Online Training

Quest Fitness is now offering online training. How does this work? For starters, contact us on the “Contact” page. Once emailed, we will discuss goals and cover your current fitness level. Remember, everyone is different, and, yes, there will be a little bit of paperwork. Then, we will go over a few options based on what equipment is available to you, and don’t worry if you don’t have equipment. We have tons of options for you. The next step is developing the workout and basic nutrition plan. Through the entire process, we will be available for text, email or Facebook IM to help you with questions. There will be multiple payment options as well as different package options. Even though we may never meet in person, we will work with you every step of the way.

Have questions? Contact us.

Flexibility Training

Much like other areas of health and fitness, flexibility has a systematic progression based on your goals, needs and capabilities. The three phases of flexibility training that I like to use are corrective, active and functional.


Corrective flexibility is used for increasing joint range of motion, improving muscle imbalances and correcting alter joint mechanics. Some of the techniques for corrective flexibility include foam rolling (also known as self myofascial release) and static stretching. Foam rolling would be used for tight or overactive muscles to help relax and elongate improving muscle extensibility. During static stretching will improve muscle extensibility further by holding your stretches for 20 to 60 seconds allowing for greater lengthening of the muscle.

 

The next phase of flexibility is active flexibility, which uses active-isolated stretching. This allows for the agonist and the synergist muscles to move through a full range of motion while the antagonists are being stretched. In most cases the stretches are only held for 2 to 5 seconds at the end range of motion and then relaxed and it would be done for a specific number of repetitions.

The third phase in the flexibility continuum is functional flexibility which utilizes dynamic stretching. For dynamic stretching you need multiplane are extensibility with optimal neuromuscular control throughout the full range of motion. One easy example of this would be doing bodyweight squats or walking lunges with a medicine ball rotation.

The third phase in the flexibility continuum is functional flexibility which utilizes dynamic stretching. For dynamic stretching you need multiplane are extensibility with optimal neuromuscular control throughout the full range of motion. One easy example of this would be doing bodyweight squats or walking lunges with a medicine ball rotation.

See my fitness journey
Have Questions? Contact me.

Fitness Quick Fixes

I know everyone out there is looking for the quick fix or shortcut to health and fitness… Well here it is…

There isn’t one. I know DVDs, Diet Programs and, yes, even Body Wraps claim they have the solution, but sadly they are temporary.

Let’s start with DVDs. Yes, I myself did start with a DVD program, and yes it was a challenge, but after a short time my results started to plateau. That’s when you realize that your fitness has to evolve with your body. Our bodies are amazing, and can adapt to physical stress loads. 

Now onto the diet… Yes! Your diet has to evolve with your fitness. Sure, you may start with the low carb low fat diet plans, but diets are temporary. Eating smart and lifestyle changes are more permanent. As you get more fit your meal plans will have to change. Even weight watchers evolves over time.

Now for the wraps… This is an extremely temporary fix. It essentially squeezes the water out of your fat cells making you look thinner. Normally this will last for up to 72 hours, and sadly over use of things like this is not only expensive but also can start to dehydrate your body. 

My best advice… Put in the work for the results. You will feel better seeing all that you have accomplished. 

Have questions? Contact me.

See my fitness journey.

Weight Loss Myths

With so many weight loss myths out there, it’s time we bring the facts to the table.

“I workout hard, so I can eat whatever I want.”
In truth, it comes down to calories in vs. calories out. If you consume more calories than what you burn in a day, then you will gain weight. The reverse is also true. If you consume less than what you burn, then you will lose weight.happens-eat-much-junk-food_52511c18d2246a53

“To lose the weight, I will cut carbs and fats out of my diet.”
This is actually a very bad idea. Yes, at first you will drop a few pounds, but it will mostly be water weight. Carbs and fats are needed for a healthy body. Carbs are a huge fuel source for your body and fat helps cells absorb vital nutrients into your body. Finding the proper balance of these macro nutrients, and the right kinds, are key, not cutting them out.Red-Dice-Fat-Protein-Carb-400x250bfc6a

“You have to workout to lose weight.”
Not entirely true. Again, weight loss comes from calories in vs. calories out. Now adding a workout to your weight loss plan will help. After all adding some muscle will help burn the fat. Granted with the muscle the weight loss may slow down, but you will lean out and look tone.

push up

“The more calories you cut, the more weight you will lose.”
True and false. While a calorie deficit is required for weight loss, dropping them too low (below 1,200) should only be done under the supervision of a medical professional. Some of the risks of these ultra low calorie diets are malnutrition, poor energy, digestive issues, or even development of gallstones.

 very low calorie diet

“Eating at night causes weight gain.”
There is no magical time when the body is better at storing fat. Even when sleeping your body is still burning energy.

67700000

 

See my story
Have questions? Contact me.

What Quest Fitness Is All About

The theory behind Quest Fitness is that everyone’s fitness journey is unique. Sure, you may share the same goal as the next person, but how you get there can be very different. Not everyone wants to run miles, lift weights or do push-ups, and not everyone has the self motivation to do at home videos. What we do first, at Quest Fitness, is sit down and talk game plan. We need to be on the same page on how we will get through all the different phases of your workout. Then, we schedule times to meet. Yes, it will take time, but you will have the support that you need through all the struggles. Your Quest for a more fit you starts here.IMG_3641

Have Questions? Contact me.

New Review!

If you’re considering working with a personal trainer, my advice is:

1. Go for it. I’ve never seen these kind of results, nor been this happy with my body before. It addition to keeping me consistent, Ray knew how to push me enough so after every workout I had that wonderful feeling of exhaustion and accomplishment, knowing I couldn’t possibly have done any more work.

2. If you live in the GR area, work with Ray Shonk at Quest Fitness. He knows how and when to change things up so you continue to see results. He’s basically a fitness genius/psycho and you’ll learn A LOT from him. Bonus: he’s a bit of a sci-fi/Deadpool/dark humor kind of nerd and not at all a dumb jock.

Have questions about Quest Fitness? Contact us.

Cardio or Resistance Training First?

The answer to that question depends on the end goal. A lot of people feel strength training should be done first to augment the amount of fat burnt during cardio, because the strength training will burn glycogen stores. But, because of the rest periods and the shorter bursts of exercise, this will not likely affect your glycogen levels. However working in such a state can have negative effects such as low blood insulin, and a strong perception of fatigue. Currently there is no research showing that strength training before cardio increases fat burn. Strength training first may reduce your intensity causing your cardio training to suffer.


If the goal is strength, then resistance training would be the best way to start. If weight loss or aerobic endurance are the goal then hit the cardio first. Alternating the 2 is a great way to train both.

See my story.

Have questions? Contact me.

Change Your Modalities of Training 

Exercise is something you can do anywhere and everywhere
The World Is Your Gym, Click Here To Find Out How

The human body responds to physical stress with improved performance. The systems of the body will respond to stress with improved fitness and performance according to the General Adaptation Syndrome.

Different training modalities have been developed throughout history to introduce you unique stressed to the body in an effort to promote improved function.

Ingenuity creativity and innovation have resulted in the development of a variety of different training tools that present different physical challenges to the neuromuscular system. The inventors and manufactures of the different equipment continue to change these modalities and ways to enhance effectiveness safety and challenge of the traditional exercises.

But overall it’s important to become familiar with the different modalities used in fitness and function to know how to best incorporate them into your training regimen and understand where their use is most valuable.

Ray - Quest Fitness - Getting results with a stick
Ray Shonk | Personal Trainer

There are lots of arguments over which modality is best in the fitness industry. In reality there is no “best” form of training for all populations. Instead you should be focused on the modality that most appropriately fits your goals and your appropriate training phase. It is very easy to become comfortable with the same type of workout over and over and rely too heavily on a limited number of modalities.

Overall you should be making changes to your workout every 4 to 6 weeks to prevent reaching that plateau. This can be done by varying the temple of the work out the weights in the workout and even the reps in the workout, or it can also be changed by the type of equipment you use whether you go from free weights to cable machines to body-weight or even suspension training. I feel it’s important to work with a fitness professional to determine the modality you need to be in to reach your goals.

Drop the Machines for Functionality 

 

push up

I know a lot of people love their workout machines, but here me out.

Let’s look at the machine like the leg extension. You will never really use this motion in everyday life, you are sitting in a fixed position just swinging your leg out. Sure, you do get a burn in your quads but where is the core activation?

Doing a squat is a much better alternative to leg extensions or even the leg press, and yes I know some people have issues with squats. There are ways around it such as a ball squat.

Before you use a machine ask yourself:  how will this help my over all functionality? Even physical therapists stray away from machines for more functional movements. If weights are not your thing also look at the option of calisthenics. Something as ordinary as a pushup has huge benign to your entire upper body.

Have Questions? Contact Me.

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

Free Weights and Machines

Free Weights at Quest Fitness, Grand Rapids Area Gym
Quest Fitness Free Weights

Many people struggle in the gym because they are unsure how to use the equipment or where to start and in many cases hide in the machines.

I’ll admit I was one of them. The machines at the gym can be a great tool, but in many cases can’t give you the same results as free weights. A good example is the arm curl machine vs. the standing dumbbell curl. The machine will isolate the biceps and give them a decent workout, but the standing curl will work the biceps, shoulders and core muscles.

For many people looking to lose weight the free weights are a better way to go. Hitting more muscle groups at one time will burn more calories.   

Another machine I see so many people use is the treadmill. The treadmill is a great tool, but for a good cardio workout it shouldn’t be relied on all the time. We have been running for thousands of years so our bodies adjust to it fast. Before you know it, you are running an hour just to get a good cardio workout. I say break away from it from time to time and try more of a HIIT style workout or Tabata Training. These training styles will boost your heart rate and give you an amazing workout.