21 Questions with BSF’s New Trainer, Stephany Bolivar!

To help BSF’s clients get to know Stephany better, we played 21 questions with her. Find out what she tells clients who are intimated by working with a trainer, her personal “fitspiration,” favorite workout song, and much more here!

1. How did you first hear about BSF?
I met Eddy through a Crossfit training facility in Astoria, then we ran into each other on the train one day, he told me about Body Space Fitness and we exchanged info. The rest is now history!

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2. What made you want to work here?
I love the energy here! Everyone is really friendly and even the members seem excited to be here, which is great to see!
3. Where can we find you in between training clients?
Once it is warmer outside (hopefully soon), either at the park reading a book or there is an outside movie night by my apartment in Astoria I love!
4. What will we find in your gym bag?
My lifting shoes, VooDoo floss band, wrist wraps and a lacrosse ball.
5. Favorite athletic brand?
Lulu (Lemon), of course!
6. What do you do when you’re feeling unmotivated to workout?
Watch really cheesy inspirational videos on YouTube.
7. When you are planning out a class, what do you think about?
How can I make everyone more excited to come in next time because they had so much fun?
8. What is your favorite exercise to do?
Squatting and snatching.

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9. What is your favorite exercise to teach?
Squatting or deadlifting. Both are very essential for the human body and typically, people don’t know how to do it without hurting themselves. I love teaching people how to do it correctly.
10. What do you do to relax?
Netflix or read.

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11. Perfect Sunday afternoon activity?
Church and then coffee, preferably outside.
12. What do you tell clients who are intimidated by working with a personal trainer?
I tell them I am on their team. I’m not here to beat them up but to make them better!
13. Who is your “fitspiration”?
Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, a Canadian crossfitter.
14. Celebrity doppleganger?
Everyone says I look like Selena (Quintanilla, not Gomez. Ha!).

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15. Favorite cheat meal?
A burger with the works.
16. Pre workout fuel?
Avocado and fruit.
17. Post workout fuel?
Sweet potato and coconut water.
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18. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

An astronaut. I find stars and space so fascinating!
19. What celebrity would you love to train and why?
Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gosling…so I have an excuse to touch their butts!

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20. What is your favorite song to workout to?
Roar by Katy Perry. I don’t know why but that song gets me GOING!
21. What is the best advice you ever received?
“Life is a journey, not a race.”

Release Tight Hamstrings: Tips by Coach Stephany

Let me say that I am so excited to be joining the BSF team! I cannot to start coaching all you beautiful people and be a part of your journey to be the happiest and fittest YOU that you can be. Today, I want to cover a topic that plagues just about every person I have encountered as a trainer…the dreaded tight hamstrings. We have all been there. Walk into the gym, start stretching, try to reach down and touch your toes, and BAM! You can barely get past your knees, let alone reach your toes. We all blame it on tight hamstrings, and while that’s a possibility, it could also mean that we have a weakness elsewhere, but that’s a conversation for a different day. Today, I want to share with you my top 4 things I do to help my hamstrings.

4. Toy Solder/Zombie Walks
This is usually my first dynamic stretch I do every day. It is very simple movement.
Step 1: Raise your leg as high as YOU can. Read: Don’t try to be Misty Copeland and reach the ceiling. This should NOT hurt.
Step 2: Opposite hand reaches for your foot. Attempt to keep a neutral spine through the movement.
Step 3: Switch sides. I typically do about 10‐12 ‐ possibly more if I had a tough workout the day before. This video is an example. She is stationary, but I walk forward with each step.

3. Eccentric Stretch

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I’d like to thank Eric Cressey for giving me a better title for number 3. As you will all soon find out, I tend to give exercises crazy names. Hold each move for about 10-20 seconds on each leg. I don’t do this one every day, usually just once or twice a week. Again, make sure you are feeling that STRETCH and not feeling any pain. I cannot reiterate that enough. We never, EVER want to feel pain during warm-up.

2. COLD Showers
I know, I know. Sounds crazy but funny enough, taking a cold shower has so many health benefits (besides waking us up in the morning!). I’ve been doing this since middle school cross country and I still swear by it to this day. No, I don’t do it everyday, but it’s great after a tough workout, or lots of squatting or deadlifting. Now, I’m a chicken when it comes to cold water so I typically only make it cold for the last 2‐3 minutes. I just let the water hit my legs and do some quick stretching. Such a simple thing will truly help with DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness.
Here is an article that shares a few other reasons why cold showers are so great for us!

1. Foam Rolling

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I swear by foam rolling. It’s the very first thing I do before I warm up or even think about touching a weight. There are a bunch around BSF so there’s no excuse not to use them! Place the foam roller on the hamstrings and just roll your body back and forth, hitting from right above the knee to right underneath your glutes! BOOM! Before a workout, I do about 5‐7 rolls just to workout any soreness from the day before. After a workout, I will hang out for about a minute or so, really getting every little part of my hamstring and doing little pulses on any part that is extra sore.

Alright guys, these are my top 4 ways that I help my hamstrings out in the gym! Nothing crazy and something we can all do without having to go out and spend thousands of dollars. I look forward to meeting you all personally!

 

Kettlebell Sport Competition Reflection from Coach Tony

Happy New Year Ladies & Gents. As I reflect over 2015 and the life lessons learned, one that definitely sticks out stems from my first officially contested Kettlebell Sport event. As I write this, the distinctive pains of last weekend’s competition start to creep back as little reminders of the fun I was lucky enough to participate in. It has been a while since I have been able to let loose like this and had to push through so much obstacle. With that, I had to share at least a few takeaways. But let me not get ahead of myself.
Kettlebell Sport, for those that are not familiar, can be best described as endurance Olympic lifting with kettlebells. You try to get as many repetitions of a set exercise, without putting the kettlebells down. It is a grueling experience that tests your technique, strength, stamina, and mental grit.
Now in terms of my specific event, I took part in the long cycle with 16kg. What that means in English is that I had a 35lb Kettlebell in each hand and proceeded to swing them both from between my legs to the racked position where they are now “resting” at shoulder height. From there a few breaths are taken before smoothly exploding the bells overhead via the jerk. Rinse and repeat over and over for 10 min straight. If you put the kettlebells down before the time is up, you’re done.
After all the training and preparation, it all boils to what you can do in 10 min. What happens in those 600 seconds stays with you for days afterwards, physically and mentally. Being physically prepared is an obvious part of every competition. The mental part is what I want to focus on though.
The visualization of your own success has many proven merits. Putting yourself in the environment of success in your mind’s eye is a game changer. Not just the visual, but creating the sounds, smells, and physical sensations of everything around you. All of it. It all helps. As competition day grows closer, this becomes even more vital.
For me, I kept bringing myself to game day. Being under the lights and looking out into the crowd. Hearing the clanging of the bells and the voices of both my coach, Juan Pellot, and my wife, Donysa, over everyone else to focus my attention. The smell of chalk on my hands and the iron kettlebells. The feeling of fatigue in the muscles and lungs. The weight of the bells on my torso as I try to catch my breath and relax, which is not fun just in case you were wondering. I put my head in the game and visualized working my entire set using the techniques I practiced with the kettlebells over and over.
Whatever your goal is, visualizing your success will compliment your efforts and preparation. I hope that by now you have started realizing that this also applies to other aspects of life. Whether it is sport, health, professional, social, or just a matter of personal growth, putting your mind in a good place will always help you fight the good fight. If you can’t even daydream about your own glory, what is it that you really want then?
Need help figuring out what you want and/or how to get there? Come on down and let’s discuss.
Email at BodySpaceFitness@Gmail.com, call at 646-684-4912, or just stop by. Hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season! Time to get it in 2016!
Tony Vacharasanee

Garlic Chili-Maple Roasted Butternut Squash & Brussels Sprouts

Thanksgiving is a week away and we are already getting hungry for those quintessential Turkey Day recipes! We made this roasted squash and veggie side dish for our Friendsgiving meal on Sunday and to say it was a fan favorite would be a serious understatement. Swap out the traditional sweet-as-dessert yams for this better-for-you (and tastier!) recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of brussels sprouts, halved, stems and yellow outer leaves removed
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash (about 12 ounces)
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (regular chili powder will work just fine)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup gorgonzola crumbles
  • OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup chopped pecans

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Add butternut squash and brussels sprouts to a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, garlic, chili powder and cinnamon. Pour over squash and sprouts and toss to evenly distribute. Pour on a baking sheet and spread out evenly.
  3. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes or until squash is fork tender and sprouts are slightly crispy and caramelized.
  4. Remove from oven, cool for a few minutes then immediately transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Top with pomegranate seeds, gorgonzola crumbles and pecans, if desired. Serve immediately.

 

Image & recipe source: Ambitious Kitchen (www.ambitiouskitchen.com)