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Will you help me change the World?

By: Jenn Lormand ACE- CPT, BS. Exercise Physiology, Author of mommymovement: new baby. new body. new life.

Several months ago we were in mass listening to a woman talk about going down to Central America and helping families build huts.  These missionaries showed the people how to form bricks out of clay, bake them in the sun, and then use them to build their own hut.  She talked about a conversation that she had with her daughter that accompanied her on the trip.  Her daughter said, “Mom these people have nothing, and yet they complaintfreeare the happiest most grateful people I have ever met.”  The mom said, “That’s right.  When you HAVE nothing and EXPECT nothing, you APPRECIATE everything.”  That resonated so deeply with me.  I walked out of church feeling guilty.

We have so much, but always strive to attain more.  Now if you really know me, you know I’m not a stuff person.  I drive around in a 2007 dented up (but paid for) mini van, and I shop at discount stores for my clothes (because my mother taught me to never buy anything full price).  I felt guilty because I’m always looking ahead to the next thing that I need to do to hit a goal that I have set for myself, my business, and sometimes my family.  I felt guilty because at that moment I knew that I didn’t fully appreciate all that I had and all that I have done, because well…that is how my life was supposed to go.  Does this ever happen to you too?

This time of year the word gratitude gets thrown around a lot.  So much so, that I think we have become a bit de-sensitized to the true meaning of it.  The definition of Gratitude is the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful. Sometimes we read that and think yep okay I’m grateful for what I have, I donate some non-perishable food to the food bank, and I give some money to local charities.  I don’t want to minimize these awesome acts of kindness because they are GREAT! But what I’m talking about goes much deeper than that.   Being thankful means ceasing to complain.  This is a challenge for many others and me.  We can sometimes get caught up in our own problems and forget that most of the problems we face are relatively small compared to what other people may be going through. So, I’m asking you to join me in a Complaint Free campaign this holiday season. I have laid out the steps to this campaign below:

Step #1 Recognize how often you do complain.  Here are a couple of mine from the past day. I’m so cold…I’m so tired….this feels so hard…I can’t do that…..this light is too long… this person is taking too long to make this U-turn….. hurry up boys we have to go!..And my list could go on and on, but I won’t bore you with all of my nagging.

Step #2 When you hear yourself complain, turn it into a statement of Gratitude.  Here is an example: “I’m so tired, but… I’m grateful that I know I have a warm bed to go home and fall asleep in.”  This is called reframing and it is very powerful.  We are all human, and yes that means that we are going to complain, but catching ourselves and turning that negative into a positive is a Game Changer!   We can create a new neural pathway in the brain and actually begin to change how we think about things. The only thing I will warn you of here, is that whatever gratitude statement you choose YOU MUST BELIEVE IT 100%.  We cannot lie to ourselves- so if your bed isn’t warm and cozy at home you will have to make a statement that is true and that you believe.  It could just be ‘I’m grateful that I’m not sleeping outside like the homeless people.’

Step #3 Share this idea with your Family and Friends.  I titled this article help me change the world, because I think small things like this create a ripple effect.  I love random acts of kindness. I love paying it forward.  But I have to say if we want to change the world, we have to create different mindsets.  When you turn on the TV, you hear about all of the scary and horrible things that are happening in the world.  I know for me, it makes me feel very small and helpless at times.  But I also know that my whole perspective can change in an instant (more to come on this thought next week).

I believe that this small but not so simple task can begin to change our lives and those around us.  I want to know if you will join me in this challenge.  Please go over to our FB page and tell us you will join our #Complainfreecampaign.  Please update us on any changes you notice within yourself and your family.  I’m hoping that this will CREATE the best Holiday season for you and yours!  I know it will be for me and my family.

 

About the Author – Jennifer Lormand ACE- CPT, BS. Exercise Physiology, Author of mommymovement: new baby. new body. new life.

jenn blogMy love for fitness started at an early age. Growing up with asthma, I was driven to fight through those challenges. Exercise and fitness was my avenue to diminishing my reliance on asthma medications and treatments. Fueled by my passion to help people succeed and as a graduate in Exercise Physiology with a focus on Kinesiology, I am applying my love for fitness with these sciences to develop leading-edge one-on-one and group training programs to meet the specific needs of our clients, designed to push each other physically and support emotionally the needs of clients.

Confidence is Key

By: Jamie McIntyre, BS Exercise Science, ACE-CPT

“So much of this game is about believing in yourself and believing that you will succeed.” Those were the words I left my softball team with after another tough loss. During the game I watched each player timidly approach the plate and walk away with their head down after they were called out. After only a couple of weeks of coaching, it was clear to me that we needed to focus on building confidence. I believe that confidence is a key success indicator in every sport. When you watch the best players in the NFL (or any other major sport) you can see that they are confident, they hold their head up high, they are aggressive, and everything about their body language exudes confidence. So, I built a practice that would not only enhance my players’ physical ability but also increase their self-confidence. I provided critical feedback along with praise. I made sure they knew I was giving that feedback because I had confidence in their abilities to make the proper adjustments. This is also something I needed as a softball player. When I knew that my coach believed in me, I believed in myself. As a collegiate athlete I struggled with confidence at the plate. I felt that my coach and my teammates didn’t have the confidence in me to hit the ball and they were right. But it wasn’t because I didn’t have the skills or ability to hit the ball, it was because I didn’t believe I could hit the ball. However, when I was playing defense I was the complete opposite. I owned the field, I knew that every ball that was hit to me would be an out and it usually was. It is funny to think back on that now. To see how in one game I could have two completely opposite views of my skills and abilities.

This experience is what I bring to my coaching, my training, and my life. I know that if I want to accomplish something or I want someone to accomplish something I need to believe in myself/them. There are three things that I do to work on improving my self-confidence everyday:

  1. Practice – “Practice makes perfect.” Not a single person in the world can truly succeed without practice. Practicing and honing your skills whether it is for sports, work, or everyday life, is crucial to improving self-confidence. Knowing that you can do something outside of the game or presentation will help you succeed.
  2. Visualize – Visualizing a time when you made the big play or you gave a great presentation will help boost your confidence to go out there and do it again.
  3. Positive Self-Talk – You can have everyone in the world believing in you but at the end of the day you need to believe in yourself. Always speak to yourself in a positive way. Even if you fail, know that you can learn from that experience and you will use it in a positive way to succeed the next time.

Confidence is the key to success in everything you do. But it doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t come without putting in the work and a strong support network. I know that a consistent, daily approach is worth the time and effort and will in having a lasting positive effect.

Jamie McIntyre, B.S. Exercise Science, ACE-CPT

meJamie McIntyre is the Marketing Coordinator and a personal trainer at Ascension Fitness. She came from San Diego, California where she recently completed a Master’s degree in Business Administration at San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Dickinson State University. Jamie received a softball scholarship to play at Dickinson State University. During her time at Dickinson State she completed an internship as a student athletic trainer which led to her passion of fitness.  Jamie loves training, softball, ringette, and watching movies.

Do you Fit in a Box?

By: Jennifer Lormand B.S. Exercise Physiology ACE-CPT

In January of each year I often get the same question from prospective clients.  “What kind of training do y’all do?”  My answer is, “Whatever it takes to get you to where you want to be.”  I get some strange looks when I say this.  People have become accustomed to fitness being a franchise like Curves, Jazzercise, Crossfit, and Pure Barre to name a few.  I have to explain how we actually personalize a fitness program to each person, based on their wants and needs, and some folks still don’t understand what I mean.  That is why I’m writing this article today.  I want to help people understand what we do and why we are different.

First let me say that I’m not suggesting that all of these franchises are bad.  I am suggesting that in my 19 years experience, I have found that most of the population doesn’t fit into a box.  What I mean is, each person’s body is different. When I started training and teaching in 1995, I had a dream to take a little bit of each of the things that I love about fitness and put it into one workout.  I started putting boxing, lifting weights, spinning, running, TRX, foam rolling and more into my personal training sessions with clients and they all loved it.  I would get people coming up to me saying, “You are the only trainer that I have seen doing cardio in your sessions, I love that!” This began to light a fire in my belly that I couldn’t put out.  I was going against the norm of what the typical personal training session was, and I loved it.  I began personalizing everything that I did in those sessions based on the wants and needs of my clients and we continue to do that today.  I truly believe that it is the highest honor, when people trust me with their most precious commodity- their body.  And my philosophy has always been simply the golden rule- Treat others the way that YOU want to be treated.

What I mean by that is much deeper than giving them what they want in training sessions.  It’s much more than that.  It’s about realizing that every person that walks through our door is special.  It means never saying, “I’m sorry we can’t help you.”  I can’t stand that when I’m desperate for help and I go see a professional and they say, “Well, that’s not what we do.”  I always want to be able to lead people in the right direction for the next action step they can take to create their BEST LIFE!  That means that over the last 19 years I’ve developed relationships with other trusted professionals that I refer people to and I know will take great care of them.  People like Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Orthopedic Surgeons, Internists, ENT Physicians, Cardiologists, Social Workers, Psychologists, Nutritionists, Advanced Rolfers and more.

This is what makes us different.  We Care.  We want for each person that walks through our door, the same that we want for ourselves and our families.  We want to give them a challenging workout that is safe and effective for their goals, and what their body needs.  This is our SECRET SAUCE.  We LISTEN to the clients goals, evaluate what their body needs, and then we use all of the tools we have to attain it!  Whether it’s sprint intervals, dancing on a step or BOSU, lifting heavy weight to get stronger, doing plyometric training to burn fat, doing TRX to get a stronger CORE and improve the body’s movement patterns,  helping someone recover from a injury or limitation, or helping moms get their body back after having a baby.  We DO what they NEED.  We make it Fun. We make it Challenging.  But most importantly, we do it because it’s what feeds our soul!

So here’s what I know.  I know that there are many great places that people can go to accomplish their goals, but nowhere like Ascension Fitness.  The Passion that we have to transform people from the inside out, separates us from any other place you will go.  I have been so incredibly blessed to find amazing like-minded people to be a part of my team.    I know that my calling in life is to help people feel amazing in the skin they are in, and I know that I will give my all to continue to make that happen.  I believe that everyone deserves to be happy when they look in the mirror.   I feel grateful and blessed for all of those who have trusted me and my team to help them along their life’s journey.  I look forward to helping many more become THEIR BEST SELF.

About the Author – Jennifer Lormand ACE- CPT, BS. Exercise Physiology, Author of mommymovement: new baby. new body. new life.

jenn blogMy love for fitness started at an early age. Growing up with asthma, I was driven to fight through those challenges. Exercise and fitness was my avenue to diminishing my reliance on asthma medications and treatments. Fueled by my passion to help people succeed and as a graduate in Exercise Physiology with a focus on Kinesiology, I am applying my love for fitness with these sciences to develop leading-edge one-on-one and group training programs to meet the specific needs of our clients, designed to push each other physically and support emotionally the needs of clients.

 

 

15 Minute Full-Body Workout

Complete three rounds each of the two circuits below. Perform each of the exercises for 45 seconds and rest for 15 seconds in between. Take a minute rest between circuits.

Circuit 1:

1. Renegade Rows – Grab the dumbbells and get into the top of a pushup position with your hands on the weights and your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Bend your right arm and raise the dumbbell to chest level, pressing the left dumbbell into the floor for balance. Lower the weight to the floor, then repeat the move on the left side.

Renegade Row sequence

2. Goblet Squat – Hold a dumbbell vertically next to your chest, with both hands cupping the dumbbell head, elbows pointing down to the floor. Brace your abs, and lower your body as far as possible by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Your elbows should brush the insides of your knees. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position.

Goblet Squat sequence3. Russian Twists – Sitting down lean back slightly and bend your knees with your feet off the ground (leave your feet on the ground if you are a beginner) so you make a v with your torso and legs. Hold a dumbbell in front of you and twist with your waist to the left and then back to the right.

Russian Twist Sequence

1 Minute Rest

Circuit 2:

1. Pushups – Start in a plank position (on hands and feet) then lower your body to a couple of inches off the ground and push back up again. To modify start on your hands and knees then lower your body to a couple of inches off the ground and push back up again.pushups

2. Deadlift – Stand with the dumbbells above the center of your feet – your stance should be a bit narrower than shoulder-width to give your arms room. Push your hips back and lower the weights close to your body while keeping a flat back. Go until just below the knees (or however low you can go while keeping your back flat) then stand back up using your hamstrings. Deadlift sequence3. Plank – Hold body in a pushup position (on hands or elbows). Keep hands under shoulders. Do not let hips drop, keep back flat and your abs pulled in tight.plank

 

15 Minute Calorie Blaster Workout

 The holiday season can be a busy time with all the traveling, gift shopping, visiting family, taking time off work and catching up on everything when you return to it, it’s not really the most conducive season for making progress in your fitness regimen. It is important to try to sneak a couple of workouts in when you can. Even a quick fifteen minute workout can make a difference. 

Here is one of my favorite 15 minute workouts that I do when I don’t have time to get a full workout in:

Complete three rounds of the circuit below. Perform each of the exercises for 45 seconds and rest for 15 seconds in between.

1. Burpees – From standing, jump out into a plank, jump feet back in between hands and explode into a jump.

burpee2. Pushups – Start in a plank position (on hands and feet) then lower your body to a couple of inches off the ground and push back up again. To modify start on your hands and knees then lower your body to a couple of inches off the ground and push back up again.

pushupsFull Pushups

modified pushupsModified Pushups

3. Squats – Keep knees from going over toes as you “sit back in an invisible chair” and keep your chest up.Squat

4. Plank – Hold body in a pushup position (on hands or elbows). Keep hands under shoulders. Do not let hips drop, keep back flat and your abs pulled in tight.

plank5. Lunges – Step forward with one leg and bend both knees to 90 degrees. Push back to standing with the forward leg and repeat on the other leg.

LungeTry to keep your heart rate between 60-90% of your maximum heart rate (to calculate your heart rate zone click here). Implementing this workout into your routine during the holidays will help keep you on track in your fitness journey.

 Need someone to hold you accountable to working out this holiday season? Call us at 504-304-6205 to schedule a session with one of our great trainers.

Stressed? Relieve Stress With These 4 Tips This Holiday

By:  Brittany Claverie, TRX Certified Instructor

The holidays are a time of year when people become stressed for different reasons: finances, gift demands, shopping, spending time with family and friends, and loneliness, just to name a few. This should be a joyous time to spend quality time with the people you love, and also a time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the upcoming New Year. We often get overwhelmed both physically and mentally when it comes to dealing with the extra pressures and stresses of the holiday season. Here are some tips to help you decrease some of that holiday stress:

  1. Exercise. Often we go through the hustle and bustle of the holidays without taking the time to stay in our regular exercise program, causing some extra holiday weight gain. Don’t think of exercises during this time as a drag, but rather a way to reduce physical and mental stress. Your body will thank you after you get your metabolism revved up, and endorphins flowing allowing you to feel great for all that shopping you have to undertake and all the socializing at your holiday parties. If you find it too hard to remember to exercise or you feel you do not have “the time” to exercise during the holidays, schedule your workouts, that way you will make sure you make the time for yourself.
  2. Socialize. The holidays sometimes cause depression and loneliness for some people. Try and avoid these feelings by attending parties and social gatherings hosted by family and/or friends. But avoid unnecessary socializing, because one-too-many parties can be very demanding. Make sure you decide ahead of time which social events you can afford to go to, and which ones you do not have time for. Do not over-commit or you will find yourself stressed to the max.
  3. Plan wisely. This time of year, finances seem to become a major issue amongst family members. Take the time to make a list of everyone you need to buy a present for and designate a budget for each person. Staying within budget will help eliminate stress of limited finances. If you find shopping causes extra unwanted stress, have someone help you, and even ask for help with wrapping presents! Do not be ashamed to ask for help when you find yourself being pulled in different directions and being asked to do a million things at once.
  4. Remember. Always keep in mind what this time of year is truly about. People always seem to be rushing around, spending money, and having to “tolerate” their families. If we stop to think about it, this is not what the holiday season is about. It is not about the presents, or how much money you spend. The holidays are a time for people to come together and celebrate the simple joys in life, and to give thanks for the many blessings we have in our lives.

Make the most of your holidays and spend quality time making memories with loved ones. By using these stress relieving tips, you can help take time for yourself during this busy holiday season.

About the Author – Brittany Claverie

brit 2Let me take you back to about 10 years ago at the age of 18 when I was at my heaviest and was battling self-image issues. I don’t recall precisely what ignited my determination to get fit, but at that point it became a priority and I decided to take control and started exercising. Over the process of consistently exercising and watching my nutrition, I lost 40 pounds and 5 dress sizes! It was amazing to me how good I felt, and how my self-confidence improved.

After losing the weight, I decided that I would never go back to that place of feeling so low, and I realized my lifestyle needed to change for good. That decision drove me to become an aerobics fitness instructor and a certified TRX instructor. My passion is to help others feel good about themselves, help them stay true to their fitness journey and most importantly have fun working out!