December 25 day Fitness Challenge


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Black Friday Fitness Special!


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October 17 – ***classes cancelled***

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15 minutes HIIT Workout with Home Fitness Equipment

(Article from

15-Minute HIIT Workout

Equipment Used:

25-lb kettlebell
6-lb medicine ball
Jump rope
Stability ball
Power wheel
Gymboss Interval Timer
Exercise mat

Set an interval timer for 15 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. You’ll go through the following exercises 3 times. This workout will get you sweaty and out of breath, focusing especially on the core.

Power Wheel Ab Roll Outs:
Get on your knees and hold the power wheel centered on the ground. Your arms are going to stay straight throughout this. Slowly extend your arms, rolling the wheel out as far as you can go, lowering your torso. When you’ve extended as far as you can, slowly roll back to starting point. You’ll want to keep your butt down during these—think of your back, butt and hamstrings as one straight line. Try not to stick your butt up (I know it’s tempting on that tough roll-in).

Kettlebell Swings:
Start with kettlebell on the floor between your legs and lift it up to starting position with both hands, flat back, using your legs to lift. With kettlebell hanging between your legs, use your arms as a pendulum, and swing the bell to chest-to-eye level by thrusting with your hips while keeping your core tight as you stand up straight. Swing back down and repeat. Your knees should remain slightly bent, but the main source of movement is hinging at the hips—not so much squatting. I use a 25-lb bell.

Med Ball Sit ‘n Toss:
Lay on your back with arms stretched overhead, holding on to your medicine ball (it should be hovering a couple inches off the ground—don’t let it rest on the floor). Lift the medicine ball forward as you sit up, keeping arms straight, and lift it straight above your head as your body comes into upright sitting position. Bring ball into chest and toss up into the air. Catch and slowly lower to the ground, bringing ball back overhead behind you.

Jump Rope

Stability Ball Prone Oblique Twists:
Get into a plank with your shins on a stability ball and your hands on the floor, directly under your shoulders. Draw your knees into your right shoulder, keeping feet on the stability ball, and then return to center. Repeat to the left.

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(Excerpted from
See full article:

HIIT is a training idea in which low to moderate intensity intervals are alternated with high intensity intervals.

HIIT can be applied to running or to exercises such as squatting. HIIT is considered to be much more effective than normal cardio because the intensity is higher and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat than ever before.

“In research, HIIT has been shown to burn adipose tissue more effectively than low-intensity exercise – up to 50% more efficiently.” It has also been shown to speed up your metabolism which helps you burn more calories throughout the day. (

HIIT improves both energy systems for endurance:

General Warm-up/Flexibility Routine

Touch Toes – 15 Reps (Touch toes quickly, come right back up and repeat)
Lunges – 10 reps/leg
Side Lunges – 10 reps each direction
Butt Kicks – 25 yards
High Knees – 25 yards
Arm Circles – 20 reps
Trunk Twists – 20 reps
Side Bends – 20 reps

The best way to get started with HIIT would be to keep things simple and progress from there. Keeping in mind that these workouts will require some time to recover from, they are best performed at a frequency of about 3 times per week on non-weight-lifting days. Each workout should be outlined similar to this beginner’s layout:


Minutes 1-4 (Warm-Up)
Jog at about 50% effort
Minute 5 (Workout Interval 1)
Sprint 30 seconds at maximum effort Jog/Walk 30 seconds
Minute 6 (Workout Interval 2)
Sprint 30 seconds at maximum effort
Jog/Walk 30 seconds
Minute 7 (Workout Interval 3)
Sprint 30 seconds at maximum effort
Jog/Walk 30 seconds
Minute 8 (Workout Interval 4)
Sprint 30 seconds at maximum effort
Jog/Walk 30 seconds
Minutes 9-12 (Cool-Down)
Jog at about 50% effort

After every two workout sessions, one can increase the number of “workout” intervals they do each time up until about 10 total “workout” intervals. This will allow for a steady progression of fitness levels, and help one realize the full potential and results of interval training.

While it’s definitely possible to perform this training using a variety of methods like with a Stairmaster, bike, or treadmill, it’s more beneficial to apply a simple unassisted running technique. Because sprinting causes a greater peak in oxygen consumption, it is most ideal for HIIT workouts.

It’s been shown that the closer one gets to their maximum oxygen intake (or VO2max) while exercising dictates how much fat will be used for energy afterward. So the use of sprints conforms best to our goal of losing adipose tissue.

However, the option of sprinting is not always convenient for those who want to reduce the stress on their joints. For such individuals, a bike or elliptical machine may be the perfect solution. These types of machines might also want to be used once in a while just to provide a different stimulus for the body, and to prevent adaptation and plateaus. But for the most part, it’s highly recommended to stick with the alternation of sprinting and jogging for HIIT.

For those who have progressed through the previous workout that was outlined and are still seeking new challenges, the following HIIT workout might do the trick. It’s certainly not easy and might be the closest to being “the best” one can do for a HIIT workout in terms of intensity.


Minutes 1-4 (Warm-Up)
Jog at about 50% effort
Minute 5 First-Half (Workout Interval 1)
Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
Jog/Walk 10 seconds
Minute 5 Last-Half (Workout Interval 2)
Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
Jog/Walk 10 seconds
Minute 6 First-Half (Workout Interval 3)
Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
Jog/Walk 10 seconds
Minute 6 Last-Half (Workout Interval 4)
Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
Jog/Walk 10 seconds
Minute 7 First-Half (Workout Interval 5)
Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
Jog/Walk 10 seconds
Minute 7 Last-Half (Workout Interval 6)
Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
Jog/Walk 10 seconds
Minute 8 First-Half (Workout Interval 7)
Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
Jog/Walk 10 seconds
Minute 8 Last-Half (Workout Interval 8)
Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
Jog/Walk 10 seconds
Minutes 9-12 (Cool-Down)
Jog at about 50% effort
Using these 12 minutes as planned, for 3 times a week, will no doubt have anyone reaping the benefits of new leanness and more within 8 weeks. To help stay on track for the duration of the program it is be best to monitor heart rate during exercise in order to ensure that the desired intensity levels are reached.

Body fat and weight should also be recorded at least on a weekly basis so changes can be made to diet and training in order to better reach your goals.

Speaking of diet, no article discussing any type of training would be complete without touching upon nutrition. First off, just because one’s goal happens to be fat reduction, doesn’t mean they should stop consuming fat. This is one mistake made too often.

Dietary fat not only aids in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K, but also helps regulate hunger and body temperature while providing essential fatty acids that the body does not produce on its own. Up to 30% of calorie consumption can come from fat before becoming unhealthy.

With the fat dilemma now removed, protein and carbohydrates make up the rest up the picture. As the main source to fuel intense workouts, carbohydrates should be eaten plentifully, but the majority should be of a less sugary nature. These low-glycemic carbohydrates, like oatmeal, whole-grain wheat bread, and sweet potatoes, are less likely to increase the storage of body fat.

Protein, as the main muscle-building nutrient, is a necessity to aid in recovering from the extreme intensities of interval training. It is often indicated to take in about 1 gram or more of protein per pound of body weight in order to prevent muscle loss during intense training programs. For those involved with weight-lifting routines, the amount of protein to eat is especially important to help recovery and in reaching mass-building goals.

A couple more tips concerning nutrition that can help drastically with fat loss goals are to perform HIIT workouts in the morning on an empty stomach, and to have a meal following the workout. Morning activities before food consumption are more effective at burning fat than the same activities done later in the day after having eaten. It’s been shown in studies that fat is utilized up to 3 times more when cardiovascular exercise is done on an empty-stomach.

Finally, after having strained and shocked the body to its limits with a grueling HIIT workout it’s necessary to get the nutrition required for starting the recovery process. This meal should be relatively easy to digest, and might come in the form of a shake. It should include both a source of quickly absorbed sugars for refueling and proteins to help rebuild muscle tissues. The easiest way this is done is probably to use some simple sugar like honey and a type of whey protein powder.

Trying out a HIIT program is highly recommended for anyone not satisfied with their current progress in fat loss using steady-pace cardiovascular exercises. A procedure done over the course of 20 weeks with 17 subjects showed that average subcutaneous fat loss with HIIT was more than 3 times greater than with regular endurance training.

However, the benefits don’t stop there. The short duration of the workouts associated with interval training prevent the body from entering the catabolic state that can happen with extended steady-rate cardio. This most often occurs when activities are prolonged and the body starts breaking down muscle tissue to use as fuel. Because it may also increase the production of many anabolic hormones, HIIT is the perfect method for losing fat while retaining muscle mass.

High intensity interval training has not only been shown to be superior to other forms of training, but it’s also a way to escape the tedium of long, boring cardio sessions. Many of us do not have the time for such nonsense, while those that do often find themselves weary of the mindless task. HIIT provides a greater challenge, requiring greater resolve and concentration to complete.

Athletes may also benefit greatly from a HIIT workout program. Because of the explosive intervals of effort, sports performance will definitely show improvement. A great deal of sports require excellent agility and quickness. These characteristics should be more easily maintained throughout games and matches with the increase in an athlete’s maximum oxygen uptake made possible through HIIT.

Despite the wide range of benefits that have now been made obvious, there are some people who may not find HIIT as acceptable as other training methods. Because preventing injury should always be first priority during any type of training, those whose weight makes it awkward to perform sprints may want choose some other cardiovascular method. Particularly obese or large bodybuilders may want to forgo HIIT in order to prevent the unnecessary injury that may occur as a result of a clumsy sprinting technique.

Furthermore, those with medical conditions like heart problems, diabetes, or respiratory problems might find it difficult or even dangerous to attempt the levels of intensity required by interval training. If any condition does exist, it’s always recommended to consult a medical doctor before trying a new training program or technique.

The last kind of person who may want to think twice before starting a HIIT routine is the avid weight lifter. Recovery from an intense HIIT workout can tax the body’s resources, so it is recommended that they be performed on “off” days from weightlifting.

For those who have weightlifting splits that span the majority of the days of any given week, these “off” days are not frequent enough to get the full results of the ideal HIIT workout program. So, those who do not want anything to interfere with the weightlifting component of their training may find it better to incorporate a less intense cardiovascular activity that is easier to recover from.

There are a multitude of great results to be gained through HIIT, and nothing could express them more clearly than these bullet-points:

A better body composition. HIIT’s short duration prevents catabolic states from arising and consuming muscle tissue, but at the same time elicits a strong fat burning effect. This ultimately means less fat and more muscle.
Those new to this type of training will possibly find themselves with better eating and sleeping habits as their body adjusts to the demands of the workout.
The quick and explosive method of a short HIIT workout can often lead one to feel more energized rather than drained. Overall a HIIT trainee may find themselves with a better mood and feeling more energetic.
Bouts of intense work effort that are associated with HIIT will better sports performance, with quicker and more agile movement.
An increase in VO2 max, or the maximum oxygen uptake that one has. This spells better anaerobic capacity for those who are interested in more than just a lean physique and want the ability to back it up.
Metabolism can be increased for the next 48 hours, helping to burn 50% more fat overall than steady-state cardio.
Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC): oxygen is consumed in greater amounts for a certain period of time after HIIT. This causes up to 9 times more fat being burned while in a resting state.
Anabolic hormone production may increase, allowing for gains in muscle mass.
Not only has HIIT been proven more effect at fat reduction than steady-state training, but it actually overcomes some of the downfalls related to extended duration cardio. The shorter duration of an interval training workout effectively prevents the body from entering a catabolic state where the body starts to use up existing muscle to help fuel the effort. HIIT may even promote anabolism and lean muscle tissue growth.

When it comes to other training methods, their duration is often extensive in an attempt to keep the body in the “fat burning zone” for a longer period of time. It’s a shame that this same zone often ends up, at some point, being a “muscular breakdown zone” as well.

The biggest downside to HIIT is that it may take longer to recover from than less intense and slower, steady-state cardiovascular exercise. Even though the benefit of the HIIT intensity lies in its ability to increase metabolism and fat burning potential during periods of rest, some may not want to compromise their ability to fully recover. These would be the individuals that are heavily involved in other activities like competitive sports, weight-lifting, and bodybuilding.

When these types of physical expenditure are present and a priority, regular HIIT may become an undesired drain on performance and recovery abilities. If fat loss is a goal, but recovery time is also an issue, a walking workout program is the best remedy.

For walking at a pace that elevates resting heart rate, 85% of calories spent come from fat stores, and the workout is not difficult to recover from at all.

In general, it’s our natural mentality to want better results in less time. Unfortunately many marketing gimmicks play upon this desire and fool decent people. It’s good to know that HIIT is not one of these cases. The methods of intervals training have been researched and studied, with results that are tried and true. Showing greater benefits in the areas outlined above than other techniques, HIIT is a solid way for anyone to achieve their fitness goals – so go out there and give it a try, what have you got to lose?


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What is the CORE? What are exercises for the CORE?

(Excerpted from

See full article with video reference at:

The core is composed of four different parts. Below, I will discuss where each is located, what its function is in the body, and also a couple exercises you can do to stimulate the muscle.

Location: Covers the area from sternum all the way down to the pelvis bone.
Function: Pulls the upper torso to the hips
Exercises: Crunch or Sit-up

Location: Side of the waist.
Internal Obliques
Transverse Obliques
External Obliques
Function: Tilt and twist the torso
Exercises: Side Bends and Decline Oblique Crunches

Location: Between the side of the rib cage. It comes into play when you flex the torso and twist from side to side.
Function: Elevation and depression of the ribs
Exercise: Air Bike

Location: Between front abs and lats.
Function: Pulling of the scapula forward and around like in the motion of throwing a punch
Exercises: Barbell Pullovers and Cable Crunches

The core is made up of primarily fast-twitch muscle fibers. Fast-twitch muscle fibers are more dense than their counterparts (the slow-twitch muscle fibers. Hence, hard, heavy, and explosive bouts of exercise will stimulate fast-twitch fibers a lot more.

This means that core training should be in the moderate rep range for best growth. No more endless reps of crunches and sit-ups like you’ve done in the past. Focus on sets in the 8-15 rep range.

Now that you understand which muscles make up the core, their function, location and the rep range needed to stimulate them, let’s give you some workouts to help you get that strong muscular core.

All exercises should be performed in perfect form because bad form or habits you start now will follow you and will lead to lack of progress or injury in the future. Many, if not all, the exercises will be new to you. So make sure you use the Exercise Guide on to help you with your form.


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(Excerpt from
Full article:

For quite a while it has been accepted that low-intensity cardio was the best for burning fat. According to studies this method burned the calories primarily from fat. This has recently been disproved, as a new and exciting way to perform cardio has arisen.

The best cardio for burning off that stubborn fat will have you in the gym shorter than you’d expect. This cardio is called HIIT-High Intensity Interval Training. The concept is pretty simple.

You transition from low-moderate intensity intervals to very high intensity intervals. If you judge by the readout on the given exercise machine, you might assume that going at a low intensity for 30-45 minutes would burn more calories than 15 minutes OR LESS utilizing HIIT. This is not true, however, as many of the calories you burn come after you leave the gym (When performing HIIT).

15 minutes may seem to good to be true to lose weight, but it is not. However, you must keep in mind this is no walk in the park. This is very demanding, but extremely rewarding and time-saving. HIIT will support your metabolism so that you are burning calories later in the day. You will burn fat if calories out exceed calories in, and you will expend more calories by choosing HIIT.

HIIT can be performed on many different exercise machines, as well as outside or on the track. In all situations, make sure to warm up for about 3-5 minutes. Once you are ready to go, you will begin your intervals.

As a beginner start with 30 seconds at a moderate pace (approx 50% maximum effort) and after 30 seconds go as hard as you can for 30 seconds. Then repeat. If performing on an exercise machine other than the treadmill, make sure to rev up the intensity level so that it is challenging for you.

Complete a total of 5-8 intervals your first time. You will find it more difficult than it sounds. Once you are spent, take another 3-5 minutes to cool down. That’s all you have to do. Only 5-8 minutes of actual working sets, and you are on your way to shedding some serious fat.

If not done on an exercise machine, you can still apply the same concept. Simply run, jump, swim, or anything you desire, at the intervals proposed above.

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No classes on LABOR DAY weekend. Studio will be closed Friday through Monday. See you in class Tuesday. ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND!! If you need additional info please call MsDee 313 3037321.

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Healthy biceps and back workouts


10-minute Back Workout

A healthy back is important for posture and everyday functions. Standing erect, pulling, and picking up and carrying objects are made easier when the back muscles are strong and supportive. To effectively work the back, attention must be paid to both the upper-and lower-back areas. Repeat this circuit two to three times to fully challenge the back.

•Pull-up bar or assisted pull-up machine
•Cable machine or resistance band
•Stability ball


10–15 repetitions

With an overhand grip (i.e., tops of the knuckles toward the ceiling), place the hands on a pull-up bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. If assistance is needed, use a pull-up assistance machine or a resistance band to help spot the movement. Starting from a dead hang (i.e., hanging from the hands with the elbows fully extended), pull the chest toward the bar and think about pulling the shoulder blades into your back pockets. Slowly return to the starting position.

Two-arm Bent-over Row

10–15 repetitions

Holding a barbell in the hands with the palms facing forward, engage the abs and hinge at the hips so that the torso is almost parallel to the floor. Maintain a slight bend in the knees. Let the bar hang at arm’s length. Pull the bar to your lower ribs as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Pause, and slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.

Straight-leg Deadlift

10–15 repetitions

Hold a barbell in the hands at arm’s length with the palms facing the thighs. Engage the abs, hinge at the hips and lower the bar by sliding down the thighs so that the torso is almost parallel to the floor. Maintain neutral neck and spine alignment and a slight bend in the knees. Return to the starting position.

Seated Row

10–15 repetitions

Attach a straight bar to a cable station (or anchor a resistance band at mid-torso height) and sit with your feet braced. Grab the bar (or band handles) using an overhand, shoulder-width grip and sit upright. Pull the hands to the upper abs. Pause for a few seconds and slowly return the arms to the starting position. Maintain an upright torso throughout the movement and avoid leaning forward or backward to perform the exercise.

Back Extension Over a Stability Ball

10–15 repetitions

Place your hips and upper thighs on top of a stability ball and prop your feet against a baseboard or bottom part of a wall; position feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Place your hands behind your head and adopt a long-line position, with the back, hips and knees straight. Keep your torso tight and your back straight as you lift your chest upward by squeezing your back muscles. Push the feet into the wall for more stability. Pause for a second and then return to the starting position. Be sure to keep your knees straight throughout the entire exercise.

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BELLYDANCE LEVEL 2 will be on SATURDAY at 10:30AM – 12NOON.

The 90-minute class will include full body warm up from head to toe starting with standing movement and ending with mat with strengthening and conditioning for abs, gluts and legs. Dance lesson will include choreography lesson followed by cool down stretches on mat to increase muscle flexibility and circulation.

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