From the ballet to the barre to Body by Chaz, Chaz Glunk has a crafted a stronghold in the local fitness community with a steadfast following. There's no doubt he's a pro, but it's his earnest belief in the health of his clients that's brought him collective loyalty.
And this Sarasota native has come full circle since his early days of dance. After Chaz earned his degree at Southern Methodist University, he danced his way from Florida to Vegas. Since returning home in 2010, he's combined his penchant for dance with his passion for fitness. By 2012, he'd begun transforming bodies at Pure Barre Sarasota (which is where I first met him), and now, after five years of exclusively teaching at Pure Barre Sarasota, he's NASM-certified and offering personal training sessions.
So it's not a surprise that I turned to him for some tips and technique hacks to focus on this summer. Here's what Chaz had to say.
Tell us your fitness philosophy.
Adapt. Transform. Evolve. Over the years, as both a professional dancer and a fitness professional, I have seen the how much of a struggle it can be to successfully adopt an active, disciplined lifestyle. As a result, I have broken my fitness philosophy into three stages that apply to everyone at every fitness level.
Adapt is stage one. It’s the most important because it's when we set goals and create a foundation of healthy exercises based on individual strengths and weaknesses. One of the biggest roadblocks I hear about is when people take on a “one size fits all” approach to exercise and feel like they aren’t getting results.
The next stage is transform. We create more focused workouts, reassess your goals and literally sculpt your body toward them. The transform stage lasts until each goal is met. From there, we evolve your goals, your body and your fitness level. Evolve isn't an end goal, though. Instead, it feeds into a new beginning where we adapt, transform, and evolve yet again!
I believe every happy and confident woman is truly beautiful, no matter her size. (And let’s be real—we know it's unrealistic to want to look like Kate Upton in a swimsuit.) How can they be empowered through exercise no matter their weight/fitness level/age?
This is why I emphasize the importance of the adapt stage. One of the most direct paths to disappointment is when you create goals based on society’s pressure to look a certain way, fit into a certain size or be a certain weight. They're just not realistic. They're not healthy, either.
Empowerment comes from awareness. Face your fears and remember that you're not alone. Sarasota has an amazing fitness community. All you have to do is start. Once you wake up your muscles, align your body and challenge your limits, you realize that you can take on a lot more than you may have thought. It is amazing to me when I see someone who never thought she could do a single push up do 10 in a row.
We all want to look our best. For those with a poolside or sun-and-sea vacay on the horizon, give us a tighten and tone hack…
Posture and alignment are the cornerstone hacks of exercise. If you take your time to do an exercise correctly, you will see real results. Also, remember that total body conditioning and strength building is going to help you see results faster than focusing on just abs or arms. For example, if you are looking for beach-ready arms, I am likely going to incorporate triceps kickbacks. The triceps are an essential part of your arms' overall aesthetic and strength. So it's good to focus on them. But if you do a bent-over triceps extension, feet planted and body aligned, suddenly you're engaging your abs, legs and back. A focused exercise transforms into much more.
Then, longer term, what’s an ultra-effective plan?
For those new to fitness or taking on a new plan, I don't believe in the “one size fits all” approach unless your workouts are going to be overseen by a trainer or experienced teacher. However, some core concepts can help you evolve your body into a healthy, bikini-ready bombshell.
First, don't be scared of weights or increased resistance. You would be shocked at what some of the leanest female athletes are capable of bench pressing. Next, focus on high-repetition exercises with minimal rest between sets. Not only will this help increase strength, but it will help you achieve that firm, toned look. Finally, set goals, stick to your routine, and engage your friends and family (social media is great for this). Getting involved in fitness challenges is also another great way to keep your momentum going.
And what’s your favorite motivational quote?
There are so many to choose from! Motivation can come from the most unlikely of places. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that I gravitate toward the concept that the mind and body can transform each other. So, I would have to say my favorite motivational quote is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi: “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”