Warm Ups For Cold Weather Workouts

Warm Ups For Cold Weather Workouts

Well the weather outside is frightful… but don’t let that deter you from your winter workout routine! It’s important that when the weather gets cold and frosty you take the time to properly warm up your body before jumping into your training. Warm-ups can help improve performance and reduce risk of injury1, especially when the weather is cold and your muscles feel tighter than normal.

Some helpful tips for warming yourself up before starting your workout include:

  1. Bring your warmup and workout routine into the gym! Staying indoors will help keep your core body temperature at a higher level than if you were to go on an outdoor run. (Find an LA Fitness near you, here!)
  2. A quick 15-minute run on the treadmill or warmup on the bike.
  3. Jumping jacks.
  4. Dynamic stretches such as walking lunges, leg swings and arm circles (read more about the benefits of stretching here).
  5. Take a dip in our 25-meter heated lap pools, or get your body feeling nice and relaxed in one of our relaxing saunas.*
  6. Squats, squats and more squats. The burn of that exercise sticks around all year.
  7. Walking. Simply taking a walk around the gym, your home, or a track can help warm up your muscles by getting them moving. Add in upper body stretches while you’re walking

Andrea Fradkin, an associate professor of exercise science at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, suggests that for every 10°F drop below 30°F you extend your pre-workout warmup by five minutes.2  While not all regions experience extreme drops in temperatures, it’s important to keep in mind that even a slight drop in temperature can still be a shock when your body isn’t used to it.

Did You Know?

According to Gerald Endress, an exercise physiologist and fitness director at the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center, the ideal temperature for working out is between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.3 However, personal preferences may impact this.

How to Dress

It may go without being said that cold weather calls for warmer clothes. Even though you may be gearing up for a sweaty workout, be sure to dress in layers so you can remove the extra clothing when your temperature rises, and then add it back on when your core body temperature cools. If you’re opting for an outdoor workout, consider wearing protective gear for your face, ears, hands and feet. When dressing in layers, try wearing a synthetic material, something that will wick away moisture from your skin.4 The second layer should help insulate, think a fleece or wool layer, and the third layer should be a breathable/waterproof material (depending on outdoor conditions). Use your best judgment contingent on the weather, and take into account whether you are working out indoors or outdoors.

To find an LA Fitness near you, click here, and avoid the outdoor chill.

*Amenities vary by location.


  1. O’Mara, Kelly. “The Art of Warming Up in Cold Weather | MapMyRun.” Under Armour, 8 Aug. 2017, blog.mapmyrun.com/art-warming-cold-weather/.
  2. Ibid
  3. George, Shannon. “Is It Better to Workout in the Cold or Hot?” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 11 Sept. 2017, www.livestrong.com/article/423074-is-it-better-to-workout-in-the-cold-or-hot/.
  4. Schwecherl, Laura. “When Is It Too Cold to Exercise Outside?” Greatist, Greatist, 6 June 2016, greatist.com/fitness/it-safe-exercise-cold.

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Member Spotlight | The Breaking Point

Member Spotlight | The Breaking Point

Tyler I., December 2013

It was a day like any other. Tyler I., of Brookhaven, PA, was getting ready for work, sitting on the couch and tying his boots just like every other morning. However, on this particular day when Tyler stood up to finish getting ready, he found himself out of breath from simply tying his shoes. This was his breaking point. At only 22-years-old, Tyler was 6’1” and weighed 365 lbs., suffered from joint pain and high blood pressure, and was borderline diabetic. When Tyler realized how out of breath he was from tying his shoes, he knew things needed to change. Tyler shared that the change didn’t start a couple days later, or a week later, it started that day. He committed himself to a complete lifestyle change.

Tyler began educating himself on how the body works. He read about macronutrients and how the body processes calories in versus calories out. (Read more about macronutrients here.) He wisely estimated his maximum caloric intake based on his body and began to carefully create a meal plan for himself. While this took care of the nutrition part of things, Tyler now needed to focus on the exercise portion. He joined LA Fitness in March of 2017, and began doing 25 minutes of cardio per day, 7 days a week, with very minimal weight lifting. His initial goal was to get rid of his fat first and then begin building muscle.

“The change didn’t start a couple days later, a week later, it started that day.”

Tyler I.

LA Fitness Member

Slowly over time, Tyler increased the time he spent on cardio. His two favorite cardio machines were the elliptical and Stairmaster, which he said really helped him “feel the burn”! Towards the end of an 8-month period, Tyler was spending up to 3 hours per day in the gym and was down 150 lbs.! He now weighed 215 lbs.,  and he was proud of the change he had made. While he was satisfied with the weight he had lost, Tyler now decided it was time to start building some lean muscle. This was the hardest part for him. Up until now, Tyler had enjoyed watching the numbers on the scale continually drop. However, as Tyler had learned, in order to gain muscle, he needed to increase his calorie consumption! It seemed completely counterintuitive to what Tyler had been doing prior, but he knew it was something he had to overcome in order to obtain the results he desired.

“The human mind is a very, very powerful thing. Once you fully understand the power your brain holds, you will truly realize your potential. When you are truly dedicated to something, you can and will make it happen. You cannot be half in and half out. With full dedication towards your goals, anything is possible. Set a goal, don’t lose focus and keep going until you achieve that goal. You may hit roadblocks along the way, keep pushing through them and come out stronger!”

Tyler I.

LA Fitness Member

Tyler began getting serious about his weight training, and to this day, continues working out 7 days a week in order to achieve his future goal of competing in a fitness competition – and we believe in him! Tyler never dreamed that at 365 lbs., with a long list of health issues, he’d be where he is today. His relentless drive helped push him to accomplish his goals and build a healthy future for himself. Not only has Tyler turned his life around, but he acts as an inspiration to many who hope to do the same. As Tyler shared, “…with the right mindset, anything is possible!”


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Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


It feels good to feel comfortable, right? It’s safe, it’s familiar, and in that state of comfort nothing changes – but is that a good thing?

There is a saying that states, “Great things never came from comfort zones” (Author Unknown), so why limit yourself to a life of mediocrity? That may be tough to swallow, but it’s the words that many who want to make a change need to hear. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary; however, challenging yourself helps push you further than you ever could imagine.

Now take a moment to reflect upon something you’ve wanted to change, improve upon, or take a risk on in your life – let’s make it a reality. The fact is, many of us want to make changes for the better, but it’s hard taking that first step. As part of the LA Fitness family, you are surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals all working towards personal improvements of their own. You are not alone in the journey.

Everyone Has a Story

The you today will not be the same you 5 years from now, and that’s a good thing! Push yourself daily to become a better you than the day before, and you’ll be proud looking back at how far you’ve come. However, it’s easier said than done. The fear of the unknown can hold you back from experiencing some of the greatest moments you can imagine, and accomplishing more than you ever thought possible, but we’re here to say: it can be done.

  1. Get to the gym.
  2. Stay motivated.
  3. Keep your goals close, and your reasons for wanting to accomplish them even closer.
  4. Track your progress.
  5. Don’t let small setbacks discourage you.
  6. Celebrate success.

If you feel like you could use a little extra motivation, consider signing up for a training session with one of our Pro Results® personal trainers.* They can help answer your PT-related questions, assist in designing a customized workout plan for you, and provide ongoing motivation and support.

However, if you’re not quite ready to set up a PT appointment, or you just feel more comfortable working out on your own, you can still benefit from the support of your fellow LA Fitness community. Share your Commit to Fit goals with us for a chance to be featured on Living Healthy! Regardless of where you are at on your journey to becoming a healthier and more fit you, we believe in you.

Already an LA Fitness member? Do you feel like encouraging a friend or family member to join you on your path to success? Send them a 14-day guest pass here.

*Personal training services require an additional agreement and are subject to additional fees.

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Macro-nutrients & Bodybuilding | Q+A

Macro-nutrients & Bodybuilding | Q+A


I have done body building in the past and know that the perfect combination of protein/carbs/fats produce results with respect to giving the body what it needs to develop lean muscle and lose fat. This is done in part by measuring body fat and weight. How would you calculate this because I had someone do it for me in the past and don’t know how to do it myself. It was broken down into total protein, carbs and fats for the  whole day and further broken down per meal. Can you duplicate this process?

– Alisa O.


I will admit that I am not sure what “perfect combination” of macro-nutrients you are referring to. One’s individual body composition can be used to help create personal nutritional goals. Actual nutrient needs are much more complex and depend on protein turnover, nitrogen loss and metabolism. Also, nutrient quality, timing and frequency have an impact on developing lean muscle and losing fat.

That said, I like the summary bodybuilding recommendations from an article in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition*:

Diet component                                     Recommendation

Protein (g/kg of lean body mass)           2.3-3.1

Fat (% of total calories)                          15-30%

Carbohydrate (% of total calories)          remaining

Let’s work through these with a sample 2,000 calorie diet for a 160-pound person with 15% body fat.

  • His or her lean body mass is 62 kg (from 72.73 kg x 0.85).
  • Protein: Recommended range is 142-192 grams (from 62 kg x 2.3-3.1 g/kg). Energy-wise, this amount of protein provides 568-768 calories.
  • Fat: Recommended range is 300-600 calories (from 2,000 x .15-0.3). This equates to 33-67 grams of fat.
  • Carbohydrate energy would be the remainder; we’ll use the range midpoints to get 882 calories (from 2,000 – 668 protein – 450 fat). By grams, this would be 220 grams of carbohydrate.

Apply the recommendations to your own anthropometrics and total energy need to get a possible ideal combination of macro-nutrients for your goals.

*Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation.  Helms, ER, Aragon AA, Fitschen PJ. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 201411:20

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Here’s How to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau

Here’s How to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau

You’re exercising and you’re eating right, so why have you hit a weight loss wall? It’s frustrating and easy to start sliding back into old bad habits when it seems like your progress has come to a screeching halt, but don’t be discouraged. Weight loss plateaus are normal, but what causes them? Well, a few factors can play into this:

  1. You’ve lost your water weight due to the help of glycogen, partly made of water, being burned for energy. This weight loss effect is only temporary.1
  2. You may have lost some muscle in the weight loss process, causing your metabolism to decline. Muscle helps provide a higher caloric-burn rate, so when you lose muscle you slow your metabolism, causing the body to burn fewer calories than before.2
  3. You’re eating more calories than you’re burning. As you lose weight, you have to make sure you’re adjusting your workout and caloric intake to match the goal you’re looking to achieve. You may have to amp up your exercise routineand/or change up your diet. Sometimes the body will get used to a routine and stop giving the results you desire because it needs to be jump-started again with a new-targeted exercise. Try switching things up.

The main factor to remember is NOT TO SLIP BACK INTO BAD HABITS. Remind yourself daily that you’ve become healthier and stronger than before. A number on a scale does not define success. Some tips that may help you overcome the fitness funk can be found below:

  • Focus on the quality of the food you’re eating, rather than just calorie count. Consuming protein burns more calories during digestion and it contains the amino acid leucine, which helps provide the body with energy.
  • Make proper sleep a priority. Yes, it may seem counterintuitive, but allowing your body the time it needs to rest can reset your hormones.3 Also, sleep deprivation increases the risk of your body developing higher levels of cortisol (dubbed the “stress hormone”), and elevated levels of this hormone can lead to an increase in body fat – especially around the midsection!
  • Have you tried drinking more water? If you find yourself hungry but you’re already consuming an adequate number of calories, opt for a glass of H20. That may help curb cravings and prevent overeating.


  • Make sure strength training is incorporated into your workout routine along with cardio. Strength training will help the body build muscle, which helps burn more calories. Therefore, this can lead to more fat being

Still not seeing results? If you feel like your weight loss plateau is lasting a lot longer than expected, check with your physician to make sure there are no underlying medical issues.


  1. “Weight Loss Stalled? Move Past the Plateau.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 7 Jan. 2015, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss-plateau/art-20044615.
  2. Ibid
  3. Larue, Kristina. “10 Tips to Overcome a Weight-Loss Plateau | MyFitnessPal.” Under Armour, 17 Feb. 2015, blog.myfitnesspal.com/10-tips-to-overcome-a-weight-loss-plateau/.

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