Brevi Fitness

Staying Motivated: Top 5 Tips

1. Reflect on Accomplishments (no matter how small).  Remember the feeling you get after having gone to the gym? Write it down. Just like reflecting on negative consequences helps us stop negative actions, recalling effects of positive actions increases our desire to do them. 

2. Join a group that combines fitness with fundraising.  I love this one because there are so many great causes to pick from.  It gives your workout a greater sense of purpose and you just feel really good afterwards!

3. Buy nice workout clothes.  Make sure you look really good while you exercise.  Buying nice clothes reminds us that our workouts are a priority.  This is an investment worth making.  You want to feel (and look) legit.

4. Hire a Trainer.  Whether you can afford a weekly session or just a seasonal check-in, the guidance and support of a professional is critical to making progress. Again, you don't have to go crazy spending, just do what you can.  If your budget won't allow, there are tons of free videos on youtube that provide excellent advice (i.e. CrossFit Instructions on proper form)

5. Be gentle with yourself. If you miss a workout, get right back to your regular schedule. Remember, you will feel so much better afterwards.

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Shoulder Mobility Part I

Shoulder mobility and stabilization is critical in any upper body workout.  The next three Mondays are dedicated to assessment, improved mobility and increased scapular stabilization.  So, if you have tight shoulders (like Anu) or incredibly bending , yet weak shoulders (like myself), you may find this helpful.

Part I Assessment:

The following exercise will help you assess shoulder range of motion (ROM).  Simply- Do This


Excellent: Fingers Overlap

Good: Fingers Touch

Average: Fingers less than 2" apart

Poor: Fingers more than 2" apart

American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM Guide for Exercise Training and Prescription. 7th Edition. Lippincott Williams and Wilkin. Philiadelphia; 2006

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Learn to Run (and look good doing it)

ABOVE: Vivobarefoot Ultra $90.00 and Vibram Five Finger Trek Sport $100.00

Today's post is meant to address barefoot running and fabulous shoes.  The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering.  It is meant to do three basic functions: walk, run and sprint.  Most of us have forgotten how to do all three properly.

Luckily for us, shoe companies and bio-mechanics researchers are working together to bring ultra cool minimalist shoes in our lives.

As some of you may know, I broke my toe (while trail running in Vibrams).  Anu on the other hand is on week 7 of the CrossFit Warhorse 1/2 Marathon Training Plan. We switched to Vibrams two years ago and have not looked back since.

I must note, it was a gradual progression (taking 2 1/2 months for my calves to gain the strength needed to run in them regularly).  For some, minimalist shoes can be an occasional option for cross training, others will start out too fast and incur injuries.  Some will be gentle, patient and listen to their bodies.  The latter ones will enjoy the full benefits of a minimalist shoe.

Top 5 Reasons to Love Barefoot Running

1. Improve your Balance

2. Strengthen your Feet

3. Connect with Earth

4. Increase Efficiency

5. Correct running Stride

*Remember: Barefoot running is a skill.  You can get hurt if you switch shoes too quickly.  Try a gentle 10 minute jog to start.  Notice any differences in balance or foot placement.

Check out these links:

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You Underestimate Yourself

I am petite, 4' 10'' and 100lbs.

This works in my favor, as I always appear to be a rock star doing squats or pullups.

People generally don't expect "someone like me" to squat my bodyweight.  Trainers and instructors generally "take it easy" on me due to my size. This really works against me too.  I don't always push as hard.  I am not always pushed as hard by others.  I can make excuses by sticking with the little plates.

In a study I came across, women generally underestimate how much weight they can lift by 25% and men generally overestimate by the same.

Shocking isn't it?

Occasionally I walk around our local globo gym and see a young, relatively fit looking woman doing knee pushups.  I just want to go over and tell her to pick her knees up and PUSH!  I am not inherently opposed to knee pushups, nor do I disagree with progression, but if I have seen you in the gym for the past year doing knee pushups, let's be real, you are not progressing.  AND, more importantly you can do more!

If you are a woman and reading this, I guarantee, you have underestimated how much weight you can lift, how many pushups you can do, how fast you can run, how much you can squat, and on and on.

So, the next time you are down on the ground, getting ready to do your progressions, take a chance.  Pick your knees up and push.

Pushup Progression


*  Keep your torso, hips and legs in alignment.  Do not stick your butt up or sink your hips.

*  Arms should be straight at the top but not locked out. Shoulders stay active.

*  Remember to Breath.


Wall Pushup Progression:

1 set of 10

2 sets of 25

3 sets of 50 (time to progress to Knee pushups)

Knee Pushup Progression:

1 set of 10

2 sets of 15

3 sets of 30 (time to progress to Standard)

Standard Pushup Progression:

1 set of 5

2 sets of 10

2 sets of 20 (ready to progress to variations i.e. handstand, one-arm, weighted)

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Stretching vs Mobility vs Warmup: What's the Difference?

Maybe we bit off more than we can chew with this topic... I'lll try to be brief.

Stretching: Lengthening and extending the muscle. We like dynamic and proprioceptive neuro muscular facilitation (PNF) stretching.

Mobility: We like the Kelly Starrett definition " ...a movement-based, full body approach that addresses all the elements that limit movement and performance... In short, mobilization is a tool to globally address movement and performance problems. " Wow!

Warmup: Movements preceding an exercise regimen.  Performed to increase blood circulation, release muscle tension and increase awareness.

Basically, sometimes these are combined but they all serve very distinct purpose.

Below: PNF Stretching explained.

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