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What's NEW at Priority Fitness?

The type of exercise to live longer


Research show that the benefits of Interval Training has life lengthening effects

Pre Race Run Tips

October 8th, 2018

As your training begins to peak or taper, it wouldn’t be wise to implement a new strength training program so close to a race. That being said, here are some safe exercises that you can do that focus on running economy, activating muscles crucial for running health, and a vital stretch to allow for ample hip extension (the key movement for propelling a runner forward!)



1. Bridge- A glute activation and hip extension exercise

-Laying on your back with knees bent, engage glute muscles and drive hips up maintaining neutral spine. Hold for 2-3 seconds. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps


2. Dead bugs- For core activation and core stability

-Start by laying on your back in the neutral position shown. Alternate by bringing opposite arm and leg to the ground (left arm and right leg drop down at the same time, bring them back to starting position, then right arm left leg drop down) while keeping spine stable and static. 2-3 sets of 30-60 sec or until fatigue



3. Monster walks- A Glute medius engaging exercise in a standing position (can do with or without a band around the knees)

-Using your glute medius muscles as the primary muscle for movement take 5-10 lateral steps in one direction and then return to your starting point going in the opposite direction. Repeat for 2-3 sets of 30-60 seconds


4. 90/90 balance and running economy drill

-Stand on one leg and hold the knee high while arm swinging as if you were running, after 20 arm swings, bring the knee down and hold that position and continue arm swings. Alternate 20 arm swings for both positions twice on each leg then switch balancing legs

5. Hip Flexor stretch against the wall to increase Hip Extension Range of Motion

-Start in the down position allowing for the hip to stretch, bring your spine to an upright position making sure there isn’t a big curve in your lower back. 2-4 minute holds for each leg

We’re All Stressed Out, and It’s Affecting Our Workouts


Important article about the affects of stress on our fitness and our lives.

Young muscle, old idea...


Great article about what can be done to affect aging muscles and keeping them young!

What?!!! Carbs aren't the DEVIL?!!!


Great article about the relationship between healthy whole grain consumption and weight management.

Your brain needs a workout too!


Great article about the positive effects on the 'Strength' of that most important of muscles, your Brain! (well actually it's an organ but you get the idea)

Too old...? Not anymore!


Don't read this article if you still want to use age as an excuse.  A truly inspirational story about focus and perseverance.

Start the new year STRONG!


Some great pointers to start 2017 the right way!

Dr. Metzel's new book RAFFLE!


We are big fans of Dr Metzl, "The Athlete's Doctor" and his practice ( ) ! In light of the holidays (and the New Year), we are going to raffle off two SIGNED copies of Dr Metzl's new book The Workout Prescription. There's no better gift than the one of fitness, health, and wellness. We thank Dr Metzl for all of his work and passion in this area and are happy to spread his knowledge and good word.


There are 3 ways to gain entry for the raffle via Facebook (feel free to do all of them!)

- Like our FB post

- Share the FB post

- Comment with your "favorite" workout exercise on our FB page



We will gladly ship each book anywhere in the continental USA!

Priority Fitness seminar for the Prospect Park Track Club


Earlier this week, Priority Fitness was proud to send co-owner, Ben Kessel (CSCS certified, USAT & USATF coach) to speak to the PPTC about the benefits of strength training for endurance activities. They discussed both the safety and performace benefits of this advanced training (and look like that may have had a few laughs too)!  Thanks to the PPTC for inviting us to this event and to member Larry Sillen for allowing us to use this great photo! 

New study finds the link between exercise and fighting depression (hint: exercise may be good for you)


New global study suggests that exercise may greatly reduce the risk of developing depression and also help control symptoms if depression has already started.  Check out the full article.

Dig those groovy tunes


Music really can help push you that extra mile...check out this great article about the effects music can have on your workout!

Keep going! (because you actually have to)


Terrific article about not just the benefits of exercise, but what happens if you stop. 

Go Tamara GO!!!


We are so happy for our very own Tamara for getting a new Half Marathon PR by over 2 minutes. She broke 1:40 and finished with a 1:39:56 and was the 14th fastest female! Tamara is a perfect example of someone who trains hard and smart! She followed a periodized training plan and ran her fast training runs fast, and her slow training runs slow! 

You're really cool stay that way


Fun article about how splashing water on yourself doesn't just make you look awesome while working out, but actually has some physical beneifits to increase performance.  Check it out!

It's not just about physical development


We all know the gym is good for our bodies but it can be so much more then that.  Learning perseverance in the face of genuine difficulty and discomfort has applications in every facet of our lives.  Check out this great article for more!

Way to go BEN!!!


Adding to an already impressive fitness resume, Ben has recently earned his CSCS certification and we couldn't be more proud!  CSCS certification is a highly specialized and sought after certification enabling him to work with high level athletes (Olympic, collegiate and professional athletes), and work closely with medical professionals (athletic trainers, physical therapists, Orthopedists, etc.) on the rehab side.  Way to go Ben!!!

Sleep...and exercise...and can do it all! (which is good news, because you have to)


Important article about the "triangle of health".

Always Learning


It's important to stay current with the latest findings in fitness.  This is a great study on the effectiveness of low weight resitance training vs. high weight...the results may surprise you!

Get rid of belly fat (spoiler alert, diet AND exercise required)


A great look at what is really effective at battling those waistelines.

Priority Fitness holds annual performance nutrion seminar


Priority Fitness was excited to host the Brooklyn Tri Club's annual Nutrition Workshop with Lauren Antonucci of Nutrition Energy ( Learning how to properly fuel your body carries over to much more than just performance in a Triathlon, and we thank Lauren for her knowledge and guidance!

Working out isn't just about the scale


Great article about the MANY benefits of exercise beyond just weight loss.

Podcasts...about inspirational Ben (what more could you ask for?)


As a top athlete and coach, our very own Ben Kessel rubs elbows with some of the worlds most dynamic and inspirational amateur and professional athletes.  Though his regular podcast "Slice of Tri" is always worth a listen, this noteworthy episode features an interview with Rudy Garcia Tolson, who is preparing for his fourth Paralympic games in Rio. Rudy is a two time gold medal winner at the Paralympics, a world record holder in the 200 individual medley, and the FIRST ever bilateral above-knee amputee to complete an Ironman. For more information on Rudy, please visit

Priority FItness proudly plays host to elite level workshop.


With over 30 participants in attendence, Priority fitness was packed to the gills with top level athletes excited to hear Anthony Baugh (ultra endurance and Ironman competitor, and elite cycling coach) discuss heart rate, power, and perceived effort in a workshop designed to take their training to the next level.  Thanks to Anthony, the Brooklyn Triathlon club and all who came out to make this event exciting and informative!

Way to GO Jessica!


For the second year in a row our very own Jessica Stone has completed the Quassy Triathlon, a particularly hilly and rigorous course in Middleburry, Connecticut (as though a triathlon on flat ground isn't hard enough!).  Congratulations Jessica!

Got to catch those ZZZZZZs


This is an important article about why sleep is critical to an overall healthy lifestyle.  Your body, your job, your relationships and every other facet of your life is dependent on proper rest. 

Vegetarians are everything


Okay maybe that is a bit heavy handed, but this is an interesting read on the benefits of a plant based (or mostly plant based) diet.  



Making change, even positive change, is difficult.  Focusing on changing just one thing at a time, and starting with exercise can be the best way to see lasting, positive results in your life.  Sound like something your trainer may have said?

Get your mind & Body RIGHT!


Two easy and accesible things that can radically improve your mental and physical health: Meditation & Running...guess what, we do both at Priority Fitness!  Check out this great article to learn more!

Your Brainy Best


For the first time, scientists compared the neurological impacts of different types of exercise in rats: running, weight training and high-intensity interval training.

Brain Candy


Great article on the effects of exercise on the brain!

Fit Better then thin!


Working out is what matters most in terms of over all health rather then just concentrating on the scale.  Check out this great article about fitness Priorities!

The year in health...


A great look at some of the trends and discoveries in health/fitness for 2015

You're must be a GENIUS!


Great article about the link between exercise and mental acuity!

I'm a news headline

Add Date here

Add News Story here

It was tough...and Muddy!


As some of you may already know, our very own Chris just finished the Tri-State Tough Mudder held at Liberty State Park in his home town of Jersey City.  It was a grueling but fun 10mile obstacle course, and though he certainly felt a sense of personal accomplishment, he couldn't have done it without the support of the entire team he ran with!  If you want a little more specific information about what a Tough Mudder entails, click the link below!

Running with purpose


There are lot's of reasons to run, and running for charity can be a rewarding experience beyond just crossing the finish line as a personal milestone.  Our very own Susan Kane is running for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Turst in an effort to help save the rapidly dying elephant population.  Click the link to learn more about Susan's efforts!

Just Chill...


We can all let our stress levels get away from us at times, but being mindful of the health problems associated with this can have major impacts.  Check this article out for more information.

Not just fruits & veggies, but the right ones...


Eating the right fruits and veggies have an impact on your weight...check this article out for more info!

It's all Greek to me!


Interesting read about the merits of a Mediterranean diet

Cutting Carbs NOT the solution


Fitness and nutrition must be considered in their entirty.  Eliminating carbs is not the "Magic Bullet" for all your weight loss needs.  Every nutrietn is important and must be consumed in the proper amount, from the proper source at the proper time for optimal results.  This is a great read for those of you looking to trim the fat!

Got Shame?


Staying fit is hard and one of the most critical parts is having all the facts.  It is made even more difficult when giant multi-national conglomerates activly try to stack the odds in their favor...*WARNING*, this one may make you mad (or maybe you won't even be surprised)

America: go BIG or go home


America's obesity epedemic is getting worse, but more so in certain states.  Check out this article for more.

You owe yourself a good night's sleep.


A worthwhile read about sleep debt.

Trainer check in!


We always like to update you guys about what's going on in the athletic lives of our trainers.  Recently Jessica achieved the rank of purple belt in Jiu Jitsu, a major accomplishment in one of the toughest fighting sports around.  We asked her about the process and what it takes to really "dig your heals in" to accomplish something like this.


Q: So Jessica, you practice Jiu Jistu...what exactly is it for those who don't already know? 


 Jiu Jitsu is a marriage between judo and submission grappling (wrestling). So very basically - two people stand facing one another, each tries to throw the other to the ground while maintaining control of both bodies in order to then submit their opponent via choke, joint manipulation, submissive pressure, etc.  


Q: Why Jiu Jitsu as opposed to other martial arts? 


I chose Jiu Jitsu because I like to wrestle and rough-house for fun. On a more serious note, I chose Jiu Jitsu because it is a martial art/combat sport that equips a smaller person with the tools to defend themselves against a larger person by utilizing leverage and technique. I'm a huge advocate for women learning Jiu Jitsu. Its a tough world out there, and learning Jiu Jitsu gives me strength and the techniques to defend myself in circumstances that would otherwise be considered a 'game over' scenario. 


Q: What was (or is) the physically hardest aspect?  What about mentally/emotionally?


For me, the hardest part physically is keeping up, or keeping pace, with my instructors commands. He doesn't have patience for mistakes or lollygagging. When he says move, you move. I've reached a point emotionally and mentally in Jiu Jitsu, that when I'm being really pounded into the ground and I can't breathe I think to myself - 'sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail'. This fact calms me down and gives me the patience to keep moving. When I first started practicing, it was hard for me to get crushed into the ground by a man and not take it a little personally. Now, I like it when I'm stuck in a tough spot that I have to work myself out of. I view it as making me stronger. Whether I'm the hammer or whether I'm the nail, I'm learning something. 


Q:  What are you working on currently to take your game to the next level?


Outside of what the instructor teaches during class, when we're free rolling/sparring (aka. 'fighting') I like to focus on one specific position or submission at a time. I will take months to hone that specific position or submission before moving on to another basic thing. My philosophy is that you have to know the basics through and through, literally perfecting them, before you can 'break the rules'. You can't land a flying armbar if you can't lock in a regular armbar 100% of the time. 
Also continuing to train and participate in triathlons is really taking my jiu jitsu game up a notch.I can see and feel a boost in muscle endurance, cardio health/ability to keep my breath in check, and mental ability to keep going. 


Q:  How long have you done it?  How many hours a week or classes do you attend?

I have been practicing Jiu Jitsu for about 3 years at about 5-7 hrs per week. So that breaks down to 4-5 classes (before triathlons 6 classes); 1 hr for no-gi and 1.5 hrs for gi. I only take off holidays when the school forces them on me by closing :)


Q:  What is a typical workout like?


Class has a relatively consistent structure in which the specifics change daily. The warm up consists of a variety of calisthenics and agility techniques. This is followed by throwing techniques/Judo drills or 'fit-ins'. After fit-ins the instructor demonstrates a technique or two, which we then practice for a period of time. Class is rounded out with free rolling/feet to floor for at least a half hour. At any point during the class, and this happens often, our instructor will have us perform more calisthenics in order to get our heart rate back up and to make sure we are paying attention. Again, when he says jump... we jump. There is no room on the mat for procrastinating or not paying attention because we all are in the class together. I'm taking away from my classmates instruction if I don't keep up or if I'm not paying attention. This really creates a huge community because we are all pushing each other to perform our best and we all show up wanting to give our best. 


Q:  How scarred of you should we all be?


AHAHA! Very funny. I get asked this a lot and it always makes me laugh. I'm a very peaceful person. The most peaceful people I know are people who practice in intense Jiu Jitsu/Judo/Muay Thai. I think its because we work out so much on the mat that we know what aggression can lead to and we don't need to prove anything to anyone.
Besides, everyone knows I can't make it 5 minutes without joking about something.

Exercise IS good for you!


We all know exercise is good for us, particularly as we age, and this article helps put it into perspective.

Is it still good?


We are always telling you guys to eat is another aspect of  you eating habits  that may be worth considering; expiration dates

Midnight Snacker


Great article about the effects of late night eating.

Too much of a good thing?


A healthy body is a balanced body and even a key nutrient, if over done, can present a problem.  This is an important read particularly for you endurance athletes out there!

Don't worry about how much it'll forget it soon enough.


An interesting study about how we forget the pain we endure during exercise.

They did it!


Though it was a grueling course, the entire Priority Fitness team finished the Challenge Quassy Olympic triathlon Injury free and smiling (though with some pretty sore legs the next day).

Ad ban sheds light on horrific problems with body image


The ban of this grotesque ad is another step forward in helping us understand what a healthy body actually is.

This just in...Triathlon Update!


As you guys know, the Priority Fitness crew is running The Quassy Challenge Olympic distance Triathlon together.  We checked in with Alissa this week to see how her training is going for the big day!


I have been having a lot of fun with my Quassy Triathlon training. I always enjoy the concentration and challenge of trying to achieve my fitness goals.  It keeps me on track with my workouts and stay focused.

I had really only been focusing on running and strength training in preparation for a race earlier this season. The cross-training of biking and swimming have been a nice change now and are less of an impact on my body.

It can definitely be tough to find the time for my own training, as some weeks require 10+ hours. I will admit, the biking is quite difficult for me and going around Prospect Park 15 times does get a bit monotonous!  The support and camaraderie of my Priority Fitness team makes it all worthwhile!
I look forward to racing with them.


Deep Fat


A great article about "deep" visceral fat (it's the type of fat most belly fat is made up of)

Eating to loose weight?


Skipping meals does not have the effect you think it does.  Learn more about how to keep your metabolism on the right track!

This just in...Triathlon Update!


As you guys know, the Priority Fitness crew is running The Quassy Challenge Olympic distance Triathlon together.  We checked in with Ben this week to see how his training is going for the big day!


I'm really excited to race Challenge Quassy with our Priority Fitness team! Everyone has been working so hard and it's just an honor to be a part of such a motivated and athletic crew.

 My training has been really interesting. My "A" race is Ironman Lake Placid in the end of July and I've been putting in weekly training hours that are in accordance with a long distance race. My workouts typically range from 1-8 hours long per day which is great for an Ironman but I can't say it's ideal for an Olympic distance triathlon. So, I feel confident that I'll finish the race but I question how fast I'll be since I've lost some speed while training for longer distance events. Regardless, It'll be so much fun to be on the course with everyone and I'm really looking forward to it!

It's just a step...


Our culture is at a crossroads...we need to shift our priorities to allow us ample amount of time to exercise, because unfortunately even those of us with more "active jobs" can't get the exercise we need during the day without scheduled, regular fitness.  This great study reveals how far behind we lag on meeting even the minimal requirements.

This just in...Triathlon Update!


As you guys know, the Priority Fitness crew is running The Quassy Challenge Olympic distance Triathlon together.  We checked in with Chris this week to see how his training is going for the big day!


Triathlon training is tough...I won't try to sugar coat it or paint the picture that it is a breeze because we are trainers, but it is always a great reminder of how malleable the human body is when attempting something outside our normal comfort zone; and my triathlon training has put that notion front and center for me over the past few weeks.  For the clients that know me, they will tell you that my sport of choice is Judo.  Being thrown across a mat by a 250+ lb guy or having him put me in an arm bar is a regular occurrence in my world and one that I am quite comfortable with (as strange as that may sound to some of you).  


That is what makes triathlon training such a blast (and a challenge).  My body is simply not used to working in that way...but it is getting there!  It is awesome to feel some of the workouts getting easier and more pleasurable as I get further along in this process.  Though I have done a few triathlons in the past, it had been a loooonnngg time and was thrilled when Jessica suggested tackling this race (okay, maybe not "thrilled" and about two weeks ago during a particularly grueling workout I wasn't necessarily stoked, but am now officially thrilled...Thanks Jessica!)  In truth, one of the things I enjoy most about it is knowing that my teammates are out there doing their training too, and that type of camaraderie is half the reason to participate in something like this.  I have been able to push my longest distance training days to almost a complete Olympic distance triathlon, so though I am not going to win this race (teasing...that was never on the table), I am feeling confident that I will be able to finish and enjoy the challenge!

Back it up!


This article explains how the T-Spine can effect your body's overall movement. It's very easy to focus on just your lower body when running so here is some new info about the top half!

Way to GO Alissa!!!


Here's our very own Alissa completing her first Ultra Marathon this past weekend. She ran 50 very intense technical Km in Bear Mountain and is now officially an Ultra Runner! We are super proud of her. She's been training since the end of 2014 and had to run a full marathon just as a training run!

Junk Food is bad for you...who knew?


A recent study reveals not only how bad Junk Food is for you, but also how quickly the effects can be seen.

This just in...Triathlon Update!


As you guys know, the Priority Fitness crew is running The Quassy Challenge Olympic distance Triathlon together.  We checked in with Jessica this week to see how her training is going for the big day!


My training for the upcoming triathlon is going well. I'm still working around some right leg/knee issues, so I can't quite train as hard as I would like. Safety first. Generally, my weekly rundown totals roughly 12-14 training hrs and looks like this: 

Monday - short run and short bike 

Tuesday - jiu jitsu and sparring with a rest from tri training

Wednesday - long swim

Thursday - no gi and gi jiu jitsu, medium run

Friday - long bike

Saturday - complete rest

Sunday - long run

For me the hardest obstacle to overcome is my boredom during running. I've been taking my dog with me on runs to help me stay focused. Overall I am really enjoying my training schedule. I make sure to eat enough and sleep more than enough to stave off over training issues. I also spend at least a half hour each day attending to stretching issues and taking the time to check in with my body. For me avoiding severe injury is crucial. I have absolutely zero interest in getting injured and then being forced to not train in anything. I have to really plan out my days and restructure my time in order to make time for all of the training that I want to do. It hasn't been easy, but I'm having fun working toward completing my very first triathlon! 

Calories Count


In a recent study researchers find that the key to tackling obesity is to focus on nutrition.  Check out the full article.

Are you messing with your metabolism?


New research suggests that eating a higher fat diet for as little as five consucutive days can have major lasting consequences for your metabolism.  Read the full article to learn more...

Yes, you have to exercise.


An interesting article about the effects of exercise on bodyweight as you age.

Too thin to walk...


France has just mandated that proffesional models maintain a healthy BMI.  This may be a fantastic step forward towards the public understanding what a healthy body is, and helping young woman realize that certain physical "ideals" are not only unreralistic, but can be downright dangerous.  Check out the full article!

Your Trainers!


We thought it would be fun for you to get to know your favortie trainers outside of just pushups and planks.  Check out what they had to say:


Alissa Smith


What's your favorite exercise?

I LOVE single leg squats! They're a great movement to improve balance, coordination and strengthen the glutes and quads.


What is your least favorite exercise that you do anyway because you know how effective it is?

My least favorite movement (and one that I really need) is a pelvic tilt. It's gentle way to strength the abs and lower back.


What are some of your short term fitness goals? Each month, I try to have new fitness goal involving a movement that I find particularly challenging.  This month (and January!), I'm working on a handstand push up.


How about long term fitness any? (of course you're a trainer!)

I'm currently training for the North Face Endurance Challenge on May 2nd in Bear Mountain, fun!! I am also training with the Priority Fitness gang for the Quassy Olympic triathlon in June.


When you get to pick the music, what slacker station are you most into right now?

I am loving the Queen/Elvis mix right now on slacker.. Nothing gets you through a tough workout quite like Bohemian Rhapsody does! 


Though 99% of the time you only do fitness related things, what are you up to when you aren't kicking butt in the gym?

I really enjoy cooking healthy meals at home, drawing and painting, discovering new music and sewing.


Fun Fact: I can make an origami paper crane out of a gum wrapper.

Running and Nutrition


Here is a great article that answers an often asked question...what should I eat before/during/after a run?

Keep working out...smarty pants!


So it turns out the the "dumb jock" stereotype may just be a misconspetion after all.  This article may change your "mind".

Your Trainers!


We thought it would be fun for you to get to know your favortie trainers outside of just pushups and planks.  Check out what they had to say:


Ben Kessel


What's your favorite exercise?

They vary based on my mood and season but as of late it's been cycling


What is your least favorite exercise that you do anyway because you know how effective it is?

Core training! Wow, it's hard to type that


What are some of your short term fitness goals? Complete Ironman Lake Placid as fast and safe as possible


How about long term fitness any? (of course you're a trainer!)

This one's boring... stay injury free.. I mean it though. Having the physical freedom to do/train for whatever I want means the world to me


When you get to pick the music, what slacker station are you most into right now?



Though 99% of the time you only do fitness related things, what are you up to when you aren't kicking butt in the gym?

I love checking out live local music with a good glass of whiskey


Fun Fact: Banjos!! I play 'em and throw 'em!... Seriously... I'm the two time defending champion (and hold the record, ahem, I'll pat myself on the back) of the Brooklyn Folk Festival Banjo Toss!! 

We all want to look good...but what does that even mean?


It is safe to say that a great many of us who exercise have both our health and physical appereance in mind, but sometimes our expectations about what we can and should look like are skewed.  This is a great article about how Before/After pictures are achieved to make sure you feel compelled to buy into the latest fitness fad.

Decisions, decisions...


This is a great read, particularly for those of you who are working on weight loss.

Your Trainers!


We thought it would be fun for you to get to know your favortie trainers outside of just pushups and planks.  Check out what they had to say:


Jessica Stone


What's your favorite exercise?

Agility and power related exercises because they are beneficial in my jiu jitsu training. If thats too broad, then I would say burpees.


What is your least favorite exercise that you do anyway because you know how effective it is?



What are some of your short term fitness goals? 
Im training for my first triathlon. Ive also been working on perfecting a plank into press-up.


How about long term fitness any? (of course you're a trainer!)

I'm always working toward black belt in jiu jitsu... and Ive been thinking about an ironman in a couple years.


When you get to pick the music, what slacker station are you most into right now?

The station I made: King of Queen. Its the best of Elvis and Queen.


Though 99% of the time you only do fitness related things, what are you up to when you aren't kicking butt in the gym?

My first response was, jiu jitsu. But thats still 'fitness related'. So my favorite thing to do is be outside, in any season. I hang out in the park a lot and walk around. I also try to get out of the city as much as possible to go spend time in the woods.


Fun Fact: I have a huge music background. I play the alto saxophone and have performed in many cabaret/musical theater productions.

What time is it?


Interesting article about the affects of sleep and athletic performance.  Something to consider when planning your workout schedule with your Priority Fitness trainer.

Brown Fat?


Provided by the Brooklyn Tri Club's own Christine Frietchen, this helpful article explains what Brown Fat is and why it is so important in understadning the challenges of obesity.

Sugar ain't so sweet


Cutting sugar is an easy and effective way to jumpstart your health!  Check out this great article for more information.

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