Coach Pat’s Transformation – Part 2

As you may have heard, I made a change in my nutrition towards the end of last year. The physical results were immediately apparent: lower body fat, improved overall strength/fitness, and increased muscle. However, I think the most important part of this process was the knowledge I gained. Here are some tips I learned along the way.

Long-Term Goal: Find what works for you.

race_2451_photo_40128358We say it a lot: you have to find out what works for you. We are all individuals, and unfortunately there is no one size fits all solution. The problem I found, most people don’t know where to start to find out what works for them. So let’s start on Step 1…

Step 1: Establish your goals, and understand what it takes to get there.

Before you start anything, ask yourself “what does success look like?” This doesn’t have to be a concrete goal, but you have to start somewhere. This goal should be a guide and I encourage you to check in from time to time and adjust as needed. Do you want six pack abs, are you trying to drop your mile time, improve bodyweight movements, get stronger, etc… It’s totally okay to say all of the above!

The next part gets tricky. You may not know the details just yet, but you have to understand the effort it’s going to take to get there. Are you trying to lose 2-4% bodyfat, or 20+%? Do you want to drop 10 seconds from your mile, or 3 minutes? You see where I’m going here? Don’t be afraid to have big goals, but understand that BIG GOALS TAKE BIG WORK.

Step 2: Ask yourself, why are you doing this?

If you don’t have a reason, you’re much more likely to give up. And that WHY is completely up to you. This doesn’t have to be a righteous, above everyone else ‘why’. It just has to be important to you. Are you trying to get fit so you look awesome at the beach? If that’s a big enough driver for you, then go with it! Whatever the reason – as long as it matters to you – hold onto this and you will find success. When you’re struggling to do what you need to do, think back to that ‘WHY’.

Step 3: Be fearless with your quest for improvement.

To really make a change, you have to be ready to get uncomfortable. The bigger the change, the more uncomfortable you’ll get. You can’t let preconceived notions, self-doubt, or negativity hold you back. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right” (Henry Ford). You may not be at your goal now, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get there.

Don’t be afraid to throw out everything you thought you knew.

Don’t be afraid to start it all over again! We’re constantly learning, and if you stay stagnant, you’re missing out.

Keep an open mind and make the best decisions you can with your current knowledge. I always go back to, “if everything we ‘knew’ wasn’t working, maybe it’s time to try the opposite.”

Step 4: Be honest with yourself.

That doesn’t mean be mean to yourself. Throughout the process, you have to be realistic. That means, don’t be afraid to step on the scale and don’t avoid the doctor because they might have bad news. YOUR BODY IS AN AMAZING THING.

Once you know what you want to fix, you work towards that fix, and most of the time, your body adjusts. This is really apparent when someone has a lot of weight/body fat to lose. They resign to the fact that getting to a truly healthy weight is impossible, and they settle for good enough. While I agree that improvements are a step in the right direction, don’t short change yourself with doubt. Just be honest, move on, and CRUSH YOUR GOALS!

Step 5: Be accurate and accountable.

To make an improvement, you need to establish a start and a finish line. You also need to know how you will measure success. The more accurate you are, the easier it will be to make adjustments to your plan.

Along with accuracy, you have to be accountable. Understand that CONSISTENCY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PERFECTION and there will be bumps in the road. You don’t have to give yourself a free pass, but you have to own it. You established your goals and you know what it takes to get there – so don’t beat yourself up for missing a training session, or eating a pint of ice cream. You knew it would happen, and you knew that it was your decision to eat that pint of ice cream. Own it, and move on.

Why Nutrition?

IMG_7528IF you’re asking, why do I need to focus on nutrition if I want to run faster or lift more weights? On the surface, it makes sense to do more of what you’re trying to get better at. If I want to run faster, I should practice running. If I want to lift heavier, I need to put in more work at the gym.

I wish it were that easy.

The work you put in at the gym is the easy part. I’ll say that again, what you do in the gym is one of the easiest pieces to your success puzzle – the tip of the iceberg. AT THE BASE OF EVERYTHING WE DO IN THE GYM IS NUTRITION.

Using me as an example, I changed absolutely nothing I did in the gym. Only my eating habits were modified, and suddenly I saw improvements in my lifting. At the same time, my body fat started dropping and I got faster. With my newfound energy, I was able to work harder in the gym, and it took less perceived effort from my body. The common thought that working hard in the gym outweighs working SMARTER to see physical results is wrong. Working hard in the kitchen first will allow your body to work hard in the gym.

Coach Pat

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MARYRUTH O’NEAL

COACH

BIOGRAPHY

As a largely uncoordinated child, I spent much of my youth with broken bones, missing teeth and injured pride as I stumbled awkwardly through team sports like basketball, soccer and softball. Quite inexplicably, I made the cheer squad in my freshman year of college, but quit after just one season and made no further athletic pursuits while in school. Perhaps fubsy young writers were meant to focus solely on their English degrees and grand notions for a publishing future.

But something unexpected happened in 2007. I caught wind of the Nike+iPod Sports Kit that Nike had released not one year earlier. For reasons I can no longer recall, I decided that this fitness technology (a then-little-used phrase) deserved space in my life. I purchased my first pair of running shoes, along with the Nike+ sensor kit, and started apprehensively pounding pavement.

Spoiler alert: I was not a great runner. But I was consistent. (And, blessedly, I discovered I wasn’t quite so uncoordinated as I’d once been.) I built up mileage, ran my first 10k, lost nearly 70 pounds, and found a new sense of empowerment that led to more confident choices in every aspect of my life. While I grew as an athlete, I also grew as a professional, accelerating in my career as a writer, and as a risk-taker, at one point even pausing my career to pursue a culinary degree.

There is no question that physical feats and even the smallest measure of athletic prowess can inspire boldness in seemingly unrelated endeavors. I have rediscovered this truth throughout my adult life, and I have witnessed in others the transformative impact of leaning into an athletic identity, no matter how we define it for ourselves.

This is what I live for as a coach: Helping everyone I meet recognize and embrace not only their athletic potential but also the broad impact of training and growing that potential. We all have a different starting line, but I am proud to coach at a gym that believes in meeting every member where they are. Whether you have spent your whole life identifying as an athlete or denying all along that you possess any physical prowess, there is a starting line for you at Bluprint and it leads to a journey that is utterly worth the undertaking.

CERTIFICATIONS

Bachelors in English/Communication
Bluprint Professional Coach Development Program
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

DEVLIN MURDOCK

COACH

BIOGRAPHY

Rowing is a sport that can show you just how strong you are and just how hard you can push yourself. Just when you don’t think you can go any more, you find that little bit extra. When you challenge yourself in rowing, all the other challenges you face seem to pale in comparison. I can’t count the number of times I have been met with an obstacle in life and found confidence in my ability to overcome that obstacle stemmed directly from pushing myself in the sport of rowing. I want to help you find your outer limits and then break through them.

Originally a soccer player, Devlin started rowing to keep in shape in the soccer offseason. Training indoors throughout the winter months in Connecticut, by the time Devlin had made it through a full season of scholastic soccer and club rowing he had won a district championship (soccer) and a national championship (rowing) and was faced with a decision. Several medals and accolades later, Devlin finished his four years at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA as a national champion, a three year varsity letter winner, a captain of the Men’s Rowing team, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics. Devlin moved to Chicago in 2012 to see about a girl (to whom he is now married) and became the Programs Manager of Recovery on Water, a rowing team for patients and survivors of breast cancer in 2015.”

CERTIFICATIONS

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
BS Physics (Saint Joseph’s University)
USRowing Level 2 Certified Coach
Cancer and Exercise Specialist Training Certified
Bluprint Fitness Professional Coach Development Program

JAVI TIRADO

COACH

BIOGRAPHY

Growth happens when you willingly put yourself in an uncomfortable position. This statement guided me towards Bluprint and since joining this awesome community I’ve been in a constant state of discomfort, which has led to so much growth. 

I played baseball since I was 4 years old up until my sophomore year of college. When I stopped playing, I found the gym to be a place of solitude. It was where I felt my best. I started my fitness journey with traditional weight training. I spent most of my undergraduate and graduate student years working out in this fashion and at various points felt like I wasn’t doing enough. When I moved back to Chicago, I knew something had to change. I needed to be challenged. I needed to be held accountable. I needed community. & I needed something that fit into my schedule. 

I found bluprint during the pandemic and immediately felt at home. This place changed my perspective on health and fitness and I knew after a few months of joining I wanted more. After 8 months of being a BP athlete, I stepped into the coaching arena. Coaching brings me joy. It’s where I get to bridge my passion for teaching and learning with fitness. I’m grateful to be a part of this community and to be working with you all.

CERTIFICATIONS

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
Bluprint Fitness Professional Coach Development Program

EMILY WAUER

COACH

BIOGRAPHY

Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a Strength Coach one day. Born and raised in Downers Grove Illinois, I was raised playing any sport that involved a ball and contact with my brother’s and cousin. In highschool, I chose to focus on soccer and went on to play on the inaugural team at the University of Illinois of Chicago where I completed a degree in Kinesiology Exercise Science and a Minor in Nutrition.

My soccer career came to a close after I endured my second ACL & Meniscus tear playing semi-professionally for the Chicago Red Stars Reserves. After I re-gained enough strength after surgery, I knew I needed a gym that had the ultimate programming that could feed my competitive spirit, help me build strength and endurance while staying injury-free. Those standards have been far exceeded ever since and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the team to take what I have learned to coach athletes from all ages and levels of fitness.

In addition to coaching at BluPrint, I am a software Sales Representative and can understand how hard it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle working a 8-5pm+ corporate job. BluPrint will be the gym to take the thinking out of workout plans, hold you accountable to making 3-5 classes a week, help you achieve the body you never thought you could and most importantly keep you injury free while doing so!

CERTIFICATIONS

BA Kinesiology Exercise Science with a Minor in Nutrition (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Sports Recovery Specialist (Chicago Recovery Room)
Parisi Speed Coach (Parisi Speed School)
Mental Health Advocate

MARGARET DRISI

COACH

BIOGRAPHY

I’ve always loved a good challenge. Growing up in the south suburbs of Chicago, I dabbled in team sports and gymnastics, but I didn’t find my passion for personal fitness until the end of college. I started challenging myself with 5ks, “Insanity” workouts, and Tough Mudders and slowly moved on to Spartan races, half marathons, and full marathons. One day I told a friend, “I could never run a marathon!” and the next day I signed up for the 2015 Chicago Marathon. I hated thinking I couldn’t do something. My first marathon was my first experience with following a training plan. I learned that my body – all of our bodies – can do incredible things with consistency and a plan. Six years later, I still love following a fitness plan and seeing the results of my hard work. I became a coach because I want to help other people find that same success and feel proud of the work they’ve put in. I love fitness, but I’m nerdy about nutrition. I earned my “nutrition coach certification” from Working Against Gravity this year and am excited to see how this new knowledge can help me serve others.

CERTIFICATIONS

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
WAG Certified Nutrition Coach
Bluprint Fitness Professional Coach Development Program

LINDSAY WADE

COACH

BIOGRAPHY

Born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago, I grew up doing as many sports and activities as my parents would allow. As I got older, I became a competitive sprinter, swimmer, cheerleader and dancer and later ventured into long distance running and yoga. Discovering Bluprint was life-changing. I can confidently say I’m in the best shape of my life thanks to this gym and its coaches. Being part of this crew has also led to amazing friends and an overall healthier routine.

When I’m not at the gym, I spend most of my free time volunteering at Chicago Animal Care and Control, playing trivia, going to music festivals/concerts, traveling, and hanging with my husband and pup.

CERTIFICATIONS

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
Bluprint Professional Coach Development Program
MAT (National Louis University)

JANELLE DYCE

COACH

BIOGRAPHY

Growing up in New England I was always surrounded by sports, we were always watching sports or playing sports. Basketball and soccer were my personal favorites and I played them up through high school.

After high school, I knew I wanted to go to a university where I could watch big time athletes play and that took me to University of Florida – Go Gators! I studied Business Administration and minored in Health Science Education. After graduating in 2008, I stayed in “The Swamp” and got a job at the local gym – Gainesville Health and Fitness. After a couple years in the customer service side, I became a NASM Personal Trainer which was one of the most influential and important decisions of my life.

Fitness has always been a huge part of who I am and I wanted to share that with other athletes by inspiring people to lead healthier lives. Shortly after becoming a Personal Trainer, I was eager to learn more about how nutrition maximized the results we strived for in the gym. I received my Precision Nutrition Level 1 to enhance my nutritional understanding. After many years of personal training under my belt I met Byron and we continued to push and grow together as fitness professionals. We got our L1 CrossFit Certifications (and a few years later our Level 2) and made the move to Chicago to pursue taking over a CrossFit Gym called RowFit.

We re-branded, moved down the street, and continued to grow into the Bluprint Fitness we are today. We will continue to grow through constant learning, always striving to be the best we can be for our FitFam – the Blu Cru. I am committed to thoughtfully and safely building up my athletes by meeting them where they are at on their fitness journey and motivating them to become the best versions of themselves. I promise to always practice what I preach, lead by example, and empower my athletes with  thoughtful and educated coaching.

CERTIFICATIONS

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
CrossFit Specialty Courses
Gymnastics
Mobility
National Association of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer (NASM)
Precision Nutrition Level 1
Kettlebell Concepts Level 2 Trainer (KBC)
BA Business Administration/Minor & Specialization in Health Science Education (University of Florida)
CPR-AED

BYRON DYCE II

COACH

BIOGRAPHY

My goal is to educate and inspire communities to improve their quality of life by creating a Bluprint for success. Health & fitness are my passion and I want to accompany athletes along their journey to better health and performance.

Byron was destined for a love of health & fitness from an early age, being the son of an Olympic runner. He spent his childhood playing outdoors and getting involved in as many sports as possible. Byron settled into his “athletic niche” when he entered high school, directing his focus on football and weightlifting, where he competed at a high level. He then spent his freshman year as a walk-on with the University of Florida football team until he decided he wanted to focus his energy on school & business. Byron has spent the last 6 years in the fitness field.

CERTIFICATIONS

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
CrossFit Specialty Courses
Powerlifting Trainer
Mobility Trainer
USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach (USAW)
National Association of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer (NASM)
Kettlebell Concepts Level 2 Trainer (KBC)
AA in Accounting (Santa Fe College)
BA in Business
Administration (University of Florida)
CPR-AED

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