Winter 2017 - The Premier Issue

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Erin Oprea Family, Fitness and Becoming the Best Version of Yourself WINTER 2017 | THE PREMIER ISSUE


Send in your hi-res, healthy lifestyle photos to for a chance to be published.





03 / Exposure 06 / Publisher’s Letter 08 / Contributors 10 / #MusicCityFit 12 / New to Nashville


Vegan Skillet Cornbread


Smoothie Superfoods


You Might Be Doing It Wrong

Warm your kitchen and your heart with this healthy twist on a traditional, southern classic.

The winter months can bring colds, coughs, sore throats, runny noses, and more. Bulk up your immunity with this smoothie.

Want the answer but never had the guts to ask? Here is some advice from some of the best trainers, instructors, and nutritionists Nashville has to offer.



Redemption: New Year, Still You? It’s that time of year again. Let’s create lifelong resolutions.


Sleeping Your Way To The Top

If you’re having trouble counting sheep at night, you could be missing out on some serious health benefits. It’s time to get excited about sleep again.

38 / Back to the Basics 40 / Listen Up—The Best Podcasts 44 / Events & Races 46 / Local Spotlight





The Perfect Date Master the TRX A base and a flyer walk into a bar together.

Familiarize yourself with one of the most underutilized pieces of gym equipment.

Publisher’s Letter


early two years ago, I launched an online movement with the intention of connecting the local fitness community in Music City. After much support and contribution, I’m proud to be moving into the print publication arena to enhance the camaraderie I’ve come to respect and adore. Welcome to Nashville Fit Magazine. We are a lifestyle magazine designed to keep you informed, motivated, and inspired with all things #MusicCityFit. Reaching your health and fitness goals—whatever they may be—is easier when you’re doing something you enjoy. We’re here to provide that platform by educating you on some of the most gratifying workouts, enthusiastic trainers, quality gyms, and assortment of healthy food and drinks this city has to offer. To me, fitness is about more than sweating and eating right. It’s about lifting others higher and bettering those around you. It’s about sharing. It’s about working hard to reach personal goals. It’s about inspiration. It’s about positive vibes and role models. And it’s about knowledge and education and paying it forward. In our first issue, we are extremely thankful to have personal trainer Erin Oprea featured on the cover. You might know her from clients like Carrie Underwood, Jana Kramer, or Kelsea Ballerini, but she is more than the trainer behind those famous legs on the red carpet. She is a mother, a friend, an athlete, a wife, and a role model to women everywhere. Her story will inspire you to step outside your comfort zone and believe in the one person holding you back: yourself. Whether your journey to health and fitness starts today, or you are just looking to continue the fitness movement in Nashville, you’re in good hands. All around you are people and opportunity to help make this adventure easier, enjoyable and most importantly attainable. As for us at NFM? Well, we’ll be right here with you every step of the way.

Join Us Online! NashvilleFitMag NashvilleFit NashvilleFitMagazine

Stay Music City Fit,


Ryan Freebing, Publisher



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Contributors Haley Cahill Haley works at Alpha Omicron Pi International Headquarters where she is the assistant director of communications and editor of the sorority’s magazine. She loves weightlifting, boxing at Title Boxing Club Green Hills, and running through Nashville. She is looking forward to obtaining her personal training certification in the coming months. Though she is a huge advocate of a healthy diet, she never turns down a trip to Jeni's or Five Daughters Bakery.




Rea Frey Rea is an acclaimed nonfiction author, certified nutrition specialist and International Sports Sciences Association trainer. She is a regular contributor to Muscle & Fitness Hers and has been featured in Fitness, Ladies’ Home Journal and Oxygen. Read more at



PHOTOGRAPHERS DEVIN WILLIAMS Melissa Ann Haithcock As a blogger, recipe developer and healthy-living advocate, Melissa has found a way to make her mark by exploring health as an all-encompassing effort. A true believer in finding health in all aspects of life, she has been featured in publications that include travel, eating, exercise, style and more. She has become a part of the city’s growing food scene, and can be found in front of and behind the camera as well as the table.



EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS INFO@NASHVILLEFITMAGAZINE.COM Joseph Hemphill Joe works as the "behind the scenes guy" at Life Fitness Academy. He is constantly working on everything from marketing and administration projects to bringing the crazy ninja obstacles to life the rest of the team dreams up! With the rest of his time, Joe is a luthier, works at a local church and is a freelance audio engineer.



Mike Krajewski Born and raised up north in Canada, Mike’s unique abilities and training methods as a strength coach and personal trainer led him to be sought after by some of the Nashville Predators most elite players to help them push toward bettering themselves as athletes. Having spent the last three years building a large, diverse clientele, the energy, attention to detail, and work ethic he brings during every session makes it clear he loves what he does and strives to bring out the best in everyone he encounters.


Nashville Fit Magazine assumes no responsibility for the content of articles or advertisements, in that the views expressed therein may not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or any magazine employee or contributor. This publication and all of its contents are copyrighted.





























1006 Fatherland Street #208, Nashville, TN 37206 Local entrepreneurs Lindsay Brooker and Kimberly Novosel are bringing their passion for fitness and wellness to Nashville with a brand new indoor cycling studio called Verticity, where riders are a community and instructors are both motivational and inspirational. Verticity means "the power of turning," and when you ride with the “Maniac Pack”, you’ll quickly discover a unique workout that pairs full-body cycling with the inspirational mood of a yoga class. Each class is held in a dark studio, setting the mood for a personal experience. Riding entirely to the beat of



the music, you won’t use numbers like RPMs or calories burned. Instead riders get in touch with how they feel and what they give to each ride. Verticity is currently located at its “Verticity Underground” location at the Shoppes on Fatherland, but construction on its new location, near Five Points in East Nashville, is nearly complete and will feature an estimated 34 bikes, dressing rooms with showers, and a line of the brand’s own fitness apparel and accessories. Drop-in classes at the Underground location start at $15 plus shoe rental.

calisthenics • restorative ninja training • nutrition education yoga • classes

CrossFit H Dub

1034 3rd Ave South, Nashville, TN 37210 The name H Dub stands for hard work, and that’s exactly what you’ll be expected to give when you walk into this CrossFit box. Owned and operated by Trey Fitch and Lacee Strickland, H Dub encourages a positive environment, "good vibes", and an open mind to enhance your CrossFit experience. ​H Dub’s coaches take an individual approach to help you reach your goals, whether that be playing with your kids or grandkids, saving lives, or competing at an elite level in sports. Utilizing Olympic barbells, bumper plates, kettlebells, gymnastic rings, pull-up bars, and plyo-boxes, this CrossFit box is your adult playground. The 2,800-square-foot space comes equipped with an outdoor expansion, and H Dub offers both group and one-on-one personal training if a specific skill or movement should need increased attention.

Inner Light Yoga

2227 10th Avenue S, Nashville, TN 37204 Launching in the early part of 2017, Inner Light Yoga is Nashville’s first music based yoga studio with a new, fresh and bold style. Owner, Emmy Singer, calls it "yoga with heartbeat inducing movements, loud music and non-stop fun." At ILY, classes are open to all levels, there are modifications for all poses, and you’ll challenge your mind and body. With plenty of “inner light,” the studio has six 12ft windows and is ready for you to burn bright!


City Fit Concierge Bringing on-site fitness and wellness to Nashville’s top condominium, apartment, hotel, home and office locations, City Fit Concierge caters to both Music City’s residents and tourists. Owner Derrick T. Billups, Jr. and his army of City Fit staff bring fitness directly to you by offering locationspecific personal training, group fitness, yoga, running clubs, nutritional counseling, food delivery services and massage therapy. In today’s fast paced world, convenience is everything. What better way to hold yourself accountable than a personal trainer arriving at your doorstep anytime you need them.



360 Fitness Coaching

Remedy Bone Broth Nashville's first bone broth company, Remedy Bone Broth makes and delivers all natural bone broths right to your door. Each of their six flavors include 20 grams of protein per 8oz cup as well as lots of collagen and gelatin for optimal health and wellness. The company's signature Hot Chicken and Hot Beef is simmered with cayenne peppers to support the respiratory and circulatory systems too. Broths can be sipped as a beverage or used as a cooking base in quinoa, rice, soups or for simmering vegetables. Remedy offers free delivery to homes and offices in Davidson, Williamson and Sumner Counties. Find them at the Franklin Farmers Market on Saturdays and inside the Market House at the Nashville Farmers Market on Wednesdays.

3744 Annex Ave A3, Nashville, TN 37209 Recently opening their doors in the West Nashville area, 360 Fitness Coaching offers private (one coach/one client), semiprivate (one coach/2-4 clients) and group classes (up to 10 clients) in an open space environment utilizing barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, bodyweight, sleds and medicine balls. Moving from one end of the facility to the next, 360 Fitness uses its entire 2,600-square-foot area to cater to their clients’ strengths and needs. Owner Marty Vaughn has been in the fitness industry for over 16 years and promotes quality over quantity. Classes are currently offered on Saturdays with additional days to be added in early 2017. First class is always free. Apply today!

Eat Well Nashville Eat Well Nashville is changing the game in the meal prep arena. Delivering fresh and healthy ready-to-eat meals directly to your home or office, their brand new 6,000+ square-foot kitchen features state-of-the-art technology (seriously, they have the same ovens as Disney World!) to maintain premium nutritional quality with each meal. Hungry? All you have to do is visit their website, select from a range of gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, and completely customizable cooked meals, and choose your delivery date! Your food will be delivered in an insulated bag that will keep your food cool for 8–10 hours. Once you're ready to dig in, all you have to do is heat and eat. Each meal maintains its freshness in your refrigerator for up to 5 days!



Nutrition Recipe by Melissa Ann Haithcock Find more at

Vegan Skillet Cornbread 1 1 4 1 Âź Âź 1 2 6

cup unbleached all-purpose flour cup corn meal teaspoons baking powder teaspoon salt cup coconut sugar cup coconut oil (sub vegan butter) cup unsweetened almond milk tablespoons ground flax seeds tablespoons water

Directions (1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch round skillet. (2) In a small bowl, combine flax seeds and water, stir and set to the side while other ingredients are prepped. (3) In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add in the sugar, coconut oil, almond milk and flax mixture and stir until well combined. (4) Pour into skillet and cook for 20-25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. (5) Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, slice, and serve.




Smoothie Superfoods Superfoods are a quick and easy way to get some serious nutrients into your body. Tested and consumed for centuries, here are seven of our go-to ingredients to help nurture your body and boost your energy output.



a. Touted as being one of the most powerful herbs on the planet, there are over 5,000 studies done on the health benefits of turmeric. The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Eating a single gram of turmeric each day has been said to cause short-term memory improvements as well. b. Tastes Like: Earthy flavor with some peppery undertones. c. Favorite Way to Use It: Combine with cinnamon in your morning oatmeal to kickstart the day.




a. Kefir was used for centuries in European and Asian cultures due to its incredible medicinal benefits for healing issues like leaky gut. It contains high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics. Think of it as a drinkable yogurt. b. Tastes Like: Slightly acidic and tart flavor that is reminiscent of lemon. c. Favorite Way to Use It: Substitute kefir for the milk in homemade ice cream or frozen yogurt for a cool, tangy treat.


a. Originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a probiotic-packed fermented beverage made from black tea. The four main properties of kombucha are detoxification, antioxidation, energizing potencies, and immunity boosting. It also helps heal, repair, and prevent joint damage. b. Tastes Like: Sour and sharp, an acquired taste. c. Favorite Way to Use It: Straight up or in place of sweet and sour mix in any cocktail recipe.



photo courtesy of




Hemp Seeds

a. Flaxseeds have been consumed as food for almost 6,000 years! They contain good sources of fiber and an abundance of hearthealthy omega-3 fats. Naturally gluten-free, flaxseeds are also packed with lignans, a plant compound known as polyphenols which help with hormone balance, anti-aging and lowering the risk of heart disease. b. Tastes Like: Earthy hint, nutty. c. Favorite Way to Use It: Add 1-2 tablespoons to any of your favorite smoothies.

a. For the longest time, hemp seeds have been avoided due to their botanical relationship to medicinal varieties of cannabis, but they actually have zero psychotropic reaction. In fact, hemp seeds help improve digestion, balance hormones, and improve metabolism. If you’re looking to boost your natural omega-3 intake, limit your vegetable oil consumption and enhance your omega-6s­. Hemp seeds are also a GLA-rich food. b. Tastes Like: Nutty, slightly sweet flavor. c. Favorite Way to Use It: Add to granola or muesli recipes for an extra boost of protein.


Shilajit Powder


Local Honey

a. Shilajit may not be on your ingredient radar, but this ancient, medicinal herb has a high fulvic acid content and is known to be a “whole body healer”. Shilajit is best known for protecting brain cells and boosts energy by increasing the function of mitochondria in your body. It can also help to manage diabetes. b. Tastes Like: Strong, medicinal taste like tea. c. Favorite Way to Use It: Include with your morning coffee or tea.

a. Pure, unfiltered, and unpasteurized honey purchased from a local farmers' market can help with everything from low energy to sleep problems to seasonal allergies. When you buy local, your body is consuming the same pollen that you’re breathing in on a daily basis, desensitizing you to seasonal allergy symptoms. Local honey is also an antioxidant powerhouse. b. Tastes Like: Sweet and wild. c. Favorite Way to Use It: Due to its taste, adding honey into your favorite smoothie is the easiest way to get your daily dose. Another great way is by adding to your tea before bed. Be careful of the sugar, though.




You Might Be Doing It Wrong by HALEY CAHILL

Whether you have been exercising for years or thinking about joining a gym for the first time, diet and exercise are critical components in meeting your health and fitness goals. Incorrect form and improper nutrition can not only hinder you from seeing your desired results, but could also lead to injuries and other significant health problems. I tracked down a few of Music City’s top nutrition and fitness experts to discuss the most common mistakes and misconceptions they see from new and seasoned athletes, and how to correct those problems so every individual can reach his or her goals.

Chris Byford Yoga Instructor and Lululemon Ambassador For some individuals, the hardest part of beginning a new fitness program is simply having the confidence to start in the first place. Byford says many people are unnecessarily self-conscious or embarrassed about how they look or perform in a class, but see progress once they overcome their inner fears. “Students often tell me, ‘I’m not strong enough,’ ‘I’m not flexible enough,’ or, my personal favorite, ‘I’m not young enough.’ They start their practice with these doubts and it gives them an excuse to stay safe and in their comfort zone instead of playing on the edge of growth and possibility. Doubt your doubts, and they will fade away. Growth, grace, and confidence will flow into that space and you will see that you already were and always have been fully capable of doing anything you are willing to work toward.”

Megan Conner

Runner, Personal Trainer and Boston Marathon Qualifier “The biggest mistake I see when a client starts a new routine or goal is jumping in too quickly and too intensely. It’s important to start out excited and with motivation, but sometimes we don’t realize that our bodies need time to adjust to a new routine or goal. I usually advise everyone to start small and work their way up. For example, maybe your goal is to work out five times a week, but you’re currently starting from



scratch. Commit yourself to one to two times a week for 20-30 minutes, and if you do more—great—but do not develop an ultimatum to exercise five times a week right off the bat. Not hitting your desired goal can really mess with your mental game, and you also risk physical injury if you jump into things too fast. Enjoy the process, seek guidance from a pro, and take it one step at a time.” “As a runner, another big mistake I see is disregarding hydration and fueling properly during training, long runs and races. Just like a car needs gas, your body needs energy to burn. Fuel every hour (at least), and drink every two to five miles on long runs. I have always heard, ‘Eat before you are hungry and drink before you are thirsty.’ Practice on your training runs with your desired energy intake so that you're not experimenting on race day. I recommend natural gels and quality H2O to keep you going.”

James Fuertes

Co-owner of Title Boxing Club and Fitness Consultant with Strongfire Fitness “As a boxing instructor and personal trainer, some of the common mistakes I see are

diet related. One mistake involves the mystery of carbohydrate timing. I run into people all the time who seem to make a villain out of carbohydrates. These individuals will eat very little carbs before an intense workout and then stay away from carbs post-workout as well. This is a mistake for anyone who wants to have maximum energy output during an intense workout, for example, a boxing workout. Most fighters I know use carbs to their advantage. A well-timed carbohydrate prior to working out and having plenty of complex carbs post-workout will ensure not only good performance during exercise, but also plenty of replenishing fuel for your muscles afterwards. I had an excellent biochemistry professor in grad school who compared our carbohydrate stores to a battery: When you are finished working out, the battery is almost depleted, which means postworkout is the best time to slam a bunch of carbohydrates. That way, you can refuel and possibly even expand the walls of the battery so that the next time you workout you can go longer.”

Josh Gamble

Trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp “I often hear clients, usually women but also sometimes men, say that they don’t want to lift ‘heavy’ because they’re afraid of getting bulky. Part of our job is educating clients, which I enjoy doing. Once the client understands and grasps the benefit of lifting ‘heavy’ [they] enjoy the results they start seeing.”

Blake Harris

Supplement Sales Representative at Mid 10 Nutrition

“Too often we have clients who aren’t exercising consistently or eating properly, but want to jump start a new diet and exercise program with a fat-burner supplement. If you are not eating well and have an inconsistent activity level, a fat-burner is not going to give you the results you want. Fat-burners should be looked at as a ‘cherry on

top’ after you have already been working out and eating correctly, or need assistance breaking through a plateau. So many people try to build their program around a supplement, which means it is not supplementing anything. Supplements complement what you’re already doing, which should be the whole food intake. More people should build their program around food and then build up daily supplements, like a multivitamin, fish oil, etc., then ingredients to assist your workout—protein, BCAAs, creatine—and then, finally, optimization products such as fat-burners or natural test boosters.” It’s also important to understand that products that work for one individual may not necessarily work for you or be the best option for your body. “It’s frustrating when clients are dead set on a product because their super-jacked friend or super-fit girlfriend had great success with a specific product. The focus becomes product-oriented instead of goal-oriented. Everyone's body is different, with different goals. When we have clients come into our store, we focus on finding products that are going to maximize their efforts, not products the industry says we should be selling our customer.”

Lindsey Joe

Registered Dietician Nutritionist and Nashville Media Spokesperson for the Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics While the work you put in at the gym plays a large role in your health and fitness goals, the food you put on your plate and in your body is just as important. When it comes to nutrition, Joe said tipping the scale on food one way or the other can make or break your progress. Joe meets a number of clients that are actually not eating enough. “Sounds crazy, but it is true. Too often do I come across clients who want to lose weight, and I come to find out they are actually eating too little, affecting their body's metabolism so much that their body adjusts to surviving on very small amounts of fuel.” She also encounters many individuals who consume too much protein. “Did you know that your body can only digest 25–30 grams of protein in a sitting? That means that chowing down on an extra chicken breast or sipping 60 grams of a protein shake is more likely making it

harder to reach your fitness goals. Fueling your body every three to four hours will likely get you to where you need to be, but you should also be consulting a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist regularly as well.”

Kate Moore

Owner and Trainer at getFIT615 “Incorporating fitness into your day-to-day life can be hard, I get it. A lot of my clients can have really busy schedules. But fitness is supposed to be fun, and you’re supposed to laugh while you’re doing it. It is not another checkbox on your daily planner. You are supposed to enjoy the company of the people sweating next to you. And you are supposed to be able to show up and do the absolute best that you can do on that particular day, and leave feeling good about it. If you leave the gym feeling defeated and discouraged, you need to find a new gym. That is not the place for you.”




Jeremey “JT” Tate

Trainer at CrossFit 615 and The Fit Factory “If you have hit a plateau, going heavy with good form and full range of motion can get you over the hump. If you have a coach, they have probably told you this before. Once you have the technique down, start to add progressive weight. You’re stronger than you think—trust me—and if you keep using the 5-pound weights, your body will adapt and stay constant. Your coach or fitness program should have a built in periodization. So on days the reps are light, that’s your cue to grab some extra pounds. I know what some of you are thinking: ‘But I don’t want to get big and bulky.’ In all actuality, body fat goes down and inches come off, and adding more weight might help you get over your hump.”





The Perfect

Models: Dustin Del Rio and Ashley Dance @theacromutants



Date C


Chocolate. Roses. Cards. Balloons. If you’re tired of pre-fixed menus and over-booked tables, I’ve got the perfect date for you and your significant other this Valentine’s Day. Flying solo? Grab a new fling or arrive as a single and try something new! It’s very possible you may have seen some people doing acroyoga in the park or online. Maybe you’ve seen some epic photos of two yogis balancing effortlessly on each other’s feet and/or hands and thought, “Wow. That’s incredible! I will never be able to do that.” Well, I’m here to remove all of your inner doubts because you don’t have to be a gymnast or seasoned yogi to try this partner-based workout. It’s for everyone, no matter the personality, shape, size, or skill. And it’s a great way to spice up any relationship. We all know when we exercise, our bodies release chemicals called endorphins, triggering that “happy” feeling that can help relieve stress. Acroyoga infuses yoga and acrobatics by executing a series of balancing acts. Combine that with trying something new and entertaining, and you’ve got the ingredients for a playful evening.

photo by Tyler Stone

Remember when you were on a first date and you weren’t sure when it was appropriate to break the touch barrier? In acroyoga, you’ll jump right in, literally, with hands, feet and body holds right out of the gate, which is great for getting to know someone. It’s a form of artful movement. Now, I’m not talking about slow, sensual movements, or sitting in one another’s lap. This isn’t the mushy stuff. You will essentially be performing small circus acts. Left hand on right foot—right foot on left hip— right leg on left butt cheek—now twist, spin, and hold. It’s like a game of human Twister, and your instructors will demo each movement slowly to emphasize each person’s main responsibilities. As the flyer, or person elevated, you are constantly flexing and moving into dynamic positions by the base, sometimes activating your entire body to strike a pose. Balance, self-confidence, and core strength are utilized the most. As the base, you are responsible for holding the Flyer in various positions while lying on your back. This enables both the arms and legs to be "bone-stacked" for maximum stability and support of your partner. You will be using your feet (generally placed on the flyer's hips, groin, or lower abdomen) and hands. Communication is key—not only verbally, but with your body too. Sound familiar? You and your date will physically feel each other out as you move each other and establish a connection, studying and adapting to each other’s strength and agility while you counterbalance one another. Going through each movement is a trust fall each time. If you aren’t specific and communicate, you may fall, get dropped, or slip out of each other’s grip. But if you fall, you fall. You can always get back up, learn from your mistakes, and try again. Discussing what went wrong and how to correct it is a natural part of acroyoga, and it strengthens your bond for the next movement. Completing a flow gives each couple a sense of accomplishment. Amazing things can happen when you work together to solve each aerial puzzle. Plus, if you can get out of your comfort zone, and try not to giggle, it can be sexy too. Acroyoga is about finding support, confidence and community, much like a relationship. But most of all, it’s about having fun and experiencing something unique. It’s new. It’s different. And it’s vulnerable. You’ll not only learn about yourself, but also your partner. The best part is, it won’t be the same, boring night out. Although, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t turn away flowers! WINTER 2017 / NASHVILLE FIT MAGAZINE


Wellness This year, instead of starting with momentum and then fading into quicksand, make these promises (and no, you’re not allowed to break them): Don’t recycle old goals. Sure, if there’s something you’re dying to complete from last year, last month or last week, then do it. But if you tend to make the same goals (I want to lose weight! I want to feel good! I want to be healthy!), shake it up a little. This year, don’t make your goals have anything to do with how you look. We have the rare opportunity to make each day vastly different from the day before. Most of us will fall into the same daily routines, thinking the same handful of thoughts as yesterday. We all know doing the same things over and over again yields the same results. Instead of that limited way of thinking, expand. What haven’t you tried that you really want to do? What is something that calls to you? What changes do you need to make in order to get there? Take steps to answer these questions and practice them daily.



New Year, Still You? by REA FREY

“If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.”

You know the drill. Make a New Year’s Resolution (or 50), gain some momentum, lose even more ground, and then spin into an abyss of self-loathing and shame. Sound familiar? This year, skip all the usual make-them-and-break-them fanfare and dig a little deeper into what you really want— from goals, from life, from your job, from relationships and especially from yourself. Think about the common goals we often set around health and wellness: Some of us want to get stronger, complete a race, fit into our skinny jeans or see a certain number on the scale. But let’s look beyond the “typical” goals and get a little more personal. It’s very easy to set goals. It’s a lot harder to achieve them without bumps, hiccups or our desires and determination being tested along the way. How we think has so much to do with how we succeed. If it’s important, we find a way; if not, we find an excuse. It’s all about the approach.



Shape up your mind. So many of us focus on our bodies first, then the mind. But talk to any athlete or high achiever, and you know the keys to most success stem from that gooey thing between your ears. So many of us send out negative thoughts without even thinking about it: from looking in the mirror to eating foods that are deemed “good” or “bad,” we construct thoughts and opinions around everything (hello, social media bashing). When you look in the mirror, appreciate what your body can do, not just how it looks. When you are eating, tell yourself that you are eating the best thing for you. When you wake up, think about how you get to go to work, not how you have to. Focusing on feeling good takes practice and consistency. It can be one of the hardest patterns to develop, but it is definitely the most rewarding.


Recognize it’s going to be hard. Change isn’t easy. If it were, we’d all be capable of changing bad habits in favor of better ones. Do you ever notice how some habits, like brush-


ing your teeth, are intrinsic, but others, like getting the spoon out of the damn peanut butter jar, are not? We spend so much time focusing on what we don’t want, that we often resist what we do want. If you believe it’s impossible to change, then you are right. But if you lay the groundwork to make change a daily priority—not a weekly or monthly one— then you will pave the way to a more sustainable way of living. Ask yourself: What can I do today? How can I be positive today? How can I eat slightly better or take care of my body/job/partner/child today? There’s no quick fix for change. Health happens over the long-term. It can be hard to undo habits and patterns, so prepare to put in the work now and then watch as your health, goals and life shift into something new. Stop comparing. So, comparison has pretty much become the normal way of life. We compare our lives against those online, in the media, in magazines and even next door. We get wrapped up in our friends’ stories, our families’, and often times, we don’t align with who we really are or what we really want from life. As Byron Katie wrote: It’s not your job to like me; it’s mine. It starts here, with you. You as an infant, a wobbly toddler, a gangly child, a teen, a twenty-something, an adult, a senior. Are you there for yourself? Do you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and tell yourself it’s okay every time you fall? Or do you need friends, family or partners to give you constant guidance? At some point, you have to do what is best for you. You have to decide that what you think about yourself matters more than what anyone else thinks. Strip the job away, the physical appearance, the materials, the family and the outside influences and realize you’re not in a race against anyone or anything except yourself. How do you want to finish?


However you approach the New Year, remember to give back to your body and your mind. Weed out the junk, the negative environments, the same tired thoughts as last year, last month or even last week. Get clear about who it is you are and what you really want to become. Visualize what your best life looks like. And then go live the sh*t out of it.

Wellness some point during your day is better than not at all, and it can be an important stress reliever. Give yourself a boost of energy before work to kickstart your morning. If your schedule only allows an evening sweat session, try to make it at least three hours before your bedtime. Your body needs time to cool down and relax before rebooting overnight.

Sleeping Your Way to the Top by LINDSAY MILLER

What if time doesn’t really age you? What if the cause of “aging” had to do more with how we actually treat ourselves, what we put in our bodies and how much sleep we are getting? Today, most people associate less sleep with more productivity. However, getting seven to eight hours of quality Zs at night might just be the secret to a productive day, week, month, and life. For all you go-getters out there pulling all-nighters and downing caffeine-filled energy drinks, to say you’ll “sleep when you’re dead” is a rather ironic analogy. Superior sleep has been scientifically proven to promote the longevity of your life, but it has become a lost art. We prepare for everything we do during the day—work, school, a blind date, dinner with the family—but when was the last time you prepared to go to bed? In fact, sleeping could very well be the most important part of your day. Your body needs time to recover, restore nutrients and prepare itself for the next day. Sleep deprivation has also been known to lead to certain types of cancer, spikes in heart disease risk, depression, and weight gain. Sounds like this might be your ultimate wake up call. Still want to sleep when you’re dead? Here are five ways to help you get the best sleep you’ve ever had.



MAKE IT A ROUTINE Going to bed at the same time every night allows your body to wind down and wake up in a routine fashion. Often surrounding your circadian rhythm, make your bed time a habit. Ideally, your body starts to wind down when the sun goes down, but 9 p.m. is a good target. You’re body goes into an alert state around 10 p.m. In this stage, it starts to search for nutrients in order to fuel itself. This action commonly triggers hunger, leading us to the fridge for a late night snack. Give yourself around 30 minutes to detox all the social media, Netflix, and stress out of your system before really expecting to fall asleep. Your body needs time to relax. Once you have a set bedtime, enforce the same time every night. I highly suggest a lavender-scented bath or decaffeinated green tea with honey to get you ready. WORK IT OUT While we could debate for days the correct time we should be working out— whether it’s a morning yoga session or evening trip to the gym—exercising at

TUNE OUT TEMPTATATIONS Like a fully charged cell phone, we tend to start our day with a strong bar of willpower. As the day progresses, each temptation, treat, or distraction chisels away at our battery life. It takes a lot of determination and self-control to change a pattern. If you want to nurture your health and happiness, there are certain habits to break that will help you gain better sleep. Most importantly, shut off technology 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. Not only do your eyes need time to adjust back to the real world, but so does your mind. Create a peaceful environment for optimum rest and relaxation. Want an even better night’s sleep? Remove cell phones from the bedroom. Period. Let’s be honest, if wondering how many likes your last post on Instagram received is keeping your eyes open at night, it might be time for some serious social media rehab. KNOW YOUR SLEEP NUMBERS AND SETTING THE MOOD Do you know how many hours of sleep you need each night to be the best version of yourself? Having this ammo in your tool kit isn’t easy. Coffee, energy drinks, alcohol, and light from your smartphone can interfere with your circadian rhythm. Try removing all inhibitors for ten days and see how well your sleep cycle changes. To set the mood, researchers advise keeping the thermostat between 68 and 72 degrees during slumber. Colder temperatures induce a sense of deeper sleep. Warmer temperatures can bring about night sweats, interrupting your REM cycles. MEDITATE With the amount of external “noise” in our lives today, most people would cringe to sit by themselves in silence for a few minutes. When practiced daily, however, meditation can improve your health, stress, and sleep patterns. Ten minutes in the morning and night is all it takes to see improvements. Try closing your eyes and practicing the rising and the falling of your breath. Let go of anything that is making you tense and let your muscles relax. Every wonder why it takes your massage therapist four or five requests to get your muscles to relax? It’s because we’ve forgotten how to wind down. These few moments are just for you and can get you ready for a tranquil night of rest.



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A At 16 years old, most of us were concerned with how the picture on our driver’s license was going to turn out. Erin Oprea was graduating high school. At 18, we were stoked to legally get a tattoo, buy tobacco, or lottery tickets. Erin become a certified personal trainer. At 21, well, it’s obvious what most of us were looking forward to. Erin joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Today, Erin has incorporated the skills learned from her past and combined them with an understanding of her future. She values structure, has the passion, has the drive, and an obsession with helping others achieve more.



Daily Routine

Known for preparing some of country music’s most popular red carpet stars like Carrie Underwood and Kelsea Ballerini for the national spotlight, Erin Oprea is a light of her own in the Nashville fitness industry. After a short time away from Music City, she returned from San Diego and met her now husband Sean. Together they provide clients with optimum results under Oprea Personal Fitness. “I’ve always been a disciplined person, but now more than ever. Everything I do is on the clock and having a strict routine is the only way I’m able complete all of my tasks every day. I’m usually training about 65 hours a week. So everything is organized down to the ‘T’.” What Oprea might call a “normal day” would probably bring some people to their breaking point. Living out of her car is not only convenient to get from one client to the next, it’s necessary. “I basically drive around in a mobile gym. I’ve got everything in there: Bosu balls, kettlebells, foam rollers, yoga mats and assorted dumbbells. I’m always on the road because I train clients at their homes. I’ll usually see eight to ten clients a day starting at 4:30 a.m. Sometimes I see the same client five days a week.” Oprea’s engaging schedule is clearly demanding, but comes with a price. “The stress level now is more than

it’s ever been—even when I was in Iraq. There is a lot of pressure.” During her second tour, Oprea was hand-selected to lead the first-ever all-female platoon. Her job? Searching female citizens in Fallujah for contraband. However, Oprea sees the positives in relation to stress as well. “The military taught me to be calm under pressure. I look at each day with a goal in mind and I execute it based on what needs to get done. I’ll crack the whip if I have to. I have no problem playing ‘bad cop’.” She adds in good humor. “Would my body sleep eight hours if I allowed it to? I don’t think so. But I love it! It’s so fun!” Her enthusiasm is inspiring, even when we would totally understand if she needed a nap! Luckily, Oprea’s nature is to be constantly moving. “I respect the hell out of yogis, but my attention span cannot keep up with their practice,” she admits. “My mind is like a two-yearold, and I just can’t sit still. I’m always ready for the next movement, the next exercise or the next obstacle we are trying to tackle.” She puts this energy to good use with Tabata workouts and says they are undoubtedly one of her favorite ways to exercise. She incorporates this HIIT style in her own programing and as a common practice with her clients.

The 4-Minute Cardio Workout

Tabatas are a form of High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, exercises performed every twenty seconds followed by ten seconds of rest usually performed for four minutes, or eight sets. Each 20-second interval is intended to be an all-out effort. Tabatas can involve almost any movement and the variations are endless. “They’re extremely powerful. It’s like a game for me, and I still get crushed every time. So do my clients! Time seems to fly by faster, and we’ve never done the same workout with the same client. It’s completely different every time. Sure, a push-up is a push-up and a squat is a squat, but mix up the routine and the combinations are endless. I’ve tried a lot of workouts in my career, but Tabatas are the most effective way my client see results.”

If you’ve read Oprea’s 4x4 Diet book, you’ve been introduced to Tabatas. They’re a staple in her workout regimen because they increase aerobic and anaerobic system capacities.

The 4x4 Diet

While the Tabata workout is essential to Oprea’s exercise philosophy in her book, she also focuses on four essentials she would like to see people reduce in their daily diet: starch, alcohol, sugar, and sodium. “Reduce is the key component here,” Oprea says, “because it’s incredibly difficult to go cold turkey.” Even though her method has been successful for clients that struggled with weight loss and motivation for years, she wants her message to be reasonable and manageable for anyone that picks up her book. “I also encourage people to be more aware of how they are shopping. The majority of your shopping cart should include items from the outside of the grocery store since most of the processed foods are normally found towards the middle.” Starting with the basics, she explains in detail helpful hints and then gradually advocates the slow removal of these items altogether. “Most people don’t realize there are healthy substitutes for everything in the kitchen, such as exchanging butter or margarine with avocado; extra-virgin olive oil with coconut oil; and white flour with whole wheat or almond flour.” The book provides these helpful tips along with tons of simple recipes and even more suggested workouts. More importantly, Oprea’s book educates the reader on the proper times to consume these four ingredients—like no starch in the evenings. There are plenty of effective tools or hints that are effortless to use, but we’re reluctant to call them “hacks.” Another good example Oprea provides is an easy equation: “The best method of finding out how much water you need is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 150 pounds, you should have at least 75 ounces of water on a daily basis.” These are staple habits that shape a healthier lifestyle. When it comes to her personal food preferences, Oprea keeps it simple. “Oatmeal and eggs—if that’s all I had to live on. Maybe some berries, too. I’d be a happy camper. I usually get salmon and greens when we go out; I always ask the waiter for more greens, too. And I usually add avocado. You can’t mess up avocado, right?” She laughs, “I bring my own dressing, which helps. But I always order salmon. My husband says I need more variety!” (She obviously gets excited when it comes to talking about dinner). “I can never get full! It’s a curse, really. The competitive eating career is starting soon!” She laughs. But in all seriousness, it’s eating the right foods that make all the difference. And Oprea exemplifies how fueling an active body looks

Grab The 4x4 Diet at your local bookstore!



when you incorporate all that factors into a healthy diet.

Setting The Right Model

L to R: Hayden, Sean, Erin, Hunter

CitySTRONG Nashville


As we talk more about diet and image, Oprea expresses her concern for women’s perception of the “perfect body.” “If you’re seeking a ‘healthy’ look for the wrong reasons, then body image will crush you. There are so many media outlets out there telling woman to be ‘skinny’, be ‘lean’, be ‘muscular’, be something, but I just want women to be themselves and be fit! The rest will fall into place. It’s my goal to be an example to women everywhere by helping them understand that health is built and maintained on the inside—mentally and physically.” Her message is sincere and a refreshing reminder. Despite her attention in the media, high profile clients, and magazine shoots, Oprea believes health is not a look but a feeling. “I want women to be comfortable in their own skin, not someone else’s illustrative image of it.” It isn’t about abs or arms or butts. It’s about the overall picture. To Oprea, your health is generally about your happiness. “I became a personal trainer because of my passion to see things grow and become successful. I love to see people change. I love the look on their face when they realize how much their hard work has paid off. It genuinely brings me joy to see other people happy, and that is why I do what I do. The fitness industry has its fair share of negativity, but it’s how you react to that negativity that separates you from the rest. I’ve learned to push [negativity] aside in order to achieve what I need to achieve.” In this modern world structured to fit a certain look, picture, or image, Oprea lets it in one ear and out the other. “If you can’t control it, why let it control you?” The fitness world could easily be a dangerous place for someone with selfdoubt because of high industry expectations, but perhaps Oprea’s military background and entering her career at a young age has helped to mature her thick skin. Her focus is on her clients and their achievements. Her reaction to social media hasn’t altered due to the negative comments either, because Oprea finds balance with the positives. However, she admits, “I’m not on social media a lot, but when I am I try to be present. I catch a lot of flak for not answering questions from people on Facebook and Instagram, but I try my best to make time for it,” she confessed. Understandable, given the mobile gym in her car and training clients from sunrise to sundown. While the average American spends nearly eight hours a day on social media, she still manages with her busy schedule to promote positivity with motivational quotes, photos of events, clients, and her personal workouts. To add to her busy schedule, Oprea is a mother. Her two boys, Hayden (14) and Hunter (16), both share a passion for living an active lifestyle. On the weekends,


you can usually find Oprea at the soccer field, whether it is attending her sons’ games or playing pick-up at a local park. Her love for the sport runs in the family. When she is attending the boys' games she prefers to use her time wisely. Working out actually makes her pay better attention to her boys on the field. “Since I’m on the go so much, I’m constantly trying to fit in workouts for myself whenever and wherever I can. The boys’ soccer games are usually a good time to sneak in some jump rope and a few Tabatas. If I’m sitting in the stands, there can sometimes be more distractions, like my cell phone. And what’s great is I’ve inspired others to pick up on the habit too. I’ve received dozens of pictures and messages from moms telling me they’ve developed the inspiration to do the same.” Her passion to encourage others has led her to develop a nationwide workout tour called CitySTRONG.

Coming to a City Near You

Partnering with fellow trainer, Shawn Booth, CitySTRONG conducts outdoor boot camps all across the country. Together, Oprea and Booth lead a group fitness class in some of the most scenic outdoor spaces with the purpose of using the city as not only their backdrop but also as their playground. During each workout, the city becomes your own gym. All you need is a mat and they provide the rest. “I don’t foresee us ever filling stadiums, but we are interested in working out in some of the best venues each city has to offer. For example, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado is on our radar. Any rooftop or scenic park environment that screams ‘workout’, we’ll book it.” Each city will have its own tailored entertainment, including live music from different DJs and special guest performances. After beginning their tour in Nashville, Oprea and Booth traveled to San Diego and Chicago, which sold out in 48 hours. “We have so much fun doing them too. The fitness stage is my home. I’m very comfortable up there, but it also feels great that we are giving back. Right now we want to focus on veterans.” CitySTRONG benefits a charity called CreatiVets—an organization providing disabled veterans with the opportunity to use art, music and creative writing to address the psychological and emotional needs that arise from service-related trauma. Oprea affirms, “It’s been great partnering with them since veterans are and always will be a big part of my life.” It comes as no surprise to us that Erin feels the need to give back to charity. She gives as a mother, a wife, and as a friend. She gives as a trainer, nutritionist, and motivator. She gave as a Marine. Her nature is to help the things around her grow. Erin Oprea’s positive actions and words are needed in our community to help strength and promote a better happy, healthier lifestyle. “In today’s world, does being healthy take preparation? Absolutely. But we prepare for so many other tasks in life. Why are so many of us cutting corners on health? It is the one thing that can elongate what we cherish most: our time.” Whether it’s a blog post about bullying or a city-wide activity to promote and benefit healthy lifestyles, she is working towards the growth of all around well-being. “Let’s get Nashville in shape!” she says. We’re with you, Erin. Thank you for being a role model to us all.

COMMUNITY FEATURES • FREE, unlimited use of Centennial SportsPlex • FREE on-site Yoga & Boot Camp classes • 24/7 athletic club featuring cardio, free weights, and yoga center • Multiple courtyards with grills, fire pits, TVs, fountain, and outdoor lounge • Located adjacent to Centennial Park, Vanderbilt University, and West End’s HCA Corridor • Pool with sun deck

• Walking distance to West End’s top-rated restaurants, shops, and parks • Pet-friendly community with quick access to Centennial Dog Park • Active social agenda featuring regular events exclusive to Duet residents • Entertainment clubroom with TVs, pool table, and shuffle board • Business Center with Conference Room, Gourmet Coffee Bar and Complimentary Wi-Fi • 615-329-4429

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• Set up facing the anchor point • Grab the handles and lean back to create tension in the straps with an overhand grip • While maintaining a strong core and glutes, pull yourself toward the anchor in a row movement

Key Focus: Maintain tension in the straps throughout the entire movement.

TRX Chest Press

• Set up facing away from the anchor point • Grab the handles with the straps over your shoulders and position yourself in a straight-arm plank • While maintaining a strong core and glutes, bend your elbows to lower your body as if performing a push-up

Key Focus: Maintain tension in the straps throughout the entire movement.

TRX Hamstring Curl

• Set up lying flat on the ground facing the anchor point • With heels hooked in the straps, press arms into the ground, engage your glutes and lift your hips and legs off of the ground • While maintaining elevated hips and legs, engage your hamstrings by curling your heels toward your glutes


Key Focus: The hips should remain in the air throughout the entire movement NASHVILLE FIT MAGAZINE / WINTER 2017

TRX Squat +Y-Raise

• Set up facing the anchor point • Grab the handles and lean back at about a 45-degree angle until you feel tension in the straps • Squat your butt down to your heels. The goal is to push knees forward more than a normal squat so you’re leaning back and holding yourself up with the straps in the bottom of the squat

• Stand up while remaining on that backwards lean • At the top of the squat, with straight locked arms, engage your shoulders by raising yourself toward the anchor point with arms in a ‘Y’ position • Lower the 'Y' with completely locked arms until you’re back in the starting position and repeat • One squat, and one Y-raise is 1 rep

TRX Bicep Curl

• Set up facing the anchor point • Grab the handles and lean back to create tension in the straps with an underhand grip • While maintaining a strong core and glutes, pull yourself toward the anchor by bending only at the elbows with a bicep curl movement

Key Focus: Your upper arm should be as close to parallel with the ground as possible in order to maximize the biceps workload.

TRX Pike

• Set up on the ground facing away from the anchor point with feet in the straps • With straight arms, press yourself up into a straight-arm plank position • Maintaining flexed legs, elevate your hips straight up in the air while engaging your abdominals in order to attempt to bring your feet as close to your arms as possible

Key Focus: When in starting position, ensure that the hips are not drooping down and the low back isn’t absorbing the pressure. It is important to maintain strong abs in the straight arm plank position of this movement.




BACK TO THE BASICS Starting out on your fitness journey can be hard. We know. There are a lot of dos and don’ts that may come your way, but there are also some essentials that you shouldn’t be missing out on. Whether you are uncovering these facts for the first time or you have been on your fitness game for a while now, here are three basics you should always keep close.



photo courtesy of DesEYEns / Freepik


levels and try to block you from achieving your fitness goals, so make sure you are aware of any hidden ingredients in everything you are ingesting. Take control of sugar before it takes control of you.

Move More

photo courtesy of katemangostar & pressfoto / Freepik

Water is Life For anyone that’s ever owned a fish tank, what’s more important? The protein flakes you feed the fish or the water the fish swim and breathe in 24/7? Pretty easy answer, right? Much like a fish’s liveliness revolves around the cleanliness of its natural environment, our bodies are made up of 70 to 80 percent water. So water consumption is extremely important to revitalizing and restoring our energy levels on a constant basis. In fact, just a five-percent drop in our body’s fluidity levels can lead to a 25 to 30 percent drop in our body’s energy levels. So what is water and how does it hydrate us? H2O is two hydrogens covalently bonded with an oxygen, but more than that, it’s a liquid crystal that transmits and stores energy to all parts of your body. Feeling smart yet? Let’s dive a little deeper. To name a few additional functions, water actually maintains your DNA, facilitates reactions in your mitochondria (the energy powerhouses of your cells), helps remove waste, hydrates your joints, regulates your body temperature and helps circulate your blood, which is over 90 percent water. Water is needed from your head to your toes. So what are some of the proper ways to hydrate? Other than drinking water throughout the day, one of the most important times to rehydrate your body is in the morning as soon as we wake up. Since we need fluid to operate, while we’re sleeping, our bodies are slowly becoming dehydrated. You might have noticed some signs during your early morning bathroom break. Getting into the habit of drinking 16 ounces of water as soon as you wake up to help jumpstart your morning will send you down the right path to continuing to intake water throughout the day. Keep a bottle of the good stuff with you at all times. If it’s empty, that’s a reminder you need to refill, turn up, and repeat.

Killing You Sweetly Ever wondered why there isn’t a “percent daily value” on U.S. nutrition labels for sugar? Well, the short answer

is: there is no recommended daily intake. Sugar is bad for you—plain and simple. Look, I’m not trying to teach you how to control sugar cravings, I’m teaching you how to stop sugar cravings dead in their tracks. Sugar is the main driver of your body’s fat-storing hormone insulin and cravings are a one-way ticket to unwanted fat deposited in places that you really won’t want to show off during those hot summer months. If you can’t avoid it, try sticking with five grams of sugar per serving. Anything in the double digits, and you’ll want to stay away from it. Yes, you might have just started your own game of “Where’s Waldo?” in the supermarket, but here are some scary facts:

• The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day

• The average child consumes a whopping 32 teaspoons a day

• Sugar is addicting and releases an opiate-like substance that activates the brain’s reward system • In the American diet, added sugar alone accounts for 496 calories every day and contains zero nutritional value • Excess intake of processed sugars can result in compromised immune function (decreasing the white blood cells’ ability to destroy bacteria), obesity and diabetes It’s not a bad thing when hunger strikes, but we need to make sure we are putting back the right vitamins and minerals our body needs. Nutrient deficiency can lead to chronic overeating and sugar cravings. Excess sugar intake will reduce energy

Whether you like it or not, our society is in a movement drought. Modern conveniences like the car, elevator, and our cell phones have caused us to move less. When was the last time you walked to the grocery store or over to a friend’s house? If you’re not counting your steps with a smartwatch or Fitbit, pay attention to how your body is reacting to being still. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, like most of us, you should be moving your hips, neck, eyes, and joints every hour. Are you stiff when you finally stand up? That may be a sign you need to activate your muscles more often. Now, one thing I want to point out is standing is not always the answer. Are standing desks better than your comfy office chair? Yes. Is it the be-all and endall? No. You are still being sedentary, right? Try to incorporate some activity while you stand. They say going to the gym only takes 4 percent of your day, but what are you doing for the other 96 percent of the day? Being still? Going to the gym every day does not necessarily mean you need to go to the gym every day. There are other ways to be active. Whether it’s walking your dog, jogging to the mail box, or taking the stairs, try going out of your way to bring about movement. Our environment shapes our bodies, and the best version of yourself will not come from one hour in the gym 4–5 times a week. A healthy body comes from continuous activation and nutritious movement. Give your body a greater range of motion by moving more throughout the day.




Katy Says


THE BEST HEALTH AND FITNESS PODCASTS Over the past few years, podcasting has become an excellent way to gain knowledge on just about any subject under the sun. Today, the average person listens to around 22 minutes of podcasts a week. Below are eight shows that might make you increase that number. 40


If your usual exercise routine is an hour on the elliptical or a few sets on the weight machines, Katy Bowman has something to offer you. Her approach looks at the whole body holistically and mimics what the body was doing before modern advancements and living made us divide our time between sitting at a desk and pounding out an hour of repetitive exercises. She even boasts about not owning a lick of furniture in her home. TONE: Energetic and warm, Katy provides helpful tips and tricks each episode.

The One You Feed Of all the podcast titles on our list, this one has the strangest title. The name actually comes from a Buddhist parable though. A grandfather tells his grandchild, “There are two wolves fighting inside us. One represents negative emotions: greed, guilt, disgust. The other is positive emotions: love, acceptance, kindness.” The child asks, “Which one lives?” And the grandfather answers, “The one you feed.” This podcast is about discovering ways to “feed your good wolf.” Topics like willpower, handling setbacks and switching off envy are discussed by everyone from start-up CEOs to spiritual enthusiasts, proving we are all looking for ways to let light triumph over darkness. TONE: Refreshing, motivational and inspiring. A good podcast for the dreamers.

No Meat Athlete Author and 100-mile ultramarathoner Matt Frazier educates us on the many benefits to embracing a meatfree athletic lifestyle. Don’t think it can be done? Venus Williams, Nick Diaz, Tia Blanco and Carl Lewis are already doing it. The podcast isn't about labels or preaching, though. Instead, it's about discovering the healthiest, happiest version of you, and that means being active while eating a plant-based diet. TONE: A beginner’s guide to going vegan.

The Minimalists

The Model Health Show With over 6.5 million listener downloads and a huge array of valuable show topics, The Model Health Show is hands down one of the best podcast available for health and fitness. Shawn Stevenson speaks from experience and provides tons of research to back up all of the incredible knowledge that is dropped. Shawn and his co-host, Jade Harrell, work very well together as they feed you their “nutritional nuggets.” I always feel smarter when I listen to this podcast; they make science fun again. TONE: Informative, data driven nutrition with humorous undertones to keep you smiling while you fuel your mind about your health.

Minimalism is what gets us past things so we can make room for life’s most important things—which actually aren’t things at all. At age 30, best friends Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus walked away from their sixfigure corporate careers, abandoned most of their material possessions, and started focusing on what truly matters: life with less stuff. TONE: Talking to your grandparents. Waking up with a smile. Chewing your food. You’ll start to do these more often.

Spartan Up Joe De Sena is the co-founder of the Death Race, Spartan Race and more. He has completed the famously grueling Iditarod dogsledding race by foot. He also finished the Badwater Ultramarathon (135 miles at over 120 degrees F), Vermont 100, and Lake Placid Ironman—all in the same week. This is his podcast. The man is a maniac, and he’s a very strategic business man. Conversations with superstars like Tim Ferriss, endurance runner Amelia Boone, and Dave Asprey of Bulletproof will keep you motivated on the most gloomy winter days, and yes, inspire you to sign up for one of his obstacle course races. TONE: Listen in for some serious PEDs: performance-enhancing details.

Rich Roll Podcast No, you are not being Rick-rolled. Rich Roll is a 50-year-old, accomplished vegan ultra-endurance athlete and a full-time wellness and plantbased nutrition advocate. The podcasts are normally much longer than the norm, running over an hour, but Rich brings on a variety of guests to share knowledge about endurance training, being vegan, CrossFit and business. I personally like the episode with Ryan Holiday about ego being our No. 1 enemy. TONE: Focus on positive, high quality nutrition, open your mind to new things.

Chasing Excellence In the CrossFit world, Ben Bergeron is a legend. He currently trains four CrossFit Games competitors: Michele Letendre, Mat Fraser, reigning Games champion Katrin Davidsdottir and Cole Sager. With all of the knowledge and experience Ben retains, Chasing Excellence is dedicated to dissecting what it means to live a life of excellence, both inside and outside the gym. On each episode, Ben dives into various aspects of running an affiliate, becoming a better coach or athlete, and maximizing your potential. TONE: Ben has a no BS approach to his methods.




January 1/8/2017

Poses and Pints Swaney Swift’s on the Square, Gallatin, TN Come for the bend and namaste' for the brew! $12 per person for the one hour class includes a tasty beverage (beer, wine, milkshake, fruit tea, etc.). All classes will be led by an experienced, certified instructor in our private upstairs room. All levels welcome, must be 21 to drink, please BYO yoga mat. The Southern Squeeze Grip Competition Resilient Health & Performance Test your grip strength and learn how to improve it. If you like climbing, bouldering, judo, MMA, Ninja Warrior, powerlifting, weightlifting, Strongman, CrossFit, or anything workout involving your hands, this event is for you. All experience levels encouraged! 1/14/2017

Magazine. Join us for an evening with some of the city's hottest health and fitness brands. This event is open to the public! 1/21/2017

Explore Beyond Asana Immersion Steadfast and True Yoga 1/25/2017

Music in the City Tin Roof Broadway Performances by Nashville's hottest upandcoming artists.

February 2/4/2017

Fashion for a Fraction Rocketown Bringing Nashville’s best designer boutiques together under one roof, fashionistas and bargain hunters can take home deeplydiscounted apparel, handbags, jewelry, accessories and much more. Ten percent of proceeds benefits The American Heart Association.



Scrimmage-A-Thon The Fairgrounds Nashville Calling all skaters and hardcore derby fans! Join the Nashville Rollergirls as they host the 5th Annual Scrimmage-A-Thon, a full day of scrimmages coached by Nashville Rollergirls AllStars and Coaches. Admission to the Scrimmage-A-Thon includes entrance to a doubleheader the same night.

Nashville Fit Magazine Launch Party CrossFit H Dub Come help us celebrate the launch of Nashville Fit


Nashville Chili Festival 2/11/2017

The Movement Fix Workshop CrossFit Barefoot Taught by Ryan DeBell, M.S., D.C., this workshop consist of 6 packed modules ranging from upper back and shoulders to movements like the deadlift and squat. 2/12/2017


Nashville Weightlifting: New Year's Open Competition Nashville Weightlifting Club Put those muscles on display in our New Year's Open Competition! This is a USAW sanctioned Olympic weightlifting meet. All ages encouraged: youth, juniors, seniors and masters.



Nashville Chili Festival The Basement East Can you handle the heat? Taste over 30 chili recipes and vote on your favorites. Live music, judges and lots of excellent beer on hand. Warm up with this event.

Winter Wonderland setting in the heart of downtown Nashville. Grab your friends, dress up, and join us for a fun wine tasting experience to add to your winter season!

March 3/11/2017

Main Street Brew Fest Downtown Franklin Sample 80+ craft beers at more than 35 tasting sites, plus a VIP experience and more. Taste some of the best local, national and international brews in and around shops on #AmericasFavoriteMainStreet. 3/18/2017


SEYA’s The Affair to Care Rocketown The Southeastern Young Alumni (SEYA) Charitable Foundation's 2017 The Affair to Care Mardi Gras Ball is a fundraiser for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Boro Yoga Fest Lane AgriPark Community Center, Murfreesboro, TN Yoga festival bringing together Murfreesboro yoga instructors and residents to benefit Prison Yoga Project.


Wine in the Winter Hilton Nashville Downtown Take a break from the cold and sample over 30+ wine, beer and spirits in a

Please check the official website of each event and race for final dates and information.


March Tom King Classic Half Marathon and 5K Shelby Bottoms Greenway

3/18/2017 Friends for Healing 5K & 10K St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Franklin, TN

3/11/2017 Gallatin Shamrock 5K & 10K Calvin Short Football Field, Gallatin, TN Presented by the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce, participants run through Historic Downtown Gallatin, Tennessee. This primarily flat course is great for runners and walkers of all ages and ability. Don't forget your green!

3/19/2017 Music City Half Marathon and 10K East Bank Landing, Nashville Riverfront The 10th annual Music City Half Marathon course takes you along the banks of the winding Cumberland River that flows through and around downtown Nashville. It's an incredible run with an even better view!

3/11/2017 The Super Run 5K Two Rivers State Park Grab your cape and fly over to The Super Run, a 5K fun run for a good cause. Heroes and villains are all welcome. Be sure to get your picture in front of the Superhero photo screen, get an official event Superhero cape and finisher's medal and enjoy the fun for all ages!

3/24/2017 Ragnar Relay Chattanooga to Nashville The Reebok Ragnar Tennessee takes you across 200ish miles of picturesque countryside. Your team of 12 (or 6) will start your journey in Chattanooga, hugging the Tennessee River as you head northwest. Run day and night toward Nashville and finish at the Music City Walk of Fame!



Hot Chocolate 5K–15K January 1/14/2017

Frosty Fireman 5K Shelby Bottom Park A charity run/walk to benefit the Nashville Firefighters Assoc. Hardship Relief Fund which supports the families of members of the Nashville Fire Dept. that have suffered from a debilitating injury or illness. Come out and support this wonderful cause and get a little exercise in the process! 1/16/2017 5K4MLK Run/Walk East Park Community Center Take a stand for unity. Run for diversity. You can make a difference. 1/21/2017 Zoo Run Run 5K Run/Walk Nashville Zoo This race takes runners and walkers on a 5K adventure through the Zoo, including areas not available to the public. Families and children are encouraged to bundle up as they hit the trail. All proceeds help fund Zoo operations, including providing educational programs for kids, feeding our collection of over 2,300 animals and keeping the Zoo safe and clean for our visitors.

February 2/11/2017 Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Bicentennial Mall State Park Enjoy a beautiful run through some of Nashville's most scenic spots. Then, celebrate your victory with fellow chocolatiers at our postrace party. Stuff your face with decadent fondue, enjoy a goodie bag on us and pose for photos with your "chocolate bar" medal—the energy is infectious! 2/18/2017

Cupid's Undie Run Dick's Last Resort Cupid’s Undie Run is a mile(ish) run in your bedroombest on Valentine’s Day weekend. No, we’re not crazy, we’re just crazy serious about raising money for The Children’s Tumor Foundation and neurofibromatosis research.

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Music City Trail Ultra Pegram, TN 12K, 25K and 50K trail runs start in Pegram, TN connecting to the Cheatham Wildlife Games Reserve. This park offers 20,000 acres of beautiful steep trails and stunning ridgeline views. This rigorous course has a great mixture of rugged jeep and single track trails through technical terrain.



Local Spotlight


Along Nolensville Pike in Nashville, sits Life Fitness Academy and its owner Terry Barga. Whether it’s training for America Ninja Warrior, perfecting your handstands or showing up for a moving party with friends and family, Terry has dedicated his life to helping others better their own. He is no ordinary trainer though; just ask his clients. They call him selfless. They call him different. But most of all, they call him family. Through ten years of personal training experience and countless success stories, Terry has evolved into a master of restorative fitness. Take me, Joe, for example: Four years ago I needed help putting on my socks. Tying my shoes hurt. Daily tasks were no longer as simple as they should have been. Terry’s belief and consistency in restoring my muscle imbalance, strength and flexibly changed my frustration and pain to commitment and appreciation. After health professionals evaluated my lower back issues for years, they’re advice boiled down to two things; I would either have to “get use to” this pain and lack of mobility, or I would have surgery. Terry more than shared my reluctance; he refused to accept this as my fate. So we embarked on what we knew would be a difficult journey. We worked endless hours at the gym to improve my mobility. We slowly developed strength to enhance practical exercises like squats and push-ups. In turn, and over time, Terry and I changed my fate. This is how I know Terry is different. It’s how I know he is selfless. It is why I call him family.



Today I can say I’ve finished numerous 5K and 10Ks. I’ve run three half marathons, three relay races, and two mud runs all with Terry by my side. Those two options I thought would define my quality of life have become the things we laugh about today. Terry understands the body and how it should move. He understands functional fitness and how wellness supports your lifestyle. He understands his clients and their needs. Over the recent years, Terry has been recognized for his work in the Calisthenics world. But no matter the attention, he will always be that guy sporting a killer beard and tattoos, probably doing handstands in the middle of the street with his wife and kids. Be careful though, if you ever run into him in public, he likes to make you do them too! Regardless of your current outfit. Terry is a blessing to for the fitness community here in Nashville because he cares, making him a pillar of our health and wellness environment. He has the knowledge to change opinions and health issues, but also the heart to connect with his clients. He is different. He believes in the strength of the mind as much as the body. He is no ordinary trainer. He runs a gym, but he is unifying a community and a contagious lifestyle. Terry lives the life he teaches. He is about your life and about your fitness.

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