My bēkn Membership Experience
In this blog post I’m sharing about my bēkn membership. What is bēkn, why I was immediately hooked on their services and a little bit about why I think everyone with a health goal should check it out.
We Met Through Instagram
It feel so good to workout with a purpose again! One day I was scrolling through the ‘gram and watching my favorite IG stories when I was targeted by an ad from @bekn_north. I’m not at all upset about that because it led me to becoming a member, meeting great people, working out with intention, and changing my nutrition!
What got me hooked was their promotion of a free DEXA scan. For those who may not know, DEXA stands for Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry. This machine scans your body and assess your body composition: fat mass, muscle and bone density. As a body nerd I am 100% into that kind of stuff. I also was about 6 weeks out from my latest DEXA scan, which I got on October 19th, so I wanted to see what changes I made.
I scheduled my free consultation with an exercise physiologist at the bēkn North location and got a tour of the facility. We started with the physiology testing rooms. Each room has a different function. The first room was for movement testing, there is a room with the DEXA machine, one with a treadmill and one with the Naked machine.
Next we went into the gym which looked super familiar to me. I made a comment about how it looked just like the Muscle Pharm Headquarters and, whaddya know, it was the old Muscle Pharm Headquarters. I have a really good sense of direction, clearly. This is the gym that is available to members but only at this location.nThe other locations don't have a gym.
Still underway as of January 1, 2019 are the group fitness room which I’m pretty excited about! The aqua room which will have a hot tub and I forget what else but just think water + recovery and you can get that there. There’s also a sports massage area and another big room where they plan to host educational seminars and other community events for members and guests.
I didn’t need much selling because after hearing all of that and seeing it was a $39/month membership I was ready to sign up! Once I did, we were able to schedule my assessment days of which there are 3.
I love writing, like the physical act of writing so when I was given the membership handbook to write down my goals, test results , and other health stuff I was super pumped. Probably more excited over a notebook than most might be but , what can I say? Your girl likes to journal! We went through the questions and then over my goals because when you become a membership you actually get a plan written for you! A personalized workout plan for me to reach my goals? Yes, please! But that step doesn’t happen until testing. So on day 1 its questionnaire, then after we did a functional movement screen to look at my mobility and where I have limitations. I also asked to get my DEXA because that was what I was most excited to see!
My DEXA results confirmed what I pretty much already knew. This body loves to build muscle, lol. So since my last DEXA scan which I got on October 19th I put on 4 pounds of muscle. Not too shabby! But my body fat didn’t budge. I would like for that to go down! Now that I have the scans I can document progress. This is WAY better than the scale.
Nutritionally speaking, I was able to identify what I needed to change about my diet based on my bone density. The reason I got really passionate about lifting weights in the first place was so that I didn’t break a hip when I was an old lady and then fall. Yup, did you know that hips break then the fall happens? It's not always fall then break hip. It’s break hip just standing there because bones are so brittle and that causes a fall. UH NO THANKS. So my bone density, while pretty good, can improve.
I don’t like or drink milk, I have an aversion to cheese so I don’t eat it and I get more acne when I eat yogurt. This is my anecdotal experience and I have a familial history of dairy aversion on my dad’s side of the family. I don’t have a lactose intolerance according to DNA results but for the reason I listed, dairy isn’t a regular part of my diet which means Calcium intake and Vitamin D intake is low! So, I’m correcting that based on my bone density results by supplementing with Vitamin D and I’m trying to eat more yogurt... Trying.
On Day 2 which was probably the most entertaining day for me, we tested my blood lipids - (yay more nutrition related labs!) and lactate threshold. So first, I got a little finger prick and my
TC/HDL levels were read.
The results? I’m a healthy human! Although interesting data about my Triglyceride levels. I run a little higher and my diet would not point to that. BUT my DNA test results from Orig3n showed that I carry some interesting lipid metabolism genes. I have a higher chance of higher numbers and that was reflected in my results.
PS Shop www.orig3n.com and select the DNA kits you want! When you go to check out use the code VIP25OFF. This will give you 25% off your shopping cart. I also have high HDL levels which is good and accurate based on my intensity interval training and I have been eating more coconut oil to hit my fat intake for the day.
My nutrition has shifted to be a little bit higher in olive oil versus coconut oil, higher in carbohydrates on workout days and lower on non-workout days, plus Vitamin D supplement and include yogurt and salmon. I set my own nutrition goals based on the testing! I’m pretty pumped about that.
With the lactate test , the entertaining part was my glycogen levels were depleting faster than they should have. In sports nutrition talk - I was bonking! I thought I had plenty of carbohydrates in me but apparently not. While running on the treadmill and getting my finger pricked to test lactate, we were strategizing ways to keep me from bonking which would have ended the test.
I asked if there was any OJ because that is really good at spiking your blood sugar. Sure enough they did so I had supplemental intra-workout carbohydrates during my 45 minute treadmill session.
Then the really fun results came and I was taught why my heart rate is related to my training style and body composition. In summary, I hang out in an anaerobic state every time I work out and not enough time in oxidation (fat burning). So, it makes sense why I didn’t really lose any body fat but I did gain muscle.
With these results from Days 1 and 2 my physiologist designed me a plan. My workout plans consists of 3 lifting days focusing on posterior work and 3 cardio days. The unique part about this though is that it is related to heart rate zones. I am heart rate training, which means I bought a heart rate monitor. I bought the Polar H 10. Super affordable on Amazon. Here’s an affiliate link for ya! So now when I exercise I am looking at my phone to see what my heart rate is doing. I have incredible focus. I know not many people care to track numbers and such but I am a total body nerd and physiology is fascinating to me. I love combining the science of fitness and nutrition to take me to the next level. Let’s see what this body can do!
I really like to emphasize here though that it is not for everyone and my intention is to not offend anyone or make people feel like they have to monitor their body composition and heart rate during exercise in order to be fulfilled. You can benefit from and live a fully healthy lifestyle without this data. But for me, this data is fun and joyful.
Community perks are also joyful! And when you become a member they let you sign up for community events around Denver for free. They also host some free events on-site. I actually went to Drinks & Dumbbells on a Saturday for a workout at bēkn North. They have events all around the city so I am signed up for their next one: Yoga and Wine. The additional benefits are that as a member you can get physical therapy, check ins with your physiologist, the group fitness classes like I mentioned.