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Member of the Month (October 2018): Leah

I view the Autumn season as a time of transition.  Leaving the hot summer months, seeing the tree leaves turn to orange, red and yellow and fall to the ground, only to prepare for an upcoming new Spring.  As corny as this sounds, I feel like Leah is the PERFECT choice for our October member of the month, because I have literally watched her grow from a teenage girl to the amazing young woman she is today.  She joined my gym at the age of 16, when I first opened my doors, at a time when she had never attempted anything fitness ever in her life. And now she is one of our strongest ladies, powering through her workouts, life for that matter, as she goes through law school and achieves all the goals she sets for herself.  Seeing the confidence and determination in her every day makes me smile and fulfills me as a coach and friend.  Congrats girl… you deserve every bit of the accolades.  Can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the next 5 years!


 

Congrats Leah.   Did you expect to be chosen? Honestly, no, it was a total surprise.  But I’m definitely very honored and excited.  KEEN is a big part of my life, and it means a lot to me. Well you mean a lot to KEEN too!  Let’s start by establishing your age.  I’m 22 years old =).  Damn, to be that young again…haha!

So how long have you been coming?
Since it opened in 2013, so it’s been 5 years.  So you were like what, 4 years old then? Haha, I was 16.  I stopped coming for a while when I went away to college in San Diego, and it was torture being away from KEEN. What did you study?  I studied communications at UCSD, and now I’m in law school.  Awesome! So if you slip and fall in the gym, you can sue me in 3 years right?  Haha.  Technically, I can sue you now but I would never do that to KEEN!

Have you always been athletic?
Not at all!  I literally failed PE in middle school. I had straight A’s and 1 F, and it was PE.  Running was my worst nightmare, and now I, myself, am even surprised in myself how fit I’ve become.

How did you hear about KEEN?
I saw one of my friend’s cousin’s transformation on social media or something, and became very interested.  What was your goal at that age? I was really lazy as a teenager, and I really wanted to do something to become more active and just increase my overall fitness level.

So what was that first class experience like?
I don’t know if I remember.  Haha, it was that bad?  I know it was one of the hardest classes I had ever done.  It was a great experience though, and it was with Ankeen, and she provides such a unique experience.  Were your parents on board with you coming as a teenager?  Actually, my mom started coming with me, and it was a mother-daughter thing in the beginning.  Was she fit? Ya totally, she really held her own.

What’s one of your favorite exercises?
I would have to say the bear complex.  How did I know you were going to say that? Haha how did you know?  Well because the girls who have evolved into strong beasts like yourself all love the bear complex.  Haha that’s true, I can see that.  It’s an exercise that I really feel so strong afterwards.  I can really tell how strong I have become after that workout since it involves so many different movements and muscle groups.

After coming for about 5 years, on and off, what is the biggest improvement you’ve seen?  I truly feel I have gained a lot of strength.  I haven’t noticed any raw weight loss, but I’ve become so much more fit and strong.  I can lift heavy things, I can do intense workouts. And my running is so much better. 

Tell us something we don’t know about you?
I’m actually a vegetarian.  I have been for 5 years. In fact, I started being a vegetarian around the time I started at KEEN.  So, what’s your favorite vegetarian meal? Cheat meal or legit meal?  Ok, cheat meal: for sure fries or cheese pizza. As a vegetarian, it’s so easy to indulge in those since they’re always available at a restaurant, and they’re so damn good.  And legit meal? I love avocado rolls… it’s totally my go-to snack.

So besides working out, what do you like to do for fun? Hanging out with friends and my boyfriend.  Ahh so you have a boyfriend? Yes I do, hehe.  I have the typical 22-year old life of a student.

What would you say about Ankeen and how does she influence your experience at the gym?
Ankeen is one of my biggest motivators.  She’s one of the most inspiring women I have ever met in my life.  She has inspired me to change myself a lot, and just how to view myself.  Just to be more confident, and more comfortable to be a stronger, tougher girl.  She’s been in my life since I was 16 years old, so her impact on me has been tremendous and deep.

What  advice would you give someone who is hesitant to try KEEN?
At a minimum, they should take the first class.  C’mon .. it’s free! Everyone starts somewhere, and really you have to stick to it for a month to know if it’s right for you.

What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
St. Petersburg, Russia.  I looooooved it. The vibe and energy of the young generation there is so diverse, and the city itself is gorgeous.  That city does not sleep. The vibe there is very different than Moscow.

Random question: are you a good driver? Umm, yesss? Yes.  I’ve improved a lot, let’s just say that.  So I didn’t get any tickets for the 5 years I have been a driver. And then I literally got 4 tickets in the past year.  Wow, that sucks! Did that bankrupt you? Haha, I got it taken care of 😉.   Good pre-law experience for sure!

 

What is your food indulgence?
Again, for sure fries.  Smothered in cheese and ranch dressing.  Yummmmm.

What’s your jam right now?
Definitely Hip Hop.  “No Stylist” by French Montana and Drake is high up on my playlist right now.

Restaurant:
I love Mediterranean food.  Lemon Zest Cafe in Glendale is really good – totally recommend them.

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Member of the Month (Jan 2018): Kathy & Karine

So January is known to be “New Year New You” month right?  Well if there was a story that should motivate you to get up and get moving, it’s this one!  I’m so proud to announce this month’s memberS of the month, Kathy and Karine.  Yup.. we are congratulating a duo this month… these besties, who are moms in their late forties, are my morning BEASTS.  They are strong, fit, energetic, and endlessly motivated.  I’m continuously amazed at their abilities, from a fitness trainer’s perspective, and for the past five years, I have loved to call them my friends as well.  Congrats ladies.. we applaud you!  Check out my interview with these beauties below:


Congrats ladies on being the first member of the month of 2018, and our first DUO winners!  So let’s start off by establishing your ages:
Actually we’re both 47 and we both have 2 kids haha.

Kathy: I have 2 girls… Karine: I have 1 boy and 1 girl.

How did you hear about KEEN? And what made you try it out?
Kathy: I found KEEN on Instagram actually … I totally remember that day to be honest with you.  Karine’s cousin was coming here, so I asked her how is it, how she liked it ? She loved it so I decided to give it a try.

Karine: So Kathy and I were going to Total Woman gym for years, and when Kathy discovered KEEN, we decided to try it.  Ankeen had just opened her doors for only a couple months actually, and we were getting really bored of Total Woman, so it seemed like an exciting thing to try.

Can you describe you first day and what you thought?
Kathy: I remember it sooo well.  I’m not sure if Ankeen remembers.  Ankeen was actually kind of impressed by our abilities.  We were doing wall balls and it was doable for us, since we had always been into working out and fitness.

Karine:  I was stressed and nervous to start something different, and I had never boxed.  With Ankeen it was love at first sight.. I must say.  And the workout ended up being totally doable, and not what I had hyped it up in my mind to be as far as the impossible.

How Long have you been coming?
Both:  Ever since she opened really.. since June 2013.  Wow it’s almost been 5 years.  We should really celebrate our 5 year anniversary!

What is the biggest progress you’ve had?
Kathy: for sure strength.  I couldn’t do any weight lifting before… I was a total cardio junkie.  Gradually I increased my weights, and now I feel so strong.

Karine:  At Total Woman, the heaviest weight I would pickup was probably like 8 lbs.  Now I’m lifting 70-80 pounds consistently.  Oh and push ups… I couldn’t do ANY pushups before, and now I’m proud to say I have mastered that.

How do you stay so driven?
Kathy:  FOR SURE ANKEEN is a big part of that … she constantly motivates me.  

Karine:  Ankeen totally motivates me to get up early and driver over here, and our class is full of friends for me.  I love seeing these women first thing in the morning.

 

What’s one of your favorite exercises?
Kathy: I love the bear complex a lot!  Coming from a ‘cardio junkie’ that is a surprise, I know,  but I love lifting the weights in this exercise.  You want to know what I hate?  Burpees and thrusters.

Karine:  I love burpees actually… and back squats.  Lower body exercises for sure.  

Haha what is there to like about burpees?
Karine:  I feel my whole body working… my arms, my core, my legs.  It’s also great cardio so I like the efficiency of it.

Does your husband know how much of a bad ass you are?
Kathy: (quickly responds) YES!  He knows how strong I am and wouldn’t mess with me haha.

Karine:  I hope so…. (for his sake right?).  There was a partner fitness challenge at KEEN and I asked my husband to come, and he said no twice.  I don’t know if he was intimidated, but he didn’t come. 

Any feedback about Ankeen?
Kathy:  10 out of 10 stars in every category.  Everything she does is perfect.

Karine:  I call her my sunshine, because we start our day with her and she gives me good vibes and energy every single day.  

Kathy:  Oh ya.. Even if you come into class not feeling it or having a bad day, you leave feeling phenomenal.  She is that kind of unique soul.

Tell us something that we don’t know about you?

Kathy:  I used to work at a pharmacy, and it was super stressful sometimes, and one day I told a difficult customer to ‘shut up’ over the phone.  Straight up told her just to shut up.  I was pregnant and not very patient (obviously), and I definitely got written up by my manager after that.  I didn’t work there much longer after that .. oops! Haha.

Karine: I used to make shoes in Armenia.  Like literally make them using my hands.  It’s usually a male-dominated industry, but I worked at a shoe company, and I actually physically sewed the shoes.  

Were they cute shoes?  Ya men’s shoes that you had to sew the souls with heavy duty tools.   Oh and another cute fact:  I have known my husband since I was 8 years old. We went to school together all throughout and got married.

What is your food indulgence?
Kathy: I love sweets.  Any kind of pastries actually .. but I control myself and not eat it =(   I love to cook (and I would say I’m really good at it) so I make healthy versions of things that are still very tasty.

Karine:  Ice cream…. and chocolate.  With my coffee.  Any favorite ice cream flavor?  Ya the Russian Vanilla ice cream cones, called “Dadu”.. Those are irresistable.

 

What’s your jam right now?
Kathy: Hip Hop and Rap: I really like Post Malone and Black Beatles.  Oh and Travis Scott.

Karine: I love love love Latin music.. Marc Anthony and Maluma.  

Restaurant:
Kathy:  Amici at Americana.. I always enjoy going there.  I love to get their salmon with quinoa.

Karine:  Kabuki in Burbank… I love cooked sushi actually.  I never eat raw sushi.

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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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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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