Our Blog - 50/50 Fitness/Nutrition

70 Classes?!

With 70 group exercise classes on the schedule, and 9 amazing health and fitness specialists, we have everything you need to reach your true potential. Need some added attention, accountability, and a structured plan inside the gym and out? Give personal training or small group training a try! With so many options, so many avenues, and decisions to make each and every day – why not set up a complimentary consultation? Katie, Jay, Jamie, and Justin are available to meet and mentor you on all of those little decisions you’re forced to come by. They do matter and we’re here to help!

So take advantage and sign-up for your consultation today!

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Targeted Strength & Conditioning Testimonial

TSCTargeted Strength and Conditioning completely changed my workout routine. I am down 20 pounds thanks to all of the support from 50/50 and a complete nutrition makeover. My endurance had improved vastly and I had developed a love for spin, but something was missing. My weight loss had plateaued and I felt like I needed a dramatic change.

Jay McWillliams contacted me and I began Targeted Strength and Conditioning. Before anyone begins the class, Jay completes an evaluation to see what weight you will start at, your flexibility, and then he teaches you the proper posture and alignment for different exercises. Jay really takes care to make sure that you will not injure yourself, or REINJURE yourself. I have had a back injury that for years, and after X-rays and PT, still causes me quite a bit of pain from time to time. Since taking the time, care, and strengthening the correct muscle groups I can honestly say that I have not been experiencing pain in my spine, and I think that a significant amount of this strength has come from Targeted Strength and Conditioning.

My body is more sculpted and stronger! Areas that were flabby that I could NOT get to tighten, have tightened!  Lifting weights in a functional, healthy manner was the best thing I could have added to my fitness routine, and I love watching the numbers increase.  I cannot forget to mention how fun this class is as well. There’s a great vibe and wonderful people! I will miss you all so much when I move, and Jay, I cannot thank you enough for introducing me to this aspect of my fitness routine!

-Chelsey Anderson 

Meet your Health & Fitness Specialist

Checking in with Ryan

50/50 – Year 2

Ryan

In January I wrote a piece about my first year with 50/50 and my experience getting back to fit, losing 65 pounds, and becoming a spin instructor. It has been 7 months since then and here’s the thing: the second year is so much harder.

In January I shifted from actively trying to lose weight and build my fitness to trying to sustain my progress. To be totally honest, I haven’t done very well. I did all the things I said I wouldn’t: taking one day off and then another and another, avoiding working out, eating way too much. Each week I would try to regroup, and then I’d slip in some way and think: “It’s ok. I’ll do it right tomorrow.” Except that each tomorrow turned into a few days into a week into a month of tomorrows.

At the same time, I was looking around at all of the active, fit adults I know and thinking about the ways they have sustained health and fitness routines for decades. The thought of having to maintain a workout habit throughout my entire adult life got more and more overwhelming. I started thinking “maybe I can’t actually do this.”

I was telling this all to Katie a few weeks ago, and asked her what she’d think of me trying to write about it. Her first reaction was “Love it!” and then she said something like ” but here’s the thing Ryan. You can’t make it seem hopeless.”

So just to get it out of the way, I don’t think it’s hopeless. I just think that maintaining a healthy lifestyle for forever is hard. Really hard. REALLY. But there are a few things that make it a little easier.

The first is vulnerability. To me this means not hiding from the ways I’m struggling. Telling the truth about the 15 pounds I’ve gained in the last 7 months. Showing up and being seen, even when it feels embarrassing or uncomfortable. Sharing what is going on with the people who I see on the bike every day, because I know I am not the only one who has a hard time. Brene Brown says that “vulnerability is at the core, the center, of meaningful human experiences.” I agree.

The second is accountability. Tracking. Personal training. Signing up for classes and not letting myself cancel. Setting up my workout schedule with a friend. Putting checks in place that make it harder for me to avoid the gym or my health until the next day.

The last is community. When I joined 50/50, I definitely was not expecting to feel like a part of something, but that is exactly what happened. I love 50/50 not just because I like telling people what to do on a bike; I love it because of the energy and warmth I feel with all of you. The fact that we are working alongside each other is special. The way folks cheer and whistle at each other when I’m teaching makes me happy. I see the way members stand in the parking lot talking after class, sometimes for hours, before leaving. I feel pride when new people try their first class, because I know they are going to be welcomed and encouraged by anyone they talk to. And because we have such a strong community I want to challenge us to really show up and let ourselves be seen. To start a conversation with someone new about how things are going and be honest. To share our hopes and goals. To try, to mess up, to come back and try again. To sign up for a class right now if it has been a while. I’ll see you there.

Meet your Health & Fitness Specialist

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

There’s no denying that we are creatures of habit. We are efficient and effective when we put  routine systems in place for ourselves, at work and in everyday life. I have talked (sometimes incessantly) about the importance of setting goals, planning ahead, and following through by method of practice. The desire to put routines in place is natural and healthy, for sure, but it’s also important to remember that these routines get interrupted all the time. One thing that is constant in our lives is change, and over the past week, particularly, I’ve been contemplating what I’ve dubbed as “certain uncertainty”—the knowing and accepting of the inevitable transitions we endure. I was sifting through Katie’s Corners of yore and realized that I have never solely addressed the topic of change. Probably because it can be so effin’ scary.

Change is standard and tenacious, and yet, we can be so resistant to it. In my view, there are two types of change: that which we expect, such as a change in weather, and that which we don’t, such as getting into a car accident. And then there are those changes we expect but are still incredibly averse to, such as a decline in a loved one who has a terminal disease.

For all the many reasons we have for being resistant to change, our ability to adapt makes us beautifully human. And once we adapt, we become more equipped to mentally accept the changes present in our lives, no matter how daunting or overwhelming they may seem. We often think of change negatively, which is natural, as it “interferes with” the ability to accomplish our everyday tasks efficiently. But this negative view is not especially growthful.

My challenges for you this week are twofold. The first is to find small ways in which you can alter the environment around you. Choose the front row in spin class rather than the back, or try that new recipe you pinned on Pinterest last week instead of making meatloaf for the thousandth time. Note how these controlled, seemingly insignificant acts affect you. See if they vary your perspective and/or encourage you to learn something. Simple practices like these can help prepare you subconsciously for those big changes that are sure to come your way every now and again.

The second is to recognize and understand your patterns when dealing with change. Do you immediately get overwhelmed? Or maybe you become indecisive. Maybe you’re doing a helluva lot better than the rest of us, and you are flexible and easily adaptable. Whatever your specific pattern, gathering this knowledge will only help you to know yourself better and how to move forward.

Of course, it’s much easier to accept change when those things are new and exciting. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge—stay tuned, ya’ll!

Just Breathe

In an age where we are consumed by and inundated with stimulation from ads, text messages, social media, news, (I mean, I could go on), we rarely take time to be fully present in a given moment. We don’t have time to do everything the day calls for, and many times we don’t take a second to look up from the whirlwind that is our life. Many of you might not know that I graduated with a degree in Religious Studies and took to meditation pretty eagerly during my college years. Vipassana meditation, in which the practitioner focuses on the breath, has helped me immensely with being in the present moment and to manage general anxiety, and it’s something I still practice today. I encourage you to take a break one or two times over the next week and quiet your mind in an effort to deal with daily stressors and general goings-on in your life by following this meditation guide below.

  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing, find a comfortable, quiet place to sit with good posture, either on the floor or in a chair. Decide the length of time you want to set aside, and maybe even set a low-level timer for yourself. For your first session, I would recommend 5-10 minutes max.
  • Once you have established a comfortable sitting position, begin to notice your breath, not forcing it in or out.
  • The practice is simple: notice the rising and falling of the breath. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • Try to avoid expectation of yourself. Especially when you’re new to meditation, your mind will wander. You will think about—and maybe even worry about—the laundry list of tasks you have to accomplish. Stressors, conversations with others, memories, etc., will enter your mind. And that’s ok. Notice that your mind has wandered, actively let go of whatever your mind is focused on, and refocus the mind on the breath.

Chances are, you will feel lighter, taller, freer, and/or more aware than when you started!

What is Strength Training?

Our bodies function at their best when we optimize our lean muscle mass. How do we increase our lean muscle mass? Strength training! A lot of people who have been to traditional gyms have preconceived notions of what strength training is. Many people picture muscle shirts, clanging weights, and lots of grunting. Don’t worry, strength training is for everybody, and there are many ways to accomplish this goal.
The foundation of strength training is that we challenge our bodies using resistance. This resistance can come in a lot of different forms: weights (dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells), resistance bands and TRX, and even your own body-weight. The important thing is that you challenge your muscles adequately.
In traditional strength training, we map our workouts using sets and reps. Each move is a rep, and the moves completed in succession without a break are a set. A well designed strength workout challenges you to the point that the last several reps of a set are difficult to complete. It is very important to use a heavy enough weight to reach this point of muscle fatigue. Don’t worry- lifting heavy weights does not make you bigger! It makes you stronger, speeds up your metabolism, and gives you countless health benefits. Many studies have demonstrated concrete benefits of adding strength training to your program. Benefits include: increased bone density, injury prevention, decreased cholesterol, and better weight management than cardio alone.
Currently, American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 2-3 non-consecutive days of strength training per week. The rest day in between these sessions is important for muscle recovery. How do you get started? As discussed above, to see the benefits of strength training you have to challenge your body. To do this in a safe and effective way, I recommend personal training or Targeted Strength and Conditioning as a starting place. Targeted Strength and Conditioning is a focused program that will progress you in a safe and effective manner. It is appropriate for all levels and is conducted in a small group environment. Time to get strong!

Inside Katie’s Kitchen

Many times, people will ask us what we eat during the day to get an idea of foods that might be healthy for them. Verging slightly from my regular routine of Katie’s Corner, I thought I would bring to you one of the most vulnerable parts of my house-my kitchen! So I sifted through items in my own refrigerator and pantry and am presenting them to you here in hopes that you are able to get an idea of items that might be great for you to eat for meals and snacks. This is not intended to be a guideline for your own diet, but I do think it’s helpful to get an inside view of someone else’s kitchen. I’ve made notes here and there, but if you have specific questions, please reach out to me in the studio or by emailing me at katie@energiastudios.com.

Staples:
Ziploc or Tupperware Storage Containers in various sizes
Olive Oil
Spices
Mozzarella Cheese
Goat Cheese- I like cheese.
Sliced Almonds
Spicy Mustard
Real Maple Syrup- I’m from the South, so I feel the need to clarify the “real” part.

Most of these items you’ll want to use sparingly, as they can be high in calories, but they can provide bursts of flavor even when used sparingly. Healthy food does not equal bland food!Items that you don’t want to use sparingly in this list, however, are the storage containers. Plan your meals in advance and portion them into these, so that you have grab-and-go options for lunches or snacks during the day. I cannot stress this point enough-planning and preparing your meals in advance are the keys to staying on track and in your ultimate success. You will spend less time planning and prepping your meals in advance than if you wing every meal.

Breakfast:
Berries
Fage 0% or 2% Greek Yogurt
Go Lean Crunch

This breakfast combination is what I have most every day for breakfast. I can carry it with me to the studio when I have an early-morning training and not feel like I have to wolf down my breakfast before I leave for the day. When I have more time and am feeling a little fancy, I will have two of the three proteins listed below with half an avocado and salsa. And pepper. Lots of freshly cracked pepper.Smoked Salmon
Eggs
Lentils
Avocados
Salsa
Lunch:
Lentil or Split Pea Soup
Egg White Salad prepared with Greek Yogurt and Mustard
Curried Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt, Curry powder, Halved Grapes, Sliced Almonds, Cracked pepper
Wheatberry Salad
Loaded Sweet Potato
Many of these things, I get pre-prepared at my grocery store of choice, Trader Joe’s, though sometimes, I will make lunches ahead of time, i.e. the Curried Chicken Salad. I cook the sweet potato in advance and will load it with any combination of chicken breast, cheese, avocado, black beans, or sautéed veggies.
Dinner:
Chicken Breast
SalmonBrussels Sprouts
Heirloom or Cherry Tomatoes
Spinach
Mushrooms
Beets
Quinoa
Quinoa and Brown Rice Pasta
Black Beans
Chick PeasI make the side items in bulk at the beginning of the week and portion them into those storage containers I have been speaking so highly about. That way, I can pop home, cook my protein and heat up the sides in the meantime. And I have a healthy, nourishing meal to eat at the end of a long day.
Frozen Staples:
Turkey and Bison Burgers
Mixed VeggiesSnacks:
Hummus
Cauliflower, Carrots, and Broccoli
KIND Bars
Almond Butter
Apple/Pear
Air-popped PopcornSnacks are such a necessary thing to prepare in advance, and again, grab-and-go options are essential so that you don’t find yourself at the vending machine in the middle of the day.

Desserts:
Dark Chocolate
Greek Yogurt Sorbet with a teaspoon of honey

Yes, I eat desserts! Just in moderation.
Drinks:
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
This is a low-calorie option for something other than water.
Your challenge this week: Plan, prepare, and portion your meals ahead of time, and ask us for help if you need it!

Quick Guide to the Nutrition Label

1) Serving Size: Start from the top! Serving size is where the main deception lies. Something may appear to be worthwhile when in reality, you are eating multiple servings. Always multiply all nutrient values by the total number of servings you are consuming. A serving is typically much less than you’d think!

2) Calories: Total calories are important. If something is excessive, you’ll know it right away. Your body can only handle and break down so much at once. An overload could lead to fat storage. Keep meals small and often, not large and sparse.

3) Fat: There are good types of fat (essential fats) and bad types of fats. Saturated fats and trans fats can lead to weight gain, clogged arteries and, increased LDL (poor cholesterol). At a whopping 9 calories per gram, it’s important to limit excess consumption. As a general rule, we rarely recommend more than 15 grams for a meal and 5-7 for a snack.

4) Fiber: Fiber is one of the most important nutrients. Fiber helps to eliminate toxins, increase digestibility, and keep you full longer. Aim high. >25 grams for women, >35 grams for men.

5) Sugar: Here’s a task. See how many foods you can find that are higher in fiber than they are in sugar. Not many. Nowadays, almost everything is full of high fructose corn syrup. It’s in our breads, our cereals, our meats, everything. Be careful! There is no use or need for excess sugar.

6) Sodium: Sodium is packed into sauces, canned goods, deli meats, and snacks. It’s everywhere. More often than not, it’s used as a food additive to aid in preservation. You’ll find that your sodium levels will drop off if you start eating natural foods. Low sodium reduces your chances for high blood pressure.

7) Vitamins and Minerals: Always try and get the majority of your vitamins and minerals from food sources. Fruits and veges are your best bet!

8) Chemicals: If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. If a simple product is loaded with ingredients, why take the risk? Processed foods are mechanically or chemically altered. Enriched, fortified, hydrogenated, bleached, and bromated all mean that the original source was tampered with.

Beginning to Heal

Last week, I wrote about motivation versus commitment. This week, let’s take a step back and delve into what brought about these goals you have set for yourself, whether it be because of the New Year, or because you simply wanted to make a change. Maybe something was lacking or you may have felt disappointed, embarrassed, worried, or angry about a certain event or situation taking place in your life. It is important to note here that’s it’s wonderful that you have the desire to set a goal for yourself, but you must first acknowledge why you wanted to make a change rather than simply what you wanted to change. Identifying and coming to terms with those difficult feelings instead of brushing them all pain under the rug will help you immensely in your success and will keep you from repeating the same mistakes again.

For example, you have decided that you want to drop a pants size in the next two months. You’ve figured out all the logistical steps you need to take to do it: you’ve planned your meals, you’ve got a workout routine in place, you have set a specific time to wake up and go to bed. Good job! Now it’s time to focus on your feelings around your goal, rather than just creating plans for success. Reflect on the way you felt before you decided to change. Why did you decide set your goal of losing a pants size, for instance? Maybe you didn’t like the way you looked, or you felt sluggish during the day. Maybe you don’t want to put yourself at a greater risk of heart disease, or you know that you feel alive and active at a smaller size. You may have to make it a practice once a week to call to mind the reasons let led you to set your goals because, many times, once isn’t enough. Dwelling on the past won’t help you move forward, but understanding the reasons for your motivations will.

Many times, I speak about health and fitness in my Corners, but this could pertain to anything you have goals for. Other examples could be to laugh more in the new year, to forgive yourself or another person, to cut down on spending, etc. Your challenge this week is to think about why you’ve decided that there was a need for change. Because sometimes, in order to move forward, we must go backward first. And once you acknowledge why you finally decided to change your mindset, beautiful things will happen: you will begin to heal and get one step closer toward success.

 

Your Success is our Success,

Justin, Katie, and the entire 50/50 team!

The True Test Starts Now

As we approach the month of February, many of us find ourselves falling into a pattern, a routine, one that may ultimately define our “new year”. Inevitably, many will struggle with continuing to progress and persevere as time ticks on. It’s something about the month of February that really presents a whole new slew of challenges to us all. Momentum wanes and the cold weather takes it’s toll. So how do we make this year different? How do we not fade off into 2016 with our sights forever set on new beginnings? I write this now, because we see it every year. It’s not at all about deciding to make change; it’s about continuing to make change. And the latter takes a lot more work, dedication, and commitment. So we challenge you to forget the last month, throw it away…the good, the bad, the ugly. The real challenge starts now. Your year, your life, all of it.

So here it is, the secret to your sustained success: accountability.

It means keeping food journals so you can monitor your diet consciously. It means setting up a reminder on your phone to notify you every day to take some time to exercise. It means fighting every inclination to drive straight home after work or to take that seat on that couch.

Accountability is EVERYTHING.

If you’re not working towards a specific goal, how likely are you to find success? Where does the passion come from? …the motivation?…the drive? And how can you realistically expect to overcome the obstacles that are constantly thrown your way?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. But, we can help. We are here to hold you accountable. To work through obstacles, excuses, and insecurities. To challenge and support you in ways you never thought possible.

So what’s your biggest downfall? Ask yourself why you can’t exercise on a consistent basis. Or maybe ask yourself why your diet is in pieces. Have the two ever really come together for you?

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