Month: July 2011

Go Outdoors During Summer

The time has come for summer, you are outdoors enjoying outdoor activities why not take your workout with you?
Items needed

  • 1 exercise band
  • 1 yoga mat
  • 1 jump rope
  • 1 bottled water

If you need any of these items the pro shop at the club can help you with your fitness gear.

It is finally here SUMMER, no better time to change up you’re your normal workout routine! You can get a shoulder sling, a good jump rope, a resistance band medium resistance, a yoga mat, and water 8oz bottle. Boom you are ready to go urban on your work out.

  • Walk right out of the front doors of Seattle Athletic Clubs Downtowns front door you have waterfront walkway on your left and right.
  • Jog to a great view of the sound and put your bag of tricks to work.
  • Unleash your potential grab your jump rope, make sure the length is right for your height.
    Stand on the jump rope feet as wide as your hips handles should reach your arm pits.

  • Jump rope in place here’s the math to motivate your workout routine.
  • 1 Minute of jump roping is equal to 3 minutes of jogging. Let’s ramp it up add a bench to use your resistance band by looping through a anchored surface, and go through rows, chest press, squat etc.

  • Jog to another location add stairs great set by harbor steps, or pier 66, add some high metabolism, fat burning circuit training.
  • Jog back to Seattle Athletic club downtown and use sauna or maybe take a yoga class for flexibility

You have just revamped your fitness routine, if you have any questions on going through any of this format contact me Jody Garcia 206-443-1111 ext 289.

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting

Have you ever set out on a cross country road trip, without a map or GPS, without knowing your final destination or what day you want to arrive? Embarking on a fitness plan without having goals is kind of like going on a road trip without a map or plan. Sure, you can be spontaneous and take the long scenic route, but when it comes to fitness, most people want and need to see results in order to stay motivated. Creating and using personal goals is a great way to stay on a direct course towards your more fit and fabulous healthy lifestyle.

When setting goals, strive to make them SMART. SMART goals are:

  • Specific: clearly defined and focused, not general statements
  • Measurable: quantifiable and objective, enables you to see exactly how far you’ve come
  • Action-oriented: what activities you will do to achieve your goal
  • Realistic: given your current fitness level and abilities, this goal is within your reach
  • Timely: establish a realistic time frame in which to meet your goal

For example, instead of having a goal of simply losing weight, a SMARTer goal would be: “to lose 15 pounds of fat by Sep 10th by doing cardio and strength training 4 times a week for 45 mins.”

The great thing about SMART goals is they can be broken down into shorter term goals, or be incorporated into long term goals. Many people find it extra motivating to establish rewards for themselves as they reach each short term goal. Choose rewards that won’t sabotage your long term efforts or your budget. Some popular rewards are a massage, pedicure, weekend get-away, new outfit, tickets to a game, etc.

You may also find it effective to write your goals on a calendar, put them in your smart phone, or post them on your refrigerator or on your mirror. The key is to keep your goals someplace where you’ll be reminded of them often. You’ll be able to see exactly where you have been and where you are going, so that even if you do veer slightly off course, you can make a quick course correction and get right back on track to achieve your goals!

Yoga Pose of the Month: Post Workout Stretches

This month, the Yoga Pose of the Month is actually a simple series of four basic “feel good” yoga poses for a post work out stretch.

The first, Downward Facing Dog (Adho Muka Svasana), is a yoga classic. It’s purpose is to stretch all the major posterior muscle groups, as you strengthen your core, and let oxygenated blood flow to your brain.

The second is Pigeon (Raja Kapotasana) which is designed to create flexibility in the hips, glutes and inner thighs.

The third, Bridge Pose (Setu Bhandasana) will open the muscles of the chest and create flexibility in the anterior body, as well as strengthen your back side if you push firmly into the floor and fire up your hamstrings and glutes.

The final, Resting Pose (Svasana) is an important piece to muscle recovery as it allows the body and mind to be totally still, and feel the wonderful effects of your workout and deep relaxation of Yoga Asana.

Electrolytes – What They Are & Why You Need Them

You know it’s important to drink lots of water before, during, and after a workout, but you might be forgetting something! During exercise, your body also loses electrolytes, and you need to replenish them for proper organ and cellular function. Common electrolytes include sodium, potassium chloride, and bicarbonate.

Sodium regulates the total amount of water in the body and the transmission of sodium into and out of individual cells also plays a role in critical body functions. Many processes in the body, especially in the brain, nervous system, and muscles, require electrical signals for communication. The movement of sodium is critical in generation of these electrical signals.

The proper level of potassium is essential for normal cell function. Among the many functions of potassium in the body are regulation of the heartbeat and the function of the muscles.

Chloride is the major anion (negatively charged ion) found in the fluid outside of cells and in the blood. Chloride also plays a role in helping the body maintain a normal balance of fluids.

The bicarbonate ion acts as a buffer to maintain the normal levels of acidity (pH) in blood and other fluids in the body. Bicarbonate levels are measured to monitor the acidity of the blood and body fluids. The acidity is affected by foods or medications that we ingest and the function of the kidneys and lungs.

It is especially important to replenish electrolytes after exercise, because many electrolytes are lost in sweat. You can replenish your electrolytes by consuming sports drinks, juice, milk, and many fruits and vegetables. Perhaps the most common and efficient way to replenish electrolytes is through sport drinks like Gatorade and PowerAde. These drinks offer a good source and adequate amounts of carbohydrates and electrolytes to replenish your body. So remember, next time you plan your workout, don’t forget to include a way to properly recover and nourish your body!

Exercise does not erase unhealthy dietary choices.

Exercise is not a diet eraser! I often hear those who frequent the gym lamenting that they are working hard to undo some unhealthful choices from the weekend, or prepare for some upcoming unhealthful choices. These comments make funny jokes, but they are representative of a misunderstanding of the aggregate impact of our daily lifestyle choices and behaviors on our overall health.

It is important to remember that an increase in the amount of adipose tissue is not the only impact from making unhealthful dietary choices. Eating unhealthful things, sacrificing sleep, ignoring exercise, and participating in other dangerous activities may impact your overall health in many ways, and the choices that we make today carry weight throughout the rest of our days. Unfortunately, thirty extra minutes on the treadmill will not erase our choices from the night before. You cannot “balance out” unhealthful lifestyle choices by going to the gym. If you want to stay healthy you will need to take care of yourself on a regular basis, inside and outside of the gym.

Women’s Mountain Bike Clinic – Huge Success!

Recently Outdoor Recreation Coach, Brandyn Roark hosted the Seattle Athletic Club Downtown’s first Women’s Mountain Bike skills camp on July 3rd. The day started at Revolutions Coffee in Greenlake, where owner Phil hosted the group for coffee and a wonderful atmosphere to inventory the amazing swag bags from local and national sponsors: Hammer Nutrition, Title Nine, and Rudy Project USA!

Following coffee, it was time to head across the street to Gregg’s Greenlake Cycle where store manager Leif and Melissa gave an incredible presentation on basic bike mechanics and provided some tips on how to perform bike maintenance while on the trail. Leif graciously provided some of our ladies with demo bikes exclusive for the Seattle Athletic Club Downtown Mountain Bike Clinics.

Now it was time to head out to Duthie Mountain Bike Park! Once at the park the group began with a simple skills sessions – learning practical techniques in the open spaces, progressing to the more technical trails in the park. The group had a blast. Learned a ton and after a couple hours the ladies were riding amazing!

If you are interested in getting on to a Mountain Bike and developing a core set of skills that will make riding safe, fun and exciting, Outdoor Adventure Coach Brandyn Roark will be doing another Mountain Bike Skills Clinic in August… AND YES, all you men who have been asking, you can join the ladies now!

Clinics are open to beginner and advanced riders, as well as teens ages 14 and up.

Mixed Mountain Bike Skills Session/Clinic August 27th
8:00am – 2:00pm
$150.00 per person
Space is very limited in these clinics – Sign Up Soon!

You can also sign up anytime with Brandyn for a private or small group Mountain Bike Skills Session! Email Brandyn Roark to sign up.

Top 5 Weightlifting Myths

Myth #1:Weight Lifting is Bad For Your Joints.
One of the biggest concerns regarding weight lifting is that it is bad for your joints. What most people don’t know is that running alone can be far more strenuous on your joints than weight lifting is. Weight lifting involves controlled, non impact movements, that in turn will strengthen the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the joints and improve overall joint movement and functionality. Studies have been preformed on top power lifters and has shown that even with extremely heavy loads their knees are far stronger and healthier than the general population.

Myth #2: Weight Lifting Makes You Bulky.
Have you ever found yourself on the scale week after week seeing the same number yet somehow your clothes are fitting better? This is due to the density of muscle compared to that of fat. Muscle is far more dense than fat and it is because of this fact that the scale appears to play tricks on us. It is impossible to build muscle without adding the calories behind it. In order to achieve that “bulky” you must first provide your body with the necessary amount of calories to build muscle. Bottom line is as long as your daily caloric intake doesn’t exceed the amount of calories that you burn throughout the day, it is impossible to become “bulky”. Simply training hard alone won’t do the job.

Myth #3: Weight Lifting Decreases Flexibility.
One of the realizations people who get into weight lifting have is how inflexible they are. Years of sedentary lifestyle may have tightened your hips, preventing you from squatting correctly. Weightlifting helps regain flexibility and maintain it. The squat is a great example of a lift that will give the muscles surrounding your hips a great stretch and in turn improve joint mobility. Increasing your muscle mass or strength alone will not hinder your flexibility.

Myth #4: Muscle Turns to Fat If You Stop Weight Lifting.
This myth is common throughout gyms and advertisers around the world. The fact is due to their different chemical makeup that transformation of muscle into fat and vis versa is impossible. In fact, you are born with all the fat and muscle cells you will ever have, they merely shrink and expand due to the amount of excess calories you consume and the physical activity you are currently doing. If you stop weightlifting completely, in time your muscle fibers will shrink and your fat cells will expand. Weight gained from discontinuing resistance training is due in large part to a decrease in your metabolism. Muscle is like an engine and calories are its fuel. To maintain muscle it requires upwards of 20 calories per day. So, 5 pounds of muscle would in turn add 100 calories to your daily caloric burn. Not to mention the 400-500 calories consumed during the workout and an estimated 300-600 calories burned through a process known as “post exercise oxygen consumption”.

Myth #5 The longer you work out, the better.
It just isn’t necessary to do 10-20 sets for a body part, or even 5 sets like many ‘experts’ would have you believe. In fact, research has shown that it is possible to completely fatigue a muscle in one set, provided that during that set the muscle incorporates as many muscle fibers as possible and takes them to the point of ischemic rigour where, rather than contract and relax, the muscle fibers freeze up. This kind of intensity can usually be achieved by doing “drop” or “break-down” sets where you rep out, lower the weight and continue doing reps until you can’t do another rep.

Pilates Exercise of the Month: Neck Pull

Strengthens abdominals in shortened as well as lengthen positions, stretches hamstrings, articulates spine and improves posture.

  1. 1. Lie on back with your hands layered behind your head, elbows wide. Legs are straight out on mat; hip width apart; feet flexed.
  2. 2. Inhale, to begin curling forward. Draw the weight of your head forward and round up sequentially – head, shoulders, ribs and finally pelvis. Think of “peeling” your self up off the mat as you curl forward; elbows wide.
  3. 3. Exhale, as upper body folds over legs, elbows still wide, abs scooped in, legs firmly anchored on mat, toes pointed up.
  4. 4. Inhale, to roll up tall to a seated position, as if “pressing against an imaginary wall behind you”. Remember to lift up- not back.
  5. 5. Exhale, as you slightly tuck your tailbone underneath you and begin slowly rolling your spine, vertebra by vertebra, back down to the mat.

Repeat 5-8 times

Head to Toe Checklist:

  • Remain fixed in the lower body. Imagine your feet are two lead weights that can’t be budged.
  • Avoid letting abs bulge out or legs rise off the mat.
  • Keep elbows wide; never tug on neck, let the powerhouse do the work.
  • Articulate your spine as you peel off the mat, press each vertebra into the mat on the way down.

If you have a stiff or weak back or difficulty articulating through the spine, avoid the exercise.


  1. Hand positon #1: Crawl your hands up your legs as you round up. Keep knees soft and heels pressed to mat.
  2. Hand position #2: Fold your arms in around your head.
  3. Or combine the two modifications, walking your hands up your legs as you round up and placing them behind your head to lower down.

Recovery Massage & Maintenance Massage: Two Applications of Sports Massage

Sports Massage techniques consisting of flat, broad-hand compressions, jostling, and kneading are generally done without oil with the athlete draped (under sheets) or in loose clothing/ athletic attire. Deep gliding strokes with oil can also be used, with the overall purpose being to clean and prime the muscles by increasing circulation. The difference between Recovery Massage and Maintenance massage is in their application. Recovery Massage facilitates recovery from competition or a strenuous training session and is applied soon after the activity. Maintenance Massage is received on a regular basis by athletes as part of their training regimen. Its purpose is to help athletes maintain optimal physical condition during training.

Recovery Massage is administered for the uninjured athlete soon after the activity. It should last no more than 30 minutes and is essentially a post-event Sports Massage. This somewhat immediate, shorter duration application can reduce the athlete’s recovery time from an event by half and is designed to minimize the physiological effects of the activity. Several hours after or the next day, the Recovery Massage could last as much as one hour, although post-exercise soreness may have already developed. Jostling coaxes the nervous system to let muscles relax, compressions and deep gliding strokes increase circulation, promoting better cell nutrition and removal of waste products.

Maintenance massage consists of general recovery massage on the entire body with specific attention to problem areas, concentrating on tight and sore muscles, stiff joints and former injury sites. Sports massage techniques are effective in addressing tension and improving muscle flexibility, thereby restoring normal Range of Motion. Although the jury is still out as to the cause of post- exercise soreness and pain, broad-hand compressions of Sports Massage can successfully alleviate this condition: pressure used is administered lightly at first, increasing proportionally as the pain diminishes, until all muscle discomfort is eliminated.

By increasing circulation of blood and lymph, Recovery and Maintenance Massage carry away waste products or metabolites, promote cell nutrition, reduce edema and expedite healing of damaged tissues. They calm the nervous system and restore Range of Motion. Afterwards, athletes should feel relaxed and refreshed.

Organic and Sustainable Food

In order to be labeled “organic,” a product, its producer, and the farmer must meet the USDA’s organic standards and must be certified by a USDA-approved agency. Organic foods cannot be grown using synthetic fertilizers, chemicals, or sewage sludge, cannot be genetically modified, and cannot be irradiated. Organic meat and poultry must be fed only organically-grown feed (without any animal byproducts) and cannot be treated with hormones or antibiotics. Also the animals must have access to the outdoors.

A product can be considered sustainable if its production allows the resources from which it was made to continue to be available for future generations. A sustainable product can be created repeatedly without generating negative environmental effects, without causing waste products to accumulate as pollution, and without compromising the wellbeing of workers or communities. Many different agricultural techniques can be used to help make food production more sustainable. The drawback of the term ‘sustainable’ is that the term lacks a clear-cut, universally-accepted, enforceable definition. It is more of a philosophy or way of life than a label.

Reasons to Eat Organic and Sustainable Foods

  • Taste
    Many people buy organic food because they believe it tastes better than non-organic.
  • It’s healthier
    On average, organic food contains higher levels of vitamin C and essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants.
  • No harmful additives
    Out of hundreds of food additives approved for use, only 43 are permitted in organic food. Unlike additives used in non-organic food, none of the additives used in organic food production are considered harmful.
  • Avoids pesticides
    Organic growing practices prohibit synthetic insecticides, fungicides and herbicides used routinely on non-organic food crops. Many of the EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before research linked them to cancer and other diseases.
  • GM-free
    Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are not allowed under organic standards.
  • Doesn’t rely on drugs
    Antibiotic additives routinely added to animal food to speed animal growth are linked with bacterial resistance in humans to the same or closely related antibiotics. USDA organic standards ban the use of antibiotics.
  • Protect farm worker health
    According to a National Cancer Institute study, farmers exposed to herbicides had a six-times greater risk than non-farmers of contracting cancer.
  • Good for wildlife and the environment
    Organic farming supports more wildlife than non-organic farming. It preserves biodiversity, reduces pollution from chemicals, and produces less carbon dioxide gas — the main global warming gas — with less dangerous waste.
  • Save energy
    Non-organic farming uses more petroleum than any other single industry. Organic farming relies mainly on labor-intensive practices such as hand weeding, green manures and crop covers rather than chemical fertilizers, improving the soil while saving energy.