Spartan Race: Rules & Regulations You Probably Didn't Know About

Spartan Race: Rules & Regulations You Probably Didn't Know About


Written By, Coach Vanessa Panella


With races like Big Bear in the rear view mirror and looking forward to our next race season. I thought it would be a great time to talk about some race dos and don'ts when it comes to race rules and etiquette. We'll start off with some definitions so that we are on the same page with race lingo. From there, we will discuss official race rules and the most common rules that are broken. Finally, we will go over some unspoken race etiquette that many people may not know they are breaking.


I’ll start this off by saying that I understand that not everyone is out on the race course going for sponsorships or to be competitive. That being said, many people on that course are. These reminders are so that you can respect the people that are competing for fun as well as trying to achieve a podium. So, we’ll start with some of the basics…



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Why I Became a Coach

Why I became a Coach

Written by, Coach Dani Zarate


My desire to be a coach was not something that happened over night, but instead it was an idea that was brewing inside of me for years.


It all began at age 12, when I started my first fad diet to lose weight. At such a young age, I was constantly reminded that I was “chunky” or “not skinny” or even worse “fat”, which led me to diet with my mom for years. Finally at age 14, I was introduced to exercise and running, but instead of viewing these activities as fun they simply became another weight loss source for me. I feared going to big box gyms like 24 Hour Fitness, since I did not know how to workout on my own or use the machines, so instead I found a small boutique gym that provided HITT group classes. Before I knew it I became obsessed with the classes and found myself attending 5 to 6 times a week, but my idea of working out had not changed, it was still just another way to lose...

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5 Tips to Help Performance: Spartan Beast

5 Tips to Help Performance: Spartan Beast

Written by, Coach Noah Grime



“It’s been a while, old friend! We missed you...until that first hill!” – All Spartan Big Bear FinishersThis year was my 3rd attempt at Big Bear. Each year is a great reminder about what hard work and grit can do, and what the human body is capable of.Big Bear is generally a 13-mile mountain race, with a variety of obstacles in your path. This year held true to mileage, with 30+ obstacles and 5k feet of vertical gain. Once you take on the Big Bear challenge, you will never forget this race on Snow Summit mountain. This “Soul Crusher” of a race is one of the most popular for its unforgiving terrain, many long climbs, steep descents, and ruthless sandbag carries.How does someone prepare for a race like this? Here are my thoughts:A great athlete once said - “I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run towards it because the only...

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Live Your Healthiest Life With These Two Habits


Live Your Healthiest Life With These Two Habits

Written by, Coach Chris Wessels



How was your sleep last night?

You might be thinking to yourself “Coach Chris, I know sleep is important to my health, what else do I need to know”? You are absolutely right, and I am going to break down the best ways to improve your quality of sleep in order for you to feel more restful and energized while supporting your gains (Greater Quality of Sleep = More Muscle Growth and Recovery). Over the course of our lives we have different sleeping patterns; in the earlier years we are told when to go to our BODIES. How many times do you see a baby or small child sleeping in public? I am sure we have all wanted to fall asleep in our adult years though the circumstance does not always permit us to do so. Our bodies work so hard to keep us functioning throughout the day...even more so when you are crushing a workout… so we MUST thank our bodies and minds by...

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Supplement Breakdown - Creatine

Supplement Breakdown - Creatine


Written by, Coach Vanessa Panella


**A Quick Disclaimer**

Taking supplements can only help move the needle if you are already doing everything else to get results. 

  • Good nutrition
  • Good hydration
  • A solid training program with clear SMART goals


If you haven't checked the boxes above creatine will not be a magical fix. Also, always consult a medical professional before consuming any new supplements. 

What is Creatine?

Creatine is the most studied supplement that is currently on the market. It is also found in your own body every day and is stored in your muscle tissue. Any creatine you consume through diet and/or supplements is stored for later use. Now, to really get into how, and why, creatine works we have to know the important role it plays in our bodies. To put it simply, your muscles use energy from a few different sources. When you are doing activities such as lifting weights, sprinting, and pretty much anything...

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How Sports Continue to Save My Life

How Sports Continue to Save My Life

Written by Coach Angel Zaragoza


As the world around us continuously diversifies, so do our stories and backgrounds. Some grew up around people who pushed them to be the best version of themselves, others were not so lucky. Some of us grew up surrounded by people and things that were not very uplifting, but destructive in nature; such as gangs, drugs, alcohol, etc. As a kid, I learned from a very young age that one’s own actions can either make you or break you. This was the moment when I decided that sports would be my savior.

Since I could remember, I was always a playful and physically active child. Playing Freeze-Tag and Street-Ball with some of the kids around my neighborhood led to my love of the sport Football. Entering the scary and exciting new world of middle school, the opportunity to play for the school's small flag football team presented itself to me. This was the kickstart to my salvation. While some middle school...

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Building a Good Foundation for Nutrition

Written By, Coach Vanesa Suazo

Doesn’t it seem like there’s always the new latest trend for the best diet that will help you lose those unwanted pounds in record time? New research showing that “this diet” is the one that will give you the results you want. Then there’s always all this conflicting information on whether to eat high or low carb; whether to eat plant based or carnivore ; whether calories matter or they don’t. We’re left conflicted, not really knowing what to do and jumping from one plan to the other, never really getting the results we want. The question is, what actually works? The answer is there isn’t one single diet plan that works, they can all work, it all depends on our lifestyles and what we’re trying to achieve. Oftentimes, I think we fail in reaching our goals, because we don’t posses the skills needed to get there - we’re lacking a good foundation. I believe any nutrition program can work for...

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Imposter Syndrome

Written By, Jenny De Anda Fast



What if they find out I do not belong here? 

What if they realize I am not good enough?

 What if they come to me and say that they made a mistake bringing me on to the team?

 What if they discover I am a fraud?


These are the thoughts that run through my head everyday I walk into my jobs as a coach at Fitness on Fire and at the RowHouse. At 41 years old I am definitely one of the oldest coaches at both of my workplaces and compound that with having made the career change to being a coach in the last year I often feel a disconnect, a fear, as if I am a sheep in wolves clothing and that someone will eventually notice and yell out that “The Emperor has no clothes”.  This is commonly known as Imposter Syndrome, which is defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. People who see themselves as “imposters” suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of...

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Why You Should Be Deadlifting

Written by, Coach Vanessa Panella


Hips Don't Lie

You've probably heard a lot about the deadlift. Maybe ever performed it a few times in the gym. And if you've ever gone to a class or worked with a coach before you definitely done this movement. Have you ever wondered why EVERY coach has taught you this move and had you do it before. Why are we so in love with the hip hinge?

First things first. Let's clarify that there are LOTs of ways to perform the deadlift. Lots of factors go into how coaches decide what too and what position we have you perform. Therefore, all the equipment that is used to perform the deadlift is valid; barbells, trap bar, kettlebells, and sandbags all fit this bill. But, after working for a commercial gym for years, I can tell you that this is the one movement that I got the most push back from clients from. 

"I can't do that. I have a bad back." 

"I've heard those are bad for you"

"I'm not trying to be a bodybuilder/powerlifter"

Well I'm here...

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By, Kate Durham


As we enter 2021, we look back on a year full of unexpected challenges. Simultaneously, it’s been empty of many of the athletic events we’ve grown to expect to reminisce on in a year-end retrospect.  In our fitness-focused world, we’ve missed countless external finish lines this year, and we don’t know when they will return.  The pandemic has left us in a state of “Now What?”  How do we change our goal-setting perspectives to better prepare us for “Now What?” moments in life? 


To prepare for 2021 and beyond, we want to distinguish between an external finish line and an internal finish line.  So what is the difference?  An external finish line can be a literal finish line, or another physical achievement, such as climbing the rope for the first time or deadlifting 300 lbs.  An internal finish line is a goal that is met from within, such as learning to...

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