NIFS Healthy Living Blog

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

SLIM IT TO WIN IT: Crystal’s Team

Greetings everyone! Slim It thus far has been an exciting experience for me and for both of my teams! I have been blessed with having not only one but two teams due to the high number of requests from individuals wanting to join this year. I will highlight my Monday and Friday team this week. Be sure to look out for my blog about my Tuesday and Thursday team in the near future.Slim It

My M/F team is doing a great job with the exercises that I have been giving them and familiarizing themselves with the structure of our workouts. A few of them have worked with me before in previous programs or through personal training. It is nice to see familiar faces and at the same time getting to know other members. They have adapted well to other trainers and continued to attend those sessions. Many have experienced soreness, which is common during the beginning weeks of a new program. We are currently thinking of a team name and plan to have one by the end of our third week.

The weather hasn’t been cooperating as much as we’d like; therefore, some members were unable to come in. Overall, the program has been challenging in many ways and I plan to continue to motivate them to incorporate a healthier lifestyle and to reach their Slim It goals!

Here’s an interview with one of my team members:

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

My name is Jenna Looney. I am 29 years old and have lived in downtown Indy for 1 year. I was a special education teacher and I recently switched to the field of educational technology. In this role I am far less mobile and active at work, but I LOVE the job. I miss the interactions with kids and being active throughout the day. I love travel, Mexican food, reading, being outside, the Pacers, rehabbing furniture, music, dancing, and overall FUN!

I have watched the scale go up and down over the past 10 years in some pretty dramatic swings. I am looking to find a realistic, healthy, maintainable weight and stick to it. I found I felt too busy for exercise or for healthy eating, but I realize it will only get more complicated and busier if I have a family. I want to get it under control now and stop making excuses. I worked with Crystal for about three months prior to starting Slim It and have had positive and exciting results in combination with diet*. I am also currently in the run-walk group for the NIFS Mini Marathon Training Program.

2. NIFS Programs you’ve participated in:

I am a member at NIFS and participated in the Mini Marathon training last year and am doing it again this year. I also started using personal training sessions.

3. Why did you join this program?Slim It to Win It

I enrolled in Slim It to Win It for three reasons:

  1. Groups motivate me to stay strong and committed.
  2. I could pick to work with Crystal and I felt she would bring a challenge, yet she knows me from training so I am comfortable with asking her questions, etc.
  3. I want to continue to work toward my goals of better health and weight loss—I want to look good by my 30th birthday.

4. Something you’ve enjoyed:

I have been surprised with how exercise really does help relieve soreness—but goodness, it’s hard to force yourself to exercise when you are  incredibly sore from a tough workout.

5. Something you have learned or something that surprised you:

Something I have enjoyed: In my one-on-one sessions with Crystal I have loved (and sort of hated) the metabolic ball throws and slams. I love them because I feel the burn and my heart races, so that also makes me hate them. But ultimately I know these bring results, so I love them.

We have incorporated a variation of these metabolic exercises already in our group training and I look forward to more—oh gosh! I cannot believe I just typed that!

6. Favorite exercise from one of the workouts:

BOSU mountain climbers. I don’t really love these because they feel a tad like push-ups, but I guess I like that I have progressed to be able to use the BOSU in mountain climbers and hold it for extended periods while in the push-up/plank position. I knew I was getting stronger when I could do this because it almost killed me the first time I tried it. I like seeing myself get stronger.

7. What accomplishments you have achieved during your training?

Since starting training with Crystal prior to Slim It, I’ve lost 6.5% body fat, gained 6.9 pounds of lean muscle, and have gone down a rating for body fat in three months*. I am excited to continue to decrease my body fat and see less jiggle and wiggle in my gut.

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

Challenges: When I’ve had a bad day or have had a great day worth celebrating, I find it hard not to want to go out to eat and eat and drink to celebrate or to make myself feel better. To combat this: If I come to the gym I feel better when I’m done. The biggest battle is making myself go—once I’m in the gym it’s rare that I don’t leave feeling better and fulfilled. I’m not perfect at this, but it’s better than it was...

9. How do you stay motivated?

By not quitting if I slip up in my diet, and pushing through excuses and reasons to skip a workout. Also remaining focused on my next goal, 10 more pounds...

10. Any other thoughts?

I love the staff at NIFS. They’re all awesome. I love Crystal and want to thank her for supporting me and helping me make the progress I have. I’m excited to continue my progress!

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!

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

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

Topics: NIFS weight loss NIFS programs weight management Slim It to Win It

NIFS SLIM IT TO WIN IT: Em’s Team

*Hello Fitness Lovers!emilyslimitblogn

As some of you may know, we have our Slim It to Win It competition going on here at NIFS. As a first-timer coaching a Slim It team, I am excited to share with you an interview from one of my team members, and details on how I train my team.

I have 12 members on my team and we call ourselves Em’s Sliminions, due to the fact that I love minions from the movie Despicable Me. Despite all of my team members not knowing one another from the beginning, they have become very close and developed a very good support system. I wanted my team to get to know each other since they will be stuck with each other for 10 weeks, so the first workout was partner exercises. They also had to share with the whole team their story of why they were there. The energy each one brings to the team is awe inspiring!

I design my workouts to keep them constantly moving at a high intensity and have little rest in between exercises, or metabolic training. The team shows up to the workouts pumped up and ready to sweat. Even when they see burpees on the board, they still keep faith!

Here are one of the team members’ thoughts about the Slim It competition and about NIFS.

NAME: Sally Mulvaneydescribe the image

SHARE YOUR “STORY” OR A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF IN A FEW SENTENCES: I’m 59 and want to lose weight. I’ve been at NIFS for almost a year and I love what NIFS has done for me. NIFS gave me confidence in myself and has made me stronger. I look forward to my workouts, even when they are hard. My goal is to lose about 40 more pounds.

NIFS PROGRAMS YOU PARTICIPATED IN: I participate in the weight-loss program two times a week, once a week with a personal trainer, and Mini Marathon Training.

WHY DID YOU JOIN THIS PROGRAM? I joined this program to change things up with my weight-loss journey. 

SOMETHING YOU HAVE ENJOYED: I have enjoyed working as a group and helping each other out. Sharing experiences of how the team does things that could help me out.

SOMETHING YOU HAVE LEARNED OR SOMETHING THAT SURPRISED YOU: I learned that I can do things I thought I would never do again: lifting weights, running, and regular pushups.

FAVORITE EXERCISE FROM ONE OF THE WORKOUTS? The Cheetah and anything that focuses on the abdominals, but definitely not burpees!

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 about 10 pounds during this program and lose some inches on my whole body.

WHAT STRUGGLES HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED? TIPS YOU HAVE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY? Some tips I learned were not to do the exercises too fast and to work the muscles thoroughly.

HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED? I’ve already lost 45 pounds this past year and feel much better. Also, the fact that I could go off some of my medications with my weight loss keeps me motivated to lose more weight*.

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

ANY OTHER THOUGHTS YOU WISH TO SHARE: I feel like joining NIFS and their programs has been the best choice I have ever made. NIFS is a wonderful place to work out and learn about ways to improve my fitness.

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 Emily O'Rourke, NIFS Heath Fitness Instructor. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: exercise weight loss group training mini marathon NIFS programs metabolism Slim It to Win It

Thomas’ Corner: Slim-lympics Decathlon of Fitness

Good Morning, NIFS! Welcome to Slim It to Win It 2014. We are very excited to bring you another Slim It season, with tons of new workouts and fresh ideas.

Today’s workout is inspired by one of the most celebrated events of the Olympics, the decathlon. In today’s workout, we have 10 exercises in which we will do one set each for a 2-minute AMRAP(as many reps as you can). Between exercises, take 2 minutes to rest. When your rest time is up, be ready to immediately start the next exercise.

For a benchmark, make note of total reps you complete on each event. At any time, complete the event again to see progress, challenge a friend, or change up the exercises with some of your own. Total workout time is around 40 to 45 minutes.

  1. TRX squatThe Dawn Patrol Thomas Team
  2. Dynamax slammers
  3. Box step-ups
  4. Crunches
  5. TRX rows
  6. Lunges
  7. Push-ups
  8. Kettlebell swings
  9. Overhead press
  10. Jumping jacks

Team Thomas completed this workout on February 13 at 6am, just our second class. All 15 team members completed the workout and left nothing on the table. Eighteen-year NIFS member Harrison Royce had this to say immediately following the workout:

“This was definitely an excellent HIT routine. There was amped-up cardio, high-intensity exercise while maintaining friendly competition amongst others in the team and with yourself.”

Others echoed Harrison’s sentiment. Angela Dixon stated, “The partner’s exercises were good and the workout was a good hurt” and Bridget Harter exclaimed, “This workout makes me feel like I’ll be fit in no time!”

Warning: This workout has been linked to profuse sweating, increased heart rate, calorie burning, team-building camaraderie, increased self-confidence, and sense of accomplishment. Participate at your own risk. (Just kidding… GET BUSY AND HAVE FUN!)

Want to try a HIT class for free? Free class sessions are offered each month. Click here to see the HIT schedule and dates and times for fress sessions.

This blog was written by Thomas Livengood, Health Fitness Specialist at NIFS. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: NIFS cardio Thomas' Corner NIFS programs circuit workout HIT rowing kettlebell Slim It to Win It