How to Train for 70 – (Before and After pt.1)

A 69 year old’s decision to get fit.

Here’s what you need to know…

1. Janet’s training program was designed to be “comfortable”.

She was never pushed too far, or too hard. We want our clients to associate exercise with feeling good.

2. Her accomplishments were achieved without any tricks or cheats. 

No expensive supplements, drugs, meds, or hormones were involved. Her exercise and nutrition plans were (and still are) common-sense and completely sustainable.

3. She was consistent.

Janet succeeded because she was consistent and modified her lifestyle to prioritize her health. She never missed a day of training, and her nutrition was/is a mainstay in her life.

4. Our training plans work for anyone.

Humans are 99.997% genetically identical to each other. There are no exceptions. Of course, there is not a “one size fits all” training program, which is why we modify the programs based on age, gender, body composition, experience, health conditions, psychology, and more.

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” ~Thomas Edison

Before DNA

Before DNA

The Beginning of the Rest of Her Life
I don’t think Janet understood what she was getting into. Back then, if I were to show her an “after” picture of her six-month future self, she wouldn’t have believed it.

At the beginning of 2015, and at 69 years old, Janet came to train with me because she needed help to “lose some weight, and get stronger for the big seven-zero”. She hadn’t exercised in over 30 years.

Little did she know that this was the beginning of the rest of her life!

The Formula
The first step was to provide Janet with a formula of a combination of elements to consume, in order to

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“It’s all about the trainers…”

There is nothing like the feeling of entering a CrossFit gym, WOD still unknown, bass beat booming, athletes from the previous session lingering, some still catching their breath, others chatting excitedly about feats completed. Trainers mingle, offering high fives for the day’s accomplishments and words of wisdom or inspiration to those about to begin the class. Everybody is giddy with anticipation or triumph. This feeling of exhilaration has been present at every CrossFit “box” I have trained at. However, since becoming a member of DNA Personal Training, it has become abundantly clear to me that there are critical differences between CrossFit venues.

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DNA Homework & Travel Workouts

The following workouts are homework to do while traveling. These will be challenging workouts, enough to keep you in shape and even make progress with minimal equipment needs. They are generally kept short and simple, though you should keep the intensity high! Like always, proper technique is most important!

Post results to the comments below.

1. Training Day
10 rounds as fast as humanly possible of:
5 Push ups
10 sit ups
15 squats

2. Active recovery (optional)
If you:
<1 month of training (noob?) = 10 mins total run time
2 months in = 1.5 mile jog
>3 months = 5k (3.1 miles)

3. Training
100 burpees FOR TIME, 10 minute cutoff

4. Active recovery (optional)
Go for a Hike or,
Hike downtown and explore,
go on an adventure.

5. Training
Find a park & jungle gym/playground
For time:
as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes:
3 pullups (substitute 6 jumping pullups)
6 pushups
9 squats

6. Active Recovery:
Go swimming or, as many rounds as possible in 5 minutes of:
100 flutter kicks
100 reverse flutters (belly down)

7. Training

As many walking lunges in 10 minutes as possible; every minute on the minute do 3 burpees!

8. Active recovery 10 minutes
Practice handstands, wall walks, and/or cartwheels.

9. Training
Complete as fast as possible in order:
50 push ups
100 air squats

10. Active recovery
As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:
30 jumping jacks
20 sit-ups
10 burpees

There you have it! Do these on days you would normally train (if possible). If you finish any one of these thinking that it was too easy, then you didn’t push yourself hard enough (no slop)!


You Are A Chemistry Set. With The Correct Nutritional Formula and Proper Physical Stimulus, You Can Transform Yourself! ~David De La Peña

SWAN Schedule Change


It’s Official. After 9 months of data collection on class attendance, we’ve analyzed the data, collected opinions, and received numerous request for class schedule adjustments.

Please leave comments in the comments section below. This schedule only affects the SWAN LOCATION!

Here are the schedule changes:

[table id=1 /]

Pima Canyon Over Night Hike


On October 18 & 19, DNA Fit Club will be going on an over night hike to “Table Top”, beginning at Pima Canyon Trailhead. This will be a rugged 6 hour ascent up some rocky, and steep terrain, and will definitely be a test of endurance. We consider this event to be for the intermediate to advanced adventure seeker capable of packing their own supplies such as plenty of water, sleeping bag, and food at the very least. You pack it in, You pack it out!

We plan on carpooling as there are fees for overnight parking.

We don’t know at this point if we could expect wet weather, however, I put a list together that includes optional rain gear. Things you will need:

  • WATER! Arizona BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT suggests 1 gallon per person, per day. This varies per individual, but if you’re unsure about how much to bring, 1 gallon per day is generally a good start. October in the Catalinas shouldn’t be too hot, plus our rainy season might provide some emergency water sources if needed. 2 gallons of water weighs 16lbs, but too much might be better than not enough.
  • Very comfortable footwear. Try to avoid shoes that have mesh tops that would allow thorns through. Hiking boots might be the best option.
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tarp in case it rains. (a light weight tent if you’d be ok with hiking up the extra weight)!
  • Jacket/sweater. You might need this for hanging out in the evening by the camp fire. Type might depend on your preference.
  • Food. Ready to eat and/or canned food might be the best option.
  • Hat (optional)
  • Wear pants not shorts. (optional, though there will be some bush whacking). I love my convertible zip-off pants to shorts!
  • An extra pair of socks. I always take a spare on over-nighters.
  • Headlamp and spare batteries. Have you ever had to use the restroom in pitch black, at 2am in the middle of the woods?
  • Toilet paper. See above.
  • Fork/Spoon
  • Poncho. This is a very light and compact solution to rainy weather. Worth it IMO.
  • Insect repellent. Optional, but could keep you comfy.
  • Zip lock bags. 1st for food and stuff. 2nd to keep your phone/electronics safe in case of rain.
  • A couple of large garbage bags. Multi-use but could also be a rain cover for your backpack.


4 Signs Your Nutrition Plan Is Working.. Or Not!

The "Fat Pincher 4000"!

The “Fat Pincher 4000”!

Sometimes changes in health and body aren’t so easy to recognize. DNA’s nutrition program was developed with the intention of being a long-term lifestyle modifier, focused on sustainability. For most of us this means being patient and waiting for changes to occur from the inside-out, and sometimes those changes could take longer than we’d like them to.

A huge problem we create for ourselves is that most of us only focus on certain “problem” body parts, such as belly fat, while the parts we neglect to pay attention to, might be ones that make impressive changes but fail to get noticed. But, it’s those stubborn problem areas that are usually the last to change. That’s why it’s important to get measured once monthly, or at least take some pictures for comparison.

If you are on a fat loss plan, the most difficult time that EVERYONE goes through is “The Ugly Stage”. The Ugly Stage is a point during fat-loss, when fat starts to get soft and saggy, resulting in fat that looks unusually flabby. The good news is soft & squishy fat is an indicator that you are in fact, burning fat! Unfortunately because of this temporary saggy fat, many people think they look worse and lose heart, when in reality holding out for just a little longer would have resulted in a “Whoosh”.

Whooshes seem to happen over night;  when after an extended time (sometimes several weeks) of seemingly zero progress, a big drop in fat/weight occurs, as if out of nowhere. The reality is, sometimes cells have already burned the fat off, leaving behind a water filled cell (water is heavy). As long as one remains diligent, eventually the body signals many of these cells to purge this stored water, and the whoosh results in huge drops!

Becoming a scale-junkie is another common problem. Constantly getting on the scale is not a great motivator. Especially for the beginner to a strength and conditioning program. Lean mass consisting of muscle and bone are good and heavy. Realize that if you’re a beginner, your body probably needs to add some of this good “machinery” to get stronger and healthier. The exchanges of fat and muscle result in less movement on the scale. Step away from the scale! Get rid of it!

To know if your current plan is working, answer these 4 questions:

  1. Are You Seeing Increases In Performance?
    • If you’re consistently getting stronger, moving faster, and are generally getting better in your training, those are all signs that you’re eating an adequate amount of nutrients.
    • If you aren’t sure whether you’re seeing progress, then you obviously haven’t been using your log book!
    • If lately your training sessions haven’t been what they used to be, or you feel sluggish and/or unmotivated to train, this could be a sign of nutritional inadequacies. This often happens to those that have trained for more 6 months or more, as their energy expenditure begins to exceed their energy intake, creating a large caloric deficit. As you become capable of doing more, you should also be adjusting your intake to get more fuel too!
  2. Are You Regularly Feeling Good/Better?
    • From the moment you wake up, do you feel like all is good? Do you have energy throughout the entire day, and usually sleeping well?
    • Junk food will make you groggy, gassy, bloated and interrupt sleep.
  3. Are You Looking Good/Better?
    • The answer is a yes if:
      • Your body fat % is getting better (we test this anytime before class, just ask us).
      • You’re receiving compliments from people who haven’t seen you in a while, or even better, getting compliments from people you regularly see!
      • Your clothes are fitting looser.
  4. Is Your Blood Panel Good/Better?
    • Not everyone has regular access to their blood work so the general rule of thumb here is; if your answers were “Yes” to the rest of these questions, then this one could probably be a yes too.

If you answered “No” to more than one of these questions, then you might consider joining the DNA Nutrition Challenge, or at least re-evaluate your nutritional situation.

More than two “No” answers could be a sign of too many stresses, ill-health factors or worse. We’d  recommend you to seek help to remedy these issues. The potential for more serious health problems could result from prolonged stresses, and might be caused by adrenal fatigue. Sarah Cotten, one of our instructors, is an Adrenal Fatigue Expert, and DNA is also partners with Quality Of Life Medical Research Center. Together, we can help you figure it out and/or refer you to the right people.

If you answered “YES” to at least 3 of these questions then you’re doing something right. Keep on keeping on, and you’ll reach those goals as elusive as they sometimes seem.


The Best Nutrition Advice Ever!

The world of nutrition is literally filled with garbage. Too many people misunderstand how the human body uses nutrients, and because of that common ignorance fall victim to the sales pitches of every online nutrition “expert”. Quick-fix diet plans don’t work because those diets focus on selling some type of product, or offer a sketchy plan that is not sustainable. Fortunately…eating healthy doesn’t have to be a mystery. It is important that we focus on changing the long-term plan… your lifestyle. Apply these 4 simple rules to everyday life, and your health and physique will begin changing for the better.

  1. Eat Real Food! Real food is generally defined as food that is found naturally. If it could be Hunted or Grown, and is naturally occurring, and it fits the rest of these rules, then it is probably good for you. If humans were responsible for its existence, don’t eat it! Mix up your real food in as much variety as you can handle. Don’t be fooled by “food fakes”–> If it has weird ingredients that are difficult to pronounce – be wary.
  2. Eat meat! “Things that you could hunt” (including eggs), should be your main course at every meal. Notice I said MEAT and not Protein? Eating beans because they have protein isn’t the same as eating meat, which is high in all the amino acids our body needs. Also beware of processed meats, and mystery meats…they are JUNK FOOD don’t do it
  3. Eat Plants! Prioritize meat, then add fresh plant food as side dishes. Variety!
    • If it’s sweet it’s a treat, not a meal. example: fruits such as bananas, apples, mangos, and oranges should all be used as a dessert.
    • If it’s a plant that must be processed  to be consumed, you should not over eat it. Especially if you’re trying to lose weight and/or get healthy.
  4. Eat Junk Food! What would life be like without the occasional cheesecake, or Pizza? We invented these foods because they’re delicious. OK, OK, after all that DON’T EAT JUNK FOOD stuff earlier… let’s keep this rule sensibleLimit non-natural and refined foods (Junk Food) to ONE MEAL every:
    • Month if you’re very overweight and need to lose FAT. Yes, ONCE A MONTH!
    • 2-3 weeks if you still need to lose a bit of weight, but otherwise healthy
    • Week if you are happy with your current weight,  health and fitness level

The following chart is a helpful guide in identifying foods that are good for you. It’s not the holy-nutrition-bible, obviously nutrition can get much more complicated, but when in doubt it’s a good tool!

**Interactive Version**

**Printable Version** 

DNA's Real Food Nutrition Guide

Couples That Train Together Remain Together

It’s time to bring sexy back! In honor of all the GREAT couples we’ve helped turn into AWESOME couples, DNA is offering a couples discount! Through AUGUST 2014, couples that sign up together, each receive a 10% discount. That’s a $200 dollar savings!

Fine Print: Only valid with 3,6,12 month packages. Taking the same class time is not a requirement. Cannot be used with any other discounts. Current members are eligible with new sign-up of significant other. Other restrictions may apply.

Hall of Fame – Current Amazing Couples + Alumni!

Couple loses 85lbs in 6 monthsRicky AND Marina lost 85lbs combined in one semester (6 months).


Curtis + Tawnya Freeman


Chuck + Breshka Meyer


Eduardo Huerta + Marie Long


Ernest + Paula Clark

Photo Jul 04, 3 13 51 PM

John + Lina Walther

Photo Jul 26, 12 40 48 PM

Drew Maurer + Sara Burke

DNA Couples we’d love to get a photo of!

Fabiano + Alicia Moura

Bill + Christy Winters

Bob + Susan Baine

James + Kristen Anderson

Javier + Lori Badillo

Jim + Stacy Butler

Paul + Pam Hopman

John + LeeAat Dehnert

Steve + Diane Tooker

Dan + Anne Manka

Damian + Carly Langman-Cox

Luis + Susana Dabdoub

Pat + Kris Hanning

Ryan + Jen Madar

DNA Guarantees 1 Thing…

…that we can get you ripped in six months, training three times per week for thirty minutes. No BS, no pills, no supplements, no weird fad diets, and most important of all, NO hours of torturous training.







Caption: “We Can Get You Ripped by Summer”

When Angel walked in for the first time, he was unsure about taking on personal training. It was December ’13, I asked him what he wanted to achieve, and like many who walk through the door for the first time, he responded “lose a few pounds, and gain some muscle”. I looked at him and said “I Guarantee that if you follow my program I can get you ripped by summer, just in time to hit the beach the way that most people want to; defined and muscular”. The above photos tell the rest of the story. ~Dave

(see his testimonial here)

We at DNA can confidently make this guarantee because:

  1. We understand the way the human body responds to training. In technical terms this is called the hormetic effect of exercise*.  The study describes the benefits of low to moderate “doses” of exercise, as well as the negative effects of inactivity, and the negative effects of too much activity. With this knowledge, we are able to understand and manage the level and dosage of activity to get the best results for any individual. This is what most programs out there don’t understand, and people get injured, or get little results.
  2. We understand how the body uses different nutrients for different needs. Are you training for a marathon? Then you probably need a different food (macro) profile than someone who wants to focus on muscle building. Are you over the age of 45? Then your body needs a great blend of nutrients to reduce inflammation, and increase cellular function. Are you training for a sport or military? Then the macronutrient ratio in relation to caloric intake must be ideal to handle the sheer amount of volume of physical activity.
  3. We understand the psychological triggers that influence the actions and outcomes of the individuals in our programs such as;
    • Making lifestyle changes at home, work, school, and in your immediate circle.
    • The negative mental impact of participating in an exercise-you-to-death type of program.
    • The consequences of being too strict on a nutrition plan.
    • The positive changes of “getting things right”.

Those are just a few examples, but our program really is, you hiring scientists who understand you and your body, and are able to help manage you effectively.

Of course, this guarantee doesn’t suit everyone’s situation. It’s obvious that if you are very obese, then it will take more time to reach a goal to get ripped, but it can get done, and much sooner than expected. Especially if you’ve experienced mediocre results in a crappy program in the past. On the other hand, if you have an underlying health issue, then that can really complicate things. For those in the above categories we do, however, “Guarantee that the programs at DNA will change your life forever”.

Who’s up for the challenge? Contact Us

*Exercise, oxidative stress and hormesis
Zsolt Radaka, Corresponding author contact information, E-mail the corresponding author, Hae Y. Chungd, Erika Koltaia, Albert W. Taylorb, Sataro Gotoa,

Rice Thins

Rice Thins
Recipe Type: Phase 2+3
Author: Dave
  • white rice flour
  • high oleic safflower oil
  • salt
  1. Of course these are processed, but the ingredients are minimal. I use these for some crunch with my food, and they taste pretty darn good!
Serving size: 18 pieces Calories: 130 Fat: 1.5g Saturated fat: 0g Unsaturated fat: 1g Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 26g Sugar: 0g Sodium: 85mg Fiber: 0 Protein: 2g


Fast & Easy Mojito Lime Chicken

Fast & Easy Mojito Lime Chicken
Recipe Type: Main Dish ALL PHASES
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Tina
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1-2
This is a fast and simple way to make boneless skinless chicken breast, for [i]training days[/i] or [i]off days[/i] and [u]all phases[/u].
  • [url href=”″ rel=”attachment wp-att-2533″][img src=”×230.jpg” alt=”” width=”100″ class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-2533″][/url]
  • “Grill Mates” Mojito Lime Marinade (dry mix) – 1 pack
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp.
  • Apple Cider or White Vinegar
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  1. Chop your boneless skinless chicken breast into 1-2 inch cubes. Add to bowl or 1 gallon zip lock bag.
  2. Add in the marinade mix.
  3. [i]For training days:[/i] Add to the mix, 1/4 cup of water. 2 tbsp. vinegar. [i]For off days:[/i] Add 1/4 oil, 2 tbsp. water, 2 tbsp. vinegar.
  4. Thoroughly mix.
  5. Cook the chicken in a pan on high heat with lid, mixing every few minutes until fully cooked.
Serving size: 1 lb Calories: 480 Fat: 23 Carbohydrates: 2g Sugar: <1g Protein: 100g
I use the “Grill Mates” marinades of different flavors depending on the side and off day or training days. This also works on the grill, and with other cuts of meat.


Amazing Transformation

drew-sarahDrew and Sara have been an inspiration to many people. In the time of one semester they have completely transformed their bodies, increased their strength and conditioning to a high degree, and most importantly adjusted their lifestyle towards health for quality living well into the future.

Their training regimen was Advanced Micro Training (A.M.T.), which consists of 3 sessions per week of heavy weight training, with a touch of sprint work among other things. The program was developed to maximize the body’s ability to adapt to low dose stimulus. Every so often a period of testing was thrown in to gauge changes in over all performance.

The couple are proof that 95% of success in training can be attributed to nutrition. Here’s what they had to say about their experience.

Q: You’ve been in DNA’s ADVANCED MICRO TRAINING (A.M.T.) class for about 6 months now, what made you decide to join DNA?

A: There were many factors that caused us to check out DNA. The least interesting being that it was close to where we were living. I had also heard good things about DNA from another member, CJ Doane. In addition to that, Drew had been wanting to get fit for several months prior and thought that the structure that comes along with personal training would help him be accountable and committed.. Finally, we were both stressed out, not happy at work and in need of something to give us balance. DNA was perfect!

Q: For those reading, the AMT program consists of 3 15-minute training sessions per week requiring no other activity! Before beginning this program would you have ever thought that you could see these kind of results in such short training sessions?

A: NO! We do not want to sound too much like an infomercial, but it is absolutely remarkable that one can get these results with such short intense training sessions. Before starting at DNA Sara was running for 2-3 hours/week. Now we still both run less than 1 hour/week +the 45 minutes of DNA training, so the overall amount of time spent working out is less than before but more efficient.

Drew and Sara before

Drew and Sara Before Training

Too be fair, we have also made significant lifestyle changes. Everything Dave says about nutrition is a 100% true and we are eating clean food with a purpose, which has been instrumental in our progress. Fifteen minutes of training leaves 23 hours and 45 minutes to make choices that are going to help those minutes count or circumvent your hard work. Dave taught us how to eat right amplifying the impact of our work in the gym.

Phase 4 Nutrition and intermittent fasting

Drew and Sara Before Training

Q: Both of you have seen mind boggling results! What are some key factors involved in your success/es in this program?

A: Similar to what we said above, the importance of nutrition cannot be overstated. Also, I think it has really helped that we were doing this together. It is much easier to stay on track as a pair than as an individual. For anyone getting started on a program like this, we would recommend trying to recruit your family or signing up with a friend/partner/roommate. The support, encouragement and camaraderie that comes along with doing this someone else really helped us stay on track.

Q: What kind of training were you involved in before AMT?

A: Drew played sports in high school and lifted off and on until about 2 years ago. Since then and before starting DNA, he jogged a bit and hiked. Sara had never lifted and was a runner before starting at DNA, running between 15-20 miles/week.

Drew and Sara After 6 months

Drew and Sara After 6 months

Q: What kind of supplements were/are you taking? It seems impossible that these drastic results can happen with out any “help”!

A: Do sweet potatoes and lean protein count as a supplement? We were not taking any supplements until about 1 month ago. When we started phase III nutrition and the intermittent fasting we started taking BCAAs 20 minutes before we work out, but that is it. Since working out with DNA, we have never used protein shakes or any other sort of health supplement. We actually have both stopped taking multivitamins. Now that we eat better they seem superfluous, if not detrimental. It was just all real, clean food.

Q: Nutrition is a major factor, describe your experience with PHASE 4 NUTRITION.

A: Anytime we would start a new nutrition phase, the first week was challenging. After 1-2 weeks it seems routine. This was even true with phase I. With phase II, Sara could not believe that she was going to have to eat 193 grams of carbs on training days. Quickly, it did not feel like enough food, and now 299 grams is the norm. When Dave introduced the concept of intermittent fasting, we were both all for it. Not just for performance reasons, but mostly because there are extensive data showing that it promotes longevity, lowers cancer risk, and increases insulin receptor sensitivity. Our current nutrition plan has it so we only eat between 12 pm and 8 pm. The first day was really hard for Sara, she did not feel like she could do anything in the gym, and both of us had a hard time getting our macros in before 8 pm. Then we discovered sweet potato smoothies with kefir (it is fermented diary, so not inflammatory) and coconut water. After about 2 weeks, we both stopped feeling hungry before noon. It has only been a challenge when switching time zones, easy to go east but those 3 extra hours hurt coming home. Now it seems really easy to put away a lot of food in one sitting. One of the coolest aspects of experimenting with this phase of nutrition is to see how quickly your body can adapt to be entrained to shorter eating windows. The caloric intake remains the same, but the extra time off your digestive system gets results in a lot less oxidative stress. We are glad that Dave figured this out for us and we plan to keep it up indefinitely.

Q: What weight and body fat did you start at? finish?

A: Drew was 165 and 17.9% body fat. Yesterday, he was 157 and 5% body fat. That is a loss of ~21 pounds of fat and an increase in 13 pounds of lean body weight. Sara was 137 pounds and 28.5% body fat. Yesterday, she was 122 pounds and 12.7% body fat, with a total loss 15.5 pounds of body fat and an increase in 8.5 pounds

of lean body weight. That is just since February 26th!

Q: How long were your workouts?

A: Typically around 15 minutes not including rolling out and warming up. On occasion we would go up to 30 minutes, but that was rare. We were also running 2-3 times a week, but nothing long or serious and this was just for fun. Running is more of a hobby than exercise for us now. The exception to this was the 5 weeks that we were in Anne’s natural running class, which had us doing drills and cadence intervals 2-3 times/week that took around 20 minutes to complete. But this was more about fixing our poor running form than getting fit. Now we can run for fun and know that we are not going to damage ourselves. Quick plug for Anne’s course: proper form also made us a lot faster, which helped us get PRs on that dreaded 400m that comes after Dave’s applied strength “A” program.

Drew and Sara

Drew and Sara After 6 months

Q: What did you eat or how did your diet change?

A: We did not eat terrible before, but our diets were certainly not optimized. A bit better than the typical American diet. We ate a lot of organic green leafy vegetables and whole grains. We also ate a lot or red meat and little to no fish. Our biggest mistake was how much bread, pasta and pizza we consumed. Sara used to love her pasta. We also drank a lot of beer before. We both love craft beer and in particular high octane IPAs for Sara and dense stouts and porters for Drew. Enjoying a beer used to be almost a nightly indulgence for us. We also used to eat out a lot more, especially for lunch. I think our biggest mistake, other than the beer, was mixing fat and carbs, for example, fried chicken and waffles and mac ‘n cheese were not uncommon. In the most recent phase of nutrition, Drew had to make the transition to drinking black coffee (rather than coffee with cream/milk).

Q: What food did you miss?

A: This is a really interesting and not straight forward question. The first month, Sara missed ice cream and beer and Drew missed snack food and beer. Dave did a clever thing after our first month of training, however. We both had a great weigh in and he gave us a cheat meal allowing us to go all out with beer and whatever else for one meal. Sara ate a lot of ice cream and Drew had snickers. We both drank more than a couple beers and felt really crappy afterwards- a sugar along with alcohol hangover. Since we were so used to feeling great most of the time, this kind of took away our cravings. In neuroscience they call this ‘aversive conditioning’, Dave called it “de-conditioning”. Now there is not much that we miss, mostly because our palates have changed and we have discovered new things that we love. Sara does not miss ice cream because frozen kefir is amazing and on carb days we can eat it on gluten-free sweet potato pancakes. This is perfection! We have also discovered grilled tilapia with a citrus marinade…yum. Drew makes the analogy that it is like moving to another country. You probably will not be able to find good tamales in New Zealand, but the lamb and seafood will more than make up for it. Neither of us miss pasta at all.
That is not to say there aren’t cravings. Deep fried oreos or chocolate covered pretzels still sound good to Drew, but it is a transient craving that can be replaced by something better.

Q: Were you hungry?
During the first month of phase I nutrition, neither of us were ever hungry, although we also never felt totally full. We both think that this is because by cutting out grains and most carbs, we never felt that bloated feeling often associated with being full. We no longer have this association and being full now means that we are on track for getting in our macros. After the first month, it was a little different between the two of us. Sara usually did not feel hungry, except during the first week of starting intermittent fasting. Sara had also done Weight Watchers before (many years ago in grad school), and definitely felt less hungry with this nutrition plan compared to previous diets. Drew has had episodes where he has certainly felt hungry and like he “cannot eat enough”. This is usually before he meets with Dave to adjust his macros again. The point is that we never felt like we were starving ourselves to lose fat.

Q: How long did it take you to notice a change in your body? What change in your body did you notice first?

A: Both of us agree that we started to notice changes in about 3 weeks. For Sara, it was her calves having more definition. We were living in a house with no full length mirror, however. After about 6 weeks, we went to stay at the Tubac Golf Resort for Sara’s birthday, and when Sara saw her abs in the bathroom mirror of our cottage, she was blown away. For Drew it was his stomach definition coming back. His abs became prominent after about 3-4 weeks. Also, after doing Anne’s Natural Running Class we both noticed a new muscle on the top outer portion of our feet develop. This may have also grown from lifting in minimal shows, but it is funny to see something develop that you did not even know was there.

Q: Did you energy level increase?

A: Yes. Both in and out of the gym. We often talk about our second day in the gym in which we did a modified “Helen” (we ran 200m instead of 400m and neither of us were near Rx weights for the swings). It was an atrocious, nauseating, ear-throb inducing tragedy. In terms of conditioning, there was no where else to go but up. Now, we have more of an interest in the “most-fun-you-never-want-to-have-again” workouts like FGB (with a special preference for how DNA conducts it). Getting to prescription level was exciting as well as pushing for a higher score. Sometime early on, one of the trainers said “If you’re tired, you’re most likely not eating enough”. This was also something important to learn, but once we had our diet tuned to our macros (and spaced so we could fit them into one day), the afternoon sleepiness that traditionally followed lunchtime went away.

Q: Did you sleep better?

A: This is complicated to answer and not straight forward. Overall, we go to bed earlier now and have better sleep hygiene. But we are also drinking a lot more water, so we both have to get up to pee 1-2 times a night. Then there are the nights after a really intense, long workout in which we both have had problems sleeping. This has only happened twice. Neither of could sleep after the Memorial Day Hero Workout “Murph”. Sara could also not sleep after doing the “filthy fifty”. We suspect that there is an inverted-U shape curve with regards to physical activity and sleep.

Q: What is in a normal day’s menu?

A: We always start the day with 1-2 cups of black coffee. It does not have any calories, so it does not break the fast. Drew loves his coffee and likes to find fun facts about its benefits. Here is one fun fact: Coffee may ward off cavities!
Off days: Some sort of grilled protein (fish, lean beef, chicken), sauteed scallops or shrimp, riced cauliflower, salad (with yogurt-based salad dressing to cut fat- the brand is called Bolthouse Farms and is sold at Whole foods. Ranch and bleu cheese), nonfat greek yogurt with a little bit of blueberries, kefir and some other non-starchy vegetable. We avoid soy (except soy sauce, which is fermented), milk, corn, corn syrup and all grains. We still eat hamburgers and sandwiches, but with romaine or butter lettuce cups instead of buns. This is now our preference, as the bun takes away from the flavor of the protein and the lettuce adds a nice crunch making the texture better. Also, we have discovered a dark chocolate at Trader Joe’s with limited sugar and no soy lectin. Drew has one small square of this every night and Sara has one on off days only. It is a small indulgence that keeps us from craving other sweet things. Also, dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and good for your brain.
Training days: We start off at noon with ~20oz of sweet potato smoothie (2-4 sweet potatoes, 1 cup kefir, 1-2cups coconut water, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste)…yum! We cannot get enough of these. Rice with veggies, egg whites and chicken breast, grilled fish or shrimp, and more potatoes or rice. We may also eat a slice or 2 of rice/pecan gluten free bread with cinnamon (we make sure it is a bread without sugar). Cinnamon is an amazing substitute for sweetener. Sara puts it in yogurt, on bread and in smoothies. We also get carbs by eating organic gluten-free rice cereal with kefir. Our favorite is Erehwon. On Fridays, after training, we go for all-you-can eat sushi at Sushi Hama. We avoid the rolls and fill up on nigiri (ordering mainly lean fish, limited salmon, and no Krab). Finally, we still eat salad on these days, but not as much relative to the off days.

Q: Did you drink alcohol?

A: Very sparingly. We were both interviewing for academic jobs during this time, and would travel for this almost once a month. These interviews are 2-3 days and involve some wining and dining so we would typically have 1 drink at dinner, which was expected by search committees. The major change for us regarding our alcohol consumption is that there now has to be an occasion to drink. We both had a few drinks on the 4th of July and at Dave and Tina’s engagement party. Once, Sara had a beer after work for no reason but then went for a run immediately after, which made for a good run 🙂 Dave put the cost of drinking alcohol in perspective for us after we rowed our first 5K. It took Drew 19:59 and Sara ~22:00 minutes and it seemed hard. We burned around only 200 calories. Dave pointed out that we had just burned one beer. It seems easier to save the beer for something special. We should also note that with the exception of the engagement party, which fell on a Friday, we NEVER drink on training days. When we drink, there is also a big effort to eat lean protein and very little carbs.

The Game Changers: DNA Personal Training is transforming people in less time than a school semester.

DNA Personal Training is transforming people in less time than a school semester.

Change your life completely with a $1,500 investment and 3 months.

DNA Personal Training is the leader for a reason. Quality. Years of experience, late night study, schooling and education, investments, certification/re-certification, trial and error, experimentation (with our training staff as the guinea pigs) and much more hard work went into producing the best program available.

What makes DNA different? While we don’t expect you to train with us forever, we expect you to learn everything you need to know to live healthy and be fit for the rest of your life.

We are:

  1. A training company
  2. A nutritional counseling center
  3. An education facility
  4. A research and development lab

More and more people are leaving their regular gym memberships and moving towards personal training. One key driver is the need to stop the continually “spinning wheels” in an attempt to reach goals.

Does this process look familiar?

  • Ask Google “how to get into shape” and you’ll have the opportunity to sift through 321 million results.
  • Pick a plan off the web
  • Step into a cheap DIY gym after paying the very low monthly fee
  • End up on the treadmill or elliptical after moving the parts of some awkward machine that isolates your muscles (When do you isolate muscles in real life?)
  • Drink a protein shake
  • No results after a week or two; start over.

Similarly: buy a video, try it and lose interest after a few weeks, or get injured after a session or two because nobody is there to tell you that your squat is killing your knees or you are swinging the kettlebell incorrectly.

The fitness industry made $21.4 billion in 2011, and most of that money came from offering people a fast, easy, and/or cheap solution with a small likelihood of success, which leads to failure and more purchases.

People will gladly spend $2500 on a new TV/surround system or $10,000 on a bathroom remodel, but want a new body on the cheap and without any investment of time. You only get one body and you HAVE to live there.

Wouldn’t you rather invest a little more time and effort and get REAL results?

Stop looking for the magic pill and wasting time and money.

One investment in our training will change your life. Just read our Testimonials. Our clients wonder why they didn’t start sooner.

It’s time to change your life, and we’re here to help you do it the right way. Call or message 1-888-255-2978.

GUILT FREE French toast with strawberries and cream

We train hard and eat healthy to be able to afford the fun stuff. Guess what? The fun stuff doesn’t have to be complete trash! This treat is one the whole family will enjoy!

How?… make bread with almond flour and coconut oil (see zucchini bread). Beat an egg with 1t cinnamon (more or less to taste) and 1/2t vanilla. Dip a slice of bread in the egg mixture and cook on a griddle or frying pan on medium for about 5 minutes, until golden brown.

For the strawberries and cream, just slice some strawberries and mix with whipped cream, which has only fat – no carbs, no sugar. It’s naturally sweet, but you can mix in a little bit of Splenda, stevia, or honey if it works with your macros and if you want a bit more sweetness.  Dollop on top of the French toast. There you go – delicious strawberry and cream !!!! 🙂

Submitted by Norma S.

Chiles Rellenos de Carne en Salsa de Chipotle:

Chiles Rellenos de Carne en Salsa de Chipotle:
Recipe Type: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Norma Sedano
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
  • Roasted Bell Peppers (Chiles Tatemado) 2
  • Ground Sirloin (Carne molida) 90/10 – 1/2 lb
  • Diced Onion (Cebolla) 1 whole
  • Soy Sauce (Salsa China) 3 tbsp.
  • Mushrooms (Champiñones) 4 whole chopped
  • Chipotle Sause (Salasa de Chipotle) to taste
  • Motzarella Cheese (Queso Motzarella) top to taste
  1. Saute ground beef with diced onions, salt, pepper and garlic.
  2. When the beef looks about cooked you add the mushrooms and a little bit of soy sauce.
  3. Stuff your chile with the beef and pour the chipotle sauce over them.
  4. Top with cheese.
  5. ….Enjoy 😉
Serving size: 1 Calories: 340 Fat: 18 Carbohydrates: 5 Sugar: 0 Protein: 43


Post Training Meal – Sushi

Post Training Meal – Sushi
Recipe Type: Phase 2 & 3
Cuisine: All You Can Eat Sushi!!!
Author: David De La Peña
This was my Post Training day meal today. The entire meal was Nigiri style sushi, totaling 41 individual pieces. Obviously I had to choose my pieces wisely!
  • Sticky Rice
  • tuna
  • albacore
  • yellowtail
  • snapper
  • some salmon
  • a couple of smelt egg
  • 2 miso
  1. Now most would think that a meal like this would make you fat, but I eat like this every Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Below is a picture of me chinning a couple of 45’s x 5 reps during today’s training @ 189 lbs, & 8% BF. Science Based Fitness & Nutrition!
Serving size: 42 total pieces Fat: 34g Carbohydrates: 330g Protein: 180




Get in the best shape of your life in just a few hours each week!

“I was at a gym before and didn’t see any results in an entire year and in the time I have been here I have lost almost 8% body fat!” – Kristin

We’ve simplified everything. Our group classes are universally scalable, so that the anyone from beginner to elite can participate and be challenged at the right level. We incorporate strength cycles, compound movements, Traditional Strength Training, Gymnastics, CrossFit methods, and Russian kettlebell principles to create highly efficient workouts that will make you stronger, faster, leaner, and even smarter* (!) in far less time than you ever imagined possible.

UNIQUE TRAINING: As the only Level 2 CrossFit affiliate in Tucson and Southern Arizona, we offer the highest quality training formulated through a unique combination of innovation and experience that leads to the best, most effective group training program in Southern Arizona.

Group training package tuition varies with course length. UNLIMITED TRAINING options include:

  • One semester (3 months)
  • Two semesters (6 months)
  • One year (12 months)

We also offer Phase 4 Nutrition for group training clients who want to maximize their results!

Military, law enforcement/first responder, teacher & full-time student discounts available 


* The effect of acute aerobic and resistance exercise on working memory. Pontifex MB., Hillman CH., Fernhall B., et al. Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2009 Apr; 41(4): 927-34.



Classes, Fees & Tuition

Our premium training programs are designed to get maximum results in very little time. However, training at DNA is not easy. We require commitment to set and reach your goals, just as you demand our commitment in helping you reach those goals. Our training packages reflect the required level of commitment to achieve great health and fitness that you never imagined possible. Our client-athletes have fun and continue to achieve fitness gains over the long term, after major initial improvements in their strength, weight, and fitness levels. People spend thousands of dollars on home improvement each year; you live in your body every day, and isn’t your body more important than your house?

How to RUN – faster, longer, better!

At some point, in your quest for optimum health and fitness, you assuredly will face RUNNING. Great programs will include things like short and medium sprints, and an occasional long slow endurance run. While the benefits of running are enormous, at some point you  will likely want to  ensure that your technique is improving  in order to improve your performance. Proper technique will not only improve performance, but will significantly decrease your incidence of injuries such as shin splints and joint pains among many others.

So with all the techniques, programs and seminars available, how does one decide which is truly the correct method? While we can certainly turn this into an in depth scientific paper, the studies have already been done. Rather, I’d prefer to make this an easy go-to article to get you quickly moving.

Sled pulls are a great way to increase strength, speed, power and endurance.

The following are a just a few steps to help develop proper technique:

Read More

DNA Fit-Club

About DNA Fit-Club

DNA Fit-Club is a weekend outing that anyone can attend. The goal is to have fun , be active, and enjoy fitness in the real world beyond the gym. You don’t have to be “fit” to join us and these events are open to friends and family.

Some examples of DNA Fit-Club events include local one day events and weekend camping trips. Other activities are:



    • Scuba diving
    • mountain/rock climbing
    • hiking
    • barbeques
    • volleyball
    • soccer
    • swimming