Exercise is a Contributor To Weight Loss, Not a Primary Driver
Regular exercise is a critical component of health optimization, however, contrary to what pop culture would have you think, losing fat is not a two-factor equation.  Activity alone accounts for only about 8% of fat loss while shifting your body composition, and still, for many people, the idea of adding exercise is more appealing than limiting indulgences, trumps maintenance of healthy sleep habits and can be a source of distress.    As we look at the ‘best’ type of exercise, consider the following ‘ground rules’:

  • You can’t outrun your fork – developing a healthy eating strategy that does not involve trying to ‘burn off’ excess calories but instead provides your body with the fuel it needs to perform at a high level and the nutrition it needs to recover.
  • High quality sleep for the appropriate duration should not be sacrificed to ‘fit in’ a workout.  Adjust your bedtime to accommodate an early wake-up, adjust your workout time to a later start on days when you are going to sleep later.
  • Pay attention to energy levels and how your body feels.  Our culture can be go-go-go, so it’s important on an individual level to take stock and adapt as your body needs.  If you are feeling lethargic or run down one day, opt for lower intensity exercise. If that feeling is prolonged, maintain low-intensity exercise and focus on other aspects of your health that are problematic: nutrition, sleep, stress or self-care could all be culprits.

Enjoyment May Be The Key Determinant in Weight Loss
There is an old-adage that the best exercise you can do is the one that you WILL do, and this remains the best piece of advice.  Choose an activity that you enjoy doing, that you can turn into a habit. Consistency is a big key to losing weight, so something that you can do several times per week for months or years is the one that’s going to give you the best results.  On top of the obvious weight loss potential, your enjoyment of the activity can help you gain more happiness and less stress in your life. Research shows that doing exercise that you hate, even exercise that has helped others to lose significant amounts of weight, can make health conditions worse, where exercise enjoyed had positive compound results.
Guidance to “Just Do It”
If you aren’t sure where to start, you’re in good company.  Most people find that getting started and finding direction is the hardest step, so we wanted to provide some guidance here.  You can adjust each type of exercise to your level of fitness, whether you are a beginner or an experienced athlete just getting back in the groove.  
It’s also important, especially when you’re starting out or have taken a long break to pay attention to the signals from your body.  It’s normal to push yourself and be a little uncomfortable during a workout, and you can expect a bit of soreness for a few days after.  However, if you have unusual or intense pains, shortness of breath, or other health concerns, talk to your trusted healthcare provider and change your workouts as needed.
Weight Loss Exercise When You Don’t Know Where to Begin
You have probably heard of some of the following workouts and may have even wondered what they were or if they were healthy.  These methods of exercise can have benefits to your overall health and may be just what you need to achieve your personal fitness goals.  Seeking professional help is always a good idea when trying something new or learning a new skill – hiring a trainer or joining a group class is great way to learn to perform movements properly, experiment with intensity and reduce self consciousness or insecurity.  Try them out and see if they fit your lifestyle!
HIIT Interval Training
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training.  It’s a simple approach of doing an activity, like sprinting, at maximum effort for a short time, recovering for a set duration, then repeating.  These kinds of workouts can be done in a concise amount of time, and are especially effective for fat loss.  The key is since the short bursts of activity burn through circulating glucose and glycogen (aka sugar) quickly; your body signals that it’s time to burn stored fuel, aka fat,
Sprints are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to activities, too.  Jumping jacks, squat jumps, pushups, burpees, and other bodyweight exercises are ideal and can give you enough variety to keep workouts fun.  As the name suggests, the magic in this style of training is in the intensity, however, intensity is very individual – your 80% intensity could be someone else’s 100%.  Use a perceived rate of exertion scale of 1-10 when evaluating intensity and aim for an 8-9 during the work interval. The ratio of work to rest also plays a role in the intensity of the workout as a whole – when starting out, keep the work interval short – ie. 10 seconds, and the rest interval long- ie. 4-5x the work interval.  As adaptation occurs and fitness improves, steadily decrease the rest interval until you are able to sustain a 1:1 ratio at which point you can increase intensity by creating an inverse ratio of work to rest ie. 20 seconds work to 10 seconds rest (commonly known as a tabata interval). Remember more is not better – the goal here is intensity, not duration.  Your high intensity workout could be as short as 8 minutes with rest accounting for a minute and 20 seconds of that time but at end of it, you should feel worked over and complete spent.
Resistance Training
Resistance training is using any form of resistance to increase muscle strength, such as weight lifting or using resistance bands.  Some people shy away from this type of training with worries of injuries or a bulky look when they want to trim down. To avoid injuries, you may want to hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to make sure your form is solid.  Make sure the weight you are using is sufficient for the desired intensity while not being more than what you can move with proper form throughout the set.
Adding muscle does not have to mean getting bigger – hypertrophy.  The initial ‘bulk’ that some individuals experience is that the muscles begin to grow larger and hold a bit more water until they heal.  Since there is already a layer of fat on top of the muscle, this can, for a while, make you look bigger than you want. The best part about resistance training is that muscle burns calories at rest – i.e., increase lean muscle mass drives your metabolism;  this means that with consistent training, you can burn through more of your fat stores faster, and the puffy look will pass quickly on its own.
They range of repetitions, the load employed, the tempo of the exercise, and rest interval are just a few of the factors that determine the training effect of exercise.  Proper manipulation of these factors leads to the desired result.
Go Play
Sports and classes are an excellent way to lose excess body fat and optimize health.  These activities help form social bonds, and social accountability has been proven very effective in helping people stay consistent to an exercise plan.  In other words, it’s easier to work out with friends than going by yourself.  These activities are also structured, so you don’t have to think about making a plan yourself.  You just have to show up and join in.
There are an endless variety of options in this category too, and they all make it easy to stay consistent since classes and sports practices are held regularly at the same times each week.  Dance classes are popular, such as Zumba, and yoga classes are sprouting up everywhere. Communities frequently have sports leagues, such as softball, football, or tennis, and there are groups that organize in parks to walk, run, or use outdoor equipment.  Crossfit classes are easy to find, though take a couple of sample classes to make sure you enjoy the intensity.
Get creative!  Your city may have gyms that teach you rock climbing, you may have places that offer jumping gyms, or you might be near a skate park.
If you can’t physically join a class or sport, try joining a virtual group.  Social media offers ways to join up with others who have similar fat loss goals and enjoy the same kinds of activities, and you can support each other through chats, videos, and even working out at the same time through video calls.  Some services offer video workout classes with forums so you can connect with others doing the same programs.
Bottom Line, Starting Small is Still a Start
You don’t need to have long, intense workout sessions to see results.  Finding a balance between high intensity training, strength training, play and low intensity longer duration workouts is key to developing a healthy, or healthier, lifestyle.  As previously noted exercise alone accounts for only about 8% of fat loss. Staying active may be more important for long-term health and mobility than it is for weight loss. Type of exercise, intensity, duration is less important than it is to make it a habit and to ensure that you find a balance of those variables as too much of one at the sacrifice of another will not lead to the results you are seeking.  
Exercise Should be Fun
If you keep your workouts interesting, challenging and balanced, you’re more likely to keep exercise as a long-term habit.  Exercising regularly not only benefits your overall health but also aids in healthier choices in other areas – nutrition or sleep for example.  Exercise can help with stress management and also be a part of your self care plan. Improving habits across these domains is the key to measurable and sustainable results.   Finding a form or multiple forms of exercise that you enjoy, possibly even look forward to, is the key to exercising consistently. There are plenty of ways to stay active, so explore options until you find ones that keep you excited.

Jake Verhulp

Trainer Spirit Animal: Spider Monkey
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Jake played baseball at Gunn High School and in college until a series of rotator cuff injuries abruptly ended his playing career. Inspired to help others avoid similar outcomes and help people perform at their best, Jake went on to pursue and attain a B.S in Health & Human Sciences from Loyola Marymount University. With experience in both the physical therapy and personal training settings, Jake brings a unique perspective and a passion for integrating the principles of injury prevention and human performance. His goal is to help each client unlock their body’s potential with immense value placed their individual goals. When Jake is not training or researching, he enjoys watching baseball, snowboarding and spending time with his dog, Barney.
What I love about FiT: It is a combination of great, passionate minds and an amazing community feel. Favorite sports: Baseball, Basketball, MMA

Hannah Golden

Trainer Spirit Animal: Phoenix
Hannah has been working as a trainer since 2015.  She has a masters degree in Sport and Exercise Science, is certified through both NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and the NATA (National Athletic Trainers Association).  Hannah has extensive experience in corrective exercise and rehabilitation having spent the better part of 5 years working within collegiate athletics. Helping clients correct movement dysfunctions and optimize how their bodies move enabling them to lead healthier lives is where Hannah leverages her expertise.  She is also a BIRTHFIT coach who supports women through the motherhood transition with education, support and fitness training. In her free time, Hannah enjoys hiking around the bay area, visiting with family, and hanging with her two cats Simba and Nala.
What I love about FiT: I love the community that FiT provides and how quick it takes to feel right at home. Favorite sports: Cheerleading

Serena Earwicker

Operations Manager

Spirit Animal: Owl


Serena manages the day-to-day operations at FIT. If you need help with something apart from training, she is the one to get it done.

Outside of FIT you will find Serena hiking, biking and playing at the beach with her family.

What I love about FiT: FiT is welcoming and supportive to all. It feels like a hug, a sweaty one. Haha

Favorite sports: Anything I get to see live! Love the energy.

Tracey Downing


Spirit Animal: Owl


Graduated from the Kinesiology program at the University of Michigan. She has worked as a Rehab Specialist and Personal Trainer for 7 years. Her experience ranges from physical therapy clinics to professional rugby teams, domestically and abroad. Tracey has worked with a wide variety of clientele including high school & Collegiate athletes, weekend warriors, and professionals in sport.

Since relocating to the Bay Area, from NJ by way of Michigan, NZ, & the UK, Tracey has been very involved in many community and charitable events. Most notably, she is affiliated with the Leukemia Society’s “Team In Training” in their marathon, triathlon and Ironman programs. In honor of her contribution to the community, Tracey was nominated and selected as an Olympic Torch Bearer for 2002.

When Tracey is not working or training, she enjoys backpacking, skiing, traveling, and adventure!

What I love about FiT: Seeing people change: doing more than they thought they could, learning more than they thought they would, and showing up to make themselves better.

Favorite sports: Playing tennis and watching anything my kids are playing

Brett Lando

Physical Therapist

Spirit Animal: Cheetah


Brett grew up in San Francisco and attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory where he ran cross-country and track and field. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of California, Irvine where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology. While at UC Irvine he competed on the cycling team in road and cyclo-cross races and helped manage the campus bike shop.

Brett graduated with his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of California San Francisco/San Francisco State University. He is a graduate of Agile’s yearlong Orthopedic Residency, is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and most recently completed a yearlong Fellowship in sports and manual therapy.

In his free time, Brett enjoys road cycling, the occasional triathlon, alpine skiing, surfing, backpacking, traveling and cooking with his wife.

What I love about FiT: The TEAM, Learning new exercises from the trainers, and a variety of fun, innovative exercise equipment.

Favorite sports: Cycling, Skiing, Surfing


  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Board- Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists

Kendra Wagers

Massage Therapist


Kendra Wagers has been a Massage Therapist since 2001. A native to California, she began her massage career in the Central valley working with various injury and chronic pain methods under experienced Chiropractors and physical therapists. In 2003 she relocated to Las Vegas, NV to attend the Nevada School of Massage Therapy’s accredited massage program which led to obtaining her National certification from NCBTMB. For over 13 years she worked as a licensed massage therapist in Nevada, including employment at top rated Spas on the Las Vegas strip. Receiving training in various modalities over the years including; Hawaiian Lomilomi, Thai, Sports and Shiatsu. In January of 2017 Kendra decided to return to California and is currently enrolled in the Traditional Chinese Medicine program at Five Branches University, furthering her education on overall health and wellness. With more than 17 years of experience and over 1500 hours in training Kendra has been able to hone in on her passion for healing while combining multiple techniques to provide a personalized and detailed massage to every guest. Her serene approach combined with her roots in structural techniques, offers harmony, balance, and ease to injuries or everyday stresses.

CA State Massage License #73011

Katie Deangelis

Personal Trainer
Strength and Wellness Coach

Spirit Animal: Hummingbird


Originally from the Bay Area, Katie graduated from Chico State University with a Bachelors in both Exercise Physiology and Nutrition with an emphasis in Sports. While observing strength coaches during her internship at Norcal Strength and Conditioning, she became fascinated with the human body and its biomechanics.
Shortly after her first year in college, Katie found that excelling her knowledge in both the foundations of functional movement and nutrition was essential in order for her to pursue her career in preventative health care.

Katie enjoys training each client individually tailored to their goals and intentions by incorporating multiple training styles, thoughtful programming and relating exercise to their interests and daily lifestyle. Her mission is to help clients feel physically and emotionally powerful, strong, and pain-free by using an extensive and realistic approach to intentional movement, intuitive eating, and to encourage behavioral change rooted in nourishment for the brain, body, and soul.

What I love about FiT: FiT embodies a comprehensive approach to fitness and overall health so that you can not only envision but become the best version of you. Our priority isn't just about what you can accomplish inside the gym, it's about training for the life you visualize living. It's about showing up as the healthiest, strongest, and most powerful version of you. At FiT, we don't just workout, we train because we see the athlete in everybody.

Favorite sports: Functional bodybuilding, weightlifting, swimming, boxing, biking, and volleyball


  • American Council on Exercise
  • Crossfit Level One
  • NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, In Progress
  • Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified, In Progress

Kevin Martin

CSX- Opex

Spirit Animal: Puma


Kevin graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX with a B.S. in Business Administration with a focus in marketing. As a student, Kevin was a five-time conference champion in the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard diving events. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

He has a particular passion for rehabilitation and improving overall functional status. He enjoys identifying and correcting areas of the body that are not operating at their full potential so that everyone can live life to the fullest!
Kevin has completed a full ironman, multiple 70.3 triathlons, 2 full marathons, as well as several shorter distance triathlons and road races. In addition to triathlon, he has a background in gymnastics, swimming, diving, and volleyball. He enjoys helping everyone find the athlete within themselves and find a love for movement and exercise.

When Kevin isn’t training at FiT or exercising, he enjoys cooking, surfing, hiking, and spending time with his wife and dog. He especially loves being a father his young daughter Mayley.

What I love about FiT: Community, Hard work, Supportive, Fun

Favorite sport: Volleyball, Surfing, Diving, Running, Cycling, Swimming (triathlon), Weight lifting. I love watching all sports.

Tyler Pinkney

Trainer Spirit Animal: Dragon
Tyler has had a passion for fitness and competition since he was a young boy. As he grew, his passion and competitiveness grew big enough to help him win multiple achievements as a Division I student-athlete at the University of Oregon. After his collegiate career concluded, he knew he wanted to stay connected to the fitness world leading him to pursue his Masters of Education in Coaching, Sport, Recreation, and Fitness Administration from Angelo State University. Tyler has worked for multiple universities helping athletes achieve success during their collegiate careers. Now he is excited to put his expertise to work for FiT’s clients and use his knowledge and expertise to help them reach their goals.
What I love about FiT: The people I work with and the opportunity for knowledge. Favorite sports: UFC, Boxing, Soccer, and Track  
  • 4 years of collegiate coaching experience
  • Former Division I Athlete
  • Assisted multiple athletes to the professional level
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, National Strength and
  • Conditioning Association
  • Basic Olympic Lifting Certification, Totten Training Systems
  • Bachelors of Science in Psychology
  • Masters of Education in Coaching, Sport, Recreation, and Fitness
  • Administration

Juliana Oliveira


Spirit Animal: Dolphin


Helping people to achieve a healthy and balanced lifestyle is Juliana’s passion. Originally from Brazil, Juliana grew up playing different sports such as swimming, volleyball, and surfing. She has always had a passion for exercise. After moving to the US, she decided to turn her passion into a career and obtained her personal training certification. Juliana believes with hard work and determination anyone can achieve their goals. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, working out, hiking, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

What I love about FiT: I love the schedule flexibility.

Favorite sports: Snorkeling and swimming

Angelo de la Cruz

Orthopedic Massage Therapist & Personal Trainer

Spirit Animal: Wolf-bear-dragon-unicorn beast


While studying biological sciences at Cal Poly SLO, it became clear that my health was suffering. I was always tired, I couldn’t sleep well, I had digestive issues, and my emotions would swing dramatically at times. The realization came that in order for me to enjoy life to its fullest, I had to get serious about improving the quality of my health.

Since then, I’ve studied with doctors, physical therapists, clinical nutritionists, physical trainers, bodyworkers, and top innovators in the field of health & wellness. Instead of chasing the symptoms of illness, the most effective approaches to well-being are those that work to eliminate things that degrade health AND instill lifestyle habits that allow the natural environment of our bodies and mind to operate as efficiently as possible. In this way, we can be lead lives with less pain & sickness.
My work aims to use the technology of the body to help you live a more vibrant & productive life.

Some of the things I have fun doing are Olympic Weightlifting, breakdancing, parkour & free-running, snowboarding, creating electronic music, digital art photography/ videography, competing in American Ninja Warrior (My competition run is here) & learning about quantum physics.

What I love about FiT: Uplifting, motivating, supportive

Favorite sport: Martial Arts, ninja warrior obstacle courses, break dancing

  • Former Life Science Support Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center
  • Certified High Performance Coach
  • 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo
  • CrossFit – Level 1 Certification
  • USA Weightlifting Club Coach Certification
  • Intrinsic Coach Certification – Life & Health Coaching
  • BS Anatomy & Physiology
  • American Massage Therapy Association – Professional Member
  • Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Certified Hendrickson Method Instructor
  • Primal Reflex Release Instructor
  • Certified Massage Therapist
  • Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner

Jeffrey Prusmack

Neuromuscular Therapist, Z-Health Practitioner, Strength and Conditioning Coach

Spirit Animal: Sea Turtle


Throughout decades in the health & fitness industry, Jeff has had the pleasure to work with hundreds of fantastic people whom he considers all to be athletes. His approach utilizes a neuro-centric approach to training and bodywork which incorporates movement and postural rehabilitation, myofascial and trigger point therapies, musculoskeletal strength & conditioning, and other various strategies.

When not in the gym or doing bodywork, he enjoys listening to music, playing music on the drums, spending time with his partner and their dog, hiking and exploring, cooking and eating, and learning new things.

What I love about FiT: I love working with awesome people and assisting them with their goals. I love when they leave feeling better than when they came in.

Favorite sport: Olympic weightlifting

Personal Training

  • Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, NSCA
  • USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach
  • Performance Specialist Level 2 Coach, Poliquin International Certification Program
  • BioSignature Practitioner, Poliquin International Certification Program


  • Z-Health Exercise Therapy Specialist (EEP, R, I, S, T)
  • Advanced Neuromuscular Massage Therapist & Health Educator
  • Certified Massage Therapist (CAMTC #80926)


  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2001

Current and past athletes

  • Desk Jockey
  • Parents
  • Post-rehabilitation
  • Special Conditions
  • Hockey – NHL Professional
  • Tennis – Youth National Champion
  • Fencing – Junior/Senior World Ranked
  • Triple Jump – Junior/Senior National Ranked
  • Olympic Weightlifting – Masters
  • Equestrian 3m Jump – Amateur
  • Sculling – Masters
  • Downhill Skiing – Amateur
  • Black Belt Karate – Amateur
  • Figure Skating – Youth
  • Varsity Volleyball, Basketball, Baseball, Golf, and Football

Shaun Conness

Trainer Spirit Animal: Australian Shepherd
Shaun graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in recreational resources. Shaun is a Certified Medical Exercise Specialist with the American Academy of Health, Fitness, and Rehabilitation. Member NSCA. He is a C.H.E.K. practioner level one and a C.H.E.K. Certified Golf Biomechanic. He is a Titlist Performance Certified Golf Fitness Instructor (TPI CGFI). Shaun has also completed the BacktoGolf program in Carmel, CA. Through these courses and application, Shaun has gained extensive knowledge about the mechanics and flexibility demands of the golf swing, as well as the strength and conditioning needed to optimize one’s golf potential. Shaun has trained athletes from senior Olympic Sprinters to PGA and LPGA golfers over his career. He has worked in the home, large gym, and private studio settings. Shaun prides himself on having a strong work ethic, being positive, and enjoying life. You have to have fun.
What I love about FiT: The culture, the environment, and the team. Favorite sport: College football and basketball, pull ups  
  • USAW Club Coach
  • NASM Certified Trainer
  • TPI Golf Fitness Instructor
  • CHEK Practitioner Level 1
  • CHEK Certified Golf Biomechanics Specialist

Jennifer Mulry

Personal Trainer

Spirit Animal: Bear


Jen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S in Psychology in 2005.  She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, a USA Weightlifting Club Coach, and is ACSM Special Populations Certified.  In October 2006, Jen started FITBuddies, a training group for individuals with autism and Down syndrome.  In 2011, Jen founded BuddiesInAction to expand FiTBuddies programs.  BuddiesInACTION now offers 1:1 training, group classes, virtual training and health & wellness consulting services for individuals of all abilities. Jen’s passion is teaching individuals to not only move properly but also learn to enjoy movement.  She enjoys teaching other professionals how to work with the special needs population and loves the creativity of building unique programs that fit every individual’s needs. Outside of FiT, Jen spends most of her time chasing after her twins. She enjoys long walks with her duo, hiking, reading, uninterrupted dinners with her husband and is always looking forward to the next east coast visit with family.

What I love about FiT: I love the family atmosphere at FiT and the collective effort to all be the healthiest version of ourselves.

Favorite Sport(s): Basketball & Swimming

Jeff Samson

Martial Arts Trainer
Assisted Stretch Practitioner

Spirit Animal: Blue Whale


Jeff has been working with clients in the Bay Area since 2007 and performs personal training, martial arts instruction, and assisted stretching to youth, working adults and retired seniors. Most of his youth was spent as an unathletic chubby kid who found various ways of getting into trouble. It wasn't till he was a young adult that he began to study fitness, train himself and learn martial arts. He entered and won a fitness transformation competition in 2006 which changed his life forever. The personal training he received and positive changes he saw from the competition inspired him to teach others. Jeff went back to school and earned his Fitness Specialist certification through the Wellness and Human Performance Department of Mission College and has held certifications in Circular Strength Training, USAW Olympic Weightlifting, and Bioforce Conditioning Coach. He currently holds a BA in Humanities from The New College of California, is a Life Stretch Instructor through the Stretch to Win Institute and certified FST (Fascial Stretch Therapy) practicioner. Jeff is a longtime local having lived in California all his life from San Diego to the Bay Area. When he's not training clients or learning new things about health and fitness he enjoys trying new restaurants, sipping specialty coffee, whiskey tasting, looking for whales in the sea and taking road trips.

What I love about FiT: Great space, staff, clients, ability to pursue my passions

Favorite sport: Jiujitsu