All posts by A|M Fitness

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Dorsiflexion For A Better Squat

Dorsiflexion For A Better Squat

By Greg Hammons

Looking to improve your squat? Don’t forget to look down! Squats start from the floor up, so making sure we have enough dorsiflexion is key to developing a great squat.

Be sure to check out Coach Greg’s video on how to help improve your ankle mobility!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MVP Award – Andrea

MVP Award – Andrea

By Michael Harlandrland

This year is a little different for us when picking the winners of Best Me Yet. We had so many people do so well and it presents a challenge with only picking 3 people. Normally our 3rd place prize is a mix of physical transformation and community involvement.

The transformation portion of this choice is self-explanatory (body composition). The community portion has us factor in attitude inside of our facility – encouraging, motivating, supportive, etc.., participation in our external events, level of commitment, social media activity inside and outside of our private Facebook group and their own personal pages, and items like that.

Since so many people did so well, we decided to create an MVP winner to go along with our placements based solely on body composition. Without a doubt, Andrea took this prize!

To start, Andrea drives 30 – 40 minutes to train with us every day. This is if there is no traffic (and when does that happen?). On top of that, she battles Lyme Disease, has a full spinal fusion, epilepsy, arthritis, chronic pain & fatigue, gastroparesis & IBD. Lastly, she also dealt with a heart issue and GI issues. Here’s what she had to say about it:

“So the heart issue I had they think was part of my chronic Lyme Disease. I was feeling tired but when am I not tired? My heart rate spiked to 180-240 while resting and I couldn’t get it down for 36 hours. I couldn’t catch my breath, was too dizzy to walk & I couldn’t speak or see clearly. This happened on a Monday night, on Thursday I went to train knowing I was still in a nauseous fog and Greg wouldn’t let me train. When I was putting my shoes on in the lobby I was overwhelmed just by putting my shoes on with the music going and stuff. I definitely could not have trained. And even though I cried when Greg told me I couldn’t train, he was absolutely right. The whole cardiac/possible seizure incident took me out for 8 days of the challenge- eating during this time was tough as I couldn’t stand on my own and I was super nauseous.

The GI part of my health was the hardest part of the challenge. I spent a lot of my adult life after having MRSA in my spine with a J-Tube for tube feeding as I developed gastroparesis and was unable to swallow anything. After my digestion healed enough to eat again I ate in small amounts to stay comfortable but I wasn’t paying attention to the balance of what I was eating because I was constantly snacking. This led to unhealthy habits. So when I started the program my body couldn’t digest the food properly in the quantities and intervals we were supposed to eat at. I was in acute abdominal pain overnight and at many points during the day. I became best friends with my heating pad. Greg and my doctor encouraged me to stick with it and my body
would adjust. By week 6 my body started to adjust and my pain was reduced. I will never have perfect digestion but the schedule of this program along with the balanced meals allowed me to find a whole new level of digestion I never thought was possible. It was all about routine and sticking with it. When my J-tube was placed I weighed 69.5 lbs. After I ballooned to 140. I am so happy to be in a place where my body feels its best. It was a painful road for sure. And the diet piece only came after training for so long and my body was ready for the next hurdle.”

Well, as she always does, Andrea fought and overcame ALL of this! Despite the GI issues she managed to decrease her body fat by almost 5%, with a total weight loss of 12.2 pounds!

She is one of the absolute strongest people we know and couldn’t think of a better person to be our MVP.

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100 Healthy Days

100 Healthy Days

By Michael Harland

Today’s blog is going to be quick and simple. I’m inviting you to join me in a free program that lasts 100 days. Read below!

Over the next 100 days, I plan to do things to help me live my longest, best life. I plan to work on my health and wellness, education, mental state, and so much more.

But, I don’t want to do this alone! So I invite you to join and to invite your friends to join.

Why? Because when there is a community of positive people, we can completely change the world. So please join me on this journey to be our absolute best selves.

Click Here To Join 100 Healthy Days

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why I Relay – Andrea

Why I Relay

By: Andrea Sinclair

I relay because cancer made me an orphan. Cancer stole my parents during the same year- it barely felt like the leaves had changed and they were both gone. I relay because my nephews will never feel how much their grandparents fought this disease with all that they had so that they could maybe meet them. My parents would have fought forever to be able to spoil their grandchildren on Christmas morning, to watch school recitals smiling ear to ear, to be there to offer them some gems of wisdom as they get them off the bus after hard days at school. I hate that cancer stole my foundation, my stability- but I hate more, is that my nephews will never have that foundation… never feel that warm sense of safety and support that comes within generations of a family’s love.

I relay because cancer stole so much of my best friends potential as treatment allowed for her survival, but the fallout from this life-saving treatment stole her body system by system. There is no doubt that the world is so much better for having her in it, but if she had never known cancer, she would have moved more mountains as she is the most powerful, beautiful, giving spirit I have the honor of knowing, I relay because I pray the next generation of children with cancer will have treatment that not only saves them, but allows them to thrive as though cancer was just a speed bump in their long healthy lives… or better yet, cancer is spoken of as an epidemic of the dark ages in their history books. I relay because I am mad as hell for all the loss my best friend and her family have endured because cancer found her as a child.

This may seem like a mute point given the impact of cancer on the human race, but I relay because I work at an emergency veterinary hospital and I see so many families that are losing a furry family member to cancer. These families have the option of ending their loved ones pain and suffering after trying every treatment we have. I cry on my ride home because I know yet another family has had their hearts broken by cancer. If we have answers for humans we’ll inevitably have more answers for the pets who have been our loyal companions and backbones of our families.

My parents traveled day after day to the best hospitals in Connecticut, then Manhattan and Boston where they first received the latest and greatest treatment that modern medicine knows. When they were told that the doctors had nothing left to offer my parents joined clinical trials in the hopes that the knowledge gained from their inevitable death would help future generations. I relay because I hope my parents death wasn’t in vain and that their grandchildren won’t know the heartbreak from having their world ripped out from under them by cancer. I relay because this world needs people like my best friend who fight for light in darkness to be at full warrior strength in these times, not hollowed out by cancer and the treatment
that ravaged her body and soul.

I relay because I have to do something. I don’t think walking around a track and raising some money will end cancer. I do think the collective energy of people who are angry & broken but hopeful & ready to fight combined with financial and institutional support for research will help bring an end to cancer.

This June I will be relaying with my gym family from A|M Fitness because all their efforts have made me healthier and in doing so they’ve given me my fight back.

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Click here to join our team and/or donate to Relay For Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conscious Walking

Conscious Walking

By LeighAnn Clark

The foot is a very complex, important structure. It is our foundation. It is our only point of contact with the ground. If something is wrong at our foundation, everything above it is affected. As a house will crumble if it’s foundation is comprised, so will our bodies.

The bottom of our foot is covered in receptors. These receptors read information every time we take a step; the texture of the ground, how hard or soft the surface, etc. When we put shoes on, we block these receptors and therefore block off a part of our nervous system.

Every time your foot hits the ground, there is a vibration sent through the ground that travels up your leg and through your entire body. When we walk barefoot we can learn to anticipate the ground reaction forces and prepare our body for impact. As soon as we put on shoes, we block the receptors and can no longer prepare our body for impact.

To counteract this vibration, what we need to do is learn how to walk consciously and how to contract our leg muscles properly. The problem is that most people chose the wrong remedy; extra cushioned shoes. When we hit the ground, the vibration still happens, but with these extra cushioned shoes, we’ve allowed the cushion to absorb these vibrations. That means our body can no longer sense how hard we are actually striking the ground. So then we strike the ground harder. This is what can lead to stress fractures, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, IT Band syndrome, etc. What we need to learn to do is isometrically contract the muscles in the leg and learn how to walk consciously.

To learn how to walk properly and learn how to correctly anticipate the ground reaction force every time your foot hits the ground, watch my video!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Transformation Tuesday – Chantelle

Transformation Tuesday – Chantelle

By Michael Harland

Today we wanted to recognize one of our newer members, Chantelle, who has been consistent since the day that she started. She recently participated in our Best Me Yet program and used meal plans that were provided to her, along with our Large Group Training sessions. To add to this, Chantelle was always actively sharing in our private Facebook group and participating in our outside events; cooking classes and Flight Trampoline. All of this has led to her increasing her muscle mass in the last 5 weeks and decreasing her body fat percentage over the full 10 weeks!

Great job, Chantelle!

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Creating Your Center of Stability

Creating Your Center of Stability (Blog 3 of 3)

By LeighAnn Clark

The next step after learning how to activate our pelvic floor and then learning how to activate short foot to create stability with our foot instead of our bigger muscles, we can learn how to integrate these steps to create even more stability throughout our entire body, and experience how everything is connected. We need to understand the relationship of our pelvic floor in creating stability throughout our entire body. This is how we accomplish this.

Why do we activate short foot instead of doing a simple towel scrunch with our toes? The scrunch may activate the foot, but it will not activate the rest of the body. You will not create the connection between your pelvic floor and your foot and your arms and your mouth. We are trying to utilize each piece to create full body stability.

Learn how by watching my video!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why I Relay – Kathy

Why I Relay

By: Kathy Kielbowicz

Why I relay…..

Cancer has touched my life in so many ways. I have lost both of my grandmothers to cancer and I have way too many friends who have battled or are currently battling cancer. When I stop to think about it, it’s scary to think of all the people I know whose lives cancer has touched. I relay to help find a cure, to help find new treatment options, to help ease the pain of those fighting for their lives.

I relay for my best friend from childhood who’s life was ended way too early because of cancer. It took her in the prime of her life. She courageously battled cancer for years, trying to seek treatments that would stop the tumors from growing and spreading. She endured surgeries, an arm amputation and years of pain because of cancer.

It’s been ten years since we lost her and I still miss her daily. I often think of her when I need strength to face something difficult. I think of her when I need the motivation to persevere. I think of all she endured and realize if she could face all of that- I can most certainly do my thing.

I relay to remember those we’ve lost. I relay for strength for those still battling and I relay to celebrate with those who have survived.

Click here to join our team and/or donate to Relay For Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Short Foot Activation

Short Foot Activation (Blog 2 of 3)

By LeighAnn Clark

We live in a society where shoes are accepted as a natural part of life. We weren’t born with shoes on our feet, we didn’t learn to walk by taking the floor away from our foot. And yet, we have learned that in order to walk properly, we must put a ton of cushioning between our foot and the ground, and we must force our foot into a locked position with insoles and orthotics. And in the process, we have lost our ability to interpret how hard our foot hits the ground, the ability to let the ankle joint move freely, and we have created stiff, weak feet that can no longer do what they were intended to do; support the rest of our body.

Now we have to relearn how to stabilize our body with our foot and not just our big muscles like the quads and glutes.

Picture the foundation of a house. If the foundation is compromised, the rest of the structure becomes compromised; the walls break, the ceilings fall, the roof collapses, the windows break. If your foot is your foundation, you don’t want it to be broken. If it is, then the rest of your body’s structure will break too. If you experience discomfort, hypomobility, injury, etc, at the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, or neck, your foot may very well be to blame. Because once one structure breaks, the rest will follow suit.

But how do I repair the structure? Whether you have plantar fasciitis, IT Band syndrome, shin splints, most of these problems can be aided and even fixed by mobilizing and activating the foot. This can be done in many ways, but the foundation of movement is the same. Watch my video to find out how to mobilize and activate your foot so the healing process can begin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This S*** Actually Works!

This S*** Actually Works!

By Carly Ouellette

As this challenge comes to an end, I decided to take my “after” pictures during the snow day.

I have done a number of challenges since I’ve been at AM but I’ve never made it this far. Well, what do you know? This shit actually works! I attended the gym 5-6 days a week for the last 9 weeks.

I followed the meal plans closely. I listened to the coaches and kept open communication. And most importantly, I fucking held myself accountable.

Although there is only a small scale victory, the “before” and “after” pictures show more than the scale could ever say.

Unfortunately, I was unable to make the “before” pictures taken from the photographer at the gym and I won’t be able to make the “after” pictures so I decided to take my own and I’m glad I did. I, personally, have not noticed much of a change in my body and have been so stuck on the weight loss aspect that I was blown away when I compared the pictures.

I’ve got a long way to go- but since I’ve joined AM this is the longest I’ve stuck to it. It’s true, there are no magic shakes or pills. It requires hard work and dedication and you and the coaches will be behind us every step of the way to help to get us to where we want to be.

I’m usually pretty uncomfortable showing these pictures of me, but I’m damn proud of how far I’ve come in 9 weeks.

Who cares about the scale? The pictures show it all.

So glad that I stuck with it. Can’t wait to continue my journey. Thanks for helping me to become the best me yet!

I know they’re not professionally done- but you can very clearly see a change in many areas!
#teamgreg

Before Photos:
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After Photos:
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AWESOME JOB CARLY!