Working Out with Specificity in Relation to Upper Cross Syndrome

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With functional movements creating a buzz in the fitness community, many people are adapting their workouts to incorporate 5 key lifts.  Bench press, Squat, Cleans, Overhead Press, and Deadlifts can make an excellent foundation for many individuals who don’t have a specific goal in mind.  Think about what your job requires you to do or what you do in everyday life that requires power (work/time).  These activities may range from grabbing your groceries out of your cart to hanging drywall all day.  Regardless of what activity you perform, it all requires power to execute.  This is where specificity comes into play. If your job requires you to stock shelves for long periods, adding in some more core strengthening exercises as well as shoulder strengthen specific exercise would be a very good idea.  If your job has you at a desk for most of the day, core strengthening plays a very important role in maintaining good posture and keep your lower back from hurting.  Take a moment to think about your current activity requirements for life, and add in these exercises that will help improve the day to day!

Here is a sample workout that includes some specificity tailored to someone who sits behind a desk primarily.  Often we see an issue arise known as Upper Cross Syndrome.  This involves having a tight chest and tight upper traps in combination with weak rhomboids, lower traps, and weak cervical flexors.  Making sure to do an all inclusive back workout is critical to eliminate this problem.

Start with a lat pull down of 3 sets at 12 reps.  (Written in shorthand as 3×12)

lat pull down 1 lat pull down 2

Then move to seated low rows at 3×12.  Make sure to activate your entire trap by squeezing your shoulders together at the bottom of the exercise.

seated low row 1 seated low row 2

Bent over rows with a barbell are another great way to target your traps and rhomboids at 3×12

bent over row 1 bent over row 2

To finish out your back workout move to back extension at 3×12

back extension 1 back extension 2

Then add in some core (making sure to maintain proper posture through entire exercise),

Prone Superman Holds 3×10

Prone Superman Holds 1 Prone Superman Holds 2

Pelvic  Bridge 3×10

pelvic bridge 1 pelvic bridge 2

Clam Shells (feel free to use a band to add resistance when ready) 3×10

clam shell 1 clam shell 2

By adding in these exercises to your workouts, you will strengthen your core and be on your way to better fitness.  If you are unsure what exercises can help benefit you specifically, or would like a demonstration of these exercises, your fitness professionals are here to help.

Jay Corti, ACSM-CPT

20150402_jay_0014About the Author:

Certifications and Education

ACSM Certified Personal Trainer

NREMT Emergency Medical Technician/ Healthcare Provider CPR certified

USSA Mogul Skiing Level 1 certification

Working on Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science with Coaching Minor

Adolescents and Activity

posted in: Fitness Matters 0

Ridge atheltic CLubs Adolescents and Activity

In today’s electronic filled world it’s difficult to get most kids away from the television, computer, video games, and cell phones. Yet, it is vitally important for youths to get enough physical activity each day. For some parents this seems like a daunting task and it can be, but the rewards are great. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adolescents get at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day and this should include aerobic, muscle, and bone strengthening activities. Walking at 3 to 4.5 mph on a level surface is the standard for moderate activity. Now, most of us are saying “Great, I know the amount but what activities should they be doing, and how do I get them involved?” These are great questions and are very common among most parents, and this should help you answer both.

First, however, lets discuss the benefits and reason the CDC recommends 60 minutes a day. There are numerous benefits from regular physical activity and exercise such as longevity, health and wellness to strength and performance gains. Physical activity can help control weight, build and maintain strong bones and muscles & improve and maintain cardiovascular health. For example, regular physical activity has been shown to be of benefit in helping prevent high blood pressure. By engaging children and teens in activities early in life it will help shape their attitude and behavior towards exercise as well as establish good habits for their lives.

How do you get your child or teen active? This can be tough, but like most things one of the best ways to do this is to be active yourself. Setting a positive example and leading a healthy active lifestyle is one of the biggest and easiest ways to encourage your children to do the same! This not only benefits you but also increases the ways you can share experiences and bond as a family. Next is to establish a daily routine of activity; These can be as simple as taking a walk together, playing active games together, going for bike rides or taking a hike as a family. Taking children and teens to places where they can be active is another great way to stimulate them. Community parks or playgrounds are fun and enjoyable places to go as well as baseball fields and basketball courts. Support your child in their active interests such as sports and encourage them to try new sports and activities. Often times, these can be grouped together. Let me share a short story with you.

At age 10, a young boy and his grandmother started going for walks together, a mile or 2 every night. They continued walking together – or sometimes he would ride his bike – for the next 3 years. They would sometimes walk to parks and playgrounds where he would run around and play on the equipment for bit before they returned home. Other times they would just walk. They experienced both the physical and health benefits from these walks but they also enjoyed the family time and the bonding. To this day those walks are some of the fondest memories they share with each other. The point of this story is that being active together as a family will not only improve your quality of life from a health and wellness perspective but will can also bring you closer together as a family.

So what are some ways to get your children active that are fun and exciting? How about shooting hoops or playing basketball. This is a great way to get your kids active along with improving motor skills, building bone and muscle, and let’s face it, its fun! Soccer is another great sport that can be played together. It can be as basic as kicking the ball while moving around a field back and forth and it is great for coordination or it can be made into a full game. This can be a great aerobic and bone building activity. Often times Frisbee has been left off of lists but it is an excellent way to get outside and be active. A personal favorite is Ultimate Frisbee where there are no steps after the catch and it takes a minimum of 5 passes before you score. The weather, however, is not always so cooperative to allow for only outdoor activities and as such. Indoor swimming can be a wonderful family activity. It can be a full body workout to building muscle strength as well as aerobic endurance. Lastly games are a great way to get kids interested in activities and setting up an indoor relay or obstacle course can be fun for everyone.

Getting your children to be active is important to a healthy lifestyle. If given the chance do activities as a family, they are much more fun and rewarding. Finally, 60 minutes a day of moderate activity is only the minimum guideline according to the CDC but you can always aim for more.

Andrew Peck, CPT

Getting Results

Exercise training can have huge impacts on body composition, muscle function, cardiorespiratory fitness and overall quality of life. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research evaluated the effects of receiving exercise training from a certified professional versus self-directed exercise training on body mass and other fitness-related measures in a fitness club setting.  Thirty-four men were randomly assigned to either a nonlinear periodized training group under the direction of a certified professional (17 men total) or to a self-directed training group (17 men total).  All men in both groups trained 3d/wk for 12wks. Lean body mass, muscle strength (1 rep max), vertical jump, and aerobic capacity were measured before and after the study.

The results of the study showed that those individuals who worked with a certified professional increased their lean body mass with no significant change in the self-directed group. Similarly, the professionally directed group showed significant improvements in strength and aerobic capacity. The authors concluded that club members who train with quality certified professionals obtain significantly greater improvements in body composition and other fitness-related measures versus performing the exercise on their own.

The professional supervision, exercise knowledge, and motivation are key components to ensuring your exercise is safe, effective, and fun. Please contact me or one of our certified Fitness Professionals for more information.

Happy Exercising,

Eddie Davila

Ridge Personal Trainer Eddie Davila

About the Author: Ed Davila is the Director of Fitness at the Ridge Athletic Clubs. He is a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist & Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. He is also a Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist through the Back School of Atlanta.


Storer T.W., Dolezal B.A., Berenc  M.N., Timmins J.E., and Cooper C.B. Effect of supervised, periodized exercise training vs. self-directed training on lean body mass and other fitness variables in health club members. J Strength Cond Res. (2014). 28(7): 1995-2006.


posted in: Strength Training 0

powerlifiting header

When most people hear powerlifting they think of hulk like men yelling and slamming weights around in the gym. While there are those who fit that description there are also those who go about their workout quietly reaping its benefits. Powerlifting is a workout focused on competing in bench, squat, and dead lift but you do not have to compete in order to power lift. It is simply a style of training that holds many benefits such as building muscle, bone health, weight loss, improving flexibility and mobility, and heart strength and is something I use with many of my clients in their training programs.

 Together, the three exercises of powerlifting (bench, squat, and dead lift) work most of the muscles on the body. Bench focuses on the major push muscles; chest, shoulder, and triceps. While those are the major muscles worked your core gets worked as well. Squats hit some of the biggest muscles in the body; gluteus, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. While those muscles are the main movers of squatting your back and core also play a very important role in stabilizing the spine and bar throughout the motion. But perhaps the most muscle involved exercise of the three power lifts is dead lift. This exercise works the entire leg, back, core, shoulders, and forearms.

 The question that remains is how does all of this weight training address so many health benefits? Whenever your body is placed under a load your entire body needs to adapt to it. The body does this by increasing muscular strength, improving the density of bone, strengthening the heart to supply more blood, and expanding its range of motion so that movement throughout the exercise is safer. All of this combines into the body requiring more energy to work and it finds it in fat.

 Powerlifting is not a cure-all exercise routine but it is a great way to change-up your workout, break out of the same old routine, and challenge your body. If you need help perfecting your form or want to learn more about powerlifting, your Ridge Fitness Professionals are here to help.

logang-largeAbout the Author
Logan Gregg has a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

Different Choices = Different Results

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Cat has tried to lose weight before and not been successful. In fact, if you talk with her you will find that she is very open and honest when it comes to how many times she has tried and failed. So what makes this time any different? How is it possible that she lost 30 pounds in six weeks and 14 inches in 37 days?

Cat at day one and at week 8
Cat at day one and at week 8

We think she tells it best over at her blog: Journey of a Fat Cat.

The choices that she is making & her dedication to becoming a healthier person is nothing short of inspirational!

Estimating Intensity

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From the last post, we learned that at least 30-min/day (or 150-min/wk) moderate-to-vigorous physical activity is the minimum needed to promote general health benefits. For additional health benefits, engaging in physical activity beyond the Federal Guidelines is encouraged – more is better!

So, how do we gauge intensity? How do we know if what we are doing for physical activity is considered moderate-to-vigorous? For starters, what is the difference between physical activity and exercise? Physical activity can be defined as any activity that causes muscle contractions and results in an increase in energy expenditure. Exercise is a type of planned physical activity that is structured and intentional. For example, playing with your kids for 30-min outside is considered physical activity whereas going to the gym to do cardiovascular and resistance training is considered exercise – it’s planned and intentional.

There are several ways to estimate intensity (absolute and relative). Some field-based methods to estimate intensity include: percent of heart rate reserve (%HRR), percent of HRMAX (%HRMAX), metabolic equivalents (METs), rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and even step rate using pedometers.

Using the Karvonen Formula

To estimate intensity using %HRR (using Karvonen formula):

  • 220 –age = maximum heart rate
  • Maximum heart rate – resting heart rate = heart rate reserve
  • (Heart rate reserve x training % ) + resting heart rate

*Example: A 55yr old with a resting heart rate if 62bpm who wants to train at 60% maximum.

  • 220 – 55 = 165bpm
  • 165 – 62 = 103bpm (heart rate reserve)
  • (103 x 0.6) + 62 = 124bpm

Often times, it’s useful to establish a target heart rate range to keep exercising heart rate within, for example between 60 and 70% HRR. You would simply perform the same calculation with 0.7, which would give an upper %HRR range.

Using  the 220 – Age Formula

If you were to use the traditional %HRMAX formula, this same person would have a target heart rate of 99bpm (220 – 62) x 0.6)) = 95bpm.  The Karvonen formula almost always calculates a higher target heart rate than the 220 – age method and uses two individual characteristics (i.e., age and resting heart rate). To work at moderate or vigorous intensity, you can see in the below table which percentage values you can reference when trying to establish relative intensity for either method.

Methods to Estimate Relative Intensity
Intensity %HRR %HRMAX RPE
Very light <30 <57 <Very light (RPE <9)
Light 30-39 57-63 Very light-fairly light (RPE 9-11)
Moderate 40-59 64-76 Fairly light to somewhat hard (RPE 12-13)
Vigorous 60-89 77-95 Somewhat hard to very hard (RPE 14-17)
Near-maximal to maximal >90 >96 > Very hard (RPE > 18)

NOTE: Table adapted from Garber et al., 2011.

Using the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale

Rating of perceived exertion is a subjective score that represents an individual’s evaluation of fatigue based on a scale from 6 to 20 or 0 to 10. Individuals who take medications that influence heart rate can use this scale to easily monitor exercise intensity ( Below is the Borg RPE scale (6 to 20). At any point during exercise, you can self-evaluate where you feel your exercise intensity is based on a number from 6 to 20. That number corresponds to a descriptive term (see below).

The Borg Scale Rating of Perceived Exertion
Rating Perception of Effort
7 Very, very light
9 Very light
11 Fairly light
13 Somewhat hard
15 Hard
17 Very hard
19 Very, very hard


Using Metabolic Equivalents (METs)

Just about all the cardio equipment at our facility displays METs. One MET is equal to 3.5ml O2/kg/min, which is the amount of oxygen we consume at rest. As we engage in physical activity, our heart rate elevates and we start to breathe faster and harder. As a result, the amount of oxygen we consume goes up to meet the demands of the body. Likewise, our working MET level also goes up. In other words, a MET is simply another tool we use to gauge intensity.  See below for an example table of METs and associated activities. Notice the light, moderate, and vigorous intensity thresholds.

Using absolute methods, such as METs can lead to greater error in estimating intensity when compared to relative methods. For example, an older person working at 6 METs may be exercising at a vigorous to maximal intensity, while a younger individual working at the same absolute intensity may be working at a moderate intensity (Garber et al., 2011). Thus, using a relative method to estimate intensity may be more appropriate, particularly for older and de-conditioned people (Garber et al., 2011).

Physical activity MET
Light intensity activities < 3
sleeping 0.9
watching television 1.0
writing, desk work, typing 1.8
walking, 1.7 mph (2.7 km/h), level ground, strolling, very slow 2.3
walking, 2.5 mph (4 km/h) 2.9
Moderate intensity activities 3 to 6
bicycling, stationary, 50 watts, very light effort 3.0
walking 3.0 mph (4.8 km/h) 3.3
calisthenics, home exercise, light or moderate effort, general 3.5
walking 3.4 mph (5.5 km/h) 3.6
bicycling, <10 mph (16 km/h), leisure, to work or for pleasure 4.0
bicycling, stationary, 100 watts, light effort 5.5
Vigorous intensity activities > 6
jogging, general 7.0
calisthenics (e.g. push ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, jumping jacks), heavy, vigorous effort 8.0
running jogging, in place 8.0
rope jumping 10.0

Using Step Rate from Pedometers

The available evidence suggests that 100 steps/min is a rough approximation of moderate intensity physical activity. However, because of the errors associated with using step counts or prediction algorithms to estimate energy expenditure, researchers recommend using steps/min combined with duration of activity (e.g., 100 steps/min for 30 min/session).

Establishing intensity is an extremely important component of fitness and often times is one of the most challenging.  Furthermore, it’s only one piece of the pie. To ensure you set an intensity level that is appropriate for you and that is safe and effective, please see one of our Fitness Professionals.

Happy Exercising,

Ed Davila

Ridge Personal Trainer Eddie DavilaAbout the Author: Ed Davila is the Director of Fitness at the Ridge Athletic Clubs. He is a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist & Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. He is also a Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist through the Back School of Atlanta.


  1. Garber C.E., Blissmer B., Deschenes M.R., Franklin B.A., Lamonte M.J., Lee I-Min., Nieman D.C., Swain D.P. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintain cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011. 43(7): 1334-1359.

The Importance of Exercise Progression

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Human beings are creatures of habit. Many of us can think of something we do at the same time every day in the exact same way. Routine is good, but when it comes to doing the same exercises with the same amount of intensity (weight, speed, etc.) for a chronic amount of time, you can actually hinder your body’s ability to make gains.

If your goal is strength gain make sure to slowly keep increasing the weight you are using for each exercise and make sure your repetition range is conducive for meeting your goals (see table below). If you are trying to increase your speed, try adding interval training into your running, biking, and or swimming routine. An example of speed training is to pick 1 day a week where you increase your race pace for short bursts of time. For example you could have an interval session where you focus on sprints of 200m or 400m followed by an appropriate recovery period. As you build up to race day, those intervals could then be extended to 400m/800m or even 1km (1000m) speed sessions, where you are running much faster than race pace.

Whatever the goal may be remember to “shake up your routine” and you will see great results!

Type of Resistance Exercise Repetition Range
Strength 8-12 reps
Power 3-6 reps
Endurance 10-25 reps


About the Author

Krista Kottraba-Pancich has a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Health, is AHA/CPR Certified, and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

Meet Cody & Kristin – Team Body Blast

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Starting Monday, March 23, Ridge Athletic Clubs will be hosting a new program, developed and run by two MSU students!   Here is a word from students, Cody Hill and Kristin Laird, about the development and implementation of their program at Ridge Athletic Clubs!

image “We are seniors at Montana State University graduating this Spring with degrees in Health and Human Development. During the course of this semester we have designed a group fitness program that we really believe in. The 6-week program is open to all levels of fitness for those ages 18 and older. The program contains two workouts each week that combine the best of strength and interval training in a step-by-step, high intensity, body-blasting format. These metabolic boosting workouts are an energizing 50 minutes guaranteed to activate the entire body. Our passion for health and fitness is the foundation of this program and its design. With a focus on positivity and empowering others, we feel that our program has the elements to be very influential and can work to help individuals create a positive relationship with health and fitness. IMG_8215 After hearing our proposal among others, the Ridge Athletic Club selected our program, giving us the opportunity to deliver our very first group fitness program in their facility! We are more than excited for this experience and to have the chance to continue fueling our desire for fitness while creating positive changes in the lives of others! We invite you to join us on this new experience and help us as we help you! Come work with us to get into great shape before the summer season and for a lifetime to follow. Join Body Blast and have some fun twice a week while you “Sweat til’ Summer!”

If you are interested in participating in Body Blast, you may register online at Ridge-Upcoming Programs or at the Service Desk.  Please complete the following survey before registration Body Blast Survey

Get Moving and Stay Moving

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It’s well known that regular physical activity can lead to many long-lasting health benefits. In fact, physical fitness is considered to be one of the most important markers to predict cardiovascular disease and mortality. What is physical fitness? Physical fitness encompasses a variety of fitness-related metrics such as aerobic endurance, strength, flexibility body composition and core strength.

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the first ever Federal Physical Activity Guidelines to help Americans age 6 and older improve their health. According to the physical activity guidelines, being physically active is one of the most important decisions that Americans can make to improve their health.  The Federal Guidelines describe the benefits of regular physical activity:

  1. Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of many adverse health outcomes
  2. Some physical activity is better than none
  3. For most health outcomes, additional benefits occur as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, and/or longer duration
  4. Most health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. Additional benefits occur with more physical activity
  5. Both aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity are beneficial
  6. Health benefits occur for children and adolescents, young and middle-aged adults, older adults, and those in very racial and ethnic group
  7. The health benefits of physical activity occur for people with disabilities
  8. The benefits of physical activity far outweigh the possibility of adverse health outcomes

Below are the Federal recommendations for physical activity in a condensed version:

Type Children & Adolescents Adults Older Adults
Aerobic >60 minutes/day should be at moderate – or vigorous-intensity and should include vigorous-intensity at least 3 days/wk At least 150 minutes/wk of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes/wk of vigorous-intensity, or an equivalent combination of intensities. Should be performed in bouts of at least 10 consecutive minutes. Same as adults. If you cannot do 150 minutes because of chronic conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.
Muscle-strengthening As a part of their > 60 minutes of aerobic physical activity, they should include muscle-strengthening activity on at least 3 days/wk Moderate or high intensity and involve major muscle groups on 2 or more days/wk Same as adults. Should do exercises that maintain or improve balance if you are at an increased risk of falling.
Bone-strengthening At least 3 days/wk

For young people, it’s important to encourage them to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety. Further, physical activity should be progressed over time to meet or exceed the guidelines. The above recommendations are for general health benefits. For additional health benefits, you should engage in physical activity beyond the above recommendations. As always, it should always be performed in a safe and effective manner.

Recently, there was a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise by Marques et al. (2015). In the study, which included 2,506 youths (10-18 yr range), authors assessed the relationship between physical activity, sedentary time (time spent being physically inactive), and health-related fitness. They concluded that those youth who spent more time performing moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity resulted in greater physical fitness and, by extension, better health. These results lend more support to the Federal Guidelines and reinforce the importance of promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviors in youth. Another crucial point to address is that starting these behaviors when they are young helps establish a healthy routine that they will likely continue into adolescent and adult-hood! This is a great thing!!!

So, what does moderate and vigorous intensity mean? What’s moderate intensity physical activity for me? How do I establish it? We’ll cover that in my next blog post. Stay tuned and until then, keep moving!

Best in Health,

Ed Davila

Ridge Personal Trainer Eddie DavilaAbout the Author: Ed Davila is the Director of Fitness at the Ridge Athletic Clubs. He is certified as a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist & Health Fitness Specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine.


Marques, A., R. Santon, U. Ekelund, and L. B. Sardinha. Association between physical activity, sedentary time, and healthy fitness in youth. Med Sci Sports Exerc. (2015). 47(3); 575-580.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2008). 2008 Physical activity guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC: Healthier US Gov

Be Brave Enough to Start a Converstation That Matters

posted in: Weight Loss 2

Everyone has a story.

Some keep it to themselves & others decide to share it with the world. One of our newest members, Cat, falls into the latter category. With the ultimate goal of losing over 200 pounds, Cat’s story is an amazing and honest chronicle of the steps she’s taking to transform her life & body for herself and her family.


Subscribe to her blog & cheer her on @ Journey of a Fat Cat

Oh yeah! If you see her around The Ridge or in Bozeman, stop & say hi! You’ll quickly see why she is worth knowing.

Fifteen Minutes of Fitness – Anywhere

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As a fitness professional, lack of time is the most common reason that I hear from clients as to why they have not reached their fitness goals, or what has kept them from exercising in the first place. Fitness can mean a lot of things, but to me it means movement. Running, biking, hiking, skiing are all common types of movement that come to mind but they usually take planing and or preparation. Finding ways you can incorporate more movement into your daily life can be a great place to start. Here are some simple ways to start:

  • While brushing your teeth in the morning do 10 body weight squats and 10 calf raises.
  • When you get up from a chair or couch, sit back down and stand back up 10 times.
  • While waiting for something to warm up on the stove or in the microwave do body weight push-ups against the   counter.
  • Join your child on the playground and run up the stairs and down the slides.
  • Put laundry or dishes away one item at a time.
  • While on the phone pace the room or take laps up and down the hallway.
  • Park at the back of the lot when heading into a store or work.

Increased activity, no matter how small, adds up over time. Find a way to MOVE MORE!!!!

About the Author
Kristi Marshall has a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Promotion from the University of St. Thomas and is an ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

One Trick to any Successful New Year’s Resolution…. Exercise

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It’s crunch time. You’re two weeks into your New Year’s Resolution. By now you might be feeling the strain of the life altering change you’ve promised to see through, but stay strong. It takes 21 days to make a habit and you’re only 7 days away. Don’t be anxious, or stressed because there is one thing that will help you accomplish almost all of your New Year’s Resolutions, and it’s simple to do. EXERCISE!

Weight Loss

Everyone knows that exercise can help you lose weight, but exercise is a very broad, vague term at times. If your resolution is to lose weight and you’re killing yourself with the same workout over and over but aren’t seeing the results you want …. SWITCH IT UP! Exercise isn’t a one size fits all kind of thing. Try something new like boot camp, a cycling class, group fit, swimming, yoga, pick-up basketball, resistance training, Ridge X, or a personal training session. Your body will work harder than before because it’s trying something new and you may just find something that gives you the edge to reach your weight loss goal.

On a side note, if you’re debating between steady state cardio and some interval training, several studies show that while both types of exercise provide excellent benefits. Sweating it out for a 30 minute Ridge X session is a more efficient way to burn fat and lose weight compared to long duration steady state cardio, especially if you’re in a time crunch.

Stay Healthy, Physically and Mentally

Regular exercise boosts good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) levels while lowering the levels of harmful triglycerides to keep your body running at peak efficiency throughout the day. Since your body is humming along at 100%, your protection against stroke, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, depression, anxiety, and stress all skyrocket, making you a healthier, happier you.

Boost Energy and Improve Mood

Having a bad day? Need a boost of energy to keep your resolution cruising along? There’s nothing better than getting to the gym and blowing off some steam by throwing around some iron, pushing yourself on a cardio machine, or gritting through a fitness class. This type of physical exertion releases endorphins into your brain which relaxes your nerves, improves your mood, and boosts your confidence. At the same time, the influx of oxygen and nutrients that exercise pushes to your muscles helps your heart and lungs work in overdrive, boosting your energy levels and turning you into an ass-kicking machine.

Maintain Healthy Eating

Regular exercise has shown to lead to healthier diet decisions and also decreases appetite after your exercise bout is done. Be careful though, it’s easy to think that you just burned through a thousand calories on the treadmill, when in fact you were around the 400-500 range. Another aspect of maintaining your new healthy eating habits is to drink plenty of water. For all the incredible things your body and brain can do, they are terrible at deciding if you’re hungry or thirsty. All you know is that you need something in your stomach. Be honest, more often than not you’re going to reach for the hamburger over the bottle of water. If you are feeling hungry and don’t feel like you should be, drink a glass of water and wait 10-15 minutes. More times than not you’ll feel full after this and you can go on with your day. If you still feel hungry though, then you’re actually hungry and feel free to crack open that bag of carrots and have a snack.

Side note: Veggies, always choose veggies…. not fries, VEGGIES!

Kick a Habit

All of the benefits of exercise I’ve outlined can be directly cut and pasted into this section. Whether your habit is smoking, chewing tobacco, biting your nails, binge watching 10 seasons of a TV show on Netflix, or whatever else, it doesn’t matter. Exercise benefits all of you and can help you fight those urges when you’re trying to beat that monkey off your back. So instead of lighting up or queuing up the next episode, take a breath and go on a walk, go to the gym, hike the M, or do anything else that’s physically demanding. I promise it will help.

Sleep Better

If you’re like me and struggle falling asleep because your mind is running a million miles an hour with everything you have to get done tomorrow, RELAX! Regular exercise is great for tiring out your body and brain while providing you a sense of accomplishment for that day. This can lead to falling asleep faster and having deeper, more restorative sleep that your body craves. Careful not to workout too close to bedtime. Some people who regularly workout late at night have more trouble falling asleep due to the excess energy boost that comes with exercise. Just like with everything else though, test it out and see when you react best to exercise, then plan your day accordingly from there.


About the Author
Jake Bushnell has a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and
is an ACSM Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

Setting Realistic Goals for 2015

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As a personal trainer I spend a majority of my day helping members and clients set and reach attainable goals. I have found goal setting to be a rewarding, fun, and frustrating part of my job! The rewarding part being the satisfaction I see in my clients when they have reached a goal, the fun is being able to help someone reach their goals in way that is enjoyable and unique to them, and the frustrating is when a goal is so far out of reach that it is unattainable and therefore ineffective.
In 2015 I wanted to share a couple ways to set fun, attainable, and realistic goals without the frustration!
1. Make your goals SMART.
       Specific- Exactly what is your goal? “I want to lose 10 Lbs in 10 weeks.”
       Measurable- Is it a goal that can be measured? “I am going to weigh myself every Monday at 8:00 am.”
       Attainable- Can I physically lose 1 lb a week in 10 weeks? If I put in the work, YES!
       Realistic- Is this something that I can accomplish in the near future? (ps. it is healthy to lose up to 2 lbs a week if you realistically have weight to lose)
       Time specific- When do I want to accomplish my goal by? 10 weeks!
2. Start small, set a goal for yourself daily or weekly and make it something that you know you can reach but is still challenging for you. For example, if your goal is to make it to the gym 3 days a week then pick the days and times that best fit your busy schedule and then set your workout clothes aside so you have no excuses!
3. Set yourself up for success. Dont pick a goal that is too hard right away. For example if you are trying to lose weight and haven’t been active for years, don’t start coming 2 hours a day 7 days a week! Start with 2 days a week for 30-45 minutes, then once you have accomplished that slowly work your way up!
4. Meet with one of our Certified Personal Trainers on staff! Like I said previously we specialize in goal setting and truly enjoy helping you reach those goals so if you at all question what goal to set, if its realistic, or just need help getting started we are here for you! Every member gets 2 complimentary 1 hour consultations when joining, they do not expire so use them!
5. Once your goal has been reached reward yourself with something healthy for you! “I just lost 10 lbs so I am going to buy myself a new workout top that I feel great in!”
6. Lastly, once a goal has been reached set another! “Now that I lost 10 Lbs I am feeling great I am going to try Boot Camp for a challenge!
I wish you the best of luck in 2015 and truly hope you SMART goals for yourself. Set yourself up for success with a realistic goal and with a little determination the rest will follow!

Personal Trainer Krista Kottraba

About the Author
Krista Kottraba-Pancich has a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Health, is AHA/CPR Certified, and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

Gaining the Mental Edge

posted in: Uncategorized 0

059_Club2012Whenever you come to the gym and exercise there comes a point at which you need to make a decision. “Do I continue to push myself and become a little better today or do I call it good?” Gaining the mental edge can make or break your workouts and if you wait to make this decision until it comes, 9 times out of 10 you will take the easy way out. When it comes down to decision time, here are a couple things to consider.

First – “One More”. No matter how tired you are or how weak you feel you can always do one more. You may not be able to do the same weight again, but you could lower the weight and keep going. Whatever the case, you are always capable of doing one more.

Second – “I quit” or “I can’t”. Telling yourself these two things shuts down your body and makes you leaving the gym feeling like you did not give it your best. Every time you walk out the door you should not regret the effort you gave. Engrain these mentalities in your mind and remember, temporary discomfort is worth the lasting success it brings.


About the Author
Logan Gregg has a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

Commit to Healthier Habits this New Year!

posted in: Fitness Matters 0


The holiday season is known for decadent sweets, huge feasts, and generous gifts. It’s also one of the hardest times of the year to focus on health and fitness. Unhealthy distractions are everywhere and holiday stress can become overwhelming during the “most joyous time of the year.” That’s why when thinking about what gifts to give, the best idea may just be the gift of a healthier you. New Year’s resolution season is right around the corner and there couldn’t be a better time to start focusing on yourself and building a healthier, more fit you. Here are some suggestions that will get the ball rolling when planning your fitness inspired New Year’s resolution.

Set specific and attainable goals – Weight loss goals are very typical when it comes to New Year Resolutions, but weight loss isn’t the only fitness goal you can set for yourself. Sign-up and start preparing for a race you’ve always wanted to participate in, train for and run your fastest 5k time, climb the rope in the Ridge-X room, perform a bodyweight pull-up. These are just a few examples of specific and attainable goals that are personalized for you. When you decide what your goal will be, WRITE IT DOWN and place it in locations you’ll see throughout the day. These constant reminders will keep your goal in the back of your mind and keep you focused on achieving the fitness results you want.

If weight loss is your goal, it’s important to remember that everyone is different and that people will lose weight at different rates. As a general rule though, a healthy and sustainable rate for weight loss is about 1-2lbs per week. For example, if your resolution is to lose 20lbs, give yourself 10-20 weeks instead of 2-4 weeks to achieve the results. This will ensure that you can safely reach your weight loss goal without putting your body, mind, and spirit through the grinder. This principle goes for whatever goal you set for yourself. Just make sure you give yourself a realistic period of time to reach your fitness goal.

Set a realistic dietary plan – Use websites like,, or to learn more about healthy eating habits and to track your daily diet. These resources can be invaluable in determining how many calories, carbs, fats, and proteins your body needs while you’re improving your fitness. Each individual will have different dietary requirements, but as a general rule these resources will provide all the information you need to get your fitness goal started.

Some tricks for sticking to your new healthy eating habits are to make all of your meals for the week on Sunday or prepare your meals and healthy snacks the night before a busy day so you aren’t rushed in the morning. Running low on time? Grab a Shakeology meal replacement shake on your way out of the Ridge. They not only provide all the protein you’ll need to help post-workout recovery, they’re packed full of nutrients that boost mood and energy to keep your body running at maximum capacity. These simple tricks make it easier for you to stay on track with your dietary plan and to find fitness success.

Start a personalized training program – Whether you’re a seasoned vet in the gym or completely new to the health club scene, a great starting point for any fitness resolution is to schedule a consultation or appointment with a certified personal trainer. This could be a one-time thing or the start of a long term commitment that you’ll continue for weeks, months, or years to come. The Ridge personal trainers are knowledgeable about all facets of the fitness world and provide accountability, motivation, support, and new perspectives on health, nutrition, and fitness that you may not have considered before. Along with this, personal trainers can provide personalized workout routines that focus on proper technique, injury prevention, and workout efficiency to maximize your results and keep you healthy.

Whatever your fitness inspired New Year resolution, following these tips will give you a head-start and provide a solid foundation for building a healthier you. Remember that reaching your resolution goal isn’t the end, but is just the beginning of a new you and a fit lifestyle that you will benefit from the rest of your life.

jake  About the Author
Jake Bushnell has a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and
is an ACSM Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

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