Matrix Rowing Machine – Review

by on March 15th, 2017

The Conclusion

The Matrix Rowing Machine performs at the highest level in the fitness equipment industry. Unlike the WaterRower and other machines that use water for resistance, this machine utilizes a brushed aluminum flywheel with 10 magnetic resistance settings. The resistance settings has a expansive range, from very easy to heavy resistance, to allow users to challenge themselves in different ways throughout their fitness journey.

The machine is very smooth and quiet, which is important for me as I will be using it within my home. The footprint is very small as you easily can tilt the machine up for movement and storage purposes.

The seat is a great size and is very comfortable, making users more likely to complete longer workouts. The handle is smooth and comfortable to grip. It’s very easy for me to get my feet in and secure in the claps. The only issue was removing my feet, at times the back heel cup would catch my shoe and get caught.

The console is intuitive and features different training programs to get the most out of your workout. It displays the basic aspects of your workout including time, distance, strokes per minute, heart rate, calories, and more. I was able to focus on my workout and see my progress at a glance.

I enjoy using this machine and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great rower that will stand the test of time, and continue to present a challenge with each workout!

Matrix Fitness Rowing Machine

Matrix Fitness Rowing Machine Rated & Reviewed

Matrix A30 Ascent Trainer with XER Console – Review

by on November 16th, 2016

The Conclusion

The Matrix A30 Ascent Trainer includes power incline and multiple integrated convenience features. The Matrix XER console includes a clear display and an intuitive home screen that offers easy access to entertainment.

I love the features that the A30 provides to the exerciser. To some exercising could be tedious, but it hard to be bored while working out on the A30. The A30 has programs divided into sections including training, goals, target heart rate resistance, and Sprint 8. My favorite program that the A30 offers is the Sprint 8. It is a science-based cardio workout program has been proven to boost energy, reduce body fat, promote lean muscle mass and improve cholesterol in just eight weeks. Exercisers will be able to track their workouts through the ViaFit app. One can also keep track of their calories via my fitness pal.

The other features added in the A30 are entertainment based. The virtual active Virtual Active is a first-person, forward-motion video experience designed to enhance one’s cardio workout by experiencing journeys through stunning worldwide destinations from the inside of one’s home. One will also be able to watch their favorite movies and television shows via Hulu and Netflix.

While on the A30, I experienced a great workout. With most elliptical, since one’s feet need to stay on foot pedals, they can feel like they have less control over their movements, and it’s less natural for someone who’s used to running. This elliptical is designed with Perfect Stride motion eliminates surges and dead spots so you move more smoothly, burn more calories and get better results.

Overall, I believe the A30 is an excellent piece of fitness equipment. I enjoyed myself exercising on it. It is not like most cardiovascular machines on the market. The console is large, clear and easy to use. Exercisers are able to change workout while working out, while other machines causes one to stop their original workout in order to start a new one. The A30 is the way of the future. Smart technology is in everything from phone to televisions, so why not incorporate them into fitness equipment. These features cause one to be completely immersed into the machine, which results in a better workout experience. I would highly recommend this product to all exercisers.

Matrix Fitness A30 Ascent Trainer with XER Console

Matrix Fitness A30 Ascent Trainer Rated & Reviewed

Leisure Fitness Wellness Professional Network – Meet the Trainer: Michael Hartman

by on April 23rd, 2015

Leisure Fitness Trainer Network includes a variety of fitness professionals and in this MEET THE TRAINER segment we would like to introduce you to Michael Hartman.

INTERVIEW w/ Michael Hartman, NSCA­CPT and AFPA Certified Nutritionist and Wellness Consultant:
Training Location – Wyomissing, PA

-At what age did you become physically active?
I started playing sports at 5.

-Did you play sports in high school and/or college?
I played Baseball from 5 years old to 18. I also played football in middle school and high school.

-Did you study health and fitness in an academic setting? (degrees in exercise science, physical education, kinesiology, etc.)
I hold a B.S. Kinesiology from Penn State University

-How do you seek out continuing education?
I must complete 18 CEU’s every 3 years for my NSCA-CPT certification. I meet these criterias through writing, attending seminars and completing additional certification courses.

-Do you specialize in a training style?
I specialize in muscle building and fat loss for clients ages 14 – 77 (the oldest i’ve worked with)

-What is your coaching style? (Cheerleader vs. drill sergeant)
I would say I am a realistic trainer I try to work with my clients on their diet and exercise program without trying to put them through a professional athletes routine. Unless of course that is what they want. I believe I’m very supportive at trying to give them all the very best tools to succeed in their program.

-Do you include a health assessment prior to beginning a fitness program?
Clients do a verbal health assessment with me to assess their goals and to start putting their workout plan and execution into place.

-How frequently do you see your clients? (Once a week, twice a week?)
I see my clients on average once per week but as often as three times per week and as little as once a month. The frequency depends on their previous exercise experience and fitness level.

-What kind of clients do you usually work with and what results were they trying to attain?
Generally I get two types of clients.

  • Trying to lose weight, tone up, or feel better. (I have had 20 people lose 50 or more lbs)
  • Trying to build muscle or gain mass to feel stronger and gain self confidence. ( I have had 4 people put on more than 40 lbs of raw muscle


-Where did you get certified to be a personal trainer? (N.S.C.A., N.A.S.M., and A.C.S.M. are the gold standards)
NSCA-CPT and AFPA Certified Nutritionist and Wellness Consultant

-How do you program and track the client’s progress?
It depends on a clients individual goal. Generally waist and hip measurements are taken for someone trying to lose weight for someone trying to build muscle it is based off of their strength and if they are gaining muscle while maintaining the same bodyfat percentage.

-Do you stay on top of the latest fitness trends and related research?
I read Strength and Conditioning, Psychology, and Physiological Research Periodicals and I also read the latest trends in magazines and online resoures such as or Muscle and Fitness

-Do you hold liability insurance?
Yes from HPSO (Healthcare Providers Service Organization)

-Why did you embark in this profession?
I played baseball and football throughout school and upon entering 9th grade I began to lift weights 3 days per week. I was always a chubby kid struggling with my weight. I was always active but soda and bread were steeples in my diet growing up.

In 10th grade I injured my back fielding an onside kick for my football team. I seriously injured my back to the tune of 6 months of physical therapy. During that time it was a challenge to stay as physically active as I would have liked so I gained some weight. My max was 245 pounds. My 11th and 12th grade years were spent running and lifting and eating right to lose that weight which brought me down to a small 180lbs. From XL shirts to M shirts.

From there I began to bulk build muscle. I decided I wanted to be a fitness professional because friends started asking me how I lost the weight and how I was able to achieve such hard muscles. I began reading everything I could about supplementations and I picked the brains of my gym teachers and football coaches endlessly to learn as much as I could.

I applied to PSU and Temple for school and was accepted to both. I chose PSU. I started as an undecided major but quickly switched to kinesiology after the Director of LA FItness reached out to me to see if I would be interested in training. I didn’t have a certification at the time so he told me what I needed to do. So I went to a weekend personal training course passed my exam and began training.

I had many mentors over my first two years who had bodybuilding experience and many years in the industry. They taught me all kinds of things and fielded my endless questions. After six months of training I entered the Kinesiology program at PSU.

I spent 5 years completing my education while learning as much as I could about running a fitness business, personal training, and nutrition.

Then I decided I wanted to go out on my own. That when Formal Fitness Training was born in August 2011. I have been continuing to grow and get traction in my area. As of now I work with 35 clients and am currently beginning boot camp classes and also am in negotiations for corporate wellness program with a local dental office.

I have so much respect for the industry and I look forward to staying involved with fitness, nutrition, sports, or supplementation in some aspect for the rest of my life!

An injury or setback will not define you; it’s how you respond that will set the stage for the man or woman you will inevitably become. A positive mindset is everything and a desire to succeed. Some days you need to dig deep to breath fresh air and achieve your goals. Every second counts. Take nothing for granted and work hard. Great things will come to those who work for it and continue to try even against some of the most difficult of circumstances!

Check out Formal Fitness Training on Facebook

The Never Ending Burn! (Basal Metabolic Burn – BMR)

by on February 3rd, 2012

Doctor Paul Kennedy
written by Dr. Paul Kennedy, Leisure Fitness – Wellness Director, February – Topic of the Month

If you went into a room and simply sat there for 24 hours would you still burn calories?

The answer, of course, is “Yes”. Normal body functions regarding breathing, heart rate, blood circulation, digestion, body temperature control maintenance and a plethora of other functions would all require energy and this energy is known as the basal metabolic rate or BMR.

If you actually DID sit still for 24 hours (and ,sadly, it seems that many of us actually do), it would be known as the resting basal metabolic rate or resting BMR. If the room that you are sitting in is cold, the BMR rises to maintain proper internal body temperature. For example, when you are sick and have a fever, the BMR can increase significantly as the body fights to maintain a safer internal temperature.

Read Entire Article

Women’s Wellness Camp – Day 4, Rock Climbing, Trust , Bear Lake (September 21st, 2011)

by on October 27th, 2011

by Deborah Leedale-Brown, Lifestyle & High Performance Coach

7 Day Blog Series of the Inaugural Women’s Wellness Camp.

DAY 4 – Rock Climbing, Trust Games, and Bear Lake Walk

Already day 4 and the camp seemed to be flying by! We woke up to another perfect sunny Colorado day. Everyone was a little apprehensive ahead of the mornings climbing and outdoor activity session I had arranged for them. I reassured everyone at breakfast that they were not expected to embark on anything they were not completely comfortable with, it was their session and they were in control. All that I asked was that each women did their very best to challenge themselves and push their comfort zone a little.

It was a quiet drive up to Mary’s Lake above Estes Park where we were met by Rick from Climbing Life Guides who soon put everyone at ease and explained a little about the morning’s activities. We started off playing some trust games that involved us falling, being caught and getting lifted off the ground. These activities were a great way to get the women working together and help develop an even greater bond between them. We finished up the trust games with some work in pairs (one blindfolded / one seeing), the idea was for the seeing person to guide the blindfolded person around the area using visual commands to help them navigate the rocky terrain – sounds easy but it certainly proved fun and interesting.

Read Entire Article