Have you met FFC Personal Trainer Justin Casipit? He specializes in fat loss, strength gain, functional training, bodybuilding and powerlifting. Check out his personal account of how fitness has changed his life and how he inspires others to live a healthy lifestyle!

My name is Justin Casipit, Personal Trainer at FFC Oak Park. I graduated from UIC with a BS in kinesiology with a concentration in health and wellness promotion and am certified in personal training through NASM (National Academy of Sports and Medicine). I specialize in fat loss, strength gain, functional training, bodybuilding, and powerlifting. I played multiple sports growing up including basketball, football and track and field. I also have competed in bodybuilding.

Growing up as a child I was overweight, which led into my later teen years – I know the struggles of trying to lose weight and all that comes with it. I was known as the “chubby kid” and I hated running the mile in gym class. I fell in love with weight training when I was 14 after my high school football coach told us we needed to get in the gym and lift some weights. As soon as I started seeing progress and feeling strong, I was hooked.

After a few years of lifting, though, I realized I was ridiculously strong, but I was still overweight and I didn’t look the way I wanted. I thought, “Why am I doing all of this working out if you can’t even tell I work out?”. From then on, I wanted to learn everything about nutrition and exercise, and I did my best to do so. I finally started changing my diet and I lost the initial 50 lbs right before I graduated high school. From then on, it was year after year of trial and error and learning about nutrition and consistency in the gym.

Falling in love with weight training early in my life has made health, fitness, and strength a major priority for most my adult life. I want to be able to share my collective knowledge and experiences to help other people with their goals and their struggles. Helping someone experience progress and get excited that they’re getting stronger, losing weight, feeling better, or moving better is the reason why I do what I do.

Want to know more about Justin’s background or set up a complimentary consultation? Email him at jcasipit@ffc.com!

Congratulations to FFC Oak Park’s May Member of the Month Harrison Selisky! We asked Harrison a few questions about his experience at FFC, and here’s what he shared.

1. What does membership at FFC mean to you?

Being part of a gym that not only works me out in all the right ways, but also lets me be part of a great community and team!

2. When at FFC you will find me…

Crushing it on the rock wall or trying out a new strength superset.

3. I work out to…

De-stress, better myself, and to keep being as healthy as I can in every way.

Join us for a very mad Mother/Daughter Tea Party on Sunday, May 27 from 1 – 3 PM! Come dressed in your best Alice in Wonderland-inspired attire. Tea and other refreshments will be served. Reservations are required – contact Hilary Anderson at handerson@ffc.com to RSVP!

$30 for Adults
$15 for 1 child

Follow the white rabbit to Parent’s Night Out on Friday, May 25, from 5:45 – 9 PM. Don’t be late for this very important date!

Pricing:

  • $30 for 1
  • $35 for 2
  • $ 5 each additional child

To sign up, contact Hilary Anderson at handerson@ffc.com.

OMG! It’s like, FFC’s totally 80’s Anniversary Bash Celebrating 11 Years in Oak Park!

Join us on Thursday, May 17 from 6 – 8 PM at FFC Oak Park and enjoy an evening of 80’s music and fun. Break out those throwback clothes and come dressed in your best 80’s attire. Please note, this event is 21+.

Now available at FFC Oak Park, Park Ridge and Lincoln Park: train smarter, not harder! Testing services now also feature RMR and VO2 test results directly to your phone via the new CardioCoach phone app.

Connect a bluetooth heart rate monitor (like MyZone) to get custom tailored workout zones and real-time display of your fat vs. carb metabolism. Whether your goal is weight loss or performance (marathon, triathlon, ironman, etc.), get tested and train smarter this year!

Learn more at tinyurl.com/ffc-vo2-options or contact metabolictesting@ffc.com to get scheduled!

Join the FFC triathlon club! Contact endurance@ffc.com to get our FFC team discount code and save $10 off the Chicago Triathlon, plus get a free TrainingPeaks.com training plan to stay on track utilizing emails, a phone app, plus Garmin watch and Google Calendar integration!

Training Kickoff, Programs and Services

Chicago Triathlon training starts in May. Visit fb.com/trimonsters/events for a list of triathlon training kickoff events at a location near you!

For training options, don’t miss our FFC Endurance membership, which includes unlimited swim, bike, run, and performance training, with classes and programs available at FFC West Loop, Oak Park, Park Ridge, Lincoln Park, Gold Coast and more! The FFC Endurance membership also includes outdoor training, open water swimming, clinics, and unlimited use of our Air Relax compression boots at a USA Triathlon Certified Performance Center at FFC Lincoln Park. Private coaching, swim lessons, and performance testing services are also available – contact endurance@ffc.com to inquire!

The spring schedule of classes is now available on the FFC app (sort by “category” endurance and “location” FFC Lincoln Park) or by clicking here: tinyurl.com/trimonster-calendar

From NFL running backs to our own local superstar/Cubs’ pitcher Jake Arrieta, Pilates is having a SERIOUS moment. What better time to get involved in the Pilates movement than with our May Challenge Your Core events?!

From May 1 – 31, visit your local club, sign up and grab a punch card to get going! The 31-day program is just $59 for the entire month and gives you access to special classes and events, the opportunity to earn prizes, swag and more!

Punch cards: each card has 5 punches. Earn 1 punch for each completed Pilates experience including bonus sessions, Pilates Mat classes, Group Apparatus Sessions, Private and Partner Pilates training sessions, workshops and demos.

Turn in each completed card for the reward specified below:

5 sessions: Earn $15 FFC Bucks
10 sessions: Earn $15 FFC Bucks and 2 FFC Guest Passes
15 sessions: Earn $15 FFC Bucks and 1 Group Apparatus Class
20 sessions: Earn $15 FFC Bucks and 1 Grand Prize raffle entry!

Program Perks:

• Participate in special Pilates offerings May 1 – 31
• Keep track of your goals and progress with a punch card
• Earn fun prizes by participating in sessions
• See and feel the results of the Pilates exercises in your body
in just 31 days!

How to register & cost: see a Pilates trainer or manager for complete details and calendar of special Pilates offerings. The program is $59 for the entire month.

Should we fear fats? Should we love fats? Should we consume all types of fats? Should we buy low-fat? As a registered dietitian, I hear these questions all the time, and for a good reason. Yes, the media is always putting out conflicting information about nutrition, which makes it hard to understand the truth. However, this isn’t just the media’s fault – it’s also due to changing research.

Here’s a quick history lesson:

For many years, we were told that fat was the problem with the growing obesity epidemic and poor heart health. All fats – saturated and unsaturated – were looked down upon and the “low-fat” craze started, despite its important role in hormone production, temperature regulation, and protection of organs. Everyone turned in their eggs and bacon for breakfast cereal, red meat for processed “low-fat” TV dinners. The problem with that? These new “healthier foods” were full of sugar and processed carbohydrates. We later learned that these aren’t so great for our waistlines or hearts either.

So now – fats are back. Diets such as the Atkins diet and ketogenic diet brought back fat, not limiting the type or amount, claiming to help with weight loss. While they certainly do help with weight loss (these diets are based on low-carbohydrate intake, and when there’s no carbohydrates to burn, our body turns to fat burn), the research on saturated fat is still ongoing, so we want to be weary. These low-carbohydrate and high-fat diets are also hard to stick to, which goes against my main qualification for any lifestyle change. This roller coaster of information leaves everyone a little confused as to which fats to choose, if any at all.

Here’s a breakdown of which fats are which and what to choose:

Artificial trans fats: man-made by adding an extra hydrogen molecule to vegetable oil to make it more shelf-stable. Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. This increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke, and is associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.* Avoid any foods that have “partially hydrogenated oils” in the ingredients label.

Saturated fats: typically solid at room temperature and found in animal sources such as meat and dairy. They are also found in many baked and fried foods. These don’t need to be avoided at all costs, but I recommend keeping them in small doses, under 10-13 grams per day. Saturated fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke.*

Unsaturated fats: typically liquid at room temperature and found mostly in plant sources such as nuts, seeds, oil, and avocado. They are also found in fish. Replacing saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats raises your good (HDL) cholesterol.* I recommend to consume these with each meal and snack to help with satiety and give your body the benefits discussed above, but in small portion sizes because of dense calorie content of fats. Fat doesn’t make you fat, as once thought, however, too many calories of anything can cause weight gain, so it’s important to keep fat portions in check.

All in all, it comes down to the basics: “Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” -Michael Pollen. This quote is especially important when it comes to dietary fats — consume the ones that haven’t been processed, keep portion sizes small, and surround them with a lot more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — this will keep your heart and your waistline happy!

*Source: American Heart Association

Have more questions or want to set up a complimentary consultation with Amy? Email her at asilver@ffc.com!

By now, you’ve probably heard of cupping – but what is it, really? Cupping is a mobilization technique used to treat pain, stiffness and swelling of the upper and lower extremities, as well as large soft tissue areas such as the shoulder blade or low back. Cupping is the combination of massage movements and negative pressure with the use of a suction device on the skin. A cup is positioned at the treatment area and a vacuum is created within the cup to draw the skin and underlying tissue into the cup.

The produced vacuum creates a suction effect that increases blood and lymphatic circulation, relaxes muscle tissue and support, draws stagnation and toxins out of the body and releases a myriad of pain causing factors. Cupping is just one of the many specialty services offered at NovaCare Rehabilitation. Stop by our center located in most of the Fitness Formula Clubs locations to learn more about our specialty services or for a complimentary injury screen. You can also check out the schedule for a complimentary injury screen during the month of May below! https://bit.ly/2yb4c6Q​​​

  • FFC East Lakeview – May 5; 9-10:30 AM and May 24; 5:30-7:30 PM
  • FFC Boystown – May 12; 9-11 AM
  • FFC Lincoln Park – May 24; 5-7 PM
  • FFC Oak Park – May 28; 3:30-5:30 PM
  • FFC Park Ridge – May 5; 9-11AM
  • FFC South Loop – May 30; 6:30-8 PM
  • FFC Union Station – May 16; 12-1 PM
  • FFC West Loop – May 22; 4:15-5 PM