Boot Camp Continues Tuesday July 15

Register NOW for SUMMER III K-Ville Boot Camp!
Duke Personal Training offers its most popular small group training program,
Traditional Boot Camp
Tuesdays and Thursdays
6 PM
$30 for all six sessions or $8 to drop in.
Prizes for those who come to five of the six sessions.

Boot camp workouts include:
   - Agility Drills
   - Body Weight Strength Training
   - Cardio Conditioning
   - Core Work
   - Great motivation from your drill instructor and fellow participants
Contact Mary Ann today for more details or to register:

Exercise of the Month of July: The Chin Up

An exercise that is effective and popular (especially with those Cross-fitters out there), the Chin Up, is the exercise of the month of July.

To properly perform a chin up:
1. Grip the bar. Tighten lats, core and back stabilizers.

2. Pull using back and biceps to the top of the bar.

3. In a controlled manner, extend shoulders to starting position.

Jeremiah's Expert Training Tip:
To increase total number of pull-ups you can do at one time, train in  clusters;  i.e. 5 rounds of 3x(2 pull-ups w/15s rest in between each group of 2). You will be able to do more total pull-ups vs. doing straight sets, and your pull-up capacity will increase.

Is a Little Enough?

For you science lovers, check out this interesting article from the New York Times Wellness Blog:
No matter what your current level of fitness, it seems to benefit you the most if you challenge yourself.

Exercise of the Month for June: Sponge Ball Knee Stretch

For a strong core, try this month's exercise the Sponge Ball Knee Stretch.
This Pilates based exercise works everything!

To perform this exercise:
1. Start on hands and knees with sponge ball under tops of feet. Lift knees about 2 inches from floor. (If no sponge ball is available, you can use a Swiss or resistance ball.)

2.Hold in hover position or slowly extend legs and return to hover.
If you can't reach full extension, start by keeping the movement small and try to keep the rest of your body very quiet.

Lisa's Expert Trainer Tip: Make sure to feel strong and broad across your upper back and brace (or lift) your belly throughout this exercise.

Summer 2 TRX Registration is Now Open

Duke TRX Summer 2014 Times & Dates
Mondays and Wednesdays -  July 7 to August 6 at 5:30 PM with David
Mondays and Wednesdays – July 7 to August 6 at 6:30 PM with Crystal
Tuesdays and Thursdays – July 8 to August 7 at NOON with Lisa
Thursdays and Tuesdays – July 8 to August 7 at 6 PM with Lynn
Beat the heat with some challenging workouts INDSIDE Wilson gym this summer!
TRX 5 weeks, 10 classes, $100
Find more details here:
or contact Mary Ann at

Try Duke Personal Training this Summer!

Our trainers are here and ready to help you get fit!
For more details including rates and bios, visit our webpage:

Exercise of the Month of May - Pilates Core Challenge

May's Exercise of the Month is Pilates Single Leg Stretch with Ball Hold

This core exercise requires a lightweight medicine or small Pilates ball.

Start by lying on your back.

Curl up your head and shoulders to hold the ball between your elbows and the tops of your knees.
Your knees should be above your hips at a 90 degree angle.
Use your hands to support your head, but do not pull on your head and neck.

Keeping the abs engaged, inhale as you fully extend your right leg.
Exhale to return your right leg to the ball.

Repeat with your left leg.

The lower your extended leg is to the floor, the more challenging the exercise. But watch out for excessive arching of your low back with the extension

Try to complete 20 total leg extensions to complete one set.

To make this exercise a little easier:
     Extend leg toward the ceiling
To make it more challenging:
     Extend your leg out and hold for the three counts before returning knee to ball

Neva's Expert Trainer tip:
When doing CORE exercises slow down and focus on proper breathing and control. Complete a full exhale when contracting the core muscles.    

Neva and many of our other great trainers are here all summer. Contact if you are interested in Personal Training at Duke.

Time to Register for Summer Boot Camp

Duke Personal Training Boot Camp

Join us for Boot Camp:
  • 4 weeks, 8 sessions, 40 bucks. Free “I survived” T-shirt if you come to at least six sessions.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays 6 PM
  • May 13 to Jun 5th K-Ville lawn (and environs)

Contact Mary Ann at to register.

Exercise of the Month of April

Single Leg Bridge

April's Exercise of the Month, the Single Leg Bridge, is a great exercise to activate your “posterior chain” of gluts and hamstrings while simultaneously challenging your core to stabilize itself.

Start laying flat on your back with your arms to your side and the soles of your shoes flat on the ground with a 90 degree bend at your knee.

Lift one foot up in the air, keeping your thighs parallel to each other. They should stay parallel to each other throughout the motion.

Push through your heel on the ground as you squeeze your gluts and raise your hips toward the ceiling, until you have achieved a straight line from chest to knees. Count to three and then slowly lower back to starting position.

Dylan’s Expert Trainer Tip:
If single leg bridge is too challenging, start by building strength and form for performing standard double leg bridges.
This exercise should be a staple of any runner’s strength training program or utilized during cross training sessions.

Exercise of the Month of March

Straight Leg Kettlebell Deadlift
This month’s exercise is the Straight Leg Kettlebell Deadlift, affectionately known as the Stork Stance Deadlift. 
To perform this movement, start standing with your legs together, arms by your side, and a kettlebell in one hand. 

Lean forward, hinging on your hips and keeping your core engaged and back straight.  As you lean forward, allow the arm with the kettle bell to glide down the front of one leg while simultaneously extending the opposite leg straight back behind you. 

Attempt to continue to lean forward until your leg and torso are parallel with the ground.  Hold this position for two counts and then slowly return to the standing position in the same manner, gliding the kettle bell back up one leg while returning the opposite leg to the ground. 
Repeat 10-15 times on each leg.  The free arm may be used for balance throughout the movement.

Kelli's Expert trainer tip: Start with a lighter bell until you perfect the movement. Once you have good core stabilization, you can increase the weight.

Two Fitness Trends - What Makes them Different?

Many people have heard the terms HIIT and Tabata used in fitness classes. While some might use these words interchangeably, they are in fact different. Put simply, a Tabata can be a subset of HIIT Training, but not all HIIT Training is Tabata training.

This table summarizes the differences between Tabata and other HIIT methods.
Why we call it that
named after Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata
stands for high-intensity interval training
Interval ratio
varies (e.g., 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, 1:2, etc.)
Length of intervals
20 seconds of work/10 seconds of recovery
varies (e.g., work/recovery intervals—in seconds—are 30/30, 45/15, 60/30, etc.)
Number of cycles
eight total (4 minutes)
varies (e.g., 2.5 minutes, 3 minutes, 6 minutes, etc.)
anaerobic or aerobic

February's Exercise of the Month

The Barbell Ab Rollout is the Exercise of the Month.
1. Prepare an Olympic Barbell with a 25lb weight on each side. These weights will serve as the rollers. Place a weight clip on each side to fasten the weights.

2. Lay down a yoga mat and place the barbell in front of the mat. Kneel down the very edge of the mat and place your hands on the barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. The barbell should be close to your knees and you should be in a kneeling stance.

3. Slowly roll the barbell away from your body as you descend and straighten out your hips and body. You should roll out to a point where your arms are fully extended. Tip: Inhale as you descend downwards into the full stretch. 

4. Once fully extended, pull in the barbell towards your body as you ascend to back the starting position. Do not fold your hips. Think of elevating up.
Tip: Exhale as you pull upwards, holding your abdominals tight while you lift your hips and core.

Teron's Training Tips: If you are comfortable with the straight extension, you can try to roll out on an angle to the left or right side to work out your obliques. You should not attempt this exercise if you have lower back injuries or weakness. 

Another Great Reason to Get Moving this Winter

Check out this interesting article from the APA about physical activity's positive effect on mental health! The benefits are immediate and long lasting:

Try TRX this Winter

Registration is open for upcoming TRX classes.
10 classes, 5 weeks, $100
M/W 5:30 PM with David Jan 27 to Feb 26
T/Th 6 PM with Lynn Jan 28 to Feb 27
M/W 6:30 PM with Meredith Feb 3 thru March 5

ADVANCED TRX 6 sessions only $60
T/Th 7:00AM with Lisa Feb 4 thru March 6
To register, contact Mary Ann at
Sign up today as space is limited to only 4-7 people per class!

Happy Holidys from Duke Personal Training

Wishing all a happy and healthy holiday season!
Try to stay active over the holidays.
Ideas include:
  • Brisk walks outdoors
  • Sledding, skating, skiing, snowboarding with friends and family
  • Small space strength training with yoga or Pilates
Enjoy holiday treats in moderation and designate a driver for all holiday parties.
See you in 2014!

Beat the Finals Stress by Working Out

It is finals season and that means stress for frazzled students. There research shows that taking time for a bout of exercise may help you do even better on the tests.

Check out this article from the NIH. Of particular interest may be the section on children and young adults:
Happy studying!
The Duke Fitness Team

Exercise of the Month of December

The Reverse Plank is the Exercise of the Month of December

To perform this core exercise which targets your lower back, glutes and hamstrings:
·         Sit down with legs positioned pointing directly out in front of you.
·         Place your arms behind you with hands palm down on the floor. Straighten your arms and turn your hands inward so that your fingertips point towards your back. Keep your hands flat against the floor.
·         Inhale and press up, lifting your hips up towards the ceiling. Do not allow your tail to sag. Try to maintain a straight line from your shoulders to the heels of your feet. Keep your head in alignment with your spine (not tossed back, or tucked in).

·         Exhale once you have lifted your core. Maintain a slow, steady breathing.

Hold this formation for 20-60 seconds.

For a more advanced workout, extend one leg as Kim is doing below, and hold. Point the toes on your extended leg. Build to 30 seconds on each leg.
Kim's Expert Trainer Tip: Planks offer a great opportunity to work out even when you have no workout equipment. You can do them anywhere, even under the Christmas tree!

Try this Turkey Day Workout

As we head into the season of eating, the Duke Rec and PE Fitness team reminds you to stay active! Most communities offer a Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot which you can walk or run. Check out for races in your area. Thanksgiving is also a great time to toss a ball around with friends and family.  
If you can't get out of the house, try this quick whole body workout. All you need is a little floor space!

Warm Up: 10 jumping jacks, 20 side to side hops, 10 jumping jacks, 20 front back hops

Push Ups
Curl Ups
Lunge with Rt leg in front
Lunge with Lft leg in front
Bicycle Crunch
Complete 10 reps of each exercise
Complete 8 reps of each exercise
Complete 6 reps of each exercise
Complete 4 reps of each exercise
Hold a plank as long as you can

November's Exercise of the Month

The Pilates Teaser is the Exercise of the Month.

Traditional and Pilates Personal Trainer Kim Richardson provides these basic steps to this classical Pilates mat exercise.

The movement:
Begin lying down, arms along your sides.

1. Extend your legs to a 45 degree angle (In this picture, Kim is outstretching her legs for a more advanced version)

2. Inhale
3. Exhale: Lengthen your spine to nod your head slightly and begin scooping your abdominal muscles in and up so that your upper body begins to roll off the mat. At the same time your arms are coming up to parallel your legs. Fingertips reach past the toes without the shoulders rising.

4. Inhale as you come to the top and open your chest, lifting your head slightly to fully lengthen your spine
5. Exhale to roll down. Start from the low abs and use control, rolling down sequentially along the spine, one stop at a time. Work to press the legs together.

Kim's expert trainer tip: Just doing three or four repetitions during your workout is plenty. Do not add reps until you are sure you can maintain form the entire time

2013 Duke COMBINE Results

Below are the category winners from the First Annual Duke COMBINE, held on Saturday, October 19th in Wilson Rec.

MITCHELL GRANT - Male Undergraduate Champ
LEAH LING – Female Undergraduate Champ
ISAAC ODIM – Male Graduate Champ
SWARNALI SENGUPTA – Female Graduate Champ
BRANDON HENRY – Male Employee Champ
Congratulations winners! We will see you next fall for the second annual COMBINE!

Register Today for the Duke COMBINE

First Annual Duke COMBINE

See how you stack up against friends, classmates and co-workers in this NFL Combine-style competition in Wilson Gym on Saturday, October 19th at Noon. For only $10, you will be taken through some of the tests future NFL draftees must take on including: bench press, 40 yard dash, vertical leap, broad jump and agility drills.
All participants will receive a t-shirt. Male and female category winners will earn football related prizes (and bragging rights).

Register today!

Exercise of the Month - Depth Jump

Personal trainer Kenny shares this plyometric exercise which is great for anyone looking to increase overall power and increase his or her vertical jump. It can be very sport specific for runners, jumpers, basketball players, football players, and tennis players, and more!

 To perform this exercise:
·         Start at the top of a box or platform

·         Step forward off the platform

·         Land symmetrically on both feet and more on the balls of you feet

·         Your weight should then shift towards your heels and into a squat position to prepare for the jump up

·         Explode up and jump as high as you can off of the ground

Points to remember:
-          Always warm-up before performing this exercise
-          Only perform this exercise if you are able to complete it with proper form
            o   Really focus on landing and jumping up symmetrically
            o   Good trunk, hip, and knee alignment throughout the exercise
-          Land soft and explode up
-          Best if you perform this exercise towards the beginning of your workout
-          Best if you perform this exercise with a high set/lower rep strategy in order to ensure recovery and get maximal power benefits

 Kenny's Trainer Tip:
Get someone to take a video of you performing this exercise from the front and from the side so you can check your form and see where any deficits may be.