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Kettlebell and Group Training

Kettlebells have become more popular today than ever before. A 'kettlebell' or girya is a traditional Russian cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle.

Personal Training / Nutrition

Want individualized attention to reach your goals?

Customized Programming

Nutritional Coaching

Corrective Exercise

 

Workshops/Events/ Competitions

We have been proud to host some of the best workshops, certifications, and competitions in the industry. We have been host to Pavel Tsatsouline, StrongFirst...

Barbell Club/ Olympic/Powerlift..

The Tucson Barbell Club is a branch of Evolution Fitness that offers specialized instruction in Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting and Strength & Conditioning.

 

Strong & Healthy Woman

Our Strong and Healthy Woman Program is unlike any other fitness program offered in Tucson. Our certified personal trainers offer individualized attention...

Training the Olympians

We had the honor of training Emily Batty this pre-season for the 2016 games.. Here is a commercial featuring Evolution Fitness. Unfortunately it will only air on the CBC in Canada.. But you can watch it right here!! Best of Luck this year Emily!

Girevoy Sport Workshop October 15, 2016

Kettlebells are an incredible tool to build overall strength and fitness. For a growing number of athletes, kettlebells have become a sport. Girevoy sport, as it is known in Eastern European countries, uses kettlebells to complete olympic style lifts for as many reps as possible in 10 minutes...without putting the bells down!

Evolution Fitness will be hosting a special seminar on October 15th introducing the fundamentals of kettlebell sport. Participants will learn the basic movements used in kettlebell sport: swings, jerks and cleans. The seminar will be taught by Evolution Fitness member, William Haas.

 

kettlebell competition and girevoy sport

William Haas has been a two-time member of the US Kettlebell Sport National Team, placing 3rd at the 2015 World Championships in the professional division for long-cycle in the 63kg weight class. He currently holds multiple national records across different weight classes for long-cycle. He also holds the rank of CMS under the AKA/IUKL division. When not training, Haas works as an Integrative Medicine physician at the University of Arizona.

Click here to RSVP for limited spots: Sign up for Girevoy Sport Workshop

Strong & Healthy Woman Program

Women's Fitness programs tucson

Strong & Healthy Woman's Program Checkout the new production of our Strong & Healthy Woman's Program!How many cameos can you name?New registration link is in the comments below.

Posted by Evolution Fitness on Monday, April 11, 2016

This is an amazing 6 week journey in learning the fundamentals of strength training, nutrition, and fitness. There is no where else you will receive the hands on and detailed instruction. 6 weeks of group training 3 x per week and nutritional coaching and goal setting is all included with this program!

 NEXT KICKOFF October 8, 2016 10:30am

  This is the last Kickoff of 2016!

NEW EARLY BIRD SPECIAL ONLY $189!!

 Contact Us if you would like to start sooner!!

For More Information Please Visit our SHWP Webpage!

CORE VALUES: Why and Who We are

This blog is going to kick off our series on Core Values. Recently much of our writing has been less about “fitness” and more about achieving long term success in fitness and in life. In the past blogs we addressed goals and quitting(you may want to read them first).  The next way to continue this discussion is to  discuss Core Values. We will start with an overview of our Core Values at Evolution Fitness, then our subsequent blogs will discuss how Core Values play into achieving goals in our everyday lives. Core Values are two words that drive companies and individuals whether they have specifically identified them or not. Unfortunately, they have turned into obligatory statements and generalities. There is nothing general about a core value. They are THE WHY you do what you do, which drives the HOW you do what you do, so you can do the WHAT that you do. Sometimes if you ask a small business what their values are, you will be met with either a stunned look or a general statement of we sell great ________.  The same can be said when talking to an individual about their personal values. Try it, ask someone you are close with what their core values are. Some may  really know them, but many will pause….. think for a few moments…… and come up with a list, with no understanding of what they truly mean. They may say something like, honesty, family, and friendship. That is a great start, but what does it really mean? How does that show up in your life? Knowing and living your values IS THE KEY to understanding yourself, or your business, and why we make the decisions we do a on daily basis. Have you ever made a big decision in a split second without thinking and it was the absolute best decision? It probably had everything to do with your core values whether you think so or not. Have you ever made a decision that caused stress and had you upset with yourself? The reason for the stress was much likely you made a decision that went against one of your core values.

 

Tucson's Best Gym Personal trainers tucson fitness Tucson

We see big corporations talk about Core Values and Mission Statements and they may even have them engraved on walls. Some live their values and it shows in everything they do, like Southwest Airlines. Customer Service is one of their core values. It can be witnessed by the friendliness of staff, hilarious on-board announcements, and no bag fees. Southwest creates a customer experience. I am sure there are some instances of less than stellar service, but more often than not they do the right thing. There are other companies like Walmart that have the Mission of “We help people save money so they can live better.” They do great on the first part of, but helping people live better isn’t their forte, at least not if you work for them.

When the core values of Evolution Fitness were put together they represented the WHY,  Evolution began in the first place, and why we are in business today. One of the biggest things we have been known for is having an educated staff that offers high quality instruction. If you are going to train with us you will have someone making sure you are doing it right. Recently, we had a client sign up with us because her trainer moved and told her, “Make sure you continue to train, and I want  you to go to Evolution because they do it right.” I never met that trainer, but I was honored and I had a deep sense of pride in the knowing that is exactly WHY I started Evolution. It is so deeply rooted in what we do. Even though I personally haven’t taught many of our classes in years, it made me realize the staff holds those values as a part of them.

A few weeks ago I was discussing with a friend how I was instructing our rowing class to clean up their form. I can get fired up about people doing it right and not just turning a training session of mindless exercise. He asked me, “Why are you like that, what makes that so important to you?”  Without a pause, I said  “That is my standard, that is what Evolution is about. If people want mindless exercise, boot campy circuit training with burpees ’till you drop, they can go waste their money somewhere else. We are the place people come to do it right and have a purpose in their training.” I got charged up when I said it, and I was excited. I know that is a value we MUST embrace and own if we are to have integrity with our business. Without it, I would rather sell knick-knacks at the flea market. Core values ARE YOUR STANDARDS whether you are a person or a business.

EVOLUTION’S CORE VALUES

Core Values Evolution Fitness Tucson Personal Trainers

Every staff meeting at Evolution we go around the group and have the team discuss how our company values have played out in their lives or with their clients. It is inspiring to see when the team discusses their personal goals being achieved or educating themselves either in fitness, or learning new skills that have nothing to do with fitness. We share experiences of member success stories small and big. Our values drive us.

STRIVE FOR CONTINUAL GROWTH AND KNOWLEDGE

Innovating and education is the foundation of Evolution. In the years leading up to opening Evolution it seemed as if I was on a plane flying across the country or driving to events hundreds of miles a way to take a course and learn concepts to bring back to our members. When we opened our doors we started bringing national level coaches and authors in to teach our staff and the Tucson Community. This year alone our staff has spent $10,000 on their continuing education and the year isn’t even over. It is pretty awesome to be around a group that is always finding ways to get better. They understand that fitness and strength is more than mindless exercise. They care and want to utilize the best practiced methods to help people move better, become stronger, and make lifelong changes not just lose weight for a challenge.

SERVE OTHERS WITH PASSION

I have lost count of the times I have seen members reach out to our team for support. I have seen tears pour out and struggles happen in our members’ lives and the Evolution Team steps up in big ways. It gives me a huge feeling of gratitude. There have been numerous times where our team has stayed late, not being on the clock just to make sure that a member was getting the attention they needed or reached out to a member with a phone call because we haven’t seen them in awhile and that they were thinking about them. I have seen beginners in our classes having some difficulty and watched our team jump into a class they weren’t teaching to help a member get extra attention so they felt more comfortable. This is the Evolution difference. We aren’t perfect all of the time and we can always improve our service, but our staff must have the spirit of serving others to be on board. One of the things we discuss daily is, how can we be better, what can we do to improve.

CREATE AN EXPERIENCE BUILD A COMMUNITY

Having fun is a crucial part of the experience. We are in the people business. If we lose site of this aspect then we are no different than a big box gym. We constantly have numerous events for our members to train for and have an outlet to put their training to the test and get our community together. To see members show up and lift a weight they never imagined when they walked in the door, or row a 2000m time trial, or have them sign up for a competition is life changing! It creates a ripple of success for others around them in the community. We have never been about before and after pics, it is in the outcomes of helping people transform themselves with improved strength, confidence, and health that separate what we do. The problem we see with the fitness industry is that so many people are about weight loss and the scale, but they lose track of the process.  Falling in love and having success with the process is something you can’t take away and can’t be tracked with the scale.

It is amazing to see the friendships that have been created at Evolution. When someone has great things happen, the community rejoices. When individuals are going through a rough time the community steps up to support without a hesitation. It is who we are.

CORE VALUES ARE THE DECISION MAKER

We strive to meet our Core Values consistently, and all decisions we make must be filtered through them. It could be easy to feel the pinch of a slow month to try and offer some gimmicky supplement to sell, or offer a trendy group exercise class to the schedule to increase sales, but that isn’t why we are here. Many times we are understaffed at Evolution because we care not only about a potential trainer’s technical ability, but the ability of the trainer to be of service to our members and work along side our team. At the end of the day our values don’t change based on how much revenue we create or lose because they are not driven by profit. It just happens when we live by our values profit happens.

Now that you know a little more on what our Core Values are about and how they apply to our day to day stay tuned for our next blog on finding your Core Values and Achieving your Goals in more than just fitness. Knowing where Fitness and health fit in your value system will dictate all of your decisions.

If you would like to learn more about our programs and how we can help you achieve your goals contact us!


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                  Why Women Should Strength Train!

                  I’ve always been a relatively active person. I danced (ballet and modern) from 8 to 20, starting practicing yoga in 2006 (starting teaching yoga in 2014) and generally enjoy running around and climbing trees and jumping off rocks. I am not someone who grew up in a gym. In fact, I didn’t go into a ‘regular’ gym until I was 25 or so.

                  I first started strength training when I was working at a little boutique gym downtown. They had Yoga and Indoor Cycling classes and soon introduced Kettlebell and Bootcamp classes into the mix. This was my first experience with swinging a kettlebell and trying stuff like flipping tires and doing pullups. My time there was an amazing opportunity to see what my body could do in a way that I hadn’t experienced through yoga or dance.

                   

                  A couple years later I started working at Evolution Fitness. I kept working with kettlebells, earned my StrongFirst cert, and started learning more about Powerlifting. Both Kettlebells and Powerlifting have changed me inside and out. Moving heavy (for me) weights makes me feel like nothing else. I’m not going to be setting any Powerlifting records (at least not anytime soon) but the work of training 3-4 times a week, through days that feel awesome and days that feel shitty has made me much more disciplined and confident and capable. This physical and mental strength transfers over to everything else I do. My yoga practice has changed dramatically from my increased body awareness and strength thanks to my work in the gym. Strength training connected so many dots for me and has helped me to move better with less imbalances and without low back pain. When I want to go rock climbing one weekend or help my friend move or try something I’ve never done before, I can do these things without a second thought.

                  Now I teach strength training in class and to personal training clients and I can see firsthand the difference it makes for many women of all ages and backgrounds

                  Why should Women Pursue Strength Training?

                  I know, I know, I know, it’s good for me. You have probably heard that strength training is good for women and can help prevent osteoporosis and do other good stuff for us, which is cool. However, I need more than just knowing something is good or healthy for me to incorporate it into my life. If all you need to know is that strength training is good for you, then awesome, you’re probably already doing it. But the benefits of strength training go way beyond simply being ‘good for us.’

                  Muscles Look Good

                  I know some women that workout because they want to look good and that’s totally cool. If that’s your thing, strength training is the answer for a lot of women who want to look better (whatever ‘better’ means for them in particular).  Lifting weights helps your body build lean muscle and lose fat in a way that just doing cardio won’t. That being said, I really believe in strength training but I also believe in doing what you love. If you love running, you shouldn’t give that up! However, if you’re killing yourself on the elliptical or treadmill and hating it, come on over to the other side of the gym, you know, the one with all the squat racks and dumbbells; we have food and other good stuff.

                  I know a big reason that some women don’t want to lift weights heavier than 5 lbs is fear of getting too muscular and bulky or (gasp) “masculine” looking. I could write a whole separate post on that but I’ll keep it short for now. If you want to get super buff and jacked, awesome! It’s going to take a lot of really hard work both in the gym and nutrition-wise. If you DON’T want to get super buff and jacked, that’s cool too, and you probably won’t. For the vast majority of women, looking like a body builder is a lot of really hard work and you definitely won’t be able to do it by accident. Try lifting heavy and see the awesome things it can do for your body! That being said, we are all entitled to our own opinion and the pursuit of looking however we want to look but luckily, constantly trying to lose weight and be skinnier doesn’t have to be the only option for a fitness goal. Don’t get me wrong, I spent many years being way too invested in being skinny even though I was already a healthy weight. Strength training has given me a whole new appreciation for what my body can do, not just how it looks. Since I’ve gotten more seriously into strength training I have a whole new appreciation for muscles on women. These muscles look like hours of hard work and the ability to do badass and powerful things.

                   

                  If you want to look this great! If you absolutely don't want to look like this great. It won't happen by accident.

                  If you want to look this great! If you absolutely don’t want to look like this great. It won’t happen by accident.

                  Setting (and Hitting) Goals is Awesome

                  If your goal is simply to look good that’s cool, but strength training can add a whole new dimension to physical fitness goals. When my focus changed to the awesome things my body can do rather than only caring about how I look, my whole mindset shifted. Where ever you are starting from, the goal of getting stronger is very rewarding. Whether you want to do a body weight pushup or pullup or deadlift 300 pounds, positive strength goals give going to the gym a purpose and can make you feel awesome when you hit or surpass them.  That feeling of pushing myself to do something that is super challenging for me is priceless.

                  Granted, I needed some instruction before I was ready to start working toward a heavy deadlift (and I’m still working toward that 300). Finding a coach that knows their stuff is important. Most women that I know (myself included) didn’t get exposure to the gym at the young age like some guys do, so it’s no wonder we don’t know our way around a weight rack. Finding a good coach will help make you more comfortable in any gym you go to. When I started out I was pretty flexible (but with a lot of imbalances) from yoga and dance and needed a lot of work to get my muscles to engage in a way that could support weight during a squat or a deadlift. It’s important not to just jump into lifting heavy. At Evolution (and other places that know their stuff) we talk about building healthy movement first before adding weight.

                  Watching Other Women Get Strong

                  A huge part of why I love my job is seeing the difference that strength training makes for all different types of women. We have clients come in with little to no knowledge of strength training and get to watch their transformation as they feel and see the difference their hard work makes. Strength training is not the easy quick fix. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve looked for the quick fix too, I get it. However, this work is about the process of feeling your body change and get stronger and feel different (and better). I often hear comments from clients about how their back pain has gone away or they moved their couch by themselves or they can see that their posture is better or that they don’t get headaches anymore, all from learning to move better and getting stronger. Some clients will train with us and although the number on the scale might not change, the way they look and feel changes (muscle being denser than fat and all that cool stuff). I love seeing women embrace their strength and do things that they might have never considered before stepping into the gym.

                  A huge part of why I love my job is seeing the difference that strength training makes for all different types of women. We have clients come in with little to no knowledge of strength training and get to watch their transformation as they feel and see the difference their hard work makes. Strength training is not the easy quick fix. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve looked for the quick fix too, I get it. However, this work is about the process of feeling your body change and get stronger and feel different (and better). I often hear comments from clients about how their back pain has gone away or they moved their couch by themselves or they can see that their posture is better or that they don’t get headaches anymore, all from learning to move better and getting stronger. Some clients will train with us and although the number on the scale might not change, the way they look and feel changes (muscle being denser than fat and all that cool stuff). I love seeing women embrace their strength and do things that they might have never considered before stepping into the gym.

                   

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                  TRY IT!

                  Strength training will help you create a strong and capable body that does what you need it to. When I can lift heavy weight or do body weight exercises like pullups I feel f*%king badass. Strength training can give you very tangible proof of getting better at something when you see the weights go up or do something easily that used to be incredibly hard. And that’s an awesome feeling. When I’m strong, that confidence in my body and my abilities translates over to other areas of my life and makes me better at pretty much everything I do.  Again, what heavy means is going to be different for everyone. My goals will be different than your goals and that’s great. There is no one-size-fits-all.

                  You might resonate with Kettlebells or want to compete in a Powerlifting meet or do really cool body-weight tricks or any of the other options out there. Maybe you just want to feel better and move better. All of these are valid. Don’t worry about falling into a particular mold. Find something you like doing so that you can enjoy your journey. This doesn’t mean that every training session is going to feel amazing but when I do something that used to feel impossible, it’s all worth it. And when I see other women put in the work and feel powerful or even just a little bit more confident, I get inspired all over again.

                  I want to hear from you; if you’re already on this path, why did you start strength training?

                  If you’ve been on your strength journey for a while, why do you do it? What does it do for you?

                  If you’re just starting, why did you start? What things are changing for you?

                  The Parallels of Strength and Endurance Sports

                  Since making the switch from powerlifting to triathlons, the transition hasn’t been as hard as I originally thought. Ok well, learning to swim for distance was pretty rough, and running is ….running, but It really has been a blast. The ability to train the different sports has been a great experience and has completely opened my mind about the human body, my abilities, and realizing that there is more to life than just lifting heavy all the time.  The philosophies of the “how” to train for these sports are more similar than you would believe, and after thinking about things more deeply, these commonalities probably carry across most sports.

                  TRAIN WITH PURPOSE

                  The biggest reason I fell in love with Powerlifting was that I have a purpose with each training session.  I mean a real purpose. Im not talking about the purpose of doing random acts of burpees and pull-ups until I’m tired. It is about being on a program that takes you to a goal. Each session progresses to the next one, and has a purpose. After weeks or months, each of those sessions take you to the day where you are ready to set a personal record and put your training to the test. Training for triathlons is identical in this manner. Sure, I could run, swim, and bike each week at random intensities and distances, but will that give me a specific outcome? As with both sports, it is easy to over do it. It isn’t rare to see a powerlifter tank an opener that they have hit in training.  That usually happens when there isn’t a purpose to the training plan and I am sure the same goes for the endurance athlete that shows up the day of the race producing slower times than they have seen in training. Which takes me to my next point.

                  HIRING A COACH WILL IMPROVE PERFORMANCE

                  In powerlifting  I can’t tell you the number of coaches I have had that have broken down my squat, deadlift, and bench press technique. Each coach I worked with helped me improve as a lifter. Without technical proficiency, the best program in the world isn’t going to help. I hired a swimming coach early on in my training and I am  grateful I did. I could swim in a pool and not drown, but having professional instruction was the difference between me surviving  and learning to be more confident and proficient in the water(still a work in progress). I see this all the time when people want to take on powerlifting or Olympic lifting and they say, well I squatted in high school, I don’t need coaching. Usually these are the guys that look jacked and crumble on the platform.

                  Having someone else to program for you is huge. I don’t care how awesome you think you are. Having someone that will get in your way to slow you down when you want to push when you shouldn’t, or help you push a little harder when your lazy is must.  I find myself always erring on the side of doing too much even when I think I am not, and having someone to regulate that for me is a game changer. Also, someone who can analyze the situation for what it is rather than what I think it should be. Being a noob in triathlons, I have to trust that I just don’t know, but even in Powerlifting I usually had someone design my peaking programs for my meets, and I always performed better when that happened.

                  NEVER TRAIN TO FAILURE

                  This goes without saying and reiterates the last 2 points. As a powerlifting coach nothing upsets me more than to see someone fail a lift in training. It is the biggest sign of a novice lifter. It drives me nuts, ask my staff and athletes, and if it happens once in the gym it doesn’t happen a 2nd time. Training to failure in Powerlifting is a great way to tax the nervous system, increase the likelihood of injury, and get weaker. It is important to always leave something in the tank. Ninety Percent of my strength training was done between 70% and 80%, always keeping my reps low and  explosive, and my volume moderate. If things were slowing down, or reps were a grind I either dropped the weight or called it a day.

                  A few days ago I was feeling less than stellar and my coach Gail told me to pay attention to my Heart Rate on my run, usually around 70-75% of max…(see the similarities?) She said if it isn’t dropping fast enough to call it quits because it could be a sign my nervous system was getting trashed. About 15 minutes into my run I knew something was up, and I called it quits. Though I don’t get grindy reps and sore muscles from the endurance training the nervous system gave me feedback in other ways and I had to learn to listen.

                  JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN MEANS YOU SHOULDN’T

                  When I was powerlifting my program would call to hit 405lbs for 6 reps and everything in me would want to go for 10 reps because it felt so good. Earlier in my powerlifting days I would push those limits. The funny things is when I would feel like a champion in a workout and do more than I was supposed to, it took me a really long time to realize why the following week the training sessions were not up to par. If the program called for 4 reps at 80% it means hit 4 reps at 80%. There is a plan, there is a reason, and pushing limits are a great way to make next weeks training not be so great or worse.

                  In my endurance training my coach has me focusing on my Heart Rate rather than speed. It is so hard some training sessions to say, “this feels awesome! I can go so much faster than this”! Doing this is a great way to not only train my HR to stay high, but also great way to burn out for the remainder of my sessions that week.

                  I had the privilege of being able to chat with Finnish Shot Putter and Gold Medalist in the 2000 Olympic Games, Arsi Harju, and he shared with me his only injuries came when he was feeling great and would have a great day of throwing. Instead of calling it quits when his training was done for the day if he would stay and push more to get some extra throws in because he felt great it, it would lead to an injury or a horrible rest of the week. He said “When you feel good save some for the next training session too.”  Always remember, the goal isn’t to win the workout.

                  Olympians Training in Tucson Arizona

                  Olympic Gold Medalist Arsi Harju

                  80/10/10 RULE

                  Paul Carter in his powerlifting book Base Building breaks down training sessions something like this. 80% of your workouts should feel normal, nothing awesome, nothing bad, just right. 10% of the sessions you may feel like dog shit, and the other 10% you may feel like King Kong. The exact  same can be said for my experience in with my swims, bikes and runs. Which leads me to the next point. If you are looking for an awesome book on strength training fundamentals you should get it..

                  YOU CAN’T GET GREAT AT EVERYTHING AT THE SAME TIME

                  Powerlifting is 3 lifts, Triathlons are 3 different sports. It is easy to get sucked into the mentality of wanting to see improvement week in and week out on every single aspect of your training. I remember for the longest time my Deadlift was stuck, it was actually stuck for over 1 year. In that time time frame I added nearly 90lbs to my squat. It was easy for me to be focused and pissed about my deadlift being stuck rather than realizing I put 90lbs on my squat!   I am realizing the same goes for my current training regiment. There is only so much energy in each week and thinking all 3 sports will progress evenly on a linear path is unrealistic.

                  RESPECT THE SPORT

                  Nothing irritates me more than to see people showing up to a powerlifting meet with complete disrespect for the sport. What is disrespect? The person who shows up and decides to do a half squat on the platform, because they failed to know the actual requirements of the sport, or the person who doesn’t know how to stay with a lift and decides to ditch the weight on the spotters. It is the person that decides they are going to show up with no coaching and think that they got this. There are certain aspects of etiquette and knowing the rules that show that you have prepared and have respect for the sport you are undertaking. It has nothing to do with how strong or fast  someone is when they show up for a competition, its that they prepared adequately for the event at hand. I tell my Powerlifters I don’t care if you are benching 125lbs or 425lbs, have you prepared appropriately with the intention of doing your best.

                  Respect the sport

                  This is a showing up unprepared and a lack of respect for the sport.

                  Do You Train with Purpose or Follow Wishful Thinking?

                  the-trap-of-wishful-thinking-by-myles-munroe

                  Here at Evolution, our motto is “Train with Purpose”.

                  Our GM recently wrote a blog on how this idea was shaped for him and how it helped him accomplish goals.

                  Here’s an excerpt:

                  My coach use to say, “Few things are an absolute. There are two things I can promise you in this life. One is that you will pay taxes, the second is that you will die.  Anything else that you want, you have to work for.”

                  Read more here: Do You Train with Purpose or Follow Wishful Thinking?