Group Fitness

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!

2 11, 2015

5 Common Fitness Saboteurs and How to Defeat Them

November 2nd, 2015|Group Fitness, Hybrid, Personal Training|Comments Off on 5 Common Fitness Saboteurs and How to Defeat Them

5 Common Fitness Saboteurs and How to Defeat Them
by Randy Leopando

Ever have those days when you feel like the universe is conspiring to keep you from reaching your fitness goals? Even the most committed fitness enthusiasts (myself included) face challenges to staying active. Sometimes we sabotage ourselves. Other times, life interferes with our exercise plans.  With the new year just around the corner, perhaps this blog will give you an head start.

Check out this list of common fitness saboteurs and learn how to combat them with practical strategies that really work:

  1. Stress

When you’re up against a work deadline or the kids are sick, you may feel you can’t handle one more thing, including exercise. But taking time out to go for a brisk walk or workout is one of the best things you can do during times of intense stress. Exercise helps alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression and helps boost your mood, enabling you to cope with whatever you’re facing. Even a short workout is better than nothing.  And believe it or not, a low to moderate intense routine is more ideal when cortisol (the “stress” hormone) levels are high.

  1. Unrealistic Expectations

Novice exercisers get frustrated when they expect big results too soon after starting a fitness program. Because they haven’t lost a huge amount of weight or developed six-pack abs after only a week or two of exercise, they throw in the towel. To avoid this mistake, set realistic goals and practice extreme patience. You can’t undo 10 years of a sedentary lifestyle in a week of walking. If you stick with a regimen, your body will respond to exercise. It takes at least six weeks of regular exercise and sometimes more for physiological changes to kick in.  Unfortunately the older you get, the longer it takes to “kick in.”  And don’t forget your nutrition…you can’t out-train a bad diet.

  1. Overtraining

Demanding daily workouts without scheduled rest won’t help you reach your goals faster. Instead, it’ll undermine your progress. Overtraining occurs when the exercise load is excessive related to the amount of time allowed for recovery. Overtaxing the body’s systems leads to decreased performance. Your joints and other soft tissue structures may need extra recovery especially if you haven’t exercised in a long time.  A day or two off from vigorous exercise each week is recommended for rest and recovery. This can be done through a combination of scheduling rest days into your fitness plan and alternating hard and easy workouts. For example, cross-training, swapping out a few runs for swimming or bicycling, is another effective way to avoid overtraining, but scheduled recovery days are still recommended.

  1. The Unexpected

You were going to walk after work, but now you’ve been asked to work late. Or perhaps you got an email that got you distracted and made you complete a task even though it could have waited. Life happens, and you can either throw up your hands and say, “forget it,” or accept it and roll with it. Resilience is your ability to bounce back quickly from life’s surprises and setbacks. This can be improved with practice. Strategies include having a workout “plan B” (i.e. workout at a different time of day like early morning), being mindful of your diet on those off-days, alternating your normal routine that day and make it more active (extra stairs, parking further so you can walk), or putting down that smartphone and give time to yourself.  As you become more resilient, you’re less likely to ditch your workout when something comes up. Instead, you’ll be able to quickly modify your plans and move forward.

  1. Negative Self-Talk

“I’m so lazy, I’ll never be fit;” “I didn’t even exercise once this week;” “I’m such a loser.” Would you talk to a friend or loved one this way? Listening to negative self-talk isn’t motivating, so what’s the point? Negative self-talk only destroys your confidence and motivation to the point where you can’t visualize success. But you don’t have to put up with it. The next time you recognize a critical thought, stop it and replace it with a positive thought, like this: “I’m so proud of myself for walking at lunch time today. It took a lot of effort, but I did it.” Behavior change is hard. Give yourself some credit for every step you take toward your fitness goals.

Sources: American Council on Exercise (


2 10, 2015

So You Want to Spot Reduce?

October 2nd, 2015|Group Fitness, News, Personal Training|1 Comment

So You Want to Spot Reduce

By Randy Leopando, CSCS, FMS
Director of Personal Training

Besides launching millions of sit-ups, leg lifts and torso twists, the desire for a toned and taut physique has sold a long line of exercise devices. Countless inventions, such as vibrating belts and ”gut-busting” contraptions, have claimed to miraculously tighten and tone our trouble spots.  But the miracles we were expecting never materialized, and our ”spots” remained ”unreduced.”

What’s wrong with spot reduction?

Where did we go wrong? In our efforts to tone our bodies we neglected the most important factor: fat. Exercises such as crunches or leg lifts improve the tone and endurance of the muscles, but they don’t burn fat. When we do exercises that elevate the heart rate, such as bicycling, walking or aerobic dance, the body will draw upon its fat stores for energy.

Alternative solutions

An exercise program that combines aerobic activity and strength training is the key to changing the shape of your body.  In addition to burning calories through aerobic activity, strength training will increase the amount of muscle, which burns even more calories, even at rest. But many people shun the idea of intensive exercise, scared off by the idea of five-mile runs, barbells or aerobic classes.  Thankfully, any aerobic activity that elevates your heart rate can help you burn fat and take off unwanted pounds. Many experts recommend doing at least three sessions of 20 minutes of aerobic activity per week. Ideally, for long-term weight control, you should engage in at least four sessions per week, for 45 minutes each time.

For instance, these enjoyable alternatives to traditional aerobic exercise are effective fat burners:

  • Mountain Biking
  • Road cycling
  • In-line Skating
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Boxing
  • Cross-country Skiing
  • Swimming

Remember to choose an activity because it interests you, not because it is touted as a great workout.  A few things to keep in mind when starting any new activity:

  • Don’t start out too hard or too fast or you may injure yourself or quit before enjoying any benefit.
  • Always concentrate on enjoying yourself, rather than on what a particular exercise might do for you.
  • Keep your exercise comfortable and only increase intensity after your body becomes accustomed to new activity levels.

Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially if you’re over 40, or have cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or a family history of heart disease. To determine what your target heart rate should be, ask a NutriFormance trainer to calculate the numbers – all we need is your age and resting heart rate.

A final word about toning exercises

Just because exercises like leg lifts and crunches won’t budge the fat does not mean they are not beneficial. Unlike some aerobic activities, these exercises can strengthen and tone specific muscles of the body.  The best way to shape up is to incorporate strength and toning exercises with aerobic exercises. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to looking and feeling better.

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

19 01, 2014

Spinning Threshold Testing Week begins January 27th

January 19th, 2014|Events, Group Fitness|Comments Off on Spinning Threshold Testing Week begins January 27th

Your Personal Spinning Threshold is the point at which your body converts from aerobic training to anaerobic training. Knowing your Personal Spinning Threshold (PST) will help you work within your personal training zones which can help you better achieve your goals whether it be to lose weight, increase cardiovascular endurance or enhance sports performance. It also allows our instructors a way to accurately guide intervals in class allowing you to better experience the workout they have planned for you. Repeating a Threshold Test is also a great way to measure your progress.

Threshold Testing Classes are a challenging workout for everyone yet suitable for all fitness levels due to the personalized nature. You will increase your workload in staged ramps to help you determine your highest sustainable effort. Your Threshold Test will provide you with your Personal Spinning Threshold (PST), which gives you the wattage range for each training zone.

Join us for one one the following classes and see how you can get so much more from PowerCycle!

  • Monday Jan 27th 5pm with Moira
  • Tuesday Jan 28th 9:30am with Amy
  • Thursday Jan 30th Noon
  • Friday Jan 31st 10am with Kim
  • Saturday Feb 1st 9:30am Lisa
5 11, 2013

November Spinning Threshold Test Classes – Personalize Your PowerCycle

November 5th, 2013|Events, Group Fitness|Comments Off on November Spinning Threshold Test Classes – Personalize Your PowerCycle

Have you found your PST yet? Learn how to get your own personalized power ride every time. Read about it HERE…

power meterNovember Threshold classes:

  • Wed 11/6 6am with Phil
  • Mon 11/11 6pm with Moira
  • Wed 11/13 8:30am with Matt
  • Mon 11/18 9:30am with Kim
  • Thurs 11/21 8:30am with Moira
  • Mon 11/25 Noon with Libby
  • Wed 11/27 9:30am with Amy

Private threshold testing is available by appointment with any of our instructors.

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


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.

3 06, 2013

Fitness n' Fuel's "Every BODY is an Athlete" Workout

June 3rd, 2013|Fitness n' Fuel, Group Fitness, Nutrition|6 Comments

We designed this workout to be done at a track but can definitely be done indoors on a treadmill too. Keep in mind that one lap around a track is approximately ¼ mile. Adjust the intensity of the workout to fit your needs by doing more or less laps or sets and jogging or walking versus running.

Start with a dynamic warm up. Follow with 2 laps at a moderate pace.

2 laps:

Sprint/run the straightaways and jog/walk the curves

Strength (at a bench):

Step up to squat – 10 reps each leg

Wide plank knee ins – 10 each side

Lateral step up to lunge – 10 each side

Incline tripod push ups – 10 each leg

Watch the demo video below:

FnF’s “Every BODY is an Athlete” Workout

Repeat entire series, 2 laps and strength, 3-4 times and follow with stretching. And a post workout recovery snack!

For questions or more information about exercise and nutrition, contact Kim Wallis at or Emily Bailey at

9 04, 2013

TRAIN THE TRAINER – In support of BackStoppers

April 9th, 2013|Events, Group Fitness, Personal Training|3 Comments

Train the Trainer – Saturday, April 20th

Help us raise money for BackStoppers! BackStoppers is a St. Louis area charity that provides financial and emotional support to the families of fire fighters, paramedics, EMT, police and publicly funded rescue workers that have died while on duty. The organization makes mortgage and car payments, pays off debt, and defrays the expense of higher education. In addition, each family gets a “friend of the family” volunteer to stay in touch. This is an awesome charity so we are going to make it very easy to participate!

“Train the Trainer” is a way for you to give to BackStoppers, but also, to “give it” to your trainers. You can train them for a donation. You know the exercises, make THEM sweat, train along with them, or just make a donation to BackStoppers! Our event is called “Train the Trainer”, but you don’t have to have a trainer to participate. If you want a trainer that day, just sign up. We want our NutriFormance family to participate in any way they can. There will be Spinning, Hybrid, and a TRX clinic, chair massage and stretching sessions. We will have firemen boots set up to just drop off donations.

Here is a list of all the ways to donate:

1) Training- $50/per 30 minutes. No rules! You can beat up your trainer however you want or have them train you. See your trainer to reserve your time.

2) Spinning- 11 am Moira is teaching a Spinning Class. A $20.00 donation can reserve your spot in this class!

3) Hybrid Training- 11 am taught by Amy Strahan. A $20 donation can reserve your spot!

4) TRX Clinic with Dale – Learn how to utilize the TRX Suspension Training system to add variety to your workout at NF! A $20 donation can reserve your spot!

5 )Stretching- Pam and Cara will be providing hands on assisted stretching sessions. $20 for 15 minutes!

6) Massage- We will be offering chair massage throughout the event. Donate what you want to receive a 10 minute massage.

7) Fireman Boot- will be throughout the facility! Donate whatever you want!

In appreciation, we will have a Happy Hour at NutriFormance from 4-6 pm. There will be food, beverages provided by Moira and J McGraughs, and a whole lot of “gratefulness” to you, our clients, for making this a great fundraiser.



21 03, 2013

Spring Break Slim Down

March 21st, 2013|Group Fitness, Media, Nutrition|Comments Off on Spring Break Slim Down

26 02, 2013

Quick Metabolic Workout from our Spring Break Slim Down

February 26th, 2013|Events, Fitness n' Fuel, Group Fitness, Media, Nutrition|Comments Off on Quick Metabolic Workout from our Spring Break Slim Down

4 min dynamic warm up

Set a timer for 20 secs on/10 secs rest. Go through each round twice and rest 1 min before moving to next round.

Round 1

Push ups
Squat Jumps
Alternating reverse lunge
Speed skaters

Round 2

Alternating side lunges
Mountain climbers
Air squats
Split jumps

Round 3

Forward lunge/donkey kick (right leg)
Forward lunge/donkey kick (left leg)
Spiderman planks

Round 4

Dive bomber push ups
Squat twist
Tricep dips
Plié squat jumps

Finish with 4 minutes of stretching.

For more information, please contact Emily Bailey at

30 10, 2012

Take Our Pilates Challenge

October 30th, 2012|Events, Group Fitness, Pilates, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Take Our Pilates Challenge

In 10 sessions you will feel a difference, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30 you will have a whole new body. – Joseph Pilates

Take our Pilates challenge and earn FREE Pilates lessons in our fully equipped studio!

The challenge: Take 8 Mat Pilates classes during the month of November to see and feel the benefits of the Pilates Method. In addition to increased balance and flexibility, a stronger core,  and better postural alignment, we will reward you with FREE Pilates training in our fully equipped studio!

Sign up: Please contact us if you would like to participate. Then be sure to check in at the front desk when you attend class so that we can track your attendance.


The following classes are part of the challenge…

  • Monday 10:30am Mat Pilates with Emily
  • Tuesday 8:30am Mat Pilates with Emily
  • Thursday 8:30am Mat Pilates with Eli
  • Thursday 5:30pm Pilates for Athletes with Emily
  • Sunday 8:30am Mat Pilates with Maria


20 09, 2012

What to eat to make the most out of your workouts at NutriFormance

September 20th, 2012|Group Fitness, Hybrid, Nutrition, Personal Training, Pilates|Comments Off on What to eat to make the most out of your workouts at NutriFormance

30 minutes before Class

4 oz Gatorade Prime*
8 oz Gatorade*
4 Gatorade Chews* + water*
½ Clif Bar+ water*

60 minutes before class

Oatmeal made with milk + fruit
6oz Greek yogurt + fruit
Egg + toast
PB toast + fruit

*During exercise or classes for 1 hour or less, drink water*

When classes or exercise lasts longer than 1 hour
(Without fuel for exercise lasting longer than 1 hour you are slowing down your metabolism and increasing risk of injury.)
4oz Gatorade Prime* 4 Gatorade Chews*
½ Gatorade* ½ Orange Juice*

Snack Ideas after Classes or Exercise
Gatorade Recovery Shake 8oz* + water* Gatorade Recovery Beverage*
Naked Protein Zone smoothie + water* muscle milk 8oz* + water*
fruit + 8oz low-fat chocolate milk + water*

*You may visit the Pro Shop to purchase your products.

4 09, 2012

NF's Elite Membership: Unlimited Personal Training

September 4th, 2012|Group Fitness, Hybrid, Media, Personal Training|Comments Off on NF's Elite Membership: Unlimited Personal Training

At $199 per month, Elite Training is a great option for those seeking the benefits of personal training, easy and convenient scheduling and a program based on scientific exercise progression designed for results. Our Elite Membership includes all 65+ classes per week – Hybrid Training, Hybrid Athlete, Pilates Mat, Indoor Cycling, Yoga, Sleek Physique and all other Group Fitness classes.

Each month our Director of Training, Randy Leopando, creates a template using sound physiological principles to build strength, power and flexibility. This full body workout will help build lean muscle mass and strong bones as well as accelerate fat loss. Our skilled trainers will choose the exercises, set the pace and make other necessary adjustments to offer a safe yet challenging workout suitable for all levels. The group dynamic (up to 4 people in a session) adds a motivational factor that helps you work beyond what you would normally do on your own.

We currently offer 12 Elite Training sessions each week. Many more sessions being added in December! View the schedule under the “Elite Training” tab. See a sample Elite Training session here.