As many of you have seen and heard, our programming is going to be changing this month. We listened to your feedback and are revamping classes to focus in on what we excel at, and that is bringing strength training to you and making it accessible via our group classes. Our new class offerings will be Barbell classes and Kettlebell classes. Check the website for details on how these classes will look different.
In Barbell classes, we will follow a set schedule. Monday/Tuesday will feature the back squat as our main lift, while Wednesday/Thursday will focus on the bench press. On Saturdays, we will work on both the deadlift and military press. We will be updating your numbers on the board to more accurately reflect where you are currently, so you can maximize your gains in the strength movements.
Kettlebell classes will not involve just sticking to the kettlebell for high intensity workouts but using them for strength workouts as well. One new thing in our kettlebell classes is we are going to take 10 minutes each day to focus on some sort of skill work. This may involve zeroing in on what makes your clean a little bit smoother, or learning how to bottoms up a kettlebell for movements, or even learning that balance get up with a water bottle (to take on the beer get up eventually)! Needless to say, the skill work is where we are going to get to have lots of fun with our movements.
Member of the Month: Jessy Bonds
1) What is it that makes working out a priority for you, given your busy schedule with law school?
Even with my busy schedule, I make working out a priority because the benefits are truly worth finding that extra hour in your life. Getting up for the 5am class is never easy, but I never regret a day that I wake up early to attend class. Not only does working out make me feel better, but it also helps improve my cognitive abilities both in school and at work. Also, having a very stationary life in law school takes a toll on my body, but being able to go to the gym daily helps relieve everyday aches and pains. Working out has also always been a priority in my life and it is not a habit I am willing to break.
2) What movement(s) are your favorite when they show up in the workout? Least favorite?
My favorite movements are anything with a barbell, such as the barbell complexes. Having a CrossFit background, the barbell just feels more natural to me and allows me to push myself harder. My least favorite movement definitely has to be snatches or really anything that resembles cardio, yet I keep showing up to conditioning day somehow...
3) I mean the obvious answer is Shakira, but besides her music, what else is it you really enjoy listening to in order to get ready for a workout?
If it is a strength day, the rock/country playlist is definitely the way to go. For conditioning days besides Shakira, I would definitely have to go with 2000's pop music, you can never go wrong with a little bit of Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys.
4) You have been pretty active for most of your life. What is it that keeps you motivated to keep training?
Being into sports my whole life, I learned quickly that my physical condition is one of the few things I can control in life, and because of that, my health and physical condition reflect on who I am. Striving to become an agent, I know how important my health and physical condition is, and no one can put in the work to get better besides me. To stay motivated, I remind myself of both my long term and short term goals. I also make sure to set attainable goals. This way, when I crush them, it helps motivate me further.
5) What benefits have you noticed from some strength training?
Strength training is definitely amazing. Being a person who hates conditioning, I live for strength training days. Not only does it allow you to see the physical changes to your body, but it also is extremely satisfying as you get to see your hard work pay off as you get to add more and more weight to the barbell over the weeks. Strength training is also very important to me as it helps me recover faster from my injuries, and the muscles I build through strength training help protect me from receiving any more injuries. And no... lifting heavy does not make you bulky.
6) We mentioned you being active most of your life... any kind of sport that some one might look at you and go, "no way" (i.e. maybe bull riding)?
Before coming to Texas, I did gamble in a little Bull Riding, which relied heavily on my physical fitness and is another reason why I make my health a priority. Like Bull Riding, working out is all about your mindset. Your body can do amazing things if you don't let your mind stop you.
BellHaus Brawl Powerlifting Meet
We're excited to announce that we will be hosting our inaugural BellHaus Brawl in-house powerlifting meet this November! Test your strength as you attempt to hit maximum attempts across your back squat, bench press, and deadlift as we bring the true experience of a powerlifting competition to BellHaus Fitness.
The BellHaus Brawl meet is open to all BHF Tribe members, and for those who aren't yet members but are interested in participating, please reach out to our coaches below to discuss. For members, the cost of the meet will be $35 and includes your entry fee and commemorative t-shirt. If you're interested in participating in a peaking cycle, 6-weeks of strategically designed programming to help you to hit your peak weight/performance on the day of the competition, please let a coach know. This $100 program includes personalized programming to be completed during classes, entry fee, and commemorative t-shirt.
As we close out the first half of the year, we are going to be transitioning from our 2x5 rep structure that we have been working on into the 5/3/1 protocol from Jim Wendler. We will have 4 strength days that will rotate from week to week and be coupled up with primarily body weight movements as accessory work. While we are going to move our primary lifts with the 5/3/1, the focus on body weight movements will aid in building lean muscle mass rather than bulking or massing.
In our conditioning classes, we are going to be switching things up again! We will be taking some time to work on various body weight movements instead of just pull-ups. We will be including push-ups and sit-ups as well. Our skill work will also be changing, swapping our single-leg deadlifts for kickstand deadlifts. This will still allow us to focus on single-leg strengthening, while mitigating some of the balance issues we see with a standard single-leg deadlift.
Member of the Month: Tim Crawford
1) What has made working out a priority for you, sometimes even resulting in those early 5am workouts on days that you're busy?
Working out is important to me because I am looking to improve my overall health. Nothing fancy - I just want to live a longer, healthier life. I believe training will help get me get closer to that goal. On some days, 5am is the only time I can make it to the gym. From day one at BellHaus, I haven’t let my schedule get in the way. Making the gym a habit has worked for me.
2) What movement is your favorite when it shows up in workouts? Least favorite
A simple kettlebell press is my favorite. The quote about lifting heavy things over head is true. Bear crawls are the worst!
3) Without a doubt the musical stylings of Shakira can move anyones hips? What other types of music or artists do you enjoy listening to while working out?
I enjoy Pantera or Chevelle while working out.
4) What is it that keeps you coming back in for more?
Having my friends join me, and the relationships built with other members at the gym, motivate me to continue. I look forward to every workout. Most folks at the gym are genuinely interested in each other’s progress, and I really like the environment. If I do try to cancel or make an excuse, I have the coaches and members at BellHaus, my friends, coworkers, and family to keep me accountable. I’m surrounded! I also feel an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment after lifting a new personal best.
5) What benefits have you noticed from strength training?
I've suffered with chronic lower back pain and weakness for years. Every doctor and physical therapist I saw said the same thing – the only thing wrong with my back was that I was too weak. I’ve missed out on so much due to my back hurting. I finally had enough and sought out strength training.
When I attended my first classes, I was sure to warn Coach Matt about my pain and that I would have to “take it easy.” I’m pretty sure I remember him laughing that off and telling me I was stronger than I thought. He was right! The movements I’ve learned and still practice at BellHaus strengthen my body and keep it strong. I am very happy that I no longer have any back pain. Becoming stronger than my pain has truly changed my life. I’ve also noticed an improvement in my mental clarity and focus, as well as balance. I believe this is due to the concentration that strength training requires.
6) This summer, you and your 12 year old daughter have started working out together. How'd that come about and how has it been going so far?
My daughter, Kara, had been increasingly curious about the gym as I continued to come home and brag about how my numbers were going up or what I saw others accomplish after any given workout. I bought her a small kettlebell so that she could learn some of the movements I practice at home. She was so curious about what I was doing. I was secretly and patiently waiting and hoping this curiosity would lead to her waning to join me at the gym. She eventually brought it up and after talking it over with Coach Matt, she joined for the summer. She has really enjoyed it. Her fundamentals class with Coach Lauren was amazing. The other members I’ve talked to have been so supportive of our decision to bring her as well as Kara’s efforts to become stronger. Kara’s confidence and self-esteem is through the roof!
BHF Goals: Congratulations, James!
For the last few months, James has been training with a very specific goal in mind: completing The Murph Challenge in less than an hour. A Memorial Day tradition for many, this workout pays tribute to LT. Michael P. Murphy and includes:
We're proud to say that James crushed his goal, completing the workout in 54:45. He is proof that hard work and dedication pay off!
BHF Summer Vacation
BellHaus Fitness will be on Summer Vacation June 27th - 29th. The gym will be closed on June 27th and 28th, and we will be hosting an open gym on Saturday, June 29th from 8-10am (no classes). If you have any questions about workouts that week, please talk to one of your coaches, and they will help provide a plan!
May marks the second month that we have been working our new program, where we are doubling up on strength movements but limiting the volume spent with the barbell. This program really functions well with consistency, so make sure you're staying on it!
In this program, each time we do the workout, we add 10 pounds to lower body lifts and 5 pounds to upper body lifts. Most of you will find a point this month where you can no longer add weight and still complete the 2 sets of 5 reps... and that is perfectly alright! Truthfully, that's the purpose of this program. Once we find that sticking point, we back the weight down around 10-15%, then start building again. It is through this natural build up and back off that we vary the load placed on the body.
For our conditioning classes, we are going to continue with our Fighter Pull Up Program for another month, continuing to add reps in. This is another one that really benefits from consistency. If you are getting to the point where you are struggling to finish or not able to finish the reps for the day, talk to your coach, and they can help you can reset. As we continue high intensity interval training, both through EMOM workouts and even some of the AM(Q)RAPs, make sure to stay hydrated, especially as we enter warmer months. And don't forget to be mindful of your nutrition, as well, so you have the fuel to work through what we'll be challenging you with!
Member of the Month: Deanna Darnes
1) What is it about the strength training at BellHaus that has made it a priority when it comes to your training and working out?
In the past, I’ve done a lot of workouts that had cardio as the main component. I never felt like I got a lot out of it, and I never saw big improvements. However, with strength training, I’ve seen a big difference in myself both mentally and physically. I’ve really enjoyed the process of getting stronger with each class and learning more about what my body can do.
2) What movement is your favorite when it shows up in workouts? Your least favorite?
I love to deadlift! I really get a kick out of the fact that I can lift 200+ pounds. I am no fan of rowing. Whoever invented that can go kick rocks.
3) While Shakira is the music that can't be topped for a workout playlist, what other artists/bands or types of music get you pumped up?
Any 90s rock will always put me in a good mood during a workout.
4) What are some of the biggest benefits you have seen from working out at BellHaus Fitness?
Aside from the way I’m playing on the court, I, in general, just feel better after each workout.
5) Now, not everyone knows this, but you play on a competitive dodgeball team. A little bird told us you have some local games coming up this month that are part of a national league. Firstly, how has strength training impacted your sport? And secondly, when/where can we catch your team playing dodgeball this month?!
After my first season of Elite Dodgeball, I really wanted to focus on the power behind my throws and getting stronger. With the strength training, I’m really starting to see a difference and improvement with that. It has also helped me to focus more during the game and react better.
Oh, there is so much dodgeball at the end of the month! On the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, we have Round 2 of our Elite Tournament. Each region has three rounds prior to Nationals. We’ll be in Fort Worth at South Hills High for almost 12 hours of playing. And if that wasn’t enough, that Sunday, we’ll be at Sandbar in Dallas for a six-hour 2v2 tournament. However, that one is just for fun!
BHF Gives Back: Team Cassidy
BellHaus Tribe Member, Renae, has brought a very special cause to our hearts. Her daughter Cassidy was born in December 2001 with a syndrome that affected her heart, kidneys, hearing, vision, airways, and overall stamina. Since then, Cassidy has had three open heart surgeries, and while her kidneys lasted longer than doctors ever expected, she has end-stage kidney failure and is in imminent need of a transplant. Luckily, her father was found to be a match, and she is heading into surgery this week. Inspired by this story, we will be hosting a special fundraising event soon to help support Cassidy and her parents. If you're interested in supporting in the meantime, the family is currently fundraising for COTA (The Children's Organ Transplant Association) in honor of Cassidy.