News & Events

Featured Success Story – Donald Chamberlain

Meet Donald. He’s 38, a basketball player, an avid shoe enthusiast, works three part-time jobs and is committed to reaching his fitness goals. 

Donald’s Story

Donald, how did you hear about Athletes’ Training Center?
“I saw a commercial while I was at work and I was convinced this was the place to help me reach my goals. At the time I was playing on an all Native-American traveling, basketball team. I wanted to improve my vertical, get stronger, quicker and improve my stamina. I came in for a free trial, met my coaches and after that, I was hooked and came to workout three days a week for 23 straight months.
Then, I took a 7-year break and really didn’t do anything fitness wise.
And with 7 years of not doing anything, I started to notice a decline with my strength. That’s when I knew that I had to start back up with my fitness routine again, and I knew just where I wanted to go.”
Can you tell us about where do you work?
Currently, I work 3 part-time jobs at Chesterman Company (Coca-Cola), UPS and the Cheesecake Factory. I am called a sweeper at UPS where I throw up 50-150 lbs of materials. I have really noticed a difference with my strength there. 
What goals do you have set for yourself?
Currently, I am working toward squatting 500 lbs, improving my 10-yard dash and benching 300 lbs. I’m a very committed person, so once I have my mind set towards something I have to achieve it. 
What do you want people to take away from your story? 
“I’d say for anyone who is thinking about working out and making a positive change with their fitness routine, you just have to get started.  There are days where I don’t want to come in, I really dread it. But, that feeling once I am done with the workout – it is simply rewarding. When I wake up the next morning sore I knew it was worth it. It’s tough, it is a lot of work, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without challenging myself and by working with the coaches at Athletes’ Training Center.
Now fitness is a part of my life again. I passed my 500th workout session at Athletes’ Training Center! I couldn’t do what I loved without getting back in shape. Fitness is just a part of my life now and it’s been rewarding. 
We have had the pleasure of working with Donald for the past year and a half. In that time he has reached the milestone of accomplishing 500 workouts. Today, he is still working towards his 500 lb squat goal and his bench goal of 300 lb.  
Donald is committed to staying healthy and wants to continue to get stronger.

Train Until the End of the Year

Enjoy unlimited MET-FIT sessions until the end of the year for only $99*!

Now is your chance to train with us until the end of the year with a special MET-FIT membership that begins with our annual day after Thanksgiving workout and lets you train in an unlimited number of MET-FIT sessions until December 31st .

Hurry!  You must purchase before December 2nd to get the special pricing.

MET-FIT sessions are a blend of resistance training, body weight training, and sports/movement drills constantly mixed up and designed to BURN CALORIES!  Members can easily burn an average of 400-600+ calories every session!!

Why not stay accountable through the holidays or get an early jump on your New Year’s resolution?

Complete the form below to get your exclusive link to buy your membership today.


Don’t worry, you’ll have the chance to review your purchase.


*Offer is for new clients only and is not valid for anyone who has had a membership in the past 2 years.



How To: Crush Your Goals – Even When You Have No Motivation

Making changes is really tough.  Human nature often seems to get the best of us, no matter how hard we try to instill a new habit or focus in on a goal.

Some of us struggle more than others and some people have an easier time with it. (I think the latter are where performance coaches come from). Either way, it might be good to start with a basic concept about motivation.

We are motivated in two ways – intrinsically and extrinsically.  Intrinsic motivators are things that come from within like the desire to do your best, the ability to stay dialed into a goal, or the pleasure you get from doing a good job.

Extrinisic motivators are things outside of you that push you towards an action.  

For example, a free t-shirt upon joining, a contest with a big prize at the end, a reward your coach gives you for making it to your 20th session.  

The key to staying locked in on a goal or making sustainable changes to a behavior is to get yourself to a place where you rely on intrinsic motivation.

Or, at least, that is what they teach you in school when you study exercise science. You’re taught to design fitness programs or corporate wellness programs with lots of extrinsic reward up front with a goal to move people to intrinsic motivators to stay at it all by themselves.

I am sitting in an airport right now watching people and I don’t think this model is working.

How about we figure out what motivates each person? It is not the same for each of us – I can assure you that! How about we help empower people to become self-aware to know what works for them and then make sure we embed that into their programs?  

Now we’re getting somewhere!

Obviously this is just my opinion, but I watch our coaches work with our members on a personal level like this everyday and see it gets results.  I know digging in and learning about the person and what motivates them or keeps them accountable is an important part of serving the client.

I also know that most people need some form of ongoing extrinsic motivating factors surrounding them.  Sure, there are those few that are self-disciplined or motivated at a higher level.  However, the majority of us need constant focus on a reward or goal.  

I believe it is time people start demanding more out of the training experience and this is simply not possible with the big box gym set-up with the cheap monthly membership.  

Is semi-private training an investment?  Yes, absolutely it is.  

Is it worth it?  Well, is what you’re doing now working?

Question:  Consider your personal behaviors… what truly motivates you?

Written By: Danielle Kleber, ATC Director of Marketing & Operations

3 Common Push Up Mistakes & How to Correct Them

The push up movement is one that I see many of our members struggle with. It isn’t because they are not capable of doing them.

I think most of the time they struggle because they are not aware of what a proper push up should look like.

We are here to direct you on the right path to doing a shoulder friendly and strong abdominal push up.

Let’s dive into 3 common mistakes that we see our members make when they are trying their push ups.

Mistake #1 – Hands too far forward:

With this mistake, people tend to not use their abs or core correctly. This can cause unwanted stress on other muscles and joints.

Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders when starting and finishing your push up. Refer to image (5).

Refer to image (4). Don’t allow your hands to be placed in front of your shoulders.

Mistake #2 – Hips too low:

It is vital to keep your hips level with your shoulders throughout the entire movement including the start and the finish of a push up. Refer to image (5).

If we allow our hips to drop lower than our shoulders as demonstrated in images (3 & 6) we will produce extension in our low back and not using our abdominals to stabilize our body.

Mistake #3 – Elbows pointed out:

One of the most popular flaws is letting the elbows point to the side as can be seen in image (1). As you can see with this poor technique, when one’s elbows point out to the side their head meets their hands at the bottom position.

This is not good. This can present shoulder pain and is a compensation of poor core control during the lowering and raising portion of the push up movement.

We should shoot to have our elbows angle back towards our waist and our shoulders meeting our hands at the bottom position (2).

Along with being mindful of these three flaws, a good way to improve your push up ability is to put your hands on a bench or chair.
Once you perform a push up properly on a bench then you can go ahead and move to the floor.  
A good repetition range to shoot for is 3 sets of 8-15 repetitions. Pictured above is an example of a good push up with proper form. 

How to “Bulk Up” Your Fruit and Veggie Intake

Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants which help protect us from illness, fight off inflammation from exercise, and promote good health. But, it never ceases to amaze me how many of my fitness members say they fall short on incorporating these “super foods” into their daily meals. 

Today, I will share with you some quick and easy tips on how to incorporate fruit and veggies into your daily routine. How many servings of fruit and veggies should you aim for in a day?

Try to aim for 4-5 servings of vegetables and at least 3 servings of fruit each day. Focus on varying the colors of the fruits and vegetables you eat every day because different colors have different amounts and types of healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Fruits & Vegetables – The more colorful the better 

– Red: apples, red grapes, cherries, tomatoes, red peppers, and watermelon

– Orange: carrots, peaches, oranges, and cantaloupe

– Green: green apples, green peppers, pears, cabbage, kiwi, green beans, lettuce, broccoli, and spinach

– Yellow: bananas, pineapple, lemons, corn

– Purple/Blue: grapes, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries

Are you among the many people that struggle with finding ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet? Try these tips for incorporating these “super foods” into your daily meals. 

Tips: How can I incorporate more fruit and veggies into my meals?


– Breakfast: Drink a glass of 100% fruit juice, add fruit to cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal

– Lunch: Pack a piece of fruit to eat over your lunch break

– Dinner: Have a piece of fresh fruit or canned fruit as the main entrée

– Snacks: Eat a piece of fresh fruit as a snack or before bedtime


– Lettuce salad: make a bowl of lettuce, spinach, carrots, broccoli, and other mixed vegetables

– Cooked vegetables: get a serving of cooked vegetables with your main entrée at both lunch and dinner

– Snacks: Snack on baby carrots, fresh broccoli, or celery throughout the day

Why is adequate fruit and vegetable consumption so important? Find out more at

Written By: Trenton Clausen – MA, CSCS, USAW-L2SP, Director of Sports Performance

5 Tips for Avoiding Back Pain While Shoveling Snow

As we are well into the wonderful winter season, I want to take a moment to share some tips on snow shoveling that I hope will come in useful and maybe keep you from having to visit your favorite physical therapist. 

As anyone who has ever picked up a snow shovel knows, it is WORK.  In 1996, the Surgeon General noted that shoveling snow for 15 minutes was considered moderate physical activity equivalent to speed walking at 5 mph for 15 minutes on a treadmill.  As with any other physical activity, a warm up is always important. 

When completing a warm up, I encourage an active motion that is similar to the movement that you will be doing.  In this case I suggest a lunge with arm reach toward the opposite knee (see above picture). 

Perform 10 lunges on both sides.  This will help emphasize the need to bend with your legs, increase muscle activity, and provide a nice warm up before you ask your legs to lift a load.   

After the lunges, I also encourage some light stretching of the shoulders, neck and low back.  Good stretches to complete include pulling your arm across your chest, looking over your shoulder and seated rotational stretches for your low back.  Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.  Now let us get to the most important thing.  

5 Tips – how to position yourself when shoveling: shoveling

  • Bend your knees like you are going to lunge. 
  • DO NOT reach your arms forward when shoveling, LUNGE forward.  This reduces strain on your back. 
  • Move forward into the lunge as you lift the snow and bring your arms back in to your abdomen.  This will force you to use your legs more and reduce strain on your back bringing the weight shoveling_2
    closer to your body. 
  • When throwing the snow off to the side, move your feet and DO NOT simply twist at the waist.  Avoiding twisting will reduce the possibility of straining your back.
  • Push opposed to lifting: If you can push the snow forward opposed to lifting this will reduce the strain on your back.  

Other things to consider:  

  • Stay hydrated.  Just because it is winter doesn’t mean you don’t get dehydrated. 
  • Choose an appropriate shovel size and DO NOT overload it!  
  • Take a break when needed.  If we get 10 inches, shovel in sections and not all at once. 

If all else fails, my last recommendation is a good snow blower. Happy shoveling!

Written By: Nick Wegener, PT, ATC, OCS, CSCS

Adult Fitness – Winter Attendance Challenge!

We greatly appreciate all of our members and would like to thank you for your membership by hosting another ATTENDANCE CHALLENGE for all of our current members!

How long is the attendance challenge held?

The Winter Attendance Challenge will begin February 1st and will continue through February 28th. 

How does the challenge work? 

The member with the most attended sessions at each location by the end of the contest will win a $100 gift card to the place of their choice. *Double sessions in one day will only count as one session. 



The Fountain of Fitness

5 Things to Start Doing Now

A lot of people are looking for the secret code or magic potion to look, feel, train or perform better. I’m a firm believer that there is not any of that, and it takes consistent effort and formulating habits that will truly help you achieve your fitness or performance goals.

That is why I am going to reveal my Top 5 Healthy Habits that will give you some leeway to not always be perfect. If you can perform these habits at least 80% of the time you will see huge improvements on your looks and how you feel along with improving your daily performance on the sports, in the field or at work.

Top 5 Healthy Habits


1. Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night

7-9 hours is ideal
Keep a consistent sleep schedule even on the weekends
Refrain from TV, computer, or cellphone screen time in the dark before sleeping

2. Drink at least half your bodyweight (pounds) in fluid ounces of liquids per day

Stick to water and lower sugar content drinks
You will also achieve proper hydration levels by eating a balanced and varied diet of fruits/vegetables, healthy fats, whole grain carbohydrates and lean sources of protein)

3. Participate in at least 45 minutes of physical activity five days per week

Strength training, jogging, cycling, playing sports, walking, etc.

4. Perform active recovery/regeneration activities at least five days per week

Foam rolling, massage stick, stretching/mobility exercises, yoga, breathing exercises

5. Choose nutrient dense food over calorie dense foods

Nutrient dense foods have a higher percentage of nutrients per calorie
Nutrient dense foods would be fresh fruits and vegetables, high fiber carbohydrates, lean sources of protein. Calorie dense foods would be fried foods, potato chips, bacon, sausage, ice cream, soda, etc.

With these Top 5 Healthy Habits you can start at achieving your goals, but it’s all about consistency.

Remember, “Consistent action creates consistent results.” These habits are just a few that you can adopt to help you achieve your goals. Don’t miss out the many more healthy tips that Athletes’ Training Center has to offer. 

Written by, Trenton Clausen – MA, CSCS, RSCC

Question: What do you think will be the hardest part of following these Top 5 Healthy Habits?

The perfect stocking stuffer!

Tired of the same old socks and underwear for Christmas? How about a gift of a $49 monthly membership to our MET-FIT sessions?
What is Metabolic Fitness?
(MET-FIT) training is a blend of resistance training, body weight training, and sports/movement drills constantly mixed up and designed to BURN CALORIES!  Members can easily burn an average of 300-600+ calories every session!!
Contact Danielle at to make purchase arrangements. Or call us at 402.932.7111.

4 Tips for Conquering “A Bad Mood”

Bad moods are a part of everyday life. How a person handles a bad mood will determine if the mood will improve or stay the same. There are numerous different ways that people try to deal with these nasty feelings, but the number one, guaranteed, sure-fired way to improve a bad mood is…EXERCISE.

Use a fitness or a gym membership to help combat the bad vibes. Whenever you are feeling down in the dumps, just remember these 4 tips before you decide to stay home and sulk.

1. Know how working out effects your mood

Exercise is a proven mood enhancer. Within the first few minutes of elevated heart rate, a person’s mood tends to improve. The effects go beyond the short-term as well. Exercise helps combat long-term depression and anxiety and also helps improve a person’s self-image. It may help to start the workout with a bout of cardio to kick-start the good vibes.

2. Keep your goals in mind

First and foremost, if you don’t have a fitness goal, get one! A goal will serve to be a motivating factor on the journey to becoming a better you. Instead of letting life’s speedbumps get in your way, realize that every time you’re walking in to the gym you are getting one step closer to your ultimate goal.

3. Your trainer can help you

A good trainer will sense if your mood is a little different than normal. If you happen to have a trainer, It’s ‘ok’ to rely on them to increase the energy of the workout. Let them help you throughout the workout. It’s not a bad idea to tell your trainer how you’re feeling upfront so he or she can adjust the coaching style to help you get the best possible workout that day.

4. Make “checkpoints” throughout your workout session

Chop your workout into numerous little sections and think of it as a positive accomplishment to complete each and every one of them as you go. Get through the warm-up and check it off as an accomplishment. Get through three sets of deadlifts and do the same. Mini accomplishments may slowly help build up a person’s mood and make the workout easier as they go. When you finish your workout, look at how a bunch of mini accomplishments added up to equal a big one; the completion of a day’s work.

img_8536-untitledDon’t let a bad mood get in the way of a good workout. Use your workout as a way to change your mood for the better and make it a positive part of your day. Know the benefits that exercise can have on moods, not only for the short term, but long term as well. We offer two membership fitness options at Athletes’ Training Center. The first, offers Adult Functional Coaching in semi-private sessions. This model gives our members all the benefits of the traditional one-on-one personal training but in a small group setting with one or two other like-minded people.


Our second fitness membership option is called Metabolic fitness (MET-FIT) training. It is a group coaching membership designed for those people who are tired of the same old workouts and are looking for challenging workout in a fun, group environment. We offer MET-FIT sessions throughout the day so if you like to workout before work, over the lunch hour, or after work we have times to meet your needs. You can learn more about these membership options by clicking here

Written By: Gus Thiel, Performance Coach BS, FMS-L1SP

Surge your Physical Performance

The Perks of Nutrient Timing

First of all, what exactly is nutrient timing and how will it affect my performance?

Nutrient timing: When you consume certain foods at specific times of the day, those acts will provide increased performance levels and improved recovery following physical activity.

Taking advantage of nutrient timing has countless benefits for athletic and physical performance.

Periods of nutrient timing that absolutely need to be taken advantage of are: pre-fueling (before a workout, practice, or game) and post-fueling (after a workout, practice, or game). Pre-fueling and post-fueling are also great times to add in extra calories needed to gain weight or maintain a healthy body weight.

PRE-FUELING – Pre-fueling should take place 1-2 hours and up to 10 minutes prior to the activity.

  • Benefits of pre-fueling are:

Reduce the risk of injury and increase nutrient delivery to muscles due to improved protein balance

Ability to play at a higher intensity and improved mental focus from increase of glycogen storages

Set nutrition stage for faster recovery following activity

Limit immune system suppression

  • Pre-fueling snacks should contain:

Protein (5-15g based on tolerability)

Carbohydrate (20-60g)

Fluids and Electrolytes

  • Pre-fueling snack ideas:

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a piece of fruit, and water

Yogurt and Gatorade

POST-FUELING – Post-fueling should take place within 45 minutes following a workout, practice, or game.
  • Post-fueling benefits include:

Maximize muscle recovery/protein synthesis

Maximize restoration of glycogen stores

Restore immune suppression

Increase blood flow

  • Post-fueling snacks should consist of:

Protein (15-20g of complete proteins)


Amount dependent on training intensity and duration

High Glycemic Carbohydrates

Fluids and Electrolytes


Written By, Trenton Clausen – Director of Sports Performance MA, CSCS, USAW-L2SP

Question: What is your favorite snack during your workout session?

4 Ways to Succeed During Your Workout, Where Others Fail

Benefits of a Dynamic Warm-Up

What is the most underrated part of your training session? I would say it’s the first ten minutes. This is the time when you do your soft-tissue work (foam roll, lacrosse ball) and perform a dynamic warm-up. During this time, your body is cold and probably sore from your previous workout.

Young Woman Doing Stretching Exercises before Jogging. Focus on the Face. Town Setting in the background.

While it might not be your favorite, I would argue that the first ten minutes are influential in the quality of your training session that day. Here are four reasons why the initial portion of your training session is so important to your fitness routine.

1. Improves Quality of Muscle Tissue

Our muscle tissue is enclosed by connective tissue called fascia. After pro-longed periods of inactivity or following an intense training session our fascia loses its elasticity which can limit joint range of motion, cause muscle soreness and decrease performance. The soft-tissue techniques that we use (foam rollers, lacrosse balls) address these issues to help you feel better, move better and train better.

2. Raises Core Body Temperature

Performing a dynamic warm-up, as opposed to a static stretching routine, warms and adequately prepares the body for training. This process greatly reduces the risk of injury during training.

3. Increases Blood Flow to Muscle Tissue

As our body warms, our heart not only beats faster, but more forcefully. The combination of beating faster and more forcefully results in more blood to working muscles. The increase in blood is necessary because blood delivers oxygen, which our muscles need to function properly.

4. Improves Range of Motion and Movement Preparation

Lastly, performing a dynamic warm-up is an opportunity to improve joint range of motion. It also serves as a time to prepare the body for movements that will be performed during the training session.

Now that you know the benefits, I encourage you to take 10 minutes prior to your workout to warm-up. There are plenty of ways to prepare your body for activity, so feel free to mix it up and try different things. A warm-up should be fun and help get your mind in the right place for training!

Written By: Mike Servais, CSCS, USAW-L1SP, Head Performance Coach – Papillion

Question: What is your favorite warm-up movement?

Put Your Heart Into It

Is your workout “heart healthy?” Of course strength training improves the way you look and develops fat free mass, but it can also improve your heart health – if performed the right way. If the right sets, repetitions and rest intervals are applied, your heart can get a workout along with your other muscles.

Three apples with engraved hearts on wood background

We have high demands for our training sessions.  We want to get as much work done in a certain amount of time to achieve a certain heart rate and burn as many Calories, all while with getting stronger. We aim to keep your heart rate between 60-90% of your maximal heart rate to remain in a moderate to difficult physical activity zone. The longer we can keep you in this zone, the more it will decrease your resting heart rate and better the health of your heart over consistent training sessions.

Here is How You Do This:

  1. Group the exercises in a circuit style order and do them with minimal rest until the first set is complete.
  2. Following the first set of exercises, take a longer rest until moving onto the next set.
  3. Continue that formula for several circuits.

After doing this for two to five sets you will see your heart rate climb. This is different from a normal session where you complete one exercise, then sit and rest until you are ready for the next.

We utilize a software system call MYZONE to give immediate feedback on how close you are to your maximal heart rate and how many Calories you have burned throughout your training session.  It is displayed on a screen to allow your coach to constantly use as feedback to know exactly how your session is going and to offer a little more motivation when needed. We want to make sure you are in the right zone to give both your muscles and heart a proper training session.

Written by, Trenton Clausen – MA, CSCS, RSCC

Under the watchful eye of a coach, top notch programming and immediate feedback from the MYZONE system, you will for sure reach your training goals and receive a “heart healthy” training session!

“Perfection” Is Impossible

Eating Habits – The 80/20 Rule

It would be ideal to be perfect 100% of the time, but let’s face it – we are human and this is impossible. This is also true when thinking of our eating habits. We try hard to eat healthy, but we simply can’t be ‘perfect’ every day and at every meal. I am going to outline a healthy eating strategy that may help you realize you can still indulge once in a while as long as you follow 80/20 rule.


We go through the struggles, like having a stare down with a delectable piece of pie, and then we convince ourselves it is too good to pass up so we dive in. This is why we promote the 80/20 or 90/10 rule at Athletes’ Training Center when following eating habits and strategies.

What is the rule you may ask? If we can consistently eat a complete meal of lean sources of protein, fruits & vegetables, whole grain carbohydrate sources, and healthy fats we will make progress on the scale and lose body fat. We know a 100% effort every day is hard to attain, so shoot for 80%.

Once 80% is attainable, shoot for 90%. We definitely want you to be conscious about the food sources you eat throughout the day but don’t go crazy trying to be perfect.

An 80/20 Day outline:

  • Breakfast: Two slices of whole wheat toast, peanut butter, a cup of skim milk, and a banana
  • Snack: Almonds and a cup of water
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken breast, a cup of brown rice, a cup of green beans, walnuts, and one chocolate chip cookie (more on this later)
  • Snack: A stick of mozzarella string cheese, an orange, and a cup of water
  • Dinner: Baked pork loin, one slice of whole wheat bread, a cup of skim milk, lettuce salad, French dressing

As you can see during this day you could fit a chocolate chip cookie into your daily food intake, but we are able to make great choices the rest of the day. This is life. We need certain items to stay sane, but don’t let it ruin your daily choices. Remember, it’s normal not to be perfect, and the idea of “perfection” is impossible.

Written by, Trenton Clausen – MA, CSCS, RSCC

Question: What would be that hardest part of following the 80/20 Rule?

Orville Inglis, 99 years old, rides 4 miles every day

Orville Inglis is 99 years old and rides his stationary bike 4 miles every day.  Inglis lives in Walhalla, North Dakota and was recently featured in a story in the Grand Forks Herald.  Dale Inglis, adult fitness member, shared the story with us.  What an inspiration and testament to staying active!
Visit the Grand Forks Herald to read the story:


Jennie A., Collegiate Track & Field Athlete

Athletes’ Training Center has worked to specialize workouts to fit my athletic needs. The strength coaches have a one on one personal connection to fix minor details that have had a major impact on my athletic performance.