Tips from the Personal Trainers

Tips from the Personal Trainer Nate Skop busts myths about:

How to Maximize Your Workout

The belief: Reps x Sets x Machine = Success!
The reality: How you utilize your time in the gym efficiently is directly related to workload (as measured by heartrate) and time at that rate, making circuit training a “must” for those whose goal is to lean out and tone up. Alternating aerobic and strength activities in 3- to 5-minute bursts, both at a similar workload, will yield extremely good fat-burning and anaerobic threshold results. Studies have shown that a circuit session of approx. three minutes of aerobic activity at 75-85% of your maximum heart rate, followed by five minutes at a strength station at a similar workload provides better results than a traditional lift. A critical factor is to keep your heart rate in an efficient fat-burning zone for a prolonged period of time without killing your recovery time between rounds. So, stay moving for a consistent period of time by utilizing multiple stations and tying in cardiovascular exercise as a filler or bridge between strength training!

Note: This technique is a feature of the small group training program called Fusion that Nate designed and conducted at Razor Sharp

Tips from the Personal Trainer Amanda Neumiller busts the myth of:


The (increasingly) common belief: A gluten-free diet is a “healthy” diet.
The reality: If you’re looking at changing your diet for weight loss and/or to improve your health, a gluten-free diet won’t be the answer. When gluten is taken out of a food, something else has to be added back in to replace the flavor that is lost with the gluten. Typically, gluten is replaced with fats or sugars. Studies have shown that gluten free-diets by themselves won’t help slim you down, or make you healthier. A gluten-free diet is most beneficial for those who have Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance.
To sum it up – unless you are diagnosed with Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance, a gluten-free diet will not offer you a healthier diet. If avoiding gluten gets you to cut out junk/processed food, read labels and just generally makes you more aware of what you’re eating, then this can be a good start to a healthier lifestyle. However, your best bet for weight loss is to limit the processed foods you eat and to incorporate more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet.

Tips from the Personal Trainer Jenny Willis busts the myth of:

Spot Reduction

The common belief: When you exercise a specific body part or set of muscles, fat can and will be lost in that area (i.e. the more crunches and sit ups I do, the less belly fat I will have). While this would make my job WAY EASIER, and the majority of us have our “trouble spots” we would love to pinpoint, it just doesn’t work this way.
The reality: When we eat food, excess calories are stored in our bodies as subcutaneous fat. The way we can help to reverse this process is by exercising and metabolizing our “storage” into fuel for our muscles. When the body starts using fat stores for fuel (i.e. “burning fat”), it doesn’t take fat stores from the closest muscle being utilized or flexed, but from all over the body. More importantly, everyone has their own pattern of how fat is stored and then utilized. Therefore, some people are blessed and lose belly fat first, while others store more in their thighs or arms.
So, your best bet for losing body fat is to increase your cardio workout, pursue a quality weight lifting program and have a good, high-quality diet!

Personal Trainer Nate Skop urges you to:

Work on Self-Awareness

It’s important that while you challenge yourself to become stronger, gain more endurance and be more flexible as you train, you are also focusing on self-awareness. Understanding the repetitive movements and posture positions your body experiences day in and day out is very important. Everyone develops imbalances by just existing; it doesn’t matter if you have a job where you sit or if you stand, awareness and correction of the imbalances created by daily life in your training plan will only prolong and improve your health.
Warm Up and Cool Down
A proper warm up and cool down are just as important as, if not more important than, the workout itself. Surprising? Here’s why: using different movements in different planes as part of a warm-up acts as a “body primer.” It can help produce quicker results, as well as prevent injury or pain. Challenging yourself to move in different directions or planes of motion will increase your physical ceiling and make your workout more fun! A gentle cool-down helps heart rate, breathing and temperature return to normal and avoid dizziness. It also aids in removal of waste products like lactic acid from the muscles you’ve been working, and that means less soreness afterwards!

Personal Trainer Lauren Gedemer suggests you:

Have a Drink…of WATER!

Pure, unaltered H2O is often overlooked as a critical aspect of overall health and meeting our weight/fitness goals. Water boosts metabolism, cleanses the body of waste and even acts as an appetite suppressant. A well-hydrated body facilitates faster, more efficient fat loss.

I use the rule, “4 Before Your Feet Hit the Floor:” keep a glass of water by your bed and chug 4 oz. (more if you can!) before you even leave your room each morning. Our bodies dehydrate while we sleep, so it’s only fair that we replenish what we’ve lost during rest. You’ll also fire up your metabolism for the day, flush out toxins and fuel your brain.

Working out and eating right, but still not seeing the numbers on the scale change in your favor? Start logging your water — aim for a gallon a day (that’s 128 oz.!!). You might be surprised at what this one small change can do for you!

Let’s Take it Outside!
We are finally turning the corner to Spring/Summer in Southeast Wisconsin, which means nicer weather! Although we love to see you at the club and in our group fitness classes working out, try to take your workout outdoors at least a few times a week to break up the monotony.

Have a dog? Aim for 30 minutes outdoors with Fido every day – walking, running, playing, anything! Both of you will benefit from the fresh air, cardiovascular activity and extra Vitamin D!

Live near a park or school? Try hill or stair sprints, pushups and triceps dips on benches, and pull-ups on monkey bars. Bring a jump rope with you and create a circuit to do 3-4x.

Take it to the beach — grab friends for volleyball, or take a walk or jog. Any activity in the sand will amp up your cardio work and proprioception for muscles, burning more calories than pounding the pavement alone.

Our climate may only give us a few months of nice weather, so take advantage of it! Your mind, body and muscles will thank you!

Personal Trainer Amanda Neumiller counsels you to:

Keep Your Feet Happy

In the course of everyday life, you ask a lot of your feet – so, keep them happy! Basic foot and joint health starts by wearing the correct footwear. Shoes that are worn out or lack support can result in many adverse effects. Buying shoes for their “look” may not give you enough stability. For sports, the correct footwear can provide a foundation for the overall performance of the muscles you rely on for those key repetitive activities.

When it comes to footwear for working out, there are many to choose from; each brand offers different styles, colors and types of support. To help you decide, you need to consider if:

  • Your shoes are more than a year old
  • Your ankle rolls in (pronate) or out (supinate)
  • You have high arches or flat feet
  • You expect to be logging more miles this year
  • You plan to run/walk outdoors or on a treadmill

Armed with that information, ask for some assistance when you next try shoes on – find a reputable store that specializes in athletic foot gear.

Stop Judging Yourself
In a world of outrageous expectations, we are our own harshest critics. We force ourselves to think we should look like that person on the magazine cover, or run as (seemingly) effortlessly as this person next to us on the treadmill, or maybe be as flexible as someone else a few yoga mats away, with his or her foot wrapped around his or her head!
But, STOP!

Stop comparing and judging yourself! We are all made to be different.

When we turn our focus to loving ourselves, health and fitness come more easily! Instead of trying to achieve a “Perfect Body” image, we should encourage ourselves and those around us to achieve a “Healthy Body” image. And then approach working out as something we do not because we HATE our bodies, but because we LOVE them!

Personal Trainer Krystal DeBaker suggests you:

Try a Yoga Class

Workout fads come and go, but virtually no other exercise program is as enduring as yoga. It’s been around for more than 5,000 years.

Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles: it’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation.

Razor offers a range of yoga classes with a variety of instructors and different levels of intensity. Try one today!

New Year, New You?
It’s that time of year again — time to challenge yourself with some New Year’s resolutions. Many people resolve to begin an exercise program, only to abandon it before Easter.

The trouble with New Year’s resolutions is that they can be extremely impractical. Setting goals is a great idea, but make sure they are realistic and feasible. For example, a goal to lose 12 lbs by Easter is both reasonable and achievable. So is a goal to complete a 5K run by tax day. Conversely, a goal to complete a marathon by that date is unrealistic and potentially unsafe for newbie runners. Think of it as if you were building a house: start slowly (with low intensity and shorter duration), develop a solid foundation of fitness and then build upon that foundation as your fitness improves!

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