Ultra Low Calorie Diets!

Ray Shonk - fitness instructor - greater grand rapids area
Ultra low is a no go.

There are some misconceptions about cutting calories to super low levels. First off what is a calorie? A calorie is the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1° C. So calories are not evil.
Studies show that ultra low calorie diets have a long history of failure. They will likely show results for about a week or two, but then the bad changes happen. You will likely start to fatigue easy, and your metabolism will plummet. When this happens your body will change gears to what many call “starvation mode“.  Once here your body will do everything it can to store fat. This is so your organs don’t start to fail and in time you will notice a distended belly. Another very likely side effect would also be a weakened immune system.
It’s also not just the calories that you need to pay attention to it’s also your basic nutrients such as fat protein and carbohydrates. You need to understand the proper ratio in order to reach your intended goal.
My personal recommendation would be to find an app for your phone that can properly calculate the calories you need per day and subtract the amount of calories required to safely lose weight. Another option would be talking to a nutritionist or a personal trainer weight-loss specialist.  Remember, at the end of the day you are doing this for you, so do it right.

Have Questions? Contact Me.

Want to see how I’ve progress? My Fitness Journey.


Training Trip


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Early last year I submitted my application to become a NASM Master Trainer, and after passing the entrance test, sending letters of recommendation and writing an essay, I was accepted to be 1 of 50 this year. There are 5 summits you can attend and only 10 students per summit.

I picked the first one of the year. The class was rough, but I picked up a ton of useful training tips. Later I found out only 8 were accepted into my group. By summit time there were only 4 trainers in the program including myself. Even more surprising, our class was in the private MUSCLEPHARM facility in Denver! It was amazing, best equipment I have seen.

It was awesome to have the facility all to ourselves! We could build programs using any of  the equipment. But the most valuable lesson I learned was, trust your gut. Pass or fail, it was an awesome experience! I want to thank my NASM instructors and MUSCLEPHARM for the amazing opportunity! Good luck to my classmates!

Fyi, MUSCLEPHARM hooked my class up!!

Have Questions? Contact Me.

Want to see how I’ve progress? My Fitness Journey.

Get Up On Your Hands

ray shonk hands quest fitness handstand michigan
Personal Trainer Ray Shonk Does Handstands At Quest Fitness


I’m finding that handstands are one of the best exercises you can do!

No, I’m not saying give up on your shoulder press or any other workout.

So why do I say this? Well first off handstands work your entire kinetic chain, from hands to feet. In this exercise you have to engage every muscle just like a baby first learning to walk.
At first it will be very difficult, putting a lot of stress on your shoulders and your deltoids, which are fairly small muscles. To  start you will for sure want to be good with planks and even pike pushups.

The strength in your core will be important. I helped myself a lot by doing Yogic stability poses. From there work into a handstand by walking your feet up the wall. Don’t be afraid of using the wall for some extra stability. Slowly decrease your need for the wall. This can take a while, but don’t give up. In time you will be amazed at what you can do with your balance.
I recently started working handstands on 3-fingers. I don’t recommend this unless you have also trained your fingers. Take your time and have fun with it.

Have Questions? Contact Me.

Want to see how I’ve progress? My Fitness Journey.

Fitness Can Be The Fountain Of Youth

We all know that fitness makes us stronger, fights off illness and makes our clothes fit better.

Another benefit of regular exercise is that it keeps you young!

Exercise gets your brain going like an energy drink and boosts vitality and overall sense of well being.

A good workout also increases blood flow throughout your entire body, including below the belt. This translates into a stronger and more youthful sex drive.

Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario studied a small group of adults between ages 20 and 84. The frequent exercisers who were over age 40 had skin that resembled the more supple, elastic skin of people in their 20s and 30s. The difference had nothing to do with sun exposure (which would age your skin faster if you didn’t wear sunscreen), reported the research team.

As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass and bone density leading to poor posture. Strength training, can help prevent this by conditioning the muscles and keeping stress on your bones and improving bone density.

Don’t forget, it is never too late to start being a healthier you. 

Have Questions? Contact Me.

Want to see how I’ve progress? My Fitness Journey.