Obtaining the Perfect Body

Since the early Egyptian and Greek times, men and women have wanted the perfect body. In those times, the more fit a man’s body was, the closer he was to a god, and for women the better their fit curves and booty, they closer they were to a goddess.

As a matter of fact, they would hold competitions to show who had the best figure. But here is the funny thing: the perfect figure was created by an artist in Greek times, and even with the hours men and women spent in gyms it was an impossible standard. Now let’s fast forward a few thousand years and we still work to set insane standards with fashion magazine using Photoshop and airbrush techniques. What I’m here to tell you is that there is no perfect human form. It was a made up standard. But that doesn’t mean we should give up on striving to be the best we can be. No one’s genetic makeup will be exactly the same as another’s. Some people struggle to lose weight, some struggle to gain weight, some can tone up easily. This is your journey, your fitness quest and you need to do what is best for you. Don’t let society dictate how you have to look.

The Calisthenics Quest is coming soon.

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Amanda Was The First To Take The Challenge!

1. So what made you decide you wanted to try The 6 day Calisthenics Challenge?


Amanda: Ray offered the challenge and insisted I wouldn’t die, so I wanted to see if I would be able to complete it. After training with Ray for almost a year, I wanted to see how far I could push myself, and also see how far I have come. 

2. Did you have many concerns about going through with it?

Amanda: I was afraid I would be too tired/sore/worn out to actually complete all 6 days. Honestly, I was terrified that like 2 days in I would be too sore to even get out of bed. This was by far the most rigorous and demanding workout I have ever done. 

3. What day would you say was the most challenging and what day did you enjoy the most?


Amanda: The most challenging day was leg day, by far. I have a love/hate relationship with leg day. It was absolutely exhausting, but the feeling of satisfaction and achievement when you finish and realize how many squats and lunges you cranked out in one session is awesome. 
As far as most fun, I loved the cardio day. Speed ladders and boxing in intervals was a blast and the workout went really quickly. 

4. If you did it all again what, if anything, would you change?

Amanda: I would eat better during the challenge. Clean eating is one of my personal challenges that I struggle with. I could tell on the days where I had slacked off and eaten junk food that I had less energy and that the workouts were harder to complete. I would probably do more at home stretching too, in between workouts, to help with muscle soreness.

5. Do you have any advice for the people out there considering giving the calisthenics challenge a try?

Amanda: Just try it. It is hard, and it does hurt, but satisfaction afterwards is more than worth it. Now I get to say I kept up with Ray for a whole week. And anyone that has met or trained with Ray knows that’s a hell of an accomplishment. (Also, you might accidentally get a six pack, which I look at as a positive) 

Sending out a fitness challenge to all my fitness friends and family! The challenge is come workout with me doing my routines for 6 days straight. All of it is calisthenics. Amanda was the first to survive the “Z Fitness Challenge”. Who’s next? The fee is only $125 for 6 days. If you make it all 6 days you get $25 back.

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See where I started.

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.

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My Fitness update 

So my original doctor a few years ago told me I would have to take medicine for my cholesterol because of how crazy high it was. Matter of fact it was so bad he said I would be lucky to make it to 35 without a heart attack. Well with focusing on diet and exercise I got it to normal levels with no medicine. Take that pharmaceuticals!The moral of it all… Don’t let someone tell you what you can and can’t do with your own health and fitness.

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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. 

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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.

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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

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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.

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Get to Know Cardio

One of the most misunderstood and underrated parts of most people’s fitness programs is cardio-respiratory training.
Most people fail to understand why cardio training is so important in their fitness routines. Once you have set your overall goals, it is important to understand how to perform cardio training in the most effective way to reach those goals. Some of the most common goals for cardio training are: improve health by reducing cardio risk factors such as unhealthy body composition, poor blood lipid profiles, high blood pressure, weight management, improve performance, and reduce mental anxiety. There is much more to cardio training than just working the aerobic energy system.
In order to meet the goals, you have set the aerobic energy system and anaerobic energy system must both be trained. This is true especially for people who consistently switch between their aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, maximizing performance and minimizing fatigue. This type of conditioning is referred to as “interval training“, and is actually one of my favorite types of training. One thing I would suggest before you start an intense cardio program is to actually meet with a fitness professional just to help determine your current VO2 max. Your VO2 max, is the highest rate of oxygen transport and utilization achieved at maximal physical exertion. It will also be very helpful to find your maximum heart rate. The formula for this is rather simple your maximum heart rate is equal to 220 – Age.

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Why Not?

Some days I just love pushing those limits! Last night was a great weightless class! I decided to finish it out with something new for myself. This is not something I would suggest for a beginner.


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