fitness

Diet and Nutrition, The Fitness Academy

TFA Newsletter July 13: Group Class Announcements, Promos, Gut Health, & More!


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Hello again!

As usual, we have some awesome things to share with our TFA FIT FAM this week! Keep on reading to find out some new info about GROUP CLASSES, including a BRING A FRIEND PROMO and a NEW SUNDAY CLASS, how to get OPTIMAL GUT HEALTH, learn how to perfect and progress your SQUAT.

We will be sending these newsletters out bi-weekly so look out for them in your inboxes!

If you’re ready to have fun, sweat, and transform with us make sure you RSVP to the classes you wish to attend! Please RSVP in one of the following ways…

  • Click “RSVP For Weight Loss Classes” link under the ANNOUNCEMENTS section below. This will direct you to an online calendar of class dates/times.
  • Email, call, text, or tell us in person which classes you’d like to attend.
*Note: There is no penalty for missing a class you signed up for. We will not charge you for classes missed. However, we do have limited space so we ask that you consider this when RSVPing.

TFA Group Class Annoucements

BRING A FRIEND PROMO!

Help us expand our TFA FIT FAM by bringing a workout buddy! 🙂

Bring a friend to one class and get a FREE WEEK of classes – that’s up to 4 FREE CLASSES!

We want you to share your awesomely sweaty fitness experience with a friend or a loved one AND get rewarded for it!


NEW SUNDAY CLASS AT 12 PM

STARTING TOMORROW 7/14, we are now adding a SUNDAY CLASS AT 12 PM! So the schedule is as follows…
Monday Night at 8 pm
Wednesday Night at 8 pm
Saturday Afternoon at 12 pm
Sunday Afternoon at 12 pm

If you want to take the classes, you MUST RSVP for them so that we have an accurate head count! You can do so by emailing us, texting us, telling us in person, or you can sign up using the red button below that says “SIGN UP FOR WEIGHT LOSS CLASSES.” We will be sending out the calendars for two weeks at a time, so you can book your classes for the next two weeks every time our bi-weekly newsletter is sent out.

RESERVE YOUR CLASS SPOT BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW!
If you are unsure of future dates, it is okay to just sign up for the upcoming week or two. We will be sending this calendar link out in every newsletter.

GROUP CLASS PRICES

NOW OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! BRING YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, OR CO-WORKERS! ONE FREE CLASS FOR EVERY REFERRAL!

Continuing Group Classes
1-2 classes per week – $20 per class
3-4 classes per week – $15 per class
You can by per class, weekly, monthly, however you prefer!

FOR EVERY 5 CLASSES ATTENDED IN A ROW, YOU WILL WIN ONE FREE CLASS!

*Classes will be held at the same times they are currently offered, however we will consider moving Wednesday morning’s class to Thursday morning if we have enough people sign up.
**There must be at least 3 sign ups per class in order for us to keep it going.

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK

TAKE CARE OF YOUR GUT!

Our gut health is SO IMPORTANT when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, functioning optimally, feeling great on a daily basis, and it also plays a key role in our weight loss efforts. Besides all that, most of us suffer with some sort of digestive health issue, whether it’s occasional acid reflux, food allergies, or nausea and stomach aches. Having a healthy gut can change your life and have you feeling (and looking) your best!
Click the link below to check out the Bustle article that our very own Coach Raquel contributed to as a Certified Sports Nutritionist! It describes 9 very common, yet detrimental, habits we should avoid for a healthy and happy belly.

Click the link below to check out the Bustle article that our very own Coach Raquel contributed to as a Certified Sports Nutritionist! It describes 9 very common, yet detrimental, habits we should avoid for a healthy and happy belly.

9 Habits That Can Impact The Gut


MOVEMENT OF THE WEEK

SQUAT

The squat is one of the most important movements when it comes to strength training and just moving in your everyday life. Squatting involves nearly every muscle in the body and practicing the squat not only improves fitness and burns fat, it will also improve mobility for daily life tasks. You actually squat every single day, whether you’re aware of it or not. Every time you sit on the toilet or a chair, you’re squatting. When you pick something up off the floor, you should be squatting, however some people tend to bend at the lower back instead of squat down and this is how painful back injuries occur!

Whether you’re a beginner who has never seen the inside of a gym or an advanced athlete, incorporating some type of squat into your routine will do wonders for your body, the way it moves, and what it can handle. Below is a list of squat progressions in the order that I recommend following when incorporating the squat movement into your training regimen. If you’re more advanced and have mastered some of these (with proper form), skip to a more challenging squat variation that you haven’t quite become an expert at yet.

SQUAT PROGRESSIONS:
  • Bodyweight or Chair Squat
  • Goblet Squat
  • Dumbbell or Suitcase Squat
  • Box Squat
  • Back Squat
  • Front Squat
  • Other Squat Variations
    • Jump Squat
    • Single Leg Bench/Chair Squat
    • Pistol Squat
    • Sumo Squat

*Below is a document with images of each of these progressions and instructions on how to perform each move.

SQUAT PROGRESSIONS

AFFIRMATION OF THE WEEK

Share this affirmation on social media and tag us!
Instagram: @fitnessacademynj
Facebook: The Fitness Academy LLC


In Good Health,
Raquel & Matt

The Fitness Academy

My Fitness Journey


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Hello all, welcome back!

Someone had suggested I speak a little bit more about my own personal fitness journey that I have been on since 2005. I have to start off by saying my first inspiration from the fitness world came from my father. I can remember growing up in our small apartment in Hoboken, NJ. In the corner of the master bed room he had one of those all in one gym stations. It was a flat bench that could raise up for incline with dip handles behind it. It even had a cable attachment for lat pulls and leg extensions in the front of it. He was a true mans man at the time. Metallica blasting, no shirt on, constantly going over to the mirror to check his “gains.” He even had a camcorder and started filming his workouts. This was WAY before Facebook and Instagram. The energy in that tiny bedroom was infectious. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was hooked. I wanted to feel like that! I wanted to lift heavy weights and build a huge chest! However, I came to realize in my early teen, overweight years that it was not as easy as it looked. “You mean to tell me one day of bench press won’t give me the chiseled pecs I’m looking for?” “Is it supposed to be this difficult to lift 15 pounds?” “What is this soreness!?” Needless to say I didn’t last very long with that mindset. I went through the rest of my teenage years including high school very quiet, self conscious, insecure, overweight, etc.

Fast forward to 2005, I just graduated high school and got a job at a local gym where I started out as a life guard for their swimming pool. I wasn’t even old enough to workout there without a chaperone. When I finally turned 18 they allowed me to workout by myself. This was my first time showing any consistency working out and boy, did my body adapt quickly. I saw and felt my chest getting bigger and stronger by the month, my arms were starting to show definition, my confidence was through the roof. It was not controlled, I was downright cocky. I also knew nothing about nutrition or how the body worked. This will come back later in the story.

So over the course of about 7 years working at this gym I ended up working in every department. I worked the front desk, I became and online certified trainer (which is a joke and a disservice to the fitness industry if I’m honest), I headed over to the sales department and even had my hand in the marketing department. At some point this gym I was at started to rent out space to a personal trainer trade school, this will also come back later. At around 21 years old I tore 2 ligaments (ligaments attach bone to bone) in my right ankle playing basketball. I had no health insurance, my uncle had to pay out of his own pocket for me to get an MRI. No health insurance meant to surgery, no rehab. My ankle is currently being held together by scar tissue. I had crutches and stayed off that ankle for months, testing it each month to see how it was healing. This was a dark time for me. Unable to work, I stayed home all day, every day taking prescription pain medication and eating all day long. Hello, weight gain and depression! As soon as I was able to start putting weight on that foot, I did and I returned to work against their wishes. I started to rehab myself, picking the brains of anyone that seemed like they knew what they were talking about. I wanted to play basketball again, I started to work on my cross over, slowly and painfully. I can remember still being on crutches, hobbling over to the bench press and getting in as many sets as I could during the 30 minute lunch break I had. The soreness had never felt so good.

As my ankle got closer to 100% I started to work with a personal trainer that free lanced at this gym. It changed my life. I had never been stronger and the education on lifting that I received from him is a huge part of what I apply to my business today. After working with him for over a year I eventually had to discontinue due to the fact I had decided to go to school to become an RMA (Registered Medical Assistant). I was working at the gym during the day and going to school at night. Finding time to workout became difficult and remember when I said diet would come back into this story? Well, here it comes.

Your body will talk to you. It will send you signs that something is not right. I never put much thought into what I was eating or how I was living. So that meant late night diner trips after spending a few hours at a local bar. There is about 3 different fast food chains within a 1 mile radius of my town, I even had picked up smoking cigarettes! I had asthma, I literally could not leave my house without a pack of tums due to acid reflex and I was taking 4 – 8 Advil every single day due to stress headaches. Side note, pain medications do not work for stress headaches. I felt horrible every day, I was getting sick every few months. My wake up call came when I went to the doctor for a check up. My BMI told me I was obese, he wanted me to fill prescriptions for a daily asthma inhaler (I had only had an emergency pump to this point), he wanted me to see an orthopedist for all of the pain I was in (my body aches were terrible when I was sick) and a neurologist for my head aches. I did none of what he asked. I refused to accept this as my new life. I stopped smoking and got my obese @$$ on a treadmill for my heart and lung health. I changed my diet which amazingly stopped my antacid use and I quit my job, I woke up the very next day headache free. I also started taking zinc to help boost my immune system. Thanks, doc.

From that point on I never looked back. I had realized that between rehabbing my own injury, putting myself through school (and graduating) and doing an complete 180 with my health that I could do anything I put my mind to. Anything. So, that’s what I have been doing ever since. From owning a dance studio to driving trains for the HBLR. Putting myself back through school to become the best fitness professional I could be. The school I am referring to of course just so happened to be the personal trainer school that was located inside of the gym I started working at when I was 17. Now if that’s not full circle then I don’t know what is! The Fitness Academy will be turning 1 year old in few months and none of this would have been possible if not for all the pain I had to endure both physically, mentally and a  whole slue of other wild stories not mentioned in this blog.

So, that’s my story, or at least part of it. The message behind it? Embrace your pain, never fear change and believe in yourself. Let your heart lead you, it’s way smarter than your brain.

Peace & Love,

~ Matt G.

The Fitness Academy, LLC

If you’re seeking change in your life and need help to get started feel free to reach out to me. Change starts within the mind and your first session is always on me!

FitnessAcademyNJ@Gmail.com

@FitnessAcademyNJ on Instagram

201.983.3510 (call/text)

Bodybuilding

Booty Building 101


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Yes, finally… The post you’ve all been waiting for! Ladies….. and gentlemen, welcome to booty building 101

Hello again my fit fam and welcome back,

Imagine how well Sir Mix A lot would have done today had his song “Baby Got Back” came out (almost) 30 years later. Having a big strong booty is all the rage nowadays. I’m not going to dive into how this came to be or how your Instagram feed is setting you up for extremely unrealistic goals. Let’s just focus on doing everything you can to work your booty to it’s full potential. I will however, spend some time explaining the actual physical benefits of building a strong booty that goes beyond aesthetics.

So, why should you actually want to build your booty? Well, there are actually three muscles that make up the booty. Gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. These three muscles work together to abduct, rotate and extend the hip. Strengthening your glutes can help improve posture as well as improve your athletic performance. The glutes help assist us in standing up, walking, picking up objects from the floor (parents think about how often your picking up your children) and climbing stairs to just name a few examples. There is a lot of power located back there and strong glute muscles are vital for sprinters, volleyball, tennis and basketball athletes among countless other sports and activities. So from you everyday desk job worker, stay at home mom or athlete you can confidently say; everyone can benefit from a strong backside.

Here is how it’s done. First and foremost you’re going to want to build up some strength and (muscle) endurance before focusing solely on size. Exercises like squats, glute bridges and reverse planks are great for beginners. (Keeping in mind that your core is stable and strong enough for these exercises) Train smarter, not harder. A smart newbie should try all of these exercises with no extra added resistance and a good coach near by to check for proper form! It’s important for you to know how to progress your workouts through adding resistance and changing little things in your form to keep the tension where we want it as well as which exercises are actually going to target the glutes most effectively. When you finally make it to the world of dead lifts, hip thrusts and sumo squats, then you’re really cooking! But of course the most important part again, is progressing safely.

Once you’ve properly developed your strength and muscle endurance you will graduate to hypertrophy training, this is where the biggest impact for size is made (if that’s what you’re looking for). You’ll have to do some research during your workouts to figure out what percentage of your 1RM (1 rep max) to hypertrophy train at. It could be anywhere from 50-75%, also figuring out how many times per week you want to target glutes to get the most out of your hypertrophy training. I suggest sticking to a hypertrophy program for about 6 weeks. Stick to the program, eat your protein and carbs and watch the size pack on! I highly suggest taking a measurement or taking pictures to tangibly track your progress.

If you would like to dive even deeper into this topic with me you can always e-mail me at FitnessAcademyNJ@Gmail.com

If you would like to schedule your complimentary 90 minute consolation, feel free to e-mail the address above or call/text 201.983-3510

Best of luck on your fitness journey!

Peace & Love,

~Coach MG

Follow me on Instagram @coachmgnj and @fitnessacademynj

Mental Health

Get Out Of Your Own Way!


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All too often potential clients will sit in front of me during their free consolation and tell me about how they feel on a daily basis both physically and mentally. How they feel tired all the time and can even acknowledge that they just don’t care enough to be active on a weekly basis (never mind a daily basis). I’m here to tell you to get out of your own way before your pity party becomes a hospital visit or another trip to the pharmacy to pick up your insulin or worst of all a funeral. Fitness professionals are in the business of health care prevention. You know somewhere in the back of your mind you “need to do this” because I hear it all the time. Yet, you still can’t commit. You still can’t get yourself to love yourself enough to take care of yourself.

Basically one of the only things I retained from my 3rd grade teacher was this simple quote; “It’s easy to be bad, it’s hard to be good.” Such a light bulb moment for me even at such a young age. I realized this quote extends itself to every single area of life. Will you choose consequences or rewards? It’s easy to be lazy and eat whatever you want, their will be consequences to this life style and no rewards. It’s hard to dedicate your efforts to bettering yourself through nutrition and exercise. But the rewards, I promise you, will blow your mind.

You will struggle, get over it! This society tells us everything can be done with a quick fix; a magic pill, a simple juice diet, a 30 day workout plan and it’s all good. Well, I call B.S. you need to change your lifestyle and 30 days will only be the beginning. Believe me when I say it’s okay to struggle because everyone does. It’s totally normal, I still struggle to this day. Why? Because it’s easy to be bad and it’s hard to be good. You show me someone who says they don’t enjoy pizza and cupcakes and I’ll show you a liar. Here is where the amazing part happens. When you dedicate yourself to becoming the best version of yourself you will either no longer crave foods that you know negatively affect your body or if you decide you still do want to indulge in pizza and cupcakes, you can! Because there is no point in driving yourself crazy feeling like you can’t enjoy any of the foods you are used to eating. The trick is being smart about when you allow yourself to indulge.

So, to wrap this up. No, nothing about this will be easy, accept it. “Nothing worth having comes easy.” Just repeat that to yourself until it sticks. If you feel totally lost and don’t know where to begin, find yourself a fitness professional and let them lead you. I didn’t do it on my own and you don’t have to do it alone either. One day at a time. Since it may takes months or years (yes, years) for you still find a steady stride don’t beat yourself up and think you’ve ruined all of your progress because you had a bad meal, day or even week. Life is hard and a lot of us turn to food for instant satisfaction. It’s okay in the beginning, just keep your eyes on the prize and get back on the horse ASAP!

Sending much love and peace your way,

~ The Fitness Academy

Schedule your free 90 min consolation today!

E-mail – FitnessAcademyNJ@Gmail.com

Or call/text Matt at 201.983.3510