Author Archives: The Kickboxing & Crosstraining Studio

How Kickboxing Combined with Cross Training Can Transform Your Workout

To keep a workout fun and worthwhile it’s good to mix things up and one way to do that could be through kickboxing. Doing the same workout week after week can get boring, but if you start throwing in some kicks and punches you may begin to see fresh results and feel a new invigorating energy. Adding kickboxing to a workout gives it a new, dynamic twist. Combine kickboxing with cross training by adding in TRX, Kettlebells, Chin ups, Box Jumps, Battle ropes, Climbing Ropes and sandbag training and you have a unique and challenging workout that is never the same!

The benefits to taking on such a workout are plentiful and worth the sweaty aches. Kickboxing can transform your workout and lead to further toning of your body and an increasing of endurance. Those two things are what everyone wants from a good workout. And you can still get a great workout without the physical contact of sparring. Let’s explore how kickboxing can do this.


Kickboxing is defined as the fighting technique of combining karate-type kicks with the punching of boxing. Both karate and boxing on their own are vigorous workouts, but the combination of them gives you the ability to workout both your upper and lower body. In addition, it takes stamina to get through a good kickboxing workout. Because of this, the cardio aspect to your workout will be covered.


The first transformational benefit you would see from adding kickboxing is through stretching. Most people do some stretching, but stretching without purpose can be done carelessly and even skipped. However, with kickboxing it is a necessity. Because you will be kicking and doing movements that you haven’t done before, it could lead to muscle stress. However, by starting with 15 minutes of stretching and warm-up exercises you will get more out of your muscles and…workout.

The Basics

There are some basics you can do in order to begin seeing the transformation results. The basics include punching, kicking and core training.


The punching part of the workout will include using heavy bags, ground & pound MMA floor bags or and focus pads. The art of performing this aspect of the workout properly is through a combination of punches. The quick jab and hook punch are the combination that will give you the ability to tone the upper arms, shoulders and chest. Performing these combinations over a two to five minute span of time will also get your heart pumping. This is done by increasing the speed and length of time performing these punches.


There are three primary kicks to start out with; they are front, side and roundhouse kicks. The best place to start is just kicking at nothing. Stretching will help increase your kicking range. Eventually, you can work up to kicking the bag, pads or punching dummy. The leg muscles will quickly get toned because the entire leg will be used through the aspects of maintaining a strong balance and stance while performing multiple sets of kicks.

Core Training

The core of your body, which includes the abs and lower back muscles, will get an unintentional workout just by performing the punching and kicking training. However, a full kickboxing workout should include strengthening the abdominal and back muscles through such exercise as crunches and side bends. Building the core will help your movements get better and grow your stamina, as well as tone your body.

Each aspect will work the major muscles of the body. The combination of using the muscles in such a quick manner tones as well as develops an endurance that can speed up the metabolism. It won’t take long to see the benefits of this body transforming workout. By adding in other elements of cross training will further develop a strong lean body and amazing core strength.

For more information on Kickboxing and cross training classes in Medicine Hat, contact Dana, the owner of the Kickboxing Studio 403-504-8953 or heartbreakerfitness@gmail.comman boxing

How to Get Ripped: Go From Average to Lean in 12 Weeks

burn fat build muscle

My Get Ripped Diet
When I started, I was already a fairly healthy eater. I had eliminated grains from my diet because of a gluten sensitivity and decided to try to remove most dairy, too, because of a childhood milk allergy. So I was left with fruit, vegetables, lean meats, legumes, tubers, and healthy fats like nuts and avocado. I decided that since I was building muscle, I should focus on lots of protein and veggies, so I made that the central focus of each meal. Here was my daily plan:
Meal 1 – 2 eggs + lean meat + starchy carb + fruit
Meal 2 – protein shake with protein + fruit + leafy green vegetable + healthy fat
Meal 3 – lean meat + veggie or legume + veggie
Meal 4 – lean meat + veggie or legume + veggie
Meal 5 – protein + healthy fat
So here is what a typical day looked like:
Meal 1 (7am) – 2 egg omelet with seasoned ground turkey, bell peppers, 1/2 sweet potato, and apple slices
Meal 2 (12pm, post-workout) — protein shake with whey (I have since eliminated whey powder, read why here), 1/2 cup frozen fruit, 2T of flaxseed, 1 cup of baby spinach – here’s how to make a perfect healthy smoothie.
Meal 3 (2pm) – grilled chicken breast with alfalfa sprouts, bell pepper slices, avocado, tomato, and onion wrapped in 2 collard green leaves
Meal 4 (6pm) – salad w/ field greens, smoked salmon, red and green onion, red and green bell peppers, walnuts, cucumber, celery, balsamic vinegar/olive oil for dressing
Meal 5 (9pm) – steamed edamame or mixed nuts
Looking for your own healthy meal plan? Here’s a 4 week one I created for you.
Here were some guidelines I set up for myself:
alcohol was limited to social engagements only, and then red wine or clear liquor/soda was top choice
all fruit and carbohydrates consumed before 3pm (read more here about nutrient timing)
2.5-3L of water everyday (read more here about how much water you should be drinking)
organic and grass-fed foods whenever possible
“fun” or “cheat” meals once a week, or during social engagements, or when I felt like I needed one, not to exceed 1500 calories
avoid pasta, bread, grains, and cheese as much as possible (for reasons stated above)
no artificial sweeteners or sugar, besides a teaspoon of raw sugar or honey in my coffee
I followed these serving sizes
Addicted to diet sodas and artificial sweeteners? Here’s how to kick the habit.
For the most part if I followed this plan I didn’t have to count calories, just journaling for accountability.
My Workout to Get Ripped
Before this plan, I alternated traditional strength training and cardio at the gym 5 days a week. I found HIIT bodyweight workouts on YouTube one day when I couldn’t make it to the gym with a sick child, and after that day I never went back and have been working out at home ever since.
Read more here about HIIT training and why you should try it.
When you first start HIIT, 1 or 2 times per week is enough-it can be hard on your central nervous system and leave you with too much of a negative energy balance, which will stall your efforts and make you feel like crap. Sub another type of workout in the meantime until you can do it more often. Here is what my workout schedule looked like each week once I worked up to HIIT 3x a week:
Monday – 40 minutes of circuit training (full body strength training with 2 minute intervals of cardio, like jump rope, in between sets)
Tuesday – active rest day (walking, yoga, etc.)
Wednesday – HIIT workout – 12-20 minutes + 20 minutes of cardio (running or jump rope)
Thursday – cardio (run or jump rope) 30 minutes
Friday – HIIT workout – 12-20 minutes + 20 minutes of cardio (running, jump rope)
Saturday – active rest day (walking, yoga, etc)
Sunday – HIIT track and field workout, 30-40 min (combination of plyometrics, sprints, tire flips, broad jumps, stadium running, etc., completed at local high school track)
Everyday I also walked to pick up my children from school, about 1.5 miles.
I found my HIIT workouts through Zuzana Light, Nike Training Club and just using Google or YouTube to search. Here are more fitness apps that I like to use.
Are you working on these 7 fitness goals?
I’m Not Always “Ripped”
This is not a year-round plan for me. It’s a tool I use every so often to reach a goal, but it’s not my lifestyle. I use it before summer, I used it to get in shape for my wedding, or to get ready for a photoshoot. The rest of the year I’m much more flexible with what I eat and how often I eat, although the number one priority is always health. I am still in good shape, but with a little higher body fat percentage. I buckle down and follow these guidelines for 12 weeks to reach that goal for whatever reason, then I’m back to just eating whole foods and balance. (I do follow this exercise routine year-round but it’s because I really enjoy it.)

– From Coach Calorie

Take a look at the rest of my blog! For information about any of my classes – please contact Dana 403-504-8953 or
Dana owns and operates The Kickboxing Studio within Heartbreaker Dance & Fitness in Medicine Hat, Alberta and specializes in Fitness Kickboxing, Cross Training, and specialized classes such as Dangerous Curves, Fit & Fab Over 50, Teen Fitness, Men’s MXC, Pole Fitness, Pilates and group bookings for Stagettes, Birthday Parties and Girls Night Out!

Be Fit! Have Fun! Feel Fabulous!

group outside

I know I know – who wants to think about Fall when summer isn’t even half way over, BUT it may be worth planning ahead as we have some great programs you don’t want to miss!!

This is a fitness and nutrition program designed specifically for teens ages 13-17 to teach and to inspire the development of a positive and healthy body image! Teens will participate in fitness classes, learning about proper form in using equipment to learning the basics of kickboxing in class formats that are super fun yet challenging. Teens will also learn about their Body Mass Index, what healthy eating looks like and showing them ways to look and feel their best! It’s all about being healthy and fit! It’s not about skinny! Classes run from 4:00pm – 5:00 pm – Tuesdays & Thursdays. This program starts Oct 1! Register before Sept 1 and get 15% off! Limited spots available to ensure these teens get our full attention! For more information or to register, please contact Dana at 403-504-8953 or by email:

Fit & FAB OVER 50 with Nutrition!
Just because you are over 50 doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel your best! For the past 2 years, running low to medium impact fitness classes for women over 50, we are now offering it with nutrition! Coming this Fall we will teach women over 50 how to eat clean and healthy, what their calorie intake should be based on their age, their weight, their height and their fitness level! How women can fire up their metabolism to burn fat and gain more energy! This program starts Oct 1, however the fitness classes are available until then. Classes run M, T, W & Th from 5:00 – 5:45. (Wed’s are nutrition classes! Register before Sept 1 and get 15% off! Limited spots are available to ensure these women get our full attention! for more information or to register, please contact Dana at 403-504-8953 or by email:

Trying to squeeze in a workout into your day? We have some great noon hour classes running from 12:10-12:50, including sweat free workouts to focus on building muscle definition and kickboxing + cross training workouts that are super fun, and super challenging using an array of the latest equipment! Come check us out in the Kickboxing Studio – the hidden gem of a studio located in the back alley of Heartbreaker!

Yummy Mommy is coming back! These are 9:30am classes M, W & F for moms and their babies! Moms can come and work out with their babies in the room – as long as the babies are not mobile. Childcare is available for toddlers. These are fun classes consisting of kickboxing, cross training, and so much more! Please contact Dana for more information or to register!

YES! We have classes just for the guys! They are challenging and different all the time – from kettlebells, kickboxing, cross training, TRX suspension training, weights, and so much more! If guys are looking for something different in a workout that will increase strength and endurance, these classes are it! Not sure? Give us a try for a week and see for yourself!

For the ultimate in super fun and super challenging classes unlike anything you get anywhere else, these classes are it! You will burn a ton of calories while learning to use heavy bags, ground and pound MMA bags, Focus pad training, Kettlebells, TRX Suspension training, RIP Trainers, weights and so much more!! These classes fill quickly so if you are interested, you will need to register as soon as possible. These classes run M-Th 6:15pm

Are you a women with Dangerous Curves? Do you feel intimidated going to the gym? Then this class is just for you! These are low to medium impact classes designed to make the plus size women gain confidence working out! If this is you, give Dana a call to get started today!

If one-on-one is more your style for working out, contact Dana to see availability for personal training sessions. Book and pay for 10 sessions up front and get 3 extra sessions free PLUS a nutrition session! You will get a variety of workouts from kickboxing, kettlebells, TRX suspension, weights and so much more! Call and ask for Dana direct at 403-504-8953 or email

How to Accelerate Muscle Recovery

It is essential to accelerate muscle recovery for a number of reasons. In order to get back into your fitness routine, incorporating a few healing techniques for sore muscles is essential. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting a fitness routine, giving the muscle time to repair itself is imperative to muscle recovery, which can affect your ability to exercise or train on a regular basis. No matter what your fitness level, you’ll be able to get back on track with your exercise routine by following these tips.

Start the day right, by having an egg white omelet in the morning. Egg whites have a solid amount of lean protein, which helps repair muscles and tissue within the muscles.

Eat low-fat peanut butter and celery sticks for a snack. The low fat peanut butter makes you feel satiated so you eat less the entire day.

Grab a low fat chicken fajita or a can of tuna in spring water for lunch. Eat this with whole grain crackers and low fat cheese; both have plenty of protein.

Prepare any type of beans you prefer for dinner. Soybeans, kidney beans, pinto beans and black beans are all great choices of lean proteins. Sprinkle with olives, salsa, and low-fat sour cream to add even more flavor.

Take a Rest to Restore Muscles

Allow your muscles enough time to recover from a strenuous workout, especially if you just started a fitness routine. Failing to take a well-needed rest for a day or two can result in muscle tears, which will make muscle recovery time even longer and may result in an ongoing injury.

Apply cold and hot compresses to sore, achy muscles. The heat works to alleviate pain, while the cold temperature helps to reduce swelling and inflammation of the muscles.

Exercise parts of the body that are not sore. For instance, if you did lunges and squats and it hurts to sit down, exercise your arms instead. Perform various bicep and tricep exercises with weights, to tighten and tone the muscles in the arms.

Stretch the Muscles Thoroughly

Stretch the muscles that are sore. For instance, if your legs become increasingly sore after exercise, make sure you stretch these muscles thoroughly.

Hold each stretch for a minimum of 10 seconds. Start out with shallow stretches and gradually increase the deepness of the stretch on each repetition.

Repeat this same stretching exercise on the other leg. Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions on each leg. Failure to stretch muscles after an intense workout leads to sore muscles and increases the likeliness of pulled muscles.

While you may not experience muscle soreness immediately after a workout, you may notice it a day or two later. Scientists believe that this swelling and stiffness is caused by biochemical changes within the body, which increase nerve sensitivity and leads to sore muscles. The muscles will experience soreness later.

When stretching it is important only to go as far as what is comfortable for you. As soon as you begin to feel any form of discomfort, stop and take it back to starting position. Stretching too deeply can result in torn ligaments. Use slow and controlled movements to prevent this from occurring.

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Dana is the owner of the Kickboxing Studio located within Heartbreaker Dance & Fitness and home to specialized classes like kickboxing, cross training, women over 50, plus size ladies, 30 Day Challenges and Men’s MXC. For a free personalized fitness consultation, please call Dana 403-504-8953 or email

How To Rekindle That Lost Drive For Fitness – by Coach Calorie

Here is a great article I came across on “How to Rekindle That Lost Drive for Fitness” by Coach Calorie. We have all been there at one time or another so here’s a bit of advise that may help get you inspired once again!

I am human. I have gone through long periods of time where my fitness has regressed to the point that it drives me into a state of depression. My binge eating disorder takes over and pushes me into a negative feedback cycle of emotional eating and unhappiness with both my internal and external self. Sometimes it feels like I’m falling into a black hole with nothing to grab onto to pull myself out of. I think you know what I’m talking about.

Fortunately, I have always been able to find a way to rekindle that lost drive for fitness, and I hope my own personal experiences can not only help you, the person who has also lost their motivation, but also the person who is testing the fitness waters for the very first time.

Fitness Is About YOU

One of the biggest mistakes I continually make is trying to stay fit for everyone else but me. It’s difficult for someone like myself who’s job is to coach and inspire individuals to live a healthy lifestyle. However, to truly be successful for the long-term, you have to get it out of your head that fitness is an external activity, and instead come to the realization that fitness is an inner happiness that only you can control and be part of.

Once you understand that you are the owner of your body, mind, and spirit, and that nobody else’s opinion of you in this world matters, you take a giant leap forward in the evolution of your fitness being. No longer will you be shackled by the negativity of insecurity, or the outside pressures from family, friends, strangers, or society in general. It’s just you against you, and that’s the way it should be. Striving to be a better you is all that matters.

It Only Takes One Small Change

By now I’m sure you’ve heard that small changes can make a big difference. We are creatures of habit, and destructive behaviors can very easily get rooted into our daily lifestyles. Sometimes it seems impossible to see that end goal through the thick fog of negative feelings. The good news is that you don’t need to see the end, you only have to take that first step.

Creating change and breaking old habits is a difficult thing to do. The key is to do something different, anything that’s outside of your normal routine that will take you one small step closer to your goal. You might just be surprised at how big of an impact these small changes can make. A new thought or positive habit can set off a firestorm of activity in your brain that translates into a physical snowball effect.

You never know what’s going to be that driving force that changes your life, but I can assure you that if you do nothing, nothing will ever change. Every physical manifestation in this world started as a single thought. Take that thought and make it an action and then go with the flow. You never know how it might change your life, forever.

Dana Gackle is the owner of The Kickboxing Studio and the Pole Studio located within Heartbreaker Dance & Fitness. We specialize in group fitness for Fitness Kickboxing, Cross Training, Spartan Training, Specialty classes for Plus Size Women, Women Over 50, Teen Fitness, Men’s MXC, Outdoor Fitness and Pole Fitness!

Call or Text 403-504-8953
Follow me on Twitter @heartbreakerfit

Summer Fitness – Staying Motivated

Whether you want to get your body ready for swimsuit season or stay fit during the summer months, it’s important to find a fitness routine that you can maintain. These tips will help you get motivated and keep moving for a healthier body.

Shake things up – Having a variety of fitness activities works different parts of your body, keeps you engaged in the process, and ensures you have some way to exercise no matter what the weather is like. Lifting weights, swimming, cycling, walking, dancing — there are plenty of ways to have fun as you work out.

Buddy up with someone else – It’s harder to avoid exercising when you’ve made a commitment to someone else that you’ll be there. Partnering with a friend can make activities more fun, and you and your partner can help each other be accountable for working out.

•Set a regular time and place to meet. Set ground rules for when it’s acceptable to miss a session and how you’re to communicate.

•Make sure your partner is equally committed.

•Have common fitness goals.

•Be sure you have similar fitness levels and abilities.

Reward yourself – Changing behavior is hard, but little rewards along the way can help you stay motivated. You might enjoy a new pair of walking shoes when you reach 5,000 steps a day or a new DVD after sticking to your plan for 30 days.

•Set achievable goals. It won’t help you to set goals you can’t meet — you’ll either injure yourself or be constantly discouraged. It’s OK to start small and work your way up.

•Make sure the rewards are appropriate. Enjoying a calorie-laden meal or sugary treat after hitting a goal isn’t the way to go. Look for non-food related rewards that will help motivate you to keep going.

It’s easier — and more fun — than you might think to get in shape for the summer and find a fitness program you love. – Michael French

In the Kickboxing Studio – we have a variety of classes to keep you on track this summer that includes both indoor and outdoor workouts to keep things new, interesting and challenging and keep you fit all summer long!

Whether you like fitness kickboxing, crosstraining with a variety of equipment like box jumps, chin up bars, gymnastics rings, ropes, kettlebells, trx suspension training, weights, or cardio, we have it all! We are not a gym! We specialize in the best group fitness classes that are fun, challenging, and always different creating muscle confusion helping to give you the best results! Our studio is non intimidating! You can start anytime! The classes range from beginner to advanced levels. We also offer personal training as well as open studio workouts in the mid afternoon where you can use our equipment and get a workout of the day you can follow.

Dana Gackle is the owner of the Kickboxing Studio within Heartbreaker Fitness and specializes in group fitness for co-ed kickboxing, crosstraining, sweat free noons, teen fitness, classes for women over 50, classes for plus size women, and classes just for the guys! For more information or to register, call or text Dana 403-504-8953 or email Follow me on Twitter @heartbreakerfit


9:30 – Tuesdays & Thursdays Crosstraining
12:10 – Almost Sweat Free Noons – varied and combined classes for the summer you won’t get anywhere else!
5:15pm – 30 Day Fitness Challenge – Challenging classes for beginner to intermediate fitness levels! Learn how to fire up your metabolism to burn fat! Smoothie Tasting Days! A great way to challenge yourself!
6:15pm – Intermediate Co-ed Kickboxing
7:15pm – Advanced Kickboxing, Combat Crosstraining, Outdoor Fitness, Spartan Training
Saturdays 10am! – Outdoor Fitness is a great way to add to your fitness regime!

Unlimited summer class membership (7 weeks) only $145 plus GST
Register now and enjoy the benefits of group fitness!

Steps for Healthy Nutrition

We know about the importance fitness plays into our health and we also know that we need to eat healthy. For most it’s easier to workout than to eat healthy, but in order to be as healthy and fit as we can possibly be, it needs to be a combined effort.

If you find that you are working out consistently and giving it your all, but you are still not getting the results you are looking for, you need to look at your diet. When I refer to diet, I don’t mean a calorie restricted “diet”, but looking at what you are actually eating AND if you are eating enough.

Here are some steps you need to know in order to eat healthy.

1) Organize your meals and your kitchen – Set yourself up for success!

2) Make sure you eat enough protein – protein burns fat! But you need to know how much, since eating too much can be stored as fat!

3) Make sure you are choosing the right kinds of carbohydrates – do you understand the difference between simple and complex carbs?

4) Eat more Fruits and Vegetables!

5) Don’t eliminate fat from your diet. You need good fat in your diet. Do you know the difference between good fats and bad fats?

6) Eat more often. Do you know if you are eating enough? Do you know how many calories you should be consuming each day based on your age, your weight, your height, your gender, and your fitness level?

7) Water! Are you drinking enough? And do you understand the importance of sufficient water consumption and the important role it plays?

8) Be Active Every Day! For the health of your cardiovascular system and to prevent bone loss as we age, we need to keep our body healthy and strong by being active!

Here’s a healthy recipe to start your day off right!

Healthy Breakfast Multigrain Porridge

3 cups low fat milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup multigrain cereal such as Red River
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan, bring milk and salt to a boil. Whisk in multigrain cereal, walnuts, maple syrup and vanilla. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking constantly for 6-7 minutes or until desired thickness.

Makes 4 servings

per serving (based on 2% milk) about 349 cal, 14 g protein, 14 g total fat, 45 g carbs, 5 grams fibre, 393 grams sodium

For more information about this or any blog posts, please contact Dana at 403-504-8953 or or follow me on Twitter @heartbreakerfit

Kickboxing Studio Summer Schedule


9:30 – 10:10am – 30 Day Fitness Challenge! Blast Off Body Weight Fitness Challenge to building a stronger you! Includes tips on how to fire up your metabolism! Goal Setting and so much more! M-F – only $99 plus GST! We include smoothie tasting days as well! This is a co-ed class! Starts July 1st! Introductory rate for this morning session – Register with a workout partner and pay $150 for both!

Noon hour workouts! 12:10 – 12:50 For the summer we are combining The Energy Studio’s noon hour bootcamp workouts with the Kickboxing Studio’s sweat free & kickboxing workouts for the best of both worlds! (alternating days) Only $65 plus GST / month M-Th

5:15pm – 30 Day Fitness Challenge! Blast Off Body Weight Fitness Challenge to building a stronger you! Includes tips on how to fire up your metabolism! M-F – only $99 plus GST! We include smoothie tasting days, goal setting and so much more! We just had our first Summer Shape Up 30 Day Challenge and it is a hit! Many are returning, so if you think this may be of interest to you – register asap! Only a few spots remain! Starts July 1st!

6:15pm – Co-ed Kickboxing! This is our most popular class consisting of kickboxing and crosstraining that includes chin ups, rope climbs, rings, equalizers, boxing, kicking and core stability work! These workouts are super challenging but also super fun! If you haven’t tried Kickboxing in awhile – you need to get in on this class! M-Th Only a few spots available! Only $99 inlcudes free Spartan weekend training! Register for the whole summer (exluding last week of Aug) for $150!

7:15pm – Spartan Training + Crosstraining + Outdoor Fitness! This is our newest time slot full of fun! This is for both men and women all levels of fitness as the workouts can be done at your own pace! It’s not who runs up the stairs the fastest – the goal is to get up the stairs! Maybe you choose heavier weights or lighter weights. You get choices on high impact or low impact exercises. So everyone gets challenged at their own level! We will also include mini challenges and tips to being fit! Only $99 or $150 for all summer (excluding last week of Aug) Includes free weekend training!

Spartan Training Only! – Thursdays at 7:15pm and weekends! $28 plus GST for 1x week – $56 plus GST for 2x week!

Follow me on my blog for all the latest on fitness and nutrition tips

Follow me on Twitter @heartbreakerfit

A Day of Rest

We all need a day of rest at least one day per week to rest our mind, our bodies and our souls in order to feel refreshed, well rested and ready to go again. Without proper rest, we feel fatigued, burnt out, lacking energy, and just drained. The same is true for our muscles. It’s easy to get caught in thinking we have to work out every day of the week to gain results when in fact, we will gain greater strides in our fitness by giving our body sufficient rest. Giving our bodies 1-2 days off a week is a good thing to do. Once or even 2x / year, it’s even beneficial to give ourselves permission to take an entire week off and be okay with it. It will do your body good!

Here is some information on the subject of resting your muscles and why it’s so important to your training.

The Importance of Rest for Your Muscles – by Rita Chaney

What Happens to Muscles When You Exercise

When you exercise, you incur very small fissures or tears in the muscle. In essence, you damage (slightly) the muscles. When you take the next day or two off from working that particular muscle group, you allow your muscles to heal and thus increase in size and power. If you do not allow time for this healing to occur, your muscles may remain in a constant state of damage.

Rest Your Muscles

Your muscles need to have a day of rest just like you need to take time to rest after having a lot of activity. But why do your muscles need to rest? The fact is that your muscles utilize the resting time as an opportunity to build more mass. The resting time you provide for your muscles to recuperate is as necessary as your time spent working out.


There is a phenomenon called “over-training” which occurs when a person does not avail oneself of rest time and thus over-trains his/her muscles. The muscles simply stay in a state of damage as they are not given resting time as an opportunity to repair. Allowing recuperation is probably the most important step in building larger and stronger muscles. Otherwise, the muscles are over-trained and simply not allowed time to rebuild and strengthen.

It is not unusual for people who over-train to become lethargic, feel fatigued and even get sick more frequently. So, allowing your muscles time to rest between your workouts is an important step to gaining more and stronger muscle.

Structuring Your Workouts

Most fitness experts agree that the muscle groups you work should be alternated from day to day. If you work upper body muscles on Monday, don’t work them again before Wednesday. In fact, some fitness experts claim that you should wait 48 hours before you work them again, which means you would not do upper body work again until Thursday in this example. Of course, you could work your lower body on Tuesday or Wednesday. Plus, feel free to do cardio training on the days you are resting a muscle group.

Understanding what happens to your muscles when you work out and when you rest is important to how you conduct your workouts. Over-training is never a good idea and can cause more harm than progress in meeting fitness goals. Finally, structure your workouts to allow muscles time to recuperate and build. Taking time to rest your muscles might be the key to a healthier, more muscular you.

Dana Gackle, author of this blog site, is owner of The Kickboxing Studio within Heartbreaker Dance & Fitness and is a Level 1 & Level 2 Fitness Kickboxing Instructor who specializes in classes created with all fitness levels in mind, from teens, men, plus size to women over 50.

The classes the Kickboxing Studio includes kickboxing, cross training, Spartan Training and Outdoor Fitness! Our motto is to keep our classes fun, challenging, and to inspire and encourage one another!

I can be reached directly by text or phone 403-504-8953, or by email and be sure to follow me on Twitter @heartbreakerfit

30 Day Fitness Challenges

If you are looking for a little fitness inspiration, a few goals to work towards and just something new – you might find 30 Day Fitness Challenges are just what you need!

Currently we have a 30 Day Fitness Challenge that targets the butt, legs, & core with a variety of training ranging from hill sprints, stairs, kickboxing, crosstraining and so much more! We added a 30 Day Sugar Detox into the mix, along with healthy smoothie tasting days to keep the challenge, fun, inspiring, interesting and rewarding! Did we mention there is a prize to be won? Win a “Train Like a Sexy Freak tank top, a bag of Shakeology Shake Mix and a Spray Tan (provided by Scissors & Sun)

In July we will be offering two new challenges!

The Blast Off Body Weight Challenge! A countdown to a stronger you! This is all about counting workouts, counting up, counting down, sprint 8’s and so much more! We are including information on how to rev up your metabolism to give you a few tools to getting your metabolism fired up in order to burn the fat!

This challenge will be offered at 9:30am and at 5:15pm Mon – Fri and consist of both indoor and outdoor workouts. Weekends will consist of a workout you do on your own (something low key like going for a 40 min walk on one day and/ or joining our outdoor fitness group on another day)!

The second challenge is to train for our end of Summer Obstacle Course Fun Run where you will tackle hills, stairs, sandpits, dragging, pulling and doing many of the things we do in our outdoor spartan training class! But we are kicking it up a notch to give you something to actually work towards! Oh and yes! There will be prizes to be won! Watch for upcoming details!
So if you are looking for a new challenge to keep you motivated for the summer – this is it!

For more information on these challenges or to register, make sure you contact me direct – Dana at 403-504-8953 or email me at We would love to have you be a part of this exciting new challenge! And make sure you follow me on Twitter!! @heartbreakerfit