Category Archives: Healthy Living

Focus on the Three Free

Erik Ciccarelli's Three Free for better health

In a current world of information overload and immediate gratification, we’re constantly looking to what works the best to feel optimal and look our best. Like in any other industry, new methods are always being developed in fitness. New products are coming out all the time, to help you lose weight, get stronger, improve balance, sleep better, feel better, etc. What I’ve seen over the years are three main ingredients in the big equation of life that will always play a major role in helping to achieve your personal goals: sleep, stress, and water.

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Join Our Big Climb Team!

Join ZUm in supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS)

ZŪM Fitness is recruiting members and staff to join our team for the Big Climb, in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) on Sunday, March 24th, 2019. As a team, we will be climbing 69 flights of stairs to the top of Seattle’s Columbia Tower in an effort to raise awareness and donations to find a cure for blood cancer. That’s 1,311 steps and 788 feet of vertical elevation! Although it will be challenging, it pales in comparison to what blood cancer patients go through. Approximately every three minutes, someone in the US is diagnosed with a blood cancer.

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Backcountry Skiing: Fifteen Minutes on a Mountain

Backcountry skiing

Skiing is part of my identity. Wherever I am, mountains bring me a sense of familiarity and are a source of inspiration. I was placed in ski boots around the time I started walking. For a while, I participated in competitive freestyle skiing, and briefly competed and trained at the international level. Eventually, I decided I’d had enough of the competitive routine – the focus was always on the next competition and accumulating points. The rules of those competitions were rigid and seemed, to me, designed to stymie progression and fun. I started skiing more with my friends, improved further as a skier, and had infinitely more fun just skiing for skiing’s sake. While attending Western Washington University, motivated by access to the unique terrain and mountain culture local the to Mt. Baker region, I progressed into backcountry skiing. There was no going back.

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Spitfire!: ZUM’s Answer to Longevity Training

Aging with strength and agility

A few years ago I was walking through my old fitness club in Philadelphia, and saw a group of people in the classroom sitting on chairs and lifting 3 lb. weights. They looked relaxed, comfortable, and BORED. As the instructor, a good friend of mine and a killer fitness pro, led the group through seated bicep curls and tricep kickbacks she did her best to bring excitement and enthusiasm to the job at hand–to teach a widely available fitness class to senior citizens. After class, the instructor and I discussed the inherent assumption built into the class design– that older people are incapable or afraid of movement of any kind. Ever since then, I’ve been distracted by a voice in my head (the good kind) telling me to “Do something about this!” So I did.

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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, knowing that it’s good for our mind and body. However, we’ve all been there before, when life gets unexpectedly busy on top of the already-busy pre-existing schedule, and all of our workout time goes down the drain from a single email notification. If reading that gives you anxiety, you’re not alone. How to stay on the healthy train when life gets busy is a topic that I’m in constant discussion about with my clients. Below are four tips I’d like to offer you on how you can seamlessly incorporate working out into your daily routine:

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Why I Enjoy and Embrace Exercise When I Vacation


(How to Love Dumbbells in Costa Rica)

I need a break. So do you, right? We all have a desire–no, a duty–to our souls and bodies to rest and recover. The stress that everyday life brings us builds until it’s far too painfully obvious that we would benefit from some time away. I inevitably look forward to getting away, preferably to a tropical spot, and just sitting. Sleeping. Reading. Eating and drinking. Meeting new people. Listening to music. And exercising.

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Women’s Self-Defense Information

Did you know?

  • 1 in 5 women are raped at some point in their life.
  • 1 in 3 experience sexual violence.
  • Approximately 92% of all sexual violence is committed by intimate partners or acquaintances.
  • Only 12% of child sex abuse is reported.
  • Only 10% of college/campus rape is reported.
  • 1 in 4 girls abused before the age of 18.
  • 63% of college aged men self-reported that they had raped a woman and, in some cases, raped more than once.

These are just some of the eye-opening statistics regarding rape and sexual assault in the United States. It’s terrifying, but you can do something about it. You don’t have to be a victim of sexual assault. With information, training, role-playing and practice, you can learn how to be safe on the streets and in the home. Your instructors are Captain Deanna Nollette, a veteran of both the Sex Crimes Division and the Homicide Division of the Seattle Police Department, who brings 22 years of experience in self-defense instruction to club ZUM, and Kevin Lollis, former US Marine and 3rd Degree Black Belt in Danzan Ryu JuJitsu. Their goal will be to help you develop self-confidence, a winning attitude, and the skill set needed to defend yourself in all situations.

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Women’s Self Defense Course at ZŪM Fitness!


Kevin Lollis

I have taught Hawaiian Jujitsu for several years, and I’ve been lucky enough to teach a class here and there specifically to women only, but for many years now, I have wanted to teach a women’s self-defense class on an ongoing basis. It’s finally going to happen here at ZŪM, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Seattle Police Department

My teaching partner, Captain Deanna Nollette, is a longtime member of the club. She has been with the Seattle Police for many years, first as a patrol officer, then in public relations, then to the Sex Crimes Division, and now Homicide. Deanna has also carved out the time to teach women’s self-defense for more than 20 years during her career, and now she’s going to do the same for us here at ZŪM. She brings real-world lessons and experience and hard-won information from the streets that she’s willing to share with the class in a no-nonsense, refreshingly real and direct manner.

A little about me: I discovered an interest in martial arts while studying hand-to-hand-combat in the US Marine Corp. When I got out of the marines I studied both Kenpo and Taekwondo. Eventually I was fortunate enough to find a martial arts school teaching JuJitsu that was run like a club, not a for-profit business. As a result, my training always included teaching others. If you were a member of the club you were expected to help out by showing junior students everything you had learned. I was bitten by the teaching bug very early on, and feel most at home when I see the light go on in a student’s eyes during that “aha” moment. I’m currently ranked as a San Dan–-Third Degree Black Belt–in Danzan Ryu JuJitsu and I have been teaching for more than 10 years.

Deanna and I have met several times to go over the format of the class, and we both feel it will be packed with useful information, simple but effective self-defense skills, and more. It will include an exercise portion: warm-up, strength/cardio blast, and skill development drills. We’ll also be covering the most common types of sexual assault, warning signs of predatory behavior, strategies and techniques of abusers, and how to avoid situations before you’re in danger.

The ZŪM Fitness Women’s Self Defense Course is designed as a three-day seminar. Classes are held once each quarter over a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Although each day’s class is packed with important information, the focus of each session is on practical exercises and drills that help teach skills to ensure your ability to break contact with an attacker and reach safety.

The warm up/exercise portion of the class utilizes movements rooted in military and martial arts training. The exercises themselves help develop abilities that support physical success in combat scenarios. During the class, your instructor will cover information that can help you identify behaviors and tactics associated with predatory violence against women and avoid an assault before it happens. We will cover; “Risk Assessment”, “The 5 Basic Characteristics of Predatory Individuals”, “The Predatory Process”, “Conscious and Subconscious Victim Facilitators”, “Pre-conflict, Conflict and Post-Conflict Stages of Assault”, “Victim Grooming Behaviors”, “Role Playing Drills” and much, much more.

Every class will provide participants with a good workout, a self-defense skill development/practice session, and a dramatic increase in knowledge as well as a boost in self-confidence. Everyone will leave with a notebook covering every detail of the class as well as additional information they can take home to share with family/friends.

I’m very excited that we have this opportunity here at ZŪM. Our entire staff is dedicated to helping ensure a safe, healthy, and happy life for our members and their families. Bring your daughters, your nieces, sisters, coworkers, and friends. Our class will be a fun, eye-opening, confidence building, and most importantly, life-saving experience should you ever need it.

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

CC 1.0 - Hennessy

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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