Blog

Couples Who Work Out Together Stay Together

What do you think about the above statement? Does it have merit? I absolutely believe it does. I first met Ray almost 10 ½ years ago on a date to the gym. I remember it fondly. A mutual friend knew the two of us had bodybuilding in common and she suggested we should meet because of our common interest. Here we are all those years later, still with fitness as a common thread and giving it a priority in each other’s lives. We both understand how important it is to the other so it’s naturally easy to support and encourage one another in this area.

How is it for others? We’re all so busy these days. Making time to connect with your partner can be challenging at best. Why not come together in the gym and share the benefits of working out together. Psychology Today(1) reports that working together can:

Increase happiness in your relationship. Participating in physical challenges or activities leaves couples feeling more satisfied with their relationship and more in love with their partner.

Improve the efficiency of your workout. The mere presence of someone else affects your ability to do an activity. Working out with your romantic partner is a great way to improve your energy output, thereby boosting your performance.

Make your partner fall in love with you. Exercise induces the symptoms of physiological arousal which mirror the thrill of romantic attraction.

 Help you achieve your fitness goals. When your partner cares about fitness, it becomes easier to achieve fitness goals.

The Huffington Post reports(2) that the concept of couples working out together works. Dr. Jane Greer, a relationship psychotherapist says “both partners come away with feeling of synchronicity, cooperative spirit and shared passion. Then you throw in some spicy endorphins and it can be a real power trip for the relationship.” There is a positive physical and emotional impact for couples who work out together. Exercise increases endorphins which elicit a feeling of euphoria. More on endorphins in a future post, but let’s just say, these “feel-good” chemicals are an added benefit from exercise, especially for romantic couples.

In a nutshell, having a workout partner, whether your spouse, best friend or a family member, holds you accountable to get to the gym for your workout because the other part of the couple is counting on you to be there. At The FirmU, we have several couples who train together who report that their relationships have improved and they have a closer connection with one another. We also have duos and trios of friends who come in for personal training. A benefit of training together, additional to the accountability piece and closer connections, is the reduced per person pricing structure. Duo and trio training is priced at the first person regular price and 2nd and 3rd at half price. This is a great way to enjoy the personal training we offer at reduced rates. We’d love to be a part of your fitness journey and improving your relationships through exercise.

(1) https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201401/5-reasons-why-couples-who-sweat-together-stay-together
(2) https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/09/workout-partner-healthy-couples-valentines-day_n_2638571.html

Fat Loss

Fat Loss IS Possible During the Holidays

We are extremely proud of The FIRM U client, Kyle Kettler. He has a TOTAL FAT LOSS TO DATE OF 35.3 LBS. While many people gain weight during the holidays, under trainer Ray Bessette’s direction, Kyle managed to lose 2.8 lbs. of fat while maintaining his muscle mass.

Kyle has put into practice the lessons he’s been learning from Ray about sustaining his fat loss during a season of indulgence. Kyle is the perfect example of digging deep and doing the work. He knows this is a marathon, not a sprint. Kyle is learning lessons for life and is a role model for his three young girls and everyone following his story. Keep watching for more updates. Kyle’s next goal is to get under 400 lbs. We’re sure he’ll be there soon!  Stay tuned for further progress updates.

Read more and watch videos about Kyle’s journey here.

Are you ready to start on a fat loss goal or general fitness goal for yourself? Contact us today to discuss how The FIRM U can help you get started.

Lose Weight

Changing Your Body Takes Consistency, Patience and Time

Personal Training in Spring, TexasA new year is here and that usually brings with it New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, go to the gym, etc. The new year is a great time to turn over a new leaf for many people. If this is a resolution you’ve had year after year, then we want to encourage and motivate you to let this be the last year you resolve to do this. Fitness isn’t a seasonal hobby; it’s a lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude and your mood.

Consistency.

So, you’ve made the resolution and made up your mind that you’re going to lose weight and get in shape this year. You’re going to the gym and you’ve improved your diet.  That is great!  Now, for it to be effective and to get the results you want, you’re going to have to be consistent.  Be true to yourself.  If you are not getting results, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I being consistent with proper nutrition?
  • Am I being consistent with my exercise routine?
  • (If you’re working with a personal trainer) Am I keeping my appointments with my personal trainer?

If you can’t answer yes to all of the above question, then how can you say this doesn’t work?  You can’t be inconsistent and expect results, so just do it.

Patience.

To change your body for good, there is no magic pill.  You will have to dig deep and practice patience.  Let’s be honest about this.  If you are in need of losing excess weight, you’re going to have to be patient about it.  You didn’t get in this shape overnight.  To lose the weight in a healthy manner and sustain that weight loss, you can’t do it quickly.  People who enjoy good health and fit physiques understand that it is a lifestyle. Don’t give up after a week or two of no scale results.  The moment you want to quit is the moment when you need to keep pushing.

Time.

Personal Training Spring, TexasYou’ve heard it before.  Your mother probably told you this years ago.  Good things take time.  After some time has passed and you’ve been patient with your changes and consistent with your nutrition and training, you are going to see changes with your body and your health will be improved.

Your New Lifestyle.

This lifestyle you’ve chosen is new and everything that is new takes time to get used to.  There will be a learning curve and it will be scary, but it can be done.  Do not throw in the towel because you feel intimidated or that you’re not good enough or you can’t do it.  What would happen if you just didn’t give up?  You only have one life and you are the only one who can change your life. Dig deep and do the work. Otherwise, you’re going to have to start again. Imagine yourself six months from now.  Don’t stop.  It WILL be worth it.

Interested in Personal Training in Spring, Texas?

Contact us for help getting started.

Gleannloch Farms Fitness Center Management

Dear Gleannloch Farms Residents –

This will clarify a couple of things that came up through the Facebook dialogue on the Gleannloch Farms Community News Facebook group page today.  Many have requested a copy of The FIRM U’s proposal to manage the Gleannloch Farms Fitness Center presented to the Gleannloch Farms HOA at the September 18, 2017 HOA meeting.  The proposal along with other documents is available through this link.

  • The proposal includes adding the 3,852-sq. ft. of The FIRM U for all Gleannloch Farms residents for no membership fee.  The choice of which gym the resident wants to use is theirs.
  • The management fee proposed was for $86,820 per year.

Some questions asked throughout the dialogue:

Where does the $10K Independent Contractor Fee fit into the proposal – in addition to or included in the $86,820?

Answer: What is being referred to the first bullet under the budget where I mentioned that I would “reduce the current annual budget set aside for the community gym by $10,000+ per year.”  What is meant by this is that $10k is the minimum savings that can be realized in one year from the proposal I presented. There is no additional or hidden $10k fee.

Please explain your initial plan to remove all the current equipment in the GLF gym and make it a yoga studio or cardio studio only?

Answer: That was never on my proposal. I believe a resident has suggested that, it was never a part of my proposal or business plan. I have a fully functional cardio and group class studio built in The Firm U. I have offered classes to the community, visit http://thefirmu.com/p31-fitness/ . I would keep community gym as is, but with Nationally Certified Personal Trainers that meet my topmost expectations in customer service and results driven for the resident. The Firm U would ONLY be an alternative to residents to work out for free. My project proposal is to add as an (optional) additional Gleannloch Fitness Center. This would be similar to how we have six tennis courts, three pools for GLF residents. With my plan, we’d have two fitness centers from which to choose and neither would have a MEMBERSHIP FEE. A community of this size would benefit from the value of an additional fitness center with the level of the newly proposed professionalism of The Firm U.

Please confirm the discussion we had about removing all fees for residents. This is $99/month currently for your membership, you indicated at the meeting and in the letter this would occur. How many GLF residents are currently paying $99/mo to be part of The FirmU – this was a number asked for at the meeting and a response was never provided.

Answer: I have 30 to 35 GLF residents that are patriciating in our personal training program. They don’t pay any fee for a membership, I waived GLF residents from membership fees a long time ago. In fact, through November and December of 2017, I offered residents of GLF to work out at The FIRM U for free. We do have a membership of $45 (with training) $99 (without a trainer) advertised on our web site,  This is for non-residents. In my proposal I stated that all GLF residents would have free access to The Firm U just like the Community Fitness Center. Lastly, you assume I generate most of my revenue from memberships, this is not true!

A couple of other feedback items from today’s Facebook conversation:

  • It has never been said by me that the current trainers are “crap.” This is a definition used today by a member of the group.  Throughout my proposals and emails, I’ve said that I would keep the current trainers who have the certifications our trainers have and/or, offer to help any who don’t with getting their National Academy of Sports Medicine certifications. The FIRM U is a training facility for NASM trainers and I would be more than happy and willing to help the current trainers get their NASM certification should they so desire.
  • Regarding the comment “But not everyone is trying to compete in a body building show. Some people just want to workout without getting hurt.” Not ONE of The FIRM U clients is trying to compete in a bodybuilding show. They have ALL come to me for health and weight loss reasons and my main concern with our clients is helping them with their goal AND teaching them how to work out with proper technique, so they don’t get hurt.

The Facebook dialogue will probably go on and on about this subject. At this point, it’s no longer about my company being awarded the contract. It’s more important now to validate whether the board went to other companies to seek proposals each time the contract came up for renewal or to ensure they seek them when the current contract is due to expire. It’s been done with the landscaping company (mid contract, by the way), why not with this service, too?  This way, the residents can be sure we are getting the best value and best service for our dollars. This is a question that has not been answered or proven thus far by the HOA.  I’ve answered the questions presented to me and put my proposal out as requested.

Now, if there are more questions, let’s address them at the January 18 HOA meeting.

Ray Bessette, NSCA, ACE, NASM-CPT
Founder & Owner, The Firm U
Master Clinical Fitness Trainer
Cancer Exercise Specialist
833-FIRMU-Up
Cell: 832-755-1949
Email: ray@TheFirmU.com
Web Site: www.TheFirmU.com

New Year, New Fit N Firm Foods Menu

Happy New Year!  We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to the many possibilities a new year brings.

Fit N Firm Foods Reopens After Holidays
First 2018 Delivery January 4th

Kerrie has been enjoying the holidays, but she’s put together a wonderful menu full of new items to ring in the new year.  Download your own copy of the January menu here.  The first delivery to The FIRM U is on January 4th.   To get your taste buds watering, check out a few brand new items Kerrie created for you.  Place orders on the Fit N Firm Foods website.

Menu Items Debuting in January 2018

Kerrie will be making a Beef Pho (beef bone broth) which is available Mondays & Thursdays only.  You’ll love her version of rich beef bone broth infused with star anise, cinnamon, ginger & garlic with zucchini noodles, beef brisket, bean sprouts, jalapeño, onions, cilantro, basil & sriracha.

We now have a low carb version of a famous chicken and biscuit breakfast sandwich.  Ours is tastier than the fast food version and healthier for you.  Chicken Biscuit with Cauli Hash Browns ~ Almond crusted chicken breast on an almond cheddar biscuit & cauli hash brown.

And how about this Portobello Burger, a 5 oz. (1/3lb) Burger topped with caramelized onions, wilted garlic spinach, tomato, cheddar cheese, & sandwiched between grilled Portobello mushroom served with zucchini fries.  This burger and fries are better tasting than your favorite burger and fries, and much friendlier on your physique and your gut.

Want to See Something Special on Future Menus?

Our main goal with these meals is to provide our customers with meals that leave you feeling satisfied while nourishing your body with essential nutrients and anti-inflammatory properties.  If you have a favorite meal you’d like Kerrie to overhaul for you, please drop her a line at fitnfirmfoods@icloud.com.

Weight Loss Houston

The Weight Loss Chronicles of Kyle Kettler

Kyle Kettler started his weight loss journey with Ray Bessette of The Firm U Personal Training and Fitness Center on 07-28-17. To date, Kyle has lost a total of 32 ½ pounds. Kyle’s progress has not been without its struggles (Hurricane Harvey, new baby girl, hospitalized for kidney stones and a bad case of the flu). Through all this, Kyle has continuously improved his weight loss and overall health. He says he’s never felt better, has more energy, his clothes are getting loose and he looks forward to his workouts.

We can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for him!

We’d love to be a part of your fitness journey, too.  Contact us for information on how you can get started.

Video Interviews with Kyle

Below are a few of the video interviews we’ve done with Kyle throughout his journey thus far.  It is our hope that his story will inspire you to take action for yourself or your loved one(s).

 

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The Perfect Christmas Gift

Give the gift of health to your loved one this Christmas. We offer several options to please everyone on your gift list. See below for descriptions and purchasing information on all gift cards we offer. Your loved one will thank you!

 

Benefits of practicing yoga from improved flexibility, strength, muscle tone & balance to stress reduction.

10 Yoga Sessions

Price: $149 (sessions must be used within 30 days following gift recipient redemption)  To purchase this gift card, please click here.

1 Yoga Session

Price: $20.00 (session must be used within 30 days following gift recipient redemption)  To purchase this gift card, please click here.


GROUP EXERCISE offers many benefits such as exposure to a social & fun environment, a safe & effectively-designed workout, a consistent exercise schedule, accountability for participating in exercise.

1 Group Fitness Session

$10 (session must be used within 30 days following gift recipient redemption)  To purchase this gift card, please click here.

Monthly Unlimited Group Fitness Classes (excludes Yoga)

Price: $120 (session expire 30 days following gift recipient redemption)  To purchase this gift card, please click here.


60 Minute Massage

Price: $100

Experts estimate over 90% of disease is stress related and nothing ages us faster inside and out than stress. Regular MASSAGE THERAPY can do a world of good for stress reduction. Other benefits: faster muscle recovery after exercise, decreased anxiety, better sleep, more energy, and improved concentration & circulation.  To purchase this gift card, please click here.

 


Perfect for the loved one to use for any service we offer (Personal Training*, Hormonal Balance*, Group Fitness, Yoga, Massage, Strawberry Laser Lipo, Fit N Firm Foods).

*Online redemption is unavailable for these two services.  To redeem for these services, recipient must print and bring the e-gift card to The FIRM U.

$100 Gift Card

To purchase this gift card, please click here.

 

$75 Gift Card

To purchase this gift card, please click here.

 

$50 Gift Card

To purchase this gift card, please click here.

 

Gift Card in Any Amount of Your Choosing

To purchase this gift card, please click here.


1 Strawberry Laser Lipo Session

Price:  $125  (50% off, normally $250)

Learn More about the Strawberry here.

To purchase this gift card, click here.

MORE INFO ON THE STRAWBERRY LASER LIPO

No recovery time – walk out and go back to your day!

Non-invasive – no incisions, no surgery, no discomfort!

“Melts the fat away! I saw immediate results!”

The areas only authorized Strawberry Laser provider.  The Strawberry Laser is completely non-invasive, completely non-surgical, and completely non-painful! FDA cleared for U.S. use, the Strawberry Laser has been successfully melting the fat and re-contouring the figures of millions of patients in over 30 countries for several years. When liposuction or other surgical body contouring procedures are less desirable options, Strawberry Laser treatments can yield noticeable, measurable results. Most patients will see a difference with their very first treatment session! We’ve grown accustomed to our patients being thrilled with the results – right from their very first session!  The Strawberry Laser helps our patients reshape their bodies – without liposuction, without surgery! Why not trim down those annoying, trouble spots of bulging fat by melting them away?! For patients looking for a simple “walk in, walk out” alternative to surgery, without any restrictions or downtime, the Strawberry Laser is a safe, affordable, non-invasive option that can achieve very reasonable results. Most patients will achieve their goals with a series of 6 -10 treatment sessions – just two a week – within only about a month! Results may vary.

For both men and women looking to shrink down pockets of unwanted fat from their arms, back, sides, hips, thighs, or abdomen, this safe, time-saving, cost-saving treatment can be ideal. The Strawberry Laser can help with everything from love handles, to spare tires, to saddlebags, to muffin tops!


Please call (833) FIRMU-Up or email ray@thefirmu.com with any questions you may have.

Happy “Healthidays” from The FIRM U!

Lose Weight with Fit N Firm Foods

December Menu is Now Available

Is it your goal to lose weight, feel great, eat healthy?  Then search no more!  Our December Fit N Firm Foods Menu is available for download.  Visit Fit N Firm Foods to place your order.

No time to cook or looking for a quick healthy meal. Skip the foods from local fast food restaurants which are laden with trans fats and saturated fats, high carbs and calories, and inflammation. Instead, stop in at The Firm U to pick up a delicious, freshly prepared meal that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

To see what makes us different from other prepared meal services, please refer to The Firm U Prepared Foods Comparison Report.

 

 

 

Enjoy The Holidays without Giving in to Your Fitness Goals

As the holiday season is approaching, if you are working on a fitness goal or are normally fitness and health conscious, you may be feeling anxious about the get-togethers you’ll be going to that revolve around food. Maybe you’re worried about the effect on the scale and your waistline. The holidays don’t have to derail the progress you have already made or keep you from achieving the goal you set for yourself. IT IS POSSIBLE to ENJOY everything about this time of year and stay on course so you start out the New Year ahead of the game. Here are a few tips to keep you on track.

START YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT.

There will be hustle and bustle in your house this time of year. Whatever you have planned, make sure you start your day with a good, healthy meal. Don’t eliminate this very important meal of the day. The American Dietetic association suggests that adults who eat breakfast have an easier time losing weight, while those who don’t are 460 times more likely to gain weight. Make sure to include a lean protein, a complex carb like oats. Careful here….If your body fat % is over 30% (1st stage of clinical obesity), you may want to avoid carbs. However, if you do drastically cut carbs, make sure your getting your 1:1 ratio of omega 3 & 6 fats.  We recommend the EFAs we sell at The Firm U.

GYM OPEN?

Is your gym open on Thanksgiving Day? Why not get up early and get in a quick workout before all the Thanksgiving Day activities start. You’ll feel better about it. Many gyms have reduced holiday hours…get in early and get it done! The FIRM U is OPEN Thanksgiving Day from 7:00a to noon. Come on in and get your workout on!

THINK TWICE ABOUT IT.

Choose the white meat (breast) of the turkey rather than the dark meat (thigh or leg) and avoid eating the skin. See below how the different meat types stack up against one another.

Mashed potatoes = mushy middles. At over 200 calories a cup and close to 40 grams of carbohydrates in mashed potatoes, you could choose Mashed Cauliflower instead and save yourself over half the calories and 25 grams of carbs. Your guests will barely taste the difference. They’re quick and easy to make. Just take a head of cauliflower and steam for about 15 minutes then transfer to the food processor or blender in small batches and blend with some garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and some low sodium beef broth added in an amount to get to your desired consistency. You’ll never want mashed potatoes again. These are delicious! Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable which has been shown to protect against cancer. Why not eliminate the potatoes and go for the cauliflower!

Pecan pie is a traditional Thanksgiving dessert you’ll probably run up against this season. Just one slice has over 500 calories with half those calories from fat and 64 staggering grams of carbs. You would have to walk very briskly (4.5 mph) for 90 minutes to burn off that one piece of pie. So, think about it….is it Worth it? You can still enjoy the tastes of fall and Thanksgiving without all the guilt. Instead or pecan pie, why not prepare our 50 calorie per serving Crustless Protein Pumpkin Pie recipe? Pumpkin is a good source of Vitamin A, so have some!

BE PREPARED…

• Sounds silly, but plan and rehearse how you are going to deal with temptations at the upcoming event.
• Don’t go to the social event hungry. Have a Marigold Bar ahead of time and pack one in your purse or pocket when you go.
• Stand away from the food. You could be tempted to graze on unhealthy options.

DID YOU OVERDO IT?

Enjoy yourself this holiday season, but don’t let the feasting around the season turn into a complete abandonment of your program. Remember, no one is perfect, and you don’t want to beat yourself up if you help get off course a little bit. Think of it this way: this new way of life for you is a journey. If you were on a road trip to Washington and you made a wrong turn in Utah, you wouldn’t turn around and go home, would you? No, you’d get your map out and get back on course and continue to Washington. The same philosophy applies to your journey to improved eating habits and fitness. Find your way back to the intended course and continue on your journey!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM ALL OF US AT THE FIRM U!

 

 

personal training houston

The FIRM U Client & Gleannloch Farms Resident, Jeff Udelson, uses strength training to heal elbows and avoid surgeries

In 2016, Jeff Udelson had spent over two years suffering with pain in both elbows. He was diagnosed with Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow) on his right arm and Lateral epicondylitis (Tennis elbow) on the other. Jeff has been an avid golfer for many years and the pain he was experiencing made enjoying the game he loves difficult if not impossible. Jeff went to an orthopedic surgeon who started him out on conservative, non-invasive treatment which included several rounds of cortisone injections in both elbows; two months of physical therapy; Airrosti treatments; acupuncture; and cryotherapy.  With no relief from these treatments, Jeff did what most people do…went to another orthopedic specialist  On July 19, 2016, Jeff had a visit with the specialists at The Fondren Orthopedic Group who had him get an MRI. Given the MRI results and everything else Jeff had tried with no success, the doctor said the best option for him would be surgery, which he scheduled for December 2, 2016.

On August 23, 2016, Jeff came to The FIRM U and met with Owner and Co-Founder, Ray Bessette. After this meeting, everything changed for Jeff. Ray assessed Jeff’s elbow condition and developed a plan for Jeff. Ray’s initial goal was to create circulation in Jeff’s elbow to speed up the healing process in the area and slowly build strength and flexibility in the forearm area. Improving grip strength by building the muscles of the forearm can improve Jeff’s ability to perform day-to-day activities and get him back to playing tennis and golf. Once hearing this plan, Jeff committed to working out with Ray three days a week. Jeff had other fitness goals in addition to eliminating his elbow pain which were to lose belly fat, increase range of motion and correct bad posture.

Ray began with using light cable and dumbbell weights with bands to stretch and create strength around Jeff’s forearms and wrists. Ray had Jeff apply ice to his forearms after workouts to the reduce inflammation. Ray also had Jeff work out his legs, explaining that the best way to lose belly fat, gain better posture, burn more calories even at rest, and to not overtrain his upper body was to achieve a better body balance by working the larger muscles…his legs. This helps build muscle mass, and muscle tissue burns more calories — even when you’re at rest — than body fat. After a couple of weeks, Jeff started slowly adapting to lifting heavier weight.

Ray also worked on Jeff’s nutritional intake and suggested a hormonal blood panel* to check for his A1C (sugar levels), CRP (Inflammation levels), Testosterone and Cortisol levels to name a few. A deficiency in any panel mentioned could influence Jeff’s elbow condition as well as his overall health.

The prescription for exercise, diet and supplements worked perfectly. After two months, Jeff was moving and doing daily activities with little to no pain, he canceled his December 2nd surgery and even got off his pain and inflammation medications.

Jeff continues to train with Ray at The Firm U and he continues to show improvement, not only in his elbows, but in other areas. Jeff has loss 16 lbs. of fat weight; his cholesterol & triglycerides levels have come back to the normal range; his posture, range of motion, strength, energy, muscle tone and flexibility have all dramatically improved; and he claims he hits the golf ball further than he ever has!

“I can now say that after more than 12 months of working out with Ray, I am now pain free and no longer need surgery…and I look and feel better than I have in years! THANKS, RAY!!”

This is one example of results the experts at The FIRM U help our clients achieve. We start with the foundational fitness assessment and use our vast knowledge and education with corrective exercise techniques and our thorough understanding of the body’s structural system (bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, etc.) we can help you strengthen your weaknesses and get back to doing what you  love, whether is golf, dancing, swimming, tennis, playing with your children/grandchildren or walking the dog.

Contact us today to schedule your free fitness assessment, email ray@thefirmu.com or  call 833-FIRMU-Up.