Focus Fitness Teacher Profile: Jackie Cox

FBY Staff : February 19, 2014 12:03 am : blog

Jackie Aronchick Cox, MEd, CSCS
Head Field Hockey Coach
Haverford College

When did you start teaching spinning?

-I started teaching spinning when I was 16, so 1998. My mom brought Spinning to the Main Line YMCA when it first started so I decided to get certified when a master spinner came and certified the instructors interested at the YMCA. So it was my mom who really got me into teaching. She is my inspiration! I started teaching a weekend class in high school and then I taught during the summer in college. When I graduated I started teaching year round and found Focus Fitness and asked if they needed any certified instructors. Lucky for me Allison was interested and I have been teaching at Focus since 2006!

What is your favorite part of spinning class?

-My favorite part of a spinning class is riding on a long hard windy flat that matches up with the perfect heart pumping song. The challenge of keeping a fast pace against harder tension brings the adrenaline out of me. Those are the times I can really get in the zone.

What advice would you give someone new to spinning?

-The advice I would give to a new spinner is to take the first couple classes to get used to the positions and the levels. Don’t be too hard on yourself and give yourself a few classes with a few different instructors. Everyone uses different routines, different music and we all have different vibes. Ask for advice or help if you need it!

What are some of your hobbies outside of FFML?

-I love to run. I run about 4 days a week and usually 5-7 miles.

What do you think makes FFML special?

-FFML is a place where you can walk in and feel welcome immediately. It is different than any other gym or club I have experienced because you don’t feel like one of many members. I also know that we care about our members and take an interest in finding out what they want, so I think that is very special! You are bound to come in and feel special and get a great workout whether it is in the spin or yoga studio.

What are some of your go-to songs for cardio workouts?

-Whenever I need a song to get me into the mood to workout I start out with Metallica Hero of the Day, or We Found Love by Rihanna.

What’s your favorite way to spend a free afternoon?

-Currently with my husband and son. I can’t get enough of his smiley face!

How do you describe your style of teaching?

-Motivating and energetic. I like to treat my classes as if I were coaching my field hockey team. I try to think of things to say that would motivate everyone to dig deep and get the best possible workout that they can give themselves that day.

What do you LOVE about spinning?

-I love that anyone can do it! You control your bike and there is no judgement since the room is dark!

How do you maintain FOCUS in your daily life?

-Truly I maintain my focus by daily exercise to release the built up energy. When I have a lot going on in my head and I have already exercised that day, I either close my eyes and take deep breaths trying to clear the clutter, or I call my mom!

Come try Jackie’s Spinning 60 classes, YeS+ class and High Intensity Interval Training class on Saturday, March 22!

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Spinning Tips from One Newbie to Another – Guest post by Lisa Graham

FBY Staff : January 30, 2014 8:00 pm : blog, Fitness

Spinning is no ride in the park, but the results are definitely worth it. A 45-60 minute ride can burn upwards of 600 calories, it’s low impact on your joints, and comes with a great endorphin rush.

I’ve become totally hooked on the spinning classes at Focus Fitness Main Line. Ever since my first class, I’ve been taking several per week, trying out all of FFML’s fabulous instructors.

Since spinning sounded a little intimidating to me before I started, I thought I would put together a short list of my top 6 tips for newbies.

  1. Show up. After hearing about the spinning craze that seems to be sweeping the country, it took me a while before I actually made it to my first class. When you think about it… it’s a stationary bike and you can totally go at your own pace… how scary can it be?
  2. Take your time. At the beginning of every class Tiffany teaches she has the same line, “Every bike is different, every ride is different, every person is different. Do what feels right for you.” So true.
  3. Bring a friend. My sister Lauren is a senior at University of Maryland and currently training for a cross-country bike ride to raise money for cancer ( Having her next to me when I was starting out made the ride more fun, and many times turned the 1-hour spinning class into a mini sister day of spinning and lunch or spending time together. Now that she is at school, I’m going to class with my other sister Julie whenever possible. spinning
  4. Get to know your instructor. It’s so much easier to ask questions and learn new tips when you know your instructor. Each and every teacher at FFML is full of knowledge, from your bike set up to what you should eat and drink.
  5. Watch your form. Here’s another area your instructor can help you master. In Allison’s classes she’ll remind you to pull your belly up – not just so your legs have more room to move, but also to remind you to use your core muscles. It’s not just a leg workout; it’s a total body workout.
  6. Keep going. The first changes I noticed were mental. I felt so proud after reaching a personal “milestone” in class – whether it was reaching 115 RPM or really getting to level 10 resistance. Keep going and give yourself time to get used to the class and realize how strong you really are.

Spinners, what other tips would you share?

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Cadence and Resistance and the Effectiveness of Your Ride

FBY Staff : January 28, 2014 2:52 pm : blog

Spinning Blog
Cadence and Resistance and the Effectiveness of Your Ride
by Jackie Coxjackie cox

Hello fellow Spinners! I just got done the Cadence, Heart Rate and Class Design Workshop and boy was it an eye opener! Even though I have been teaching Spin for 14 years, I learned a lot of valuable tools to incorporate in class and in my own ride. Meg McNeely was our master Spinning instructor and she did an unbelievable job explaining the relationship between cadence and resistance and how this will dictate your ride and your overall fitness gains.

So what is cadence? Cadence is pedaling speed in revolutions per minute (RPM). What are the correct cadence ranges for an effective and safe ride? 80-110 RPM on flats and 50-80 RPM on hills. These are the numbers we use to tell you how fast you should be going during the class, which can be read on your monitor.

Did you know that if you pedal over 110 RPM, your bike starts to do the work for you? Here are some interesting facts about pedaling over 110 RPM:
*Low power to resistance ratio.
*It’s wasted energy.
*The momentum of the heavy flywheel is turning the crank arms—the flywheel is doing all the work!
*You won’t train the nervous system properly.
*You aren’t as likely to achieve your performance and weight loss goals.
*You won’t build leg strength.
Students who have a high power-to-resistance ratio may occasionally attain these leg speeds. This means they have the ability to overcome resistance through strength and speed.
*The rare, highly skilled students (often cyclists) who have mastered a smooth pedal stroke and who understand the dynamics of cadence can pedal faster than 110 RPM for limited periods.
*A high-performance sprint, used judiciously in your class profiles (i.e., rarely), may require cadences over 110 RPM for 10–20 seconds.

How does cadence against resistance dictate your ride and your long term fitness goals?
1. If you ride at high RPM with little tension, you will see short term results. Examples of short term results would be maybe a light sweat, a little increase in your heart rate and some calorie burn.
2. 2. If you have too high tension and ride at a very low RPM, you will see negative long term results. The only example of this is injury to the knees or back!
3. If you correlate your cadence with the proper amount of tension, you will see positive long term results! Fat loss, muscle gain, muscle definition, improved resting heart rate, improved lactate threshold, the capability to maintain a higher heart rate for longer periods of time and over all a stronger more effective ride.

At Focus Fitness Main Line, our instructors are trained to put you through a workout that will make you stronger and fitter so when you ride with us, attempt to follow our lead in regards to RPM’s and tension and you will feel and see the difference!

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Building Your Own Meditation Practice and De-stressing for the Holidays

ffadmin : December 7, 2013 12:49 pm : blog, Classes

Own Your Meditation Practice!

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FF Fusion Class Makes ABC News!

FBY Staff : February 19, 2013 1:23 pm : blog, Fitness

A huge shout out to Focus Fitness Main Line’s FF Fusion Class! ABC news included Focus’s FF Fusion class in a recent news segment on “Fun, fresh & funky workouts”! In case you missed the segment on TV (or you just want to watch it over and over again…no judgement but I just watched it 3 times in a row!), we’ve included the link below!

Congrats to Lisa Winig for leading the class and looking amazing while doing it!

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Valentine’s Day Cocoa Oat Truffle Bites!

FBY Staff : February 13, 2013 8:14 pm : blog
A healthier treat for tomorrow’s chocolate holiday compliments of Whole Foods!
Cocoa Oat Truffle Bites
1 cup Rolled Oats
1 cup dried Dates
¼ cup Cocoa Powder, dark, unsweetened
½ cup Almond Butter, no-salt-added
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons pure Vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground Nutmeg

Place oats in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Reserve two tablespoons of cocoa powder. Add the remaining cocoa powder, dates, almond butter, water, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the food processor. Process until finely ground and sticking together. Roll truffle mixture into balls about 2 teaspoons each, pressing firmly for mixture to stick together. If needed, drizzle in a little hot water so mixture sticks. Roll in remaining cocoa powder to coat. Chill until ready to serve.

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Focus Yoga Challenge!

FBY Staff : January 24, 2013 2:49 pm : blog

30 Days To Transform!

February 4th – March 5th


Focus Fitness wants to help you create and maintain habits for a HEALTHY & HAPPY 2013 by getting you on your mat, journaling, meditating & eating whole foods! Challenge yourself to transform … we know you can do it!

How it Works …

– Come to the Focus Fitness Main Line studio & practice on your mat for 30 consecutive days!
– Meditate 20 minutes daily
– Eat healthy (plant-based whole foods, low added oil and salt, No/minimal animal products)

– Provide the inspiration in & out of classes with a daily Facebook post!
– Daily Meditation Mantra suggestions on our homepage (remember to refresh your page).
– Yoga Pose of the Week
– Inspiration for Meditation
– Daily Facebook Posts on Group Page
– Thought-provoking Journal Topics
– Real Food Works (An option to purchase a subscription plan of fresh meals that are cooked by local partners – restaurants, caterers, and personal chefs – and delivered to you fresh.)

Visit our facebook page!

Did you know …
It takes the brain
30 days

of practice to form a habit!
A regular yoga practice is associated with:
 mindful eating,
cardiovascular health,
 & increased self-esteem
Consistent meditation can help:
sharpen mental focus,
gain power over emotions,
improve overall health & wellness
Daily journal writing has a positive impact on:
physical well-being,
reducing stress,
& improving problem solving
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What Brings Me To My Mat by Eliakim Warren

FBY Staff : January 14, 2013 5:47 pm : blog

Yoga shifts me back to thoughts of love.

“What keeps me coming back to my mat?” is a question I ask myself every time I practice.

My thought process goes something similar to this: “What is it about yoga and these poses that has me so hooked?”

Seconds after posing this question, it seems ridiculous or unimportant and then I think to myself “How do people not practice yoga?”

It’s true, yoga has become a way of life for me. It’s given me many tools—and I am often perplexed by how people know how to be kind, grateful and love-filled without all the powerful teachings of yoga.

Lately, this banter has turned up the volume and I have found myself dumbfounded with how much I love yoga and this yearning feeling to know why.

Yoga seems to have such a grip on my heart and I am always thirsty for more, whether it is asana, pranayama, meditation or the Sutras, I can’t seem to get enough.

In class, I listen closely to the words of the teachers whom inspire me, as if everything is a juicy secret whispered quietly…if I don’t listen closely l might miss it.

For the first time, in quite some time, I am not in a romantic relationship.

That being said, this year, my romantic relationship has been with my yoga practice. It has been the most auspicious time in my life to dedicate myself to my practice. I’m forced into a place in my life where I must grow, but all my feelings of love are solely directed back to myself.

Being that I am somebody who puts my “all” into relationships, I am trying to have that same magnitude of loving energy that I typically share with another being, poured back into myself.

What I have been trying to do lately, in my mind, is similar to what I have done in my past relationships: I try and come up with precise reasons as to why I am in love with that person. If I was going to put on the spot and I had to have the words ready—I have convinced myself I better have some good reasons as to why yoga is so important if I am going to let it take precedent in my life.

After almost a year of prioritizing my relationship with yoga, I believe I am closer to answering my own question of what brings me back to my mat: I return to my mat because yoga shifts me back to thoughts of love.

For me, my physical practice and all forms of my yoga practice, the purpose always boils down to, generating more love within myself.

In a recent workshop, I had a revelation during my practice; if I continue to shift my thoughts back to love to generate love, it will become a habit or a pattern. This is called a samskara in Sanskrit and inevitably, it will become true for me.

Samskaras can be patterns so engrained in us that they are etched on our heart and deep in our subconscious mind; so deep that they become our reality and what we believe really is true for us.

What I have realized is that there is no way for a transformation not to take place and no way for a shift not to occur within, if we are constantly bringing our thoughts back to love.

Trust me, this pattern of thinking thoughts of love will be etched deep into your soul and you will find yourself more loving.

At the start of this New Year, ask yourself what you want; what would the strongest and most confident you look like?

It should make you feel happy and excited to think about the outcome and the place you could be in within yourself if you were to really dig deep.

I encourage you to start the year off making your transformation your priority and see what incredible shifts can happen.

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Healthy During the Holidays

FBY Staff : December 21, 2012 8:49 pm : blog, Health & Nutrition

Is it just us, or did this holiday week sneak up out of nowhere!?

All of a sudden, our days are full of shopping/wrapping/celebrating & EATING! Treats, toasts and special occasions are popping up right and left.

Luckily, we’ve collected some great tips to avoid over-indulging while still enjoying every moment of this special time of year. Got any secrets of your own? Let us know in the comments!

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Blog Day of Silence

FBY Staff : December 17, 2012 8:51 pm : blog

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and community of Newtown, CT. Tina shared about today’s “Blog Day of Silence” here.


Take a moment today to be thankful for your family & friends. Our hearts go out to all affected by this terrible tragedy. Namaste.


“Do small things, with great love.”  -Mother Teresa


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