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Member Spotlight: Kristina Golling

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Member Spotlight: Kristina Golling

Kristina Golling

When did you start coming to AX and how did you hear about it?

I started coming to AX in December 2013. I had originally attended a trial AX class with some teammates (and other Ultimate players) when Christine was still in Arden Hills. We talked on and off about signing up for more classes, and when AX moved to Minneapolis and offered the Groupon deal, we couldn’t think of any reason not to sign-up!

What were your fitness goals when you started and how is AX Fitness helping you reach those? My fitness goal the last few years has been to “stay in shape” for the ultimate season. Going into AX I really wanted to get that extra push to work harder than I do on my own. I’ve always struggled with motivating myself to strengthen my upper body in particular. Christine develops full body workouts that literally work every muscle in your body (even ones you didn’t know you had). I’m happy to say that thanks to AX, I can do real push-ups again for the first time in years.

How would you describe AX Fitness to a newbie? AX is an intense workout. Christine keeps you moving with a variety of exercises. Her creativity never ceases to amaze me. Since starting AX, I’ve done approximately 30 variations of the burpee, 50 different exercises involving tires of various sizes, and at least a couple dozen types of planks.

What advice would you give to anyone trying AX Fitness for the first time? Drink a lot of water and don’t be scared. You will work very hard, but you’ll get through it. As the Trainer says, “you can do anything for one minute!” After a few weeks of AX, you’ll start to notice positive changes in your strength, endurance, and overall fitness

What is your favorite part about AX Fitness?Handstands! And Scout! But seriously, I love the workouts in general, and the people who come to AX are also great.

How do you stay motivated? My teammates who also attend AX are big motivators. When I see them working hard, I know that I need to be working just as hard. We try to attend classes together, so I know they know how often I’m coming to AX. That makes it much harder to ever think about skipping a class.

Is there anything else that you would like people to know? If you haven’t tried AX, you should. I bet you 100 burpees, you won’t regret it!

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Member Spotlight: Ben Honda

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Member Spotlight: Ben Honda

When did you start coming to AX and how did you hear about it?

I started coming to AX as a New Year's Resolution for 2014. So January of this year. My friend and I heard about it through Groupon and gave it a try. It was so good, I stayed.

What were your fitness goals when you started and how is AX Fitness helping you reach those? My fitness goals are to be healthy and look good. I am chained to a desk for most of the day and my body wasn't being worked in the ways that it used to. Because of regularly attending AX, I feel great and like how I look. I have even heard from a dance instructor who hadn't seen me in a year, that I look different and move differently because of the results I am getting at AX.

How would you describe AX Fitness to a newbie? I would describe AX Fitness as the perfect combination of group fitness class and an individualized workouts. The trainer leads class in a way that is challenging for everyone but customizable for those who either need a break and have to take it easy, or can be made more challenging for those who have high goals. It's unique and challenging every time.

What advice would you give to anyone trying AX Fitness for the first time? EAT AND DRINK PROPERLY BEFORE COMING TO CLASS. You have to be hydrated and fueled to expect to make it through a challenging workout like AX Fitness. I made this mistake my first time and had to take a couple of little breaks from the intensity ;)

What is your favorite part about AX Fitness? My favorite part of AX is that is challenging. Coming from years of formal dance, I need to have an instructor that can push me in ways that I can't even identify by myself. Christine has gotten to know and understand how I workout and pushes me and my body harder each day. Paired with a group setting where everyone is going hard, you make progress quickly and feel the results.

How do you stay motivated? To get to the workout: Knowing that my efforts are showing results and craving more. During the workout: Lots of high energy, sassy beats. Luckily, AX plays my mix a lot.

Is there anything else that you would like people to know? You have to know that AX is a community of people all with fitness goals. That community is friendly and welcoming and refuses to let you make yourself invisible. With that said, you understand that not only is the trainer watching you but the class is too - but only to help challenge and encourage you. For me, having a community that welcomes me and pushes me is the perfect combination for success.

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Member Spotlight: Diarmuid Kelleher

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Member Spotlight: Diarmuid Kelleher

When did you start coming to AX Fitness and how did you hear about it? I started going to AX in the Spring of 2013. Back then, the AX studio was part of a gym I was attending for sprint training. I was early one day and I saw Christine putting a group through their paces and thought, “I have to try this!” I was instantly hooked and I’ve been an AX member since and have been excited to see the gym move to it’s awesome new space.

What were your fitness goals when you started and how is AX Fitness helping you reach those? As an ultimate (frisbee) player, most of my training was on the field; lots of sprinting for short periods. I really wanted to improve both my strength and endurance. AX has helped me here immensely. Christine keeps you moving for the entire duration of the class and makes sure that all your muscles (even some you didn’t know you had!) are getting a workout. This has improved my stamina and functional strength hugely, keeping me going at a consistent intensity all through the season.

How would you describe AX Fitness to a newbie? It can be hard to describe AX, partly because there is really nothing else like it. I’ve heard it described at “bootcamp” and that’s pretty close. However, the difference is that AX is much more varied and personal; Christine mixes up the workouts weekly and throws in plenty curveballs so that you will never get bored and your muscles will never get used to it. I’ve also heard it compared to Crossfit and that’s also not far off the mark. However, the strength training in an AX class is sustainable. You will be able to go to AX several times a week for the majority of your life. And you will never get injured, rather AX will help keep you healthy, strong, and injury free.

What advice would you give to anyone trying AX Fitness for the first time? Don’t be intimidated, or at least don’t let that stop you from going! I was nervous about the intensity of AX classes when I first started. Yes, it’s a challenging workout; it’s supposed to be. But everyone has to start somewhere and it is amazing how quickly people improve and gain fitness. Christine is a patient instructor and, while encouraging you to push yourself, understands that fitness is personal where everyone is on their own level. Also, AX members are super friendly and welcoming and will always take the time to show you a workout if you haven’t done it before.

What is your favorite part of AX Fitness? The quality of the workout. It is simply the best, full body, workout you can do that will improve your cardio, strength, and flexibility simultaneously. Also, I have to mention the camaraderie; there is a perfect mix of competitiveness and motivation in all AX classes.

How do you stay motivated? Routine works really well for me. Having AX scheduled three times a week means I will get three top quality workouts in that week at least. Expanding that scheduling principle to running or yoga or lifting lets me get in even more. Also, Christine has really helped me with self-motivation during training or competition. Personally, I can struggle with mental toughness and getting psyched out sometimes. Christine is a phenomenal motivator and her mantras of “mind over matter; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter” and “your mind gives up before your body ever will” have really resonated with me.

Is there anything else that you would like people to know? That AX Fitness is the best workout in town. Whether you are training for a team sport, a solo event, or you just want to get healthier, Christine will make you fitter, faster, and stronger in no time.

Diarmuid recently moved to Chicago. We miss you, D!

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Member Spotlight: Joe Amundson

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Member Spotlight: Joe Amundson

When did you start coming to AX Fitness and how did you hear about it? I started AX back in the summer of 2012. A friend of mine convinced me to come out and give it a try. Been at it ever since.

What were your fitness goals when you started and how is AX Fitness helping you reach those? I currently don't have any specific fitness goals. Really it's always just about "staying in shape" for me. I guess that definition could change over time, but for now it's basically to feel like I can compete in whatever and go at a high level.

How would you describe AX Fitness to a newbie? It's tough because I've never attended a true CrossFit or boot-camp class but I always tell people it's a combination of both. With a mean little twist, haha.

Here's Joe after he won the plank contest at our Open House

What advice would you give to anyone trying AX Fitness for the first time? Don't get discouraged (much easier said than done, I know). Everyone is at their own level of fitness. The good news is that progress and improvement should come quickly if you stay consistent with it.

What is your favorite part of AX Fitness? My favorite part of AX has gotta be the feeling you get afterwards. You really feel like you got a workout in. Like a real workout. It's definitely not a feeling I could get from working out on my own.

How do you stay motivated? I've been fortunate to have had the "workout" work ethic instilled in me very early in life, so it's always been something I just do from force of habit. It would be much more difficult to not workout than to keep it up (so far anyway, haha).

Is there anything else that you would like people to know? AX is a great way to get in shape, no matter what level you are at. Christine and everyone else I have met at workouts, etc. are super cool and make the atmosphere friendly and easy to give your all in.

Joe is an original member of the “Big Boys Club” aka mAX Fitness. The club meets on Wednesdays at 7pm for an extra mean workout. Trainer approval required.

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Member Spotlight: Joe Aplin

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Member Spotlight: Joe Aplin

When did you start coming to AX Fitness and how did you hear about it? I started coming to AX in the Summer of 2013. I was originally planning on skating at Acceleration North but then saw AX's first free session advertised on the Acceleration site and thought why not give that a try. I was looking for something to whip me into shape and really liked how challenging AX was.

What were your fitness goals when you started and how is AX Fitness helping you reach those? I wanted to get into shape so that I could perform my best in golf and skydiving. AX has really helped my stamina and overall fitness.

How would you describe AX Fitness to a newbie? An ass kicking but fun work out.

What advice would you give to anyone trying AX Fitness for the first time? Bring water, and be ready to work hard.

What is your favorite part of AX Fitness? The variety of exercises and that no matter where you're at with your fitness level it's still challenging.

How do you stay motivated? The results are motivating in a snowball effect sort of way.

Is there anything else that you would like people to know? This is a great workout for all fitness levels. If you think you're out of shape there is cardio boxing or if you're feeling like you're ready for a challenge try the AX classes.

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Member Spotlight: Weston J.

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Member Spotlight: Weston J.

When did you start coming to AX Fitness and how did you hear about it? I started coming to AX around the fall of 2012. My wife and her bridesmaids had signed up for a Bridal Boot Camp before our wedding that summer. She recommended AX to me as a way to build core strength to help me get over some issues I was having with my lower back at the time.

What were your fitness goals when you started and how is AX Fitness helping you reach those? My main goal was to build core strength to take the stress off my lower back. I had tried physical therapy with limited results. AX took it to another level and I started feeling results quickly. I haven’t had any major recurrences since then – I give a lot of credit to AX for that.

Another positive result I’ve had that I did not expect is AX has made me a better runner by improving my mental and physical endurance. In the fall of 2013, I completed the Twin Cities Marathon, which would have been unthinkable to me a year earlier when I had never run more than 10 miles at a time and was dealing with back problems. In addition to helping me get past my back pain so I was physically able to run again, working out at AX also made me realize I can push myself physically much more than I ever had working out on my own, which really helped me through training for the marathon.

How would you describe AX Fitness to a newbie? I don’t have a lot of experience with other group fitness activities, so I have a limited frame of reference to try to compare it to. I have done a couple of Jillian Michaels videos and some elements of her workouts are similar to what we do at AX, but AX is more varied and more challenging.

What advice would you give to anyone trying AX Fitness for the first time? Don’t be intimidated to try it for the first time. At every session there are people of both genders and all different shapes, sizes and body types, as well as a mix of beginners and veterans. What really stands out to me is I’ve never felt that anyone is judgmental. Everyone supports each other and respects the fact that people have different abilities.

Once you’ve tried it, my advice is to stick with it. Make it part of your routine. You will really notice the difference it makes in the way you look and feel. When I think back to when I first started, I’m doing things now that I never could have done back then. And yet I still feel challenged every session and I know there is room for a lot more progress.

What is your favorite part of AX Fitness? No two workouts are ever the same, and Christine finds new ways to challenge me every week.

How do you stay motivated? Part of it is just not wanting to revert back to the back pain I had two years ago and realizing that if I don’t keep maintaining my core strength, it will happen. But on a more positive note, I can see and feel the changes in myself since I started and I want to see how much farther I can go!

Is there anything else that you would like people to know? Christine can name more varieties of burpees than Bubba from Forrest Gump can name types of shrimp. And if you give her enough time, she’ll introduce you to all of them.

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Member Spotlight: Lulu Blue

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Member Spotlight: Lulu Blue

Lulu Blue

When did you start coming to AX and how did you hear about it? I began my AX Fitness journey on December 2nd, 2013. I heard about AX from my best friend, Ashleigh, who had been attending classes for one week before she decided to let me in on this fitness secret. I purchased the two month Groupon ten minutes later while sitting on her couch.

What were your fitness goals when you started and how is AX Fitness helping you reach those? My fitness goals were to lose weight and sculpt my body into a more acceptable shape. AX is certainly helping me to reach my goals. I have lost a few pounds, but more importantly, I have replaced a lot of flab and fluff with rock hard muscle, while still maintaining my feminine shape. My clothes fit better and I have more confidence.

How would you describe AX Fitness to a newbie? AX Fitness is hard, but totally worth it. AX is a great place to work out because it is a non-judgemental fitness facility, which I find to be very unique. You go, you do your best, and the other members never stare at you as though you do not belong there and will even encourage you. Christine Jaques is a fabulous trainer because she doesn't let you give up and sincerely cares about your fitness goals as well as your life.

What advice would you give to anyone trying AX Fitness for the first time? If you really want to change your body and your life, keep going to classes and never give up on yourself. Push yourself and you will see results.

What is your favorite part about AX Fitness? My favorite part about AX Fitness is the challenge. Class is always a little different so your body never plateaus and the variation also stimulates me mentally. I always leave feeling like I accomplished something physically.

How do you stay motivated? I stay motivated a couple of ways. One thing that motivates me is feeling my body turn to muscle. I love touching my arms and feeling them being smaller, harder, and more powerful. And knowing that the harder I work and the more I attend class, the better my body looks and feels is so rewarding. Another thing that keeps me motivated is Christine. She will never give up on you and really cares about your fitness goals. She is fun, commanding, personable, and really knows her stuff.

Is there anything else that you would like people to know? From 14 to 25, I considered myself to be in excellent shape. I was a trained ballet dancer, I played a myriad of competitive sports, and I was very focused on being active. But, life changed for me at 25. I returned to college and then was thrown some curve balls that resulted in me sitting on the couch and eating pizza a lot in my spare time. AX came into my life at the best possible time. I was sick of what had become of my body and I was completely and utterly at a loss as to how to get my old body back. I craved to be athletic and driven and I feel that AX has given that back to me. I have been attending classes for almost four months and I feel as though I am recovering a big part of my identity that was lost for too long. THANK YOU AX FITNESS!!

See Lulu perform in St. Paul with Le Cirque Rouge.

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Member Spotlight: Shiver Me Kimbers

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Member Spotlight: Shiver Me Kimbers

When did you start coming to AX Fitness and how did you hear about it? I heard about AX Fitness after the trainer lead a Minnesota RollerGirls league practice at the Xcel Energy Center concourse. Then, after talking with some fellow league-mates, decided to try it out when AX was still in Arden Hills, about August or July of 2012.

What were your fitness goals when you started and how is AX Fitness helping you reach those? My fitness goals were to increase my endurance and strength so that I could be a more effective blocker for the Minnesota RollerGirls All Star team.

How would you describe AX Fitness to a newbie? Harder than a bootcamp, more intense than CrossFit. It's an all-over body workout and tests your mental limits and when you're done, you REALLY feel like you've worked out.

What advice would you give to anyone trying AX Fitness for the first time? Pace yourself. You don't have to be the fastest at whatever thing Christine tells you to do, just be consistent and don't stop moving. It's always worse when you stop. And tell yourself that you can do it, because you can.

What is your favorite part of AX Fitness? It has continually pushed me harder, faster and mentally every time I go. I have seen visible improvement and my mental endurance is getting better. The workouts are ALWAYS challenging and different. I get bored real easy and she doesn't allow that to happen.

Shiver Me Kimbers

How do you stay motivated? In general, I stay motivated to continue working out at AX because it sucks when I take a week or two off and come back and my body is like, "What are you doing!?! We haven't moved like this in weeks!" Then the second time I work out it says, "Oh yeah, I remember this! I feel so good and strong! I can conquer the world!" I am also motivated by competition. If other people are doing something that I KNOW I can do better or faster or harder, and I'm just sucking wind, I will push it just a little bit harder than I would by myself. Also, I know the people that I work out with also want to push themselves and we feel so good when we go further than we thought we could.

Is there anything else that you would like people to know? AX is hard. It is a body and mental challenge, and I trust that Christine knows when to push and when to stop. Every week I get a new challenge and (almost) every week I meet that challenge. I can do handstands for almost two minutes, I can do walls sits for almost 10 minutes WITH a medicine ball, I can flip a 300+ lb tire over and over and over! I can do sprints (sometimes) and I can do 100 burpees in less than 4 minutes. All things I never wanted to do before because thought it was impossible, and now I don't even second guess my ability to do it.

Keep with it. I didn't start to see results until the third or fourth week of coming, and when I saw my hamstrings and quad definition, I wanted to keep it. So I kept going, and now I have some awesome arms too.

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Member Spotlight: Shannon C.

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Member Spotlight: Shannon C.

Shannon

When did you start coming to AX Fitness and how did you hear about it? I started going to AX Fitness on January 7, 2014. I heard about it through Groupon. (Best Groupon purchase ever!!!)

What were your fitness goals when you started and how is AX Fitness helping you reach those? My fitness goals were mainly to lose weight. Easier said than done. Since starting AX Fitness, those goals have changed. I have started to learn that it's not always about the pounds you see on the scale but the results you feel and see in the way your body changes. My goals are now to be both physically and mentally strong which AX has definitely helped me do. "Mind over matter." Christine encourages and pushes us clients to always go beyond what we think our limits are and after a while it is rewarding knowing that yes, I am capable of more than I ever would allow myself to think I am, if it wasn't for Christine's encouragement and ability to make me want to work much harder than I think I can. It's not always easy but it's worth it.

How would you describe AX Fitness to a newbie? I would start out by saying that AX Fitness is not your traditional gym. When I think about the classes at AX Fitness, I think variety, which is one of the main reasons I enjoy the classes so much. No day and no workout is ever the exact same. When I think about the classes in particular, Cardio Kickboxing is not exactly self-explanatory because of all the extra exercises added in, which are hard but are great because Christine changes things up. I think the best way for me to sum AX Fitness up is cardio kickboxing + boot camp.

What advice would you give to anyone trying AX Fitness for the first time? It's all or nothing. I have heard many many times during the classes that you get out what you put in and that couldn't be more true. If you are looking for a leisurely workout where you want to watch tv and just hang out, AX Fitness is not for you. If you are looking for the best 45-55 minutes of your day and you're willing to jump on board, with your best effort and more, it's worth every ounce of time, money, sweat, and maybe even tears you may cry. You will however be crying tears of joy after a while when you start seeing the awesome results!

What is your favorite part about AX Fitness? The motivation and also the variety of the different exercises as stated above. My absolute favorite part is that Christine is an amazing motivator. If it wasn't for her encouragement and often pointing out where I am slacking or giving up too soon, I don't know that I would push myself harder. I have tried to get away with hiding in the corner just in case I was tired and wanted to give up. Trust me, it doesn't work and I can't do anything but thank and appreciate Christine for always holding me accountable and motivating me to do more.

How do you stay motivated? Well as I said, Christine is an amazing motivator which of course helps keep me motivated in class. But unfortunately, she doesn't spend every waking minute with me. I stay motivated outside of class by realizing where I would be if I didn't start AX Fitness. I would probably still be leisurely jogging/walking on that same treadmill at the gym watching Food Network (because watching food is the best choice while working out right?) on TV. Essentially, I would be miserable, not achieving any results because I didn't have the right person to push me in the right direction as to what actually does work for working out and seeing results. I just said the other day, I can't wait to see how I will look and feel in another 3 months or even a year at AX Fitness. The results I have seen thus far and the results I know I can and will achieve will keep me motivated and cause me to return to AX Fitness as long as I possibly can.

Is there anything else that you would like people to know? If you put in the work, you will see results. I lost nearly 8 inches in 3 months so far, which is pretty good, but I think I could have done more. When I look back at that number and reflect on all the work I have done thus far, I realize that in the end, it's all up to me to not cheat myself by cheating. Like I said earlier, it's all or nothing. Put all of your best effort in, or you may see nothing.

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A healthy body begins with a strong mind.

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A healthy body begins with a strong mind.

We have to learn the difference between discomfort and injury. When something is uncomfortable it does not mean that you will hurt yourself. When you exercise your body needs more oxygen so the urge to take in more air and breath deeper is NATURAL. It does not indicate that you have exercised induced asthma and need an inhaler. When some folks get uncomfortable they panic and make excuses. If exercising was comfortable, no one would be overweight or out of shape. How do we make being uncomfortable okay? The only way we can train our bodies effectively is by first training our minds. My clients hear me say, "mind over matter," on a regular basis. I like to follow it up with "Remember, if you don't mind… it doesn't matter" and laugh really loud.

Last year, a wise 18 year old student athlete said to me,

"Your mind gives up before your body ever does."

I love that! She is the 800 Meter 2013 MSHSL Champion, so her insight is more than credible; she lives it. However, she is an elite athlete. Her brain has been trained to push her body beyond what most people would find reasonable. We have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable to get the results we want and need. Even elite athletes go through changes when their internal drive shifts a bit. They plateau or even find themselves struggling to locate their competitive edge. That same young track star is now in college and away from her family. She is dealing with a higher level of competition and has a new relationship. Her focus and drive has changed. She COULD use the excuse that everyone in college is just as fast as her OR she can find her edge... her "trigger," as I like to call it, and break through to a new level. She will need to do some soul searching, some visualization, examine her race strategies, and set higher goals. She will accomplish exactly what she trains her brain to do. She will accomplish what she WANTS to do, what she WILLS herself to do.

I have a few names for you: Mary Lou Retton, Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Steve Prefontaine, James Braddock. Yes, they are all athletes but all have overcome some ridiculous circumstances. Everyone thought that A.P. was done, no questions asked. Not only did he come back, he came back BETTER than he was, which seemed impossible. Mary Lou Retton barely landed that gold medal on that bum knee, but she did and she won the hearts of millions. Steve Prefontaine was an absolute head case. He was pissed off at everyone who thought he was not big enough, strong enough, or athletic enough. Yet he was amazing, incredible and inspiring. James Braddock was a mediocre fighter at best, "a one handed fighter." He fought hard to better the lives of his family. The Denver Broncos took a huge risk by giving Peyton Manning a starting QB job after several neck surgeries... Seems like the risk paid off... despite the Super Bowl loss. The list goes on. Story after story of fighting the odds. Athletes persevere because they WANT to. Everyone knows someone that has battled cancer, AIDS, chronic diseases, drug abuse, grew up in poverty, or just had some really crappy things happen to them. We persevere through these circumstances because we WANT to. We can push ourselves through discomfort during exercise because we WANT to. And again, as we WILL ourselves to.

“Overall, it seems that exercise performance is ultimately limited by perception of effort rather than cardiorespiratory and musculoenergetic factors.” Therefore, the brain gives up and subsequently sends signals to the body to also cease, even though the body shows no physical signs of complete exhaustion. - Mackenzie Lobby

Now you may be saying to yourself, "I don't really WANT to be uncomfortable." I understand that and as a trainer I deal with you every day. You WANT the results but you don't WANT to work for it. You have a million excuses, you always have an ailment that causes you to modify your workout and then you don't see the results that you desire. We have to work for what we want. There is no way around it. It is called perseverance and you have to develop it to succeed at anything in this life. You have to train your brain to be resilient. You need to accept discomfort. You have to visualize success.

As a side note, many of my clients are Minnesota RollerGirls. Here is an interesting article regarding visualization from Roller Derby Athletics: Can You Imagine Your Way to a Win?

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Why do I love burpees so much?

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Why do I love burpees so much?

Burpees

On Monday, when I posted that it was burpee week, I could hear the collective moan from my members. However, you still showed up knowing full well that you would be entering burpee hell. And you complained and told me repeatedly how much you hate burpees and what did I say:

You may hate burpees, but you love the results you get from them!

What is not to love? It is by far the most effective body weight exercise that exists. Every muscle in your body is engaged. With every rep you work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs. The burpee is a full body, strength, coordination, and agility exercise.

The exercise was named after a physiologist and YMCA executive director, Royal H. Burpee. He created the burpee test in the late 1930's as a quick and simple way to assess fitness levels. It is the ultimate example of functional fitness which is the core of AX Fitness. Functional and sustainable fitness are our meat and potatoes! Burpees make your body blast away fat and speed up your metabolism throughout the day—meaning you will burn more calories all day long, even after your burpee hell is over.

It's the quick positional shift required when going from a vertical stand, to a horizontal position, and back up to a stand that taxes the heart's ability to pump blood effectively to accommodate the working muscles. - Sheryl Dluginski, grandaughter of Royal H. Burpee

Burpees can be added to any workout and there are so many variations that it is just about fitness perfection! My current arsenal contains 31 burpee variations but, believe me, there are more. Most versions have no props at all and can be done anywhere. However, we can add a set of light hand-weights or a box jump to a burpee and BAM… burpee magic and more engaged muscles!

Have you done your burpees today?

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Fitness is a personal lifestyle choice.

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Fitness is a personal lifestyle choice.

Funtimes in AX Fitness Class
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. ~World Health Organization, 1948

So, we figured this out a while ago, but why is it taking such a long time to catch on to this idea? My clients frequently hear me say that fitness is personal. Our reasons for beginning a fitness regimen and for making healthy choices are varied. Almost all of those are personal. I say almost because there are those who do things simply because it is the latest fad or craze and they just want to say that they are a part of it. I am not writing for them, I am writing for those of you who have personal reasons for making healthy lifestyle choices.

Since we are talking about choices, why do people want to find a bargain for the two most important aspects of health? They buy cheap, processed food or they say they are too busy to cook and eat out every day of the week. Then come all the New Years resolutions and they buy a membership to the big box gym for $20 a month. They never use the membership OR they lack knowledge and motivation to get the results they need. I am sorry folks, but 20 minutes of leisurely pedaling that spin bike then hitting the sauna is just not going to do it. BUT you do get to say that you went to the gym that day!  You can choose to spend your money on new shoes that you don't need, the latest iPhone, cable TV, concerts, alcohol, toys that your kids don't need or maybe don't deserve, vacations where you have to look at the pictures and wonder how you got so out of shape. Go ahead buy the newest P90X video and convince yourself that you will do it every day right after you watch The Biggest Loser and eat a bag of Cheetos. Get a bigger car instead of investing in your health, that will REALLY make you feel better!

Research has revealed that the combination of exercise, healthy eating, emotional and mental balance delivers even more positive, powerful results than just one of those areas alone. Can you achieve this on your own? It is not impossible but more than likely not probable. You are definitely not a community all by yourself and, as driven and motivated as some people are, you still need outside opinions and motivations. This is not an easy task. This is a lifestyle choice which changes every aspect of every single thing that you do or happens in your life. Simply changing our diet is a daunting task and let's not lie about this, it can be expensive and time consuming!

Now you may be thinking: "Okay smarty pants Trainer, this is where you try to sell me on your fitness program." Not necessarily. This is where I tell you to invest in your health, because there is only one you. Invest in a program that can get you the results you need, without injuring you on a regular basis. Invest in a trainer that tells you the truth and can motivate you. Invest in a community of like minded individuals that can identify with you and support you. Make lifestyle choices that lead to positive outcomes. Don't just go to the big box gym because you can get an insurance break or because it has a sushi or juice bar. You will be setting yourself up for failure. A very small percentage of the population actually has enough knowledge and drive to get anything out of that type of gym membership. More than likely it is not you.

According to Time Magazine, the Twin Cities are the most fit cities in America. We tend to have higher levels of physical fitness and lower rates of heart disease and diabetes. That is remarkable since we spend about half the year hibernating! In the Twin Cities we have many healthy options available to us. When I decided to put AX Fitness in Minneapolis, I did it specifically for this reason. To give you a healthy option. You get to choose to invest in yourself, a small business, and our community. You get to choose to make an hour of fitness the most productive hour of your day instead of a task to cross off your list. You get to choose an organic, no pressure atmosphere over corporate america and every stereotype that comes with those establishments. Fitness is a lifestyle choice, make the right choice for you!

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