I have been a fitness instructor for seven years, working with clients around the world as my family traveled with the Army has brought me great joy. I am excited by the opportunity to bring my passion of functional fitness, boot camp style training and personal training to Powdersville and to share some of my knowledge here in this forum.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It is never late to become a better you! Alex

The Strong Will Spotlight with Alex Perez
I met Alex a about a year and a half ago. Her and a friend came to some of my group classes and then hired me to some personal training. Alex is one of the spunkiest people I have ever met. She has passion and is full of fire. 
When I first met her, that passion and fire was over shadowed with sadness, anger, maybe both. She had just moved to the desert which can be a little overwhelming.  I have to admit the first few times I trained with her, I was so frustrated. She fought me every step of the way. I could so see her potential and I had to figure out how to get her to see it.
 Alex found her strong will by making the best of her situation. She got involved in every way she could and is now a fitness diva. Surrounding herself with a great group of ladies, she found her passion again. Alex is now a certified Turbo Kick and Zumba instructor.  She has even stepped out of her box by participating in outdoor fitness actives and events, such as road races, mud runs, and has even taken up cycling.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of this woman! She is an inspiration to all women and young girls.  I was not only lucky enough to train with her, but I am lucky to call her friend.
I am so happy that Alex found her strong will…I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do next! 

TSW: Can you tell us when and why you started your fitness journey?
I’ve always wanted to be fit and strong.  I moved to Fort Irwin and saw the opportunity to finally do something for myself. I found myself inspired to do more after meeting the incredible group of trainers and group of ladies that attend fitness classes.

TSW: What have been your biggest struggles with your fitness routine? How did you overcome those? 
My biggest struggle was to create a fitness schedule and understand that I could not just go to classes and over-do the training. I thought doing more and more was the right way, but I had to learn to listen to my body and give it the rest time it needed to recover.

TSW: Was there an “AH HA” moment when everything just clicked?
I stopped looking at the scale and stopped looking at m calorie counter. I was obsessed with a number and that was hindering my success at the gym. Weighing myself everyday was unhealthy and very frustrating.  Trying to limit my caloric intake so I could loose weight wasn’t working! As soon as I stopped visiting the scale and counting calories I started getting results, only then my body suffered an amazing transformation.

TSW: How did you get started? Was it hard to get started?
My neighbor and me decided to hire an amazing trainer, with her support I was able to discover how strong I really was, that I should not doubt myself.  Having my friend as a partner was a great idea. She would encourage me to do better every time, we would push harder and encourage each other when we were ready to call it quits. 

TSW: Do you have a support system? If so how important is that to you?
I am blessed because I am surrounded by an amazing group of ladies that love fitness. They are so supportive and incredibly inspirational.  It is so important to have someone that tells you how proud or how happy they are for you every time you complete a fitness challenge. Having a support system is what makes me continue to try new things…like running!

 TSW: What do you feel is the biggest change in yourself ?
I have learned so much about how strong I can be.  I’ve change the way I tackle physically challenges and I am more open to try new things.  I became a fitness instructor, I bike, I run and I am open to many other activities that I would have never even considered before I started working out.

TSW:  Do you have a favorite workout?  Favorite body part?
I am addicted to Turbo Kick; I just love the way it pushes my cardiovascular system to work harder.  My favorite body part…shoulders….love the burn of a dumbbell double press.

TSW: What are your fitness related goals? What are you doing to make those come true?
Run a ½ marathon!!!! It is my biggest fear and I can’t wait to overcome that fear and cross the finish line.  I am not an organize runner; I know I will have to be faithful to a training program to be able to succeed, and I am willing to do that!

TSW: What do you feel is most important about being fit and healthy?
I believe the most important think is to serve as an example to my daughters. I want them to learn to be self-confident and to give 110% at everything they do.  It is imperative that they learn to follow a healthy, active lifestyle at a young age and I hope they are inspired by the example I am trying to set for them.

TSW: What advice would you give a newbie starting their fitness journey?
Be ready to step out of the box. Try something different, challenge yourself and you will be amaze at what your body will do for you!!!

Last words from Alex:
It is never late to become a better you!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Powdersville Functional Fitness

Why not start the new year off right?  It is not to soon to plan for such things. The Strong Will is happy to announce that beginning 09 January 2012 we will offer Functional Fitness classes in Powdersville consisting of personal training for individuals and couples and our very special X-treme Fit Camp.  Sandy is very excited to be back in South Carolina and looks forward to working out with old friends and new.

Contact us for more information.

We are also offering Bridal Booty for the ladies that are planning a marriage in the spring!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

4 Ways Pilates Makes Everything Better

Pilates has a rep as a girly exercise form that attracts ladies who lunch. Private sessions can be pricey, but mat classes will work your entire body. Originally called Contrology, the practice was actually developed to rehab injured soldiers after WW I — talk about functional fitness! After teaching the method for years (and rehabbing my own chronic back injury with it), I have decided Pilates makes everything better, from life's basics like sitting to things more extreme like CrossFit. Here are four Pilates fundamentals that everyone can benefit from learning. Read More

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Miss South Carolina

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle injury, illness or other hardship they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week Miss South Carolina Bree Boyce shares her story of going from obese, self-conscious teen to beauty pageant winner. [...]

At 234 pounds, I never thought that within a few short years, after a lot of dedication, sweat, and tears, I'd be close to living what was my secret dream as a young girl. (via HF)


With a dream and a Strong Will mountains of fat can be moved!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Strong Will spotlight with Elsi Reid-Dominguez

I met Elsi at Fort Irwin, California in November 2009. She came to a cycling class I was teaching. Her and a friend were new to post and decided to take a class. I soon discovered that Elsi had never been to a gym before. She had never worked out and was 40 years old. I was so excited to have the opportunity to introduce her to fitness and what it could do for her mind, body, and soul. I remember watching her on that bike her first class and if looks could kill...well just say she wasn't a happy camper. Elsi stuck with it. Day after day she was in that gym. Taking one, two, sometimes three classes a day. A woman who hated to exercise ,hated to sweat had found her niche.

It's been almost two years since I first met Elsi in that class. I cannot tell you how proud I am of this woman. Watching her blossom has truly been one of the highlights in my career. She just opened her mind and heart up to all the possibilities of what fitness could do for her life and went for it. She not only was taking classes, but ventured into the weight room as well, where she realize just what she was capable of doing.

Elsi is now a certified group exercise instructor and is playing it forward. If you ever have the pleasure of meeting her... listen to her story... you will be inspire by her strong will

Elsi Dominguez : the strong will OVERCOME

SW: Have you always been into fitness?

ED: No, I haven't

SW: Why did you begin your fitness journey? Was there a moment or event that caused the “ah ha” thought? A moment where it all clicked as to why you needed to get fit?

ED:  I began my fitness journey because I was tired of complaining about my body.  My ah ha moment was when I did my first push up.  I was so excited and thought "this exercise thing isn't so bad.  I felt strong.

SW: How did you get started working out? Was it hard to get started?

ED: I got started by going to a spin class with a friend.  It was very hard getting started.  I didn't like to sweat, it hurt and I wasn't very coordinated.

SW: What did your family and friends think of your plan to get fit? Was it a big change for them as well?

ED: My friends and family was very shocked that I was actually going to a gym.

SW: Do you have a support system? Did you in the beginning? How important was that to you?

ED:Yes, I have an amazing support system.  My husband and the fitness instructors at the gym.  It's very important to me to have a support system because it pushes me to do my best and out of my box.

SW: What types of workouts do you like? What is your favorite exercise?

ED: The type of workout that I like is weight lifting.  My favorite exercises are bicep curls and shoulder press.

SW: Do you have a fitness goal? If so what are you plans to achieve those?

ED:My goal is to learn all I can about fitness so I can help someone else.  I just got my Group Exercise Certification.

SW: What advise would you give to women looking to get fit?

ED: My advice to women (especially women my age 40+) looking to get fit is that its never to late to start.  It won't be easy in the beginning but if you stick with it the results will be worth it.  I started working out when I was 40 and I look better than I did in my 20's...seriously!

SW: What is the biggest obstacle and what inspires you to overcome those challenges?

\ED:I would say my biggest obstacle was me.  I had to change my thinking about exercise and started believing that I can do it E

SW: Do you feel better since you started your fitness journey? Do you feel this is a lifestyle you will continue and if so why?

ED:Do I feel better?   I feel fantastic, I feel strong, and most importantly I have more confidence that I ever had.  Exercising is a lifestyle for me because it has given me so much.  I can't see myself going back to being inactive.  Exercising is just another part of me...a very good part.

SW: What is the best thing about being fit?

ED:The best thing about being fit is being a positive role model for my daughter and showing her that girls with muscles ROCK

Last words from Elsi:

I would like to say a few more words.  The very first time I went to the gym for Spin class and met Sandy Clark, it was one of the best thing that ever happened to me.  Sandy encouraged, motivated, pushed, and held my hand in my fitness journey.  I've never met someone like her.  I owe her so much for seeing something in me that I didn't see in myself.  I thank God for an amazing
fitness instructor but mostly for being such a wonderful friend.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

On My Way

Week 2 of my primal life is coming to an end. I really feel I'm on my way. It has not been as bad as I thought, not bad at all.  I even went out to eat a few times and totally said no to sweet tea and desert...yey me:)

Planning is truly the key to having success with any new way of eating.  I do not call primal a diet. It's is a lifestyle. I took my weekly trip to the grocery store today and only went down 1 isle  to get paper towels and charcoal.. the rest of the time I stay on the outside.. ...was so proud! I really have changed the way I look at the grocery store and all the junk food.  Yes we should enjoy our food, but  try more to think of it as fuel for your body. I think if you can master that thought process it will bring you peace of mind going into the store. If you think of all the junk that is in processed food... all the chemicals that they put in the food to give it a shelf life of a year... a year! Think about that. Now I have a long ways to go. I'm not in an area that allows me the best fresh produce or grass feed beef all the time, but I am making wiser choices.

The best part of this is I really feel good. I haven't not missed anything.....well not on a daily basis.  I did totally have a craving for Pepsi on Thursday. I take boot camp class and we did lot's of cardio. I think it got my sugar craving kicked in high gear. I was able to resist!

I want to encourage you all to really take a hard look at your diet and what you are putting into your body. Achieving good health is 80% of it. I truly think that if you dig deep and make changes you will so love the results. Even if you can't go all in... make small changes. Small changes over a period of time will get you there. If you can jump right in....GREAT do it!

Eat your way healthy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Going Cavegirl

Cavegirl Sandy Week 1

I started my primal journey last Tuesday October 4th. It's really not been a bad week. Around day 3 I got what some may call the "primal flu".  Didn't feel well at all. Very much felt as if I was in a deep fog. I lacked energy, felt fatigued, headache; I wondered what the heck was I doing this for. However, I stuck it out and the flu did pass. Some people may experience these flu like symptoms much longer. Really deeps on how many carbs you were eating before you went Primal. If you are use to eating tons of carbs it might take you a little longer to get over it. I had started trying to clean up my diet a week or so before hand so maybe that's why mine wasn't so bad. I did have a date with Blue Bell chocolate ice cream the night before I started. One last HooRah so to speak.

I dabbled in Primal a few times. I had good results, but due to life and moving just let it go.I never stuck with  it more than a month or so.  I've gotten most of my information from www.marksdailyapple.com, but I didn't' buy Mark's The Primal Blueprint til a few days in.  Really should have purchased it before hand. Would have saved me a lot of confusion at the grocery store.It actually isn't that hard. You just have to have your facts. Need you a list before you even step foot in the grocery store. I didn't do that and I should have.

So week 1 is over and I'm weighing in tomorrow. I am a personal trainer and a group fitness instructor so I'm in pretty good shape from a fitness stand point. Most of the time I try to eat right by what most American's consider clean..... but I know I was eating way too many carbs and not enough protein.   My summer this year was spent at the lake so I was a bit slack. Got a little soft..... literal soft around the middle!

My goal with going Primal is not so much weight loss. I do have a few lbs I want to shed, but I'm only looking at 8lbs or so. I really want to lose some fat and gain some muscle. Want to see some definition . But what I really want is to feel energetic and well to be honest...not so moody:) I want to be healthy and strong. I want to live a long long life!

I really still have a lot of tweaking to do with this diet. You know actually don't think diet is the right word. Lifestyle is more appropriate. Where I shop for groceries does not have a lot of organic stuff so makes things a bit hard. I will do what I can with the resources that I have. In time I will be able to make more changes, but at least I have started the process.

If you struggle with unwanted pounds; if you lack energy, stay sick, and drive look at the Primal lifestyle. There are a ton of other thing out there, but I really find this one to be easy to follow and it makes total sense.

It's easy to get started...make a commitment to yourself, do your research, make your shopping list, and go for it. You have nothing to lose and a whole healthy life to gain!

Check out www.marksdailyapple.com. Going Primal is not just about food, it's a total wellness program. Diet, exercise, and good health.

Good luck to us all!