Tag Archives: Eating

Event at the Reebok Fithub

4 Sep

reebok circuit classLast night I did my infamous Circuit Challenge at the Reebok Fitbhub in Georgetown for the DC Capital Striders. There were over 50 RSVPS and more on the wait list. I had no idea of what the crowd would be like, how many people would show or what their athletic levels would be. I used a rowing machine, tubing, gliding discs, jumpropes, kettle bells, 35 pound plates, boxes, wall balls, medicine balls, heavy weights, and devised 19 stations throughout the store. I developed stations with the goals of working their entire body, utilizing every plane and taxing different systems. Many of the stations were designed to be functional in nature so they worked the entire body and required the participants to use their abdominals for balance. Each station had 2 exercises so each team of 2 started as a station and once I played the music, they went to work. The workout was tough, but this group had their game face on and was ready for the challenge!

There were several differences among the group in age, training background, flexibility, and strength but what united them all was an intense desire to give their all and get the most out of this workout. They were dripping sweat and probably pretty tired at points, but they didn’t give up. They motivated their each other, they helped each other out, and no one quit. I felt honored to teach this group and inspired by their efforts!

So many people don’t do things because they are worried about how they are going to appear. Several of the people in this group had no idea of what to expect or how hard the workout would be. They were new to many of the exercises, but that didn’t stop them from trying. If they had a question, they asked me. When they felt like quitting, they didn’t. I truly believe this group will be successful in whatever they do because results are driven by a certain mindset. The mindset they exhibited is the mindset of a winner. If you think you can, you will.

So the next time you think about doing something outside your comfort zone, don’t hesitate, just do it. Life is too short to question yourself and be negative. Look at these folks and use this picture to motivate you to give more, be more, and get outside your comfort zone. Why? Because you deserve an amazing life!

Last night I also passed out deals for some of my favorite companies and everyone got to try the Best Bar Ever. You can check it out at http://www.bestbarever.com

Train for Obstacle races with Pro racer at David Magida at http://www.trainatelevate.com
30% off pre-opening special and free classes in Meridian Hill Park

Clean up your diet with fresh meals delivered twice a week that affordable at http://www.customfitmeals.com and get 10% off with my discount code MD10

Do a local mud run. Go to http://www.runningdirty.com and use code RA44 for 45% savings.

Tell me what challenge you will take on in the next few months and you could win one of many prizes! Why not come join me for the Spartan Super in NJ this weekend or the Spartan Sprint in Philadelphia?

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente

The Skinny on Heart Rate Training

26 Feb

I’ve had a lot of questions regarding heart rate monitors in the last several weeks so I’ve decided to dedicate this blog to the low down on heart rate training.  Heart rate training is quite popular among endurance athletes like marathoners, cyclists, and triathletes.

I first learned about heart rate training when I started training in Spinning back in 1992.  In the beginning it seemed like too much information to me, but after using heart rate training for racing and training athletes, I started to like what I saw .  Heart rate training showed me a lot about my clients.  It taught me when I should push them, when I should force them to go slower, and when they needed rest.  It also made me realize that there was a big difference between how hard the heart was working and how hard people thought they were working.  Through heart rate training I helped people achieve more and learn more about their bodies and abilities.

In many group exercise classes, I teach by RPEs, which is an individuals Rate of Perceived Exertion.  If someone has a heart rate monitor on, I can give them target heart rate zones, but I don’t always like to do that because most people don’t truly know what their heart rate training zone is.  Why?  Because there is a magic formula that most people use that does not account for their fitness level.  What is that magical formula?  220-age will give you your maximum heart rate.  However, if that is the only information you needed, how can you tell me that couch potato and the marathoner have the same heart rate during one of my spinning classes?  You can’t, which is why, if you have a heart rate monitor, you should be using the Karvonen formula, which is the goal standard, to determine target heart rate zones.

Below I have listed an awesome calculator for you to use, once you know your resting heart rate.  All you need to do is enter your resting heart rate and the rest is calculated for you.  To truly determine your resting heart rate, I would advise sleeping with yoru heart rate monitor on a day when you don’t have to set an alarm, which for most people would be a weekend day. Once you wake up, look at your heart rate.  Repeat this on another day and that should be your resting heart rate number.  The reason you don’t want to do it the day you set an alarm, is that your reaction to the alarm could cause your resting heart rate to be much higher.  It could also be higher if you are not well rested.  The lower your resting heart rate, the better.  Keep in mind, genetics do play a role in determining your resting heart rate, but so does does training.  I can remember training a local celebrity who had an extremely low resting heart rate.  Her husband could not understand why hers was lower than his.  She was in excellent shape and her numbers proved it!

To find out your max, you can use the equation, 220-age or when you are working out, sprint as fast as you can and use the highest number you see.  Your max heart rate may differ from one sport to another.  Your maximum heart rate is genetic.

The calculation you use for the Karvonen formula is listed below or you can plug your numbers into an online calculator (see the link below).

The Karvonen formula:

The Karvonen method factors in resting heart rate (HRrest) to calculate target heart rate (THR), using a range of 50–85% intensity:

THR = ((HRmax − HRrest) × % intensity) + HRrest

Example for someone with a HRmax of 180 and a HRrest of 70:

50% Intensity: ((180 − 70) × 0.50) + 70 = 125 bpm
85% Intensity: ((180 − 70) × 0.85) + 70 = 163 bpm

To make it simple, use these five training zones:                                                  1.  Recovery=60-70%                                                                                             2.  Endurance=71-80%                                                                                        3.  Strength=81-85%                                                                                             4.  Intervals/Race pace=86-90%                                                                         5.  Speed/Shorter Racing=91-100%

Try doing the equation or plug your numbers into the online calculator:


I have also included a link on where you can get one and how much you can expect to pay.  I would NOT recommend any heart rate monitor that does not use a chest strap.  Chest straps are for accuracy, so if it doesn’t have a chest strap, I can’t say it’s accurate.  I have been using Polar heart rate monitors since 1996 so I highly recommend any Polar heart rate monitor.  If you are looking for a monitor that just does heart rate training, I recommend a simple model, the Polar FT1 Fitness Heart Rate Monitor, listed in the link below, which is only $41 online.  Other models may include the number of calories you burn and more.  If you are a triathlete, you may want to consider a Garmin, Timex, or Polar watch that monitors your heart rate and also has a GPS functionality.

Go to this link to see the different models and prices:


The 411 on the chest strap, wet the center of the plastic piece with some water from your water bottle.  Women, put it at the bottom of your sports bra and men, place it right above your rib cage.  Once you wear it a few times, you will get used to having it on.  Try to keep the chest strap in the same place so you don’t lose it.

More questions?  Post a comment to this blog or send me an email at Madeline@Madfitness.com

In Health and Happiness from Jamaica,



Healthy Options for Eating at Restaurants

15 Jan
English: An image of my family eating a meal. ...

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I have been traveling this weekend and have spent most of my meals eating at restaurants. This made me think about many of my clients who have had challenges reaching their goals because of having to eat many of their meals at restaurants.

Eating out can be challenging because you have less control in how the food is prepared and what options are available. It can also be challenging to resist all of the yummy options that are listed on the menu. And sometimes there is so much food!

Restaurants often add tons of butter, fat, salt, and sugar to make food taste extra yummy. The portions served at most restaurants are double to triple the normal portion sizes. Some meals may even equal your entire daily caloric requirement. Yes, that dinner at Cheesecake Factory could very well amount to 1500 calories!

Eating out doesn’t have to amount to love handles and muffin tops. If you make smart decisions, you can enjoy a great meal and leave it feeling and looking great.

Well below are the guidelines I live by and advice I hope you can use when eating meals at restaurants:

1. Drink a ton of water.  The more water you drink, the fuller you will be and the less you will want to eat.   When you are at a dinner where the waiters keep refilling your wine glass, be sure to alternate between your water and wine.

2.  Forego the bread if you are planning on a big meal.  Who really needs bread, appetizers, salad, drinks, and dessert?  That’s a lot, so minimize it by skipping the bread.

3.  Make appetizers a meal.  If the appetizers look really good, why not share appetizers and a salad as your meal.

4.  Go for salad over soup to reduce the bloat.  It’s a great opportunity to get fresh greens vs. all the sodium in the soup.

5.  Ask for the dressing on the side.  Most restaurant pour the dressing on, which could easily add 25 grams of extra fat, so why not have it on the side and dip your fork in when you want.  I have found that this makes the salad taste better and I don’t need as much dressing as I thought.

6.  Ask for all dressings on the side.  Dressings are loaded with fat, sodium, and can be quite heavy so by asking for it on the side, you can determine how much you’d like with your fish, steak, or chicken.

7.  Share dessert.  If a dessert looks really good, get it, but share it with the table.  Don’t be Miss Piggy.

8.  Aim for light drinks, which means red wine, diet sodas, water,  and light beer.   Avoid fruity drinks, regular sodas, and any drinks containing cream.  Also remember that these calories add up too.

9.  Doggy bag it.  If you have trouble leaving food on your plate, ask the waiter the portion size when you order and see if he can bring you half and put the other half to go.

10.  Keep everything in perspective.  If you had a really big meal, do you need dessert? How does your body feel after the meal?  If you are stuffed, do you really need to eat more?  No one said you have to eat it all.  If you are full, ask the waiter to wrap it up or take it from the table.  If you are getting ready to head home, do you really need another drink or coffee?

I love trying new restaurants and enjoying time with my family, friends, and coworkers.  It should be a pleasurable experience, where you can savor the food and the conversation, and still achieve your fitness goals.  Let me know if there are tips you use that help you enjoy your meals!

Song of the day:  Throw Your Hands Up by Pitbull

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In Health and Happiness,