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Member of the Month (September 2018): Sam

September marks the beginning of Autumn, and the end of Summer of course, when things go back into a routine, and school is back in session.  What a perfect month to celebrate this special member of the month, since she is a busy mom to 2 grown boys, who decided 4 years ago that it was time for a change.  Time for her to focus on her health and well-being, and really start a workout routine that nourished her physically and emotionally.  Sam, I am so proud of you.  You have been committed to the gym and to your fitness routine for 4 straight years, and your results are truly remarkable.  You bring a smile to my face every time I see you in here, and your ‘can-do’ attitude is contagious.  Congrats, you deserve to be celebrated!


Congrats Sam! So let’s start by establishing how old you are: Hmmm… I’m 43… I don’t know how I became to be 43, but ya I am.  Are you sure?  Haha yes!

Are you  married? Kids?
Yup.  I have 2 fully-grown boys.  One is 22 and the other is 17 years old.   Was that hard raising 2 boys?  They are super energetic and athletic, so ya keeping up with them has always been a lot of effort.  I was never active like I am now.

So for those who don’t know you here at the gym, you’re always focusing through on a workout, and getting it done with no complaints.  Were you always this athletic? NO, not at all.  It was very difficult for me to actually come to my first class because I was always so inactive.  Running around the block for my first ever warm-up at KEEN was torture.  I thought I was going to collapse after that warm-up lap actually!

How long have you been coming to KEEN?
Since January 2015 actually, so it’s gonna be 4 years this January.  Crazy how time flies. When you’re having fun right?  Haha always.

How did you hear about KEEN?
I had tried personal training with a small group of women, but after a year it unraveled and it didn’t work out.  So a friend of mine had told me there was an all-women gym in Montrose and we decided to give it a try. It really appealed to me that it was all-women, and I felt comfortable coming in for my first class.

So what was that first class experience like?
It was physically challenging.  I had never done anything that hard in my life, honestly.  It took me a couple months to get over my fear of coming to every class haha!  It took me 6 months to feel comfortable coming into each class. So what made you stick to it then?  Most people wouldn’t stay committed like that.  I just loved the energy of the gym.  I feel so accomplished after each class, and that feeling is so much more worth than being scared of coming into the class.

What’s one of your favorite exercises?
I don’t have a favorite since everything is still very challenging for me.  I can’t say that I have mastered any one exercise yet.  Burpees are the hardest for me for sure. But I am the most comfortable with back squats, and I’ve gotten so much better at them throughout the years.  
So after coming consistently for 4 years, what are the biggest improvements you have seen?  Well of course my endurance has increased quite a bit.   It’s a night and day difference. I was somewhat emotionally depressed prior to joining, and that has improved so much. My life has gotten brighter and happier, and just more full of energy.  Does your family pick up on that?  Yes, they see the difference in me.  My husband pushes me to come, because he sees the difference in me after EVERY class.  He is very supportive, and in fact if I have missed coming to class a couple days in a row, he encourages me to go to the next upcoming class. 

Tell us something we don’t know about you?
Well, I do a lot of hand work.  I do pottery and ceramics, and I take classes very often.  Wow, I know ceramics isn’t as easy as it looks.  No it isn’t at all… it’s very skill-oriented actually, and I learn new techniques all the time. I do quilting and cross-stitching… hand crafting give me a lot of stress-relief.   Do you ever sell your hand-crafted items?  No, I just make things for my kids and family members.  I still have my son’s first quilt I made him.

So we know your husband is super supportive and proud of you.  But does he know how strong and fit you have become?
He says he actually ‘feels’ my punches now, haha!  He says he can tell how strong I have gotten, so ya he knows!

So you’re a hiker right? Yup, I love to hike.  I have hiked the tallest mountain in the US, which is Mt. Whitney.  How long did that take? Well I had to hike overnight, and it was about 25 miles in total.  It was a looooong hike, and it was definitely hard. I went with my husband, and we were part of a larger team.  What would you say about Ankeen and how does she influence your experience at the gym?
Ankeen is one of the greatest people I have ever met.  I admire her so much… not just her physical fitness, but her emotional fitness.  She is so self-aware. Her energy level, and her passion for every single member is remarkable.  She is such a special person in my life.

What  advice would you give someone who is hesitant to try the gym?
First of all, come to the first free class.  And plan to stick around for a month. Your first week will be hard, regardless!  So please stay committed and you will see fantastic results.

What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
I love love love Kauai! The scenery is gorgeous and everything is so green and lush.  The beauty of nature always gets me. It’s so soothing and peaceful.

What is your food indulgence?
Brownies for sure.  Oh and chocolate cake. I’m guess you like chocolate? Not really, but when I’m really tired and my energy level is low, my craving turns to chocolate cake.  Do you bake it at all?  No no no, I try not to make any sweets because then I will go crazy eating it!

What’s your jam right now?
I’m really into Maroon 5 lately.  Cardi B too. It totally pumps me up, every single time.

Restaurant:
Around here, I really like Sol BBQ on Foothill Blvd.  Interesting, another member of the month had recommended them too. Ya, it’s super tasty!

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Member of the Month (May 2018): Stella

We are so close to the official start of summer, and what better way to kick it off than to congratulate one of my bestie beasts on winning this month’s ‘Member of the Month.  She is the POSTER CHILD of no excuses, no BS, and no frills… she is the real deal.  Stella shows up pretty much every day of the week, bright and early at 6 AM, ready to conquer the world.  She’s SUPER competitive, but always with a smile (those are the ones you gotta look out for! =)   Her commitment to health, fitness, and improving herself, has resulted in massive results, not only in weight loss, muscle and strength gain, but also in endurance and overall fitness level.  Great job Stella, I love you so much sister!


So you’re known around KEEN as a total beast, and a veteran of the gym.  So how old are you exactly?
I’m 39, and I have an 8 year old son and a 10 year old daughter.

Wow so you’re almost 40… and a mom?  Have you always been athletic?
Yes, I was always into sports as a kid. I was on the swim team and in water polo, in both high school and college.  I’m super super competitive… I’ve just always been that way, and sports has always been a huge part of my life. My husband is on the same boat … we love being active, especially with our kids.

How did you hear about KEEN? And what made you try it out?
My friend joined actually, and she told me about it.  I kept seeing KEEN show up on social media, and it took me two full months after my friend invited me to join, to actually come to my first class.  I had always been into fitness, but at that time, I hadn’t worked out in a while and was at my highest weight ever.  I remember walking in at 6 AM, and back then, 4 years ago, Ankeen only had a few people at that morning class.  I’ve consistently been coming for 4 years now, at least 4-5 times a week, at 6 AM, bright and early!

What’s the biggest improvement you’ve seen?
Definitely my energy level  and my endurance in general.  I mean my body is completely different too, and clearly I have more muscles tone, but my endurance is so much better now.  I don’t feel like quitting ever in a workout, and I am able to keep going and have a great day after an amazing morning workout .

What was your first experience at KEEN?
I remember my first class was heavy on pushups, and I hadn’t ever done real pushups.  I remember doing just one, going down and up, was impossible for me. Now I can do a ton… in fact, in my 2-minute pushup challenge I did 69.  I love seeing progress like that when you reflect back over a long period of time.

What made you stay so persistent?
Well like I said, I’m a SUPER competitive person, especially with myself.  So giving up and not coming back to master the push-ups, or the next workout, was just not an option for me.

How does working out affect your personal life?
KEEN is my sanctuary … It’s my go-to place where I don’t have to think or worry about anything: life, kids, work, whatever.  That 1-hour is my time of meditation. It allows me to go home and be more calm. Everyone in my family knows this is my ‘me-time’, and they see me more happy afterwards, and of course, that allows them to be more happy.

Haha you said the gym is your sanctuary… you realize we have like gangster rap or reggaeton blasting all the time right?  Does that help your ‘meditation’?
Haha I love the music.. It pushes me so hard.  Ankeen is ON POINT with the music.

What’s one of your favorite exercises?
Bear Complex:  I love it. I knew you would say that.. All the gym beasts say that.
Well because it’s mostly upper body and I love working on that!  But you know what? It’s also a lot of lower body.  I love it because it’s such a full body movement.

Does your husband know how much of a badass you are?
(immediately responds) Yes!  He calls it the “KEEN Cult Club” …    He knows I can take him down in anything fitness (editor’s note: Stella’s husband literally walked into the gym when we asked this question)… haha!

What would you say about Ankeen and how does she influence your experience at the gym?
She’s is the super woman of fitness, and she makes every class just so much more enjoyable because of her genuine dedication, her extreme passion, and her motivational energy.  She literally loves every single one of us, and we feel it.  But let me be clear… she’s FAR from being a softy.  She will stare you down if you pickup a light weight that’s not challenging for you, because she genuinely wants you to achieve your best.  She is what makes this gym so special, and it’s why I have been so loyal to this place. She is a lifetime friend.

Tell us something that we don’t know about you?
I think people at the gym who know me, or my friends and family, know how OCD I am about cleaning and organization.  It’s actually really really bad, and it’s getting worse by age. Like after a crazy tiring workout, I’ll be super exhausted, but I HAVE to organize the dumbells all in ascending order, with the numbers facing up, and all aligned properly.

What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
Dubai… I actually lived there for 2 years.  My husband got a job opportunity there, so we packed up our bags and went.  It was awesome. Were you scared at all? Not all, but it was hard because we had to shift our life entirely.  It was difficult for sure, but an amazing experience. We met people from all over the world.  My daughter actually went to preschool there. Of course my parents were in shock at our initial decision, but it was a good family decision for us.

What  advice would you give someone who is hesitant to try the gym?
You know what… every person I have a class with who is trying out their first class:  I tell them, you GOTTA stay consistent. You GOTTA commit to it and then you will see results and progress.  I know making that first decision to get here is so difficult, because that was me 4 years go. But it’s all about just doing it and getting here.  You will LOVE your new KEEN Cult family haha!  And you know what, it’s totally OK to throw up on your first day. Just Sayin’

Any routine outside of the gym that helps you?
OMG I’m all about routine haha… remember I’m OCD.  But with my husband, we love doing active things together… like hiking or walking the dog.  

What is your food indulgence?
I can’t really say I’m a food fanatic or a person who watches what I eat either … but my go-to cuisine is sushi, for sure.   Albacore and salmon sashimi is my JAM!

What’s your jam right now?
I’m such an 80s music fan, since I grew up with an older brother, and so anything 80s, especially the old school stuff.   Like Madonna, Prince… omg even Elton John. You’re not going to include that right? (hehe of course we are)

Restaurant:
Joselitos in Montrose, FOR SURE!  Margaritas Baby!

 

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

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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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2 Pounds Never Looked So Good

Do you want to look better in and out of your clothes, improve your health, and perform better in the gym? If so, go grab your scale and get rid of it.

Seriously !!!

Whenever somebody tells me that he or she is going to get in shape, it’s always something like: “I’m going to lose 50 pounds,” or if “I can just get down to ___ I’ll be good.”

I’m here to tell you not to step on the scale anytime soon. Why? Because although picking a goal number for weight loss is a decent starting point (and definitely good to set goals), your scale certainly doesn’t tell the whole story and can send you on an unnecessary roller coaster of emotions (which I have to eventually deal with, haha!)

This is the PERFECT before and after to help validate my point. Here is a very committed KEEN FITNESS member, who never spoke to me in numbers but instead set goals that were not weight oriented.

What? Really? Yes!!! There is only a 2 pound  difference between both pictures, but a SIGNIFICANT difference in her body! A HUGE transformation, if you ask me.

So What Gives?  This should help you wrap your head around it more:

  • Muscle is more dense than fat, and that’s why a woman who’s been training hard and despite losing fat , she hasn’t seen the number on the scale change very much, if at all.  It’s because she’s built muscle during her training. My client (pictured in this post) clearly looks leaner, more toned and more athletic. Good thing she didn’t let the number on the scale upset her!

Here is what she had to say:

Hey Ankeen! The picture on the left (eek) was taken early 2015 – yes, I took a couple of breaks lol – and the picture on right was taken a few weeks ago. Although on the scale Ive only lost 2 lbs, I have never felt healthier and stronger than I do today and best of all I have lots of energy to run after my kids. Thanks to you and all the coaches at keen fitness!

Use these tools as your new “scale”

  • How do you look in the mirror?
  • How are your clothes fitting you?
  • How do you feel? Strong and healthy? Do you have more energy?
  • Are you eating well? Are you training consistently?

 

Testimonials and Photos like this one from my clients just add to the daily passion I have:  helping women build strength and love for their bodies.

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2.3 Million Pounds Later…

Wow, so I can’t believe 3 years has already passed since I opened the doors to KEEN. I absolutely LOVE what I do, and instead of ramble on about it, I wanted to show all of our supporters, members, friends, followers, etc. a visual depiction of 3 years of hard work, sweat, love, and a whole lot of profanity!

All of the calculations were based on a average of 100 members per year, attending class on an average of 3 days per week… of course for 3 years!

This graphic was the mastermind of our very own Ani (KEEN member), who runs all of the creative, marketing, and digital projects for KEEN (checkout ONE Strategy www.onestrtaegy.net ). It has been printed on a beautiful gallery-wrapped canvas, and will be on display at KEEN on the hot pink wall in the office. Can’t wait for y’all to see it and enjoy it everyday when you walk into the gym.

Don’t forget to join us tomorrow night, May 21st, at Eden on Brand @ 8:30 PM for drinks and food, to celebrate KEEN’s 3-year birthday!

 

best gym montrose

 

 

 

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Keen Fitness Success Stories

Get Inspired by These Three Amazing Keen Fitness Members Who Worked Hard and Got RESULTS!

 

The girls at Keen Fitness have been working hard, and getting strong! They have been getting themselves here everyday with goals of feeling better and getting stronger! Let’s face it; looking better in the process is an awesome perk, too. Who doesn’t want results? Well, here at Keen Fitness, we have been seeing some jaw dropping RESULTS, and we are so proud of the dedication these incredible women have shown. It has been motivating and inspiring for us all to watch how committed each and everyone of the Keen Fitness girls are to changing their lives.

The best part is that we are having a lot of fun while doing it. The contagious energy that flows between these pink walls definitely keeps us going! Below we have shared three of the many amazing success stories at Keen Fitness. We hope that their stories will inspire you as much as they have inspired us. If you have been looking to feel amazing, get stronger, and look better than ever…then take it from these girls, and just start.


 

teresa-bnaTeresa achieved her dream body by working hard at Keen Fitness, and dedicating herself 100% to her goal. This mother of THREE started working with Ankeen in January and has lost an impressive thirty pounds! Beyond the weight loss, she has built endurance and gotten much stronger. Teresa’s story has inspired us all, and seeing her come to Keen Fitness every morning and continue her journey reminds us of the amazing things we can accomplish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Gohar is another Keen Fitness success story that helps us realize that our goals are attainable. Since joining Keen Fitness in mid February, Gohar has gohar-bnalost an incredible 55 pounds! She has said that her journey at Keen has finally helped her end a 7-year struggle with her weight. After making a decision to better her life and health for herself, she followed Ankeen’s lead and reached her goals. Gohar has said that Ankeen has “changed her life” and she is “a new person because of Keen Fitness.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

armine-bnaKeen Fitness is no stranger to brides-to-be who are trying to look and feel their very best on their wedding day! With her stunning wedding gown as motivation, Armine did not lose sight of her goals. In just eight months, this bride-to-be completely transformed her body and looked amazing and happier than ever on her big day! She could not wait to put on her gorgeous dress. Armine worked hard, and got results. We are inspired by her commitment!

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