The Breath of Life

Proper breathing has the ability to transform our health, our pain levels, our mood and our lives. This is why we include breathing techniques and a portion of our client workouts to Elite Breathwork. Here’s a look at what the science shows us and why we should practice proper breathing.

Humans average between 17,000-30,000 breaths each day. As a common body function, we may takefor granted the power that proper breathing has over our entire body.

Deliberate and controlled breathing can transform your life. It can change the way you think and process emotions, how your muscles work, how often you get sick, and influence your chances of  developing some chronic diseases.

Science and research shows us that proper breathing supports all of our body’s natural abilities to regulate and heal.

The Benefits of Better Breathing

Proper breathing has an impact on all body functions. Including, 
– Improvement of respiratory illness and diseases
– Pulmonary functions
– Greater relaxation and sounder sleep
– Better posture
– Reduced stress and enhanced mood
– Enhanced learning and cognitive performance
– Enhanced physical endurance and performance
– Improved balance and motor control

Want to know if you’re breathing properly? Check out this fun and quick video:

Want to learn more about the fascinating science of proper breathwork? Follow this link Power of Breath to a podcast by Dr. Mark Hyman and guest researcher and author, James Nestor.

Here’s to your best results and to your best breathing!
Tina, Deborah, Jenna, Thomas and Nicole

We’ve Got Your Nutrition Answers!

Have You Found What Works for You?

We know that our clients have different nutritional needs and goals. That’s why we now offer several nutritional approaches. Do you simply need general guidelines and a flexible menu? Do you need lots of structure and specific daily protocols? Do you need a long-term approach to nutrition that includes workshops, tools and high-levels of accountability? 

Whatever you need, we can meet you where you are! Our programs will get your best results.

Step Your Way into Health

We know that putting time and energy into our workouts is necessary to reach our goals. But research shows we may not get the full benefit from our workouts if we’re sitting too much. Many jobs require us to sit, and it can be easy to fall into a more sedentary lifestyle despite exercising on a consistent basis. 

By being a little more intentional, we can increase our daily steps, add in extra movement and reap all the benefits of a more active lifestyle!

The Benefits

Studies show that increasing our step count and movement throughout the day has so many amazing health benefits. Getting more steps:  

Decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke. When we move, our muscles are able to pump blood throughout our bodies more efficiently.

Improves blood pressure-more movement means a stronger heart, so it can pump blood with less effort. 

Strengthens our bone health. Weight bearing movements increases bone density.

Can increase our longevity.

Can improve the quality of our sleep.

Can decrease stress levels-movement helps clear the head and produces “feel good” hormones.

How to Get More Steps

Park farther way from an entrance.

Take the stairs whenever possible.

Move around when talking on the phone.

Take walk breaks at work and throughout the day.

Go for a walk outside: enjoy nature or listen to a podcast, an audible, or some fun music!

Grab a buddy (and your dog!) and go for a walk in your neighborhood.

Go for a hike on the weekend and choose recreational activities that require movement. 

Our bodies were MADE to move! Increasing our steps gradually and getting in a little more movement each day adds up to great benefits. Think about how many steps you will accumulate each week, month, and year if you just do a little bit more every day. Be intentional, get creative and remember: Consistency is key. So let’s get stepping, even a little bit more, every day!

Here’s to your best results!
Tina, Deborah, Jenna, Thomas and Nicole

How To Keep Getting Stronger

It’s All About The Overload

Whether your goal is to move better, feel better or look better, one thing that needs to happen in your workouts is a process called Progressive Overload. 

Progressive overload is the technical term for “overloading your muscles”, and simply means gradually increasing requirements in your strength training routine. 

The Plateau

When we strength train, our bodies adapt to what we are doing. We know this is happening when the bicep curls we used to perform with 10-pound weights starts to feel easier to perform. Our muscles have adapted to that weight, that number of repetitions and that load. When this happens, it’s time to change SOMETHING to add a more challenging stimulus to the muscle. Otherwise, muscle growth plateaus and our progress slows down, and eventually stalls.

The Overload

There are many ways to make our workouts more challenging. Here are some variables you can use to promote progressive overloading and to keep making gains!

Increase the Weight
If doing 10 bicep curls with a 10-pound weight used to require effort all the way through, but now feels easy, try using 12 or 15 pound weights. This added stimulus and increased demand makes your muscles work harder, allowing for continued development of strength.

Increase the Repetitions
Not ready to increase weight? Simply increase the number of reps you are doing. Continue curling with the 10- pound weights, but now do 12-15 reps. This will add more volume, which is another way to add stimulus to your muscle.  

Increase the Sets
If you were doing 3 sets of bicep curls, try to do 4. This will also add more volume to your muscle requirement, and thus continue to challenge your body in a productive way. 

Increase the Intensity

You can increase the intensity of many exercises by altering your body position while performing the movement (like kneeling vs. standing or using one leg instead of both) or by adding an unstable surface to the movement (like using a BOSU or stability ball).  Making a movement more dynamic (like turning a squat into a jumping squat) or changing the time or tempo (such as holding a plank longer) are two more ways to increase the demands and require your body to make new adjustments. 

The Rules

Progressive overload must be careful and GRADUAL. You shouldn’t add weight, reps, sets, or intensity in every workout. Instead, pick one or two variables to increase, then give your body time to work and adapt! As a rule, the last 2-3 reps of your set should be a productive struggle, meaning you’re able to perform them with good form, but it’s challenging. You will know it’s time to change things up when most of your reps start to get easy again. 

 Your muscles are not the only thing that benefits from progressive overload: your bones, ligaments and tendons also get stronger as you increase stimulus!   With time, hard work, and being intentional in your workout, you will get stronger and your muscles will need to be progressively overloaded so you can continue to reap the benefits of all your hard work!

Here’s to your best results!

Tina, Deborah, Jenna, Thomas and Nicole

“Friends, Not Clients”

Tina Wilkerson, owner of Elite Personal Training, is a personal trainer with a big heart .The Columbia resident was a typical stay-at-home mom. But six months after her daughter was born, she was 40 pounds overweight, experiencing low energy, headaches, and back pain. Determined to make changes that would allow her to enjoy life with her daughter, she began studying nutrition and fitness. Through changes in her diet and exercise, she lost weight, gained muscle, and went from a size 14 to a size 2. Her physical ailments disappeared and were replaced with energy, painless mobility and confidence. Having experienced first-hand the benefits of adopting a healthy lifestyle, she has now devoted her life to helping others improve their quality of life.

Certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Personal Trainer (CPT) and a Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES), she opened Elite Personal Training Studio in 2007. The Studio, at 1186 Columbia Avenue, Suite 101 in Irmo, is in a new 1800 square foot facility equipped with free weights, pulleys, kettlebells and a variety of dynamic training tools. The clean, warm décor make it closer to a boutique than an open gym. Free community health talks are also regularly offered on wellness, nutrition and fitness subjects.

“My own personal fitness journey has been a challenge as well as a reward. I have struggled with my own health issues, and days when my motivation is low, or times when my self-esteem is poor. I am much like the average person. But I know how empowering and freeing it is to have a body that cooperates with the person that is inside of me. I know how great it feels to move better, have less pain, and to have confidence.”

Tina’s personal insights into the struggles that many people face is exactly what makes her clients appreciate her and what helps them be encouraged to progress toward their own goals. Client Dana Berry says “I know Tina can relate to me. She makes me feel comfortable and confident. When I’m having a bad day, I am more likely to get a hug and some great stretching and relaxation exercises than to ever get any kind of judgment from her. She is organized and deliberate about my program design. When I leave her I always feel better, both physically and emotionally.”

Tina’s clientele is a diverse group. Most of her clients are trying to lose weight or improve their general health, but she also works with many older adults who want to maintain and improve their independence, as well as those who are stepping down from Physical Therapy and Rehab. “It’s so rewarding,“ Tina commented, “to help people create a body that allows them to live the kind of life they want to live.” She’s not a Drill Sergeant, but a supportive, unintimidating encourager. “My clients become my friends. They trust me because they know I genuinely care about them, and that I understand their struggles,” she says. Many of them have been with her for several years. “We walk the roads of life together,“ says one client. Tina says, “I have the clinical knowledge; I am extremely thorough and comprehensive in the services and experiences I provide; my clients get results. But they also know my heart is for them, and that is what really matters.”

“I Don’t Have Clients; I Have Friends.”

Tina’s services include private and semi-private training programs, complete with movement screenings, health assessments, personal program designs and nutritional counseling.

Her free consultation allows prospective clients a full assessment and program recommendation. Her $99
semi-private training trial gives new clients the full assessment, as well as four training sessions.

By Carol A Ryall

Call Tina at 803-749-4279, or visit to schedule your free consultation.

3 Tips to Launch Healthy Habits

We all know we need to exercise. The benefits are well-documented; decreased risk of some cancers, lowered risk of diabetes and heart disease, improved mood and cognitive function, and even better sleep and increased energy.

But for many of us, time is not on our side when it comes to exercise. For the best health benefits, 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise is the goal. So, how do we make it happen when we have so many other things vying for our time? Here are some simple, yet effective ways to add it up!

1- Use a device. Track your steps and activity. 10,000 steps a day is a general recommendation for health benefits, including weight loss.

2- Take the stairs. Just skip the elevator and climb. If you are carrying groceries or a briefcase or a baby, you get extra points!

3- Add it up. Can’t find 30 minutes to work out? How about 10 minutes at 3 different times each day? Waiting for dinner to cook, or the minute you walk in your front door, or while you are getting ready for bed…grab that 10 minutes and do some kind of movement that is appropriate for you. My favorites are squats, lunges, push-ups and planks…you can do them just about anywhere, and you can do a bunch of them in 10 minutes!

If you need help assessing appropriate exercises and program-designs, could use some accountability, or just need some motivation, let us help you. Check out our services at or call 803-749-4279. Don’t let time tick away on your health; start taking care of yourself today!

Elite Personal Training Studio is located in Irmo, SC. We offer personalized, comprehensive, and results-driven programs for results-driven people, serving clients in Richland and Lexington Counties, including: Columbia, Lexington, Ballentine, Chapin, Irmo, St. Andrews, Cayce and the surrounding areas for over 13 years.

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