The Value of Recovery & Having Fun

I met Amy Van Cleve and started training with her in 2010. My daughter introduced me to Amy and is the one responsible for getting me excited about getting involved with AVC Elite Training since she was already participating in some of her training. At that time, Amy was training a group of people to take on the Trans Catalina Trail on Catalina Island for April 2011. Through the encouragement of my daughter, and Amy’s confidence in my ability to accomplish this goal, I decided to go for it and give it a shot!

Trekking Training for Catalina TrailThe training for Catalina included the Group Training on Mondays and Wednesdays along with big endurance Saturdays. In addition, we hit some mid week training within the group and/or on our own.

Taking on this challenge was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. This is coming from a person who HATED TO WORKOUT, but after I started Amy’s training I started to love it and realize how much better I felt. Plus, it was downright FUN!!

I am currently training for Catalina 2014 in April and am feeling every bit as strong and confident this time around as I did back in 2010.

The Group Training is tough, but Amy and the other trainees in the group make coming to train so much fun that you never realize just how hard you are working. Granted we are working our butts off, but at the same time everyone is laughing and joking. Before you know it all the muscle burn, sweat and struggling is over. Time always goes by so fast! You always feel GREAT by the end of the training session because you just worked your butt off and had fun while doing it.

Kettlebell overhead press on stepAmy continually changes up our training all of the time so you are not doing the same workout over and over again. In addition, she keeps things fresh, always coming up with new movements while keeping our safety in mind for each of us. She works with everyone at their own personal fitness level putting a lot of time and emphasis on our form. I will say that there are a lot of things that I can’t do, but Amy helps me at my level by modifying certain movements so that I can get the same results.

I am definitely building muscle and doing things I could never do before. That’s such a great feeling for me personally.

Amy has taught me how eating well and keeping hydrated helps me perform in our training whether it is the Group Training, Trekking or Running. Amy has taught me how to incorporate electrolytes into our training and the importance of nutrition. I now understand why it is vital to fuel ourselves properly before, during and after our training.

Catalina Trail VistaIn addition, all of us in the training understand the value of recovery and how that is such an important variable to great quality training. This was big for me! I didn’t really know anything about recovery in the past. My thoughts were “Well, I am sore as all out and there isn’t a darn thing I can do about that other than to wait it out until it goes away.”

Amy taught all of us that not only nutrition and hydration play a large role in the recovery process, but other things help us too. I will tell you right now that I don’t always like it at all, but Amy is a big advocate of the foam roller.  IT HURTS like heck, but it works!!  You do recover faster and very importantly you prevent yourself from injuries through foam rolling.

Amy is also an advocate of FLUID Performance and FLUID Recovery.  These are much easier to implement than the foam roller…It doesn’t hurt to drink a FLUID! LOL!    And…..FLUID works!  I can tell the difference when I drink it and when I skip it.  
Amy has a long list of things for us do in the recovery process, all of which works. It’s not always easy to get it done being so busy with our personal lives and all of our training, but I understand that we have to do this in order to be successful in reaching our goals.  It is all worth it!

Amy has been a trainer for a very long time.  Many of the people in her training have been working out with Amy as their coach for many years. I guess you would say that I’m one of the “newer” trainees on board. Amy is a great person who cares about you. She does not want any of us to get hurt and is very concerned about our overall health and fitness. Amy takes her job seriously.

Hawes Trail TrekI have done the gym thing and hired personal trainers over the years and I will tell you that AVC Elite Training is nothing like anything out there. I also love being outdoors and not stuck in a gym.

Amy keeps things on a personal level. Yes, it is group training, but it is also very individualized. The challenges are great, but the rewards are greater!

And again….Did I mention that it is FUN?!!

~Kim F.

Are you ready to escape the gym and discover new fitness challenges? Come experience the rewards – and fun – of AVC Elite Training today!

Stronger, More Energetic & Mentally Healthier in 2 Months

I started training with Amy at AVC Elite Training in January 2014 primarily to boost in my exercise regime as part of my New Year’s resolution. Because of her adeptness, diverse training techniques, genuine concern and continued encouragement, I feel stronger physically, noticeably more energetic, and mentally healthier within only two months of participating in her Group Training Program.

Meicine Ball Pickups with TRXNot only is Amy knowledgeable and experienced in how the body reacts to specific exercises, her contagious energy and infectious personality keep me highly motivated and make working out a great deal of fun!

The modifications Amy offered when needed were perfect for my workout the first couple of weeks, but now, because of the endurance I have built through Amy’s training, I am able to participate with proper technique without modifying the exercises.
Kettlebell lunges
Throughout the training, Amy personally monitors each trainee to make sure proper form is managed to prevent injuries and to get the best possible results from each movement performed. She is also very resourceful in offering nutritional advice for an optimum before and after training experience.

Amy’s Group Training Program has enhanced my life and I’m grateful to be part of her program!

~ Susan

Do you want to jumpstart your fitness and health like Susan? Check out upcoming small group training sessions and enjoy improved strength, energy and mental health.


Functional Fitness Results Came Quickly

Before I began AVC Elite Training I was reasonably fit. At my checkup, the doctor said for my age (58) my blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate were great. I have cycled weekly for over 30 years and it’s helped to keep my vital statistics in step.

traveling-pushup-58years-strongWhat my yearly physical did not detect, was complete loss of flexibility, repeated back pain and severe hamstring cramps whenever I tried to run ½ mile. In addition, my core strength was nonexistent.  I was not able to complete one pushup or sit-up.

In October I began training with AVC Elite Training. Results came quickly. By December I increased my flexibility, lost eight pounds and increased my core strength. I can now handle multiple sit-ups and pushups. With Amy’s guidance, I saw a physical therapist and began a stretching routine that has eliminated my back and hamstring issues.

Dumbell rowbacksBesides the benefit of better health, the number one reason I continue to attend Amy’s sessions is because they are a blast. Amy works us hard, but her enthusiasm and humor make it worth all the effort.  It’s a great group dedicated to exercise and having fun!

~ Tim

An Ageless Accomplishment in Fitness

Earlier in the week, I was talking with some friends at work and Tough Mudder Arizona came up in the conversation. The more we talked and looked at some of challenges online, the more we convinced ourselves that this Tough Mudder thing is insane and maybe would have given it a go in our 20’s, but certainly not in our late 40’s.

Medicine Ball Squat WalksOkay so later that week, I am in Amy’s training and she issues a challenge to the group to sign up and finish the next Tough Mudder as a team. You know we have a couple younger pups in the group, but the majority of the Team are right up there in age with me and quite a few even a bit older.

I am thinking this is not going to be much of a “team” for Tough Mudder as we will probably be the oldest Team out there! (As a side note: we discovered during TM that there were a few older Tough Mudders participating in the event that day, but we by far the oldest Team in the size of our Group out there for TM AZ).

So…..Before I realized it, I am signed up for the challenge with 20+ others. How do things like this happen??? Tough Mudder Sign upI mean I got plenty of sleep the night before, I was sober, not taking any medication legal or otherwise… It happened because Amy convinced us that we could do it and as many times before, she has made me and each and every person in the AVC Elite group reach goals that were thought to be impossible.

So now you know how I got to signing up for this very understated “challenge”…. Now let me tell what it took to get us prepared.  Kettle Bell Squats with ChinsFirst of all, Amy worked harder than any of us and that says a lot since I have never worked out as hard or had as much fun working out as I did in preparing for Tough Mudder. We all still attended our normal 2 days a week training, which she stepped up a bit to incorporate moves, exercises and then some that would be needed to prepare us for Tough Mudder.

Later on, Amy added marathon Saturday sessions incorporating running and obstacle courses along with interval training.  Then, she added exercises that you might see iRope Crawlingn the “World’s Strongest Man Competitions.” I think Amy came up with a few tricks that Tough Mudder could use to make it even more challenging. The great thing about it is that we gradually built up our strength, endurance and abilities over this approximately 8 month training period if you take our start date of training beginning with the Fall Group Training in September and leading to the Marathon Saturday’s which  were added on later.

We all came out of it in the best shape of our lives.  I say this not only because we were all stronger, faster, had more stamina, endurance and agility, but because I dare say we all looked HOT!

Tough Mudder Team FinishThe day of Tough Mudder Arizona came and we conquered it with ease! We did it as a Team staying together, supporting one another and having a blast while doing it. We celebrated our victory afterwards as “official” Team AVC Tough Mudders.

One thing that some fail to realize is that many people get injured (and many times severely) during Tough Mudder Events. We are all proud to say that not one of us got injured other than your expected and typical bumps and bruises. It was an experience none of us will ever forget!

Okay Amy so what’s next??? Climbing Mount Everest…Seriously Just Kidding!!!

Thank You Amy and the AVC Elite Tough Mudder Teammates!


Let’s warm up to Mount Everest…with a 50K Ultra trail run perhaps? Are you ready to be inspired by training partners and reach new fitness goals you never dreamed possible?  Start with your AVCs…Elite Training that is and achieve the ultimate.

Breaking Bad Self-talk Improves Fitness

I’ve always been active in some way, shape or form, but started to fall into that typical slump where I would find myself making excuses not to exercise, either because I had to rush the kids to their practices, or I had to rush home to make dinner or simply because it was just too hot outside.

I stumbled acrossSide-Squat-Walk Amy by accident when I was supposed to be checking out CrossFit.  I thought to myself “Jackpot, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for!”, then Amy said “CrossFit is across the street,” I was so disappointed, but I went across the street anyway and tried out my one day free trial at CrossFit.

Afterwards, I immediately ran back across the street to AVC Elite Training. It was clear that AVC Elite Training was top notch over what CrossFit had to offer. I just stood there intrigued and so motivated by watching the group train that I knew I had to be part of it. So I joined in May and never looked back.

Double agility ladderI remember watching the group in awe, thinking I could never do the things that they can do, but wanted to so badly. Since I have joined TEAM AVC, I can see my strength and endurance build up each time I train. I’ll admit I still can’t do everything to its fullest, but each session I feel I am getting better, stronger and more proficient in the execution of Amy’s training.

I see all of the incredible results that the other trainees have accomplished in the training which has motivated me to no end to keep on going and to push myself in a positive direction breaking down the “I can’t” attitude and turning it into the “YES I CAN” attitude!

I wish I could explain why I get so excited Sunday night anticipating our Monday morning training so much so that I even lose sleep, but it’s something you would have to experience for yourself. Amy’s training is never the same and never boring.

She takes care of each and every one of us to make sure we don’t over exert ourselves and always reminds us to stay hydrated. She teaches us running techniques and encourages us to take it at our own pace. She monitors our heart rate making it mandatory to wear a heart monitor at all times in our training. She instructs and teaches proper technique and form, keeping our safety in mind at all times.  

Thanks to Amy, I no longer make excuses about not exercising and make my training a priority. It has become a part of my lifestyle now and there’s no turning back. I’ve dropped 10 lbs. (with proper diet of course) and with Amy’s help will continue to build strength and endurance with each class.

Thanks Amy for making such a huge difference in my health and well-being.
~ Sandra M.

Looking to break free of your negative self-talk and discover renewed health and fitness? Be cautious of Crossfit and other fitness fads and find out about your fitness professional. What’s their education? What fitness certifications do they have and who trained them? What do their clients’ say about training with them?  Ask for yourself!

A Physically and Mentally Healthier Lifestyle

Approximately a year and a half ago, my sister-in-law talked me into signing up for the Wall ClimbingAVC Elite Training Natural Running Program instructed by Amy, or otherwise known as “Coach AVC.”

I opted for this program knowing that it would only require a couple of hours on my Saturday mornings. At the time, being a full-time working mother of a toddler, I treasured my weekends with my girl and didn’t want to spend a lot of time away from her so this seemed like an ideal fitness program for me.

This choice, also lead me to become a trainee with the AVC Elite Group Training Program meeting two days a week. The Small Group Training Program is so jam packed with diverse and challenging training that I knew I was maximizing my time to its fullest.

Kettlebell training Mesa AZ

I was getting great well rounded instruction along with receiving cutting edge training that has given me incredible results – all in just 2 days a week. What a perfect fit for my busy schedule and lifestyle!

This has all been a life altering decision for me. It has lead to many exciting opportunities, Arizona Tough Mudder Teama physically and mentally healthier lifestyle and the chance to form new and long-lasting friendships. In this past year and a half through Amy’s diverse and informative training classes, I have been able to complete two half marathons and complete the Tough Mudder event as a member of Team AVC Tough Mudder.

Most importantly, by example, I have taught my beautiful and spirited 4 year old daughter that girls can do anything and that an active lifestyle is one of the best ways to live a happy, healthy and fun life!

As my girl gets older, I look forward to making memories and participating in physical activities as a family. Perhaps we will create traditions that my girl will continue with her family in years to come.

Thank you for everything, Amy. My future grandchildren thank you too!


What healthy traits do you model for your kids? Want to reinvigorate and encourage both physical and mental health in your routine? Check out upcoming AVC Elite Training small group training sessions in Mesa, Arizona starting soon.