JULY 6, 2018





Bands, you may think this is too easy or not a great type of exercise for you if you are used to lifting heavy weight! I am here to tell you that bands are great for every fitness level!

For beginners, it allows you to start light and get your muscles firing again!  You can work into other movements OR just keep upping your band game! It’s great for at home workouts OR travel!

For experienced lifters, this can provide a different way of hitting those muscles, allowing for a concentric and eccenric contraction that you won’t necessarily get when lifting on a machine or barbell!

The risks are low and the benefits are high!

I have 2 sets of bands at home.  One is a light weight set that I can put around my quads, ankles or wrists to get my movements in, and I have a pair of heavy duty larger bands that I can do a more full body movement with!





Here are some ideas of how to use them!


Squat to press, or thruster


With the band under your feet and tucked under your palms, you will do a squat into and overhead press!





With the band under the feet and palms up, curl from full extension.  You can also secure the band around a bar or other stable pole, and use each end in one hand to curl, elbows braced on your knees!





These are very effective and way more difficult that you may believe, until you try it!



Oblique twists


This core movement is fantastic in working oblique muscles and core in general!




Bent over row

With the band secured under your feet, pull the elbows up and back to perform the movement.



Side Steps


I love banded side steps! Be sure to keep the tension on both legs by only bringing the following let (versus the leading leg) in a small amount!




I will be taking a bag of bands with me on my vacation so that when there is down time, I can have some fun little routines to do, right at my rental location!!


If you have other great ideas for bands, feel free to reach out!!



JUNE 11, 2018




With the advent of the Spartan races, the tough mudder, and other obstacle races, along with just, well, life, the need for improvement in our stamina and the amount of time we take to complete our fitness or daily routines, calls for increased ability to move, for an extended amount of time.

We can improve this in a few ways!

  • Compound movements rule, they engage more than one muscle group and this is how your body would function in daily life. Instead of plopping on a machine to do a leg press, your stamina would prefer you do a barbell back squat or front squat! More muscles are engaging and forcing your heart to work a little harder to make things happen.
  • PUSH yourself to not take so much rest between movements or lifts! This one is a big one for me, and in all honesty, I struggle with it every workout.  Granted, I CrossFit for my fitness, but it’s kind of easy to let yourself just be “taking a little break” for a little too long. Try to push yourself to take a few breaths and then get back to resuming your movement again if you are working on building stamina!
  • This brings me to CrossFit, and or any form of high intensity training. This in itself, will increase the endurance of your muscles and your ability to push harder, longer!  Moving weights more rapidly will train your body to carry that load and push to a threshold that will make it grow and not break down muscle tissue.
  • Combining strength exercises with cardio. You can do this by say, adding a set of jump ropes, a run or a row right after you do your heavy shoulder press.  Repeat this a few times through to continue to build on that threshold you are pushing towards!
  • Finally, switch things up! Your body is always trying to get into a state of homeostasis so if you want it to keep growing and developing, keep changing things up!!


Now….let’s get to work!!

MAY 11, 2018



Strong core can give you more than just a nice looking six pack!  Your core is the area that is the midsection of your body, including the front, back and sides!

Developing the core will help support your back, protect you during movements in the gym and in daily life! This could be one of people’s biggest weaknesses and one of the most important areas however to strengthen to stay safe and increase overall strength!

Here are some simple exercises that will help you get that important area of the body in fightin shape!


Plank:  Front and side

-there are many variations of the plant that are all beneficial and one of the BEST exercises, that is super simple, and very effective! Forearms, hands, sides.

Ball rolls

-Roll Outs, placing your forearms on the ball, with feet spread out to balance yourself on the floor, push the ball away, and bring it back towards you.

-Ball roll ins can also be done with your body in a plank position, hands on floor and feet on the ball, pull your knees into your chest or roll up into a pike position!

Knee raises

-you can perform this from a hang on a bar, or on a roman chair, or even on the floor while laying on your back with you hands under your hips to support your back (pulling the knees into your chest) . Raise your knees in front of your body.

L- sit

-holding your legs out straight in front of you while balancing on your hands…this is no easy feat! Try to hold this for as long as you can without your legs dropping!  If you can’t hold them out in an L, just pick your knees up to a front support, hands on a paralette or between two boxes.

Toes To Bar

-Hanging from a bar, pulling your feet up in a pike so your toes actually connect with the bar. These are very intense and can be modified by just pulling up your knees as high as you can go!

Keep your core strong and watch your other lifts be able to safely be performed, back pain be lessened and overall movements be improved!

MAY 3, 2018




Bridges are an awesome movement to target that big glute muscle and you can do them at home OR a gym!


I don’t think it matters if you are a guy OR a girl, we all want to have a great looking, strong round booty to fill out those jeans or look good in a swim suit!

With no further ado, below are 8 exercises that you can do to help build those glutes!


SQUAT –  You can put a bar on your back OR just use your own body weight! If you are using a weighted bar, you may choose to do less reps. If you are using your own body weight, I’m all over doing high reps!  Say, 100!


GLUTE BRIDGE WITH BAND – Putting a resistance band around your lower quads, lay on your back on the floor. Feet flat, heels close to your booty.  While pulling your knees apart, press your hips up (push through your heels) and get a good solid 3 second squeeze of the glutes at the top!  Repeat for at least 15 reps for 3 sets! See above picture, add a band!


SINGLE LEG SQUATS/PISTOLS – This movement is insanely intense towards targeting the glutes!  I love pistols and how they make me feel SO SORE the next day! Glutes are hard to make sore and these get me every time!



LUNGES – You can do a variety of lunges!  You can put a bar on your back and do walking lunges.  Front rack the bar and do front rack lunges, Split squats (basically a lunge position but squat down on the front leg, back leg elevated on a bench), standing lunges, pulsing lunges…



GOOD MORNINGS – This simple movement done with a light bar is great at hitting the hamstring and glute area!!



BACK EXTENSIONS – Start with just using your body weight and then as your strength grows, add a weight you can hang on to!



REAR LEG RAISES – you can do these on all fours, or you could also band your ankles and face a wall for stability, lifting your leg (straight legged) to the back!



I hope this gives you a good idea of some movements you can do to really pump up of the volume in the back!  If you have other simple exercises you have found super effective and would like to share, I would LOVE to hear!!


Baby’s got BACK!

APRIL 24, 2018


If you follow along with the CrossFit Clout’s Instagram feed, you will see that I post ideas for healthy food options every day in our stories!  This has a been a super fun project for me and I am trying to appeal to different ways of eating while staying focused on REAL whole foods!!  Most of them are low carb options!   I am going to do a recap of about 15 of the last few ideas so they are preserved for future reference!! I hope you enjoy them! If you have great food or recipe ideas, I would love to hear them and feature them on our story!!

APRIL 20, 2018


Stretching and why it’s important!


I will be the first to admit that I do not stretch as much as I should.  Lack of stretching can be detrimental to our fitness goals and our overall health and ability to function in life!

Why is it even important?

There are quite a few reasons why we should/need to stretch our bodies before and after physical exercise, and actually even if you aren’t super active, why you should include this as part of your daily activities!
1) Stretching helps our muscles, tendons and joints have the ability to move like they were meant to!  Flexibility!  This is essential to proper movement!  If a muscle is too tight, it won’t move properly and we risk injuring ourselves when we need to use those tight muscles!
2) Stretching helps increase blood flow which in turn will help us increase strength.
3) Stretching post workout will help you recover more quickly!  You can reduce muscle fatigue which will reduce muscle soreness and help you not have to skip workouts!
If you start your workout session with a bit of dynamic movement to get your muscles engaged and warmed up, then stretch them out, you will have far more success in reaching full range of motion in your movements! Reaching full range of motion will let you get the most benefit from the movement and support muscle growth!  Ending your session with stretching will help you get back to your valued gym sessions more quickly and not have to take days off to recover from your soreness (not saying you WON’T be sore, this will just help!!)
These three reasons alone are enough to encourage me to be SURE to incorporate this into my workout routine and I hope it encourages you to as well!!

APRIL 10, 2018




What do you do for fitness? Have you done it for years and years?  Are you stuck in a rut or want to try something new?  I say DO IT!!

Our bodies like change, our minds may not always like change but ultimately, it’s good for us!

Steps to take when trying out something new, from a Coaches perspective!

  • Have a goal in mind so that you can narrow down the type of workout that may help you switch it up but still move towards your next goal!
  • Do a little bit of research on your own about the activity! As a CrossFit coach, I will offer a full run down of the concept, goals and benefits of our program when someone comes into our gym but even so, I personally would always want to have a broad idea of what I was stepping into!
  • Go check out the facility! I would absolutely go talk to someone who trains people in the way you are considering training! As trainers/coaches, we love to share with people new to our program what it entails!  I also recommend going to feel for the vibe of where you are going to be spending your time!
  • Try a class! Assuming you are looking at a class style training program, give it a try! Most facilities will allow new potentials to try a class or two so you can determine if it’s a good fit for you!
  • Make a commitment for more than just a few days. If after your trial period it feels like it’s a good fit, commit to a good 6 months of the program to give it some time to have you adjust, learn and get more proficient!  This is enough time for you to decide if the program is one you want to continue and it you see the results you are wanting to see!

When trying something new, remember that there will always be people that want to give you their opinion! Some people will embrace the style of training you are trying and some people will bash it. I encourage you to make your own decisions and assessments based on your own experiences. There can be good and bad in every program but for the most part, getting your body moving, building muscle, stamina and coordination are all benefits that you can get, even if it ends up not being something you want to do for years on end.

Take action to make progress and do it for you!!

MARCH 27, 2018



Summer bodies, we ALL want them!! That extra winter fluff is something that can creep up on us and when the temps start to go up, we want those pounds and body fat to go DOWN!!!

After all the research that I have been doing over the last year and a half for my own health (not weight related), I don’t feel like I can promote one way of eating over another for weight loss because I TRULY believe that it is very specific to each individual based on your specific goals and body make up, food tolerances and lifestyle.

What I CAN promote and will promote is, get rid of a few key things in your daily diet and you will be on the road to HEALTH most importantly, and the getting the body you desire will follow!!

Two words:  REAL FOODS!

Don’t buy packaged stuff, period.  Buy real meats and produce and stay clear of anything that has ingredients that aren’t real food.  Can you pronounce them?  Yes?  Ok, you are good!


Where I understand that it’s not always possible for people to avoid getting something in a package at some point, just try to keep it mostly real!  There are some good options, especially in the line of bars, where they are made of real whole foods versus fillers, additives and don’t have added sugars or unpronounceable ingredients!  😉


These bars are both extremely tasty and meet the needs of a variety of dietary requirements!

In my opinion, if you are trying to make health changes in your diet, these are the order of importance IN MY OPINION.


  • Reduce sugar in your diet! And yes, I mean all sugar,as much as possible!  Read labels if you are buying something in a package.  You will probably be super shocked at how many things have sugar in them.  People will say there are “good sugars and bad sugars”.  I have to address this because if we are talking about health, and how your body processes food, it does not discriminate between sugar from fruit and sugar from a candy bar.  As far as is fruit better for you thank a candy bar?  Of course!  You get fiber, vitamins, nutrients from fruit and you get nothing from candy, BUT, sugar is sugar if you are looking to how your body reacts to the foods you put into it and how it affects weight and fat storage.

  • Reduce wheat/gluten. I would do this as much as possible anyway. It’s inflammatory.

  • Reduce grains – you may be super surprised as well as how grains could be causing your body harm. Again, you need to see how YOU react to certain dietary things.  I cannot eat grains but other people have zero problems with them!  Test it and see!

  • Reduce dairy. Dairy is also inflammatory.  There are people who follow my way of eating that do include cream cheese, hard cheeses and heavy whipping cream in their diet to increase fat intake whereas I cannot.

If you are ready to make changes, get in the shape/health you are dreaming of, it takes hard work and attention to what goes into the body, as well as getting into the gym!

I would START with cleaning up the way you eat.  Remember that what is healthy is not a clear cut.  What is healthy for me may be very unhealthy for you, but if you stick to whole real foods, you will be on the right path to determining YOUR healthy!

Get moving!  Most particularly, add resistance training to your fitness program! Lift those weights, get those bands!  Building muscle and reducing body fat will help your body function more efficiently and help it learn how to keep unwanted pounds and fat off if you stick to a new way of life!  It CAN be done!  Is it easy? Nope.  Is it worth it? YES!!


MARCH 15, 2018


So, you don’t have a workout routine in your life because “…insert excuse here….”


  • I don’t have the money
  • I don’t have the time
  • I need to be home asap after work
  • I am at home with babies/kids all day
  • I am too tired
  • I don’t have the motivation (this one is going to need to come from within but we will try to help!)

My first response to all the excuses out there is, they are totally just excuses and if you want what  fitness has to offer, (health, amazing body, ability to move well, age well, help keep you looking and feeling young, mental strength, fights depression…and the list goes on ) then you truly can find a way to fit some sort of routine into your day, with VERY little financial commitment and equipment.  This is true for literally every person, at their own capacity!

This blog entry  is about how you can get a great workout in your home, I don’t even care if it’s a super small apartment, you can make it work!!

I would consider getting 1 very inexpensive item that could help expand your options on a budget (although not required), a set of bands.  Amazon, $8 – $45 (for larger band set). There you go, you now have a gym with the ability to do so much!

Components to a good workout

When you work out, you will either be elevating your heart rate to provide cardiovascular benefits OR activating your muscles to put more tone and strength into your body! You can do both of these without a gym membership!

Cardiovascular exercises

There are so many things that you can do to elevate your heart rate for an extended period of time!

  • Get outside and walk or run
  • Stay inside and jump rope or step up and down onto a chair or another stable surface
  • Walk up and down your stairs in your home or your apartment complex
  • Ride your bike
  • jumping jacks
  • burpees


Strength and resistance


  • BRING OUT THOSE BANDS! There are numerous videos and guides that you can find on YouTube or a general google search OR an app, that will show you a thousand different ways to use bands!  You can use them for lower OR upper body exercises as well as core!  They will add the component of resistance when you extend as well as when you bring your body back to resting position. Band Workout – 10 minutes or Small band workout or Large band strength building movements
  • Add in body weight exercises like air squats, push ups, sit ups, planks, lunges, calf raises, twists, etc
  • Create a combination of the two and do a little cardio segment, then add in 30-50 of the body weight exercises for a really great overall hiit style workout!
  • Tabata, download a free tabata app and pick a movement. The app will have you do the exercise for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds, all while keeping your reps each round as high as possible. The traditional tabata is 4 minutes (8 sets of the movements).  You could pick 5-10 movements and have a 20-40 minute workout that will really test your stamina and strength!

Have the kids join in!  Give them a movement, even if its DANCING, and show them that you are committed to being healthy and, that you make time for it!  You will feel a heck of a lot better at the end of the day for having done your workout and NOT making excuses!!

MARCH 8, 2018


When people walk through the doors of Clout, they are usually surprised at the size of our facility and all that we have to offer!  We are WAY more than you may think from the small exterior that we appear to be!  Come inside and have a look around! Let me tell you what you can expect!!

We have 8500 square feet of space which will offer you our CrossFit Training area, complete with all the CrossFit equipment you could want, as well as a large traditional gym with dumbbells, free weights, plate loaded machines and pin loaded machines!

Our staff, trainers and coaches are all known for their friendly demeanor and their knowledge base as well as how awesome they are with newcomers to the gym that may be hesitant! We really have a fantastic group of caring, educated and empathetic people to help you meet your training needs!

If you are interested in training for a show, a CrossFit competition, just want to get in great shape OR just move your body and have fun while connecting with a good fitness community, you have come to the right place!  We can help you find the right fit of classes, trainers, coaches or even get you set up just to do your own thing!! SO many options!!

Variety is what we are known for within Clout!  Having a gym right along aside a CrossFit box makes us a very unique set up! CrossFit athletes love the opportunity to come into “open gym” any time of the day if they miss a class (most CrossFit boxes are only open for on average an hour outside of class times for athletes to get in any extra work), and our members who do not CrossFit, love having access to the equipment that CrossFit provides!

We are here to help you!  We love to meet people who are brand new to working out or to CrossFit, and helping them reach goals! Seeing people gain strength and confidence is the biggest payoff as gym owners, managers and coaches! If you are looking for a new facility to train, learn and have fun, come inside and say hi!

We look forward to meeting you!

FEBRUARY 23, 2018

CrossFit Open 2018! 

Why you should participate! 


 It is THAT time of year again, when all of us who drank the CrossFit Cool aide get realllyyy excited!  The CrossFit Open has begun!!  The CrossFit Open is the very first segment of a worldwide competition that leads up to the ultimate competition, the CrossFit Games! 

Over the next 5 weeks, CrossFit HQ will release 1 workout each week, that participants must perform at their local affiliate (or another affiliate if you are away from home).   You will get to log your score along with all the other men, women and teens that choose to participate and see how you stack up against others in your region, age group, gender group and level (RX or scaled).  You will even be able to see how you rank up against the top athletes like Annie Thorisdottir, Brooke Ence, Dan Bailey, Rich Froning!!  It’s a very humbling experience BUT also a very empowering experience!! 

I have done the open for 5 years and I have both achieved new PR’s, actually been able to “get” a new movement (I actually learned how to drop under the bar FINALLY on a jerk my first year) and have also felt that agony of doing a workout that pushed me to the dark side lol.  Every time though, it was been so fulfilling and worth it!  It is a fun fun time in the gym with your CrossFit friends, and you are going through something right along side each other and struggling and pushing together!   

Why did I say you should participate?  Because truly, it’s a FUN thing to do and really helps you bond with a HUGE group of people inside and outside of your own box!!  It pushes you beyond what you would do in a normal class when you do competitions, and also takes away some of the hesitation that people have about competitions since its within the comfort of your own community!   

To me, it’s a no brainer!  I am not the strongest, don’t have the best endurance, and I can’t even do every movement in CrossFit, but you can count on me to be in there with the mix trying to achieve my own personal best!   

I encourage you to take the leap and sign up! It’s a small fee to pay for a really awesome experience that you won’t forget!! 

FEBRUARY 16, 2018



It’s not a secret how addictive and unhealthy sugar is in our diets.  There is a ton of research however, on how truly deadly the artificial stuff is for us!  It affects more than just our waistline, and could have potentially life changing negative ramifications!

Artificial sweeteners were created with the expectation of helping us consume less calories and therefore be able to lose weight more easily, while still enjoying the sweet flavor that sugar provides!



What research has found however, is that these sweeteners are not only doing the exact opposite, they are responsible for a slew of other health problems!

Artificial sweeteners lower the appetite suppressant chemicals and actual ENCOURAGE sugar craving and dependence!    There have also been studies showing that they can cause insulin resistance (where your cells are not able to use insulin effectively which leads to high blood sugar)  in addition to being just as bad for cardiovascular disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s.


I know that personally, when I have consumed anything containing Nutra Sweet, I had debilitating migraines.  There are also studies that have been done on mice and it literally “blew holes in their brains”. (Dr. Mercola)  This is particularly frightening when you think of how prevalent these sweeteners are in our standard foods people consume.

A recent study just showed that diet drinks can even have an effect on children’s or you fertility!



Although I personally feel like we should cut sugar out of our diets as well ,(that’s a whole different topic lol), I would totally recommend eating the real deal instead of putting any of artificial sweeteners into your valuable body!!  Aspartame, Nutra Sweet and Sucralose are probably the worst.  If you are going to go for a sweetener versus real sugar, Stevia is your best bet!  That is the ONLY one I would even consider!!!


FEBRUARY 8, 2018

Why everyone should incorporate Compound movements into their training!



When you begin an exercise plan, the very first thing you think about is your end goal. I want to lose weight, I want to get bigger biceps, I want to be able to squat 250lbs.  Everyone has a different end goal but I can tell you the benefits of compound movements are immense, no matter what your ultimate goal is!



Compound movements:  A compound movement is a movement that will involve more muscle groups firing at one time.  A squat, for example, is a movement that will work upper AND lower back, abdominals, glutes, thigh adductors, quads, hamstrings and claves.  The emphasis on which muscle groups are most active at any given time in the movement will shift.  If you were to do a leg press or hamstring curl on a machine, you would only be requiring the hamstring or the quads to fire, without any other supporting muscle groups having to pull any weight!


The other type of lift is an isolation movement. These types of exercises will only engage one or maybe 2 muscles during the movement.  This may be good if one part of your muscle is lacking and you need to build it, but in general, you will get a bigger bang for your buck with doing something that requires a major muscle, PLUS the supporting muscles around it, to engage.  You will burn more calories, be able to get a complete workout in in far less time and train your body to function better  versus just trying to get big biceps!

There is definitely a time and a place for both, but if you are looking for achieving your fitness goals more quickly and seeing more well rounded gains, you will want to make sure to practice mostly compound movements!


Examples of basic compound movements:

Bench press (flat, incline, decline)

Barbell Rows

Standing shoulder press


Squats (front, back, overhead)

Lunges (forward and reverse)

Pull ups

Split squats

JANUARY 31, 2018

Drink Your Water!

8 risks of not getting enough.



It’s not news that we need water for our bodies just to function on a basic level!  How long have we been told to drink 8 glasses of water a day?  We all know that’s a health staple!  But, you may be surprised at how many people truly don’t even get the minimum amount for basic body functions!

What are some of the ill effects of dehydration on our bodies?

  • Basic body functions like our digestive track could suffer. You definitely can get constipated when lacking in enough water.
  • Water helps our cells break down into usable energy so if you are feeling more lethargic, one huge area to look at, is how your water consumption is!
  • You are more prone to injury.
  • Increases the risk of increased blood pressure as well as risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Dehydration leads to higher acidity in the body which can cause issues like kidney stones, gout and even stall weight loss.
  • Dry skin and premature aging.
  • Joint pain (our bodies are made up of 80% water and it helps our bones from grinding against each other).
  • Muscle mass decreases.

Remember to fill up that water bottle and have it with you always!  Drink throughout the day, even if you have to set reminders, so that you give your body the best chance to function at it’s capacity!

JANUARY 25, 2018


We tend to focus a lot on documenting and planning our days in the gym, logging miles or hours spent lifting or steps taken.   Where all of this is clearly a piece of the fitness puzzle, the one element we forget to consider, or even plan, is what days we are going to rest!

Rest is vital to overall fitness.  Pushing through fatigue, muscle soreness and overall lack of motivation is sometimes needed to keep on track (there is a fine line between just making excuses and taking needed time off), but without properly resting your body, at regular intervals, can stall your progress.  It can erase the benefits of all the hard work you are putting in when you are working out!

One thing that I personally have noticed, when I come back from a rest period , I notice how my performance has improved.  I think it’s so common to feel like a few days off will be detrimental but actually it is the opposite!  This allows for your muscles as well as your immune system to heal and get stronger!

When we train too much, you may notice things such as mental burn out, lack of gains even though you are putting in hours in the gym, and getting sick more often!  You might start having trouble sleeping or not get into a deep sleep enough times in a night, overtraining could be the culprit.

Allowing your body to rest and recover will give you a better chance of avoiding injury. Over trained muscles aren’t happy, and eventually will break down.

Lastly, if you take time off, it helps you stay motivated to go hard on the days you are training! For me personally, I like to plan my workout AND my rest.  If I by chance have to go off schedule due to life, it’s ok, but I still make sure to schedule in rest if I haven’t been forced to!  If I have planned, I never feel guilty about NOT working out!  It’s a mental game here, but it helps!

You are always ok doing low key alternatives like stretching or less intense yoga when you aren’t lifting or doing high intensity training of any form!

Recap:  Go hard on your training days, and schedule in rest to ensure you will become your best and fittest self!!

January 18, 2018



Winter has set in and I have found myself up in the mountains frequently, with big aspirations to strap on the snowshoes, climb a hill and take pictures of as many amazing views as I can!

I had a real life experience a few weekends ago that was a HUGE eyeopener!  I mean WOW, all this working out stuff and consistently picking up a weight and moving it around, in addition to my own body, is paying off!  Of course, I KNOW that exercise is a good thing.  No one had to convince me of that, but when you see yourself in a situation that you KNOW is because of your commitment to making good choices, well it all of a sudden becomes so worth all the efforts!

In CrossFit, our goal is to move through a workout as quickly as possible, with maintaining excellent form, and take as few breaks as possible.  I have always been a “break taker” and probably allowed for a little more recovery time during a WOD than I truly may have needed.  That story has changed, starting this last trip to the mountains.

I was climbing up a pretty steep trail, in deep snow, and really feeling the burn!  My legs and glutes were on fire, my lungs were challenged every step of the way.  This was a fantastic hike an NOT an easy stroll by any means!  What I noticed, came about half way up the mountain.  I noticed that my ability to recover more quickly from said burning muscles and lungs, was incredible compared to what it used to be!  Doing a hike like this about 5 years ago would have left me on the side of the trail for 15 minutes each stop, just to regain composure, strength and the capacity to carry on!  I thought back to all the WOD’s I have done over the years and how even if I didn’t push super hard through a “break”, I DID get back on the bar, back on the wall, back to the movement I needed to….all while I was still tired and physically challenged!

This light-bulb moment, where I TRULY saw myself that I have gained so much through staying active, made me add one more goal to my 2018 list!  I want to be even better at recovery!  I will keep myself in check during a workout and realize that my body is capable of so much more than I may be giving it credit for, AND, that I need to get out of my HEAD, and get my butt back to work!!

Being active, no matter what your choice of workout is, is beneficial!  When you have those aha moments like I did, take mental note and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!  This has inspired me to challenge myself and my endurance each and every workout!  I don’t ever want to lose that ability to keep moving and do what I love to do! Pushing yourself when its hard is when you will see the most growth!!

Here’s to an even fitter 2018 that we ever have been!! Who is going to join me????




Where it all began…Tara’s story.


As our first blog post of 2018, I thought it would be appropriate to really look at new beginnings and consider just how far things come off of one dream!


Tara’s pursuit for her passion for fitness began in Houston Texas, when she was in her early 20’s.  Her first gig was as the Assistant Athletic Director at the Houston Racquet Club, as well as teaching group fitness AND doing personal training there. She loved the atmosphere and since the club was private, she was able to make a good amount of income.  Tara enjoyed the smaller size of the club, most specifically loved that it offered a more intimate/non intimidating feel, where the members knew that they were important and would be taken care of!


When Tara was forced to move to Colorado with her son Drake’s father, due to his change in jobs, she was discouraged to find that the pay at local larger gyms was substantially less than what she experienced in Houston.  After working as a group fitness manager for Bally’s and doing some personal training for about a year, life situations left her single and raising two young children on her own.  This was a turning point in her career and she made the choice to open her own training facility, which would allow her to utilize all her experience she had gained, plus would allow her to have a place where she could work with her children by her side. Anyone who knows Tara knows that she is a fighter, and situations won’t keep her down!


Tara opened a small Pilates and yoga studio in Golden, Colorado, with 800 square feet, a room for the kids to nap, study or watch TV while she was with a client, and she also had a shower installed.  Basically she created a home away from home, so that she could pursue her craft and still be there daily for her kids!  This may sound glamorous to read, but don’t be fooled, not only was she starting a business from the ground up, in a new area of Colorado, but she did it all on her credit cards.  Going from living in a 4,000 square foot home with a partner in life, to a two bedroom apartment, with no financial support (she had to wait for a court date which was months away to get that established), and the only parent in the household, left her no choice but to be creative and go all in.  She took a huge risk, but invested in herself and her kids, and had some great experience and knew what environment she yearned to create.


Building a business from scratch is slow going, and Tara was forced to take a job to help pay her bills and make sure her business ran smoothly.  She was burning the candle at both ends, working overnight at Home Depot while a friend spent the night with the kids while they slept, and then returned back to training sessions at 5am for a full day’s work at the studio, with her children by her side.  As usual, she kept pushing forward.


Her business continued to grow and expand and after a few gym moves and muddled partnerships, today, Tara is the sole owner of CrossFit Clout & Gym, as you know it!  8500 square feet of warehouse space here in Lakewood, CO, divided between an expansive, well equipped CrossFit area in addition to a full traditional gym with free weights, plate loaded machines and pin loaded machines!


Aislyn and Drake, Tara’s two beautiful children are the reason for her drive in life.  We all get knocked down in life, but I truly believe that Tara is an exemplary role model for never giving up, or giving in to your situation. It doesn’t define you and it doesn’t control you.  Her choice to create her own business that would allow for her to work alongside of her kids, was one of her best decisions she will tell you.  She not only had the ability to be involved in the day to day, but they were raised seeing a role model, who day in and day out worked hard to do what she needed to do to make sure they were taken care of.  They don’t remember the harder times.  They had what they needed, a loving and caring parent who made sure they were taken care of and their needs were met! They are both AMAZING and successful adults now.  They were lucky enough to grow up not only in a gym (both D1 college athletes) but more importantly, with having a mom who showed them hard work and determination, with a dream for the fuel, will get you far in life!


Before I wrap this up, one other small bump in the road that is worth mentioning, came about four years ago. Tara again was forced to realize how important her whole involvement with living a fit lifestyle and dedicating her life to that notion was.  She was diagnosed with Lupus, after having a severe episode of Raynaud’s flare up during a workout.  She knew that working out and being aware of what she was eating all of a sudden became even more important!  Today, she can boast (and I can say boast!! 🙂 ) that she is in the best shape of her life!  Remember, “situations” don’t define you nor do they control you!  Now that, is serious inspiration!!


CrossFit Clout & Gym today, provides an environment of happy and compatible people, who all have a common goal, and would probably do anything for anyone else there.  There is a lot to be said for this and we are very proud of the facility and atmosphere that exists here.  Positivity, encouragement and comradery, no matter who you are, is what you will feel when you walk through our doors.


If you would like more information on our facility or what we offer at Clout, you can reach Sue at 303-274-6595 or  Drop by any time to take a look around!




Did you put a fitness resolution on your list or are you just craving a healthier lifestyle/ routine/ body?  Good for you!!  You are on your way!!

I understand that anytime you try something new, it’s scary!  I remember when my main form of exercise was daily running, and I walked into CrossFit gym.  I immediate thought, NO WAY can I do this…but thanks anyway, and wanted to turn on my heels and run!!  😉  Thankfully my coach believed in me and helped me realize to take things at MY pace and one day at a time!

To be real, I probably had those same feelings when I decided to take up running!  It seemed too overwhelming, too hard, too everything!!  After a slow start and a lot of practice, I was committed for many years!

Below are a few things to remember!

  • Even the most seasoned fitness people were ALL beginners at one point!
  • Set yourself up for success! Get a friend to workout with! When you know someone else is counting on you, it’s easier to NOT bow out!!
  • Especially at the beginning, ANY activity is better than none! Only have 15-20 minutes to get in and out of the gym or up out of your chair to move your body?  DO IT!
  • In line with the above point, don’t aim to be fit in a month! It will be easier to keep going if you maybe look at it as in being FITTER in a month! THAT, is not only achievable but will keep you wanting to come back because you will absolutely be successful…as long as!
  • Your head will feel as good as your body! Working out can be as much of an emotional pick me up as well as being good for getting your body in shape!
  • Don’t let excuses get in your way! (see the last blog post about what happens when you take time off)

Getting into a fitness routine may take a little time. Remember that your body/mind will get really good at what you do regularly….and that includes sitting on a couch!!

Be the person who starts the New Year off with a brand new goal, and who doesn’t give up a month in!  If you decide you don’t love what you are doing, change it out for something else!


4 Tips to remember when setting GOALS!!



As we are just around the corner for ringing in the new year, it’s TIME, ladies and gentlemen!!  We need to assess where we are, where we want to go, and make a plan (even a loose plan) about how we are going to get there!!

You may think setting a “New Year’s Resolution” is a silly practice.  I personally think it’s a FABULOUS idea because it helps create a spark that we may feel with the impending freshness of the new year!!

There are a few things that I think are valuable to remember when you are setting your goals, some of which you can read on the blog post below about goal setting, but here are some last minute things to remember when you are getting that list down on paper!

  1. Setting a goal is the easy part, following through is the hard part.  We must remember that getting to your goal is not a smooth or straight path!
  2. Even though you have set a goal, it’s OK to modify that goal or change it completely!  Being more flexible with yourself and not feeling defeated if things don’t go exactly as planned is super important!!  I for one, am guilty of this therefore it’s top of my list of things to remember lol!!
  3. Workout success doesn’t need to mean that you are always setting a PR!  Getting to the gym on a day where it may feel hard is a step towards your goal!  Changing a workout up from what was planned is ok, you are still working out! That’s a step ahead of the general population!
  4. Make goals that are sustainable! Small changes and slower movement is way more sustainable than fast weight loss or muscle gain goals!  I get it, I’m the first to be impatient and want results NOW…but if I think back, the positive changes that have stuck with me are the ones where I have made smaller changes that develop into new habits!

I encourage you to SET those goals and then to take the steps you need to get there!  It’s more about the progress than the payoff really, and you may find along the way that you have found a new exciting goal that becomes even more fun to work towards!!

See you in the new year!!!!


DECEMBER 19, 2017




Even when fitness is an integral part of your life, we ALL have set backs where we just may fall off the wagon.  Sometimes, a break is essential, and we must recognize if we are indeed over training, or are we just being lazy.  It can get really easy to let one basic excuse, turn into two, turn into three…and before you know it, you don’t even go to the gym anymore.

How fast do you lose your hard earned gains?


Getting in shape is tough!  It take consistency, solid effort and time!  Your efforts accumulate over the months into creating the muscle structure and endurance that we crave/need to be able to do a lot of physical activities without feeling like they will exhaust us!

Losing those gains, can happen a lot faster than you may realize!

Studies have shown that the type of workout you do or don’t do, the amount of muscle/ endurance you have on board is all a factor in how long of a break you can take without losing all that hard work.


An athlete that has more muscle mass and in particular, more fast twitch muscles may hang onto their fitness a little longer, but if not being worked consistently, those muscles will be the first to go.

You may incorporate both fast and slow twitch muscles into your workouts but the slow twitch muscles are more commonly activated when we are not active.



Your long runs may suffer from taking too much time off but you will hang onto your endurance a little longer than you will your sprinting muscles.

Remember that your body is always trying to achieve a state of homeostasis.  It tries to reach a state of equilibrium but by working out, we are constantly challenging it to be stronger, go longer, be more than it was the day before.  When you stop challenging it, the reality is it will achieve its happy place and your muscle will definitely start to wither.  For most fit people, a week off isn’t going to render huge losses.  But a couple of weeks your body has shifted gears  as far as lean muscle mass, and your endurance!  Within a few months, you can really have lost most of your gains.  EVEN if you lose weight, its your body composition and that valuable lean muscle that is going away so in reality, your body fat will most likely increase even though you lost weight.

The great news is when you jump back on the train after you may have taken a longer break than planned, when you have a history of being a pretty fit individual, your muscle memory will help your body remember what to do, and how to do it.  This may take a few weeks so it’s imperative NOT to go back in feeling like you can pick up where you left off (this is the way that injuries happen and then you have more time away from the gym), and ease yourself back into your workouts over the next few weeks!

The moral of the story, if you are finding you aren’t recovering after 72 hours after a workout, are extremely tired or mentally not able to focus on the workouts, or getting hurt frequently, a break is absolutely in order.  If not, maybe plan a day or two or 4 off and then get back into your routine!  If you allow yourself those few days to cut ties, and not feel guilty about it, it’s easier to not keep forming excuse after excuse of why you aren’t getting the workouts in!!




DECEMBER 13, 2017




The holidays and the ringing in of the new year often brings choices (fitness wise) that may leave you feeling disheartened but on the flip side, most of us have  great intentions for the new year!

I have already done a post on how to curtail going into a tail spin with holiday indulgences so let’s focus today on some tips on goal setting!  They can start TODAY, doesn’t have to wait until January 1!



  • Set goals that are longer term, and goals that are short term!  Where as I will NEVER tell someone to stay realistic (what fun is that if we don’t have huge ambitions), but it’s definitely good to set some goals that are something achievable, so you know you are making progress!!  So what am I saying exactly?  If you want to drop 5 pants sizes, that could be a long term goal that will require changing habits! It may take a year or more!  A shorter term goal that can help you get closer to the 5 sizes down could be, add 1 more workout a week (If you don’t already work out a lot), replace your soft drink with a lemon flavored water, get to bed 30 minutes earlier each night to help your body recover and create better habits!  You can change those short term goals frequently to meet your new lifestyle changes!!

  • Goals should be specific and measurable! If you say, I want to work out more, or lose weight, that’s not specific enough.  A more concrete goal would be I’d like to end up putting in 3 days a week in the gym and lose 20 pounds.

  • Some goals should be for sure attainable, and some, I believe, should be a little lofty! I think that makes things fun and will never leave you for a lack of something to strive for!

  • Set a time frame. You could have daily goals, weekly goals, monthly, yearly…. For example, today, my goal is to drink 3 water bottles of water.  My goal for this week is to CrossFit, or lift weights, 3 days.  My goal for this month is to try 3 new healthy menu items for dinner.  My goal for the year is to lose 20 pounds OR better yet, to fit into a size 2 sizes down from where I right now!

My tips for achieving goals are to know that they are modifiable, know that if you “mess up” one day, doesn’t mean the whole entire plan is lost so just give up, and know that even short term goals take patience.

Lifestyle changes are a better way of looking at things.  If you make drastic changes short term, new habits never have a chance to take hold!  The long term thinker will be way more successful than someone who is short term.



Are fitness goals hard?  Yes!  Is it worth it?  YES!

Let’s get to those goals together, here at CLOUT, and make 2018 and beyond, the best “us” we can!!


DECEMBER 5, 2017



What is magnesium? Why is it important?

“Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. Found in bones, teeth, and red blood cells, magnesium serves as a building block for DNA and is an essential element required for proper functioning of the nervous, muscular, and cardiovascular systems.”  Its super important to the proper functioning of our body’s muscles (including the heart), blood bone density and it helps our bodies protect themselves from too much fat, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and  cholesterol that isn’t in a happy range.  It is also an essential part of your electrolyte balance which is why I supplement with it daily!


How do I know if I need more Magnesium?

Believe it or not, Magnesium deficiency is more prevalent than you may think!  Some of the signs are muscle weakness, irritability, heart palpitations and extreme muscle cramps.  When I started following a Low Carb High Fat dietary protocol (Keto), one of the factors that is wildly important, is to maintain electrolyte balance.  The 3 things we (someone following that dietary protocol) are strongly advised to pay close attention to is sodium, potassium and magnesium intake!  After enduring extreme muscle spasms and cramping, I have increased my magnesium supplementation to a level that helps eliminate some of that!  With a diet like mine (high fat), the magnesium that I do supplement with or eat, is LESS absorbed than someone that does not follow this type of eating.  Hense MY reason for higher levels of supplementation!


Can I get magnesium from natural food sources?

Yes, you can, but likely not enough!  Most people will have to supplement to get optimal amounts.  You will notice that nuts are high on the list but remember, the higher fat means less absorption of this important mineral!


Magnesium will compete for absorption with calcium so if you take them both, take them at separate times of the day!


Types of magnesium and what they do for you!

As you will see if you go into any drug store, there are multiple types of magnesium!  I struggled with this at first, trying to learn which one was best for my needs!  Magnesium needs something to bind to, to be stable so the difference comes from what it’s bound to, not the magnesium itself!  See the list below OR you can check out this very informative article on the different types of Magnesium and how they can be of benefit to you!  Best Magnesium for YOU!



I would recommend if you have any of the symptoms of deficiency, talk with your doctor about the best way for you to find out if you need supplementation!









 NOVEMBER 28, 2017



We have SO many cool options for tracking our fitness!


I remember a LONG time ago, when I was a vegetarian, and I was trying REALLY hard to build some muscle.  I found that I was struggling BIG time and ended up downloading an app called My Fitness Pal!  I tracked what I ate and really got a way better handle on how much protein I was, or wasn’t consuming!  It was a huge help to me figuring out a plan to hit my goal! What a concept!

Fast forward to years later, I still use the MFP app off and on, but now for tracking different things!  Knowing that I had that ability to keep track (pretty closely, I know it’s not 100% accurate) helped me feel at ease and also have more of a handle on what  I needed to incorporate or eliminate from my diet to meet my needs!  This started my interest in the app world and fitness!  If I could have such a cool app to help me with diet, surely I could find out other information on an app as well!!

What kind of training do you do?  Do you run?  do you CrossFit?  Is lifting your jam?  Maybe triathlon?  It doesn’t matter, you can find an app to help you design a program, track your progress or even compete with other athletes that plus into the same app you do!

This is a list of some of the cool apps that I either know about or have read about!


My Fitness Pal

This is also a web site where you can enter your food intake, calculate macros, design diet plans and get basic nutritional information about what you are eating or WANT to eat!  I enjoy this app but try to only use it sparingly so that I don’t get to obsessed with having numbers determine what I put in my body!




Map My Run

I used this app/site quite a a bit when I was still active in the running community! You are able to see routes that others use, or map your own unique route!  I noticed that they recently added the ability to track your food and engage in competitions with friends!  There is also a version called Map My Walk if you would like to do the same thing with other walkers!



I used the web site a lot when I was a runner to pre map out routes to check my distance before I even set foot outside of the door!



Fit Bit

I have had a Fit Bit for years and really love joining into the weekly challenges that my friends invite me to!  It helps put a fire under you to really get up and MOVE and beat out all your friends for those steps!!  Fit Bit will track your activity, weight, sleep and food and really gives of fun valuable information for the fitness enthusiast!!  My favorite thing to track with mine is my sleep!!  Sleep is truly a huge part of staying healthy, being fit and at a healthy weight!  I do also like to be aware of days where I have either sat at my desk to lounged WAYYY too long!!  You can get many different models of the watches and they all tell you a little bit different data.  For example, mine doesn’t have heart rate information but you can get them with heart rate, connections to your text on your phone, as well as all the basic informational pieces!!


It’s always a kick to me to feel the wrist band buzz when I have hit my 10k steps!





This app is designed for the runner or cyclist.  It features a lot of the same data trackers and is pretty popular in the running and cycling communities! One thing that I really enjoy about these apps, across the board, is the ability to connect with other athletes that enjoy the same sports as you do, and either follow along with their training or join into fun challenges!!


I have not personally used this app but I know runners and cyclists that love it!



CrossFit Apps

I came across a variety of apps for CrossFit athletes!  They can track your PR’s, your weights for a variety of benchmark workouts and even offer up ideas for WODs!  I will list a handful of them below and you can see which one or combination would meet your needs the best!!


Beyond the Whiteboard

Just like Facebook, you can “like” and comment on other peoples workouts! This is GREAT for motivation and accountability!  This app will help you plan, track your fitness levels, join groups, and analyze where you sit in your CrossFit journey! You can follow the programming of specific gyms and watch instructional videos! This app gets great reviews!!






This app is simple, easy to use and will help you log basics like your wod, your PRs and your common weights!!





WODzilla is a common app that people love since its pretty easy to use and practical. You can use it to track your goals like all the others, and also follow your own CrossFit Box’s programming through entering in their RSS feed!!




I could list a TON more CrossFit apps, there are so many that are really good!!! You can get apps that just generate WODs for you and others that record more detail!!



All Trails – hiking and snowshoeing trails

The All Trails app is fantastic and will give you trailed based on your physical location!  You can determine if a hike if for you with various details like elevation gains, trail difficulty, time of year that is best to hike it and photos/reviews posted by other hikers!


I use this app ALL THE TIME!  I use it for all my hikes in Colorado and was happy to have it while looking for trails during our vacation to Hawaii too!



Down Dog Yoga

A friend of mine recommended this app for yoga inspiration and tracking!  This will provide yoga workouts and you can purchase extra memberships to get extra features!!





Jefit offers weight training guidance, places to store progress with body fat/weight/measurements, as well as give you a HUGE variety of exercises and the muscles they target!  This is a great app especially if you want some fresh ideas!!





Nike Training Club

The Nike Training Club app offers a great variety of different style workouts from beginner to advanced!  You can pick your way of training each day and really switch things up based on what you already did this week plus what your body is craving to do!!






I hope that this gives you a small idea of the really vast amount of fitness and diet related apps that exist on the market!  Some are free, and some require a small payment to utilize!  I know that the ones I listed here have good ratings and recommendations but you can always trial and error them to see how they fit your personal training goals!  Also, just because an app costs money doesn’t necessarily make it better than a free app!!!

Check some of these out to help you with your goals!  They can be a lot of fun and SUPER useful!!

If you know of an app that I can’t live without, please reach out and let me know! I’m always open to learning of new things and passing the info along!!







NOVEMBER 21, 2017



Do you have someone in your life that can’t get enough of working out or are YOU the fitness freak, and need to drop some hints to people in your life who may need ideas for you?  THIS, is the blog post for you!

Black Friday deals have already started, but the REAL black Friday and Cyber Monday are just a few days away!  You should be able to get some killer deals, or at least ideas so you can seek out some deals!

From the bargain deal, say $10 and under, to the high end products, you will find some great ideas to help you get your shopping started!!


Water bottles/hydration!! 

EVERY ONE needs to stay hydrated!  Do you know how many water bottles I have lost or get just run down from using them daily?  You need one regardless of what fitness activity you are into!

Prices range from $5 – $150 depending on the system you chose to go with!

A Camel Bak is good for someone who loves to get out on the bike, walk, run or hike!  Prices range from about $50 – $200!

These cool bottles that you can add fruit to or just plain bottles of all sizes are a great gift idea!  Prices range from $5 – $30


Fitness Tracking systems:

These are a super cool gift to give and get!  Once people have one of these its very motivating to keep going with challenges you can do with friends, or just keep track of how long you are sitting or moving!  My favorite thing about my fitbit is actually tracking my sleep!  You can also track food and water intake plus other advanced features offered on the higher end models!

Apple Watch – This is a really cool device that can do all kinds of fun tracking and then sync with your Iphone! Pricing between $200-$450

Motiv Ring – I just saw this advertised and it looks really cool! This offers a lot of fitness tracking features through a ring on your finger!  Pricing is around $199.

I have used a Fitbit for years and love the data, size and weight of this fun device!  Track steps, heart rate, sleep patterns, calories and use it as a watch! Pricing from $130-$300



Ok, let’s be honest…what girl doesn’t love a cool pair of new leggings or workout jacket?  What guy doesn’t love a new pair of kicks or cool tshirt to sport around?  Apparel is ALWAYS a great idea for your fitness buffs!  We honestly can’t get enough of it!!  (trust me on this…)

Guys can be just as into cool new apparel as us girls!  From Tshirts to special shorts, shoes to jackets, there is always something that can make you feel and look good in the gym or on the trails!

Apparel for women, you don’t have to break the bank to get really cute, current styles!  If you can swing it to shop at Lulu Lemon, Athleta for Victoria Secret, they have an amazing variety of styles/colors/sizes.  I personally shop a lot at the discount stores like Marshalls, Ross and TJ Maxx and get really cool apparel that is timeless and WAY less expensive!  When on a limited budget I urge you to check them out!


Shoes…who doesn’t love shoes??!!

Truly, especially in Colorado, a girl can never have too many athletic jackets!  Good for the gym or a casual day around town!





How can I give food as a gift you ask?  LOTS of ways!  Sometimes healthy food items can be spendy and always appreciated!  If your fit friend has a yearning for Cliff Bars, or for dried fruit, you could easily make a cool little basket full of Justin’s peanut butter pouches, Power Crunch Bars, Epic bars, and maybe a little dark chocolate!  Very fun idea that I know a lot of people would love!



Be creative!  Observe what they like, collect some favorites and nestle them into a cute basket for a fun unique gift!!



What if your friend is struggling to make good choices daily in food and you want to help!  There are a LOT of food service companies out there now that will meal prep FOR YOU!  A week’s worth of a few dinners would definitely not break the bank and may be able to get them on a great track to success!  One service that both Tara and I have used and LOVED is in the link! Check them out and see if maybe they offer gift certificates!!


   Fit Foods 4 U



Maybe you or your gift recipient is and outdoor exerciser!   Hiking boots, jackets, headlamps, hydration systems…all great ideas!!

Jackets…always good for the outdoorsy type!  Price varies!!


Boots may be for the individual that you will spend a little more money on but are a GREAT gift for the outdoor enthusiast! $45- $300 and up!


Hydroflask will keep your drink cold or warm for 24 hours! $36 – 

Headlamps can be priced from $6-$50 and are a super gift for those hikers in your life!



To wrap things up, there are truly a ton of gift ideas that can be valued and appreciated!  I will list a few more below to round out our blog today!!  As always, feel free to message with with other ideas that I may have left off the list!!


Jewelry is a really cute fun thing that a lot of fitness folks are into!  Necklaces, rubber rings, and dog tags to name a few! I have even purchased super cute Christmas tree ornaments that are fitness related!

Wireless heaphones are a must for a lot of people. Especially if you like your solitude in the gym OR want some invigorating tunes to help you climb that last hill on bike or foot!


A vibrating roller…who would have thought??  I like it though and it is definitely unique!!

Bands, either the therapy size OR the thicker exercise style are a great gift for the enthusiast who has a harder time making it to a gym!  You can get a fantastic workout, at home, with just a set of bands!!


I hope that this was of value to you and may have given you some ideas you hadn’t thought about for gifts for your friends and family!  If you have any specific questions about anything please reach out!!  Also feel free to share our blog post to someone you think may find this info valuable!  We always appreciate it!!

Happy Shopping!!!






NOVEMBER 14, 2017



A feast for your tummy!


As we quickly approach the holidays, I know that many people are excited but are also filled with stress about trying to stick to a healthier plan and not gain weight over the next month!

Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holiday and not feel guilty!

  1. PORTION control.  This may be difficult when there is a lot of amazing food placed in front of us but is probably, hands down, the biggest tip I have.  It’s ok to indulge, just remember to keep your portions at bay!  Maybe even think portions the size of a handful!
  2. WATCH YOUR CARBS. Yes, I know, there are a lof of carbs with rolls, stuffing, etc….but trying to fill up more on the veggie style carbs will help your stomach get more full before you have a half a loaf of bread!  (speaking from experience of eating a half a loaf….).
  3. SWEETS CONTROL.  When you have holidays, noone wants to be restricted and not be able to even enjoy a piece of mom’s apple pie, so, DO IT!  Have that pie, but stop at one serving!  If eating sweets like that sends you mentally over the edge, maybe offer to bring a fruit plate or some other lower calorie/sugar style dessert to share!
  4. ALCOHOL.  Having a glass of wine with dinner, ONE glass, will allow you to enjoy but sip it slowly, and make that baby last!
  5. EAT YOUR VEGGIES. Like I mentioned above, veggies are a good way to fill up your belly so that you don’t over indulge in other areas!  Eating veggies with higher fiber (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, etc….) will not convert to sugar in your blood stream as fast so they are always a better option.
  6. EAT THE TURKEY. Turkey is a great lean meat that offers protein and good nutrients with not a lot of other bad components!  Enjoy your turkey!

So really, it all comes down to enjoying yourself but keeping things in check. I think most of us get that horrible guilt feeling after a holiday meal when we just keep putting more and more in the vessel, even when you know you are full.  If you are really trying to stick to plan, have something to eat before the big feast. If you are less hungry, you are less likely to over do it.  Kind of like going to the grocery store when you are hungry…bad idea.

To me the goal is to be able to have fun with my family/friends, partake in some good food and desserts, and not walk away feeling like I “should have eaten less”.

Enjoy your holiday season and as always you can comment or message us with other tips you may have to keeping your waistline in check!!

NOVEMBER 8, 2017






Low carb high fat diets (LCHF) like Keto, AIP and others can take on a variety of shapes and sizes. The overall factor though is you want to keep your carbs as low as you can, and get those fats increased, a TON!

A few of us have either recipes or meal types that we enjoy and we will share them here plus link you up to a few other resources!  Since I am NOT a cook, I will  also include examples of what I eat, in addition to recipies if you like to mix things up a little!!



typical breakfast:  2-3 oz of ground pork (fried, just in it’s own fat) – 1-2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil – Decaf Coffee with a scoop of MCT oil powder blended in.


I have recently learned about a “bullet proof coffee” version that I LOVE now that I got over the fear of trying it!  It packs a solid 650-700 calories and around 40 grams of fat.  It’s perfect for those mornings I don’t want to make something or have the pork option.

larger cup of decaf + 2 raw egg yolks + 2 tablespoons butter + 2 tablespoons coconut oil + 1 scoop MCT oil powder.  BLEND (very important).  It literally tasted like a latte and is packed full of the fats and nutrients good for keto eaters!!


for 1 pancake

1/4 cup flaxmeal

1 egg

3/4 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon (I sometimes leave this out)


Jut cook it in a pan with butter or some sort of fat and then If you partake in artificial sweeteners, you could make a mix of butter and say stevia to drizzle on it!




dark meat chicken or ground beef – added fats (always) – celery or salad

When you are first starting, it may seem like an easy fix or go to, to grab deli meat or salami.  I would say at the beginning, that’s ok to do but try hard to wean away from those. Not only are they super full of preservatives and additives, they typically have sugar in them which is a huge keto no-no!  Yes, even bacon.  If you eat bacon, look for uncured BUT, check the label.  Look at the ingredient panel and not the nutrition panel to check for sugar.  AGAIN, this kind of also depends on what your goal is for eating this way.  If you are trying to get/stay in ketosis, these things must go.  If you are just trying to live a low carb high fat life, not AS important!

One of my mentors and one of the people I trust most on this journey is Leanne Vogel.  I”m going to link to some of her recipes for lunch ideas!  She is a WEALTH of information and ideas for various keto meals!

The Healthful Pursuit – 21 lunch ideas!



Pretty similar pattern you will see here:  fatty chicken, ground beef or pork, added fat and some salad, fiberous vegetable (if I can handle it).

Low Carb Buffalo Chicken Soup recipe

2 cups cooked chicken shredded

4 oz cream cheese

3 tbsp butter

1/3 cup franks hot sauce

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup half and half (I would change this to heavy cream)

salt and pepper to tast


If you like to cook, see below!!

Keto Summit – 25 dinner recipes/ideas!


SIMPLE SUE:  Lindt 90% dark chocolate. I usually have 4 squares!

Tara has perfected a keto mug cake which she loves! I will include it PLUS a couple others that are easy and look yummy, AND I will include link again to Leanne Vogel’s recipes!!






  • 1 Cup Whipped  Heavy Cream or Coconut Cream sweetened to taste with sweetener of choice, low carb can use liquid stevia, or other low carb sweetener, paleo can use honey as sweetener.

Keto Mug Cake

Per chocolate mug cake: 405 Calories, 36.94 Fats, 5.86g Net Carbs, and 12.31g Protein.
  • 1 Large Egg.
  • 2 Tbsp. Salted Butter.
  • 2 Tbsp. Almond Flour.
  • 2 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Erythritol or Splenda.
  • 2 tsp. Coconut Flour.
  • 1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract.
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder.


The Healthful Pursuit – 19 Keto dessert ideas!


Everyone who eats a Keto or LCHF way of eating, may have different limitations!  For me, I can’t do dairy or nuts but a lot of LCHF eaters can!  If you can’t, just substitute those ingredients!  Its really simple to modify recipes or ideas to meet your own needs!!

As always if YOU have a recipe you would like to share, email Sue at! I would love to add it to our list!!






When I first heard about inflammation in the body, it was personally hard for me to wrap my head around what was going on and why, when it wasn’t something that I could see or really physically know was happening, was it so bad!  I mean really, WHY is something as wonderful as sugar making my innards unhappy?????  I LOVE sugar!!! 😉



Instead of trying to paraphrase what exactly chronic inflammation is, I’m attaching a description from Web MD on what it is and why inflammation inside of us (not the normal inflammation that occurs to protect and heal us) is not a good thing!

“Inflamation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and substances they produce protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses.

However, in some diseases, like arthritis, the body’s defense system — the immune system — triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign invaders to fight off. In these diseases, called autoimmune diseases, the body’s normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal.” Web MD.



Even those of us without autoimmune diseases can suffer ill effects of inflammation in our bodies!  It’s truly does harm us in little ways, ways that you may not even realize are related to behaviors that increase this within our bodies!

Research shows that may things can cause inflammation in the body.  From lack of sleep, to stress, to the foods we eat, can all set our body up for an internal battle!  Why do we care?  Research also has shown that chronic inflammation can be very damaging over time!  It can lead to things like joint pain, increased risk of cancer, increased risk of heart disease, and it can attack the digestive track causing illnesses like Chrones or Ulcerative Colitis.  Inflammation can affect your skin and has even been linked to depression.








We can help reduce inflammation in our bodies by lifestyle changes like trying to get better sleep and reduce stress, staying at a healthy weight and exercising regularly.  We can also help reduce it by the foods we choose to eat!


Below is a list of some of the top offenders of foods that will increase that inflammatory response in our bodies!


Vegetable oil (and foods that are fried in them)

Trans Fats

SUGAR (ugh, hard to stomach I know…)

Refined flour (breaks down very quickly to sugar)

Alcohol (in excess, a little isn’t bad)

Dairy (in excess)


Artificial sweeteners

Saturated fats (in excess)

Grain fed meats

Fast foods

Processed meats (lunch meat, bacon, etc…)


While it may be near impossible to cut all these offending food items out of your diet, eliminating SOME of them or even reducing the amounts you consume could reap rewards!

Remember that progress is what counts!  We don’t get anywhere overnight, and making choices that get us closer to where we want to be is the best plan!  Create a lifestyle, a way of living versus a quick fix to really embody health and wellness!

OCTOBER 24, 2017



How do I say on track?

A few easy tactics that will help!


No need to say RIP to your hard work during the holidays!


As we enter the season of sweet treats and holidays that are surrounded by big meals, how on earth do we find balance!  We all want to, and should be able to enjoy a little holiday toddy or dessert and join in the festivities, but we don’t want to add inches to our waistlines because we overdid it!  How do we walk that fine line of being able to let your hair down but keep your pants fitting?

Treats can be super tempting…putting some sort of limits on yourself will help you enjoy AND stay more on track!


Try not to make food the center of your focus!



Halloween, focus on creating the best costume ever!! Thanksgiving, focus on all the amazing people you can see and memories you can share.  Christmas, getting to reconnect with loved ones OR even make new memories! All good things and doesn’t make the center of our focus all the foods!



Planning is huge!  If you plan ahead as far as what you can bring to a get together, you can have a more healthy option that is for sure available, and then fill in with a couple of other items that other people bring!  You will be able to enjoy yourself without totally derailing your own goals!  Also, if you know that you have 4 holiday parties to attend one week, plan your approach!


So many parties, so little time!

Drink water and eat veggies!  Water fills our tummies up, as does the water and fiber content in vegetables!  They are good for you and can help you not be so ravenous for things that may not make your body feel so well!!



I always find it more difficult to drink enough water in the winter but it’s super important, not to just feeling full but saying hydrated!


Be sure you are still making time for YOU and for keeping up with your gym routine!  If you go to classes, try to not let excuses become your norm for missing!  Mentally you will be stronger if you know you are continuing with good habits, even if it is just for a shorter time than normal!  Plus, all your friends will miss you if you stay away!!  🙂



I totally know that this is difficult, but learn to say no.  On the flip side, don’t completely deprive yourself and not let yourself have any fun!  There IS a way of letting yourself have a good time, enjoying good food, but also know that it’s OK to say no and your body will thank you for that!  I have certain foods (I know which ones they are) in my life where I am an all or nothing girl.  If I have one bite, I can’t stop.  With those types of foods, I won’t even go there.  I “just say no”.  If it’s something that I know that I can indulge a little and then move on, it’s a go!



Let’s all enjoy the holidays, have a little fun, and stay on course for the most part and jump right back in the saddle if you feel like you fell off!!

I’ll see you in the gym!


OCTOBER 17, 2017




Heading out on vacation/ business travel can be exciting but also overwhelming if you are trying to stick to a certain way of eating.


Travel, many of us do it for work, most of us will do it at some point in our lives for fun!   How on earth, do you try to stick to somewhat “healthy” eating, or at least eating foods that follow the plan that we choose to adhere to?  I can’t tell you how many people I hear saying that they gained 10 pounds on a vacation!!!

I will be the first to say, I think that vacation should be a time where you loosen up the reins a little bit and let yourself enjoy things that you may not at home!  That being said, for people like me who’s bodies rebel at certain foods, it is imperative to learn how to say healthy while away from home so you aren’t forced to spend time in the room, sick or uncomfortable!  Not worth it!

I believe there is a way to stick to plan but STILL enjoy the things you want to enjoy! This post is about MY experiences doing just that!

During my most recent trip to Hawaii, we didn’t have access to a kitchen so were destined to eat out for hot meals!  This already gave me a slight bit of anxiety, but it all worked out so I know it’s possible!  Knowing that I wouldn’t have access to the kinds of foods my body can handle if I needed something at some inopportune time…I was sure to pack snacks that would help tide me over, that were in the safe category!

…disclaimer, I am NOT a food photographer so pardon the cheesy meal pics!!  lol


I packed enough Epic bars for me, and Power Crunch bars for Chris, so we were never “stuck” if one of us needed something to eat but didn’t have access to the good stuff! Also shown are my Celtic Sea Salt that I need daily, my digestive enzymes/vitamins and my MCT oil powder.



The meals where we ate out at a restaurant were usually breakfast and dinner, and lunch was a bar (pictured above)  or something easy to tote along in a backpack!!

Most breakfast menus in Hawaii had a selection of meats that I could consume!  They offered sausage, bacon and hamburger patty on almost all menus!  I always went with the hamburger patty, because I knew it would be the food least likely to have added sugars or other ingredients!  It also gave me the biggest bang for my buck!  3 pieces of bacon or a large beef patty?  Definitely way more food with the patty!

I re-introduced eggs back into my diet and felt successful. I only had them once a day at most, and not every day we were there! I was so happy to have them “feel” good in my body since they are such a power house of nutrition!!  ..and I’m talking yolks guys, not the whites!


First day I tried just the one egg with the patty. This gave me some good added fats since I didn’t have my coconut oil or real butter available!


Bumped up to two eggs over the next few days and all was well!


This breakfast I got meats that if you are following Keto super strictly, you may not want to eat but for my purposes, they were just fine for a meal or two!!  I did not eat the hash browns, but darn it I WANTED them!! lol


We ended up stopping for lunch one day at really cool small food truck/ surf stuff truck on the side of the road and Chris was able to get fish tacos (he is not following a keto way of eating) and I could have had pork (they ran out wahhhhhhh) or beef!  Again, no problem finding savory nutritious food!



No tomatoes for me but I did nibble on the lettuce a little!!


Lunch date with Amber and we went to a little sandwich shop.  They didn’t have grilled mushrooms on the menu but grilled some up for me since it’s one of the few veggies I can still eat!!


Not realizing it when I ordered, my pork/lettuce dish was actually was delivered in a wrap…so no big deal, I just dumped the meat out and enjoyed some VERY savory pork!!


Can I tell you how excited I was to have SPAM? lol  Although it’s NOT keto (based on what is in it) this was one of my choices to eat anyway since I never every eat it anywhere else! SO good!!!


Every restaurant was SO accommodating to my needs which was so greatly appreciated!  We were able to go somewhere that had a good variety for Chris and I still could get something that would fill me up and not make me sick!  The above was sauteed steak with mushrooms.  So incredible I can’t even tell you!


Luao buffet, I was able to get pulled pork, chicken, shrimp and brisket!  There was a small amount of sugary sauces on these but it was NOT something that would make me sick, and allowed me to join in the fun!


Special order side of pork with eggs over medium!


Portabello mushroom burger, no bun! This burger was HUGE I tell ya!!  I did not have the fries or sauces that came with it!


Ok, so I’m on vacation right?  You are thinking just live it up a little Sue!!!  As you can see though, I am STILL eating very savory foods, but they still keep my body happy!  I don’t feel deprived I promise!  However…..

I lived it up as much as I could!  See below!!

MALASADAS!! TOPS on my list of things to have in Hawaii, and prepared to suffer the consequences!!  lol  I limited myself so I did ok, paid the price a little but it was worth it !! Nutella filled AND chocolate pudding filled!!


I don’t usually drink at all but Chris told me I needed to at least taste a Mai Tai!  I did and it was delicious!! haha But, about 4 drinks (not 4 glasses, literally 4 sips) and I felt it!!


I don’t consider this going off my normal way of eating as I always eat dark chocolate but this was the BOMB!!!  100% so zero added sugar!  So good!


So there you have it! With a little planning and really paying attention to the menu it IS possible to stick pretty close to plan!  I’m not saying that you should necessarily, to be honest, if it didn’t make me actually sick I would have indulged a bit more, but I wanted to share how if you need to or WANT to stick to a plan, it’s totally doable!!

Here’s to the next vacation!!


OCTOBER 12, 2017




I am VERY excited to welcome Julia Harvat of Denver Mobility to the blog this week!  Julia is phenomenal at her craft of Rossiter, and has helped NUMEROUS people, athletes and non athletes heal their bodies.  With no further ado…Please let me give a warm welcome to Julia!!

How can you improve your performance without overtraining?

By Julia Harvat, owner of Denver Mobility



Have you hit a plateau in your performance?

Are you unable to get stronger (or worse, you are getting weaker) even though you log a ton of hours at the gym?

Fascia could be the answer!

Fascia is the connective tissue that wraps around and goes through your entire body. It wraps your muscles, ligaments, organs, and even bones to maintain your structure. I liken it to plastic wrap; it has that general characteristic. When it’s healthy, it’s springy and there is complete freedom of movement. With optimal space, blood flow, and hydration in your fascia, you are an unstoppable superhero!

Unfortunately, overuse and injury can cause your fascia to get tight, stick to itself, shrink and get dehydrated (boo). This almost always manifests itself as a lack of mobility and even pain (bigger boo).

Pain and poor range of motion are huge culprits in raining on your performance parade. Your muscles can’t fully expand and contract to their full potential, and your form is not on point enough for your lifts and movements to be efficient.

Good news: space in your fascia can be quickly restored! Your body has an amazing capacity to heal itself if you give it a little love. The easiest way to start is by making friends with a foam roller. You know, that long cylinder sitting in the corner of your gym? That’s the one. It’s a great tool for breaking up those fascial adhesions and loosening your tissue. If you’re having shoulder pain, try this technique:

If you want even faster results, come see me for a Kinetix session! Kinetix is a fascia releasing technique that quickly “pulls out the wrinkles” in that plastic wrap and gets you back to what you love doing. You can schedule an appointment at


OCTOBER 4, 2017

What is healthy?



I was chatting with a friend/trainer the other day, and our discussion was about food, and what foods could we put on a top 10 healthy food list if we were compiling one.  What we both know, is that is actually quite personal and what is considered healthy for one person, may be very unhealthy for another.   I’m not about to tell you that Jimmy can go buy Oreos and have 12 every hour but Jennifer can only eat beef liver, and eat it one time a week. Its more about your body, the way your body processes foods, and what foods it likes and what foods it doesn’t agree with as much!

One thing that oddly, I didn’t realize until I started my journey of finding my own “healthy way” over a year ago, is that if eating makes you feel full, that’s ok, you may have just had too much, but eating a food that makes you feel bloated, that’s not ok.  That means that something in side of you isn’t responding like it should. I never knew and thought that living in a state of bloat was normal!



I would say the majority of people feel bloated, gassy and just plain icky after they eat certain things, and this can drastically vary from person to person.  It is absolutely a journey in figuring out just what exactly those things are but it CAN be done!  That is another blog past all together!

That being said, there are definitely guidelines to choosing “healthier foods”.

The conclusion that we came to when faced with all the facts above is, the healthiest of foods that can be an across the board statement, are all natural and not processed foods, foods without preservatives and artificial ingredients added to them.  I’m sure you have heard that if you stick to the outside isles of a grocery store and skip the “innards” where all the boxed stuff resides, you will be on the right track.  If you pick fresh (or even frozen) vegetables, meats that are uncooked, that you need to prepare yourself (I would even be very careful with the deli, meats there can have a lot of added preservatives and sugars), eggs, cheeses/dairy and fruits, you will be definitely making healthier choices than if you bought frozen burritos, eggo waffles, frozen pizzas or cereals.


These Eggo’s show you how good they are by marketing the “10 vitamins and minerals” plus it being a “good source of calcium” .  Don’t be fooled, it’s not good for you!

Fresh meats are always the best choice over packaged or deli meat!  The others will do in a pinch but have preservatives and added sugars!

There are a ton of fresh fruits and veggies that you can chop up to have with you for snacks!

If you can tolerate nuts, they are a great source of fats and micro nutrients AND easy to throw in a bag!  Just be careful with serving size as they are high in calories!


Many people choose to follow a certain eating styles, some examples are:  veganism, vegetarianism, paleo, keto, AIP, Fast Tract Diet, Raw….the list goes on.  The reasons for following different dietary protocols are many, but you can still find unprocessed foods that should fit the guidelines of the protocol that is best for your health.  I also believe that taking on a modified version of these more restrictive diets can be very beneficial to finding out what exactly works for you own personal situation!  Modifications can be a change over time as well.  What may work one day may not work the next, just keep experimenting and listening to what your body tells you!





I understand the argument that it’s not always practical to have whole fresh unprocessed foods at hand.  My theory on that is that you actually can, but it WILL take thought, preparation and commitment!  In addition, there are some really good alternatives that don’t involve firing up an oven or taking out the chopping board!



For myself, someone who, at the moment, can’t eat many vegetables ( Don’t worry, there are resources to show that you get a TON of nutrients/vitamins from meats, sometimes even more than you get from veggies)  I make sure to have my meats and sides prepared over the weekend.  If I go out to eat, a plain burger (no bun) or a piece of chicken works just fine!  I also travel with Epic Bars that have minimal ingredients or added sugars.


The RXBar is an amazing combination of just a couple ingredients that pack a nutritious punch!



The EPIC bars are also a fantastic source of protein and fats while delivering all natural ingredients!


When you are trying to put a label like “healthy” on something it truly is difficult because that looks different to each individual.   What I recommend is eating as many whole real foods versus packaged foods, and when you do go with something packaged, check for added sugars (can be hidden under many names other than “sugar”) and how many ingredients are in the product.  A shorter list is usually better and ingredients that make sense (ie, celery powder versus something you can’t pronounce)  are more likely to be better for you!  Mainly, read labels and ignore the marketing BS that is printed all over the box. You can make an informed decision if the ingredients make sense in your realm of needs better than a label claiming it’s health value just because they added a vitamin.

You can do this!!!




SEPTEMBER 20, 2017





Many people that come to the gym will lift a barbell, dumbbells or hop on a machine to grow and tone muscles.

One piece of “equipment” that I have recently fallen back in love with is bands!  These easy to carry, travel friendly pieces of rubber are good for more than just PT and rehab!!  They can be used consistently to build, firm and tone all parts of the body!  You may be surprised at how sore/strong you can get from a band only workout!!

There are different types of bands that can be used for different exercises.

Small bands:  You can purchase a set of smaller bands that could go around your calves, thighs or arms that are very inexpensive!  I believe I paid all of $7 for a set off amazon and I use them all the time! These come in a variety of resistance.

A set of bands like this are inexpensive, compact, and can travel with you anywhere!


Large bands:  I have a set of the oversized rubber band style bands (no handles) that are all different degrees of difficulty.  My pack came with 4 different sizes/degree of resistance.  They are perfect to hold my entire body weight, or to be able to move freely to add less resistance to a movement.


A set of larger “rubber band” style bands are a little more expensive for a set, but you can purchase each individually as well if you are on a budget OR don’t need all five!



Some bands have handles for ease of use but I personally like the larger, oversized rubber band style that is highly functional!


This set of bands is highly functional as well.  You can hook them on a pole, under your feet or even behind your back.


Sling Shot band:  This is an awesome band to have to use during warm up with or to use on it’s own OR during squats with a bar! It really forces the glutes to engage!




Benefits of training with bands:

Bands can offer resistance, free range of motion, progressive resistance (meaning as you go to full extension, the resistance becomes greater), does not rely on gravity to provide resistance ( you can perform movements with resistance on the horizontal plane in addition to a vertical plane, unlike a barbell) and allows for a wide range of exercises to develop functional movements.



Below is a small example of some exercises you can do with bands!  Bands allow for a lot of creativity as well!

Thrusters:  Standing with your feet shoulder width apart on the band, you will come to a full squat with your hands by your shoulders, then as you stand up press the band fully over head.




Bent over rows:  one of my personal favorites



Standing or seated rows:




Chest press



Front raises (underhand and overhand if you are using the “rubber band” style band)



Standing lunges with band:  This is another personal favorite!  These are really challenging and I feel them every time!








Side steps




Banded squats (engages the posterior chain better with the horizontal movement of the legs)



Hip thrusters




Upright row






Remember to always engage your core when doing these movements!

As you can see, you could very easily put together a full body workout with bands!  The creativity side is pretty awesome and allows you to do different versions of movements while not getting bored!

I recommend everyone incorporate band movement into their training! It’s another way to switch things up and put your muscles to the test and develop them in a different way than lifting a barbell or a dumbbell!!







SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


Dumbbell curls effectively work the bicep as well as surrounding muscles.


Who here lifts a barbell?  Who here has lifted weights using a machine?  I would guess that almost anyone who would be reading this blog would give a resounding ME!



When we lift a barbell to do a movement, it’s making our bodies work in a completely different way than if we used a machine. For many barbell movements, you will be engaging many muscles, large and small, versus isolating just a single muscle!



Engaging more muscles than a single one, your movement becomes very beneficial for functional wellness.


Taking things even a step further, if you pick up a dumbbell or a kettlebell, your body will be forced into engaging muscles even more differently than if you use a bar!

Asymmetric exercises are where we work only one side of the body at a time!  Examples are lunges, dumbbell row, curls, kettle bell over head holds, pistol squats…just to name a few.


Lunges are a great example of an asymmetrical movement where each leg is required to move the weight of your body on their own.


There are a few good reasons to work just one side of the body at a time! You can achieve a larger range of motion on movements like a DB row where you can pull the weight higher on one side than if you had a bar hitting your body.


Single arm dumbbell rows allows you to perform a larger range of motion than a barbell as shown below.




Say you are training legs, if you are using either two legs to squat with a bar or even two legs to press on a machine, you could potentially compensate for the weakness of one leg by utilizing more strength from the more dominant leg.  If you are to use one leg to squat (pistol squat) or press, the muscles on that leg have no choice but to do ALL the work! This makes your training very effective at building strength equally on both body parts!


The pistol squat can also be performed by squatting to a bench or box, or by supporting yourself with a pole.


When doing movements on one side of the body, you will drastically reduce your weight you are lifting.  You will not only have only half the strength that you had when using two body parts/your whole body but you will have more potential to have your body misalign for proper movement.  If you are keeping your weight appropriate, it will enhance the lift and force the balance/stabilizer muscles to work hard and keep the body tracking correctly!


This athlete will scale down his over head weight when using only one arm.



This athlete can hold quite a bit more of a load when supporting the bar with both arms.


In conclusion, remembering to incorporate asymmetric training will only help your body become more stable and able to protect itself from injury!  Single arm movements are also INCREDIBLE for engaging and growing your CORE!!!


Example of asymmetric movements:


Curls (dumbbell or cable)

Singe arm snatches

Single arm pull downs

Farmers carry

Single arm tricep press (or db tricep over head extension )

Single arm row

Lateral raises with dumbbell or kettlebell

Turkish get ups

Pistol squats

Single leg leg press or curls


Bulgarian split squat

Step ups

Single leg deadlift, single arm deadlift

Single arm upright row

Sled pushing

Single arm clean and jerk

Single arm over head squat





When we want to grow a booty, we squat, but the squat is beneficial for FAR more than just making that rear end round and strong!





Squatting is a super important movement for really, just about anyone!  Functionally speaking, we have to squat to sit in a chair, we have to squat to pick something off of the floor, heck we have stand up from a squat to get out of bed!!   It carries over to day to day movement and isn’t something that is ONLY performed in a gym setting!

Performing a squat with good form is not always as natural as you may think, even though we use the movement all the time!  Learning proper technique is hugely important so you can help protect other areas of your body when you drop that booty down!!



Why is squatting in the gym and building squat strength important? You may think it’s just to build leg strength, but it actually does that PLUS SO.MUCH.MORE….and for only 9.99, you can build a booty….lol!!   In all seriousness, squatting is a compound movement (engaging more than one single muscle group) and works quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, spinal erectors, abdominal and obliques.   In addition, all the little muscle groups called stabilizer muscles, get challenged and developed!  This will help you keep from falling and losing balance, in addition to creating a very strong muscle foundation and mobility! This will reduce your risk of injury overall!   #bonus




Other benefits of Squatting:

  • Squats will help build power, muscle and size!
  • Squats will help improve core strength!! Especially noticeable when performing the front squat!  Driving up with those elbow out of the bottom of the squat will power those abdominal muscles and core more than you may think!!
  • Squats help your vertical jumping ability!  Squats build hip extension strength and allows for better explosive movements!  This is also true for sprinting!
  • Squatting helps increase mobility and flexibility!
  • Have you ever heard the phrase, if you don’t move it you lose it?  So true with squatting!  The more consistently you squat, the better your range of motion will be which comes with ALL KINDS of benefits!!


Squat properly!  Feet around shoulder width apart with toes pointed slightly out, as you start to lower yourself, your booty will go back, knees track over your feet, then you move all the way down to parallel or below.  Your heels will NEVER leave the floor.  Drive weight into your heels as you stand back up with your hips fully extended!

Types of squats:

Air Squat


Back Squat


Front Squat


Overhead Squat


Goblet Squat


In conclusion, squat…A LOT!

AUGUST 30, 2017

There is a FIRST for everything!


We are all faced with firsts, and unknowns our entire lives!  From learning to walk, to reading, to sports, to relationships, to continuing fitness as an adult…you name it! This past weekend was a monumental first for many in our group!!

This is our journey of climbing up a mountain to 14,060 feet elevation one sunny Saturday morning! NBD….

We had dabbled with the idea of taking this adventure in 2016, and after a series of unfortunate conditions, we were kept off the mountain, with only dreams of following through the next summer season!

Fast forward to August 26, 2017, Mt. Bierstadt became a reality.  We had made the plan, set the date, gathered a group and headed off in the dark hours of the morning with anticipation of an exciting day!

We had a group of 10 that met at the trailhead.  It was dark, and chilly, as we headed off along the wood planked path that took us across a swampy area to higher ground.  The sun was just starting to lighten the sky, enough to let us see we were not alone, although the parking lot already gave that away.  There were many other people who had the same crazy idea to get up early and start our climb at 11,656ft.

The beginning of the hike is relatively tame.  Like I said, we crossed a boggy area, and a beautiful lake sat off to our left.  We were surrounded by bushes, some that were almost as tall as us, some that were more short and scrubby as we approached the start of the incline. Seems painless enough!  😉


Heading into the brush and across the trail and swampy areas!  The skies were still dusky but were lightening quickly!


As we looked behind us at the rising sun shining on the distant mountain peaks, it took my breath away!



Chris and I stopped a lot to take pictures, and Brian got a picture of us taking pictures!  Until I turned the camera on him!!  🙂

Sketchy river crossing!  On the way back to the parking lot, Brian just walked right through the water!

The gang!! Chris F., Kara, Christine, Juanita, Arthur, Chris H., Akemi, Brian, Tara and Ali! … and of course me behind the lens!

This….I couldn’t get enough of it!


We made our way as a group, winding through the switch backs, gym pup Arthur pulling Christine and Nita along, and leading the way!  The group started to spread out a little bit, as some of us climbed more quickly and some of us stopped to take pictures of the massive amounts of beauty surrounding us (and I can’t tell a fib, I had to catch my breath A LOT), but we always managed to come back to our little group in spots, to check in on everyone!




What I love, camera in hand.

Ali taking a quick shot of the beauty!


I was so impressed with how well Arthur did on our steep climb!  He didn’t miss a beat and didn’t even seem tired!!

OH hey…

“Enough with the photo shoot Sue, I’m ready to GO!!!”


The switch backs started pretty early on and gave us a taste of the level of grade we were ascending as well as a glimpse of the humongous boulders we would see more frequently as we climbed!


The sun was up, and eventually shone in a streak, into a parted area of the mountain, shining a glowing light on some climbers ahead of us! The image was truly fantastic!!

The group ahead of us going into the rising sunlight.

Our group that followed shortly behind….(Ali, Chris H, Tara, Chris F)

Eventually Brian and I came into the rays of light, so bright but so warm….


Random solo hiker who looked cool, and while he was capturing his own memories, became part of mine! At this moment, I *wished* I had a wider lens!!


We had a few stopping points where the switch back would take us off into a subtle change of scenery!  I think we were being eased into what was to come!  Check out the difference in the trail!

Juanita watching Arthur charge off in front, pulling Christine along behind!! Although, she kept up with him pretty darn well!


…and there they are!  Arthur, Christine, Akemi and Ali!


The ascent takes people from 2-3 hours, depending on how quickly you travel and how many stops you take.  I would say it took me the full 3, but I did do some significantly slower walking than most of the group and…of course….couldn’t help myself from pulling out my camera multiple times!!!  I’m so glad I did!


Water and rest every so often was a necessity!

Akemi and Ali!

We are off….again!



As we were ascending, we ran into our very own Zoey, running DOWN the mountain!  She had decided to summit at sunrise, and then meet up with the group later!  She did this on her own, leaving her car at 4:15am, and had the unfortunate situation where her headlamp died early on, so she climbed in the darkness!  Fortunately she had a phone as a back up to guide her!!

So fun to see her running down this huge mountain like it’s nothing!! Thank goodness for CrossFit training!!

This girl has amazing conditioning and had a fantastic time…AND got to her goal of seeing sunrise at the summit!!  I have to admit I’m a little jealous!!  I LOVE sunrise!

Zoey’s morning view!


We climbed on, over rockier dirt trail type surfaces, and each switch back left me feeling like we were JUST around the corner from the top!  Silly silly me…  The trails quickly turned into a fairly steep graded single track, with sizable rocks that jutted from almost every piece of the trail, forcing you to step up onto anywhere from 12-30” tall rocks.  It was at this point that I REALLLYYY thought we were almost there!  …well maybe I was praying that we were that close!

As we ascended the terrain became much more rocky and less “green”.  The views however, provided a great blanket of grass, brush and water to feast our eyes on!


This was the point where sh** got real.  This, and eventually even more technical, WAS the trail for the next 45 minutes of the hike.

When you get to this point, you see a vision of what LOOKS like the top, haha, jokes on US!!!  There was a section of more flat surfaces to traverse and it seems SO close but then you realize how deceiving the distance is, as you keep climbing, and climbing, and climbing….

I LOVED this image, us standing with our shadows on the vast landscape, and our tiny ant sized friends coming up to where we stood, and the expanse/layers/beauty that lay right at their backs!  Certainly puts things into perspective and was very humbling!


After traversing the “flat ish” segment, ONE more peak waits for us, the final climb to summit Mt. Bierstadt!  We can taste victory and it’s only a few more minutes (…or more like 20 minutes actually ) until we achieved what we all set out to do!!


I stopped to look over the edge and see what lay on the other side…I was in awe…

We were high enough to see layers upon layers upon layers of rolling ranges.  A lake nestled in below, just visible if you were in the right spot!


And there she is!! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!! Hear the angels singing?  lol


We all successfully reached the top, some more quickly than others, but nonetheless we were all there, together!  I was still on a high and feeling pretty good, even though my muscles and lungs had a different story to tell!  My brain, through the fog, felt accomplished!


Us and the other 100 people who were there at the same time!!

Me and my bestie!

More of the Clout Crew!



It’s official!! We did it!!




Our lucky Colorado matching socks!







After we all had a snack, took some really cool pictures and posted to Instagram 😉  (yes there was cell service at the top), we started our decent.  I can personally say, this part was MUCH worse for me than going up, even considering the fatigue of the climb.  A few others of us however, were totally up to running down or descending more quickly!  The experience was different for everyone!!


Getting off the boulder fields…


I loved getting to enjoy the scenery that was behind me coming up!


This was another one of my favorite shots!  If you zoom in , you can see a line of people, on the ridge, going to the summit!

The clouds came in as usual and made beautiful shadows on the distant hills!


We all ended up back at our respective cars, exhausted and feeling happy to be done!  I had a good time on this adventure but I will be completely real and say I don’t want to do anther one any time soon lol!  I have had a couple of people that told me some encouraging things, and not to throw in the towel after this one.  After the memory of the difficulty fades, maybe you will see me out again with my beloved Clout friends (and anyone else who wants to join in) in the future!!  I have learned over my life to never say never!!




On our way down the hill to get some serious FOOD to nourish our bodies, we ran across this little fellow just chillin on the side of the road!  What a fun way to end our adventure!

Thank you to everyone who came out to play and for all the encouragement and camaraderie we shared!



 AUGUST 23, 2017



Spring, summer, fall, winter, New Years, all are times when as humans, typically, we set new goals.  Get bikini ready! Become a runner!  Clean up that diet!  Lose 10 pounds, the list goes on!!  Small and large, we set them and try to reach them!

As we wrap up summer, it’s a great time to assess how you did on those summer goals you set!

My goal was to hike a 14er this year and we are making it happen THIS WEEKEND! I couldn’t be MORE excited as we had planned one last year that fell through due to weather!  This year, it’s HAPPENING!!!

Our very own Christine and Nita at the summit of Torrey’s Peak!


Reaching the summit!!


Some of what we will see on our journey to the top! photo cred: Christine Castillo


Labor Day weekend is a fantastic 3 day stretch where you can STILL meet some of those fun goals you had laid out!

5K races are SO fun to do and truly you don’t have to be a runner OR a fast runner to do one! They have great energy, are relatively easy courses and you AND your kids could participate!


The 5k race is perfect for beginner or someone trying to improve their time!


Here are a couple of races you could jump in on!!

August 26th – The Color Run! SUCH A fun family (or individual) race to do!  I have done these with my kids at different ages and it’s a GREAT way to do something active that has that element of cool that the kids will be totally into!




The Color Run – Click for details!


Below is a link to Races in COLORADO for the whole month of September!! There are TONS of options!  Make it an event and even travel a little to get to a fun one!!

Colorado Race Schedule! Check it out!


Climb a 14er (like my goal!) – get a group of friends and family and hit the hills!  There are some VERY doable climbs that even kids could love! My good friend Codi takes her entire family!  She has kids from pre-school – middle school! Codi’s tips for taking young kids on long hikes: make it a game, sing songs, set stopping points as a goal and BRING LOTS OF FRUIT SNACKS!  Check out this athletic family!



Fit Fam Codi, Brayden, Lily, Blakely… and Derek who is taking the pic!


Blakely, who has summited TWO 14ers!! (Sherman and Lincoln)


The fam chillin at the top…with fruit snacks no doubt!!

Lily in the spotlight. So awesome Schatz family, for modeling a healthy lifestyle from early on!

Below is a listing that will tell you not only the name of the peak and elevation/location, it will tell you difficulty so you can decide which one is best for you and your group!

Colorado 14er information!


SUP – Stand up Paddle boarding is all the rage and it was on my list LAST summer “to do” list! It’s definitely an adult OR kid friendly activity and ton of access to it!  You can be like me and be a complete newby, or a seasoned pro who may want to do some sort of SUP event!!


SUP for fun OR for a friendly competition!

See below for a list of local events  you can check out!

Colorado Stand UP Paddle boarding events!


Are you a TRI junkie?  There are numerous local triathlon’s that you can sign up for!  Be sure you are a better swimmer than I am lol!!




Colorado Triathlon Events – click here!


CrossFit Competition –

Of course we can’t forget OUR sport!  There are both individual competitions and team competitions available to make a wide range of athletes challenged!

You don’t have to be a superstar to compete!  Just a desire to push yourself and have fun!

Below is a list of some local competitions that you can check out!  These fill up quickly so if you see one you want to do, get registered asap!!

Colorado CrossFit Competitions!


There is STILL time to hit that summer goal!! Don’t let anything stand in your way of progress and if you don’t hit it before the end of September, make it a fall goal and GET TO IT!!!

Maybe I’ll do a winter list as well of fun activities to add spice to your life!!  Stay tuned when the white stuff hits!

August 17, 2017




Sugar, sugar is HUGE in our world.  I will be the FIRST in line to say, I was addicted and could easily still be if I didn’t watch myself!

It is pretty common knowledge that raw sugar itself is as much, if not more, addictive than cocaine or heroin.  That’s a pretty scary statement to realize, but I can tell you from personal experience, when I eat sugar/sweets of ANY sort, I have a hard time stopping at “just one” and my body literally CRAVES it, even though I have cut MOST sugar and sugar substitutes completely out of my diet for almost a year!

In this day and age, there are sugar substitutes being created by huge companies and being marketed towards the general public and worse, towards our children, as being a healthier alternative!  They sneak certain sweeteners into products that you would be shocked to find are NOT as healthy as they claim they are!  See the below image to see the health risks of a destructive sweetener, High Fructose Corn Syrup.



Crazy right?

How many of you would chose a diet soda, or a grab a packet of sweetener at Starbucks to drop into your morning coffee, feeling like you are doing yourself a service?  I absolutely did this for years, thinking I was doing something very beneficial by NOT eating the calories of real sugar!!



There are TON of sweeteners out on the market. Some of them are highly recognizable and others are more disguised, but you can learn how to identify them to keep your food options way healthier for you and your family!  Some of the worst are; High Fructose Corn Syrup (this product has been BANNED in China, Europe and Australia!),  Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet, Nutra Taste Blue), Sucralose (Splenda), Acesulfame K, (ACE K, Sunette, Equal Spoonful, Sweet One, Sweet ‘n Safe), Saccharin (Sweet ‘n low), Xylitol, Sorbitol.  I have done lots of research on sweeteners over the last year and even though Stevia is your best alternative for a natural sweetener, they are ALL hundreds or thousand times more sweet than real sugar.  When we eat these substitutes that are SO much more intense in sweetness, it makes our taste buds less receptive to natural sweetness that we would find in real foods, such as fruits!


Did you know that these sweeteners are actually a trigger for weight gain?  When your body tastes sweet food, even if it has no calories, it THINKS it does and your body will release insulin!  Insulin will lead to blood sugar spikes which ultimately leads to cravings/eating more than your body needs!  Your body never feels satiated and therefore you are more prone to snack when you don’t really need food! It is a trick that has been played on your mind by these sweet substitutes!!  Our natural ability to control what we eat and how much, has just been suppressed!



Now I am definitely not saying go eat all the real sugar all the time.  I feel like sugar consumption, even in fruits, should be very limited, reference the opening sentence.  Certainly if you are getting natural sugars like in fruits, that is the BEST type to have.  All of this being said, the way your body reacts to sugar doesn’t matter if it’s from fruits, veggies or a candy bar (although certain fruits and veggies will respond more slowly than a candy bar), it will still reacts the same way and spike insulin, causes cravings and adds to weight gain, remember that stuff is addictive!  Nonetheless, I’d RATHER see people eating natural sugars than substitutes ANY day!    Below you will see how the Glycemic Index of foods will indicate how quickly a fruit/veggie/carb etc….will respond in your body!


See below how a Snickers bar has the same GI as brown rice or honey and less than regular sugar, watermelon or a baked potato!


Below is a list of fruits, broken down by their Glycemic Index to give you a better idea of which fruits are better for your body, as far as not creating more cravings/weight gain!


So that leaves us with, what to do?  My best advice is actually quite simple, READ YOUR LABELS!!  By trying to eliminate consumption of these really unhealthy man made products that cater more to making us want to buy/eat more of their products, you can make a HUGE step towards successful weight loss and more importantly, overall health!!  Check items you wouldn’t even think had sugar in it!  You may be surprised at where these sugar substitutes, as well as the real deal, are hidden!

Below is a list of various names for sugar and sugar substitutes.  As you see, it may be a little more tricky to look for but typically it’s listed towards the top of the ingredient list!



One of the WORST sugar substitutes you will find IN foods is High Fructose Corn Syrup.  See below to see what manufacturers sneak it in to!  Very surprising since many of these foods are marketed as healthy!! Fortified cereals, GoGurts, Bagels, Wheat crackers, Power Bars…


Based on dietary guidelines I personally have chosen to follow, I have learned how even real sugar is in so many products.   For example, bacon says there is 0 sugar if you look at the nutrient breakdown but check the ingredients, and it’s on there!  Now of course THAT amount of sugar won’t matter to MOST people, but if you have a medical condition or chose a diet free of any added sugars, research has proven that it could definitely impact you negatively!  It’s STILL spikes insulin even if it’s in the small amounts!



Would it be hard to cut out these sugary substitutes and even reduce your intake of real sugar?  Absolutely.  I will tell you though, it CAN be done, and once you have crossed the hurdle of not having that intensely sugary taste, you will find other things that are much more satiating and satisfying!

The first place to start is to take the time to be aware of the ARTIFICIAL sugar substitutes that are hidden deep in your foods in addition to sugar in it’s hidden forms.  Your body and waistline will thank you!!!


AUGUST 8, 2017


Adventuring and meals!


As I look back at my posts a LOT of them focus around food!  But hey, is essential to life and fitness AND,  something we ALL think about!!  Why not keep “feeding” our brains with ways to stay on track as much as possible!  We still may choose to go off course a little and that’s all OK!  We ARE human after all!!

This week’s blog focus is on being an adventure seeker and planning for healthy food consumption!

If you are anything like me, you will probably find yourself on  some sort of outdoor event, vacation, camping trip, long hike etc….during the summer!

It can be a fun time to relax, let loose a little, but also keeping your diet in check!  You can still having fantastic and nourishing food, and fun, and eating decent is not as difficult as it may seem!!

I have to give credit to a friend/client Natalie, who helped me realize that while I am out on a camping trip this weekend, I can still come home feeling good about myself AND not setting my stomach into fits of rebellion!

As always, planning ahead is KEY!   Planning ahead doesn’t mean just throwing a bunch of food in a bag and hitting the freeway, but actually planning your meals and doing a modified meal prep for the trip!

If cooking a full meal on a camping stove is your cup of tea, then go for it!  This is more for people who would rather enjoy the setting and the ease of life on their adventure! The downfalls to cooking full meals are: using lots of dishes that must be cleaned up plus store and tote along; toting a lot of raw ingredients that may not travel well; take up a lot of time cooking and not being able to chill out with the gang for whom ever is cooking!

Breakfast, simple and healthy ideas:

If you are waking up in a tent or even in the comfort of a camper, there is nothing more appealing than a hot breakfast and drink!

Quaker is an inexpensive simple option that the adult down to the child in your life will enjoy! Just need a pot to boil water in!

For the gluten free individual, there are fantastic of options as well!


Instant oatmeal – you get a hot soothing breakfast and you can toss the container!  Only mess made is your utensil!



Make it a little more fancy with a cappuccino!

Bring your “bucks” into the adventure with single serving packets!

Trader Joe’s has single packets that are ready to go for your morning treat!

Tea bags are no mess and simple, with some good soothing flavors to start your morning!


Coffee or tea –  You will have to endure instant coffee but with reusable cups a hot drink is easy to rinse and wash off for multiple uses!

Kind makes a fantastic bar that is light but nutrient packed for breakfast!

The regular cereal section has some appetizing bars that will definitely give you a carb boost you may need to get the day rolling!

For even the more finicky eater in the bunch, these soft nutri-grain bars are pretty tasty and will get you going on your morning adventure!

Protein bar – If you don’t want to even heat water, toss a couple protein bars in your bag and you are set!


Lunch on the go:



Whether you are sitting atop a mountain peak at lunch time, out on a boat or laying in a tent, you can have an easy and satisfying meal!

Cold cuts – If you pay close attention, you can find deli meats that are less full of sugar and preservatives!  Making a sandwich with a meat like salami will allow you to leave it un refrigerated for a short time.  Cheese sticks can also be un refrigerated for a few hours without spoiling!

Veggies – pre-cut a bunch of veggies and package in snack bags! If you need a dipping sauce, you can purchase individual packets of mayo (great for high fat eaters), ranch or even hummus!  Packaging a few pita chips or your favorite cracker is easy and light as well!


Hummus plus some veggies or pretzels or fruit is a great option for an easy lunch!



Depending on your tastes and dietary needs, there is a bar for EVERYONE!!

Bars – again, a protein or snack bar is ALWAYS an easy and healthy option.  There is an endless range of bars now-a-days.  Epic bars are all meat and fruit, there are bars that are all fruit and nut and of course there are bars that contain mega amounts of whey protein!





Most likely you will be situated at camp, in a park or on a dock somewhere that allows you more flexibility!


If all of your meat is pre cooked, it’s quick and easy to add the veggies that will also add extra moisture to the meats in the dinner!


Simple, tasty, healthy and easy to clean up!

Campfire meals – PRE COOK and cut up meats (beef, chicken or pork), veggies (peppers, onions, etc…) and starches (potato, sweet potato etc….) and have packaged individually in your cooler.  Compile and wrap all ingredients in tin foil and put in the fire to heat!  EASY clean up and again, only making 1 utensil dirty!  Spices and seasonings could be done ahead of time or at the time of cooking!



Burritos – I thought this was a fantastic idea!!  Cook ground beef, chicken or pork ahead of time.  Shredded cheese in a bag, pre make rice and beans!  Flour or a gluten free option of corn tortillas.  Place tortilla on tin foil, build your burrito, wrap up and cook on either a camp stove or the fire!  You will have a piping hot burrito that may, if you are luck, be a slight bit crispy on the outside and warm and gooey on the inside!!


Desserts – well s’mores of COURSE!!!  Easy, only a hanger needed to cook your mallows and wipes to clean up all the chocolate all over your face!  🙂

Big thanks to Natalie who provide SO many great ideas to make your outdoor experience not only EASY and uncomplicated, but also very tasty and healthy!

If you have any more outdoor healthy ideas, we would LOVE to hear them!  Please add comments!!



AUGUST 1 , 2017



How do you stay away from the vending machine or running out to grab a quick treat when hunger starts to set in and you start to feel that snacking feeling coming on?  You set yourself up for success by preparing your snacks for the day!!  If you allow yourself to eat when you are hungry, and not have guilt feelings over it, you will be more likely to stay on a healthy eating plan!

Option 1, follow a high fat, low carb diet and you will lose your desire to snack!  No?  You don’t want to give up your carbs?  😉  Ok ok, I understand… option 2 …plan ahead and get addicted to fresh nourishing foods that provide great nutritional value!


This ultra healthy avocado/egg/sriracha sauce treat can be made ahead of time or at home on a weekend when you need an in between meal snack!


YESSS!  I’ll start with my FAVORITE!  I really thought I would HATE these, I’m not even joking.  In the past when I have eaten kale, albeit I had only eaten it in the form of a salad, it has hurt my belly (or so I thought that was what was hurting it), so I had a very negative association with kale!

KALE chips, homemade, rock my world!!

I highly recommend making your own, although you can purchase them as well!  Homemade are SO easy to make, and way better for you and better tasting! The benefit of kale is that it’s low calorie, high fiber (therefore there is less insulin response), high in Iron, Vitamin K, A and C, high in antioxidants, it’s anti inflammatory (1 cup has 10%  of the daily recommended Omega 3!), high in calcium!  The cool thing is also, you can eat a TON of this, for very little calories (if you watch things like this)!!  I can eat an entire baking sheet of baked kale chips on my own!

How I make them:

Baking sheet with tin foil – oven at 350 – I use the fresh large kale leaves versus the bagged kale – break off the leaves and leave them large versus breaking them up – toss in coconut oil or olive oil and salt -bake for about 20 minutes!  You want them to be crispy and not soft, but don’t overcook or they get bitter!

If you would rather buy them pre packaged, below is a brand that I recommend.  Try to get in the habit of checking the ingredient label as there are ALWAYS hidden additives in almost everything in a package that you might not be able to tolerate!

This brand has a nice variety of flavors!



I have recently found the joy of beet chips through my need to find a carb that my body can tolerate!  You can make them yourself by peeling and slicing, toss them with extra virgin olive oil and bake until they dry out!  This may take up to 40 minutes!  There are also a GREAT brand of pre-made beet chips that are dehydrated and have NO ADDED oils or salts!  The brand is Rhythm and can be purchased at King Soopers, Starbucks and other sources like Thrive market or Amazon. Down side is they are a little high in sugar if you are following a Keto or Paleo diet, but you get so many health benefits from them so that may out weigh the sugars!  I like the “naked” version because there are zero ingredients other than beets!


I found these at Thrive Market for $2.99 a bag.  Reasonable compared to local distributors!



Sugar is sugar according to how your body processes it, but fruit has the advantages over it’s processed alternatives (candy bars!) by providing your body with vitamins and nutrients!  Fruit will give you that quick burst of energy due to the high carb/sugar content!


Fruit and berries can provide a fantastic pick me up and give your body vitamins and minerals that it craves!



Nuts are packed with heart healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.  They are super calorie dense so you have to keep your serving size in check so you don’t over consume and either ruin your appetite for a regular balanced meal or add those extra calories you may not want!  They suppress appetite through the combo of omega 3, protein and fiber!


Be sure to limit your quantity as these little nuggets are calorie dense!

The 3 nuts lowest in calories are almonds, cashews and pistachios.  The highest calorie (ounce for ounce) are macadamia nuts and pecans. They are still good for you, you would just limit the quantity a little more than the first 3.  The best nuts for the heart are walnuts due to their higher ALA content!  Peanuts (aka technically legumes) are good for your brain as they are high in folate! Almonds have more calcium than other nuts plus being rich in fiber and vitamin E.

When snacking on nuts, I would recommend pre-portioning them into a baggie so that you are sure not to consume a whole bag of them (easy to do if you aren’t paying attention!).  Also, your best bet is to get raw unprocessed nuts versus roasted, salted and flavored versions.


Even though this is processed, it is a fantastic snack as it is nutrient dense!  You benefit from the good fats, the protein and the minerals!


Smoked salmon can be eaten on a rice cake or even plain with a lettuce as a very satisfying and satiating snack!


For people living a high fat low cab diet, pork rinds are a fantastic snack!  They are pretty calorie dense so mind your serving size!


I gave reignited my love for these little gems! They aren’t for everyone though!




In addition to fruits, there are many veggies that are actually high in sugar or convert to sugar very easily.  That being said, it’s STILL a way better alternative to processed sugar because you actually get nutrition with veggies!  Choosing higher fiber veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus is an advantage as the fiber slows down the breakdown of the carbs to sugars, therefore being less likely to have extra calories hanging around to store as fat OR to spike insulin production!


Cut veggies into crunchy snack sticks!

You could eat broccoli or cauliflower raw with a healthy oil to dip in, or steam it with some healthy oils,  salt and chill!


Overall, the best plan is to HAVE a plan!  When we plan our snacks and our meals, we are much more likely to stick to it and feel successful for the day!  Make one change, one that you can make into a habit, then add another! You will be surprised at how you will be able to make a new routine that feels like home!

I would highly recommend staying away from almost anything in a bag, and stick to fresh!  You will get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck and your body and mind will thank you!!

July 25, 2017



When I first started CrossFit almost 7 years ago, I was working out in my running shoes, or any tennis shoe I had on hand in my closet!  I thought that spending $70 + on a shoe for my CrossFit experiences was just nuts, as I am a total bargain shopper! If you are new to CrossFit or are confused about what it out there, this blog post is for you!


Once I received my first pair of CrossFit Nano 2’s as a gift, thank you Tara, I was hooked!  They felt amazing on my foot, had a solid, harder soul that was nice and flat, and more importantly, perfect for the movements that we do in classes!!  I had no idea how much they really made a difference! The SAME thing happened when I resisted spending $129-$150 on a pair of lifters!  I definitely feel like that was a HUGELY successful purchase and well worth the investment!!  Why did I wait so long???

Once you can afford it, I highly recommend getting your foot into some!!

There are quite a few options, now, to CrossFit specific shoes!



Reebok offers the NANO as their most popular basic trainer!  You would wear this during most workouts that may be metabolically based, or gymnastic based or light weights.  The newest version is the Nano 7 Weave.  You can find these for around $130, possibly less expensive if you search the internet!  The older versions of Nano’s are also available on other platforms and range from $79 – $130.



Reebok came out with another trainer called the Grace.  I tried this shoe on and like it as a shoe but am not sure it would feel the best for me during a workout!




Lifters :

Reebok offers two lifter styles.  One is called the Legacy Lifter and runs around $200.   They also offer a less expensive option called the Reebok Lifter PR and its priced at $89.   I have an older version of Reebok lifters that I love!







Nike’s trainers are called the Metcon.  The Metcon ranges from $89 – $130 and quite a few of our members own and love this shoe!!





Nike’s lifter is called the Romaleo and runs around $200! You can also personalize Nike shoes which is a really fun feature if you have extra money to spend!






I personally think these shoes are high on the “cool factor” but have not tried them yet!  We do have athletes here that use and love them!  They run around $130 – $160 and have a unique look that makes them stand out!





These are a little pricier, usually around the $300 mark.  Again, they have a distinct look and while they don’t have a huge range of color options, the ones they do offer are unique and very attractive!  Solid, well designed shoe!







I don’t believe Adidas offers a CrossFit specific  trainer but they offer a wide range of lifting shoes!  The “Crazy Power” shoe appears to be a hybrid lifter that could be sufficient for use in metcons as well as more heavy lifting.  They run around $149.




They also offer the Powerlift 3, which is significantly less expensive at around $90 (I am thinking of trying these out actually!)  as well as the Adipower lifter that runs $159!






Inov-8 is a company I heard a lot about when I first started CrossFit around 7 years ago. I honestly don’t hear as much about them now with all the added competition in the shoe market, but they still offer a solid product that gets good ratings!


The F-lite is their trainer and runs around $130 but you can find sales on this shoe!





Inov-8 lifters are called Fastlift 325, and are priced at around $160!




There definitely is a great shoe option out there for you!  I would go and try them on to see which feels the best on your foot, because where my trainer of choice is Reebok, we have many athletes here that find the Nike is a better fit/feel on their foot!  I am excited about all the shoe competition in the market because it gives us better choices!!

If you have a recommendation or review of any specific shoe, we would love to hear it!  Just send us a message under “contact us” and we can relay your opinions!!!




JULY 18, 2017




How many of you have had SOME point in your fitness journey where every thing is going AMAZINGLY?  You get to the gym religiously, smash every workout you are doing, your diet is on point, you have endless energy and motivation!

I bet many of us could raise our hands and say ME ME ME!!!  I know I have had runs of time where my body, mind and heart are 100% into my fitness and health!

Now this being said, how many of you have had periods of time where getting to the gym seemed like a task you would rather not even tackle, even though you KNOW how beneficial it is for all of your goals, as well as physical and mental well being?  Again, I will raise my hand and scream emphatically, ME ME MEEE!!

What do you do when you encounter these “falling off the wagon” times in your fitness ( or diet for that matter)?



Let’s first start with some of the reasons this happens!!

So many things in life can throw us off course, from family/relationships, travel, vacation, jobs, money, hormones, a tv show we want to catch, friends pressure, social obligations or desires…you name it, it COULD potentially be a trigger for you!  We are all different in what triggers us to lose motivation and umph!  For me, getting OUT of routine is almost the worst trigger that I have!  If I remove that regularity from my life, it’s super simple to let other things fill that spot!

How do we counter that?  That question could be answered differently for everyone!

Some tips for getting back on the wagon after you have fallen off!


1. Simply, GET TO THE GYM!  MAKE yourself, put on your clothes, get in the car, drive to the gym and get inside!  Chances are, once you are there, you will be super happy you made it happen!!



2. Get an accountability partner!  This doesn’t have to be someone you physically work out with, but more someone or somewhere that you check in with! That can be a workout partner, posting your workouts on social media in a group or just on your own account, a friend who lives across the country that you can share your workouts with and encourage each other!!



3. Hire a personal trainer or start attending a class! Switching things up and knowing you are paying extra for something, OR, just knowing that someone is counting on you showing up could give you that push you need!


4. A new piece of workout clothes is always a fun way to remind you of the passion you once had for your fitness and make you feel extra cute 😉  !



5. Set a realistic goal!  If you KNOW ahead of time that your schedule is full to the brim, don’t beat yourself up for not getting there 5 days a week!  Start with one day, and add another once you know you can get in there again!  Often times just realizing that you CAN fit gym time back into your schedule by moving some other stuff is the golden ticket!



6. Search for motivational fitness videos or images!!  I find this very inspiring and makes me want to work harder every time!!




7. Focus on other areas you can improve your fitness, such as diet!  If you are having trouble in one area, try to make the other areas improve!!!



Bottom line is, we are blessed with choice, and you can make that change in your mindset at ANY given time, and get back on track!



JULY 11, 2017



Austin BEFORE!!


Austin AFTER!!


Getting involved in a fitness program can be a daunting to many people, especially if you have never had much to do with fitness OR are trying to get back in shape after taking time off, or just not being motivated!

When we see people walk in our doors, they have a wide variety of goals.  People want to get/stay in shape, of course, but some are looking for weight loss, some are looking to add muscle and size, some need accountability some need coaching!  When Austin came in the first time, he was excited to get back into a workout routine but was struggling with time and being able to hit the gym as much as he wanted!  After his baby was born, he was on a mission!  I saw him start coming to CrossFit classes religiously and his fitness level started to skyrocket!  It is SO exciting to me as a coach to see people go from the base level of little to no fitness, to being able to hang the entire workout AND see their movement skills getting better and better!!  This isn’t an overnight process, any of it, and Austin knew this and kept at it!

Below is his testimony and you already saw his pictures above!  I am SO proud of him and his achievements!  What I notice most is his endurance is infinitely better, and watching him go from struggle with Olympic lifts to really getting a good handle on his form and movement is fantastic!!!


“My name is Austin, and I needed to lose my Dad body after the birth of our son.  I joined CrossFit Clout 3 months ago, and try to attend 3 times per week.

I have worked out in the gym off and on most of my adult life.  I have never experienced results like I am with CrossFit, and I feel like I am just getting started.  The supportive trainers like Suzanne, keep encouraging me even when I can barely pick myself off the floor to keep going.  In the 3 months that I have been consistently going, I have lost over 25 lbs.  Most importantly, the wife has taken notice.

Thanks CrossFit Clout”



Hearing feedback like this from our members is beyond rewarding!

We want to see  success across the board AND for our members to remember that success is measured not just in pounds lost, but also strength gained, skills mastered or improving, increased self confidence, learning new ways to be more fit…the list goes on!

Drop in and see us if you need a new plan!  We can most definitely help and it’s our goal to have our members walk out the door at the end of their visit happy and satisfied!

Happy Tuesday everyone and keep smashing it!



JULY 5, 2017



The Ketogenic Protocol; my experience!



What is Keto?


Ketosis (KETO) is when your body produces ketone bodies to be used for energy when your glycogen stores are depleted.  A Ketogenic protocol is a way of eating that helps your body learn to use fat for fuel versus carbohydrates.  The diet calls for high fat, low carb and moderate protein intake.  Based on my research there are a multitude of positives that come from this type of eating although that being said, I don’t believe that this protocol is for everyone!  Also if doing research, you will come across MANY different approaches and everyone is highly confident that their way is the right way lol.  I have read many views and have noticed common threads between most of them and had to experiment with my own body’s needs to formulate how I live my Keto protocol!







Keto helps curb your appetite because the higher fat intake is very satiating

You use fat for fuel versus carbs so you don’t need to eat every 2 hours, energy is more even and long lasting. Carbs are like paper on a fire, you have to keep putting in on the fire to keep the fire going. Fat is like wood, its slow burning and lasts a long time!

It is a very good anti cancer diet as cancer cells require glucose to live! When they don’t get the glucose they need they can’t grow

Mental clarity increases

Lower blood sugar

Long term can help the symptoms of IBS

Anti inflammatory

Prevention for Alzheimer’s/dementia


The protocol is very restrictive

Some people are able to adapt easily and others have a really rough road

Until fully adapted, ketosis can make your micronutrient and electrolyte balance be off.






I have been following a Ketogenic dietary protocol for 10 months now and I have seen fantastic changes in my gut health and a LOT of my negative symptoms have completely disappeared!  I started following it 10 months ago as I suffered from extreme acid reflux, nausea and severe stomach pains almost daily!

There is a LOT of conflicting information out on the internet about Keto and what is the “right” way to implement this way of eating.  I researched quite a few and honestly, decided to pick one that seemed to me to make the most sense, based on my OWN personal experiences, and it was probably the most scientific and logical.  The ideas that I chose to follow were probably also the most strict of all of the ideas. One thing I do know, it’s not just about upping fats and lowering carbs.  There is a lot of science that goes behind this way of living and you definitely need some serious guidance to learn the way to truly achieve your goals!

I have to admit, I did not go into this diet in the recommended way.  I was so miserably sick on a daily basis that I was willing to make ALL the changes, immediately!  Classic Sue.  I suffered for quite some time from what is called Keto flu, which is where you have zero energy and brain fog because your body is so used to using carbs for energy and now, you are completely starving it of what it is used to!  Don’t worry, your brain does not need 300 carbs a day to function.  But it doesn’t know that yet.  Now don’t think I wasn’t eating enough calories.  I increased my caloric intake daily from around 1700 kcal to 2300 kcal, but the main source of the calories was now from fats!  The Keto flu could be listed as a con of Keto, but I don’t really count it as that because it is just an adaptation phase.  It’s not permanent.  This phase will lead to a lot of people quitting the protocol because it’s hard!!  They feel it’s not worth it or that they can’t deal.  If I could encourage you to just to be patient and give it time, it is well worth it!  Also, if you gradually reduce carbs and gradually increase fats, your adjustment will be a lot smoother than mine was!



What do I eat?


I am kind of lucky that I don’t thrive on variety when it comes to diet, I never have.  I eat a small variety of foods but mostly, the same thing just in a variety of rotations!  Below is just what *I* eat, there are way more options as long as you steer clear of the main inflammatory groups, plus being super aware of whatever YOUR body doesn’t like.

Many time people going into this diet don’t realize just how much fat you need to intake, and how low you need your carbs, to really get your body to get into Ketosis.  A common macro breakdown that I follow (loosely but not too loosely lol) is 5% carbs, 80% fat, 15% protein.

-High fat meats (ground beef 80/20, pork (not cured as it has added sugar), dark meat chicken, you can also eat high fat fish but I don’t care for fish so I don’t go there lol

-cruciferous vegetables: veggies that are very high in fiber.  Broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, kale

-healthy fats: Kerry gold butter, coconut oil (my fave), olive oil, beef tallow, duck fat, ghee

-Flax meal

It is probably easier to list what I DO eat versus what I have eliminated (remember I did say how restrictive Keto is lol)  but below are categories that I don’t eat are:

Wheat, grains, gluten, nuts, seeds, sugar (including fruit), dairy (except butter/egg)

I have found through my own trial and error that my body responds VERY negatively to those categories of foods!  I am experimenting with adding a tiny bit (as in ¼ cup)  of a starchy carb,  only 1 night a week to see how I respond.  I have tried it before and wasn’t successful but it’s been a few months so giving it another go!




Do I ever “cheat”?


Of course I do, but not often!  Although, when I chose to go off course, it’s almost only with sugar (as in CAKE or edible cookie dough!!!  :0).

I have what are referred to as my “non negotiable” foods.  These are foods that I absolutely won’t eat.  This is pretty much the entire list of categories listed above, minus…sugar.   I made this choice to stay on the protocol virtually 100% of the time because I feel so darn crummy…ALL THE TIME when I go off course!  It isn’t worth it and clearly my body does not respond well to those foods, so why would I eat them?  Do I every once and awhile want to eat birthday cake with my family?  ABSOLUTELY! I have to understand that there will be ramifications though and I could feel icky up to 2-3 days, but I still do it from time to time!  I remember when I first started and I went cold turkey, and after having a good week or so I’d feel like I could probably just have that one handful of Royal Gorge trail mix, or some pretzels…..nope!  Bad idea lol.  So I learned over the course of the months, through trial and error, just how my body will respond.

The social aspect of eating a very restrictive protocol is tough.  When I mention to people that I am following keto, I get a number of reactions!  Most people say, “that must have been so hard!”  It truly wasn’t hard for me to commit to, even though I adored my carbs, because it so drastically helped me feel like a normal human being!   It definitely changes how people react to you when you won’t join in the food fun.  It’s a little more difficult to go out to eat unless you are with people who understand/accept your choice.  Sometimes I feel super self conscious about what I order and I had to remember that this is my health, my choice and my research. I am continuing to evolve in this journey to finding how this protocol looks in my life and thank goodness for youtube of people sharing their personal experiences and researchers who are willing to share what they have learned along the way!  It helps me be more well informed and educated!

If you are wanting to make changes to your diet, think about the reasons WHY you want to make changes, and remember that everyone is so individual.  I chose what I did based on my own personal research and my own personal health issues.  If it had been, or ever becomes something that doesn’t work for me, I will make a change!  I am basing the effectiveness on my lab results, communications with my Medical DR and Naturopath, plus just how my body and mind FEELS (which is amazing btw)! You must choose what is right for your goals AND your level of commitment!  This practice is an endlessly evolving one, and truly, SUSTAINABILITY is the key to if you will be able to stick to ANY new thing you are trying to incorporate as a life change.  If the changes are such that you don’t think you can maintain them, it may not be the best protocol for you!

I am 100% happy to talk to anyone about what I do and why! It’s an exciting and interesting topic to me and I’m an open book!  Below are 3 different people whom I have learned a lot from!  The first listed is whom I started my journey with.  She is the most strict but full of fantastic information.  Currently I am following the Primal Edge Health and Healthful Pursuit who have a slightly different approach!

Stephanie Person

Stephanie Person – she is fantastic on teaching you how to get and stay in a state of ketosis and healing!  Her focus is on health and NOT on weight loss.

Primal Edge Health

Tristan and Jessica – This couple is so chill and relaxed and knowledgeable!  I LOVE their podcasts and have learned SO MUCH from them!  They focus on the health aspect and also give great information to those who are incorporating the Keto protocol for weight loss.

Healthful Pursuit

Leanne Vogel – she is another fantastic resource who has GREAT things to say and resources!  I love her ideas and am getting ready to implement some of them as I write this!!  She also focuses on health, hormones, keto for women and how it can help with weight loss!

The Fast Tract Diet

Norm Robillard – The FAST TRACT DIET is high fat and lower carb but it focuses more on the fermentation potential of foods so is higher carb overall than keto.  I actually started my journey on this protocol but I had to cut more carbs due to my OWN gut issues but I LOVED this protocol!!


If you have any questions about my experiences or thoughts please shoot me a message!  I can be reached at






JUNE 27, 2017





Water…our bodies are made up of 60% water!  We NEED it for our bodies to function properly and smoothly. It helps get rid of toxins, helps deliver nutrients to cells, and prevents dehydration!  It’s not a myth that we need a MINIMUM of 8 glasses of water a day, most likely more, for an average person!  If you are physically active, you need even more!



As you can see in the illustration above, water/hydration is so beneficial to many elements of a healthy body!  From how we look to how we function at work or in the gym, or even our long term weight goals!


Have you ever been to the point of being SOOO thirsty?  I for sure have, but that should never happen!  Recognizing that hydration should be happening when you aren’t thirsty, is key!  If you make efforts to hydrate before it’s too late, your body won’t go through the trauma that being dehydrated can cause!  Try drinking 2 glasses of water a couple of hours prior to a planned physical event to help hydrate yourself, and then be sure to drink 4-6 oz every 15-20 minutes during and after to maintain that hydration while you are sweating and losing water!


If you are dehydrated, you may experience a variety of negative experiences.  Headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, upset stomach…are just some of the unpleasant sensations if you get to that point!  Its SUPER important to re-hydrate as quickly as possible if this happens!  Your electrolytes (balance of sodium, potassium and magnesium) are some of the first things to go when you lose water!  Having the electrolyte balance out of whack is what causes all of these extreme symptoms!!




You may be surprised that we can hydrate not only through water, but through our foods!  Celery as a whopping 96% water, but also is high in sodium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus!  Watermelon and bell peppers are both high in water and Vitamin C!  Strawberries and Cantaloupe are high in water and potassium and cucumbers will give you a great dose of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium!  So, getting hydration from these food sources gives you more bang for your buck as you not only get the water, you get the vitamins, fiber and electrolytes!



Gatorade VS Pedialyte debate


I have heard this debate for a long time and at first I was taken aback!  Can this really be true that a drink that appears to be SO wildly popular among professional sports teams may NOT be the best thing for re-hydration?  There are a few thoughts really, and all valid in my opinion!  Pedialyte has significantly less sugar in the drink! It’s more concentrated and definitely gives you way more electrolytes with less sugar/carbohydrates!  However, there is still value in Gatorade for a more lengthy athletic endeavor, when you will definitely need that sugar to fuel your endurance!  If you however are RE-hydrating, pedialyte is by far the better choice! And truth be told, if Gatorade is all you have, or all your child will drink, it’s better than not getting fluids in at all!!!


What I have learned is hydration especially during these stifling hot summer months is critical to our physical and mental health.  Get yourself a cool water bottle and BOTTOMS UP!  I like to set a daily goal of drinking 3-4 of my 32oz bottle and definitely feel it if I don’t!







JUNE 20, 2017



Plyometric training is another form of training that is fantastic for muscle development AND fat burning!



What is Plyometric training?

“Plyometrics, also known as “jump training” or “plyos”, are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength).”


Box jumps are a fantastic plyometric movement!


A plyometric movement is an explosive movement, and usually will be done with bodyweight or a very light load!  You want to achieve maximum force in a small amount of time!  This type of training builds fast twitch muscles which are the largest and strongest muscle fibers in the body!  That fatigue more quickly than slow twitch and require more time for recovery.  These muscles help us with power and strength in our workouts!  Our slow twitch muscles are more responsible for performing endurance activities. 


Jump squats for the win!


Below are examples of plyometric movements that you can use in your workout:

Jump Squats, jump squats with a rotation

Long jumps

Lateral bounding

plyometric push ups (hop at the top, or clap)

Plyometric pushups or clapping push ups


box jumps, burpee box jumps, box overs, lateral box jumps

burpee tuck jump

wall balls

jumping lunges

Jumping lunges



jumping jacks

just to name a few…!!!

Check out this link to an extensive list of plyometric variations you can incorporate!

plyometric movements

As you see there are NUMEROUS plyometric exercises to use!  If you really want to tax a muscle group, you can also you can perform a regular weighted exercise followed by a plyometric movement!

You may already have a good idea about if you are fast twitch or slow twitch dominant.  I was most definitely slow twitch dominant prior to my CrossFit training and now, I am probably STILL slow twitch dominant, but I have developed my fast twitch muscles incredibly!  I could never sprint before, without feeling like I was going to get a serious muscle pull…and now, sprinting is very doable!

This test is one I have seen used to determine where you sit!

Using the back squat or bench press at 80% of your 1 Rep Max weight and go for maximum effort…Your results of how many reps you are able to finish without putting the bar down mean:

•    Less than 7 reps: fast-twitch dominant
•    7 to 9 reps: balanced between slow- and fast-twitch fibers
•    More than 9 reps: slow-twitch dominant


In conclusion, if you train exclusively with slow and controlled movements, try adding in a little explosive, plyometric training to help develop another muscle fibers!  You will notice huge gains in your fitness, burn more calories, work the whole body and enhance your stamina and agility!  Sounds like a win/win to me!!










JUNE 13, 2017



Push ups and air squats, functional movements that can be performed anywhere!

Functional Fitness, this term is used a lot recently in the fitness world, and basically means that you are doing movements that use more than one muscle, that also translate over to movements we may use in our daily life/activities!  Instead of isolating a muscle to make it grow or look a certain way, a functional training program would make your muscles learn how to work TOGETHER!

What makes a movement functional?  The movement is multi planar, multi joint and demanding of your core.

Functional training can be done in the form of CrossFit, where 90% of the movements performed are functional and compound, and you can ALSO perform functional training in a traditional lifting/gym environment!


T-Bar rows engage multiple muscles, all working together!


CrossFit box:


The basis of the CrossFit training is functional fitness!  This excerpt below from explains why we do what we do in the sport!!

“CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more. These are the core movements of life. They move the largest loads the longest distances, so they are ideal for maximizing the amount of work done in the shortest time. Intensity is essential for results and is measurable as work divided by time—or power. The more work you do in less time, or the higher the power output, the more intense the effort. By employing a constantly varied approach to training, functional movements and intensity lead to dramatic gains in fitness.”

MOST of the movements performed in CrossFit are functional, such as all the Olympic lifts, wall balls, pull ups, jump rope, squats, hand stand push ups, ring dips….to name just a few.  Once in a while there will be a bench press in a workout but that will seldom happen as the focus of the sport is to make your body work as a unit and protect it from injury.



Traditional Gym functional training: 

Functional training is not just limited to CrossFit!  You can get a FANTASTIC functional workout in the traditional gym!

Think about a movement like a bent over row, hand and knee on a bench, with a dumbbell in hand, pulling it up from A full extension hang to elbow to the sky. You are building multiple muscles in your arm, back, and shoulders, which will help you with picking things up either for your job or around the home. Squats, learning how to bend down with your legs and not your back, this will help you in gardening, picking up items from the bottom shelves, moving a box, etc….  Not only will you be stronger in your movements and what you can do, you will help protect yourself from injury by training this way!


Back Squats for the win!  Multi joint, multi muscle, compound/funcational movement!

Front squats are incredible for core engagement, legs, glutes.

Flies on the exercise ball will help her develop her chest, arms and most definitely her core!

What about Machines?

Machines definitely have a purpose and can be helpful in your training program. Machines however will completely isolate a muscle and may allow you to push or pull very heavy weight, but it will only grow a specific muscle.  If you are used to training this way and then switch to a functional approach/movement, you may be very surprised at how much more difficult it is to move heavy weight!  The machine does not require any stabilizer muscle to engage to support the major muscle you are growing!

Functional movements in the gym:

dips, cleans, jerk, pull ups, push press, push ups, bent over dumbbell row, squats, dead lifts, battling ropes, lunges, Turkish get up, kettle bells….and the list goes on!

Kettle bell swings, core, shoulders, forearms, hips, glutes….

Deadlifts- glutes, hamstrings, grip, hips.

Dips not only does this hit your triceps intensely, you get a TON of core engagement!

Back squats

Battling ropes, not only does this get your heart rate up, you engage core, arms, shoulders, glutes, quads…


Functional fitness is highly beneficial and transfers over to helping with daily tasks, helping with core stability, helps reduce the risk of injury by strengthening all your muscles and teaching them to function together!  Our posture will be improved, burn a lot more fat and strengthen the core!  In general, daily life will be improved AND, it is a great form of exercise for beginners as well as the more advanced athlete!

Functional fitness can also be done at home if you don’t have access to a gym!  Squats, lunges, dumbbell squat presses, step ups, push ups, dips, etc….can all be performed in a tabata style rep scheme for a fantastic workout!

You definitely can’t go wrong training this way, and most certainly can still add in machine work if you still want to focus on one muscle group!





JUNE 7, 2017


Whenever you are making a investment in something, be it a new car (I’ve had WAY too much experience for my liking in this arena lately :-), a home, a place to get your haircut, a place buy your groceries, to improve your health and well being, you want to make sure you know what you are getting AND be sure that it is a good fit for your needs!

A phrase I have heard numerous times by people visiting Clout CrossFit & Gym is “wow, I had no idea it was so big in here”!!

CROSSFIT CLOUT & GYM is a gym/CrossFit area combined, giving an all around athlete the best of both worlds!


From free weights, plate loaded machines AND pin loaded machines, Clout has it! Our extensive dumbbell collection will ensure you have the heavy weights you may be looking for, and go down to 3lbs!


The ability to challenge your muscles on our newer pin-loaded machines OR on our old school Hammer Strength pieces of equipment, is something that will never leave you hanging! Our variety is great and have enough weight to make even our strongest athletes feel shaky!


Pin loaded machines are a FANTASTIC way to isolate muscle groups and to help you feel more comfortable in the weight room when you are newer to the gym!

If you are comfortable on your own in the gym or CrossFit, we have a very open time schedule to help you get your workout in when you are able to!  If you enjoy a group training environment , we offer CrossFit classes as well, 5 times a day starting at 5:30am!

If you like to take time to foam roll, stretch or practice some yoga movements, we have a separate area that is available with yoga mats, rollers and other pieces of equipment to help!


Exercise balls, bosu balls and mats are all available


CrossFit equipment; we have an EXTENSIVE collection of CrossFit equipment!  We have 4 ropes, 7 sets of rings, a multitude of boxes, wall balls, kettle bells, bars and bumper plates!  We offer sleds, (pushing and pulling types), a peg board to shimmy up, GHD’s, rowers and airdyne bikes!  ALL of the equipment is available to all members with a GYM membership (versus a CrossFit membership) during off hours!  As long as there is not a class, you are welcome to use the equipment and space! CrossFit athletes, do you LOVE to come in on your own schedule?  GREAT news, we have open gym ALL DAY except our 5 hours of instructor led classes!



If you like to work out on your lunch hour OR first thing in the morning, not to fret, we have showers!


Personal training is available as well if you need help planning workouts or need accountability!


We hope that this was valuable to you and you feel like you have more quality information that will help you make a selection on what gym you entrust your fitness goals to!  If you would like to come in to see our “Home”, please drop by and ask for Sue!  I love showing people around!!





JUNE 1, 2017



I am SO excited to announce the conclusion of our Attendance Challenge for Clout Gym  members!!! A lot of people had fun with this challenge and it is our hope that you had one EXTRA fun reason to get to the gym on any given day!!

Our #1 winner is Long time member John Alder!  John is dedicated as he is a 5 day a week gym attendee and works out in the wee hours of the morning!!  Great job John!!

Winner #2 is Bill Lugsch!  Bill came in a close second to John and I know that our evening crowd knows Bill as a regular!  Bill always has a smile on his face and a fist pump for the other members!

Thank you to ALL of our incredible members for your continued commitment and support of  Clout Gym, as well as serving as constant inspiration to us all!!!

Stay tuned for our next fun challenge!!






MAY 23, 2017






Injuries are frustrating to any athlete/fitness enthusiast!  They make us feel down, like we can’t keep up with our fitness routine…like it’s the end of the world 😉 …but I assure you, its not!!


So, what DO you do when you get injured?

First, we always recommend visiting with your doctor to get a diagnosis and once you have that in hand, it’s much easier to determine how to move forward!

I can speak from experience as well as experience from numerous friends who suffer from small OR more major injuries, that continuing to train in the capacity that your body will allow, is KEY to recovery and helping your fitness not all be lost!

Back to Darwin, changing what you are used to doing may be really frustrating, but it will be essential and help you WIN even while sidelined.  I was forced to NOT do some fairly major movements that I was used to doing every week, to help my injury heal!  I was able to modify with a version of the movement OR a completely different movement all together!  This allowed my body to still have the challenge, but not cause further injury OR impeding healing!


When you walk into a gym or CrossFit box, you will notice that there are a kazillion different ways to challenge your muscles and endurance!  There is not one way to skin a cat and for that, I am GRATEFUL!


During times of healing, I have incorporated CrossFit movements, isometric holds, free weights, weight machines, endurance exercises, stretching and lots of core movements!  This has all helped my body not completely shut down what it was used to!  I became stronger in areas I hadn’t focused on before (BONUS!!) and didn’t aggravate and area that needed rest!



In conclusion, if your injury is one that is allows, DON’T STOP!  EVERYTHING is modifiable and your body/health/waistline will thank you for not sitting on a couch!  Keep moving at the capacity that you are able!!!



MAY 16, 2017


We are a couple of weeks into our 6 week “iches lost” challenge for our CrossFit athletes, and our attendance challenge of May for the Gym members!

I am so happy to announce that our GYM members are SMASHING their attendance!  Seeing the amount of check marks on our tracker is inspiring and seeing that such a high percentage of our members are IN THE GYM!!!  So many times it’s easy to sign up for a membership and never use it, and I am PROUD to shout it out that Clout members are committed!!!  Way to go and keep up the great work!!

CrossFit athletes…lets get an update from you!!  How is your challenge going to date?  Have you made dietary adjustments?  I see you in the gym working HARD so I know the exercise element is on point!!  Keep up that hard work as it’s a huge piece to the puzzle!

Remember progress can be marked in MANY different ways!!  Have you cut out drinking pop?  Have you added leafy greens to your daily intake?  Have you started challenging yourself more on your lifts or speed at which you workout?  Did you reduce the number of desserts you consume in a day, in a week? Remember that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to food intake and lifestyles!

Making sustainable changes to your lifestyle will reap you long term success!  Making changes that are so drastic that you don’t want to keep going, aren’t good changes!  You will see SOLID and long lasting changes if you are real with yourself and make changes that you may not love at the moment, but can learn to love, especially when you see and feel the pay off!  THAT, is the ultimate goal in my opinion!

Continue to make changes, make them a habit, and watch yourself become more healthy, strong and fit!!

Check in and let us know how things are coming along!!




MAY 9, 2017



Now THIS is the way that I like to start my Saturday!!  Great job Christine, Will and Laura!!

Saturdays have always been one of my FAVORITE training days at Clout!!!  There is a great sense of energy among all our members, gym and CrossFit, and it’s CONTAGIOUS!  When I walk in the door early, before anyone else has arrived, I am starting to think about what kind of fun concoction of movements are we going to get to do in the CrossFit WOD of the day!  I am already pumped up as members begin to flow on in!

This last Saturday left me feeling on a high for a few days!  This was our first fully outside WOD of the spring and we seriously had SO MUCH FUN!  I think everyone that was there is still taking about it!

This day was about STATIONS!

We pulled the tires out for the first time this season and put those babies to WORK!  Well, maybe they put US to work, but none-the-less, we made a good team!  …one with a love/hate relationship!!  The “tire flipper” determined the amount of time each athlete spent on each station!  I apologize for when “I” was on the tire as it took me a LONGGGGGG time to get that baby down one length!!  🙂 (signed SUE)


Tara was FAST!  I thanked her afterwards for getting me off of the “cleans” station so quickly!

Guys were on one team and girls on the other!  I am pretty sure that the girls beat the guys….just sayin… 😉


Carlos killin the tire flips!  This kid has made some major gains this last year!



Will flipping tires for the first time!

There is more than one way to “skin a tire”!!  Utilizing the extra tires for other movements, something we don’t usually do inside the gym, was a fantastic way to change up the training our bodies are used to!  Tire Strikes really task your cardiovascular system as well as forearms, shoulders, core, etc….to really keep the muscles firing and heart pumping!


Show us how it’s done Eli!!


Who doesn’t love a box jump?  Ok ok…loaded question, but they fit very well into our circuit today!!!  Here is Otis handling it non stop!


Otis had no problem with repping out those jumps!


The sit up station helped me catch my breath but also keep moving!  This was  a welcome movement!!


Trent and Laura “sittin up” on a slightly slanted ground made for an extra challenge!


Paola working hard!

Hang Cleans and dumbbell lunges rounded out the 6 stations!


How do *I* get that angelic glow like Chris and Eli??? 🙂

We would LOVE to have YOU join in our Saturday FUN DAY!  You WON’T be disappointed!!

We have a BLAST and love to mix things up so come on down at 9:30am and see what we are all about!  It’s the BEST way to start the weekend!!!





MAY 2, 2017

The over 40 Athlete!

Brian is approaching 50 but can out-perform many 30 year olds on certain skills! It’s all about consistency and persistence!


When I was a youngster, say under 25, I remember thinking that 40 was…gasp…OLD!!!  I mean, my parents were in their 40’s!!! EWWWWW!!!!

What I did have however, were great role models in parents who ate relatively well and continued doing daily exercise, in a form that they liked (ie, running for my mom and tennis/golf for my dad!).  Not everyone has that in their lives but it doesn’t matter!  Your given situation does not dictate where you can or will go in your future!

Even though inevitably the clock ticks away, there is zero reason why we can’t get stronger and faster!  Don’t be afraid to try something new on for size!  You may just fall in love with it!


As some of us approach those even “older” years, which, by the way I think being “old” is totally a falsehood and it is truly just a number, we may find ourselves in better shape than when we were young and, ehem…reckless!  We most likely have started paying MUCH more attention to what we put into our bodies and if we don’t get a workout in, well, we feel rather let down and irritated!!  Skipping a workout before, or inhaling ungodly amounts of bagels, sugar and maybe alcohol when we were in our 20’s and 30’s , wasn’t something that weighed heavily on our minds! 🙂


Sylvan is a grandfather and is one of our most consistent CrossFit athletes.  This impressive gentleman can climb a rope, back squat a boat load of weight and kick up into a handstand for hand stand push ups, and, he is in his 50s!


Recently a doctor’s appointment left me feeling baffled, as the doctor said that “at my age”…most people are starting to wind down!  SERIOUSLY?  I think many of us feel WAY better now, and I for SURE do and actually have more lofty goals than ever before!!  If you feel like you need to wind down after 40, I strongly urge you to reconsider!  There is no time like the present to make changes!!

Kendra is a firefighter and has stamina during workouts like I haven’t seen before! Nothing is slowing down this mom/athlete!


Our bodies may show a little more signs of wear and tear as we get older, knees and backs that give us some hassles, but most every “injury” can be worked around!  Movements can be modified, certain lifts can be replaced with other movements.  It is NEVER a loss, even if something isn’t’ right with your body!


I believe that as we get older, we have the ability to achieve physical goals JUST as much, if not more, than young adults. You must believe that you can do it and don’t be afraid to try!


This is not just a young person’s game anymore.  Fitness is a life long pursuit and for as much as we all want the end goals, all the steps along the way are really the most fulfilling part of this journey!  We may have it ingrained into our minds that after 40 things go downhill.  At Clout we challenge you to switch that mindset because nothing is impossible if you believe in it!


Tara suffers from back issues as well as lupus.  She is not slowing down, only learning how to work around the limitations!  I have seen her grow as an athlete significantly despite the cards handed her!

So no matter what the number on the calendar says, you CAN be fit.  It’s you against you, whether in the gym lifting or being a CrossFit athlete or taking a walk around the lake!  The body learns what we teach it, so teach it to move, be healthy and challenge it to try new things and master new skills!  I guarantee you will not regret it!!!

Does this look like what you picture an “over 40 year old athlete” would look like?  🙂






APRIL 25, 2017


photo by: Mark Tablang, owner All Kine CrossFit    

All Kine CrossFit

I have become very aware lately of just how many people in my life travel for their jobs!  For people who spend a lot of time on the road, they are taken away from their routine of  life, and need a simple way to keep fitness as a part of their day!

Being on the road makes it a little more tricky, not impossible though, to continue with healthy choices when eating out AND to still get some form of a workout in!!

For both CrossFit athletes and traditional gym goers, most cities will have a facility to meet your needs and will most certainly offer a reasonable drop in rate!  Clout hosts a lot of travelers as they come through town and we tend to see a lot of familiar faces returning when they come back into town for their next trip!


Tara was traveling recently to Hawaii for work and was graciously hosted by All Kine CrossFit!  photo by Mark Tablong.

For those travelers who can’t find a gym OR for those days that you aren’t able to actually make it to a gym of your choice, there are other options too!  Many hotels have a small fitness centers where you can find a scaled down selection of equipment (compared to a full gym) but most have some form of cardio or a small selection of weights!  If you know your way around a gym, this is a good option but you have to be creative!

Hotel Gym workout by Tara: squat curls, knee-ins, reverse flies, jump squats!

 Click here to see video!

My favorite, if I can’t get into a facility or don’t care to, is to have a selection of body weight workouts that I could do in the privacy of my hotel room! These workouts wouldn’t even require you to pack “active wear” as sometimes throwing in extra clothing or shoes is just not an option!

Next time you travel and find yourself wanting something simple to do at your hotel, here are 3 different workouts, with 3 basic movements!  All of these are workouts you could do in your room in under 15 minutes! Throw a towel or blanket down on the floor and get to work!  There are so many ways to vary the movements that you could create a weeks worth of short workouts just with these in mind!


Movements: Air squat, push up, sit ups


Set a timer for 10 minutes and repeat this series of movements/reps as many times through as you can, until your time is up!

Keep moving with as little rest as possible to get good conditioning!

10 air squats (this is just a basic squat with no weights, trying to get down low!)

10 push ups (knees or feet are fine)

10 sit ups (crunches are ok if full sit ups bother your back)


4 rounds (complete all 3 movements before repeating the round!)

15 knee ins (sitting on the edge of a chair or even on the floor as in the above video, pull your knees up to your chest)

10 jumping squats

5 decline push ups (put your feet on the chair or edge of the bed or even your closed suitcase, be sure to keep your core tight so your back doesn’t sag!)



Perform each of these movements for 30 reps, then 20 reps, then 10 reps. Complete each set before moving onto the next rep scheme.

Squat pulses (hover around 90 degrees and make small pulses)


Inch Worm (inch your hands out until you are in push up position then walk them back to your feet!  Don’t worry if you have to bend your knees!  EXTRA CREDIT if you do a push up once you walk out!)

We hope this gives you a good idea on how you truly CAN stay fit on the road, it just takes a little effort!  Staying up with some form of workout will help you not only stay healthy, but will help you feel better knowing that your regular schedule is not being disrupted for days on end!!

If you feel someone could benefit from this blog post please feel free to share the link!

See you next week!!






APRIL 21, 2017


I’m SO excited to announce that the next round of exciting challenges are being released today!!! These will start May 1st and game is ON!!!

Our April CrossFit “attendance challenge” is still going strong through the end of the month!!  This has been SUCH a fun challenge that REALLY has made our athletes excited to get their mark for the day!!


GYM MEMBERS: Our attendance challenge was SO well received by our CrossFit community, and really got people thinking about how many times they hit class, so we wanted to roll it out to the gym members as well for the month of May!  There will be a sheet by the front desk for you to mark off your name each day (1 mark per day) that you come in to workout!  It’s a fun friendly competition and is a fun way to really push you to come in if you are on the fence on any given day!!  The prize for the person with the most days attended will be a cool Clout Duffel bag!!  Please add your name if you don’t see it on the list!!

CROSSFITTERS: We will be rolling out an “INCHES LOST” challenge that will run for 6 weeks (starting May 1st)!  If you want to participate in the challenge, please see Sue or Tara to sign up and get your measurements done! 

BOTH of our challenges are a really fun incentive to get on that summer body plan and get your health to where you want it to be!  Let’s do this together and see SUCCESS!!!  I’m so excited to really kick it up a notch with my training and be in the best shape I can be in!!!




APRIL 11, 2017

Coach/Personal Trainer Jeremy Pace has extensive functional fitness knowledge!


What thoughts run through your mind when we start to get those first “feels” of that summer goodness that is right around the corner???  Do you think, “Damn!   I’m READY for bikini season!” or do you think, “uh oh…I’d better get serious…NOW”!!!  You are not alone if you think the later!

Whether you have never set foot in a gym OR you are a seasoned pro, there is always room for change, growth, goals and expectations!  From personal experience, I understand that goals need to be set, but I must be flexible enough to have my path to reach them change from time to time!  Although many of us were athletes growing up, I think we start to back off of life or think there is only one way to skin a cat!


At Clout, we offer group CrossFit training which will step up your motivation AND accountability!  Plus, the workouts are a whole different kind of fun, challenge and will TRULY keep your body guessing, and NEVER ever boring!  If you haven’t tried it, you SHOULD!  It never hurts to try something new and if you are out of practice, now is the BEST time to get re-involved!!

Clout also offers that traditional gym setting with PLATE LOADED MACHINES, as well as an extensive set of dumbbells and yes, we also have pin loaded machines!  If you need that extra push or just some friendly guidance, there is a professional here that can help you!  We WANT to help you reach your goals and help you feel your best as you drop that towel this summer!!

What are you waiting for?


GOOD AFTERNOON to all our members/athletes of CLOUT GYM/CROSSFIT!

We are adding a blog to our site and I hope you enjoy it!

I want to throw out a few REMINDERS!!

  1. Our CrossFit attendance challenge is in FULL swing with some of our athletes already with the max points on the board!  Remember to give yourself a dot/check/x on the chart for every class you attned to make sure you are IN THE GAME!!  Don’t worry, I am keeping an eye on the WOD board and marking your name if you forget!  😉
  2. You may have noticed that our GYM member gallery is going up on the wall by the community board!  There are MANY faces I haven’t had a chance to get on film so if you see me, grab me for a quick picture!  I WILL get everyone up there!!
  3. Be sure to check out the fantastic new one of kind piece of equipment that George Pachello fabricated for us!  I am SUPER excited to have this piece in our free weight room and I know the members are as well!! THANK YOU GEORGE from the bottom of our hearts for your hard work and dedication to helping Clout stay running smoothly!!
  4. Be on the lookout for a GYM CHALLENGE!!!  I will announce it on Facebook/Instagram and this BLOG!!!
  5. Be sure to follow us on social media as that is a quick go-to for the happs at the gym!!

CrossFit Clout & Gym Facebook

CrossFit Clout & Gym INSTAGRAM