Client of the month Kristin Long
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Our client of the month is Kristin Long, who we met at an outdoor bootcamp at Memorial Park. She had been a member of the Berkeley Y for many years and was looking to push herself physically.

Kristin was a competitive figure skater as a child and enjoyed pushing herself to new heights. Exercise was her stress reliever as well, and she wanted to stay active in order to maintain her mental health.

We consulted with Kristin to achieve several goals:

  • Weight management, specifically increasing muscle mass, boosting metabolism, and strength-building

  • Maintaining a balanced and sustainable outlook on health and wellness

  • Incorporating nutrient-rich recipes into her fast-paced lifestyle

We have witnessed an amazing transformation in Kristin’s energy levels, a process that she is excited to keep working on every day!

“After several outdoor bootcamps with Kristin she announced that she would open The Fuse Fitness Studio with Pascha and I knew I had found my place. I love the challenge and variety of workouts at The Fuse. It's also quite apparent that they are very thoughtful about finding just the right trainers as I have never been disappointed!

The classes are difficult and different every time. I have been a member since they opened and I don't think I have repeated a workout yet!” - Kristin Long

Kristin had some interruptions due to injuries over the years, but we have always been on hand to make modifications in order to keep her moving. Our supportive fitness community allowed her to work through those hurdles and maintain accountability throughout her fitness journey.

Kristin’s long-term goals include continuing to build strength, maintain a healthy weight, and fight off her genetic predisposition to cardiovascular disease.

As always, we are proud to work with Kristin every step of the way.

Kristin Rios
Nutrient Check-In
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Nutrition is fascinating. It can cure nutrition-related disease, improve health and prevent illness. Since the connection between early day scurvy treatment with foods high in vitamin C, and more recently, folic acid intake during pregnancy to prevent brain and spinal cord defects, individual nutrients have gained our attention. Historically, the study of nutrition dates not so far back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s—one of the “newer” areas of science. And we’ve learned a lot over the last 120+ years. But we’ve also been subjected to inaccuracies and myths about nutrition.

Interest in improving health often comes with increasing awareness of nutrition, and focus on optimal dietary intake. So what do you do? Is a varied diet enough to deliver all the nutrients your body needs each day? Or do you need a supplement to provide optimal nutrition?

Here are some considerations when deciding if you are getting sufficient nutrients or if you need to add additional nutrients to your diet.

1. Is your daily food intake meeting your nutrient requirements? Certain ways of eating truly lack adequate nutrient intake. For example, diets high in processed and fast foods or reduced calorie diets. Consider using a diet and nutrition tracker or visit a registered dietitian nutritionist to evaluate your intake and determine if you are deficient or low in any macro or micro nutrients. Variety is the key to getting all the key nutrients.

2. Are you following a diet that excludes specific food groups? This can put you at risk for deficiencies of some nutrients. For example, a vegetarian or vegan diets that exclude animal foods is low in iron and vitamin B12.

3. Do you have a health condition that causes nutrient loss due to increased needs or decreased absorption? Intestinal diseases like irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease can interfere with nutrient absorption; food allergies or intolerances that exclude food groups can cause deficiencies; a gluten-free or dairy-free diet that eliminates specific nutrients like B vitamins, calcium and vitamin D.

4. Does your physical activity increase nutrient requirements? For example, extra protein for building muscle mass; greater calorie intake for high intensity or long endurance exercise. Often, eating the extra food to meet calorie and protein demands also means you are getting additional vitamins and minerals as well.

Over-nutrition is the consumption of one or more excess nutrients. For example, excess calories, excess fat or excess protein. Supplementing with excess vitamins or minerals or even specific amino acids can also cause over-nutrition.

Under-nutrition is the inadequate intake of one or more nutrients. Causes include poor appetite, fad diets, eating disorders and diseases that prevent intake or absorption of nutrients.

A healthy, well-balanced diet does not require nutrient supplementation unless there is a specific reason as in the above examples. Concentrate on choosing fresh, whole foods that are nutrient dense. This includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low or nonfat dairy products, lean meats or plant-based protein sources and healthy fats.

Kristin Rios
Client of the month Vicky J.

We are so proud of our client Vicky - who was overweight and diagnosed with prediabetes in 2010. When she joined the Fuse Fitness, she had not worked out in two years.

While Vicky had always been relatively active, regularly walking her dog and hiking - she was ready for a more holistic fitness program that focused on her core needs. A previous personal trainer referred Vicky to Pascha and Kristin - who encouraged her to enroll in a circuit program in 2011. By 2013, Vicky’s quality of life had dramatically changed.

Pleased with her weight loss, boosted metabolism, and higher energy - Vicky enrolled in boot-camp-style training at the Fuse Fitness. At this point, she was determined to maintain a more rigorous training schedule as well as maintain balanced habits and a positive outlook.

It was not always easy for Vicky to maintain lifestyle changes, but as a pre-diabetic, she knew the leap was necessary for her long-term health and wellness. Vicky found herself happier and energized throughout the entire week - without the energy crashes so often felt by those with prediabetes or diabetes.

In addition, Vicky enjoyed the ability of the supportive trainers at the Fuse Fitness to create a personalized plan to address chronic issues, as well as accommodating for injuries and varying abilities throughout her journey.

While Vicky had the intention of returning to a personal training program for about a year before joining Fuse Fitness - she has been able to sustain progress for more than five years with the support of our attentive certified personal trainers and caring community.

As a busy working professional, Vicky enjoys the flexibility of each trainer at the Fuse Fitness - each with a unique style, which helps her overcome plateaus to continuously grown and improve. She’s found that the greatest challenge was simply waking up and getting to the gym each morning.

Through the encouragement of her son, close family, and friends, Vicky has been able to achieve significant weight loss. This is by far her greatest accomplishment.

What’s next for Vicky? She says the sky’s the limit. “I feel motivated to continue further developing my strength and fitness.”

If you’re ready to kickstart your journey to a better body, contact us today!

Yours in health,

Pascha and Kristin

Kristin Rios
Portia's Client Success Story!


                 What a lovely family!

                 What a lovely family!

Hi Fusers!

This month we are celebrating our amazing client Portia Pirnia, a Kensington resident and member of Fuse Fitness since July 2017. Portia has been doing private training sessions between Kristin and I for almost a full year now! She is also our neighborhood realtor at Marvin Gardens who knows the East Bay neighborhoods like the back of her hand- you can find her listings here ( Portia is not only a successful realtor, but a successful client as well, and today we are celebrating her!

Portia’s initial fitness goal was to become pain free after she had hurt her back a few years ago while awkwardly lifting her daughter’s car seat out of the car. Her adorable daughter Bea (who’s 9 years old) makes a mean fitness obstacle course here at the studio. We will definitely need to add her to our instructor sub list J.  Portia also suffered from cervical nerve pain in her neck and the back of her shoulder when she joined Fuse, and attributes the injury to lack of exercise during and after being pregnant. So Portia made the decision to commit to private training sessions three times per week, to rehab her injury and increase her strength and fitness level.

We asked Portia what challenges she encountered when she began training and this is what she had to say:

“Everything was sore during and after the workouts, Kristin and Pascha were encouraging- showing up for them made the workouts bearable that first month. After a month or so, I started to look forward to our sessions and now working out feels like an important part of my weekly routine.”

Portia brings such positive energy when she comes into her training sessions and she’s so happy to be here. We appreciate her always telling us how good she feels after her workouts.

Portia has made amazing progress this year towards her goals thus far, and we are so proud of how hard she has worked! Portia not only loves the endorphin kick she feels after her workouts, but exercise and moving her body have become healthy habits again. Portia feels much stronger and confident, and has learned to trust her body again, understanding her limits and knowing how to listen to her body. Portia recently  told us that carrying luggage through the airport used to cause her so much pain and that she wasn’t able to lift her carry-on luggage into the overhead bin any longer. However, according to her, she is now pain free! What a huge success, for both her and us!!

We’ll let Portia wrap up how she feels about her time here so far. “I love the energy here at Fuse. Everyone is friendly, focused and upbeat. I really appreciate that the studio fosters a non-competitive environment. I feel like myself there--not on display or in a fishbowl, as I have at other studio/gyms. Pascha and Kristin have created an environment where I can come as I am, feel motivated to be there and get a great workout every single time.”

It hasn’t been an easy path and Portia has consistently shown up and worked at getting better one day at a time. The results have been amazing J.

Keep up the amazing work, Portia! We are all inspired by you and so proud of your awesome progress. Bring on the rest of 2018 and year #2 with us!

Yours in health,

Pascha at Fuse Fitness

P.S. We would also like to give Portia a birthday shout out! Happy Birthday Portia!


Client of Month Shoutout to Rick Jaffe!


“I didn’t care or think much about taking care of myself for a long time. Now, it feels really good to exercise. I like getting better, I like how it feels when I’m doing it right and everything is connecting.”

In Jan. 2010, Rick reached out to me to begin working out. Inspired by his wife Kim, who had been working out with me regularly for a few years already, Rick was ready to make a change.


At 52 years old, Rick was just a year younger than his dad was when he passed away of heart disease. Approaching age 53 was something Rick had always been a bit fearful of, and at 52, something really clicked—he wanted to get fit, lose weight and be healthy so that he could live a long, healthy life. 



About six years before beginning personal training, in the midst of helping coach his son’s soccer team, Rick realized that he couldn’t really run a full lap around the track anymore. Having played soccer and basketball throughout his childhood and in high school, this startled him.


So he made the decision to start riding his bike to commute to work, telling himself that even if he had to walk his bike up the steep hill home, he wasn’t going to quit.


Fast forward to 2010, despite having continued biking regularly to and from work for about 6 years, Rick found himself about 30lbs overweight. He was ready to commit to making a bigger, more effective change. 


As of today, Rick is down 30lbs, continuing to crush his goals, making huge changes in his health, and most importantly has a renewed outlook on the importance of and satisfaction from making his health a priority. 


Rick had an incredible year in 2017, winning our 8 Week Clean Eating Challenge in the spring, as well as taking third place in our burpee challenge in March 2017. He has continued to progress, consistently attending classes in addition to his personal training sessions. 


“With the cleanse [Clean Eating Challenge], I really changed my diet and really started hearing what you had been telling me. I have become way more intentional about eating, and not just taking seconds because it’s there. I try to have healthy snacks on hand so I’m never starving. It has become so much easier to make healthy decisions and be in control.”



Over the past 8 years of working together, Rick has stayed committed to his health and fitness, with a couple frustrating setbacks from injury, but overall persevered and stayed on track.


“This time has been different. I am and have been inspired by Kim [wife]. I am inspired by watching other clients get stronger and do awesome things. You have continued to support me. You know how to push, but you listen and adapt. You always have a plan of what I can do, and you continue to motivate and inspire me. I see you [and Pascha] push yourselves, like doing the Tough Mudder, which is inspiring. You walk the walk.”


This 8 year and growing relationship with Rick has been an awesome journey to be a part of and witness. I have seen such an incredible amount of growth, perseverance, and commitment from him. 


I’ll leave you with this quote from Rick, because it truly brings the biggest smile to my face, I’m so proud of him. “I have learned to turn off the internal critic. I have stopped caring if I was the weakest or slowest or if I had to walk my bike up the hill. And now, when I finally take a moment to look up and see where I’m at, I’ve surprised myself….I feel strong, and really feel like I am sometimes right up there at the top of the class. And it feels really awesome.” This folks, this is what it’s all about.  







Kristin Rios
Endurance Tips

Endurance training, such as running, can seem intimidating when you haven’t been active in a while. The key to success is consistency and customizing workouts that are realistic and appropriate for your particular stage of fitness.

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Our clients come to us at all stages of health, age, and ability level. Don’t get frustrated if you can only do ten to fifteen minutes of a workout at first. Some days you may be able to do more - and some days less. What’s important for beginners is tracking your progress in a journal or an online tool and checking in with your trainer to ensure that you are constantly progressing in your abilities.

The ultimate goal is to aim for moderate endurance activity at least three times a week. Once you hit a plateau or would like to challenge yourself - first build up the time you spend doing an endurance activity and then increase the intensity of the workout.

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Endurance exercises are known to improve your breathing, circulation, and heart rate - allowing you to power through everyday activities. They also mitigate many diseases common to older adults such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Here are some tips to help you get started on building your endurance:

  • Exercise caution in rural areas - try exploring a new trail with a friend or a group and wear layers appropriate for the weather in your area. When exercising alone, bring a cell phone, ID, and pepper spray.

  • Be sure drivers see you - wear reflective clothing at dusk and bright colors during the day. Be careful when crossing a road and do not assume drivers will stop for you.

  • To make sure motorists can see you on a bicycle, get a flashing red light for the rear of your bike and a white light and/or reflectors for the front. Always yield to pedestrians and make sure to alert them of your presence when passing on their left.

  • Remember foot care - wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes. Warm up properly to prevent painful injuries.

  • If you aren’t used to vigorous physical activity - speak to your doctor and personal trainer. Seek consultation especially if you often experience dizziness, shortness of breath, heart problems, or recent surgery.


Yours in health,


Kristin and Pascha

Founders, The Fuse Fitness

Kristin Rios
Take Five for February

There are many types of meditation, but they all have a common goal - creating synergy between spirit and mind. Here at Fuse Fitness, we are encouraging our clients to take five minutes of each day to meditate. Doing so before your morning routine is recommended, but fitting some time in during a work break or before an evening workout is fine. We find that our clients benefit from meditation because it increases awareness, mitigates stress, and improves circulation.

Meditation is a positive addition to all stages of fitness. Aging and elderly adults benefit from decreased blood pressure, decreased anxiety and even cessation of chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis as well as susceptibility to infections. Craving and binge behaviors such as smoking or overeating have been shown to decrease in some instances as a result of meditation.

Here are some tips for creating a relaxing space for meditation in your home!

  1. Clear out a space - big enough to lay a yoga mat. Natural light and good ventilation is recommended. Make sure that you can make this space noise and distraction-free for five minutes or more.

  2. Record your progress. As you improve your ability to focus and tune out life’s distractions, you may be able better to assess factors that are holding you back from reaching your fitness goals. We find that keeping a small notebook or even recording notes on your phone helpful. For those new to a fitness regimen - tracking your progress can increase your sense of accountability and pride in how far you’ve come!

  3. Find your groove. For different lifestyles and fitness goals, there are so many ways to balance your body and spirit. If you are just beginning, seek out public classes when possible to get a sense of the best-fit type of meditation for you.

As always, we are available to answer any questions you may have about incorporating meditation into your fitness routine!

Yours in health,

Pascha and Kristin

Contact Fuse Fitness

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Kristin Rios
Marne's Fuse Fitness Success Story!

Hi Fusers!

It’s a new year, and we’ve got our first client success story of 2018! This month we’re giving recognition and praise to Fuse member Marne Sussman. A member since June 2017, Marne has been a force to reckon with, unwavering in her consistency. And guess what consistency gets you? The badge of getting fit, strong, kicking ass and taking names. Boom.

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While Marne has just been here less than a year so far, she has been an awesome addition to Fuse, bringing a healthy dose of determination, power and fortitude, especially when tackling tough to master exercises. Having been a successful, competitive rugby player in her earlier years proves her mental and physical prowess. If you know anything about rugby, it is freaking tough. And Marne applies that same toughness to her workouts. 

After having two kids and holding down a demanding career as a lawyer, Marne was ready to get back into shape. Training hard was nothing new to her, and Marne came in knowing what it takes push herself and hit her goals. Just goes to show, you can take the person out of the competitive athlete, but you can’t take the athlete out of the person. 

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I’ve been lucky, as Marne has been a regular at my 8am Monkey Ninja Bootcamp classes since she started. She has brought a healthy dose of power and hard work to shake up the classes. In just about 7 months, Marne has really tackled her goals, getting fit, lean, and super strong—back into fighting shape! And, a bonus for me—almost every morning she’s taking class, we get a short visit from her adorable daughter with the best dimples you ever did see. So really, it’s a win win ;)

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Here are a few words from Marne herself. Enjoy! :)

I had been thinking about joining Fuse for over a year as I’d been by there many times since my daughter was born. I just finally made the choice to do it and get back into shape. I had gained about 10 lbs after stopping breastfeeding my daughter and my clothes weren’t fitting right so I wanted to try to lose weight, but mostly I wanted to get fit.

The biggest challenge I have encountered has been fitting working out into my schedule. With two young kids and a job as a partner at a law firm in SF it is really hard to make time for classes. I’ve resorted to two 6am classes a week and given up sleep for fitness, but it is infinitely worth it. Continuing to come back is not a problem as the group of people, instructors, and results make continuing a no brainer.

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I’m proud that I can do a pistol squat [single-leg squat]! (on one side only) ☺ Seriously though, my inner athlete is finally coming back after about an 8 year hiatus. I have always been an athlete and pretty fit and one of the fastest/strongest on every team I was ever on, so to start to get back to that level of strength and fitness and remember that my body is strong and that athlete is still there is awesome. I’m proud that I committed to 3 days/week for over 6 months now and I’m trying to figure out ways to get to class more times in the week. The change in my fitness is incredible. I could barely do burpees when I started and could only do maybe 1 pushup from my feet. Now I can rip off a set of 10 pushups and do multiple sets of them in one class. It’s a pretty amazing change and feels great!

My only regret is that I didn’t join sooner! I seriously considered it 3 years ago when my daughter was 6 months old and was just too afraid of the unknown and how out of shape I was to pull the trigger. I should have done it then! So for anyone thinking about joining or considering a new fitness regime, just do it! I wish I hadn’t wasted 2.5 years of fitness!!! It’s not going to get any easier the more time goes by, that’s for sure.

Like I said before, Marne is kicking ass and taking names. Better watch out for this one, it sounds like anything she puts her mind to, she’s not afraid to jump right in, work her butt off, and attack her goals. We love having you Marne, you truly make a great addition to our gym!

Yours in health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

P.S. As always, please feel free to contact us by filling out the form below if you have any questions or if you would like to sign up for a free consultation.

Name *
Jump Rope Benefits

Jump Rope is an excellent addition to any fitness regimen. It refines coordination, strengthens your bones, improves heart health, boosts your stamina, and much more.

Blog Post _Jumprope_Fuse Fitness_January 2018

Jumping is an efficient and low-cost workout that is perfect for busy parents on the go. Most hotels have a small gym or you can opt for a nearby park. Learning to jump is beneficial for all fitness levels and can add a light break from other types of cardio such as running or swimming.

It doesn’t take much to jump rope like a pro. Here are a few tips to get you started!

Size your rope properly. Stand at the center of our rope - the bottom of the handles should be at your armpits. Purchase a good-quality rope and consider using a timer to set an appropriate work-to-rest ratio, especially if you are a beginner.

Use good posture - no hunching over or flapping your arms. Your wrists should be the primary source of momentum and you should focus on landing at the balls of your feet.

Practice makes perfect. Jump Rope adds fun and variety to your workouts. Getting into a stride may be difficult at first, so don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional trainer for tips. Try the series below in-between Tabata intervals.

Rep 1: 2 leg jumps

Rep 2: single leg jumps

Rep 3: single leg jumps

Rep 4: criss cross jumps

Rep 5: forward / back jumps

Rep 6: reverse jumps

Rep 7: high knee jumps

Rep 8: double unders

As always, the trainers at Fuse Fitness are more than happy to help you refine your jump rope technique. Take advantage of the simplicity and flexibility of jump rope - a wonderful addition to any workout plan.

Yours in health,

The Fuse Fitness

Kristin Rios
The Importance of Water Intake

Whether you are just starting to get in shape or a super-athlete, water is essential to a healthy lifestyle.


What does water do?

It balances your body’s temperature, lubricates joints, protects sensitive tissues, and flushes toxins through bowel movement, perspiration, and urination. Drinking enough water throughout the day is a great way to remain aware of what you are putting in your body - a necessary step for maintaining your weight this holiday season.

Water intake is a must for any workout. It increases alertness throughout your routine and promotes fast recovery.

The holidays are loaded with temptations that increase your risk of becoming dehydrated--salty foods, alcohol, and sweets galore. When indulging in these treats, it’s very important to increase your water intake. Stay on track with your fitness goals by incorporating these easy tips to increase your water intake.

  1. Plan ahead for long trips or air travel by bringing a reusable water bottle.

  2. Manage your weight by opting for sparkling water with a lemon wedge instead of soda or booze. Your tummy will thank you, since a 20 oz. soda packs a whopping 240 calories!

  3. Choose water when eating out. If you do enjoy drinking, limit yourself to one or two alcoholic beverages, making sure to drink water in between.

  4. Drinking plenty of water before heading to a party helps keep the munchies at bay, helping you not plant yourself in front of the hors d'oeuvres and eating mindlessly .

  5. Don’t forget about water-rich foods such as cucumbers, celery, melons, berries, and leafy greens. Recipes such as bone broth and soups can add to your water intake, but be careful with the salt!

We hope you all have a wonderful, fun-filled holiday month, and enjoy the treats that are worth it, while passing on those that aren’t. The holidays are meant for celebrating and enjoying, so please do, just remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during this busy time!

Yours in health,

The Fuse Fitness


Kristin Rios