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“Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” - Joseph Campbell

During my 28 years in the fitness industry, my body has undergone significant demands. I was a competitive bodybuilder for over two decades and I've been a spin instructor for 12 years.

I train hard. I ride fast. Without making excuses, I know that I often haven’t taken the time to provide proper self-care for my body.

As a result of my aggressive exercise regimen, I have had a serious left hip impingement for the last five years. I am a corrective exercise specialist. I have employed many techniques to address my pain and discomfort.

I would apply a post-surgery hip replacement regime to my workouts weekly to open up the external and internal rotation of my hip. This process would allow for me to move freely through my workouts, as well as my spin classes. I have also used a range of foam-rolling devices on the target area.

Nothing I tried would provide proper relief, however.

My wife, a massage therapist, would administer massage techniques along with Thai stretching which would provide temporary relief. Inevitably and quickly, the pain returned.

I continued to feel a strong sensation of tightness due to over-activity and had chalked it up to the demand being placed on my body.

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Rachel Stinar, Core Flyte Master Instructor

I was impressed when I watched some Core Flyte videos on Facebook and Instagram. The product appeared to be one that virtually anyone could use. The fact that Core Flytes work in a transverse plane of motion was super-appealing to me as this was the plane I would mostly try to accomplish to repair my hip challenges. I took the liberty of reposting the videos onto my pages of both social media platforms as I wanted to share the amazing display of exercise with my clients, colleagues, and friends.

A couple of months ago, I saw the Core Flyte Master Instructor application postings on social media. I had been thinking for a while, “How long am I going to count reps and ride bikes for a living?” I've been a Master Trainer for a long time and the thought of leaving the weight floor and spin bike frightens me, but I thought the end might be near as I was having so many complications with my hip. I thought by applying for another instructing avenue I might be able to age gracefully through the end of my career.

After applying to become one of the first Core Flyte Master Instructors, I received an email requesting an interview. I was shocked and excited! I had my interview, and was invited to join the Flyte Team! My excitement was through the roof! However, I was a little hesitant coming to the instruction weekend with my injury. I knew that I had to not only sit for long periods of time, but also perform various exercises using Core Flytes.

At the end of the first day of our workshop, we performed a challenging series of Core Flyte exercises in an intense workout. It was demanding for all nine of us, but it also moved my body in ways that were new to me. As I was sitting during a discussion on the second day of our workshop, it suddenly occurred to me that my hip was pain-free. Then, before I performed the Core Flyte plank pike for my chosen exercise, I thought, "Oh boy, this is going to be good...I can't ever get any height with this exercise!" To my astonishment, I was able to perform the exercise with a considerably larger range of motion.

I returned to my club this week and I noticed that I was pain-free a couple of hours after my spin class and training clients. The worst for me is sitting for long periods of time, then spinning, then standing still. The aching I would have is unbearable at times. The Core Flyte exercises help alleviate my pain… I believe for good.

I know so many people who have hip problems such as mine from the demand they place on themselves physically. I cannot wait to share my experience with them. I'm very grateful to be able to have my hip feel normal again.

A valuable component in my training life as a Master Trainer or Master Instructor is to be a "product of a product." The fact that I can speak with heartfelt conviction and personal experience with such an amazing piece of equipment is remarkable.

Before going to the Core Flyte Master Instructor workshop, I was planning to taper down my activities in my career, but now I feel as if I've been given the greatest gift: additional years added to do the things I love in the world of health and fitness.

We’d love to hear from you. What do you think about my experience? Comment below or on our Facebook page or tweet us at @flytefitness.

Be Flyte Fit,

Rachel Stinar
Core Flyte Master Instructor, Flyte Fitness

P.S. DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR FITNESS UPDATES! CLICK THE BOX AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE!

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"Variety is the spice of life, that gives it all its flavor." - Poet William Cowper

One of the things I absolutely love about our Core Flytes is seeing all the new and creative exercises that our customers come up with. Each day, I see new social media posts of videos, images, and ideas for Core Flyte exercises I had never seen nor thought of. That's pretty cool. And, our customers love discovering new ways to use their stability training tools.

Developing powerful exercise and nutritious habits are critical to living healthy lives. Yet it is important to keep in mind that these habits should not get us into a monotonous routine. Mixing up our exercises is important for our body and to keep us interested and challenged. So, this week I wanted to share some fun, cool videos that show a wide range of body weight exercises. Some are basic and may seem boring to you... and some are insanely challenging. Take a look at each of the videos below and see if you can (safely!) do these variations of push-ups, pull-ups, and jumping jacks!

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Michael Phelps set another record recently as the first male swimmer to make five Olympics, but life has not always been easy for Phelps.

Below are three takeaways we can glean from Phelps’ journey to achieve personal success.

1. Leverage Obstacles into Opportunities
Despite early athletic promise, Phelps struggled with concentration in the classroom. Phelps was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at the age of nine, as his parents’ divorce was finalizing.

His mother Debbie did not let being a single parent and Michael’s ADHD challenges faze her. When Michael’s teachers informed her that he could not concentrate on anything, Debbie, an educator herself, worked with Michael on various solutions in and out of the classroom to prove them wrong. Debbie instilled structure into his life, nurturing swimming into a focus he could own. Swimming provided Michael with self-discipline and the needed structure for him to come off of his ADHD medication without adverse consequences during his teen years.

Michael continued the resilient spirit that Debbie demonstrated and instilled in him. When Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe said in an interview that it was unlikely for Phelps to win eight gold medals in the Beijing Olympics, Michael taped the quote to his locker and used it as fuel to further motivate him. After Phelps won his eighth medal, Thorpe responded, “Never in my life have I been so happy to be proven wrong.”

2. Practice Relaxation When Faced with Unexpected Challenges and Intense Pressure
Phelps’ coaches claim they have never seen him nervous before races. U.S. Olympic Committee Sport Psychologist Sean McCann breaks mental strength into two components. The first is an offensive mental aptitude: an unyielding desire for victory, no matter the pressure. he second is a defensive resilience that allows athletes to roll with the punches through unpredictable situations like watering goggles or head-to-head collisions. Very few people possess both.

Swim coach Bob Bowman has prided Phelps on his ability to be incredibly relaxed before intense meets. He has never seen Phelps “choke,” despite losses faced in past meets. Phelps said, “...the only thing you can control is yourself. If I have a bad race, I can put that behind me and I know I have another one coming up.”

Fortunately, relaxation is a learned skill that can be developed. When Phelps was a teenager, Debbie taught him progressive muscle relaxation, which he used daily before bed. Another approach he employed is visualizing different scenarios before they happen. Coach Bowman contends that Phelps has one of the best programmed mental visualization techniques. Phelps mentally runs through different scenarios before a race. So when he races, he has programmed his nervous system to react to any one of them automatically.

3. Strive for Mental, Relational, and Physical Balance Outside Your Sport
Phelps’ passion for swimming dwindled in the months before the London Olympics. He argued with his coach, skipped practice, and withdrew from his family. His downward spiral led to a DUI arrest in 2014, prompting him to check into rehab. Phelps realized his motivation waned because he had not taken the time to gain knowledge and self-acceptance of his identity outside of his facade as a successful swimmer.

Rehab also forced him to process issues from his past, including his lifelong estrangement from his father. He and his father are now “closer friends.” Coming into his final Olympics, Phelps’ motivation is no longer simply getting more medals. He sets out to try his hardest yet at Rio, and has recently become a father.

Conditioning coach Keenan Robinson credits Phelps’ multi-faceted athletic approach as a lacrosse and baseball player growing up for reducing risk of the postural imbalances and injuries that plague swimmers who specialize early. Since swimmers should stay lean for speed, most of Phelps’ dry land strength training involves using his own body weight, including dips and pull-ups.

Robinson cites a focus on clean, efficient postural lines in Phelps’ strength training and core drills involving stabilization and rotational movements as instrumental toward his success. You can check out some of these core exercises from Faster Swimming and HASfit. Remember to incorporate Core Flytes to build enhanced stability and postural awareness in your circuit training.

We’d love to hear from you. What is a lesson you learned from an inspirational athlete? Comment below or on our Facebook page or tweet us at @flytefitness.

Be Flyte Fit,

Dai Zhang
Contributing Writer, Flyte Fitness

P.S. DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR FITNESS UPDATES! CLICK THE BOX AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE!

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"One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation." - Arthur Ashe

Today, I’m writing the second article in our monthly series, “Taking Flyte," showcasing friend and partner Steve Weatherford’s advice on topics relating to health, fitness, and wellness. Last month, Steve reflected on the ups and downs of 2015. Today, Steve shares his thoughts on how he prepares to perform at his best: before, during, and after a big event.

There’s no bigger event for a professional football player than the Super Bowl. Steve shared how he mentally prepared throughout his experience with the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. The Giants won 21-17 over the New England Patriots and Steve played a pivotal role, pinning three punts within the Patriots' 20-yard line (two within the 10-yard line) which created field position havoc for the opposition. So, how did he mentally prepare for the biggest event of his life? We asked him.

Entering the Super Bowl, how did you mentally prepare for the big event?
Weatherford: “You treat it like anything else. I draw my confidence from knowing that I did every single possible thing up to that point to prepare myself for that one moment to be the greatest in the world. It's not that I had to go do yoga and find my Zen. For me, hard, hard, hard freaking work in the off-season is where I get my confidence.”

I’ve seen this hard work first-hand myself. We discussed how he prepared for the Super Bowl while we worked out in a marathon session that included an intense Core Flyte workout and what he calls “ARMageddon,” an all-out assault on every area of the tricep and bicep muscles. My arms felt like jelly for a couple of days after!

You’re playing in the Super Bowl. The stakes are high. How did you stay mentally focused?
Weatherford: “Nobody was having more fun in that game than I did. I was celebrating. I was hopping around. I was having fun. I was giggling. I know that you're only as good as your next play. For me, my first punt at the Super Bowl led to two points for us [a safety on Pats superstar Tom Brady]. That's as good as it gets for a punter. It's about being excited that you did well and then letting that go and focusing on the next play. Same thing if you had a bad one. If you have a bad one you let that go… short-term memory is key.”

Steve reminds those of us who know him that you can perform at a high level and have fun at the same time: they are not mutually exclusive. The important thing is to focus on your role and execute well each step of the way. In fact, for many people, having fun helps them stay loose – especially in a high-pressure situation – which can improve performance.

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You won the Super Bowl. How did you mentally absorb such a big win?
Weatherford: “It’s important to celebrate. If you asked me before the game, ‘How many beers would have after you won the Super Bowl?’ I would have told you ‘all of them!’ But after the Super Bowl, I’m not kidding you, I went to the Super Bowl post-party and there were celebrities everywhere and everyone is partying and having a good time… but I had one drink, a Jack and Coke. I drank that drink and I looked at my wife and said, ‘I don’t want to feel any different. I’m not drinking anymore.’ With the euphoria that came from a lifetime of preparation to achieve a lifetime goal, I didn’t want to feel any different. I didn’t need alcohol to feel any different. I had just one drink. I enjoyed the celebration for about three hours with my mom, my dad, my in-laws, my son, and my daughter. I ended up going to bed around two in the morning. That was earlier than every single one of my teammates.”

Steve is a fun guy. His energy is insane. At the Super Bowl, he was as excited as anyone. At the end of the day, however, he was able to keep the achievement in perspective and enjoy it for what it was: the pinnacle of athletic accomplishment. And he did it with his family, which now includes two more children. And who knows… maybe while he was celebrating he was secretly thinking about his next workout!

We’d love to hear from you. How do you mentally prepare for a big event? Comment below or on our Facebook page or tweet us at @flytefitness.

Be Flyte Fit,

Jeremy Greenberg
Co-Founder & CEO
Flyte Fitness

P.S. DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR FITNESS UPDATES! CLICK THE BOX AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE!

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"Measure twice, cut once." - Proverb

Although one might fall into the trap of thinking that athletes are meat-heads who don't think, the reality is quite the opposite. Performing well requires focusing on numbers and math. Ask any athlete about the metrics she measures and she’ll spew off a litany of detailed numbers: amount of weight lifted, number of reps performed, number of sets completed, distance ran, minutes or seconds in each training interval, hours of sleep, glasses of water consumed, macronutrient percentages, and on and on.

Measurement is a critical requirement for making progress. If we don't know how we are performing, we can't assess what's working or not working, or how (or whether) we are moving forward towards re...

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“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.” - Seneca, philosopher

Like most people on the planet, I’m sure you saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens this weekend. Predictably, the movie broke box office records and attracted several generations of Star Wars fans to the theaters dressed as their favorite characters. It was the seventh movie in the franchise, appropriately named “Episode VII.”

We are about to embark on a new ritual for this blog. As we turn the page on 2015, we will begin to share more insight from our partner Steve Weatherford. Steve is a Super Bowl champion, father of four, philanthropist, fitness maniac, health buff, and a relentlessly fashion-conscious man. He’s a lover ...

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“The Navy looked after me like my mother. It fed me, took care of me and gave me wonderful opportunities.” - Actor Tony Curtis

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