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Focus Point of the Week: Pace

September 18, 2016


Pace is an often overlooked training variable that can be manipulated to increase/decrease intensity, both within your training session and the individual exercises themselves. The pace of your training must be deliberate and consistent with your goals. Additionally, tempo of repetitions and rest time between exercises should be determined prior to your workout.

For body transformation and performance enhancement, the ultimate goal of each session is to get as much quality work done as possible. This means progressively limiting rest between exercises and increasing the pace of the entire workout. As your fitness increases, the amount of rest needed between sets will naturally decrease. Accordingly, you will accomplish more work in the same amount of time, making your time spent at the gym more effective.

So how do you know if you are training at an appropriate pace? Although your fitness level and goals ultimately determine pace, your training should be as vigorous as possible while still allowing you to feel good when you are done. In order to ensure a safe and effective workout, remember to never compromise form for the sake of pace.

A great way to intelligently increase your pace is to use active rest and recovery strategies. Instead of sitting on a bench after a tough set, try doing some stretches, corrective exercises, or unloaded work. As your fitness improves, your active rest can become more challenging. This will lead to more work being done, more calories being burned and increased EPOC.

Below are some other strategies you can use to challenge yourself through manipulating pace:

  • Workout with a friend or in a group setting. You will naturally push yourself more when working out with others.
  • Give yourself an allocated amount of rest time between exercises or sets using a stopwatch.  As your fitness level increases, decrease your rest time.
  • Time yourself to see how quickly you can get through a set with perfect form. Attempt to ‘beat the clock’ as your fitness progresses.
  • Slow down the tempo of an exercise (i.e bench press). This increases the time under tension for your muscle fibers, increasing the difficulty of the exercise.

For this week and moving forward, be deliberate with your pace. If you are slowing down or speeding up, it must be happening for the right reason. Appropriately push your pace and get the most out of your time-spent training!

Copyright 2011 Fitness Consultants Inc. All rights reserved.


5 Things The Prize Club is NOT

September 15, 2016

1. The Prize Club is not a diet.

Instead, we help our members improve their health by teaching broad concepts, and then allowing them to apply those concepts as they see fit.

The program is for people who want to change their health habits. For many, this is a simple but challenging task. Old habits are hard to break, but we can succeed with the right motives, a strategy, and accountability.

2. The Prize Club is not a weight loss program.

Only about half our members have weight loss goals. However, the program’s “one day at a time” approach is useful for people with weight loss goals. By focusing on making one healthy choice at a time, members succeed in initially losing weight and keeping it off long-term.

3. The Prize Club is not a “touchy-feely” support group.

It’s easy to perceive the program as “touchy-feely” because of the emphasis on community. The sense of community The Prize Club provides is powerful and often makes the difference between success and failure. The group dynamic helps members find inspiration, support, and ideas from advisors as well as other members.

We recognize that everyone has varying levels of comfort in a group setting. For this reason, members are not required to do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. All that matters is that they’re successfully meeting their health goals and enjoying the process.

4. The Prize Club is not a “one-size-fits-all” program.

Unlike most wellness programs, The Prize Club is individualized to each member’s goals and lifestyle. We have very few requirements. Again, we teach broad concepts and then allow members to create their own strategies under our guidance.

This approach has proven to work. Everyone has different challenges that prevent them from meeting their health goals. The “one-size-fits-all” approach is too stringent and not specific enough to help people change their habits.

5. The Prize Club is not a “one and done” program.

The program helps members create a healthy lifestyle for the long-term. It takes time to successfully change habits and the process doesn’t end after the initial six-week program.

The Ongoing Membership provides continued support and inspiration after the initial program has ended.  This membership provides access to our discussion-based alumni meetings, the forum, Prize Club workouts, and other One on One events.

To learn more about The Prize Club, go to or contact Paige Whitmire (

Focus Point of the Week: Motivation

September 11, 2016

By Jim Levin

Thanks to Jim for contributing to our “Focus Point of the Week” series. Jim, a One on One client, is known at Penn State University for his expertise in motivation.

Why does one person set fitness goals and successfully meet them, while another person cannot?  Last week, we focused on the process, but another key factor for success is your motivation. Analyzing this motivation can give insight into how best to meet your fitness goals.

Motivation is the willingness to voluntarily put forth effort to accomplish a goal. There are two theories of motivation: operant conditioning and social cognitive. We are all familiar with operant conditioning. You repeat behaviors that have been rewarded, and you do not repeat behaviors that have been punished. Most research on operant conditioning has been done with animals, particularly rats, mice, pigeons, and dogs. Operant conditioning does a good job explaining animal behavior. However, it does not explain human behavior very well. This is because humans have the ability to reason; animals do not.

The social cognitive theory considers a person’s ability to think and reason. It defines motivation as a product of two variables: expectation of success and value. In this theory, your motivation is equal to your expectation of success multiplied by the value you put on success.

Expectation of success indicates whether you expect to be successful and why. It can be intrinsic (setting goals that are personally rewarding) or extrinsic (setting goals tied to an outside reward or avoiding punishment.) The difference between the two examples is that intrinsic expectations are controlled by the individual, while extrinsic expectations are controlled by others.

Value is the importance of the outcome to the individual. If you control the value, then it is intrinsic. (For example, “meeting my fitness goals will give me a sense of pride; I will be healthier and feel better.”) Value can also be extrinsic. (“If I meet my goals, my spouse will hopefully be proud of me.”) Again, the difference is that intrinsic value is controlled by you, while extrinsic value is controlled by someone else.

While extrinsic motivators aren’t inherently bad, the likelihood of meeting your fitness goals is increased when your motivation is intrinsic. You’re most likely to succeed when:

  • you control the expectation of success;
  • you attribute the success to your hard work;
  • the value is important to you, not someone else.

Motivation is more likely to be intrinsic if you know what your goals are going into each session. Remember goal setting, and be sure to set goals consistent with a vision of who you aspire to be.

This week, talk to your trainer about what motivates you for success. Coming to the gym with a positive mindset, having intrinsic motivation by setting reasonable goals, and working hard so you feel proud and healthier will significantly increase the likelihood of meeting your long-term goals.




Kohn,  A. (1999). Punished by Rewards.  Boston, Houghton Mifflin

Levin, J. & Nolan J. (2014) Principles of Classroom Management: A Professional Decision Making Model. (7th Ed.)   Boston, Pearson.

Levin, J. & Shanken-Kaye, J. (2002).  From Disrupter to Achiever. Dubuque, Kendall/Hunt.

Pink, D.  (2009).  Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. NewYork, Riverhead Books.

Stipek, D. J. (2001).  Motivation to Learn From Theory to Practice (4th ed.) Boston, Allyn and Bacon.

TRX Challenge 2016: Final Results

September 6, 2016

Here are the final standings!  Congratulations to all of our participants!  Thanks for giving it your best shot.  This was a very difficult challenge and we saw an amazing amount of improvement.  It has been inspiring to see the effort put in and the payoff of improved fitness levels.  Many people have developed a new appreciation of what they are capable of along the way.  That is what it’s all about!

Week 6 (8/29-9/4)

Category                                                                      Time

56-69    (20, 10, 5 with squat to toes)


  1. Jeff Heimer                                                      1:10
  2. Dave Meehan                                                      1:17
  3. Marty Wiedemer                                                 1:19

Most improved: Marty Wiedemer                            28%


  1. Brenda Eissenstat                                        1:05
  2. Debbie Smoyer                                                     1:25

Most improved: Debbie Smoyer                                18%

36-55  (20, 10, 5 with squat to toes)


  1. Brian Craig                                                       1:07
  2. Bill Jester                                                              1:08
  3. Chuck Maines                                                      1:26

Most improved: Brent Veronesi                                34%


  1. Julie Cooper                                                     1:11
  2. Liz Grove                                                               1:22
  3. Maria Taylor                                                        1:45

Most improved: Liz Grove                                           52%

15-35    (20, 10, 5)


  1. Oren Gall                                                            2:43


  1. Michele Crowl                                                  1:17
  2. Alison Heimer                                                     1:44
  3. Laura Tyson                                                         2:00

Most improved: Michele Crowl                                 32%

Open A Ages 15-35    (20, 15, 10, 5)


  1. Gbolahan Olaogun                                         1:30
  2. Mike Godissart                                                     1:31
  3. Greg Hayes                                                            1:35

Most improved: Dan Zambanini                               49%


  1. Sarah Macklin                                                 1:37
  2. Callie Burke                                                          1:52
  3. Karen Kelly                                                           2:09

Most improved: Sarah Macklin                                45%

Open B Ages 36+    (20, 15, 10, 5)


  1. Ron Beyer                                                          1:58
  2. Cody Steele                                                            3:01
  3. Jack Vanden Heuval                                         3:28

Most Improved: Jack Vanden Heuval                    50%

Focus Point of the Week: Focus on the Process

September 4, 2016

By: Will Sunner and Bruce Burke

When embarking on any new endeavor, we too often focus our attention and effort on something we have little control over: the outcome. Instead, we should focus on what we have total control over: the process. This week’s Focus Point discusses how focusing on the process is the best strategy to help you realize your goals.

In order to successfully develop your “process,” you must first have a clear understanding of what it takes to accomplish your goals. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you must ensure your exercise frequency, nutritional commitments, and corrective exercise strategies line up with meeting that objective

Once clear expectations are set, you must whole-heartedly commit to your strategies. The most important part of focusing on the process is consistently taking action!  Your short-term behaviors must line up with your long-term objectives. Measure success one day at a time. If you come up short, assess why and make changes.

So how do you become more process oriented? To begin, consider the obvious value of this concept and get bought in! Here are a few other suggestions:

  • Do not measure progress based on anything more than having consecutive days, weeks, and months living up to your commitments and standards. Don’t compare your progress to anyone or anything else. Have peace of mind knowing you are doing what it takes to accomplish your goals.
  • Don’t use unrealistic or unsustainable strategies. Fad diets, unrealistic time commitments, and overreliance on someone else are a few examples of strategies that set you up for failure.
  • Be in a constant state of critical analysis. Identify how you can make your processes better by regularly taking inventory of your performance.
  • Participate in a system of accountability with a friend, family member, your trainer or through One on One’s “Prize Club”.

For this week and moving forward, concentrate your attention and efforts on all of the small things that will lead you to success. Focus on the process and let the results take care of themselves!

Copyright 2011 Fitness Consultants Inc. All rights reserved.

TRX Challenge 2016: Week Five Results

August 29, 2016

This is it! One week to go!  As we come down the home stretch there will be a lot of movement in the rankings.  We can’t wait to see who makes a big push this week. Remember, this is all about challenging yourself and reaching your goals.  Let’s finish strong!

Week 4 (8/22-8/28)

Category                                                                      Time

56-69    (20, 10, 5 with squat to toes)


  1. Jeff Heimer                                                           1:10
  2. Dave Meehan                                                       1:17
  3. Bob Woodard                                                       1:28

Most improved: Marty Wiedemer                             15%


  1. Brenda Eissenstat                                               1:05
  2. Debbie Smoyer                                                     1:25

Most improved: Debbie Smoyer                                18%

36-55  (20, 10, 5 with squat to toes)


  1. Brian Craig                                                           1:07
  2. Bill Jester                                                              1:08
  3. Chuck Maines                                                      1:26

Most improved: Brent Veronesi                                26%


  1. Julie Cooper                                                         1:13
  2. Liz Grove                                                               1:37
  3. Maria Taylor                                                        1:55

Most improved: Jodilynn Spicer                               45%

15-35    (20, 10, 5)


  1. Oren Gall                                                               2:43


  1. Michele Crowl                                                      1:21
  2. Laura Tyson                                                         2:00
  3. Alison Heimer                                                     2:19

Most improved: Michele Crowl                                 29%

Open A Ages 15-35    (20, 15, 10, 5)


  1. Gbolahan Olaogun                                             1:30
  2. Mike Godissart                                                     1:31
  3. Greg Hayes                                                            1:35

Most improved: Dan Zambanini                               39%


  1. Sarah Macklin                                                     1:39
  2. Callie Burke                                                          1:52
  3. Karen Kelly                                                           2:09

Most improved: Sarah Macklin                                 43%

Open B Ages 36+    (20, 15, 10, 5)


  1. Ron Beyer                                                               1:58
  2. Jack Vanden Heuval                                          3:28

Most Improved: Jack Vanden Heuval                     50%

Focus Point of the Week: Superfoods

August 28, 2016

We commonly hear about foods that have little nutritional value and provide “empty calories”. What we don’t hear enough about are nutrient dense foods, or “Superfoods”…this week’s Focus Point.  It is important to understand that there is not a standard criterion or approved list of superfoods; they are merely foods that provide added health benefits when included in a well-rounded diet.

Superfoods have high concentrations of essential nutrients and antioxidants, proven to help prevent disease, and improve overall health and longevity. Their benefits include preventing or reducing joint inflammation, improving bone health, lowering cholesterol/blood pressure, and reducing the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

There is promising research that foods such as tart cherry juice, fatty fish and berries can suppress inflammation, although the frequency of consumption and amount is unknown.  The good news is eating to reduce inflammation may be easier than you think.

  • Regularly include fresh, frozen or dried berries and cherries.
  • Eat a variety of leafy greens such as kale, brussel sprouts and spinach.
  • Include fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna 1 to 2 times per week.
  • Choose heart healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil.

Superfoods that improve bone health also have many other health benefits such as reducing the risk for arthritis, joint problems, and inflammation.  To build strong bones, regularly include:

  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • Dark green and leafy vegetables, especially spinach, brussel sprouts, and broccoli
  • Colorful fruits such as strawberries, kiwi, and cantaloupe
  • Beans
  • Nuts and seeds, especially almonds

A study performed by the American Heart Association found that women who regularly consumed blueberries and strawberries were at a lower risk for a heart attack.  Foods such as fatty fish, avocados, lentils, sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, broccoli, milk, yogurt, and almonds also help to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk for heart disease.

There are many foods nutritious enough to be considered a superfood. Your goal should be to eat these foods more frequently, not to eat more in one sitting to ensure you don’t overeat. Also, try the following strategies to increase your superfood consumption:

  • Incorporate one superfood with each meal (i.e. almonds on your salad, blueberries in your yogurt or oatmeal).
  • Make your plate as colorful as possible. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are loaded with essential nutrients and antioxidants.
  • Pack “super snacks” for in-between meals or pre/post workout.
  • Browse the fresh produce aisle when grocery shopping. That’s where you will find the majority of superfoods.
  • Buy prepared fruits and vegetables to make it easy to include them in your diet.

Refer to One on One’s 6 Key Nutrition Strategies for Optimal Health and Fitness for more tips to succeed. If you want to feel great inside and out, incorporate more superfoods into your diet…your body will be glad you did!

Copyright 2011 Fitness Consultants Inc. All rights reserved.