Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Understanding Pre-Workout - What Does Lexi From Tonicity Fit Have To Say?

    Let’s talk about pre-workout. What is it? Why should you or should you not take it? How can it improve a workout? Can it harm you? Let’s cover it all!
    At Tonicity Fit, we sell a pre workout, Celsius. So, if you ever decide to take pre-workout, it’s important to understand exactly what you're putting into your body. Pre-work is mainly taken just like it sounds, before a workout. The most common ingredient in pre-workout is Caffeine. Pre-workout tends to have more caffeine than your average cup of coffee. Usually ranging from 100-400mg of Caffeine. Caffeine is important for several reasons. Caffeine can support focus, mood, and endurance. Keep in mind more is not always better and too much caffeine may cause nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, and occasionally rapid heartbeat. It can help kick start your energy for a workout, just be careful of how much caffeine you are consuming.
    Next, pre-workout tends to have Beta Alanine. “Beta Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that can be produced by the body and is also found in meat, poultry, and fish. Beta Alanine is a precursor to carnosine, a molecule that supports buffering acid in muscles in response to physical activity. Beta Alanine can support endurance, carnosine synthesis, and may help you train harder and longer when taken over time. Beta-alanine taken in large doses or by sensitive individuals may cause a temporary, harmless, tingling feeling called paresthesia.” (Optimum Nutrition, 2020)
    Another ingredient that is similar to beta is BCAAs or known as branch chain amino acids. BCAAs or Branched Chain Amino Acids are composed of three essential amino acids, Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine which are considered to be the building blocks of protein. The human body cannot manufacture essential amino acids, therefore, they must be obtained from dietary sources or from supplementation. The biggest difference between beta-alanine and BCAAs are the exact mechanisms of how they work and affect your workout performance. BCAAs help build and rebuild muscle mass by facilitating the process of protein synthesis. Beta-Alanine works by buffering the build-up of lactic acid, delaying muscle fatigue, resulting in an increase in time to exhaustion. The most notable difference is that Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid, while BCAAs are essential meaning you must obtain them through food or supplementation.Both Beta-alanine and BCAAs improve muscular endurance and workout volume, just different ways to do so. 
While all of these ingredients are safe, it's important to remember to take them in moderation. Many pre-workouts come in the powder format. Just make sure to mix them with water and follow the instructions on the side of the canister. Pay attention to how it affects your workout and make sure you consult your doctor before taking any supplements or high levels of caffeine. Hope this helps! 

About Lexi Heckman:  

Lexi Heckman is a certified personal trainer at  Tonicity Fit Personal training Studio in West Chester.  Lexi has a strong love for health and wellness as well as helping others. She has worked within the fitness industry for 5+ years. Working as a recreation attendant, teaching fitness classes and later becoming a facilities supervisor and team leader. She found her love for fitness while working at the recreation center at West Chester University. There she changed her major to reflect that passion and recently completed her undergraduate degree.

To learn more about Lexi, Click Here.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Importance of Progressive Overload - What Does Steph At Tonicity Fit Have To Say?

When most people first start working out or lifting weights, they usually aren’t sure of what to do. What kind of workouts are “right” or “work best”? How much cardio should you be doing? How many reps or sets? There are so many questions out there but there is one principle that is proven time and time again, which is the progressive overload principle. 

The progressive overload principle simply states that it is necessary to increase the intensity, duration, type, and time of your workouts in order to see substantial gains. It is well known that when you go from being sedentary to active, your body will drop weight quick because it is being stimulated in a new way! But what happens if you stick to the same routine for months on end? Your body will go into a plateau — there have not been any new stimulations for your body to adapt to. 

So what is the solution? Start recording and logging the weights you use, the amount of sets and reps, and the amount of rest you take between each set. Maybe one week you will squat 100 lbs for 6 reps and then next week you will try to squat 105 lbs for 6 reps. It is not a drastic increase in weight, but it is a new adaption for your muscles. Remember, change and adaptation don't happen overnight. However, staying consistent and pushing your limits will help you succeed in the long run. 

Key factors in progressive overload are:

  • Frequency: The amount of times in a week you are working out. A change in frequency, say from working out 3 times a week to 4 or 5, will help
  • Intensity: How hard you are training. Are you resting for too long in between sets? Spending too much time socializing or on your phone? If you’re lifting weights, are you challenging yourself for heavier weights each week? 
  • Time: How long are you working out for? Are you completing the workout too quickly? Maximize your time with the movements. 
  • Type: What kind of exercises are you doing? Are you including compound lifts or doing all accessory movements? 

Bottom line is that you want to challenge your body often! Make it exciting and a personal goal for yourself. See what you are truly capable of!

About Steph:  

Steph graduated from West Chester University in 2018 with as a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. She is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, and is well skilled in group training and weight loss challenge program design. Steph found her passion for health and fitness when in high school, and has been working in the industry ever since.  At the age of 16, she made a complete lifestyle change, and began her own regimented fitness and wellness program. Outside of work, Steph enjoys staying active!  She lifts weights, spends a lot of time outdoors, and focuses additional time on educating herself further on the philosophy of lifelong strength training. 

To learn more about Steph, Click Here.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Check Out This Healthy Summer Dinner Recipe!


Summer dinners can be tough to plan. Nights are longer and busier, and heavy meals aren't too appetizing. This delicious crispy zucchini and corn casserole recipe, however, is a great light option for those busy summer nights! This recipe is healthy, easy, and delicious! It's a great option to meal prep as well. Check it out!

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Casserole

  • 1.5 TBS olive oil, plus more for finishing
  • 3 cups of thinly sliced zucchini (approx. 4)
  • 1.5 cups of corn kernels (from ears of corn or canned)
  • 2 small jalapeños, finely chopped (omit seeds for more mild version)
  • 2 TBS pesto cause (more if needed to taste)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 heaping cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • Flaky sea salt and black pepper for serving
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C.
  • Prep the vegetables. Slice the zucchini and/or squash into rounds, but don’t slice too paper thin, or they’ll get soggy in the oven. Using a sharp knife, shave the kernels of each ear of corn
  • Char the corn. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil. Add the corn kernels. Cook the corn for 3-5 minutes until charred in spots, tossing just once or twice to get a nice char on them.
  • In a large bowl, toss the zucchini and squash slices, charred corn, and jalapeños with the pesto sauce. Mix well.
  • Assemble the casserole. Pour the marinara sauce on to the bottom of a 13x9-inch (33x22 cm) baking pan. Spread out half of the zucchini/squash slices on top in a single layer (slight overlapping is okay). Then spoon some more of the corn/jalapeño mixture on top. Sprinkle the zucchini with half of the shredded vegan cheese on top (or dollop with blobs of the Tofu Ricotta, if using). Repeat the layers one more time, zucchini slices and corn first, then cheese.
  • Sprinkle the top with the panko bread crumbs, a light sprinkle of flaky sea salt, some freshly cracked black pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (the olive oil aids in browning, so don’t skip it). Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pan 180° halfway through to ensure even browning on the top, or until the top is crispy and golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Top with sliced basil.

Enjoy the recipe! Let us at Tonicity know if you're looking for more healthy and nutritious meals