PeakFit is the creation of former aerobics champion and fitness expert Michelle Dozois. The Southern California native has been helping people reach their fitness goals for over 20 years. She has created workout videos for both Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers and is a contributor to Fit, Shape, Fitness, and Natural Health, and numerous other publications dedicated to health and wellness. To date, she has sold over 4 million DVDs collectively. Michelle’s expertise also includes being a certified advanced Pilates Instructor with Stott Pilates, a certified group exercise instructor with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the Aerobics and fitness Association of American (AFFA). Her other professional credentials include being a a Certified Sports Nutritionist with the National Academy of Sports Nutrition (NASN) and a Continuing Education provider for both ACE and the AFAA. Michelle and her husband Phil Dozois opened their own club in 2009 called Breakthru Fitness in Pasadena, California. It has since been listed as top 10 gyms in Los Angeles by LA Weekly.
Michelle has brought her diverse expertise and lifetime experience in the fitness industry to the creation of the PeakFit System. Today it is one of the top selling products under the Nautilus brand. The workout program includes her own signature moves that have made her a leader in her field. Michelle and Rob Murdock, Vice President and General Manager of Direct Sales at Nautilus took time to discuss the features and benefits of PeakFit. Michelle explained how her unique method of cardio and strength training helped users reach their metabolic zone for a longer period of time to maximize calorie burning. Rob also discussed how PeakFit distinguishes itself from other cardio or strength training DVDs, making it a perfect fit for the Nautilus brand and collection of fitness products.
What is the Peak Fit system all about? What makes it distinct from the many home workout programs on the market?
Rob: Peak Fit Systems is a DVD-based home fitness program designed to help transform your body in a mere eight weeks.
The Peak Fit System is unlike any other home workout programs on the market. It uses unique combinations of strength and cardio intervals that progress in intensity throughout the program, which allows participants to perform at their highest fitness level whether they are advanced or just starting out. In fact, progressive fitness training changes the way the body burns fat and builds muscle, allowing for optimal performance. Unlike traditional interval training, which can shock the body too quickly even with experienced fitness-goers, Peak Fit engages the body in progressive intervals beyond fitness plateaus. As a result, bodies are able to burn more fat and build more muscle.
How was Peak Fit designed?
Michelle: I developed Peak Fit with my husband Phil Dozois. We combined our 20 years of experience in the fitness industry—using the best personal training secrets, group exercise workouts and high intensity sports drills—to develop a complete system to help people reach their highest level of fitness. We know it works because we’ve done it ourselves, along with our staff and hundreds of members of our health club. We have personally seen the success of everyone who committed him or herself to reach their peak. The program is so popular at our health club that it sells out weeks before it starts. With the Peak Fit System DVDs, everyone has access to improve their lives through our program.
What is the Metabolic zone? How is it calculated and is it the same for every person?
Michelle: We use the Principles of Metabolic Circuit training. Metabolic Circuit training (or high intensity training) helps you burn calories long after the workout is finished. This effect is called EPOC or Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption. Creating EPOC is the goal, as it represents all the additional calories your body will burn post workout while replacing muscle glycogen that has been depleted. As blood lactate levels restore back to normal, heart rate and body temperature come down. All of these functions take energy (burn calories).
The higher the intensity, the more exhaustive the metabolic circuits. The shorter the rest periods in between the intervals, the longer the elevated metabolic rate stays with us.
All the exercises in the Peak Fit Signature workouts are arranged in a very specific manner in order to maximize results. Think of it as if you were climbing a series of mountain peaks, going from the lowest point up to the very top of the mountain.
Level 1 is Base Camp: This is the lowest intensity level, or the starting point. We won’t stay long at Base Camp, but we do encourage you to take any extra time you may need here until you adapt to the Peak Fit method of training.
Level 2 is The Initial Ascent: This starts our climbing period and goes from Base Camp to an intense level very quickly.
Level 3 is The Climb: Push your body even harder with high intensity movements requiring more speed, strength & endurance. This climbing phase will feel uncomfortable.
Level 4 is The Peak: A maximum intensity effort designed to push people to their limits.
As you adapt to the Peak Fit System program, you will find your energy, stamina and strength increase dramatically while your body turns into a leaner and stronger version of your previous self.
How does a person use the home workout DVDs for maximum results and efficiency?
Michelle: The Peak Fit System has everything you need to get results: 10 DVDs to get you in shape, a workout calendar showing you which workouts to do on which days, and a nutrition book with a meal plan. You also get an "Anywhere” workout guide to help you on those days when you may not be able to access the DVDs.
Will there be a Peak Fit 2.0 or other upgrades or additions to the series?
Rob: There are new studies in health and fitness being released every week and as we continue to discover methods of maintaining and improving health, we will continue to improve our product line. Although Peak is a standalone workout, it is certainly possible that we will introduce new elements to enhance it.
How does Core Dynamics work to strengthen and flatten the abdominal muscles?
Michelle: Although we feel that the DVD workouts and nutrition guide will help strengthen your core and help you achieve a flat midsection, we added an extra core workout for those days when you just want to do a little more. By hitting the core with a large variety of exercises that are both functional and effective, this DVD gives you a little extra “insurance”—it ensures that you are doing all you can to tone and define your midsection.
What makes the Anytime Anywhere DVD easy to do anywhere for people who are traveling alot and can't go to a gym on a regular basis?
Rob: The “Anytime, Anywhere” DVD was designed for a busy person on the run. In just 40 minutes, Michelle leads participants through a progressive cardiovascular and muscle-strengthening workout that can be done anytime, anywhere. The exercises are tailored to maximize performance in minimal time, leaving users feeling energized and revitalized. Additionally, the Core Dynamics DVD, that comes free with a Peak Fit System purchase, is a quick 20-minute program that also caters to fitness goers on the move. In this DVD, Michelle incorporates proven exercises that achieve a great looking and strong body without having to go to the gym for hours.
How did Peak Fit get included in the Nautilus brand?
Rob: We have a rich history in bringing the best products and solutions to our customers and we see a strong value in finding and challenging the best innovative, out-of-the-box home fitness solutions that truly have the power to transform lives. Peak Fit System is a revolutionary philosophy to interval training that challenges the effectiveness of traditional approaches.
Is there a particular type of fitness program that Nautilus looks for when adding new products to their catalog?
Rob: I would say one of the main things we look for in new products is innovation. We have the opportunity to see a lot of things, so we try them and get really excited with those that work. When we like something, we want to share it and add those products and workout programs that utilize the latest in health science and fitness technology (and that are easy to do at home). Nautilus is expanding its product portfolio to ensure that they have a solution for all ages and sizes—no matter where you are on your fitness journey.
What are some of the standout success stories out of Peak Fit that demonstrate how effective this program is?
Michelle: We have many success stories, but it is the ones that leave participants feeling better—not only physically, but mentally and emotionally—that we are most proud of. It is amazing what life can bring you when you feel good about yourself and know your body is strong, agile and fit.
Here is one testimonial from a young woman who lost 37 pounds: Peak Fit has changed my life in so many ways. After graduating college almost five years and 40 pounds heavier then when I finished high school, I knew that I needed to do something to loose what I had gained through the years. I knew that if I continued on the same path I had been on in college, I would soon be finding myself with health repercussions from weight gain.
I started noticing so many things that I hadn’t noticed before about how the extra pounds were affecting my life. I was extremely lazy, slept a lot, ate a lot, felt sluggish, lethargic and moody on most days. I had trouble sitting on the floor because it was hard for me to get up. I would try to avoid bending over and picking things up off the floor because these seemingly easy tasks took so much effort. I avoided going out with my friends because of how uncomfortable I was with myself. I knew there was something wrong with this picture if I felt this way in my early 20s!
After doing the Peak program I can say it has honestly changed my life. I feel guilty when I don’t work out now! I want to run a marathon. Who would have ever thought?!
With Peak I have lost a total of 37 pounds and unlimited inches. I have a whole new wardrobe. I went from a size nine in jeans to a size one, large tops to small and extra smalls! I will never go back to my “old self” or my old eating habits. I know that working out and being fit and healthy will and have become a part of my lifestyle forever. Thanks to Peak I feel I have finally become the “real me!” - Belen C.