30 11, 2015

Are You Wearing the Correct Fitness Shoe?

November 30th, 2015|Endurance, Group Fitness, Hybrid, News, Personal Training, Sports Performance|Comments Off on Are You Wearing the Correct Fitness Shoe?

By Randy Leopando, CSCS, FMS, Director of Personal Training

Are you wearing the correct type of shoe when you exercise?  The right shoe can make or break your workout. After all, an ill-fitting shoe can cause faulty mechanics, pain, and even injury. If you participate in a specific sport or activity more than two times per week, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recommends wearing a sport-specific shoe. This means you might need different shoes for different activities. Here are some recommendations on shoes for popular fitness modes.


The repetitive nature of running requires extra attention to footwear in order to prevent injury and maximize comfort. Running shoes reduce the impact of each step you take. They are designed for forward motion with specific cushion in the heel and forefoot.  I highly recommend you get fitted at a specialty store.  Your foot type will dictate what type of shoe to get.  Locally I recommend the Running Center and Big River Running – they can analyze your gait and make the appropriate recommendation.


Walking involves a heavier heel strike, so walking shoes are created to have a round and stiff heel to support the heel-toe action of the gait. When shopping for a new walking shoe, check the flexibility of the sole. The toe box should be able to bend and twist easily for best results. Search for shoes with breathable mesh to keep feet cool on long jaunts.


To lift weights effectively, a stable foot is required. Look for a shoe that provides a flat and sturdy base like a low-profile cross-trainer. Most cross-trainers work well for the average gym goer because they can be used for weight lifting, plyometric and cardiovascular endurance activities. Cross-trainers, however, are not especially great for any one activity. If you are focusing specifically on Olympic lifting, for example, Olympic lifting shoes provide a rigid structure and small heel lift, which enhances the stability of the foot for explosive power transfer.

Group Fitness Classes

Our Group Fitness and Hybrid Training classes are diverse and demand lateral movement, agility and stability. Look for a pair of lightweight cross-trainers with ankle and arch support. You will likely want a shoe with a wide toe box and a soft, flexible sole to grip the floor and maneuver in a variety of formats. If you attend cycling class on a regular basis, consider a pair of cycling shoes, which provide a solid base to alleviate foot fatigue and clips to allow you to connect with the bike for a more efficient and comfortable pedal stroke.

If the shoe fits…

Once you have the proper shoe for the workout, it’s important to replace them periodically. Shoes may lose their support or cushion long before they actually look worn. In fact, your body may signal shoe break down with aches or pains in your feet, shins, knees or back. A trained professional at a specialty store can recognize wear in your current shoes, watch your gait and provide recommendations. Most experts suggest replacing running shoes every 300 to 500 miles. For those who do not log miles, replace shoes every six months if you work out most days, or every year if you exercise a couple of times per week. You can extend the life of your fitness shoes by using them only when you exercise. If you like the comfort of your fitness shoes for running around town doing errands, consider buying a second pair to act as your “casual” shoe.  Hope this info gets you off on the right foot!

3 09, 2015

The Functional Movement Screen

September 3rd, 2015|Endurance, Group Fitness, News, Personal Training, Sports Performance|Comments Off on The Functional Movement Screen

The Functional Movement Screen

By Randy Leopando, BS, CSCS, FMS
Director of Personal Training and Performance Enhancement

In October of this year (2015), I will be spending my 18th year at NutriFormance.  From a fitness industry perspective, a lot has changed and/or evolved over the years as a trainer.  One thing continues to remain important at NutriFormance – functional training and the importance of proper movement patterns.  Functional training involves a lot of movement-based strength exercises and core engagement.  Proper movement patterns involve a good balance of core stability and joint mobility.  One way we look at one’s movement quality is through the Functional Movement Screen (FMS).

The FMS looks at fundamental movements, motor control within movements, and a competence of basic movement patterns. Its job is to determine movement deficiency and uncover asymmetry. The evaluation is done by a simple grading system, and should be conducted by a certified professional.

The system was developed by Physical Therapist Gray Cook in 1998. The goal was to use the screen to add insight to movement problems that would ultimately lead to the best exercise choices and program design for individuals that would minimize risk of injury.  The FMS is designed for all healthy, active people, and for healthy, inactive people who want to increase physical activity. It is designed for those that do not have pain or injury.

The FMS itself is a series of seven different movements. By screen, this does not mean it’s a diagnostic tool. The FMS is not diagnostic at all. It is a proven tool that looks objectively at quality of movement. It is extremely objective, reliable, and reproducible. It used by a wide range of health care professionals.

The seven tests require a balance of mobility and stability. Mobility and stability are the essential elements of the movement patterns in the FMS. If there are limitations in either, the FMS will reveal them.  What often happens is people are putting exercise and performance on top of dysfunctional movement, which can impair performance and cause injuries. 

Once the FMS has revealed a dysfunction, an appropriate exercise strategy can be implemented to correct the problem. This is part of the magic of the FMS and corrective exercise system.

If you have questions about the FMS, or would like to have the FMS screen conducted on yourself, contact me randyl@NutriFormance.com.

1 07, 2015

Training in the Heat

July 1st, 2015|Endurance, Personal Training, Sports Performance|Comments Off on Training in the Heat

by Randy Leopando

You’ve been exercising regularly, but now it’s summer — and hot. Sometimes even dangerously hot, and seemingly too hot to go work out.

But don’t decide this is the time for a little summer break from fitness, experts say, because you may be hurting yourself in the longer term.

“It’s important to continue exercising over the summer because the effects of exercise training are rapidly lost once training stops — use it or lose it,” said Barry Franklin, Ph.D., director of the William Beaumont Hospital Cardiac Rehab and Exercise Laboratories in Royal Oak, Mich. “Most studies suggest many of the key benefits are lost in four to six weeks of inactivity.”

Be smarter than the heat

Still, you can’t just ignore the heat because you could wind up with heat stress, heat stroke or other problems. So to keep the heat from melting your workouts, Franklin recommends you:

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Maintain salt-water balance by drinking plenty of fluids (preferably water) before, during and after physical activity.  Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  2. Exercise smarter, not harder. Work out during the cooler parts of the day, preferably when the sun’s radiation is minimal — early in the morning or early in the evening. Decrease exercise intensity and duration at high temperatures or relative humidity.  And don’t hesitate to take your exercise inside, to the gym, the mall or anyplace else where you can get in regular physical activity.
  3. Ease in to summer. Allow your body to adapt partially to heat through repeated gradual daily exposures. “An increase in the body’s circulatory and cooling efficiency, called acclimatization, generally occurs in only four to 14 days,” Franklin said.
  4. Dress the part. Wear minimal amounts of clothing to facilitate cooling by evaporation. “Remember, it’s not sweating that cools the body; rather, the evaporation of sweat into the atmosphere,” Franklin said. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton.
  5. Team up.  If you can, exercise with a friend or family member. It’s safer, and could be more fun.

Know what’s up

Because vigorous exercise in hot and humid conditions can lead to heat stress, heat stroke and related complications, you should know the signs of danger to keep an eye out for.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Headaches
  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, moist skin, chills
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Weak or rapid pulse
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting or both

Symptoms of heat stroke:

  • Warm, dry or moist skin
  • Strong and rapid pulse
  • Confusion and/or unconsciousness
  • High body temperature (above 103oF)
  • Throbbing headaches
  • Nausea, vomiting or both

Take steps to cool down and get medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.


16 01, 2015

Little Shark Kid's Triathlon Club

January 16th, 2015|Endurance, Events|Comments Off on Little Shark Kid's Triathlon Club

What: Little Shark Kid’s Triathlon Club Informational Meeting

Where: NutriFormance/Athletic Republic – 10407 Clayton Road 63131

When: Thursday, January 22 at 6pm

Who: All those interested in joining the Little Shark Kid’s Triathlon Club and parents.

Learn more about: Practice locations and times, expectations, equipment, club benefits, uniform kit orders, and more!

The Little Shark Triathlon Club is for kids who like to swim, bike, and run! Local professionals from Big Shark, NutriFormance/Athletic Republic, Pedal Hard, and Parkway Swim Club have teamed up to offer fantastic training opportunities for the young multi-sport athlete.

11 01, 2015

Endurance Training

January 11th, 2015|Endurance|2 Comments

Have you begun your training for your first 1/2 or marathon this spring for Go! St. Louis Marathon and family fitness weekend? Or are you a seasoned runner looking to PR?

NutriFormance has endurance coaching for training plans, VO2 testing, and video analysis to correct or prevent injuries. Contact us at 314-432-6103 to get on your individual training plan today! http://NutriFormance.com/programs/endurance-training/


30 10, 2014

Too Much of a Good Thing

October 30th, 2014|Endurance, Personal Training|Comments Off on Too Much of a Good Thing

By Randy Leopando

A little exercise is good for you, so more must be better, right? Well, sometimes. And sometimes more is just that — more. There comes a point of diminishing returns or, worse, a point where your body says “Enough!”

Everyone reaches this point at different times. Triathletes, for example, are able to withstand the rigors of three-sport training — running, cycling and swimming — at levels unthinkable to most. For others, an extra step class or hitting the weights too hard can put them over the top. In the quest for better health and fitness, it is sometimes difficult to quell one’s enthusiasm and take a break from exercise. But if exercise is leaving you more exhausted than energized, you could be suffering from an acute case of overtraining.

Know the Signs
It’s important to be able to recognize the signs of overtraining before they become chronic. Physical signs of overtraining include:

  • decreased performance
  • loss of coordination
  • prolonged recovery
  • elevated morning heart rate
  • elevated resting blood pressure
  • headaches
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle soreness/tenderness
  • gastrointestinal disturbances
  • decreased ability to ward off infection
  • increased incidence of musculoskeltal injuries
  • disturbed sleep patterns

Keep in mind that not all of the signs of overtraining are physical. Much like regular exercise has a positive effect on mood and stress levels, too much exercise can do just the opposite, leaving the exerciser irritable and depressed, particularly as the quality of the workouts declines. Psychological and emotional signs of overtraining include depression, apathy, difficulty concentrating, emotional sensitivity and reduced self-esteem.

Understand the Cause
Once you recognize the symptoms of overtraining, it’s important to understand and honestly confront the cause. For some, overtraining occurs as a result of an upcoming competition. Increased training prior to an event is understandable, but if it’s interfering with your health and wellbeing, you have to question its worth. The solution may be as easy as reducing the rate at which you increase your training intensity. The body needs sufficient time to adjust to your increased demands. Triathletes don’t start out running 10 miles, cycling 100 miles and swimming 1,000 meters all at once. They gradually increase their training to allow their bodies to adapt.

For others, the basis for overtraining may have more to do with emotional or psychological reasons than physical ones. Much like eating disorders, exercise addiction is now recognized as a legitimate problem. Exercising beyond the point of exhaustion, while injured, or to the exclusion of all other aspects of one’s life — these are some of the signs of exercise addiction. It’s a difficult problem to recognize, particularly in a culture where discipline and control are lauded.

Individuals who exercise excessively are risking more than poor performance: They’re risking their health. Overuse syndrome, which may lead to more serious injuries, is common. And the emotional cost of isolating oneself in order to exercise can be devastating. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or in a friend, it is essential that you seek professional help.

The ‘M’ Word
The key, it seems, to staying healthy is to do everything in moderation, which is best viewed as something relative to one’s own fitness level and goals. Don’t expect to exercise an hour every day simply because your very fit friend does. The body needs time to adjust, adapt and, yes, even recuperate. Exercising to the point of overtraining is simply taking one step forward, two steps back — not exactly good training tactics.

12 09, 2013

Spinning with POWER – FAQs

September 12th, 2013|Endurance, Group Fitness, Hybrid, Sports Performance|Comments Off on Spinning with POWER – FAQs

It’s been an exciting first few classes on our new Spinner Blade IONs! The feedback has IMG_1854been overwhelmingly positive and the new lingo, technology and challenges have presented lots of questions! Hopefully we can address some of them here and give you more knowledge to enhance your PowerCycle experience.

  1. How do “kcals” on the power meter differ from calories burned on other cardio equipment? The Kcal reading on the power meter represents an accurate energy expenditure in kilojoules. This number takes into account the food calories burned resulting from your power output on the bike. It does not count calories you would otherwise burn (at rest) during that time period. Other cardio equipment provides only an estimate of calories burned based on a formula. It is not determined by, and does not measure,  your effort.
  2. Why is my wattage low if I’m pedaling fast? Power is measured as frictional load between the brake pad and flywheel. Without adequate resistance, the rider is not expending energy to move the flywheel.
  3. Does the computer take into account my weight? Power output alone does not reflect the strength and fitness of one rider compared to another. A heavier rider may generate higher wattage but the power to weight ratio must be considered.
  4. How can my wattage and kcal reading be so different from one class to another? Wattage and kcals are a direct measure of your power output. Muscle fatigue, dehydration, lack of rest and many other factors can affect your energy level.
  5. Why is it important to know RPM and wattage? Your RPM, or cadence, is one component of power output. The instructor may use an RPM range to help you reach the a desired training zone and reading this number eliminates the guesswork. The wattage is an accurate measure of the power generated on the bike. Speed and resistance will change the wattage reading in real time. Using these numbers in class creates the opportunity to accurately implement training principles.
  6. What are training zones? There are 6 training zones in PowerCycle. Recovery, Aerobic, Threshold, Anaerobic, Peak and Max. Your instructor will use these zones to describe the expected level of intensity at different points in class.
  7. How are personal training zones determined? Instructors will explain the focus of each class and will help you determine your zones. Everyone’s training zones are different and will change as you get stronger. We will offer several “Threshold Testing” classes each month for those interested in truly defining their Personal Spinning Threshold (applicable only on a Spinner). Thirty minute one-on-one sessions with your instructors are also available at $45+tax for anyone wanting more education on the bike along with threshold testing. Threshold testing can be repeated periodically and offers a way to measure progress.
  8. What is threshold and why do I need to know mine? Threshold is the point between aerobic and anaerobic training. Determining your threshold allows you to know and work in your personal training zones. An increase in threshold and power represent gains in fitness.
  9. What are Threshold Testing classes? Threshold testing classes will include a warm up, 2 ramp tests (increasing resistance at 2 min intervals until failure), a recovery between tests and a cool down. To get the most accurate measure, participants should be well rested, hydrated and properly fueled. This format will be approximately the same length as other PowerCycle classes and is extremely challenging!
  10. Can I still benefit from class without focusing on the power meter? We know that not everyone is interested in monitoring wattage, kilojoules and RPM. Feel free come for the group dynamic and good music. You can throw your towel over the computer and still get a great cardiovascular workout. But we bet you’ll peek!

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”

If you have questions or comments, please email Kim Wallis at kimw@NutriFormance.com.


21 08, 2013

A POWERful Workout

August 21st, 2013|Endurance, Group Fitness, Hybrid, Personal Training, Sports Performance|Comments Off on A POWERful Workout

We are very excited to be the first facility in St. Louis to offer classes on the new Spinner Blade Ion and instructors certified to teach power training. The newest equipment and technology in Spinning will take our Cycling Program to the next level with accurate feedback about your power output. The Blade Spinners will be here the first week of September and we are bringing in Angie Sturtevant, Power Specialist Master Instructor, for a day-long intensive training to teach our cycling staff all about our new bikes and power meters.

VIDEO: POWERful Training

Everything you know and love about Indoor Cycling will be enhanced with the addition of the power meters. If you’ve never truly measured your effort in class, you will be amazed by how it enhances your training. Our instructors will still bring the same energy, intensity and creativity to their classes now with the ability to guide you more efficiently. NutriFormance is dedicated to providing intelligent, results driven programs. Whether your goals are cardiovascular health, weight loss, endurance training or sports performance, you will benefit from our upgraded cycling program.

1 05, 2013

Congrats to Our Eads Bridge Duathlon Training Team

May 1st, 2013|Endurance|Comments Off on Congrats to Our Eads Bridge Duathlon Training Team

NF Endurance coaches Amy Strahan, Heidi Frey, Libby Fennewald and Kourtney Thomas led a 9 week training clinic that resulted in some amazing finishes! Congrats to all the participants and their proud coaches!

Cindy Haines
Monica Newsam
Mariela Tapia-Alpaslan
Nilsa Scott
Sandra Rodriguez
Lynn Harmon
Michelle Horton
Kelsey Webster
Terry Mort
Jill Indovino


1 04, 2013

Fitness n' Fuel April Workout: Cardio Intervals

April 1st, 2013|Endurance, Personal Training, Sports Performance|Comments Off on Fitness n' Fuel April Workout: Cardio Intervals

This month try our interval workout on either the treadmill or the elliptical.

Check out this month’s video: Fitness n’ Fuel – Cardio and carbs

See both options below:


Warm up 5-10 minutes                    6.0-6.5

Incline remains at 1%

Time                      Rest                       Speed

2 min                                                     6.0-7.0

90 sec                                                    7.1-8.0

1 min                     6.0-7.0

60 sec                                                    8.1-9.0

1 min                     6.0-7.0

30 sec                                                    9.1+

2 min                   4.0-6.5

2 min                                                     6.5-7.5

90 sec                                                    7.6-8.5

1 min                     6.0-7.0

60 sec                                                    8.6-9.5

1 min                                                     6.0-7.0

30 sec                                                    9.6+

2 min                                                     4.0-6.5


(Ride rails on rest)

30 sec                   30 sec                    8.5+

30 sec                   30 sec                    8.5+

30 sec                   30 sec                    9.0+

30 sec                   30 sec                    9.0+

30 sec                   30 sec                    9.5+

30 sec                   30 sec                    9.5+

15 sec                   45 sec                    10.0+

15 sec                   45 sec                    10.0+

Cool Down 5-10 min & stretch



Warm up 5-10 minutes easy/moderate pace with resistance level 3-5.

If your elliptical has a cross ramp, keep the incline at 0-3.


Time                      Rest                  Resistance                         

2 min                                                     5-8

90 sec                                                    7-9

1 min                     5-8

60 sec                                                    10-12

1 min                     5-8

30 sec                                                    13-15

2 min                     3-5


2 min                                                     6-9

90 sec                                                    7-10

1 min                     5-8

60 sec                                                    11-13

1 min                     5-8

30 sec                                                    14-16

2 min                     3-5

30 sec                                                    14-16

30 sec                    5-8

30 sec                                                    15-17

30 sec                    5-8

30 sec                                                    16-18

30 sec                    5-8

15 sec                                                    18-20

45 sec                    5-8

15 sec                                                    18-20

45 sec                                                    5-8

Cool Down 5-10 min & stretch

NUTRITION TIP: Carbohydrates are the best source of fuel for runners. They provide instant, easily digestible fuel. Include a carb source at every meal and snack. Healthy sources include whole grain breads, pasta, rice, cereal, crackers as well as potatoes, vegetables and fruits.






18 02, 2013

Eads Bridge Duathlon Training starts this week!

February 18th, 2013|Endurance, Events, Sports Performance|Comments Off on Eads Bridge Duathlon Training starts this week!

Eads Bridge Duathlon Training Team

Wanting to give multisport a shot but don’t know where to start? Take the first steps toward your goal with the Big Shark/NutriFormance training team.

Mission: The goal of the Big Shark/NutriFormance Duathlon training team will prepare individuals to complete the 2013 Eads Bridge Duathlon on April 21st. The program will consist of a 9 week training program with individualized training plans, weekly clinics and supported group training sessions. Many of the training sessions will be held at the NutriFormance training facility using a combination of treadmills and studio cycling room stationary bicycles, eliminating the need to own a bicycle to participate. If you would like guidance in multi-sport training, get going on the right track…..and bike. Now is the time to sign up!

Cost: $159 (Includes Eads Bridge Duathlon Registration)

Start Date: Saturday, February 23rd, 10 am

Register: In person at NutriFormance or Little Shark or by email to daleh@NutriFormance.com


17 01, 2013

Team Endurance Training- Go! STL 1/2 & Eads Bridge Duathlon

January 17th, 2013|Endurance, Events|1 Comment

Go! St. Louis ½ Marathon Training Team

The goal of the Big Shark/NutriFormance Go! St. Louis training team is to prepare individuals to complete the 2013 Go! St. Louis ½ marathon on April 7th.  The program will consist of a 10 week training program with individualized training plans, weekly clinics and supported group training sessions.  Training sessions will be held in Forest Park and at the NutriFormance training facility.  This is a beginner friendly group with an ability to accommodate seasoned runners through personal coaching.

Cost: $54  RegisterIn person at NutriFormance or contact daleh@NutriFormance.com

Eads Bridge Duathlon

Wanting to give multisport a shot but don’t know where to start? Take the first steps toward your goal with the Big Shark/NutriFormance training team.

MissionThe goal of the Big Shark/NutriFormance Duathlon training team is to train individuals to complete the 2013 Eads Bridge Duathlon on April 21st.  The program will consist of a 9 week training program with individualized training plans, weekly clinics and supported group training sessions.  Many of the training sessions will be held at the NutriFormance training facility using a combination of treadmills and spinroom stationary bicycles, eliminating the need to own a bicycle to participate.  If you are new to multisport or would like guidance in supplementing your already existing training, this group is for you.

Cost: $159 (Includes Eads Bridge Duathlon Registration)

RegisterIn person at NutriFormance or by email to daleh@NutriFormance.com

For more information please contact:

Amy Strahan – amys@NutriFormance.com  or Josh Marslof- joshm@bigshark.com

8 08, 2012

Endurance Athletes- You gotta try this!

August 8th, 2012|Endurance, Media|Comments Off on Endurance Athletes- You gotta try this!

Runner’s World Article

7 08, 2012

Post Exercise Nutrition

August 7th, 2012|Endurance, Nutrition|Comments Off on Post Exercise Nutrition

True or False:

I should not eat after a workout because I’m trying to train my body to use its own stores.


Give the body what it wants and needs – to replace the nutrients lost during the workout with a meal or snack!
•It is vital that you incorporate recovery snacks and/or meals into your routine. Refueling your body after a workout will help you recover quicker and prepare your body for the next workout.
•A quicker recovery will lead to less soreness, more efficient rebuilding and repair of muscles and tissues, and may help to prevent injury.
•More muscle equals a stronger metabolism. If you do not repair your muscles after you break them down during exercise, you may not see much progress!
•Eating after a workout will also keep you from feeling starving later in the day. If you are not giving your body what it needs you may be slowing down your metabolism.

17 07, 2012

Minimize post workout/training soreness

July 17th, 2012|Endurance, Nutrition|Comments Off on Minimize post workout/training soreness

There are anti-inflammatory foods to help reduce post workout/training soreness

These foods possess properties that help reduce inflammation and soreness:
•salmon, sardines, walnuts, and ground flaxseed (all great sources of omega 3’s)
•broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bell pepper, and citrus fruits (which all contain vitamin C)
•sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin,spinach, and kale (all sources of carotenoids)
•berries, cherries, and purple/red grapes (rich in anthocyanins)
•apples, onions, tomatoes, deep colored lettuce, and apricots (sources of quercetin)
•grated ginger, which you can try adding to stir-fries, curries, soups, and sautéed vegetables

26 06, 2012

Hot, Humid…. Hydration

June 26th, 2012|Endurance, Nutrition|4 Comments

Of course we have heard that we need 8, 8oz glasses of water per day but that is a very general recommendation. It is very individual for each person. Now this is going to sound funny but the only way to tell if you are hydrated is by the color of your urine. If it is pale yellow to almost clear you are doing well. If it is darker (about the color of apple juice) you are dehydrated.

Thirst is not a good indicator as typically you are already dehydrated. Plus, if you are someone who typically doesn’t drink enough fluids your body has adapted and the thirst signal may not be working.

Early signs of dehydration: decreased athletic performance, fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, light-headed, flushed skin.

Severe signs of dehydration: muscle spasms, difficulty swallowing, clumsiness or stumbling, blurred or dim vision.

General guidelines for hydration:
•drink water all day long
•drink about 2 cups 2 hours before activity
•drink 1/2 cup 15 minutes before
•drink 2-4 ounces every 15 minutes during activity
•if activity or exercise is lasting longer than 1 hour or working in a hot or humid climate consider a sports drink or electrolyte water
•for every pound lost post activity drink 2-3 cups of water per pound to help muscle recovery