5 Quick and Tasty Foods to Fuel Your Workout


Here are 5 different options for pre-workout fuel/snacks:

  1. Banana with almond butter: Bananas are rich in carbohydrates and potassium, which provide energy and help maintain muscle function during exercise. Almond butter contains healthy fats and protein, which helps slow down the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream for a sustained energy boost.
  2. Greek yogurt with berries: Greek yogurt is high in protein and low in sugar, which helps maintain muscle mass and stabilize blood sugar levels. Berries are rich in antioxidants and fiber, which provide sustained energy and improve digestion.
  3. Trail mix with nuts and dried fruit: Trail mix is a great option for pre-workout fuel as it provides a mix of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein. Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein, while dried fruit provides natural sugars and carbohydrates.
  4. Rice cake with hummus and vegetables: Rice cakes are a low-calorie option that provides carbohydrates for energy. Hummus is a good source of protein and healthy fats, while vegetables provide important nutrients and fiber.
  5. Smoothie with protein powder, fruit, and spinach: Smoothies are a great way to get a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Adding protein powder to the smoothie helps provide sustained energy during exercise, while fruit provides natural sugars and carbohydrates. Adding spinach provides important nutrients and fiber.


Healthy on the Go: A Guide to Smart Eating While Traveling

Summer is the perfect time to embark on exciting adventures, explore new destinations, and make lasting memories with loved ones. However, it’s also a time when maintaining a healthy diet can become challenging, especially during travel. The good news is that with a little planning and some conscious choices, you can enjoy delicious and nutritious meals while on the move. Here are some tips for healthy eating during your summer vacation:

  1. Opt for Smart Fast Food: When stopping at fast-food restaurants, choose wisely. Look for options with grilled or baked protein like chicken or fish, whole-grain buns or wraps, and plenty of veggies. Skip sugary drinks and opt for water, unsweetened iced tea, or low-fat milk.
  2. Embrace Cooking at Your Vacation Rental: If you’re staying in a vacation rental, take advantage of the kitchen facilities. Prepare simple yet wholesome meals using fresh produce, lean proteins, and whole grains. This way, you can control the ingredients and portions while enjoying a home-cooked meal.
  3. Hydrating Foods are Key: Beat the summer heat with hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries, and leafy greens. They’ll keep you refreshed and help maintain your body’s fluid balance.
  4. Convenience without Compromise: Stock up on healthy snacks for your journey, such as nuts, seeds, whole-grain crackers, and dried fruits. These portable options can satisfy your cravings while providing essential nutrients.
  5. Salads on the Go: Seek out salad bars or restaurants that offer a wide range of fresh vegetables and lean protein options. Opt for vinaigrette dressings instead of creamy ones to cut down on unnecessary calories.
  6. Balance Indulgences: Treat yourself occasionally, but aim for moderation. Savor local delicacies, but try to balance them with lighter options in your other meals.
  7. Stay Hydrated: Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially in hot weather. Carry a refillable water bottle and fill it up whenever you can.
  8. Plan Ahead: Do some research on restaurants and eateries at your travel destination that offers healthier menu choices. This will save you time and make it easier to stick to your nutritional goals.
  9. Be Mindful of Alcohol Intake: Alcoholic beverages can be calorie-dense and dehydrating. Consume them in moderation and alternate with water or other non-alcoholic beverages.
  10. Practice Portion Control: While trying new dishes, be mindful of portion sizes. Share larger meals with travel companions to avoid overeating.

By incorporating these tips into your summer travel routine, you can enjoy delicious meals, maintain your health, and make the most of your adventures. Remember, it’s all about balance and making informed choices to stay on track with your nutritional goals even while exploring new horizons. Happy and healthy travels!

Click HERE to book your next class when you are back in town!

Why you should love the Lunge


Lunges, split squats, and other unilateral leg movements are tremendous tools for building a strong, functional, and balanced body. Yet they tend to take a backseat to the more popular lower body exercises like squats and deadlifts. Let’s explore some of the benefits of lunges, common faults, and some popular variations so you never miss a lunge day again!

Lunges are a fundamental human movement pattern and take many different forms. The movement is generally defined as a split-legged stance with one foot planted in front of the body and the other extended behind the body. From this position, the athlete can raise or lower their body while stepping forward to the lead leg or returning to the rear leg. Lunges require leg strength, core strength, balance, and coordination. They can be performed as a bodyweight movement, under an external load, or explosively as a plyometric exercise. There are really an incredible number of ways to perform this exercise. Depending on your goals there are many ways that training lunges can be beneficial.

If you are looking to improve balance and coordination you could train lunges with a loading pattern that increased the demand for midline stability. Lunges performed with a barbell overhead or a single dumbbell or kettlebell loading one side of the body will achieve this. Due to the stabilization and core strength required to complete a lunge variation of this sort, there is a huge transfer and application to sports and life. Ensure that the load demands don’t force you into a compromised position and that you have the necessary mobility to handle the movement pattern (AKA ask the coach if you’re not sure)!

To develop greater strength and enhance muscle growth select lunge variations that allow for greater external loading. A reverse lunge is a popular option for this as it allows the weight to remain in the lead leg ensuring proper form and engagement of the posterior chain. Reverse lunges can be performed with dumbbells held at waist level or a barbell in the back rack position to go hard and heavy. A good rule of thumb is to keep the majority of the load in the front leg as you perform the movement. Select a load that allows for a controlled descent to the floor allowing the knee to kiss, not crash into, the ground.

To prevent injuries, increase range of motion, and correct imbalances the Bulgarian split squat or Bulgarian lunge is an excellent choice. This exercise is performed by working one lead leg at a time with the rear foot elevated on a platform 4-6 inches higher than the lead working leg. This movement optimizes the hinge position of the hips and is greater for activating the gluteus muscles. A popular loading pattern for this lunge is with dumbbells held in suitcase fashion. Make sure to select the appropriate box height to elevate the rear leg to prevent the spine from hyperextending at the end range of motion. Take care to stabilize the lead leg and focus on balance to reap the benefits of this killer lunge variation.

If you want to learn more about the best training movements be sure to discuss your goals with one of our coaches!

5 Reasons to get STRONG

Fitness trends come and go and most fall to the wayside for good reason.

Most programs fail to produce consistent results. It’s a wonder why so many folks stray away from what is tried and true when it comes to exercise programs?

“The rule is: the basics are the basic, and you can’t beat the basics.” -Charles Poliquin

Despite what your goals may be, every individual can benefit from physical resistance training. Not only that, but the health benefits extend far beyond your short term fitness goals. Regardless of why you train, let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should incorporate strength training into your fitness regimen.

1. Training for strength produces results.

Whatever your goals, muscle will help you get there. Some companies in the fitness industry has made a fortune around buzzwords like “tone”, “lift”, and “sculpt.” The problem is there’s no way to measure those loose terms. If you want to change your body composition there is only the ability to gain or lose muscle while simultaneously gaining or losing fat. If you are looking for the most efficient way to do make a change then strength training is your best option.

Strength training, or physical resistance training, can be defined as a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. When you gain muscle you increase your bodies basal metabolism (the amount of calories you burn each day before factoring in physical activity). It’s kind of like putting a bigger engine in a car. The car is capable of moving faster or pulling a heavier load (more muscle), but it also uses more fuel (fat) whether it’s cruising down the freeway or idling in the driveway. Strength training helps us “tone” through this muscle gain/fat loss trade.

2. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” -Peter Drucker

Training for strength provides a clear path for success. You can set training goals that are specific, measurable, and produce desired outcomes. A good coach will help you design a plan towards these goals with checkpoints along the way. Your strength training program is a road map to success with clear directions. Sets, reps, and weights lifted safely through the full range of motion are the signals that you’re on track. Many people find that a more detailed plan helps them stay motivated as they experience progress.

3. Age gracefully with more muscle mass.

As we get older strength training is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Physical independence is a key factor in a great quality of life.

A comprehensive study of strength training has been proven to:

  • Improve motor function
  • Lower resting heart rate
  • Increase stamina
  • Prevent sarcopenia (age related muscle loss)
  • Improve bone mineral density
  • Prevent and help rehab injuries

Functional strength training will be an asset in daily life too. From picking up grandchildren or bags of groceries to climbing stairs with confidence.

4. You’ll experience epic brain gains.

Did you know that lifting weights can strengthen your brain just as much as it does your body?
Dr. Yorgi Mavros from the University of Sydney has found that high‐intensity physical resistance training (PRT) results in significant improvements in cognitive function, muscle strength, and aerobic capacity in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Adults who followed a resistance training routine in addition to cognitive training performed significantly better than control groups on a series of mental tests. A couple key factors to note:

The participants exercised 2x/ week working to at least 80% of their peak strength.
The benefits lasted one year after the exercise prescription had ended.

What does that mean? According to Yorgi, “The stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain.” Let that sink in for a minute. You actually grow your brain by training to become stronger! It makes me wonder if Einstein developed his Theory of Relativity in between heavy sets of back squats…

5. Strong moms have healthy babies.

During pregnancy, the question always arises of what does fitness look like for this stage of life? With so much on the line, it’s important to consult with a doctor before beginning any fitness routine. Luckily, there is a tremendous amount to be gained by incorporating a strength training routine under normal circumstances. Resistance training can help alleviate symptoms and improve health outcomes for the mother and child. According to the Mayo Clinic, women who follow a consistent strength training routine during pregnancy can experience:

  • Reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling
  • Boosted mood and energy levels
  • Better sleep
  • Prevent excess weight gain
  • Maintain levels of muscle strength and endurance
  • Reduced incidence of gestational diabetes

Not only that but women who train during pregnancy report enhanced body image and better psychological well-being!

We would love to help you live a healthy strong life. Schedule a Free Consult to learn more.