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Pregnancy and Back Pain

As some might know in general or experienced it first hand, pregnancy and back pain pretty much go hand in hand. At least that’s what I expected. Pregnancy is the number 1 cause of low back pain for women. Even our sky high heels and platforms wedges don’t even take the cake. Research shows that pregnancy back pain is a pretty common complaint and can vary from one woman to another, as I quickly found out. However, like with many things, it can be managed or prevented with safe, drug free treatments such as rehab, chiropractic and strength training.
It wasn’t that I was naive to thinking I wouldn’t get some kind of pain, because up until about 4 and 1/2 months pregnant I’ve had a rather smooth and easy going pregnancy, and even to complain about the back pain I felt made me feel really bad, because some have it a lot worse. At first I thought I just pulled something in my upper/mid back or just did to much during a workout and was sore. Considering it was so high in my upper/mid back and not my lower back I wasn’t really convinced of it being pregnancy related. It always seemed to get really bad about mid-day, sitting for long periods, and especially trying to sleep at night (which was already becoming hard to do). But after enduring the pain for 4 weeks and keeping a lacrosse ball in my purse to apply pressure to it at anytime, I was over it. I couldn’t imagine the next 5 and 1/2 months of dealing with this (which I also knew I had to worse case scenario). But no amount of foam rolling, lacrosse ball, massaging, heat or ice application was really helping, so I decided to discuss some alternate treatment methods with my doctor at our next appointment.
According to the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, since the main cause of pregnancy back pain is due to the increase in body weight and expansion as the baby grows, there can be muscle imbalances, flexibility issues, and poor postural habits. Also, pregnancy back pain can be the result of alignment conditions in your joints and spine. With that being said, I had already noticed my gait change in my running which made me think, what else am I doing incorrectly. So with that, my doctor recommended that I first do some physical therapy and then maybe chiropractic treatments. So I made my appointment and got in as soon as possible.
After having my initial consultation and exam with my physical therapist, she told me I had some weaknesses in my Rhomboids, Trapezius, and Latissimus Dorsi. She recommended I start off my rehab coming twice a week so we could work on strengthening and stretching these muscle groups and other areas that have an effect on my target muscle weakness. Of course, the thought just like many of you would think, “but I work out on a regular basis how could I have these weaknesses”, did cross my mind but I was there to learn and be taught and if nothing else to dedicate one hour, twice a week to really focus on those things that I apparently was not focusing on.
So like with any exercise program we started off warming up for couple minutes, then performed some stretches targeting the Hamstrings, Hip Flexors, Rhomboids, Pectorals and then finished with a range of motion on the stability ball for a lumbar extension and flexion motion, as well as some core movements. We performed these 3 times each either holding for 30 seconds or 10 repetitions. Then we moved on to an exercise, I know all of our clients love to hate…the side steps with the band around my ankles! Before we started the exercise movements, they would perform a light massage therapy on the area that was causing the pain. After that we performed exercises with various light Thera-Bands. Exercises included shoulder scaption 3 X 20 Reps., shoulder horizontal abduction 3 X 20 Reps., resistance band rows 3 X 30 Reps., and multifidus isometric exercise 2 X 20 Reps. We then ended with Bird/Dogs for 1 X 20 Reps. and then iced the area.
As many of you, may or may not recognize these exercises by name, believe me I did and you would to, if shown. They were all exercises that we as your trainers have had you do from time to time but maybe with more difficulty or weight. Again, all things that I know of or have had some of you do but just wasn’t taking the time to do myself. I actually really enjoyed my time during physical therapy, it was nice to be on the other side and focus on what and how they were wanting me to train, and giving myself that time. I attended therapy for a total of 4 weeks. During that time the pain was still there during certain periods (sitting, driving, lying down in bed) but I kept going. That’s the thing, it does take time. Even the therapist said it would take about 3-4 weeks of coming straight and performing these same exercises on my own on the off days, (just lower repetitions) which I did. I honestly could tell that it was helping, it started little by little, always feeling better on the days I had rehab, and noticing that the onset didn’t start as early in the day as it once did. Then by week 4 I didn’t notice having the sharp pain anymore. Whether, it was my body just adjusting again or what I believe was the help of a little therapy, my upper back pain has totally gone away, and I still perform a lot of the stretches and exercises just to keep up with it.
So in hindsight, as hard as it is to slow down the pace of your training for an injury or pain, don’t forget to take the steps to either help prevent it or strengthen it properly, even if that means a little slower pace training. Ask us, we have tons of suggestions for stretches or low impact exercises that can help for some of those areas that might be bothering you, however, just like with exercising to achieve fitness goals, weight loss, you have to put the time and effort into it, not just a one time stretch or exercise, you have to keep things up on your own not just when you see us. Consistency is truly the key!

Scott’s year of challenges 2015

Hello Definition Fitness family! I decided last December that 2015 would be my year of challenges, and so I have begun. My first personal challenge is to “re-start” my running fitness, and my ultimate goal is to run a half marathon in November. That is my 2015 running goal. Currently, I have been inconsisently training 8-9 miles per week, and have already cut down my mile-time from 11:00 minutes to about 9:30….and I plan to shave off a little more as I continue my conditioning. As most of you know, I am a certified Spinning instructor and lead our Definition Cyclepower classes too. Previously, I lead 4-5 classes per week at another facility, and at Definition Fitness I am currently leading 3 classes with more to be added. My point…you’d think that consistently intense leg and lower body Spinning training would make my running a piece of cake. Well, running leg muscles [and movements] are very different than Spinning and cycling muscles, so I am reconditioning and retraining my running muscles differently. After running a couple 5K’s over the past couple months, next up is the Gate Run 15K. If you are considering running or training for a running event, one of the most important things I would advise is to be fitted for proper running shoes. The good ones may be more expensive, but it is definitely worth the investment. They can make a BIG difference for your feet, joints, and back especially when running 5+ miles. My go-to shoes are my Saucony Hurricane 16 and Adidas Turbo Boost.

My second 2015 challenge is a physical body “transformation” challenge that I am currently in week 6 of a 12-week program. This transformation consists of muscle growth, overall weight maintenance, and lowering my bodyfat%. My goal is to drop my bodyfat% to 11% by early April: January 1st, I was 20% and I’m currently 16.5%. January 1st my weight was 193lbs and I’m currently at 185lbs. I have been working out 5-days a week with 1 active rest day (lite day), and 1 full rest day. My nutrition consists of 50/30/20: 50% complex carbs, 30% protein, and 20% fats, per daily. It is not exact every day though, non-workout days I load up more on protein, cardio days I may have a few more carbs. All in all, I am already seeing my transformation goal getting closer. If you have any questions or comments about the program/challenge I am following, just ask me!

My third 2015 challenge is achieving additional nutrition certification. AFPA (American Fitness Professionals & Associates) conducts a master level Nutrition Consultant certification that I am currently researching. This education consists of Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Holistic Nutritionist, Weight Management Specialist, and Sports Nutritionist. Although this accreditation can not be completed within 2015, I plan on beginning the process this year.

So as you can tell, as a busy trainer in alot of ways, I always make fitness, wellness, and nutrition a priority in my daily life. I try to encourage and inspire everyone I meet and know to follow a healthy life plan. Always remember that “the food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison.”

Scott Winters

Training for Two

            So as I’m sure most of you know, I’m pregnant with my first child. While I see most of you at the gym on occasion, I figured I’d give everybody an update into my world and what it’s been like training for two. Also, thoughts and ideas I’m using to stay motivated, things I’m learning to help during pre/post baby, and staying on track with my nutrition. Because let’s be honest, being pregnant doesn’t mean taking a nine-month hiatus from your exercise regimen, nor does getting to use the excuse eating for two. But it does mean taking a gentler approach to exercise and continued healthy eating. I’ve always said, “We’re all on different paths in our training”, and right now for me it’s definitely been different!

            I feel genuinely lucky to be going on 28 weeks pregnant and still being able to workout and run as much as I have without any major issues. Current research according to Prenatal & Postpartum Exercise Design Programming, has shown that regular exercise at moderate to somewhat hard levels of intensity during pregnancy has positive benefits. This includes reduced fat deposition/retention, shorter and less complicated labors, higher energy levels during and after pregnancy, greater tolerance of the physiological and psychological stresses of pregnancy, fewer physical complaints, and quicker postpartum recovery.

            So as I approached this new stage in my life, I was adamant that I would continue training the way I had been (running/strength training) as long as it wasn’t hindering the development of my baby. When my doctor gave me the ok, I continued running and lifting weights but just listened to my body. During my first and second trimester, nothing really seemed to change. I kept up with my running 4 miles every other day at least 3 times a week. I notice I was getting winded a little easier and slowly watching my time creep up on me for distance. But with that said, I realized that my body was working up to 30% harder than before to keep up with the demand of blood flow/volume and oxygen consumption. At this time, I just based everything on listening to my body, how do I feel, or using the RPE scale (Rate of Perceived Exhaustion). Same thing when it came to strength training. According to what I’ve learned in school and confirmation from my doctor, I was already training in this manner so I continued to maintain the movements I was already doing much like many of you, but just really concentrating on form, modifying, and concentrating on lots of core and yes Burpees!

            It’s definitely been hard at times, when I want to push a little harder or do more that I’ve been able to do in the past but just can’t. I, or often times my husband gently reminds me of how I’m growing a little human and need to remember that and train for that. My goals have needed to change, I’m not training to lose weight, run faster, or even maintain. Again, this became tricky considering the fact that inevitably I was getting bigger, slower, and more exhausted somedays. I find that when I’m training with my husband, like I do most often, I always feel better and uplifted. Or when I can get out and walk a few miles with friends, it not only helps me mentally but makes me feel better being active. Much like personal training, sometimes we need that trainer, or that group mentality to help encourage us and get us through a hard workout. That’s why I feel finding that group of people that you can train with, be it your trainer, friends, spouse, family, and especially your gym family, really is just as important as the workout. Having that comradery while you’re trying to achieve that fitness goal is crucial and why I love getting to do my job and watch clients not only achieve their goals but encourage each other, keep tabs on each other- it’s what makes us keep coming back for the torture! Believe me when I say, I’m encouraged to continue on and keep striving because of watching our awesome clients that we have strive to meet goals, its truly empowering and makes me motivated to hang in there till I can get back to where I’d like to be after baby.

            Stay tuned as I update you guys on my most recent learning experience from being pregnant…how important it is to keep up with our stretching and rehab exercises!!                      

Robyn Morris



We would like your help with our next t-shirt slogan! Enter your ideas down below in the comments section. The trainers will choose the top 5 slogans and then everyone will vote for the winning slogan. If your slogan is chosen win a free t-shirt with your slogan!! Examples of slogans in the past:


“Start strong….finish stronger”






Can you tell us a little bit about your background personally and professionally?

Well, I am a graduate of the University of Central Florida (UCF) with a Criminal Justice degree. I’ve been married to my husband for little over 11 and ½ years. Flash forward a few years, a move up to Jacksonville and not knowing what I really wanted to do, I started getting into running and working out. I had always “semi worked out”, but I was never the sporty person and it always seemed like it was something I “had to do”. It wasn’t until I started running in different 5K’s and really pushing myself in the gym, that I really found that competitive edge. From there I became addicted to how good I was feeling and enjoying the stress relief it provided. That’s when I thought to myself, why don’t I do this for a living? So back to school I went, and became a certified personal trainer with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and started working here at Definition Fitness in 2012.

Tell us a little about your own personal training style or preferred methods?

I personally love strength training with functional movements and Olympic lifts. I enjoy anything leg related and feeling that burn (squats, lunges, or deadlifts). I usually rotate through the week on different areas of the body or movements and run about 4 miles every other day (3-4 times). I prefer to spice it up (so I don’t get bored) with a little bit of HITT or circuit training too. That way it combines strength training with some type of aerobic/high intensity exercise.

However lately, it probably hasn’t been as intense as I’d like. I guess I’ll go ahead and put this public announcement out there, “I am pregnant with my first little baby” and as a personal trainer I knew stopping working out was never an option, maybe a change up but never stopping. It definitely has been an eye opening experience to say the least, from seeing my run times diminish, to just being a little more winded than usual and tired. However, knowing everything that I was taught in my pre/post partum training cert., I knew that as long as I listened to my body and didn’t try anything new that I haven’t done before becoming pregnant, my baby and I would both benefit from keeping up with my training in the long run. To this day I am still maintaining being active running and strength training and feel great! Now a day women are encouraged to continue training because it can help boost your energy, sleep better, reduce discomfort, prepare for labor, reduce stress, improve self image, and help get your body back into shape post baby. I am excited and looking forward to my own experiences to come…the good and the tough. I believe this will only help me learn and grow as a trainer and hopefully help me to help others that are on their own different journeys.

So how do you train your clients and why do you believe in personal training?

Usually training programs for my clients are dependent on their fitness assessments and goals. Since I believe in training for functional movements, I tend to incorporate those types of movements that we can all benefit from like squatting down properly, picking up heavy equipment or kids up properly. I like to have clients consistently perform certain major compound movements, like squats, deadlifts, presses, and core on a regular basis so I can see how they improve. Also I like using supplementary exercises (cardio, burpees, box jumps, kb swings, step ups) to throw in, to mix it up and keep them moving.                                                                                                            I believe in personal training, because we all struggle with something in our lives and if I can help in some way be that tool to help a client achieve a fitness goal, then it (they) are worth it. Whether its getting them to run/walking their first 5K, perform their first squat properly, or excel them in a lift they already perform but need to take it to the next level, or just being that support system when they don’t have that and need it to reach that goal, I believe in being that for my client. As personal trainers we have a responsibility to help educate, direct, and lead by example, that being healthy doesn’t have to be difficult you just have to want that for yourself and be committed to making that change.

Indoor cycling Classes at Definition Fitness

10690316_10152241264986831_4945960792327945286_nWe currently have 3 indoor cycling classes at Definition Fitness: Tuesdays and Fridays at 12:15pm  for the lunch crunch workout (45 minutes), and Sunday mornings at 9am for a one-hour weekender workout.  Created and lead  by our certified Spinning instructor, these classes can only be found at Definition Fitness!


Sign up online at and click on “schedule a class”.

Here are some interesting facts about indoor cycling and its benefits.  Did you know…

  1. Indoor cycling uses specific hand positions and five core movements. Hand positions 1, 2 and 3 are identified by the area where your hands should be placed onto the handlebar. Use a relaxed grip to avoid neck and shoulder tension. The five core movements are seated flat, seated climb, standing flat, standing climb and jumps. The different positions target different muscles.
  2. The average indoor cyclist can burn 400-600 calories during a 40 minute workout when averaging 80-110 rpm’s – an equivalent to 15-20 road miles.
  3. Indoor cycling is a low impact workout that enhances your cardiovascular health and is easy on the knees and other joints. Indoor cycling also improves strength and diabetes control, reduces blood pressure and helps with weight loss.
  4. Indoor cycles can be adjusted to different levels of resistance to simulate various terrain and road conditions and to accommodate different fitness levels.
  5. Indoor cycling is a great full body workout, and emphasizes the legs, lungs and heart.
  6. Indoor cycling classes use high-energy music to motivate participants to reach their speed and endurance goals.
  7. Indoor cycling participants may experience a rush of endorphins that can aid in mental health. Benefits include better sleep, lower stress levels and deeper relaxation.
  8. Indoor cycling programs use visualization to achieve a mind-body connection for participants and encourage students to focus on their body movements and deep breathing.




The fastest most efficient way to burn fat.

  • Tabata is a form of High intensity interval training. (H.I.I.T.)
  • Generally a 2:1 ratio of intense working to recovery periods.
  • Tabata can be utilized through many different methods, for example: The following regimens are commonly used by performing continuous exercise for four minutes or 8 cycles:
  • 40 sec. hard sprinting : 20 seconds of rest (performed 4 – 30 min.) or
  • 20 seconds of maximum effort exercise: 10 seconds of rest.

The aerobic, metabolic, and strength benefits to this model of training are as follows:

  • Fat oxidation is elevated significantly for up to three hrs after the workout. Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) can remain elevated for 36-48 hours post exercise.
  • Dramatic reduction in total body fat, (visceral and sub-Q fat in the torso and extremities),  decreases insulin resistance, increases EPOC , AKA. “afterburn”, by increasing metabolic rate.  The effect of EPOC is the greatest after the exercise is complete and decreases as the rest period ensues.  Measurable effects exist up to 36- 48 hours post exercise. This form of exercise optimizes fat utilization for energy during exercise and after exercise for up to two days!  Ask your instructor if you are interested in Tabata today!

15 % off massages for a limited time only!

Definition Fitness is announcing DISCOUNTED MASSAGES with Thom Moody for a limited time only….
Starting Monday, July 14th enjoy 15 % off massages (applies to 1/2 hour massage and full hour). This offer will be available until Monday, August 4th. Take advantage of this incredible offer and make an appointment (or many appointments) ASAP! You can stop by the desk and make an appointment or call us at (904) 398-6642.

Definition Fitness Has Joined The World Of Pinterest

Calling all Pinterest lovers…Definition Fitness now has a Pinterest account. Please follow us!! There are healthy recipes, funny sayings to help brighten your day, and inspirational fitness quotes to motivate you. We will keep adding more as time goes on and we hope our page will make you smile, keep you motivated, and inspire you.  Happy Pinning! The link is below: