The Plex Fitness Report
Here, our highly-qualified team will tackle everything from germs to gym etiquette. If you’re fitness focused and curious about the world around you, please subscribe to The Plex Fitness Report!
by Chase Livingston
If we want to build a strong life, we are going to need strong bodies. This entails more than just getting large biceps or being able to lift hefty amounts of weight. It means building upon a solid foundation that will enable us to progressively grow without sacrificing our muscular integrity and putting ourselves at risk for injury.
Building a solid foundation involves making sure our core muscles and stabilization muscles are doing their job, so our prime movers and their counterparts can work properly. When this is compromised, we end up with what is known as synergistic dominance, or worse, muscular imbalances.
From years of sitting at a desk and neglecting proper posture, many of us have developed tight hips, an overactive chest, and an underactive lower back. This will manifest itself in the body with an arch in our lower back, rounded shoulders and our heads protruding forward. Our smartphones and computers which provide hours of scrolling through social media feeds do not assist much with this.
Most of us out there carry these imbalances with us. I, myself, am going through corrective exercises to help restore balance and muscular integrity to my body. It’s taken us years to get to this place and it’s something that won’t fix itself immediately. Fortunately, there are things we can do to fix this problem.
First, we must become more aware of our bodies. We don’t pay enough attention to ourselves when we slouch or go through the same repetitive motions that cause these ailments. Bringing awareness to our posture and the parts of our body that ache can help tremendously. Second, take frequent breaks at work and use your breaks efficiently. Go for a short walk or stand up and stretch at the very least. Third, speak to a professional about getting a postural analysis assessment and pinpointing exactly where your imbalances are.
Here at The Plex, we have multiple personal trainers who are professionally qualified to help you find out where your muscular imbalances are located. We can offer specific exercises on how to correct these imbalances with a workout program to prevent them from returning. This will lay the foundation for us to continue building the body and lives we desire.
Chase Livingston is a certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports and Medicine. He holds both Yoga and Meditation certifications, and he enjoys helping others unify mind, body, and spirit.
Written by Russel Roeger
It’s necessary to train the body in a way that simulates real life motion. It’s rare that we use one muscle group at a time in an isolated way. Think of getting up in the morning and rolling out of bed, or just getting up off the floor after some core work. Without thinking about it, you are using every muscle in your body at the same time. In the same way, a Power Clean forces you to move your whole body together to perform the exercise. When you perform the Power Clean you are activating your entire posterior chain which includes all the muscles of the back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. You’re also using your traps and arm muscles. This is a great exercise to create more strength for sports or just to become a more rounded and efficient weight lifter!
The Power Clean, also simply known as a Clean, is an Olympic lift exercise that utilizes all the muscles of the body in unison. It’s great to train muscles and muscle groups in an isolated way to maximize growth and easily plan rest time.
To perform the Power Clean properly, there are a few things to pay close attention to regarding your form to make sure you don’t injure yourself. The most important thing is to make sure you’ve properly warmed up your body and are ready to perform the exercise. Always listen to your body! Make sure the weight is a manageable for you. You should have an idea of your weight limit based on other exercises you use. If you’re not sure of a proper weight, then always start light and work up to a heavier weight. If you’ve never performed the exercise before, it’s smart to have a spotter.
Proper form consists of 6 key points:
- Your feet should be placed slightly wider than the hips, or your usual squatting distance.
- Drop the hips. Keep your back straight from hips to the top of the back. Keep your chin up and arms straight down and under your shoulders. The bar should be close to the legs and shoulders over the barbells. Drive up through your heels, keeping your back straight and at the same angle until your legs are extended. This is a quick power move.
- From there, you stand upright, pulling the bar straight up until you’re fully extended. Then, push your hips forward at the top for the last bit of power.
- From there, you squat back down, pulling yourself under the bar by rotating your grip and elbows underneath it until it’s resting at shoulder height and against your neck in a front squat position. Continue your squat to absorb the weight of the bar as it falls back down.
- At the bottom of the squat, push the bar up in that position, driving again from the heels.
- Rinse and repeat! Doing 3 to 4 sets of 6-8 reps is a good starting point!
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About the Author
Russell is a certified personal trainer and an under-grad in the TAMUT Kinesiology Program. He regularly helps clients increase their confidence in accomplishing goals that lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Written by Carmen Engledowl
Pregnancy is exhilarating, exciting, and life-changing. You might be flaunting glowing skin, great hair, and loads of energy. On the other hand, it is also exhausting, stressful, and scary. The miracle of life sometimes means Mommy is uncomfortable and dealing with heartburn, mood swings, and morning (er’ all-day) sickness. Things are swollen, hormones are causing acne in places, and the forgetfulness that is pregnancy-brain is inconveniencing daily life. It’s important to find support and friendship. Connecting and chatting with others who are going through the same thing as you can make you feel so much better about all the “extra” things that come along with pregnancy. The gym is a great place to do that!
There are so many benefits to staying active throughout your pregnancy. Regular exercise during and after pregnancy can alleviate pain, improve posture, build the stamina needed for labor and delivery, and relieve stress. Doctors are increasingly encouraging women to exercise regularly, both during and after their pregnancies. Both pregnancy and the labor process take a lot out of you, so these exercises can help you keep your strength and endurance up to at least make the process a little easier!
Don’t just take our word for it! Even the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) tote the benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle for pregnant women saying, “Women who begin their pregnancy with a healthy lifestyle (e.g., exercise, good nutrition, non-smoking) should be encouraged to maintain those healthy habits. Those who do not have healthy lifestyles should be encouraged to view the preconception period and pregnancy as opportunities to embrace healthier routines.” Additionally, “Pregnancy is an ideal time for behavior modification and for adopting a healthy lifestyle because of increased motivation and frequent access to medical supervision.” If you don’t have the healthiest lifestyle now, what better reason to start than having a little person inside you being dependent on your health? Don’t just start being healthy for yourself, do it for your baby too!
The ACOG assures us that there is minimal risk in engaging in regular exercise during pregnancy. They actually found that it improves or maintains physical fitness, helps with weight management, reduces the risk of gestational diabetes in obese women, and enhances psychological well-being!
All workouts, including ones for those who are expecting, should include aerobic or cardio work, strength training, and stretching.
Here are some areas to focus on when pregnant and that you can expect to do in our Prenatal Fitness Class:
1. Strengthening your three-dimensional core musculature to help keep the lumbopelvic complex from making postural shifts that lead to pain. Incorporate exercises like the wood chop or the side plank.
2. Focus on the posterior chain to counteract all the added weight on the front of the body. Strengthen the upper back and glutes, as well as mobilize the lower back. Bent over rows, glute bridges, and cat-cow yoga poses
3. Babies in utero can drop the pelvic floor up to an inch, so it is important to make sure your body is strong and prepared. Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor are recommended before, during, and after pregnancy. Focus on contraction and active relaxation of these muscles.
If you would like some guidance and support, come join our Prenatal Fitness Group X class! We are now offering a class that is made just for our expecting mommies! In this class we will start out with cardio to warm up for strength training with both body weight and free-weights and then move on to mobility and stability exercises. It’s the perfect class to help relieve those aches and pains pregnancy can cause while strengthening the body and keeping both mommy and baby healthy! Come hydrated, dressed comfortably, and ready to move!
Consult your physician or OB-GYN before beginning any new workout regimen. We will have a short prenatal information form for you to fill out as well in order to ensure we offer you attentive care during the class. Pregnant women who have experienced vaginal bleeding, premature rupture of membranes, or are at risk for preterm labor should not engage in exercise and will not be able to participate in this class.
Carmen is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise and holds a specialty in Prenatal/Postnatal Fitness. She’s a mother of two
We will be hosting a scrumdiddlyumptious Willy Wonka themed fall festival, WonkaFest, Saturday, October 27 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at The Sportsplex! WonkaFest is a free event the whole family will enjoy. There will be several fun activities for everyone to participate in, concession stands, vendor booths from local and area businesses, and a sweet shop.
There will be a costume contest at the beginning of the event, starting at 10:00 am. There will be three categories: 0-3 years old, 4-12 years old, and family/group (three or more people). The first-place winner in each category will receive a cash prize of $100! Several other carnival-style games will be available for children to play. Winning the games will give players a chance of either winning a prize or a mark towards receiving a Golden Ticket. Golden tickets can be redeemed for BINGO cards. Several fabulous prizes will be available for those participating in the BINGO game from designer bags, to bicycles, and more! There will also be a sweet shop set up in the Klondike Academy daycare center where attendees can purchase confections from local bakers and confectioners or fill grab-bags with free candy and sweets.
All proceeds will be donated to benefit Nash Elementary School. If anyone is interested in attending WonkaFest, you can RSVP on the event on The Plex’s Facebook page. This is going to be a fun event, and we can’t wait to see everyone there!
Interested in becoming a vendor at this event? Contact Suki O’Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how.
Whether you’re a business owner or employee, we’re offering a $10 discount for corporate gym memberships for businesses with 5 or more members at The Plex. If you enroll this month, you will receive your first month FREE and your second month half-off!
Why should you join The Plex? We offer:
• Child Care
• 45 Group Exercise Classes a Week (Including: Spin, Body Pump, Hot Yoga, and More!)
• 2 Swimming Pools
• Cardio Floor
• Locker Rooms
• Personal Training
• Athletic Training for Adults and Children
• And So Much More!
If the gym you and your co-workers attend doesn’t offer these services, you might be in the wrong gym. So, why don’t you come give us a try?
All of us here at The Plex are happy to announce that we have an amazing new Fitness Director. You know him, you love him, everyone give a big round of applause for Billy Creutz!
We are so excited for Billy in his new position, and we know we’re going to go far under his leadership. We couldn’t have asked for a better person to fill the position than Billy. He is a powerhouse of ideas and energy, the perfect kind of person to take on the job.
Nationally accredited with academic distinction by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Billy has been serving the Four States area for 3 years as a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and group fitness director. A 20-year Air Force veteran, Billy is no stranger to performance training and group exercise. After retiring from the Air Force and joining the Civilian Sector, Billy discovered that he could continue aiding people in pursuing their personal and professional fitness goals and was blessed to find a new home waiting for him at the Sportsplex. Billy is committed to developing and delivering a diverse catalog of the finest quality original group exercise content to our fitness family and the larger Four States area.
So, everyone, if you see Billy, be sure to give him congratulations!
It’s that time of year again… Summer! It’s already really hot out, so we’re sure you’re ready to make a splash out in the pool.
Don’t know how to swim? Well, we’ve got that covered too!
We’re about to start up this year’s swim lessons, taught by Collier Cordray. Collier has over three years of experience, so you or your kiddos will be in safe hands! Our lessons are available for anyone from ages three and up.
We are offering both private and group lessons. Our group beginner lessons will be happening in the morning, while our group intermediate lessons will be held in the afternoon. For a private swim lesson, call us at 903-838-4697. Our private lessons are first come first serve, so you better act fast!
Students will learn basic swimming techniques such as proper swim form, how to hold breath underwater, how to control breathing while swimming, how to blow bubbles, and more! Our intermediate classes will focus on honing the skills mentioned above to help our students to become even better and stronger swimmers.
Private lessons are $300 for members and $380 for non-members, while group lessons are $200 for members and $280 for members.
Are your young athletes ready to take athletics training to the next level? You don’t want your young sports stars to fall out of practice over the summer, and there’s no better way to keep them in tip top shape than enrolling them in the XLR8 summer program! XLR8 will strengthen the skills of the athletes enrolled and help them tap into potential that they didn’t even know was there.
The summer open enrollment for classes will run through the end of May. Training will begin on June 4 and will continue until August 9. For students involved in football and volleyball, the training season is a bit shorter, ending on July 29 before the season begins at school. Training opportunities are available for every athlete from kindergarten to the professional level. They don’t have to be the best player, but they have to have the drive to get there! Students need to come and be prepared to be pushed to the limit so that they can surpass what they thought they were capable of. Classes run for an hour and are offered several times a week. Each class is broken down into age groups, so no one has to worry about being put in a group with athletes much older than them!
Get yourself or your student athletes ready for the fall season by training with XLR8. Focus on increasing endurance, building strength, raising speed, and conditioning muscles, so that you or your athlete will be at peak performance at whatever sport is played.
If you sign up by May 18, you will receive $50 off your registration!
To register, or for more information, call John Clack at 903-908-7105 or Dave Welch at 903-733-7105. You can also check out the website here!
This year, in observance of Every Kid Healthy Week, HealthCARE Express and The Sportsplex want to help celebrate and support sound nutrition, regular physical activity, and other health-promoting programs.
What is Every Kid Healthy Week (EKHW)? EKHW is a weeklong national observance during the week of April 23-27 (So it’s coming soon!) created to bring health consciousness and awareness to the forefront of the minds of parents and children. EKHW focuses on improving health and wellness of children not only so that they can lead healthier and happier lives, but doing so also helps them become better prepared to learn in school! A healthy body equals a healthy mind, after all.
HealthCARE Express and The Sportsplex will be hosting different events during the week, doing something special each day to bring attention to EKHW.
Monday, April 23rd you can join HealthCARE Express and their lovable mascot, Klondike, as they go for a stroll around the park (will be specified what park when that info becomes available). Tuesday will follow with us hosting a family fitness night! Bring your whole family to The Plex and exercise together. Kids learn by example, so there’s no better way to let them know how to be healthy than by showing them! On Wednesday, (name of store) will be hosting a healthy snack taste testing event! Come and try out different fruits, vegetables, and other snacks to find healthy alternatives to food you and your children may be eating. Thursday will be the return of our successful, Yoga in the Park event out at Spring Lake Park! Come out with your children and learn how to do yoga together. Everyone there is of varying skill levels, so don’t worry about you or your children embarrassing yourselves. Finally, on Friday EKHW cumulates with us finishing the week off at (name of business) where you can bring your kids for a healthy and fun time!
Along with these daily activities, we will also be posting daily challenges to our Facebook page, so be sure to check in every day to see what we will have going on! If you post pictures or videos of you and your family participating in these challenges you will be entered in a drawing for an awesome prize! Each day you participate counts as another entry, so participate in the challenges every day for better odds!
Sounds fun, right? We can’t wait to see what you guys do to helps us celebrate this week!
Your family at The Plex
How’s it going everyone?
We here at The Plex would like to proudly introduce our OUTSTANDING Members of the Month: Michelle Haselow and Janice Norton! These lovely ladies can definitely serve as an inspiration to all of us, whether you are taking your first steps toward fitness, or you’re well on your way of your fitness journey. Watch this awesome video to hear their stories and why they decided to get fit. Who knows? Maybe you’ll learn a little something from them.