LAC: NEW Concept2 and Rogue Air Bikes

This week we received more “get on and go” HIIT cardio!  (over the last few weeks we added Woodway’s and SPARC’s too)

Air Bikes are a perfect addition into a HIIT routine or even for the classic Tabata Intervals.

Read more about “Tabata Intervals” HERE and the original Tabata interval workout HERE.



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More “get on and go” HIIT cardio! (@concept2inc and @roguefitness Echo bikes)

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Tai Chi Meditation Workshop at Lexington Athletic Club

Two day Tai Chi workshop coming to Lexington Athletic Club in October, led by Grandmaster Hiang Kwang The’.

Sign up at the LAC front desk, and see flyer below for more details.

Members and non-members welcome.

More info on Lee Family Tai Chi:


NEW! Cybex SPARC Trainers

More “Get on and Go”  Interval Training Cardio!  This week it’s 6 new SPARC Trainers from Cybex. (Last week it was 6 new Woodway Curves)

The SPARC Trainers are perfect for HIIT style workouts.  What is HIIT?

“HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods.” via Daily Burn

Check out this summary of the SPARC HERE and check out the videos at the bottom of the post.


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More HIIT cardio! New @cybexintl Arc Trainers called SPARC’s

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NEW Woodway Curve Treadmills

Check out our six new treads from Woodway!  These are perfect for “Get on and GO”,  HIIT-style training.

New treadmill day! via @woodwaytreadmills

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The new Woodway Curve treadmills are in a new category of cardio equipment called “get on and go” cardio.  Similar to the air-dyne or Concept2 rower, you can just “get on and go” without programming the display.  They are great for interval training, sprints and especially HIIT-style training.  Find out more info on the Woodway website HERE and a training manual is HERE.

 “Woodway Curve Treadmills, have a slight curve to them, have a belt composed of a series of planks rather than a smooth surface and as you may have noticed, they have no “on” or “off” button. That’s because you manually power the treadmill…YOU ARE THE MOTOR! Because you are powering the treadmill, you control the speed and the pace rather than the treadmill doing that for you. Since you’re doing the work, you are able to burn up to 30 percent more calories compared to when running on a traditional treadmill.”  –via LINK


“The Curve’s design also helps improve and correct your running form and ensures you have a more efficient stride. When you use the Curve consistently, you are able to develop a proper movement pattern and muscle memory which improves your running form outside of the gym.  If you over-stride, the Curve will not move and it does not allow for an exaggerated lean forwards or backwards while in motion.”  –via LINK

A Midsummer Night’s Run, a Lexington Tradition

LAC members!  Are you running in the Midsummer Night’s Run?  If you haven’t registered yet we have a discount code that can save you a few bucks.  Click on team pricing then use promo TEAMLAC at checkout to save some cash!

Register HERE



Thursday, August 9th from 12noon-7pm — Malibu Jack’s Lexington (2520 Nicholasville Rd, Lexington, KY 40503)

Friday, August 10th from 12noon-7pm — Macy’s Department Store (3301 Nicholasville Rd, Lexington, KY 40503)

You may pickup packets for friends and family without credentials, ID or paperwork.  We encourage all local Central Kentucky participants to pickup their packet on Thursday or Friday during this 14-hour opportunity to make your race day experience the best it can be.  There will be limited “out of town” race day packet pickup at the Courthouse Plaza from 4-8pm on Saturday, August 11th.


  • 4:30PM  Onsite Registration & Packet Pickup Opens
  • 6:00PM  Fastest Kid in Town Races
  • 7:00PM  1 Mile Run/Walk
  • 7:50PM  Pre-Race Program/Welcome
  • 8:00PM  A Midsummer Night’s Run 5K
  • 8:20-10:30PM  Post Race Celebration & Band

“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.”



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.


Strength Training And Hypertrophy For Women Over 40

via Breaking Muscle and Amanda Thebe

I’d like to persuade all women over 40 to start strength training for hypertrophy. Now, before you sta

rt panicking that I am trying to make you big and bulky, let me explain why it is important for women over 40 to strength train rather than just stick with a cardio routine. First, you need to understand exactly what hypertrophy means and how it will benefit you. I also want to mention that cardio still has an important part to play in your life in conjunction with strength training.


The Role of Hypertrophy

I believe that the word hypertrophy has been misused and, at the minimum, misunderstood.  Hypertrophy means to change the shape, function, and strength of the muscle by nourishing the cellular structure—this does not necessarily mean the muscle has to get bigger. In fact, if you are working on fat loss, building muscle will likely make you smaller because muscle is much more dense than fat.


What we as individuals determine to be bulky might also be interpreted differently by others, and there is no one true definition of what this means. For example, the majority of women do not have the hormone profile that men carry that allows for huge gains in muscle mass to happen.


The science behind hypertrophy indicates that you need to work your muscles to the point of overload–and this means you need to have some discomfort while you are working out. I have to break the news to you that all the articles you have ever read about getting long, lean muscles with 5 pound weights performing 200 reps are complete bullshit. For one, you physically cannot change the length of a muscle, it is, after all, attached to bone, so unless you want to extend the length of your bones, your muscle length will stay the same. Yes, you can change the shape, viability, and function of the muscle, but not the length.


5 Reasons Hypertrophy Works: 1. It Fights Aging

After the age of 30, our muscles start to naturally shrink. Muscle mass can decline at an approximate rate of 3-5 percent per year, so even before we really get into the meat and bones of hypertrophy training, you need to acknowledge that you are already fighting the first stages of aging. By adding strength training to your program, you can start to regain some of that required strength in your body as it naturally declines. If you are a woman going through menopause, then you will also be dealing with hormonal disturbances that can impact your ability to gain muscle easily, so the earlier you start lifting, the more prepared your body will be for aging.


5 Reasons Hypertrophy Works: 2. You Will Look Good Naked

Lean muscle boosts your metabolism, and your muscles need nutrition to thrive whereas fat is just lazy. If you have increased muscle mass, your body will use your food more efficiently (think a Ferrari here) whereas increased body fat is just like feeding a broken down old car.


I know that looking good is not everybody’s main reason for working out, but there is no denying that the by-product of a good strength session is that your body starts to change. Your body composition can be totally transformed when you develop lean muscle. A great way to see this is not necessarily by the scales, but by your clothes sizes, measuring tape, or even just visually by looking in the mirror. So, if you are interested in the aesthetics, then start lifting.


5 Reasons Hypertrophy Works: 3. You Will Feel Empowered

Something really amazing happens when you start to get strong, you start to feel empowered in other parts of your life. It’s one of those things that is under-rated by the young ‘uns, but for us ladies over 40 who often experience a sense of feeling incapable or having low self-esteem, this is huge! The rush of endorphins you get from a great workout will leave you feeling invincible, so let’s give our selves the gift of having a strong body and a strong mind. The connection is undeniably there, and it can literally change your life.


5 Reasons Hypertrophy Works: 4. It Will Help Prevent Injury

While the main purpose of our muscular system is movement another primary purpose is maintenance of posture and body position, and by this, I mean that our muscles support us. If you have a strong body you are protecting your joints, and you are building a system of muscles that can contract, react, and bounce back helping you to stay injury free and mobile.


5 Reasons Hypertrophy Works: 5. You Get Overall Health Benefits

Often overlooked in the gym is the knock-on effect of having good overall health from building muscle through hypertrophy. Having a functioning body with a good metabolism will help us fight some of the major diseases and illnesses that plight us as we age. Supporting our structure against osteoporosis is a basic essential requirement if we are to enjoy our life moving forward. Having a strategic exercise plan is one of the proven ways for women to fight epidemic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, one of the biggest causes of death in females.


How to Plan Your Workouts

Now that I have totally persuaded you to start lifting weights, you probably want to know what this type of training looks like.


Here are some basic requirements:


1. Keep reps in the 10-12 rep range.

2. Cover six essential movements of the body:

  • Hip dominant: swing, deadlift
  • Knee dominant: squats, lunges
  • Push: both vertically and horizontally, push ups, chest press
  • Pull: both vertically and horizontally, pull ups, bent over row, inverted row
  • Core functioning: shoulders to hip, front, and back of your trunk
  • Explosive movement: jump squat, hang clean

3. Load, speed, and duration are all elements to consider.

4. You need to reach overload with your muscles, and discomfort is okay.

5. Work for 25-30 minutes.

6. Work 3-4 times per week.

7. Alternate days of low intensity steady state exercise (LISS), walking, hiking, swimming, yoga, pilates, etc.

8. Mindfulness. I am not some raging hippie but keep your body’s stress levels regulated by finding some quiet time in your day.

9. Restoration. Get adequate rest between workouts, take days off, dial in your nutrition, and get enough sleep.


Use Muscle Overload 

One of my great mentors in the fitness industry, Coach Robert Dos Remedios, describes overload as filling your work capacity bucket. You need to lift heavy enough and do enough reps of the six essential movements.


For example, if I program a workout for you that has you working in a 10-12 rep range:


  • If you can do 15 reps easily, then you are not working hard enough.
  • If you can barely do 4-5 reps, then you are working too hard. If you start puking, you are working way too hard. If it hurts your body in ways that don’t feel good, then you might get injured.
  • If you get to 8 reps and have to push through those last 2-4 reps, then you are working just hard enough.


Think of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, find the place that is just right. And remember, only you can determine that unique place for you, the place where discomfort and overload is ideal. Find where the magic happens.


Just Go and Do It

So there you have it. I know that I have converted you. Now, we just need to tell the masses. Most of the general population could benefit from some element of hypertrophy in their life. It’s all good news. Strength training for hypertrophy is going to impact you in positive ways—you will be able to be more active, play with the kids, and manage your stresses, all with renewed energy if you push far enough to achieve this.


You might also like The Differences Between Training In Your 40’s And Your 20’s.


Coach Amanda Thebe is Breaking Muscle’s Expert Coach in Residence. If you are a woman who is over 40 years old and want Coach Thebe to cover a topic you are interested in, or would like her to address a specific issue you may have, email Put Coach Thebe in the subject line, and let us know what you need in your training.