RIP Spotlight

RIP Spotlight – Kristie S.

Before we start a new RIP session this coming week, let’s take a look at another strong RIP participant. Meet Kristie.

I don’t remember exactly how I met Kristie. It had to be in one of my fitness classes at Turning Pointe when I first started in early 2016 (OMG. It’s been over 3 years already!).  I just don’t remember the exact moment. What I do remember is that she was willing to come to the front row. In a fitness class, that’s HUGE! There are only a select few that WANT to be in the front row. Thanks for being brave, Kristie!

Kristie heard about RIP from attending some of my other Turning Pointe fitness classes. She also heard about RIP through THE Facebook (shout out to my friend Trisha B right there) and Turning Pointe’s Facebook page. There is a video on Turning Pointe’s Facebook page on what RIP is all about if you need more info, click here.  Kristie was immediately interested because her workouts have always lacked in strength training. She was a self proclaimed, “cardio queen” and somewhat intimidated by weights. Once she started RIP last September, she was immediately hooked! Choreographed strength training without going into the “scary” weight room…..SIGN HER UP :).

Also, maybe we can talk about why the weight room is scary in another edition. That’s a good subject to cover.

Kristie has always known the importance of strength training, but didn’t incorporate it into her workouts consistently.  Let me tell ya, she’s been rockin’ it. RIP has helped her push herself to the next level of fitness. Kristie said she gets excited when she decides to add more weight to the bar throughout the 8 week RIP session. One scoop of RIPPED coming right up!

I get excited too! We keep a tracker for each RIP session. It identifies the weight we use on the barbell for each track/body part in class . Clients will write notes on how they feel physically and mentally during class. Sometimes, they tell me how they feel about me. LOL! We also use this tracker to communicate back and forth on things to work on. After each class, I check the tracker to see what they are up to. I write little notes that (hopefully) help motivate them.

She said she is a work in progress (we definitely all are) hoping to get stronger each class. I can tell you that she is. I keep each tracker. I have the one she used over a year ago so I can watch progress. Look at her comparisons below (total lbs on bar):

One year ago: Today:

Legs – 20lbs 45lbs

Chest – 16lbs  30lbs

Back – 20lbs  40lbs (BEAST MODE!!! And…it’s her favorite RIP track!)

Triceps – 10lbs  25lbs

Biceps  – 15lbs  20lbs (P.S. She doesn’t like the Bicep track we just got done doing. I know a lot of her RIP friends will agree about the very challenging bicep track. Actually, I think I heard a few cuss words come out of her mouth….just sayin’. )

Shoulders – 10lbs  20lbs

Dang Kristie!! Keep it up, girl!

I asked Kristie who she would bring to RIP class if she could. Like a good daughter, she said she would bring her mom.  Good choice, Kristie! I love hanging out with my mom too. Maybe we will incorporate a special RIP class when she comes into town. 🙂

Kristie is all about fitness classes. She rarely misses a class. She loves fitness classes so much, she certified under me to teach TDF Kick class. How awesome that she has her own class now (it’s been over 2 years people…but still!!) I’m super proud of her, her work ethic, and her accomplishments. Way to rock it, Kristie!

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Indoor Rowing

From Beginner to Racer: Amy’s Indoor Rowing Journey

From the moment Amy took her first rowing stroke (which wasn’t until the 4th week of my rowing program), I knew she would pick indoor rowing up quickly. She showed up week after week (even sick a few times) ready to get her rowing on. She was completely engrossed in understanding form and really trying to make sure she was doing everything right. She was.

So, let’s take a look into Amy’s rowing journey. I have no doubt she will inspire you to get started! If it does, check out this upcoming rowing clinic: Learn to Row!

As a recent graduate of Bree’s Rowing 103, I wanted to share my experiences and thoughts in hopes that it might benefit someone else who is considering taking up rowing as a low impact, cardio exercise.

My first experience with indoor rowing was about five years ago at a local gym. Rowing was occasionally one of our warm-ups and incorporated into the workout of the day. There was minimal time dedicated to teaching the fundamentals of rowing, but I felt like I knew enough by watching others and going through the motions. What I would find out later is that I developed a technique that I would have to work hard on later to correct.

From that experience, I got the urge to purchase a rower for home so it would be more convenient. Once I set it up and browsed the owner’s manual, I felt challenged to know where to start. The rower seemed like a foreign object, I was limited on what I knew, and I struggled to get started on my own. I let my rower sit idle for quite some time before searching for a person or place that could give me the skills and enthusiasm to start rowing as part of my fitness routine. I was able to find a certified instructor near me, and although the instructor was experienced, there were many distractions at the gym which made it difficult for her to give us her full attention. Each class was ad hoc. Bottom line….I didn’t get the jump start I needed.

Last year when Bree announced she was teaching a rowing course at the RIA Fitness Center, it was the perfect opportunity for me. I knew enough about Bree to know that if she was teaching anything fitness, it was going to be good. Through each series of rowing courses, she had a deliberate agenda and learning outcome. We started with the basics of learning rower parts and spent entire sessions on rowing positions in order to master each one. She videoed each of us and provided individual assessments. It helped me visually see my technique and where I needed to improve. We performed drills to understand stroke rate and experience different damper settings. We rowed for speed and endurance. Bree always explained what we were doing and why. She kept the class size small in order to give each student more personal attention. The environment was comfortable in that we were not competing against each other but rather each striving for self-improvement. As an added bonus, Bree provided us access to her FB group that contained videos, warm-up drills, lesson plans, quizzes, and accountability checks.

Bree’s love of fitness, passion for rowing, and competitive nature keeps me motivated to continue my rowing journey. I chose to take Rowing 103 for a second time to strengthen my skills, be part of the rowing community, and be instructed by Bree. All certified instructors are not created equal. She has inspired me to compete on a relay team, set personal goals, and even get out on the water for a recreational row. Although the course is over, Bree continues to send me information she comes across that she knows will help me. Who knows, I may get my 500 meter row down to 2 minutes or under! ~Amy DeAnda

Amy is an inspiration to us ALL! What a strong, talented, and smart woman! Thank you, Amy, for all of your hard work. That 1:59 split is around the corner. 🙂

Amy (second from left) at the Iowa Indoor Rowing Competition. She raced for the first time!
Amy (far left) at her 2nd Indoor Rowing Competition in the Quad Cities!
Health & Wellness

Needle me? Yes, Please!

You Do Not Have to Suffer Any Longer!

I wanted to follow up on my post from a few Saturday’s ago (See post here). I was suffering from neck and shoulder pain that started the day prior and progressively got worse that same night. I started with achy traps. By the end of the day, the range of motion in my neck was not “normal”. Today, I just want to tell you the steps I went through to get this pain remedied. At one time or another, we have all suffered from muscle stiffness and achiness. Maybe this post will help you to look further and try other options?

At the chiro with 2nd day pain

I was super happy when a fellow fitness instructor commented on my “Mama is DOWN” Facebook post and mentioned dry needling. Say what? Needles? OMG!!! I HATE needles. I cringe and get dizzy thinking about it. However, I was in so much pain, I was looking for ANYTHING to remedy this nuisance. After my rowing practice (that I didn’t participate in) Saturday morning, I went to Discover Chiropractic for an adjustment. I’m there once or twice a month usually. I also receive 1-2 massages per month. This is what I choose to do to maintain my sanity and stay healthy. I teach 7-9 fitness classes per week and that doesn’t include my own workouts. I am rough on my body and chiropractic care and massage therapy HELP me tremendously. Saturday morning, I got adjusted and received muscle stim and therapy using the Rapid Release Tool. Side note: I hate that tool…but it works. My adjustment and therapies were AWESOME but I was not cured…nor, did I expect to be. This is not my first rodeo but this was also not a normal ache and muscle pain for me.

The following night (Sunday – Day 3), I got a massage from Kat at Luminous Massage. She is my #1. I started going to Kat when I was pregnant with Cohen in 2015. I LOVE HER. She fit me in at the end of her 9 hour day and that massage was STILL pure sweetness. God Bless HER!!! A few hours later my trap and neck started to tighten up again. DANG!!! What was going on!?!?! Earlier on Sunday, I had made an appt with Mike Wright at Rock Valley Physical Therapy on Cedarwood Dr in Muscatine for a Monday morning appointment. Remember the fitness instructor who mentioned Dry Needling on my post….yes, we’re back to that point now. And, YES, I drove my butt from Rock Island to Muscatine. I was so desperate for relief. I also needed relief because I had a rowing competition in less than a week and needed to practice more for it. I couldn’t even think about anything more than the pain I was feeling. I needed the pain to STOP!

Again, needles are NOT my thing. I made sure Mike new every detail about me so he was aware that I *MIGHT* pass out even thinking about the  needles that are getting poked into my skin. Mike reassured me that I would be fine and that I wouldn’t even SEE the needle. Hell, I didn’t even notice he put the needle into my skin. I DID notice once that needle hit the muscle. Did it feel good? Not exactly. Was it worse than labor pain? Absolutely not. I tolerated it. It was fine. I didn’t feel the need to jump off the table, or cry, or pass out. The treatment lasted less than 10 minutes. I got needled in my trapezius, levator, and some neck muscles I can’t pronounce. Mike was SO professional. He is very skilled and knowledgeable at his job. There is NO doubt that I will drive to Muscatine every time I need this therapy.

So, the next day, as Mike informed me, I felt bruised. BUT, I also felt better.
Was the pain completely gone? No. However, I went from a level 10 to a level 5. So…that was nice. Does that end my therapy? Nope. I chose to do another
chiropractic adjustment and a massage on Wednesday (Day 6). That brought my pain level down to a 4. I had another appt for needling that Friday (Day8) before my Saturday rowing competition. Due to ice and nasty weather, I decided to cancel. I decided to row anyway on Saturday. Whether I was standing doing nothing or rowing, the pain (at a level 4) was still the same. P.S. We did awesome if you didn’t see my social media posts (see post here).

I kept my needling appt for Monday. Did I need it? Yes. I wanted to be 100% back to normal. The treatment wasn’t expensive (MY co pay + $15) so I decided to do it again. My shoulder and neck were not to my liking so it needed to be done. I did not regret it. OH BOY…that 2nd Monday (Day 11)appointment was worth it!
Tuesday (Day 12), I felt bruised again…but not as bad as the first time. I still was able to get my workout in. Actually, you need to keep it loose. It’s now Wednesday (Day 13) and I’m 100%. I think all 3 of the therapies I
chose to do to relieve this pain worked for me. However, I will not WASTE
one hour without making my appt for dry needling as soon as I need it. I
think I could have cut down my whining time by a week. Seriously.

Thank you, Mike! Thanks for making me feel as comfortable as possible. Thank you for taking the time to listen and understand. I hope more people seek this type of treatment and have the same awesome results that I experienced.

Thank you all for reading this and to reaching out to me while I was “down”.
Thank you to Dana for reading and commenting life changing information on my Facebook post! 🙂 I’m so grateful!!!

RIP Spotlight

RIP Spotlight: Ashley P.

This is one woman you want in your cheering section. She keeps our late class “alive” with her cheering, grunting, weight dropping, and her lively spirit. She pushes herself to the next level and cheers you on while doing the workout right along aside you. For those reasons and many more, I am privileged to have this strong, enthusiastic, and loving woman in my class.

Meet Ashley.

Ashley has a great transformation story. A story that has taken a lot of determination and hard work. A lot of work that didn’t come easy or quickly. A transformation that she should be proud of.

In the picture on the left, Ashley knew this wasn’t the way she wanted to live her life after feeling exhausted all day long. She had a hard time carrying her 2 year old and that was motivation for her to start eating healthy and working out.

She was working out 3-4x a week doing fitness classes such as Pound, TDF Kick, and Zumba Strong. All great classes. She heard about the new RIP class coming to Turning Pointe Fitness in one of Turning Pointe’s TDF Kick classes. She was intrigued. She had come a long way with her weight loss and hit a plateau. She new barbell strength training would help her move past that hurdle.

Ashley was one of the first people to sign up for RIP. It has been almost a year and she is still rocking it! When she first started, she started with 15lbs total on the bar for the Legs track (mostly squats). Guess what she did last week? 40lbs on the bar. 40lbs. If that doesn’t seem like a lot to you….look at this way. We do 106 squats with the weight of your choice in 4 minutes at different tempo changes, range of motion, isometric holds, and less than 25 seconds of rest throughout the whole song. It’s not easy. I’m so proud of her for taking the initiative to move up in weight. Also, she started with Level 1 Tricep push-ups. She now rocks Level 3 Tricep push ups. Ashley is #beastmode!

Ashley’s greatest benefit from starting RIP class is seeing the strength she is building in her muscles #musclegains. We track how much weight we put up each class and she loves the control she has to make decisions to move up/down in weight. She also notices her endurance. She lasts longer (not wanting to take as many breaks) during the leg tracks. She has also learned to love lunges :). I’m sure she will tell you that she still hates them but she does a fantastic job faking it. LOL!

Ashley’s favorite RIP tracks for this current session is Back and Biceps. For anyone interested in strength training classes, Ashley would love for you to join her! RIP will be a part of Silver Bell Hollow Farm Fit on July 13th. Sign up here. Turning Pointe Fitness will also be hosting a demo day coming up before the next RIP sign up in late July.

Ashley – I love the enthusiasm you bring to each class. I know you’re a hard working mama just trying to live your best life for your most prized possessions; yourself and your family. This is your best life. You are a great role model, mother, wife, and friend. Keep it up, lady!

RIP Spotlight

RIP Spotlight – DeAnna B.

Let’s continue on to highlight my client’s success; no matter what type of platform. Whether I talk with them individually, a shout out in front of the class, or yell with admiration on social media, their success is part of my happiness and fulfillment of purpose. Go ahead and be inspired by it. It’s a nice feeling!

Meet DeAnna.

In the past, DeAnna never enjoyed working out like she does now. She intentionally schedules it to be part of her day. For her, as well as many others, exercise is a stress relief.

About a year ago, DeAnna’s best friend introduced her to group exercise classes at The Turning Pointe. THANK YOU DeAnna’s best friend!!!  Prior to that, her workouts consisted of group fitness with her teacher friends after school, at home elliptical and treadmill workouts, and training with her mom and sister for three half marathons that they competed in for fun. Awesome! Way to be active, DeAnna!

DeAnna heard about the new RIP class we were bringing to Turning Pointe one night after my TDF Kick class. DeAnna was all about it! She knew it would be the perfect class for her to keep her accountable. Even though she has weights and kettlebells at home, she never seem to get to them for a workout. She noticed she was too tired or out of time. If she did incorporate it into her workout, she seemed to rush through it. I bet some of you can relate! That’s the thing…DeAnna noticed a weakness in her strength training workouts. She knew she needed them and when the right time came along, she did something about it. Kudos to you, DeAnna! It’s hard for people to notice their habits and to take action to make it better.

DeAnna was part of the initial RIP group. She has been with me from the very start and still going strong at 29 weeks. When we launched RIP, we only launched one day a week. DeAnna loved the first 8-week session and was ecstatic when we added a second RIP class to the week. DeAnna has noticed that her arms, shoulders, and legs have more shape to them.  Another difference she has noticed is how much her body strength increased.  There is absolutely no doubt about that. DeAnna is super sweet. pretty quiet, and she thinks she is barely noticeable in the back row. All I can think of is, “DAMN that woman is on FIYYAAAHHH! Look at her GO!” On our legs track, she started with 15lbs total on the bar. Guess what she puts up now? 35lbs! For the triceps track, she started with 5lbs on the bar. She now reps out 15lbs! This work is hard, my friends. We do nearly 130 squats on the leg track!

Another accomplishment DeAnna is proud of is her ability to do push-ups again.  A couple of years ago, she fell off a horse and broke her wrist.  OUCH! She had to have a bone and plate put in and the doctor told her she would probably never be able to do another push-up. Well, guess what. She CAN and she ROCKS them out.

Throughout all of the RIP sessions, DeAnna’s favorite RIP songs are always the shoulder and leg ones. If she likes those…let me tell ya….she is one strong woman!  DeAnna is the epitome of her favorite quote: “Sweat, Smile, Repeat”. She works hard. Never complains (well, not to me anyway :)). She rarely misses a class.

I’m so glad DeAnna jumped at the opportunity to join RIP.  She is a great role model as a teacher and class participant. I love watching her progress and can’t wait to see where it goes! Keep up the great work, DeAnna!

RIP Spotlight

RIP Spotlight – Kristina V.

In all my years of training,  I have yet to finish a week and not look at the world in a new way. The change isn’t just physical appearance, it’s mental…the true beauty. I get to see the determination, motivation, inspiration. I feel my clients’ energy, power, and confidence. All of which are heroic characteristics to me. In fact, all of my clients are my heroes.  Who else can say they get to train with their heroes everyday? I do!   

Part of my mission as a fitness professional is to always highlight my clients success; no matter what type of platform. Whether I talk with them individually, a shout out in front of the class, or yell with admiration on social media, their success is part of my happiness and fulfillment of purpose. And, I think you will be inspired by it.

Meet Kristina.

Kristina loves group fitness classes. She has attended Zumba, Yoga, Water Aerobics, and Pound. She is also an avid Facebook follower of Turning Pointe Fitness Studio that has awesome classes! Kristina was searching for a guided strength training class that wouldn’t be intimidating. Her goal was to lose inches and she knows that strength training is where it’s at! Kristina caught the live video discussion about RIP before it was debuted at Turning Pointe. That live video gave her confidence to sign up for the class!

Kristina joined RIP 24 weeks ago. RIP class is held in the basement at Turning Pointe and she brightens up the dark room with her smile. Not only does she light up the room, she is on fire with the weights! She started with a total of 5lbs on the bar. Guess where she is now? 30lbs!!!! How awesome is that!?!?!? Not only is that weight increase impressive, Kristina rarely misses a class. And you know what? She does TWO classes a week and STILL rarely misses a class. She is definitely one you want as an accountability partner. All these classes have taught her the importance of correct form when performing strength training exercises. She’s a wealth of knowledge now!

Kristina mentioned that RIP class benefits her because it’s a full body workout.  She is also surprised at how much longer she can endure strength training which allows her to push harder.

Kristina wants to tell anyone that is nervous about trying RIP; don’t be! She was nervous but she took the first step out of her comfort zone. You can too. Once you get started, all those nerves will wash away. And you will OWN that barbell. 🙂

I’m so glad Kristina took that first step to join RIP. Her mom, Maggie, comes to RIP class with her. I absolutely LOVE that! Kristina is a joy to have in class. She especially keeps me on track with our beloved lunge song. 😉 Keep up the good work, Kristina!