Friday, December 31, 2010

Drills for Drills

Lately the both of us have been doing our due diligence before our studio opens to keep ourselves abreast of trends and styles in the group class exercise community. We have been attending classes and visiting facilities to "get a lay of the land" so to speak. We feel it is beneficial to see how others structure their programs, cue their clients, and execute their overall training strategies in a group format so that we may get a better sense of how to keep our studio running optimally. We have realized many great qualities in these facilities when it comes to atmosphere, culture, attendance and instruction, however we have also found one unfortunate commonality amongst many establishments: workouts and programs are not being planned ahead of time. Randomized workouts are being improvised on the spot and fragmented exercise selection and improper progression may not be ultimately obvious by the untrained eye, however for us it is blatant. So it begs the question what is the goal?? Are you doing drills just for the sake of doing drills?

The group class format is obviously very different from one-on-one training in that results and individualized success is more unpredictable so you cannot control your variables as tightly as you might on an individual basis, but that doesn't mean proper programming should be done away with altogether. Our goal is to have a clear and concise game plan for each class that offers balanced exercise selection, proper warm up and cool down procedure, adequate implementation of intensity, modification options to accommodate all participants, and finally, sensible exercise parings. By having a plan for each class we are aiming to provide you with a variety of classes throughout the week so that you can schedule your strength workouts, endurance workouts, metabolic workouts and regenerative workouts throughout the week. As a result, you can train more thus ensuring results, but have less risk of over training.

In our opinion, the beauty of offering small group classes is that our clients are given the best opportunity for success. If they only have to pay about $20 per class instead of $75 per session, as is often the case with private training, they can now afford to see us 3-5x per week rather than 1-2x per week, thereby giving clients the proper tools and time to achieve their goals. Results require training hard, but also smart as well. Offering a greater diversity of "response" classes (meaning what the training effect will be ie. strength, endurance, power, etc.) will ultimately allow clients to place themselves in continuous adaptation and therefore, continued results. It is our belief that a committed client is an informed one. Understanding your weekly workout schedule, how it works to keep you on track, and the benefits you receive from each visit is powerful stuff! Everything needs to make sense in the overall scheme of things. So don't just do drills for the sake of doing drills, make every workout count so that you can accelerate the process of reaching your goals.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Updates on BT Fitness

The process for opening our studio is definitely underway and we have made some great strides in the last few weeks.  For those of you who still haven't heard where we will be located, we have secured our location in San Clemente, California in the Courtyards at Talega, which is located at the intersection between Avenida Pico and La Pata. The last step in our journey to opening is waiting for the City of San Clemente to grant us our Conditional Use Permit, which, fingers crossed, we are hoping to receive by the beginning of February. If everything goes right with the City, we will begin a minor amount of renovations to get our studio set up and hopefully ready for you to come train in February! 

During this waiting period, we have been visiting trade shows and business workshops, attending various networking meetings, and volunteering our time at community based events!  We have to say the process is exciting and demanding but we can't wait to open our doors and see our vision become a reality. After working out at a chain gym yesterday and seeing the same "box gym" layout consisting of machine-based fitness and station-to-station training, our confidence in our mission - to offer high quality training and instruction with an affordable results driven approach - was reinforced. We truly want to offer a progressive approach to working out and contribute to what we believe to be the future of the fitness industry.  We will continue to keep everyone posted as we get closer to our grand opening. We are passionate in the continued belief that our principles will transform your fitness...and transform your body.          

Monday, December 6, 2010

Play More. Eat Better.

This past weekend we were fortunate enough to be able to participate in the annual community event Play More. Eat Better sponsored by Mission Hospital to help encourage health and wellness among children to battle child obesity.  The event was absolutely awesome!  We got the opportunity to work hand in hand with Mission Hospital along with other volunteers to run the fitness station.  We were able to meet profession soccer players from team Chivas USA, talk with a volunteer who is currently working with Mark Verstegen at Athletes Performance in Carson, interact with various local families of all backgrounds and origins, and best of all we got to have some fun with kids by getting them pumped up about health and fitness.  BT Fitness brought some complimentary fitness manuals, a speed ladder, and some jump ropes for the kids to try out.  It was unbelievable to see how fast they were able to master the drills on the speed ladder.  We participated in a hula hoop contest, did some Zumba, and ran obstacle courses with the kids as well.  We were especially honored when Mission Hospital asked us back next year to participate not only in the San Clemente event but in the San Juan Capistrano event as well.  We were also asked to come out as guests to do some demos for the local fitness groups held within our community.  All in all the event was a huge success and all the kids that showed up got to have a great time and really learn about eating right, exercising, and staying active.  Below are some pics of these talented youngsters as well as our attempts at some of the festivities!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NFBA Workshop - We Can All Learn Something New

We recently attended a two day workshop in Newport Beach, CA sponsored by the National Fitness Business Alliance where we were given the ability to hear from well-known, successful fitness professionals from throughout the country. Led by key note speaker Thomas Plummer, who has years of experience in opening fitness facilities, helping traditional box gyms adapt to the ever changing fitness industry, and in helping fitness business owners make the most of their product, the workshop was aimed at giving individuals who own or manage fitness facilities a look into where the fitness industry is going and how to adapt with the changes. In addition to Thom Plummer, we heard Bill Parisi, founder of Parisi Speed School, talk about the obstacles he had to overcome to open his facility back in the 90s and we heard Alwyn Cosgrove speak informally on his opinion on running a fitness facility. On the second day, we were lead by Bill Parisi and representatives of Fitness Anywhere, Perform Better, and Star Trac in a pretty aggressive workout that included a TRX, kettlebells, super bands, undulation ropes, medicine balls and resistance bands.

Here's what we learned and what we plan to take with us in our goal of opening up a fitness studio that seeks to transform fitness in a way that most people are not used to:

1. RESULTS are the product (not classes or private training)

2. Train everyone (from professional athletes to stay at home moms) like an athlete to improve performance in their every day lives

3. Train the client in a way that they could do the workout on their own if you aren't there - it's not about how many reps they are doing, but rather educating the client about why they are doing an exercise

Once the workshop was over, we had a bit of time for some fun. Fitness Anywhere held a 40/40 Challenge on the TRX , where you had to do 40 Atomic Push Ups, only 1 minute rest, then 40 Body Weight Rows. Instead of participating myself, I graciously volunteered Adam for the challenge (you'll see why when you watch the video) because I knew if anyone could complete the challenge, he could. He put up a strong fight by knocking out the first 40 Atomic Push Ups in an amazing pace. I was convinced he was going to win. Watch the video to see how the challenge ended...

Adam did an awesome job representing us in the challenge! He also wants me to make it known that the only person who won the challenge was a former Navy Seal :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Expanding Your Arsenal

We posted a video today on youtube ( that showed me working with a new tool that I was very excited about.  This of course was the sandbag.  After listening to fellow strength and conditioning professional Josh Henkin discuss all of the great benefits of his ultimate sandbag, I was compelled to give this thing a shot.  He explained so eloquently how the dynamic loading patterns really encompassed true functional training and how variable load conditioning can really enhance proprioceptive awareness, stability, core strength, and increase intensity substantially.  I have to say he delivered on all of these promises.  Not only was this tool constructed with superior quality but it offered all of the elements Josh had spoken about.  After one workout all I thought to myself was how amazing this tool was and how I couldn't wait to get these into our studio to use them in our classes.  Of course I knew that I would need at least 30 days of intimate exposure and self sacrifice with this tool to really become more familiar with it.

It dawned on me how if you do not keep your hunger up for new knowledge you could be not only sacrificing your own benefits but what you are able to offer others as well.  Additionally, it is these new challenges that reignite the passion in what you do... full force.  The mastery process of a new tool, how it can benefit other areas you have already grooved, and ultimately how well you understand your craft - that is what it's all about.  At times I see trainers fall into the habit of finding certain techniques, certain modalities, and certain equipment choices, deeming them the best and never trying anything else.  This can be a fatal flaw simply because as Josh says "this tool is not meant to replace any other tools, it is merely meant to compliment them."  This really is important because if you think about your approach to training from a strategic viewpoint, who has the advantage in becoming capable of greater performance: the person who uses one or two tools for everything or the person who utilizes a variety of tools in a way that improve many different aspects of performance?  I think that one of the best practices one can have is throwing themselves into new and unfamiliar territory and learning how to adapt to the philosophies and techniques within that discipline. This is where not only improvement, but true self discovery is fostered.  All I know is I am excited to be in this profession that I am in and cannot wait to keep learning and improving....every day!    

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

When you set out to achieve a goal, no matter what it is, it requires moving outside of your comfort zone.   While collaborating on opening our studio, we were put in many situations where we felt lost and vulnerable simply because we had never opened up a studio before. We soon realized that we have both been in various situations where we had to dig deep and really challenge ourselves to overcome an obstacle or achieve a goal. Adam has experienced this in training, while Kimberly has experienced this in her career choice, but the one commonality was that by moving outside of our comfort zone, we were able to find the path to success.

"If there is anything I have learned in my years of training, it is that my greatest progress has come when I have challenged myself to master a type of training that was extremely difficult for me to grasp.  Whether it was due to being unfamiliar with the training, not being genetically built for that type of training, or just simply that it had never previously peaked my interest, when I emersed myself in that particular form of training I found the same thing happened every time: I would make significant strength, endurance, flexibility, or aesthetic gains simply due to all of the challenges physiologically that came with working well outside my comfort zone.  I am not going to embelish the reality of these persuits by any means and say that the experience was incredibly pleasant.  I can however tell you that once I got through the initial 6-12 weeks of adaption to the new and unfamiliar training practices I found many benefits that made the humbling process well worth the discomfort.  The period of discomfort had one very obvious benefit, that was pretty instantly realized, and that was self discovery.  This one attribute is the one that I feel is most closely linked to personal growth.  Taking the time and effort to challenge yourself with something that will produce uncertainty, feelings of inadequacy, and sensations of anxiety will likely produce improvement in many areas of yourself that you don't readily work through.  In the pursuit of starting my own business I have realized that this will be a prime environment for discomfort.  I am very excited about all of the personal growth and improvement I will experience during this immense learning experience.  The best strategy I can have when things seem to feel overwhelming and insurmountable is to continue to focus on the process and learn as much as I can with each new challenge." - Adam

"I get bored easily and am constantly trying to find different ways to challenge myself and once I mastered one challenge I simply move onto the next one. However, the one time that I was truly humbled by the state of vulnerability I was left in was when I was about to graduate from law school  and I realized that I did not want to follow the path of others and take a job at a law firm as an attorney. I realized that I did not want to be a lawyer, instead I wanted to open my own fitness studio. Now many of you (and many others in my life) may question my decision to spend years (and money) in law school only to graduate and open up a fitness studio. I knew that I had chosen the path less taken and I knew this path was going to be bumpy, uncomfortable and scary. But what made me follow that path was my ultimate desire to open my own business and the success that may bring with it. This process has been very challenging, especially since this the first time I have done this, but instead of throwing in the towel and giving up, I have learned to just accept the fact that there are times where I feel overwhelmed, scared and uncomfortable and just move on. I have realized that it is okay to feel those things, in fact it is almost necessary to feel that way, because in order to truly achieve your goals you have to work for it, through the good times and bad. So whatever  goal you have, just stick with it and know that it is okay that there are times that you have no idea what you are doing...the payoff will be immeasurable."-Kimberly

Sunday, October 24, 2010

5k Hunger Walk

Today we had the opportunity to spend our Sunday doing something truly positive for our community.  We participated in the annual 5k hunger walk organized by FAM (Family Assistance Ministries).  This fundraiser was assembled for the purpose of raising funds for FAM's food distribution, rental and financial assistance and the Gilchrist House, a 26-bed shelter in San Clemente for women and children.  The weather was amazing and it was great to spend the afternoon walking for a great cause.  We made a great contact with Mission Hospital and look forward to participating in both "Play More. Eat Better" events in November to fight the battle against child obesity.  Our company is titled Body Transformation Fitness and we are proud to help transform the bodies and health of our clients, but we are just as passionate about doing everything we can to help transform our community as well.  Below are some pictures of today's event.    

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Owner Podcast - Training for Golfers

Check out Adam's podcast where he discusses strength and conditioning training for golfers and SPX Fitness!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Box Gym is Dead

After years of experience in many different traditional gym facilities, executing my own strength and conditioning workouts along with training hundreds of different clients, I have found one commonality in all of this.  I never use ANY machines.  In the standard Box Gym you find about 75% of the floor space covered with machines that can isolate, fully support, and simplify the body's movements.  This unfortunately is not how the body is designed to work whether you are an athlete or not.  The body is a very integrated system of multi-functioning joint structures that are designed to operate together as a unit in many dynamic patterns of movement.  Life doesn't demand a greater ability to execute bicep curls, calf raises, quad extensions, and ab crunches.  Working in an isolated manner on equipment that provides all the assistance for you mimics no demand in everyday life.  The body is continually placed in circumstances where certain muscles are providing work (strength), certain muscles are assisting mobility (movement), and certain muscles are providing stability (protection), all at the same time.  So it makes sense that the body should be trained as a unit for the purpose of improving it's capabilities in everyday life.

This is the basis of what BT Fitness is out to achieve: true harmony within the way the body moves, stretches, stabilizes, produces force, and balances itself.  Using equipment like the Proformer, TRX suspension trainer, Kettlebells, Stability Balls, Medicine Balls, and Band Tubing, we can not only effectively improve an endless amount of movement and strength capabilities but also deliver the personalized instruction that allows you to understand how and why all of the application makes sense.

This brings me to the other issue I see with the traditional "box gym".  People get their tour, they sign up for a membership, they get their free 30min slam bam session with a trainer, and then they are on their own among an endless sea of complex designed machines and heavy dangerous looking equipment.  Most of the time people get so intimidated, they end up paying however much a month to use the elliptical for 30min 3x a week and maybe do a few of the safer looking machines.  On a long term scale this will not equate success.  This formula will ultimately lead to frustration, lack of results and sometimes unnecessary injury and a waste of money.

That's why we at BT Fitness are striving to deliver not only the most effective selection of exercises for performance and health, but also to use equipment that is basic and easy to understand yet capable of giving you a truly significant challenge.  We strongly believe that if you transform your fitness... you will transform your body...from the inside out!      

Co-Owner Adam Tombelaine

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lower Body Metabolic Workout Revealed

The reason this workout is incredibly effective for burning fat and increasing lower body strength is it focuses on working all of the big calorie burning muscles around the hips and also combines high intensity sprint intervals as seen in the swing and sprint combo. 

Kettlebell Swing X 30 second and 30 yard sprint 
Coupling a demanding exercise like the kettlebell swing (which not only improves hip & lower body strength but core stability as well) with a heart rate intensive exercise like a short sprint really revs up the metabolism.  This circuit is done first in this series because it is the most demanding and requires the most stability so it should be placed at the beginning of the workout to not only get the most benefit out of it but to also reduce any risk of injury. 

TRX Squat, Jump Squat, Single Leg Squat, Lateral Jump Squat
Moving from this circuit into some slightly assisted TRX lower body training geared toward balance, stability, and single leg strength is a great way to create a well rounded lower body focused routine.  The drills performed in this video include the squat, jump squat, single leg squat, and lateral jump squat.  These exercises are also done on a timed format so that heart rate and metabolism stay elevated during the remainder of the workout.  The set and rest time is kept equal keeping the intensity high and the duration shorter.  This entire workout took Kimberly about 35min but her metabolism will likely remain elevated for at least the next 24 hours.  

We are excited to offer specific instruction on form, technique, and progression at our set to open early next year.  We pride ourselves on giving the most focused instruction on these dynamic movement combinations that challenge the body to work outside of it's comfort zone as this is the only way to initiate change.  This is the premise of our motto: Transform Your Fitness... Transform Your Body.       

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What are all these videos/photos meant to show you?

A few people have asked "what is the point of your videos and photos?" and we realized that you also may be wondering why all of our videos/photos are shot on a high school football field. Well the truth is that our studio is not ready yet, so unfortunately we are not able to film there. However, we are excited to share with you some of the exercises and equipment that will be offered at BT Fitness once it is opened. These videos and photos are just demos for you to see some of the exercises that you yourself will be able to do in our group classes. Of course, when our studio is ready, we will start filming demos there so you can see the exact layout of our place, but for now we hope you understand our temporary filming location. If you ever have any questions regarding form, technique or exercise progression, please feel free to send us a comment via email or on our Facebook page. Your suggestions/comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Since BT Fitness is new to San Clemente, our goal is to really immerse ourselves in the San Clemente community. We really love what a tight-knit community it is and are looking forward to participating in all of the City's events. Today we went to the annual Seafest at the San Clemente Pier where we were able to start promoting our business while getting a chance to taste the amazing chowder that local businesses entered in the cook-off. We are so pleased to be a part of this community and look forward to future events. Hope to see you at the next one!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kimberly's 4 Core Med Ball Drills

There are many great tools available in the fitness world today that can really give you an amazing workout. The medicine ball is definitely one of them.  Used in almost every conditioning program for every kind of athlete it is no wonder this tool has gotten so much recognition.  It allows its user to train in endless movements, with endless exercise combinations, and allows every muscle in the body to work together at the same time.  This is why at BT Fitness we incorporate this valuable tool into our group class format.  It's versatility makes it easy to combine with the TRX and The Proformer.  However, even used on it's own you can get an incredible high intensity fat burning workout.  Below I have illustrated 4 great exercises that anyone can do to work the whole body, build great balance & core strength, and really increase heart rate. These exercises give you an idea of what we are all about at BT Fitness.  We use only the most effective exercise selection geared towards building a lean and athletic body.  Enjoy!

1. Med Ball Squat to Overhead Throw: Great for working your legs, abs, back, and shoulders and if done at a fast pace can really get your heart rate up.

2. Med Ball Overhead Lunge: Great for strengthening posture, abs, legs, and improving balance.


3.  Med Ball Uneven Push Up: Great for building upper body strength and core stability


4.  Med Ball Curl Up: Great for strengthening your abs and postural muscles by incorporating the nice tall reach at the top. 


Monday, September 27, 2010

T-Shirts - "The Ave" in Venice Beach

Once we got our logo, one of the first things we did was get T-shirts printed. We went to this awesome shop in Venice, CA called "The Ave" that specializes in custom design T-shirts and Converse Chuck Taylors. They use American Apparel T-shirts and the best printing equipment out there that enables them to do your printing in a matter of minutes. A special thanks goes out to Nick and his staff for stocking us up with pretty amazing T-shirts. Contact "The Ave" ( for all of your printing needs, whether for business or pleasure. Check out their video:

Our Logo

The closer we get to opening the more exciting news we have to share! Introducing our logo...what does everyone think? Our trademark application is currently being processed, but in the meantime we wanted to share it with all of you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Taste of the Bells

At BT Fitness we are proud to offer Kettlebell training in a group class format.  For those who have never used the kettlebell it is an amazing tool for building strength, power, cardiovascular conditioning, and core stability.  It is very versatile and there are endless movement combinations possible when exercising with this dynamic tool.  The video below will give you a taste of a basic progression that the kettlebell can be used for.  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Suspension & Kettlebell Training

Strength & Conditioning Specialist and Fitness Professional Adam Tombelaine is getting set to take athletic training to a whole new level in San Clemente, California.  His classes will make up the other half of BT Fitness and will utilize the TRX suspension training system along with kettlebells, stability balls, resistance bands, and body weight sport specific plyometrics to keep heart rate and intensity high.  The TRX is a tool that has been recently introduced into the fitness training community and offers endless benefits.  It's philosophy is simply maximizing the body's ability to move.  With the TRX you are forced to stabilize your own body weight with every exercise therefore getting incredible benefits in core strength and performance that simply cannot be achieved with conventional machines.  This makes the TRX a truly innovative and functional piece of exercise equipment complimenting the SPX Fitness workouts perfectly.

In addition to the TRX, we will also be offering high intensity kettlebell training classes.  Kettlebells have recently gained tons of attention in their ability to burn fat, build strength, and foster better power and athleticism.  The movements used in kettlebell training teach the body to work as a single unit to stabilize against resistance and to use that resistance to produce greater force output.  What this means for  you is greater intensity and faster results.  As a former Master Instructor for Equinox Fitness Clubs and an accomplished Strength & Conditioning Specialist with the NSCA, Adam has spent hours training athletes and fitness enthusiasts using these training tools.  He has dedicated himself to developing the most effective programs that deliver the best results in a private training format.  This experience will now be utilized in a group class format to give you the same attention and structure as a private 1on1 session but for a fraction of the cost.  Adam is excited to introduce this training style to our San Clemente studio beginning January 2011.  Come out and take a class for yourself to see and feel the difference!  

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What is SPX Fitness?

SPX Fitness is an innovative workout program created by Sebastian Lagree that is geared towards taking the concepts of Pilates to the next level.  Also referred to as Pilates Plus, this program is based primarily on the fundamental principles of Pilates, but also includes aspects of strength training and cardiovascular conditioning programs as well.  This unique approach allows users to experience endless benefits in their training including weight loss, greater strength and endurance, a leaner more athletic appearance, and better posture and flexibility. SPX Fitness prides itself on having a wide variety of exercises that you cannot find in a regular Pilates or strength training class.  This ensures that every workout will be different, no matter how often you attend classes, and guarantees that you will continuously be challenged and never bored.  What makes SPX Fitness different from traditional pilates is that it utilizes the PROFORMER (see picture below), a one of a kind machine that is only available to licensed studios.  Unlike traditional Pilates reformers, the PROFORMER allows its users to perform exercises in counter resistance which makes the workout more intense and promotes greater stability of joints and spine. 

SPX Fitness is the preferred workout among LA's elite and celebrities alike.  It is now expanding across the country and throughout the world.  BT Fitness is proud to be the only studio in San Clemente to offer this cutting edge workout in an intimate group class format. Co-Owner Kimberly Brower is a certified SPX Fitness Instructor and has also been an avid practitioner for the last 3 years.  She has taken classes with some of the most experienced SPX Fitness instructors and has dedicated her time to master the program under the direct instruction of Sebastian Lagree.  For more information on SPX Fitness and the science behind it please visit SPX Fitness      

Welcome to BT Fitness

BT Fitness will soon be opening in beautiful San Clemente, California!  Our website is almost complete and should be up and running within the next 4-6 weeks to allow for all of our clients to view pricing (including opening specials), learn about the different types of classes we will be offering, and view the class schedule.  Our studio will give San Clemente residents exclusive access to group SPX Fitness classes along with other group classes that will utilize the most innovative tools in the fitness industry today.  This will include kettlebell and suspension training, stability and medicine ball training, along with regenerative and flexibility classes.  Our goal is to give you all of the tools necessary to truly transform your body into a vehicle for optimal performance.  Our projected opening date is currently January 1, 2011 but stay tuned as we will be continually updating our blog as time goes on to give a more accurate time frame. To receive pre-opening updates and learn about opening incentives, email us at Don't hesitate to send us an email to share your interests and what you are looking for in a fitness studio. Your feedback and comments are always welcomed.