ThirdSpace Coach Highlight: Natalia Dondoyano


ThirdSpace Coach Highlight: Natalia Dondoyano


Many of us ThirdSpacers just wrapped up the NSNG Challenge where we spent a whole 28 days NOT eating the sweet treats and everyday grains we love so much. It was difficult, but we got through it and we got through it together.

A major factor to our success came from the help of our beloved (yes, beloved because we love them dearly!) TS Coaches. They were there from start to finish pushing us, guiding us, and encouraging us to not give up on a venture that was completely new to us all.

I’m so inspired by their support and I’d like to start highlighting them on the TS Blog, along with our member highlights. It will give us a chance to get to know them better and maybe help us connect with some we may not know as well as others.

To start off, we are getting to know Coach Natalia Dondoyano today! She's a 28-year-old, San Jose native, who loves to move, stay active, and eat well. The NSNG Challenge proved she is one we can turn to for a list of healthy eating alternatives - even when it comes to desserts!


Take it away, Natalia!

How long have you been teaching at ThirdSpace and what brought you here:

I think I have been teaching at ThirdSpace for over two years. It was good timing when I found Thirdspace. I had just got back from traveling abroad for an extended amount of time and was looking for a new gym to call home. A friend had recommended me to Lance and the rest is history!

What classes do you teach?: (TRX/CrossFit/3SX/Yoga/Weightlifting/Other)

For Thirdspace I currently teach TRX, 3SX, Powerlifting, Yoga, Bootcamp, and Trx Yoga. I used to teach Crossfit, a Yoga/Mobility hybrid class, and Cardio classes too. DJ calls me their utility coach since I’m available to sub all the classes.

What inspired you to become a fitness instructor?:

I started as a personal trainer about nine years ago during college after the cream puff store I worked for closed unexpectedly. Two years into my work as a personal trainer I wanted to switch it up, learn other aspects of fitness and expand my business. I took a Group X certification with AFAA and really enjoyed it. I used to teach various aerobics classes where I’d jump around, yell and do most of the movements with the class. I do that occasionally in my Bootcamp classes still and there are some aspects of that style of teaching I want to get more comfortable with. From there I was lucky to have had a fitness manager that was willing to teach me new things and pull me out of my comfort zone. Seeing that side of fitness and meeting so many amazing group instructors really inspired me to be better; it still does.


Any cool certifications/training/classes you’ve taken to become a great instructor?:

I think all the training I’ve taken have helped me become well rounded, but I’ll name a few of my favorites. I took an Aquatic Aerobics instructor seminar early on in my career. Learning how to use water resistance in 360 degrees with buoys to target opposing muscle groups was mind-blowing. An example is how a typical bicep curl primarily targets your biceps but in the water, with buoys, you primarily target triceps instead! I took a Body Pump certification with Les Mills. It’s a muscular endurance weightlifting format that choreographs 800 reps in one hour. I didn’t pass this certification haha. I have never been a musical person and in this certification, I struggled to stay on beat. Everything I said and demoed was already choreographed- all I had to do was perform. I enjoy the creativity in programming my classes and Body Pump just wasn’t my style. I’m shy and the performing aspect of group fitness is something I’m always working to improve. Besides my Yoga certification, one of my most life-changing certifications was The Corset by Ido Portal. It’s essentially a mobility certification that focuses on bringing strength and flexibility to the joints in all ranges including hyperextension. It was a two-day 10-hour workshop that went over every single joint in the body. The certification pulled from all aspects of fitness: dance, martial arts, bodybuilding, yoga, gymnastics and more. I had never been so sore in so many various places. I’d say The Corset is by far one of the strongest certifications I have under my belt.

What are some of your goals for your students and classes?

For every class, I always have a personal goal and that can be anything from trying new cues to being more sociable. The goals I have for my students vary depending on the format. Often in yoga, I hope my students are able to surrender what they can and let me guide them through the class. In Powerlifting, I hope my students can take away proper form in the foundational lifts and feel more comfortable the next time they get on the bar. For TRX my goals for my students are proper core engagement. In Bootcamp, I always hope they get in a damn good workout and have a fun experience doing so.

Tell us how you know so much about nutrition and food alternatives:

Like most people starting in fitness, I didn’t know much about eating properly or how food can greatly affect your physical results beyond aesthetics. I think during the first six or seven years I experimented on myself and tried almost every diet. Depending on the diet I would commit four – six weeks, do research, test out recipes, and record my results. I love tracking food, eating differently to illicit drastic changes in my body, baking healthy versions of sweet treats and just constantly exploring all that. I have so many personal journals with different fitness formats, cool multi-muscle group movements, and my own recipe book filled with my favorites! I guess what really drives my eating experiments is my love for sweets haha.


Any upcoming fitness/health challenges/races/competitions and why are you taking them on?

The only fun challenge I committed to this year is Tough Mudder in June. I signed up for this as a way to reach my goals. I spent about eight months last year recovering from a severe injury and about four to six months after that trying to get my mental and physical strength back. I’m looking forward to doing something new and fun. I’ve been putting a team together for selfish reasons really; to create my own support system. I’m confident in helping other people achieve their physical goals but I know I need help from my own communities to push past my fears of reinjury. Join my team! We’ll give each other confidence! The Crossfit open is coming up at the end of February too. This time last year I was just starting to walk at a normal speed and couldn’t participate. This year will be the first time I’m unable to do muscle ups or lift more than 100lbs during the open. It will be five weeks of gratitude for where I am, what I can do and knowing where I can go.

Thoughts on the ThirdSpace NSNG Challenge?

I’m so proud of everyone who participated and even thought about participating in this challenge! It takes so much effort to slow down and look at what you’re eating let alone create changes to them. I know a lot of members saw amazing results from this challenge. I think its really exciting to show everyone how easy it can be to change your body when you’re consistent and dedicated.

Favorite workout?

Hands down swimming laps in the pool, then pull up variations.

Least favorite workout?:

Omg cycling. I want to love it but every time I pedal it feels like I’m doing weighted lunges haha. I just need to work on my tempo and form ☹

Favorite post-workout meal?


Proudest ThirdSpace moment:

This happens to me on a weekly basis, I would have too many of these to list. I’m proud every time someone asks a question pertaining to their goals, achieves a goal, or can move their body into the position I’m describing.

Strangest thing we would find in your gym bag:

It’s not strange to me but I always get surprised looks whenever I pull out my bag of snacks. I always carry a bag of healthy snacks in my bag!

What does ThirdSpace mean to you:

ThirdSpace is my home gym. I love the fitness model and concepts we strive to embody. It is a place where I go to learn more about myself as an instructor and meet people with similar interests.

Contributing ThirdSpace Blogger: Adriana Michelle, TS Member


Joining The NSNG Challenge: How I'm Feeling 10 Days Later


Joining The NSNG Challenge: How I'm Feeling 10 Days Later


If you're on Thirdspace's email list or Community Pool Facebook Group, you've been notified with your first 2018 health challenge: Take a 28-day absence from sugar and grains and adopt the NSNG (No Sugar No Grains) lifestyle. 

I received the notification the day after Christmas and was pretty shocked because I couldn't fathom NOT having any sugar or grains in my diet. Especially, since I'm a vegetarian. I already have quite a few diet restrictions. But I'm not one to shy away from a challenge so I accepted it as a test of personal willpower and to see if it would actually help. 

After Googling articles on NSNG and downloading the creator's (Vinnie Tortorich, Celebrity Trainer) introduction guide, I found out that I could receive many health benefits from eliminating sugar and grain from my diet. Not only could I lose weight, but I could gain more energy for my busy lifestyle and workouts. It's actually supposed to improve my physical performance, Vinnie explained. 

I was pretty stoked to read all of this. 

So, I decided to start a day before the challenge start date, which was January 2, and get things rolling. On day 10 of my journey (1/10/18), here are the changes I've noticed about myself - 


Meal Prep: I am a meal prepping machine right now and it feels great! I quit meal prepping months ago and since then I've missed too many breakfast meals; spent too much money on eating out; and adopted some pretty weird eating habits. What NSNG has taught me - if I meal prep for my day-to-day, I will never go without a meal (a healthy one at that) and I will have more control over the food I eat and the money I spend because I am prepared. I know I don't have to meal prep for this lifestyle or challenge, however, if I don't prep, I'll end up eating something that is not part of the NSNG lifestyle. 


Nutrition: I am eating cleaner and I'm expanding my "food knowledge" and it is GOOD. I really thought I was a clean eater before NSNG, but I now see how much of my foods were loaded with high amounts of sugars. It's exciting to learn new recipes, create new go-to meals, and fill my plate with flavorful, rich, and nutrient dense foods. I'm even learning how to spice things up more with tasty seasonings!


Community: This challenge has really helped me get closer to Thirdspace coaches and members because we are in this new experience together. Everyone has been really encouraging and supportive during this process and I feel grateful to have this opportunity to get know my peers better. It's so much fun hearing about their progress, how they're reacting to NSNG, and learning about who they are outside of the gym.

Weight Loss.png

Weight Loss: I've lost 2 lbs. already! I look thinner and feel lighter - literally, my jeans are beginning to sag on me - and I'm finally seeing my stubborn belly fat and love handles slim down. My waist size before the challenge was a little over 29 inches and my "love handle waist" measured a little over 34". Today my waist is just under 28" and my love handles are just under 33". What day is this again? Oh yea, only day 10! So, I'm super stoked to see the results after day 28!

Energy & Physical Performance: This is something I can't speak on quite yet. I was sick for the first week of January and now trying to regain my strength to get back into a TRX class and do a WOD for this challenge. But I have heard other participants talk about how energized they feel. Disclaimer: My illness did NOT contribute to my weight loss because I ate full and complete meals and snacks every day. 


Dedication and Willpower: I love feeling completely dedicated to a better me! I feel confident and good about myself, and it's been a great way to kick off my 2018 health goals! I really believed this challenge was going to be a true test of my willpower, but I've noticed it's not that hard to stay away from sugar and grains. The knowledge, confidence, and results I'm experiencing are empowering!

If you're a Thirdspacer who joined the challenge, I'd love to hear how you're doing! You can add me on My Fitness Pal (username AdrianaMichelle7) or find me on Facebook (Adriana Michelle). I'm pretty vocal on Thirdspace's Community Pool, so I won't be hard to miss.

If you haven't joined the challenge, you can always start your own by adopting the NSNG lifestyle at any time. Many of us Thirdspacers can help you begin with the information we've learned thus far. 

For updates about the challenge on social, like Thirdspace on Facebook here:

Contributing Blogger : Adriana Michelle, Thirdspace Member


Give The Gift of Dr. Jen This Holiday Season


Give The Gift of Dr. Jen This Holiday Season

Dr. Jen

Dr. Jen Nelson

DC Movement Specialist

We know December has been a lot of fun for Downtown San Jose with festivities like Christmas in the Park, Downtown Ice, and Christmas parties galore. But let's face it. It's also been kind of hectic with the holiday hustle and bustle. Heading to the mall and department stores makes things worse.  Nobody likes dealing with massive holiday crowds. Not to mention parking lot craziness - such a nightmare!

So, what do you do to avoid the stress, but still get an amazing gift for the person who has everything? No, I'm not talking about shopping online at Amazon. Your person already has everything, remember? I'm talking about giving the gift of Dr. Jen Nelson, DC Movement Specialist. 



Gifting Silicon Valley chiropractic and wellness services of Dr. Jen will leave your giftee feeling like a new person. Body aches, pains, injuries, weight gain, fatigue and unbalanced lifestyles may seem like just some things one has to put up with, but that shouldn't be the case. With Dr. Jen, you have the power to show your loved ones that there is a path to complete body restoration and living life as their optimal self!

Plus, with January 1st around the corner, your mom, uncle, or BFF will love you for helping them kick-starting their 2018 health goals. All you gotta' do is reach out to Dr. Jen and tell her about who you have in mind to help. She'll recommend what service to gift to start their journey. Heck, you might even gift yourself a treatment if you haven't already. You work hard, you deserve it!

Visit her online at or the next time you see her in office here at ThirdSpace!




ThirdSpace Couple Highlight: Shanni & Jesse!


ThirdSpace Couple Highlight: Shanni & Jesse!

Shanni and Jessie.jpg

With us since our beginnings, Shanni and Jesse are staple members of the ThirdSpace team. They're known to run, lift, and clean like bosses, and they're also pretty awesome individuals. Shanni is constantly breaking personal records by lifting heavier and Jesse is right beside her pushing himself beyond limitations. They both attend classes on a consistent basis and are proof that hard work pays off. If you’re a newcomer and haven't been in a class with them yet, definitely arrange time to do so to hear about their progress. For now, here's some fun stuff to know about the ThirdSpace power couple. 

Name: Shanni & Jesse


S: 32

J: 36

Occupation and/or School:

S: Human Resources at LinkedIn

J: Health Insurance at Google


S: Christmas, Florida

J: Walnut Creek, CA

Athletic background/favorite sports:

S: Background? Everything. I did ballet for 10 years, swimming, horseback riding. Dancing has always been my favorite, if that counts as a sport.

J: Played high school football and basketball.

Other hobbies:

S: Reading, painting, puzzles & crafts, watching cartoons, Obstacle Racing, Flywheel

J: Streaming TV, Podcasts, NBA/NFL, shopping for sneakers, hiking

Favorite type of class: 

S: Crossfit and Power lifting. I know Olympic lifting is good for me, but no one likes snatches.

J: Crossfit and Power lifting.

How long have you both been at ThirdSpace and what brought you here:

S: I joined in June 2015... so, 2.5 years now. I had wanted to try crossfit for a little while to train for Obstacle Course Racing, but hadn't found anything in downtown San Jose. Danielle posted a giveaway on the "Downtown Dwellers" group and I won!

J: 2 years. Shanni brought me.

Fitness goals:

J: Get jacked and juicy (like Robert Frank)

S: To be super spry and hiking up mountains when I'm 80


Favorite workout:

S: Anything body weight. Running, rowing, pushups, situps, air squats

J: Deadlifts, Cleans, Squats, rowing, pull ups, toes to bar, box jumps

Least favorite workout: 

S: Jumping rope.

J: Thrusters, Walls Balls, double unders

Favorite lift:

S: Deadlifts.

J: Deadlifts, Cleans, Squats

 Least favorite lift:

S: Thrusters.

J: Behind the head snatch grip push press, overhead squats, squat snatches

Strangest thing we would find in your gym bag:

S: I don't really think any of it's strange ... mouth guard? too many extra socks?

J: work stuff/ post it notes

What does ThirdSpace mean to you:  

S: It's my gym. A great community. Sometimes I think I spend more time at ThirdSpace during the week than I do in my apartment. At this point I think I'd feel a little lost without it.

J: Thirdspace means a lot to me, since it is very responsible for a huge lifestyle change. I was in very bad shape when I started and now I am at least in good average shape for my age. Thirdspace is a great place to learn and lift and not worry about what anyone thinks.



This Is Why You WON’T Be Catching Up On Sleep This Thanksgiving Weekend


This Is Why You WON’T Be Catching Up On Sleep This Thanksgiving Weekend


Thanksgiving is coming and I can’t wait!

I get to prepare for an awesome four day weekend where my alarm clock stays OFF, and I can catch up on much needed sleep.

But I must admit. I’ve been totally wrong in telling others that I love catching up on sleep during this time. Truth is - I can’t catch up on lost sleep and neither can you.

Here’s why.

Like nearly a third of Americans in this country, I have a history of bad sleeping habits. I don’t get enough sleep to function optimally, which is known as sleep deprivation.

According to The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40.6 million American adults are sleeping six or fewer hours a day. Despite feeling okay with minimal sleep, the reality is - this is NOT okay.

There are dire consequences for our bodies when we are sleep deprived: our insulin levels rise significantly, our bodies store more fat than it should, our cholesterol levels spike, our metabolism slows down, and we lose muscle quicker.

One study showed that “one night of total sleep deprivation may be as detrimental to insulin sensitivity as six months on a high-fat diet.”

We also lose tons of energy and become susceptible to weight gain.

When we lack energy, our bodies promote higher sugar cravings making harder to say no to the high-carb, fatty junk foods that we know we should avoid. We’ll get instant energy from these foods, but we’ll also take in a lot more calories.

Not getting enough sleep also contributes to high inflammatory levels putting us at risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Many other studies have found that insufficient sleep adds up to greater risk of Alzheimer’s, the leading cause of dementia. (Coach John can tell you more about this, just ask him!)

We can’t avoid these effects if we aren’t getting enough sleep, and sleeping in extra hours on our days off won’t help. Studies, including a Harvard Medical School Study, have found that it is nearly impossible to "catch up on sleep" to improve our daily performance.

Even if we sleep an extra 10 hours to compensate for sleeping less than 6 hours a night for up to two weeks, our reaction times and ability to focus is worse than if we had pulled an all-nighter.

To wrap things up, I will definitely be sleeping this weekend but I won’t over do it. I’ll get the recommended amount, 7 to 9 hours, and work on building better sleeping habits.

I go to Thirdspace to stay fit and healthy, and not getting enough sleep is completely counterproductive to my goals.

So, when I show up for Coach Natalia’s 10am TRX class on Thanksgiving Day, I’ll be well rested and ready to go!

We’ll go over some recommended expert tips on how to get better sleep on another blog, so stay tuned. Hope to see you in class Thursday!

Contgributing Author: Adriana Michelle, Thirdspace Member



Thirdspace Member Highlight: Kellie V.


Thirdspace Member Highlight: Kellie V.


Today we are kicking off our member highlight series with Thirdspace member Kellie V. ! Kellie is someone who attends Thirdspace on the regular and does a great job of circulating classes - CrossFit, TRX, Powerlifting, Yoga. She keeps a positive attitude during each work out, especially the WOD's, and is always up for the challenge! We can't be more proud of her and her results. She is getting stronger every day!

Kellie V. Highlights

Full Name: Kellie Vogt

Nicknames: KV  

Age: 27

Occupation: HR Operations at Genentech

Hometown: Local Gal, Sunnyvale, Ca


Athletic background/favorite sports: I grew up playing all the sports, but mostly softball stuck with me into college

Other hobbies: I enjoy anything and everything outdoors! Rock Climbing, Beach, Traveling, Hiking, Wakeboarding. 

Favorite type of class: (TRX/CrossFit/3SX/Yoga/Weightlifitng/Other) This is tough - I would have to say that I am happiest lifting heavy weights in powerlifting classes.  

How long have you been at ThirdSpace and what brought you here: I started attending Thirdspace in April 2017. Curiosity! Change! I have done everything from Orange Theory to Pilates to kickboxing and to the boring old run of the much gyms. 

Fitness goal: GET STRONG! Lift all the heavy things.

Favorite workout: Kerry's birthday workout! I don't remember exactly but I know that it was my favorite. I think it has thrusters and jump rope and wall sits and over head squats. 

Least favorite workout:  Anything with wall balls is a big thumbs down.

Favorite lift: The deadlift!

Least favorite lift: Cleans. 


Proudest ThirdSpace moment: My proudest moment is just the fact that I keep getting stronger every day and feel great! Also that I haven't puked during a tough work out :P pretty proud of that. There have been a few close calls.

Strangest thing we would find in your gym bag: Maybe...Nail clippers? I am super anal about my nails being even at any given time.

What does ThirdSpace mean to you:  Thirdspace means everything - it where I go when I'm angry, happy upset- No matter what mood I walk in with I always walk out feeling great! It has boosted my confidence and has changed my body and overall mental game. This is my third family and my third home.


How To Treat Sore Muscles


How To Treat Sore Muscles


As a newbie to the fitness world, I've noticed fitness classes like CrossFit and TRX impacting my life in different ways. Firstly, I’ve seen better lifestyle habits develop such as attending gym classes regularly without them feeling like chores I’m dreading to do.

Secondly, because I’m attending classes regularly, confidence in my physical health and appearance has increased greatly. I have much more satisfaction knowing that I've lost weight and look good. However, there is a downside to this all.

Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

DOMS is the soreness muscles feel 24 hours after a rock star workout. A pain in the butt to deal with when I’m trying to pull my shirt over my head in the morning, but it’s something we all should expect when our muscles are getting stronger. I mean no pains, no gains, right? Fortunately, there are remedies to help.

Massage Tools

Massage tools are a great way to provide muscles with deep tissue style massages that increase blood flow and relieve muscles of soreness and tightness. Affordable and easy to shop for, using a massager for DOMS will loosen your joints immediately and soothe out the soreness. Foam rollers are great for this as it works to circulate fresh, oxygenated blood and accelerate recovery.


Before and after any exercise, drinking lots of water is key. Hydrating yourself will rid your body of toxins and prevent dehydration, which can make sore muscles feel even worse. It will also help carry the nutrients and electrolytes your muscles and organs need to function properly after running yourself ragged through a workout.  


Although your muscles may be feeling much discomfort, you shouldn’t stop moving. Whether it’s low-intensity exercise or yoga, the slow and steady movement will relax your muscle fibers and lengthen them to provide relief. Remember to incorporate a 10-minute cool-down phase after your workouts to reduce stress on your heart and muscles.  

Contributing Author: Adriana Michelle



Nutrition Basics - What Are Macros?

Nutrition Basics - What Are Macros?

When you’re new to the journey of Health and Fitness, the experience can be a bit overwhelming at times.  Especially when you’re consuming most of your free time watching videos online, reading magazines, and keeping up with your favorite Instagram accounts. By now you’ve probably come across the topic of “macros”, and like most health and fitness buzzwords, you’re not quite sure what they actually are. 

Macronutrients, also known as “macros”, are what make up the calories in your foods. There are three categories of macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat.

Here’s how the calories work for each macro group (table 1):

  • 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
  • 1 gram of fat = 9 calories
  • 1 gram of protein = 4 calories

Let’s use bacon as an example.



The label in the photo states that one slice of bacon contains a total of 43 calories.

These calories are created from the following grams of fat, carbs, and protein (table 2):

Total Fat: 3.3 g

Total Carbohydrate: 0.1 g

Total Protein: 3 g

To get the number 43 in calories, we multiply the calories of each macro group (table 1) by the total number of grams of each macro (table 2).

Here’s the break down:

Total Calories from Fat:

9 calories x 3.3 grams of fat = 29.7 calories

Total Calories from Carbs:

4 calories x 0.1 grams of carbs = .4 calories

Total Calories from Protein:

4 calories x 3 grams of protein = 12 calories

Total Calories in Bacon from Macros = 42.1


As you can see, the nutrition label rounded up by one number, but that is normal as the total number of calories is always listed as a whole number.

Once you get the hang of the concept and equations for macronutrients, you can then move onto finding how much of each macro you should consume for energy, weight loss, muscle repair and growth.