Strength vs. Cardio

If you only have time for one or two workouts a week, they have got to be strength.

Why “Strength” over “Cardio”?

Your muscles are the powerhouses of the metabolism and the key to living a vibrant, youthful life, no matter what your age may be.

So why “Strength” over “Cardio”?

There is a Hierarchy of Fitness and “strength” reigns as King, while “cardio” plays the role of a mere peasant. Strength training increases your work capacity to improve the ease at which you can perform daily activities. Strength training will stimulate your body to burn more calories in the hours after your workout than cardio does. A strong body is a youthful body and will help to make you look years younger than you really are. Strong bodies move well and experience less injuries.

While cardio on the other hand slows the bodies metabolism over time, as the body adapts easily to this type of exercise. Cardio does very little to increase work capacity, so while you can run 10 miles easily, carrying a suitcase up a flight of stairs will be exhausting.

Worse yet, excessive cardio will actually age the body due to the oxidative stress it places on the body, as well as and not promote an injury resistent body.

Focus on getting your strength workouts in each week, once you have done three you can still go for a short run or two if you really enjoy your cardio. Keep this order and you will get amazing results and feel wonderful.

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Recipe of the Week – Broiled Steak Kabobs with Orange Relish


Invite the neighbors over this weekend, fire up the grill, crack open a cold one and enjoy this weeks “recipe of the week.”

Broiled Steak Kabobs with Orange Relish


  • 1½ c. orange segments, chopped
  • ½ c. cucumber, chopped
  • ½ c. red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 c. Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 minced jalapeño
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 lb. sirloin
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tbsp. jerk seasoning


  1. Toss together 1 1/2 cups chopped orange segments, 1/2 cup each chopped cucumber and red bell pepper, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 1/2 minced jalapeño, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and salt and black pepper.
  2. Toss together 2 lb. sirloin (cut into 1-inch pieces), 1/2 red onion (cut into 1-inch pieces), 2 Tbsp. canola oil, 1 Tbsp. jerk seasoning, and salt and black pepper; thread on 6 (8-inch) metal skewers.
  3. Broil on top rack, turning once, until medium-rare, 10 to 12 mins.
  4. Serve with relish and lime wedges.
Recipe Source:


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Recipe of the Week – Slammin Salmon

Slammin Salmon

The weather is getting nicer and summer is almost here and as the patio furniture comes out so do the grills. Give this delicious grilled salmon dish a try. Pair if with last weeks grilled zucchini and cauliflower skewers for complete meal.



  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 8 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless salmon fillets



  1. Stir balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and soy sauce with salt, brown sugar, ground ginger, paprika, pepper, and red pepper flakes until the salt has dissolved. Stir in garlic, green onions, sesame oil, and peanut oil until well combined.
  2. Pour marinade into a resealable plastic bag or glass bowl. Add salmon to marinade and gently toss to coat. Place into refrigerator and marinate 2 to 24 hours.
  3. Prepare an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.
  4. Drain excess marinade from salmon fillets. Grill until firm and opaque, about 4 minutes per side.

Recipe Source:


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4 Diet Killers

4 Diet Killers

While there are many things that can wreck clean eating these four tend to wreck it without you realizing it.

Agave Nectar – Even though it is a “natural” sweetner agave nectar has been shown to derange liver function and promote obesity. The main reason is because it contains the highest amount of fructose. Even more than high fructose corn syrup.

Gluten Free Snacks – Today it is common to walk down any grocery store aisle and find gluten-free Oreo’s, gluten-free Pop Tarts, you name it. Just because a snack food is gluten-free doesn’t mean it is healthy.

Fat-Free – When fat is removed from a product taste is usually removed. So in order to make up for taste something else has to be added typically sugar, salt, flour, food thickeners, and other food additives. All fat is not bad and the body actually needs fat to function properly. Naturally occurring fat is what you want to eat, the man-made franken-fats are what you want to avoid.

Stevia – Many of the sweetners on the market that contain Stevia, claim that it is natural. But, in order for it to be made into a sugar it has to be processed and have other things added, like sugar alcohols. There is also evidence that artificial sweetners, which includes stevia products, contribute to obesity.

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PNF Member – Ken R.

A Member’s Story…

“I just celebrated my three year anniversary here at Pittsburgh North Fitness and what I can tell you is that the workouts are so different, so unique….they really give you an effective workout. The trainers are great and I’ll tell you one thing if come here you will feel it, but you will look great!” – Ken R.


Never Bulk Up Again

If you are afraid to lift weights because you are afraid of bulking up, you need to look at how you eat.

Women need to lift and need to lift heavy weight. Lifting doesn’t not bulk up women; it is poor choices that bulk up women when they lift. Or as Dwight Schrute from the Office puts it, “False, it’s not lifting weights that makes women bulky. It’s eating cupcakes that makes women bulky.”

As much as you may want to believe that you can go out Friday and Saturday night and eat and drink whatever you please and then burn it off in the gym simply doesn’t work. This is why most people fail to see their body change, at least change for the better. You can blame the workout program, but it is really the food and lifestyle habits that need changed.

This does not mean you can never enjoy your favorite foods or have a drink, but they do need to be controlled. Cheat 20% of the time and you should be fine that means 20% of your weekly calories come from “bad” foods and the other 80% come from “good” foods. Tracking it this way for a week usually reveals that you are only eating clean 50-60% of the time, here lies the problem.

And what about alcohol? Keep it to no more than six drinks a week and you will be fine. (Just don’t go out and buy bigger wine glasses.)

Here are three tips to ensure you never bulk up:

  1. Eat Clean. This means lean proteins, lots of veggies, good quality carbs such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and whole-wheat pasta (1 cup serving, not 4) make up 80% of your weekly calories.
  2. Stop The Latte Habit. Drinking calories is the fastest way to pack on extra weight. Lattes, soda, juices, and sports drinks are loaded with sugar and as little as one or two a day can cause you gain weight.
  3. Lift Three Days A Week. Three 45 minute strength training sessions that focus on total body movements will create changes in your body cardio can never do. In a short time people will begin to notice that something has changed and ask what you are doing different because you look amazing. And if you still would like to do some cardio go for it, just make sure you always get your three strength workouts in each week.

Stop worrying about bulking and start lifting!


If you are interested in seeing our strength training can change your body, get started with our 6-Week “Strong is the New Sexy” Challenge by clicking the link below.

Recipe of the Week – Grilled Zucchini and Cauliflower Skewers with Feta

These delicious skewers make for a healthy side to accompany any meal. Give them a try!


  • 4 large zucchini and summer squash
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 8 skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. crumbled feta
  • 8 skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes


  • Preheat grill to medium-high. Shave zucchini and yellow squash into long strips using a Y peeler or mandolin. Skewer zucchini, yellow squash, and cauliflower. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill, turning occasionally, until vegetables are tender and slightly charred, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Crumble with feta.

Recipe Resource:

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What To Expect At A Gym

We get it, walking into a gym for the first time is very intimidating. Will you know what to do? Will you fit in? Will you be able to do everything? Will you be so sore tomorrow that you can’t move? And many more valid concerns. Here’s the good news everyone has those same thoughts the first time they come to the gym. No one wants to look out of place or feel embarrassed.

Here are a few things to expect at a gym.

  1. Greeted by name when you walk in the door. We know you and are happy to see you.
  2. No yelling coaches. No one wants yelled at by a super fit coach that is 20 years younger than they are. Yelling is not motivational. Instead you will find coaches who will guide you and support you. They will meet you where you are today. If you had a stressful day, didn’t get enough sleep, and ate poorly that is okay. We will adjust the workout to fit your energy level and give you strategies to improve on your struggle. Bottom line is we want you leave with a smile on your face and feeling good.
  3. Everyone’s success is celebrated no matter how big or how small. Whether you did your first push-up or set a new PR in your clean each success is treated equally. There is no award ceremony after each workout to celebrate how awesome the “gym superstar” is, because each member is awesome is different ways.
  4. Don’t know what to do, or if you are doing in properly. No problem. That is what makes us different from many gyms. We are a training gym, that means instead of coming in and being left to your own devices to decide what to do, we will provide a program, coaching, and guidance to help you each step of the way.
  5. It’s exercise, not brain surgery. Fitness should be fun and coming to the gym for an hour should be best part of your day, at least we think so. We want you to enjoy being here, to laugh, to socialize, to have fun, and get fit in the process.
  6. You are more than a membership payment. Sure we are here to make money, but that is not the only thing we care about. When you join, we want you to come. If we haven’t seen you in a week or too some one will follow up with you. When you join PNF you become part of the PNF Fitness Family and  will be treated like family. Our goal is to help people live healthier, more enjoyable lives through fitness, not just collect payments.

Coming to a gym should not be intimidating and it shouldn’t be a place you go to once you are fit. At PNF the gym is a place to feel welcomed, to be supported, and to have a little fun while creating the best version of you possible through fitness.

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Weekend Warrior Workout – April 7th, 2017

5 Rounds

20 Yard Tire Flip

20 Yard Farmer’s Carry


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Recipe of the Week – Blueberry Espresso Brownies

Give these delicious paleo friendly brownies a try.


  • 1 Cup Coconut Cream Concentrate MELTED (and a bit leftover for drizzling)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Organic Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Coffee
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup Blueberries


  • Preheat your oven to 325 Degrees F
  • Place coconut cream concentrate (coconut butter), eggs, honey, cocoa powder, cinnamon, coffee, vanilla, baking soda, and sea salt together in a mixing bowl
  • Use your hand mixer or stand mixer to mix all your ingredients until well blended
  • Once ready, fold in your blueberries by hand so you don’t crush them all
  • Pour your batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish (grease with coconut oil) or into greased individual mini muffin pans like I did
  • Place in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes. At about 25 minutes, do the toothpick test and judge how much longer you need
  • Remove from oven, let cool
  • Once cool, use some melted Coconut Cream Concentrate and drizzle all over your brownies
  • Cut and Enjoy

Recipe Source:

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