weightloss nashville personal training

The whiteboard workout of the day.

3 min jump rope
3 min wall sit
3 min towel pull
3 min plank

12 @ 25% body weight
10 @ 50% body weight
8 @ 60% body weight
6 @ 70% body weight
12 @ 25% body weight

Do this with these exercises
Straight bar curls
Dead lift
Lat pull down
Seated row

30 Minute Power Sessions

Introducing the new Power Sessions from Life Fitness Academy! These sessions are geared for the client on-the-go, the mom with a short window for fitness, or, just maybe, **you**. Maybe you work on the row or have a lunch break that needs fitness–if any of these sound like you, let our Power Session give you the boost you need in your health journey to push you to the next level! These sessions are a tight budget’s best friend at $25 for a 30 min session, add a smoothie and you have a workout and lunch for under $30!! Questions, comments, or need more details? Contact us.

Dude Food!

We are having a Dude Food Cooking class–if you really want to call it that. We will be grilling and enjoying some excellent foods on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:00pm — $12.50. There will be a contest involving the Bruce Lee Special, so be prepared. Guys only, please RSVP if coming!

Exercise Fundamentals: Body Weight

If you’re following along with the exercise fundamentals you know where I’m going with this series and where we have already been (isometrics and resistance training). This series is all in an effort to give you a better understanding of effective, efficient, and, maybe more importantly, proper muscle development. If you are just joining us in the middle of this 5-part series let me tell you this, there is an order to how you should approach fitness, so take some time and catch up reading the previous articles.

Body weight exercises seem pretty fail-proof, right? As simple as they may seem it’s important to note that you can still get injured if you’re not mindful of your movements–especially as we talk about more advanced body weight movements such as pull ups, chin ups and even push ups. Also, in reflection, we want to apply the aforementioned articles to these new body movements. This will really help to complete the exercises in the most efficient way possible.

Body weight exercises are strength training exercises that do not require free weights; the practitioner’s own weight provides the resistance for the movement. As this quick description implies, there is little equipment needed for these exercises. That is a great feature of body weight exercises, you can do them nearly anywhere much like isometrics. Speaking of isometrics, they are vital in completing body weight exercises… that is, if you hope to increase strength and graduate to harder unilateral movements. Performing unilateral exercises changes the role your weight plays in the level of resistance. This role will greatly increase your strength. For example, try comparing the ease of performing an unweighted two handed push up with that of a single armed push up. The single armed push up is significantly harder because of the way your loss of balance forces you to work extra hard to complete the movement.

Consider that balance and flexibility are what make body weight exercises so much harder. Coming into this way of working out from isometric and resistant muscle contraction will indeed give you the advantage you need to exceed your own perceptions of strength. Body weight exercise can increase your muscle endurance as well as help complete the way in which large muscle groups develop. If you can, for example, do a push up while isometrically contracting your core and chest at the top and bottom of the movement, it will greatly increase the efficiency of this exercise. When you increase efficiency you work out for less time but with considerably more progress.

It’s also important to note that this fundamental set of exercises comes after resistance training for a reason. With your skeletal muscles stronger than they used to be, it will ensure that your joints are better protected as you push them to support your body weight. Teaming resistance training up with both body weight and isometric movement will double your fat burning potential!

Consider planning a work out that will include all aspects of the fundamentals and stay tuned for part 4 coming soon!

By: Terry Barga


Mmmm… we like chocolate. Chocolate is good for you. Do I need to give reasons for why chocolate is good for you? I don’t think so. Do some research on your own and find out. Today I want to talk about what to look for and what to avoid.

In getting the most out of the benefits of chocolate, as well as the enjoyment, there are a few things that must be considered. First, avoid chocolate that has poor quality dairy products in it–which, most likely, would include all milk chocolate, unless you make your own at home and the milk in it is from raw grassfed animals. Second, avoid all artificial additives and flavoring. Third, avoid refined white sugar. Fourth, if possible avoid soy lecithin, even though for most people this will not pose a problem. We just did a post on lecithin and soy lecithin so you can check that out for more info, just remember, most soy is genetically modified (so organic soy lecithin would be a better option). Fifth, the darker the chocolate the better, as it will contain less sugar, even if the sugar is a quality source. Sixth, consider the company that makes the chocolate–consider its processes and the way the chocolate is handled.

There are a gazillion chocolate makers these days and many of them produce a really good product. We wanted to share a couple of our favorite and why. Feel free to let us know your favorites and why in the comments or give us some new brands to try!


(75% & 70%) – Currently, Fearless, is my favorite chocolate. It is an organic raw (mostly) chocolate that uses rapadura to sweeten and has some great flavors like xploding coconuts, matcha peppermint, super seeds, etc. The added ingredients are great for health and add antioxidants, omega-3’s, and beneficial fatty acids. Being mostly raw, it contains some enzymes, some probiotics, and all nutrients in tact.

Ingredients (Dark Midnight – 75%): Ingredients: Organic Raw Cacao, Organic Rapadura, Organic Bourbon Vanilla

Ingredients (Matcha Peppermint – 70%): Organic Raw Cacao, Organic Rapadura, Organic Bourbon Vanilla, Organic Matcha Green Tea, Organic Peppermint


(70% & 85%) – Rapunzel uses rapadura for sugar which is better in that it is whole, unrefined, evaporated cane juice. It also contains no emulsifiers and is conched for 72 hours instead of being processed with alkali. All ingredients are certified organic. We recommend their 70% or 85% dark chocolate.

Chocolate Liquor (100% Crushed Cocoa Beans Non-alcohol), Rapadura (Whole, Unrefined, Evaporated Sugar Cane Juice), Unrefined Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Powder, Vanilla Beans. (All Ingredients Certified Organic.)

Endangered Species

(88%) – The reason we like this bar, even though it is not organic and it does contain soy lecithin, is that it is extremely dark and has very little sugar in it–only 3.3 grams of sugar per ounce or 10 grams per bar–which is much less than most brands. And it still maintains an excellent flavor and taste.

Ingredients: Bittersweet Chocolate (Chocolate liquor, unbleached water filtered beet sugar, soy lecithin, vanilla).

Beyond Organic

The great thing about Beyond Organic dark chocolate is that it has added probiotics such as bacillus coagulans. It also contains 1000mgs of omega-3’s because of added flaxseeds. On the downside it does contain soy lecithin (albeit GMO free) and it has more sugar per serving than the others listed here.

Ingredients: Organic bittersweet chocolate (Organic chocolate liquor, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, soy lecithin), organic vanilla extract, organic flaxseeds, probiotics bacillus coagulans.


(73% organic) – Chocolove was my old favorite chocolate bar and I still enjoy it every now and again. The organic line is free from soy lecithin (emulsifier) and has only 8 grams of sugar per serving.

Organic Cocoa Liquor, Organic Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter.

We made you hungry for some chocolate didn’t we? Didn’t I? Didn’t we?

What about soy lecithin? Is soy lecithin good for you?

What about soy lecithin? Is soy lecithin good for you? These are questions we get often at Life Fitness Academy, and questions we have to answer ourselves, as it seems soy lecithin is in so many products these days. The answer isn’t always simple, especially when food production is involved. Hopefully after reading this article you will have a little better understanding about soy lecithin and a good approach to it.

Lecithin in and of itself is good for the body and the body manufactures it. Lecithin is produced by every healthy liver and it is a major part of the cell membrane. It can help transport old bad fats and replace with new, especially as the diet is being changed over and better fats are being consumed. It transports cholesterol and other fatty lipids. Lecithin is an emulsifier–it blends and absorbs things that sometimes cannot be blended. So for example, when making mayonnaise at home you emulsify the oil with an egg yolk because the lecithin in the yolk emulsifies the oil and then you can have the blend that is known as mayonnaise. It is found in all sorts of plants and foods including egg yolks, soybeans, sunflower, grape seed, wheat germ, whole grains, and more.

In food production, lecithin is used to blend, lubricate, coat, smooth, and mix other food ingredients. It is at least good to know that lecithin is safe and good, however, as always, we here at Life Fitness Academy recommend getting our nutrition from whole foods. It is best to get lecithin in whole food form, from egg yolks, or vegetables (soy should be fermented or sprouted–remember this article?). Lecithin as an extract in otherwise healthy foods or food products can be ok and healthy, but it depends on a few factors. First, it should not be genetically modified. Second, many people who have a sensitivity to soy, should still avoid soy lecithin, and look for lecithin from egg yolks or sunflower. Third, it is best when it has been mechanically separated, and not chemically separated. Lecithin can be bleached, refined, and chemically modified, just like anything else.

Personally, my approach to lecithin as an additive, and particularly soy lecithin, is to avoid it generally, but if it is in an otherwise healthy product that I want to have and it is not my regular practice, then I will have it without worry as it is non-toxic and in small amounts. Also, the types of products that I might consume that would contain it, would be from sources that are producing higher quality, non-gmo, and organic foods.

By: Tim M.

The Jam Coffeehouse

Have you heard of The Jam? The Jam is a nice little coffeehouse in our neighborhood, that we especially like as they have local and organic products for coffee and tea. As our clients know, we are continually stressing the importance of whole foods and minimally manipulated foods.

For a limited time we are offering a promotion with The Jam. Purchase any drink and bring in the cup with the sleeve from The Jam and get one free smoothie from LFA OR bring in three receipts from The Jam and get 15% off Bootcamp or Personal Training!

Some stuff to try:

Green pomegranate tea with milk and honey (ask for honey)

The Veggie Reggie sandwich: choice of 4 vegetables (spinach, spring mix, carrots, raw zucchini, cucumber, red onion, bruschetta), cheese, with a balsamic vinaigrette and spicy mustard on either toasted flaxseed or rosemary olive oil bread.

You can also check out The Jam at www.thejamcoffeehouse.com or on Facebook or Twitter

The Jam is located at:
1210 Wedgewood Avenue
Nashville, TN 37212

The hours are Mon-Fri 7:00-3:00pm and Sat 9:00-3:00pm.


We all need to breathe. If we don’t breathe, we don’t live–your body needs breathability. The body is continually inhaling and exhaling, inhaling and exhaling. We have posted before about the wisdom of the importance of breathing–from Edwin Checkley, “To learn to breathe is to learn the A B C of physical health, and it is of special importance that this education of the lungs should precede the education of the outer muscular system, for the natural increase of lung strength and chest room is retarded by methods that begin work on the outside first.”

Sometimes we refer to the skin needing to breath, and this is best understood with regard to the need to be unobstructed or unpolluted by toxic substances which are easily absorbed into the skin. The skin does not respirate in the way that our lungs do, but gases can permeate the pores. Also, the skin is the body’s largest (and most absorbent) organ, thus care should be taken for what is put on the skin as well as what is worn on the skin. The Bible mentions fabric worn on the skin in Leviticus 19 and Deuteronomy 22 and there are some interesting ideas as to why. We simply recognize that it is good to use natural breathable fibers on the body (God knows what He is talking about!). Cotton, wool, linen, bamboo, etc are all fabrics which allow air and gases to pass through better and allow the body to naturally regulate temperature. Of course, with the skin, different substances of different size and elemental makeup penetrate the skin differently, or not at all–some molecules are just too large.

Back to respiration. Being that our bodies need air, you can see that the quality of air is important. As studies have shown, indoor air quality is much lower than outdoor (as long as you are not in a smog infested polluted area. If you are in a sealed room, eventually you will use up all the available oxygen and nitrogen, and all that will be left is the gases which you have exhaled–the refuse if you will. So a breeze coming in your room while you rest sounds awful nice right about now, huh? If you are serious about health or recovering from illness, get some fresh air, protect your skin from harmful substances being absorbed, and take some deep breaths!