21 Questions with BSF’s New Coach, Ava!

To help BSF’s clients get to know Ava better, we played 21 questions with her. Find out who her fitspiration is, where she grew up, her favorite training style and much more here!

1. How did you first hear about BSF?

I followed some of the trainers on social media, and a mentor of mine in the fitness community told me to check out the gym.

2. What made you want to work in the health and fitness industry?

I’ve been an avid exerciser my whole life. As a past dancer, I’ve always been fascinated by the ways in which our bodies can change and adapt as a result of the lifestyle changes we make. its really cool!

3. Where can we find you in between teaching classes and training clients?

Hanging out with friends or watching Cleveland sports teams.


4. What do you do when you’re feeling unmotivated to workout?

How good I’m going to feel after its over. Exercising wakes me up and makes me feel energized – it’s practically a form of caffeine for me.

5. What does your typical workout look like?

I typically tend to do my workouts “circuit style”. I love a good full body HIIT workout.

6. What is your morning ritual?

Get dressed, eat, coffee, go to work. There’s usually not much time at 4:15am.

7. What will we never find you working out without?

My camelback water bottle and my apple watch.

8. What do you do to relax?

Watch TV or hang on the couch. I usually light a candle and make tea to set a mood.

9. What do you tell clients who are intimidated by working with a personal trainer?

At the end of the day, they’re working out in the best environment! No one is judging them, and the only person that’s really focusing on them (the trainer) is their biggest cheerleader. We all want our clients to succeed, and they really are taking the best action to do it.

10. Who is your “fitspiration”?

My dad. My dad has always loved going to the gym. He’s 61 years old and he still meets his buddies every morning at 5:50 am to work out. They call their workout “Walrus” (spin off of the Navy Seals). If i’m that committed when I’m 61, I’ll be happy.

11. Favorite cheat meal?

Pizza. Hands down.

12. Favorite NYC restaurant?

Not sure if this counts, but the idea of Seamless still gets me every time. I’m from the midwest, so the idea that sushi can be ordered and delivered to my door via smartphone in less than 30 min is absolutely mind boggling.


13. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Waiting. I’ve turned into such a New Yorker. 

14. What does your typical Saturday look like?

Training and hanging out with my sister and nephew.

15. What would you do with one extra hour in the day?

Sleep an extra hour…

16. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A professional dancer.

17. What was your nickname growing up?


18. What celebrity would you love to train and why?

Justin Timberlake. And because he’s amazing.


19. What is your favorite song to workout to?

Currently, “Kill The Lights” by Alex Newell (with Nile Rodgers)

20. What will we find in your gym bag?

It’s pretty much a survival kit. Everything ranging from my computer, to face wipes, to mini bands, to lacrosse balls to roll out my muscles.

21. What is the best advice you ever received?

“One day at a time”

Starting today, Ava is coaching semi-private training, private training as well as BSF classes! Get your chance to train with Coach Ava HERE! Classes your thing? Sign up HERE.

21 Questions with BSF’s New Coach, Ivana!

To help BSF’s clients get to know Ivana better, we played 21 questions with her. Find out the celebrity she’d like to train, her story before becoming a coach, her best advice, and much more here!

1. How did you first hear about BSF?

Almost 3 years ago, my best friend and I found BSF when we were looking for a new class to take together.  At first, I only took classes because I was a little nervous to work with a Coach but within a few months, I started semi-private training with Fran and it completely changed my perspective on fitness…so much so that I wanted to become a Coach too!

2. What made you want to work in the health and fitness industry?

I recently quit my full-time job in hospitality to focus fully on fitness and coaching. Working with a client to reach a fitness goal or hit a PR is such a satisfying feeling. My main goal is to continue to help people move better, lift heavier, and overall, feel stronger.

3. Where can we find you in between teaching classes and training clients?

Eating…now that I’m always on the move, I find myself starving ALL. THE. TIME.

4. What do you do when you’re feeling unmotivated to workout?

I’ll find a friend to come with me so there’s accountability.

5. What does your typical workout look like?

Mostly strength and resistance focused (similar to our LIFT classes) with occasional cardio mixed in.

6. What is your morning ritual?

I am such a breakfast person: coffee, eggs, and catching up on emails.


7. What will we never find you working out without?

A towel for all of the sweat.

8. What do you do to relax?

Read (I love thrillers!) or go for a walk. Also, eat…


9. What do you tell clients who are intimidated by working with a personal trainer?

There’s a misconception that variety (taking all different kinds of classes, jumping from studio to studio) is better for overall fitness but the truth is, if you really want to see long-term changes in your body, you need consistency. Personal trainers develop programs that are based on YOUR goals, with an emphasis on reaching them in a safe and effective way. We also really focus on educating the client so that they can feel more knowledgeable and confident when working out on their own.

10. Who is your “fitspiration”?

Beyonce or Blake Lively


11. Favorite cheat meal?

I have a ridiculous sweet tooth. Ice cream, pastries, candy, cake…you get the idea.

12. Favorite NYC restaurant?

Bunker, in Williamsburg.

13. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

People that take themselves way too seriously.

14. What does your typical Saturday look like?

The epitome of Netflix and chill. Documentaries are my new favorite.

15. What would you do with one extra hour in the day?

Spend more time outside, especially if it’s sunny and warm.

16. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A doctor.

17. What was your nickname growing up?

Vonnie, Von, Vonsicle.

18. What celebrity would you love to train and why?

Serena Williams because we could lift some serious weights!


19. What is your favorite song to workout to?

I always enjoy a good 80s remix!

20. What will we find in your gym bag?

Lotions and potions…I love all kinds of cleansers and creams.

21. What is the best advice you ever received?

Actually, it’s a quote from Jen Sincero: “Time wasted rationalizing the mediocre could be time spent creating the magnificent”

Starting today, Ivana is coaching semi-private training, private training as well as BSF classes! Get your chance to train with Coach Ivana HERE! Classes your thing? Sign up HERE.

21 Questions with BSF’s New Class Instructor, Bethany!

To help BSF’s clients get to know Bethany better, we played 21 questions with her. Find out how favorite hear meal, personal “fitspiration”, favorite workout song, and much more here!

1.How did you first hear about BSF?

To be honest I don’t remember. I first took a class here through Classpass over a year ago when I was just visiting NYC from college!

2. What made you want to work in the health and fitness industry?

I have been seriously into fitness and health for over 10 years. I’ve always played sports and been active so I love moving my body. I also was a coach for many years so becoming a group fitness instructor in college was an easy transition for me.

3. Where can we find you in between teaching classes and training clients?

I also am a cycling instructor at Flywheel so being active between teaching is big for me. When I am not working out I love to explore NYC—mostly through food. I love checking out new places and restaurants I haven’t tried before. I also really love love lounging in my apartment and doing NOTHING.

4. What do you do when you’re feeling unmotivated to workout?

When I don’t want to workout I just get myself out the door. Sometimes it’s hard to push yourself in class but if I just leave my apartment and get to the gym/studio that’s half the battle. Once I’m in class I remember why I love this so much and how great it is for my body and mind and being able to push through just happens.

5. What does your typical workout look like?

Anything and everything (besides yoga and zumba). I love running (running NYC marathon this November!!) and cycling for cardio. I also love strength training and utilizing ketllebells, sandbags, and TRX in workouts. Anything that makes me feel strong I am all for.

6. What is your morning ritual?

Coffee, coffee, coffee…and more coffee.

7. What will we never find you working out without?

I am obsessed with staying hydrated and having water on me at all times (especially while working out)

8. What do you do to relax?

I am really bad at relaxing and struggle to sit down and do nothing sometimes. But I am trying to get into Epsom salt baths with a book.

9. What do you tell clients who are intimidated by working with a personal trainer?

Everyone starts somewhere and everyone has a different fitness journey. Trainers are completely understanding of this and really do want what is best for their clients.

10. Who is your “fitspiration”?

Jessie Graff

11. Favorite cheat meal?

A cheeseburger. Hands down.

12. Favorite NYC restaurant?

Jacobs Pickles

13. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

I get SO aggravated with slow walkers in NYC and people who just stop mid walk with a million people behind them. It makes me mad just thinking about it.

14. What does your typical Saturday look like?

Sundays I like to sleep in and have coffee. I usually do all my meal prep and errands Sunday afternoon and then I love ending the day with a run.

15. What would you do with one extra hour in the day?

Hmmm If I had one more hour I would probably get errands done. I feel like there’s always a million things to do.

16. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I always wanted to be a teacher… then nutritionist.. then back to a teacher. In a sense I am a teacher today.

17. What was your nickname growing up?

A lot of my friends called me B. Some still do.

18. What celebrity would you love to train and why?

Ellen! I think I would just laugh the entire session

19. What is your favorite song to workout to?

I love anything with a good beat. I also love remixes and mashups.

20. What will we find in your gym bag?

A spare change of clothes, my planner, lots of food, water, and a headband.

21. What is the best advice you ever received?

I’ve received a lot of good advice regarding fitness and life especially recently with moving to NYC and starting new jobs. Find meaning behind your “why” and constantly remind yourself why you’re here in the first place.

4 Things You Need to Know About Bone Health and Exercise

Need to Know #1: What is Osteoporosis and How Many People are Affected by it?

Osteoporosis is the condition of having bones which have weakened to the point of being at risk of fracturing. It is estimated to affect 200 million people worldwide, most of them being postmenopausal women.

In the image above you can see how healthy bone has a very dense and strong matrix, while the osteoporotic bone has much larger holes which increases its risk of breaking.

Degradation of healthy bones is inevitable over time but you can have a much greater quality of life by building up as much Bone Mineral Density (the quantification of how dense and strong your bones are) before you begin to lose it.

Of course, you’re going to need to consume the building blocks of strong bones in order to grow them.  So, what foods can you eat to support your bone health?


Need to Know #2: What Foods can You Eat to Have Stronger Bones?

While most people think that milk alone will build strong bones, not many know that green fruits and vegetables also contribute to maintaining bone health. Green apples, green grapes and kiwis (along with the foods pictured above) contain Vitamin K which has been found to aid in preventing osteoporosis.

However… while the research has been conflicting supplementing Vitamin D, Calcium, and Vitamin K whether in pill or powder form is not proven to build stronger bones.  According to recent (2015) meta analyses these vitamins and nutrients need to be taken in from whole foods, not lone supplements.

Drinking whole milk allows you to absorb the Vitamin D because Vitamin D (along with A, E, and K) are fat soluble vitamins. Meaning, our bodies CANNOT absorb them unless they are eaten with fatty foods, such as eggs or other animal products.

So, the next time you’re eating kale make sure to eat some chicken with it (or some bacon, it’s ok if you eat bacon once in a while).

By this point you’re probably wondering, “But what about exercise?”


Need to Know #3: What About Exercise?

Exercising as little as once a week has a positive effect on bone health! But, what if your time is limited? What if you’re in a risk group and want to maximize your bone density before it starts to degrade? Is your training the best it can be to help you reach this goal?

As you can assume, lifting heavy weights and engaging in high intensity resistance training puts stress on your bones, tendons and ligaments.  This stress acts as a stimulus which tells your body that you need to have sturdier bones and (if you are well-nourished) will result in greater bone mineral density.

And yet, strength training is only the second best method found for building stronger bones.  The best method of training is actually Power Training.  Power training involves explosive movements and absorbing a fair amount of impact.  You can perform explosive movements and absorb impact without weights by jumping, sprinting and changing direction, or performing other plyometrics.  However, you’ll get the greatest stimulus to get stronger (muscles and bones) by performing power training with weights.  The Power Clean is my favorite example, and is pictured below.

(Important: Don’t perform any complicated exercises like the power clean unless you’ve had a coach teach you the proper form)

Need to Know #4: So, What Should You Take Away From This?

To highlight the importance of the more critical points be sure to get your vitamins from whole foods instead of pills; be sure to add some power training to your training regimen; and obviously, spend less time sitting.  Sitting is the new smoking, and the more time you spend at rest the weaker your bones will get.  For the sake of your physical health break up your day by exercising.  If you work a sedentary desk job make the effort to get out of your chair and walk around for just ten minutes.  

None of us are perfect and no one expects you to be perfect, but if you can commit to one of the key points of this article and nothing else, that’s at least something. Make small commitments, build up some momentum, and slowly get better and better.


-Coach Andreas

Two years ago my Bedstemør (Danish for Grandma) fell down and broke her wrist.  She then went to a doctor in the emergency room and if you’ve ever been to a Danish hospital, you’d know that all the new doctors are put in the ER so they can learn about all different sorts of injuries people come in with.  Unfortunately my Bedstemor got a very new doctor and had her broken wrist set improperly. She then had to go back to find a better doctor who could then set her wrist again(which was very painful as you can imagine) and then had to spend months recovering.

As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist I know what could have been done to prevent all of that from happening.  However there is a worldwide stigma that women shouldn’t lift heavy weights, or that weightlifting is only for big dumb guys who lift things up and put them down.  My greatest accomplishment of last year was getting my mom to sign up for personal training and give her a chance to avoid the scenario her mother was forced to go through, while also reaping all the other benefits that come with exercise.  I hope with this article and my continued work in the fitness industry I can help more people take preventative action to improve the quality of their lives.

Interested in training with Andreas? Click here for more information on how you can get scheduled with a strategy session.

I Don’t Believe in Motivation!

How do I stay “motivated”?

Recently, many have asked how do I stay motivated all the time.  There must  be a secret potion or pill you can take to remain motivated.  In reality, I don’t believe in motivation.  It is not about being motivated but living a healthy lifestyle.  It is about making training and eating well apart of your life. When those habits become as automatic as brushing your teeth, who needs motivation?

How do we get there? Where do we start? It sounds difficult! When we’re overwhelmed, we tend to continue the same vicious cycle we’re on. However, I am here to help break that cycle and provide some direction on ways of creating healthier habits that are apart of your life like brushing your teeth.


Find your WHY!

The best way to get started is finding your WHY. We all want to be healthier, to feel better, to move better but why? What is your purpose? Ask yourself these questions and dig down deep to create a strong connection to becoming a healthier you.  Creating a specific and intrinsic why will form a greater connection and will result in a lasting habit.  Do some digging and create an internal why as opposed to using punishment or rewards to keep you “motivated”.

Find what will make you happy and what is important to you, not your coach or the person working out next to you, but you! By looking inside you will be reminded of what you want, as opposed to what everyone else wants.  Making a specific connection to your “why” will keep you focused as the new habit develops (99U.com).


How to put your WHY into action:

Now you have your WHY (a reason behind a new habit), let’s make it lasting! How do you make it automatic, a part of your daily routine, how long will it take? Any change to your daily routine will be challenging because there are several distractions and you’re breaking something that is already automatic. Instead of throwing out certain habits to replace new ones, create behavior changes to the already existing habit.  Sticking to a new habit will be easier if you incorporate it to your current routine.  Multiple studies confirm this to be successful when developing a new habit. For example, your new habit might be to “eat breakfast with my coffee”. Instead, try “with my coffee, I will eat an apple & oatmeal.” You are no longer relying on will power but connected your new habit of “eat breakfast” to a current habit “morning coffee.” Start out with a small habit you are connected to.  It will take daily practice but living a healthier and happier life is worth it.

Interested in learning how to make habit changes? Email us at BodySpaceFitness@gmial.com to take advantage of Precision Nutrition Counseling with one of our coaches!

Creating a new habit takes time and it is important to remember the process. It takes an average of 66 days to create a lasting habit not the 21-day myth.  This is according to new research by Phillippa Lally and colleagues from the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre based at UCL Epidemiology and Public Health. The team of researchers completed a groundbreaking investigation on how people form habits.  The research explains key factors in creating new habits and breaking old ones (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/). The research found that it took people an average of 66 days to reach a point of self automaticity to perform the new behavior.  In the beginning visualize yourself performing the new habit automatically and connect an emotion to it.  How will you fill when this new habit becomes as routine as brushing your teeth? This will also help you focus on developing the new behavior.

Making changes that you want require time and commitment but as habits become routine, you will no longer need to rely on motivation.  As you continue to develop healthy habits, remember to be kind to yourself and to take one day at a time (APA.org).  It will be challenging, but you can do it.  You deserve to live life ane healthiest and best version of you. Be specific, be patient and enjoy the process to creating a healthy lifestyle free of motivation.


~Coach Sarah

Meet Coach Sarah on the turf Wednesday and Friday evenings. Click here to schedule with her!


American Psychological Association. 2017. Making Lifestyle Changes That Last. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/lifestyle-changes.aspx

Gregory Ciotti. 2017.  5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits That Stick. http://99u.com/articles/22557/7-habits-of-incredibly-happy-people

University College London. 4 August 2009. How long does it take to form a habit? http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0908/09080401


Introducing, Body Camp 2.0!

BSF Fam,

You may have noticed our large group schedule has changed, we’ve consolidated the number of classes on the schedule to two categories, Body Camp 2.0 and Kettlebell and Core. With the changes that have been made to the large group classes, I wanted to give you guys an understanding of why the changes have been made, what changes have been made and what is the best way to select which classes are right for you.

Why the changes have been made?

Our large group classes were designed to get people closer to their fitness goals; with so many goals we wanted to offer as many products as possible… We had Body Camp, Metabolic Burn, Cardio Strength, Training for Warriors, and Kettlebell and Core. When asking members what their goals were, answers ranged from wanting to learn how to work out safely, while some just want to burn a couple extra calories to complement the workouts they are already doing. Rather than try to separate all the different goals into individual classes, we decided to make one class format that focuses on these various areas of fitness on different days.

What changes have been made?

The name Body Camp refers to our signature class, which will have two variations: Sweat and Lift. Every week for four weeks, the classes will become progressively more challenging to make sure you are staying on track with your goals, and be challenged. All our signature classes will still follow our philosophy of full-body functional training which is rooted in the science of human movement, but each day will have an emphasis.

–       Monday: Body Camp Sweat – This day will focus on metabolic conditioning (a fancy word for getting your heart rate up and keeping it there), a great class to wake the body up after the weekend and get ready for what’s to come for the rest of the week.

–       Tuesday: Body Camp Lift – This day will focus on working out the largest groups of muscles in our body, the lower body. The focus of this day will help build the foundation of our inner athlete.

–       Wednesday: Body Camp Sweat – This day will focus on releasing your inner athlete, the day’s focus will include Speed, Agility and Quickness drills, kettlebell complexes and multi-directional work.

–       Thursday: Body Camp Lift –  This day will focus on upper body, whether it be getting you closer to your pull-up goal, or look for an excuse to go sleeveless, this is the class for you.

–       Friday: Body Camp Lift – This day will focus on the body connection between upper and lower body, your core. This day will be filled with exercises that challenge your mid-section way beyond basic crunches.

–       Saturday: Body Camp Sweat – This day will focus on total body conditioning, which is ideal for the weekend warrior pressed for time.

–       Sunday: Body Camp Sweat – This day will focus on total body conditioning, which is ideal for the weekend warrior pressed for time.

** Our 6 & 7 AM classes will remain 45-minutes in length to get you on your way to work

Which classes are right for me?

We want you to choose the classes to take first based on what your goals are, and answering these two questions:

  1. What are my fitness goals, and which are most important to me right now?
  2. How many times per week can I work out? This question should include what your schedule demands and what level of fitness are you currently.

What are you waiting for?

Click here to sign up for our brand new Body Camp 2.0!



If you have any questions, concerns, or any questions how to use this change in schedule more efficiently, please contact us at bodyspacefitness@gmail.com.

Still changing the game, one sweaty rep at a time!

Can The Right Shoe Prevent Injury?

This week's guest blog post comes from our friends at BASE Physical Therapy, located on the 4th Floor of Body Space Fitness. Click here to contact them for questions or services.

Welcome back to the world of shoes! It’s a messy world when it comes to making sense of finding the right fit, but we’re going to try and simplify things today.

In a past BASE blog post regarding what running shoe is right for you, we got a sense of where the modern cushioned shoe came from and what all that terminology in running stores means for you. We also learned that as all of this shoe technology has advanced, it hasn’t necessarily reduced overall injury rates for the running population as it exists today.

Part of the reason we haven’t seen significant improvements in injury rates amongst runners could be because current shoe design isn’t backed up by research. In other words, shoe companies can’t claim that by choosing the right shoe fit, people will have fewer injuries. The research simply doesn’t exist to verify that claim.


The current research

Here’s a brief synopsis of what researchers have found when asking the question: Does wearing a particular type of shoe affect injury rates in runners?  

Malisoux 2016
-Studied experienced runners.
-Found lower rates of injury with motion control shoes
Knapik 2014
-Studied a military population
-Found assigning a shoe type made no difference to injury risk
Nielsen 2014
-Studied novice runners
-Runners with pronated feet sustained fewer injuries compared to those with ‘normal’ feet
Ryan 2011
-Studied female runners
-All pronators wearing motion control shoes sustained injuries

If you’re confused because these studies present confounding results – you’re right. There is no clear answer.  Why?

  1. There aren’t enough studies to come to a clear consensus
  2. The existing studies have all have studied slightly different populations
  3. The studies have come up with contradictory results



Here are a few problematic statements that reflect what most people believe when it comes to shoes:

  1. Shoe selection should be based on pronated, neutral, and supinated feet
  2. Foot pronation should be controlled to prevent injury
  3. Selecting the right shoe is very important in preventing injury.

None of these statements have been proven! So why are we all so obsessed with foot pronation and shoe selection!?

Ultimately, picking the right shoe probably isn’t as important as we all think it is.

When it comes to this puzzle of shoe fit, running culture and injury prevention, we have to change where we place the most emphasis. Currently there is far too much emphasis to shoe fit. With what we know right now, finding the perfect shoe just isn’t going to be the magic bullet to prevent injury. The good news is that there’s a lot we can do besides shoe selection to prevent running injury, and it’s backed up by good research.


So What Can I Do To Prevent Injury?

When it comes to injury prevention, there are a multitude of factors, but for our purposes, let’s keep it simple. Here’s are easy-to-adopt, evidence based actions you can take to reduce running energy:

1. Use a graded exercise program that builds slowly.

An estimated 60-80% (depending on which study you look at) of running injuries are related to training error. What’s training error you ask? Simply put it’s doing too much, too fast. This could be related to running volume, duration, frequency, intensity or any combination of these factors.

Runners before the running boom of our time, and especially those before the 70’s ran their entire lives! They ran on hard surfaces without cushioned shoes. They weren’t starting to gear up for a marathon mere months before the race. There isn’t record of a whole lot of injury for those folks. And they certainly didn’t have the ‘high-tech’ shoes we have either. Coincidence?

The runners back in the day used a graded exercise program by default. They didn’t have the large spikes in training intensity we see in the general running population today.

2. Use the 10% rule as a guideline for training

Some of you may have heard of the 10% rule. The 10% rule means that you don’t increase any factor of your training (volume, duration, frequency or intensity) by more than 10% per week.

The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy published a study in 2014 that put the 10% rule to the test. They followed 873 runners for a year. They found that runners who increased their mileage by less than 10% per week had a significantly lower injury rate that those who increased their mileage by more than 30% per week. The greater than 30% group suffered a number of types of injuries such as runner’s knee, IT band syndrome, shin splints, jumper’s knee. The LOWEST injury rates were found amongst the runners who only increased their mileage by less than 10% every TWO weeks.

3. Pick the right shoe

At the end of they day you still need to pick a shoe though (unless you choose to go barefoot running – more on that in another post). Luckily – there is a proposed solution that has been put forward by a research group from Alberta, Canada. Dr. Nigg, who works with the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Calgary has proposed a new paradigm for approaching the world of running shoes and running injuries. He proposes that we choose our shoes based on the ‘comfort filter.’ This is partially based on a study that found that those who picked a shoe insert based solely on how comfortable it was had 53% less injury than the control group. Only half as many injuries!


Key Takeaways

So keep it simple. Here are 2 things you can do to help yourself stay healthy while running.

  1. Pick a shoe that is comfortable
  2. Follow the 10% rule.

At the end of the day there isn’t very clear data on how shoe fit affects injury yet, most runners place a high importance to picking the right shoe to prevent injury. I don’t blame runners though – shoe companies and health care professionals continually reinforce the ‘dangers’ of over-pronation and high impact forces. Unfortunately these beliefs are not rooted in scientific evidence and when it comes to buying a pair of shoes it complicates what should be a pretty easy decision. So keep it simple and just wear what feels right.

Thanks for reading, and stay healthy this running season!




Davis, IS. (2014) The re-emergence of the minimal running shoe. JOSPT. Vol. 44(10), p775-784

JOSPT Perspectives for patients (2014) Running. How to safely increase your mileage. JOSPT. 44(10), p748

Nielsen RO., Buist I., Sorensen H., Lind M., Rasmussen S. (2012) Training errors and running related injuries: A systematic review. IJSPT. (7) 1, p58-74

Nigg, BM., Baltich, J., Hoerzer, S., Enders, H. (2015) Running shoes and running injuries: mythbusting and a proposal for two new paradigms: ‘preferred movement path’ and ‘comfort filter’. BJSM. Vol. 49, p1290 – 1294

Staying Injury-Free Through Plyometrics

The Rep

Believe it or not, plyometrics training has developed a bad reputation. It is hard to determine if its image as a highly efficient and effective form of training is being replaced by the latest Instagram hero demonstrating yet another close call-personal record box jump, or because most trainees simply don’t know how to incorporate it into their training safely. What was born in the track and field stadium, where the world’s fastest and most explosive athletes display their skills, plyometrics training has come under heavy scrutiny for their safety, especially when performed by children in training (Brown, 2001). As the father of a 14-month old (shameless plug for my son, Mateo!), I continually plan for my son’s athletic development, as it will finance my retirement. Despite their gross misuse through countless social media outlets, plyometric exercises should be recognized for their role not only in improving sporting performance but more importantly as a means of injury prevention in children. Let’s go back to a better time where plyometrics training wasn’t that “thing” that had the potential to get people hurt, but used as the “thing” that made our athletes better. In this 2-part article, let’s look at what plyometrics training consists of, who could benefit from its use and how one can they use it safely.

Coach Eddy’s son, Matteo

What Exactly is Plyometrics?

Asking people to define what plyometrics training is can prove to be more challenging than getting an answer to who the 35th president of the United States; without the use of Wikipedia. The answer of what plyometrics training consists of will range from bodyweight exercises performed quickly to throwing a ball. To an extent those answers are correct; sort of! Essentially a plyometric exercise is a quick, powerful movement which uses a pre-stretch, or countermovement, that involves the stretch–shortening cycle (SSC) (Brown & Ferrigno, 2015). For those not familiar with the SSC, essentially, it’s one type of muscular contraction immediately followed by another. The sequence of these two types of muscular contractions takes advantage of your muscle’s energy storage capabilities to maximize its performance. In a highly oversimplified example, think of a rubber band, the further you pull it apart, the more “snap” it produces to return to its original shape.

Stretch–shortening cycle

The Science Behind It

Now that we have the formal definition out of the way, what are some exercise that you may have seen that could be classified under this type of training? Let’s refer to my box jump example; an exercise that most people associate with plyometrics training. A box jump includes the descent (eccentric phase), quickly followed by the ascent phase (concentric), and ends with a landing on top of the box. The time between the eccentric and concentric phase is called amortization phase, the transition between the sinking down to jump and to execute the jump. To take full advantage of the SSC, we want to minimize the amount of time spent in the amortization phase (Brown & Ferrigno, 2015).

Benefits of Plyometrics

There is no doubt that there are noted positive health benefits associated with increases in physical activity, including “improved health, increased self-esteem, collaborative teamwork, and enhanced social development” (Weber, Lam, & Valovich McLeod, 2016). Unfortunately, attached to these positive benefits comes the inherent risk of injury. According to the Sporting and Fitness Industry Association (2013), an estimated 25 million children throughout the United States, between the ages of 6 and 17, participated in some form of team sports. In 2003, estimates of the costs for treating injuries related to sports and recreation-related activities were around $11 billion (Weber et al., 2016). Considering how many children participate in team sports, coupled with the jaw-dropping costs of treating injuries related to sports and recreation-related activities, we can begin to recognize the need for some form of injury prevention.

The Proof is in the Pudding

Let’s look at some studies that have shown plyometrics training as an opportunity to keep children safe. In a meta-analysis by Rössler et al. (2014), researchers looked to examine the effectiveness of injury prevention programs in youths and adolescents. These injury prevention programs incorporated exercises aimed at improving flexibility, strength, and balance. The findings of the meta-analysis by Rössler et al., (2014) revealed that injury prevention programs decreased the likelihood of injury by 46%. That’s cutting down the risk of incurring an injury by almost half; who wouldn’t buy into that? But the research doesn’t stop there; as a 2016, meta-analysis by Weber et al. built on the findings of Rössler. In this 2016 meta-analysis, 21 studies were included with a combined total of 27,561 youth and adolescents with a median age of 16.7 years. The findings not only confirmed that injury prevention programs deliver beneficial effects of injury reduction, but those injury prevention programs that contained jumping or plyometric exercises appeared to be especially beneficial to lowering the risk of harm.

The Takeaway

At a time where childhood obesity is at an all-time high, keeping the youth and adolescent populations involved in sports and recreation-related activities should be a major focus. As I mentioned before, with increases in physical activity comes the inherent risk of injury. Armed with a better understanding of what plyometrics training consists of and their potential to decreases injury, the next article will give examples of specific exercises you can use, along with an understanding of how to safely incorporate them into your routine.

If there is anything we can take away from this, it’s that his name was John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Until next time!

Coach Eddy

Training Manager and Coach, Eddy

Learn how to train injury-free by scheduling your strategy session with Eddy weekday mornings Monday-Friday. Sign up HERE.



Brown, L. E. (2000). Are Plyometrics Safe for Children? National Strength & Conditioning Association, 23(2), 45-46.

Brown, L. E. (2001). Plyometrics or not? National Strength & Conditioning Association, 23(2), 70-72.

Brown, L.E., & Ferrigno, V.A. (2015). Training for speed, agility, & quickness. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Weber, M. L., Lam, K. C., & Valovich McLeod, T. C. (2016). The Effectiveness of Injury Prevention Programs for Youth and Adolescent Athletes. International Journal Of Athletic Therapy & Training, 21(2), 25-31.

Rossler R, Donath L, Verhagen E, Junge A, Schweizer T, Faude O. Exercise-based injury prevention in child and adolescent sport: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Med. 2014:44(12): 1733-1748. PubMed doi: 10.1007/s40279-014-0234-2



How To Make Your Outdoor Workout a Great Success

The weather is beautiful and the sun is out; why not make New York City your gym!  There are several parks in NYC that are perfect for calisthenic training, equipped with pull-up bars, benches, monkey bars, and more.  I am here to share the benefits of training outdoors, guide you to the hot spots for outdoor fitness, and provide a bodyweight workout for you!

Benefits of Training Outdoors

When the weather heats up, take the time to get off machines, become more creative and have fun with your training.  There are several benefits connected to outdoor fitness.  Moving in a natural environment will improve your mental and physical health.  Many times when working out we are focused on the physical benefits.  However, taking your fitness outdoors is an excellent mental boost. A team of researchers from Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry analyzed a population of adults and found outdoor exercise not only increased their energy and revitalized them, but decreased confusion, anger, depression and tension (https://www.sciencedaily.com).  Participants also enjoyed their workout more than those that kept their fitness indoors, which is key to sticking with a regime.

Not only is outdoor fitness beneficial to mental health, it is a great opportunity to catch some D3.  Vitamin D3 provides healthy bone and metabolic function.  Also, exposure to sunlight during the day can help you sleep better, improve immune system, and increase endorphin – those ‘feel good’ hormones (http://www.healtharticlesworld.com). Use the summer months to change up your typical routine once or twice a week and explore some outdoor fitness.

The Hot Spots in NYC

Once a week my training partner and I will take our training outdoors and use the equipment in the park to design a workout.  It’s an excellent option to get out of a traditional gym and provides a wide variety. There are several parks in the city that are equipped for outdoor fitness and I have provided some of my favorite places.

Top NYC Parks

1. *John Jay Park

Located on the Upper East Side; the space is small and equipment minimal but it still has what you need for a total body workout.

2. East River Park

Part of a beautiful riverfront view of the East River and runs under the Brooklyn Bridge. It includes athletic courts, a bike trail, a 400 meter track, and more.  Taking your fitness to the East River Park will provide endless options.

3. Tompkins Square Park

Located in Alphabet City near the East Village. One of New York City’s well known park made popular by Al Kavaldo. It is equipped with monkey bars, a variety of pull-up bars, arched horizontal ladder, and many of the city’s strongest calisthenic athletes. Meet Al Kavaldo at Tompkins Square park

4. Marcus Garvey Park (Mt. Morris Park)

A beautiful park located between 120th Street and 124th Street and Madison Avenue.  The park contains a hill with plenty of stairs. The fitness area contains a variety of equipment – pull-up bars, two taller and shorter ones, monkey bars, vertical ladder, diagonal bar, and push-up bars.

5. *Astoria Park (My stomping ground)

With a gorgeous view of the East River, the park sits between the Triborough Bridge and the Hellgate Bridge. The conditioning workouts are endless that can be done on the track, bike trail or open field. It’s newest addition is the adult fitness area that includes pull-up bars, parallel bars, diagonal bar and more, along with guidance on how to use all the equipment.


* My favorite parks to train


Try This Park Workout

Warm-Up: 5 minutes

  • Dynamic Exercises of athlete’s choice

Work: 10 repetitions of each exercise/ 3 sets

  • Bench /Box Jumps
  • Chin-ups
  • Skaters (per side)
  • Push-ups
  • Hanging Knee Tuck
  • Walking Lunges (per side)
  • Horizontal Row
  • Burpees

Looking for more park workouts? Stay up to date on @bodyspacenyc for announcements on the next BSF outdoor workout with me!

~Coach Sarah


Sarah teaches classes Monday mornings and Friday nights. Click here to sign up for a class with Sarah and ask all your burning questions regarding outdoor fitness and eating right in person!



The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. “Benefits of outdoor exercise confirmed.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110204130607.htm>.

Leo Eigenberg. “4 Benefits of Using Outdoor Fitness Equipment.”

HealthArticleWorldYour PremiumHealthArticlesSource. 3 March 2017.


The Power Of The Plank

Posted By Amy Schlinger on The Fine Line | February

It may look like an easy exercise, but the plank can be a beast.


It may look like an easy exercise, but the plank can be a beast. That beast is one of the most basic — and most effective — core exercises. It recruits multiple muscle groups — abdominals, hips, lower back, and shoulders — and because there are many variations, women of any fitness level can benefit from the plank.

When you think of a core exercise, it’s important to realize that your “core” means more than just the abdominals, says Michelle Lovitt, exercise physiologist and celebrity trainer in Los Angeles. “Your primary movers in a plank are your erector spinae, your rectus abdominus and your obliques. Secondary muscles that are working are your rhomboids, gluteal muscles, quadriceps, gastrocnemius, and deltoid muscles.” And depending on what variation of the plank you’re holding, it’s possible you may work more than that.

As we get older, exercises like the plank become even more important. “Core strength and proper functioning of the core are critical to coordination and motor control,” says Kelvin Gary, owner of Body Space Fitness in New York City, “two things that we start to loose as we get older.”

So why is something that looks easy so difficult to do? Most people don’t have much sense about core strength unless they have an active lifestyle, explains Matty Maggiacomo, master trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp in New York City. “If you spend a lot of time sitting down, either at work or on the couch, it’s very important to start integrating core exercises such as planks into your routine,” he says. “If you’re just starting out, try the most basic form of planking: the forearm plank.”


To get started: Come to your hands and knees and place your forearms on the ground, elbows bent 90 degrees, so your shoulder are stacked directly over your elbows. Extend your legs straight out behind you, come onto your toes, and, using your core, push through your forearms and toes to raise your legs and core off the ground. You want to try to create a straight line from your head to your feet, so pull your belly button into your spine, squeeze your shoulder blades together and down your back, and tighten your glutes as you push your heels back, explains Maggiacomo. Attempt to hold for 30 seconds. Over time, increase that to 45 or even 60 seconds. But don’t be surprised if it’s difficult at first.

Once you hit the 60- or 90-second mark, Kelvin suggests adding arm or leg movements or a dynamic component, such as sliding your feet on a towel or glider to make your plank more challenging. Below are more plank variations to try once you’re comfortable with the basic elbow plank. Add these into your daily fitness routine — or you can even try holding a few while you’re watching television at night.



1. Extended Plank
Place your hands on the floor, shoulders stacked directly over hands. Extend feet out behind you and come onto toes. Activating abs, glutes, and pulling shoulders back and down, push through your feet and hands to raise your core and legs off the ground. Be sure you’re in a straight line from head to toe. Hold 30 to 60 seconds.

2. Side Plank
Lie on the ground, on either your right or left side. Depending on the side you choose, bend that elbow and place your forearm on the ground in front of you, so that it is perpendicular to your upper arm. Stack your legs on top of one another. Using your core, glutes, and legs, push your forearm and bottom foot into the ground to raise your body off the ground. Body should be in line from head to toe. Your top hand can rest on your hip or reach upward toward the ceiling. Hold 30 to 60 seconds; repeat on the other side.

Modification: If you’re unable to balance with your feet stacked, simply place one in front of the other.

3. Decline Plank
Come into forearm plank position but have your feet elevated on a bench or a stair. Hold 30 to 60 seconds.

4. Extended Plank With Shoulder Taps
Come into extended plank position, hands on the floor, shoulders stacked above wrists, feet extended out behind you, body in a straight line head to toe. Without moving your core, shift your weight into your left hand as you lift your right hand off the ground and tap your left shoulder. Return your right hand back to the ground. Shift your weight into your right hand as you lift your left hand off the ground and tap your right shoulder. Continue alternating for 30 to 60 seconds.

5. Long-Lever Plank
Come to extended plank position. Without moving the rest of your body, walk your hands forward 4 to 6 inches. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

“Anytime you can’t engage in any physical activity, especially if you don’t have time for the gym, I’d encourage planks,” says Maggiacomo. “Plank holds require no equipment and limited space. Plank on!”

Read the article >>