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We have seen exponential growth at Evolution Fitness over the past year. As a company grows one of the hardest thing to do is to find and retain a qualified staff. At Evolution Fitness we pride ourselves in offering the best programs possible with the most qualified instructors. We don't just dabble in fitness, we strive to master and become experts in whatever programs we offer. We have revamped our Olympic Lifting Program recently and hired an amazing coach in Aaron Uthoff. Aaron is a graduate student at the University of Arizona in Physiology, he is also interning in the Strength and Conditioning facitlity with the University Athletes. He has been a competitive Olympic Lifter and trained underneath Olympic Coach Joe Micella.  We have also seen a big growth in our other strength and conditioning programs. We now have 5 StrongFirst Certified instructors on staff which puts us at the top of the list with the most qualified kettlebell instructors in Arizona. We recently hired Sergio Giardini SFG. Sergio brings over 20 Years of training experience and shares in the same philosophy we have at Evolution Fitness. We have very big plans in the next few months to continue to offer amazing Fitness and Strength and conditioning programs to Tucson and Southern Arizona.
Over the past couple of years we have seen a huge boom in the fitness industry. I have worked in the big box gyms as a personal trainer at Gold's Gym and Bally's and served as manager and trainer of Crossfit Gyms. I have to say Crossfit has done a great thing in the industry by getting people off of treadmills, ellipticals, and weight machines. On the other hand the push for this hard core lift till you puke mentality has also shifted way too far now. It seems as if the biggest trend is people braggin about how hard they have "worked out" or "exercised". They brag about wanting to throw up or that they couldn't move for awhile after working out. This may not be a bad thing once in awhile, but the tendacy to abuse this type of training is wide spread. At first there is a big kick of adrenaline that is produced with these workouts, but over time it also leads to a crashed adrenal system, overuse injuries, and general lack of adherance to a training program.  
One of the biggest questions we get asked is on weight loss. How can I lose some weight? I have been struggling to lose weight for X amount of years...... The first question I ask is do you keep a diet journal consistently, and do you have someone to look it over for you. I don't start with asking them what they are eating or if it is low carb or high carb, or high fat or low fat yada. yada, yads. My first rule is, I don't want to hear about what you are eating and I won't listen if you try and verbally tell me everything you ate yesterday and the day before. The reason is, it isn't everything, not even close. The body doesn't lose weight over what you ate in one day. It does so over long periods of time. Over the years I have sold nutrition journals and I still do, but with the invention of the smart phone, journaling has become even more user friendly. There are numerous apps that are free online that can assist you in this journey. The even better part of it is that people can hold you accountable from a distance by reviewing it on their computer. I do nutritional help by logging in to my client's account and viewing their nutrition with out them even being in fron of me.  The App that I have used the most and recommend to my client's is called My Fitness Pal.  It can be accessed from a smart phone such as a iphone or droid, a tablet, or home computer. The ease of use is amazing and the database of food is large. If there is a food not listed you can add it to the database for future use and you can even enter your own recipes.  The accessibility to cell phones and ease of use is important in being consistent. After about 5-7 days you will start to see trends in your eating behaviors, and most importantly you will see that you may be eating more or less than you thought. 
I have been getting tons of questions on the Paleo Diet. I have been a big supporter of the Paleo Diet for many reasons. First, it is about cutting out processed foods and eating foods as they are seen in nature which is awesome and I couldn't agree more. On another note though Paleo is being followed as a religion and people are taking it to extremes. For some reason the Paleo crowd is sold on the fact that cavemen didn't eat carbs or grains and this is highly subjective as many anthropologists will debate this more than a power lifter and olympic lifter arguing who is really stronger.  Here is the biggest issue, if someone is heavily involved in a strength training program or a very rigorous training program they are putting thier body and hormon
As a personal trainer and a gym owner with a degree in nutritional sciences I get lots of questions about nutrition and weight loss. Should I be eating Paleo? Are low carb diets bad? I have been eating gluten free for 3 months and I still haven't lost weight? I understand the frustration as I have had many points in my life in which losing weight has been difficult. As I get older I find it more challenging to lose weight easily. When I was in my early 20's I could make one small change to my diet and I would start noticing physical changes within a couple of days.  Now heading into my 40's that isn't the case. I'm not going to discuss on any diet specifically in this blog, but rather talk about the overall philosophy and the recommendations I give my clients that want to lose weight. There are a few key rules I encourage people to follow without even talking calories, macros, or quality of food. If you are not doing these things start adding them to your routine and you may be surprised with the results on the scale. If you are participating in high intensity training like Crossfit or kettlebells, or if you are focusing on a solid strength training routine then these guidelines will help you out significantly.
People always ask me which certifications are the best if they want to become a personal trainer. First, I want to say that having a certification doesn't make anyone a good personal trainer, but at least they did the minimum. Many trainers at the big box gyms like LA Fitness don't even hold credible certificaitons, and if they do hold a minimal certification they are called Master Trainer. As a gym owner with over 12 years in the field I thought I would shed my opinion on this subject, based on experience. I ran a personal training department at a vocational college for a couple years and had to study the different certifications. Anyway, Here is a quick breakdown of the major personal training certifications. Now you may not see some here, but that is because there are way too many to count nowadays. I also haven't reviewed any of the specialty certifications in this blog like Crossfit, RKC, FMS,StrongFirst and others. I may do so in the future. 
I am hearing more and more lately from people about how their workouts are literally killing them and they are saying it like it is a good thing. I am all for high intensity workouts and training sessions, but what people have to realize is that they come with an expense. As training intensity continually increases, it has other effects on the nervous and hormonal systems. Yes, doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) or Crossfit training can be a good thing and cause increases in testosterone levels, it can also have some detrimental ones as well. If intensity levels are too high and done too often, they can also lead to unhealthy increases in cortisol. Chronically increased cortisol levels can have very detrimental effects on the body over the long run.
The fitness industry has changed more in the past 5 years than in the previous 20. Big box gyms that have charged $30-$50/month have now began a race to the bottom, all competing to see who can charge the least.  The real reason behind this is due to the fact that they are losing value. Period. The same person that entered those gyms every January are no longer seeing the same hope and optimism that the little membership tag on the key chain once brought. The weight didn't magically come off or if it did it didn't stay off. The machines, the treadmills, and the personal trainer that helped count reps and held hands from machine to machine just didn't work any more. Why? What happened? The biggest reason this happens is usually due to lack of a goal outside of vanity. Goals based in vanity alone don't hold much. The key is to set up a successful process. Sure sometimes working with a certified personal trainer that knows what they are doing can help, but what it comes down to is nailing down 5 things that should be done on a daily basis so that the outcome of weight loss or strength is achieved. In all my years as a personal trainer here are the 5 things that successful long term clients have done.