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Function and Fitness Blog
Function and Fitness Blog
Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Why We LOVE Heart Rate Monitors

You’ve probably seen we’ve started incorporating heart rate monitors into our team classes at Function and Fitness. Here’s a little breakdown of how a heart rate monitor can take your workouts to the next level.

How it Works

The monitor, which is worn with a chest strap picks up your heartbeats. This is why it’s important that you wear the chest strap correctly so that the monitor sits directly on your skin right where the bottom of your bra would typically fall. This allows the monitor to sit close to your heart so it can pick up your heartbeats.

Heart Rate

For healthy adults, a normal resting heart rate can be anywhere between 60-100 beats per minute. Having a lower heart rate typically indicates that a person has more efficient heart function.

Why it Can Help

Because the monitor is based on you, it can give you an accurate indication of how hard you’re working. Why do you need to know? Well, this info can inform you on whether or not you need to push harder to maximize your calorie burn, or if you’re already working at your max capacity and need to bring your heart rate down to avoid hurting yourself. It’s advised that vigorous exercises be performed at 70-85% of your target max heart rate. This is typically when you see yourself in the green or orange on our monitor.

If you’re playing the weight loss game, knowing how many calories you’re burning during a workout can help you zero in on how many calories you need to eat on a daily basis. For the days that you go super hard in the gym, you’ll need to eat back more calories to ensure you aren’t losing muscle.

To find our more about our heart rate monitors and how you can get one, contact info@functionandfitnessla.com or just ask a coach next time you’re in the gym!

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Coach Jess
5:00 AM

What to Look for in a Protein Powder

We all know that not all protein powders are created equal. So how do you know which one you should go with? As with most all things that you eat, it comes down to ingredients.

Building muscle means upping the weights and upping your protein intake. Sounds easy enough, except for when you’re walking down the protein powder aisle. If you’ve taken a stroll through your local GNC or even just your local grocery store’s health aisle, it’s plain to see that the protein powder industry has exploded. Here’s how to weed through the junk:

Whey. You’ll want to look for Whey protein. Why? Because Whey is a complete protein (meaning it has all the essential amino acids that your body needs to build muscle) and it’s also been shown to be the most easily digestible (unless you’re lactose intolerant). You’ll want to look for a high quality - typically “grass fed” whey. One side note: because Whey is a milk protein, you’ll need to turn to plant-based protein if you’re body can’t handle milk-products.

NO GMO. When it comes to genetically modified organisms or foods we all know to say “no.” The same rule should be applied to your protein.

Say “No” to Sugar. A lot of protein powders add in sugar to make it taste better. But sugar induces the release of insulin in your body. High periods of insulin can lead to health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and vascular abnormalities. Take a look at how much sugar is in your protein and then aim to go as low as possible. Remember that sugar can come in other names too, such as maltodextrin, xylitol, and sucralose just to name a few.


Since we should all be taking in a protein shake post-workout, it’s important to know you're drinking a good one. Check out our selection of high-quality protein shake options next time you’re in the gym!

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Coach Jess
5:00 AM

What Are You Doing Outside of the Gym?

One of the hardest things to hear as a coach is “this just isn’t working.” Believe me when I say that we hear the frustration in your voice and we truly want you to be successful in achieving your fitness goals.

That being said, I’m about to drop some “real talk” on you. Getting fit is 95% what you're doing outside of the gym. Yup, I said it. I’m even potentially diminishing just what we can do for you, but the bottom line is if you’re giving 100% in the gym and then giving 1% to what you’re eating and how you’re moving the rest of the day, then all that work can be for naught.

On average we see a client for 3-5 hours every week. While we can monitor how well you are moving for those 3-5 hours, we can't be with you for the remaining 165-163 hours in the week. If we could, you’d most likely hear us - all day, every day - saying things like, “don’t eat that” or “you should get up and stretch,” or “it’s time for you to drink some more water.” The truth is, we can’t be there all the time - though we can try to support you as much as possible!

So how can you ensure you’re working just as hard outside of the gym? Here are some tips:

Set a reminder to drink water. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every day. What does that mean? If you’re 100 lbs, you should be drinking 50 oz of water every day. Yes, every day

Invest in a fitness tracker. Tracking your steps can help inform you on how active you are outside of the gym. 10,000 is a good goal, but if you’re usually super active, you’ll want to set a higher goal.

Get up and stretch. We all know that our current lifestyles have landed most of us behind a desk. So what can you do to be proactive in the fight against tight hips and sore backs? Get up and stretch. If this seems awkward, close the door to your office, do a couple stretches in the bathroom stall, or step outside for a quick walking/stretching break.

Watch what you’re putting in your mouth. I don’t need to go into detail on this one - you know what you should and shouldn't be eating. And if you don’t ask us for advice!

We’re all here to help you - in the gym - and out of the gym.

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Coach Jess
5:00 AM

“Organic” “Whole grain” “Sugar Free” “Oh my!”

Today we continue our series on food labelling with a conversation about (dun, dun, dun) marketing. Having worked in marketing for years (okay, yes, it was gaming and home entertainment, not food marketing) I know a little bit about the clever tricks people use to get you to buy their products. It’s the bells and whistles we all fall for. But sadly, when it comes to food packaging, the marketers are using even sneakier tricks - they’re using the words you trust against you.

We’ve all seen these words on our food. But most of them are just lip service. Food labels love to make health claims, but can you believe them? Let’s de-code some of these well-known labels.


“Light”

Usually means processed to reduce fat or calories. What that often translates to is watered down or something else has been added to make it taste good. That “something” is often sugar.

“Multigrain”

Grains = healthy, right? Uh… well… if you have a grain intolerance, definitely no. But “multi” just means that there is probably more than one grain in that product, and unless those are whole grains, you’re just getting a lot of refined grains where they literally remove all the healthy stuff from the grain.

“Natural”

A product can claim it’s natural if it has a natural source. Just because the source might have been natural, that doesn't mean the final product is.

“Organic”

This one might be the worst offender. We LOVE organic things, but people can slap the organic title on anything. You need to make sure it’s been certified organic - check the label for a stamp that proves it’s been certified organic.

“No added sugar”

Okay, so its good they didn't add more sugar, but some products already have a enough sugar in them - so while it’s good they haven't added more, it might be too much already. Additionally, instead of adding sugar, manufacturers might have added unhealthy sugar substitutes.

“Low-fat”

Sure, it might be lower fat, but this usually always means more sugar - they want it to still taste good, right?

“Made with whole grain”

Sure, there might be whole grains in it… somewhere… If you look at the list of ingredients and don't see whole grains within the first three ingredients, then the amount of whole grains actually in the product is negligible.

The truth is you CAN outsmart those marketers - you just have to look further than just the front label’s marketing claims - turn the package over and take a look at the list of ingredients!

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