Monthly Archives: February 2015

VegaStrong: Championing For Carol

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Hi Bonza Family and Friends!

Do you like helping your fellow humans?   Read on.

This blog post you’re about to read is not about weight loss

It’s not about becoming a fitter you,

And it’s not about how to workout from home.

Today, we are asking for your help for a member and her family.

Rebecca is a participant in the Bonza Bodies 50 Day Total Body Transformation that is currently going on. She also co-authors a weekly blog post called Fitness Felines. Her mother Carol is terminally ill and currently receiving nursing care and hospice. She is receiving the best care possible to help make her as comfortable as possible and that care comes with a price. Rebecca and her family have started a fund to help raise money for her continued care.
Carol was diagnosed with COPD last summer. After being hospitalized in September for low sodium, she was put on oxygen full time and inhalers to help with respiration. During her stay, two spots were found on her left lung. The nodes were biopsied in November and confirmed to be Stage 3 Small Cell Cancer. Because of the location of the nodes, they are inoperable. Small cell cancer is very aggressive and though it could potentially be “slowed down” with chemotherapy, it cannot be cured. Carol opted not to pursue chemotherapy. The combination of her COPD and the nodes constricting her airways, breathing has become labored, resulting in restless sleep. After having to be hospitalized a few days before Christmas, Carol is now at Someren Glen, a skilled nursing facility. Summit Community Hospice is also providing care and resources.

Bonza Bodies has reached out to Rebecca and her family to extend a helping hand.
We will be doing a couple different things over the next couple weeks to help raise money for Carol and her family.

There will be an opportunity to donate money the night of the wine tasting. Bonza Bodies is holding a wine tasting and party for all of our members! This is also the official end party of the 50 Day Total Body Transformation. The party is Friday night the 27th at Bonza Bodies downtown beginning at 5pm! Come one come all we would love to see you there! Friends and family are very welcome!

Then on March 1st there is a Virtual Fun Run happening. This is a run/walk that can done from anywhere you’d like! All the family asks is that you send them your pictures of yourself/your group running or walking while wearing Red, Carol’s favorite color. You can share them with us on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook, hashtagging #vegastrong and #fitnessfelines.  If you would like to join the organized group for this event they are meeting at Confluence Park behind the REI downtown at 9 a.m. March 1st.  Anyone is welcome just make sure to wear red! Thanks for your support!

Lastly on Saturday March 7th Bonza Bodies will host a workout that anyone can attend for a $10 suggested donation. The workout will be will be a 90 minute butt kicking, to make sure you get your value for the money (donating never hurt so good!), that you have come to expect and love on a Saturday morning at Bonza. Depending on the response we get we may have 2 sessions! Right now the first session is at 730-9am (possible second session at 915-1045am). So go sign up on MBO and let us know you’re in! Then go to the VegaStrong Go Fund Me page and make a donation! You can also go to Red Rocks for a donation that morning but space is limited so get your butt signed up!

Thank you so much for your donation to this amazing family and courageous woman. If you are interested in learning more about this story or Bonza Bodies Small Group Fitness Studio email us at


And as always:

Stay True To Your Goals

Jamie Atlas


A Healthy Body Starts With The Right Calories

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I’ve heard it so many times.

A calorie is a calorie, it doesn’t matter where the calorie comes from…

What a load of crap. Yeah, I said it, a load of crap!

When trying to create a healthier, fitter version of you I can assure you it’s ALL about where the calorie comes from! Especially when you are counting those calories or restricting your intake of certain types of food. It is ALL about where the calorie comes from. Sit back, read awhile and let the friendly folk at Bonza Bodies Small Group Fitness Studio, located in downtown Denver, break it down for you!Playing-Outside

A calorie from a piece of cake (ah, the perfect world, where a piece of cake contains one calorie!) is NOT going to sustain your body throughout the day and give you the energy you need to function, run, play, workout, at your optimal level.

So when you are trying to make the best food options what is one thing you can look at on a consistent basis to help you make the right choice? It’s not always calorie count, fat, or protein you should be concentrating on. Those categories should always be taken into consideration throughout the course of your day but will not make or break your healthy eating habits. It’s carb content, it’s all about that sugar. Why do I say sugar? Because, simply put, that is what your body breaks a carb down to! When you consume carbs and/or sugar your body will break this down first and utilize it for energy, it’s a “fast fuel”. It’s easy for your body to break down and ultimately our bodies are efficient and energy saving. We haven’t evolved to to keep up with all the sugar we consume, our bodies are still thinking we need to go out hunting and gathering. I mean seriously, have you ever stopped to look at the food labels of all the foods you consume? SOOOOO much sugar.

So what does all of this mean?

It means that when you consume too many carbs or sugar your body is going to break down those calories first for energy and ignore everything else you put in your body (Hello Sugar Crash), or at least utilize it last.  And there is very little to no nutritional value in a carb or sugar-seriously look it up, our bodies are not meant to consume those foods. When an excess of carbs or sugar is consumed the body says “WOOOO HOOOO! Energy to store for future use because I was designed to store energy for times of famine, like winter!” Hence America’s spreading waistlines… Our bodies are thinking we are preparing for a nuclear holocaust.

Fear Not! Something as simple as watching the amount of carbs you consume can have a significant impact on your health! And thankfully for all of  us not a schooled in the art of choosing the right foods, here is Jamie Atlas, owner and founder of Bonza Bodies and world class personal trainer, to give us a quick tutorial about choosing the right foods, as seen at the Diabetes Association Expo in Denver, CO…

If you like what you see and are interested in learning more about Bonza Bodies Small Group Fitness Studio or the food plan developed by Jamie Atlas, Denver personal trainer to the stars, please contact us at

Stay True To Your Goals

Your friends at Bonza

If Your Gym Fits Your Pants Will Too

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This blog was written by Tara McCall a participant in the Bonza Bodies 50 Day Total Body Transformation. She shares some incredible insight here into the efforts that we all put forth to become a healthier version of ourselves and how desperate we sometimes feel. And most importantly how, when it comes down to it, there is no substitute for hard work and determination. It may be a slogan but the phrase “Just Do It” hits home.

“I haven’t typically thought of myself as someone who likes to workout.

I wasn’t really athletic growing up and never had to work to maintain my weight/figure until later in my 20’s.  So as weight came on, I didn’t have a solid foundation on what to do physically to make it go away.  I tried a lot of different things but nothing really grabbed me or was fun.  I tried going to rec centers but didn’t know anyone there, felt uncertain in terms of what I should be doing to get the most out of my workout. There was just no spark for me to want to come back.  I tried tons of different workout videos that now sit dusty in my DVD rack (I’m looking at you Billy Blanks, Yoga for moms, Hula for amazing abs/buns and Jillian Michaels ..)  I shake my head that I actually owned this horseback riding workout machine, didn’t work.  *wow, there’s a surprise*.. 5-8-Minute-Abs

I went on walks, rode my stationary bike and used weights but results were slower and it’s easy to hit the snooze button when things seem redundant.  Two of my sister in laws are AMAZING runners, I’d hear them talk and wish I loved to run.  I tried to jog or run with my dog but hated every second, so that lasted all of 2  The only time I ever actually belonged to a gym before Bonza was when I was 20, a size 4 and just went to use the pool/steam room and because my friend also joined.  It was a women’s only gym that looked like it belonged in the 80’s.  My friend soon lost interest and it wasn’t fun going alone, so that kind of tainted my views of gyms.  (On your own, lost as a number,  the list was long for reasons I didn’t want to go anymore).

I first heard of Bonza Bodies Small Group Fitness Studio, located in downtown Denver, through my neighbor.  She asked me if I wanted to do a workout challenge that her realty office was sponsoring for charity.  Sounded fun and I love hanging out with this fun bunch of ladies, so I said sure.  OH. MY. GOD. I think we both thought we were going to die during the first workout with Jamie, voted Denver’s best personal trainer 2011-2014.  At some point my brain stopped comprehending his words because my body was working so hard.  Then suddenly the 50 minutes were over and this 6’7″ Aussie hadn’t killed us after all. I coughed almost the whole morning after that workout – my lungs hadn’t had to breath like that in well… Ever!  And while my quads hurt every time I had to sit for about 3 days, I felt amazing.  I felt alive and like a badass having made it through an intense, bootcamp style, workout.  (No Drill instructors in this bootcamp though!!!)  We kept going back, we left bookclub on a Friday night at 1AM and kept the promise to meet at 6:30 am for Saturday am bootcamp. (NO SNOOZE BUTTON!  WHAT?!?!)  He and the other trainers were funny, kept us engaged as they worked us through the different circuits, were encouraging and there was no monotony.  If you hated something (this one is for you bear crawls) – rest assured that something else was right around the corner. The classes are small, so even when I was just going by myself it was easy to get to know others and the same people were generally there week after week.  The trainers look at you individually – not as a number and watch your form, adapt movements to suit you and challenge you.  I was hooked.  I found something fun, challenging, a workout that pushed me like nothing I’d ever experienced, something that was different each time I went and I felt alive!

The first few months I went, Jamie had talked about the food plan but I disregarded parts that didn’t fit into my lifestyle. I wasn’t giving up cheese or latte’s for anyone. But I knew it was out there to follow, Your workout/foodplan = Your results. You weren’t going to get the big Bonza gooseegg for not following it or quizzed on it when you went to workout. What you did get was a lot of encouragement.  At one point when I wasn’t seeing results I thought I should, Jamie sat down and asked me to journal my food plan for 2 weeks and just “Try, just try” to stay on  plan and see what happens. Jamie didn’t smack me upside my th-2head with the food plan packet and tell me – “well it’s all here, why didn’t you do it to begin with..?!”  At the end of the 2 weeks, I lost 8 lbs. Apparently “my food plan” wasn’t quite as clean as I thought it had been. Again I was hooked on feeling good on the inside and loved that the outside was transforming as well. I followed it for several months and continued to do my bootcamps with limited workouts at home.  I remember standing in the dressing room shopping for some business suits, in tears.  I WAS FITTING INTO A SIZE I HADN’T IN FOREVER!  I had lost weight but I’d been at that weight before.  The difference was now I could fit into a size that I hadn’t been able to in years.  I stopped thinking only in Lbs lost, I had gained muscle and my body was becoming more fit!

Unfortunately at that point some life changes got in the way and derailed my success for a while.  I got tired of feeling the way I did and hating what stared back in the mirror, so started trying to figure out how to change that.  I had thought about other gyms closer to home or work, looking at what i could do at home but Bonza has my heart.  I love that intense workout, the small groups, the encouragement, not being a number, never being bored working out, being pushed harder than I ever have been, feeling like a badass and the exhausted yet revived feeling I have climbing the stairs to leave.

I’m loving this 50 day challenge and I enjoy working out at home, taking long walks with our dog, getting out and being active!  Among things I never thought I’d say – I’m loving working out.  It feels so good to be more healthy and I can’t wait to see more and more transformations as I continue to get fit.  So if you *think* you hate working out, are absolutely positive it’s the worst thing in the world to do.. I get it, I feel like I wrote the book on that.  You just haven’t found the right workout FOR YOU but it is out there. You’ve just got to wade through some old DVD’s, 80’s gyms, ridiculous equipment (Hi Shake Weight) and enough trial & errors to find it!
motivational photo: I can do it I-can-do-it.gif      Interested in what you’re reading? Want to learn more?

email us at

Stay True To Your Goals

Jamie Atlas

Real Weight Loss Happens When you Make Waves

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So you’ve started working out recently?

And your mom/brother/aunt/spouse/significant other sees these weight loss or other changes in your body/attitude.

They see that you have had some weight loss, toned your body, or in general become a fitter you. They see these positive changes that are happening to your body and you. Maybe your clothes are fitting better, or you are happier or there is just a glow about you that you didn’t have before. I mean a glow other than the one you got from sweating during your latest workout.

And voila! Suddenly they are asking you for advice on getting started! Maybe they want to ask you about the gym you’ve joined, “Why, it’s Bonza Bodies Small Group Fitness Studio at 1800 Glenarm in downtown Denver”, or the new eating habits you’ve developed, “It’s the food plan that was developed by Jamie Atlas, owner of Bonza Bodies Small Group Fitness Studio”. Maybe they have no idea what you’re doing but just noticed your weight loss and wanted to know what you’re doing to look so Bonza (that’s Aussie speak for ‘awesome’ btw).

Congratulations! You have become the rock in their pond!

You are the catalyst for them wanting to change, to be a better version of themselves. You have created the ripple in their pond, you have made waves. Just like the catalyst that propelled you to the gym or on the path towards become a better you, you have become their catalyst.  It doesn’t have to be just about weight loss either – it might be you moving better, standing taller, or just being more vibrant in how you hold yourself.  Either way, you’ve been making change and the results are…inspiring.

Feels awesome doesn’t it?

Know what’s even better? Knowing that your weight loss will become someone else’s catalyst, that it will help them to become another rock in someone’s pond. Or maybe they return the ripple, maybe they motivate you when your determination ebbs. The ripple continues and changes lives, you could be the rock in the pond that changes a life today.WaterRipplingAt Bonza Bodies Small Group Personal Training and Fitness Studio we want to help you realize your goals, whether your goal be weight loss or some other goal. We want to help you be the catalyst for someone else. So come on in and work with some of of the best personal trainers in Denver (according to 5280 4 years in a row now!) and be inspired to become a fitter you. Be someone’s inspiration.  You’ll feel good doing it, and even better when you hear the story about how your change inspired someone else’s change.

   Stay True To Your Goals

Jamie Atlas

Want to Win at Weight Loss? Partner with Your Pants!

By | Denver Fitness, Nutrition, Uncategorized | No Comments

Here I am sitting in front of my computer.

Blank screen staring me in the face. Writer’s block taunting me with the endless void of white…

And then I got to thinking. What is it about my job that I love?

Okay, yes, that’s actually a very long list and can vary greatly depending on the day. Bonza Bodies Small Group Fitness Studio, located in downtown Denver, 80202, is an amazing gym that caters to all levels of fitness and can help anyone get to the next step, whatever their next step may be. The long and the short of it is, I Love My Job. But what is it today that is motivating me?

And then I remembered, I told someone to “partner with their pants” today. Weird right? But when explained, makes perfect sense. And is Awesome.

Weight loss and fitness aren’t easy, not by any means. The journey can be tough and will take an emotional, physical and mental toll on you and your body. The rewards are astounding but sometimes slow to come, and if you’re an instant gratification person, such as myself, the process can be mind boggling and frustrating.

Enter: The Scale

That Torturous little device can, in one fell swoop, negate all the hard work you’ve done. All the meal-planning and calorie counting, all the sweating and panting, all the hard work of the past couple days is undermined by that hunk of plastic and metal.

Our bodies are fluid things, remember when they told you in grade school that we are roughly 70% water? Our weight is constantly shifting through out the course of a normal day. There are so many things that have a direct affect on your weight over the course of a single day.  Hormones, water intake, food intake, time of day, for women- time of month, etc. So why would you step on a scale daily or even weekly? The real results come over time.

Enter: Your Pants.

Doesn’t matter what you choose, they just have to be a little tight. When it comes to weight loss they’re your new best friend. So often weight loss will show up all at once. Leaving days or weeks between an actual change in the numbers when really the progress has been there all along. So find the ones that are tight and put them on, remember how they feel, take pictures. Now put them on weekly. Are they feeling more loose, more comfortable? Do you need a belt now? Good, because that means you’ve lost inches, that means you’ve toned your body that much more and lost that much more fat. Over time that adds up to weight lost, pounds shed.

Oh sure, step on the scale, you’ll want to make sure and verify your results. For the sake of your sanity and drive to create a healthier you, don’t do it more than once every other week. More ideally, once a month for women. Step on that scale in the morning too, before the effects of the day have their effect on your body.

The world class trainers at Bonza Bodies Fitness Studio all have a firm belief that weight loss isn’t always going to be reflected in the scale, at least not all the time. But with our small personalized classes and personal training offerings you will see those pounds come off. Just be sure to partner with your pants before you have an affair with the scale.

weight loss gif photo: Strength within you strength-within-you.gifInspired by what you’re reading? Want to learn more?

Contact us at

And remember:

Stay True to Your Goals

Jamie Atlas


Weight Loss Isn’t Easy- Find Your Mantra

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There is something to be said for mantras

That powerful phrase we repeat to ourselves to keep us going

It’s different for everybody, no two people have the same motivation, or the same mantra. You may have the same phrase as the person next to you, but I guarantee it means something entirely different to you.

This Bonza Bodies blog post was written by Rebecca Vega. Rebecca is a participant in the Bonza Bodies 50 Day Total Body Transformation. She has been working out with us in the downtown Denver studio for 4 weeks now and has some amazing insight to share. It’s not always about the reasons we started but about the reasons we keep going, even when it’s hardest. Rebecca also writes a regular fitness blog you can read weekly at She always manages to be inspiring while bringing a dose of real world reality!

“My mantra for this 50 Day Transformation has been, “Just do the next right thing.”  Taking this whole process day-by-day, not getting attached to the outcome, is my daily focus and practice.

And boy, does it take practice. When I find myself ruminating the total amount of weight I still have left to lose, it is disheartening. Forty pounds sounds like so much, and it is easy to get sucked into a negative mindset that I will never get there. A small weight gain last week would normally be the catalyst for me to throw in the towel.


Then I went back and read the letter I wrote to myself when I started this. This is one of the most difficult times of my life both emotionally and mentally – my husband has been unemployed for four months; I am working 50+ hours a week; my mom has terminal cancer and is in a nursing facility; I’m constantly on the precipice of depression and self-destruction. I miss my kids. I miss carbs. I miss sleeping past 3:30 a.m. But reading that letter, I remembered why I committed to this in the first place. In order for all the other cogs to turn, I have to be my best self.
This is the time. Time to put myself first, sacrificing now to create the future I want for myself and my family. Getting back in the routine of working out every day, sleeping soundly, enjoying the energy I get from the fuel I am putting into my body; a clear mind, sharp reactions, feeling strong, general feelings of love and happiness – so many benefits already, regardless of what that scale says. That is only one measure of what I have accomplished in four weeks. While I certainly am enjoying the losing of pounds and inches, they will not outweigh all that I am gaining.
It won’t happen overnight, but it’ll happen. One day at a time. Just do the next right thing.”


 Feeling inspired? Want to learn more?

Contact us at

Stay True To Your Goals

Jamie Atlas

Why Bonza Bodies Focuses on Functional Workouts

By | Denver Fitness | No Comments

What are Functional Workouts?

I mean really, what the hell does that mean?

It means these workouts are movements you do in the real world, in your daily life! Exercises like these will help you move easier and struggle less with those daily movements that might normally leave your muscles tired or injured. You can do these workouts anywhere! You don’t need fancy equipment to improve the FUNCTION of your body. Why is this important you may ask?  Why does Bonza Bodies Small Group Fitness and Personal Training, located in downtown Denver, 80202, focus so much on making sure your bodies are prepared for the hazards of our daily lives? Watch the video and then read below, it’ll hit home. I promise.

250lbs stopped inches from my 2 year old sons face.

This weekend I was putting recycling away on the side of my house.  It’s a narrow lane, with a fence tight up against the house so there’s just enough room to carry a large box when dumping the recycling. I dumped it out, took a half step back to turn and walk back into the house and backed up into my son and promptly started to fall.  He fell immediately at the impact of my body weight, and I immediately realized that I couldn’t step over him without risk of stepping on him with my full body weight.  Starting to fall back with him lying in the middle of the alley, I quickly tried to reach for pieces of the vertical bamboo fence to stop my fall, only to grab at flimsy strands that quickly snapped under my growing momentum.  I reached with the other hand to try to grab at the recycle bin but quickly let go when I saw the bin start to fall back on itself.  Somehow, in some kind of slow motion movie replay I did all I had left as an option and put a hand out to stop myself while trying to now stop the recycle bin falling over on top of my son with the other hand.  I was able to stop myself somehow with only a small sprain to my right hand, as I came to my final position, in essentially a side plank position with my son lying underneath, inches away from my ribcage.  Slowly moving myself into a safe position I picked up my now crying son and brought him inside.

I’m grateful to my body for saving me in what could have been more disastrous than I care to imagine.  I’m grateful to the functional 3-D training that I’ve spent my life dedicated to and for the moment that it was able to give me the ability to balance, control and stabilize my way out of that situation.  And yes, I weigh 250lbs.  I’m 6’7” – what did you expect?
View on

Interested in learning more about functional fitness and what Bonza Bodies Small Group Fitness and Personal Training is all about? Contact us at

Stay True to Your Goals

Jamie Atlas