How Your Music Influences Your Workout

When you exercise, what do you listen to? If you’re on the fitness floor, are you channeling into what’s on TV, listening to the club’s music, or your own?

Whatever you’re tuned into, we have some good news! According to Anthony J. Yeung, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, listening to the right kind of music can take your fitness training to the next level. In fact, science suggests it can actually boost your athletic endurance and performance while helping you enjoy your training or workout program.

Some of the major benefits:

  • Boost muscle power output – meaning bigger weights & more strength gains over time!
  • Music acts as a distraction – so you can feel more comfortable & less tired during your workout
  • Lower how your heart responds – which means lower heart rates and blood pressure while you exercise
  • It can impact your autonomic nervous system – according to the research, using the correct music can generate “faster recovery and a reduction in cardiac stress after exercise.”

It turns out music can make a big difference in your fitness. Now, here’s how you can put all this information together!

So, there’s one thing to consider: When it comes to your playlist, opinion is everything. What one person might enjoy, another might strongly dislike and vice versa. Learning from the studies, the key is to always choose music you enjoy — so don’t worry about what other people (or music critics) think.

Next, have your music sync with the speed and intensity of the exercise you’re doing. It’s pretty common sense based:

  • If you’re lifting a maximum-effort weight, play music to pump you up and get you amped and excited.
  • If you’re doing a fast-paced circuit, listen to fast-paced music, which can help boost your performance.
  • If you’re doing a low-intensity activity like an easy bike ride, jog, hike, etc., pick something slightly slower so you can feel at ease while still distracting you from fatigue.
  • If you’re doing stretches, yoga, etc., listen to something gentle and relaxing so you can calm your nervous system to help you rest and recover.

Blog on music studies inspired by

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Personal Trainer Ryan Miller #FITin15

8 Reasons Why HIIT Training Works

Benefits of HIIT Training

Time is one of our most precious resources and we never seem to have enough of it. Some days, it might be easy to skip a workout because you feel that you might not have enough time to make it worthwhile. But you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to see results—you simply need to make sure that the time you do spend exercising is as efficient and effective as possible.

Here are eight reasons why you can spend less time exercising with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and still get great results:

  1. Anaerobic interval training uses the body’s reserves of energy and, after a workout, metabolism stays elevated and continues to burn calories for hours after the workout. This is due to something called the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect. With HIIT, you not only burn a lot of calories during the workout, but because of the high intensity you will continue to burn calories as your body replaces energy and repairs muscle proteins damaged during exercise.
  2. Not only does your body metabolize fat for fuel during the workout, during the post-exercise recovery period after HIIT exercise the body will tap into fat stores for the energy required to restore it to its normal resting state.
  3. Your body burns calories at a rate of 5 calories per liter of oxygen consumed. In general, using exercise to increase the oxygen demands on your body will increase total caloric expenditure both during and after the workout. Short intervals of extremely high-intensity exercise involving a lot of muscle mass require a tremendous amount of oxygen, during both the work interval and the recovery periods.
  4. HIIT produces a significant amount of metabolic waste, including hydrogen ions and lactic acid. The major reason for an active recovery interval is to remove these waste products to allow the involved muscles to perform the next high-intensity bout. As a result, HIIT workouts train your body to tolerate and quickly recover from periods of high-intensity exercise.
  5. HIIT can promote a number of physiological benefits, such as increased mitochondrial density, improved stroke volume, improved oxidative capacity of muscle and enhanced aerobic efficiency, which was previously thought to occur only as a result of long, slow distance (LSD) training protocols.
  6. HIIT places a significant amount of metabolic stress on muscle tissue. As part of the repair process, the body will produce elevated levels of human growth hormone, testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 to repair damaged muscle proteins, which lead to increases in muscle volume and definition.
  7. Many fitness clubs and workout studios are applying this science to develop group fitness programs that feature HIIT workouts in formats that are 30 minutes or less. These formats enable you to do more work and receive numerous health benefits in less time.
  8. Exercise intensity can be measured with a scale of perceived exertion, where 1 is low intensity and 10 is the highest intensity you can tolerate. For the greatest benefits, HIIT should be performed at an eight or higher for periods lasting 30 seconds or less (or to the point of breathlessness). Recovery intervals should be as long or slightly longer than the work interval (or until breathing is quick, but under control). An effective workout should have a five- to seven-minute warm-up period to elevate heart rate, a minimum of five high-intensity work intervals and a four- to six-minute cool-down period to help start the recovery process.

One of the most common misperceptions about exercise that it is necessary to spend hours busting your butt and sweating buckets to obtain benefits like weight loss, muscle growth and improved overall health and well-being. Instead of working longer, work smarter by using short intervals of extremely high-intensity exercise. HIIT is extremely effective, but it can place a tremendous amount of stress on the body. Therefore, it should only be performed two to three times a week with at least 48 hours between exercise sessions to allow a full replenishment of energy stores and to repair of involved muscle tissue. It is still possible to exercise the day after a HIIT session, but it should be a low- to moderate-intensity activity and use different muscle groups or movement patterns than those used in the high-intensity workout.

For individuals with a training goal related to increasing aerobic endurance, such as competing in a 10K, marathon or triathlon, it is still important and necessary to do high-volume LSD training. For individuals training for an endurance event, using a HIIT protocol can help to maintain your training efforts on those days when time is short and the temptation to skip a workout is at its peak.

To try out HIIT training, attend our next #FITin15! Spend a short time with an expert personal trainer to learn proper form and specific exercises to carry into your own workouts — and, have fun while doing it!

Upcoming FIT in 15 events: Saturday, April 20 at 10:30 AM | Tuesday, April 23 at 7:00 AM | Tuesday, April 23 at 6:00 PM

Article originally published by Pete McCall on

3 Major Benefits of Medicine Ball Training

Medicine ball training is so important for so many reasons. Mitch, NAC personal trainer, takes us through the why it is so important and how you can do it. Medicine ball training can increase your functional movement compared with compound exercises that only work one plane of motion. It mimics athletic and sports movements. Medicine Ball training not only uses strength, but also speed by using force. It can target the sagittal, transverse, and frontal planes, depending on which exercises you use. Did you know that medicine ball training was used as early as 1000 B.C. which ancient gladiators and Persian wrestling athletes? How cool!


Interested in training with Mitch?

Stages Flight Cycling

Top 5 Reasons to Use Power Meters in Indoor Cycling

From a few elite pro cyclists in the late ‘80s to indoor cycling studios all over the world, cycling with a power meter has become a standard both indoors and out. Here are the top reasons why teaching indoor cycling with a power meter can bring your classes and your members’ experiences to the next level!

  1. A power meter is a source of relevant and objective information

    A power meter basically measures how much work the rider is putting into the bike (resistance) and the rate at which that work is being done (cadence). In addition to measuring power in Watts, we also get data about cadence, time, distance, speed and/or calories to use for class planning or member motivation.

  2. A power meter is the perfect goal setting tool

    Using metrics such as Average Watts, Distance or Cadence gives instructors the ability to set specific goals in class. This keeps riders engaged and committed, giving them a reason to work rather than just a command. Riders can then use those goals as benchmarks to assess their level of improvement week after week.

  3. A power meter gives the rider metrics to own the ride

    Using metrics in class creates a sense of ownership in our attendees. Power is instantaneous, convenient and easy to understand: the harder you work, the higher your watts. It does not require students to invest in or wear specific equipment. Knowing how hard our riders are working allows them not only to set relevant goals but also to make the right decisions, like when to push a little harder and when to back off.

  4. A power meter promotes healthy competition

    Beating your Average Watts in four minutes by the third attempt or trying to cover the biggest distance in five minutes are just a few examples of how we can promote a sense of healthy competition in our classes, and not necessarily among the group, but within each individual. Being the best you can be is a much less daunting task when you can objectively assess how good you are!

  5. A power meter is the key to class variety

    If you keep doing what you always do, you will keep getting the same results you always get. By knowing our riders’ FTP (Functional Threshold Power) values, we get the magic number that allows us to provide classes with different intensities for different goals: Aerobic Capacity, Threshold, HIIT, etc. Providing a variety of training stimuli keeps classes fresh and exciting and the periodization of intensity increases results for everyone.

Blog written by Stages Indoor Cycling. For more on power, head over to

Exciting news! New technology for our cycling studio at the NAC is here! This top of the line technology called STAGES FLIGHT, will enhance your cycling experience at the NAC…

What is Stages Flight?
Stages Flight is a dynamic multimedia fitness experience that enables indoor cyclists to set goals and track performance! This will be used exclusively inFlight Journey cycling classes.
  • Track progress on the mega screen in the studio + on the app
  • Measure your heart rate vs. power
  • Share your workouts with friends and join leaderboards

Don’t miss our Stages Flight demo week!
March 25-30 | Select Few of Our Journey Cycling Classes 

NAC Mitch Med Ball Slam

3 Total Body Workouts with a Medicine Ball

Medicine balls are more than just good for adding weight to a set of sit-ups – these tools are easy to grip, catch, and throw, making them ideal for revving up your strength training routine. Using medicine balls are an excellent way to enhance upper body power and strength while getting a cardio work out at the same time. The medicine ball is one of the most versatile tools in fitness, and it can be applied to any goal. Here are just a few workouts — check out our fit tip with personal trainers, Mitch Blaak for even more! Watch Mitch Blaak’s Medicine Ball Video here.

Wall Balls

Stand about two feet from the wall, facing it. Make sure not to stand too far from the wall – you want to toss the ball up, not forward.

Keeping the ball at your chest, do a full squat. Stand up fast as you extend the arms and throw the ball high up against the wall. Catch it and repeat immediately. Don’t pause at any point of the movement – try to tie the squat, stand up, and arm extension together into one smooth movement.

Squat Thrusts

Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Hold the medicine ball at your chest, then do a full squat. Stand up fast as you extend your arms overhead, then bring the ball back to your chest and repeat. Try not to pause at any point and tie all the movements together into one smooth motion.

Squat Throws

Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Keep the ball at your chest and do a full squat. As you stand up, extend the arms and throw the ball up in the air. Don’t pause at any point of the movement—try to tie the squat, stand up, and arm extension together into one smooth movement.

Interested quick workouts? Fill out the form below to learn about our FIT in 15 events happening every month!

7 Ways to Spring into your Workout

Are you getting tired of your normal workout? Your body is probably adjusted to your routine and you may be mentally checked out and need some refreshing ideas!

Spring cleaning can be more than just for cleaning out your closet – use it to revamp your workout routine. Here are some ideas you can use this to do just that.

  1. Get Outside

Spring and summer are seasons dominated by unique fitness events, many of which happen in the great outdoors. For example, now’s the perfect time if you’ve been wanting to participate in a color run. And if you’d like to substitute a day at the gym with a workout outside, try some of these top calorie-burning activities.

  1. Add Strength Training

If you’re new to weight training, start simply with squats, planks, and dumbbell rows before graduating to heavier weights and more complex routines. If you’re more of a lifter, start with 15 minutes on the elliptical and gradually increase your duration until you’re really pushing it every time. By trading time in one discipline for time in the other, you’ll not only shake things up, but you’ll also complete a more rounded routine.

  1. Change your Duration

It can also be effective to play around with how often and for how long you’re working out. One week, go for two to three long workouts. The next, opt for short, intense sessions. The next, do something in-between. Experimenting in this way will keep your workouts from getting too predictable and will constantly challenge your body.

  1. Try a Different Time

Always exercise in the afternoon? Get up with the early birds a few times this week and be amazed at all that you can get done before your first cup of coffee. Or, for morning workout aficionados, see for yourself how effective a post-work session at the gym can be for releasing stress that’s built up over the day. Getting creative with your schedule will keep your workout out of the humdrum zone.

  1. Take a New Classes

Likewise, most clubs offer classes throughout the year, with new schedules released for each season. If you’ve always wanted to try that yoga or Zumba class, now might be the time. Fitness instructors are good at what they do, and you’ll find working out with a group is motivating!

  1. Commit with a Friend

If you’ve always been a lone wolf, spring is the perfect time to become a more social animal. A workout buddy is a quick way to inject enthusiasm and accountability into your daily routine, while a group training class will keep that heart pumping via new and interesting means. Just try not to get a little sweat on when you’re surrounded by so many peppy and engaged classmates.

  1. Get a Personal Trainer

When you’ve hit a rut, a fitness expert is really the best way to roll-out a workout makeover. Not only will they have a much better idea of what’s possible, but they’ll also help you build variety into your workout so you shouldn’t need to give it an overhaul for quite some time. Plus, it’s harder to make last minute cancellations when you know you’ve got someone waiting for you.

If your are interested in changing your workout – come try our new FIT in 15 workout events happening every month! For more information please fill out the form below.

How will you freshen up your stale workout? Let us know in the comments below!

Blog originally published by

NAC Trainer Ryan Miller

FIT in 15

Is it really possible to be fit in just 15 minutes? Spend a short time with an expert personal trainer to learn proper form and specific exercises to carry into your own workouts — and, have fun while doing it! #FITin15

The workouts will vary month to month so you can always learn something new for your workout routine.

Upcoming FIT in 15 events:

Saturday, April 20 at 10:30 AM

Tuesday, April 23 at 7:00 AM

Tuesday, April 23 at 6:00 PM

To reserve your #FITin15 spot, please fill out the form below.

NAC Warm Up Stretch

How to Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Done correctly, warming-up and cooling-down may offer help in reducing your risk of injury and improving your athletic performance.

Before you jump on the elliptical machine or hit the running trails, consider doing a brief warm-up first. And, think about following your workout with a quick cool-down session. Sure, a warm-up and cool-down may add a few minutes to your exercise routine, but they also might reduce stress on your heart and other muscles.

Why warm-up and cool-down?

Warm-ups and cool-downs generally involve doing your activity at a slower pace and reduced intensity.

Warming-up helps prepare your body for aerobic activity. A warm-up gradually revs up your cardiovascular system by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles. Warming-up may also help reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury.

Cooling-down after your workout allows for a gradual recovery of pre-exercise heart rate and blood pressure. Cooling-down may be most important for competitive endurance athletes, such as marathoners, because it helps regulate blood flow. Cooling-down doesn’t appear to help reduce muscle stiffness and soreness after exercise, but more research is needed.

Although there’s controversy about whether warming-up and cooling-down can prevent injuries, proper warm-ups and cool-downs pose little risk. Plus, they seem to give your heart and blood vessels a chance to ease into — and out of — an exercise session. So if you have the time, consider including a warm-up and cool-down in your workout routine.

How to warm-up:

Warm-up right before you plan to start your workout. In general, warm-up by focusing first on large muscle groups, such as your hamstrings. Then you can do exercises more specific to your sport or activity, if necessary.

Begin by doing the activity and movement patterns of your chosen exercise, but at a low, slow pace that gradually increases in speed and intensity. This is called a dynamic warm-up. A warm-up may produce mild sweating, but generally won’t leave you fatigued.

Examples of warm-up activities:

  • To warm-up for a brisk walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes.
  • To warm-up for a run, walk briskly for five to 10 minutes.
  • To warm-up for swimming, swim slowly at first and then pick up the tempo as you’re able.

How to cool-down:

Cooling-down is similar to warming-up. You generally continue your workout session for five minutes or so, but at a slower pace and reduced intensity.

Examples of cool-down activities:

  • To cool-down after a brisk walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes.
  • To cool-down after a run, walk briskly for five to 10 minutes.
  • To cool-down after swimming, swim some leisure laps for five to 10 minutes.

A word about stretching:

If stretching exercises are part of your workout routine, it’s best to do them after the warm-up or cool-down phase, when your muscles are already warm.

Stretching can improve range of motion about a joint and flexibility. Stretching may also help improve your performance in some activities by allowing your joints to move through their full range of motion. However, studies haven’t consistently shown that stretching helps prevent muscle soreness or injury.

Be kind to your body:

Finding time for regular aerobic workouts — plus warming up and cooling down — can be challenging. But, with a little creativity, you can probably fit it in. For example, walking to and from the gym can be your warm-up and cool-down.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To read the Mayo Clinic’s full article, please visit 

FIT in 15 events coming soon!

Every month the NAC will have a 15 minute workout event that will highlight a personal trainer and get you warming-up or cooling-down for your workouts! The FIT in 15 events will begin at the top of the hour so feel free to pop-in wherever you are in your workout.

If you are interested in learning about the NAC’s FITin15 workouts and how to add warming-up and cooling-down to your workout please fill out the form below. 

NAC Weight Training

Women and Weight Training

Every day, more women are moving from the cardio room to the weight room. It’s a welcome transition; getting stronger can transform their self-esteem, confidence and self-efficacy. Supporting your female clients’ strength-training ambitions is fundamental to their long-term success. Women and girls enjoy a wealth of benefits from resistance exercise. To name a few: reduced […]

Switch Up Your Workout Routine with These NEW Keiser Exercises

Our Personal Trainer, Zach Cleale, takes us through 3 different movements for Keiser machines. He includes the proper form and how to perform each exercise effectively!

Want to train with Zach, Jake, or any of our trainers? Fill our the form below!