Mizzou Recruit Works With NFL Longer Snapper Chris Massey

Emerge athletic trainers are working with Mizzou recruit Jake Hurrell.  Jake is a senior at Francis Howell North and has been recruited by Mizzou as a preferred walk-on (as a long snapper).  Jake had the honor to work with another Emerge athlete, former Rams snapper (and current Chicago Bear) Chris Massey.  Massey analyzed Jake’s form and gave him some pointers about going from high school to division I football.  They will be meeting again at Emerge in a couple of weeks to see how Jake has progressed.  In the meantime, Jake is working on his explosive ability and football specific core conditioning 3x/ week at the Emerge facility.



72 Years Old and Training Likes she's 27

Lee Hauk is one of my favorite clients that I get to see twice a week.  She has been training with me since February 2006.  When I first met Lee she was a recent widow and was looking to make a lifestyle change for herself.  Her highest weight she reached was 230lbs at 45% body fat.   She had already made diet changes on her own before meeting me and lost 25lbs.   I helped her get down to her lowest weight of 145lbs and 29% body fat.  Through the course of the years she has fluctuated 10-15lbs.  One of the hardest fitness goals is to loose a significant amount of weight and keep it off.  Lee in my opinion has done a phenomenal job  keeping her weight off and the key to that is making a lifestyle change and sticking with it.   Eating habits  she learned from me over the course of the years and things she has taught herself  are now her new way of  life.   Lee is a health guru now and she has even taught me a few things.  One of the best parts of my jop is to see a client make a lifestyle change and never go back. 

Click Picture To See Video







During our workouts I often forget Lee is 72.  I train her just as hard as I train my 27 year old clients and the best part is she can handle it.  I clearly remember our first workouts when a stationary lunge was impossible because of balance and knee strength and now she can stand on two balance disk and hold a pvc pipe full of water over her head.  Thats why I love  my job.  Im so proud of  Lee and her accomplishments.  Her training is truly about health and keeping herself strong to perform normal daily task.  I try to encourage her that its not about weight loss anymore but  increasing strength, balance, and flexibility.

Angie Pirtle

Emerge Fitness

Week 5 – Nicole's Figure Competition Blog

Definitely read Julie’s blog to get a great update of what we have been researching and experimenting with in our competition prep.

Last week we jointly decided to try out the macro nutrients that Layne Norton suggests in competition prep. This meant I raised my typical 130-150g of protein up to 180-200g. This is really uncomfortable for me because I am accustomed to using the standard rule of thumb that an intense athlete or bodybuilder should be maxing out at 2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight. Notice, I said kg not lb. 🙂 I went ahead and made the change, but at the back of my mind I was worrying about my liver function. I referred my question to a client of mine that is a gastroenterologist and he said that if I am otherwise healthy, have no history of liver or kidney problems, and am not doing it long-term… he doesn’t see that it should be damaging. After speaking with another competitor who trains at Emerge and actually hires Layne to do her diet, I asked if he had her on any supplements to assist the function of her liver, and he does. SO, I feel satisfied in two areas… one: My liver isn’t going to suddenly crap out on me after this diet *PHEW* and two: Layne saw the potential issue of such a high protein diet and has his clients on a supplement to assist… so I still trust his judgement and guidance. 😉

Just because we raised our protein doesn’t mean we went crazy LOW with our carbs. Often times, people go on a high protein and extremely low carb diet. My carbohydrates are averaging at 130g. I have read that depending on the person, 50-100g is the bare minimum to spare muscle and to allow the central nervous system to function. I am a huge believer in eating sufficient carbohydrates because with my job I need to be on my feet, physically active, making thoughtful decisions about clients programs, and all while maintaining an energetic, positive and motivating attitude. When my carbohydrates are severely restricted I cannot function in life. I cannot do my job. This is unnecessary and a part of what I teach my competitors. I believe that we can both be HAPPY and be HEALTHY while getting ready for competitions. Not just looking amazing, but continuing to feel amazing as we transform our bodies. Some people may have the types of jobs that allow them to zone out as they go into ketosis (MUSCLE WASTING!) but I do not. I want to be happy 😉

People can successfully compete by doing a very very low carbohydrate diet but they risk a few important things. For one, they risk the intensity of their workouts and cardio. The resting metabolism drops significantly and I have seen this happen repeatedly by using the bodybugg to track my own caloric expenditure as well as my client’s. My own burn dropped significantly when I was at my lowest, and as soon as I added my carbohydrates back my burn went up DRAMATICALLY. Since bodyfat loss is all about creating a calorie deficit, it doesn’t matter what fancy tricks you do if you don’t burn more than you take in. Gotta keep that BURN!

Also, a competitor will get lean enough to compete but they most likely lose a significant amount of muscle as well as damage their metabolisms and hormones. I have read that this type of damage can take 1-2 years to correct and it ends up being very annoying as the individuals bodyfat somehow continues to go up, even as they put in a lot of hard work in the gym and try to focus on doing well with their diet. As Julie mentioned, they also end up with carb sensitivity. If someone isn’t going to be ready for show, they may choose to do a last minute ketogenic diet – but it definitely has side effects and I believe they should never be done long-term. And who wants to be a cranky, angry, sluggish, irritable, weak during workouts, falling asleep during cardio, and flat all the time? I know my clients would hate to have a cranky, angry, sluggish, irritable trainer – which is why I chose not to follow this old-school competition prep path. I appreciate the new science a lot more 🙂

Here is the diet I wrote up. It is very boring for now as I get used to it, but I sure do want to sub some of my fun nutritious foods back in! I will slowly learn what I can sub in without effecting my macronutrients and food timing.

Meal 1: 1 serving 10 grain hot cereal, 3 egg whites

Meal 2: 15 almonds

Meal 3: 2 Hours prior to workout: 1 cup oatmeal or 1 Ezekiel english muffin or 1 cup rice or sweet potato

Meal 4: During workout: 1 scoop whey protein, 1/2 serving dextrose, glutamine, BCAA

Meal 5: 30 minutes post workout: 3 oz chicken, 1 cup oatmeal or 1 cup rice

Meal 6: veggies, 1 tbs olive oil and vinegar dressing, 4 oz chicken

Meal 7: Casein

Sunday we did a refeed and it definitely did not go how I had hoped! I was up late with friends Saturday night (In 2 weeks I am going to have to just drive separate from my husband and go home earlier so I don’t get screwed up on my program) When I got home it was past midnight and I had an extra serving of casein protein. I logged it onto Sunday, which is what I usually do in situations like that. When I woke up I had a chobani yogurt and a yummy protein peanut butter cookie (The only ingredients are egg whites, whey protein, spices, peanut butter, applesauce) We worked out early Sunday and I did my normal protein shake during but because of my prior decisions – my protein was already getting too high for the parameters of the refeed day. This meant that I could only really eat carbs for the rest of the day. Bad planning on my part.

I got a pancake and toast at first watch with one tbs of preserves and ordered french toast to go. It was so freakin yummy. With no butter and no sugar, each of these ends up being about 500 calories. My appetite was already WILD by the time I left the restaurant and I found myself reaching into my to go bag and eating one of my three pieces of french toast. It took ALL of my willpower and self-talk to convince myself it was illogical to eat the french toast while I only had to wait a couple hours to actually be allowed to eat it. When I got home I cut it up and put it in my own container to bring to a superbowl party. We are fostering two puppies and have a dog of our own and while I remembered to pack all of their food, bowls, and crates… I FORGOT my french toast! Noooooooooooooooo! When I got to my mother-in-law’s house I found that she had multigrain crackers and multigrain chips available so I ate those as my carb. I would eat a few, then log them on my food logging ap, then eat a few more, and log them. In total, I ended up being 100g too low in carbs and too high in protein and fat.

Lesson learned. Next time I will plan much better. Boo for me. At least I hit the calories I was supposed to hit, so that is good.

My workouts have been strong, but we did HIIT training the day after our refeed and I felt like a complete sweaty weird gross slug. It was so strange! Last week I did the hit on the woodway at a speed between 9.0-10.5 and this time I found myself starting out struggling to stay over 8.0 and even dipping into the 7’s. It had to be the diet! 🙂 I am eager to examine how I feel after a correctly done refeed. 🙂

Foster Puppy!

Ok – sorry this entry is late! I have been busy with these foster puppies – but arent they just so darn cute??

Foster Puppy!



Be Happy, Be Healthy!


Week 5- Julie's Figure Competition Blog


Week 5 was another solid week down and I am down another pound making it a total of 5.2lbs of fat lost so far along with some lean muscle gains 🙂 I did a TON of research this week (mainly Layne Norton, PhD’s articles and the links he has posted to his articles if you are interested) on several things- Leptin, refeed meals and also different macronutrient ratios and nutrient timing that might respond better to my body, especially coming off of a keto diet from the last 2 preps. I learned that a person may be more carb sensitive or have an inflammatory response after having such a low carb diet for an extended period of time. So I rearranged my macronutrient values to 23% fat, 36% carb and 40% protein as well as rearranged my carbs to my breakfast, pre, during and post workout meals. So aside from breakfast, your carbs are centered around when your body will be using them optimally instead of storing them. I can tell a huge difference in my appetite from changing my nutrient timing. I am more hungry, however I am eating 7 times a day so by the time I start really feeling it, my next meal is around the corner. Spacing the meals out like this helps increase my metabolism because each time the body has to work to digest the food.
As I had blogged in week 3… Energy levels were super low. This is where my Leptin research came in 🙂 Leptin is known as the “anti-starvation signal” hormone so if Leptin levels are low the brain receives a signal saying it is starving. With this, one would have increased appetite and  cravings, decreased resting energy expenditure, loss of muscle due to body turning to muscle stores for fuel, and susceptibility to illness and fatigue.This is crucial for someone that is dieting to keep these levels high in order to off set these reactions. The goal of the diet we are on, as Layne Norton puts it, and in this specific order: 1) increase or maintain lean muscle 2) decrease body fat and 3) keep a high intensity in the gym. With low Leptin levels this is not possible. With all this information we then have to look at what keeps leptin levels elevated. This is where our refeed meal comes in. This is not a “cheat meal or cheat day” this is a planned day with certain goals in mind. The point of it is to boost leptin levels before they have completely dropped. For us, our levels had dropped early in week three so every 2 weeks would be great timing. As you get leaner, leptin levels are not as high therefore frequency of the refeed meal is increased. The total amount of calories for the day should be at maintenance level in other words, the amount of calories you burn on a typical day (this is where the body bugg is handy). The macronutrient values that I found for this are going to be about 1g per pound of lean body mass in protein, between 20-40g of fat and the rest of the calories come from carbohydrates and can be anywhere between 50 to 100 times your normal days carb value. Another thing to note is that a refeed is going to be best on a day of the body part you want to work on the most. For both Nicole and I this is legs 🙂 We will continue testing this out and report back any findings.
On Sunday Nicole, Angie, her twin sister Leah who competes in bikini, and myself met for a killer leg workout that left us all wobbling out of the gym. We then went to first watch and enjoyed a big carb rich breakfast! I could tell that my body was in complete shock, my heart rate was increased, I was much more vascular and I could feel heat coming off of my skin the entire day. I tried to do as clean of a refeed day as possible (with the exception of the pancakes) so my carbs consisted of oats, Ezekiel English muffins, fruit preserves, dextrose, rice and kashi cereal. Protein was from chicken, shakes and eggs and my fats came from whatever fats were in the foods I ate, no intentional fat sources were eaten.  We discussed that in two weeks when we do the next refeed meal, we will go to one of our houses and make healthy pancakes instead 🙂 Monday is normally our off day but being that we had the refeed the day prior we are going to do a HITT interval session instead. We will do a 10 min walking warm up on the treadmill and then used the Woodway Curve treadmill for our 30second sprint:30 second rest intervals followed by a 10 minute walking cool down. The Curve is killer because you have to produce the power by running or walking on it like you would on an actual outdoor track so it is a much harder workout than doing them on a regular electric powered treadmill. I hope everything made sense, I know it is a lot of information all crammed into one blog but I wanted to share with everyone the main points of what I found this week. Feel free to email me if you have any questions or are interested in the reading the articles I gathered my information from(jmhct4@gmail.com). Thanks for reading and I will continue to up date you on my progress so stay tuned for next week!

Julie's Figure Competition Blog- Week 4


I can’t believe we are now 12 weeks out!!!  This week we booked our hair, makeup, spray tanning appointments and hotel room so everything  is starting to really set in that we are JUST 12 weeks away…To most people this would seem like an eternity but to any one competing this is when every little thing matters and your mind starts playing games with you about if you are going to be ready to get on stage and win…
This week was challenging in that I really started to feel run down and low on energy. I could tell in my workouts that I was struggling, I was falling asleep on the couch every night by 8:30 and I was sooooo hungry all the time!!! This week was also very busy for me at work which made it challenging to get everything in but I did it! Like Nicole hit on last week in her blog, if you want to achieve your goal bad enough you will find the time to get everything in… Everyone has the same 168 hours a week so plan out your schedule and meals a head of time so that you are not put in a tight spot! This sport, and weight loss in general, is so much about planning planning planning. I plan my workouts and cardio for the week ahead of time and block them out in my schedule so I have no excuse for not getting them in. Each night I plan out my next days meals and when I will be able eat them throughout the day. Also, I log all my meals ahead of time so I know where my macronutrient ratios are at so at the end of the day I am not sitting there going “oops! I’m over on my calories, or oops my fats are way too low and my carbs and protein values are too high”. This may seem like a lot of work to some people but once you get the hang of it you will know more of what you need each day at every meal and it is not such a time consuming thing. If your goal is that important to you, you will find a way to do what needs to be done… I’ll go ahead and step down off my soap box now…
Like I was saying earlier, we had been feeling low on energy and so the end of this 4weeks could not have come at a more perfect time. On Friday, we bumped up our calories by 200 (keeping our macronutrient ratios the same) to help replenish glycogen stores. We had increased our cardio to 5 times 40 minutes this past week and will continue to increase it by adding in a 30min high intensity interval training session this coming week so the extra calories that we are getting will help out a ton! I can tell my energy has increased already allowing me to have great workouts fri and Saturday and as I sit here writing this I am very excited to leave for the gym in an hour to kill my legs!
To Follow up with last week, Matt took our measurements on Tuesday and I am excited to report that from 1-3-12 to 1-24-12 I am down .75 inches in the chest, 1 inch in the waist and .5 inches in the hip and .5 inches in the thigh. My skin folds show I am down 2.7% body fat and a true steady gain of 4.5lbs of lean muscle (the lean muscle gain has been tracked from 11-17-11 to 1-24-12). These figures go to show sometimes the scale is not the most accurate way to assess progress 🙂

If You Have Back Pain Read This


In October 2010, I was experiencing severe back and leg pain due to a herniated disc in my lower back. After numerous visits with multiple doctors and steroid injections in the spine, round-the-clock painkillers and muscle relaxers, I still found it difficult to do things as simple as putting on my own socksBy February, I had had enough and was ready to concede to back surgery.Meanwhile, my husband had been doing some personal trainingwith Kimberly at Emerge; and during the course of a casual conversation, she suggested I see Dr. Matt Lytle at Precision Health Group. I pessimistically agreed to try one more thing before setting up the surgeryI began seeing Dr. Lytle onFebruary 23. After three weeks, his treatment helped tremendously, and I was soon cutting back on some of my prescriptions. Dr. Lytle suggested I go to Emerge in order to build my core and increase relief from my symptomsI started working with Angie on March 21 while continuing to see Dr. Lytle. By April 5, I was no longer taking any prescriptions. In February, I couldn’t stand to be in a car for 5 minutes; but in early May, I took a couple OTC and was able to sit on a plane for four hours.  As I write this, I am heading to Texas tomorrow and not even packing any pain relievers. Thanks, Angie and Kim at Emerge for your part in helping my get my life back!

Sheila is one of the many clients that we see at Emerge everyday.   Corrective exercise can help manage and heal pain that people deal with everyday.  If your an athlete battling repeat injuries or if you sit at a desk 40 hours a week and experience neck and low back pain we can help.   Starting a corrective exercise program starts with a consultation and  a postural assessment.  We then put together a corrective exercise program based on a persons daily routine, common movement patterns, and we develop the program based on each individuals movement dysfunction.  These clients start out with therapy exercise programs and with in time they are completing 5ks, triathlons, and marathons and achieving personal goals they gave up on years ago.   Contact an Emerge Trainer to gather more information and setup a consultation.


Emerge Fitness Training

Angie Pirtle

For a Navy Corpsman, being fit isn't just a lifestyle, it's a lifesaver.

It’s not uncommon to be in Emerge and see client Andy Law gearing up for a workout. You’ll see him suited up with a 40lb weighted vest and a “training for elevation altitude” mask.  The trainers get asked all of the time why he’s wearing it; is it because he’s just that intense or does he want to show off? The truth is, he’s not only training to save his own life, but the lives of others as well.


Andy is Navy Corpsman for the ground combat element of the Marine Corps. The website http://www.dvidshub.net/ describes the position as: “Navy hospital corpsmen, more commonly known as the ‘corpsmen.’ They wear the Marine Corps uniforms but they have never trained at Marine Corps Recruit Depot. They have saved the lives of hundreds of Marines, yet they do not claim the title themselves. Corpsmen have a long-standing tradition of serving alongside Marines because the Corps does not train medical personnel. They stand as a necessary part of a Marine fleet. Their mission is to prevent or treat any injury Marines may come across in the unpredictable combat zone… Not only do these corpsmen need to be well rounded with their occupation, they must also be a rifleman.  In order to be a well-functioning, integrated part of the Marine Corps, they must be combat oriented as any Marine from any military occupational specialty” (dvidshub.net).


Andy explains his job as a “field medical service technician.  I render medical care to Marines and I’m the first line of medical intervention when the ‘grunts’ get hurt.  I’m behind them as they are kicking in doors. Marines cry out for three things when they’re injured; God, mom and Doc and only one of them can help him.”


Andy has to be ready at all times for whatever could possibly happen.  This type of work requires a lot of endurance as well as explosive power and strength. He could be lifting or dragging Marines, twice his size, out of hazardous areas (if you’ve seen Andy, it’s not hard to be twice his size).  He wanted to make sure that he was ready when he was deployed to Afghanistan, which is known for their mountains and high elevation.  That’s when Andy came across Emerge Fitness.


“Before I enlisted the help of Matt Wirth, I was a Navy Corpsman for the ground combat element of the Marine Corps for over 6 years and was no stranger to working out. But when I discovered I was going to be assigned to 4th Marine Recon, I knew that just being in shape wasn’t going to be enough and that I needed professional assistance. When my friends found out I got a personal trainer they all said the same thing, “Why do you need a trainer? You’re a Marine and you’re already in shape.” My rebuttal was. “Yes, personal fitness is required for my job, but it is not my job. I get paid to be an expert at eliminating threats and providing medical interventions. It’s a trainer’s livelihood to know the ins and outs personal fitness and how to get a client to their goal in the most efficient and effective manner.”

The proof is in the pudding! Just after 5 months of personal training sessions I am in better physical condition now than I have ever been in my life. Taking into account my 4 years of high school soccer as a starting midfielder and 4 years of active duty time with Marines working out for hours at least five times a week. I’ve reduced my body fat from 9% to less than 6%, I’ve shaved off a minute and a half on my mile, and now instead of being in the front pack during a run, I lead the pack. I’ve also recruited the help of two additional trainers, Kim Renoud and Beth Pirtle, by adding their boot camps to my regimen. The boot camps allow me to work on my high altitude training and aerobic strength training so that when I deploy I will have no problems performing in extreme environmental conditions.

What I love about training with Matt, Kim and Beth is that I’m always challenged, no two workouts are ever the same, and they all know exactly what to say to motivate me. What I love about training at Emerge is the focus on functional workouts, there’s always a purpose for the madness, I’m not just lifting weights, I’m working on getting stronger and faster so I can engage the appropriate muscle groups when I need to, to get me or my patient out of a hostile situation. When I’m not out defending freedom and democracy, I’m a nurse and a “manny” for 5 kids and easily work over 80 hours a week. Since I know that my trainers are the best at what they do and can help me get the most out of my workout, it’s easier to make and hour out of my day for them than to make an excuse of how I’m too busy to go to the gym.

Thank you Matt, Kim, and Beth! You guys have made me a better warrior
and have given me the extra edge I needed to help get my Marines and
me back home to our friends and families! I couldn’t have done it
without you, love you guys! Semper Fidelis!”


Andy will continue to workout here until he is deployed to Afghanistan in March for an unknown amount of time.  Emerge thanks Andy for his hard work, dedication, and doing so much to defend our country and we wish him the best of luck.


Kimberly Renoud & Matt Wirth,

Emerge Fitness Training


Burn More Fat & Calories In a Shorter Period of Time

As a runner, I’ve always indulged in VO2 max/interval training when getting ready, training, for a run.  So, I became aware long before it was popular that “interval training”, working harder was a highly effective way of not only burning calories and gaining cardiovascular improvement but also created a furnace for fat burning.  I know that my clients have busy lives and need the shortest most efficient way to fitness.  When supporting my clients with their weight loss, fat burning efforts I’ve always set up cardio programs that include interval, cardio workouts. The following explains quite well why interval training can best contribute to fat and weight loss.

“Fat burning” and “cardio zones” first appeared on exercise machines in the 8Os, pushing the idea that low intensity, long-duration cardio work is what burns fat and that higher-intensity exercise stimulates cardiovascular impovement. While this is true, it’s not the whole truth.

When we exercise at lower intensities, our bodies use a greater percentage of fuel for energy from stored fat.  (As you sit there reading this blog, you’re burning mostly fat as fuel.) When you work at higher intensities, your body uses mostly sugar as fuel.

Let’s say you spend 30 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical.  If you spent the entire time working at 65 percent of your maximum heart rate, you might burn 350 calories with about 60 percent of them coming from fat ( about 200 calories).  If you spent the same 30 minutes working harder, at say 85 percent of your maximum HR, you might burn 500 calories, with about 50 percent coming from fat, or 250.  So even though the percentage was less, due to the increase in effort, the total number of calories and fat calories used would be greater.

Let’s get away from calories for a minute and talk about what’s really going on.  Exercise isn’t really even exercise at all, that’s just what we call it.  Exercise is really just stress that our bodies have to deal with and adjust to.. The more work you do, the greater the stress, the greater the adaptation.  When you work hard and burn sugar during your exercise, your body will burn fat later and become better at using fuel all the time.

When weight loss and fat loss are your goals, the recipe is easy.  You need to challenge your muscles through efficient  strength training, you need to eat clean so your blood sugar remains stable, and you need to challenge your heart and lungs to get better.

This last one, the cardiovascular piece, should be brief and intense. Work anywhere from 65 to 85 percent of your maximum HR range, but be sure to put short bursts of intensity in there (90-95 percent of max HR).  These short bursts are essential when it comes to fat loss.  You’ve got to tap that anaerobic threshold, the place where your body can’t meet the demand for oxygen.  This is extremely stressful on the system, and brings about a whole cascade of hormonal responses, making the body better.

Remember the old adage that you should be able to talk while exercising?  Well, not exactly.  You’ll know you tapped that anaerobic threshold because you’ll be focusing on working hard and won’t be able to talk.  This recipe of strength training, good nutrition and efficient high-intensity aerobic exercise is the best way for anyone to lose fat.

(As always, check with your doctor before starting any high intensity exercise program.)

Beth Pirtle

By: Jim Beatty


Week 3- Julie's Figure Competition Blog


Another week down! This week has been really good, I am not having any cravings for junk and I am still feeling super motivated about every workout and cardio session.  The only thing that has been getting to me is the scale… Now, logically I know that this is not the most accurate way to assess progress but it plays a big role mentally for me.  My diet has been perfect this week (and also the 2 weeks prior for that matter), I did all of my cardio and even a little extra, I pushed myself on every lift and can see huge strength gains in the gym each week and I am only down .3 lbs on the scale. Now there are many factors that could play a role in the scale not showing a significant decrease in weight like the fact that I have been crushing my workouts and I am very sore from them, salt content of food, water retention/hydration, bowel movements (sorry to those of you with a weak stomach), muscle gains, hormones, etc. The more important thing that I am having to focus on is the progress that I can see in myself physically and that my clothes are fitting differently, I can see significant changes in my arms, legs and abs, everything is looking much leaner and I am able to see the muscle gains that I made in this offseason which I am very happy about 🙂 Matt is going to do our skin folds on Tuesday so hopefully that will reveal more of what is going on… 

Here’s a recap of this week:Cardio- 5 days 30 minutes plus an extra 6th day of 30 min. I have still been walking on an incline keeping my heart rate around 140. 

Sample of my diet this week: 
Meal 1- 1 whole egg, 1/4 cup whites, 1/2 cup oats made with unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Meal 2- 1 scoop Beverly international cookies and creme ultimate muscle protein, 1 package of trader joes raw almonds- 200 calories so about 29 almonds 
Meal 3- pre workout 2 slices Ezekiel Bread, 2 tbsp simply fruit blackberry preserves, creatine
Meal 4- post workout 1 scoop whey isolate, 1/2 scoop dextrose, creatine and glutamine
Snack while making dinner- 1/4 raw red pepper and 2tbsp roasted red pepper hummus ( I was low on fats for the day so the hummus was a good choice of healthy fats)
meal 5- 3 oz turkey burger, 1 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup roasted bell peppers, 6 asparagus spears
meal 6- 6oz Chobani Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup oats and 1tbsp almond butter
This put me at 1,809 cal: 52g fat (26%), 214g carbs (47%) and 126g protein (28%)

Workouts- Our workout schedule got a little crazy this week because our legs were so sore we could not lift legs on our normal Thursday leg day. This threw some things off so we moved them to Saturday. We all have a crazy Monday coming up so we ended up doing our chest/bi workout on Sunday and we are taking Monday off. It was actually kind of nice because the gym was empty and Sunday is a day that we usually lounge around so to get a higher calorie burn for the day was a good thing! As promised last week, here is our leg workout that we have done on Thursday’s for the last 3 weeks progressing in weight each workout:

10 sets of 10 squats for depth with 30sec rest between sets (step out side of the squat rack so you can really get low) also I am proud to say we did this at 155lbs!! 

4 sets of 20 single leg leg strides on the curve wood way for speed

Super set:
4x 12 heavy cable deadlift
4x10e single leg cable hamstring curls

Super set:
4×10 double landmine front squats
4×10 single leg cable leg extensions

4 sets 7-10’s calf raises on smith machine- perform 7 reps then hold at the top for 10seconds repeat this 2 more times and that is one set

So other than the scale getting to me, this week was a lot of fun and I am feeling good about my progress. Nicole and I filmed a healthy eating grocery store tour so keep your eye out for that this week as well as a shoulder and Ab workout with our lifting partner Angie Coleman over at the Fitness Edge which we will be posting later this week as well. Stay tuned for progress reports next week!

Getting the most out of your elliptical workout

I read an article awhile back (John Briley, Washington Post) about using the elliptical properly in order to get the best workout and avoid possible injury in the long run. Although running is my cardio exercise of choice, I do cross train frequently on the elliptical. Understanding how to use a machine correctly and efficiently can save one a lot of time and hard work with a greater calorie burn.

Most of us who use the elliptical already know that we need to stand up to start, shoulders relaxed and back in line with your hips, and grip the handles lightly. Don’t lean on your arms or hunch over. Start to stroke and drive with your heels. This stance, as opposed to riding on the balls of your feet, helps keep you centered over your hips, which means that your legs – not your lower back – will do the work. Avoid bouncing on the elliptical. Your upper body should be almost totally still. Most of us tend to push our entire bodies up with each leg thrust and then allow gravity to sink us into the next one. Aside from cheating your legs out of some of the work, that bounce makes it almost impossible to hold your form intact. This puts knees, lower back and hips at risk of strain.

If you follow these recommendations you will find that your quads will work hard and the calories-per-minute burned will jump. If you’ve always assumed that pumping the elliptical handles will add to the calorie burn, try letting go of the support bars allowing your arms to swing forward and back then feel your heart rate climbing. You will also be challenging those stabilizer muscles to keep yourself balanced.

Following these recommendations will make your workout on the elliptical a little tougher, but get you much greater results.

Beth Pirtle