Breakthrough Spotlight –
Karis has just started training for the Tactical Strength Challenge and is looking so strong! We wanted to feature her as our Breakthrough Spotlight this month because she brings her best to every training session, not just with her willingness to challenge her physical limits, but with a great attitude and mental focus!
Breakthrough: We’re here with the lovely Karis, and she’s going to share with us her fitness story, and some of the cool stuff that’s been going on. So you’ve been here with us at Breakthrough for almost a year now – 11 months. Before you started training with us what kind of stuff were you doing?
Karis: Before I started training here I was doing really random things. I would say about 2008 I started working out a little bit seriously. I was doing Crossfit pretty seriously for about a year and then I moved back to Los Angeles and was still doing Crossfit but off and on, and then I had a baby. So about 6 weeks after having the baby I was working out with a trainer to lose some weight, and that was good. I did that for about 2 years off and on. Then in about 2014 I started working out by myself at the gym, and that was all super random. I was doing some of the things my trainer taught me, but that really doesn’t work because you should be changing up your workout. And then because I work better with a coach or a trainer, so I might go I might not go, and if I go I may not be pushing myself as hard as I should be, or increasing the weight or whatever changes I need to make. That wasn’t really working for me, and I was getting less and less motivated and wasn’t working out at all for weeks at a time.
Breakthrough: So was there a specific turning point where you felt like “ok, I need to do something different?” Was there anything that motivated you to switch it up?
Karis: I guess I just gained a little bit too much weight for my own personal liking and I wasn’t really doing anything at the gym that I felt was helpful. I wasn’t getting the gains that I wanted, and so I just thought I should try this. I wanted to look better and be more consistent, and I really need the accountability part.
Breakthrough: It really does make a big difference, not just having coaches to guide you through your training and create a program, but to keep you accountable.
Karis: That if you don’t show they’re gonna be like “hey where the hell are you and we’re still going to charge you” haha!
Breakthrough: Haha, well that’s the reason why we always follow up if you guys if you don’t come in. We’re going to be like “uhm, you were supposed to be in today, what happened? Are you ok? Is everything good? Let’s get you back in tomorrow!” We want to keep you guys on track!
Karis: Right! Yeah that’s great, I need that.
Breakthrough: So then have there been any big surprises since joining, anything you didn’t expect to be able to do?
Karis: Well definitely my strength. You know even when I did Crossfit pretty regularly I wasn’t lifting as much. So I definitely feel stronger and I feel that my strength has increased a lot, and that I didn’t really expect.
Breakthrough: That’s awesome! One of the reasons we wanted to share your story is because you really bring 100% to every training session. You walk in with the attitude and mindset that you can do the plan laid out for you. It makes a huge difference in your results, and we should mention that you PR’ed on your deadlift, lifting 200 pounds last week!
Karis: Yeah, right!
Breakthrough: Which was I think you said your previous max was 165, so that’s a pretty huge PR!
Karis: And that was a long time ago!
Breakthrough: Yeah, and that was not your end right there! We are just at the beginning of this program for the TSC in October.
Karis: Yeah we’ve got a long time to go!
Breakthrough: So in terms of you initial goal of slimming down, I know you’ve done that too.
Karis: I have leaned out a little bit, and I do want to keep going with that. But I have leaned out a little bit, I did the drop 2 sizes challenge…
Breakthrough: Yeah, even though you hadn’t been able to come in as much as you wanted to at that time, you still dropped two sizes and could put on those jeans which was great!
Karis: Yeah that was good! I haven’t tried those on lately…
Breakthrough: They’re a good barometer to keep around to see if those tight jeans still fit! So any advice that you’d have for someone who wants to start out with training?
Karis: Well, I would say one of the things that I really like about this gym, is that you guys really cater to people with injuries and rehabilitation. Not just like pumping iron, but you know, really making a program that fits that particular person. So advice that I’d give to people is don’t be scared if you can’t do something or if you have some old injury or something that can feel like it’s holding you back. Because you guys are really good at helping people get past whatever obstacle or personal thing that someone might have going on.
Breakthrough: Thanks, Karis! I remember when you first started you had an ankle injury you were working with, and your knee was tricky because of the ankle.
Karis: Yeah my knee was crazy, and now I haven’t had any knee issues.
Breakthrough: Yeah that’s been great. It took us a little while to get it to stabilize but now it’s good.
Karis: And the only other advice I would give is to try it, and to keep coming.
Breakthrough: Be consistent.
Karis: Right, be consistent. Because now it’s automatic. It took me a little while but now it’s like I want to come, and if I don’t come I think “when am I going to go?” So I think just keep coming and just do it, like Nike says – haha.
Breakthrough: Hah that’s awesome, simple advice – just do it! Well thank you so much Karis! We look forward to seeing you smash PRs at the Tactical Strength Challenge!
Karis: I’m visualizing everyday!
Breakthrough: Exactly! That’s what I’m talking about – using the power of your mind as well as your physical strength!