Tough Mudder to Trail Runner

I have enjoyed working out for many years, but have never been a runner.  It always seemed too hard and too boring to me. I did participate in Amy’s Running Programs and Running Clinics which began the process for me in not only learning how to run properly, but actually enjoying running as well.

So when Amy started talking about the Catalina 50k, I initially thought there was no way I could ever do that let alone enjoy it just from the standpoint of it being 31+ miles.  But, since I had done the Tough Mudder training with Amy the previous year and successfully completed Tough Mudder Arizona with ease, I knew she could get me ready for anything.  I decided to give it a try.

Trans Catalina Trail RunWe started out with our endurance running (which at that time definitely included some walking) for about 10 miles on Saturday mornings and eventually worked our way up to 25 miles.

We also had to run on our own during the week and participate in the group training which proved to be very beneficial when we hit nothing but a series of constant serious steep climbs on the Trans Catalina Trail last April.

Slowly but surely, the running started to get easier, faster, and more fun.  The shape of my body even changed. I lost about 10 pounds!

Amy always emphasized the importance of proper nutrition and hydration throughout our entire training and I followed her advice as best I could. All areas of our training including recovery and a number of the things we needed to do outside of simply the “physical part” of our training gave me the preparedness needed to complete the 50k.

Catalina Trail RunnersI managed to stay injury free during the whole process and completed the Catalina 50k with only a few blisters on my feet. What I enjoyed even more was the camaraderie with the people that I trained with.

We had so much fun when we were out there on the trails for hours and hours.  It definitely helped the time go by faster. Now, I can even say that I actually enjoy trail running and will keep at it. Thanks Amy!

~ Shannon

Want to actually enjoy your fitness like Shannon does? Try a workout with Coach Amy and experience how we put the FUN in functional fitness. Learn more today!

Strong, Fit & Happy

I first was introduced to Amy and her Trekking program through a friend in 2009. After a few months of trekking, I began Amy’s small group training program as well. I have to say that I have never felt so energetic, so strong and so fit, along with feeling a sense of overall happiness, in my life.

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I have experienced and done things I never thought possible! From trekking 20 miles on the rugged terrains and spectacular vista of Catalina Island, to long distance running, to some very challenging group training. I feel an amazing sense of accomplishment in so many ways.

In 2012, I found out I was pregnant and later diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. kettlebell-goblet-squatWith the help of Amy’s training and the right nutrition, I was able to keep my blood sugar levels stabilized without the help of medicine. After my pregnancy, I was able to shed the pounds within a few months. I felt and looked fabulous!

One year later I married Jeremy. It was a time in my life where I felt such a great feeling of happiness BOTH  inside and out. I loved the confidence I felt in walking down that aisle in my wedding gown.  It was a moment I will remember forever.

Amy is a truly excellent trainer. She makes each workout challenging, creative, and most importantly… FUN!

I think I can speak for everyone of Amy’s trainees when I say not only is Amy our trainer, but she has become much more than that… she’s family!


Looking for the confidence that comes from your strength and fitness?  AVC Elite Training may be right for you.  Learn more today!

Extreme Challenges & Fun

AVC Elite Training has changed my life in so many ways.  I have tried many different workout programs, gyms, trainers, etc… the past many years.Muscle Roping

It was a time in my life where I was looking for something completely different that would keep me motivated, challenged and getting results all while having fun. AVC Elite Training with Amy has been a great experience and benefit to not only my health, but my overall well being and happiness.

The training is just what I was looking for providing extreme challenges all while having fun in a group setting… And… this training is very effective. The results and benefits I have received have been numerous.

On a personal level in regards to my daily life, I have so much more energy, endurance, stamina and overall enthusiasm especially when I hit my 12 hour shifts as an RN.  In addition, I have lost weight!

Trail Running CatalinaOn a physical level, I am accomplishing some great challenges in the training and noticing significant differences in my abilities.  I am not only participating in AVC Elite Training’s Group Training Program, but I am also training for the AVC Elite Training Catalina 20M and 50K Event in April.

The combination of the Group Training along with the trail training has made my entire body stronger in so many ways.  If you want results and want to reach goals, this is the way to achieve them.

The people at AVC Elite Training are so encouraging and inspiring.  I look forward to our training sessions each Monday, Wednesday and Saturday taking on this challenging work with a fun, supportive and motivating group of people.

In addition, I have actually re-prioritized my work schedule and other commitments in order to be at those training sessions each week.

Thank you Amy!
~ Cathy P.

Are you looking for a new approach to fitness that both challenges and motivates you? Check out AVC Elite Fitness and make a yourself a priority.

3 Steps to Permanent Fat Loss

If you’re like most of us, you know the common weight loss mistakes. Perhaps you had to learn them the hard way like many.

Are you tired of failing to achieve your weight loss goals? Then you’ve come to the right place. Below are the three steps required to achieve the permanent fat loss you desire.

Step 1: Nourish Your Body; Eat Real Food

Eat Real FoodReal food is not stuff that doesn’t look like anything in nature. It’s not sweetened drinks. Real food doesn’t come in boxes or cans whose ingredients can’t be pronounced. Real food does not use artificial colors, sweeteners, texturizers, or preservatives.

Real foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and poultry, fish, whole grains and good fats. When you eat real foods like these, your body can be nourished like it needs to be.

When you’re nourished, wonderful things can happen, including:

  • You get full faster
  • You eat less overall
  • You eat fewer calories since the foods you’re eating are inherently lower in calories than the pizza, burgers, fries, chips or whatever other nutritionally dead foods you may have eaten in the past.
  • You feel satisfied and fuller longer so your chances of hankering around the refrigerator for a late night snack have just been slashed.

All of which mean: You Iose weight and keep it off.  And you are extending your life by eating REAL food, not processed foods that are loaded with nothing but junk!

Step 2: Eat More Frequently

One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is going hours on end without eating. Not only does this slow down the metabolism (again, think starvation mode), it causes a severe drop in blood sugar causing “fog brain”  and fatigue.

Long gaps between eating can make you feel down right miserable, making it difficult to function throughout the day and doing nothing for weight loss. Slowing your metabolism induces fat storage rather then fat loss.

Step 3: Exercise

Exercise is absolutely imperative in maintaining a healthy weight and for overall health. We live in an extremely sedentary world sitting in front of computers, our phones, watching TV, etc. Sitting for hours day in and day out is killing us. It leads to not just weight gain, but to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

less-fat-more-muscleAnd the older we get the more we need to move. Lean tissue continues to decrease with age and that lean tissue is our metabolism. You lose that having minimal muscle and those pounds will continue to pack on!  The message is simple, you have got to move.

Find a training program that you will stick with and gives you results.  Make sure you are working up a sweat and not just going through the motions of a workout.  It is important to push yourself and challenge yourself – safely of course!

Achieve sustainable success and create healthy lifestyle habits that will not throw your body into a tailspin by destroying your metabolism and make you sick later on. (Fad diets, poor eating habits and no exercise, will ALL do this.) Stop sabotaging yourself and avoid the enduring negative consequences that can follow.

Simply eat clean and train smart. Your body will love you for it in more ways then one.

4 Common Weight Loss Mistakes

Have you ever tried – and failed – to lose weight?  You are not alone.

Weight Loss MistakesBut the good news is that you can achieve the weight loss you desire in three simple steps. And equally important to maintaining a healthy weight is avoiding common traps we all face. Explore these four common weight loss mistakes and you’ll be prepared to embrace the three steps to long-lasting fat loss I’ll cover following.

Mistake #1: Calorie restriction

When you restrict calories by eating next to nothing, fasting or using liquid/juice diets, you might initially take off some pounds. But then your body catches on to your game.
Then you go into starvation mode in order to preserve your fat stores in case no more food is coming for a while. As a result, your fat burning metabolism slows WAY down to keep you alive on less food.

This means you start losing less or no weight at all even though you are eating next to nothing. Plus, when you stop severely restricting calories and eat your “old way” again, your body will burn even FEWER calories than it did before because you slowed down your metabolic rate. So you put the weight back on and then some.

Mistake #2: Fad diets

Same thing applies when you eliminate food groups from your diet, use meal replacement bars or shakes (like Slim Fast) or try to trick your brain into thinking you’re full (e.g. Sensa).

Your body is smart and knows that it needs complete nourishment. That means proteins, whole grains, veggies, fruits and good fats.

If it doesn’t get everything it needs, the starvation mode is triggered as previously discussed. It doesn’t matter if “shakes” you drink have a bunch of vitamins added to them. Your body knows the difference between synthetic nutrients and those that come naturally from food.

Our bodies are designed to best use nutrients as they occur in a complete, real food. Anything less than that will make your body feel as though it’s not nourished properly…and leave you feeling hungry all the time.

Mistake #3: Just Eat LessJust Eat Less

When someone who eats large meals or always has seconds and thirds tries to simply to cut back and eat less, they’re pretty much miserable. Eventually they start sneaking a little more, then a little more, and soon they’re right back where they started.

Or they eat try to eat their dinner on a luncheon-sized plate…but pile it 6 inches high! Or they might successfully eat less at meals but cave into snacking later on, which completely negates any calorie savings they may have achieved by eating a smaller dinner.

Some people even take the dramatic approach of having gastric bypass surgery–so your portions are automatically “controlled” because your stomach is a fraction of its original size. Sadly, the success rate of this about 2% rarely working and can be downright dangerous.

Mistake #4: Meal plans

Some diets take the work out of meal preparation and planning by having you buy their pre-packaged meals and foods. This can be VERY costly and often are processed foods to boot..bad news!

As long as you stick to eating their prescribed meals, you will probably take in fewer calories and Iose weight. But as soon as you’re “on your own” again, guess what happens? Yup, the weight comes right back on!

So what can you do if you desire to lose and keep weight off both safely and effectively?  Stay tuned as next I’ll share the three steps to permanent fat loss.

Detox and Cleansing Diets: Healthy or Dangerous?

There’s a lot of buzz lately about detoxifying and/or cleansing the body in regards to weight loss. Is this weight loss worth the risk? What is actually happening when a detoxification or cleansing diet is implemented in trying to achieve weight loss?

What is Detoxing and/or Cleansing?

Detox dietDetoxing and/or cleansing diets are diets consisting of basically juices, herbal teas and/or raw foods ingesting very few daily calories. The concept is that by only consuming these things the body will shed toxins and will function better, have better mental clarity and most of all…..lose weight!

Be aware that much of detoxification and cleansing theories are backed by people wanting to make money, pushing products that are not FDA approved nor backed by valid research of efficacy.

Claims of Clarity

Reports of mental clarity, intensified creativity and heightened concentration are only backed by anecdotal evidence. These reports in actuality are explainable by the very notion that one is paying attention to what one is consuming and making prudent and judicious choices therefore the “heightened mental awareness or clarity.”

Weight Loss – with Side Effects

What is actually happening when detox or cleansing diets are used for weight loss?

  • The scale may go down, but in a very unsafe manner.
  • Detoxification diets are very low in calories so the body will go into a conversion mode, meaning calories are burned more SLOWLY.
  • Calories that are consumed will be stored primarily as fat as the body perceives starvation through such drastic caloric restriction. This will send the body into a downward spiral towards “survival mode” as the body clings to every calorie that is consumed not knowing when it will be nourished or fed again.
  • Weight loss is primarily water weight and not true “fat loss”
  • Muscle wasting will ensue destroying lean tissue which in turn destroys metabolism.
  • No amount of exercise can counter the loss of lean tissue as it can only be sustained through the combination of BOTH proper nutrition and exercise.
  • Malnutrition occurs by restricting nutrient dense foods and worse entire food groups.
  • Lack of nutrients and severe calorie restriction will also compromise the immune system making the body more vulnerable to illness.
  • Lack of energy with possible bouts of dizziness, nausea, and headaches will result.
  • Inability to execute exercise to its fullest and most efficiently due to having no fuel in the machine.
  • Glycogen stores are on empty making exercise pretty much a miserable experience.  And, making the body more susceptible in getting hurt or worse yet…injured!

The Reality of Weight Loss Gimmicks

Juice CleanseThese detox and cleansing diets are short term weight loss gimmicks which do nothing to promote healthy life long nutritional habits while wreaking havoc on the body’s metabolism preventing it from running strong and efficiently for a lifetime.

The bottom line is that the human body is one of the most complex machines on earth.  The fact that its sustainability has been going on for centuries is evidence that our bodies have evolved to perfection in many ways.

Keep healthy and strong. Ditch the detoxification, cleansing and fad diets.