tonya tittle memphis

June 10, 2021

I have created so many videos over the years that may be useful to you now or for you to at least have the knowledge and tools to prevent injuries in the future. Check out this at home, at a park, traveling, or at your gym you can do with minimal equipment such as a dowel, broomstick, golf club or just cross your arms across your chest as seen in short video below. Want to increase the intensity? Try a medicine ball, band, dumbbell or cable. I talk fast so you may wish to adjust your volume up.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients or people tell me they injured their back by lifting and twisting something and then are in pain anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Think about your muscles and fascia covering large portions of your body as having the ability to get adhesions or “cobwebs”. You just want to have as much range of motion and mobility as you can to avoid pinching or twisting something the wrong way. To do that you have to move the body in different motions and at different speeds and WITH GOOD FORM! Also making sure you breathe.

Try the exercise below slow at first especially if you are not warmed-up properly. A proper warm-up looks differently for different people and ages of individuals. As we age we need more time to warm-up the body (like say 15 minutes into the workout or if you have passively warmed up from a hot bath). Then you may progress to the faster sport motion. You will notice your core working to accelerate and decelerate to the other side.

How many Reps & Sets should I do?

Go for time: 20 seconds for 3 sets or…

Reps, Sets & Frequency: 30 reps each side for 3 sets, Can be done several times per week.

Note that you need to hip hinge and unlock the knees.

Be sure to rest in between sets so you can let your muscles recover. You know all the ATP can be regenerated, catch your breath…etc.

Side story: I have my 11 year old on a weight training program now. He is shown how to do it then is responsible for making it happen without me breathing down his neck. I do have to remind him to do the workouts though as he forgets he needs to do twice a week. He tries to speed through the sets and do all of the same exercise in a row with minimal rest just to get it over with (in his own words). I keep trying to tell him that is not how it works and if he’s doing that then he needs heavier weights and needs to slow down to use muscle and not momentum. He recently said, the workouts are getting easier in which I replied, “No, You are getting stronger!”. After he mowed the lawn for the second time he decided his strength training workouts make mowing easier. Wohooo, he might be getting the point. ha, ha…just a few weeks before I change his workouts again (every 6 weeks).

In all that we do, it really is best if our body can do it optimally from a muscle and joint standpoint as well as cardio, flexibility and mental toughness angle!

For you sports enthusiasts this movement is especially great for paddling, tennis, golf, swimming and other rotational sports. Runners can even benefit from this.

This video was taken when we were onsite in Memphis. After 18+ years we relocated March 2021 to Travelers Rest, SC (Greenville, South Carolina). In fact, this month June 2021 Energy Fitness is celebrating 19 years (we are still online personal training and working on the location for my new area). See below on how to personal train with me online or write a custom program for you.

Find Tonya online with live personal training/coaching or hire her to write a program for you with your own personalized 4-6 minute demo of each of your custom workouts included. Greenville, South Carolina site to be available this year in the town of Travelers Rest, South Carolina. Stay tuned for more details as we are working on securing a location. Memphis location 552 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103 is no longer onsite for training, massage and nutrition coaching.

Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM, LMT, TPI Level 1
Energy Fitness
Owner/Dir. of Training

If you haven’t had a functional movement assessment with a professional observe the way you move different joints and movements with your hips, shoulders, and spine then how do you know you are doing the most effective strength training, flexibility or cardio program? Hire someone like me to get you on track with a program to help you reduce current pain, eliminate pain, improve your current program or enhance your athletic performance.


July 24, 2020

For the past at least 10 years every time I turn around I am reading something about the benefits of licorice. I have mentioned to our clients at Energy Fitness personal training, nutrition coaching and massage therapy studio that they may wish to consider trying some licorice tea as an introductory for stress relief. It can also aid in reducing belly fat from too much cortisol production from the stress. There are more than 300 different compounds in licorice, some of which have antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

Did you know Licorice is a legume that grows about 5 feet tall? That means it’s in the bean category. When people think of licorice, they usually imagine the black, chewy candy you can buy in the store. You may be thinking it’s just so strong a taste I can’t bear to eat everyday. It definitely has a very unique taste which stops your taste buds in its tracks. What if you could bypass the tongue and go for a supplement? After reading the benefits you may wanna give it a try. There is a licorice variety that is native to the U.S called Glycyrrhiza lepidota, though it’s much less intense in flavor. Glycyrrhiza uralensis is also known as Chinese licorice. It has a sweet flavor and multiple medicinal uses.

Licorice has a history of use in food and medicine for over a millennium. This tasty root comes packed with potent polyphenol micronutrients that have potent medicinal effects for curing anything from nausea to heartburn, and leaky gut. It’s called mulethi in some parts of Asia. The licorice plant is native to the lands of Asia and Southern Europe, and some call it a weed in some of those areas.  Its most popular uses are candy, sweeteners, and flavoring in tobacco products. This widely-used herb has established health benefits, and folk medicine uses it to treat all types of inflammatory diseases.

Glycyrrhizin is the active polyphenol compound found in licorice, and it’s also responsible for the side-effects of consuming too much licorice, such as high blood pressure. As a result, many food producers and supplement companies now produce licorice extract for use in therapeutic and food applications – but with the glycyrrhizin removed. Consuming too much licorice can cause potassium loss which can raise blood pressure.

Benefits of Licorice

  1. Improve digestive health which may be affected by Gerd (acid reflux), reduce toxic bacteria in the gut

2) Beneficial in a weight loss diet by ramping up the metabolism. Many people that struggle with weight and controlling appetite would benefit from Licorice because consumption affects the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone – thereby reducing appetite. Now don’t go on a mad rush to order or buy licorice because alone it won’t have any significant fat-burning effect. Remember it’s all about finding tweaks in habits and what works for you and combining it with regular exercise and a healthy diet to provide a synergistic effect that helps you burn more body fat. Exercise, eat healthy 80% of the time and then stick of licorice for dessert or try one of the suggested protocols below.

3) Enhance Liver health. Drinking in moderation. Keep in mind everyone has a different idea of what moderation is – 1 glass a few times per week as a trainer is more than necessary if you are trying to have optimal health and always trying to lose weight. Drinking in moderation the liver produces enzymes to help repair the damage but those that drink more the liver can’t repair fast enough and hence fat is stored. Try a few licorice chews on the way to the bar as a preventive test drive to better liver health.

4) Improve Cognitive Health & relieve fatigue (think brain and quick thinking): licorice, namely carbenoxolone, has been shown in reducing stress and slowing brain aging that may lead to the development of dementia. Licorice also contains liquiritigenin, has an anti-inflammatory effect and can have a positive effect on brain cells, showing promise as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Other reports out there suggest that is could help prevent other brain and cognitive disorders like Parkinson’s and boost memory and aid in treatment of depression. Here’s another component present in licorice, amorphousness which has anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to reduce blood sugar, inhibit the development of insulin resistance, and prevent Type-2 diabetes. Research shows that licorice helps slow the progression of neurological symptoms and provides relief from chronic fatigue.

5) Improve sleep: Who doesn’t want to sleep better? One specific type of licorice root, called Glycyrrhiza glabra, is known to induce sleep and enhance sleep duration. Two other common compounds in licorice root, namely Gabriel and liquiritigenin, also help induce sleep, reducing the time it takes you to fall asleep at night. These compounds increase the length of non-REM sleep without disturbing deep sleep patterns. Sleep deprivation transpires when a person gets less sleep than they need to feel awake and alert, due to the brain not being able to clear toxins from neural pathways during sleep.

Licorice has also been proven to help with eczema, heartburn, and cough. It may also be effective for cankers, dental plaque, bleeding, high cholesterol, high potassium, IBS, and hot flashes. If you have high blood pressure or are pregnant, you may want to talk to your doctor before using licorice medicinally.

WARNING: Even though I am touting the benefits of licorice remember that more isn’t always better. You should never consume excessive amounts of licorice in food or supplement form.

Here are some suggestions from a brand we love that is a science and medical foods based company:











If you just enjoy the taste of licorice then go bold but remember that as with anything dosage and consistency is key.  Try traditional medicinals licorice root tea or the Yogi teas and of course straight licorice chews if you dare, just watch for sugar content from the companies that are trying to make it more appealing by amping up sugar content.

Not sure what to do or where to start? We can help!

You can get an onsite or virtual assessment so we can access the quality of your bodies movement and discuss your goals. We have streamlined our custom take out fitness programs in a way our clients really like and come back for more. How? We assess them, ask what equipment is available if any, write program for them, send via email or text along with a short 5-10 minute video demonstration of the 2 programs. Interested in this? Call or text to see how we can help you 901-466-6242.


Call, text or email us to get started today!
901-466-6242 or






Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM
Owner/Dir. of Training, Energy Fitness (established 2002)
ACSM, TPI Level 1 Certified, Rock Tape, Rock Pods (cupping therapy), Rock Tape Blades & Blades Advanced
FMT Basic, Metagenics FLT

Massage services resumed June 1, 2020 and we have new guidelines that will be followed such as staff will be wearing face coverings as well as clients for massage. You will have to sign a Covid19 release form, wash your hands upon arrival, etc. All clients onsite must sign Covid form, successfully answer health Covid questions and socially distance.

Click  here for information on our Healing Arts Services



July 19, 2020

How effective are you with your workouts and rest breaks either doing cardio or weight training? Some of you may be thinking “I don’t even workout!”. Many of you may be reading this and haven’t really thought about how long you should rest between exercises or more specifically between sets (example: a set of 10 reps of squats).When it comes to optimizing your training program, there’s a lot of variables that need to be considered. How much time you rest between sets is one of the more important variables yet is often overlooked.

Clients at Energy Fitness are paying for a trainer/coach for a set time slot so many want to be as efficient as possible as they are invested and held accountable. What about when clients or you workout on your own time, are you getting the most out of your efforts? We keep the personal training sessions moving along at a good clip and try to get in as much as possible in the 30 minutes.

When I go out of town and workout at other gyms I am reminded that It can be amusing to both the trainer and other clients to see how some individuals or clients catch more break time between sets.

If you are looking for results and not getting them maybe you should increase your intensity by moving along faster through exercises.

Here’s what we see as stalls for extra time
or as I call them “mini-breaks”

Where do you fit most of the time
and are your results showing? Here’s to a giggle…

  • purposely put your water bottle or coffee further away so you can use that walk to it as a break
  • sipping too much beverage
  • readjust your weight gloves
  • flexing in the mirror
  • weighing yourself
  • deciding what your are going to do next as you don’t have a plan and do whatever comes to mind
  • chat it up or tell a story to a buddy, fellow training client or trainer
  • fein to your trainer that you need another demonstration of the exercise as you weren’t watching the first time
  • explaination from your trainer or workout buddy of why you need to do an exercise you hate
  • take too much time journaling your weight and sets
  • read a magazine
  • check your smart watch for messages
  • check your phone for calls, messages or emails
  • watch TV for news, sport or financials updates
  • at home virtual workouts – pet the dog or cat

Now that you’ve had a good chuckle let’s talk real time between sets so you can get the results you want.

Learn EXACTLY how long to rest between sets to maximize muscle growth and long term strength gains?

Ideally we want our clients warmed up at least 5-15 minutes before with as we age needing more time as you can exert more force upon the muscles when they are warmer.

For weight training:

Longer rest period 3 minutes for full recovery means that you will have enough time to recover and be strong enough to lift when it’s time for successive sets.This is training for power 3-8 reps (typically 3 sets but body builders doing as many as 10 sets) and means heavy weights especially for compound movements like bench press or squats.Trying to build muscle mass then try this for 4-8 weeks although you won’t be able to fit as many exercises in and likely you will have to lift at least 3 days per week and each workout will take longer. Scientifically you are waiting for recovery from a cellular level to happen and that takes time or some additional supplementation. You could however choose to try this for one particular muscle group for a shorter workout say bench press incline and flat then in between sets you could work legs or core.This would be a good use of time and you could mix the shorter rest periods as explained below with this longer rest period.

Training for strength, 10-12 reps typically 2-3 sets means lifting moderate to heavy weights and can fall in the shorter-moderate rest period category.with a rest period of 1 min – 90 seconds. This means that you will create more metabolic stress to your system feeling like you are getting a killer workout as you will feel the fatigue more, but it comes at a price. With a shorter rest period, you’re not going to be able to lift as heavy a weight or perform as many reps as you would be able to after a longer rest period. You may have experienced this first hand especially if you had to go down in weight by the third set. You will be getting lots of different exercises completed with this method. This is the majority of training we do with our clients and how I train myself with a pepper of heavier sets thrown in. This can be performed by choosing 3-4 exercises and rotating through them. You can even throw in a few core moves if you have moved through the exercises faster than 90 seconds. An example of this might squats, lunges, dumbbell row, shoulder push ups. This set would give your body the 90 seconds because the lunges and rows are unilateral training which takes longer. If you did squats, leg curl, outer thigh and leg extension then you would want to have more rest before you went straight back to squats again so you might do some plank or back extensions to rest the legs.

Endurance training for weights is performing 15 reps and above and typically is shorter rest period category because you can go straight from one exercise to another without the worry of dropping a face on your face or foot because it’s lighter. An example would be doing 2 exercises back to back and if you feel like you need more rest throw in a core exercise.

CARDIO REST PERIODS – Setting out to do cardio hit / interval training means periods of work and rest. Since I was a cross country and track collegiate athlete I can relate this best by giving examples and why different rest periods are necessary. Early in the season a base of miles is obtained and speed work like doing quarter mile or half mile repeats need longer rest between sets. As you get more conditioned your body recovers faster and you need to stress if if more, so shorter rest periods are necessary to duplicate the racing stage that will have no breaks. For general hit training in which we highly recommend and has been proven to be effective examples are doing 10 sets of 30 second effort and either 15 or 30 seconds of active recovery or if you are killing it then passive recovery. This type of training can be done 2-3 times per week. For weight training for clients coming to us wanting to run a long race like a half or full marathon they need to lift heavy and phase to lighter and more endurance weight and reps closer to the race. Of course if this is their first time lifting weights then we must go through a moderately heavy phase being cautious with the joints, consider the age of the client and previous or current injuries as well.

So what type of training do you do?

Being in tune with your body may be your biggest clue. Knowing your body type, genetics, trial and error or hiring a trainer can be less frustrating and more motivating when it comes to getting the best from your body.

Remember I said there are lots of variables when it comes to getting results? Steps in personality and lifestyle choices. You may know what you need to do but just don’t do it or aren’t getting the right nutrition or sleep to muster up the energy or brain power to make it happen. Just do it slogan really needs to get in your brain!

Remember, as for rest and muscle building that doesn’t mean that you just sit around and do nothing or watch a timer? Not in my books as a trainer. You can do some other muscle groups or core exercises that don’t involve those muscles and still be pressing on towards your fitness goals.

Not sure what to do or where to start? We can help!

You can get an onsite or virtual assessment so we can access the quality of your body’s movement and discuss your goals. We have streamlined our custom take out fitness programs in a way our clients really like and come back for more. How? We assess them, ask what equipment is available if any, write program for them, send via email or text along with a short 5-10 minute video demonstration of the 2 programs. Interested in this? Call or text to see how we can help you 901-466-6242.


Call, text or email us to get started today!
901-466-6242 or






Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM
Owner/Dir. of Training, Energy Fitness (established 2002)
ACSM, TPI Level 1 Certified, Rock Tape, Rock Pods (cupping therapy), Rock Tape Blades & Blades Advanced
FMT Basic, Metagenics FLT

Massage services resumed June 1, 2020 and we have new guidelines that will be followed such as staff will be wearing face coverings as well as clients for massage. You will have to sign a Covid19 release form, wash your hands upon arrival, etc. All clients onsite must sign Covid form, successfully answer health Covid questions and socially distance.

Click  here for information on our Healing Arts Services



May 2, 2020

At Energy Fitness personal training studio not only do we do personal training and massage therapy we also do nutrition coaching, meal plans and supplement recommendations. In early March when I went to pick up a marketing banner at The Mail Center in Memphis, the owner Mark asked me what supplements I would recommend for this virus going around as one of his customers said Selenium. At the time didn’t have a quick answer for him as someones supplement recommendations has many factors to consider.

Since we are all so different in our nutritional lifestyles, activity level, genetics and stress levels the recommendation we make for supplements is customized after having a conversation with you on all these factors.

What does selenium do?

Selenium is an essential mineral, meaning it must be obtained through your diet. Your body relies on selenium, an important mineral, for many of its basic functions, from reproduction to fighting infection. It’s only needed in small amounts but plays a major role in important processes in your body, including your metabolism and thyroid function.

The amount of selenium in different foods depends on the amount of selenium in the soil where the food was grown. Rain, evaporation, pesticides, and pH levels can all affect selenium levels in soil. That makes selenium deficiency more common in certain parts of the world, though it’s relatively rare in the United States. As you already know the United States is the perfect environment to create obesity and heart disease with the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) that includes too many processed foods and sugar.

Selenium acts as an antioxidant, may reduce risk of certain cancers, may prevent heart disease and mental decline, boost your immune system, reduce asthma symptoms,

Regardless of where you live, certain factors can make it harder for your body to absorb selenium. For example, you may have difficulty absorbing selenium if you are receiving dialysis, living with HIV, have a gastrointestinal condition such as Crohn’s disease, Graves disease or hypothyroidism.

An international team of researchers, led by Professor Margaret Rayman at the University of Surrey, has identified a link between the COVID-19 cure rate and regional selenium status in China.Publishing their findings in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers using data (up to 18 February), investigated possible links between selenium levels in the body and cure or death rates of those with the COVID-19 virus in China. Here’s a link to that Science Daily article.

How much selenium do I need daily?

Age Recommended daily amount of selenium
Over 14 years 55 mcg
9 to 13 years 40 mcg
4 to 8 years 30 mcg
7 months to 3 years 20 mcg
Birth to 6 months 15 mcg

Foods that contain selenium
How many of these do you or will you add to your diet?

Brazil Nuts – 1 oz/6-8 nuts = 544 mcg (great but not great if you are trying to reduce your fat and calorie intake)
Fish – yellowfin tuna – 3 oz = 92 mcg and sardines, oysters, clams, halibut, shrimp, salmon, and crab, which contain amounts between 40 and 65 mcg.
Ham – 3 oz = 42 mcg (be prepared to pay more for pork as prices will likely go up due to covid complications of processing and likely culling of almost 1.5 million pigs sadly)
Beef / Chicken / Turkey / 20-30 mcg per serving
Brown Rice – 1 cup = 19 mcg of selenium
1 Hard Boiled egg = 20 mcg
Sunflower seeds – 1/4 cup = 19 mcg
Mushrooms- 100 grams = 12 mcg
Oatmeal- 1 cup = 13 mcg
Frozen cooked spinach–  1 cup = 11 mcg
Milk & Yogurt – 1 cup = 8 mcg
Lentils – 1 cup = 6 mcg

Because many of us get into habits and eat the same foods because they are easy or because you just get stuck in a “I don’t know what else to eat!” rut we may not be getting enough variety in our diet causing vitamin or mineral imbalances. If you aren’t getting enough selenium in your diet or other nutrients that your body may need then consider either a source supplement or a generalized multi-vitamin or multi-mineral supplement. Supplement simply means giving your body what it needs from an outside source. Keep in mind that for fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A,D,E and K these should be taken with a little bit of fat to help increase their potential for good in your body.

You may wish to consider the following brands for your selenium or multi-vitamin/mineral needs:

M’Lis:This is the same company we use for our detox body wraps and some clients have used for detox program.

Metagenics: We have a practitioner as a sponsor to have these amazing science based products.

M’Lis Vital – Block out the ickies and bust up the yucks. Vitamin C, astaxanthin, ginkgo biloba and a handful of other synergizing herbs provide your skin and body with an outside defense from germs that may get you feeling (and looking) down.

When you’re on the M’Lis website check out their supplement called daily for a multi.

Metagenics – E-400 Selenium™ – provides the essential trace mineral selenium and natural-source vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect tissues from damage caused by free radicals. Metagenics has a great multi called Phytomulti with or without iron, while you are on the site, check it out.










Usually this is where we tell you what we offer and see if you want to come in for FREE consult, schedule a massage or Nutrition Coaching Services onsite. But, times are different and we’re on lock down with the COVID19 and doing all our training online video and kicking some butts in peoples own spaces. They have been surprised how much we can get their heart rates up, muscles burning and are so appreciative for our help in designing a custom workout program during quarantines.
We are working on a reopening plan to have you back onsite training soon or starting with us for the first time for personal training, nutrition coaching and massage therapy.

Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM
Owner/Dir. of Training, Energy Fitness (established 2002)
ACSM, TPI Level 1 Certified, Rock Tape, Rock Pods (cupping therapy), Rock Tape Blades & Blades Advanced
FMT Basic, Metagenics FLT


Here’s what Energy Fitness is offering online NOW…and maybe as a continued service in the future since it’s been such a helpful service and a hit for individuals seeking professional fitness advice.
+Virtual Consultation for those wanting either a written program, virtual training or nutrition coaching-FREE (value $87)
+Virtual Functional Movement Analysis / Assessment (ask for pricing)
+Nutrition coaching with nutrient and meal timing considerations and meal plans
+Supplement suggestions
+Equipment purchase suggestions
+Personal training program design by Exercise Scientist (Tonya) and additional certified personal trainers on staff (must include assessment-how else can we determine what your body needs if we don’t test your quality of movement) Program design for 2-3 workouts (ask for pricing). Links to video demos may be included in price. You may consider additionally purchasing 2 virtual sessions to have trainer demonstrate and watch your form). Example package: assessment, 2 workouts for you to do on your own and 2 virtual sessions.
+Virtual Personal Training 30-40 minutes 1-3 clients per session
+Small virtual packages of 4 to 6 sessions (1 assessment counts as session)

Call, text or email us to get started today!
901-466-6242 or

The services below as well as onsite personal training and nutrition coaching to resume when the lock down on social distancing has lifted!

Click  here for information on our Healing Arts Services (Massage, Body Wraps, Reiki, Chakra Alignment, Crystal Therapy
We also have all natural spray tanning, facials & KT/Rock Tape taping, Rock Pods (myofascial release). 

May 26, 2019

We’ve been Personal Training in Downtown Memphis since 2002 at Energy Fitness. We started offering Nutrition Coaching a la carte several years ago and really have honed in on detoxing as the first and best process of getting to your best cellular self. This post is about the combining of Milk Thistle & Fenugreek you may reduce inflammation and toxins and may as a result shed pounds and that pesky mental fog.

A great book to reference about Detoxing is from Metagenics current Chief Medical Officer, Sara Gottfried, M.D.  We’ve been distributors for Metagenics for years and love their science based supplements. Sara’s a New York Times best selling author of three books with another on the market which showed up on my doorstep at no charge.  Wohoo, I love good FREE stuff (the horder coming out in me). I’m loving this book Brain Body Diet and have been re-inspired to shout out about detoxing again and with even more knowledge.

Detoxing is helpful as it can get rid of chemicals that your body and liver doesn’t know what to do with. Did you know that air pollution, plastics, chemicals in food, pesticides, medicines, stress, furniture, clothing, water and the list goes on can keep you from your healthy set point weight? These all can contribute to brain fog, lack of focus and concentration, excess pounds, higher stress and a cascade of hormonal disruptions.

As we age our liver cells slow in their cellular turnover. Your liver represents the human body’s primary filtration system, converting toxins into waste products, cleansing your blood, and metabolizing nutrients and medications to provide the body with some of its most important proteins. As such a fundamental part of the body’s overall regulation, it’s paramount to keep your liver healthy and to limit overindulgence.

Science has shown that Fenugreek supports muscle growth and development, stimulates the burning of abdominal fat and blocks the conversion of testosterone to it’s toxic form dihydrotesterone. Numerous studies have shown this herb a powerful one for the liver, gall bladder and digestive health. Bile flow is what it’s all about….get out me belly!




The silymarin extracted from milk thistle is known to have antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Its herbal remedy is known as milk thistle extract. Milk thistle extract has a high amount of silymarin (between 65–80%) that has been concentrated from the milk thistle plant. Initial test-tube and animal studies have shown that milk thistle has some promising characteristics that could make it useful for protecting brain function.


I discovered this combo because I did research on each of these and had taken each independently before for various reasons. I had foot surgery 7 months ago so felt I had medicine lingering about from anesthesia and pain meds after surgery. Additionally I had developed a donut, chip and dairy free chocolate chip binge habit that was just wrecking my appetite and fullness signals for overeating and gaining some belly fat. Yes, even me a disciplined trainer caves to triggers for emotional eating. I cut the donuts and all the other crap in the diet but and did nothing different with exercise load and intensity but the weight and brain fog wasn’t budging even after 6 weeks.

Here’s the lowdown! This is what I have been
suggesting to clients that you may want to try.

This by no means is a free for all to drink tons of alcohol,
eat terrible and then try this a miracle solution.

  • Consume this combo 3 times a day for 3-4 weeks depending on toxity level and how clean of an eater you are or have been.
  • Obligatory….check with your doctor (diabetics especially)
  • Can be taken for nursing mothers but maybe not 3 times per day. Again check with doctor
  • Can be taken with or without food although I suggest taking with food to avoid any stomach upset (which has only happened to me once).
  • I took the combo for 3 weeks straight and lost 6 pounds and flat belly welcome back and muscle tone I see you better again. As I continue to read the Brain Body Diet I understand now why it works.  Now I’m in the process of cleaning up all my body care products.

Extreme Self-Care here I come as well as sharing this knowledge
with you so
 you can benefit as well.


Live in the Memphis area and need to be inspired to get into your best shape or eat healthier and don’t know where to start?





February 12, 2016

Swimming can be relaxing & a great cardio workout once a person feels comfortable in the water and not gasping for air. If you are new to swimming and wondering where to get more information so you can incorporate it into your fitness regimen then this article is for you.

Why should you listen to me? I was introduced to swimming for fitness in high school in 1989 by a fellow track member that was also a swimmer. I participated in swimming for one year and only did freestyle & backstroke. For me, swimming was great cross training for cross country and track. I was pretty terrible looking back because as soon as I arrived at college swimming was one of my courses for my degree. My teacher said my form was terrible and often there was the teacher and the athletic trainer correcting my form at the same time. We worked on all the strokes and had to pass at certain proficiency level. After I learned the right way I really took it to the next level and became certified as a lifeguard and American red cross swim instructor in which I taught kids during the summers at a local pool.  After graduate school I became the Physical Director at a YMCA which required me to become a certified lifeguard instructor and the Y swim instructor certification. I had to supervise instructors making sure they were teaching correctly.  My days of regular instruction pool side are past and now I use my passion for swimming participating in triathlons and cross training and doing articles like this to help others.

I’m going to break this article into equipment, terminology, breathing, form, warm-ups/stretches, nutrition and workouts. Strokes discussed will be freestyle also known as front crawl, backstroke, breast stroke, side stroke and briefly discuss treading water.

 I like to get some equipment at either or

Swim Suit: ladies get a fitness suit as swimming in a bikini just doesn’t work.  Men: if comfortable try getting the mid-thigh spandex or boy shorts that are fitted to create less drag.

swim capCap (silicone or latex) Worried about your hair color? While taking a pre-swim rinse off make the water luke-warm to chilly as to not open the hair follicles. Next put a little conditioner in your wet hair to help keep the pool chemicals from soaking in your hair and stripping your color.

Ear plugs: I just buy regular ones from any drugstore and put in before doing the pre-swim rinse off (not the wax or swim specific ones as they are sub-par for me and actually hurt my ears). Just squeeze them out and let them dry to reuse several times.

gogglesGoggles:  get an anti-fog and if you are swimming outdoors get a sun reflective pair.  I prefer the suction silicone goggles instead of the foam gasket ones.  I also prefer the individual eye goggles as to the mask as it’s disorienting for me to use a mask.  Personal preference is key here for you to get most enjoyment from swimming. Prescription goggles are available as well.


speedo finsFins: these are great for developing leg strength, improving stroke and kick as well as gets you through water faster breaking up the monotony of swimming.  If I swim a mile then I use the fins for about 10-15 laps of combined kickboard, freestyle and backstroke & breast stroke.

swimming pull bouyPull buoy is a flotation device placed between your upper thighs while you drag your legs and don’t kick.  This is great used early in your lap swimming workout to help you get into good arm stroke form for the rest of your freestyle laps.

swim kickboardKickboard: these are great for holding during different kicks to improve your form and can be used as a break to catch your breath between full body strokes.


swim glovesHand webs or paddles: I personally don’t like to use these but many swimmers do to help their stroke and use resistance for their laps.  Use caution if you have shoulder issues and if you don’t have a good stroke or try to power through strokes with bad form and fast as you may develop shoulder issues if done wrong.  Search internet for instructional videos.

Watch:  either time your workouts or go by laps.  Tracking will help keep you motivated and inspired.

Water bottle: I fill mine with water and L-Glutamine for energy and muscle recovery.

Music: there are water proof headphones and players.

Post workout shake: important for recovery within 30 minutes post all workouts

Pre-nutrition/supplements: want to burn fat?  Don’t eat carbs before workout.  Get some amino acids and coconut water if you can bear the taste (it has a 4 to 1 ratio of potassium to sodium).

Pre-workout warm-up / stretches:  check out this to my video Dynamic Warm up

Shampoo/ conditioner: swim specific shampoo is helpful to keep the pool chemicals from weighing your hair down and blondes to keep from turning green.

Wetsuit:  (if you’re going to compete in open water swims)


Length is the distance from one end of the pool to the other

Lap is the distance from one end of the pool to the other AND back to your starting position

Distance– some pools are measured in yards and some are in meters. In general just over 18 laps is about ½ mile and 1 mile is 35 laps.

How do I keep up with how many laps or length I’ve done?

I previously used lots of kickboards to count laps before I had fins and just move one over after every 5 laps until several times I noticed while I was in the middle of a lap another swimmer would grab one of my boards not knowing I was using them to count.  That messed with my relaxation aspect of swimming so had to find a new method.

Now, I like to count every five as my mind wanders when I’m swimming so 5 works for me and I don’t want to pause swimming any more frequently to track.  I have 7 objects that I stack in a pile and after every five laps I move one to the left or right depending on my mood for the day.  This counts out 35 laps.  If I swim 1.5 miles then that means all by objects move to a new pile to the right and when I have completed 5 laps past 1 mile then I move another object to the left. (FYI…my objects are shoe, shoe, pull buoy, water bottle, fin, fin, kickboard).

I’ve seen other swimmers push the lane rope buoys towards the side of the pool marking their laps.

Turn:  the transition of how to turn around when reaching the end of the pool and return to the other end smoothly. I will only discuss two turns for this article. An open turn is when 1 or both hands touch the wall in combination with both knees pulling towards your chest as you rotate your body to use your feet touching the wall to power squat off the wall towards the other end of the pool in a glide underwater position. An open turn is usually for breast stroke & butterfly. A flip turn is when you do a front somersault when you are just about arms length from the pool wall.  This one is a bit more complicated and not a swimming 101 article teaching point. Search for some flip turns on the internet.

Catch: this is the point at which the stroke begins after a glide. On the freestyle this is when the hand enters the water overhead and in line with the midline of your body.

Pull: this is the middle position for strokes and should be smooth.  This the point for inhaling air for both the breast stroke and freestyle.

Finish: the position your hands are in (outside your thigh on freestyle & backstroke).  This is where the power of your stroke comes from; however, beginners usually think it’s the catch phase.

Propulsion:  comes from a good catch, pull and push. It means you go further on each stroke as you are propelling yourself forward better.

Low drag comes from a good body position, a straight body and an effective kick. Low drag means you go further on each stroke because you slip through the water more easily. This is a good factor in a long stroke.

A glide in the stroke means you pause and wait a while before performing the next stroke, gliding a bit further off the last stroke. When you add an element of glide into your stroke you introduce a pause which unless you have great timing and rhythm will not be an energy saver as you may think. Remove the glide, don’t decelerate between strokes and it’ll feel easier and you’ll be faster.

Pullout: This is used to travel 5-10 yards under water after the wall push off and before getting past the flags.  It is important to be as streamline as possible during this pre-glide phase.

Flags:  these are the flags usually located 5 strokes away from each end of the pool.

Lane ropes:  these divide the lanes

Timing clock: sometimes found on the side of the pool and great for timing your intervals or rest breaks

Line at bottom of pool: this is great to help you swim straight. If you are sharing the lane looking at it helps you to swim between the lane rope and the outside of the line.

Short course (for 25 meter or 25 yard pools):  the lane buoys change color at the 15 meter mark.

T at the end of the swim straight line: this helps alert swimmers the end of the lane is less than 5 meters away and usually when swimmer is atop of the T denotes a good time to tuck into a flip turn.

Starting blocks:  these are what experienced swimmers or swim team participants use to start all races except for the backstroke in which case is started with the swimmer in the water holding the side of pool or the handles located under an official starting block.

Efficiency of stroke:  typically a good stroke rate more info on this check out  Count how many arm strokes it takes you to swim one length.  A rate of 22-26 is within acceptable range for low drag and higher efficiency.

Other videos to see strokes (Speedo international)

Fingers:  keep them together and in fact a little scooped or cup like

Sharing lanes & Swim etiquette:  when trying to get the attention of a swimmer in which you wish to share the lane and they do not see you trying to get their attention it is acceptable to place a kickboard between the swimmer and the wall to get their attention when the swimmer is about 7-10 yards away from the wall.  Ask to share the lane and if they want to same side swim or circle swim. It is not acceptable to circle swim when one swimmer is clearly faster or slower than another. Stay at least one body length behind the swimmer ahead of you.

Strokes & Form

Freestyle also known as front crawl is regarded as the fastest of the four front primary strokes. It is one of two long axis strokes, the other one being the backstroke. A flutter kick is used with this stroke.

Breaststroke is performed face down in the water without rotating the torso. The arms stay in the water and move synchronously, while the legs perform a whipkick. It is possible to keep the head elevated out of the water throughout the stroke, although the head usually dips in and out.

Backstroke also known as back crawl. Similar to the front crawl, but done while lying on the back. One arm reaches behind the head with a pinky finger tip entry while the other arm is by the side. I do old school version and have thumb exit water and rotate wrist quickly to enter water above head with pinky. Tips for tracking straight..1) look towards your feet at end of pool 2) cut your eyes to one side so you can see a lane rope 3) if covered pool look at ceiling and stay on one side of beam or other sighting point.

Sidestroke is performed on the side, pull the water as if with a rope with arms going out and stopping in the middle, while ensuring that the strokes are most hydrodynamic when moving towards the desired location, and pushing the most water when moving away from the location. In addition, the legs are performing a scissors kick, which is like breaststroke kick, but sideways.

Breathing – When should I breathe?

Take your pick depending on your fitness level and comfort level, speed and the stroke you are doing. When doing freestyle stroke keep your head in water enough that your eyebrows are below waterline but always be looking ahead with chin tilted toward direction you are swimming.

Freestyle: 1) Every stroke breathing all on one side (try breathing on your right side going to one end and your left side returning 2) Every third stroke breathing alternates breathing on your right and left as you travel to the ends of the pool 3) Every forth stroke breathing requires that you breathe on same side each time.  This is great when using the pull buoy for breath control.  I don’t recommend the forth stroke breathing  for beginners or people that don’t have a great cardio base as it doesn’t offer your body enough air for you to keep good timing and rhythm.

Breast stroke breathing you lift your head every stroke and breathe or every other stroke.  Kickboard breathing can be done either with your head looking straight ahead or with your head turned sideways with your ear resting on your outstretched arm during the freestyle kick.

Sidestroke breathing is easy as you will have one ear in the water and your face and mouth not in the water but slightly directed forward and up.

Open water swimming breathing: search the internet as this is not for discussion in this article.

Treading water: is in the water head up and feet down. Different kicks, such as the eggbeater kick also known as the rotary kick, and hand movements are used to stay afloat. This is useful to keep the head out of the water for a better view or to catch an object as for example in water polo. A slow and wide scissor kick can be used as well.

(lap counts equal half-mile to total mile just double to get to 35 laps)
For a pdf version of this article including these workouts click here.

How long should it take me to do these workouts? When racing freestyle I can complete a mile in about 26 minutes doing flip turns as they are faster. I have tested myself swimming a mile not racing to see the difference and it’s usually about 35 minutes but still with flip turns. So depending on your level of comfort in your strokes, length of rest breaks and your level of fitness the half-mile swim workouts should range from 20-30 minutes. When you progress to swimming a mile or just 3/4 of a mile plan on being in the pool around 50 minutes or less.

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Workout 1
3 laps Freestyle easy
3 laps Freestyle with pull buoy easy
3 laps Freestyle sprints 1 length (rest at end 30 seconds) will total 6 lengths
3 laps Kickboard – Backstroke flutter kick
3 laps Kickboard-Freestyle (sprint down 1 length and easy back)
3 laps Backstroke – easy first lap, sprint 2nd lap and easy last lap

Workout 2
5 laps Freestyle moderate
3 laps Backstroke fast
3 laps Kickboard- free or back flutter(1 length fast & 1 length slow)
5 laps Freestyle down sprint & Backstroke back slow to recover
2 laps side stroke

Workout 3
3 laps Freestyle easy
10 laps Freestyle sprint (down and back rest 1 minute between)
3 laps Flutter kick freestyle
2 laps Freestyle sprint

Workout 4
10 laps Freestyle moderate
2 laps Breast stroke easy
2 laps Back stroke moderate
2 laps Freestyle sprint
2 laps Back stroke easy

Workout 5
5 laps Freestyle easy
5 laps Freestyle pull buoy (sprint length and easy recover back)
5 laps Freestyle (sprint length and easy Breast stroke recover back)
3 laps Backstroke kickboard (moderate to easy)

Workout 6
2 laps Freestyle easy
2 laps Freestyle pull buoy
2 laps Freestyle sprint
2 laps Freestyle kickboard moderate
4 laps Backstroke sprint
1 lap Side stroke easy
5 laps alternate between freestyle, backstroke, breast stroke, freestyle and backstroke

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Energy Fitness, 552 South Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103

June 22, 2014

Losing body fat can be challenging if you are confused on which method of cardio is best  to lose stubborn fat says Tonya Tittle, owner of Energy Fitness, a personal trainer in Downtown Memphis.

Think of HIIT (high intensity or Interval training) as having a great return on investment.  You burn the amount of calories used during the session and the same amount of calories up to 18-24 hours after (afterburn-double the calories burned).

In contrast, easy to moderate intensity cardio  burns the amount of calories during session and only a trivial amount more in the hours to follow. After 60 minutes of easy to moderate cardio you finally start to tap into your fat stores but with HIIT training you teach your body to burn fat faster especially if you didn’t consume carbs within 2 hours of your workout.

Low to moderate cardio can help assist good respiratory lung function, increase red blood cell count, strengthen heart, reduce stress, increase circulation & self-esteem but doesn’t burn that stubborn fat.  It can also assist with recovery when HIIT activities lend to over-training or for individuals with injuries. Cardio should be done safely at all times.

Doing too much, too soon can result in burnout or injury.  Short sprints should usually be placed early in the session before fatigue sets in.  Start somewhere… even 5 minutes of doing something you might enjoy.  Just know if you have some fat to lose its gonna take focus and discipline. You need to do a combination of both anaerobic & aerobic training.  Of course eating healthy plays a role also.  Your success is determined by your determination, consistency, goals, injuries, etc. Go for distance or time see what motivates you more or switch it up.

Distance.. tree to tree, mailbox to mailbox, 50-200 meters for anaerobic or 800 meters/one-half mile or more intervals for aerobic intervals.
Time.…10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds

Example of a week of training that uses

HIIT method to burn stubborn fat:

My schedule varies as I do many different cross training activities such as kayaking, boxing, slide-board, bridge sprints, roller blading, and other recreational sports just for fun.

Monday: weight training 40 minutes (pre-workout warm-up- run 1 mile on treadmill)

Tuesday: swim 1 mile, (30 minutes, 35 laps(1 lap is down and back, a length is down)

  • easy 5 laps
  • 15 laps of sprints using freestyle/backstroke 25 meters fast 25 meters slow
  • 5 laps 50 meter sprints then rest at end of pool
  • 5 laps kick board sprints (fast down and easy back) so 25 meter sprints
  • 5 laps easy including 1 lap of side side-stroke

Wednesday: Rest – stretch a little before bed/use foam roller

Thursday:  Weights & Cardio

  • 5 minute warm-up on stationary bike combined with throwing medicine ball up in air 3 x 100 reps
  • weights 30 minutes
  • run to riverside stairs about 3 min
  • 12 sets of  stairs with push-ups, abs in grass, or lunges/lunge holds in between every 3 sets
  • run back 3 min

Friday:  Run 3 miles easy pace (28 min)

Saturday: Cycle 25.5 miles in about 90 minutes (average 17.3 mph)

Sunday: Jump Rope outside 10 sets of 200/rest 30 seconds between
Run 2 miles flat fast sprints for 30 seconds fast and 30-45 seconds rest

The rest of this blog post is giving you science lesson for those interested. At least now you know or at least have a few guidelines to follow on how to incorporate cardio into your own plan so you can be on your way to achieving your best body ever.

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For those of you who enjoy the science read below…..

Let me first start with the definition of aerobic vs. anaerobic.

Aerobic exercise involves moderate intensity using large muscle groups greater than 2 minutes or longer in duration.  Aerobic exercise uses oxygen, fats & carbs combined for fuel.  Typically at 50-75% maximum heart rate (MHR). I could give you the long karvonen formula for calculating your heart rate but i won’t.  A 10 second heart rate count check can be measured by putting your first two fingers on the side of your neck (carotid artery) immediately upon stopping the activity (count your first beat  as a zero).  Work at a 20-25 beats per 10 seconds or an intensity of 120-150bpm (beats per minute). While exercising aerobically at a higher percentage of MHR (75% or higher) burns more total calories research suggests that this may not result in greater long-term fat lossExamples of aerobic exercise include: rowing, running, walking, cycling again for more than 2 minutes in duration.

Anaerobic exercise means “without oxygen” and uses fast twitch muscles for short bursts of intense activity anywhere from 5 seconds up to 2 minutes.  Anaerobic exercise can also be called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which gained a lot of popularity in 2013.   Work at 26-30 beats per 10 seconds or an intensity of 160-180bpm.  I personally will max out at 190 if I am running bridge sprints. (*disclaimer-consult your physician or come visit us for a fitness assessment/par Q activity questionnaire prior to cranking up your sprint workouts). 

Anaerobic energy system broken down for you:

  • up to 5 seconds ATP/PCR system (composed of ATP- the energy currency in our cells & phosphocreatine, this system replenishes energy rapidly without the use of oxygen but is short lived)
  • 10 to 80 seconds=Glycolytic system (process of breaking down glucose for energy; can be fast or slow
  • 81 to 119 seconds= Oxidative phosphorylation (Krebs cycle & electron transport chain)

Example of HIT  training: sprinting, high intensity weight lifting, isometric holds

  • work at  75% MHR for 90 seconds at 90% MHR for 30 seconds (increase resistance-hill if running, higher gear if cycling) rest 30-60 seconds – Rrepeat for 10 minutes to 30 minutes
  •  I breathe through my nose & like to listen to my breathing & body so I either rest actively (slow down activity to recover) or I completely stop activity for 30-60 seconds.
  • HIIT can be performed 4-5 days per week, making sure to have one day of complete rest.  The other day(s) of the week go for recovery from your program by doing 45-60 minutes of 50-75% of your MHR. That means an easy to moderate long slow distance.
  • Strength training days are great days to follow with this method of HIIT cardio.
  • Your body recovers faster from interval training than it does from long distance training

Here are a few different activities and their benefits:


  • recruit muscle fibers in the legs which may give you that lean and tone definition
  • train at higher intensity & burn more fat as a result
  • to improve for sport specificity
  • as a means to increase metabolic rate up to 24 hours
  • can help to prevent osteoporosis because of its high impact
  • involves arms so more calories are burned


  • low impact way to strip body fat
  • helps define muscles in legs
  • to improve for sport specificity


  • uses total body so it burns higher number of calories
  • low impact, high intensity, to keep fit & burn fat
  • to improve for sport specificity


  • total body workout (be mindful that heart rates in water are 10 beats slower per minute than on land so you will need to adjust MHR according)

Jumping Rope / Rope Skipping (demo video)

  • high impact
  • can help develop great looking calves & shoulders
  • burns high number of calories
  • best used for short bursts as over-training in this mode of activity can lead to impact injuries in lower leg or hip.

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901-466-6242 or request a FREE Consult (Value $87) by clicking here: Free Consult.

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