Tag Archives: fitness

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


Core Exercise

19 Sep

A strong core is essential for performance and preventing injury. This exercise is very functional and very effective in working the abdominals. 15 repetitions on each side and repeat 3 times. Get strong, lean, and defined with Madfitness.com

If you want to join me for more, come to one of my events at http://activelifedc.com/events/fitness-fundraiser-at-equinox-bethesda/111951 or http://activelifedc.com/events/zengo-cycle-event-for-the-leukemia-and-lymphoma-society/111952

In Health and Happiness, http://www.Madfitness.com

Spin-Does It Help You Outdoors?

12 Jun

Spinning Spotlight: Chris Olsen taking ZenGo Italian Alps style Рfrom the top of Passo Stelvio at 9000 feet!
After 5+ months of steady ZenGo training, I left for a week-long trip to Italy to cycle in the Dolomites and the Alps. Our group climbed many of the same mountains that the professionals climb in the Giro D’Italia, widely regarded as the most grueling professional cycling race in the world. I knew going in it would be a challenging trip, but it ended up being far more difficult than I anticipated – 7 days of 60+ miles of riding with significant elevation gains every day. Here are some stats to give you a flavor of the trip and the riders with whom I was matched:

4400 – highest calorie burn in a single day on the trip

3180 – average calorie burn per full day of riding

3 – the time in hours it took to make it to the top of the Stelvio Pass – miles and miles of road heading straight up to 9000 feet of elevation

6 – the minimum number of guys on the trip who shaved their legs for additional speed (no, I am not one of the 6)

250+ – the number of energy gel packs consumed while cranking up the mountains (yuck – can’t even look at a gel pack now)

48 – the speed in mph on one of my descents

1 – the minimum number of guys who had their names engraved on their bikes because they get paid to ride (as you might suspect, this is a subset of the shaved leg number)

1 – the number of guys on the trip who used a cycling studio as his primary method of training ūüôā

The only reason I survived this trip is ZenGo. Over the course of several months of work, I dropped enough pounds and gained enough aerobic capacity and fitness to conquer the toughest cycling mountains in the world (ok, maybe not conquer, but I did manage to make it to the summits!) I owe a debt of gratitude to Marc and all the ZenGo instructors, including Kelly, Madeline Dolente, Melissa K. and Melissa C. Special thanks to Kelly from whom I took the majority of my classes and who always insisted on maximum effort (with the added bonus of top-notch teenybopper songs!). If these guys can get me up the Alps, they can help you accomplish just about anything!

In Health and Happiness,



Memorial Day Body

21 May

With Memorial Day just around the corner, pools opening, and the weather getting warmer, I am receiving tons of questions about toning up, so today I am going to give you the 411 for getting in the best shape this summer.

1.  Sweat to burn calories and fat.  Row, run, cycle, walk, box, jump rope, whatever you do,  go hard enough to get your heart rate up so you sweat.

2.  Workout 45 minutes every day.  Find some way to be active whether you are touring the capital, running a 10k or gardening, get moving!

3.  Eat lighter later.  Eat the majority of your complex carbs in the earlier part of the day to fuel your activities and eat protein and carbs containing fiber later in the day such as beans.

4.  Lift something heavy such as weights or your own body weight.  Try a class that includes weights at a local health club or fitness studio.  Many gyms over trial passes for new members.

5.  Include your friends.  By inviting your friends to work out with you, you will be more accountable and it can make the experience very enjoyable.

6. ¬†Be consistent. ¬†Working out once a week and eating healthy some of the time will not create lasting effects. ¬†Try to do something active and eat healthy at least 5 days a week and don’t sabotage your efforts on the other 2 days.

7.  Downsize.  Instead of having a sandwich, chips, and a cookie for lunch, have half the sandwich or nix the cookie.

8.  Tell everyone what you are doing so people around you will keep you accountable.  If you tell everyone you are doing a race on Saturday, your friends and coworkers are likely to ask you about it on Monday.

9.  Think about how good you will feel when you are done.  Certain days it can be hard to get motivated, but if you focus on the end result, you are sure to be a winner!

10.  Have fun!  Life is too short to be serious all of the time.  Find activities you enjoy, involve your friends, and be positive!  You may surprise yourself with what you can do and how fun it can be.

Special request song of the day:  Coolio Gangstas Paradise, E-Ross remix

Free download:  http://www6.zippyshare.com/v/55241331/file.html

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente


Finding Time

24 Apr

It seems like the biggest reason people don’t exercise these days is due to lack of time. ¬†That’s what everyone told me this weekend and it’s often the same excuse I hear on a daily basis. ¬†Yes, there is never enough time in a day to do everything, so if you want to make it happen, you have to make it a priority.

As a lifestyle coach, I have had the pleasure of coaching people to find balance. ¬†What I have found is that many people let their jobs control their life and then one day they wake up wondering why they are unhappy. ¬†They didn’t make time for exercise, love, and to enjoy all of their other passions. ¬†Seize the moment and create your life by focusing on what is important to you.

I believe exercise is important for everyone.  It keeps your body and mind healthy!  YOU choose how to spend your day, so if exercise is important to you, make it a priority.

Below are some tips to find time for exercise:

1. ¬†Make your workout an appointment and don’t let social events interfere with this appointment.

2. ¬†If your day doesn’t go as planned and you get stuck in the office late, think something is better than nothing. ¬†Even 5 minutes of exercise is beneficial.

3. ¬†Don’t let a rainy day keep you from exercising. ¬†There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. ¬†Put in an exercise dvd or head to the gym!

4.  Do it in the morning.  This will ensure that no matter what occurs in your day, you got your workout in.

5.  Enlist your friends.  If you have other people who will be meeting you for a workout, you will most likely be successful.

6.  Multi-task.  If you have reading material, bring it with you as you walk on the treadmill or elliptical.

7.  Maximize your time by going to an intense 45 minute class that will give you an incredible workout and burn 500 calories.  Check out a cycle class at http://www.zengofitness.com or METCON at Equinox.

8. ¬†Focus on the benefits. ¬†Even when you don’t feel like working out, think about how good your body will feel and look after you’ve exercised. ¬†Nothing else will give you the same effect.

9.  Sign up for a race or give yourself a goal.  By focusing on a goal, your workouts leading up to that race will have to be a priority.

10.  Plan out your day!  If you have a plan, you are most likely to achieve your goals!

Song of the day:  Burning Up by Ne Yo

Free download: http://mp3skull.com/mp3/ne_yo_burning_up.html

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline DolenteImage

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‚Äď85% intensity:

THR = ((HRmax¬†‚ąí HRrest) √ó¬†% intensity) + HRrest

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

50% Intensity: ((180 ‚ąí 70) √ó 0.50) + 70 = 125 bpm
85% Intensity: ((180 ‚ąí 70) √ó 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,




Becoming a Fitness Professional

25 Feb

Becoming a fitness professional definately has it’s perks.¬† Yes, you get paid to work out!¬† Now who doesn’t want to get paid to look great!¬† ¬†Sounds like a great job, so¬†today I’m going to tell you how you get started¬† Well, it’s like any other job.¬† You have to have experience to get hired at any good club, but how do you get experience if you can’t get a job?¬† The lovely Catch 22!¬† Read on….

I started directing group exercise programs when I was 21.¬† That’s not common, but having those jobs gave me a lot of experience on hiring, firing, training, developing new fitness programs, and understanding the member’s needs.¬† Hiring instructors was often the toughest part because it was a challenge to find good instructors that the members would actually like.¬†¬†When people came to me wanting to teach at one of my gyms, I¬†wanted to know where they were currently teaching and what they did for training.¬† I could care less if they were certified or not.¬† Now of course they needed to be certified, but a certification told me very little about their teaching ability.¬† It’s like any profession.¬† Anyone can take an exam, but being able to execute, that’s another story.

That being said, I have trained so many people in the last 15 years to become instructors because I needed more talent for the programs I brought to different cities.  I needed to be able to take vacation and have someone teach while I was away.   And then I realized there were some people who loved my classes so much, that I just knew that had the ability, so I trained them.  That was when I had time because there have really been no formal programs to train new and experienced instructors to become great instructors until now.  

So if you are interested in becoming a fitness professional, there now exists a course at the prestigious Equinox health club with Robert Sherman, an amazing international presenter.  The Equinox Group Fitness Training Institute offers a progressive curriculum that covers the vast knowledge and unique skill-set required to be a successful group leader.  Want to know more, check out the curriculum at www.equinox.com/education/groupfitness

If you have more questions, contact information is listed below:

If you are on the East Coast, contact Robert Sherman at 301-652-1078 x3707, robert.sherman@equinox.com

If you are on the West Coast, contact Jeffrey Scott at 917-608-0891, jeffrey.scott@equinox.com

Song of the day:  Rack City by Tyga

Free download:   http://mp3skull.com/mp3/rack_city.html

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente



20 Jan

No, I am not talking about food, I am talking about the key ingredient to achieving your goal, yes, the key ingredient is CONSISTENCY!¬† You can do anything half fast, but consistency is the key to achieving so many goals.¬† Consistency is what takes weight off, what makes you smarter, what makees you better.¬† Consistency is the key to making relationships stronger and the lack of is what often causes breakups and divorces, how?¬† Let me show you a few scenarios and then you take a moment to think about it, and bet you’ll agree.

Let’s¬†call her Sally.¬† Sally works out 3 days a week for an hour and eats good when she can, but the weekends are spent without exercise and eating whatever fatty foods and sweets she wants.¬† She continues to gain weight because she CONSISTENTLY eats crap and doesn’t exercise on the weekends.¬† Now Sally and George have been dating for 3 months. He always tells her he is going to call her but doesn’t.¬† He always shows up late.¬† She has told him before that these things bother her, but his behaviors don’t change.¬† He consistently offends her, so she breaks up with him.¬† Jim then decides to start smoking to deal with the break up.¬† He consistently smokes 2 packs a day for three years and gets lung cancer.¬† So sad but The good news is that he is in remission and is dating another girl who is chronically late and never returns calls so I guess they never really offend each other or talk for that matter.

So I’m going to lighten things up a¬†bit and talk to you about one of the girls in my class at Zengofitness.¬† I remember the first time she came to my class.¬† She was hesitant, perhaps a bit nervous, and I didn’t think she was going to come back.¬† She had a little difficulty with the moves and the workout was very challenging for her.¬† (it’s challenging for everyone)¬†

I couldn’t teach this Thursday and was bummed because I thought about¬†this particular girl and how good she has become.¬† Last Tuesday I watched her on the bike, she had¬†incredible focus, her form was amazing and her movements were perfectly synchronized to the beats of the songs!¬† And I can see a difference in her body, yes she is rocking her Nike workout shorts!¬† She has become amazing because she consistently comes to class and puts in the effort.¬† She makes it a part of her schedule and rarely misses a class.

It’s all about consistency so think of one thing you’ d like to achieve and then an action you can consistently do to achieve that goal.¬† I am going to do a track workout every week till the marathon so I can get faster.¬† One week isn’t enough, it will take consistency.¬† What will you do?¬† Tell me, I’d love to hear it!