Get The Suck Out of Your Workout

4 ways to improve your results by getting the “suck” out

When I was 18 I was a “hot stuff trainer” and when I say “stuff” I really mean “mess of a.” My programs were really, really bad. Mostly machines and exercises that the client I was working with wanted to do instead of movements we needed to do to get them to their results.

Sad thing is when I walk through most gyms today I see the same stuff, tons of machines, and people only doing the exercises the like.

That sucks… a lot. It sucks because it doesn’t get us any closer to our goals. Lucky for you I made up a list of the top 4 ways to remove the suck from your workout.




<– If you can watch TV while you workout I don’t think you’re really working out…



1. Dump the Machines

It’s not your fault that the gym industry is convinced that more equipment is the same as delivering better results. Somehow we’ve bought into the idea that after a long day of sitting at our desks, sitting down to drive, and sitting to eat we should sit down to exercise.

Our bodies are so rad that they can move in a lot of different ways, but every single movement can be broken down into it’s base parts, so if we focus our workouts on those base parts we are good to go.


Take away: Train like your body moves, squat and lunge for legs, push and pull for upper body


2. Do Stuff You Don’t Like

My friend and mentor Alwyn Cosgrove once told me that if it were up to him he would only do “cool shit,” and I tend to agree with him. I really have to push myself to type out “pull-up” on my personal workout programs (when it comes to our clients programs I have no issue writing it).

Usually the movements we don’t like are the movements that we should be training, because there’s usually a reason we don’t like it.


3. Stick to your Plan


There’s nothing better than opening up the latest fitness mag with it’s 12 page spread on how Rachel McAdams got her sexy back (like it was ever gone), but the trick is that the program is an 8 week program and a new mag will come out the very next month.

So if you’re like me you start on the McAdams sexy back program, stick with it for 4 weeks, then pick up the next mag with it’s cool new program (this time it’s all on developing a nice booty) and switch programs. When we change programs like that it’s like starting from ground zero each and every time. Instead get a custom program written for you rather than a general magazine program and stick with it – you’ll see better results.


4. Do the Important Stuff First


In our gym we have some really nice pieces of equipment called “reformers” and they let you get your stretch on like never before, but we alway have to heard our clients away from them on to the meat an potatoes of the workout. I’m not saying the reformer isn’t important, but it’s easy to get lulled into it’s stretchy trap.

With the short amount of time most of us have to train, usually under an hour, we have to make the most of it. Don’t screw around with froo froo crunches and silly arm flies. Plank and pick up something heavy and you’ll see your body change fast.


What are ways that you’ve removed the “suck” from your training program in the past?


How can you remove some suck from your workout?

Help Us Define Our Culture

To Our Members,

We will be putting together a book – a pretty amazing book in fact. You know I would even call this book stupendous

The main reason it’s going to be so amazing is that our members (that’s you!) are going to be the main stars. The book is going to be a conglomeration of our stories and feelings on the culture that we have in the gym. This is going to be our Culture Book.

What we saw was that we needed a written document that could help define who we are as a group, and we decided that a Culture Book would be the best way to accomplish that goal. We realized that what makes us special and different is the people who make up our gym, not the reformers, kettle bells, or even those damn ropes. It is the stories that we share that makes us unique.

Our culture is all of our team members feelings and ideas on our culture as well as the stories that we have lived over the last year.

This includes:

  • Current Members
  • Past Members
  • Family of members
  • Anyone who has been touched by our gym

Here is where you come in – we are going to be interviewing each of you for your story over the last year – what you’ve seen as important, remarkable, tragic, happy, or just pretty darn cool.

Alternatively, if you’re one who always runs in and out of the studio, or can’t think on your feat, or just prefer to write your thoughts out, I’ve included our interview questions for you to fill out and send back.


Please note: We will only edit this for grammar, not content. We want your pure view points.


This book is going to become a yearly publication, so that we can continue to move and change as a culture. (Bring your best and get better, right?)

I can’t emphasize how important of a project this is to us!

Your story is part of who we all are and we want to share it. Please please please get interviewed or respond ASAP, we want to have this published soon.


Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you may have.



The Interview…

1.How long have you been a member?

2.In this last year, thinking back, what did you enjoy the most about being a member with us?

3.What was your absolute favorite workout this past year? And how about your least favorite?

4.Did you accomplish any new goals or has anything over the last year surprised you?

5. What does our culture mean to you?

6.To wrap up, how has our team helped you to accomplish these goals this past year?

Remember – these questions are to be used as a starting point, if you want to add more please do!

Our Core Values….

1.Bring Your Best, and Get Better
2.Be Professional
3.Love The Member
4.Tell The Truth
5.Our Team Wins
6.Be “We” Not “Me”
7.Strive For Profitability
8.Have Fun, and Be Yourself
9.Exceed Expectations

Please Read This

Late yesterday I sent a letter out to our e-mail list, outlining some major changes in our business.

I want to make sure that everyone involved with our business is able to access this letter, so please take a few minutes and read through the information. It’s exciting!


To our members,

Thank you for growing with us. Some of you have been with us for a short time, some of you longer, and a few of you have been with us since the very beginning (remember Brenda teaching Pilates in our family room? I know that a few you will).  As a fitness facility we’ve grown and changed so much, we’ve had roughly 1000 people come through our doors, crazy but true, but it’s our members who have stuck it out with us who are most dear to our hearts.


That’s why we are so excited to announce 2 amazing changes in our business to you first.  Please take the next 3-5 minutes to read this letter through completely, we’ve got great stuff coming your way and we want to be sure to answer all of your questions.


There have been rumors flying around for the last few months about our “new location,” and “new name” we want to officially confirm that Yes! We are going to be opening a second gym! And Yes! We are changing our name.


Let’s answer your name change questions first.

 1. Why are you changing the name?

The Spirit Moves, Ameli Training – both awesome names. But what we have come to find is that a lot of people have trouble understanding what it is that we do. We get questions like, “What kind of training, like career?” or “is that some kind of method or something?” We think our new name will solve that.


Also, as we grow our team we want to be sure to incorporate our new team members without disenfranchising them because we are operating under our last name.


The bottom line is that we think that we can reach a wider audience with our new name. Plus Ameli is hard to pronounce (Ah-mel-E)

2. Are you changing owners?

Nope, just a simple name change.


3. What’s the name?

Drum roll please…


Momentum Fitness!


Let’s move on to the new facility. The space itself is more than 3 times what we currently have, and will offer a lot of amazing upgrades to the space we currently have.


Before I get into more details about the space I want to answer the top 5 questions I would have if I were to hear this news.


Note: For ease of conversation let’s call our current location “Clayton” and our new location “Concord” cool?


1. Will you be closing your current space?


No! We have a year lease on our Clayton location, and we plan on keeping both gyms open for at least that amount of time.


However some class offerings may be shifted, and all open hours will be moved to our Concord location.


2. Will I have to pay more?

No! Our promise that we will never raise your rates as long as you are a member with us still stands strong. That means that for those of you who started with our $147 intro rate, or our $100 family add on (both of which are no longer offered) you are going to have those for as long as you are with us

Our pricing for new members may increase, however.

3. Do I have to choose 1 gym over the other?


Kind of, I mean unless you master the art of space and time manipulation and can be in two places at once. :)

You will have full and complete access to both gyms. Our Concord location will have open hours, custom workouts with a coach, and group coaching, while our Clayton location will offer group coaching and custom workout with a coach.


4. Who is teaching where?


This is probably the biggest change. I, Kian, will only have minimal involvement with our Clayton location. I want to work as hard as possible to get Concord on its feet, while Brenda is going to be holding down the fort in Clayton and coming to Concord for certain classes.


Brenda may start teaching some in Concord as the space progresses. Brenda is an integral part of the business and is not leaving us, and we are not “splitting up,” we want to offer you the best training experience possible and we feel this is how we can accomplish that.


We will start growing our team, so keep an eye open for talented people in your circles. They don’t have to be fitness coaches, or have amazing amounts of experience – we will teach them that – but what we will need are people who are passionate about what they do. We also know that our team is the best place to start asking around.


5. What will this mean for my training regimen?


Great question! Opening our Concord location is going to give you a lot more options in terms of where and when you want to train. We will only be offering 1 class option per hour, but we will be offering open gym hours in Concord and semi-private training in both Clayton and Concord.


Ultimately we chose to start this process to provide better service to you, our team.


As of right now we do not have an open date. When we get something down you will all know as soon as we do. If you want to map it out you can google 1635 Challenge Drive, Concord, 94520. It’s about a 15 minute drive from our current location.


Now that we’ve addressed your top 5 questions, I’m going to give you more detailed information on the space. We’ve covered most of the important stuff as it pertains to your membership with us, but keep your ears open for future announcements.


If you’re not interested in hearing about the inner workings, no problem! Thank you for reading this far, and I’ll see you in the gym.


For those of you who want to understand our thought process, here it is.


I come from a strength training and sports training background, and, yes, I am heavily trained in Pilates as well, but my passion has always been three fold


  1. Fat loss
  2. Train everyone like an athlete
  3. Have a load of fun doing it


Our Clayton location has allowed us to deliver on all 3 of these.


You all are true athletes and train like them. There have been some drawn backs to our space as well, the main draw back being space – there is not enough of it!


Enter the answer. Ba, my dad, happened to be expanding his business and had some space that he could make available for us in their new building. The location was perfect, the space was much more usable, and the timing was perfect. I jumped on it!


Ever since we have been in the planning stages, and our driving questions have been these:

  1. How can we deliver the best results possible?
  2. How can we create the best training environment possible?
  3. How can we be profitable?
  4. How can we deliver the lifestyle we want to live?


The reason why I’m not going to be involved in our Clayton location as much any more is simply because I want to have a lifestyle that allows me to spend time with my wife.


We believe that we can deliver better results with two dedicated locations, we think that by opening a second gym we can create two unique environments, and we think we can make this business profitable so that we can continue to deliver the excellent service you have come to expect.


Also, on a more personal note, I really want to grow our team! I love seeing all of you at 5am and at 6pm, but, like I said above, I want to see my wife a bit more, and I want to expand our reach so that we can change more lives and truly change the way fitness is done in the bay area.


That means that our team will grow, we will bring new faces in, and you all are my number one concern! We are working very hard to put systems in place so that the quality of service remains at the level you expect.


If someone slips through our quality filter, and is stinking up the joint please tell us. Just because we want to grow does not mean we want to deliver inferior training or poor service.  In fact by growing our team I firmly believe that we will improve what we are offering – aren’t there days when you’re tired of seeing my mug?


Thank you so much for investing in our future! Together I know that we can change lives, and improve the health and fitness of everyone around us.


Change can be scary, and I want you to know that my promise to you is to always be forthcoming with information, truthful, honest, and to put your results at the forefront of our business decisions.


Please don’t hesitate to call, e-mail, or talk with us at the gym.





Ps. As a reminder, here are our core values, these are our guiding reference –

Ameli Training/ Momentum Fitness Core Values

1.   Bring Your Best, and Get Better

2.   Be Professional

3.   Love The Member

4.   Tell The Truth

5.   Our Team Wins

6.   Be “We” Not “Me”

7.   Strive For Profitability

8.   Have Fun, and Be Yourself

9.   Exceed Expectations

The Top 5 “This or That” Fitness Questions

Simple answers to the 5 most confusing topics in fitness and what you should do about them

When you start a new training program it’s easy to get lost in a sea of different view points. Should I go vegetarian or eat more beef? Organic foods or magical powders? Lift heavy things or run 14 hours a day? Beef broccoli or chow mien?

Ok so I’ve never been asked that last question before, but I’m hoping it will come up soon.

What I did was condense the top 5 “should I do this or that” questions into simple to understand terms. Do these 5 and you’ll be on the right path to see some beautiful changes in your body.

1. Should I start fixing my nutrition or start working our first?

Simple answer: Work out.

Here’s why. When you start working out, especially when you start working our the right way, you’re going to start feeling stronger, looking better, and putting on lean muscle. You won’t want to eat as much junk because psychologically you’ll tell yourself that you don’t want to ruin your workout.

You will also burn more fat while you’re just hanging around because you’ve boosted your metabolism. That means even with minimal changes in diet you can still see some pretty good results.

Nutrition changes will come eventually, sure, but if you change too much at once (Read: more than 1 thing) your chances of being awesome and succeeding are smashed like a fly on the windshield of a 747 to Paris.

2. Should I cut out carbs or eat more protein?

Simple Answer: Add protein

Protein is going to fill you up and take up more space in your belly, leaving less space for grains and junk food. If you start taking away the foods you love (dear lord don’t take my Nutella, that stuff is like crack) you are going to feel deprived.

Think of it like a push up pop, when you start adding good stuff in from the bottom there’s no room for the junk at the top, then all the sweet and gooey goodness comes out. We call that results.

3. Should I try to lose fat loss or gain lean muscle if I want to look amazing?

Simple Answer: Train for lean muscle

This is the same reasons we start working out before changing nutrition habits. If you train to “lose fat” you’re likely to hop on the treadmill or do 8 billion reps of triceps kick backs.

Hint: Neither are effective for looking better.

So what should you do? Resistance training done at a high intensity with small amounts of rest, doing movements that don’t use the same muscles. A push-up paired with a squat followed by a brief rest is a great example.

4. Should I use high reps or low reps for the best fat loss?

Simple Answer: Reps should be between 10 and 15 for the first 4 weeks.

When you’re first starting a training program we need to make sure that your body has enough exposure to each exercise to learn how to do it, not overload your neural system, and not make you so sore you use every swear known to man.

The amount of weight you use should leave you able to do 3-5 more repetitions, but no more.

After the first 4 weeks you should decrease the number of reps you do to around 12. Never, ever go over 20 repetitions.

5. Should I do cardio before or after my resistance training?

Simple Answer: After or on days you don’t do resistance training

Like I said above, traditional running and cardio isn’t really that effective for fat loss, but if you have some ex

tra time to ramp up your metabolism adding in body weight circuits or sprints are a great way to increase the amount of calories you’re burning at rest.

A good example of this is after your resistance training sprint as hard as you can for 20 – 30 seconds, then go light for 40 – 60 seconds. Repeat this 5 to 10 times and your butt will officially be kicked, and a lot shapelier in a month or two.

No… You will not end up looking like this – trust me:



All in all don’t get paralyzed! It’s way easy to see all the information on them inter-webs and decide not to do anything. Start something today and promise to stick with it for a minimum of 3 months – you’ll feel better, look better, and doggone it, people will like you!



Our New Schedule

This week we’ve launched a really exciting change in our schedule.

In the past Ameli Training has offered 1 or 2 class types per day, which didn’t allow for a lot of customization of your workout. What we’ve done is mix up what we offer at each hour, so that you now have the option of choosing which class works best for you schedule and for your results.

We also looked at our classes and realized that we had a gap in our offerings. From the day to day activities to your training sessions with us there is a ton of stress on your body! So what we did is offer a new “Tune Up” class that is designed to help you feel better, recover better, and allow you to come at your next training session full force.

The new schedule takes effect this Wednesday (tomorrow!), so come out and try a class you usually wouldn’t take.

Here’s the link to download a PDF. version of the schedule, we also have a butt load of them printed at the studio.

Group coaching schedule

We put two copies on one page so that if you want to print it you get 2 for the price of 1 – save paper, be green, all that good stuff.

See you in the studio!