Trainer Spotlight: Mandy Malool

Mandy’s favorite exercise:  Deadlift

Why Mandy loves the deadlift:

  • Minimal equipment required
  • Works more muscles simultaneously than any other movement
  • Builds core stability
  • Helps increase cardiovascular fitness
  • Has real life application
  • The main muscle group focus is on the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. Who doesn’t want to ensure they are looking good from the back as well as the front?!?!

Pictured Below: Mandy performing the deadlift.





The craze for avocados has increased over the past few years. Not only are people discovering more and more recipes, but they are also discovering health remedies with avocados. Avocados can be used for numerous things, and almost never fail to make a snack or meal more tasty. Who doesn’t love guacamole, avocado and eggs or avocado toast? People even enjoy eating avocados by themselves these days!

Avocados surely are a delicious superfood, full of good fats and vitamins; so, why not dig down a little deeper into what exactly is so healthy and great about avocados?

Below are some fun facts about avocados (adapted from:


  1. They’re high in “good fat.” Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, which fight heart disease and can reduce potentially harmful cholesterol.
  2. Antioxidants are abundant in avocado. Avocados are full of antioxidants, which are believed to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  3. Avocados are chock-full of vitamins. Amounts of the vitamins in avocado can vary, but the fruit is full of important vitamins K, C, B5, B6, and E.
  4. They’ve got protein! Unlike many other fruits, an avocado actually contains protein. The amount of protein depends on the size of the fruit, but about 100 grams of avocado contains 2 grams of protein.
  5. You don’t have to eat avocado to reap benefits. OK, eating avocados is really good for you, but it’s also a great addition to your beauty routine.
  6. You can substitute avocado in place of more fattening oils or butter. The California Avocado Association details how avocado can be a healthier alternative to regular baking ingredients.
  7. It might be a nutrient booster. The growers’ group also suggests that avocado consumption could help the body absorb other nutrients from food; one study seems to support this idea.
  8. They’re good for pregnant women. Avocados contain folate, which is essential for growing babies.
  9. And don’t forget about the potassium. Avocados, like bananas, contain potassium, which is an important mineral to consume for a number of bodily functions and processes.

Image source: @carolkolofit

Adapted from:

Atlanta Personal Trainer | Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Like you all, our personal trainers are on a busy schedule and often find themselves on-the-go. While we are busy, we still do our best to eat healthy and make healthy lifestyle choices. Check out our list below of some of our favorite snacks and on-the-go breakfast options!


  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt + 1 tbsp nut butter (pictured above)
  • 1 scrambled egg + 2 scrambled egg whites + 1 slice cheddar cheese + veggies
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein + 1 tbsp all natural peanut butter + ½ cup unsweetened almond milk + water + ice
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt+ 2 tbsp slivered almonds + 1 packet stevia + cinnamon
  • 1 can tuna + ¼ cup diced avocado + pepper + raw veggies
  • 2 boiled eggs + 1/8 cup almonds + 1 cup raw veggies
  • Veggie Omelette: 2 eggs + ¼ sliced mushrooms + ¼ cup diced tomato + ¼ cup diced onion + 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup Geek yogurt + 2 tbsp chopped walnuts + 1 packet stevia + cinnamon
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey + 1 tbsp peanut butter + 1 cup unsweetened almond milk + ice
  • 2 hard boiled eggs + 1 string cheese + veggies
  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese + 2 tomato slices + ½ cup cucumber slices
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder mixed + 1 tsp instant coffee + 1 tsp vanilla extract + 1 cup unsweetened almond milk + ice + 1 tsp olive oil

By: Caroline Kolowich, Evaluation and Transformation Specialist

Join our very own Atlanta Personal Trainer, Brad Kolowich Jr on the Weather Channel for tips on how to exercise in this hot summer heat.  (Click on the image below for a link to the video.)

For a link to the video, click on the image above.

For a link to the video, click on the image above.

As personal trainers clients often ask, “Should I be lifting heavy weight? And, if I do will lifting heavy make me bulky?” The short answer is yes and no! If this has you curious, check out the article below by ACE fitness.

2016-30-06-Why-You-Should-Be-Lifting-Heavy-03  _Best Atlanta Personal Trainer

Why you should be lifting heavy

Insanity is often described as doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting different results. This definition could apply to many traditional fitness enthusiasts, who have followed the same workout program for years and wonder why they have stopped experiencing results.

The general adaptation syndrome describes how the human body responds to an exercise stimulus. There is the shock phase, when the exercise stimulus is first applied. This is followed by an adaptation phase of approximately eight to 12 weeks, where the body experiences its greatest response to the exercise stimulus. This leads to the exhaustion phase, when the exercise program stops having the desired effect. This is the basic science behind periodization, which is the practice of adjusting workout intensity on a regular, systematic basis to avoid plateaus.

One sure way to break through a plateau is to change some or all of the variables in the workout program. These variables include: exercise selection, intensity, repetitions, sets, rest interval, tempo (speed of movement) and frequency (the number of exercise sessions in a specific period of time). To stimulate almost immediate changes in your body, increase the amount of weight (thereby increasing the intensity) you use in your workouts. If you find yourself not making any gains or simply want a different exercise program, here are six ways using heavy weights can help you make the changes you want to see in your body.

1. Lifting heavy can cause muscles to grow.
Heavy resistance can recruit and engage more of the type II muscle fibers responsible for generating muscle force. When you lift a heavy weight, you may feel your muscles shaking. This is because your nervous system is working to engage more motor units and muscle fibers to produce the force required to move a weight. Type II muscle fibers are generally responsible for the size and definition of a muscle, so activating more of these fibers can lead help provide immediate results.

2. Lifting heavy improves intramuscular coordination, which is important for improving overall strength.
Intermuscular coordination is the ability of a number of different sections of muscle to work together to produce a movement. Intramuscular coordination is the ability of the fibers that comprise a particular muscle to work together to generate a force. Because it requires more force to contract a muscle, using a heavy resistance can improve the intramuscular coordination in a specific section of muscle, which will also help you become more efficient at generating strength.

3. Lifting heavy can help muscles get stronger without getting bigger.
Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy describes how the sarcoplasm of a muscle increases in size as a result of lifting weights at a moderate to high intensity for a higher number of repetitions (e.g., 10 to 15). Myofibrillar hypertrophy describes how muscle fibers become thicker and denser in response to strength training. Using heavy weights focuses on myofibrillar hypertrophy, resulting in muscle that is thicker and stronger, but not necessarily larger. When lifting an optimal amount of heavy resistance, you should only be able to perform five or fewer repetitions while maintaining good form.

4. Lifting heavy weights can help reduce your biological age.
If you’re over the age of 35, you should definitely be using extremely heavy resistance two to four times a week for periods of four to eight weeks at a time. When adult males hit their mid-30s, they will naturally produce less testosterone unless there is a stimulus that causes the body to produce it. Testosterone is a steroid hormone and is responsible for repairing damaged muscle fibers, which can increase the size and strength output of a muscle. Heavy resistance training is one type of stimulus that can cause males to produce testosterone and help increase bone density, both of which are important markers of biological age. Heavy resistance training can also help women over the age of 35 increase their levels of growth hormone, which is important for developing lean muscle and burning fat.

5. Lifting heavy can help increase your resting metabolism.
One pound of skeletal muscle expends approximately 5 to 7 calories a day at rest. Adding 5 to 7 pounds of muscle can increase your resting metabolism (how efficiently your body produces and uses energy) up to 50 calories a day. This might not sound like a lot, but over the course of a year that is a difference of approximately two-thirds of a pound of fat that you can burn while doing absolutely nothing.

6. Lifting heavy stuff makes you look really cool.
Which gives you bragging rights amongst your friends. The downside is that you will have more requests to help friends or family move furniture, but that’s just the price you have to pay for being ridiculously strong.

Using heavier resistance can be intimidating, because it is a lot harder and the applied force will cause muscle damage. (This is one of the ways that muscles grow; to learn more about muscle growth click here). One side effect of lifting heavy is delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. If you have ever felt DOMS, you know how uncomfortable it can be. While it seems counterintuitive to perform light activity when you’re sore, it can help you recover quicker, which will enable you to do the higher volume of exercise necessary for building muscle and making changes in the body.

Machine training can be the safest approach for using extremely heavy weights. For best results, plan on using weights that make five repetitions incredibly challenging (you should not be able to do a sixth rep) and change your program after 10 or 12 weeks so that you’re changing the stimulus to your body. If you want to make sure that you get the best results from your time in the gym, considering hiring an Atlanta Personal Trainer to help adjust your program so that you are safe when increasing the amount of resistance you use.

Adapted from:


Summer-Large Brad Kolowich Jr Top Atlanta Trainer

Summer eating doesn’t have to be stressful.  In fact, you can enjoy the sun, sand, heat and treats without adding to your waistline you worked hard for.  Here is a list of common nutrition mistakes that most of us are guilty of making at times, and easy ways to fix them so you don’t have to stress this summer:
1. The mistake: Eating salty snacks

The problem: Salty snacks (think processed snack foods, particularly those in packages such as chips, pretzels, cookies, etc.,) cause bloat as your body retains water to help to dilute the salt. The result is an unpleasant swelling in your belly, face and extremities.

The fix: Swap chips, pretzels and other snack foods for a satisfying bite that doesn’t come in a package. Think crunchy veggies and crisp sliced apples. Choose a lower-calorie dip such as hummus and, whenever possible, choose low-sodium varieties. Or try Greek Yogurt Veggie Dip for veggies. Consider dipping apples in yogurt or in a dollop of nut butter, or munch on a single handful of crunchy almonds with the apple slices. Try roasted chickpeas or air-popped popcorn or frozen grapes with an ounce of low-fat cheese.
2. The mistake: Drinking too much alcohol

The problem: Beach vacations and cruises tend to provide many opportunities to indulge in alcohol, especially sugary drinks such as margaritas and piña coladas. But one seemingly innocent 10-ounce margarita could set you back more than 500 calories, nearly a third of the total amount of calories many women who are hoping to lose some weight should consume in an entire day. And tropical drinks often have similar calorie counts. Alcohol also tends to make you feel hungrier, thirstier and less concerned about what you’re eating. This is a triple whammy that can make you quickly pack on the pounds.

The fix: First, start with a plan. Before you start drinking, decide exactly how many alcoholic drinks you’ll have per day. Ideally, women should aim for one drink per day, and men should aim for no more than two. Simply setting a limit can help prevent you from overindulging. To help you to stick to your limit, start with a calorie-free beverage such as seltzer, and then alternate alcoholic beverages with non-caloric ones. Also, try to eat a bit lighter, healthier meals throughout the day to balance out the added calories from the alcohol.
3. The mistake: Indulging in too many sweet treats

The problem: Sweet treats are typically packed with calories and are often high in fat, as well. And an equally large problem is that sweets don’t keep you full, while giving you an energy rush followed by a crash. Energy dips often result the need for a quick pick-me up and an increased craving for even more sweets, so you end up overeating, often on junk food.

The fix: Take advantage of naturally occurring sweets to satisfy your sweet cravings. Naturally sweet foods without added sugar (think: fruits and treats made with them) are typically much lower in calories than those with added sweeteners. Plus, sweets from fruits are packed with nutrients. As veggie-loving registered dietitians who have a sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check, we’re all too familiar with the temptation to cool off with cold, refreshing sweet treats such as ice cream, frozen yogurt and slushes. Having alternative fixes is what saves us from getting in over our heads. Blended frozen fruit or combined with yogurt or nut milks work wonders. If you’re feeling especially motivated, try cooling off with a large glass of fruit-infused water. Otherwise, a fresh fruit smoothie including a cup of berries, yogurt and add-ins such as cocoa, cinnamon or ginger can turn the flavor up a notch.
4. The mistake: Indulging in too many sweet treats

The problem: Because you sweat a bit more in the warmer months, you need to be mindful to replace the lost water. When you don’t properly rehydrate, you may feel lethargic, as water is needed to create energy. You also mistake thirst for hunger and overeat when you really just need a glass of water.

The fix: Be sure to eat plenty of veggies (they hydrate you) and aim to drink roughly half your body weight, in ounces—and even more if you’re spending time outside. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, aim to drink about 75 ounces of water daily. The good news is if you aren’t a fan of water, a little bit of flavor from fruits or veggies can add both variety and some extra vitamins as well.

5. The mistake: Crash dieting

The problem: Crash diets provide far too few calories to maintain adequate energy levels and too few nutrients for good health, so they typically create fatigue, grogginess and crankiness after the first few days. Plus, most crash diets backfire when they’re over, creating a quick rebound to a higher weight than before the diet started. If crash diets are your jam and your go-to for looking “swimsuit ready,” it’s time to try something new.

The fix: Focus on eating healthy, well-balanced meals by filling about half your plate with vegetables and rounding out one-quarter of your plate with wholesome carbs such as fruits and whole grains, and the other quarter with lean protein such as fish, pulses (legumes), and low-fat dairy or other calcium-rich foods. This way you’ll weed out the foods that aren’t good for health and that pack on pounds, while consuming a lower-calorie diet that fills you with health-promoting nutrients.


Adapted from:


client of the month weight loss transformations

Stephanie Aaron
June 2016

Stephanie has come such a long way in her time training at our studio. First thing you’ll notice about Stephanie is that she always walks in with a smile one her face and brings positive energy to each training session. Not only does she do a great job in the studio, but she also does a great job with her nutrition and workouts outside of the studio. Stephanie’s dedication to her workouts and nutrition has resulted in a total loss of 32 inches and her strength has gone through the roof! In a short four week period she increased her 1-rep max on bench, squat, deadlift, and push press by 10-35lbs. resulting in numbers of 110, 170, 150, and 75 respectively (who’s says ladies can’t lift heavy?!). She’s also been a great influence on her friends and getting them involved in exercise as well! Thank you for your motivation, encouragement and inspiration to others! Congratulations Stephanie on the progress thus far, keep it up!


brad kolowich jr top atlanta personal trainer

Rachel Moler
June 2015

We’d like to introduce you to the June 2015 Live Life Fit personal training client of the month, Rachel Moler! Rachel has epitomized hard work and dedication this year.
While balancing 12-hour shifts at the local hospital and moving into a new home, Rachel still made time to pursue her goal of getting great abs–and check them out!!
Rachel has been training hard to get in the best shape of her life and currently holds the studio records for squat, plank and v-max! Rachel is now beginning to train for the Berlin Marathon, which will take place at the end of September. She will also begin training for triathlons in the near future. Keep up the great work, Rachel! We are extremely proud of your efforts to live life fit!

Eat and Exercise the Right Way, Away From Home

how to prevent vacation weight gain Atlanta Personal Trainers

Vacation season is here! You deserve a break, after spending the last few months becoming a fitter, healthier you, right? While vacation is a time to relax and take a break from work, stress, and the usual routine, it shouldn’t be a break from your healthy habits.

With a little planning, you can enjoy your vacation and still maintain your current weight and fitness level. Whatever your plans – a family road trip, a tropical cruise, a sightseeing tour, or relaxing on the beach – you can avoid packing on those dreaded vacation pounds by packing some healthy foods and workout gear instead.

If you’re traveling by car, you’ve already spent a lot of time planning your course. We all want to make good time, but it’s also important to schedule several breaks into your itinerary, especially if you have kids:

  • Pack a cooler full of healthy snacks, and even complete meals such as Fit Chow. Chopped veggies, fresh fruits, bottled water and LaCroix (my favorite), Greek yogurt, low sodium turkey/beef jerkey, air popped pop corn, and nuts/seeds.
  • Don’t skip meals, and try not to go more than 4 or 5 hours without eating. Being famished at mealtime may hinder your ability to make healthy choices and trigger overeating. Plus, constant energy levels will keep you alert at the wheel.
  • Avoid eating full meals in the car. Take time to stop, relax and enjoy your meal. This way, you can pay closer attention to your hunger and satiety signals.
  • Plan exercise and stretching breaks as well. Just three 10-minute pit stops add up to 30 minutes of activity. Go for a quick jog or walk, stretch and run around with the kids. Back in the car, you’ll be more alert and energetic.
  • Avoid coffee and caffeinated drinks. While they do give you a short energy burst, the drop when caffeine wears off can make you even more tired. For stable energy levels, drink plenty of water and eat healthy, whole foods that keep blood sugar levels from spiking and dropping.
  • Be wary of fast food and roadside restaurants. If you have no other options, choose the healthiest possible items and keep portion sizes small. One way to avoid excess calories and fat is to hold the mayo, special sauces, cheese and dressings. Also opt for non-breaded and non-fried items and kid-sized portions.


Frequent Flyers
Despite appearances – a plethora of fast foods, snacks and lots of sitting around – flights and airports offer plenty of nutritious food and opportunity for activity, if you know where to look:

  • Try to eat a healthy meal before you arrive. You’ll be less likely to munch on high-calorie snacks just because they’re around or you’re bored.
  • If eating in an airport, it’s worth it to spend the time searching out healthy foods. Look for salads, fresh fruit, vegetable-based soups and baked chicken.
  • While trekking through the airport, take every opportunity for extra movement. Use the stairs, pass on the people movers and carry your own luggage.
  • Instead of sitting around before boarding the plane, use the time to walk. You’ll arrive early enough to fit in 15-20 minutes of walking, so take advantage of it. After all, you’re about to sit for an entire flight.
  • Call the airline 48 hours in advance to see if a meal is offered. Typical in-flight dinners can have as many calories (over 1,000) as a fast food meal, and even more fat! Special order a diabetic, low-fat, vegetarian, child, or religious meal. Or, pack your own lunch to ensure you get exactly what you want.
  • Flying can easily dehydrate you, so drink plenty of water. Drinking one glass per hour in flight will ward off dehydration and jetlag.
  • It’s okay to get up and walk through the aisles a few times when you are feeling antsy during a long flight.

Cruise Control

Cruises offer so many opportunities for fun and exploring. But they are also known for their rich, gourmet food that is available round the clock. You don’t have to totally deprive yourself to stay in shape. Moderation, along with participation in the many opportunities that cruises offer for fitness, will keep you sailing smoothly:

  • At buffets, fill your plate only once. Load 50% of your plate with vegetables and choose small portions of other foods you want to try.
  • If you splurge and eat a rich meal, try to balance it out with a healthy, vegetable meal. Eat lighter the rest of the day.
  • If ordering dessert, don’t make it a daily habit. And when you do, split it with someone else.
  • Most cruises offer a healthier “spa menu.” Order from this when you can. And, when ordering at any meal, be very specific about what you do and do not want. You can omit ingredients and specify how you want something to be cooked (steamed instead of fried).
  • Plan for fitness every day. Cruises usually offer complete gyms, aerobics classes, trainers, running tracks and pools. Go dancing in the disco in the evening and play plenty of beach games when docked. Take a morning walk around the track while enjoying the sights and fresh air.


Staying Inn Shape
As the demand for healthy eating and exercising rises, hotels are responding to their guests. There’s no reason not to work out or eat right just because you’re away from home. Calling ahead and working with the concierge will help you find all the things you need to make your vacation a healthy one:

  • When checking in, refuse the mini-bar key. Not only are the prices outrageous, but the choices are not the healthiest. Instead, find a nearby health food store or grocery and stock up on good-for-you snacks. If your room/floor has a fridge or microwave, you can also get enough foods to prepare healthy meals. If a coffee maker is all you get, buy instant soups or oatmeal and prepare them with the hot water.
  • If ordering room service, be specific about what you want, whether or not it is on the menu. Most places will accommodate your healthy requests and substitutions.
    Before leaving home, find out what fitness opportunities the hotel offers. While most will have a pool, others may offer tennis, walking paths, bike rentals and full gyms. Then, pack the appropriate clothes, shoes and gear.
  • If your hotel does not have a gym, ask if they are affiliated with a nearby local gym. Many will offer day passes at a discount for hotel guests.
  • Ask the concierge about healthy restaurants, markets, parks, trails and maps.
    Design your own hotel room workout. All you need to pack is some lightweight, cheap equipment: resistance bands, a jump rope and a sticky mat. Most bands will come with illustrated exercises. You can also do push-ups, crunches, lunges, squats and triceps dips on a chair.
  • Remember to pack walking shoes, a swimsuit, exercise equipment and loose, comfortable clothing. And with all that time in the sun, don’t forget shades, a hat and plenty of sunscreen.

It’s worth the time it takes to plan ahead for a healthy trip, but be realistic. You probably won’t lose weight on vacation, but maintenance is possible. Remember, vacation (like exercise) should be fun! Try new things, sightsee on foot, go rock climbing or surfing, and definitely enjoy the good food without total deprivation. Being healthy is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. So, follow these tips to return home with plenty of memories and souvenirs, not extra pounds.

Adapted from,

Nicole Nichols


 Atlanta Personal Trainer

August Hammonds

March 2015

We are proud to introduce you to our March Live Life Fit personal training client of the month; August Hammonds! August, 37, has been on a path to success since the day she walked in the front door for her first session at Brad Kolowich Jr. Fitness Studio. Committed to waking up before the birds for her 6:00am sessions, August has yet to miss a single workout! Since the turn of the year, August has built a tremendous amount of healthy lean muscle by training efficiently and having a ‘can-do’ attitude! Her goal each and every workout is to train harder than her last and expend lots of energy, which she monitors through her Polar heart rate monitor. She has grown substantially stronger by working towards her goals; one of which was to complete a full-push-up. In the month of February alone, August increased her push-up record by 400%! August is also well on her way to achieving her fat loss goals due greatly to her efforts in the kitchen; as she has been eating healthy nutritious foods! She also monitors her daily caloric intake through MyFitnessPal. Great job August! We are extremely proud of your efforts to live life fit!

-Sean Runyan