Burpee-the most badass exercise on the market (did I sell you?)


Hi Fusers!

It’s March!! Woohoo, spring is just around the corner, and I’m pretty sure we’re all sick of the rain. So here’s to sunny, drier days ahead! And burpees.

That’s right, although that looks like a misplaced word in the paragraph above, I want to assure you that you read correctly. This month we will be focusing on burpees. I know, I know….here’s what you’re all thinking….

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The poor burpee. Seriously, for an exercise that is so incredibly effective and efficient, why can’t there be more love for it?! Did you ever think about that? Well guess what??

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I get it. Burpees are hard AF. However, they get results, and that’s what we’re after, right?Burpees are a full body exercise that work pretty much every muscle in the body, meaning that you can burn more calories in a lot less time. They help you develop strength, explosive power and anaerobic endurance. And conveniently, they can be done anywhere with no equipment necessary. That’s right, ANYWHERE. So next time you’re at Whole Foods….just saying 🙂

According to Wikipedia, the burpee was named in the 1930s for American physiologist Royal H. Burpee who developed the burpee test. As part of his PhD thesis, he created the burpee as a simple way to assess fitness. The exercise became popular during WWII, when it was adopted by the US Army to assess the fitness level of recruits. Originally, the burpee consisted of four steps:

  1. Squat down and place both hands on the floor in front of you.
  2. Jump feet back into plank position
  3. Jump feet forward.
  4. Return to standing.

Today, it is commonly done as a 6 step exercise:

  1. Bend over or squat down and place both hands on the floor in front of you, just outside of your feet.
  2. Jump both feet back into plank position.
  3. Drop to a push-up—your chest should touch the floor.
  4. Push or snake up to return to plank position.
  5. Jump feet back in toward hands.
  6. Explosively jump up into the air, reaching arms straight overhead.

Here at Fuse, we generally do the 6 step variation, and prefer this definition:

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Commonly done among inmates….so this month, you guys will be our inmates, and we will be working on the most badass exercise around.

The challenge for the month will be to increase your burpee stamina and will be tested as such: 5 rounds of 60 seconds of burpees followed by 60 seconds of rest in between rounds. You will tally the total amount of burpees you do in all 5 rounds, and that will be your score. Each week, you will perform this challenge (you only need to do once a week, you will have something else to do during this time if you have already completed yours for the week) and the goal is to improve your score each week. We will be giving out prizes to the awesome coffee cart at Flowerland on Solano Avenue for best improvements. However, the strategy is not to go super slow the first week on purpose just to win. While we will be awarding the biggest improvements, we will also be taking into consideration the best efforts all the way through the challenge.

Alright, let’s do this! And maybe, just maybe, we can get just a few likes for the dreaded burpee by the end of March.

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At the very least, Pascha and I will increase that number to 2 people 🙂

Yours in health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

Tim Weitzel’s Fuse Fitness Success Story!


Hi Fusers!

Another week, another chance to thrust one of our awesome members into the spotlight and give props for how hard they work at Fuse Fitness. This week we’re giving a big shoutout to Tim Weitzel, who has been working out with us consistently since May of 2015 and has logged in 245 workouts since then. That’s not to say those are the only workouts he gets in–he’s an avid cyclist and works long bike rides into his fitness routine.

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Not only is Tim a rockstar when it comes to his training, he’s also a smarty-pants. Tim has a Ph.D. from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Organizational Psychology and has spent his career in Leadership Development, Assessment, Coaching and Organization Development. He began his business, Tim Weitzel and Associates, in 1992 as a single-person run business, and has seen a tremendous amount of growth, both nationally and internationally, since its origin. So basically, he’s awesome.

There are a lot of things we appreciate and love about Tim. First and foremost–he is ALWAYS on time. And by on time I mean early. I’m pretty sure that if he’s actually just on time, then he thinks he’s late. Whatever the case may be, it’s always appreciated. Being rolled out and ready to go is super helpful to us coaches. While this aspect of him may suggest that he’s all business, I have evidence to prove otherwise. Tim has a great sense of humor, and has brought many laughs, stories and overall great conversations to my 8am classes. Some of those group conversations are best kept secret to only those of us who were there. What goes on in 8am Monkey Ninja Bootcamp, stays in 8am Monkey Ninja Bootcamp.

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All joking aside, Tim is an amazing addition to Fuse Fitness. He truly works his butt off, always giving 100% effort. He doesn’t let his knee and back issues, caused from years of being a competitive rower, hold him back–we figure out ways to work around those issues and come up with alternative exercises when needed. We love having him in class, it has been a joy having him here.

And now for a few words from Tim himself 🙂

“I joined Fuse because my body was losing its responsiveness. When I tripped, I would go down hard. I was stiff and inflexible–only 52 at the time. I was in good cardiovascular shape, but strength was an issue. I was blobby. As a lifetime athlete, I wanted to maintain better flexibility and dexterity. And I wanted to look better. I was not able to row anymore because of a back issue. I also wanted to find a good community.

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“I haven’t really encountered many challenges. I really love the Fuse workouts–the harder the better. This said, I do sometimes need to substitute listed exercises to accommodate my back and knees.

“Since working out at Fuse, I have gained more dexterity and become more flexible. I have maintained my weight loss and now have firmer everything 🙂

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“Kristin and Pascha and their instructors do a great job. I love The Fuse!”

[Insert blushing emoji here] We love you too, Tim!

Yours in health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

p.s. As always, if you’d like to join our awesome fitness community and start getting the results you want, fill out the contact form below to sign-up for a free consult.

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa Miller’s Fuse Fitness Success Story!


Hi Fusers!

This week we’d like to shine light on Lisa Miller, a member at Fuse Fitness since January 2013–4 years now! She is the Director at Classroom Matters in Berkeley, a personalized, tutoring business for students in 6th-12th grade. I have had many clients over the years talk about sending their children there and loving the results and support their children get!

As of this morning, Lisa has been to Fuse 401 times. I can still remember her first visit on Jan. 5, 2013, it was to my Saturday morning Monkey Ninja Bootcamp class with her friend Tatiana, who was a member at Fuse for a couple of years as well. I remember this class because the two of them together had such an infectious energy, it made class so much fun!

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Over the years, Lisa has tried out all of our classes, but knowing her well and looking over all of her visits, she truly had a love for Michael’s Strength and Mobility class. Unfortunately, we no longer have this class, as Michael no longer coaches at Fuse. Since Michael has departed, Lisa has fallen into a new routine, mostly taking Gail’s class on Monday mornings and hitting up my class(es) on Wednesday and/or Friday mornings. Selfishly, I’m happy for her new routine because I love having her in my classes!

What we love about Lisa is that you can count on her to always bring a fresh dose of reality and keep it real–she doesn’t hesitate to express when she doesn’t like something or it doesn’t work for her, and alternately is always grateful and appreciate, never leaving the studio without saying thank you. She is funny and definitely adds a great personality to class. She always stays true to her own needs and stays within her limits, however always pushes herself and works really hard. She is someone who keeps a steady, even pace and gets her workout done, showing the endurance athlete within. Prior to working out at Fuse, Lisa was a distance runner, which I appreciate, as she is always able to pace herself, allowing her to finish the workout without fatiguing too early and petering out.

Another attribute I value in Lisa is her sensitivity and empathy. On a few different occasions over the years, I have found myself so appreciative of a genuine, loving hug from her just when I need it most. She has an innate ability to read emotions, even when you think you’re doing a good job masking them. It is a gift, and I have been the lucky recipient of it a few times. Lisa truly cares about us and our business, and we have always felt very honored to have her love and support.

img_3311Now, a few words from Lisa about what brought her to Fuse and her experience working out with us  🙂

“I joined The Fuse to maintain my fitness level after “retiring” from triathlons. Due to chronic plantar fasciitis, I had to give up long-distance running. My goal was to stay fit and build muscle.

Boot camp is very different from my former swim-bike-run routine, so learning some of the movements were challenging at times. I still can’t do the diving pushups!

I have mastered most of the exercises and have built up my upper body strength. My core is also much stronger. Thanks to all of the strength training, I am back to running short distances.

I enjoy the classes and the community at Fuse. I really appreciate all that you do to make it fun and engaging!”

Lisa, you’ve been with us a long time and we love having you in class! Your support for us and our business has not gone unappreciated, and we value your opinions and advice. Thank you so much, we love you!

If you’d like to get results and join our awesome fitness community, please fill out the contact from below to sign-up for a free consult today!

 

 

 

Time to get Running!


Hi Fusers!

January is quickly coming to an end, and we’ve had a great month focusing on interval training….all day, every damn day. Whew. It’s been tough, but awesome! Those first days of the month were rough for many of us, coming off of the holidays and trying to get back into a routine. There is just no better way to break up a rut than to go all out with intervals—not necessarily fun, definitely not easy, but certainly effective.

So now we should be back on track, kicking ass again, and feeling back to normal. Thanks interval training 😉

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February is heart health month, so naturally we’re going to focus on cardiovascular health. Since we just spent all of January doing high-intensity, shorter intervals (which is definitely cardio), we are going to shift our focus to longer periods of work/endurance training. Aerobic endurance is the ability to work for longer periods of time without tiring (mayoclinic.com). Which brings me to our challenge of the month—the 1 mile run. Gasp. 

Don’t think for a minute that I didn’t hear the collective gasps that just happened reading that sentence. I hear all the time how much everyone hates running. Why is that? Because it’s hard. You’re right, it is hard. However it is good cardio training. While certainly not the only way to improve cardiovascular health, it is one way, and it is the way we have chosen for this month’s challenge.

We will be having two outdoor bootcamps coming up to run the mile for time. For those who truly can’t run, definitely still come to the bootcamp, we will have something else for you to do to work on your cardio. Here are the dates:

  • Sat. Jan. 28th at 10am—Albany Middle School track
  • Sat. Feb. 25th at 10am—Albany Middle School track

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Be ready for more running, rowing and longer interval training workouts during February to prepare you to better your mile run time, but more importantly, improve your cardiovascular health.

Without further adieu, I’m going to leave you with some facts about heart health/heart disease. In case you need further convincing why you will come to the bootcamps and run. Without complaining. Preferably with a smile on your face. Ok, that may be pushing it 😉

One in four deaths in the United States is caused be heart/cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death for both men and women (theheartfoundation.org). Despite those grim statistics, one’s risk of having heart disease can be significantly reduced by making healthy choices. We truly have so much power over this disease.

Some of the ways in which you can reduce your risk of heart disease are (theheartfoundation.org):

  • Keep a healthy weight; more importantly, keep a healthy level of body fat. It is entirely possibly to be a “healthy” weight but have too high a level of body fat. Conversely, it is also completely possible to have a higher weight with a low/healthy level of body fat. Muscle weights more than fat.
  • Quit smoking. It is the singular most important thing you can do to prevent so many health problems.
  • Follow a healthy diet. Cut out processed food. Drastically reduce sugar intake. Consume a lot more vegetables. Cook at home. Eat clean.
  • Manage anger and stress. Meditate, listen to music, play an instrument, make time for yourself. Breathe. Life is stressful and challenging, find ways to help not take it so seriously.
  • Exercise. If you’re a client at Fuse, you’re definitely on the right path with this. Are you consistent? Could you add another day? Could you work a little harder? Ask yourself these questions. You may be right on track or you may need a push. Figure that out and decide the best path to making yourself healthier.

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So, we’re planning on seeing you all this Saturday at 10am. Dust off those running shoes. Head to the track. Be ready to go. And smile.

Yours in health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

P.S. If you’re looking to start up a fitness program, you’ve come to the right place. Please fill out this contact form to get started with a free consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Higbie’s Fuse Fitness Success Story!


Hi Fusers!

This week Fuse Fitness is taking the opportunity to highlight Barbara Higbie, one of our longest members, who has been working out consistently with us since the summer of 2012! She is an amazingly talented, Grammy nominated musician – check out her website/bio/upcoming events here!

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Barbara and her beautiful teenage daughter Lena!

Before joining Fuse, Barbara was trying to manage her weight and stress levels. At the time she joined, she had been jogging about 30 minutes a day, five days a week for the past 20 years. She had also tried lots of other classes throughout the years, but nothing stuck.  The weight was beginning to pile on in new places and her mood was up and down, because she was taking care of both her young daughter and mother with Alzheimer’s disease, while also maintaining her music career. Barbara saw the Fuse Fitness sign one day while in the neighborhood, decided to drop by to try out a class, and has been hooked ever since. She says, “It’s one of the easiest and best things I’ve ever done in my life.”

As most of us at the studio have figured out, Barbara loves interval training! She is one of the only clients who always wants intervals – she says it’s because she doesn’t like to count reps or keep track of the exercises herself. She prefers not to have to think too much about what comes next, and would rather have a set of exercises that get her heart rate up and get what she calls “a good work out in.” Outside of interval training, her other favorite thing to work on is handstands, and can’t get enough of them. Barbara once told us, “Who knew I’d ever crave doing a hand stand? It is so hard to believe!”

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Working on her handstands!

The challenges that Barbara has encountered along the way have been minimal. She still has trouble doing a free-standing pistol squat, a very challenging move that can take quite a long time to master. Despite that difficulty, she says, “It feels like one big positive wave that moves me along. The environment is great – high standards and low pressure.” Due to her demanding music career, sometimes she is out of town for a couple of weeks at a time touring, thus having to miss her workouts. It is always challenging for her to deal with the muscle aches/soreness that come from having missed a couple weeks of classes.

Looking back to her start at Fuse, she still remembers her first class, when she couldn’t do a Turkish get-up – now she can do many in a row with great form. Barbara says she has never been great at following extreme diets, but has slowly cut out lots of sugar and flour since working out at Fuse and it has made a big difference.

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One of the results Barbara is most proud of achieving since working out at Fuse is having great core strength. “As a professional singer, it has made a HUGE difference to have a strong core!” Barbara recognizes that her consistency with coming to class has really paid off in regards to seeing such great results – she has maintained her weight loss and continues to manage her stress levels, keeping a steady, positive outlook on life. According to her, “It’s easy for me to get to class. The community at Fuse is made up of real, down to earth people, who enjoy working hard and having fun while staying focused.”

Barbara has been very supportive of us and our business from the very beginning – we are so lucky and grateful to have someone as loyal as her. She brings a fun, upbeat energy to class each day. We love her random comedic outbursts in class when performing an awkward or suggestive movement, which makes teaching class so much fun – we always get a good laugh in.

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As you can see from Barbara’s success story, working out isn’t just to stay fit and look good. Fitness is a lifestyle that requires consistency in order to achieve results. While clients may have different goals and seek different results, a fitness program is beneficial to everyone. If you are currently not getting the results you want with your fitness program, we encourage you to sign-up today for a free fitness consult by filling in the form below. As Barbara says, “Having a fitness ‘home’ makes my whole life so much better! Finding Fuse was the biggest gift of the last five years! Thank you Pascha, Kristin and team Fuse!”

Barbara, thank you for your love and continued support. We love having you as an integral part of our Fuse Fitness community! Class would not be the same without you!

 

Geoff Piller’s Fuse Fitness Success Story


Hi Fusers!

This week Fuse Fitness would like to highlight our member Geoff Piller!

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Geoff is one of our most dedicated clients when it comes to his health and fitness. He is self motivated, extremely consistent and laser focused. Before class even begins, he is off to an early start with a quick sprint outside and then comes inside to foam roll and stretch. Something about Geoff that demonstrates his great work ethic is that while everyone else takes a break to chit chat, he never stops, speeding through his workouts staying super focused, while most others have stopped to talk. He is usually the first one in class to finish an AMRAP or RFT workout.  Afterwards he can repeat everything that was discussed/small-talked about in class–he takes multi-tasking to another level–“listen while you work”.

This sentiment is shared by all of us trainers here at Fuse–Geoff is one of the sweetest people we know. He is one of our biggest cheerleaders and is such a caring and giving person. He always has something encouraging and/or positive to say. And let us not forget what an amazing baker he is! And he shares with us 🙂

Thanks to incredible members like Geoff, we have such a wonderful, interesting and supportive fitness community! With that being said, here is Geoff’s Fuse Fitness success story in his own words:

“I was a long time runner and used this method of exercise to stay in shape. I developed a hamstring injury and had to evaluate whether I could continue to run.  I concluded that running was making me fit, but it was not a complete total body workout- I felt limited. I decided I could get a better return by putting the time into a bootcamp style workout. My goal was to have overall balanced fitness, weight loss, and efficient use of my time.

“Some of the challenges I have encountered were working out with other people, as well as being inflexible.  I now enjoy working out in a group setting and have slowly achieved flexibility victories over time at the Fuse. Lastly, I hate Turkish Get Ups or any other exercise that begins with the word Turkish and still cannot jump rope. However, I do have many strengths and would like to focus on the things I’m good at.  I’m able to keep up with people in class who are considerably younger than me and I like the challenge of a rigorous workout. I can also sprint up the hill several times in a row like a bat out of hell and able to to exercise and play well with others.

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Working on the dreaded Turkish Get-Up…

 

“Overall I feel like I am in much better shape than when I was just running.”

Very true, Geoff! When he says he can “sprint up the hill several times in a row like a bat out of hell” he is not joking one bit. Geoff, you are an inspiration to everyone here and we truly appreciate you!

Yours in health,

Fuse Fitness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melinda Pilling’s Fuse Fitness Success Story!


Hi Fusers!

We would like to take the time to honor and highlight one of our awesome members, Melinda Pilling. Melinda has been working her butt off with us since October 2013. We are so proud of her because she sets such an amazing example of how hard work pays off.

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Not only has Melinda been super consistent with her attendance throughout the last couple years, she ALWAYS gives 100% to each and every workout. As fitness coaches, we find watching her workout to be so inspiring. Her double kettlebell cleans and goblet squats are done with perfect form and she always goes for the heavier kettlebells! We often notice others look at what she’s lifting, and get inspired to try to take it up a notch in their own workouts.

Melinda blazes through interval training and AMRAPS with sweat pouring down her face, never missing a beat.  One of Melinda’s secret weapons is sprinting–she’s fast!  I love watching her run when we add sprinting to our workouts, because it’s like, “now you see me, now you don’t!”

We love that she sets such a great example for her two children by making a healthy lifestyle for herself and her family a priority. This is something we admire about all of our Fuse parents.

We have some amazing members here at Fuse Fitness, so keep an eye out as we continue to share their stories. Everyone has a story that can be inspiring, as well as providing recommendations and insight through their experiences.  That being said, please enjoy Melinda’s success story in her own words below.fuse-fans

“As an attorney and the mother of young children, I was not able to fit regular exercise into my schedule for many years. Four years ago, my family and I moved to an apartment near The Fuse. For the first several months after our move, every time I walked past The Fuse, I glanced at the schedule. I recall seeing something called “Monkey Ninja Bootcamp” that was scheduled for 6:00 a.m. and thinking–who are these crazy people?

“One day I mentioned to a friend that I had been wanting to find a way to exercise regularly, but with my work, hour-long commute into the city, and my kids, it seemed impossible. She said, “You live near the Fuse, right? You should try it. The instructors are very supportive. They help you learn how to do the exercises properly so you don’t injure yourself and they work you hard–strength and cardio, lots of variety. It is definitely an efficient use of an hour.” I went to my first 6:00 a.m. Monkey Ninja Bootcamp class that week. I remember running up a hill with a heavy ball held over my head as the dawn was breaking. I was sore for three days. I loved it.

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“Over time, I have become a regular at the 6:00 a.m. Monkey Ninja Bootcamp classes. In addition to the efficient, fun workouts that fit in my schedule, The Fuse has provided me with a sense of community. Kristin and Pascha do a wonderful job of fostering a cooperative, mutually supportive environment at the studio, building community through events like bring-a-friend outdoor bootcamps, kickball games and cocktail hours, and supporting the larger community through group volunteer activities, canned food and winter coat drives and sponsoring a struggling family during the winter holidays.

“The Fuse keeps me feeling physically strong, focused and grounded.”

Melinda, we love having you and love the mornings when your two adorable kiddos show up at the window when you’re working out to wave hi and make silly faces! You truly are an inspiration to us and everyone else here and we value your hard work ethic and your kindness. Thank you for being part of The Fuse community!