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.

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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
Karen and Sean's Fuse Fitness Success Story!

Hi Fusers!

This month's Member Spotlight is shining down on Karen and Sean, an awesome couple who has been working out with us at Fuse since August 2012. They had been regular, hard-working 6am-ers up until early Feb. 2015 for Karen and late March 2015 for Sean, when they took a hiatus after having their first of two beautiful babies. Fast forward to June 2017, when they re-emerged.....they went from being a family of 2 to now being an absolutely adorable family of 4! 

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They started back up at Fuse doing personal training together, usually bringing in their two sweet kiddos--a smart, fun-loving toddler and a new, super cute baby boy. No complaints from the trainers at Fuse, any time we can get a baby fix we're thrilled!

Both Karen and Sean are in fantastic shape and are doing such an amazing job being positive, healthy role models for their children. Karen's core strength has improved significantly since having both of her children and her body has become very toned, with much more muscle mass. Sean's muscular endurance and core strength have really improved--gotta love TRX training! We love it that the kids get to see their parents working out and living a healthy life! And we are so happy to have Karen and Sean back working out with us!

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Here are a few words from Karen and Sean about their fitness journey and experience here at Fuse:

1) What was your reason for joining Fuse and what were your goals?

We first started going to Fuse years ago, when we were looking for challenging and exciting workouts to add to our weekly routine. For a time, we were both regulars at the 6 a.m. monkey ninja class. Sean thought he was generally fit before he started going to these classes.  He quickly realized that he was not.  He could not get through a class without taking at least one break.  And he thought, on multiple occasions, that he was going to throw up.  Karen kicked his a** every day. 

Despite the hard knocks, we kept it up even after Karen got pregnant and continued into her third trimester. But then we had the baby, and then we had another. While babies are bundles of joy, they don’t exactly make it easy to fit in some workout time.  We felt so busy during that stretch of time, and so exhausted, that going to the gym was just not a priority. We remained active, but we weren’t doing much to build and maintain strength. Our workouts tended to be more haphazard than planned. Karen, especially, felt like she had lost a lot of the strength that she had before kids. And she missed the energy and sense of accomplishment that she used to derive from exercise.

About three months after having our second child, we made an effort to build fitness back into both of our lives. As a Mother’s Day gift, Sean bought Karen a three-month personal training package, with the idea that we would do the sessions together whenever possible and that otherwise Karen would go by herself. Before you say it, Sean knows what you’re thinking.  And the answer is, “Yes, I really bought personal training sessions for my wife as a gift.”  He really thought that was a key part of what she needed to get back to feeling like her complete self.  Sean’s goals for himself include becoming a world champion CrossFit athlete or American Ninja Warrior.  He has not yet obtained either goal.  Karen’s goals were, by comparison, pretty modest. She hoped that we would get stronger and improve our fitness, but mostly was looking for a commitment device – something to ensure that we would work out, that we would work out hard, and that we would enjoy ourselves in the process. 

2)         What have been the challenges you have encountered?

Sean’s half-joking half-serious answer: “handstands.”

Karen’s answer: the physical challenges that come with having two kids in less than two years. Some parts of me feel stretched out, others feel too tight. When I’m busy chasing after kids, it’s easy to avoid thinking about those changes. Working out has made me reckon with them, and it can sometimes feel demoralizing.

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An answer that both of us agree on is that getting to the workouts, on time and ready to go, has been a big challenge. With two very young kids and no family around to help, we often ended up bringing at least one child with us to our sessions. Sometimes this worked out perfectly. The baby would sleep the whole time, oblivious to the sounds of music and slamming medicine balls! Other times, we found ourselves (with the help of our trainers who have been great!) simultaneously corralling an energetic toddler and comforting a crying baby, all while trying to get through a tough circuit of exercises.  Who knew that two-year-olds could have so much fun with TRX suspension trainers?  While that’s a rhetorical question, it turns out that Pascha and Kristin knew. 

3)         What have been your strengths/successes and what are you most proud of?

We are proud that we showed up to every session, even when the childcare piece was complicated. We also are proud of the results we’ve seen after three months – not necessarily in our appearances or weight, because we haven’t been tracking that, but in the way we feel day-to-day. We both feel stronger and more capable. We think we’re now less prone to injury and more able to keep up with our kids.  Sean can complete a class without feeling like he’s going to throw up.  And, ever the optimist, he thinks he’s well on the way to becoming a champion. 

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4)         Anything else you’d like to add…..

We think that doing personal training sessions together has been good for us as a couple, too. Right now, we still don’t do a regular date night, so working out together has been a way for us to share an experience (other than childcare) and to connect. 

 

Karen and Sean, thank you so much for sharing! We love having you guys here, we think your kids are awesome, and Sean, we definitely see becoming a champion in the near future ;)

Yours in health,

Fuse Fitness team

Nine Exercises that Strengthen the Back

Hi Fusers,

As you all know, September was back month. We focused on strengthening, mobilizing and stretching the back muscles. Hopefully coming into October your back is feeling strong and pain-free from all the back mobility work we’ve done.

A strong back is the foundation of any balanced fitness regimen. Along with adding strength and power to your workouts, a strong back helps you bear day-to-day activities such as standing, sitting, and bending down a bit easier. The following stretches and exercises are designed to improve the strength, mobility, and flexibility of these important muscles.

Here's an example of great back flexibility!

Here's an example of great back flexibility!

 

  • Hamstring/Lower Back Stretch

Sit down with your legs straight in front of you, leaning forward with your arms straight out towards your toes. This stretches your lower back, hamstrings and legs. 

  • Yoga Cat/Cow Stretch

Kneel on all fours with hands beneath shoulders and knees directly below hips. Gently arch your spine upwards and then downwards, like a cat. 

  • Cobra Stretch

Lie facedown on the floor with feet together and palms underneath your shoulders. Slowly raise your chest up off the floor – holding the pose for at least 30 seconds or longer. 

  • Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows using a bench

Place the right knee on top of the end of a bench, bend your torso forward from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor, and place your right hand on the other end of the bench. Hold dumbbell in left hand, pull using your rhomboid muscles, bringing your elbow back and towards the spine, squeezing your shoulder blades; lower slowly with control.

  • Child’s Pose

Kneel and sit your hips back toward your heels, forehead to the floor, with arms stretched overhead.  

  • Pull-Ups

Begin in a dead hang from a bar, with your core centered and back straight. Pull yourself up using your lats and core muscles, squeezing your shoulder blades at the top of the movement. Keep your neck straight and guide your chin steadily above the bar.

  • Scapular Push ups

Start out in plank position with your arms shoulder width apart. Keep your arms locked outward, drop your chest slightly and squeeze your shoulder blades together, isolating your scapula. Make sure to keep lower back neutral and avoid bending the elbows.

  • Lower Back Extensions

Lie facedown on the floor with your body fully extended, arms above your head and legs together. Lift your arms and legs up off the floor, using your lower back and glute muscles, making sure not to bend the knees or elbows.

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  • Spinal Twist

Begin in seated staff pose. Bend your right knee over your left leg, placing your foot on the ground next to your left thigh. Your leg can be kept straight ahead or bent. Turn your torso towards the left.

Try these exercises out and let us know you feel. Looking forward to next month–get ready for the 10,000 rep challenge!! As always, if you’d like to set up a free consult with us, please fill out the contact form below.

Yours in health,

Fuse Fitness Team 

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Kristin Rios
Evan McWilliams' Fuse Fitness Success Story!

Hi Fusers! This month we are giving a big shout out to one of our longest members, Evan McWilliams, who has been working out at Fuse Fitness since 2011. He started out with personal training and now is one of our most regular class attendees. Since his first class in 2012, he has logged in 425 hours of workouts (not including personal training sessions). WOW!! And that doesn’t even touch on the many hours/miles of hiking/running he has logged outside the gym.

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As most of you know, Evan always walks in barefoot (even in the winter when it’s RAINING!!!), shoes in hand, baseball cap on, and pretends to be the grumpiest person you’ve ever met. While he does a very good job of being grumpy, he really is one of the nicest and funniest people at the gym.

 

We first met Evan in 2011, and had the pleasure of training him one-on-one. He was gifted some training sessions from a friend of his who had done work for Pascha and me when we opened Fuse. Evan’s friend kindly allowed Pascha and me to do a trade with him, as he knew we were a brand new business working hard to get on our feet. As the story goes, Evan had helped out his friend by taking care of his children while his wife was battling and beating cancer. In return for Evan’s generosity and friendship during this time, he was gifted the training sessions.

Pascha and I both trained Evan in the beginning for the traded sessions. At first, I’m not sure he was entirely enthused or excited to have been gifted the training sessions, however he had to use them. I wasn’t sure whether he would continue after those sessions were done, but he did, and as time moved forward, a new Evan emerged. During this time, I got to know him quite well, and learned quickly how dry and sarcastic his sense of humor is, which I find to be hilarious. It was clear that getting over that initial hump of starting a new, intense fitness program was challenging, however his consistency and hard work paid off. I really began to see big changes in Evan….he became really motivated and confident, and awesomely stayed grumpy. However, I quickly came to see that while perhaps the initial grumpiness when he first started training was real, the new grumpiness wasn’t quite true. But he does do one hell of a job pulling it off ;)

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Here are a few words from Evan himself:

I developed epilepsy in my late twenties and had a doctor tell me all the things that I should not do. I took what he said to heart and basically became sedentary. I had been in law enforcement so had been in okay shape, but spent the next couple of years feeling sorry for myself and gained a ton of weight. When I left police work I started working for an outdoor apparel company that placed a huge emphasis on being active. I did not want to stand out as “that guy” so started to run on my own. No training, no coaching, just running, because I was too self-conscious to workout with other people.

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I lost some weight and ran three marathons in one year (despite my doctor's warning) and realized that I was physically one-dimensional. I could run forever, but I was doing nothing but aerobic exercise. I wanted to see if my times improved as my fitness level became more well-rounded. A friend of mine did some work for Pascha and Kristin when they opened Fuse. He worked out a barter with them for personal training. He gave those training sessions to me. My first session was with Pascha. All I remember was feeling completely out of shape, and her saying, “Oh, Evan” as I struggled during the workout.  All I wanted to do was get into decent shape and be done. I figured I would work out for a few months and then continue working out on my own. I had no interest in the classes, but would watch them as I worked out with Kristin, and they looked really fun.  I eased into one class a week taught by Kristin, but it took another year or two for me to work out with a different trainer because I don’t like change.  Now, I try to be in class 5-6 days a week.

All of my fitness challenges have been self-inflicted. I have developed a knack for hurting myself. I have blown out my back, broken my foot, developed tendonitis in both elbows and just last month I had a bunch of stitches put into my knee. In the past I would have felt sorry for myself and probably quit. Now, I see these challenges as a way to figure out how to work through the injury. I was working out with Kristin while in my cast. I was back working out the day my stitches came out. And recently I have started to do 20+ mile walk/hike/runs to compensate for my elbow issues.  I still struggle with being 50 and not being able to do everything that I used to do. Everyone at Fuse is here for their own reasons. There is such a supportive feel here. It doesn’t matter if you are the fastest, slowest or strongest…it matters that you are here doing what you need to do for yourself! I have NEVER had that feeling working out in any other environment.

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My biggest [fitness] success was finishing the Spring Cleaning Challenge (clean-eating, fat loss challenge) last year. It came at the right time, as I was training to climb Mt. Rainier. It showed me that I could successfully complete something (while hurt) and finish what I had started in a strong manner. I ended up losing 35lbs which was a huge benefit for the climb. After climbing Rainier, I started to look at things differently, and now I try to find things that a couple of years ago I would not have even tried. Right now, I want to do an unassisted hand-stand. For no other reason than 50-year-old men are not generally known for their handstands!  I also want to be able to keep up with my family. Both my wife and son are major outdoors people. We spend an awful lot of time hiking and mountaineering. I want to be able to keep doing that for my entire life.

I LOVE the atmosphere at Fuse. There is such a nice support network here. People check on you if you have missed class. They welcome my son whenever he shows up. AND they hold you accountable in the best possible way. I know when I am slacking, and I love being called out on it because it shows me they want me to do the best that I can!

Evan, while this tells the story of how your fitness journey at Fuse began because of a gift from a grateful friend, the way I look at it, the gift was really to us. You have become one of our most loved and appreciated members at Fuse! We are very proud of how far you’ve come and all the awesome, positive changes you have made. Thank you for your support. AND STAY GRUMPY!!!!

If you're interested in joining Fuse Fitness and becoming one of our next success stories, please fill out the form below to sign-up for a free fitness consult.

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Marni Gonzalez's Fuse Fitness Success Story!

Hi Fusers! This month we're celebrating one of our amazing members, Marni Gonzalez. If I could describe her in one word, in relation to how she is in the gym, I'd say tough. By definition, I mean that she "demonstrates a strict and uncompromising attitude or approach."  When presented with any challenge in class, she always creates a strategy, implements that strategy and then very successfully completes the challenge. Just. Like. That. If you've taken class with Marni, you know that she maintains her strong pace evenly, keeping her focus on the goal. It's quite impressive.

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Having been a member at Fuse since March 2015, Marni has without fail, (unless she is traveling, which is one of her passions) showed up and stuck to her very consistent schedule, for a total of 345 times, logging in just over 300 hours of working out. Consistency and keeping a schedule for working out is what gets results, and Marni has that figured out.

That's just a glimpse into Marni's gym life--as you can see, she is hard-working, disciplined and goal oriented. I'd wager to say that her tenacity probably has something to do with how she became a neurologist. Just a guess on my part :) She has been a practicing neurologist since 2006 and is a senior physician at Kaiser Permanente Medical Group. She also led the creation and implementation of The Memory Center, where she and other team members provide medical and social support for patients with dementia.

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So yeah, in one word I'd say this woman is tough. But since I don't have to only describe her in one word, I'd also like to say that she is incredibly sweet, supportive and I love having her in class. Marni has made a serious commitment to her health since joining, both with her workouts and her diet, and she has really transformed her body. She's super strong, works really hard, motivates everyone and inspires us all. And I love how devoted she is to her family and her faith.

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Here are a few words from Marni about her fitness journey:

"Approaching middle age prompted me to contemplate my future self.  Do I want to be a “healthy” and “active” 65-year-old, enjoying retirement?  Or, do I accept the alternative?  At this crossroad in my life, I made a commitment to get healthier, physically.  I joined Woohoo Fit in June 2012, two months after my 39th birthday and have been working out consistently ever since.  When Woohoo Fit closed in the Spring 2015, some of us former "Woohoo-ers" transferred to Fuse Fitness.  I am so thankful that I decided to do so!  It was a pretty seamless transition for me.  The challenging classes, wonderful trainers, and community of fellow "Fusers" make this place very special. I felt welcomed from the beginning.

"I realized that exercising regularly does not necessarily result in weight loss.  Don’t misunderstand me – I know that it is essential for cardiovascular health.  However, working out three times a week while I continued my undisciplined food habits gradually but surely resulted in a size increase in my clothes!  I also felt I reached a plateau in my fitness level.

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"Fortunately, last February 2016, I committed to a change in my approach to food.  I also increased the frequency of my work outs (from three to four times a week), threw in Monday night yoga sessions with Kelly, and exercised even while on vacation (which I never used to do).  Now, also thirty pounds lighter, I don’t think I have been stronger and more physically fit in my life.

"I am very grateful for the phenomenal trainers who so patiently worked with me over the years at Woohoo Fit and Fuse Fitness – Eva, Kelly, Amy B., Kristen, Pasha, Gail, Beverly, and now Michelle.  My life has forever changed!"

Marni, we are grateful for you and the example you set. Thank you for being such a wonderful and integral part of the Fuse community!

Yours in health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

P.S. As always, if you're reading this and interested in finding your own path to success with your health and fitness, fill out the contact form below to sign up for a free fitness consult today!

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In Full Swing

Hi Fusers! I just want to say, you all did a damn good job with those burpees last month. I know you have probably never hated us more than during the month of March, but hey, it’s time to move on—forgive and forget.

Here we are, the beginning of April, and spring is quickly swinging into action. The rain has finally stopped, the sun is out, the days are longer, flowers are blooming, and we are swinging. Ok, so that last thing doesn't really fit the sentence. However, while spring swings into action, we will concurrently be swinging kettlebells. This month, we are focusing on an actual favorite exercise at Fuse (opposed to last month’s "favorite")—the kettlebell swing.

A brief bit of histrory—kettlebells were developed in Russia during the 1700s and were mostly used as a way for farmers to measure crops. Beginning in the 20th century, Soviet athletes began to use kettlebells as part of their training (Wikipedia). What makes the kettlebell unique is it’s design; unlike a dumbbell or barbell, the center of mass is extended beyond the hand, allowing the athlete to incorporate power and swinging movements into his/her program.

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At first glance, the swing looks very similar to a squat and front shoulder raise. However, it is not that, and it is extremely important to learn proper technique to ensure safety as well as get the most out of this powerful, all-encompassing exercise.  So let’s break it down.

The kettlebell swing is an explosive, ballistic exercise that trains the posterior chain of your body—primarily your hips, glutes, back and core. It is composed of a hip hinge movement in which you drive your hips straight back behind your centerline, pulling the kettlebell back between your legs just below the groin. It is imperative to keep your core tight and spine neutral spine/back straight. Your shins stay completely vertical, unlike a squat where the knees track over the toes, creating an angle of <90° between your shins and the floor.

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This movement pattern loads up the glutes and hips, which are extremely strong and powerful muscles. At this point you snap your hips forward powerfully, propelling the kettlebell upward. You maintain loose, straight arms, as the effort comes completely from your hips/glutes/core, and has nothing to do with your arms. While your arms help to control the kettlebell, you shouldn't use your arms or shoulders to pull it up.

This movement pattern loads up your glutes and hips, which are extremely strong and powerful muscles. At this point you snap your hips forward powerfully, propelling the kettlebell upward. You maintain loose, straight arms, as the effort comes completely from your hips/glutes/core, and has nothing to do with your arms. While your arms help to control the kettlebell, you shouldn't use your arms or shoulders to pull it up.

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As the kettlebell reaches its top end range of motion, usually around 45° out from your body, your glutes and abs flex to stop your hip motion so that you do NOT lean back and use your lower back muscles to pull. Your body should be in a completely vertical position, like a standing plank, with your core and glutes fully engaged. If your core is not engaged, you will put too much stress on your spine, causing your lower back, rather than your glutes, to do the majority of the work.

As the kettlebell begins to drop back down, make sure to be patient and wait until it has traveled almost all the way back down before beginning to hinge your hips back by moving your hips out of way. If you begin to hinge too early, you risk the kettlebell coming down much closer to the knees than it should—it should stay right below your groin.

So that’s the breakdown. Pretty technical, which is why we’re going to focus on perfecting it this month. When done correctly, it’s an amazing full-body exercise that is great for both conditioning and muscular endurance.

Keep up the great work Fusers!

Yours in health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

p.s. If you're interested in learning how to do a kettlebell swing, want to work on your form, or are simply looking for an awesome strength and conditioning program, fill out the form below to sign-up for a free fitness consult.

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Caroline McCall's Fuse Fitness Success Story!

Hi Fusers! This week we’re shining light and appreciation on another one of our awesome members! Caroline McCall has been working out at Fuse Fitness since June 2014 and has logged in 181 visits during that time. That may seem impressive, which it is, however she’s also logged in hundreds of miles of running during that same time—so awesome!! :)

Caroline is an avid distance runner and has been since around the age of 13 years old.  She’s also a hard-core 6am Monkey Ninja Bootcamp regular who often goes for a run before class even starts. A natural morning person, Caroline is out before the sun comes up, either coming to class or going for a longer run. While many clients moan and groan about having to do the “longer run around the block,” Caroline just laughs—around the block is nothing.

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Professionally, Caroline is the sole proprietor and director of Center for Church Vitality, through which she provides leadership and organizational development consulting in the Episcopal Church. She is also the Director of Field Education and Lecturer in Congregational Studies at Church Divinity School of the Pacific (the Episcopal Seminary in Berkeley).

Recently, I had the opportunity to do some personal training with Caroline—suffering from a torn Achilles tendon, she had to put a halt to both running and Monkey Ninja Bootcamp in order to heal. While this would typically derail most people, Caroline was not interested in this route. In conjunction with doing physical therapy, she trained privately 3 mornings a week, split between Pascha, Fana and myself. As any athlete knows, your sport is often your therapy/mediation—so when taken away it can be extremely challenging. Pure grit and tenacity kept Caroline going, not allowing her injury to inhibit her ability to train—this is one of the reasons she’s such an inspiration and an all around awesome client to have!

I’m going to reflect on a fun story Caroline told me during one of her training sessions with me. When her now teenage children were littler kids, and their energy would amp up inside the house as kids’ energy often does, she and her husband would send them outside to run the perimeter of the house. They had created an obstacle course of sorts that the kids would run through multiple times. I just love this story and think it’s such a great idea. More importantly, what an incredible gift—to encourage and teach children at a young age the importance of exercising their bodies to release energy, stress and feel calm.

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And now, a few words from Caroline….

“I joined Fuse because I knew I needed to compliment my running with strengthening my core. I have been a distance runner for 38 years, so I was in good shape – at least for endurance running. Unfortunately, I was also beginning to suffer from more frequent injuries.

“In 2014 I decided to look for a gym where I could go in the early morning, was close to my home, and would be fun. (Every time I joined a gym and took classes in the past, I found it incredibly boring). I found Fuse in June 2014, and although 6:00 AM was later than I wanted (really!) I decided to try a Monkey Ninja Bootcamp class. After my one free trial class, I was hooked. My goal was to go to class two times a week while continuing with my running…ultimately to be able to run more distance races (half-marathons and marathons) injury-free.

“The biggest challenge for me is exactly what I knew I needed to work on—my core. Somehow 38 years of running had not done much to strengthen it and 14 years of motherhood was not helping either. Although I am certainly much stronger than I was when I started, I get pretty discouraged about my (lack of) core strength even after almost three years of classes at Fuse.

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“In addition, despite me hoping that taking classes would magically make me injury free, I have still had to deal with injuries and other physical set-backs. Coming back after needing to take one or more weeks off from class is always daunting. I miss the coaches and the regulars in my class when I cannot be part of it, so I get back in there as soon as I can.”

“Most recently, I tore my Achilles tendon and have had to take over 2 months off from classes. BUT I have done as much as I can by working with Kristin, Pascha, and Fana in private training sessions, and now I am healed well enough to go back to classes again!”

“My biggest success has been finishing 15 half-marathons and 3 marathons since I started at Fuse. I am a stronger and better runner because of Monkey Ninja Bootcamp! I was able to qualify for the Boston Marathon at age 50, by several minutes, and felt great doing it. What I am most proud of is that I continue to run and continue to work on my overall strength despite the inevitable injuries and aging.”

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“One thing I really love at Fuse Fitness is the people! The instructors, the other people in my classes, the whole community. It is supportive and fun while also challenging me to push myself further.”

Caroline, you inspire us and we appreciate your hard work and determination! Thank you for being an awesome part of our fitness community :)

Yours in health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

p.s. If you'd like to sign up for a free fitness consult or find out more information, please fill out the contact form below!

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Burpee-the most badass exercise on the market (did I sell you?)

Hi Fusers! It's March!! Woohoo, spring is just around the corner, and I'm pretty sure we're all sick of the rain. So here's to sunny, drier days ahead! And burpees.

That's right, although that looks like a misplaced word in the paragraph above, I want to assure you that you read correctly. This month we will be focusing on burpees. I know, I know....here's what you're all thinking....

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The poor burpee. Seriously, for an exercise that is so incredibly effective and efficient, why can't there be more love for it?! Did you ever think about that? Well guess what??

burpees

I get it. Burpees are hard AF. However, they get results, and that's what we're after, right?Burpees are a full body exercise that work pretty much every muscle in the body, meaning that you can burn more calories in a lot less time. They help you develop strength, explosive power and anaerobic endurance. And conveniently, they can be done anywhere with no equipment necessary. That's right, ANYWHERE. So next time you're at Whole Foods....just saying :)

According to Wikipedia, the burpee was named in the 1930s for American physiologist Royal H. Burpee who developed the burpee test. As part of his PhD thesis, he created the burpee as a simple way to assess fitness. The exercise became popular during WWII, when it was adopted by the US Army to assess the fitness level of recruits. Originally, the burpee consisted of four steps:

  1. Squat down and place both hands on the floor in front of you.
  2. Jump feet back into plank position
  3. Jump feet forward.
  4. Return to standing.

Today, it is commonly done as a 6 step exercise:

  1. Bend over or squat down and place both hands on the floor in front of you, just outside of your feet.
  2. Jump both feet back into plank position.
  3. Drop to a push-up—your chest should touch the floor.
  4. Push or snake up to return to plank position.
  5. Jump feet back in toward hands.
  6. Explosively jump up into the air, reaching arms straight overhead.

Here at Fuse, we generally do the 6 step variation, and prefer this definition:

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Commonly done among inmates....so this month, you guys will be our inmates, and we will be working on the most badass exercise around.

The challenge for the month will be to increase your burpee stamina and will be tested as such: 5 rounds of 60 seconds of burpees followed by 60 seconds of rest in between rounds. You will tally the total amount of burpees you do in all 5 rounds, and that will be your score. Each week, you will perform this challenge (you only need to do once a week, you will have something else to do during this time if you have already completed yours for the week) and the goal is to improve your score each week. We will be giving out prizes to the awesome coffee cart at Flowerland on Solano Avenue for best improvements. However, the strategy is not to go super slow the first week on purpose just to win. While we will be awarding the biggest improvements, we will also be taking into consideration the best efforts all the way through the challenge.

Alright, let's do this! And maybe, just maybe, we can get just a few likes for the dreaded burpee by the end of March.

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At the very least, Pascha and I will increase that number to 2 people :)

Yours in health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

Tim Weitzel's Fuse Fitness Success Story!

Hi Fusers!

Another week, another chance to thrust one of our awesome members into the spotlight and give props for how hard they work at Fuse Fitness. This week we're giving a big shoutout to Tim Weitzel, who has been working out with us consistently since May of 2015 and has logged in 245 workouts since then. That's not to say those are the only workouts he gets in--he's an avid cyclist and works long bike rides into his fitness routine.

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Not only is Tim a rockstar when it comes to his training, he's also a smarty-pants. Tim has a Ph.D. from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Organizational Psychology and has spent his career in Leadership Development, Assessment, Coaching and Organization Development. He began his business, Tim Weitzel and Associates, in 1992 as a single-person run business, and has seen a tremendous amount of growth, both nationally and internationally, since its origin. So basically, he's awesome.

There are a lot of things we appreciate and love about Tim. First and foremost--he is ALWAYS on time. And by on time I mean early. I'm pretty sure that if he's actually just on time, then he thinks he's late. Whatever the case may be, it's always appreciated. Being rolled out and ready to go is super helpful to us coaches. While this aspect of him may suggest that he's all business, I have evidence to prove otherwise. Tim has a great sense of humor, and has brought many laughs, stories and overall great conversations to my 8am classes. Some of those group conversations are best kept secret to only those of us who were there. What goes on in 8am Monkey Ninja Bootcamp, stays in 8am Monkey Ninja Bootcamp.

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All joking aside, Tim is an amazing addition to Fuse Fitness. He truly works his butt off, always giving 100% effort. He doesn't let his knee and back issues, caused from years of being a competitive rower, hold him back--we figure out ways to work around those issues and come up with alternative exercises when needed. We love having him in class, it has been a joy having him here.

And now for a few words from Tim himself :)

"I joined Fuse because my body was losing its responsiveness. When I tripped, I would go down hard. I was stiff and inflexible--only 52 at the time. I was in good cardiovascular shape, but strength was an issue. I was blobby. As a lifetime athlete, I wanted to maintain better flexibility and dexterity. And I wanted to look better. I was not able to row anymore because of a back issue. I also wanted to find a good community.

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"I haven't really encountered many challenges. I really love the Fuse workouts--the harder the better. This said, I do sometimes need to substitute listed exercises to accommodate my back and knees.

"Since working out at Fuse, I have gained more dexterity and become more flexible. I have maintained my weight loss and now have firmer everything :)

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"Kristin and Pascha and their instructors do a great job. I love The Fuse!"

[Insert blushing emoji here] We love you too, Tim!

Yours in health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

p.s. As always, if you'd like to join our awesome fitness community and start getting the results you want, fill out the contact form below to sign-up for a free consult.

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UncategorizedKristin Rios
Lisa Miller's Fuse Fitness Success Story!

Hi Fusers! This week we'd like to shine light on Lisa Miller, a member at Fuse Fitness since January 2013--4 years now! She is the Director at Classroom Matters in Berkeley, a personalized, tutoring business for students in 6th-12th grade. I have had many clients over the years talk about sending their children there and loving the results and support their children get!

As of this morning, Lisa has been to Fuse 401 times. I can still remember her first visit on Jan. 5, 2013, it was to my Saturday morning Monkey Ninja Bootcamp class with her friend Tatiana, who was a member at Fuse for a couple of years as well. I remember this class because the two of them together had such an infectious energy, it made class so much fun!

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Over the years, Lisa has tried out all of our classes, but knowing her well and looking over all of her visits, she truly had a love for Michael's Strength and Mobility class. Unfortunately, we no longer have this class, as Michael no longer coaches at Fuse. Since Michael has departed, Lisa has fallen into a new routine, mostly taking Gail's class on Monday mornings and hitting up my class(es) on Wednesday and/or Friday mornings. Selfishly, I'm happy for her new routine because I love having her in my classes!

What we love about Lisa is that you can count on her to always bring a fresh dose of reality and keep it real--she doesn't hesitate to express when she doesn't like something or it doesn't work for her, and alternately is always grateful and appreciate, never leaving the studio without saying thank you. She is funny and definitely adds a great personality to class. She always stays true to her own needs and stays within her limits, however always pushes herself and works really hard. She is someone who keeps a steady, even pace and gets her workout done, showing the endurance athlete within. Prior to working out at Fuse, Lisa was a distance runner, which I appreciate, as she is always able to pace herself, allowing her to finish the workout without fatiguing too early and petering out.

Another attribute I value in Lisa is her sensitivity and empathy. On a few different occasions over the years, I have found myself so appreciative of a genuine, loving hug from her just when I need it most. She has an innate ability to read emotions, even when you think you're doing a good job masking them. It is a gift, and I have been the lucky recipient of it a few times. Lisa truly cares about us and our business, and we have always felt very honored to have her love and support.

img_3311Now, a few words from Lisa about what brought her to Fuse and her experience working out with us  :)

"I joined The Fuse to maintain my fitness level after “retiring” from triathlons. Due to chronic plantar fasciitis, I had to give up long-distance running. My goal was to stay fit and build muscle.

Boot camp is very different from my former swim-bike-run routine, so learning some of the movements were challenging at times. I still can’t do the diving pushups!

I have mastered most of the exercises and have built up my upper body strength. My core is also much stronger. Thanks to all of the strength training, I am back to running short distances.

I enjoy the classes and the community at Fuse. I really appreciate all that you do to make it fun and engaging!"

Lisa, you've been with us a long time and we love having you in class! Your support for us and our business has not gone unappreciated, and we value your opinions and advice. Thank you so much, we love you!

If you'd like to get results and join our awesome fitness community, please fill out the contact from below to sign-up for a free consult today!

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Time to get Running!

Hi Fusers! January is quickly coming to an end, and we’ve had a great month focusing on interval training….all day, every damn day. Whew. It’s been tough, but awesome! Those first days of the month were rough for many of us, coming off of the holidays and trying to get back into a routine. There is just no better way to break up a rut than to go all out with intervals—not necessarily fun, definitely not easy, but certainly effective.

So now we should be back on track, kicking ass again, and feeling back to normal. Thanks interval training ;)

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February is heart health month, so naturally we’re going to focus on cardiovascular health. Since we just spent all of January doing high-intensity, shorter intervals (which is definitely cardio), we are going to shift our focus to longer periods of work/endurance training. Aerobic endurance is the ability to work for longer periods of time without tiring (mayoclinic.com). Which brings me to our challenge of the month—the 1 mile run. Gasp. 

Don’t think for a minute that I didn’t hear the collective gasps that just happened reading that sentence. I hear all the time how much everyone hates running. Why is that? Because it’s hard. You’re right, it is hard. However it is good cardio training. While certainly not the only way to improve cardiovascular health, it is one way, and it is the way we have chosen for this month’s challenge.

We will be having two outdoor bootcamps coming up to run the mile for time. For those who truly can’t run, definitely still come to the bootcamp, we will have something else for you to do to work on your cardio. Here are the dates:

  • Sat. Jan. 28th at 10am—Albany Middle School track
  • Sat. Feb. 25th at 10am—Albany Middle School track

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Be ready for more running, rowing and longer interval training workouts during February to prepare you to better your mile run time, but more importantly, improve your cardiovascular health.

Without further adieu, I’m going to leave you with some facts about heart health/heart disease. In case you need further convincing why you will come to the bootcamps and run. Without complaining. Preferably with a smile on your face. Ok, that may be pushing it ;)

One in four deaths in the United States is caused be heart/cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death for both men and women (theheartfoundation.org). Despite those grim statistics, one’s risk of having heart disease can be significantly reduced by making healthy choices. We truly have so much power over this disease.

Some of the ways in which you can reduce your risk of heart disease are (theheartfoundation.org):

  • Keep a healthy weight; more importantly, keep a healthy level of body fat. It is entirely possibly to be a “healthy” weight but have too high a level of body fat. Conversely, it is also completely possible to have a higher weight with a low/healthy level of body fat. Muscle weights more than fat.
  • Quit smoking. It is the singular most important thing you can do to prevent so many health problems.
  • Follow a healthy diet. Cut out processed food. Drastically reduce sugar intake. Consume a lot more vegetables. Cook at home. Eat clean.
  • Manage anger and stress. Meditate, listen to music, play an instrument, make time for yourself. Breathe. Life is stressful and challenging, find ways to help not take it so seriously.
  • Exercise. If you’re a client at Fuse, you’re definitely on the right path with this. Are you consistent? Could you add another day? Could you work a little harder? Ask yourself these questions. You may be right on track or you may need a push. Figure that out and decide the best path to making yourself healthier.

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So, we’re planning on seeing you all this Saturday at 10am. Dust off those running shoes. Head to the track. Be ready to go. And smile.

Yours in health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

P.S. If you're looking to start up a fitness program, you've come to the right place. Please fill out this contact form to get started with a free consultation.

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Barbara Higbie's Fuse Fitness Success Story!

Hi Fusers! This week Fuse Fitness is taking the opportunity to highlight Barbara Higbie, one of our longest members, who has been working out consistently with us since the summer of 2012! She is an amazingly talented, Grammy nominated musician - check out her website/bio/upcoming events here!

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Before joining Fuse, Barbara was trying to manage her weight and stress levels. At the time she joined, she had been jogging about 30 minutes a day, five days a week for the past 20 years. She had also tried lots of other classes throughout the years, but nothing stuck.  The weight was beginning to pile on in new places and her mood was up and down, because she was taking care of both her young daughter and mother with Alzheimer's disease, while also maintaining her music career. Barbara saw the Fuse Fitness sign one day while in the neighborhood, decided to drop by to try out a class, and has been hooked ever since. She says, "It's one of the easiest and best things I've ever done in my life."

As most of us at the studio have figured out, Barbara loves interval training! She is one of the only clients who always wants intervals - she says it's because she doesn't like to count reps or keep track of the exercises herself. She prefers not to have to think too much about what comes next, and would rather have a set of exercises that get her heart rate up and get what she calls "a good work out in." Outside of interval training, her other favorite thing to work on is handstands, and can't get enough of them. Barbara once told us, "Who knew I'd ever crave doing a hand stand? It is so hard to believe!"

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The challenges that Barbara has encountered along the way have been minimal. She still has trouble doing a free-standing pistol squat, a very challenging move that can take quite a long time to master. Despite that difficulty, she says, "It feels like one big positive wave that moves me along. The environment is great - high standards and low pressure." Due to her demanding music career, sometimes she is out of town for a couple of weeks at a time touring, thus having to miss her workouts. It is always challenging for her to deal with the muscle aches/soreness that come from having missed a couple weeks of classes.

Looking back to her start at Fuse, she still remembers her first class, when she couldn't do a Turkish get-up - now she can do many in a row with great form. Barbara says she has never been great at following extreme diets, but has slowly cut out lots of sugar and flour since working out at Fuse and it has made a big difference.

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One of the results Barbara is most proud of achieving since working out at Fuse is having great core strength. "As a professional singer, it has made a HUGE difference to have a strong core!" Barbara recognizes that her consistency with coming to class has really paid off in regards to seeing such great results - she has maintained her weight loss and continues to manage her stress levels, keeping a steady, positive outlook on life. According to her, "It's easy for me to get to class. The community at Fuse is made up of real, down to earth people, who enjoy working hard and having fun while staying focused."

Barbara has been very supportive of us and our business from the very beginning - we are so lucky and grateful to have someone as loyal as her. She brings a fun, upbeat energy to class each day. We love her random comedic outbursts in class when performing an awkward or suggestive movement, which makes teaching class so much fun - we always get a good laugh in.

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As you can see from Barbara's success story, working out isn't just to stay fit and look good. Fitness is a lifestyle that requires consistency in order to achieve results. While clients may have different goals and seek different results, a fitness program is beneficial to everyone. If you are currently not getting the results you want with your fitness program, we encourage you to sign-up today for a free fitness consult by filling in the form below. As Barbara says, "Having a fitness 'home' makes my whole life so much better! Finding Fuse was the biggest gift of the last five years! Thank you Pascha, Kristin and team Fuse!"

[contact-form][contact-field label="Name" type="name" required="1" /][contact-field label="Email" type="email" required="1" /][contact-field label="Comment" type="textarea" required="1" /][/contact-form]

Barbara, thank you for your love and continued support. We love having you as an integral part of our Fuse Fitness community! Class would not be the same without you!

 

Geoff Piller's Fuse Fitness Success Story

Hi Fusers! This week Fuse Fitness would like to highlight our member Geoff Piller!

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Geoff is one of our most dedicated clients when it comes to his health and fitness. He is self motivated, extremely consistent and laser focused. Before class even begins, he is off to an early start with a quick sprint outside and then comes inside to foam roll and stretch. Something about Geoff that demonstrates his great work ethic is that while everyone else takes a break to chit chat, he never stops, speeding through his workouts staying super focused, while most others have stopped to talk. He is usually the first one in class to finish an AMRAP or RFT workout.  Afterwards he can repeat everything that was discussed/small-talked about in class--he takes multi-tasking to another level--"listen while you work".

This sentiment is shared by all of us trainers here at Fuse--Geoff is one of the sweetest people we know. He is one of our biggest cheerleaders and is such a caring and giving person. He always has something encouraging and/or positive to say. And let us not forget what an amazing baker he is! And he shares with us :)

Thanks to incredible members like Geoff, we have such a wonderful, interesting and supportive fitness community! With that being said, here is Geoff's Fuse Fitness success story in his own words:

"I was a long time runner and used this method of exercise to stay in shape. I developed a hamstring injury and had to evaluate whether I could continue to run.  I concluded that running was making me fit, but it was not a complete total body workout- I felt limited. I decided I could get a better return by putting the time into a bootcamp style workout. My goal was to have overall balanced fitness, weight loss, and efficient use of my time.

"Some of the challenges I have encountered were working out with other people, as well as being inflexible.  I now enjoy working out in a group setting and have slowly achieved flexibility victories over time at the Fuse. Lastly, I hate Turkish Get Ups or any other exercise that begins with the word Turkish and still cannot jump rope. However, I do have many strengths and would like to focus on the things I'm good at.  I'm able to keep up with people in class who are considerably younger than me and I like the challenge of a rigorous workout. I can also sprint up the hill several times in a row like a bat out of hell and able to to exercise and play well with others.

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"Overall I feel like I am in much better shape than when I was just running."

Very true, Geoff! When he says he can "sprint up the hill several times in a row like a bat out of hell" he is not joking one bit. Geoff, you are an inspiration to everyone here and we truly appreciate you!

Yours in health,

Fuse Fitness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melinda Pilling's Fuse Fitness Success Story!

Hi Fusers! We would like to take the time to honor and highlight one of our awesome members, Melinda Pilling. Melinda has been working her butt off with us since October 2013. We are so proud of her because she sets such an amazing example of how hard work pays off.

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Not only has Melinda been super consistent with her attendance throughout the last couple years, she ALWAYS gives 100% to each and every workout. As fitness coaches, we find watching her workout to be so inspiring. Her double kettlebell cleans and goblet squats are done with perfect form and she always goes for the heavier kettlebells! We often notice others look at what she's lifting, and get inspired to try to take it up a notch in their own workouts.

Melinda blazes through interval training and AMRAPS with sweat pouring down her face, never missing a beat.  One of Melinda's secret weapons is sprinting--she's fast!  I love watching her run when we add sprinting to our workouts, because it's like, "now you see me, now you don't!"

We love that she sets such a great example for her two children by making a healthy lifestyle for herself and her family a priority. This is something we admire about all of our Fuse parents.

We have some amazing members here at Fuse Fitness, so keep an eye out as we continue to share their stories. Everyone has a story that can be inspiring, as well as providing recommendations and insight through their experiences.  That being said, please enjoy Melinda's success story in her own words below.fuse-fans

"As an attorney and the mother of young children, I was not able to fit regular exercise into my schedule for many years. Four years ago, my family and I moved to an apartment near The Fuse. For the first several months after our move, every time I walked past The Fuse, I glanced at the schedule. I recall seeing something called "Monkey Ninja Bootcamp" that was scheduled for 6:00 a.m. and thinking--who are these crazy people?

"One day I mentioned to a friend that I had been wanting to find a way to exercise regularly, but with my work, hour-long commute into the city, and my kids, it seemed impossible. She said, "You live near the Fuse, right? You should try it. The instructors are very supportive. They help you learn how to do the exercises properly so you don't injure yourself and they work you hard--strength and cardio, lots of variety. It is definitely an efficient use of an hour." I went to my first 6:00 a.m. Monkey Ninja Bootcamp class that week. I remember running up a hill with a heavy ball held over my head as the dawn was breaking. I was sore for three days. I loved it.

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"Over time, I have become a regular at the 6:00 a.m. Monkey Ninja Bootcamp classes. In addition to the efficient, fun workouts that fit in my schedule, The Fuse has provided me with a sense of community. Kristin and Pascha do a wonderful job of fostering a cooperative, mutually supportive environment at the studio, building community through events like bring-a-friend outdoor bootcamps, kickball games and cocktail hours, and supporting the larger community through group volunteer activities, canned food and winter coat drives and sponsoring a struggling family during the winter holidays.

"The Fuse keeps me feeling physically strong, focused and grounded."

Melinda, we love having you and love the mornings when your two adorable kiddos show up at the window when you're working out to wave hi and make silly faces! You truly are an inspiration to us and everyone else here and we value your hard work ethic and your kindness. Thank you for being part of The Fuse community!

 

 

Here's our story....

Hey Fusers! As 2016 has come to an end, we want to wish you all a very happy new year, filled with good health, good food and good times!

We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead, and as we have been planning what's in store at Fuse this coming year, we wanted to take a few moments to stop and reflect on where we came from and where we're heading--so here's our story....

Pascha and I met in 2008 while working together at a small personal training studio, where we worked side-by-side, learning about each other personally and professionally, and forming the start of a life-long friendship and soon-to-be partnership.

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During these early years, we realized we shared many values that deepened our connection and inspired us to open a business together. The values we share are a dedication to family and friends; having a high-level of integrity, honesty and loyalty; helping others; a passion for health and fitness; working hard; and a mutual respect and admiration for each other.

Three and a half years after meeting, in June of 2011, we opened the doors to Fuse Fitness in Kensington, CA. We spent many months searching for the right space, until we found a place where we knew we wanted to build our community. Many long nights and weekends were dedicated to renovating/cleaning/building this space--we opened 1 month after we signed our contract/lease, while both working full-time during the days and raising families. It was an intense but very exciting month!

What makes us a great team and such great friends is that we have so much in common and really respect each other. However, our business challenges lie in that both our strengths and weaknesses are very similar. It would be great from a business perspective if we excelled in opposite ways, but that's not how it worked out._mg_7622We both excel at being great teachers/coaches and designing fitness/lifestyle programs, and both have very similar training philosophies and styles. Our biggest struggle/weakness is in business operations, specifically marketing and business organization. We are also challenged when it comes to building and putting things together, esp. anything from IKEA--while this has created some frustrating moments, it has created many more hilarious moments where we've found ourselves laughing uncontrollably. At least we know we are pretty much always having a good time!

A couple of months ago, Pascha and I decided it was time to face our challenges head-on and committed to and invested in a 1 year minimum intensive business coaching program. We want to continue to grow, prosper and provide our community with excellent fitness and health programs, and we realized we couldn't reach our goals if we didn't tackle our challenges. We took a good, hard look at our business and accomplishments thus far, and were honest with each other--we needed to make a big change if we wanted to continue to grow. We are proud of ourselves for recognizing this and making the big decision to invest both financially and time-wise to the business coaching program.

Our goal is to continue to grow our business and provide a space where we can have the room to have a couple of class options at one time, as well as more room for private and semi-private training for the entire Kensington community. We would love to be able to expand into the space next door sometime this year. Our desire is to continue to help the people in our community reach their health and fitness goals--this includes those who need to lose weight; those who are wanting to increase their strength; those who have fallen off the wagon due to family and career commitments but want to feel healthy, young and fit again; those who are injured and/or in pain; pre and post-natal women; athletes; and senior citizens.

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That being said, we are very proud of ourselves. Through much trial, error and tribulation, we have created a space that truly is a close-knit community. There is no greater feeling in the world to us than being able to help people take control of their health, improve their quality of life, and be a supportive part of their fitness journey. The fitness community here at Fuse is one of the biggest accomplishments in our lives so far--we love all of our clients so much and are so grateful for each and every one of you!

Cheers to a great 2017!!

Yours in health,

Kristin and Pascha at Fuse Fitness

 

 

 

 

Let's H.I.I.T. it!

Hey Fusers, Happy New Year! We finished off the year strong with a tough, New Year's themed outdoor bootcamp. It was awesome to end the year on a good note with some pretty great people--thanks to everyone who came out!

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Many of us have had our fair share of indulgent food, drinks and treats over the last month or two--hopefully you downloaded our Holiday Survival Guide, which provided healthy tips and ideas on how to balance out all the splurging. We're big proponents of taking the time to enjoy special moments with family and friends, and the holidays are a wonderful time to do just that. We hope you all had a wonderful, magical holiday season!

Now it's time to get back on track! This month we're focusing on resetting our metabolisms and burning off those extra holiday indulgences! The best way to do that is with high-intensity interval training, otherwise known as H.I.I.T. This type of training involves repeated timed intervals of high intensity effort followed by timed recovery times. It’s done at 85–100 percent of one’s maximum heart rate rather than at 50–70 percent which is typically done in moderate endurance activity.

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Due to the timed rest periods (note: they're not very long), this type of workout gives you a run for your money. There's usually just enough time to catch a couple of breaths, then the timer rings, and you're right back at going full speed. In just 20 minutes, you will likely do much more than most people will do in an hour wandering around the gym from set to set. It's a super effective, time-efficient way to work out. Let's just say H.I.I.T. gets the job done.

While that might be just enough info to get you feeling pumped about H.I.I.T. month, there is an even greater reason why it's so awesome. Interval training produces a great afterburn effect, meaning that after your workout is done, your body's metabolism is still amped up and burning calories. The scientific name for this is exercise post oxygen consumption, otherwise known as EPOC, meaning the amount of oxygen required to restore your body back to homeostasis after exercise (American Council of Exercise). Basically, exercise that consumes more oxygen burns more calories. And if you've ever done a H.I.I.T. workout before, you know a lot of oxygen is being consumed.

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Interval training is also great for your heart--it improves both your heart's strength and performance by increasing aerobic performance and improving cardiorespiratory function.  When you workout at this intensity, your heart and lungs are supplying oxygen to your body. As your heart becomes stronger, it does this more efficiently, maximizing the body's oxygen intake levels--and like I mentioned before, greater consumption of oxygen leads to greater calorie burn. Win!

These results sure sound great, don't they, maybe even too good to be true? Well, the benefits are real, as the results have been scientifically studied and proven. So what's the catch? While H.I.I.T. doesn't need to take a lot of time, it is challenging. During your high intensity work intervals, you need to be going all out, 85-100% of your max. heart rate. If you are able to chat with the person next to you about weekend plans or what the kids have going on, you are not working hard enough. Let me repeat--you must bust your ass.

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Nothing that gets results is easy, so this month, commit to working really hard during the interval training sets. As always, you will be properly warmed-up in all workouts at Fuse Fitness. You will still be doing strength training. You will still get your core work in. And YOU WILL give it your all during the interval training sets in each workout.

Cheers to a fat-burning start to the year!

Yours in health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

 

 

 

 

Lia Swindle's Fuse Fitness Success Story!

img_3288 Over the next few weeks we are celebrating our amazing clients here at Fuse Fitness. Everyday we come in to work we can’t believe that we get to work with such amazing people that inspire us by showing up day in and day out.

Today I have to tell you about Lia Swindle.

We are so proud of Lia! She has made amazing progress this year towards her goal of feeling stronger and empowered. It hasn’t been an easy path for Lia, as it isn't for anyone to reach his/her goals. But Lia has consistently shown up and worked hard at getting stronger one day at a time. Her results have been amazing.

Lia joined Fuse Fitness two years ago, and she has been a pleasure to have in class and witness her growth over these past few years. While having an ongoing pelvis injury, she is careful to modify certain movements to avoid further injury, but is still a beast when it comes to lifting weights. Watching her goblet squat a 35lb kettlbell, push press two 35lb weights overhead and then deadlift a 70lb kettlbell is so inspiring.

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Lia now looks forward to coming to class with a drive to work on getting stronger and feels good about lifting her bags full of groceries within one trip, as she says "I got this"! Lia is also proud of setting a positive example for her cute, yet "rock star" daughter Hannah. Lia loves that Hannah sees her working out and representing what a strong female is capable of. Overall, Lia feels so much better about herself physically and mentally.

Fuse Fitness is a boutique fitness studio, in which we work hard to provide the safest and most effective way to achieve an active and healthy lifestyle, build strength and lean muscle. Our fitness program is also known for injury prevention and helping our clients keep up with their kids, in a supportive, noncompetitive and community oriented environment.  As you can see from Lia's success story, we are so proud to know that we have amazing clients who have achieved their goals and understand that health and fitness is a lifestyle and not a trend or something you only participate in during the new year.

Sign up HERE to schedule your free consult today and be our next success story!!

Keep up the amazing work Lia. We are all inspired by you and so proud of you. Bring on 2017!

Yours In Health,

Pascha at Fuse Fitness

Holiday Survival Guide!

  Hi Fusers!

Happy holidays!! Thank you all so much for being such a supportive fitness community and inspiring us to always challenge ourselves and strive to serve you better! We truly appreciate how giving you all are, and thank you for committing to help others in our community by participating in our food drive, adopt-a-family program, coat drive and winter wonderland donations every year. We love you and thank you for being so generous.

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It has been awesome seeing many of you balance out the start to your holiday indulging during Thanksgiving and still attend classes--way to go!! Now that Thanksgiving is over, we will now be entering into the next phase of holidays with Christmas, Hanukah and the New Year, which means lots of parties and probably some traveling as well. It can be very challenging to balance out holiday indulging, so we decided it would be beneficial to share a few tips on how to survive the holidays this month without getting too far off track.

I believe the most important rule is to never go to a party hungry. We have all done this before, and most likely it didn't end well, right? We begin by eating every hors d'oeuvre  that is passed around, then gorging ourselves with our meal, then dessert and 2, 3, 4 glasses of wine--whew, that's a lot of extra calories consumed! I can feel my belly swelling from writing this. Then we feel bad about ourselves and wonder how much damage was done...an endless cycle. The average American gains 5+ pounds during the holidays--let's not let that happen to us! So, it's best to plan ahead and eat a light and healthy meal or snack prior to attending the party, so you can make healthier choices at the party, and choose just a few indulges that are worth it, but not go crazy.

unknown-2Another important rule is to continue to prioritize your workouts--if you have to miss one, then find another time to exercise. Even if you are traveling or with family members during the holidays, you can invite them to go for a hike, a bike ride or a brisk walk to burn off those extra calories. Stay consistent with your workouts and you'll feel much better about the extra holiday indulgences.

images-1Saving the best for last!  Let's discuss the calorie goblin--whether you call it hooch, sauce, vino, juice, moonshine, cocktails, booze, whatever...this is the hardest part for many of us. The rule of thumb is for every cocktail or glass of wine you have, be sure to follow up with one glass of water. This will help keep you hydrated and will fill your belly up. When you are hydrated, this keeps you from drinking excessively as well as overeating. So be sure to drink at least 8 cups of water per day (plus an extra cup per drink consumed) to help detox your system and stay hydrated.

unknown-3While I understand I'm not telling you anything you don't know, it's always good to have a good friend looking out for you and remind you of these things. Because once you step into your next party, all of your hard work may go out of the window. So I hope these tips will be a helpful reminder that of course you should indulge, but do so in moderation. With that said.. I will see many of you on December 5th at the Hotsy Totsy for the Fuse Fitness' Annual Christmas Party! I hope we will all survive!

Yours In Health,

Pascha Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is good flexibility important?

Hi Fusers! This November, we will be focusing on flexibility at Fuse Fitness. While seemingly not everyone's favorite part of their workout, it's mighty important and many of you could really benefit from ramping it up in this department. Too many of you are frequently complaining about how tight you are and how it hurts to get up from bed in the morning.

This, my friends, is not acceptable. Get to class a little early so you don't skip out on the foam rolling. Definitely at least get to class on time so you don't miss the dynamic movements and mobility work in the warmup. And if you have to leave early, then stop a few minutes before you have to go and do your stretches!! And while you're at it, commit to going once a week to Kelly's amazing Gentle Yoga class on Monday evenings at 7:20pm, I promise, this is an absolutely wonderful way to end your day! Here's a bit more about the what and why of flexibility....

What is flexibility? In simple terms, it means the ability to bend without breaking. However, in regards to fitness and exercise, the definition isn’t quite so simple. Most of us can bend without breaking, however this does not necessarily qualify as being flexible.

7'4" semi gun Ricky Carroll surfboard with "Crystal Lip" print, #1/10

According to the Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine, flexibility in regards to fitness is the range of movement/motion around a joint. This range of motion is dependent upon a number of factors, including the size and shape of the bones, the ability of tendons to stretch, the condition of the ligaments, normal joint mechanics, soft tissue mobility and extensibility of the muscles.

Let me break this down so it’s easier to understand. Range of motion (ROM) is simply the distance and direction your joints can move. The more flexible you are, the better ROM you have, and thus the greater mobility you have. Good mobility is the body’s ability to move with little to no restrictions.

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Why is this a good thing? Because moving without restriction means moving without pain. And for those of us who have suffered through pain caused by tightness, poor mobility and/or decreased ROM, we now know the extreme value in working on our flexibility. Because pain is just not fun.

We’ve all noticed the ease and freedom that babies and children move with. Their little bodies are so pliable, bendy and free from restriction. How many times have we watched our kids move, and wished for the same ability to move freely? To get up and down without any strain, pain or tightness? We all have, and the older we get, the more we wish for this.

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That is because naturally, we lose flexibility as we age. Coupled with the fact that flexibility training is the most overlooked aspect of most people’s fitness routines, we're looking at some pretty tight, often painful, bodies. I get it--when you’ve only got 30 to 45 minutes to work out, who wants spend any of that precious time sitting around stretching? Afterall, isn’t the reason why we’re at the gym to combat sitting around too much? Everyone’s just trying to get the most bang for their buck with the limited time they have to exercise.

However, these things combine to create the perfect storm. Not implementing a plan to work on the decreased flexibility that naturally occurs from aging will quickly lead to pain, strains and restricted movement. Thus, it must not be skipped. So many injuries can be prevented with proper mobility and flexibility training. Some of the other benefits of flexibility training are improved posture, reduced lower back pain and increased blood flow to the soft tissues.

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Our fitness programs always include plenty of mobility and flexibility training. We have all clients foam roll prior to beginning their workout, then we take everyone through a proper warm-up of all the joints. The beginning portion of all workouts is a combination of dynamic moments and mobility exercises designed to properly loosen up the body for the programmed workout. And we finish up the workout by taking the time to stretch out everything that was used. We also encourage our clients to take our awesome weekly Gentle Yoga class with Kelly, on Monday evenings at 7:20m.

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So fellow Fusers, let's work together toward increasing our flexibility! Less strains and pulled muscles, more fluid movement that feels good. Sound good?

As always, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Yours in health,

Kristin

Get A Total Body Workout TRX Style!

Hi Fusers! We are springing into summer! This means vacations, summer camps for kids, hopefully sunny days and more outdoor activities. It's easy to slack off  with your fitness program during the summer months, so we decided to switch things up this month, to focus on total body workouts using the TRX. So we hope you will appreciate the fact that we like to keep things interesting and push you outside of your comfort zone. You may even decide at the end of the month, to purchase a TRX for yourselves and take it with you on your vacations this summer :)

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Many of you have taken a TRX class with myself, Kristin or Beverly. You may have also performed a few TRX exercises in our other classes, so you have a general understanding, but I'll explain further.

The TRX, is a nylon suspension training device, that leverages gravity and your body weight to perform a variety of total body exercises. There is an anchor that is either mounted to the ceiling or wall that holds the suspension trainer. You can adjust the resistance by moving your body toward the anchor for more body weight resistance or away from the anchor to ease the resistance. The straps can be adjusted to perform standing, seated, prone(lying face down) or supine movements(lying face up). Some basic examples are squats, planks, bridges and rows. But of course as you build your strength and stamina there are plenty of advanced movements that can be done. In my TRX Power class on Saturdays we even add dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, dynamax balls as well as other equipment. Here is a video of one of our members doing a vinyasa flow series on the TRX as a 4 minute AMRAP.

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The reason the TRX is so awesome, is because you can perform strength exercises, conditioning, balance, mobility and flexibility training and every exercise strengthens and trains your core. The TRX can also be programmed into an interval, an AMRAP(As Many Rounds As Possible), a ladder, pyramid, or RFT(Rounds For Time) just like any other fitness program. The TRX works every muscle in your body, including your forearms when performing a row, biceps curl, or a fly, and the muscles in your ankles and feet while performing lunges. The TRX is an all around great functional fitness training device.

Lastly, You can travel with it! It's easy to pack and set up on the beach, at a park and in a hotel room, it's easy to attach to the door. So it's effective and convenient. I hope I have listed enough positives for you to give it a try.  I challenge you to have an open mind and get ready for TRX! See you in class!

 

With Love,

Pascha Brown