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    Peak8Fitness + Nutrition Blog

March 8, 2016

Client Story: How Fitness Completely Transformed Us and Our Relationship

transformation(Editor’s Note: This is a testimonial from Peak8Fitness clients Addison and Jace. I have been amazed by their progress and I am honored to share their story, as told in their own words.)

Getting fit has never been easy for us. We grew up chubby kids in the South, and although we’ve had periods of adulthood where we’ve been active, we have never been successful at changing our lifestyles to be truly fit, active, and healthy. Until Peak8Fitness.

Addison

I met Niccole through my job at Colorado PERA, where she teaches fitness classes for employees each day of the week. I was walking on the treadmill, and she introduced herself and told me right then and there that I should come to class. When we first sat down together to set goals, I told Niccole that my family had a history of diabetes and that I wanted to lose weight and get fit to ensure I didn’t head down that path. Because I was nervous about starting and not being able to keep up with others, Niccole told me to begin by attending two classes per week. She assured me that I would be able to participate fully in the classes, even though I was out of shape. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the careful way she got me started—not pushing me into more than I could handle—has been critical to my success.

Niccole’s classes quickly became the highlight of my days—my lunch break transformed into activity. I increased from 2 days to 3, from 3 to 4, and finally, I started working out with Niccole every day of the work week, plus boot camp on Saturdays. I never imagined that I would be so active, but as I began to see results, my drive to do more increased. Because of my positive experience, Jace started attending boot camp with me and began his own fitness partnership with Niccole.

Working out regularly isn’t the only part of my life I’ve changed since meeting Niccole. She has helped me tremendously with healthy eating. Again, she started me slowly and carefully. I began by writing down what I ate, then we worked together to decide what changes I might make to better achieve my goals. Switching from regular sugar to coconut sugar in my coffee, incorporating more protein—these changes and others have led to increased energy and vitality, and combined with my workout routine, they’ve led to a 30 pound weight loss.

Jace

When I started with Peak8Fitness, I had two goals. One, I wanted to get more muscular, especially in my arms and chest. Two, I wanted to lose weight. But I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t excited about working as hard as I needed to work to achieve these goals. I was hoping to work out twice a week and continue eating all kinds of unhealthy foods. But I quickly learned that it doesn’t work that way.

Fortunately, Niccole met me where I was and helped me begin the journey to fitness. She pushed me, but not so hard that she scared me away. Her support was key to getting me started—I know I wouldn’t have worked out on my own without her; in fact, when I began, I dreaded working out. Over time, I’ve started looking forward to my work outs. My one-on-one sessions with Niccole are still my best workouts each week, but now I have enough motivation to work out four additional times weekly.

My body has changed dramatically over the past six months. I’m so much stronger than I’ve ever been; my muscles have grown quickly in all the ways I had hoped. I’m moving my body more than I ever have, and with the consistent movement (under the care of a trainer who is careful with my pain points) and proper care (stretching, massage, etc.), my long-term back pain has been alleviated. Finally, I’ve decreased my body fat percentage—I started at 18.9%, and now I’m down to 14.8%. Although the change isn’t showing up in huge decreases on the scale, it’s showing up in other ways such as my smaller neck and waist.

None of this would have been possible without Niccole. She’s been my coach and my cheerleader—and the driving force behind the biggest health change I’ve ever made. I couldn’t have — wouldn’t have — done it without her.

One of the most important factors in our ability to change our lives through fitness has been doing it as a couple. We inspire one another, encourage one another, and help hold one another accountable.

When one of us says, “Let’s skip boot camp this morning,” the other is usually there saying, “We always feel better after we go.” And that’s true. We always feel better after we work out. That’s something we never thought we’d say, but because of Peak8Fitness, we’re saying it.

February 15, 2016

Buns, Biceps, & Bling: Getting Wedding Dress-Ready with Peak8Fitness!

Get Wedding Dress-Ready! 2So you’re sporting a shiny new diamond but feeling undeniably overwhelmed by the never-ending to-do list you have to tackle before officially walking down the aisle. And in addition to picking out the perfect flowers and deciding what figure-friendly dresses your bridesmaids will wear, you really just want to know you will look your very best for your big day.

Yes, your dress is important and your makeup is key, but there’s one thing that will really give you that coveted WOW factor on your wedding day – getting your body in the best shape it has ever been.

That’s exactly why Peak8Fitness is launching…

Buns, Biceps, & Bling!

Bridal Bootcamp + Fitness & Nutrition Packages to get you in the best shape of your life, for the biggest day of your life!

Here’s what you will receive:

“Give Me a Jumpstart” Packages:

Level 1: $200

Local Brides (Denver metro area):
4 Saturday boot camp sessions
4 workouts to do on your own
Bridal tank top

Online Brides:
4 boot camp style workout plans
4 workouts emphasizing strength training, core, and cardio
Bridal tank top

Level 2: $350

Local Brides (Denver metro area):
6 Saturday boot camp sessions
4 repeatable workouts to do on your own
Bridal tank top
Deck of workout cards
2-week meal plan (customizable if participant has food allergies)

Online Brides:
6 boot camp style workouts
4 workouts emphasizing strength training, core, and cardio
2-week meal plan (customizable if participant has food allergies)
Deck of workout cards
Bridal tank top

“Take Me to My Wedding Day” Package:

Level 3: $500

Local Brides (Denver metro area):
12 Saturday boot camp sessions
6 repeatable workouts to do on your own
2 coaching calls
Bridal tank top
Deck of workout cards
4-week meal plan (customizable if participant has food allergies)

Online Brides:
12 boot camp style workouts
6 workouts emphasizing strength training, core, and cardio
2 coaching calls
Bridal tank top
Deck of workout cards
4-week meal plan (customizable if participant has food allergies)

***Bridal boot camps will be kicking off Saturday, April 16th at Active Lab (6850 W. 116th Ave.). As it gets warmer, boot camps will head outside to Pferdesteller Park (4815 W. Moncrieff Pl.). Can’t make all sessions consecutively? No problem. You will have an extra 2 weeks to complete all package sessions (ex. 12 weeks to complete 10 boot camps).***

Email Niccole@Peak8Fitness.com to reserve your spot today!  

Looking for social proof that this type of plan can get you where you want by your wedding day? Meet Brooke, a current client and soon-to-be bride:

When I first started working with Brooke, a teacher and bride-to-be, she wasn’t new to working out. She was used to running and doing yoga, but it was easy for her to skip a workout when her day was too full with other things. In addition, she felt like she had really reached a plateau and wasn’t seeing any significant results.

So we established an early morning routine (excuses are harder to come by at 5am) and brought her best friend and maid of honor along for the ride.

The change was substantial.

“It helps so much to have a coach and a buddy to look forward to seeing at 5 a.m., and on days when it’s harder to get to the gym, they hold me accountable. The workouts Niccole provides for me to do on my own throughout the week are so efficient and realistic, especially for days when I feel super busy. I can be in and out of the gym in an hour and know I had a great workout.”   

Self-diagnosing when you’re not a doctor rarely works – even in an age where you can google every symptom under the sun. Creating a fitness and nutrition plan is much the same way – it takes a special set of knowledge to really maximize results.

“Since I did workout before, I wasn’t sure what kind of change to expect, but there has been a huge change in how my body feels. My clothes do fit differently and I feel great and so much stronger. Now when I go to yoga I can do poses that I have never been able to do before because of the strength I have gained – especially in my core and upper body.”

Instead of seeing small changes in a one-size-fits-all plan, I am able to make adjustments to ensure your body isn’t simply adapting to the changes being made and plateauing like Brooke was experiencing.

When you’re walking down the aisle with all eyes on you, you want to feel confident in your body – not self conscious about how your dress fits.

Brooke has already seen a shift in how she feels and her fiancé is backing her efforts to get to a place she can be proud of.

“He says, ‘You’re beautiful no matter what Brooke’ (he better say that…). But he says he really has noticed a change…He travels for work a lot, but on the mornings he is home and my alarm goes off at 5 am he says something like ‘get it girl’ and immediately falls back asleep.”

And as she inches closer to her own wedding day, she is quick to tell other future brides how important this aspect of planning is.

“It’s so worth it! I feel like you can wear all the makeup and have your hair done perfectly but if you don’t feel healthy and feel your best, none of that will matter. It’s an exciting time in like and you want to feel great so you can be completely present.”

Are you ready to get wedding-ready yourself?

If you’re ready to sign up or need additional information, email Niccole at Peak8Fitness@gmail.com!

February 9, 2016

Nutrient-Packed Salmon Salad

salmon saladThis salad is power-packed with protein, vitamins, potassium, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and rich nutrients.
Ingredients: 
(Serves 1)
1/2 cup organic spinach
1/4 cup diced organic butternut squash
1/4 cup diced yellow bell peppers
1/4 avocado
4oz baked balsamic salmon filet
2 tbs chopped pecans
pinch dried cranberries
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
cracked pepper (to taste)
organic extra virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil
Directions:
1. Set oven to 375 degrees. While oven is heating, marinade salmon filet in balsamic vinegar, cracked pepper, and garlic powder.
2. In a small pan bring stove to medium heat, use 1/2 tsp of coconut oil. Once the sauté pan is hot, toss in diced butternut squash. Season to taste with pepper.
3. While butternut squash is sautéing, place salmon filet in glass baking dish & bake until salmon is cooked all the way through (~23minutes).
4. In large bowl, toss spinach, diced bell peppers, dried cranberries, chopped pecans, avocado, in seasoning and balsamic vinegar.
5. Once the butternut squash is cooked (it will be slightly soft and golden) add to salad.
6. Once salmon is cooked, add to salad, and enjoy!
January 26, 2016

Feeling Under the Weather? Here’s What You Should Be Eating

under the weatherWhile comfort food might be at the top of your list if your body is feeling a little sluggish and under the weather, that probably won’t aid in your recovery or help you jump out of bed any quicker. Even if a stomach bug has you disgusted by the mere mention of food, there are things you can consume in order to put yourself on the fast track to wellness. Or at least slow the decline into feeling even worse.

Next time you find yourself with a cold, stomachache, or worse – like the flu – try incorporating a few of these healthier options into your limited diet.

First things first: Don’t limit calorie intake

You might think a queasy stomach or overall lack of appetite is your body’s way of telling you to limit your food intake, but that’s not actually what’s best for your recovery process. In fact, your body actually needs more calories to combat illness than it normally would.

According to Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., RD, “…for every degree your body temperature is elevated, your metabolic rate is stimulated (or elevated) by seven percent. So one of the worst things to do if you have a fever is not eating, as your body needs the fuel to support the immune system.”

If you can’t manage to put a full meal down, eat smaller amounts – but stick to a regular schedule. This while ensure your body stays fueled while fighting off illness.

Really can’t put food down? Concentrate on your liquids.

As you probably learned from your mother, one of the keys to getting back to health is consuming plenty of liquids. This can be a lifesaver if consuming food just isn’t much of a possibility.

Hot Tea

Aside from being a comfort when you’re suffering from a cold, drinking hot, decaffeinated green or black tea can help in other ways – it has natural bacteria-fighting compounds to ward off infections, and contains the antioxidant L-theanine to boost immunity. Chamomile and ginger tea can also help soothe an upset stomach.

Fruit or Vegetable Juice

Juice can be particularly helpful if you need to consume nutrients but would rather not eat. Drinking your fruits and veggies will help your body restore electrolytes and keep you from feeling even worse from low calorie-intake. Just be aware that citrusy juices – like orange juice – while great for a cold, might prove too irritating for your stomach.

Coconut Water

Another great beverage option when your body is low on electrolytes and needs hydration is coconut water.

One more alternative to try: popsicles. As long as you buy those that are made from 100% real fruit, you can bring in some nutrients while continuing to stay hydrated.

Cold symptoms? Try these foods.

Fruits (oranges, papaya, strawberries, grapefruit)

Stock up on fruits that are high in Vitamin C and you might just decrease the length of time your cold sticks around. In addition, fruits like oranges and grapefruit have flavonoids that can give your immune system an extra boost.

Broth-based soups

Yes, that chicken soup isn’t just comforting, it’s actually good for you. Cysteine, the amino acid found in the chicken, can thin the mucus in your lungs and the broth can help you hydrate. Just make sure the soup you buy is low in sodium.

Veggies (red and green bell peppers, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts)

Did you know that each of these veggies contain more Vitamin C than oranges? Kale and broccoli are also known to contain Glutathione – an antioxidant that helps fight off infection.

Upset stomach? Try these instead.

Bananas

If you’ve been getting sick, your body is likely dehydrated. The potassium in bananas can help with this, while also giving your body a calorie boost from natural sugars.

Starchy foods (rice, potatoes, oats)

These foods will help coat your stomach and won’t sit there long enough to create discomfort. The key here is to keep them as bland as possible.

Toast

Just like your starchy foods, bread won’t cause acid reflux and is much easier to digest than other foods that are high in fat. Again, it might not taste the greatest, but opt for the bread without all the spreads.

Ginger

Although there isn’t scientific data to back up this claim, ginger has long been touted as a way to quiet an upset stomach. Most people don’t want to gnaw on ginger root, so you might want to go for some ginger tea instead.

January 19, 2016

Sick of Running? Try These Cardio Exercises Instead

Not everyone gets a rush of adrenaline when they go to lace up their tennis shoes and head out on a run. In fact, many people dread the idea of running altogether.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry – there are plenty of other, unique ways to fit your cardio in without forcing yourself to do something you’d rather avoid like the plague. (We all know how well that works with consistency!)

Next time you need to fit a little cardio in, try some of these out-of-the-box activities instead.

Take the stairs
Whether you’re at home, work, the gym, or outside, chances are a good set of stairs are at your disposal. That means you can create a killer cardio workout – increasing your heart rate and burning fat – all while working to tone your lower body.

Check out this killer stair workout from RealSimple.com.

Get moving with a dance workout
You might not be up for a sweaty night out at the club, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of a fun dance workout. Dancing can do wonders in toning your butt, legs, and abs – and it’s a great way to burn calories in a way that doesn’t leave you questioning when it’s going to be over.

Check out this 30-minute dance workout from PopSugar.com.

Grab a jump rope
If you’ve ever tried to jump rope for more than 30 seconds you know how exhausting it can be – which means it’s an awesome form of cardio. Better yet, it’s one of only a few pieces of cardio equipment that doesn’t cost a significant amount of money to have in your home.

Check out this simple (but challenging) jump rope exercise from MensFitness.com.

Try your hand at rowing
Yes, this requires the use of an indoor rowing machine (unless you happen to have a boat), but for those with a gym workout, this can give you the total body workout that a treadmill run cannot.

Check out this 20-minute routine from Shape.com.

Go back to jumping jacks
You might have thought jumping jacks were for the elementary school gym class you left behind years ago, but it might be time to return to this simple, yet incredibly effective cardio workout.

If you want to spice things up and increase the number of muscle groups your targeting, try these variations from Cosmopolitan.com.

Use those kettlebells for cardio
Kettlebells aren’t just for weight training anymore. In fact, a recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning showed that kettlebell workouts can raise your heart rate enough to count as cardio.

Check out these total-body kettlebell exercises from WomensHealth.com.

What do YOU do to get your cardio in?