Monthly Archives

July 2018

Yoga For Beginners

By | Fitness Fun, Group X, Personal Training


As a beginner, often we equate yoga with some tough, limb-twisting poses.  The most common concern is: “I can’t even touch my toes, how can I do yoga?” Yoga is not about touching your toes or stretching 98 degrees to your northeast. It is a simple process of uniting with yourself, using your breath, body, and mind. It is easy and effortless!!  So, never mind if you’re not Ms. Flexible or Mr. Stretchable, are venturing into yoga at the age of 40, or you have secret love handles that are stressing you out.   Remove all those myths before beginning your yoga practice! The only one watching you is yourself, so just relax!! This journey will bring much joy and relaxation to you!

It is best to start learning yoga under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher who can lead you through the correct way of doing each technique. This would help you learn yoga asanas (postures) properly and avoid possible injuries. Some of the philosophies or techniques taught in yoga may be new but it is a good idea to keep an open mind.

Do not be alarmed if you experience some soreness in the muscles during the initial days of the practice. But, if the pain persists, inform your instructor immediately. The crux here is to be regular with your yoga practice and have patience. Just like any other discipline, it will take some time for the body to get used to the yoga asanas. You will be able to experience the subtler and deeper benefits of yoga in due time only if you stay regular with your practice. Yoga encompasses yoga asanas, timeless ancient philosophy, pranayamas (breathing techniques) and meditations. All of these things combined will take you beyond the body level, offering a deeper spiritual experience.

The Prana creates an aura around the body. Every problem first generates in the subtle and then surfaces on the physical level. Sickness shows up in your Prana (Pranic Body) much before you get sick physically. Pranayama clears the whole energy around you, expands your aura and heightens the spirit. It brings clarity to the mind and good health to the body.  So, give yourself some of your valuable time and be patient for the results that will make you more flexible, healthy, calm, efficient and zealous.  Check out the amazing variety of Yoga and BodyFlow classes that we offer at Courts Plus!  Happy practicing yogis!


Time for a tune-up

By | Tennis

I know we don’t want to admit it, but Summer won’t last forever, at least not in this part of the country. However never fear, we have you covered. Even though there are only few weeks left of our Summer tennis programming there’s still plenty you can do in the month of August. August is the perfect time to tune up your game. Everyone’s summer season is winding down whether its for leagues, tournaments or World Team Tennis, and now’s the time to work out the kinks in your game before leagues, and for some of you, High School seasons get underway.

Our pros have times open in their schedule in the month of August, and would love to give you that kickstart you need to win those tight matches. Did you know that for those of you in High School, you are allowed to still take private lessons, even while the season is taking place, even if you have a match the same day! That’s definitely the way to get an edge over your opposition and take advantage of the expert tennis professionals at Courts Plus.

Also, don’t worry, you can trust the tennis pros at Courts Plus that they know what they’re doing. They are professionals, they do this for a living. Our 4 full-time tennis pros have nearly 100 years of teaching experience between them, and are constantly looking to improve their teaching and playing skills. You can routinely see our pros playing local tournaments, studying tennis guides or watching their students play. At Courts Plus, we do tennis, and we would love you to do tennis too!

Tips for Strength Training Plateaus

By | Fitness Fun, Membership, Personal Training

Does this sound familiar? You have about an hour before your workout. You start thinking about what routine you are going to do. You take your pre-workout drink and even add a little extra. You’re getting yourself jacked up to lift more than you did last week. Today’s workout is going to be great! You get to the gym and find your favorite bench, squat rack, or whatever it may be. You throw plates on, do a couple reps and think to yourself, “OMG, this feels super heavy today.” This happens to almost everyone. It’s deflating, it’s frustrating and it downright sucks. I want to give you a few tips that might help you get over that frustrating plateau.

Change up Your Routine
There are 2 different types of lifters. There are the people who write everything down. They have a set routine that they will do for 8-12 weeks, nothing changes. Then there are people like myself, who just kind of wing it. We go in kind of knowing what muscle group to work but have no clue what exercise will be done and in what order. Neither one of these is right or wrong, it’s a personal preference. Whichever lifter you are, try to change something up. If you are constantly in that 8-12 range, try 6-8 weeks at 15-20 reps or 3-6 reps. If it’s not the reps you’re changing, try slowing down. Take 3-5 seconds both on your up and down motion. You will definitely need to lower your weight, which also means throwing your ego out the door. There are many studies done that getting more “time under tension” has really helped in gaining strength and size. Your body needs a change, it adapts quickly to the routine you are in.

This can be controversial. There are some experts who don’t believe in overtraining as long as you are taking at least 48 hours before working the same muscle group. If you are already strength training 6-7 day per week, maybe scale back a bit. Try 4 days by working out Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, Friday. If you just must get into the gym then do some light cardio or abdominal training on your “off” days. It may also be beneficial to take a whole week off from all training. Another issue may be that you are spending too much time in the gym. There is no reason to workout for 2 hours at a time. Stop the chit chat, checking out social media and everyone’s favorite, the selfies in the mirror. Keep track of your rest time and then get back to work. You will be amazed how good your workout can be in less than an hour if you stay focused.

There is a new study out that says we need 9 hours of sleep to fully give your body the rest it needs. Now, as we all know, this is very unrealistic in today’s society. We are busy people. Especially if you have young kids. There is already no time for you to relax and destress from the day so how in the world can anyone get this much sleep. If you are one of the lucky ones, good for you! If you are like me, I function quite well with 6-7 hours of sleep. Anything over that makes me draggy. The key is to take advantage of the sleep you do get. Try not to drink much water after supper. There is nothing worse than getting up 2-3 times per night to use the bathroom. There is nothing worse than interrupted sleep. I don’t have the perfect answer for you on sleep as everyone’s situation is different. Do the best you can to plan your day so that you get crawl into bed as early as possible and get yourself a good night sleep.

If the 3 tips above have not helped you break through the dreaded plateau, you might not be eating enough. If you are really dedicated to getting bigger and stronger you should also be dedicated to tracking your nutrition. You should have a pretty good idea how many calories you are eating per day and what the breakdown is with your protein, carbs and fats. I would suggest upping your calories by as little as 100 calories per day. The best way would be to get those from carbs. 25grams pre and post workout. You want the majority of your carbs eaten around your workout. If you start breaking through, great, keep the calories where they are. Once you get stuck again, increase a little more. The bigger and stronger you get, the more you will need to eat. Also, don’t forget to hydrate. I find that the more hydrated I am the more energy I have. Your body is made up of mostly water so keep pumping the fluids.

I hope at least one of these tips helps you in your strength training journey. If you need more help or would like to talk to one of our Trainers please visit our website or call us at 701.237-4805.

Furry Friends Pet Walk

By | Fitness Fun, Youth

Are you and your dog bored and just staring at each other on the couch wondering what to do? Get up! And BOTH of you go for a walk! There are a handful of benefits to both you and your dog if you decide to do this activity. There are studies that show a 30 minute walk, three times a week can help if you/your dog are overweight, give you more energy, lower blood pressure, lower both weights by a total of 20% between the two of you and just increase your overall well-being! Aren’t these enough reasons?

PLUS! You would also be training for the 1½ mile walk during our Furry Friends Pet Walk. This is right around the corner–Tuesday, August 14th starting at 6:00pm. This is a great event with a variety of booths/information, door prizes from various pet friendly businesses around the Fargo/Moorhead and surrounding areas, T-shirts and food! Watch for more information coming soon on our website

Have You Lost Your “Why”?

By | Fitness Fun, Membership, Personal Training

By: Rhys Geske, Personal Trainer


What is your “Why”?

Are you much too comfortable in your routine?  Are you not reaching the goals you once set out to get?  Have you hit the wall and plateaued?  If this is you, I have some advice and strategies that have helped both clients and myself.

When you enter the gym, have you misplaced your “why”?  Ask yourself where you are in your fitness journey.  It should be just that, “a journey”.  Health and fitness is not just seasonal or monthly, its’s a life-long journey.  Something as simple as reminding yourself why you’re walking into the gym.  Getting into shape, or even just staying in shape can be very difficult. It can be time consuming, tiring, your muscles may get sore, and even eating healthy can be confusing, but if you know the reasons why you’re doing it, then you’re most likely to keep doing it.

Change is good.

How’s your training intensity?  Are you really putting forth a high enough heart rate to get the results you’re seeking?  Some training tactics I’d implore would be to check out some different fitness classes that you’re not used to.  Mix things up a bit. Instead of always “zombie walking” to your favorite treadmill, make a quick turn to the step mill.  That rowing machine isn’t all sunshine and rainbows either!  Change your volume or the number of reps you normally get at the weights.  Instead of doing cardio for a “x-amount” of time, change it to distance ran, floors climbed, or meters rowed.  Most likely you’ll pick up the pace because you can see that finish line!

Exercise selection should be varied for lots of reasons.  The body is incredible at adapting and gets used to the same old  routine of weight training.  A simple change of moving past the machines and getting into some free weights or cables.  (Insert “Morgan Freeman’s” voice here / ad promotion to hire a trainer for instructions on programming and proper technique for free weights.)

Go heavier.

Breaking a plateau can be done by shorter rest breaks in between sets.  Again, that’s the training intensity I mentioned above.  Get it out of your head that you need to do reps that are divisible by “5”!  Instead of stopping at 15 reps, push yourself to do a few more. If you are always staying in that higher rep range, it might be time to increase your weight, even if it’s only by 5 or 10 pounds, even if that means doing less reps. I’d venture to guess you might see some increase in strength and muscle size.

To wrap this up, mix things up.  Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  There are many more ways to get you to your goals and break plateau’s.  Stay the course and be patient. Try hiring a Personal Trainer to help with a new routine.  With consistency in your training you will reap the rewards.  Just perhaps remind yourself “why” from time-to-time.