Click Here if you are unable to see the full content or animation of this eNewsletter  



     The Official eNewsletter of TODAY! Fitness

vol. 2012 issue 9



My New Toy:  RopeFlex IBEX RX2300

Sure I got into personal training because I love the science of exercise as well as helping people to meet their health and fitness goals... however, there is a certain benefit of being able to reinvest in equipment for my gym... aka. buy more toys! J

My brother Joe isn't much better.  He actually bought this piece of equipment last year and had it shipped to my house since Delaware has no sales tax.  I put it together for him and gave it a test ride.  I immediately understood what appealed to him about this one.  Growing up in a wrestling family, we learned early on the importance of cardio training as well as back, bicep and grip muscles.  The RopeFlex machines work all of these.

RopeFlex machines deliver the benefits of both isokinetic and aerobic exercise. The rope-pulling machines are based on simple, time-proven principles of rope climbing while reducing the risk of this traditionally dangerous activity to nearly zero. Individuals of any age and athletic ability can benefit from the unique rope technology safely and comfortably.

RopeFlex machines are based on maintenance-free magnetic technology. The continuously adjusting resistance mechanism causes the rope pulling difficulty to increase with the rope pulling speed. Initial tension can start as low as 10lbs and go up to 100lbs (on some models) for performance athletes or those who want to maximize resistance training.  There is also a stat computer on it that displays your total distance climbed, feet per minute and elapsed time.

In less than a minute you can start to feel the muscles of your back working as you pull the self-circulating rope hand over hand.  I chose the IBEX RX2300 model for the benefit of being able to situate the machine both vertically and horizontally.  When pulling vertical the RopeFlex works the lat muscles (latisimus dorsi) on the side of your back, while the horizontal position works more of the back of your lats and the rhomboids of your middle back.  This machine is no walk in the park either... the harder you pull, the more resistance.  You can certainly feel your heart rate climbing as you do and I don't see myself cranking out a straight 30 minutes any time soon... no, I'll most likely be working with 1 or 2 minute intervals interspersed with other exercises and rest for some good HIIT (high intensity interval training).

When I decided to purchase my new RopeFlex machine from HIPEQ last month, and chose the IBEX RX2300 model... I also found it cute that the RX2300 designation had the coincidence of also being the price of the machine J.  Go big or go home, right?  I'm choosing option B... and loving it!

Recipes for Health

Portobello "Cheesesteak"


  • 1 Tbsp canola oil or olive oil
  • 2 portobello mushrooms (6" diameter), prepped (see below) and sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 4 whole-wheat hoagie rolls

Cook the portobellos: 
Heat a large saute pan on medium high. Add half the oil, swirling the pan to evenly coat the bottom. Then add the portobello slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until they're nicely caramelized, about 8 minutes. Remove them to a plate.

Finish the vegetables: 
Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Saute until the vegetables have begun to brown, about 8 minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pan and stir in the soy sauce and Worcestershire. Cook until the vegetables have absorbed most of the liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove the pan from the heat.

Assemble the sandwiches: 
Divide the vegetables into four piles in the pan and top each pile with a slice of cheese. After the cheese has melted a little, use a spatula to tuck the vegetables into the rolls. Makes 4 servings

PER SERVING: 410 calories, 17 grams (g) protein, 56 g carbohydrates (9 g fiber), 16 g fat, 880 milligrams sodium

Prepping the Mushrooms

STEP 1: Wipe the top sides of the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Don't rinse them—they will go soggy.

STEP 2: Remove the stems with a small knife.

STEP 3: Use a spoon to carefully scrape the gills from the undersides of the mushrooms, and then discard the gills.

ref:  Men's Health


USA Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!

Suspended Roll Out


I think that no matter what your age, you could probably remember exercises that resemble the old "wheel of pain".  Starting from your knees, you grab a wheel with handles on it, tighten your core, and roll out, before pausing and rolling back up.  The wheel of pain is aptly named for the burn that you typically feel in your abs when doing this.  The suspended roll out is no different and adds the instability of the suspension straps to the challenge.  As with the wheel of pain, both exercises can also be performed from your feet as pictured here for a serious challenge.


Target:  abs and back (rectus abdominus, latisimus dorsi, erector spinae)

Description:  Start by grasping the rungs of the USA, palms down, with an incline that is good for your fitness level.  Starting with straight arms in a pushup position, focus on freezing your elbow joint so that your shoulder is doing most of the movement.  Tighten your core and maintain a straight body as you extend your arms forward, pause, and then pull them back in so that you return to starting position.  Repeat for desired reps.

There's an App for That

Less than a month before the Bike to the Bay for MS... Yikes!  I figured that this app would be a timely highlight for this month's newsletter.  


I only upgraded to the iPhone a year ago, but I fell in love with the GPS functionality almost immediately!  Between apps like MapMyRide and Nike+ Running, there is just such a wealth of information that you can get, without a substantial investment (other than the phone of course).

MapMyRide allows you to start recording your workout, put your iPhone in your pouch, and then collect all the valuable data once you complete your ride.  Data that is captured by this app include the following...

  • Speed (Maximum and Average)

  • Live Route Map

  • Distance

  • Calories

  • Elevation

  • Training Log

  • and more


MapMyRide will also allow you to use sensors to track heart rate, speed & cadence, and power... providing that you have these optional sensors on your bike.  You can also search the MapMyRide database of routes and discover new places to ride.

MapMyRide, as well as some of these other GPS training apps, have also added a social aspect to their capabilities.  They let you post rides and stats to Facebook, Twitter, or their own community site.  You can add friends, view live maps and activity feeds, and find local routes that you might want to try.  By connecting with a community of fitness enthusiasts, and finding a riding/running partner, training can be much more enjoyable and productive.

For my friends on Facebook, I'm planning to post the map and progress of the Bike to the Bay on September 22nd... I'm interested in seeing the route map myself since my primary focus is typically just to follow the butts of the people in front of me J

It's Go Time!

That's it for what the kids know as summer, but for those of us that still go to work every day, there's not not much of a difference... and still plenty of nice weather left.  Aside from having to get back to being a taxi service for our kids and their various functions, there's no reason not to get out there and enjoy the fresh air and fall temperatures before winter makes it a little less comfortable!

For me September is the peak of my training season.  I'll be taking my cycling training into high gear with longer rides on the weekend in order to get ready for the big MS ride on September 22nd... plus I have to work in some running and continue the resistance training to get ready for the Delaware Mud Run on September 23rd! 

For our student athletes that are participating in fall sports, this is the end of pre-season and almost the begining of in-season as far as periodization goes.  Preseason training should focus on power, explosiveness, and sport specific training... while in-season continues sport specific training and maintenance.  PREPARE-PERFORM-PREVAIL!  Good Luck All!

For prior issues of this eNewsletter, to subscribe, or unsubscribe, please visit the following link -->

Exceed Your Potential!

Pete Mazzeo, CPT

"Many of life's failures are people who did
not realize how close they were to success
when they gave up.
" -Thomas A. Edison

youtube of the month -->
Stability Ball Exercises
A TODAY! Fitness video of assorted and challenging stability ball exercises that can be done anywhere. | Personal Training | News | Tips & Tools | Fitness Stuff




Get Toned!   Get Fit!   Lose Weight!   Feel Great!


TODAY! Fitness, LLC. , Bear, Delaware