The second half of interviews from the Total Refresh Fitness and Nutrition program 2022, high-lights Alex Brandy, solopreneur of Ascend Experience, LLC. The Total Refresh Program is so successful because Alex and Kara, from Nourish and Nosh, bring their energy and expertise, education, and enthusiasm to help us want to get fit and healthy. Success can happen in each area, fitness and/or nutrition but what these ladies offer is success in both areas of our best healthy life at the same time. It’s a double whammy of goodness.
Here is the interview with Alex:
Q: When did you know that physical fitness training was where your future should be?
Alex: I was always active growing up, mostly in competitive dance. I loved the way movement made me feel. When I got to college, I joined the gym on campus and became really interested in nutrition and how it transformed my body. After college I suffered a traumatic knee injury and became so strong in recovery and I felt my confidence build back so much that I wanted to study personal training to help others become strong and confident too, whether it was coming back from injury or illness.
Photo by: Martin Splitt
Q: Are you CPR trained and certified, and what does it mean to be NASM trained?
Alex: Absolutely! In order to maintain your CPT (certified personal trainer) status, you must complete CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator) training every 2 years. I complete my training through the American Red Cross. NASM certification means I went through the most prestigious and national accredited training to become a personal trainer. NASM is National Academy of Sports Medicine. It is nationally known in the fitness industry and is an extremely in-depth training course. Rest assured, you are safe with me at every level of training.
Q: Do you hope to add any other certifications to your impressive accomplishments so far?
Alex: Most definitely! As a certified personal trainer, we are required to complete continuing education credits every 2 years. I have my sights set on pre- and post-natal certification, holistic health certification, senior health certification among others. I love learning and continue to push myself to grow as a health professional.
Q: How important is it to stretch the body and when is the best time of day to do that?
Alex: Stretching is crucial Every. Single. Day. Dynamic stretches are important before a workout to warm the muscles and prepare them for any type of exercise. Static stretches are important post workout in order to lengthen the muscles and reduce soreness in the days following an intense workout. Stretching keeps the blood flowing before and after each workout. Even if you are not going to purposefully exercise on any given day, stretching to waken the body in the morning, get blood flowing to your muscles for whatever the day will bring and then stretching at night will do your body good, not only for the day, but for your future self, if done every day.
Q: What might be the 3 most essential exercises for anyone looking to add fitness to their daily routine?
Alex: The 3 most essential exercises are in no particular order, however,
Planks: One of the most amazing exercises you can do for your body. It is a total body workout, and it keeps your core strong.
Walking: MOVE YOUR BODY! I can’t stress this enough; walking is a heart rate exercise or cardiovascular exercise where you are accelerating your heart rate and decelerating your heart rate. It really can be any type of cardio but getting a cardio exercise in every day is very important and necessary.
1- It helps aid organ function.
2- It helps our metabolism run stronger (especially where blood sugar is concerned – hello my diabetic friends)
3- Cardio aids fat loss through burning calories taken in.
4- Certain types of cardio exercises can aid in recovery time from surgeries. Depending on the cardio you choose, even light cardio helps bring oxygen rich blood to muscle tissue helping the repair and rebuilding process.
5- Hormones become structured differently by cardio helping to release “feel good” hormones that ease symptoms of depression and fatigue as well as creating a decrease in appetite. The stress relief benefits of cardio exercises have been shown to help us be happier and have a more positive outlook on life overall.
Strength Training: Strength training helps in slowing down osteoporosis, keeping our posture upright as we age, maintaining good balance as we age, and feeling well overall. Some basic strength training moves include squats, lunges, and overhead presses.
Q: When you started Ascend Experience, LLC, the pandemic had not happened. How did that major life event inspire you to evolve your business and programming?
Alex: I started Ascend Experience, LLC, in January 2020. Two short months later the pandemic hit. It was quite a challenge to say the least. Gyms closed their doors, everyone was quarantining, and for a while it seemed almost impossible to get anything started. After a short time, it was clear to me that I needed to pivot my training mindset. I started with virtual workout classes on every different media platform and reaching out to clients all over the country, hoping that a virtual workout platform would be appealing to people looking to stay fit. By the summer of 2020, masking became a good option for people who had to still go to work outside of the home and to participate in society in general. The masking was a great boost for my personal training because I was already established with clients doing successful virtual classes and now, I could offer one on one sessions, in person, as long as we maintained distance and were masked.
Here we are 2 years later, and time has helped me develop my 6- week Total Refresh Fitness and Nutrition group program. It is all virtual and I have superior help with Kara from Nourish and Nosh. The program has expanded still by price point where if you want access to in-person training and private nutrition sessions, it is all available.
Q: What are your plans to keep Ascend Experience, LLC, fresh and evolutionary?
Alex: I always have tricks up my sleeve! Without giving too much away, my favorite thing to do is to incorporate new equipment into my clients’ routines. Just when my client thinks they have seen it all from me, I show up with things like the blaze pods or battle ropes and create completely new workout routines. Keeping things interesting and fun is important to me.
Q: And finally, in what ways has creating the Refresh Group enhanced your fitness goals and business plans?
Alex: Creating the 6-week Total Refresh Group was such an amazing addition to Ascend Experience. It has allowed me to work with people from all over the country and expand my company reach, which would not be possible without this program. Most of my work is one-on-one and small group sessions in and around the area where I live. The Total Refresh Group allows me to meet so many more people from places I can’t travel to every day and to work with other businesses like the connection I made with Nourish and Nosh. Who knows for sure how many more businesses I can incorporate into this Group but I am open to whatever will be of great benefit to all of my clients.
Thank you so much Alex for spending some time here today. I definitely learned a lot more than I ever knew and feel so much more aligned with your purpose and how to make the most of my health and fitness.