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Member of the Month (Mar 2018): Jennifer

So you know those people in your life, that are quiet, dainty, and gentle, yet you know that deep down, they are also bad asses with a lot of spark and a force to be reckoned with?  Well that’s Jennifer.  She is extremely kind, pleasant to be around, but if you give her a challenge and some dumbbells.. welp, she morphs into BEAST MODE real fast. I’ve had the privilege of coaching this lovely woman for the past 4 years, and I’m so excited to crown her as this month’s member of the month.  She is the embodiment of HARD WORK PAYS OFF! Love you Jennifer!


Congrats on being this month’s featured member.  Let’s start by establishing your age (just to get these youngins a bit jealous):
Haha.  I’m 41, Any Kids?  Yes! I have two littles.  A 7 year old girl and 5 year old boy. They take up so much of my energy, but as time goes on, they’re really getting better at being self-sufficient.  

How did you hear about KEEN? And what made you try it out?
I moved to this area about four years ago, and I was looking for a place to get back in shape after having my 2nd baby.  I had really stopped working out, and I had belonged to 24 hour fitness gym nearby, but I knew I didn’t want to go back there.  I wanted classes, so I went onto Yelp, and KEEN was the first place that I found. I looked at Ankeen’s profile and read her bio, and I got super inspired.   I decided to email Ankeen and try it out.  That was 2014 – almost 4 years ago actually!

What’s the biggest improvement you’ve seen?
Noticeable strength, hands down.  I feel healthier; I feel more active and energized.  For me, it’s about feeling healthy and being here long term for my family.

What was your first experience at KEEN?
My first class was the Fran workout, and I should have ran away and never come back. (Attention Reader:  The “Fran” workout is considered CrossFit’s most difficult workout around 😳). I came home and was crying from being so tired, but I thought to myself, “hey I got what I asked for”.  During the class, I just wanted to get through it, that’s it.  But now, I look forward to my workout. This place is a FEMALE POWERHOUSE full of positive energy.   Encouragement and good vibes all around. Always.

What’s one of your favorite exercises?
It’s not Fran for sure haha.   Probably any kind of upper-body lifting.  I’m trying to increase my upper body strength, and I love the Monday circuits, because it gives your whole body a workout all in one night.

Does your husband know how much of a badass you are?
He sure does – I think he notices the extra energy that I have now.  Interestingly, the energy I gain from working out consistently has transferred into my household, and creates good vibes in the home.  Now that the kids are older, my husband and I make lots of effort to be active outdoors with them.

Do your kids know you’re a badass?
Yes I think they really do.   My son is fascinated by me kickboxing on the bag, and honestly I think he likes seeing me beat up that bag.  Hmmmm.

What would you say about Ankeen and how does she influence your experience at the gym?
I gotta use that word “POWERHOUSE” again:  not only does she talk the talk, she walks the walk.  How she trains us, is exactly how she trains herself, so you know you’re getting the real thing.  On a personal level, she has given me so much confidence in knowing that I can push through something that is extremely challenging, both mentally and physically.  And then seeing you come out of it not only feeling ok, but energized from accomplishing that. It’s magical really.

Tell us something that we don’t know about you?
Well I’m planning to go through the training to become a reserve deputy sheriff for Los Angeles County, and had I never come to KEEN, I wouldn’t even be in the realm of being physically prepared for this.  This is a huge goal of mine; I’ve always been fascinated with law enforcement and I’m a lawyer now. The reserve program is something I can do while I continue practicing law as an attorney.

So can you give me a ticket once you’re a deputy?
Hehe no, I’ll most likely be part of the search and rescue teams (that is once I go through the training, graduate and get certified of course)

OK so can you clear a ticket for me?
Um probably not. Haha!

So speaking of being a lawyer, we see you multi-tasking conference calls and roundhouse kicks on the bag.  How does that work out for you?
You know it’s all about managing my demanding job, while sticking to my fitness.  It’s nice to have tools to be able to plug into work when I need to, remotely, and have an ease of mind that I’m able to fulfill my work duties as well.  Usually those multi-tasking events have been during less important calls, let’s leave it at that!

What  advice would you give someone who is hesitant to try the gym?
Don’t hesitate.  Just try a class, and have an open mind.  My first class was very tough, but I decided to stick with it.  You will get to your own goals as long as you are consistent and preserver.

Any routine outside of the gym that helps you?
I have a protein drink right after the workout, and I can totally see how it helps with muscle recovery.  Also stretching is very important – I mean I can’t do the splits or anything, but helps me be more agile in the gym

What is your food indulgence?
Chocolate chip cookies.  For sure. I can’t turn down a cookie.

So if I was in a litigation case against you… all I would need to do is bring your some cookies?
Oh ya, I’ll hand over anything you want and settle the case that second.  

What’s your jam right now?
I don’t sing well, at all, so I would be dancing.  I love any music that makes me feel like I can get up and dance, especially songs from The Weeknd.  I love his songs.

Restaurant:
I’m in love with this Korean teriyaki chicken place on foothill, called “Chicken Day”  – it’s soooo delicious. It’s addicting.  

 

 

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Member of the Month (Oct 2017): Tania Vartanians

Nope… that’s not Tania in costume.. and no she is not dressed up as a pregnant lady for Halloween.  She is actually pregnant as she continues to ROCK the gym in her 2nd trimester!  Tania is the definition of POWERHOUSE, as she is one of the STRONGEST ladies at the gym.  She never ceases to amaze me, not only by her sheer ability to overcome her personal bests, but also her phenomenal focus and motivation every day to just KILL it in her workouts.  Congratulations Tania on being member of the month… this is the first month that our winner is 1 and a half humans =).  We congratulate you and your family on your beautiful baby boy – can’t wait to meet the cutie! Check out my interview with Tania to learn how much of a badass mama she really is:

Congrats Tania on being this month’s member of the month.. so how old are you?
I’m thirty—- hmm– six… I always have to think about it.  I have a daughter, 3 years old… and a boy on the way, as you can tell haha!

How did you hear about KEEN? And what made you try it out?
Drive by.  That sounds bad.. Haha.  I was driving by Trader Joe’s, and saw it from the outside and it always looked very interesting.  I’ve always been into working out, but it took me several months of “Ankeen-Stalking” on Instagram to make the first move.

How long have you been coming?
Just over a  year and a half… and I feel spectacular.

 

What is the biggest progress you’ve had?
Physically or emotionally?  It’s so much of both… like even though I’m older, I’ve never been in better shape.  And emotionally, I can tell I’m mentally more clear.

Where do you think that mental clarity comes from?  Definitely from having time to myself, and when you do good for your body, it absolutely benefits your mind.

You always have such a determined attitude.. And your ability in the gym gets crazier by the day.  Have you always been this driven?
Yes… I’m a bit of an over-achiever.

Haha – So basically you just want to make all of us look bad?
Actually I’m not competitive with others.  I really hate competition in general.  But with myself, I’m super competitive.  I’m my own driver.

 

What’s one of your favorite exercises?
I absolutely LOVE the bear complex, because it makes me feel like a bear.. Like a beast.  I feel accomplished afterwards.. Super strong.

Why did I know you were going to choose the bear complex… you are a beast!
So you can lift some serious weight… were you always this mega strong?
No Actually… that  was all Ankeen haha.

Does your husband know how much of a badass you are?
I think he’s in denial actually…  I don’t think he wants to accept the truth hahah!

So should we set up a sparring challenge with him?
Oh ya, bring it on… even while I’m pregnant!  He’s definitely not a couch potato.. But we do get some serious strength training here at Keen.

Any feedback about Ankeen?
She’s real.. What you see is what you get.  Listen to her and trust her.  That’s all you gotta do.

Tell us something that we don’t know about you?
I’m a PA (Physician’s Assistant), and I specialize in hematology / oncology.

Is that difficult emotionally?
It’s challenging.. but it teaches you to take nothing for granted, and enjoy every single day of your life.  And be grateful for your health and to take care of yourself.

What’ advice would you give someone who is hesitant to try the gym?
Honestly JUST DO IT.   Come with an open mind.  Be prepared to fail the first week.  Be prepared to feel nauseous, and tired, and challenged… but push through, and after that, you’ll be amazed at the results you see.

How has working out while pregnant been a new experience for you?  And would you recommend it?
It’s an empowering feeling.  The female body is amazing, and we don’t give it enough credit for all it’s capable of.  We are strong beings.  And this is my bonding time with the baby… I think he enjoys Ankeen’s playlists too.  He’s always dancing around in there during the workouts.  I would absolutely recommend staying fit and active throughout your pregnancy if you’re able to.

Any routine outside of the gym that helps you?
Definitely my protein powder and lots and lots of water all day long.

What’s your jam right now?
Don’t judge:  my toddler is into the “Sing” Soundtrack… so I’m into the “Im still Standing” song by Elton John, and “Shake It Off”.

Restaurant: Sake Sushi.. Even though I can’t have it right now =( … I love their Omega 3 Roll!

 

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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.

 

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Member of the Month (Oct ’16): Mama Silva

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It’s a very special moment this month to announce our Member of the Month for October:  (Mama) Silva Alksanian.  She is a true hero for us, in all aspects of the title… she’s a breast cancer survivor, a woman who can accomplish anything she puts her mind to, a sweetheart we love, and a tremendously hard worker.  Oh … and she’s the Mama… now Grandma, of the gym.

Some quick facts about you:

I’m Married, I’m 52 years old, and I have 2 beautiful adult daughters.

 

How did you hear about KEEN? And what made you try it out?

Through my daughter’s friend 3 years ago.  I always worked out and I love a good challenge.  I love pushing myself to try new things.

 

What was your level of activity or fitness prior to joining?

Going to the gym, walking… nothing this intense.  I stuck with it because my daughter’s friend told my daughter “there is no way your mom can stick with it.”  That made me think “oh yeah, watch me!”  Out of our group of 3, I’m still coming strong to KEEN!
What were your goals when you first joined the gym?
My goal was to just do things I could never imagine doing: like lifting, pull ups… I LOVE the kickboxing. I do every move I can.  

Tell us why this month is so special to you?
This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this month marks the 10-year anniversary of my diagnosis.  I’ve been cancer free since my treatment, so 10 years now.  

Any advice to someone reading this who may be experiencing what you did 10 years ago?

It’smama-silva-2 so important to eat healthy, live healthy through exercise and just stay positive and mentally focused.  It will help you get through this.
What were your thoughts after your first workout?
I thought to myself, “Yes I can do it!” I was so happy… I love to be challenged.  

You’re a new grandma right? How does that feel?
I love every minute of it.  I get to babysit and come workout every day – what can be better? I enjoy my grandbaby, and really experiencing every precious moment with her.
When you’re not at the gym, where are we most likely to find you?
At home… I love being at home.   I love to cook… Armenian food, Persian food.  I love to try new recipes all the time.  
Do you like the nickname “Mama Silva”?  You’re the mom of the gym…

Yes I love it. It makes me feel important and proud.

Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I love to travel with my husband… one of my most memorable trips was to France and Italy. The first year after my cancer treatment, when I was in the clear, my husband took me to Italy and Spain.  It was fantastic and unforgettable.

Has your experiences at KEEN affected your life outside of the gym, and if so how?
It gives me a ton of energy, and I’m much more active.   I have a lot of confidence that I can achieve what I want to do.  C’mon I’m more fit than my husband… he actually encourages me to come more often.  He likes me to be fit!

What advice do you have people thinking about trying out a KEEN class?
Everybody can do this.  It’s the best gym I’ve ever experienced.  Over the years, I’ve been a member at many gyms.. And Ankeen is such a special person.  She has shown me I can do whatever I put my mind to.  This gym is like a home… very welcoming, yet challenging of course.

Days that I can’t make it to KEEN it actually gives me anxiety.   I hate missing a day, and when I do, I make sure I’m back the next day.   This place is one of the best changes that happened in my life.  

Since you love cooking, can you share with us one of your favorite restaurants:  My favorite restaurant is Geoffrey’s in Malibu… anytime someone wants to go there I’ll go.   I love seafood!

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Ankeen always pushes me.. today I get to challenge her!

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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.

 

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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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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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