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Motivation: The Key to a Better 2018

So just like that .. it’s the first day of 2018!  Let me start off by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. I’m sure you are tired of seeing all the “New Year New You” posts.  I know my eyes are tired of being rolled after seeing so many of those posts myself! After all, how many people actually keep their New Year resolutions? As you probably guessed, not many. Roughly 80% of Americans give up on their resolutions by the second week of February! Yup, that’s pretty disappointing 😔 .
Building the Right Habits
I take my health and fitness very seriously, and I understand the importance of eating right and exercising.  Since our health is the one thing we can’t buy back, why should we wait ’till Monday, or next month or the beginning of the year to take care of it?
PEOPLE – The time is NOW to get started (kinda funny that Jan 1 actually lands on a Monday this year though huh)!  So what is stopping many of you guys from reaching your goals? The answer is MOTIVATION
If you are looking for long lasting results, you must be able to identify what drives you, what motivates you.  Many of us know “what we should do,” however if there isn’t a meaningful reason to change…  it’s highly likely you will fall way short of your goals.
The reason again is LACK OF MOTIVATION
Let me give you an example.  For those who even slightly know me, know that I have an insane sweet tooth.  I mean, Yogurtland was practically listed as my emergency contact address since I was there so often.  Well, on Thanksgiving of 2016 I decided to give up sweets until my birthday, which was the following February. I mean this was something seemingly unsurmountable since I love sweets so much, but guess what .. I did just that!  As a matter a fact, I went ONE ENTIRE YEAR without eating any candy, chocolate, cake, or ice cream. You know what my motivation was? It was everyone who ever doubted me. I wanted to prove a point to myself and everyone that if you put your mind to something it can be done. 

4 Ways to Motivate Yourself
  1. Incentives & Rewards: This is pretty obvious. People driven by rewards or incentives are willing to take action when they know they will have something tangible at the end. Creating “S.M.A.R.T.” goals will help us reach our goals:
    • make sure they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timeable.
  2. Fear: Ask yourself, “Why do you want to make this change? What would it mean to you and others in your life if you made these changes?” The other question you need to ask yourself is, “Who you are making these changes for?” Your motivation must be significant to you. You’re always going to choose feeling good over feeling uncomfortable, so be honest with yourself. 
  3. Growth: If you want to grow as an individual in the new year, you have to make this a priority and take initiative.  An easy way to make sure you stay on track is to have an accountability partner who will you keep you in check. This is where KEEN comes in!  We are here to keep that booty in check 
  4. Support: We all need encouragement and support throughout our journey of change. You don’t have to do this alone. Plus, it’s no fun that way. Whether, it’s KEEN or another fitness group, find what you like to do and stick with it! 💪🏼
Why is it so hard to stick to your goals? Because change is big. It’s scary. But you don’t want to hit next January with the same resolution.  How boring. How tedious. How last year haha!

So what do you do? Put one foot in front of the other for a start.

You need to lose weight and get healthy?  Go to the gym, preferably KEEN, so you can get all 4 of the motivational steps above in one place!

So remember, you have to give yourself tools and methods to execute your resolution.  Like, ‘You need to think positively?’ Well, try giving yourself a mirror mantra every day. ‘You need to quit smoking?’  Ok, go buy yourself some nicotine gum.  Change starts in small ways.

 

Knowing what you value is a big part of motivation. 

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Member of the Month (August 2017): Salpi Pirverdian

What better way to kick-off (umm maybe the better word is “celebrate”) back-to-school than by honoring our August member of the month Salpi, a mom to a 7 year old boy!  I can not get tired of the phenomenal progress and changes Salpi has seen in her strength, body, and overall fitness performance.  She is a true power-house… everyone in the gym knows when Salpi is around, because her kicks on the bag make thunder echoes through the building.. fa real!  Congrats Salpi on a long-time-coming, well-deserved Member of the Month win! 

Hey Salpi so congratulations on being this month’s member of the month.. so how old are you?
I’m 36 years old… married for 10 years with a 7.5 year old son.

 

How did you hear about KEEN? And what made you try it out?
So Ankeen is my cousin, and I was at the hair salon and Ankeen told me just to come.  I tried to fight it hard, and told her there is no way I can do this.  After that first class, I honestly didn’t feel too bad.  I did much better than I thought actually.. I was mostly scared about heavy lifting.

 

That’s so funny that you say that, because you’re literally one of the heaviest lifters at the gym:
Ya I know huh.. It’s crazy how your body transforms.

 

What is the biggest progress you’ve had?
Well I’ve lost 17 lbs and I’ve built a LOT of strength.   

 

Can you give us tips?
Well working out is half of the equation.  Building muscle and and cardio strength is so crucial to success.  The other HUGE half of it is your diet.  Since March I started watching my sugar intake (I have an insane sweet tooth) and upping my clean protein and I started losing a ton of weight.  Abs start in the kitchen.. Guess that saying is true!  

 

How has that changed your day to day? 
Well I definitely have more energy and strength throughout the day.. Definitely a lot more confidence.  

 

You always have such a positive attitude and always smiling and laughing.. What’s your secret?
I love working out.. It’s my happy place.  At this intensity, I really get addicted to the rush of it.  It’s a natural high.

 

What’s one of your favorite workouts?
Bear complex for sure… I love the lifting part of it.   Which is crazy because I didn’t ever think I would come to love the weight lifting part of an exercise.  (Check out Salpi’s custom “Bear Complex Instructional” GIF below)

 

So most women think lifting weights won’t help them achieve their goals.  In fact, they think it will do the opposite and make them “expand.”  Can you give us your feedback on that?
Oh my god.. Lifting weights itself is a great cardio workout.  Like when you’re doing the bear complex, you heart rate is super high and racing.  You lose more weight in the long run too.

 

So you are NOTORIOUS for your kicks on the bag… is your husband scared.. Because we are.
I always tell him, “I swear I can kick you a** …”  jokingly of course, but in a little way I’m being pretty realistic.  I love kickboxing.. It’s the ultimate stress reliever.  I even told my husband that I’ll get so strong that I can power lift him too haha!

 

Does your son know the level of bad ass you are?
I was tell him, “you know I’m stronger than your dad right?” He laughs… doesn’t say anything.  I always show him the workouts we do but he’s shy about doing them too.  But I’m definitely always advocating fitness to him.

 

So we know you’re related to Ankeen… is there something you could tell us that we don’t know about her?   An embarrassing story would be great…
So Ankeen is 3 years younger than me, and when she was underage, she would borrow my ID.  So we had a good system where she would pick it up in the middle of the night from my mailbox, but she was also VERY punctual about returning it back into the mailbox the next day.  Well she knew she had too… or else she would lose that “privilege” real quick – haha!

 

What advice do you give people thinking about trying out a KEEN class? Specifically people who say it’s just too hard or intimidating?
I tell them that’s exactly how I felt.  Just come once… and you’ll see what an amazing environment it is.  Especially all the ladies here… all of them are just so amazing and supporting.  Just come once!  The coaches, all of them, are so awesome… all different with great variety – thank you to our coaches!

 

What’s your jam right now?
I love all kinds of music… except I hate rap…ehh and country is kind of blah to me, but everything else I love.   Right now I love that Martin Garrix + Dua Lipa song, called “Scared to be lonely”

 

Restaurant Pick:  TAKU-YA Sushi in Glendale.. The protein roll there is DA BOMB!

Those Crazy Salpi Kicks!

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Member of the Month (April 2017): Crystal Bairian

crystal-kickThis month’s member of the month lives up to the phrase, “So What’s Your Excuse?”  This woman literally came to the gym and kept up her fitness until her last month of pregnancy!  I’m so proud of what Crystal has achieved prior to her pregnancy, and just the phenomenal shape she maintained during her entire pregnancy.  Crystal comes to the gym with her positive and HILARIOUS attitude, and always puts a smile on everyone’s face.  We’re lucky to have her at the gym!

Hey Crystal, so congrats on being this month’s member of the month.  Tell us some quick facts about yourself:
I’m 29 years old and I just had my first baby.  She’s 4.5 months old and her name is Arianna.

So now you’re no longer annoyed when people tell you their kids’ ages in weeks right?  Haha not at all.. clearly I just did it too!

How did you hear about KEEN? And what made you try it out?
I moved to La Crescenta and was looking for a local gym. On Instagram, I saw Keen Fitness was opening and I signed up in Ankeen’s garage actually.  I was here on the first day it opened.. and fell in love and haven’t stopped coming since.

What was your level of activity or fitness prior to joining?
I would do reformer pilates 4x a week.  This is different:  it’s a good mix of cardio, strength training… it’s a fun environment and getting in shape is a plus.  A lot of my friends come here too so it’s an opportunity to see them and get fit together.

You literally came to the gym up until giving birth to your first baby.. How did that feel?  Was it challenging to motivate yourself to come?
I came until I was 8 months pregnant and yes towards the end I had to really give it my all to come.  But seeing that it was keeping me in a healthy pregnancy weight range, and that it was giving me more energy that kept me motivated.  I honestly think my strength training and fitness level led me to have a more positive and easier labor, and definitely faster post-partum recovery. All those damn squats!

Do you feel like your experience at KEEN, or just being fit will affect how you parent your kids?
Oh definitely.. I think even making it a priority for me and my spouse to make time for each other to work out is important because then your kids can see you valuing that, and they learn to understand the importance of being fit and healthy. That’s how I was raised and it totally attributed to me valuing my health and level of activity as an adult.

What’s one of your favorite workouts?
Oh Boy! I like when Ankeen does circuits… oh my god, I love Abs.. I always make Ankeen do abs for me.

crystal-punchingSomething we don’t know about you:
I’m a clinical pharmacist (aka legal drug dealer) at a Kaiser anti-coagulation clinic.

So that makes your really smart right?
I wouldn’t say really smart.. Just have a lot of training, education  and a sh*t ton of student loans to pay off haha!

You have a quirky side to you don’t you… tell us a bit about that:
I’m always trying to make fun out of any situation, and be positive.  I’m a bit of a goof ball… and even if I have to embarrass myself, I feel it’s worth it if it makes someone else feel better.

Has your experiences at KEEN affected your life outside of the gym, and if so how?
My husband and I both motivate each other to work out, and I feel like now it’s something we both have in common.  It’s definitely contributed to the confidence and morale in the marriage, because we’re both on the same page on fitness.  It’s fun to do active things together and actually enjoy it as well!

What’s your least favorite activity at the gym?
Bear complex… I just hate the process of it.  I feel like it’s such a long exercise …

Are you too ADD for that?  Haha yes.

What advice do you give people thinking about trying out a KEEN class?
Whether you’ve never worked out, or you have experience working out.. Or even if you’re post-baby seriously just try it.  It may feel tough initially, but just stick it through and in the long-term you’re going to feel healthier.  Also specifically for women who are pregnant now, I definitely want to stress the fact that working out and being fit contributed to a healthy labor and delivery for me, and my recovery was so much quicker and easier!


crystal-pressWhat’s your jam right now?
I love listening to Hip Hop twerking music.  That’s what keeps me going.

 

 

Is that what you listen to at the Kaiser anti-coagulation clinic when you’re filling drugs for patients?  Ya when I’m not with a patient, you can find me twerking in the corner with headphones on.. Haha jk!
Fav Restaurant:   I love Bestia … I recommend getting the Barrata pizza for sure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

crystal-and-baby

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Member of the Month (Jan ’17): Mania Hairapetian

What a great way to kick off the first month in the new year… with one of our “undercover beasts” being selected for the member oft the month … Mania Hairapetian.  Mania comes into the gym with a great attitude EVERY TIME, and the energy and strength she puts out wouldMania-kick-1 never let you guess that she was 3 little kiddos at home.  She’s driven, a hard-worker… and one strong mama!  Congrats Mania.. we love you!

Hey Mania.. first off congrats.  Tell us some quick stats on yourself?
Well I’m 36 years old, and a mom to 3 kids, ages 7,5, and 2 (2 girls and 1 boy=), married and enjoying life.

How did you hear about KEEN? And what made you try it out?
I heard from moms at my kids’ school.. And this was when Ankeen was just opening the gym.  My first day here was actually Ankeen’s opening day.  I came for a year straight… and I took a year off when I got pregnant with my 3rd baby… so for this last year and 9 months I’ve been back consistently.

What was your level of activity or fitness prior to joining?
I did a lot of walking but never did weights.  I feel so much stronger now.. I’ve totally pushed myself a lot and I’ve seen such a difference in my body and my health pushing myself to lift weights.  It’s kind of an addiction – a good addiction haha.  It’s a great release of stress and 1 hour all to myself.

What were your goals when you first joined/started?
Honestly I just wanted to lose the baby weight and tone up.  I didn’t think I’d get stronger. But I wanted to get more fit and drop dress sizes.

Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I suck at cooking.. I’m terrible.  Actually I don’t like to do it so maybe that’s the reason I suck.  Oh and I don’t think people realize I’m a legal drug dealer… haha.. I’m a pharmacist by trade. Also, I’m also super OCD about cleaning… omg dust drives me nuts. I pretty much have that white glove on, mentally… checking the dust levels around the house.  Haha not that bad… um, actually, ya that bad.

Has your experiences at KEEN affected your life outside of the gym, and if so how?
I’m much more energetic in general … I definitely eat healthier and am more conscious about what I put in my body.   On vacation all bets are off.. But when I’m back and working out, I’m much more determined to stay balanced and on course as far as nutrition and workouts.    I honestly don’t diet or anything like that.. I enjoy my weekends, but I also work hard when it’s necessary!

You never complain… you always push yourself and end up kicking ass at the end of the workout.
I know how special it is for me to be able to get to the gym… having 3 kids, a busy home and schedule, it’s very difficult to make accommodations to get here so when I’m at the gym, I make sure to make the best of it when I’m here.  I absolutely value my time here.

mania-ankeen-plankWould you say you’re more fit than you husband?
OMG for sure… My husband has always been fit, but lately I’m definitely the FITTER one.  He knows I’m more fit than him… he doesn’t deny it.  I’m his motivation haha!

Aren’t all of us more fit than our husbands here?
Ya for sure!

mani-pull-up2What advice do you give people thinking about trying out a KEEN class?
I promote KEEN like crazy… People always ask me where I workout because I’m always in workout clothes.  People’s first response is “omg it’s so hard I can’t do that!”  I tell them it’s always at your own pace, and you build up from a starting point.  Once you set your goals, you’ll definitely achieve them.  Ankeen motivates you past your own level… and pushes you to achieve great things.  Everyone is so friendly at the gym… such positive energy and vibes.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your jam right now?
For sure Destiny’s Child…. OR (don’t judge me) Persian music.  If I’m getting ready to go out, my jam is “Iranian Radio” haha.  It’s on my favorites .. I really don’t know how it got there.

Fav Restaurant:  Sushi all the way… any date night it’s gotta be sushi.  Gin Sushi in Pasadena is amazing… and surprisingly  Sakura in La Canada has great sushi.

 

mania-ankeen-jump

 

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Member of the Month (Nov ’16): Kirstine Shirvanian

 

I’m super excited to announce this month’s Member of the month, because this woman’s middle name can literally be changed to kris-3“COMMITMENT” !  She has demonstrated a crazy level of dedication and consistency, which has led to her amazing success over the past year.  I’m constantly amazed by how much better and stronger she gets week to week, and it’s people like Kris who make me feel like a proud mama!  Check out her super cool interview below, and get to know Kris a little better!  Congrats girl =)

Tell us some quick bits about you… are you married?
Well I’m 38 years old, happily married… and I have 2 kids:  an 11 year old boy, and a 12 year old girl.

How did you hear about KEEN? And what made you try it out?
I heard about Keen from my friend – I really  needed something to change my body and I wanted to be much stronger. Oh and I hated going to the gym.  I’ve been coming to KEEN since Oct 2015, so a little over a year now.

What was your level of activity or fitness prior to joining?
I did spin like 4 days a week but no lifting at all.  On the first day when I had to lift at KEEN I thought it was going to be impossible. I thought I can’t lift anything.  Now I can’t wait to come to the gym and lift weights.  It’s my favorite part of my workout.. even though I sound like I complain all the time haha.

What were your goals when you first joined/started?
To get myself to come at least 3 days a week and be physically active.  And to gain strength because I knew I needed that.  I feel like I’ve accomplished that… and I’m striving for the next level of strength.

Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I literally had a fear of lifting weights… I would envision the weights dropping on myself or it slipping out of my hands.   Looking back on it now, I understand that my ignorance of weight lifting is what was fueling that fear.. I’m so much more confident about it all now.
Has your experiences at KEEN affected your life outside of the gym, and if so how?
I’ve made friends from the gym.. Great ladies here.  I’m also definitely kris-1trying to incorporate what I learn at the gym at home with my kids .  Of course they always make fun of me but that’s ok.

Going from hating the gym to now coming 2x a day sometimes, what a transition.  Anything you want to say about why KEEN is so special?
The people here are special:  everyone is so supportive, we cheer each other on… it’s never a competition.

I was one of you out there, super intimidated to coming to this gym thinking I would get judged or I’d be surrounded by super athletes.  KEEN is the total opposite of that… everyone pushed me, challenged me. Supported me… and mentally made me stronger.

Have you seen changes in your body since coming for a year now?
Yes!  I’ve lost a total of 18 pounds actually .. I feel much tighter on my legs, and very compact.  Generally I feel amazing.. And my jeans fit!!!!  That’s the true test of progress right?

Would you say you’re more fit than you husband?
Haha yes… hopefully he won’t read this lol.

kris-2

 

 

Aren’t all of us more fit than our husbands here?
That’s right!

What advice do you give people thinking about trying out a KEEN class?
Just try it… every woman should come in here at least once and see what it’s all about.

Favorite Restaurant:  It’s gotta be Stinking Rose… I love their garlic with bread… it’s an amazing appetizer.  Oh yum… haha.

 

 

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Keeping FIT while on Vacay

 

We all live in a busy world. As much as we want to be able to stick to our normal gym schedule, life throws us curve balls: an emergency staff meeting, playing the chauffeur to and from soccer practice, that guy you met at the party asks you to catch dinner tonight. These things happen.  It happens to ALL of us! Guess what though: you can have results… or you can have excuses. NOT BOTH.

Allow me to share some top excuses that I hear all day long:

  • I don’t have enough time
  • I’m way too tired to workout
  • I don’t like exercising
  • I have kids to look after
  • The gym is too expensive
  • I need to start off slow on my own, first.

 

BLAH…BLAH….BLAH. 

What… do you think people who workout consistently never feel those same things? Of course we do!

I have a confession to make. I am an exercise addict. I work out six days a week, like clockwork. I work out almost every single day on vacation. I’ll work out in a tiny hotel room, an empty field, someone’s driveway. It doesn’t matter how the conditions are, I will still work out. Why? Because it’s become part of my lifestyle. I don’t even think twice about. Yes, this can be viewed as a bit excessive. I am here to tell you how leaving town or missing the gym should not derail you from your goals. But once you build up the habit, it actually becomes harder not to exercise because you become so used to prioritizing it in your life.

The holidays are right around the corner. Which means tons of food, alcohol, parties, and vacations. Putting on a few pounds seems effortless around this time of year, but believe me trying to shed them later is much more difficult.

Vacay Tips

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when leaving town.

  • Eat before arriving at the airport
  • Beware of buffets
  • Don’t drink all your calories
  • Take the stairs
  • Check to see if your hotel has a gym
  • Do it anywhere (I mean bodyweight exercises. Duh)
  • Take your workout outdoors

 

Visit “The Traveling WOD” for countless workouts you can do when stuck at home or out on vacation, without any equipment.

“I regret that workout” – said no one, ever.

 

vacay-workout5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Voyage LA Article: Meet La Crescenta Fitness Trainer: Ankeen Tashdjian

voyagela-article3

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ankeen Tashdjian.  Below you’ll find edited excerpts of our interview with Ankeen.

 

Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

Growing up, I was very involved in sports and loved to be active. TV was never for me. I was a waitress at Hot Wings cafe for many years and throughout the years customers would ask me for advice on health, what to eat and how to exercise. It came to a point where they were literally asking me to start a fitness camp, so I did just that. I left my comfort zone and rented out some space at a kickboxing gym that I attended. I started off with a group of 10 women 3 days a week for a few hours. A year later and over a 100 women later I had no choice but to expand. This is how Keenfitness came about. Truly a blessing! We just celebrated our 3 year Anniversary and looking forward to celebrating many more! Keen Fitness is an all women’s gym located in Montrose, CA. Our classes are one of a kind, just come see for yourself.

 

Has it been a smooth road?

Absolutely NOT! There have been countless battles and struggles along the road…..

READ MORE

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You know.. just some Before & After Pics during the Summer

Consistency.

Dedication.

Passion.

Determination.

before and after working out hard mom before and after photo mom before and after photo BnA Summer 2016 -4

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Are you suffering from “Gymtimidation?”

 

After class we typically gather around to stretch and chat in order to cool down and catch our breath. This particular evening I had two new ladies who had officially joined KEEN FITNESS and here is what they said:

You know it took me a year to finally join Keen because I was so intimidated. I am so happy that I did!

Now this was not the first time, second time or even the third time that I have heard this from members who have finally decided to give KEEN a try. Have you ever felt this way? Well you are not alone: 75% of women put off exercise for fear of what others think. Women are most afraid of appearing out of shape and looking clueless in class, or maybe their biggest fear is ME, the crazy coach who is always yelling.

So you may also think that an all-women gym can mean just a bunch of catty jealous women.

I am writing to let you know that KEEN FITNESS is a “NO DRAMA” facility. The members here at KEEN are caring, encouraging, motivating and just a nonjudgmental group of ladies.  Once you give KEEN a shot you will experience the support and warm welcome that I am talking about it. KEEN takes pride in being the home to all ages, shapes, sizes, backgrounds and goals.

 

gymtimidation-2

Our community feels like a family you don’t ever want to leave.  You will find yourself surrounded by other like-minded women who’ll support you, offer you encouragement as things get tough, and are willing to go through the same daily workout as you. After all, this is your chance to break away from the kids, have adult interaction, enjoy a healthy break from men, and forge new friendships. Ohhhhhh and hear me curse like a sailor!

So, stop putting if off and come see for yourself! (book online, your first class is free to try out!)

 

Have any of you felt “gymtimidation?” Please share below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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