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Lydia’s Journey Through AbsoluteFIT: “Checking In – 2 Month Progress Report”

via – Lydia M.

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Another 1.5 pounds down on the scale. Another inch off my waist. And a feeling of invincibility — now, that’s a good month’s work!

Checking In: 2-Month Progress Report

If you’ve been around AVAC® lately, you’ve likely seen the AbsoluteFIT flyer starring me — it’s all over the place, heh. (A friend who’s an AVAC® member sent me a pic of it from her phone with the concise commentary: “LOL”). It felt a little weird, agreeing to put myself “out there” like that, but I’m pretty dang proud of how my hard work has paid off, so … there I am, in print, telling it like it is.

And about that hard work and the payoff: I just had my second monthly check-in with my coach, Oceana. The results?

Another 1.5 pounds down on the scale. Another inch off my waist. Body fat percentage and BMI holding steady (although nicely reduced in the tricep and hip measurements). But that’s just the numbers.

The true measure of progress is how I feel now, which is: frickin’ invincible. I’m standing taller, I sleep more soundly, I have more energy — I’m even more efficient at running. (Once a week or so, if I can’t make an AbsoluteFIT session, I’ll run on the treadmill instead; 4.25 miles in 45 minutes — which is actually pretty smokin’ fast for me — and it just feels like it doesn’t cost me anything, whereas a distance like that at a speed like that would have been a real slog a couple of months ago.)

I know I’ll continue to see healthy gains — and I honestly look forward to my workouts every day. Come on in and try it yourself!

– Lydia M. 

Ready, Set, Go?!

Via – Cathie F., Team AVAC

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Ready, Set, Go?!

Starting tomorrow, we are off and running into the Holiday Season.  It seems like only yesterday we had turned the corner into 2014.  For me, this year brought many changes, most of them pretty good, and several had to do with getting fit.  This year saw me change some of my eating habits, cutting out sugar for about 4 months, which had a benefit of me feeling better, and an added bonus of losing some weight.  Always a plus (or minus!) in my book.  I took up running, which I must admit I am not still in love with, but I realize definitely contributes to a healthy lifestyle.  I’ve taken several of our AbsoluteFit classes, all of which provide an incredible workout with trainers who make the workout fun, and are able to tailor what I am doing to my fitness level.  Then after about a 30 year hiatus, I also headed back out to the tennis courts here at AVAC.  I am having the time of my life as I participate in the clinics put on by Ken DeHart, Manny Fernandez, and the rest of our amazing Tennis Team.  If you haven’t tried them yet, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so.

This leads me up to the upcoming holiday time.  Starting with Halloween and running through Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Day we will be running around decorating, gift buying, baking, and gathering with friends and family.  It is a season that is full of fun and fellowship, but oftentimes can be overly stressful.  I want to encourage all of you, and myself, to look at what is really important, and let go of the “stuff” that we often get wrapped up in.  First, I would encourage you not to give up your healthy habits.  Make sure to put on your calendar time to exercise, whether it is a class, or a time to meet up with a friend for a walk at one of the many amazing parks in our area.  The holidays are a time of sweets, from Halloween candy, to Pumpkin pie, to the myriad of cookies that the season brings.  Be choosy about what you eat.  I will tell you that there is no way that I will not be eating my favorite sweets, but I am going to try to be more mindful of when I do so.   Try to plan some “me” time, when you do nothing but rest and relax, recharging your batteries.  And most importantly, enjoy this time with family and friends.  These are the treasures that can’t be bought, wrapped up, and given away, and they are truly what we should be celebrating!

Let’s finish “the race” of 2014 strongly, healthfully, and surrounded by our loved ones.  And then we can look to 2015 to be even more exciting!

-Cathie F., Team AVAC

What’s on YOUR Playlist?

A workout playlist – if done right – can be just the thing to pick you up and keep you going! What’s on YOUR playlist?

via Web MD | By Robyn Abree

Music and Your Workout

music playlist

photo via popsugar.com

Music could make your workout better by helping you last longer and enjoy it more.

You just have to know what types of tunes to put on your playlist.

Music can motivate you to work longer and harder, says David-Lee Priest, PhD, a psychologist and researcher at University of East Anglia, Norwich, England.

Fast music, especially, can help, because it distracts you from getting tired or wanting to stop exercising, Priest says.

There’s a catch: If the music is too fast, it probably won’t help your performance, enjoyment, or endurance, says Costas Karageorghis, PhD, a sports psychology expert at Brunel University in London.

“Findings show there is a sweet spot, in terms of tempo, between 120 and 140 beats per minute,” says Karageorghis, who has studied the effects of music on exercise for more than 20 years.

The Music Advantage

How you respond to music also depends on who you are. If, like most people, you work out at a moderate level a couple of times a week, music is definitely a plus. It’s like the “cheese sauce on top of the broccoli,” Priest says. That is, you can tolerate exercise better if you’re listening to music.

But if you’re an elite athlete, or if you work out a very intense level, you’re already so into it that music may not give you as much of an edge.

Choosing Your Exercise Playlist

Listen to anything you want.  If you like, you can check the beats per minute (bpm) on an app.

Choose songs that mirror your heart rate, depending on the level of exercise, Karageorghis suggests.

For instance, he recommends slower songs that have tempos within the 80-90 bpm range, like “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes or “Twilight” by Cover Drive, when you’re warming up or cooling down.

As you pick up the pace to a moderately intense level, Karageorghis says songs within the 120-140 bpm range are ideal — such as “Starships” by Nicki Minaj (125 bpm), “Domino” by Jessie J (127 bpm), and “Turn Me On,” by David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj (128 bpm). Songs over 140 bpm are unlikely to improve workouts, he says.

Watch the Volume

Take it easy on your ears.

In the short run, there are few consequences to listening to music too loudly, says audiologist Marshall Chasin, director of auditory research at the Musicians’ Clinics of Canada. Blasting music on your iPod during a workout may lead to slight pressure, ringing in your ears, and temporary hearing loss. In most cases, hearing will recover fully in about 16-18 hours, Chasin says.

But if you make it a habit, listening to very loud music on headphones can cause permanent damage, says Brian Fligor, director of diagnostic audiology at Boston Children’s Hospital.

In some severe cases, people who blast their music for extended periods of time may develop chronic tinnitus – permanent ringing in the ear. Follow Fligor’s advice: If you use headphones, follow the “80 for 90 rule.” This means that it is safe to listen to music on a portable device, such as an iPod, at 80% of the maximum level for no more than 90 minutes a day. Any more than that, and you risk overworking the ear, he says.

Moderation is a good plan, Chasin says. “If it’s your favorite song, by all means turn up your iPod,” he says. “Just turn it down afterward to a reasonable level.” And if you overwork your ears one day, keep things quiet for the next few days.

Let’s say you cranked the volume too high during a workout on Friday. For the rest of the weekend, limit the volume to 50% or 60% of the maximum level, Chasin says. That won’t undo any damage from blasting your music on Friday — it just prevents super-loud music from becoming a habit.

Fligor also suggests using sound-isolating headphones that hush background noise. That might make it easier to dial down the volume, since you don’t have to drown out other sounds.

Just [be careful wearing] wear your headphones if you’re exercising outdoors. You need to be able to hear traffic and other things going on around you, for safety’s sake.


AbsoluteFIT: Sara & Donna’s Stories

sara donna


I’ve always been one to enjoy solo workouts- whether it is running sprints in the hills by Lexington reservoir, a track workout at my old high school, or the usual weights session at AVAC with music blasting through my headphones. I’ve been playing competitive sports since I was 4 years old so exercise has always been a part of my daily routine. Group exercise has never really been something I would try, but my lovely co-worker Donna finally convinced me to try an AbsoluteFit class with her this month and I absolutely love it. We went to Marcy’s Core and Cardio class and are now regulars. Marcy was able to handle the different fitness levels of all participants in the class and modify moves for different people, when necessary. She was upbeat and kept me pumped up throughout the entire class, even during the scissor kick exercise. Now, every time Marcy sees me she asks how I’m feeling and what classes I will be coming to next. It’s things like this that make me want to keep coming to her classes…even though she totally kicks my buttJ. I’ve even branched out and tried Marie’s total body circuit which is a great option for anyone who enjoys an outdoor workout. I’m glad Donna talked me into trying these classes with her because it’s turned into a fun thing we get to do together each week.


Core is my weakness and cardio is a struggle for me.  It’s been over a year since I have really been able to push myself to go work out, so I decided to try what everyone keeps raving about -AbsoluteFit. I took Marcy’s Cardio and Core class as a starting point for myself to get back into a routine to get in shape. The energy of her class is so motivational. Not only are you getting a great workout, but you are having fun while doing it. I honestly never felt so excited to work out until after taking her class, now it’s something I look forward to. It is 45 minutes of high intense interval training, short and sweet, and just enough time to fit in my busy schedule. I enjoy working out in a small group setting, and no matter what level you are at, or what limitations you may have, Marcy is great at modifying your workout and still making you feel at pace with the rest of the team. Marcy goes above and beyond just putting you through an awesome workout, she follows up with you. She came to find me in the club the next day to ask how I was feeling and to make sure I was following up with nutrition and exercises for recovery. AbsoluteFit has helped me build more of routine for myself and give me more of a reason to want to work out.

Whether you only like to work out by yourself or it’s just been awhile since you’ve been in the gym, we suggest giving AbsoluteFit a try. It’s a great way to start your workout routine back up or take it to a new level if you have hit a plateau. Here at AVAC, there is something for everyone…and AbsoluteFit could be that ‘something’ for you!

– Sara & Donna, TeamAVAC

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Lydia’s Journey Through AbsoluteFIT — The Train Gang: What’s it like in the studio?

via – Lydia M.


Nobody brings out that bummer nonsense about “working off” ice cream/wine/chocolate/whatever. The focus is on increasing your personal best.

The Train Gang: What’s it like in the “studio”?

My friends who know I’m doing this (which is all of them, because I cannot shut up about it — sorry, y’all!) sometimes ask me what the sessions are actually like — not just the workouts, but the people and the environment. Here’s a quick rundown of my impressions over the past six weeks:

  • There’s no fat-phobia or fat-shaming. I cannot tell you what a relief it is to not have that kind of negative self-talk or criticism of others in this environment — it’s a revelation! Nobody even brings out that bummer nonsense about “working off” ice cream/wine/chocolate/whatever. The focus is on increasing your personal best.
  • My fellow “trainees” are all kinds of people — women outnumber the men, but it’s all ages, shapes and sizes, and all levels of strength and skill at different times. What unites us is our shared desire to get stronger and fitter. And sometimes our awe when someone is absolutely nailing it — that never gets old.
  • Each session is full of friendly faces — pleasant greetings, brief hi-how-are-you conversations before we get cranking, encouragement at every turn. People want to be here, and the vibe is contagious.
  • There’s definitely an etiquette, but don’t worry — what you don’t grok on your own, your workout pals will help you out with. For instance: The way we space ourselves in the room, depending on how many people are there; the direction in which we rotate after each move in a circuit; the courtesy flip of the mat between each use; the all-hands equipment wipe down at the end of the session. Some of the stuff I figured out, and some I learned from the veterans — it’s all very logical and orderly.
  • Sometimes it’s hard because the workouts are tough, but sometimes it’s harder because Jon (one of the trainers) is making everyone laugh when we’re trying to do a particularly difficult core exercise. (Seriously — YOU try doing that dang crisscross leg thing while he’s butchering his “Danger Zone” singalong! ha!)

Anything specific you wanna ask me? Hit me up in the comments — or in the studio!

—Lydia M.