Adding Days to Your Life

Here at FitCrush, we love it when magazines write articles about things we already know 😉

Here is a great article about a new research study that shows how strength training can extend your life. Come strength train with us and add days to your life! Our  next HealthCrush Challenge is a great way to get started!

The Workout That Makes You Live Longer

If you’re a cardio junkie, it may be tempting to skip the weight room when you work out. Hey, your legs are sore after you hit up your go-to spin class. That totally counts as strength training, right? Eh, not so much. And according to new research, it might be time to stop skimping on a legit leg day, because anaerobic exercise (a.k.a. strength training) may be the secret to longevity.

In the study published in the journal Preventative Medicine, researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine found a link between strength training and a longer life. While, yes, cardio has been shown to lower your risk for cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, there’s much less research on how strength training (as opposed to cardio or overall activity levels) impacts your health and longevity. Read more…

HealthCrush Challenge Starting Soon!

HealthCrush Challenge – Spring Into Summer!

May 1st – June 18

The HealthCrush Challenge is back! We are looking for motivated individuals to join us for a six week challenge group to jump start your journey to your best health possible! Let’s get ready for summer together!
New Member Special for HealthCrush – $189 for 6 Weeks, includes:
· Individual Nutrition Meeting with our HealthCrush Coach to Introduce You to the Program

· Weekly Group Meetings with weigh-ins and goal-setting

· Unlimited Body Sculpting Personal Trainer-Led Bootcamps and Group Fitness Classes
Group meetings will take place Wednesdays at 10:45am or Sundays at 2:00pm.
To find out more and sign up, check out
Questions? Email Jessica at

First HealthCrush Challenge is Complete!

Congratulations to all of our HealthCrush Challenge participants! Our amazing challengers were reaching their goals, increasing their muscle mass, and feeling great! We celebrated today with a workout and party to give ourselves a much deserved pat on the back!

HealthCrush Challenge Level 1 Winter 2016

Our HealthCrush Cue cards will help us to stay on track and remind us that:

“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction”  – George Horace Lorimer

Great job ladies! Our next HealthCrush Challenge starts May 1. Get ready for summer with FitCrush!


Community CPR Class 4/18

Learn how to save a life! FitCrush will be hosting a Red Cross CPR/AED Training Class open to the community. At the completion of the two hour class, you will receive a certification card.

  • Monday, 4/18
  • 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
  • Cost $45

Sign Up Here

Please pass along to anyone who may be interested. If you have any questions, please email


Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Lots of protein with healthy greens! Pair with a steamed vegetable or salad for a great meal!


From Cooking Light


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil



  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Add onion; cook 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat; stir in dill, spinach, and feta cheese. Cool 10 minutes.
  2. Cut a horizontal slit through the center of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Stuff each pocket evenly with spinach mixture. Close pockets with toothpicks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil to pan. Add chicken; cook 4 minutes. Turn chicken. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done.

Makes 4 servings (serving size: 1 stuffed chicken breast half)

Nutrition Information:

  • CALORIES 319
  • CHOLESTEROL 125.6mg
  • FIBER 2.4g
  • PROTEIN 40.1g
  • SODIUM 585.0mg
  • FAT 13.5g
  • CALCIUM 136.4mg
  • IRON 2.0mg

Barre Fitness Gets an “A+”

Check out this great article on all of the benefits of barre classes for women. Keep it up BarreCrush ladies! If you haven’t tried BarreCrush with Lisa O. yet, come give it a try, your body will thank you!

Dr. Sara Grades Different Forms of Exercise for Women: Barre Fitness Gets an “A+”

By Sara Gottfried MD


As an OB/GYN, hormone expert, and specialist in women’s health, I receive a lot of questions from my patients about their bodies. While many of the questions involve hormones and reproductive health, I am also asked a lot about physical activity. Specifically, which exercise is the best for weight loss? How do I build strength without bulking up? Is CrossFit too dangerous for a woman my age? And what the heck is all this buzz about barre fitness? read more.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Chicken Enchilada Casserole – Great dish for sharing, and under 350 calories with 24 grams of protein per serving!

From Cooking Light


  • Cooking spray
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped onion, divided
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup salsa verde
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeño pepper
  • 9 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 425°F.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side. Place skillet in oven; bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes. Remove meat from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, corn, and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) to chicken; toss to combine.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup onion; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 garlic cloves; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add onion mixture to chicken mixture; stir to combine.

Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups onion, remaining 3 garlic cloves, broth, salsa, 1/4 cup water, and jalapeño in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Carefully pour mixture into a blender; add 2 tablespoons cilantro. Process until smooth.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tortillas; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove tortillas from pan; repeat procedure with remaining tortillas. Cut tortillas into quarters.

Spread 1/2 cup salsa mixture in the bottom of an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 12 tortilla quarters over salsa mixture. Spoon half of chicken mixture over tortillas. Repeat layers, ending with tortillas. Pour remaining salsa mixture over tortillas; sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Top with remaining cilantro.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 4 |  Serving Size: 1 3/4 cup

Per serving: Calories: 346; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 22mg; Sodium: 709mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 24g

Rosemary Chicken Salad

Rosemary Chicken Salad – A great lunch option with over 34 grams of protein. This is a great example of what our HealthCrush Challenge participants are enjoying!

From Cooking Light Diet

Gently stir together:
2/3 cup chopped cooked skinless chicken breast
¼ cup chopped roasted red pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon canola mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
a dash each of salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
Serve over 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce.
Makes 1 serving
344 calories
  • FIBER3.2g
  • PROTEIN34.4g
  • SODIUM403.0mg
  • FAT19.3g
  • CALCIUM144.0mg
  • IRON2.8mg

Lengthen and Strengthen with Lisa O.


Lisa  leads our Barre Body classes to get you tight and toned! And check out her new class – Lengthen – available after some of our Crush60 classes for some more intense stretching to compliment your high intensity and weight training workouts. Check the schedule for more details

Lisa is a certified Barre Body instructor and First Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. In addition to her teaching at FitCrush, she works domestically and internationally to help combat violence against women. Prior to FitCrush, Lisa was a small business owner in Bethesda for four years; spent six years as the Director of Government Affairs for Communities In School, Inc.; and worked six years as a Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives for Members representing districts in Chicago and Los Angeles. She currently resides in Glen Echo Heights with her husband, Dan, their four children and dog, Gifford.

Four Questions with Lisa:

What led you to your Taekwondo practice?
I discovered Taekwondo through my children, who were 4 and 6 years old at the time. I used my Taekwondo practice to find strength and stress release while going through a divorce. As I progressed, my goal was to use the skills I learned to pay it forward and empower other women.

What is Your Favorite Post Workout Snack?
Toast and marmite – I like to eat my carbs right after I work out, and marmite has great B vitamins that give me a boost. My British husband introduced it to me (Thank you Dan!).

What Song Motivates You Every Time You Hear It?
Woman’s World, by Cher

What is the biggest change you see in your students from taking barre classes consistently?
Better posture, lifted derriere, and core strength.

The Hard Gainer’s Dilemma: Getting On the Horse

I have been ultra-lean my whole life. Last week I disclosed to the family my intentions to “bulk up.” My teenage daughter sneered and said; “why would you want to do that?” Before I could reply, my son retorted; “Look at him! He disappears when he turns to the side. It’s like a sheet of paper with a head on an Adam’s Apple.” He is always so cleaver.  If I wanted their approval, I was getting it in a very unusual way.

I had always thought of myself as being consigned to the “skinny” (read: sickly) category for life. I suppose that’s the reason I historically preferred the running track to the weight room. I always felt intimidated by all of… what one finds in those places. And, I really do enjoy running. I ran two marathons while in the Air Force; my mental reprieve from the anxiety I struggled through during training and education.

My wife’s recent counsel regarding nutrition turned a new leaf for me. She sat me down with one of her macro-tracker books and we hashed out all of the food I had eaten the previous week. The result: I wasn’t eating enough.

Caloric intake for a man of my height and desired size was 900 calories more than I was consuming. The culprit? My lousy appetite. And why did I never feel like eating? Because I’m always stuck behind a desk playing “Pong” with mouse and keyboard. …okay, not ‘’Pong.” Still, my sedentary lifestyle was making me crave less food.

My diet was limited to morning coffee, an office “communal snack” of bagel or doughnut for lunch and then home for a late, rushed dinner. Midday hunger? Coffee. Always coffee. It staves off hunger for sure. It also makes me a nervous wreck and decreases my focus when on task. Not good for someone whose employment it is to sift through seemingly trivial details to find correlative anomalies. Boring stuff. It requires focus, not nervous tension.

I am highly pragmatic about changes like these. I typically use a standardized military concept of operation (CONOP) when approaching things like this. The stages are: Assessment (current state vs. desired future state), Planning, Execution, Assessment and Lessons Learned, [Repeat].

So, I’ve “assessed” a current state (175lbs @ 23%) and a desired future state (195lbs @ <15%). I’ve assessed this desired future state mostly because my dad (nearly identical build) maintained 195 from his separation from the Army and well into his 70’s. I’ve chosen the proposed BMI because 12-15% is a healthy index that can be maintained without having to do the “bulk/shred” regimen. I want to stay away from the “bulk/shred” stuff. Because I think it is evil.


  • Eat breakfast, Plan lunch and dinner with appropriate snacks in between.
  • Eat plenty of veggie fiber. Count my calories (within reason).
  • GET TO THE GYM (not the track).
  • Find someone to work out with (works for the gym and distance training alike).
  • Work with Elisabeth to build a work out regimen that accomplishes my goals.

My name is Jonathan and I have decided to blog my progress for several reasons. Partly to show off the tools and resources available through FitCrush; partly to give an inside look into what it takes to make this happen for someone like me, but mostly to show that it is even possible for someone like me (very skinny, GIANT Adam’s apple, marginally sunken chest, stubborn belly) to get a large chest, prominent shoulders, abs; and generally sport a body I don’t feel ashamed of pool-side. The objective is to sculpt my body with lean gains. It is possible and I want to show the proof of concept.