Has Holding on Gotten Out of Hand?

upperCVIOne of today’s popular fitness sayings is “go hard or go home.” This obsession with intensity tempts us to do whatever it takes to up the ante and could potentially make our workout less safe and less effective. This mindset shows up in all forms of exercise from weight lifting to cardio. In a cardio setting, it is not uncommon to see the stair stepper or treadmill running at top speed. Speed must equal the most effective workout, right? This level of speed has its place when done in good form. However, all too often the stair stepper and treadmill are running at full speed with individuals rounded forward and holding on for dear life in order to maintain speed. The treadmills are revolving fast, really fast, with pounding that is notably loud. While the spirit of working hard exists, what impact does poor form and posture have on the body and are results and efficiency achieved? So much of our day is already spent in front of a computer or in a chair rounding our bodies forward. We wouldn’t hit the start button if we weren’t after results. It has been found that continuous light handrail support during exercise reduces physiologic responses to exercise up to 6%! Aerobic benefits are reduced and suboptimal benefits from exercise are seen. In order to take in more oxygen, burn more calories, increase the heart rate and decrease the chances of injury, you must use your core. This means climbing the stairs and running on the treadmill without bending forward or handrail grasping even if it means slowing down. To increase the many benefits of submaximal exercise on the treadmill or stepper, let go and stay light on your feet. You might have to turn your iPod down to hear yourself. Standing tall requires you to use all of your senses and core muscles, balances your muscle recruitment and keeps you aligned. All in all, don’t feel bad if you have to slow down to let go. Studies show you will benefit!

Adding activities like Pilates or yoga to your exercise routine can enhance your balance, strength, coordination and flexibility; tapping into those important core muscles and  preparing your body and your mind for the rigorous demands of daily life.

Sara Talbert,
Director of Pilates

New Class at GATC – Insanity

INSANITY_POSTER_GUY_STARTING-NOVIf you have been paying attention to the buzz in the fitness world, you may have heard of INSANITY. This revolutionary, cardio-based, total body conditioning program is now at GATC!

Created by American fitness trainer and choreographer Shaun T, Insanity uses MAX interval training techniques to get you a leaner, more muscular body in a short amount of time. This program delivers results by varying the cardio-centered exercises to literally work your body from head to toe.

People will warn you before you embark on your Insanity fitness journey to prepare for the hardest workout of your life. Ever. The program brings your heart rate to its max, keeps it there for a while and then slows it back down by giving you 30 seconds of precious rest. It is designed for all fitness levels, with modifications provided for a safe, challenging and results-driven workout.

If you’re looking to achieve some insane fitness results with great music and positive energy, join us on Mondays in Studio 1 from 5:30-6:20pm.

What does your body really need after a workout?

  • CARBS/SUworkoutguyGAR – after a strength session, ladies aim for 15 grams and guys 30 grams. After an intense cardio session, ladies aim for 20-30 grams and guys 30-45 grams.
  • WATER – is needed for everyone and every type of workout. Most people need 20-32 ounces.
  • PROTEIN – most people need 10-20 grams based on the type of workout and body mass. After an intense strength workout, ladies aim for 10-15 grams and guys aim for 15-25 grams. After an intense cardio session, everyone aim for about 10 grams.
  • ELECTROLYTES – only if you are a very salty sweater, have issues with cramping or are exercising for more than 90 minutes.

These suggestions are dependent on the intensity and length of the workout. Don’t add calories where they are not needed but after a 30-45 minute high intensity workout, this nutrition is needed. After a 45-60 minute moderate to high intensity workout, this nutrition is needed. If you have a regularly scheduled meal or snack within 30 minutes of the workout, then just have that. However, if your next meal/snack is not for one to two hours, then add a small post-exercise snack within 30 minutes of the workout using my guidelines.

Have more questions or looking for additional information, visit GATC’s Nutrition Services page.

Kristin Burgess, GATC R.D.

Healthy Hydration

Here are some answers to common hydration questions/concerns:

How much water should I drink?

  • Your goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Water consumed during or after a workout does not count.

It’s hard to drink that much. How do I do it?water

  • Carry a reusable 32 ounce (one liter) bottle everywhere you go. My favorites are the small mouth nalgene bottles because they are very convenient to carry on a finger. Make your goal measurable. If your goal is 100 ounces, drink two bottles before lunch, one in the afternoon and plenty of water with meals. This is easier than keeping track of how many glasses you drink.

Does coffee, tea, juice and/or soda count towards my goal?

  • Only unsweetened (this includes sugar substitutes) liquids count.

I don’t like water. What can I add for flavor?

  • Frozen fruit, lemon, lime or ginger are a few ideas.

Does coffee dehydrate me? I’ve heard it’s bad for me.coffee

  • Coffee only dehydrates if it is consumed inconsistently. For example, if you head to your local coffee shop for a random afternoon latte, that afternoon/night/following day you will be dehydrated. If you drink less than 12 ounces every morning, then no.

When I drink that much water I’m always in the bathroom.

  • That’s a good thing! Your kidneys are a filter. When your blood volume is not optimal, your kidneys do not get enough blood and therefore do not function properly. This affects your heart health and your metabolism. Going to the bathroom every hour or so is good! To prevent waking in the middle of the night, stop drinking water after dinner.

How does adequate water help me with energy and/or weight loss?

  • Your muscles are made of water and protein. If you don’t give them what they are made of, they can’t be built. Being fully hydrated on a daily basis means you have optimal blood supply to all of your working cells, tissues and organs. In turn, this means they are consistently getting adequate oxygen, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. We burn fat when there is adequate oxygen supplying our metabolism.

Have questions on healthy hydration? Or looking for some information on nutrition? Contact Kristin or visit the GATC Nutrition Services page.

Kristin Burgess, Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer

15 Minutes To A Great Start To Your Day!

These four yoga poses done in the morning will wake you up, elevate your mood and alleviate pain. Designate a spot in your home to set up your mat. In a pinch you can do these poses without a mat.

  • Child’s Pose (Balasana) – five minutes
    Bring your knees wide and your toes to touch, sink your hips to your heels and extend your hands out to the front of your mat. Rest your forehead on your mat or a towel if it does not comfortably reach the floor. Move a little to get comfortable; pressing your palms, fingers and forearms into the mat massaging your forehead by rolling it side to side. When you have settled in to this posture, take deep, full breaths and exhale completely.
  • Table Top to Cat/Cow – move through the following in about three minutes
    Move into Table Top from Child’s Pose on your exhale. Set your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hip bones, aligning your joints. Look at your hands and spread your fingers energetically and press into your palms equalizing the pressure throughout your hands. From Table Top, drop your head and close your eyes moving organically through the hips, swaying from side to side or moving hips around in a circle. Come back to neutral spine and inhale to Cow by lifting your chin and tailbone up. From Cow-exhale to Cat by arching your back and gazing at your belly. Repeat by inhaling to Cow and exhaling to Cat, five times. Make sure to take deep long breaths and move into Cat and Cow slowly, letting your breath lead the way.
  • Down Dog – three minutesyoga_downward_dog
    Move from Table Top to Down Dog. From Table Top, move your knees back about two inches, tuck your toes under and push the floor away from you as you move into an inverted V position. In Down Dog, peddle your feet out, drawing your heals to the mat and move through your hips. Your hands are shoulder width distance apart and your feet are hips width distance apart. Actively push the floor away from you, lengthening from the crown of your head to your hips. It may be necessary to bend your knees slightly to create the inverted V or 90 degree angle in the hips.
  • Rag Doll – four minutes
    From Down Dog, bend your knees and walk your hands to your feet. Start with slightly bent knees and rest fingertips on the mat. Relax your head and neck. Grab opposite elbows and hang out here in stillness or sway from side to side. Release your hands back to the mat and bend knees so you can comfortably clasp your hands behind your back. Squeezing your shoulder blades together and expanding through the chest.

Release your hands back to the mat, slowly roll up to standing and have an AMAZING DAY!

Remember to check out Greenwood’s yoga schedule, where you’ll find 8 different yoga styles and over 30 yoga classes offered each week.

Marda Zechiel, GATC Yoga Manager

Cut The Starch For Heart Health

New research is showing that in addition to trans fats, having too many of the wrong type of carbs will also raise cholesterol and cause heart disease.

-White bread (this includes almost all breads at restaurants)
-White ricebread
-White tortillas
-White pasta
-Too many (frequency or portion size): potatoes, whole grain pastas, rice, bread and any other whole grain product

-Nuts and all natural nut butters

-Limit whole grains to two servings per day
-Dairy limit to two servings per day

Kristin Burgess, Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer


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