Sunday, February 12, 2012

2012: Good to GREAT!

Our goal for 2012 is to make some serious Positive Change. We already have the best members on the planet. We'd just like a few more of you. That kinda puts medicine ball is our court. It's time for us to give you more reasons than ever to tell your friends how much sense it makes for them to become a StressHead. 

From day one our club has strayed far outside the normal Big Box facilities, so we’ve constantly had to adjust our niche in they eyes of folks wanting to join a gym. Much of this effort has focused on creating a facility that compliments the type of programming we offer. We found out early that the Big Box Gym layout of mega-equipment with no floor space wouldn't work for us. We also realized that our methods of training are constantly changing, which means, to some extent, so should our facility. So with that in mind, our new equipment and floor set-up will create greater training options for everyone. We’ve added two Precor 456 Elliptical, one more Cybex Total Body Arc Trainer, Concept 2 rower and a Schwinn Airdyne bike. The end of February will bring us Jacob’s Ladder. Familiar to many yet unknown to me, the Jacob's Ladder is of Greatest Loser fame. If it can take a couple hundred off them, it can take a couple off us. Let us not forget Tonka, our larger than life retread tire with sledgehammer optional (see if they'll let you try that at The Rush!), 2 new Spri 360 steps, 8 Braided resitive tubes, 6 Versa Pro Resist-a-balls, 5 EVA textured rollers and a 55-foot Pink camo battle rope. Cardio-strength circuits will never be the same.

OK, sure we’re bragging a little, but never before in the 23 years of Positive Stress have we added so many assets at one time. Not even when we first opened. Our goal is to bring this club from good to Great. We can’t do that without you or your input. So, as always, please let us know if you like or dislike what we’re doing around here, and we’ll get things right. We want you talkin’ well about us and building our community of active members. We want you excited about what’s going on at Positive Stress Workout. Around here, new members equal new stuff, and that’s the kinda serious Positive Change we’re looking for. So please tell a friend or just forward our website and let’s keep getting better at being Great!

Saturday, December 24, 2011



Think of this as a giant Holiday card full of thanks and wishes of warmth and cheer. Cheesy, I know, but heartfelt all the same. Speaking of cheese, you have my go-ahead to lean full steam into your favorite Gouda, Pecorino or Feta this holiday because you folks earned it. The concepts of Yin-Yang tells us that work and play are not so much opposites but rather complimentary in how they contribute to the greater dynamic that is Life.  As much as that smells of Asian Cheesy, outside of faith, no greater peace comes from anything more that exercise.  That would be Asian Cheesy Bias on my part.

So shower up and sport those plaids and argyles like the great apostles you are for exercise and wellness, cuz in my mind, you truly do make the world a better place. Now where’s that marscapone, I’m in the mood for some Tiramisu. 

Happy, Happy! Merry, Merry!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Can you hear it? Sure you can. The low rumbling sound of the Holidays that started at Costco in early October and now saturates nearly every retail store in the US of A. Christmas may be capitalism’s best buddy, but stress can ruin the friendship. Quick definition: Stress is defined by Wikipedia (Relax, I’ll donate the $5 to help keep it free) as referring to “ the consequence of the failure of an organism-human or animal-to respond adequately to mental emotional, or physical demands, whether actual or imagined.” Don’t that sound like NEGATIVE stress? What if you get promoted at work? Have a baby? Walk the aisle at your wedding? Plenty of happy bride have passed-out on that long, stressful walk to the front of the church. Compare the stress of love’s first kiss to a root canal. Hopefully you get the idea. 

Some factoids: 

In 1936, Hans Selye introduced the General Adaptation Syndrome, which shows in three phases the effects of stress on the body. I'm more fond of his definition of stress as "the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change". Here's a breif description of his three stages in order of reaction:

Alarm- first reaction to stress. Recognizes danger and attempts to deal with it. 

Resistance-adapt and resolve the source of stress 

Exhaustion-ability to resist is lost and burn out sets in. 

We rely on this system to dictate how well we are coping as life happens around us. Many factors play into which stage we find ourselves at the end of the day. Personality type, genetic's, nutrition, lifestyle (sleep, exercise, alcohol, ect) are all spokes to the wheel. For purposes of this blog, exercise, most specifically the "out of the comfort zone" type, will be our focus. For within this subject we can combine opinion and fact that may lead one toward Eustress (Good), not Distress (Evil).

Hormones gauge our moods. 
The big players are Endorphins, Enkephalins, and Coritisol. Endorphins and enkephalins are morphine-like hormones released by the pituitary gland that reduce pain and elevate mood. This is Good. Cortisol is a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands in response to extreme physical, mental or emotional stress. To its credit, cortisol’s function is to help increase blood glucose levels. The problem comes when it’s released in response to physical, mental or emotional stress. High levels of cortisol have even been shown to display increased risk of suicide. This is Evil. 

Here is where the mind-body connection comes into play. If your brain is essentially “a thinking organ that learns and grows by interacting with the world through perception and action” (, then my Mom was right, you ARE as happy as you make your mind up to be! Her nearly exact words were, “Joe-Joe, think good thoughts, count your blessings and take out the garbage.” Back then if my actions didn’t follow perceptions, Dad was always home by 6 pm to make sure they did. 

At Positive Stress Workout, we’ve expanded on Mom’s advice and Dad’s motivation. We look to the proper use of intense daily exercise as a means of releasing endorphins capable of producing feeling of euphoria and well-being. “The increase in anabolic hormone levels observed consequent to the performance of heavy resistance exercise can increase hormonal interactions with various cellular mechanisms and enhance the development of muscle protein contractile units”. (Essentials of Strength and Conditioning). Yes folks, Proof Positive that you have to work HARD ENOUGH, but not too hard, to shake loose those important mood enhancers. Practice this nearly everyday with your Nationally Certified Trainer’s blessing that you’re doing it right, and life is Good. Do it wrong or not at all, and life is Evil. 

Always a take-home, right? Here it is: Be creative and intense enough with your exercise so holiday stress doesn’t hit you square in the Speedo. Run the loop at Country Park, do an afternoon Body Shop workout, swim some 50 repeats at GAC, run the stairs, hike Hanging Rock non-stop, tread water for 40 minutes, just do it with a sense of purpose. “Perception, not fact, is reality.” Not sure who said it, but if it’s true, we should count on consistent, progressive exercise is to help us conquer Good over Evil.