Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Simplify Your Workouts With Science

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

by Sheila Kalas, personal trainer and owner of Fitness Plus

Sheila Kalas, owner of Fitness Plus in Lexington KYBring up the word “science” in a conversation and often people get a funny look on their face. It is one of those subjects that people often fear. They think that is too difficult to grasp and often avoid it. This fear causes people to veer away from the “scientific” explanation and choose instead the “simple” one.

Unfortunately, when it comes to fitness, this concept is incorrect. In the world of exercise, it is science that makes it simple. If you familiarize yourself with the science behind the exercise (which is exactly what an exercise physiologist does), you can clearly see through all the hype and confusing choices that flood the commercial fitness marketplace. Science is the best way to answer some of the most commonly asked fitness questions. Here are just a few examples:

Question 1: What type of aerobic exercise is best?

The hype says that someone is always inventing THE aerobic workout machine, THE aerobic class. One day it’s kickboxing; the next, step aerobics; the next, the elliptical trainer; then the recumbent bicycle, and on and on. So what do you do? What choice is best?

Science clears this right up. Science has a clear definition of what constitutes aerobic exercise. There are very clear requirements for an exercise to be considered aerobic and give you the cardiovascular training and fat-burning results you want. Any exercise that meets these criteria is a good choice for your aerobic exercise. Forget the hype and pick the exercise that meets the requirements and is one that you can see yourself participating in.

In order for an exercise to be considered aerobic, it must:

1. Use large muscle masses, e.g., legs, back or chest muscles.
2. Be rhythmical (not a start-and-stop activity).
3. Elevate your heart rate above 60% of your resting heart rate.
4. Sustain that elevated heart rate for at least 20 minutes.

Question 2: How hard should I work out?

The hype most often says “no pain, no gain.” The marketplace makes it clear that the harder you work the leaner and prettier you are going to get. The commercials of young lean bodies working hard are often so discouraging to the average person that they don’t even try to start exercising. The impression is that you have to be in shape just to get in shape.

Science eases some of this pressure. While it is true that exercise is more difficult for those who are just beginning to exercise, science tells us that, to get the health benefits of exercise, the “no pain, no gain” attitude is not needed. The best scientific information supporting this came from a study that was released in 2000 (Blair, et al.). This study followed thousands of people for many years and analyzed their exercise habits and how they related to early mortality. The study found that people who were “highly” fit and worked at a very high intensity did have a lower incidence of early mortality than their “unfit” counterparts. However, the early mortality rate of the “highly” fit individuals was statistically insignificant from the “moderately” fit individuals (those who walked 30 minutes 5 times a week). This means that moderate exercise is all you need to provide excellent health benefits. So, relax and enjoy a nice walk in the neighborhood.

Question 3: What type of strength training routine is best?

The hype on this subject changes with the wind. Just when you think that light weights and many repetitions is it, they change and start touting “super slow” reps with massive weight. It changes about every 5 years. If you don’t like what they’re saying now, just wait a few years and it will change. Or you could follow science.

Science reminds us that your muscles don’t care how much weight you lift, how many times you lift it, if you lift pretty chrome dumbbells or ugly bags of sand. All your muscles know is when they get tired. When your muscles are pushed to the point of fatigue on a regular basis, your body will respond by making that muscle stronger. This is called the “principle of overload.” If you consistently overload the muscle it will respond. How you want to get the muscle tired is up to you; it is just the means to the end (fatigue). Science actually can save you some time and prevent you from injury, if you listen. Science recommends that you lift a weight between 8-15 times. These numbers are not the only means, but it makes sense that if you can’t lift a weight at least 8 times, it’s probably too heavy for you and could hurt you. Consequently, if you lift a weight 15 times and you are not fatigued yet, you are spending too much time on one exercise! Keep it simple and you’ll do fine.

Question 4: What diet is best to lose weight?

Now that’s an interesting question. So many choices; where do I begin? The hype goes on and on. Every day there is a new “can’t miss” diet. You know them all. You’ve seen them come and go over the years, so what’s the answer?

Science, again, cuts through the hype and simplifies the answer. The best diet is the one that results in a negative caloric balance, or burning more calories than you eat. You can eat anything and lose weight as long as the calories you are putting in your body are less than the calories you are burning. That’s it! There is no further explanation needed. Forget your blood type and no fruit before noon, or no potatoes, extra bacon, green tea with lemon, and so on. JUST MOVE MORE AND EAT LESS.

Now, when it comes to nutrition and health what you eat does make a difference. Although you could lose weight eating only french fries, it would not be healthy. But the point is, keep it simple and rely on scientific facts.

I could continue to shoot down hype with science and keep making exercise and fitness easier and easier for you, but I think you get the point. Most of these examples are common sense. Most of us know when we are hearing hype, but fall victim to it sometimes out of desperation, hope and laziness. I encourage you to be honest with yourself and realize that there is no substitute for “just doing it.” Remember, science can make the seemingly daunting task of regular exercise easier, not harder. Forget the hype, and stick with science.

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Laura Coombs, personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington, KYMOVE YOUR GUTS!

By Laura Coombs, M.S., A.T.C., C.S.C.S.

Are you serious about getting healthy? Start with your gut! If you’re neglecting your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine, your diet and exercise regime will be less effective. Here’s why.

The purpose of food is to supply nutrients to our cells. Before it can work at the cellular level, food makes a stop in the stomach, where it is churned by the muscular walls of the stomach and broken down into a thin paste by the gastric juices and stomach acids. Most nutrients are then passed to small intestine, but water, electrolytes, proteins, and alcohol begin the digestion process here. Because high blood alcohol content is potentially lethal, your stomach prioritizes the digestion of alcohol when it is present to prevent it from entering the bloodstream. Consequently, the digestion of beneficial and health-promoting water, electrolytes, and proteins are put on hold and our cells are deprived essential nourishment. Let your stomach do its job by eliminating alcohol from your diet, thereby maximizing your muscles’ supply of protein and fluids!

Once your food has become chyme (that thin paste your stomach churned out), it passes into the small intestine. Almost all digestion and absorption of nutrients occurs via the blood and lymphatic vessels in and around this 20 foot tube. Once there, our food spends 3-5 hours in the small intestine’s specialized design of villi, mucous, and intestinal juice. These structures thrive in a basic (ph 7.0 or higher) environment that is rich in “friendly” bacteria. Maintaining an optimal environment in your small intestine is critical to proper nutrient uptake, fat metabolism, immunity, and even brain health. Condition your gut with foods that balance your ph (raw fruits and veggies!) and fermented foods that are high in probiotics (keifer, kimchi, yogurt, sauerkraut, miso!)

Finally, the chyme moves into the 5 foot long large intestine, which is loaded with more friendly bacteria to complete the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The bacteria here also contribute to the formation of vitamins B and K. The large intestine’s lining is suited for water absorption and final removal of waste. With the help of a high fiber diet, things will chug along optimally, and leave the large intestine in 3-10 hours. Be sure to get 20-35 grams of natural fiber (no synthetic supplements!) from a diet rich in vegetables, seeds, nuts, and beans and drink LOTS of water to keep your large intestine healthy.

Adding water, fiber, raw fruits and vegetables, and fermented foods not only move your guts, but create a habitat for optimal digestion, immunity, vitamin synthesis, and brain power!

Moveitbuddy: healthy 10-minute solutions for busy bodies and buddies.

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Young Women LEAD

Monday, May 19th, 2014

On March 12, 2014, Fitness Plus took part in the Young Women LEAD conference at Lexington Center. Sheila Kalas was a conference speaker, with the motivational intro for 800+ high school girls.

Four trainers led them in warm-up exercises: FP personal trainers Joel Chandler and Shane Burry, and Carl Flotka and Sharon Ball from Lexington Healing Arts Academy.

All the girls were up and moving and having a great time. Young Women LEAD (Leadership, Education and Development) is a one-day conference to empower high school girls to embrace their strengths and to reach their full potential.

Ironman Q&A

Monday, September 16th, 2013

A behind-the-scenes look at Ironman Louisville, through the eyes of competitor Amy Ball.

Amy Ball is a certified triathlon coach and a personal trainer at Fitness Plus. On Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, she finished Ironman Louisville in 12:59:04. The Ironman triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike race, followed by a regulation 26.2-mile marathon. Here’s a look at Amy’s Ironman Louisville experience.

What were you feeling when you crossed the finish line?
Of course this is the best part! Ironman Louisville has the best finish line ever. It is on Fourth Street Live and the crowd and vibe is fantastic! Cheering, music lots of energy. When I turned the corner to come into the finish chute I couldn’t help but smile big and choke up. The best feeling of accomplishment ever! My family was right there, but there are volunteers that “catch” the finishers, give them their medals, water, blanket, and make sure they are OK.

What did you eat after the Ironman?
I only drank some chocolate milk until about two hours later when I could stomach some crackers. It is very difficult to eat afterwards. But lots of food is offered to the finishers.

What else did you do that night?
My family and I went to our suite at the Galt House and had a little party. I just wanted to sit down, so we had some cheese and crackers and red wine, and laughed and celebrated.

How did you feel on Monday?
During the night Sunday I woke up feeling my legs. They were beginning to get sore. Monday morning my legs were quite sore, stairs were not fun. But otherwise I felt good. I was very hungry so we had a big breakfast.

How much did you work out the day before?
The day before (Saturday) I swam for 15 minutes in the Ohio River, ran 1.5 miles and rode my bike for 10 minutes. All of this is to just keep the muscles firing but not fatiguing them in any way. There was lots of walking during the entire weekend.

On Ironman day, how did you mentally prepare?
Mentally preparing for a race this long happens alongside the physical training. I was constantly visualizing race day: swimming in the river, biking along the horse farms, and running a marathon in downtown Louisville. Always analyzing my progress and staying positive. Never a negative thought in the head. Race day I only thought about small segments of the race at a time. If you think about the entire race and duration it can be overwhelming. I had followed my training plan and knew everything would fall into place. I was calm because there is no point in stressing about things that are out of my control.

What was it like getting in the water?
The race started at 7 a.m. The difference with this Ironman is the type of start. Normally it is a mass start, where all swimmers jump in the water and go at the same time. Louisville uses a time trial type start. This is where the athletes line up, first come first serve, and when the gun goes off the athletes jump in one by one. It is very fast and the line splits into two lines at the dock. 2,800 athletes went into the water in 45 minutes. I got in line at 5:10 and I went in at 7:19 a.m. There were a lot of swimmers and I got kicked, punched, my goggles were almost knocked off. Once I settled down I was able to get into my rhythm. We swim one third of the way upstream, then turn around and swim downstream the remaining distance. The water was 81 degrees and felt good because it was only 63° when we waited in line for the start.

What’s the difference between swimming in the Ohio River and a swimming pool?
A pool has a nice black line on the bottom to keep you swimming straight. In the river you can’t see your hand in front of your face. I had to do what is called sighting. Sighting is when you look forward or side to side during the swim stroke to see where you are by looking for a buoy or other type of landmark. This has to be practiced as part of your stroke or it can really slow you down.

Why do triathlons start with swimming, followed by biking, then running?
Because of safety. Swimming would not be good last because of fatigue and cramping. For the same reason biking would not be good when fatigued because of the possibility of wrecks. It’s tough to run at the end, but the ground isn’t so far away if you fall. It’s easy to just sit down.

During the competition, how did you change clothes and hand off the bike?
After I came out of the water I ran to the transition area. This is where the bikes, changing tents, and gear bags are. As I ran in I yelled out my race number and a volunteer grabbed my gear bag and I went into the ladies’ changing tent. I put my bike shoes, helmet, sunglasses, and bike shorts on, ran to my bike and headed out on the bike. After the bike I handed it off to a volunteer and ran towards the changing tents, yelled out my number again and a volunteer grabbed my other gear bag. I ran into the ladies’ changing tent, took off the helmet and bike shoes, and changed into running shorts, shoes and put a hat on. Off to the marathon. The volunteers are awesome!

How did your legs feel going from bike pedals to feet?
I had my personal best time on the bike (06:10:06)! I felt great, strong and never fatigued. When I came into the transition and dismounted the bike, my quad cramped a little. As a result I tried to start the run slow, just to get my legs back. The feeling is like running in mud or deep sand. After about 3 miles I felt better but just couldn’t get the legs moving any faster.

What was running through your head at any given point?
Almost always good thoughts, always positive. I love doing this and enjoy every moment. But there was a point on the run, about 15 miles in, where I wanted to just sit down and cry. My feet hurt, my stomach was bloated, my legs were tired. But I kept thinking about all the time and work that I put into preparing for this race and I was not going to quit! I also kept thinking about how wonderful the finish line would be.

Did you see anything funny or interesting along the way?
There is so much happening around me. I laugh at the spectators, the funny signs they make, I love the supportive family members and the look on the athletes’ faces during the race. The funniest thing I saw was a mother with her children waiting for their athlete (husband and dad) to come by. She had her hands full with the two young children, and dropped her husband’s cell phone. It shattered and she almost cried because it was the camera. I couldn’t help but chuckle. The worst thing I saw was a serious bike wreck, very bad. I was sad for him.

Is there any talking or interaction between competitors during Ironman?
One of the best things about doing this race is the camaraderie of the athletes. We talk before, to help ease the jitters. We give each other words of encouragement when we are weary, and then praises at the finish line. It is a wonderful group of athletes.

What is the easiest part of the whole day?
For me the easiest part of the day is the first 50 miles of the bike. I love the bike and have the best time.

What is the most challenging?
The first five miles of the run, the legs are wonky from the bike and I have a long run ahead of me.

What and when did you eat or drink during the race?
I had one GU Energy Gel per hour chased by water, sipped Ironman Perform, and ate bananas during the bike. There is an aide station approximately every 15 miles and they offer all that. I carried two bottles, one water, one Ironman Perform. I also carried several GUs. I would grab a half banana passing by the aide station and stop only when I needed to refill the bottles.

How did the 2013 triathlon compare with previous Ironman races?
I also did it in 2010 so this was my third one. 2010 was an experiment; it was the hottest year in Ironman Louisville history, 97° and high humidity. It took me 16 hours to finish, due to cramping legs on mile 2 of the run. I learned a lot that year. 2011 was the year of redemption—I had to beat this beast, I had to do better. I took three hours off my time and finished in 13 hours. This year my ultimate goal was 12 hours. I had a good swim, great bike, OK run, and as a result I beat my time from 2012 but didn’t make 12 hours.

Where did you train for Ironman?
I swam at LAC, ran in my neighborhood, and biked south of Lexington. Once a month I would do a training ride on the Ironman Louisville course with a group of people. There would be 100 to 150 of us from all over. My husband and another guy organized SAG stops, like an aide station; we would ride 50 to 100 miles. The best thing was my husband riding his bike with me while I did my long runs. My husband, Charlie, daughters Chaussy and Sharon, and my brother Andy were the best support crew anyone could ask for. I couldn’t have done this without them.

What did you learn about yourself throughout your training for 2013?
Doing Ironman has been one of the greatest things I have accomplished. I am in the best shape of my life. I have learned a lot about myself spending all the long hours alone with myself. I also learned that I like myself.

What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about doing a triathlon?
Just have fun! It takes time, consistency, and total devotion to do well. A positive attitude and a love of the sport.

What was the most satisfying thing about your Ironman experience?
I am 51 years old. I am getting faster as I get older. I love knowing I can get better with age.

Interview questions compiled by Kathie Stamps.

Extreme Rampage 2013

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Facing mud pits, cargo nets, rope walls, tire drills and tunnel crawls… yes, Extreme Rampage 2013 was a blast. The weather was perfect for the event on Saturday morning, Sept. 7, at Masterson Station Park. A crew of six from Fitness Plus went off in wave #5 (of 8) for the 4-mile cross-country obstacle course.

Trainers Laura Coombs and Joey Hacker were veterans from the 2012 Extreme Rampage, so they helped the newbies out. It was a test of strength, balance, agility and determination.

Congrats to Fitness Plus clients David Brian, Kimberly Campbell and Steve MacNeil, for their “veni, vidi, vici” moment. They came and saw and conquered this thing.

Russ Hunter: His journey to success

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Russ is a Fitness Plus client who trains with Rob Sweet. Here is his story, in his own words:

Ever since I was in the 3rd grade, I had always been on the larger side. I may not have been “fat” but I was definitely chubby. I was chubby until about the end of 8th grade, where I stopped playing lacrosse and just dropping exercise in general.

After this, I started gaining massive amounts of weight and eating a lot more food. I was incredibly unhappy. I tried multiple times to lose weight, but they would all only go for a day or two before I quit. Once I went to the doctor, and saw that I was weighing in at a whopping 330 pounds, I knew that I needed to make a change or that I wouldn’t be around for much longer, and couldn’t live a happy life being so heavy.

I texted my trainer Rob, and told him that I was serious about losing weight this time. I was lucky that he would take me back to train because I had always been making up excuses to not have to go into training before. In my first week of attempting to lose weight, I lost 6 pounds. Even though it was only one week, seeing that 6 pound difference really instated in my mind that I had the power to conquer my weight, and I was going to do just that.

As the months progressed, I started getting thinner and thinner, and as I was losing weight my general attitude increased as well.

Whenever I felt like  I couldn’t do something, Rob just kept pushing me and reinforcing me telling me that I could do it, no matter how hard it was. I never had any mako slip ups on my diet, but some foods were tempting, but my end goal was just as tempting.

Now, 7 months and ten days after sending Rob that text message telling him that I was ready to lose weight, I am weighing in at 220 pounds, and am happier than I have ever been in my entire life. Even though I still have a ways to go,  my BMI went from 45 to well under 30. I have seen results and know that with hard work anything can be accomplished.

I now have the energy and confidence to do and try things that I have never been able to do before. I can’t thank Rob and Fitness Plus enough for what they have done for me, because without them, I feel like I may still be where I was 7 months and 10 days ago.

I am now leaving for college at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana in a few days, and even though I won’t have Rob 3 times a week every week, I know that I have everything that he taught me, and will continue to live a healthy active lifestyle.

Why I Value My Fitness Plus Trainer

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Laura Coombs (left) with Fitness Plus client Peggy HendersonIn the spirit of Thanksgiving, Fitness Plus held a contest in November 2012 called “Why I Value My Fitness Plus Trainer.”
Congratulations to Peggy Henderson for the winning entry. Peggy receives two free training sessions at Fitness Plus and will be featured in an upcoming Fitness Plus ad in Chevy Chaser magazine, with a photo of her and her trainer, Laura Coombs.

Here is Peggy’s essay:
Last December, I visited my doctor for my annual checkup and she stated: “You are 50 pounds overweight and your blood sugar is up. It is time to put your on medicine for Type II diabetes. “I left her office feeling disgusted with myself but equally determined to do something about it. I would not take one more medicine for a self-inflicted illness!
Together with my husband, we decided that 2012 would be the year we finally made a commitment to gaining and maintaining good health.
I have been an educator for the past 25 years. I know what good teaching looks like. To be successful, I knew I would need a trainer who would be an excellent teacher. And that is exactly what Sheila found for us. She introduced us to Laura Coombs. Laura recognized immediately that I hated exercise, that I was not very good at exercise, and that I would need lots of support and encouragement to be successful. And that is exactly what she has delivered to both my husband and me.
When I decided to write this, I searched for a quote to explain what it is that has made Laura such an excellent teacher. Dan Rather said this about great teachers, “The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes, and leads you onto the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.”
On a weekly basis since February, Laura has tugged me, pushed me, coddled me, listened to me, encouraged me, instructed me, and, on occasion, ‘poked me with the ugly truth.’ In all that time, she has never once belittled me nor made me feel stupid or inadequate. When I complain, she ignores me; when I complain some more, she brings out her sharp wit and distracts me with good humor.
Fitness Plus client Peggy Henderson working with personal trainer Laura CoombsI would like to say that I am now addicted to exercise or at least that I love going to sessions; neither of those statements is true.
However, as I sit here some 30-plus lbs. lighter, a little bit stronger, and not on that additional medication, I would like to say that I am thankful that we had the good sense to visit Fitness Plus and hire Laura Coombs.

Fitness Plus personal trainer Laura Coombs and client Peggy HendersonWhile I am no prize student and I have no illusions that I ever will be, I am extremely grateful to Laura for helping me overcome my absolute hatred of exercise, gyms, and personal trainers. It took a special lady to do that for me. Thank you, Laura Coombs, you are the best!
—Peggy Henderson

Other clients had good things to say about their trainers. Here are some more testimonials of gratitude.

Client: Bill Goodman
Trainer: Laura Coombs

Laura Coombs, personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington, KY“OK, let’s do it again,” Laura said, as I lay gasping for breath on the gym floor, sweat coursing its way down my face like a small stream seeking a pool to puddle into. Looking up at her in disbelief, I stammered, “Ahhh, ohhh, kinda thought that was the last round. I’m done.” Laura arranged the ropes and the ball for another round.

“You’ve got one more in ya. Come on.”

I did manage to squeeze in a gulp of water. Then it was back on the floor for an up-side-down spider crawl, an over-the-head leg kick to standing position and the dreaded undulating rope slam and double side winder drill — and I thought all along heavy rope was used to tie ships to the dock.

This is what a good personal trainer does for you — pushes you to the limit, encourages you to do better, builds confidence, offers nutritious eating and drinking tips — and if you catch her on a good day, she’ll throw in a movie or book suggestion; all this and a big smile makes a good personal training session worth it.

—Bill Goodman

Client: Margie Hacker
Trainer: Chris Williams

Chris Williams, personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington, KYI am healthier today than I was 10 years ago. Chris Williams took an old unfit lady and made her feel better and stronger than she had ever been. I don’t even hurt anywhere.

While making me work at some things I don’t like (I am making a list), Chris and I laugh, gossip, discuss world matters, sports and kid around; making the hour go faster. Although I don’t like to admit it, after an hour I feel better and am glad I came. Chris has kept me coming for nine years. I am very grateful. Thanks for caring.

—Margie Hacker

Client: Ricki Rosenberg
Trainer: Chris Williams

The most important thing about Chris is that he is the best . . . the very best. He always says “perfect” and “great job,” even if it’s not exactly true. When I’m tired and not really in the mood to work out, he varies what we do and keeps me motivated. If I have to switch our session time, he works hard to make it happen. But the most important thing about Chris is that he loves his job, making him an enthusiastic and hard-working trainer.

—Ricki Rosenberg

Client: Bari Ewing
Trainer: Katie Dennison

Katie Dennison, personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington, KYIn June of 2012 I was turning 31. I was overweight and more sedentary than I wanted to be. I felt unhealthy and took as many as 7 medications a day.

About to pay off my car, I decided that I would put that morning toward bettering myself. I met Katie Dennison in 2011 doing Team in Training, so I inquired about her personal training services.

Toward the end of the month, I came in for my first session. I liked how training and changing the way I think about food was not overwhelming, but instead it has always been encouraging. I’ve never dreaded an upcoming session with Katie.

Like most people, my time is at a premium. I’m a full-time mechanical engineer, travelling as many as 10 nights a month, and a part time master’s student. I love how I can just look at each week, pick a day or two to come in, and then get billed at the end of the month for those sessions. This has been the best way I could spend my money.

I never expected it to click so well with me. I feel wonderful. In 4 months, I’ve lost 16 lbs. I’m down to taking just 2 medications a day. It’s so easy too. My body wants me to eat cleaner and eat to fuel my more active lifestyle.

I find if I have a free evening, I’m excited to schedule another session with Katie or find a local exercise class to attend. I cannot thank Fitness Plus and Katie enough for leading me toward the healthier life I wanted and for helping me feel like I can continue this way for the rest of my life.

—Bari Ewing

Client: Hesan Haghnazar
Trainer: Katie Dennison

My Fitness Plus personal trainer is the most important factor to wellness in my life. I say this because first of all she diets and knows exactly what to eat and she is not a hypocrite: she practices what she preaches.

Secondly, she consistently and routinely exercises because she is in the gym almost every day working out with her clients and she never takes a break; the key is she is truly passionate for her work and is goal oriented (she is my hero).

Another key is that she is a good role model because she leads a healthy lifestyle and is very intuitive. I love a good role model because they are like lighthouses in life’s turbulent ocean: they stand high and tall as a beacon of hope.

Most importantly of all is that she is the de facto icon of wellness in my mind because she defines the lifestyle I want for the rest of my life. She is a true symbol of wellness to humanity and I have felt the aura radiate from her since the first day I met her before she began this career. Everyone needs a trigger to motivate themselves; Katie Dennison is my trigger. In conclusion, my Fitness Plus personal trainer means the world to me. Thank you.

—Hesan Haghnazar

Client: Brenda Lampton
Trainer: Amy Ball

Amy Ball, personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington, KYThe experts tell us that the older we get, the more important it is to exercise and stay active. This advice, plus my desire to improve my golf game, is why I keep coming to see Amy Ball at Fitness Plus.

Except for the time I spend in Florida, I have been scheduling weekly sessions with Amy since April 2012 — with very good results. Amy’s routines have allowed me to stay physically fit and healthy.

My flexibility, my balance, my upper body strength — all keep improving and will get even better. I can see the results of my sessions with Amy on the golf course. My drives are longer and my swing is effortless, yet much more accurate. My golf handicap is the lowest it has been in 7 years.

Of course there are days that I would rather NOT show up for my workout, but I do anyway — and I feel really good afterwards. I will be sticking with this fitness routine at Fitness Plus — a very important part of my life. Thanks, Amy!

—Brenda Lampton

Client: Jo Leone
Trainer: Jackie Hanson

Jackie Hanson, personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington, KYMy friend said, “Why don’t you exercise?” and I said, “Oh, my aching back.” My friend said, “Come to Fitness Plus, meet Jackie — she’ll get you back on track.”

So I did. We stretch, we use balls, we lift weights; we walk, get on the floor, use bands (which I hate). So, even on a dark, gloomy day, Jackie’s bright smile makes going to the gym okay.

She is so positive, so energetic, she has really helped me. Some days after class I must treat her to coffee or tea. She has taught me to be steady, work hard, not to slack; I recommend Jackie Hanson if you’ve ever had a stiff, aching back.

—Jo Leone

Strong Over 50: for individuals

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Are you strong? Why should you be strong?

Here are some facts.

1. The 6th leading cause of death after age 60 is from injuries due to falls. Proper strength training improves balance.

2. After age 40 your body starts losing 2 to 3 percent of its muscle a year. Less muscle also means a weaker internal system including your heart, lungs and liver.

3. Less muscle = lower metabolism, which leads to weight gain.

4. Adults 45 and over who sit more than 11 hours have a significant increase in risk for early mortality and other key health issues.

There’s hope and help. It’s a program called “Strong Over 50.”
Strong Over 50

Rob Sweet, a personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington KY, is working the Strong Over 50 equipment with SO-50 founder John Stuef
Our educated, experienced trainers at Fitness Plus use the cutting edge SO-50 training device as part of your personal, functional, efficient workout.

A client at Rapid Fitness in Raleigh works out on SO-50 equipment, developed by Rapid Fitness owner John Stuef
Strong Over 50 is designed to help your body build and maintain muscle, lose weight, and increase mobility, balance and function.

Fitness Plus personal trainers Katie and Dave work out with SO-50 equipment

We understand what you want and what you need. Give us a call. Be strong at any age.

Fitness Plus
831 National Ave.
Lexington, KY 40502

Strong Over 50: video

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Fitness Plus
831 National Ave.
Lexington, KY 40502


Rob Sweet, personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington, Ky., shows off a new workout routine he came up with for the “Strong Over 50” exercise equipment.

Check it out.





Strong Over 50: intro

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Here’s an overview of the Strong Over 50 program.

John Stuef, owner of Rapid Fitness in Raleigh, N.C., worked with a team of exercise physiologists over a 5-year period to develop and manufacture the Strong Over 50 (SO-50) system.

Fitness Plus personal trainers in Lexington KY work out with John Stuef, creator of the Strong Over 50 system
Here, John (in the black warmup suit) trains Fitness Plus personal trainers in the program.

Strong Over 50 was created by John Stuef, with patent-pending exercise equipment
The patent-pending rack equipment is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, corrosion-resistant Delrin bearings, heavy-duty grips and a height adjuster.

Rapid Fitness clients practice squats on Strong Over 50 equipment
Exercise accessories for the SO-50 system include an ab strap, door hanger and mounting strap with carabineer.

SO-50 works for all ages, under or over 50
Focusing on body weight suspension, the SO-50 specialized workout routines allow individuals of all ages and fitness levels to improve their balance, endurance and core strength.

Sheila Kalas, owner of Fitness Plus, and John Stuef, creator of the SO-50 system, watch Fitness Plus personal trainer Rob Sweet work the SO-50 equipment.
SO-50 uses a new, patent-pending piece of equipment, along with accessories, to provide a suspension fitness training system with a focus on safety.

Fitness Plus, Lexington KY. Certified trainers in the "Strong Over 50" system:  Katie Dennison, Dave Moreland, Chris Morris, Rob Sweet, Sheila Kalas;  Amy Ball, Laura Coombs, Amber Stone, Jackie Hanson
“John invented a safer version of the very popular suspension-based training designed by the Navy Seals, which is a really cool way of training but you have to be fairly coordinated to use it,” said Sheila Kalas, founder and owner of Fitness Plus in Lexington, Ky. “Safety and fitness should always go hand in hand. As we age, safety is even more important when keeping up with fitness trends. The SO-50 equipment is an easier and safer way to do this type of suspension training.”

Fitness Plus
831 National Ave.
Lexington, KY 40502