We’re so excited to welcome Adam Brown as our newest instructor at Honest! Adam will be teaching evening classes at the studio starting this fall. We love his perspective on how fitness and being a part of a gym community fits into the bigger picture of whole-person wellbeing. And it sounds like Adam knows how to have fun…and host! Next Honest party is at Adam’s house! 😉
How long have you had a regular fitness routine? How did you get started?
I’ve had a regular fitness routine for the past 10 – 12 years. As a child and into my adolescent years, I was extremely overweight. Mid-way through high school, after enduring years of ridicule for being the “fat kid,” I decided to make some changes to my diet in an attempt to lose weight. I spent months learning to read nutrition fact labels and comparing the compositions and caloric contents of different foods, finally settling on a diet of smaller portions and less fat (low fat was the rage at the time). It worked, and I slimmed down considerably by college.
It wasn’t until I met my wife, Jenny, that I integrated regular workouts into my routine. As a life-long gymnast, working out has always been a part of Jenny’s life. When we first started dating, she couldn’t believe how little I ate and how strict I was about my diet. My response to her was that I had a “thrifty” metabolism and couldn’t eat more or differently without gaining weight. Jenny encouraged me to try making regular exercise, including strength training, part of my routine, selling it as a way to battle back against my naturally “thrifty” metabolism. That was about a dozen years ago now and I haven’t looked back. While I’d say that I still eat less and healthier than most of my peers, a regular workout routine has allowed me to actually enjoy being a little less rigid with my dietary choices. It has also stabilized my body composition, given me more energy, and really turned into something that I enjoy.
Do you have any advice for someone who is new at Honest? Or thinking about a membership?
My favorite part about Honest is how approachable Paisley has made the programming. Small-group fitness can be intimidating, especially for beginners and newcomers. But group fitness, especially when coached in an approachable way, is hands-down the best way to work out.
So what do I mean by coached in an approachable way? For starters, there is no shame at Honest. One of the best parts about group fitness is the social connections, both in terms of the positive pressure we place on one another to keep up and the social solidarity we feel in tackling a hard workout together. Paisley sets the tone that the workout is less about how much you do, or how heavy your weights are, and more about tuning it to your individual ability. That’s the coaching part.
The approachable part is empowering people to tailor the actual exercises to individual ability. There’s a modification for every exercise so it meets us at our physical abilities – challenging enough to push us outside our comfort zones, while safe enough to keep us healthy! I’m always impressed when I see class participants modify a workout on their own – that’s the pinnacle of empowering people to create their own fitness.
What is your favorite class at Honest or type of work-out?
I love balanced strength & conditioning workouts because that’s what makes me feel the most “fit.” I know I’m maintaining a high level of physical fitness when I can push myself through a strength and conditioning circuit while maintaining good form and focusing on range of motion. I love that feeling. Then there’s metabolic conditioning…I’d be lying if I said I love doing it. But, I do love the way I feel after a metabolic conditioning workout. There’s not another class at Honest that makes me feel like I’ve pushed myself to my limits more than METCON!.
How do you stay motivated?
One of the ways I stay motivated is by thinking about how good I feel after working out, rather than focusing on how unmotivated I might feel when I’m debating about whether to go. Regardless of how I feel before, I almost always feel great about having gone.
What keeps you busy in between workouts?
I’ve worked at Multnomah County for 10 years, currently in the Budget Office. Multnomah County is a great place to work because the organizational culture promotes work/life balance and I get a front row seat to the inner workings of our local government. I also serve as the President of a local mental-health nonprofit called OCD Oregon, which is a local affiliate of the International Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Foundation. Contrary to my position at the County, my background is not in finance (I have a master’s degree in conflict resolution), so this volunteer position is one of the ways I stay connected to what I care about most – people’s wellbeing, including mental health.
My family is a huge part of my life. My wife and dog are my family here in town, but I also have two brothers and two sisters who are scattered throughout northwest Oregon and Washington. My siblings are awesome, and we love spending time together.
For hobbies, I love cooking, golf, gardening, hiking, and running.
How long have you lived in Portland? Where else have you lived?
I’ve lived in Portland for about 12 years. I’m a life-long Oregonian. I was born in Corvallis, lived in Astoria as a child, went to high school in Salem, and did my undergrad at the University of Oregon. My wife and I also lived in Hawaii for two years, 2014 – 2015.
What is your creative outlet?
I’d say my most significant creative outlets are gardening and cooking. I did a huge landscaping overhaul at my previous house and I just got done doing the same at my current house. I love coming up with a vision for how the yard should be laid out, putting that vision down on paper, and then scooping shovel after shovel until it’s done. I get the same enjoyment out of cooking. I tend not to follow strict directions, but rather think about something that sounds good, pick and choose what I like about three or four recipes, and then do the rest from feel. I love cooking big meals for friends and family and I often host dinners here at home or take my work on the road and dirty somebody else’s kitchen!
What is your self-care routine?
What’s your favorite kind of music for working out? Or otherwise?
If I was answering for a professional audience I’d say classic rock or something like that, but otherwise it’s all about that late 90s hip hop. And Cardi B.
Is there a food & drink that you couldn’t live without?
For food, I’d say meat…I’m a carnivore through and through. I love bbq, sausage, cured meats, you name it. For drink, I’m not sure I could live without beer…I’m a huge beer connoisseur. I love barrel aged Belgian-style beers and juicy IPA. I also love good dessert wine, such as vinsanto.
What is your idea of the perfect day-off?
The perfect day off would be putting a brisket on the smoker at 6:00 am, heading out for a round of golf, coming home and watching the meat while I pretend to tidy up the yard, and then having a crowd of friends come over to chow down and have some drinks.
Keep an eye out for Adam coming to the Honest schedule soon! New clients, try out our small-group training style that Adam loves! Get a whole month (12 workouts) for only $99!