Trainer Blog

7 Ways to Boost your Burn… Just in Time for Summer!

Boost Your Burn #1: Track Everything
Counting calories, weighing out food portions, and keeping tabs on how far and fast you run isn’t the most exciting thing to do. But if you want to be as efficient as you can be, you need to do it, at least for some time. Without tracking your intake and outtake, you will never be able to figure out the weaknesses in your fat-burning program. Once you grow accustomed to keeping track, it becomes very rewarding when you have a good day. And since you live in the 21st century, tracking the amount of fat you consume and burn is made easier thanks to all sorts of electronic devices and apps. So make use of those that make the most sense to you and stay on top of your calorie-burning game. If you need suggestions, we’re here to help.

#2: Power Up with Protein 
Every time you eat a meal, try and toss some protein in for good measure. Whether you go with lean chicken or beef, beans, lentils, or Greek yogurt, plugging protein into every meal helps your body stay full and fueled. When you keep protein in your system, it’s much easier to say no to whatever unhealthy temptation comes your way. It’s a great way to boost the metabolism, as well!#3: Eat and Work OutYou don’t want to gorge yourself on everything you can shove into your mouth before working out, but eating a bit beforehand can work wonders. With a protein-rich snack 90 minutes prior to working out, you’ll find yourself to be more focused and better able to push your body harder and longer than usual, leading to faster fat burning success.#4: Forget Your Weight

This may seem contrary to popular belief, but if you really want to push through those troubling, frustrating phases, you’re going to need to ignore what the scale says. When the goal is burning fat and toning up, you’re going to want to add muscle, which, of course, weighs more than fat. Aside from that, there are so many other factors that can influence your weight on a daily and weekly basis that it’s often truly best to leave this one alone.

#5: Resistance Train

Since you read the last tip, you probably saw this one coming. If you’ve been frustrated by your weight fluctuations and plateaus in the past, you may want to consider more of a structured strength training routine. That doesn’t mean you have to become a professional body builder or push yourself until you can bench press a small car. What it does mean is that you need to include weights and strength training as part of your overall program, a few days a week. If you’re new to lifting weights, reach out to us and we’ll assess your goals and get you on a program that’s just right for you.

#6: Go Green

It may seem like magic, but green tea is rumored to aid in fat burning. Actually, the connection between drinking green tea and burning more calories is well documented in research. It may be a great alternative to all of that coffee you’re drinking!

#7: Change It Up

Been eating the same stuff and doing the same workout routine for a few months? Not seen any change along the waist line? Then your body may be asking for some variety. Changing up your exercise routine on occasion will work your body in new ways, forcing it to respond accordingly. So if your weight loss has plateaued, variety will get the burn heated up once again.

Remember that the most effective fat burn comes as the result of a consistent and challenging exercise program. Call or email today to get started on an exercise program that will change your life forever!

Oh, to be a kid again!

One of the hardest things about getting older is losing the drive to play and joke around like a child. Luckily, it comes somewhat naturally to me, so when have the opportunity, my kid center is readily accessible. When was the last time you acted like a kid? Innovation and physical dexterity can actually improve when we do this, so why do we often stifle our silliness? Often, I’m afraid, we’re too worried about what other people will think about us or we even think it’s inappropriate. Both of these are many times true for me.
Each week, I mentor a 10 year old girl by playing active games with her. It requires planning, for sure, but I’m frequently surprised how much the games morph once we let loose and let our imaginations take over. So far, we’ve created memory games and obstacle courses, mimicking activities and animal-inspired relays. It’s even helped me in creating new ways to interact with my adult clients and group classes.Your challenge this week: unlock and unleash your inner child. Skip, jump, run, sing, and be silly, even if (and especially if) it’s by yourself. Dance around your kitchen while making dinner, and turn the music up loud and belt out that new Imagine Dragons song on your way to work. Don’t let anyone stop you, and I guarantee, you’ll end up with a huge grin on your face.

One last anecdote—today, while doing yard work, I had an urge to run across the yard with an empty wheelbarrow. So I did. And do you know how freakin’ fun it is to run across the yard with a wheelbarrow? Really stinkin’ fun.

Experience Your Food

When I was in my first semester of my senior year in college, I took a class called Spirituality West and East. Under the guidance of the most exceptional professor I’ve ever had (or teacher of any kind for that matter), my classmates and I studied a variety of beliefs from Hinduism to Greek Orthodoxy, not by simply reading about them chapter after chapter in a textbook but by visiting their places of worship and practicing some of their rituals and traditions. It was not a course about religion, but rather a reverent and sincere exploration into the worlds of the practitioners, both individually and collectively. This class was a life-changer for me, and I am grateful for its place in my journey.

While studying the Buddhist tradition, the class prepared and ate a meal together, completely in silence. This eating meditation, designed to move us through the process of a meal in a way most of us hadn’t before, brought my attention to the composition of the dish—from single components to finished product—the textures and tastes of each bite, the process each of the ingredients underwent in order to materialize on our table, my body’s satisfaction when I was finished eating. I actually still use the lasagna recipe we prepared and think about the eating meditation every time I make it.

When was the last time you truly enjoyed a meal? Do you run out the door with a Greek yogurt in one hand and a coffee in the other? I’m certainly guilty of it. But every once in a while, I will prepare a meal with my own hands and fully experience what is produced. Your challenge this week is to fully experience one of your meals. If you make it, great! If another person makes it for you, show your appreciation. Be in the moment, however long or short, and be grateful for the food that fuels your body.

Challenge Accepted

This week, I was talking with one of my clients during a session, and we were discussing how much she had progressed in the past few months, both in her workouts with me and in group exercise classes. We talked about how I had “upped my game” recently and the workouts were growing increasingly tough, though she appreciates the challenge. She said she simply wants to continue to get stronger and develop more in the months to come. There was a moment of shared silence between us, and then we had a realization that no matter what you do in fitness, there is still another challenge that lies ahead. And in that moment, I felt a sense of hope—for myself and for the people I see every day.

Another client later in the week described his experience of racing in a pack of cyclists. As he was conveying the utter thrill he gets from racing, I noticed that my heart was pounding and my stomach was in knots because I knew that no matter how frightening it sounded in that moment, this was something that I was going to have to try.

Of course, if you’re looking at it from the perspective that the glass is half empty, this idea of never-ending challenge can sound daunting. On the flipside, though, how wonderful that we can set our own path to greatness, achieving milestones of growth and achievement along the way. My first tattoo is on my back, and written in one of my dearest friend’s handwriting is the text, “There is no done,” intentionally left with no punctuation at the end. What a thrill this life is that the adventures are never over. They keep coming and coming, and if we choose to accept the challenge, we’ll see great reward—even if it takes a few (or a hundred) times to succeed.

So what’s your next adventure? Your challenge? Step up, show up, and conquer.

Small Group Personal Training

Six years ago, I was living in Galveston, Texas and needing some serious motivation. I needed an outlet for fitness that I hadn’t found since moving there. I worked out on my own, hopping from machine to machine at the gym—pretending like I knew what I was doing. And it just wasn’t cutting it. Feeling like I was wasting more time than actually doing good for my body, I decided to take a different approach.

One of my coworkers told me about a small gym, just five minutes down the street, which was offering a Boot Camp Group Training class. Like many who walk through the doors of Energia and 50/50 for the first time, I had never been to a group fitness class and was terrified. But, I swallowed my fears, and went to class on the first day it was offered.

Kat, the instructor, explained the format of the class—that over the next eight weeks, she’d push us in ways we’d never been pushed and we would be doing various exercises, both at the gym and around downtown Galveston, using mostly bodyweight and mental fortitude. This statement almost had me running out the doors. I looked at the people around me, who also seemed to be a little squeamish about the intense exercise they knew they were about to do, and it gave me a sense of comfort. For the next eight weeks, we would be in this together.

Kat Girl, as I grew to so affectionately call her, sparked a drive in me I never knew I had. She knew exactly how to demand things of me, in a kind way, somehow understanding that I had been “stuck” for a long time and desperately needed this challenge at this very point in my life. She fostered a sense of teamwork between her students—strangers before this class—cheering and encouraging us on as a group. She had a knack for driving her team, and, plain and simple, I was inspired for the first time in years. I continued well past the eight weeks with her and the group of people with whom I began my journey—2 more years, to be exact. Our bodies sweat gallons and our muscles burned more times than I care to count, and it was tough work, but all of us were better for that class, both in body and mind.

And now, six years later, Energia unveils its Small Group Training classes. We’ve placed several throughout the week, giving you the opportunity to attend what is convenient given your schedules. You can sign up one session at a time or buy the 10 pack of Small Group Trainings at a discount, knowing that this program could be exactly what you need to jumpstart your workouts. We hope that it will evoke similar types of commitment and teamwork in our groups. Please let us know if you have questions, and know that we are thrilled to bring this new program to our Energia Family. Happy sweating, everyone!


New Beginnings

As I review the names on our distribution list, I’m amazed that some of you still haven’t come in to Energia and 50/50 Fitness to try our classes. In this installment of Katie’s Corner, I’m speaking directly to you! With the change of season and the feeling of growth and renewal in the air, why not go for a change of pace and sign up for a class with us?

I know, I know. It can be intimidating going to a new place, especially one where you are asked to work hard to the point of fatigue—sweating your butt off and making weird, strained faces, all the while. You may think that your classmates will be in shape, have no injuries, and look perfect at the end of class. You may think that the instructors will expect you do impossible exercises that your body is just not capable of.

At Energia and 50/50 Fitness, this simply isn’t the case. Yes, you will work hard, you will sweat, and you’ll probably make some weird faces. But, you’ll be in good company, as your classmates will be doing the same thing. Though we do have members who are “in shape,” we also have members who continue to strive for goals of doing one pushup or making it through an entire class. And, we frequently say as a general rule, if you still look good at the end of class, you didn’t do it right.

We are all about supporting our clients, not shaming them, and we want you to feel empowered during your workouts. Our studios have a strong sense of community, and it’s the sole reason we have grown so much in the past year and a half. Come try a class. Come talk to us or email us. Set up a complimentary consultation so we can figure out what’s best for you specifically. Our motto is “Two small gyms. One big family.” You should find out why.

Here’s to new beginnings!

All the Small Things

Those closest to me know that my favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut. He’s got a fantastic way of making me laugh out loud in one paragraph and contemplate the meaning of life in the next. His works have been so influential on my life that I even named a cat of mine Kilgore Trout, Vonnegut’s alter ego in several of his works.
Anyway, I have been thinking about a quote of his lately: “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.” This statement hits me like a ton of bricks every time it comes to mind. I think to myself, What little things am I enjoying? What little things am I not taking the time to enjoy? I will say that I know that I cherish every second I have in front of a spin class. I cannot count how many times I have gotten chills from the energy created in that room—and I’m not talking about the watts y’all put on the board. Watching people push themselves beyond what they think they are capable of is one of the most invigorating experiences I have ever had. And I’m lucky enough to experience it several times a week!Actually, the idea of enjoying the little things is exactly why we created the idea of Family Fitness, where kids and parents can do fun workouts together. Besides sitting around the dinner table together, being active with their families is what kids cherish most about their childhoods. Think about it. I’m guessing you remember playing catch with a parent or playing hopscotch with your sibling. I’m guessing watching television with your family isn’t as clear of a memory, or at least not a meaningful one.

My challenge for you this week is to press the pause button at some point each day to think about little, meaningful moments that occurred. It doesn’t have to be something you experienced with a family member; it could be with a colleague, with a stranger, or simply with yourself. When you’re at the studio, for example, notice and appreciate when you feel your legs getting stronger on the spin bike or when you’re able to do a pike for the first time in the TRX.

Enjoy yourself. Enjoy those tiny, beautiful moments in your life. And, as always, try to be present, absorbing as much fulfillment as you possibly can from the seemingly ineffectual happenings around you. You never know what they’ll signify to your future self.

Be Prepared!

Katie’s Corner

As many of you know, Justin and I will be out of town next week for a four-day conference.  And if you know us, you know that we take a lot of pride in Energia and 50/50 Fitness, and we work hard to maintain its continued success. We are very excited to go, as we are expecting to learn about the latest in our industry, but we are also anxious about leaving the gym for an extended period. Luckily, we have a fantastic staff who are impressively stepping up to the challenge of helping to lead the gym. We also have been preparing extensively for the past month, making sure we have all of our ducks in a row well before we leave for the airport Mondaymorning.

And that brings me to what I want to address this week: preparation. I spoke two weeks ago about expecting the unexpected, since things come up and happen suddenly all the time. But it’s just as useful to plan for the things you are expecting to happen. This includes, but is nowhere limited to, birthdays, holidays, vacations, busy times at work, going back to work after an extended leave, anniversaries, retirement, weddings, etc. Anytime there is an interruption in the daily schedule—expected or not—there is a bit of anxiety involved. The more forethought you give to these events though, the better able you will be able to prepare for them. And the better able you are to prepare, the less stress you will have leading up to, during, and after the expected event. Don’t leave it for the last minute.

Your challenge this week is to think about an expected event that will take place in the near future. Make a list of things you need to do to accomplish beforehand, writing everything down as it comes to mind. Then, priortize the list and make a timeline. Set deadlines for yourself. I know that the act of preparation can seem so daunting, but I can tell you now that I am extremely gratified knowing we won’t be scrambling around in these final days before the conference. I guarantee you will feel the same peace of mind with a little preparation!

Part two of your challenge this week is to sign up for classes for next week now, as we have several new instructors on the schedule, and I’m so excited for you to check out what they have to offer! Also, please give our staff members acclamations while we’re gone, as we’re all so very fortunate to have them!

What do “fit” people do?

You’ve all heard that being fit is all about the lifestyle and not the quick fix. Last week we talked about building the momentum that will ultimately drive you to your goals. We talked about how it can become so easy to forget what it’s like to be (and to feel) fit and healthy. So today, we’ll practice a little visualization. What are the biggest things you notice about those around you (fit and unfit) and those closest to you? Can you pick up on some of the subtle differences in lifestyle and maybe begin to draw some connections or correlations? So, I ask you again…

What do fit people do?


  1. They See Each Day with Perspective


Fail to meet your fitness goals today? Move on.Tomorrow is another day to make better, smarter decisions. When you wake up, rededicate yourself to your fitness goals by thinking about and harnessing your true motivation. After all, you can’t change what you did yesterday. All you can control is right now. So get to it!  Each decision, each minute, each bite of food, is a chance to hit the reset.


  1. They Know Their Bodies


When you finish a workout, you should feel good. If you don’t, then something needs to change. Either your diet or routine is throwing you off. Healthy people know how everything they do affects their body and they take steps to avoid those things that make them not feel and perform their best. Learn how your body responds and care for it accordingly.


  1. They Find Ways around the Reasons


If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t quite get there, it may be your proclivity for caving under pressure. And that pressure may be self-induced. Extra fit people do not give into the excuses for why they shouldn’t exercise. Quite the contrary. They are continually finding reasons why they should hit the gym and find pockets of time to do it—even if the trip to the gym is shorter than usual. HIIT anyone?

  1. They Eat and Sleep Well


Study after study has shown the benefit of eating whole, unprocessed foods. It provides energy and strength, helps you feel full throughout the day, and makes your time in the gym as fruitful as possible. Getting good sleep is equally as important, as it keeps all your bodily systems in rhythm. Put these two key activities together and you’re well on your way to optimal fitness.


  1. They Track Progress

For some, keeping tabs on health progress is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Once you get into the routine, however, you will become a believer in the power of tracking your progress. Tracking serves to both reward and motivate you, as you see that the countless hours in the gym and smart food choices lead to a healthier weight and greater strength—a.k.a. better overall fitness and health. As Michele phrased it today at the nutrition workshop..if you don’t track and hold yourself accountable, your body will certainly keep track of all of your decisions for you…and you may not like it!

  1. They Think during Exercise


It can be easy to mindlessly run on a treadmill at the gym if you’re not careful. Just remember that constantly motivated people don’t do such a thing. They’re very intentional about everything they do at the gym. This means if you want to be fit, even in a class setting, you should put some brainpower into what you’re working on and how you perform each repetition. This allows you to get the maximum benefit from your gym time and reduces the risk of injury.


  1. They Lean on a Trainer


There is always room to grow and there should always be room for education. If you’ve never given personal training a try, you’d be amazed at how much we cover and how much we can open your eyes to, almost right away. For us, it’s not just about the workout, it’s about setting you up for that long term success. It’s about managing your entire health and wellness program, inside the gym and out.

Choose Your Workout

So much of our days are structured with places we have to go, things we have to get done, and people we have to answer to. Going to the gym, while it’s great to make it a routine in our lives, becomes another thing that we put our head down and do. Often, when your life becomes a list of “have to’s”, your workouts do, too.

Your challenge this week is simple: Choose your workout. When you’re driving to the gym or preparing for an at-home workout, think about your determination in making your health a priority. Choose between feeling great or feeling lethargic. Choose between good lab results or potential high cholesterol and heart disease. Make it a choice every time, and a nice little side effect is that you will perform much better because you are in control of the decision. Make the choice for better health and wellness, and know that you are actively adding to the richness of your life.


Katie Lipsmeyer

Lead Health and Fitness Specialist

Energia Fitness, 50/50 Fitness/Nutrition