Member Spotlight: Jeanne Liu – Powerlifter

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Member Highlights, RCSC News

image1When Rock Creek Sports Club Personal Trainer Zach Tolchin spotted member Jeanne Liu at the gym – he noticed her commitment to hard work . However, he also noticed that her workout routines were… “a little all over the place.”  So he offered her a orientation session and a  couple of things became obvious right away.

“I saw that she was quite strong for her size and I also saw she was incredibly determined and focused, ” says Tolchin , adding that her background in dance also gave her a solid foundation of core and lower body strength.

After some discussion, Tolchin had peaked Liu’s interest in powerlifting, so Tolchin wrote her up a plan to help her train, and told her to check in with him once in awhile, to discuss her progressions.   Well, fast forward to November 2015, and Liu was taking part in her first competition — The Maryland State Championships — and with Tolchin coaching her, she won gold for her weight class!

And  23-year-old Liu has kept going!  Earlier this month, she also competed at the USAPL Terrapin Open – and walked away with another gold in her weight class – 114 lbs.

Her lifts in this past competition were as follows:

  • Squat – 192.7 lbs
  • Bench – 88.5 lbs
  • Deadlift – 253.5 lbs (almost 2.5 times her own bodyweight!)

Check out the video of her squatting:

“Jeanne has come a long way in a short time, she’s incredibly determined, competitive, and focused and I’m incredibly proud of her and her accomplishments,” Tolchin said.  ”I’ve had so many people come over to tell me they’ve seen her lifting in the gym and seems so focused that it’s almost zen.”

Men – It’s Time You Check Out Broga

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, RCSC News, Wellness Bites

crowDear Dudes: Want to be stronger? Want to be less susceptible to injury? Want to reduce anxiety, stress, and pain? What if we told you can do all that with Yoga? Don’t stop reading yet! Let us tell you about Rock Creek Sports Club’s “Broga Class!”

Broga
Wednesdays
6:00am -6:45am

First of all, clear your mind of all the stereotypes you have dancing through your head about what a yoga class looks like. Broga is designed to be simple, fun, challenging, and rewarding. There’s no Sanskrit, or “groovy heart talk,” or chanting – classes are straight-forward, physical, accessible, taught in regular English, and accompanied by a distinct soundtrack of awesome music.

The Broga approach is really unique,” explains Jaylene Sarracino, RCSC’s Broga Instructor. “The classes combine traditional power yoga with functional fitness exercises. The result is a practice that builds muscle, improves flexibility, reduces risk of injury, relieves stress and improves balance. Pro athletes practice yoga regularly. Broga brings that kind of fitness-based yoga to the masses with classes designed for people who can’t touch their toes but still need this kind of training.

chair

Yoga isn’t just for the young and flexible either — as a matter of fact, the less flexible you are —the more you need yoga!

“Broga students range in age from 18 to 78,” says Broga® Yoga President & Co-Founder, Adam O’Neill. “They come from all walks of life, all different backgrounds, but they all come looking for what we offer; that unique blend of high-intensity strength workout with the incredible “yoga” benefits such as balance, flexibility, improved circulation, injury reduction, stress-reduction, and many others.”

So come on and join the other 46 million men who say they are going to try Yoga this year (according to an analysis based on a Yoga Journal study) and check out Brogra on Wednesdays at 6am. Yes, we know it’s early – but another benefit of yoga… it leaves you feeling more energized! And ladies – don’t worry – you’re invited too!

 

 

Nutrition Plan Personal Trainer Devin Knox Follows for Gains

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, RCSC News, Wellness Bites

Devin-Knox-1-300x197You’ve probably seen Rock Creek Personal Trainer Devin Knox  training in the gym, either working on his own strength gains, or encouraging others to push their own limits. Have you ever seen him do a heavy squat and wonder, “what does he eat?”

Devin follows an online eating plan created for him by Avatar Nutrition, which focuses on what they call “flexible dieting.” His goal when he began was “maximum muscle gain” and he says that since he started a few months ago, he’s put on nearly 10-pounds.

Flexible dieting is “eating according to your unique macronutrient requirements rather than relying on a wishful thinking and lists of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food.” In other words, no diet plan fits all, and Avatar Nutrition puts together a custom plan for you, depending on your goals and body composition, focusing on your ideal macronutrient (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) targets. The plan and service is $9.99/ a month.

“The whole concept of flexible dieting and tracking macros just makes perfect sense in terms of long term success,” says Devin, who also recently became an ambassador for Avatar Nutrition. “ It allows you to work in some of your favorite treats when you want to instead of restricting you like other ‘diets’ do. I just feel like it sets you up for sustainability.”

You can read more about the program on the Avatar’s website, and Devin says he would be more than happy to answer any questions!

How to Lose Fat, but Not Muscle

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

iStock_000016156464XSmallEarlier this week, The New York Times  reported that a group of scientists had established a workout and diet plan that can “shed fat rapidly while hanging on to or even augmenting muscle.”

Here’s the catch though, the study had two groups of men reduce their calorie-count by about 40%, and had them vigorously working out six days a week for a month. This isn’t really sustainable for the average person. However, there is some really interesting information we can take away from this study!

In one group the participants diet’s consisted of 15% protein, 35% fat, and 50% carbs. The other group, switched up the fat and protein intake, with 35% protein, and 15% fat.  The results – both groups lost between 11-12 on average, but the one that ate more protein,  gained an average of 3 pounds of muscle!

Why? Well in short, “amino acids in protein help muscle tissue to maintain itself and to grow.”

Lesson learned: Make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet!

Read the full article here: A Diet and Exercise Plan to Lose Weight and Gain Muscle

Member of the Quarter: Vernon Drew

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Member Highlights, Member of the Quarter

Zach and VernonIn 2009, after turning 60 years old, Vernon Drew went to his doctor for a physical, and was surprised to hear that at 200 pounds, it was time to lose weight.

“I got mad and decided to get even,” Vernon said, and he joined Rock Creek Sports Club, mostly because it was close to his house and it looked like a “community gym.”  It was then that Vernon was offered a free personal training session with Zach Tochin, which little did he know at the time, was just the beginning of new, fit and healthy lifestyle.

Now here we are almost seven years later, and Vernon is our latest Member of the Quarter!

After Vernon’s first assessment and session with Zach, he was offered another free session in order for Zach to show him how to use several of the machines and a couple of bodyweight exercises.

“ [Afterward] I thought he would say, ‘See you around,’ Vernon said. “Instead he said, ‘ I could work with you if you want and think we could make some progress.’”

For the past six years Vernon has worked out twice a week with Zach, and recently added a third day in order to increase his weight-lifting numbers.  He says he appreciates Zach’s experience, knowledge, attention to form and safety, and his ability to program so that Vernon gets the most out of each session.

“Zach challenges and encourages me so that I meet goals and progress, “Vernon explained.  ”He is fun, gives me the right grief, but always ends with ‘good job.’”  “Most importantly, Zach sees me as a person not a session, meaning he makes sure my session and the advice I get for working on my own is tailored to me not some set scheme.”

Vernon push up on Bosu

In addition to working out with Zach, Vernon also gets in some lighter weight work about two days a week. Plus he also gets in some cardio, such as using the stair-stepper, three days a week.

Vernon says that not only did he lose the weight his doctor his doctor had recommended, he has reduced the amount of medicine he was taking (including cholesterol meds), was able to say goodbye to using a CPAP machine, and has more energy.

“Also, I like that I can lift more than my 25 year old son.” Vernon joked. “Vanity, I know, but it is nice to have something on him.”

One of Vernon’s favorite things about Rock Creek Sports Club, is how friendly everybody is, even if you don’t know everyone’s name. So make sure you congratulate him next time you see him at the club!

Purée Juices Available for pick-up at Rock Creek Sports Club

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, RCSC News

puree2Is your New Year’s Resolution to add more fruits and veggies into your diet? Good news! Purée Juices now available for pick-up at Rock Creek Sports Club!

Purée is Washington DC area’s only 100% organic, raw vegan, fresh, cold-pressed juice bar. You can find everything from Green Goddess Juices and Ginger Lemon-Aid to Cashew Choco Maca Mylk and Coconut Cream.

Purée also offers signature Cleanse and Detox Packages and Maintenance Plans.

All you have to do is place your order online, and chose Rock Creek Sports Club as your pick-up location, and you’ll be able to pick up your order from the front desk in about 24-hours. PLUS – there’s no delivery fee!

Read more about Purée, and place your order here: http://www.pureejuicebar.com/

Devin Knox and Rock Creek Sports Club are Proud to Be Drug Free!

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, RCSC News

Devin-Knox-1-300x197Like any sport, there are competitive weightlifters who —unfortunately — try to gain an edge by using performance enhancement drugs. Often it’s athletes like these that give the sport and its athletes, a bad reputation. However, as RCSC Personal Trainer Devin Knox will tell you, weight lifting and building strength is all about commitment and consistency — not drugs.

Which is why he was excited to find the organization Drug Free Strength where other like-minded athletes  have pledged to keep their training “natural.”  We are now proud to announce that Devin was recently named an ambassador for Drug Free Strength, and Rock Creek Sports Club has been named one of its affiliate gyms!

“The message is important because it’s about creating a level playing field for all,” Devin explains. “Not only in powerlifting, but in all sports. Drug Free Strength promotes achieving goals through hard work ,which is a standard I have lived by my whole life.”

You can read more about Drug Free Strength here: http://www.drugfreestrength.com/

And you follow Devin’s training along on his Instagram account: @KnoxPowerCompany

RCSC Trainer Jean Simmons and Women of the N Street Village Answer the “#Gimmefive Challenge”

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, RCSC News

Check out this video below created by RCSC trainer Jean Simons in response to Michelle Obama’s ‪#‎Gimmefive‬ challenge. Some background first  as told by Jean:

I’ve been teaching an exercise class to homeless women at N Street Village for the past five years.

This summer, as part of the fifth anniversary of Let’s Move, Michelle Obama challenged all Americans to “#GimmeFive things they are doing to eat better, be more active, and lead a healthier life.”

Michelle answered her own challenge by releasing this fabulous video of herself bench pressing 35 pound dumbbells, kick boxing and doing some of her other favorite (really difficult) moves.

I showed Michelle’s video to the homeless women in my class and they loved it! They wanted to create a #GimmeFive video of themselves doing five of their favorite exercises from our class. So, using an iPhone, we filmed scenes of them dancing and doing strength training and heard in their own words why exercise matters so much to them.

Please share!

VersaClimber – Now at Rock Creek Sports Club!

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, RCSC News

VersaClimberWe are so excited to announce that Rock Creek Sports Club is now home to a VersaClimber!

What’s the big deal? Well, this awesome piece of workout equipment mimics climbing a steep wall, hill, or mountain,  working against gravity, giving you a total body workout while increasing aerobic capacity.

Don’t worry if you think it sounds too tough, because the VersaClimber can be adjusted to for all levels of fitness and age groups, allowing you to walk, jog, step, or sprint vertically at various strides and speeds.

Just check out this video to learn more, and for some tips for getting started. And, as always, we are happy to show you how it works, just ask at the front desk the next time you come in!

fountain

In other exciting news at the gym, tomorrow we will be installing a Filtered Water Bottle Refilling Station! In an effort to be more green, we wanted to provide an alternative to plastic throw-away water bottles and cups.

FUNDRAISER for Footwork: The International Podoconiosis Initiative

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Member Highlights, RCSC News

footphotoPlease join us for a FUNDRAISER on Monday, November 9th 2015 for Footwork: The International Podoconiosis Initiative.

8:30-10:30 am and 5:30-7:30 pm

Meet Wendy Santis, a RCSC member and Executive Director of Footwork, and learn about “podo”.

footphoto2Podoconiosis, “podo”, is a form of elephantiasis or swelling of the lower leg triggered by prolonged exposure to certain minerals in red clay volcanic highland soils. The disease is widespread in more than 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Podo is both preventable and treatable. Footwork is active in Ethiopia, Uganda and Cameroon.  Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS SHOES, is one of Footwork’s biggest supporters. 

Refreshments will be served. Donations accepted through Footwork’s website, cash or check.

Learn more at www.podo.org
Twitter: @PodoDotOrg
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PodoDotOrg

footworklogo3

Gino, Devin and Ashleigh at USAPL Raw Nationals!

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Member Highlights, RCSC News

powerliftingBest wishes for a successful competition at the 2015 USAPL Raw Nationals to Gino Panamino-Castro, trainer Devin Knox (of Knox Power Company) and Devin’s sister Ashliegh!

Gino lifts tomorrow (Oct. 15), Ashliegh lifts Friday (Oct. 16) and Devin hits the platform Sunday (Oct.18).

Follow the events with this link to live streaming: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/usa-powerlifting.html

Member of the Quarter: Joff Pincher

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Member Highlights, Member of the Quarter

Zach and Joff 1When it comes to making positive changes in your life, it really helps to have a good attitude, and anyone here at Rock Creek Sports Club will tell you that Joff Pincher has one of the best.  With his upbeat personality — along with his hard work and outstanding progress— Joff was an easy choice for our Rock Creek Sports Club Member of the Quarter!

Joff tells us that there was a time he would have described himself as very fit, but after taking 10 years off from exercising, he decided to join Rock Creek Sports Club back in February to shed some weight and get healthy. Or as he joked, “I wanted to get fit enough to get fit.”

Joff, who’s a 52-year-old stay-at-home dad with twin 4-year-olds, says he was also looking for ways to combat diabetes, and he had read that strength training would be very beneficial.  So in addition to joining the gym, he also signed up to work with RCSC Personal Trainer, Zach Tolchin .

Joff works out with Zach twice a week now, focusing mainly on strength training, such as squatting. In addition to these sessions, with guidance from Zach, Joff also works out on his own 2-3 times a week, with free weights, plus some cardio work.

It’s paying off.

Since joining in February, Joff has lost 45 pounds, reduced his medication to 10% of what it was, and his blood pressure has dropped.

“If you pick up a 45-pound dumbbell, or plate, it’s a lot of weight,” Joff says enthusiastically. “ I had a made-to-measure suit and it simply doesn’t fit anymore. I told Marc (RCSC Manager) that I think he has to pay for it. None of my original gym gear fits either.”

These awesome results are especially encouraging for anyone on the fence about joining a gym.

“I’ve been super fit in my life,” Joff explains. “I was wondering if I was going to be disappointed in myself. I had a lot of catching up to do. My first ambition was just go to the gym, and nothing else.  And it’s been brilliant.  The Rock Creek Sports Club atmosphere, the coaches, the members, they are all very encouraging.”

Teen Yoga is Back!

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, RCSC News

TEEN YOGA IS BACK!

October Special: 6 classes for the price of 5!

Sedentary students and active athletes alike–you can benefit from yoga in more ways than you may know. Sundays at 1:30 pm starting Oct. 4, join Ms. Jay for an hour of flexibility training, breathing practices, and learning how to decompress from the stresses of teenage life.

Class card is $45 for the 6 classes—best deal in town! Email mlally@rockcreeksportsclub.com for info. OPEN TO NON-MEMBERS.

Less Calories with Diet Drinks? Mmm Maybe Not So Much

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

dietsodaSure, you may be saving a couple of calories by reaching for that diet soda, but it’s possible you’re getting them from elsewhere instead, according to a new study.

University of Illinois researchers looked at the dietary habits of more than 22,000 U.S. adults over a 10-year period and found that on the days people drank diet or sugar-free drinks, they ended up eating about 49 MORE calories from “discretionary foods,” e.g., fries or cookies.

Why?

Well, they don’t really know the answer to that yet, but there are some theories. It’s possible people don’t feel satisfied or satiated after consuming zero-calorie drinks, so they reach for something else. There’s some thought that because they drank a diet drink, they don’t feel as guilty going indulging in something unhealthy later, or the reverse, they ate something not so good, so they choose a diet soda thinking that will make up for it.

(Read more here)

Whatever the case may be, it’s something to think about. If you do go for that zero-calorie sweetened beverage, you may want to be more mindful about your other choices.

Pilates 101

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, RCSC News, Wellness Bites

11130067_1000534833298872_6629859736813490760_oWhat comes to mind when you think of Pilates? Here’s a couple of common responses we’ve heard:

“Oh, it’s kind of like yoga right?”

“It’s some sort of exercise that women like.”

“It’s that exercise for dancers, you know, the flexible type.”

Well, let us tell you, it’s not just for women, it’s not yoga, and EVERYONE can benefit from it.

First of all, just the history of Pilates, throws two of the aforementioned misconceptions right out the window. It all began with Joseph Pilates, a former boxer and circus performer who was interred during World War I. During this time he developed a system of exercises for other interred MEN, eventually devising machines for those in need of rehabilitation due to injury or sickness!

So just for women? Nope. Just for the super fit? Nope!

We’ll get to the differences from yoga in a minute, but before we get to that, let’s talk about basics -

 

What IS Pilates?

Pilates focuses on developing a strong core (the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine) by integrating the trunk, pelvis, and shoulder girdle.

It is based on six principles — centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow. Training develops flexibility, control of breath, body awareness or coordination, good posture and easy graceful movements, elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility.

You may thinking, well this sounds a lot like yoga. Yes, and no. They do definitely compliment one another, and both enhance one’s awareness and the connection between the body and the mind. However, many yoga practices focus on increasing strength and flexibility of the spine and limbs, while Pilates focuses on abdominal strength, then extending through the limbs. There’s actually a number of other differences, enough for it to be an an entire other article. (For further reading check out — What’s the Difference Between Yoga and Pilates?)

Why Pilates is for YOU

LONG-TERM BENEFITS OF PILATES INCLUDE:

  • Less chance of injury
  • Better sports performance
  • Full-body conditioning – including the ankles and feet
  • Better posture
  • Improvements in range of motion
  • Improvements in circulation
  • Decreases in back, neck, and joint pain

Pilates at Rock Creek Sports Club

Rock Creek Sports Club offers a number of ways for you to give Pilates a try. This includes:

  • Small Group Training Pilates Mat Classes: In our Small Group Personal Training classes, clients can enjoy the energy of a group class, but have more one-on-one attention, as class size is limited. Training sessions last 45 minutes to one hour, and are sold in packages of five for $125 or 10 for $220. If space permits, drop-in fee is $27.
  • Pilates Mat Group Exercise: Our Group Exercise class schedule offers numerous Pilates mat classes throughout the week in a larger setting for all Rock Creek Sports Club members Check out the schedule here.
  • Pilates Reformer One-on-One Training: Workouts consist of controlled, flowing movements in tune with the breath, working muscles through a full range of motion. The reformer adds increased resistance to the movement and results in increased muscular endurance, strength, flexibility, and improved posture. Due to the complexity of the machine and the exercises, clients must be with a Pilates Instructor to use the Reformer. More information here.

A Simple Trick for More Mindful Eating

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

utensilsSome experts have said that one way to weight loss, is something called “mindful eating,” which, in short, is taking your time at your meals to give your brain and body enough time to register your enjoyment of the food and in turn, know when you have had enough.

Some of the suggested ways to start doing this are:

  • Make sure eating is your only activity. For example, no TV, phone, books, etc. Some even say to even limit talking.
  • Chew each bite until the food is liquified, usually between 20-40 times.
  • Try to identify every flavor and texture while you’re eating, so that your actively thinking about your food.

Now researchers from Oxford may have discovered another easy trick to encourage you to practice “mindful eating” — heavier utensils.

Food & Wine recently reported:

“Researchers from Oxford University gave 130 diners at a hotel restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland, identical meals of trout, mashed potatoes, spinach capers and brown ship butter; however, half of those experimented on were given cutlery that was three times heavier than the cheap knives and forks the other half received.

“Those with the heavy cutlery said they liked their meals about 10 percent better and were willing to pay 15 percent more for that same trout dish.”

Charles Michael, chef in residence at Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research laboratory explained to Wired UK, that this could be attributed to something known as “sensation transference,” where people associate better utensils as better quality, therefore better food.

“It’s interesting to think that the heavier weight of cutlery could be making us more mindful, without us realising it,” he said.