Three Rivers Athletic Club wants to communicate with our members by reaching out, getting personal and sharing a little about our staff. Every week we will be writing a staff blog about what is going on with each of us, it may be a recipe, a favorite book, an article we found, but we want to share with you what’s going on behind the counter, how we stay active, find time to work out, and why we LOVE working at Three Rivers Athletic Club!

April 28, 2014

Phil’s tip: Treat your Body to Myofascial release Daily!

“Fascia is all the collagenous-based soft tissue in the body, and cells the create and maintain the network.” (Thomas Meyers) Fascia greatly affects muscle activation and human locomotion.

Benefits of SMFR

1. Improved Blood and water circulation; Increased Lymphatic drainage

2. Improvements in Joint and Muscle Mobility

3. Focusing on a specific location can alter and affect insertion and attachments of other closely associated muscle, joints, and tendons.

4. Inexpensive!!

5. Improvement in a Daily overall prosperity!

Come By Three Rivers Athletic Club and ask one of our Certified Personal Trainers for Foam rolling techniques.


April 23, 2014

“Modern science tells us that the brain does not recognize individual muscle activity–it doesn’t need to. Instead, the brain looks at movement patterns and creates coordination between all the muscles needed to perform. This coordination is called a motor program”. (Gray Cook) Muscle growth and size is about individual goal, do not confuse Form with Function. Bodybuilding is a focus on isolating muscles to build bulk. Athletes need to focus on improving “movement patterns” for overall quality performance. “To be ignorant of motion is to be ignorant of nature” (Aristotle) As Athletes we need to build foundations of movement working for the bottom up. Simple movements that will build symmetry within our body is where we need to focus. Do not train for muscle and strength symmetry before building mobility symmetry. Movements and Exercise that improve postural habits will lead to increased activity habits.

– Thanks Phil Olin!

March 13, 2014

If you have taken ANY supplement in the past, this article could save you time, frustration and above all MONEY!

A member asked me about a supplement she was taking to help with “recovery” post workout. For those of you who do not know, my job for 12 years involved researching supplements. Basically what we would do, compare reported claims about the ingredients to see first if they were valid (based on peer-reviewed research) and then how much of the ingredient was actually needed to yield the result(s).

In this case, my first task was to check out the company’s website to see what the sales points are on the product. Here is the info directly from their site:

Loss of lean body mass can occur during periods of exercise or a weight-loss program. Though the goal may be to lose fat, a weight-loss program consisting of reduced calories and exercise can often strip us of the protein our muscles need to remain healthy and give us the toned, lean look we want. Furthermore, our muscles serve as the engine that burns calories and therefore consumes fat. In other words, our body weight and overall health are heavily reliant on the condition of our muscles. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and protein is the building block of muscle. Throughout a weight-loss and exercise program, people need to preserve the muscle they have, and help enhance and define the muscle they are working so hard to gain.

One way to achieve proper protein and amino acid consumption is by eating plenty of protein. Meat, fish, eggs, milk and soybeans all provide complete proteins. Although these foods offer the right amount of protein for healthy muscles, they contain calories or cholesterol that could affect a healthy nutritional balance if consumed in large amounts. In addition, they don’t always contain the wide scope of amino acids that are proven to help build and sustain muscle. Therefore, there are many products on the market today that offer single amino acids as supplements. The body is a complicated system that requires complex solutions. Your muscles require a comprehensive supply of amino acids in amounts that are balanced and effective.

XYZ supplement works by providing a blend of essential branched-chain amino acids and L-glutamine to supply your body with the muscle-building components it needs. XYZ helps to repair and protect muscle, and thereby promote lean body mass by providing the essential amino acids that are in short supply.* Other amino acids found in XYZ such as L-glutamine, L-arginine, taurine and betaine help fuel and maintain your muscles to assist and support endurance and strength.* Used in combination with other XYZ products, such as the Meal Replacement Shakes, XYZ works to feed the muscles, not fat. By sustaining your muscles during exercise or reduced caloric intake, XYZ helps rid the fat, retain the muscle, and leave your body more toned and better defined when used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise program.


Now for the good news, the info above is true! Like most supplement companies, they do an excellent job pointing out facts and even referencing that research to support the products and ingredients. In my opinion this is where so many of the companies fail miserably either by oversight or design. There is little to no data provided on how much of the active ingredients are needed to do what the product claims.  Just to clarify, when I talk about active ingredients I am referring to the list of ingredients listed on the product label.

Let me provide you a couple of examples:

In the above product the first ingredient is L-Glutamine. This amino acid (AA) is one of the most prevalent AA in the body, comprising roughly 50% of the free AA pool in the blood and skeletal muscle. There are a litany of reasons to supplement your diet with L-Glutamine such as; reduce catabolism of muscle protein, increase muscle protein synthesis, sustain greater frequency and intensity of training and this is just to name a few. So, the fact is, we know taking L-Glutamine is very important but the big question is, how much? The amount in the above product is 1,200mg per serving. Research tells us we need anywhere from 5-20 grams per day! Quick math here… 1,000 mg = 1gm. In order for you to meet MINIMAL suggestions for L-Glutamine you would need to take over 7 doses! Or said differently, you would be taking about $210 per month of this product! Right now, I am looking at another brand of L-Glutamine, which cost $40 for 50 servings, each serving provides over 7grams of the L-Glutamine! You do the math, but once you figure out cost per serving there is no comparison.

Another example is the amino acid, L-Leucine. This AA is the most potent regulator of protein synthesis (muscle growth), however your body does not make this branch chain amino acid thus requiring you to obtain it externally (food and or supplements). Along with L-Leucine the other 2 BCAA’s which make up approximately 35-40% of the AA’s found in body protein are Isoleucine and Valine. For years, research indicated we only needed about 2.5 – 1 ratio of Leucine to Isoleucine and Valine. Now the predominant evidence tells us these recommendations were drastically conservative. The most important BCAA is now known to be L-Leucine, which needs to be in levels of 3000-4000mg minimums. Research has also concluded the ratio of Isoleucine and Valine does not need to increase due to the data indicating more is simply not better in these two BCAA’s and in all reality is a waste of money. Typically only 500-600 mg will suffice. The above product has not caught up with the current research. The product only provides 1200mg. vs. 3000-4000mg of Leucine. Again, we would call this window dressing. Looks good from a distance but when you get up close, it’s just plain UGLY!

If you have made it to the end of this article then let me say, thank you! Second, let me also say this is in no way an attack on individuals who may be taking the above product or products similar to this one. What it is an attack on however is how much of the supplement industry deceives their consumers. These examples should be the exception but are far too often the rule. Working in the supplement industry for so many years made me extremely skeptical because I see how often this exact same scenario is repeated to the unknowing public.

Do your due diligence by asking questions, researching the products or finding someone who has credentials to either confirm or deny the products. Don’t believe the hype from supplement companies and for goodness sake, don’t buy into a supplement because they pay someone famous to endorse the product! It is a “Buyer Beware” market out there in the “Wild Wild West” of what is the supplement industry.

If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I will research the product and provide as much of a non-biased conclusion as possible, which I will be able to back up with facts.


October 1, 2013

picstitchWhat are you doing differently? What are you eating? How are you looking so good?

These are all great questions, however the question shouldn’t be directed to us, it should be directed to you. At the end of the day, you come here to change your life, not come here and do exactly what someone else is doing. If it worked for everyone and their lifestyle then everyone would be on “one” plan.

The question is, what have you done to get where you are? It could be 5lbs to 50lbs plus. What do you do, or don’t do? What do you enjoy? If we said results would happen if you ran 5 miles a day would you be able to run 5 miles a day? For some sure, but others with knee issues, time issues, who live in WA where it rains ALL the time, and you hate running on a treadmill (WE HATE IT) then no this wouldn’t work.

If we said eat seafood every day all day, and you are allergic to shellfish, it won’t work for you. Or for those who want a meal plan and recipes but hate preparing food, or are picky eaters, all we would be doing is setting you up for failure.

We take training and education very seriously. We are here for YOU and to find what drives YOU and motivates YOU! What are your goals? What is your lifestyle? This is what is important, not what we are doing.

Take it back to the basics, measure your food, journal your food, be consistent in your training, be accountable for your actions. Go to bed with a calorie deficit.

As you sign up for your assessments in the next few weeks, bring the answers to these questions:

        What are your goals?

        What are you willing to sacrifice?

        Where do you want to be when the New Year rolls around?

        What is YOUR plan for success?

This is the key to YOUR success. Success looks different for everyone, we know you can be successful. 


June 19, 2013

Attention bodybugg users and potential users… We have EXCITING news!

 photoIf you are a current subscriber to the bodybugg program (aka, MyApex), you may have recently received an email informing you the bodybugg program will be coming to an end in the very near future.

Don’t worry… If you are a current, former or soon to be user; BodyMedia, the manufacturer of the bodybugg actually has their own program. The BodyMedia program is much easier to navigate than what bodybugg provides currently not to mention all of the additional options bodybugg does not offer.

 A few of the questions we are hearing:

         Do I need a new armband?  — No. If you currently have either a V3 bodybugg (the one seen on the Biggest Loser which utilizes the display device) or the Bluetooth compatible armband, both will work on the new program.

        What is the investment to use the BodyMedia program?–   $59 yearly, $89 two years or  $6.95 monthly

        How do I sign up for the new BodyMedia platform? —  www.bodymedia.com/bodybugg

        Will Three Rivers Athletic Club still carry armbands? — Yes!

 Some of the big changes you will notice with the new program:

        You can now upload your data directly through your SmartPhone! The only reason you will need to plug your armband into your computer is to charge it every 7-10 days.

        Visually enhanced graphics

        Detailed nutrition summary page

        If wearing armband at night, it will actually read sleep patterns providing you with total hours of lying down time compared to actual sleep time and… Actual percentage of sleep efficiency or “deep sleep”. VERY COOL!

        Ability to link up certain Garmin heart rate monitors to the program

        Ability to sync your armband with My Fitness Pal among several others

 We have been using the new program for several weeks now and LOVE IT! If you need any help, please don’t hesitate to let one of the staff members know. Also, if you would like to know more about the BodyMedia armband and what makes it absolutely essential to weight loss/management, we are here to assist to make sure you are making an informed decision before purchasing a device such as this.


May 22, 2013

Thought for the day…
Waiting for what?
Ever heard this statement, “I will join the gym when I lose weight”? I can’t begin to tell you how often I have heard these exact words.
… Let’s see, how do I put this… hhmmmmm… How about I just say it…  If you could do it on your own, you would have already done it!
Honestly, this is more often an excuse… Just like the litany of other so called, “reasons”, many do not get involved with fitness:
• My back, knee, shoulder, toe, hair, elbow, hurts
• No Time
• No Energy
• Not Motivated
• Money
Need I go on???
Listen, people generally do what is truly important. If fitness, weight loss, muscle gain, etc. are important than you will find a way to make it happen.
Now, one reason that I feel is often at least understandable… fear of failure. (Still an excuse however!) You may have tried numerous programs, pills, gyms etc. to try and, in this case, lose weight but each time with the same outcome; either you lost weight and gained it back or you crashed and burned from the onset. Either way, it makes the next time even that much more challenging until finally, the fear of failure is so large, it is far less painful (emotionally) to not do anything thus allowing the excuses above to come flowing out so effortlessly.
So what to do? Seek out professionals… Someone to help devise a plan for YOU, not just a general recommendation for the masses! Sure, you may have issues with your back, time constraints, lack motivation but I am here to tell you, ALL of those can be overcome with the right game plan.
Without being dramatic, there are people in your life right now that will die of a weight related disease unless they lose weight. Not knowing the exact person reading this, it could even be YOU! Don’t wait until all the stars are aligned to begin your fitness journey because they never will be! Stop waiting until MONDAY to begin; regardless of when you read this, today is the day!
We have all the tools to help you reach that elusive fitness goal… It is time to ask for the help!

May 8, 2013


What roller-coaster  The sugar roller-coaster  Now, before you think I am a “SUGAR” bashes and jumping on this, “Sugar is the devil” bandwagon, let me promise you that’s not the intent of this post.

Here is the deal… I am a sugar junkie! There, I said it… Hi, I’m Keith and I am addicted to sugar. Guess what, there are thousands of you out there right now just like me. How do you know if you are a sugar junkie???  Open a bag of Hershey Kisses and eat one, not two just one. Now, take that bag of freshly opened Kisses and put them in a drawer in the kitchen. If and only if those Kisses are still there an hour later, you ARE NOT a sugar junkie!

Seriously, you could insert anything high in sugar where the word “Hershey Kisses” are in the above paragraph, if that particular food item is gone within the hour, you have sugar issues… YES, I AM TALKING TO YOU!

I first knew I had a sugar issue when my Mother was diagnosed with Cancer 9 years ago. She was given 3 – 6 months to live after her diagnosis of Lung Cancer. 3 months to the day she was diagnosed, she passed away. I find it hard to believe there has ever been a Son love his Mother more then I loved mine. To say I was a Momma’s Boy is an understatement I am proud to admit. Her illness and subsequent passing was the most difficult thing I have ever dealt with in my life. During this time, I did not turn to alcohol or drugs but FOOD! And by food I mean sugar and massive amounts. My preferred delivery system for sugar, things like cake, pastries, cookies etc.

Within 3 months of her passing I was 260 pounds! How did this happen? Many things were the contributor but one of the largest was the fact I found temporary comfort eating sugar. When I was sad I would eat, usually sugar. Now, that began the ROLLER-COASTER  I then felt horrible about how I had eaten and the weight I was gaining so what would I do, eat more! Crazy right? Makes no sense at all, right? When you are wired like me, physiologically it makes total sense. Sugar, in many people makes them feel better about everything!!! This is an absolute scientific fact. But, this feeling is fleeting. The best way to escape that feeling is to go right back to the thing that caused all the problems to begin with… MORE SUGAR! Reread that last sentence… Does this sound like an addict’s behavior??? You bet it does.

Now, realizing I have this sugar issue I needed to take steps to take control. First, I did not buy things to have at the house, which I would consider a temptation. Generally this was what I would consider dessert items… cake, cookies, ice cream, candy etc. What I personally found, if the food was in the house it was soon down my throat! Next, I made sure to not go crazy with my diet but slowly eliminate certain sugar that I could avoid without too much work. Things like sugar in coffee, tea etc.  Also, I began logging my food making me accountable to the foods I knew I should not be eating at that point in my life.

As I began my day eating a healthier breakfast (omelet with veggies, whole wheat bread) vs. a doughnut, bagel or the like, my cravings for sugar were much less. Science behind this is simple… Protein and fat take longer to break down so I was full longer not to mention the fiber in the veggies help keep me full longer so my blood sugar would not drop leading me to want SUGAR! Beginning my day like this would give me the best chance to beat the sugar giant for the day because I was not taking a ride on the sugar roller-coaster.

What many people do and I did during that time in my life, I began my day with sugar… Think Pop-tart! I know right??? What was I thinking? I wasn’t,  it was the best way for me to deal with the loss of my Mom. But, what happens when you eat something like the Pop-tart, which has tons of sugar, it lights up your appetite and you set the wheels in motion to be on that sugar roller-coaster all day!

Oh, and by the way… You can ask Tracee, I still eat sugar to this day, difference is, I must consciously control this aspect of my nutrition or it can get out of control, QUICK as I proved 9 years ago. Scary to think in 3 months I gained nearly 50 pounds!

I realize this is a rather long post. The only people who will likely read all the way through this are ones who either have absolutely nothing better to do and are just totally entertained by my amazing writing (LOL!), or you or someone you know may be just like me.  We would love to help provide direction in getting off the sugar roller-coaster! Just ask!



March 19, 2013

Headlines Read:

“Drop inches, eat whatever you want”, “Lose 10lbs in 10 days”, “Never Count Calories Again” the list goes ON and ON and ON!

I recently completed the Whole30, the guidelines are; do not eat anything processed, no sugar, no beans, no artificial flavors, no additives. I rocked this during Christmas, I said no to all the holiday drinking, no to all the holiday treats, no to holiday casseroles (sigh) I dropped 7lbs and felt AWESOME. When I stopped the Whole30 I may have went a little mental and ate all the foods I deprived myself of. It started with air popped popcorn and snowballed to all my bad eating habits.

I found myself in Feb up the 7lbs and to say the least pissed off. Reflecting back to the Whole30 the book said you do not have to journal your food, just listen to your body. I took that and RAN with it, when I completed the Whole30 I was so out of habit of journaling my food

I am currently trying another go at the Whole30 and have made the commitment this week to journal my food.  1oz of almonds barely covers the bottom of your Ziploc baggy, that is 160 calories! I have gotten into a bad habit of eating a handful of nuts here and there. Yes nuts are a healthy fat, a great way to satisfy your hunger ect, however they are LOADED with calories. I have been eating WAY too many nuts with permission of the Whole30 to not have to journal them.

Journaling is a life time habit that you must continually make a priority. It took me 30 days to get out of a habit I have been doing for over 7 years. Track your food, stay within a healthy calorie balance, and be honest with your portion sizes. Truly and honestly at the end of the day what works for me is Calories-in VS Calories-out.

Remember we are here for your success, if you need help journaling, or building a receipe ask any of the staff here at Three Rivers Athletic Club!

– Keri Verhei

February 21, 2013

HELLO Phil here:

I was able to get the chance to fly down to San Francisco for the weekend to attend a seminar that focused on identify and fixing mobility issues that we all have from years of bad posture, injuries, and muscle imbalances.  In my quest to learn to truly fix our members I was able to find a plethora of my own issues that had been hampering my physical performance in my athletic endeavors.  Stability within all of our athletic positions is key to get the most out of all of our everyday activates.  Prioritizing the spine has to be the first thing that we do before we think of activating our body in order to run efficiently.  For 6 hours in a “Box” we rolled around on the floor, had others step on us with the idea of improving our overall range of motion.  I can honestly say I have never felt so much “enjoyable pain” the feeling of a improved Bi-lateral difference from the side we rolled to the side we didn’t was vastly different. We all need to spend at least 10 to 15 minutes a day foam rolling to work out those impingement’s that we have if you have any questions, or areas that are hampering your fitness goals, feel free to reach out to me and lets chat.


February 1, 2013

When it’s too cold outside, my favorite thing to do is help my mom make her lasagna soup! It’s so yummy and pretty healthy for you too. Here is the receipe!

Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Difficulty: Easy


1 lb ground chuck
1   onion, chopped
1   green bell pepper, chopped
3   cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
1   (32 ounce) box chicken broth
2   (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1   (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cup broken lasagna noodles
1   (5 ounce) package grated parmesan cheese
2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
garlic crostini, recipe follows

Garlic Crostini:
1 thin French baguette
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves smashed garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large Dutch oven, combine ground chuck, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is browned and crumbles. Drain well.

Stir in thyme, brown sugar, broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer until noodles are tender. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into 8 to 10 ovenproof bowls. Evenly sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Broil soups, 6-inches from heat, 3 to 4 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly. Add a garlic crostini slice on top. Serve immediately.

For the garlic crostini:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut bread into 1/4-inch round slices. Place on baking sheet and brush each slice with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; place in oven and bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Rub each side with smashed garlic cloves.

I hope you enjoy! Kaylee Brown


January 15, 2013


Lets talk about SQUATTING!  AHHH! that dreaded word that we all seem to hate except the people that squat correctly.  Most of us feel as though we squat fairly good, yet squatting causes pain.  In the knees, low back or hips and yet we continue to squat, we should never exercise in pain.

Let’s start from the ground up and build a base that can support movement with-in the range of squatting.

Step 1: Step your feet need to be hip width and now ladies your hips aren’t as wide as you think!!! move your feet closer; this will build a stronger foundation.

Step 2: Toes will be slightly pointed out to open up our hip capsules which will allow a better range of motion in the initial eccentric phase of the squatting.

Step 3: Step we need to you to get into hip extension to be able to activate the prime mover in squatting which is the Glutes. Sir Mix A lot said it the best that he likes big butts and getting your Glutes to engage will give you a better chance of activating those rumps.  The best way to get into this position is to think about pushing your butt back against a wall.  Once we touch that wall we can proceed to dropping into a flexion position and sitting in our chair to a patella-femoral 90 degree angle.

A Very Important key is maintaining a shin angle that is almost completely vertical.  Once we are at that patella-femoral position we can activate the Glutes and start the concentric portion of the exercise.  I enjoy the analogy of the “EGG”  Put an egg, not literally, in between your Glutes and break it!! Lose the Gluteal amnesia and fire up into a extended hip position to finish and then repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat.  Enjoy squatting!

Over and Out

January 2, 2013


As we enter yet another new year, many of us make those dreaded “New Year’s Resolutions”. How often do we make those resolutions December 31st, only to break them by January 2nd if not sooner? Well, statistics tell us a few things:

  • Almost 50% of American’s say they set “New Year’s Resolutions”
  • 35% say they never set resolutions (My guess is they know more than likely they will not meet that resolution so whey set it????)
  • Less than 8% ever succeed (Yet proof of the above)
  • Number one resolution has been and will continue to be…. WEIGHT LOSS! (Unless the skinny pill is released to market!)

 I began thinking about these resolutions and why or why not most people don’t succeed or better yet, not even attempt a resolution to make some part of their life better the one word that continued to creep into my head, commitment.

Webster defines commitment as:

  • A promise to do or give something
  • A promise to be loyal to someone or something
  • The attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something

 I really like the last definition, or at least part of it. ATTITUDE! In my humble opinion, the likelihood of you reaching a goal, resolution etc. is about attitude. Let me provide you a few examples of this.

Jana Rogers is one of our long time members here at Three Rivers Athletic Club. To say Jana is a dedicated member would be a vast understatement. She has been involved with our Team Training (formally boot camp), TRX and CrossFit just to name a few. When Jana began 3RAC CrossFit she was somewhat challenged when it came to box jumps. Not just any box jumps, the 20 in. box. For some of you, that may not seem so tough but for her and many others, this is a major barrier. There is just something about propelling your body up to a platform that in some cases is potentially as high as your knees with that lingering thought of face planting into the box. Jana would stand in front of the box and literally freeze.  I would ask if she wanted a smaller box, each time knowing what her answer would be… a resounding NO! She never gave up. It may have taken her longer than anyone else to complete the workout, but NEVER did she just quit. One day after class she told me, “I am doing 10 box jumps every day until I master this 20 in. box”. Guess what… only a few weeks later, Jana now OWNS that 20 in. box and actually looks forward to the box jump workouts. So, what happened? She simply committed to making a change. What was even more pronounced, her do anything to succeed attitude!

Another of our members who has done EVERYTHING we have to offer is Joelle Wilson. She is a Rock Star! Without getting to personal, Joelle is a person who has every excuse not to exercise and eat right. You know how we often have the best of intentions but life gets in the way? Most of us have experienced this before in multiple areas of our life. What Joelle has done, rather than focus on the negative and things she cannot control, she has done what we would say in the South and “taken the bull by the horns” and attacked the things she can control. One of those was her LOVE of sugar. I am paraphrasing but if you asked Joelle, she would admit she is a sugar junkie (me too by the way!). Her delivery system for sugar had been Mountain Dew. YUMMY! Joelle made a commitment 12 weeks ago to forgo her Mountain Dew and has not had one sense!

These are just a few stories of the countless members we have who made a decision to take on one goal and do whatever it took to make it come to fruition.  My question to you… What is one thing you could commit to change, this New Year? What it will take is focused intensity and goal setting but above all commitment to seeing it through. Far too often, people look at the big picture and think the goal is unattainable but in Jana and Joelle’s examples what they committed to was a small change each day. Don’t look at where you want to be in 6 months, deal with what you have in front of you TODAY. In Jana’s case she made that commitment to get better at box jumps not in 6 months but just a little every day.

My question, what commitment will you make TODAY? You will never accidently reach a goal. There must be a plan of action and a commitment to make that plan come to pass. Stop living your life as if you will miraculously wake up rich, skinny and in my case a full head of hair!

Here is my challenge to you for 2013. Pick a goal and commit to it not just in thoughts but write it down! Share that goal with someone and put a date on when you will achieve that goal. If this goal is a physical goal, let us know what it is… utilize the tools you have been given here at Three Rivers Athletic Club! We want you to succeed and will make a commitment to you, we will do anything necessary if you are truly committed to reaching that fitness goal you have been working on for the last 10 New Year’s! This is the year to COMMIT and SUCCEED!

In Health, Keith Lansdale


Dec. 18, 2012

This is a picture of me in 2008.

After a visit with my doctor I was told my cholesterol was high and I would need to start taking medication to lower my levels.  My responsed “I do not want to take that stuff” I said let me try to bring it down with diet.  She said that we could try that, and I would check my levels every 3-4 months. 

I went home and started researching what I needed to do to get this under control.  I came to the conclusion that I need to keep my daily total fat to 30 grams or less and my saturated fat at 16 grams or less.  That was what would fix the cholesterol problem everything else was fine.  After a week of counting fat grams I thought to myself if I am going to go to all this trouble I might as well count calories as well and try to lose a little weight. 

I got busy writing down everything I ate increased my water intake and started exercising, about a year to a year and a half later my cholesterol was back in the normal range.  I also found myself about 30lbs lighter and in far better physical condition.




Dec. 12, 2012

Body Fat, BMI, Body Mass – What Do These Numbers Mean?

And Why Am I Obsessing Over Them?

With the transition of Bootcamp towards our new Team Training, we have lots of chatter about body fat percentages, lean body mass, and the questions I often get in the gym regarding BMI. In order to understand these numbers and what they mean we must first define them.


Just those two words often make people cringe and uncomfortable.    A person’s mass and weight can be separated into two parts: Lean body mass and body fat.  Lean body mass would include: bones, organs, muscle, and fluid.  Body fat refers to the number of pounds or percentage of fat a person carries.  You want a greater percent of your body weight to come from lean body mass and less from pounds of fat.  DUH!!!!!


This is a calculation of your height and weight, while it’s used as a health guideline, it has several limitations.  Your weight and height may be out of sync enough that you are categorized as “obese” or “overweight” when the reality is that you carry a generous amount of lean body mass or muscle.


Let’s face it, the real problem with the epidemic of obesity is not necessarily the numbers on the scale, but the amount of fat we are carrying on our frames.  If you track your body fat percentage instead of or in addition to scale weight it will give you a more accurate picture of your overall health and fitness.  One of the key factors in tracking your body fat percentage is being consistent in how you are measured.  The gold standard for tester would be water immersion; another reliable method is caliper testing.  These measurements should be done by the same professional each time to provide the most accurate and consistent readings.

While many of you have been tested over the last few weeks and are unhappy with the number or percentage recorded, try and look at your body fat measurements over time to see a trend rather than worrying about if these number are accurate.  If your goal is fat loss, your body fat percentage should be going down. As you set your goals be sure to include strength training to build muscle mass.  Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest that fat does.  More muscles = More Calories Burned.  Kind of a no brainer.  This is where we get into the quality over quantity debate.  Meaning, if you are soft and squishy at 200lbs and do not strength train to increase lean muscle mas, you will be soft and squishy at 130lbs.  Remember, too, that muscle is more compact than fat, so two people could weight the same but appear different, if one has more muscle mass than the other.

The true bottom line……do not obsess over the number or the percentage, but rather decreasing it if you are unhappy with your current shape.  I believe everyone should strength train.  Next month we will get into some of the other benefits of strength training.

Lift on…..lift on!!

Yours In Health,



Dec. 4, 2012

How many days will you commit to reaching your goals?

This question as innocent as it sounds has been haunting me. If you have not been asked this question and are part of Three Rivers Athletic Clubs new Team Training Program heads up its coming!

The reason it has been haunting me is because I myself have not re-assessed my goals in a LONG time. Sure when special occasions come up, or a special trip I can hit it hard, diet, exercise, reach my short term goals. But what are my long term goals, I like everyone else have a magic number I want to be, a certain body fat percentage I want to be at. But what am I doing to reach that goal. Nothing, I have found myself being reactive not proactive with my diet and fitness level. I have been in a damage control state now for about 6mnths, yo-yoing up and down.

This time last year, I would go out and run 6, 7, 8 plus miles without blinking an eye, I had my Sunday run day, my run was always a slow long run. Where I mentally checked out from, family, work, chores, and I just enjoyed my time running. Somewhere around this summer, my knees started bugging me, my foot was hurt, and then the excuses on why I wasn’t running started piling up. It only took one reason not to run/exercise to start the avalanche of excuses on why my Sunday runs ended.

Today I am changing that. Today I am setting my long term goal! And committing myself to them:

I will lose 12lbs

I will drop my body fat percentage by 6%

I will start running every Sunday

I will commit 5 days to reaching these goals

I will journal ALL meals, snacks, drinks

Keri Verhei