Posts by: Laurie Junkins

Laurie Junkins

Women’s Self-Defense Class Review

You may have seen the signs around ZŪM about the women’s self-defense class offered by 3rd degree Jiu Jitsu black belt Kevin Lollis and Seattle Police Captain Deanna Nollette a couple of weekends ago. I’d been wanting to take a course like that for several years, but I’d never gotten around to it, instead just hoping not to be one of the 1 in 5 women who are raped in their lifetimes. Since this course was on site, I had no more excuses and signed right up to see if I could pick up a few moves to protect myself out in the wild.

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Interview With Michael Sharps

Before training at ZUM Fitness with Laurie Junkins

Michael before regular training with Laurie.

When I came to ZŪM last January, my very first client was Michael Sharps, who had a goal to get to 12% body fat and, preferably, be completely shredded before going on vacation to Ibiza just over 3 months later. It was a big ask in a short period of time, but we both worked hard and came within 2% of his goal. Nearly a year later, we’re still working together and Mike has made an impressive physical transformation, and is such a disciplined and motivational person as far as fitness goes, I decided to interview him for our Succeeding and Thriving series.

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Indoor Cycling at ZUM

Spin class at ZUM Fitness

Years ago, when I joined my first gym, I was very curious about the cycling classes. At that facility, they were in a special room, from which muffled, thumping music could be heard when class was in session. People emerged after class sweaty and smiling, which made me want to try it out, but I was intimidated. I was afraid it would be too intense, that I wouldn’t be able to figure out the bike, or that I would be wearing the wrong gear. I didn’t have any idea what to expect, and it was years before I actually tried out an indoor cycling class for the first time. Now here I am, instructing Monday night’s 5:30 pm cycling class at ZŪM, which is one of my very favorite things to do! I consider it part of my job to make sure that anyone who is cycling-curious feels comfortable joining in, so I’ve written answers to some commonly asked questions about indoor cycling. I invite you to try it out!

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The Cues My Clients Hear the Most

Personal trainer Laurie Junkins in downtown Seattle


If you are a personal training client, you know that your trainer frequently provides guidance as you perform each movement so that you use the best possible form and get the most out of every rep. Or, you may have either heard us coaching our clients on the gym floor, or experienced it yourself while in classes we teach. You might hear things like “hinge at the hips” or “lock out your arms at the top” or “tuck your chin”. Some of these cues you might even store away in your mind for use during your own workouts. But which cues are the most important, and applicable to the general public? I’m here to share with you the three cues I use most often with my clients, and all of them will attest that they hear them multiple times during every workout. They probably hear me saying these things in their sleep, to be honest, but I’m okay with that, because these three cues are hugely important to keep in mind and are meant to correct the most common faults in nearly every exercise. My hope is that they will improve your workouts as well.
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Why the Pallof Press Beats Sit-Ups for a Strong Core

Laurie Junkins demonstrating Pallof Press

It’s safe to say we all strive for a stronger core, and the first exercise most people think of for those proverbial “abs of steel” are sit-ups or their more modern cousin, the crunch. Well, think again, because studies have exposed sit-ups as hazardous to your back–so much so that the U.S. military doesn’t even use them anymore. Many fitness professionals have replaced sit-ups and (less harmful, but not super effective) crunches with more functional exercises classified as anti-rotational or anti-flexion moves, where you must brace your core against a force, instead of flexing or twisting it. The Pallof press is one of the very best of these types of core-building movements.

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