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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5 Reasons Your Body Love Carbs

Would it be sweet to enjoy carbs and be lean 365 days a year?

This doesn’t have to be such an unusual concept.

Activity + nutrients + recovery = fit body.

Most active people can thrive on a balanced diet that includes plenty of fats, proteins, and yes, CARBS!

I’m here to give you a brief list of the benefits of various food known for containing high carbohydrates.

1. Some of the best fiber in the world comes from foods high in carbohydrates.

Various types of beans, lentils, and peas are very high in fiber. Berries like raspberries contain significant amounts of fiber. These foods also provide most of their calories from carbohydrate sources and that isn’t a bad thing. Keep reading for more.

2. Fiber is an extremely important energy source for anti-aging purposes.

I just wrote, “anti-aging,” in the title for more effect.

The truth is that all cells benefit from the energy extracted from fiber. It’s true that our human cells are unable to extract and absorb energy from fiber, but that is actually a good thing because it allows the gut microbiota to break down and utilize the fiber.

As a result, beneficial bacteria in the gut can convert fiber into short-chain fatty acids that can be used as energy directly within the human cells.

I believe that fiber is one of the key elements for fat loss because it’s a nutrient that provides no calories in the traditional sense, yet it gives valuable cellular energy provided through bacterial fermentation that occurs inside the gut. Furthermore, this energy is particularly beneficial in the organs and brain so that the systems in the body can operate functionally.

3. Genetic expression is altered through nutrition.

Fiber impacts your genes, yes.

Components of dietary fiber may influence gene expression indirectly through changes in hormonal signaling, mechanical stimuli, and metabolites produced by the intestinal microflora. In addition, consumption of water-soluble fibers may lead to changes in gene expression mediated through indirect mechanisms that influence transcription rates. In the large intestine, short-chain fatty acids, including butyric acid, are produced by microflora. Butyric acid can indirectly influence gene expression.

Let’s look at cranberries for more:

Cranberries possess a distinctive composition of phenolic compounds, including three classes of flavonoids (flavonoids, anthocyanins, and proanthocyanidins), catechins and an assortment of phenolic acids that induce various biological effects, such as antioxidant, enzyme activity modulation, and gene expression regulating effect.

4. Carbs before a workout can make your workout better and help you feel improved mood afterwards.

It makes sense that if you fuel a high intensity workout with something that includes carbohydrates, you’ll have more energy to be productive during the workout. You might be able to do something you’ve never done before. Then after the workout, you feel great. You go have a nutrient dense meal with balanced carbs, fats, and protein and you recover your body.

You burn fat while you sleep.

5. Carbohydrates are delicious.

I read a story about a tribe of people who would go hunting for animal meat and they were very serious about it. They would be stalking some animal in the jungle, forest, or plains and then somebody would notice the buzzing of a bee. All of a sudden, they forget about the animal and go hunt for the honey because that was more valuable to them.

Honey: The O.G. Carb. Don’t let refined sugar replace this nutritional badass.

There are obvious survival reasons for why humans have developed a taste for the sweet. Truthfully, not many experiences in life are more enjoyable than having the flavors and sweetness of foods dancing in your mouth. I acknowledge that.

I would never expect somebody to stop enjoying food just to get lean and ripped abs. I’m here to tell you that there is a balance that can be achieved and that healthy food can be delicious with a little bit of planning and creativity. The more practice you get at preparing healthy food, the more you can look forward to eating that which actually nourishes you.

In Carbclusion,

Carbohydrate containing foods support health of the gut microbiome, promote healthy inflammatory response, provide nourishment of the cells, and may even promote anti-aging.

Quality is everything when it comes to carbs, and portions are also important. The best part of carbohydrates for people looking to burn fat is definitely fiber. The fiber helps to make you feel more satiated while still giving the cells plenty of energy via bacterial metabolites.

Antioxidants are the next best component of foods containing carbs. It’s important to maintain healthy levels of inflammation (not too much, not too little) because if the inflammation is too high, then disease is more likely. For disease to exist in your body, there must be inflammation. Consuming antioxidant-rich carbohydrates is beneficial for managing inflammation.

Follow the blog for more on fitness, nutrition, and more.

I’ll keep writing, you keep coming.

 

 

 

 

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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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Stair Climbing for Rapid Fat Loss?

How often do you take the stairs? Did you know that stair climbing is one of the safest, most effective ways to make fitness gains and burn fat fast?

Stair Climbing is one of the safest, most effective workouts available for urban dwellers.

If I ever move into a high rise building, I would probably stair climb almost every day because it’s that sustainable. When I stair climb with my clients in various buildings, I end up burning more fat from my own body than what I even expected. My cardiovascular system made some serious improvements when I started to incorporate stair climbing into my life and now I am a strong advocate for stair climbing.

Climb up the stairs, take the elevator down.

One of the reasons that stair climbing up a building is so sustainable is that it’s very unlikely that you’ll experience any soreness from the activity since there is little-to-no eccentric portion of movement. It’s different if you have to go outside and return down the stairs because the downhill part is often what gets your calves and knees a bit more sore (tear down of muscles and other tissue). Of course you’ll get a lot of benefits from stairs outside, but there is just something unique about being able to climb a tall building and take the elevator down. You’ll recover way faster and it won’t impede other activities or training goals. Lots of benefit without the soreness.

Throwback to my first Big Climb

Disease prevention.

Because stair climbing is SO good for the heart and because there are many WELL KNOWN benefits of moderate-high intensity exercise, there is a good chance that regular stair climbing can help with healthy aging and longevity. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I’m not just passionate about fitness, I also care deeply about disease prevention and healthy aging. I’ve met too many people and I’ve had too many people in my life who have suffered through illness, sickness, and disease and I don’t believe it’s their fault — I do believe that we can do something about it though!

Give your body a reason to keep going.

As I mentioned earlier, I have many other motivations to take care of myself aside from “looking the part” for my career as a fitness professional. First of, I’ve experienced moments in my life when my body has let me down and caused me great distress along with emotional pain. Secondly, I have worked with people who have experienced all different types of ailments that I realized there’s no point trying to prevent one disease; you need to make effort to prevent ALL disease. The funny thing is that when you live a lifestyle that is truly about disease prevention, you end up feeling better about yourself AND burning more potentially harmful fat off of your body.

My very first Big Climb team

It’s okay to run out of excuses.

I am constantly fighting my own desire for comfort in order to make forward progress. My own meaning of purpose in life and my value to other people manifests from the knowledge and experience that I have and also my relatability — I struggle too. When I look at my experiences, I’ve noticed that in times when I am experiencing the most pain and discomfort are the times that I have made the most growth. I truly believe in disease prevention and I truly believe in the cure. It’s not just about personality responsibility, folks. We’re all in this together.

If my mission has moved you, consider contributing to my Big Climb 2018 fight to cure Leukemia and Lymphoma.

Click to give your support.

Dre Fitness is back. My readership of the blog has grown even though I haven’t been as active lately tells me that people appreciate the content that I create. I can only imagine how many people I can reach if I just stay consistent with content creation while continuing to be as authentic and genuine as I can be. Stay tuned for more!

 

 

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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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