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Studio 5 at The Gym at City Creek

Today’s Location: The Gym at City Creek – 51 S. Main Suite 308 SLC, UT 84111, 801-656-2092, http://www.thegymatcitycreek. com

Smoothie Recipe: The most important meal is the one you eat before and AFTER your workout. Here’s the smoothie recipe shared by Blake Robinson, Nutritionist at The Gym:

Blake’s Workout Smoothie

1 frozen banana

1 tbsp flax seed powder

1 scoop vanilla whey protein

1 handful spinach

2 cups 1% milk

ยท Melanie Douglas’ basic strength exercises:

o Vertical Knee Raise- This is one of the most efficient abdominal/core exercises you can do! It’s tough, but totally doable (it’s not as hard as it looks, so give it a try). It’s performed on a door gym/pull-up bar, or in a VKR chair. Hanging with straight arms and lifting with straight legs is much harder than propping on your elbows and just lifting bent knees. Try doing 2 – 3 sets x 15 – 20 reps. This is one you can do every single day.

o Pull-ups- Pull-ups shape your back, waist, shoulders and arms. They are simply incredible when it comes to results (adding definition to waist and arms) and calorie burn (because they use so much of your body strength). Don’t shy away from this exercise because you don’t think you can do it… you can! Try an “assisted” pull-up machine at your local gym. The more weight you add, the easier it is. This is the best way to train to do a pull-up on your own. Start with one rep… then two. You’ll get there!

o Plyo Box Jumps- These look more intimidating, but again, you can do it! Start with a low box (like 6″ to 12″ off the floor) and build up to the higher 24″ to 36″ inch boxes. Start behind the box, slowly drop down to squat pushing your weight into your heels, then jump up and land in a squat position on the box. There are plenty of more advanced moves to do on a plyo box, but this is a basic, effective starting point. Try doing 6-10 reps, and work up to 12 – 20 reps, as you feel comfortable.

o Decline Ab Bench Crunches- This is one thing I HAVE to go to the club for. Yep, those ab benches that decline and incline are my favorite at the gym because they help me dig deep down into my abdominal muscles to really make me feel a killer abdominal contraction. (That’s a nice way of saying they make me sore, which is a good thing!) I do two basic exercises on the bench: first, head at top, lying flat on back, with straight legs up, lifting hips. And second, head down with feet hooked into the leg bar, and lifting my upper body in a crunch pattern. I do 2 sets of 20 reps for each exercise.

o Smith Squats- The Smith machine helps “spot” you so that you lift heavier amounts of weight while staying in proper form. I love Smith squats because I can lift more weight (than anywhere else, in any other exercise) and really sculpt and shape-up my legs and glutes. Start by using just the bar and no weight, so you can understand and feel the motion of the machine and how to lock the bar into place after each set. Then add some weight (like 10 pounds) and gradually work up to an amount that feels so heavy, that you could only lift it 10 – 12 times.

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