Strike a Balance Between Training and Life (Sara Hall)

Balance… our favorite topic, especially when our girl, Sara is giving advice! We love that Sara, one of America’s premiere distance runners is talking about the importance of balance, overtraining, and recovery.  A huge reason our personal trainers are equipped to help set fitness goals and create a roadmap to make your training successful and safe.  The pros will help you focus on smaller goals that are specific and realistic; they’re more attainable, setting you up to achieve the larger, more audacious goal.  We are extremely excited to watch Sara’s road to Boston… what a goal!

Read here:

Ryan and Sara Hall on the LA Well Fest

We are beyond excited for the Hall family to join us in LA for the Marlborough Wellness Festival.

About this power couple…Both were California high school superstars and All-Americans at Stanford University (where they met). Ryan has posted the best-ever American times in the Half Marathon and Marathon and has represented the US in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. Sara was the 2012 US National Cross Country Champion and a Gold Medalist at the Panamerican Games in the steeplechase. She has represented the US at three World Indoor Track and Field Championships and a World Cross Country Championship.

As amazing as they are as runner we love their family story most.  Read more about their journey to become a a family here:


Listen Here:  Ryan and Sara on The LA Well Fest

Balance Trainer Spotlight: Carmen DelMastro

Balance Trainer & Instructor, Carmen DelMastro, is featured this week to share with you how he “balances” his fitness routine into his busy life.

Carmen’s career in the fitness industry began in 2012 and since that time he has held numerous positions – from a floor & small group trainer, to the personal training manager & director at a large health club.  He has also worked as an exercise physiologist at one of the top rehabilitation facilities in the Philadelphia area.

Growing up, sports were Carmen’s passion, and he dedicated his life to developing himself as an athlete. Unfortunately, there was one major obstacle that constantly stood in his way… injuries.  Time after time, he would find myself nursing ailments, completely ignorant to what was causing the pain in the first place.  This was the driving force inspiring his career change to personal training.

Carmen dedicated himself to functional training, where he has found himself in the best shape of his life – stronger & more flexible than ever – while focusing on injury rehabilitation and future injury prevention.  His goal is to help his clients achieve the same healthy physical balance of strength and flexibility and understand the body’s movement to best avoid injury and maximize performance and results.


Training for me has always kind of been programmed into my brain since I was a young kid trying to make as a professional baseball player. I have always been on a strict schedule and regardless of how busy or how stressed for time I am I always make it a priority to train myself during the day. It doesn’t have to be a long training session it just has to be as effective as possible whether it’s 20 minutes or 45 minutes.

I primarily like to focus on flexibility and mobility work to begin all of my workouts since I’ve suffered a various amounts of injuries during my time playing sports growing up this area of my workouts is vital for me. I than do a dynamic warmup which generally consists of sport specific movements whether it is to get my heart rate up or my fast twitch muscles firing.

I usually get into some type of compound exercise whether it’s deadlifts, bench press, front squats or hang cleans depending on the day. Throw in some accessory work to go along with the particular muscle group I did as my compound and that’s generally my workout for the day. I am also a plyometric fanatic so I do like to jump around from time to time. I generally am training anywhere between 5-6 times a week depending on how I am feeling for that particular week.

Tim Ferriss Podcast

A favorite blog/ podcast personality, Tim Ferris interviews Ryan Flaherty, Senior Director at Nike Performance on improving athlete’s performance.

Listen Here:


“Don’t buy complexity; the simpler you make your training, the better the results become.”
– Ryan Flaherty

“Ryan Flaherty (@ryanflaherty1) is the Senior Director of Performance at Nike. Prior to holding that position, Ryan was the Founder and President of Prolific Athletes LLC, a sports performance facility in San Diego, California, where he trained some of the world’s best athletes. His clients include Serena Williams, Russell Wilson, the Arizona Cardinals, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, and hundreds of other professional athletes.

While he is well known for dramatically improving his athletes’ speed, more and more athletes (and coaches) seek Ryan out for his training and guidance on injury prevention. Many of Ryan’s clients have made remarkable recoveries from injuries, and several NFL teams and European soccer clubs have sought his methodology to implement into their training programming.

Ryan developed an algorithm called “Force Number” that is based on the hex (or trap) bar deadlift and body weight to predict speed such as the forty-yard dash.

In this discussion, we talk about exercises for reducing injury potential, how Ryan uses the Force Number, what his workouts look like from warmup to finish, how he helped Meb Keflezighi train for his Boston Marathon victory, how to go from sprinting to long distance running, and lots more.

Whether you’re trying to become a better athlete or just less injured from your workouts in any type of training, you’ll want to check out this conversation with Ryan Flaherty, the Savant of Speed!”



A Little Meditation

From our favorite girl, Julie….A podcast on One Mind About Meditation. 

Julie shares a little about her first “real” meditation experience and how it led her down a path of teaching meditation.

Listen here to her podcast:

Julie Hunt is a Chopra Center Certified Meditation Instructor passionately devoted to helping people live healthier and happier stress free lives, using the tools of meditation, yoga and Ayurveda. She has inspired thousands of people as a teacher, coach, entrepreneur and author of Shout from the Rooftops in Your Stilettos.

She teaches regularly at the Chopra Center’s Perfect Health program and hosts
workshops and retreats in Philadelphia and San Diego. She has served on The
Chopra Center’s leadership team as Senior Manager of Digital Products where she
helped to bring online programs to life featuring Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle,
Martha Beck, Dr. Andrew Weil, and others. She enthusiastically shares great knowledge and simple techniques to help people tap into infinite possibilities and remember their true nature, which is perfection.


Julie’s Website
Julie’s Email
Free access to Julie’s eCourse Spontaneous Meditation
Free meditation hosted by Julie at the Chopra Center at the Carlsbad in San Diego on Thursday Mornings at 7:45am.


OM081: Julie Hunt Chopra Center Certified Meditation Instructor

Wellness Festivals

We live in a time of “festivals” and special gatherings for almost anything imaginable. We grew up going to music or film festivals, but now there are festivals for any interest or passion. There are festivals for seafood, skateboarding, cultural celebrations, beer, and seasons, to name a few. There are even vegan festivals. I know this to be true because my friend Sheila and her husband attended such a festival in LA this weekend.

Since Amy and I have had precarious reactions to our most recent vegan meals–mine had me in head to toe hives and Amy’s landed her in the ER on our Spartans Adventure in Palm Beach–the very thought of a vegan festival had me scratching my imaginary hives. But it also had me wondering what one does at a vegan festival? For Sheila and her husband–both eager vegan festival participants–the specific agenda wasn’t particularly important, it was about being with like-minded people around a culinary and lifestyle choice they embraced and that made them feel good. This actually made a great deal of sense to me as I have come to love Wellness Festivals for these very reasons!

Wellness Festivals are for anyone and everyone who care about living a full and abundant life and being their best selves. Every wellness festival is different. If you attend Goop in NYC or LA you can expect to hear from interesting new age speakers, drink bone broth, get a vitamin injection and possibly a beauty treatment. At GoodFest you can expect to spend the day with 200 millenials in a chic and upcoming area of the city, like Fishtown, and listen to influencers about wellness trends.

Amy and I have made a habit of attending various wellness festivals and taking copious notes about what we like and don’t like and how we would do it differently. Last November was our first B Inspired Wellness Festival at Balance, and on May 5 we will host our third wellness festival–second in Philadelphia–at Balance from 10-2:30.


B Inspired May 5th Philly Wellness Festival Tickets


Here is what wellness festivals mean to us. Wellness Festivals are about exercising, meditating, learning something new and inspiring, trying healthy foods, shopping in a marketplace featuring local favorites and being with an amazing community of like-minded people of all ages. We have experts in mindfulness, meditation, endurance sports, yoga, nutrition and cooking–all coming to share their thoughts, gifts and inspiration. Join us….it is more than a wellness festival. It’s a feel-good, exercise-meditation-inspiration fusion community event and it is so much fun!

Balance Trainer Spotlight: Alec Tressler

Balance Trainer, Alec Tressler, shares his workout week and how he manages to find the time with a busy schedule.  His strong work ethic is a great influence on the students he trains during the day at Penn Charter.

“I am going to do today what other people are not willing to. So, I can do tomorrow what other people can’t”

I live everyday with this mantra at the forefront of my mind. This is not only my approach to my training but to every aspect of my life. It took me quite a while to develop this mentality. In fact, up until my late junior year of college my mindset was to get by the easiest way possible. Once I spent time at Mississippi State I really matured into the person that I am today.
My approach to training is always dependent on time. Time is always the limiting factor that comes up in any conversations that I have about training. I have an extremely busy schedule so time is incredibly important to me. Any free time is an opportunity to do something. No two weeks of training ever look exactly the same but the base of what I try to do is always the same. This is a look inside how each week might look for me. For reference, I usually split my lift (strength) sessions into 3-4 days a week. Nutrition is the key to everything that I do. Like driving a car, you would not get anywhere with no or bad fuel.

This is one of my less busy days of the week so I try to take advantage of it. I usually start my Mondays with a morning session of cardio, so elliptical, biking, running or rowing are examples of what I might be doing. These sessions usually last between 20 and 45 minutes depending on my schedule. Later that day I will do my first strength session of the week. The emphasis for this lift is dynamic effort lower body. So in this lift I will do the most amount of my Olympic lifting. I usually finish this lift with a Metcon (crossfit term for metabolic conditioning) around 10-15 minutes.
Tuesdays are one of my two busiest days of the week. I usually start around 6am and finish around 8pm. While I am at Balance, I like to try to get in a session of mobility and stretching a little bit of recovery. Then mid morning between 8-10(if possible) I like to get in another cardio session between 20-30 minutes similar to the previous day. Later in the day I like to do some sort of Metcon, usually between 20-30 minutes. The reason I like these Metcons, is because they give me a way to compete and give me a tangible goal to beat so I push myself harder every time; also because they are extremely tough and taxing. They are usually made up of a variety of body weight and core exercises.
This is usually a one session day, I will do my first upper body lift of the week today. The emphasis of this day is dynamic effort (speed) again. My preference when I strength train is to train with pretty high intensity to keep my heart rate up. If the opportunity comes at the end of the day I try to get in another 20-30 minutes of cardio in. Sometimes Tuesday and Wednesday’s training schedule are flipped.

Thursdays schedule is identical to Tuesday, my class schedule varies a little but the hours are the same. Like Tuesday I like to start my day my doing my recovery at Balance. On this day I like to get my lift session in first. The emphasis for this lower body lift is max effort. So I will still start with an Olympic lifting progression but this is when I like to do my heaviest compound movements. Towards the end of the day, I like to get another cardio session in between 20-45 minutes.
Fridays are one of my less busy days usually, depending on my class schedule. I like to start Fridays similar to Mondays with a session of cardio, usually 20-45 minutes. Later in the day I will do another longer Metcon between 20-30 minutes. Before an after that workout I will spend a lot of time foam rolling and working on mobility.
Do not get me wrong, I love weekends but I am a creature of habit and weekends are always unpredictable for me. I will do my second upper body lift on Saturday; the emphasis for this lift is max effort. I will finish this lift with a Metcon as well. My Metcons that go along with a lift usually contain accessory lifts that I would program in anyways.
Sunday like Saturday is unpredictable, so I never know week to week where I might be. Sundays are days that I like to recover so I might do 1 maybe 2 separate sessions of cardio to get my heart rate up and to get blood flowing to my muscles to prepare for the new week.