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Happy Easter

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SNOW Update 3/12/18

Wow, what a snowfall for March!  Lexington Athletic Club will open at 8am (hopefully!)

Morning classes are canceled.

Playroom opening at 8am.

Snow update: Monday 3/12/18 open at 8am

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Snow Update 01/16/18

Snow Update 3:55pm 01/16/18:

Good afternoon, it looks like we made it through the worst of the snow.  We are open regular hours tonight (until 11p) and the Playroom (babysitting) will be open as well (4p-9p).  All classes are canceled except for Tabata Boot Camp.

Unless conditions worsen overnight, we are planning to be open regular hours on Wednesday.

 

 

earlier today

Snow update 01/16/18:
As of now, we are planning on being open regular hours, 5am-11pm.
—evening classes, Playroom, and other programming, TBD.

Snow Update

Good Morning All!  As of now, we are attempting to be open regular Saturday hours (7a-7p) with regular programming.

Be careful out there!

“After Years of Exercising, This Is the Workout That Changed My Body”

via Pop Sugar and 

 “Will lifting free weights make me bulky?”When I started working out with a trainer a few months ago, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but if there’s one thing I am certain of, a barbell was never part of the equation. Yet here I was, standing in front of one with my trainer off to the side asking me to do deadlifts. I was equal parts perplexed, scared, and thrilled. In all my years of working out, heavy lifting was something I had never done. Like everyone else in my life, I hopped from trendy studio to trendy studio for my workouts, and though there was a weight room at my gym, the idea of picking up a barbell on my own seemed terrifying.

I looked down at the 65-pound steel bar and then looked up at my trainer Austin (a few times in a lame attempt to stall). With no knowledge of or prior exposure to lifting, I was also dealing with the real fear that I would possibly drop this thing, along with myself, in the process. Sensing my fear, he talked me through the steps repeatedly with the right amount of encouragement, until I grabbed the damn thing and remarkably pulled it off — “with ease and perfect form,” he would later tell me. I surprised myself; I was stronger than I gave myself credit for. Austin added weight to the bar at a quick pace, which I think even surprised him.

Looking back, I am not sure why I stayed away from a barbell for so many years. Sure, I wasn’t exposed to it, but I also never allowed myself to even explore the idea. When I heard SoulCycle was coming to my city, I was in the very first class. When the new TRX studio moved in down the block, I couldn’t wait to try it! But lifting? Nope. Despite my firm belief that women are strong AF, there was a part of me that thought of lifting as a man’s world, or at least the kind of world where you go when you want biceps as big as your head. And if I am being totally honest, huge ‘ceps weren’t what I was looking for.

 

The kicker here is that it has has changed my body in a way that I never could have anticipated. I have lost more weight over these last three months than I have in the last few years. I am stronger and faster in just about every other workout in my life. And most recently, during a beach vacation, my partner commented on my butt. It was higher! Perkier! Lifted! Rounded! I went into heavy lifting with the very wrong idea that it would add bulk, yet here I am feeling my absolute best and more confident than I have in a long time. Even more importantly is the understanding that this confidence had less to do with how I look and everything to do with how I feel.

The thrill of doing something new mixed with a real sense of accomplishment has given me an exercise high that I have not felt in a very long time. Instead of being terrified of a barbell, I now give my trainer grief when we aren’t lifting. Through this process, I have come face to face with my physicality in a way that has never happened. There’s also a real sense of pride from seeing more weight being racked up on the bar and learning what my body is capable of handling. But more than anything, the inner confidence that I have built from this latest step in my fitness journey has helped me in all facets of my life and continues to surprise me on an almost daily basis.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Rima Brindamour

YAY! More Women’s Bars

Christmas Cheer! Two new Women’s bars from @roguefitness. Lime green for easy identification.

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What to do after you’ve blown your calorie budget.

via WebMD

Let’s face it: Everyone blows his or her calorie budget every now and then.

But you can forget that old saying, “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips.” You can get your eating back on track. Here’s how.

First, Relax

You need some perspective.

You need to eat 3,500 calories to gain one pound of body fat. One unplanned treat — a slice of cake, some fries, or even a rich meal — probably won’t make a major difference on the scale.

“We call these ‘taking timeouts,’ and we all take them,” says San Antonio nutrition consultant Rebecca Reeves, RD. “No one is perfect in their eating habits. What we have to learn is that we are giving ourselves permission to do this, and as soon as it’s over, we should go back to the eating plan we normally follow.”

The goal is to not make a habit of it.

“Most people overeat somewhere between 500 and 1,500 calories every single day,” says cardiologist Allen Dollar, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Emory University in Atlanta.

Don’t Give Up

Too many dieters throw in the towel after a splurge, says Kathleen M. Laquale, PhD, a nutritionist and athletic trainer.

“You may feel defeated and say, ‘Oh, I blew my diet … and the heck with it,” Laquale says.

“When you do overindulge, don’t be self-deprecating. You overeat for one day; let’s get back on track again. Let’s be more conscious of our portion sizes the next day.”

Cut Back a Bit, But Not Too Much

Don’t try to make up for the extra calories by skipping meals the next day. That just leaves you hungry.

Instead, cut back throughout the day with a series of small meals packed with fruits and vegetables. Their fiber will help you feel full, says Joan Salge Blake, RD, clinical associate professor at Boston University.

  • Wait until you’re hungry. Then have a light breakfast such as a bowl of low-fat yogurt and berries.
  • Mid-morning snack: a piece of fruit and an ounce of low-fat cheese
  • Lunch: a big salad with lean protein such as fish or chicken, or a whole wheat pita pocket with lettuce and tuna or turkey
  • Afternoon snack: a cup of vegetable soup and an orange
  • Dinner: a piece of fish and plenty of vegetables

Skip the Scale

After a feast, you may weigh more. That’s not because you gained body fat, but because of water retention from extra salt that was in the food you ate.

So don’t weigh yourself. Salge Blake tells her clients to weigh themselves on Fridays, when they’re likely to weigh their lowest, since people tend to overindulge more often on the weekends than on weekdays.

Stick to Your Normal Exercise Routine

Exercise is a good idea. But don’t do a mega-workout to try to burn off all the calories you just ate.

“If you overload and do more than your regular routine, you could strain a muscle, you could hurt a joint. So muscle soreness may set in. Then you can’t exercise,” Laquale says.

Track What You Eat

Set a goal for your daily calories, and write down what you eat. That helps you stay aware of what you’re eating, Dollar says.

“You have to be conscious every time your hand goes from a plate to your mouth.”

 

 

Trainer Joe’s at Lexington Athletic Club

The next 21 Day Weight Loss Challenge Starts November 27

More info on Trainer Joe’s HERE

 

Fat Loss 101 – Master the Basics

 

Hey Lexington!  Here are some great basics to get you started losing fat!

Via Fitness Spotlight


It seems most everyone is looking to lose some weight (namely fat), but with all the conflicting information out there it just gets more and more confusing for the average person to know what to do? Let’s back it up a little and start from the basic understand of how fat loss happens in a simple and easy manner. Once you can master the basics, that is probably 90% of where all your results will come from!

Release the Hounds!…I Mean Stored Fat

While there does have to be some calorie deficit of course (burn more than you take in), your hormones are the internal signals on whether fat is being released or stored (and will do so reacting to calorie intake as well).

So when it comes down to it, fat loss is a mainly a hormonal event. The right hormones telling the body to release the stored “energy” in the fat cells to burn off. It is also important to know that there are also fat “storing” hormones that act in the opposite way, triggering the body to store “future energy” into the fat cells. The body triggers these hormones through many different stimulus like food, drink, exercise, stress (perceived) and sleep.

Fat cells are more like the body’s emergency storage tanks afterall (storing fuel in case we need it later on to survive). If we didn’t have fat cells, we wouldn’t have survived the famines of the past. It’s a built-in survival mechanism that is unfortunately getting all the wrong signals today. The body wasn’t designed around constant intake of food, especially the processed and high in sugar kind.

You Can Burn Fat All Day

So we know that fat loss is hormonally driven (and yes I understand eating less is also a factor, but that drives the hormones involved as well).

Interesting fact, fat loss (burning) also occurs when oxygen is present, what is known as aerobic (which means “with oxygen”). The other stage is called anaerobic (which means “without oxygen”). Anaerobic training is also known more commonly as “strength training” (which you can tell by the lactic acid burn).

Here’s where people get confused when it comes to exercise. Most people think that by “doing” aerobics exercise you burn all the fat you want. Well if that was the case, obesity would of been taken care of in 1986 and your gym aerobic instructors wouldn’t have an average BF% over 25%. Who ever said you are guaranteed to burn fat? What about stored glycogen? Plus if you can burn fat in an aerobic state, well aren’t you in an aerobic state all day long (minus brief times of anaerobic activity) including sleeping??

So here’s the breakthrough, you have the ability to burn fat (mostly) all day long! The only thing left is the hormones and whether they are saying “empty the storage tanks” or “here comes some more” to the fat cells.

The Hormones Involved


The Fat loss hormones were are going to focus on briefly are insulin, glucagon, and growth hormone (GH). Insulin is primarily known as a fat storinghormone (as it reacts to high blood sugar and looks to store it somewhere…namely fat cells).

Glucagon and GH are more fat releasing (and in a sense “burning”) hormones.

If insulin is present and elevated, the other fat releasing hormones (GH and glucagon) go down. This is an important inverse relationship to realize.

Another hormone that comes into play is called cortisol (commonly known as a stress hormone, but technically more a blood sugar hormone), which can also lead to excessive muscle breakdown for fuel. Not something we want in our fat loss quest to keep our metabolism strong.

Below are some quick and easy bullet point on how to maximize the fat burning hormones and minimize the muscle breakdown/fat storing hormones (don’t think all muscle breakdown is bad, it’s when you have excessive breakdown and minimal rebuilding that is the issue and leads to a loss of muscle).

For Fat Loss You Want:

  • Minimal insulin levels throughout the day (no chronic high levels/spikes)
  • Maximum glucagon (which is directly inversely proportional to insulin levels)
  • Maximum GH (which is controlled by insulin, exercise and sleep)
  • Keep Cortisol in check (you will have some, but excessive will lead to muscle loss)

For Insulin Control (and Max Glucagon):

  • Keep levels low by not eating sugar or foods that quickly break down into the bloodstream (processed foods, breads, cereals, pasta) Just say to yourself every time you are about to put sugar in your mouth, “I don’t want to burn any fat for the next 3-4 hours”…as that is exactly what you are telling your body with your hormonal response from the ingestion of sugar! (Already said that above but I want to drive the #1 important point home!)
  • Have protein with every meal (as that will slow down the digestion of any sugars). Also protein intake stimulates the release of glucagon.
  • Improve insulin sensitivity with glycogen draining exercise (resistance training) which will in turn reduce your insulin resistance (which is one of the biggest reasons for obesity and a serious increase of risks for many other diseases including heart disease, cancers, diabetes, accelerated aging and more!)

For Max GH Response:

  • Most of your daily GH is released in the first couple hours of sleep at night (75%). Keep your insulin levels low (which means no big meals or sugar right before bed) and get to bed early enough to get the maximum response. So get your sleep, your body will thank you. People shorting themselves on sleep will also be hindering their fat loss efforts and may lead to more weight gain from improper hormonal responses (which can also trigger cravings!)
  • Exercise with intensity (for fast twitch muscle recruitment, not slow twitch), whether it is resistance training with short rest periods or doing interval training like sprints. Short burst of anaerobic intense exercise (lactic acid burn) will in turn signal the body to release GH. Long aerobic activities (jogging, etc) will NOT. (The old argument of look at the body composition of a sprinter vs the marathon runner…the sprinter has more muscle and very low bf%, the marathon runner has little muscle and a higher bf% even if they look smaller) See the role of lactate in exercise induced GH response.
  • Exercising in a fasted state has also shown to increase GH level. This may not be right for everyone, as you do need to make sure you have enough energy to get through the workout without blood sugar crashes(especially if you are already glycogen depleted).

Minimize Excessive Cortisol:

  • Keep all your intense strength or cardio exercise under 45min (remember we want to increase the intensity in a short period, not the duration). Anything longer will just start wasting muscle as fuel.
  • Practice relaxing throughout the day, don’t stress out over things that mean very little in the long run (ask yourself will this really be important in 1 week, 1 month, 1 year). Get perspective on things in your life, and detach from things that really don’t matter. Smile more, take deep breaths throughout the day, get out in nature, find your passions in life, etc. We are too stressed out and our body was only meant to use stress in short bursts (fight or flight response) not all day long events.

Wrapping it Up

So if you can master these small steps, you will see tremendous changes. Remember that fat burning/loss can be an all day event! So eat and live your life that way! Don’t worry about how many calories you burn doing something, because that is not the point. Worry about what you eat all day and how your hormones are going to react to it. Eat the foods your body was meant to eat and live the active lifestyle your body was designed for…and you will have increased health, look great, feel great and hopefully live long and stay active.

  • Remember that 85% of fat loss is nutritional based (not how many calories you can “burn” doing aerobic exercise) and you have the ability to burn fat all day long if your hormones tell your body to do so.
  • Eat whole “real” foods (not processed..if it wasn’t around 100 years ago, you don’t need it!), avoid all sugars (foods and drinks), have protein with every meal
  • Train your fast twitch muscles with resistance training 2-3x a week and do 30-60min of “active lifestyle” based movement daily (not going to call it cardio). Go have fun doing whatever! (play tennis, go walking/hiking, ride a bike, enjoy what you do!)
  • Stop stressing out, take some deep breaths, get outside to relax and get your sleep.

 

Cyber Monday: Save 40%

Cyber Monday sale going on NOW!  Join LAC via the web and save 40% off of our regular price!

Click HERE then click “JOIN NOW” and use promo code: CYBERMONDAY

 

Lexington’s best health club since 1984!