Hey y’all!! It has definitely been a minute since my last blog upload. I blame this on the fact I decided to take on five classes both this semester and last. By the time my poor eyeballs have sat in front of a computer for eight hours completing nutrition analysis, reports and papers, the last thing I wan’t to do is write and edit a blog. It has been a hectic 6 months to say the least; however, this next semester I will be dialing it back with a lighter load and focusing a bit more on life outside of school.

I recently decided that I would find myself another coaching gig. I uploaded my resume and had several responses, but nothing that I really felt led to do. I am extremely blessed with a husband that supports whatever decisions I make regarding work and my career, so jumping into something that I am not 100% about is not an option. After a few weeks of deliberating on where I wanted to invest my time and knowledge, I received a phone call from F-45. If you have never heard of F-45, let me see if I can break it down. F-45 began in Australia only a few short years ago, and since has become the 4th fastest growing franchise in the world (I believe that speaks volumes in itself). F stands for “functional.” Functional training means that each workout is built upon movements that one completes on a daily basis. With a database of over 3,500 exercises, each and every workout is different. No workout will ever be the exact same. F-45 incorporates strength training days, as well as interval training & cardio days. You will not find machines in an F-45 gym, but what you will find is: dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, ropes, rowers, spin bikes and pull up bars. Functional training attempts to adapt or develop exercises which allow individuals to perform the activities of daily life more easily and without injuries.

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As you guys know my last coaching position was as a CrossFit coach. Coaching on a military base was probably the most rewarding coaching experience of my life. I love CrossFit and the community, so when my CF friends ask how F-45 compares, here is my response… The greatest difference I have found among the two is, Olympic Weightlifting. Olympic Weightlifting is not included in F-45 training. For those that are unfamiliar, Olympic Weightlifting consists of two movements: the Clean and the Snatch. They are deemed “Olympic” because they are the only two weightlifting moves completed in the Olympics. They are not only very advanced lifts, but extremely technical. Don’t get me wrong, if you have followed along for a while now, you know that you’re girl here loves her some Cleaning and Snatching. I incorporate Olympic lifts weekly within my own training, but when it comes to teaching such technical lifts, I had rather teach someone one-on-one as opposed to a 15-minute movement breakdown in a group setting before class. First, this will ensure each individual is getting all of my attention, as well as he or she will not feel pressure to increase their weight or load until there form is perfected. Now, this is not me saying that I prefer F-45 over CrossFit or vise versa. I think there are so many great aspects to both (and so many other training methodologies), and no matter what form of exercise you choose, one will benefit greatly from either.

An element that I very much appreciated and cannot go unmentioned is the F-45 interview/hiring process! In all of my years as a trainer, I have never have a more thorough interview.  It began with an email which then led to scheduling a phone interview. During my phone interview I was informed that I was not the only one in the running for this position (oooooh, you know your girl loves a good competition!) After a successful phone interview I was sent over a script via email. This script was to be memorized and executed as if in a classroom setting. The interviewer gave me a calendar with several dates and times that I could come in and audition, so Miss Competitive here chose the soonest one, which allowed me one afternoon to get this script perfected. I didn’t want to run the risk of one of the other interviewees coming in before me nailing it, and knocking the rest of us out of the running, so I got to studying. The next morning I went in for my audition and felt confident with my performance. I was told that I would be contacted the following day. The next day, I went back for a follow-up audition. This time it would be on camera, and sent out to headquarters. Once again, I felt confident and secure with my on-camera audition. I was told that I should hear the final decision by the evening or the following morning. Within an hour I received a phone call that I got the position. Boom, nailed it!! This attention to detail and thorough interview process showed me how crucial quality is to the F-45 community. As a fitness professional who has dedicated years to continuing education, I feel my knowledge and execution were not only acknowledged, but appreciated. Keeping it real with you all, this attention to detail when hiring trainers is why this is one of the best paying positions as a group trainer that I have ever come across. This sophisticated and intricate interviewing process ensures the best trainers, which in return allows F-45 to charge members $65 per week.

My first session flying solo was last Saturday. On Saturday of each week a DJ comes in and mixes beats live throughout the entire class to hype up the group. It’s a fun class to say the least, and made for a great first day!

Perhaps, as time continues I may find that I don’t enjoy this approach to fitness as much as I thought, or maybe I find that it is an evolutionary approach to the fitness world. Either way, I am excited to jump on board with this rapidly evolving community, and see what it has to offer.

The video below speaks intricately on the franchising aspect of F-45, but the first 5-minutes gives a great explanation of what F-45 stands for along with what you can expect to see within a class.

 

Good morning guys! I am going to jump right into this post because I am super stoked to share this new blog series with you all! I invite you to follow along over the next six weeks as I attack Las Vegas’s  Camp Rhino  6-Week Challenge.

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I should probably begin by stating my reasons for joining this challenge. You guys know that since being back in the states I have been working out in our home gym with a few random drop-ins around town. Most of all, I wanted to find a place that I could be surrounded by like-minded individuals, and it was a priority to find a gym that offered variety. After scoping out a few different places, I stumbled upon Camp Rhino. Camp Rhino not only offers CrossFit, but has multiple boot-camp locations across town (indoors & outdoors), and to top it off, obstacle training. I read into the 6–week challenge and was convinced to join when I realized I had the potential to earn my money back. To join the challenge costs $300. If you attend a total of 24 classes, meet all nutritional requirements and strive for daily improvements, you get every penny back. This was incredible incentive!

I attended the initial athlete’s meeting at the beginning of the week and was accompanied by a room full of eager and motivated individuals. There were people that had previously battled cancer, men that were powerlifters but joined the challenge to support their wives, competitive athletes, and people like me, simply looking for a new gym to call home.

Tuesday morning (day 1),  I woke and logged my stats. This was the first time that I have been on the scale since my initial “summer-shredding” weigh in. I began my cut (before the challenge) at 143 pounds and dropped to where I currently sit at 137 pounds.
Starting Measurements:
• Weight 137#
• Chest 36″
• Waist 28″
• Hips 33.5″
• Glutes: 39″

Once I established my starting point, I laced up my Nanos and to the gym I went. This was the first CrossFit class that I have attended since leaving Italy at the end of last year & it felt incredible! Days 1 & 2 complete!!

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Now, fast forward three weeks….This week marks the halfway point and I am feeling great! So what is the challenge providing me that was lacking in my previous training program? This is easy,  more intensity. As I mentioned before, Rhino does offer boot camp, obstacle training and mobility classes, but my focus has been on CrossFit. I still begin my mornings as I have for months now, with a pilates/yoga/core session at home, and then I head to CrossFit. I try to maintain this routine at a minimum of four days a week, and two days a week I focus strictly on  isolation training at home in place of going to CrossFit.

As for my diet, my food choices relatively remain the same all year round; however, since beginning this program I have replaced my weekly “treat meal” with just an increased calorie consumption of the foods I already eat (the camp-rhino program allows for a weekly cheat, this is a personal choice). If you follow my personal food log on IG (tiffany dietetics), you will see that I consume primarily whole foods. My top carbohydrate sources are whole grains, fruits and vegetables, with higher-glycemic foods structured around my workouts. I avoid saturated fat and trans fats as much as possible, and I use olive oil 99% of the time when sautéing veggies. I incorporate nuts and seeds at least 3-4x a week and typically include one small avocado a day. As for protein, I have gradually converted to a plant based diet with the exception of egg whites and the occasional raw sushi roll (this has been a gradual transition since the beginning of this year for a nutritional study. I will share my reasons behind this decision in a separate post).

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So what about my stats? As of this morning, I have lost 3 pounds and a total of 4 inches, which is awesome considering my primary purpose for this program has been to find a new gym to call home; so, tighter abs and glutes are just an added bonus!

That’s just it you all, I wish I could stress the importance of a healthy, well-balanced diet! If you adhere to healthy eating habits and couple that with a few days of intensity within your training, you are guaranteed to yield results.

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Now here it is, 6-weeks later and I have completed Camp Rhinos 6-Week Challenge!!!!!
I had my final check-in Wednesday afternoon and earned 100% of my money back! If you recall from my first post introducing the challenge, the total cost of the challenge was $300. To earn back your money one must meet the nutrition recommendations, attend 24 classes, and track and log progress stats for 6-weeks.

I reached my lowest weight of the challenge earlier in the week at 131.8 pounds; I chalk this up to the fact that I failed to meet my water intake and woke up a bit dehydrated.  I weighed myself the morning of my final check-in at 133.5 pounds and that was the final weight logged. Overall, I showed a weight loss of 4-pounds and a total decrease of 6-inches. Most importantly, I found a new gym to call home. I collected my $300 dollars and rolled it over to pay for the following two months.

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My plan is to continue with my cut for a few more weeks until Olympia weekend (look for me at the Gorilla Wear booth!) I did allow for a night out this weekend with some friends and indulged with a few gin and tonics and had a veggie loaded thin crust pizza on Saturday night, but this morning it was back to the grind.

Good morning fit fam 🧡
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On my way to the salon today, I detoured across the street into Orange Theory Fitness. As I have mentioned a few times over the last couple of weeks, my motivation for summer shredding has been lacking a bit. I credit this to the fact, this is the first summer in 5 years that I don’t plan on stepping on stage. You guys know that this is my lifestyle. Whether it be bikini season, or I am bundled up in a down jacket, I am still in the gym 5 to 6 days a week, still incorporating cardio, but….I need a change. After doing some research about Orange Theory Fitness, I was intrigued.  The “theory” behind Orange Theory seems to be scientifically based, and this science nerd is all about the whys, hows and facts behind everything. All of us fitness enthusiasts know that interval training in comparison to steady state cardio burns more calories post workout, and that is why HIIT training is so incredible!!

So, after two weeks and two workouts at two different locations, I can share my thoughts on the “theory.”

My first OT experience was shared with two of my girlfriends, Kaitlyn and Kelly. We all three headed in to OT last week with a water bottle and no expectations. We arrived about 15 minutes early to fill out any needed waivers or paperwork. The first initial impression was, welcoming. The girl working the front desk was friendly, energetic and eager to offer assistance (but not in an overpowering, annoying way). People continued to trickle in, but with only 5 minutes to spare before class starting, we had no idea what we were going to be doing. The instructor was nowhere in sight. The front desk girl apologized for the instructor’s tardiness and took us into the gym area. We were instructed to take our pick of either a rower or a treadmill (not really knowing why). I never felt uncomfortable (but only) because I am familiar with the unfamiliar when it comes to training (thanks to many years of coaching and CrossFit). I tried my best to guide Kaitlyn and Kelly (who were a bit unfamiliar), through rowing techniques during the warmup. After a hundred meters or so, the instructor arrived. She apologized and jumped in. I will say that the guidance started off a little rocky. She was using the microphone to call out commands to the class, but not being familiar with any of their terms or “lingo,” I just rowed with intensity and assumed if I was screwing up royally I would be called out. We continued to row with uncertainty and when we heard “switch” yelled out, we just went with the flow of the others. After the warm up, we were instructed to partner up. I told Kelly and Kaitlyn that I would fly solo and try to find a regular member and they could pair together. I paired up with another female and the workout consisted of rounds for time of treadmill sprints, rowing sprints, and dumbbell work. After 60 minutes I was a sweaty, red-faced mess. Class ended and the instructor approached us with apologies for being late, and poor presentation of the class introduction. We assured her that our workout was great, and her tardiness was not the determining factor of our impression. After class, we were back up front to talk memberships. I chose the basic package of one session a week. This would allow me to get in 60:00 of HIIT training a week. This means all of my HIIT training for the week is taken care of in 1 class!!! This is worth $59 alone, but when I told the girl behind the desk that I would sign up if she threw in the heart rate monitor ($69) for free, and she said “OK”, I was sold!!!


*Class pricing varies by region, so it’s worth giving your local studio a call to find out the exact cost of a membership or class. Your first class at any OTF is free; after that, the studio’s packages start at $59 and can go up to about $200 for an unlimited plan. The average price for a drop-in class for nonmembers is $28, with a few select locations costing slightly higher than this.

Now, fast-forward another week and I came back for round 2, except this time at a new location. Last week I visited an OT next to the salon, but because I flew solo this week, I decided to go first thing in the morning to a location 10 minutes from home.

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Yesterday’s class was endurance based, meaning that we ran…a lot. We began on the treadmill with a base pace for 5 minutes, followed with a 10 minute push pace and 1-minute recovery- then, a 5 minute push pace, a 2 minute all out pace, 1-minute recovery and ending with a 1-minute all out, give it everything you got race to the end 💦.

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After running, we hopped on the rowers for intervals mixed with dumbbell work. After 60 minutes, my body was spent and my lungs were on fire (I loved it).

What I find to be most successful about the OT approach is the use of the heart rate monitor. I began wearing a heart rate monitor years ago when I began training for my first triathlon, and have worn one ever since when it comes to aerobic and endurance training. Keeping a monitor on your heart rate allows you to you see when you’re crushing your cardio, as well as when you’re not actually working as hard as you think you are (this is usually the case). Your heart rate shows you exactly where you are, and where you need to be, and this method of training allows continual improvements.

A big screen hanging above the cardio equipment continuously displays your name, heart rate, percentage of max exertion, calories burned and “splat points” (how often your heart rate is in the “orange zone”).

Below is an analyzation of each color:

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  1. Grey Zone (50-60% Maximum Heart Rate) – This is the safest, most comfortable zone, consisting of very light activity.
  2. Blue Zone (61-70% Maximum Heart Rate) – This zone is specifically geared for warm up and cool down exercises. You are merely preparing your body and mind for high intensity interval training, but you haven’t unleashed the burn just yet.
  3. Green Zone (71-83% Maximum Heart Rate) – In this zone, you have reached a challenging but doable pace. This is what Orangetheory categorizes as “Base Pace,” a pace that you can maintain for 20-30 total minutes. Your body starts to burn fat and carbohydrates evenly.
  4. Orange Zone (84-91% Maximum Heart Rate) – This is where the magic happens and where you achieve “EPOC” (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) – what we call the “Orange Effect / Afterburn.” The goal is to accumulate 12 minutes or more in this zone within a 60-minute period to achieve the maximum caloric burn up to 36 hours AFTER your workout is completed.
  5. Red Zone (92-100% Maximum Heart Rate) – This zone happens organically and may be achieved during ‘All Out’ efforts when you’re emptying the tank and using every ounce of energy left in your body. You don’t need to set an All Out pace for more than 1 minute at a time to experience maximum results.

This “zone” approach definitely gives you continuous motivation. I know personally, each time I looked up, if I wasn’t in the correct zone, I would fight until I reached it (this meant digging deep a few times).

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Once the hour was over I felt, accomplished. I took a quick snip of the board to log my totals on the way out the door, but I was informed by an OT staff member that my stats would be emailed to me within minutes (which was pretty great!)

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Within minutes I received an inbox with my heart rate and zone summary 🧡.

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My overall opinion of OT summed up in one word, effective. I personally will not use OT as my only form of exercise- I am first and foremost a weightlifter. Olympic weightlifting and compound lifts are my jam, but when it comes to shredding, cardio is a must, and this approach, I feel personally is the best for optimal results. Interval training is hands down the best method of cardio when it comes to getting the most “bang for your buck.” What I mean by this is…you can spend an hour on the eliptical and burn 500 calories doing steady state cardio, or you can spend an hour doing high intensity interval training (HIIT), burning 500 calories, plus causing excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), also known as the “afterburn.” This causes a stimulated metabolism and increased energy for hours post-workout.

 

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Continue to follow along as I share my experiences while exploring the  versatility of fitness. By expanding and diversifying my routine, I hope to find new elements that will continue to target any weaknesses within my training.