Category: Workouts

What are the Best Exercises to Lose Weight Fast?

What are the Best Exercises to Lose Weight Fast?

Everyone who’s looking to lose weight has the same question: what are the best exercises to lose weight fast? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to losing weight. However, there are some general rules of thumb that will help you ensure you’re weight loss program is both effective AND efficient.

In order to be effective, your weight loss plan needs to cause you to actually LOSE WEIGHT, right? And it needs to do so in a safe and practical way. It’s neither safe nor practical to eat only celery until you hit your goal weight. We’re therefore going to ignore the unsafe and impractical. For our purposes, we’re also interested in a plan that will help us maintain that weight loss. There are plenty of ways to drop pounds quickly that are short term solutions with no lasting effects, we’re not interested in those.

Once we agree on what makes a weight loss plan effective, we then need to agree on a definition of efficient. With regard to how much weight you can expect to lose in a HEALTHY and SUSTAINABLE way, we’re going to say anything more than 2 – 2.5 pounds of weight loss per week for the average person is unrealistic. Not impossible, but certainly unrealistic.

Here’s why: you may be able to drop more weight than that in a week, but the effect of greater weight loss in that time period can be problematic – it can cause metabolic confusion that slows your loss moving forward meaning you might lose fast out of the gate, but lose the race in the end. It’s also commonly believed that weight loss greater than 2 – 2.5 pounds per week is difficult to maintain as it’s often not achieved through sustainable lifestyle changes, but through tricks that are impossible to maintain for an extended period of time.

Now that we’ve agreed upon what makes a weight loss program or plan effective and efficient, let’s review some basic exercises that are going to help you see progress:

  1. Cardiovascular exercises: these are exercises that increase your heart rate for an extended period of time, putting your body into a state whereupon it requires more energy than the readily available energy available in your bloodstream and therefore turns to fat stores for additional energy. Great cardiovascular exercises for weight loss include running, jump rope and biking.
  2. Resistance exercises: these are exercises that cause your muscular system to work against a force (gravity, weight, etc.) in order to develop additional muscle. Resistance training is great because a basic rule of biology is that the more lean muscle mass you have on your body (achieved through resistance exercises) the more fat your body will burn in everyday life. Muscle burns more fat than fat does. The most common form of resistance exercise is weight training, which is a great addition to any weight loss program.
  3. Active recovery exercises: these are exercises that allow the body to recover from the cardiovascular and resistance training you’ve been doing while keeping your body moving and benefiting from movement and exercise. Yoga is a very popular form of active recovery exercise but can include walking, swimming and other lower intensity exercises that are easier to sustain for longer periods of time.

Keep in mind that weight loss is best achieved through a comprehensive program that is designed specifically for you and that takes into consideration your personal goals, exercise and health histories along with your exercise preferences combined with a customized nutrition plan.

Losing weight is a lot like baking – if you leave out an ingredient you’re not going to get the end result that you’re looking for. Exercise is just one of the ingredients in weight loss. Need help determining what your ideal program should be? Elevate Fitness is happy to help you determine what solution is best for you. Try us out now for FREE:


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?


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Power Up With Plyometric Training

Power Up With Plyometric Training at Elevate Fitness


Improve conditioning, increase muscle development and propel your physique to new heights!
While these moves may seem better suited for the playground, they’re actually beneficial to those of us a few years beyond playtime.

These explosive activities are collectively called “Plyometrics”. Put simply, plyometrics works to train the muscles to produce the greatest force in the shortest time. “Plyometrics is used by athletes to develop muscular power, rapid-force production and dynamic agility in fast-paced movements,” says William Kraemer, professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. “Almost all sports these days incorporate some type of plyometric training in their regime, as it enhances total body power in movements like jumping and throwing, hitting and starting.”

The great thing about plyometric training is that an athlete can tailor a programme to enhance his or her own particular sport. For instance, if you play basketball, you’ll want to focus on vertical jumping and throwing skills. If you’re a football enthusiast, you might want to be more lower body intensive. Even recreational bodybuilders can benefit from adding a few plyometrics into the mix. “Plyometrics gets at certain fast-twitch muscle fibres you won’t hit with other lifting exercises,” says Kraemer. “It also helps increase your power output by improving the rate of force production, a benefit you won’t get unless you’re doing Olympic-style lifting.”

So why not regress and play with plyometrics? It offers complete conditioning, improved power, increased muscular development, and is all but guaranteed to propel your physique to new heights.

Begin with lightest medicine ball available – usually 2-4 pounds – and progress slowly to a heavier ball. If you do not have a training partner, use a solid wall or floor at which to throw the ball.

Stand sideways to your partner with your knees slightly bent and your feet shoulder width apart. Hold the medicine ball with both hands at waist level directly in front of your body, and twist using your torso, hips and shoulders as far away from your partner as possible. From this wound-up position, forcefully uncoil, swinging the ball around and throwing it to your partner. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other.

Lie face-up with your knees slightly bent, your feet flat on the floor and your lower back arching naturally. Have a partner stand behind you and hold a medicine ball over your upper chest. Catch the ball as your partner drops it, absorbing its weight by bending through your elbows and wrists and lowering it slightly toward your chest. Push the ball back up immediately, throwing it straight up into the air to be caught by your partner.

Stand facing your partner with your knees slightly bent and your feet spread shoulder width apart. Hold the medicine ball with your arms fully extended and your elbows slightly bent, and raise it above and slightly behind your head. Avoid arching your back and hyperextending your shoulders. From this position, contract through your abs, lats, triceps and shoulders and throw the ball forcefully toward your partner.

Begin in the push-up position with your hands about shoulder width apart, your abs tight and your back flat. Lower your body to a point a few inches above the ground, then explode up and off the ground, clapping your hands in the air below your chest before catching yourself on landing with your hands in their original position. Immediately go into the next push-up and repeat, keeping the contact time with the ground to a minimum for optimal training effects.

The Workout

Rest Time

Side Throw
2-3 (per side)
2-5 minutes

Bench Push Pass
2-5 minutes

Overhead Throw
2-5 minutes

Clapping Push-Ups
2-5 minutes

Begin your lower body plyometric conditioning with the least amount of sets and the maximal amount of rest. Minimise the time your feet are in contact with the ground between reps for maximal output.

From a standing position, jump up as high as possible and use your abs and hip flexors to bring your knees up toward your chest as high as possible. Land with your knees soft, compress slightly, then immediately go into the next jump, keeping contact with the ground to a minimum.

Stand on a 12-inch box, step or other stable surface, and step – don’t jump – off the box onto the ground, landing with both feet simultaneously. Compress and absorb the impact by bending through your knees and hips, then immediately spring upward into the air, jumping as high as possible and landing with your knees soft.

Think of this as power skipping. With each bound on each side, exaggerate the motion with all parts of your body, brining your knee up as high as possible and swinging your arms as aggressively as possible to skip as high and as far as possible. Instead of going for reps here, you’re shooting for distance, so with each bound, leap upward and forward as far as possible until you move 20 yards.

Stand with your knees slightly bent, and simultaneously jump and rotate 180 degrees to face the opposite direction. Land on both feet and compress as if you were going to jump again, but hold this position for a count of two before exploding and rotating to face your start direction.

The Workout

Rest Time

Tuck Jumps
2-5 minutes

Depth Jumps*
2-5 minutes

20 yards
2-5 minutes

180-Degree Jumps
2-5 minutes

*Try to do these toward the beginning of the workout as they are particularly taxing.
For the first two weeks, take time to learn the exercises, simply going through the motions of the exercises slowly and completely to get the hang of it. Do one set of each, leaving 2-3 days of rest in between for complete recovery. After those initial two weeks, begin powering up into maximal effort, keeping your sets to two and your reps to 3-4.

As you improve and being to increase your output, you can increase your reps to six and your sets to three.

Now shoot for the moon. Try to jump higher, throw further and cover more distance with each and every rep. you may regress to the 3-rep range for a while as your body again has to adapt to a stronger stimulus. But don’t be discouraged! It only gives you a higher standard to shoot for in the coming months.

Since plyometrics works very specific explosive muscle groups, it is well-paired with endurance activities such as cardiovascular training and/or low-key weight training on the same day. “Just do them first, and make sure you’re fully rested before doing them again,” says Kraemer. “If you’re fatigued, you won’t be able to give it your all and won’t be training the correct muscle groups.”

Leave at least two days of rest in between plyometric sessions to ensure full recovery, remembering that the more exercises you perform, the longer your recovery interval will be. If you choose to do plyometric more than twice a week, limit your exercises per session to 1-2 instead of 3-4 to ensure adequate recovery time.

Also avoid doing more than two plyometric sessions per week for the same body group. If you’re doing upper and lower body plyometric on both days, be sure to choose different exercises for each session. “Also switch the order” suggest Kraemer. “If you do lower body first on the first day, do upper body first on the second day.”

For all your exercises, keep the rep range fairly low. “Generally, it stays between 3-6 reps per set, depending on how fatiguing the exercise is,” says Kraemer. “If you can get more than that, you’re probably not doing it right, are not recruiting the muscles you’re trying to get at and are generally wasting your time.”

Most important of all, remember to rest completely between each set of plyometrics. “You have to realise this is not a conditioning programme or an endurance test, it’s a neurological recruitment activity,” says Kraemer. “You’re working at maximal effort each time and have to recover completely to be able to work at your maximal capacity in the next set. You almost have to learn to be lazy!”


ALWAYS do a 5-10 minute dynamic warm up, such as biking, walking, jogging or skipping before beginning your plyometrics.
STRETCH after the plyometrics and not before. “You’ll stretch out the elastic component in your muscles, reducing your capability for he maximal power output,” point out Kraemer.
WAER athletic shoes with good lateral stability, proper arch support and a non-slip sole.
TRAIN on forgiving surfaces such as a good shock-absorbing track, basketball court or grassy area.
PROPER form is imperative. For lower body exercises, land softly on the balls of your feet, bending through the knees and hips to avoid injury. (If you hear smacking, slapping and general raucous noise coming from your foot area, you’re landing too hard!) When performing the upper body exercises, avoid hyperextending the shoulders and elbows, and focus on recruiting your core muscle (abs, lower back, and obliques) to add power.
KNOW your limits and listen to your body. If you’re too sore or tired from heavy lifting session or a previous plyometric workout, forego additional plyometrics in favour of some cardio or light strength training until you feel less fatigued.
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HIIT Vs Steady State – Which Type of Cardio Is Better?

HIIT Vs Steady State - Which Type of Cardio Is Better?

By Todd A Brown

This is a very popular topic in fitness when it comes to cardiovascular workouts. Most people ask me which form of cardio will yield the best results. Before I jump to my recommendation, I would like to outline the pros and cons of each style.

First off, let’s start with Steady State Cardio. This is probably the most popular form of cardiovascular activity. In Steady State Cardio, your perceived exertion is low to moderate difficulty over a period of at least 30 minutes. Examples include running/walking/jogging on a treadmill without stopping, running a marathon, hiking, etc. Your heart rate is usually 55-70% of your Projected Heart Rate Max over the duration of your activity. While performing Steady State exercise, you are working your Type 1, slow-twitch muscle fibers which are involved in endurance activities and they do not tend to hypertrophy (grow) as much as your other muscle fibers. While the calories you burn doing Steady State Cardio are mostly from fat, you will not burn as many calories as you would doing Interval Training for the same period of time. Steady State Cardio does not elevate your metabolism post-exercise as well as Interval Training but is much easier on your joints. People of all ages are most likely to be able to perform Steady State Cardio consistently without much discomfort.

Next is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is growing in its popularity due to its shorter workout times. Most HIIT workouts last 20-30 minutes and are characterized by bursts of maximum activity followed by a short rest period before repeating the activity. Your perceived exertion is high during HIIT with your heart rate falling between 70-85% of your Projected Heart Rate Max. The most popular example of HIIT is running sprints. During HIIT, you are working the more powerful, more strength oriented type 2 muscle fibers which are more likely to hypertrophy (grow). Even though the percentage of the calories you burn during HIIT that come from fat is low, you will still end up burning more fat during your workout than a Steady State Cardio session of the same duration. You can also burn up to 100 more calories in the 24 hours following your HIIT workout. There are some things to watch out for with HIIT. For instance, you should not do HIIT more than 3 times per week as it is very taxing on your joints and nervous system. In addition to that, you are more likely to injure yourself if you did not properly warm up before performing HIIT since your muscles are pushed harder than in Steady State Cardio. It may also be more difficult for older adults to do HIIT since their joints are not as strong as they once were.

After reviewing the pros and cons of both HIIT and Steady State Cardio, I recommend that people should perform 2 days per week of HIIT and 3-4 days a week of Steady State Cardio to get the maximum health and fat burning benefit while preventing your body from breaking down from overworking it. Your nervous system is often overlooked with people start a HIIT program and end up burning out early due to doing too many HIIT sessions.

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NOTE: While the author of this article makes cardio recommendations in the context of this article, Elevate Fitness recommends that you schedule a FREE consultation with a certified Personal Trainer to determine the best exercise prescription for your unique needs.


Get Up and Running with Elevate’s Walk to Run Program

You’ve probably heard of walk to run programs. You may even have seen them in the app store on your smartphone or heard about a co-worker or neighbor who used on to run their first race. When it comes to exercises that everyone can do, running immediately pops to mind for most people. Running is something most of us learn to do at a very young age, it requires almost no equipment (really, all you need are some sneakers) and you can do it almost everywhere. The appeal of running as a simple, go-to exercise is easy to understand.

But running is also a highly beneficial activity. From weight loss to disease prevention to increasing your heart health, the benefits are well documented and a quick Google search will provide you with hundreds, if not thousands, of unique benefits that running can provide you.

But let’s be honest – we did a lot of things effortlessly as kids that aren’t so effortless as adults. Not only that – our bodies were probably able to take a little more wear-and-tear when we were younger. That means that when we’re re-introducing running into our lives as adults, it’s important to learn the proper techniques and to use a training program that is both beneficial AND kind to our bodies.

Walk to run training programs abound. You can download apps like “Couch to 5K” to your smartphone for a couple of bucks and follow a simple plan that takes you from someone who only runs when being chased, to someone who runs happily.

The problem with these apps, or programs torn out of magazines, though, is that they lack customization. Maybe you ran in college but haven’t laced up in 20 years and you’re looking to get reacclimated. Maybe you’re ready to make a significant lifestyle change after a lifetime of being sedentary. Or maybe you’re just looking to lose a few pounds and prepare to run a 5K for a charity that’s near and dear to your heart.

Elevate Fitness in Dewitt and Liverpool, NY recently introduced their Walk to Run programs under the direction of former Y Running Coach, and now Elevate Fitness Director of Running, Kevin Collins. Collins has coached thousands of Central New Yorkers from elite athletes to seniors looking to reverse the ills of aging. What Kevin brings to the table that apps and articles can’t, is a personalized approach to coaching using years of science-backed training and research and personal experience.

Collins describes his Walk to Run program this way: “Walk to run is a 10-15 week program instructional program that bridges the gap between walker and runner by teaching core principles for progression and lifetime maintenance. When you finish the program you’ll be equipped to handle a daily 15 minute run without stopping – which is what we consider to be the baseline for all running progress!”

walk to run programs at Elevate Fitness

Walk to Run is a part of the Elevate Fitness Run Club. Some quick Run Club facts:

  • Networking within and between Elevate Fitness Dewitt and Liverpool participants with similar running abilities and goals.
  • Introduction to and maintenance of fundamental training concepts for lifetime optimal fitness and development.
  • Detailed training plans and logs for each seasonal program duration.
  • Free-floating access to over 14 running group sessions across CNY.
  • Direct guidance from a former World-class runner who has trained over 1,000 of all levels beginner to advanced throughout CNY – Kevin Collins – A 2:15 marathoner, was among the top five U.S. ranked Marathoners and Half-marathoners of 2003, a three-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and the 1st American finisher in the 1996 Boston Marathon.

If you’d like to learn more about how Collins can help get you “up and running” just fill out the short form below and he’ll reach out and tell you more about the Walk to Run and other Elevate Running programs!


Workout of the Week – April 16th – with Dante and Lauren

Happy Monday! Here’s today’s Workout of the Week. This week it’s a tire-based workout created by Dante and Lauren, personal trainers at Elevate Fitness in Liverpool, NY.

Workout: Aim for 3-4 sets of each exercise, completing one full circuit at a time before repeating an exercise.

Exercise One: Tire Flips (aim for at least 4 – 5 flips)

Tire Flip






Exercise Two: Box Jumps on the Tire (aim for 10 reps per set)

Box Jumps






Exercise Three: Step Ups on the Tire (aim for 20 reps, or 10 with each leading leg)

Step Ups






Try varying things like speed, reps and rest time to get the most out of your workout. Want to get a little one-on-one to get the workout right? Get a complimentary (restrictions apply) workout with a certified personal trainer. Just fill out the form below!


Periodization in Exercise For Better Results (For Dummies)

Ever wondered how periodization in exercise can help you get better results? No, neither have we. Most people don’t even know what periodization is, let alone have any idea how powerful a tool it can be when it comes to getting results from your fitness program.

In order to understand why you’d want to seek out a program that includes periodization, first, we need to understand what periodization is. Here, certified personal trainer Kulaa Bacheyie explains what periodization means with regard to exercise and why it’s important:

Here are the top 3 ways you can make sure to include periodization in your fitness program to increase your results:

  1. Work with a trainer. That’s the main advantage to working with a trainer – they write your workouts for you (including periodization) to make sure you’re getting the most from your workouts.
  2. Try Mossa Group Fitness Classes, which are designed with a periodized approach to ensure you’re constantly changing and challenging your body.
  3. If you want to work out on your own, and don’t want to work with a trainer or in group classes, you MUST document your journey to ensure you’re getting real, measurable results. 3D Body Imaging is a great way to get accurate information that you can use to chart your progress an make sure you’re periodization is working!

In the end, we don’t think you have to get all scientific to get a great workout, but we do think there are things that a good training program should include. Instead of taking on the extra work of learning and applying the principles of periodization to your workouts try a session with a certified Elevate Fitness Trainer or sweat it out in one of our expertly designed group fitness classes.

Your body will thank you.

View the Dewitt Group Fitness Schedule HERE and Liverpool HERE,

Want to try a session with a personal trainer for FREE? Fill out the form below. Some restriction apply.


Full-Body Kettlebell HIIT Workout

Jason’s Full-Body Kettlebell HIIT Workout

I like this workout for a number of reasons:

  1. It’s quick, taking about 30 minutes to complete from start to finish including a quick warm-up before I start and a cool-down at the end.
  2. It only requires one piece of equipment – a kettlebell, making it an ideal workout at home, when traveling, or when the weather is nice and you want to head outside.
  3. It’s a high-intensity interval training workout so it’s super effective for getting maximum results in minimal time.
  4. It’s full-bodied, so it only needs to be completed 2 – 3 times a week for maximum effectiveness.

The Exercises:

  1. Kettlebell Swings
  2. Push-Ups
  3. Goblet Pulse Squats
  4. Deadlifts
  5. Upright Rows

Timed Interval Workout:

  1. 45 Seconds Kettlebell Swings
  2. 15 Seconds Rest
  3. 45 Seconds Push-Ups
  4. 15 Seconds Rest
  5. 45 Seconds Goblet Squats
  6. 15 Seconds Rest
  7. 45 Seconds Deadlifts
  8. 15 Seconds Rest
  9. 45 Seconds Upright Rows
  10. 60 Seconds Rest

Repeat this circuit 3-4 times.

No Clock/Timer? No Problem, Try This:

  1. 25 Reps Kettlebell Swings
  2. Let heartrate recover to < 80%
  3. 25 Reps Push-Ups
  4. Let heartrate recover to < 80%
  5. 25 Reps Goblet Squats
  6. Let heartrate recover to < 80%
  7. 25 Reps Deadlifts
  8. Let heartrate recover to < 80%
  9. 25 Reps Upright Rows
  10. Let heartrate recover to < 70

Repeat this circuit 3-4 times.

Want a customized workout for your body and your goals? Book a complimentary session with a personal trainer for first-time clients by filling out the form below. Some restrictions apply.


Elevate Fitness strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.
You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise.
Elevate Fitness is not a licensed medical care provider and represents that it has no expertise in diagnosing, examining, or treating medical conditions of any kind, or in determining the effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition.
You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Elevate Fitness and its associates and employees from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of use of this or any workout program.

HIIT Training is a Hot Trend for 2018

HIIT Training at Elevate Fitness

HIIT Training at Elevate Fitness

Chances are if you follow fitness trends, or you’ve picked up a magazine in the past year or two, you’ve heard of HIIT Training. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training and it’s been steadily gaining momentum on the fitness scene for a couple of years now according to Walter R. Thompson, a research physiologist at Georgia State University and president of the ACSM.

So why is HIIT so popular? Well, “it works,” says Dr. Robert Sallis, a family and sports medicine physician with Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, in Fontana, Calif. The body’s response to that is to function more efficiently, he says, so it allows us to get into shape quicker than moderate-intensity exercise.

HIIT workouts are typically no more than 30-minutes long, because of the higher intensity level they don’t need to be, and can be more effective than steady-state workouts twice as long or longer. Even better, HIIT workouts trigger something called the afterburn effect.

The afterburn effect is technically excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (also referred to as EPOC). Several studies indicate that the intensity level of your workout can trigger EPOC, causing your body to burn a higher number of calories following exercise. Exactly how effective the afterburn effect is has been hotly debated in the fitness industry, but one thing that can’t be debated is the success rates of people who turn to HIIT training to get real results, real fast.

Examples of people who’ve used HIIT to change their bodies are as easy to come by as a quick google search, like Lauren who lost 65 pounds thanks to the exercise trend. Some people pay for expensive boutique fitness classes to get their HIIT fix, but fortunately, you don’t have to shell out big bucks for HIIT training.

The most common strategy for designing a HIIT workout is to choose exercises that work large muscle groups, and preferably multiple muscle groups at the same time, says Lauren Usherwood, a Certified Personal Trainer at Elevate Fitness in Liverpool, NY.

You take those exercises and you put them into a sequence where you’re performing an exercise for 30-45 seconds followed by a rest period of 15-30 seconds and then moving on to the next exercise, she says.

A workout might involve a single circuit through those exercises or multiple circuits depending on the number of exercises you’re using and the length of the workout you’re designing.

So, let’s say you like what you hear and you want to give HIIT training a go? Where to start? Well, you can easily search the internet for some simple HIIT workouts you can do on your own. You can try out an Afterburn class at Elevate Fitness (included with many membership types, check out Dewitt’s schedule here and Liverpool’s over here) or you can have a trainer design a HIIT workout specific to your goals.

Whichever way you choose to go, we recommend using a heart rate monitor so that you can see that you’re alternating your high-intensity intervals with short bouts of recovery. This is what a HIIT workout using the MyZone Heart Rate Monitor might look like:

HIIT Workout on MyZone

HIIT Workout on MyZone

Elevate Fitness in Dewitt offers Afterburn classes, a great HIIT workout:

So will you be trying HIIT training? Or do you have your eyes on another fitness trend in 2018? Tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and let us know what trends you’re excited to try! And check out Jason’s Kettlebell HIIT Workout while you’re at it!

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


Is Barefoot Training Right for You?

Is Barefoot Training Right for You?

Do you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, or Heel Spurs? Do you have fallen arches or pain in the ball or heel of the foot?

Go Barefoot with Elevate Fitness

Go Barefoot with Elevate Fitness

We can help you learn to strengthen the feet and take back your ability to hold yourself in good posture.

Your feet have been trapped in your shoes for all these years, your foot muscles have become weak and your foot and ankle joints have become stiff. Your feet are your base of support and your connection to the earth; if they’re not strong and flexible … imagine how your overall movement will suffer!  We will help you strengthen your body from the ground up – without the external support and control of a shoe. Training barefoot will feed your central nervous system valuable information and improve your balance to help you develop graceful and efficient movement.

Our program is designed to present the latest research in barefoot science as it relates to restoring foot function, corrective exercise, and athletic performance.

We strengthen the feet from the ground up…. Using the strength of the foot to strengthen and stabilize the ankle, knees, hips and low back as it all connects to your core. Learn how barefoot training can change foot structure, improve neuromuscular activation patterns and reinforce integrated movement patterns of the lower extremity.

Come see your Certified Barefoot Trainers  (Evidence Based Fitness Academy) Barb Delaney and Maurita Marley at Elevate Fitness.

Click here for the class schedule in Dewitt and here for Liverpool.

Try your first class for FREE by filling out this short form:


TRX Training 101 (or, What are those strap things?)

Have you ever seen those straps hanging around the club somewhere, and maybe you’ve even seen someone doing an exercise while hanging from them, and wondered what they are and why the heck they’re in the gym? Have you heard people mention TRX Training and wondered what the heck they’re talking about?

It seems like with all of the expensive equipment with fancy gears and levers all over the place that a set of canvas straps hanging from some monkey bars are pretty low tech, and therefore probably not great gym equipment, right? Not so fast. (Also, keep reading, there’s a free session offer at the bottom of this post!)

We talked to Level 1 TRX Certified trainer, Raelynn Baumann, who is also Personal Training and Pilates Certified, about TRX Training so that we could better understand what it is and why it’s in Elevate Fitness clubs.

Q: How and when did you first hear about TRX Training and what attracted you to it?

A: In 2010, I saw TRX in a Men’s Health magazine (yes I read that) and I was intrigued by the fact that you only used your body weight with it, and people were still raving about the quality of the workouts they were doing.

Q: What made you decide that TRX was a tool you wanted to be able to offer to your clients as a Personal Trainer?

A: As soon as I trained on The TRX myself I knew it was my new favorite way to train and would be great for clients too. Anything that can get me personal results, I know that it can work for my clients, too. And I’m always interested in bringing my clients the newest and most effective training modes.

Q: So you personally train on TRX? Why?

A: Yes, everytime I workout I use the TRX, whether it’s a full workout on the straps, or I just hit a body part or two, or use it to stretch out after a session. it’s a compliment to any workout/exercise you do. And it’s working your core 100% of the time you use it, and I really love that.

Q: What makes TRX different than working with weights or machines?

A: With TRX, you ARE the weight or machine! Just by moving your feet closer to or further from the anchor point, you make the exercise harder or easier. It’s pretty basic – 2 straps, and you are only supported by your hands or your feet, depending on the exercise.

Q: It sounds really interesting. So, who should incorporate TRX into their fitness routines?

A: Honestly, everyone!

Q: How did TRX come about?

A: Rope training has been around as early as the 1800s. Randy Hetrick, a former Navy Seal and Stanford MBA graduate, developed the Total Resistance eXercise (TRX) equipment and the associated Suspension Training bodyweight exercises in the 1990s, and started marketing it in 2005.

Q: Are you certified in TRX? Why bother getting TRX certified when you’re already a certified personal trainer and Pilates instructor?

A: Yes, I’m certified. It’s always best to workout with a certified trainer so you are taught the exercise correctly, with proper form to minimize the risk of injury. TRX training uses your muscles differently than traditional strength training, so it’s helpful to work with someone who’s been trained to maximize that effect and get you the best possible results.

Q: As I mentioned, you’re also Pilates certified. What do Pilates and TRX have in common and what makes them different?

A: Good question. They actually have a lot in common. A lot of Pilates instructors love the TRX. Both work on core movement, lengthening and strengthening. TRX is a set of straps, in which either hands or feet are suspended. Pilates is a method which can be done on a mat, or on various pieces of equipment such as a reformer, or chair and barrels. Both can be done almost anywhere.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s interested in TRX but hasn’t ever tried it?

A: Find a certified instructor. Have an open mind, your body is the only machine you’ll be using. All exercise can be tweaked to your own desired level of difficulty.

Q: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about TRX Training?

A: TRX is low impact and will help increase your lung capacity. Your core is challenged through the entire workout. The TRX reduces time spent moving from machine to machine as well. I can’t say enough about TRX, if you haven’t tried it out yet, you should. Come on in to Elevate Fitness and let me get you on the straps to try it out!

Try a complimentary training session (first-time clients, aged 18 and over, local residents only) to learn more about TRX. Some restrictions may apply.



Documenting Your Journey

We’re a highly visual culture. Instagram and Snapchat prove that what we love most about social media are the photos. And that’s probably because, as Fast Company tells us, we remember more information when it’s associated with images. It’s a phenomenon frequently referred to as the picture superiority effect.

Often times, when people begin a weight loss or fitness journey, they’re initially motivated by a shocking visual: catching a glimpse of themselves in a mirror as they walk by, being tagged by a friend in an unflattering Facebook photo or glimpsing back at photos that showcase their more ideal physiques.  

Data is good – don’t get us wrong. It’s incredibly motivating to see numbers change as you work through a weight loss program. But the numbers on the scale can be so misleading. Muscle weighs more than fat. So one pound of muscle takes up less space than one pound of fat. Think about that for a minute: you might physically take up LESS space but weigh MORE on the scale if you’re involved in an effective training program. That’s why so many personal trainers prefer tape measures and calipers to scales. Inches and body composition mean so much more than your body’s relationship with gravity expressed in numeric form (which is all weight is when you really think about it).

Lauren Usherwood, a certified personal trainer at Elevate Fitness in Liverpool, NY says, “The scale can lie. I’ve had clients that have impacted their health and fitness positively in every way imaginable, who weighed more after they trained with me than they did before. BUT what the scale doesn’t show you is that they dropped dress sizes, or they played sports they hadn’t been able to play since high school. Body circumference measurements and body fat percentages tell you way more about a person’s body changing for the better than a scale can.”

At the same time, fitness professionals will warn you that you should have some sort of metric that you’re measuring as you complete any fitness program so that you can ensure the effectiveness of that program and make adjustments as necessary to make sure you reach your goals. And most of us can’t do our own circumference measurements, and we certainly can’t measure our own body fat percentage.

One option is photos.

“Photos are great,” says Mark Clary, a Program Director with over 30 years experience in the health and fitness industries, “getting a full body photograph that shows your body as is, without filters and flattering angles and special lighting will give you the best visual starting point for tracking your progress.” It makes sense, after all, before and after pictures are the most common way for people to share their success when it comes to weight loss.

But maybe you don’t have a timer on your camera or a tripod to get a full body shot. And maybe you’re not comfortable asking someone to take a photograph for you. We get it, it’s not always a practical suggestion. That’s where technology is starting to offer some interesting solutions, like 3D Body Imaging and Composition Analysis.

In less than a minute, this technology can scan your body, create a 3D digital image and take hundreds of body circumference and body composition measurements to give you both a visual AND relevant data to establish your starting point and track your progress as you work toward your goals.

Think about it – you wouldn’t want a surgeon going to work on you without first carefully assessing your condition and THEN creating a plan for you – why should the gym be any different? Why waste your time doing exercises or participating in a program that isn’t the right one for your body or your goals?

Elevate Fitness Clubs in Liverpool and Dewitt, NY are now offering 3D Body Imaging and Composition Analysis on site. Members working with a personal trainer in one-on-one personal training programs will receive monthly scans to track their progress and document their results. Members with VIP status will also get monthly scans. But what about the rest of us? Well, the good news is a) you don’t have to be working with a trainer or a VIP member to get a scan and b) right now, through the end of the year, you can get 50% off body scans! Fill out the form below to request more information or to schedule your body scan and composition analysis today!



The Best Workouts for the Time Crunched

The Best Workouts for the Time Crunched

In this post, we’ll focus on workout modes for people looking for time saving workouts.

In an ideal world, we’d all have all the time we need to meet all of our goals:

  • we’d be able to spend hours a day in the gym sculpting our dream bodies,
  • hours in the kitchen preparing the most delicious, fresh, healthy meals and,
  • we’d have endless hours to spend relaxing, resting and recharging

But where time is concerned, for most of us, we’re living in anything but an ideal world.

So how can we make sure that we’re getting the most out of the time we do have to spend in the gym? How can we make sure that we’re using our time as effectively and efficiently as possible to get the best possible results? What are some workable tips for time saving workouts?

We know that the perfect fitness program consists of four key components:

  • cardiovascular exercise,
  • strength training,
  • flexibility training and,
  • rest/recovery

The most common mistake that people with tight schedules make is by limited their focus to only one or two of these components instead of figuring out how to incorporate all four into their full schedules. A great time saving workout includes at least three of these components. So let’s figure out how to get the full benefit of all the components while still getting in and out of the gym as quickly as possible!

As an example, let’s assume that you have 30 minutes to workout, three days a week. How can we make sure that you’re getting maximum benefit from that time?

When you work with a personal trainer, they’ll adjust your workouts using four important variables:

  • frequency
  • mode
  • intensity and,
  • duration

In this case, we can eliminate frequency (because we’ve already established that we only have three days a week) and duration (because we only have half an hour to spare on our gym days). If you’re looking for the most time saving workouts possible, definitely consider working with a personal trainer.

That leaves us with mode and intensity – these obviously become our most valuable tools in creating the ideal workout for our full schedules.

Intensity is simply how hard you’re working, or how much effort you’re expending in your workout. The more effort required of you, the higher the intensity. Making sure your intensity is appropriate to your goals is key in making the most of your gym time. We HIGHLY recommend heart rate training as an ideal way to monitor and adjust your intensity to your goals. Read more about heart rate training here.

If your goal is weight loss, the ideal intensity is to be working in the 80-90% range of your maximum heart rate, as this will trigger the afterburn response in your body, allowing you to burn more fat at rest in the hours immediately following your workout than you would otherwise.

What is mode of training? Simple – it’s the manner or way in which you’re choosing to exercise. Spinning Class is a mode of exercise, running on the treadmill is a mode of exercise, lifting weights is a mode of exercise, etc. So mode become important in this scenario because we want to choose the modes of exercise that will give us the biggest bang for our buck and offers the best opportunities for time-saving workouts.

For most individuals who are looking to lose weight, or simply tone up, the best option for mode of exercise is going to be interval training. Interval training consists of alternating periods of high-intensity work and recovery. By increasing intensity, we’re getting cardiovascular exercise, and by making the exercises we’re doing full-body bodyweight exercises (think burpees and jump squats and pushups). Interval training is the basis for the very popular HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts you see everywhere.

Interval training allows us to address both cardiovascular exercise needs and strength training needs – two of our four components of a successful exercise program! That leaves us with flexibility training and rest/recovery.

We’re going to incorporate these two components in one of two ways:

  1. We’ll either plan a 20-minute interval workout finishing up with 10 minutes of flexibility (stretching) and core work or,
  2. We’ll plan two 30 minute interval workouts and one yoga workout per week.

Either strategy will ensure we’re giving all four components the attention and focus that we need to be successful in the gym.

If you’re looking to see the maximum change in your body with minimal time in the gym – for most of the population, this is going to be the best strategy.

Let’s use a different example and say that you have an hour to spend in the gym three to four days a week. This makes programming your workouts even easier at Elevate Fitness Clubs.

In this case, we’re going to recommend that you combine our popular Cross Training or Group Power classes with our Mind Body classes. (Check out the schedules for these offerings here.)

This option will also address all four components of a solid exercise plan while taking all the responsibility for planning a workout off your plate. Simply use the schedule to determine which classes you’ll be attending, show up, slap on your heart rate monitor (ensuring you’re working in the correct zones during your classes) and watch your body start to change in as little as a month.

It’s easy to turn program design into a super complicated juggernaut that prevents you from ever getting started. Why not sit down with your calendar instead, try to carve out three or four windows a week when you can hit the gym and get started on your journey to your best body ever?

Not a member yet? Try Elevate Fitness for FREE!

Weight Loss and Heart Rate Training

Weight Loss and Heart Rate Training

When it comes to weight loss, we’ve been conditioned to believe that hard work equals success, and we believe this to be true in all of life, including the gym. The harder you work therefore the greater the reward.

But the truth might actually surprise you: working harder does not necessarily mean more weight lost.

High intensity exercise is great for cardiac and athletic conditioning and building endurance, but in order to lose weight – you’ll want to exercise in your fat-burning zone and that happens at a lower level of physical intensity than you might think.

In order to determine what your personal fat-burning zone is, you’ll first need to figure out your maximum heart rate. Use this formula:

Max Heart Rate = 220 – Your Age

Let’s use the MyZone color scale to better understand heart rate zones, based on your maximum heart rate.

Each color represents a percentage of your maximum heart rate. That means if your maximum heart rate is 200, and you’re working out and your heart is beating 100 times per minute, that’s 50% of your maximum heart rate, and that puts you in the grey zone.

So what are the different zones good for?

GRAY = Optimal for Resting Heart Rate Zone and Cool Down Zone
BLUE = Optimal for Cool Down and Warm Up Zones
GREEN = Optimal for Warm Up Zone and Low Intensity Exercise
YELLOW = FAT BURNING ZONE (which means weight loss!)
RED = High Intensity Exercise

This is an “average” of the heart rate zones, so if you’re new to fitness, you’re likely to experience that fat burning, or weight loss, effect in the green zone, and as your fitness level improves so will your body’s response to the various heart rate zones.

How can you tell if you’re in the zone? There are two options: the no-tech approach and the tech-solution.

The no-tech approach involves some math in addition to a clock. First of all, figure out what 81% of your maximum heart rate is and what 90% of your maximum heart rate is. This is the range you want to be in while exercising for maximum fat loss. Now, every 10 minutes, take your pulse for 20 seconds and triple that number – in the zone? Good. No? Then you simply adjust your intensity level to get in the zone.

Most of us prefer the tech approach, especially with all the great fitness wearables. Use a device that calculates your heart rate and keep an eye on your numbers while working out. Even better? Use the MyZone Effort Tracker paired with your smart phone and glance at the app periodically to ensure your display is yellow. Tracking your heart rate for maximum fat loss during exercise can really be that simple!

At Elevate Fitness clubs, we’ve partnered with FitMetrix which allows you to pair your own fitness wearable (no need to buy our monitors, see a list of compatible devices here) with our exclusive Elevate Fitness app available download in Google Play and the App Store) and track your workouts and progress.

This is the MyZone Effort Monitor (a really cool, and inexpensive heart-rate monitor) and here are our five favorite things about it:

1. You can see exactly how many calories you burn during a workout or a class and therefore know which workouts are most effective. Instead of using predictive measurements taken at the wrist like a lot of fitness trackers, this is tracking your actual heart rate activity and that makes the data super accurate. (We recommend that you use Myfitnesspal to track calories in and MyZone to track calories out and aim for a deficit every day). As a result you don’t have to guess or trust your gut.

2. MEPs – an MEP is a MyZone Effort Point – the harder you work, the more points you earn. You’ll be constantly trying to set new records and do whatever you can to increase your MEPs score, which means you’ll always be pushing yourself harder = better workouts (this concept is based on gamification theory, which you can read more about here)!

3. Your trainer can log in and see your numbers and your numbers won’t lie to your trainer about how many workouts you did last week, or how hard you pushed during those workouts (and that can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what those numbers say)!

4. Your friends can motivate you and MyZone has a social component. Your friends and workout buddies can like and comment on your workouts and can even use the app to challenge each other for bragging rights (or to see who’s buying the first round this weekend).

5. Unlike our ex’s, numbers don’t lie so at the end of the day, if you manage your numbers, you’re guaranteed results.  Trust in the math and the weight loss will follow.

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