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Weightlifting, Team Training, And More With Ashton Atilano

Ashton Atilano, Team Training Fitness Manager, talks weightlifting, tabata, getting outside, and—of course—team training.

Published: 3/5/18

Our Coaches have a wealth of information to share, and this month we wanted to highlight some of that knowledge from one of our Team Training all-stars, Ashton Atilano. Ashton has been a part of our team for four years and has quickly climbed up the ladder, helping to bring Team Training to the Colorado community. She is passionate about incorporating weightlifting into your workout routine, and getting outsideWe are excited to cover all of that and more in this interview. So, let’s dig in and see what advice she has for us this week!

1 | You have been with Chuze for a while now as part of our amazing team. Can you explain your position, where you started, and how you got there?

I started with Chuze in November of 2014. It is surreal that it has already been three and a half  years! I was first hired as a Team Training coach at our Rialto club in Southern California. My passion for personal training grew exponentially being a part of the coaching staff at Chuze.  Previously, I had only done one-on-one training and was nervous to take on a group format. You don’t know what you don’t know! Man, am I glad that I pushed past my nerves and gave this amazing format a try. I could never go back to one-on-one training again. It is so amazing to have a studio full of people from all backgrounds and fitness levels getting an amazing workout tailored to the intensity appropriate for them. Over a year into my journey with Chuze I was presented with an amazing opportunity to be a Fitness Manager in Denver, Colorado. I accepted the position and have been loving life in Colorado since! I have been able to help spearhead the Team Training department for three of our Colorado clubs, and I am currently the Fitness Manager over two of our locations in North Denver. I absolutely love what I get to do every day. It doesn’t feel like work when I get to meet and interact with so many rad people on a daily basis. I feel really blessed to be a part of Chuze and to have such an incredible team of coaches I get to work with so closely.


2 | You are someone that is passionate about adding weightlifting into your workout routine. How would you recommend weightlifting to newcomers?

I would say start small, know your limits and your body, and slowly increase weight over time as form is mastered.


3 | What are your top three tips for someone who is familiar with weightlifting but wants to up their game?

  • Changing the tempo of your reps can help with upping one’s game. For example, adding a slow descend with a long 3-to-5 second pause at the bottom of a squat can significantly add intensity during the eccentric and concentric contraction of the muscles in the lower body.
  • Being diligent with stretching. If we are training hard and not giving our bodies the proper post-workout recovery, we leave ourselves more susceptible to injury. Proper stretching helps ensure we are optimizing our range of motion because we are taking care to strengthen tendons and ligaments.
  • We are what we eat. A lot of people train hard and love to go heavy with weights, but they are not getting as much as they could out of their training because of diet. It is scientifically proven that getting protein and carbs in your system immediately following a workout will help significantly with replenishing your body’s glycogen that was depleted during your workout.

4 | Does Team Training incorporate weightlifting? How do the two exercises intersect?

Yes, we do lift weights in Team Training. Depending on the focus of that day’s programming the reps and weights might vary, but it is a big part of our format.


5 | Can I start Team Training if I am a beginner to working out?

Absolutely! Team Training is for everyone. We meet every person that comes into our studio where they are at. The best part is, the participant is the one setting the intensity appropriate for them. As a coach, we give parameters for different heart rate zones during our cardio portion and guidance on form and weight choices on our strength floor; but we never ask anyone to do more than they are ready for. Everyone has the freedom to decide what is right for them. If a member may need an alternative option for something in our programming, all of our coaches are trained to ensure that member has an option to keep them safe and successful in their workout. I highly recommend anyone just starting out on their fitness journey come see us in Team Training!


6 | What about an athlete? Can they get benefits from Team Training?

Yes! Interval training is an amazing way to keep athletes well conditioned. You get a full-body workout every time you come into our studio. I have several triathletes who participate regularly in Team Training and have told me countless times how much they appreciate the variety in the programming and the energy of working with a group. Almost every movement we show in Team Training has a low-impact option, that almost everyone can be successful completing. We also offer options to increase intensity/difficulty for those needing to spice things up. So yes, as I said before, Team Training is 100% for anyone no matter how new or experienced they are!


7 | Sometimes, life just gets so busy and it is hard to get to the gym. What are some of your favorite at-home, or outdoor workouts?

I love Tabata! You can do it anywhere! Tabata is a format where you perform a movement for 20 seconds straight, 10 seconds rest, and repeat. Usually I will do about 5 to 6 rounds of one movement and then switch to something new. Some good bodyweight movements to do for Tabata include: air squats, push-ups, mountain climbers, burpees, triceps dips, just to name a few. If you plan to give this a try, Spotify has some really fun and upbeat Tabata playlists to keep you motivated while you work!


8 | You have mentioned that you are passionate about getting outside. Can you tell us your favorite places to break a sweat around Denver and even California?

In Denver the options are limitless. It’s all a matter of how far you’re willing to drive. For those of us in north Denver, we are spoiled to have somewhere like Chautauqua Park to quickly grab the dog and some friends and go climb. It’s a steep, well-groomed trail in Boulder, Colorado that will for sure get you firing up those glutes and hamstrings as you gain a significant amount of elevation throughout your hike. Chautauqua’s trailhead is only about 25 minutes from most of our North Denver clubs!

When out in California I loved to get out and climb to the top of Mount Rubidoux located in Riverside,CA. It’s fun to utilize the stairs at the top of the trail to create a body weight circuit workout. A lot of moms meet up and up the intensity by pushing their little ones all the way up to the top in a stroller. Talk about strong as a mother!

Another great hiking spot out in CA is the El Moro Canyon Loop Trail in Laguna Beach. Great inclines and good variety in trail length based on how long you have to hike. Nothing like endless ocean views while burning calories!


9 | You shared a ton of information. Can you tell us the one takeaway you want our Chuze Family to remember from this interview?

I want everyone to remember that everyone in our Team Training studios and on our gym floors started somewhere. I love a quote one of our awesome Team Training coaches, Lindsay Gablehouse, has shared: “Fall in love with the process and the results will come.” It’s so true. You have to applaud yourself for the first baby steps in the right direction and then work on consistency, and from there it will all come together. Our coaches are some of the most encouraging and supportive people in the industry. I highly recommend anyone who has not taken advantage of team training to come in and meet them and give these coaches a chance to impact their lives in a positive way. You won’t regret it!

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