If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Won’t Change You

Finding inspiration and motivation to reach your goals can be challenging. Giving yourself daily reminders, within arms reach (your iPhone), is one of the easiest ways to keep up the momentum. The 10 graphics below are perfect for your wallpaper and will motivate you to keep your training going. Remember, you got this!

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Foam Rolling Matters

The vast majority of us aren’t stretching nearly enough, myself included. All it takes is one wrong movement to tear something and make you think twice. Now, consider how many times we have all tried to stretch without any improvements, leaving us prone to injury with a general feeling of tightness. This can set us back in fitness. That’s where a foam roller can be very beneficial. Before we learn how to use one, we need just a quick overview of what it actually does.

A foam roller can be anything from a big roll of foam to a small tennis or lacrosse ball. All have their place in helping with muscle tightness. For the beginner, I would suggest the cylindrical foam roller; as it is easy to use. By reading this, you are just solidifying your place in the yoga hall of fame (with practice of course).

But what does it even do? We think a lot of times that the purpose is to relieve pain. While not far off, it’s not the only purpose of this fantastic tool. What we like to use the foam roller for is called Self-Myofascial Release (SMR). That simply means it helps release the knots we create inside of our muscles.

Picture this with me, you have a hand full of different headphone wires. Now line them all up and put them in your pocket all neat. Walk around for the day and take them out. What you get is a jumbled, twisted, knotted mess. That’s your muscles. Especially for the more active person, this happens to a higher degree. The constant contracting and stretching of our muscles causes knots in our muscles that simply stretching can’t get out. Go ahead and grab the ends of those wires and give them a pull, the knots don’t go anywhere. Now that you have taken control and learned what’s going on inside your body, it’s time to use that knowledge and get rolling.

Now we know what a roller is and what it does. This is how you use it:

Begin your workout with foam rolling. You don’t want to warm up and begin lifting with tight muscles. For example, your calf is tight and you want to roll it out. Sit on the ground, place one leg on top of the roller. The other leg can be crossed over for more pressure or simply left on the ground. Find the sore spot by gently rolling the foam roller and pressing your calf into it — trust me you will know when you find it. Now hold this for about 30 seconds. This tells the body to relax and release that knot. Once you do this in about two to three spots per leg, we go into our normal static stretches. You might even find this part to be easier or find that you have a greater range of motion from doing this a few times.

What about lower back pain? This is most likely the most common reason for people grabbing a roller. Please be careful when doing so. The problem with rolling the lower back is that there is nothing to support your spine while you put pressure on it. The upper spine has the ribs to protect them. When trying to relieve pain in the low back, look above (the thoracic spine) and below (the glutes). Rolling these areas may take some of that pain with it.

Knowing all this doesn’t fix the issue. You need to put it to use. Consistency is key. Stick with it for a few weeks and reap the rewards of foam rolling with less injuries and bigger gains in fitness.

 

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Nutrition for Long Term Success

How many times have you started a workout program, put in weeks or months of hard work and sweat, only to make little to no progress toward your goals?

Have you ever experienced the holiday meal hangover? This might include feeling like you need to let out your belt, take a nap, or even like you’ll be sick.

Do you get colds often? Feel sluggish and tired? Feel sad or depressed?

What do all of these scenarios have in common? Food! Nutrition plays an undeniably important role in our health and fitness.  Nutrition is often the limiting factor that prevents us from achieving our goals.  We eat 2, 3, 4 or more meals per day, 7 days a week.  Those numbers add up quickly.  This means that even small things can add up and lead to either great success or prevent us from progressing.

Unless you live under a rock, you have undoubtedly seen or read many different videos or articles related to nutrition. It’s hard not to get sucked into the catchy headlines. Fix your diet in 30 days, eat like your caveman ancestors, avoid carbs, avoid fat, avoid protein, the list goes on and on!

With all of the “information” and “resources” people are often left either confused or religiously dedicated to one single approach.  With all the conflicting information, it’s easy to lose sight of the simple answers that produce the best results.

Arguably the single most important concept of nutrition that will lead to long term success is sustainability.  What I mean by this is simple – ask yourself this question: Can you maintain your current nutrition approach forever?

Assuming that the approach you are taking is working, then it comes down to your ability to maintain that approach long term.  Once you change it up, you will likely backslide. This is why diets fail. Sure, you can lose weight by a drastic change, like giving up ALL forms of sugar. BUT,can you realistically do that forever?  Chances are slim.

So regardless of the approach you choose, you must be able to sustain it for the rest of your life, in order to maintain its results.

The next most important quality of nutrition practices that will yield the best results is convenience.  If the approach you select is too complicated, then you will be far less likely to see success over the years.  You must find an approach that you can implement on a regular CONSISTENT basis in order to have long term success.

When we choose the approaches that don’t follow these two rules, we are left with feelings of restriction, lack of motivation to continue, hunger, disruptions in mood, and many other deleterious situations.

Regardless of your specific goal(s), a successful nutrition program will always be centered around whole, minimally processed, foods.  It will contain a variety of produce, lean protein, and healthy fat sources.  As you might imagine, the balance or ratios of these items will fluctuate depending on the individual and their goals.  This is precisely why no one single approach will fit everyone.  There will certainly be similarities among the different successful approaches, but there will also be some specific differences as well.

Another key to successful nutrition is awareness!  Do you really know what’s in your food?  There are about 10 teaspoons of sugar in a 12 ounce soda. A pint of beer can have about as many calories as a slice of chocolate cake. And peanut butter has twice as much fat as it does protein (and usually added sugars too). Take the time to investigate what’s in your food, that way you can make informed decisions.

Variety is also a key component in a successful nutritional approach. If you eat the same thing over and over, you might see results, but you will also likely get sick of it and fall off the wagon.

This leads to the next great strategy: get back on the wagon as soon as possible! Too often a small slip up leads to a major relapse.  Have you ever said, “I messed up on Friday dinner so I’ll just get back on track Monday”? Instead, get back on track with your very next meal!!!

Hopefully by now you are beginning to see that to be successful in your nutrition you need to build a toolbox of skills and habits.  This is what will lead to real, sustainable, long term success!  This also means that your approach to nutrition may vary over time, but the skills and habits won’t.

If you need more guidance and want to develop a specific approach to your nutrition, please ask! I have been certified with Precision Nutrition for more than 7 years and I’m currently in the process of completing their advanced Level 2 nutrition coaching program.  I would love to assist you in developing a nutrition program that will help you in achieving all of your goals!

Eric Bono
Eric@givefitness.com

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Attitude is Everything

Life in our modern society is incredible. Are you hungry? Hop in the car and drive to the window of the nearest fast food establishment and they’ll serve you a hot meal to go. Do you need directions? Pull them up on your smart phone. Better yet, ask Siri. Actually, ask Siri any question you’d ever want to know, and skip the trip to the library. Skip any errand, for that matter, and have your needs delivered via Amazon. Our lives are overwhelmed by ease. But what happens when we want health? What happens when we need to exercise? Is there a button that makes it more comfortable to swap sugar for veggies? If only health could be dropped off on our doorstep in a carboard box sealed with blue tape.

Alas, we must do the difficult thing. The thing that makes us sometimes scrunch up our face as we force our tired bodies to the gym. You know, the one that makes us frustrated as we deny pastries from that glorious pink box Larry decided to put in the break room. Come on Larry- it’s day-one of my cleanse. Yea we’ll do the difficult thing but we often do it with a bad attitude. We punish ourselves with diets and overindulge when we’ve suffered long enough. We beat our bodies up at the gym, and then quit when the motivation wears off.

Feelings come and go, enthusiasm is temporary, but our attitude is what forms the outcome of our lives. Dale Carnegie put it this way, “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” This means that our attitude is actually the thing that must change if we want any physical change to happen. So, if you believe that the gym is a place to punish yourself, you probably won’t stick with it. But if you believe that the gym is a positive place to rejuvenate and grow yourself, you’ll probably go more often.

What healthy change are you struggling to make today? Whatever it is, I’m with you. Donuts tempt me often and I’m not always in the mood to exercise. But also know this: you are more capable of accomplishing your goals than you know. Stop the criticism and start naming the things you like about you. Start with a positive approach; ignite the desire to invest in yourself.

Attitude can make good change more permanent. It may not always be easy, but making an active choice to view yourself, exercise, and healthy foods as desirable, might just be the change that will change your life. And who knows, maybe you’ll learn to enjoy the difficult thing.

#DoHardThings

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5 Surprising Benefits of Exercise

We all know that consistent workouts keep us looking good and feeling great, but here are 5 surprising benefits to keep you motivated and moving!

  1. Exercise Helps Alleviate Depression and Anxiety

Taking invigorating daily walks around the neighborhood may help you fight off bouts of depression.

In a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine in 2007, researchers found that just 30 minutes of light- to moderate-intensity exercise (think: brisk walking or jogging) was enough to alleviate many symptoms of major depression and may be just as effective as medication.

Exercise may also help people with anxiety disorders. When exercising, the body produces many of the same physical reactions as it does during a panic attack and can help the brain associate those reactions (heavy perspiration, increased breathing, elevated heart rate) with safety instead of danger.

  1. Exercise Helps You Poop 

That’s right: The next time you feel “slow”, try some cardio. The American Gastroenterological Association advises on its website to get at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week for treatment of chronic constipation.

Yoga may also help keep you regular. Many practitioners believe that deep breathing combined with twisting postures can help physically move waste through the intestines.

  1. Exercise Helps You Relax and Get Some ZZZs

If you have a hard time getting to sleep or staying asleep, try incorporating more movement into your daily routine.

In a study performed on mice, researchers found that mice that performed at least 30 minutes of exercise experienced a significant increase in the soundness of their sleep.

(The National Sleep Foundation also recommends exercise to help treat chronic insomnia, the most common sleep disorder among adults.)

  1. Exercise Helps You Be More Productive

One of the most common reasons people don’t exercise is due to lack of time and/or energy. Studies prove, however, that people who exercise are MORE energetic and productive.

This is how it works: With age, your body produces fewer brain cells. Exercise fights this by increasing the growth and development of your brain cells, which in turn improves memory and cognitive function.

Studies have found that purely through exercise (as opposed to medication and/or surgery), the brains of both young and old mice were positively affected by exercise. Some of these positive effects included increased learning and memory.

So next time you find yourself looking for your glasses (they are on on top of your head) or your keys, add an

  1. Exercise Helps Boost Your Self-Esteem

Before you can put your best face forward, you might want to work up a sweat.

Physical activity improves self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-concept, and self-efficacy, according to a 2009 paper published in The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. The authors suggest that any form of aerobic exercise will do — as long as you do it for at least 20 minutes. (I suggest Zumba!)

Be Well!
Gina Hobbs

 

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Progress, Not Perfection

“Failure is success in progress.” Albert Einstein

I cringe when I think about how I used to train people 10 years ago. Pushing people to the point of leaving Sunday brunch on the gym floor, setting “my” goals for the client, not listening to what the client really wanted but imposing what I thought was best for them, and of course letting the client make unrealistic goals. Over the years I’ve learned it’s the slow and steady that wins the race. Little by little adds up to big changes and little progress is better than no progress or lame excuses.

I love what Martin Luther King said about progress, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goals requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

So while it’s extremely important to set realistic and attainable goals, it’s equally important to understand that the goals you set for yourself, no matter how small or big they seem, will all require some form of sacrifice or struggle…the struggle is truly for real!

“But I want a 6 pack NOW, gimme gimme gimme!” We live in a world of now, what is patience??? Nevermind the fact that we’ve chosen to live a life of sitting and eating cheeseburgers for 20 years. No, we want results in 2 days! If we don’t achieve the unrealistic goals we’ve set for ourselves, then we feel like failures and go into an even deeper state of despair than we were before. Or maybe you’ve worked really hard and achieved great success in a matter of 3-6 months, then a family tragedy sucker punches you in the gut, or you lose your job, your kids get sick, you get sick, and slowly but surely you let your life slip back into the unhealthy lifestyle you were trying so hard to get out of. We’ve all been there at some point I’m sure, but here’s the deal: life happens. There will always be something that happens that is out of your control. So how do we stay in control when life feels out of control? I think first, we need to address our expectations. Nobody is perfect, no matter how amazing you are! Yet when many of us contemplate a health or weight loss program, we start with the expectation that we need to be perfect, leaving no room for error. We start with the “all or none” or the “go hard or go home” mentality (which I’ve totally used before). But what if getting fit isn’t a pass/fail scenario? I hate even saying the word failure because I don’t believe there is such a thing as failures, only experiences. What if almost any attempt—no matter how imperfect—could result in real, trackable progress? What if it didn’t take 100% consistency, what if just 50% consistency could help you lose weight, drop fat, and feel great?

A case study of 1,000 clients studied over a course of a year revealed these very real results. Most of them fell into the 50-79% consistency category, and on average women lost 12 lbs, 7% body fat, 15 inches lost, and 3.5 inches lost just around the waist. Men on average lost 17 lbs, 7% body fat, 12 inches lost, and 4 inches just around the waist. This is at 50% consistency! Everybody has a different starting point on what 50% looks like also, so if you haven’t worked out in a year, 100% consistency would mean working out 3 days a week, so 50% of this would be to aim for 1.5 days a week. If you’re trying to cut out alcohol, 100% means no alcohol, 50% consistency would look like drinking 1 glass of wine a night instead of 2. Now, going back to the issue of “when life feels out of control,” you’d be surprised to find out that in this same study, clients were asked about the stressors in their life. What they found was that people’s actual circumstances didn’t determine what they were able to do. No matter what level of stress they were facing, if they were able to figure out how to take small, meaningful actions day to day, they were able to be consistent anyway. Isn’t that amazing?! I think so. This means that when your kid throws up on you RIGHT BEFORE you’re about to hit the gym, instead of going home and calling it quits, go for a walk (with your freshly changed toddler) around the block. It may not be what you planned but you still got something in–progress not perfection. This means you may have to scale back a little and eat the same breakfast and lunch so you don’t have to worry about prepping two meals. Stay away from the “all or none” mentality, it’s dangerous, and gets you no closer to your goal. Instead adopt the “all or something” mentality I’ve used with my clients for the last 2 years: If you can’t do “all” you planned, then do something at the very least.

In closing, set a goal, make sure it’s realistic and comes from within, not a goal someone put on you or someone else’s goal – make it your own. Then establish a daily habit you can achieve that will progress you toward that goal (remember aim for 50% right now). If you find you’re having a hard time sticking to that habit, then you need to scale back a little to an easier habit (Personal trainers can help with this!). When you feel ready, willing, and able to take on a new habit, then add one more on and practice that for a few weeks. Give it a year! Tons of research suggest is takes a year of consistency to make sustainable results. Remember you are not a failure, your program isn’t a failure, they are experiences that you get to learn from. But you can’t go anywhere standing still. Start moving, start thinking. You only get one body-one chance. YOLO!

Yours in health,
Tiffany Encinas

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LOVE YOURSELF


You know the feeling. You look in the mirror and you’re filled with disgust. Thighs touch, belly pooches, arms flap, butt dimples. Sound all too familiar? Well I have the solution! Whether you’re experiencing post-pregnancy bod or “dad-bod”, I’ve got it. It’s a quick fix. A 21-day program, a special drink, a pill, a fast. No, wait. That will only make you feel good for a few days. What if I told you I have the long term solution? What if the solution is “The Love Yourself Program.” Why waste another minute pointing out your flaws, avoiding bathing suits at the beach, obsessing over all the little details of your body? What if you just worked to LOVE what you already have? I am a firm believer in feeling good about your body but believe that in order to FEEL good, you need to change your mindset and love who you are in this moment. My goal as a trainer is to teach my clients to love WHO they are and not focus so much on their physical appearance, but more on their mental health. When you love who you are, you want to take care of yourself and you begin to enjoy the process. Life is all about balance; restricting yourself all the time can create stress and a negative self image. So here are a few tips to get you set on the road to loving who you are, in this moment.

1. Self-care. You were given one body, take care of it. That doesn’t mean you need to obsess and work toward perfection. It means you should strive for progress. Find something active to do daily. Do you love yoga but have a hard time getting to class? Try setting your alarm 20 minutes early each morning and begin your day with a few sun salutations. Maybe you enjoy riding your bike or hiking. Maybe you’ve been avoiding the pick-up basketball game with your buddies because you’re not “in-shape.” Stop. And GO! Look for ways to work these activities into your lifestyle because it feels good to get up and move! How many times have you said, “I’m just too tired?” Or how about, “I don’t have the time.” News flash: you DO have the time. Turn off social media, stop watching your Netflix shows, and give up the Bachelorette for the time-being. Do you really need to watch EVERY athletic game on TV? I know, that was a little rough. As far as being too tired, exercise gives you energy! In fact, on the days I skip exercise, I feel even more tired and lethargic than on the days I wake up at 5a for an early morning workout. Exercise is going to release some pretty epic feel-good endorphins and you’re going to feel pretty freaking amazing. Trust me.

2. Tweak your nutrition. No, I didn’t say, “Give up all carbs. No more sugar. Stop drinking alcohol.” You should simply take a look and what you’re eating and do your best to make healthier choices. Do you really need dessert EVERY day? No. Or maybe you feel like you do. So just take a couple bites… if you have self-control. Maybe switch to half a sandwich instead of a full. Swap the potato chips for a side salad or a piece of fruit. Is beer your drink of choice every night? Think twice. But always, always feed your body. Don’t think you’ll be happier by skipping meals. Your body needs nutrition like your teeth need a daily brushing (or two). Trust me, once you start eating healthier, you’ll start to feel better. And this is ultimately about feeling better, right?

3. Stop comparing. So you’re a woman at 5’3”, 160lbs and you’re instagram stalking a fitness model who is 5’9” and appears to be 125lbs? How is that going to make you feel better? Or maybe you’re a male who works 40-60 hours a week and you’re following a guy on social media who spends 4 hours a day at the gym? Come on. Let’s stop focusing on other people and start focusing on what you love about YOURSELF! Do you have two legs that allow you to walk from here to there? Most likely. So what if your thighs touch? Do you have two arms that allow you to work, cook, hug those that you love? I’m going to guess you probably do. Are you a dad with a gut? I bet you work pretty hard and come home and spend time with your kids, don’t you? Or how about two hands that lend help to others, ears that listen when a dear friend needs you, eyes that see someone in need and a caring heart that does something to help. Our bodies don’t need to be perfect in order to feel good about ourselves. In the long run, isn’t it better to just be a good person?

At the end of the day, we really just need to give ourselves some compassion. Do you really want to spend another day feeling sad about your body? Take your shirt off at the beach and run around with your kids! Wear that bathing suit proudly! Self-love is a basic necessity and will lead to inner peace and ultimately, happiness. It’s important that you continuously seek ways to physically, psychologically, and emotionally grow as a person.

So get out there, spend some time being active, choose to be healthy, love yourself and others, celebrate each of your accomplishments and remember… you are worthy, you are important, you are loved, and You Are Enough just as you are in THIS moment.

Brianna
805-423-6931

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Small Steps Daily


The legendary basketball coach, John Wooden, said it best: “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” Significant, impactful change in our lives does not occur in a day. No, it requires a process that is achieved through a series of small decisions and investments. What is it that you want to achieve? Is it lowering your body fat percentage? Is it being able to play with your kids? Is it gaining muscle mass? Living a long and healthy life? A personal record for deadlifts? Participating in a race?

Whatever the goal, the same steps apply:
1. Define the goal. Be specific when identifying what you want to achieve. Yes, “Be healthier” is a goal, but it can be taken a step further—in what ways do you want to be healthier?
2. Make a plan. Now that you have identified the goal, work backwards from what you want to achieve. What will it take to get to where you want to go? Again, be specific and apply the SMART plan. Is your goal Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound?
3. Write it down & share it. Write everything out—pen on paper, then share it with someone you care about! Give them updates (even if they don’t want to hear it!) on your progress.
4. Take the first step. You have a well-crafted plan to achieve your goal, what’s next? Simple, just start following the plan, having the confidence that each step is taking you closer to your goal.

As you move along in this process, don’t forget the big picture! Some days you may take steps backwards—when that happens, don’t freak out! Simply reorient yourself with what you want to achieve, recall what motivated you to make the goal, and review the plan you have set in place. Remember that that small consistent investments will lead to big returns. Having a similar mindset, John Wooden was able to take his UCLA Bruins to 7 consecutive NCAA championship wins because he understood that it is in the details where success is built. Trust the process, taking small steps each day.

– Austin Pauls –

Check out Austin on Instagram! @tailored.fitness805

Austin is one of our new trainers at Give Fitness. Austin was a shy individual until a P.E. teacher and mentor during high school helped him develop confidence and find his voice. He hopes to pay it forward by using his experience, expertise, and passion for health and fitness to make meaningful connections through intentional and authentic relationships. One of Austin’s life mottos is “take small steps daily toward lifelong growth.” He believes that health and fitness are achieved every day through action-oriented tasks and routines. Austin is almost done with a B.S. in Kinesiology with minors in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Cal Poly SLO; he is also working toward becoming a certified personal trainer through NASM, a nationally-accredited organization. He loves to be outdoors and has interests in hiking, trail running, and cycling. Austin wants to help you develop life-long health and fitness through your unique abilities and interests.

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GIVE Fitness Celebrates 3 Years


GIVE Fitness just celebrated our 3rd Anniversary with a FREE Open House style party with appetizers, drinks, magic and photobooth fun! As we welcomed members, guests, family, friends and community partners, we handed everyone a small stone with the words “Thank You” written on it. Curiosity ran wild as people wanted to know what the stones were for or what they meant. The GIVE Fitness team officially welcomed and thanked everyone for sharing in one of the gym’s favorite nights of the year: a chance to celebrate together, appreciate staff and members, and to really highlight the mission and vision of GIVING.

In 2016, at the 2nd Anniversary party, there was mention of GIVE Fitness forming its own Foundation and shifting the type of giving that we wanted to be involved in. We introduced the Garcia family and were able to help them out of homelessness into permanent housing. At that time, we contributed $5,000 toward our “Foundation” even though it was not actually formed or operational yet. Throughout the year, we still operated as though we had a Foundation and gave toward a wide variety of causes:

  • A Scholarship at Atascadero High School
  • GoFundMe Pages: a community member’s house burned down, and a member had a tragic motorcycle accident
  • Helped provide and hand deliver roughly 1,000 Christmas gifts to underprivileged children in the jungle of Costa Rica
  • Sponsored a local veteran to go through and complete the Mighty Oaks Warrior Program
  • Sponsored Lifewater International’s Annual BBQ fundraiser
  • We made contributions to local women battling Breast Cancer as part of our October Campaign
  • Pound for Pound competitions with food donations totaling 1325 pounds
  • Local academic and athletic sponsorships
  • We were introduced to another local family in crisis, homeless & sleeping in their car during the very cold winter months. We were able to get them out of that situation and assist in finding them permanent housing.

We shared that these are the types of things that GIVE loves to be a part of and support. And really: These are things that YOU are a part of, because it’s all of YOU that truly make the giving possible.

The GIVE Fitness Foundation is formed and operational – we officially have a 501(c)(3) non-profit. The intention of the Foundation is not just to be a pillar in the community, but more than that: a RESOURCE to our community: THE WELL. The Foundation logo was revealed to include a well, made from stones. We gave everyone a STONE that says “Thank You” because each person in attendance was and is a stone in the foundation of our business. Members, staff, friends, family, vendors, community members, ALL of you are individual stones that make us who we are – the foundation of our business.

A Well is a place that people go to when they are thirsty to have that need met. We want the people of our community to know that they can come to our “well”, The GIVE Fitness Foundation, to have their needs met. It’s for the hungry, the thirsty, the sick and tired, those that need clothes or shelter, or love. Another reason we chose THE WELL as the logo for our Foundation: To build a well, it takes many individual stones to create a solid, permanent fixture and the stones we provided are a representation of that as well.

The stones are a Thank You for being a part of the foundation of our business that provides the foundation for our new Foundation!

The GIVE Fitness Foundation is 100% financially sustained by GIVE Fitness. The Foundation will not have any paid positions or officers; it will not have any expenses. 100% of the money put into the Foundation will be used to meet the needs of our community. Anyone interested in getting involved with the Foundation or financially contributing should contact foundation@givefitness.com

GIVE Fitness made another $5,000 contribution to the GIVE Fitness Foundation in order to jumpstart this year’s giving efforts. Also through the Foundation, we will continue to support and partner with local non-profits. To begin 2017, we launched our Challenges for Charities program that was driven through social media and hashtags: #GIVEc4c. We offered 10 Challenges, each attached to 10 different Charities. $1 was raised by each participant that completed the Challenge and posted a photo/video with the unique hashtag. We invited all 10 non-profit organizations that participated in the campaign to set up information tables at the party so that attendees could learn more about their services or how to get involved. We had over 100 people participate in the program overall, with 25 people completing all 10 challenges to receive an EXCLUSIVE Challenges for Charities t-shirt! Additionally, those 25 people were entered to win 2 Disneyland Park Hopper Tickets and Charise Holcolm (our longest standing member) was the winner!

Each Charity/Non-Profit Organization was presented with a donation of $1,000 from the Give Fitness Foundation:

  • El Camino Homeless Organization (E.C.H.O.)
  • Jack’s Helping Hand
  • Lifewater International
  • Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs
  • RISE
  • Family Care Network
  • Lighthouse
  • The Link
  • Parents For Joy
  • Atascadero Printery Foundation

Donations for the evening totaled $15,000 and it was a great night of celebration!

We have the “Thank You” stones available at our Front Desk and would like to encourage all of our members to take one! We are grateful for each and every person that helps provide the foundation to our business… that provides the foundation to our Foundation! Together, we can make a difference in our community: You Get Fit, We GIVE Back.

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A New Year and A New Approach to Resolutioners

2016
It never seems to fail, year after year as January 1st approaches, countless Americans pledge future allegiance to health & fitness. The notorious “resolution” that coincides with the calendar, wanting to start a New Year with a new approach and fitness-related goals are almost always near the top of the most popular New Year Resolutions. As a gym owner, and previously as a manager or even as a membership salesperson, I often hear the phrase “You must LOVE January.” And while my answer is yes, I do love January…My love does not stem from the reasons assumed in the question. See, I don’t find it surprising at all that fitness-related resolutions top the charts in America, because we live in a country that continually suffers from and succumbs to a severe obesity epidemic. So when January rolls around and mass amounts of people decide that they actually want to attempt to DO something for their health & fitness, I absolutely love it. I am a true believer in fitness being able to improve the quality of lives, to extend lives, and to save lives! I cling to the hope that as an industry, we can continue to combat the obesity epidemic and spur change. The assumption though is that fitness professionals love January because everyone gets to bathe in money like we are all Bill Gates for the first two months of the year. In all honesty, January really ends up being more of a love-hate relationship and let me explain why.

Here is another phrase I hear quite often: “I am your favorite type of member, I pay but I never go to the gym.” This statement and its sentiments make me cringe because it is another widely accepted assumption about fitness professionals when in fact: it is completely false. For me, the member(s) that pay their dues but do not attend the gym are very close to making a decision to quit…and once they quit, because they no longer perceive any value in their membership – the likelihood that they re-join somewhere down the road is slim to none. On the other hand, the member that uses their membership on any kind of consistent or semi-consistent basis is likely not even considering relinquishing their access to the gym. We open our doors at GIVE Fitness every morning with the hope that as many of our members as possible are actually utilizing what they are paying for and making an effort to improve their health & fitness.

Now, back to the “Resolutioners” and why January can be summarized as love-hate. Most people making a resolution are well intended when it comes to fitness but not so well educated. The majority of society does not look at fitness as part of their lifestyle but rather as something that is start-stop with a beginning date and an end date. As a result, we find people coming into gyms & health clubs seeking the cheapest option for membership, refusing any training or guidance and heading straight for the cardio room. This creates several layers of problems: first, there is a lack of connection within the gym and the perceived value of the membership immediately diminishes. Additionally, the cardio room (or area) is typically the most crowded area of any gym or health club, which quickly creates frustration. But, arguably the biggest problem associated with the large number of new gym members showing up in January: THE BEHAVIOR & CONDUCT OF CURRENT MEMBERS.

January somehow seems to empower the regular gym goers to plant their noses high in the sky and act like they are completely superior to any “newbie” walking in the door. It’s like a group of large bucks standing proudly and sneering at baby fawns stumbling while attempting to walk and it’s totally disgusting – hence, the hate part of the love-hate relationship with January. Gyms and health clubs are intimidating places for most people; exercise is associated with pain & suffering. Sometimes it requires true courage for someone just to walk through the door, let alone becoming vulnerable by beginning to exert energy in ways that are completely foreign to them. Shouldn’t our seasoned fitness enthusiasts or veteran members be lending encouragement & support instead of judgment, ridicule and further intimidation? Let’s get over ourselves. That’s my challenge to the gym members that say I hate January and/or all the new people. So what, we may have to wait a few extra minutes for a treadmill or that favorite bench, or maybe your class is a little overcrowded. How about striking up a conversation with someone that looks new or offering some guidance to someone that looks like they’re struggling or lost. It was everyone’s first day once, and I’m sure many of us were intimidated – let’s have a little sympathy and think beyond ourselves.

I hate that as an industry, our systems fail the people that make the decision to get off the couch, join a gym and put in effort. This failure comes as the result of MOST gyms & health clubs simply loving January and focusing only on piling people into the gym, not caring where they go or what they do or how long they stay. We won’t do that at GIVE Fitness, your success is our success. We want you to be comfortable, we want you to use your membership and we want you to stay. We don’t run sales promotions or specials: our prices are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and they are all available online, you don’t need to call or even come in. If we end up being a good fit for anyone making a fitness related resolution, we will welcome you with open arms and do our best to assist you in the pursuit of your goals. We will make our Personal Trainers available to you for a complimentary Health Assessment: an opportunity to talk specifically about what you’d like to accomplish. They can help explain how cardiovascular exercise is an important aspect of fitness as well as the need to build lean muscle and incorporate proper nutrition. Our ultimate goal though, will be to communicate that making a resolution to get fit does not end in March and that fitness is not start-stop but part of a lifestyle.

For those of you making fitness-related resolutions, good for you! I encourage all of you to pursue them whole-heartedly, stick with them when it gets difficult and you want to quit. For those of you already active in the gym, possibly dreading the onslaught of newcomers, take a different perspective: obesity is killing people. Don’t be part of the problem by turning people away from a gym with your attitude, be part of the solution by welcoming them and breaking down barriers.

Sincerely,

Josh Donovan
Managing Partner
GIVE Fitness

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