Workout Smarter Not Harder With Michelle Tennant Nicholson


September is a great time to get back to the gym as kiddos are going back to school and the weather outside starts to cool. To support you, we’ve got fresh music and fresh moves in class starting September! If you’ve not already done our 2017 #Contract4Health and obtained your t-shirt, now’s a great time! Click here to read about it.

I’m closing out August with our “Iron Jim 2.0” kickboxing feature in Tabata Circuit only to welcome TRX Kettlebell in September. Kickboxing will remain a cardio option during Tabata Circuit, but for the whole month of September, we’ll do progressive movements combining TRX and Kettlebells like this video from TRX Training dot com.  It will be progressive each week so you won’t want to miss the four week progression. Your core will thank you come October! (Don’t worry; you can still do your favorite moves if you find the move-of-the-day too difficult.)

In SpinOff Flex, we’ll continue foam rolling, rope stretching, resistance band training and high intensity intervals per usual, however, for the whole month of September ALL NEW MUSIC. That’s right; every class Monday and Friday at 7:30 am through 8:30 am will be new music mixes you’ve not heard before. I’ll combine a variety of styles and as one of the local HD radio stations advertises: we play everything. So classes will be organized in this way for the month of September to encourage aerobic base training:

> First 5 minutes = flat road ride to warm up

> Minute 5-30 = interval (high intensity)

> Minute 30-60 = endurance & strength (aerobic base training + strength drills)

On Fridays, I break at 8:15 to dismiss people who are headed to Tabata Barre which starts at 8:15)

After Labor Day, we’ll do timed progressive strength movements in Spin class, too, so be sure to start and progress all month. I will also have my scale at the gym which measures body fat analysis in case you want to measure the differences between September 5th and October 2nd.




I almost forgot to celebrate with you. Saturday, July 2017, I completed another Spartan Super in Asheville. Many of you have expressed interest in what obstacles make up a Spartan obstacle race.

This 3 minute video will give you a GREAT idea what a Spartan Race entails. AND TRAINING FOR 2018 HAS JUST BEGUN!! Join me. There’s room on “Team Lemming” for sure 🙂




JULY 2017

In August, Iron Joe 2.0 will be joining our Tabata Circuit classes Tues Thurs 6-7 am eastern for a special kickboxing circuit. So, bring your gloves (or borrow the gym’s) and relieve some stress with good ole fashioned boxing!

Instead of strength, the stage circuit is setup for stretching and quiet relaxation so feel free to come early (5:40 am) or swap one 20 minute Tabata for 20 minutes of relaxation and stretching. Two minutes of stretching is at the end of each Tabata cycle: 6:20, 6:40 and 7:00 in the stage where I have the curtains drawn in August. So comfy!

Our core and strength circuits are in the aerobics room with the door closed so we can hear Iron Joe!

See you at the gym!



JUNE 2017


Just a quick note about my classes I’m teaching this summer at the LPC Fitness Center. In Tabata Circuit (Tues Thurs 6-7 am) this summer we’ll focus on body weight, TRX and exercises you can do with a chair or band and rope. You typically have a chair wherever you travel. Bands and ropes are also easy to carry.

This is so when you travel this summer, you can learn to take your fitness “to-go” and never miss a workout.

On the dry erase board outside the aerobics room, I will also post common summer foods and how long it takes to burn off those foods. So watch for those. I’ll change that monthly.

My Monday and Friday “SpinOff” (indoor cycling) classes 7:30-8:30 also incorporate rope stretching and strength training the last 15 minutes on Fridays. Through the summer, Monday Spin at 7:30 will be a whole hour — a traditional Spin class complete with movement to music and traditional Spin moves. Fridays class will be an intense interval for the first part of class followed by stretch and strength. Come for the whole hour or the first 40 minute interval.

If you’re still doing the nutrition program, feel free to drop in on Tabata Circuit where I have a hydration/weight station set-up under the dry erase board every class. This way you can monitor your body fat to muscle ratios and your hydration levels.

Stay hydrated this summer. See you in class!



MAY 2017


I wanted to let everyone know I’m adding the promised “stretching circuit” earlier than weeks 7 and 8 of this Summer Shape Up Series. I can feel even in my own body the hard work we’ve been doing in classes lately — we need to rest as much as we’re working. That rest doesn’t only mean sleep. It means stretching. Are you getting enough stretching? Be sure to stretch not only the overused muscles, but those opposite muscles from those you use all the time for balance.


This Thursday during Tabata Circuit class Tues/Thurs 6-7 am, you’ll find a stretching center in the hallway between the aerobics room and stage in front of the mirror. My computer tablet will have stretching exercises for 2 minutes that you can do at the end of each Tabata. I will demonstrate all strength Tabatas on the stage so please set up your bar/kettle/dumb bells on the stage when you arrive for class. Core/cardio will remain in the aerobics room. Also the back porch will be open if you want to do your cardio outside.


This Friday, we’ll incorporate some more stretching at the end of class in addition to what we’ve been working on in this Summer Shape-Up Series: Burpees, planks and this week: atomic push-ups on a Swiss/gym ball. We’ll either use the stage or the opposite side of the bike area in the walking track for stretching.

Here’s to remaining flexible our whole lives

like this woman who is still teaching yoga at 105.

or this woman who is still teaching at 93

or this granny at 84

or this 2 year old child (this is a joke so please keep that in mind if you choose to click it and watch it)

Here’s to being summer-sleek!



APRIL 2017

Next week, I will add more “macro-balanced” meal ideas to my YouTube channel. This past Monday Emily Freeman taught another nutrition seminar at LPC Fitness Center on how to balance macro nutrients and her lessons have my creative juices flowing! So, I’m in the kitchen experimenting how to balance protein, fat and carbs. Emily coaches LPC fitness members based on the methods from Body Confidence. Powered by some wisdom from Emily’s nutrition classes, Monday, Friday 7:30 am SpinOff classes includes a Tabata style burn the first 30 minutes to blast through sugar stores and the last part of class will focus on recovery & fat burn. Plus, next week to stimluate that muscle growth and fast twitch fiber, we’ll add optional burpees to our biking! This article is from a woman who did burpees for 15 days and it impacted her biking. Also, next week in “Tabata Circuit” Tues, Thurs 6-7 am cardio options will include:

> Track Attack (wear running shoes if you feel like you might choose this for cardio; inside in the gym or outside the back on the track)

> Mountain Climbers. Watch this video about how to do a mountain climber.

> Burpees. A staple in the Tabata Circuit, here’s a video about how to get after them.

For TRX (always an option during Tabata Circuit classes), we’ll try:

Combo moves which you can choose for strength, cardio and core! Watch this video about stacking TRX moves.

For strength, we’ll add:

Resistance bands and

Barbell deadlift. Here’s a video on how to do a deadlift correctly.

Some of you have individually told me your goals and one thing I’ve used through the years is MyFitnessPal to track nutrition and keep up on trends. My 50 year old brother lost 120 pounds just using MyFitnessPal’s calorie counter and that’s how I found out about it. I like to track my macro nutrients to ensure I have enough fuel for our hard workouts at the gym and MyFitnessPal does all that for free.

From time to time, I’ll share some interesting articles they’re posting like this:

Spring Clean Your Pantry

and Mason Jar Desserts


Make Ahead Breakfasts


Weight Loss 101 Graphic: What’s Actually Happening Inside You and

Ten of the Best Workouts for Weight Loss (Hint: Tabata is one of them!!!)


Stretch to Recover

If you choose to sign up for MyFitnessPal, feel free to befriend me there: KayakingPublicist. You can also catch me on the LPC Fitness Center blog, “Workout Smarter Not Harder or my YouTube channel where I’ve been sharing about my personal health journey since 2011. Thank you for all your well wishes. I’m recovering quite well from my thyroid and autoimmune disease and having you and everyone at LPC Fitness Center inspires and motivates me to keep reaching higher. My next Spartan Race is July 29-30. Join me if you like – it’s in Asheville. If you like to be inspired by others overcoming physical challenges, you’ll love this Spartan video. Plus, you’ll get a glimpse into why I love these races. I’m friends with the “more heart than scars” founder who is shown wearing a kilt toward the end when he carries this wheelchair participant over the finish line.

Here’s to being summer-sleek!


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