Archive by Author

Why You Don’t Need Machines in Your Workout

28 Oct

The contestants on The Biggest Loser work hard. They spend the majority of their day in the gym working with very talented personal trainers. For a brief period their life is focused around losing weight. We all know that just isn’t how it works in the real world though.

Even if we could have access to such a phenomenal gym and experienced trainers, sometimes exercise machines just do not translate well into real world fitness. And honestly, you do not need machines to complete an effective workout. The Biggest Loser actually proved that in season 11 when they brought in two new trainers who had more experience with mixed martial arts, CrossFit, and boxing than they did with fancy treadmills and cable equipment. The teams who worked in the non-traditional, no machines setting actually seemed to have better weight loss and strength results than those who stuck with treadmills and machines.

There are several reasons machines don’t translate well into real world fitness. First, they are designed to isolate muscle groups rather than work the body as a unit.  This can lead to muscle imbalances and potential injuries if agonist and antagonist muscle groups are worked evenly.

Second, exercise machines rarely allow you to move at a speed that motions occur in the real world.  Upper slow movements have low carryover to activities of daily living.

Third, exercise machines typically lock you into one movement plane. For example, leg extensions allow you to lift your leg at the knee up and down. That may be fine as part of a rehab program, but for real world fitness you’d perform walking lunges with trunk rotation side to side.  This would give you a more dynamic multi-plane movement.

Other limitations of exercise machines are:

Complete home gyms can cost several hundred to a few thousand dollars. The alternatives to home exercise equipment are much less expensive.

Exercise machines take up a lot of space. This is especially important factor to consider if you live in a small place. Even models that slide under the bed need to be slid out and set up somewhere. While we can all dream, not everyone’s “real world” includes an extra room in their house dedicated to fitness equipment.

Exercise machines don’t travel well. You can’t just pop your Buff Body 3000 into your suitcase and head out on a business trip. Real world fitness needs to work for you, not against you. Since you can’t take your machine with you, you might not work out. There’s no reason to make travel harder than it has to be. Creating and keeping fitness routine that can go on the road with you will make it more likely you actually follow through on it when you are out of town. Many people who travel regularly prefer to use bands and sneakers to get their workouts in. Even the hand weights get left at home in these days of overweight luggage fees. Exercise bands are extremely light weight, come in several different levels of resistance, and can even be tucked into your sneakers to save space in your luggage.

Finally, if you are short on time, exercise machines won’t help you get through your workout as quickly as other types of fitness equipment. You will need to stop between each exercise to reconfigure your machine. These pauses in your workout every 1-2 minutes really kill the effectiveness of your workout. The ideal workout keeps going and never lets you bring your heart rate below your personal baseline. You just can’t accomplish this with an exercise machine.

If you want an effective workout that is easy to duplicate whether you are home or traveling, then ditch the machines and look for fitness tools that actually work in real world fitness.

Want Faster Results – Hire a Personal Trainer

28 Oct

Note: If you are working out at FIT in Los Altos, I realize you already have a personal trainer or you are participating in CrossFit. This post is meant for the individuals interesting in hiring a personal trainer that may have found us online.

Faster Results

Personal trainers are certified fitness personnel trained to work with clients for faster results in achieving their fitness goals. Personal trainers can work as instructors, but they are much more than just that as they have the ability to create personalized workout routines for the client from that client’s health report, physical assessment, and personal goals.

If you want to lose weight or just trim down a little and stay fit, it is possible to do so working on your own. But if you are looking for faster results, hiring a personal trainer would be the best course of action for you. Aside from creating a personalized workout routine for you, a personal trainer will also teach you how to correctly do the exercises in the routine. This is really important because many times, doing the exercises the right way can be challenging unless you are first shown how to.

If a personal trainer gives you cookie cutter exercise and leaves you to your own devices, it is time to change personal trainers. A personal trainer should help you travel the fastest and healthiest route to the results that you are seeking. This is possible because they have been trained to know what specific exercises will work on your problem areas. Therefore if you have particular challenges when it comes to achieving your fitness goals, your personal trainer should be able to find a quick solution to those challenges and coach you towards faster results.

Another advantage of a personal trainer is that they can work on your motivation. Regardless of what anyone tells you, you are the only person capable of meeting your fitness goals. You need to have the right motivation to keep on working if you are to achieve the kind of results you want to achieve and that is where a personal trainer comes in. it is very easy to lose motivation when you have to stick to the same thing consistently; a personal trainer will encourage you and help you find the motivation you need to keep at it. There are several ways through which personal trainers motivate their clients and one of those is through constant progress monitoring. There is nothing that can motivate a person as completely as seeing real progress made through your effort.

If you are wondering why it is taking you so long to see the results you desire, it is probably because you have been training on your own. Although that is not a problem in itself, the truth is that you might be spending valuable time doing exercises that are wrong for you. Hiring a personal trainer will ensure that any time you spend working out is directly targeted towards getting those results you want to see, and at a faster rate.

Group Personal Training

28 Oct

There is something about sharing an experience which makes it special. This applies to everyday life and to special occasions but it also applies to your fitness training. Sharing the experience with a few people makes your fitness training something you can look forward to each week and has a way of building relationships. There are many reasons why group personal training is all the rage amongst fitness enthusiasts. It has become the perfect solution for a lot of fitness needs and comes with a lot of advantages.

Although visiting your local gym and health club to use the equipments is beneficial to your health, working out solo comes with a lot of challenges. One of the challenges associated with working out on your own is that it is very easy to hit a plateau and lose motivation. The best way to workout efficiently is to have a workout routine that is customized for you through the help of a personal trainer. That way you are sure that each workout is designed to get you closer to your fitness goals. The problem with this is that for many people, affording a personal trainer is not that easy as the fee for a personal trainer can be a bit on the high side. The solution to this is group personal training.

Group personal training allows you to train with the benefit of a personal trainer but without shouldering the cost of one. This is because the cost is split by all the members of the group. So you get the attention from a personal trainer and individualized instructions as well while paying a fraction of what you might have paid had you engaged that personal trainer all on your own.

Another advantage is that with group personal training, you get the added motivation from the energy which comes from a group of likeminded people. Seeing others with similar goals as you regularly encourages you to keep working out. When working out solo there are expectations you might have pertaining your progress which when they do not occur can kill your enthusiasm. One problem most people have when working out is setting unrealistic goals. What a group personal training experience will do for you is that you will see people like you progressing at the same of a similar rate to you and this will help keep you grounded. You can measure your progress against the progress of others in the group and know that you are progressing naturally.

If you have a large group of friends and family, you can persuade them to make up your group and that way, you are amongst people whom you feel comfortable with. This gives you an emotional support group as you move towards achieving your fitness goals.

Deciding on group personal training is good for your emotional, physical and economical wellbeing. You get to save money while achieving your fitness goals in an environment of support and encouragement. It is therefore not a surprise that group personal training is all the rage.

Don’t Choke! Learn How To Speak Anywhere and To Anyone

15 Jun

When: Tonight @ 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Where: FIT

Presented By: Lauren Velasco

Lauren Velasco was raised locally – a graduate of Gunn High School and Stanford University. Her undergraduate years were spent at Bates College in Maine, where she competed on the national and international speech and debate circuits, and graduated with Highest Honors in Rhetoric. She and her debate partner were ranked #4 in the United States, and were selected to compete in three North American and two World Debate Championships. Lauren also competed in the World Individual Speech Championship and participated in the World Summit on Women in Debate. She has independently produced five documentary films and videos, three of which have been shown on television and featured in local, national and international film festivals. While a Communication graduate student at Stanford, she served as Interim Director of the Women’s Center and taught Public Speaking in Stanford’s Technical Communication Program. Also a licensed disc jockey, Lauren has been a full-time member of the Communication Studies faculty at Foothill College since 2000. She is the founder and coach of Foothill’s award-winning Speech and Debate Team, and offers private workshops and tutoring, as time permits.

WattBike Class – Come Spin with Us

31 May

Fit is happy to introduce the WattBike!

FIT is offering a complimentary WattBike Class featuring Taylor Tolleson, FIT’s in-house Pro Cyclist.

When: Thursday June 2nd @ 6:30-8:00PM.

Where: FIT 600 Freemont Ave, Los Altos CA, 94024

Reserve Your Spot today! Call 650-947-9831 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            650-947-9831      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The WattBike

18 May

FIT is happy to welcome, what FIT founder Thom Downing says is, “the most dynamic, functional and smart piece of metabolic conditioning equipment to come onto the fitness scene since the Concept2 rower in 1976”, the WattBike.

FIT will be offering a free clinic on the WattBike, featuring FIT’s in-house Pro cyclist, Taylor Tolleson on June 2nd from 630-8pm at FIT.  Free spin scans will be given so come prepared to ride!

The WattBike was developed over 7 years and is the world’s first affordable indoor bike that accurately measures power (Watts). It has a unique, patented measurement system and ground-breaking software.

Launched in 2008, the machine was signed off by the English Institute of Sport as being accurate, and is now fully integrated into British Cycling’s Whole Sport Plan at all levels from performance through to participation. It is the first indoor bike that has ever been endorsed by British Cycling and it is now used as their frontline Talent ID screening tool.

Key features that make the machine stand out from others include the fact that it feels like ‘real’ cycling – on the flat and climbing – and it delivers accurate, repeatable and comparable results. The bike can be used for rehabilitation, general fitness, high level training, scientific testing, cross-training and competition.

It features a unique ‘polar display’ that provides immediate feedback on the cyclist’s technique and all bikes are factory calibrated identically, allowing them to be linked together for accurate racing. It delivers a new level of depth and accuracy of data all of which can be viewed in real time and saved for later analysis.

At one extreme, it is an exercise bike, and at the other, it’s a highly sophisticated sports science analysis bike, making it suitable for everyone from recreational cyclists through to Olympic champions.

The Wattbike provides safe, 24/7 gym use and can be used for regular exercise, group exercise or competitions in gyms across the UK. It is also available to buy for the home and offers a great alternative to a turbo trainer or an upright bike.

Beyond cycling, the Wattbike has broader appeal. It is a superb cross-training and talent ID tool for a wide range of sports that want a high quality training alternative, delivering objective data. It is currently being used as an initial screening tool for Girls4Gold and Pitch2Podium – UK Sport’s Talent ID programmes for girls and released football players.  British Cycling also see the Wattbike as becoming a fundamental feature within secondary schools as a gateway activity to the sport of cycling, and as part of the solution to the lack of physically active lifestyles in society today.

FIT’s Head Cycling instructor Taylor Tolleson got his start racing in triathlon at the early age of 14. In 2005 after 4 years of racing in the ITU, Xterra and National circuit attending 3 triathlon world championships and 3 duathalon world championships he decided to pursue a profession in road racing. After only a few months he got picked up on the US National team where he raced and lived in Europe. Shortly thereafter he received his first professional contract to start in 2006. While racing on prestigious professional teams such as BMC and Garmin-Chipotle, Taylor was able to work very closely with the best coaches in training and power analysis, Max Testa and Alan Lim.  After a tragic hit and run accident in 2009 he has decided to focus on coaching and wattage training.

Career Highlights:

(2008) 1st Tour de Leelanau

(2007) 1st Stage #6 International Tour de Toona

(2006) 2nd Best Young Rider Competition Tour of California 2-Time X-Terra World Champion


2nd Merco Cycling Classic Road Race


1st Tour de Leelanau

4th Stage #2 Ronde Van Brisbane

8th Stage #7 Tour de Georgia

1ST copperopolis


1st Stage #6 International Tour de Toona

2nd Stage #3 Tour of Elk Grove

2nd Red Trolley Classic Criterium

5th Under-23 National Criterium Championship

10th Under-23 National Road Race Championship

18th Stage #6 Amgen Tour of California

19th prologue Amgen Tour of California


2nd Best Young Rider Competition Tour of California

16th Prologue Tour de Normandie


1st Collegiate National Mountain Bike Short Track Championship

1st NCAA National Team Time Trial Championship

1st Stage #5 Cascade Classic (Bend, OR)

3rd Stage #6 Cascade Classic (Bend, OR)

6th MIPS Technologies Mt. Hamilton Road Race

6th NCC Road Race National Championship

7th Copperopolis Road Race (Milton, CA)


1st X-Terra World Championship

1st X-Terra U.S Championship

1st Collegiate National Mountain Bike Short Track Championship

3rd Trek Bikes Collegiate National Criterium Championship

3rd Trek Bikes Collegiate National Team Time Trial Championship

About FIT

The F.I.T. experience is unique from the level of coaching, to the attention to your individual needs, to the support that is palpable as soon as you walk through our doors. Located in the heart of Los Altos, California, F.I.T. is a school of fitness, focused on all factors of health, with the intention of living a longer and better life.  Through a variety of services we offer, ranging from personal training to group CrossFit classes, we focus on functional training through optimization of the physical competencies in each of the 10 recognized fitness domains:

Cardio-respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance and Accuracy.

The F.I.T. coaches adapt to the fitness level of their students while providing instruction, guidance, and support.  Our student body is extremely diverse ranging from ages 10 to 93, in experience from novice to elite, and in life, from executives to stay-at-home moms to children to athletes of many varieties.

Sports Equipment Drive

10 May

Awaso Hope Academy

All donations will benefit the Awaso Hope Academy Physical Education Development Program in rural Ghana, Africa.

Awaso Hope is developing a P.E. program at Awaso Academy International, an independent elementary school in rural Ghana, Africa.  This program will accompany the new area that will be seeded with grass so that the children and play and learn organized sports and games.


Saturday, May 21st


FIT Parking Lot, Rancho Shopping Center


The Awaso Hope Academy needs your help providing their children with the following:

  • Soccer Shorts (black xs-m)
  • Frisbees
  • Collapsible Soccer Goals
  • Small Cones for Drills
  • Jump Ropes
  • Gertie Balls, rubber balls
  • Pinnies
  • Any K-3 Appropriate Sports Games


If there are any sport-related items that your kids have outgrown or you have extra of  that you could donate, it will be appreciated.  If you cannot make it to the event, please consider making a donation toward the program at  and click on make donation.  No donation is too small.  Proceeds will be used to purchase the needed equipment.  These children have nothing to play with or be active with.  Anything will be appreciated.

FIT members Liz and Jack Weingart  are traveling to Ghana this summer with their family and will be hand delivering anything we collect to the children!!!

Hope you can stop by.  We are also assembling first aid kits, and giving our kids a chance to write letters to the students there.

We are FIT

9 May
IMG_8979_2 by traceydowning
IMG_8979_2, a photo by traceydowning on Flickr.

Today, I Brought it!