improve timing, precision, and focus
• Anyone who wants great shoulder and arm definition while punching and kicking the stress out of their lives
• Men and women who want to get a great cardiovascular workout while getting as far away from “aerobics” as possible


Group Fight is a cardiovascular training workout, so you can do it once a week in conjunction with other workouts or you can do it almost every day as your primary exercise routine. A beginner to exercise would not want to do too much too soon, but as fitness levels and the ability to recover improve, workout volume and intensity can increase. How you feel is the best gauge of your body’s recovery needs between workouts.


These tips will ensure your success and enjoyment:
• Wear comfortable workout attire in which you can get sweaty. Most people wear shorts and a t-shirt or athletic wear. Make sure your clothing allows freedom of movement for kicks and punches.
• Wear comfortable athletic shoes. Training-style shoes are recommended because there is a lot of lateral movement in Group Fight. While running shoes will work, they are designed for moving forward and do not offer much lateral support.
• Bring a water bottle and a towel.
• Arrive 15 minutes before the workout and introduce yourself to the instructor. The instructor will answer any questions you may have to help put you at ease.
• Stand close to the center of the room so you can see the instructor clearly. It is not necessary to be at the front, and having a couple of other participants in front of you can help provide visual movement information.
• Catch up with the instructor at the end of the workout to ask questions and to check in about your experience.


It is perfectly normal to feel apprehensive prior to your first Group Fight experience. Once you get your first workout out of the way, much of that apprehension will disappear. Remember, there is safety in numbers. You will be amazed at how many others will be willing to help you. During the workout, time will fly! You might experience mixed emotions. Just go with it. Remind yourself you are new. Adults often have very high expectations of themselves, but you have to start somewhere. It might seem like the workout is moving a little faster than you would like. That is simply because the terminology and movements may be new to you. With each workout, you will become more comfortable and confident. After the workout you will be excited to have your first experience under your belt. Keep in mind that you may be sore for several days afterwards because your body is adjusting to the new demands on your muscles. This is perfectly normal. Just have fun during your Group Fight experience as you build fitness, confidence, and a sense of accomplishment!

If you’re ready to unleash your inner Fighter, don’t forget that your first class is always FREE at Elevate Fitness. Check out the class schedules here and download the getting started guide for Group Fight here.

Getting Started with Group Centergy

Getting Started with Group Centergy at Elevate Fitness in Syracuse


Group Centergy will grow you longer and stronger with an invigorating 60-minute mind-body workout. It incorporates yoga and Pilates fundamentals with athletic training for balance, mobility, flexibility, and the core. Emotive music drives the experience as you breathe and sweat through this full-body fitness journey. REDEFINE YOUR SELF.

WHAT WILL I DO? Group Centergy has a consistent format that will enable you to get comfortable with movements and to see your health and well-being improve. The workout consists of 10 tracks, accompanied by emotive music, that have specific workout objectives.

1. Focus – Athletic, functional, full-body movements kick off the journey to get your mind and body warm.
2. Salutations – The sweat really starts here as traditional yoga postures are repeated, building strength and stamina.
3. Challenge – Standing yoga poses put the lower body on notice during this physical highpoint track. This is a full-body track that will leave you shaking.
4. Balance – The energy pulls back, allowing you to focus inward and concentrate on balance, but you are still working and burning calories.
5. Core BACK – Core training for the often-neglected back area will create muscle balance and improve posture.
6. Core FRONT – Uses inspiration from one of today’s most popular exercise trends, Pilates, to strengthen your abs and stabilize your pelvis.
7. Hips – Exercises promote both stability and mobility through the hips, which translates to a healthy and pain-free back and spine.
8. Spirals – Includes rotational movements to improve the mobility, flexibility, and stability of the spine, all requisites to feeling and staying young!
9. Folds – Lower back and hamstrings stretches are the antidote for a physically and mentally stressed body.
10. Restore – Also referred to as a mini vacation, you’ll be ready to take on all physical and mental challenges by the end of this track as you recover from the workout.


Group Centergy is truly for everyone, removing barriers of age, gender, and fitness background. The nature of the program makes it easy for everyone to achieve success, master techniques over time, and return for more.

Group Centergy is perfect for:
• New exercisers because the program makes it easy to work at your own pace
• The “fit-it-in-where-you-can” exerciser, because Group Centergy is a timely way to increase strength, flexibility, and to relax – all in one hour
• The athlete, because it keeps your body in peak condition, helps fight injury, and facilitates quick recovery
• Men and women of all ages and fitness experiences that want to enjoy the mental benefits of a mind-body discipline


Group Centergy can be done as often as you like. How you feel is the best gauge of your body’s recovery needs between workouts. It is important that you gradually build a regular class schedule, being careful not to push too far, too fast. During your first four weeks, we recommend you do no more than three Group Centergy classes per week.

HELPFUL HINTS? Remember that it is only your first time once. After attending Group Centergy three times, you will become much more comfortable with the flow of the class and the movements and poses involved.

These tips will ensure your success in your first few classes: • Wear comfortable workout clothing that moves well with your body.
• Bring a towel, a water bottle, and a yoga mat. Even if the club provides mats, they are a worthwhile purchase once you are hooked on the class.
• Arrive 15 minutes before class and introduce yourself to the instructor. The instructor will answer any questions you may have to help put you at ease.
• Stand close to the center of the room so you can see the instructor clearly. It is not necessary to be at the front and having a couple of other participants in front of you can help provide visual information about the movements.
• Try to ignore the mirrors in the room, as they can be distracting. Just have fun and remember that the instructor is the best source of visual technique information.
• Your instructor will coach you, including movement and pose options, to ensure your success.
• Speak with the instructor at the end of class to ask questions and to check in about your experience.


Typically adults do not like to be “new” at anything, and they have high expectations of their first performance. It is important to understand that Group Centergy is a journey, not a destination. The goal at first should be to start the journey to improved physical and emotional well-being. During class, you will feel more aware of your body than ever because of the newness of the experience and the nature of the workout. Some of the movements and postures may feel quite different than your everyday movements and even awkward as a result. The class might also seem like it is moving a little faster than you would like because the terminology is somewhat unfamiliar. With each class, you will become more comfortable and feel more successful. Talk to the instructor after class to let them know how you felt and if anything felt particularly challenging for you. The instructor will answer your questions and address your concerns to help you achieve greater success in your next class. Keep in mind that you may be sore afterward because your body is adjusting to the new demands on your muscles. This is perfectly normal. Above all, don’t forget to have fun as you start your Group Centergy journey.

If you’re ready to try out Centergy, don’t forget that your first class is always FREE at Elevate Fitness in Dewitt and Liverpool. Check out our class schedules here, and download this Getting Started Guide here.

Getting Started with Group Blast

Group Blast Class at Elevate Fitness Clubs


Group Blast is 60 minutes of cardio training that uses The STEP in highly effective, athletic ways. It will get your heart pounding and sweat pouring as you improve your fitness, agility, coordination, and strength with exciting music and group energy. HAVE A BLAST!


Group Blast is a one-hour, results-driven cardio workout that uses The STEP as its primary training tool. Simple, athletic movements and an adjustable step height enable you to determine the intensity that is just right for you. The workout is inspired by functional integrated exercises, circuit training, and sports drills to make you feel like an athlete in training. And the best part is you will HAVE A BLAST because all of the exercises are set to motivating, energetic music. Every Group Blast workout has 10 tracks, and each track has a specific training objective.

Here is a breakdown of what you will experience:
1. Warm-Up – Get the workout started right with a full-body warm-up that gives you a chance to learn and practice movements that will be used later in the hour.
2. Skills – This is more than just skills practice – it’s real skills training with The STEP. The music speeds up, the heart rate increases, and you really start to burn some calories!
3. Cardio Push – This workout phase will push your cardiovascular fitness as you have a chance to lift off The STEP and “get some air!” The movements are intense but simple so that everyone can push themselves at the right level.
4. Strength – Strengthen, tone, and define the legs, glutes, and core with functional integrated exercises. This part of the workout is the best of both worlds – strength, and cardio!
5. Cardio Surge – Climb toward the first cardio peak as you move over and around The STEP. Lateral movements improve your overall fitness and everyday performance. Cardio Surge is more challenging than Cardio Push, but the interval-style training ensures that everyone has a chance to catch their breath.
6. Agility – This track takes you to the top of the first cardio peak. The STEP becomes a target for training speed, agility, and power with moves like high knees, tire running, and broad jumps – just to name a few!
7. Integration – Your legs and heart get a chance to recover as the cardio intensity lowers. But you’re still working to train the backside of the body and important motor skills like balance, as you prepare for the final cardio peak that follows.
8. Cardio Blast – When you get to Cardio Blast, it’s game on! This track features athletic moves strung together in a circuit-style approach. You could be doing plyometric jump training, strength work, or speed drills – all designed to help you reach the final cardio highpoint of the hour. You might almost feel like you’re in boot camp, and you will definitely see the results!
9. Conditioning – As with any great training experience, cardio is followed by conditioning. You get a minute to recover the heart rate, and then you begin to work on defining the core and toning various parts of the upper body.
10. Mobility – Recover like an athlete in this final phase of the workout. Stretching to music will improve range of motion, aid in muscular recovery, and prepare you for whatever comes next in your day.


Group Blast is ideal for you if:
• You want an athletic, energetic, exciting, results-oriented workout.
• You are a new exerciser or getting back into fitness, because there is a variety of intensity options offered, from step height to exercise variations.
• You want to add training variety to your workout routine, including speed, agility, strength, power, balance, coordination, and plyometrics.
• You are experienced or brand new to training with The STEP, because Group Blast is more about the physical workout rather than the mental complexity of many freestyle step classes. We’ve taken out the fancy and injected some athleticism into your workout to deliver fantastic results!


Group Blast is a cardiovascular training program, so you can do it once a week in conjunction with other workouts or most every day as your primary exercise routine. If you are just starting (or restarting) a workout routine, you would not want to do too much too soon, but you can increase the frequency and intensity of your Group Blast workouts as your fitness and recovery ability improve. How you feel is one of the best ways to gauge your body’s recovery needs between workouts.


These tips will help ensure your success and enjoyment in Group Blast:
• Wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting sweaty. Most people wear athletic shorts or pants and t-shirts.
• Wear comfortable athletic shoes. Training-style shoes are recommended because there is a lot of lateral movement in Group Blast. While running shoes will work, they are designed for moving forward and do not offer as much support for side-to-side movements.
• Bring a water bottle and a sweat towel.
• Arrive 10-15 minutes before the start time and introduce yourself to the instructor. The instructor will help you select your step height, give you an overview of the program, and answer any questions you may have.
• Stand close to the center of the room so you can clearly see the instructor. It is not necessary to be in the front row, and having people in front of you can be helpful visually.
• Try to ignore any mirrors in the group fitness room – they can be distracting. The instructor will be doing the workout with you, and they are the best source of visual information.
• For the first few times you do Group Blast, just concentrate on how to do the basic movements and learn some of the names of moves. While the arm movements each have an athletic purpose, they are all completely optional. Foot placement is most important, so focus on how your legs and feet move before thinking about the upper body.
• Catch up with the instructor at the end of your first workout to ask questions and check in with them about your experience.


It is perfectly normal to feel apprehensive prior to your first Group Blast experience. Once you finish your first workout, much of that apprehension will disappear. Remember, there is safety in numbers – you may be surprised at how many people in the room are willing to help you. In Group Blast, time will fly! You might experience mixed emotions as you try to get the hang of some things – just go with it! As adults, we often have high expectations of ourselves, but we all have to start somewhere. At times, you might feel like the workout is faster than you would like – that is because the training style and terminology may be new to you. So before you make a decision if Group Blast will become your workout of choice, we suggest you try the workout three times because you will become more confident with each and every Group Blast experience! You should feel a sense of accomplishment and excitement after your first Group Blast workout. Remember to talk to the instructor and let them know how you felt and if anything was particularly challenging for you. This helps the instructor make recommendations for your next workout. Keep in mind that you may be sore in the days following your Group Blast workout – this is a totally normal way of your body adjusting to the new demands on your muscles. Most of all, remember to have fun during your Group Blast experience as you build confidence and improve your overall fitness!

And if you’re ready to blast off, remember – your first class is always FREE at Elevate Fitness in Dewitt and Liverpool! Download the full Getting Started guide here, and check out our class schedules here!

Getting Started with Group Active


Group Active gives you all the fitness training you need – cardio, strength, balance, and flexibility – in just one hour. Get stronger, fitter, and healthier with inspiring music, adjustable dumbbells, weight plates, body weight, and simple athletic movements. ACTIVATE YOUR LIFE!


In 60 minutes you’ll do it all: cardio, strength, balance, and flexibility! This will be achieved over 11 tracks, each with a specific focus. Each track has motivating music to guide you through your workout:

1. Cardio Warm-Up – Gets you loose, warm, and ready to go for the workout with some basic, simple movements.
2. Cardio Basics – The cardio work starts to build and sweat starts to drip as we step up and down on The STEP® to increase the heart rate.
3. Cardio Intervals – Two words…lungs and legs! Cardio training goes up another notch with interval training mixed in to focus on lower body strength.
4. Cardio Peak – 20 minutes of cardio training finishes off with a bang in this high-energy track making use of athletic step movements.
5. Active Recovery – Simple movements bring your heart rate down and get you ready for strength training.
6. Back & Legs – Time to grab the dumbbells. Exercises like Deadrows, Reverse Flys, Lunges, and Squats are performed to make you stand taller and stronger!
7. Chest – Now we move to the front of the body with dumbbell exercises such as Chest Presses, Chest Flys, and even a few Push Ups!
8. Arms – Finish off the upper body using small muscle group exercises, such as Bicep Curls, Tricep Presses, Tricep Extensions, and Shoulder Presses. Your arms will be leaner and stronger.
9. Balance – Focuses on improving your balance to assist in your coordination, athleticism, and posture – it will make you smile!
10. Core – The final strength track ensures your core muscles are strong so you can do more…and so your abs look great!
11. Flexibility – Stretching ensures flexibility and recovery, so you’ll be ready for your next Group Active class!


Group Active is perfect for:

• Anyone that is new to exercise or that has not exercised in a long time.
• Those that are just unsure of where to begin with exercise.
• Infrequent exercisers that want a well-rounded workout.
• Individuals with busy schedules that need a comprehensive, time-efficient workout.
• The experienced exerciser that wants to be able to work hard and do it all in one hour.


Group Active is designed to be done one to three times per week. You should allow your body at least 24 hours of rest in between workouts so that your muscles can recover and become stronger.


Remember that your first class only happens once. After attending Group Active three times, you will get into the rhythm of things and should feel like a pro. These tips will ensure your success in your first few classes:

• Wear comfortable workout clothing and comfortable athletic shoes.
• Bring a towel and a water bottle.
• Arrive 15 minutes before class and introduce yourself to the instructor. The instructor will help you set up your equipment and answer any questions you may have to help put you at ease.
• Stand close to the center of the room so you can see the instructor clearly. Have a couple of other participants in front of you because they can help provide visual information about the movements.
• Your instructor will coach you and include exercise options to ensure your success.
• Speak with the instructor at the end of class to ask questions and to check in about your experience.


You may feel apprehensive or nervous before your first class. No one likes to be “new” at anything. Group Active instructors are trained to help you feel successful, so be sure to let them know you are new to the class. During the first few classes, you may feel awkward and even uncoordinated at times. After this, you will feel more comfortable because you will be familiar with the class format, terminology, exercises, and equipment. Start with light weights and the 4″ STEP platform with no additional risers. Be prepared to get warm and to break a sweat. As you become more confident, you’ll be able to increase the intensity of the workout to suit your specific needs. After class, you will feel a sense of success from getting your first class under your belt. It is important to know that you may be sore for several days afterward because your body is adjusting to the new demands on your muscles. This is perfectly normal. Enjoy the sore muscles; you earned them!

Want to give it a try? Remember – your first class is always FREE at Elevate Fitness in Dewitt and Liverpool. Download your Getting Started in Group Active Guide here, and check out our class schedules here.

Getting Started with Group Core

Group Core at Elevate Fitness


Group fitness classes can get you real results, real fast. And Group CORE is one of the classes our members and guests are raving about. Here’s what it’s about, what to expect and how to get started.


Group Core trains you like an athlete in 30 action-packed minutes. A strong core, from your shoulders to your hips, will improve your athletic performance, help prevent back pain, and give you ripped abs! Expert coaching and motivating music will guide you through functional and integrated exercises using your body weight, weight plates, a towel, and a platform – all to challenge you like never before. HARD CORE!


Your workout session will consist of 5 tracks that have very specific training objectives. Each track is supported with great music to push you through a variety of exercises:

1. CorePREP – Quickly warms you up and gets you ready to tackle the workout.
2. CoreMAX – Uses maximum muscle and effort to train your core using functional, athletic movements in a circuit training approach.
3. CoreINTEGRATION – Uses a circuit training approach that includes total-body exercises focusing on the back and glutes.
4. CoreSTABILITY – Hones in on the muscles that keep the spine stable – control is the name of the game.
5. CoreMOBILITY – Brings it home with traditional abdominal training – your abs will be burning!


Group Core will be ideal for:

• Those seeking an athletic training session
• Anyone wanting great-looking abs
• Those needing to be faster, quicker, and stronger
• Individuals who are short on time and need a challenging, quick workout
• Athletes, former athletes, and “wannabe” athletes
• Those into the latest and hottest training methods


To get great results, participate in Group Core one to three times per week, with a rest day between classes. Group Core will fatigue your core muscles, so any type of strength or resistance training should not be done afterward. If you are up for the challenge, you can always add Group Core before or after a cardio workout.


Just remember that it is only your first time once! After attending Group Core three times, you will feel like a pro. These tips will ensure your success and enjoyment:

• Wear comfortable workout clothes and athletic shoes.
• Bring a water bottle and a light towel at least 30 inches long.
• Arrive 15 minutes before class and introduce yourself to the instructor. The instructor will brief you on what you need and help you get set up for class – they’ll put you at ease.
• Stand close to the center of the room so that you can see the instructor clearly and have a couple of people in front of you, as they can help provide you with visual information.
• Your instructor will coach you and include many options for the exercises to ensure your success.
• Catch up with the instructor at the end of class to ask questions and check in about your experience.


Group Core includes the latest athletic and functional training exercises. Some of the movements will be new to you. As you attend Group Core more often, you’ll learn how to execute the movements better and better. Allow yourself to be a student; learn the movements and how to effectively move through space. This is an important part of functional training. During your first few classes, you may not execute some of the movements properly – this is normal, you are in learning mode. You might experience fatigue in muscles outside of the core muscles, like the shoulders and the hips – this is normal, your support muscles have to get stronger to be able to train your core well. You might experience lower back fatigue – this is normal, your lower back is a group of muscles that should be trained just like the muscles on the front side of the core. You might feel rushed – this is normal, 30 minutes goes fast and Group Core is action packed with a ton of exercises. 30 minutes will go by in the blink of an eye. You will get a great total-body workout, and your abs will really feel it!

Check out the class in action:

Download the Getting Started (Group Core) Guide here! And don’t forget, your first class is always FREE at Elevate Fitness!

Getting Started with Group Fitness and MOSSA

If you’re just getting started with Group Fitness, it can be overwhelming. Elevate Fitness Clubs alone offer over 130 classes a week in Syracuse.

At Elevate Fitness, we have three group fitness programs that we recommend for new exercisers:

Group Power, Group Active and Group Ride.

These are all a part of our MOSSA lineup of classes. MOSSA is the most respected developer of professional, high quality, enjoyable group fitness workouts in the health club industry today. MOSSA provides branded group fitness programs carefully designed and tested to deliver a fun and effective social exercise experience. Classes are created with the purpose to appeal to the largest audience possible.

Spearheaded by Cathy Spencer-Browning, VP of Programming and Training, MOSSA has the most comprehensive Program Development process, which includes an unsurpassed, methodical Testing Phase. Microsoft has recognized MOSSA’s commitment to engaging people and creating an exciting atmosphere that gets people moving and gets results. This is why they are the only group fitness program selected to be part of Xbox Fitness.

Each quarter, the MOSSA Program Development team creates a new release, or workout, for each program. Over 300 hours are poured into each and every release to ensure the participants’ enjoyment and success. This Testing Phase, which involves clubs and instructors, consists of 150 field test classes for just one workout, which guarantees the programming of music and exercise is motivational, safe, and effective.

So let’s talk about what makes Group Power, Group Active and Group Ride the three most recommended classes for new participants.

MOSSA's Group Power Class

Group Power uses adjustable barbells to build lean muscle and burn stubborn fat fast.

GROUP POWER is a great starting point for new folks who want a sweaty strength-training workout. Instructors are trained to coach the entire workout in a way that is accessible to first-time participants, and beginners can start with a lightweight on the adjustable barbell. Group Power uses loaded movement training to help people get muscle strong and movement strong. This program is especially popular with males of all ages.


MOSSA's Group Active Class

Group Active incorporates all the components of fitness into a single 60-minute class.

GROUP ACTIVE is perfect for first-timers who are ready to exercise. Because it combines cardio and strength training, Group Active is right for people who want to improve their overall fitness, general health, and movement health. Looking to get a lot of fitness in a single hour? Group Active is for you! The program also caters to new and deconditioned participants so everyone feels included.



MOSSA's Group Ride Class

Group Ride and other cycling classes are popular for two reasons: one, they’re great calorie burners and two, they’re as easy as riding a bike!

GROUP RIDE is a straightforward cardio workout on a bike, so it is ideal for participants who are ready to focus on their cardiovascular health while burning calories. You can use heart rate monitoring technology to view your results in real time at Elevate Fitness. This 60-minute cycling program is excellent for anyone who wants to work up a sweat without fear of a complicated workout – it’s as easy as riding a bike!



Add to the strength of the workout some amazing music and you’ve got a recipe for success! MOSSA music is a key to driving motivation and enjoyment for every program workout. MOSSA music is unique as it is customized and engineered for the workout experience. An exclusive arrangement with the industry’s top music producer, SAIFAM, with 13 music production studios around the world, ensures the highest quality, emotive, and heart-pounding music. Playlists include many of the most popular songs today complemented by chart-topping hits from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, all to appeal to the largest audience possible.

But, really, don’t take our word for it. Try it out for yourself. Your first class is always free (just fill out the form below) at Elevate Fitness, so get in on the excitement and see how group fitness classes can help you reach your goals faster than you ever thought possible!

Success Tips from a Fitness Instructor

FITNESS SUCCESS TIPS from Certified Fitness Instructor, Darcy DiBiase

It happens to the best of us. You walk in, you sign up, you carry the key tag, but you never really find your gym groove. Sometimes the hardest part of getting started is just… getting started.

Have you seen Elevate Fitness? If you’re not a regular #gymshark it can be overwhelming. So what’s the best way to get started? I have an idea.

Pick a timeslot. Add it to your calendar: pretty paper or the latest tech with alerts to your watch, the idea is the same. Commit. Repeat. Give it two weeks. That’s how long experts say it takes *on average* to develop a new habit. (But we know you’re not average. You’re amazing!)

Maybe after two weeks you find that 5:30 pm is just not working for you, your dog, your boss, your hair, whatever. We get it. No hard feelings. Pick a new time slot and try again.

What about 5:30 am? Hey, at least no one is judging your hair. Seriously. When you pinky promise to a time slot at Elevate Fitness, you aren’t obligated to a sentence of “dreadmills” and gym bro’s. For every weekday time slot that fits perfectly into your life, there’s a ton of variety for what you can do when you report for duty. The more of those options you try, the less of a chore it becomes, the more fun you have and the more you want to try again.

Consider that early morning appointment… Monday-Friday you get 5 days of different group fitness options including

… all with certified instructors dedicated to your success. Maybe you like a smaller group vibe– check out team in training in the cage. You get your own personal trainer with a fresh WOD, at a fraction of the cost. Need a little less impact? Hop in the pool.

If you’re feeling a little intimidated by all that equipment on the floor, connect with a personal trainer. If you don’t, get out there: lift heavy and get after that cardio on one of a dozen different machines. Like hanging out between reps? Get hooked up with TRX.

Stretch it all out before you hit the showers and you can be on the road by 7:30 AM, even if you have to do your hair. Not a bad way to kick off another amazing day.

Yes, those first two weeks of building a new habit might be a challenge, but stick with it. Get out of your comfort zone and into your results zone. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon.

Not a member of Elevate yet? Try us for FREE!

Weight Loss 101: Getting Started

Healthy Eating Habits at Elevate Fitness

If you ask ten different people who’ve lost weight what the secret to their weight loss success is, you’ll get ten different answers. It’s not just because weight loss is an intensely personal experience, but because everyone’s perception of what actually did the trick can vary significantly from person to person.

When you add in the unending parade of misleading articles and resources online, countless self-appointed experts and an increasing demand on your time and energy and it’s no wonder why so many people struggle to create their own success stories with weight loss.

The goal of this piece is simple: to provide you with a basic outline for success in weight loss that will work for 95% of the population. The other 5% will be affected by medical or socio-economic conditions that require a highly personalized approach – but this post isn’t for them – it’s for you.

Here we go: 3 simple steps that when combined create a strategy for guaranteed weight loss success.

ONE. Consult with your doctor. Every exercise program in the world starts with the same words of advice: “before starting this, or any, exercise program, consult with your doctor…” and there’s a reason you hear this advice over and over again – your doctor will a) ensure you’re not in that 5% we talked about earlier and b) create an amazing source of accountability to insure your success.

The truth is, you can’t count on your friends and family to hold you accountable, because often times, it’s falling into the same habits and lifestyles as those folks that put you in your current situation. And because they often suffer from the same health and fitness struggles as you – they may not be invested in your success as it may underscore their own perceived shortcomings or failures in weightloss and wellness.  Because your doctor is invested in your success, talking about a weight loss strategy with them will ensure you have someone holding you accountable who’s objective and rooting for you.

TWO. Count every calorie you consume and spend and track them. This is just basic science, folks. In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. You cannot lose weight without following this principle (and that’s why it’s so important to track these things).

In order to lose one pound, you need to burn approximately 3500 calories. In theory. In reality, what that means is that you need to create a caloric deficit of 3500 calories in order to lose a pound. If you burn 3500 calories but take in 7000 – you’d gain a pound. (And you’d be surprised how many people overestimate their caloric burn and underestimate their caloric intake – create a surplus instead of a deficit!)

So the rule is simple: every day track how many calories you take in and how many you spend. Make sure you end up with a negative number at the end of every single day. If you track-as-you-go there should be no big surprises when you step on the scale. Don’t assume you can lose weight without good tracking habits – simple math on paper cannot lie, but you’d be surprised the lies our brain is willing to tell us when we want that special treat at the end of the day.

Go to bed every single day with a caloric deficit. And if you want to get really specific, plan your deficit based on your weight loss goals using the 3500 cal = 1 pound math. And when I say track them, I mean write the numbers on a calendar. Write them in a journal. Anywhere. Just make sure you’re keeping  a record of your calories in and calories out.

THREE. Decide how you’ll define your success and WRITE IT DOWN. Is it pounds lost? The fit of your favorite jeans? The number of uninterrupted minutes you can spend running? Whatever it is, define it. And make it a part of your tracking habits. Tracking weight? Weigh yourself regularly and write it down. Tracking the fit of your clothes? Take a pic in your favorite jeans twice a week. Minutes spent running? Make a log.

You MUST have a clearly defined goal and measurement chosen in order to know when/if you’ve created your success story. It’s not enough to say, “I want to lose weight.” You have to say, “I want to lose 10 pounds by the time we open the pool this year.” Or “I want to fit into my favorite jeans before my high-school reunion.”  And write it down. Write it down several times. Put it with your tracking logs/journals/diary/whatever you choose. Write it on a post-it note and stick it on your fridge or in the cupboard with those crackers you always run to at the end of a long day. Stick one on your mirror in the bathroom or on your closet door.

Remind yourself regularly of your goal and WHY that goal is important to you. Ultimately, you’re accountable to yourself. If you really want to achieve something, you need to constantly keep the goal and the reasons in front of you to maintain your focus and motivation.

There are plenty of other rules. Plenty of programs and guides and recommendations. But I personally guarantee you that if you do nothing more than these three things you will absolutely lose weight. So before you invest in the big programs or drop bucks on the next big thing, just do these three things consistently for three weeks. If you see results, keep going. If you don’t – go back and read this again – you’re doing something wrong. You can even email me at and we’ll figure out what that is.

So get out there and use these three simple rules to write your own success story. I believe in you. Do you?

Not a member yet? Try Elevate Fitness for FREE!