"Garden Bar Blog | Nutrition, health and our community "

Release Your Inner Beast (and feel great!) with Shay Emmons.


We continue to celebrate the PHENOMENAL PEOPLE of Portland who share Garden Bar’s commitment to health and wellness, real food and community. Each month, we interview some of Portland’s amazing individuals who, in their own special way, inspires us to lead healthier lives and strengthens our community.
This month we wanted to showcase a dynamo that will help you build your inner AND outer strength - Shay Emmons, Owner/Head Trainer of the NE Portland based Inner Beast Strength and Conditioning

*Bonus for Garden Bar Customers: Mention Garden Bar and get free assessment and/or a 20% discount on any 6 month training package with Shay. Thanks Shay!

GB: What does your weekly fitness routine look like, Shay?
SE: I typically do 4 days of very heavy lifting, and maybe 10 minutes of HIIT or bike sprints once a week. (Very little cardio, you might notice!) I also walk everywhere!

If you could only do one exercise/movement which would it be and why?
Deadlifts, because they keep my glutes and abs strong, which in turn keeps my spine healthy and pain-free. Also, there are so many variations on this movement that you could easily build an entire workout from it.

What foods are absolutes in your diet and why?
Lots of veggies, and veggie alternatives to meat. Having a high protein intake is important when you’re doing strength training, and a wide variety of veggies ensures that you’re also getting a wide variety of nutrients.

What foods do you try to avoid and why?
I’ve managed to kill my sweet tooth, and that’s been the single most impactful habit in maintaining my weight, but more importantly my health. Sweet treats also just tend to open the flood gates for other bad habits, so it’s helped a lot with various other cravings as well.

What quote or philosophy most resonates with you right now?
“Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it.”

Any advice for hitting those New Year’s health goals?
The reason most people fail at New Year’s resolutions is this: Big ambition, little follow-through. Instead of making a big, huge, unrealistic and unsustainable goal, choose one small, realistic habit at a time. Work on it for a month, and ONLY when you’ve succeeded in making it second nature, build another habit. Do this for a whole year, and you’ll have 12 months of success instead of 2 months of failure.

Anything else you want to include?
I think strength training is one of the best ways to get out of your comfort zone and see what you are really capable of. The mental toughness that develops with it has changed my life drastically, and has done the same for so many people I’ve worked with. I know I’m able to handle anything life throws at me, I have unshakeable confidence, and I feel like I’m really living my best life. Every day I do something that my body thanks me for, and I’m adding quality years to my life, and helping others do the same. It’s been amazing helping people fully realize the potential—not just in fitness, but in life—that they never knew they had!

Thanks Shay!
Check out Shay on her Instagram feed.