Transforming your 2020 Body through Global Fitness Science

Recently, our studio launched the OTF transformation challenge 2020.

The challenge is in its second of eight weeks and it encourages healthy behavior through workout frequency and recovery.

Throwback pic at the studio after a sweaty workout

I am always interested in what Orangetheory shares with people.

Just the other day, Dr. Rachelle Reed, Director of Global Fitness Science at Orangetheory Fitness, had some responses related to the Orangetheory Fitness Transformation Challenge 2020.

Five Quotes about Fitness Science from OTF Director:

  • “Starting on the floor (rower) can be beneficial if your main goal is improving strength; that way, you can prioritize great form with a heavier load during the floor block!”

Prioritize great form with heavier loads. Develop that high quality, long-lasting, balanced muscle tone to give you opportunities for freedom.

  • “Helping members improve their health behaviors is the main point of the Transformation Challenge.”

We invite people to consume foods in the colors of a rainbow and post pictures of beautiful nutrient rich meals for the other supportive people in the Facebook group.

  • “Check into your nutrition pre- and post-workout to make sure you are fueling your body properly!”

If you are struggling with energy and recovery, you should definitely consider pre and post-workout. I almost take it for granted myself since I experimented with so many supplements through vendor gifts. In case you’re wondering, my favorite energizer for coaching and for morning and working out has to be Matcha + Chlorella. I just love the smooth energy and how it impacts my cognitive and metabolic function.

  • “We expect our members to lose 1-3% body fat over an 8-12 week period! Of course, this depends on so many factors – like what you eat, how active you are, your sleep quality and quantity, etc.”

Okay, let me share my honest opinion here while supporting OTF at the same time. I think she is referring to the average of members, they will lose 1-3% body fat over an 8-12 week period.

This may be true for average. Average, you are not!

May you transform magnificently! If you really need something, you will find the way. The truth is that recovery is the key to transformation. Workouts need to be challenging and varied, while recovery is the other 23 hours.

If you aren’t getting the result, believe that something might need to change.

With nutrition and rest, seven weeks is plenty of time to make a difference.

Besides, even if you lose 0% body fat, but you still did high intensity workouts 3x per week consistently, that still counts for some success as it benefits health, fitness, and longevity!

  • “The American College of Sports Medicine, recommend that adults participate in at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week plus at least 2 days of strength training on all major muscle groups, in order to enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle. But, there is a dose response relationship, so a bit more (like 300 minutes and 3 days of strength training) can have slightly better benefits associated. This translates to about 3 classes of OTF a week, plus [everyday active movement]”

I think, “3 days of strength training,” would represent nearly three hours of strength training. Most people can agree that Orangetheory does not provide that amount of strength training per three Orange 60’s. Therefore, it could be beneficial to perform more strength exercises at home or a convenient location.

Maybe you could do some slow and controlled push-ups at home just before you eat a meal. Try to get a nice pump in your chest, shoulders, and triceps with a slow and controlled push up where you actually feel each and every muscle fiber contracting. Even two or three sets of 5-15 push ups a few times a week can make a big difference.

A lot of people have random weights or implements at home that they can use for bicep curls or exercise bands for glute bridges and deep burn in the glute muscles.

I love great workouts!

I often want to give people heavier loads just by putting weight in their area.

I do think the key to gaining strength at OTF is to be pro-active about your own challenges.

Try to eliminate as many muscular imbalances as possible.

Hope you found this useful.

Make sure to follow the blog for updates.

Shoutout to all of the OTF people that I’ve come in contact with over the years and to the people reading now!

Nourish up!

 

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Transformation and 5 Big Reasons Body Composition Matters

I quit dieting in 2010.

Have you realized that some things were just so temporary, ill-fated and too futile to continue doing?

For me, the thought going on a diet is rarer than the thought of me eating candy or drinking soda. You would really have to search and dig deep to find any reason for me to go on a diet. Maybe, you could pay me to go on a diet.

Lifestyle & Environment are keys to unlocking meaningful health.

No longer is it, “You are what you eat,” because now the phrase is, “You are what you absorb.”

Even more, components of our intake that we do not absorb either needs to be processed by the digestive system and detoxified otherwise undigested nutrients could become a serious harm. In truth, you’ll never get the results you want without supporting the gut and digestive process in some way.

Reasons to Care about Body Composition.

I wanted to provide some background motivation for people who are interested in transformation, especially as it relates to body composition, muscle hypertrophy, and the slimming of adipose cells.

1. Adipose tissue, otherwise known as body fat, can disrupt the hormonal system and cause inflammation.

Body fat is not simply a caloric storage unit. Body fat is much more complex than that. Body fat is part of the endocrine system and is contributes to inflammatory and metabolic diseases due to the inflammatory hormones it releases.

Excess adipose tissue = excess inflammation = onset of metabolic diseases = painful pathway to death.

2. Muscles are essential to quality of life.

Strong, balanced muscles are a blessing to all those who wish to enjoy quality movement and an upright posture. We don’t often appreciate our muscles until we get injured or lose function somehow. Becoming older does not mean you have to suffer from a bad back, hips, knees, or shoulders.

Muscles support the body and can take a lot of the stress off of your joints. Muscles can store carbohydrates in addition to the plethora of amino acids in muscles. Muscles can be broken down into essential nutrients to support brain function in times of need.

Furthermore, muscles can atrophy and muscles can hypertrophy in hours or days. Because our bodies can regenerate muscle cells so quickly, they are greatly affected by the nutrients we ingest on a daily basis.

3. More muscle = more bone mineral density.

Along with strenuous physical activity, bones are encouraged to store valuable minerals which not only makes the bone stronger, but also regulates crucial features of human metabolism.

For example, the minerals in bone regulate human pH so that if you consume something highly acidic like soda, your body will actually pull calcium from the bones in order to balance the acidity of the soda.

People who drink a lot of soda or consume a lot of sugar are more likely to get osteoporosis.

Other foods may be acidic and contains acids, but due to the minerals are actually more alkaline forming in the body. For example, lemon juice contains minerals that nourish the body, while soda contains ingredients that deplete the body.

4. You get to make choices in how you will eventually perish and what your end of days will look like.

We will all die, that’s a fact. Knowing that I will die one day gives me courage to love today. However, there is a big difference between dying from preventable diseases in your 60’s and 70’s vs living an active lifestyle into your 90’s.

People who are in their 20’s and 30’s are trending to experience diseases earlier and more frequently than the baby boomers did during their 40’s and 50’s. If you consume the standard, mainstream food products and eat food mostly for coping… well let’s just say be glad you are reading this now, because transformation is on the horizon.

By caring about your body composition, you will be able to stand tall and proud, and you will be able to set an example for your grandchildren and your great grandchildren.

5. Confidence and physical appeal.

In my experience, true confidence does not come from having a nice body. True confidence comes from accomplishments and overcoming challenges.

How can you turn your challenges into opportunities to help yourself and others?

Barriers are a gift. Barriers and obstacles are what you wash away or transform into something more meaningful and productive for you. We generally need some sort of suffering or misery in order to transcend quickly. All thoughts can be reframed and all questions can be asked in different ways.

Are you willing to transform yourself from deep within?

Transformation is about your relationship to nature, the planet, and the universe.

Do you dare to consume the freshest foods?

Are you able to stay hydrated instead of reaching for the depleting can of diet soda?

Can you fathom enjoying the temporary feeling of hunger?

Would you be willing to accept that you need to develop a new, greater awareness of yourself in order to move forward?

Everything is connected.

You, me, the air and the trees.

There is no nothing, there is always something.

All things happen for a reason.

BE THE REASON!

Thanks for reading and make sure to hit the follow button for new updates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Five Things Trainers are thinking while coaching your group fitness workout.

Coaches are thinking a lot of things during a session.

Here are five to share with you today.

1. What is that smell?

Actually, this is not the case much of the time. Probably because I get used to it and don’t notice it much anymore. I know most people would prefer not to pass gas during a class but sometimes it’s accidental or they need release badly. Bless everybody, I’m sure we all have a story!

2. Safety is priority.

My priority is to execute the workout in a safe, highly effective and fun way. That means keeping an eye out for neutral spines and opportunity to improve the upper back mobility of an individual.

3. I am impressed by people’s efforts and also need to know who needs some love.

I try to think about how every person has had a different day so far coming into this workout. For some people, we’re working out at 5 AM. For other people, we’re at 5:30 PM. I want people to know that I am amazed by their efforts and I want to validate all of your accomplishments.

4. Put the group first, so that they can put their best selves first.

The nice thing about Orangetheory Fitness or group workouts is that even though you are in a group atmosphere, you can often work at your own pace and feel that you are truly getting our own workout. That’s why I am invested in how the group is working effectively towards success.

Scroll for another one.

 

5. Stay in the moment.

Even though it is tempting to think about what you are doing that Saturday night, it’s unfair to the other people if you’re not thinking about them. Staying focused on other people can truly be your gift or your passion because of the value that it provides.

If you like this, follow the blog!

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Motivation Monday: 4 Main Reasons that Inspire your Fitness Lifestyle

What is it that inspires people to get off their butts?

There are a lot of ideas that float through my mind on a daily basis. I’m always thinking about how to promote good postural alignment through exercise, I’m always thinking about expanding my knowledge of nutrition to educate others, and I’m ALWAYS thinking about glute activation (those who take my classes know the importance!).

Ultimately though, I’m in the business of motivation which is definitely a renewable resource even though at times it can feel scarce and elusive. But if it was easy, then it wouldn’t be worth fighting for.

Here are 4 big motivators for people in fitness.

We’ll start with the first fitness motivation…

1. That feeling

pwfelz

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For any avid exerciser, nothing beats that feeling.

It’s that feeling of being sweaty, wet, drenched, soaked, and accomplished.

It’s that feeling of knowing that today you did something good for yourself.

It’s that feeling that helped you kick your addictions or at the very least replace a harmful addiction with a helpful addiction.

It’s that feeling of recovery knowing that you used your body for what it was made for — which is to move.

It’s that post-workout feeling that changed your mindset, attitude, and affected you in a deeper place.

2. Sex appeal / Confidence

Even if you rid the world of all social media, magazines, movies, and television, you’d still know an attractive person when you see them (in action).

Fitness provides a certain aesthetic beyond toned abs and arms. I argue that beauty is more often displayed in motion than under any static circumstances. That’s why everybody can be beautiful if they choose to be.

It is my understanding that women can appreciate the bodies of other women and also that even straight men appreciate an athletic male body as a matter of inspiration and perhaps for no other reason than it looks good and serves a functional purpose.

confidentguy

Confident guy

Ultimately, confidence tends to be more alluring than any body part and what you really need is to be in a mindset of self-appreciation when it comes to your own body. I guarantee it is more productive to change the way you feel about yourself than changing the way your body looks. What’s interesting is that when you feel that you actually care about yourself, you’ll tend to eat healthier foods and your body transforms into a vessel of health and love in a matter of weeks, months, years.

3. Health / Longevity

I used to think that anti-aging was nothing more than a marketing term and it took me years to get beyond that. Now I realize that some people really do age slower when they take care. On one hand, you have genetics, and on the other hand you’ve got the lifestyle choices and environmental conditions that literally slow the aging of your human cells.

Unfortunately, a lot of people really do need to hit a very low part in their lives to make them realize that they NEED fitness. Often, a person will be diagnosed with a serious disease that perhaps cannot be cured, but may be managed through lifestyle intervention. Exercise, fitness, and nutrition truly is the holy grail for living a long, healthy, and worthwhile existence.

Here’s the short list of how fitness and nutrition can benefit a person:

  • Manage acute and chronic diseases
  • Prevent and cure many types of ailments
  • Maintain healthy mood and ward off negative mindsets
  • Promote positive community through fitness groups
  • Improve quality of life due to mobility, posture, strengthening of the bones, brains, tendons, joints, and ligaments
  • Reproductive health and fertility

If you take a diabetic person and have them train with me for six weeks, I guarantee their next lab tests will likely impress the doctor. I can change your life. Fitness can change your life.

exben

4. Other people

Let’s face it, sometimes we need other people. I’ve realized there are many positive things/activities for me that I just don’t have the motivation to do alone. But, together we are stronger.

When I got into personal training, I studied the industry and realized that it is a growing industry and that I could make a life out of doing that which I am most passionate about. People benefit from coaching and I have no doubt about that.

Some lucky people have friends who are willing to take them to the gym with them and give them help, encouragement, and perhaps even expertise. I tell ya, if you have somebody like that in your life, treat them like gold and take them up on that offer. Most people would kill for that.

Personal training sessions can run between $60-$120 easy in any major city. Workout classes tend to run between $10-$40 so those can provide a great value when the intensity and attention is appropriate.

Meanwhile, as many coaches mention, don’t compare yourself to others. I have a friend who in my mind has become very successful in business and I remember one evening I was feeling down on myself and beating myself up for not having made the proper investments and put the work in. Instead of wallowing in self pity, I re-framed my thoughts and said to myself, “You know what, I’m fortunate to have successful people in my life who can inspire me and to have a network of successful people, because it is way better than any alternative!”

Believe in the process and put in work: Be consistent.

So here I am, writing this blog putting in the work on a Sunday night to inspire people for the week. Maybe I’ll never have the business acumen that others seem to have naturally, but none of that matters because as long as I put in the work, show up every day, and be intentional in my life, there’s nowhere to go but up. Give me the challenges, I dare you, and watch me overcome barriers left and right. So I can keep inspiring others!

Thanks for reading.

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How to Lose 40 lbs in 8 weeks: Celebrating Orangetheory Fitness Seattle Weight Loss Challenge Winners 2017

How committed are you to lifestyle change?

While weight loss is the goal for many people, I truly like to emphasize the many reasons and benefits for lifestyle change in itself. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when people lose a ton of weight, the valuable part isn’t the fact that they lost weight — instead the most valuable part is that these individuals were able to change their habits and challenge their discipline day in and day out.

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Orangetheory Fitness Seattle, Lower Queen Anne’s Winter 2017 Weight Loss Challenge Winners and some of our coaches

 

 

 

Every Body is capable of healthy changes, both inside and out.

Even though the human body can be seemingly complex at times, the formula is simple.

Step 1: Eat Nutrient Dense Foods

Step 2: Get 8 hours of sleep

Step 3: Have an active lifestyle and cultivate an athletic mindset no matter what level coordination you have.

The most challenging aspect of lifestyle change are the thoughts that go on inside your head. That’s why I believe it is fundamental to surround yourself with encouraging, positive, and motivating people who share some layer of goals with you.

You can definitely lose 30-40 lbs in eight weeks by exercising and working out with me.

On the flip side, you could also work out all of the time and still not lose any weight if the nutritional habits are poor. It’s just a fact of the matter that you cannot out-train a bad diet. Workouts are challenging and often give immediate gratification and sense of accomplishment once the workout is complete, yet your nutritional habits are responsible for the vast majority of your results.

Nutrition is responsible for all human biological function and linked strongly to gene expression as well as the state of your human ecosystem (read: trillions of bacteria cells that live in and on us).

As I mentioned earlier in this post, every body is capable of fat loss. There are genes that regulate how much fat you can lose and how fast you can burn that fat so yes every body is different in that regard. However, we are learning more and more that certain foods (nutrient dense foods) are actually able to increase the gene expression of genes which are responsible for fat loss. You are not limited by your genetics as much as you are limited by your mind. You must challenge your limiting beliefs about food so that you can cultivate a lifestyle which supports healthy nutritional habits as part of your core values.

Moreover, for your biological processes to be in a healthy, functioning state, you must digest healthful, nutrient-dense foods on a regular basis. Food contains lots of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, amino acids, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and other currently undiscovered components which likely support human health. I know this, because I know that which I do not know. The wisdom of nature must be valued, so let thy food be thy medicine. Hundreds of thousands of years of human knowledge should be honored. Millions of years of evolution suggests that plants are good for us and chemicals (aka processed foods) are not. I’m sure there are parts of an apple that are good for us that science will never discover, and that’s okay. Don’t overthink it.

Of course you need to decrease your calories in order to achieve weight loss.

That doesn’t mean that you should allow yourself to fall into a dangerous mindset of restriction. I 100% believe that healthy nutritional habits are far more realistic to sustain when you are able to have an abundance mentality. You literally have an abundance of healthy food options if you are willing to be creative and seek knowledge. Never settle.

In our modern era, we have access to more nutrients than even our paleo ancestors. The difference between paleo ancestors and ourselves is that we seem to have become burdened by choice. Even worse, there are multi-billion dollar corporations which prefer to mislead us through advertising and through government lobbying and these groups certainly do not have our best interests in mind.

Here is your challenge: Get the MOST amount of nutrients with the fewest calories.

If you eat the most nutrient dense foods, then you will always have an abundance of food that fills you up, energizes you, and gets you ready for a successful tomorrow.

Nutrient density = the highest amount of overall nutrient value for the lowest amount of caloric value.

When I think of nutrients I think of:

  • Fiber (Try to get at least 30 grams per day which is the government recommendation to reduce risk of colon cancer. Fiber also helps to maintain healthy blood sugar / diabetes management, also insulin senstivity and feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut… of course all of these things are related to fat loss and health).
  • Protein
  • Saturated fats like Medium Chain Triglycerides (coconut oil source)
  • Omega-3 fatty acid
  • Omega-9 fatty acid, some Omega-6 fatty acid
  • Water
  • Major minerals (like calcium/magnesium)
  • Trace Minerals (browse Amazon, best minerals product)
  • Antioxidants (red, yellow, purple, blue, green, orange)
  • Phytonutrients (natural components that support healthy hormones, we are learning how broccoli/b-sprouts/cabbage/cauliflower helps fight cancer)
    • Sidenote: If you can support a healthy immune system and gut function, you’ll likely be able to burn more fat and be able to train harder, thereby making even more fitness gains
  • Anti-inflammatory compounds (often these are antioxidants, such as those found in tart cherries, leafy green vegetables, herbs like ginger/turmeric/garlic).
  • Probiotic potential or live probiotics (pre-biotic foods like foods high in fiber that feed healthy gut bacteria or actual live probiotics found in raw sauerkraut and real kefir)
  • Various types of acids that are health promoting like Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cardiovascular supporting compounds (I love beets because they are packed with nutrients despite containing natural sugars. Beets are a nutrient powerhouse that act as a methyl donor to support the remethylation of homocysteine, something that most people will never learn about — but basically is crucial for healthy cardio and managing risk of ever having a heart attack or stroke.)
  • Enzymes — even though our bodies can create enzymes, our ability to do so decreases as we age. A prominent doctor in Japan argues for a sort of mythical “source enzyme” that once is depleted, then we die. So you must eat foods that support healthy enzyme production (such as the foods listed above). Additionally, you can also eat foods that contain active enzymes which are raw foods and raw probiotic foods. Cooking and the heating process tends to kill enzymes (even though cooking does release/enhance other nutrients), so you still want to get some raw food and raw probiotic food in your diet. Related: Top Probiotic Food / supplements
  • I’m sure there are other nutrients to consider, these are just the considerations that come to the top of my head when I’m choosing foods to eat mindfully.

The key is to educate yourself because you’ll find yourself making better choices simply by having a better foundation of knowledge.

Knowledge truly is power. I encourage you to read about the benefits of real, natural foods and I also encourage you to read about the harmful effects of processed, junk, sweets, etc even if it is uncomfortable to read about. Take time in your day to follow my blog, and/or follow other trustworthy sources online or otherwise.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Growing up, my father would always say, “everything in moderation.” I believed in that phrase for a while, but now I realize that there are some things that you should simply never do or never have. And that’s okay. Some things are just. not. worth it.

The important point is that you are caring about yourself in your lifestyle. If you have to be 100% on and then when you fall off you go food binge and drink, then that says that maybe you’re an on again off again type person who isn’t willing to be committed to themselves. Let yourself have a lifestyle that allows for mistakes, forgiveness, and moving forward.

If you think that you have to be on a restrictive diet to be successful, then why aren’t you successful yet? If it has worked for you in the past, but only temporarily, then did it really work for you? I want you to engage in thought processes that allow for long term success.

Sometimes your thoughts will come crashing inside like waves in a storm and that’s when you just need to hunker down and care for yourself, otherwise you’re going to drown. Those are the hard times.

Other times, your thoughts will be like an oasis in the desert where you think everything is just perfection, but maybe it is just a mirage? Those are even harder times because it forces you to face the truth: Sometimes you have to stay hungry. And that’s okay too. But if you’re planning your meals properly, then you’ll have nutrient dense food waiting for you around the next corner.

How much do you really care about yourself?

We all have struggles. I just need you to take a moment to think about all of the actions that you take on a daily basis that demonstrate self-care. When you are mindful, when you plan for success, and when you surrender your entitlement, then you will find yourself in a whole new reality of empowerment.

Love is action. Good luck, my people! Stay tuned for more, subscribe to my brand new YouTube channel and click that Follow Blog button on the top left (show sidebar for mobile users).

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Does it even matter how many calories I burn in a workout?

Let’s dig into this common question people ask me: Why do other people seem to burn more calories than me?

At Orangetheory Fitness Seattle or at any heart rate monitored training, you’ll see the results of your estimated calorie burn after the workout. You will also see other people’s estimated calorie burn and I suppose it is natural to compare ourselves to others. Usually the people who are most concerned are women of normal size who are over 40 or 50 years old because their estimated calorie burn is significantly less than a tall, young, man for example. But does it REALLY matter how many calories you burn in a HIIT workout?

I probably could have titled this blog post: “8 Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training,” but I was inspired by somebody who asked me a question today!

The workout summary after a smaller sized workout class at Orangetheory Fitness in Seattle

The workout summary after a smaller sized workout class at Orangetheory Fitness in Seattle

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