health tips

6 Meal Prep Tips You Need in Your Life

Two words: MEAL PREP.  Whether you love it or hate it, it's a necessary evil when it comes to staying on track outside The P.E. Club doors. A good meal prep plan will save you money and calories, in addition to time during your busy work week.

Our trainers shared their favorite meal prep tips to help you *spice* up YOUR weekly routine!


Meal Prep Tips You Need In Your LIfe - The P.E. Club

1.) Make sure you have quality tupperware.

When you have the right tupperware and containers to transport your meals, it makes portion sizing and meal coordination more organized - and even fun!  Stores like Marshall's and HomeGoods have a variety of marked down reusable containers in a variety of colors, sizes and styles.  

*Important! Make sure to check that your tupperware is microwave + dishwasher safe to avoid harmful toxins. 

2.) Make meals a few days at a time.

It can be overwhelming to prep a whole week of meals in advance.  Think about your week, how busy you'll be, and plan ahead, then go from there.  You may get tired or repulsed after eating the same meal for five days in a row... So, break up your week of meals into chunks, and schedule yourself smaller periods of time every few days to keep it interesting.

Meal Prep Tips You Need In Your LIfe - The P.E. Club

3.) Make breakfast an easy fix. 

Not a morning person?  This is a meal prep hack for the early risers! Pre-batch frozen berries, bananas, and leafy greens in plastic bags for an easy dump 'n go smoothie!  All you need to do from there is pour the bag of produce into the nutribullet or blender, then add a dash of your favorite milk & nut butter....Voila! Instant breakfast!

 

via @mealprepsociety

via @mealprepsociety

4.)  Keep it simple.

It's hard not to scroll through Instagram and marvel at the meal prep photos of health foodies packing their fridges for the week.  Though it looks intimidating, know that this is JUST meal prep, not serving a table of 12 on Thanksgiving. If you're just starting out, don't stress.  Prep a simple turkey chili or vat of rice just to have on hand for an easy meal option, and build from there. Make sure you have some snack options on hand, too! That leads us to #5....

 

5.) Hit the cutting board ASAP.

5 Meal Prep Tips You Need in Your Life - The P.E. Club

As soon as you go grocery shopping, cut up all your fruits and veggies.  Put them in tupperware for an easy, grabbable snack when hunger strikes. With everything pre-chopped, it's easier to put together a quick salad or add some color to your scrambled eggs. Anything to get in those extra veggies! 

6.) Give yourself incentive.  

If you just completed a week well prepped, go ahead -- grab that salad from Sweetgreen or that smoothie from Juice Press. You deserve it!


For more tips, follow us on social media!

How Women Can Become Allies in Fitness

Women in Fitness, The P.E. Club New York City

I remember the first day I stepped into a gym with the intention of learning how to lift weights. I was home from college for the summer and charged with newfound inspiration to get into shape. At the time, I had no idea what this really meant because fitness, aside from the occasional jog on the treadmill, was completely foreign to me. I never thought that in a few years, I would become the exercise professional I am today. It’s amazing how far a little curiosity and willingness to learn can take you.

I was fortunate in that I knew many of the members at this gym I joined, so I felt very comfortable approaching them with questions about how to use various pieces of equipment, as well as asking for help with different exercises to target separate muscle groups. Luckily, I was able to quickly grasp and execute concepts such as form and strong movement patterns from my years as a dancer, so my transition into strength training was rather seamless. As my toolbox of exercises expanded, I grew increasingly confident in my ability to work out safely and efficiently on my own, and it felt incredibly liberating.

Women in Fitness, The P.E. Club

Throughout the first few months of my own assimilation into the weightlifting culture, one particular commonality existed among every single one of my trips to the gym: there were very few women present. This bothered me because, even though I enjoyed my independence at the gym, I was missing a sense of companionship and support. This is not to say I was being shunned by the male population, but I was excited by the idea of women supporting other women, especially in a potentially vulnerable environment. I wanted to foster relationships with people who were living similar experiences to my own, from battling the burden of societal pressures to look a certain way, to recognizing that women and girls have just as much of a place in fitness as their male counterparts, no matter the modality.

I began pondering reasons why so many of my female peers were absent, and if they were present, how could I feel more connected to them throughout my own fitness journey? What were some hindrances we could work to overcome? I realized there were many women out there who already found supportive communities in exercise settings, but for those who hadn’t, myself included, I wanted to understand how to create them. It wasn’t until I became a certified personal trainer that I actually sat down with other women to discuss their desires and concerns, and how it impacted their experiences in fitness.

These are some of the points that came up:

  • As stated before, many women feel overwhelmed and insecure due to society’s warped perception of beauty and how our bodies should look.
  • Some women feel pressure to compete with other women, and not necessarily in a healthy way. 
  • Others do not feel confident in their ability to use strength training equipment, which could account for the disparity between the number of men and women in the weight room.
  • Many women do not understand how our bodies respond to exercise, and fear that certain training methods will make them look too “bulky” or masculine.
  • They do not feel supported in the pursuit of their goals.

Again, these were only some of the topics mentioned, but probably the most prevalent. I believe these points further demonstrate the need for supportive fitness communities among women, whether these groups exist in physical spaces, or are simply there for mental and emotional encouragement.


Here are some ways in which women can become allies in the fitness industry and create a positive community if they are seeking one:

1. Let go of your ego.

One of the first steps to forming an uplifting exercise environment is leaving any feelings of superiority, entitlement, or judgment at the door. No two individuals are alike, therefore everyone will need something different out of their fitness journey. It is not anyone’s job to make others feel inadequate- we were all beginners at some point, and there is always more to learn.

2.) Discover what each other’s goals consist of.

It is important to understand what your peers are striving for if they so choose to share this information, why they want to achieve these goals, and if they have a plan in place. Perhaps the “why” is the most critical, because it offers an opportunity for women to be receptive to one another and acknowledge individual needs and desires.

3.) It’s my body, therefore I can choose how I want it to look and feel.

As previously mentioned, I have spoken to other women who fear that lifting weights will make them look masculine, and this could not be further from the truth. A woman has to follow a very specific diet and exercise regimen in order to significantly increase the size of her muscles, but guess what? Even if this is someone’s goal, she has every right to work towards that; all women should have ownership over their bodies. The same goes for someone who wishes to lose weight, gain weight, increase strength, decrease muscle mass, build a butt, develop better endurance, etc. If it makes you happy and keeps you healthy in both mind and body, do it!

4.) Ask questions.

The training world is constantly evolving and expanding, and even as a fitness professional, I find it is hard to keep up at times! If you are feeling lost in your workouts, unsure of how to do something, or want to explore a new training method, try reaching out to other women for advice. These women can be fitness professionals, friends that have more exercise experience, or simply someone you trust. It could open up a dialogue and introduce you to a new confidant.

5.) Work out together.

Want to take your dialogue a step further? Reach out to a fellow female friend, or even a group of women and plan a day and time to train together. You will have the opportunity to challenge and encourage each other, and most importantly, de-stress and have fun.

6.) Create healthy competition.

If society is going to try to compare us and decide what “kind” of woman is “better” or more “worthy,” perhaps it is our duty to crush these oppressive attitudes. Exercise and our overall health shouldn’t be about arranging women on some kind of totem pole, but recognizing we all exist on equal ground. If we are creating competitive settings, they should be ones in which we are pushing each other to be the best versions of ourselves, and realizing that that’s enough.

7.) Uplift each other.

...because this world can be fraught with negativity and hate, and we need more tolerance and kindness, love and respect.

How To Avoid Exercise Boredom

How To Avoid Exercise Boredom, By Kayley Stevens - The P.E. Club

By Instructor Kayley Stevens

Staying in shape requires persistence, dedication and routine. AH YES, routine. We’ve all done it--made our grocery lists for the week, meal prepped, joined a gym, and signed up for a class membership somewhere. All of these actions are really great steps towards an active and healthy permanent lifestyle. But how do we remain excited and interested in our health if our routine starts to get dull?

Before I became a fitness professional, I was a ‘routine’ gal who wandered aimlessly between all sorts of exercise obsessions.

How To Avoid Exercise Boredom, By Kayley Stevens - The P.E. Cub

I would stumble upon a favorite workout, a favorite studio, or a favorite method. I would then do that particular workout nonstop, for months. So much so, that my body grew too accustomed to it. My workouts started to become less exciting andless challenging.  Or, in extreme cases, I would over do it, resulting in injuries. 

You name it, I tried it. I had a yoga phase, a short distance running phase, a long distance running phase, a HIIT phase, a heavy lifting phase, a low weight strength training phase, a no workout phase, a TRX phase, a ballet phase (I’m a dancer), an indoor cycling phase and a Barre phase. 

I believe anyone who practices an active lifestyle usually prefers 1 or 2 of these activities listed above, and they stick primarily to them.  If you speak to a runner, they lean towards arranging their weeks around mileage and may squeeze in a yoga session or weight session or two. If you speak to a dancer, they may focus on pilates, yoga, barre, or cycling on the side. Or if you speak to a heavy lifter, I guarantee they schedule their week around sections of the body and perhaps some cardio on a lighter day. None of these methods prove problematic, but they do result in occasional workout boredom. By going through my workout obsession phases, I truly got burnt out from doing too much of the same thing.

So, here are my tips on how to avoid exercise boredom and lead a MORE EXCITING WORKOUT LIFE. 


Kayley Stevens, The P.E. Club

1.) If you’re not a Group Fitness Person: TRY incorporating more variety in your routine than just 1 or 2 things per week.

If you run and lift every week, switch it up, add some cycling and Pilates. If you love barre, yoga, and pilates, add some running or lifting into your routine. If you love to lift heavy and are a cross fit junkie, go work on your balance and coordination in yoga and barre. If you are a cardio cycle-a-holic, try some HIIT or begin some heavy lifting classes or sessions. You’ll feel a wave of challenge ahead by getting into something that’s out of your comfort zone and it will give you a new goal! And you won’t get burnt out! 

2.) DON’T Classify yourself under just one category of training.

You don’t have to be a fitness professional to be a well-rounded athlete. DO EVERYTHING. Don’t limit yourself to just one type of fitness. Try it all. Your body is capable of far more than you can imagine, so why not do it justice and practice all sorts of fitness to maintain balance? By doing so, your exercise life becomes far more exciting and interesting, because there is so much more to try and accomplish. 

3.) Don’t put too much pressure on yourself—it takes the fun away.

The second that exercise feels like an OBLIGATION, it becomes boring and annoying. Most magazines and health advisors suggest 3-5 days of moderate to intense activity a week. However, not everyone can make that happen with his or her schedules, and our bodies aren’t always up for it. If all you have is 20 minutes and you want to get a quick “feel good” workout in, google some youtube videos, or come up with some of your favorite floor/body weight exercises. THAT’s PLENTY. Take the pressure off of yourself. Working out should make us feel better, not worse. 


As a trainer and group fitness instructor, I’ve finally found the perfect way of looking at exercise. I enjoy it, because I never set limits to my routine. I don’t have a “schedule” or preference when it comes to working out anymore. My week can range from dance class to heavy lifting to boxing to yoga. Another week might be dance cardio, running, barre, cross fit, and TRX. I never say no to a new challenge. 

It’s time make exercising more fun and light-hearted! Go for it.