The best day of the week to workout!

It was a random Saturday morning during the summer of 2010 that completely changed my life for the better! On this particular morning I decided to do something that I refused to do for many years, which was get up early and go to the gym. I have always been consistent in the gym (during the work week) but I rarely worked out on the weekends with the exception of participating in sporting events. The reason? The weekend was my time off and more importantly, it was my time to sleep-in!!!

CKO Kickboxing Seattle Motivation

So what changed?

I had recently fell in love with Kickboxing however I had a hard time fitting the classes into my already jam packed schedule. Then, the night before (Friday), my plans fell through, which meant I actually got to bed at a decent time. Suddenly I found myself wide awake at 7am on a Saturday morning feeling well rested and eager to take on the day. I checked the Kickboxing schedule and saw there was an 8am class. So after a quick mental battle between going back to bed or getting up, I decided I was going to do something different. I got up and went to my first early Saturday Morning workout and my life was never the same again!

CKO Kickboxing Shoreline Washington

Why was this particular Saturday morning workout life changing?

A typical Saturday morning for me usually consisted of sleeping-in anywhere between 8:30am and 10:00am depending on what I did the night before. Then once I got up, I would just “lounge around” the house doing a whole lot of nothing and it would usually be sometime after-noon (1 or 2 pm) before I did anything remotely productive. However on the Saturday of my early morning workout, I worked out, made breakfast, and cleaned the entire house all before 11am. Not only did I get way more done, I had a ton more energy. The entire day was amazing, I felt as if I had just unplugged from the Matrix and finally saw the world as it was supposed to be, I felt ALIVE, instead of feeling lazy and lethargic like I did most Saturdays.

Unfortunately, a lot of people still hold on to the “Saturday and Sunday are my time to sleep-in” mindset and because of this, they are extremely hesitant to workout on their “days off”. And this is a damn shame! Because an early morning workout on your day off just might be the most important workout of your week!

Anthony Robbins Quote, CKO Kickboxing

Reasons why (early morning) weekend workouts are life changing:

  • Wakes you up! – The hardest part about an early morning workout is getting your ass out of bed. But once your workout is complete, you feel absolutely amazing. Not to mention you will have tons of more energy, which allows you to make the most of your day off instead of waisting yet another weekend “lounging around”.
  • Reduces stress – Sure, all workouts reduce stress, but this is not just any day, this is your day off! So working out first thing in your morning is a great way to shake off the stress of the work week and to also free up your mind to enjoy your weekend!
  • Forces you to make smarter choices the night before – This is like killing 2-birds with one stone. If you commit to an early morning workout, you might think twice about mindlessly staying up late or having a few too many drinks.
  • You have the time – Most people are extremely busy during the weekend however you can usually find time for yourself in the morning before the rest of your family gets up!

weekend-motivation-healthup-up-your-fitness-digitally-Bvu3jn-quote

Challenge:

I am challenging you to complete just 4 workouts over the next 30-days. That’s it just 4!

How it works:

On either Saturday or Sunday you need to complete your workout before noon. Post your workout on Facebook and use the hashtags #GarettRenonTraining and #WeekendWarrior.

2.0 Next level fitness, bootcamp Shoreline WA

What if you can’t get to a gym?

If you can’t get to a gym you can read this (for some ideas) or go for a 20-min jog around the neighborhood and then set a timer for 20-mins and do As Many Round As Possible of:

  • 10 pushups
  • 10 Squats
  • 20 jumping jacks
  • 20 mountain climbers
  • 20 walking lunges

Summary

Complete 4 early morning weekend workouts over the next 30-days. After the 30-days you can thank me for changing your life 😉

CKO Kickboxing Seattle Washington

 

 

 

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How to get the most out of a CKO Kickboxing Class (Hitting the bag)

During a typical CKO Kickboxing class you can expect to hit the bag hundreds if not thousands of times over the course of the hour. So it should only make since that in order to get the most out of class you need to understand how to properly hit the bag. But before you can hit the bag you have to ask yourself, “are all bags created equal”? The short answer is NO…

CKO Kickboxing Seattle. Real people

Choosing a bag

When you walk into a CKO you will find that some bags are dragging on the ground while others are actually hanging.

So whats better dragging or hanging?

Well the political answer is that depends on your personal preference. However, the professionals use a “hanging bag” because the “natural” movement of the bag provides for a more realistic feel which allows the puncher to better work on his/her timing, rhythm, and control.

CKO Seattle, How to hit a CKO heavy bag

While timing and rhythm are very important (maybe a future blog post) I want to talk more about control. When a new person hits a hanging bag for the first time they might find themselves having a hard time controlling the bag. Even though our heavy bags are heavy (weighing in at 125-lbs) if they are hanging they are very easy to move. In fact on occasion we have kids classes and these kids can easily get the bag moving with minimal effort…

CKO Kickboxing Seattle David Vitale

So if a child can easily move a hanging heavy bag with just a few punches and kicks you can start to understand where the control aspect comes into play. Below is a short 10sec video of World Middle Weight Champion Canelo Alvarez throwing some hooks on a heavy bag. If you know nothing about Canelo just know this, he is considered to be one of the hardest pound for pound punchers in all of boxing. This means he can punch harder the you, me, and all the kids that have ever taken our class.

Check out the video before reading on…

Hopefully you noticed two things from the video:

  1. He is punching the bag extremely hard
  2. The bag is barely moving.

The bag is barely moving because he is snapping his punches. In other words he is hitting the bag like a “whip”, minimizing the amount of time he is actually in contact with the bag.

The big take away:

If you find yourself on a hanging heavy bag and you notice the bag swinging wildly after just a few punches then you are “pushing” your punches. So instead of “pushing” your punches take a lesson from Canelo and snap your punches. I like to imagine that the bag is extremely hot (well over 1000-degree) because the bag is so “hot” I need  minimize the amount of time my fist is in contact with the bag.

Once you start to become successful at snapping your punches you will start to notice two benefits immediately:

  1. Your punches are much harder and faster – Which makes you feel like a badass
  2. Your class enjoyment go up because well you feel like a badass

This is perfect because punching the bag harder and more class enjoyment are two key ingredients to helping you reach your fitness goals!!!

Give it a try, and if you still need help snapping your punches we offer one-on-one focus mitt sessions.

Charmaine Strom CKO Seattle

30-day Bulletproof Coffee Experiment

Are you ready to try the most delicious experiment ever? Not only is this experiment delicious, it is easy to do, and the results can be life changing…

Coffee, challenge, fat loss

Why should you try this experiment?

There are many reasons why you should try this experiment but we are only going to focus on one:

Fat loss

It all comes down to fat loss…

Every aesthetic fitness goal from losing 30-lbs, to chasing that elusive 6-pack, to wanting to look hot for your wedding (or recent divorce), it all comes down to fat loss!

It’s true! You will be more likely to achieve your desired results if you just focused on fat loss instead of; the numbers on the scale, or the amount of calories consumed (or burned), or staying in the “orange zone”, or counting steps. This is because “weight loss” means almost nothing if your body fat percentage does not change.

For example –  Losing 10-lbs while maintaining 35% body fat does very little for you health and even your appearance. However a 5% to 10% decrease in body fat while maintaining your current weight will not only make you much healthier but you will look a whole lot better naked!

That’s what this experiment is designed to do, teach your body to become a fat burning machine in just 30-days!

How?

By drinking “butter coffee” for breakfast!!!

Bulletproof coffee challenge

“Butter Coffee” It’s whats for Breakfast

Yes it true, you will be drinking coffee mixed with butter and MCT oil for breakfast and this coffee concoction will allow you to receive all the benefits of fasting (intermitted fasting) while providing you energy and most importantly keeping you satiated.

I am not going to go into any real detail about the science behind fasting, so if you want to know more please read this and this. If you don’t care about the science all you need to know is this — drinking bulletproof coffee allows you to easily fast for 16-to-18 hrs everyday. Why is this important? Because while you are fasting, you are burning FAT!!!

Benefits of drinking Bulletproof Coffee

  1. The fat from the butter satisfies your hunger, while allowing for proper hormonal functions. Not to mention that the fat allows for a slower absorption of the caffeine from the coffee which prevents the coffee “jitters” and gives you more consistent energy through out the day.
  2. MCT oil – This oil converts to Ketones which is an energy source preferred by the brain. The result? More mental clarity and another source of energy.
  3. Caffeine – No explanation need, we all love caffeine and we all know the benefits…
  4. It is delicious!!!

Rules of experiment (In order)

  1. Consume Bulletproof coffee every morning
  2. Fast for a minimum of 16-hrs every day (30-days)
    • Only “food” allowed during the fast is butter coffee
  3. Take bodyfat measurement before (and after) you start the experiment. If you are in the Seattle area you can take your bodyfat measurement at 2.0 Next Level Fitness.
  4. Keep carbs under 100-grams everyday
  5. All carbs must be consumed after a workout or as late as possible in the day
  6. No Sugar or sugar substitutes
  7. Must do 5-workouts a week
  8. Optional but recommended for best results – No alcohol
  9. Optional but recommended for best results – At least 1-workout a week must be done in a fasted state. This means a morning workout before you eat and food.

Example – Typical day(s) during the experiment

Day 1

  • 6:30 am – Drink Bulletproof coffee
  • 11:00 am – Lunch
  • 2:00 pm – Snack (optional)
  • 5:00 pm – Workout
  • 7:00 pm – Dinner

Day x (morning “fasted” workout)

  • 6:30 am – Drink Bulletproof coffee
  • 9:00 am – Workout
  • 11:00 am – Lunch
  • 2:00 pm – Snack (optional)
  • 7:00 pm – Dinner

Experiment Summary

  • Day 0: Take bodyfat measurement
  • Day 1 – Drink bulletproof coffee first thing in the morning and then proceed to eat lunch and dinner when hungry
  • Days 2-30: Fast for a minimum of 16-hrs, keep carbs below 100-grams, and workout a minimum of 5-days a week
  • Day 31: Measure bodyfat

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I really have to put butter in my coffee? YES!
  2. How does it taste? Like a warm hug
  3. Do I have to use the Bulletproof coffee beans? No. The Bulletproof coffee beans are very tasty and high quality but any quality coffee will do.
  4. Can I use Coconut oil instead of MCT oil? No. While coconut oil is healthy and does contains MCTs the amount of MCTs in coconut oil is not enough to see the benefits we are looking for.
  5. What type of butter should I use? Kerry Gold or any pastured raised (high quality) butter
  6. How do I make bulletproof coffee? Go here
  7. Where can I get the Bulletproof beans or MCT oil? We sell it at CKO Kickboxing Seattle and 2.0 Next Level Fitness, or you can purchase online at www.bulletproof.com
  8. Is XCT oil the same as MCT oil? Yes!
  9. What is the difference between XCT oil and Brain Octane? While both are great, the Brain Octane is just higher quality. 

A Few More Details

To signup –  Email me at garett@teamrenon.com with “BP Coffee, I’m in” in the subject line. From there- you will receive an invite into a private facebook group. We will use the group to ask questions, provide tips, and check-in with each other.

Thank you in advance for participating. I look forward to seeing your results!

 

 

 

Grease the Groove Push-up Experiment Results.

push up experiment (1)

On May 9, 2016 I started the Grease the Groove Push-up experiment (read about the experiment details here). Well it has been 30-days and the results are in and quite frankly they are amazing!

Garett Renon pushup experiment grease the groove

May 9th, 2016 (Finding my baseline)

Experiment Summary

  • Day 1 – Determine push-up max
  • Divide your day 1 push-up max by 2 – This is the amount of pushups to be performed each and every set.
  • Perform your pushups 6 days a week (rest one day a week)
  • Days (2  – 15) – Perform 5 sets of push-ups per day with at least 1-hr break between sets
  • Days (16 – 29) – Perform 6 sets of push-ups per day with at least 1-hr break between sets
  • Day 30 – Retest you push-up max (hopefully your pushup max has increased)

Results

There were 17 people that completed the experiment and nearly all had improvements well above 20%. Well everyone except me (LOL). I was able to crank out 2 more for a 6.7% increase. While I don’t like to make excuses, my excuse is that on Monday June 6, 2016 I completed my StrongFirst Snatch Test. The result? I am now a certified StrongFirst Kettlebell instructor! That’s the great news, the not so good news, is that my body was so sore and tired from the test that it took everything I had to crank out 2 more pushups. It’s all good, because an improvement no matter how small is still an improvement so I will take it!!!

Ok now lets look at the results of everyone else (see figure below).

Garett's Pushup experiment results.

Average improvement was 74%

As you can see all 17 people where able to increase the amount of push-ups and some made unbelievable progress progress. In fact the average strength (pushup) increase was nearly 74%! This is incredible!

Final Verdict

The grease the groove method works!!! So if you want to improve your pushups, “train often, but never to failure” or in other words “stimulate but don’t annihilate”!

10 Week Challenge Results (Amy Colburn) part 2

If you are looking for the best program to make a complete healthy lifestyle transformation, look no further than the 10-week challenge.

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Meet Amy Colburn, a high school math and science teacher, a two time 10-week challenge graduate (read about first challenge here), a “swinger” of kettlebells and a “lifter” of heavy weights. Amy is one of 2.o Next Level Fitness’s most consistent members and it shows through her strength. Amy has deadlifted nearly 250-lbs and her Kettlebell form is top notch and she gets better and stronger every day!

Congratulations Amy on completing the 10-week challenge!

To hear about Amy’s experience read the interview below.

2.0 10-week challenge

March 2016 – May 2016

Besides being an absolute warrior in the gym, what is your day job?

I am a high school math and science teacher at Everett High School!
How did you learn about the challenge and was it a hard decision to sign up?
I did the fall 10 week challenge and it went so well that I decided to do the spring challenge as well! It wasn’t hard to sign up for a second challenge because of the time and effort that Garett, Jessica, and everyone else at CKO and 2.0 put into the challenges. 
Challenge Photo
What was your favorite aspect of the challenge?
My favorite aspect of the challenge is all the encouragement from the trainers and the other challengers. It doesn’t matter if you are doing amazingly or struggling, everyone is always willing to put in the time to encourage, offer advice, or just be there to lend an ear.
What was the hardest part about the challenge?
This challenge was more difficult for me than the first one. As a teacher, the fall is a time where school is just starting and energy is high – because of this the challenge was another way to focus that energy and I was able to stay super focused. I think being towards the end of school, this challenge was more difficult to find that same sense of consistency. I was able to stay consistent in the gym but I found myself making choices that maybe weren’t the best food wise.
2.0 next level fitness Squats Shoreline

Drop it like a squat!

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day…
Seeing progress! Of course the scale is always there, but I typically care more about the progress I make in the gym. Knowing that over the course of just 10 weeks I can see gainz 😁 in all of the different exercises is really cool. 
Kettlebell front rack 2.0 Strongfirst

Amy loves Kettlebells

What would your advice be to some considering doing a 10 week challenge?
I would definitely encourage anyone to do a 10 week challenge. Don’t be afraid to join or think that you can’t do it because of this, that, or something else. The owners and trainers at 2.0 and CKO are amazing and have always helped me modify things or give suggestions on improving what I can do.

10 Week Challenge Results (Jessica Ketola) part 3

If you are looking for the best program to make a complete healthy lifestyle transformation, look no further than the 10-week challenge.

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Meet Jessica Ketola, a mother, a nonprofit director, a musical talent, a kickboxer, a weight lifter, a fitness inspiration and an overall great person. In addition to all this Jessica, is also a 3 time graduate of the 10-week challenge. Each challenge provides unique learning experiences and during this challenge Jessica learned that our “simple” fitness plans are not always so simple

However despite all the twists and turns of her journey she still managed to find time to workout.

To hear about Jessica’s experience read the interview below.

March 2016 - May 2016

March 2016 – May 2016

The Jessica Ketola Interview

Besides being an absolute warrior in the gym, what is your day job?

Executive Director for a local nonprofit, Turning Point, that serves at-risk youth and low-income families in the neighborhood
Do you have any hobbies?
Not really. Raising four kids has kind of been my hobby over the last 20 years — but I do enjoy cooking, entertaining, enjoying family, friends and strangers, and laughing, dancing and drinking wine. After which I love to indulge myself in a good book, a hike, a spa day, or some delicious silence and solitude.
CKO Kickboxing Shoreline. Real People Real results

Being strong is our right! Jessica working towards completing the CINCO

How did you learn about the challenge and was it a hard decision to sign up?
This was my third challenge (read about the other two here and here). CKO has been life-changing for me and I wanted the extra push that the challenges provide to keep me working hard, growing and testing my limits.
What was your favorite aspect of the challenge?  
I loved the Semi-Private Training. During the last challenge, I discovered that I really liked strength training and so this time I took full advantage and improved my strength all around.
What was the hardest part about the challenge?
They say the journey is never a straight line but a bumpy, twisty journey and this time, I found that to be ever so true. My dear friend, pastor and colleague was diagnosed with a heart attack and congestive heart failure that is very serious. After which my husband was rushed to the hospital and we were told he was having a heart attack. Fortunately for us, he was NOT having a heart attack but pericarditis (inflammation of the heart sac) but after a rocky night where he flatlined and they had to resuscitate him and two nights in the hospital, our family was pretty rocked. Add to that, taking on the lead responsibility of our church in addition to everything I was currently doing which was already too much, you get one of the most stressful months I have been fortunate to live through. So, I may or may not have eaten a whole MOD gluten free pizza one night in the hospital and I certainly began to give myself allowances of wine and chocolate. But I didn’t quit. I traveled a whole week away and still got my 50 workouts in!
Bootcamp 2.0 Seattle, shoreline

Jessica (bottom left) after a very intense bootcamp

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?
You guys do! This gym is my happy place. Garett and Jessica, all the staff and just some really great people who are all pushing themselves to become the best versions of themselves.
What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?
Self-acceptance and maintaining fitness and health in balance with the occasional indulgences and stress of everyday life.
I am CKO
What would your advice be to some considering doing a 10 week challenge?
Do it! It will change your life!
What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential? 
I think you are doing it. Thank you!
Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other team members might not know about you.
 
The last couple challenges I have seen dramatic results. This time, being closer to my ideal weight, my gains were much smaller. And yet, I made gains. I lost inches. I lost pounds. I lost fat. I built muscle. And I got stronger. My fitness improved across the board. One of my goals was to work on the emotional side of the challenge, and I feel I made some good progress there as well. And so all in all, I am proud of myself even if I didn’t “arrive.” The more I journey, the more I realize that there is no arrival destination. We all just keep progressing, growing, learning and evolving. So here’s to the journey! 
September 2014 - November 2014

September 2014 – November 2014 (Jessica after her first 10-week challenge