About Nicole Zacher

Nicole is a coach at CPMFitness. Health and Fitness have been a huge part of her life starting out as a young multiple sport athlete. She is always looking for the next challenge and a way to inspire others. Nicole also brings experience as a licensed physical therapist and when she is not at the gym she is probably coaching soccer or playing the role as a devoted mother and wife.

Entries by Nicole Zacher

Why Sumo?

Why Sumo?

The deadlift is considered the ultimate test of overall body strength. It’s a combination of a push with the legs and a pull the upper body. It produces STRONG people, keeps you fit and enhances your flexibility.

Two popular deadlift variations are the conventional and the sumo. Conventional is what we do most often at CPM. It’s a great opportunity to lift some heavy $#*! and work on our derrieres🍑. So what about the sumo deadlift? What are the unique benefits of this besides that crazy looking sumo stance 😜.

Real Life Movements

Nearly every real-life movement in which we are asked to […] Read more

The Art of Jumping Rope

The Art of Jumping Rope

It looks so easy. It’s just a jump rope. All they are doing is passing the rope twice for every jump. SO WHY CAN’T I DO IT!!

Jumping rope is a tremendous conditioning tool that has been used for years to improve endurance and coordination. I have witnessed some pretty amazing things from people lifting tremendous amounts of weight, running like the wind and completing pull-ups until their arms falls off, but as soon as they pick up a jump rope, it’s like they have two left feet.

For many people, jumping rope was something of the past. You might be one […] Read more

Run vs Row

Run vs Row

I got asked the other day,  “Why when running is in the workout people can substitute rowing but not vice versa?” Obviously this is not really true…ok sometimes I am a stickler but it’s usually because people are picking what they are better at.

Rowing is an invaluable tool for runners. When you learn how to do it right, it lights up weaknesses you didn’t know you had. It helps find power in muscles they hadn’t used before and can be a great replacement for running when injuries surface.

So which provides a better overall workout?

Both running and rowing provide a great […] Read more

Catching your ZZZ’s

Catching your ZZZ’s

Diet, exercise and sleep are all important pieces to maintaining your health, but one has the edge as it affects nearly every essential function of our bodies.

Plenty of us view quality sleep as optional. Order a Venti ☕️ the next morning and you’re golden, right? Not really. The costs of sacrificing sleep are extremely high. In the short-term, mental functioning is impaired, our mood is negatively impacted, and our bodies don’t recover from injury as well.

Over the long-term, poor sleep is associated with impaired brain health, high blood pressure, weight gain and a decrease in the immune system’s power.

So how do […] Read more

School is Back in Session

School is Back in Session

For most kids it’s an exciting time of year. In my household, we are 50/50 split. One is excited to see his friends, the other… well lets just say we officially have a high school teenage daughter. I get a little anxious this time of year. Most of the summer was spent traveling with our kid’s soccer and baseball teams, which were awesome, but I question if we spent enough family time together. And then BAM, school is ready to start and the calendars are filling up quickly with back-to-school physicals, extra-curricular activities and don’t forget about that three-ring circus […] Read more

Strength in Numbers

Strength in Numbers

I had a great conversation the other day on why group classes are so valuable, even for the most disciplined. Group classes are more then the loud music, “Metcon” workouts and shouts of encouragement from your coaches. Working out with a crowd carries a plethora of intertwined benefits, here are a few.

Motivation

There is something about working out alongside others that gives you a boost to keep moving. Plus the variety that you find in a group class is an extra motivator that will keep your body guessing and your mind fresh.

Structure

Our time is valuable. A well-structured plan is key to […] Read more

It’s OK to Rest

It’s OK to Rest

Lately I’ve had some difficulty mustering up the motivation to get my workouts in each week. Not sure if it’s the weather, the craziness of schedules or the aches/pains I have been experiencing.

I have been known to have that frantic “must workout every day” mindset which means I was ignoring the most important part of exercising effectively which is allowing my body time to recover.

People often think that taking a rest day means they are slacking off or being lazy. Well I can attest that intense, prolong workouts do not need to be a daily occurrence. Your body needs to […] Read more

Simplicity

Simplicity

The older I get, the more I admire simplicity. With my eldest child entering high school this year, lots of emotions have come to the surface. It has pushed me to reevaluate how I spend my time and what is truly important to me.

Simplicity is all about essence. And purpose. It means to simplify as much as possible — but not more — to reduce it to it’s core.

So how does one begin to simplify their life?

Focus on what is important to you and nothing else. This means to do more of what makes you truly happy. This involves removing […] Read more

Let Go

Let Go

I am writing this a week ahead of schedule. I should be packing but I am a little overwhelmed as tomorrow morning I depart to Washington, DC with about 80 soon to be 9th graders at BVHS.

As a self-confessed control freak, the thought of going with the flow has always been something that gets me anxious. While being a control freak is not necessarily a bad thing in all situations, if often gets in the way of me being present. Micromanaging every aspect of our life can be exhausting. And if you’re anything like me, you know exactly how tiring […] Read more

Huddle Up, It’s Half-Time

Huddle Up, It’s Half-Time

July marks the mid-point of our year. It’s HALFTIME!

For many July is just another month filled with work, errands, to-do-lists and other life demands. Summer brings with it vacation mode, a shift in attitude but also weeks of leave, shorts and flip-flops and less time in the office.

For others, it’s an incredible opportunity. A chance to step back, evaluate our year so far with our goals and objectives and take action to get back on track…if necessary.

For me halftime is an opportunity to ask myself a few important questions:

How am I coming along on my goals?
 Where am I succeeding? Where […] Read more

Are You Ready for a Coach?

Are You Ready for a Coach?

I know in my own life the happiest and most successful I have been is when I decided to hire a coach. If you are new to the concept, know that it feels scary at first. You are spending money and time on yourself AND asking for help (something that I am not good at!). You are willingly signing up to let someone else into your life, to push you to make changes. Sometimes this means letting someone in on your deepest darkest secrets. Working with a coach makes your desires REAL, gets them OUT into the world, and helps […] Read more

Keep Your Hydration in Mind

Keep Your Hydration in Mind

Let the celebrations begin!! Over the next few day’s many people will be celebrating our nation’s birthday with BBQs, beach trips and firework displays.

But if you’re not careful, a fun 4th can turn dangerous quick.

Dehydration makes the top of the list. When the temperature and humidity are both above 70%, you enter the dehydration danger zone. Getting enough water is very important, and even more if you are drinking things like soda, tea or alcohol.

So what happens when plain water gets boring or we really don’t care for it?

#1: Make it bubbly: Along with keeping you hydrated, sparkling water, whether […] Read more

Staying Fit While Enjoying Summer

Staying Fit While Enjoying Summer

July 4th🇺🇸 is almost here which means summer is in FULL swing. Just like there are seasons of weather there are seasons with your health and fitness.

Here in the Mid-west summer brings the biggest shift for most:

There is less structure and more freedom
Kid’s are out of school
There is a urgency to fill up calendars with family vacations
Barbecues, patio drinks and frozen cocktails
Staying up later due to longer days and later Sun Sets

All of which can throw a major curve ball when it comes to sticking to healthy habits. The worst thing you can do is make excuses and let those […] Read more

Nutrition on the Go!

Nutrition on the Go!

So it’s that time of year where I spend more time in the car and sleeping in hotel beds rather than my own on Saturdays. I would not change it for the world, as I truly love watching my kids play sports but it can be challenging at times.

So how does one stick to their plan, no matter where life takes us?

Eat Breakfast!

By filling your body early with some healthy nutrition options can help you avoid feeling tired, distracted or making poor choices throughout the day. Most hotels have the typical continental breakfast with limited options. Come prepared with a […] Read more

Food Tracking

Food Tracking

So I thought I would revisit the value of tracking our food. I have been pretty disciplined over the past few weeks and wow can I say it’s been a huge eye opener. I thought my nutrition was pretty legit but after a few days of tracking I realized that I have been allowing way too many processed foods into my system.

Accountability is a huge part of success even when it comes to nutrition goals. Having someone to answer to, even if that person is yourself can be motivating and will help keep you on track.

Our lives are busy and […] Read more

Are you tracking your lifts?

Are you tracking your lifts?

Life is crazy. We are constantly making decisions from the time we wake up to when we go to bed. Have you ever thought about how many choices you make in one day? I bet you would be surprised. So you walk into CPM and see 1 RM Back Squat on the board for Part A.

Do you have any idea where to start? Do you know your goal? No? Well, it’s time to start tracking your numbers. It only takes a minute after class and seeing progress will not only satisfy you, it will make your life easier!

Ideas on how […] Read more

Soreness vs. Injury

Soreness vs. Injury

We have all heard it many times before – regular exercise is good for you. It can help you lose weight, reduces risks for many diseases, improves your mental wellbeing and strengthens your bones and muscles. But with exercise there may also be some physical discomfort along the way due to the stresses placed on the body.

When experiencing discomfort, it is important to understand the difference between exercise-related muscle soreness and pain. Muscle soreness is a healthy and expected result of exercise, especially if the workout was challenging and/or new to the body. Pain on the other hand may be […] Read more

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar

Overhead pressing is a movement we use frequently in every day life. There are three basic overhead lifts we do in the gym: the strict press, push press, and push jerk. Although the means of getting the barbell overhead is different in each lift the starting and ending positions are identical.

So what are the critical differences between the three lifts?

Strict Press – Pressing weight straight overhead from rack position without the use of your lower body.

Push Press – Pressing weight overhead from rack position using a DIP and DRIVE from the legs to accelerate the barbell upward.

Push Jerk – […] Read more

MURPH

MURPH

Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means, so is the Murph Challenge! How prepared are you? Are you looking to beat your time from last year? Don’t worry you still have some time to get yourself ready.

For those who don’t know (or maybe have chosen to forget 😉), Murph consists of:

1 mile Run
100 Pull-Ups
200 Push-Ups
300 Air Squats
1 mile Run
**with a 20 lb. Vest**

Lets first discuss pull-ups.How are your shoulders? Are they strong and stable enough to kip hundred times under fatigue? Spend a few extra sessions before and after class to work on your kip swing. Maybe throw in some […] Read more

Weighted Mobility

Weighted Mobility

Not sure about you, but lately I feel it takes a little longer for my body to “warm-up” in the morning. My joints seem stiffer and my muscles a little tighter. I am sure the time spent in the gym weight training, hours in the car traveling for kid’s activities and staring at the computer screen does not help. This is the perfect formula for rounded shoulder posture, chronic hip flexor shortening and overly tight hamstrings. Our bodies are designed to adapt to the most efficient (most used), good or bad pattern.

For Decades the Traditional Method Formula has been:

Use Weights […] Read more