To Keep You Inspired … Diane Purdy

Club Fit’s Payroll Specialist Diane Purdy Keeps Us Inspired

{by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger}

Club Fit’s Payroll Specialist Diane Purdy with Personal Trainer Lori Nigro

Club Fit’s Payroll Specialist Diane Purdy with Personal Trainer Lori Nigro

Club Fit’s highest staff honor is its Annual Service Award, presented under veil of secrecy each year at the Annual Meeting — a day of education, team building, and staff appreciation. So, when Diane Purdy, Club Fit’s Payroll Specialist of almost 20 years was asked to lead a Q & A about the Club’s new human resource management system, Dayforce, she was prepared and ready for any question that came her way. What she wasn’t prepared for was the proverbial table turn. Instead of being introduced as the afternoon’s next speaker, she was introduced through a cleverly written poem as Club Fit’s 2016 Annual Service Award winner!

Diane may have been the only person in the room surprised by the announcement. Her consummate work ethic and dedication strikes a lasting impression for all who meet her. Diane’s attention to detail and support to managers and staff has made her invaluable in every area of Club Fit. Diane takes her responsibility as Club’s Payroll Specialist seriously, and over the years she has braved many of Mother Nature’s wicked weather curve balls to get to work, even during weather closures, because, simply put, “Our people need to get paid.” The support she provides has become her calling card, and Diane has helped guide her team through two significant technology launches helping to maximize Club Fit’s internal efficiency and overall position as a leader in the fitness industry. But most importantly, on Diane’s watch, people come first, and everyone is taken care of with equal care and attention.

Diane grew up playing basketball, softball, and running track. As an adult, she enjoyed an effortless balance of health and fitness. But time marches on, and bodies change. As Diane entered her 50s, she realized that maintaining this balance was finally going to require a little more effort. So, she decided it was time to focus on improving her own health and fitness. She found her perfect partner in Club Fit Jefferson Valley Personal Trainer Lori Nigro.

“Lori knew that I was interested in getting in shape and losing weight,” recalls Diane. After their first session, the rest was history, and they’ve been training together since March of 2015. Every Tuesday at 3:30, the duo meets for a 30-minute personal training session. Lori has incorporated high intensity training (HIT) and functional training into Diane’s repertoire. Some days are dedicated to specific body parts, and each session includes stretching and cardio. Diane’s favorite machine is the cross cable machine, and she complements her Club Fit routine by staying active and bicycling through her neighborhood.

“Over the years, I’ve tried just about everything — spinning and cardio tennis, but, this is what I do on Tuesdays,” says Diane. It has been just over 18 months since Diane started her weekly sessions with Lori. She noticed changes right away, and is proud that she has maintained her fitness and weight loss. As for her future fitness goals, Diane is happy continuing her Tuesday sessions with Lori. “I’ll stick with my program,” says Diane. “Lori has shown me so many things. She is motivating, very encouraging and great to work with.”

This February will mark Diane’s 20-year Club Fit anniversary, and Diane most values the caring and friendly culture at the Club, from the staff to the members. “It’s my home away from home, and I love the people,” said Diane. “Everybody cares about their well-being, and the Club cares about helping the community. It’s a great place to work.”

As Diane closes in on the big 2-0, staff and members alike may already know of her love of traveling, NBA basketball, and her favorite team, the San Antonio Spurs. But, did you know that Diane is a huge country music fan with an ear that would make any Nashvillian proud? In 2016 she has already seen 16 big-name artists in concert such as Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Luke Bryan, Kenney Chesney, Miranda Lambert, and on October 26, Carrie Underwood. 2016 is not over yet, however, and in November she will see Keith Urban and Brett Eldridge, and Stevie Nicks is on the docket for December. Diane has already purchased her tickets for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw’s Soul2Soul tour in October of 2017 — just another fun fact that exemplifies Diane’s attention to detail and strategic planning, a strength that can always be counted on by the Club Fit community.

Fitness Success Story: Janet Murff

Janet and Candice

Club Fit Member Janet Murff and Personal Trainer Candice O’Brien — working together to help Janet reach her goals.

Healthier and happier — Club Fit Member Janet Murff started training with Personal Trainer Candice O’Brien in 2015 and is now stronger, fitter, and happier.

I’d like to express my appreciation to my trainer Candice and Club Fit. I am thrilled! The physical & mental benefits of exercise are amazing.

When I made my decision in November 2015 to have a personal trainer, I was out of shape and feeling stressed from two years of the life changing activities of caring for one’s parents; too much driving, too much sitting. Realizing what a difference a trainer would mean to my success, I signed up — and as luck would have it, I was paired with the right trainer from day one. I began with the goals of improved health and fitness. I knew that I could only commit to two or three gym visits per week. Consistency would make it work. Weight loss was far down my list. Today, I am much stronger, fitter, more toned, and happier than I was a year ago. Weight loss has been a bonus. I know that I could not have done this alone. I am excited to set new goals for 2017 and look forward to continue working with Candice to help me reach these.

Congratulations to Janet on her hard work and her commitment to health!

To Keep You Inspired … Our Club Fit Members!

For our members and for us, fitness is a way of life.

For our members and for us, fitness is a way of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our members inspire us every day. YOU are why we do what we do. Listen to what some Club Fit members had to say during last month’s Member Appreciation Weeks.

Tess Cerra
“Shortly after joining Club Fit 3 years ago, my husband suddenly passed away. Thanks to all of the club activities, and the friendship of the members, I was able to get through that difficult time. Club Fit was a wonderful lifesaver for me. I will be forever grateful!

Beth Klewan
Club Fit is more than a health club to me. It’s a place that enhances my life. I have made friendships and have improved my health. I feel that Club Fit is a place to enhance your physical and emotional health. I feel like the people that work here are my family and my friends. Thank you for being my health club. Everyone at Club Fit seems to be concerned about myself and all members.

Ophelia Hill
Club Fit is an environment which houses a group of multi-ethnic, highly professional individuals focused on giving us a program of healthy, varied, motivating exercises for all. Special events and other surprises keep things exciting and inspire us.

Deb Ross
Club Fit motivates me to stay young, stay fit and to keep going for my kids. Once day, when they are strong athletes I can keep up with them and not be old!

Usha Ragheran
Hmmm…where do I begin? Many Group Fitness classes, like Zumba (with awesome instructors) Danceology (unique to Club Fit) and Barre! The M.E.L.T. class and Definitions class are amazing. And…drum roll…the incredible socialization and sense of community we bet. Some of my best friends are my “exercise mates”. I love the Energy Center — very reasonable and wow…lots of toys!

Sandy Olsen
Club Fit motivates me to be as fit as I can get. I became a member with my daughter who was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis her freshman year in college. The water classes were suggested for her joints and it helped greatly. That was over 15 years ago and I’ve met wonderful friends here. Love it!

Theresa Prestopino
This last year, I lost 13 pounds. My best friend encouraged me to get strong and gave me her guest pass to go to Sunday’s Definitions class with Shelby. The class includes a lot of equipment for an hour — it absolutely challenged me. It also made me realize I needed to take back my health. It is never too late to make time for happiness.

Andrea Sonenberg
Going to Club Fit and working out gave me emotional strength during a very difficult time in my life. I’ve been able to keep healthy and physical as well. It’s been a life-saver (and a life investment) for more than 25 years!

Michael Carozza
Club Fit is a great club. I Have been a member for the past 18 years. Always upgrading equipment… What keeps me motivated is that I will be 69 years old and don’t take any medication. Doctor tells me it’s all because of my exercise routine!

Elizabeth Plager
I like that there is something for the whole family to do at Club Fit!

Catherine Zsiday
Club Fit has helped me maintain my weight loss for the past 9 years. Your staff is an awesome group of people. Keep up the good work!

Brian Lett
I enjoy the variety of equipment and classes that allow me to achieve a well-balanced level of fitness.

Paul Pecoraro
Was a Club Fit member years ago, and now I am motivated to get back in excellent condition.

Janet Lyman
Group Fitness classes motivate me! Cycle, 20/20/20 and BODYPUMP. Love seeing my successes through MYZONE!

Janet Tinari
The Chair Yoga class is great. Instructor, Lucy, is so good. She motivates me to get here!

Karen Lett
Club Fit has healed me and keeps me healthy… physically, emotionally, mentally and socially. It is truly my second home. I love the classes, the instructors and the racquetball opportunities! I love that I can take the Yoga Teacher Training at Club Fit!

Fitness Success Story: Kathi Grossman

Kathi before and after

Kathi before, and how she looks today. Amazing progress on her fitness journey!

Kathi Grossman joined Club Fit in October of 2013 at the recommendation
of her doctors. Read how Club Fit has helped to impact her life and help her reach her fitness goals.

I have been morbidly obese all my life. I ended up with Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, arthritis, and no cartilage in one of my knees. I was injecting insulin up to four times a day and taking numerous medications. I finally had enough! I had WLS (weight loss surgery) on September 22, 2011, and lost 210 pounds, which changed my life more than I ever could have imagined. Within hours of the WLS I was off all medications. I am still medication free, except for supplements. Having been obese all my life, as the weight came off, other issues arose. No core, no muscle tone, loose skin EVERYWHERE!! My doctor gave me a prescription to join Club Fit on the HelpRx program, which was the best thing that could have happened to me. Personal Trainer Russ was my first encounter with a trainer. I was pretty intimidated, but Russ took his time, listened to me and my physical limitations, and designed a routine just for me. This was the beginning — I started taking classes, and I mean everything, even things I thought I couldn’t do just to challenge myself. I started with Retro-Low, Low-impact Zumba, Kickboxing, Definitions, 4×4, Corebar, Spin, and Yoga. If they had a class I was there. I started to see where I fit and what I liked to do. This could have been overwhelming as exercise was NEVER a part of my life. Now I love to spin and weight train and do a few machines. The instructors were excellent and most helpful. There are so many wonderful people who have escorted me on my journey. There is, however, one person who stands out and that is General Manager Mark Cuatt. He took me under his wing and gave me a crash course in nutrition and then an exercise regimen for me to follow. He didn’t have to do that; he has enormous responsibilities running the club on a day-to-day basis. Nonetheless, we would meet at the gym, I would email him my food menus and things started to change again! This has not been an easy journey. I had a few setbacks but, to date, I have lost 250 pounds!! As I type the number it seems surreal.

I take advantage of most of the things Club Fit offers. I have a MYZONE belt, I use it always and should I forget it, I am lost. I do the FIT-3D scans, which help you see the transformation you are attaining. This experience would not have been as successful without the help of so many of the personal trainers, instructors and coaches. I wish I could name all of you, as you are all very special to me, because at one time you made it a point to help me with your time, advice or even a friendly “Hello!”. ALL of you have made an impact in changing NOT only my outward appearance but teaching me that being healthy is an everyday choice. Mark Cuatt told me once, I am always going to wage this battle in my head with my weight. Some days I’ll win and some days I’ll lose; but “never give up” is the moral of this story.

So I thank Club Fit for helping me find ME — the me I was meant to be. You have helped
to give a healthy me back to my husband, children and granddaughter. Hopefully I
will be around a long time still working out, and if I can inspire ONE person
through my story, then I have made a difference!

To Keep You Inspired … Lizandra Vega

{by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger}

Lizandra with Tiana and Joe

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Member Lizandra Vega with Tiana and Joe

In 2014, Club Fit Briarcliff member Lizandra Vega had a birthday epiphany, and it was time to reassess her lifestyle. On the surface, her life was in perfect balance; a proud wife and hands-on mother of two — personal life, check; a 20-year career as an executive recruiter in Manhattan’s luxury lifestyle market, a certified image consultant, and an author — professional life, check; meaningful work giving back to the community — volunteer life, check. What she realized with striking clarity, though, was that she had slowly ceased stepping out of her comfort zone, challenging her own personal growth — a trait that she instills in her clients. “I motivate people, that’s part of my job,” says Lizandra. “I like to be authentic, so I have always put myself in situations that may not be comfortable at first in order to see how I’ll thrive.” On her blog, The Career Confidante, at www.LizandraVega.com, she lists her 10 Commandments of Success. The second commandment is “Thou shall not nurture anything but a positive physical, mental, and emotional state of being.” It was time to get back to nurturing her own healthy lifestyle.

Lizandra looked to her bucket list and decided it was time to conquer her fear of swimming. Raised in the Bronx with no real exposure to the water, she developed a fear of swimming after trips to the beach and constant warnings of the danger of the water. But Lizandra refused to pass that fear on to her children, who are avid swimmers. “Outdoors was never my thing,” recalls Lizandra, “But I made it my thing.”

A Briarcliff resident for the last 19 years, Lizandra turned to Club Fit to start her journey. She chose to take private lessons with swim instructor Joe Cave, who had taught many adults to swim, and he proved to be a great match for her. Initially, Lizandra could only float — no propelling herself forward and definitely no putting her head in the water. Her biggest fear was not knowing how she would be able to breathe, and it was paralyzing.

The lessons started in September of 2014, and Lizandra remembers feeling comfortable with him immediately. “I instantly trusted Joe the minute I shook his hand,” she recalls. “He would say, ‘I’m not going to let you drown. You are not going to drown with me here.’” This declaration was cathartic for Lizandra, allowing her to let go of her fear and begin conquering it. Lizandra felt it would take a long time just to get her head in the water, but her first lesson was empowering. “I was already doing little strokes — not with my head completely in the water, but I made such progress in just one lesson,” she remembers. “It felt so good, and I knew that I was really going to learn this time.” Step by step, she did just that, and she’s been taking lessons with Joe ever since. Today, she swims laps, working on technique and endurance for every stroke.

Saturday mornings quickly became Lizandra’s “me-time” with swim lessons at 10am. She added a small group training class, Women on Weights, with Master Trainer Tiana Gonzalez. Lizandra connected at once with Tiana, and in January 2015, began personal training sessions with her. Tiana’s supportive and caring style has helped Lizandra achieve many fitness goals and given her the confidence to step outside of her fitness comfort zone and use all the fitness options at Club Fit.

From Joe’s patience and ability to empower, to Tiana’s empathy and motivational style, Lizandra credits them both with helping her regain a healthier and proactive lifestyle. “Because I work in recruiting, staffing, and hiring, I am very discerning about who I hire to teach me,” says Lizandra. “Joe and Tiana show such professionalism, and their communication goes beyond expectations.”

Next on Lizandra’s bucket list are singing and ice-skating. While her Club Fit bucket list includes yoga and tennis, it’s safe to say that any area of the Club that Lizandra has yet to explore has a spot on her list. “I really am a person that loves to continue to learn and challenge myself,” says Lizandra, “When I become a member of a place, I’m all in.”

Welcome new Jefferson Valley Fitness Director Joe Riley

Club Fit Jefferson Valley Fitness Director Joe Riley

Club Fit Jefferson Valley Fitness Director Joe Riley

Club Fit Jefferson Valley is pleased to welcome Joe Riley to his new position of Fitness Director and Parisi Program Director. Joe grew up in Ossining, and attended Ossining High School. After High School, he attended The College At Brockport and received a double major in Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, and a minor in Biology. At Brockport, he played 4 years as a linebacker for the Golden Eagles. Following undergraduate studies, Joe received a Master’s Degree in Sports Management from St. John’s University. While completing his Master’s, he  began working at Club Fit Briarcliff as a Fitness Coach, a Personal Trainer and eventually a Manager on Duty. Joe’s fitness experience is extensive, working with a wide range of clientele; college athletes at the Division 1, 2 and 3 levels, exercise testing, youth populations, elder populations, cardiac rehabilitation, and many more. Joe has coached high school football and his hobbies include football, ice hockey, baseball, golf and, of course, fitness. His passion for fitness began when it helped him overcome obstacles to achieve his goals. Since then, his goal has been to help as many people possible through fitness. Joe feels Club Fit is an extraordinary place and is excited to help others accomplish their goals!

Joe’s full bio:

Education/Experience:
• Master’s Degree in Sports Management — St. John’s University
Undergraduate Degree B.S. Exercise Physiology and Kinesiology, minor in Biology — The College at Brockport
• Experience in Division 1, 2 and 3 strength and conditioning programs
• High School Football Coach
Division III Collegiate Football Player
• NCCPT Certified Personal Trainer
• CPR/AED/First Aid Certified

Specialties: Power Training & development, Strength Training & Development, Sport-Specific Training, Agility Training, Functional Lifestyle Training.

Hobbies: Football, Hockey, Weight Training, Baseball, Golf.

Philosophy of Exercise: “Fitness is a competition with oneself. Work hard, love what you do and strive every single day to be better than you were yesterday.”

Ann’s Ultimate Jump Roping Sequence for breaking Plateaus!

“Anytime I’m at a plateau in weight I break out the jumprope for a good 30 minute set of roping. It benefits my tennis footwork and I honestly feel like I am out dancing and just out having a blast.” -Ann Krobath

Here’s her ultimate jump roping sequence . . .

TREES- Marty Casey & Lovehammers

IS THERE A SWITCH FOR THAT-Cookies

CHASE THIS LIGHT- Jimmy Eat World

THE DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA- Outlaws (You’ll have to settle for this version since we couldn’t find the Outlaw video)

and finally wind down with…

FIX YOU….Coldplay

Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner loves
helping Members improve their well-being.

Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner

Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner

When you put yourself in the hands of a Personal Trainer, that’s exactly what it is for many people… personal. You trust that your trainer has your best interests at heart, and you need to feel comfortable opening up to them about your goals, your insecurities, your expectations. And feel comfortable letting them see you pre-shower, in all your workout glory!

If the thought of using a Personal Trainer intimidates you, spend some time with Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner… you’ll feel totally comfortable in no time. Susie has served as Director since June 2014, and not only is she one of the most approachable staff members here at Club Fit Briarcliff, she is highly qualified for the position. She began as a dancer, earning her BA in Theater from CUNY Hunter College, but through her own experience with fitness regimens soon realized that personal training was a better fit. “I realized that personal training could accomplish more than just treating someone’s injury or disease. I could get instant feedback, and felt I was actually affecting and preventing disease.”

Susie went on to earn her Master’s in Exercise Science & Health Promotion from California University of Pennsylvania, and began at Club Fit Jefferson Valley as a Group Fitness Instructor in 2009. Her personal training career began in 2010 with her appointment as Personal Training Coordinator. She took a break from Club Fit with a few other positions, including time spent at Texas A & M University, where she served as Fitness Coordinator in the campus gym and as Lecturer in the Health & Kinesiology Department. Lucky for us, she’s back at Club Fit!

“I’m not a salesperson, and I don’t hire salespeople,” says Susie, who is a Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM) and a Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM). “All I know is that fitness is good for you, and I want to make sure everyone is here for the right reasons. I want to improve our members’ well being and quality of life.” That explains Susie’s focus on staff, and their development and growth. She also emphasizes that she does not want any of her staff members to focus on one demographic group. “I want the Club Fit Trainers to be in a position to help everyone, at every age and ability level.” In order to do this, Susie has been putting an emphasis on education and certifications.

Since Susie started, the Personal Training staff has taken an important step in differentiating itself from other health club trainers – Smart Fitness certification. The program was rolled out at Club Fit in January 2015, and in six months, every trainer had successfully completed the program. “It sets us apart from the competition because the training equips the trainer with a baseline knowledge that qualifies them to work with and handle certain medical conditions if a doctor suggests a client begin a fitness regimen,” says Susie. The program also helped put our veteran trainers and the new hires on the same level. For more information on each of our Personal Trainers, click here.

Club Fit is also partnering with CUNY Lehman and Mercy College, with students interning in our Fitness Center. Susie and Club Fit Briarcliff General Manager Mark Cuatt have also been guest lecturing at Mercy College. “It’s a growing relationship, in a growing field,” says Susie.

Susie is also working to create more options for members within the Fitness Center. “Ideally, we can offer a variety of different small group programs at different price points,” she says. “But almost all of our Fit Coaches are now certified Personal Trainers, so you are getting the biggest bang for your buck no matter what you do!”

For more information on Club Fit’s Fitness programming and Personal Training packages, contact Susie at sreiner@clubfit.com, or 914-250-2795. And begin to make the most of your workout time!

TRX: The Benefits of Band Suspension Training

Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher

Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher


By Jennifer Schildwachter, Master Trainer

What does TRX really stand for? Many members and clients constantly ask when in awe of those yellow and black dangling straps in our functional area where our TRX classes are held regularly each day. It stands for Total body Resistance Exercises. It is a type of training that uses your own body weight and forces of gravity to build strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, core/joint stability. Plus it’s an excellent tool for corrective exercises and to ultimately prevent injuries.

TRX was originated by the US Navy Seals as a way to stay fit while on missions in remote areas. No matter what your fitness level, TRX is a perfect and versatile way for all. Several fitness types like: athletes, post rehab patients, stay-at-home moms, body builders, the young and the old are all reaping the benefits of TRX!

Whether you’re chasing after the kids or family dog or playing sports or cleaning the house, you are using your “core”. You are mostly in multiple planes. Simply, TRX is a total body work out!

For Starters, you can minimize your training time by working your entire body; at all times you’re keeping your “core” engaged. Also transitioning from one exercise to the next by making simple adjustments can be so easy and you can regress or progress the same exercise to fit the type of client you are working with. You can control the intensity of your work out by walking yourself closer or further away from the anchoring point. So instead of adjusting a seat position or having to grab a different set of dumbbells you simply adjust your foot placement. The direct benefit of transitioning through various exercises can help keep your heart rate up. You can even do great stretches, like stretching more than one body part at a time. TRX is also light weight and easily portable. Workouts could be done virtually anywhere: inside a gym, hotel room or in the great outdoors. To have an affordable, light weight, durable and easily portable band suspension system like the TRX, you can add a new dimension to your work out.

Hit those straps, you won’t be sorry!

If you are itching to take your training to the next level, check out Jen’s specialized class that focuses on Kettlebels, TRX Suspension Straps, and Balance Boards: KBells, Straps, Boards & BEYOND!

For a list of free classes offered at our locations:
Free TRX Classes at Club Fit Jefferson Valley Schedule of classes: Group Fitness Schedule.
Free TRX Classes at Club Fit Briarcliff Schedule of Classes: Group Fitness Schedule.

The Benefits of The Kettlebell Swing: One hand or two?

By Master Trainer, Jennifer Schildwachter

Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher

Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher


The kettlebell swing has been found to bring forth therapeutic relief by preventing further injury and relieving pain. It also can have a corrective benefit, coupled with natural physics, which demands correct spine mechanics throughout the actual swing. The kettlebell swing also reinforces proper functional spine mechanics and in some studies, it has helped back pain sufferers. From a corrective standpoint, kettlebells can be a great tool for individuals with prior low back, shoulder, knee and ankle injuries.

So how does one embark on a kettlebell program? Does the person start with heavy or light weight? Does that same person, start with one handed grip or two?

In general, the kettlebell swing targets practically every muscle in your body, but in particular those of the posterior side; glutes, hamstrings and back. It would make logical sense the more muscles you can hit or fire in one go around with the kettlebell, the more energy(calorie expenditure) is required to fuel the movement. Kettlebell swings are huge fat burners as well as great for your posture.

So if the swing in general is so great, why would it matter if you wanted to do a two handed or one handed swing?

The one handed swing offers similar benefits of the two handed swing plus:

1) The one handed swing helps to recruit smaller and stabilizing shoulder muscles that help keep your shoulder joint in correct position and safely in its socket. That is the main reason, from a rehabilitative and corrective standpoint, the one handed swing is great to strengthen each shoulder and prevent future shoulder injuries.
2) Using the one handed kettlebell swing puts more rotational torque or rotational through the core muscles resulting in additional core recruitment.
3) When using the one handed kettlebell swing it basically doubles the amount of grip strength required to keep hold of the actual kettlebell. As we age, grip diminishes and it’s important to look after a steady and firm grip. Grip strength tends to illustrate a natural sign of overall full body strength.

So if you’re looking forward to starting a kettlebell program or you are incorporating them into your current routine, but don’t know where to begin with utilizing a one handed grip, it’s important to acknowledge mastering the double handed grip first before going to a single handed grip.

In general, there are so many wonderful benefits to kettlebell swinging and in some circles it’s almost revered as a “practice”. The Swing is dynamic and mechanical, but when done correctly, it is an art form because it demands perfect muscle activation which in turn protects and stabilizes the body.

Whether you wish to swing for fun, fitness or corrective reasons, swing with two hands first then ease your way into a one handed grip and stay in that sequence as you begin progressing to heavier kettlebells. So swing away!!

Double Arm Kettlebell Swing:

Single Arm Kettlebell Swing:

If you are interested in taking your training to the next level, Jen is currently teaching Kettlebells, Straps, Boards and Beyond. That is a great way to challenge yourself and change up old workouts. Not sure about taking a class, but would like some individual attention? Jen is available for personal trainings as well! Feel free to send her an email at jschildwachter@clubfit.com or call her extension at Club Fit Jefferson Valley: 914.245.4040 ext. 1216.

Parisi Speed School has a New Director

— Written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Joy Cain

 

Prescott Perry comes to Club Fit as the New Director for Parisi Speed School.

Parisi Speed School’s mission is to help young athletes become better, faster, stronger.

Who, then, is better equipped to help them than a young man who is on the fast track?

Enter Prescott Perry, the new director of the Parisi Speed School at Club Fit.

Prescott played lacrosse and studied kinesiology at the University of Rhode Island. He snowboarded competitively and worked as a personal trainer on Coronado Island (off the coast of San Diego). He also sailed competitively, participating in races in Newport and Larchmont. And he earned his MBA from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.

One can only imagine what he’ll do when he finally turns 26.

“I’ve always thought that I wanted to be successful more than I wanted air to breathe, “ Prescott says, “so I try to do as much as I can with what I’ve got. ”

Indeed. And the success he’s chasing after now involves getting more athletes and teams to jump on the Parisi bandwagon. While noting that Westchester and Putnam counties have no shortage of gyms, health clubs, and exercise facilities, Prescott says that the type of training that Parisi offers is a cut above.

“Parisi has a measurable standard. When you’re able to show how much a certain drill or exercise is improving an athlete’s performance, there’s a certain amount of buy-in. ”

Prescott will be reaching out to local coaches to encourage them to bring their teams in to train with Parisi. Eventually he hopes to get a tie-in along with the buy-in; since a company he once worked for helps athletes get recruited for college, Prescott wants to introduce a similar protocol at Club Fit and post the stats of our Parisi-trained athletes on a nationally-recognized recruiting database. In this way, college coaches nationwide could view the athletes’ progressions and measure their athletic potential. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

But while the focus on jocks and jockettes is important, it shouldn’t be the entire Parisi picture. Citing an upward trend of childhood obesity, Prescott says that Parisi needs to make room for couch potatoes, too.

“We want to focus more on the kids who get picked last in gym,” he says. “We want to let them see that what we’re doing is not hard, that it doesn’t take much to be considered athletic. You can be athletic and not know it. You just have to tap that inner athlete inside yourself. And that’s one thing I think Parisi is able to do. ”

Typically, Parisi’s small group sessions are broken up by age. The Jump Start program (ages 7–11) sets the foundation for success in any sport by focusing on speed, agility, and overall coordination. The Total Performance program (ages 12–16) focuses on techniques used in speed, agility and strength to maximize improvements in athletic performance. And the Peak program (ages 17–21) is an individualized coaching program for the elite athlete. It focuses on individual needs, goals and improvements needed to compete at a competitive level.

Although upwards of 100 young people are involved in the program right now, a demographic shift may be in the wind. Prescott hopes to see more adults train with Parisi—tennis players, swimmers and Weekend Warriors who could benefit from agility and strength drills that are tailor-made for their sport. “I don’t think it’s ever too late for adults to try and do something like that, to make themselves into better athletes,” he says.

His competitive snowboarding days are behind him, but Prescott, a bachelor, still plays in an adult lacrosse league. And although he hasn’t done much of it lately, he still sails competitively. “Yeah…. with a name like Prescott, I kinda had to do sailing,” he jokes. “I’m a stereotypical guy; my name is Prescott, I’m from Connecticut, I sail and do everything that goes with it…. ”

But all jokes aside, Prescott is committed to taking Club Fit’s Parisi program to the next level. Besides watching the bottom line and drumming up new business for the program, Prescott, along with Vince Wright and Jen Ritz, will also be one of the Parisi instructors. “I want to get this facility to be the new standard of training for this area,” he declares.

Better. Faster. Stronger. Now.

If anyone can get Parisi on the fast track, Prescott can.

From Couch to 5K… and beyond!

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

Club Fit Member Linda Adair goes from couch to 5K, and farther — losing 45 lbs and getting stronger in the process!

Linda before and after

Linda lost 45 lbs — gained speed, strength and fitness!

Change is good! But only if you make the right changes. Linda Adair decided that she wanted to get back into shape last summer, and 45 pounds later, she has achieved that goal.

Last June, Linda reached a point where she was tired of being overweight, and wanted to return to her former fit, energetic self. With the support of fellow Club Fit Briarcliff member and friend, Denyse, a marathon runner, she attempted the Couch to 5K program, and by August she was running 3 miles every other day. “The first day was tough, but then I got back up on day two and did it again,” she says.

In the fall she joined Club Fit, and she feels it made a huge difference in her fitness quest. “I had adjusted my diet and increased my exercise, but Club Fit pushed me over the top with the addition of Group Fitness classes and access to the Fitness Center,” she says. Linda, a paralegal (she graduated in March!), is a regular in the Spin Studio, and uses the treadmill, the women’s circuit and the free weight area. She completed her first 5K, slowly, last July, and now she has thirteen 5Ks and one 10K planned for 2015!

So the exercise increased, but what did she change in her diet? “I eat tons of fruit, cut out carbs and replaced white rice and potatoes with healthier starches like yams and brown rice.” She adds, “My diet is constantly evolving, and I continue to do research, but I definitely don’t starve myself. If I want something that doesn’t fall into my ‘healthy’ list, I don’t deprive myself.” The key is to become educated, and learn how to maintain a good balance, something she feels should also be stressed to young people, who today can so easily succumb to eating disorders.

Speaking of young people, two of the reasons Linda was motivated to regain her health were her daughters. Both girls are active and athletic, but her younger daughter also suffers from cystic fibrosis. Because of this, Linda and her family have become active supporters of Team Boomer, a program within the Boomer Esiason Foundation that encourages people with CF to incorporate exercise into their everyday lives, and supports athletes in raising money for CF through fundraising events. The Foundation, launched by former New York Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason, works to heighten awareness, education and quality of life for those affected by CF. “One hundred percent of the money they raise goes to research, so I am happy to support them!”

At this point, Linda has achieved what she set out to do… “I am healthy now!” She dropped from a size 16 to size 6, and feels much stronger and faster since her decision to commit to fitness last summer. Her husband and daughters also are benefitting from the adjustments she made to her diet, which of course impacted the foods she brings into their Pleasantville home. “There are always things you can work on at the gym, but at this point I am simply grateful to be healthy!”

For more information on the Couch to 5K program that started Linda on her way, visit www.fromcouchto5k.com, and if you want to give a philanthropic twist to your fitness plan and join the Adairs in their support of Team Boomer, visit www.teamboomer.org.

Stabilization & Balance: From Athletes to the Elderly

Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher

Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher

By Jennifer Schildwachter
Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach Leader

When you hear the terms “corrective exercises”, “prevention of injury”, and “functional strength”, what type of person comes to mind? Although the common answer to this question would be possibly a post-rehab senior with serious injuries, these terms also apply to athletes on their off season maybe dealing with a pre or post season injury or muscle imbalances to correct. When you think “athlete” you often think speed & agility drills or Olympic weight lifting, but the need for core stabilization and balance are needed for all!

Balance is the key to all functional movement and it should also stress a person’s limits of stability, or their “balance threshold”. By training in a multi-sensory environment, the nervous system’s ability to activate the right muscles, at the right time, and in the right plane of motion is vital to the elderly and athletes alike to enhance performance in every day life or an athletic event. All levels of fitness need to infuse this much needed balance and core stabilization exercises to benefit all planes of motion. Both of these needs can be fulfilled in NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Performance Enhancement Specialist Jennifer Schildwachter’s paid program; Correct, Select, and Never Neglect. Participants of all adult ages and fitness levels, learn that there is an inherent difference between functional strength and functional stabilization, which both come into play when trying to improve balance.

Core Stabilization and balance go hand in hand. The main goal of an athlete or senior would be to continually increase their limit of stability by creating progressive balance exercises in a controlled but unstable environment.

A good example of an exercise that you could give an athlete or senior, would be: “Single-Leg Dumbbell Shoulder Scaption”

How to do it:
A. Stand with a light dumbbell in each hand; lift one leg directly beside balanced leg.
B. Keep thumbs pointed up while raising arms to shoulder height at a 45-degree angle in front. Slowly lower. Repeat; alternate legs in each set.

This exercise and more can be learned in this class as well as the improvement in balance and stabilization in all physical abilities!

Interested in taking Correct Select and Never Neglect with Jen? You can sign up for the upcoming session beginning on February 17! Feel free to email Jen with any questions at jschildwachter@clubfit.com!

Winter Weather Workout with Susie!

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By Susie Reiner, M.S., HFS, PES
Fitness Director, Club Fit Briarcliff

Unfortunately sometimes Mother Nature gets in the way of getting your workout in at Club Fit. Your safety is the most important on days where it’s dangerous to travel, so here are some exercise ideas for you to try at home:

Shoveling – the dreaded activity that is an essential part of living in the Northeast! Shoveling can be a great workout – if you do it right. Warm up ahead of time, do some dynamic stretches -toe touches side to side, side reaches, back extensions (hands support lower back), high knee pulls, quad stretches alternating, etc. Dress warmly with layers that you can take off if you get overheated. Be sure you are bending your knees EVERY time you pick up snow and switch sides/hands that you are throwing the snow with. Stretch your lower back, shoulders, and neck afterwards to avoid strain later on in the day. If you complete all these steps you will have a safe total body cardio and resistance workout. I’ve personally worn my Myzone belt while shoveling and got up to 200 MEPS in that time!

Got stairs? – There are a number of exercises you can do that strengthen your lower body and core while engaging cardiovascular benefits as well.
1. Step ups (up up down down) facing the step
2. Lateral step ups (step knee step touch)
3. Running the stairs – use the way down as recovery
4. Or try these fun exercises!

A great online resource for body weight workouts is Fitness Blender, a free website created by a husband and wife duo who felt like there was a lack of reliable health and fitness information on the web, and too many people in the industry were more focused on appearance than they were on good health. I’ve completed several of the workouts at home on this website and I can attest that they are safe and effective!

Need more advice? Please contact me at sreiner@clubfit.com and be safe in the snow!
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How to perform the Bulgarian Split Squat

It can be difficult to try new exercises on your own. That’s why we are dedicating a series of posts to help you learn the ins and outs of these particular strength exercises.

Liz Roarty, Fitness Coach and long time member, performs a Bulgarian Split Squat with her toe propped up on a high step behind her. When you are executing this exercise, be sure to center your weight between both legs.
HoistFacebook Split Squat

Bend the back knee into a 90 degree angle, keeping the front knee in line with the heel. Keep your shoulders back and your abs tight as you move through this exercise.
Hoist Facebook Split Squat

Stay tuned in to our series of Hoist Circuit Strength exercises with your favorite Personal Trainers and Fitness Coaches! If you have questions or would like to sign up for Personal Training session, visit our website to find a Club Fit Personal Trainer who is right for you! Contact Fitness Director, Susie Reiner with questions comments or concerns.

Are you new to the HOIST ROC-IT circuit? We have Fit Coaches available to you at all times to guide you through the equipment. We are excited to be offering our members the newest technology in Circuit Training while delivering a safe and effective workout!

Personal Trainer Nick Paganelli shows how a well executed squat is performed

Over the weekend an old friend brought one of our posts to our attention. It was of a poster that offered a holiday special on personal training packages. The form of the person doing a squat was not spot on. We asked Personal Trainer, Nick Paganelli, to demonstrate what a squat that is done using proper technique looks like:

And as a bonus for the more advanced gym-goers . . . here he is doing an advanced balance exercise!

We are proud to have a staff that exemplifies professionalism! If you are interested in learning more about our Personal Trainers and their extensive backgrounds, click here. From now through December 31st we are offering a holiday special on Personal Training packages. For more information, email Susie at sreiner@clubfit.com.

Every Superhero Needs a Sidekick.

Squat rows are my new favorite. Thanks, Susie!

If you’ve been reading along with my blog posts, you are well aware by now that I am a devotee of group exercise classes.  I enjoy the group mentality, the social energy, the instructor’s availability to answer questions, and the need to be on time, all of which are motivating to me.  But if I hit traffic on the way to the gym and missed the first part of a class, I felt lost.  With the whole gym available to me, all felt confident in was plugging into my workout playlist and power walking on my favorite treadmill for a while.  One day, I came to a stunning realization: I had absolutely no idea how to structure my solo workout time.

I was relying on classes because it was a built-in workout that I could just step into. This is a great thing, don’t get me wrong, but I knew that in order to make permanent changes, I needed to be proactive and learn how to make the most of my workout time on my own.  I thought about it for a while, and decided to invest in a series of personal training sessions.  Enter Susie; my amazing, energetic, supportive, intelligent Superhero Sidekick who’s here to coach me on to fitness glory!!

Susie takes me through great workouts that are tailored just for me, and I feel so energized afterwards.  Those hulking weight machines that intimidated me before are my friends now.  Instead of wondering if they’re torture devices, I’m setting them up for squat rows and tricep pushdowns.  Being able to work out on my own makes me feel like I have more time to do it – instead of racing to get to a class on time, I can squeeze in 30 minutes here or an hour there.

Working with a personal trainer is a big deal for me.  It’s an investment that I’ve had to make a few personal budget cutbacks to afford, but even after only two sessions I know what this is the best investment I’ve ever made in myself.    I know this will be the support that I needed to help me make permanent changes in my health and fitness, and I can’t wait for my next session!