Do diets work? Join our Accelerated Fat Loss Program to learn what does work! – Starts Monday, February 13th – Limited space available.


Meet Mr. Joe. Joe is 42, six feet tall, 200 pounds, 24% body fat, and eats about 3,000 calories per day through a small breakfast, big lunch and a big dinner.

He’s nervous about his high school reunion coming up in 10 weeks because he’s 30 pounds heavier than he was when he graduated. He would love to get back down to 170 before he sees all of his old classmates, so he goes to his local gym.

“Hello sir, what can we do for you?”

“I want to lose thirty pounds in ten weeks.”

“We can definitely help you do that. How many calories are you eating per day?”

“About 3,000.”

“Great, you need to cut that down to 2,000 calories. That will starve the fat and help you lose weight.”

Since Joe really wants to lose weight he does exactly what they tell him to and only eats 2,000 calories per day. Two weeks later he’s a bit sluggish and pretty hungry, but what do you know, he’s lost 10 pounds! He’s excited about the results so he keeps on going. However, three weeks later he’s still at 190, so he goes back to the gym.

“Hey guys, the diet you put me on worked and I lost ten pounds! But I’m stuck now, what do I do?”

“Don’t worry Joe; we have this plateau buster program that will get you where you need to be. You’re eating too much; you have to eat 1,500 calories per day now.”

So Joe goes home and for the last five weeks before his reunion eats 1,500 calories per day. What happened? Well, he reached his goal and got down to 170, but he had to pay a price. His body fat percentage dropped only 2%, meaning he lost just 10 pounds of fat and 20 pounds of muscle. He’s also craving sugars and fats, has headaches, and feels sluggish and tired. There’s no way Joe can keep this diet up forever so after the reunion he goes back to eating 2,000 calories (still 1,000 less than the 3,000 he was originally eating).

A year later Joe’s body has changed again. He’s now 203 pounds (3 pounds heavier), 32% body fat (even farther out of the healthy range which is 10-20%), but still eats just 2,000 calories. How did this happen?

For one, you exactly can’t starve fat. Fat is stored energy so when Joe started eating less (giving his body less energy), why would it get rid of the stored energy? His body went in to starvation mode and wanted to keep as much fat as possible in case there was even less food available in the future. This is an evolutionary adaptation from the caveman days where McDonalds wasn’t always down the street. His body also started burning muscle because he needed more energy, and also muscle requires a lot of calories to maintain. Then, when he went from eating 1,500 calories to 2,000 calories, his metabolism was so low (since he had lost 20 pounds of calorie burning muscle) that he easily gained more weight, mostly in the form of fat.

So back to our question: do diets work?

As Joe discovered, the answer is a Big Fat NO!

So how do you keep this from happening to you?

  1. Don’t go on crash diets. They may work for a little, but in the end you will set yourself up for failure in the future.
  2. Strength train. Building muscle will keep your metabolism high and turn your body into an efficient calorie burning machine.
  3. Eat the right amounts of calories. Eating too little will cause your body to store fat and burn muscle; eating too much will cause you body to store fat. Remember, your body is an efficient fat storing machine because in the caveman days it was advantageous to store as much energy (fat) as possible.

Do you want to figure out how many calories you need? Do you need a little extra motivation and accountability? Sign up for Accelerated Fat Loss 101! This is our 8 week course where we will teach you exactly what you need to know to lose fat, and then help motivate you and hold you accountable as we all take those steps together. The deadline to sign up is Thursday, February 9th and seating is limited so sign up today! Give us a call at 727-2800-1800 to reserve your spot.

Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin Grand Opening Party and Charity Auction

Mark Your Calendar for the

Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin

Grand Opening Party and Charity Auction

December 2nd, 2016, 4 to 8 PM

2110 Main Street, Dunedin FL 34698


We can’t wait for our Grand Opening celebration on December 2nd!!! 

Come celebrate with us and check out our new bigger, better newly remodeled facility, with new equipment too!

Here are some of the fun activities that will be going on:

Food and refreshments!

Workout demonstrations with our Fitness Coaches!

Door Prizes!

Grand Prize – overnight stay in the new Fenway Hotel, opening in 2017!

And of course –

Our now-famous Train-the-Trainer Charity Auction

Bid on the opportunity to train your favorite Fitness Coach, and give them a taste of their own medicine! All money raised will be donated to the following charities:

  • Random Acts of Flowers Tampa Bay – Random Acts of Flowers improves the emotional health and well-being of individuals in health care facilities by delivering recycled flowers, encouragement and personal moments of kindness.
  • Clothes to Kids – Our mission is to provide new and quality used clothing to low-income or in-crisis school age children in Pinellas County, free of charge.
  • Dunedin Cares Food Pantry – Dunedin Cares collects and distributes non-perishable food items to Dunedin residents that need that extra help during turbulent times.

Check out these scenes from past “Train the Trainer” Auctions

Rock Solid Fitness Drew Carpenter

Drew getting auctioned off to a crowd of frenzied bidders

Even Patty got auctioned off! She brought the big bucks.....

Even Patty got auctioned off! She brought the big bucks…..

 And check out Lisa destroying Drew on the leg press after “winning” him in the Charity Auction!

We look forward to seeing you December 2nd!!!

Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin Move Part 5: The Date Is Set!

The Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin Move now has a date! We will be moving to 2110 Main Street in Dunedin on November 14, 2016.

And don’t forget to mark your calendar for our Grand Opening Party on Friday, December 2nd.  We will have food, give-aways, prizes, workout demonstrations on our new equipment, and much, much more!

Can’t wait to see you then!

Check out the latest up-to-the minute progress on the construction at the new home of Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin at 2110 Main Street Dunedin

The Truth About The “Fat Burning Zone”

For a long time, many so-called fitness experts have been advising people to exercise in their “fat-burning” heart rate zone during cardio workouts. By fat-burning zone, they mean exercising at a low level of intensity, as measured by heart rate, because doing so causes the body to utilize a higher percentage of fat as fuel than high intensity cardio. Certainly, if you are only interested in losing fat, as opposed to sports conditioning, this would be the way to go, right?


The truth is, things like the “Fat Burning Zone” are fancy-sounding ways to justify not working out hard.  As my good friend Luke Carlson of Discover Strength points out, it is a technique people use to “engineer the hard work out of the workout”.

Although it is true that a low intensity routine will utilize a higher percentage of fat as fuel, you will burn more fat on a higher intensity program, which I will explain by sharing with you the results of a 1994 study which appeared in Fitness Management magazine (Pocari, 1994). Before we get to that, let me explain what METS are for those who don’t know.

METS stands for metabolic equivalent. METS are frequently used to measure the intensity and energy requirements of an activity. One MET is equal to the energy expenditure needed for the uptake of 3.5 ml of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute at rest. Thus, an activity that requires an oxygen consumption of 35 ml/kg/min would be identified as a 10 MET activity. Some examples of MET values for common activities are as follows:
1 MET- sitting at rest
2-3 METS- walking at 2 MPH
4-5 METS- walking at 3.5 MPH, badminton, softball
7-8 METS- basketball, cycling at 12 MPH, mountain climbing
10+ METS- soccer, wrestling, sprinting

Now, back to the 1994 study on fat burning. The study consisted of 2 groups, a low-intensity group and a high-intensity group. Each group performed an aerobic workout on a treadmill for 30 minutes while having their metabolism monitored (breathing into a tube, like on those Gatorade commercials). The low intensity group walked on the treadmill at a speed of 3.8 MPH (the “fat burning” zone), while the high intensity group ran on the treadmill at a speed of 6.5 MPH. The results were as follows:

Group:                                   low intensity        high intensity

Time:                                     30 minutes           30 minutes

Total calories burned:                  240                       450

% of Carbohydrate as fuel:    60% (144 cal.)       75% (342 cal.)

% of Fat as fuel:                    40% (96 cal.)         25% (108 cal.)

Observe that the trainees in the high intensity group burned almost twice as many total calories as those in the low intensity group in the same amount of time. Total calories is the number one measurement for weight loss; thus, the low intensity group had an inferior workout by that standard. Also note that although it is true that the low intensity group burned a higher percentage of fat (40%) than the high intensity group (25%), the calories burned from fat was actually more for the high intensity group (108 vs. 96).

The results of this study demonstrate what anyone with common sense already knows-namely, the harder you work, the more calories and fat you will burn and the better shape you will be in.


High intensity interval training Dunedin


NOT This!

NOT This!

Here’s one last example to bury the “fat burning zone” myth once and for all: This past summer, we all enjoyed watching the 100 meter sprinters in the Brazil Summer Olympics-the fastest human beings in the world. How long did it take these athletes to cover this distance? Somewhere between 9 and 10 seconds, running all out, at 10+++ MET pace. Hardly the “fat burning zone” that is often recommended to us normal humans just trying to lose a few pounds! As you watched these athletes fly, did you see any visible body fat on these people?

I already know the answer: NO. So much for the fat burning zone!

Exciting News!

Rock Solid Fitness will be offering High Intensity Cardio Workouts at our new Dunedin Facility! Visit this site often for the latest news about our move to 2110 Main Street in Dunedin – we will be there in just a few more weeks!

Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin Move – Part 2

Our Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin move to our new location at 2110 Main Street is going great!!

Rock Solid Fitness DunedinPersonal Training Dunedin

                   A Few Weeks Ago                                            Yesterday


Walls are framed out, AC ducts have been added, plumbing is in place – we are cruising!

Personal Trainer Dunedin

Meeting of the Minds – Patty, Jason the landlord, Jeff the contractor

30 minute workout Dunedin

Hmmm, this looks interesting – perhaps parts of a custom table for the lobby or something?

This new space will have several new new features to help serve you better.  When you walk in, you will first be greeted by a Client Services Staff Member, then you can proceed into our lobby area to wait for your Fitness Coach.

Once your workout starts, you will notice several new pieces of strength training equipment for all areas of the body. In addition, we are adding a Woodway Treadmill (preferred by NFL teams) and a Life Cycle recumbent bike.  This will allow us to add High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) workouts to our menu, to add variety and improve metabolic conditioning.

Coming in before work or during your lunch hour for your workout, and worried about going back to work stinky?  No worries – our new facility has a shower.

And of course our InBody 570 body scanner will be making the trip with us, so we will be able to monitor your body composition changes and adapt your training program and nutritional habits for the absolute best long-term results.

In the meantime, it is business as usual at our Clearwater location, so if you haven’t been in for a while, now is a great time to get back into it, just contact us to schedule a workout or schedule yourself online. And if you’ve never worked out with us before, come on in and try us out – on the house.

So check back here often for continued updates on our progress, and the announcement of the date and time for our Grand Opening Party!




Learn, Grow, and Get Better Every Day

Did you learn, grow, and get better today? Did you do something, anything, to improve yourself in some area of your life? I hope so.

At Rock Solid Fitness, one of our Core Values is: “We continuously seek personal and professional development through educating ourselves and our clients.” Our goal is to be the best Dunedin Personal Training Studio, bar none.

Did you do something today to move you closer to whatever important personal goal you may have in front of you?

Every day you don’t get better, you don’t stay the same, you get worse. Why? Because you’re a day older. And with regard to your fitness goals, every workout you don’t invest in yourself by putting in a maximum effort is a workout you can never get back. There are no “do-overs” in life.

What are some ways you can get better today, with regard to your health and fitness? You can do one more rep on an exercise than you did last time. You can use 5 pounds more than you did last time. You can say no when somebody offers you a donut in the morning. You can drink an extra glass of water. You can eat a fresh fruit. You can skip dessert. You can park 50 yards away from the mall entrance and walk in, instead of driving around the parking lot for 20 minutes looking for a closer space. You can sit up straighter. You can lower the weight on the last rep of your set in 8 seconds instead of 4 seconds. You can go do your scheduled High Intensity workout at Rock Solid Fitness Fl instead of going to happy hour.

What are some ways you can get better today in other areas of your life? You can tell someone you love them. You can clean your room. You can write a letter to a long lost friend. You can give someone a compliment. You can read a self-improvement book or an inspiring biography. You can learn something new. You can make an unpleasant phone call. You can confront a difficult situation. You can do something that scares you. You can complete a project you have been putting off. You can be a good example.

Here at Rock Solid Fitness, we are also in the process of getting better, in order to serve our clients better – through our move to a bigger, better facility in Dunedin. We couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to provide better service, new programs, new equipment, and new amenities for our awesome clients!

And by the way, our clients are getting excited too – check this out:

Stay tuned for more news on the Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin Move – make sure to Learn, Grow, and Get Better in some way today – and leave a comment below or on our Facebook Page to tell us about it and inspire us!

Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin Move – Part One

We are thrilled to announce we are moving into a bigger facility so that Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin is better able to serve you, and improve your health and fitness in new and exciting ways!

Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin

Our new location will be 2110 Main Street, Dunedin, in the Coastal Plaza, where the Wal-Mart Neighborhood store is – just a stone’s throw from the Countryside Mall.

Map of 2210 Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698
Along with our bigger location, Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin will be introducing some new strength training equipment, as well as some exciting programs for you – like High Intensity Interval Training, treadmill workouts, and much, much more!

nautilus pullover rock solid dunedinmedx chest press rock solidrock solid woodway treadmill

We will also have a cozy lobby for you to comfortably wait for your appointment, have your pre/post workout snack, or recover after an all out effort workout.

We anticipate being in our new space sometime in late October or early November, and will have a big grand opening party with lots of fun, excitement, free workouts and giveaways.  We hope you will tell all of your friends and family to join you!

Yours in Health and Strength,

Patty Durell and the Rock Solid Fitness Team

How to Prevent Low Back Pain

This morning one of our training clients, who is a nurse at a local hospital, was telling me how two of her co-workers are having trouble doing their jobs because they had low back problems.  She said she was trying to explain to them how to prevent low back pain by strengthening the muscles in and around the low back area, but they weren’t really getting it.  So I thought I’d take a stab at it with this blog post.

How to Prevent Low Back Pain Through Strength Training

80% of us – 4 out of 5 – will experience low back pain at some point in our lives.  Low back pain is the #1 cause of disability in the workplace worldwide.

More U.S. health care dollars are spent treating low back pain than almost any other medical condition, but much of that money is be wasted.  Estimates on the health care costs of low back pain range from $50 billion to $200 billion per year – a lot of money, whatever the exact number is.

Yet at the same time, outcomes don’t seem to be improving.  The amount of people who report suffering from back pain is steadily on the rise.  The cause of most back pain is mechanical-meaning it is due to some type of injury, most often a soft tissue injury to the surrounding muscles, tendons and/or ligaments.

Many exercises that supposedly strengthen the lower back muscles are actually dangerous to the spine, and work the hip and leg muscles way more than the low back muscles.  These include any exercise where you explosively pull a weight upward, something you see a lot in many gyms today.  There is nothing worse than going to the gym to prevent injuries, and then getting injured in the process!

But there is good news-proper exercise can help get rid of lower back pain, and strengthen the lower back to reduce the risk of such injuries, and in a safe manner. The best exercises for this purpose are those that isolate the lumbar spine muscles and don’t utilize the hip and leg muscles.

Most common “back” exercises, such as deadlifts or back extensions (shown below), do not achieve this goal.

deadlift45 degree back extension

Isolating the lumbar spine muscles is accomplished by restraining the pelvis, which eliminates the involvement of the hip and leg muscles.  There are very few exercise machines on the market that effectively accomplish this goal. One is the Nautilus Lower Back extension machine (pictured below), which can be found at Rock Solid Fitness.

how to prevent low back pain

As you can see in the picture above, the Nautilus low back machine has 2 seat belts, one which goes across the hips, and one that goes just above the trainees’ knees.  Also, notice how there is a pad that goes behind the hips.  This pad and the 2 seat belts serve to restrain the pelvis, rendering the hip and leg muscles unable to assist with the exercise.  This design isolates the action to only the lumbar spinal muscles.

The trainee starts the exercise in a position of lumbar flexion (bent forward), and leans back into the upper back pad until the lumbar spine is in a position of full extension, working the lumbar spinal muscles through a full range of motion, as shown below.

prevent low back pain

Start Position

low back pain

Finish Position

Of course, the muscles of the hips and thighs are very important to those who want to know how to prevent low back pain, but they should be trained using exercises that specifically target those muscles safely, such as leg press, leg extension, leg curl, etc.  At Rock Solid Fitness, we always perform full body workouts, so that none of these areas are neglected.

2015-10-11 23.03.0720140715_115845


So if you would like to know how to prevent low back pain, using exercises that properly isolate the lumbar spine muscles combined with a full body strengthening program, just schedule a workout at Rock Solid Fitness and we will hook you up!


How to Lose Weight Naturally – and Keep it Off! (Inspirational Guest Post)

If you, like most of us, have struggled to figure out how to lose weight naturally, and keep the weight off long-term, today is your lucky day.

Because today, we are privileged to share a guest post by Rebecca Freedman, who was the featured speaker at our last Free Monthly Health and Fitness Seminar.

And Rebecca knows exactly what she is talking about – because she has lost over 120 pounds, without surgery or drugs, and kept it off long-term.

how to lose weight naturally

So here is a little background info on Rebecca from her website, followed by her thoughts on her Rock Solid Fitness experience. Take it away Rebecca!


How to Lose Weight Naturally

I am a health coach, educator, blogger, and nutrition enthusiast.

My passion for health and wellness developed during my journey of losing 120+ pounds. I formed habits of using food as a source of comfort and a way to cope with my emotions at a young age and allowed these behaviors to escalate over the years. The purpose of food in my life was not to nourish my body when I was feeling hungry, but rather to fill a void when I was feeling bored, sad, lonely, excited, happy, anxious, etc.

Throughout my weight loss journey and my education at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I have learned how to maintain a healthy lifestyle by healing my relationship with food and letting go of negative thought patterns that no longer serve me.

In addition to offering individualized support through one-on-one health coaching, I enjoy speaking about shifting from emotional eating to mindful eating, the weight-loss journey, how to make sustainable change in your life, and how to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise. I also teach healthy cooking classes, where the focus is on cooking naturally without a recipe.

I do not believe in dieting. I think that self-love and health go hand-in-hand. Through the development of self-love, we are able to treat the root of the problem, rather than just treating the symptoms.

As someone who has truly been there, nothing gives me greater joy than helping others reach their health goals and feel comfortable in their own skin.

lose weight naturally


My Rock Solid Fitness Reflection


Rock Solid Fitness: Expectations Exceeded.

On my drive to my first workout at Rock Solid Fitness, I felt very skeptical. Looking back at my experiences working out in a gym setting, I remembered that it never felt quite right for me:

  • I never liked being stuck indoors; I like to be outside in nature!
  • People seemed to be so fixated on their appearance, rather than their health
  • I never knew how long to be at the gym, how my sets/reps to do, what muscles to work, etc.
  • I hate cardio machines. I get bored after 30 seconds!
  • I always lift too much and hurt my back

My gym memberships never last very long because I end up injured or bored. I have always thought about going to the gym the same way as I think about dieting. As a society, we think we need to go on a diet and get a gym membership to lose weight and get healthy, but I have never found this model to be sustainable.

Little did I know, Rock Solid Fitness is the exception. I am so thankful that I gave them a chance! After spending a morning at RSF working out and getting to know their program and philosophy, I learned that not all gyms are the same.

Rock Solid Fitness offers a 30 min, 2 times a week, personalized strength training program. They use machines, rather than free weights to reduce risk of injury. A personal trainer is standing with you, programming your workout for you the whole time, ensuring that you are comfortable, safe, and being challenged. The workouts consist of slow push and pull movements in different muscle groups with a unique rep structure that focuses on efficiency.

My trainer, Grant, took the time to get to know my body and understood its needs and limitations. I felt like I had direction, support, and safety, all wrapped up into a quick, time-efficient workout.

After reflecting on my experience with owner, Patty Durell, I realized it wasn’t gyms as a whole that I had an issue with, it was more about the lack of understanding of how a gym workout could fit into my life and what its importance would be.

I grew up with a sedentary lifestyle and was very overweight. Now after losing over 120 pounds, I love running along the water, circuit training in the park, long, brisk walks on the beach, rock climbing, yoga, bike riding, paddle boarding, kayaking, etc. When I was almost 300 pounds, it was difficult and uncomfortable to do outdoor activities like this. My lifestyle has changed and become more active now.

The most interesting part of my conversation with Patty was an analysis of the difference between activity and exercise. Based on my background, I’m not used to enjoying activities that require physical effort. These outdoor activities that I have grown to love aren’t always “exercise,” often times I am just participating in a hobby that I enjoy and it just happens to be an active hobby.

Rock Solid Fitness’s program provides balance by offering the exercise and strength work that is needed in order to become stronger and perform better in your life outside of the gym!

All the best,

Rebecca Freedman

Rebecca's progress Rock Solid Fitness

Only a few pounds difference between the two pictures, but getting a little more toned from strength training. One day at a time!


Thanks Rebecca!

Check out Rebecca’s website – Click Here