Evan McWilliams’ Fuse Fitness Success Story!


Hi Fusers!

This month we are giving a big shout out to one of our longest members, Evan McWilliams, who has been working out at Fuse Fitness since 2011. He started out with personal training and now is one of our most regular class attendees. Since his first class in 2012, he has logged in 425 hours of workouts (not including personal training sessions). WOW!! And that doesn’t even touch on the many hours/miles of hiking/running he has logged outside the gym.

As most of you know, Evan always walks in barefoot (even in the winter when it’s RAINING!!!), shoes in hand, baseball cap on, and pretends to be the grumpiest person you’ve ever met. While he does a very good job of being grumpy, he really is one of the nicest and funniest people at the gym.

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We first met Evan in 2011, and had the pleasure of training him one-on-one. He was gifted some training sessions from a friend of his who had done work for Pascha and me when we opened Fuse. Evan’s friend kindly allowed Pascha and me to do a trade with him, as he knew we were a brand new business working hard to get on our feet. As the story goes, Evan had helped out his friend by taking care of his children while his wife was battling and beating cancer. In return for Evan’s generosity and friendship during this time, he was gifted the training sessions.

Pascha and I both trained Evan in the beginning for the traded sessions. At first, I’m not sure he was entirely enthused or excited to have been gifted the training sessions, however he had to use them. I wasn’t sure whether he would continue after those sessions were done, but he did, and as time moved forward, a new Evan emerged. During this time, I got to know him quite well, and learned quickly how dry and sarcastic his sense of humor is, which I find to be hilarious. It was clear that getting over that initial hump of starting a new, intense fitness program was challenging, however his consistency and hard work paid off. I really began to see big changes in Evan….he became really motivated and confident, and awesomely stayed grumpy. However, I quickly came to see that while perhaps the initial grumpiness when he first started training was real, the new grumpiness wasn’t quite true. But he does do one hell of a job pulling it off 😉

 

Here are a few words from Evan himself:

I developed epilepsy in my late twenties and had a doctor tell me all the things that I should not do. I took what he said to heart and basically became sedentary. I had been in law enforcement so had been in okay shape, but spent the next couple of years feeling sorry for myself and gained a ton of weight. When I left police work I started working for an outdoor apparel company that placed a huge emphasis on being active. I did not want to stand out as “that guy” so started to run on my own. No training, no coaching, just running, because I was too self-conscious to workout with other people.

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I lost some weight and ran three marathons in one year (despite my doctor’s warning) and realized that I was physically one-dimensional. I could run forever, but I was doing nothing but aerobic exercise. I wanted to see if my times improved as my fitness level became more well-rounded. A friend of mine did some work for Pascha and Kristin when they opened Fuse. He worked out a barter with them for personal training. He gave those training sessions to me. My first session was with Pascha. All I remember was feeling completely out of shape, and her saying, “Oh, Evan” as I struggled during the workout.  All I wanted to do was get into decent shape and be done. I figured I would work out for a few months and then continue working out on my own. I had no interest in the classes, but would watch them as I worked out with Kristin, and they looked really fun.  I eased into one class a week taught by Kristin, but it took another year or two for me to work out with a different trainer because I don’t like change.  Now, I try to be in class 5-6 days a week.

All of my fitness challenges have been self-inflicted. I have developed a knack for hurting myself. I have blown out my back, broken my foot, developed tendonitis in both elbows and just last month I had a bunch of stitches put into my knee. In the past I would have felt sorry for myself and probably quit. Now, I see these challenges as a way to figure out how to work through the injury. I was working out with Kristin while in my cast. I was back working out the day my stitches came out. And recently I have started to do 20+ mile walk/hike/runs to compensate for my elbow issues.  I still struggle with being 50 and not being able to do everything that I used to do. Everyone at Fuse is here for their own reasons. There is such a supportive feel here. It doesn’t matter if you are the fastest, slowest or strongest…it matters that you are here doing what you need to do for yourself! I have NEVER had that feeling working out in any other environment.

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My biggest [fitness] success was finishing the Spring Cleaning Challenge (clean-eating, fat loss challenge) last year. It came at the right time, as I was training to climb Mt. Rainier. It showed me that I could successfully complete something (while hurt) and finish what I had started in a strong manner. I ended up losing 35lbs which was a huge benefit for the climb. After climbing Rainier, I started to look at things differently, and now I try to find things that a couple of years ago I would not have even tried. Right now, I want to do an unassisted hand-stand. For no other reason than 50-year-old men are not generally known for their handstands!  I also want to be able to keep up with my family. Both my wife and son are major outdoors people. We spend an awful lot of time hiking and mountaineering. I want to be able to keep doing that for my entire life.

I LOVE the atmosphere at Fuse. There is such a nice support network here. People check on you if you have missed class. They welcome my son whenever he shows up. AND they hold you accountable in the best possible way. I know when I am slacking, and I love being called out on it because it shows me they want me to do the best that I can!

Evan, while this tells the story of how your fitness journey at Fuse began because of a gift from a grateful friend, the way I look at it, the gift was really to us. You have become one of our most loved and appreciated members at Fuse! We are very proud of how far you’ve come and all the awesome, positive changes you have made. Thank you for your support. AND STAY GRUMPY!!!!

If you’re interested in joining Fuse Fitness and becoming one of our next success stories, please fill out the form below to sign-up for a free fitness consult.

Here’s our story….


Hey Fusers!

As 2016 has come to an end, we want to wish you all a very happy new year, filled with good health, good food and good times!

We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead, and as we have been planning what’s in store at Fuse this coming year, we wanted to take a few moments to stop and reflect on where we came from and where we’re heading–so here’s our story….

Pascha and I met in 2008 while working together at a small personal training studio, where we worked side-by-side, learning about each other personally and professionally, and forming the start of a life-long friendship and soon-to-be partnership.

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During these early years, we realized we shared many values that deepened our connection and inspired us to open a business together. The values we share are a dedication to family and friends; having a high-level of integrity, honesty and loyalty; helping others; a passion for health and fitness; working hard; and a mutual respect and admiration for each other.

Three and a half years after meeting, in June of 2011, we opened the doors to Fuse Fitness in Kensington, CA. We spent many months searching for the right space, until we found a place where we knew we wanted to build our community. Many long nights and weekends were dedicated to renovating/cleaning/building this space–we opened 1 month after we signed our contract/lease, while both working full-time during the days and raising families. It was an intense but very exciting month!

What makes us a great team and such great friends is that we have so much in common and really respect each other. However, our business challenges lie in that both our strengths and weaknesses are very similar. It would be great from a business perspective if we excelled in opposite ways, but that’s not how it worked out._mg_7622We both excel at being great teachers/coaches and designing fitness/lifestyle programs, and both have very similar training philosophies and styles. Our biggest struggle/weakness is in business operations, specifically marketing and business organization. We are also challenged when it comes to building and putting things together, esp. anything from IKEA–while this has created some frustrating moments, it has created many more hilarious moments where we’ve found ourselves laughing uncontrollably. At least we know we are pretty much always having a good time!

A couple of months ago, Pascha and I decided it was time to face our challenges head-on and committed to and invested in a 1 year minimum intensive business coaching program. We want to continue to grow, prosper and provide our community with excellent fitness and health programs, and we realized we couldn’t reach our goals if we didn’t tackle our challenges. We took a good, hard look at our business and accomplishments thus far, and were honest with each other–we needed to make a big change if we wanted to continue to grow. We are proud of ourselves for recognizing this and making the big decision to invest both financially and time-wise to the business coaching program.

Our goal is to continue to grow our business and provide a space where we can have the room to have a couple of class options at one time, as well as more room for private and semi-private training for the entire Kensington community. We would love to be able to expand into the space next door sometime this year. Our desire is to continue to help the people in our community reach their health and fitness goals–this includes those who need to lose weight; those who are wanting to increase their strength; those who have fallen off the wagon due to family and career commitments but want to feel healthy, young and fit again; those who are injured and/or in pain; pre and post-natal women; athletes; and senior citizens.

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That being said, we are very proud of ourselves. Through much trial, error and tribulation, we have created a space that truly is a close-knit community. There is no greater feeling in the world to us than being able to help people take control of their health, improve their quality of life, and be a supportive part of their fitness journey. The fitness community here at Fuse is one of the biggest accomplishments in our lives so far–we love all of our clients so much and are so grateful for each and every one of you!

Cheers to a great 2017!!

Yours in health,

Kristin and Pascha at Fuse Fitness

 

 

 

 

Holiday Survival Guide!


 

Hi Fusers!

Happy holidays!! Thank you all so much for being such a supportive fitness community and inspiring us to always challenge ourselves and strive to serve you better! We truly appreciate how giving you all are, and thank you for committing to help others in our community by participating in our food drive, adopt-a-family program, coat drive and winter wonderland donations every year. We love you and thank you for being so generous.

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It has been awesome seeing many of you balance out the start to your holiday indulging during Thanksgiving and still attend classes–way to go!! Now that Thanksgiving is over, we will now be entering into the next phase of holidays with Christmas, Hanukah and the New Year, which means lots of parties and probably some traveling as well. It can be very challenging to balance out holiday indulging, so we decided it would be beneficial to share a few tips on how to survive the holidays this month without getting too far off track.

I believe the most important rule is to never go to a party hungry. We have all done this before, and most likely it didn’t end well, right? We begin by eating every hors d’oeuvre  that is passed around, then gorging ourselves with our meal, then dessert and 2, 3, 4 glasses of wine–whew, that’s a lot of extra calories consumed! I can feel my belly swelling from writing this. Then we feel bad about ourselves and wonder how much damage was done…an endless cycle. The average American gains 5+ pounds during the holidays–let’s not let that happen to us! So, it’s best to plan ahead and eat a light and healthy meal or snack prior to attending the party, so you can make healthier choices at the party, and choose just a few indulges that are worth it, but not go crazy.

unknown-2Another important rule is to continue to prioritize your workouts–if you have to miss one, then find another time to exercise. Even if you are traveling or with family members during the holidays, you can invite them to go for a hike, a bike ride or a brisk walk to burn off those extra calories. Stay consistent with your workouts and you’ll feel much better about the extra holiday indulgences.

images-1Saving the best for last!  Let’s discuss the calorie goblin–whether you call it hooch, sauce, vino, juice, moonshine, cocktails, booze, whatever…this is the hardest part for many of us. The rule of thumb is for every cocktail or glass of wine you have, be sure to follow up with one glass of water. This will help keep you hydrated and will fill your belly up. When you are hydrated, this keeps you from drinking excessively as well as overeating. So be sure to drink at least 8 cups of water per day (plus an extra cup per drink consumed) to help detox your system and stay hydrated.

unknown-3While I understand I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, it’s always good to have a good friend looking out for you and remind you of these things. Because once you step into your next party, all of your hard work may go out of the window. So I hope these tips will be a helpful reminder that of course you should indulge, but do so in moderation. With that said.. I will see many of you on December 5th at the Hotsy Totsy for the Fuse Fitness’ Annual Christmas Party! I hope we will all survive!

Yours In Health,

Pascha Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Be Nimble and Jane Be Quick!

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 Hey Fusers!

Throughout March, we have been focusing on power in our workouts. Check out this quick video from our excursion to Sky High, where we generated lots of power jumping on indoor trampolines. I hope you all have been enjoying the plyometric movements we have worked on this month–wall balls, ball slams, heavy rope etc. and are feeling stronger and more powerful 🙂 Personally, I have been pretty sore this month from all of the jump squats and have thoroughly enjoyed all of the wall balls! But I can’t seem to shake those horrible thrusters :/

This month, we will be shifting from power onto agility! I’m so excited because we get to work on moving quickly, while pivoting and being light on your feet. This takes a lot of coordination and focus. We bought an extra agility ladder to take you all through some fun drills, so get ready!

Agility is an important modality of fitness, as it requires a person to be able to move quickly, and change directions with control and without reducing speed. There is also an element of dynamic balance, which is the ability to maintain your balance while remaining coordinated, utilizing your body’s sensory organs to achieve this. For example, if Jack is performing drills on the agility ladder, he has to be able to change foot positions quickly while stepping, jumping, running or hopping in a specific spot. The object is to refrain from stepping on the ladder rung and maintain balance, thus efficiency is key.

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In addition to agility being good for speed, balance and coordination, performing agility drills correctly can also reduce injuries. Because you are training your body to control eccentric forces (movements that provide a braking mechanism for muscle and tendon groups, that are experiencing concentric movement, to protect joints from damage as the contraction is released- Wikipedia) in all directions, you develop better movement patterns and performance with a faster and more efficient response.

For example, if Jane is playing tennis and her opponent hits a poor return, Jane has to anticipate the opponent’s stroke. She has to  respond quickly and put herself in an optimal position to retrieve the shot in enough time to execute the play. This takes proper speed and balance and the ability to stop herself quickly and start again quickly with efficient hand/eye coordination.  These movements also require Jane to pivot and cut with control in different movement patterns. If not done correctly, Jane can easily injure herself, whether it be her ankle, knee, wrists, rotator cuff, calves, etc. Matches are often won by players who move better and whose game is more stable even while fatigued.

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Most sports, including soccer, tennis, baseball, football, track and field just to name of few, do a great deal of agility training. At Fuse, we think of our members as athletes as well and recognize that agility is important to work on regardless of being a competitive athlete. So, we hope you are looking forward to some cone drills, agility ladder drills, single-leg drills, high knee drills and more this month. Be nimble and be quick. Be like Jack and Jane 🙂

With love,

Pascha

Happy Summer!


Hi Fusers!

It’s been quite some time that the old blog has been collecting dust! Working towards more frequent blogposts!

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So much has happened at Fuse since last time, so here’s a little catch up. Back in March we merged with Woohoo Fit and partnered with owner Eva Bramwell, a good friend of ours. We realized how like-minded our fitness philosophies are, how very similar our clientele and demographic are, and thought it would be a great move to expand and blend our fitness communities. And it has been awesome! We love all the Woohoo-ers and they have truly added to our community here at Fuse.

In April, Pascha and I and our families took a spring break vacation over to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We went with three other families, all amazing friends of ours who we have met through Fuse. Pascha and I count our blessings on a very regular basis–we have truly met some of the most wonderful friends through Fuse.

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In June we proudly celebrated our 4th anniversary! We hosted an anniversary outdoor bootcamp followed by a potluck brunch with mimosas. This year really felt special and celebratory–we have gained lots of new members, as well as trainers Eva, Kelly and Juliet, all truly wonderful and inspiring.

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So far this summer, lots of our members and clients have been traveling or will be traveling. It’s important to remember to exercise while on vacation! Most of us splurge while vacationing (it is vacation after all!), so it’s super important to stay active. Whether it’s changing up your routine and adding long bicycle rides, swimming, or hiking, or doing a body-weight workout in your hotel room, just move! Don’t let all your hard work at the gym fall to the wayside just because you can’t come to your Fuse workouts! Here’s a body-weight routine to take on vacation:

-Warm-up with a light jog, 5-10min

4 Rounds:

20 air squats

10 pushups

20/side mountain climbers

10 burpees

20 walking lunges

10/side ice skater jumps

You’ll get a great sweat going, and will feel so much better about enjoying your margarita poolside later in the day 🙂 Also, if you follow our Facebook page, we share a weekly workout as well as interesting health articles, motivation, and tips to live a healthier life.

Cheers to summertime, health and life!

Kristin at The Fuse Fitness

Friday Roundup!


Hi Fusers!

Happy Friday 🙂 Hope your weeks have been good so far….the weekend is here!

Here’s what we’re looking forward to this weekend:

1) Giant’s game tonight!!! Pascha and I are HUGE Giants fans, to the point that we’ll cancel work, clients, drop everything to watch our beloved boys in orange and black in the World Series. You’ll find us together tonight with our kids and friends, hooting and hollering, hoping to see our boys clinch the third game.

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2) Halloween party tomorrow night! We’ll be celebrating Halloween at my husband’s super awesome nightclub, The Night Light, in Jack London Square on Saturday evening. The kids will be tucked away at home, and us grown-ups will be getting our party on!! All are welcome, come on out to see what Pascha and I will be dressed up as!!

3) Colusa Circle Halloween event Sunday! Our little community here on the Colusa Circle will be hosting a Halloween event for the kiddos from 10-1pm. Our studio will be making a kid’s obstacle course and giving out Spooky Punch, while the other small businesses will be hosting their own kids’ activities. Always a good time, come on out and visit us!!
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It’s been a great week here, we spent all last weekend re-organizing our studio and the feedback has been great! Clients are loving the new feel of our studio, which is awesome. So grateful to Beverly and Josh for helping us out last Sunday.

And lastly, here’s a roundup of all that we shared and were inspired by this week:

Monday Motivation river

Tuesday Tips of the Week “12 Counterintuitive Health Tips that Really Work”

Wednesday Workout!

Tabata Core 20/10 x 8
A) Hollow rocks
B) Superman

AMRAP-12 minutes
1. 10 Scapular push ups
2. 10 squat jumps
3. 6 Foward/reverse lunges per side
4. Suicide sprints

Thursday “Multitasking Damages Your Brain and Career, New Studies Suggest”

Foodie Friday “8 Comforting Paleo Turkey Chilis”

Have a great weekend!!

Yours in Health,

Kristin at The Fuse Fitness

Baby TJ is here!! And Week 4 of Challenge–No more sugar!!


Hi Fusers!

First off, just wanted to let everyone know who hasn’t heard yet, Pascha delivered healthy little TJ on Sunday, May 4th. She is doing well, resting and recovering at home.  She was at the studio that very morning, taking Michael’s class, then went into labor and delivered later that day. Pascha has been a great example of how exercising can and should be done throughout pregnancy. She lowered the intensity when she needed to, listened to her body (some days a nap was more in order than a workout), but pushed through, knowing that a strong body would make an easier delivery and recovery. Congratulations to Pascha, Terence and proud big sister Anai!!!

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tjAnyway, onward to THE CHALLENGE. First of all, how is everyone doing?! We are into Week 4 now. Last week we eliminated gluten–I know that one can be very difficult for people, so just want to know how you’re doing with it. This week has been long dreaded by many–no more sugar!! We are only allowed to have fruit from here on out, no honey, no maple syrup, no sugar alternatives.

keep-calm-and-no-sugarCheck out this article from Mark’s Daily Apple, an extremely informative, science-based blog about primal/paleo living. It breaks down all the different types of sugar and talks about the effects these various forms of sugar has on our bodies. With hardly any exceptions, sugar is an anti-nutrient, meaning it has no significant nutritional value. And with eating, it is imperative to our health to be consuming nutrient rich foods and eliminating anti-nutrients.

With obesity now a nation-wide, and increasingly global, epidemic, it is very important to look at the human diet and assess what is going wrong. Our society is eating processed foods galore, loaded with trans-fats and SUGAR. According to Dr. Mercola, a well-known doctor and blogger of natural health, more than 50% of all Americans consumer 1/2 pound of sugar EACH day!! It is becoming scientifically proven that excessive consumption of sugar is the leading cause of obesity and chronic disease in America. Check out this article for more information regarding the dangers of sugar.

Unfortunately for all those of you who have a sweet tooth, too much sugar consumption leads directly to increased weight gain. Without significantly reducing sugar, ideally eliminating it on a daily level, saving only for very special occasions, fat loss will be extremely difficult.

Whenever sugar is consumed, our blood sugar levels spike, causing high levels of insulin to be released into the bloodstream. In a nutshell, this leads to roller-coaster peaks and valleys in our blood sugar levels, which in turn causes excessive amounts of cortisol (the “stress hormone”) to be produced and released into the body, which then leads to a decreased metabolism, immune weakness, chronic fatigue, as well as fat gain, especially around the mid-section. The key to staying lean, having plenty of energy, and staying healthy overall is keeping your blood sugar levels regulated and stable.  (http://pacificfit.net/article-archive/how-sugar-makes-you-fat/)

So, I know this will be a huge challenge for many of you. But stick with it. I promise you will feel so much better–less belly fat, high energy levels throughout the day–at the end of this challenge. Trust me, I have completed the 21 Day Sugar Detox two times in the last year, which eliminates all grains and sugars, and I also gave up dairy. While challenging, which you can read about HERE, the effects on my body were amazing. I also lost my taste for sugar, as anything that has added sugar simply tastes way too sweet. That being said, I know you can do it too! Remember, nothing in life is worthwhile unless you’ve really worked for it 😉

Yours in health,

Kristin @ The Fuse Fitness