How To Increase Your Stamina

Stamina Training The ability to sustain prolonged physical effort is known as stamina. Synonyms for stamina include endurance, strength, energy, determination, tenacity, perseverance and grit.

Most people want to build their stamina, and that’s a good thing. When you work toward increasing your stamina, you’re able to handle sports and exercise activities better than someone who does not make an effort.

What are some tips for increasing stamina?

First, consider what you put into your body on a daily basis. Are you eating healthy foods, avoiding fat while still incorporating carbohydrates for energy? Having a low-fat, lean meat diet complete with several servings of fruits and vegetables can help increase stamina much better than a steady diet of doughnuts, french fries and soda pop. If you can, avoid soda pop in favor of drinking lots of plain water. Considering that your body is mostly made of water, did you know that you could lose quite a few pounds by avoiding sugary/caffeinated drinks and instead switching over to water as your main drink everyday? Water also helps your body deal with muscle fatigue in a smart way. Muscle tissue needs a steady water intake in order to perform as intended. If the muscle tissues are not getting the water they need, they may not perform as well. Meanwhile, it’s a good idea to have several small meals throughout the day. Try going with six small meals a day instead of two or three.

Next, make physical activities and exercises your priority. The more active you become the higher your overall energy level will be over time. Doing cardiovascular exercises (aerobics, dancing, biking) and strength-building workouts (push ups, sit ups), such as the ones offered at Fit-EST, can help build stamina. In particular, Fit-EST offers a full body cardio-focused class that’ll not only get your heart pumping faster and harder, but also burn fat and increase stamina. You’d be amazed at how your body can transform thanks to high-energy, quick workouts.

Finally, choose activities you enjoy doing so you’ll stick with them rather than give them up after only a few times. If needed, bring along a friend who can keep you somewhat accountable and motivate you to keep pressing on even when the going gets tough. Don’t try to overdo it at first. It takes time, energy and effort to build stamina. Work toward your goals and gradually increase your own challenges when things get too easy to do. Eventually you’ll be able to lift heavier weights, run on a treadmill faster and for longer periods of time than before, and have an upbeat, ready-for-anything attitude.

Let Fit-EST help you increase your stamina. Call 203-557-4900 to discuss classes that will build strength and endurance.

Why is it Important to Build Muscle Mass?

Muscle Mass Young men often like to work out at their local gym in order to build muscle mass, especially on their arms, so they can flex their biceps to lure the ladies at the beach each summer. That said, building muscle mass is not just a thing for young men to do– men and women of all ages should do it.

Why is it important to build muscle mass? While it generally makes a person look more attractive, there’s even more to it. Did you know that building muscle mass helps strengthen your connective tissues? This, in turn, increases your bone density. You’re literally making yourself stronger such that it’s harder for your body to be injured. Also, later on in life, the more muscle mass you have, the less likely you’ll get osteoporosis. If you think of your body as a mode of transportation, do you want a bike or a tank? The tank should be preferred because its better protected and can handle a lot more challenges over the years.

Some of you might not want to make your body tank-like, and don’t worry– you don’t have to be that extreme. But, keep in mind this idea: building muscle mass increases your metabolic rate. Therefore, the more developed your muscles, the more calories your body will burn because those muscles utilize the calories you take in. So, in essence, muscles are great for your overall health and shape.

In addition to burning calories, building muscle mass also benefits a person’s blood-sugar control, their balance, and even their mental health.

Finally, as a person ages, they tend to lose muscle in their body. It makes sense, then, to combat that by building muscle mass “sooner than later.” Strength training overall can help a person live a healthier life into old age, with stronger muscles and bones than their peers who didn’t take the time to work out.

The quickest way to build quality muscle mass is to work with an expert who will provide you with the guidance you need to obtain the results you seek. If you’re looking for a knowledgeable, but friendly trainer in Westport, CT, contact or stop by Fit-EST today.


The Importance of Developing Healthy Habits in Children

Healthy Children “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it,” according to an old proverb. This old adage remains true to this day, because what a child learns as a youngster affects him or her for the rest of his or her life.

In order to help children live a healthy life, it’s important to train them to develop healthy habits. For instance, you wouldn’t want to feed your child nothing but sugary snacks everyday, right? They’d reach for candy bars, soda pop and potato chips the rest of their lives while ignoring vegetables, fruits and other natural, healthy foods and drinks.

Just like you’d want your child to eat foods to help them grow up to be strong, smart and healthy, you should also care about the amount of physical activity they get when they’re in their formative years. Too many kids today spend all their time sitting in front of screens watching things rather than getting up on their feet, moving their body, and living life like it was meant to be lived.

Fit-EST cares about children’s health and seeks to train them to have a passion for fitness. Not all kids are going to be athletes, but all kids can benefit from gym workouts. You see, with the help of proper guidance and supervision, children can be challenged to push their limits in a constructive way. Workouts require work, but typically in a fun way, such that exercise becomes a good habit that kids can and will enjoy well into old age.

With fitness training at a young age, children learn about endurance, balance, coordination, strength and agility. Working out also builds a person’s confidence– at any age.

Fit-EST offers one-on-one training sessions for children. That way, each child receives specific instructions on what to do and how to do it in order to maximize their time in the gym at a comfortable level for where they’re at in their development.

If you want to “train up your child in the way they should go” as the old adage recommends, call Fit-EST today at 203-557-4900.

The Importance of Working Out Your Core

Core workoutsIf you’ve hung around a gym lately, you’ve probably heard people talking about strengthening their core. Basically, a person’s core is a series of muscles extending beyond the abs but not including your arms and legs. Your core gets incorporated into pretty much every movement you make, so it makes sense that you’d want a strong one.

Look around at most men over a certain age– they’ve got big bellies. How about ladies over a certain age? They’ve got cellulite building up on their hips and buttocks. Frankly, most people do not work out their core often enough.

Do you want to ignore your core? No, you don’t. You want to be able to walk without getting out of breath, and to be able to lift up grandkids and spin them around for fun. Your core helps your body make its movements and therefore it needs to be taken care of. If you train your body with an emphasis on your core, you’ll not only look thinner but your spine will thank you. A strong core means your spine is supported and you’re able to balance properly.

Your core is more than just the abs on your stomach. Your core includes upper abs, side muscles (aka the obliques), and, don’t forget, your back muscles, which matter just as much as your “abs” though people often just want sexy abs while forgetting to exercise their backs.

Build core strength now so that when you’re older your body will be in better shape and you’ll be able to make the movements you want to make.

Whether you’re a serious athlete or you made a New Year’s Resolution to get in shape, Fit-EST can provide you with the guidance and expertise you need to make the most out of your workouts. Contact Fit-EST today for more information.

How to Avoid Gaining Unwanted Weight this Holiday Season

Holiday Weight This holiday season you are going to be faced with plenty of temptations to eat foods that will make your waist expand and, the numbers on your scale increase.

For men, this is the time of the year they can add unwanted weight and expand their “beer belly.” For women, December’s indulgences could mean having to buy a new wardrobe come the New Year, at one size bigger to accommodate wider hips and cellulite. Egads, December is a tough month for all!

So how do you avoid gaining unwanted weight this holiday season? Start with not having easy access to the foods you know pack on the pounds. If you don’t go and buy lots of pre-packaged cookies and muffins and sugary treats from the store, and you don’t have them in your cupboards at home, readily accessible, then you’re not going to go over the top because the snacks you love aren’t physically available. Nice! Oh, and if you can drink less sugary drinks and more water, that’s ideal.

Next, when you do go to a holiday party and eye the cake, the pie, or the plate of cookies, instead of telling yourself “I’m only going to eat celery and carrots,” decide to limit your portion sizes of all the foods you’d like to eat… that way, you’re still getting to eat foods you like– even cookies, for example– but you’re just not eating huge portions. Limiting your calorie intake by psychologically deciding to stop at 1 or 2 cookies for the night can help you avoid gaining unwanted weight. It’s often easier said than done, but by utilizing strong discipline, you can avoid that awful guilty feeling later at night or the next day.

Finally, as difficult as it is to find time during the holiday season, you need to exercise. Even if it means parking the car where you’ll have to walk a little extra to get into the mall, or getting up early to go to the gym before work or whatever it takes to get your body moving during these weeks, the message is the same: move that body.

Fit-EST is here for you if you need some accountability, as well as personal training, workout ideas and nutritional advice.

The Benefits of Training with a Kettlebell

Kettlebell Workouts Kettlebell training is a whole body workout method that can be used by anyone. Whether you are just getting started at the gym or have a well-developed workout routine, the kettlebell provides a great cardio workout that challenges the body and uses almost all of its muscles at once. Best of all, this workout routine can be a lot of fun!


A popular method of high intensity interval training, kettlebell drills are an enjoyable way to get your cardio workout in. Instead of running on the treadmill for an hour each day, try repetitive drilling with a kettlebell. Another great advantage: This non-impact training method strengthens your joints instead of putting stress on them.


Not only does kettlebell training have a wide variety of benefits, but it also has an endless amount of drill combinations. Instead of sticking to the same workout every day, which can get repetitive and dull, mix things up by changing your grip and swing.

Head-to-Toe Workout

A training method that consists of a variety of whole-body movements and exercises, using a kettlebell allows you to work your entire body, providing you with a great, fluid workout in a shorter amount of time than traditional methods. Instead of using sedentary machines that focus on isolated areas of the body, work with a kettlebell to build mobility, stability and strength throughout. Training with a kettlebell also means you no longer have to worry about what areas you should focus on each day!

Here at Fit-EST, we strive to create a positive environment for individuals who are looking to balance fitness with overall lifestyle. Take a personal training session or sign up for a class to get started on your kettlebell training routine. Contact us at 203-557-4900 or visit our Westport, Connecticut gym at 361 Post Road West to begin your fitness journey today!

The Most Important Strength Training Exercises

DeadliftThere are plenty of trendy exercises. Everything from doing calisthenics in a warehouse to aerobic instruction from the latest ‘fitness guru’ float around the internet until some trendsetter floats them into the mainstream. That is until they are forgotten as quickly as they catch on. But regardless of the latest trends, there are exercises with staying power as strong as the athletes implementing them.


If you’ve never done a squat, you should start off with no weight. The exercise is so effective, when done correctly, simply executing the form as a bodyweight squat can build muscle. A lower body drill focusing on your legs and core, the squat is a standing exercise in which you physically squat low keeping your knees behind your ties and slowly stand up straight repeatedly. It is even great for strengthening your joint tendons.


From your upper back to your hands and down to your hamstrings, the deadlift is about as close to a full body exercise as you can get. Effectively lifting heavy weight from the ground without momentum- hence the term ‘dead’- to the hips and repeating, it is a very effective training method. And there are plenty of variations for the more discerning lifter, including the Romanian deadlift and single leg deadlift.

Bench Press

Bench pressing is an age-old means for building upper body strength and adding mass to your chest size. Most effective when you gradually increase the weight on the bench bar throughout your set, bench-pressing is perfect for anyone trying to tighten their upper body. The weight you choose also helps you accomplish different goals, lighter weight and more repetitions helps with toning while heavier weight with fewer reps allows you to build size.

Shoulder Press

Your shoulder strength is the most influential component to your speed and range of motion when it comes to such activity as throwing and boxing. Increasing your shoulder mass and giving you more power, the shoulder press is as important as the bench press for increasing your upper body strength.

Avoid Weight Lifting Injuries

proper lifting techniqueStrength training is your best bet for staying in shape. In conjunction with a balanced diet and cardio regiment, strength training allows you to improve your strength, toning and even heart health. But lifting incorrectly with poor form can do much more harm than good. There are a few principles to keep in mind to avoid devastating injury.


Use Proper Form

Using proper form is critical if you want to prevent an injury. Using poor form is the quickest way to end up hurt. A personal trainer can teach you proper technique. Or, if you’ve been hitting the weights for years, ask a friend to use video or photos to catch any flaws in your movement.


Do smart exercises

If you’re worried about injuries, the best exercises to use are those that are functional and strengthen your core; pushups, lunges, and balance work are all great. Avoid dangerous exercises, such as Olympic bench presses, squats and deadlifts. These all offer more risk than reward.


Warm up Properly

This means raising your body’s core temperature through some light cardio for at least five minutes, and ideally incorporating some very-low resistance dynamic exercises that will prep your body for upcoming stress. And once you’re all warmed up, use the right weight. Lifting weight that’s too heavy discourages proper form. It also makes you that person at the gym grunting loudly everyone knows is pushing themselves too hard.

Workout Stretching to Eliminate Tightness, Soreness

stretchingStretching prior to a workout is crucial for your post-workout comfort. Not only does stretching prevent muscle soreness and injury, but it also increases your range of motion. Whether you’re a teen athlete or a grown adult just getting back into fitness, stretching can help you sustain and even avoid muscle pulls and strains.



Stretching the muscle group you are about to use allows you to avoid pulls, strains and general pain. For every workout there is the right stretch for it. Utilizing dynamic stretching at the beginning of a workout will help to warm up most major muscle groups.



The movements within the dynamic stretching routine mimic those movements used during the workout but at a less intense level thereby giving time for the muscles to warm up.Cold muscles can be likened to an elastic band that needs to be warmed before it can be stretched. A light movement warm up for 5 to 8 minutes prior to exercising will add fluidity and mobility to the joints. This will bring blood flow to surrounding muscles and break a light sweat before you start a workout.



If you feel the need to skip either your post or pre-workout stretch (something we highly discourage) make it your pre workout stretch. It is absolutely necessary to stretch after you work out to alleviate the presence of lactic acid and as much residual pain as possible.



Tight muscles have the tendency to tear easily whereas well stretched muscles are much more elastic and can subsequently endure much more. You’ll notice after your workout you wont experience any tightness or soreness in the areas you stretched. More importantly, you’re much less likely to endure any permanent injury.

Channeling Deep Breathing to Help your Cardio Activities

fitness training When doing cardio activities as your breath becomes shallow and rapid you likely wish you could pull in more air. Most participate in cardio activities to train their heart and legs, but did you realize you could actually train your lungs? Synthesizing more oxygen with more lung capacity provides more endurance for your muscles.



Toning the muscles used for breathing, such as the diaphragm and the intercostal muscles, which lie between the ribs and enable you to inhale and exhale can increase your endurance. Since your diaphragm is mostly responsible for breathing, the more muscular it is, the more endurance you will have.



This approach coincides with research indicating runners whose breathing was the most strained showed the most leg weakness. Further, the researchers concluded in their study that the harder the respiratory muscles had to work, the more the legs would struggle in a race. In other words, breathing more fully is fundamental for preventing lung-and leg-fatigue. So while running or participating in cardio activities, concentrate on taking slow and deep breaths to strengthen the diaphragm.