Aquatic Center & Holistic Health

At Steel Fitness Riverport, we see pools as much more than summer hangout areas for swim teams and sun bathers. Rather, we believe that pools are an amazing opportunity to make fitness accessible to anyone. Because aquatic environments offer the opportunity for low-impact workouts, they can support individuals who might be rehabilitating an injury, prone to chronic pain, or who just want a different type of workout. We also know that pool environments are made for fun and restoration, not just workouts, which is why we also have steam rooms, saunas, and whirlpools for spa-like relaxation.

In addition to our fitness floor and our outdoor workout area, The Yard, Steel Fitness Riverport features a state-of-the-art aquatic center with three different pools. With lap pools for those who want to swim interrupted, therapy classes for rehabilitation, and activity pools for group exercise, our aquatic center accommodates all different healthcare needs. Check out this awesome facility at our local gym in Bethlehem!

In this blog, we will cover the types of activities you can do in an aquatic center as well as the benefits of these activities. With these suggestions and ideas, our hope is that you feel comfortable trying out a different type of exercise at our aquatic center!

Swimming at your Local Gym

Uninterrupted Lap Lanes

Swimming might be the most obvious forms of aquatic exercise, but it is also one of the most beneficial! If you have a dedicated swimming practice already, chances are you want to swim laps uninterrupted, finding your flow as you complete your swimming workout. Steel Fitness Riverport provides lap-only lanes so that you can swim without needing to worry about getting kicked out by the swim team, getting whistled at by lifeguards going on break, or getting splashed by other pool activities.

Learning to Swim

“You can’t teach old dogs new tricks” rings true some of the time, maybe when it comes to becoming a professional ballerina after getting a double knee replacement. However, when it comes to swimming, there really is no such thing as “too old.” If anything, swimming is one of the best activities in the world for adults or those who have not had a dedicated exercise routine. We offer group swimming classes and have kickboards, noodles, and flippers, to keep you afloat as you learn to swim. At least give swimming a try at our local gym in Bethlehem, knowing that you are in a safe and supported environment!

Benefits of swimming

We mentioned that swimming is one of the most beneficial exercises, and we will dive into that topic further.

  • Cardiovascular exercise: Whereas running can be really high-impact, swimming offers a low-impact alternative for cardiovascular exercise. You raise your heart rate as you swim and keep it up as you continue lapping the pool.
  • Lung capacity: Every time you hold your breath under water, you work to build your lung capacity. A dedicated swimming routine trains your lungs to maximize your intake, use, and exhalation of Oxygen. In the process, you build a stronger respiratory system.
  • Full-Body workout: When you swim, you must use every muscle to stay afloat. If you disengage your muscles, you will start to sink. Think about the motion of a swimming stroke: you use your shoulders, arms, and back for the motion of the stroke and your entire lower body to propel you forward as you kick. It’s one of the best workouts for holistic health for this reason.
  • Temperature-Controlled: As a local gym in Bethlehem, we know how hot and humid Pennsylvania summer days can get. While we keep our exercise rooms cool, you still tend to heat up and sweat — after your workout, you need to shower immediately. With swimming, though, you always jump into a pool at a comfortable temperature, so you never have to worry about exercise-induced overheating. You can have the hardest workout of your life and still leave feeling refreshed and energized.
  • Stress relief: Nearly any form of exercise comes with stress relief benefits, but swimming releases even more endorphins than most. This is because you develop a routine as you swim: left, right, left, right. Kick, kick, kick, kick. When your body swims, it has no choice but to enter a zen-like flow.

If you want to experience the benefits of swimming for yourself, ask about Steel Fitness Riverport aquatic facilities. Check out our month-to-month, annual, and paid-in-full membership types and make swimming a part of your wellness routine at Steel Fitness Riverport.

Aquatic Exercise at your Local Gym

If you find swimming laps boring or do not particularly enjoy that exercise, aquatic classes might be a better fit for your workout style. We especially recommend aquatic exercise for its low-impact benefits, as it makes working out accessible for anyone.

Aquatic Exercises Classes

With aquatic exercise, there are so many different types of exercises you can do. Steel Fitness Riverport has weekly aquatic activity classes to that you can have a fitness coach lead you through exercises you might not otherwise do on your own. Common types of aquatic exercises include:

  • Water Aerobics: you flow through traditional dryland exercises (like walking, running, kickboxing, or calisthenics), but with the benefit of a low-impact aquatic environment. These classes get your heart rate up, tone your muscles, and increase your physical endurance.
  • Water Zumba: think of the dynamic movement, dancing, and high-energy of a Zumba class, and then just add water.
  • Water Pilates: your favorite land activity can happen easily in an aquatic environment. It’s just as fun and energizing with less risk for injury.

Benefits of Aquatic Exercise

Aquatic exercise comes with its own set of benefits, beyond what swimming laps has to offer. Consider these benefits as you think about adding aquatic exercise into your local gym routine.

  • Low-Impact: we have referred to this benefit before, but we want to expand on what “low-impact” means when it comes to water exercise. Low-impact means that your body faces less resistance in water when it moves as a result of buoyancy. This means aquatic exercise is easier on your joints. If you have had any joint replacement, such as knee or hip replacement, or have arthritis, aquatic exercise could be a great way to stay active.
  • Community-oriented: swimming laps is a great choice for solitude, but aquatic exercise classes are really fun and group-oriented. You can meet other people in the Steel Fitness Riverport community, including our friendly and knowledgeable staff members.
  • Easy to Start: the only equipment you need for aquatic exercise is your bathing suit. If you want goggles or a swim cap, those might come in handy as well. Other than that, though, you don’t need to invest in any fitness equipment to start aquatic exercise. We provide noodles, water weights, kickboards, and flippers at our aquatic center and local gym.

Saunas, Steam Rooms, and Whirlpools

One of the greatest parts of aquatic fitness isn’t even in the pool. Saunas, steam rooms, and whirlpools can compliment your wellness routine, as they promote muscle relaxation, stress release, and open respiratory systems.

When you enter a sauna, you reap incredible health benefits. Saunas help to:

  • Relieve stress
  • Flush toxins and purify your body
  • Clean your skin
  • Promote sleep
  • Relax muscles and joints

When you join Steel Fitness Riverport, you get access to our club amenities, such as our sauna, tanning room, and towel service. If you become a PULSE X or PULSE SGT member, you can even more aquatic center access at our lap, therapy, and activity pools. Plus, you get to choose from over 140 group exercise and aquatic classes a week.

If you have any questions about our aquatic center or the benefits of aquatic fitness, contact or stop by our local gym in Bethlehem today. We are excited for you to experience our incredible fitness atmosphere and take advantage of our aquatic center facilities at Steel Fitness Riverport.

 

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Why You Should Add Yoga To Your Workout Routine

When you think of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson working out, what image comes to mind? Chances are, you picture these men, with biceps the size of your face, benching a midsize Chevy truck. Maybe you imagine them squatting a small house or cranking out 100 pull-ups in under a minute. Whatever you thought of, we highly doubt it was yoga.

But at Steel Fitness Riverport, we want to change your conception of yoga as merely a stretching class. Instead, we believe yoga is an asset to any fitness routine. Dedicating even one day a week to yoga can make you stronger, more focused, and, of course, more flexible. Consider the specific ways that yoga can enhance your workout routine, and then drop into a class at your local gym in Bethlehem to give it a chance.

Our Pulse X Schedule for group fitness classes at Steel Fitness Riverport offers multiple yoga classes for a reason. Stop by today and supplement your fitness routine with yoga group fitness classes.

Yoga Builds Strength

Push-Ups

While it is typically called “chaturanga” or “your vinyasa flow,” yoga class involves push-ups — a lot of them, we might add. Unlike push-ups you might already have included in your gym routine, yoga push-ups primarily build forearm strength while they also tone your deltoids and pectoralis muscles. Going through these forearm chaturanga push-ups at a sequenced pace also helps you to prioritize good form in your push-ups. Finally, when it comes to push-ups, you can always add as many as you want. If you feel like you aren’t getting a good enough strength workout in your yoga class, add a double push-up or try a one-legged variation of the forearm push-up.

Full-Body Engagement

Yoga poses also encourage engagement from every single muscle in your body. Whereas a more traditional workout might isolate legs, abs, or arms depending on the day, a yoga practice gives you a full-body workout by design. Take chair pose, a foundational yoga posture, for instance. Chair pose works your biceps, quadriceps, abductors, glutes, hamstrings . . . and we could continue through practically every muscle in the human body. When you commit to proper engagement throughout your body during a yoga pose, you will experience how challenging yoga can truly be. You will leave feeling sore in muscles you didn’t even think you worked out, simply because you practice full-body engagement.

Bandhas for Nuanced Strength

If you have a fitness routine already and go to your local gym even a few times a week, you have probably already developed strength. Yoga, though, teaches you to build strength in areas of your body that you would have never thought to engage. While bulging biceps or six-pack abs are “showy” muscles that you can flex, your internal core muscles are actually more important to overall health.

In yoga, the “bandhas” refer to energy locks in your body. In other words, bandhas are areas of your body that you can engage and disengage strategically to either encourage strength or relaxation. Your three main bandhas are the mula bandha (a few inches below your navel), your uddiyana bandha (by your core), and your jalandhara bandha (by your throat). If these seem like foreign concepts, that just further shows why you should try out yoga. You’d be amazed to see how engaging your core (uddiyana bandha) in a specific way can help you add more weight to the squat rack, do more sit-ups in a minute, or even do one-armed push-ups.

Yoga and Lung Capacity

Remember your last core workout, maybe it was sit-ups or a plank, where you forgot to breathe the entire time? You ended the sequence feeling winded, light-headed, and generally weak because you were not giving your muscles any Oxygen. Yoga classes force you to consider your breath as an active component of your fitness routine. By moving through postures on inhales and exhales, you build breath awareness and experience the correlation between breath and power. Additionally, yoga encourages you to maximize your inhales and exhales by focusing on breathing from your diaphragm all the way up to your throat. This means you are taking in more air and activating all organs of your respiratory system. If you engage in any cardiovascular activity such as running or swimming, take a yoga class at Steel Fitness Riverport and just see how much it enhances your favorite workout.

Yoga Builds Balance

Even if you have the most intelligent fitness routine, chances are you have tendencies that get your body out of balance. Whether you spend more time on your right side as you stretch, compensate for a heavy squat by putting more weight into your dominant leg, or even just stand with weight to one side of your body, you are upsetting your body’s equilibrium. It is nearly impossible to be fully balanced because daily activities send us askew every day, but yoga and its focus on both sides can really help to reset your body’s balance.

Balancing Postures

When is the last time you included balancing exercises in your general fitness routine? Nearly all yoga classes include a balancing series, but here’s the secret: balancing postures are really just core workouts disguised by being on one leg. To balance on one leg requires incredible core engagement and stability, which means you are also working out as you enhance your brain’s vestibular system (balance). Balancing postures are tough, and they will require you to engage all parts of your body and brain in order to be successful. To ramp up your fitness routine, take a yoga class at your local gym and see how your body responds.

Mental Focus and Resilience

In yoga, it’s called “drishti,” but in a fitness gym world it’s really just focus. Balancing postures in yoga require you to set your gaze on an un-moving point, quiet your mind, and maintain full-body engagement. Otherwise, you’ll fall out of the pose. The mental energy that balancing requires easily translates into your workout routine. That time you thought you couldn’t do one more rep; that other time when you hurt yourself because you lost your focus; and, yes, even that moment when you tripped on your jump rope. Developing balance and body awareness through yoga is an incredible way to bring it to the rest of your fitness routine. Try a class at Steel Fitness Riverport, your local gym in Bethlehem, and bring balance to your workout routine.

Yoga Builds Flexibility

We know this is probably the first benefit you associate with yoga, but have you thought about why flexibility is a benefit to your fitness routine in the first place? After all, you can just cool down and stretch after your workout, so why go to a yoga class for the stretching?

Deep Stretching

The difference is that we usually hold yoga stretches for much longer, which promotes the stretching of fascia (the body’s connective tissue). Think of fascia like a gel between our body’s tendons and ligaments. When the fascia gets warm, it becomes more liquid and helps to lubricate your body’s muscle system. When the fascia cools down, it gets more solid and tends to get stuck. Repeated exercises, postures, and routines can also “stick” the fascia in place, leading to soreness and tightness. Yoga stretches get into the deep tissue of your muscle, encouraging the fascia to move freely and release from certain spots.

Twists and Internal Stretching

When is the last time you explicitly stretched your ascending and descending colon? That’s what we thought. Yoga poses allow us to give attention to areas of the body we didn’t even know needed our focus. When you engage in twists and cool down at the end of yoga classes, you focus on your digestive health and help to reduce inflammation in your colon. Not only does this promote general health, but it also helps to purify your body and restore for your next workout.

Steel Fitness Riverport offers yoga classes every week for those who want to enhance their fitness routine. The next time you’re at our local gym in Bethlehem, take a yoga class and see how it transforms your workout routine.

 

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Member Spotlight

We have so much to offer our members here at Steel Fitness Riverport, including a variety of classes that can help you reach your goals. Whether you want to build strength, get more athletic, or shed some pounds, we can help you get there in a fun, supportive environment. For some, classes are the main reason they come here.

Trainer Brian Pedersen recently spoke with one of our members, Delia Chatlani, about why she enjoys Steel Fitness.

1.) What do you like best about being a member of Steel Fitness? How long have you been a member? What do you think sets us apart from other clubs?

I joined Steel Fitness Riverport on June 15th of this year. I wanted to go to a gym that was close to my home and, most importantly that offers good group classes. I find it more stimulating to be working out with others, as a group, and under the guidance of an instructor. I would say that the classes that the gym offers are the main reasons why I choose this gym. The guidance of the instructors, the pace, and the entire routine makes it easy for me to simply get lost in executing the exercise and take a mental break from the day to day routine. Another very important aspect is being part of a community of people. I love coming to the gym and seeing the familiar faces of the people that enjoy the same classes as I do.

2.) What are some of your favorite classes? Why?

My favorite class is the TRX class. I also enjoy the CLIMB, Steel Strength, and Thread and Shed classes. I like each of them for different reasons and I believe that the combination of them helps me progress in my objective, which is to have a healthy and strong body. My perception is that a TRX class allows you to reach and work on specific muscles in a correct way and with little risk for injury. The running class (Thread and Shed) not only has a positive effect on my body, but it does wonders for my mind too. It also helps me build the endurance that I need for other gym exercises. Very important as well, are the CLIMB and Steel Strength classes that add the weight lifting component to my workouts and help me make significant progress.

3.) If there was one thing we could do to make us even more awesome, what would it be?

For me that would be a kickboxing class, on Thursday at 5.30 pm to be very precise 🙂 I have done kickboxing classes before and I believe that for me that would be the perfect addition to my routine.

4.) Is there a specific aspect of your fitness that either a trainer, instructor or a class has helped you improve?

Yes, I think that the TRX class is great. In addition to what I have already mentioned above, I believe that the TRX class is the kind of class that helps you build strength and balance at the same time. The pace of the exercise is slow (compared to a cardio class, for example) and you can choose the intensity of the exercise. You can make it more or less challenging for yourself and that makes it a great exercise for all levels.

Check back on our blog next time for more stories, tips, advice, and news!

 

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Benefits of Family Fitness

Regular exercise is great for the body — that’s no secret. Exercise + nutrition = healthy success. This is the tried and true recipe for good health, and when it comes to good health, there is no such thing as the “right” age.

Kids, parents, and grandparents alike can all benefit from a visit to the local gym in Bethlehem, Steel Fitness Riverport. We are a family-friendly facility that emphasizes the many different exercise needs of a family. And we do our best to give them to you.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly gym, you’re looking for Steel Fitness Riverport.

There’s something different for everyone, which is why we are a gym with child care, group training sessions, personal trainers, free weights areas, and SilverSneakers classes. The beauty of each of these exercise options is they all come with a passionate gym staff who wants the same thing for you as you do: RESULTS!

The most important benefit of going to the gym as a family is a focus on health and the hard work it takes for everyone to reach their own goals. Now, let’s take a look at how different members of the family may benefit from what Steel Fitness has to offer.

A Fitness Center For The Family

Let’s start with the kiddos.

Gym With Child Care

Young children don’t have to be a reason for a parent to stay home from the gym. Sure, you could do lunges around the house while you rock your baby to sleep. But that’s not anyone’s first preference. Instead, bring your child to Steel Fitness, where our caring and nurturing staff can look after the youngin’s while the adults get their sweat on. Our child care center can watch infants as young as 12 weeks.

The benefit of children visiting the child care center at our gym is socialization in a healthy environment. Kids can learn to play together in an active way, so everyone leaves the gym after burning some energy.

Youth Training

S.O.S. No, we aren’t lost at sea. We are hosting Sport-specific Off Season training: S.O.S. Tweens and teenagers can participate in our youth athletic programs, whether they are actually training for a favorite sport during the off season or just want an opportunity to be more physically fit and to train with peers.

S.O.S. provides a safe and fun learning environment where youths can learn and practice proper movements and skills.

The benefit of young athletes participating in an S.O.S. training program is they will notice an improvement in speed, agility, and overall athletic performance.

S.O.S. is available in group training sessions or in personal sessions. No matter the setting, each person will receive help setting personal goals, coaching on how to achieve those goals, and tracking results along the way.

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Now for the adults.

Individual Training

If you’re the type of person who likes to put on some good music (or maybe your favorite podcast) and get into your own workout routine, then you won’t be disappointed at Steel Fitness. Our gym has more than 60 pieces of cardio training equipment, free weights up to 150lbs, and other strength machines that can all be used together to help people see results. Whether you are a workout novice or a true gym veteran, you’ll find what you need to complete your own workout routine.

The benefit of individual training is there are no time limits or reservations required in this part of the gym. You build and complete your own workouts at your own pace.

Personal Training

Say you need a bit of motivation and structure to help you get your rear in gear at the gym. Hire a personal trainer to be your dedicated coach. Nothing beats private instruction when it comes to specific goals. Personal training is great for people who want to lose weight, improve technique, increase strength, prepare for an event, or just want a bit of personalized attention in the gym.

The benefit of personal training is each session is totally unique based on the current goal and the progress thus far. Our coaches are motivational, supportive, and knowledgeable about fitness in any form.

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Group Classes

Now we’re getting into our specialty here at Steel Fitness. We. Love. Group Fitness. With an average of eight classes offered each day, adults can mix up their workout routine without spending hours researching one at home. Group fitness classes are available with the Pulse X or Pulse SGT membership levels.

The benefit of group classes is they are a mixture of individual workouts and personal training. There is an instructor leading every class to provide structure and motivation — like personal training. But each person is largely held personally responsible for choosing which classes to take and then exerting as much energy as they like to get the most out of their workouts.

Our group training sessions include a variety of workouts. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Spin: This spin bike class in our cycling studio is one that will get your heart pumping, sweat pouring, and legs burning. It’s a great mixture of cardio and strength training.
  • Rise And Grind Bootcamp: Burn calories and tone muscle during this circuit-style training session. Kick start your body first thing in the morning so it can effectively burn those calories for the rest of the day.
  • Yoga: This class helps us remember that exercise is as good for your brain as it is for your body. Yoga combines strength, balance, and flexibility exercises into a calming atmosphere to help restore the mind, body, and spirit. It is a must for people of all fitness levels.
  • Anti-Gravity Fitness: This one-of-a-kind total body workout takes place above the ground in a hammock-like apparatus. It combines yoga, pilates, and calisthenics exercises.

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SilverSneakers

Steel Fitness Riverport is a proud partner with SilverSneakers. We gladly welcome our community’s wisest members to workout in our gym. Alongside having access to the entire gym, older adults are invited to our specific SilverSneakers classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The benefit of SilverSneakers is like-minded adults can get together to improve overall well-being, strength, and social aspects. The goal is to get fit, have fun, and make friends!

As you can see, there are many positive individual reasons to bring the whole family to the gym. However, there is also one benefit that impacts the family unit. A family who exercises together gives the grandparents and parents an opportunity to teach the kids about the importance of physical and mental health. Through this endorphin-pumping thing we call exercise, families can become closer knit and can always have something in common.

 

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What Is Functional Training?

Have you heard about functional training yet? It’s one of the most popular fitness boot camp classes in our Bethlehem gym. If you haven’t experienced it for yourself, though, you might think that this is another gym fad. Not only is functional training not a fad (it’s actually been around for decades!), it could be the fitness routine that you’ve been looking for to elevate your physical performance. That’s because functional training isn’t about training for a weight-lifting competition you never want to enter or training for a marathon that you never want to run. Instead, it’s about conditioning your body to perform it’s best in everyday, regular activities. It’s real-life training for real-life conditions.

Functional Training 101

How Does Functional Training Work?

Functional training focuses on two main areas:

  • Strengthening your core. You rely on your core muscles more than you probably realize that you do. Your core muscles are in the middle of your body; they are the muscles that make up your stomach, lower and mid-back, and your sides. Strengthening the core muscles is especially important for avoiding lower back injuries.
  • Conditioning your muscles and joints to work together. When your muscles and joints work together as a single cohesive unit, you’ll get a stronger and more powerful performance out of them. That way no matter what activity that you are doing, you’ll get the best performance out of your body because it understands how to work as a single unit.

Functional training grew out of some of the exercises that physical therapists use with their clients to rehabilitate their muscles and help them get ready to perform everyday tasks again after they’ve been injured. Physical therapists would create exercises that helped their clients gain the strength and functional ability to do things like go up and down stairs, lift a heavy box, or stretch for items high on a shelf. Functional training uses the same concepts and ideas as physical therapy and takes them to the next level. Instead of simply attempting to achieve a goal, functional training wants to help you do it in the most powerful, efficient way possible while helping you avoid injury to your body. You’ll practice and achieve actions such as pushing, pulling, carrying, squatting, and lifting. Functional training can also help you get better at actions that you repeat a lot; for instance, if you love to play baseball, functional training can help train your muscles to get into the correct position and follow through with the correct movement every time you are at bat.

What is the Goal of Functional Training?

Functional training trains your body how to do everyday activities in the most efficient, powerful way possible while also eliminating the risk of injuries. These exercises are going to help you do simple things, like unloading groceries or pushing your children on the swings, with the necessary strength. Building up your core and targeting specific muscle groups means you can do these tasks with a lower risk of pulling your muscles or enduring sprains and strains while also having more endurance to perform tasks longer.

Why You Make Functional Training a Part of Your Fitness Routine

Functional training is all about making yourself better at the everyday activities you need to complete. If you’ve ever pulled your back out when lifting groceries out of the car or find yourself winded when pushing a stroller, you know how frustrating it can be to be out of shape for these daily activities. Functional training will help you train your body to excel at these tasks, so you can focus on your to-do list without worrying about injury or getting tired along the way. It’s as much about training your brain as it is training your body, as you teach your brain to tell your body how and when to move, gaining in performance and power.

Plus, functional training is fun! It’s a break from the monotony of the treadmill or the free weights and can inspire you to stay on track towards your fitness goals.

How We’ve Brought Functional Training to Bethlehem

We offer functional training in The Yard! This is our 4,000 square foot outdoor training yard that’s filled with functional training equipment that, at first, might seem strange. You’ll see equipment that looks more like what you’d see on a playground. Our trainers use a variety of exercises such as press-ups, jumping and leaping exercises to build your explosive power, and even pushing sleds to build up endurance and resistance power. When you see people working out in The Yard, it looks more like they are playing games and having fun! And while functional training is a lot of hard work, it really is as fun as it looks. You’ll get to work out with a lot of like-minded people from the area who are eager to hit their fitness goals and will help cheer you on to reach yours, too.

Are you curious about functional training? Want to see if it’s the right fit for you? Come try it out today. If you aren’t already a member of Steel Fitness, fill out the form on our website and claim your free pass. That way you can try out our functional training fitness boot camp for yourself and see if it’s what you need in order to reach your fitness goals. Don’t worry–if it’s not the right fit, we have dozens of other classes for you to enjoy or you can work with our personal trainers to customize a personal fitness routine. Give us a call, contact us through our webite, or stop by our Bethlehem location to start your new personal fitness routine today!

 

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Benefits of a Personal Trainer

A lot of people walk into their local gym thinking they know what they need to do. A little bit of cardio and a little bit of strength training and they should be good to go. However, there is so much more that should be considered when you are creating your workout plan. Factors such as your current physical abilities and the goals you have for your personal fitness should really be taken into consideration. These can affect the intensity and duration of the exercise you should be doing to give you the best results possible from your workout. This is exactly why spending time with one of our personal trainers can help you get more out of your time in the gym.

A Personal Trainer Can Help You Get Results Faster

When you meet with a personal trainer, they’ll spend that first session evaluating your current fitness level and comparing it to the goals that you have for yourself. You might want to lose weight, gain muscle, or train for an event; whatever it is, they’ll focus on your goals and develop a plan that will help get you there. Your personal trainer will develop workout routines that maximize your time in the gym, so you aren’t wasting time on exercises or machines that aren’t doing anything for you. Instead, you’ll have a focused plan that’s geared towards delivering results as quickly as possible.

…Even If You Meet With Them Once

Working with a personal trainer doesn’t have to be a huge commitment. Sometimes, meeting with them one time is enough to give you a roadmap towards achieving your fitness goals. They can give you a plan after just one or two sessions which allows you to confidently workout, knowing you are doing what’s necessary in order to get the results you want.

Working With a Trainer Long-Term Yields Even More Benefits

Of course, working with a personal trainer over a longer period of time can bring you even more benefits. They’ll do some much more than counting your reps. When you continue to work with a personal trainer, benefits include:

  • Having someone there who can mix up your routine to keep you interested in your workout. Doing the same thing every time you come to the gym can get really old, really fast.
  • Trainers can be constantly evaluating your progress and refining your plan. Maybe you are dropping weight quickly and now need to focus on building muscle tone. Your trainer can look for the signs that it’s time to change to something new.
  • Someone to hold you accountable. It’s easy to skip a workout (or two or ten) when you only have yourself to answer to. When you know that your trainer will be there to follow up with you, it can provide the motivation that you need to pull yourself out of bed and hit the gym. You’ll thank your trainer later.
  • Lifestyle support that goes beyond your time in the gym. Fitness is a lifestyle, and your personal trainer can help coach you on ways to make it a part of your life outside of Steel Fitness. That can include changes in your habits and how to fuel your body with the right nutrition.

Want to See What a Personal Trainer Can Do For Your Workout?

If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the gym or if you aren’t seeing the results that you want when you look in the mirror, it’s time to partner with a personal trainer. Our trainers love working with people of all ages and abilities and helping them achieve their fitness goals! Get in touch with our local gym in Bethlehem and arrange for a session with one of our trainers today.

 

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10 Great Reasons You Should Try Anti-Gravity Exercise Classes

With more than 60 instructor-led classes each week, you’ll have plenty to choose from when you are looking at exercise classes in our Bethlehem gym. From fitness boot camp to cycling and more, there really is something for everyone. If you are looking for a new challenge in your exercise routine, though, you need to check out our anti-gravity exercise class (click on that link to check out a video of the classes in action!). The exercise technique has actually been around since 1991 but it’s only now becoming popular for its benefits in health clubs around the country. The exercise requires some specialized equipment, such as ceiling-suspended hammock-like devices, so you won’t find it in a lot of locations. But when you do (like at our Bethlehem gym!), you need to try it out.

Here are ten reasons that you should sign up for one, too.

Ten Reasons to Try Anti-Gravity Exercise Classes

  1. It works on your core strength.Anti-gravity exercises actually provide a total-body workout, helping you strengthen your body from your head to your toes, but it’s especially good for your core strength. Hanging on the suspended hammock requires you to engage your core to maintain your balance and move into the different positions. That core strength doesn’t just mean a flatter, firmer belly, but increased strength and ability to recover from injuries faster.
  2. The exercises decompress your spine.
    The aerialist routines used in anti-gravity classes require participants to do a variety of yoga poses as well as hang upside-down in the hammock. These movements help to stretch and lengthen the spine. You can actually become taller after a class thanks to your spine stretching and decompressing! Decompressing your spine is something that is often recommended by chiropractors to alleviate pain from conditions such as herniated discs and sciatica nerve pain.
  3. It’s perfect for those working at a desk all day.
    A lot of people are stuck behind a desk all day for work, logging 8, 9, 10 or even more hours of sitting in a desk chair each day. That’s not good for your health, and it’s especially not good for your back. The combination of strength exercises, yoga, and dance used in the anti-gravity classes are great for getting in exercise and combatting the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
  4. Great workout for those with back pain.
    This is one of the benefits that people talk about the most! Many people, even those without back pain, note that their backs feel so much better after they’ve been to an anti-gravity class. That’s because the movements take inspiration from yoga and dance, working to lengthen every muscle in your body, especially those in your back. The decompression that happens can help alleviate pain, too, so you leave class feeling better than you went into it.
  5. It merges athletics and dance.
    If you love to move, this is the class for you. Anti-gravity classes take their inspiration from a variety of disciplines, including athletics, dance, and the aerial arts to combine them into one class. You’ll learn new ways to move your body, strengthening and stretching as you go. It’s great for those who love to dance but need to get strength into the mix, too.
  6. Increases your flexibility.
    These classes are great for increasing your flexibility, thanks in part to the yoga inspired moves. It’s especially good for flexibility in the spine and shoulders since these areas of your body will be controlling a lot of the movement that’s happening in the hammocks. You’ll notice the increase in your flexibility within just a few sessions and be amazed at the difference this can make in your pain levels.
  7. Brings greater awareness of your body.
    Anti-gravity classes are all about bringing greater awareness to your body. You’ll gain control over muscles you didn’t even know existed as you work through the movements and master the aerial arts. That control will increase your body awareness as well as your gracefulness, flexibility, and strength. Many students feel more connected to their body than ever before.
  8. It could help you recover from injuries faster.
    The yoga movements and increase in your muscle strength could actually help you recover from injuries faster. Some participants noted that they are recovering from workouts faster since they started anti-gravity exercise classes. That makes it a great companion class for those who are runners or training for a sport.
  9. It has emotional benefits, too.
    Being suspended in the hammock, swinging, moving, and being suspended aren’t just great for your physical health! This is an exercise class that’s great for your emotional well-being, too. You’ll experience the flood of endorphins that come from a great workout, giving you fuel for the rest of your day (or even the rest of your week!). That can elevate your mood, keep anxiety at bay, and can even help you sleep better at night!
  10. It’s really, really fun.
    The bottom line is this: these classes are a ton of fun. If you are easily bored in other exercise classes and want to find something that will challenge you, keep you interested, and is actually fun, then this is the class for you.

Come Try One of the Classes at Our Fitness Center Today

Are you curious about anti-gravity classes in Bethlehem? You can come try one out for yourself! Simply visit our website and fill out the form to claim your free pass. That will allow you to come in and experience one of our anti-gravity classes for yourself. We welcome all ages and skill levels, and our talented and experienced instructors will make sure that the difficulty level is tailored to your needs. If you don’t like it, you can try out one of our other classes, including fitness boot camp, spinning, and so much more. Sign up to become a member of Steel Fitness and you’ll get to join in any of our 60 or more instructor-led classes each week. Choose as many as you want–they are included in your membership fee!

Have questions about one of our classes or about becoming a member? Give us a call or use the contact form to reach out to our team today.

 

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Benefits of Spin Class

The spin classes at Steel Fitness are great for both those people who haven’t visited our local gym and those folks who make us a part of their daily routine. Spin classes are fun, extremely motivating, and help you shred calories in a big way so you can start to see results in the mirror sooner. In a 45-minute class, you can burn up to 500 calories, way more than you’ll burn walking on a treadmill (and way more fun, too!). But burning calories isn’t the only benefit you can expect from a spin bike workout. Check out some of the other awesome benefits you can expect when you spin.

Experience the Benefits of a Spin Class

Tone Muscle

Spinning classes are great for toning muscles, and not just in your legs. Your spin instructor will take you through various moves and challenges that will bring you a full body workout (you’ll feel it the next day, in the best way possible). Spinning is great for building lean muscle, too, so if you are worried about bulky muscle mass, then this is the class for you.

Great Cardio

Cardio should be a big focus of your workout routine. That’s because it gets your heart pumping and helps make it stronger–it is a muscle, after all. All that spinning is great for your lungs, too, as you learn to control your breath during your workout.

Low Impact

If you have trouble with your knees or ankles, spin bikes may be exactly what you need to integrate into your fitness routine. That’s because spinning is a low-impact exercise like swimming or yoga. It doesn’t put pressure on your joints and exercises can be easily adjusted to keep you comfortable.

Customizable

Spinning is perfect for every fitness level because it’s so easily customizable. You’ll be able to adjust the tension on your bike to suit your fitness level, so you can take it easy if you need to or push yourself to the next level when you are ready. No matter how easy or hard you are spinning, you’ll still be a part of the team and won’t be holding anyone back (unlike on a real bike!).

Mood Booster

Spinning is great for your body, sure, but it’s also incredible for your emotional and mental health. When you come to a spin class, you’ll be cheered on by your instructor, encouraged by your classmates, and driven to keep pushing yourself by high-energy music and a fun environment. By the time you leave, the endorphins will be pumping and you’ll be ready to take on whatever comes next.

Ready to experience a spin class workout for yourself? Steel Fitness offers a variety of classes at times that are convenient to your schedule. Find the class and the instructor who are right for you. Not a member of our local gym yet? You can get a free pass and come check it out for yourself! We’re looking forward to seeing you in one of our classes soon and showing you how the right local gym can help you achieve your fitness goals.

 

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Benefits of Using a Heart Rate Monitor

There are a number of essential accessories that fitness gurus can’t head to the health center without, such as a water bottle, stopwatch and hand towel. But there’s one gadget that’ll help you maximize your workout more than anything else: a heart rate monitor. By measuring your heart rate, you can count your beats per minute and find the exact pulse where your exercise is most effective. Your target heart rate also helps you determine if you’re pushing too hard or not pushing enough, according to Active.com

If you want to make the most of your time during a workout, start using a heart rate monitor. Here are a few reasons why it’s a must-have fitness accessory:

1. It gives you clear, concise information
To manually measure your heart rate, you stop working out, check your pulse at your wrist and count the number of beats you feel within 10 seconds, according to Livestrong.com. After that, you have to multiple the number by six to determine your heart rate. It seems simple, but can you ensure it’s accurate?

“Breaking the momentum during your workout can make you lose ambition.”
Using a heart rate monitor will do the job for you. It can deliver concise information during your workout, unlike the manual option that makes you stop, count your beats and do the math. Breaking the momentum in your exercise is one way to lose ambition and drop off your workout early.

2. It can motivate you to keep pushing
If you need help staying motivated during your workout, a heart rate monitor is key. As The Huffington Post stated, this tool can be just as encouraging as a personal trainer. The target rate you receive will signify when you need to push harder, slow down and keep a steady pace throughout the exercise. Essentially, the data from your monitor can inspire you reach for your goals, and it’ll keep you safe throughout your regimen.

3. It shows how much time you need to recover
As you know, giving your muscles time to recover after a workout is key to maximizing your results. Your heart is a very important muscle that also needs time to adjust after strenuous exercise, especially during high intensity interval training. A monitor will show you how well your heart recovers, which also determines the wellness of your cardiovascular system. The faster your heart can bounce back, the better shape you’re in.

4. It helps you complete an effective workout
As stated by the American Heart Association, you should be working at your target heart rate – which is 50 percent to 85 of your maximum heart rate – in order to get the most out of your workout. With a heart rate monitor, you’ll always know if you’re hitting that number, which allows you to complete the most effective workout possible. Stop pushing yourself too hard without understanding the condition of your cardiovascular system. Maximize your results with this essential workout tool.

Remember: Using a heart rate monitor can help maximize your results and increase your safety, but staying fully hydrated is also crucial. Do your best to ensure you always bring a full water bottle to the fitness center alongside your tech savvy accessory.

At Steel Fitness Riverport, we encourage our members to utilize our MYzone chest strap heart rate monitors. By using one during your visit, you’ll receive real-time accurate numbers so you can have a safe and effective workout. If you want to test out the fitness tracker for yourself, head in today and use one during a Pulse X class.

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The Best Gym Workouts for Weight Loss

There are plenty of exercises for maintaining your overall health and well-being. From cardio drills and strength-training reps, to flexibility and core training, you’ll never run out of ways to stay fit. But which routines are best for weight loss? There are multiple that can help speed up the process, but remember: Eating a well-balanced diet is just as important – if not more – if you want to reach your fitness goals.

If you’re looking to cut the pounds and lean out as soon as possible, we suggest trying the following workouts:

Interval training
To lose weight, you’ll have to find a way to rev your metabolism and burn loads of calories. The easiest way to accomplish this is by interval training. Professional trainer Holly Rilinger told Self magazine that this consists of any form of exercise that raises your heart rate and brings it down repeatedly.

A great example of an interval routine is indoor cycling, also known as Spinning. Rilinger said it’s an excellent form of cardio, but it also challenges most of your muscles, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes and core – two essential factors for burning maximum calories.

“The more muscles you have to incorporate, the more calories you’re going to burn because those muscles all require energy in order to work,” she said. “And the more energy you use, the higher those calorie-burning numbers climb. It’s all a cycle.”

Weight training
You know that cardio burns dozens of calories. But weight training will build the muscle that’s necessary for boosting your metabolism and shedding the pounds in the first place. It’s common to assume lifting weights will just bulk you up, but Trainer Tia Falcone told POPSUGAR that building that sturdy foundation with weight lifting is key for slimming down fast.

“When you’re doing weight training, it’s not so much about burning calories; it’s about gaining as much muscle as possible,” she said. “That’s what’s going to make you smaller, and it raises your base metabolism permanently.”

Are you new to the world of weight lifting? Check out this beginner’s guide by Bodybuilding.com to get started.

Group fitness and heart rate training
A mixture of high-intensity interval exercises and weight training can maximize your results and lose weight fast, especially when you add heart rate training. PULSE X at Steel Fitness Riverport is a heart rate-based, outcome-driven team training program designed for all fitness levels and interests. Individuals participating in PULSE X can monitor their heart rate, calories burned, time and effort levels for added motivation and accountability. We offer over 50 classes per week – so if you’re ready to shed those pounds, check out our PULSE X schedule or contact us at 610-624-2717 today.

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