Athletes & Asthma

Here are some highlights from this Session at the 2015 ACSM Fall Summit.

Asthma- chronic inflamation of the airway, variable airflow obstruction, and airway hyper-responsiveness.

Asthma is more prevent in males than females in regards to children under 10.

Asthma is the only single chronic disease in the federal budget with a budget of 2.7 billion dollars.

Hygiene Hypothesis 

It is hypothesized that due to the reduction in early environmental infections over the years and the recent overuse of antibiotics, there is an increase in asthma occurence.  

Early exposure - Such as majority living on farm lands in the past or Daycare exposure  

Wheeze Early= Stronger as an adult

Vitamin D hypothesis 

Vitamin D elicits anti-inflammatory response

Deficiency of Vitamin D is associated with worse asthma severity and Vitamin D has decreased since the 1980s

Acetaminophen Tylenol Hypothesis 

Aspirin use has decreased with the historic APAP Reyes Sydnrome Epidemic

Many studied found association with APAP and Asthma  

Diagnosing Asthma 

Asthma can come and go without treatment

Symptoms: coughing, wheeze, Shortness of breath, chest tightness (can have all or none) 

Many times you have periods with/without symptoms years in between

Asthma Myths 

- I had it yesterday but not today ( Did you know if you see 1 roach there are a minimum of 1000 there)

-Smoking doesn't bother me or my child's asthma

In Athletes 


Frequent symptoms, Daily Therapy required, airway hyper-responsiveness and exacerbation 

Exercise Inducted Asthma  (EIA)

Can be part of chronic asthma

Can occur in isolation such as only with exercise; not associated with airway hypersensitivity

Symptoms can occur 6-8 minutes after physical activity (vigorous)

 Epidemiology of EIA

50% of those with negative history of EIA have a positive response to exercise

Individuals with allergy: 40% have allergic rhinitis  

Individual without asthma/allergy: 9% have EIA in high school and !2% have positive response to EIA overall

Olympians: 9-16% in Summer; 17-50% Winter


Exercise increases our aerobic capacity and with greater activity can lead to less ventilation

2 Theories 

Hypermolar- Water loss from airway surface

Airway Rewarming- Exercise hyperventilation leads to heat exchange from pulmonary vascular bed & cooling of airway service cells

 Asthmogenic Activities

-polluted indoor out door - continuous hard exercise - cold enviroments (during infection) - pollen season

High-  Long distance running, cycling, soccer, rugby, basketball, ice hockey

Less- Team games, swimming, tennis, gymnastics, golf, karate, wrestling, boxing, downhill skiing, water polo, intermittent exercise, warm humid air

Swimming and Asthma 

+high humidity +prone position +slow exhalation & Rhythmic breathing +immersion of water (chlorine may exacerbate symptoms)

Skiers/Hockey & Asthma 

-very high prevelance -extreme cold may damage epithelium

-even asymptote tic have evidence

Challenge Testing for Diagnosis 

Step Testing, outdoor running (parking lot? B/c its polluted), treadmill tests, athletic-specific tests, dry air breathing on bike


Change to less Asthmogenic activity

Avoid exercise in cold or high pollen

Warm up before could hold of symptoms upwards 45 minutes

Cool down after - Mask/Scarf over mouth when running

Pharmacological Therapy 

Most effective- Short acting beta agonist 15minutes before 

Leukotriene modifiers hours after

LABAS- protect up to 12hrs, not available for asthmotherapy in US  

Failure to Respond 

Vocal cord dysfunction, Exercise Induced Broncospasm


  Presented by Michelle Cloutier MD. Please share with someone you know who has Asthma and like this and my website of course :) !



ACSM Certified Group Exercise Instructor !

ACSM Group Exercise Instructors® are fitness professionals who teach, lead, and motivate individuals through intentionally-designed exercise classes. ACSM GEIs are high-achievers inside and outside the group studio – not only do they excel at planning effective, exercise science-based group sessions for different fitness levels, they also possess a wealth of motivational and leadership techniques that help their classes achieve fitness goals.

ACSM Group Exercise Instructors® provide safe instruction across many class types and equipment sets, from aerobics, to bicycles and beyond. Because of their excellent communication skills, ACSM GEIs work in gyms and health clubs, as well as community, university, and corporate facilities – whether there’s headset and a stereo system or just an open gym.

Guess what guys? I got another certification! 

Soon after I received my personal training certification the books were in my mailbox for ACSM's Group Exercise a Instructor. Like the CPT it did not require me to have a bachelor's in Exercise Science, I mean nutrition is close enough right? Anyway, this certification would earn me extra credibility with teaching group classes, creating my own, becoming a group ex director, working with corporate settings, etc. I also found this as a great opportunity to continue my journey of educational advancement.

Now studying for this test was a whole other ballgame. Similar to my CPT I actually had my books for a year before taking the exam ( I'm a slow reader). On and off I was reading, planning something else, or just not being focused. I only needed one extra book which was the resources for group exercise instructor because I already had the other. Finding advice on studying was troublesome however.

Not many wrote articles on their process to studying the chapters after reading the book. If they did write an article it was just that they received it and not specifically what to study most. I understand that remembering whats types of questions on the exam is hard, because i couldn't, but its a great insight if your on track to studying the right stuff. In addition, contrary to the CPT, there weren't any apps I could find to also help with studying. Anywho I'll divulge my methods below:

After taking a year to read the book cover to cover the first thing I did was find the closest app for the group instructor exam. This app was called pocketbook group fitness certification I believe for NASM. I did not use this much because of that but you could explore to see if you recognize some questions from our book. Next I also went to quiz-let and researched for specific study cards made for the ACSM CPT. I came across a few that were separated by chapters, not all of them, then another with general mix of all chapters. 

I printed these out sheet form since it was easier to carry but your welcome to also use them in index form once you create a free login. I had about 2-3 weeks until my test; I recommend that you read these everyday before you go back to study through the book. Another thing I did was print out the exam analysis that ACSM provides with the KS breakdown and I labeled each letter with the chapter that contained it. The plan was to figure out which ones I didn't know so much and read those sections first and more often.

As you can see from the photo below my Score wasn't as great as my CPT. I believe this is because I did not begin my methods earlier enough and I took so long to read the book that the beginning chapters probably got lost in my head so it would have been great to read the book again. But I am proud of once again accomplishing a goal and I am sure if you use these methods you too will accomplish this goal. Please share with your peers and others who may be taking the test because this may be of help!

P.S. I am also including some links to the items I referenced within this post.

Join the my ACSM GEI Group:


Take a look at Kim & Pryd study cards which are the ones I used

GEI Exam Blueprint (Follow the % on what to study first after you complete book)


Group Fitness Instructor Exam Prep 2015 by Pocket Prep, Inc. ( For NASM however)




Fall 2015: Using Hospitality & Excellence to Drive Innovation and Program Participant Engagement

*Notes taken from presentation presented by Neal Pire, MA, FACSM. Please contact presenter for more information on the presentation*

Presenter Story:  Aimsley is a receptionist whom he met while visiting the Plaza Hotel in NY For Business. He speaks about the excitement in the Aimsley's voice each and every time a question was asked or a person walked out the elevator no matter if it was a visitor or a coworker. Aimsley's job was to exceed expectations and make you feel special.

When you exceed expectations and make someone feel special in the field of health & fitness:

Engagement ^

 Retention ^

Attendance ^ 

Referrals ^

Participation ^

Take Home Messages

  • A participant is equal to being a customer
  • You must invest in their time
  • Make sure you are dealing in Reality
    • seeing through their eyes
  • Don't expect what you don't inspect
    • KPI (Key Performance Indictators)
  • Service Rules!
    • Basic Hospitality Creates Experience

Perception is Reality

Presenter story: Once I visited a gym run by 2 brothers who were on the floor everyday talking to people, answering questions,cleaning and building relationships with their members. As time past they started to realize that their lease was soon to be up and they wanted to find a better space and better deal. Soon they began to retreat to their offices all day interviewing potentials and slowly they lost touch with their gym and its members. The equipment became poor, the locker rooms were horrendous and many members were unhappy. Through it all their was one member I decided to talk to because I wanted to know why she remained and her answer was, "My friends were there."

Remember it is about the customers view. Don't blindly accept what you perceive as reality.

See Business Through Customer's Eyes

  • Be enlightened Partner "MBWA" (manage by walking around"
  • Utilize a comment box to see what your customer/member wants
    • Make sure everyone knows when you respond/fix a problem
  • Have a focus group to choose certain aspects of development for the gym
  • Member Advisory Committee- connect members to the business for growth
  • Surveys- venues such a Survey Monkey can help you connect with members' wants

A Leader's 4 Most Powerful Words

What Do You Think?
  • Customer response: "He cares about me?
  • Employee: " I matter."

Most Companies Have No Idea!

80% of companies described the service they provide as Superior while only 8% of their customers actually described it as such.

Can You Handle the Truth?

The people that will lead us to the promise land are:

  • Disgruntled Customers whom problems you must solve
  • Off the Scope Competitors who think outside the box
  • Rogue Employees who are creative in their approach
  • Fringe Suppliers
  • To innovate you MUST "Think Outside The Box"
Your most unhappy customer is your greatest source of learning- Bill Gates

KPI to help "Keep It Real"

  • Customer Satisfaction score
    • Overall, how satisfied are you?
    • What do you like most?
    • What needs Improvement?
  • Net Promoter score
    • Measures loyalty: 0-1 detractor, 7-8 Passive, 9-10 Promoters
  • Why is excellent service important?
    • 9-10 What do we do well?
    • 7-8 What do we do to get a better score?
    • 0-6 What do we need to improve?
Satisfied customers are not good enough, they are not loyal; Delighted customers are. Customers have high expectations when spending is discretionary. 

Hospitality Leads to Engagement

  • Good Hospitality help keep current customers & help attract new ones
  • Customers don't purchase your service, they purchase experience
  • Disney calls it "creating moments of magic"
Presenter Story: at a hotel in Seattle Fairmont I received unexpected experiences. I got a free ride to my destination from the hotel concierge and when I got home I was met with a variety of teas, slippers, and candles waiting in my room.

Hospitality Do's

  • Eye contact
  • Smile and Polite greeting
  • Energetic Voice
  • Listen, Engage, & Educate
  • Know their name
  • Please & Thank You
  • Positive Words 
  • Mental note of Likes, Dislikes, personal details
  • Telephone Skills: Smile, Full name & Number, Thank Caller


  • No derogatory slurs
  • No sexual/religious/ethnic jokes
  • Don't Engage in distracting behavior

65% of customers are visual

  • Be in uniform with good hygiene

Check out the ACSM Career & Business Guide for more Information and advice!


Actually Personal Training !


So many of you guys may have seen my posts on facebook/instagram/twitter but besides teaching Bodyvive twice a week, working at Flatbread on sundays, and working at Gold's Gym Desk 3x a week ....I'm finally Personal Training 3x a week. I got hired for an outsource Personal Training company this past July and began after my trip to Ghana. This company works within gyms who don't own their own Personal Training department; So depending on the location of the company the employees may be at different gyms.

You can probably see why I'm stressing over learning my tracks for the new launch. Overall, it has been a great experience working with people from different walks of life; some old, some young, English speaking and not so much, even partner sessions. Most of my sessions are only 30 minutes long and many are looking for fat loss so I have to use my knowledge to give them the best workout in a short amount of time. 

I've have dedicated clients to come in after long days at work and some who reschedule a lot because of work. With or without problems I appreciate the job because it gives me experience with handling issues on the spot whether its modifying exercises, figuring out scheduling, or developing new ways to handle injuries or missing equipment.

I also have other opportunities I'm currently exploring yet one problem has been a unfortunately major deciding factor...Travel. Not having a car can make a 10 minute drive a 1 hour bus ride. A year or so ago I was struggling with no job opportunities in my field. Now I'm struggling to figure out which job, with getting to and from work efficiently being one of the issues. I'm not sure if most my employees know I don't have a car because I try not to make that a big issue; I know I have to sacrifice to pursue my dream and if that means a 30 minute walk from work then....I guess I better stretch.

ACSM Conference #2 Check!

What's up guys!

This past week I attended my second ACSM Conference aiding in completing my Continuing Education Credit Requirements. Let me Explain...

In order to keep my certification valid every 3 years I must receive 45 credits through lectures, classes, conferences and other educational materials. Many other professions have this even Doctors. The reasoning is because as time passes, new research is constantly finding new ways to efficiently help our communities and some things that we may have recommended in the past becomes old news. By continuing to educate yourselves you get the new research, new methods, and learn how to separate that from the latest crazes that sweep the media.

I've realized what better way to share some of things I learned than to blog about them?! So over the next week or so I will be posting my notes from the sessions I attended over the 2 days ranging from Exercise induced Asthma and how much protein is truly efficient for supplementation. And don't worry it will be least I think so :)

Les Mills BodyVive Halloween Launch Spooktacular

Well, it is now October 2015 and Wendee and I have been teaching Bodyvive for about 8 months! Wow has it been an experience being able to connect with our participants every week, challenging their bodies and ours as well. There has been times when we were a little tired, not feeling well, or one had to miss out for a day yet we continued to put our best foot forward to maintain our connection with our audience. 

Thinking back about our training, I realize that our own bodies have also come a long way. I feel stronger and leaner and everyone says it as well. Getting to Wendee, just yesterday she was screaming "omg whats this thing on my shoulder why is it like that?! I hilariously said "Wendee its your traps, your getting stronger, calm down." 

We are arriving at our 3rd launch this Halloween and can I tell you I am STRESSING! I'm so busy with all the other projects/job in my life I haven't even practiced the new music and choreo and we have 2 WEEKS! Even though I haven't found my learning niche yet I love the switch up as it help me challenge different parts of my body and keeps things fresh. If your in Providence make sure you check out our launch Halloween Bodyvive 8am and more 30 minute samplers throughout the day!



LesMills BodyVive Certified & Release 34 Launch

Wow who would have thought I would be here now! Reminiscing back to the day I stood at the front desk and listened in to my coworker discuss the upcoming training and randomly deciding I would attend. It has been about 5 months since we attend training and have been teaching class. Through all the rough times learning choreography and video re-tapes we are both finally internationally certified! 

Its been an amazing experience being able to call myself a Group Exercise Instructor and Certified Personal Trainer ( not at Golds ). There were a few rocks on the trail toward this launch such as my co-instructor suffering though wisdom teeth removal resulting in me teaching 3-4 weeks alone. This helped me test my ability on whether I could confidently present the tracks correctly, maintain or increase interest in the class, and prepare for my video submittal. 

All in all, this weekend will be our official launch of release 34 with 12 new tracks and new choreography. I didn't realize every 3 months I'd be stressing all over again on memorizing new moves; glad I don't have to video anymore. However I'm excited to present such great music and continue toward finding my learning niche. Who knows maybe I'll train to instruct another class :)

NEW VENTURE - Les Mills BodyVive 3.1 Instructor & Launch Day at Gym!

NEW VENTURE - Les Mills BodyVive 3.1 Instructor & Launch Day at Gym!

In case you don't know, Les Mills International (based in New Zealand) is the world's largest providers of Exercise to Music choreographed group fitness classes distributed to health clubs. One of their programs, BodyVive 3.1, is a low impact full body cross training workout class that incorporates cardio, functional strength, balance and core all in one. This class is generally marketed toward women in their 30-40's who don't have much time in their schedule to workout.

I knew none of this when I decided to become an Instructor! It was just another day at the gym when a coworker began mentioning the upcoming instructor training and how she would be interested in going. Desiring anything that could get me more experience training, I said " Oh I'll do it with you!" Before I knew it my bank showed $90 less and I was scheduled to attend training in 3 weeks. 

Working at Gold's Gym

Working at Gold's Gym

Guess what? I got hired for Member Services at Gold's Gym in Pawtucket RI! I've currently been working here since December and loving every minute of it. No longer are the dreadful days of wondering am I going to get more hours at flatbread..well I still work there actually.



I arrived to the registration table picking up my name tag, grinning as I pinned it on my lapel. I looked & walked around in amazement at the many tables that graced the perimeter of the lobby. The tables on display ranged from historic colleges such as Springfield and SCSU to Certification Associations such as the National Strength & Conditioning Association and Perform Better.

Ancestry Test Results are in!

I finally got my test results, and it's honestly an amazing feeling to have that piece of my history ;However, I am not stopping there. I plan on further investigating more information on my family history, gather photos from the grands, and expand the family tree. I have printed some information from the site from each of the places listed, please take a look below!

How I Passed the ACSM CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) Exam 2014!

Once I decided that the golden standard (ACSM) was the route I was going, I constantly researched ways to study. As one finds out, there are no straight forward study guides with tests after each chapter, number of chapters read and pair with the other books, etc. Its just buy the books study however you want, or in whatever order, pay for the test and the rest is history.

I first started my research by looking at people's videos and previous blog posts on how they passed. One of the problems was that many of them had taken the exam right before they recently updated the exam and books. SO, even though their advice did help some way or another, there was still less guidance than I wanted. 

Next I started to search the hashtag acsm on instagram, and everytime I saw someone's picture of their certification I would message and ask for study advice. The problem I ran into with that, while being helpful, was that many of them had majored in Exercise Science and muh :( My other method was also becoming a member of ACSM CPT groups which was a great idea because I met people who were just as lost as I was Haha but others who were support for us.

I had my books for probably a year studying on and off in which most info probably left my mind once I picked it up again. I seriously started I guess you would say in the summer and even then wasn't consistent enough as I wanted. Friends had recommended paying for a test date and that would push me which it did (I had finally had money so a payed it for the next month)! Below I also listed some resources + methods I used to help me.

  • Read Resource Book once
  • Read the 3day study guide (ACSM session) with practice test (got from friend)
  • Made index cards of Most important Especially Risk factors^
  • Did case studies and Practice Test from Cert Review Book
  • Categorized the questions wrong from cert review into each domain and put them order from most I got wrong to least
  • Used Prep U to first focus on the domains that I didn't do so well then others (Also got from another friend, wish I had earlier or myself because he had did so many his masters level was up high and it wasn't variating the questions as much as i wanted)(Many question were on test of the ones I got)
  • Used CertMantra Cpt (for android) and did all sets of questions, reviewed them, and did mock test few times (Definitely had a lot of questions that were on test)
  • Quizlet has some index cards, examples below:
  • Check out ACSM Job Analysis and definitely do the research I did for help!
  • Also maybe this list of things to know I found here
  • If you an consistent studier give your self at least 3 months, But if your on and off like me, allow more time.

I heard the Group Instructor one is easier so I think I'm going to get the book and go for that one next month!


Finally made it to yoga!

Well yoga was intense lol. Finally made it after 2 weeks of bad timing and wrong timing. It helped me realize I definitely needed to work on my flexibility a little more. The breathing exercises were different; I wasn't exactly sure if I should just breathe out my nose or only exhale. I also picked the smallest mat possible from the gym. ...oops. looking forward to next week tho!

Ancestry Test

So last week I received my Ancestry test kit from Unfortunately this one was missing the blue stabilizing liquid and they had to send another. A week later it came with no problem!

I just finished the process of spitting into the tube and mixing it with the solution. I am ready to place it in the mail right now. I am so excited about the possibilities and getting a understanding about my family's heritage and ancestors. I'll update you on the results soon!

the kit
the kit
the instructions
the instructions

Emotions trickling from the Scale to my Tear Ducts

As I stood on the scale, I watched the numbers bounce around just like they did on biggest loser as they awaited their fate on whether or not they got to stay another week. Funny I used to say I wanted to be on biggest loser, even looking up the casting to see how to apply. Even to this day I still want to be on the show but not as a contestant anymore, but as a trainer.

The scale stopped, digitized at 192.2 but wait it had to clear so it could balance to the floor I had just placed it on. I got off and then back on once the scale cleared, the final number was 189.6. I stood there as if time had frozen in awe, emotions trickling from the scale to my tear-ducts.

I could not remember when I was ever 189. Not even my freshman year in college was I that small and with this height to add. Wow thinking back to May this year (6months ago!), 233lbs seems so far away; 40lbs of fat and 2lbs muscle to be exact.

However I know its not as far away as it seems. I know as easy it was to back on the pounds year after year its still that easy to return. I will not let the scale define me but motivate me. I must constantly keep that a reminder not just of where I came from but which road not to travel again. Forgetting my history is repeating my history. I've come a long way but the journey will never be over because thats where it becomes a lifestyle and not a temporary moment.

What's the most important component of Strength Training? !


Many beginners get stuck on the theatrical aspects of lifting weights. They want big muscles to show off so they pound on the weights straining their backs until it cracks. Or they decide I'm just going to tone up so 10 lbs 95 reps should be good.

No matter how heavy you go, no matter how fast you lift, and no matter how often you go to the gym; improper form will lead to a proper injury.

If you don't know the proper form of an exercise, research it. Even if you have been doing an exercise for a while and havent got the results you expected still do your research. Learning proper form could help you correct your stance, correct any uncomfortable experiences, and help you target with the best range possible.

If you have to lessen your weight to correct your form do so because when you see that guy walk past you who's been out of the gym for a while.'ll be glad you did.

Acsm test scheduled

Well guess what guys!

I have officially payed for and scheduled my acsm test. I've been pushing it off for so long and slacking on studying. Hopefully this test date will push me to get that studying done and choose another achievement to go after! Wish me luck!

Post Grad Hopes

Welp I survived at least half way through the summer! (Lets not be technical with the dates :). Checked my weight this morning and it said 195-196. That definitely shocked me since I don't remember being under 200 since my freshman year. I remember jumping around 228-233 last may 2013.

I've had ups and downs this summer with my attempts to focus on grasping a job within my career goals and wear I want to take my future but sadly the job market doesn't care that much. However I'm not letting that change my mind of deter me from what I want for my future. Meanwhile I've been attempting to focus more on studying for ACSM certification in training while also developing my company everyday and figuring out new ways to create healthier habits for myself and others. The  journey is continuing and I am determined because I know you have to hit your lowest to find out what it takes to get to your highest!