Monica Won Our Fall Transformation Challenge!

unnamedWe are very proud to introduce our women’s winner of the Body Transformation Challenge, Monica Oliver!
She started the challenge with her husband and sister-in-law, feeling like she needed to get back into a routine after summer left her feeling “blah.” She ended up losing 20.1 lbs of fat and gaining 5.3 pounds of muscle!
“It was a way for us to have some accountability and goals to meet together, especially for my husband and I, so we did the whole thing start to finish together,” Monica said. “I didn’t have any goal of winning in mind — but I also didn’t account for gaining as much muscle and losing fat the way I did. After the first weigh-in, I thought, ‘Yeah, I can totally win this.'”
 
Monica, like all our transformers, had her challenges: Work and life (she’s a mom, which is a full-time job itself) both presented obstacles for her to get through. But she and her husband kept each other accountable, and they powered through.
 
“We had our game face on from the beginning. We were committed 110% to eating right and not cheating and working out, and we held each other to it,” she said. “There was holiday temptation thrown in there, a lot of social situations with wine, maybe you’re tired, but it was about just sucking it up and doing it.”
 
Perhaps Monica’s biggest challenge was with her new meal plan — she admitted to panicking when she saw that she would have to eat six times a day. For someone who previously never ate breakfast and often had a hard time making herself eat, it was a leap of faith. It paid off.
 
“I think I ate more through the challenge than I’ve ever eaten in my life. I learned how to fuel my body how I should be. I found out how much I should eat and train to gain muscle, and that was huge. It was very scary to me to think about eating every three hours, but once you make it a habit, you realize you’re using it for fuel.”
 
Monica learned even more about herself in the gym, especially when it came to her own capabilities. She didn’t miss workouts, and the results showed.
 
“I learned I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was. You go into a workout thinking, ‘There’s no way I can do that,’ but yeah, I actually can if I put my mind to it and be positive.”
 

 With Nutrishop behind her for support and advice, Monica was unstoppable! She found that she went from dreading her weigh-ins to looking forward to them, because she knew she had a positive environment and people who had her back.

“They were so helpful — that was the first conversation I had with Carly, right when I was starting the challenge, was about eating. She had so much useful information that worked specifically for me,” she said. “It was mind-blowing. The encouragement you get from everyone at Nutrishop is amazing. I started getting excited to go to weigh-ins.”

Monica said the whole experience started off as an aesthetic goal, but now realized she has more energy than ever, is sleeping better and has her whole family excited to be fitness-conscious.

“On top of just the physical part, where it feels amazing to play with my kids, not be drained, and know I look better,” Monica said, “there’s the emotional part of connecting with my family and making healthy choices together. It feels so good. There’s an incredibly positive energy in our house because of this.”

Once again, congrats on a job well done, Monica!

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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The NUTRISHOP 2015 Fall Challenge Winner!

Congratulations to Jesse Ebert, our overall winner of our Fall Weight Loss & Muscle Gain Challenge! Jesse put on 12.05 pounds of muscle and lost 7.85 pounds of fat, for a total swing of 19.9 pounds – impressive! For his great results, he wins a year’s supply of protein!

Jesse before and after the NUTRISHOP Fall Challenge.

Jesse before and after the NUTRISHOP Fall Challenge.

“I got so tired of being skinny all the time,” Jesse said. “I was motivated from the beginning, but after my first weigh-in, I realized, ‘Holy crap, something’s happening.’ That really motivated me to push harder and I could see the numbers and evidence to prove it was working.”

A year ago, Jesse started his gym membership, but he didn’t really have much direction – he would go to the gym and work out, trying to figure things out on his own. A friend told him about the Challenge, and he decided to go for it. Then he started taking things seriously, doing research on power-lifting workouts that would get him stronger and bigger, and working with Josh at NUTRISHOP to get his diet and supplements on point.

“It was all pretty new. I’d never even done squats before – I thought about it, maybe walked over to the bar a couple times,” Jesse said. “Starting this challenge encouraged me to talk myself into it. Once I started challenging myself, that’s when I started seeing muscle mass.”

Paired with an introduction to protein and BCAAs and full-body, compound lifts, Jesse saw results right away. He started off eating salads and watching his calories, and he dropped 5 percent body fat over four weeks. He soon discovered he needed to eat as much quality food as he could get, and that’s where Josh fit in. They worked together on what Jesse should eat and when, and Jesse took it to heart.

“Everybody at NUTRISHOP has been great – any questions I’ve had, they’ve answered, and they always give tips that actually help,” Jesse said. “There’s always a fear when you’re trying something new that someone is just trying to sell you something, but I always felt like they were being genuine and really wanted to help me.”

Jesse’s goals for 2016 are to keep on the same track – if he can gain 12 pounds of muscle in two months, he said, imagine what he can do in a year.

“I feel great – I’ve got a positive attitude and a lot more self-confidence,” Jesse said. “There’s no way I’m going to stop now, right when I’ve got it figured out.”

WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: Floor-Up Legs and Core

Generating power from the ground up is a great way to build muscle and overall strength – training the legs, core and upper body at once is an incredibly functional concept that will help not only in the gym, but in your everyday life.

The king of the floor-up training principle, of course, is the deadlift, and it is involved heavily in this workout – literally. After getting through heavy work on deadlifts – you can use either a standard or sumo variation – you will move on to an explosive ground-up movement, grouped with an appropriate stretch and some core work. This will allow you to utilize the progressive load principle (start with your most demanding lifts, finish with more technique-intensive movements), for a well-rounded workout.

If you don’t have access to a TRX or another form of suspension trainer, use the alternative, listed in italics.

FLOOR-UP LEGS AND CORE

Sumo Squats: 5, 5, 5, 3, 3 – increase the workload each time. Take a wide stance, toes pointed outward, and take care to keep your shoulders pulled back – a narrower grip will invite hunching, which you want to avoid.

Grouped Work – 5 total sets. Perform each movement, then move to the next with no rest.

  1. Power Cleans to front squat – 5, 5, 3, 3, 1
  2. Lying Brettzel stretch – 10 seconds per side
  3. TRX body saws – 10 (ab roller x 10, or plank for 30 seconds)

Alternating Lunges: 2 sets forward – 8 reps per leg; 2 sets reverse, 8 reps per leg.

How to Stay On Track With Your Diet and Training

workout-motivation

It can be the hardest thing about fitness: You’ve got your diet plan, you’ve got your training plan, you’ve got your supplements … and you just can’t get motivated to get that first foot out the door.

This is not uncommon for even intermediate-level athletes. Let’s face it, it is simply easier to not do something than to follow through. That’s why we wanted to started this blog — to keep a running list of tips throughout the week to help you stay focused and reach your goals.

Consistency is key in doing this, so finding excuses and reasons not to hit the gym or talking yourself into an extra cheat meal here or there will absolutely hinder your progress. To that end, let us suggest a few ways you can stay disciplined and motivated, so your goals become reality.

  •  Talk it out. One of the most powerful forms of motivation, we’ve found, is finding a community that you can relate to, that will share your goals and push you to accomplish yours. Sometimes, just putting them out in the open gives you something to strive for — after all, when it’s just you that you have to be accountable to, you know whether or not you’ll be able to handle your own judgment. We’d recommend finding a friend, a mentor, even a trainer if necessary, and sharing your thoughts and motivations so you can have a record of why you started this whole process in the first place. Then, if you find yourself tempted to stray off course, you’ll have a “fitness network,” so to speak, that you can be sure isn’t skipping their workouts. It makes it much tougher to skip yours.
  • Write it down. Simple enough, and so few people do it. Keep a journal! Track your weight, your body fat percentage, your strength … track everything. Your own results can absolutely be a source of motivation. When you see that you’re getting stronger, it’s unlikely that you’ll reach a point where you think, “Well, that was OK, but I’m done now.” Success will breed confidence and, and having a visual record of it will keep the momentum going.
  • Be mindful. Always, always remember the “why” behind fitness. Whether it’s to get your blood pressure to a safer level, to lose your belly, to impress your spouse or feel better throughout the work day, keep your eye on the prize. Sure, a donut is appealing, but it can’t compete with the 6-pack you set out to build.
  • Don’t rationalize anything. You need to be stubborn when it comes time to getting your workouts in. “I can push it til tomorrow,” or “I ate clean today so missing this one won’t be the end of the world,” are examples of rationalizing to make yourself feel better about what you’re really ultimately doing — failing in your goal to be consistent. Write down your workout days, and make sure you get them in before your head hits the pillow at night.
  • Keep your goals the same. Two weeks into your mission to cut body fat and get a 6-pack, you can’t decide that you want to bulk instead and expect to see the same kind of results you would if you’d remained consistent to your plan. Most people do this as a way to get around clean eating. This is how once-a-week cheat meals turn into cheat days, or why somebody would stop packing healthy lunches knowing they can get something fast and easy on the go. Remember from the tip mentioned above: Write it down, and when you do, follow it to the letter.
  • Think of the future. There is a phrase a gym chain uses for its motto that we really like: “Nobody ever says, ‘I wish I hadn’t worked out today.” Think of this when you are on the fence about getting your workout in! Try to think of how you felt the last time you skipped the gym — it probably didn’t leave you overflowing with pride, right? That won’t change. It never feels good to display a lack of accountability, even to yourself. Instead, imagine how good you’ll feel when the workout is done and you have the knowledge that you set a goal for that day and accomplished it.
  • Set smaller goals first. Know that the end goal will happen, but it is way more motivating to continue when you accomplish each small goal as it comes. – (from Nutrishop CDA Facebook fan Bret Spencer – thanks Bret!)