TJ’s Gym Weekly News 09/27/2018


Tatum is off to college, and we are going to miss her, big time! Come back to visit soon, Tatum! You’re a real inspiration in the gym! Have a blast, and study hard. Go make us proud!

Message from TJ:

Is Red Meat Killing Us?

Heart Attacks happen all the time, unfortunately. Sometimes they are fatal, but most victims survive. Only 15% of people die from heart attacks in the United States.

Two celebrities recently had massive and well-publicized heart attacks. Fitness trainer to the stars, Bob Harper, of Biggest Loser fame, and Director, Kevin Smith both had heart attacks. I know of both of these guys, because one digs CrossFit and the other is from Jersey.

Harper had a heart attack in a CrossFit gym, for crying out loud!  He actually “died” on the floor of the gym and again in the ambulance.  Both a cardiac nurse and a surgeon happened to be in class with him at the time, but they give the credit to the AED that was in the gym for saving his life.

*Side note: We have AED’s in all of our gyms and our staff is trained in CPR and AED use!

It turns out that Harper also suffers from genetic cardio myopathy.  His mother and father both died of massive “widow maker” heart attacks before they were 55, so his genetic code increased his chances for an episode, despite his excellent health. Harper was 52.

Kevin Smith has directed dozens of films but also tours with a standup / Q&A act on college campuses. In between shows one night, he experienced the same kind of attack as Harper.  He was rushed to the operating room and, according to his doctors, survived because of the speed with which he had been driven to the hospital.  Smith was 47 and obese.

Both of these guys are currently alive and seem to be thriving. Harper has come out with a new book about how healthy carbs are king, and he’s now a paid spokesperson for the drug company that’s literally watering down his blood.

Smith has turned his near-death experience into social media gold, marketing for whatever his next project will be.

In following their journeys out of a general interest, I came across something curious:

Why were both of these guys, like most post-trauma cardiac patient, put on vegetarian diets after their surgeries?

Let’s review.  Heart disease is caused by excessive carbohydrate intake (sugar), poor lifestyle (smoking, drugs, lack of sleep, stress), and genetics. Sales of margarine and low-cal/high-sugar (high-fructose corn syrup) sales are still robust, so we know some of you are still refusing science and believing in the lies created by Big Food and their “scientists” and marketing teams. I’ve covered that topic in a previous blog.

You can read about it HERE.

There is also a strong correlation between heart disease and your personal genetics.  If you are relatively healthy and you’ve got high cholesterol or high blood sugar or high blood pressure, then it’s most likely the fault of your parents and grandparents. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.

If all four of your grandparents had Type 2 Diabetes, you should watch your sugar intake. Your pancreas hates it more than other pancreases.

If both of your parents were alcoholics, you should watch the booze. Your brain loves it more than other brains.

If one or both of your folks have heart issues and were neither huge smokers nor generally unhealthy, well shucks, you need to be a little more vigilant with your diet.  Your heart just might hate bugs.

Wha..? Bugs?

Here is a super fast explanation of what happens when we eat red meat. L Carnitine is an essential nutrient that gets produced in our bodies when we eat red meat. It helps ferry energy around the body to help grow and repair the heart and skeletal muscle.

Recent studies have shown that some of us have a reaction to large amounts of L Carnitine. Gut bacteria (a good thing) gets carried to the liver where a metabolite called TMAO gets produced. With certain individuals, TMAO carries a different bacteria (bugs) to the heart, and as shown by these studies, it has a negative effect on the precious heart tissue.

This is why post-heart attack patients are put on vegetarian diets. Also, according to my  doctor friends, vegetarian diets tend to keep the unhealthy population away from junk food and over-consumption.  At least that’s the hope.

So. Many. Studies.

You could be lost in the rabbit hole of people doing studies who are are screaming bloody murder on both sides of this argument.

What kind of red meat? Grassfed, or feed lot garbage? How much is too much?

TMAO is also produced in heart healthy salmon. Shouldn’t that be on the list?

Vegetarian heart disease rates are exactly the same as meat-eater heart disease rates.  Can you explain that?

Oy yoy yoy.  I had to walk away, because I wanted to punch myself in the face for spending as much time as I had already on this little blog post.

Here is what seems to me to be a reasonable, sensible strategy:

-Eat a varied diet of the highest food qualities consumed at low-to-moderate volumes in equal macronutrient ratios.

 -Sustain an active lifestyle void of obvious dangers (think smoking, drugs, alcohol, and seatbelts). Get sleep. Don’t live an idiot’s life.

-Know your genetics. Sorry, but you’ve got baggage. Figure it out, and try not to let that baggage kill you.

You’re reading this because you’ve chosen to not be an idiot. Please keep doing not being an idiot and using us as a sounding board. Our help moves are strong.



Please help us spread the word about our upcoming offerings and events!

Q4 TJ's Gym Calendar of Events

TJ’s Gym “High Fives”

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With so many amazing people in our community doing super-cool things both in and out of the gym, we’ve decided to start a TJ’s Gym High Fives section. It’s also a great way to bring back the energy of our long-time coach, Tyler, who was everyone’s biggest cheerleader and known for his constant high-fives. Please send us tips about your fellow gym members when you hear about cool accomplishments or endeavors, both in and out of the gym. Submit info to or by the 20th of each month to ensure entry into the monthly spotlight.

*Long-time Mill Valley member, Anna Pletcher, is running for Marin County District Attorney.

Kevin Saavedra, a staple in the 8:30/9:30 classes in San Rafael for years, is running for Tam School District School Board.

Early morning San Rafael member, Jason Ford, is on the board of the Goodwill Store and would love for everyone to come and see the new store in San Rafael at its grand re-opening day ceremony (October 11th, 8:30am).

James Coyle is back just 3 weeks after a hip replacement. His strength and hard work going into hip surgery allowed him to enjoy a speedy recovery.

Chris Ford turned 50. This Saturday at 7:30am at TJ’s Mill Valley, we will celebrate Chris’s birthday with a a “FILTHY FIFTY” workout.

A whole bunch of people are finishing week 4 of the Make It Happen Challenge.

Haydn Fischer will be kite-surfing in Indonesia for part of his Gap Year.

Tatum Robach moved on to college at UC Davis last week!

Sam Pinney crushed some crazy number of miles paddling a canoe in Molokai. Ask her about it.

Cole Ford is on a Ten-Day Trip in the High Sierras as part of his unique school program which incorporates outdoor, experiential learning. He will be testing his fitness to the max, and we’re pretty sure he will thrive!

Jeff Khowles will be doing a century ride this weekend.

We’ve got coaches and athletes getting ready to compete at the Femme Royale partner competition: Jessi Roesch/Coach Nicki Clark, Sam Pinney/Amanda Gazzalo, Coach Susan Crane/Kathy Jung, Coach Zoe/Coach Kristel, Coach Arielle/Dani Guittard.

Coach Zoe will be competing in SLO in the Battle Royale Competition at Crossfit Inferno.


11th Annual TJ’s Rodeo/Community PARTY: REGISTRATION IS LIVE!

It’s ALMOST Rodeo time! SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd, 2018 at TJ’s San Rafael.

Start time TBD, but it’ll be 8/9am to 1pm, with a big chunk of that being a PARTY!

REGISTRATION IS LIVE! Just click on the image above to register before October 22nd to give us enough time to make teams and plan the workout. Register on your own–we will create evenly-matched teams of THREE (one woman, two men) to take part in THREE workouts over the course of 90 minutes. ALL LEVELS ARE WELCOME! We will design the workouts so every team member has something to contribute, and every team member has a specific role.

Participating the Rodeo is a great way to get out of your comfort zone in the safety of a loving community, and that will be especially true this year. Even if you don’t compete, you’re still welcome to join the community party (RSVP avenue coming soon).

Get ready for an insanely fun day!


Check out our TJ’s Gym Legends fitness program, a new curriculum designed for the needs of 60+ people. We will include work on strength, balance, mobility, stamina, and general functional life movements. Coach Nick is a perfect fit for this work, and we hope you’ll help us spread the word to all 60+ people you know who want to join (existing TJ’s members can join, as well!).

*Inaugural LEGENDS session: Wednesdays and Fridays, October 3rd-November 16th from 10:30-11:30am at TJ’s Gym San Rafael. The work will continue in sessions from there…

Women’s Group with Dr./Coach Allison now Starts October 4th (ignore flyer)! Sign up NOW:

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This will be a great forum for women to come together for a whole bunch of camaraderie and support as we bounce around thoughts on all sorts of topics related to being a woman (fitness, health, kids, work, body image, sleep, nutrition, relationships…). Open to non-TJ’s members, as well, so please spread the good word!

Email with questions or to register.

The MAKE-IT-HAPPEN Fall Lifestyle and Nutrition Program with TJ.

It’s not too late to join in on the fun and progress! Email to MAKE IT HAPPEN now.















Our Teen/Tween session started on Tuesday, September 4th. No worries…we prorate for late starts! Here are the details:

Session Dates:  September 4th – October 28th

Session Pricing – 8 Weeks

$176 (one day a week)*

$320 (two days a week)*

$430 (three days a week)*

Please reply ASAP to secure a spot. As always, we also have monthly options available for our year-round teen members.

Fall Schedule
Our current class schedule will always be posted on our schedules page HERE.

*Corte Madera – Monday/Wednesday (ages 12 – 16) 4 pm
*Mill Valley – Tuesday/Thursday (12 – 16) 4 pm
*Corte Madera -Tuesday/Thursday (10 – 13) 4:30 pm
*San Rafael – Tuesdays (12 – 16) 4 pm **(New offering with Coach Nick!)
*Corte Madera – Saturday (12 – 16) 11 am

*Classes expire at the end of the session. Make-ups can happen as needed throughout the session. Schedule subject to change based on registration numbers. Email to register.


Bootcamp MV


All season soccer JFJ Flyer

If anyone in your family needs (or wants!) a new soccer ball, please consider buying this one. 100% of profits go directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Just click on the image above to order yours from our great friends at All Season Soccer, THE place to go for all of your soccer needs!


If you’re on Facebook, please request to join the TJ’s Gym Members Facebook Page (current, active members) for all of our most up-to-date announcements and offerings. You can also follow us @tjsgyms on Instagram.



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