5:30 pm Fitness Classes in Lombard

Looking for a way to destress from the day? Skip happy hour and join me at CustomFit for our 5:30pm classes.

Each class is formatted to offer you a full-body workout making you stronger, leaner, healthier and happier!

Happy Hour schedule

Make your happy hour healthy at CustomFit

Monday PiYo

Muscle-sculpting and core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of Yoga. But don’t for a second think you won’t sweat in this class because it’s all done at an intensity that helps you burn fat with low-impact moves. You’ll burn calories, tone muscles, work on balance and core strength all while getting a great stretch.

Tuesday Body Sculpt

Did you know that resistance training is an excellent way to change your body? Lifting weights increases lean muscle mass while building bone density. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more toned your body will look and the more efficient your metabolism will become. This class combines lower and upper body exercises so you will evenly tone and increase lean muscle mass.

Wednesday Cardio Plus

There’s more to cardio than just running on a treadmill. Our Cardio Plus class is a fun way to improve heart health while burning some serious calories. During class, you will complete a series of interval cardio moves, ranging from low to high impact and low to high intensity so you’ll have fun while sweating it out.

Thursday Kickboxing & Core

Looking for a high intensity cardio workout without high impact? The kickboxing portion of this class will give you a full body, cardio charged workout through punch and kick combos, while the core part of the class will bring your heart rate down and tone your abs.

If 5:30pm doesn’t work for you check out our BootCamp classes offered both during the day and in the evening.

If you are new to CustomFit you are welcome to take your first class for FREE. Classes fill up quickly so email me or give me a call at 574-387-1344 to reserve your spot.

A New Kind of Healthy Happy Hour

I haven’t always worked as a trainer and group fitness instructor. I too have spent my time sitting at a desk, attending long meetings, and multitasking on projects. Many days I left work feeling stressed and knew I needed a release from that feeling before taking on the tasks of being a wife and mom. Working out became a great option for me to reset from my day.

With the new year upon us I am excited to announce that CustomFit is now offering 5:30pm classes Monday – Thursday. Unlike our BootCamp classes our Happy Hour classes will be more of a traditional group fitness class and be instructor-led.

To offer a well-balanced exercise routine each day will have a different focus:

Monday: 20/20/20 – a combination of cardio, strength and core work will help you start your week with balance and harmony.

Tuesday: Tone It Up – strength training is an important aspect of every exercise program. This class will focus on toning muscles and building strength.

Wednesday: Move It! – there is nothing like a good sweat to work out the stress of the day. A combination of kickboxing, low and high-impact aerobics, and intervals will get your heart pumping and help you to shed both stress and unwanted fat.

Thursday: Recover – we all want to head into the weekend feeling relaxed. This class will use both Pilates and Yoga moves to help you increase strength and flexibility all while helping you wind down from a hectic week.

If the 5:30pm time slot doesn’t work for you, we also offer 7pm BootCamp classes, as well as a PiYo class Mondays – Thursdays. BootCamp is designed to give you a full body workout by moving through circuits and interval training. PiYo (Wednesdays at 7:00pm) is a high-intensity Pilates Yoga Fusion class that is sure to make you sweat!

For more information on any of the CustomFit classes drop me an email or call/text 574-387-1344. Let us help you get ‘ripped’ in 2015.

Happy Hour Class Schedule

Choose a Healthy Happy Hour in 2015

New Classes for Your New Years Resolutions

The New Year is just around the corner and many people will be making resolutions to get fit and eat better.

I’m excited to announce that starting Monday, January 5th CustomFit will be offering a 5:30 pm class Monday – Thursday (with exception to the last Monday of the month).


I can help you reach your fitness goals!

Each day will offer a different focus to offer you a well-rounded workout:

Monday: 20/20/20 – 20 min cardio, 20 min strength training, 20 min core

Tuesday: Tone it Up! – Build muscle and trim fat with 60 minutes of strength training

Wednesday: Move It! – Cardio-based exercises that will get your heart thumping and help you burn fat

Thursday: Recover – Pilates/Yoga Fusion class designed to stretch and strengthen your muscles

If you’ve never been to CustomFit your first class is FREE and we have several pricing options for monthly memberships based on the number of classes you will take each week including BootCamp and PiYo.

Drop me an email or text (574-387-1344) for more information or to pre-register for a class.

Creating a Balanced Routine

I think it’s important for everyone to find balance in their workout routines. Incorporating a balance of strength training, cardio and stretching will give you the best results for fat burning and muscle toning.

Developing a strong cardio program can be relatively easy. While you may not care for cardio workouts, it’s not difficult to hop on a treadmill or take a spin class. These activities are sure to raise your heart rate and get you sweating. They key to a successful cardio workout is to find something you enjoy. If you hate running, don’t expect 45 minutes on a treadmill to go well.

Strength training can be a bit more challenging. If you’re not familiar with proper form there is a danger of injury so sticking to the machines is often a good starting point. Gyms often offer an orientation to the gym which includes walking you through the proper way to use the strength training equipment. If this isn’t available, or you need a refresher, many machines have instructions and pictures to educate you on how to use the machine and which muscles the exercises target.

If you are interested in adopting free weights into your workouts, I highly recommend initially working with a personal trainer. A trainer can show you the proper form and help you identify the correct weight to use for the various exercises. Make sure you are facing a mirror whenever working with free weights. This will help to ensure you hold proper form and can see what adjustments need to be made.

I often like to combine cardio bursts with my strength training which how I structure the majority of my BootCamp and Cardio Sculpt classes. I select 3 – 5 strength training moves and after completing 10 – 15 reps of each exercise I ramp up my heart rate with 3 – 5 minutes of cardio intervals. To give you an example:

Repeat the following for three sets

  • Deadlift with upward row (15 reps)
  • Alternate back lunge with hammer curl (10 reps each side)
  • Squat with a shoulder press (15 reps)
  • Tricep push-ups (10)
  • Bicycle crunches (15 reps)
  • Butt kicks, high knees, squat jack, alternate front kicks and fast feet (each exercise for 30 seconds and repeat)

Many people skip stretching as the final stage of their workout and that’s a big mistake. Stretching should be at least five minutes and all stretches should be held for 20 – 30 seconds. Increased flexibility and range of motion are just a couple of the many benefits of stretching.

How do you create balance with your workouts?

The New Power Lunch

I know firsthand how challenging it can be to fit a workout in with a busy schedule. For many people getting to the gym early morning is difficult because of work and school schedules. Even for those with more flexible schedules, mornings can be packed with errands and household tasks after getting everyone on their way.

Fast forward to the end of the day and between after school activities, helping with homework, late meetings, dinner and housework, the gym is often an afterthought. That’s not even considering that energy levels may be at their lowest from the pressures of the day.

So my thought is to change the definition of a ‘Power Lunch’ from a working lunch to a workout lunch!

By just taking a half hour out of your day you can build muscle, burn fat and lose the guilt about another day passing without making it to the gym.

To maximize the benefits of the 30 minute class, each day will focus on targeting a specific area of the body.

Monday: Chest and back

Tuesday: Biceps and triceps

Wednesday: Legs and glutes

Thursday: CORE

Friday: Pilates and flexibility

Classes will offer challenging strength training exercises coupled with minimal cardio to ensure you can return to the office or head right back to running errands without feeling like a hot, sweaty, mess.

Classes will start November 17th and will meet 12:15 – 12:45pm Monday through Friday at CustomFit located at 218. E St. Charles in Lombard.

Start making the most of your lunch and come in for a true POWER Lunch. For more information call me at 574-387-1344 or email jenn@customfitpt.com.

The Reality of Calories and Portions

realityLast night I had two women approach me at my Boot Camp Class at Glass Courts asking about what they needed to do for weight loss. Both regularly exercise, but are discouraged by their results.

My first question to anyone interested in losing weight is, “Are you tracking your food?” Now I know I myself have gone back and forth on this issue. There are times that I have become so obsessed with the calories, portions and the breakdown of my nutrients that I’ve had to walk away from tracking. I get how it can become more unhealthy than productive. However, if you’ve never tracked your calories and portions before this can be a very eye opening experience.

I’d like to use my husband as an example of the eye opening experience. I finally convinced him to start using MyFitnessPal with the promise that I would also track my intake. Last night he had several calories still left in the evening (not exactly what I would recommend, since you want to consume your calories early in the day) so he was of course still hungry. It started with salted shelled peanuts, “I can have 14 peanuts.” To which I asked, “Did you ever know before what a portion of shelled peanuts was?” His response, “No, I’d just pour a bowl and eat what was in there.”

Still a little later he was still hungry and made a small plate of cheese, sausage and crackers. As he sat down with me on the sofa he said, “Man, over 400 calories for this little bit.” His eyes are opening to the value of calories for both meals and snacks, as is his awareness of portion sizes.

As someone who does personal training and group fitness, it’s a bit of a professional hazard for me to say this but weight loss and management is 80% about diet and only 20% about your activity levels.

As an example for you, I regularly wear a FitBit Flex. My Boot Camp class was curious how many calories it logged for me while teaching the hour long class which is a combination of exercises with dumbbells, high and low intensity cardio and of course, some abdominal exercises. Last night I checked at the end of the hour long class and it had logged a whopping 282 calories – less than 300 calories for an hour of an intense, sweaty workout! They couldn’t believe it, but I did.

We have to stop believing that an hour in the gym gives us freedom to eat what we want, when we want, with no true regard to portion sizes. Exercise WILL help you build muscle and burn fat, exercise will NOT erase poor choices.

Now I’d like to flip the discussion to those who maybe aren’t necessarily consuming the wrong things, but those who aren’t consuming enough. If you want to lose weight you cannot starve your body of the calories it needs to function. Cutting your caloric intake below your estimated minimum requirements can result in weight loss, however, cutting too many calories may result in your body hoarding all that you eat and storing more fat to prevent ‘starvation.’ Now you know you aren’t starving, but your organs don’t know that and they are designed to do everything they can to keep you alive.

Eating too few calories can be just as damaging to your weight loss goals and metabolism as eating too many.

So what should you do?

  1. Start tracking your intake to get a baseline for where you are. There are tons of free apps and websites, you don’t have to pay money for these tools. Commit to at least a couple weeks to understand your eating habits and caloric consumption.
  2. In tracking your food, check the nutritional breakdown of your overall day. You should be consuming about 50% carbs (these are fruits and veggie carbs – not breads and pastas), 30% healthy fats (avocado, hummus, olive oil, nuts, etc) and 20% protein (lean meats, egg whites).
  3. Start an exercise log. Now I caution, some of the caloric burns that the tracking apps and websites give seem inflated to me. Use these with caution, but again, get a baseline for your true activity levels.
  4. Keep in mind that to lose one pound you must create a deficit of 3,500 calories. That means in a week you need to eat less, burn more or a combination of the two to equate 500 calories a day. Losing 2 pounds a week would mean a 7,000 calorie deficit = 1,000 calories/day!! So stop beating yourself up if you only lose a pound in a week – you’ve done it the right way.

Once you have a sense of where you are, you will have a more realistic idea about how to get to where you want to be. There is no single magic formula that will work for everyone. I personally have found what works for me. But it’s taken some trial and error, I’ve lapsed into bad habits along the way, and I’ve rebounded into healthy eating as well.

Let’s face it, none of us like a reality check, but without one, you could be sabotaging your own efforts for a healthy body.



Lessons From Vacation

I’ve just returned from an amazing trip to Colorado. Being a Midwestern girl I had no idea what to expect.

Words cannot express my appreciation for the beautiful landscape. I often found myself limited to simply conveying my awe with the words, “Wow! God did this!”

The vastly different landscape fascinated me and had some pretty dramatic affects on my body.

The first thing I noticed was a dull headache – nothing too painful but definitely an indication that something was wrong. Thankfully there was plenty of water around and after consuming about double what I normally would I found myself returning to normal.

As a runner and one who enjoys cardio workouts I was shocked when we arrived and I “sucked wind” to just get through my first day on the slopes. Simply walking my snowboard from the bottom of the mountain back to the lift left me feeling completely out of breath and thankful for the long lift ride to recover.

The thing about that long ride is that there is also a long distance down! I saw one sign that said the ride down was 2 miles long. As one who learned to snowboard on hills in Michigan the mountain terrain was unlike anything I had ever seen. Needless to say the trip down required more breaks than normal.

By day four the fatigue had set in. My quad muscles were so tired that just standing caused my legs to bounce and shake. As I headed to the top of the mountain I had lost all the courage I had the first couple days. My trips to the bottom were extremely slow to help me stabilize on the snowboard.

After just 3 trips down I realized that my body had simply had enough. The rest of my afternoon would be spent watching college basketball in the lodge.

While disappointing that my last day turned into a bust for snowboarding I was overall thankful for the lessons I learned on one of the best vacations of my life.

First, when on vacation and participating in physical activity it is imperative that you listen to your body. The headache was my first indication of the possibility of altitude sickness. If I had not taken in the amount of fluids that I did I most certainly would have experienced more dramatic effects of the altitude.

Secondly, it was very apparent that just because I was capable of certain things on my own terrain didn’t necessarily mean that I was going to be able to succeed with those same tasks in a new environment. The steeper and longer slopes kept me from perfecting my turns and the lessened oxygen levels kept me from successfully running the stairs at Red Rocks.

The last and probably most important lesson was despite any physical or environmental limitations I learned how to embrace the challenges and have fun! It’s easy to get discouraged when you are accustomed to performing at a certain level and you’re unable to attain it, however, the simple fact of getting out there and experiencing new challenges. Trying something new is an accomplishment in itself and should be enjoyed and celebrated!

Something is Better Than Nothing

When I was strictly a stay-at-home mom I was able to carve out plenty of time for my workouts. I took full advantage of the time the kiddos were napping or at school. When the weather got warmer I moved my workouts outdoors while they played in the backyard.

It wasn’t until everyone went to school and I went back to work that I had a true understanding for the challenges of fitting in a workout along with everything else. Between my training sessions, office responsibilities and mom and wife duties I found myself missing workouts more and more often.

I came to the realization that I had to shift my approach to working out. I no longer had the freedom for extended sessions, but what I did have was smaller chunks of time throughout the day.

I began maximizing the smaller chunks of time by increasing the intensity of my exercises. For strength training I increased the weight and dropped my repetitions and sets. When possible I combined legs and arms to get the most from the amount of time I had to spend. When it comes to cardio I’ve started running intervals, meaning I increase and decrease my pace throughout my run.

By taking advantage of smaller chunks of time I was able to get my workouts back on track. The lesson I take from this experience that I want to share with you is this:

Something truly is better than nothing. Adapt your exercise program to make the most of the time you DO have.

On the days I’m fortunate enough to have the time for a longer workout I take full advantage of that time and put in a long run or a full body strength-training workout.

Take a look at your schedule for the next week and set appointments with yourself for workouts. Even if you only have time for 20-minute sessions make exercise a priority and you will feel the difference.

Is Being Sick an Excuse?

Having just come off an illness myself, I can say with confidence that “YES, being sick is a valid excuse for skipping a workout.”

Now believe me, I’m not one for excuses and as a trainer and a mom I have heard them ALL! But exercising while you are truly trying to fight off an illness is not a good idea and here’s why:

If you have a respiratory illness: further taxing your lungs and your heart with cardio can increase the severity of your symptoms. This is especially true if you engage in cardio activity in cold weather. If you are suffering from a respiratory illness you may want to consider a workout that incorporates stretching and light strength training.

If you have a stomach virus: your body may already be depleted of fluids so further exerting yourself could result in dehydration. The best thing to do with a stomach virus is to flush your body with fluids and take it easy. If you can bear to miss a workout, again stretching and light strength training are your best bet.

If you have a cold or flu: your body already aches and is weak so avoiding any type of exercise for a couple days is probably the best thing you can do to get on the track to feeling better. Get as much rest as possible.

With any illness make sure you listen to your body. You know when you truly don’t feel well enough to exercise and when you are just using it as a “poor” excuse to not exercise.

If you come down with anything this winter season, get your rest, drink plenty of fluids, and be sure to call your doctor if symptoms persist.

I’m happy to say after three days of rest and hydration, I’m looking forward to easing back into my routine with some stretching and light strength training.