Friday, April 28, 2017

An Interview with Michigan Fitness Leaders. Rachael & Bill Bridges of One Fit Life

Rachael & Bill Bridges of One Fit Life

Interview by PLYOGA COO, Thomas Ascough

Rachael and Bill Bridges, and their 5 children, are a happy, healthy, active, motivated, dream-building, hilarious, blended family of 7!  They own a little piece of paradise in the small town of Newaygo, Michigan where they wake up thankful for every day.  They are PLYOGA Master Trainers, as well as owners to a fantastic group fitness lifestyle called One Fit Life.  We got to ask them a few questions to learn more about their mission.

PFit: We want to know more about One Fit Life! What makes it SPECIAL? Why did you think the world needed you to create it?
RB: We all get this one life.  Far too often people are just trying to get through it.  Get through the day, the week, the month... maybe next year will be better.   People do the same thing with their dreams and goals and health.  We say that one day we will have a chance to pursue our dreams, we just have to get through right now.  When life gets busy, one of the first things we put on the back burner is our health.  We say that we will get back to taking care of ourselves eventually.  Well either someday never comes or we get so far unhealthy that something major happens or people just give up.  Bill and I didn’t want that to be the case.  We love being together as a couple and as a family.  As a very active blended family of 7, boy do we know what busy is!  Health and fitness is our passion as is each other.  We wanted to find a way to help people find their fit life, to find a way to fit fitness in to their one life.  We wanted to inspire people to find what fit and fitness means for them and fit it in.  Hence One Fit Life.

PFit: What are the major benefits of your fitness community? 
RB: We are a family that provides a very safe and welcoming environment.  We are here to help you reach your specific goals.  We offer over 25 group fitness classes a week that challenge any fitness level.  We also offer personal training and small group training, event training, a run club, an outdoor workout series, nutrition counseling and we create community events such as Muskegon River kayak yoga and workout parties. 

PFit: Tell us about you and why ONE FIT LIFE was in your field of vision.
RB: As a very busy family of 7 we were struggling to find our healthy, to find our balance, and to find the time to achieve our goals.  I think the word “our” is so important because it gives ownership to those things.  Those things aren’t generic, so in trying to find our way in this one life we are blessed with, we were able to see it all coming together in this package called One Fit Life.

PFit: What is the Bridges’ Favorite way to start the day?
RB: Together.  Period.  We start the day as a family, waking up together and eating a healthy breakfast.  Then everyone works together to get out the door on time.  School is a half hour drive away, so we connect in the car on the way.  There are no electronics, phones, etc.  We talk, sing, laugh and have a great time. 

PFit: What makes you personally happy each day? What is the main thing you make sure to do to keep a positive outlook in general?
RB: Waking up with my loves.  There is nothing better.  We find joy in being together and laughing and living and pursuing our dreams.  Staying positive comes natural when you truly appreciate waking up to your life and you truly go after your dreams.  Don’t wait, do something every day to get you closer to your dreams, but also find happiness in where you are!

PFit: Do you have a favorite book/movie/band/song that stays in your head and motivates you regularly?
RB: Four songs actually!  Brave by Sara Bareilles, Ready or Not by Britt Nicole, At the End of the Day by Kellie Coffey and Who I am With You by Chris Young.  Music is so powerful!  I listen to all four of those most every day.

PFit: Who do you follow daily that creates an impact for you and your business?
RB: Our PLYOGA family.  Everyone is so empowering and motivating and hardworking!   Right from the top of the company to all the people we have helped become trainers to our clients who push their hardest every day.   Everyone is at a different point in their PLYOGA journey but are accomplishing goals every day and that is so very empowering!

PFit: We are pumped to have you as part of the PLYOGA Master Trainer Family!  What are the next big PLYOGA plans for you? 
RB: To make PLYOGA the #1 preferred workout in Michigan!  It is our love.  There is not a workout on the planet we love more and to get to share that love with Michigan is such an honor!  We are taking on this beautiful state and will make PLYOGA huge here!

PFit: What are your favorite products in your industry in general that you feel have the most benefit for people to know about?
RB: I don’t know that they are necessarily considered products, but organic fruits and veggies!  There is nothing on Earth more beneficial to put in our bodies.

PFit: What is your favorite thing to spend money on?
RB: Experiences!  Live shows, sporting events, educational events, physical challenge events such as obstacle courses and races, etc.  Some examples from our last 12 months would be Wine and Canvas, a fishing trip to Canada with all the kids, the Hero Mud Run, SCW Midwest Mania, Treetop ropes course, Sky Zone indoor trampoline park, Michigan’s Adventure, 5k races as a family, bicycle rides.

PFit: Have you discovered any indulgent recipes that are pretty good for you, that people could benefit from knowing?
RB: We LOVE egg cups…. throw a bunch of eggs in a bowl, beat them with a whisk and start adding!  We throw in tons of veggies, feta cheese, a little milk, pour in to the muffin tins and bake!  Super easy and if you make extras they are a convenient meal to heat up later!

PFit: Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up?
RB: YES!  I have always wanted to be a mom.  If you would’ve asked me as a kid I would’ve told you I was going to have ten kids.  Five is enough!  LOL!  And I have always been very active in sports and learning how to be healthy.

PFit: Your brand feels genuine and good natured.  What is in the future for One Fit Life?
RB: We want it known all over the world so that we can all live a fit life.  It doesn’t look the same for everyone but we want to help everyone find what their fit looks like!  We want to inspire people to live this one life to the fullest and go after their dreams!  We get this one life.. let’s live it!  We hope one day to have our brand recognized and worn proudly all over the world and to continue to empower people to change their lives. 

PFit: What personal beliefs keep you focused and believing in your drive forward? Any quotes to live by?
RB: “in this moment, from this moment.”  If we are present in the moment we are truly living, truly experiencing!  If you are in the moment you are also engaged and being engaged in what you are doing plays a huge roll in building your dreams and moving forward.  And one more..
“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not in the branch but in her own wings.”  How powerful!  Believe in yourself and your life will change!
Bill’s personal favorite is “either you can or you can’t, whichever you believe will be true.”  Absolutely!

PFit: I love the bird quote!  What are your near-term personal growth goals right now?
RB: We want to wake up every day trying to be better than the day before.  In all aspects of our life.  As parents, spouses, business owners, trainers, friends.. Our main emphasis has been on parenting.  We always want to be better parents.  We are our children’s biggest and strongest role models.  We work daily to improve for our children. 

PFit: Tell us about your troop of kids as sort of a “Brady Bunch.”  How do you “MAKE TIME” for your goals and fitness with such a big family?
RB: Yes, I have 3 sons and Bill has 2 daughters so we are kind of the Brady Bunch in reverse!  We also just passed the one-year anniversary of me adopting his oldest daughter whose Mom passed away.  Life is fun!  It is so busy but so fun.  You have to laugh and love with all you have.  It is our job to be the example for our children.  We want, more than anything, for those five amazing young people to go out and conquer the world and settle for nothing less than anything they could ever want.  It is our job to be that example and show them how.  We wake up every day with that in mind.  When you do that, making time is simple because it is a must.

PFit: Ok!  Time for the Bonus Round!  Imagination time!
You have magic powers and you can transform into any one animal. Which one do you choose to become? Why?
RB: A horse.  They are strong and powerful and beautiful and their job is to lift and hold others up and to carry them when the road gets too long or too rough and to help bring them down the right path. 

PFit: If you could travel through time…. where would you go?
RB: I believe in the moment so I would stay right here. 

PFit: We are so excited about your upcoming certification in Michigan, and we are very proud of you for all of the amazing things you are doing in fitness.  You truly live our motto, “YOUR BODY IS POWER.”  Thank you for taking the time to answer questions with us. 

Rachael Bridges - - @onefitwarrior
Bill Bridges - -

Sunday, April 2, 2017


In our world, all of the hype starts with ways to workout to be fit.  When a resolution or a 30 day challenge ends (if a participant sticks with it), they begin looking for something to blame for not hitting their goal as quick as they thought.  This is when the hype turns to food.  

People think they eat healthy until they find out that sugar alcohol is just as bad as excess sugar (or worse) and that meats naturally have trans-fat (which plays a role in muffin tops), and that dairy is loaded with steroids, and that 80% of the antibiotics used in the world are used on the animals that people consume (creating a whole new epidemic in the future of a population immune to the medicine that is supposed to cure them, leading to new antibiotics which are proven to have seriously harmful long term effects on those who use them.)

What do we do (since I just gave you a list of problems)?
  • We do our best to stick to a whole food plant based diet
  • We exercise in ways that are fun like PLYOGA and our own personal workouts.
  • We take part in family activities that involve movement
  • We try to consume less than 40 grams of sugar per day
  • We largely just drink water for liquids
  • We stay away from most oils 
  • We bake our foods and cook them on the stove instead of frying
  • We never use things that have added high fructose corn syrup 
  • We never use things that have a process of hydrogenation or partial hydrogenation.  
Our Favorite Solution!
  •  Knowing that what we put on our skin feeds right into our blood stream and plays a serious role in our personal well-being (and the function of our organs), we use Natural Based Soaps that have no artificial color or fragrance. 
Think about it!  Why would you put soap with dye onto your body?  Why would you put preservatives that can be cancer forming on your body?  Many soaps and deodorants contain forms of aluminum, which are always being researched as a potential cause of cancer.  Why would you use that?  

When you buy topical products that are sold to eliminate wrinkles and create healthier skin (for a lot of money), do you not ask yourself what your other products are meant to do?  Are they meant to create wrinkles and damage your skin?  What about antibacterial soaps (which are the majority of what is sold in America)?



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written by Thomas Ascough

Saturday, April 1, 2017

5 Myths We Need to Debunk Now About Fitness

-written by Thomas Ascough

So much of what is out there today "talking" in every walk of life is provided to us slightly biased with an angle toward branding and selling people toward one person or product.  It is disguised in empowerment but it truly just creates confusion.

To deal with this issue, I would like to put forth a few facts that I have learned through study and applied knowledge:

1. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet

When people are bigger (including your instructor), it is not just genes unless they have a disorder.  They eat poorly.  Don't let their assurances of "genes" make you feel hopelessly overweight.  You can improve the quality of your life and reach your goals with smart choices.  

2. That skinny person you always see with donuts is a lie

When you see that instructor or slim person with a donut bag or candy EVERY DAY, this is one of either two things.  The first is that genes DO allow some people to stay slim while eating garbage (skinny fat).  The contrary (genes make people fat) is usually preventable.  You don't stay fat when you eat healthy and exercise (unless you have a disorder).  The second point, which this person does not share with you, is that this donut (seeming like this person can eat whatever they want) may be all this person is eating today. 

3. Science is not the key to better health and wellness

Despite what fitness has to offer in the way of science, it does not get results for the average person long term alone.  FUN gets results.  Naturally, your workout must be safe (science), but you must really enjoy it (and move correctly while you do - science).  Will you keep going if you are not having fun?  Will you keep eating that fancy food if you hate it?  No. Find something you love to do that is functional/healthy for you, and do it/eat it. Science & Fun is the key! 

4. "Abs" are not made in the gym

You hear people say they do this or that in the the gym to get 6 pack abs.  Exercise can and does strengthen your core (balance and coordination), but if you are struggling to get lean it is not because of your genes (again there is the outlier who has a condition).  You want abs?  You need to want less of the following to have them:
  • Sugar
  • Fried Food
  • Soda
  • Alcohol
  • The word hydrogenated in any of your oils you eat
  • Excess Saturated Fat
  • Excess Dairy 
5. "It's easy for you to say"

No, it's actually not.  Staying true to yourself, staying disciplined, staying focused, and staying fit can be tough.  It is a progression.  It was not easy for us.  Have you heard the term, "LIFESTYLE CHANGE."  If you think you are going to start a 60 day program in April and be shredded for June, June will arrive.  You may be shredded when it does, but to achieve a makeover in 60 days requires extreme circumstances. To take that makeover into the next 60 years, that takes an understanding, acceptance, and implementation of a lifestyle change.  Here is a HUGE TIP on doing that:  Find friends who share the same values and spend your time with them. You are the result of the people closest to you in life.  For 7 more tips, see #4 above.  

We do PLYOGA!  Check it out & Join a Class!  
Get our Workout Series and try it at home!

Do you eat healthy and take care of your body, but you choose to spread all kinds of disease forming chemicals on your body when you shower?  
YOUR SKIN IS YOUR LARGEST ORGAN!  Your skin feeds right into your blood stream. 
Nourish, Protect, and Moisturize your skin!