2013 Boxing for Boobies!

70 warriors fighting for better health

70 warriors fighting for better health. Click for High Resolution Photo

CKO Seattle’s 2nd annual Boxing 4 Boobies event was a huge success! The event took place on Saturday October 26, 2013 and was a 90-min cardio kickboxing class that featured CKO’s very own DJ Miss Shelrawka mixing high energy music, and was taught by 4 different CKO Seattle instructors! The event was completely sold out as all 70 bags were taken by 70 highly motivated participants who definitely gave breast cancer a Jab, Cross, Round house to the face! We raised over $4100 and the proceeds will be donated the American Cancer Society – Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The purpose of this event was to not only raise awareness of breast cancer but to also promote a healthy lifestyle and demonstrate that working out can actually be fun!

Mother/daughter combo. As a parent you are your child's biggest role model

Mother/daughter combo. As a parent you are your child’s biggest influence. Are you promoting a healthy lifestyle for your children?

While Breast cancer awareness was the overall goal, CKO’s personal goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle because the best form of prevention (for any disease) is being healthy.  No amount of walk-a-thons or pink ribbons can overcome an unhealthy lifestyle! From American Cancer Society’s website:

More than half of all cancer deaths could be prevented by making healthy choices like not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, eating right, keeping active, and getting recommended screening tests.

Attack Racks

Attack Racks!

CKO would personally like to thank all 70 participants as well as our awesome staff, without all of you this event would not have been possible! In addition CKO would also like to thank all of our corporate sponsors:


DJ Missshell

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H 10 captial

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Hidden hand tattoo

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El gaucho

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Canary salon

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JJ Suma

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Seattle storm

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Self-Sabotage part 2 – Putting a price on Health

The purpose of the healthy life experiment is for me to step away from the business side of fitness and look at things as a fitness professional being as unbiased as I can.

One of the unintended benefits of owning a gym is the amount of people that I deal with on a daily basis, this gives me lots of great insight on how people approach health and fitness from a mental standpoint. It is fascinating, mostly sad, but definitely fascinating at the amount of excuses and self-sabotage I deal with. The biggest self-sabotage I see is people making decisions about a gym solely based on the price of the membership.

Sick 2

A smart shopper will find a gym that will best help them achieve their desired results where as a self-sabatager will search for the cheapest gym available not at all concerned if this (cheap) gym can best help them achieve their fitness results.  Would you buy a house, a car, or even a smart phone solely based on price? No, but people do this all the time with their health not realizing that many “cheap” gyms are hoping you fail.

I am not going to pretend that money is of no concern because, money absolutely plays a big role in our lives. We all need a roof over our head, food on the table, and clothes on our back and yes I need to make money at my gym so I can pay my bills too but I am here to tell you that not getting a gym membership or at least not getting the right gym membership (for you) because you are being “cheap” will not only hurt your waist line it will hurt your pocket book too!

The best investment you can make!

The best investment you can make!

I hate talking money because I have found that as soon as money is discussed the health/fitness results (the real reason you walked into the gym in the first place) are immediately forgotten about and now it becomes a discussion about finding the cheapest gym.

True story: I ask a guy that walked in to my gym, “are you looking for results or are you looking for the cheapest gym? His answer – “cheapest gym”…

We are now putting a price on health, bargain shopping not for the gym that can help you lose weight, increase muscle, and improve overall health, but for the gym that puts the smallest dent in your pocket book, placing value on a dollar over health, over life experiences. But you want to talk money, let’s talk money. According to Forbes poor health, cost the US economy $576 billion dollars, yes half a trillion dollars is lost each year due to poor health related cost and out of that, $227 billion is from “lost productivity” from employee absenteeism due to illness or what researchers called “presenteeism,” when employees report to work but illness keeps them from performing at their best. I think the “presenteeism” factor is the real story because due to our lack of exercise and poor nutrition people are constantly sick! Now they are usually not sick enough to justify staying home, and they definitely don’t need to go to the emergency room, but they always seem to feel much less than 100%, usually operating around at 75% – 80% of their potential.

Yeah, I don't think I will make it in again today...

Yeah, I don’t think I will make it in again today…

Don’t believe me? Check out Facebook and look at your friends post, it is amazing how many people are posting, “feeling blah”, “sick again”, “feeling tired” and/or “allergy attack”. Or look at your co-workers, I guarantee someone is always sneezing, coughing, has watery eyes, complaining of a sore throat, etc. I honestly feel like I am the main character in some type of deadly virus outbreak movie, cause every where I look I see sick people and not just elderly people, I am talking about 20, 30, and 40 year-olds  that seem to have more “blah days” then they do “feeling great” days. When you are 20, 30, and 40 years old you are still in your prime! You still potentially have 50 to 70 years left, that is a long time to be feeling blah and most importantly that is a lot of lost earning potential!

As a small business owner I can honestly say that I have seen “presenteeism” first hand and when people are always sick they become unreliable and unreliable don’t get promoted. With a small business every employee is crucial to the business’s success and if an employee is functioning at 75% and at the same time looking miserable (do sick people ever look happy?) they are effecting the entire bottom line of that business. You can assume if you effect the bottom line for your entire place of work you may not last long or at least you will be given less and less responsibility which directly effects your bottom line.

Just last week I had one of my members tell me that she now has so much more energy she started picking up extra shifts at work! This is a common theme in the gym – other members telling me that some days they specifically come into the gym, just to get extra energy which allows them to finish major projects! When you exercise you become sexier, get more energy, you gain self-confidence, make more money, become more positive, and strengthen your immune system. Think of some of the healthiest people you know, they have tons of energy, they never miss work, they work hard, they play hard, and they seem to live life to the fullest.

Glad I got that gym membership! ;)

Glad I got that gym membership! 😉

What about the fact the beautiful people make more money? Right or wrong,  this is true, and it makes since cause when working for a company you are a direct representative of that company! When people see you they are judging both you and the company based on your appearance (don’t get mad at me, I don’t make the rules!) and the better looking you are the more the company will want to “promote” you and there is no down side to being promoted!  Now before you start complaining about genetics and/or naturally “beautiful people”, lets get one thing straight – it is impossible for you to look your best if you are overweight, out of shape, and constantly sick. So you may not have the perfect cheek bones or the perfect nose, but the only way to maximize the “beauty” hand you were dealt is to be as healthy as possible!

I will be sick when I am dead! And yes that it 50 cent holding my belts!

I will be sick when I am dead! And yes that it 50 cent holding my 6 belts!

I don’t know about you but I hate feeling “blah”! In fact, I hate feeling blah more than I love feeling great! I think of myself as being 10 feet tall and bulletproof and whenever I get sick I feel vulnerable, I feel week, I feel worthless and I feel like a drain on society. Think of all the great atheletes, Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, LeBron James, Tiger Woods, and  Floyd “Money” Mayweather (45-0 in case you forgot), they all have said they hate to lose more than they love to win. This is the same mentality you need to adopt. Say it with me :

“I hate to be sick, more then I love feeling good”!

Now if only there were something that could help you become better looking,  increase your self-confidence,  increase your energy, decrease the likelihood of being sick, make you injury proof, and increase your intelligence. Oh wait there is but you were to cheap to make an investment in yourself 😉

Flabs to Abs the Robert Rivera Transformation

I will never forget the first day I met Robert, he asked me if it was possible for a guy his age (mid thirties) to get 6-pack abs. I told him, “yes it absolutely is, but you have to open your mind, you will have to change the way you eat, and even-though it will sound crazy, you will just have to trust me 😉 “.  I also told him, “you will need to take our classes at least 3 times a week”. Over the next month Robert would come to work and ask question after question about nutrition and fitness. I loved his enthusiasm, but I eventually told him, “before you ask me another nutrition question, I need you to read this book.”  After about 3 to 4 months of eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis Robert’s health and physical appearance started changing for the better.

Yes that is Robert in the middle!

Yes, believe it or not, that is Robert in the middle!

Robert’s progress is phenomenal , when he took his first class he barley made it through the warm-up, now he teaches a great CKO class and is a great personal trainer helping many of our members lose body fat and gaining a better appreciation for food! I also really respect the fact that Robert want’s to be healthy so he can take care of his “Baby Lub” (his daughter), Robert realizes that his health directly influences his daughters health. I encourage any parent out there to follow Robert’s example and instead of using your kids as an excuse to why you have no time to work out, and instead make the time to get healthy so you can be a better parent! As parents, you are the biggest role model in your child’s life, and if you choose to be unhealthy your child will be unhealthy too!

What a difference a year makes!

What a difference a year makes! Now a better role model for his daughter!

Congratulations Robert on making health and fitness a way of life!

Testimonial by Robert Rivera:

It all started with a phone call inquiry about a trial class, having heard about CKO kickboxing from my wife’s cousin. Garett invited me to get there the following day where he ran me through an orientation.  I almost died 10 minutes into the warm up. Quite literally almost throwing up.

First CKO class

First CKO class

I walked into CKO last September weighing 199lbs, beer gut included. I came into the gym with some prior knowledge regarding martial arts so I figured at least I had the advantage of competence. To be honest, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the class, as the tempo was way above my comfort level because I was out of shape.  I confided in my wife how much I wanted six pack abs and my wonderful wife told me flat out that I could never get them, I was too old and I loved beer too much.

I turned to Garett for advice on this and he said two words, “no grains”.  He also started to mentor me on nutrition and fitness. I actually brought him a sandwich consisting of spam, bread, veggies, and mayo.  Garett took the bread off and stated he didn’t eat grains. I was confused! I never heard that before.  I initially thought it would be difficult for me to follow his lead and give up the sugar and grains also.

Fast Forward into my first month at CKO. I continually took classes and asked Garett for an opportunity to be an instructor myself. Garett took me to task and told me to write out what my class would look like. I took this seriously and went into my backyard, and scripted what my workout would be to music. I got the thumbs up by Garett and started teaching. My first 2 classes were horrible! Then my 3rd class was brilliant and I felt incredible. I’m pretty hard on myself and constantly try to improve my routines. I never want to get complacent.

Robert and his twin brother ;)

Robert and his twin brother armed and dangerous 😉

What I loved about CKO from the beginning were these aspects: no sparring, the music, atmosphere, and the owners being so genuine.  Garett and Jessica were and are always super encouraging. They care about my progress. In the past, I felt other gyms couldn’t care less about my results and paid no attention to me.

Days turned into months, and I noticed physical changes in my body. This was a big step not only physical but mentally as well. I started to get compliments on my weight loss and I knew it was the time to step it up. One day in February, I was reading about nutrition on the couch and here walks in Jon (Bacon), he had booked some time with Garett to discuss his sugar/pizza addictions. I started eavesdropping on the conversation and Jon committed to no sugar/grains for 30 days. I immediately chimed up that I would be doing it also! It was great because we both had team accountability to keep us in check. My mantra since that day has been “No Suuugggar”, and I have used this in my class many times.  After several weeks of no sugar/grains, my abs started to appear.  It was so rewarding to finally have my six pack abs.

No Suuuuuugar! Robert and Jon enjoying their new abs!

No Suuuugggaar! Robert and Jon showing that hard work and dedication pays off!

One year later I’ve gone from 199lbs to 150lbs. I’m never looking back! I have a rewarding job and have my own clients to mentor now. I’m so happy. I take great pride in knowing that I’m truly making a difference and contributing to ensure all CKO members actualize their full potential.