The Intelligence of Your Body

The Intelligence of Your Body

Written by: Christine De Bellefeuille

I have a saying that I use in each of my classes: “Listen to the intelligence of your body”. Often, when we are engaged in physical activity, we have a tendency to misuse our vessel. Many of us still abide by the old adage “If it hurts, it works”, or “No pain, no gain”, pushing the limits of our bodies to a point of injury.

This is a terrible idea. If it feels wrong, it is wrong.

The key to knowing whether or not your movements are detrimental is being present with your body. During your classes, it should never be a case of going through the motions; you should always be paying attention to what your body is telling you to do, or to stop doing. You need to establish a strong neural-muscular connection to ensure each message your body is sending you is received, and understood.

How can you strengthen this mind-body connection? Firstly, you need to leave whatever’s happening outside; thinking about conflicts, to-do lists, or even groceries can distract from what your body is doing. Second, slow down. Everything is go-go-go these days, from texting, to e-mail, to fast food. Take a moment, breathe deeply, and you will feel everything just a little bit more. Give yourself time to reflect on the subtleties of your body. Lastly, remember “No Pain, More Gain”. When exercising, you want to feel the challenge in your movements, but you always want to stop before the point of injury. I want my clients to consistently walk out of their classes feeling better than when they walked in.

You must be an active participant in communicating with your muscles; you are the one in your own body, so you must decide if what you’re doing is positive or negative. You should constantly be asking yourself “Am I feeling something because I’m tight, or because I’m going to injure myself?” Asking yourself (and your coach!) these questions makes you more aware of your body, your positioning, and your limits.

In my days of professional dancing, pain used to mean that I was doing something the way it was instructed to be; few things are as painful as pointe shoes! Now, however, it’s all about quality of movement over quantity.

The clients who feel their very best after years and years of exercising are those that have developed the mind-body connection. It might not have been there initially, but through years of listening and learning, it has been established. The more you practice paying attention, the more the connection will improve! As I always say “Practice makes better”.

The Pursuit of Optimization

The Pursuit of Optimization

Written by: Paul DeAngelis

One of the most remarkable parts of traveling is the fact that wherever I go, it’s always the same! Everyone always needs similar things, since our bodies really aren’t all that different; mobility, strength, and above all else, consistency. The people I meet with have goals that are almost identical to those of my other clients, even though their fitness levels vary: they are looking to get better, and to be better. I’m there to tell them how to do that.

Wherever I go when traveling, I bring the truth with me. It’s the same philosophy I use in my everyday life, and at Total Balance; the factor that changes is intensity.

The seminars I present are broken down into 6 components:

1.)    Biomechanics: I show the group how to move efficiently.

2.)    Injury Prevention: Even elite athletes can get hurt doing what they do best!

3.)    Nutrition: You have to know how to fuel properly. For example, there are some major nutritional differences between people who focus on power sports, those who focus on endurance, and a regular gym-goer.

4.)    Health vs. Performance: Your end goal will determine how you train. If you’re looking to get healthier, you’re not going to be moving the same way as someone who wants to improve performance specifically.

5.)    Programming: This section describes what the clients goals are, how they should be moving, when they can move up in intensity, and emphasizes consistency.

6.)    Practical Training: This is where I get people moving, so they can see how all of the information I present to them has an affect on their movements!

The most satisfying part? Seeing how people improve afterwards. Even after a single day of teaching, the before and after videos are always incredible!

The reason I travel is the pursuit of optimization; I want to make myself better, and I want to make what I do better. If I feel I can improve something, I’m relentless in my pursuit. My goal is to be at my personal best, so I can bring all that energy and skill to the clients at Total Balance. Everyone has areas they want to improve. The only thing that changes is the physical location!


3 Steps to Meeting Your Fitness Goals, with Total Balance

3 Steps to Meeting Your Fitness Goals, with Total Balance

Written by: Paul DeAngelis


The coaches at Total Balance are in a unique and advantageous position of having a high level of fitness expertise; not only can we identify the steps you need to take to get started effectively, but we can develop and complicate programs as you progress towards your goals! So how do we get our clients from the start to the finish of their fitness journey?


Step 1: Identify their Goals

The first thing I recommend to a new client is to come in to talk about what they want. During our one-on-one meeting, we break down exactly what it is that they’re hoping to get out of the program; a better quality of life, reduction in pain, aesthetics, etc. The client has to be aware of what their goal is before working towards it, and it’s our job to ensure that goal is realistic and attainable.

Step 2: Attain Commitment

It may sound like a cliché, but it typically takes up to 3 months of consistent work to see results! Intermittent workout sessions just don’t work, unfortunately.

One way in which we make sure the clients are committing to their goals is to work within their schedule; the key is to get them to prioritize their workouts. Life gets pretty busy, but we want everyone to have the opportunity to succeed in their fitness endeavors.


Step 3: Reality Hits!

Once you’ve got your goals laid out, and a commitment to working towards them, there’s nowhere to go but up!

After 3 months, the benefits of the program will become apparent; better posture, more energy, increase in strength, all that good stuff. The way you move in the day-to-day will change as well; since your body will be getting stronger, your walking, sitting, and running motions will feel better and be better.

Remember: good things take time!



The Evolution of Total Balance

The Evolution of Total Balance

Written by: Paul DeAngelis

Total Balance is evolving.

The fall is bringing big changes to the studio. Change is a good thing; too often we get stuck in bad routines, bad jobs, bad training habits, and require a new way of thinking to get out of our ruts. Think of the gym like you’d think of your body: if you did the same exercises over and over without changing it up, would you make any progress?

The first shift in programming is the evolution of the spinning classes, coming this fall. Don’t worry, it isn’t going away; instead, it’s evolving into a hybrid of traditional spinning, and total training called “SpinFit”. This is an active improvement on a class that has been exceptionally popular in the Total Balance community.

Traditional spinning classes focus primarily on endurance, and I’ve found that to be a little one dimensional. Our goal is to build and improve on the abilities clients bring to the stationary bicycle by incorporating the Total Balance approach to strength training. By blending the use of the machine with the personalized instruction from our coaches, clients will begin to see improvements that a spinning class alone couldn’t generate!

Total Balance is all about laying down the foundations for strength. You’re encouraged to speak with an expert (such as myself), to tailor the program to your exact needs, and your exact fitness level. Coaches can then build up your mobility and strength in parts, depending on your current and long-term goals. We’re here to motivate!

SpinFit guarantees better results, and the best perspective on endurance training. The classes will be more personal, more inspirational, and most definitely more positive an experience for everyone involved.

The second major change has to do with the aesthetics of the studio: we will be removing the wall separating the spinning class from the rest of the gym in order to open up the space. This gives us massive amounts of room to add customized programs, and accommodate all new clients.

Total Balance is not a substandard way of working out: we are dedicated to providing clients with the tools they need to be their best selves. The team and programs are evolving for the better, and passing the benefits to the clients who join us on their fitness journey.

My goal, above all else, is to be there for YOU.

Truth: The Total Balance Approach

Truth: The Total Balance Approach

By: Paul DeAngelis, Founder

I’ve been asked time and time again what makes the Total Balance approach to fitness different. The answer is basically “Truth”; for us, it’s all about giving people what they need, instead of what they want. This sounds basic, but it involves a nuanced understanding of how people naturally move their bodies.


There’s a lot of misinformation that’s prevalent in the fitness industry. One of the biggest misconceptions is that you need to DO MORE; burn more calories, burn more fat, lift heavier weights, etc. In reality, it’s not that simple. Doing more isn’t necessarily the key to getting in better shape, and yet somehow that’s what the majority believe and work towards.


We program for real life, and I’ll tell you how.


Think about your everyday routine: you’re used to your creature comforts, going up and down stairs, getting to and from your destinations. Throughout the day you’re going through natural, established motions to get where you need to go, and do what you need to do.


For decades, “good fitness” has been equated to getting on a machine, repeating movements for extended periods of time. That’s not how your body is meant to move. Suddenly, after years and years of this sort of “exercise”, people start to realize that they haven’t actually provided themselves with the strength and the training their body needs to function in the everyday.


Total Balance focuses on natural movement patterns, instead of the unnatural patterns machines provide.


It’s quality over quantity. We change people’s perception of what they think they need, by introducing what their body ACTUALLY needs: natural movements. Our approach encourages individuals to earn intensity and volume; the better you become at the routines we provide, the more you can build intensity.


The way we train exposes individuals, in a sense that they become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses.


The best way to ensure everyone in our program is getting the optimal experience is to individualize routines. We make a conscious effort to study how your body moves, and tailor workouts to suit what is most natural to you.


We don’t have all the answers when it comes to fitness; no one does. But this is absolutely the best approach I know of, to get the best results, in the most natural way. It’s how to achieve Total Balance.