Podcast Ep. 3 (Get to know Garett and Jessica)

Team Renon Podcast Ep. 3

Team Renon logo

What does the future hold? Will we merge with technology and live in a utopia, or are we destined to live out our final days fighting for the survival of our species in a war of man versus machine? Yes, we really talked about that.  Also did Garett reveal his 2015 fitness goal? This podcast was a glimpse into the lives of Garett and Jessica and what was on their mind over the last few days.

 Check out this episode!

10 Week Challenge (Amy Roman)

On the last day of the 10-week challenge Amy asked me if her measurements were correct, her exact words were, “Are you sure that I lost 22-inches, I just can’t believe it”? Well, what is the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”? If there was any doubt about the accuracy of the body measurements, just take a look at the before and after photo (below), Amy lost 5.5-inches off her waist alone! Although to be fair, she did gain an inch, but that was in height, just take a look at how much her posture improved! In fact, one of the most underrated fitness “side-effects”, is improved posture!

If you don’t think posture plays an enormous role in your overall well being I have a 5-min challenge for you, stand-up straight, throw those shoulder back, and smile. Do this for about 5-mins and then I dare you to tell me that you do not immediately feel 100% better! Research shows that having bad posture effects you much more than just making you just look “sloppy”, it can even effect your happiness.

Check out the Amy Roman transformation story below.

Sept 2014 - Nov 2014. One word to describe this transformation: WOW!!!

Sept 2014 – Nov 2014. One word to describe this transformation: WOW!!!

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job? 

I am a customer service manager for QFC.

Do you have any hobbies?

Now that my kids are older I finally have time for a hobby (I just haven’t found one other than CKO).

How did you first learn of CKO?  

I am friends with Jeff and Charmaine Strom (both CKO instructors) and I would always see Charmaine’s Facebook posts about this awesome gym called CKO.  In fact, she posted so much that I knew there had to be something special about that place so I decided to overcome my fears and try it out! But I am not going to lie, at first I was very hesitant, I started coming up with all kinds of excuses telling myself that I didn’t have time to workout, I have a full time job and I am a mother and a wife, I don’t have time to workout. But thankfully my husband encouraged me to try it, and I am so grateful, it was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made! 

Amy at our 2-year anniversary party. July 2014

Amy at our 2-year anniversary party (July 2014)

What are some of your fitness goals? 

When I first walked into CKO I didn’t have a major goal other than to lose some weight and get into better shape. Now based on the progress I have made over the last 10-months I am looking to fully commit to a healthy lifestyle, I don’t want all this hard-work to go to waste!

What is your favorite aspect of CKO?  

CKO has given me a new outlook on life! CKO is a special place, the community is so encouraging and I love how I am inspired by all the other members! 

What was the best part about the challenge?

The CKO instructors and the bootcamps! The instructors have this amazing ability to push you way past your self imposed limits but doing it in a supportive and encouraging way! This “push” helped me discover my strength, during the challenge I learned that I was a whole lot stronger than I thought, trust me, that is an amazing feeling! Also I can’t forget about food, I learned so much about healthy eating, this knowledge is priceless! 

What was the hardest part about the challenge? 

Food! While the knowledge I learned was awesome, making the changes is definitely a struggle, not to mention the food prep. And my family is still fighting me on some of the changes, but they are slowly coming around 🙂 .

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself? 

My family motivates me! Since joining in February my husband has told me that he love my new positive attitude. I have so much more confidence, and I am amazed at how much happier I attribute this new found happiness to beating the crap out of a heavy bag. There is no better stress reliever! 

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?

 I want abs! But more importantly I feel that my core is still not as strong as I would like it to be, so improving core strength is definitely a goal for 2015. Also it is still a struggle to get my family on board with my new food changes. My kids are so darn picky! 😉

What can you do in 10-months?

What can you do in 10-months?

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential? 

Keep pushing me and constructive reinforcement.

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO team members might not know about you.

I never thought that after having kids I would be able to get back to where I was before, while I still have a little ways to go I am also very happy with what I have accomplished thus far!

I still find it hard to believe that I lost over 22 inches.  I went into this challenge with low expectations, hoping to tone up a little and learn a little something about food! I can honestly say my results exceeded my expectations! But as I said earlier, I am motivated by my family and I am now on a mission to improve my family’s health starting with my mother. She has a conditions called DISH (Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis) and was also a DES baby which was passed on not only to me but to my children. My mom also has osteoarthritis and thoracic arthritis. Due to my moms conditions she will eventually be in a wheelchair. Because of this, I need to take good care of myself and my family so we won’t suffer from the same issues. 

I can’t say thank you enough! Thank you, to the trainers, thank you to the owners (Garett and Jessica) and thank you to all the supportive and non-judgmental members! 🙂

~Amy Roman

Second Annual CINCO Saturday

On Saturday February 7, 2015 we will be holding our second annual CINCO Saturday. So if you are looking for a New Years resolution that is the real deal look no further than CINCO Saturday (check out last years CINCO). To be ready for the CINCO you must take your training and even your nutrition seriously. Below is last years post about how to train for the CINCO. The post is still relevant, just the dates are slightly different. So please read and let me know if you have any questions.

Let the training begin…

Here is the post from last year:

Mark your calendar because on February 8, 2014 the only thing you will be thinking is, “oh snap, it just got REAL”! CINCO Saturday is as real as it gets! We are talking about doing 5 classes in 6 hours. 5-hours of constant movement is no joke but it is definitely doable, it is the equivalent of finishing a Half Ironman (70.3) in a very respectable time. Doing a half Ironman is no joke and neither is doing a CINCO and it should be respected as such. But don’t let this scare you, completing a CINCO is not only possible, to date we have had nearly 40-people complete the elusive CINCO!

It just got real

It just got real

As of today January 8, 2014 we have exactly 1-month before it gets real and I would like to give you some tips on how to best train and prepare during this last month. So hopefully you have done at least one double by now, if not I encourage you to crank one out this week.

Suggested is a one month periodization training plan:

  • Week of January 12th – Aim for 2 doubles this week preferably with a day or two between. For example, do a double on Sunday (12th) take one class on Monday (13th), take one class on Tuesday (14th), rest* Wednesday (15th), do a double on Thursday (16th), take a class on either Friday or Saturday and rest the other day. This should equal taking 7 classes this week. *rest should consists of light movement, such a yoga, swimming, walking green lake etc, you should continue to move but at a very low intensity.
  • Week of January 19th –   Aim for 1 double and 1 triple, or 3-doubles. You should plan on attending at least 8-classes this week, along with 2- light rest days.
  • Week of January 26th – This is week 3 and this is the last full week of high intensity. If possible try to do 2-triples, and aim for attending 8 to 9 classes along with 2-light rest days.
  • Week of February 2nd – We want to go hard at the beginning of the week and then start to taper and show up on Saturday the 8th feeling fresh and rested. Do a double on Sunday and a double or even a triple on Monday.  Take one class on Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday do light workouts such as yoga, swimming, walking, stay moving but keep the intensity very low. Friday take completely off and go to be early.

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What to eat: While training for the CINCO you should eat my recommended diet the only difference, starting the week of January 12th, increase your carb consumption to around 150 to 200 grams on the days you do multiple classes. On the days you rest make sure to lower your carb intake (around 100 grams). Good carb choices are sweet potatoes (preferred), white potatoes, white rice, coconut water, veggies and fruit. During this entire training cycle please make an effort to eat well and get a good nights rest, as this is critical to not burning out. Also please keep the alcohol and staying up late to an absolute minimum (it’s only for one month)!

On Friday February 7th (day before CINCO) make sure you eat very clean and eat lots of good carbs, as we want to make sure our glycogen stores are topped off. Aim for 200-grams to 250-grams of carbs. A good dinner would be a small steak with a big bake potato (skin removed), and a nice big salad. Trust me this is not the night to eat something spicy or try something new (keep it simple). Plan to eat an earlier dinner. Also hydration is very important on this day. I recommend drinking 2 bottles of the unflavored Pedialyte (tastes like salt water) I actually like the flavor but of course Jessica thinks they are gross 😉 . You want to make sure your electrolytes are all topped off. If you think it taste gross, I say, stop complaining and drink up 😉 .  So drink one midday and drink one before bed.

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On Saturday February 8th (game day) – eat some fruit or make a small fruit smoothie and drink some strong coffee. Plan to eat some fruit between classes and drink coconut water. We will provide some fruit, spa water and have coconut waters on sale! Also you can look into getting a few “gels”, I like the Hammer brand REI has a good selection of gels. Normally I would never recommend these but having one between the the last couple of classes can be a life saver. Look for the ones that contain caffeine. Now remember I only recommend eating these for something like the cinco, you should not be eating these unless you are training for a marathon or long distance triathlons.

Remember to have fun! This is a great challenge and you should feel very proud when it is all over!

Last but not least, if you are not planning on doing the CINCO, please plan to take at least one or two classes to help support the CINCO participants (especially the later classes). All 5 classes are open to all CKO members and your attendance, even if it is just one class, will be greatly appreciated!  

10 Week Challenge (Janis Radtke)

What would you give to keep up with your grandkids?

Meet Janis Radtke, Grandmother, CKO warrior and all around awesome person! Janis has been a consistent member at CKO for 1.5 years having started her fitness journey back in June 2013. She recently complete the fall 2014 challenge and not only made amazing results but has started to appreciate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

I can honestly say that Janis is a warrior. She mentioned that Bootcamps were the hardest part of the challenge, while that maybe true, it was the bootcamps where I saw her true character. I could tell she was struggling but she had this look on her face that said, “I would rather die, that quit”! Trust me there is no exaggeration in that statement, Janis, is definitely a fighter!

September 2014 - November 2014

September 2014 – November 2014.

The Janis Radtke interview:

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job?

Sr. Exec. Assistant at Swedish Hospital Musculoskeletal Clinic – so I sit a lot, but work with some great people.

Do you have any hobbies?  

Knitting, reading, gardening, baking, beading, and hiking

How did you first learn of CKO?

I happen to be shopping at Central Market and I noticed the CKO Kickboxing sign. I had done kickboxing in the past but never with a real heavy bag and let me tell you, the heavy bag really ups the overall intensity.

What are some of your fitness goals?

I would love to lose a few more pounds but most importantly I want to be a healthy role model for my family!

What is your favorite aspect of CKO?

The people!!!  CKO is a very non-threatening, supportive atmosphere, not to mention the classes are a blast. However their are times during class I find myself cursing the instructor (lol) but at the end of the day I am always happy that I participated in class. I guess if it was easy everybody would do it, right?

What was the best part about the challenge?  

My results! Also, I am proud that I stuck it out! I was afraid I’d give up on the eating and/or coming to classes, but I made the decision to finish what I started and I couldn’t be happier with my results over the last 10-weeks!

What was the hardest part about the challenge?

The bootcamps! They were hard but I refused to quit. I think pushing through those bootcamps has made me a better person.

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?

My Grandchildren! Also I love the fact that I feel really strong and want to get even stronger. But I am not going to lie, losing weight and inches during the challenge really made me happy.

You look amazing and happy!

You look amazing and happy!

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with? 

The diet! Unfortunately food will probably always be my biggest area of struggle! I like to bake and have a weakness for sweets but I have become much more aware of what I put into my body and because of this, I find myself making healthier choices every day! 🙂  

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential?

Keep doing what you are doing! The CKO community is simply amazing! Trust me, if you are on the fence about trying this gym, take it from me, it will be the best decision of your life! 

CKO Seattle

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO team members might not know about you! 

I am starting to embrace the healthy lifestyle! When I began my CKO journey I would take just two classes a week. Diet? What’s that 😉 ? Like I said, I started with 2 classes a week and that was hard enough, so the thought of changing my diet was just too much. However, after a few months of consistently taking 2-classes a week, I started to notice some changes. I noticed I had more energy, and my clothes were starting to become “looser”. This really motivate me! All of a sudden I started to believe that I was much more capable than I originally thought! Not only was I becoming more self-motivated, I started to become motivated by all the other members too! I started reading (this blog) about all the other member success stories and many of them, really hit home. Then I started to dig deeper into Garett’s health/fitness philosophy and it all just started to make since!  So I started coming to more classes, in fact, I even asked to change my work hours so I could attend more classes! Then before I knew it I was in the habit of taking classes 4-5 days a week. I usually take the early morning classes so I want to give a big shout out to Erin because she took notice that I was coming to class more and that motivated me even more! So I want to thank everyone that has supported me on this journey because I have found my WHY? I want to be healthy and strong for my grandchildren! The idea of being that active grandmother that becomes an inspiration to her entire family makes me feel really, really, good!!!

10 week challenge (Jessica Ketola)

There is always one! Yes, we have learn that at the end of every challenge there is always one participant whose transformation is so amazing it is almost unreal. And that “one” was Jessica Ketola! I remember when Jessica first started, she really struggled to make it through class, but she never complained and never quit, she just kept showing up day after day. In fact Jessica is a great example of what is possible.

September 2014 - November 2014

September 2014 – November 2014

See, we have an unwritten rule in the gym which is 1% improvement, because in the fitness world, slow and steady wins the race. Fitness/nutrition is meant to be a lifestyle not a quick fix solution, so if you can focus on just improving 1% every day, slowly but surely, those 1%’s start adding up.  Then one day, 10 months later…BAM, you lost 48-lbs, numerous dress sizes, and have an entire new out look on life!

So thank you Jessica for showing/reminding us what this health journey is all about! Because it is all about small daily improvements! Too many people get caught up in the “big picture” focusing on how much weight the still have to lose instead of focusing on just being better than yesterday!

Congratulation on all your success thus far! If you continue down this path anything is possible. I look forward to writhing part 2 of your story this time next year 😉

The Jessica Ketola interview:

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job?

I’m the Executive Director for a small nonprofit in Shoreline, Turning Point, working to build a strong community of care for at-risk youth and families. We run an afterschool tutoring program, summer day camps, provide healthy snacks and free summer lunches and cultivate a giving garden that donates fresh, organic vegetables to the HopeLink food bank. I love my job and am a big believer in the idea that if we all offer our gifts to the community, there will be more than enough. Alone we can so little. Together we can do so much.

Do you have any hobbies?

I am a mother of four so spending time with my family is my biggest “hobby.” Attending games, concerts and keeping up with all their activities keeps me busy, but it’s a fun season as they are now young adults (ages 14 – 22). They make me laugh everyday!

I am also an artist-singer-songwriter and I enjoy singing, writing, playing piano, and performing. Two years ago, I did a fan-funded project, releasing my debut album. This was after a rockstar moment I had singing with Sting at the Gorge a few years earlier (I know, long story) which inspired me to pursue my dreams as an artist.

She can definitely sing (my wife heard her preform

She can definitely sing (my wife has seen her preform live!)

I also enjoy hosting parties, cooking, reading, and days all to myself.

How did you first learn of CKO?

Trying not to be too discouraged that I was back up “here” again (on the scale and feeling pretty miserable in life), I was looking for something different, high intensity, and a location that worked good with my schedule. CKO came up on my internet search and as I began to read through all the testimonials and comments, I became increasingly convinced that I would get the results I was looking for.

What are some of your fitness goals?

My primary goal is to feel good in my own body. To be strong. To be fit. To be FREE. My fitness journey has been fraught with self-hate, self-rejection and harm, and it has been a long journey to learn how to love myself and honor and care for my body. Yes, I want to drop some weight and be able to do real push ups and pull ups, but more than that, I want to drop the self-consciousness and harsh cycles of hiding and striving and learn to love and accept myself as I am.

What is your favorite aspect of CKO?

I love the community, the energy, the intensity and the challenge. I love hitting the bag and channeling my inner “bad ass”. I have loved that everyone is welcome at CKO – all different flavors, sizes and ages. It is inspiring to work out besides so many people who are fighting back and changing their lives.

Participating in the boxing for boobies event

Participating in the boxing for boobies event

What was the best part about the challenge?

I loved getting to know people better and the sense of encouragement and motivation I felt because of it.

What was the hardest part about the challenge?

Five times a week was brutal. My life is very full, working, being a mom and involved in my community. Often this meant waking up at 5:15 am and making the early classes, sometimes right after I had worked out the night before. In addition, the boot camps were sheer torture for me — I felt like I was literally going to throw up, they pushed me so hard. I had to try not to think about that as I made my way to the gym on Saturday mornings.

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?

You guys do! The CKO community is very inspiring. I have worked way too hard to stop now. I’m beginning to see and feel the fruit of it, and I want to be an inspiration to myself and to my family.

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?

Meal prep and planning is still challenging. Sometimes my diet can be missing greens or enough protein or I find myself hungry if I don’t plan ahead.

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential?

I think you are already out there ahead of us. I love the blogs, the challenges, the events, the personal training, and I am excited to see what 2.0 looks like.

Bootcamp anyone?

Bootcamp anyone?

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining CKO)!

Since joining in January, I have lost 48 pounds! I began working out 3 times a week and eating Paleo (even though I could barely get through a class!), and I lost 30 pounds by the time July rolled around. I had wanted to do the spring challenge only to find out it was full, but I just kept going. I coasted through the month of August with a move and vacations and then did the 10 week challenge this fall (I think I was one of the first to sign up this time!), losing another 17 pounds (now 18). I am very proud of myself as I met my goal of completing 50 classes and staying on track with my eating. I lost a total of 11.5 inches and improved my fitness stats across the board! My goal is to keep going with the lifestyle changes, continue to drop extra pounds, build strength and feel great!

10-Week Challenge (Jen Kostanich)

Jen has been with us just shy of 2-years, starting her CKO Seattle journey back in February 2013. During her time here, she has made amazing progress, specifically in the quality of life category. Jen who was a former cardio kickboxing instructor, found her way back into the kickboxing world after suffering from fairly severe depression. However, if you know Jen, than you know she is definitely a fighter, and while she was down, she definitely was not out!

During the 10-week challenge Jen mentioned numerous times that she really struggled with the recommended diet. However I have a really hard time believing this as she seems to be a master chef in the kitchen. When I would review her weekly food logs, I was amazed at the quality of food she was preparing. Seriously, I was secretly jealous of how well she was eating. Then as if to confirm her food magic, Jen showed up to the CKO Halloween party with the best salads I think I ever had (did someone say bacon?), and if you don’t believe me just ask Jon Rogers (we had to physically remove the salad bowl from his hands so other could enjoy). In fact I even talked about this amazing salad in the 21-day eat like the Renon Challenge...

So congratulation Jen you are definitely an amazing person, and whatever you are doing in the kitchen please keep it up 😉

Read more about Jen’s story below:

September 2014 - November 2014

September 2014 – November 2014

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job?

I am a 5th grade teacher.  So, basically, a full-time superhero.  My superpower is not hurting myself or others.  Breve lattes are my kryptonite. 

Do you have any hobbies?

I love gardening and fussing around in my yard.  I have a dog that I like to spoil.  I love to read and am part of a really fun wine (I mean book) club. 

How did you first learn of CKO?

I used to take cardio kickboxing classes and teach (secret blown!) at MMAA in Wallingford with Keven Caldwell, but he closed up shop and moved to Arizona a few years ago.  I took a break from kickboxing and really missed it.  My husband pointed out CKO to me, and I dragged my lazy feet for a while because I was nervous about being out of practice and I was suffering from depression, but I finally walked in the doors a little over a year ago, and I’m glad I did!

What are some of your fitness goals?

I’m just on a rampage to be the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been in my life.  I’m getting close.  Oh, and abs. I want abs.  I know they’re under there, under a diminishing layer of fat.  They WILL be revealed!!!  I’d like to get in good enough shape that you ask me to teach for you some day 🙂

Talk about commitment! Jen was only 1 of 3 people that actually finished this action challenge! Way to finish what you started!

Talk about commitment! Jen was only 1 of 3 people that actually finished this action challenge! Way to finish what you started!

What is your favorite aspect of CKO? 

One of my favorite parts is that it’s never easy or boring!  There’s always that next level to shoot for, whether it’s doing burpees at every break, or banning yourself from doing knee push-ups (working on that). The instructors are fantastic and inspirational. I’m always gassed at the end of a class, and intend to keep it that way.  

 What was the best part about the challenge? 

I think it was the community part.  Before the challenge I really just kept to myself – I showed up, worked out, and walked out.  I’m an introvert at heart, and it’s hard for me to make connections with people.  I feel like the challenge gave me an opportunity to get to know a bunch of great people that motivate and inspire me. 

I was also PSYCHED about my results – 12 inches off and 7 pounds lighter!  My 1 min. push ups, squats, and sit ups all went up significantly as well.  I couldn’t tell I was changing because it’s a slow process – 10 weeks felt like forever.  So I was over the moon about my results. 

Jen

Looking great!

Another great part was breaking my sugar and alcohol addictions – I was ingesting far too much sugar, and drinking way more than I should have.  I still struggle with cravings for these things, but have them much more under control than before.  I don’t miss bread or pasta much, surprisingly.  Except for naan (see “What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with”, below).

What was the hardest part about the challenge?

The hardest part was definitely the change in the way I eat.  The first two weeks I would go to the grocery store to try to buy stuff for dinner, and each time I felt like crying (or actually did, once I got to the car).  So much seemed off-limits.  I had headaches for 3 days from sugar withdrawal.  I mourned beer as if my best friend had died.  The struggle was real.

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?

I think my current mid-life crisis is what keeps me going (woo hoo!).  I am resisting getting older and fatter and uglier and wimpier.  I want to better myself, have more energy, get stronger, keep the depression demons at bay.  Age is just a number, baby!

Jen at our Boxing for boobies event!

Jen at our Boxing for boobies event!

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with? 

I wish I could say I have no cravings left, but that’s not true.  All I want is a goddamn piece of hot fluffy naan straight from the tandoori oven.  You know????

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential? 

Yell at me more during class.  Make it personal.  I won’t cry (in front of you)

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining CKO)! 

CKO, along with other therapies, helped to dig me out of a deep depression.  Several years ago I had 4 miscarriages in the span of less than 2 years.  I know this is personal, and the subject seems taboo, but that’s exactly why I’m sharing it.  There’s a real stigma around the subject, and little in the way of support systems to help a woman cope with pregnancy loss.  Anyway, once I started working out hard and letting out some of the grief and the anger on the bag on a regular basis, things slowly started to get better.  I started living life for myself, and focused less on my losses.  I don’t know if I’ll ever ‘get over’ the trauma I experienced, but I definitely have better coping skills now, and CKO was an instrumental part of that healing, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.