(pronounced “key-force”) 
This new fitness program is what I was learning 
when I went to Atlanta a couple weekends ago. 
Think body-weight strength training
with really fun music and high energy moves. 
Here’s a sneak peak: 
Look for it soon at your gym! 
Instructors looking to get QiForze certified, 
click here
The weekend in a nutshell:
Come in and find your seat

Rub elbows with the fitness instructor elite

Neon is in. Bitches. ; ) 

TRX representing! 

The whole gang after the first workout

Instructors from a bunch of different countries were there. 
My new BFF, Nicky, from the UK, living in Canada. 
Drinking my Bourbon and Ginger Ale (Kentucky). 
She didn’t like it… 

The lady behind it all: 
Leigh Crews

We are exhausted by day 3, 
Jessica needs caffeine. 
A lot of it. 

We’re DONE! 

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Getting In Shape… In Every Budget!

If you ask most people one thing they’d like to change in their lives, they’d answer with, 
“I’d like to be in better shape.” 
When asked why they don’t, they usually reply with one of two things;
“I don’t have time.”
“It’s just too expensive.”
While I can’t do anything to change your time management issues
 (that’s a whole ‘nother blog post)
 I can definitely tell you that money shouldn’t be an issue, and here’s why: 
You have many options to get in shape, no matter what your budget.

Hire a personal trainer! 
There’s no easier way than to hire somebody to tell you how to train, how often to train, and to make sure you’re doing it correctly. There are personal trainers at your gym, there are trainers at private clubs, there are even trainers that will travel to your home/office to train you at a time that’s most convenient for you. So there shouldn’t be anything holding you back other than finding a trainer that you like. Here’s a database that helps you find certified trainers in your area. Here’s one that helps you find TRX trainers in your area. Just make sure you actually do what they tell you… ; ) 
Split the cost of a trainer between you and a friend (or three)
Hiring a trainer at $70+ an hour can get expensive after a while, but if you have a friend or two that wants to jump in, that will help offset costs and give you a workout buddy that will help keep you accountable for making it to your sessions. It’ll also make things more fun while trying to reach your goal. Costs usually drop down to around $30 to $50 per person, per session. And the more buddies you have, the cheaper it’ll be for each of you. 
Join a Bootcamp! 

Bootcamps sound scary, but in all actuality, they’re pretty fun. You have a whole crew of people to suffer with work out with, compete with, make jokes with, and before you know it, your workout is done and you’ve had a reasonably fun time! Bootcamps usually meet two to three times per week and the cost usually breaks down to anywhere from $12-$20 per session. This is a great way to get your workout in, have some fun, meet new people, and not break the bank. If you’re in the Louisville area, check out my TRX Bootcamp.
Group Fitness Classes!
There are all kinds of gyms that offer memberships for as little as $15 per month. Look for a new gym opening in your area. With the opening day sales, you can score a few months of membership at a low cost, and included in that membership is a whole schedule of FREE group fitness classes. Same idea as with bootcamp above; you don’t have to go alone. It’s fun, exciting, easy to jump in, and you have a qualified instructor telling you what to do and making sure you’re doing it correctly so you don’t get hurt. Plus, classes are usually unlimited! So you can go as many times per week as your schedule (and body) allows to get the most bang for your buck. And you have the option to mix it up. Spinning class one day, strength the next, cardio dance to shake your ass, and yoga to calm yourself down. You’ll have so much to choose from you won’t know what to do first. And you’ll never get bored! 
So if you want to get in shape, and your budget is holding you back, hopefully this helps. 
Questions? Shoot ’em over to me: fitwithflash@gmail.com
In the Louisville area & want to train with me?

Now go get after it! 

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Fitness Class Etiquette

Inspired by my sometimes rather unfortunate experiences over the past decade as a Professional Fitness Instructor, I’ve compiled my list of top 10 Fitness Class Etiquette rules for participants, so you don’t wind up ruining the class experience for the other participants… and also so your instructor doesn’t despise you.


1. Don’t come in more than 5 mintues late.
  • It’s rude and it’s distracting (for the instructor and the participants) to watch you stumble around the room and get your equipment while everybody else is working out.
  • It’s unsafe. We’re not just being mean or intolerant. You can pull/strain muscles, and could possibly pass out if you jump into a workout without properly warming up. If you’re already warm and can get the instructor’s attention, ask if it’s ok to jump in if you’re late! We’ll likely be ok with it if you respect the rules and are warm first!
2. Silence the cell phones and NEVER answer it during class! Especially during quiet classes like Yoga, Pilates, and Meditation. (This goes for answering emails too!)
  • Again, it’s rude and there’s nothing worse than being in the zone and having it interrupted by an obnoxious ringtone.
  • If you are on call for work or waiting for an important call, put your phone on vibrate, keep it close, and let your instructor know before class gets underway. If class has already begun, wave them down and let them know!
  • If you HAVE to take a phone call during class, just leave the room before you start talking.
3. Don’t come to a high intensity class on an empty stomach.
  • We really don’t want to have to revive you if you pass out. We will, but we don’t want to.
4. Don’t come to a high intensity class after you’re JUST eaten a big meal/drank a huge cappucino.
  • Please eat at least an hour before these types of classes to give your body time to digest the food. Your blood needs to be going to your muscles during your workout, not your digestive organs. Puking in class is gross and also counterproductive to your own workout. Plus, you’ll be “that guy/girl” from now on…
5. If you’re injured, let the instructor know! We will give you other options.
  • We can’t read minds. Come tell us about your injury or condition before class starts. You can also flag us down toward the beginning of class if we’ve already started.
  • We can and will give you alternative options. Certain exercises are contraindicated for certain joint issues: i.e. jumping lunges are BAD for people with knee issues. We can give you something completely different so you’re not risking further injury or just standing around.
6. Don’t complain that class is too easy until you’ve taken the harder options.
  • If I give the class a harder option and nobody takes it, I’m going to make the assumption that you’re not ready for a harder level. I had a girl come to me and say my class was too easy once. She was in her mid 20s and really fit. She was also using 3 lb weights and ignoring all the advanced options I was giving. I gave her the benefit of the doubt (maybe she had a lot on her mind that day), but I was still annoyed.
  • Pay attention: Good instructors always give easier and harder options for exercises. You might have just been in the zone and missed the cue to add a jump, or switch weights to create more of a challenge.
  • If you don’t know how to make things harder, or you missed that cue, please ASK for more. Instructors want you to be challenged, but you have to communicate.
  • That being said, the same goes for a class that’s too hard. Pick lighter weights or a more beginner level class that’s more suited to your needs until you’ve gotten to a higher level.
7. Group class is not the coffee shop, save the conversation for after.
  • Most instructors don’t mind a little chatter, BUT the class doesn’t want to hear your hour-long discussion with your BFF. And some of you are incapable of whispering…
  • If you’re gonna chat a little, stay in the back, keep it down, and at least pay attention and keep up with the class. I’ll call you out if we’ve moved on and you’re still on the previous exercise…
8. Don’t crowd in!
  • Did you see my post yesterday? If a class is already packed, go hop on the treadmill and wait for the next one. EVERYBODY hates it when people (especially late ones) try to squeeze in. You leave no room for others to workout or yourself. Come earlier to get a spot next time.
  • Hit up the gym floor staff for a couple of exercise ideas if you need help. Chances are, if they aren’t with a client, they’re bored anyway, and every trainer loves to give out challenges.
9. If there’s a sub teacher, don’t leave immediately. Give them a chance, you may love them!
  • You may love your regular instructor, but you’re not being loyal by refusing to take anybody else’s class, you’re being a punk; somebody who is afraid of change and can’t be bothered by another instructor. Try something new, and you never know… you may end up finding some new, fun exercises, or another great instructor!
10. If you really don’t like the class, don’t come.
  • I had a guy come to my class for two YEARS and he complained about something almost every time he came in – the music, the exercises, the time of day, etc.
  • Nobody is forcing you to come to my class. My ego isn’t so big that I’ll be in tears if I don’t see you again. Not everybody loves me (most people do, but not everybody) so quit complaining and go do something else!
Having said all these things, please don’t think instructors hate you. We don’t. We LOVE that people want to come take our class instead of working out alone. We love all the regulars that keep coming back each week and offer so much fun and energy. We live for our participants and you make our jobs completely worthwhile! Most people rarely do the things above but there’s always somebody…
Any questions? Ask away! fitwithflash@gmail.com
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Del Mar Workout

Just thinking about some buddies…

While I lived in San Diego I taught and trained for 14 different gyms/companies. Del Mar Workout was the one I was at the longest though. I’m so grateful to Melanie (my manager in the front row, on the far left) for hiring me. This photo is of my Thursday morning Pilates crew on my last day in SD. I miss them SO much. There are many people from this gym that aren’t in the photo (like my entire Gravity and Body Conditioning classes) that I miss a ton as well.

When you’re cruising around, from gym to gym, by yourself all day, your clients become your co-workers. Some even become your family. From Annie and Terri who came with me and my friends to try on wedding dresses, to Ted and Ann who invited me into their home for my first Thanksgiving in San Diego, alone, I love you guys and miss you!
Conrad and I will be visiting in December. We won’t get to see everybody we’d like, but we’ll do our damnedest!
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What to do at the gym… when you don’t know what to do at the gym

Ever gone to the gym and just stood there looking at all the people working out… and then wondered to yourself,”OK, I’m here. I have one hour to work out. What now?”

I know. I’ve been there too. The solution? GROUP CLASSES.

Why? Because the instructors tell you what equipment to use, how many reps to do, how to do it right, how not to do it wrong. AND you are off the hook of trying to figure it out all on your own. Plus, at most gyms, the group classes come free with your memembership. So if you don’t have extra money for a personal trainer, and you don’t know how to use those crazy machines, you can walk right into a 5:30 afterwork Strength/Sculpt class and walk out an hour later with a structured workout, and no stress.
“But working out isn’t fun.”
Then what’s fun? Do you like to dance? Try a hi-lo class, cardio dance, or Zumba. Shaking your booty is good for your heart and mind and can lead to a huge calorie loss. You don’t have to be lifting weights to be working out. Have fun moving. Calorie burning is just a side effect.

“But I have no rythym!”
It’s ok. Not every group class is Jane Fonda’s Step Aerobics. Classes like Body Sculpting, Strength, Abs, Bootcamps, and TRX are all good choices for those who want to work out in a group setting without having to stay with a beat and remember choreography.

“But I’m a guy, and guys don’t do group”
Sure they do. Maybe not Cardio Dance, but my Bootcamps and TRX classes have been filled with guys. You don’t always have to take a class that starts with “5,6,7,8!” When guys take a class it can up the ante for everybody else in the class, even other guys. The great thing about taking a class with somebody right next to you is that you’re less likely to stop when you’re tired. “Well, he’s still going, I can keep going too.” That level of competitiveness can make you work harder and make gains faster.

“But I have bad knees (shoulders/back/wrists), I can’t do it.”
No worries. Just talk to your instructor right before class starts. Let them know of any physical limitations or health conditions you might have. They’ll be sure to give you alternative movements if something in class is going to put stress on you. If you can’t talk to your instructor before class, wave them down if a certain exercise is bothering you. They’d rather give you a modification than have you standing around doing nothing. Any good instructor will give higher and lower modifications during a class anyway, but don’t be afraid to let them know of any joint pain. It’s their job to make the class worthwhile for every person in that room.

“But I don’t want anybody to see me, I don’t know what I’m doing.”
I get it. When I’m teaching, I’m front and center and it’s the Ami Show! But when I’m taking a class, I hang out in the back corner where I can see everything but nobody can see me. Wherever you need to be is fine, as long as you’re moving. The superstar ‘regulars’ of class will fight to be in the front anyway. You can watch them or your instructor if you’re not sure of the exercise.

The point of this post is to get the most out of your time at the gym. Walking around looking at the weights and machines and wasting time isn’t going to do much for you. There are lots of varieties of class throughout the day at the gym. Pick a new one every time you come: TRX, yoga, bootcamp, kickboxing, pilates. You’ll learn different styles of working out, get to know people at your gym, and you may even pick up some new exercises for when you do need to work out on your own or at your house. Eventually you’ll have a repertoire of exercises and won’t need classes. But I’ll bet you’ll find yourself coming back regardless. The music and energy of a group class is contagious and fun. That hour will go by before you know it!

So try something new at the gym this week. Your body will thank you.
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