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Healthy Grilled Cheese Recipes Perfect for ANY TIME OF DAY!

Last night, as I was making my son his traditional grilled cheese on wheat, I realized that it had been quite some time since I’d made myself something ooey and gooey! But instead of succumbing to the basic grilled cheese (as yummy as it…) I decided to step things up and add some fruit to the mix. I googled Healthy Grilled Cheese Recipes and discovered this piece from Fitness.com. *By the way… the Grilled Cheese with Avocado and Heirloom Tomatoes is DELISH!!! Add a cup of high fiber soup, and you’ve got a well-balanced, tasty fall meal.

– Stephanie

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Take a Stand for your ABS!

via – Greatist.com

The 13 Best Abs Exercises You Can Do Standing Up 

We get it: You don’t always want to do crunches or planks or even use gym equipment to work your abs. Luckily, you don’t have to. If you’ve never thought about working your core while standing, you should. It may even be more effective because your core musclesaren’t just the ones you see in the mirror: They wrap all the way around your body—from your “six-pack” abs to your obliques (which hug the sides of your trunk) to the muscles that stabilize and support your spine.

With that in mind, we tapped Rachel Nicks, trainer at Boutique Fitness Xperience, to come up with the best standing abs moves that target your entire core. As you do them, focus on form over reps, Nicks says. For instance, use your abs to lift your leg each time, not your quads or glutes.

How it works: Pick 2 or 3 moves from the list and add them to a cardio or strength routine. Do each move for the designated number of reps or time and do 2 rounds total. The nice thing about abs: It’s hard to overdo them, so feel free to try 2 or 3 moves one day and 2 or 3 different moves the next time you work out.

1. March With Twist

2. Wide Second Side Crunch

3. Standing Stabilization

4. Reverse Chop

5. Standing Side Bends With Dumbbells at Side

6. Standing Side Bends With Dumbbells Overhead

7. Standing Side Crunch

Stand with feet a few inches wider than hip width, a dumbbell in each hand, and arms in goalpost position. Engage core and bring left elbow to left thigh by bending at the waist and performing a side crunch. Rather than moving elbow down, try to keep arms and shoulders in the same place throughout so you’re forced to use obliques to perform the move. Do left side only for 60 seconds, then right side only for 60 seconds. Then alternate sides for 60 seconds.

8. Standing Crossover Toe Touches

9. Single-Leg Sprint

Make it harder: For more of a challenge, add a twist, pulling right knee in to touch left elbow each time.

10. Chair Pose Twist

11. Side Leg Raise With Side Bend

12. Standing Twist

13. Overhead Circles


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Lydia Does Disney (*again!)

Mighty Mouse

Walking, climbing, 40-lb. overhead presses, sudden HIIT work … all part of a day at the Happiest Place on Earth. 

via – Lydia M, AVAC’s infamous AbsoluteFIT blogger

I’ve said it before — right here, last year — and if I’m lucky, I’ll get to say it again: The Mouse’s House is no place for the un-fit.

disney-2016Last week, thanks to the weird week-long fall break my kids’ school has, we went to Disneyland & California Adventure, and I honestly can’t imagine how people do that without AbsoluteFIT (or something like it). We walked more than seven miles every day for four days — one day, it was more than 10, due to park-hopping, an early start and a late finish — and did so. much. standing. Plus climbing stairs, descending stairs, edging up inclines, and sudden “fun” bursts of high-intensity cardio in the form of dashing after the four-year-old, who has no understanding of the word “STOP!” even when it’s hollered at him in Full Hillbilly Voice across the heads of a shuffling crowd.

All of which is to say that, once again, I’m glad for the real-life benefits of my AbsoluteFIT workouts — I can get the full experience at Disneyland, without having to stop and rest (gosh knows my kids aren’t gonna stop, so …).

And this week, it’s back to the studio — I gotta get some more upper-body work in.🙂

—Lydia M. 

Lydia Markoff is an Almaden-area writer, mom, and fitness enthusiast with Texas roots, a New York education, and a Californian heart. She plays bass, reads a lot, watches too much TV, and can be found in the AbsoluteFIT studio three to five times a week. Her life goals include having a body like Linda Hamilton’s in Terminator 2, and/or having Bill Murray randomly crash a party she is attending. If you need something from her, try bribing her with good coffee or cold beer; odds are, she wants one or the other of those right now.


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The Right Way to Use a Rowing Machine

Need some rowing machine assistance? Just ask any AVAC® Trainer — we’re always happy to help!

via – Greatist.com

Once relegated to the back of the gym, the rowing machine is experiencing a surge in popularity—so much so that there are now entire boutique studios devoted to it and its awesome total-body benefits. But the machine can be intimidating at first. Do I lead with legs or arms? Should my shoulders feel sore? And why do my feet keep slipping out of the straps? You’re not alone.


The most important thing to remember is: “It’s about power, not speed,” says Melody Davi, rowing instructor at City Row in New York City. If you walk out of a rowing class with a sore back, you’re doing it wrong, Davi says. Instead focus on using your lower-body powerhouse muscles—glutes, hamstrings, quads—to push yourself out and then gently glide back in.

Before we dive into more technique, here are two terms that will help guide your workout:

Strokes per minute: How many times you row (stroke) in 1 minute. Keep this number at 30 or less, Davi says. Remember: It’s about power, not just flinging your body back and forth.

Split time: The amount of time it takes to row 500 meters. Aim for 2 minutes or less. To increase your pace, push out with more power; don’t just pump your arms faster.

3 Steps to the Perfect Row

1. Master leg isolations.

Start by holding the oar with arms extended, knees bent, and weight on the balls of your feet (this position is called the “catch”). With back straight and core engaged, push back using only legs, rolling through feet so they are flat when legs are extended. Keep arms extended throughout.

2. Add arm isolations.

After you’ve gotten used to pushing with your lower body, practice arm isolations. With legs straight, pull oar toward chest. Bend elbows out to sides and touch oar just under chest. Hold the oar lightly (more on that below) and use upper back (not shoulders or biceps) to pull oar toward you. Engage the same muscles as you do for a push-up or bent-over row.

3. Row with perfect form.

It’s time to put everything together! With back straight, core engaged, and balls of feet firmly in straps, push back first with lower body then use upper back to pull hands toward chest. Next, release arms toward the base and bend knees so you glide back to starting position.

Think: legs, arms, arms, legs. Another tip? Take one beat to push out and two beats to glide back, Davi says. In other words, your move back should be twice as fast as your return to starting position.

5 Common Rowing Mistakes (and How to Fix Them!)

The Mistake: You hunch your back.

This usually means you’re letting your shoulders do all the work.

The Fix: Start with perfect posture.

In catch, push shoulders back (to open chest) and down (so there’s no tension around neck). Keep back straight by engaging core and breathing deeply (trust us, it’s hard to take deep breaths when you’ve got bad posture).

The Mistake: You make a scooping motion as you row.

If you bend knees before arms are fully extended on the return, you’ll need to make this scooping motion to avoid hitting legs with the oar. Rowing is a chain reaction, so one poor form choice can lead to another.

The Mistake: You raise your arms too high.

Don’t decapitate yourself with the oar! Pulling the oar all the way up to your chin isn’t just bad form; it probably means you’re using more energy than what’s necessary, Davi says.

The Fix: Bring oar to rest just below your chest.

Use upper-back muscles to pull the oar toward chest. At the end of each row, elbows should be bent more than 90 degrees and forearms should be even with rib cage.

The Mistake: You let your knees drop to the side.

We love relaxing but letting your knees flop wide is a bit much for a workout. It likely means you’re not engaging inner-thigh muscles or activating hip flexors.

The Fix: Finish with knees in line with hips.

Use inner thighs to keep knees close together or think about zipping up your legs as you push away and glide in.

The Fix: Put the strap over your big toe joint.

Another way to keep your knees from flopping? Strap in your feet correctly. The adjustable strap goes over the joint at the base of your big toes. Toes should bend comfortably so you’re able to push off balls of feet.

The Mistake: You have a death grip on the oar.

There’s no need to wrap your thumbs around the oar or hang on as if it’s a pull-up bar. Chances are a grip like this will create unnecessary tension in your forearms.

The Fix: Hold the oar with 3 fingers.

Place your hands on the outside of the oar (not the center). Float pinky fingers off the end and rest thumbs on top (don’t wrap them around). Hold the oar with the first, middle, and ring fingers of each hand.

Every time you pull back, remember to use your upper back, not shoulders and biceps. This will help take the pressure off your hands.

Special thanks to Melody Davi, instructor at City Row, who modeled perfect rowing form for us. Davi wears a C9 by Champion top, Lorna Jane leggings, and her own Nike sneakers.


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Make These EASY at-home Bowls

via – DamnDelicious

Skip Chipotle and try these burrito bowls right at home. It’s easier, healthier and 10000x tastier!



  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 cup salsa, homemade or store-bought
  • 3 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 1 (15.25-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle paste*
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste


  1. To make the chipotle cream sauce, whisk together sour cream, chipotle paste, garlic, lime juice and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan of 1 1/2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; let cool and stir in salsa; set aside.
  3. To assemble the bowls, divide rice mixture into serving bowls; top with lettuce, corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado and cilantro.
  4. Serve immediately, drizzled with chipotle cream sauce.
 Adapted from The Garden Grazer.


Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Container 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 371.9
Calories from Fat 102.6
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11.4g18%
Saturated Fat 4.2g21%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 13.4mg4%
Sodium 790mg33%
Total Carbohydrate 58.9g20%
Dietary Fiber 10.8g43%
Sugars 4.8g
Protein 12.7g25%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Each burrito bowl is filled with nearly 2 servings of veggies, making it easy to get to your daily goal of 7-8 servings. This recipe is also a good source of Vitamin A, folate and fibre.

Nutritional information provided by Jessica Penner, RD at Smart Nutrition.