I feel like I remember Jake’s first month at bootcamp like it was yesterday, but at the same time, light years ago. Jake is writing himself an amazing story that he will take him the rest of his life. He is truly an inspiration to all those out there that have thought about making that leap of getting healthy and in shape, but have not taken action.
Jake had been a regular in my classes for a couple of months before we started working together one-on-one. I admired his aggressive approach to making a healthy change for himself. The group environment really feeds into and off of that. Jake approached me one day after camp asking how to improve his form on some certain exercises.
We talked a little bit after class that day, but soon began working together one-on-one once a week, just to establish some fundamentals to his training. In any level or form of fitness, it is imperative that our body has proper function and form is correct before begin to increase load or number of reps. The private coaching environment was perfect for this. Jake and I were able to break certain exercises down step by step and focus on doing things RIGHT before we continued doing more. The persistence and dedication from Jake was evident from the start and continued to grow throughout the process. It definitely rubbed off on me, because I felt like I was on the journey with him. In truth, all of us at HEAT took the journey with him and continue to do so with him and all of our clients.
Jake’s improvement these last 9 months has become a great success story as I remember where he was when he first started. The only thing more exciting for me, is to think of where he will be 9 months from now. It is stories like his that make what we do as trainers so rewarding.
"My name is Jake Pinon. I am coming up on 9 months of being a HEAT Boot Camp member, and I am proud (and a bit surprised) to be saying that. I joined HEAT at the end of July, 2013 ready to make a conscious change in my life. I have never been an athlete. Until I joined HEAT., I was always a “skinny-fat” guy who relied on my metabolism alone to stave off any real weight gain. One day, I realized that I was sick of just getting by. I wanted to be an active and healthy individual, and that was going to require hard work. I knew this was going to be hard, but I made sure to tell myself NOT to think about it, and to just go. It worked. Coach Joey trained some people at my work place, and he has always encouraged me to try one of his classes. Not knowing where else to start, I signed up for a 3-month trial at HEAT Boot Camp, and signed up for 4 classes for my first week.
The first class I attended was really hard for me. I showed up 15 minutes early, and not knowing what kind of stretching I should be doing, I copied the girl next to me. We started talking, and I told her it was my first camp. She was genuinely excited for me, told me it was her first month, and no matter what, not to give up. We started the class with a warm-up jog around the block, and in just the first 5 minutes of class, I was asking myself, “what have I gotten myself into, am I going to be able to last an entire hour?” I wasn’t going to let negative thoughts derail me, and I made myself a promise to go 4 times that week. Throughout the week, I made mistakes, didn’t understand things, and had to take a lot of breaks, but I didn’t give up. I remember during that first week, Coach Joey saying, “It takes 6 months to make something a habit”, and I remember telling myself, “YOU WILL BE HERE IN 6 MONTHS AND YOU’RE GOING TO LIKE IT BY THEN.”
I finished my first week, and I had survived. The days came and went, and before each class, I had to tell myself, “This is going to get harder before it gets easier, but eventually this is going to be less scary.” Weeks turned into a month, and I was still attending classes regularly 4 times per week! With each class, I became less awkward with the exercise movements, my stamina during our jogs and during the workouts improved, and I felt better about myself in general! I wasn’t weighing myself or taking progress photos, but people started telling me that I was looking skinnier and were asking what I was doing. That was just the encouragement I needed to keep going.
About two months into my HEAT adventure, I decided that while I was happy with the progress I was making, I wanted to make sure I got the fundamentals down to prevent injury. Again, I have never been an athlete, so I had no idea how my form was supposed to be when I signed up for HEAT. One does not need to know about working out in order to join HEAT... that is something the coaches look for and help with during camps, but I wanted to be sure I was doing things the right way, the first time, and not create any bad habits from the get-go. With that, I decided to train with a HEAT coach one-on-one, once a week. I had worked with a couple different coaches at boot camp, but a majority of the time I was working with Coach Rick, and enjoyed his classes, so he was a natural choice to work with.
I am so happy that I decided to train with Coach Rick. When I started working with him, I thought I was doing alright, and I was. But I had so much to learn, and so much to improve upon, and Coach Rick helped me figure that out. I am not a rich guy by any means, but I was able to afford working out with Rick once a week. In order to make sure I was getting a proper education on all parts of the body, I switched days each week that we worked together, and alternated our focus each week between primarily back/arm/chest days, and butt/leg/core days. Occasionally, I would add an extra session to focus on any specific areas that I feel I needed extra help / focus on, like deadlifts, various stretches and hip strengthening exercises, among other things. To think about where I am now versus when I started working with Rick still surprises me. I have learned so much about good form, stretching, alignment, and taking care of myself and preventing injuries thanks to working with Rick one-on-one. For me, one of the best feelings I have during a workout is recognizing when my form is incorrect, and being able to recognize and correct that myself, without the help of a coach. With Rick’s training, my confidence has grown, and so has my affinity for working out. After a couple of months, I increased my workouts to 5 days a week, and realized I was only just beginning my journey.
As the New Year passed, and I approached my 6 month goal of being at HEAT, I realized I needed to take the next step in my quest to being truly healthy and fit. I was happy that I was working out 5 days a week, but I felt like I could be doing more for my body to help it achieve it's maximum potential, and that lead me to think about my nutrition. I wouldn't say that I was an unhealthy eater, but I definitely had a lot to learn about nutrition. One day while Coach Joey was at my work, I mentioned that I had already had breakfast for the day in the form of a black bean and cheese soft taco, to which Joey replied, "good thing I didn't see you eating it!" I was under the impression that I was doing my body right by eating something with protein and substance, but apparently I had a lot to learn. Having Joey point out the error in my dietary ways got me thinking about my eating habits, and only made me more adamant to start getting serious about nutrition.
The best part about the HEAT team, is that you can ask anyone for advice. I love Rick, and I love working with him, but when it comes to nutrition, nobody I know eats cleaner than Coach Joey, and I knew he was the guy I wanted to talk to about this. I followed up with him about our taco conversation, and asked what I should be doing instead. He asked me to meet with him to talk about my nutrition goals, and we would get something set up. The next week, we sat down and he asked me what specific goals I wanted to achieve. After talking about my goals, he then laid out a healthy and clean way to achieve them through nutrition. He gave me a meal plan to start, and explained the fundamentals of what I needed to be eating each day, and why. Joey ascertained that I am a “hard-gainer”, but if I did things right, (which required eating a lot more food than I was used to), I could achieve my goals. I followed his recommendations, and starting eating clean, and the results that happened were AMAZING! In the first month that I started following the meal plan, the results were already drastic. Not only was my body responding, but my mood and energy were as well. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to eat as much food as Joey said I eventually would, but sure enough, my appetite grew along with the gains I made through working out.
The unexpected benefit to having a such a structured diet and exercise regimen has been the quality of day-to-day life in general. Having the structure of Boot Camp in my schedule has added so much stability to my life in general, I never realized how much good a little routine can do. Learning to cook for myself and eat meals regularly has allowed me to plan and prepare my meals for the week with little effort involved, and my culinary skills are taking off as well. I was nervous about trying to make food flavorful without ingredients like cheese and butter, but the challenge it presented has rewarded me with the gift of learning to cook with herbs and spices I would have never thought of.
With Rick, Joey, and the other HEAT coaches help, I am fully realizing my goal to be seriously healthy and fit through diet and exercise. This experience has not been easy. I have had off -days, I haven’t always felt 100%, and that’s okay, because I keep trying. At around the 7 month mark, I had been working out 6 days per week, and one week I felt completely burnt out. My coaches were the first to tell me to take a week off, and I was told it is good to give our bodies an extended break after working out 4 – 6 months in a row. The important thing is that I listen to my body, and talk to my coaches. They are working to help promote growth in a healthy way, and they’ve done exactly that.
I am so thankful for not only the coaches at HEAT, but the community of HEAT members as well. I didn’t think about the friends I would make along the way, and the incentive they provide to keep working out, and keep trying! Everyone that works and works out at HEAT is so supportive, and I am happy to say that I’ve made a lot of new friends because of it. When I spoke with coach Joey about my goals for this year, I told him I wanted to be eating clean, to work out 6 days a week, and to run a half marathon. As of right now, I’m working out 6 days a week, eating clean, and LOVING IT, and am currently able to run 7 miles with a 7 minute mile. Before this, I couldn’t run more than 3 without needing my inhaler, and I definitely wasn’t running those in less than 10 minutes. I understand that this a journey I am still on, and I am still learning new things every day, but without the expertise of these wonderful people, I wouldn’t be where I am today. To Coaches Rick, Joey, Greg, Cody, and to all the HEAT Coaches and members I’ve gotten the pleasure to meet, and sweat with along the way, I say THANK YOU! I look forward to spending more time working and growing with all of you."