Tag: fitness

The 12 Days of Fitness

Starts December 1st

Let’s be honest, the holidays are tough to stay on track. Parties, good food, late nights, and busy schedules make for an uphill climb over the month of December. We are here to help keep you focused and maybe a little motivated during this challenging time of year. Take part in our 12 Days of Fitness! From December 1st – December 31st we challenge you to get to the gym for your workout at least 12 times. Everyone that visits the club 12 times within this period will be entered into a drawing to win a free month of dues, personal training, and massage. The drawing will take place on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017.


Not sure what to do while you are here? Keep an eye out for fitness tips, mini workouts and healthy recipes from our fitness staff and nutritionist!

For more information please contact Fitness Director, Jacob Luckey, at jluckey@sacdt.com.

November Fitness Challenge

We challenge you!

  • In November you will have different exercises to test and see how you place among your other SAC peers.

Maximal Tests:

  • Pushups
  • Pull-ups
  • Sit-ups

As Many Reps as Possible (AMRAP) in 60 seconds:

  • Jump Rope Revolutions
  • Box Jumps (24” box)
  •  Squats


Find any fitness staff member to verify your reps for each task and be entered onto our leader   board. Why? Because who doesn’t like a little challenge every now and again. You can test and retest as many times as you want throughout the month.

The winner of each category will win a complimentary workout from the trainer assigned to the task. So if you have a certain fitness trainer you have always wanted to work, see which task they are assigned to and try to be the top performer in that task.


For more information please contact Fitness Director, Jacob Luckey, at jluckey@sacdt.com.

Wellness Rewards

 June 1st – July 31st, 2016

The SAC culture believes Health and Wellness are an integral part of a full, balanced, and happy life. Our goal is to help you get there, one step at a time. To do this, we have to have an action plan, support, and feedback! We have created a Wellness Rewards program to help you slowly add small behavioral changes and challenges to help you form new and lasting habits

Points will be given in 3 categories: Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness. Earning points are as simple as eating a new type of vegetable or fruit, working out 60 minutes in a day, or getting 8 hours of sleep. Keep track of your points each week and we will keep a leaderboard of our Wellness Reward participants.

The top participant will win a Fitbit and all weekly point logs will be entered into a drawing to win a massage, personal training, Pilates, and swim lessons.


How to Participate:

  1. Sign up with the fitness director or at the front desk.
  2. Pick up your weekly points log.
  3. Earn points by doing various health and wellness activities each day. For every 300 points, you will receive 1 star.  For every 3,000 points, you will receive incentives.
  4. Turn your weekly point log in every Monday to be included in the overall Wellness Rewards’ star chart leaderboard.

At the end of the program, the person with the most stars will win!

5 – Each time you visit the club
10 – Do something fitness related with a friend
15 – Use a fitness APP or record your activity
20 – Try a new group exercise class
25 – 1-hour workout with a trainer, Pilates or swim instructor

5 – Eat breakfast
10 – Drink 8, 8-ounce glasses of water
15 – 4 servings of fruits and veggies (serving = 1 cup fruit and ½ cup veggie)
20 – Try a new recipe
25 – No coffee or soda

5 – Give someone a compliment
10 – Take the bus or bike for your tasks
15 – Get outside for 30 minutes and focus on calmness
20 – Unplug from technology for 1 hour
25 – Get 8 hours of sleep

For more information, please contact our Fitness Director, Jacob Galloway, at jgalloway@sacdt.com.

Congrats to Kendra Kainz for 1st place finish in the 2015 NPC Washington Ironman Bodybuilding Championships!

Please join Seattle Athletic Club in congratulating Kendra Kainz for her 1st place finishes at the 2015 NPC Washington Ironman Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure, Men’s & Women’s Physique and Bikini Championships! This competition is one of the top competitions in the northwest and is well attended with competitors both regionally and nationally. Kendra competed in Figure and took 1st place in the Masters 35 years and older, 1st place in the overall for Masters and 1st place in the open 5’6 height and above. Her 1st place finishes qualified her to compete at the national level for up to one year. Kendra trained hard for over six months dieting, lifting weights and posing. This is her first Figure Competition and she did an outstanding job! Congratulations, Kendra!


Kendra_IronmanBodybuilding_Image1 Kendra_IronmanBodybuilding_Image2

Can’t Hold Me Down

In April I said, “It’s time to lose my last 5lbs of baby weight”.  In May I said, “No, seriously, it’s time”.  In June I’m saying, “Only 2 or 3 more pounds…”.  Well here I am, half way through June still trying to lose the last bit that back in April I was envisioning being gone by now.  What’s holding me back?  A few things, and I’ll put them out there right now to be honest with myself.  One, not devoting enough time to me.  It’s the same old sob story, two kids, a job (if you can call working 4 hours a day a job), a husband, a house, etc. etc.  But I’ll be darned if the weekends come and I don’t trade a 20 minute hill running workout for family bed time and yard work during nap time.  So, every weekend comes along and I tell myself, just 20 minutes for me and I somehow manage to find other things to do with my “free time”.  Second, Plantain Chips, those dirty dirty plantain chips.  I love them, my 2 year old loves them, it’s my one and only “treat”.  It has to stop, no one should eat Plantain Chips or any kind of chips every day or every other day.  I must break the habit!  Lastly, obsessing.  It’s a real killer and as a woman it’s just what we do.  I obsess over how my stomach looks, how much sleep I’m not getting, about raising happy healthy kids, about cleaning up the house, about actually cooking a meal, about what we are going to do this weekend, about getting anywhere on time, about sending out birthday cards before said birthdays actually occur, about remembering to pay that medical bill, about getting groceries, about doing the laundry, about the workouts I’m doing (or not doing).  If I give myself too much time I’ll obsess, stress, and get anxiety over just about anything.  It’s like I always tell my husband, “Once you become a Mom you just can’t turn Mom off… ever.”  It’s my job to worry, plan, care for, and put forth my best effort on all fronts for my family.  But that also means I lose much of myself in being things for others.  It’s about balance and I should probably find mine!

Any who, those are just my excuses.  I’m sure I could come up with many more but those are the ones that are the big cripplers, not just in losing my last 3lbs but in just relaxing and living my life.  Let it go, live in the now, just be.  If only I could listen to myself.

So what holds you back?  What holds you back from achieving your goals (fitness or otherwise)?  What holds you back from feeling successful?  What holds you back from being happy with yourself?  What holds you back from feeling content?

Here is my advice on getting past it all one step at a time.  Although, I’m obviously still working on it all myself so perhaps I’m not the guru you should totally invest in : )


1.  Outline your goals.

2.  Don’t make goals just to make goals, make goals that mean something to you.

3.  Don’t let yourself off the hook, be accountable, failure is not failure if you try.

4.  Be honest.  Be honest with yourself, be honest with your family, be honest with your friends.  If you really care about your goals the only way to get there is to be honest.  NO MORE EXCUSES  5.  Understand what it is holding you back and how to either cope with those things or come up with healthy ways to move past the road blocks.

6.  Look on the bright side.  We are always looking at the negatives but maybe instead of saying, “I didn’t run 20 miles every week like I planned, I’m a loser”  you can say, “Well I didn’t quite get 20 miles but I got 15 and that is pretty good.  Next week is a new week.”

It’s not easy to feel like you are losing the battle, like you’ve failed, like you are never going to accomplish something.  But not trying, being complacent and living in a way that does not make you happy is much worse than the possibility of failing.


So while I stare at the scale (I’m not even a scale person for crying out loud) and think, “I’m so far away from losing these last few pounds, I’m never going to be able to do it” I instead will tell myself, “Good job, good effort, I traded my normal looking stomach for two beautiful children and that was the best trade ever!”.  I’ll remember the positive and continue to work at my goals.  Perhaps I’ll stop obsessing about my wobbly bits and start obsessing about something a little more healthy and worth my time.  I’m open to suggestions here!

In the end, life is too short to obsess over stupid things.  Life is too short to hold yourself back.  It’s time to stop sitting on the sidelines.  It’s time to join the game, you don’t have to be the best player just getting on the field is a great start!  So get out of your comfort zone, try something new, break the cycle, form a new habit (a good one please), you can do it, don’t hold yourself back!


Befriending Stress

How do you manage the stress of modern everyday life? Many of us muddle through, coping as best we can. Sometimes we fight against it, or work to fix it. Sometimes we just ignore it or repress it, hoping to avoid possible discomfort. We have all heard throughout our lives how stress negatively affects our immune system. It is at the heart of many diseases (pun intended) and is a leading cause of death. Chronic stress and long held tension in our body can become like armor. We hope to shield ourselves against the effects of stress. This chronic tension affects our immune system, energy level, emotional well-being, posture, and our ability to concentrate.

Endocrinologist Hans Selye discovered it is not necessarily the stress that affects our health. It is the way we perceive the stress. If we change our thinking, we change our body’s response to it. Is it a threat or is it a challenge? In both, the body gears up for action. We breathe faster to get oxygen to the brain, our blood pumps faster and, we sweat to regulate our temperature. The difference between anxiety and excitement is our perception. We either constrict or adapt and grow. It can strengthen us or weaken us. Can we bring our attention and presence to what is wanting to grow within us to meet the challenge?

There are many effective ways to relieve stress; such as exercise, yoga, meditation, spiritual readings, or being in nature can be immediate tools one can use. When we take space, we discover we are much bigger than the stress in our lives.

One of my first spiritual teachers, Stephen Levine, often said, “The body is solidified mind.” During retreats with Levine, we would dialogue with our body, and it’s places of tension and actually ask the tension where it comes from, what it wants, what it’s trying to tell us?

I have found that one of the best ways for me to reduce the effects of stress is to get a professional massage. Through relaxing our body we can relax the mind. A skilled massage therapist can dismantle the long held stress and its disruptive patterns in the body. The benefits of a skilled massage are more than just the physical benefits of released tension and improved musculo-skeletal function. The nurturing effects of human touch also release oxytocin, a hormone that affects our heart physically and emotionally. (A good excuse to hug someone right now.) We experience more caring, empathy, and ability to respond. We recover faster. We become better at stress. Oxytocin is what causes us to seek connection. It helps us to not only trust ourselves more, but we seek connection and strengthens so our relationships and our network of support.

Did you know that massage is offered morning through evening daily at the Seattle Athletic Club by our highly skilled, licensed massage therapists? Call today for an appointment. It can transform your health.

Tips for Exercising in the Summer Heat

The sunshine is here! Most individuals prefer exercising outdoors once that sunshine comes out and it is a great idea, especially during the summer. There are a few things you should keep in mind when doing so. Below are some tips for you when you decide to head outside for a run on an 80 degree summer day. I have also included some examples for you to refer too.

Clothing: Wearing lighter colors will help reflect the heat from your clothing and skin. Looser and lighter clothing will help with the evaporation of sweat and make your workout more comfortable. (Example: NIKE Dri-Fit)

Stay hydrated: Drink water before, during, and after exercise to keep your body hydrated when out in the heat. If you do not have enough fluid in your system, it could result in fatigue, nausea, and even heat exhaustion. (Example: ZICO coconut water

Sunscreen: Check the weather before leaving and if it is sunny or even overcast outside, wear sunscreen so you do not risk getting burnt. (Example: NEUTROGENA spf30 sunscreen)

Time of day: The hottest part of the day is normally between 11am and 4pm, so if you have a chance to workout before 11 or after 4 if it is going to be outdoors, I recommend doing so. (Example: At 9am after eating 2 scrambled eggs and peanut butter toast)

Acclimation: If your body is not used to exercising in warmer climates, it takes about 10-14 days for your body to get used to it. Your workouts should be short and slow paced at first so that you get used to the climate before adding intensity. (Example: Monday-15 minutes @ low intensity; Tuesday- 25 minutes @ low/medium intensity; Wednesday -35 minutes @ medium intensity; and so on)

Performance: Don’t be surprised if you do not get your best times or maximum amount of reps when working out in the heat. Your heart has to work harder to pump blood to your working muscles and therefore you might not perform as well as if you were indoors or in cooler weather. (Example: Indoors- 15 box jumps in 10 seconds; outdoors/heat- 15 box jumps in 16 seconds)

Listen to your body: You know your body best, so listen to it. If you start to feel dizzy, confused or light headed during your outdoor workout, I would recommend stopping. (Example: I am running and start to feel a headache coming on, therefore I am going to head to the shade and drink some water before starting again)

Stay close to the water: Some of the best summer activities are on the water where you can be cooled very easily if in the heat. (Examples: Paddle boarding, Kayaking, Swimming, Rowing, Pool volleyball, etc.)

If you have any further questions about exercising in the heat or exercise in general, please contact Amber Gruger at Agruger@sacdt.com.

Tips to Increase Your Strength Safely

Back in January I wrote a goal card to deadlift twice my bodyweight by June 1. I’m very excited to report that I reached my goal by lifting 348 lbs for 1 rep. Over the last several months, I have put in a lot of time working on deadlifts so I thought I would pass along some tips on how to increase your maximum strength in deadlift or any other exercise.

Get in the Groove
Make sure your deadlift pattern is PERFECT under no load and under sub maximal load. Poor deadlift patterns put your vertebral health in jeopardy and hamper performance through inefficiency. The specifics of the deadlift pattern are beyond the scope of this post but check out this video (by one of my former professors) for some general tips. Take the time to develop the movement competency required to deadlift well and then invest in learning the pattern. Make sure to maintain the pattern by including sub-maximal lifts in your training.

Plan for Success

Set a reasonable goal based on your current level and experience. Then expect to spend at least 10-12 weeks working on it. Invest the first couple of weeks in learning the movement and sub maximal workouts. Spend around four weeks in a hypertrophy phase in which you try to grow muscle with sets of around 6-8 reps. Take a week to re-focus on technique and movement ability before starting the next four week sequence, this one focused on maximum strength by employing very heavy sets of around 3 reps and using long (120+ sec) rest intervals.

Try Complexes

A complex is a heavy lift immediately followed by an explosive, exhausting exercise. The explosive exercise is followed by 90-120 seconds of. I reaped great benefit from complexing medium-heavy deadlifts with kettlebell swings. The combination of heavy weight, lactic acid inducing explosive exercises and rest effectively stimulates testosterone and human growth hormone to help increase muscle mass.

Go Heavy-Medium-Light
Try to lift heavy one day per week. This is the day to try a strength workout like 6 sets of 3 or a hypertrophy workout with 4 sets of 6 at 95-100% of your effort. Lift at a medium intensity one day per week. This should still be a challenging workout but the top priority is to maintain perfect technique throughout. Lift light one day per week. Use just enough load that you are aware of it but it doesn’t come close to distorting your technique. Use this day to rest and prepare for your next heavy day and also experiment with any changes to your technique on these days.

Heavy lifting can be very rewarding and a lot of fun. Enjoy these tips and I hope they help you reach new heights! Please contact me if you need help with your deadlift technique: I can’t overstress the value of investing in your movement ability and technique before even thinking about lifting at a maximum intensity. Reach me at Hspencer@sacdt.com.

Best 5 Tips to Improve Your Fitness

There are many things that can get in the way of us reaching our health and fitness goals- lack of time, injury, illness and even traveling for work can all hold us back. Sometimes we can control these things; sometimes we can’t…that’s life. Try to make improvements in these five areas and you will see a change in your fitness.

1. Get Enough Sleep
If you want to work out hard and get the best results, your body needs rest, and lots of it. On a basic level, if you’re feeling tired you’re more likely to skip the gym. If you’ve had a good seven or eight hours of sleep, your body will run more smoothly, your mental state will improve and you’ll be able to workout harder and more frequently.

2. Clean up Your Diet
What you put in your body directly affects how you feel and how you operate. If you put cheap gas in a car it’s not going to run as well, as cleanly or for as long as it would if you chose a higher grade. It’s just the same with your body. Avoid the junk and chose high-quality, fresh, unprocessed foods. Of course enjoy your life and indulge in the things you enjoy from time to time, but make smart decisions and be honest with yourself about your choices.
3. Make Time for Exercise
Like anything in life, if you don’t make time for it then it’s very unlikely to happen. Develop a realistic plan and meet with a personal trainer to keep you accountable. Put workouts in your calendar the same way you’d schedule a haircut or a trip to the dentist. If it’s in your calendar, you’re less likely to skip and more likely to get into a consistent regimen.

4. Increase the Intensity
Doing something is definitely better than doing nothing, but if you’re looking for improved results then you’re going to have to up the intensity of your cardio. If you do the same old workout over and over, your body will very quickly become conditioned to it and your results will stall. You should be tired, you should be sweaty, you should be out of breath. Try to add in a few exercises that push you to your upper limits such as running hills, stairs, or incline treadmill.

5. Hit the Weights
I firmly believe that strength training is an important part of any fitness regimen. If you want to lose fat or change your body, one of the most important things you can do is lift weights. Diet and cardio are equally important, but when it comes to changing how your body looks, weight training wins hands down. Here are a few benefits from lifting weights:
• Help raise your metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn all day long.
• Strengthen bones, especially important for women
• Make you stronger and increase muscular endurance
• Help you avoid injuries
• Increase your confidence and self-esteem
• Improve coordination and balance

These tips can help keep you from reaching an unwanted fitness plateau. Improvements in one or all of these areas will keep your fitness goals moving forward so that you get the most out of life. Talk with a Personal Trainer at the Seattle Athletic Club to get started with your personalized fitness plan.

Wait! Are you rock climbing this summer? Here’s what you need to know:

The sun is finally out here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. People are taking full advantage of the vitamin D and exploring new adventures outside. Rock climbing can be a really unique and challenge way to experience the Cascades as long as you are prepared. Before you tackle some vertical rock face, here is some helpful information regarding rock climbing both indoors and out!

Rock climbing has been around for hundreds of years. Traditional alpine mountaineers used the skill to scale impossible mountain faces that otherwise could not be traversed. What started as a need-based skill quickly evolved into more of a sport in England in the late 1880s and only grew from there. Several different types of rock climbing exist today, ranging from indoor, traditional to outdoor, big wall extreme! Listed below are just a few possibilities:

Big Wall- Think El Capitan in Yosemite. Or Half Dome also in Yosemite Big Wall climbing is exactly what it sounds like: climbing a huge wall, over 1,500 ft. Climbers spend multiple days camping in portaledges that can be attached to the side of the cliff and slept in like a hammock.

Bouldering- This is a style of rock climbing most people can get their hands on. If you are afraid of heights and don’t like the idea of dealing with a lot of gear, bouldering may be the best solution. These routes are normally small and closer to the ground with a crash pad or ‘bouldering mat’ beneath the climber. They normally consist of climbs 3 to 5 meters high to reduce risk of injury from falls. Bouldering requires more powerful, dynamic movements in short bursts, whereas sport climbing or traditional climbing usually requires more endurance. Bouldering is typically graded on a scale of V0 to V16 increasing in difficulty as the number climbs.

Crack- Crack climbing involves the climber ascending long, technical cracks in the rock face using specific techniques. The cracks vary greatly in size and accessibility. Some climbers choose to wear gloves to allow for more friction and less injury to the hand.

Free/Speed- For the more advanced climbers, free climbing is a way to test their skills. Free climbing is performed without the assistance of climbing equipment such as ropes. Speed climbing has been associated with free climber where the climber attempts to scale the wall as quickly as possible. This challenges the climber to make quick decisions and has been described as ‘dancing’ up the wall. Bouldering is a more common form of free climbing.

Indoor Climbing- Indoor climbing has made rock climbing more accessible to the general population. Climbing gyms rent equipment that would otherwise be expensive to buy, and set up designated routes for climbers to solve. Both sport climbing and bouldering can be found at indoor climbing gyms. Sport climbing will require one person to belay which is a system for lowering the person climbing and catching them when they fall. Climbs are graded on a scale of: 5.5-5.14d, although each gym and route is rated slightly different.

Climbers of all levels will often use chalk to gain more friction and help to absorb the sweat as they climb. For most forms of climbing, participants will wear a harness and climbing shoes which are designed to be form fitting and assist with protecting the feet. Specific queues and rope knots must be known before someone can effectively belay a partner during indoor or sport climbing. Once these are mastered, you’ll be scaling walls in no time!

If you are interested in learning more about rock climbing contact Outdoor Recreation Coach Thomas Eagen at teagen@sacdt.com.