Blaze Summer Shred ChallengeOver 20

Blaze Summer Shred Challenge

Over 20 years ago, I lost 70 pounds on a low carb, calorie deficit diet with no focus on macronutrients. The calorie deficit became my way of life as it was the only way I felt I could keep the weight off even though I worked out regularly. After the pandemic, I had regained some of the weight and started to feel defeated, both physically and mentally.

I joined Blaze Fitness in September 2022, and I nervously entered the Blaze Summer Shred Challenge in March 2023. Chris gave me customized calorie/macro goals and I quickly realized I had a lot to learn! By choosing the right foods, I was eating more than ever had before while losing fat and weight. I lost 21 pounds in 8 weeks and kept it off until the 2024 Shred Challenge.

My approach to the 2024 Challenge was to focus more on whole foods and rely less on protein supplements. A different approach resulting in an additional 19 pounds lost for a total of around 40 pounds lost in two challenges (and down two pants sizes). At 45, I am stronger and healthier than at any point in my life. Participating in the challenges has helped me make sustainable nutritional changes and truly changed my life!

Heather Hesse

I have been working out

I have been working out for about 20 years. I’ve been a member of many different kinds of gyms throughout that time. Blaze is the first gym I have been a member of to offer any kind of challenge such as the Shred Challenge. They are also the only gym I have been a member of to offer their class style, with four days of strength and two of cardio/core.

I had been a member of Blaze for just five and a half months prior to the start of the challenge. When I heard about the challenge, I was a little bit skeptical of what it was going to be about. I thought it was going to be about everything else I had tried, from giving up sugar, fruits, root vegetables, dairy, to eating Paleo, Keto, or intermittent fasting, or any other kind of fad diet out there. But, I decided to sign up and check it out anyway. With Chris leading the challenge, I thought what could go wrong? So, I dove head first without looking back.

For years, I had felt/looked bloated. It didn’t matter what time of the month it was. I had tried to heal holistically. While my hormones were out of whack, once they were balanced, I was still bloated. I knew it couldn’t be hormonal.

On to the start of the challenge. Once we figured out my maintenance and deficit calories, within the first week I had lost 4 pounds. I was in shock. I wasn’t expecting to lose more than five pounds through this entire challenge, and in the first week, I was already down four! My metabolism woke up!

In the beginning, I thought it was a lot of food to eat, but my body quickly adapted. I had realized I was eating tons of fat and not enough carbs because I was brainwashed to think they are bad for your body. Boy, were those people WRONG! I started eating more carbs (fruits, root vegetables, RICE, oatmeal) and my body thanked me because I felt like I had more energy and didn’t feel that afternoon slump.

I made it a goal to hit my steps every week day, Monday through Friday. Most of the time, I was able to hit my step goal on the weekends as well.

For seven weeks throughout the challenge, my calorie deficit and macros remained the same, and I lost more weight than I ever thought I could lose. My bloating is GONE! My cycles have been lighter the last couple months, which is a huge plus!

I have not had to give up any certain foods or food groups. I thoroughly enjoyed chocolate throughout the challenge. I had some cocktails, went out to dinner, went on 3 trips during the challenge. I was able to enjoy time away, all while maintaining and getting back on track and losing.

The key for me was to plan my easy meals – breakfast, lunch and snack and have that prepared ahead of time. Then, all I had to really think about was dinner. If I was going out to eat, I would look up the nutrition information of their meals and pick based on what offered the most even macros for me.

This challenge has been a huge eye opener for me in terms of how to balance macros. The real challenge for me will be when it’s over and getting to the maintenance phase, while increasing the calorie intake over time.

I feel more confident in my body than I ever have before, and it’s all thanks to Chris, and the rest of the staff and challenge tribe!

Jodi Rentmeester

We are SO impressed at

We are SO impressed at the coaching staff for Chloe’s team. Coach Anna is appropriately hard on the girls, coaches them during the game to be better/play harder but compliments the good and offers positive reinforcement building the girls up. She’s tough and holds the girls to a very high standard of play but is fair, kind and respectful.

My husband and I are so happy with Blaze and look forward to a continued season of athletic and mental improvement for Chloe and her teammates.

We are so thankful for this opportunity.

Lisa and Matt Cronin.

Lisa Cronin

Our family appreciates being a

Our family appreciates being a part of the Wisconsin Blaze family! Communication from the Blaze organization with their teams is top notch. My daughter participated in their 2023 15’s volleyball and basketball teams. I’ve had many conversations with other families, and they agree that questions are answered by the friendly Blaze staff in a timely manner. The Blaze club tryout information is published to the website early so we can make plans for the next season and is detailed so that we aren’t left searching for answers. We are thankful for the Wisconsin Blaze coaches and staff!

Katie Paulson

When we were deciding between

When we were deciding between the Blaze and other AAU organizations, the largest impact on our decision was knowing Nas was going to be the head coach. Although we didn’t know Nas well or fully know her coaching style, I did observe her coaching several times over the last year at tournaments and was intrigued. We just completed our fall ball season with Coach Nas and she exceeded all our expectations, she is worth our decision and the financial payment 100%. My daughter fell in love with her new coach & her amazing teammates!

Nas practices are goal-oriented, purposeful and disciplined. She challenges this team in a respectful manner, pushing them to their highest potential. On and off the court Nas is passionate about this team, constantly teaching these players, striving for individual and team growth. I admire Nas’ intense yet POSITIVE communication during the games when speaking to her team. She is truly an asset to your staff and a large reason we are so happy with our commitment to the Blaze family!

We are so thankful for this opportunity and with our decision!

15u Blaze Basketball Parent

I have been attending the

I have been attending the Fitness classes for the last two weeks. I am not really as fit as I should be. I am discovering muscle groups I did not know I had. Most days I hurt. But I feel really great after the work out. My body feels more agile. Most people introduce themselves to me. In every session someone has asked me if I would like to partner up with them to help me through the different moves. The instructor moves around and takes time to help correct the form for the moves. patiently repeats it until I get it. I would recommend Blaze. The front desk Lindsay is very helpful, gentle and will take care of your needs efficiently. the facilities clean and accommodating. it feels like you belong.


City’s been working with Brett

City’s been working with Brett now for about a month. I usually get to see part of their session unless they’re in the lab. Just wanted you to know how happy we are to have him train for the Blaze. I see City being pushed, she’s learning new things and smiling through it all. Just wanted to give Brett the shout out I think he deserves.


Brook Figlinski

Jenna and Elsa

Hello Jenna & Blaze Team,

I just wanted to send a note to say thank you for the positive volleyball experience!  We are a big sports family and we are constantly running from one practice/game/meet to another.  This was our youngest daughter’s first year playing club volleyball and only her second year playing the sport at all.  She absolutely loves it! We have had our share of positive and negative experiences over the years and continue to be impressed with the dedication and positive atmosphere that is the heart and soul of Blaze.  All of our kids have very different in personalities and ways that they approach sports.  For our volleyball daughter, it doesn’t always come easy and she really wants to do her best.  She has learned so much in your program and my husband and I were thrilled when she started asking to go to skills training and yoga every week.  She made friends and has grown in confidence, not only in the sport but as a person.

Thank you for coaching and being a positive role model!



This was my first class

This was my first class with Holly and I can honestly say the workout was first class. I went to the gym feeling great today and left exhausted. I love being pushed beyond my limits


Thank you

Thank you for creating BLAZE – My daughter grew a lot during the two years she played for The Blaze (she retired due to injury)…and she is still friends with some of those players today.  Keep on Doing What you Do!!!

We are new to

We are new to Blaze, and even though I rarely give testimonials, I have to say we have been very impressed with the high quality of service as we set up a monthly membership program for our son. Thank you Sami! We love the ease of using the app, which is so convenient and quick to check available upcoming programs and book a class. LOVE IT! Blaze has a very welcoming atmosphere and our son is enjoying the basketball skills and other classes he has enrolled in. We are excited to watch his skills advance. Thank you Blaze!

Maryann G

Michelle kicked my butt today.

Michelle kicked my butt today. Adding weights for super planks, pushing myself til my body thought it would break, only to hear “NEXT STAAATION!” A sigh of relief until the timer started again. Loved the workout, loved the burn. So close to my initial goal!!!


I haven’t felt this great

I haven’t felt this great in years! Every workout breaks my limits and keeps pushing me to a better lifestyle.

A Blaze Fitness Fan

As a former power lifter

As a former power lifter I never thought high rep and low/body weight exercises would be tough. I was humbled this morning at every single station. Great class!!!

A Regular Attendee

Just when I thought I

Just when I thought I could outsmart the circuit by doing my bear crawls early, Karen showed me how to step it up a notch. Needless to say tonight was just as intense as the morning session. Loved every minute!


Loved seeing the progress

Loved seeing the progress I’ve been making. Lydia added extra challenges to tonight’s workout that kicked my butt. The best part though was seeing myself double the weight used from just a short time before. Amazing pump and amazing motivation. Tonight, it was the weights who barely walked out.


Loved this morning’s workout. Mentally

Loved this morning’s workout. Mentally I can push myself more with multiple stations with 3-4 exercises each because I know how many times I have to do one movement. With fewer stations and movements it’s mentally more exhausting. Chris has a skill to push everyone to a limit we don’t know exists.


I can not say enough

I can not say enough about what an awesome job Maleaque has done with my son, he has been doing the one on one basketball training with him for 10 weeks.
I have never seen such a positive role model in a person life and the smile that is on my son’s face when he leaves each session is priceless. He goes to the YMCA to play baskeball against the other kids and adults they comment on wow have you gotten better. I am so excited for my son to be able to play on a team and finally get to do what he truly loves.
Was heart breaking to see him cut time and time again, but now I know he is getting the proper training.
Maleaque trains him both mentally and physically, it is awesome to see the growth.
Thank You Maleaque!!!!

Anita Rosenthal

My daughter wanted me to

My daughter wanted me to tell you that she jump served at practice tonight!!! Her coach asked her where she learned that, she told her the one and only BLAZE baby! Two girls from the A team stood there with dropped jaws!!! She is so proud of herself. This is exactly what she needed for her confidence. I can not wait to see how she is at her game tomorrow night.


I always find myself talking

I always find myself talking highly about you [Lisa] and your organization. I am impressed beyond words. I will be prayerful that all communications in regards to you and your organization from everyone, everywhere will be positive and uplifting as that is all I have ever seen!


I am happy to report

I am happy to report my son had his best tournament yet and the last game he nailed a 3 pointer! He is so happy. Steve has done a great job working with him on ball handling and shots and it shows through in his new level of confidence. Today, he found his rhythm. Thank you Steve and Lisa!


I feel really good about

I feel really good about how I played tonight! I can tell I have gotten a lot better since I started with coach Steve! I can’t wait for my next game!!!