Tagged as: personal training

John’s Story. Back to Energia. Pan-Mass Challenge

I originally started spinning at Leading Edge Gym in Amherst. When it closed I moved to Energia in 2010, before Justin was there. I ended up leaving Energia for a while, because one of the instructors opened a new space in Amherst, but that only lasted for 10 months. When I got back, Justin had taken over and it was clear the energy, vision, and enthusiasm he brought to the business was boundless. When we made the move to the satellite location and became 50/50 Fitness/Nutrition, where Embodied Chiropractic is now, I decided to start personal training.

I was 62 at the time and it was something I could see as a need for myself. I always felt that I was in ok shape for cycling and skiing, but felt that my cardio/pulmonary system and overall upper body conditioning could be improved. I could finally, honestly admit to myself that I did not, and probably would never, have the self-discipline to do this on my own. I had tried personal training once before. The individual I worked with was nice, but there wasn’t the connection I was looking for, something I believe is absolutely critical for success.

I started working with Katie in February 2015. I thought we would be a good fit and that she “got” me. I think we got it right as we are still working together four and a half years later. One of my biggest frustrations at the time was skiing at altitude. I would easily get winded and wouldn’t recover quickly. The improvements I have realized in my conditioning and strength have resulted in my skiing being some of the best and most fun I have ever had. I have stayed with 50/50 over the years because I find the environment welcoming, inclusive and non-judgmental. The sense of community is real and important and is encouraged by the management team. I have found the instructors to be universally excellent with a good mix of different styles, but all lead with a balance of knowledge, inspiration and motivation.

 

 

My next goal is the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) in August. It is a cycling fundraising event whose mission is to raise money for life-saving cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston through its Jimmy Fund. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is committed to providing expert, compassionate care to children and adults with cancer while advancing the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of cancer and related diseases. The PMC started in 1980 with 36 riders and raised $10,200. Last year over $56,000,000 was donated to the Jimmy Fund. The goal this year is $58,000,000. One of the most unique aspects of this event is that 100% of donated dollars actually go to Dana Farber,

While I have faced some challenges over the years, they pale in comparison to the challenges faced by my wife Mallorie upon getting a thyroid cancer diagnosis in October, 2009. Intellectually, I thought I would be able to handle that information, but in reality, the emotional toll was completely overwhelming. However, as the days went on and we learned how far the care and treatment of this condition has advanced, in part due to the valuable research made possible by the funding provided through this event, hope and belief displaced the despair. The years have passed and we are happy to continue to report that Mallorie has as clean a bill of health as one can have. It is behind us and we move forward. But not all are so lucky. My 65 year young cousin recently lost her battle with brain cancer in May. We all know someone dealing with this disease and it is vitally important that we continue to raise funding for important research and technology improvements for the ongoing fight against cancer in all its forms.

I am asking for your help by contributing whatever you can to support this worthy cause. My goal is to raise $4000 for this event. Every contribution, no matter how small or how large, is helpful. Your tax deductible donations can be made by credit card directly through the PMC website at www.pmc.org(type in John Stothoff in the Donate link) or mailed to me with checks made out to PMC-Jimmy Fund.

I will be riding with added incentive this year, knowing that my physical efforts and your contributions will help make a difference for those that are fighting so hard. Thank you all.

-John Stothoff

Janis’ Story. Cancer. Comeback. Ferocity.

My career began as an English teacher, but while I loved the students, I felt frustrated with the subject matter. I was offered an opportunity to run a high school library and found that the interdisciplinary nature of the work was exactly what I liked. Over the past thirty years I’ve worked with students from pre-school to grad school, helping them find, evaluate, and assimilate information about every subject you can imagine. Since retiring from full-time work I’ve taught grad classes for Simmons College Library and Information Studies program and have supervised grad students when they go into schools to do their internships to become certified as library teachers.

When I retired one of my first priorities was getting back into shape. I’ve always been a walker, but I added Pilates classes to my routine. When Mindy’s classes moved to 50/50, I came along. Katie occasionally subbed for Mindy, and I, like everyone else in the classes, fell in love with her. She and Mindy collaborated on developing a TRX class that incorporated Pilates principles, so I added that to my exercise schedule.

Two years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although I had planned to keep exercising throughout treatment, I had several complications and by the time I was out of treatment I felt like I had lost every muscle in my body. Among other things, I developed thoracic outlet syndrome and weak, sore knees. I went to PT, got stronger, and started working with a personal trainer at 50/50, Michael McCarthy. I enthusiastically went back to my walking, pilates and TRX, but overdid it and ended up with more aches and pains.

Again, I went to PT, but it didn’t help, so I came back to 50/50 and started working with Brittany. She has been amazing. Brittney has taught me how to use the right muscles for each exercise instead of having my back, neck or knees do all the work. It has made a huge difference and I feel stronger and more confident about my ability to exercise without reverting to the old cycle of overdoing it and hurting myself. One of the most unexpected, fun parts of training is punching Bob! I never thought I was the kind of person who could hit something, but after I threw my first punch my inner boxer jumped out! I love it! It makes me feel strong, fierce, and indomitable!

This fall my husband and I are traveling to Tanzania for a safari and in March I am to England with my book group. Our group has been together for 35 years and we always talked about doing a trip together. Now that we are retired, our time has come.

I have stayed with 50/50 Fitness/Nutrition over the years because of the skillful, engaging, fun staff and the sense of community you have built. I feel like I am coming in to talk with friends and have a good time. There is a wonderful mix of ages and a great environment. I’ve gone to a lot of different exercise places over the years. I found the level of teachers to be uneven and the atmosphere felt cold and anonymous. 50/50 is the exact opposite. It’s a pretty remarkable place.

-Janis Wolkenbreit

 

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Time to get Stronger!

Guess what, it’s Strength Month! My favorite. In coming weeks, I will discuss principles of strength training in greater detail, but today I just want to touch on some of the many benefits of strength training. You know exercise is important to your long-term health and well-being, and you probably know your routine should include some weight or strength training… but do you know why? Weight training strengthens muscles so they can support you through all of your activities, throughout your lifespan. If you don’t build and maintain your muscles, there’s a host of negative effects such as loss of muscle mass and bone density, and increased risk of falls. But, let’s keep things positive today. Here are some of the more fun and interesting benefits of strength training: decreased cancer risk, increased IQ (really!), decreased risk of anxiety and depression, better sleep, and a more positive attitude throughout the work day. How much strength training do you need to do to get these benefits? As few as 2-3 full body sessions per week will cause you to reap these rewards. This still leaves you plenty of time for your favorite spin class, or to try our new Yoga class on Sundays. You do not have to strength train every day to see these positive effects.

Here at 50/50, we want to ensure you that it is one or our six focal points of health and wellness. Staying strong is important for everyone, and increases the chances of enjoying a long, healthy and vigorous life. There are many ways to incorporate strength training into your routine. For more traditional strength building, Fit Camp, Targeted Strength and Conditioning, and Personal Training are great options. For muscular endurance, TABATA and Spin and Strength are fun classes to get your heart pumping and work your muscles. For those of you newer to strength training, I highly recommend personal training. Not only will you get the one on one attention needed to ensure correct form, but you will also receive a full-body assessment and a plan of corrective exercise to address imbalances that may otherwise hold back your progress.

However, you chose to incorporate it, I challenge all of you (yes, especially you spin aficionados) to incorporate 2-3 days of strength per week for the next month. Your body and mind will thank you!

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!

If you’re like most people, the holidays are a time of mixed emotions. You’re excited and anxious to spend time with family, and you’re dreading the extra weight that you know you’re bound to gain. Are these holiday pounds inevitable?

Lean in close to catch these seven secret ways to help you fend off extra weight through the holidays. And once you’re done, don’t keep it a secret. Go tell somebody!

Holiday Secret #1: Listen to Your Body

It may not speak quickly enough all the time, but you know your body is constantly telling you things. Sometimes it tells you to stop a certain activity before you get hurt. During the holiday season, it tells you to put the brakes on your eating before you go beyond the point of no return. When your body tells you it’s full, listen up! A single bite after you’re full will lead to extra calories and eventually, extra pounds.

Holiday Secret #2: Confine the Holidays

For some, holidays become weeks and even months of poor eating. Be careful to avoid this pitfall by digging into your holiday foods only on the actual holiday. Treat the other days like normal days—even if you’re off of work. And when the holiday is over, let someone else take the leftovers home and go to your own house without any pudding or gravy in tow.

Holiday Secret #3: Eat First, Party Second

You read right—it’s good to eat before heading out the door. Have a healthy, well-rounded meal at home with fruits, vegetables, and your protein source of choice. And drink a tall glass of water. Why? So when you get to that holiday party that is overflowing with cookies, cakes, candies, and calories, you’re not hungry for it. Your stomach is full of healthy goodness and has no room for the fattening stuff.

Holiday Secret #4: Plan Your Escape

Getting away from food isn’t easy. If you expect to be able to walk away from delicious thigh- and gut-growing foods without any forethought, think again. Before walking into a potentially fattening situation, plan out what you’re going to eat and take your own dish to share if necessary. Any time there is a particularly difficult eating situation, make plans an hour or so after the dangerous-to-your-diet event begins and excuse yourself.

Holiday Secret #5: Exercise Everywhere

One of the best excuses to gain weight is that you have to travel to visit family and don’t have access to your personal trainer. Well, guess what? Just because your trainer isn’t staying in the hotel with you doesn’t mean you aren’t accountable! Scope out the area where you’ll be traveling and take advantage of whatever exercise opportunities are available. There may be a gym or pool at your hotel, a pay-as-you-go gym, or a nice park nearby where you can walk or run with or without family members.

Holiday Secret #6: Pay Attention to People

Holidays are about family and friends…right? Then stop focusing on food! When you go to a party, there is no need to hang out by the food table when there are people all around you! Ignore the grub and go for the meaningful stuff that you’ll remember and cherish. Besides, it’s much easier to talk without munching and you even listen better when you’re not stuck thinking about how good the next bite is going to be.

Holiday Secret #7: Drink Instead

No, this isn’t a license to drink as much alcohol as you can find. Doing that will add lots of useless calories to your waistline. Instead, do your best to make friends with a glass of water everywhere you go. As you mingle with your water glass, you’ll find it challenging to grab more than a couple of finger foods here and there, and the fact that it is water will help you remember to watch what else goes in your mouth!

Wouldn’t you love to make 2016 the year that you transform your body?

Wouldn’t it feel great to throw out all of your fat clothes? To look forward to bathing suit season? To be given a clean bill of health from your doctor? And to be showered with compliments by family, friends and that special someone?

It’s all more possible than you think.

But you’ll need to take massive action.

REGISTER FOR THE NEW YEAR, NEW YOU CHALLENGE

Go on, do it now and secure your spot before the New Year’s rush.

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