Monthly Archives: June 2014

And the Award Goes to…

By | Denver Fitness | No Comments

Me? Us? BOTH!

On behalf of Bonza and all of our trainers, we’d like to thank the good people of Denver for voting Bonza Bodies best Health Club/Gym in 5280’s Top of the Town. Being the readers’ choice in this category means a lot to us. It means our commitment to fitness and hosting awesome workout classes doesn’t go unnoticed. It means our focus on nutrition and exercise as a combined path to wellness is working. It means the passion we bring to work every day is met with passion from our members. For that, we thank you!

bonzaOh, and the awards don’t stop there. I, Jamie Atlas, won best Personal Trainer! Yep, it feels pretty awesome to be described as “the only person” who can convince people to wake up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday to go work out at Red Rocks. Kind of makes me feel like a rock star, even if the only thing I’ll ever do on that stage is teach boot camp classes (and tell awesome jokes).

As a personal trainer, it’s gratifying to know people out there find value in a workout that’s not just sweat-your-face-off challenging, but challenging in a functional, joint preserving, well thought-out way. You know, the kind that has you reaching for your goals, not just for your painkillers.

The Denver fitness scene is no joke. This town is full of great personal trainers, and we’re proud to be a part of it.

So we’re off to celebrate — but not too much, because we have class in the morning. See you there! You guys are the best!

(And if you’ve happened upon us for the first time, come see what all the fuss is about. We have locations in Denver and Lakewood and can’t wait to work out with you.)

Rise to the Challenge

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

As a personal trainer (and especially if you’ve ever been to one of my fitness classes), you know I like a challenge. They’re fun, they create accountability, and overall they’re a great way to kickstart healthy habits.

Let’s start with the fun part. Most challenges involve a group. And whether that’s in the gym, online or at Red Rocks, being able to play off the energy of your peers and support each other feels pretty awesome. (But don’t try to gang up on your trainers when the going gets tough – we’re hip to that game.)

Challenges create accountability. Sometimes there are digital tracking systems in place, like screens in the gym or an app/website where you log your info. (I recently wrote about some of my favorite fitness apps, if you’re in the market.) In the case of one of our fitness challenges here at Bonza, we have trainers and your challenge-mates to hold you accountable. Don’t think I won’t text you at 5:30 a.m. if I think you’re bailing out.

But let’s say you can’t get to class for some reason (and it better be good). Here’s a video I did with 9News that demonstrates a couple of exercises you can do at home to stay moving. All you need are dumbbells, cans of soup, small children, whatever you can find laying around.

And if you’re stuck in the office, here are some great tips from another interview I did with the lovely Corey Rose. Set a timer on your phone, take advantage of that time you have to get up and go to the copier, and try these. And challenge your coworkers to do the same!

So whether you started in May or you’re starting today, it’s not too late to challenge yourself to get movin’.

Help! I’m Overweight and Am Desperate for a Life Change!

By | Denver Fitness, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

By Bonza Trainer Jewel Shoaga

Most people who didn’t know me 6 years ago have no idea I use to weigh over 300lbs. When I tell them, the conversation usually goes like this:

jewel 2They say, “How much did you lose?” I say over 140 pounds. Then their jaws drop and I say, “Yes, I lost 140 lbs.”

They ask me how. My short answer is eating clean and exercise.

Nine times out of ten the next comment is, “Oh I am glad you did it the healthy way.”

Yes, everyone has seen those crazy fad diets come and go. Eating only cabbage soup and cleansing on a vinegar and chili drink. Or maybe one goes the way of popping those “diet” pills in hope of having that bikini or six-pack bod that is pasted to that pill bottle. Let us not forget about the shake weights, belly bands, ab rollers and “lifted” walking shoes. All of these things will work for maybe 1 or 10lbs (reaching) of weight loss and a toned body. The hardest part of these trends is you can’t keep it up for the rest of your life. Plain and simple, I skipped these fad diets and equipment.  I actively STOPPED, looked into the mirror, and saw what I had become. Next, I made a U-turn to find a road of wellness.

jewel 6

How do you lose that much weight and keep it off? My simply complicated answer is this: a life change! Finding and balancing the mind, body, spirit connection. Finding that balance is different for everyone. There is no formula that will work for the masses. I wish I could bottle it up and sell it!

Now wait, don’t feel totally discouraged. There are some basic guidelines to implement into your life. Start with honesty, humility, building real self-value, asking for support and doing it!

First, you need to be honest with yourself. The “no excuses” zone. As the actor Tyrese, says “excuses only sound good to those that make them.” Go ahead check it out on YouTube. Can you look at yourself in the mirror and say, “YES, I really messed this up; yes, I am overweight; yes, I really don’t know how to eat healthy?” Breathe! This is a major step. The main reason is you must admit defeat. Yet, there is great value right there. Wait, what value? Where do you find value? You are the valuable one! Yes, you must humble yourself to the truth that you have not been successful in this part of your life, but you are still worthy of it. Okay, now look in the mirror and say I am worth it (I know, it is corny). Just do it when no one is looking.

Alright, so far two steps have been realized. You have been honest and humbled. Next, is believing that you are worth it. I jewel 5have found that many people really struggle with believing that you are valuable. If you are of priceless value why not treat your body well? Think of the master sculptor. He starts with an ugly block of clay. Yet, in his mind he has already envisioned his masterpiece that will be sold for millions one day. Over time in his workshop he is carving and molding his masterpiece. You may feel you look like an ugly block of clay, but you have all the ingredients to create the new beautiful you. You have to know that what you do daily on your journey leads you one step closer to that masterpiece. Don’t let the onlookers of negativity only see you as that ugly block of clay. No, walk around your world, proud and beautiful even as you continue to fine-tune the masterpiece of you.

I believe this step of realizing your self-value is ongoing, as you take steps toward your life change. You must ask for help from people. You will need support. Talk with your doctor and dietician for a good food plan. Find a personal trainer to show you how to move your body to burn those calories and keep you accountable. Ask friends and family for their support. Make new friends at the gym and online who are on the same journey as you.

Most of all START! Eat clean and exercise. Use your support system of professionals to keep you on track and tweak your eating and exercise plan. Use your friends and family to keep you honest with yourself. Let them love you through challenges, battles and triumphs up ahead. Most of all don’t quit. You are worth WAY too much. Do you want and need a life change? Are you desperate for change? Then CHANGE! I did. And I’m rooting for you.