It’s hard to believe it has been a year since we kicked off the first Passport to Fitness challenge.  As a trainer, I’ve grown to have a love – hate relationship with challenges. On the one hand, you get to enjoy the process of someone taking some amazing steps towards living a healthier and fuller life, while on the other, you are forced to watch some people fail.  So when we completed the Passport challenge last year with a 70% completion rate, I was ecstatic. I’ve never seen such a high success rate before, and I couldn’t have been more proud of the work the participants had done, as well as the AF coaching team.

The completion rate wasn’t the only number that astonished me.  The Passport Challenge begins and ends with an assessment. In addition to assessing weight and body fat percentage, we also tested folks’ cardiovascular health with the MyZone system.  These assessments were a critical test of the work the AF coaching team had done in creating the challenge. Did we select the ‘best’ healthy habits, or require enough exercise? In short. YES!

18 people completed the challenge.  As a group they lost 125 pounds and reduced their skinfold body fat measurement by over 70mm for the tricep, abdominal, and thigh region.   They also decreased their waist measurement by 37 inches. While looking good naked is always nice, it doesn’t compare to living your longest and fullest life.  Resting heart rate and heart rate recovery are two very useful tests for measuring your overall health. The lower your resting heart rate is, the more blood your heart can pump with each contraction, and it is a sign of a healthy and durable heart.  The heart rate recovery score is a measurement of how long it takes your heart rate to get down to ambient resting levels after a bout of exercise. The more beats per minute (BPM) your heart rate goes down in sixty seconds after you’ve stopped exercising, the healthier your heart is.  The challenge participants managed to reduce their resting heart rate by 124 BPM and increased their heart rate recovery by 85 BPM. All total, these were the best group results I had ever seen from a wellness challenge.

At the end of the challenge last year we distributed surveys to find out how we could improve the challenge.  Between the positive feedback we received and the phenomenal improvements we saw in the assessments, we knew we needed to do the challenge again.  Only better.

With the first passport challenge being so successful, we kept the foundational elements the same as last year, and focused on improving the educational experience of the challenge.  Instead of weekly challenge meetings, Passport 2.0 will have a 10 part wellness presentation series split between nutrition, fitness, and stress management segments.  We’ve also added a strength and conditioning class every week specifically for challenge participants.  Our goal is that by the end of the challenge, participants will not only have an idea of how to eat healthier, but also how to LIVE healthier.  

Passport 2.0 is available for purchase now, and registration will close after the first day of the challenge, February 4, 2019.  Spots are limited so order online or stop by the the front desk and get enrolled today!

Michael "Joe" O'Leary, CPT
Community Wellness Coach

USAW Sports Performance Coach - USAW
Certified Personal Trainer – ISSA
CrossFit Level One - CrossFit
FRC Mobility Specialist - Functional Anatomy Seminars
Certified Youth Trainer – ISSA
Specialist in Fitness Nutrition – ISSA
Senior Fitness Specialist – ISSA
Exercise Therapy Specialist – ISSA
Specialist in Strength & Conditioning – ISSA
MovNat Certified Trainer, Level 1, Level 2, & Combatives - MovNat
Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach - BioForce HRV
Primal Health Coach - Primal Blueprint

Joe is originally from Ely, Nevada but grew up in Rawlins, Wyoming. He found his way to Laramie for two reasons, to complete a Pre-Med Physiology degree at the University of Wyoming, and to climb. Joe has an Associate's Degree in Exercise Science with an emphasis in Personal Training and is working toward his B.S. in Human Physiology. He plans to further his education by "crushing the MCATS" then attending medical school in Seattle, Washington through the WWAMI program. Joe is a highly trained coach with diverse certifications such as; ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Senior Fitness Specialist, Exercise Therapy Specialist, Certified Youth Trainer, and Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He is also a USAW Sports Performance Coach (level 1), FRC Mobility Specialist, MovNat Certified Trainer (level 1, level 2, and combatives), CrossFit Level One coach, and Primal Health Coach. Joe has many notable achievements related to his coaching background and hobbies. He served as USAW Marshal for the American Open in 2015, the largest American weightlifting meet in history, as well as successfully integrated a strength training program into a Multiple Sclerosis treatment regime. Additionally, he has summited Gannett Peak, Mt. Elbert, and Mt. St. Helens. Obviously, in his free time Joe enjoys rock climbing, backpacking and mountaineering, but he also enjoys, snowboarding, Parkour, and archery. In the future he plans to; summit every 14er in Colorado, climb every pitch at Vedauwoo, summit every peak in the High Cascades, Practice medicine in Laramie or Jackson Hole, summit Denali, backpack South America, summit K2, and die happy. Joe is excited to be a part of the Altitude Fitness team because he "always relishes the opportunity to work with Wyoming athletes. Add to that, Altitude Fitness is one of the nicest facilities open to the general population in the country and I consider it a privilege to be offered the opportunity to coach here."

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