Showing posts with label Stonewall Fitness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stonewall Fitness. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Stonewall Fitness: How Do You Know If You're Making Progress?

By David Smith

There is no secret that the focus of most people’s fitness is weight loss. In talking with clients, class participants, gym members and friends, especially in the LGBTQ community the first goal people tell me is that they want to lose weight, get lean/tone up or become more “defined”. However more often then not I see people who are discouraged and mad at themselves because they don’t see the progress that they expect and they numbers they want, especially in regards to weight loss. To not consistently be dropping pounds seems to be a sign of failure in the midst of all the sweat and exhaustion that has come from the countless hours at the gym. Are you not losing the weight or making the gains you expected? Let me tell you, it’s perfectly okay and it certainly doesn’t mean you should stop.

When I started my journey toward better physical fitness and on my quest to earn a spot on the Olympic Team, I was 50lbs heavier and very much motivated. However in the 5.5 years since I started, initially I used weight to measure my progress but after the first 4 months my weight had plateaued and I wasn’t seeing the kind of changes on the scale that I was. I didn’t even look very defined either. Now there are no “weight” standards per se to be on the Olympic Team since you are judged on your performance and abilities rather than you’re size and looks but that’s not to say that most Olympians don’t look really good and hot. It’s important to remember that their looks, body types and muscles, especially on swimmers (hence the sports popularity!) are a side effect of all the hard training and discipline that they put in to push themselves to compete at that level.

If you’re feeling discouraged because you are not seeing the weight loss or the definition or the progress you were expecting, think about it in different terms. Compare yourself now to where you were when you started, think about an exercise you really struggled with, pushups for example. How many pushups were you able to do the first time? How many can you do now? Do you take fitness classes? Zumba is a great example of a fitness class that many people have a hard time with at first. My first Zumba class I was so uncoordinated and felt like an idiot, I struggled to get the moves down and felt like a spider trying to dance. In addition it was a challenge just to keep up, thinking that my heart was going to rip out of my chest like a scene from Alien. When I went back again and took another class I found not only was I more coordinated and knew the moves a bit better but I could keep up better and found that I was actually getting into the dance. That is the definition of progress!

Being able to do even one more pushup than last time, that’s progress! Not having to stop and rest so many times, or even not having to rest as long as you did last time? Progress. Being able to maintain your balance for longer? PROGRESS! Your body is capable of so much more that limiting your definition of progress solely to weight loss only limits the capabilities of your body and mind.

Looking thin and hot won’t get you as far as the you’d like to think because at some point you’ll be expected to do more right? Not to say weight loss doesn’t have dozens of benefits but better overall physical fitness has been shown to improve people’s life in all other aspects. It’s important to see your fitness from a broader perspective and how your weight loss can tie into other aspects of your life. From helping a singer expand his vocal range to lifting people out of depression, being able to function more in daily life and get through the day with more energy. I’ve seen people go from not being able to run a mile without stopping to running a full marathon in less than a year and they did not lose a single pound nor do they look like a Greek god. What’s more interesting and motivating than how you look? How about those little things you can easily do now that was a struggle before. Think about how far you’ve come since you’ve started, all those little things that were outside your comfort zone and now people look at you in awe, impressed and wondering what your secret is. Most importantly it’s about accomplishing more than you ever thought possible.

Next time your feeling discouraged, don’t be mad because you only lost one pound or seemed to plateau and aren’t making progress because you are. It’s the little things that count right? :-)


David Smith is an exercise professional, athlete, blogger and owner of Stonewall Fitness

Friday, April 21, 2017

Stonewall Fitness: Do Fitness Trackers Really Improve Fitness?

By David Smith

Fitness trackers such as the FitBit and Apple Watch have become very popular no doubt, they can do everything from tracking steps, calories and heart rate to giving you an almost complete profile of your bodily processes throughout the day and night. While the technology has certainly become more advanced, it’s hardly anything new. Endurance athletes have been using heart rate monitors for years and I am sure a lot of people will remember the step counters from the mid 2000s. Yet how will your average gym goer or person looking to improve fitness benefit from all this data?

​One of the basic functions of wearable fitness trackers is to track steps. After wearing it for a day or so, a lot of people are surprised at the number of steps they take, usually between 7000-10,000 steps a day. Thus the first goal someone will make is to reach a certain number of steps per day, even if that means walking laps around your living room at the end of the day to see that final number appear. The same process might happen when you track your calories burned or even your average HR (heart rate) through physical activity. Many gyms even have posters and charts for “HR Zones” that provide a point of reference for the number you might be seeing.

​While all this data might be great to see, it’s important to understand what it means and how to utilize it toward improving your fitness. A wearable fitness tracker is simply a tool, nothing more. While you can accomplish the same results with or without the device; if you plan on using one, be sure you get your money’s worth!

Wear your fitness tracker for a week or so and go about your daily routine, establish a baseline of your daily physical activity. This is also a good opportunity to learn how it works, play around with the settings and get used to wearing it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Come Out. Get Fit With Stonewall Fitness.

Looking for more guidance and direction at the gym? Someone who can help you design a workout to maximize each workout at the gym so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Check out Stonewall Fitness. Whether you're just starting out or looking to mix up your current routine, no matter if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you can be a part of it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Come Out. Get Fit With Stonewall Fitness.

Looking for more guidance and direction at the gym? Someone who can help you design a workout to maximize each workout at the gym so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Check out Stonewall Fitness. Whether you're just starting out or looking to mix up your current routine, no matter if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you can be a part of it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Stonewall Fitness: Preparing to Succeed On and Off the Field in Sport

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By David Smith

With World OutGames Miami 2017 coming up in just a few short weeks and the Gay Games Paris 2018 a little over a year away. Many athletes are starting to think about how they can best prepare and train to achieve their personal best on and off the field.

If you’re investing the money and time for the trip to Miami and onto Paris, or any other big sporting event; be sure to invest in your own training, fitness and well being as an athlete. When you arrive in Miami and in Paris and get ready to compete, don’t you want to be there feeling like you’re investment was worth it? Better yet, feel like all your hard work paid off! There’s no greater feeling than that. 


​Sports’ training doesn’t just take place on the field (or court, pool, track, etc.). What you do off the field can have just as much of an impact. Improving your overall fitness level, eating habits and attitude by adopting a program that is more specific to your sport will not only help you prevent injuries but you will develop conditioning, strength, stamina and balance and mental readiness you will need to arrive ready to succeed in Miami or Paris. You might even look good and ready for the beach too! Most importantly, you will be as ready as ever to take on the competition and accomplish your goals. 

​That’s what being a champion is all about!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Stonewall Fitness: Are You Training or Working Out?

By David Smith
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Well, what’s the difference? You might ask. Next time your at the gym, look around and take note of all the different people you see. What are they doing? Are they really getting into it or do they look bored or distracted? How hard are they working?

The difference between training and working out is when you are training; you give your fitness a greater purpose. You step foot into the gym with a plan and a purpose. You are there to put in the grind and accomplish your goals for the day. Most importantly you are there because you want to be. Often times “working out” is seen as a chore, and it is. You show up, do the minimum and then go and binge eat on naughty food afterwards. Working out is a necessary evil that one must do in order to succeed in life, or so they say...

​When you are training, you are always striving to do your best, perform at your best and push the limits of your body and mind to achieve the next step on your journey.

By working out, you are content with the bare minimum of work needed to get the job done. Sticking to the basics of what you know but you’re not quite ready to step outside your comfort zone and push yourself harder. Why? It’s uncomfortable; and we don’t like being uncomfortable.

Breaking through our comfort zone, taking a leap of faith and trying something new are the essence of human existence. It’s taken us to the moon and back and it’s a principle we should all take to heart. 
​Everybody has goals of course, but are your goals enough to keep your momentum going? Remember motivation tends to wane, which is why we need a daily dose. When I say “fitness with a greater purpose” I mean the end result isn’t something as simple as “toned body” or “weight loss” it’s about achieving something you never accomplished before. Be it a Personal Record in lifting, a certain time in a race, climbing a mountain or whatever it is for you. 

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You can have excuses, or you can have results. 
To show up at the gym every day, knowing that what you do will get you one step closer to achieving that goal, you are motivated to put in the extra work and to push your limits one step further every time.

You are not focused on the destination; you are focused on the journey. Every step of that journey is one step further than you’ve ever gone before and it is one step closer to where you want to go. 

​Next time you arrive at the gym, ask yourself the ultimate question. “Why?” Why are you here? Why are you doing this? If you start your answer with “I need” then don’t even bother taking another step. Take a deep breath and start your answer with “I want”. As in “I want to accomplish more than I ever thought possible” and remind yourself of that every day.

David Smith is a coach,  exercise professional, athlete, blogger and owner of Stonewall Fitness.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Stonewall Fitness: Exercise Doesn't Discriminate and Neither Should You

By David Smith
PictureLGBT+ Sporting Events Celebrate Diversity through Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best
10-20+ years ago, the LGBT+ community faced a lot more discrimination and anti-LGBT+ harassment. While we are not totally free from that today, it is clear that the safe havens of gay bars and such don’t quite serve the same purpose as they once did. Are LGBT+ oriented bars and businesses going away? Not quite.

Exercise and fitness are non-discriminatory. However people in the exercise and fitness industry are. For generations a lot of false myths and bad advice in regards to exercise have floated around based on racist, sexist, anti-LGBT+ stigmas that have long held people back from achieving their true physical potential. 

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​However nothing can discriminate against hard work, we’re all human and our bodies are designed to perform the same functions regardless of race, gender orientation, sexual identity, religion, age or nationality. When it comes time to exercise and train, everybody is on the same level. By level I mean everybody should be willing and ready to put in the same amount of work to accomplish their personal best.

Everybody exists at different planes of fitness, yes. Some people are faster, others can jump higher or lift more weight; they could be taller, shorter, different body type or more genetically inclined to succeed at certain tasks. There are people just starting out and others who are experienced. In the end though none of that matters, because everybody succeeds on the same level. Somebody might be struggling to lift over 100lbs, the person next to them might max out at only 10lbs. Even though there is 90lbs separating them, they are both working equally as hard to accomplishing the same task. Thus, they are training on the same level. 

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​Everybody has started from the bottom and got to where they are on their own through dedication or hard work. They did not become the best through talent, nor because of their race, gender orientation, sexual identity, financial status, age or nationality. Stigmas and stereotypes exist and even scientific data might lend some level of truth to them, however history has consistently shown that people who’ve long been assumed to be weak have overcome such barriers and become just as strong and fit, if not more than their more privileged counterparts.

Is there need for “safe space” gyms? Yes, and by that a facility that is physically designed to accommodate the needs of a very diverse LGBT+ clientele. Gyms can be quite discriminating places, from weight selection, colors, layout. All based on old, long debunked myths and stereotypes that still separate us; especially among gender.

The environmental aspects of a gym should not create a barrier that is preventing you from accomplishing your fitness goals; going in with a plan, attitude to achieve and confidence within yourself to succeed and you as an individual can help overcome those things that separate us.

​A “safe space” is no longer just enough; either everybody succeeds or nobody succeeds. The differences that separate us should be left outside. When in the gym, the only goal is to do our best and succeed at our best, to succeed together. 

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Photo courtesy of Liger Fitness
​Walk into any gym and take note of all the diverse people you see. Different body types, different levels of fitness, different genders, religions, income levels races, nationalities and sexual orientations. So many things that are different but what is common about all those people? They are at the gym for the same reason, to be active and fit. No matter the differences, we’re all their for the same reason; to do our best.

Picture David Smith is a coach,  exercise professional, athlete, blogger and owner of Stonewall Fitness. He is a certified personal trainer and holds a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Come Out. Get Fit With Stonewall Fitness.

Looking for more guidance and direction at the gym? Someone who can help you design a workout to maximize each workout at the gym so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Check out Stonewall Fitness. Whether you're just starting out or looking to mix up your current routine, no matter if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you can be a part of it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Come Out. Get Fit With Stonewall Fitness.

Looking for more guidance and direction at the gym? Someone who can help you design a workout to maximize each workout at the gym so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Check out Stonewall Fitness. Whether you're just starting out or looking to mix up your current routine, no matter if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you can be a part of it.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Come Out. Get Fit With Stonewall Fitness.

Looking for more guidance and direction at the gym? Someone who can help you design a workout to maximize each workout at the gym so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Check out Stonewall Fitness. Whether you're just starting out or looking to mix up your current routine, no matter if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you can be a part of it.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Come Out. Get Fit With Stonewall Fitness.

Looking for more guidance and direction at the gym? Someone who can help you design a workout to maximize each workout at the gym so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Check out Stonewall Fitness. Whether you're just starting out or looking to mix up your current routine, no matter if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you can be a part of it.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Come Out. Get Fit With Stonewall Fitness.

Looking for more guidance and direction at the gym? Someone who can help you design a workout to maximize each workout at the gym so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Check out Stonewall Fitness. Whether you're just starting out or looking to mix up your current routine, no matter if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you can be a part of it.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Come Out. Get Fit With Stonewall Fitness.

Looking for more guidance and direction at the gym? Someone who can help you design a workout to maximize each workout at the gym so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Check out Stonewall Fitness. Whether you're just starting out or looking to mix up your current routine, no matter if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you can be a part of it.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Stonewall Fitness: The Irony of Self Defeat - How Your Attitude Determines Success

By David Smith
Whatever your reasons for exercise might be, make sure you have one!
​Working at a gym, not only as a personal trainer and fitness instructor or even simply as the dude at the front desk, you get to know all the different types of people who come into the gym. You get to know their personalities, attitude, goals and probably a few things you didn’t want to know about them.

The most common theme among participants of course is attitude and approach, particularly how much people discount themselves and their abilities. More often then not gym goers will brush off trying something new or adding a variation to their routine without even trying. Which is ironic because isn’t the whole reason one visits the gym is to challenge and better oneself?



While generally it is not specific to any particular group or crowd, when you narrow down the demographics the different types of training and reasons become very diverse. Ever hear someone tell themselves they can’t do something? It’s not just limited to the gym either but in every day life. When you discount the possibility of accomplishing something new, you’ve set yourself up for failure before you even try.

There are many things in the world that one might not have any intention on doing or trying or anything. That’s perfectly okay and everybody has that. If you look at the stages of change chart, you’ll see that everything we have (or not) going in our lives fit within that chart.

Think positive!
We all have that one overly positive friend that gets on our nerves sometimes. However that friend always approaches every challenge with an optimistic spirit and is already setting themselves up for success with a “can do” attitude.
Compliment others!
Next time you see someone doing a complicated exercise that intrigues you, give them a compliment. It’ll open up a conversation that you can learn more about the exercise itself.
Look up to others but don’t compare yourself to others!
Just because you can’t run as fast, lift as much or perhaps look as good as someone else doesn’t mean you can’t use them as your motivation to one day work up to them. However don’t discount your own accomplishments and progress, no matter how little. We all strive to be something more, every step, no matter how small is one step closer.
Focus on your own goals.
We seek motivation from many different sources, including the people we look up to. However the only person that matters is yourself and what you are doing to be better. Stay focused on what the work you need to do and not how it compares to what someone else is doing. They don’t matter, all that matters is doing what you need to do to get better.
Build your Plan of Action.
When you set yourself a goal, you need a plan to reach that goal. Take your starting point and your finishing point (the goal) and start to assemble the steps in between. You don’t have to figure out all the steps right now but focus on the next step and think about the step after that. Work toward accomplishing each step like it was your goal.
Fake it till you make it.
Especially when you don’t necessarily have the confidence, courage or belief in yourself to take that first step. It’s okay to be scared; change is something we all fear. Be scared, then do it anyway.
Remember, everybody has had to start from the beginning. Even the strongest person at the gym had to start somewhere. In the end your attitude is what determines your success. You have all the tools you need to succeed, even if you don't with a goal and a plan you will find a way to make it happen. Get started and don't look back, for in a year from now you'll be glad you started today.David Smith is the owner of Stonewall Fitness, holds a degree in exercise science from Metropolitan State University of Denver and holds several fitness certifications including ACSM Personal Trainer and Group Fitness.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Come Out. Get Fit With Stonewall Fitness.

Looking for more guidance and direction at the gym? Someone who can help you design a workout to maximize each workout at the gym so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Check out Stonewall Fitness. Whether you're just starting out or looking to mix up your current routine, no matter if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you can be a part of it.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Come Out. Get Fit With Stonewall Fitness.

Looking for more guidance and direction at the gym? Someone who can help you design a workout to maximize each workout at the gym so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Check out Stonewall Fitness. Whether you're just starting out or looking to mix up your current routine, no matter if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you can be a part of it.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Stonewall Fitness: Getting Through the Quadrennial Lull

By David Smith
 
​With the Gay Games taking place every 4 years it is definitely a big event. With more time to anticipate, the event has a lot of build up from the organizers and athletes alike. There is a lot to do and a lot that has to get done in order to make the event a success.

Coming off a successful Gay Games or other quadrennial event is like climbing up a mountain to the top and then hopping on a sled and riding it back down. There’s a lot of work in anticipation and the event itself is the reward, after the event concludes people head home feeling excited and motivated to work hard and keep that passion going into the next one. 
One year after the event concludes, a lot of that momentum dies down as people have returned to their daily grind. The excitement of the event has passed and the next one, 3 years away feels like an eternity. Two years later and most people don’t even have it in their thoughts that the next quadrennial is still two years out. It won’t be another year that people start getting excited again. However there is still much work being done by the organizers behind the scenes to make the event as remarkable as the last.

This is known as the quadrennial lull and with the Paris 2018 Gay Games still 2 years away we are in that lull, for most people this just means a lot of waiting. Waiting until 2017 to start training again and making their plans to the event. Some people won’t even get that going until 2018.

So what can you do to overcome the quadrennial lull and stay motivated to succeed at your personal best, better than you have ever done before when it comes time for Paris 2018?
  • Learn to Love the Grind.
    • Every day showing up to practice and staying consistent with your training and eating habits. Make it a habit and part of your day to get your training in regardless of your circumstances.
  • Set Annual Goals
    • Every year take a sheet of paper and write down the things you want to accomplish. This is good to do for all aspects of your life. Personal, professional and athletic goals.
    • Don’t make to many goals, last thing you want to do is overwhelm yourself. Instead focusing on the quality of your goals. Be specific in what exactly you want to accomplish. Be it a personal best time, 1 Rep Max or even learning a new skill.
    • Break your goals down into realistic and timely chunks. Where do you want to be 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months from now?
  • Find other events to participate in to hone your skills.
    • The Gay Games is an international, multi-sport competition that takes place every 4 years. However there are many events that take place annually, both LGBT and non-LGBT events. Depending on your specific sport you can find competitions from the local to the international level.
      • Choose 1 or 2 events per year for you to “Peak” at, where you focus your training and competition to lead up to and at the “peak event” is where you plan to compete and accomplish your absolute personal best.
      • Make the quadrennial into your peak event when the time comes. Accomplish your personal best at the event, it makes the whole experience that much more memorable.
    • Don’t give up! 4 years in between events can be a long time, but the time will pass anyway. Ride that momentum off of event and keep it going right into the next one. You’ll be setting yourself up for success on levels you’ve never experienced so keep it going!
​The most successful athletes you see at the Olympics or any other major-quadrennial event don’t let themselves fall into the lull, if they do they work hard to come out of it quickly. Champions are made in practice and that’s what will set you apart from the competition.

See you in Paris!


David Smith is an exercise professional, athlete, blogger and owner of Stonewall Fitness. He is a certified personal trainer and holds a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition. He is an active athlete and Gay Games medalist training and competing in triathlon and swimming. He is passionate about bringing the LGBT community together through exercise and fitness. Help support David with his athletic endeavors! Visit www.gofundme.com/bttrflyr and Read more here...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Come Out. Get Fit With Stonewall Fitness.

Looking for more guidance and direction at the gym? Someone who can help you design a workout to maximize each workout at the gym so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Check out Stonewall Fitness. Whether you're just starting out or looking to mix up your current routine, no matter if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you can be a part of it.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Come Out. Get Fit With Stonewall Fitness.

Looking for more guidance and direction at the gym? Someone who can help you design a workout to maximize each workout at the gym so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Check out Stonewall Fitness. Whether you're just starting out or looking to mix up your current routine, no matter if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you can be a part of it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Stonewall Fitness: Self-Defense for the LGBTQ Individual

By David Smith 

​The LGBT+ community certainly has made a lot of progress over the last decade toward full acceptance and equality, but the community and especially transgender people still are at an increased risk of anti-gay violence occurring. From larger incidents such as the June 2016 shootings at Pulse nightclub to smaller incidents involving individuals. It happens all over the world, and even in places that are seen as more accepting of LGBT+ culture.

The Pulse Nightclub shootings certainly rattled many people and barely 1 year from the landmark Supreme Court ruling for same sex marriage, we are reminded that while things are better, there are still many people out there who hate the LGBT+ community.


​Given the current political climate, particularly in the United States there is much xenophobia and hateful rhetoric being thrown around by individuals and collective groups from all sides. It is important to realize that while in many parts of the world where LGBT+ culture is more accepted, we still aren’t completely safe from anti-LGBT violence. So what can you do to protect yourself?