Sarah's Fit Blog

New Challenge!

Posted in Live by Sarah on January 31, 2012

I’ve been slacking on the blog because of the workload that’s been handed to me during my 9 to 5, so to keep on track, I’ll take another Photo Challenge! Perhaps the last 100 day photo challenge was a bit much. What did I make it to, like 15? Ah well. I think this one is attainable:


Sweat Junkies!

Posted in Live by Sarah on January 23, 2012

Wow, I am so happy to announce that my group and I made the local paper! Check out the article in Now Salt Lake magazine:



Working out is something we all need to do, but it’s easier said than done. Finding time to dedicate to a serious workout is difficult and even then, working out solo tends to find people making excuses to skip a workout.

Many fitness experts suggest finding someone to work out with to keep you motivated, so we found Sarah, a licensed fitness guru who not only teaches at different gyms, but also organizes a group called Sweat Junkies that is open to anyone who wants to join and encourages you to keep moving.

We talk to her about her classes and the Sweat Junkies group to give you an idea of just how easy it can be to get on the track towards being physically fit. It may be a track filled with obstacles, but with a group like the Sweat Junkies, you are sure to have a friend by your side every step of the way.

Tell us about your background.
I’m a certified personal fitness trainer and group fitness instructor. The industry is constantly evolving, and I try my best to keep up with the trends. I also hold certificates through Nautilus Institute’s Schwinn Cycling Fitness, ISCA Kickboxing, TRX, R.I.P.P.E.D. and will soon be CrossFit certified.

How long have you been involved in fitness?
If you had told me 15 years ago that I’d be where I’m at now, I would have thought you were joking. I played a few sports as a kid, but I didn’t pass physical education until my senior year of high school. I took the Body-for-Life challenge back in 2000, which taught me how to eat properly and gave a simple exercise program to follow six days a week for 12 weeks. It’s been my passion ever since.

Where do you train?
I teach group fitness at Gold’s Gym in Sandy as well as Punisher Muay Thai in South Salt Lake. I’m also an avid runner and try to get outdoors as much as possible.

How are your classes different from others?
My theory is that you’ve got to push yourself past your comfort zone to realize your potential. I tend to draw endurance athletes and competitive people to my classes because of the intensity in my class structure. I’ll have new people come to classes who may be intimidated at first, but then come up to me afterwards and say that they didn’t know they were capable of doing such hard work. Don’t get me wrong, I always show ways to modify each exercise, but I also ask that you push yourself. You get out of it what you put into it. It’s one hour out of your day that you are taking to better your body, your performance, yourself … so you might as well give it 100 percent.

What is Sweat Junkies and what motivated you to start it?
Sweat Junkies began as a few friends who came to me for advice. They wanted to start working out but didn’t know where to begin. I offered to work out with them all together, and it grew from there. So far there are more than 50 of us. I give a list of at least five workouts/classes each week for them to choose from. We also have a Facebook group page that serves as a forum for communication where we share our workouts, recipes, schedules and just to simply chat. This is my passion and being able to share it with like-minded people is all I could ever ask for.

What sort of activities/events do you organize for this group?
I encourage them all to attend my classes and to try new classes that I find around town or that other members teach. I also inform the group of races and events throughout the year. Many of us are already signed up for the Run Like a Girl half-marathon, Tubbs Romp to Stomp snowshoe series, Komen SLC Race for the Cure 5K, the Dirty Dash, and the River Rampage triathlon. When weather permits, I organize group runs, hikes and sports events like kickball and tennis, etc. My goal is to get people moving and allow them to find out what they love to do, which will keep them motivated — kind of like teaching a kid to ride a bike without training wheels. I’m there for them to guide them and help build their confidence and as they gain momentum and take off on their own — I run along side them and cheer them on.

Is there a fee to be a part of the fitness events you organize for the Sweat Junkies?
There is no fee to simply be a member of the group. The only fees one would have to pay are fees that third parties may charge for their services. Just a commitment to “any how, any way, break a sweat every day.” That’s my patent-pending quote! I am shopping around for my own aerobics studio space for next year, but we will be outside a lot this spring and summer.

Why should someone consider working out with the Sweat Junkies?
We are a fun, silly, crazy group that encourage each other and share the same passion and adventurism. The energy is very light-hearted and we do a lot of laughing when we get together, but being in the group also holds you accountable to show up to events you say you’ll be at. We’ve all become great friends, and hey, you can never have too many friends! It’s a fact that partnering up helps you stick to your program, stay motivated and it keeps you from getting bored.

What body benefits do your classes and events give those who participate?
Any exercise is essential for all-around wellness, which is the main benefit, but the activities we do are varied. You’ve probably already seen the P90X infomercials and heard Tony Horton talk about muscle confusion. I guess you could say that’s what we do, but I believe that variety is the spice of life. One day we might focus on plyometrics, which are great for reflexes and a great form of cardio, another day we might do boxing, which really sculpts the upper body and the next we’ll go for a hike, not just to work on our lower body, but to simply enjoy the clean air and scenery. Aside from physical benefits, we exercise wellness in the form of social interaction and emotional support. To me those are two very important things in life.

What would you say to someone who wants to start working out but doesn’t know where to start?
My first piece of advice is to get inspired. Read a fitness-related book, check into your family health history, find a reason. Then get the right attire, find a friend who wants to start working out with you, write down your long-term goal and set a series of short-term goals that will get you there. Start slow and work your way up. Walking is one of the best recommendations I have. It’s low impact, it gives you time to yourself, and it’s free! If you are interested in hiring a trainer, shop around and find someone who you connect with.

What dietary advice would you offer to someone working out and hoping to shed some pounds?
This is a topic that gets so blown out of proportion, but is really so simple. Eat whole foods that were meant to be eaten. Vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, nuts, whole grains. Obviously processed foods are unhealthy and your body doesn’t benefit from them at all. Cut out the junk: soda, fried food, white bread, etc. I personally try to avoid dairy because of the high sugar content. As the late, great Jack LaLanne once said, “If man made it, don’t eat it.”

Frustrating Fads

Posted in Live by Sarah on January 4, 2012

I don’t know which upsets me more: that fact that 63% of American adults are either overweight or obese and are desperate to lose weight, or the fact that there are billionaires out there banking off of this statistic. It’s a broken record, a saga that most refuse to believe, that the one true way to maintain a healthy weight is through proper nutrition and exercise.

January is my favorite time of year because all things health-related are on sale. While at the store the other day, I turned the corner to find this mess of a display. Oral HCG drops screaming out loud with the help of clever and bold marketing.
Really people? Are you that naive? That desperate? That stupid? I have heard from a couple folks who tried the HCG diet years ago that they were put on a strict diet of 500-800 calories a day and were told not to exercise. Of course you are going to lose weight, you are starving yourself! And why do they ask you not to exercise? To cover their asses when you faint and decide to sue for putting you in such a dangerous disposition via perscription. HCG is a fertility drug. Why would you want to mess with hormones? Would you try steroids? Ever stop to think it might just be a placebo? I don’t mean to slam HCG specifically, there’s a whole list of supplements and programs that have been proven defective and shoved aside to make way for the next fad. Alli is the newest supplements and is FDA approved. Basically if you eat too much fat, you run the risk of pooping your pants. Ah vanity, gets them every time! What really scares me is that our statistics are so alarming, the FDA is in a frenzy to approve anything that will actually work. Oh how they went wrong on Phen-phen! Did you know that the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) bans any electronic advertisement (TV and radio) that claims weight loss without diet AND exercise? They have to be stated together, not one without the other. Why? Because there’s no such thing! It’s false advertising. And when these companies claim that their product works along with a healthy balanced diet, guess what, the diet component will account for 70% of your potential success and exercise the remaining 30%. There’s also no such thing as a magic pill, or an easy way to lose weight. It is, however, easy to incorporate a healthy lifestyle. All you need to do is make minor adjustments: plan your meals, schedule time for exercise, make wise choices and educate yourself. And if I see one more magazine cover that claims “lose 10 pounds without even trying” I am writing a nasty letter to the publisher. Sheesh.

2011 in review

Posted in Live by Sarah on January 1, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,600 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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