latest news

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

Read More

Tip of the week – Lower back stretches

By Marcin Makselan NASM – CPT, CF – Lv 1


We are introducing a new series of weekly tips that will answer some of the most common questions that our trainers encounter.  This week we will be discussing a condition that affects over three million people each year, but is usually self-treatable.  Lower back pain affects some of our clients and even trainers, but is preventable by focusing on proper stretching before and after exercise.  Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for low back pain.  It takes time and effort to rid yourself of it, so prevention is key.

One of the main reasons people hurt or injure their lower back is because they are not taking the proper steps towards prevention.  Although we always warm up the appropriate muscles before work-outs with dynamic stretching, you should consider static stretching a part of your homework.  Static stretching is best done while the body is at rest and therefore not associated with a work-out.  Just like your school work, this homework can also be checked and graded during your performance in the gym (overhead squats, I’m looking at you).  Lower back stretches not only improve your health, but can also help to improve your posterior chain mobility.

For those that already suffer from chronic low back pain there is help for you as well!  The best way to start to rid yourself of pain is to strengthen the antagonist to the affected muscle group.  For your low back, these would be your T.I.R.E. muscles, or your abs.  There is no quick fix for this though.  Just like any good work out routine, it will take time and consistency to see results.

Here are some lower back stretches that we love:

Thread the Needle Stretch

Seated Hamstring Stretch

Pigeon Stretch

Cobra Stretch






“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.

Read More

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

Page 1 of 912345...Last »