Intelliroll: Changing the Game

Earlier this month, I went to the 2017 IDEA World Fitness conference. It’s a four day conference for health and fitness professionals from around the world to come network, take hands-on workshops, get our butts kicked in workouts, and listen to educational lectures on the topics of our choosing. IT’S AWESOME! This year, I chose to focus my schedule around more corrective mobility work, because this beat up body of mine needs some help.

One of the sessions that stood out to me this year, was called S.M.A.R.T. Solutions for Improved Mobility with Intelliroll. This session was lead by Dr. Sevak Khodabakhshian (or Dr. K, as he prefers to be called). I knew right away that this was going to be good. Dr. K simply radiates passion and excitement for what he does, and it’s hard not to be intrigued and inspired by people like that. This session was the first in the morning on day three of the conference. Now, this year was held in Las Vegas, so you can imagine how exhausted a bunch of 20 something year old trainers were after two full days of straight fitness shenanigans followed by two nights of Vegas adventuring! It wasn’t a problem though, because this session was so engaging, we were all in!

In the session, Dr. K began by instructing us into a cross-legged seated position with our bottoms actually on our Intellirolls and our knees down, bringing our spines into a more neutral position, and relieving pressure. Right from the start, he was already helping us to actively improve ourselves. He provided us with a TON of information on improving our body alignment, mobility, movement functionality, and stability, all with a huge enthusiastic (and contagious) smile across his face. It was a very well thought out and organized presentation, and he was kind enough to put his entire presentation into books for each of us to follow along with and take notes in. I definitely got a lot out of the session, and it reignited my own passion for what I do. From the lecture, to the partner functional movement assessing, to the hands-on use of the Intelliroll itself, I was very impressed by how much we were able to fit into less than two hours. One of the best parts of the session was at the very end, when Dr. K excitedly announced that we each got to keep the Intellirolls that we were working with! Not only was that an incredibly generous and unnecessary gesture, but I was so touched by how excited he was to do it. My friends and I are very thankful.

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Use code Amber at check-out for 10% off.

Let me now introduce you to the Intelliroll, so you can see for yourself what has me so excited. For those of you who are unfamiliar with foam rolling, foam rolling (or myofascial release) is a technique of applying pressure to your muscles in order to break up knots and excessive tightness, promote better mobility and postural alignment, speed recovery from muscle soreness, improve range of motion, ease pain and stiffness, and help prevent injury. I personally have a collection of about ten different foam rollers, which I use for different areas, and I haven’t touched any of them since I came home with my Intelliroll. As you can see from the picture, the Intelliroll has a unique and thoughtful design, which allows you to use it in many different ways, easily targeting many different areas of the body. It is designed in a way that contours more to the natural curves of your body, therefore affecting more muscle as you roll. My absolute FAVORITE feature, however, is the “spine zone” in the center of the roller. The indent keeps your spine safe from the pressure as you roll, while the peaks on either side massage the muscles along your spine. I’M SO IN LOVE, YOU GUYS! I’ve used mine for just a couple minutes every morning when I wake up, after every workout, and every night before bed. It definitely helps to combat the forward posture I, and I’m sure many of you, are guilty of falling into throughout a long day. This is the first foam roller I’ve personally ever come across that can affect my upper back, neck, and shoulders this way. I’m on cloud 9 because that is where I hold a lot of tension and need the most help! I’ve been using my Intelliroll daily for about 10 days now, and have already noticed a drastic improvement in my posture and mobility, as well as a decrease in my chronic shoulder pain. HECK YEAH! This is what it’s about. This is why I’ve chosen to share this product.

The Intelliroll comes in two different density levels. There is the bright blue Flex version, which is aimed more for beginner foam rollers, or foam rollers who simply desire less intensity. Then there is the black Firm version, which gives you a more intense deep tissue experience. Both versions go for $49.99 each, however, since I’m your girl and I’ve got your backs, if you type in Amber in the discount box at checkout, you’ll get 10% off! *Fist bump!* The website is really easy to navigate, and has a lot of helpful material, such as instructional videos on how best to use your Intelliroll, and a FAQ section so you fully understand all of your Intelliroll benefits.

Those who know me, know I’ll only ever write about brands/products that I personally use and believe in. My integrity is my everything, and I am dubbing the Intelliroll a game changer. I just spent the weekend at the Disneyland Resort, and you better believe I brought mine with me! (yeah, I’m that girl, lol) Check em out for yourself, and please feel free to hit me up with any questions about my experience. A huge thank you to Dr. K for his creation, and a thank you to IDEA World Fitness for introducing me to him. That’s all for now, my friends. Take care, and happy foam rolling!

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Me and my friends from the Moorpark College Fitness Specialist Program, proudly sporting our new Intellirolls with Dr. K. My beautiful Fitfam ❤

SCHWINN Indoor Cycling Certification!


Hey guys! Last week I had the great pleasure of participating in the 2016 IDEA World Fitness Pre-conference to get my SCHWINN certification as an indoor cycling instructor. It was a BLAST!!! 

The course was a ten hour day, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, hosted by the incredible Master Trainers, Jeffery Scott and Amy Dixon. What a day! The second we walked in, we were greeted by two rows of energetic assistant trainers, cheering, clapping, and high fiving us as we found our bikes. Me, being the overly enthusiastic student that I am, chose the bike in the very front row center 😎. I was so ready to make a fool of myself in front of a hundred other fitness professionals from all over the world. #thatsmystyle

I’ve gotta hand it to Jeffery and Amy. They kept us hooked and involved throughout the entire long day. Their lectures were not only informative, but also engaging, hilarious, relatable, and fun. They took us through everything step by step. We learned details about bike mechanics, proper set up (I got to go on stage and be the model for this lecture. Move over, Vanna White) muscle recruitment at different pedal stages, class programming, using music to your advantage, and how to have a strong positive affect on each and every individual in your class. 


Throughout each lecture, we were constantly getting up and trying things out for ourselves, helping each other, and really letting the information set in. There was never a dull moment, and we were constantly being encouraged to interact with each other. There was a really positive sense of community in a room full of complete strangers. It was fantastic!

We all participated in two different rides so that we could see what we were learning in an actual class setting. The first ride was taught by Jeffery Scott, and had a big emphasis on using music to aid in your instruction. He relied on the beats of different music to keep people at the desired pace and resistance. This guy is a musical genius (doesn’t hurt that he also has a background in the music industry) If you ever get a chance to take a class from him, pay attention to how effortlessly he can get you pushing yourself through music. It’s always cool to be around someone that is so clearly passionate about what they’re doing. It’s contagious. 

The second ride was taught by the gorgeous Amy Dixon. No joke. This woman just turned 40 and doesn’t look a day over 25. A true representative of where living a healthy life can get you! 😄 This class focused on using a measuring console on the bike to motivate and push us. The console can measure our power, speed, distance, heart rate, time, and estimate calorie expenditure. This was really cool, because we did little sections within the class where we could try and beat our own records. What better way to push a client than by having them compete with themselves!? It works! We were all getting really into it! 


At the end of the day, we were all give an oral test to confirm our comprehension of the material, and BOOM! We were certified! We each walked away with a ton of knowledge, confidence, new friends, snazzy new SCHWINN Certified t-shirts, a handful of lesson plans, a new playlist of our choice, our certification manual, and, of course, our certificates!

I had such a great time and always love continuing my education whenever I can. If you’re looking for a company to get cycling certified with, I highly recommend SCHWINN. If you’re looking for good instructors, I highly recommend Jeffery and Amy. The entire day was so well done, and I’m thankful to have been a part of it. Now to practice on friends and get myself a spot teaching some classes. 💪🏼

The whole crew smiling at the end of the day!

Humbled. 

I got schooled by life today.

I’m a big believer in the power of positivity, and try hard to present that in my life. However, like most of us, I can be a real jerk sometimes. I have an EXTREMELY friendly and talkative neighbor that I usually rush passed in order to avoid lengthy conversation (and I mean lengthy) as I go to or from my car, amidst my busy day.  He usually catches me right  as I’m getting in my car to go teach, or as I come home from a long exhausting day (starving, or having to pee). I get so stuck inside my own head and my own life that I’ve arrogantly lacked decency and patience for my own neighbor. 

Well today I was having car trouble, and as I was examining the situation under the hood, I heard a familiar voice 

“Having car trouble?” He called over

“Oh no.. He’s got me! I don’t have time for this right now!” I thought to myself, frustrated. “Yeah” I said, “The check engine light came on this morning so I’m just checking it out” in a flat voice that pretty much wrote him off. 

“Here, let me take a look” he said, walking over. He then proceeded to spend the next 30 minutes helping me fix my car! Digging around, filling fluids, coaching me through it all. He showed me how badly I needed an oil change and then smiled at me and said “Wait here, I’ll be right back.” 

He disappeared into his house for a few minutes and then came back with a red piece of paper. “Take this, it will get you all taken care of for an oil change and tune up. There will be a small cost left over, so here..” He continues, pulling out a $50 bill. 

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? I CAN’T TAKE THAT!!!” I shouted in disbelief, backing up and waving my hands frantically in front of me. He went on insisting, saying he was so happy to help me and that he’s a retired doctor living on his own, and I’m a kid in need of a little help, and he would rather his money go to good use for a good person (yes, he called me a good person even after the impatient way I’ve been guilty of behaving).

He shoved it into my hands and said that he wants me to fix my car and to be safe, and all he asked for in return was that I say hello when I see him. 

Well, don’t I just feel like a first class jerk. My heart shattered into thousands of pieces with the shame of my stupidity and rudeness, and how touched and humbled I am by his unexpected, underserved, and unbelievable kindness. I was stunned, and boy did it sure shape my attitude. The rest of the day I was determined to pay it forward, making sure to use my best manners and smile extra warmly at everyone I encountered. 

Today was extremely humbling. Of course I’m going to pay him back! (I’ve already made him some cookie-brownie hybrids too) 😄 

I guess I just wanted to share about his kindness because it was just so beautiful. 

Anyway, thats all for tonight, folks! I hope you all had a great day today, and are maybe inspired by my neighbor to be a little more… well, neighborly ❤️ Sometimes we all need a wake up call. 

Clipped in!

 

Hello beautiful people! So lately I’ve been getting really into indoor cycling. If you follow me on Instagram (@amberdawn.fit) then you know I’ve had some issues with injuries. I’ve hurt both knees in the past, and still deal with pain that may never quite fully go away, as well as my latest injury of smashing my foot when an aerial mat was misplaced (maaaaajor bummer).

As any active individual can attest to, injuries are not only physically, but also emotionally draining setbacks when you’ve got goals to achieve. It’s soul crushing and motivation killing! However, regardless of what might be holding you back at the moment, there’s always something you can do! I’m currently working to cut body fat so I needed to get in some low impact cardio. Cycling is a perfect way to burn calories and improve strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health, while still being gentle on aching joints.

Proper gear can make or break a workout. I’d taken plenty of classes in my regular gym shoes, and my feet were always cramping up on me. Sometimes it was also hard to get in the proper positions because I was afraid of my feet slipping out of the pedals and busting my shin, so I was really missing out. I’d position my feet improperly or put too much weight on the handlebars. Trying to compensate when you can’t quite get into proper positions can cause muscle imbalances and injuries! NO GOOD!

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Aren’t they beautiful?!?

Well, I recently made the decision to shell out for some legit cycling shoes and clips. WOW! What a difference! I went with the Bontrager Sonic Women’s Road Shoe. Worth every penny to be honest. Especially with my foot already having issues, these shoes allow me to clip into the bike so I can position myself just right and get the most out of each cycling session! It’s like a different world, and my legs and glutes are getting worked like never before! My fellow spin-goers weren’t kidding when they said the difference is like night and day.

spin2Now, if you’re like me (or me a week ago anyway) then you have no idea about choosing a cycling shoe or clip compatibility. I recommend hitting up the nearest bike shop for assistance, letting them know where you usually cycle and what kind of bikes are used there. If you’re in CA around the Conejo Valley, the fellas over at Westlake Cyclery were really friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful in getting me the right stuff. Your instructor will also be able to show you how to clip into the pedals before class. After that, you’re all set! Clip in, hydrate, and get ready to have your world rocked! It’s a game changer!

 

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