Top 10 Exercises for Women

Author: Scott Mautz, Store Manager/Certified Fitness Trainer, Mequon, WI


A recent blog post talked about the importance of strength training for women.

Next question is “What do I do???”

A variety of aerobic activities and resistance exercises are best for enhancing a woman’s overall health.

Courtesy of the American Council on Exercise (ACE), Here are the Top 10 exercises for Women.

If you need a little technique guidance on some of the exercises, please visit any local 2nd Wind Exercise store, we will gladly assist!

1. WALKING: safe, effective way to improve aerobic endurance and reduce stress, while also decreasing the risk of coronary heart disease.

2. SQUATS: These target the major muscles of the lower body-the butt, thighs and hamstrings-all in one movement.

3. LUNGES: Need help going up stairs? These are your exercise. Like the squat, these work the hip and thigh area.


4. CRUNCHES: Best done a stability ball. The abdominal area helps support the lower back and the spine.

5. BACK EXTENSION OR COBRA: Back extension and the Cobra yoga pose strengthen the lower back, which stabilizes the core and helps keep the body in proper alignment. These muscles in the lower back are used in nearly every activity.

6. ROW: Performed with dumbbells, one arm at a time. Great exercise for posture, upper-back strength and osteoporosis prevention

7. PULL-UPS: Defines the back, shoulder and arm muscles. Keeping these muscles strong can help prevent the gradual stooping that often occurs with age. It takes time to build up enough strength to do a full pull-up without a spotter or assistance. Use a chair for support until no longer needed.

8. TRICEPS DIPS: As women age and tend to use their arms less, they lose muscle. Dips can be performed anywhere (including an office chair), helps keep the back of the arms toned and strong.

9. PUSH-UPS: upper body exercise that helps define shoulders, arms and chest. Since a pushup can be tough for some, you can do a modified version starting on your hands and knees (instead of toes).

10. REVERSE DUMBBELL FLY: This works the muscles of the upper back. Great exercise for improving posture and helping to prevent rounding of the back.

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Strength Training + Women= Ultimate Health!!!

Author: Scott Mautz, Store Manager/Certified Fitness Trainer, Mequon, WI


Again and again, research has shown that women who maintain a regular, moderate strength training program enjoy a long list of health advantages. Some women still fear that weight training might bulk them up in unfeminine ways.

Weight training expert and researcher Wane Westcott, Phd, gives 10 important reasons why women need to take strength training seriously.

1. You’ll lose more fat then you’ll gain in muscle. Westcott’s research shows that the average woman who strength trains 2 to 3 times per week for 8 weeks gained 1.75lbs of lean weight (muscle) and lost 3.5lbs of fat. Unlike men, women typically don’t gain size from strength training, because compared to men, women have 10-30 times less of the hormones that cause bulking up.

2. Your new muscle will help fight obesity. As you add more muscle from strength training, your resting metabolism will increase, so you’ll burn more calories all day long, notes Westcott. An example, if you gain 3lbs of muscle and burn 40 extra calories for each pound, you’ll burn 120 more calories per day, or approximately 3600 more calories per month. That equates to a loss of 10-12 pounds in one year!!

3. You’ll be a stronger women. Moderate weight training can increase strength by 30-50%. Extra strength will make it easier to accomplish some daily activities.

4. Your bones will benefit. Spinal bone mineral density can be increased by 13% in 6 months.

5. You will reduce your risk of diabetes. Adult-onset diabetes is a growing problem for women and men. Research indicates weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23% in four months.

6. You will fight heart disease. You cholesterol profile and blood pressure improve, according to recent research. Don’t forget about the cardiovascular exercise and flexibility training.

7. You will be able to beat back pain and fight arthritis. Studies have indicated weight training can ease arthritis pain and strengthen joints. One study found strengthening low back muscles had an 80% success rate in eliminating or alleviating low back pain.

8. You’ll be a better athlete. Golfers can increase their driving ability. Improve your proficiency but also decrease your risk of injury.

9. It will work no matter how old you are. Westcott notes, strength improvements are possible at any age (70’s, 80’s) however a strength training professional should always supervise older participants.

10. You’ll strengthen your mental health. A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did. Women commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program.

Take advantage of the long list of benefits from strength training. Start a new program today.

Contact us at to learn more and to get help with a new strength training routine!

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Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Author: Rocco Lazaris, Store Manager / Certified Fitness Specialist, Racine Outlet, WI


This time of year reminds me of that show. Thousands of people are are going to go to battle with the dreaded scale as part of their New Year Resolution. For most of those resolutions the scale is going to be the judge & jury for their success or failure.

The reason this time of year reminds me of the show…. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Is because of a common fitness myth.

If I were to ask a group of 5th graders and adults the question “Which weighs more…a pound of muscle or a pound of fat?” I’m willing to bet that more 5th graders will get the answer correct. As you’re reading this now you probably got the answer wrong.

For far too long, I’ve heard people toss around the notion that muscle weighs more than fat. Muscle can do amazing things, but I’m certain it can’t defy the laws of physics. I hate to burst the bubble of all you believers out there. I can assure you that a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, bone, brick, jelly beans, and even a pound of pillow feathers. Just ask a 5th grader, they’ll tell you.

For those of you who want to out-wit the 5th graders, I have a different question you can ask. Which weighs more…a cubic inch of muscle or a cubic inch of fat? Let’s see how those spunky 5th graders do with that one.

The reason the scale fails with the cubic inch vs the cubic inch is because muscle is significantly more dense than fat. An easy way to demonstrate this is to look at a 16oz. steak and a 16oz. bag of marshmallows. Clearly the marshmallows take up much more space (volume).

Imagine wearing your favorite shirt and jeans on a casual night out with family or friends. Now imagine having to store five 16oz. bags of marshmallows under those clothes. Then imagine having to store five 16oz. steaks under the same clothes. Which option do you think would look best?

I think the five steaks would be the clear choice, unless if you planned to be on a very unsafe boat and needed an extra life ring for support. Also, the marshmallows (fat) don’t play fair. They decide where they want to be stored (stomach, hips, thighs, ect). On the flip side, the steaks (muscle) for the most part go where we decide to put them.

I hope the examples given here have cleared up any confusion about muscle weighing more than fat. So if you’re one of those several thousands of people that will be going to battle with the scale this New Year, I have some advice for you. Don’t let the scale be the only judge. Think of it as a Supreme Court ruling from a panel of judges. Here’s a good list of judges to use along with judge scale.

    Judge Waistline
    Judge Feel Good
    Judge Energy Level
    Judge Look Better
    Judge Tone

(The last three judges were on winter break)

Using all those judges is a far more effective and motivating way to assess your progress. Don’t fall victim to the scale this New Year.

Now after reading this I have one last question……Are you smarter than a 5th grader? YES. YES I AM!

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Common Mistakes with New Year’s Resolutions

Author: Logan Axne, Store Manager / Certified Personal Trainer, Ankeny, IA


Welcome to 2016! This is the year to make those changes and focus on the fitness goals you hadn’t accomplished in previous years. Your journey starts today, but the path is filled with rough terrain and many obstacles. Here are a few tips to overcome common mistakes that can hurt or hinder your progress toward the new you!

Too Much, Too Fast

As a trainer, I want to push my clients beyond their comfort level to reach the results they are seeking. With that said, too many individuals dive into their workouts too aggressively and eventually fall off their fitness plan sooner than expected. Start steady and plan ahead. Make time in your weekly schedule to focus on exercise. Get the routine down first and add to the intensity later. You don’t have to run a marathon for your first workout; set comfortable paces and acclimate yourself to the new schedule before increasing the intensity. I recommend increasing duration first, then increasing intensity. Focus on exercising 2-3 times a week. Add in an extra day or two after you feel comfortable with your current routine, then start increasing the intensity.

Avoid Nutrition Supplements!

Every year, I have clients who come to me with goals in mind and the conversation of supplements inevitably comes to the forefront of our conversation. The word SUPPLEMENT is defined as, “something that completes or enhances something else when added to it”. If you don’t have the initial “something,” how can you complete or enhance it? Rather than driving to your local supplement store or buying bulk diet pills off of some exercise website, focus on setting a consistent meal plan. Every season, an astronomical number of individuals set out to try and achieve their desired physique. Too many people get caught up with flashy infomercials on supplements that advertised improved or faster results. We all know that a “Magic Pill,” doesn’t exist, but the marketing seems too appealing to not give it a try. Focus on your fitness regimen first. Protein shakes, energy boosters, weight loss supplements should be the last thing you worry about when embarking on a fitness journey.

It’s Not A Diet. It’s A Meal Plan

It’s January; time to start my diet. False. It is time to make educated and planned decisions regarding your caloric intake. Produce sections of grocery stores are often swarmed and carts are filled to the brim with various fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind, these are perishable and buying in large quantities doesn’t mean you’re set for the month. Schedule a time during the week to shop for foods that fit a set meal plan for that week. Prepare snacks and meals ahead of time. Avoid the “easy” approaches. Microwaveable meals, meal replacement bars, and shakes are often filled with high levels of carbohydrates and sugars to give better taste and the sensation of feeling “full.” Use herbs and citruses for seasoning instead of salts and condiments. Know what you’re eating and make it a healthy, consistent change for your new lifestyle.

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If we aren’t investing….. we are losing!

Author: Luke Tyger, Store Manager / Certified Personal Trainer, Greenfield, WI


I read an article a few years ago that made a huge impact on how I look at exercise. The article explains that if we aren’t investing our money/savings, we are losing 2-3% per year just due to inflation. So if you do nothing, just put your money in a shoe box or under a mattress, $100 today will be worth $97 a year from now and 10 years from now it would be worth $70. I’m no hedge fund manager, but from what I’ve heard, if you shoot for an annual rate of return of 8%, you should be financially comfortable when you retire and able to enjoy yourself.

At any rate, here is what I took away from this brief article. Whether you invest or not, the human body and it’s condition is strikingly similar to money. However, instead of losing money, we lose bone and muscle. The key components of our foundation just disappear. So if you do not exercise adequately enough, you will lose 2-3% of your bone and muscle in one year. Much like not noticing $3 dollars over a year, you won’t notice this loss right away either. However, with the loss of muscle and bone (healthy foundation and the main sources of metabolism/calorie burn in our body), it is much more difficult to keep fat (unhealthy/excess material) off. This could be a 20-30% decrease in bone and muscle in 10 years. This leads to unwanted weight gain (fat). It also leads weakness, which is where your back and joint (knee/hip/ankle/shoulder) issues come from. When you stop using those joints because they hurt, you lose range of motion and flexibility. That wears the joint out. It’s a vicious debilitating cycle.


Think about it this way. You live in a building right now. The frame of the building is your bone and muscle. The drywall and insulation is your fat and skin. Now remove 2-3% of the studs each year, and replace it with 2-3% more drywall and insulation. The foundation is now weak and trying to support all this excess, non-essential weight. This particular building will stand for a little while longer, but eventually it is going to need a lot of work done. What makes you think your body is any different?

This process that I just provided for you is called the middle-aged spread. The good news is there is an answer to it. It’s called exercise. Exercise is your retirement fund and depending on what and how you invest, you’ll see a much greater return. I’m not sure about actual numbers, and an 8% annual return is probably not attainable for very long, unless it is your job. However, let’s look at it from a time-invested standpoint, much like setting aside 5% of your income to retirement. If you calculate 5% of a 40 hour work week that equals 2 hours. That is one hour per week longer than the American Heart Association currently recommends. With this kind of investment in your health and time, you will not only build more bone and muscle, you will also have a healthy body with healthy joints. You will keep excess weight off and most importantly, you will actually be able to enjoy your retirement.

Folks, your body is the only thing you have to live in. It is your house and it is your retirement fund. If you lose all of your belongings, your body will be the only thing left for you to live in. This is an extreme case, but don’t let your body crumble, because some day you will need the shelter.

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What is the perfect machine for someone that doesn’t like to run?

Author: Eric Waklee, Store Manager, Chanhassen, MN


I’ll give a little history on myself. I don’t workout to train for anything specific. The main
reason I workout is because I enjoy the way it makes me feel and I enjoy the benefits of being
healthy. I don’t try to be an athlete. I don’t train for half marathons. I simply workout to stay in
shape. If I were to choose an exercise it would not be running. Due to knee and back issues it is
painful for me to run. However, if I were to choose only one machine to workout on, it would be

The machine was designed for the elite runner. It was designed to help runners get
faster times, correct their form, and train without injury. Through my experience selling the
machine, and using it, I have seen that it is much more than that.

It holds a huge benefit over a treadmill as it recruits more muscle within the movement. A treadmill will propel your body and your legs simply try to keep up. However, when you walk outside, your muscles have to contract
and propel you forward.

Customers have come in my store with no desire to run, but ultimately have decided to purchase a machine designed just for that purpose. Why is this? One word – versatility!

What I love about the zero runner is its multiple uses. YOU control the movement. So if you
are someone that is just starting out, you don’t have to do the running movement. Anytime you
start a workout routine you don’t want to overdo it. So if you wouldn’t go outside and run why
would you start right away on this?

Start at your own pace. Start out by just swinging your legs to get the blood flowing. This will still elevate your heart rate, but will not over exert you.


In fact I had a customer fresh out of hip rehab that did just that. He started out swinging his legs and would
eventually work on bending his knee more. By doing this it would recruit more muscle and
elevate his heart rate even more. Eventually he could move into a “stairstepper” motion. Then he moved
in a walking or jogging motion. Then he moved into a full run.

This same type of routine can be completed for someone just starting to workout. When people
haven’t exercised in years, it can be difficult to start. One thing to remember is the weight didn’t
come on overnight, so it’s not going to come off overnight. Be patient. But the key to losing
weight is simple: MOVE. Move your body and elevate your heart rate. And the more of your
body you move……the more you will burn.

Another great feature of the Zero Runner is that it will incorporate resistance training into your workout with the Cross Circuit programs. There are resistance bands that come with the machine and will connect to hooks
that are built on it. The only thing that burns fat is muscle; the more lean muscle you have the
more you burn. However, a lot of people will skip using weights or resistance bands in their
workouts. If you ask any trainer they will recommend their clients do resistance training. I feel a
large reason why people don’t is because they don’t know what to do. They don’t want to injure
themselves by doing the wrong motion. The great thing about the Cross Circuit programs is that
it will guide you through the workout. It connects to an app on your phone or tablet and will show
you video on correct form and what exercise to do. It’s a trainer built into the machine!

The bottom line when choosing a piece of exercise equipment is that you have to like it
(or at least tolerate it if you don’t enjoy exercise). If you don’t like it, the machine will turn into an
expensive coat rack. You also don’t want to surpass the machine. If you are just starting a
workout routine you will progress over time. You will plateau and will need more of a challenge
to continue seeing results. So when picking out an exercise machine make sure it will have
enough versatility to challenge you later on. These machines are an investment. You don’t want
to have to go buy something different in a year or two because you surpass the machine.

If you are someone just starting to workout, or if you have been working out for years, I
would recommend giving the Zero Runner a try. And don’t be surprised if you don’t get the
motion right away. It’s different from any other machine you have tried so it will have a learning
curve. With feedback I have had from customers, the more they use it, the more they enjoy it.
Plus they change they way they use it over time!

Thank you for reading my blog and good luck on the next steps to leading a healthier lifestyle!

Contact us at to learn more!

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What is a Vision 7200HRT Suspension Trainer?

Author: Nathan Coleman, Senior Store Manager & Certified Fitness Trainer, Rochester, MN


The Vision 7200 Suspension Trainer is an elliptical that combines stride adjustment with incline to allow for a more intense work out. The machine also features the newest technology on best biomechanics for your body, which allows you to maximize your workout results.

The incline starts at a 13 % incline and increases all the way up to a 39 % incline. A unique aspect of the Vision 7200 includes stride adjustment; as the incline increases, the stride will adjust itself from 20 inches up to 23 inches to ensure you are not positioning knee over toe and placing extra pressure on your joints. With most other incline ellipticals on the market today, there is a known benefit of incline in relation to burning more calories, but a lack of combining incline with proper machine biomechanics to best suit the body. With the Vision 7200, one can increase the intensity of the exercise with the incline, and also engage various muscle groups by allowing stride adjustment.

This unit also offers the quiet-glide drive system, which is great if you enjoy watching TV, reading, or listening to music while working out. One would not have to increase sound volumes to hear over the machine. There are a lot of other machines on the market that use wheels and a rail system; this adds noise to the work out, and added friction points. A huge benefit to this suspended unit is that it comes with no maintenance, due to not having rails to clean off or lubricate.

The Vision 7200 also has program ability to isolate certain muscles groups that you may want to focus on, such as Glute Burn, Calf Toner, and Quad Toner.

If you are looking at getting a quick, high intensity workout, look no further! Vision offers the Sprint 8 program – a 20 minute program that allows you to get your heart rate elevated quickly. This program allows you to free up more time without letting your results take a back seat.

Take a look at all features available.



So at the end of the day, if you are looking for a machine that has more versatility than any other machine on the market with incline, stride adjustment, sculptor programs, high intensity programs, extra heavy gauge steel frame, and one of the best warranties on the market, look no further than the Vision S7200HRT!

Check out our product listing here: Vision S7200HRT Suspension Trainer

Contact us at to learn more!

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