personal training

Meet our newest club trainer, Leo Alvarez!

We're excited to welcome our new trainer to the team!  Meet Leo Alvarez. 

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Leo Alvarez, Personal Trainer at The P.E. Club

Club Superlative: "Most likely to Let the guns out in the gym"

  • Fave School Subject: P.E. of course!
  • Certifications: NCSF-CPT, ViPR and CPR/AED
  • Training Style: He specializes in using strength and high intensity workouts to create a well balanced program. Leo makes sure that his clients walk out of the gym with a smile and feeling great. He loves to make exercise fun!

Guilty pleasure? Anything chocolate!  Especially Nutella...

Fave workout jam? Turn Down for What by Lil' Jon.

Your daily uniform? All things Under Armour. 


Does Leo sound like a good fit for your fitness goals? When you submit for your complimentary training consult, we arrange the best suited personal trainer based on your fitness goals and current status. That's just the first step in creating the perfect fitness game plan, tailored to you.

Why You Should Focus on Changing Shape, Not Size

By Trainer Andrew Leidal


Changing Shape, Not Size - The P.E. Club Extra Credit Blog, by Trainer Andrew Leidal

There’s a common misconception out there that to get the body you want, you have to become ever and ever smaller.  Do cardio to burn off that tummy fat!  Don’t eat those carbs or you’ll blow up!  Spin five times a week and you’ll have that perfect summer bod!

Any of these sound familiar?  They probably all do - and while there is some truth behind them (even though carbs don’t make you suddenly fat) - there is a lot of misinformation and emphasis place around restriction.  Skinny, skinny, skinny.  That’s become a new ideal.  But what if you don’t just want to be skinny?  What if you want toned abs, a nice butt, shapely legs, broad shoulders, muscular arms, a rippling back, or any combination of the above?  Attacking the cardio machines and avoiding carbs like they’re your worst enemies every day isn’t going to help you see those results. 

Side note: Don’t get me wrong - cardio and diet are vitally important to anyone’s workout routine.  Don’t ever neglect them.  But I’m here to talk about how you can change your SHAPE, not just your SIZE.

There are a few basic concepts we need to cover here first so that I can make myself understood.  The first is the difference between shape and size, which might seem obvious to some of you, but I’m going to cover that briefly anyway.  As stated above, there seems to be a general emphasis in the fitness industry on your size - meaning that men and women both should ever be getting either smaller, or bigger. 

Women...there is a huge amount of pressure for you to be as tiny as possible; to have the flattest stomach, the leanest legs, the ever-present thigh gap. 

Men...your chest can never be too big, your shoulders too broad, nor your arms too ripped. 

Right?  These cues are based around one thing - size.  Be bigger.  Be smaller.  Not all of us are going to be big or small, though.  Most of us are big in some places and small in others, comparatively speaking.  Most of us are perfectly happy with certain parts of ourselves while disliking others.  Well guess what - strength training can allow you to target specific areas of your body to help even you out proportionately. 

Want broader shoulders that are pulled back, not rounded forward?  Strengthen your back and shoulders to bring those things up and back.  Want a firmer butt?  Train your glutes to be strong to counteract all of that sitting that you do.  Train your core to help tighten your waist, which will only help to accentuate those curves that you’re working hard for (this is for men and women both - guys, women like nice butts too!).  Building muscle can help you to make adjustments to that “body that you’re born with” in ways that destroying yourself on the treadmill or bicycle six days a week can’t.  The idea is to grow, not to shrink.

Changing Shape, Not Size - The P.E. Club Extra Credit Blog - By Trainer Andrew Leidal

The second concept that I want to cover here is that of spot treatment.  We are told by sources that you can trim off that belly fat just by wrapping yourself in plastic, or that you can take away that pesky skin around your armpits by lifting two pound weights all day.  This is wrong.  Now, this may seem paradoxical to what I just told you in the previous paragraph, so let me go into more detail on this:

  • Muscle and body fat are two very different things that - although are inextricably linked - are targeted in very different ways.  Your body fat percentage, or BFP, is the primary factor behind looking either “soft” or “lean”.  This is a measure of the overall percentage of your bodyweight that is strictly fat and, despite what sources tell you, is nearly impossible to reduce one spot at a time. 
  • Body fat distributes itself relatively evenly across your body.  While there ARE certain areas where it will tend to sit more heavily on you than someone else, it does a pretty good job of making it all the way around your person.  So as you watch your diet, introduce more cardio into your system, and build muscle, your BFP will drop evenly across your entire body.  Sorry guys, can’t get rid of that tummy fat without getting rid of fat period.  This might be discouraging to some, but I would argue that you should feel ENcouraged by it, because your body is smart and will look better as a whole! 
  • With that said, there are certain areas where vestiges of fat will stubbornly remain after all else is gone.  Don’t stress - keep working hard.  Nobody said that this was easy.

You are stuck with the body that you were born with only to a certain degree. Strength training won't allow you to make the bones in your shoulder or hips smaller, but tightening your core with regular ab, oblique, and lower back work will make either of them look much more proportionate. Not everyone is born with a nice butt - but anyone can build one with hard work. You don't have to accept the fact that you can only get bigger or smaller, because this is simply not true. You can get bigger where you want and smaller where you want with just a little bit of knowledge, a plan, and the willpower to see it through to the end.  Your body is your piece of marble, and you can chisel it as you please.


It's time to make some big changes.  Get a headstart on your New Year's Resolutions... 

Join Our Fall Into Fitness Personal Training Challenge!

Fall Into Fitness Personal Training Challenge - The P.E. Club

RULES:

  1. Photos and measurements must be taken at the start of the challenge then once every month. 

  2. Participant must complete the following:

    1. Minimum of 3 STRENGTH TRAINING workouts per week

      1. Minimum of 2 strength training workouts must be with a trainer @ P.E.

      2. The other strength training workouts can be another training session or strength based classes. 

    2. Minimum of 2 CARDIO DAYS per week

      1. Cardio can include conventional cardio, cardio-based class and cardio HW provided by your trainer.

    3. Minimum of 1 Restorative/Recovery Class

      1. Try our NEW strength, balance & recovery class - coming soon!

HOW YOU WIN:

At the end of the 90 days, the client who loses the largest percent of Body Fat and inches combined, wins!

PRIZE:

5-pack of Personal Training Sessions


SIGN UP TODAY:

Name *
Name

*If you are a new client, please refer to our Personal Training Inquiry form: http://bit.ly/21G7Nls

What @DailyDoseoFitness Actually Eats in a Day

If you follow trainer/instructor Miriam Fried on Instagram (@dailydoseofitness), you might be under the impression that her diet consists primarily of the three main food groups: peanut butter, chocolate, and pancakes. In reality, only in her dreams - and on her birthday - is that the case.

To put those rumors to rest, Miriam shared with us what she ACTUALLY eats in a day...


1.) Breakfast

What @DailyDoseoFitness Eats in a Day - The P.E. Club

This varies depending on whether I’m on the go or have time to make breakfast at home.

My go-to grab and go breakfast?  A Siggi’s yogurt with a little bit of granola.

If I have time to cook?  It’s ALWAYS a big veggie egg white omelette with avocado, and turkey bacon and whole wheat toast on the side.

2.) Lunch/Post Workout

Since I prefer to workout mid-morning, my lunch is also my post workout meal, which means it tends to be my largest and most carb dense meal of the day!  When you exercise, your body fuels your workouts using muscle glycogen.  After a workout, you need to replenish those glycogen stores as quickly as possible.  The fastest way to do this is by consuming carbohydrates shortly after exercising.  You should also aim to get in some protein post workout, as protein aids in muscle protein synthesis (AKA building muscle!) as well as recovery, by reducing soreness and fatigue.

What @DailyDoseoFitness Eats in a Day - The P.E. Club

This meal for me is where the magic happens!  Typically, this means protein pancakes or my current summer favorite, a protein smoothie bowl.  I'll blend some frozen fruit with protein powder and cashew milk, then top it with whatever my heart - and body - desires.

What @DailyDoseoFitness Eats in a Day - The P.E. Club

3.) Afternoon Snack

If you’re like me and are #foreverhungry, having readily available snack options always helps to keep me from wandering into Duane Reade and accidentally buying out the entire candy section when that mid afternoon hunger hits.  My favorite afternoon snack?  Rice cakes with peanut butter and reduced sugar jelly!  If I’m on the go, a protein bar works in a pinch, so I always keep a stash in my bag just in case.

4.) Dinner

Dinner varies for me, but it always includes lots of veggies and some form of lean protein.  My current favorite dinner is a giant mixed vegetable stir fry over rice with chicken or shrimp, topped with my homemade Thai Peanut Sauce!  If I’m out and about during dinnertime, you can usually find me at my favorite salad spot, SweetGreen (my current favorite is their peach and goat cheese salad).

What @DailyDoseoFitness Eats in a Day - The P.E. Club
What @DailyDoseoFitness Eats in a Day - The P.E. Club

5.) Dessert

Also known as: the most important meal of the day. 

What @DailyDoseoFitness Eats in a Day - The P.E. Club

Typically, this will be one of three things: 1) some of my favorite high protein ice cream, Halo Top Creamery 2) greek yogurt mixed with cocoa powder and stevia, or 3) frozen banana protein ice cream made in my Ninja blender which I’ll top with some combination of delicious toppings (always lots peanut butter, of course)!

One of the ways I’ve been able to keep up with my fitness lifestyle is by eating dessert every night.  I always crave something sweet after dinner - and in terms of living a long, sustainable, healthy life, finding ways to curb those cravings (without going crazy), rather than FIGHTING them has always been a better strategy for me.

Here are a few things to remember:

  1.  If you’re looking to get healthier, simply eating LESS isn’t always the answer.  Under eating is just as unhealthy as over eating.  Food is necessary to fuel our bodies, to push us through our workouts, to keep us alive and functioning as happy, healthy human beings.  Eating too little for too long can have an averse effect on your body and even stall your weight loss goals.  
  2. Healthy doesn’t have to be boring!  No matter what your favorite foods may be, there are most likely ways to make them fit your diet in a healthier way.  Love pizza? Try a cauliflower crust recipe or make a tortilla pizza.  Addicted to Chipotle?  Make your own at home burrito bowls with a healthy twist!  Eating healthier does NOT need to mean salads for every meal.
  3. Instead of thinking about cutting out certain foods or food groups, try thinking about adding more healthy foods to your diet.  Eat more vegetables.  Experiment with adding fruits and veggies of a variety of different colors and feed your body with nutrient rich foods that taste good and also make you feel good. 
  4. At the same time:  I don’t avoid carbs.  Nothing is off limits to me.  I just practice balance and portion control.  No food is “bad”.  There’s not one particular food that causes weight gain.  If the majority of your diet consists of those “good for you”, nutrient filled foods, there’s no reason a smaller portion of that diet can’t contain those less healthy, “good for your soul” foods in moderation.
  5. If you struggle for a day or two, if you go off your diet for any reason- don’t beat yourself up.  Don’t let that deter you from trying again.  Nobody is perfect.  We all have our good days and our bad days- but the good news is that tomorrow is ALWAYS a new day!  Just keep going!

There you have it!  As you can see- my diet isn't ONLY pancakes and peanut butter, but it definitely always includes them in moderation because they keep me happy, healthy, sane, AND curb my cravings.  You don't have to choose between eating yummy food or eating healthy food.  You can have your (pan) cake and eat it too!  

Follow Miriam on Instagram for more! @DailyDoseoFitness