Saturday, February 27, 2010

The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill® Comes to Cincinnati, Ohio

The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill®
  • Unique unweighting technology provides the opportunity to rehabilitate lower extremities like never before
  • Precise partial weight-bearing enables accurate implementation of unweighting protocols
  • Provides highly effective neuromuscular and proprioceptive retraining
  • Technology developed at NASA and further developed by AlterG for medical rehabilitation, fitness and sports performance training
  • The Anti-Gravity Treadmill® is FDA-cleared for the following indications:
    • Rehabilitation following injury or surgery of the lower extremity (hip, knee, ankle or foot
    • Rehabilitation after total joint replacement
    • Gait training in neurologic patients
    • Strengthening and conditioning in older patients
    • Weight control and reduction
    • Sport specific conditioning programs
    • Aerobic conditioning
Get more info at

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bag the Winter Workout Blahs

Let me be frank: training for the Flying Pig over the past few weeks has been, well, darn near impossible. With a foot or more of snow covering most of the sidewalks and trails throughout the city, we've had little choice but to suck it up and either run super early (to avoid traffic on the roads) or knock out our miles on the treadmill.

And running inside is so tedious. Mile after mile, day after day, slogging it out while staring out the window at the dirty, slushy landscape is just plain boring.

I've about had it with the weather and the way it restricts my workouts. And I'm betting you have, too. Treadmills, stairmills, elliptical, the sweaty dude who always has the equipment before you and never wipes it down - they're all on your nerves and about to make you bag your workouts until the sun finally shows its face once again. But wait! Don't give up. You don't have to bag your workouts; bag your blahs instead by taking a fresh approach to a tired routine.

Necessity is absolutely the mother of invention. And with your fitness motivation at a new low, there's never been more of a necessity to invent a new program. Take this opportunity to try something totally new.
  • If you're a runner, give the stairmill a try - you'll be shocked at how it works your glutes and gets your heart rate up. Phoning it in on the elliptical? Grab a good gossip rag and jump on a recumbent bike. You'll cycle from Florence to Fairborn before you know it.
  • Ask your trainer for a great circuit workout. With a circuit, you'll perform a series of exercises quickly with little or no rest in between. It will push you beyond your current limits and give you a great workout in 30-40 minutes by incorporating both cardio and resistance work in one routine. If you don't have a trainer, you can find circuit programs online or in magazines like Self, Women's Health and Men's Health.
  • Revert to childhood with a jump rope. There are few more efficient - or cheaper - pieces of exercise equipment available. Incorporate 50-100 strokes as you move between machines and you'll rev up your heart, your stamina, and your calorie-burning potential.
  • Give group fitness a try. HealthStyle offers two group fitness options, our Adventure Boot Camp for Women and the Total Fitness Makeover. You can also check your gym's schedule for classes ranging from yoga to Zumba to kickboxing. Many people find spinning addictive, and most gyms offer both morning and evening classes.  
  • If you're totally snowed in, try a DVD. There are thousands of workouts for all fitness levels and interests. You can have Jillian Michaels bark orders at you, find programs tailored to new moms, to women over 40, build muscle with Tony Horton and P90-X, or even take a crack at belly dancing or striptease. And here's 2 free at home workouts from yours truly! Click here to work your quads, chest, shoulders, triceps and heart rate ... or click here to work your hamstrings, back, biceps, core and heart rate ! Both workouts can be watched online ... or downloaded to your iPod!
The weather - even when it's been as bad as it has been this February - is NOT a viable excuse to ditch your healthy habits. Give something new a try and soon your energy will be restored and your attitude improved. In the meantime, I swear I heard birds singing the other day. Spring is out there somewhere, I just know it.

Brian Calkins

The Power of a Number ...

Later today, I'm going to send you an email to set up your Half Way Point fitness evaluation check in, if you'd like to see how you're doing up to this point...

But first, I've had this intense sensation inside of me ... and it's been building and building and building ... until the point that I have to write and articulate something of importance.

So, I encourage you to read this email carefully and all the way through ... it's a critical message that everyone needs to hear.

Imagine that in front of you there are two boxes.

In the first box , there is a number, which is equal to what you think your ideal body weight should be. But there is no visual image of your physical body to go along with that number.


In the second box , there is a picture of your ideal body, but no corresponding number.

Which would you choose?

"Ideal" number on the scale not knowing what your body will look like?

Or "ideal" picture of your body with no corresponding number?

I ask this because that scale causes SERIOUS stress.

Of course for everyone it is different ... so you can never compare YOU to anyone except you.

But what does your body weight do for you? If you weigh X vs Y...

  • Do you have more meaningful relationships? 
  • Are you better at your job? 
  • Are you a better spouse? 
  • Better mom? 
  • Better friend? 
  • Better sister?
Friend, your body is such an amazing thing ...

...but it's incredible that we've worked with people on all ends of the spectrum, from people who were over 400 lbs to high level athletes, teenagers to grandmothers, celebrities and soccer moms, and to this day, not a single person has been happy with where they were physically.

There is always something "wrong" with their body.

I heard LL Cool J complaining to his trainer that his legs weren't muscular compared to his upper body.

Denise Austin told a friend that her arms could be a little more defined.

A client traveling 3 hours for his workout, who ultimately lost 163 lbs at our studio, said the size of his neck and chin bothered him the most.

It is interesting ... and a little saddening.

These are amazing people who are focused on something they perceive as not perfect, or less than. Whether a size 30, size 10, size 2 and everything in between...the grass is always greener.

And, trust me, your favorite trainer IS NOT immune to this either ...

Nor is Olympic Ice dancer and Gold Medal hopeful Tanith Belbin .

So here is your assignment -- homework, if you will.

List 10 things your body does for you or that you like about your body.

  • Maybe because you have strong arms, you can carry your children with ease. 
  • Because you're more fit, you can play with your kids or grandkids without getting out of breath. 
  • If you're training for a race, maybe your fitter body allows you to move at a faster pace than you normally would
The list can go on.

I distinctly remember a time when I was waiting for the elevator with a friend -- and a man wheeled up in his wheelchair without legs. He looked at us, both very able to walk, and he said something I'll never forget: "I wish I had the option of taking the elevator OR the stairs ... I know I would take the stairs every time. But I can't. You both can -- why aren't you walking?"

How thankful we are. And this brings me to a great short story I once read about "The Cracked Pot."

All of us are cracked pots in some capacity.

The Cracked Pot

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."

"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"

"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without your being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.

The Moral of this Story: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

There is a lot of good out there...and none of it is determined by a number on a scale.

Have a wonderful weekend, Friend, and take some time to really see the beauty in those you interact with over the next few days.

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

HealthStyle Fitness, Inc.
4325 Red Bank Rd Cincinnati, OH 45227
513-407-4665, x-105

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Busting Out of Cabin Fever - Making the Most of a Snow Day

Okay, here's a workout you can do today if you find yourself snowed in.

This will take you 45 - 60 minutes to complete, and you'll find yourself feeling mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and physically energized afterward.

Then, you can tackle that one pressing issue that's been lingering and cluttering your mind, and needs to get done!

Make the most of the downtime!!

Here's the workout:

And by the way, this workout was created last August for our Adventure Boot Camp for Women program.  It's challenging, and extremely effective, regardless of gender.

Have an awesome (and productive) Tuesday!!

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins


HealthStyle Fitness

4325 Red Bank Road Cincinnati, OH 45227