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 ❤

CryoActive

I’ve been wanting to try cryotherapy for a while now. I’ve been intrigued since I first heard about it almost a year ago, but didn’t really have a local option for it. Fortunately for me, one of the perks of being a coach at a studio, is that we constantly have guest businesses coming in to sample different goods and services. Last week, we were visited by a new business in town: CryoActive; a recovery and healing focused therapy studio. They were letting our staff and clients try out their compression therapy boots (which I’ll talk about more a little further into this blog) and also invited each of us to their therapy studio for a complimentary cryotherapy session. OBVIOUSLY I was stoked!

So what is cryotheraoy? Basically, you expose your body to sub-zero temperatures (for around 1 – 3 minutes) which triggers a response to wake up your immune and nervous systems. Benefits include faster recovery time after workouts, pain and inflammation relief, improved skin, improved sleep, increased energy, a kick to your metabolism, and more! Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me! So I made my appointment, and tried it for myself. (Finally!)

Welcome

When I got there, I was impressed by how beautiful and clean the studio was! It’s decorated with a frosty theme of pure white and icy blues. The atmosphere alone makes you feel refreshed right from the start. I worked with Breanna, and she was incredibly helpful, friendly, and made me feel very comfortable. She showed me around, explained all the different services they offer, and got me set up for my cryo session. First, you go in a dressing room, strip down to your undies, and put on a super soft and cozy robe. They give you a towel and tell you to make sure your skin is perfectly dry (to avoid skin irritation while in the cold). You’re also given a pair of thick tall socks and gloves to wear while in the chamber. The chamber itself is tall and cylindrical, and adjusts to your height with an open top so your head is out and free (for those of you concerned with claustrophobia). Once you’re inside, you can take off the robe and hand it over the top to FullSizeRender (3)your guide. It’s important to avoid touching the insides of the chamber (again, to avoid skin irritation). My session got to -208 degrees, and lasted 90 seconds. WOW it was cold! Haha, I probably entertained Breanna with my “cold dance,” and with the icy fog billowing around me, I had to fight the urge to break out into my own saucy rendition of Let It Go. It certainly wakes you up! As cold as it was, though, it didn’t feel that bad! Throughout your time in the chamber, your guide cues you to make quarter turns here and there so that one side of your body isn’t overly exposed to the cold by the vent. They really walk you safely and thoroughly through every step.

After my cryo session, I got dressed, and decided to do some compression therapy. They

Compression Therapy

This is where you relax in your compression sleeves. You can see the leg sleeves hanging on the wall.

have compression therapy sleeves for your legs, hips, and arms. Since I’d previously tried the leg sleeves at my work, I chose to do hips and arms. Breanna helped me into the sleeves, and hooked them up to a machine which fills them with air that strategically compresses and releases in patterns to promote better circulation, nutrient transportation through the blood, decrease soreness, and helps your body to rid itself of toxins and lactic acid (etc.) You can choose different levels of intensity, so I chose to go all in at LEVEL 10! BRING IT! It felt amazing, and I could have sat in those sleeves all day. I’ll be honest though, I had a bit of a laughing attack because I could hardly move and felt like a giant inflated gingerbread man. As my hip sleeves filled with air, I started to slide down in my chair and couldn’t get myself back up all the way. Wiggling around trying to push myself back up must have looked hilarious! I probably spent about 15 – 20 minutes in the compression sleeves, and then I was all done.

On the drive home after my session, I felt amazing! I had this euphoric tingling sensation at the back of my head for over an hour afterwards, and felt more awake and lighter on my feet. My whole body and mind just felt GOOD! I definitely want to go back, and highly recommend anyone try it. I’m looking forward to trying the other services they offer as well, which include local cryotherapy (where the cold is targeted at specific areas on the body for relief) the whole body detox (which, aside from numerous health benefits, is also said to improve cellulite! Can I get an AMEN?!?) vitamin injections for B12, L-Carnatine, and Glutathione, and assisted stretching/myofascial release to promote better flexibility, mobility, and help prevent injuries. This studio seems to have it all!

If you’re around the Westlake CA area, check out CryoActive at 3747 E Thousand Oaks Blvd. Westlake Village, CA 91362. If you’re not around here, search cryotherapy in your area, cause it’s definitely worth trying, whether you’re an athlete or not. We all have different ailments that could use some TLC.

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!

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!

 

spin

 

Jim Morrison Cave

My cousin, Emery, and I went on a little adventure to the Jim Morrison Cave in Malibu today. Neither of us had ever been and it looked like a cool little spot to hit, so off we went.

It started with a 5 mile cliff-side drive up Coral Canyon. The fog was seriously so intense that we couldn’t see more than three feet in any direction, but it only added to the thrill of the adventure! Once we parked, we realized we had absolutely no idea where to go from there, so we just started walking. We figured a huge hot-pink cave couldn’t be too hard to spot, right? Well the fog made sure it wouldn’t be that easy. We were drenched after 5 minutes of walking up the sandstone hills.

What should probably have taken about twenty minutes, ended up taking about an hour and a half. We went right passed the trail we needed because the fog had hidden all markers and 10552523_10153614025589633_7579667137743610322_n surrounding hills that would have served as our directions. In desperation, we ended up climbing a neighboring MOUNTAIN, hoping to see some kind of sign! Although we still couldn’t see anything of use, it was a great workout, and the misty views made us feel like we were in the rainforest. It was pretty awesome!

After some more frustrated rock climbing with misleading bits of paint strewn about, we doubled back around. When we had just about given up hope on finding it today, we ran into a wonderful couple that had just come from the cave! WOOOO! They directed us the right way and we FINALLY FOUND IT!

It was definitely a unique destination. In order to actually get into the cave, you have to 8411_10153614024824633_6122372896158117461_ncrawl through some low rocks and then climb up this narrow kind of slide. I was worried I wouldn’t fit from the looks of it, but it was a lot easier than expected. There were a few people already up there, and as soon as they heard us coming, they called for us to throw our bags up to them and helped us up (people are always so friendly on hikes). The cave itself was super funky! Every inch of it was covered in painted quotes and pictures. There was everything from beautiful murals that must have taken ages by talented artists, to dirty statements I imagine teenage boys had left behind, but as a whole, it was quite a sight. If you ever get the chance to check it out, I’d recommend it (just avoid foggy days messing up your sense of direction!)

Emery likes photography, and I like to do borderline stupid stuff, so naturally we took some fun shots in the cave. I’d definitely go back. Perhaps a picnic is in order this summer? All in all, it was a Saturday well spent.

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