Monday, July 29, 2019

Q&A with Devon Dadoly Tonicity Fit's Member of the Month

1.  When did you start at Tonicity Fit?

I started Nutrition with Sarah in August of last year and started Strength Training with her in November 2018.

2.  Can you give us a little background on you?  For example, where you an active person when you joined?  Where were you in  your wellness journey?  What brought you to Tonicity Fit?  Your goals....

I don't have any issue with my body size or shape, so until recently, I didn't understand why people exercise unless they're trying to lose weight. My whole life, I was really lazy about exercising - only going to the gym when I was trying to shed pounds fast, and then giving up when I didn't see the scale moving. I felt out of place at the gym, and extremely unmotivated. I felt intimidated by exercise equipment and being around people who were in shape.

Then last year, I met Sarah when she was building her gym in West Chester. She told me about her passion for helping women both pre and post-menopause, people with injuries, and folks of many sizes and abilities. I knew I needed a change in my routine- some accountability, something to curb my anxiety and depression, something to keep me active. With Sarah's encouragement, I kept coming in. I kept working. She helped me realize that it's ok for weight loss to not be my focus. The real motivation for me is to get STRONG, to see a change in numbers that aren't on the scale (blood pressure, heart rate, etc). Since November, my resting heart rate has dropped over 30 bpms. I'm able to walk a city block without needing rest. I CAN DO 18 PUSHUPS. THAT'S the kind of goals I'm talking about.

My goals have shifted a few times since I started training with Sarah. Currently, I'm working on training for my first ever obstacle course in October with some of the other Tonicity members. I'm nervous but looking forward to it!

3.  What type of membership do you currently have?

Unlimited! I try to make it to at least 3 group sessions per week

4.  What do you love most about Tonicity Fit?
  • COMMUNITY. There is an undeniable kinship between the members at Tonicity Fit. Anyone who is new is welcomed with open arms.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY. Something that has kept me from reaching my full potential in my fitness journey is my inability to be accountable to the gym. The 
5.  What do you love most about Sarah?

Sarah has honestly changed my life. She is so patient and willing to work with people at any stage of their fitness journey. I have also felt really insecure going to the gym and never dared to see a personal trainer because I was ashamed of how out of shape I was. Sarah gives each session a personal touch. Whether we are dancing between sets, sharing stories about our families, or having a rough day, I always know I'm going to have a great time there. Her commitment to health is so refreshing and I can tell she cares about every single one of her clients.

I love working with Sarah so much I drive from Philly to West Chester 3 times a week to train with her. So if you're looking for an advocate for all bodies, someone willing to help you with your personal goals, and a true friend, you can count on her.

6.  What advice would you give to someone who is where you were when you started your journey here?
  • TRUST. It was difficult for me to imagine trusting someone to help me with my fitness and health journey. I like to be in control of my body and my decisions, but after a few sessions, i was able to let the expert (Sarah) be my guide. 
  • GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT. The biggest fear that kept me out of the gym was thinking that I couldn't keep up with everyone else. I am amazed by my own progress. I never thought I would be able to train eith some of the most fit women in my life.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Conquering the Push-Up with Bryan at Tonicity Fit in West Chester

Author: Bryan Niles, B.S., CSCS

Push-ups target the muscles of the chest (pectorals), back of the arm (triceps), and shoulders (anterior deltoids). Different variations and hand placements will affect the degree at which these muscles come into play.

This article goes through proper technique, variations, and progression of this popular and effective exercise.

To perform a standard push up with good form, place your weight on your hands and feet, with your spine and head in alignment with the legs, and your hands just slightly wider than shoulder-width apart (palm flat on the floor). Lower your upper body to the floor, flexing the elbows, then rise back to the start position. Keep your head still, and keep your eyes looking down. Breathe in on the way down, and out on the way up, and pull the abdominal muscles tight throughout the exercise.

Push-ups which are performed with elbows closer to the body put more emphasis on the triceps muscles (back of the arm).
Wide arm push-ups with the arms at a 45-75-degree angle focus more on the chest muscles.
To avoid shoulder problems, it is recommended your perform push-ups with the upper arms at a no more than a 75-degree angle from the torso.

Push-up progressions generally start with wall pushups and then proceed to the next steps after it is easy to perform wall pushups for 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

1.   Wall push-ups.

Performed against a wall. To find the starting position, stand away from the wall and extend your arms in front of you till the tips of your fingers come in contact with the wall. If you find the exercise too difficult, step the feet a little closer to the wall.

2. Box push-ups. 

Performed with knees on the floor and hips at a 90 degrees angle.

3. Three quarter push-ups. 

Performed with the knees and hands on the floor and the spine and thighs in line.

4. Three quarters push-ups + 5s eccentric push up. 

Begin with a 3/4 push up on the way up, go onto the balls of the feet and perform the lowering phase of a standard push up to the count of 5 seconds.

5. Regular Push-ups. 

Your upper arms should form a 45-75-degree angle with your torso, hands shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself with good form through the whole range of motion until the chest and nose almost come into contact with the floor.

About Bryan Niles:  

Bryan Niles B.S. C.S. C.S. graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. Degree in Exercise and Sport Science in 1995. He attained his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification in 1997 from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  Bryan is an exercise physiologist at Tonicity Fit Personal Training Studio in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

To learn more about Bryan, Click Here.