Mix it up!

Author: Ridge Personal Trainer Kate Murphy

Mix up your workout!

It’s time to mix up your weight training routine!

To boost your metabolism, you should perform a “cardio booster” during every rest period, whether it’s 10 seconds, 30 seconds or 3 minutes. This means, for example, that after you finish your set of 8-12 dumbbell presses, you do stair laps, box jumps, lateral leaps, or jumping jacks as fast as possible for 15-30 seconds. Following your 6 rep squat routine, do 20 explosive pushups.

You will burn several times more calories than your old routine and your post-exercise metabolic rate will go through the roof. Other good cardio booster exercises include: vertical and horizontal jumps, step-ups, lunge jumps, jump rope, jogging in place and shadow boxing. If you have access to cardio machines, include 60 second bicycle or treadmill sprints, 250-500 meter rowing efforts or a quick, all-out elliptical effort.

Intuitive Eating

Author: Ridge Personal Trainer Annie Barber

When I was a child, I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and stopped when I was full. Somewhere along the way, that style of eating was lost to me. As I grew up, I learned about new diets and weight loss techniques through the media, took nutrition classes, started counting calories, and suddenly I was critiquing every single thing I put in my mouth. What happened to that inner voice that just told me what I wanted and told me when I’ve had enough?

Here are a few ways to get back in touch with yourself and start eating intuitively..

1. Reject the diet mentality Try to stay away from diets that promise quick and easy weight loss-listen to your body!
2. Honor your hunger Think of your body as a fire- it needs fuel (food) to keep burning
3. Make peace with food Give yourself unconditional permission to eat! The more you tell yourself you cant have something the more you will want it, and may eventually binge on it.
4. Challenge the food police Try to not label foods as good or bad- you are not a good or bad person depending on the type of food you eat
5. Respect your fullness Listen to those body cues that tell you that you are no longer hungry-wait 20 minutes after you’re done with a meal to truly let the fullness set in
6. Discover the satisfaction factor There can be pleasure and satisfaction from eating- focus on the food you are eating, enjoy each bite, be thankful and savor your food!
7. Honor your feelings without using food Many of us turn to food to help comfort, nurture, distract or check out: try to find other ways to fill those voids.
9. Exercise-Feel the difference Shift your focus to feeling on how good you feel during and after exercise-instead of how many calories you’re burning
10. Honor your health Make smart and nutritious choices that make you feel good! Moderation and consistently maintaining a healthy diet with variety will do you well in the long run!


The 80/20 Rule

Author: Ridge Personal Trainer Jackie Corcoran

If your mind is anything like mine, you have vowed to avoid favorite “taboo” foods only to find yourself overindulging in them. I have learned in my 42 years that deprivation does not work for me.

Here is what I do to maintain a steady weight: keep it simple and avoid diets like the plague. For the sake of simplicity and enjoying my favorite snacks, I follow the 80/20 rule everyday—even on weekends. Here’s how I do it: 80% or more of all foods and beverages I consume every day are good quality, organic, local (when possible) whole grains, fruits, veggies, vegetable protein and locally raised eggs (my husband eats local lean red meats as well.) The other 20% of my diet is whatever I want it to be (today I had a peanut butter sandwich cookie from WeeBees and will have a glass of red wine with dinner tonight.) That simple.

If you need to get more specific, look at it this way: I went to the site http://www.calorieking.com and clicked on “calculators/tools” in the left side bar. Once that page opened, I clicked on “Weight Maintenance Calories Calculator” on the right. I plugged in my age, height and weight to get an estimated amount of calories I should consume everyday to maintain my current weight (if I were trying to lose, I would cut out 500 calories or burn 500 more a day to lose 1lb/week.) It says I need 1700 calories a day. 20% of 1700 is 340 calories—about the amount of a cookie and a glass of wine.

Some days I miss the mark and other days I skip the sweets and/or chips altogether but I don’t feel deprived because I know I can have them—guilt free—tomorrow and the next day.

Pump it up!

Author: Ridge Personal Trainer, Annie Barber

Personally, if I cannot exercise without music, it’s typically a struggle to complete my workout. Music motivates me to work harder, increase my resistance, pick up my pace, and helps me get through my workout on days where it’s a battle. Here are some of my favorite workout songs..

1. OMG- Usher

2. Something for the DJ’s- Pitbull

3. Born This Way- Lady GaGa

4. We R Who We R- Ke$ha

5. Not Afraid- Eminem

6. Club Can’t Handle Me- Flo Rida

7. No Limit- 2 Unlimited (ESPN Jock Jams)

8. Sandstorm- Darude

9. Gotta Get Thru This- Daniel Bedingfield

10. Stereo Love- Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina

11. Winner- Jamie Foxx feat. Justin Timberlake & T.I

12. Green Light- John Legend & Andre 3000

13. Stronger (Workout Remix)- Power Music Workout (Kanye West)

14. Show Me the Money- Petey Pablo

15. Survivor- Destiny’s Child

16. Boom Boom Pow- Black Eyed Peas

17. Dynamite- Taio Cruz

18. SOS- Rihanna

19. Bottoms Up (Feat. Nicki Minaj)- Trey Songz

20. Push It- Salt-N-Pepa

Hope you enjoy: go get your workout on!!

Every Body Is Beautiful…

Author: Ridge Personal Trainer Annie Barber

We all come to the gym for a variety of reasons. To look good in a bathing suit, to have an hour away from our hectic lives, to relieve the stresses of the day, to improve our blood pressure, and to have fun doing something that is GREAT for you… These are all wonderful reasons, but sometimes we are way to harsh on ourselves to look and act a certain way. Do you ever not go out of the house because you have a bad hair day? Do you refuse to eat delicious food because you want to fit into those skinny jeans? Body image is the conception or picture you have of your own body, and a negative body image can harm all of us regardless of size, gender, race, etc.  Here are a few words of advice from IDEA Health and Fitness Association…

Work Towards a Positive Body Image
If you find yourself feeling bad about your body, believing that only other people are attractive, or being ashamed and self-conscious of your body here are a few helpful tips..

  • Care for and value your body at all times
  • Dress in a way that makes you feel good right now
  • Find a physical activity that is enjoyable; accomplishing something physical will boost your self-esteem
  • Learn to trust your body
  • Look in the mirror without judging yourself
  • Set your goals in terms of achieving physical health and emotional wellbeing
  • Change your Negative Thinking
  • Celebrate YOURSELF
  • Write down 10 things you love about yourself… I’m a great father/mother, my legs are strong, I am organized, etc.. Look at this list everyday and add to it as often as necessary. When you have a negative thought about yourself, pull out this list and EMBRACE YOUR INNER and OUTER BEAUTY!

As a trainer, I’ve seen people who both love and hate their body. New research published in the open access journal International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity shows that improving body image can enhance the effectiveness of weight loss programs based on diet and exercise. Having a positive body image means to celebrate and appreciate your natural body shape, to be proud and accepting of your unique body, to feel comfortable and confident in your body, and to know that who you are on the inside matters the most.

Here is a Nike ad that is one of my favorites..

The Power of Goal Setting

I spent two years working at Nike before moving back to Bozeman.  I had the rare opportunity to meet an amazing man, named Howard White. Howard, or “H” as they refer to him, is the Vice President of Brand Jordan, but more importantly, an amazing motivational speaker and friend. He taught me, and many others the importance of goal setting. Here were his words of advice:

1.)  Visualize your goal– in your personal life, work, etc.

2.)  Write it down (put it somewhere where you can easily reference it)

3.)  Sacrifice (think about what you have to give up in order to achieve it…this is where many people fail)

4.)  Do the work (embrace the challenges along the way)

5.)  Always know (“there will be thorns in the briar patch”)

Here is a clip from one of his speeches about putting in the work to achieve your goals.

If you need any help with goal setting, I would love to assist you. As H says, “See the invisible, do the impossible.” YOU HAVE IT IN YOU! 

Author: Ridge Personal Trainer Annie Barber 

Burn the Fat, Keep the Muscle!

Did You Know?

Low-intensity cardiovascular exercise only burns calories while you are actually exercising. That means the moment you stop exercising, your caloric expenditure goes back down to nearly baseline levels. Within minutes, you’re not burning many more calories than if you hadn’t done anything at all.

High-intensity interval training, on the other hand, continues to boost your metabolism long after you’re done (often up to 24 hours after, depending on the length and intensity of the training session). This means you’re continuing to burn many more calories all day long!

Low-intensity exercise does nothing to build or support muscle mass. Maintaining muscle mass is critical to an effective fat-loss strategy as muscle burns fat just sitting there. Want to keep your metabolism working to burn fat? Do whatever you can to build or keep your muscle tissue.

High-intensity interval training has the potential to increase muscle mass. Compare the body of a top sprinter to a top marathon runner. The sprinter carries far more muscle mass. You won’t get big bulky muscles from high-intensity training but you will get shapely and more defined muscles!

High-intensity interval training can be applied to any form of cardiovascular exercise. Anything from walking/sprinting to swimming to bike riding will work perfectly. I recommend doing his type of training 2 to 3 times per week for best results. As always, be sure to consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.

Author: Josh Palmer, Ridge Fitness Director and Personal Trainer

What’s The Losing Combo?

Ridge Personal Trainer Leah Vogel

After three years of personal training, Ridge Personal Trainer Leah Vogel shares what her top weight loss clients all have in common.

  • All tracked their food intake using livestrong.com or fitday.com
  • All did cardio at least 2 times per week for at least 30 minutes.  This was sometimes as simple as walking.
  • All trained 2 times per week with a personal trainer.  Most were just half hour sessions instead of a full hour!
  • Some weighed in every week
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel and try the latest fad.  Just take a pro’s advice to get real results!

The Perception of Perfection

Author: Ridge Personal Trainer Jackie Corcoran

Do you want to feel more beautiful, loved and nurtured? It costs no money, requires no pulled muscles or extreme dieting and has nothing to do with the perfect soul mate. It starts right here with your own mind. Here are a few tips to get you going:

1. Take this moment to recognize one of the many incredible accomplishments your body makes on your behalf every day.  Is it driving, walking, petting your dog, breathing?  Practice this appreciation throughout the day. This type of healthy and realistic relationship makes it clear that the body is a tool–not ornament.
2. Change your perception of perfection. If one’s idea of perfection is always something out of reach–never to be attained–it becomes habit-forming and there is no lasting happiness.  Even when goals are reached, the emotional reward is short-lived because the mind is still in the cycle of not living up to unrealistic ideals.  Life is too short to live this way. Love yourself today–just as you are–wherever you are. If this feels impossible, investigate your own self-esteem and take action to build it up.

Mental patterns are hard to change. It takes time and diligence. It is easy to fall back into old patterns of thinking but the brain is plastic and you can change it. You are in control--make thoughts about yourself loving ones.

To read Jackie’s bio click here

Do you want to get “toned”?

Ridge Personal Trainer Jon Davis gives us the scoop on the importance of lifting weights.

Do you spend most of your time doing cardio while at the gym? If your goal is to lose weight or get “toned”, you probably need to spend less time on the treadmill or elliptical, and more time weight training. With most types of cardio, you burn calories while you exercise, but once you stop, your body quickly returns back to normal metabolic rate. Lifting weights builds muscle, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even when sitting!

A lot of women are scared that they will get “too bulky” or will “look like a guy” if they lift weights. This is probably the most common misconception about weight training. Women have approximately one-tenth the testosterone of males, making it very hard to put on “bulk”, even if you are working out as hard as a man. Still, women CAN build muscle, but it is typically the long and lean muscles that most women want. The fastest, and healthiest way to lose weight, get lean, and get toned is to have a balanced regimen of cardio and weight training, paired with a healthy diet.

Read Ridge Personal Trainer Jon Davis’s Bio here.

The Dirt On Carbohydrates & Exercise

Ridge Personal Trainer Kate Murphy gives you the dirt on carbs and exercise…

Current research shows that when carbohydrate stores are depleted by almost 50%, there is evidence that there is actually increased stimulus for enhanced enzyme activity in skeletal muscle, which is a good thing, since it means you can more efficiently produce energy from fuel. As long as the training session is not performed in a carbohydrate depleted state, and does not exceed about 2 and a half hours, there is no evidence to show that avoiding carbohydrate during the session will reduce performance, and there is research that actually shows quite the contrary – no loss of performance!

Whether any of these benefits are due to decreased carbohydrate use or increased fat use is unclear, but there are obviously benefits to going low carbohydrate before and during training.

In summary, if you restrict carbohydrates before, during or after training you may:
#1: Increase activity of the biological mechanisms responsible for building and repairing lean muscle tissue.
#2: Increase ability to preserve and ration valuable carbohydrate stores.
#3: Increase fat utilization during exercise.
#4: Increase the activity of the enzymes responsible for metabolizing carbohydrates during high intensity exercise, such as racing.
*Also, reducing overall carbohydrate consumption is directly linked to weigh loss. The theory behind the low-carb diet is that insulin prevents fat breakdown in the body by allowing sugar to be used for energy. Proponents of the low-carb diet believe that a decrease in carbs results in lower insulin levels, which causes the body to burn stored fat for energy. Try it!!! You won’t be disappointed!

Remember…choose the best carbohydrate-rich foods, such as 100% whole-grain products, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Avoid foods that contain large amounts of refined (white) flour and sugar, such as sugary snacks, pastries, sugar-sweetened soft drinks, candy, cookies, greasy chips and most processed, packaged snack foods. These foods contain too many calories while offering little or no nutritional value.

Read Ridge Personal Trainer Kate Murphy’s bio here. 

Don’t be afraid to lift heavy!

Personal Trainer Krista Kottraba

Take a tip from Ridge Personal Trainer Krista Kottraba, don’t be afraid to lift heavy. Increasing your weights by even 5 pounds can make a big difference in your workout. If you always stick to light weights and high reps you aren’t going to get the results you want. The best way to fully change your composition is to increase your weights, even if it’s just a little bit, and decrease your reps to no more than 12 per set. That in combination with adjusting your diet and incorporating cardio can make a big difference in reaching your goals.

Can I say it?…Summer’s Finally Here!

Yay for sunshine!

I really don’t want to jinx our beautiful weather this week but I think it’s safe to say that summer is finally here! It doesn’t get any better than summertime in Bozeman; Music on Main, Art Walks, live music, Shakespeare in the Park, barbeques, camping, farmers markets and more. It’s also the time of year when we dust off our bikinis and board shorts and find that the cold winter may have added a few pounds to our waistline.  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered to whip you back into shape in no time.  Here are some tips to help you tighten up while still getting outside and enjoying our short but sweet summer.

  • Kwik Kore   Take care of those ab and back exercises in 15 minutes with Kwik Kore at The Ridge.  We have it several different times during the day to help you fit into your schedule.  View our class schedule here 
  • Get outside!  Hike the M, take your dog for a run, or go waterskiing on the lake all while getting a little suntan.  If you tend to do better with someone pushing you, we have outdoor bootcamps at the Ridge, Lana’s Bootcamp and our Nike Bootcamp with Josh and Annie.
  • Strength Train  There’s no better way to reshape your body than to lift weights.  Just doing cardio is not going to get your body to its fullest potential.  If you haven’t used your 2 free personal training sessions, set one up by calling the Ridge and let us help you reach your goals.  If you prefer group classes, Power Pump is also a great guided weights class.
  • Have A Goal  Bozeman and the surrounding areas have so many active events to participate in.  Whether you want to do a bike race, a marathon, a triathlon, or your first 5K, set a goal, register for the event, and stick to it.  You might discover a new hobby in the process.  Some of the staff at The Ridge will be racing in The Dirty Dash, a 5K mud run and obstacle course in Billings July 30th.  We’d love to see you there with us!
  • Drink lots of water  Don’t forget to hydrate your body as you get more sunshine and more active.  Better skin, reduced hunger, more effective workouts….there’s no reason not to!
  • Go easy at the BBQ’s  Though we all can indulge a little from time to time, with the number of BBQ’s, weddings, and food and alcohol focused events, it’s easy to say yes to everything and watch the number on the scale creep upwards.  Keep yourself in check by taking smaller servings, opting for the grilled meats, fruit and veggies, planning ahead (we like www.livestrong.com for food tracking), and eating something healthy before hand so you aren’t starving when you arrive.  When it comes to drinks, go for the no calorie or lower calorie options ie: instead of mixing something with juice or soda, mix it with club soda, which has no calories but still gives you some fizz.
Have a fun and safe summer!  We look forward to seeing you in the club for your workouts!

Whip your body into shape with ropes


Rope: a strong, thick line or cord, commonly one composed of twisted or braided strands of hemp, flax, or the like, or of wire or other material.

Who would’ve thought such a simple tool could give you one of the toughest workouts you’ve ever tried?  If you’re stuck in the same ol’ same ol’ routine of bicep curls and the elliptical, try out the ropes with a trainer to work everything from you lungs to your abs.  You might be thinking to yourself, “They’re not that heavy, it looks pretty easy.”  Okay, well let’s see you put your money were your mouth is.

I found the history on the ropes from an article by Vicky Hallett in the Washington post.  To view the full article, click here. 

If you want someone to blame, look to John Brookfield, a North Carolina-based strongman who’s known for dragging trucks, ripping up decks of cards and bending nails. About five years ago, he was searching for a new feat and came up with the idea of creating continuous waves with ropes, which turned out to be a challenge even for him. “If you lift a weight, as it comes down, you can use momentum,” he says. “With ropes, it’s all pure output. There’s no lull in the action.”

There’s no rest for a single muscle, either, as the whipping motion requires you to fight against your own power. Not only do you need to generate the energy to create ripples, you also need to stabilize your body or you’ll topple over.

If you have questions, or want to try one of these workouts out, ask a Ridge Personal Trainer.  The personal trainers featured in the video are Josh Palmer and Jon Davis.

One Day At A Time

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Need a little inspiration? Maybe even a good laugh? If so, be sure to follow Serene’s Blog, One Day At A Time, where Serene, a 22 year old MSU student and self proclaimed “food addict” takes on the challenge of changing her life and her body with the help of her friends, her trainer Lana Lahey, and The Ridge Athletic Clubs. Follow her story here

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