Feel the burn

Heights-area studio lights a fire for fitness-minded Houstonians

Fyre is the first studio in Texas to feature the Megaformer M3K+. Photo courtesy of Fyre Fitness

They say summer bodies are made in the winter, but Justine Vandenbrink is determined to help Houstonians keep fit year-round.

Actually, as the owners of Fyre Fitness, Justine and her husband, Justin, are focused on getting their clients LIT: Lagree Intensity Training. The exercise method — which is popular with Houston Rockets and Texans players, along with many Hollywood celebrities — targets slow twitch muscle fibers through low-impact, high-intensity workouts. The method concentrates on resistance-based strength training and combines elements of flexibility, range of motion, endurance, and cardio.

"Our method differs slightly from most studios, and our trainers spend a lot of time carefully planning their routines to ensure maximum effort and efficiency," says Justine, who is a Lagree certified trainer and holds a bachelors in biology. "We pride ourselves on serving up our own version of Lagree, which adds a little more cardio and ups the intensity in a safe manner without compromising form, which is why we refer to it as LIT."

Think of it as Crossfit-level strength training and intensity without the risk of injury or joint damage. The result is a 45-minute, complete and efficient full-body workout that delivers mega results.

Results — that's a key word for the Vandenbrinks.

"Anyone who tries this workout is stunned by how quickly they achieve results," says Justin. "And once they see those results, it becomes addictive."

Another keyword for the Vandenbrinks is "mega." The Lagree method uses machines called Megaformers, and Fyre Fitness is the first Lagree studio in Texas to have the latest generation, the Megaformer M3K+. For those experienced with Lagree, this newer version is designed with "Supra" handles and additional railings, which allow for quicker transitions, target additional muscle groups, and make the workout more comfortable for the wrists.

Method and machines aren't the only things that set Fyre Fitness apart from the rest. It's also the only Lagree studio in Houston offering a separate, private training room for those interested in one-on-one instruction. The large studio space is unusual for Lagree studios as well, and aims to make men feel as comfortable taking fitness classes as women traditionally have been.

Chad Ott, one of the lead male instructors, has seen results in his clients in as little as two weeks with just two to three sessions per week.

"One of my clients in particular was very skeptical about the workout at first," he admits. "But in about two weeks, she started to see a significant increase in muscle tone, especially in her core, which is a trouble spot for most people. She has two kids and says she's in the best shape of her life right now. She loves the workout because she's able to get serious results without a serious time commitment."

Justine herself had been practicing the Lagree method for nearly a decade when she decided to leave a successful career in oil and gas to pursue her passion for fitness. The results she experienced were not just physical but also mental, completely changing her outlook on life.

"I realized I was capable of so much more than I imagined," she says. "My mission is to bring Lagree to more people, so they too can realize their potential. When I have a client come up to me after class and tell me they are astonished that they're already seeing results, and that friends and family are even noticing the changes, it gives me life. To help people find the strength they never knew they had — that's everything."

Feeling a little intimidated? You shouldn't be. Fyre Fitness has classes that are suitable for all levels, and the instructors are well-trained in maximizing confidence in addition to muscle tone and core strength. First-time visitors can get a discount on single classes and packages, as well as two weeks of unlimited visits for a special reduced price. You truly have no excuse not to get LIT.

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Fyre Fitness is located at 300 N. Loop, Ste. 150, 77008. For more information or to book classes, visit the website or call 713-826-4469.

Add these to your grocery list

Best foods for runners to eat before and after a run

Courtesy photo

Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com

I'm looking in my email inbox. One thing is clear (other than I really need to delete some emails), race season is beginning. There is the Hot Chocolate Run, the Bayou City Classic, and Run Like a Diva Marathon. I'm getting totally excited thinking about all the medals I can get. Then, I think about last running season. My habits were pretty sloppy last race season. There is a reason why you haven't seen my finish line picture. My nutrition was shotty. So I went to my friend, Google, and did some research on the best foods for runners. Here is what I found:

As an experienced runner, what you eat before you run is of the utmost importance. It is no fun to run out of steam due to not eating. It is also no fun to eat the wrong thing and get gassy. It is no fun to eat something that makes it hard to move and slows your time down. Once before a long run of 16 miles, I grabbed a plum from my fridge in haste. I forgot that a plum is really a prune. I got what they call runner trots (that's diarrhea) around mile 11. And that's really no fun. So what are the best foods to eat before a run or a race.

Banana

Bananas are full of potassium which help regulate the body's muscle contractions and prevents cramping. It also has enough starch to provide the glucose (where energy comes from) for your run and is easy to digest earning the name Old Fait.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal

If you are in the mid point of training for a half, full marathon, or a spartan race, you will have long strenuous workouts and runs. Oatmeal makes a perfect choice to get you through. Like the banana, it is easy on the stomach and is full of carbohydrates to get you through your workout. It's a wonderful source of protein and because it has a low glycemic index, it provides sustained release of energy thus making sure you finish strong.

Nut Butter

Nut butters, like peanut, almonds, and cashews are great to eat before and after your run. Nut butters are full of fat and protein making you feel fuller longer. What's cool about that is you can eat less and you won't run the risk of cramping and sluggishness that comes with eating too much. Pair it with Ezekiel Toast (bread made with all the ingredients found at Ezekiel 4:9) to have a light meal made from complete plant protein. And its quick and easy to make. Just add honey to taste.

Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are great to consume before your workout, whether it is running, cross fit, or lifting weights. They are full of protein like the name suggests. If you are on a specific diet, they work well into your daily calories and nutrients. They come in amazing flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough and salted caramel. Chose a plant based protein powder over whey for running. It sustains you without weighing you down and is easy on the stomach. I recommend AdvoGreens Salted Caramel by Advocare.

Eggs

One of the best things ever created was the egg. Eggs are an inexpensive solution to many dietary problems for runners especially. Forget about them being a complete protein, but a little goes a long way. One egg over Ezekiel toast before a run will last until the end. After a run, you can enjoy an omelette to not only fight hunger, but inflammation. Also, eggs are full of Vitamin K which promotes bone health. Let's just say, the egg is awesome!

Some foods are great for runners to add to their overall diet.


Sweet potato

Runners need their carbs. You can't just eat Doritos and think that's going to cut it. Instead try adding sweet potato to your diet. Sweet potatoes are good carbs meaning they don't cause your sugar to spike which is great for runners because you can last a lot longer on the track. They are also full of antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and iron. You can eat them stuffed, in a hash, or baked them as fries with salt and vinegar drizzled on top.

Yogurt

Yogurt is also great for runners as it helps boost your immune system by its many strains of probiotics. Nothing can ruin a training schedule than getting sick over and over again. Yogurt is another great source of protein as well as calcium. It is a very diverse food. You can enjoy it off the spoon, as kefir, or as a smoothie with your favorite fruit. I'm thinking a berry, banana blast with pineapple (pineapple is great for preventing injuries).

Avocado

I can't have enough reasons to eat avocado. Avocados are a runner's best friend. Avocados have as much as 60% more potassium than bananas. Because of their high fat and fiber content, they keep you feeling full for longer. They possess Omega 3 Fatty Acids and other anti-inflammatory properties. This reduces muscle and joint soreness and assists in recovery between workouts. Although amazing by themselves, avocados are great on sandwiches, with eggs, and just about anything.

Legumes

Like eggs, legumes are an inexpensive solution to many dietary problems for runners. They are a complete protein-carbohydrate combination that will give you sustained energy and helps repair your muscles. They are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and will fit into a vegan, vegetarian, and a meat eaters diet. Think lentil stew or a bowl of chili to satiate your hunger after a long run. I would wait to enjoy after the run. They could cause gas.

So next time you go to the grocery store, be sure to include these items on your list. Better yet, pick out a couple of recipes to try out.

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