June 20, 2016 / Category: Fitness Community

Have you met our Life Fitness Academy (LFA) Trainer of the Month, Michele Sotak? This month, in addition to Michele’s abundant fitness knowledge, we’re sharing some of her go-to recipes that help her stay on track. We know that when you’re in the midst of a workout, knowing that there’s a delicious reward at the finish line encourages you to keep up that energy up and push through—so why not make sure that treat is just as nutritious as it is delicious?

“Within 45 minutes after my workout, I like to combine carbs, protein and a little sugar for muscle growth and recovery,” says Michele. She pairs each of her post-workout snacks with a full glass of water to rehydrate. Refuel with one of Michele’s go-to recipes after your next sweat session. Whether you’re a regular in the kitchen or you try your best to avoiding cooking all together, we’re sure you’ll find these recipes to be just as easy as they are satisfying:

Michele’s Banana Coconut Crème Protein Shake:


What You’ll Need:

  • 25g vanilla whey protein
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup ice


Add all of your ingredients to a blender, then blend on high until smooth. Enjoy!

Michele’s Simple Cottage Cheese and Fruit:


What You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • ½ cup of fresh raspberries, blackberries, diced pineapple, or a fruit of your choosing. (Michele’s pick is blackberries)


This one’s easy! Just add your ingredients to a bowl and enjoy.

More questions for Michele? Tweet them to @LifeFitness with #LFAToTM and stay tuned—we’ll be hosting a Q&A via social media later this month.

Life Fitness

June 06, 2016 / Category: Fitness Community

About the author: Deborah McConnell is the Training and Education Manager for Life Fitness Academy, the global training and education arm of Life Fitness.

If you usually choose Quick Start on your cardio equipment, you’re missing out on the benefits of the preprogrammed workouts. Try these workout options the next time you step on a Life Fitness cardio machine.

HIIT Workouts

If boredom or lack of time has prevented you from exercising, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is perfect for you. HIIT refers to exercise involving periods of intense exercise followed by periods of recovery that provide enhanced metabolic afterburn. When exercising at high intensities for short durations, you consume more oxygen. Elevated oxygen consumption continues to burn calories after you finish your workout. Post-workout calorie burn often lasts longer than the actual workout time, and because the body utilizes fat as the fuel to recover, body fat levels are reduced.

HIIT workouts also improve aerobic endurance in a fraction of the time compared to long duration, endurance style training. And HIIT is proven to improve anaerobic fitness levels. Having a high anaerobic capacity makes your overall functional capacity, as well as performance, much greater. 

Try this training on a treadmill with the Two-Speed Interval Program. Determine a low- and high-intensity workout level—for example: 3.5 mph (low intensity) and 8.0 mph (high intensity). Then decide how long you want each interval to last, by simply toggling back and forth between the two speeds. If you want to run for 30 seconds and walk for 60 seconds, you can alternate between those two speeds by simply pressing one minute. This is a simple and safe solution while executing a HIIT workout.

Life Fitness

June 03, 2016 / Category: Fitness Community

The LFA Trainer of the Month is designed to help you get to know the trainers behind one of the greatest educational resources at Life Fitness: Life Fitness Academy (LFA). Our June 2016 Trainer of the Month is Michele Sotak. Michele is an LFA Master Trainer based in Chicago. She has some great tips, tricks, and insider knowledge in store for you this month, including custom workouts, post-workout treats, tips for Life Fitness product usage, and more. Let’s get to know Michele.










What do you do with LFA?

My job with LFA consists of traveling to facilities and training staff on Life Fitness products, which includes everything from how to maximize the state-of-the-art technology on the cardio equipment to proper usage of the entire line of strength training equipment. I’m also involved with video shoots for our YouTube channel, an exercise library which users can access for ideas on how to work out on our equipment. It’s truly rewarding to represent Life Fitness and Hammer Strength.

How do you spend your time when you aren’t working with LFA?

Outside of Life Fitness, I am an independent private trainer in downtown Chicago. I enjoy training a variety of people, including women who compete in fitness competitions, athletes, weight loss-focused clients, and older adults. Outside of work, I’m usually in the gym, dancing, or playing sports.

What’s your best-kept fitness secret?

My best-kept secret is that I eat healthy 95% of the time, but the other 5% I will reward myself with a nice treat. Chicago has a lot of great restaurants, so when I’m not whipping up a healthy meal at home, I’m out exploring the city’s spots.

What’s your favorite piece of Life Fitness equipment?

For training clients, the SYNRGY 360 system, especially in small group training settings. Everyone can train on it, from athletes to the deconditioned.

For personal workouts it’s the dual adjustable cable pulley (DAP). I can work every single muscle group on the DAP and conduct my entire workout on one piece.

Do you have a fun fact for us?

In 2009, I was a professional football player for a Legends Football League team as a kicker and wide Receiver. Also, I finished the Hot Chocolate 5K in under 20 minutes.

More questions for Michele? Tweet them to @LifeFitness with #LFAToTM and stay tuned—we’ll be hosting a Q&A via social media later this month.

Life Fitness