Light The Fire, Spark the Change | Erica Hepperle

Light The Fire, Spark the Change | Erica Hepperle

“Growing up, I was always very active, athletic and played just about every sport you could name. I played Varsity and club basketball in high school. However, I was always muscular but overweight. When I went away to college, I started partying even more than I did in high school and developed poor eating habits. After graduating college, I went backpacking through Europe to 10 different countries with 2 of my friends where we ate and drank just about everything in sight. When I returned, I stepped on the scale, and it read 189.5 pounds. It was right then and there, I told myself, I would not allow myself to hit 200 pounds and something had to be done. I started doing CrossFit and lost 15 pounds on my own by meal prepping and staying consistent to my workouts. However, after a while, I realized I wanted more. “What was the difference between the models on Instagram and me?” I thought “If THEY could do it…I TOO could do it!” It was then I told my mom’s friend that I would be so fit one day and she looked at me and said… “Yeah…we all have wanted that too…but then we just gain it all back. Dream On girl” she said…and it was THAT…that fueled my fire!” -Erica Hepperle

Get Right

Sometimes, we need a little fire lit under our butts. For Erica that fire was lit by an unfamiliar number of the scale. She was determined to bring it back down to something that she recognized from the pack and she did just that. Healthy and fit, Erica currently looks and feels as good as ever! She continues to set the bar even hire and achieve every goal she sets be forth her, not to mention her willingness to hare her secrets with others and help them to get on the right track too!

Strong Minded

Erica attributes most of her success to her strong will and determination. After all, a strong mind is very critical to achieving health and fitness. “I am a strong believer in, you must change your way of thinking and your thought process before you can challenge yourself and be successful in health and fitness. The reason being… your Will Power will be tested time and time again. You must make sacrifices and do things that a lot of people don’t understand. You will be going against social norms so people will try to pick your brain and break you down but at the end of the day…it is your MINDSET that will get you through those humps and remind you why you are chasing a goal or a dream. It takes mental strength to change bad behaviors into good ones and takes a rock-solid mentality to be successful,” Erica expresses.

From the very beginning, Erica faced some tough obstacles that she had to remain mentally strong through. “I would say having to give up partying and drinking was one of the biggest obstacles I faced on my journey to fitness. With giving up those two things, I lost and distanced myself from a lot of my friends that I thought were going to be in my life forever! It’s not that I shun people for partying but it was hard for me to juggle partying and drinking, with my determination to succeed and grow. I just heard someone tell me once. “You grind in your 20s, to build in your 30s and chill in your 40s” and that is just what I remind myself during the lonely times. To make it to the top, you have to learn to be alone and learn that in the end, it will all be worth it,” Erica explains.

“You grind in your 20s, to build in your 30s and chill in your 40s” 

“If there is anything you think you can’t do…YOU ARE WRONG! You can do anything you set your mind to. You don’t have to live your life thinking “what if…” If you make mistakes trying…I can almost guarantee you, there are is not a cap on the number of “trials” you will be allotted until you succeed.” -Erica Hepperle

Advice

Erica loves to share advice with others to inspire them to get their health on track. One of the most important keys that she has to offer is “start with small baby steps. Don’t try to look at the big picture. If you set a goal for yourself every week, and commit to beating your goals EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK… before you know it…time will have passed and you will have surpassed the big picture! Time will pass no matter what…do you want to live it unhappy or live it exerting energy towards being happier and healthier?”

She also feels that eating the right things play a major role and obtaining the results you want. “Everyone should definitely take the time to learn about nutrition. As I like to say, “You CAN’T out work a bad diet” I played back and forth and struggled with food. It wasn’t until I understood “Portions” that I was able to dial in on my physique,” Erica shares.

Helping others find their way brings so much joy to Erica’s life. She takes pride in the influence that she has among others and can share in some of their success. When others succeed, so does she! “The most rewarding part of my journey would be the amount of influence and inspiration I have inflicted on my peers, family and friends. Not only that, it makes me so happy to hear that I am the reason someone stuck to their goals. Not only am I so humbled to be able to have a positive influence on people’s lives but this journey has also helped me find myself and my passions,” Erica says.

What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?

Lacrosse Ball: For recovery and self-myofascial release after every workout

A Barbell: Most compound lifts can be done with a Barbell and work more than one muscle group. Therefore, if it was the only thing you had, you could get in a solid workout.

Resistance Bands: So much can be done with bands and they really challenge your proprioception.

In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?

Overrated: Squats because even if you are new to working out, many newbies will try and perform squats without being taught proper form and can end up hurting themselves. There are so many progression steps one should perform before trying squats. In addition, you and most definitely grow your legs without squats.

Underrated: Hip Thrusts. These are great for the glute and Hamstring activation. Many guys do not like performing these because they don’t feel masculine. But here’s news men…ladies like guys with a nice pair of glutes.

What motivational/inspirational books have you found to be most helpful?

I am not a big book reader when it comes to looking for motivation. However, I do religiously turn to Lewis Howes and his podcasts for motivation and ideas for entrepreneurs.  

What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?

On the run, I am all about Caramel Rice Cakes or Quest Cereal Bars. Although, I don’t do much snacking, as it causes me to veer away from my goals, those are two items I find myself grabbing in a rush.  

Erica Hepperle

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Set the Bar | Camilo Cereijo

Set the Bar | Camilo Cereijo

Setting a goal and working hard to meet it, Camilo Cereijo took interest in fitness at the age of 17. He hasn’t looked back since. Camilo originally started working out because he had body image issues. He wasn’t satisfied with how he looked, so he decided to make a change. “I was 17 when I first started out and at the time had a poor self-body image. I decided to draw the line and set my fears to the side and strive towards what I really wanted. I wanted to be more confident and achieve an aesthetic physique. I think what it came down to was that I had a burning desire to become better and that overpowered any fear that was holding me back.

I am currently a men’s physique athlete, online diet and training coach, and a fitness based social media influencer. I aim at reaching as many people as possible to inspire them to become their best selves in the process of me figuring things out and doing just the same,” Camilo says.

Uncertain

The pivotal point in Camilo’s life where he decided it was time for him to change his life wasn’t just a simple moment that instantly made him ready to take on this journey. There was a lot of internal conflict that he had to overcome. One of the biggest conflict arose after Camilo developed a deep passion for fitness and wanted to pursue it as a career.  “The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was definitely the uncertainty in deciding to pursue my passion for fitness and make a life and career around it. I was born, raised, and conditioned to follow the traditional path and I invested a lot of my time and doing so. I graduated with a bachelor’s in biology in aim of going to medical school in becoming a doctor. During the final years of university, I developed an overwhelming passion for fitness and I couldn’t shake the gut feeling of pursuing what I loved most,” Camilo explains.

Reward

Overall, making the decision to pursue a career in fitness has brought much happiness to Camilo’s life. “I can definitely say that one of the most rewarding things has been the happiness that has come in knowing that I am on the pursuit of what I’ve been meant to be doing, while impacting and changing the lives of so many,” Camilo says. His story shows that following your heart will sometimes bring great monetary reward, but it will always bring internal bliss.

“I can definitely say that one of the most rewarding things has been the happiness that has come in knowing that I am on the pursuit of what I’ve been meant to be doing, while impacting and changing the lives of so many.”

Think about the 80/20 rule: If you get 80% of your impact from 20% of what you do, what is that 20% for someone just starting?

Be radical and take massive action! Sign up for a gym membership, hire a coach, invest in yourself and your goals (monetarily).

Why do you think a person’s mindset is so integral to their success?

To me, mindset is everything. I think we all prioritize the things that are most important to us. We always make the time for those things. It comes down to self-awareness and being super transparent / honest with yourself on what you are making time for and realizing that you could be making some better decisions!

What are your three essential productivity tools for your business; how do you use them; and why do you love them?

First is most definitely my to-do list that I work towards based on priority! I focus on the things that will give me the most return for my time and tackle those. Second would have to my goals list, since it constantly allows me to reset and focus on what’s important to me. The last tool would definitely be the gym, as it is my daily escape to shut the outside world out and is purely me time since I love training so much.

What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?

A set of dumbbells, a squat rack, and a barbell set since they are three fundamental pieces of gym equipment and can be manipulated to create a variety of workouts

In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?

The most overrated would have to be crunches. Crunches don’t get you ab’s, even a million of them! The most underrated would have to be the traditional barbell squat, one of the most powerful, compound and strength building exercises out there.

“I hope that those of you who read this article, we all start at the bottom and that’s where I did too! Whether you are someone that is already into fitness or just getting started, always remember to keep your head up and push forward on what sets your soul on fire and what you love doing!” -Camilo Cereijo

Camilo Cereijo

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Learn My Fit | Isabel Del Barrio

Learn My Fit | Isabel Del Barrio

For Isabel Del Barrio, fitness has always played an important role along with being an educator. It then dawned on Isabel, why not combine the two. “I decided to quit the private company I was working for and open a window through my website and social media. So many things have changed regarding the fitness industry, wellness concepts, and sports in our society since I have begun. Everyone who knows me has always seen me connected to the fitness industry and sports; I mean, for me, it’s not something new. However, I decided to create a space where I share my knowledge, experiences and the aim to motivate people to train and get an active style to improve their lives. I find myself doing better and doing what I´ve always loved. (I started in the Fitness industry in the late 90´s after my ballet career, but it was complementary to my University studies and later my professional jobs in Marketing market).

 I feel much better and more confident. I love to share what I do and what I´ve overcome with others. I want to inspire and help people to be better through sports and an active lifestyle,” Isabel explains.

Always Active

Isabel has always been an active person. Throughout her childhood, Isabel was a great ballet dancer. She eventually had to put aside her ballet flats and pick up her books. She went off to school and began her studies, but, that didn’t stop her from chasing physical activities. “I was a ballet dancer until I started the university at the age of 18. It was at that moment, I jumped for the first time into a gym and started practicing fitness, aerobics, and Less Mills programs. I fell in love with working out and started a journey of continuous education in the fitness industry. I began getting training certifications and participating in training, courses, workshops and so on. Recently, I´ve just finished a University Specialist Post graduate Program in Personal Training. I even went on to start teaching aerobics and Body pump and body Combat in London while studying in my Erasmus University Program. It was very challenging.

I love to share my passion with people and help them to achieve their goals, improve their lives and create a good environment in my classes. That´s how I started 17 years ago. At first it was like a hobby while studying and working, however, it made me feel so well. I knew I would like to start my way of living by this side,” Isabel says.

Overcome

With the more risks you take, the more challenges you’ll probably come across. However, it is highly important to figure out the right approach to overcome any obstacle that may be thrown at you. Isabel has had her share of issues but has remained confident in her ability to sort out solutions. “I have come across many obstacles along my journey. For one, quitting a job, after two University degrees and professional experience to jump into something new was difficult. This was especially difficult because I didn’t know how it was going to be, but it was certainly worth the risk. I am happy that I mustered the courage to pursue my passion.

Secondly, in past years, managing all that I´m creating, my gym classes, personal training, university courses and for sure, my triathlon training was quite complicated sometimes. It required almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sometimes it´s hard to organize the schedule to get everything done well and have the time to spend quality time with my family and boyfriend. However, I have become very systematic in how I handle my schedule and with time I became much better at time management.

In sports, the biggest obstacle has been beating my fears inside when facing big triathlon challenges, especially in long distance courses. Even today, I’m so nervous before triathlon competitions. That mental training is quite difficult too, but I always manage to gather myself to compete.

To face all the problems or hard times, I try to look for a calm space. I take just a few minutes to breathe in, forget everything bad and keep my inner-self calm. I look for the bright side of the situation. Yoga helps me so much in such processes. I feel so happy and gracious for creating what I´ve always dreamed and to have the opportunity to meet many of the followers and people I also follow on the social media channels,” Isabel describes.

Reward

Of course, the path that Isabel has chosen has brought great rewards to her life. She has been able to make many of her wildest dreams come true and has had the opportunity to inspire others along the way. “Since I began this journey with my brand and website, I´ve lived so many incredible experiences. I’ve traveled so much and I´ve had the opportunity to meet incredible people. They are really awesome and share their experiences and ask questions about how to get healthier or run better. Moreover, working for sports brands, not as influencer but as a personal trainer, is really rewarding and something I feel very proud of. Finally, with patience and effort and good work, things arrive; but we need to be patient, consistent, and work hard…like in sports and training.

One of the best things that has happened to me has been writing my first book, about running. It´s about how to train properly and all the training we need to run injury free!

Finally, something really good is all the things that I learn every day. To keep learning and improving are essential for me. I love reading people’s comments, emails, and their questions or stories. They also motivate me and push me to be a better person in some way. They are my real source of motivation, energy and fuel,” Isabel exclaims!

What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?

I´m in love with mini resistance bands, TRX Suspension Trainer and a foam roller. They are portable, proper size to carry them with you in most of the travels and places, and you can create a powerful gym everywhere for really good training workouts.

In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?

Ummmm, I have to think. Ok. The most overrated exercises, above all in women fitness industry, are the abs crunches to get the perfect six pack (just a myth) and the squat for the glutes.

However, a good weightlifting squats and hip thrust are the perfect combination to improve the muscle development in glutes; so as, the strength training. It´s the most important part of any training program, in any context aiming for a different objective.

The stronger muscles, the better your body will burn more calorie, create good and healthy body, prevent injuries, develop bone density, among other important things.

What motivational/inspirational books have you found to be most helpful?

Last books I´ve read about mental training, sports psychology are the ones from Jim Afremov, “The Champion´s Mind” and

I love “The Peaceful Warrior”, from Dan Milman

“A life without Limits”, from Chrissie Wellington, 4-time Ironman World Champion.

And a very old one, about mindfulness that I read 10 years ago is “The Power of Now”, by Eckhart

Tolle.

“THANK YOU for the opportunity and letting me share my passions and more. I hope as soon as the website is ready in English this September, you get on the “On my Training Shoes” team. I want all of you on board. I wish I could make it to the US for group classes so I could be with you guys!!!” -Isabel Del Barrio

Isabel Del Barrio

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The Mommy Challenge | Kristy Ardo

The Mommy Challenge | Kristy Ardo

Having a child is certainly life changing, but that can often lead to things changing for the better. In Kristy Ardo’s case, having a child led to the unique career opportunity of fitness blogging.  “After I had Tucker my whole life did a 180. I had to learn to do everything differently including working out. I started doing workouts at home/outside with Tucker and he absolutely loved it. He would laugh and giggle and it made it so enjoyable. It became a bonding experience! I started posting my videos and thus Baby Fit Gym was born. We are the role models for the next generation and it’s so important to show our kids how to lead a healthy life.”

Dive In

Kristy grew up as an athletic child. She was particularly fond of water sports. She went on to become an NCAA D1 diver and later progressed into coaching and training. She eventually retired and opted that it was time to settle down and start a family. Just as any parent, she found that she couldn’t just return to her old routines. Instead of giving up on fitness completely, she made an adaptation.  “Having a child totally changed my views. Before kids I spent over an hour working out at the gym I loved it! After Tucker I was no longer able to return to that same routine. I had a shift in my priorities, obviously being a mom took precedence over my fitness goals.  After a big adjustment I learned to do quick efficient workouts with my son. You can still get in the same great workout at home with kids,” Kristy explains.

Adjust

Discovering her new fitness regimen, Kristy wanted to show others how to make the same adjustment. “I show the world how to get quick efficient workouts done with their kids. Having a child changes your life in so many ways and this means your fitness routine also changes. I want to show parents that you can still go on adventures and be active with kids,” Kristy said. At this moment, Kristy went on to create videos of her at home workout routines. They became a hit!

Challenge

Kristy not only has some great workout plans, but she also offers great advice to mothers looking to get fit. She understands the unique challenges that come along with being a mother. “The pure exhaustion from being a mother is very real. There are so many sleepless nights and you always put your baby first. This means as a mom you shift to the back burner. It can be so easy to just give up on your health,” Kristy says. However, she stresses the fact that it doesn’t have to be that way. You can be a mother and still have your fitness as well. Her videos demonstrate how a simple workout plan at home can help you stay fit and give you a way to bond with your children. Another plus side is the fact that working out alongside your children can also encourage them to lead healthy lifestyles in the future.  “The most rewarding part has been experiencing everything with my boys. I worked out with both of them as babies and watching them grow and learn to do exercises is just so cute! They love participating and its pure joy,” Kristy says.

So the real challenge of motherhood is not giving up the things that you love, but to create new means of doing them and share the process with your children along the way! “Mindset is everything. I tend to be an ALL or NOTHING person. If I know I can’t get a full workout in, it use to prevent me from even starting. With kids you HAVE to change your mindset! You have to be flexible and creative! Change your mind- 15 minutes is all you need!

What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?

Resistance loop bands, dumbbells, suspension system

In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?

Most ab exercises I think are overrated. You don’t get abs from doing abs. Abs are made in the kitchen. If you work out properly every exercise should be working your abs 😉

Not sure if its underrated but freaking squats!!! I LOVE squatting. I love squatting heavy weight and all different types of bodyweight squat variations. Booty gains!

What motivational/inspirational books have you found to be most helpful?

I haven’t had time to read a good inspirational book for a while. But what really does motivate me is seeing other people being and active and reaching their fitness goals. It makes me want to be better and gives me an extra pump!

What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?

I absolutely love beef jerky! I also love pistachios and ahi tuna 🙂

What’s your belief on performance diet like?    Do you prescribe to a particular philosophy on diet (example: Paleo, Gluten free, etc…)?

I have been gluten free for 16 years because I have celiac disease. However I do believe in eating a high fat high protein diet and cutting down on sugars/carbs/grains. I follow a modified paleo diet. I stay away from processed foods and try to eat clean whole foods.

Kristy Ardo

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No Tummy Mommy | Trisha Enriquez

No Tummy Mommy | Trisha Enriquez

This one is for the ladies with the babies. That’s right; I’m talking about all the mothers out there. Trisha Enriquez is helping mothers all over the world to get healthy and stay fit.  

“I started a small business that focuses on providing fitness and nutrition coaching for mothers – all done virtually – essentially helping women to be healthier and happier mamas,” Trisha says.

Inspiration

Having a baby is one of the world’s greatest gifts. Holding your little miracle for the first time not only makes everything you have endured in life so far worthwhile, but it can also spark you to want to go above and beyond from that point. Babies are truly inspiring and are also the world’s greatest supporters.

Inspired by the birth of her own child, Trisha dove deep into the world of fitness. While health and fitness has always been a part of Trisha’s life, having a child sparked an even deeper interest for Trisha. She not only wanted to keep herself fit, but she also wanted to begin to help others. Hence, “No Tummy Mommy” was born. Not only does Trisha get to train and advise moms all over the world and help them reach their fitness goals. She also gets to bring her daughter along for the ride too! “Having my daughter involved in the No Tummy Mommy brand makes the journey way more fun and rewarding,” Trisha exclaims.

Motherhood

As I said earlier, motherhood is an amazing gift, but it definitely comes with a lot of changes. This even includes how you maintain your health and fitness. A lot of times when people hear about personal training for mothers, they assume it is just for mothers who have to previous background in fitness. That is completely wrong! Whether you have never been to a gym in your life or you were one of the top female body builders in the world, having a baby sort of resets any previous (or lack thereof) workout plans you have already established. You have to learn to adjust your workouts to the way your “mommy life” works now. “Motherhood has really changed how I stay fit and healthy. Of course, there is a lot of time management skills required, but it’s also a lot about our mindset. I schedule workouts in my calendar and stick to them like I would a meeting. Also, as a mother you are so tired most days so the last thing you want to do is work out; I also suggest recruiting another mommy friend who has the same goals in mind as you do. This helps so much,” Trisha advises.

Mindset

Just as it is important to stay mentally strong as a mother, health and fitness require that same mentality. It’s not just enough to do the workouts and try a diet or two. If you really want to see results, you have to make it up in your mind that you can achieve them AND maintain them!

As a strong and entrepreneurial mother, Trish knows a thing or two about being mentally tough. She does her best to guide all of her clients in the same direction. Her number one rule when training? “The mind is everything. What we believe, we become. For someone starting out – if they truly believe they can make a change in their lifestyle, they will do it!” And she’s totally right! That’s why before starting any workout plans or diets or even hopping on the scale, Trisha always suggests one thing as the first steps to health and fitness. “Focus your energy on setting a plan for yourself (ie. Times you will work out, prep meals, recruit a friend, decide on a workout routine, etc). I believe that if you spend time up front planning and organizing how you are going to implement your routine, you will be that much more successful,” Trisha explains.

What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?

A skipping rope

A kettlebell

A yoga mat

In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?

The most overrated exercise is the bench press. The most underrated exercise is the pull up!

What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?

I love almonds or almond butter mixed in Greek yogurt!

What are your beliefs on performance diet like?    Do you prescribe to a particular philosophy on diet (example: Paleo, Gluten free, etc…)?

In my opinion, there is not one best diet because every person is different and each dietary protocol has its pros and cons.  Plus, something that worked great for one mother might not work as well for you. Ultimately it’s finding a nutrition routine that suits your individuality and of course, one that includes foods you will actually eat and enjoy.

Trisha Enriquez

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Functional Fitness | Alex Ho

Functional Fitness | Alex Ho

I was in the middle of a “Year of Yes,” where I was saying yes to trying out more things, and my friend asked if I wanted to do a month of unlimited bootcamp. After only 2 classes I was completely sold and spent the next half year getting in the best shape of my life while falling in love with running. 6 months later I had studied for and passed my personal training certification course and started teaching classes before and after my day job. One year after teaching and working in construction management I decided to quit my job to become a full time trainer,” Alex Ho says. And that it where it all began!

Functional Fitness

Alex Ho is a personal trainer and fitness enthusiast. His training program is taking the city of San Francisco by storm. He does everything from one on one sessions to large group sessions. His specialty is focusing on what he refers to as functional fitness. “To me functional fitness is a way to train your body so that it can do what you want when you want in daily life. Yes, people have different functions in their life than others but there is a base functionality of being able to push, pull, twist, bend, crawl, and climb that humans should be able to perform,” Alex says.

Needless to say, you won’t be stuck in the gym while training with Alex. Not only will he push you to get a workout in, but also a great adventure around the city. “I think that most people in a gym are stuck in their routines of using the machines that only move in one plane of motion. There are some really strong men and women who can bench press a ton of weight but put them on a stability ball where they have to fire up their full body to balance and they’ll be thrown off completely. Functional fitness means that you can adjust your body to differing conditions under stress. That could mean moving a weight around while running, changing directions quickly, or catching a medicine ball while balancing on one foot. The key is to think of exercising in a 3 dimensions instead of 2,” Alex explains.

Courage

Everyone faces obstacles as they pursue their career, but according to Alex his biggest obstacle was a little different from most. Alex had already had a successful career in the construction and engineering field. However, his true passion was in fitness. He was forced with the decision to either stick with his well-paying job or take a risk and pursue his passion. “Leaving a stable career with a steady paycheck, benefits, retirement plan, etc. for a career where I would be working hourly and have to figure out how to sell my services in order to make a living was frightening. Thankfully I had the support of a lot of friends and family who helped me through the process and encouraged me to follow my passion,” Alex says.

Luckily, the risk paid off big time! And it came along with benefits that Alex never thought of. “The most rewarding part of the journey has been changing people’s lives in a positive way. I have some clients who I have been working with for a while and to see the change in them is incredible. Some have lost weight, some have conquered a new goal, and others have taken on their fears and adjusted their look on life to live happier. It’s not only the physical changes but the mental ones that really make a difference.”

Future

Alex has plans to continue on this career path and expand in the future. “I see myself still training one on one but instead of leading a lot of group classes I would be leading more seminars teaching people about how to structure classes and how to connect with and help clients in more ways than fitness. I hope that Revision Athletics is known as a go-to company for the highest quality info about how to live a healthy life,” Alex details.

What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?

1) TRX

2) Resistance Band

3) Kettle Bell

In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?

I’d say the most overrated exercise is the bench press. Unless you’re a bodybuilder or just looking to build up your pecs you can get a lot more bang for your buck from doing a pushup.  

The most underrated exercise may be a pullup. Most people are scared of pullups because they are so hard but it requires a lot of core strength and upperbody strength. It’s also very useful for climbing!

What motivational/inspirational books have you found to be most helpful?

I read a lot of books about running (mainly because it’s my passion) so I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from ‘Born to Run’ and ‘The Cool Impossible’. Born to Run has a great story while the Cool Impossible has a lot of great exercises for runners. I also really enjoy Kelly Starrett’s book ‘Ready to Run’ for how much he goes into the importance of mobility for athletic performance.

What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?

I typically bring an apple and a snack bar (Clif, perfect bar, Kind bar, etc.) when I’m out and about. If I’m going to do workout between clients I’ll bring some protein powder for a post workout recovery.

What’s your beliefs on performance diet like?    Do you prescribe to a particular philosophy on diet (example: Paleo, Gluten free, etc…)?

I don’t follow any certain type of philosophy on diet because everybody has a different diet requirement. For myself, I really focus on eating organic non-processed foods as much as possible, drinking a lot of water, and staying away from processed sugars. The reason why most diets work is because people become more aware of what they are eating instead of just going for whatever is easiest or fastest.  

Alex Ho

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Instagram: @revisionathletics, @sub6, @chasethelightssf

Twitter: @revisionathltcs, @sub_6@chasethelghts

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Compound Effect leads to Big Gains | Christmas Abbott

Compound Effect leads to Big Gains | Christmas Abbott

Christmas Abbott is a crossfit pro & fitness enthusiast that encourages others to use fitness as a means to turn their lives around. She does this through as many channels as she can find: she’s written books, started fitness programs, she tours, does motivational speaking, and nutrition consulting.

I’m using my personal turbulence I’ve experienced through life and applying it to the wellness and fitness industry. I want to help people wake up and realize that they have the opportunity to change their lives every day,” Christmas says.

Start

Growing up Christmas had many challenges through life. By the age of 13, she was drinking, smoking and doing drugs. By 21, her habits lead to her doing meth and becoming an alcoholic. She didn’t really consider the damage she was doing to her body at the time. It wasn’t until she took a trip to Iraq as a civilian consultant that she had an epiphany. “I realized I was continuing to make bad decisions and continuing to put myself in compromising situations. I was going to end up killing myself because of the decisions I was making. I decided to make a better decision. I decided to quit smoking. I decided to work out and I discovered fitness and health and wellness. That became my new addiction,” Christmas explains.

The moment that Christmas realized she was capable of achieving a state of health; she started with the realization that she had positive power. She was able to commit herself to a 30 day regimen. For 20 minutes a day, three times a week, Christmas would work out on an elliptical. “This was like my gateway drug to fitness. It was a very subtle transition into fitness but by the third week, I noticed a difference in myself. It wasn’t necessarily physically fit, but I just felt better. I felt proud of myself for the first time in my life. That’s when I caught the bug of positive reinforcement,” Christmas says. Since then Christmas admits it’s still been a bit of a struggle. However through her transitioning she has gained self-worth and confidence. “I love myself fully and I want to enrich my life with positivity,” Christmas declares.

Childhood

Christmas grew up in a poor household, however her parents loved her very much. Her mother named her Christmas Joy because she brought joy to her mom’s world when she was born.  Christmas’ father was the epitome of a biker. And the biker lifestyle that the family lived, while very exciting is what lead Christmas to picking up some of the habits that she felt was taking away from her life.

Of course, Christmas doesn’t blame her parents. They just didn’t know of a healthier way of living. “For me, when I saw that I had an option to change that, I felt more empowered,” Christmas says. However Christmas still remains very close to her family. “I wasn’t a product of a healthy lifestyle growing up. And I want people to know regardless of what upbringing you have, you can still change your future,” Christmas says.

Obstacles

Christmas had to overcome a lot of obstacles in her journey to being as fit as she is now. For her, the hardest one was to find self-worth. “I had to believe that I was capable and had to believe that I was worth something more. Once we find ways to feel proud of ourselves, that’s when we get on a path to loving ourselves. As soon as I started to love myself, that’s when the opportunities starting presenting themselves,” Christmas says.

Wellness Wheel

According to Christmas, the keys to living a happy, healthy lifestyle comes from within. “I tell people you have five fingers and you usually have five obligations that you can commit to before it becomes overwhelming. You have to take care of yourself.

Sleep well, eat well, exercise, and meditate.

All of this comes into play. You can be eating well and be stressed out at work and still gain weight. So when one thing is out of whack, it has a ripple effect. Living a perfectly balanced life is pretty much unheard of, but you can get pretty close to it when you create this balance. It is a mental fortitude of tenacity. When bad things happen, you can actually navigate through them in a faster and more efficient way,” Christmas says.

Christmas Abbott

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Fitness Passion | Kate Lemere

Fitness Passion | Kate Lemere

Fitness blogger and personal trainer Kate Lemere has a deep passion for fitness.  Her love for fitness hit her during her college years. She fell in love with trying new physical activities in her spare time. “I discovered group exercise when I was in college. I was a competitive swimmer all my life, but decided to pursue other avenues once I graduated high school. It occurred to me very quickly that I didn’t know how to workout on my own. The co-rec at my university had a full schedule of group exercise classes ranging from Body Pump, Kickboxing and Spinning. I tried it all and couldn’t get enough! It was an instant love that I knew needed to be a bigger part of my life,” Kate says. From there it was no turning back for Kate. Her destiny was decided and what would be her career was made.

Challenges

Everyone faces challenges throughout life. Being a personal trainer, Kate is exposed to a lot of the tough compromises that people face. She finds that there are two main challenges people face when they are trying to make a healthy lifestyle change. The first is time and the second is intimidation. “There aren’t enough hours in the day, for everyone. If it seems like a schedule is too packed, health and fitness is usually the first thing to get sacrificed. The key is to efficiently plan and maximize the time you do have to be able to get the most out of your availability. Additionally, starting a new fitness regime can be intimidating and it’s only human nature for our first reaction to want to opt out of what makes us uncomfortable,” Kate explains.

Kate suggest that you shouldn’t let either of those things stop you. She often works with her clients on overcoming those two hurdles. Key way that she overcomes the challenge of being pressed for time is to focus on “the prioritization of movement. I prioritize my workouts, long or short, big or small. It is a non-negotiable part of my day. I find that just by doing so, I make better nutritional choices, sleep better, am a more creative and strategic thinker and am that much closer to reaching all of my goals in and out of the gym. Even on the days where I’m lacking motivation or hit snooze 5+ times, it’s never something I regret.”

Her biggest goal is to help others find a way to achieve fitness while working through anything that may deter them away from their ultimate goal. She uses her platform to motivate others and help them find the same passion for fitness that she has.

Mindset

“There are two types of people in this world. Those who say, “I can’t” and those who say, “I can.” In every moment we make a choice, we choose the course our life takes. Those who say, “I can’t” and those who say “I can” will end up on two very different trajectories. Everyone can have what it is they want. You just have to make the choice.” –Kate Lemere

Motivation

Of course self-motivation is essential to accomplishing a fit lifestyle. However it is ok to look for some outside sources to get you going. For Kate, reading is one of the ways she finds motivation for herself. One of her personal favorites is the book “Zen and the Art of Happiness” by Chris Prentiss. “It’s a quick read that I flip through regularly. It’s one of those trust the universe types of books. While cheesy at times, always refreshes my perspective and reminds me keep the big picture in focus whenever I’m sweating the small stuff,” Kate says.

What do you advise people first start when they are starting fresh with serious fitness goals?  Diet or Workout?  Or both?  Does it matter?

Both. The work you do in the gym won’t mean sh*t if you’re not mindful of what you’re consuming. Nutrition and fitness are two different programs that can either work together, or against each other. When you’re serious about a fitness goal it’s critical to pay attention to both.

What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?

You mean, besides a SlimClip Case?! Running shoes and training shoes offer a different functions and levels of stability so I always recommend investing in both. A jump rope is affordable, portable and can deliver one helluva workout in as little as 10 minutes.

Which exercise do you most commonly see people performing improperly, and how can they correct it?

Deadlifts…they may be one of the most effective drills you can do, but also very easy to perform improperly. Deadlifts are reliant on a flat back, a deep hip hinge and engaged shoulders. If you’re squatting, bending or letting your shoulders round over your chest you’re not only at risk for injury, but making zero gains.

Kate Lemere

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SnapChat: @katehiipakka

Walk the Walk

Walk the Walk

Drew Manning Walks the Walk to better understand the struggle of his fitness clients

Health and fitness coach Drew Manning doesn’t ‘Talk the Talk’. When it comes to finding out what it’s like to be out of shape, unhealthy, and to struggle to make fitness gains he has taken extreme measures to ‘Walk the Walk’. Drew actually decided to get fat (that’s likely not the most politically correct term for it, so “overweight” or “unhealthy weight”) on purpose to experience what it was like to be overweight. “I was overweight for the first time in my life so I could better relate to my clients” Drew says ‘and so I wrote a book about my humbling experience and it’s now a TV show.

Drew started his journey of Fit2Fat2Fit (Fit to Fat to Fit) on May 7, 2011

The whole purpose of this journey was for Drew to gain a better understanding of what it was like to be overweight. He wanted to better relate to his overweight fitness clients.Drew says he didn’t know what this experience was going to lead to but. “Once I was asked to come on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is where it finally felt “real” and that this idea wasn’t just some stupid idea that no one would pay attention to” Drew says.

The ‘Fit to Fat to Fit’ Journey

“I decided to get fat to better empathize with my clients. I grew up my entire life in shape and never knew any different. I had no idea how hard it really was for my clients so I decided to completely let myself go for 6 months and gained 75 lbs in 6 months. I also wanted to inspire people in a totally different way by doing something so completely different. I didn’t do it to disrespect anyone or to pretend to know exactly what it was like for people who are overweight and have been overweight for years or even decades, but at least I can say I have more empathy and a better understanding for having done this.”

“I grew up in a very strict/black and white culture of either ‘You do or do not’ and there were no excuses” Drew tells me, “So it helped to be strong and push past any pain or weaknesses. We were a very large family of 11 siblings. I learned how to work hard and my parents instilled us with great discipline. That discipline really was essential in this journey.”

“When I started gaining weight there was no way for me to know how poorly it would make me feel. I wanted to quit when I hit the 70 lb mark. I felt so horrible and disgusting at that point. I also wanted to quit when I saw my first stretch marks come in because I still cared way too much about my physical appearance at that time. What kept me going was knowing that there were people watching me and were counting on me. So that accountability helped me push past those hard times.”

“The whole process helped me realize that transformation is much more mental and emotional than people think. It’s not so much about the meal plans and the workouts and the diets, etc. It’s about loving who we are and knowing that we are more than what our bodies look like.”

In the end, Drew says he’s most proud when people come up to him and thank him. “People tell me their life story of obstacles that they’ve overcome in their past. Seeing how many people have been inspired by this crazy journey. It’s so touching and rewarding to see people so inspired and motivated to transform their lives.”

Focus on the Process

“After going through this process and looking back on what were the most important elements of a successful comeback.” Drew says “I advise people to stop worrying about what other people think. You must let go of your ego and to stop attaching yourself to outcomes. Instead just focus on the process and the growth that comes from putting in the effort no matter what the outcome is. In the end, if you keep that focus, the results will come.

Drew stays busy with his television show but there’s even more to his busy life

A Day in the Life

Morning

I wake up and meditate and do positive affirmations. I drink my water with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Then I brew my coffee and add in butter and mct oil or coconut oil sometimes. Then I’ll work for a couple hours and get ready for my workout and I’ll take my exogenous ketones an hour before I workout.

Afternoon

I’ll get my workout in and come home and get my first meal in, which will usually consist of eggs, sausage/bacon, butter, cheese sauteed with some spinach and broccoli. Then it’s a shower and back to work.

Evening

This is where I’ll have my second meal of the day and usually this will be around 7-8pm. This will consist of maybe a couple beef patties with some avocado and cheese on top and I’ll sautee some cauliflower in 100% full fat coconut milk.

Night

I’ll wind down by watching an episode of Game of Thrones and then I’ll read one of my books before bed.

Workouts

Most recently I’ve been training for a Spartan Race and doing a mix of HIIT / Crossfit style workouts 3 days a week. I’ve been running, sprinting and climbing hills 3 days a week and one rest day. When that’s over, I might get back to Crossfit / Super Set Style body building lifting. I like mixing those two up.

Diet & Nutrition

Currently, I’ve been loving Ketosis and not for the reasons people might think. I’m not doing Keto to get leaner or to lose weight, but for the improvement in cognitive function, mental clarity, focus and energy. I’ve done Paleo and Whole30 in the past and still think those are great. Most people will benefit from Paleo and Whole30 for sure. I do think different diets work differently for different people and I preach all the time to find whatever works for you and make it a lifestyle change. I just love not being a slave to food, only eating twice per day and never feeling like I’m starving or ‘hangry’ all the time if I don’t have food.

Change & Mindset

When people are trying to make healthy changes and become physically fit when they haven’t been so before, they need to make major lifestyle changes. That being said, establishing inroads to attaining a fit body is going to be different for each person depending on their goals and their past history. Finding a support system is probably the first step. Even before that, you have to be mentally and emotionally ready for the lifestyle transformation. Finding either a trainer, nutritionist, a group fitness class would be a good place for people that have no idea where to start and need their hand held for the first little bit.

Once you’ve gotten started and established new habits is where accountability comes into play.

I advise people to keep yourself accountable to friends, family, or an online community to help you in these moments. It’s not a magic pill, but it’s easier to get through setbacks if you have a support system to help keep you accountable. No matter who you are, you’re going to have setbacks and that’s why it’s so important to have this support system to keep you accountable during these hard times.

When setbacks come, one thing is to remind yourself that you are progressing whether you see that progress or not. Also, you’ll be so much happier if you detach yourself from outcomes and focus on the work and habits you’re developing during the process.

Life is too short to define yourself with weight, body fat percentage, etc.

I think measuring is fine, but I don’t believe that the scale is the best way to do that. The best ways to measure results are bloodworm (try Everly Well for at home convenient and affordable testing if you are too busy to make doctors appointments), Dexa Body scan or Bod Pod for body fat percentages, and improvements in fitness (i.e. doing the same workout 2-4 weeks apart to measure progress in time/efficiency/recovery)

The Future

I’d love to see myself still doing what I’m doing. I feel that the Fit2Fat2Fit brand could eventually become a household brand with many more seasons of Fit2Fat2Fit on television. I’m working on building Fit2Fat2Fit join up groups in some small areas across the nation. I’d love to have “an army” of Fit2Fat2Fit trainers that come from a place of empathy and caring first before helping their clients.

Who knows though…the sky is the limit!

Drew Manning

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SnapChat: @fit2fat2fit