Travis Gil

Travis Gil

Thursday, 30 March 2017 17:38

Say "I Do" to The Sculpted Bride

Wedding season is here and that means it’s crunch time for all of you soon-to-be brides and grooms. Let’s be honest: getting in shape is hard work, but it can seem even harder with the added stress of organizing a wedding. The Sculpted Bride program aims to rid you of some of that stress by designing a tailor made plan that will chart the best path to your particular goals, whether that’s shedding a few pounds or toning up. Hard work will still be involved if you want to see results and that’s why we’re here - to push you toward your goals and encourage you along the way.

You’re putting a lot of work into everything being perfect on your wedding day. The memories you make on your wedding day will last a lifetime. Look your best when you walk down the aisle and do it the right way. We know time is of the essence and you can’t waste time trying different workout methods and nutrition plans to find what works. We’re taking the guess work out of the planning process for you.

We’ve found that most brides have a few top priorities leading up to the big day: losing weight, toning and sculpting and developing radiant skin. A boost is confidence can be seen as a fourth priority but if you take care of the first three, a confidence boost will come naturally. With these priorities in mind, this program offers the best mix of fitness and nutrition coaching

The Sculpted Bride is available in three tiers (see below) and each includes personal time with Fitness Artist body sculpters that will set you on the right path to looking your best. We’ll set you up with a custom nutrition plan to make sure your diet compliments the work you’re doing in the studio and constantly evaluate your progress throughout to make sure you’re staying on the right track. Our Bride By Design+1 allows the bride-to-be to bring a partner with her to all activities. That can be the groom, a bridesmaid, or another friend or relative. It’s totally up to you.

For more information on The Sculpted Bride, visit the program’s page on our website or call 518-497-5440. 

Friday, 17 March 2017 13:55

Emerging Trends in Fitness and Nutrition

“The only constant is change” - Heraclitus, Greek philosopher.

Our fitness and nutrition philosophy has stayed relatively constant over the years - create custom programs for our clients to achieve optimal results in relation to their goals. Each client is different and has a different idea of what success means to them. But as more research is released in these fields, we’re continually getting more insight into how the body and mind react to certain training methods. This research sometimes leads to fitness and nutrition “fads” which come and go quickly after a brief spike in popularity. Fads that come to mind include diet pills, the Atkins Diet, 8-Minute Abs, the ThighMaster. These all had brief moments of popularity but eventually faded away, either as the novelty wore off or they were discredited.

Trends stick around longer and normally have some amount of research to back them up. Think yoga, resistance training and functional movement workouts. Even jogging at one point was considered a novelty. Here are some current trends we see gaining steam in the worlds of fitness and nutrition.


Gluten Free Diet

Those who are allergic to gluten have no choice but to seek out gluten free options. For others, it’s a lifestyle choice that they think will help them lose weight and feel better. Fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten free but there are also a lot of processed foods that make the claim as well. Always read the label on these as they can have additives in place of gluten like fat, sugar or substitute starches with no nutritional value. Cutting gluten from your diet won’t automatically lead to a healthier, leaner you. It’s best to consult your doctor or registered dietitian before giving up the gluten altogether.


Body Weight Training

Perfect for those who say they’re too busy to get to the gym as much as they should. Body weight training can be done at home (or just about anywhere, for that matter) as it doesn’t require any equipment, just the resistance of your own body weight. Exercises you can incorporate here include some of the classics like lunges, squats, push-ups and planks. These are all good for improving lean muscle mass. But remember: it’s important to switch things up so carve out some time to get to the gym!


Super Foods

These are nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. These are mostly plant based foods. For instance kale, spinach, blueberries, kiwis, potatoes nuts and seeds are considered super foods. But salmon, sardines and even some dairy products also fit the bill. There’s not a set parameter a certain food has to fall under to be called a “superfood,” it just has to be nutritionally dense. What we’re seeing gain in popularity today (and often falling into the “fad” category) are ancient grains. Everyone is looking for the next quinoa. These grains vary quite a bit but all have high protein content, making them a great side to any dish you serve. Consider pairing tonight’s main course with a little amaranth, sorghum or teff.


Wearable Fitness Technology

Because we live in a technology forward society, wearable fitness trackers have risen in popularity. Since the Fitbit hit it big, the market has been flooded with new devices that monitor heart rate, track steps, map runs and do just about anything when it comes to measuring your personal health and fitness. We’re all looking for results that are easily quantifiable and these devices give us that satisfaction. They can be a great workout partner but don’t expect them to hold you accountable when you miss a workout or fitness target. That’s why we’re not worried about being replaced by machines. My favorite fitness tracker is the Garmin Vivoactive HR.  I love it primarily because it allows me to input the type of workout that I’m doing for the day and exactly how many calories I’ve burned, what my target heart rate is and how long I’m in that range.  Finding out that information also gives me the motivation to do better next time I do that same workout.

High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T)

You’re going to be a lot more efficient at burning calories when your heart rate is elevated. High intensity interval training alternates between periods of intense exercise and rest (or low intensity movement). High intensity is the key phrase, meaning in order to get anything out of this training method, you have to give it your all during those periods. If you do, you’ll start to quickly see a boost in your endurance. The rest periods are there to help you recover and prepare for the next set. Many of our clients have found success with this method, seeing a higher level of functional movement conditioning.

 

On February 25, we had the amazing privilege of taking part in the Albany Cystic Fibrosis Stair Climb at the Corning Tower. The Stair Climb is an annual event to raise funds and increase awareness for Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that effects the lungs, digestive system, immune system, liver, and more. Inspired by dedicated FA client Erin Mark, who was diagnosed with CF as a child, Fitness Artist entered a team of four sculptors to climb 42 flights!

After weeks of fundraising with a special customized meal plan promotion, we were proud to present a check of $600 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The four FA sculptor team members: Travis, Kayla, Paul, and Nora formed our Fitness Artist relay team to race to the top! Never giving less than 100% effort, Team FA even took first place in the co-ed category. Thank you to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - Northeastern New York Chapter for inviting us to take part in this inspiring feat. Needless to say, we will be adding stairs to our fitness routine from now on!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 18:38

Get Better NOW!

What comes to mind when you hear the word, SELFISH?

I know… I get it, I get it!  99 percent of the time it’s considered a terrible word. We all know that friend or family member who always puts their best interests in front of everyone else’s. But, believe it or not, that one percent of the time when it comes to your health, it’s extremely important to be selfish! If you’re not going to take care of yourself, nobody else will. If you’re not willing to invest in you, it’s going to be an uphill battle to reach optimum results when it matters most.

By now you may be thinking…

“I just don’t have the time.”

“What are you crazy!  I have kids to take care of!”

“Who’s got the energy for this?”

 

Our brains tell us… I don’t have time.

The fact is you do have time!  We know there are 24 hours in a day. That means we all have the same 86,400 seconds each day. Think about it. All you need is 3600 seconds each day to take care of your health.  It’s the only way to GET BETTER NOW.

 

Our brains tell us… I have to think of my family first. I couldn’t possibly dedicate myself to fitness when they’re my responsibility. 

The fact is you’re only good to your family if you’re in good health.

 

Our brains tell us… I’m too tired and can’t find the energy!

The fact is your body feels tired due to lack of exercise and your energy level will only continue dropping That will affect your family, your job and your friends. Let’s remember that change starts on the inside before we see it on the outside!

 

And that’s why what’s most important starts with you!  Without our health, the list of all that truly matters will be our wish list and definitely not our reality.

At this point, I’m guessing some of you are thinking…This sounds like a good idea but not right now, maybe someday. If we look at any calendar, there are 7 days in the week and Someday definitely isn’t one of them!

Wednesday, 01 February 2017 16:12

Start Taking Care of Your Heart Today

February is American Heart Month, which draws attention to the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. Although certain risk factors are unavoidable (family history, age), it is possible to reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 80 percent with just a few lifestyle changes. Of course eating right and staying active will only benefit you when it comes to preventing heart disease and other health issues, but there are other measures that you can take to even further lower the risk. So take your first steps toward a healthier heart this month with this advice in mind.

 

Sleep!

Many of us forget that one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy is to get the right amount of sleep. Not sleeping enough can lead to a slower metabolism, making it more difficult to lose weight. A lack of sleep can also lead to other unhealthy habits like late night snacking. So how much sleep should you get? Well, everyone is different. Different people will need different amounts, but most people need around 7 hours of sleep per night. This benefits not only your heart, but your immune system too.

There are lots of things that you can do to improve your sleep habits. First, try to have a night time routine so that you can get into the habit of going to bed at a decent hour. It’s also a good idea to avoid extra caffeine, especially at night. And, of course, make sure you’re getting enough exercise.

 

Keep a Food Diary

Keeping a food diary can make it easier to see if you’re making healthy food choices. You’ll be able to pick out your bad habits and see what you can do to fix them. Keeping a food diary allows you to track if you’re eating enough food, drinking enough water and getting enough servings of fruits and vegetables. You can also track if you’re consuming too much sugar or fatty foods. With work and other daily activities you might have going on, it might be hard for you to stop and write down everything that you eat. To remedy this, there are tons of apps that let you quickly input what you eat and go on with your day. Some apps even allow you to input how much you exercise and scan barcodes on your favorite snacks to make entering the information even easier. Two that come to immediate mind are My Fitness Pal and Lose It.

 

Quit Smoking

In addition to damaging your entire circulatory system, smoking increases the risk of hardened arteries, aneurysm and blood clots. The deadly combination of some of these symptoms can lead to heart attack or even a stroke. It also reduces your lung capacity, which would make it harder to get in the right amount of exercise to further reduce your risk of heart disease. For every year that you remain a non-smoker, your risk for a heart attack drops and, just one month after quitting, you will no longer be short of breath after physical activity and your sense of taste and smell will come back.

 

Get Routine Checkups

With your busy schedule, it can be easy to forget some of the important things. A checkup with your doctor is not one of the things you want to forget. It’s crucial to schedule annual exams with your primary care physician. With the right tests, your doctor can tell you if you have any of the risk factors that could lead to heart disease. If you make note of the numbers they give you, such as your blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol, you can input them into your food diary apps to track your progress even further.

 

Healthy Alternatives

While it can be hard to give up your favorite foods, it’s easy to find a healthy substitute to satisfy your cravings. Are you a fan of French fries? For a healthier quick snack, try apple slices or carrot sticks. If you’re more into pizza, try swapping out some of the fatty toppings for vegetables and maybe even try a whole wheat crust. A healthy combination of both diet and exercise will ensure that you have the lowest chance of developing heart disease.

 

There’s no better time to start taking care of your heart than right now. Join us at Fitness Artist to start improving your heart health today.

Fitness artist is proud to announce that our Work Force Strong program was featured on the Saratoga Business Journal! Click here to read the article.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 20:51

Rise of Preventable Cases of Type 2 Diabetes

Over the last several decades, an epidemic of so-called lifestyle diseases has developed in the United States. This is due to a more sedentary lifestyle and an increase in portion sizes. We’re just less active than we used to be. As such, we’re seeing rises in many diseases that were already among the most prevalent in our society: cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypertension and diabetes.

Let’s focus on diabetes - 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, or 9.3% of the population, and one in every four who are living with the disease don’t even know they have it.

There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, which means there is no way to prevent it from happening. In most cases type 1 diabetes develops at a young age. Type 1 means eventually your body does not produce any insulin.  For type 2 diabetes, meaning the body cannot use insulin properly; most cases are preventable, although some are hereditary. High blood pressure, obesity and poor nutrition are also considered major risk factors. Studies suggest that without weight loss and moderate physical activity, 15-30% of people with pre diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

Research has shown that a healthy balance of diet and exercise can help to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in adults. Losing between 5% and 7% of your body weight by a healthy combination of exercise and a diet consisting of less saturated fat and a lower caloric intake can be a huge help. The exercise can help to control your blood glucose and blood pressure. It also can help prevent heart problems that can lead to heart disease, one of the major health complications resulting from diabetes.

For everyone, we recommended that you participate in moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes for 5 or more days a week, but this is even more important if you’re at risk of developing diabetes.  Perform activities around the house or hit the gym, but make it a commitment to fit this level of activity in every week. Consult your healthcare provider and/or personal trainer to help you come up with a workout plan that works best for you.

In addition to finding an activity that works for you, you also have to remember to make sure your diet lines up with your goals. One important thing for you to do is cut the amount of fat in your diet. There are a lot of ways you can do this. You should try your best to cut back on foods that are high in trans-fat and saturated fat (fried foods, certain salad dressings, and products made from whole milk).

It’s also important to cut back on foods that are high in sugar and salt (soda, canned soups, and processed foods). Talk to our registered dietitian, Kristen Gil or our nutrition coach, Zack Feeney, so that they can help you come up with a diet that works best for you.

Fitness Artist is a proud supporter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Please consider a contribution to ending juvenile diabetes.

 

 

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 17:31

Introducing Work Force Strong

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to fitness and nutrition. Unfortunately, a lot of exercise programs are just that – giving a “broad strokes” approach without taking the individual’s specific needs into account. This is a trend I also noticed in workplace wellness programs. It’s not enough to just get people away from their desks and moving. The trainer and client should have specific goals in mind. Does the client want to increase productivity? Reduce workplace injuries? Cut down on sick time? All of the above?

The corporate world needs a more in-depth and personalized approach. Enter Work Force Strong.

Work Force Strong (WFS) is a corporate wellness program designed to increase employee productivity, prevent workplace injuries, and introduce healthy alternatives to companies and government agencies. The program is individually tailored to give your company a competitive edge, while also giving employees the opportunity to meet fitness and mobility goals.

We place great emphasis on injury prevention as we feel other wellness programs downplay this aspect or leave it out altogether. Meanwhile, New York has emerged as one of the states with the highest average total workers’ compensation claim costs. The more employers I work with, the more I learn that most of them believe workplace injuries only occur in dangerous environments.

The truth is injuries can happen anywhere. That’s why a proactive approach is so important. The health and well-being of a company depends heavily on the health and well-being of its employees. WFS sets out to identify threats before they occur and offer the corrective measures.

Prior to initial training sessions, our team will first evaluate each participant through a Functional Movement Screen. This will help us identify functional limitations and asymmetries that may lead to injury or chronic pain in the long term. Once this is determined for each participant, our trainers will provide a personalized exercise program aimed to restore mechanically sound movement patterns. All of this is delivered in one-hour training sessions either on-site or at a Fitness Artist location. Goals will be reassessed at the mid-point of the program. We will also bring in a registered dietitian for nutritional coaching. She will present information and tips on basic nutrition, healthy food options, and create custom meal plans (upon request).

We’re focused on changing your employees’ lives for the better. We know you want to see benefits. The success of a company depends greatly on the health and well-being of its people. That’s exactly why we’re dedicated to customizing what we offer based on your employees’ particular needs.

For more information on Work Force Strong and how it can benefit your workforce, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact us through this website. 

Travis Gil is the founder of corporate wellness company Work Force Strong as well as founder and CEO of Fitness Artist, which has locations in Clifton Park, Loudonville and Saratoga Springs.

  1. How does Fitness Artist differ from other fitness studios?

    From the moment you walk in the door of one of our studios, you’ll see that we aren’t like your traditional gym. You’ll notice a more spa-like atmosphere and an inviting environment that lends itself to both private and exclusive small group training. It’s this look and feel that sets us apart. Many of our clients take advantage of our personalized, one-on-one fitness and nutrition offerings, but they might also want their own personal gym space. We’re not just one giant, box gym. We’re more segmented. It’s not uncommon to have a client getting a massage in one room, a couple clients working with their body sculptors in separate rooms down the hall, and a class of six working out in our exclusive small group area. Clients with widely varying fitness goals can find what works for them, both mentally and physically, under one roof.
  2. How did owning a string of fitness studios come about for you?

    I entered the fitness industry professionally in 2006. After graduating from Plattsburgh State University, I found myself waiting tables and acting on stage and in film, but I didn’t know where my life and career were headed. I started to think intensely on both what I was good at and what made me happy. I realized that helping others and working out were things I loved to do on a daily basis so I decided to jump into the world of personal training. I’ve worked in the Capital District for many years training everyone from seniors and stay at home parents to world-class athletes and body builders.

    In February of 2010, with very little money and a huge dream, I decided to start up my own company. It has since grown to three locations in Saratoga, Clifton Park and Loudonville, and a Corporate Wellness company called Work Force Strong. This allows me the opportunity to change the lives of so many in so many positive ways.

  3. Where do you see the company moving from here?

    I see Fitness Artist continuing to grow, not just in our client base, but in the amount of specialized services we are able to offer. It is my personal mission to create the best fitness studio on the planet and I won’t stop until we get there. Right now, we have 15 sculptors (trainers) across our three locations and each one has their own set of certifications and specific areas of expertise. We pair our clients with the trainer whose skill set best fits their goals – whether that be weight loss, body sculpting and strengthening, flexibility, injury recovery, or just overall health improvement. I’d like to continue to build and diversify in that sense.

    I’m also continuing to build Work Force Strong. We’ve had success working with corporate clients and their employees. The more clients I work with, the more refined and in-depth the program has become so I’m excited for that to continue.

  4. Describe what the Work Force Strong program entails.

    Work Force Strong is a program that aims to provide participants with the knowledge and ability necessary to reduce workplace injuries, implement healthy alternatives into their lives, and increase productivity. The overall goal here is to establish a healthy, productive workforce for our clients that can ultimately save money for the company.

    My team and I visit the companies that we work with anywhere from two to four days a week usually, and lead specialized group fitness sessions. We’re very much focused on achieving tangible results so we evaluate each participant beforehand to gauge their baseline levels. At the midpoint and conclusion of the program, we measure again to quantify the progress they’ve made. Nearly all of the participants we work with see a boost in their strength, confidence, energy, flexibility and stamina. We also bring in a registered dietitian as part of the program to guide participants toward healthy choices in the kitchen.

  5. What’s been the biggest challenge in creating and growing Fitness Artist?

    Starting a business is taking a big risk and there have been many ups and downs along the way. It’s always been a challenge to balance the business management side of things with my constant fitness coaching duties. We train our clients to keep a positive attitude and to always keep their goals in mind, even if the results don’t come right away. I’ve applied those virtues to being a business owner and it’s allowed me to succeed. In high school there was a running joke that if there was an award for “Most Likely to NOT Succeed,” I would’ve won. That’s one of my biggest driving forces. No matter what your past is, you always have the future to change it. I’m always looking for ways to evolve and get better–both personally and professionally–and that’s what I love about fitness. Fitness allows you to improve from within, giving you confidence, energy, and the drive to be better from the inside out.

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Thursday, 08 December 2016 03:47

Staying Fit Over the Holidays

Keep the extra holiday pounds off with some quick, calorie-burning exercises. Fitness Artist owner Travis Gil and Kayla Radliff demonstrate a high-intensity workout on WNYT. See more fitness and nutrition tips on our blog

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