When choosing a gym there are 4 essential questions you want to ask yourself before joining. The answers to these questions will greatly impact your gym experience.

Is the gym close to your home or work place?

We are always thinking of excuses not to work out.  One of the main reasons for not coming is because it’s too far! With gas prices the way they are, this may be valid!!! In order to reach your goals you have to come to the gym. Truth is, you are more likely to attend if the gym is near either your work or home. If it takes you more than 20 minutes to get to the gym, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Is the gym clean and are there items to wipe the machines off?

Hundreds of people come to the gym every day.  Some members come sick. Thus the machines need disinfecting to limit the spread of germs. All of the equipment should be cleaned daily and immediately wiped off after having been used by the members.

Does the gym offer an initial assessment or training session?

 It is extremely important to get started on the right foot. That first training session with a trainer is designed to get you acclimated with the layout and setup of the gym. In the initial assessment, you will get your weight, body composition, and measurements taken.  It is also important to know where you started to see the progress you have made.

Are the staff and members friendly?

After a long day of work, it is uplifting to have a smiling face greet you at your gym’s front desk.  It is also important that you feel like you fit in with the other members. The gym should feel like your home away from home. The staff and  members should feel like family!

Answer those 4 questions and choose your gym carefully! Stay strong, stay fit.


Resistance vs. Cardio Training, What should I be doing???

The majority of people who start a workout plan for the first time think that to tone, firm, and lose weight all they need to do is cardio. Let’s face it, everyone walks. But are we all in shape? There is a reason every gym has more than just a cardio area. Think of your body as a car. Lets say your gas tank can hold 20 gallons of gas. Where do you get more miles to the gallon, in the city or on the highway? On the highway! Why? Because you are driving at the same speed. In the city it’s stop and go. You accelerate and then you have to break. It’s stop and go. What is resistance or interval training? Stop and go. When you do cardio, your body adjusts to what you are doing, can relax, and not spend a lot of energy. When doing resistance training, your muscles have to work the entire time. Adenosine troposphere (ATP) is the energy that makes muscles contract. Every muscle has ATP and it is limited. Once this limited amount of energy is depleted, body fat be convert to energy. To do this, resistance training needs to be performed first.

What is resistance training???

Resistance training is designed to get your heart rate raised for a short period (40 seconds to 2 minutes) and then allow you to recover for a measured time. It is interval training. This puts direct stress on your muscles causing them to contract. The muscles then have to react by producing enough energy to react to the forces placed on them. Resistance training increases your body density. By adding muscle, your body will burn more calories. Any good resistance program will include stability and balancing exercises also. This allows your nervous system to make the right connections between the brain and the muscles.

Yes, both forms of training are effective if performed in the correct order! You have to make your muscles expend energy. You need to tax your body of it’s natural energy so your cardio training is more effective. Stay strong, stay fit!!!

Myofascial Release??? What is this and why is it important???

To understand myofascial release, you first have to understand the word. The word myo is a prefix denoting a relationship to muscle. A fascia is a connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding those structures together in much of the same way a plastic wrap is used to hold the contents of sandwiches together. Myofascial release is the separation of the connective tissue that surround the muscle and the muscle itself.

Why is this important?

A significant number of people in today’s society have muscular imbalances due to poor posture and pattern overload. Poor posture is the result of muscle tightness, inactivity, and lack of stretching. Pattern overload is consistently repeating the same pattern of motion. This combination increases the chance of injury. Once the muscle is injured, the body starts a cycle to protect and repair the injured muscle resulting in an adhesion (a knot). When these knots are left unchecked, they can begin to form permanent structural changes in the muscles. Because it causes the muscles to become tight and shortened, this can be the leading cause of joint pain. Thus it is important that these knots are released.

How is this done?

Myofascial release can achieved through massage therapy, use of the foam roller, and The Stick. The foam roller and The Stick are two ways to do self-myofascial release. Where most gyms just have foam rollers, we offer all 3 forms at our gym. Stop by and experience what we offer. Stay strong, stay fit!!!




It’s ok to EAT!!!

Posted: April 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

It’s ok to EAT!

Weight loss and body fat reduction has a lot to do with calorie consumption. Most Americans, who decide to embark upon a healthy lifestyle, are not grotesquely overweight. They are not the people you see on these weight loss reality shows. Most people are slightly overweight. More times than not, this has to do with not eating enough. Many people just eat once or twice a day. Yet they still see the numbers on the scale and pants/dress size keep increasing. This is because their bodies are storing everything the eat as fat. To stop this, you need to know your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR – amount of calories your body burns at rest) and the number of calories you should consume daily.


This site will help you calculate your BMR and the amount of calculators you should consume daily. Stay strong, stay fit!

Have you ever heard of proprioceptive training? Do you know what proprioception is? This type of training is essential in developing a solid training program.

Proprioception utilizes information from the mechanoreceptors (sensory receptors that respond to touch and force) to provide information about body position, movement and sensation, as it pertains to muscle and joint force. It is a vital source of information that the nervous system utilizes to gather information about the environment to produce the most efficient movement. This means that when the body is placed in an unstable environment, it has to react to stabilize itself. Your body does not like being unstable. It reacts by causing the nervous system to find a way stabilize itself. That’s what proprioceptive training does. But why is it so important?

Proprioceptive training is important and an essential training tool for elite athletes to the everyday person. Athletes benefit from the training because it trains the nervous system to generate power and strength when they are off-balance or in awkward positions. It teaches body awareness. They have to be able to react and change directions in the blink of an eye! Your average every day person also benefits from this training. Most people live a sedentary life. They go from the bed, to the car, to the desk, to the car, to the couch, and back to the bed. Many people suffer from lower back pain and have knee and ankle discomfort. This causes the muscles to become tight, go dormant, and alter proprioception. Your body has to be reconditioned or awakened. Your nervous system needs to be stimulated to open the pathways to those muscles so your body will use them.

There are several ways in which this type of training can be performed and they range in levels of difficulty which are unrelated to muscle strength. One technique is motion stretches. This is a series of stretches while moving that all my clients use to warm up before their workouts. The Bosu Ball, stability disk, and balance boards are great tools to use. Countless exercises can be performed using these pieces of equipment. If you do not have access to any of these tools, try standing on one leg while performing an exercise. Be sure to use your right and left leg!!!

Adding proprioceptive training to your program will enhance your workouts. It not only trains you physically, but mentally also! Need help with finding exercises, stop by the Waldorf Fitness Center located in Waldorf, MD. I am open for appointments daily. Stay fit, stay strong!

Visit my youtube channel www.youtube.com/mtbrooks2501 to view workouts!

Get your body fat checked

Posted: April 11, 2011 in Fitness Training

Get your body fat checked today

One of the shows on tv that I do not like as a trainer is “The Biggest Loser”. This show gives viewers an unrealistic view of what really matters in creating a healthy lifestyle. Yes, weight lost is great! These contestants are extremely obese and weight lost is going to happen. What they do not monitor and even mention is their body fat! How many pounds of fat have the lost?

Fat reduction is most important item to monitor when starting your new healthy lifestyle. Yes, pounds will come off. How much, I do not know. But I do where your body fat should be to be considered fit. For a man, your body should be below 18%. For a woman, your body fat should be below 25%. Carrying around high percentage of body fat puts at risk for numerous diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and various heart related diseases.

Although there are various ways to check your body fat, there  are two that are frequently used. The most commonly used method is the bioelectrical impedance analysis method. This method is found on most scales and there is a hand-held option. The method that I use here at the gym is the skin caliper. This method pinches different sites of your body to measure the amount of subcutaneous fat. Most gyms should have someone on staff that can perform this for you.

Get your body fat checked as soon as possible. It could be life changing!!! Stay fit, stay strong!

L.E.A.D. Fitness

Posted: February 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Welcome!!! This site is designed to help you with all your fitness needs, questions, and wants! This site is still under construction and will be updated soon. Stay strong, stay fit!!!