7 Tips for Starting a New Workout Routine

So you’ve decided you want to start exercising. First off, congratulations! You’ve made the decision to enrich your life and improve your health. To help you get started on the right foot, we’ve put together this list of seven tips to keep in mind when you start a new workout routine. At Ellis Athletic Club in Newtown Square, we’re passionate about giving people the tools, knowledge, and motivation they need to reach their fitness goals. Ready to get started? Well, let’s go then!


-Start off slow

When you’re first starting a new fitness regimen, it’s important to take it easy at first. Even if you were an athlete in high school or college, if you haven’t kept up with working out, you’re not going to be at the same fitness level you once were. While it is an admirable goal to want to bench what you did when you were 17, that’s not where you should start. Work up to your goal slowly. When we get older, there are a variety of factors that cause our body to lose strength and stamina, so it’s something you have to account for. If you ignore this, you’re putting yourself at greater risk of getting injured.

-Understand your limits

As you get started, you’ll start to learn what your limits are. The human body is exceptionally adaptable. You will get more out of a workout that challenges those limits, but it’s important you don’t push it too far. If you put yourself through a punishing regimen, you’re more likely to get hurt. What happens when you get hurt? You can’t exercise, which means you can’t make progress. This is what makes working with a professional trainer — either individually or in a class — so valuable. A trainer is able to guide you up to the edge of your limits, but help you reign it in when you need to. It’s good to find a middle ground in how intense your workout is. Are you able to read a book or make a phone call while you exercise? You might need to bump it up. Are you feeling aches and pains over a week after you last hit the gym? That’s a sign you should slow down.

-It’s not just about exercise

Something that can’t be understated when discussing fitness is that exercise isn’t the only factor to consider. In order to get the most out of your new exercise regimen, you have to take a three-pronged approach. The first of these prongs is, naturally, working out. The next, and maybe most important, is your nutrition. You have to give your body the right fuel in order for your hard work to actually take hold. Finally, the prong which is too often overlooked is getting enough sleep. Your body needs enough time to repair itself, rebuild, and burn fat. This requires ample rest. That burning sensation you get after a workout? That is caused by microscopic damage being done to your muscles as you use them in a way they aren’t used to. Sleep and rest help your body recover and repair that damage to make your muscles stronger.

-Practice proper form

The number one cause of exercise-related injuries is when an exercise is done with the incorrect form. In fact, doing an exercise with the wrong form is worse for you than not doing that exercise at all. This is another area where a professional trainer can be invaluable, as they’ll guide and spot you as you work out, giving you pointers for how to maintain your form and avoid getting hurt. When you exercise with improper form, you’ll put a strain on parts of your body you’re not intending to work, while not getting the results you’re actually hoping for. Not only does this lead you to get hurt, but it also puts your goals further away than when you started.

-Using a sauna can help with recovery

As we touched on earlier, rest and recovery is a vital part of any workout routine. You should always be doing cooldown exercises before you finish for the day. One way to recover that many people swear by is using a sauna or steam room. Through the use of heat therapy, your body is able to increase its production of growth hormones, which are valuable to the process of muscle repair, as well as speed up the metabolization of fat. This will help you recover from injuries while lowering your body’s oxidation levels. Heat can even detoxify your body.

-Nutrition helps with soreness

Many people who love to work out feel great when they’re sore after a day at the gym. It’s a sign that they worked hard. However, that muscle soreness (also referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS) shouldn’t hang around too long. You can help get rid of that soreness with the right diet. When you drink enough water, you are hydrated enough to give your muscles greater elasticity, which means they’ll be strained less when you exercise. If you’re on a weight loss program, eating a high-protein diet will help a great deal as well.

-It’s a marathon, not a sprint

Maybe the most important piece of advice we can provide is this little tip about your mindset. Fitness is not a quick process. There aren’t any get-ripped-quick schemes. It’s a process, and one that you have to understand takes time. While you might not see results right away, it’s vital you don’t get discouraged. Patience is a virtue, as they say, and that’s certainly true when it comes to working out. Give it time, keep moving forward, and you’ll get there.

Beginning your journey to a healthier you is one of the best decisions you could ever make, but it’s going to take work to make it happen. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. Here in Newtown Square, you have Ellis Athletic Club to help you along the way. Whether you sign up for one of our many classes or you want to spend some quality one-on-one time with a personal trainer, we’ll help you set goals, learn proper form, and get motivated to put in the work. Call us today to learn how to get started!

The Benefits of Hiring a Personal Trainer

Imagine your life if you had a personal stylist who was responsible for doing all of your shopping. They would choose outfits that fit you perfectly, and all you would need to do was put on the clothes. What about a personal chef? They would know your dietary restrictions, cook your favorite foods, and have meals waiting for you when you got home from work.

While a personal stylist and chef are luxuries that many of us cannot afford, what about a personal trainer? If you think about it, you get the exact same value: they help you to set fitness goals, plan workouts, and stay on track. All you need is the gym membership.

Unlike personal shoppers and chefs, personal training is actually affordable!

Committing to personal training comes with a host of benefits which we’ve outlined below.

To benefit from personal training in Newtown Square, contact Ellis Athletic Center today!

1. Personalized Workouts

Everything is better personalized. When you start personal training, you’ll notice immediately that the “personal” aspect rings true. Personal training is so much more than a coach encouraging you to do more push-ups. From the beginning, your trainer will work with you to make a customized fitness plan based on your fitness goals and lifestyle.

Whether you want to shed a few pounds before a beach vacation or if you are training for an Iron Man, a personal trainer will develop an individual plan to maximize your time and effort.

Gone are the days where you walk into the gym and spend 20 minutes deciding which machine to use, ultimately retreating to your favorite treadmill. Your personal trainer will have a plan for you, so you’ll waste less mental energy on planning your workout and spend more time getting into shape!

2. Injury Prevention

If you’re prone to injury, have any specific condition that makes it harder to workout, or if you’re recovering from an injury, personal training is absolutely the route to go.

Not only will fitness coaches tell you which exercises to avoid and which ones will help, but they will also teach you how to do an exercise correctly. Those machines that were once intimidating to use will now become a routine part of your workout. Your trainer will hold you accountable to good form in every exercise you do, helping to prevent injury and build strength.

3. Fitness Education

If you’re concerned about the price of a personal trainer, think about the proverbial “giving someone fish to eat” versus “teaching someone to fish.” When you invest in a fitness coach, you learn lifelong fitness skills that will pay off long after your personal training sessions end.

You won’t just learn the proper form for a bicep curl. You’ll also learn how to plan a well-rounded exercise routine, starting with a dynamic warm-ups and ending with a proper cool down. You’ll know when to plan leg days versus arm days, or how to get a full-body workout in a short period of time.

4. Accountability

Fitness coaches hold you accountable to your fitness goals. This is actually a primary reason why many people do not hire a fitness coach — it can be scary and intimidating to sign yourself up for something that will push you physically and mentally.

Ask anyone who has stayed true to a routine with a fitness coach, though, and they’ll tell you that the hard work was absolutely worth it. Plus, hiring a fitness trainer doesn’t mean you’re signing yourself up for boot camp. Your trainer will never yell at you. They’re professionals who are experts in kinesiology and motivation.

Personal Training Newtown Square

The advantages of personal training are clear. To give this experience a try, sign up for a complimentary personal training session in Newtown Square.

Have any questions about personal training? Contact Ellis Athletic Center today for more information.

Reasons to Join a Weight Loss Program

Joining a group weight loss program might seem like a nightmare at first. You workout with other people? You have to get sweaty and participate in group fitness classes with everyone else staring at you? And you pay for this torture? No thanks.

We promise that this couldn’t be further from the truth. We know there is a lot of anxiety around joining any sort of group weight loss program, especially when self-esteem and an intense dislike of fitness might also be wrapped up into it.

There are so many advantages to joining group weight loss programs that ultimately outweigh the doubt you might have. Consider these advantages to joining our six-week weight loss program at Ellis Athletic Center and push yourself to give it a try!

Supportive, Judgement-Free Environment

When you picture a gym environment, you might think of in-shape twenty-somethings who have developed fitness routines…and muscles. It can be intimidating. When you join a weight loss program, however, you join a group of individuals who are usually at the same fitness level and have the same goal as you: weight loss.

As such, participants in these groups form incredibly strong and supportive bonds. It’s a team effort, and you’ll start to enjoy working out with other individuals who are serious about their weight loss goals.

Personal Training Sessions

During this six-week program, you get unlimited access to Ellis Athletic Center in Newtown Square and you work with a fitness coach during six small group personal training sessions.

Small group personal training sessions are one of the best ways to exercise. You benefit from the knowledge and attention of a personal trainer, but you also have a small group of individuals to motivate you and take some of the spotlight away.

Nutrition Seminars and Meal Planning

Losing weight and keeping it off in the long-term requires a holistic approach. A fitness bootcamp is no good if you don’t develop the lifestyle and nutrition habits to live a healthier life.

During our weight loss program, you attend six nutrition seminars, engage in meal planning, and start a food journal. As such, you learn and practice sustainable strategies that you can use well after the six weeks are up.

Sign Up Today

An old Chinese proverb reads, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

It’s time to lay a foundation for better health and weight loss. Sign up for this six-week program for weight loss and personal training in Newtown Square!

Contact Ellis Athletic Center today with any questions!

Questions to Ask Your Personal Trainer

Personal trainers are hired to help their clients reach fitness goals, which might entail anything from losing weight to training for a marathon. Because it is their job to get to know clients and their fitness goals, personal trainers ask a lot of good questions: what is your exercise history? What are your fitness goals? What about your diet? What type of workouts do you enjoy doing the most?

As a client, though, you should absolutely do a role-reversal and ask your personal trainers questions as well. Not only is this a great way to get to know your fitness coach, but also to see if they are the right fit for your exercise needs and personal training goals.

Ellis Athletic Center has an excellent personal training staff, and we have compiled the questions we love to hear from our personal training clients.

Where did you get certified in personal training?

Asking this question is like asking a potential new employee where they received their undergraduate degree — it both establishes legitimacy and tells you something about where this person is from and what their academic interests might be.

It’s the same with personal training. You should look for fitness training coaches with NSCA, NASM, or ACSM certifications, as those are highly-respected programs in the fitness world. When you ask your trainer this question, you not only learn that they are highly qualified, but you can also hear more about their passion for fitness.

What should I do on my own at the gym?

Your personal trainer will have a comprehensive plan for your fitness goals, so they will know what exercises you should focus on outside of personal training sessions. They might recommend more of a focus on core strength and give you the best exercises for abdominal work. They could also suggest that you attend group exercise classes, such as yoga, to improve your flexibility and endurance. No matter what they suggest, you can guarantee that it will be tailored to your specific fitness needs and preferences.

What does it mean if I feel X when I do Y?

While your personal trainer is a fitness guru, this doesn’t mean they know exactly what is occurring in your body. Your form might look perfect, but you might feel shooting pain in your knee. Similarly, if you feel frustrated doing a certain activity or bored with another exercise, give this feedback to your trainer! They can either tailor your personal training routine so that it keeps you more engaged and, most importantly, safer.

Ellis Athletic Center in Newtown Square has a dedicated personal training team here to support you with your fitness goals. We enjoy getting to know our clients, and we look forward to helping you get stronger and healthier. With both 30 and 60-minute fitness training sessions options, a weight loss program, and group training, Ellis Athletic Center can support you.

If you want to work with a personal trainer, contact Ellis Athletic Center today for a complimentary session!

FAQ: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Workouts

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a prominent trend in fitness training. Even if a fitness class or training program doesn’t explicitly market itself as HIIT, most boot camps and exercise classes incorporate HIIT components. Because it is such a popular workout model, we wanted to answer frequently asked questions about HIIT workouts so that you can learn all the hard-HIITing facts you need to start this type of training.

Question: What exactly is HIIT personal training?

Knowing what the acronym stands for (high-intensity interval training) doesn’t necessarily demystify HIIT any further. In its most basic form, HIIT exercises follow this pattern: workout really hard for a short period of time, between 30 seconds and a few minutes, and then rest. Rinse — or wipe off sweat, in this case — and repeat and you have a full HIIT class. Indeed, “intervals” refers to these periods of exertion and rest.

A sample HIIT exercise for running would be:

  • Warm-up
  • Short sprint for 8 seconds
  • Rest or walk for 12 seconds
  • Repeat for 60 sets
  • Cool down

One of the most attractive parts about HIIT training is that you can incorporate all sorts of different exercises. There is no set sequence that you must follow, so you can keep HIIT classes fresh and geared specifically toward your fitness goals. At Ellis Athletic Club, many of our personal training sessions and group fitness classes follow a HIIT structure.

Question: Why is HIIT better than other forms of exercise?

HIIT isn’t necessarily better than other exercises, as “better” depends on your health goals and fitness ability. However, HIIT certainly comes with a whole list of benefits for your fitness. Adding a dedicated HIIT routine can:

Increase your metabolism: After this type of training, your metabolism can get a boost for up to two days! Your hard work during HIIT means you continue to burn fat hours later. This is referred to as “afterburn” or “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” (EPOC).
Decrease fat: Afterburn contributes to your body burning a lot of fat. If you have weight loss goals, HIIT is particularly worth considering.
Gain muscle mass: What’s better than losing fat? Gaining muscle in its place! HIIT incorporates strength and bodyweight training, so your body increases its muscle mass while it burns fat.

Question: What makes HIIT good for personal training?

HIIT is such a great all-around workout because it keeps your heart rate elevated through the entire regimen. Even during rest, you are active and working to produce more oxygen.

When it comes to personal training, HIIT is a favorite because it allows you to maximize the time you have in the gym. Even though it involves “rest,” you’ll see as soon as you complete your first HIIT exercise that this isn’t necessarily the right word. Think of it as active rest and recovery; your body working to prepare for the next active interval.

Personal training also tends to incorporate HIIT because it is much easier to do when someone else is keeping track of the time, number of reps, and designs the interval sequence to perfectly suit your level of fitness.

Not all personal training involves HIIT, as you might be focusing more on cardiovascular stamina or proper form, but it is a well-suited for personal training sessions. The next time you are at the gym or sign up for personal training, ask more about HIIT!

Question: Are there any concerns related to HIIT?

As with any form of exercise, you want to make sure you have medical clearance and a safe foundation. According to researchers at the University of British Columbia, HIIT might cause undue stress on participants who do not already exercise. If you fall into this category, consider personal training sessions instead so that you work with a trained expert. In a fitness training session, your coach should assess your fitness, mechanics, and recommend the right exercises for you.

If you want to learn more about HIIT or living an active lifestyle, contact the fitness team at Ellis Athletic Center. We offer a range of small group exercise classes, HIIT workout classes, state-of-the-art facilities, and personal training in Newtown Square. Visit today or learn more about our membership online!

How to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

For a lot of people, the holidays are their favorite time of the year. It’s a time to celebrate with family and friends, but all of those celebrations can quickly derail your diet. Holiday festivities are typically filled with calorie-laden food and drink, and it’s tough to resist the temptation just to have a bite or two (or ten!) of your favorite holiday foods. All of the fun of the holidays is usually accompanied by some holiday weight gain, and it’s one of the reasons so many people choose to join a gym right after the New Year. But what if you could skip the weight gain while still enjoying the holidays?

It’s actually possible! Here are some tips on how to make it happen from our personal training team in Newtown Square.

Try These Tips to Keep the Weight Off During the Holidays

Make sure you are getting enough sleep.

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season often leave us sleep deprived. That puts you at risk for weight gain. When you are tired, you are much more likely to make poor decisions when it comes to your eating habits. Lack of sleep can increase your stress levels, too, making you even more likely to binge on bad food choices. Make sure you are getting in your eight hours a night and you’ll be better equipped to make smart choices for your health during the day.

Fill up on healthy foods first.

Before you head out to a party, munch on some healthy foods first. Have a salad or an apple at home because you face a buffet of tasty treats. Feeling full will help you say no to the items in front of you, and knowing that you’ve already made a smart choice for your diet will make you less likely to sabotage it later on. Keep a stock of pre-party healthy snacks at home, focusing on fruits, veggies, and proteins to help you feel full.

Eat slowly.

When you do eat at a holiday party, try to do it as slowly as possible. It takes some time for your brain to receive the message from your stomach that you are actually full; in fact, it can take about 20 minutes for those two to talk. So the slower you eat, the less likely you are to fill up on unneeded calories. Eat slowly, pausing in between bites. This will allow your stomach time to send those “I’m full!” messages to the brain.

Indulge sensibly.

An occasional indulgence is okay! It is the holiday season, after all. Treat yourself to an occasional treat, but do it sensibly. If you just can’t resist your grandmother’s fudge, have a small piece. Don’t gobble down an entire box of it. By giving yourself permission to enjoy the occasional treat, it makes it less likely that you’ll throw out all of your self-restraint and completely derail your diet.

Skip the drinks.

Holiday beverages are some of the worst offenders when it comes to calories. A couple drinks of eggnog can have you hitting your total calories for the day, and we won’t even get started on those fancy coffee beverages. Avoiding holiday beverages can help you cut calories while still being able to enjoy some of your favorite holiday foods. Drink water, tea, and black coffee throughout the holiday season and you should enter the New Year without those extra pounds!

Need More Tips for the Holidays? Our Personal Trainers Can Help!

If you want to look your best for all of those holiday parties, working with a personal trainer can help you stay accountable, motivated, and inspired to reach your fitness goals. Let’s get to work! If you are already a member, ask our team how you can get a free hour of personal training at Ellis Athletic Center. If you aren’t a member, the best time to join is now! Sign up today.


The Surprising Benefits of Small Group Training

Besides our great personal training services, Ellis Athletic Center also offers small group training in Newtown Square. This is similar to personal training; a trainer works right alongside you, helping you reach your personal fitness goals. However, in small group training, you’ll be working with a group of between four and eight people. This makes it a great option for a group of friends who are working towards a similar goal or for a small athletic team who want to refine their skills for the next game. Our trainers work with teams to help them identify their goals and then create routines and workouts that are tailored to their needs. There are a lot of great benefits to doing small group training! Check out some of our favorites.

Your Small Group Can Benefit from Training with Us!

There is more accountability.

When you are working out with a group, you can hold each other accountable. It’s easy to skip a workout when you are going to the local gym by yourself. It’s a lot harder when there is a group of people waiting for you. Accountability between small group training members can help you get results a lot faster because you attend your workouts more often.

You’ll get to workout with your friends.

It’s fun to workout with your friends! While some people prefer to workout on their own for the peace and quiet, others find this quickly gets boring. Having friends to workout with can make time at the gym less of a grind and more of a social activity. So you’ll get to reach your fitness goals while hanging out with some of the people you like the most.

You get more personal attention from your trainer.

While personal training offers the most one-on-one time, small group training is a close second. Your trainer will be able to keep an eye on your performance and give you feedback on how you can improve. It’s better than going for it yourself and hoping you are doing things correctly. This level of personal attention can help you get results from your workouts faster.

Your trainer can mix up the routine to keep you interested.

Having a personal trainer work with your group means having a knowledgeable, experienced person there who can mix up your workouts and routines to keep you interested. Going to the gym isn’t very fun if you are doing the same thing over and over. Your small group trainer will get to know what your group likes to do the best and tailor your workouts accordingly.

You might even see more results!

Many people report that small group training helps them see results faster than they do when working out on their own. That’s probably a combination of the workouts that are fun, varied, and motivating as well as spending time with friends.

Are you ready to see what small group training could do for your team or group? Get in touch with Ellis Athletic Center in Newtown Square today. We’d love to talk to you about the benefits of small group training and tell you how you can get started today!

What to Expect During Your First Personal Training Session

Here at Ellis Athletic Center in Newtown Square, we offer all of our members one free hour of personal training. This allows them to get to know our trainers, discover a workout that can help them with their goals, and learn more about how personal training can benefit their workout on a daily basis. But if you’ve never worked with a personal trainer before, signing up for that first session can be a little intimidating. We understand that! That’s why every member of our team is always happy to answer your questions before your session so you feel comfortable and get the most out of your complimentary assessment.

We’ve put together this guide to tell you more about what you can expect during your first session. If you still have questions after you’ve read this, please feel free to give us a call or fill out the form on our website and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

What Happens During Your Complimentary Assessment?

We start by talking about your goals.

This is an important step in the personal training process! That’s because personal training offers you a chance to create an exercise plan that’s tailored to help you meet your goals, so your trainer needs to know what they are. Maybe you want to lose weight, build muscle tone, or train for a marathon. Whatever it is, be honest with your personal trainer and tell them what’s bringing you to the gym.

Your trainer will evaluate your current physical abilities.

Next, your personal trainer will need to determine where you are at with your physical abilities right now. That will give them a better idea of what you’ll need to do to get to your goals. They might ask you do to a series of strength exercises, flexibility tests, or cardio endurance.

You’ll receive an individualized plan that will help you move towards your fitness goals.

Finally, your personal trainer will create a personalized plan that will help you get from where you are to where you want to be. That might include cardio and strength training as well as nutritional goals that you can meet outside of the gym. If you want on-going support, you can sign up for more personal training sessions to help you stay on track and motivated! Your trainer can create a training package that meets your needs.

Get Started At Ellis Athletic Center Today

Are you ready to meet your fitness goals? Our personal trainers can help you get there. If you are already a member of our local gym, simply let our team know you’d like to take advantage of our offer for one free hour of personal training. When you are ready for more, we’ll get you started with a plan that’s right for your individual needs. If you aren’t already a member of our gym, you can sign up and become a member today! You can even try our gym for free by signing up for a 3-day pass. Call, email, or stop by now to get started!