Ariana Scalfo is a 5-year Alex Viada "Special Project" (how special? she hasn't quit yet, if that counts), NASM certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, ACSM certified Personal Trainer, and voice of the Complete Human Performance Instagram. If she had to describe her experience to you, it would be "messing up as much as humanly possible at most things, and figuring it out as she went along."
While her childhood was spent being active, outside, and playing with bugs in the mud, Ariana's teenage years were riddled with periods of intense inactivity, illness, and pain while she navigated a 1-2 punch diagnosis of Celiac Disease and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (Hypermobility Type). She wasn't able to be physically active again until her mid-20s, when she began CrossFit with Coach Ken. Through her own process of self-discovery via every scaling option, limitation, and form of tendinitis imaginable, she realized that if she could, anyone could. Ariana now lifts and runs, sometimes rides bikes, and sometimes does wall balls.
A tenured nutrition coach, Ariana specializes in nutritional strategies for individuals with intense training schedules, body composition goals, digestive disorders, solving GI upset during activity, and ketosis w/carbohydrate periodization for endurance athletes. Ariana is incredibly familiar with training while injured, sick, or anemic, and will work with individuals with POTS, dysautonomia, EDS, or similar hypermobility disorders. Ariana passionately believes that with the right mindset, goals, and process orientation, all bodies are capable of adaptation. Expectations need to be realistic, the work needs to be constant, but there are shortcuts and she will find them. "Smarter, not harder." As the leader of the CHP: Women initiative, she passionately believes in education and empowerment as the keys to autonomy and "heavy metal" self development.
I reached out to Ariana because I mean duh she is badass and I wanted guidance to become as badass and strong like her! She was able to talk with me and look at my body composition and meet me where I was. She motivates me to show up and pushes me to max out my lifts. Because of her, I realized maybe my old way wasn't the right direction in order to meet my body composition and physical goals as well as my mental health goals.
I had been doing the same lifts for years and not making any progress with both strength or muscle growth. I followed the RP physique program for 4 years and while Ariana stated it was a good program, it also kept me stagnant not allowing me to grow. I was scared to death to bench more than the bar when I first started and now a year later I am benching 130 lbs and deadlifting 200 lbs. I made more progress within a year than in 4 years. I am pretty much addicted to my training program and look forward to going to the gym.
I had right knee tendonitis for 2 1/2 years prior to starting my programming with Ariana. I had done physical therapy and steroids and although those treatments gave me some short lived pain relief it was not until about 6 months into my lifting program with Ariana that I noticed I could run 6 miles and not have knee pain. Through the lower body strengthening programming she prescribed me, I was able to resolve the tendonitis and that constant pain is gone. I seriously thought I was stuck with the tendonitis forever!
I couldn't be more delighted to have Ariana as my coach. I think there are 2 big things about her that make her so special. First, she has an incredible level of care for me as an athlete, always looking to get as complete of feedback from me as possible. Even times when I think some some observation I've had isn't relevant, she wants to know. Second (and related), it's her attention to detail. She makes changes based on all the details in my training logs. She sets up my training in a way to account for my mindset and personality, knowing the best ways to motivate me to drive hard and also knowing when I need to ease up. Hell, she even notices the weather in my area to accommodate any outdoor training I may be doing! It's this level of care combined with her whipsmart head for training that makes her just such an awesome coach.
What I love about my training program is how its truly custom designed for me. One of my challenges with other programs and coaching groups I've worked with before is they were always looking for super specific training goals from me and I always felt incredibly limited with that approach. With CHP, they were so great about understanding that I was trying to find that personal hybrid sweet spot of strength + conditioning where if I wanted to try something new, it would be an easy shift. I recently started taking Muay Thai lessons for fun and for a new way to express my fitness and Ariana seamlessly shifted my programming to accommodate the change. Just awesome.
I'm hugely proud of the fact that I've set multiple strength and conditioning PRs while with CHP, sometimes in both areas within the same 2 weeks period. I couldn't believe it to find myself hitting a squat PR, all-time 1RM deadlift PR and output PRs on my Peloton. Again, this wasn't something where I had strength PRs in a strength block and then conditioning PRs 4 months later in a conditioning block. This was all occurring concurrently while not feeling utterly burned out at all. I was blown away by all of this and super proud of it.
First coach Taylor Weglicki (no longer with CHP) was exactly what I needed, 6 years of CrossFit and realized I was quad dominant always protecting my back. Needed help and Taylor's PT expertise helped me focus on increasing my posterior chain strength and helped me run my first half marathon! Incorporating BOTH into my weekly training sessions. Second coach Jonathan Pain, we had fun testing the strength I had gained with Taylor, always challenging workouts.
Due to some issues, felt I needed a female to help me navigate some new challenges. Started with CHP Women group and now have Ariana Scalfo as my new coach. My main focus is overall strength and to have the endurance to complete long hikes with my husband. I do so well having accountability and love the feedback, having someone to answer questions and to modify things if needed.
I love the individuality of the program, that it changes as I change, as new goals or events come up we create a strategy to accomplish what's needed. I did 6 years of CrossFit, though I do miss the group dynamic, I really like working on things that are tailored specifically with MY goals in mind.
I so want to share the excitement and feeling of strength to mature women! It's so important, it feels so good. To have someone in your corner, saying "you can do this" is so helpful, we tend to (I do at least) limit ourselves but to have someone program something that you wouldn't even think to try and you do and you can and it's just so awesome!
She has helped me get stronger not only physically, but mentally as well. She acknowledges my issues in myself and helps me to work through them in a realistic manner (doesn’t just say don’t worry or stress about it). She has also helped me become a better coach for my clients. I am honoured to have had the opportunity to work with her.
I’ve been doing some form of Hybrid Training on my own before I knew it was actually a thing. I thought it was wrong to want to be good and work at so many different things when most athletes seemingly have their “Thing”. I love that no matter what my next event is, Ariana will help me prepare for it physically and mentally while still including other modalities that I love.
Hands down, my heart rate zones have improved so much. I can’t even believe the difference in what I can do with a lower HR now.
If you’re even thinking about working with Ariana, or any of the other CHP coaches, this is your sign to do it.
It was awesome! I've never really had good experiences with coaches in the past, they always wanted to drastically change my diet, my workouts, and it was always to an extreme. So I was super nervous to the point where I didn't even want to sign up and go through with it, and it wasn't because I refuse to change what I was doing -- it had to do with how much, how fast, and how extreme some of those changes were. Or how much they ignored how it affected me, rather. Cut down to 1200 calories? Okay, I'll just binge on the weekends, bro. Anyway, Ariana was (actually, IS!) great because she took in what I was already doing, how I was already eating, and WE worked together to optimize, to improve what I was doing -- so she pushed me towards, say, better daily calorie and macros for my goals over time and not just, "hey, stop eating that. Eat this instead." Or adjusting my workouts more in line for my running and lifting goals and aligning them to work better together instead of me simply guessing and going by feel week-to-week. Also super informative, kind, and was always there to support me during the times it was rough (especially with my shoulder injury + stress load from work), and basically helped me believe more in myself and how to better handle everything I was trying to do. Another big part was being open and supportive to any changes, especially when it came to work and what not -- never a judgment against me or otherwise anything bad.
The biggest difference for me from other programs is having a lot of my goals co-exist together and not fight over each other. Of course, leading up to certain events and seasons, squats or what not will get reduced for that week or reason, but overall I'm not banging my head against the wall trying to be both a lifter and a runner.
Ariana is the best. She is super smart, knows all the science-y stuff that makes training work. But as every coach knows, the book knowledge is important, but not the full picture when working with athletes. Ariana is very well versed in client psychology, behavior change, and communication. She is able to effectively communicate training parameters/ goals/ etc. to the athlete in a way that's understandable and tailored to the individual. And her experience means she has multiple different ways to tackle a situation depending on the clients comfort/ goals/ etc. Also: On top of being a super skilled coach, Ariana really cares about her clients success. It is apparent that, in the absence of needing money for life, Ariana would do this for free. Her passion is evident in every interaction. Ariana is truly someone who knows how to bring the best out of her clients. Her own fitness journey has been full of twists and turns, as life is, and I think that gives her an amazingly unique perspective on fitness & life that helps her connect with each athlete where they are. Also Also: Ariana's nutrition booklet was phenomenal. I legit screnshotted the first and last page and send it to people all the time. On top of it being great nutrition advice, it's awesome life advice. Ariana's energy & outlook on life is heavy metal ;)
Down over 10lbs while still hitting PR's in the weight room and running. The weight is still trending downwards as well while the performance keeps going up!
Worked with Ariana as a nutrition coach specifically (I'm working with Fergus for 1-1 training). She really helped me detach emotion from my weight & body composition and keep me focused on my performance, regardless of my body composition. She provided me an awesome framework that I can take and use own my own now.