We’ve Built a Bridge and We’re Not Afraid to Cross It

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Gaoliang Bridge of The Summer Palace. CC 1.0Hennessy


This summer ZŪM GM Joe DeShaw, our partner at Mobility Plus, Brittney Thornton, and I walked into a conference room. What happened in that conference room over the following 90 minutes can only be described as a full-on fitness nerd fest. There were illustrations, studies, methodology discussions and a lot of laughs. It was one of those magical moments among geeks that can solidify professional trust, spark controversy, spawn ideas and bond like-minded professionals. In the case of that meeting in June, all possible outcomes resulted, with the additional bonus of what we call The Bridge.

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Breast Cancer Awareness at ZUM Fitness

My grandmother was 84 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily, a routine mammogram enabled her medical team to catch it early, and the cancer hadn’t metastasized. She made the tough decision to get a double mastectomy to make sure she got rid of all of it; to get all of the cancer out of her body. She passed away years later, but not because of breast cancer. She was a survivor.

According to the National Cancer Institute website, a staggering 330,080 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. Women have a 12.4% chance of developing breast cancer, and there are 3.1 million survivors in the US. Breast cancer also strikes one in 833 men.

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Interview With Training Client/ZUM Member Billy Morales


I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with ZUM member and client Billy Morales  to chat about fitness and training. Billy and I have been working together since the beginning of this year, and I could not be more proud of his hard work and the progress he’s made. Aside from the accomplishment of losing over 50 lbs. and gaining strength in the process, the thoughtfulness and enthusiasm of Billy’s personality have been obvious since our first day of working together. Below are excerpts of our chat, conducted at ZUM’s partner Sweetgrass Food Co:

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Incorporating workouts into your daily routine

Finding time to workout can be a challenge

When it comes to working out, most of us have the best intentions of knowing that it’s good for our mind and body; however, we’ve all been there before: life gets unexpectedly busy on top of the already busy preexisted schedule, and all of your workout time goes down the drain with that one email notification on your phone. If reading that gives you anxiety, you’re not alone; it’s a topic that I’m in constant discussion with my clients: how to stay on the healthy train when life gets busy. Below are four tips I’d like to offer you on how you could incorporate working out into your daily routine more seamlessly:

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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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ZUM U – Training for Fat Loss with Erik Ciccarelli

Erik Ciccarelli, Private Personal Trainer and PICP III, USAW Coach at ZUM, discusses the complex topic of training and diet in regards to fat loss. As a part of the monthly ZUM U lecture series for ZUM Fitness members, Erik’s talk covers the following:

There are 3 major areas to think about when your goal is fat loss. Fat loss isn’t a linear thing. Meaning there isn’t a take a pill and it’s fixed approach. But getting control of these three areas will set you up for success.

1. Insulin – it’s a hormone that’s 100% controllable. You’re always deciding what to eat. No one is ever forcing you to eat anything. Choose real food. A good indicator of what real food would be is seeing if the ingredients have less than two ingredients.

2. Stress (Cortisol) – An abundance of this hormone being released in the body will wreak havoc. We’re humans living in the current modern world. We’re going to be stressed. Minimizing it effects insulin, sleep, mood, appetite and your brain age.

3. Exercise – Incorporate strength training into you routine. Minimize your rest time when training. Also practice more eccentric training. You want to become a fat burning machine!

You can’t outwork a bad diet.

Additionally, Erik has some follow up advice not covered in the talk:

– There are a few carb trackers I’ve heard of over the years. The best one I currently know about is https://www.carbmanager.com/

There is a fee involved with this one. But everyone I’ve talked to really loves it.

Supplements – We didn’t touch on this much. I would recommend taking these four.

Zinc – 150-200mg a day. Pill form. It’s a mineral that has been depleted from food from poor soil.

Magnesium – 200-300mg at night after dinner. In pill form. This mineral will make you tired and stay asleep. Usually magnesium is a missing link with sleep issues. Calcium is a big branded supplement that you see everywhere. What you don’t see is that it can’t be absorbed properly without magnesium.

Magnesium is a building block to many things in the body. 

Fish Oil – The main ingredient is EPA and DHA. If you’re looking at the bottle make sure it says at least 300-400mg of both DHA and EPA. EPA is more inflammatory driven and DHA is more brain health driven. Meaning the total amount of both combined should be at least 700-800mg. Otherwise it’s a waste of money. You’ll see a lot of bottles with this ~ next to the EPA or DHA. That means it not in there. Which means your consuming some random oil…

Vitamin D – Any city north of LA is deficient in Vitamin D. Try getting 1000-3000iu of vitamin D five days a week. It’s just super important. Trust me. 

There is obviously so many things to think about. Control you food, get 8 hours of sleep and prioritize strength training. 


Bridget’s Favorite HardCore Playlist!

members love the music in class!

The word “music” is derived from the Greek root Muses, who are the goddesses of inspiration.  To my mind, there’s no better word to describe what music brings to my life.  Here’s the 13th HardCore song list that member Bridget Cobb thought was the bomb, so I thought I’d share it wilh all of you.


Setting the Mood Before Class:

West Side Story – America

Percussionisti Dell’ Orchestra Sinfonica

This percussion composition sets the tone.  It’s a popular tune that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up as all of the percussionists play the theme together.



1. Talking ’bout My Baby

Fatboy Slim

I first heard it in one of Elia Mrak’s classes, where he said ‘this song just makes me want to walk with a smile on my face.’  Roger that, loud and clear!

2. Bridge Attack

Bill Whelan

Inspires your feet to move like the dancin’ Irish.  Be careful, the soles of your shoes might catch on fire!


Interval Section:

1. Hard to Handle

The Black Crowes

Blues + Rock = Joe Love

2. Regret

New Order

I usually see someone signing along to this one.

3. Hey Ya!  (Instrumental)


Quick tempo, uplifting vibe.

4. Only the Young


Theme song for the 80’s movie Vision Quest, which inspired the hell out of me.  There goes the hair on the back of my neck again!

5. One Girl / One Boy


Yes, !!! is the name of the performers.

6. Percussion Jam

Askin Serbetci

Great East Indian drum circle to keep you in The Zone.  Life is best in The Zone.

7. Pretty in Pink

The Psychedelic Furs

Another 80s movie tune.  What is a Psychedelic Fur, anyway?

8. All Summer Long

Kid Rock

Do you know what tune Kid Rock sampled from for this one?

9. Freedom! ’90

George Michael

George Michael with an Empowering Stance.

10. Extreme Ways (Bourne’s Legacy)


Moby = Master of Mood and Ambiance.  I love the way this song evokes conflict while inspiring movement, even without the lyrics.


Posture Training:



Wasn’t into his music until my thirties.  Now I love it.


After-class Ambiance:

Goodnight Sweetheart

The Spaniels

Just like the endings of the ol’ She-Na-Na Show… way back when.


An Introduction to Arivale

To help better serve our community at ZUM, we partner with health and well-being company Arivale.  Arivale is the Scientific Wellness® company that combines personalized data and tailored coaching, supported by a clinical team, to help individuals optimize their wellness and avoid disease.

We at ZUM have tried the Arivale program and we have found it to be an excellent way to tune-up our nutrition, find out things we didn’t know about in how our genetic make up affects our overall well-being, and how we can get the most out of our fitness regimens.

In this talk,  Arivale representative Morgan Trott introduces you to the Arivale Dashboard and discusses eating like an athlete to optimize your nutritional intake for your workouts.



  • Exercise Genetics
    • Trainers using this information to help mitigate injury risk in clients and design exercise programs that are more personalized.
  • Weight-loss Genetics
    • Understanding genetic predispositions can help tailor meals for more efficient weight loss.
  • Lifestyle
    • Monitor physical activity, heart rate, sleep data and more to get regular feedback – not just a snapshot – on how your whole body is performing.
  • Blood
    • What supplements members need and how much of each are required
    • A lens to see how lifestyle choices show up in bloodwork and a person’s overall health


  • It’s important to fuel with nutrients from fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins – not just processed foods – in the days after a workout, not just immediately before and after. Your body is recovering for 48 hours after most workouts.
  • Good grab-and-go options: RX bar, apple and 1 tablespoon nut butter, yogurt (Siggis or FAGE), hummus cups and carrots.
  • Check out the Arivale Pinterest board for coach-approved recipes.

Interested in learning more about how Arivale can help with your optimal health? Call 206-981-5834 to set up a call with an Arivale Coach and see what you can learn.

Arivale videos on Vimeo.

Get more info on the Arivale website.

Follow Arivale on Facebook.

A Major Change for Meghan

Meghan, Deese, Dahl, ZUM, ZUM Fitness, member services director, community, fitness community


One of my favorite “tasks” as ZUM’s Member Services Director is interviewing our Member of the Month. In these interviews, I always ask, “what were you looking for when you first joined ZUM?” The answer is always unique, but there’s also a consistent theme: “and so much more.” Reflecting on my time at ZUM, I have to say my experience has been the same.


To be honest, when I joined ZUM as a member back in 2009 I wasn’t really looking for anything other than to make someone in my life happy. There’s no way I could have predicted the incredible ZUM journey ahead of me.


As most things in life do, that journey is about to come full-circle. After the Member Appreciation Party on the 25th, I will be stepping down as Member Services Director and rejoining ZUM as a member.


It may sound cheesy and cliche, but ZUM has profoundly changed my life. Not only has it nurtured exponential professionally and personal growth and taught me more about fitness than I ever imagined possible; but more importantly, ZUM blessed me with the incredible gift of community and family.


I’m at a loss when I try to express what being part of ZUM has meant to me. All I can say is thank you…from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful spirits with me, and all the fun, the friendly exchanges, the meaningful moments, the support, the laughter, the love. Serving this community has been an honor and a joy, and I will treasure it always.


Although it is very bittersweet to leave the ZUM team, I’m thrilled that I will still be able to be part of the community as I take on new professional challenges. As much as I would love to do my one-woman rendition of “So Long, Farewell” down the staircase, I feel very fortunate it’s not really appropriate because this isn’t a good-bye, just a “see you at ZUM!”


With deep love and gratitude,

Meet July’s Member of the Month – Vini Gupta

member of the month, zum fitness, zum, community, fitness community, skydiving


We couldn’t be happier to introduce you to July’s member of the month, Vini Gupta! Vini’s been at ZUM about a year now and embodies how patience and persistence leads to incredible progress. Not only is she getting stronger every day and has lost almost 30 pounds since joining, she’s taken up skydiving and recently earned her Class A License!

Be sure to check out Vini’s story to learn more about how connecting with the ZUM coaches helped her overcome her personal doubts and inspired her to strive for consistent improvement – which she now applies to her skydiving. Oh, and you’ll get to see her in action! Vini, you rock!



Vini, I’m so excited to share your story with our ZUM community! Thanks so much for agreeing to chat with me! First off, when you first joined ZUM, what made you want to join a gym?


I moved to Seattle in January of 2017 after completing my Masters at the University of Southern California. The previous couple years had been pretty stressful with moving to the States and getting back into the college culture after a few years in the workforce. It was really difficult to make time for myself. After I settled into my job at Amazon, I thought, “ok, now I have time to work on myself, lose weight, and get fit.”

I thought the free gym in my office building would be perfect – workout after work, shower, head home. But every time I went, I’d hurt my back because I’d do too much, or I didn’t really know how to workout. Eventually, I realized I needed some supervision – someone to tell me how to workout.

ZUM was super close to work and really convenient. I figured I’d go and ask for help so I could learn something, and then I could probably start working out on my own again. But then I loved it so much, I extended my six month membership to a year membership. Now I never want to leave!


We don’t want you to either!  We’re so happy you’ve found your fitness home at ZUM. What would you say made you enjoy ZUM so much?


I made friends! All the coaches are super friendly. I discovered it’s so much fun to workout in a group setting. I also loved that I could see my progress. I started with two pound dumbbells and then moved to three pounds. I used to stay away from Jordan’s ZUMx class, because I thought it was too challenging, but now it’s my favorite class of the week. Similarly, I have progressed from Joe and Jordan’s classes to Sierra’s. I find her’s very tough, but I’ve been able to them, so I feel I’ve made a lot of personal progress.


That’s awesome! How about that back pain you were experiencing, is it better? 


Yeah! I think Jordan was the first coach I met when I came here. He said he’d always keep an eye on me whenever I was in his class. He would often check-in – “are you keeping your back straight?” He took good care of me. I gradually learned for myself how to position my body, so I wouldn’t hurt my back – keeping my core tight is key!


You’ve touched on this a little already, but is there something you would consider your greatest achievement since joining ZUM?


I lost a lot of weight! I came down to 59kg from 72kg (that’s almost 30 pounds for our non-metric system inclined friend,s) and I’m not going to stop here, because I feel so great!


Wow! Congrats! Tell me more about that, how do you feel different? 


Well, my clothes fit a lot differently! Everytime I go shopping I buy a jean size lower which feels super awesome! People notice and give compliments too – that also feels really great.

Back in India, there’s a different idea about fitness – we only go to gym when we have something big to prepare for (like a wedding) or if we want/need to lose weight. People used to tell me about how they would go to the gym and lose however much weight, but I tried and that never happened. I always felt like, when is that going to happen for me? Now it has and it feels super awesome!

It’s also been a huge stress buster for me. While I’ve been at ZUM I’ve gone through various intense production releases at work. But the hour and a half I’m at ZUM, I just completely forget about it. During all those butt burner exercises, I don’t find time to think about anything else.


Ha! Totally! What do you like best about ZUM?


The people! I have made so many friends here. Jordan is there. Joe is there. They’re always so fun!  In class they’re always pulling your leg and joking around. It feels more like family, not just a gym.


What would you say to someone who is new to ZUM or thinking about joining?


A lot of my friends ask me how I lost weight, so I keep telling them about ZUM and encouraging them to come to classes with me or at least what classes to start with. Like HardCore – that’s what I started with. They often find it hard, and then I tell them, “Don’t give up! Come twice a week, do both the HardCore classes, and rest for the rest of the week.” Take it easy, but don’t stop coming. It will hurt your muscles, but then you will start enjoying it, and you’ll make friends. Pretty soon you’ll become regular. That’s a great feeling.


Gosh, that’s fantastic advice. Now it’s time to get to know you a little better. What’s an interesting, fun fact about you we may not know? 


I recently got into skydiving! I started in April just earned my A license!


skydiving, zum, vini gupta, fitness, training, zum fitness


Woah! Awesome! So what does that mean exactly?


That means I’ve cleared a certain level of checks and have done enough jumps. I’ve made 29 jumps total – 25 by myself. 6 in one day. I still have a lot to learn, and there’s a long way to go.


29 jumps? Wow! How did you get into skydiving?


Skydiving was on my bucket list, and I didn’t want to do a tandem. That was the only option I knew, but I used to be like, “what do you really gain out of it?” There’s the free-fall time. There’s the landing time. Sure, you feel the the wind and everything but you don’t learn anything. It seemed to me that you were just a passenger on a tandem jump.

Then I met my now boyfriend who skydives. When I saw his videos, I was like, “whoa! You can do it by yourself?” I learned a lot about the sport from him. When we got into a relationship, that was a bigger motivation for me to actually get the nerve up to jump. He was having so much fun going every weekend, and I wanted to have that fun too!

I had a friend who was taking an advanced skydiving course in April, and I signed up too. I didn’t think about it too much because I’d start stressing, so I just did it.

It was a 4 hour accelerated free-fall training program learning all about the sport – safety procedures, emergency procedures, how to handle your parachute and canopy, and then you jump. I jumped by myself, but there were 2 instructors holding on to me until 5500 feet when they left me after my parachute was deployed, and then they coached me via radio until I landed safely.


That’s amazing! You must really love it if you got your license. What’s do you like best about skydiving? 


I love so many things about skydiving. Like right before I’m about to jump out, and I have that butterfly feeling. There’s that moment of panic where I think, “what if I fall?” Oh wait, I’m here TO fall. And what’s the worst that can happen? I fall out of a plane? haha

It’s a very challenging sport.  If you make a small movement, it does something in the air – you turn, you flip, you make formations. I love that there’s lot to work with and learn. Like here at ZUM, every day we try to improve ourselves – it’s the same idea.


So does your training at ZUM help your skydiving?


Definitely!  I have to have a strong back, knees, quads, core. There is so much you can  do with  your core alone. If I arch, I fall faster, if I round, I fall slower. You know the dead bug exercise? That is that is exactly what you have to do to back fly (fly on your back). So, yeah, these things help.


So inspiring and so flippin cool!  I feel like we could talk about this all day, but there’s so much more to you than skydiving. Do you have a guilty pleasure? 


I really enjoy reading fiction. I love sitting in nature and reading some silly novel.


Favorite TV shows?


I’m currently watching Community for the second time. It’s really good. .


Favorite music or artists?


I love Pearl Jam. I’m really excited for their upcoming concert.


Favorite book?


Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s very funny.


Favorite ZUM class?




Favorite exercise/movement?


Slow mountain climbers.


Any final thoughts for us? 


I’m really grateful to all the coaches. When I joined ZUM, I did’t have high hopes. I thought it would just be another place I’m trying out. But then I had classes with Jordan and Joe, and that was what hooked me. They were so entertaining, and so passionate about what they were doing. It’s inspiring and contagious.

I saw so many people in class fitter than me, who were still sweating and working hard. There are always progressions for the movements –  first progression. second, and third. I would see people around me in class, and I’d think, “I’m going to do it like that! Someday I’ll do progression number 2!” And eventually I did. Keep having faith in yourself that you’re going to be able to do it. Just keep going. You’re gonna be amazed by your progress.