Emerge's New Facility on Schedule

We are on week number 4 of construction of the new facility and things are going as scheduled.  Our contractor Mike Clark with Armor Construction has been putting in long hours and working hard.  The demo work and clean up is complete, the sprinkler heads have been moved up to there positions, our 2 new HVAC units have been installed and now this week it’s the electricians turn.  He will be in there most of the week getting all the lights wired and completing the rest of the electrical work that was needed.  Next phase  we will start the painting.  The ceilings and all walls will be painted about 1oo gallons of paint.  Once the paint is done the last of big projects is the FLOOR.  Yes the floor is going be a huge project.  We have 6,000 sq ft of floor to lay, which mainly consist of the heavy rubber flooring.  Along with laying the floor is all of the prep work on the concrete floors to get them ready to be laid.  This will take all of about a week to do the flooring.  After that all the small projects will begin.  We are strategically planning all of this to keep on schedule for our first day of business August 2.


Emerge Fitness Training Saint Charles, MO

Comfortable, Healthy, and Pregnant

Today is day 273 of being pregnant and just 1 week left.  Being pregnant for the the last 39 weeks has been a wonderful experience for me.  I have always had the fear of being pregnant because of all the horror stories that I have been told or read about as far as weight gain, sickness & nausia, food cravings, the lack of energy, discomfort and swelling. 
The list goes on  but these are the big ones that always stuck out to me because of my job and not knowing if I would be able to do both.   I have a very demanding job I am on my feet 8-10 hours a day, always engaged with clients (which can be mentally exhausting), and not to mention the strenuous activity that goes along with being a personal trainer.  When I found I was pregnant I made a decission to make the next 40 weeks as easy as possible on my body and not become a victim to pregnancy.  Guess what? I did it!  At 39 weeks I am still working my normal work-load, running our business and planning the move of our business for August  1.  I do sit a lot more while training during the day just trying to conserve energy and I took a break from working out about 4 weeks ago and now just keep a strict diet.  I  still get the amount of calories I need its just discipline with right kind of calories.  I find myself very busy during the day with training and working with the construction and the move of our knew facility so any extra time I have is spent getting a quick nap.  I worked really hard the first 7-8 months of the pregnancy with diet and exercise and now I feel I can pull back and just enjoy the last month.  As of 4 weeks ago I have only gained 20lbs and maintain that today.  My doctor told me I would not gain much weight the last 4 weeks and if I did  it would just be swelling or water weight.  So to counteract the swelling and water retention I drink about 150 oz of water a day.  Guess what drinking lots of water does help with water retention!  The swelling that I am suppose to be experiencing right now is very minimal and have not gained anymore weight the last 4 weeks. 
With all of this said I hope the actual laboring of this pregnancy is as smooth as the pregnancy.  Wish me luck and I will keep you posted.

Angie Pirlte
Emerge Fitness
Personal Training Saint Charles, MO

Fat Leaving the Body is Painful!

So, this past week I happened to catch the show “Losing it with Jillian Michaels”.  As I watched her work with one of the families, I found myself asking a question…  Why do people have to cry before they lose weight?  I noticed the correlation of the breakdown of the clients, followed by the beginning stages of weight loss.  I actually texted this question to a friend of mine as the question occurred to me; her answer, “Because fat leaving the body is painful!”  LOL!  So true!  That isn’t the complete answer, however.  Personally, I find that an extra pound represents a period of time where I wasn’t performing at my best.  It could be for a number of reasons; I could’ve been overloaded with homework, I may have gotten sick, probably performed at less than 75% on one or more workouts, let a few extra calories past my lips, or I didn’t plan well.  No matter the reason, it takes a bunch of those reasons added up to equal a pound.  To me, that just lets me know that I am not setting aside enough “me” time.  The extra time it takes to plan my meals for the week…that’s “me” time.  The time I spend working out…that’s “me” time.  The time I spend on rest, rejuvenation, and recreation…that’s “me” time.  It is so important to schedule that time.  If not, I find that I am led by external circumstances.  Personally, I like being the one in control of my day! 🙂
In the end, I realized that the crying was a result of facing the summation of these little instances.  Before, they might have been a tiny indiscretion here and there or a stressful period of time, but added up, they equaled a mountain that seemed impossible to overcome, so instead they succumbed; being faced with the reality of it feels overwhelming.  The ability to work past that takes courage and resolve.  At the very moment that the reality and resolve collide, came the clarity and the emotional out pouring. 
So here’s my resolve…I am going to start my day off the right way every morning.  Lately, I have been getting my first workout in around noon.  I found that I perform better throughout the day if I workout first thing in the morning.  This week, I am going to run for 30 minutes every morning to start my habit of morning workouts again.  I will also continue with the Insanity workout, after work, four days a week.  And, I will always train with Matt twice a week…that’s a given! 
Unfortunately, the Crossfit group that I meet with three times a week has been cancelled until further notice.  The instructors had a personal tragedy.  Please pray for them…
Well, here I go!  Off to conquer another week!…

Bounce Back!

Last week was all about the bounce back!  From what you may ask?  A holiday weekend of party, party, party!  We’ve all had one of those weekends right?… The cocktails with friends…the barbecues…you know, all those things that spell disaster for the coming week!  Well, I had a great time!  However, I’m gonna have to work my butt off this week…literally! 
So naturally, at the beginning of this week, I asked myself “Why does it take a week to lose three pounds, but a couple of hours to gain them?”  The answer…???  I was hoping you knew because I have to lose the three pounds I gained last weekend, lol.  Just kidding, I know how… get moving!  And that I did!  There was just one hitch; I managed to catch a terrible cold.  So, not only did I have to work off the weekend; I also had to work through a cold.  It wasn’t easy!  Despite, I managed to get in five intense workouts.  I definitely worked off the martinis!
This week, I learned that when life hands you lemons; you use them as garnishment for your martini!… And then you get your butt to the gym!

Jump the Hurdles!

Hello Everyone!
If there is one thing that I have learned through this whole experience, it is to have your priorities straight!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you really want to accomplish your goals, jump the hurdles!  I can’t tell you how many brick walls I’ve run into on this journey, but I CAN tell you that I’ve learned to CLIMB!  I have weeks where I’m on it and I am knockin’ it right out of the park!  There are also weeks that I don’t lose a pound at all.  What I DO lose is the capacity to give up…
It is important to remember that not every week is going to be a gold star week.  That’s okay!  Just because you can’t see the peak of the mountain, doesn’t mean you stop climbing!  It is in those weeks that I’ve learned what I’m REALLY made of… I’ll tell you, it has been the most rewarding experience of my life!  It’s so easy to stay on a regimen when things are going perfect and smoothly.  When you add turbulence…now…that’s the point where you either decide to retreat…or weather the storm.  I’ve learned to always carry my umbrella LOL!
I’ve decided to spice up my workouts the past couple of weeks!  I have added a Crossfit workout Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Crossfit is a whole body semi-circuit workout.  It is intense!…to say the least!  By the end of these workouts, let’s just say I need to lie face up on the ground for about five minutes until I’m able to see straight again! LOL!  Then, on Tuesday and Thursday I have joined a group of people who do the Insanity workouts.  Yes folks, this workout is just that…INSANE!  Super fun!…that was sarcasm…  Honestly though, I have a great time with both groups.  They are all very motivated and live fitness oriented lifestyles.  I am lucky to have found these folks!  Finally, to make my week absolutely perfect…I train twice with my trainer, Matt, my number one motivator…and punisher!  Just kidding, but not really…
Guess who met their 10 minute mile goal…and then smashed it!?…ME!  Woo Hoo!!

Power Athletes: Sprint Faster, Throw Harder, Jump Higher by Understanding PAP

PAP, or postactivation potentiation, is basically the enhancement of performance in explosive, powerful movements following a heavy resistance training exercise (for the same muscles involved).
The idea is this: As an example, we will use a 100 meter sprinter.  After a heavy lift involving muscles that will be used in the sprint (barbell squat) the central nervous system is highly stimulated, resulting in greater and more motor unit recruitment in those muscles following that lift (i.e. more muscle fibers working for you in the sprint).  What follows is a much faster contraction rate and tension development in those muscles.
Does it work?  Almost all current research suggests that it does.  The most recent 5 studies on PAP showed significant improvements in times for swimmers, cyclists, and sprinters.  The study involving sprinters in particular showed an improvement in performances ranging from 0.89-3.3%, which is usually the difference between first and last on a fast track.
There is no doubt that PAP is a viable warm-up tool for power athletes.  The questions now are: which exercises and how much rest before the event? 
PAP benefit has been shown to last between 3-20 minutes in tested athletes, with the average recovery time between the lift and the event being 8 minutes.  Of note here is that some athletes took longer to recover, showing fatigue when not rested enough, and some recovered much quicker.  Each athlete should determine their own recovery time prior to a competition. 
Exercise selection, as noted earlier, should involve muscles that are involved in the actual sports movement itself, and should be compound (involving the coordination of several joints). 
Further research is needed to entirely understand the benefits of PAP, but the potential for improved performance is definitely worth considering PAP in a pre competition warmup.
Matt Pirtle, CSCS
Emerge Fitness Training
St. Charles Personal Training


Emerge Fitness Training will be opening it’s new facility on August 1st, 2010.  The new location is in the TJ Maxx plaza, 3839 Mexico Road, next to Great Harvest Bread.  The new space is 6,100 square feet (2.5 x the size of our current location).  The new space features open, 20 foot ceilings, tons of new equipment, a great outdoor training area, and a larger cardiovascular area.
Some pictures of the new facility under construction:

Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training
St. Charles Personal Training

More Than Motivation

Something dawned on me the other day…  The thought actually struck me as I was on my way to a training session with Matt.  I was listening to a radio morning talk show; LL Cool J was talking about his new book and all its components.  As I listened, I remembered that I’d seen one of his books years before and that it had a lot of interesting workout ideas in it.  I thought to myself that the new book would probably be similar and kudos to him for staying in great shape all these years.  Then, as I contemplated changing stations, he said something that stopped me.  He was explaining how the book wasn’t just about the workouts; it had a nutrition and spiritual/wellness aspect as well.  He wanted to focus on the person as a whole in this book.  This is what got me thinking…
Fitness is about more than motivation…Sure, motivation will help get you there, but it won’t keep you there.  Here’s what I mean:  How many times have you been motivated to fit a certain outfit, to get in shape for a trip, for a wedding, or for a vacation?  Right!  Me too!  Now…how many times have you lost that same 10 to 15 pounds?  Right!  Me too!  So here’s the thing…fitness is ongoing…IF…you are committed to changing your life style.  Yes folks that’s right…you have to change your life style.  It doesn’t have to be a drastic change…So stop throwing out the junk food and keep reading, LOL!  You could start small and work your way up.  For example, replace your soda with water a few times a week, add an hour or two of cardio throughout the week, or you could make a habit of eating one fruit and one veggie a day.  It’s not about deprivation, it’s about choices.  There are many options.  The point is this: If you want to be fit and stay fit, you have to be willing to continue the life style that will get you to your personal goal.  Don’t stop once you get there and you’re looking and feeling good.  It isn’t like a race; where once you get to the finish line you’re done.  The finish line is only the beginning…
The good news is this: after the finish line, it’s all about maintenance; that’s the easy and fun part.  Being fit…being well…. feels so damn good!  It’s worth getting there and staying there!  So be more than motivated…be the change…

They Don’t Call it a Journey for Nothing!

Another week down and more goals accomplished!
Ya know…I really encourage others to document their fitness journey as well.  It has been such a learning experience to be able to write down my successes and hurdles and reflect on them.  It’s kind of a fitness diary.  I’m able to see what works well for me and what hinders my success.  It’s also great to be able to look back and laugh at some of my stories and situations that were occurring that week.  A big part of it is the accountability!  The hardest person to stay accountable to is yourself!  Writing to you guys every week helps me pinpoint the areas that I’m excelling in and the areas that I need to focus on.  Plus, it motivates me to keep making progress.
 If you don’t want to do a public blog, you can keep a personal blog on your computer; just for you to see.  I highly recommend attaching progress pics, it helps a lot!  The most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself.  Don’t judge yourself harshly as you go through the process; learn from your mistakes and bask in your success!  They don’t call it a journey for nothing!  If it were easy, they’d call it CAKE!  LOL!
This week I added some pics of my food cabinet at work.  Most people have a drawer…I have a reserve!  LOL!  As much food as there is in that cabinet, that’s nothin!  I also keep healthy entrees in the fridge at work and snacks in my purse and in my car!  I leave little room for excuse.  I have discovered that I am most proned to making caloric mistakes at work, so I always keep some snacks and meals handy just in case!  This is SUPER IMPORTANT to getting to my goal.  It is so easy to snack away at empty calorie foods not realizing that those cals add up by the end of the day.  We all have those periods throughout the day when we are mindlessly snacking on something.  True story…I can remember a few different occasions where I went to finish a snack and it was all gone and I was like “Who at all my food!”, then I realized it was me!…those times, I like to blame my inner fat girl.  Every once in a while she takes the driver’s seat!  So!…my point is, keep a just in case snack!
Well…I need smaller jeans!  Yay!  I’m so used to wearing fitted workout pants; I hadn’t put on a pair of jeans in a couple of months.  Imagine my delight when I didn’t need to use a crow bar to get into them!  I put them on and they were loose.  I needed a belt to keep them up!  Woo Hoo!  I can’t wait to see what next week brings!…

If at First You Don’t Succeed…

I did pretty well this week!  I’m up to 36 minutes of running at an 11 minute mile.  My goal, right now, is to get better at endurance running.  I’d like to add another 10 to 15 minutes to my time.  I think I can do it!…If I could just get someone to hold a piece of cake just out of reach so I have to run for it…  Just kidding…but not really… 
This week, I’m adding some bloopers to my blog!  Not every exercise goes smoothly the first time around; especially when core work is involved!  However!…If at first you don’t succeed…try, try,…AND try again!  I love a challenge!…as long as I have enough medical and dental insurance to cover the damage!  LOL!
It’s been a little over two months and I feel great!  I’m more motivated than ever to get into the best shape of my life!  Every day is a new challenge, but it’s also an opportunity to make a difference.  Things haven’t always gone smoothly.  There have been battles with fried chicken, days out of commission, tantalizing snack tables, and all out insane cravings!  Through it all, I remain focused on my goals.  I can’t wait to see what I accomplish next!   
To watch the videos click on the exercises:
Pendulum plank (attempt #1)   
Pendulum plank (attempt #2)   
Pendulum plank (Finally got it!)   

Brian Peth Dominating the Net

Brian Peth- Francis Howell North Volleyball

Brian Peth- Francis Howell North Volleyball

The mere thought of taking flight intrigues Francis Howell North senior Brian Peth.
Upon graduation, Peth is considering his options for life after high school and foremost amongst those is the aviation program at Quincy (Ill.) University.
“My dad mentioned it (aviation) to me and it sounded pretty interesting,” Peth said. “I might go up (in the air) and I might hate it. It’s just that sitting down at a desk somewhere doesn’t sound pleasant to me at all. Right now, I think it will be fun to give it a try.”
It’s really a small wonder that Peth would want to tackle such a career because he currently does a lot of flying – on the volleyball courts around St. Charles County for the Howell North boys volleyball team.
Standing just 6-feet tall, Peth’s 147 kills put him on top on the Knights (12-5 overall, 5-2 GAC North), best in the Gateway Athletic Conference and third overall in the area in the category.
His 62 points scored are also near the top for the team this season.
“Brian has just been a huge blessing for us,” Howell North coach Ryan VonFeldt said. “He didn’t even play his freshman year. He came out his sophomore year and last year, he was kind of our go-to guy. This year, obviously, he’s our go-to guy. He’s a smart player. He jumps to the roof and knows where to hit it and that’s something we need.”
As the coach sees it, too much of Peth would rarely be a bad thing for the Knights.
“If he had the energy, I’d like to give him 100 percent of our sets if possible,” VonFeldt said. “He’s smart and he knows what to do with the ball. He knows how to find the holes and the corners. He’s just a great player and he is one of the better players we’ve had play here in my time at the school.”
For Peth, who also plays club volleyball for Club Vertical, his ability to even get the chance to finish off kills is big, whether he’s hitting over a two-man block or into open court.
That’s because if he doesn’t finish off the kill his team is in perfect position to still win the point should the other side be called upon for a kill attempt.
“I am glad to have the ability to draw that many players (sometimes two or three opponents into a block attempt),” Peth said. “Even though I may not hit sometimes, I still bring up two blockers, so it leaves our right side wide open and that’s good for the team.”
While there is plenty of brute strength involved in being effective at killing a volleyball rally, Peth says that, for him, it is also a cerebral act that requires forethought and planning.
And it also has to come in a split second.
“I do just hit is as hard as I can,” Peth said. “I look for the open area. I also try not to get it near the libero because they’re the best passers. I’ve got to find the open spaces and hit that seam (near) the hitter on the right side. When (the) line is open. I try and hit it there but that’s not always the best shot for me.
“Other sports, like in football or basketball, you can be just (big), fast or tall. This sport is about using your mind. You have to be able to show a level of skill to succeed here.”
On a narrower scope, Peth has to use his smarts just about every time he’s on the floor because he usually comes up against players who may get the best of him in height, but as it turns out they rarely get the best of him in hustle or on the scoreboard.
Peth feeds off successes he has in such situations.
“Since I am usually shorter, again I have to be smarter in these situations,” Peth said. “When you’re up in the air it’s not always about how tall you are, it’s about ball and (body) placement that is the key. Just because they’re taller doesn’t automatically mean they’ll win if you play smart. If you play to your strengths, you can succeed and do it regularly against most anybody.”
Written by: Jim Faasen |


I Got My Stride Back!

I got my stride back this week!  I began with a spinning class on Monday morning.  My first instinct, after a week of not being able to workout, was to turn off my alarm and roll over and keep sleeping.  I pushed through it and got up!  I remembered how frustrated I’d been all week by not being able to workout and refused to sleep through this one!  I was a bit nervous about how my leg would respond, but more excited to get back to working toward my goal.  The class was challenging, but I made it through!  I thought to myself, “I’m back…I’m back!”
This week really gave me time to reflect on what is REALLY important to me.  This time it wasn’t me who was standing in my way, it was an injury.  Either way, it was an obstacle that I needed to overcome; and I made it!  Obstacles come in many forms; whether it’s personal/emotional, injury, or work habits.  Sometimes obstacles come in the form of people.  What ever that obstacle may be, I’ve learned how important it is to remain focused and steadfast in determination.  Last week, instead of being set-back I formed a plan to keep progressing and got set-up for the next week.  As I figured, the implementation of the workouts once again yielded results; I lost 3 pounds!  The best part…I have gone from 25% body fat to 21%!!!  Can’t wait to get into the teens!  With Matt’s professional guidance, 100% of the weight that I have lost has been body fat; I didn’t lose any lean body mass!  And there’s more!…I ran again this week!  It felt great!  I ran 22 minutes straight!…not bad for a gal with one good leg, LOL!  My next big adventure…find a bikini!  Dun Dun DUHHHH!!!!  It’s almost that time! 
Click on the exercise descriptions below to see video of each:
 Box jump/Delt Press    Stability Ball/Core    Olympic ring push-up/Alt. arm

A Challenge is an Opportunity!

Talk about a challenging week!
I discovered last Tuesday that there was an abnormal growth on the back of one of my legs; located behind my knee, above my calf.  That Sunday, a doctor confirmed it had developed into an infection.  Yikes!  Since then, I have been staying off my leg, when possible, while it heals.  The lack of exercise is killing me!  I was trying to begin training to run a 5k, but that has been postponed for the minute.  Instead, I ended up having to jump a few hurdles…Could that be considered exercise?… 🙂
Like I’ve said before…If you’re gonna accomplish anything worth while, you’re bound to jump a few hurdles.  A challenge?…Yes.  A setback?…No.  I used this week to fine tune my caloric intake and eating habits.  Since I wasn’t going to be able to exercise, I needed to take into consideration the extra calories I wouldn’t be burning per day.  I had to plan my meals and calories accordingly to maintain my weight loss.  Honestly, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be.  I got the opportunity to find new ways to arrange my diet and pair foods for optimal results. 
What did I learn this week?  A challenge is an opportunity!  For what?…Many things…an opportunity to learn, to adapt, to change, and to enhance; perhaps it’s an opportunity that has the power to show you your own strength and will…
How you receive it makes all the difference.

What am I doing running at 56? (Go St. Louis half marathon)

It’s race day and we’re here at the Go St Louis marathon/half. Jackie runs up to the starting line and Jerren and I climb over the rails and join the masses much further back.

This is my first time to use a Garman during a run and I’m not sure exactly what impact it will have on my race.  All I know is that  I have a clear goal this time – break my best half marathon time which I achieved in Memphis.  Maybe my Garman will help.

Miles 1 & 2

Believe it or not,  I’m usually asking myself, even at this stage of the game, “What am I doing here and why am I doing this”?   Not today though – Wow! feeling really good and running with my girl Jerren.

Miles 3, 4 & 5

Jerren has left me, as is expected, but  this is where my head is exploding with all those wonderful thoughts.  You know those thoughts – of how much I love everyone, especially those who have participated in preparing me for this race.  I’ve run enough races to know that this won’t last but it’s wonderful while I’m cruising.  I’m even considering the possibility of running another marathon.  I’m sure I can beat my last marathon time.

Mile 6 & 7

I need to look at my Garman like Jackie told me to do and see if I’m on track/pace but I’m afraid to.  There is this “hell hill” coming up at mile 7 and, unfortunately it’s clear today, and I can SEE that it goes on forever.  I know Go St. Louis is not an easy course, but who puts these routes together?????  I remind myself that hills can be my strength if I stay focused and determined.  I’m doing it, but I know this is not the last hill I’ll have to scale.

Mile 8

I’m feeling my gluts, nothing outside of the ordinary when doing a long run, but I’m feeling “spent”.  This too shall pass.

Mile 9 & 10

My calves are starting to tell me that they want to stop.  “Who am I kidding, beat my last half marathon time, run another marathon”???   Please let this pass.

Mile 11

My calves are screaming, unlike anything I’ve experienced before.  I look up and say, “please, please help me finish this strong”.  My mind & legs are telling me that maybe I have reached my potential and I need to be happy to just finish.  I’m starting to feel disappointed in myself.  I forge ahead.

Mile 12

The explosion is set to happen any moment.  My calves are popping & the knots are trying to overtake me.  I have to stop and attempt to stretch my calves if I want to finish, and not finishing is not an option. I run to the side and as I’m stretching, a charlie horse in my right calf.  It’s not going to go away and I don’t want to blow it in the last 2 miles.  Although there are two voices in my head arguing the outcome of this race, I again forge ahead.  This isn’t fair.  Now, what was that I always told my kids?  Oh yea, “Life isn’t fair, fairness has nothing to do with it”.

Mile 13

I’m doing the last mile and although I’m strong cardiovascularly, my run has become distorted and awkward.  I’m shifting from maintaining form and a steady pace back to distorted and awkward.  There are people on the side lines all around me cheering and I’m not inclined to looking pathetic, so I’m trying so hard to transcend what’s happening to me.  I see the finish now. I realize that I’m going to get there.  I’m going to finish and there is even a possibility that I might still meet my goal.

Thank you, I’m done! My clock time doesn’t tell the story and I’m not sure how many minutes passed before I turned off my Garman.  I’ll have to wait a few hours to get my chip time.  I’m off to find my family –  I GO DOWN!  I’m on the ground and  I’m in agony. My calves have officially exploded. Being pathetic is no longer an issue.

Some wonderful runners and medical people patiently massage my calves until, what seemed like forever, they could hoist me up and get me to the med tent.  I didn’t like being in the med tent.  I left and hobbled to my family.  I now know what I need to do next time to break 2 hours.

Beth Pirtle – 2 hours, 7 minutes & 45 seconds – I met my goal!!!!!

Who said?  “It’s the hard that makes it great”

Send in the Reinforcements!

The Beatles put it best:  I get by with a little help from my friends!
So true!!!  It helps tremendously when you have the support of friends and family while you are trying to accomplish something.  Whether it’s weight loss or another goal, it is vital that the people surrounding you are aware of the goal that you are shooting for.  Sometimes people may present a hurdle to your goal without even knowing that they are doing it.  For example, your best bud might not bring you a slice of cake if they are aware that you are trying to lose weight.  Instead, they might bring you a fruit basket!…or at least split the cake with you…half the calories…get it?  Yeah, it hasn’t worked that well for me either!  LOL!
The point is this:  Don’t hide your fitness goals from others.  Trust me; it is so much easier to stay accountable and to get the support you really need when others are aware of your goal.  Make sure that you are surrounding yourself with positive people!  That is soooo important; and if you have nay-sayers, that’s okay too!…turn that negative energy into something positive!  Some of my best workouts were fueled by an “I’ll show you!” LOL
Personally, I really like attending a class or two a week and, of course, working with Matt to push me further than I would have pushed myself in a regular workout.  The great thing about a class is that there are other people that share a similar interest.  It is great to become friends with class mates; and you will whether you like it or not…there’s something bonding about a group of people almost passing out together!!! LOL!  Just kidding…but not really.  Pretty soon, those people help keep you accountable.  If you miss a class, they noticed you were gone and tell you that you were missed!  It’s great!  Same goes for having a trainer.  It’s like a buddy-system!  Both are a great ways to gain positive support.  Sometimes, just having your BFF, a co-worker, or a spouse as positive reinforcement adds a tremendous boost to your motivation!
With all the wonderful support I’ve gotten; I’m well on my way!…

If you fail to plan…you plan to fail!

I made it through Easter weekend!
By now you know how much I love fried chicken…peeps are the candy equivalent!  I haven’t had one…yet!  The only thing better than fried chicken is a sugar coated one, LOL!  Just kidding…but not really 😀  I better stop before Matt has me doing a Dirty Dozen!!!  Yikes!
Seriously though, it hasn’t been tough since I’ve developed better habits.  I’ve found that most of the things that I was doing before to sabotage myself I was doing unconsciously…not while knocked out, lol…by that I mean my actions weren’t purpose driven.  I wanted to get into better shape, but I wasn’t aligning my actions with my goal.  I’m not saying that I have to starve myself; besides, knowing me I’d end up sleep walking and eating anyway 🙂  I just had to stop eating nonchalantly.  For now, I write down my daily food intake and plan out my day.  It makes a big difference!  If you fail to plan…you plan to fail!  I always have an emergency snack and a plan B just in case!
The most important thing that I’ve learned is that you have to be willing to push past the hurdles…and there will be some if you are trying to accomplish something meaningful!  Stay the course!  I was able to enjoy my Easter weekend and still stay on track with my goal!  It’s the best feeling ever!
When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, til it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. 
                                                  ~Harriet Beecher Stowe    
To view video click here:  Back Row with Towel

Train Like a Ram- The first two functional workouts at Rams Park

The first two weeks of training the Rams out at the Russell Training Facility went great.  All of the exercises were chosen for either their core stabilization or multi planar function.  These types of exercises tend to have a high transfer rate to field performance (getting better at these types of exercises usually correlates with better performance on the field).  The exercises are as follows:
Week 1:
Toe plank on ball– core musculature, especially transversus abdominus (TVA)
Kettlebell high pull with catch and deceleration– explosive acceleration with eccentric deceleration of weight
Bosu reverse chop with medicine ball– multi planar movement with internal oblique
Bosu bodyweight triceps extension– core leveraged triceps power
Plank with rear delt dumbbell fly– TVA, rear delt, lower back
Plyometric push up to side plank– multi planar movement with chest, TVA, oblique, shoulder
Week 2
Dumbbell push pull rotate and extend– multi planar, full body integrated movement
Waterball twist and slam– isometric hip and abdominal with oblique
Push Pike on ball– multi planar movement with hip flexion, TVA, chest
Ball crunch with medicine ball– upper abs, neck flexors
Kettlebell get up sit up– hip flexion, upper abs
Circle plank on ball– upper abs, TVA, shoulder stabilizers
For more information, contact Matt Pirtle at
Emerge Fitness Training
St. Charles, Missouri

Who me?…Noooo…

Well…the results are in!!!
After working with Matt, for one month, toward my goal; I have lost 7lbs and 2% body fat!!!  WhooHoo!  More than just the measurements…I FEEL great!  Though this is only the beginning, it’s a good one!
As you’ve read…I’ve had a lot of fried hurdles to jump, LOL.  This past week, we celebrated the month’s birthdays, in my office, with a festive food table; packed full of chips, dips, and treats!  Keep in mind that I sit about two feet away from this table!  I came in that morning totally unprepared (mentally, that is) for the cookies and donuts and cakes…Oh My!  Thank goodness someone brought a veggie tray (Whew!)…I know, I was thinkin’ that too…dip the veggies in the dip!…Actually, I was a good girl!  I gathered as many veggies as I could onto my plate, ‘cause we all know that no one was touchin’ that platter when there were donuts and cakes nearby, LOL.  After I piled on the veggies, I got a few tiny seasoned meatballs, a couple of cubes of cheese, and went back to my desk!  I was so proud of myself!  I thought of my goal and how hard I’ve been working; it just wasn’t worth it to throw it all away…I mean…really…you saw me pushin’ that tire last week!  That was tough!  One look down at those round donuts reminded me of that tire…Yikes!  However!…yes, there’s a however…I DID sniff the donuts…by that I mean, I held the box up to my face and breathed in the wonderful aroma, ahhhh…people were joking that I was trying to inhale the powered sugar, LMAO!…Who me?…Noooo…(he, he, he)
Here is a journal of what I’ve been doing this past month that has worked for me:
Mon- (5:30am) 1 hour spinning (12:30pm) Run intervals 15 min.- 30sec. 7.8mph, rest 30sec. on/off / Walk up incline of 15 for 20min.
Tue- (6:30am) Bootcamp w/ Nick (12:30pm) Run intervals 10 min.- 30sec. 7.8mph, rest 30sec. on/off / Rowing machine 20 min
Wed- (5:30am) 1 hour spinning (12:30pm) *optional* Walk up incline of 15 for 20min. (4:30pm) Train w/ Matt
Thur- (6:30am) Bootcamp w/ Nick (12:30pm) Run intervals 10 min.- 30sec. 7.8mph, rest 30sec. on/off / Rowing machine 20 min
Fri- (7:00am) Train w/ Matt
Sat- Rest *a couple of weekends I did the stair climber for 60min.*
Sun- (3:00pm) 1 hour spinning
Meal Plan:
Fairly basic, I eat right after my work out and take my multi (very important!).  Then, I space my meals out about 2 ½ hours apart.  I usually eat:  Breakfast, snack, BIG lunch, snack, SMALL dinner.  I just re-joined Weight Watchers this past week to get me on track with my calories.  It works really well for me.  Their program is in-line with what Matt asks me to do for my nutrition, so I trust it.
Keep in mind that this is just what has worked for me personally.  I choose a second cardio workout, for my lunch hour, to keep me moving throughout my workday. I try not to over-train, so I keep them somewhat light, but purposeful.  I don’t want anyone to get the impression that you have to work out two times a day to get to your goal.
This week, I took my weekly pics at the office; hence the file cabinets (lol). 
Can’t wait to see what next week brings!…

A Blueprint for Increasing Testosterone and Growth Hormone from Specific Resistance Training Exercise

For athletes or those wishing to increase lean body mass, hormonal responses of the human body to resistance training are very important.  These responses are very tightly linked to the type of exercise performed, the intensity of exercise (weight), nutritional variables and the rest intervals.  By manipulating some of these variables in your workout, you can effectively target specific hormonal responses.
Let’s take testosterone first.  Why is increasing blood levels of testosterone important for athletes or those wishing to gain muscle?  Testosterone is the primary anabolic hormone that interacts with skeletal tissue, resulting in tissue growth (LBM gain) and enhancement of force potential (strength).  This is usually seen as a good thing by those involved in resistance training for athletetic performance.  So, to increase blood levels of testosterone by resistance training, these four manipulations to your workout should be made:
1) Focus on large muscle group exercises- deadlift, power clean, squats.
2) Use heavy resistance (6-10 rep max)
3) Use a high volume of exercise (through several sets or multiple exercises)
and 4) Take short rests (30-60 seconds)
Next, we’ll tackle growth hormone.  Increasing growth hormone secretion is beneficial because GH can increase protein synthesis, increase collagen synthesis, stimulate cartilage growth, and enhance immune function.  Basically, an increase in muscle mass, connective tissue, healthy immune system response, and a greater expression of strength are the benefits.  Now, to increase the secretion of GH in response to weight training, do these things:
1) Use workouts with higher lactate  concentrations (high intensity exercise with 10 rep max) with at least three sets.
2) Take short rests (less than one minute)
3) Supplement with carbohydrates and proteins just before AND after your workout.
With attention to these details when designing your workouts, you can essentially create a blueprint for “targeting” certain hormonal responses, responses that can benefit any athlete or trainee attempting to better performance or enhance their physique.
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training
St. Charles, Missouri

The Full-Length Mirror!

I made it…yet again!
The lesson for this week…Even if you don’t eat fried chicken; you still have to flip a 260 pound tractor tire…with one arm!  Just kidding, but not really…
Seriously, I really did learn a lesson this week…I actually learned this lesson many years ago, but it resurfaced in a big way this week.  I’ll tell you the story that lead to the lesson.  Get a tissue…but then, get ready for some inspiration that will make you smile…
So, the other day I was getting dressed; as I finished, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  It was a full-length mirror…pause for gasps, LOL!…I was actually quite pleased with what I saw.  I could tell that my body is starting to take a different shape.  Yay!  I make it a habit not to judge myself harshly when I look in the mirror; especially in those dressing rooms in front of the three-way/full-length mirrors with the cellulighting in the department stores, ROFL!  We ALL feel like beauty queens in there don’t we, LMAO!  I digress…the point is this: when I look in the mirror, I like who’s looking back at me. 
This leads me to my story…
Growing up, my younger sister and I were thick as thieves.  We were so much alike with the only exception being that we were two years apart.  People often mistook us for twins.  Coming into adulthood, things started to change.   My sister began to get abnormally skinny; as this was happening, I would periodically hear her cutting herself down with negative remarks about her appearance.  As time progressed, I did all that I could, as a fitness professional and a concerned sister, to try to “fix” the negative inner dialogue that my sister was experiencing.  A very long story short…I lost my sister suddenly and unexpectedly to an eating disorder.  While sorting out the ‘what went wrongs and what could I have done differents’ of the situation, I began to see that my older sister was beginning to take a similar route by way of yo-yo dieting and dangerous diet pill experimentation.  I refused to let this happen to her too!  For a long time, I secretly blamed myself for not being able to save my little sister’s life.  I tried many things to help my older sister and ensure she wouldn’t meet the same fate as my younger sister, but soon I realized…the struggle with self image is not something you can change for someone; they must see it and feel it for themselves… 
I think to myself at times; how horrible it must’ve been for my younger sister to look in the mirror and be so tormented by what she saw that she was willing to put her own life in jeopardy.  Then, I think of so many others who stand in front of a mirror and point out all the negative things they see instead of appreciating the beauty that’s in front of them.  The most important Lesson I learned from this is that ‘you need to like who you are before you can become who you want to be’.  It’s a lot tougher to reach your fitness goals when you have a bully following you pointing out your flaws.  Guess who that bully is…YOU.  Isn’t it much easier and more enjoyable to work toward a goal when you have someone cheering you on and telling you that YOU ROCK!?  When you look in the mirror; isn’t it better to hear someone say “What’s up hot stuff!” than, “OMG!  You need to lose that gut!”  Wouldn’t you just smack someone if they said that to you!?…SO…Why do we say things like that, internally, to ourselves?  Now, I admit that there are times when I look in the mirror and go “Oh my…”, but then I try also to notice the qualities about me that I’m pleased with.  My challenge to you is this: find three things you like when you look in the mirror; play up those features and attributes, and for all intents and purposes…work it honey!!! (((SNAPS))) 😀
P.S.  My older sister is learning how to work it, as well…slowly, but surely 😉 
There isn’t a happy ending to the story about my little sister, but there is one of hope…I wasn’t able to save her life, instead…she saved mine.  I learned a valuable lesson that taught me to be motivated through adversity, hopeful against doubt, and resilient amidst a challenge! 
Will I get to my goal?…DEFINITELY!!!  Watch me…
To view video (CLICK HERE):  260lbs Tire Flip

David Fielder Inspirational Weight Loss Testimonial

What can I say, I’m the classic yo-yo dieter that loses and gains 20 lbs every two or three years except when I gain it was always 10 lbs more than I had lost.    Over several years I went from 225 to 291lbs.    “You’re Obese” were the exact words the doctor used to give me a reality check.    The other reality checks came when I was at home climbing my stairs and I would lose my breath.   A big one was the day I was trying to teach my oldest son how to ride a bike.   After just 10 minutes of jogging with him I thought I was going to have a heart attack!    I had to do something but it had to be something different than all the other times. Something that would guarantee I would get my health back.
The most powerful forces that ensure your success in anything are ACCOUNTABILITY and BELIEF.     Nothing else matters because if these two critical factors are in place everything else will happen automatically.
Left to my own discipline and accountability I had gained 50lbs so I knew I couldn’t trust “me” anymore.    I needed an external factor that would make sure I did what I needed to do when I needed to do it EVERY time.
Enter the miracle workers – Emerge Fitness Training.     There are so many reasons why I lost weight with their help.    They helped me gain the two forces of ACCOUNTABILITY and BELIEF.
When I train with Angie and Matt I know every workout has a purpose of making me healthier and more fit.    If you KNOW what your doing has been prescribed by an expert you believe in it more and you put more into it.    If a professional trainer puts together a plan to help you achieve a goal you will always believe in it more than any plan you come up with on your own therefore you STICK WITH IT!  For me to lose the weight I wanted to lose I had to BELIEVE in the process I was using  to lose the weight.    That belief was in place the very first workout at Emerge.
The biggest reason why I feel anyone who seriously wants to lose weight should take advantage of Emerge Fitness is ACCOUNTABILITY.    Every diet I have tried in the past I would do well for one or two weeks then fall off the wagon one day or one weekend.   It was these “fall off the wagon” moments that would cause me to quit and binge eat for a month or more.      To me, this was the biggest reason I could not lose this weight by myself.   If you are not naturally disciplined, it is virtually impossible to do it by yourself.
I’ve been with Emerge for 4 months and I’ve had some “fall of the wagon” moments on the weekends.    I get the feeling of guilt and lower self esteem and I start to want to binge and say the hell with it, then I think “I have to see  Angie Monday and I’ve already paid for 10 sessions.”   When you have to answer to someone who is working closely with you to achieve your goal you don’t want to disappoint them.     Add to that the fact that you have spent some money to get their help and it creates the ultimate accountability factor!
As a “former” fat guy I know if you are wanting to lose weight and are reading this you are going to look for every reason not to do it.    I have two children and in the final analysis I made the choice to invest the time and money into training for them.   My current lifestyle was going to rob them of years with their daddy.    When I looked at my situation through that lens I was prepared to walk through fire and pay any price.    
Those moments in the morning when you get out of the shower and you look at yourself with disgust, use that disgust and hate to motivate you to do something different.   Do something drastic and so radically different that you get your dream!
If you needed surgery to prevent you from dying you would go to the best Dr’s in the country if you could right?  No matter the cost, you would do whatever you could to get well.   Essentially, if you are overweight and are not exercising you are slowly dying.   The Dr’s you need are at Emerge waiting to help you save your life today!
Thanks Matt and Angie for giving me my life back.    I no longer view myself as the funny fat guy, but a funny fit guy!
Angie Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training Saint Charles, MO

Nothing Tastes Better Than Success Feels!

I made it through another week…just barely!  Whew!
The lesson for this week:  Even if you avoid girl scouts and don’t buy their cookies…they’ll find you!  Ever seen Children of the Corn?…Yeah, they’re like that, only cuter.  None the less…they’re evil!  Just kidding lil ladies:) but not really…
I’m doing good so far.  Holdin’ my ground!…except for a tiny indiscretion involving chicken.  Who knew friendly little feathered people could be so delightful when fried?…Surprises me every time!  Matt forgave me…again.  However, he’s creating an alliance at my job…more like a gestapo! LOL!  In other words, I’ll be tackled and handcuffed to a treadmill, at my job’s fitness facility, if I’m caught in the act again!  It’s gonna be weird eating in a bathroom stall…
Seriously though, Matt’s a miracle worker!  I tell him my goal, he puts together the perfect program, and bing bang boom…I’m in a bikini!  The thing I like most is that I can really trust him.  I can be honest with him about my diet and he will find a way to work with me and help me maximize my time outside of training.  He doesn’t make me feel guilty or shame me, instead, he finds a way for me to overcome.  He motivates me and reminds me that Nothing Tastes Better Than Success Feels!…Then he kicks my butt on the workout floor; reminding me why I should fear girl scouts!  Side note: There have been ALOT of girl scout cookies at work!  I haven’t had one…I promise!  However, I am going to need a new keyboard for my computer, as I have drooled excessively on it and damaged the circuit…What!…like you’ve never done that?!…
Still on track…always excited about the road ahead…and thankful for the support along the way:)
A special thanks to Matt for always being my biggest cheerleader!  As he says: It’s All For The Cause!
Video excerpt of session (CLICK):  Emerge (Maria/trained by Matt) 03/12/10

Comfortable, Healthy, and Pregnant

Today is day 161 of my pregnancy and I am exactly 23 weeks with 17 weeks to go and a total weight gain of 10lbs.  At our 19-week doctor visit we got to have our first real ultrasound where we got to see a “real” looking baby and not just a dot on the screen.  It was very exciting seeing our little one and most importantly the baby is healthy and has all its fingers and toes.  My doctor was very pleased with my 8 lb weight gain at 19 weeks.  She gave me the clearance to keep doing everything that I have been doing up to this point.  So as of today I am still getting about 5 days of week of 30 min. cardio and about 3 days a week of resistance training.  My cardio still consists of a combination of running and walking at a heart rate of 145-150. 
The topic of interest that I would like to write about is the protein intake for women during pregnancy. Having a diet for yourself full of protein is very important for you health, but while you are pregnant a diet with adequate protein is a must.  The amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of you and your baby’s cells.  Protein is essential for your baby’s brain growth and especially important during the second and third trimester when your baby is growing the fastest.  The RDA of protein for pregnant women is 75 grams but 100 grams is often recommended. 
Three macronutrients that make up calories are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  With my experience working with women protein is normally the one that gets neglected.  Women seem to be less carnivorous than men and don’t tend to gravitate to foods high in protein such as lean meats.  The idea is to find other sources of protein than just meat.  I challenge you to record your eating for an average day and see what percentage of your calories are coming from protein. I’ll bet its lower than the recommended amount.  The problem with this is if your calories are not coming from protein then they are coming from either fats or carbs.  Like I mentioned in my last blog, carbohydrates will make blood sugars fluctuate which can lead to nautiousness, fatigue, and hunger.  Unlike carbs, proteins do not have that effect.  Protein is slower digesting and will not give you a blood sugar spike with a following crash.  Some of the morning sickness and nautiousness can be avoided by eating a protein source (food) with a carbohydrate source (food).  A balanced diet including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are important for normal human health and function.
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese: 14 g
8 ounce container low-fat yogurt: 9 to 12 g
1 cup skim milk: 8 g
1 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese: 7 g
1 ounce cheddar cheese: 7 g
1 large fresh egg: 6 g

Beans, nuts, legumes 
1/2 cup raw tofu (firm): 20 g
1 cup cooked lentils: 18 g
1 cup canned black beans: 15 g
1 cup canned kidney beans: 13 g
1 cup canned garbanzos: 12 g
1 cup canned pinto beans: 12 g
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter: 8 g
1 ounce dry roasted peanuts: 7 g
1 cup light plain soymilk: 6 g

Meat and poultry
1/2 roasted chicken breast (no skin): 27 g
3 ounce lean beef hamburger patty, broiled: 21g

Protein supplements such as a whey protein powder is a great way to add protein to your diet with out having to rely on preparing food.  I try to get at least 2 protein shakes a day.  I mix a whey protein isolate powder with frozen berries.  I use Isopure protein shake that has 25grams of protein, .5 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrate and 105 calories.
Angie Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Saint Charles, MO

Confessions of a Chocoholic!

Week 2…and already I have confessions and lessons learned!
Let’s start with the confessions first because that will lead to the lessons learned!
So…I was working out with Matt the other day and I felt compelled to confess something…
We always sit and discuss my diet and workouts, since the previous training session, before training.  This is what it sounded like:  “So Maria, tell me what you’ve been doing in the past couple of days; how do you feel?”  “Well Matt, I’ve been doing great!  I’ve done two spinning classes and two weight lifting classes!”  “That’s awesome Maria!  You’re really steppin’ it up!  How has your diet been?”  “It’s been pretty good, Matt.  I’ve been eating a balanced breakfast, keeping my snacks healthy, and taking my vitamins daily…AND…Well……I ate some little chocolate Easter eggs at work!” (I said it very fast hoping he wouldn’t hear it!)  His reply; “What!?  Who would bring those in to work and temp you like that?  My reply; ”Um…Me?”  I was shocked he didn’t know the culprit was me in the first place!  LOL!!!  Then, in a lighter confession, I also revealed that I would’ve eaten fried chicken too if they hadn’t already run out of it in the cafeteria!  I still daydreamed about how wonderful it would’ve tasted…and apparently, that’s enough to get you a few extra reps during a training session!  LOL!  Just kidding…but not really… 
Matt said something really powerful to me when I was working out.  As I worked hard to finish the last few reps, I said; “I wish I hadn’t sabotaged myself like that. I could be that many calories lighter.”  He said; “You’re absolutely right! Think of it this way…you can never get that time back…” (LIGHTBULB!!!)  I always thought of that statement in ways that pertained to life in general…not in fitness and calorie terms, but he’s right! I have the choice to A) Do something that makes a difference, or B) Do something I’ll regret and can never take back…at least not without 30 minutes of cardio! LOL!  Lesson learned!  I’m going to do something to make a difference!  On a side note:  Another lesson learned…don’t sass your trainer or you’ll get ten extra reps!
Another week down!  Three pounds gone!  I feel great AND people are already starting to notice a change and cheer me on!  WooHoo!!!  I’m sooo excited!
So here’s the BIG GOAL!  You ready?…I’m GOING to do a body building competition!  It’s time to push it to the limit!  READY…SET…GO!!!…
Emerge Fitness Training
St. Charles, Missouri
gallery link="file" columns="4"

EMERGE working with St. Louis Rams organization this off-season

Emerge will be designing and implementing a functional, sports specific training program for the St. Louis Rams this off-season.  Starting March 17th, Emerge will be out at the Russell Athletic training facility in Earth City instructing the off-season functional training program for the team.  Focal points with be functional strength and power, core specific exercises, and multi-planar movement specific exercises.  Emerge is excited for the challenge and opportunity to work with the team in 2010!
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training Saint Charles, MO

Two weeks… Going sugar free for 14 days

     I have a weakness, and it’s sugar.   I’m sure you have heard the saying “A key to a man’s heart is thru his stomach”.  Well, it’s not just men.  I’m a sucker for cookies and ice cream primarily, but I rarely pass up anything sweet.  The irony is that five years ago I couldn’t stand the sight or smell of chocolate or anything relatively “sweet.”  Oh how the times have changed. 
     I can go thru the typical work week without consuming much sugar.  In fact, I didn’t really have it except for a piece or two of dark chocolate every other day.  Bring on Friday afternoon, and it was a whole different ball game.  Like I said, cookies, I’d go thru a package of Chips A Hoy’s in a weekend and I don’t even like the things, but some chemical in them makes you want them like it’s crack or something.  Ice cream too…  Even though I’ll go with the no sugar added, low fat, Edy’s; it doesn’t really help when I eat the whole carton in 48 hours.  My justification: “It’s still less calories than a DQ Blizzard!” (don’t get me started on those).  My plan B to any type of hunger on the weekends has always been sugar.  I’ve been so lucky that I workout and eat so well during that week that it offsets any damage, however it also keeps me from moving forward. 
The last straw was Valentines Day weekend.  I hadn’t been sleeping well, and I had been eating M&M’s (and I don’t like M&M’s!) and chocolate chip cookies and then my mom brought down a dozen of her homemade sugar cookies with frosting on them.  My mom is like Paula Deen of the baking world.  She makes immaculate pies, cakes, cookies, but she uses all the “real” ingredients.  She laughs when I ask if she used Splenda. Anyways, she brought down a dozen cookies Saturday and by Sunday night, 10 of them were gone.  I had the worst stomach ache that felt sugar coated and I knew right then and there that the sugar had to go.  I froze the other two cookies and began to plan a challenge for myself.  14 days with no sugar….
     Ok, when I say no sugar there are a few guidelines.  I still get to eat fresh fruit, honey, stevia, and I allowed myself Splenda.  I wanted to get rid of anything with the word “high fructose syrup,” “corn syrup,” and for the most part white sugar in general.  The only time I could have sugar was in my post workout chocolate milk, and that was only 1-2x a week.  Otherwise, nada, zero.  14 days, no problem, right?
Well, today is day 14 and I have accomplished my mission.  I have come to realize that anything processed more than likely has sugar in it, and I’m sure that I ate something accidently with sugar in it, but from what I know, I did very well.  And with the temptations of pictures of candy bars and doughnuts, sent by my sister, I still veered away from it.  And it was a lot harder than I ever thought it would be. 
1. Around 3-4pm, I started to get sluggish and I needed a “sugar fix”.  This would lead to mild crankiness.  Thankfully, apples helped tremendously. 
2.  I started sleeping sounder throughout the night.  I generally fell right to sleep and I didn’t move all night.  I woke up earlier and more refreshed than I had been.
3. Clothes.  Even though the scale didn’t move all too much, my clothes felt much looser on me, especially in my midsection. 
4. Discipline. I purposely left individual packages of Chips a Hoy cookies and candy in my pantry and freezer at home just to teach me that just because it’s there doesn’t mean I need to eat it.  They have been there for 2 weeks, untouched.  That’s some kind of record for me. 
When this past Saturday arrived, I was out running errands and a sugar craving hit BIG time.  I was about to go pick up my lunch when I was in the store and saw “Sugar free Vanilla wafer cookies”, made with Splenda.  No Sugar=Kim friendly!!!!  So I bought a package… And I immediately found out that just because it isn’t sugar, but if it tastes like sugar, it’s going to make you want to eat sugar.  I ate the whole package, 900 calories in 2 days.  And it left me wanting more.  They were sooooo good, but it let me know that once I have a taste of “sugar”  that it makes me only crave more.  Same way when I had a diet soda on Sunday.  First off, it tasted horrible, but one drink of it triggered something in me to eat something sweet. 
I learned first hand what sugar can do to me, both physically and mentally.  Sugar has been my crutch for a while and now I’m learning that it’s empty carbs and I need to choose better foods.  (Yes, I have known this for years, but sometimes it’s hard to practice what you preach).  I also learned that sugar isn’t a bad thing in moderation and occasionally, however, if you can’t do it in moderation, then it’s just best to stay away from it all.  And finally, even though something may be “sugar free”, doesn’t mean that it won’t make you crave sugar, or even food in general, for the rest of the day. 
I challenge every reader to try this test for yourself.  Do you own analysis and see if it helps your sleeping patterns, energy, whatever it may be.  My two weeks ends at midnight, but I’m hoping to continue to keep sugar to a very minimum in my lifestyle.  I start a new diet on Wednesday with MP, so who knows, at this point, this no sugar thing could have been a cakewalk compared to what I’m about to take on.
Kimberly Renoud
Emerge Fitness
 Saint Charles, Missouri

Suck it in…or Suck it up!

Hello to all!
I am Maria and I train with Matt  at Emerge.  I have had such a long fitness journey (Don’t worry, I’m gonna make a long story short!)
Ten years ago, I was fat…really fat…the “Oh you have such a pretty face; if you just lost some weight…” kind of fat.  I started at a size 18/20 and weighed about 230.  I got tired of people asking when my baby was due, so I began to workout.  Nine months later I lost about 90lbs and was comfortably wearing a size 6/7.  Fast forward a bit…I became a trainer and aerobics instructor for about 3 years…took an eight month hiatus for school; gained 40lbs…came back to aerobics; lost 30lbs…started training full-time for another 3 to 4 years…fell into a fitness routine and gained about 10lbs.  For the most part, I was in good shape.  
I always thought of myself as a fit fat girl.  Yeah, I was in decent shape, but I felt I could do so much better.  I didn’t want to be average anymore.  I wanted to look like one of those fitness models!…or at least shut up that fat girl inside me that wanted go for a burger and fries after a workout!
I started working with Matt about three years ago.  I got in the best shape of my life!!!  I was doing more than I ever thought I could!  I lost well over 20 lbs and really toned up!…Then…I switched careers and began to sit most of the day.  It was fine, at first, until the lbs slowly started to creep up on me.  Suddenly, the fat girl inside me, that Matt helped me silence to a whisper, started getting a little louder.  Especially around the snack table at work!…No big deal though!  I just stepped up the cardio and kept the extra weight at bay…Then…I decided to get liposuction.  It was something that I always wanted to do and being so close to my goal weight I figured it would be an enhancement.
…Fast forward about five months to a conversation between myself and a co-worker…”Girl!  How does a person workout 4 days a week, eat…hmmm…some what sensibly, AND has had liposuction GAIN 25 lbs!”  She said it in the most humorous and loving way…really.  It got me thinking…
So here’s the thing…I got comfortable, I decreased my workout intensity,  I let my inner fat girl have her way at the snack table at work a bit too often…but most importantly I lost sight of my goal.  As 5lbs turned to 10, then to 15, and quietly crept to 20; I thought “mmm, it’s not that bad.  I’ll just camouflage with clothes and Suck it in!” 
Yeah, I thought that too…YIKES!  I realized “What am I saying?  This isn’t me!  This isn’t what I want to see when I look in the mirror!  I’ve come too far to let another pound creep by!”  Instead, I’m gonna Suck it up!  Stop making excuses and exceptions and just friggin do it! 
I know the journey…VERY WELL…I know it has ups and downs, but here’s what…I’d rather enjoy the ups than settle in the downs!  I know what I need to do…I’ve been there…I’ve done that…I’ve climbed that mountain before…and so I’m just gonna do what I know!  I know that it will take dedication, I know it will take patience, I know that it will take everything out of me at the end of a workout…but I ALWAYS know this…I KNOW how good it feels in that moment when you know you’ve accomplished something great!…The moment you put on those skinny jeans that you haven’t worn in YEARS and they’re LOOSE!…The moment when someone stops you to tell you how great you look and how inspired they are by your success…and my personal favorite!…The moment you put on a bikini and you don’t want to slink behind something and hide!
I’m gonna get back there folks…and then some!!!  I’ve decided to go public with my journey for many reasons.  One, is because I want to stay accountable to my goal.  Secondly, it’s great to have the support of others on a similar path to motivate you.  Also, because I hope to inspire someone else to become greater than they thought they could be.
I will post a weekly updated picture along with a blog about my journey throughout the week.  I may blog a time or two throughout the week as well, as there is always something entertaining and interesting, about life and fitness, on my mind. 
So!  Here we go!  Week one…   

Emerge Fitness Training
St. Charles Missouri

Achieving a goal. Be Process Oriented.

After setting realistic fitness goals, both long and short term, it is important to keep yourself accountable along the way with control over those things you CAN control.
No matter what you set out to achieve, your focus should not be laser focused only on attaining your ultimate goal (i.e. losing 30 lbs.)  This is called a goal focused outlook.  Although aspiration to achieve an ultimate goal is the catalyst for beginning a program in the first place, a focus on the process is a far more rewarding path.  
You can CONTROL the process.  Everything that, in combination, actually produces the desired outcome can be programmed and manipulated (a sound nutritional plan, a cardiovascular program, resistance training, etc).  The outcome is the sum of all of these controlled behaviors.
Setting short term goals on the way to an ultimate goal is a great way to stay process focused while having the satisfaction of achieving several “wins” on the way to an ultimate goal (i.e. losing 3 lbs. every 2 weeks).
It’s the day to day process that will eventually lead to where you want to be.  Control those variables, set and achieve several smaller goals along the way, and enjoy the process of reaching your goal.
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training
St. Charles, Missouri

Comfortable, Healthy and Pregnant

This is day 140 of my pregnancy and day 1 of my pregnancy journal.  I am currently 19 weeks pregnant and estimated due date July 4, 2010.  This is my first pregnancy and up until the moment I got that positive test I was always scared of the horror pregnancy symptoms I have always heard and wondering if that was really going be me.  I found out I was pregnant at 5 weeks right in the middle of watching Marley and Me.  The movie made me sad of the trials of life and it hit me at that moment that I was a little late for my monthly visitor.  That afternoon it all began.
A little history about myself I am 30 years old and been married to my best friend for three years this June.  Matt  and I opened our business the following week of our wedding and starting a family at that time was not a possibility.  With running a business and me being a full time personal trainer the thought of being pregnant has always been a fear.  I went into this pregnancy with the plan to be as healthy and comfortable as possible so I could maintain all current responsibilities as a trainer and business owner.  Sometimes having comfortable pregnancies are out of women’s control but the things that we can control are diet and exercise.    I have been preaching this for 8 years now to my pregnant clients and still to this day believe diet is number 1.  I have always had the theory of high carbohydrate and low protein intake during pregnancy can cause a lot of morning sickness and nausea.  High carbohydrate and low protein will cause blood sugar drops, which in return will cause nausea.  I was so excited to put this to test for myself.  It was always hard telling a pregnant client about pregnancy and diet and the bad effects of certain foods without ever being pregnant myself.  The first few weeks of my pregnancy were interesting trying to understand my body and what exactly was happening.  I never experienced the morning sickness or extreme nausea but the one thing I did experience was the lack of an appetite.  I never thought food would sound gross to me because I love to eat and look forward to every meal and that was changing.  I did realize that overeating really made me feel sick to my stomach so I quickly controlled the amount of food I was eating at one given time.  My portions became very small for my big appetite.  I found myself eating chicken noodle soup for lunch and dinner.  I don’t eat much can food or suggest it for clients so I would make my own low sodium soup or for convenience I would eat organic low sodium soup from a can.  This lasted for 9 weeks but with the control of my diet I never felt sick.  My diet was pretty simple and I kept it the same everyday.
6am-Isopure Protein shake + half banana
9am- Cascade Fresh yogurt
11am-Trader Joe berry almond mix or green apple
12pm (lunch)- Can of organic low sodium soup
3pm- Isopure protein shake or banana + Peanut butter
5pm- Kashi bar or Zone protein bar
7pm- (dinner) more soup or if it sounded good Lean meat, vegetable, and a salad
 Don’t think I am a 7-day a week perfect eater because I am not.  Monday-Friday at noon (my work week) is my routine and that is when I eat as healthy as possible and the weekends is when I give myself more freedom while still making sure that I get enough protein and not go a long time without eating.  My goal was not to loose weight while pregnant but again I ate the foods that I found to not make me feel sick.  I recall when I was about 7 weeks pregnant Matt and I had a long workday and went out after work to one of our favorite places and split a big plate of nachos.  I paid for it with heartburn the next morning and felt miserable at work all morning.  Needless to say that put an end to that kind of eating.  I learned quickly and controlled my diet every chance I got.  Luckily I was not one of those that gained more than 10lbs in my first trimester.  At our 15-week appointment I had gained 4lbs. 
 I have trained many women through their entire pregnancy’s up until the day of delivery so I have had a lot of experience in designing exercise programs for women and now its my turn.  My doctor told me “there is nothing you can do to hurt the baby unless you get in a fight and get beat up.”  I now think about this every time I exercise.  The first 12 weeks is when you want to be the most careful with exercise.  This is when your body is doing a lot of changing and manufacturing a human life.  I did take it easy the first 12 weeks.  I love to run and I decided for the first 12 weeks to do a run/walk program and the days I was not feeling it I would do the elliptical.  I have two running partners and they did not like this news but I made sure that we still got out and did fast brisk walking with a little running.  They still got to sniff mailboxes and light post and spot the occasional bunny so they were happy.  I find it crucial pregnant or not to always use a heart rate monitor while doing cardiovascular training.  Caridovascular training while pregnant is great for the mom and baby but very important that your heart rate is lower than what you would typically train at non-pregnant.  I keep my heart rate between 145-150 bpm.  Once I got passed those first 12 weeks I went back to my running program.  I want to continue to run while I can because I know at some point in the 3rd trimester I will have to go back to lower impact cardio.  I have been running for years and know that running would not cause any harm to my baby.  I try to get in 4-5 days a week of cardio for 30 min in my heart rate zone.  I also still continue my resistance training and stretching program about 3 times a week.  That includes a  core boot camp  class on Friday mornings at 8am.  It’s a great class taught by Matt and we focus on all core training. 
Along with my diet and exercise I also see my chiropractor  Dr, Marcy Cooper  once a week for an adjustment and acupuncture.  I truly feel this has helped me.  The acupuncture that we focus on is for women and pregnancies.  There are days that my energy is greater than before being pregnant.  Fatigue is a very common symptom of pregnancy and that is one thing that I can say being pregnant has not slowed me down or made working miserable. This could de due to the fact that I am eating very good and frequent exercise but I know a big part of it is the adjustments and acupuncture. 
I want to share all of my wonderful experiences for the next 20 weeks and talk about all the great things about being pregnant and the things that we can control, diet and exercise.  I never thought I would love being pregnant.  It has been a wonderful experience so far and can’t wait for the next 4-½ months.  Thanks to my wonderful husband who is always encouraging me and making it a great experience together.
Angie Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training 

The Dirty Dozen Update. (Interesting trends EMERGE)

As of January 23rd, there have been nine documented finishers of the Dirty Dozen (total time from 1st to last rep recorded).  The fastest time so far is 24: 36.  An interesting note; the top two times were performed by women in their 50’s!  No excuses, no limitations.

The Dirty Dozen- A Brand New Way to Challenge Yourself at Emerge

Here’s what the format looks like.  The fastest time so far is less than 28 minutes!
The Dirty Dozen: Series 1
The Dirty Dozen: The twelve most hated & fear inspiring exercises found at Emerge performed circuit- style in sets of 3, 2 sets each exercise.
Directions: When first rep of first set starts, so does the timer.  Timer does not stop until last rep of last set is completed.


1)   Bulgarian Lunge on Smith Machine- 10 reps each leg back 2 back
2)   Wheel Walking Plank- 12 “hand walks” forward, 12 back
3)   Pull Ups- Assisted or bodyweight (assisted to failure at 10)
4)   Pneubounder- 20-10-20-10-20 (20=bound, 10=bounce recover)
5)   Up down planks (on bosu)- 30 seconds (15 each hand leading)
6)   Slide board mountain climber- 30 seconds
7)   Power clean and press- 6 reps
8)   Burpee Jumps- 10 reps
9)   Med ball side to side push up- 10 reps
10)   Reverse ball crunch on smith12 reps
11)     KB Deck Squats- 6 reps
12)     Jumping Platform DB Push Press- 10 reps
Total Time:
 Ask your trainer to try the Dirty Dozen at Emerge!

"Get Fit for Fido" a Huge Success, Thank You!

Thank you to all who participated in and donated to the “Get Fit for Fido” free class training promotion benefiting the St. Charles Humane Society. We collected 30+ bags of dog and cat food, treats, tons of toys, office supplies, kitty litter and $750 in cash donations. We delivered the goods to the shelter on Wednes

day afternoon to a very greatfull staff. Merry Christmas!- Emerge Fitness Training




Emerge Client Spotlight on Beth Cuquet

What goals do you hope to meet while working with your trainer and MOST Important, what motivated you to begin this fitness/weight loss program? 
     My ultimate goal in working out with Beth is obviously weight loss/maintenance, but also overall improved fitness.  While I’ve always struggled with my weight & had lost weight before, I noticed how significantly my body changed this time in working out with my trainer.  I was fitting into clothes again at a higher weight than I had previously.  Also, the accountability really helps keep me honest & driven towards my goals.  I really feel as though Beth has taken on my goals as her own & really cares to see me succeed.  Also, I’ve always felt like she understands some of my struggles with food & eating, so she provides invaluable counseling as well as personal fitness training.  Overall, I began this fitness/weight loss program because I had struggled on my own in the past & was struggling to get myself back under control last year.  I had gained weight & was just not in a good place physically or emotionally.  At Emerge, I saw the potential to not only lose weight & hopefully keep it off, but to establish relationships that would give me the support to reach my goals & make fitness a lifestyle…not just an extracurricular activity.
 How much weight have you lost thus far? 
 Plus or minus 30 pounds (depends on where I’m fluctuating, as you know.  I’d like to make it well over 30 lbs here in the near future.
 Specifically, what did/are you doing to meet goals?
 Cardio workouts  4-5 times per week (35-40 minutes each time)
 I work out with Beth partner training once a week, boot camp 1-2 times per week.
An example of my diet:
         – 1 pkg instant oatmeal
         – 1 light yogurt
 Mid Morning Snack:
         – 1 light string cheese
         – 1 whole wheat english muffin
         – 1 deli turkey & cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread
                 (2 slices Healthy Life Bread, 2 oz deli turkey, 1 slice fat free cheese, mustard)
         – 1 piece fruit (apple, orange, other type of fruit)
         – 1 chicken quesadilla
                 (2 oz grilled chicken w/ fajita seasoning, 2 whole wheat tortillas, 3 fat free   cheese singles)
         – Broccoli (6 oz)
         – Corn
 What are some of the biggest lifestyle changes you have made since starting your fitness journey?

         I maintain a file where I write down what I eat & track the total calories I consume in a day.  Often, I plan out my day’s meals in advance as much as possible so I know if I think I have room to work in an extra snack in the afternoon or something like that.
       I realize that it doesn’t have to be a “free for all”.  Last year, I was actually right in the middle of my weight loss journey when Thanksgiving rolled around.  I enjoyed turkey, made my own mashed potatoes with skim milk & without butter, was able to enjoy the green bean casserole (basically just green beans & mushroom soup in my family), and even made a Jello no-bake cheesecake as light as possible & enjoyed a piece of it with sugar free cherry pie filling.  I didn’t feel deprived at all.  While this year I’m really maintaining my weight more than trying to lose, I’m still planning to make the cheesecake & enjoy that rather than some other dessert.  I realize that I can make concessions for myself in some areas while still maintaining control in others…and I’ll be much more pleased with myself at the end of the day.  It’s not just the food that I’m thankful for on Thanksgiving! In fact, there is so much more that I’m more thankful for…and this year (as well as last), I would definitely add Emerge Fitness & Beth Pirtle high on that list!!

beth before

Beth when starting her Emerge program.

beth pic

Beth on her way to her goal.

Get Fit for Fido: A Rescue Dog's Christmas Poem

I had told my mom about the charity bootcamps we are holding “Get Fit for Fido” and she had this poem on hand and she (being one of the biggest animal lovers out there) sent me this poem that had come across via email.  I found it very fitting for the season.  I hope you enjoy (and have a tissue on hand!)
May you all have a very Merry Christmas and holiday season.  Thank you from the bottom of our heart’s at Emerge.  We appreciate every donation that we can send to the Humane Society. If you would still like to participate, please contact us, we do have a few openings available.
-Kimberly at Emerge

A Rescue Dog’s Christmas Poem

‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,

Every shelter is full- we are lost, but not found.

Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,

We  hope every minute that someone will care.

They’ll come to adopt us and give us the call,

“Come here, Max and Sparkie- come fetch your new ball?”

But now we sit here and think of the days…

We were treated so fondly- we had cute, baby ways.

Once we were little, then we grew and we grew,

Now we’re no longer young and we’re no longer new.

So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,

They reacted so quickly-why were they so rash?

We “jump on the children, don’t come when they call,”

We “bark when they leave us,” climb over the wall.

We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,

Now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made.

If only they’d trained us, if only we knew…

We’d have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too.

We were left in the backyard, or worse-left to roam,

Now we’re tired and lonely and out of a home.

They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye…

“Maybe someone else will give you a try.”

So now here we are, all confused and alone,

In a shelter with others who long for a home.

The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,

with so many to care for, they can’t stay to chat.

They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer,

We know that they wonder how long we’ll be here.

We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads,

Of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.

Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears,

our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.

If you can’t adopt us and there’s no room at the Inn,

could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?

We count on your kindness each day of the year,

can you give more than hope to everyone here?

Please make a donation to pay for the heat…

And help get us something special to eat.

The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,

And the more of us will, if more people will give.


Emerge Client Spotlight: Debbie Kovac

In Debbie’s own words.

My reason for losing weight and getting healthy were twofold.  First of all I know a few people that were my age and they dropped dead.  I finally “got it”, I only have one body and I need to take care of it.  Secondly I was notified that I was eligible to win a trip at work.  The trip was to St. Thomas.  If I had a chance to win a trip, I wanted to be able to be in a bathing suit and feel good about myself.  I didn’t win the trip, but I still feel like a winner…if it wasn’t for that email telling me about the trip, I may not be where I am today. Down almost 30lbs, stronger and healthier.
 I meet with my trainer (Beth Pirtle) 2x a week and participate in one of her bootcamps.  In addition to the time spent with Beth, I also do cardio the other four days.  I do a 30 minute interval training program, walk 3 miles outside or do a 25 minute eliptical program.
I eat a 1600 calorie diet.  I journal daily and Beth reviews my journal weekly.  I try and work special treats in so I don’t feel deprived.  I eat a variety of foods, but try and make sure I get 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies, lean protein and I drink plenty of water!
I think the biggest change for me is to incorporate my exercize in.  I make it a priority.  I even went out of town on a business trip and made sure I went to the gym at the hotel at 5:30am.  The next week I was down 2.5 lbs…I think about what I eat…and try really hard to make smart food choices.
  Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the previous year and be thankful for what we have.   I am so very thankful for my health.  This year on Thanksgiving day, I’m going to go for a long walk before going to my sister’s house.  I will help prepare the food, so I will be able to cook healthy.  As far as my meal I will have a little of everything but extra veggies and for dessert I am going to have a piece of apple pie with cinnamon ice cream and I’m going to enjoy it.  I’m in control of my life and I have worked it in to my program.

 Click picture to view gallery.
Click on individual image to view larger.


Trading Places: On track (Thursday, November 19th, 2009)

Man, I suck at keeping up at this thing!  Quick recap:
Lifted on Saturday for an hour
Monday: Didn’t go to bootcamp, but since I didn’t work that day, we got in plenty of walking.
Tuesday: didn’t work out…
Wednesday: Matt killed me.  I felt great during all of it UNTIL he made me use the new tube thingy that we have.  I felt/rediculous. Glad I could make Matt laugh.  Ugh… Hate that thing (at least when I use it… I love when my clients work out with it!) I got in 45 min of cardio and called it a workout.
Thursday: one hour of high intense cardio. 20 min of it were sprints… I will be hurting tomorrow.
Tomorrow morning is bootcamp, then cardio afterwards.
I told Matt I have 4 weeks until my B-day.  I don’t care about my age, but I said I wanted to be in my best shape ever when I do turn a year older.  That includes diet.  So, other than my post workout chocolate milk, I’ve cut all “non-natural” sugars out of my diet.  If it has sugar, and it isn’t fruit, I’m not eating it.  I’m REALLY cleaning it up and I’m mentally very serious about it.  4 weeks.. Really, not too bad. 
I find I do the best when I write everything down, so I am keeping track on my Blackberry.  That way, I always have it on me and I can log as I’m going along with my day.  I’m reading a lot of fitness related books/magazines, that way my mind is always set on my goal and it works at motivation as well.  Also, I’ve gotten back in the mindset, that food is for fuel, not fun.. And that’s really important these days during the holidays.
We too, as trainers, must practice what we preach… Grrrr…
Until tomorrow,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: What a week! (Friday, November 13, 2009)

Oops, I forgot to post Wednesday.  Need I say more about how my week has been!
Let me rewind a bit:
Wednesday, Matt killed me.  Need I say more? 
Matt was so gung-ho on me PR’ing on bench press, so guess what I got to do FIRST THING! And for some reason (which I’m starting to find out why) I hate chest exercises.  I hate pushups, I hate chest presses, I hate flys.  If it’s anything “involving the chest” I will not whine, I will not complain, but I will growl, curse, and more than likely, roll my eyes.  BUT I will do it.  And I did it… It wasn’t pretty WHATSOEVER, but I did PR.  I think Pirtle was more excited than I was about it… I was just glad that my arms didn’t fall off, because at one moment, it felt possible. 
I had to do eccentric squats on the Smith Machine.. Good times… So much fun you’ll want to do them too… Don’t ask Matt what they are, just tell him you want to do some, he’ll be thrilled!  The term “red neck” has been taken into a whole different direction. 
Oh, but not as much fun as these burpee-power cleans he made me do.  I hate burpees, ALMOST as much as pushups, but this exercise was so rough that the burpees was the easiest part.  Yup, classify this exercise into “tough and sucky” (I will be making my clients do this in the future, no worries 🙂  ) I had NO energy by this point.  Holding the barbell with weight was a big enough workout.
Oh and of course lucky me got to finish with single arm-kettle bell situp/getup thingies.  AND PUSHUPS.  Ya know how in sports, when you know an opponent has an injury/weakness, and so of course what you do is aim for that injury or weakness and bring them down? Me=weak opponent… Pirtle=person targeting the weakness.  The situps weren’t bad other than having no strength to hold my arm up.  The pushups=UGGGGGGGLY! He won, I lost.  I was face down on the floor after the hour.  Matt wins another.. Score 0 for the skirt.
30 minutes of cardio and my Wednesday workout was DONE.
Thursday: VERY busy day, so I didn’t get in “official cardio”  However I was nonstop moving for about 12-14 hours. 
Friday:  I made it to bootcamp after picking Matt(W) from the airport at the crack of dawn.  TIIIIIIRED. But I went.  And I survived.  And the 40 seconds was a blessing today especially.  60 seconds may have caused a walkout after the 1st round.  (not really, I don’t think I could do that, but I would have definately not made it.)  I’m not sore from Wednesday, but the body just isn’t moving so quickly.  A lot of core work today, the abs are still tight.
And of course, when Wirth is in town, I never get to sit, so I have been on my feet since 6am and walked all over half of metro St. Louis.  (It’s only 5pm, I’m sure more walking will come later…)
I expect nothing different for the rest of the weekend, so I hope to be about 3lbs down from last measurements, and that’s counting if all of my limbs are still in tact.
Have a great weekend!
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness.

Dates and Donation List for "Get Fit for Fido" Classes

The dates are set for the Get Fit For Fido boot camp classes.  All that we ask is that you bring a donation for the St. Charles Humane Society and you take the class for free.  The following is a list of items the shelter is in need of:
Monetray donations welcome
Kitten and cat chow, pediatric electrolyte, litter boxes and litter, kitty and dog toys, puppy and dog chow, canned dog and puppy food, chew bones, collapse-able wire dog crates, flea control (frontline and advantage), flea combs, brushes and combs, shampoo (flea and nice smelling),harnesses and leashes, dog collars with metal buckles, safety release kitten and cat collars, pet scale (large dog size).
Bleach, powder and liquid laundry soap, towels, wash cloths, bath mats, sheets and blankets, large trash bags, paper towels, toilet paper, brooms mops buckets and dust pans, kitchen and bath cleaning supplies, power washer, lawn care tools, instant canopy for event (10′ x 10′), folding chairs, 6′ or 8′ plastic tables, canned soda and treats for volunteers.
81/2 x 11 white copier paper, computer equipment, color copier paper, folders, hanging folders, pens, message pads etc, craft supplies for educational programs, digital video camera
Tarps, batteries (9 volt, aaa rechargeable) heavy duty zip ties, first aid kits for humans and animals, hand sanitizer gel, spotlights that plug into auto cig lighter, duct tape
Class dates:
Tuesday December 1st, 8th, and 15th- 5:30 and 6:30 PM
Wednesday December 2nd, 9th, and 16th– 5:30 PM
Saturday December 19th– 10 am
Please Sign up for these classes by phone, email, or in person at Emerge ASAP, as they have a 12 person limit and a four person minimum!

Low Fat/Low Calorie Holiday Cooking

It’s that time of  year again!  Family and friends gather together to celebrate and feast on some of their most favorite foods.  The following are just a few suggestions as to how to cut fat and calories while preparing your favorite holiday dishes.
*When basting the turkey, instead of butter or margarine, substitute cooking spray or low-sodium chicken broth or diet ginger ale.
*When making gravy, put pan drippings in refrigerator overnight, skim off fat and use remaining juice.  You can also substitute gravy with chicken broth, orange zest, bell peppers, leeks and seasonings.
*When preparing mashed potatoes, instead of mixing in butter/cream, mix roasted garlic, chives, skim milk and herbs or fat free evaporated skim milk.
*When making stuffing, instead of adding butter/margarine, use equal amounts of low sugar applesauce
*When preparing sweet potatoes instead of using butter and marshmallows, use apple or orange juice, low-fat pancake syrup, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
*Instead of using regular cheese sauce on vegetables, use low-fat hollandaise sauce, egg substitutes, Smart Choice marg, lemon juice, dijon mustard and or ground red pepper
*Instead of creamy or oily based salad dressings, use balsamic vinegar and spice mix.
*Spread roasted garlic on bread and rolls rather than butter or margarine.
*Dips for vegetables and crackers can be made with low or fat free sour cream or light or fat free mayonnaise.
*Instead of cream cheese in Cheese cake, mix low-fat ricotta cheese and low-fat cottage cheese or yougurt.  If using fat-free cream cheese for baking, use blocked not tub cream cheese.
*When baking breads, muffins or cakes, instead of oil or shortening use applesauce or 50% buttermilk and 50% applesauce.
*Chocolate cookies and brownies can be made with pureed prunes for a portion of the oil. You can also use 3 Tbl of unsweetened cocoa instead of 1 oz baking chocolate.
*Rather than flour & butter when preparing pie crust, use graham crackers & either apple, grape, or orange juice to moisten.
*Sugar free pudding and skim milk can be used for pie filling
*To cut calories when preparing pumpkin pie, substitute Splenda for sugar, egg substitutes for eggs and use low fat/fat free canned milk or cream.
Beth Pirtle

Trading Places: 20 seconds= TOTAL difference (Monday, November 9th, 2009)

Happy Monday everyone!
Weekend recap: Survived bootcamp… It was great to see Todd and Shannon Johnson back from Buffalo! Shannon is 3 weeks from her due date and she STILL kicked some butt in bootcamp! If that’s not motivation for us “non-pregnant people” I don’t know what is!
Saturday morning I got in a pretty good hour full body strength training workout.  I wanted to work on my deadlift and bench press forms, so I didn’t do anything heavy, but plenty to get my heart rate and a good sweat going.
Sunday was my “day off”…
Monday, I got in 30 minutes of walking on the treadmill (I couldn’t do anything too intense, I had just gotten adjusted right before) then tonight, I went to bootcamp.
Ya know, about that bootcamp… It varies every day… And now we are going through 40 second stations instead of 60 seconds. You wouldn’t think “Oh, it’s only 20 seconds, it can’t be that much of a difference”… Oh, but yes… Yes, it can! Here’s what I figured out
Each bootcamp has an average of 10 stations. So if you take those additional 20 seconds from each station, that’s 200 seconds.  AND we usually go thru the whole thing three times.  So that means 600 seconds have been cut from the workout, which breaks down into 10 FULL minutes of solid working out.  That’s huge!  No wonder I can get through an entire round without running for oxygen! 
I’m not saying that the workouts are any easier, by any means.  The weights have gone up, the intensity has been kicked up a notch and the level of difficulty has definately increased.  But TRUST ME, I’m ok with getting my butt kicked for 40 seconds instead of 60.  My lungs thank you, Matt and Angie, however I will let you know about my muscles tomorrow. 
Tomorrow is cardio, Wednesday is workout with Matt…
Until Wednesday,
Kimberly at Emerge

Trading Places: So far so good (Friday, November 6th, 2009)

     The good news: I can walk.. I never had any severe soreness in my legs or butt… The bad news: my pecs/shoulders hurt like no other, still.  Today’s bootcamp was a core focused day, and my pecs/shoulders got a double whammy. (However, I was NOT cranky today…) I survived, in fact, I prevailed enough to go up and do another 30 minutes of cardio at the studio. 
     I spent the entire day on my feet, and the diet has been pretty good.  I’m heading into the studio in the morning to get in some lifting and cardio before the Hakweye game (GO Hawks!)
Have a great weekend everyone!
Kimberly at Emerge

Trading Places: Allergies gone, I'm back (Wednesday, November 4th, 2009)

It’s official, I am BACK at it. Ok, so I never quit training with Matt, but all cardio, bootcamps, and diet went on hiatus for a little while.  Guilty as charged.  And yes, Matt knows.  My allergies have NEVER been as bad as they had this year.  THANKFULLY, my “allergy season” is over; which means getting back into it and at 100%.  I have 42 days until my 27th Birthday and I’m going to be wearing those darn jeans!  Ok, not on my Birthday, since I will be working, but BY my birthday. 
My “get back in the game” started a week ago, when Pirtle flat out told me that Thursday, I WAS doing cardio and Friday I WAS going to the morning bootcamp.  So, Thursday I went in and did my cardio and Friday, at 8am I was at bootcamp.  I wasn’t speaking, but I was there physically.  It was a good/bad workout.  I liked the fact that we are going heavier weight, shorter time.  I feel like I can be a hundred times more effective in short periods of time with more weight than I can be for the full minute we were doing.  The only bad thing was that my shoulders were still incredibly sore from Wednesday’s workout, so anything shoulder related was not going so well; otherwise, GREAT workout.  Saturday morning I hadn’t decided if I was going to do cardio or lift, but since I didn’t get to Emerge until 10:15 and the Iowa Hawkeye game started at 11am on ESPN (yes, I am a Hawkeye fan), I opted for a quick weight session.
Sunday: Day off.  I watched the Rams WIN (Congrats to them!), and I got in some house cleaning.
Monday: I got in some morning cardio (30 minutes) and then I went to bootcamp that night.  (Tough, but great!)
Tuesday: I thought I had the flu coming on that morning (minus the fever) so I popped all of my vitamins, Airborne, and Zinc tablets and drank ridiculous amounts of water.  I got some rest, and woke up this morning 100%.  SO> No cardio, however, if this day prevented any sort of illness, I’m COMPLETELY ok with it.
Wednesday: Workout from hell with Matt.  I cannot for the life of me beat my max on bench press.  I’m stuck… I’m going to have to work on that and my shoulders on Saturdays, because after that we hit the rings, and I’ve never in my life felt like such a weenie in my life. I kid you not; the strength ratio from my legs to my upper body is about 4:1.  Lucky me, got to use ALL three of our new “toys” today.  I actually like all of them, just not in sequential order… The bounder thingie, we got from the Rams training facility, kicked my butt… LITERALLY.  I have never in my life felt the burn in my glues like I did on that thing.  By the time we finished I was jumping around with the biggest cramp in my butt.  But I would do that thing every day to replace jumping on the plyo boxes.  My knees felt GREAT on the bounder because there was no impact.  However, my quads and glutes will be hurting in the morning, I GUARANTEE it.  But that may be my new favorite exercise… “This burns so badly, I LOVE IT!”  Yeah, we trainers are janked in the head like that.
          50 minutes of high intensity of cardio and my Wednesday workout was complete.
My diet is going to be the tough part.  I’m back to that point again where I can’t stand the sight of chicken.  My cats got the biggest portion of the last rotisserie chicken I bought.  Blech… Chicken.  So now I REALLY need to find alternate sources of protein that don’t make me want to run for the Border (yes, I like Taco Bell, among other bad places to eat).  I’m not a big “fish” eater, so we will see what I come up with.  By the time I get home at night, I’m not in much of a cooking mood, so generally it’s soup.  I have to cut back on the sodium, I looked like a sponge Monday night at bootcamp.
          Tomorrow is simply a cardio day (if I can walk), and Friday 8am is bootcamp.  Due to keeping my journal going and keeping my sanity during the holiday season, I’m only planning on writing on the days I train or do bootcamps. 
          I hope you readers who have fallen off of the wagon or have been slacking jump on the bandwagon with me and get back into it before the “resolution-eers” do in January.  Just remember, a lot of photos are taken this time of year!
Until Friday,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Do as your trainer SAID. Get what you want out of your workouts by understanding the SAID principle.

There is ALOT of information floating out there about health and fitness.  From the anecdotal how-to from the big gym dude, to the high drama on reality TV shows like the Biggest Loser, there is certainly not of shortage of supposed wisdom on health and fitness.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  This information can be motivating and inspiring. 
It can also be potentially harmful, both physiologically and in your ability to achieve a fitness goal.  In this article, we won’t go into the just plain bad workout information that is everywhere, we will look instead at focusing your attention on the information that will help you realize success for all of your fitness effort.
Enter the SAID principle.  The acronym stands for specific adaptations to imposed demands.  This sounds bookish and not user or exerciser friendly.  So, broken down:
SPECIFIC: What specifically are you trying to achieve with your exercise program.  You will have much greater, faster success if you know what you are trying to do, exactly.
ADAPTATIONS:  This is what you are hoping for when embarking on an exercise routine.  An adaptation is a change your body.  Most people who exercise are looking for change.
IMPOSED DEMANDS: This is your program.  This is the sum of all the stimulus you physically impose on your body. Cardio, diet, supplementation, and resistance training.
So, the idea here is that a particular exercise regimine must be put together in a certain way to quickly achieve a specific goal.  Otherwise, you could be waisting your time, or worse, hurting yourself.
The dilemma is, if you talk to ten different people on the street or in the gym about what they are trying to gain out of their exercise routine, you are likely to hear a wide variety of answers, from people with a wide variation in age, fitness level, etc. 
So, there is no “cookie cutter” routine to fitness.  What one person does to acheive their goal may be the EXACT opposite from what you need to be doing to achieve yours.  Your body will react in a way consistent to the stimulus you give it.  If you train like an Olympic powerlifter, your body will adapt accordingly, and you will be able to powerfully lift heavy resistance.  That’s good if that is your intention.  If not, you need to re-formulate your exercise regimine.  This includes your diet, your aerobic training, and your resistance training.  Everything must be SPECIFICALLY designed to achieve a CERTAIN goal.
Don’t waste your time emulating everything you see unless you know for sure what you are trying to accomplish is in line with what you are actually doing.
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training


Get Fit For Fido



Emerge Fitness Training would like to invite you to join us for a bootcamp workout for a great cause!  Our struggling economy has caused a lot of our four legged friends to become homeless and without families and with your help, Emerge would like to help!

  Having hectic schedules during the holidays, there’s no better time to take an hour and get in a total body workout. No worries, each class can be catered to your fitness level!

There is no fee; however we do ask that you bring a donation (Dog/Cat food, unused toys, treats).  All items will be taken to the St. Charles Humane Society

Please contact us at 636-925-1222 or check out our website for more information.

(Due to a maximum class size, we ask that you sign up for a certain date.  The more people interested, the more classes will be available) 



List of Items needed:


Pet Needs:

Kitten and cat chow
Pediatric electrolyte
Litter boxes and litter
Kitty toys and dog toys
Puppy and dog chow
Canned dog and puppy food
Chew bones
Collapsible wire dog crates
Flea control- Frontline, Advantage
Flea combs
Brushes and combs
Shampoo- Flea and nice smelling
Harnesses & leashes
Dog collars with metal buckles
Safety release kitten & cat collars
Pet scale—large dog size

Shelter Needs:

Powder & liquid laundry soap
Towels, wash cloths, bath mats
Sheets & blankets
Trash bags– large
Paper towels
Toilet paper
Brooms, mops, buckets & dust pans
Kitchen & bath cleaning supplies
Power washer
Lawn care tools
Instant canopy for events – 10’ x 10’
Folding chairs
6’ or 8’ plastic tables
Canned soda & treats for our hard working volunteers

Office Needs:

8 1/2 x 11 white copier paper
8 1/2 x 11 color copier paper
Computer equipment
Various supplies- folders, hanging folders (legal size), pens, message pads, etc.
Craft Supplies for educational programs
Digital video camera

Disaster Supplies:

Tarps—all sizes
Batteries (9 volt, AAA rechargeable)
Zip ties (heavy duty)
Collapsible wire kennels
First Aid Kits (Human and Animal)
Hand sanitizer gel
Spotlights to plug into auto cigarette lighters
Duct tape

Trading Places: Still kicking (Tuesday, Sept. 29th 2009)

It has been a while since my last blog, but yes, I am still kicking.  Most people think that after the summer ends that schedules and lifestyles slow down… Not so much.  I’m still training with Matt once a week and I “attempt” to attend bootcamps both  Monday night and Friday morning, but that hasn’t happened in a while.  Allergy season has taken over my life.  You would think that I would have a six pack after all of the sneezing I have done.  The Kleenex company’s profits have to be on the rise.  From what I’ve heard, they are affecting many St. Louis’ians.  I emphathize, I really do.  Allergies definately have an affect on cardio, meaning I can’t do it.  Climbing stairs can make me wheeze.  Attemtping to do anything but a slow walk is a lot to ask out of my lungs.  Lifting I can do as long as it’s quick, short bursts. 
I’m hoping I can get an inhaler from the doc on Friday and I HOPE (I really do) to be back at the workouts next week.  I really do miss the bootcamps.  I don’t mind my muscles feeling sore or my limbs feeling like they could fall off.  I like the fact knowing that I just worked my butt off and I actually like to sweat.  I would like to say that my diet has been perfect since I can’t workout, but yeah, not so much…
Ya know when a kid goes to college for the first time and everyone tells them “Don’t gain the Freshmen 15!”.  Well, my fear is the “Fall 15″…  I’m lucky I haven’t gained any body fat, but if only my diet had been cleaner, my body fat would keep going down.  Between Cardinals baseball, college football, and the nfl, my butt doesn’t leave the couch much.  And if it does, then I’m at some sports bar eating bar food watching a game.  I have to work on an answer to this problem.  And I would say “well, I’ll watch a game while doing cardio”… Sure, I can do that when I can breathe.  So, as for right now, I just have to make sure that I keep all junk food out of my apartment.  Which means, I have to stay out of any store that contains junk food.  I went down the Halloween candy aisle at Target today and I could have picked up several bags of stuff.  Luckily I only came out with a bag of suckers, but I won’t lie, I was eyeing a bag of Kit Kats for a good minute or two. 
Being away from blogging has also given me a reason to lose some accountability.  When I was writing this every weekday, I knew that I had to behave because frankly, I’m a horrible liar, so I’d have to report what I did or didn’t do or what I did eat.  No blog, no tattling on myself; out of sight, out of mind as they say.  So, once I do start to feel better, I will start blogging daily again.  I’m aiming for next week. 
Until Next Time,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Important to encourage physical activity at an early age

Get Fit Now

Early Exercise Pays Off

by Michael O’Shea
published: 09/20/2009
spotlight early exercise - Important to encourage physical activity at an early age

Physical activity early in life may help protect kids from excessive fat gains later in childhood—e ven if their activity levels drop off. Scientists at the University of Iowa studied 333 children, first at age 5 and then again at 8 and 11. They found that the more active the kids were when they were young, the less body fat they had later on.
“Some of the 5-year-olds did 10 minutes or less a day, while others were active for 60 minutes or more,” says Dr. Kathleen Janz, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. “ When we measured the children at age 11, there was a 3.4-pound difference in fatness between kids in the most-active quartile and those in the least-active.”
5 easy-to-follow family fitness tips
Every additional 10 minutes of exercise at age 5 resulted in a third of a pound less fat at 11, regardless of whether the activity level had been maintained.
“Small changes now may result in meaningful differences later,” Dr. Janz says. “Young children who are inactive are missing out on this protective ‘banking’ effect.” Don’t wait until your kids are overweight. Take advantage of their boundless energy and free time now. They’ll thank you later.

Change of Taste: Recipes for Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009

Asian Salmon with Brown Rice Pilaf


Brown Rice

·         1 tablespoon olive oil

·         1/2 onion, chopped

·         1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

·         2 cups water

·         1 cup short brown rice

·         1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Salmon Ingredients

·         2 skinless salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each)

·         1 tablespoon olive oil

·         1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

·         1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root

·         1 teaspoon soy sauce

·         1 teaspoon maple syrup

·         2 green onions, chopped


For rice, heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 3 minutes. Add water and rice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 50 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork; stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Meanwhile, place salmon in a pie plate or shallow dish. Combine remaining salmon ingredients; mix well. Pour marinade over salmon; let stand 15 to 20 minutes. Heat a ridged grill pan over medium heat until hot. Add salmon, discarding marinade; cook 3 to 4 minutes per side or until salmon is opaque and firm to the touch. Serve with brown rice.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (Makes 4 servings)

Calories: 466.94

Carbohydrates: 42.52g

Fat: 20.17g

Saturated Fat: 3.41g

Monounsaturated Fat: 14.57g

Protein: 27.25g

Dietary Fiber: 2.77g

Potassium: 613.68mg

Sodium: 154.78mg

Calcium: 48.63mg





Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

Here’s a dinnertime warmer with a hint of spring’s sweetness, designed for that day when you’d rather be outside raking the leaves from the garden, getting it ready for what’s ahead, than slaving over the stove.



·         6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed of fat

·         2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into spears

·         1/2 pound white button mushrooms, thinly sliced

·         6 large shallots, peeled and halved

·         4 cloves garlic, peeled

·         1 cup dry white wine

·         2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

·         1 teaspoon salt

·         1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

·         1 1/2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar


1. Place chicken, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, wine, rosemary, salt and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir to combine. Put the lid on and cook on low until the potatoes are tender, about 5 hours. Before serving, remove bones from the chicken, if desired, and stir in vinegar.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (Makes 6 Servings)

Calories: 285

Carbohydrates: 35g

Fat: 6g

Saturated Fat: 2g

Monounsaturated Fat: 2g

Protein: 17g

Cholesterol: 50mg

Dietary Fiber: 5g

Potassium: 0mg

Sodium: 519mg

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (430% daily value), Potassium (25% dv), Fiber (20% dv).


Chipotle-Marinated Pork Tenderloin

A tenderloin is the ideal dinner for two: easy, fast and simple. And while this marinated tenderloin would be great as is with some grilled asparagus and corn on the cob, you can also transform it with the recipes that follow



·         1 canned chipotle chile in adobo plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, (see Ingredient Note)

·         1 clove garlic, minced

·         1/2 cup orange juice

·         3 tablespoons lime juice

·         1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

·         1 teaspoon dried oregano

·         1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

·         1/4 teaspoon salt

·         1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

·         8 ounces pork tenderloin, (see Kitchen Tip), trimmed of fat


1. Combine chipotle and sauce, garlic, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a blender or mini food processor; blend or process until the chipotle is chopped and the mixture is relatively smooth. Pour into a sealable plastic bag, add pork and seal, squeezing out any excess air from the bag. Turn to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.

2. Preheat grill to high or heat a large indoor grill pan over high heat. Remove the pork from the marinade (discard marinade). Grill the pork, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally into the center of the meat registers 145° F, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (Serves 2)

Calories: 139

Carbohydrates: 2g

Fat: 4g

Saturated Fat: 1g

Monounsaturated Fat: 2g

Protein: 23g

Cholesterol: 63mg

Dietary Fiber: 0g

Potassium: 374mg

Sodium: 165mg

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (56% daily value).

Climbing the Fitness Ladder

For most, finding the time to get a sufficiently challenging, monotony -fighting workout can be difficult.  A person can only do so many leg extensions, wait 30 seconds, and follow that up with another exciting set of leg extensions.
Sometimes, the key to keeping your workout intense and interesting at the same time isn’t constantly changing the exercises you’re doing but changing the way those exercises are organized.
Almost everyone who has spent time in a gym has heard of a super-set.  That is one exercise followed by another, different exercise with little or no rest in between.  That is one way to organize two different exercises in a challenging and time efficient manner.
On that same thought and in that same family comes the ladder set.
The ladder set involves two or more exercises, preferably working opposing muscle groups (or upper body, lower body) organized into a set where each exercise is assigned a number of repetitions which goes up BY ONE every time you move from one exercise to the next.
For example, a barbell squat and a dumbbell chest press in a ladder set organization would look like this:
barbell squat- 1
dumbbell chest press- 2
barbell squat- 3
dumbbell chest press- 4
…on up the “ladder” , no rest in between, as far as you can go.
The great thing about organizing your exercises this way is the volume of exercise you can achieve in a very short amount of time.
Consider this; the average gym workout consists of about 220 reps in about an hour.
One ladder set of 6 yields 21 reps.  8 gives you 36.  10 consists of 55.  20 will deliver an enormous 210 repetitions in about 5 minutes of work.
You can see that with just a few smartly designed ladder sets a very challenging workout can be put together that is VERY time efficient.
A good way to modify the ladder is by going in reverse BACK DOWN the ladder you just climbed for the second set, or by setting the ladder up where you go up one rep only when both (all) exercises have been executed (i.e.-1/1   2/2   3/3) and so on up the ladder.  You won’t make it as far up the ladder this way, but it’s a nice change of pace.
Throw your routine a change up. Enjoy climbing the ladder!
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training

Trading Places: Evil thoughts towards Matt Pirtle (Thursday, August 20th, 2009)

This is going to be short and sweet.  I hurt…. I can barely walk.  It’s only getting worse.  I haven’t hurt this bad since day one.  I wore speed trainers on the treadmill this morning because I knew I couldn’t walk fast, so I may as well walk with some weight… 30 minutes was eternity.  For part two, my pace on cardio this afternoon was 1.9 MPH… HOW PATHETIC! I have no nice things to say to you Matt Pirtle… I shall see you at bootcamp at 8am…

Trading Places: My Big Mouth (Wednesday, August 19th, 2009)

And once again, I open my big mouth… I’d like to say “Wow, I feel great! My workout was super! My body feels like a million bucks!” But, I would be lying out the wazoo.  I freaking hurt from the traps to my toes.  It hurts to cough, it hurts to sneeze; it hurts to laugh.  I can’t stand up or sit down without a groan, and frankly anything other than lying still causes some sort of ache… GIVE ME DRUGS, PLEASE.

So, I’m guessing Pirtle read yesterday’s blog… We went non-stop for 50 minutes.  And ya know, I felt pretty optimistic during almost the entire workout.  I felt like I was giving a 110% but physically, I guess my body was wearing down.  By the time we got to the last exercise, I was a balancing disaster.  My legs were noodles before it was all over (the sprint intervals, that felt “so great” yesterday, yeah, hurt like hell today… It didn’t help the situation!).

I ended up doing my 30 minutes of cardio on the bike because I was worried that if I tried doing cardio standing up, I’d end up falling down.  Afterwards, I rolled out my legs, which had a lot more knots than I had imagined, and I went home.

After I had a post workout snack, I CRASHED on my couch.  It wasn’t a long nap, but it was one of those deep sleeps where you wake up not knowing where you are, what time of day it is or how you ended up on the couch.  To make it worse, I fell asleep in a very awkward position which just complemented the soreness that was already taking over my body.

Tomorrow is a cardio day, and I may break it up in to two-15 minute high intensity sessions, because there is no way on earth I will last for 30 minutes straight… Friday morning is bootcamp.  I REALLY hope this soreness is gone by then!  As for tonight, I’m going to ice down the knee, pop some ibuprofen or Tylenol, lay in bed, and hopefully watch the Cardinals win against the Dodgers.

Until next time,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: My "Ah-Ha" Moment (Tuesday, August 18th, 2009)

It’s Tuesday evening and I have come to a frame of mind where I’m ready to kick it up a notch.  No, I haven’t fallen off of the fitness wagon; however, my priorities had gotten a little scrambled lately.  I had some other people and things on my mind that distracted me from what I want and what I need to do.  So starting this week, I’m tossing my baggage and taking a step forward, no a leap forward.

When I stress, I don’t sleep, I don’t want to exercise, I don’t want to really eat.  I just hide on my couch until it either goes away or I do something about it.  After a very long week and sleepless nights, I realized I’m tired of living this way.  If there’s nothing you can do at that moment to change your stress, then why worry.  I realized that in less than four months, I will be 27 years old.  I want to be in the best shape I’ve ever been in. It’s going to be a little bit of a challenge because it’s in the midst of all of the holidays, but this year, I want to feel better and look better than I have.  I always tell people that I really don’t feel 26, I still “feel” like I’m 21 or 22 years old.  I have a few clients that have proven time and again that age is just a number, but this year I want my goal to prove that I’m only getting better with age.  

I’m not sure what caused me to have the “ah-ha” moment but something this past weekend made me finally think “what you are doing isn’t cutting it… You have the capability to lift much more weight, move so much faster and eat much cleaner than you are” (I’m talking about weekends… My weekly diet can’t get any more perfect).  I had a friend who was in amazing shape; I’m talking ridiculous “wow” looking.  And EVERY time we went somewhere, someone would stop him and either ask him about his workouts and his diet or ask him about his training.  He never purposely wanted attention, in fact, he hid from people most of the time, but his physique just attracted attention in itself.  He hated it; but I always thought it was pretty cool to hear people say “wow, I want to look like that”.  Some people draw attention for their loudness, crazy antics, or even different hair-piercings-tattoos.  I’d like get positive attention by people saying “I wonder what it took for her to look like that.”

Mentally, I’m definitely self motivated enough to go all out this week.  It started yesterday in bootcamp.  Matt had a client so we had Angie… It’s never easier with Angie.  You can’t procrastinate… And generally the workouts seem to be tougher and longer. Last night’s bootcamp was the longest EVER… 3 Rounds, all for the FULL TIME… I’m not whining, but I’m just stating the facts (sorry Matt, but it’s true… Your wife is the tougher one… Please don’t make me hurt tomorrow for that comment).

I got in a great 30 minute cardio workout today, I got in 15 min on the elliptical then 15 minutes of full out sprint intervals.  I hit my fastest speed yet and the knees cooperated; I felt great.  I hit up the foam roller afterwards and boy did my legs need it!  I found knots from my hip bones to my ankles. 

Tomorrow morning I train with Matt, and then Friday, I WILL be at the 8am bootcamp (I won’t promise I will be chipper, in fact I GUARANTEE I won’t be).  I hope to see all of you readers there or at Monday night’s bootcamp (6:30pm).  In fact, that’s my challenge to you to “kick it up a notch” and make your exercise routine a bit more challenging.  There are progressions-regressions at both classes, but at least try it.  It’s very motivating when you have a group of people sharing in your endurance, pain, and hard work.  And when it’s done, you’ll always be glad you did it.  I may be cranky, silent, or gasping for oxygen when it’s over, but I’ve never wished that I hadn’t gone… (But I have prayed for the next Monday to take it’s time getting here!)


Until next time,
Kimbery, Emerge Fitness Training. 

Trading Places: Back to cardio (Wednesday, August 12, 2009)

Take note: 4 hours of sleep in NOT recommended for a training session.  It was rough today.  For one, I was training on 4 hours of sleep, but 2, my hiatus of “no cardio” was no over.  I had measurements today as well, and I was only hoping that my week away did more good than harm. 

Good news, it did.  I ended up being almost 3lbs down from a week ago, and I was down 1% body fat.  I noticed since last Thursday that my body had felt differently, better.  I feel like I may not be “lighter”, but I’m looking “leaner” and trust me, I’m ok with that!  Seeing the major difference is also a motivator to stay away from the ice cream (remember, I didn’t do Doozles this weekend).  I think cutting out all refined sugars is only going to help me.  During the week, this isn’t tough; it was just the weekends that kill me.  I have a lot of “events” coming up in the next few months so continuing to stay focused on a weight loss goal continues. 

So my workout was rough.  We started with power cleans.  I think that took most of the energy out of my legs (note, the workout is still a little fuzzy to me).  I remember doing this squats and front raises on a step and then “ladder drills” of bench press and pull-ups, oh yeah, that one was tough.  I remember telling Matt, “Please don’t make me do anymore of those!” (we were done luckily).  And then we finished with kettlebell snatches with squats.  I must have kept the core tight during this entire session because my abs are killing me.  That and I got my second ab “cramp” ever.  They suck. 

So my workout was over, time for cardio.  Matt did say to “ease” into it.  Good thing because I was walking on the treadmill and I started to nod off… Doing something as repetitive as cardio when you’re exhausted is rough.  After that I foam rolled, and headed home.  I’ve decided to boost the time and days I foam roll.  I know that’s a huge reason why my legs were so heavy and tight.  It’s something so little that I rarely do, but can make such a difference. 

Instead of training with Matt on Friday, I’m going to go to the morning core class at 8am (ugh, I know).  Wish me luck; we know how morning workouts work for me.

Until tomorrow,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Change of Taste: Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Basil-Lemon Lobster Salad

Some seafood counters now sell precooked lobster meat, making this dish a snap to pull together.


·         1/3 cup hot water

·         1/4 fish bouillon cube

·         1 clove garlic, minced

·         3 tablespoons lemon juice

·         2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

·         1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

·         Freshly ground pepper, to taste

·         2 2/3 cups chopped lobster meat, (see Tip)

·         6 cups mixed salad greens

·         Lemon wedges, for garnish


1. Stir hot water and bouillon in a medium bowl until cube dissolves. Whisk in garlic, lemon juice, basil and oil. Season with pepper. Mix in lobster.

2. Divide salad greens among 4 large plates and spoon lobster salad on top. Serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition Information

Per serving

Calories: 163

Carbohydrates: 5g

Fat: 6g

Saturated Fat: 1g

Monounsaturated Fat: 4g

Protein: 22g

Cholesterol: 70mg

Dietary Fiber: 2g

Potassium: 642mg

Sodium: 453mg

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (59% daily value), Vitamin A (48% dv), Vitamin C (32% dv), Folate (27% dv), Zinc (21% dv), Potassium (18% dv).



Chili-Rubbed    Tilapia with Asparagus and Lemon

Tilapia, a relatively plentiful fish, has the unfortunate reputation of being dull. All it needs is a spice rub, a familiar barbecuing technique that works just as well indoors. You could also use this rub on chicken breasts or toss it with lightly oiled.


·         2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

·         2 tablespoons chili powder

·         1/2 teaspoon garlic, powder

·         1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

·         1 pound tilapia, Pacific sole or other firm white fish fillets

·         2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

·         3 tablespoons lemon juice


1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Put asparagus in a steamer basket, place in the pan, cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large plate, spreading out to cool.

2. Combine chili powder, garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt on a plate. Dredge fillets in the spice mixture to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook until just opaque in the center, gently turning halfway, 5 to 7 minutes total. Divide among 4 plates. Immediately add lemon juice, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and asparagus to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the asparagus is coated and heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve the asparagus with the fish.

Nutrition Information

Servings: 4

Per serving

Calories: 210

Carbohydrates: 3g

Fat: 10g

Saturated Fat: 1g

Monounsaturated Fat: 1g

Protein: 24g

Cholesterol: 48mg

Dietary Fiber: 4g

Potassium: 645mg

Sodium: 418mg

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (37% daily value), Folate (33% dv), Iron (33% dv), Fiber (24% dv).


Five-Spice Turkey and Lettuce Wraps

Based on a popular Chinese dish, these fun wraps also make appealing appetizers for entertaining. Make it a meal: Serve with chile-garlic sauce and rice vinegar for extra zip; toss diced mango and strawberries with lime juice for a quick dessert.


·         1/2 cup water

·         1/2 cup instant brown rice

·         2 teaspoons sesame oil

·         1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey

·         1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

·         1 large red bell pepper, finely diced

·         1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped

·         1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

·         2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, (see Note)

·         1 teaspoon five-spice powder, (see Note)

·         1/2 teaspoon salt

·         2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves separated

·         1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil, mint and/or chives

·         1 large carrot, shredded


1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice; reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and ginger; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, bell pepper, water chestnuts, broth, hoisin sauce, five-spice powder and salt; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

3. To serve, spoon portions of the turkey mixture into lettuce leaves, top with herbs and carrot and roll into wraps.

Nutrition Information

Servings: 4

Per serving

Calories: 285

Carbohydrates: 24g

Fat: 11g

Saturated Fat: 3g

Monounsaturated Fat: 1g

Protein: 26g

Cholesterol: 66mg

Dietary Fiber: 5g

Potassium: 390mg

Sodium: 543mg

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (150% daily value), Vitamin C (140% dv), Iron (25% dv), Folate (20% dv).


Trading Places: Back to Blogging (Monday, August 10th, 2009)

Back to blogging… I’m not going to lie, this whole 7 day hiatus of doing cardio has been SOOO wonderful!!! That doesn’t mean that I have laid around my apartment by any means, in fact, I have scrubbed and cleaned every single room in my place… I’ve always been OCD about keeping a clean home, but Wednesday-Saturday, I went above and beyond.  And I know I burned some serious calories.  AND, oh, get this, NO DOOZLES… Not once!!! I did have a small vanilla cone from McDonalds Friday night, but that was it!  I think if I just stay away from “sugar”, I do pretty well.  I did have my pizza this weekend.  It was really good, don’t get me wrong, but it just wasn’t up to my expectations.  That’s probably a good thing in the long run. 

I’m back to my diet today, and I was ready for the organization in my menu.  Knowing what you are going to eat and when can make things very simple; and it REALLY helps when you grocery shop.

Matt and Angie were still on vacation today, so Jodi took over bootcamp.  I had thought about sneaking out of it since “technically I’m still on workout vacation”… I got hit up at least twice about going so I couldn’t get out of it.  I felt pretty good after it was over.  It wasn’t too hard, weight and difficulty wise, but doing 10 exercises in a row for a minute each is GREAT cardio.  And it was a great way to prepare for my training session with Matt on Wednesday. 

I had a pretty deep tissue massage on Thursday, and my legs had some pretty big knots in them.  As I had blogged before, my legs had felt like tree trunks… I now understood why.  After the knots were dug out (and I mean DUG, I had bruises and soreness for 3 days!) I drank tons of water to get all of the toxins out of my body.  The next morning, I was down 2lbs!  I KNEW I had water and junk in my legs!

So today I’m feeling much better physically than I have in a long time.  I look leaner and I feel leaner and it really motivates me to have a great week of diet and workouts.  So what if the scale didn’t drop the “pounds” I wanted… But my clothes fit much better and I FEEL better.  I still have a few “trouble” spots I want to focus on, but otherwise, I’m finally getting to a place where I’m happy with my build.  We shall see how I feel after I get my measurements and a workout by Matt in on Wednesday!

Until Wednesday,

Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Change of Taste: Recipes for Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Super Easy Peanut Butter Cookies – Sugar Free
20 Minutes to Prepare and Cook



1 cup Natural Smooth Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Splenda Sweetener
1 lg. egg



Preheat oven to 325. Mix peanut butter, sweetener, and egg. Roll into 24 balls, place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Flatten with fork. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned (do not over bake). Cool and enjoy!
Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user CORRIGAN8.

Nutritional Info

·         Servings Per Recipe: 24

·         Amount Per Serving

·         Calories: 56.3

·         Total Fat: 4.2 g

·         Cholesterol: 8.8 mg

·         Sodium: 52.5 mg

·         Total Carbs: 4.4 g

·         Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g

·         Protein: 2.3 g

Frozen Berries Fruit Bars – Sugar-Free


– Frozen berry medley (strawberries, blackberries,blueberries & raspberries), 2 cup
– Splenda, 3 tsp
– Lemon juice, 1 tsp



1. Place the fruit in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth.
2. Add 1-2 tablespoons water, if necessary. Add splenda and lemon juice. Cover and blend until well mixed.
3. Pour into 4 oz. ice-pop molds or paper cups. Insert sticks. Freeze until solid.
Serves 4.
Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user GWYNNEVERE

Nutritional Info

·         Servings Per Recipe: 4

·         Amount Per Serving

·         Calories: 36.8

·         Total Fat: 0.0 g

·         Cholesterol: 0.0 mg

·         Sodium: 0.3 mg

·         Total Carbs: 9.0 g

·         Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g

·         Protein: 0.5 g

Fresh Salsa


6 large tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tomatillo, diced (optional)
salt to taste
1 jalapeno pepper, minced



In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, tomatillo, and salt to taste. Mix well. Add 1/2 of the jalapeno pepper, and taste. If you desire your salsa with more of a kick, add the remaining 1/2 jalapeno. If you are satisfied with the salsa’s heat, do not add the remaining jalapeno pepper. Cover the salsa, and chill until ready to serve.
Number of Servings: 6

Nutritional Info

·         Servings Per Recipe: 6

·         Amount Per Serving

·         Calories: 59.3

·         Total Fat: 0.8 g

·         Cholesterol: 0.0 mg

·         Sodium: 17.8 mg

·         Total Carbs: 13.2 g

·         Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g

·         Protein: 2.2 g

Trading Places: Stupid Scale!!! (Wednesday, August 5th, 2009)

Tuesday: The good news: I was mobile the morning after bootcamp… The bad news: My legs still felt like tree trunks. So, I took the day off from cardio and for whatever reason, all I did in my free time was sleep… I’m sleeping amazingly well every night, but every time I sat down, I was out cold for at least 30 minutes.  Again, I have no idea why.  And I had no trouble sleeping last night either.

          Wednesday:  Well, I didn’t get measurements, but the weight still will not change.  We’re baffled, simply baffled.  I know I’m leaner, and people say I look leaner but that stupid @#$%#$ scale says “You may be leaner but you still haven’t lost any ‘weight’ hahaha”.  ANYHOO, I did get some relief out of my session.  I have a week off of cardio; no cardio until next Wednesday; and I’m ok with that.  I’ve done so much running around lately, that I will be ok without having to look at a piece of cardio equipment for 7 days.  And 2 (oh this one is a good one!!!) I get to eat PIZZA this weekend… Oh yes, hello “Kimberly special” from Papa Johns… I haven’t had pizza in a MONTH.  That’s like dog years to me, really; I never go that long without eating pizza!  I would say that knowing that, I would be really, really good on my diet this week; but ya know, I’m really, really good on my diet every flipping week.  At least this weekend will be quite rewarding!  With this good news, I tried to push myself as hard as I could during the workout.  I started feeling fatigue on a few exercises so I knew I was giving it all I had. EXCEPT, there is this one exercise Pirtle makes me do that I feel absolutely ridiculous doing.  I feel like a rabbit; a jacked up rabbit.  I can’t give it 100% when I feel 100% clumsy.  I’m working on that one.  But I did get my butt kicked yet again by Matt, congrats to you for another defeat.

          As for my diet, Pirtle wrote for me to eat a rice cake with peanut butter for post workout… My first reaction to him was that there was no way in hell I was eating a rice cake… Well, I gave in last week, and with peanut butter on it, honestly, not too bad.  I’m not promising that is just tastes good b/c I’m starving when I eat it, or if it really is tasty.  Let me know your all’s opinion on that one.

          Workouts are done for the week; however, with half of my clients gone for the next 10 days, I am sure I will be using my free time being active somehow.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate.  Since I don’t have any cardio/training left this week, I may not return again until Monday (unless I’m really sore tomorrow and I want to vent… J  )

Until Next Time,

Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: Legs or tree trunks? (Monday, August 3rd, 2009)

It’s Monday and I still feel like I have two tree trunks as legs.  For a girl who’s never had a butt, what I do have there, hurts like no other.  This is how the whole weekend went as well.

          Saturday I slept in until 8:30am which I never sleep in that late.  From the moment I woke up my triceps, legs, and butt were throbbing.  I said that today was my day off from cardio, to just “relax”… I ended up walking car dealership parking lots for 6 hours.  It didn’t help the legs much.  (On a good note, I did get to eat lunch at Texas Roadhouse… I had a great sirloin steak, green beans, salad… And then the rolls… 3 or 4 I think).  Saturday was my cheat day and I tried to do my best at that.  For example, I stuck to my menu for breakfast, and my lunch was very good (except the rolls), my dinner was on my menu (chicken, green beans), and then I got my Doozles lite custard.   BUT> Here’s the thing about that… I ONLY HAD IT ONCE this weekend AND I got a small one.  Yes, I listened to Matt… It was the only “ice cream”-like thing I had all weekend.

          Sunday I went to another Cardinals game and yet again, I did a LOT of walking.  I ate lunch there and tried to do my best.  In the 4 hours I was there, I had a hot dog, a brat, and then a pretzel later on (it’s a tradition in my family to always get a pretzel in the 7th; I don’t know why exactly, but it’s just what we do).  When I got home that night, I went back to my menu.  So all in all, I think I got a “B” for this weekend.  I stayed active nonstop and I ate reasonably well.

          Today, I felt miserable.  I know it was a busy weekend, but for some reason, I was just extremely tired and my legs are still very heavy.  I’m not sure what the deal is.  They look lean, but walking and going up stairs feels like I’ve just ran a 5k. The scale doesn’t help either; it said I was up about 2 lbs… How frustrating.  I haven’t tried on “the jeans” this week, so maybe the scale is just being a pain and I’m still losing body fat.  I have measurements Wednesday so maybe that’ll help. I really didn’t want to go to bootcamp.  I was tired, fatigued, and just didn’t feel well.  I did drag myself and even though I got the crap kicked outta me for a good 30 minutes, I actually was glad I went.  I felt better after a good sweat and after I sucked in a whole lot of oxygen between exercises.  I once read an article that stated that no one ever says that they feel worse after working out, which is true, I did feel better and I’m glad I went.  I’m not sure how I will feel tomorrow… Even though Pirtle told me “it’s a lot of core” for bootcamp, I knew that I everything would end up hurting.  Here’s hoping tomorrow is a “lighter” day for the legs!

Until tomorrow,
Kimberly at Emerge

Not Just a Jump; The Point of Plyometric Training

Often times, plyometric training is used to describe any exercise in which jumping is involved, so the term has been associated most commonly with this type of training.  Plyometrics can involve jumping, but for athletic training, especially, so much more is involved. 

Alli Reimer performs a plyo tire jump.

Alli Reimer performs a plyo tire jump.

The whole point of plyometric training is to train the ability to rapidly apply force and provide and overload to the primary muscle involved.  Elastic energy is briefly stored in the prime mover (through a stretch in this muscle), and is rapidly released by a concentric shortening (flexing) of the same muscle. 
For example, a plyometric box jump involves a small squatting movement where the athlete pauses only briefly or not at all at the bottom of the squat, then releases the elastic energy in the quadriceps along with a contraction of that same muscle to explode up.  The potential elastic energy built up in the quad can dissipate very quickly if too much time is spent at the bottom of this movement, therefore resistance should be appropriate to allow a quick change in direction. This goes for all plyometric training.
Plyometric training is not limited to jumping.  The same principles apply to pressing (chest, shoulders) core training (crunches, cable rotations) etc.
Plyometric training has consitantly been shown to improve the production of muscle force and power, and can be a great supplemental training technique for those just looking to burn calories and increase their fitness level.
Examples of plyometric training exercises include the squat/jump, lateral box jump, depth jump, med ball throws and presses, plyo push ups, and plyo crunches.
Watch for exercise of the week updates that include plyometric exercises explained in video format.
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training

Trading Places: Tylenol, Advil, be on standby (Friday, July 31st, 2009)

Just put me out of my misery…  I seriously feel like someone beat the living snot out of me.  Yesterday my legs were dead, the back was sore and my triceps began to hurt like no other.  So of course, what do I do, 50 minutes of cardio.  I knew I was going to the Cardinals game last night so JUST in case I was to slip a bit on my diet, I did a little extra to make up for it.  To keep my legs working I changed machines every 10 minutes and jumped from one to another.  I stuck with my diet perfectly until I left for the game… Oh, the game…

I got there a little early so I walked from the parking garage where I always keep my car, 3 blocks to Max and Erma’s restaurant.  After meeting up with friends, we walked ALL the way back to the stadium.  We had club seats so we had to go up.  Of course, I took the stairs (and I got a lot of crap about that too).  I did VERY well on my diet there.  About midway into the game, a friend and I went to find me something to eat (It was amusing when my friend Jared said “You’re going to make me take the stairs, aren’t you).  He willingly did and I got a hotdog with just the basic condiments on it.  I must have been starving because it was gone before we got back to our seats.  After all of the walking and cardio I did during the day, my body started getting pretty run down and I could tell my blood sugar was a little low by the 8th inning.  I went to get another hotdog they were closing up, so I had to settle with a pretzel (again, I have no idea how it tasted, it was eaten quite quickly).  I was VERY tempted in the club rooms with the food that was around me.  One of the rooms had EVERY type of food on the menu.  As I was talking to a friend of the family, all I could do was stare at the cheesecake he was eating.  Then another friend came up eating a pork sandwich, chocolate cake, and cookies… I was TOTALLY being tested.  I got away from that food as fast as I could.  I won’t lie though; I was THISCLOSE to nabbing one of those oatmeal raisin cookies, BUT I didn’t.  As for beverages, I did water the entire time, and a LOT of it.  I got home around midnight, ate a protein bar and called it a night.

I woke up at 7am this morning with the most ridiculous tricep soreness I’ve had in a LONNNG time.  The traps in my lower neck and back weren’t any better, and just forget about the legs.  I couldn’t even decide if they were sore or not because they are just either that numb or dead, can’t tell the difference. 

I believe in our session, I used the word “shot” to discuss my triceps and “dead” to mention the rest of my body.  And what do we start with; power cleans.  I’ve never flipped a bar or jumped something so much during a workout.  I was a lifeless body that somehow moved for a solid hour (and a half if you count cardio immediately after).  Let’s just say it was a rough workout week.  Tomorrow I am taking the day off of cardio… I’m on day 14 or 15 of continuous workouts/cardio and my body so I’m due for a rest.  I may do some walking or staying active, but nothing intense.  At this moment, I’m thinking if I can get my body off of my couch tomorrow to even fix breakfast, I will consider it a success.  Tylenol, Advil, be on standby because I will need you about ever 4-6 hours; That bubble bath I was advised to take last week may happen this weekend; except minus the bubbles and add LOTS of Epsom salt.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Until Monday,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "I'm going to be sore tomorrow." (Wednesday, July 29th, 2009)

I’m going to be sore tomorrow.  I had that feeling after 15 minutes into our workout this morning.  I am going to be hurting, and I’m going to assume it’s going to start at the shoulders and ache to my feet.  I would almost put money on it.  The workout went much better that last Fridays (at least I can remember this one).  But man, everything is starting to get tight.  It’s definitely a “pain reliever pill” kind of night.

We started with pull-ups.  Have I mentioned I have ridiculously long arms?  When hanging from a bar, it looks like I’m miles away from that bar.  With a little assistance from Matt, I completed 4 sets and my lats were BURNING.  Then I had my 2nd attempt to learn power cleans.  It’s one of those exercises where there’s so much going on, that you just do it until you can’t lift the weight.  You don’t think about much else except how to get that darn bar flipped up.  Let me tell you, you use EVERY SINGLE muscle in your darn body to get that bar up.  I know this because I feel every single muscle right now. 

After cleans we did some power chest presses and kettle bell work, and by this point, hanging on to a bar/weight was hard enough!  After 6 exercises, I was done… Oh, wait, no I wasn’t, I had to get in cardio… 30 minutes.  After that, I really WAS done.  It ached to get off of the elliptical.

Diet has been going really well today.  My diet generally goes really well during the week, I never have a problem.  Except, I have noticed that my appetite has been pretty big and I get hungry more often.  I’ve been trying to keep it to a protein based snack (milk, chicken, protein bar).  So far it’s helping.  I’ve been on the move all day so I’m sure I’m burning more than the normal calories which is ok by me.

I have to figure out how to go to a Cardinals game tomorrow night and stick to my diet nearly perfectly.  I don’t drink so that helps, but I’m in a party room and free range of food, generally means trouble.  The last time I was in one, I stuck with lean deli meats and did ok.  I think it will help that I will be around old friends-co-workers that I haven’t seen in years.  They know I’m a trainer, so I will have that pressure of “Oh, she’s a trainer, she must eat healthy 24/7); hehehe shows what they know.  BUT I will let them think that.  No harm no foul, right?

I blabbled to Matt, yet again, that I had Doozles twice this past weekend.  I just can’t lie or keep my big mouth shut.  I don’t know what it is with me and summer time and ice cream.  It’s my sole weakness.  Not pizza, not pasta; ice cream.  Even trying to justify that it was “light” still didn’t help me feel any less guilty.  When my client Jim asked why light frozen custard is so bad, my subconscious reply was “Because it’s so darn good!”… Which is true; if you’ve had it, you know what I’m talking about.  Either way, I have strict rules… ONE TIME A WEEK MAX… Ok ok ok…  That’s my homework for this weekend… Try to stay busy and TRY to stay away from Doozles. 

Until tomorrow,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Change of Taste: Recipes for Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Healthy Veggie Dip

Serves 1


½ c low fat cottage cheese

2 tsp. chopped chives

2 tsp chopped fresh parsley

2 tsp chopped fresh basil

Dash of pepper

Fresh Veggies


Blend cottage cheese in a blender until smooth.  Scrape into a bowl, and stir in chives, parsley, basil and a dash of pepper.  Serve with cut up vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, red or yellow bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, and celery

Nutritional Info:

85 calories, 1g fat (1g Sat fat), 5mg Cholesterol, 1g Fiber, 14g Protein, 4g Carbs, 463 mg Sodium


Honey Mustard Pork Skewers

Prep: 20 min Cook: 15 min

Serves: 8

Cost per serving: $1.70


¼ c Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Pork tenderloin (about 1 ½ lb.) halved lengthwise, cut into 1-inch squares

2 bell peppers, cored, seeded, cut into 1 inch squares

Salt and pepper



Stir mustard, honey, and oil in a large bowl until smooth.  Add pork cubes and toss to coat.  Set aside at room temperature.  Soak 8 bamboo skewers in cold water for 20 minutes.

Preheat broilers to high and line a broiling pan with foil. (Alternatively, light a charcoal fire and let it burn to gray ash.)  Divide pork and peppers into 8 portions and skewer cubes, alternating with squares of pepper (begin and end with pepper; use about 6 pepper pieces and 5 pork chunks per skewer).  Thread each skewer as close as possible to center of pieces, to facilitate turning.  Season with salt and pepper.

Broil or grill 6 to 8 inches from heat source, turning often, until slightly browned and pork is cooked through, 12 to 15minutes.

Nutritional  info: Per serving- 148 Calories, 5g fat (1g Sat. fat), 55mg Cholesterol, 1g Fiber, 18g Protein, 8g Carbs, 369 mg Sodium


High Protein Oatmeal Pancakes
11 Minutes to Prepare and Cook


4 ounces Low fat Cottage Cheese
3 large fresh egg whites
1/2 cup Quaker Oats Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon



1. Preheat griddle or nonstick skillet to 375 F.
2. Place all ingredients in a blender container. Blend on medium speed for 1 minute, scrap contents from sides of container, pulse another 15 seconds.
3. Lightly spray griddle with cooking spray. Divide and ladle batter onto hot griddle (about 1/4 cup each). Cook until bubbles appear on top of pancakes and edges appear dry (about 2-3 minutes). Flip pancakes and continue cooking another 2 minutes, depending on thickness.
fresh berries or bananas on mine.
*Servings 1
*Note: This makes about 6 4-inch pancakes and is supposed to be one serving, but half this much fills me up. The calorie count does not include toppings. I use butter spray, warmed sugar-free syrup and
Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user STA8LEAN.
Number of Servings: 1

Nutritional Info

·         Servings Per Recipe: 1

·         Amount Per Serving

·         Calories: 304.6

·         Total Fat: 5.0 g

·         Cholesterol: 15.0 mg

·         Sodium: 380.5 mg

·         Total Carbs: 37.5 g

·         Dietary Fiber: 7.3 g

·         Protein: 24.0 g

Trading Places: The legs still work (Tuesday, July 28th,2009)

I woke up this morning just praying that I could walk… Luckily I could, I just felt like I had sandbags attached to my legs.  As for sleeping, I was OUT last night.  Generally I never have a problem sleeping Monday nights.  I figured since I was up and mobile, I may as well go get in my cardio.  I got in 20 minutes of sprint intervals (not nearly my fastest capacity, but I did what my legs would allow me to do) and finished with 10 minutes of walking at an incline on the treadmill. 

As for my diet, I’m sticking to it really well, but my appetite is going CRAZY.  I could seriously put down some major food… but I don’t… I just nosh on my yummy chicken (insert sarcasm).  Actually, I must admit, rotisserie chicken isn’t so bad.  I can do it.  I’m lucky mom loves to can fresh garden green beans so I have a endless supply of those.  (My trade off for helping them lose weight). 

I got in another 30 minutes on the bike at Emerge this afternoon since I had some time to kill and another 20 minutes of casual walking when I was done training a client.  She needed to do her cardio and I thought she may want some company.  Besides, if I didn’t do it, I would have just come home and sat around.

Tomorrow I train with Matt at 9am, and I can only assume it will go better than my 7am fiasco… I still don’t remember that workout.  I found out I have a wedding coming up in September where I will be seeing a lot of friends I grew up with that I haven’t seen in years.  I have to buy something to wear for it (if you looked in my closet, I don’t own dress clothes or dress shoes… I work in a gym 5-6 days a week) So, I figure that my goal will be to keep slimming down so I can buy a stupid dress for this thing.  And maybe heels, but I have to learn to walk in them (I haven’t tried walking in heels since my knee injury 3 years ago).  I’m sure I will have some other type of reward than just the “stupid dress” because frankly, that’s not much of a “Woo hoo” kinda thing, ya know?

Until Tomorrow,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: I'm not a morning person (Monday, July 27th, 2009)

Weekend Recap: Brace yourselves, it’s a doozy.

Thursday: I get a text message from Pirtle that evening asking if I could do a big favor for him.  He asked if I could train at 7am Friday morning this one time.  Now, I’m not a morning person, I don’t even talk to anyone at 7am.  I’m even crabby into the 8am hour a lot of times.  There’s no way I will have any strength or energy at 7am, so what do I do, I tell him ok… Well, actually, I said that it’s almost a given that I will probably puke.

Friday: Of all nights I can’t sleep, it’s the night before I have to get up at 6am… Rediculous… There’s still fog outside!!! So I walk into the gym I think at 7:01am… I walk in and Pirtle is all “chipper” and what not, and he said “Good morning” as I just gave him a “you owe me BIG” look and walked into the office.  Matt did admit he didn’t know if I’d show.  I may kick and scream but I will always show up.  My pet peeve is a no show by a client, so that is the last thing I’d ever do to a trainer.  To be honest, I only remember one exercise during the entire session.  Power cleans.  I had never felt so wimpy in my life.  At 7am, everything feels about 10 times heavier than it is.  I do remember not saying much and Pirtle kept asking me if I was feeling ok… It’s 7am on a Friday and you are kicking the crap outta me, HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL…  I was too tired to even be sarcastic.  At this point I just looked at the clock and prayed for it to speed up… I had never wanted out of a session more in my life.  Then lucky me, I got to train a client at 8am… All I wanted to do was sleep.  I came back that afternoon and got in my cardio (No really, I did… Ask Adam, he saw me!)  My diet was fine Friday. I wrote down everything I ate.

Saturday: The Good news, I slept in… The bad news, I don’t remember still what all we did in our session but my legs, my upper back and my arms are FREAKING KILLING ME.  Holy crap I didn’t want to move.  I did move, in fact after I had breakfast and got a few household tasks done, I went up to the gym and got in my 30 minutes of cardio.  The weather Saturday was amazing.  The only thing that kept me indoors that day was the Cardinals game.  I had really wanted Red Robin for dinner. (Here’s a secret, they have a plan burger called “the Natural Burger” where everything comes on the side… It isn’t on the menu but every place has it).  Anyhoo, I told myself that if I got outside and was active for 30-45 minutes, I could get a burger.  So I went down to Katy Trail and I walked-ran for about 50 minutes.  It wasn’t too crowded and the weather was AMAZING.  So after my 2nd cardio for the day, I got in my car and picked up my burger and it was SOOOO stinkin good!  I didn’t even finish the fries that came with it!

Sunday: The weather continued to be gorgeous, so I took full advantage and instead of taking my day off of “working out” I got my bike and headed down to Katy Trail.  It was the first time I had ever biked there.  It was my first time in a year that I had ridden my bike. The bad thing about riding a bike is that you feel great until all of a sudden you feel your legs start burning and you get pretty exhausted; then you realize you have to turn around and ride your bike alllllll the way back.  My bike ride was plenty long enough at 40 minutes for my first ride in a long time.  It felt great… Until 2am when I had the worst hamstring and calf cramps.  Diet was so-so today.  Oh Doozles, you will be my downfall in the summertime.

Monday: My legs felt as if they weighed a ton.  I was TIRED today!  I wanted to get in cardio today, but frankly, I was pretty busy with the “paper work” side of work.  Besides, I knew I was going to bootcamp tonight, so I figured that would take care of it.  I wasn’t too worried about my legs because even though they were worthless, we normally don’t do much with them in bootcamp; it’s mainly “core specific”.  WELL GUESS WHAT.  I get to bootcamp and tonight wasn’t core specific at all… Legs were nearly in EVERYTHING.  Oh it gets better; instead of our 45-50 second stations we were there for a MINUTE.  You may say “It’s 10 seconds difference Kim, it can’t be that big of a deal…” Don’t knock it till you do it bucko.  My poor legs were SHOT after round one… I still can’t feel anything below my knees.  So I’m home, Stuck in the chair, and if I can fix myself dinner and get myself into the shower, it will be a successful evening… I just hope I can walk tomorrow because I really look stupid when I’m wobbling around.


Until tomorrow,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness


*Don’t forget! Every Wednesday I post healthy recipes, so feel free to e-mail me your favorite ones!

Trading Places: Chicken…. (Thursday, July 23rd, 2009)

Man, I hate chicken… After about 2 weeks, I’m burnt out.  I’ve gone from BBQ chicken breasts to KFC grilled chicken (which is good, but getting old), and now I’m to eating rotisserie chicken… As I eat it, I can only help to think “Pretend it’s a Red Robin burger…”  If that was the case, then everything really would “taste like chicken.”

I had my measurements taken Wednesday morning.  I’ve come to learn stressing about them doesn’t help whatsoever, because it didn’t help me drop weight or body fat for that matter.  A VERY frustrating day… I’m eating very well thru the week and most of the time on the weekend and I am keeping up with my cardio and I strength train 3x a week… I’m just at a point where I’m completely lost at what to do and frustrated because we can’t find an answer… It’s as if my body is saying “ok, you hit 136, now you’re done… No more weight loss for you, and IN FACT we’re gonna mess with you a little bit and put 3 lbs of junk on you every couple of days.  Talk about stressful!

We’ve decided to keep this diet going 24/7 for a few weeks.  And it’s pretty strict.  And I’m dealing with this mental battle because I used to find enjoyment in eating, and now, it’s so hard to make myself eat because it’s no fun anymore.  I could easily bypass dinner just because I’d rather not eat than stare at “blah” food… Ha, surprised hearing this from a trainer?  Well, we are human, and anyone who says they could do this 24/7 is blowing smoke up your butt.  I would never tell anyone not to eat… And trying to practice what I preach, I do choke the stuff down.  I just try to keep myself busy so I don’t have time to ponder on it… I just try to eat fast and go.  There are definitely ways to changing up your meals, but since I fix food for one, to be economically savvy and not wasteful, whatever I fix, I end up eating for 4-5 days… 5lbs of chicken lasted me almost 2 weeks… 2 weeks of BBQ chicken is enough to make a person senile.  And the big kicker; red meat once a week… That’s like asking a drug addict to cut back to once a week… By day 7, it could get ugly. 

I’m logging EVERYTHING I eat and drink on my Blackberry for Matt… So if you see me in the gym on my phone, more than likely, I’m not texting (no one dares to talk to me when I’m grouchy); I’m probably inputting what I had just eaten or drunk (yep, I have to do H20 intake as well). 

I’ve started to notice that this weight/scale obsession has started to take over my life.  I nixed plans to go “jeeping” with a friend back home in Illinois because I was afraid I would be off of my diet and I wouldn’t get my cardio in.  I also was told by my mom to “chill out” after some comment I said (normally she never says anything).  I’m hoping to avoid the scale for about a week and see if that helps get rid of the anxiety I start to feel when I get on the thing.  I just need to do what I tell some of my clients who are freaking out “Calm your S*#%”… That or I was told by one of Pirtle’s clients today that I just need to take a bubble bath to relax (Thanks Scott), haha.

Yesterday’s kettlebell workout was a pretty rough one (I hate those things), so I was pretty quiet during the hour (some get loud, I get silent).  Matt mentioned tomorrow’s (Friday) will be the entire hour and it’s going to be a rough one.  Maybe it’s something I need, just another total ass-whipping to alleviate some of this stress.  At least it’ll burn a few calories. 

I have to head back to Emerge this afternoon and get in my 30 minutes of high intensity cardio… If I can fit my bike in my car, I may head down to the Katy Trail… Today may be one of those days where I could definitely get some fresh air.
Until tomorrow,
Kimberly at Emerge

Change of Taste: Recipes for Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Chai Tea Cupcakes
This decadent and delicately spiced cupcake recipe makes a perfect tea party pastry and will impress your guests with a fun presentation idea.
1/2 cup liquid chai concentrate (available in the tea section of your local grocery)
1/2 cup milk (I used skim milk)
1/3 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup uncooked quick oatmeal, not instant
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flaked coconut (I skipped the coconut)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
Combine the dry ingredients (oatmeal through sugar) in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Add chai, applesauce, vinegar, extracts, and coconut. Mix well, and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Best served warm, cut into rounds and top with Chai Mousse (see recipe below).
Chai Mousse
1/2 cup liquid chai concentrate
1 ounce (small box) of sugar or fat-free instant pudding, vanilla or cheesecake flavored
8 ounces fat-free whipped topping, well thawed
Pour chai concentrate into 4 cup or larger measuring cup.
Add pudding mix and stir with spoon until thick and lump free, about 1 minute.
Fold in whipped topping until evenly combined.
Place in refrigerator and allow to firm. Use as a topping.
Serving Chai Tea Cupcakes in Teacups
Cut the cake with a biscuit cutter to create individual rounds. Place the round of cake into a ceramic or glass teacup and top with a heaping dollop of Chai Mousse. 
 By: Kim Kropp
Baja-Battered Fish

PREP TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes


  • 3/4 cup beer, preferably lager or pilsner
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1-1 1/4 pounds tilapia, or other firm white fish, sliced into 1/2-inch-by-2-inch strips
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1. Place beer, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, oregano, mustard, cayenne and pepper in a blender; blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Transfer the batter to a shallow baking dish. Add fish, turning to coat all sides.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer one-third of the battered fish to the pan, placing each piece into a little oil. Cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer cooked fish to a plate; keep warm. Add 1 tablespoon oil and half the remaining fish to the pan; cook as directed above, reducing the heat if necessary. Cook the remaining fish with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Per serving
Calories: 120
Carbohydrates: 4g
Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3g
Protein: 11g
Cholesterol: 33mg
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Potassium: 180mg
Sodium: 112mg

Double Chocolate Treat

    * Kirkland Organic Plain Soy Milk, 2 cup (remove)
    * Kraft Jello-o Brand Fat Free Sugar Free Pudding, Vanilla, 4 Serving (remove)
    * EAS Chocolate Protein Powder, 3 serving (remove)


Mix together in blender and pour into four cups. For a meal replacement or high protein snack.

Number of Servings: 4

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 166.5
  • Total Fat: 2.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 387.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 10.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
  • Protein: 21.3 g

Per serving
Calories: 120
Carbohydrates: 4g
Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3g
Protein: 11g
Cholesterol: 33mg
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Potassium: 180mg
Sodium: 112mg

Double Chocolate Treat

    * Kirkland Organic Plain Soy Milk, 2 cup (remove)
    * Kraft Jello-o Brand Fat Free Sugar Free Pudding, Vanilla, 4 Serving (remove)
    * EAS Chocolate Protein Powder, 3 serving (remove)


Mix together in blender and pour into four cups. For a meal replacement or high protein snack.

Number of Servings: 4

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 166.5
  • Total Fat: 2.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 387.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 10.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
  • Protein: 21.3 g

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user IGNAZIA.

Trading Places: Classy Support System… (Tuesday, July 21, 2009)

Tuesdays greetings everyone! Again, I apologize for sporadic blogs, I was planning on writing last night, but frankly, I was too tired after bootcamp.  I should just do blogs early on Monday and then plan for a Tuesday one.  If you’ve ever attended one of Matt and Angie’s classes, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

I came into Monday promising myself that after my snacking went to crap over the weekend (meals were good, snacks were BAD), that I would make up for it by going all out this week.  So far, I have kept my word.  I ended up getting in my 30 minutes of high intensity cardio Monday morning, 30 minutes of bike riding, then bootcamp that night.  Today, I got in my 30 minutes of high intensity cardio and I plan to go back this afternoon for another 30 minutes of lighter cardio. 

I took a minor hiatus on what my goals were that I was looking to achieve.  I lost sight of the important things.  Lately, I had been more focused on my clients’ goals and I pushed mine to the side.  I had become a little discouraged with myself.  Luckily, I have quite the support system that helps me get “back in the saddle”.

Everyone needs someone to lean on; someone to keep them on the right track.  In the weight loss world, it’s the same thing.  Support systems can come from friends, family, co -workers.  Some people who don’t have the support come to us trainers for just that; they want someone to keep them accountable, to keep them motivated.  I must say that I’m a pretty lucky girl that I have it from all spectrums.  Both of my parents have been on the healthy lifestyle road for the past year.  My mom more so than my dad, but they are both trying.  They have lost ridiculous amounts of weight, and even though my mother refuses to weigh herself, she’s slowly getting into my clothes (she will rub it in when she says my jeans are too big).  When I go out to eat with them, I’m not sure if we motivate or guilt each other into ordering healthy.  Either way, we all end up eating better than we would have. 

Work is the same way.  I may pay Matt to kill me twice a week, but the entire staff has a way of keeping me going.  I can count on Matt to check in all week to see how I’m feeling, how’s my diet and I know he reads my blogs and keeps track of me.  I figure it’s a good trade since me limping around with sore glutes or hamstrings provide the staff with entertainment.  Beth and Jodi also train with Matt, so I know I can get empathy from them, as we give each other the “that totally sucks, I completely understand” looks.  Beth and Jodi are in A-Mazing shape, and it’s definitely motivating for me to try to keep up with them.  They work so hard and their results definitely pay off.  Sometimes Angie gets to sneak in a workout while I’m at the gym, and the girl can lift some SERIOUS weight.  There’s been a time or two I’ll see her grab a heavy barbell or dumbbell and fling it around like it’s two pounds.  I definitely give mad props to her.  And compliments from her about a weight I’m lifting is always awesome to hear.  I’m a pretty modest girl who doesn’t like to shout to the world how much I’m lifting, so for her to notice, means a lot.  I’m seriously glad I have Debi to count on for bootcamp.  There are days where I am tired and could bypass going to bootcamp, but I know I’d get an ear full from not only Matt and Angie, but also Debi if I left her hanging (as I have done to her).  It’s definitely a positive push when I know she’s in class with me.  She’s always a happy thing, but give her a workout and she’ll blow through it like a beast.  My goal at bootcamp is just to keep up with her!  I can always count on Adam and Jason for those “good luck” looks as I’m about to go train with Matt.  I’m sure that I’m entertaining swinging from those rings like a monkey, but I know they feel for me. 

I couldn’t ask for a better work place-workout place.  There’s never any “catty-ness” or “mean competitiveness”.  Everyone is truly classy and genuine.  I hope that’s how all of the clients of ours see the staff at Emerge.  I hope that they know that we aren’t about ourselves, we are there for them.  We are there to support, motivate and push you when you need that extra push.  We understand that each person has a different goal.  Not everyone wants to lift the heaviest or be the skinniest, everyone just wants to be a better person, physically.  That is what I too, as a client, am working on as well.  I don’t care to be compared to someone else, I don’t want to look or be like anyone else.  I don’t expect any of my clients to have my goals or do what I do in the gym.  No one else will be wearing my jeans, so I wouldn’t know why they would want to try to fit into them J (Oh yes, I am in them, buttoned, zipped, and I can sit down… It’s just not all too comfortable).  Measurements tomorrow (I think), and I WILL be in those jeans no problem by the end of this month… That is MY goal. 

Tonight at 6:30! Orientation for 5k, Half Marathon, and Marathon Training Starts August 3rd

Tonight at 6:30!
Jackie Pirtle Hall, runner of several half and full marathons all over the country, including 2nd place in the 2009 St. Louis Marathon and 5th place in the 2008 New Orleans Marathon, will host orientation for the upcoming 12 week running preparation program.  The program, which includes a 12 week running schedule, weekly runs with a running leader, and weekly core conditioning classes, will be assisted by Jackie’s mother Beth (experienced personal trainer, 2004 St. Louis Marathon and several half marathons) and her sister Jerren (veteran Weight Watcher Leader,3 St. Louis 1/2 Marathons).  The orientation is August 3rd at the main Emerge Studio, 3551 Veterans Memorial Parkway, Suite 204 (Remington Plaza next to Swing-a-Round putt-putt).  Call 636-399-6748 or 636-925-1222 for details and to register.

Healthy Food for Thought: Recipes wanted!

Raise of hands, how many of you are tired of eating the basic lean meat, veggies, and a complex carb meal after meal?  You know it’s good for you, yet you are ready for a change of taste.  Maybe you have a fantastic healty recipe that you would like to share with others?  Nutrition-diet is a key component in not only body fat loss, but muscle gain.  I’d like to do my part by posting healthy recipes submitted by not only clients,but staff, friends, family, anyone!  They can be for any meal, as well as snacks.  If they include nutritional information, even better!  If not, I can calculate it for you.  Just send your recipes by message via facebook or you can email them directly to me at  I hope to begin posting this Wednesday! 
Kimberly- Emerge Fitness Staff

I'm Back! The Challenge Goes On (midlife fitness)

I’ve now been back from vacation for a several weeks.  I had a wonderful time with my family in Destin and I maintained my weight loss.  Sometimes it takes a few days to a week to know the impact vacation has on your weight.  Bodies are funny, especially female bodies, as they tend to behave like a yo – yo, where the scale is concerned.  Anyway, it’s always reassuring to know that one can, in fact, travel/vacation, have a great time and not gain weight. 

Anyone interested as to how I managed to avoid gaining on vacation, I’ll give you a run down of some of the splurges I chose and what I did to counter act those splurges.  While on vacation I went to Shakee’s twice (Bopper sundae & cake batter concrete with pecans). I stuck with middle of the road as far as sizes are concerned.  I love the restaurant McGuires primarily because of their nachos.  I ordered the nachos for dinner one evening.  These nachos are about 8 layers deep, no exaggeration, so I couldn’t finish them, but I made a huge dent.  Remember I am a “bulk” eater so you can imagine the size of this plate of nachos if I couldn’t finish them.  Since I love breakfast, we hit Fudpuckers for brunch one morning and I did get my moneys worth. We hit Outback one night and I also indulged in my share of the Bloomin Onion before my steak.  I love seafood, so we did seafood a couple of nights.  Generally, we ate breakfast and lunch in. I hit the grocery store shortly after we arrived and stocked up on fruit. Nobody ever got fat on fruit, so I indulged frequently.  Breakfast was either multi-grain English muffins or cereal and lunch was usually turkey sandwiches, maybe subway.  I had microwave popcorn when I wanted something crunchy.

For me making room for splurges is a continual trade-off. When I order a potato, I order a sweet potato rather than baked, cut a third off and remove the mountain of butter off the top, never loaded. I never order creamy base salad dressings.  If not low or fat free, I order vinegar and oil based dressings on the side. I always order first so that I avoid the “me too” syndrome when somebody before me orders something high in fat and calories. All the little extras and sides add up.

Of course, most important to my success in maintaining my weight loss on vacation was exercise. However, don’t fool yourself into thinking that because you exercise that “anything goes” with your diet.  My daughters and I ran a few times while we were there.  It got hot early, so we ran early.  We never ran more than an hour and the first full day we were there, we kept it at a 40 minute run to get acclimated to the Florida heat. There were plenty of walkers runners and bikers, so lots of reminders that vacation does not equate to inactivity in order to get a well deserved get away.  Like most places, there was a small work out room, so I did do a 30 minute elliptical workout a couple of times.

As I mentioned, all this was a few weeks back and now I’m just trying to stay patient while these last couple of pounds to my goal weight hold like concrete.  Of course, the closer you get to your ideal weight the harder it is to lose the pounds.  It seems as if everything you put in your mouth shows up on the scale.  Honestly, I’ve gotten a little lazy with keeping my food journal and something tells me that staying on top of my food journal will get me to my goal a lot faster. Matthew pretty much confirmed that with me when we trained yesterday.  Journaling really isn’t as time consuming as I’ve tried to tell myself lately.  I know the caloric value of most of the foods I eat most of the time because I’ve been keeping track for awhile. It’s so easy to not see when we get careless with our eating or slack on our workouts.  These are the behaviors that shut down progress and keep us from our goals.  I for one have worked hard and feel too good not to do everything I can to get to my goal and to stay there. Good or bad, the great thing about working with a PT is that, we are confronted with the realities of what we need to do to have weight loss success & fitness every time we meet.

Beth Pirtle

Trading Places: Mid-week Update (Wednesday, July 15th, 2009)

Sooooo, yeah, Matt trained me today… I’m gonna be sore tomorrow, I’m just not exactly sure where and how much.  We did a lot (except chest, THANK GOODNESS).  The knee was feeling pretty good after last night’s cardio (yes, I kept my word and did about 45 minutes last night).  Since the knee was doing ok, we started off with squats today.  That neuromuscular stuff must really work because one week after doing my 1st set of squats in a year, I bumped it up by 40lbs.  I’m hoping that the knee continues to respond well and I can start lifting some serious weight (well, serious weight to me… I have long legs and no butt, so I can only work with what I have).  My ring plank row things sucked today.  I’m not sure why, I did them fine on Friday… They just weren’t pretty today (Pirtle concurred).  I don’t remember every exercise we did today, but I was pretty stoked to see my progress on my pull-ups.  I told Pirtle from day one that pull-ups are one of the main exercises I want to exceed on.  I hope I can do at least 5 full clean ones (no monkey swinging) by my Birthday in December.  I think that’s plenty of time.  If I beat that goal, then I’ll go for 10, but as of right now, I just want to do one!  Thanks to the parents and genetics, these long limbs are not my best friend when it comes to pull-ups.

My diet is going pretty good.  Some days I’m just not hungry and I don’t want to eat everything on my meal plan… Today, I could eat everything in my refrigerator (don’t worry Matt, I’m not).  Even being uber-hungry, I’m not craving the things I used to.  I used to want carbs; pasta, bread, chips, anything with sugar in it, pizza, fries, oooh, and chips and salsa.  I may see a commercial for one of these, and I may say “ooooh” but that’s about as far as it goes.  I usually forget about it by the next commercial is over.  This whole “eating for fuel, not fun” thing has set in.  The scale is still frustrating when I see it change every day between 1-3lbs.  But I know what’s going in my mouth, and how I’m burning calories.  I just have to hang in there.  Next training session is Friday, 9am…


Until tomorrow,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "I've Been Slacking… On My Blogs" (Tuesday, July 14th, 2009)

Well, it’s now Tuesday and I’m a little behind, my apologies.  I have been slacking; slacking with my blogging, not my workouts.  I had planned on blogging last night after bootcamp but I was so tired when I got home, it was just enough to shower and pass out in front of the tv to catch the homerun derby.  Fixing dinner even exerted too much energy at this point.

Last Thursday I ended up doing something to my knee (my knee went one way, I went another) so I had to downshift my workouts.  I’m not back to 100% with it, but it’s slowly getting better.  The positive thing is that this is my bad knee, so I’ve gotten REALLY good on knowing how to take care of it.  Matt worked around the knee during Friday’s session (and as I recall it was still a pretty intense one).  I got in light cardio (I couldn’t go all out, but I did make up for it by going twice as long) both Saturday and Sunday.  My diet went really well this weekend too.  I didn’t have my usual ice cream.  In fact, I only had one cheat meal which was a burger (no cheese) and some fries while watching the UFC fights.  Otherwise, I did a pretty good job.

My body weight fluctuates something horrible.  I know I hold a lot of water, because it’s the only way my weight can go up or down 3 lbs in 24 hours.  It does suck though.  Just when you think you are on a roll, the weight is up on the scale and frankly, it’s kind of depressing!  We decided to change up my diet and maybe it’ll shake things up a bit.  It’s pretty low carb in the afternoon, which is fine, because I’m not much of a carb eater (I don’t know how I got this way, I used to LOVE carbs).  And it contains a lot of chicken… Yes, I still hate chicken, but I hate it a lot less when it’s marinated in barbeque sauce. 

Yesterday (Monday) I did a little light cardio in the morning and attended last night’s bootcamp.  It was a tough one, however, I did find some enjoyment because Pirtle joined us and I heard him refer to 4 consecutive exercises as “hell” (they really were, but it was still great hearing him say it).  If he wasn’t working out and I had said it, I would have just gotten the “all for the cause” line; WHICH by the way, Angie had to say last night (great… it’s contagious). I’m a little sore today.  The knee is a little tight, but I altered some of the stuff last night (avoided jumping) to cater the knee.  I should be good to go by the end of the week. 

I’m dealing with horrible allergies today (gotta love St. Louis summers… Mold…ugh!) so doing light cardio today felt like sucking air through a coffee filter.  I’m wheezing on the treadmill and I look at my heart rate and it is 100 (should be 150)… I will just have to do more, after I can breathe a little better.

I have my training session with Matt tomorrow (Wed) morning at 9am.  I get another week before measurements since I’ve started this new menu plan.  It isn’t bad; I can definitely deal with it.  I don’t have any big events coming up to set as a goal date, but I still have a goal % I’d like to get to, and I’m still working at it.  I haven’t tried on the jeans in a while; it’s just been too hot to even try to wear jeans, so I just forget about them.  I guess I should put them out again so I have to look at them daily.  There’s no motivation better than an expensive price tag staring back at you as it is still attached to the jeans.

Until tomorrow,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Getting the Most Out of Your Treadmill Workout

I read an article awhile back that has made a difference in the effectiveness of my treadmill workouts (glee magazine: Lorra Kristene Garrick).  I try to make a point of passing the article along to my clients.  Let’s face it, we all want to get the biggest bang, calorie & fat wise, for our time and sweat.  The point of the article was to point out that holding on to the treadmill while working out can do more harm than good.  I’ve taken key points in the article and listed them below.

If the rails on the treadmill are positioned too low, holding on will encourage forward posture (especially for tall people), which exacerbates the slumping position most of us develop with aging.  Grasping the rails does not promote natural walking biomechanics.

Some people grip the front bar, yanking forward with each step.  Others grasp the side rails, shoulders bobbing up and down, body weight subtracted from the tread.  Also, clinging on with one hand creates unequal stresses to the body.

Holding on and walking at top speeds is dangerous because of the ballistic hip rotation, over-striding and forward posture.  It can lead to serious neck, back and knee injuries.  Standing straight while gripping won’t correct the situation.

Some people don leather gloves for increased gripping traction, then proceed with their fake walking, legs wistfully moving through mere motions.  But they’re tricked into believing they’re working hard because the settings are high: 4 mph, 12 percent incline.

In the actual world, legs, knees, hips and back work in unison to support your full weight as you ambulate.  Holding on, even lightly, takes valuable work away from your musculoskeletal and nervous systems. 

The calorie readout is triggered by the program setting, not the person on the machine.  Walking hands-off burns about 20% more calories for the same length of time.

I’ve seen people increase the treadmill’s elevation to augment the workload, then hold the handrails and lean back, defeating the entire purpose of the elevation.  The leaning back is at the same angle as the incline, literally canceling out its effect.  Leaning forward won’t correct this; you’d be pulling forward.  

People set the speed at an unrealistic pace for the elevation.  Would you really walk 3.3 or 4 mph outdoors up a 15-percent hiking trail?  Begin at a slower speed and let go.  If you prefer a high incline, start slowly.  This pace should be similar to an outdoor uphill hiking pace.  Any discomfort in your lower back means those muscles are working for the first time!

Set the pace or incline at a challenging level, and walk hands-off for only a few minutes.  Then slow down or lower the incline and continue hands off for a few minutes to catch your breath.  Alternate between these more demanding intervals and easier “recovery” intervals.

Regardless of your fitness level, weight or age, you must release your hands and walk the natural way.  After all, haven’t we been doing this since age 1?

Beth Pirtle

Trading Places: "Today, I was a weenie" (Wednesday, July 8th, 2009)

Well, being that I said that I would return blogging on Tuesday, and it’s now Wednesday, I’m sure you know that I’m having a little trouble getting out of “vacation mode”.  It was only for four days, but it was four days of being off of my diet (somewhat).  There were some meals I would do really well, then some I just bombed.  Normally, carbs are not a problem with me, however this past weekend, bread was for some reason, my best friend.  My body is trying to figure out what on earth I fed it.  I feel so lethargic.  I was so tired yesterday, I nixed on cardio.  I had one of my worst training sessions (my fault, not Matt’s) just because I felt horrible.  I was tired, nauseated, and I just felt “off”.  He knew it too because what would normally take me 30-35 minutes to do took me an hour.  I have to admit it… During today’s session, I was a weenie. 

I missed Monday’s bootcamp which is what normally kick starts my week.  I really do feel better after doing it.  Trying to get that same “groove” on a Tuesday didn’t work so well.  It started with me getting on the scale and seeing the numbers up a tad… Not a good start.  My cardio blew just because after 10 minutes of the elliptical I wanted to just lean over the machine and take a nap.  I did the last 20 minutes on the treadmill, and I did do 20 more minutes walking this evening just because I felt bad.  Cardio is definitely my downfall right now.  When I’m not on vacation, I can stick to a diet really well.  No problem.  And lifting 3x a week is normally pretty easy too… But cardio, UGH… I HAVE to figure out something I like to do and do it for 30 minutes a day.  I know I can get better results if I just do it, but mentally, I have “CARDIO SUCKS I DO NOT WANT TO DO IT” playing over and over in my head.  I need to get in gear asap.  I just got suckered into taking my niece and nephew to Six Flags at the end of the month, and I will have to keep up with those two saying, “C’mon Aunt Kim, you’re a trainer; you’re supposed to be faster than us…” Little brats… (KIDDING) There ya go Pirtle, that’s my next “short term goal”… I don’t wanna look like a sissy in front of Kyle and Savannah. 

My goal for this week is just to keep my perfect diet, get plenty of sleep, train on Friday, get all of this sodium out of my body from this past weekend, and do my best at cardio.  Even doing my best even though it isn’t 100% right now is better than throwing up my hands and saying “screw this week… I’ll start Monday”.  Saying that, I’m going to have my last meal, relax a bit, and get to bed.


Until tomorrow,
Kimberly at Emerge

Emerge Record Lifts

The overriding Emerge training philosophy revolves around functional i.e. “use-able” training.  From multi-planar movements to core oriented exercises, Emerge Fitness prides itself on training with a smart, scientifically driven approach to bettering the human body and it’s movement.

The Barbell Deadlift

The Barbell Deadlift

There is a place, however, for feats of strength at Emerge.  Well coordinated, perfectly formed feats of power.
This is a list, hopefully ever-changing, of record lifts performed by Emerge clients.  These 1RM’s (one rep maximum) lifts have been carefully monitored, with clients progressing slowly to avoid injury and to avoid developing faulty movement patterns by recruiting the wrong sequence of muscle when performing these lifts.
AKA, they are done, and done CORRECTLY.
The Bench Press

The Bench Press

With that said, the four lifts of note are:
Barbell Deadlift- Female– Kimberly Renoud- 200lbs.  Male
Barbell Chest PressFemale–                                                  Male– Scott Gietl- 315lbs.
Barbell Squat-  Female– Nicole Lafser- 240lbs.                Male
Pull-up (this is for bodyweight repetitions) Female–       Male
We have officially begun documenting these lifts this week, so only one record high has yet been established, Kimberly Renoud’s (trainer Kim) very impressive 200 lb. barbell deadlift.
We will update this record board whenever it is appropriate.
Remember, lift correctly and have a spotter whenever attempting a 1RM!
Have fun.
Emerge Fitness Training Staff

Matt P. is Still Talking

Weight: 193
I’m up 2lbs. with the added calories.  The calories are coming from clean sources, with the occasional planned “slip”.
The plan seems to be working well.  Heavier lifting with more volume and a small caloric surplus appears to be doing the intended trick.
On the supplement side, I’ve added 15g of creatine per day to the aminos starting last Monday.
Saturday workout:
Barbell Deadlifts:  135/10   205/8   295/6   385/4   415/1   295/8   205/10
Smith Front Squats:  95/10   135/10   155/8   165/8   175/6
Smith Calf Raise:  105/15   155/15   175/12+12 hold   195/10+10 hold  205/10+10 hold
Rope Standing Crunch- 80/12   110/12   120/10   130/10   130/10
Kettlebell Clean:   24/12   36/10   54/10  54/10   54/10
Updates coming soon, with a change in nutrition as well……
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training

Trading Places: Happy 4th of July! (Thursday, July 2nd, 2009)

I’ve trained twice in the past 48 hours… I’m wiped.  I have measurements tomorrow and I’m REALLY hoping for my goal numbers.  I’ve worked REALLY hard and my diet has been really good.  I have been tempted many times this week due to the holiday weekend.  The advertisements of barbeque, and ice cream and cookies, have really gotten to me.  It’s a good thing that I have a daily reminder of why I’m working as hard as I am. 

Since bootcamp Monday night, I have felt very strong this week.  I feel like I have more energy and more power to get through my workouts.  Even today I was low on sleep and I pulled out one of my best workouts and my personal best weight at deadlift.  I FINALLY feel like my hard work is showing… I’ve known all along that it’s working but seeing it was another story.  My midsection and my arms have always been my nemesis since I can remember and I am seeing changes, big changes in them.  The funny thing is, the scale isn’t changing a whole lot… So I’m doing it right, I’m keeping my muscle and dropping body fat. 

I had a workout tonight that was very wide range.  I was able to start learning how to stand on a stability ball.  It’s a very SLOW process… I got up to one knee and one foot on the ball.  I felt pretty gutsy for a moment and I was going to try two feet, but then I remembered that I have a busy weekend and I don’t have time to go to the ER to fix my busted up face; maybe another day.  Next was deadlifts which were HUGE today!  I had so much adrenaline afterwards that Matt totally took advantage of it and made me do power plyo box jumps (which weren’t looking all too powerful) and these ridiculous swing things on the rings (see below). 

Matt's new exercise to kill me

Matt's new exercise: One hand Pendelum Swings... AKA, make Kim feel like a Monkey

After some running drills on the steps wearing the speed trainers; nothing like gaining 9 pounds on your hips and legs and then attempting to jump steps.  I came inside and finished a total body exercise and that was my session.  Of course, then came cardio.  We had my heart rate up so high during my workout, keeping my target heart rate on the elliptical was way too easy.

Deadlift 200lbs

Deadlift 200lbs

My dinner is over; I’m done with my water consumption for the night so I think it’s an early bedtime.  I had a great week in the gym and I hope that results in great measurements tomorrow.  I will be MIA Monday but I will return Tuesday.  I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!


Until Tuesday,
      Kimberly at Emerge

Trading Places: "No pushups!" (Tuesday, June 30th, 2009)

It is Tuesday already… I have come to the conclusion that Monday night is very hard for me to blog.  By the time I get home from bootcamp at 7:30, eat dinner and shower, it’s 9-10 pm. 

Yesterday overall went pretty well.  My diet was great, I stayed up and moving the ENTIRE day, and it was a great bootcamp.  I’m not sure if it was because I felt strong during every exercise or if it was because I didn’t have to do a SINGLE stinking pushup… (I hate pushups if you haven’t been following).  There were even a few exercises last night that at first I was doubting if I could even do; I surprised myself and had no problem with them.  It just shows that strengthening your core in different ways will help you perform other exercises very well.  I felt great after bootcamp. 

Today is going to be a very basic day.  I have measurements tomorrow, so my diet is going to be very good and I will get in my cardio.  My best friend is flying into town Friday and we had made a deal/bet on my body fat measurements; and I hate to lose.  It’s going to be close but we will see tomorrow. 

I wanted to also remind everyone that I have a bootcamp starting tomorrow (Wednesday night) at 6:30.  Feel free to come try it!

ALSO: Emerge is now on Facebook!  Look us up and become a fan.  We will have additional photos, information, etc. on there. 


Until tomorrow,

Kimberly, Emerge Fitness 

More and More From Matt P.

I want to pre-empt this next statement with an apology and I want to make understood that this statement is in no way a subtle way to compliment myself in any way.
I lose weight if I so much as look at a piece of cardio equipment.  For me, that sucks.
Now, as a responsible fitness professional, I really would be remiss in telling any client to avoid, completely, any structured aerobic exercise.
I just instructed myself to do that today after reaching a year and a half low in bodyweight at 191.
It’s time to eat more (no Kimberly, not necessarily large pizzas) CLEAN calories and design my own workouts to be more energy efficient (a great way of saying heavier weight with more rest, ha!)
With that said, Saturday’s workout:
Smith Front Squats: 70/10   110/10   130/10   150/8   160/8
Barbell Deadlifts:  185/10   255/10   305/8   325/8  375/3
Kettlebell Hamstring Extension: 44/10   74/10   74/10   74/12
Smith Calf Raises:  160/16   180/15   200/15   220/12   220/12
Updates on nutrition and the calorie upgrade coming soon….
Matt P.

Trading Places: Giving the body a break (Friday, June 26th, 2009)

Happy Friday everyone!  My apologizes for not keeping up with my blog this week, but frankly, there was a whole much to say.  I knew on Monday that something wasn’t right with how I was feeling.  I was more “achy” than I normally am, and I was sluggish and just not my normal self.  I did light cardio as well as a little swimming on Tuesday.  I ended up sleeping about 12-15 hours within a 24 hour period.  At Wednesday’s session, my weight was up, I was exhausted still, and I had no energy.  Pirtle and I decided to change up my diet and give my body a brief break.  After my session, I was no to do any type of physical activity for 48 hours.  No cardio, nada.  Of course there was no arguing from me!  I also went to the chiropractor to get “tweaked” so the past 48 hours was more of a “maintenance work” time for my body to rest and repair.  Yesterday my energy levels were back up, my joints and muscles felt much better (the chiropractor fixed my pec problem).  I still felt as if I had a rock, no, a boulder, in my stomach.  I tried about 5 or 6 different pills, powders, teas, etc to fix the problem.

I woke up this morning feeling SO much better.  I could tell it in my stomach, my energy levels, and just overall.  When I weighed myself, I was three pounds down.  Let me mention this though… I knew it had to be something other than body fat, because I could tell myself and Matt that my diet has been perfect and I had been doing cardio on top of being active all day, every day.  If I knew my diet had been poorly, I wouldn’t have even mentioned feeling like crap because the second Matt would have asked about my diet I would have had to fess up.  So the weight is down, energy level is up and I’m adapting to my new diet.

The new diet isn’t a lot different than my old one, except we replaced my carbs with more fats in the evening.  I’m at a 50-30-20 ratio now.  Hard to get used to at first, but after perfecting the technique of eating tablespoon full of peanut butter like a Popsicle (that isn’t melting), it wasn’t so bad.  You just have to eat it slowly.

My workout today was by far one of the most entertaining ones I’ve had.  Me and the rings need to start seeing eye to eye with each other because I’ve noticed that I either look ridiculous attempting an exercise  or I just end up face down on the floor.  I have a client that likes to tell me that an exercise is “stupid”, meaning that it’s just hard… I have adapted the same concept, but instead I said “well that sucks!”  So, note to Pirtle; the exercises you are making me do may make me look ridiculous and I may struggle with them, but no, they really don’t suck…. It especially doesn’t suck when you make your other clients do them instead of me.  It’s my loophole to whining.   

Oh wait, it gets better…

I’ve gotten pretty good at kneeling on the ball lately.  Today, Pirtle had me try to shoulder press the slosh pipes.  We started with the short skinny one; no problem.  On to the long skinny one; again, no problem… Then came the short fat one; BIG problem.  I was doing well until all of a sudden, I did the one thing I tell my clients: “Don’t dig your kneecaps into the ball.”  Well, that’s not really on your mind when you have a slosh pipe in your hands and up in the air I went.  To be honest, all I remember is ending up on my stomach on the ball, watching, what seemed to be in slow motion, the slosh pipe crash to the floor.  KABOOM… My first worry was that I cracked the slosh pipe (huge “no no”).  Pirtle’s first worry was that I somehow hurt myself.  I guess through all of my core training, I’ve learned to fall safely without evening knowing it.  I still don’t remember falling. 

Pull-ups, reverse chest presses, crunches came and gone, and my arms felt as I described to Matt as a “tail” (my arm just hung off my body swinging like a tail… or an elephant’s trunk, WHATEVER).  Then lucky me, I got to do the kettlebell.  Swinging it with these noodles that were my arms was going to be hard enough at this point, but snatching it above my head was just not looking so good.  He made me do it… They weren’t pretty… And I grumbled about it (They can kill the wrists).  But they got done, kinda.  I think Pirtle let me do fewer reps because it was a loss cause.  After attempting to stretch my hamstrings (I have NO flexibility in those suckers) I went and did my 30 minutes of cardio, and to be honest, it wasn’t so hard to do today. 

So it’s Friday… Training is done, cardio is done, diet is going great, and I’m staying very hydrated.  Measurements are next Wednesday and I’m optimistic for BIG changes this time.  I have a busy social weekend but I’m going to do my best at making good eating choices. 

Until Monday,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

"It's not a lie if you believe it"

I was hit with a bit of wisdom when chatting with Jason today in the office. 
In reference to some fitness related (and unrelated) topics, Jason reminded me of Seinfeld’s George Costanza’s classic line “It’s not a lie if you believe it.”
When speaking of fitness and fitness related topics, this quote can ring clear and true.
Deciding to make a big change in your health, looks, performance, or anything else a workout program can help with is usually a big endeavor, with lots of work involved.  Sometimes lifestyle altering work.
At first, it’s easy.  The excitement of doing something new and the promise of change keeps motivation high.  The work is worth it.
After some time, when the realization sets in that this is really hard work that takes a long term commitment, the motivation can wane and the intensity of that fire that kept you focused at first drops a notch.
Right here, at this point, hides the danger of conveniently forgetting some of your good habits.  Convincing yourself by rationalizing bad behavior at first will make you feel guilty.  At first.  But it gets easier.  Before you know it, you are believing a lie.  It happens to EVERY ONE at some point.
Some common believable lies:
“I have to live life, this diet isn’t realistic…”
“My (insert friend/husband/wife/new magazine article etc….) said I’m working  way too hard on this, I should take a break.”
“I did some gardening this week (or any other common household activity that everyone should do anyway) so I didn’t get my cardio in.”
There are endless believable lies involving how long, how hard, and how focused your workouts are.
You know better.
Do what you need to do to achieve your fitness goal without falling into this (easy to fall into) trap.
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training

Yet Another Word From Matt P.

Working out is hard.
Being aware of your diet, I now remember, is hard.
Doing both of these things (well) with a busy schedule is very hard.
Typical daily nutrition: (The goal of all of this is LBM gain with minimal BF gain)
Breakfast: 5:30 am
30g whey protein isolate
2 turkey sausage patties
1 whole grain english muffin
Mid- Morning Snack: 9am
60 grams whey protein isolate
1 cup Raisin Bran Crunch
Lunch: 12:30 – 1:00
2 Lions Choice roast beef (on wheat, no butter)
-or- 1 Healthy Choice french bread pizza with 25g whey protein
Mid- Afternoon snack: 3:00- 3:30 pm
50 g whey protein isolate
2 slices healthy life whole wheat bread
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon low sugar jelly
Dinner: 6-7pm
varies, but usually
6-80z lean meat
50g carb (brown rice, sweet potato, whole wheat bread or pasta)
1-2 cups green vegetable
(Dinner can be WAY off this, about every 3 nights, (i.e. a whole pizza)
Before Bedtime: 9-9:30 pm
50g whey protein
This can vary, and I will post some examples of this variance in the future, but it is typical of a routine weekday.
Workout Wednesday 6/24:
Two kettlebell preacher curl on stability ball– all sets (4) 12 reps with 24lb. kettlebell
Stability ball freemotion cable skull crusher– 8/12   10/12   11/12   12/12
Standing barbell curl–  85/12   105/10   115/10   85/15
Rope triceps extension with emphasis on kick-out at bottom– 50/12   60/12   70/12   80/10 drop set 40/10
2 kettlebell snatch– 24/ 10   24/10   24/10
Kettlebell one arm swings (alternating with toss)-  73/10   73/10   73/10
Still need to up the intensity a bit but it’s been a good start….
More updates forthcoming.
Matt P.

Training Places: "I'm a sprinter not a marathon runner" (Monday, June 22nd, 2009)

Good lord, when will the aching end!!! I have worked out 7 of the past 8 days (Bootcamp and cardio last Monday, Cardio Tuesday, Train and cardio Wednesday, off Thursday, Train and cardio Friday, cardio Saturday, cardio Sunday- Yes, I went in last night and did 45 minutes of cardio while watching a movie on tv, and bootcamp tonight).  I’m ready for BED.  But first, I’ve realized my new challenge (among my other goals I want to hit).  Over the past 10 or so weeks, I’ve gotten stronger.  I knew growing up as a kid, I helped out with chores and I could do always do functional stuff that required lifting a lot of weight.  I had lost some of that during my “lazy days”, but after training, I noticed (as did Angie tonight) that I have greatly improved.  However, my strength is more of a power thing to me.  I am made up of fast twitch fibers, which means pretty much, “I’m a sprinter, not a marathon runner.” 

Some people who never train or run regularly can say, “I think I’m gonna go for a little run” and end up running for 3 or 4 miles.  I would have to train for weeks in order to do that… My body is not made to just “run”.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to do it, in 100 meter or 30 second sprints, MAYBE one minute at the most.  Anymore than that, and I dread it.  I hate even running a mile.  I can’t pace myself.  I get to a super fast start and by four minutes, I’m cooked.  That’s why I always give this “uhhhhhh no” look when someone asks me to do a 5k run. No thank you.  Swimming these days is the same thing.  In college I was swimming a mile a day, but it took me 12 weeks to work up to that.  Now, I’m afraid after a hundred meters I’d be coming up for air. 

Tonight was no difference.  I have an easier time when I train with Matt and we are doing 10 reps, just busting out heavy weight.  It’s still hard, but I can recover.  Tonight’s bootcamp we did 10 or so different stations for 50 seconds each for three rounds and I thought my body was going to die.  By 30 seconds of each exercise I was waiting for Matt to say “stop” but nope, I had to pull out enough energy for 20 more seconds.  And it’s even more frustrating because I know what I can do in a training session yet here I am sucking air next to others who are going through it like the bootcamp is nothing.  I suck at endurance.  So, that is my new challenge.  I need to work on my endurance during bootcamp (Note this Matt, I said DURING BOOTCAMP… No freaking tire flip-jump-psycho sprints in this 90 degree weather.)    I know I will never have slow twitch fibers and a marathon will never be in my agenda, but I would like to leave a bootcamp not grasping for air.  I would also like to work up my endurance to get back to swimming a mile a day again, and I’m sure the bootcamps will help.  I just have to keep at it no matter how much Matt tries to kill my pecs (STILL TIGHT FROM LAST WEEK) or no matter how many dirty looks I have to give.  I just have to keep trucking it.    

Diet is fine, didn’t get my Red Robin this weekend though… For Father’s Day, dad picked where we ate… “Dad” wanted a SALAD… This is what I get for having parents who are losing weight as well. 

Until Tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Another Word From Matt P.

Sometimes, working out sucks.
In case anyone was wondering, there are occasional times when even a trainer hits the proverbial motivational speed bump (when it comes to working out and fitness in general).  The best way to make sure that it remains a speed bump and not  a huge brick wall is to change things up, sometimes substantially.
The only way to to do this, really, is not through a new supplement (95% are useless) or a training gimmick or a trip to the tanning salon.  It is about working harder, with higher intensity, and following that with pristine nutrition.  That is the fix. Period.
With that said, my training log and nutrition plan will be peridically posted to keep me thinking about it and to inform (and keep informed) anyone who is curious about it.
Monday June 22nd
Ball Chest Press–  135/12    185/12    235/12    275/8    305/5
Ball Kneeling Freemotion Fly–  9/12    11/12    12/12     12/12   12/12
One Db Incline Ball Press–  65/12    70/12   80/10   90/10
Freemotion Incline Chest Press– 10/12   12/12   13/12   13/12  
Freemotion Incline Chest Fly–  10/12   11/12   11/12
Catalyst- 1 serving post workout
Whey Protein Isolate– 3 servings (mid-morning/mid-afternoon/before bedtime) 50 grams
Core Plex– 1 serving at breakfast
Nutrition update coming soon…
Matt P.

Trading Places: "Hello floor, we meet again." (Friday, June 19, 2009)

I ended up sprawled out on the floor at the gym… THAT was how my workout went.  I’m STILL sore from Wednesday’s exercise and I can only imagine what I will feel like in the morning.  We started with deadlifts…  I had no problem getting up to my previous personal best, but then we did the jump by 15 pounds and I could only do two reps.  I was hoping to get in 6, but I was fatigued and I knew I would be incorporating the wrong muscles and my form would be horrible.  It was a bummer, but in a week or two, I know I will get it without a problem.  Next we did a type of cable incline chest press including dumbbells… Pirtle, my pecs hate you with a passion.  Everything else wasn’t too bad.  I mean at the time, of course I was dying, but I could do them… My core should be tight for the weekend… I got in my 30 minutes of cardio and called it a day at Emerge. I just got done having an hour “passed out cold” nap… I woke up and am already feeling the soreness… Grrrrreeeat.  Diet has been perfect so far, but I’m so hungry after a busy day today, and I’m thinking something small from Doozles sounds pretty good.  I want to keep it small because I plan on going out to eat Sunday with the parents.  Hmmmmm decisions decisions.  Nevermind, what am I thinking… Matt has to “ok” all of my cheat meals on the weekend… Wish me luck.


Until Monday,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: My Butt still hurts… (Thursday, June 18th, 2009)

My Butt still hurts… Yep, it’s been that kind of day.  I’m sore all over… From my neck to my knees, he got it all.  I used today as one of my two “rest” days, because for 1, I hurt too much to move; 2, I have to do deadlifts tomorrow.  Diet was fine… I am looking forward to the weekend… I’m craving Red Robin… However, being that it’s Father’s Day, Sunday, dad will get to pick… Until then, red and yellow peppers… mmm mmm mmm (sarcasm here).  Training at 11am tomorrow

Note to everyone: Starting Wednesday, July 1st, I will be having a bootcamp every Wednesday at 6:30pm.  If you are interested please let me know!


Until tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "My Butt hurts…" (Wednesday, June 17th, 2009)

My butt hurts…. That pretty much sums up my day… My glutes are freaking killing me.  I fell asleep in my big round chair and when I woke up about thirty minutes later, Holy crap it was like someone has weights attached to my butt, pulling me down.  It’s almost to “whiny” soreness… When that happens, I get crabby… And to think that measurements this morning would be the worst part of my day.

I’ve gotten into the trend of getting REALLY nervous for measurements.  I don’t know why.  I do as I am told, my diet is great… I still get nervous.  As I was getting dressed this morning, I noticed that my body was a little more “squishy” than I was yesterday.  Go figure.  I walked to Emerge and it was so humid this morning that I was already sweating my butt off by the time I got there (3 minute walk, max).  I got on the scale and I was about 2 pounds up from yesterday…. Ok, there’s NO way I could have gained two pounds of body fat, not even one pound of body fat because I had a perfect diet/cardio day.  So that means I was holding at least 2lbs of water, fan-freaking-tastic… Then, (oh wait it gets better!) Pirtle does my circumference measurements.  I look down at the sheet noticing that all of my numbers are substantially up… My neck went up an inch and a half? WHAAAAT? As Matt was taking my measurements, I just kept saying “Is that measuring tape right… Are you sure?”  He took my skinfold measurements, and he gave in to my request to use a different measuring tape, and THANKFULLY he did, because I was right! The two measuring tapes were off!  My measurements weren’t where I wanted them to be, and the weight was definitely a damper, but all in all, I still lost 1.5% body fat.  I just REALLLLLLLLY want to hit 18-19% body fat by July 4th… And it’s cutting it a little too close. 

The rest of the workout was hard (no surprise there).  I can’t even tell you what all we worked, because I think everthing was worked… I am gonna be sore tomorrow.  We finished with front squats which I have done a lot of squats in a while, and those are the one exercise that kill my glutes.  Once again, that was succeeded.    I felt ok until I got on the elliptical for cardio; that’s when the legs got a little heavy.  Tomorrow I have no doubt that I will be sore… really sore… And I’ve already been warned for Friday; deadlifts… Grrrreeeeeeeeat…


Until tomorrow,

Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "The Economy Diet" (Tuesday, June 16th, 2009)

Today I woke up feeling much better than I did after bootcamp.  I have function of all muscles and joints.  I got in my 30 minutes of high intensity cardio on the elliptical and then some “casual” walking (walking on a treadmill at a lower heart rate).  I will probably do some more later on just because I have a pretty big break between clients… I’d rather be up and burning a few calories than sitting. Diet is fine, weight is down… I’m fixing a T-Bone steak, sweet potato, green beans or asparagus for dinner, and a possibly a salad so that’s what I’m looking forward to.

Since my day is pretty simple, I thought that I’d hit on a topic that nearly everyone is going through… A lot of “luxuries” are being cut out due to people’s finances being stretched.  Many people would think that training is a luxury… After being a client now for about 8-10 weeks, I understand how the costs can add up, but I know this is one thing I have to keep doing.  To make it fit my budget and to keep going, I have what is known to my family as the “Economy Diet.” 

Would I love to train five days a week, absolutely.  Could I afford it? Not so much.  I can budget in training two hours a week.  Two times a week, and then taking the bootcamp on Mondays when I don’t have a client are enough days a week to keep me accountable on my own to do cardio and keep my diet on track.  If some can only afford one day a week, that is fine too.  I would advise to try to get into a bootcamp.  It’s a very affordable way to get in another workout that I GUARANTEE will be tougher than your own. 

Since I’ve been eating a strict menu plan, it has actually saved me money on groceries.  I don’t do my 20 dollar (including tip) Papa Johns Pizza anymore.  I don’t buy excess food at the grocery store.  I buy my basics and get out.  And then when you can find your basics on sale or they have coupons, EVEN BETTER.  Each week, that saves me 50-70 dollars.  Also, a big perk to living in the Midwest is that we have access to great food, especially in the summer time.  Instead of paying outlandish prices for produce, hit up a local produce stand.  If you can brave getting up early on a Saturday, head down to Soulard’s Farmers Market.   You can get the freshest produce at a fraction of the cost at a grocery store. 

Eggs: Eggs are a GREAT food to eat.  I’m not a big egg eater, but I do like them in salads.  At the grocery store I’ve seen prices soar, but if you head to any small town, or if you even ask around, you can find fresh farm eggs for CHEAP.  Back home, we get fresh eggs from the neighbors, and there IS a difference in flavor.

Meat:  I grew up on a cattle farm, so I never understood the prices of red meat until I saw it at a grocery store.  I still can’t believe the prices of a steak… And generally, at a grocery store, it’s “Choice” red meat (That’s second best… Prime is the best quality).  If you want prime, you will pay.  Check out area “meat lockers”.  You can purchase a “whole, half, or even a quarter of a beef, and generally this is prime beef, for less than 3 DOLLARS a pound (Varying on cattle prices of course)!!! You can do this with pork as well, and even some lockers work with buffalo, elk, and other sources of meat.  The best part about getting meat from a locker is that generally, these animals are generally grass fed and corn fed  and are hormone free.  Do you have deep freezer?  If you have the room, you can purchase one for a couple hundred dollars and it will pay for itself in the first year. 

Shopping, or “anti-shopping”:  The costs of clothes are UNREAL these days!  I hate shopping just because it’s far too pricey and I have other things I’d rather do with my money.  The thing is, when you gain weight, you have to buy new clothes that you can fit in, right?  Using the “economy diet”, you are saving yourself money buy being able to wear the clothes you have already purchased.  THEN once you hit a goal, then you can purchase a piece or two as a “reward.”  Much cheaper than a whole new wardrobe! 

Do you have a gym membership? USE IT… You’re already paying for it, so on days where you are bored and you want to shop or do something that’s going to cost you extra money, just get in a workout!  It’s the one thing you can do that will help yourself that won’t cost anything extra. 

I know how big St. Louis is on socializing and you can totally do this during the summer in a HEALTHY and CHEAPER way!  Have a barbeque… Have everyone bring a healthy dish, grill up some chicken or burgers, (nix the beer if ya can, otherwise, go light), and there ya go!  You will have hours of socializing at a fraction of what it would cost to meet up at a bar or restaurant.  Throw in some yard games and you’ll burn a few calories in the mix. 

So, you may not be able to have your “cake” and eat it too, but you can still have your training, your weight loss goal, and a social life all in your budget.  Find out what are the most important things to you and you will notice a positive domino effect from it.  If you want something badly enough, you always find a way to do it… You just have to decide if your fitness goals are what you really want, and if so, you’ll find a way to do it.  As crazy as it sounds, I’m ok with giving up the pizzas to let Matt kill me for an hour, twice a week…  🙂


Until tomorrow,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: Bootcamp=Coreday… Oh Dear (Monday, June 15th, 2009)

Happy Monday everyone!  As I said in Sunday night’s post, I have about 19 days until July 4th so I’m kicking things up a notch.  I told Pirtle that besides the goal of fitting into those jeans, I wanted to have a goal to have a physique like Dara Torres.  For those of you who don’t remember, Dara is the 40 year old Olympic swimmer who is in AMAZING shape.  Of course she’s about 6ft tall, but that’s the body type I want.  I even posted a picture of her on my computer (I look at my computer more than my refrigerator).   I have to see it and it’s a reminder to stay focused on my goal.  I started this morning my getting in my sprint intervals for 40 minutes.  I was getting frustrated with my slacker radio because I’m the type who works out harder to “hard rock” and what they were playing on the “hard rock” station was some slow “blah” music.  My sprints felt really good!  I got up to 9.0 easily and no problems with my knee.  Lunch was my typical smoothie which works great for a post-workout meal as well.

Ok, so the first part of this blog was written during my afternoon break, BEFORE BOOTCAMP… NORMALLY, I get a good workout, but I survive… This time, I wasn’t so sure about the surviving part.  Of all days I could actually make it, it had to be CORE DAY, my least favorite and biggest weakness… 9 stations, ALL core specific… Oh dear…. Again, I found myself face down for about the full hour.  This is how tough it was… I would rather have done legs and deadlifts for an hour… I sweated from start to finish.  I started giving “looks” in the first 15 minutes, and Pirtle called me out on it.  Maybe I am becoming a “Sally” (pansy); maybe when I’m giving something I don’t like I give looks… Or MAYBE it was when Pirtle went over our 50 seconds and I’m doing an exercise for a minute and ten seconds! Not sure, take your pick.  All I know is after 40 minutes of sprint intervals this morning and an hour of bootcamp tonight ALL on about 1500-1600 calories, I BETTER FIT IN THOSE STUPID JEANS!!!!!  I have measurements on Wednesday… So we shall see… Until then, it’s 8pm… I had my dinner and now I’m headed to the showers, and then to bed…

Until tomorrow,

Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "The Knuckleball" (June 14th, 2009)

It’s already Sunday.  My apologies for not keeping up to date on the blog… It always seems like summer time keeps me busier than normal, yet I always forget.  It’s been so crazy that it’s hard to remember all the way back to Thursday.  I did get a great deep tissue massage that night (Thanks Jen!) and found knots I’ve never had before.  It wasn’t an hour and a half of “relaxation” (it never is with a sports massage) but today, I feel wonderful (You’re sore a few days afterwards).

Friday, “seemed” like the typical workout day… Yes, it was hard, but not necessarily harder than the workout prior if that makes any sense.  We changed up a few things.  We did deadlifts using dumbbells on a bosu, and we did a few jumping exercises, oh yeah, and we sure hit the triceps.  I remember feeling pretty good after the workout because I did my interval sprints.  Anyways, yesterday (Saturday) I WAS SOOOO sore.  I’m good today, but yesterday it was hard to walk or lift my arms above my head!  It just shows how a little adjusting to a workout can throw a “knuckleball” to you.  In fact, I was so sore, all I could do yesterday was walk on the treadmill.

Diet has been remotely well.  I told Pirtle there wasn’t a cheat “meal” I was really craving, so I asked him if I could do cheat “snacks”.  My first was a DQ large vanilla cone (Friday night).  I thought maybe it would be about 300 calories… Then I made the mistake and looked AFTER I ate it instead of before, and it was 470 calories! 52g of Sugar!!! Well, I sure don’t crave those anymore.  On my defense though, the “large” I got was much smaller than the larges I’ve gotten in previous times. 

Yesterday, I went to a client’s house to hang out and barbeque.  I took over Chevy’s chips and salsa, but I only ate maybe 8-10 chips at the most (I stayed as far away from them as possible and drank TONS of water).  We had a green salad with a very healthy home-made dressing, grilled burgers (with mustard only), and then I had to have some of Mary’s Mac n Cheese.  That is a weakness for me.  Since I don’t cook, I don’t ever have to worry about eating it a lot.  I had maybe a cup of it total.  (It WAS yummy). As well as a little bit of fresh fruit, I was talked into trying a small (and I mean SMALL because I had to tell Pirtle b/c I can’t lie) piece of this very good chocolate cake… and I’m not normally a big fan of chocolate cake, but this was REALLY good.  It was the type that was really strong tasting so you only want a small piece.  And then they had those gourmet cupcakes from somewhere and I tried 1/6th of an orange creamsicle one.  Literally, 1/6; they cut it into 6 pieces.  After a small bag of popcorn late that night, that was my day.

I felt a little bad about my “cheat snack” turning into a little bit more, so today’s diet has been perfect.  I haven’t had dinner yet, but I can’t imagine it being anything off my diet.  I have a guilty conscious, what can I say.  That, and I have two new “roommates” (kittens) that watch everything I do, and when I’m fixing my food, they sit and stare at me.  It’s as if I have “menu monitors” watching what I’m eating.  I’m sure they are just looking for something tasty to snag, but either way, it helps me keep on my diet.

I have 2 ½ weeks until the 4th so I really need to stay on track.  Tomorrow is Monday, so it’s back to working out hard and working hard at eating well.

Until tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness       

Trading Places: "Fatigue" (June 10th, 2009)

The definition of “Fatigue”:  Physiologytemporary diminution of the irritability or functioning of organs, tissues, or cells after excessive exertion or stimulation. In other words, that was me at around 9:45 this morning.  Yup, I trained with Matt at 9am. 

          I was going on 4 hours of sleep going into the workout.  I just had a hard time getting to sleep, and then I woke up at 4am, and I couldn’t go back to sleep, go figure.  After discussing my diet and cardio we headed straight to deadlifts.  I’m a weird one because I actually love to do legs.  Even though I have very long ones, they are pretty strong.  In the past, my knee was always debilitating, but now that it’s all good, I’m busting out some pretty good weight.  I upped my max deadlift weight by another 15 pounds.  I lifted 165lbs for 6 reps.  As excited as I am to do this, it does frustrate me that I know if I had been lifting like this earlier, I’d be lifting even more weight now.  My goal was 200lbs, but that has been bumped to 225.  I was feeling great about myself until I got home and watched “YouTube” and saw some girls my size deadlifting 325… They scared me, I won’t lie.  I was telling Pirtle today that sometimes vision “worst case scenarios” in my head (not sure why, I just do) and I kept seeing some tv skit about a guy trying to deadlift and his arms popped right off his body.  Nearly 100% unlikely, but still, it makes ya wonder! 

          Matt had me do those bear crawl with dumbbells (mine are more like bear stomps) on the slide board next.  I had a really rough time the very first time I attempted these a week ago.  My hands and wrists are pretty little so a lot of stuff aggravates them quickly.  We did a little “fix” and padded my palms with lifting straps and the exercise went MUCH better. (Note to any of the clients who have to do these… USE THE STRAPS…) My third exercise was pull-ups.  I’m 5’8-ish and my legs make up 2/3 of my body.  And my arms are just as long and linky.  That’s a very big problem when it comes to some exercises, and pull-ups is one of them.  Anyone who knows anything about physics or biomechanics knows that the longer the lever, the more force needed to move it.  I’ve never been able to do a pull-up on my own in my life.  That’s one of my goals in the gym.  Today, we started step one towards that goal.  It wasn’t pretty.  I’m learning how to use my entire body to pull myself up (no, I’m not talking monkey swinging or that type they do in crossfit which looks like it’s going to snap your rotator cuff); the type where you tighten up your lats, your midsection, and even your hips to get your body up there.  I KINDA got up there… a time or two… I had reached MAJOR fatigue during my last set.  I had nothing to use… My back and arms were tired from pull-ups, my legs were helpless from deadlifts… I just hung there, immobile.  I have a lot of work to do on that one.

          After that, Pirtle was showing me the next thing I was going to do and I actually thought he had lost his mind.  He had mentioned that the week before he realized that we were going to kick up the intensity… As he was saying this, his eyes were getting really big and excited… Can’t say I had the same reaction.  Pretty much, we’re going to the phase of “insane”… That’s about as extreme as you can get (insert “worst case scenario vision”).  I know, and of course, being Matt, he reassured me that he’d never do anything to cause me physical harm.  I wasn’t worried about physical harm; I know that everything he’ll have me do is safe… I just question if I will be able to walk the next day without being REALLY sore.  Anyways, he had me do a pushup with each hand on a medicine ball and my feet on the slideboard.  Now, the catch is that I have to do horizontal abduction/adduction with my legs as I do the pushup.  After realizing that stabilizing on the ball wasn’t so bad, the exercise was easy.  But those medicine balls sure had me intimidated at first.

          The last thing we did was a reverse crunch on the stability ball using the Smith machine as balance.  Once I figured out what exactly I was doing, it was fine (the first set was really ugly… I was the perfect example as why position and form MUST be perfect). 

          I got in my cardio immediately afterwards and it sure wasn’t hard to keep my heart rate up.  The legs soon after let me know they were VERY tired.  It’s 9pm, my diet has been pretty good, I had a great workout day, and I’m hoping to head to bed here soon to catch up on that sleep I missed out on last night.

Until Tomorrow,
KIMBERLY (in case you forgot Pirtle), Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "Stress" (June 9th, 2009)

     Do you ever notice that just when things start to get going really well, something comes up that TOTALLY throws off your routine or your good mood?  That would be stress for me.  I’m a 26 year old single female.  I don’t have responsibilities for anyone but myself, however, yes, even I can have stress.  It always finds a way to sabotage my diet and workouts.  I wonder if it’s just a test to my discipline (or my sanity for that matter).  The past 48 hours, I feel as if I have been drained of every ounce of energy in my body.  This is never a good thing when you are a trainer, because you ALWAYS have to have energy for your clients (I’m not talking energy as in the “yipee you can do it!” cheerleading kinda crap, b/c if you know me, you know that ISN’T me).  At this point, the “old” me would have tucked my tail between my legs, waved the white flag and had Papa Johns delivered in 30 minutes or less (generally less, they know my address, quite well).  And the last thing I would want to do is drag my butt to actually produce any type of workout.  Then the downward spiral would begin.
But not this time.
     The “me” now is taking a different approach… I “manned” up and stuck with my diet.  In fact, I’m sticking to it PERFECTLY… (SEE that Matt, PERFECTLY)… I finally realize that food isn’t going to be my therapist… And food isn’t going to make things better, it will actually add MORE stress in the long run.   And I’m doing cardio… EVERY day (that I’m supposed to… I do get a day off here or there). 
I wasn’t feeling all too great this morning so I decided to just get out of the apartment, and I did over an hour of cardio at Emerge.  Normally I’m rocking out to anything loud and fast; Today was a little different.  To find my “softer” side, I chose classical music.  Oh yes, I worked out to Bach, and Mozart, and whoever composed that song on the “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner” commercial.  It did help relax me, I must say!  Diet was awesome again today (except I had about 5-6 extra Hershey dark chocolate kisses… Trust me, today, I NEEDED it.)  I’m trying to shake this “tired” feeling.  I’m getting ample amounts of sleep and the caffeine is little.  I need a really awesome training session tomorrow to kinda refuel me.  If I can get that adrenaline rush like I did Friday (before the obstacle course from hell), I will be doing just fine.  MAYBE if there aren’t many people in there when we train, I’ll get to rock out to some loud music while I lift.  I’m trying to stay away from the scale this week, but I did check it, and I’m only up a pound… I’m ok with that.  I will be below 140 again before the weekend.  OH> Side note… For some stupid reason, I got a wild idea to try on “The Jeans” today… And I got them on… And I got them zipped up… And I got them buttoned… And I got a photo… But I didn’t dare try to sit down in them…
J  But that’s definitely a good feeling that I’m getting closer!  The day I fit comfortably in those jeans, I’m going to train my clients in them for a week (kidding… maybe).

  Until tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "Food is for fuel… energy… not fun" (June 8th, 2009)

Oh, it’s Monday… Where do I begin?   OH YEAH… Friday’s workout:  I wasn’t sore going into the workout (thankfully), and we started with deadlifts.  They felt fantastic (weird, I know)… I think I showed too much satisfaction with the weight I was lifting because Pirtle was just throwing it on there… And after I lifted my personal best, I had adrenaline going, then Matt said “we’re heading outside…” When ya hear the word “outside,” you KNOW more than likely you are flipping tires; and I was correct.  In FACT, the lucky duck I was, got to do a little obstacle course of tire flipping, tire jumping, sprinting, and hammer throwing for TIME…  I don’t know what my time was, and to be honest, I didn’t CARE… I was just glad my legs still supported my body.  The rest of my workout was yet again, a blur.  I just remember Pirtle saying “Are you doing ok?” once, and I do remember hanging over a ball, lifeless… And when it was over it felt like the longest hour of my life.  After deadlifts, Pirtle asked me if my quads were hurting, and surprisingly, they hadn’t.  Then I got on the elliptical to do cardio and my quads tightened up so tightly that I thought I was going to fall off the darn thing.  I spent the rest of the day lying out in the sun (since the supine or prone position was the most comfortable for me at the time).  My diet was perfect all day though, except for my little cheat of grapes… Matt told me that I needed more control, haha.

Saturday:  “Thank the lord, I can walk!!!!”  I wasn’t really sore, which surprised the tar out of me.  I had to get up early to instruct a bootcamp for Beth, so I figured I may well do cardio afterwards.  I went to weigh on the scale, and I FINALLY broke 140lbs…  HOLY CRAP.  I think that’s what came out of my mouth.  It was GREAT motivation to get my cardio in.  It actually made my day.  After cardio, I took advantage of the nice day and got some sun.  My diet continued to be really good, because I wanted to get a Doozle’s light concrete, and that I did.  I didn’t eat it all though, I think the sugar was starting to turn my stomach. 

Sunday:  This was my day off of doing cardio, but I spent most of the day cleaning and doing laundry.  When I clean, I CLEAN; we’re talking scrubbing, dusting, EVERYTHING.  Again my diet was really good.  I wasn’t looking forward to that stupid grilled chicken salad I had to eat for dinner… I was trying to think of something else to eat when Wirth called asking my “opinion” of him eating a Papa Johns Pizza, that schmuck.  It got me craving pizza, BADLY.  I texted Pirtle to try to MAYBE get clearance to eat it and I got a big “Nix the pizza this time…”  GRRRRR.  So I ate the stupid chicken salad… I did end up going to DQ and got a vanilla ice cream cone, which I must say tasted yummy.  It would do, this time.  Yes, I’m glad I didn’t eat the pizza, and I’m glad that the ice cream didn’t affect my calorie intake much, but sometimes, craving food and turning away from it can be frustrating.  I just have to remember, FOOD IS FOR FUEL… ENERGY… NOT FUN…  I’m getting there. 

Monday:  Today has been a draining one. I worked all day, ran errands during my break, and tonight I got in cardio late, but I got it done.  Diet has been perfect.   Blah blah blah… I’m tired, I’m moody, I’m bloated, and just when something with a lot of flavor sounds REALLY good, I’m going to walk to my fridge, grab an 80 calorie yogurt, and go to bed…  Some days, I hate being a woman…

Mid-life fitness

Yes, I am now 3.8 lbs from my goal.  I’m excited, but a little nervous because I’m leaving on vacation Saturday and will be gone for a week.  One of my sons in law has researched numerous restaurants to try while we are in Destin, so I will be eating out frequently.  I know that eating out does not have to equate to weight gain, but it can make it more difficult. I have a decision to make about my weight before I leave. The way I see it, I have 3 options available to me where my weight loss progress is concerned. I always tell clients they have choices about what happens with their weight when they are on vacation. It feels better when you decide what outcome you want ahead of time.

Option #1

I can decide that I want to lose weight on vacation.  This will require me to do the best I can to make entrée choices that are the lesser of many evils on the menu – no fried, no covered in cheese, no white sauce,etc. If you ask a waiter/waitress for dressing on the side, and have certain condiments held from entrees and sides, etc. your requests will usually be honored.  One just needs to speak up.   I’ll need to ask for a “doggy bag” up front so that I can bag up some of my order before I even start to eat.  Now that I think about it, like Kim I will have someone with me who loves to clean other peoples’ plates, so maybe the doggy bag wont be necessary.

I’m bringing some 100 calorie bag microwave popcorn and I’ll stock up on fruit and other low calorie foods when I get there.  

Option #2

I can decide that I want to maintain my weight.  This means that I will need to do a lot of what I mentioned in option #1, but I will have a little more flexibility in what I order.  I should be able to do a couple of meals that are “splurge” meals and maybe a special dessert or two without any damage done.  Of course, keeping regular cardio workouts in the plan is a given for all 3 options.  We will be near the beach, so walking/running on the beach with my daughters will be my choice way to get in cardio workouts.  I plan to spend a lot of time doing fun activities with my granddaughters as well as reading on the beach, so as always my cardio workouts will be shorter in nature, but high in quality.  I will miss my training with Matthew, but one week might be a welcome break to my muscles.

Option #3

I can give myself permission to gain a little weight on vacation. This is knowing that I will need to be patient and get back into a solid routine when I return so as to get my weight loss efforts back on track.  Making a decision to allow a 2 – 4 pound gain and to plan accordingly gives you control over the weight gain.  You are less likely to do major damage by abandoning all your hard earned healthy eating habits.  This option simply means, you do alot of what I mentioned in option #2, but give yourself more flexibility with choosing entrees, drinks, or desserts.  It doesn’t mean anything GOs!  Portions are critical and making trade offs at one meal to have what you want at another is necessary.  However, this option does allow you to actually take a short vacation from your regular diet while not having to stress each day that you are undoing everything you’ve worked so hard to do with your fitness program. 

One option is really no better than another.  There is no judgement.  The point is, regardless of whether you are on vacation, it’s a holiday, your birthday, etc. etc., manage your fitness program.  It’s called making it a lifestyle.  Unfortunately, many of us set up unrealistic diet & exercise expectations for ourselves on vacation or special occasions.  We jump into that “all or nothing” attitude and we continue the yo *yo  game rather than establishing a lifestyle.  It’s so much nicer not to have to stress over food and exercise and just enjoy life.

By the way, I’m going to go with option #2 * Wish me luck. 

Beth Pirtle


A Word From Matt P

Just a quick comment or two and some random thoughts from me…
Congrats to:
Nicole Lafser- Returning from a trip to California andnot gaining a pound and looking leaner every day.
Shannon Johnson- The fittest pregnant woman I’ve ever known!
Beth Pirtle- Has found her training stride.  The diet is documented and the weight continues to drop.
Leah Price- Had a great swim meet where she PR’d both events she swam.
Bridget Maroney- For someone who “couldn’t gain weight,” you are sure fooling me with those new guns. 🙂
Kimberly Renoud- One of my most determined clients. Literally drives herself into the ground EVERY SET.
Sarah Massey- Is dialed into her 8 week fitness goal and is sticking to a rigorous, competition- like diet.
Scott Gietl- Continues to amaze me with his athleticism and sheer strength.
Matt Estlund- Finishing 2nd at state in the 3200m run and 4th in the 1600.
There are a myriad of fitness goals and aspirations that drive the aforementioned clients.  The underlying common denominator is a commitment to prioritize their fitness goals.  Their success speaks for itself.

Trading Places: "What I am Doing Is Not Easy" (June 4th, 2009)

Yup, I’m sore… Legs are a little, Pecs-shoulders a LOT.  And I still got that dull ache in my lower back-glute area.  I  know if I stretched like I’m supposed to, I wouldn’t have this problem (I’m laying on a foam roller as we speak.)  I know we are doing deadlifts tomorrow, so I better be prepared.

I was doing cardio today when I came to realize that cardio is SO BORING.  I no longer can stay on a machine and try to get my heart rate up for 30-45 minutes… I just get so bored.  Today, I ended up breaking up my cardio and doing over an hour at a slower pace just to get it in… Reading is the only thing that kept me going.  I can’t read or watch tv or do anything at a high speed without crashing into or falling off whatever it is that I’m using.  I do a great job of staying on my feet all day, and today was perfect weather for a bike ride.  I should take advantage of this fantastic weather and get outside.  I don’t mind doing cardio, as long as I’m preoccupied while doing it.  Like I said, I think I have some kind of ADD.  I just can’t do one thing.  It’s moments like these that I wish I had a Wii… or a dog… anything to get me out of doing cardio on a machine!

I decided to change up my dinner (mainly because I’m out of steaks).  I went to Trader Joe’s and got some groceries, including some boneless, skinless, chicken breast.  I figured that I’d throw that on a salad (I can eat chicken if it’s in something.  It just can’t “sit” on my plate…eww).  I love Olive Garden’s salads, so I thought I would compromise and I would order a jumbo garden salad and eat it with chicken for a few days.  The thing is, when I picked up my salad, they also included 12 breadsticks… You KNOW how yummy those things are!  I didn’t even open the bag, I knew what would happen.  So, I did the next best thing, I took them up to Emerge and stuck them in the fridge.  As long as they aren’t in my apartment, I won’t eat them.  It was a hard thing to do, but I HAVE to stick to my meal plan.  July 4th will be here soon!

I’ve had a lot of people make comments about my weight loss lately; friends, family, clients.  Some will say how it’s easily noticeable and they will make a remark about how they want a diet and workout plan so they can lose weight.  But then when I tell them what I eat and my workouts, they say “well, I can’t do that; how about something else?”   It takes every nerve in my body to keep me from screaming, “WHAT I AM DOING IS NOT EASY… LOSING BODY FAT ISN’T A PIECE OF STINKING CAKE.”  I WANT to lose body fat, and I WANT to have a leaner body, so I MADE the decision that I was going to do something about it.  You cannot “half-ass” this.  Keeping a perfect diet is HARD work, especially when you have events to attend and you are out of routine.  And I can GUARANTEE my workouts with Pirtle are in NO WAY easy… I just REALLY want to achieve my goals.  I want it badly enough that I will make sacrifices with food, and I will keep up with my cardio, and I will work my butt off during my sessions.  Eating well, training, it’s all an investment… It’s an investment only I can improve or I can let it fail.  I have to hold myself accountable and responsible for my actions.  I will reach my goals, I won’t fail.

 There are some client’s who train in our gym, they put in such hard work and dedication, and they are getting great results.  They may not know it, but they are motivators.  I can’t speak for the other trainers, but I’m sure some would agree that even we get motivated seeing them succeed, I know I do.  I do get a little competitive at times, but if I see someone lifting a certain amount of weight or doing something completely crazy, I think “wow, that’s awesome… I want to be able to do that too.”  So to those who put in 100% and are working so hard at achieving their goals, I just want to say, for one, I feel your pain, and two, keep on “truckin”, because your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed in the gym.  You motivate me, and I hope that I can return the favor to someone else.

Next training session: Tomorrow, 10a.m…


Until tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "Just One of Those Days" (June 3rd, 2009)

Wednesday… I’m not sure if the workout was extremely hard or if I was just having a really rough day… I felt like it was day one of my workouts ALL over again.  I have never been so frustrated during training.  I just couldn’t get my body to cooperate!  We did a lot of chest work and shoulder stabilization and my upper body refused to help.  I must admit, I threw a temper tantrum or two.  I smacked the floor, slammed a weight, all in frustration because I KNOW that I can do the exercises, but it just wasn’t working for me today.  I TRIED to finish every rep of every set, and honestly, I can’t remember if I did or not.  I just remember sweating my butt off and feeling very fatigued.  After a set, I would just collapse and look up miserably just PRAYING for the clock to tick a little faster.  I know I didn’t sleep well and the weather was dreary, but those things have happened before and I’ve had great workouts.  I guess it was just one of those days.  On a positive note, I finished my session doing deadlifts… Ah, the legs, something I know how to use.  I ended up busting those bad boys out… I don’t know if I had just gotten a second wind or if I was just using every ounce of adrenaline in me to get them over with.  Either way, I was happy with the weight I lifted and I’m looking forward to increasing it greatly.

Matt took my measurements today.  I lost another half pound since last night, so finally the “scale gods” have decided to be on my side.  My circumferences were all good except my chest went up… Hmmmm (I’m one of the few females in the world who is ok with the “girls” shrinking…) I had lost 1.3% body fat, or something of the sort.  It wasn’t the 2% I was aiming for, but I REALLY can’t be upset after the weekend I had.  I still want my goal to be 18% by July 4th, so I REALLY have to work hard for the next 4-5 weeks.  I can do it… At least I can say that after having quite the “cheat feast”, I really don’t look for a cheat meal this weekend.  If I do, I would rather go for a subway sandwich or something.  Or just give me a big glass of crushed ice… That’s a big perk for me in the summer time.  I don’t like to eat hot food.  So, pizza, fries, pasta, never sounds good.  And I don’t drink, so that’s a BIG help. 

Tomorrow is a cardio day.  I hope the sun is out because I really like to walk and walking to/from work is just an added bonus to burn a few extra calories.  As I walk by my pool every day, it keeps me motivated to get in “swimsuit shape.”  I said I wasn’t going to buy any new clothes because I have PLENTY I can wear if I lose some weight, but I think I am going to reward myself with a new swimsuit.  I think that sure beats getting another pair of stupid jeans!  Rewards are a great way to keep pushing for that goal, especially they aren’t “food related.”  Most girls would choose shoes, a new pair of pumps (I think that’s what they are called?) or some sort of high heel…  My pick would be Under Armour or Reefs (flip flops).  What ever gets those calories to burn, I suppose!

Until Tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "Just Keep Moving!" (June 2nd, 2009)

It’s Tuesday and after a CRAZY weekend, and a full day of work yesterday, I’m FINALLY getting back into a routine.  I think that it takes a couple of days to recover from a vacation if that makes any sense!  I’m gonna give you a little review of my diet over the weekend, because I think the ending may shock you… I must also advise… This is one of those “Do as I say, not as I do” moments.

Breakfast:  1 cup of Special K, 1 glass of OJ (YES I had it, b/c I was on vacation)
Midmorning snack:  6 oz. Blackberries
Lunch:  Cheesecake factory Cobb Salad, (no avocado, no cheese)  and only 3 slivers of bread
Afternoon snack:  12 oz smoothie
Dinner:  Red Robin Natural Burger , a few fries, a couple of onion rings
Late Snack: Small TCBY 98% fat free Yogurt

  Mimi’s Oat Bran Muffin, 4 pieces of bacon (tore off the fat),  hot tea
Lunch:  Famous Dave’s St. Louis Style Ribs (5 of them.. SOOO GOOD), Green Beans, Corn Bread Muffin
Snack:  Sno-cone (without the syrup, so yes, just a big thing of ice…), a turkey & cheese sub, without the bread
Dinner:  Old Chicago Pizza- 3 pieces, Chicago style, Canadian bacon & Pineapple

  1.5 cups of Special K, Dannon Active Yogurt, hot tea
Snack: 12 oz Smoothie
Lunch:  “Dirt Dump Truck”  4-5 Scoops of Ice Cream, chocolate cake, whipped cream, cookie crumbles, & chocolate syrup all served in a toy dump truck… (I ate 1/3 of it, Matt ate the rest)


The Dirt Dump Truck

The Dirt Dump Truck

Afternoon Snack/Dinner:  Red Robin Natural Burger (3/4 of it), and a few fries
Late Dinner (Back in STL): Subway, 6” turkey sub on wheat, double meat, with American cheese, with veggies.
                This is EVERYTHING I ate from the moment I woke up Friday morning, to the second I went to bed Sunday night.  ALSO, I didn’t necessarily finish all of my food either.  That’s the great thing about having Matt around… He’s like my human garbage disposal.  The second I say I’m done, he’ll eat my leftovers before I have a chance to stuff myself.  I know it looks like we are Red Robin addicts, however, the reason we went twice is because my cousin’s new “in-laws” own all of the Red Robin franchises in the KC area, so we tried to hunt them down at one of their restaurants (we found them on Sunday). 
     The smoothie kick, well, there’s a company called “Scooters” that is like a Starbucks, but they have AMAZING smoothies.  There are not any stores located in St. Louis, so the only place I had found them was Omaha and Kansas City.  I take total advantage of getting what I can’t get all the time.  It’s the same thing with Old Chicago and Famous Daves.  By far, the best BBQ, I’ve EVER had.  I’m glad that we don’t have one here because I would be obsessed with it more than I would Papa Johns.  Old Chicago is a fantastic restaurant, great pizza… But I still refuse to open the doors to the place because they use Cubs baseball bats as door handles.  Matt thinks that I’m a little TOO anal about that, but Cardinal fans are true fans!



                Monday:  I was back on my regular diet, which honestly, I was VERY relieved to do.  All of the “bad food” was REALLY tasty and wonderful, but I just didn’t feel as good as I do when I eat clean.  And the ice cream made both Matt and I very sick.  After we scarfed it down, I don’t think we blinked for 3-4 minutes.  Then the sugar high REALLY kicked in and we sped around the Plaza like it was the Kansas City 500.  The sugar crash was even worse.  We were pounding down diet sodas and eating the Red Robin just TRYING to get a little more awake before our drive home.

                I had a lot of energy for a Monday as well.  I had a pretty busy day at work and I had no problem keeping my heart rate up during my cardio.  I felt refreshed after the weekend.  It’s hard to explain, but physically and mentally, I was ready to “kick it up a notch” and get going again.  I was a little curious to see what my weight would do, and after showing a few people the picture of the “dirt dump truck”, I got on the scale… I LOST A POUND…  Oh YES I DID… Today, I felt even leaner, and my diet has been great this week so far, so tonight I weighed myself again, I lost two more pounds today, a total of three pounds! I was at 140lbs TONIGHT!!!! 

Ok, so before anyone starting cursing at me through the computer, allow me to give you the little secret… For the ENTIRE vacation, WE NEVER STOPPED MOVING.  From the moment I got to Kansas City at noon on Friday until I left Sunday night, if I wasn’t eating, driving, or sleeping, I was MOVING.  We walked around the plaza two of the three days we were there, and we stayed in a hotel up on a hill behind the plaza… We took a shuttle to lunch on Saturday then we had to walk a mile and a half from Famous Dave’s to the concert.  We were on our feet at the concert from 1:30-10pm at the concert.  We didn’t sit once.  We even ran after the concert to catch our ride back to the hotel.  When we relaxed at the pool, I think I lay out for about 15 minutes, and then we were in the pool playing around like kids for about 45 minutes.  Do ya see where I’m going with this?  You CAN eat like a “Normal person” but you HAVE to keep moving… My poor legs were like rubber by Sunday (God Bless cruise control!)

Also, we drank water, a LOT of water.  When it’s hot out, nothing sounds better than a cold glass of H20.  It got so hot at that concert, that we went through 8 bottles of water, two glasses of ice tea (unsweetened) and I ended up going up to a “sno-cone” stand and asked for a sno-cone without any flavoring because all I wanted was to cool down by eating ice.  Sugar was the last thing I wanted in my body.  Who knew eating shaved ice with a spoon could be so fantastic!  It seriously tasted better than ice cream at this point.

Tomorrow I meet with Matt at 9am, and we are due to get my measurements, and for once, I’m excited!  For the first time, I FEEL lean.  When I move, the way my clothes fit, the way I look in a mirror, I FINALLY see for myself that I’m getting great results.  I didn’t get into my jeans when I wanted to (OH! While I was out there, I tried on another pair of Armani jeans, same size too… I thought that maybe my pair I bought was tagged the wrong size… Nope, the other pair didn’t fit either.  I told the sales lady that I just didn’t like the design after all… hehehe). I’m making my new goal July 4th.  I may get to see Matt as well as my family again that weekend.  They are brutally honest so I would like to hear good things (I thought lightning was going to strike while I was back in IL because my brother in law asked if I was losing weight because I looked thinner…).   If I go back home for the 4th, I will also see a lot of my friends and when you are known as “the fitness one,” you want to look REALLY fit. 

     It’s great to be back into my normal routine and I’m really anxious to keep going.  I’m glad I got to have the best of both worlds.  I was able to have an enjoyable vacation, eat what I wanted, yet still progress with my fitness goals.  Since it is the summer season, and many of you will be vacationing, I advise if you do plan to go off of your menu plan “Just Keep Moving”!!!

Until Tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness


Emerge Athletes Shine Over the Weekend

Emerge athletes made their presence felt on the field, the track, the diamond, and the pool this weekend.
Matt Estlund completed his stellar high school career this weekend at the Missouri State Track Championships in Jefferson City.  Matt posted an impressive 4th place in the 1600m run and 2nd place in the 3200m.  Matt is headed to Arizona State in the fall to run cross country and track for the Sun Devils.
The select softball team, The Warcats, played in a tournament at Wapplehorst Park  in St. Charles and displayed some awesome skills in the field and at the plate.
Leah Price swam in a huge meet at the Rec Plex in St. Peters on Saturday.  She placed a solid 3rd place in the 100m freestyle and shaved 2 seconds off her personal best time for that event.  She also swims Sunday morning at 8am.  Stay tuned for updates.
Alli Reimer and Allison Hu are capping off their final season on the  Duchesne soccer team with a tremendous run at the state title.  They have put together a 6 win streak which includes a win over their rival St. Dominic.  The next game on their pathway to the title is Friday, June 5th at the soccer park in Fenton.  Alli and Allison will be playing soccer for Sluh next year.
Next update coming soon.
Emerge Fitness Staff

Mid-life weight loss

It’s amazing how slow I am to share last week’s weight gain.  Here it is, already Wednesday, almost time for me to weigh in this week and I’m just now reporting that last week’s weigh in was discouraging, but never the less I know the ¼ lb gain is temporary.  I’d be more frustrated if I had gone crazy with high fat, high sugar foods, but I didn’t.  I had my Caramel Crunch, but that’s just part of the plan and works well with my weight loss efforts. I’d like to say that this weight gain is just the inevitable plateau that comes with most weight loss efforts, but it’s not. 

When Matthew, my trainer, asked me why I thought I gained, I told him that I sort of let myself add extra berries here and an additional apple and orange there, etc. etc.  His response was something like, “What do you think you want to do different this next week?” Of course, my response was to watch how much, although healthy, additional calories I take in. I doubled the amount of fruit most days; hence more calories than I have been averaging weekly. Since my experience tells me that no one ever got fat on fruit I expected that these kinds of extras would not have an impact on my weight loss.  Of course, I know that if I want to get back on track with my weight loss, I need to be honest with the fact that a calorie is a calorie regardless of what food it comes from. Portion control is as significant to weight loss success as documenting what I eat.

My training is going well.  It’s hard, but I know if I only do what I think I can do, I’m not going to reach my goals.  With the push and drive I get from my trainer I will.  I’m 55 and the quality of my life is “sweet”.  If it’s in the plan, I plan to live a very long life so I intend to make the quality of my life as sweet at 80 as it is each year prior.  I realize that means stretching myself physically and mentally now.  So, whatever it is “they” say I should do at 55 isn’t necessarily acceptable to me and I’m grateful Matthew assumes the same.

I’ve changed my cardio plan since I am not training for a ½ marathon. My cardio philosophy is the opposite of my eating philosophy.  Instead of thinking in terms of maximum as I do with calories, with cardio I think in terms of minimal.  I do a cardio workout 4 times a week.  I do a 5 -6 mile run with my youngest daughter on Sunday; a 35 – 40 min interval treadmill workout (includes warm-up & cool–down); a 35 – 40 min steady rate treadmill run; and a 35 min elliptical workout.  That’s 2 ½ hours a week.  It’s a livable plan and it contributes to my being able to eat an average of 1600-1700 calories daily.

 I’m nearing weigh in time again and keeping my fingers crossed that the scale will reflect my hard work this week. 

Beth Pirtle

Trading Places: Almost "Vacation Time", but Not Before a Butt Kicking. (May 28th, 2009)

I got my butt KICKED today.  I leave for Kansas City in the morning, and I’m not sure if I will be able to get out of my car after the three hour drive.  I can move… But MAN, I’m WIPED.  It’s 9pm and I’m really thinking about going to bed in a few minutes.  I ended my workout on the floor, lifeless, sweaty, and EXHAUSTED.  I would have stayed there for a while if I didn’t have to drag myself up and get back to work.  I think we worked everything from head to toe at some point.  I was face down so much today that I thought I had counted every color speckle in our flooring!  At least I wasn’t far from the ground when I crashed.  The object of today’s workout was to work the muscles that are going to keep me sitting upright while I drove.  I hate (and I mean HATE) riding in a car for more than an hour, so I know I would get very antsy and start to slouch.  WELL, I’m guessing I won’t this time.

                I had two pretty tough workouts this week.  EVEN THOUGH some clients “THOUGHT” that they heard me whine, I DID NOT.  I groan, I grunt, I growl, and I give a LOT of dirty looks, but I DO NOT WHINE.   But, I sure came close today on my last exercise.  My body just did NOT want to cooperate.  I get to the point where I hit fatigue so badly, that I feel completely helpless.  I’m a control freak, and not having control when my body gives out, is one REALLY odd feeling to me.

                My cardio hasn’t been up to par the past week, only getting in a few days, because I’ve actually been really busy getting ready for my trip.  However, I have made sure to stay on my feet.  I do not sit.  It’s a good thing I have some sort of ADD, because it helps when I can’t get in cardio, I’m always moving… If I’m not moving, I’m passed out asleep in bed.   When I watch tv, I must be folding laundry or cooking, or doing something other than just “sitting.”  At least it’s better than eating!

                Since I will be out of town as of tomorrow, I won’t be blogging until Monday evening.  I plan to be out and about in KC all weekend, and I plan to have a few “cheat” meals, YES MATT KNOWS.  Starting back Monday, I will be back on track with my daily blogs.  Have a great weekend everyone!  Enjoy the great weather!


Until Monday,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness    

Trading Places: "Tylenol, Where Are You?" (May 26th, 2009)

Long day… Trained, trained, worked out with Matt, trained… PASSED OUT… Trained… Trained… Trained… CRASHED…

I feel like spaghetti… half cooked, half uncooked.  Ever since I worked out with Matt at 11, my body has been uncontrollable.  My legs randomly give out and my arms seem incredibly heavy and lifeless.  However, almost 12 hours later, I’m starting to stiff up… TYLENOL… WHERE ARE YOU???

Our workout was great today.  We started out with deadlifts, and after being MUCH more careful with my form, the exercise went much better than last week.  Oh, I’m still gonna be sore, but there shouldn’t be pain this time.  We did total body.  I even got to do pushups, probably because Pirtle thought my pecs were getting neglected, LUCKY ME… 

The rest of the workout was a blur… It still is. I remember a slosh pipe, lying sideways with the cable, and… I think that’s it? I’m not sure… I sweated a lot, I remember that.  OH… and of COURSE, I kept hearing “All for the cause.”  That’s ALL I hear for an hour… “All for the cause… All for the Cause…” He’s starting to sound like that character on the Charlie Brown cartoons that makes that “WAH WAH WAH” noise.  At least, that’s what it’s starting to sound like to me.  Now that I said it, Pirtle will probably change the phrase to “Just shut up and do it”… (Wirth used to tell me that… a lot…) Haha… NO SYMPATHY…

It was a great workout… I feel pretty good; tired, sore, but good.  Diet is still doing pretty well.  3 days until Kansas City… Red Robin must know that I’m coming because I got an email from them today… Oh yes, I’m on their mailing list, but I haven’t been there since I started training with Matt.  That’s one place I don’t go overboard… I keep things “decently” healthy (plain burger on wheat), a few fries… I have avoided the onion rings (oh man…. soooooooooooooo tasty).

Jeans update:  I tried them on again tonight.  The darn things won’t go up past my thigh… I blame it on my legs being swollen from today’s workout…  Well, back on the hanger they will go…  Stupid jeans…


Until tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "Setbacks doesn't mean Failure" (May 25th, 2009)

Happy Memorial Day everyone!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted my blog.  Honestly, I haven’t written much because a lot has been going on. 

This past Thursday I had trained with Matt.  We had to do a back to back workout due to the holiday weekend.  I must say it’s pretty grueling to go through two within 24 hours.  And to be honest, I really wasn’t that sore this weekend, except I did something that I try to make sure all my clients do, which is stay focused during a lift.  We were doing deadlifts, and I was starting to lift some heavier weights when I went to check my form in the mirror and I must have tilted wrong when I went to lift or set the bar down, I’m not sure.  I didn’t recognize the pain until we were done with the exercise and I stood up straight.  At first, I thought it was a cramp, but as the day went on, it just got worse.  I tried doing cardio that afternoon and it hurt to do anything except stand.  I got through work and I went home and crashed for the night (hence, why there was no blog).  Friday morning, I got up early to try to get in my cardio before heading back to Illinois for the weekend.  I walked to the gym, and I tried the elliptical but the pain was just shooting from my hip to my toe… Listening to my body, I knew that I needed to give it rest.  I finished cardio walking on the treadmill.  This type of pain  I knew wasn’t going to go away immediately, so I knew if I couldn’t get in my cardio the way I’m supposed to, my diet has to be PERFECT…

I couldn’t run or move fast enough to get my heart rate going all weekend, so I made sure to just stay on my feet the entire day, and I think I did a pretty good job of that.  By Sunday, I even felt good enough to play ball with my niece.  My diet went really well Friday and Saturday, and Sunday, I gave up my cheat meal of Mexican to help my sister get ready for my nephew’s graduation party.  I considered that my cheat meal.  And I pretty much picked at food the entire time I was there (about 10 hours).  I would guess that I probably did 1200 calories in that time, and since I only had about 200 calories for breakfast, AND I was on my feet all day… And I didn’t have dinner that night because I just wasn’t hungry.   (I had to mention that I didn’t eat well Sunday because my mother threatened to post a comment on here revealing her “tell-all” of what I ate… See what I mean, NO sympathy…)

Today, the pain has lessened but I’m still not 100%.  It still hurts to squat down or bend over, but it’s slowly getting better.  There are moments where I get completely bummed, because in 4 days, I will be heading to Kansas City, and I don’t want any “Setbacks.”  That’s when I have to remember that “Setbacks” doesn’t mean “Failure.”  Failure only happens when I give up.  So as long as I keep on my feet and do what I can do, and eat very very well, I will be just fine.  And in a day or two, I’m sure I’ll be back to falling off the treadmills again.  Everyone has their glitches, and I guess this is mine.  I know it will only make me stronger and that I will feel a greater sense of achievement when I continue to progress.  No one ever said it was easy.

On this day, when everyone is grilling out (or in due to the weather), and they are relaxing, enjoying their “vacation;” I’m thinking that my fat didn’t take a vacation… But I’m wishing that it would continue to drop since I’m on the “DL” list for a bit.  Have a great week everybody!!!

Until tomorrow,

Kimberly, Emerge Fitness Training

Monica Workouts Week 2

Cardio- 25 min. on the eliptical Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon, and Wed

May 12, 2009 3:30 personal training appointment at Emerge

Warm-up on treadmill and foam roll

Giant set (3 exercises)

Tire flips- 3 sets of 10 flips

Tire jumps- (standing on the inside of tire and jumping onto the sides) 3 sets of 15 jumps

Medicine ball squats with explosive chest press- 3 sets of 15 presses

Giant set (3 exercises)

Step up to medium box with a medicine ball low to high wood chop- 3 sets 12 wood chops on each side

Turkish get up with dumbbell- 12.5lb 5 reps on each side

Spiderman planks on the rings- 3 sets of 20 reps

Giant set (3 exercises)

Push up off the rings- 3 sets of 15 reps

Walking dumbbell dead lifts- 15lbs 3 sets of 16 lunges

Prone dumbbell row with rotation followed by a shoulder press

May 14, 2009 3:30 personal training appointment at Emerge

Giant set (2 exercises)

Side plank with a cable middle back row- 3 sets 30lb/15 reps on each arm

Deep squats on the squat rack (bar to rack)- 55lbs 3 sets of 15 reps

Prone cobra off the swiss ball- 3 sets of 15 reps

Side plank with a row off the cables

Side plank with a row off the cables

 Giant set (3 exercises)

22lb slosh pipe holding overhead climbing the hill

Full body crunch with 22lb slosh (laying on a mat)

Dumbbell Olympic dead lifts standing on a bosu- 3 sets of 15 with 15lb dumbbells

Monica climbing a hill with slosh pipe

Monica climbing a hill with slosh pipe

 Giant set (3 exercises)

1 arm kettle bell swings-  20lb kettle bell 3 sets of 20 reps

1 arm kettle bell cleans- 3 sets of 10 cleans on each arm

1 arm kettle bell snatches- 20lb bell with 3 sets of 3 snatches each arm

Alternating kettlebell swings

Alternating kettlebell swings

Tuesday May 12, 2009
Breakfast- 1 scoop of Isopure protein powder with milk






Snack- apple

Lunch- 2 slices of ham with cheese stick

Snack- 1 serving of cashews

Dinner- Cheeseburger and only ate ¼ of the bun, 8 french fries, and tea

Thursday May 14, 2009

Breakfast- 1 scoop of Isopure protein powder

Snack- 0

Lunch- Grilled chicken breast, broccoli, 1 roll with butter and tea

Snack- 4 cashews

Dinner- Brat no bun, mac and cheese, peas and milk

Food Journal

Trading Places: "All for the Cause…" (May 20th, 2009)

Ohhhhh Wednesday… Measurement day…  SO, here’s the deal.  I have one heck of an odd situation going on.  I got on the scale this morning, 9am, and drum roll please….. “141.8 lbs” WHAT THE????? You have GOT to be kidding me.  Then Pirtle does my measurements (some twice because they were that… odd) and the result: I dropped 1.5% body fat.  Ok, let’s do a little math here… I lost 1.5% body fat (rough estimate 3-4 lbs (I don’t have the actual numbers in front of me) however, my WEIGHT didn’t go down… Which means, that I had to have put on that much muscle to equal out my body weight?  BUT I believe I’m in a deficit in my calorie intake vs. calorie output.  I knew that I’m the body type that can put muscle on easier than others, but this… Pirtle and I are both stumped.  He thinks that my body is still hanging on to weight, and HOPEFULLY I drop some pounds before Kansas City.  Just to push things a long we boosted up my cardio time by 5-10 minutes… Starting today… After our training session… GREEEEEEEAT

                You know when you are a kid and you complain about some ache or pain, and your parents would say “At least you have two legs that work so you have something to complain about.  There are some people in the world who would give anything to have legs that could ache” (Ok, maybe yours didn’t, but my parents are FAR from the sympathetic type).  And normally, I would find myself reflecting and agreeing that I was lucky to have my two working legs…  This ran thru my head early this morning, and ya know, I couldn’t justify it this time…  My legs were still dead so trying to get them to cooperate for an hour workout was quite a challenge.  There were times where my legs would just collapse (luckily it wasn’t when I was holding weight up).  I couldn’t even kneel on the darn ball today without them spazzing out.  We did tire flips, bench press, Turkish get-ups,  I “attempted” to do these one legged knee things on the Swiss ball, but frankly, that’s where I finally hit the wall of fatigue.  Matt kept saying his famous “All for the Cause” phrase… At this point, I’m thinking, “What’s the cause, not to DIE?” I was having a hard enough time keeping my breakfast down and he wanted me to keep my abs in?  I just kept saying “I refuse to whine… (Insert groan)”.   An hour had passed… and I was sprawled out lifeless on the floor.  After a few minutes, I got myself up to go get cardio over with.  I figured I may as well, since I was already drowning in my own sweat.  50 minutes later, (40 of it above my Target Heart Rate), I made the long walk home.  Ok, so it’s only a block BUT it feels like a long walk after a workout.

                I’m sticking to my diet perfectly this week.  I have to… We did change up my Luna bar.  I get to eat an Ostrim stick (meat made of Ostrich… High potassium, high protein, low sodium).  But since I didn’t have any of that today, I got BEEF JERKY… And I’m liking it… a LOT.  I just have to be careful with the sodium in it.  The coolest thing about it, is that it’s so chewy, that one piece takes me about 5 minutes to eat… Since I generally eat that snack between clients, I can only get about one piece in before I have to go back and train!  Although I feel like a cow chewing it’s “Cud” when I have it in my mouth.  Haha, I’m just thinking how many readers are thinking “What is CUD?” right about now… 

                Anyways, all in all, it was a good day… My body fat is down, my workout was hard, I completed my cardio, and I’m going to be great with my diet for the rest of this week and MOST of the weekend.  Due to the holiday weekend and Matt is finally taking a couple of days off; we will be training AGAIN tomorrow at noon…  Dear Lord, please let me walk this weekend…

Until Tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it." (May 19th, 2009)

My legs hate me.  I think they finally waved the white flag today, surrendering to any more torture.  They have been heavy, achy, and tired for probably about 2 weeks straight now.  I tried doing cardio and all I could hear was my legs begging to stop… I did do my 30 minutes of cardio, but nowhere near my target heart rate.  I couldn’t force myself today, I had to listen to my body and take it easy.  Sometimes, rest is the best remedy (Especially when I train with Matt tomorrow). 

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is measurement day.  It has been two weeks since we last took my body fat.  Since then, I’ve been allowed to have cheat meals again, and I’m not sure if that helped me or hurt me.  Sometimes when I get an inch, I push for a foot.  I hope it doesn’t pull me in the wrong direction.

This week (and it’s only Tuesday) has been tough because there has been so much advertising and talk about Memorial Day… Memorial Day generally means one thing; grilling out.  So of course, the advertisements for Dierbergs and Schnucks have burgers, hot dogs, chips, salads, RIBS… Oh man… It’s so hard!!!

I just have to keep thinking… I have a goal… I want to achieve it… And it’s hard work… If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. In the mean time, I better go hit up the mystic tan tonight.  Darker skin always makes ya look a little leaner!

Wish me luck!

Until tomorrow (and hopefully with great results!),
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "Fat Doesn't Take Vacations" (May18th, 2009)

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope each of you enjoyed the wonderful weather this past weekend and I hope you get out and about this week as well.  It’s 10pm and I’m now just getting to my blog; needless to say, Monday has been a pretty busy day for me.  Here’s a brief run through of my weekend.

Saturday:  The weather was bright and sunny, which made it easy for me and Carissa, one of my clients, to decide to go to Soulard’s Farmer’s Market.  She had never been.  Normally, eating healthy is very expensive, and if you have been in a Dierbergs lately, the price of produce is enough to make one cry.  My advice: head to Soulard.  The produce was plenty, fresh, and VERY reasonable!  They had every type of fruit and vegetable as well as a butcher shop, fish market, spice shop, and bakery (SMELL, but do not partake at the bakery!)  They also have beautiful plants, flowers, and herbs.  Carissa and I had to make two trips to her vehicle because we had bought so much, and I only spent about twelve bucks!  It’s a great thing to do on a Saturday morning.  I hope to visit at least once a month.  After we got back, we got in cardio.  I DID get my cheat meal… My club sandwich with a side of mac ‘n’ cheese from Locos.  I also got a large bag of Sun Chips. The sandwich and mac ‘n’ cheese were gone in a heartbeat.  The chips were a two day process…  I wanted the entire bag gone by Monday.   Oh, and I had a serving of Starburst Jelly Beans (I measured).  It was so filling; I didn’t have dinner or a late snack that night.  In fact, now that I think of it, I didn’t have anything after lunch.

Sunday:  Breakfast was ok, but I didn’t eat my entire meal because I was still full from the day before, I guess.  I should have eaten it though, because I sure got hungry later in the day.  I attacked the grapes I had bought at the market.  My lunch and afternoon snack was fine, but last night, something snapped in me and I went on an eating spree… (PLLLLLEASE Pirtle don’t kill me for this…)  I got into the bag of Starburst Jelly Beans (I only ate the red, pink, and purple ones… ok, and a few orange ones, b/c I  thought they were pink!) .  I hate a small bag of Ruffles chips (110 calories) that I had bought pre-diet.  I also ate a bag of Cheetos earlier that day (120 calories).  I went carb happy, and honestly, I felt REALLY bad and I didn’t sleep well at all after eating it.  I only sleep really well after a really good workout day and a clean diet.  I think that’s why the scale was bad today.  It was 143 I think?  After seeing it, I REALLY felt bad about what I ate.  I still feel like I’m losing body fat.  I can see it in my face and arms, and a pair of PJ lounge pants I put on tonight were so loose that I had to tie them to keep them up.  But that scale…  Evil thing!  I have measurements Wednesday, so I will have a better idea of my progress then.  My diet this week is going to be SUPURB.  I go home to Illinois Friday afternoon, and other than my one cheat meal (back home has a killer authentic Mexican restaurant with AMAZING fajitas), I plan on behaving while I’m home…  Ok, my one meal and then the food at my nephew’s graduation party.  BUT, my sister is having fruit, veggie, and deli trays, and she always stocks water and Diet Coke’s for me when I visit.  And there will be cake… And I will have cake; a small piece.  Trust me; I don’t have to worry about overeating because my nephew, who is going to WIU to major in Kinesiology-Athletic Training, will be over my shoulder saying, “Hey Aunt Kim is that on your diet?” Then my 9 year old niece who has become quite health conscious herself, will say “Aunt Kim, should you be eating that?  It’s made with a lot of sugar, which will make you crash later in the afternoon…”  My family LOVES my influence on Kyle and Savannah… 

Monday:  Ok, I have to tattle on myself for my “mishap” this morning, because if I don’t, I know Adam will, since he saw the whole thing.  I went into work early today so I could get in my running before I trained.  Being Monday, I was out of it a little bit, and it took me a while to get my gears going.  As I started to run on the treadmill, I realized that I had forgotten to put on my heart rate monitor strap (I need it for my interval sprints).  I figured that I’d just leave the treadmill on, run into the office and grab it, then jump right back on without having to restart my time, speed, etc.  Well, in the 30 seconds it took me to hop off, put the monitor on and go back to the treadmill, I somehow forgot that I had it running.  I squeezed between treadmills and as I placed my left foot on the treadmill to climb up, the treadmill belt caught the grip on my foot, and I started to fly off the back of the machine.  Luckily, it was just one foot, and I grabbed the arm of the treadmill for dear life. I made a small “whoa!” noise, then after I got my balance (and the back of my ankle seriously exfoliated); I hopped on the treadmill like nothing happened.  I THOUGHT I got away with it until Adam mentioned he saw my spaz moment.  See, even trainers have “mechanical mishaps” on fitness equipment. 

I had a busy afternoon and even though I had planned on going to Matt and Angie’s bootcamp, I realized that I was trying to think of excuses not to go.  I don’t know why, I love the workouts, and it’s just one more way to get me to my goal faster.  I think that it has to do with me heading to IL this weekend and KC next weekend.  My mind is starting to slip into “Vacation Mode.”  I was training my 4:30 client, and I was still sketchy on going to the 6:30 bootcamp.  She, along with 4 other clients, was all on vacation last week.  She was telling me about how her parents were questioning why she was doing cardio while on their trip to Florida, and she said something that made my day… “Fat doesn’t take vacations.”  How stinking true is that!  So that was the guilt I needed to get my butt to bootcamp.  So thank you Beth, for telling me such a true motto… I will make you pay for it on Wednesday (KIDDING).  Bootcamp was a great workout and I felt so much better after doing it (ironic b/c my legs were killing me… STILL…). My menu plan went perfect today and I kept myself on my feet nonstop from the time I got up until…. well, now I guess! 

I know this week; many of you will be getting into “Vacation mode” because of the Memorial Day weekend.  I hope you all can get out and enjoy the great weather we are having, and I hope you get to grill out and have a relaxing time… BUT, just remember… “Fat doesn’t take vacations.”


Until tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

middle age weight loss & fitness

Too awesome! I lost ¾ of a pound this week. Miraculously, my body is on kind of a weight loss roll.  I’m trying to forget that hitting a set point or plateau is probably inevitable. We can talk about those challenges another time. 

Because I have a history of portion distortion with many of the foods I commonly eat, I’m weighing & measuring some of those foods and writing down everything I consume.  Using visuals, like the palm of my hand, to determine whether I’m having a 3 oz piece of chicken rather than 6 ounces works nicely.  However, when it comes to foods like light mayo, parmesan cheese, peanut butter, light salad dressings, etc. – You know all those foods that give you a calorie count based on a 1 – 2 tbl serving somehow turn into mountains rather than tablespoons, and wow do those calories add up.  As much of a pain as it is, measuring these foods has made a big difference in my weight loss progress.  

I gravitate towards foods that I can eat a lot of and that are low in calories since I tend to be a “bulk” eater. I’m not quite ready to type out what I eat because I fear great embarrassment.  It’s not that I don’t eat healthy, it’s that my day is full of food and I enjoy every bite of it while losing weight.  I guess that indicates that I need to get more of a life.  All fun aside, I know for me that it’s critical that I eat as much as I possibly can while getting any kind of weight loss at all, even if an average of only ¼ lb a week.  I need my body to be accustomed to eating when it comes time to maintaining my weight loss. I’ve had to learn this the hard way.  I too have said to myself many times after losing weight that I would never gain it back again “I feel too good”, “I worked too hard” to gain it back.  I gained it back.  I’ll never be one of those people who only eat to live.

Being accountable to my trainer and to the goals I documented and handed him in January has kept me going when the results weren’t instant and when I wanted to use my age as an excuse for not losing weight or progressing in my training.  I’m excited about where my training has taken me even though it is hard. Despite the fact that it is my son who trains me, he’s never planned a training session or set expectations that indicate that I might be “fragile” or incapable.  I’m grateful that he sees only potential in me as he does in all his clients.  My training with Matthew, even more than the weight loss, makes my body younger and stronger.   Of course, when you get down to it, true fitness commands we do a number of things in order to maximize the quality of our lives.  None of them are easy, but they feel good.

Beth Pirtle



Kettlebelled Round 2 "The Get Up"

Matt single arm swinging

Matt single arm swinging


Debi's double kettlebell snatch

Week one of our kettlebell training seminar left Emerge trainers with tons of new knowledge and days of new soreness.  The techniques learned in seminar one were immediately put to practice at the studio with great results.  We were all ready for and anticipating round 2.
Chad and Jen Estes were ready for us, along with a line-up of kettlebells from 18 to 106 pounds. 
Angie performing a Windmill

Angie performing a Windmill

After a brief dynamic warmup from neck down to the ankles, we began round 2 of our kettlebell seminar.
This week, Chad and Jen introduced the Turkish Get-Up, the Windmill, and several other techniques involving progressing our swings, snatches, and cleans (some involving two kettlebells swinging in unison).  Some of these exercises involve slower, more deliberate and thought out movement, while others (like the swing progressions) were more ballistic and involved the ENTIRE body in one motion.
Kim alternating kettlebell cleaning

Kim alternating kettlebell cleaning

Another rough day of hands on training, physically and mentally draining. 
Emerge plans to further it’s kettlebell training with both Chad and Jen, as these first two seminars were very well conducted and provided a wealth of information on this very efficient training tool, the kettlebell.
Jen Estes instructing the class

Jen Estes instructing the class

Trading Places:"Rough Day" (May15th, 2009)

I must admit that today was just an all around bad day for me.  Maybe it was Karma for all of the “I can do anything” mumbo jumbo I said earlier in the week, but today was a rough one.  It started out fine this morning.  I had a good night’s sleep, and I woke up at my normal time.  I started to get my day started by heading to Emerge to do cardio.  I was still pretty sore, but at least I could get up and down with a little more ease.  In fact, my legs were better today, but my back, shoulders, and abs were worse today.  I tried putting on an “inbetween” pair of jeans this morning as a way of measuring my progression… BAD idea… I couldn’t fit in them or any pair of jeans I owned.  There was no way I could be getting bigger…  I knew something was completely wrong with me…   And it was only the beginning.

I was having my normal breakfast except I switched to soy milk instead of my Lactaid Milk or Cottage Cheese (I’m very lactose intolerant, so I have to take enzymes hen I’m having dairy).  This was the first time I had given soy milk a try, but since I can do soy ice cream and soy yogurt, I figured it would be no big deal.  It wasn’t a few minutes later when I started feeling very nauseated.  I thought it was maybe some lactic acid that ended up in my stomach or something, so I just headed to Emerge.  I started doing cardio and I just felt worse and worse.  I got in my 30 minutes and immediately headed home to go lay down.  I was just hoping that I’d feel better before our kettlebell workout at noon…

Not so lucky. We started doing warm-up exercises and I was just getting more dizzy and nauseated.  I was thinking, “If I do one snatch right now, the kettlebell isn’t going to be the only thing coming up.”  Luckily, we didn’t start too extreme.  I was chomping my gum like a race horse at the bit (gum is one of the few things that can always calm my stomach).  As time went on, my stomach started to settle down.  Good thing too, because we learned some pretty cool things in our class… I’m sure you will all learn them pretty soon…   I even hung in there for a last man standing kettlebell swing contest.  Ok, so I used a lighter weight than most everyone else.  But no matter what, I did go for six minutes.  And yes, it hurt like no other… And yes, I will be sore in the morning, but I figured if I was already having issues getting up and down, why not do something kinda cool and still hurt in the glutes  (I KNOW that philosophy is gonna bite me in the butt… No pun intended).

When class was over, I went home, tried to take in some food, and I crashed on my couch.  My smoothie was hard to choke down which is far from the norm.  Needless to say, I will never do soy milk again.  I eventually got my appetite back and I had dinner and I even got a “treat” tonight; a Doozle’s light (98% fat free) concrete custard.  I went with a small one, and yes, I got Pirtle’s approval before eating it.  I was doing some online researching of different products and I came across information about how soy products can increase estrogen levels and cause water retention and swelling in your skin… (It also causes moodiness which Wirth has mentioned I have had…. a lot lately).  Well, I think I’ve been so focused on keeping my lactose intolerance intact, that I went overboard with the soy stuff.  So this weekend, I have to find a decent balance to keep me sane, for the sake of myself and those around me.  Oh I’m still gonna have my cheat meal, club sandwich, tomorrow, but otherwise, the soy milk is down the drain. 

It’s funny how the human body can be so different with each person.  Not to mention, it baffles me how the body’s tolerance for things can change as one gets older.  Growing up, I was this farm kid who wasn’t allergic to anything and there wasn’t a food that made me sick.  Nowadays, I’m a walking Benadryl billboard.  My mom likes to blame it on the “city” life; she says that I just need the fresh country air again.  I’m going to get in my cardio tomorrow, but otherwise, I’m going to have a relaxing weekend and get some things done around the apartment.  I have measurements on Wednesday, and I am heading back to Illinois on Friday for my nephew’s high school graduation (this was my first “goal date”.)  Two weeks from today, I will be in Kansas City (The big goal date).  That doesn’t leave me much time at all, so I have to keep myself on the yellow brick road.  Have a great weekend everybody!


Until Monday,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "Is it getting better?" SERIOUSLY??? (May 14, 2009)

At 3:35 a.m. many have been sound asleep; others may have been awake due to stormy weather.  I, however, was awake due to the fact that every muscle in my body was in agony.  My bladder decided that I needed to get up (for the 5th time, I kid you not) and EVERYTHING hurt.  I tried rolling out of bed, twisting out of bed, sitting up, scooting down, and not one movement was pain free.  I was “THISCLOSE” to texting Pirtle some not so nice things because I knew this grueling soreness was going to last at LEAST all day long today.  And so far, it has…  It took me twice as long to walk to work because my butt hurt so badly that I had to cut my stride in half just to walk with a little more ease.  I can only sit in chairs that have arm rests so I can push myself up.  It takes what seems like a lifetime to lean over to grab a weight off of the floor.  When I say my total body hurts, I’m not kidding.  My neck, traps, shoulders, triceps, biceps, lats, abs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, adductors, forearms…  I think you are getting my point.  It hurts to laugh and sneeze.  I mean, I’m just a waddling disaster at the moment.  I tried (and I mean TRIED) to do cardio but I couldn’t walk fast enough to get my heart rate up.  I seriously walk like the Tin Man on the Wizard of Oz.  And it takes too much energy to move today that I’m completely drained after walking from one side of the room to the next.  MAN I hope this gets better by tomorrow’s kettlebell training or I’m in BIG TROUBLE. 

AND then the bomb drops; Pirtle asked me if I was sore (duh…) and then he had the nerve to ask me “Is it getting better?” ARE YOU SERIOUS???  The only good thing about being sore is that I know that my body parts are still attached!!!  “Is it getting better?” Freaking ridiculous… 

After I finished my blog last night I fixed my dinner which was a pretty healthy hamburger.  I used these 100 calorie flat buns (100% whole wheat, 5g protein, and I think 5-6g of fiber).  And I got some 96% lean ground beef from Trader Joe’s… I added ketchup, mustard, pickles, onion… And with a side of steamed asparagus it was HEAVENLY… It wasn’t Red Robin by any means, but for it being a healthy option to my diet… OH MY GOODNESS… I was so thrilled with it that I texted Matt saying I’d almost do a 5k run last night just to eat another one… Let’s just say I didn’t… And BOY am I glad I decided not to!  

I have been thinking about my cheat meal for the weekend.  I think I’m going to do a club sandwich from Locos and a big bag of baked chips.  To most of you, you are probably thinking “Seriously, that’s a cheat meal?” To me, right now, yes, because I haven’t been allowed to eat chips or bread or a big sandwich.  I want something that I can eat for one meal and have no leftovers.  I also want something that won’t make me sick for days as well.  I’m not 100% sure that I will have it, but the odds sure are favoring it…Or barbeque… Ooh, that sounds REALLY good too!  I will keep ya posted on that one.   

It’s 8pm and I’m exhausted…  Dinner was once again fantastic, so I think I’m going to go lay lifeless on the couch.  If I’m this sore after 24hours, I’m really worried what tomorrow will bring since 48 hours is generally the peak of my soreness.  Tonight is DEFINITELY one of those pain pill nights…

Until tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: The Mind Says "GO", the Body Says "NO!"

The Mind says “Go” but the body says “NO”

                Step…step…step… OW… (Repeat).  This has been the story of my day… I hurt so freaking badly that I can’t even type without feeling some sort of cramp or ache.  Let’s put it this way; yesterday, my knee was bothering me… Today, it’s the only part on my body from the neck down that feels great… I can’t sit, I can’t sneeze, I can’t laugh, and I don’t even think about trying to get down on the floor because there’s no chance on earth that I would be able to get back up.  I was a little sore this morning going into our workout, but afterwards, forget it, my body decided to mutiny.  I felt fantastic during my workout with Matt… Yes, I did fatigue on a few exercises, but I did finish each set.  Nope, still no whining, sorry.  In fact, I was game for whatever today.  Like I said yesterday, I told Matt to bring it, that I was ready… And he did; and I was… And then I wanted to crawl into the fetal position and not move for a few days.  I must say that I am feeling stronger and my lung capacity and my heart are much better conditioned.  I’m not even close to where I want to be, but I’m a really good pace to get there.

                I still refuse to get on a darn scale.  That thing is still my enemy.  As for the jeans, they will remain hanging on my door for a while longer.  I’m not ready to try them on for a few more weeks (besides, my legs are so swollen right now; I wouldn’t be able to fit into the legs of them!).  I see small changes in my body which keeps me motivated enough to keep on going.  I’ve noticed my arms getting smaller, and my midsection is firming up.  As for my chest, yeah, it’s by far the first thing to go, it always is.  Soon, I’ll have to contact good ol’ Victoria’s Secret, and ask them what the secret is to filling a stupid bra.  My legs also drop body fat first, which is great motivation, seeing the lean and define.  I’m still not seeing it in other areas, but Pirtle said that he can tell a difference in my physique… So I’m gonna do the next best thing and go tan (sunless, mystic tanning of course).  Being tan always makes one look more define!

                As for my energy, I’m still up and going quite a bit.  Today was a little tougher after my workout.  My mind, heart, and lungs were all saying “go go go!” But my muscles had a different opinion saying “no no no!!!”  Unfortunately, my muscles are bigger than the rest so I did rest a little more.  I probably needed it anyways.  I didn’t do my sprint intervals today due to my knee mishap yesterday and my intense workout today.  I did do 30 minutes on the elliptical at my target heart rate.  Tomorrow may be an elliptical day too, we shall see.  I wanna keep an eye on that knee and get back to 100% before I put 100% into my sprints again.  Not to mention, I know that kettlebell training is on Friday and I now know that it’s a two hour workout so I need to save some legs endurance for that. 

                My diet is still going perfect.  I’m not really hungry to the point of crankiness anymore.  I still take in the same amount of calories as before but I have more energy now and I don’t feel like killing someone if I don’t get some food in me at that second.  And sleep, ah man, again, my head hit the pillow and I was out last night.  I didn’t even hear the rain/hail/storm stuff that went on last night. 

                So the weekend is almost here, and I’m wondering what I should do for my cheat meal (if I get one, that is).  I don’t want pizza this week.  I want something I eat for one meal and have no leftovers.  If anyone has any suggestions please comment below and let me know!  I hate Chinese food and I don’t want pizza.  I thought I wanted ice cream, but I want to stay away from dairy because I think my intolerance for lactose has gotten pretty bad.  Anyways, all suggestions are welcome!

                Well, at least I completed my blog in early, and since I don’t expect any more excitement (or movement for that matter); I’m going to bid “adieu” and get some dinner in my stomach.
Until tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: "Back in the Saddle" (May 12th, 2009)

“Back in the Saddle Again”

I’m an avid UFC fan.  For those of you who aren’t aware of what that is, it’s the Ultimate Fighting Championship which is a league based on mixed martial arts.  Some look at it as barbaric and a lot of nonsense, others look at it as awesome fighting, but to a biomechanic nerd like myself, I absolutely find it intriguing.  To me, there’s such an art to how the body moves and how strength, endurance, and flexibility play such a role in performance (and it is one of the most exhausting and highest calorie burning exercises you could possibly do).  Anyways, there was a famous fighter (to this day, one of my favorite), Randy Couture. He was in his prime about 5-10 years ago.  Three years ago, he was losing matches, declining in performance, and became injury prone, so he decided to retire from the UFC.  Two years later, he returned to the UFC.  When fighters are announced, they come out to a “title song” of their choice.  It’s primarily based on each fighter’s personality.  When Randy came out, Aerosmith’s song “Back in the Saddle” was his theme song.  As I was doing cardio today, the song came on my Slacker Radio… And it got me thinking.  I’m eating well, my energy is up, and I’m feeling great….

I’m “Back in the Saddle” again… I’m back to my old self…  Growing up, I was an athlete.  From the age of five years old, I was involved in sports every year until college.  In college I had to take so many fitness classes that I felt like an athlete.  I graduated four years ago.  And it took me four years to get back to feeling like an athlete again, both mentally and physically.  During last night’s bootcamp, I was just waiting to be exhausted and winded, but it never happened… In fact, when I left, I had more energy than I had for weeks!  I mentioned that the past couple of days, I’ve been so energetic.  I get up hours before my alarm clock and I am on my feet until bedtime.  My sleeping patterns have changed as well; when my head hits the pillow, I’m GONE.  I had to get up and move around twice in the middle of the night because I was in such a deep sleep, I didn’t realize I was on my hands and my fingers went numb.  I’ve noticed I haven’t been cranky either.  In fact, my attention span is greater, and I can focus so much better; on both my clients and myself.  I haven’t gotten on a scale, but overall, I feel a million times better.  I’m completely ready to do anything Pirtle wants to throw at me.  I may not be able to do it well, but mentally, I am ready to try anything once and put 100% into it.

I was a little sore today from all of yesterday’s activities.  I think bootcamp got my hamstrings and butt pretty good.  I started getting that mentality of “I feel great, I can do anything” when reality did put me in my place.  I was doing my interval sprint training on the treadmill and I was feeling AMAZING.  I kept putting the speed up faster and faster…  I had the speed up to about 9.0 and I was in mid sprint when I heard and felt a loud “POP” in my bad knee… I kept going because I my adrenaline was soaring… After my sprints were over and I got on the bike to finish my cardio, I noticed a stabbing pain in that knee.  When I looked down, I noticed that my knee was so swollen that you couldn’t see the difference between my knee and my thigh.  It was a long walk home, limping a little.  The good thing about having a reoccurring knee problem is that you soon learn how to fix it before it gets worse.  I immediately put ice on it and took a prescription anti-inflammatory my doctor gave me for this situation.  The swelling went down after about an hour.  I was back to walking with little pain.  In fact, I was even playing on the Bosu during Rams camp.  I’m sitting with ice on it again as we speak, and I have a feeling it’ll be just fine.  In fact, I think my butt hurts a lot worse than my knee at the moment (ironically, that’s a GREAT thing!)

I’m watching the finale of The Biggest Loser and I’m seeing the past and present contests get on the scale and the numbers are just amazing.  Some have lost more than 200lbs!  It’s so motivating to see everyone work so hard and put in so much sweat and tears to make them look and feel better.  It doesn’t matter if a person’s goal is to lose 100lbs or 10lbs… It all takes hard work, dedication, sweat, and there may be some tears; and when each person hits his or her goals, the feeling is just as sweet as the next person’s.  I consider myself very lucky.  I get the best of both worlds right now.  I get to be on the client side where I have someone push me to do my best and work towards being my best and plan out my path to reach my goal.  Yet, I also get to be that person who pushes my clients to do their best and to work as hard as they can to reach their goals.  Call me bias, but I think I have the best job in the world.  Tomorrow, however, at 9am, I’m on the client side… But I’m ready…  And to Mr. Pirtle: I’m back in the Saddle… Bring it on…(but no cameras, please!!!!!)  J


Until tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Angie Nation-Pirtle's Client of The Month Monica Boschert

Every month I am going to select a  new client to feature and blog their work outs at Emerge, cardio, and diet.    This month’s client is Monica Boschert.  I have been working with Monica since August of 2008.  In the time I have spent with her  she has accomplished some amazing goals.  She came to me with a primary goal of weight loss.  She, like many others had spent many years on her own trying to figure out the correct recipe for exercise and diet.  I started her on a simple cardio plan 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes in her target heart rate zone and started out with 2 times a week meeting with me “her new personal trainer”  for a training program specifically designed for her weight loss goal.  I also had her journal her food every day and gradually made suggestions and changes to her eating.  She spent 9 months food journaling and documenting every calorie she ate.  In 9 months of journaling and taking advice from me she now has weened herself off the calorie counting.  Monica understands her optimum calorie intake for the day and how her body will respond to different macro nutrients (carbs, proteins, and fats).
  Now you are wondering what kind of results has she had.  Since August she has consistently lost weight and never gained.  She has lost to date over 50 lbs and over 10% body fat.  In August 2008 Monica weighed 197lbs and as of today she weighed in at 142.6lbs.   Her new goal as of spring 2009 is to maintain weight, maybe loose another 5lbs, but really focus on toning and more body fat loss.  She who started with a very simple program with me almost a year ago doing basic gym exercises such as squats, lunges, ball chest presses, and very basic core exercises has now progressed to a very high intensity core/strength training program.  She still continues her 3-4 days of cardio on her own and 2 days of core and strength training with me. 
I am going to blog her progress and measurement changes for the month of May.  Stay tuned for June’s new client of the month.
Tuesday May, 5 2009 3:30 personal training appointment with Angie at Emerge
Cardio over the weekend Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday 25 minutes on the eliptical
Giant set with all three of these exercises with 1 min of boxing in between
walking lunges 15lb dumbbells 3 sets of 16
Kettle bell swings 3 sets of 20 reps
Pike to bridge on ball 3 sets of 12 reps
Giant set with all three of these exercises with 1 min small box jumps in between
Smith machine deep platform lunges- 12 lunges each leg (no weight on the smith)
Elevated feet on platform and hands on 2 medicine ball push up- 3 sets of 15
Lower abs while laying on a ball with hands hanging onto smith machine- 3 sets of 15

Monica Boschert performing a push up off 2 medicine balls

Monica Boschert performing a push up off 2 medicine balls

Super set of 2 exercises followed by foam rolling
Dumbbell prone row with rotation- 3 sets with 15lb dumbbells 8 rows on each arm
Plank with feet on ball- 3 sets of 30 seconds
Monic Boschert plank with feet on the ball

Monica Boschert plank with feet on the ball

 May 7, 2009 3:30 Personal Training appointment at Emerge with Angie
Giant set of  all 3 exercises
Turkish get up with 6lb medicine ball
Drop and recover on swiss ball- 15lb dumbbell/15 reps on each arm
Side plank off the bench- 15 reps on each side
Monica Boschert performing turkish get up with medicine ball

Monica Boschert performing turkish get up with medicine ball

Giant set of  all 3 exercises
Bosu 1 leg deadlift- 12.5lb dumbbells
Dumbbell 1 arm shoulder press while kneeling on swiss ball- 12.5lb 15 rep each arm
Plank with hands on medicine balls-30 seconds
Giant set of  all 3 exercises
Reverse plank on medicine ball- 30 seconds
Cable high to low wood chops- 30lbs/15 reps each side
Abdominal crunches on swiss ball with 22lb slosh pipe/15 reps
Ending  the hour with foam rolling IT band

Food Journal

Tuesday 5-5-2009

Breakfast- 1 scoop of Isopure protein shake with water

Snack- 0

Lunch- Bread Company ham & swiss on wheat with low fat mayo 8 oz of water

Snack- 0

Dinner- Grilled hamburger, green beans and milk 8 oz of water


Thursday 5-7-2009

Breakfast- 4 cashews and 8oz of water

Snack- apple 8oz of water

Lunch- 2 slices deli ham, 1 slice of cheese and water 8 oz of water

Snack- 6 cashews and 8 oz of water

Dinner- Salmon patty, 4 homemade French fries, green beans and milk

Trading Places: It's Monday.. And I'm not cranky??? (May 11th, 2009)

Hello Monday, we meet again…

Ok, first, the weekend recap:  Saturday was BEAUTIFUL!!! I went down to the Karen 4 a Kause 5k run/walk in old St. Charles to cheer on our clients and trainers who were taking part in the run (me and distance running don’t mix well… I’m a sprinter…).  I did do my part and cheered everyone on and took pictures of all of Emerge’s participants.  I was so proud of everyone!  After the race I did head back to Emerge to do my 45 minutes of cardio.  Between seeing everyone run that morning and my cardio, I was full of energy ALL day Saturday… I couldn’t sit down!  I was here and there and up and down and couldn’t pause for more than a minute.  I was a little freaked out by it to be quite honest.  But I felt great!  I must admit, I did finish off the leftover pizza for lunch (1/4 of a pizza) but the rest of my diet went nearly perfect for the rest of the day.  Around 8pm, I finally sat down and then the hamstring cramping started to creep up on me.  It had to be the kettlebell workout on Friday that did it. 

Sunday, I was up at 5:45 am to meet my parents at 7am.  BRIGHT and EARLY… It wasn’t that hard to be up and moving at that time.  Having the sun up sure helps tremendously!  I met my parents out at Wentzville to do our traditional “Mother’s Day Trip to the flea market.”  It’s a great place to buy plants, produce, etc.  Anyways, it’s in a park that’s quite “hilly”.  The hamstrings just looooooved that!  We were there for nearly 5 hours then we went to lunch.  Lunch KILLED me.  My dad had mouth surgery last week and he’s been restricted to soft foods only which made picking a restaurant kind of hard.  My mom finally picked a buffet because he could find plenty of stuff there and she could get a big salad.  As we were eating my mom noticed that most people in the restaurant were overweight if not severely obese… That’s when she looked at me and said “Kim, I’m glad you didn’t become a teacher… If you hadn’t become a trainer, your dad and I would be well over 300lbs… You wouldn’t be on our case all the time about what we eat…”  That made my day…  However, after hearing that, my lunch didn’t go as well as it should have…Here was my plan… I’d do a salad, then a plate of food, small portions of course.  Then if I was hungry still, I’d get another salad; which was fine (minus the hot rolls that I ate).  Then what killed me was a small piece of cheesecake with strawberry topping… It was nowhere near Cheesecake Factory size (maybe ¼ of the size, max) nor was it as potent tasting either.  I was stuffed though.  I’m not sure if it was the food that made me feel bad or the guilt of WHAT and HOW MUCH I ate.  To try to even things out, I did shrink my meals for the rest of the day; A glass of milk for a late snack and a tablespoon of peanut butter for dinner. 

MONDAY is going so much better… I woke up on my own around 7am, so I got up and did a few chores before work at 9.  This “having more energy” thing is pretty cool… Since I have 5 clients out of town this week, I have quite a bit of free time.  So, after my 9am, I got in my cardio.  I did my interval sprints for about 15 minutes total, ran at a much slower pace for a bit, then I hit the elliptical for 20 minutes.  I felt really good, even after all of that!  Maybe it was the pizza over the weekend that gave me the energy (or sanity) boost.  Ya know on the video game, Mario Brothers, where they eat a mushroom and they get bigger or have powers?  MAYBE the pizza did that for me???  Ok, maybe not, but either way, I feel fantastic today!  I did finalize my plans for Kansas City, which I’m very excited for, so that too may be why I’m all energetic and REALLY motivated to do really well this week.  OH YEAH, by the way, here’s another thing… It’s Monday, and I’m NOT cranky… HMMMMMM……

I also took Matt and Angie’s bootcamp tonight (I highly recommend this for anyone!).  I won’t lie; I was a little hesitant at first, because the first one I ever took had me crawling out of there (back in January).  I felt pretty darn good during all of it.  I, miss “have no balance WHATSOEVER” even got up to kneel on a ball… Yup, I did it.  In fact, I didn’t want to get down fearing that it was just a one-time deal and I wouldn’t be able to get back up.  It helped having a room full of girls in there working out next to me.  From what I could see (I was a little preoccupied working out myself) all of the girls at the camp were doing fantastic!  It was great because seeing them work their butts off made me just want to work even harder (competitive trainer trait).  Even after the workout I had a lot of energy.  Zoom zoom  zoom…  I think my body is FINALLY ready to give in and cooperate.  I had a fantastic day of cardio and workouts.  And I’m still going… It’s nearly 9pm and I’m still on a roll… I’m just waiting to finish dinner, sit down to go thru my mail, and then hit the wall and crash for the night… And I’m ok with that; as long as I don’t wake up in the middle of the night screaming with muscle cramps.  I’ll keep ya posted J


Until Tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Copying Kim

Well, reading Kim’s blog has not only entertained me but has inspired me to share my own experiences with training.  I, like Kim, am a personal trainer training with a personal trainer.  Actually, Kim and I are being trained by the same trainer, Matthew Pirtle.  I can call him “Matthew” because that’s what I named him.  You see, I actually gave birth to this man and because he and his sisters, as I see it, were primarily responsible for my body becoming swollen, disproportionate and “soft” – he now owes me a better body. Interestingly enough, personal training with my son has convinced me you can pass 50 and actually be as fit, if not more fit, than in any other decade in your life.  And, what’s even more exciting, the body can be as tight, firm and flexible than ever before.


My fitness life actually started some years back when I lost near 30lbs with Weight Watchers.  I became so excited about the weight loss industry that I eventually ended up working for Weight Watchers for many years and eventually became Regional Manager of WW of greater Missouri and Southern Illinois.  The demands of the position were never as challenging as keeping my weight off and staying fit. Even before I left WW to become a personal trainer, it became clear to me that if I wanted to keep my weight off I was going to need to do more than eat healthy – although eating healthy and eating appropriate portions is critical to weight loss and weight loss maintenance. 


Cardio exercise was something I resisted for a long time.  It was hard enough that I needed to give up favorite foods or learn to eat them in appropriate portions, but in addition I was learning I had to do exercises that required repetitive movement for at least 30 minutes 4 – 5 times a week and break a sweat while doing it.  As distasteful as it all sounded, this was the something I needed to help support my efforts in not putting on and taking off the same 10 lbs over and over again.  So, somewhere around age 33 I joined a small club and started doing the stationary bike.  The first couple of times I did the bike I got to 4 minutes before feeling as if I was going to go into cardiac arrest.  I stayed with it and who knew that regular, moderate cardio workouts could enable me to have my M & M blizzard and still keep my weight down.  Those blizzards have now been traded in for a Fritz’s caramel crunch.


There’s so much more to my quest for weight maintenance and fitness, but it all brings me to today.  I’ve been training with Matthew for a a while now and actually went from once to twice a week several months ago. This is where my body really started to defy mid life.  Wow, you can actually change your body (for the better) without changing the numbers on the scale.  What a wonderful thing for a baby boomer!  However, I also realized a few months ago I still wanted those additional 10 lbs off that were keeping me from being within those healthy body composition ranges and making it more difficult for me to do some exercises that I wanted to do.  As of today, I have lost 6 lbs since updating my goals with Matthew in January. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that there are certain lifestyle changes that I need to be consistent with for weight loss/maintenance and fitness.  It’s really nothing new to me – it’s just a decision.

Beth Pirtle



Emerge Clients and Trainers Participate in the Karen 4 a Kause 5k Run/Walk

Team Emerge

Team Emerge

It feels good to see people coming together for a good cause, especially when it involves fitness and enjoying Spring outdoors.
Carissa and Kimberly

Carissa and Kimberly

With a sizable list of participants, actual runners, and observers, Emerge Fitness has a nice presence at the charity event benefiting breast cancer research.
Kim Kropp headed for the finish line.

Kim Kropp headed for the finish line.

Among the runners and walkers were: Lynne Morrisey (with son and daughter), Carissa Allen, Patti Todd, Kim Kropp, Angie Nation-Pirtle, Julie  and Emily Schmidt, Alexis Eldridge, Adam Kulp (with fiance Danielle and boxer Mick) and Danyel Mihalco.
Patti Todd finishing strong.

Patti Todd finishing strong.

Beth and Jerry Pirtle, Kimberly Renoud, Matt Pirtle, Zoe and Erni (The Pirtle Boxers), Jim Jackson, Mary Goldwasser and Samantha Hall also were in attendance to show their support to the runners and walkers.  Congratulations and thank you to all participants, several of which have expressed their interest in running again to better their personal best time.  Emerge will be involved in many more charity and fitness related events throughout the year, including the Komen Race for the Cure on June 13th in downtown St. Louis. 
Alexis Eldridge in the zone.

Alexis Eldridge in the zone.

Emerge Trainers Get Kettlebelled

Jody "Renegade Rowing" Two 26 Pound Kettlebells

Jody "Renegade Rowing" Two 26 Pound Kettlebells

Its just a ball with a handle on it, no big deal. As a matter of fact, many of you have seen one of these training tools holding the door open at Emerge. Harmless.
Eight trainers (who consider themselves in very good shape) found out how wrong that assumption was on Friday afternoon.
Chad and Jen Estes

Chad and Jen Estes

Chad and Jen Estes, Russian Kettlebell Certified Trainers, took the Emerge training staff through their first 2 hour seminar on kettlebell training Friday afternoon.  The thing is, the word “seminar” usually brings to mind a classroom, some notes and maybe a powerpoint presentation. This wasn’t that kind of seminar.
Emerge Trainers Observe Debi Press Two 26 Pound Kettlebells

Emerge Trainers Observe Debi Press Two 26 Pound Kettlebells

For two hours, we went over, in a “hands on” type of approach, some of the basic, fundamental kettlebell exercises.  Chad and Jen explained each exercise including the rationale behind each movement, who would benefit from it, and what to look out for when criticizing form.  This process was accomplished by each trainer practising each movement over and over…..and over with a large kettlebell.  It was a very informative and grueling two hours.
Jody and Beth Practising Their Swing

Jody and Beth Practising Their Swing

The next seminar is scheduled for next Friday, the 15th.
Jason "Renegade Rowing"

Jason "Renegade Rowing"

Ask an Emerge Trainer about their experience with and how to use the very versatile kettlebell to add a new challenge to your functional training routine.
Kim Performing a Kettlebell Snatch

Kim Performing a Kettlebell Snatch

Trading Places: Stress Test #1 (May 8th, 2009)

Sleep… What is it?  How do I get it? I don’t have a problem falling asleep.  By the time my head hits the pillow around 11pm, I’m out within minutes.  It isn’t two hours later I’m up… I either have to make a bathroom run, or my body becomes restless.  Last night was a doozy.  I was up at 1, 3, 4 (in fact, I was up from 4-6am), then up again at 8am for the day.  It was by far the hardest day to get in cardio…  I DID DO IT though… ALL 30 minutes.  There was a conflict with my training schedule today so my training session with Matt was postponed until next week.  I THOUGHT I’d have an easy day afterwards… WRONG… Our two hour kettle bell training class, which I thought would involve an hour and a half of sitting and listening and 30 minutes of a workout turned into 2 FULL hours of doing hands on exercises.  The good points:  Very informative… It was actually fun and time flew by… The bad points… I’m gonna feel something sore in the morning…  I’m guessing my butt… But we shall see…  During midway of our class I was REALLY happy that I didn’t train with Pirtle because 3 hours of nonstop lifting AFTER a 30minute cardio workout earlier that morning would have left one lifeless brunette on the floor at the bootcamp facility!

My diet has been going well.  I’m actually into a pretty big groove.  It’s generally about two weeks into a solid workout regimen and a healthy diet when some sort of stressful occurrence happens and it throws me completely off track.  The last time was my longtime friend from back home calling me to inform me that she was getting married in two days to a foreign man so he could get his visa… AND the dagger in the heart was that she expected me not to say a word to anyone because she didn’t want her parents to know… SO> That was the bomb that dropped last time.  And yet again, I’m feeling good today, my diet is going well, and I open my mailbox (BAD IDEA)… I received a letter from SIUE declining my application for grad school in the kinesiology department.  The feeling I had was a THOUSAND times worse than when I saw my original measurements.  I was at a loss.  Pirtle must have some sort of ESP or something because it wasn’t 5 minutes later; I received a text message saying that I could order Papa Johns as long as I didn’t go overboard.  I was so bummed about that letter that I had no appetite at that point.  The only positive thing out of that letter is that I am allowed to attend grad school classes there, just as an “unclassified” student; which means that I’m on a type of preliminary probation.  I can take three classes, and if I do really well, I can reapply and use those credits towards my Master’s degree.  Needless to say, my appetite slowly came back, and listening to Pirtle (as I ALWAYS do), I ordered a large pizza…  the “Kimberly Special” (large, thin crust, ham & pineapple, extra sauce).  I must say, it WAS pretty good… After eating clean for so long, however, I did notice for the first time that it was kinda salty.  I still ate ¾ of the thing.  I surrendered it after that.  I sent Pirtle a message saying that he couldn’t use that against me now… Then I casually mentioned that a DQ Blizzard would taste great right about now… He pretty much told me not to push it and wait until he let me have my next cheat meal… I’m quite content, I must say.  I’m learning how to channel my stress and deal with that in another way than by eating/drinking or veering away from exercising.  My workouts are the main thing in my life that keep me grounded (when I’m not hanging onto the rings for my life) and they are also the thing that will continue to make me look/feel better in the long run.  If I quit eating well and working out, I’m just adding more stress to me.  Who wants to do that!?

For those late night or REALLY early readers, here’s a reminder about the Karen 4 a Kause 5k fun run/walk event at Frontier Park in Old St. Charles.  Emerge will have a table set up.  I think we all have a few clients participating and I think Angie will be running in it as well.  However, I will not be (my legs pretty much threatened me that if I ran, they would keep me up every night for the rest of the month).  I hope to be at the table talking to people about fitness, etc.  Even if you aren’t participating, definitely come on out and say hi.  The weather is supposed to be beautiful, and it’s a great reason to get outside.  Hope to see y’all there (after a good night’s sleep of course)!!!
Until Monday,
Kimberly at Emerge

Trading Places: Long day, short blog… (May 7th, 2009)

It’s Thursday… It’s late…I’m tired… And a little sore…  Diet was pretty good (not perfect, I ate an extra two dark Hershey kisses… My appetite is insane; I could eat someone’s arm right now if it was seasoned properly (ok, maybe not someone’s arm, but something big).  I must also add though that I didn’t stop moving from 8am until now (It’s about 10pm).  And my poor bladder…  I’m tired of peeing.  I couldn’t even walk into a single store today without having to go.  I’m going to have to learn that potty dance they do on a children’s pullup diaper commercial if I’m gonna make it thru an entire training session!   

Bedtime…  I think it would be a good idea to get some sleep before I end up eating something else.  Long day tomorrow… 
Until tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge

Trading Places: Hard Work Does Pay Off (May 6th, 2009)

The day…. Oh, measurement day, how I was terrified.  Who knew that simple numbers can stress a person out so much?  I will admit, I was pretty petrified to get them taken.  I had worked SO hard for two weeks and the scale had already upset me once that week.  And here I was, climbing on the scale, praying as I waited for my number to flash… 141.4 or 141.6, I don’t remember… My heart sunk.  I just looked at Pirtle with a blank expression.  He grabbed the calipers and started on my body fat (at this point, I took a moment out of stressing to realize how WHITE my body was… Note to self, hit up the mystic tan ASAP).  I just kept hearing him say “hmmm” or “wow” as he took my pinches.  Come to find out, I dropped 2.2 PERCENT of my Body FAT…. Hi-Oh!!!!  My inches had gone down too!  I don’t  think I showed as much excitement Pirtle had expected me to be.  I think I was too relieved to be all crazy about it.  But I am very happy.  The hard work is paying off and now I have the proof that I needed.  Pirtle was pretty pleased too… SO pleased, he had my workout start off with a “core stabilizing exercise that involved the pecs…”

I must say that even though my numbers went my way today, my body had an ENTIRELY different agenda.  It was a rough workout.  I just couldn’t function all that well.  I started with a ball plank while bringing my knees to my chest and rotating, and I could not for ANYTHING stay on that darn ball!  It seriously felt like there was a live animal in that ball trying to escape.  I had Pirtle laughing pretty hard (I was pretty ridiculous looking, and my comments didn’t help).  I FINALLY finished them and we went on to an exercise that even had me laughing.  I was to do body dips with my feet on a plyo box and my hands each on a med ball.  My upper body is my MAJOR weakness.  I complete one or two reps and my triceps give and my butt is on the floor… I remember Pirtle saying “Ok, push to get up!” I used all the strength I had and even screamed a little… My whole body THOUGHT it was pushing up, but I went no where.  We changed up the exercise a little and I completed it.  I was also informed that I’m extremely flexible at the elbow joint…. Just shy of being “freak-like;” Who knew? 

Thanks to a dear (soon to be former) friend who shall remain nameless mentioned on my facebook that we should have some “video” of me working out….  Pirtle read it.  “What the hell did you do that for!” slipped out of my mouth when I saw the post on our white board “video coming soon.”  Yeah, stay tuned…  It’ll be fan-freakin-tastic I’m sure.  Anyhoo, the rest of the workout went really well.  Pirtle had me do yet another exercise that makes me look ridiculous (yeah, even more ridiculous than me running, if that’s possible).  I think it was more for his entertainment (AND NO, THAT EXERCISE WILL NOT BE POSTED).  I can see how my midsection is shrinking because by the time the workout is over, my abs are screaming.  I TRIED to increase my intensity while doing cardio, but I was afraid if my heart rate went up, my breakfast would come back up.  So I just slowed down and went for a longer period of time.

I must say I’m really feeling good!  I have a lot more energy now, and my legs and arms are feeling leaner.  I even fit into one pair of my Armani jeans (the good pair… I refuse to try on the evil pair for a while longer).  I was in the mall this evening and I was looking at clothes (a RARE thing for me to do).  I actually got excited looking at things, but I know rule number one with losing weight is to not buy any new clothes.  I was definitely tempted by all of the smells coming from the cookie store.  I did leave the mall with a “reward” for my hard work.  No, no food and no clothes; a Camelback water bottle from Dick’s.  (I told you I’m a sucker for sporting good stores!)  My initial goal was to fit into those jeans, but my goal date was set for the weekend of May30th, because I’m planning on meeting up with my best friend to take in a concert in Kansas City.  It will be the first time he will see me since I’ve begun this “wild ride”.  Who knows, we’ll be at the Plaza, maybe I will swing in the Armani store and get another pair of jeans in a smaller size… Kidding (For now…)

Until tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge

Trading Places: Happy Cinco de Mayo! (May 5th, 2009)

My dinner... A Healthy Version of a Taco Salad


Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!  I know many people are out celebrating a holiday that frankly, doesn’t even involve most of us; but as I have said before, the people of St. Louis find ANY reason to eat and drink!  Saying, that I thought I would partake in the celebration in a “healthier” way.  I made a taco salad… This is what it includes:

·         4 of 96% lean ground beef drained, and seasoned with low sodium taco seasoning

·         2-3 cups of chopped romaine lettuce (it’s nearly a freebie food so I get as much as I want!)

·         Calorie free hot sauce

·         1 piece of mozzarella string cheese peeled apart (50 calories)

·         Less than 2 tablespoons of light sour cream

It was YUMMY! And I think I was under my normal calories for my dinner… Sweeet!

                Today was a pretty normal day.  No mood swings at all.  In fact, I actually found myself joking around quite a bit.  There’s just something about Mondays!  My hips were feeling a little better so I attempted to run on the treadmill again.  We have mirrors across the gym so you can see yourself doing cardio.  Unfortunately, I have come to realize that I am one goofy looking runner.  I’m going to use the excuse that it’s because I’m a sprinter and I only know how for time, not distance.  Maybe, maybe not, I’m not sure, but it sounds good!  I was trying to fix my form, (that’s hard to do, may I add) watch my heart rate, and try to keep breathing because my allergies were obnoxious today!  I ended up doing interval training because my body wasn’t working together, BUT I did make it up but doing extra cardio on the bike and walking on the treadmill.  So, EVEN though I couldn’t run for a short amount of time, I made up the difference by just slowing down and going a little longer.  Calories burned are calories burned (kinda, but that’s for another day).  Besides, a few EXTRA calories burned today wouldn’t be so bad for tomorrow’s measurements.

                I won’t lie, I’m a little nervous about getting my measurements updated.  I’ve done my best at my diet (minus the fried mushrooms I had, BUT I did extra cardio to burn those off!) and I’ve done cardio nearly every day for two weeks.  I have put in the time, discipline, sweat, and intensity that I need in order to reach my goals.  I hope my body cooperates and my numbers begin to drop.  I do notice clothes already feel a little loose and overall, I feel better (you wouldn’t think so by my blogs, huh). 

I hear from a lot of friends, family, acquaintances, etc that they want help losing weight.  Don’t get me wrong, I would be happy to help every one of them, but until mentally, he or she is ready to say, “ok, I’m going to be serious about this” there isn’t much that I can do.  Losing weight is a mind game.  EACH person has to WANT to do it.  They have to be in it 100 percent.  Your body isn’t someone you can sweet talk or flirt your way to get what you want.  You can’t slip it a twenty dollar bill to lose 5lbs before the weekend.  You can’t, what I refer to as, “Half-ass” it.  A person’s body is their biggest investment, and you only get one.  Each person is their own stock broker.  Yes, you can get an edge by hiring an experienced trainer (from Emerge of course, wink wink) who can give advice and help to motivate and make sure you are working out correctly.  But only YOU can make the changes you need to make that investment better and last longer.


I came into this situation listening to my own advice (for once).  I told myself as I tell my clients.  A trainer is someone who can give you a map; a map with the road highlighted directly to your goal, but you have to put the car in drive first.  For all my readers, I hope you are going into training or your own workouts the same way, 100 percent.  I’m re-learning it can be tough; not just physically, but socially and mentally as well.  But I know the day I reach my goal, and I fit into those jeans (not by lying on the bed and sucking it in either), it will be completely worth it.  I know that I will feel that I EARNED it, not the sense of entitlement that I had felt in the past (“I’m a 26 year old trainer who knows a lot about fitness, I should be ‘entitled’ to fit into these jeans yet eat what I want.”)  I’m not proud of it… Because BOY WAS I WRONG.

 However, reality will then set in when I will have Pirtle in front of me saying, “Congrats Kim!  Now that you achieved that goal, you can wear your jeans during our next session… We will be doing exercises that involve the pecs.”  I hope tomorrow bears good news!
Until then,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

This is Emerge. Week 5/4/09.

Emerge fitness has been a busy place as of late. 
Emerge clients have been working out with slosh pipes (long pvc pipes filled with water), flipping tires and performing core exercises on stability balls and olympic rings.  A typical day at Emerge.
Emerge athletes have been shining in their respective sports, including Matt Estlund running an incredible 9:06 for the 3200 yard race (yes, that is 2 miles!) Alli Reimer and Allison  Hu play soccer against St. Charles West Wednesday, one of their last games before they play together next year at Sluh.  Susan Marcos finished her first triathlon in 1:35, beating her goal time by 10 minutes.  Leah Price is preparing for a huge swim meet at the Rec Plex over Memorial Day weekend.  Jackie Pirtle Hall, who came in second in the Saint Louis Marathon, is busy preparing for her next race by focusing more on core training with her mother, Beth Pirtle.
On Tuesday nights, Kimberly and Matt hold an all Rams Core Camp, exclusively for STL Rams athletes.  The class focuses on sports-specific training with an emphasis on functional core training.
This Friday, Emerge Trainers will be meeting with Chad and Jen Estes,  RKC (Russian Kettlebell Certification) certified instructors, for one of two in club seminars on kettlebell training.
On Saturday, Emerge will be at Frontier Park participating in the Karen 4 a Kause 5k Run/Walk.  Emerge trainers will be running (some walking) and will be at a booth answering any questions about health and fitness.
Emerge Fitness Training. 5/4/09

Trading Places: I HATE MONDAYS (May 4th, 2009)

Trading Places: May 4th, 2009


I HATE MONDAYS… I’m not sure that I know anyone who enjoys them, but it has come to the point that you can guarantee I will be cranky.  Since I’m cranky this is gonna be short.

Saturday:  Ran 2.5 miles… Felt great until that afternoon when it felt like I ran into a brick wall.  Stuck to menu plan except for some tortilla chips I had at a Cinco de Mayo party.  NO I didn’t drink anything but water.  I played a few games with the Wii to burn off the chips.

Sunday: Hurt like an SOB… The legs & abs hurt from running, and I’m getting sharp pains at the hip joint, must be the impact running.   The shoulder hurt from playing Wii Tennis… Stupid game, I’m not even good at it. My best friend texted me about ordering Papa Johns… He “says” he only ate one piece and he ate it for me.  Whatever Wirth… You savored the taste and somehow you transferred the calories to me… THANKS FRIEND… My client Carissa wasn’t any better.  She ordered one too… I hope that goes to your butt…. HA! YES, I did say that!  Jim, another client had it this weekend too… He told me about it today (Monday). It’s ok, I kicked his butt during his workout (insert evil laugh).   OH and let’s not forget my client Mr. Nelson who DID end up going to a Texas Roadhouse this weekend and HE got to eat one of those rolls… (Somedays I just LOVE my clients…) He too said that he ate a roll for me… THANKS, HOPE IT TASTED FANTASTIC.

Today, my hips are killing me.  It feels like the head of my femur is just grinding in my socket.  I’m 26, I’m too young for this aching crap.  So much for running… I walked to work.  I walked on the treadmill… I crashed into the side of the treadmill while reading a magazine (I was only praying no one saw or heard me).  I’m telling ya, it was a GREAT day… AND to top it off, I GAINED back almost everything I had lost.  I wanted to just break down tears.  I didn’t say much while I was at Emerge, but on my way home, I was on the phone with Wirth, “Maaaaaattt, My Body Haaaaaaates me!!! WHHHHYYYYY…. I’m eating PERFECTLY.”  He tried to be a good friend and told me to be patient.  He tried to turn it on me and said “If YOUR client came to you all upset because they gained a pound and they said they had done everything perfect, what would you tell them?”  I believe my response between tears was “I would tell them that they are LYING about their food intake, BUT I’M NOT LYING!!!!”  (Ok, MAYBE I wouldn’t do that, but he and I were talking about ME here.)  He just pretty much in short, told me to “Man Up” and wait until I get measurements updated on Wednesday…

I survived my afternoon.  I walked around like an old lady…  Scratch that, even my 100 year old great grandmother has to move better than I did today.  Pirtle asked how I was, and I think the disgruntled look on my face summed it up.  He said pretty much the same thing Wirth did, just to wait until Wednesday.  I think it’s in the name “Matt” to be honest.  So frankly, having my past and present trainer (both Matt’s AND former co-workers) is a total 2 against 1… Lucky ME.  I’m glad he and the rest of the Emerge staff understand me and my moods already.  I’m easy to deal with, just ignore me.  Adam, one of our trainers decided to make some smart remark today and he got the “Go to hell” look.  The good sport he is came back with a “Whoa, that look said it all… Eat some bread.”  OH THE BREAD… That reminds me! This morning, one of Angie’s clients, bless her heart, made bread and brought them into the gym this morning.  AND IT SMELLED FANTASTIC… I couldn’t say how they tasted, because I CANT EAT BREAD, but I’m sure it tasted as amazing as it smelled.  I’m sure Pirtle ate enough for him and me (Trainers do that…They sacrifice their own diet and eat delicious food their clients can’t eat… GRRRRRRR).

So I’m home, I’m still cranky, I’m STILL sticking to my damn diet.  And my trainer; he’s enjoying EVERY bit of this.  In fact, my clients inform me that THEY enjoy this too… At least I can make my clients walk as funny as I am…hehehe
Until tomorrow,

Trading Places: "I Refuse to Whine…" May 1, 2009

All I gotta say is, “ugh.”  It’s 3:15 in the afternoon and I’m starting my blog really early b/c I’m not even sure how late I will be able to stay up tonight to write this thing.  I’m wiped… It’s so bad that I just got back from getting a facial peel; as I went to get up off the table, my legs gave out and DOWN I WENT…

Yeah, we trained today at 11am.  I felt great going in… I still wasn’t sore, and IN FACT I was extra chipper; not just because of the pasta I had last night, BUT because I’ve lost a ½ lb since Wednesday!  Water, fat, I don’t care what it was that I lost, but I’m a half pound lighter and I’m good with that!  We changed up my cardio on my non-lifting days, so I should be good to go.  Wellllll, almost good to go; that is if I can WALK tomorrow.

SO Pirtle decided to kill my pecs again today.  Frankly, at this moment, the whole workout was a blur except I remember my poor pecs screaming to the point of fatigue.  Oh that’s right, I fell off the rings.  I was doing my 3rd set of planks on the rings after umpteen million other pec exercises, no wait, “exercises that INVOLVED the pecs” (stupid loopholes).  I had 3 seconds left to hold, and down I went.  This wasn’t a “woe is me” dramatic fall… I just went DOWN, not gracefully either.  HOWEVER, even on the floor, with my face planted in the carpet, and my body lying there like dead weight, I DID NOT WHINE.  I think that’s Pirtle’s new goal, push me until I crack.  I refuse to whine, I shall prevail!  As long as I can keep giving my dirty looks and growling, he won’t hear a peep outta me!

Like I said the rest of the workout was pretty much a blur to me.  I do remember one of the last exercises I did, some type of upper abdominal crunch using the cable rope and the stability ball.  Matt was explaining what to do, I don’t remember what exactly, but then I heard something that REALLY caught my attention:  “You’re going to be in a much better place.”  Ok, I am pretty sure he was talking about where my arms should be placed so my pecs wouldn’t scream anymore, HOWEVER> I had a totally different image.  The last time I heard that phrase was when my mom was telling my niece (at the age of 5 at the time), that one of our steers was “going to a much better place.”  Ha, “better place” my butt, he was going to the meat locker and coming back as prime rib!

The workout was tough, but I finished every rep and every set (minus 3 seconds when I hit failure and hit the floor).  I even dragged myself over to the treadmill and finished my cardio.  I felt really good, actually.  I’m not sure if it was because my heart was beating and my blood was pumping and I felt great accomplishment, OR, it was because my entire body was numb and pain-free.  I will get back to ya on that one.  It’s times like these I’m grateful I decided to get a laptop so I can be lifeless on the couch yet use my computer.

10:15pm … My parents just left so no early bedtime for me.  My dad had a meeting so my mom came along (bearing the gifts of some fried morel mushrooms… YUM!!!).  I was planning on them getting down here early enough that we would have dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  I had my meal planned and everything… Then they got here late so me and my mom headed to Locos.  I attempted the grilled chicken salad (I hate chicken).  I ate about half of it and that was my dinner.  No bread, no rolls, no fun carbs. What did help me was observing other people eating around us.  The greater population was overweight, if not obese.  I even saw a woman who was in the bar area eating, yet she was so big that she had to use a lower chair because she couldn’t fit on a high stool.  It was a sad motivator…  It helped me stick to my diet.

  Anyways, we did a little shopping to distract me from eating anything in sight.  We did go to Target, BUT I picked up groceries and only things needed for my diet.  (So TECHNICALLY, I’m still sticking to my “no shopping” rule as well).  When we got back to my apartment, I was a little hungry, so I started in on the fresh bell peppers that are a freebie food for me.  My dad had a pretty good laugh when he walked in and saw me chomping on an orange pepper with a thrilling look on my face.  I think they find it quite entertaining that their daughter is dieting with them.  Yahoo.  My Friday has come to a close and I am still in one piece.  The workout ironically gave me enough energy to get thru my entire day without napping.  I’m amazed by that.  I’m sure that Benadryl won’t be needed tonight in order to get a good night’s sleep; pain pills, however, may need to be consumed tomorrow…

Kimberly, EmergeFitness 

Trading Places: Oh Happy Day!!! (April 30th, 2009)

Ladies and Gentlemen, Allergy season has arrived…  If any of you have mold allergies like I do, you probably noticed the air feeling a little thicker.  I woke up with a swollen face, black eyes, and clogged ears.  All of this didn’t damper me; I woke up not too sore, in fact, I was feeling pretty good; it was going to be a great day! 

Breakfast: No problem.  I trained my 9am, and then I headed to the elliptical at 10 to do my cardio.  How soon I forget about cardio and allergies; they just don’t go hand in hand.  For those who are lucky enough to not have allergy problems, I will give you an analogy.  Trying to breathe this time of year is like trying to breathe through a coffee filter.  Very little air appears to get to the lungs.  Now imagine this at a faster pace.  That would be me trying to suck in every ounce of oxygen possible while doing cardio.  I’m supposed to get my heart rate up to 151-156 for 30 minutes.  Today, I couldn’t get it up to 147.  My heart was doing fine; it was my lungs that were ready to throw the white flag and surrender.  My legs weren’t thrilled either by any means, but they cooperated.  I felt bad about not being able to get my heart rate up, so after my 30 minutes on the elliptical, I casually walked on the treadmill for 15 minutes. 

I’ve sure noticed my appetite growing.  I’m always hungry.  And I can inhale food like it’s going through a straw.  It’s my own little magic trick… Now ya see it, and now ya don’t!  I’ve been on the move all day, but it was this evening that the clouds parted and a ray of light came down on me when I heard four wonderful words come out of Pirtle’s mouth: “You can have spaghetti.”   WHAT?  Were my ears so clogged that I was hearing things?  Oh no, it was true… Pirtle told me I could have my 4oz of meat with whole wheat pasta and pasta sauce…  WELL YOU KNOW ME, I ALWAYS listen to my authorities so I flew down to Dierbergs and picked up some ground beef (extra lean).  I measured and weighed everything out just to be extra careful.  Oh how lovely it tasted… This is one meal I didn’t hoover down.  I took my precious time.  IN FACT, I couldn’t even eat all of it, I was full! I think I shall end on that good note for the night.  It’s been a pretty long week, and after I train at 10am tomorrow, I meet with Matt at 11 to workout.  I’m sure this good mood thing will carry over to our session.  It may even freak him out to see a big smile on my face.  Ah well, it’ll be good to mess with his head a little bit… After all, he did beat me with a weighted bar yesterday. J

Until Tomorrow,

Trading Places: April 29, 2009

Trading Spaces: Today’s Diagnosis

Workout number 2, woo hoo!  I was having a good morning today, I ate my healthy breakfast, I had in all of my water and I took all of my vitamins.  I was killing time so I checked my email and facebook, when I saw the status of Kim, my best college friend.  It said she “celebrated (her) pants fitting looser this morning by having a chocolate chip cookie with my coffee. Yummy!!!”  My response, “OH shut up.”  Kim is one of those girls who can eat whatever and remain remotely tiny.  There were days I could have shoved her in a closet, but then I realized that she’s a Cubs’ fan, so she’s a little backwards anyways J (I’m kidding Kim… Well, kinda)

 8:55a.m., I am on my way to Emerge to train with Matt.  I feel good, I feel ready to go.  I had my breakfast in me (and I was only praying that it would STAY in me) and I was ready to get going.  I felt so good that I thought to myself, “I have eaten nearly PERFECTLY for an ENTIRE week… 7 LONG days, why not hop on the scale and see how much I lost?”  So, being the thinker I am, I wore light clothing and got on the scale… Watched the lines flash on the scale… Stopped breathing waiting for my weight to show up on the scale…  WHAT THE?? ONE FREAKING POUND!!!?  I HAVE BEEN EATING THIS CLEAN FOR ONE STUPID POUND?? At this point, I was fighting back any and all frustration and emotion.  I used to be able to lose 3-4 pounds a week and I didn’t eat even half as clean as I have been (I think it’s all downhill after 25).  This was not the motivation I needed before this workout.  When I sat down to talk with Matt, he asked how my diet was going and if I weighed myself and I was bummed.  He saw the devastation in my face and kept reassuring me that my body will let it go in time.  I’m a woman, I’m impatient, I didn’t want it to go “in time,” I want it gone now!  So, the score is one for my stubborn body, 0 for me.  After I faced the fact that there’s no way to talk my body out of dropping another pound right then and there, I decided to “man up” and just work my butt off with Matt.

My workout went really well.  My muscles really cooperated and I successfully finished every rep and every set I was asked to do.  Matt found out today that my pecs still hurt because I gave him quite the look when he wanted me to do these pushups with my hands on two medicine balls (my pecs hate when I do pushups with my hands on the floor!)  I gave a lot of funny looks, but I never whined once… The whole workout, I didn’t whine AT ALL.  It was definitely a great workout for me, I sweated my butt off (forget that whole “glistening” thing ladies, I was beyond that… I was sweating).   My heart and lungs actually did surprisingly well!  I wasn’t sucking air… In fact, it was my legs that were dragging behind!  My head and lungs were saying “GO” while the rest of my body was saying “GIVE ME A MINUTE, WILL YA?”  It actually felt great to be pushed.  I take it way too easy on myself when I workout solo.  I realized today that I do have my old stamina back and I can take what anyone throws at me.  You may get a dirty look while in the process, but I will shut up and do it, and I will do my best to have perfect form while doing it.

After my lifting was over, Matt “attempted” to work on my flexibility.  He found out quickly that I lack it in the hips and legs.  I mean, nearly ZERO range of motion in the hamstrings.  I will work on that; just remind me (by the way, I forgot to foam roll again tonight).  SPEAKING of Foam Rolling, I have been diagnosed with “I.T. Turrets “(Ilio-tibial Turrets to be medically correct).  What that means is that when Pirtle is trying to roll out my I.T. band with that weighted rod, I have a tendency to shout out random things.  It can be something as small as “HOLY CRAP” to a few four letter words that come out of my mouth WITH NO CONTROL (sorry mom).  I even hit the table a time or two from agony.  And what does Pirtle do?  “Haha, that sucks” as he keeps rolling that stick over a knot!  Word of advice to his clients:  (My clients already know) Rule #1, “Don’t piss off your trainer” (which I can proudly say NONE of them have), and here’s why… The trainer holds the power in that weighted bar.  If you make him mad, he can just press a little harder and when you scream in agony his defense will be “I’m not putting any pressure on it, it’s just the weight of the bar that’s causing you pain!”   Sure Sparky, you keep saying that.  I know the truth.

After my cardio, I walked (yes, I said WALKED) home, had my post workout meal, then I decided to take a little nap.  When I woke up and got ready for work, I was a little hesitant about getting up and moving.  I checked the right leg… no soreness… the left leg… nope, it was good too.  SWEET, no pain!  So I got up and finished my day at work.  I’m still feeling pretty good.  My pegs are tight (ladies, let me tell ya, if you ever consider getting a breast lift, just talk to Pirtle.  Have him take you thru a few of the exercises I’ve done, and those things will never sag another day of your life.)  I’m very tired and my appetite is starting to grow quite a bit, so I’m really feeling like I’m headed in the right direction.  I have cardio tomorrow then back to training on Friday. 

Until tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

The Power of the Plank

There’s really not alot to it.
The plank is one of the most basic exercises.  You start face down, on your forearms and toes, and hold.  That’s really the extent.  Kind of.
When performing this level 1 plank or any progression of it, it is important to remember a few things. 
First, the exerciser must put a slight flexion (forward bend) in the spine.  This keeps the exercisers abdominal flexed preventing the lower back from hyperextending.
Second, the exerciser must “draw in” the belly button up (think of pulling the belly button up to the spine) to keep the TVA (transversus abdominus) active.  The TVA is the deep abdominal tissue whose primary goal is stabilization of the spine.  Working this muscle is the whole point of the plank.
Adding the plank to a workout routine can make drastic improvements to sports performance (the more stable the spine, the more power you will realize from your arms and legs…reference Sports Training Misconceptions article for more info on this).  It can also make a big aesthetic change by causing a corset effect, acting as a hoop around your midsection pulling in.


The plank is a must for all fitness goals and fitness levels, as progressions are available to tax even the very elite athlete. 
So, although basic looking and fairly boring to do, the benefits of performing a plank as a part of a regular workout routine are huge.
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Staff

Trading Places: April 28th, 2009

Trading Places: April 28, 2009

I think it’s Tuesday, right?  It’s been a pretty busy couple of days for me.  Well, busier than I have been.  I’m glad to be mobile because one,  if I keep moving I keep burning calories,  and two, I don’t think about eating (extra) when I’m busy.  I felt pretty good today, not too much soreness, no crankiness (I think EVERYONE appreciated that!) and no outstanding food cravings.  Cardio was hard to do today.  I didn’t have time in the morning or early afternoon to get it in, so I had to get to it after my last client at 6pm.  It could have been VERY easy to slip out of there and not do it, but I knew that I wasn’t scheduled to eat for a while, and if I wasn’t doing cardio, I would be doing something sedentary.   AND since I train with Matt in the morning, I would have to explain why I didn’t do cardio today.  I’m generally REALLY good at loopholes and reasoning and I can talk my way out of a lot; however, being that Matt was there when I was complaining about not wanting to do cardio, I knew it was a losing battle.  SO Yes, Matt, I did do it, all 30 minutes on the elliptical and I had MANY witnesses! 

My diet is continuing to go really well.  A bonus for me, Matt gave me a freebie food!  I get to eat all the red, orange, yellow, and green peppers I want!  Too bad they are 2 bucks A PIECE at Dierbergs because I could eat 4 or 5 a day, easily.  The positive side is that they are going to be in season soon so they should be cheaper at a farmers’ market (by the way, anyone who knows of a really one, please let me know!).

I meet with Pirtle bright and early (for me) at 9am.  I’m not sure how well this is going to go, because the last time I attempted to work out first thing in the morning, I nearly lost my breakfast, sad but true.  I’m hoping for the best so I’m going to do a little reading tonight then its early bedtime for myself.  Workout #2 is in T-minus 13 hours…


Until Tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness   

Trading Places: Surviving the weekend and battling "The Mondays"

Trading Places: April 27th, 2009

No, my workout Friday didn’t kill me; I just decided to hold off on my blogs because frankly, my weekends are not exciting enough to take the time to write about daily.  I figured that I could just add them in on Monday.  I have heard positive feedback from many about my blogs.  I hope they can continue to motivate, or at least entertain each reader. 

Saturday:  This is what my legs had to say

“Dear Matt, you are evil.  We went through a simple training session with basic movement.  You manipulated us into thinking that we were conditioned and this workout was going to be easy.  You are no longer a friend of ours.  In fact, Kim is no longer our friend either.  If you were on Survivor, we would vote you off! The Tribe has spoken!

Sincerely, Kimberly’s leg trio (Quads, Hamstrings, and Glutes)”


It was a rough night of sleep Friday night.  I think I started getting “The Aches” around 4:30am.  I finally surrendered around 9am and got my butt up and moving for the day.  I walked (if you want to call it that) to Emerge and attempted (and I mean ATTEMPTED) to do my cardio.  I’m going to use a farm reference here to explain what I was going thru.  On our farm, we have quite a bit of land for our cattle to graze on.  Our cows are very tame, you could even call them pets (yes, we name them).  However, there are times where our cattle like to “stray” away through a hole in the fence.  Rounding them up can be the biggest pain in the butt, especially our older cattle, and our bull, Chester.  Have you ever tried to move a 1600lb bull? You can yell and push and curse all day long, but the stubborn thing will only move on his time.  THAT is how my legs felt Saturday.  I tried to get going on the elliptical and my quads just wouldn’t go!  I couldn’t even get my heart rate to climb because I couldn’t go fast enough to make my heart go faster!  I felt like yelling and pushing my darn legs along, however Adam and Matt were training and the last thing I wanted was to have them, along with their clients look at me like I had lost my mind.  30 LONG minutes later, I waddled myself back to my apartment.  As beautiful of a day it was outside, it didn’t look nearly as attractive as my couch did.  Note to self:  Sedentary causes tightness in muscles.  I had been drinking so much water, that I temporarily forgot about my legs, so as I tried to “spring” up to head to the bathroom, my legs reminded me that they were boycotting me, so I fell right back down.  The entire afternoon/evening was about like this.  I was at a complete loss at what to do by the afternoon.  I had told myself that since I was dieting and working out I may as well cut out my other weakness… Shopping.  I ‘m not the typical girl, I don’t shop for clothes and I hate malls.  My weakness is TARGET… Target and any sporting goods store can occupy me for hours!  So I realized that if you take away food and shopping, I got nothing to do!  I was BORED.  My apartment was already spotless.  The Cardinals/Cubs game had just ended… WHAT DO I DO?  This would NORMALLY be the time I would make a quick trip to Target, or I’d take a long drive to Trader Joes then pick up Chipolte and head home.  BUT NOT NOW… WHAT TO DO?  So I got in my car and just drove.  I ended up nearly all over the western part of St. Charles County.  I got as far as Lake St. Louis on highway 40 before I started to head back home.  I realized on my long drive that I use shopping and food as a blanket for my boredom!  My best friend lives in Omaha, so I rarely see him, and some of my close friends are doing that whole married with kid’s thing, so I find myself bored a lot.  SO> When I was bored, I would shop or eat!  So now that I recognize the problem, I have to find out how to resolve it.  I finished my dinner and I headed to bed early on a Saturday night.  I was okay with this.  I was tired and starting to get cranky.  There’s nothing like having a continuously full bladder and having achy legs that make you wanna cry every time you try to sit on the toilet.  (Can I get a “holla” from the women; you know what I’m talkin about!)

Sunday:  WHO NEEDS SLEEP, REALLY?  I woke up with the BIGGEST cramp in the butt that I’ve ever had.  Did I forget to tell Pirtle that my legs get sore VERY easily?  I got up, had my breakfast and waddled to Emerge (forget walking, I didn’t care what I looked like at this point as long as I got my butt there).  My legs were a little more cooperative today, however, the heart rate still didn’t want to get up to par.  One plus is that working out in an empty facility; I was able to watch whatever I wanted on TV.  I figured that if I watched a movie, it would make the time fly by faster.  I found “The Shining” playing on some channel, and I figured this would be great; it would keep me from thinking about the time.  The bad part about working out in an empty facility is that when you watch a suspenseful movie, every little noise can make ya jump.  After thirty minutes and a few “spooky” occurrences, I briskly waddled my butt home.  I got word not too long after that a client had an extra ticket to the Cardinals/Cubs game.  I thought “perfect, no food, no shopping, just baseball!”  So I headed down to the stadium to meet up.  The ticket was in a party room, unlimited food and beverages.  This was my first test on my diet.  I didn’t get a chance to grab lunch at home, which is normally a soy protein smoothie, so I tried to make the best decision possible.  When we got there, the game was just beginning.  I grabbed myself a hot dog (there’s something about baseball and hotdogs, they just go together) and a Diet Coke.  So far, I didn’t think I was doing so bad.  Then I started to see people eating ice cream and pretzels and everything I couldn’t have.  Finally, about halfway thru the game, I went inside and got myself some deli meat to knaw on and I got another Diet Coke.  That was all I had, I had passed my test.  I got home and continued with my diet.  BRING ON MONDAY!

Monday:  My work day started a little earlier than normal for a Monday.  I had my first client at 9am.  I woke up at 7:30 and started to move around and I noticed my legs were doing much better.  Then I went to lift my right arm and “OWWWWWWW!!!!” came out of my mouth.  My right pec was KILLING ME!  Holy crap, seriously? 3 days later and decides to start throbbing???  The left is a little tender, but man, the right side is brutal!  And of course, this isn’t really an area you can try to work out the soreness without people looking at you with a “WHAT ON EARTH?” look on their face.  So I’m up moving a little earlier than normal, my pec hurts and all I want for breakfast is a tall glass of orange juice.  I’ve had orange juice every morning since I can remember.  It’s my security blanket, it’s a ritual.  But then I have that menu plan on my fridge staring back at me and NO ORANGE JUICE FOR BREAKFAST…  BUT ALL I WANTED WAS ORANGE JUICE!!! SERIOUSLY! I would have been happy with 8 stupid ounces!  I grabbed my cottage cheese out of the fridge and slammed the door.  I finished the rest of my breakfast and headed to work.  I got their early since my first client was a “newbie”.  I was very tired so I used my free time to write up a workout.  I guess I was so zoned out (probably due to lack of Vitamin C because I didn’t have ORANGE JUICE) that Pirtle tried to tell me something as he walked by and ended up making me jump out of my chair.  He sure got a laugh out of it; I hope it made his morning.  I know what would have made my morning… ORANGE JUICE…

I’m generally REALLY good about hiding my “dieting mood swings” from clients, except for the long time ones, and then I don’t hesitate to tell them I’m cranky.  They just laugh.  They generally get me to crack up sooner or later.  I had a break at 10am so I got in my cardio.  I could just feel my crankiness growing.  I kept thinking (I’m really starting to hate this machine… Man, it’s hot in here.  OWWW… Stupid pec… I bet I wouldn’t be cranky if I had orange juice this morning).  After 30 lonnnng minutes, I had my 11am snack (blackberries) then I trained Mr. Nelson.  I flat out told him I was cranky.  He laughed.  He finds my crankiness over a diet quite humorous.  Two clients later, my mood had mellowed and I headed home to have my smoothie (WHICH CONTAINS ORANGE JUICE). 

You would think after making the exact same smoothie everyday for months that I would have the ingredient sequence down.  I must have mentally been somewhere else because I ended up with a big mug of fruit and powder that would not blend.  I was thisclose to throwing the thing against the wall when I finally got out a knife and chiseled down the protein powder (it makes ya think if that stuff clumps up in your body like it does in a blender!).  Once it was blended it tasted fantastic.  I finished it, took a nap (because I could tell I needed it) and headed back to work.  Some would probably say that the nap is what put me in a much better mood that afternoon, but I think it was the orange juice.  It’s funny how it isn’t the fast food or junk food that you crave when you are restricted on what you eat, it’s the simple things.

Until tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness Staff

Losing Belly Fat

Because excess fat can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes, carrying too much fat around the waist (belly fat) is not only aesthetically displeasing, but can cause health problems.  Unfortunately, there are parts of the body where fat just “loves” to settle and  the abdomen is one of those places.  In addition to being a fat attractor, the ABS are also a particularly hard place to shed fat.  
There are no miracle treatments that will help you lose AB fat overnight.  Exercising your abdominal muscles with crunches and typical ab exercises will firm & tone your ab muscles but will not eliminate that layer of flab over the top.  Some effective ways to minimize belly fat are: 
1.  Cardiovascular exercise (aerobic)  
Walking, jogging, bike, eliptical and treadmill are just a few methods to get an effective cardio workout.  Only after 15 – 20 minutes of cardio will you start losing fat (till then the body uses stored carbohydrates – glycogen), so make it at least a 30 minute workout and engage in cardio activity 3 – 5 times a week.
2.  A well balanced nutrition plan
This is critical if you want to lose belly fat.  A proper diet with a slight caloric deficit will enable you to lose weight as well as fat.  Don’t minimize your caloric intake too much or it will only make it harder for you to maintain your fat/weight loss.  
3.  Strength/core training
This training should focus on your whole body.  You cannot spot reduce, but you can strengthen, firm, tone and define your ABS which will make you look tighter and leaner as you lose the belly fat.
4.  Drink plenty of water.
 Drinking water will actually help you to rid yourself of excess fluids your body might be retaining, and as a result, minimize that bloated feeling. 
Beth Pirtle

Trading Places… Day 3, Workout #1

Trading Places: Workout #1

“What doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger… But that doesn’t mean I won’t be cranky along the way!”–Me

Pirtle was checking my Deadlift form

Pirtle was checking my Deadlift form




For those of you who don’t know, the core contains 29 muscles.  At this moment, I could point each of them out on me because every one of them hurt.

Today was my first workout.  After shoving in my entire breakfast (it’s a lot of food, it takes a while), I headed to Emerge.  I got in a quick warmup and then I met with Matt.  We first went over my diet.  He wanted to know how it was going, if I was okay with it and if anything needed to be changed.  Other than moving up one meal to keep my crankiness to a minimum, all has been going well.  Today, being our first session, we went through some basic exercises to check my posture and look for deviations.  For the most part, I did okay, especially on the bosu.  I must say, the first exercise of doing basic squats was already getting my legs a little wobbly.   We continued with some exercises on the physio ball, testing my core strength (or lack thereof when it came to the ball planks).  After a few chest presses, deadlifts and some rotation exercises on the ball, my hour was over and I had survived with flying colors (and a lot of sweat).  My entire core was on fire. 

After my workout, I had to do some foam rolling because I have very “knotty” IT bands, and it must’ve been very obvious to Matt because he suggested it before I even thought about rolling them out.  I got in a quick post workout meal, trained Carissa, completed my cardio, and walked home.  I was pretty happy with the way my workout and cardio went.  I thought that this diet and exercise this time around was gonna be a breeze.  THEN I heard the sound on my Blackberry, the ringtone that means “I’ve got mail.”  (Insert dramatic music here)  Your Special Large Pizza Offer from Papa John’s‏.” YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.

This time last week, my best friend was in town and we made sure we had hit up all of our favorite places to eat.  Last Friday night, we went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner (stay away from the rolls… They are sinfully fantastic!!!).  Tonight’s dinner is my meal plan.  This has been a hard evening to follow diet because there is so much going on.  I have friends down at the Cardinals game, and I’d like to go, however, I’m afraid I’d be easily tempted to eat horrible.  I’d head back to Illinois to the farm, but it’s morel mushroom season, and I know I’d be chowing down on fried mushrooms (if you haven’t had them, they are actually a million times better than they sound).  I live alone, so unless I’m out with friends (who for the most part don’t eat so great), I’m doing things solo.  It would be so easy to call up Papa Johns (actually, I have my “special” saved online for fast ordering), or meet up with a friend for dinner.  Dieting sure makes one realize how much food is a part of socializing in St. Louis.  I just keep telling myself that I got myself into this mess, and all of my post eating had involved way too much takeout food, and now I’m paying the consequences.  I had to remind a client today that food is used for energy, and that should be it.  It is fuel, no fun (I still argue that one a little bit).  I’m glad I told her this though because I needed to hear it as well.  Dinner time. 

My meal plan

Meal 1: 8:30am-

·         1 cup Special K

·         2 100% whole wheatcrips

·         1TBS PB

·         1/2 c cottage cheese

·         16oz H2O

Meal 2: 11:30am-

·         1 apple/orange/peach/pear/1c strawberries/blackberries 

·         16 oz H2O

Meal 3: 2:30pm

·         Soy Protein smoothie (oj, soy protein, soy vanilla yogurt, flax seeds, strawberries, blueberries, honey)

·         16oz H2O

Meal 4: 5:30pm

·         Luna Bar

·         16oz H2O

Meal 5: 8:30pm

·         6oz lean ground beef/sirloin/fillet/talapia

·         1 cup+ Green veggie (asparagus/green beans/spinach/romaine)

·         1/2 sweet potato or 1 serving sweet potato fries

·         16 oz H2O

Late night (if needed)

·         String cheese or 1/2c cottage cheese

Post workout lifting days:

·         2 dark chocolate Hershey kisses

·         1tbs honey

·         1 soy yogurt


Until Tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Trading Places… Day 2

Trading Places… Day 2

This is going to be a short post, since today wasn’t all so eventful.  Surprisingly, my diet went perfect… Yup, PERFECTO… It was so perfect that I got called “Cranky” today.  I knew this was going to happen.  Anytime there’s a big change in my diet, I get a little, “Temperamental.” I must say that my mood changed by nighttime partially due to the great dinner I had (my sirloin turned out wonderfully! I’m glad I can always fall back on beef!) and partially because I was pretty proud of myself for sticking to the meal plan.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  And the water, OH the H2O! I felt like apologizing to each client I had today because I had to pee during every session…  I’m supposed to have 16oz every three hours.  I think I did a little more than that…  I’m going to have to train my clients extra hard so they need longer rest breaks so it gives me a chance to head to the restroom.  That, or maybe invest in Depends… Nah, I will just make them work more. J 

I got in some cardio today and I kept pretty active.  Tomorrow, the plan is to train with Matt at 11am…  I’m actually pretty stoked about it!


Until Tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness Staff

Giving Into the "Not Bad, It Could Have Been Worse" Mentality

I’m guilty.
It has happened, on occasion, when I have let a client down by uttering these words…
“Not bad, it could have been worse,”  or something equally irresponsible.
There is a temptation, if you are a trainer (or person) like me to keep clients happy, motivated, and willing to continue their fitness journey by giving into and allowing performances below potential or lagging will-powers.
This, in fact, will not help but will definitely hurt a client in the long run.
Not to say that an unbridled onslought of hard truths is the only way to go, but sugar coating a sub-standard performance will only sanction that behavior and make it harder to break it in the long run.
If a client reports a weekly diet  that includes several slip-ups and follows  with “it could have been worse,” the responsiblity of a good trainer is to graciously agree and then very candidly point out where it could have been MUCH BETTER.  If the prescribed cardiovascualr routine for a given week calls for 4 sessions, and only 2 were completed, a reality check on that clients goals and how badly they want to acheive them is warranted.
Cut it in the bud.
I am speaking through experience as I find myself continually tempted to let clients off the hook.  This is good for NO ONE.
Bottom line, do what you say you are going to do.
Clients, that means making every effort to stick to the agreed upon fitness regimin.
Trainers, that means keeping your word that you will be accountable to that person’s goals by keeping them accountable for their behavior.
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness

Trading Places… Day 1… Reality Check

Trading Places…   Day 1… Reality check

Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one” –Albert Einstein

It’s a beautiful Wednesday morning, and after a not so great night of sleep, I got up and headed to the gym for my “first session” with Matt.  I walk into Emerge, put my stuff away, and as I sit down at the desk, I realize it is official.  I must now accept that I am now Matt Pirtle’s latest client.  The manila folder lying in front of me with “Kimberly Renoud” in big, bold, blue PERMANENT marker just sealed the deal.  And of course Matt just adds to it by sitting behind the desk with a big grin on his face.  Maybe it was the look of apprehension on my face or the fact that he already had visions of me hanging upside down on the rings by my feet doing crunches, I’m not sure, but the smile definitely made me even more uneasy.

The Official Transcript

The Official Transcript




The session didn’t start off so bad, we went over my goals.  I hadn’t really thought about what I wanted to achieve in my workouts.  The only thing I could think of right off the bat was that I wanted to wear those stupid Armani jeans I bought nearly two years ago…

"The Jeans"

"The Jeans"


Let me vent for a moment… I love jeans.  If I’m not in gym clothes, I’m wearing denim.  Back in June of 2007, I was in KC and I found myself in the Armani store.  I found a REALLY cute pair… ON SALE…  If you know me, I never pass up a bargain on something really cute.  Frugal, I like to call it.  Anyways, they only had two pair left, one being a zero or something ridiculously small, and a size 6, perfect! I always wear size 6 jeans… So I went to try them on and I’m all giddy thinking I just found a great buy.   As I start to zip them up, a problem occurred.  They were tight… Size 6 jeans were never tight on me!  SO, me, being a trainer, and my best friend Matt, (my former trainer), convinced myself that I’d just lose a couple of pounds and they’d fit fine, no big deal.  I’m a trainer; it should be easy; yeah, so much for that.  For two years now Matt and my poor clients have heard me growl and curse these darn things.  Anytime I mention working out, I would hear “Let me guess, you are still trying to fit in those jeans.”  I think they found it humorous. I could even believe some of them placing bets on when I’d actually fit into them.  Anyways, back to today’s session.

It was the time that I had dreaded, weight and measurements.  The bad news, the results show that I’m what we like to call “skinny fat,” which means even though I’m little; my body fat percentage is still pretty high.  The good news is that I can hide it pretty well, however everything is about to change.   I hopped on the scale, (making sure I wore shorts and a light t-shirt, because I needed all the help I could get) and the scale stopped at 142.8 lbs.  I knew that my weight was going up, so not a big shocker there.  Next Matt took my caliper skinfold measurement.  The results showed that I contain 28% body fat.  Forty pounds of my body was all fat.  Picking up a 40lb dumbbell and knowing that much weight on me is pure fat sure puts things into perspective!  When I saw the number written on paper, my stomach dropped.   I had a blank stare as Pirtle was trying to be positive and reassure me that these were just the beginning numbers and that from here on, those numbers would drop.  It sure is different hearing it come out of my mouth to a client than another trainer telling this to me.  That number really made me reflect how much I had been slacking and how easy it is to fall out of sync and gain body fat.  This was my rock bottom, but trying to be optimistic, I look at this being the beginning of only getting better from here. 

After setting up a menu plan for me and gearing up my cardio and resistance training, I left our session very humbled.  I decided to get in my cardio before I had to work in the afternoon, no like the present, ya know?  After thirty minutes on the elliptical I headed off to Trader Joes to pick up some of the items I need for my menu plan.  Normally, if I’m in the area at lunch or dinner time, I will swing by Chipolte and get myself my fajita burrito… If you haven’t tried it, I must say it is quite FANTASTIC.  Today was a new day, a new start, so after getting groceries, I immediately headed to my car and headed back towards St. Charles before I could change my mind.  I think someone up above decided to have a little sense of humor and had “The Point” radio station play “Loser,” by Beck on my drive back.  I must admit, I kind of laughed about it.

It’s now 9pm, and I’m out of meals to eat. I started following my diet the moment I received it.  I even tried to be a little crazy and attempt to fix shrimp for dinner.  I don’t cook… I don’t even really grill.  Not to mention, I’ve never attempted to fix shrimp or really any seafood for that matter.  I’m a farm girl; I come from a grass fed cattle farm.  We didn’t do fish or seafood growing up.  BUT once again, I figured why not, I will try something different.   After some assistance from Matt and a client of mine, I broiled them.  Let’s just say that I’m going back to red meat tomorrow.    I had told Matt that the diet wasn’t going to be so bad.  His reply “So she says on Day 1.”  He was right.   This was just day one.   I don’t train with Matt until Friday, so it’s me, my menu plan and cardio until then.  Let the games begin!


Until Tomorrow,
Kimberly, Emerge Fitness Staff

Trading Places

Trading Places… The Trainer becomes the Trainee


The decision:  I once saw a quote on a shirt that said “To be the best, you have to be a little crazy.”  I tried to live up to that motto, partially, but this time, I think I hit the nail on the head.  I, like any male or female, hit a bump in my regimen…   In the process of leaving 24 Hour Fitness to come to work at Emerge, my stress levels went up and down like a rollercoaster.  I had a lot of changes in my life, and I put my personal workouts to the side.   I’ve had a few week spurts when I will become a raging fitness-addict, but then something would come up and knock me off track.  Even though I’m a trainer who can push clients thru very tough (some even say insane) sessions, I would still have a hard time dragging myself onto the floor to lift weights.  We trainers are human, we have our funks too.  So, I decided to “man up” (this is a popular phrase with me, ask my clients), and get someone to put a fire under my butt and get me going.  I’m a 26 year old female, and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be killing it in the gym, even if it was by someone else. 

The crazy part: I asked Matt Pirtle to be my trainer.  Here’s what I’m a little worried about… Matt likes to come up with some pretty crazy stuff.  After seeing his clients go thru them, it gives me a little fuel to produce something just as creative for my victims (as Mr. Nelson like to call them).  WHICH MEANS> we use each other exercises to create some “sick” workouts… See where I’m going with this? I have a feeling my “creative-crazy” exercises are going to come back 360 degrees and bite me in the butt… He’s going to make me do some of my own crazy “ideas”.  So here I’m thinking “Way to go Kim, you just dug your own grave… by using not a shovel, but a backhoe.”   

After talking with Pirtle this afternoon, we decided that it would be an “interesting” idea for me to log, or “Blog”, my workout and weight progression for everyone to see.  I may end up regretting this later. On a positive side, everyone will get to see how even a trainer can benefit from personal training. 

My “1st session” with Matt begins tomorrow, April 22nd at 9am.  We are going over cardio (ugh), diet (oh no), and measurements (oh crud).  I’m not saying that they are bad now, however, being a trainer, you feel like they should always be better.  Some trainers (including me) have this mentality that image is everything in our business, and in a way, it is a big part to what attracts others to want to train with us.  It’s common to hear a client say “I want to look like (name)” or “I want (name)’s arms or legs”.   I’m dreading being faced with the fact that I have been slacking.  My numbers written down are going to be the proof and the antidote that I need to get back on track.  As we farm kids say, I’m just going to “grab the bull by the balls” and put 100% into it.

I hope my “blogs” can give you an insight on the ups and downs even a trainer can have, and I hope it can bring you some motivation (as well as some laughs).  Please leave any comments, questions, and advice (especially if you are already one of Pirtle’s clients).     

Until tomorrow,
             Kimberly, Emerge Fitness Staff

Boot Camp Schedule

Monday– Jason- 7am & 7pm
                      Matt/ Angie- 6:30pm
                      Adam- 5:30 pm
                      Debi- 7:30pm
Tuesday– Open Studio
Wednesday– Angie/Matt- 7am
                              Angie/Matt/Kim- 4pm (Rams Camp)
                              Jason- 6:30pm
Thursday– Beth/Jerren- 6:30pm
Friday– Angie/Matt- 8am (Core Camp)
Saturday– Beth/Jerren- 8am
                        Jason- 9am
                        Debi- 9am

Emerge Has Stellar Showing at GO! Saint Louis Marathon

Jackie strides towards the finish line.  She finished 2nd!

Jackie strides towards the finish line. She finished 2nd

Jerren, Jonathan, Jackie, and Beth after the race.

Jerren, Jonathan, Jackie, and Beth after the race.

The scene was inspirational.
Thousands of runners plodding through the rain towards a finish line with water logged shoes, many waving there hands in the air as they crossed the finish line.
Family, friends and fellow competitors cheering them on and giving them a last big hurrah before the final stretch of pavement.
It was an amazing site.
Jerren Pirtle McKamely was impressive beating the 2 hour mark for her 1/2 marathon, coming in at 1:55:38.  It was hard to tell afterwards if the water logged Jerren had actually run the 13.1 miles.  Awesome job.
Beth Pirtle ran a personal best 2:16:52, beating her previous half marathon time run when she was 49.  Again, she looked fresh at the welcoming tent at the end of the race.
Jonathan Hall ran his second half marathon and came in with a time of 2:07:01.  Jon ran an even, steady pace the entire race and looked strong coming through the finish line.
Jackie Pirtle Hall CAME IN 2nd in the full marathon with a time of 3:08:24.  Jackie was strong the whole race, right through the finish.  Her run was awe inspiring.  Jackie had her first child ON THANKSGIVING.
Congratulations to these four runners and to all of the runners who competed this weekend in the GO! Saint Louis Marathon.

Jackie and Jonathan after the race.

Jackie and Jonathan after the race.

Eating Out and Losing Weight

-Look for entrees served broiled, grilled, poached, steamed, roasted or baked. Stay away from foods described as fried, creamy, crisp, au gratin, scalloped, or breaded. Check the menu for a healthy eating section.
-Avoid looking at the menu (food pictures are designed to be enticing and tempting). Unless you’re planning on a splurge, you already know what you need to order.
-Order first, avoid the “me too” syndrome. Listening to everyone else’s choices can make it tempting to order the same.
-Avoid creamy based salad dressings. Instead, have no- fat, light or oil and vinegar based dressing. Order dressing on the side and dip your fork in the dressing before each bite.
-Eat something an hour or two prior to eating out, preferably high fiber. (Being overly hungry can trigger high fat, high calorie choices.)
-Split your entree with someone else or ask waiter/waitress for a doggy bag upfront and pack up half your entree.
-Hold the butter & sour cream. Instead go for salsa-which is a great topper and low in calories.
-Limit alcohol, it tends to increase your appetite and break down your resolve.
-Dining out at a buffet? Try this, eat a large salad with veggies before going for an entree. Make a deal with yourself to fill only one plate, one layer deep with your buffet choices.
– Ordering a sandwich, remove half the bread/bun and hold high fat/calorie condiments like mayo.
-Ordering dessert? Try this, order fruit for dessert or split a dessert with others at the table.
-Avoid fast food-but if you do, go for the kid’s menu and hold the fries.
-Remember, portion size is always a key to successful weight loss.
If you are going out to eat, it never hurts to do an extra 15 or 20 minutes of cardio exercise that day.
Beth Pirtle

Emerge Clients Emerging

Kathy Sandbothe Press Crunching

Kathy Sandbothe Press Crunching

Molly Brown Kickboxing

Molly Brown Kickboxing

Cathy Raymon Slosh Pipe Pressing

Cathy Raymon Slosh Pipe Pressing

Carissa Allen Barbell Lunging

Carissa Allen Barbell Lunging

Sarah Bonstead Slosh Pipe Lunging and Pressing

Sarah Bonstead Slosh Pipe Lunging and Pressing


Why on earth would I want to do a bootcamp?

Emerge Bootcamps are a great way to get fit and have fun at the same time.  They are incredibly popular because they focus on all aspects of fitness- cardiovascular and muscular endurance, fat loss, full body strength, agility, balance, flexibility, periodization, and most importantly they get results.  Bootcamps provide a fun group atmosphere and offer just enough personal assistance to meet your individual needs and help you achieve the best results possible without the risk of injury.  Possibly the best part of bootcamp is having your friends there with you every step of the way as you meet and exceed your goals.  Come try an Emerge Bootcamp today!
-Debi Westhues

How to Measure Success ; Keeping Yourself Accountable

Circumference Measurements and Body Fat Percentage tests give objective fitness measurements

Circumference Measurements and Body Fat Percentage tests give objective fitness measurements

There are several ways to measure the success of fitness program.  There is the intangible “just feeling better” or the energy boost that powers you through the day without the need for a nap.  The mirror usually tells the truth if your goal is an aesthetic change.  Noticing that your cardiovascular program is becoming easier is another way to tell you’re coming along.  Weights that once seemed overwhelming seeming not so unattainable is another measure of fitness success.
All of these things are important ways to measure how well you are doing when attempting to reach an ultimate fitness goal.  They all give qualitative measurements of progress, and these are very important to notice, especially when first starting a fitness program.
What not to be ignored, however, are the classic, quantifiable, tangible evidences of fitness progress gathered through measurements of physical change and adaptation.  These measurements include: weight on the scale, bodyfat percentage, circumference measurements, and quantifiable measurements of cardio improvement (i.e.- 1/2 mile run time) or strength improvement (i.e.- 3 rep max on an exercise) etc.
These types of measurements cannot be ignored because, at the end of the day, they are the true, unbiased yardsticks of progress.  You (and your trainer) should keep yourself accountable to your fitness goals by keeping track of your progress with both qualitative and quantitative measurements of progress.  If something in your program is not working, a regular schedule of measurements will let you know if everyhting is going well or if it is time for a change.
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Staff

Low Cal, High Fiber Snack

Edamame, a fancy name for boiled soybeans, is often found as an appetizer at most Sushi and Japanese restaurants.  Edamame is an ideal low calorie, high fiber, high protein snack.  As a matter of fact, a 1/2 cup serving of these soybeans has only 120 calories, as much fiber as 4 pieces of whole wheat bread (9 grams) and 11 grams of protein.  If that weren’t enough, edamame is also a good source of omerga-3 fatty acids.  Edamame is easy to make, comes in large freezable bags, and with a little soy sauce and a dash of sea salt is a very nutritious snack.

Edamame individual package by Seacrest Farms
Edamame individual package by Seapoint Farms

Costco has a large, economy package made by Seapoint Farms that has several smaller packages inside.  Give them a try, for a “healthy” food they’re delicious.

Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Staff

Advocare Supplement Line Introduced

Advocare Catalyst, Core Plex, Nightime Recovery, Muscle Fuel, and Spark

Advocare Catalyst, Core Plex, Nightime Recovery, Muscle Fuel, and Spark

Check out the elite line of Advocare supplements now available at Emerge Fitness.  Ask your trainer for details.
Supplement of the the Month: Catalyst.  Catalyst is a Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) ideal for those trying to maintain muscle while losing weight or those looking to add lean body mass.
 For more info on Catalyst:

GO! St. Louis Marathon April 19th

Don’t miss the GO! St. Louis Marathon April 19th. Emerge Staff members Beth Pirtle and Jerren Pirtle- McKamely and Emerge clients Jackie Pirtle-Hall and Jonathan Hall will be running (Jackie will be running the full marathon).  The race begins Sunday Morning (April 19th) at 7am next to the Soldiers Memorial Building.
For race details, click here:

Are You Taking Full Advantage of Your Personal Trainer?

Are you someone who still thinks that a personal trainer is there primarily to teach you how to use the machines and dumbbells in the gym/studio?  Of course, teaching proper form and safety when using exercise machines and resistance equipment is part of’ a personal trainer’s role, their job responsibilities go far beyond that.  Unfortunately, a lot of people are still not aware of the total fitness resource available to them when working with a personal trainer.
An experienced, educated trainer will examine all fitness related aspects of your lifestyle while listening to and clarifying your personal fitness goals.  Your personal trainer is your support group except that the fitness plan they design is specifically for you, no broad weight loss/exercise programs designed to meet the needs of large groups of people.  They are there to provide information and motivation in the areas of fitness that are most appropriate to you.  Whether you’re looking to build strength with a comprehensive resistance, core training, or if your goals are focused towards weight loss and cardio exercise design, most personal trainers have the experience and resources to assist you in getting real results.
What I love most about being a personal trainer is whether I’m working with clients one-on-one or in a partner setting, there is always improvement in one’s overall sense of well being.  Not only do clients see steady physical results from their fitness program, but in many cases there is immediate stress reduction which comes, not only after incorporating exercise into one’s routine, but from the coaching relationship that is formed with any good personal trainer.
The best part about working with a personal trainer is that there are no long lines to wait in to get time with your trainer.  You won’t be interacting with an impersonal computer screen  that is attempting to direct you towards success with little or no accountability.  You won’t have to hope that your personal trainer will talk about and provide resolutions to challenges that you are facing at any particular time.  Your trainer  can  provide you with the training, resources and motivation you need to make your goals a reality now.
Beth Pirtle

Did you know: Your weight affects the economy?

Did you know: Your weight affects the economy?

Economic Costs Related to Overweight and Obesity


As the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in the United States, so have related health care costs—both direct and indirect. Direct health care costs refer to preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services such as physician visits, medications, and hospital and nursing home care. Indirect costs are the value of wages lost by people unable to work because of illness or disability, as well as the value of future earnings lost by premature death.

Most of the statistics presented here represent the economic cost of overweight and obesity in the United States in 1995, updated to 2001 dollars.[10] Unless otherwise noted, these statistics are adapted from Wolf and Colditz,[11] who based their data on existing epidemiological studies that defined overweight and obesity as a BMI > 29. Because the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased since 1995, the costs today are higher than the figures given here.

Q: What is the cost of overweight and obesity?

A: Total Cost: $117 billion
     Direct Cost: $61 billion*
     Indirect Cost: $56 billion

*A recent study estimated annual medical spending due to overweight and obesity (BMI >25) to be as much as $92.6 billion in 2002 dollars—9.1 percent of U.S. health expenditures.[12]

Q: What is the cost of lost productivity related to overweight and obesity?

A: The cost of lost productivity related to obesity among Americans age 17 to 64 is $3.9 billion. This value considers the following annual numbers (for 1994):

Workdays lost: $39.3 million
Physician office visits: $62.7 million
Restricted-activity days: $239 million
Bed-days: $89.5 million


Kimberly Renoud

Emerge Fitness Training Staff


The "Harder is Better" Workout Approach

“No pain, no gain.”
The old adage is true to a certain extent.
The discomfort involved, however, should be part of a controlled, personalized exercise program designed to eventually make the participant a healthier person.
The trend lately seems to focus on just the opposite.
Workout programs labeled”extreme” and “hardcore”seem to be popping up everywhere as of late.  The idea is simple, really.   The exercises are extremely demanding physically and on the nervous system, thus taxing the body to the extent that the participant burns ALOT of calories.  To this end, these programs are very effective.
The problem is, very, very few people are at a fitness level where they are ready for this type of exercise.  most people (yes, even you Mr. 20 Years Under a Bench Press Guy) have muscle imbalances, postural deviations, and medical conditions that make this type of exercise not only ineffective, but dangerous and damaging to a persons body.
The programs are not personalized based on these individual conditions. 
Therefore, in most cases, JUST BECAUSE IT”S HARD DOESN’T MEAN IT’S GOOD.  Any first time trainer or fitness participant can put together a grueling, extremely taxing workout program.  That’s the easy part. 
Putting together that kind of plan with the exercisers specific strengths, weaknesses, and muscle imbalances in mind will yield not only better and faster results, but the participant will probably enjoy less time recovering from unnecessary pain as well.  Controlled “extreme” exercising is the only way to go.
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training Staff

Post workout nutrition

Post workout nutrition is an oft neglected but vitally important aspect of fitness training.  Following a strenuous resistance training or cardiovascular workout, an exercisers body is “starving” for energy replacement through the form of glycogen (sugar) that helps repair the tissue damaged during exercise.  Therefore, a fast burning, high glycemic carbohydrate (dextrose, table sugar, sugar in energy drinks, certain high glycemic fruits) are perfect for post workout nutrition.
Proteins, the “building block” of muscle, are the second component to post workout nutrition.  Because of the immediate need for the amino acids in the protein to begin the reparation process on the damaged tissue, a fast digesting source of protein is optimal (whey protein isolate, whey protein mixes).
Often called the “window of opportunity”, this thirty minute segment of time just following a workout is a prime opportunity to replenish and arm your body with the nutrients it needs to repair and ultimately improve.
Matt and Angie Nation- Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Staff

The importance of THR in cardiovascular / aerobic training.

THR stands for target heart rate.  A persons THR is defined by their fitness goal and what they are trying to accomplish with their cardio training.
To figure your proper target heart rate, a goal must be defined (i.e. body fat loss, cardio endurance, etc.) where age and fitness level figure in to the appropriate heart rate range for you.
Without knowing your range, your time spent on cardio training becomes inefficient, and sometimes counter productive.  The best and most common example is exercisers training well below their THR for their defined goal.  Training at a 115-120 HR range when your THR should be 140-145 is inefficient and will prolong your time in attaining your goal.
Training in your goal-appropriate zone will ensure that you are, for example, utilizing tissue (body fat) as energy and not lean body mass.  Understanding the importance of THR training can save a trainee time and frustration when attempting to achieve a fitness goal.
Angie Nation- Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Staff

Why supplement with protein?

Proteins are one of the three macronutrients necessary for healthy body function.  Protein’s primary function (among others) is serving, in the simplest terms, as the “building block” of muscle.  To gain or maintain lean muscle, protein is an absolute must.
Furthermore, understanding that the three macronutrient sources of calories are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, a persons total caloric intake for the day must be some combination of calories from these three nutrients.  Unless you want a vast majority of your calories to come from carbs and fats, proteins must make up a significant ratio of your daily caloric intake.
Unless you are getting all of your proteins from whole foods (meats, dairy, nuts) a protein supplement (whey protein shake) is a great way to get the protein you need.
Angie Nation- Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Staff

Total Fitness Challenge Results

     First and foremost, the challenge was a huge success, as everyone who participated improved their personal bests at each event dramatically over the five week span of the contest.  The challenge was designed with total fitness in mind, with strength, endurance, core stability and healthy competition as a focus. There were 29 female and 14 male competitors.
Women’s Top Scores:
Stability Ball Press- Cami H.- 100
45 Degree Ring Row- Cami H.- 126
Stability Ball Plank- Cami H.- 6:10
1/2 Mile Run- Susan M- 3:33
Women’s Top Ten (Final Rank/Total Points)
1- Cami Hafner (9)
2- Nicole Lafser (14)
3 Tied- Shannon Johnson (17)
3 Tied-Susan Marcos (17)
5- Jody Blanton (22)
6- Michelle Clark (24)
7 Tied- Carissa Allen (28)
7 Tied- Beth Pirtle (28)
9- Kim Kropp (33)
10- Alexis Eldridge (34)
Men’s Top Scores
Stability Ball Press- Mike C./Scott G.- 55
45 Degree Ring Pull- Mike C.- 80
Stability Ball Plank- Scott G.- 4:30
1/2 Mile Run- Anthony L.- 2:46
Men’s Top 5 Scores (Final Rank/Total Points)
1- Mike Clark (7)
2- Scott Gietl (9)
3- Anthony Ledwon (10)
4- Dale Witte (14)
5- Jeff Lamb (21)
Thanks again to all who pushed themselves a little further every week and challenged themselves to better their own fitness level. Stay tuned for information on the Total Fitness Challenge II!

The Strength Training Misconception (for Sports Performance)

Allison Hu demonstrates a swiss ball kneel with rotation

Allison Hu demonstrates a swiss ball kneel with rotation

Squats. Bench Press. Power Clean. Deadlift.
The old wisdom says that performing these four lifts will result in a stronger, more capable athlete.
This is true to a certain extent.  The athlete’s prime movers, the big muscles involved, will most likely become bigger and stronger (given a proper nutrition program). 
The problem with relying on this type of training is the absence of specific core training and joint stabilizer strengthening exercise.  To explain this, an analogy often used is that of a car with a huge, powerful engine that is out of alignment and has poor suspension.  It simply does not matter how much potential power that engine has if the stabilizing components of that car’s frame are weak.  The same can be said about the human body.  An athlete may have a huge bench press, but that may not translate into performance on the field UNLESS all of the stabilizing muscles of the core and the joints involved in that sport are strong enough to support the potential force created by the big muscles.
Another simple way to look at this, an athletes brain will simply not allow the full strength of a movement (or muscle) to be realized unless it KNOWS the spine and the joints involved are stable enough to avoid injury. 
Pressing weight in a stable environment (a bench press) is far different than pressing weight in an unstable environment (standing unbalanced on a field with no support).  The stronger the core stabilizing and joint stabilizing muscle, the stronger the athlete will be in an unstable environment.  This is the only way to witness the full strength potential of an athlete OUTSIDE THE WEIGHT ROOM, where it really matters.
Exercises designed to put an athlete in an unstable environment with multi planes of motion involved are far better than just the classic “big lifts” for this reason.
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training Staff

What is Fitness?

What is Fitness?
Depending on who you ask, you can get a wide array of definitions.
“Fitness is feeling good.”
“Fitness is looking good.”
“Fitness is performing well.”
“Fitness is energy and longevity.”
The truth is, the definition of fitness is often the definition of an individuals current fitness aspirations.
Fitness, therefore, is running a marathon at the age of 50 or simply being able to walk the stairs to the office instead of riding the elevator.  Fitness goals can run the spectrum from the extreme to the seemingly mundane daily routine.
Understanding this, it is important to know that no matter what the fitness goal, when broken down, every definition of fitness must contain some denominators common to all fitness goals.  Fitness SHOULD involve, in varying degrees, all of the following components:
1)      Cardiovascular training
2)      An understanding and implementation of basic nutrition guidelines
3)      An appropriate to the individual resistance training program
4)      Exercise intended to improve genetic or environmentally acquired muscle imbalances (stretching and postural correction exercises)
A definition of fitness that leads to a fitness program deficient in any one of these components will leave the participant short of hitting their fitness goal, no matter what that goal may be.  Each of these activities is “good” in their own right, and in no doubt better than doing nothing at all, but the synergy created by the proper tailoring of each of these components to an individuals NEED as defined by their goal will save time and sometimes can be the difference in deciding to stick with a fitness program or to abandon it for lack of results.
Bottom line, the definition of fitness is an organic, specific to the individual set of activities that are designed to help that person achieve their physical goals fast and safe.
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training Staff