Are You Overtraining?

written by Holli McCormick

Yes, it is possible to overtrain your body.  In my book – overtraining can be just as serious if not more serious than not working out.  Just like everything, there is wisdom in balance and moderation.  The following article – What Does Overtraining Mean? – shares with you some typical signs of overtraining…and mentions that most of overtraining occurs from extensive exercise.  However, I would add that being a weekend warrior, or progressing your workout intensities/amounts before your body is ready can also be damaging and dangerous for your body.

If you are in doubt of how to proceed safely with your workout plans, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Elementus for your complimentary consultation with one of our highly-trained personal coaches.

Article: What Does Overtraining Mean?

Portion Control: Don’t Supersize Me

written by Holli McCormick

The first stop on our 10 ways to control your weight is: Portion Control!

When the researchers who started the NWCR, they found that portion control was the #1 way people lost weight but more importantly – kept it off.  Portions have been increasing over the last 20 years – as indicative of many fast food restaurants who want you to “Super Size” your order – giving them more money and you more calories.  Here is a fun link to test your knowledge on portion size.

In order to help you figure out what portions you do need and of what, there is a new “food pyramid” in town found at  Here is a link to a great article to give you more tips on how to establish your portion sizes as well as maintain them.  “Decrease Portion Sizes

If you want my take, here are the things I have learned over the years to keep this easy:

1) Ask yourself, “Am I hungry right now?”  A lot of times we start moving towards food as an automatic action based on our emotions or just the time of day.  Deciding whether or not you actually need food is a good first step.

2) Start with the vegetables. Instead of leaving salads and vegetables to the end, start off with them…and as many as you want.  If you start filling up on veggies, you are less likely to eat as many calories from the other foods we tend to over eat …so go ahead and get your veggies on!  (NOTE: This does NOT work for fruit since there is sugar – and sometimes lots – in fruit.  Sugar is sugar.)

3) Take LESS than what you think you need & play the waiting game. Once you get to the other parts of your meal, start off with just a little less than what you would normally take.  If you normally eat a full sandwich, cut it in half and bag it for tomorrow.  At a restaurant, ask the waiter to put half of your meal in a to-go box even before it comes out.  Once you have eaten your smaller portion, set a time to wait before you go back for more.  Often times, it takes a few minutes up to a half hour before our tummies register that they have had enough.  I find that if I continue to ASK myself – and yes even out loud – if I really need more, I will be able to answer no.

4) Cut the carbs in half!  Eat only half of the hamburger bun, half of the sandwich, half of the amount of rice and bean you are given….you get the idea.  The body LOVES carbs as its primary energy source.  However, when we have consumed enough calories for the body to run, the rest get stored…as fat.  The other interesting note on carbs, the more you eat the better it gets at storing them…again as fat.  Our bodies are better able to break down protein and fat than they are the excess amounts of carbs and sugars we generally eat.

If you have more questions about portion control or how to help modify your eating behaviors – feel free to contact us here at Elementus.


Series: 10 Ways to Control Your Weight

written by Holli McCormick

Do you believe that making changes are possible?  What type of behavioral changes do you need to make to affect change?   What type of psychological characteristics facilitate change?  Lastly, do those changes last, forming new habits that become “automatic” as part of your life?

The doctors have boiled down the research to some important results for the rest of us.  I will be sharing all 10 here and then will tackle each one, giving more information and tips, in an individual post over the next couple of weeks.  Without further ado:These and other questions are what Dr. Rena Wing and Dr. James Hill set out to answer by starting the National Weight Control Registry (  Many believe that successful weight loss maintenance is something few of us can fully embrace.  In order to disprove this myth, the registry was started in order to capture and evaluate the behavioral and psychological characteristics of those that maintain weight loss.   The Doctors began the registry in 1994 which has expanded to over 10,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for a significant amount of time.

  1. Control Portions
  2. Be Mindful
  3. Exercise
  4. Check the Scale
  5. Eat Breakfast
  6. Monitor Intake
  7. Turn off the tube
  8. Start today and avoid cheating yourself
  9. Know thy friend
  10. Be Optimistic

Stay tuned for your daily dose of encouragement on the road to improved wellness!

Fitness Trends: How to be safe

written by Holli McCormick

One topic we discuss here at Elementus often is the newest – or not so new – fitness trends we see making a surge in the world.  As personal trainers with over 10+ years in a relatively “young”  industry, we have seen lots of trends come and go over the years.  From the shake weights to the whole body vibration machines, from TRX to Zumba Toning, from U-Jam to Paddle board Yoga – as a participant it is fun to get involved in these new trends to spice up your workouts.

They may look shinny and new and promise BIG results…the bottom line is they might not be the best or safest form of exercise for every individual.  Look to answer these questions with any new class or workout you are considering:

  • What is the science behind the tool or class style? What is this class or tool promising to do for me?  Is it realistic?
  • What do the studies say?  Is there enough data out there to support their claims?
  • What do other people I know in the industry (personal trainers, group fitness instructors, coaches, athletes) say about this tool/class?
  • Is it safe for me?

While many forms of exercises may be beneficial ~  a personal, individualized approach is always the safest route to take to reach your goals.  This doesn’t mean that the high intensity boot camp is not right for you, it might just mean that there is another form of exercise that will better match your current fitness level as well as help you achieve success in maintaining an exercise program in the long run.   If you don’t know your level of fitness and the safety with any given exercise or tool, please do not hesitate to contact us or search for a personal trainer in your area to help you evaluate this.

With that being said, today’s fitness tip comes from ACE (American Council on Exercise) and Jessica  Matthews – an Exercise Physiologist and media spokesperson for ACE.   Jessica evaluates 3 of the hottest trends right now – plyometrics, kettlebells and HIIT training – and gives you pointers on how to make this a possible fit for you.

NOTE: We are excited to announce we are in the process of developing several more flexible workout options that will be using a variety of techniques to spice up your your workouts and get you moving.  The great news is all these options will be supervised by trained coaches to ensure safety and answer your questions.  Like us on Facebook to keep up to date with the development of this exercise program!

What are some common mistakes people make with popular fitness trends and how can I avoid them?



What are in your thoughts?

Are you tired of repeating the same behaviors over and over again, feeling as if you have no control over them?  Do you think you are entrapped in cycles that are unproductive and energy sapping?  Do you see yourself living a more abundant life yet are not sure how to get there?

A great place to start moving those behaviors to where you want them is to start tuning into your own thoughts.  Many times, we are on autopilot going about our day and do not realize that our behaviors are driven by our feelings…which in turn are driven by our thoughts.  You do not necessarily have control over your feelings – yet you do have power to control those thoughts that are driving the feelings.  You do have the power to capture your thoughts, analyze them and move them in a more positive direction.

The first step in tuning into your thoughts is often times starting with your feelings.  Working back from your feelings, then you can start to realize what thoughts you were having just prior to the feelings that came up for you.

For the next 7 days try writing down your feelings in the morning, at noon and at night and then writing down what drove that feeling.

If you want to join this challenge – follow this link.