Madelyn’s September Reset Plan: Gut & Butt

Last but not least, I am excited to introduce Madelyn as our third September Reset story! Madelyn is already a regular exerciser and told me that she is looking to make a few changes to take her fitness and nutrition to the next level. I love that her top priority is overall wellness. While she communicated some specifics (hey, we all want our butt to look good!), overall her goals tell me that she wants to feel good, not only now, but set herself up for ongoing wellness in the future.

As a fitness studio owner and a health coach, Madelyn’s realistic approach to her health makes her a dream client! We agreed upon some small changes in both her fitness routine and nutrition that are sustainable and are designed to fit in with her busy work and family schedule. Let’s dive in to the details:


Here’s the “Butt” Plan: Fitness

Madelyn is already a die-hard spinner and rides three to four times per week. So we are looking to round out her fitness routine by adding some strength training to help her build and maintain muscle, and tone up her “vanity areas,” i.e. butt and thighs. Additionally, as a woman, strength training is crucial to help prevent osteoporosis and general muscle loss. Did you know that starting at age 30, you begin to lose three to five percent of muscle mass per decade? Strength training will help combat that! Finally, I recommended foam rolling for injury prevention as well as to help manage the day to day lower back tightness that we all get from all the hours sitting at our computers, in our cars, and from working out.


Add in a strength class at Ascend Underground 2x a week.

We offer a few different formats at Ascend Underground, including both strength building classes and interval-based classes. For Madelyn, our strength-based classes are the best fit since she is looking to increase muscle mass and feel toned.


Incorporate daily foam rolling into her routine.

Foam rolling is only effective when done regularly, so Madelyn needs something easy to follow and that won’t take too much time. She will use this video to do this at home every day, or at minimum, every other day.


Add at home workouts.

An added bonus as a third strength workout per week when she has time or needs to get up from her computer for a mental break. At home workouts, such as this one, can be done within 20 mins and are still very effective!


Here’s the “Gut” Plan: Nutrition

Our approach with Madelyn is to boost the nutritional content of all her meals while leaving room for favorite snacks/treats to be had in moderation (she told us she loves chips, chocolate, and wine! Don’t we all!?). She has a family history of colon cancer and had some polyps removed last year, so we want to ensure we have a focus on gut health. With her busy schedule, she also falls off track with her meals, so we want to give her options for healthy mini-meals/snacks that keep her eating throughout the day. Finally, just like planning the editorial calendar for Stylebook, Madelyn will try to make a plan for her meals each day to help her stay on track with eating more whole and healthful foods, and less snacking!


Priority #1: Be your own priority!

I bet we can all relate to this one! It’s so easy when we are passionate about our work and are committed to our families and friends that we let our own nutrition take the back seat. But, in order to be the best we can be for our jobs and our personal relationships, we need to prioritize our own nutrition. So, Madelyn’s top goal is to take an hour or two on the weekend to prepare for the week – ensure the pantry and fridge are stocked, and even prepare a meal or two in advance. I’ve given her several ideas below about how she can take her current nutrition and amp it up with the addition of super-foods, plus a few suggestions for quick and easy meals when she’s strapped for time.


Incorporate more anti-inflammatory and gut-friendly foods.

  • Perfect for fall once the weather (finally) gets chilly, this broth contains several super foods that help to reduce inflammation and boost immunity! An alternative would be to find the best quality bone broth you can – ideally from a farmers market made from grass-fed cows or pastured chickens. Use the broth in cooking, such as to make quinoa, or heat up as a drink.
  • Probiotics are great for the gut! Probiotics contain good bacteria that help balance the flora in the gut and make it happy. Madelyn mentioned she likes sauerkraut, which she will start incorporating more regularly. How? Put it on the side of any meal, add to salads, or on top of sandwiches.
  • Want to geek out about the gut and find more gut-friendly foods? Check out our blog post here.


Add good fats into meals & snacks.

Did you know that “good fats” also help to reduce inflammation and are crucial to brain function and proper hormonal balances? All important things for Madelyn.

  • Toss avocado onto salad or on top of morning toast (avocado toast is a huge rage for a reason!).
  • Use coconut oil or ghee when cooking.
  • Add chia seeds…to pretty much anything! On top of smoothies, powerbowls, salads, oatmeal, or chia pudding (recipes links below).
  • And for her sweet tooth – chocolate is also an antioxidant. Amp up dessert with these Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles. Get good fats from the avocado, anti-oxidants from chocolate, and pair it with a glass of red wine!


Cheers to your health!

Madelyn is going to test out these drinks in the morning when she first gets up in the morning. She’ll let us know which was her favorite.


On-the-Go and Post-Workout Nutrition

With her hectic schedule, Madelyn needs quick, easy, and portable options for when she needs to eat on the go, or when she doesn’t have time to sit down for a meal. One of her main goals is to stop snacking. I say, keep snacking, but let’s do more smoothies and less chips. With the addition of strength training to her fitness, we want to make sure she is fueling her body post-exercise, so that she can build muscle, adequately recover from workouts, and keep up her metabolism.


I am thrilled to work with Madelyn this month and can’t wait to see her progress!


To catch up on our September Reset series, click here for an overview, here to read about Elizabeth’s plan,
and here to read about Amy’s plan.


  • The latest from Kat
Owner & Operator | Ascend Cycle
Combining her degree in Exercise Science with her past experience as a healthcare consultant, Kat blends her fitness expertise with her background in superb customer service ethic to create the Ascend Experience. And don’t be surprised when she knows your name – Kat’s goal is to get know her community on a personal level. She’s a mom of two energetic toddlers, but still makes time to crush a ride on the bike and just for balance, relax with a glass of wine at one of her favorite local Del Ray spots.

Climb higher, sprint faster, Ascend.

Our classes are crafted with one goal in mind: to help you reach peak performance: We help you unleash your inner power with intentional rides, you leave the studio a stronger version of yourself. Our instructors know how to push you beyond perceived limitations, empowering you build physical and mental stamina. It comes full circle for us when you bring that newfound confidence into every aspect of your life. |

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