If you’ve been to the gym lately, you may have seen Darnell Walker around the gym training clients or getting in a workout. Darnell was training in North Little Rock, but lucky for us, he decided to become a part of the Club Fit Fam!
Darnell’s brand NorthFit strives to help anyone who wants to lose weight or maybe has a bunch of weight to lose and they’re not sure where to start. After Darnell figured out how to lose 100 lbs on his own, a lot of people started asking him for advice on what workout to do and what should they eat if they wanted to start a diet plan.
This inspired Darnell to start studying fitness and how the body works. Then he became a certified personal trainer, and fell in love with helping others do the same thing he accomplished.
His favorite thing about training is getting a chance to inspire people and to be able to help someone make a positive change in their life.
“A few years ago, I weighed 280 lbs. My blood pressure was bad. My back was always sore. My knees were always sore. I was always exhausted. Overall, I was a miserable person. My doctor put me on medication for blood pressure. I hated the medicine, so I started looking up alternatives for all of my ailments, including high blood pressure… and everything pointed towards losing weight! So, with me being a football and basketball coach, I did what I know how to do, and that’s train! I focused on making every day lifestyle changes, changed my eating habits, and dedicated myself to the gym. I wanted to be healthy for me and for my kids. All of a sudden I went from 280 to 180! Friends and family started asking for advice, so I decided to get more into fitness and nutrition. And after that, I decided to become a certified personal trainer. The rest is history.”
When Darnell isn’t at the gym, he enjoys coaching kids sports, hiking, traveling, and mentoring others. He also loves hanging out in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock areas and often runs down by the river. He also enjoys a good laugh at somewhere like The Nutt House Comedy Club in North Little Rock!
If you want to feel better or maybe have over 100 pounds to lose, holler at Darnell. You can call or text him at 501-425-2785 or send him a DM on instagram @coach_darnell_501.
A Born and raised Texan who grew up with a love for basketball.
A guy who has always had a passion for helping people reach their goals.
This week on the blog, I caught up with Club Fit personal trainer William Barnes.
Here's what he had to say about the good life in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Tell me a little bit about yourself
I was born and raised in East Texas. My wife and I moved to Little Rock in 2010 because we wanted to be in a bigger metropolitan area with more things to enjoy when it comes to city and suburban life. She wanted to advance her career as a US Courts officer and I wanted to continue being a personal trainer. Our family grew in 2015 when our daughter was born. We've enjoyed much of what Central Arkansas has to offer, the friends we've made in the years since, and we look forward to many more great years to come.
What made you decide to become a personal trainer?
When I was 13 years old I decided I wanted to become a basketball coach when I got older. I figured I wasn't quite good enough to make a living playing basketball in the NBA or abroad, but I could very likely coach players and teams. Well, fast forward about 10 years and I felt that coaching basketball probably wasn't in the cards for me. I just didn't see myself moving to a different city every year or two. That's when I decided to become a personal trainer. I knew quite a bit about health and fitness since I had experience working out and eating healthy due to my athletic background. I guess I've always felt a calling to help people achieve their best with what I could help them with. I thought that route would have been coaching basketball, but I was led to help people through personal training. I've greatly enjoyed it since beginning my career in 2003, in three different cities, six different gyms and hundreds of wonderful clients.
What is your favorite thing about personal training?
My favorite things are that I get to have fun in a gym each day! I get to help clients live better, get healthier, perform their physical best and attain their health and fitness goals. Obviously most people want to achieve weight loss, get stronger, get leaner, have more endurance and stamina. Those are all great things to strive for and achieve to have a higher quantity and quality of life. But I REALLY enjoy hearing my clients tell me how much their lives have changed because they have less pain or no more pain in their joints and muscles, the strength and stamina to accomplish daily life tasks without worry, and just enjoying doing more than they have in years. I'm blessed to have gained a wealth of knowledge during my time as a personal trainer that has helped a lot of people.
What are your hobbies (besides working out)?
I'm a play hard, rest hard type of guy. After training all week long, both clients and myself, I like to relax at home on the weekends. I'm a natural home body. My family keeps me busy. We like to travel a few times per year. My wife loves staying in modern Air BnB's. My daughter loves them too. I would say my "hobbies" are watching football games, keeping up with a few tv shows, reading sports articles, reading books about self improvement and business, walking my dogs, trying new recipes, and whatever my wife asks me to take care of around the house.
If you've been reading his story and think William would be a good fit as your personal trainer, he is offering a free, no obligation training session and body diagnostics evaluation as a way to see if you would be a good candidate for personal training. This is a great way to get fast, safe and permanent results. Why pick William? Because his free introductory session gives you a chance to test drive having a professional fitness trainer plan out and guide you through a results oriented workout focused specifically for your body type and fitness goals.
Just give him a call or text at 501-859-3824. Or, if you see him around the gym, feel free to give him a quick shout. William enjoys visiting members and hearing about their goals.
Summer officially kicks off Memorial Day weekend!
That’s only 8 weeks away.
Are you looking for the fastest way to get rid of some belly flab?
Want to look and feel great wearing your favorite tank tops all season long?
If you’ve still got a way to go to get fit for your summer, then pay close attention.
Here are my 5 best tips to shape up quickly…
STEP ONE: Cut the Carbs - Strategically!
We all get used to eating a little more during the fall and winter with holidays and parties. Now it’s time to leave behind a significant portion of those tasty carbs to help you slim down.
Two points of emphasis I want to share with you; concentrate on eating natural foods for your carbohydrates and cut any carbs after 2pm each day. This means making sure you select fruits and starches for your early day meals and snacks to help fuel you, then switching to just fibrous veggies in the afternoon and evening meals.
For example, you could have oatmeal with some added fruit and a lean protein for breakfast. A mid-morning snack of a protein shake and a piece of fruit. For lunch, a grilled chicken breast with sweet potato and green beans. And then for the rest of the day, your eating should consist of lean protein and veggies like spinach, broccoli, a salad with balsamic dressing, etc.
STEP TWO: Focus on Total Body Exercises
To get more bang for your buck when it comes to your workout routine, focusing on performing exercises that work as much of your body as possible helps you burn more calories during your workout, builds better overall strength, and helps you develop a more fit looking physique.
One of my favorite exercises that fits the bill is the Dumbbell Squat, Curl and Press. When performed properly, this exercise challenges every muscle group in your body so that you get way more results from just one movement.
Total body movements and workouts are what I focus on with my clients to help them get great results as part of their personal training program at Club Fit. Making this part of your workout regimen will help you get a way better workout in less time with results you will enjoy!
STEP THREE: Don’t Skimp on Lean Proteins
Lean proteins are the most thermogenic foods we eat. Which means foods like chicken breast, fish and lean cuts of red meat helps boost your metabolism more than carbohydrates and fats.
I always ask my clients to make sure they eat a healthy portion of lean proteins with each meal or snack throughout the day. The aim here is twofold. Lean proteins help keep you satiated between feedings, and they keep your metabolism pumped up as part of the digestion process, which means you burn more calories than if you didn’t eat any protein at all.
For all your meals and snacks, make sure you have some lean proteins!
STEP FOUR: Cardio Six Days Per Week
If your goal is to get rid of body fat, then performing fat burning cardio has to be part of your plan six days per week. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it!
Cardiovascular activity is primarily meant to stimulate your heart and lungs, but it is a great calorie burning exercise as well, provided you do it the right way.
One of the major lessons I teach my clients is to perform high intensity interval cardio. When your body is challenged with high intensity cardio you get more results than performing the same old steady state cardio all the time.
In fact, research has proven many times that your metabolism stays red hot and boosted for up to 36 hours after a high intensity cardio workout, thus helping you burn way more calories between workouts and helping you get to your fitness goals. Steady state cardio is better than not doing cardio at all, but you still won’t get the metabolic boost like you do with high intensity cardio.
High intensity interval cardio can be as simple as working hard, like running, for 30 seconds and then slowing down to a walk for 90 seconds. That would be a single interval that results in 2 minutes’ worth of time. Repeat that same 30 seconds of hard work and 90 seconds of slow walk to recover for 20 to 30 minutes and you’ll feel as though you ran the entire time!
Putting in the effort to work as hard as you can in a short bout of time and then slowing down to recover will help you get in better shape aerobically and rev up your metabolic engine to burn off more body fat between workouts.
STEP 5: Keep Yourself Accountable on a Weekly Basis
I’ve got a couple of ways that you can help keep yourself accountable to your health and fitness goals. Both require you to be honest with yourself to stay on track or adjust if necessary.
First, tell several people you know about your goals. Ask them to contact you once a week and ask, “how’s it going with _____?” If you truly care about your goals and the people you are sharing those with then you will do your best to follow through and succeed!
Next, use that tight fitting pair of jeans or a snug dress shirt in your closet to gauge your week-by-week success. Once per week on the same day and at the same time, put on that pair of tight-fitting jeans or dress shirt to see if they are fitting looser. If the jeans and/or dress shirt is getting looser and looking better on you then you are heading in the right direction.
Since we're talking about getting fit for summer, you could use a swimsuit or swimming trunks to help with this tip. If you’re looking sleek and trim, then your hard work is paying off!
I ask my personal training clients to do this as a measure of how their past week has gone and they are always amazed at how that simple task helps keep them focused on their goals and what they need to do to continue getting results.
You’ve seen her hyping up boot campers in our locally famous 30 minute bootcamp. You’ve seen her around the gym training clients. This week’s blog post is all about Club Fit personal trainer Missa Miller!
To get to know Missa a little better, let’s rewind the tape (do people still say that?) a decade or two. After high school, Missa settled into a sedentary life-style, which we all know can be very easy to do. They even have a name for it, the Freshman 15.
Being less active led to being overweight and was followed by years of struggling with physical and mental health issues. But then one day she decided that enough was enough. She wasn’t going to self sabotoge anymore.
(Missa Before and After she decided to take charge of her health and fitness)
Once she decided to focus on improving her own quality of life, the positive effects of the life-style change were undeniable. Every area of her life seemed to improve so Missa decided to become ACE Certified in Group and Personal Training with the goal of helping others achieve the same positivity in their lives.
I love Missa’s story and I caught up with her in the gym to ask her a couple of questions so we can get to know her a little better.
What made you decide to be an trainer?
I became serious about my well-being in 2015. I was struggling with a laundry list of issues, and some of those things started to get better the more healthy I became. If they hadn't disappeared all together, they had at least become manageable. I know that almost everyone has some if not all of the same problems I was dealing with. I believe that if I could help myself feel this much better, I could try to help others find some relief as well.
What is your favorite thing about training?
Seeing people smile. We are carrying around stress 24/7. If I can put someone through a good workout and keep them focused on something positive for 30-60 minutes of their day and send them out with a smile, I consider that a win. Sometimes we just need to check out to reboot, so that we can handle all that life puts on our plate. I believe fitness is an excellent way to do that.
Where are some of your favorite activities and or places to visit in Little Rock?
The outdoor space to enjoy while being active around the city. The parks and river trails provide an opportunity to be in nature and take a time-out while still sitting right in the middle of the city.
“Since a very young age I was always intrigued by strong, powerful individuals. I attribute this to my father and grandfather who were able to do things I found amazing. True story: When I was a child I loved to read comic books and as I grew older (and long before the superhero movie craze) my initial goal in life was to be a comic book artist. Unbeknownst to my parents I clipped a Charles Atlas ad from one of my comic books, saved money I earned from mowing lawns and doing other chores and ordered his "muscle building" program. When it arrived I was hooked! I've been very blessed to have been able to provide for my family by doing what I love and can proudly say that I was one of the first full-time, professional trainers in central Arkansas since the late 1980’s!”
Russell is married to Pam and they have three teenage daughters. Russell is also a voracious reader, an amateur movie critic and loves spending time with his family which usually consists of any outdoor activity or preparing for the upcoming sports season.
Russell has a couple of spots that just opened up for clients however they fill quickly so contact Club Fit to check availability! These spots will fill up fast! Just send us a message and we will get you started.
“I enjoy movement. Any kind of movement is playing and enjoyable to me. My wife, Amber, and I will include our daughters and son in as much of our activity as possible. Hiking to the top of Pinnacle is our 3 year old’s favorite! Yes, he hikes all the way to the top! My motto is the absolute key to enjoying life, whether old or young, is looking after your body. I don’t want to wake up and be too old or sick to start something new.”
Jake even makes sure his dog gets exercise and mentioned how he enjoys his “me time” at least twice a day taking his dog Moab on a long walk. The Snowden’s also enjoy walking downtown Little Rock or exploring the Arkansas River Trail and seeing what adventures they can find along the way. “We try to go out on dates whenever we can and love finding a great place in Little Rock to eat. We love the nature in Little Rock. There are so many trails to hike and ride and Pinnacle has always been one of my favorites.” They also like hanging out with their kids at home and just watching them play.
Jake’s flagship fitness program was B3 Bootcamp for women. The six week fitness program for women was such a favorite at the gym that we changed it to every day online during COVID so both women and men could work out from home. Now it’s just called HIIT Bootcamp and it is for beginner and advanced and helps women and men lose weight and gain strength and confidence. The class runs for 30 minutes Monday - Friday at noon and is guaranteed to shred through calories.
in 2016, Jake opened Club Fit. We are in the heart of downtown LR and we love the environment and energy downtown and what we’ve created at Club Fit. “I wanted something that literally could make anyone want to come in and be comfortable here. When you hear the word “community”, our gym IS community. Our trainers, equipment, healthy food and smoothie options, gym layout and bootcamp are all designed for anyone and especially the person on-the-go! Fast. Effective. Efficient. This is our motto and it’s what we are designed around. 30 minute workouts and classes makes exercising easier done than said. I invite you to come check our little community and let us help you get moving!”
If you see Jake at the gym, you can see how much he loves the gym and his Club Fit Family. You may spot him cleaning machines or in the office drinking coffee answering emails on his iPad. Jake still trains at Club Fit too because he loves training clients so much and watching them transform.
“The personal aspect of training is by far my favorite. From one client to the next every single body is so different and at the same time pretty much the same. Everyone has differences but at the end of the day each part pretty mush has the same function. With the differences gives me a chance to be as creative as I can to make sure there is success but done safely. Even the mental aspect of exercise is really cool for me to see in each person or each of my clients. Physical activity is way more of a mental game then what people usually think. If you can break into someone’s mental it gives you better idea of what it’s going to take in the gym. I love that!”
If you’ve been thinking about starting a training program or even just finding a new gym, we would love you to be part of the Club Fit Family. Contact Jake today at firstname.lastname@example.org or click the button below to sign up for a 24 hour gym membership at Club Fit in the Regions Building in Downtown Little Rock.