Nov/Dec 2019 - The Performance Issue

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Nov/Dec 2019 | Issue #16

IN EVERY ISSUE Contributors / 8 From the Editor / 10 New in Nashville / 36 Fitness Directory / 60 Events + Races / 62 FITNESS + EXERCISE Common Lifting Habits to Avoid in the Gym / 12 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a New Training Program / 18 Gyrotonics / 20 FOOD + NUTRITION What are Nootropics? / 22 Experts Dish on Beef / 24 A New Breakfast of Champions / 26 Plant-Based Everything / 30 PEOPLE + LIFESTYLE Would You Wear CBD-Infused Activewear / 32 Don't Stretch What's "Tight" / 36 A-List / 38 HEALTH + WELLNESS Self-Care For the Holiday Season / 52 Are You Really as ‘Fit’ as You Think You Are? / 54 6

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Michael Chandler is best known for being a 3x MMA World Champion fighter, but he is also a gym owner, a husband, and a father. Adversity become his friend after a few losses early in his career and he hasn't looked back ever since. Learn more about his story on pg. 42.


Behind the Scenes

Lauren Hale

Since overcoming eating disorders Kaitlyn has been dedicated to educating and encouraging others into a healthy lifestyle marked by freedom, joy, and gratefulness for their bodies.

Dog-loving, coffeeobsessed human being who aims to share simple lifestyle advice to make life and living more bearable.

Erin McAnally

Erin is a Nashville and Los Angelesbased writer and music and business consultant.

Leith Tigges

Leith is a Nashville native with a passion for wellness, fitness, and writing. She enjoys rock climbing, spending time with family, and spoiling her dog.


Kaitlyn Chow

Nov/Dec 2019 | Issue #16

Nashville is home to some of the best health and wellness gurus in the industry. Without their support, we would not be able to do what we do. Thank you to our contributors who make this magazine a dynamic and worthy source of health and fitness information and advice in the Greater Nashville Area. PUBLISHER Ryan Freebing EDITOR IN CHIEF Lindsay Miller PHOTOGRAPHERS Sam Carbine GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ryan Freebing ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTORS Tim Boje, Ross Gentry, Jordan Slaughter GENERAL INQUIRIES + STORE DISTRIBUTION ADVERTISING INQUIRIES EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS EVENT LISTINGS SUBSCRIPTIONS

Nashville Fit Magazine is published by Xert Media LLC. Nashville Fit Magazine and its publisher assume no responsibility for the content of articles or advertisements. The views and opinions expressed by the contributors within this magazine may not represent the views of the publisher or our employees. This publication and all of its contents are copyrighted. All prices quoted within the publication are in USD and are approximate at time of print. The content published within is not intended to be substituted for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your health care provider with any questions you have regarding your health. For all subscription inquiries, please visit or email us at





Lindsay's Letter


ur performance day in and day out can take its toll on our energy. Mistakes we think we’ve made cause us to lose sleep over the ongoing thoughts of ways to improve. If you are anything like me, you put immense pressure on every task, conversation, working hour, and workout (I might be a little excessive, but hey, that’s me). Performance by definition is the process of carrying out or accomplishing an action. In other words: Execution. How do you execute your day? Implement your diet? Do you feel accomplished when you leave the gym? But more importantly, how are you performing in life? Truth is, we all think we’ve failed at some point. And in actuality, we probably have. As blunt as that may be, the truth is also this: There will always be another task at hand - another goal to accomplish. Our past failures taught us something valuable. Our mistakes made us confess to the simple fact that we are not perfect. Now is the time to learn from it and try again. The pressure of performance is a common occurrence, especially with the expectation of appearing like our lives are exciting and entertaining and filled with social events. Towards the end of the year, especially during the holidays, that pressure seems to build. And there is only one thing that happens to bottled-up pressure. We are all human and in retrospect, perfect is overrated and outright boring, if you ask me. I had a long conversation on the topic with our cover story, Mike Chandler. He explained how the key to success 10

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is ironically failure and the road to get there is paved with denying the idea of perfection altogether. We are all working for something greater. Whether it is family, health, that beach body, those leggings, or playing Thursday night kickball, we all want to perform. With the holidays around the corner and the cold weather settling in, the vacation days spent with family and lounging on the couch watching football are just within our grasp. We’ve got a self-care guide for you to turn to during those times of much-needed relief. The extravagant meals and sugary treats cloud our minds and we just can't shake the feeling of exhaustion catching up with us (check out our energy drink review if necessary). But as we approach this season of fancy parties and sugar plums, remember to focus on that last push through the year. It’s the last rep or set or minute of hard work before we catch our breath, appreciate our performance, and proudly exit towards our next endeavor. Stay #MusicCityFit,

Lindsay Miller Editor in Chief






s lifting part of your workout routine? There are so many aerobic exercises you can do to get a leaner-looking body, but to achieve a whole new level of muscularity, adding weights is essential. Truth be told, the real gains come with measurable pain. There’s no escape from weightlifting if you’re trying to bulk up. You develop muscles through consistent contraction and resistance. If you want to increase your body’s muscle-building capacity, then lifting weights


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should be part of your daily program. Muscle groups that are engaged regularly tend to develop faster and be a lot stronger. With the right workouts, supplements, and muscle-reliever tapes, you’ll start seeing the results not just on your body but also on your increasing strength to lift heavier and "meaner" machines. When it comes to risks, weightlifting hazards usually come from improper form. It can be risky business if not done correctly. The heavier the load you’re lifting, the more you expose yourself to possible injury. To avoid miscalculating, here’s a quick guide to a few things you should be avoiding when weightlifting.

1) Multitasking at the Gym When you’ve been doing the same program for some time, it’s easy to get cocky. You need to hear this now: don’t. When you get complacent, you can lose your focus and suffer an injury during your workout. It’s easy to get distracted—especially when everybody else is lifting at the same time. Keeping your eyes to yourself is hard when the most attractive person in the room walks in and exercises next to you. Try your best to FACEB O O K.CO M/ N AS HVIL L E F I T M AGA Z I NE

photo by Ryan Freebing @rfreebing, Model: Mike Krajewski @mkfitness_, Crane Fitness Equipment @cranefitnessequipment


resist. Distract yourself from the distraction and stay focused on you.

2) Keep Your Phone in Your Locker Stop using your phone. Treat phones like you’d treat pasta when you’re on a low-carb diet. Limit your screen time, and devote all your concentration to the weights in front of you. Leaving your phone in your locker or gym bag ensures you will be focused on exercising properly and safely.

3) Twisting Your Body This is a huge no-no when lifting. You must always balance and keep the weight in front of you. Handling heavy weights and twisting your body in the process will cause lots of problems, either temporary or permanent, to your spine. When you lift a heavy load, lean forward on your legs, and draw strength from your rear muscles. Keep your feet apart with your head and back aligned, looking straight ahead.

4) Keep the Pressure off Your Back Remember not to rely on your back when lifting. Always try and distribute weight to the rest of your lower extremities. When you’re standing up ready to pull up the bar, brace yourself by tightening your abdominal and leg muscles for the upward motion. Always keep the load close to your body.

5) Easy Does It When you’re doing reps while standing or lying down, always lower the weight away from or N O V / D E C 2 0 1 9 NA S HVI LLE FIT M AGAZIN E

toward your body slowly. Keep your movements tense and controlled with every lift you make. No swinging and definitely no twisting while the weight is in your hands.

6) Don’t Rush Into Heavier Weights When you go to the gym, have a specific goal in mind. You can lift weights haphazardly, but that may not generate substantial results. Weightlifting should be planned, measured, and time bound. What you’re lifting now should gradually change over time and increase as you draw nearer to your bodybuilding or strength and conditioning goals. The critical term is gradual. It’s a lot like boxing—you shouldn’t be in the same ring with a heavyweight, like Deontay Wilder, if you’re a better fit for a welterweight boxer, like Manny Pacquiao. The same analogy applies to weightlifting. In bodybuilding, size matters. Put in the work, starting from light to heavy. Stick to the range that your trainer tells you to as you progress before moving up to heavier loads.

7) Not Bothering to Stop and Check Before you begin, think before you lift any load. The mental aspect of lifting is equally important. Size up the bulky load you’re about to tackle, and check in with your trainer for guidance. Make sure that the weighttraining equipment is evenly stacked and sturdy. Get a solid grip, and be sure that the object you’re about to lift is not at all slippery. Maybe grab some chalk. Also, check for sharp edges that you need to avoid. Even if it’s going to take you longer to start your routine, think of these standard stops and checks as good forming habits, ways to keep you safe, and prevent injuries at all times.




volleyball player Gabby Reece, Laird is also the owner of XPT Life (Extreme Performance Training), a performance lifestyle rooted in the most basic yet powerful human trait: the ability to adapt. XPT is owned and operated by some of the strongest minds and bodies in sports, fitness and science, so I had to dig a little deeper. The main objectives of underwater by LINDSAY MILLER training are breathing techniques, movement, and recovery methods. Each hile it might seem like a relatively movement emphasizes and requires new trend, underwater strength intentional breathing. Even though you can training has been around for some do this on land (see recent Instagram videos time now. Even if you only watched the last of athletes training with tape over their episode of “Hard Knocks” (because you were mouth), the design of underwater workouts intrigued with the Antonio Brown story), means you can’t cheat the system. In this you’ve witnessed a few components of method of training, your energy source from underwater training including riding a spin oxygen is even more limited, for obvious bike in a pool, swinging kettlebells in and out reasons (you can’t breathe underwater, no of the water and sprinting five feet at a time matter how bad you want to be a mermaid). in (what seems like) slow motion. Therefore, your mind and body are forced Simple search engines are more likely to to pull from limited sources of oxygen, produce videos from two years ago rather enhancing your output. than recent posts on a workout routines or Jordan Slaughter of Nashville’s SwimFit basic knowledge (according to what I found), explains, “Hypoxic training is basically but heavy barbell lifts on the ocean floor extended breath holds, which is necessary more than builds the curiosity for this unique while swimming. If I were to really label style of exercise. ‘underwater strength training’, I’d say it's Most research is attached to the name more specifically underwater hypoxic Laird Hamilton, an American big-wave surfer, training.” who claims ancient Hawaiians may have Underwater strength training provides been the first to develop strength training a higher resistance but a lower impact on underwater by carrying large rocks into the the body. It can be used for high-intensity sea while they swam along the ocean floor. workouts but can also be used as a recovery Laird says, “It's a brilliant technique because day. You get the benefits of a difficult it removes any injury-inducing impact from a workout without the common break-down workout, and it gives you better results than on the body. “This is the perfect thing to do strength training or swimming alone.” when you are extremely sore. Depending on Along with his and wife and professional the intensity, it may feel like recovery but your body is reaping the same benefits of a workout,” says Slaughter. This form of exercise is especially good for your joints. It creates multiple variables of unstable surfaces, taxing the core and surrounding joint muscles that tend to gain strength only through specific accessory work or physical therapy needs. Slaughter says, “Water creates a zero-gravity effect. You get all the benefits and none of the detriments.” You can find a number of different educational videos on the XPT Life YouTube channel, but certified coaches like Jordan Slaughter and SwimFit are teaching instructional WATCH MORE VIDEOS ON THE XPT LIFE classes now. YOUTUBE CHANNEL



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photo by XPT Life

Laird Hamilton performing some underwater training


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photo by Sam Carbine @scarbine, Location: Revive Sports Recovery


OptiO2 Labs owners Austin Mallette (left) Jake Shuler (right) 16

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OVER EVERYTHING Local business owners take breathing to the next level.


ptiO2 Labs is a local company based out of Nashville, that has recently unveiled the world’s first line of performance enhancing mouthpieces designed to promote optimal breathing technique. Among many others, owners Jake Shuler and Austin Mallette believe breathing through the nose can be critical to basic health. Along with reducing stress, increasing focus and regulating blood pressure and body temperature, using the nose to breathe has been shown to delay muscle fatigue, slow the effects of dehydration and reduce lactic acid build up in the muscles. These benefits only scratch the surface of what studies have continued to uncover. Jake and Austin both grew up playing sports and have a passion for training at a high level as well as understanding how the human body can increase its potential. While he was in school, Jake studied Exercise Science and worked in the Tennessee Volunteer football weight room as an Assistant Strength Coach where he learned a number of different training techniques that he still utilizes today. Even though the human body was designed to use the nostrils as the primary means of breathing and filter the air we breathe, it can be tough to maintain proper technique, especially under physical stress and exertion. "For athletes, nasal breathing helps develop aerobic capacity and can also keep us in check with our technical or mechanical limitations. We can always get away with going faster or harder with breathing predominantly through our mouths, but breathing through our nose encourages us to focus on efficiency and forces us into a biomechanically optimal position to access our diaphragm and a full breath," says Brian MacKenzie of Power Speed Endurance. “After discovering the performance and recovery benefits of nasal breathing, I looked for something that would remove the option of mouth breathing. I couldn’t find anything, so I got together with Austin to brainstorm and the result was the OptiO2 Sport,” Jake explains. The OptiO2 Sport mouthpiece (shown in the diagram) is designed to help athletes breathe better, train harder and recover faster. The lightweight piece resembles a traditional mouth guard with an added shelf that slides under and elevates the tongue, which fully opens the nasal airway. The device also features an ergonomically N A S HVI LLE FI TMAGA ZI NE .COM

shaped front wall that serves to prevent any airflow into or out of the mouth. By eliminating the ability to breathe through the mouth, an athlete’s body can intake the proper amount of oxygen through the nostrils. The OptiO2 Sport also features a bite pad that encourages an aligned jaw while protecting the teeth. Training with a bite pad and proper jaw alignment helps to open airways and has been shown to enhance posture, increase strength and improve reaction time. “Athletes have a lot to think about when they are training,” Jake says. “Breathing shouldn’t be one of them.” By combining the athletic benefits of nasal breathing with the performance enhancement of a mouthguard, Jake and Austin believe they have created the ultimate training accessory for serious athletes. "I was surprised at how much more I breathed through my nose during a hard HIIT workout compared to when I simply 'think' about breathing through my nose," says Ben Greenfield, a fitness coach, author, and former NSCA Trainer of the Year when utilizing the product. "What's great about this product is that we've developed it through research and science," says Austin. "The OptiO2 line is not only designed to help athletes of all skill levels get the most out of every breath, but it's also revolutionizing the way we breath as human beings, which is pretty groundbreaking and has been a inspiring to be a part of."

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a New Training Program by TIM BOJE, CSCS

Starting a new training program is exciting. You think about all the ways you want to look and feel. You read a new book, see an Instagram video, talk to a friend about a workout class you want to try. But it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the seemingly endless assortment of fitness articles, workout apps, and online training advice out there today. Choosing the right training regimen doesn’t have to be complicated. Ask yourself these questions and they will guide you to the right plan.

What are you trying to achieve? Let your goals be your guide. Figure out your longterm and short-term goals. What results do you want in the next 8-12 weeks? What do you want in the next 1-3 years? Training goals can be based on physique, performance, conditioning, strength, or a combination of many. Once you know what you are training for you can determine the methods.

What has brought you success in the past and what has led to failure? It’s good to start with what you know has worked and what hasn’t. If there was a plan you followed in the past, look at the main components and figure out how it translates to your current goals and abilities. Think about the sports you played in high school or college, what you like to do recreationally, what type of supervised training you have done in the past. You may have had a great coach or trainer that could share some wisdom as well.

Where are you starting from and what is your destination?

Establish a starting point and an end goal. Assess your current levels of strength, stamina, and athletic abilities. It helps to be as specific as possible – numbers like body fat percentage, estimated 1 Rep Max, and some sort of cardio benchmark like 500m row or mile run time. Is the destination specific, like a certain time in a half marathon, or general, like improved energy, health,


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stamina? The more specific the goal, the more specific the training needs to be.

What are your abilities, limitations, and “training age?” Think about your training background – how many years you have been working out, what types of equipment you are comfortable with, what exercises cause pain or discomfort. Be honest with yourself about your weak areas and imbalances. What past injuries have you sustained and how do they affect you now? It’s important to evaluate the type of frequency, intensity, and volume that you are used to so that you can challenge yourself without overdoing it.

What will it take to be successful? Count the cost and identify what trade-offs you need to make. Determine what level of commitment is needed and what will be required of you. Be reasonable with your ambitions and expectations – adding more to a program later is always better than trying to do too much and burning out. Asking the right questions will lead you to the right training plan. Remember that your training should be specific to your goals, that consistency is key, and the journey should be just as rewarding as the destination.



Discovering the Recovery Techniques of Gyrotonics by ERIN MCANALLY Last winter, Singer-Songwriter David Mead was suffering from two ruptured disks in his spine. With doctors and physical therapists alike tell him that the best thing to do was contain the injury through exercise and find the right medication, it seemed as though he would just have to live with the pain. That is until a dinner party with Wellbody Pilates owner Elizabeth Wilkinson, who introduced him to a different idea regarding his recovery. A Nashville native, she is a dancer and highly-trained movement and body expert. Moving to New York in 2004 to dance and to become a certified Pilates instructor, she was also introduced to and received certification to teach Gyrotonic®. Gyrotonic®, a lesser-known but highly effective form of exercise, is not only incredible for toning and stretching the body, but it also is beloved by many with chronic body injuries as a healing and

strengthening form of movement. It is taught in two forms, Gyrotonic® (which includes work on signature equipment) or Gyrokenesis® (which includes chair and mat work). While the Gyrotonic® equipment utilized can be initially intimidating (it has a sort of medieval appearance at first glance), the form of movement is not only approachable but totally doable for many folks. From ballet dancers to senior citizens and professional athletes to people with severe injuries and diseases, the movements are not jarring nor do they compress the joints. Invented by Romanian-born Hungarian Juliu Horvath, the Gyrotonic® Expansion System combines elements of many forms of movement like yoga, pilates, swimming, and Tai Chi to provide strength building as well as motility and flexibility enhancement. Mead was initially slightly trepidatious about trying the new form of movement as he was unsure

how his back would handle it. For him, that initial hesitation was wiped away when he realized that the exercise, “is about creating more space in all of your joints, which allows the muscles and tendons to function more efficiently.” Not only does the movement help tend to current injuries, it also has the ability to stave off potential new ones, as he says, “It also, over time, realigns and rebalances your body, which means you are less prone to move in an unbalanced manner and less likely to bring on stress injuries that arise from bad mobility habits.” He also adds that due to the fact that the exercise elongates the spine, that he is half an inch taller after practicing for 9 months. Additionally, Gyrotonic® has the ability to help chronic disease patients. Janet Wittington found the exercise at a time when she had been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Working with Wilkinson, she managed not only to recover from the painful disease but has led to a fitter body all around. She elaborates, “My body is very strong, my core is very strong, and I feel at home in a healthy, happy body, instead of in an aging, declining one.”

Gyrotonic® private lessons are available at Wellbody Pilates West Nashville location at 4304 Charlotte Ave. More information is available at 20

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food +nutrition

What are Nootropics? by RYAN FREEBING In 2011, the movie Limitless was released in theaters starring popular actor Bradley Cooper. The movie was based on the novel The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn and followed a struggling writer who is introduced to a nootropic drug called NZT-48, which gives him the ability to fully utilize his brain and vastly improve his lifestyle and career. Flash forward to today and nootropics are still being pumped into the marketplace in various pills, powders, and elixirs that promise to biochemically upgrade human cognition. Are they all full of empty promises? Let's take a look.


y definition, nootropics are drugs, supplements, or other substances that may improve cognitive functions, like memory, alertness, creativity, and focus. The key word here, and one that we will explore in greater detail, is “may”. But, whether or not they actually work, "smart pills" have become a massive business. A couple of facts. reports "globally, the dietary supplement market could reach $194.6B by

2025. The nootropics-specific market is projected to grow to $6B by 2024." So how did we get here? Derived from the Greek words “nous” and ”tropein”, nootropic means “mind-bending”. However, in this case, unlike psychedelics, nootropics bend the mind in a way that encourages higher levels of performance, not a higher level of consciousness. Originating with Dr. Corneliu Giurgea, a Romanian chemist and psychologist, who is credited with coining the term in the 1970s, nootropics have since become a prominent part of the modern-day health and wellness industry. Some companies peddle these types of products under the premise that a specific mixture of antioxidants, amino acids, and plant extracts can improve your mind. A few examples you may have heard of include: Onnit Labs’ Alpha Brain, Four Sigmatic, TruBrain, and BrainGear. But whether it’s Wall Street stock brokers, Silicon Valley techies, college students pulling all-nighters, or anyone striving to

climb the corporate ladder, the pressure to advance and get ahead has never been greater. Coupled with the fact that, thanks to social media, this pressure is seemingly inescapable, the lure of a magical, brain-enhancing pill certainly has its appeal. And what about sports? "Competition anxiety occurs when the demands of work, sport, or life exceed our perceived abilities," reports "Feelings of stress, inadequacy, or simply trying to stay awake through a 16-hour workday have led to an uptick in anxiety and burnout. Over 16M Americans use these stimulants to increase mental stamina and bolster concentration." Bottomline, we’ve yet to see a mainstream pill on par with NZT48 like in the movie Limitless. But there’s no denying the demand. As an entrepenuer and business owner, I am constantly looking for new ways to stay clear, focused and utilize my time in the most efficient way I can.

Learn more about nootropics and some of the ingredients being utilized at the below article sources: , https://www.webmd. com/vitamins-andsupplements/features/ nootropics-smartdrugs-overview#1 , https://www. nutrition/nootropics


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food +nutrition

sponsored content

FITNESS & NUTRITION PROS DISH ON BEEF IN A HEALTHY DIET Jill Merkel Registered Dietitian As a Registered Dietitian specializing in sports nutrition, I work with individuals and groups to help them fuel properly for athletic performance and optimize recovery. I choose beef as part of my weekly intake because it is packed full of protein and essential vitamins and minerals including iron and zinc. This is important to me as a runner to make sure I am providing my body with the recovery and nutrition it needs to remain healthy and injury free. When I am out to eat, I enjoy getting a good burger or steak. Lately, I've been ordering lean sirloin from Eat Well Nashville that is already cooked so I can easily heat it up and add to a meal for a protein boost. Not only is beef tasty but it keeps me feeling full for several hours by supplying 25g of protein in only a 3 oz. serving!

Alexander Kaufman Owner, Pepper Boxing As a boxer and coach, I have found that beef gives me the extra strength I need to compete. The protein and calories are second to none and they give me that primal feeling. Meat is the cornerstone of every fighters diet.


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Terry Barga Nashville Strength Co.

HAVE BEEF QUESTIONS? ASK CHUCK. Powered by Google Artificial Intelligence, Chuck Knows Beef is the all-knowing beef expert. From recipes and cuts to nutrition and cooking tips, Chuck Knows Beef is your beefloving friend that can easily be enabled through Amazon Alexa, Google Home Assistant, or at Once enabled on your smart speaker, simply say "Ask Chuck Knows Beef", followed by your question! And Chuck isn't ALL business. He has a fun personality, his own favorite song and enjoys a good dad joke. Just ask him!

Ask Chuck Knows Beef: • What should I cook tonight? • What is marbling? • How do I cook a medium-rare steak? • Where's the Beef?

Beef is a great source of protein! I enjoy beef 3-4 times a week because it has the CLA’s and good, monounsaturated fats that my muscles need to recover from a hard work out. When available, I enjoy grass-fed and finished beef as it contains additional omega-3 fatty acids.

Diane Bolton Distance/Ultra Runner As an avid long distance marathon/ultrarunner with 350 races completed around the world & in all 50 states, my nutrition needs are extremely important. Fueling my body pre-race with the protein beef provides is essential. With its excellent source of protein, iron and B vitamins, the benefits of beef complement my dietary needs. I'm a fan of adding beef not only in my pre-race ritual, but find it equally as important aiding in my recovery. After a race, my body craves beef. By listening to my body, I have learned that beef not only promotes muscle recovery and healing, but beef quickens the refueling needed to continue with every day activities.

Visit for recipes, cooking tips & more! FACEB O O K.CO M/ N AS HVIL L E F I T M AGA Z I NE

food +nutrition



Joe Vennare, Co-Owner of Fitt. co, recently released an article discussing the rise of a new generation of breakfast cereals, meal replacement shakes and bars that are taking over the breakfast table and I thought it was a great outlook on the changing trends within the fitness and health industry so I wanted to expand upon this topic.


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today is people are busy and convenience has always been the primary reason for cutting corners or gravitating towards something that will save us time. Long ago, we were hunters and gatherers of food and this primarily took up the majority of our day. Now, modern conveniences allow us to get someone else to shop and even deliver our food to us for a price. "In 2016, the global meal replacement market was estimated at $15.1B, and growing at a rate of 6.9% annually, that number is forecast to reach $20.6B by 2021. It’s no surprise, then, that a number of upstart brands are looking to take advantage of the opportunity," reports. But how is this changing our relationship with food? Food, or the experience of eating, has always been central to our daily lives. What happens when we replace that experience with a five-minute slurp of a 300-calorie "balanced macronutrient shake"? For now, it offers a healthconscious option for those too busy to find something solid or cook for themselves.

But don't count cereal our just yet. No, it’s not the highly-processed, overly-sweetened corn puffs of Christmas past, but some cereal startups have tapped into the health and wellness trends, introducing keto-friendly, high-protein, grainfree, and low-carb options. Companies like Magic Spoon, which recently landed "$5.5M in seed funding for its low-carb, high-protein 'child-like cereal for adults', are pushing back to save breakfast. They are basically an adult version of what you loved as a kid without the sugar, carbs, or guilt. It might just be what the grocery aisle needs and promotes a high-protein, low carb, low sugar breakfast meal. With billions of dollars up for grabs in the breakfast market, expect to see even more attention paid to busy, health-conscious eaters searching for a convenient, nutritious option to build their breakfast routine around. We'd love to hear your thoughts and morning routine when it comes to breakfast. Drop us an email with "Breakfast of Champions in the subject line at to share!




ike many Americans , I grew up in a "milk and cereal household" and for years, cold cereal was the breakfast of choice to kickstart the day. I recall gravitating more towards the traditional, whole grain cereals instead of the sugary options with cartoon characters. My grandfather and I used to sit and eat Grape Nuts every morning when he was in town. We'd typically share a glass of milk together too like two college buddies at our favorite bar. Yes, those "Got Milk?" campaigns worked on everyone. Breakfast cereal is big business though. "Nearly 90% of US consumers eat cereal for breakfast at least sometimes. Yet, sales of the breakfast staple fell 17% between 2009 and 2016. Americans spent $9B on cold cereal in 2018, down from $13.9B in 2000," reports. It's clear we aren't kicking our old habits to the wind just yet, but the growing market of meal replacement shakes and protein, diet and snack bars continues to be on the rise. Vennare says the decline is being driven by a few factors including "health concerns related to excess sugar, the rise of specialty diets like keto, paleo, and Whole30, and growth in the number of cerealreplacement snacks like nutrition bars." A common theme is our world

food +nutrition


energy drinks

A lot of readers have been asking us about energy drinks lately and if we believe the consumption of them is good or bad. While energy drinks can deliver on some of their promised benefits by increasing brain function and helping you operate more efficiently when you're tired or sleepdeprived, there are a number of health concerns surrounding energy drinks, particularly related to excessive caffeine intake, sugar content and mixing them with alcohol. While you should never under any circumstances be doing the later, we do understand people's need to do more with less time, so we are grading some of the most common on taste, caffeine levels and ingredients.

A fan favorite of ours, Kill Cliff's pre-workout drink Ignite contains 150 mg of natural caffeine, electrolytes and B-vitamins to support hydration and energy. Kill Cliff is also a huge supporter of the Navy Seal Foundation too. Try the Tropicool Thunder, their newest flavor.

Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy + Electrolytes - A

A combination of 5 grams of amino acids, 100 mg of caffeine from natural sources, and electrolytes to support performance, endurance and active living. Try the new flavor: Mango Pineapple Limeade.

FitAid - B+

FitAid is a post-workout supplement product with B-Complex, Green Tea Extract and Quercetin. It provides the natural energy your body needs without the jitters after a workout and contains only 45 mg of caffeine from green tea lead.

Nocco - B+

New to the US market, Nocco contains BCAA (branched chain

amino acids), green tea extract, 180 mg of caffeine and four different vitamins. It's available in three delicious flavors too: Caribbean, Tropical and Peach. All Nocoo BCAA products are carbonated and sugar-free.

3D Energy - C+

3D Energy contains 200 mg of caffeine per can and 15 calories with a blend of taurine, panax root extract, l-carnitine tartrate, glucuronolactone, inositol and guarana seed extract. It contains zero sugar. Unfortunately we can't tell you about any of their flavors as they only come in colors. Maybe try the Green?

Red Bull - C

Red Bull has been around for a number of years and therefore has a number of different products on the market, but a a single 8-ounce can of Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine which is less than a standard cup of coffee and roughly one-third of the caffeine in a 12-ounce Starbucks. Red Bull does have 37 grams of sugar though, so make sure you grab the sugar free.

Bang - C

Bang originally had 357 mg of caffeine per can but has since been lowered to 300 mg of per can, which is still excessive so be careful. They do claim to have zero calories, zero sugar, zero carbs and zero artificial colors, but these facts shouldn't promote more caffeine intake. They do have some great flavors though. Our favorite is Frose Rose.

Monster - C-

Most Monster Energy cans come in 24-ounces and contain 276 mg of caffeine. While coffee does have more caffeine than some energy drinks, it's how the caffeine is delivered that seems to be the main issue. Energy drinks are often high in sugar. A Monster Energy Drink has 54 grams of sugar, which is equal to 13.5 teaspoons. Yikes. Read up on the ingredients in your energy drinks before consuming them. Don’t be fooled. Some contain less caffeine than a cup of coffee but instead are filled with tons of chemicals and sugar, so you end up loading up on empty calories for less energy.

Did you know that the odds of being a human being are 400 trillion to 1? If this isn't enough to get you energized and ready to start the day, maybe you should be thinking about your motivation for the day vs. how quickly I can consume 12-ounces of caffeine. Just a thought. 28

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Kill Cliff - A

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, it takes about 30 to 60 minutes for caffeine to reach its peak level in the blood. The body typically eliminates half of the drug in 3 to 5 hours, and the remainder can linger for up to 8 to 14 hours.

Caffeine works by blocking adenosine, the neurotransmitter that tells your brain it’s tired. While adenosine is blocked, dopamine production increases, meaning that a cup of coffee in the morning might make you a happier person.

It's been stated, caffeine can increase athletic ability by 3%. Aside from telling your brain it’s not tired, caffeine increases the amount of calcium released inside our muscles, enabling them to work harder. Be careful though, caffeine also constricts oxygen during exercise though.

It is important to remember caffeine is a drug though, and with any drug, withdrawals can be hard. Expect an inability to concentrate, headaches, and even flu-like symptoms if you plan on giving it up.


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food +nutrition

PLANT-BASED EVERYTHING: IS IT A THING? Meatless burgers are starting to pop up in the marketplace more rapidly than I had originally anticipated. From fish to chicken and even pork, there’s a growing list of startups racing to replace meat completely as we know it.


hile this plant-based coup isn’t isolated to animal protein only, the dairy industry is also under siege. Yogurt, milk, cheese, ice cream, you name it. There’s probably an incredibly well-funded startup out there with a goal to make these dairy items obsolete. Big Food isn’t going down without a "chicken" fight though. As momentum behind replacement foods reaches an all-time high, it’s worth considering the following: how will consumers react to a world where their food is engineered in a lab or made out of plants? And what exactly is the beef with beef? Whether it’s health concerns associated with eating meat, the cruel treatment of animals or the environmental impact of animal agriculture, more and more Americans are choosing to reduce their meat consumption and seek out other meat alternatives. "A recent Nielsen Homescan survey found that 39% of Americans are actively trying to eat more plantbased foods," reports. This shift in consumer preferences is supporting plant-based meat sales, "which could increase by 1,000% in the next decade to reach $140B." But plant-based foods are only one piece of the puzzle. A number of companies are working to bring cell-based or lab-grown meat alternatives to the grocery store isles too. "It's been predicted that by 2040, cultured meat will make up 35% of all of the meat consumed worldwide, while plant-based alternatives will account for nearly 25%." When it comes to plant-based meat alternatives, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are leading the way. While the former is riding the wave of a successful IPO, the later recently collected $300M in funding, bring their total funding to $750M. In both instances, demand for each company’s products have repeatedly exceeded 30

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supply — a stamp of approval from happy customers and a sign of a significant upside in the market. JUST, Mosa Meat, Memphis Meats, Aleph Farms, and New Age Meats are developing lab-grown protein alternatives as well. At the same time, market leaders and Big Food brands are doubling-down on plant-based meat. Whether they are plant-based or labgrown, the classic burger seem to just be a slice of the replacement food pie. "Fish and seafood now account for nearly a fifth of the animal protein people consume. But, demand has led to overfishing and unsustainable farming practices. Increasingly, plant-based and lab-grown production seem to be inevitable," reports "In 2018, sales of dairy milk plummeted by $1.1B. At the same time, dairy alternative startups saw over $200M in total investment." Looking ahead, oat and almond milk, plantbased yogurt, and non-dairy ice cream represent huge opportunities for start-ups. Poultry might prove to be the final frontier of fake meat though. Apparently, replicating the texture of chicken breast, thighs, and wings is tricker than anticipated and as a result, companies in the space are having to start by developing classic “nuggets” first. In the meantime, Chick-fil-A and KFC are said to be exploring meat alternatives too. Based on all of this information, it’s clear that at some point innovative forms of food production will eventually remodel our entire food system. It's only a matter of time. Less clear, though, is how it will all play itself out. Will there be health concerns, like the fact that plant-based meat is technically processed food. Nonetheless, the replacement food revolution has only just begun and we are living in it now. Either hop on board or get off at the next stop because this train has already left the station.




people+ lifestyle

WOULD YOU WEAR CBD-INFUSED ACTIVEWEAR? A new luxury activewear apparel company called Acabada is betting on a certain fitness demographics who just might


cabada ProActiveWear recently pronounced itself as the world's first CBD-infused activewear brand. The limitededition launch collection dropped in August. The proactive woman


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products are designed by a team that has over 60 combined years in the apparel industry, creating modern, fashion-forward pieces that perform as well as they look. Conceptualized in New York and made in Portugal, Acabada infuses luxury fabric with the highest quality organic CBD, to ensure that women will look, feel and perform at their best level. With Acabada ProActiveWear, recovery starts from the moment you get dressed by helping to fight soreness before you ever do a squat, situp or lunge. Taking inspiration from the streets of New York City, Acabada ProActiveWear's line includes highperformance sports bras, tops, leggings, shorts, jackets and bodysuits, all designed to be worn during the day and into the night, if you prefer. Their color pallete is simple, but ranges from black and white to gunmetal grey, with different colors and styles launching with each new drop. Prices start at $120 for sports bras and tanks, $160 for leggings, and $250 for jackets and jumpsuits. "Our variety of garments were designed with the active woman in mind, providing her the opportunity to not only workout in highfashion styles, but also continue her day in luxurious fabrics that are breathable and move with her," says

Katrina Petrillo, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Acabada ProActiveWear. Acabada's next collection will pay tribute to Los Angeles and feature more color With CBD already infiltrating the beauty industry, it's no surprise that its impact has crossed over into fitness activewear, a space that's already cashing in on cannabis. So will people wear CBD activewear to work out in? With Acabada is betting on premium consumers, especially if they have the budget. When it comes to longevity, Acabada's CBD products apparently last an average of 40 wears and washes, however, customers can trade in their depleted garments in exchange for a discount on future purchases too. The previously worn items will then go through the brand's upcycling program. This new trend also depends on how customers react to CBD topicals, which can be different for everyone. "If you're currently applying a CBD cream or taking a CBD oil, the same results that you're getting from applying the cream, you're actually getting from Acabada," claims CEO and CoFounder Seth Baum. "We think that the early consumer base is going to be people that have already started to use CBD, are familiar with CBD and get the benefits of it. This will become kind of a supplemental delivery system." Through a scientific process called microencapsulation, Acabada is able to strategically infuse CBD molecules into their fabrics by wrapping microscopic droplets of zero-THC, hemp-derived CBD with a protective coating. CBD is popping up everywhere, so this new apparel trend is no suprise even if it is highly intriguing.


photo courtesy of Acabada,


people+ lifestyle



e always feel tight. When will our muscles not feel tight? Are we going to be stretching forever? If you stretch consistently before your workouts and continually find that the tightness you fought the day before has yet again returned, then maybe stretching isn’t the solution. The feeling of tightness can be deceiving. Take a look into the perspective of two different athletes with a common frustration before finding an answer to the problem of muscle tightness.


As you take the keys out of the ignition and walk the parking lot up to the doors of your gym, you make your plan of attack. Today, you’re going to squat. As you imagine yourself squatting the weight of the world on your back, you shift your hips around a bit, reach down to touch your toes, and do a brief mental check of how those tree trunks you call legs are feeling today. As usual, the front of your hip feels tight. Now that you mention it, the hamstrings don’t feel great either. It’s time to stretch.


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short. The quick and dirty test for hamstrings is - can you touch your toes? A test for hip flexors might be - can you do a lunge and stay upright without over-arching your back? If you can’t do either of these, then a stretching and strengthening program may help. If you can, the muscles involved are likely not short. Even if you feel tight, at least you’ve learned that muscular length is not the problem because you have full range. If muscular length is not the problem, stretching is not the answer. The question that remains is, what is the problem that is leading to the feeling of tightness?

Your favorite shorts are actually clean today. Shoes are laced up and you step out onto the sidewalk. As you throw in your ear buds and pull up a playlist of T-Swift's greatest hits, you note in the back of your mind that if you can’t hold your goal pace for 10 miles today, it might be difficult to hold it for 13.1 on race day. Better make today count. You start by checking off all the pre-run rituals. As usual, the front of your hip feels tight. Now that you mention it, the hamstrings don’t feel great either. It’s time to stretch. If a muscle feels “tight”, the initial thought is to stretch it because, if it’s tight, it must be short and therefore needs to be lengthened, right? Wrong. At least, it’s often wrong. Our two athletes have different disciplines, but their experience is often the same. There is always some nagging tightness somewhere. The most important thing to understand is that there is a difference between a muscle feeling tight and actually being short. As an example, we will discuss hip flexors and hamstrings, but you can apply this same principle with any “tight” muscle in the body. The simplest way to tell if a muscle is truly short is to move it through full range. If you’re not missing range, your muscles aren’t

Muscles only have so many ways to communicate with you. If something is wrong, they often communicate through a sense of tightness. Imagine if your boss gave you a job to do that had to be done but you didn’t have the time or resources to do it. You would start to feel tense, right? In essence, our muscles are like disgruntled employees. You as the boss, likely unknowingly, are putting your muscles in a no-win situation. Every movement we perform introduces stress. For a muscle, stress becomes tension if it’s too weak to do the job, or the job isn’t reasonable. The most important messages to take home with you is this: Any muscle that is overworked but under-trained will likely feel tight. FACEB O O K.CO M/ N AS HVIL L E F I T M AGA Z I NE

The next most important message for you is this: A tight muscles will benefit from slow and controlled exercise that is specific to its function. Read those again before moving on to the following example. Let’s look at your iliopsoas, a hip flexor. You’re always treating it like the middle child – giving it all the blame and none of the praise. Absolutely, if you sit all day, this muscle can get very short. However, if you took your hips through full range as noted above and found the hip flexor is not actually short and only feels tight, slow and controlled exercise may be your answer. When was the last time you intentionally trained your ability to actively flex your hip joint? Hundreds of reps of dropping down into a squat and thousands of steps of running put a

What accessory work is being done or not done in addition to the main lifts?


For the runner, was there a recent increase in mileage? Does the runner have a habit of over-striding? Are they doing any cross-training to mitigate the effects of the repetitive cycle of running?


serious strain on the iliopsoas. The sense of tightness you feel may be that muscle telling you it needs to be more equipped before it can meet the demand you’re asking of it. In many cases, people simply have a daily stretching routine that includes wringing out the hip flexors like dish towels and these muscles are ticked off from being pulled on again and again – a feeling of tightness is the only defense mechanism they have. They want strength, not length. Let’s go back to our athletes to find potential sources of stress for the hip flexors.


Did the weightlifter start a lifting cycle recently that includes new Olympic or powerlifting movements? Was there a recent increase in the volume or intensity of their training? N A S HVI LLE FI TMAGA ZI NE .COM

Variables that affect both these athlete’s muscular tension might be the hours and quality of their sleep, days of work compared to the days of rest, emotional health, quality of nutrition, and much more. Any of these things may create undue stress that sets our muscles up for less than optimal performance and results in tightness. What are you doing to set your tight muscles up for victory? Is it working? Let’s look at your hamstrings. Here’s an experiment:


Reach down as far as you can and measure how far you go.

range and movement that makes you feel swift as a coursing river, why do them? Next time you get the chance, repeat that test for your hamstrings with a strengthening intervention rather than a stretching intervention. Spend a week doing Romanian deadlifts every other day at a light to moderate weight. Slow and controlled, each time a little bit lower toward the ground. Once the initial soreness has passed, do another post-test after a week. Can you reach further? Do you feel less tight? Does it last? If you need a strengthening example for your hip flexor, stand on one leg and actively raise your opposite knee as close to your chest as you can get it. Hold this position for about 20 seconds for 3 sets. You can also do this with light to moderate weight over the raised leg. Perform this every other day for a week. Often, athletes have success beating tightness in muscles with isometric exercises (positional holds) and eccentric exercises (controlling a weight down through full range) The principles discussed here are powerful tools, but they are just the tip of an iceberg in maximizing your performance. If you change some variables in your training and still don’t find success, talk to a movement professional like a physical therapist or sports medicine doctor. As our weightlifter and runner look to beat the tightness in their hips, there is probably more commonality to their solution than difference. This is true for athletes of all types. When you feel tight and stretching isn’t the answer, try strengthening. Slow and controlled, intentional strengthening. Now go forth, and be loose.


Perform your favorite stretch, whatever it is.


Reach down as far as you can and measure how far you go.


Can you reach further, and do you feel less tight? The following week, can you still reach further, and do you still not feel tight when you train? If over time your stretches don’t provide you with improved

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people+ lifestyle



Orbital Outdoors

1006 Fatherland Street, Suite 203, Nashville, TN 37206 / Orbital Outdoors recently celebrated their grand opening of a brick and mortar store at the Shoppes on Fatherland in Five Points. The store features upcycled outdoor-centric clothing and gear, ranging from National Parks memorabilia to vintage Patagonia, the North Face and other outdoor brands. The owners, Mark Donoher and Kelsey Silverstein, want to inspire Nashvillians to get outside, and look good doing it. Kelsey and Mark live in East Nashville with their three dogs Maddie, Ollie and Rocky. Their journey together began when they met in Savannah, Georgia six years ago. They took a year-long road trip to climb and mountain bike their way across the U.S. Their cross-country trek started in a Subaru with a homemade trailer attached, and they eventually upgraded to a van. To sustain their trip financially, they scoured the nation’s thrift stores along the way and sold the best pieces of clothing they could find on eBay. They eventually ended up in Nashville and got married. Mark also founded and owns Orbital Climbing, LLC, a company that specializes in homemade skincare remedies for climbers, aptly named Boulder Balm. They are passionate about environmental conservation and are motivated to inspire others to take steps to mitigate their environmental impact. Check out their new store for the best vintage outdoor apparel you can find in the Nashville area! 36

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photo by Clare Horne, Amarant Art & Design

New gyms, studios, stores, restaurants and more, all with the fitness fanatic in mind.

The Nashville Chill

Inside Riverside Village Clinic, 1406 McGavock Pike Suite B, Nashville TN, 37216 / The Nashville Chill offers whole body cryotherapy, localized cryotherapy, fat freezing, cryotherapy facials, celluma, and compression massage therapy. They also do mobile events. You may have seen their truck parked outside some workout events around town. Owned by Will Hatchell and Madeline Fox, The Nashville Chill's goal is to manifest knowledge within the community to understand what cryotherapy is and what it can unlock for your health. Will and Madeline strive to bring their alternative healing method to the community so that people suffering from ailments such as pain, inflammation, mental health ailments, and soreness from exercise or hard labor can achieve relief that actually works. Drop in and give them a try today or book them for your next workout event, corporate party, bachelor/ bachelorette party, or gym!

Nutrishop Gulch Nashville

1008 Division St, Nashville, TN 37203 Since 2003, Nutrishop has helped individuals achieve various health and fitness goals by offering top-quality dietary and nutritional supplements and services coupled with unparalleled personalized attention – all at guaranteed low prices. Their newest store just opened in Nashville in The Gulch and owner Kyle Spicer is excited to get things going. Located right next door to CycleBar, the store features an open setting with TV monitors rolling out new deals and product giveaways. New to this store, Build Your Temple is now offering grab-n-go meals! Drop in and pick up a meal for lunch if you are in the area or grab your entire meal plan for the following week. We recommend trying the Buffalo Mac and Cheese! N A S HVI LLE FI TMAGA ZI NE .COM

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people+ lifestyle




The A-List is a carefully crafted list of our team’s favorite fitness products based on personal experience, friendly expert advice or local finds. This month features a list of our favorite "fit finds" as we gear up for the holiday season! These are perfect gift ideas for any fitness-enthusiast. Fit Whip Fit Whip is a protein-packed mix that transforms into a big, tasty, ice creamy dessert in your blender! Fit Whip’s recipe has a base of high-quality protein powders. Its chocolatey taste comes from cocoa powder while naturallyderived thickeners help deliver a soft-serve like consistency. Each large serving has only 10g carbs, 1.5g fat, and 20g protein to provide a stellar, customizable macronutrient profile. Best thing about Fit Whip? You can indulge in a big bowl of dessert without the guilt! Say goodbye to those 1/2 cup servings from other healthy ice cream desserts. Fit Whip was developed and is owned by three sisters who share a passion for health and wellness. Head to their website and subscribe to get free standard shipping and 10% off your first order!


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Power Clean Soap Train Dirty. Recover Clean. That's the motto at Power Clean Soap. It's everything you want in your shower and nothing you don’t. Essential oils and glycerin replace harsh chemicals which gives each bar of soap a unique, invigorating scent. Your skin is the largest organ on your body, so if you're eating clean, you should also be showering clean. Power Clean Soap products are designed for athletes who sweat but don’t want to smell like the gym after they shower, and it works for anyone who has skin that needs to be powerfully cleaned. The products are great and the choices even better. From scents like Lavender, Coffee and Lemongrass to Peppermint, Blood Orange, Oatmeal Spice and, yes, Pumpkin Spice too. Their bars are perfect stocking suffers and will clean up anyone that wants to stay fresh!

WigWag Dog Company Fido could use a gift this time of year too. Everyone wants their dog to share in their adventure and enjoy nature just as much as we do. WigWag has products that stand up to the test of time and the outdoors. They use proven molding techniques to produce their collars in which they deem to be “one of a kind”. The addition of solid brass hardware has given their durable, water and odorproof collars an elegant sense of charm. Man’s best friend deserves the best.


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people+ lifestyle Namastay Yoga Towel Yoga towels don't get much better than this! The Namastay Yoga Towel keeps you and your mat from sliding all over the place during your sweaty practice. It has straps on all four corners to keep the towel flat and in place while you move around your mat. Why didn't we think of that? The microsuede material gives you optimal grip and is super absorbent and fast drying. Simply lay the towel flat on your mat and flip the elastic straps over each corner of mat. Easy! You're now ready to practice with zero slip! The product comes in two colors: Pretty OM Pink and Yoga Stoned Grey. It's also made right nere in Nashville! #shoplocal

Smart Sweets We love having some sweets from time to time, but we don't love all the sugar, weird artificial colors, and high calories. Smart Sweets will pinky swear to you that they are free from added sugar, sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners. 3g of sugar compared to other brands with almost 38g of sugar for the same serving size.

Sidekick Flux Vibration Therapy Massage Ball Traditional massage balls may ease muscle soreness, but they can also be super awkward to use. Have you ever tried rolling around on the floor while also attempting to target your problem area? Trust us, things don’t have to be that difficult. As effortless to use as it is effective, the Flux Vibration Therapy Massage Ball eliminates the need to roll! Lightning-fast vibrations, ranging from 20003600 RPM create a soothing full-body treatment!


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LIST Barbell Voodoo Donut Fanny Pack Barbell Voodoo's Donut fanny pack is not only fun but it's also functional. It comes with three separate zipper pockets to hold all of your needs and is cell phone friendly too. The adjustable waist strap lets you wear it tight around the back side or slide it low in the front.

Love Home & Planet Vetiver & Tea Tree Re-Wear Dry Spray Here's a remedy for previously worn clothes that you don't think need a wash but also don't feel confident about wearing again. Love, Home & Planet dry wash spray is designed to revive your worn clothes to looking, feeling and smelling refreshed, so you can protect them from the wear and tear of overwashing - it's like dry shampoo for your clothes!

Want to see your products included in this exlusive list? Get in front of the largest audience of health and fitness-minded individuals and groups in the Greater Nashville Area. Send us an email at with "A-List" in the subject line for more details. We'd love to get you included! N A S HVI LLE FI TMAGA ZI NE .COM

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photos by Sam Carbine @scarbine


t’s beginning to become more well known that we live in a hyper-sensitive world. Comments, cyber bullies, opinions, judgement, and arguments ensue more commonly across social media platforms behind the comfort of a keyboard and phone screen. As we tend to fall under the microscope of likes and follows, we should more often stop to think, “What if we actually had to step into the ring of reality and actually face our opponent?” A real fight, human vs. human, face to face, means looking in the eyes of another and really taking on your own fears. It’s a terrifying thought. Just ask Michael Chandler. He gets paid to do it. And it just so happens, he’s really good at it too. For some obvious reasons, of course. He trains hard, is strict about his diet, is dedicated to his goals, deliberate with his schedule, and intent on proper recovery to ensure he has laid the groundwork for his body and mind to be in peak condition. He fights for his income. His payment is literally blood, sweat, and tears - and there are no refunds. Above all, Mike is humble though. He is smart. He is a loving family man and the definitive specimen of hard work built from a bluecollar upbringing. He knows his opponent, but more importantly, he knows himself. And because of the beatings he has dished out and taken, he will never submit to the real fight: Providing for the people he loves and commemorating what truly matters. N A S HVI LLE FI TMAGA ZI NE .COM

Michael Chandler Jr. (better known as Mike to his friends and family) is a professional mixed martial arts fighter, competing in the lightweight division of the Bellator MMA, a sport that can trace its origins back to ancient Greece, the Roman Gladiators, and the first Olympics (see the documentary on Netflix, The Hurt Business, for some intriguing details on this and Mike’s career). Although Mike was born and raised in Missouri, he now resides in Nashville with his wife Brie and adopted son Hap. Mike is also a business owner and runs a gym called Training Camp here in East Nashville, located less than a mile from Nissan Stadium. Recently, Training Camp has merged with Nashville MMA to focus even more on the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. “We want to grow the awareness of Nashville as an MMA city.” Training Camp will remain the same gym, but starting November first, it will highlight a plethora of MMA programs. “It was a natural fit to be under the same roof together,” Mike says. Building his business was a major factor in the decision to move to Nashville. He and his wife Brie saw the growing city as a great opportunity to settle in and raise a family. While adoption is a tedious and time-consuming process that doesn’t always have a set timeline, Mike and Brie worked diligently through the steps while still preparing for an upcoming

fight. Background checks, endless paperwork and long nights hoping for a phone call eventually found the couple welcoming young Hap into their home this year. Today, the new title of “Dad” makes everything more special. “Things happen pretty quick,” Mike tells me and explains that being thrown into the fire of being a father was perfectly put together for him. He says, “The moment you hold your child everything changes. You have a different purpose in life. I’m more passionate about everything. I already wanted to make a dent in this world and now, having a child, I want my son to see that.” A quick look at their Instagram profiles will tell you their is a lot of love in their household. When Mike first started his career he was young and felt as though God put him on a platform to inspire people through his craft. He has upped the stakes with every addition to his life. “Now I am a husband and father. I have a family to provide for. I want to put my family in the best possible situation,” he asserts. “Bringing a child into our world means taking on the responsibility of loving and providing for him the rest of our lives.” He truly believes that he would not have been called to this sport if he wasn't meant to take on the right amount of damage. “I have a shelf life,” he accepts, “but the more miles I can get out of this body and push back on my retirement date, the more money I can make to N OV/ D E C 2 0 1 9


people+ lifestyle

Soon after graduating from Mizzou, Mike quickly found a love for MMA and was picked up by an organization called Strikeforce. He made his fighting debut in 2009 and won by successfully executing a TKO (total knockout) in the second round. His next fight with Strikeforce was in May 2010. Again, Mike won by submission in under a minute and quickly made a name for himself. Strikeforce was an MMA and kickboxing organization that was purchased by the owners of the American Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2011 (what we now know as the UFC), who eventually closed the promotion. The UFC uses a match-making style to allow their “men in suits” to decide who fights for the ultimate title. Mike went the other route by competing in the Bellator division, which holds a tournament-style methodology. A fighter must win three fights in three months in order to have a shot at the title. This was more to his liking. In Mike’s professional MMA debut with Bellator, he landed a first-round TKO victory over Kyle Swadley and went on to start his career with a 9-0 record. Today, he holds three Bellator Lightweight World Championships along with many other accolades including winner of the Bellator Season Four: Lightweight 46

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Tournament, the 2011 Breakthrough Fighter of the Year and was rated by in December 2018 as the number one greatest fighter in Bellator history. Mike also has notable victories over former UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson and Eddie Alvarez. Even with all of these achievements though, Mike claims his biggest success came from his hardest loss - a split decision against a returning opponent. This loss would break his perfect record. Prior to the fight, Mike underwent a diligent 12-week training process that all came down to a 20-minute fight. Diet, sleep, recovery, training, and injury prevention play a huge role during all of his training camps, and he spends a lot of time away from his family, which Mike admits can be tough sometimes. While Mike is more dialed-in than most, he says, “There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t question if I’m doing everything right.” But life is a balancing act. Mike lives by the mantra, “no regrets” and says you have to constantly work to do your best but lead with your heart. When our motives are derived from our best intentions, we can still be a ray of light in our inability to balance. It’s what makes us human. Even though the balancing act can be a constantly changing pie chart that feels more like riding a seesaw, Mike says, “The hardest thing is showing yourself grace in those areas.” The time you focus on your family is also helping your craft, and vise versa (focusing on bettering your craft makes you a stronger individual for your loved ones). The true balance resides in the bigger picture over time. In short, Mike’s first loss in his professional career after going 9-0, shifted his focus to success, not perfection. At the beginning of his career, Mike was the best in the world at 155 pounds. “I needed to be perfect,” he says. But he also admits that this way of thinking eventually led to his downfall in the form of three losses in a row. He had to stop trying to be

perfect and remove the enemy, or as he says, “the inner me that was a victim to horribly negative selftalk.” Instead of trying to win a five minute round, he was trying to win every 30 seconds of the fight. The feeling of failure started to pile up and he began labeling himself as exactly that. He recalls, “Your friends and family don’t see you that way. I needed to remind myself of that because all I could think about was my mistakes.” Mike had to show himself some grace and forgiveness in order to rebuild mentally. He had to let himself fail and then face the hard facts and learn from it. He realized, every single person he had ever looked up to, everyone who has ever been successful, at one point in time was also a failure. It's how they deal with those failures that make them different from the rest. The grace Mike refers to is the acceptance of these hard lessons. If we acknowledge those failures for what they are then we realize it isn’t the end of anything; only one event or one chapter in the entire story. If every day we feel like a failure, then every day that is what we embody and become. Believing and trusting our own strength is how we continue moving forward. It is the only way to succeed again if we intend to accomplish our goals. We must find the courage to perform again. As I discussed with Mike the uncomfortable truth, he disclosed this: "I’m not very good at this, by the way. But I’m working on it. It's a constant process. I have a finite amount of hours to have these credentials. They will eventually go away, so I have to enjoy the process. You can’t continuously see yourself as someone different than the way you perform. And you can’t consistently perform in a way that is inconsistent with the way you see yourself. You have to wholeheartedly believe in the journey’s outcome. Otherwise, it leads to self-sabotage. Imagine being that person that wants to lose weight and hasn't worked out in a while. The first workout sucks. It hurts and you don’t feel


photos by Sam Carbine @scarbine

support my family and the lifestyle we want to live.” After graduating high school in 2004, Mike enrolled at the University of Missouri (surprisingly without an athletic scholarship) and earned a spot on the wrestling team as a walkon. He accredits most of his work ethic to his parents and coaches. “As a walk-on [to the wrestling team], I was already behind. I had a ton of work to do just to catch up. Wrestling is a blue-collar sport and I knew the only way I was going to be successful at it was to outwork everyone else that stepped on the mat with me,” Mike recalls. So he did. While at Missouri, Mike was a four-time NCAA qualifier and a Division 1 NCAA AllAmerican honoree. His overall record in his four years as a starter was 10040. Impressive to say the least. Turns out hard work does pay off.

people+ lifestyle

successful. You feel like a failure. But anything worth doing is a consistent fight to keep yourself physically and mentally sound. Whether it is starting a business, getting in shape, or winning a fight, if it is worth it to you, you place value on the process, continue moving forward, and fight just to scratch the surface. And even still, the fight will continue."

a word we know as persistence. A career as an MMA fighter is literally and physically rough, no question. Mike’s secret was his emotional connection to peace within the flames. To him, being thrown into the fire was merely the passenger of his inner tranquility. The human spirit may have become more timid, but the real sadness is our fear to put ourselves out there, usually because our ego keeps growing. His humility aids his continued development. After all, he admits, “There aren’t too many demoralizing moments worse than being knocked out in front of millions of people,” he laughs. We learn the most about ourselves in similar scenarios. There are not a lot of things in life that will teach you about yourself the same way fitness will. Mike says discovering the things we are afraid of is the only way to genuinely grow. “It's easy to fall into the coasting pattern of things I'm good at, but I can only reach my potential outside of that

photo by Megan Plenge @meganannphotography

It’s important I paint the picture of Mike as he is because he isn’t like some of the “crazies” we might see or mentally picture in the sport of MMA. Mike doesn’t fight out of hate or anger. He doesn’t win because of a chip on his shoulder. He doesn’t seek revenge from a bad childhood or carry guilt because he grew up in a violent neighborhood. He wants to win because he feels like he owes it to the people that helped get him there. I have no doubt this way of thinking gets him through a variety of tough matters. When we enter the hurt locker of a hard workout

(or for Mike, when he gets hit in the face), we are consumed by our pain. Mike told me he finds peace in those moments. In that moment of suffering, we lose a portion of the control. Our initial reaction to this reveals an aspect of our true self. Most of us can only hope that we are the person we want to be on those occasions. Most of us are afraid of what we might learn about ourselves. Mike has faced these moments so many times in the ring that his level of self-awareness has transcended to his actions as a husband, friend, father, and business owner. The lesson in each of those moments simultaneously builds a better man and fighter. Mike would agree that more often than not our culture wants things to come easy - we almost expect it. However, the things that last in life, like wealth, health, and relationships, still fall back on the foundation of hard work, time, and effort. This is the term we know as earned. “But it's not that we don’t do the right things,” Mike says, “it's that we don’t do the right things long enough.” And this is


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people+ lifestyle own fault.” Mike understands that in order to enjoy the spoils of a win, to bear the fruits of his labor, and earn the things he wants, he has to be undeniably unafraid. “My heart was designed in that manner,” he says. “I was always meant to run towards the battle.” In my own humble opinion, this is Mike’s way of allowing himself to be proud (of himself). When he is still standing at the end of a fight, head held high, out of breath, exhausted, with a clear conscience, only then is he able to justify the pain and sacrifice hard work requires. There is a difference in pride and ego: I think that term is called integrity.

Visit https://trainingcampnashville. com/ for more information on their class schedule and personal and group training opportunities. They have roughly 10,000 sq. ft. to play with and your first class is free!

photos by Sam Carbine @scarbine

comfort zone. You have to do the things you don’t want to do,” he conveys. For many of us, just like Mike, we have to push ourselves to the deep, dark, hurt locker in order to reveal those characteristics. Mike says, “The biggest mistake is doing what we want to do instead of what we need to do. Working within the confinement of your comforts means sacrificing the gifts you have been given.” Mike embodies the philosophy of extreme ownership and I can’t help but wonder if the backbone of it all resides in his faith. Mike confesses, “We are never blessed with more than we can handle.” And he admittedly mentions if anything outside of the ring affected his training process, then “that was my


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health+ wellness



HOLIDAY SEASON Self-care is important any time of year, but especially during the holiday season, when stress hits its stride as we choose the perfect gifts for loved ones and try to create a balance between green smoothies and sugar cookies. It might be the most wonderful time of the year, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely free of stress and anxiety. Let these simple tips be a guide to slowing down and enjoying the season to ensure a fresh start for 2020.

Make Time To Sweat It Out

Carve out time in your busy schedule to make it to your early morning yoga class or Saturday afternoon spin class. The days are better when you feel better!

Keep a Weekly Gratitude List

This is a great activity to do year round but is even more fitting around the holidays, and it helps to keep you grounded and appreciative.

Say No When You Need To

With the holiday season comes a slew of party invites, and as fun as they sound, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Listen to your body and slow down if you need to. This might mean skipping out on the company happy hour or your neighbor’s Friendsgiving in order to 52

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it feels like you’re being pulled in a million different directions.

have a little me time.

Maintain a Good Balance

A big part of the holiday season tends to be indulging in one treat or another, and while it’s important to enjoy seasonal goodies that don’t come around but once a year, make sure that you’re also fueling your body properly when you can! Be sure to have a balanced breakfast and keep healthy snacks on hand, this especially helps for days when you’re marathon sale shopping or heading to a cookie swap.


Use some holiday-friendly household items to make a relaxing bath soak. Combine Epsom salt with a few drops of peppermint essential oil to make for a relaxing way to unwind. This also works great as an inexpensive, homemade gift to give to loved ones.

Accept That You Can’t Do It All

Do Good

Self-care is just as important for your soul, and that’s where volunteering comes in. Set aside an afternoon to volunteer at the animal shelter with your kids or coworkers, or donate Thanksgiving dishes to your local food bank.

Treat Yourself

Giving a gift to yourself is just as important as giving gifts to others. You work hard all year and deserve to treat yourself, whether it’s a massage, a relaxing staycation, or a bouquet of flowers.

Catch Some Zzzzzz’s

I often feel that each year I go into the season with a list of events to attend, presents to buy, and meals to cook, and wind up frustrated and exhausted when I can’t finish everything. If you’re anything like me, try to remember that there’s no shame in asking for help, and do your best to let go of the idea of crossing everything off your to-do list. Give yourself a break when you can.

Take Care Of Yourself

Santa’s not the only one who is exhausted this time of year. Maintain your energy and sanity with good quality sleep. You know the drill: reduce screen time before bedtime, and avoid caffeine. It’s so important to let your body rest and feel refreshed, especially during this busy time of year when

This should be a given, but as the seasons change and the weather cools, your immune system could suffer, especially if your daily routine is go-go-go. Keep Elderberry Syrup on hand to help fight off colds, and try to incorporate infectionfighters into your meals and routine, like Manuka honey, garlic, and ginger. Consider adding some adaptogens to your smoothies (Ashwanganda, Rhodiola, Reishi) for a natural energy and mood boost.


health+ wellness


If we need to, most of us can assess certain levels of fitness (or sickness) depending on a few things: • our ability to perform the 10 general physical skills* • our ability to perform athletically well at different physical tasks and across all three metabolic pathways (Phosphagen, Glycolytic and Oxidative) • health indicators based on measurements** of blood pressure, body fat, bone density, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, Glycated Hemoglobin (HbA1c), muscle mass, etc. This is where it becomes key to work with your fitness trainer (if applicable), nutrition coach (if applicable) and medical professionals combined. * cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy.


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Here are some simple indicators as to whether your training and/or nutrition plan are helping you get healthier:

more athletic • You’re walking taller and more confidently



• You have less pain - maybe you’re even pain free • You have less inflammation (like joint stiffness, autoimmune flare ups, and more) • You have better mobility (better range of motion on a particular movement, or you feel more mobile in general) • You take fewer medications, or a lower dose of them • You have better blood work or lab tests • You have fewer digestive problems • You heal and recover from injury or illness more quickly


• You perform better athletically • You can do daily-life tasks better (like lifting things into the car, carrying groceries, managing a dog pulling on a leash, and so on)


• You feel more confident • You feel like change is possible • You feel better about your choices • You feel more knowledgeable • You feel clearer about your goals and the path to get to them • You feel mentally more “on” you’re thinking more clearly, with less fuzziness or forgetfulness. • You feel more open to trying new things • You feel happier and more positive • You feel motivated (motivated to train or simply motivated to persist)

While there’s multiple avenues of testing degrees of sickness or fitness, all good habits begin with the same foundational qualities like simple nutrition (eat whole foods found in nature and be mindful about your body’s signals and emotions as you eat) and frequent, varied movement. Consider your goals before taking any steps forward. It’s easy to allow others to define your goals or what you think they should look like (look like this, perform like this, eat like this, don’t eat this, live like this), but only you can decide if you want to be lean or happy with some extra fluff; only you can decide if you want to be faster or stronger or more mobile or all of it combined; only you can decide if you want to spend hours at the gym or if you’d rather be travelling or spending time with family. Once you identify your specific goals for this season of your life, then you can more easily train and eat in a way that supports you. Goals change and so do we. What’s right for you right now (or what worked for you last year) may no longer be relevant or right for your future. So how do you know if you’re healthy? Test yourself in those 10 physical skills and see where you fall (almost everyone will need some work in a few areas), combine endurance workouts with high intensity training and weightlifting for best results, consult with your doctor and be mindful of your stress levels and emotions in all areas of your life.

APPEARANCE INDICATORS • Your skin looks better (e.g. less acne; fewer rashes; general improvement) • Your hair and fingernails are stronger • You look generally “fitter” /



health+ wellness your own DIY extremely fresh and THE PROOF IS IN Create pure organic seasonal mask. THE PUMPKIN We’re pretty excited about fall and pumpkin season, and now you actually have something to do with all of those left over pumpkins after Halloween and Thanksgiving! If you're a skeptic, don't be. Pumpkin-based products work well on all skin types because it' rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, which means it soothes and softens. Try this simple pumpkin mask recipe you can make at home.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED 2 tablespoon pumpkin purée (fresh is better, if not use an organic one) 1 teaspoon of raw rolled oats 1 teaspoon raw pumpkin seeds 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice DIRECTIONS Run the oats and pumpkin seeds through a small coffee grinder to create a powder. Then, mix with pumpkin purée and lemon juice.

Apply and let it infuse into the skin for 10 minutes. Before removing, rub the mask gently into the skin so that the oat and pumpkin seed powder can lightly exfoliate. Rinse thoroughly. BENEFITS OF THE INGREDIENTS Pumpkin – Bursting with beta-carotene and vitamin C to repair sun damage and even out skin tone, while high levels of zinc protect against bacterial infections and inflammation. Oats – Rich in mineral iron, amino acid Cysteine, and vitamin

B thiamin, this cereal is your wrinkle-fighting ally. Plus, it’s a natural exfoliator. Iron – Helps to bring proper oxygen supply to the skin so that regeneration and repair of skin cells can occur. Iron also aids with regaining that rosy healthy glow. Lemon juice – Brightens the complexion and evens out skin tone, while also acting as a natural exfoliant since the citric acid is a gentle “skin peel” to remove dead skin cells. Lemon juice also has antibacterial properties that help prevent breakouts.

WHY THIS WORKS If your skin needs gentle yet effective exfoliation, glycolic acid is your holy grail ingredient. It treats skin discoloration, dark spots, and the signs of aging with ease. When combined with pumpkin puree, this mask will leave your skin looking instantly brighter and refreshed.

Pumpkin benefits for skin are just the beginning. From its flesh to its seeds, pumpkins and their seeds can boost your health by balancing blood sugar, stabilizing hormone levels, easing achy joints. 58

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Abby Blair MS, ACSM, RYT Yoga Teacher Private & Group Instruction @ayogiblair

Heath Evans Certified Personal Trainer 931.221.9801 @heathaevansfit

Conrad Goeringer IRONMAN Triathlon Coach @coach_goeringer

Andrea Kay MS, ACSM, ACE, AEA Aquatic Therapy, Pilates, Power Plate Fitness Training - Personal & Group @additin3

Mike Krajewski CSCS, USAW-SP1 Strength Coach Online Personal Trainer @mkfitness_

Chad McClellan, D.C. Performance Based Chiropractic @chironash 60

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Rena Ooi RN, RCR Board Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach, Reflexologist, Grief Recovery Specialist and Reiki Master 615.497.7286 @turningyourleaf

Dr. Brittney McGetrick, DC, RD Evergreen Chiropractic Gonstead Doctor of Chiropractic Registered Dietitian, Yoga Instructor @dr.mcgetrick

Jeff Waller Personal Trainer 812.568.7890 @helloyeffrey

Gerell Webb Fitness Trainer/Influencer Speaker/Personality @itrain365

Nashville is home to a number of different health and fitness fields and experts. We’re proud to be your go-to source to help you find the perfect personal trainer, instructor, nutritionist, dietitian or health coach to fit your daily needs. Stay #MusicCityFit FACEB O O K.CO M/ N AS HVIL L E F I T M AGA Z I NE



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12/7/19 Vinyasa Yoga City Fit Concierge J.W. Marriott Nashville, TN 12/7/19 Yoga + Brews Jackalope Brewing Company (The Ranch) Jackalope Brewing Company Nashville, TN 12/7/19 Indoor Goat Yoga by Shenanigoats Shenanigoats Yoga Shenanigoats Yoga Studio Nashville, TN 12/7/19 39th Annual Historic Downtown Rudolph's Red Nose 5K NeedLink Nashville Nashville, TN 12/13/19 2019 Bell Ringer Trail Run Tennessee State Parks

Burns, TN aspx 12/14/19 11th Annual Frosty Fun Run 2 or 4.5 Miler! Fleet Feet Mt Juliet and Murfreesboro Stones River Country Club Murfreesboro, TN Murfreesboro/FrostyFunRunSR 12/28/19 Yoga Under the Stars Adventure Science Center Nashville, TN 12/28/19 Frostbite 5K & 10K YMCA Race Series Middle Tennessee and Sumner County YMCA Nashville, TN

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