Health & Fitness


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Articles & Photo Albums

  • Stepping Up

    By Michael Elder. Created on Oct. 12, 2020.

    Stepping Up: Taking Your Leg Training To the Next Level

    “It’s half of your body!” That is my token response whenever someone asks me if leg training is necessary. There is a mistaken belief out there that if someone is performing consistent aerobic activity such as cycling, running, or step aerobics, then strength training for the lower body is unwarranted. I’ve said it before and it is time to say it again: This is absolutely not true! Leg training is vitally important for a host of reasons. I will be discussing some of those reasons in this article. I will …

  • Gym Etiquette for Dummies

    By Michael Elder. Created on Aug. 24, 2020.

    Let’s face it, annoying people are everywhere. Whether it’s the obnoxious neighbor making too much noise at night, or the babbling co-worker who talks endlessly about nothing, or the crazy driver who cuts you off in the middle of Lakeshore Drive, we can’t escape the reality hat there is always going to be people who drive us crazy. Unfortunately, the same is true in the gym. Over the years, I have come to notice many undesirable behaviors from certain people that can sometimes make our gym experience less than perfect. There is such a thing as gym etiquette and we …

  • Advanced Training for That Extra Edge

    By Michael Elder. Created on Aug. 7, 2020.

    Well folks, at this point in time many of us are back in the gym and getting our grind on again. If you’ve been back for at least a few weeks like I have, then you’ve probably started to make some gains again while also building your base strength back up. So, this article was written to give you some ideas on how to take your current routine to a new and more demanding level- if you are indeed back at the gym. The tools discussed in this article can be extremely beneficial in bringing about new fitness gains; however, …

  • Training With a Mask

    By Michael Elder. Created on July 9, 2020.

    Our New Obstacle: Training With a Mask

    Well folks, we’ve hit a new milestone. We are now entering phase 4 here in Illinois. Hooray!! For many of us, that means we may indeed be able to return to work. And for many, it will also mean returning to the gym. While some gyms are choosing to wait even longer to reopen, many others, including my own, are opening to limited capacity. Obviously in this new normal we can expect things to be very different when we return. The biggest change that most of us can expect is the mandatory rule …

  • Can You Handle the Suspension? The Beauty of TRX

    By Michael Elder. Created on June 29, 2020.

    Well folks, it’s happening! Illinois is starting to reopen. We’ve still got a long path ahead of us, but it’s exciting to see businesses begin to reopen. Many gyms are opening back up to personal trainers and clients, but unfortunately all other members are not yet allowed back. Hopefully that will change soon, but until it does, home workouts are still going to dominate most people’s workout programs. In my first article, I spoke about TRX and how invaluable it is, not just for personal trainers, but for anyone who wants to add variety into their fitness regimens. This is …

  • Outdoor Training

    By Michael Elder. Created on June 5, 2020.

    Outdoor Training; The New Normal

    Well my friends, it’s hard to believe, but summer is upon us! And warmer weather means people will be spending more and more time outside, especially due to the current Covid- 19 pandemic and having spent so much time inside. Since most gyms are still not open to the public, this also means that even more people will be working out outside. Even when things do open back up again, some people may still not feel comfortable enough going back to the gym. Therefore, training outside may indeed be the new normal. Outdoor training is …

  • Broken – A Short Memoir

    Author not found. Created on June 5, 2020.

    I need a hug. There’s a lot happening right now. Anger, fear, anxiety, loneliness, uncertainty - all of these and so much more can be used to describe my current state. On top of that, I’m turning 30 today. Yes - the big THREE-OH.

    Aging has never been much of an issue to me. I’ve always wanted to be an adult, honestly. Of course it is getting a little scary now that ‘adulthood’ is approaching. Or maybe it’s past. Hold on - let me google “official start of adulthood”.

    I couldn’t find a conclusive answer. The question seems to be …

  • Quarantine Fitness: Resistance Band Exercises for the Lower Body

    By Michael Elder. Created on May 29, 2020.

    Well folks, at this point in the quarantine we’re probably all reaching the point of being stir crazy. We can’t go out, so instead we binge watch every series we can on Netflix. Or, if you’re like my husband, you play online games til you’re blue in the face. Because of our inability to go out in the world and be active, working out at home becomes that much more important. In this week’s column, I’m going to cover four great exercises for the lower body that involve using resistance bands. Like I mentioned in the last article, resistance bands …

  • On Quarantine with Chris Stryker

    By Chirs Stryker. Created on May 21, 2020.

    Terrible news today I found out my roommate was symptomatic and tested positive for COVID 19 with a fever that went up to 104. He is unable to come home so he is staying in a hotel until he can do so.

    This is horrible for him to go through, it is made the reality of the situation hit home for me.

    Being in lockdown is tough, growing up on a farm has made it a lot easier to deal with because I was separated from society constantly. working along Harvest day before sunrise to after sunset some nights coming …

  • Love [yourself] in the Time of COVID

    By R Marshall. Created on May 21, 2020.

    I just completed a home workout for the first time in my life. I’ve gone to the gym and I’ve even taken long walks, but never worked out at home.

    Weight has been a struggle for me since about third grade, which has led to a lifelong journey of self-esteem - but that’s another story that we’ll get to another day. Suffice it to say that I’ve had ebbs and flows.

    Quarantine is difficult. It’s hard to get around all that’s truly happening. And, when you live in a studio like me where your entire world is located in a …

  • When Will This Isolation End?

    By Robert Cox. Created on May 2, 2020.

    This is the obvious question, especially from someone who is in the vulnerable population. Nevertheless, I actually have ambivalent feelings about the pandemic and the isolation. Certainly an early end would be welcome because I am particularly vulnerable. 1/3 of all hospitalization cases in my age bracket die. On the other hand, there are far worse possibilities which scare me more: stroke, heart attack anyone?

    Like so many others, I don’t confine myself to the apartment—I go out to Mariano’s or Walgreens and perhaps two or three times a week simply go for a walk to exercise. During my excursions …

  • Quarantine Fitness: Staying on Track

    By Michael Elder. Created on May 2, 2020.

    Hey folks, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Michael Elder and I’ve been working in the fitness industry for over 20 years. I run my own business, Michael Elder Personal Training. As you can imagine, the fitness industry has taken a huge hit with this horrible pandemic that has led to a shutdown of most gyms and health clubs across the country. For many of us, myself included, exercise is not just about staying in good physical shape, but it also serves as a form of mental therapy. For this reason, it is important for all of …