January 2017

Happy New Year Everyone!

We had an awesome training session on January 1st…

And then a dip in the ocean immediately following!

It was such an awesome way to start 2017! Thank you to all of you who showed up! (and to all of you who were there in spirit =)



I have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s Resolutions…

On the one hand, I love a fresh start. A new beginning. A time to reflect on last year and look to the future to decide what you want to accomplish in the upcoming year.

When I think about the New Year, I think about Pacific Ashtanga Yoga Shala in Capistrano Beach. They celebrate the Indian New Year (Diwali), then our January 1 New Year, as well as the Chinese New Year. Diana, the owner, says she “loves new beginnings” and will celebrate every new year she can. I also like to use my birthday as my very own New Year. I use all of these “New Years” as a time to look back, take a moment to reflect on the things that I did or things that happened last year that brought me to where I’m at today, appreciate my current position, look forward and set intentions. It feels good.

After all…

On the other hand, I hate that as a gym owner, I’m kind of expected to do a weight-loss challenge that starts Jan 1. Blech!

If you know me, you know that I hate weight loss challenges. I’m more interested in setting a different goal – 5k or deadlift or press – something physical. Something you can work on every day. Something you can come to the gym and physically do and see progress. If you have a weight loss goal, we can talk about things that will help (strength training, cardio, healthy eating, & smaller portions), but if you focus on a physical goal, and you have weight to lose, you can lose that weight without focusing on it.

The other reason I’m not a huge fan of the January 1 random day to start something you’ve been wanting to do is because… WHY WAIT? Why not start December 10th or January 27th or any random Wednesday?

If you want to lose weight, don’t start January 1st or the next Monday that rolls around. Start NOW! Eat YOUR NEXT MEAL slower and pay attention to when you’re feeling satisfied with your meal, and stop there. Don’t mindlessly eat until you’re stuffed full.

Want to decrease your alcohol intake? Drink less TONIGHT!

Want to start an exercise program? Go for a walk TODAY!

BUT…. Seeing as how it’s the beginning of January, we’re going to get on the New Years Resolution bandwagon because TODAY is a great day to start feeling better and take steps to being Younger Next Year.

That leads us to our 2017 Challenge: Younger Next Year aka Be Like Marilyn

Marilyn is our favorite septuagenarian who out-trains most of us. We all want to be like Marilyn when we grow up. So when she came in raving about the book Younger Next Year and happily told me, “These guys are as crazy as I am!”, I knew it was going to be great.

The Challenge is to do THESE SEVEN THINGS… for the rest of your life.

  1. Exercise 6 days/week
  2. Strength Train 2 days/week
  3. Cardio 4 days/week
  4. Eat Less Crap
  5. Spend Less Than You Make
  6. Care
  7. Connect & Commit

Just those 7 things. FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

Now, this book is written for people in their 50s & 60s, heading into retirement. But I don’t see one thing on that list I couldn’t improve.

And it’s better to get started early. You can teach an old dog new tricks, but it’ll be a much easier transition if you cement these habits early on in life.

Get the book. Join the challenge. We’ll be working on it all year. (…and for the rest of our lives)


–> Info on how to join the challenge coming soon! Get the book now and start reading!

December 2016 – News & Events

Military Appreciation Month – Extended

In November, we gave away a month of unlimited classes to all Active Duty Military, Dependents, Retirees & Veterans at Pacific Strength is Military Appreciation.


Getting into the holiday spirit, we decided to extend that offer into the last month of the year. So please email me at trainwithval@mac.com to get your free month of classes!

December Goal

MOVE EVERY DAY! December gets crazy with holiday parties, events for and with the kids, shopping, baking, etc. We’re encouraging everyone to find time to MOVE every day. Specifically, we’re asking people to get at least 100 swings in every day!

You CAN make time to get 10 sets of 10 swings in. Or 5 sets of 20! Or (my personal favorite) 4 sets of 25!

Get It Done!

Schedule Changes

We will have a modified schedule from December 24th – January 7th. Please be sure to check the schedule AND SIGN UP for classes you plan on coming to. There is a possibility that, during those 2 weeks, if the instructor checks the calendar an hour before class start time and no one is signed up, we will cancel the class.

If you have any questions or issues with this, please call, email (trainwithval@mac.com) or text. I will be in town the entire time with family visiting. You all know that I love to teach and I’m happy to be here for people who plan to come to class. I love seeing your smiling faces and getting you the training you want and need! I just don’t want to be there, away from my family, if there’s no one there! Thank you!


Christmas Eve Training

We WILL be training on December 24th. Come for our annual 12 Days of Christmas workout!


New Year’s Tradition!

Don’t miss this year’s POLAR PLUNGE! We started this last year, and plan to continue every year. We’ll be having a workout at 9:00am on January 1 (it’s a Sunday this year!) and then we’ll head to North Beach and jump in the ocean.*

Your favorite trainers (Gina, Sharon, & Val) will have hot beverages & yummy breakfast treats for everyone so please sign up ahead of time so we know how much to bring!

*new rule… you may wear a wetsuit in the water if & only if you do the entire workout in your wetsuit! 😉

Polar Plunge – January 1, 2016

November 2016 – News & Events

Military Appreciation Month

November at Pacific Strength is Military Appreciation.

We live very close to Camp Pendleton, a large Marine Corps base and we’d like to give back to those who serve our country.

We’re giving one month of unlimited classes to all Active Duty Military, Dependents, Retirees & Veterans in November. Please email me at trainwithval@mac.com to get the link to sign up!


We’ll also start each class with 22 pushups – to bring awareness to suicide rates of Military Veterans – as the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 20-22 Veterans per day die from suicide.


The Challenge for November is to do 100 kb swings every day & get better at the Get Up!

Everyone’s name will go on the board

  • you’ll get a tally mark for every 100 swings you do
  • you can’t bank swings, you can only make up for days you missed
  • set a baseline & a goal for your getups

Look forward to more mobility this month!

Turkey Trot

We’re getting a group together to run the Turkey Trot this year!

Sign up here and join our team! Search for “Pacific Strength”!


Kettlebells For Sale

We have kettlebells for sale in the gym! We can now take credit cards!

Follow this link to see our inventory – from 8kg – 48kg!





Community Event – Wednesday, Oct 19th at 6:30pm


TSC Saturday, October 1


We’ll be holding another TSC this Saturday, October 1 & we’ll start promptly at 9:15 am.

Arrive ahead of time for warmup & paperwork.

Deadlift first.

Pullups second.

5-minute Snatching Last.

It’s difficult to predict how much time we’ll need for the entire TSC, but I usually plan to be there until around 11 am or noon.

Looking forward to another great event!

Follow this link for information on the challenge.

Follow this link for videos with the rules.