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Responsibilities of the ATF Client

Here are the updated responsibilities of the ATF Client. As trainers we are expected to walk our talk. To have success in training you have to hold up your end of the bargain. 

  1. Rest, eat and hydrate well
  2. Avoid sugar and processed foods
  3. Exercise multiple days per week (that means more than two).
  4. Make 1 to 4 of your exercise days Elements or ATF training sessions.
  5. Arrive 15 minutes early to all scheduled appointments (both in and out of the gym).
  6. Wash or sanitize hands before and after each session. What else can we say, we want you to get and remain healthy. 
  7. Review ATOMIC on both Yelp! and Google+. It’s OK to use the same review on both platforms.
  8. Bring your friends and family to Friends and Family Night on Wednesdays 6PM to 8PM.

We love you guys and want you to succeed. Keep in mind this is a team effort and we are only as strong as our weakest link!

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Thank You

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Thank You

There’s a big difference between saying the words thank you and the state of being thankful. Thank you in many situations has become obligatory and meaningless. We slap thank you on the end of an email or mumble it under our breath as the barista hands us our coffee. Thank you. It’s what we say when someone holds the door open or we receive a gift on our birthday. Saying thank you means nothing without feeling behind it. Life could be better if we allow ourselves to truly feel thankful more often.

Saying thank you is easy, but feeling thankful takes practice. With all of the distractions and demands on our time, feeling truly thankful can be as difficult as getting into shape. Make no mistake, the ability to be thankful, appreciative, and gracious can actually be strengthened just like our physical muscles. In order to get the benefit, be prepared to put in some practice time.

Here’s a simple method to achieve feeling more thankful each day: Every time you say or hear someone say, thank you, think of something to be thankful for. Let the words thank you be a cue to remind you how lucky you are at this moment. Consider your health, your friends, family or home. Appreciate the air you breathe or the weather outside. Become grateful for what’s good in your life as well as what’s not. A bad day can be averted by taking these brief moments to experience gratitude. Even if the present moment contains pain and suffering, feeling gratitude may be a first step toward defusing the problem.

Engaging in a gratitude practice plays both the short and the long game. In the short term, you engender good will by emitting genuine good feelings. In the long run, gratitude creates a state of mind that can help you through the toughest of times. In fact, we don’t give thanks often enough, and one time a year at Thanksgiving is just not enough.

We as adult professionals expect a lot from ourselves, our work, and our relationships. As a result, we run the risk of becoming dissatisfied or complaining when things don’t go our way. Important appointments get canceled, trains run late, the media reports bad news, and everyday we get older. In the face of disappointment, why not appreciate what we have rather than going down the road of doom and gloom? We have the power to find something, anything, to be thankful for in this present moment. We can then build on that feeling. How would life be different if we actually expressed how thankful we are that as a living, breathing person, we can get up, put on clean clothes, walk into a coffee shop, and afford a $5 handmade coffee? From this perspective the words thank you can and will mean much more. And that’s something you can be thankful for.

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Set a BIG Goal. Right Now!

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Set a BIG Goal. Right Now!

We tend to get what we focus on so why not go after what you truly want? Without goals life becomes pointless, empty and devolves into binge watching TV. Your goal, the one you have buried deep down has the power to create a whole new life. Life deserves goals worth striving for.

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How to Exercise the Lower Abs

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How to Exercise the Lower Abs

There’s nothing but confusion out there when it comes to body part specific training. This confusion invariably arises from thinking about the body as individual muscles or segments and ignoring the fact that our body is designed to function as one integrated whole. The biceps never performed a curl without being attached to the arm or the rest of the body. The same is true for the lower abs. 

That said, step one in learning to exercise the lower abdominal muscles is to stop thinking of them as separate from the upper abs or rest of the body. Next, consider the role of the abdominal muscles: abdominal muscles counteract extension, flex the spine and help to stabilize the lumbar spine. 

*Hollow Hold: focus on stabilization

*Hollow Hold: focus on stabilization

Therefore to work the lower abs we must take a two pronged approach: 1.) exercises that prioritize stabilization of the spine and 2.) movements that place the lumbar spine into flexion. To those who love and advocate tons of twisting exercises, please contact me. I have the number for a great physical therapist. In reality, the abdominal strengthening from good twisting exercises primarily comes from spinal stabilization rather than the turning of the body.  

*Hanging Knee Raise: focus on movement into spinal flexion

*Hanging Knee Raise: focus on movement into spinal flexion

Spinal stabilization exercises always get the abdominals firing while simultaneously strengthening the lower back. That’s what’s great about correct movements, you can’t improve one part of the body without improving the rest. Second, when we move the lumbar spine into flexion we are using the abdominal muscles in concert to perform the movement. This is why isolation crunches are lame and conversely why people love Pilates for flattening the abs. Much of the abdominal work in the Pilates system involves placing the lumbar spine into flexion.

Look at it this way, the spine likes to flex, extend and be protected from load bearing forces. Exercises that flex or stabilize the spine will hit all of the abdominal muscles and give you the tight strong stomach you desire. If after investigation into how to strengthen the lower abs you are disappointed you can’t see your six pack, then you have a dietary problem and not a strength or conditioning issue. 

*Two examples of how to work the lower abdominal muscles. Notice in both photos the abs are engaged by connecting the feet to the hands. By involving the whole body maximum force is delivered to the center of the body. 

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Fit Bride Success Story

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Fit Bride Success Story

Ashley G. tells all about how she got into amazing shape for her wedding. She credits training here at ATOMIC, eating right and getting adequate sleep. She also should be commended for going hard everyday and making the commitment to make the most of her big day. It definitely paid off.

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Alternative Training

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Alternative Training

There's nothing special about the standard, boring, run of the mill gym. No wonder no one sticks with their new year's resolutions. In nearly every chain gym across the country we find rows of machines, cardio equipment and dumbbells. With the popularity of Crossfit, Soul Cycle and yoga; barbell lifting, spin classes and generic yoga are being rammed down the uneducated consumers throat as well. If you have never worked out before the standard gym is as good a place to start as any. On the other hand you could just as easily skip it.

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