Motivation, fast breakfast and a workout

This week we published a few resources and have compiled them here as a summary.

“Sweat, smile, repeat”




Bananas and peanut butter (or alternative) on toast is always a win. Sun butter, banana, and chia seed toast.

Source: Skinny Fork

Workout: TRX/KB

For this workout, work back and forth between TRX and kettlebells. When you see intervals 30:10 x 6, this means the high interval is 30 seconds and the rest is 10 seconds, repeat 6 times.

How did you do this week? We’d love to hear how things went and what else you’d like to see in these free workouts from trainers at Pinnacle Health + Fitness.

Happy Training!

Protein Powders: How do I buy a safe product? Which one is best?

When choosing a protein powder the choice can be quite difficult.  You see the list of ingredients and get overwhelmed. did the work for you.  They did a comprehensive study of over 675 products and 111 different brands while getting the advice of dietitians and fitness experts.  They considered the concerns of artificial sweeteners, illegal substances and food colorings.

And the winners are:  Click here and find out.


The sports nutrition industry has a history littered with lawsuits, misleading product labels, and hyperbolized products, especially when it comes to protein powder – which is a multi-billion dollar industry. Outrageous branding campaigns have been convincing people they need extra protein to build muscle since the ‘70s, and that perception is still going strong. Sales are up, spiked proteins are rampant, and the war for the best-tasting whey isolate continues.

We spent 180 hours researching the industry to discover what the frenzy was all about. During that time we built a list of 697 different flavors of protein powder, consulted with nationally renowned fitness and health experts, and investigated the nutritional pros and cons of 191 artificial sweeteners, food colorings, and illegal substances.  Continue Reading

Artificial ingredients are useless and can lower your overall health

The general consensus among online fitness and nutrition communities is that the artificial sweeteners and colorings used in protein powders are bad for you. We took our research a step further and asked over 4,000 registered dietitians for their opinions on the matter. Their response was unanimous (and much stronger): If possible, artificial sugars and colorings should be completely avoided. Not only are they unnecessary; they’re potentially dangerous. Continue Reading

MAKE IT COUNT! By: Christi Otto

Everyday you wake up challenge yourself! List three goals you want to accomplish. These should be challenges you can achieve every day. For example: eat less sugar, take the stairs, and increase water intake. Do them!

Tape this to your steering wheel and on your bathroom mirror. You will see them every day. Every week or two make new challenges. Every week or two make new challenges. If you want to take on a weight loss challenge, discover the Thinner Winner at Pinnacle.

You need to be committed! A lot of fitness articles say you can achieve weight loss in 14 to 20 days. It takes more than that. Live in reality and you will not disappoint yourself! It is about inches on your waist, more energy, better sleep, more productivity, etc. Make conscious choices. Only you can change it. You are in control of your life, your health, your destiny. 


For the average person it takes over 60 days to develop a habit. When you are working out and eating better you are developing new habits. According to UCL News it takes 66 days to establish a new habit. The 21 day myth originally applied to plastic surgery patients.

Following plastic surgery it takes about 21 days for the average patient to get used to his new face. When an arm or leg is amputated the “phantom limb” persists for about 21 days”.

On that thought, have you ever logged your foods for 70 days in a row? Have you ever exercised for 70 days in a row? Get up and move!  If you did this, how much closer would you be to your ultimate goal?

I have challenged all of my clients to this. Let me tell you, it was not easy. It is hard. There were many days that quitting seemed easier. Last week I got an e-mail from one client saying: “This is too hard. I don’t think I will be able to lose the weight.” I e-mailed her back telling her she needs to make that effort today! I also sent her a motivational video and several short articles to keep her going. That is what it is all about! It is a constant battle. You need to learn how to combat your battles. SHE DID IT! Sometimes you just need a push. She lost 32lbs in the last four months and she is very proud of her success!

Success happens little by little, day after day. Another client got his wife in on it too. They have changed as a unit. They are closer and enjoy walking and cooking dinner together. It is no longer just about the weight. It is about the bond, the sharing, and the experience. Are you ready to be pushed for a 70 day challenge? Start new habits? Contact me: Christi Otto;

Your goals need to be on the front burner. Start now! It is going to take time. At times it is going to be hard to maintain. I know it can sometimes be embarrassing to be vulnerable but do it and you will amaze yourself.


By Group Exercise Director and Personal Trainer  Vikki Hettiger
By Group Exercise Director and Personal Trainer
Vikki Hettiger

I’ve been involved in the fitness industry for close to 20 years, first as a Group Exercise Instructor, later as a Personal Trainer.  In all my years of teaching classes and training clients, the most frequently-asked question I hear is “What exercises can I do to get rid of THIS?”  (now imagine the person grabbing onto their “love handles”, thighs or  triceps).   My  answer?

Spot reduction is one of the biggest fitness myths out there.  People often mistakenly believe that if you work a specific muscle group you will decrease the amount of fat in that area.  The reality?  Doing 200 crunches a day or holding planks forever will not automatically give you a six-pack!   There are other factors to consider, all of which go hand-in-hand in creating those lean, toned body parts you are dreaming of.Pinnacle-Blog

  1. Cardio.  Cardio exercise is crucial in maximizing overall fat loss.  You need the cardio to melt away the layer of fat that is covering up those muscles.  So go out for a run, take a Cycling class, hit the elliptical, swim laps, do Zumba…anything that will get your heart rate up and help you burn calories!
  2. Strength Training.  Weight training is the key to sculpting and strengthening our muscles from the inside, so that when fat loss does occur, our muscles look shapely and strong on the outside.  Aim to do some form of strength training 2-3 times per week.  Hire a Personal Trainer to help if you are not sure where to start.  Pinnacle also offers some fantastic classes like TRX,   Dynamic Strength and BodyPump, all of which can help shape and define those muscles.
  3. Eating Clean.   Go for fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins.  Watch your carbohydrate consumption (don’t avoid them), but do stay away from processed foods whenever possible. Drink water.  If you need extra help with what to eat, seek out our registered dietian, Travis Stuntebeck, who can create a personalized plan just for YOU.

Keep in mind…fat loss is a very individual thing, and that you may lose fat in certain areas quicker than others.  Genetics and gender can each play a role in how or where fat-loss occurs.   It can be done!  I would love to help.  Email me at

For a complete list of cardio and strength classes, click here.

Sugar Addiction

Untitled-1My name is Heidi Spidell, I am a Personal Trainer, and I was addicted to Swedish Fish.

Each serving of Swedish Fish has 29 grams of carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates are one of your body’s main sources of energy, so I was in good shape, right?  Wrong!! These carbohydrates from sugar, invert sugar, corn syrup and modified cornstarch are not nutritious.  It was Sugar Love for me. I couldn’t eat just one or ten for that matter.  But that’s okay, right? Most Americans are eating an average of 22.7 teaspoons of sugar a day and I was keeping right up there with them.

So let’s jump ahead and ask, “Why are so many Americans Obese?” Richard Johnson, a nephrologist, (look it up), at the University of Colorado Denver believes sugar is the major culprit to our obesity epidemic.

It’s not our fat intake making us fat, because we are eating less fat than we did 20 years ago.  Johnson believes sugar is toxic, empty calories.  If you don’t burn it, it is not going away.

Getting back to why I was addicted.  Sugar in the bloodstream stimulates the same pleasure centers of the brain as major narcotics do. Hence, I needed my fix. But after my high-energy candy snack I wasn’t swimming like a fish, I was baking like a potato on the couch.  I had no energy. Why would or how could I exercise if I had no energy?

Eating these quickly digested Swedish Fish made my liver process the sugars into triglycerides or protein fats.  Eventually down the road, I become like many Americans, wearing the metabolic fat syndrome, middle belly mess.

I couldn’t wean myself. I had to quit cold turkey.

So my sweet tooth is now satisfied with healthy fruits that offer fiber and antioxidants along with their natural sweetness.  With more energy I am addicted to exercising and a healthier life style. I am more lean and less fat.  Is sugar making you fat?

Let me help you make fit and happy lifestyle choices.