NIFS Healthy Living Blog

NIFS Slim It to Win It Weight-Loss Competition 2017: Back and Better!

Slimit16pic2.jpegNew year? Yes. Weight-loss goal? Yep. Team competition? Sign me up! It’s time to get ready for our 7th annual team weight-loss competition, Slim It to Win It! If you are looking for an opportunity to participate in team training that provides accountability, nutritional guidance, and an uplifting environment that is designed to help you succeed, this may be your thing!

Slim It to Win It Details

Slim It is an 8-week group training program geared toward seeing you be successful in fat loss. Throughout the eight weeks of training, you will experience what we hope to be a transformational period. Check out the program details:

  • 8 total weeks of group training.
  • Training dates: February 5 to April 1.
  • 16 scheduled 60-minute workout sessions per week with a NIFS coach.
  • Must attend 14 out of 16 group training sessions to be eligible for prizes, track your food in MyFitnessPal, and complete both the pre- and post-competition BodPods.
  • Nutritional guidance through tips, recipes, food tracking, and meal-planning suggestions.
  • Teams of 10 people (up to 4 of whom can be guests to NIFS).
  • Group camaraderie and motivation.
  • Pre- and post-competition BodPod assessments included.
  • Accountability through encouraging, fun, and safe team training!
  • Two participants will be randomly selected to use, at no cost, the My Nutrition Coach app.

Sign Me Up!

Slim-It-logo.jpgHere are the details of how to get registered:

  • Come to the NIFS service desk between January 14 and 28 to register, or call 317-274-3432, ext. 216.
  • Fee is $40 for NIFS members (fee will be waived if you get a nonmember to register also!) and $185 for guests—this includes full membership access for the duration of the program.
  • Upon payment you will receive a label to place your name on the signup board with your preferred coach and training times. SPACE IS LIMITED SO REGISTER EARLY.
  • Schedule your pre- BodPod with a NIFS trainer between January 29 and February 4.
  • Training begins the week of February 5 and runs through April 1.
  • Post BodPod assessment will take place April 2–8.
  • Grand finale: April 10.

Prizes! Who Doesn’t Love Prizes?

The team that loses the highest average percentage of body fat will win the Slim It to Win It competition! Winners will receive three months of free membership upon eligibility above. Also, the top male and female losers will win three months of free membership to NIFS. And lastly, runner-up male and female top losers will receive two months of free Personal Nutrition Coaching with NIFS Registered Dietician Angie Mitchell.

We look forward to walking with you on this journey for 2017!

For more information, visit nifs.org or contact Amanda Bireline or call the service desk at 317-274-3432, ext. 216.

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This blog was written by Amanda Bireline, Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: NIFS nutrition motivation weight loss group training accountability workout Slim It to Win It BODPOD

Crucial Conversations: I Have 99 Problems, But My (NIFS) Gym Isn’t One

karen8.29.16.jpgFor the next installment of Crucial Conversations, a series where I have a chat with some very inspirational individuals and share it with all of you, I speak with a woman who needs no elaborate introduction. That’s because not only is she pretty well known around these parts, but also because she wouldn’t have it.

She is about the business of being fit and staying fit, no frills or fancy Instagram posts, just the business, and business is good. I am referring to longtime NIFS member Karen. I had the opportunity to ask Karen a few questions about being an “ageless warrior,” what keeps her motivated, and why she continues to make NIFS her fitness home. Join me as we uncover some of the things that make this amazing individual tick!

Tony: Tell me a little about yourself.

Karen: I was born in Indianapolis in 1958 and attended Arlington High School. During my time at Arlington I ran track and field and played volleyball. I got married in 1983, and my son was born in 1984.

Tony: Besides being a high school athlete, have you always been generally healthy, fit, and active?

Karen: I used to do workout videos, when they were popular, with my young son. At the young age of 25 I was diagnosed with high blood pressure [hypertension] after the birth of my son. This was hard for me to process due to my healthy lifestyle and healthy nature. It was something that I would have to deal with for the rest of my life. I began to feel restless and my life was becoming too mundane. I hated only being able to go to work and go home every day. At this point in my life I began to become depressed. I felt that I was not accomplishing anything in my life.

Tony: How did you make the change to pull yourself out of the rut you were in?

Karen: My son was in school and doing after-school activities, and my husband was heavily involved in church, and as a firefighter he was gone from home at least two days a week. I wanted to have something of my own; I wanted a place to go to meet and talk to people, a place where I could better myself every time I was there. I felt that the only place it could be was the gym. During this time I had fallen even deeper into depression, but by April of 1994 that would all change. My husband began working out at NIFS, and I would ask him where he was going to work out and he stated NIFS. He eventually purchased a membership for me, and it was the greatest gift he ever gave me. I joined NIFS and I have been a member for 22 years.

Tony: So how did you get started?

Karen: I began to look into going to group fitness classes. Every time I became stronger and the classes became easier for me, so I would begin going to more advanced classes. I started with step, spinning, and boxing, but my true transformation began when I began taking HIT class and group training. I was in the first Slim It to Win It competition, and to compete with other members was very exciting. Each time I would look for the next challenge to accomplish. I felt my body getting stronger and my endurance was increasing; I was feeling better about myself and my life, and I was looking forward to each limit I could cross.

Tony: What has created the most change for you?

Karen: I would have to say that my change came with the challenges I faced to make myself better in the gym. I began noticing these changes when I was able to go farther and longer than I could before. I felt this process could never end; if I worked at it, I would be able to surpass all of my limits, and with each and every class I knew there would be a new challenge for me to defeat. I’ve been able to make new friends, and for me exercising is a way of life. I am the result of hard work, I am in great shape for someone who is 57 years old, and I feel that my medical issues are very minor due to the effort and time that I have put in at NIFS. It has also allowed me to deal with stress, and it gives me a generally positive outlook on life. I would like to thank all of the trainers who have helped me along the way with my transformation, especially Tony Maloney.

***

I had the pleasure of meeting this amazing lady the first day I arrived here at NIFS eight years ago, and have had the continued honor to work with her in so many different capacities. From BOSU class, HIT, Slim It to Win It, and group training, Karen has seen and done it all, and has not just done it but done it well! She took on a nickname I gave her a few years back: “Grumpy”; but those who know her know that she is far from it. But she is focused, and when there is work to be done, she is all business.

Yes! I want to try a HIT class!

This blog was written by Tony Maloney, ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist and Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: NIFS exercise depression fitness center motivation member group training HIT Slim It to Win It Crucial Conversations student athletes hypertension making changes

NIFS Crucial Conversations: Stephanie Whittaker Conquers Cancer

Stephwarriorhighlight12.13new.jpgWorking with phenomenal people is one of my favorite perks as a fitness professional. I often share that I have the best job on the planet because I get to spend time with just fantastic people. Witnessing the successes, the defeats, the comebacks, and the emotional victories is why I do what I do.

I began working with one of these remarkable individuals about six years ago, and knew right away that she was going to accomplish great things, and make me a better person along the way. Stephanie Whittaker, among so many other warrior-like attributes, has slain the big C, packed on a bunch of muscle, and been a leader in so many programs at NIFS. I had the honor to sit down with this amazing lady and ask her how she has come so far, what are some of her accomplishments, and what is the mindset needed to do it all.

Tony: What, if anything, motivated you toward fitness and wellness?

Stephanie: Seven years ago, NIFS was the starting point for regaining my health. I had recovered from surgical procedures and finished treatments for thyroid cancer and melanoma. Grateful for all that modern medicine had accomplished, it was now my turn to do whatever I could to restore my health and well-being.

Tony: Tell me about some of the struggles you faced at the beginning and throughout your journey, and what helped you overcome them.

Stephanie: One of the biggest struggles was accepting how deconditioned I was (overweight with zero stamina) and not getting overwhelmed by my goal of returning to my former state of health and activity. I remember my first spin class so vividly. I couldn’t keep up with the workout; my only goal was to stay on the bike that day. I was gasping for air and seeing stars, but I stayed on the bike! One of the reasons I could stay on the bike was the welcoming encouragement and energetic support of the instructor (Steven Kass).

Tony: What do you think has had the biggest impact on your transformation?

Stephanie: My ladder of progress over the next year included regular spin classes, participation in Slim It to Win It, and the Mini-Marathon Training Program. I then mustered the courage to challenge myself and try a series of Small Group Training (SGT) classes with Tony. This was my “game changer.” Prior to starting SGT, I went through a battery of physical testing, mobility assessment, and the BOD POD® calculation of my lean-to-fat ratio (oh, great!). The results were sobering; although I was not pleased with my starting metrics, Tony put that information into perspective and provided guidance to help me set achievable goals. If you don’t know the starting point, how can you measure success?

“The group training environment is one of support, encouragement, and celebrating the fun of completing a 60-minute workout that you never would have done left to your own devices.”

Now to the fun part: Group Training has been part of my life for six years. Twice a week I am one of Tony’s “Warriors,” and every Saturday I am one of Mike Bloom’s “Crew.” This is my fitness family. The group training environment is one of support, encouragement, and celebrating the fun of completing a 60-minute workout that you never would have done left to your own devices.

Over the past year I have incorporated personal training sessions focusing on Olympic lifting techniques with Aaron Combs and am making good progress. These skills translate to my group training workouts and overall improved fitness. I also continue with spin class twice a week.

“I have become comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Tony: Brag time! Tell me about some of your achievements during this time.

Stephanie: First of all, a regularly scheduled fitness evaluation (yes, more BOD POD®) and continued goal setting keeps me on track and moving in the right direction. The numbers don’t lie.

*Starting metrics: 32.8% body fat; Functional Mobility Screening results = 9. I could not do a pull-up; my flexed-arm hang with chin above the bar was 10 seconds.

*Metrics as of December 2015: 20.7% body fat; Functional Mobility Screening results = 19. Pull-ups = 6 consecutive.

*Weight loss claims and/or individual results vary and are not guaranteed.

Tony: What message would you like to pass along to all those out there working to be the best version of themselves?

Stephanie: I am personally accountable for how I live, choices I make, and how hard I work to fulfill my goals and expectations. I approach each of my workouts with a mindset of getting to my “edge” and working that edge. Over time that edge advances. I have become comfortable with being uncomfortable—not injured, but going beyond my comfort level to push my mental and physical boundaries. This is how I have transformed into a more confident, vibrant individual who celebrates life each day.

***

The proof is in the pudding. It takes hard work to accomplish the things you hope to achieve, not just in fitness, but in anything in life. I would never sugar-coat that to anyone; it does take work to do things the right way, and there is no magic pill. Stephanie is a reminder of what hard work looks like, and is an inspiration to those who have or are battling cancer and other powerful diseases. Never give up, never give in, and never take a day for granted are just a few mantras Stephanie lives by. I am honored to have had the opportunity to spend time with her all these years and look forward to witnessing not only her physical accomplishments but her leadership success as well!

Want to get started on your own path to success? Try a small group training class on us

Yes! I want to try small group training

This blog was written by Tony Maloney, ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist and Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: NIFS fitness center weight loss cycling mini marathon Slim It to Win It weight training Crucial Conversations cancer

NIFS Heart Throbs: 5 Healthy Habits for Weight-Loss Success

team.jpgThe Slim It to Win It* (SITWI) program is off and running again for another year of life-changing results and lifestyle modifications to maintain those changes. SITWI, in its fifth year, is NIFS’ equivalent to the NBC show The Biggest Loser. But unlike that show, the highly trained coaches at NIFS work in and around the real-world challenges that face the participants in the program to get true and long-lasting results. I am honored and very excited to be part of this great program again after a few years away, and look forward to witnessing all of the successes had by all those working hard in the program!

I am coach of “The Heart Throbs” this year, a group of 10 individuals who come to the program with a common goal of reducing body fat and learning to practice habits and behaviors that will keep them healthy and fit throughout their lifetimes. They came to the right place! But why the name Heart Throbs, you ask? Other than being a pretty good-looking group, over half of the people in the group have dealt with or are dealing with a heart issue and have overcome that obstacle to continue to fight and become the individual they want to be.

Stories from the Team

Take Amy Anderyck (Year One overall champion, by the way). Here is a snippet of her story:

I was born with an ASD heart defect. It was a hole the size of a quarter. It's not uncommon for babies to have them at birth, but they usually close up themselves after a bit. Mine never closed. So when I was 5 years old my parents took me to Birmingham, Alabama, to meet Dr. Albert Pacifico, who was the best pediatric vascular surgeon in the country at the time. He did a great job with my repair and I am able to lead a happy, healthy life without any restrictions. I am thankful for my parents and the doctor. 

Slimit16pic2.jpegOr Haley Pratt:

I was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome as an infant, but my structures were too small to take care of anything as a baby. I had my first ablation at age 4, which was still very young to operate, but there was no choice. I went on living life normally as an active child. The doctors told me I would never be able to play organized sports, have life insurance, or pilot a plane. I am here to say that I conquered the first two (even got a full-ride scholarship to play volleyball at Lynn University) and someday would love to get my pilot's license.

Two years ago, I did have another scare where I had a tachycardia episode that felt exactly like what I was used to growing up. I wondered how this could happen after 15 years. It ended up being inappropriate sinus tachycardia, which sometimes comes and goes on its own. I am on a beta blocker and have a looping monitor implanted for the time being, but I will be able to quit both soon. I have a healthy heart and nothing can stop me from achieving my goals!

The team’s inspirational stories are too many to list in one blog post, but I assure you that they rival the two stories shared above. It takes a lot of courage and strength to look something like that in the face and overcome it. I am so proud of Haley, Amy, and the rest of the Heart Throbs, and I am humbled that they chose me to lead them to a healthier and better life!

Five Questions About Your Eating Habits

At our first meeting, we spoke about what it took to get results in reducing body fat and body weight, or eliminating medications or staving off type 2 diabetes. I suggested that of the top three things that can lead you down the path to success—mental health, nutrition, and exercise—exercise was a distant third. Exercise should be the fun stuff; it’s the first two that are the tough ones. The Heart Throbs would like to ask you 5 questions about how you are eating that could help you develop those important habits that will lead to success:

  • Are you eating slowly? It takes a minimum of 20 minutes for the brain to signal to the stomach and the rest of the body that you are full. If you eat fast, you usually eat more.
  • Where are the protein-dense foods? Eating protein with every meal will help with recovery, building muscle, and feeling full. Protein consumption soon after a training session is a great habit that will help in all facets of your fitness. Some examples are meat, fish, eggs, plant protein, and yogurt.
  • Are you eating veggies with every meal? Prepare them any way you like, and shoot for few portions each meal. Veggies should account for the bulk of your carbohydrate intake for the day.
  • Where are the carbohydrates? Carbohydrates (grains, beans, starches, fruit) have gotten a bad rap in recent years, mainly due to the increased intake of highly processed and unnatural carbohydrate sources. Carbs are important, especially after a training session, and help supply the body with energy it needs to run various systems of the body. Portion control is key here (1 to 2 cupped-hand-sized servings), as well as timing (after training) to get the most out of your carbohydrates.
  • Are you eating fat? Fat in your diet is important, and although the discussion would be too extensive for this piece, this idea does come with a bit of blowback. So let me put it like this: In the ‘70s and ‘80s, the “experts” labeled fat as the enemy and worked hard to eliminate it from the American diet (remember the SnackWell’s aisles?). What happened to America? It got fat. Choose healthy fats (oils, butter, nut butters, nuts, and seeds) and spread them out through the day.

Bonus Takeaways

 The Heart Throbs have some bonus takeaways for you:

  • Experiment to find what works for you. It has to work for you to be sustainable!
  • Don't try to overhaul; add one habit every couple of weeks.
  • Identify any nutritional deficiencies that can be found through a blood test and work to correct them.
  • You can't change your life unless you change something you do every day.

*Weight loss claims and/or individual results vary and are not guaranteed.

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This blog was written by Tony Maloney, ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist and Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: NIFS nutrition healthy habits weight loss healthy eating Slim It to Win It carbs

NIFS Weight Loss and Slim It to Win It Participant: Misty Mercer

*NAME: Misty Mercerpizap.com13994687304371

SHARE YOUR “STORY” OR A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF IN A FEW SENTENCES:

I made the decision for my 30th birthday to become a healthier person. I am now a 31-year-old formerly overweight attorney turned power lifter.

NIFS PROGRAMS YOU PARTICIPATED IN:

Weight Loss program

Slim It to Win It

WHY DID YOU JOIN THIS PROGRAM/NIFS?

I had been overweight since childhood, and to be honest I assumed that I would always be overweight. However, when I turned 30, I sort of did a life evaluation. I realized that with the exception of one area, I had a great life and that I had achieved and done many things that I would not have thought possible before doing them. The one area where life wasn’t all that great was my health. On my 30th birthday, I weighed around 275 pounds, and that was light compared to the 315 pounds that I weighed at my heaviest. While I didn’t have any major health issues, I knew that it was only a matter of time before problems began to appear. I just didn’t feel good.

At that point I made the decision to improve my health, and to do that I knew that I needed to lose a lot of weight. I also knew that I couldn’t do it on my own, and that’s why I searched for a gym where I could get the help and education I needed. That search led me to NIFS. NIFS’ focus on fitness and health at all ages was what I was looking for.

When I joined NIFS in October 2012, the person who did my guest workout suggested that I try the Weight Loss program. The program sounded like the right fit for me since I wanted both nutrition counseling and fitness instruction. The one-on-one focus of the program is what especially drew me to it. When I completed the 14-week Weight Loss program it was around the time that the Slim It to Win It program was beginning, so I moved into that program to continue my progress.

SOMETHING YOU HAVE ENJOYED:

What I enjoy most about NIFS are the exercise prescriptions. I have never been able to really enjoy group workouts, but I am also not keen on developing my own program or using a commercial program. The exercise prescriptions developed by the fitness specialists are great in that they allow me to work out on my own with the knowledge that the routines were developed specifically with me in mind. Additionally, if I have a question or problem, I have someone, the fitness specialist, I can talk to.

SOMETHING YOU HAVE LEARNED OR SOMETHING THAT SURPRISED YOU:

I have learned how to powerlift (weightlifting using deadlift, back squat, and bench press). I am continually surprised by how much I have progressed since starting the program.

FAVORITE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT AT NIFS OR CLASS, PROGRAM, ETC. YOU USE?

The free weights.

WHAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS HAVE YOU ACHIEVED DURING YOUR TIME AT NIFS?

When I began the Weight Loss program on November 1, 2012, I weighed 272 pounds and was at 57% body fat. I am now down to 162 pounds and 25% body fat*.

*Weight loss claims and/or individual results vary and are not guaranteed.

I competed in my first powerlifting competition in March 2014 and set a 14-pound personal record on my deadlift (264 pounds).

WHAT STRUGGLES HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED? TIPS YOU HAVE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY?

My primary area where I struggle is my diet. When I started, I didn’t want to go "on a diet." I wanted to learn healthy eating skills that I could use for the rest of my life. I really struggled at first because I wanted everything I ate to be perfect, but that wasn’t sustainable for me. The nutrition counseling sessions that were a part of the Weight Loss program were excellent in helping me realize that the perfect nutrition plan was one that I could remain on for the long term and that would incorporate a balance of healthy foods as well as the occasional treat.

In order to keep me eating a balanced diet, I track my progress in a food journal. Also I am always experimenting with new foods and techniques. I plan my meals in advance and pre-cook meals on the weekend that I can freeze for later.

HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED?

I stay motivated by continually challenging myself. My goal is to always set some type of personal record when I go to the gym, regardless of whether it is lifting more weight, running a faster mile, or just stretching a bit further than I did last time.

ANY OTHER THOUGHTS YOU WISH TO SHARE: 

Get to know the NIFS employees. They are great people and are always willing to help you out.

NIFS Weight Loss Memberships give you the extra tools you need to take off pounds and keep them off without compromising your health*. These programs focus on healthy eating, exercise and accountability. We recommend starting with our 14-week Ramp Up to Weight Loss Program.

*Weight loss claims and/or individual results vary and are not guaranteed.

Call Masie Duncan Weight Loss Membership Coordinator, at 274-3432 ext. 273 or email to find out about more about our Weight Loss Memberships options.

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This blog was written by Tara Deal Rochford, NIFS Membership Manager and a group fitness instructor. Author of Treble in the Kitchen. Meet our other NIFS bloggers.

Topics: nutrition weight loss NIFS programs weightlifting Slim It to Win It

NIFS SLIM IT TO WIN IT: Team Tank the Plankers!

Another year of Slim-It to Win It and team “Tank the Plankers” are holding strong! Five of the biggest highlights for the team are the following:steph-team-pic

  • Over half of the team has 100 percent attendance.
  • Everyone can hold a plank for at least 45 seconds.
  • Everyone has completed their food logs and made adjustments according to Angie’s feedback.
  • Everyone has completed their Functional Movement Screen and started completing their correctives.
  • Everyone has a great attitude every day.

Along with all of these great things, the team has completed  a wide variety of workouts successfully. One workout that was recently completed was the Partner 100 workout using the  TRX. The workout runs as follows. One partner completes one lap around the indoor track while  the other counts up to 100 reps of the exercise before proceeding to the next one. The exercises completed are listed here:

  • 100 TRX Chest PressSlim-It-logo2
  • 100 TRX 2-count Mountain Climbers
  • 100 TRX Rows
  • 100 TRX Squats

Although it was a very challenging workout both mentally and physically, everyone conquered it and even had a little energy left at the end to finish up with a sled push relay on the sprint lanes!

I will be sad once the program concludes because I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to work with this fun and hardworking group twice a week, but I also cannot wait to see how much progress they have made with all of their health and fitness goals going into this program.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, PLANKERS!

Training with a group is a proven strategy for sticking with a workout routine and is more economical than one-on-one training. If you are interested in trying a small group or large group training session contact Tony Maloney today to get started!

This blog was written by Stephanie Kaiser, NIFS Heath Fitness Instructor. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: nutrition group fitness group training nifs staff functional training NIFS programs Slim It to Win It TRX

NIFS SLIM IT TO WIN IT: Team “No Judgment”

Hey there, Fit Family! This is my second year coaching a team, and I have to say it has been just as exciting as the first. Team “No Judgment” has been working hard since week 1 with excellent attendance, high energy duringSlim it team workouts, and amazing attitudes. These characteristics fit right into the formula for success.

What excites me the most about my team is that they are driven to succeed and see real fat-loss results.

Inspired by Martin Rooney’s Metabolic Training

Martin Rooney said it best: “To be successful in life you must commit. If you freeze, you lose. There should be no halfway in anything you do.” Rooney is a fitness professional whose work focuses mainly on metabolic training, which relates to the idea of improving the work capacity of our cardiovascular system in a way that works more efficiently. I like to train this way because it helps you burn fat, build muscle, and improve stamina all at the same time! My team will tell you, it is challenging and requires a lot of hard work, but it’s also gratifying to complete each and every workout.

Another reason for training the metabolic system is that the majority of the exercises are dynamic and involve movement patterns that are common in our daily routine. An example would be the squat pattern because it mimics standing up from a chair or getting in and out of a car, which we all do on a regular basis.

The Fun Factor

Lastly, training the metabolic system should be hard, but it should also deliver a fun factor as well. You’re more likely to repeat a single workout when you leave the last workout having fun and feeling great about your accomplishments. So don’t forget, metabolic training is efficient and effective, and while it’s not easy, it can be Slim-It-logo2fun!

Lastly, good luck to all other Slim-It to Win It teams as we have one week left. The finish line is near! Try your best to stay committed to your teams, your goals, and most importantly yourself!

Regardless of fitness level or goals, almost every member at NIFS could benefit from Group Training or enrolling in a NIFS program. I highly recommend taking the leap! If you are interested in trying a small group or HIT training session contact Tony Maloney today to get started!

This blog was written by Cara Hartman, NIFS Heath Fitness Instructor. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS fitness weight loss workouts NIFS programs metabolism Slim It to Win It

SLIM IT TO WIN IT: The Pushup

My Slim It team 2014 is called ‘The Blasters’ because we are blasting away the fat! So far my team has an average weight loss of 4 pounds per person and we still have some time left to blast some more. I’m very proud of my team for their hard work and attendance.claudia-team-pic

Throughout the program my team has learned one of my favorite exercises: the “pushup.”. It is a calisthenics exercise that can be performed anywhere and without any extra equipment needed.

Pushup exercises your whole upper body, including major muscles of the chest, arms, shoulders and your midsection as a whole. It’s a great way to increase your upper body strength and tightening your arms and waist.
For best results make sure to tightening your midsection to create a straight line from your head over your shoulder to your knees (or for advanced ones to the toes). Your whole body is lowered as one unit and also pushed back up as one.

The other thing I like about pushups is the big variety of this exercise. Here are just a few to name some:

In the beginning of Slim It, most of my participants performed their pushups with a shorter leverage by performing the exercise on their knees. Now most of them can do this exercise in a plank position. Great progression!

Now drop it and give me 20! 

 

Regardless of fitness level or goals, almost every member at NIFS could benefit from Group Training or enrolling in a NIFS program. I highly recommend taking the leap! If you are interested in trying a small group or HIT training session contact Tony Maloney today to get started!

This blog was written by Claudia VanArsdall, NIFS Heath Fitness Instructor. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS cardio workouts NIFS programs core Slim It to Win It

NIFS SLIM IT TO WIN IT: Weapons of Mass Reduction

I’m pleased to introduce to you my second Slim It to Win It group, Weapons of Mass Reduction. It started out as a second team that I took on due to the interest of members during the 6am time frame. It has been a great journey so far. They have started to weigh in halfway through the program and are describe the imagechallenged every other week with homework. With a wide variety of exercises and partner workouts, they continue to grow as a team and as individuals. They will continue to pursue their goals in the Slim It program. I hope they can take away this experience and finish the program strong and leave with personal growth of fitness and health.

Name: Daniel Feinstein

Share your story or a bit about yourself in a few sentences:

Losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be extremely challenging. For me, the exercise piece of the puzzle comes relatively easily; however, I’ve struggled making well-balanced food choices. I am easily tempted by a sporting event or a night on the town, which tends to lead to poor choices.

NIFS programs that you participated in: Summer Showdown, Maintain Not Gain, Slim It to Win It

Why did you join this program?NIFS slim it

To win three free months of NIFS membership! All joking aside, I joined for several reasons: to bring a sense of accountability for my fitness results (both to myself and to my team), to learn more about living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, to meet new friends, and to experience training sessions specifically designed to target fat loss.

Something you have enjoyed:

I really enjoy group training. It fosters an environment where teammates encourage and push each other, oftentimes outside of typical comfort zones.

Something you have learned or something that surprised you:

Not specifically something I’ve learned during Slim It to Win It, but this program helped remind me how important a well-balanced diet is to achieving certain fitness goals (especially fat loss). As I grow older and my metabolism slows, the more I realize how difficult (or nearly impossible) it is to offset poor diet choices by working harder in the gym. 

Favorite exercise from one of the workouts?

I do not have a favorite exercise; however, I really enjoy the fact that each workout is unique and incorporates several themes into one 60-minute session. So far, a typical workout has included dynamic warm-up, core, strength, metabolic, and cool-down.

What accomplishments have you achieved during your training program for Slim It to Win It (or do you hope to achieve)?

I hope to lose a little fat, meet friends, and develop healthy habits.*

What struggles have you encountered? Tips you have learned along the way?

I typically struggle with maintaining a “clean” diet. Using MyFitnessPal to log meals has helped tremendously. In general, making smart meal choices can be difficult when eating off of a menu. Because of this, I have found that planning and preparing my meals (and snacks) really helps.

How do you stay motivated?

I really enjoy working out, but the following tips help me stay motivated:

  • Schedule: I view working out as part of my daily schedule; of course, rest days are planned. In any given week I have a schedule with an idea of the type of workout planned each day. I enjoy working out first thing in the morning. My workday can be hectic and exhausting; working out in the morning leaves one less thing to worry about.
  • Variety: Variety also plays a big role in staying motivated. I rarely do the same exact workout twice and like to include challenges as part of my workout.
  • Goal setting: When setting goals, I rarely make goals related to my physical appearance (maybe I should!). My goals are more fitness related, such as row 2000m in less than XX minutes, do XX pull-ups, et cetera. I find myself continually adjusting my goals as skills and fitness improve.

    *Weight loss claims and/or individual results vary and are not guaranteed.
Regardless of fitness level or goals, almost every member at NIFS could benefit from Group Training or enrolling in a NIFS program. I highly recommend taking the leap! If you are interested in trying a small group or HIT training session contact Tony Maloney today to get started!

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This blog was written by Crystal Belen, NIFS Heath Fitness Instructor. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: goal setting weight loss group fitness workouts healthy eating group training NIFS programs Slim It to Win It

Team Ben-A-Fits (Team 200) Workout for Slim It To Win It 2014

The Slim It to Win It workout highlighted today focused on a circuit-based, team-style approach. We broke our team into five groups. Each team started on a different exercise and completed 200 repetitions of that particular exercise. The catch was that only one team member could perform the exercise at a time. Once the 200 repetitions goal was met, the team moved on to the next exercise.

The Exercises in Our Circuit-Based Workoutslim it to win it

The following exercises made up the circuit:

  1. Battle Rope Tom-Toms
  2. Medicine Ball Thrusters
  3. Halo Pushups
  4. TRX Rows
  5. Slosh Pipe/jogging laps

This workout is perfect for a Slim It To Win It group for a number of reasons.

Everyone Gets a High-Intensity Workout

One of the biggest challenges of large group training is catering to different fitness levels while maximizing everyone’s results. It is always a priority to keep the intensity high for both seasoned NIFS veterans and newcomers to the program. Splitting the repetition load among teammates allows for different fitness levels to perform a different amount of reps, so all team members can keep their workout intensity at a high level.

A Workout with Just the Right Amount of Rest

Another reason I like this workout is the work-to-rest ratio. Performing the particular circuit exercise to exhaustion allows your partner to get rest time while you work, so you are recovered adequately when your turn is back up. You want to stay moving as much as you can during training, but rest is a very important aspect. The design of this workout allows for rest, but not too much.

A Workout That Emphasizes Camaraderie and Motivation

Finally, this workout has an emphasis on team camaraderie and motivation. While one team member rests, the other can ensure proper technique is being used and provide extra motivation to work together to complete the task.

Training with a group is a proven strategy for sticking with a workout routine and is more economical than one-on-one training. If you are interested in trying a small group or large group training session contact Tony Maloney today to get started!

This blog was written by Ben Norris, NIFS Heath Fitness Instructor. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS group fitness workouts NIFS programs circuit workout HIT Slim It to Win It