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.

Club Fit Members Love MYZONE!

I love that when I am away I can now track my progress (with MYZONE). While it is great to have it tied to the gym and I love seeing it on the screen, I do go away for the summers and this allows me to keep up with my training in a consistent manner. And as we all know with fitness, consistency is key!

There are places in the gym where there are no MYZONE screens or they can’t be viewed (TRX room, certain spin bikes, the new ellipticals). I just realized today, I can just put my phone on and track my progress! So if I am bopping around on different machines/classes, I can continuously monitor myself.

— Club Fit Member Danielle O’Reilly

I Got Game

I stayed up until about 1:20 last night watching the US soccer team play Mexico in the World Cup qualifying round. And the damnedest thing was, we were playing for a tie. Playing Mexico at home in Azteca Stadium is virtually a guaranteed loss, so we were playing for the tie. A tie was a win. And we won. I mean, we tied, 0-0.

So I was thinking. At 61, working out 3 or 4 times a week at CF, I’m not really playing to win. I’m playing to tie.

I grew up watching Jack LaLanne and his dog, Happy, on black and white TV, and I remember one episode where he read some viewer mail asking whether older people could actually build muscle mass to look like him. “No”, he shook his head, “you have to do it when you are younger. Once you pass 50, you just are what you are”. I remember clearly thinking that that would never happen to me. I would start building myself up sooner or later.

Now, later, I guess I am what I am. My LDL might be descending, but I am what I am.

Meanwhile, I just came back from a marathon night at CF: I ran 6 laps in 12 minutes, 3 miles on the cyclotron (maybe more, I forget), the dreaded Circuit with the dreaded Jenn (“do your 12 reps while I set up the next machine ” – no rest for the out-of-shape). (She’s great).

And finally, exhausted, ready to leave, there was my daughter Anna starting a TRX class right in front of me. I joined in.

After a night on the hunt for fitness, I wasn’t at my best. Someone has figured out that there is an exercise method in hanging ropes from the rafters and calling it something inscrutable like TRX. I was shaking, yes, like a leaf, and feeling like my muscles were begging for forgiveness. And Anna next to me was doing superhuman things, as was the woman, maybe my age,next to her who, Anna told me later, had once run across the Sahara. 400 miles. Did I mention that I ran 1.5 miles on the treadmill tonight while watching Jeopardy?

But there I was, trying to put my toes into the rings and doing push-ups. Nope. I reverted to a yoga pose. When in doubt, do yoga.

But I’m feeling good tonight. I’m playing for the tie. I’m not trying to look like Jack LaLanne anymore, although I am eating like he did (spoiler alert!)at the end of his life (he was 96). But I’m going to prove him wrong. In the Circuit last week, Ross, a fit young man who guided me through, started chatting about March Madness, and I remarked that I hadn’t yet had the courage to enter the CF Gym, as in basketball gym.

He said he was more of a football guy but maybe we could play sometime. And I thought yeah. Let’s play some ball. (I played a lot as a kid). I’m still six foot three and I think I got a little game left. My skyhook is still a lethal weapon.

Don’t tell Ross or Jack. I’m playing to win.

 

Finding (and scrapping) a workout routine.

At this point, I’m about three months into my fitness journey, and I’m really happy with how far I’ve come.  I thought that because of my weight, it would take much longer for me to see results in my fitness level, but I’m so pleasantly surprised to find that I’m able to work harder, faster, and longer, in a shorter period of time than I expected, which is really encouraging.  Also, last night after spin class, another member stopped me to tell me I’m doing a fantastic job, and to keep it up. That kind of compliment from a complete stranger is a HUGE motivator!!! It totally made my day.

After trying a lot of what Club Fit has to offer, I’ve settled myself into a routine.  I love spinning and water aerobics for cardio, and body pump and TRX for strength training, and I know which instructors motivate me the most and when they teach.  There is something very comfortable about my routine; I know what to expect, and I’m less likely to skip a workout when I’m feeling tired or irritable, because it’s such an ingrained part of my schedule.

Sometimes though, I can be a capricious twit!  I crave routine and stability in order to keep up the habit, and then suddenly I want to scrap the whole thing and be a dancing fool.  Thankfully, there’s so much to do here, that I can always find something new to try when I get antsy. I’d love to hear your feedback about how you keep your workout routine both stable and fresh. Please share your tips in the comments below!

Superhero Transformation, Part 3: TRX

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with strength training (or what I call “eat your spinach” exercise.)  Cardio is almost always entertaining, even when it’s hard work.  There’s energizing music, instructor support, and motivating group effort.  Strength training, in my book, is a less enjoyable combination of sweating and grunting.  I have never really enjoyed working out on weight machines.  With free weights, I always fear going too light and not making good use of my time, or going too heavy and dropping one on my toe.  (Ouch.)   After touring Club Fit and learning about all the different strength training options, I decided to try TRX. I thought it was fresh, different, and it looked fun. I can honestly tell you, it’s a FANTASTIC workout!

I took an evening class led by Ian, who was a great instructor, especially for a class full of first-timers.  He really took the time to explain the hows and whys of each exercise, and took us through a basic circuit two times.  It sure was a lot harder the second time around!  Ian joked that he was being nice to us because he wanted us to come back, but at the same time pushed us to challenge ourselves, even with the basic moves we were working on.  There was no music, and there were no flashy dance moves, but there was plenty of motivating group effort and positive instructor support.

By the time we were done, everything hurt (in a good way.)  I mean everything, including muscles I didn’t know I had!  Ian explained that because these exercises are performed standing, you’re automatically working more muscles than usual to help stabilize your body, which results in a better workout.  He’s definitely right – I have never sweat SO much in such a short period of time without cardio.  I feel like I squeezed an hour’s worth of free weights and machines into 30 minutes, and got even more out of it.  Love/hate no more!  I can’t wait to take another TRX class.

You’ll Find a Way!

Shelley Lerea has been working at Club Fit for 16 years! She has exercised her whole life and even as a child, she enjoyed being active. “I work out almost every day on my lunch break. My work-outs consist of cardio some days (usually treadmill, step mill, and one of the ellipticals) for about 30 minutes. My weight training consists of either TRX, Fit-Linxx, or free weights on my own. I have done Kinesis in the past and have personal trained for about 3 years. On the weekends I usually will combine a cardio/weight workout because I have more time. Reason for working out: Not looking to lose weight but want to stay toned and also want to keep my weight consistent since I have a family history of diabetes (my mom, grandmother, and brother)and high cholesterol. My doctor told me as long as I keep my weight down, I should be safe from both! Also, emotionally it makes me feel better. I honestly love the way exercising makes me feel. I couldn’t imagine my life without it.” Check out her motivational quote by E. James Rohn! -Shelley Lerea, Manager of Member Services at Club Fit Briarcliff.