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Celebration Story – Karen Karnatz

I’ve been overweight all of my life, but when I hit the big 200 for the first time, I knew it was time to make a change. I had bounced around some; 170’s had been comfortable and 150’s meant I was doing well…but at 5’3, I was never what you would call fit and a size 12 was an acceptable medium.
The day I stepped on a scale and saw 200, I knew I was done letting weight gain happen to me, I was finally going to do something about it. I looked around for a place to start- what were the fit people doing? That was when I began to see running as something other than to be avoided; many runners appeared lean, so maybe there was something to it. Start up costs were cheap enough, just some shoes and some Gu (which I learned to love).
I found a couch to 5k podcast called Chubby Jones (warning, not for kids) and with the help of my headphones, I went from being able to run for a minute at a time to running for an entire 30 minutes. With all the running, moderate diet change and some whole food cleanses, I lost 50 lbs…and then I got pregnant and had my beautiful son.
The company I work for allows its employees to participate in a wellness program. If you agree to an annual health screen and to take certain steps to a healthier lifestyle, you get a credit on your medical plan. It was at my wellness screen in 2011 that I found out I was back at 200lbs. You could say I had just had a baby, but that was not an excuse I was willing to live with. For the second time, I was done letting weight gain happen to me and decided to take action. I got back into running,  reached out to friends that were runners who were all very supportive, pushing me when I needed it. I also joined a running club and the camaraderie  of the group helped to motivate me further.
I made some big goals and I accomplished them – in 2014 I was back down to the 150’s and completed a marathon – a seemingly impossible feat! How far I had come from who I used to be; inactive and unmotivated to make any physical changes. Now I could do anything!
So what was next? I had always admired strength and I now knew I could do the impossible…so why not try bodybuilding?
I have left 30 lbs amongst the free weights, cardio room and SCC at Sun Oaks, and I am grateful for the encouragement of the staff and the other early morning regulars. In just 9 months I again did the impossible; got up on a stage and showed off all of my hard work in a Women’s Figure competition.
Did I win? It depends on what that means to you. I could say I didn’t take home any trophies but I don’t think that is accurate – my transformation is my trophy. It took heart to do what I have done, mental fortitude and a willingness to push past any perceived physical limitations. I am a different person today than I was even a week ago, and I am forever grateful for the experience. The only question now is: what’s next?!
See you in the gym, fitness family!
-Karen Karnatz

Body Mind Retreat

sun-oaks-faviconSun Oaks Body Mind Retreat

Saturday, April 2nd

8am to 12:30pm

Take one class or several! Try BootCamp or Tribe Team Training

Retreat Schedule

-Randy will be giving 5 minute massages and myofascial release treatments

-Always wondered about metabolic detox? Ask Adam Meyer, DC!

-Roots Juice Bar will be here!

Seminar: The Body Mind Connection | 12-12:30pm

Cresswell Logo-1

presented by Suzanne Cresswell, OT, PT, CHT, Certified Ergonomist

-Recognition of Self – More than acceptance. Recognition of self implies an intelligent inquiry into the body & mind

-Mindful attention of the invisible and secret operating instructions of the human vessel

-Balance – physically, cognitively, sustainability


Team Challenge: Group Blast

Pre-Group Blast

Some days, working out is basically at the lower end of my “want to do” list.

Some days, an hour of Jimmy Fallon sounds better than an hour of sweat after a full day.
Some days, all I really want out of my non GMO/gluten free/vegan/dairy free/kosher Lärabar is the chocolate chips.

But not today. Today, our team is scheduled to take Group Blast. Group Blast is a completely new class to me. Now, the idea of “step aerobics” isn’t completely foreign to my body. My freshmen year PE class in high school dabbled with a step box, and, to be fair, I have taken Group Active before. But a near hour of using a step box will be a growing experience for me.

Part of our challenge is take each of the Group Fitness classes as a sales team, and on days like today, having a team to push and motivate me to class makes all the difference. If I was on my own today, I don’t know if I would make it to class, but if there is anything I am learning from our challenge so far is that fitness truly is better together.

Post Group Blast

In the realm of “step experience” Dan holds the highest honors amongst the three of us. Before class even started, Dan was light footedly stepping up and over the box. In that instant, Jo and I both knew, if classes were a competition, Dan would win Group Blast.
I was mainly worried I wouldn’t be able to get the steps down, but you repeat combos enough times you eventually get the idea. Overall, Blast is a near packed hour of Cardio with some added core work. The class is high energy, and the music adds to the overall “pumped” feeling of being in the class.

20 hours later, my calves definitely have a nice “worked” feeling, and I am still raving about how fun Group Blast is!

Where will your Membership Trio show up next?!

Heather Haddleton | Assistant Manager 

Membership Team Challenge: Group Ride

January: Membership Team Challenge.

With the New Year, our membership team is taking on a new challenge: to try each Group Fitness class, TOGETHER. While we have all tried a majority of the class, there are still a few each of us have not experienced. The 8 Group Fitness classes we will be taking during the next 6 weeks are: Core, Blast, Kick, Ride, Centergy, R30, Active, and Power. Be on the lookout for your favorite membership trio to appear in your Group Fitness classes these next 6 weeks!

Group Ride

We decided to start with one of Dan’s all-time favorite activities: Cycling. Even though Jo was running a leg of The Redding Marathon the next day, 8am Group Ride on a Saturday morning sounded like the perfect kick-off to our challenge.

7:57am – Dan has already been spinning away getting ready for Group Ride for the last 15 minutes. Jo and I quickly snag bikes next to Dan in the back. Dan and Jo are Group Ride veterans, but I am what you would call a Group Ride virgin. I have done thirty minute cycling class here and there, but a near hour long cycling class would be a stretch.

Trying new things can be scary. Putting yourself out there feels risky. Series of questions race through your mind: What if I can’t complete the class? What if I can’t figure out what to do? What if I look silly?

But the feeling of accomplishment is unparalleled! Putting yourself out there and taking a risk is WORTH IT. Perhaps you learn: Well, that class wasn’t for me. Or you might just absolutely fall in love with something new! One of my favorite Celebration Stories is from a member who is now one of our cycling instructors. She decided to try something new and just GO FOR IT. You can read her story here. As for me, I found I actually enjoying being on a bike for longer than 30 minutes. It felt great to start my Saturday with sweat!

Take the risk. Go for it. Try something new! You might just surprise yourself.

Heather Haddleton | Assistant Manager 

The Three Keys to a Successful New Year’s Resolution: Part 2


New Year’s Reservations

In the previous post we discussed the fragile nature of New Year’s Resolutions and the paradox of their simplicity.  We’ve all made solid plans for the upcoming year that fizzled out within a few weeks. The fact that an apparently easy goal can cause such frustration and discouragement, is the calling card of good intentions in January.

Also covered in the last post is that we are ultimately committed to the pay-off of our habitual actions not our opinion of them.  These actions can either be perceived as positive or negative; it doesn’t matter.  The point is, we will eventually lean into the decision which brings the greatest immediate reward for our actions.  It also doesn’t matter if the decision is conscious or subconscious.  What matters is that we predict an end result from our actions, and based upon the expected cost/reward; towards that end, we are pulled.


Some will argue that if we want something bad enough then we can always change a habit.  This can certainly be true, yet in most cases where change occurs, almost always, there is a preceding state of breakthrough – a time when we get smacked in the face with our situation and imminent future.  There is a moment when reality breaks through the smoky cloud of perception, and an intense beam of clarity alters our perception.

The problem with this notion is that a breakthrough moment is never personally conscripted.  Just because we know that smoking will dramatically increase our chances of every conceivable metabolic disease doesn’t mean it will alter our perspective on the now – the current pay-off of lighting one up.  Desire is a crucial factor in successful goal achievement, but by itself, desire is difficult to manipulate, and it tugs in both directions.

Willy-Nilly Power

In order to make a resolution a reality we must avoid setting ourselves up for failure.  When we believe that our current attitude and desire for something will remain constant, then we foolishly ignore nature and our history.  It’s like promising a grocery store that you will sell them 1,000 bushels of corn next month, when you haven’t even planted any.

The truth is, willpower is a finite commodity. What I mean is, our will to keep doing something can be exhausted if it is not resupplied.  Determination needs more than a decision.

In a compelling study completed in 1998 by Roy Baumeister, subjects were brought into a waiting room filled with the aroma of fresh-baked cookies. The table before them held a plate of the cookies and a bowl of radishes. Some subjects were asked to sample the cookies, while others were asked to eat the radishes. Afterward, they were given 30 minutes to complete a difficult geometric puzzle. Baumeister and his colleagues found that people who ate radishes (and resisted the enticing cookies) gave up on the puzzle after about 8 minutes, while the lucky cookie-eaters persevered for nearly 19 minutes, on average. Drawing on willpower to resist the cookies, it seemed, drained the subjects’ self-control for subsequent situations.(1)

Obviously this is just one study, but it does shed light on what is easily identified from personal experience.  When we are frustrated, angry, sad, disappointed, or burdened with any other common negative emotion; we display a much greater tendency to throw off restraint or capitulate under additional pressure.  It’s no wonder the life-span of most New Year’s Resolutions can be measured in days.

So what is the answer?  Carrots and Sticks can be effective as long as you have the will to follow through on the positive and negative reinforcement.  As we’ve seen, however the will-power to do anything is suspect if the stress of life rises high enough.  We must create a plan that takes into consideration all the natural weaknesses that we will most certainly display on a pretty consistent basis.  We must also integrate what we know about basic human decision-making; applying the pay-off phenomenon to our plan.

There are 3 programmable strategies we can all use to control the depth of personal cost, while magnifying the reward associated with any attempted habit change.  These strategies, or “keys” to a successful New Year’s Resolution are:

  1. Simplify the plan
  2. Join a tribe
  3. Consult the Stars

In the next post, I will breakdown these keys into functional strategies anyone can use to make real changes in their life.

Matthew Perdue | Director of Personal Training