The Nutrishop CDA Summer Transformation Challenge Winner: Jeff Walther!

unnamed (1)The men’s winner of our Summer Transformation Challenge is Jeff Walther! Jeff lost 25.8 pounds of fat, added 12.6 pounds of muscle and saw his body fat drop by 8.2 percent, for a total of 45 points!

Jeff, 41, is with the Coeur d’Alene PD and came to us looking for a way to get into something competitive again. Jeff was a Brazilian Jujitsu competitor in years past, but over the course of five years, four knee surgeries derailed his involvement and prematurely retired him from the sport.

“I couldn’t compete, because my knee was never right,” Jeff said. “I finally got the surgery to fix the cartilage, but I didn’t realize how much I had lost over that time. I just wanted to compete and feel good about myself again.”

Once Jeff signed up with us for the challenge, he got the support and push he needed to do that. Toby helped him design a meal plan, with proper exercise and supplements, so that every time Jeff reached a plateau, he was prepared to break through it. Jeff’s staple supplements were Pro7, BCAAs and Thermovex.

“The support has been awesome. I didn’t realize the science behind the nutrition part of things before this,” Jeff said. “Having been in athletics before, every time I worked out, I was always missing that piece. Toby helped me dial it in and it made a huge difference.”

Toby also helped Jeff put together an exercise program that Jeff uses at work – part of his team-building process with the police department is a team workout, and involving his team with his exercise doubled his motivation. The atmosphere became one of team-inspired discipline, which was hugely beneficial for Jeff – “guys working together won’t let you get away with anything,” he said. “They’ll keep you honest. They’ll say, ‘The rest of us are doing heavier weight, so what are you doing?'”

Jeff also learned to value body composition over simply weight, and that change manifested itself in the mirror. As a grappler, Jeff was always focused on the scale because making weight is such a critical element. Once he made that mental adjustment, he found that his results were happening – and quickly.

“I’m getting older, and sometimes at 41, it’s tough to get back into motion,” he said. “It really surprised me when I learned I won.”

Jeff said what helped him was the feeling of support and outreach he got from Nutrishop, especially considering the long layoff from weight lifting he went through. The ability to have a close connection with nutrition experts was a highlight of his experience.

“I hadn’t lifted weights in a long time, and when I first came in, and I totally see how going into a supplement shop – especially when you don’t really know anything – can be intimidating,” he said. “But they’re super easy to get along with. There’s no judgment passed, and they don’t expect you to be a bodybuilder. You realize that fitness is for everyday people – it’s for everyone.”

Way to go, Jeff!

The Nutrishop CDA Summer Transformation Challenge Winner: Veronica Post!

unnamedOur women’s winner for the Summer Transformation Challenge is Veronica Post! Veronica lost 26 pounds of fat, gained 10.1 pounds of muscle and cut her body fat percentage down bv 11.8% for a total of 47 points!

Veronica dominated our challenge – one common struggle we hear frequently is that middle-aged women have more trouble losing weight than men do, but she even beat out the men for fat loss. At 55, Veronica says she’s as confident and happy as she’s been in a long time.

“I feel better than I have in I don’t know how long – maybe 15 years,” she said. “I feel like I did when I was 40. I can breathe better, I have way more energy, I have more self-confidence and self-esteem and I just feel better about myself.”

Veronica admits she didn’t know what she was getting into when she started our challenge – she simply saw a motivation to get her body back to how she felt it should be. But as she continued to eat right and exercise, she saw an opportunity for more.

“I really didn’t understand what I was doing until I saw it on paper, in the numbers. I thought it would take me forever, at 55, and that just wasn’t the case,” she said. “I tell everybody I can that they can do it if I can, because I’ve always felt like I would love to be an inspiration to kids and even people my own age.”

Veronica is a middle school employee, so she’s already involved with helping shape the lives of others. She decided to further that cause by setting a great example. Throughout the whole process, she never stepped foot into a gym – she did all her workouts with kettlebells, free weights and weight balls in the school’s band room before she started work, then rode her bike afterward. She also put a 3-pound hula hoop to work several times a week for 40 minutes.

“Not everybody can really afford a gym membership, or they get intimidated when they see these big bodybuilders and everything,” she said. “But that didn’t stop me and it shouldn’t stop anyone else. You don’t have to get muscled or lose fat by going to the gym. You can do it outside.”

Veronica said she’s struggled her whole life with her weight – while she’s always been athletic, her body image has been an issue for her. With her hard work, Nutrishop’s guidance and some motivation from within – “I couldn’t have done this without Jesus,” she said – all that is behind her now.

“I can’t express enough how good I feel. And it makes me feel even better to think that I might be motivating someone else to do the same thing.”

Congrats Veronica, and keep up the great work!

Our Summer Transformation Challenge Winners and Top-10 Runners Up!

We are pleased to announce that Jeff Walther and Veronica Post have won our Summer Transformation Challenge!

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We are thrilled to share their great results with you, so stay tuned – we’ll update you this weekend on their amazing stories. We also want to share our runners up – a lot of people challenged themselves to achieve success, and they did it! We’re proud of all of you.

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Illegal. Dangerous. Banned. AVOID These Products

667f9f7b-06fc-4e53-9211-9f7615aefda8It has recently come to my attention that dangerous and illegal products are being sold locally and online, particularly to young teens and high school athletes who want to gain muscle.

I have had a number of teens and college-aged kids ask if we carry pro-hormones or SARMs. Nutrishop Coeur d’Alene only carries naturally occurring dietary supplements that are safe, tested, and legal to sell. We have never, nor will we ever, carry these illegal and dangerous drugs that are being marketed to unsuspecting consumers as “dietary supplements.”

My biggest problem with this is that local shops have been promoting these products to young kids as a way to gain muscle. These drugs are being sold as safe to take, when in reality they are very dangerous – and illegal.

The dangers of Pro-Hormones

First, let me explain pro-hormones. These are unapproved steroids that pharmaceutical companies had abandoned and were “discovered” back in the late ‘90s. Since they were never classified as steroids, due to not going through the FDA approval process, this created a loophole for them to be sold as supplements. There was a series of bans, beginning in 2004 with Androstendione, and finally with the Anabolic Steroid Control Act signed by President Obama in December of 2014.  (https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/4771/text)

This last ban made all pro-hormones illegal to sell, with a $1,000 fine PER BOTTLE on the retail level. These unapproved drugs marketed as supplements are not only dangerous, but they are illegal. These pro-hormones are typically very hard on the liver because they are methylated, and they shut down natural testosterone very quickly. This could lead to liver damage, sexual dysfunction, testicular atrophy, and mood swings.

I know other supplement store owners in California who have been sued for millions of dollars because they were selling these dangerous drugs in their stores, and were dropped by their insurance companies because they violated the terms of their policies.

The dangers of SARMS

SARM stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator. These unapproved drugs have been available on Internet “research chemical” sites for a few years. Now, shady supplement stores are putting them in pills and labeling them “dietary supplements” to sell to unsuspecting consumers. These may be even more dangerous than pro-hormones because of the potential side effects.

Virtually all the SARMs being sold in dietary supplements in the United States are done so illegally. These chemicals are unapproved new drugs being tested by drug companies – and in some cases, totally abandoned by drug companies – as prescription drugs for a variety of serious medical conditions. Some of these SARMs have been demonstrated to cause serious damage to eyesight/visual acuity in humans, a host of rapidly growing cancers in animal models as well as other, deleterious side effects. Further, it is somewhat questionable that the SARM listed on the label of the product on the shelf (or website) is what’s really contained in the bottle.

Here are the predominant SARMs being sold illegally as dietary supplements:

  • Ostarine (aka Enobosarm, MK-2866 and chemically as, (2S)-3-(4-cyanophenoxy)-N-[4-cyano-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-2-hydroxy-2-methylpropanamide))
  • Ligandrol (aka LGD-4033 and chemically as 4-((R)-2-((R)-2,2,2-trifluoro-1-hydroxyethyl)pyrrolidin-1-yl)-2-trifluoroMethyl)benzonitrile)
  • Endurobol (aka GW-501516 or Cardarine and chemically as 4-[({4-methyl-2-[4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-1,3-thiazol-5-yl}methyl)sulfanyl]-2-methylphenoxy}acetic acid)
  • Andarine (aka S-4 and chemically as 2S)-3-(4-acetamido-phenoxy)-2-hydroxy-2-methyl-N-(4-nitro-3-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-propionamide)

The other real problem is that a lot of these SARM-containing products are being sold openly between the multivitamins and protein on the shelves of the local sports nutrition store. So there is an assumption by the consumer, even if it’s a bad and incorrect assumption, that these SARM-laced products are 100-percent legit, legal, FDA-approved and safe. The implications, therefore, are that these are all perfectly OK to sell and use as Dietary Supplements, like a multivitamin or creatine. That is absolutely not the case here.

While many sports nutrition stores, like Nutrishop, have educated and ethical employees who possess Nutritionist Certifications, many stores just hire big guys out of the gym. Some of these salespeople are exceedingly muscular and ripped.

So it’s not uncommon for a 16 year-old high school football player to come into such a store, see this type of guy and think, “If only I was as big and strong, I could be a starter at outside linebacker for the high school team!” And now that high school football player would test positive for SARMS, which are very well known by every athletic sanctioning body around the world, and SARMS are now part of the doping protocol athletes are subjected to.

Are taking SARMS and Pro-Hormones worth sexual dysfunction, liver damage, or losing a scholarship over? We don’t think so.

We only carry naturally occurring, safe and legal supplements at Nutrishop Coeur d’Alene. We will never risk the health of our customers just to make a quick buck. We will do meal planning and InBody testing, and design a healthy, safe plan to get the results that you or your high school athlete wants. Your health will be intact and you will keep all of your gains.

Delicious Protein Smoothie Options You Can Make, Right Now

2-e1412692955298We love shakes and smoothies. They are the ultimate fast option for healthy, nutritious meals when you don’t have a lot of time to prepare food or you have a craving for sweets but still want to stick within the boundaries of a healthy diet.

To that end, we started looking around the shop at all the different flavors of protein that we carry, and thought of just how many amazing shakes and smoothies we could make with these flavors — and then we wondered, what about our customers? This week, we want to highlight a shake or two a day to show you just how versatile protein powder can be for making delicious smoothies that will help you build muscle and burn fat.

Got your own great recipe? Share it in the comments, or on our Facebook page! We will update this blog throughout the week, so stay tuned!

1. Peanut Butter Cup

One of the best combinations in human history is chocolate and peanut butter, and that is evident in this amazingly simple smoothie. With 1 C fat-free milk, 2 Tbsp. all-natural peanut butter, 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder (like PRO7 or HYDROPRO), 2 tbsps flaxmeal and 1/2 C plain low-fat yogurt, it tastes so good that it’s hard to believe that there’s enough protein, fiber and calcium in this shake to make it a powerful breakfast or even dessert option.

IMG_20150207_155621~22. Banana Berry Blend

If a fruity flavor is more your style, there’s lots of options here as well. Vanilla protein powder works great, as does the banana flavor we carry — two scoops of either goes great with 1 C fat-free milk, some frozen blueberries, a small, ripe banana and 1 Tbsp. of chia seeds — be sure to let the whole shake settle for a couple minutes, to let the seeds set up and soften. The natural sugars in this shake make it a perfect choice post-workout.

3. Mudslide

Our great cookies and cream flavor works perfectly for this one — use two scoops and mix it in with 1 C of cold, fat-free milk, 1/2 a packet of sugar-free chocolate pudding and, optionally, a Tbsp. of smooth, all-natural peanut butter. For some added flavor, fiber and vitamins, toss in a small handful of frozen raspberries!

4. Pumpkin Power

One tbsp. of pumpkin puree, 1 scoop of caramel pretzel flavor protein, 1/2 C cashew or almond milk and pumpkin pie spice extends everyone’s favorite seasonal flavor throughout the year — and adds a ton of protein, fiber and vitamins to the equation.

5. Caramel Mocha

Perfect for those early-morning starts where you don’t have time for coffee and breakfast — combine the two in a great shake instead. With instant coffee granules, Caramel Pretzel PRO7 and 1/2 C of milk (you can use almond or cashew milk, too), this one has an ice cream feel to it without any of the guilt. (Shoutout to Nutrishop CDA fan Christina Thompson for Nos. 4 and 5!)

6. The PBJ

For those interested in throwing on muscle NOW, add precious calories, fats, protein and slow-digesting carbs with this treat. Peanut butter flavor protein, a scoop or two of real, natural peanut butter, 1/2 frozen strawberries, a small handful of instant oats and 1 C of 1 or 2-pct milk. Like being a kid again and opening up your bag lunch, except that you’re going to get huge and there’s no Capri Sun.

The Body Transformation Challenge Winners Are In!

We have some great results from the NUTRISHOP Body Transformation Challenge, and we want to share the winners with you all this week!

Every category winner won $75, with the exception of the overall winner, who wins FREE PROTEIN from us for a year!

First, an honorable mention: Jessica Rayner, who had a total fat loss-muscle gain swing of 6.26 pounds!

unnamed (1)A new mom in July, Jessica took second in her class after connecting with NUTRISHOP’s Josh. The two had known each other for a long time and Jessica heard about the Body Transformation Challenge, she knew it would be a good thing to do to drop the baby weight and get motivated.

“The guys that work at NUTRISHOP are great — I used to be really intimidated in that kind of environment, because a lot of the people that you see there are really fit already,” Jessica said. “But Matt and Josh helped me out a lot. They’re really supportive, and that’s important to me because I have a crazy schedule with a baby, I work graveyard, I don’t have a set time that I sleep. They helped me do the best I could given the situation.”

When Jessica had her son, she was weighing in at 176 pounds, and after she returned to work, she got down to 147. She set a goal before the Transformation Challenge to get down to 125, and while she didn’t quite make it to that number, she dropped the excess fat around her stomach with a clean meal plan that Josh wrote for her, plus supplementing with FORZA PRO protein powder.

“I’m really happy that I was able to stick to it,” she said. “It wasn’t too hard for me to eat the food he wanted me to — the challenge was more in eating every three hours because of my schedule. I’m a huge fan of chocolate and sugar, and I think the meal plan he gave me seemed to curb those cravings.”

Jessica is looking forward to the spring’s Transformation Challenge, when she plans to incorporate more physical training into her schedule while maintaining her new diet. With a hectic schedule and sporadic sleeping habits due to her job and new child, Jessica still is finding that her cleaner eating habits are giving her more energy. She feels more fit and healthy,

“I just wanted to be fit. I used to be into sports and as I got older I went down the wrong road. It’s too easy for me to gain weight,” Jessica said. “I just wanted to be healthier for my son and my own health.”

Our overall winner and winner of the Male 30-49 Category: Keith Babor!unnamed

Keith lost 25.93 pounds of fat and 11.07 pounds of muscle for a total transformation of 14.88 pounds! With two months of training and dieting throughout the PEAK Biggest Loser Challenge and the Body Transformation Challenge — a perfect storm of motivation — Keith and his wife Tracie (see her story below) knew they had to work together, and fast, to get their lives back on track.

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Keith had held pretty firm between the 205- and 220-pound range for years as he worked construction, and also had aches and pains related to his line of work. His right shoulder partially separates from doing drywall and construction for so long. His left shoulder was constantly aching. He had a right knee reconstruction, a meniscus repair and an ACL replacement at 40. Keith, once an AAU basketball coach, all but quit playing basketball or racquetball, or even running or jumping, because it hurt too much. The biggest thing, though, was the real-life application of all that pain — “It used to just kill me to sit on the floor and read my kids books,” Keith said.

He set an ambitious weight goal from the outset: 175 pounds. A nutritionist he had been seeing told him to be realistic. Instead of changing his goals, Keith worked hard — he got his diet set up at NUTRISHOP with the help of Josh and Toby, made sure to incorporate protein, BCAAs and 1-XPM into his supplement plans and started training to build muscle, and then stuck to his regimen.

He ended up weighing in at 170 after the challenge.

“We really held ourselves accountable and did it together, and everyone at NUTRISHOP has just been awesome to help us do it,” Keith said. “They’re just full of information and that really helped us meet and exceed our goals. When you do something like this, people tell you that you can’t do it, but they tell you not only that you can, but how you can.”

For Keith, it was never about the number on the scale — he just wanted to feel healthy and strong. And perhaps best of all, the real life stuff is back in play for him and Tracie — Keith can read to his kids or play with them without pain. He’s no longer afraid of being 50 and unable to throw around a ball with his children.

“I’m getting stronger every day, and at 47 I’m healthier than I was 15 years ago, and that to me is amazing,” he said. “I feel better than I have in years. That’s attributed to making a lifestyle change.”

Female Over 50 Category: Laurie Littman

unnamed (4)unnamed (3)Laurie lost 3.93 pouns of fat and gainpounds of muscle for a 4.86-pound swing. Also a competitor in the PEAK challenge, Laurie did not come into this competition as a novice. In fact, she was a NUTRISHOP Transformation Challenge contestant in the past, and had great success then, too. Motivated by her past results and the knowledge that her hard work would pay off, Laurie signed up again.

“I kind of already knew what I was doing, and I knew the results would come,” Laurie said, noting that she stuck with the same supplement usage of BCAA SPORT, N’FUZE, NATURE’S FUEL and PRO 7. “I’ve kind of kept up with it, worked out the same, and pushed a little bit more with the weights this time.”

Laurie was still able to achieve success without hitting a weight-loss plateau, thanks to a revamped diet and new focus on ensuring she was getting enough protein. She had initially gotten a meal plan created at NUTRISHOP when she first competed in the challenge and applied the same principles this time around.

“As far as my diet I tried to eat more protein – I had gotten kind of lax on that, so I watched it a little bit more,” she said. “When you’re in a contest you don’t want to let things go like you might have when you’re not in a contest, so I worked on it.”

One major change Laurie also made was to implement five days a week of heavy weight lifting with her friend and workout partner Sarah. She had been training with weights before, but never with the intensity or frequency with which she’s training now.

“It’s fun and going with a partner helps a lot,” Laurie said. “It’s easy for me to get to the gym every morning.”

Her success this time around, she said, all started when she first gained the knowledge she’s still using. She knows the diet is the most important thing — “probably 80 percent of the important work I’ve done is eating right” — and in this case, knowledge definitely is power.

“I had a better grasp of what I was doing,” she said, “with the help of everyone there at NUTRISHOP.”

Female 30-49 Category: Tracie Babor

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Tracie Babor lost more than 16 pounds of fat during the NUTRISHOP Transformation Challenge.

With eight kids, including two young ones, Tracie and her husband Keith had struggled over the course of the last year to stay in shape, each putting on about 10-15 pounds and feeling too tired for exercise. Along came two huge motivating factors, though: The PEAK Biggest Loser contest, and of course, the NUTRISHOP Body Transformation contest, and the couple decided to do both together.

A couple of years ago, Tracie had started to do the Biggest Loser contest, but soon became pregnant and it stalled out her goals. Instead of giving up on them altogether, though, she and Keith came back to challenge themselves and are now seeing the rewards.

“We have lots of years left that we need to live and be healthy,” said Tracie, who lost 16.94 pounds of fat and 5.06 pounds of muscle for a 11.88-pound swing. “I’m feeling fantastic. We used to be super active — we hike, we bike, we fish, and we take the kids with us and spend the day running around, but this last summer we got away from that. The first weekend of the challenge, we found a hiking trail that was about 10 miles. The kids couldn’t do it obviously, and once we went up it, I didn’t know we’d make it out again.

“We’re looking forward to tackling that trail in the spring.”

Like many people looking for motivation do, Tracie experienced a bit of nervousness in her first trip into NUTRISHOP, not knowing what to expect and surrounded by nutrition experts. She left with the knowledge necessary to get her and her husband’s diets right, and also was able to keep an eye on her weight loss as she stocked up on protein, BCAAs and, more recently, 1-XPM. The goals in her sights have now changed from losing weight to challenging herself more: She wants to start training for a mini-triathlon, mixing in even more weight lifting, and putting on more muscle.

“I feel really good, I’m loving the stuff I’m doing and the lifestyle that we’re able to have again,” Tracie said. “I’m excited to see what the next couple months bring for me. We’re sticking with it.”

Male Under 30 Category: Bryce Degelman

PicMonkey CollageBryce, 27, was able to turn in a 5.34-pound swing as he lost 1.67 pounds of fat and put on 3.67 pounds of muscle during the challenge, all part of a year-long transformation for him. Nine years ago, he was a hockey player in high school, but injuries and a desk job put his health and fitness in jeopardy until he decided to change it in March.

“I decided I wanted to get back into shape and get healthy again,” he said, “and up to the point of that competition I’d come down about 25 pounds from my original weight. I figured I was already in the mix of the working out, so it kind of fit together — too bad it wasn’t a few months earlier!”

With the support from his wife Kira, who started encouraging the couple to work out back in March, Bryce started hitting the gym as soon as it opens, 5-6 times a week, mixing up his workouts with dedicated splits like upper-body pull and push days, leg days and even mixing in spin classes or other forms of cardio.

Adopting a supplement regiment of HEMOVEX, FORZA ONE BCAAs and PRO7 protein powder, Bryce is still burning off the fat he wants to and is excited to start getting even more serious about his fitness.

“I feel great now. I got to the point where I blew my knee up and had to have surgery on it, four days before our first kid was born, and during my recovery I was physically in a really low point, and now I feel way stronger,” Bryce said. “I feel like I’m almost back to what my peak was before.”

Female Under 30 Category: Alana Harvey

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Female Under 30 winner Alana Harvey

Alana lost 3.12 pounds of fat and gained .52 pounds of muscle for a 3.64-pound swing! At 20 years old, she said she was surprised with her results, given that she weighed in at only 121 pounds.

Already an avid weight lifter with her husband Jeramy, Alana was encouraged to join the competition after talking with NUTRISHOP’s Matt one day. The first fix was getting her diet right, but with Jeramy out of the state for work for seven weeks, Alana had to take things into her own hands to prepare the food that she normally relied on her husband to make for them both.

“I started eating healthier right away, changed my diet pretty much completely and upped my workout days to six instead of four,” Alana said. “I was cooking for myself, preparing everything, and that was the hardest thing. I had to learn to eat small portions every hour — I was full but also hungry all the time!”

Working in the 15-rep range with the heaviest weights she could handle, Alana was focused on building muscle and strength over the 60-day transformation period. The biggest challenge she faced was Thanksgiving, of course, but she had a strategy.

“There was a fruit tray and vegetable dish, so I got full on that before the bad stuff,” she said. “Mashed potatoes are my absolute favorite, so I had a little bit of those, but otherwise that pretty much was it. It’s easier to not crave the sweets and junk food if you never eat them in the first place.”

Alana is looking forward to seeing Jeramy soon, because he’s refused to let her send any pictures of her transformation! And in the meantime, it’s easy for her to stay motivated. She works at the hospital, where she sees plenty of poor health, and refuses to let herself succumb to it at this point in her life. Fitness has become her feel-good drug.

As for the $75 she won at NUTRISHOP, she knows it’ll go toward one of the favorites she used to get in shape for the contest: N’FUZE, FEMFIRE, FORZA PRO or AUGMENT!

Way to go, Alana! Congrats!

 

The NUTRISHOP Body Transformation Challenge is Back!

It’s almost time for one of our favorite events of the year: The Body Transformation Challenge! Each age/gender category winner gets a $75 Gift Card, and the Grand Prize winner gets FREE Protein for an entire year!! This contest is FREE to enter with purchase. Starts this Saturday, 9/27.

What kind of results can you expect to get from participating? Here is the list of our winners last year:

The NUTRISHOP Weight Loss Challenge Winners!

The winners have been announced for the NUTRISHOP CDA Weight Loss/Muscle Gain Challenge! Great job by everyone who participated, especially our winners!

Zack Jones was the overall winner of the NUTRISHOP Transformation Challenge!

Zack Jones was the overall winner of the NUTRISHOP Transformation Challenge!

ZACK JONES, 28, is our overall contest winner and wins FREE PROTEIN FOR A YEAR! Zack gained 2.33 pounds of muscle and lost 12.24 pounds of fat, for a 14.57-pound swing!

“I’ve always lifted and to be honest,” Zack says, “I just always wanted a six-pack. I was more motivated to go for that and just needed some structure to follow basically.”

Joining the Transformation Challenge certainly helped him do that. Already a NUTRISHOP client by the time to challenge came around, Zack thought he may as well try — he had been lifting with no goals in mind, and he knew it would give him something to shoot for and push himself harder.

His training stayed virtually the same — in fact, many of his workouts were the ones we post all the time —and he just hit it consistently, about an hour or so, five to six days a week, hitting legs twice.

“I’d been shooting from the hip as far as workouts go, but then I started following NUTRISHOP’s workouts,” he explains. “I’ll go heavy on my chest and leg days, and back is really more of a pull-up, higher-reps-and-endurance style. And I do a lot of supersets after the heavy core lifts.”

As with most people who lost a lot of body fat, the dietary changes for Zack were the most important. The timing and intake of his carbohydrates, for instance, was something he wasn’t familiar with until NUTRISHOP set him up with an individualized meal plan, which was “by far the most valuable thing for me to follow,” he says. “And it was easier to stick to than I thought it would be.”

All of his results and the process has made Zack not only a Transformation Challenge winner, but a NUTRISHOP loyalist.

“The place is fantastic, by far my favorite shop that I’ve ever been to,” Zack says. “Once I met the guys there and got to know them, I haven’t bought supplements anywhere else. I can stop in after work with questions and they’ll just talk with me for a half-hour.

“Everything was easily laid out for me and the knowledge they had was awesome,” Zack continues. “Once they gave me a structure to follow, it was just a matter of doing it.”

Congratulations, Zack — and enjoy the protein!

Before Mike McConnell decided to change his life for the better, he was suffering back pain from a military injury and had gained 100 pounds in six months.

Before Mike McConnell decided to change his life for the better, he was suffering back pain from a military injury and had gained 100 pounds in six months.

MIKE MCCONNELL, 34, is a former Marine who saw his health slipping when he returned home from the service. He gained 100 pounds six months after getting out of the military, having hurt his back in service, and decided it was time to make a change.

“I just want to be healthy,” Mike says. “It’s been dragging me down and I decided this is something I need to do. I want to be healthy for my kids. When I sit on the couch and I’m in pain, my back’s bothering me, I know I’ve got to be more active.”

A couple years ago, Mike moved to Coeur D’Alene and he and his wife decided to choose a healthier lifestyle, making a fresh start in a new area. One of his first stops was NUTRISHOP, where he saw experienced nutrition and fitness experts not only giving advice, but practicing what they preached.

“A lot of people can feed you the diet stuff they read from a book,” Mike says, “but the guys at NUTRISHOP had experienced it and done it themselves.”

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Mike has lost almost 60 pounds since October, when he began working with NUTRISHOP's help.

Mike has lost almost 60 pounds since October, when he began working with NUTRISHOP’s help.

Since October, when Mike first started getting involved with NUTRISHOP, he has lost 60 pounds and won $75 in store credit with muscle gain and fat loss that netted him a 7.72-pound swing in body mass. He won his category in the NUTRISHOP Weight Loss Challenge with a ferocious approach to training, a personalized diet plan and some of his favorite supplements including glutamine, BCAAs and ERRATIC for his pre-workouts.

He was training seven days a week, twice a day, with heavy sessions in the morning and volume-based training later on. He did fasted cardio early in the day, with BCAAs to help prevent muscle breakdown, and high-intensity interval training after his weight sessions.

Such an intense regimen had him close to a plateau, he says — and then the Weight Loss Challenge breathed new life into it.

“I was doing that routine four months before I started the contest, and I felt like I was maybe peaking,” Mike says. “The contest just kept me going.

“I need to show up at that gym parking lot every day,” he continues. “As long as I walk in and do something, at least I’m not going backward. And that’s important to me.”

Great job, Mike!

LAURIE LITTMAN, 55, won her category and $75 in credit with a 2.4-pound swing. She had been building good fitness momentum beforehand, and saw the Weight Loss/Muscle Gain Challenge as a way to up her results.

“I’ve been working toward all this anyway, so it was nothing really new to me,” Laurie says. “I’ve done the Biggest Loser at the gym, and came in second on that in my category, and I’ve just been working on it ever since. Exercising and eating right has become a big goal of mine.”

Laurie has always been into exercise, but had never concentrated on building muscle and suddenly found herself with 15 pounds of fat she wanted to lose. She knew that implementing a lifestyle of clean eating would be the first step, and that she could accelerate her progress with weight training.

“I logged all my food and that helped quite a bit — realizing what I was eating and what was in everything I was eating,” she says. “At first it was a little strange — I wasn’t used to eating that much protein. I didn’t use to measure things. Now I am much better about knowing exactly what I’m eating and how much.”

Laurie’s goals and motivations throughout were simple enough: trying to stay in shape and feel healthy, keeping up with her grandkids and, of course, looking good. But most of all it was all about simply feeling good.

NUTRISHOP helped get her on track with her eating and showed her which supplements would be best for her. Laurie still uses FORZA PRO, PRO7, N’FUZE, GLUTAMIC and BCAAs. And of course, on top of the products, Laurie says she could always rely on NUTRISHOP for encouragement and expertise.

“They’re always very encouraging and knowledgeable with what they have there. That was very helpful,” Laurie says. “They’re all just very positive. I could ask anything and they’d spend time telling me. I like a store that knows what they’re doing.”

Way to go, Laurie!

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