A friend turned me on to a new fitness app, and I wanted to share it with you. It’s from the 12 Minute Athlete website. The website offers free workouts and inspiration. Now, it offers an app.

The app is “12 Minute Athlete“. There’s a free version and one that costs $2.99. I highly recommend $2.99 app for anyone who has the self-discipline to do a short intense workout but would enjoy mixing it up. The app provides workouts of different lengths, with different exercises, in different orders, based on the equipment you want to use. Each exercise explains the technique, links to a video of it, and offers modifications.

You’ll find exercises tailored to your equipment: body weight only, box, dip bar, pull up bar, sandbag, medicine ball, jump rope, kettle bell. This is HIIT/CrossFit common equipment, but almost any home has what you need. You can buy any of this equipment at a department or sports store. You can also think of the sandbag and kettle bell as simply resistance/load of any kind, like dumbbells, books, filled water bottles–whatever you have. You can get a pull up bar for your doorway, sit on the floor and use the edge of a table, or use a playground bar at your local park. You can use your stairs in place of a box. Dip bars can be the arms of a sturdy chair.

You select duration, equipment, shake, click start, and a timer runs you through the complete workout. Simple and effective!



The diet wars are still going strong. Eat this for weight loss. This superfood will make you healthy. This food will cause cancer. This will cleanse your gut. Nutrition is a complex and relatively new science, and most of what is promulgated is meant to sell product not make you healthy.

One thing is becoming clear, however. Maintaining a healthy weight, good muscles, and working hormones is about getting enough protein. That might seem like a no-brainer to many of you, but many more of you will blow it off. You likely think you get enough–there’s protein in this thing I’m eating, right? How much, do you suppose? Not enough, I’m sure.

Since ancient times, there have been outliers who shunned mainstream diets, but it’s only very recently in history that the mainstream diet itself became one that avoided protein and fat. Our ancestors knew that protein and fat were the valuable macronutrients, extended at the table by the poor or during shortages with low-protein vegetables and grains. If you’re ever beyond civilization and need to rely on your own strength to find food, you would be wise to seek protein at every opportunity.

But in 21st century America, we don’t do that. And we are fat and sick.

How Much Protein?

Restricting calories, starches, or grains will help you lose weight. But it’s not that simple. You must be sure to get enough protein or you’ll not lose as much, and you WILL gain it back — due both to how your hormones are functioning and hunger. Tired of the yo-yo? Focus on protein!!

How much? AT LEAST .8 grams of protein for every kilogram you weigh. A person who weighs 160 pounds (73 kilograms) should be eating at least 58 grams of protein a day.

However, if you increase your protein, you’ll find even better and longer lasting results. Diets with 1.2g of protein per kilogram of weight “resulted in improved BW [body weight] maintenance in overweight individuals after BW loss and was related to beneficial changes in body composition, substrate oxidation, and satiety.” For the 160 pound person, that means at least 88g of protein every day.

A few serving examples: 1 egg has 6g, 1/2c tempeh 15g, 3oz tuna 25g, 3oz ground beef 22g, 1/2c black beans 7g, 1/2c whole wheat flour 8g. So if you’re relying on whole wheat and beans, you might think that’s plenty, and if not you can just eat more, right? Here’s a comparison: you can eat 1 pound of ground beef and get all your protein for the day at 1500 calories. Or you can eat 6 cups of whole wheat flour and get all your protein at 2700 calories. This is why we call grain “empty”: it gives you many calories that do not feed your body nutrients, just units of energy you don’t use.

Chances are, if you are not focusing on protein and choosing sources with a high percent of protein versus their other content, you’re not getting enough.

“Based on the comparison of a number of reliable studies, we conclude that a NPD [normal protein diet] of 0.8 g · kg BW [body weight] −1 . d−1 is sufficient for BW management, whereas a HPD [high protein diet] of 1.2 g · kg BW−1 . d−1 is necessary for preservation of REE [resting energy expenditure, i.e. resting metabolic rate] and a stronger initial sparing effect of FFM [fat-free mass, i.e. lean body mass] and lowering of DBP [diastolic blood pressure].”

Read the whole study: http://m.jn.nutrition.org/content/143/5/591.long

Fit Young Female Athlete Lifting Heavy WeightsDon’t get caught up in how much weight you SHOULD be lifting or how many reps you SHOULD be doing. That’s wrong-headed. If you want to know what you SHOULD be doing to make your workout most worthwhile, you don’t have to look at anyone else.

Everyone of us has different strengths and weaknesses, different experience with exercise, and strong or weak days. So never rely on comparison with anyone else, no matter how similar you may see them or how much you want to match their fitness.

VT1 and VT2

I’ve written about these before, but it’s been awhile, and a discussion this morning with a client had me thinking about it again.

VT is the “ventilatory threshold,” meaning the line you cross with regard to how much air you’re breathing in and what that means about how hard your heart is working.

Below VT1. If you spend your workout at a comfort level where you can carry on a conversation (or, say, recite the alphabet), you’ll be exercising below the VT1 and be getting only minimal gains. Your heart rate will be around 40%-50% of your maximum. Great for easing emotional stress and some weight loss.

At VT1. If you’re sweating and can NOT carry on a conversation–but you CAN respond to questions and ask short questions–then you’re at VT1, and you’ll gain aerobic capacity and fat loss much faster. Your heart rate will be around 60%-70% of your maximum. Hour-long studio classes like Zumba and BodyCombat live here. Once conditioned, you can exercise in this range for hours.

VT1 > VT2. If you push yourself beyond VT1 to the point where you can’t even speak, you’re nearing VT2. Your heart rate will be around 80%-90% of your maximum. You won’t likely be able to sustain this intensity of exercise for a few minutes at a time until you’ve condition yourself with activities such as HIIT or Crossfit. Then, you’ll be able to continue for 20-30 minutes as you near VT2. At this level, it’s not just more calories but qualitatively different effects; you’ll get increased fat burn but also EPOC effect which will burn calories for hours afterward and stimulate human growth hormone and improve insulin sensitivity.

>VT2. Those who push past the VT2 range do so for mere minutes and are likely increasing athletic performance. Past VT2 is the 100%+ range of your heart rate.

Your Workout

It’s YOUR workout! Focus on what your breathing and heart rate are doing at each workout. You may hit 80% when someone else is at 50% and chatting away. If you try to match what others are doing, you’re not accounting for the differences in day, diet, sleep, size, and other factors that influence our workouts every day.


This is a terrific infographic. Use it to move step-by-step into the fitness level you want. Focus on all three parts: diet, exercise, sleep!

The only thing I don’t like here is how they use “carbs” to mean empty carbohydrates, like grains and starches. Carbs include vegetables and fruits, but they are not the enemy. Vegetables and fruits are nutrient rich, so think of eating “good carb” not “low carb”.


As winter sets in, you may feel the blues arrive. Here are some ways to boost your mood by boosting your serotonin levels!

10. Avoid the fast track to happiness: don’t eat sugar or empty carbs for the quick high.
9. Don’t avoid carbs entirely; they help you manage tryptophan.
8. Eat protein for the tryptophan.
7. Eat fat to help your hormones.
6. Take a fish oil supplement to help your hormones and brain.
5. Exercise to feel good.
4. Avoid the stimulant cycle of sugar, caffeine, alcohol.
3. Sleep right.
2. Investigate supplements wisely.
1. Boost other hormones like oxytocin “the cuddle hormone”.

Read more at Mark’s Daily Apple.

personal training coralvilleFinding it hard to get to the gym? Need motivation or just a little push to get started? Like variety? Here’s your answer!

Below are 5 workouts. Do the same workout on the same day each week and record how many reps or time to score your progress. You don’t need equipment and each should take just 10-15 mins.

1. LADDER – Do for 2 min, rest 30 sec. Repeat 5 times

n x Burpee + 10 mountain climbers
n+1 x Burpee (add 1 burpee each round) + 10 mountain climbers

2. EMOM – 10 min every minute on the minute do 15 reps of an exercise. Rest the remainder of the minute. At minute 6 start the set over for 10 exercises in 10 minutes

Squat jumps
Tricep push-ups
Sumo squats
Butterfly sit-ups

3. AMRAP – Do as many reps as possible cycling through the set for 5 mins. Record total reps of all exercises combined. Rest 3 mins. Repeat set for second total reps.

10 side climbers
20 box jumps (stair, bench)
20 butterfly sit-ups

4. FOR TIME – Do all exercises and record time to complete

20 squat jumps
20 push-ups
100 butterfly sit-ups

5. DO EACH – 1 min each exercise followed by 20 sec rest and move to next exercise. Rest 2 mins after set and repeat set.

Dips (bench, stair, table edge)
Jumping Jacks

We’re having our second health fair! If you made it to our first in July, you may want to get an update to see how your eating and exercise have improved your body metrics. If this is your first, get your benchmark for future metrics.

Spots are limited to 20 people. You must reserve and prepay. 

WHAT: A Health Fair. Discover how fit and healthy you are and what you can do to maintain or improve your fitness. You’ll get two readings: 1) Body Composition Analysis, which measures lean muscle, fat, and hydration levels. 2) Skin Carotenoid Score, which measures your antioxidant levels.
WHERE: New Moon Fitness Studio 1749 Parkway Dr Coralville IA
WHEN: October 4, 2014 (Saturday) 9am-12pm. 10-minute time slot reservations required. You can sign up online.
WHY: Being healthy and fit isn’t just about the scale. It’s about body fat and lean muscle ratio and about how well you eat and hold onto antioxidants. You’ll find out how you’re doing and how you can maintain or improve your levels. Measurements and explanations take 10-15 minutes. You’ll have charts & other goodies to take home.
COST: $40. Pre-payment is required.

REGISTER ONLINE http://scorebodycomp.com/cal.html or CALL TERESA 319-325-4000


SCORE-BODY-COMPOSITION-LOGOTwo people who weigh the same can have a very different body composition — that is, have a very different amount of muscle and fat. Muscle is the major driver of your metabolic rate and important for weight management, but most people who lose weight will lose both muscle and fat. That makes it harder to lose weight and easier to regain it. Muscle decreases as you get older, so even though your weight is steady, you may actually have more fat. Without measuring your muscle and fat, you cannot gauge your true progress. MORE INFO: http://scorebodycomp.com/



PHARMENEX-LOGOBy measuring the stable level of carotenoid antioxidants in your skin and generating your Skin Carotenoid Score, the Scanner provides a more accurate and reliable biomarker of your overall antioxidant health status than other methods of measuring antioxidants. Based on Nobel Prize winning science the BioPhotonic S3 Scanner is the only patented instrument that in 30 seconds conducts a live non-invasive tissue measurement and provides an immediate personal antioxidant assessment. MORE INFO: http://whybioscan.com/

bigstock-Woman-with-her-personal-fitnes-41022586So you have finally gotten your kids off to school for the year.You feel pretty good that you’ve provided them with good classes and a variety of activities, right?

My daugther is in 6th grade at a public school, and my 5th grade son is homeschooling with me, so you can imagine the time devoted to both shuttling with before-and-after school activities (safety patrol, soccer, piano, chess club) AND developing curriculum daily (language arts, math, science, foreign language, PE). Along with work, friends, and home, what’s left in the tank or on the clock for my HEALTH?

Don’t be like that!

Don’t put your eating or your physical activities last! If you can’t plan them daily (like me), set aside 2 hours on Sunday evening or devote that hour while you’re at your daughter’s piano lesson to plan your week. Think about what you’re going to eat each day and where you can stick 30-60 minutes three times a week to exercise. Plan when you can get to the store and gym or when you can pop that DVD in at home.

There is literally a workout for EVERYONE no matter your exercise interest, amount of available time, or your physical ability. Start somewhere. Just start.

Fitness begins with strength training

Yes, you read that right. Here at NMF we won’t put you on a cardio machine. Cardio/aerobics work using bikes, treadmills, and running is supplementary. You must strength train for weight loss and health, especially as you age. Strength training IS cardio training. You cannot say the reverse. We say this especially to women.

We’re enrolling personal training clients seeking to get a safe push-start in a private studio setting. We also have small groups for those who may like the camaraderie and convenient pricing.

Your kids are exercising every day at recess and gym class. Why aren’t you?

Here’ are some routines you can do at home

Try these routines on the same day each week and see how you progress. Do the prescribed number of reps in each exercise in the routine and start over again until the time or the number of sets is complete. No breaks except as needed. If you stop, rest briefly and continue. Do quickly but with good form. Record your time. Do each routine on the same day the following week. Keep to these for a month and see how your time and comfort progress. If you find these aren’t challenging enough, double the sets and progress the exercise (a harder burpee or a harder sit up or a squat with weight).

If you’re unfamiliar with any technique, contact us or search the exercise library at ACE Fitness.


4 sets for time:
5 squats
10 push ups (toes or knees)
15 butterfly sit ups


5 sets for time:
3 burpees (choose your version of burpee) or 10 mountain climbers
10 squats


1 set for time
80 butterfly sit ups


For 7 min do as many reps as possible:
7 squats
7 butterfly sit ups


5 sets for time:
10 push ups
10 sit ups
10 squats

Our fitness philosophy is that we want you to change your lifestyle, not just add an hour of exercise. That means 3 or more workouts/week. That’s what will change your life.

Groups are a good way to do that with the help of the camaraderie and lower cost. Unlike personal training, Shannon and Teresa also participate to some extent in these workouts with you — both for their own fitness and to help motivate you. We sweat right along with you! (And Teresa complains a lot.)

All groups are free to clients. If you would like to join us but are not a current client, see our Prices & Schedules Page.


Body By Shannon is on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 6:30pm. She’s focusing on Beachbody workouts, providing lots of variety and different intensities with things like P90X3. She takes requests, so if there’s a program you’re interested in or if there is a particular goal you have, ask her!


  1. HIIT (30 minutes high intensity interval training) — Sunday 3pm
  2. Run Club (30-45 minutes Run/Walk at local park) — Sundays 11am
  3. Strength Squad (45-60 minute WOD-style workout) — Wednesdays 5pm
  4. Body Beast (45-60 minutes Body Builidng Split Routine) — Daily and Saturdays 11am