Summer is here, school is out, and there are so many fun-in-the-sun things to do. But before you head out to the pool, make time for a quick workout. You can even workout by the pool with this 20-minute circuit.

Helya Glen, owner of The Studio Ventura, CA, put together a quick and effective total body circuit workout that can be done with minimum equipment at home, in your garage, outside or at your gym.

This workout features very dynamic pieces of equipment – kettlebells and the Core Hammer. If you haven’t had a chance to see or experience the Core Hammer in action, here are a few things you should know. This portable and versatile FUNctional training tool can be used to complete a sledgehammer workout without a tire.

The head is made of solid urethane that will absorb and dissipate the force so you can strike the ground at the gym, in your driveway or in your yard. The long lever and distally loaded end provide endless options to increase core strength and cardio conditioning through a variety of mobility, rotational and impact exercises.

Once you have mastered Helya’s circuit, head over to MostFit’s Training Page to see more moves you can do with the Core Hammer. Switch out Helya’s two Core Hammer moves with two more from MostFit and you will find yourself with plenty of “hammertime” moves to use all summer long.

Get your hands on the Core Hammer and a variety of other products offered LIVE at a MANIA® near you!




Dilemma: You have a client who is dedicated to cardio training but isn’t losing weight.

Solution: Strength training.

While this may seem like a foreign concept, in reality, strength training can lead to a considerable amount of fat loss without spending any time on a treadmill.

Muscle mass is one of the key factors that contributes to an increase in metabolic rate, so if you’re lacking in muscle, your metabolism will be lower. You could be putting in hours of endurance-based exercise, but if you are not incorporating strength training, you may not see results. Remember, too, that training exclusively for cardio endurance may raise the risk of lowering your muscle mass percentage, which will make it hard to lose those extra pounds.

Strength training provides the foundation for the ability to perform daily tasks at all ages. The greater the base level of strength, the greater the ability to perform athletic movements that allow us to burn more calories. The amount of strength also determines our work capacity and energy expenditure.

It may be impossible to tone, as suggested in workout magazines and videos, but it is possible to define or get better muscle definition. Definition occurs when muscle is built and fat around the muscle is lost making the muscle more visible. The increased amount of lean muscle mass relative to the amount of fat mass on the body will result in a loss of fat percentage. The result: You will continue to burn calories while at rest, at work, on the couch or even in bed!

Benefits to adding a weekly strength training program:

  • An increase in metabolic rate and calorie burning
  • An increase in function and the ability to perform activities of daily living
  • Faster fat loss
  • Lower blood pressure and blood lipids
  • An enhanced physique, shape, and muscle definition
  • An increase in self-esteem
  • An increase in exercise adherence

When strength training to promote fat loss, full body movements in no less than three workouts per week are the recommended option. The sessions will utilize a large amount of muscle recruitment and a greater need for recovery, which stimulates the continuous calorie burn. Experts recommend that you start slowly and progress when muscle fatigue is no longer felt at a given weight load or duration.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that strength training exercises be performed 3-5 times a week for 8-10 reps and that programming moves from push to pull exercises allowing for muscular balance. The recommendation is the same for all ages, from teens to the elderly.

To add strength training to a routine, circuit from one push machine to the next in a simple “round” of exercises. Select a weight load that will allow one to feel fatigue in the correct muscle within 8-12 repetitions. Breathe in a rhythmical pattern and keep the spine in natural alignment.

Strength training might be the best way to increase metabolism, but to get the full effect, all five aspects of a physically fit body must be addressed:

  • Include variety and/or progression in exercise programming
  • Make time for planned recovery and rest
  • Increase water intake
  • Consume more frequent, mini meals
  • Add fiber to daily nutritional plan

Muscle is the machinery that will make you leaner. Protect it, feed it, rest it, and above all, stimulate it on a regular basis.


Come to a MANIA® LIVE near you and try a Strength Training or WATERinMOTION® class!

Visit and learn more about WATERinMOTION® at

Click HERE to get a taste of what WATERinMOTION® Platinum is all about!

Ann Gilbert is the owner of three Shapes Fitness for Women franchises in Tampa Bay. Ann is the Program Director for WATERinMOTION® Platinum as well as a Master Trainer for WATERinMOTION®. Ann has been awarded the ACE / IHRSA Personal Trainer of the Year in 2001 and has been a speaker at industry conventions since 2002. Ann is seen locally on Fox 13, Good Day Tampa Bay.



The Gluteus Maximus is largest muscle in the body. It’s used for climbing stairs and sitting erect in a chair, and it led to Kim Kardashian’s fame. However, two other muscles that make up your posterior chain are often overlooked: the gluteus minimus and medius. These muscles are responsible for stabilization of the pelvis and abduction as you stand and walk. The strength of these muscles, or lack thereof, has been shown to have significant impact on several knee pathologies and injuries according to an Abstract published by Powers in 2010.

Why such an impact? It is all about alignment of the leg each time you walk, run, or stand. If your leg is at an increased angle, it will produce more “load” on the knee resulting in injury. Using a diagnostic tool called an EMG, clinicians can measure the timing, strength, and duration of muscle firing. Reviewing the use of this data, Barton et al confirmed the role of gluteal muscles in pulling the leg and knee joint into the correct alignment. Weakness in the hip muscles was found to have a strong correlation with knee pain in women according to a review by  Prins and van def Wurff (2009). Additionally, as you fatigue, weaker muscles will fail first resulting in a more compromised gait as you progress in your activity.

According to a study by Dierks et al, “Runners with PFPS (Patellofemoral pain syndrome or Runner’s knee) displayed weaker hip abductor muscles that were associated with an increase in hip adduction during running. This relationship became more pronounced at the end of the run.”

You might be thinking, “I run all the time, I bike 100 miles a week; heck my butt even looks good in Lycra.” However, all those activities happen in the sagittal plane (straight forward), which does not effectively develop the smaller muscles resulting in weakness in hip abductors and extensors. The good news, according to a case study by Mascal et al, is that through simple consistent strengthening exercises, patients were able to significantly increase gluteal strength and reduce Patellofemoral pain.

How do you develop these muscles with names that will help you win a game of Scrabble? The first step is to consult a physician or find a local physical therapist. Additionally, to empower you on your recovery, we have created complete care kits for knee pain at Pains and Strains that contain proven exercises with the strength bands and stretch straps needed to complete them. The kits also contain other therapies that work to speed your recovery by protecting the injury, reducing the swelling, and providing immediate relief.

It is human nature to focus just on the part of the body that hurts and to treat that area, but as we learned in that classic elementary school tune, “the hip bone is connected to the leg bone, and the leg bone is connected to the knee bone.”

  • The purpose of this post is educational and since there are many reasons for knee pain only your healthcare professional can create an exercise plan that is appropriate for your knee pain.

Come to a MANIA® to learn more, LIVE, about strengthening exercise to help your clients of all ages!




In the day and age of the overwhelming effect technology has on our lives, and especially on the lives of our children, it is important to ensure that your children have a more active lifestyle and stay away from TV, video games and smartphones as much as possible. Incorporating physical activity into your everyday life will help keep your entire family fitter and healthier. Learning that exercise and other physical activities are a normal part of daily life also will help your children grow into healthier young people and most likely will create a habit that will stick with them later in life. Leading an active lifestyle will help them stay fit, healthy, energized, less stressed and less prone to explore various illegal and unhealthy temptations.

So, here are some easy ways to make physical activity an important part of your family life:

  1. Set clear objectives. Make sure you include the entire family when setting the family goals in relation to fitness activities. Set short-term, weekly goals, which are reachable and measurable. Make sure you check the results at the end of the week, and you will see how satisfied your children will be when goals are reached and even surpassed. Not being able to reach the goals also will motivate them to work harder next time. You can gradually increase the amount of exercise and other activities planned for the next week to make sure you are all progressing on getting and staying fit.
  2. Organize various family challenges, which include physical activities. Children and adults enjoy challenges, and winning. This will help you incorporate physical activities, sports, and exercise into your family life, and at the same time it will be an enjoyable and anticipated experience for all family members.
  3. Make a physical activity schedule and stick to it. Make sure you start with at least three, half-hour time slots for physical activities per week. Gradually increase the number of days or the length and intensity of the exercises. In order to make sure you stick to your weekly or monthly schedule, plan the physical activities for times when it is most likely that everybody will be home and free. Post the schedule on the fridge or a board, and check off all activities completed so that the family can watch and enjoy the progress you are all making. In case an unexpected event happens and a planned physical activity, game or exercise cannot be done, instead of cancelling it, reschedule it. You can add some incentives and rewards for the entire family when the set goals are reached and the program has been completed.
  4. Get friends, neighbors and members of the community involved in your exercise program. This will get your family moving and will make the experience more fun for all of you. You can organize fun challenges and games between families or even between adults and children.
  5. Alternate between different physical activities to keep boredom at bay. You can engage your family into staying fit and active by going hiking, swimming, cycling and walking, as well as with sports such as basketball and soccer. You even could play a dancing video game together!
  6. Turn chores into exercise. Get your children to participate in cleaning the yard, planting flowers and plants and other outdoor activities. Also, make them help with the vacuuming, cleaning up of the house and other chores that will get them off the couch or bed. Your family will get in shape, and your home will be clean!

Check out a MANIA® Near you for a variety of options and activities to do with your family, clients and more! We also offer kid-centered programming, including Fit Camp for Kids at Midwest MANIA®:

About the author: Robert Brown loves spending time in the outdoors, usually running. Whenever daily life gets him down, he goes out for a run to recharge his batteries. For no-fluff reviews that can help you choose the right gear for your workouts, check out his blog Runabees and follow him on Twitter.




  • 3 C cooked quinoa
  • 1 C corn kernels
  • 1/2 C black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 C diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 C onion, diced
  • 3 T fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 large bell peppers
  • 1/4 C pepper jack cheese (to sprinkle on top)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut your bell peppers in half from top to bottom. Clean out all the seeds and lightly scoop out insides to create a bowl shape.
  3. Prep your filling ingredients (top 7): Cook the quinoa and cut up all the vegetables into small pieces. Mix filling together in a bowl and incorporate well.
  4. Fill each pepper with filling mixture, packing in as you go.
  5. Sprinkle cheese on top of each pepper (YUM!)
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

Recipe taken from Come to MANIA® and learn more than just how to cook tasty foods and experience a POUND® class in person!