We love spreading the word about our amazing Transformation Challenge partner-sponsors!
Up today: Elements Massage!
Elements is offering a 90-minute massage to our first-place finisher, and a 60-minute massage to second place — THANK YOU, friends!
We really can’t overstate how much it means when you support locally owned businesses. Every dollar you spend here stays right here in the CDA area – help support our community!
Our women’s winner of the Spring Challenge is Brandi Lish! Brandi lost 19 pounds of fat and 7.6 percent body fat, and she gained .8 pounds of muscle!
Brandi’s fitness journey began when she met Lisa from Nutrishop out in the community, and the two started talking fitness and supplements. Brandi has Crohn’s disease, which comes with a lot of stomach irritation, and Lisa encouraged her to look into products she could take and a diet that would work for her. Once Brandi learned about the challenge, she thought it sounded like a great opportunity, and came in to meet Carly and DJ to get going! With her husband Cody also doing the challenge alongside her, they were ready to go.
“We got the lowdown of how it all works, and we’ve done other diets and challenges, and they were hard to stick to,” Brandi said. “This seemed like one we could make into a lifestyle and keep it, so we signed up and started it and really enjoyed it. The meal prepping wasn’t overbearing – it was doable.”
Brandi and Cody came into Nutrishop once a week to keep themselves accountable, and Brandi in particular wanted to see if she needed to change anything.
“Carly and Lisa were awesome and supportive, and at one point during the challenge about halfway through my weight was creeping up and I wasn’t feeling the best,” she said. “They switched my diet up a little bit and I was back on the track of losing weight.
“They pointed out I was in the lead, and that really kept me motivated and wanting to continue on,” Brandi said. “I love my pizza and desserts and everything, but they kept me on track!”
Brandi did face her challenges – Cody recently graduated from college, and with that came a big party. Brandi asked us, “Can I have cake?” Carly put it to her this way: “Brandi – is $1,100 worth of prizes worth a piece of cake?”
“They really helped me keep myself focused,” said Brandi, who complemented her diet with training at Peak several days a week. She switched her workout schedule to the mornings, having never been a morning person, and found she loved the freedom it allowed her the rest of the day. She could finish her spin class or boot camp early in the morning, get her evenings back, and know she got her work in.
“I’m feeling a lot better after the challenge,” Brandi said. “I was kind of was in a slump of feeling down; I’d gained weight; I felt bloated and ‘ugh,'” she said. “I wanted to get back to my go-getter self. This has definitely helped me do that.”
Portion control and not having junk or processed food were the primary factors in her new outlook, she said. The food you eat definitely fuels your activity, and Brandi said she can feel that difference now.
“It’s hard – it can be hard to step in those doors and start something, but Nutrishop, after everything I’ve tried and done, is totally a family,” Brandi said. “They want you to have the life you want – they ask what your goals are, what will make you happy, and they help you get that.”
As experts in the supplement industry, we are intimately familiar with concerns and questions customers and the paying public may have about products.
Do they work? (To wildly varying degrees, yes – buy the good ones.) Are they safe? (Buy from reputable vendors like Nutrishop, and they couldn’t be safer – we don’t hesitate to yank inferior products off our shelves.) What exactly do they do?
We like to turn to science and study when it comes to answering all of those questions. ln recent years, what’s come to light specifically about one certain supplement is extremely encouraging. Not only do BCAAs stand up as an excellent product for fat loss and muscle gain in non-biased, scientific review, but they routinely make regular customers’ shopping lists each time they visit us. A lot of products will come and go – only the best ones stick around when the hype wears off and results are all that’s left. And at the end of the day, BCAAs are always left standing.
What makes Branched Chain Amino Acids such an effective supplement? For starters, BCAAs are incredibly versatile. Typically, supplements can reasonably claim to address one or two goals – strength, muscle mass, fat loss, or athletic performance. BCAAs can help with all of them.
A randomized, double-blind study, published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition, was performed to “evaluate the efficacy of consuming a supplement containing branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) during an eight-week resistance-training program.” The conclusion:
Ingestion of a supplement containing BCAAs while following an 8-week resistance training program resulted in a greater decrease in percent body fat, an increase in lean mass, and 10-RM strength gains on the bench press and squat vs. ingestion of a whey supplement or a sports drink. In addition, the ingestion of a whey protein supplement resulted in greater lean mass gains than ingestion of a sports drink.
What does that mean? In short: Regular use of BCAAs as a supplement to your diet and training program make you leaner and stronger. Less fat, more muscle, more strength.
Benefits don’t stop there. In 2006, The Journal of Nutrition published a study that found BCAAs to play a role in reducing exercise fatigue – meaning that if you took BCAAs before and/or during your workouts, you could go more intensely, or longer, to get more out of your exercise. The same study found that “Branched-chain amino acids also positively influence the metabolic response of muscle to exercise.”
Translation: BCAAs slow your metabolism’s feast on your muscle tissue when you’re working out.
Even when you’re not training, though, BCAAs have the same effect. So if you’re taking a break, trying out anabolic fasting diets, going on vacation or suffering an injury that keeps you out of the gym, knocking back BCAAs regularly will help slow the muscle catabolism (your body using muscle for energy) or atrophy that would otherwise occur. That phenomenon was proven out in a study published in Nutrition Research in 2012.
It’s not snake oil, folks.
For years, the most-researched and trusted supplements in this industry were whey protein and creatine. Doubters cropped up all over the place at first, but as the scientific method consistently proved them wrong, these products clearly developed staying power. Well, it’s time to add BCAAs to that list. Study after study is showing that amino acids are not only just an emerging powerhouse supplement, but a must-have for all ranges of athletic ability – from elite athletes to first-day beginners.
We’re pleased to announce the men’s winner of our Fall Transformation Challenge was Brett Harris! Brett Lost 35.9 pounds of fat to take home the prize — and the Harris household came close to a clean sweep!
Brett’s wife Karrie tied for second — with the two of them pushing each other, Brett and Karrie are great examples of what dedication and support can do for you.
Three major factors helped push Brett to get involved with our challenge: First, he wants to keep up with his young kids and raise them to know their dad as a healthy person — Brett saw a recent family photo and simply didn’t like the way he looked in it. He also got the news that his blood pressure was much too high, and “that was an eye-opener,” he said. And lastly, Brett wanted to be able to go hunting with his brother-in-law without getting fatigued too fast. All three motivations came together with the fact that he and Karrie could keep each other disciplined.
“My whole life, I’ve fought my weight,” Brett said, “But now, I’m the same weight now I was probably in ninth grade, so I feel like I’ve set the clock back a few years. I knew what it takes, but I’d never done it in this short amount of time. Nutrishop gave me the meal plan and supplements I needed to achieve the goals I’d set for myself.”
Brett found that he was surprised that the Nutrishop meal plan created for his specific goals held his hunger over. A reliance on clean proteins, including ForzaPro shakes regularly, curbed his hunger, and that was the first indication to Brett that he would be able to stick with his new diet plan.
“As my stomach shrank, I wouldn’t feel as hungry and it became a lot easier,” he said. “That first week, I lost 13 pounds, and I was right down to a T. I didn’t cheat at all, and we did everything we were supposed to to reach our goals.”
It wasn’t always easy for Brett. A limited-calorie diet, by the end of the challenge, definitely took its toll on his moods — “A grown man’s just gotta eat more than I was eating sometimes,” he said with a laugh. And Brett likes beer — cutting that out to avoid the calories was difficult, especially after long days hunting, when he’d go with friends to beer camp or just want to relax.
“It was a challenge, but I knew I’d have to answer to myself at the end of it,” Brett said.
He said he and Karrie will definitely be doing Nutrishop’s next challenge, even if the extremely impressive results they got this time aren’t going to necessarily be the goal then. Brett said that it’s not only a bonding experience for the two of them, but it also helps the build good habits and stay in shape together as part of a healthy lifestyle.
“I’ll be excited during hunting season to hike for miles and not be huffing and puffing and sucking wind,” he said.
“Overall I feel great. I feel more confident. My clothes fit, some shirts I’ve left tags on for awhile because I couldn’t fit into them, I fit into them. I look and feel a lot better. I feel like I can keep up with my kids and I’m not a burden to my brother-in-law while we’re hunting.”
We can’t wait to see what Brett and Karrie do next — way to go, guys!
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!
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!