Pilates studio blogJoe Pilates didn’t teach levels, he taught people. He adjusted each exercise and apparatus to the body in front of him. The division of the method into basic (L1), intermediate (L2) and advanced levels (L3) is more recent and slightly artificial, but that’s not to say that it isn’t useful in a health club setting.

The levels are a template or guide, not a competition. Pilates is not a sport, it is a practice. In fact, Pilates is corrective exercise with roots in therapeutic modalities. The exercise levels are made up of developmental goals and a way of moving rather than exactly what exercises you do. Because Pilates is progressive, mastering the basic exercises is vital. The basic exercises are the foundation to the work and aren’t dropped from the repertoire as it increases. Rather, an advanced class is classified L3 due to the number of exercises completed in the hour, the coordination of the exercises, tempo and the strength, stretch and stamina needed to perform the exercises.

The levels are most obvious in a mat or equipment class since in private sessions the work is customized to you.

L1 - These classes teach you the basics of the method through a series of simple, challenging exercises. The goal for this level is to find your powerhouse, to begin to find lift in the body and to even out the alignment of the torso. You will start to feel the benefits of Pilates.

L2 - When your body has absorbed the basics, you are ready to take intermediate level sessions. The aim of this level is to strengthen and deepen the powerhouse. Some new movement patterns are introduced (e.g. back bends) and other patterns already present in the basic level are expanded upon. What makes you intermediate is not how long you have studied, but how much your body has absorbed and remembers from session to session.

L3 At the advanced level the focus is on increasing the stamina of the powerhouse. More upper body exercises are introduced with the aim of working the upper back and connecting it more deeply with the rest of the powerhouse. The advanced level is where complete flow and synchronization with the breath takes place.

To be the best version of you in Pilates, there is nothing to be gained by rushing ahead in your progress and practice. Impatience means that you will simply not get as much from your classes as you could. If you have an injury or illness, it is advisable to have private sessions before you join a mat or equipment class to ensure your needs are properly addressed.

At Greenwood, our staff is trained to teach multi-level classes within each level. Additionally, our goal is to build a working Pilates vocabulary in the body and learn Pilates concepts and principles. All of our classes include fundamentals with flow, building block progressions and extra stretches to keep you moving- developing stability, strength, flexibility and stamina.

Sara Talbert, Director of Pilates


Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club is Hosting The 7th Annual Tri-Our-Village Kids Triathlon

Greenwood Village, CO; August 1, 2014 – Now more than ever, kids are following in their parents footsteps and participating in the increasingly popular sport of triathlon. On September 21, 2014 the city of Greenwood Village and Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club are hosting the seventh annual Tri-Our-Village Kids Triathlon for ages 6-16. The triathlon will feature four different difficulty levels adjusted accordingly to each age group. Participants will run, bike, and swim their way through the course surrounding GATC and Westland’s Park in Greenwood Village.

According to Crystal Garland, Aquatics Coordinator at Greenwood, “The 7th Annual Tri-Our-Village Kids Triathlon introduces kids to the fun of swimming, biking and running while also helping kids discover the benefits of healthy activities. On average we have 200 participants and we are looking forward to a similar turn out for this year’s event”

The latest numbers from USA Triathlon show that the amount of total youth members increased to 57,846 in 2013 from 51,585 in 2012, a jump of 12.1 percent. Since 2007 youth membership has grown 34 percent making triathlon one of the fastest growing sports in the nation. In addition to getting kids active through the rapidly growing sport, Tri-Our-Village Kids Triathlon provides plenty of fun for families and sense of accomplishment to the competitors that complete the course.

Cathy Pate, Greenwood Village Recreation Manager said, “I have the best job of all, announcing the names of the participants at the finish line and watching mom and dad embrace their accomplishments, such a joy!”

Julie Plumleigh, a participant from last year said, “It is great to exercise and try new things. I love the competition. My sister and I have done it for 5 of the 6 years and we will do it every year until we age out!” Her brother, John, a fellow participant added, “I was 6 and in kindergarten at the first annual Tri. I will always remember competing. It is the best!”

For kids that are interested, Greenwood is offering a Kids Triathlon Training Camp to prepare for the main event. It will take place on September 15, 16 and 17 from 6:00-7:30pm. In these training sessions kids will practice swimming, biking, running, transitions, and learn race course safety. For more information contact Crystal 303.770.2582 x325 or CrystalG@GreenwoodATC.com.

Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club is South Denver’s premier full-service health club, located in the heart of the Denver Tech Center in Greenwood Village. Boasting 142,000 total square feet, Greenwood features over 125 complimentary classes per week, including hot yoga, Pilates mat, Spinning®, EnergyZone® , Kickboxing, Les Mills’ BODYPUMP™ and BODYATTACK™ and others, a complete Pilates studio, a 9,600 square foot state-of-the-art weight room and two cardiovascular areas featuring integrated TVs and iPod adapters. Greenwood features a 32,000 square foot outdoor aquatics area with the only heated 25-meter, six lane, outdoor-lap pool in the Denver area. The 55,000 square foot tennis club is the USTA-recognized Tennis Facility of the Year with seven indoor clay courts and five outdoor hard courts. Greenwood has recently been recognized by Fitness Magazine, as one of “America’s Best Gyms, for the competitive set. Members can expect an immaculate club, personalized service and attention to detail. Visit www.GreenwoodATC.com.


Strength is a crucial component to being able to lead a full life. Questioning that statement? Let’s begin with walking. Without the core strength to keep your body erect and your posture in alignment, you begin to place undue stress on your knees and feet. This results in problems with your knees, feet, back and hips. Everyone now knows and believes inlowerback the importance of core strength, but what about glute strength? Most people only think about strengthening their glutes if they play sports or have activities that require them to use their glutes. In actuality, everyone needs glute strength! As a primary hip extensor it balances out the hip flexors. Hip flexors are constantly used when we sit or perform cardiovascular endurance exercises such as running, biking, stair-climbing, etc. If the hip flexors become too dominate, they can alter posture and change your bio-mechanics. The glutes (maximus, minimus and medius) work to counter those forces and keep your posture in alignment. Strength in this area can also greatly improve the ability to run faster. That’s all well and good for the lower body, but what about the upper body? Most people neglect working the upper posteupperbackrior chain of the body: the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, lower and middle trapezius and external rotators. These muscles not only assist in maintaining proper posture, they also stabilize the shoulder joint and allow for stable movement through a wide range of movements. If the back becomes out of balance with the anterior muscles (pectoralis major and minor, internal rotators and deltoids) postural malformations occur, such as rounded shoulders, head slumping forward or forward leaning.
It is important to not only work the beauty muscles, but also the muscles that hold your body together!

Vic Spatola, Director of Personal Training

Greenwood is a Registered 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training School

Yoga Schools open the doors for people to create a career of their dreams, to have a second income doing what they love, to create an opportunity for a college student to supplement their income or offering a part-time opportunity for parents who want to work while raising their families.

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO; August 4, 2014 – Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club is now a Registered 200 Hour Yoga Teacher School (RYSs®) with Yoga Alliance.  On September 7, Greenwood will launch their first five week Teacher Training Session with 12 world-trained Yoga teachers. The instructors have a combined 100 years of experience and will guide students through the Vinyasa style. Training will take place at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club from September 7 through October 17 and will include an 8-week membership to all participants.

Marda Zechiel, Yoga Manager at GATC explains, “Greenwood Yoga’s Teacher Training promises to enrich, inspire and change your life. Greenwood Yoga’s Teacher Training is for anyone whether you want to deepen your practice, pursue a career as an instructor or create a part-time opportunity for yourself while you care for your children or add it as a second career.”

A 2012 study by the Yoga Journal found that Yoga has grown from 15.8 million practitioners in 2008 to 20.4 million practitioners in 2012. Yoga is a growing practice in America and the need for teachers will only increase as the amount of practitioners gets higher.

According to a US News and World Report article titled, “Yoga Teaching Increasingly Popular as a Second Career. According to Bill Harper, publisher of Yoga Journal, “The combination of growth of people participating in Yoga and the recession has caused a lot of people to do it as an adjunct to their day job.”

Students will learn breathing techniques and breathe connected movement, in depth Asana instruction and modifications, Basic Vinyasa series, effective cuing techniques, intelligent sequencing and class structure, yoga anatomy, Ayurveda, principles of alignment, as well as meditation techniques and exploration.

Those that are interested are encouraged to come to Complimentary Yoga Teacher Training Information Sessions which include a free yoga classes. These sessions will provide the opportunity to get to know the instructors as well as learn more about what the program has to offer. The first session is on August 13 at 10:55am beginning with a Basic Vinyasa class and ending with a Q&A session on the Yoga Teacher Training Program and then it will be followed by another complimentary Heated Power Vinyasa Class.

Greenwood’s Yoga Teacher Training School is located in Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club, 5801 South Quebec Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111.  To learn more contact Marda at 303-770-2582 x324 or mardaz@greenwoodatc.com or http://www.greenwoodathleticclub.com/yoga/inserts/greenwood-yoga-teacher-training?PG=PY




yogaA recent study shows yoga to be of great benefit to teens. The research is published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School conducted their study on 51 junior and senior high school students. Some of the students did a ten week yoga PE class, and some did a regular PE class. The yoga PE class included meditation, relaxation and breathing exercises, along with yoga poses. At the beginning of the ten week study, all the students took a number of psychological tests for things like mood problems, anxiety, mindfulness, resilience and anger expression. The researchers found that by the end of the study, the teens who did yoga scored higher on some of the psychological tests, while the teens who didn’t do yoga scored worse on some of the tests. For example, teens who did not do yoga during their PE classes scored higher for mood problems or anxiety, while those who did do yoga scored lower on these tests, or their scores remained the same from the beginning of the study period. In addition, the teens who didn’t do yoga reported more negative emotions during the study period, while the teens who did do yoga reported fewer negative emotions.

Why should your Tween/Teen do Yoga?
• Physical Benefits-strength, flexibility, improved posture, ability to relax, breath
awareness, balance and stability, stabilizes energy
• Mental Benefits-stress management, decision making, concentration, healthy body image, acceptance
• Spiritual Benefits-compassion, connection, presence and intuition

I personally have two kids in this category and it is hard to get them to a yoga class with adults. I believe a class with kids their own age and instruction that guides them through a yoga practice specific for their needs will provide them with these many benefits. GATC is offering a summer yoga series on Tuesdays at 11:00am, a good time-slot for sleepy teens, ages 12 to 18.

Marda Zechiel, Yoga Manager


Has your tMonday Night Madnessennis development stalled? Do you struggle against certain types of players? Chances are that you may be looking at your strokes and tactics through the same colored glasses. There’s probably a lot more that you can do than you realize. Let’s start by understanding that tennis is an open-skilled sport. What this means is that the conditions and environment you are facing are constantly changing. Your position on the court, the height, spin and speed of the incoming ball all changes with nearly every shot. With this in mind, what’s interesting is when you watch most tennis players during practice they’re generally concerned about grooving only one or two strokes and are basically practicing in a controlled environment. It doesn’t matter if they’re on the baseline or service line or receiving a fast ball or slow ball, it’s all the same! It’s important to understand that with this approach you are severely limiting your potential for improvement. You must recognize that one size does not fit all in tennis. Thinking about golf, most of you probably know that you have an entire bag full of clubs, each club serving a different purpose. The driver for example is designed to provide power and distance and basically just get the ball a long ways down the fairway. This is the complete opposite of a wedge which is designed to provide control on shorter shots around the green where distance is not a concern and control is at a premium. We have this in tennis as well; there are at least seven different topspin variations on the forehand alone, each is designed to answer a specific situation that you may encounter. You have your power and control shots but the where, when and how can vary considerably. So instead of practicing how you send a ball with that same old repetitive forehand, try to pay more attention to the type of ball you’re receiving. Then ask yourself, what would be the best answer or method for returning that ball? There is likely more than one answer. This is how you begin to develop your style and you begin to think about various spins, placements and the speed in which you want to play this shot. In other words, you are now developing shot types. The more shot types you possess in your arsenal, the better you will answer any challenges your opponent will send your way.
Often a student will come to me and say something along the lines of “my forehand really stinks, can you help me fix it?” My traditional answer to this is- which one? Usually, mechanics are not the problem. Typically a player has difficulties handling a certain type of ball that an opponent is giving them or they are placing the ball poorly, so I work with them on how to hit the desired location or work with them on the mechanics necessary to handle a particular shot type. Are we worried about a high ball? Short ball? Soft ball? Where are we on the court? All of this must be considered to achieve your desired results. So the next time you’re practicing on the ball machine or with a hitting partner, work on executing the most appropriate shot and pay less attention to grooving a stroke. If you need help sorting this out, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our many terrific USPTA certified Tennis Professionals that we have on staff here at Greenwood. We’re all happy to help! Good luck and I look forward to seeing you on the courts!

Ron Steege, Director of Tennis


GMO stands for a Genetically Modified Organism. They are plants and animals produced from gene splicing; the merging of DNA from different species to make a new one. We microscopehave been eating them for over twenty years now. Food scientists first developed GMOs to increase crop production and reduce pesticide and herbicide use. However, GMO crops actually are showing to do just the opposite. A popular herbicide, glyphosate, has been found in high concentrations in genetically modified foods. In addition, sustainability farms are proving a higher yield than genetically modified production. Hopefully, the food industry will change their legislature so that a product must say whether or not it contains genetically modified ingredients.

“Without our knowledge, without any indication that there are genetically modified organisms in our food, we are now unwittingly part of a massive experiment,” says geneticist David Suzuki. Genetically modified ingredients have been linked to cancer, depression, weight problems, Alzheimer’s and infertility. More studies are needed but for now there are a few reliable studies that are telling us the following:
• GMO DNA fragments enter our bloodstream by an unknown mechanism
• GM foods are related to gluten-related issues such as celiac disease, gluten intolerance and impaired digestion
• Glyphosate causes increase in human breast cancer cells and is linked to birth defects
The main GMO crops are:
• Cbeetorncorn
• Cottonseed
• Alfalfa (fed to dairy cows and beef cattle)
• Soybeans
• Canola oil
• Sugarbeets (main source of sugar)papaya
• Papaya

For now, what do we do? Buy organic whenever possible. A food labeled organic will never be a GMO. However, an item labeled all-natural might contain GMO ingredients. A food labeled non-GMO verified may not be organic but it does not contain any GMO ingredient. Grocers like Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage have strict standards as to what they let in their doors, but may still have products that are all-natural containing GMOs. By 2018 Whole Foods has vowed to be 100% GMO free.

Questions? Check out GATC’s Nutrition Services and give me a call!

Kristin Burgess, GATC R.D.


clockI often hear that people simply don’t have enough time to exercise. We have to take care of our families, go to work, run errands, buy groceries, feed our pets and sometimes even our neighbor’s pets! Yes, I understand that we all have responsibilities. However, what I do not understand is how you do not make time to feel better, look better and have more energy? If you think it’s impossible to squeeze a workout in over the next 16 hours (I assume an adult sleeps about eight to nine hours a day) then try some of these:
• Write down your daily schedule and cross out some activities that are unnecessary or not urgent for that day. For example, do you need to pick up the dry cleaning today? Do you really need to go to spend all that time on your computer? I promise that you will find an activity that can be replaced with at least 10 minutes of exercise. Replace that activity with a brisk walk. I have seen a guy drop down at a red light and immediately start doing push-ups. What if that is the only 10 minutes of exercise he was able to make time for that day and he’s trying to maximize the effect? Hooray for him!
• If you don’t have a full hour to dedicate to fitness, then split it up. Surely you can make room for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. Stop by GATC on your way to work and do a short weight workout, then walk, jog or take a bike ride after dinner. You get your hour in and that’s what counts!
• If you feel like more of a challenge, then do a simple circuit routine with minimal rest between sets. Do 12 to 15 repetitions of each exercise with 15 to 25 seconds of rest.
• We all have heard things like “walk the stairs instead of using the elevator, park your car further away from your job or school etc…” Those little practices can add up quickly, if we are only disciplined enough to actually do them.

We all have days when we feel tired or less energetic than normal. Nobody is expecting a new world record from you on those days and neither should you. However, that is still not an excuse to completely abandon your fitness routine. Surely you can still squeeze in some easy exercise. I believe that consistency is the key to magical results, so just stick to your plan no matter what and enjoy the journey to the new, healthier you.

Daria Matthews, GATC Member Coach


Everyone knows flexibility is a key component in fitness, but what does it actually mean to be flexible? Flexibility, as defined by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, is the ability of the neuromuscular system to allow optimum extensibility of the appropriate tissues in the right range of motion, while providing optimum neuromuscular control through that range of motion. This means allowing muscles, tendons and ligaments to work in conjunction to allow normal range of motion of a joint. This requires that the soft tissues are free of tears, adhesions (scar tissue found in tendons and fascia) and are not overly excited due to a muscular imbalance. Those first two components are common results of exercise and training or injury. The last component, muscular imbalance, is commonly due to postural deviations. For example, if we lean too far forward in our normal posture, our hamstrings must fire twice as much as normal to hold us upright.
The second part of the definition of flexibility, while providing optimum neuromuscular control through that range of motion, is not only the ability to stretch muscles and connective tissue, but the control of that movement in that particular range of motion. I have seen very flexible people not be able to do some basic movements because they possessed neither the control nor the strength to work in that range of motion. For example, if you want to lift your leg past your hips, you not only need to work your hamstring flexibility, but you also need to have the muscular strength to lift your leg above your waist level. It is that combination of neuromuscular control and strength, as well as joint stability, that defines what our joint range of motion is to be.
This means that not everyone will have the same flexibility or range of motion, due to neuromuscular, joint or genetic restrictions. Excessive or inadequate range of motion in joints leads to issues in bio-mechanics. Flexibility and range of motion are different for each individuTRXal but can be improved through activity, active range of motion exercise, passive stretching and soft tissue manipulation.

Contact Vic or one of GATC’s personal trainers for assistance in achieving your best, both in flexibility and range of motion, goals which can also result from the practices of Pilates and yoga.

Vic Spatola, Director of Personal Training


•    Do most people start exercising around January with a weight loss goal in mind? Yes.
•    Do most people give up their New Year’s weight loss resolutions? Yes, usually by March.
•    Does weight loss happen overnight? The simple answer is, “no!”

You cannot expect to see long-term changes in your body by working out from January to March and then quitting. The key to seeing long-term changes is being consistent with your exercise and diet. Whether it is working out (read: moving your body) twice a week, three times a week or four times a week, you must be consistent with some form of exercise if you intend to progress toward making your goals a reality.

There are always exceptions to the rule of consistency. While traveling to unfamiliar areas, it may be difficult to find a place to work out. This is not a reason to not exercise, but an opportunity to try something different. You can walk in most areas, do a calisthenic workout in your room, or try whatever forms of activity are available. Here is an example of a basic calisthenic workout you can try the next time you are out of town or looking for a different routine:
1.    Jog in place for 5 minutes
2.    10 push ups
3.    30 crunches
4.    50 jumping jacks
5.    20 backward lunges
6.    One-minute plank hold (push up position on your toes and forearms)
7.    50 mountain climbers (push up position, bringing one bent knee in toward your chest repetitively, alternating legs)
8.    50 bicycle abdominal crunches
9.    20 dive bombers
Repeat this cycle three times with only a minute break between cycles.

The other excuse I hear is, “I’m very busy at work.” Guess what? Consistency in activity, year-round, is the number one component in an exercise program. The goal is to move your body on most, if not all, days of the week. This is why Personal Trainers make sure their clients are not only working out with them but also are working out on their own. Personal Trainers ensure accountability, consistency, and variety for their clients, leading to a commitment to those resolutions, which may just become a way of life.
There really is no excuse to be sedentary. Find an activity you like doing (or can at least tolerate!) and continue doing it throughout the year.

Vic Spatola, GATC Director of Personal Training