Trainer of the Month Alex Celcis

November 27, 2018 by karen

December 2018 Club Fit Briarcliff Trainer of the Month Alex Celcis

Alex will be giving a free-to-member presentation in our Conference Room on Tuesday, December 18th at 5:00 pm and Thursday, December 20th at 10:30 am

Subject: The Benefits of Boxing for Mind, Body, & Overall Wellness  

Club Fit Personal Trainer Alex Celcis

Hello, I’m Alex Celcis — (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer, Self-Defense Instructor, Kick-Boxing instructor, Karate (Goju Ryu) Instructor. I have over 15 years of martial arts experience and five years’ experience years as a personal trainer.

My passion for boxing and the martial arts grew as a teenager, through watching movies and seeing ordinary humans do extraordinary acts. I then began to go to tournaments, and observe my passion in real-time. I began studying and training diligently as a young adult at the age of 19 and since then I have not ceased the journey of learning, growing and teaching the martial arts to others who want to become stronger, more confident, and healthier physically, mentally and spiritually. And as a result at the age of 36 I feel healthier and stronger then when I was 24.

Top Benefits of Boxing:
• Enhanced cardiovascular health — you need to do cardio to protect yourself from heart disease, burn calories, and lose or maintain your weight
• Improved total-body strength
• Better hand-eye coordination
• Decreased stress
• Improved body composition.

Trainer of the Month Candice O’Brien

October 29, 2018 by karen

November 2018 Club Fit Briarcliff Trainer of the Month Candice O’Brien

Candice will be giving a free-to-member presentation in our Conference Room on Tuesday, November 13th at 10:30 am and Wednesday, November 14th at 6:30 pm

Subject: Why You Should Make Friends with the Indoor Rowing Machine 

Club Fit Personal Trainer Candice O'Brien

Hi, I’m Candice O’Brien — Certified Personal Trainer, Spin Instructor, and Fit Coach at Club Fit Briarcliff.  I have over 20 years in the fitness industry.
My passion for running, and ONLY running for many years, led me to several injuries, due to overtraining and the fact that I NEVER stretched or cross-trained. As a single, working mother, there was no time for that stuff!!  While injured and not able to run, I joined a gym to do some strength training (recommended by a physical therapist).  It was at that time I decided to hop on a rowing machine as a warm up before moving on to weights.After five minutes, it became evident that there is more to this machine than meets the eye… it turned out to be my best friend!

Some of the benefits of rowing include:
• Increased strength and cardiovascular endurance
• Improved posture and core strength
• Low impact; ideal for all ages and fitness levels
• Burns tons of calories

September Fitness Member of the Month

August 22, 2018 by karen

Barbara Cochran is our Briarcliff Fitness Member of the Month for September 2018

 

Club Fit Member Barbara Cohen
Barbara Cochran is our Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Member of the Month for September 2018

Barbara Cochran has been a member since 1993. One thing that she has learned about Club Fit is that it stays the same even as it changes, all while continuing to be a great health club. But the one constant is that everyone knows your name, there is always something new to try, it is clean with up to date equipment and professional staff.

Even on days when I may not want to work out — and it is work — I am greeted at the door, often by name, and the energy of fellow members gets me going.

I have always appreciated the fact that Club Fit offers new workout options and continually updates the programs. The original spin classes were held in a small studio with bikes that had three or four “clicks” to add resistance, while members listened to the instructor and music through their own headphone sets and radio setting. And we had to line up to sign up! Contrast that with the state of the art spin studio and equipment we have today!

But even if a spin class is no longer part of my cardio routine, I have found so many other options that meet my changing work out needs. TRX and Hoist Roc-It classes are quick and effective. There is always a new class or cardio machine to try with a willing staff to assist. Myzone is a great tool and I use it every day. I love the competitions and the motivation it provides me during my workouts.

My husband and I think of Club Fit as the health insurance that helps us maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. We both have bounced back from health challenges much faster because of our regular visits and workouts at Club Fit over the past 25 years.

Thank you Club Fit for your commitment to staying the same while always changing! I am honored to be Member of the Month.

Briarcliff Fitness is Getting a Makeover!

August 10, 2018 by karen

Dear Members,

Our Fitness Center is getting a makeover! New Machines…New Turf…New Layout.

We began moving equipment yesterday in preparation for the big move on Sunday, August 12th.

• All cardio equipment from our small fitness room will be moved to the large fitness area.

• The plate-loaded strength equipment which is currently parallel to the turf will be moved to the area outside the fitness office.

• The strength equipment line (incorporating the Fitlinxx training system) running along the perimeter of the smaller fitness area will not be available for a short period of time as we work in this area.

• The small fitness room will be closed to paint and install turf.

Additionally we will not have TV access on some of the equipment until the afternoon of Tuesday, August 14th.

Need help finding a machine or alternate exercise? Please ask a Fitness Coach for assistance.

Thank you for the suggestions and ideas we used to plan these changes!


Donna Berta
Fitness Director
dberta@clubfit.com

Parisi Athlete: Soccer Player Chayce Buono

March 1, 2017 by karen

Parisi Speed School
Athlete Spotlight March 2017:
Soccer Player Chayce Buono

Parisi Speed School Athlete: Soccer Player Chayce Buono
Chance is on her game on the soccer field, with help from Parisi Speed School

“Throughout my training at Parisi I have noticed a significant change in my speed and my overall strength. I couldn’t be more grateful for my trainers Jen and Vince. Every Tuesday I work with Jen and every Thursday I work with Vince on my strength and my speed. They both have taught me so much including my technique in running and they push me to be a better athlete. I am very excited to continue my training with both Vince & Jen.” – Soccer Player Chayce Buono

“Chayce is the kind of athlete all trainers love to have in their classes. She is diligent in “the small things” like concentrating on her form and having proper mechanics throughout each drill. Chayce always comes ready to work hard and complete each workout to the best of her ability. These traits not only make her a great athlete in the Parisi studio but also on the soccer field. We look forward to continuing her training and helping her achieve the next level success she is working towards!”– Coaches Jen Ritz & Vince Wright

The Parisi Speed School, a state-of-the-art speed and agility training program, has become an industry leader in youth performance. Club Fit Jefferson Valley is the only facility in Northern Westchester to offer the program.

 

Your Commitment and Our Equipment

July 20, 2016 by karen

Reach your fitness goals with our exciting new equipment arriving soon in the Fitness department.

Keiser Squat and Keiser Runner 

Keiser Technology: With Keiser Pneumatic Technology, the muscles remain active and engaged throughout the entire range of motion and velocities, with reduced shock loading to muscles, connective tissues and joints, which allows for workout regimens that can safely improve physical performance in ways not seen with traditional strength-training methods.

Keiser Squat: Combining a low impact workout with the ability to move safely at higher speeds, the AIR300 Squat enhances explosive Power. The AIR300 squat work for all users through its self-adjusting comfort pads and a sturdy wide base. A range-limiting feature helps prevent ligament and joint injury to the knee. Adjust the air pressure at your fingertips for a functional, safe, and explosive workout!

Keiser Runner: The Air300 Runner is a unique and innovative product designed for the athletic performance and functional training market. It allows users to train speed, resistance, and form of the lower body to improve functional movement and pattern. Whether you are looking to improve your acceleration for sport or form and strength in the lower body, this equipment is for you!

THE FROG!

This Total Body Training Device will work every major muscle in your body with a variety of exercises in unique planes of motion. Get ready for a killer core workout. Stay tuned to see the Frog in our new CORE-FIT class starting soon.

CORE-FIT — Core and Cardio Circuit:

We will be incorporating three new pieces of equipment into this NEW Circuit class on the Group Fitness Schedule (formerly known as Abs Express).

Total Gym Core Trainer: A unique piece of core exercise equipment that strengthens the abdominals, while engaging the entire core musculature.  The Core Trainer helps enhance basic core stability for beginners while providing advanced strengthening and a competitive edge for the most seasoned athletes.

Total Gym Row Trainer: A new and unique rower that emulates a rowing movement pattern using adjustable bodyweight resistance, the Total Gym Row Trainer produces a full body workout, integrating a strength component into a traditional cardio machine. Built on an incline, the Total Gym Row Trainer targets all the muscles groups simultaneously and enables a smooth consistent load through the entire range of motion, due to loaded concentric and eccentric phases of the exercise. Designed for multi-planar movement including exercises such as biceps curls and an alternating side to side row, the Row Trainer is fun to use and user friendly, accommodating all fitness levels.

Cybex Eagle Abdominal Machine: Innovative design isolates abdominal muscles and allows different body types to enjoy a comfortable range of motion. The counterbalance mechanism offsets the user’s trunk weight for more consistent loading and greater effectiveness, and the patented pelvic stabilization eliminates hip flexor involvement while rear foot pegs provide for expanded training variation.

See a Fitness Coach to learn how to use any of our new equipment. We strive to bring you the best and newest machines on the market to help you achieve your fitness goals at Club Fit.

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Member John Gillespie

March 28, 2016 by karen

by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger.

John before & after
Picture 1: Before: May 2014: John, 14 days into his stem cell transplant at 260 pounds from the impact of his treatment.
Picture 2: After: March 2016: John, healthy, fit and cancer-free at 190 pounds.

If you’re part of the 5:00 am exercise crowd, chances are you’ve met Club Fit Briarcliff member John Gillespie, 57, whose natural energy and captive smile is hard to forget. John’s early-morning workout includes cardio and weight lifting and gives him the energy and jump-start he needs to start his day as a health care public relations professional in the City. John, who recently moved to New York from his native St. Louis, had always led an active lifestyle filled with golf, running, and exercise. That is until two years ago on March 27, 2014, when a normal day at the office became anything but routine.

John was working at a St. Louis hospital in the health system that he worked for when excruciating abdominal pain sent him to the emergency room. John’s bloodwork showed a hemoglobin level of 8 (very low) and an iron level of 0 (non-existent). John was bleeding from his intestines, and his body was unable to stop it.

Diagnosed with a rare and advanced form of lymphoma, called peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL), and four tumors in his small intestine, John’s treatment included a dangerously aggressive six-round, high-dose E-CHOP chemotherapy regimen followed by an autologous stem cell harvest. The E-CHOP began destroying the four tumors, however, two of the tumors burst, forcing emergency surgery to clean up the toxic contents spilling into John’s stomach and to sew his small intestine back together. “The good news was that the chemo worked,” said John, “and the bad news was that the chemo worked.”

Because of the damage to his small intestine and the proximity of one of the remaining tumors to his large intestine, an ileostomy was ordered rather than reattaching his small intestine to the large intestine. The ileostomy diverted the end of his small intestine through his lower abdominal wall where it was attached to an external waste bag for 18 months, a painful experience that made it difficult to exercise and get proper nutrition and hydration. Upon completing his chemo, the stem cells were transplanted and successfully grafted which regenerated his bone marrow. After being cancer- and chemo-free for one year, John was given the green light for an ileostomy reversal on November 4, 2015, to reattach his small intestine to his large intestine which would return his body to normal functionality.

John’s two-year battle with PTCL had been the most painful experience of his life, and he credits the love of his family and two children with helping him persevere. After the pain receded from the ileostomy reversal, John was cleared to begin an exercise program. Enter Club Fit’s HelpRx — a three-month, physician-referral, new-member program for $150 that offers support, guidance and motivation to help people successfully and safely integrate the benefits of regular exercise into their routine. For John, who had lost all muscle tone and a level of fitness and health that had always been a part of his identity, HelpRX was the answer, and he started on the Rx program the week before Thanksgiving.

Restricted from exercise involving abdominal strain for eight weeks, John began his routine with cardio and resistance training, transitioning to weight lifting in January. Under the guidance of Club Fit’s training staff, John’s fitness, strength, and energy quickly improved, and at the end of his three-month Rx membership he signed on to a regular membership because he did not want to go backward. “Exercising is not work anymore,” explains John. “It’s become a routine, a commitment.”

In his four months with Club Fit, John has lost 20 pounds, six inches, and his strength has increased dramatically. “I missed being fit,” said John. “The Club Fit staff has always been very supportive of my goals. I’ve never had to pay for training or classes to access their expertise.” John tries to exercise 5-6 days a week with 35-40 minutes of cardio exercise on the StrideClimber elliptical machines and 30 minutes of weight lifting, with bench pressing being a favorite activity. “Weight lifting has become my favorite,” says John. “Reaching new benchmarks is very rewarding.” John’s latest benchmark is seven reps at 190 pounds, and this month he may hit his next benchmark of 200 pounds.

“I’ve gone from not being able to lift a carton of milk to bench pressing 190 pounds,” said John. “So if I can leave anyone with just one thought, it would be that it is possible to feel healthy again — to recover from cancer or severe injury or just to get healthy.”

Staying on track, out of town.

November 23, 2015 by Kendra

Kendra2Earlier this fall, I traveled out of town for a few days on a business trip. I was excited, but also worried about staying aligned with my diet and fitness goals on the road. In the past, I haven’t been great about navigating or recovering from interruptions to my usual routine. This time, I spent some time packing and planning in advance.

Here’s what I did:

I packed multiple changes of workout clothes, and an alarm clock, which allowed me to grab a fresh set of clothes whenever I could squeeze in a few minutes at the hotel gym.

I packed a ton of healthy snacks, and tracked my calorie intake using an iPhone app. (I use MyFitnessPal.) On a business trip, you eat out a lot, and it can be hard to “guesstimate” an accurate entry for meals. By having healthy snacks to munch on during the day, I was able to keep my take-out meals (and the guesswork) to a minimum.

I brought my new MyZone 3 belt to track my workouts. By using the smartphone app to view my heart rate zone during my workout, I was able to make the best use of my limited workout time, just like when I’m at the Club.

I carried a water bottle to refill between work sessions to stay hydrated. This helped keep food cravings to a minimum, and kept me feeling great while I spent most of my day sitting in a seminar.

Sounds perfect, right? I am the queen of planning! I am a superhero and none shall put my forward momentum asunder! Still, the best laid plans can go awry, and I did learn some very important lessons. Here’s what I also could have done to set myself up for success.

Brought a lightweight exercise or yoga mat for my hotel room. I was surprised to find that the hotel gym was even smaller than my super-tiny hotel room. There was one elliptical machine, one recumbent bike, one treadmill, one rack of free weights, and not much room to swing a sweat towel, or even do some simply bodyweight exercises. Having extra cushioning for the floor in my hotel room would have helped me use that space for stretching, yoga, or a little core work.

Packed a bigger variety of healthy snacks, and more than I thought I needed. I brought enough to sustain me during my time out of town, but by the end of the trip, what I missed was choices. On my last day, I just didn’t feel like peanut butter chocolate chip protein bars anymore. I’d rather carry home a few uneaten snacks, but have enjoyed my snacks along the way, than get sick and tired of some of my favorites.

Penciled in workouts on my calendar for the days AFTER I returned. Sometime after I returned home, I was shocked when I realized that three days had passed without exercising. Even though I had kept myself on track pretty well during my trip, somehow that attention just flew out the window when I got back! I should have written a workout into my calendar for the days following, to ensure that making time for exercise was an intentional part of resuming my normal schedule.

Any other tips, Club Fitters? What has worked for you?

superhero

Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner

October 30, 2015 by karen

— 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!

Club Fit Members Love MYZONE!

June 1, 2015 by karen

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

Club Fit Walkers Take Manhattan!

May 28, 2015 by karen

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

 

It’s been an interesting road for this group of women — literally and figuratively!

Suzanne and Tess in Manhattan
Suzanne and Tess in Manhattan

Most goals, whether fitness-related or not, are met one step at a time. But Club Fit Briarcliff member Tess Cerra and her band of walkers have racked up MANY steps in reaching their goal: walking every street in Manhattan!

Sound like an insurmountable feat? It has taken this group of nine women, all members of the Chappaqua Neighbors Club, nearly three years to cover the approximately 1200-mile route, which they plan to complete in the next month. “We became more regimented as we went along,” says Tess. “Once we realized we could actually achieve our goal, we all became a little more obsessed with finishing!” One member is in charge of mapping out their routes, and distributes maps to each walker. Weather permitting, the group walks every Monday, and averages 6 miles per day.

But this isn’t their first project. And it is certainly not their last. The group first tackled the Old Croton Aqueduct route, which is approximately 37 miles long and ends in Manhattan’s Bryant Park. And after they tackle Manhattan, they plan to tackle the other boroughs of New York City, one by one.

Suzanne Keay, a member of the group who is also a member of Club Fit Briarcliff, says, “My endurance has definitely improved, and the mental boost we get from the camaraderie we have developed is priceless!” Tess adds, “Some walk a little harder than others, but we all have to keep up.”

One unexpected benefit the women have experienced is the fact that they have met many people along the way. Passers-by approach them to ask what they are doing, and some go out of their way to enlighten the women on interesting facts about their neighborhoods. “We’ve learned a lot!” says Tess. They have also have had a variety of culinary adventures, making sure a good lunch spot is part of the itinerary. Their favorite area? “The West Side was lovely,” says Tess. She says the most interesting road they traveled was a secret underground street in Chinatown that was once used by gangs.

When they’re not out walking, both Tess and Suzanne use various areas of Club Fit to work out. Both do The Circuit, with Tess favoring Aquatics and Tennis programming, and Suzanne using Group Fitness, the Hoist Roc-It circuit, and the Fitness Center. And as mentioned earlier, both are members of the 75-year-old Chappaqua Neighbors Club, of which the walking group is just one part. Tess heads up the organization’s cultural activities, and Suzanne is the club historian and works on the club’s newsletter.

How has the walking group added to their club experience? “I feel like I own Manhattan!” says Suzanne. The group has also gotten some press, with a profile in the Journal News and an appearance in USA Today, where they were pictured with well-known historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin, whose publicist they came across on one of their walks.

It’s been an interesting road for this group of women — literally and figuratively! — but they haven’t reached the end of their journey! If you see Tess or Suzanne at the Club, congratulate them on their achievement, and be sure to find out where they are headed next!

 

Parisi Speed School has a New Director

April 1, 2015 by Joy Cain

— 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.

Take Care of Your Heart Health

January 28, 2015 by karen

— written by guest blogger and Club Fit member John Fisher

 

Master Trainer Beth Kear and Club Fit Member John Fisher
Master Trainer Beth Kear and Club Fit Member John Fisher

I had just completed another cardio fitness session with Beth Kear, a Master Trainer at Club Fit/Briarcliff and went up to the cafeteria to get a snack and relax. Once there, I paused to reflect on just what brought me together with Beth (a remarkable person, 100% experienced trainer and a compassionate and spiritual mentor who is teaching me to connect my mind to my stretches to feel my body’s response and stop mechanically counting seconds).

Anyway, my story begins about three years ago…and what I have to share just might save your life, or that of a loved one.

Then 75, physically trim and active, an avid tennis player, the first awareness of diminishing capacity came when when I began to find my reaction time and movement on the tennis court diminishing. It was driven home to me when the captain of our men’s indoor winter tennis doubles game approached me awkwardly to ask me to drop out of the group because I was beginning to drag down the quality of play. I attributed my reduced mobility to a lack of fitness, and signed on for a series of sessions with another Club Fit Master Trainer, Mike Cohen.

After our first package of sessions, I decided I could carry on by myself, using Club Fit’s FitLinxx equipment and supplementing that with a regular exercise program at home. But that required a level of self-discipline I just didn’t maintain. Sound familiar?

Now we come to 2013, and I find myself experiencing shortness of breath at the slightest exertion. I cannot keep up with my wife and friends on hikes, walking the streets of NYC or getting about on our son’s farm, having to stop periodically to catch my breath before continuing. Just wheeling our garbage can 150’ up our inclined driveway twice a week became a challenge.

“Do something about it!” I scolded myself. Time to resume a disciplined fitness routine. So in late 2013 I re-contacted Mike Cohen. But he could not fit me into his crowded schedule, so he introduced me to Beth. Well, at the end of my 2nd 1-hour session, I went to stand up after stretching on a table…and blacked out momentarily. Fortunately, Beth caught me before I hit the floor. After regaining my equilibrium, I lectured myself, not to sit up and then stand so abruptly so blood does not drain from my head suddenly, causing light-headedness. Enter self-deception/rationalization once again.

One week later, at the end of my next session, I again felt light-headed as I stood up, but immediately caught myself, sat down and avoided another blackout. That did it!

A call to my family physician at the Mt. Kisco Medical Group, a CT scan of the chest, a referral to their chief cardiologist, and the diagnosis: “You’re headed for open-heart surgery. You have calcification of the aortic valve, which needs to be replaced. And while they’re in there they’ll also need to perform a triple bypass to restore adequate blood flow, currently acutely compromised by blockages in three main arteries.”

I asked my cardiologist where he’d take his heart if he were facing the same circumstances. He gave me the names of two heart surgeons, one at Columbia Presbyterian and the other at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie. I chose the latter…with a highly-regarded team of cardio-thoracic surgeons, the best in the mid-Hudson Valley.

I had the surgery nine months ago, on April 4, 2014. Five days in the hospital; left for home pain-free, with a new tissue (cow) valve. Six weeks of monitoring at home by a nurse from the Westchester Visiting Nurse Service, followed by 40 closely-monitored sessions at the cardio rehab center run by Northern Westchester Hospital at Chappaqua Crossing, after which I resumed training with Beth. Beth and Mike Cohen (who also happens to be a cardio-rehab specialist) got together to review my progress report from the NWH cardio rehab center and designed a cardio fitness program to transition me to Club Fit.

I can report goodbye to shortness of breath; lung and heart functioning normal; and I feel like a completely new man at 78. All that remains is to test — and win — the quest for self-discipline. Stay tuned!

John also uses MYZONE heart rate and effort monitoring system as part of his health & fitness regimen.

Related post: Best Heart Rate Monitor Reviews.

The Health Benefits of Diet and Exercise

December 29, 2014 by karen

The new year is upon us, a time for reflection, reevaluation and change. Even if what you are doing is working, there is always room for improvement! Just ask Bill Lulow, a Club Fit Briarcliff member for 20 years who used good judgment when faced with a recent health scare. He is now taking steps to educate himself on the benefits of a good diet to supplement an exercise regimen he has fine-tuned over the course of 30-plus years.

Bill, a commercial photographer, has been working out steadily since 1979. But the 70-year-old Chappaqua resident has had a few hiccups, including shoulder surgery and a recent angioplasty brought on by some unusual symptoms. “My dad died of a heart attack, so I’ve always been on top of my cardiac health,” says Bill. “He was a doctor himself, and was experiencing chest pain. He waited a few days to get to his own doctor, and it was a few days too late. I was determined not to let that happen to me.”

This past February, Bill felt a pain in his collarbone, in the carotid artery area, and couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs. The feeling passed, but a few weeks later it happened again while shopping with his wife of 32 years, Judith. When it didn’t pass by morning, he went to the Emergency Room. An angioplasty was performed, and revealed that he did suffer from coronary disease but did not have a heart attack. His attention to the pain probably saved him from a worse fate, and he was back in the gym doing cardio rehab almost right away.

Today, Bill spends six days a week in the Fitness Center, with three 20-minute days of cardio and weights and three days of an hour-long cardio workout. He’s modified his routine over time, getting tips from Assistant General Manager Ted Gilsinger after his shoulder surgery last year and help with his form from Master Trainer Sean Weil. “What I like about Club Fit is that the staff is so knowledgeable,” says Bill. “I feel comfortable taking direction from the Fitness Coaches there.”

A commercial photographer with studios in Chappaqua and Manhattan, Bill’s focus on fitness helps him maintain his active lifestyle. He spent many years teaching photography in the New York City public schools, and now does freelance corporate work and teaches photography privately and in local art programs. He also teaches in the Kaplan Test Prep program, and enjoys golf and skiing in his free time. His photography is currently being exhibited at the Katonah Village Library (click here for more information), and will be featured at the Scarsdale Public Library in April. Visit Bill’s web site, www.williamlulow.com, to view his work and to read about his journey through the world of photography. And if you see Bill in the Club, congratulate him on his proactive approach to good health — an approach we can all learn from!

Regular Exercise is important for your heart and overall health.
Regular Exercise is important for your heart and overall health.

Superhero Transformation: Busting through a weight loss plateau!

July 28, 2014 by Kendra

Boxing helped me break through my weight loss plateau... I think?
Boxing helped me break through my weight loss plateau… I think?

I’d heard about it: the dreaded “weight-loss plateau.” The so-called dead zone where, despite your best efforts, your weight loss slowly rolls to a dead stop – like a car running out of gas. I have to admit, I didn’t really consider that it might happen to me, despite hearing lots of other well-intentioned gym-goers complain about hitting this wall. I figured, a plateau must be what happens when you get busy and have trouble making time for the gym, or when you’re not paying proper attention to your diet. I learned that isn’t necessarily the case! You can be doing everything right: exercising regularly, eating and sleeping well, hydrating properly, and still the scale won’t budge.

I got frustrated (no surprise there) and started researching weight-loss plateaus: why they happen, and what you can do to get yourself un-stuck. Celeb trainer Jillian Michaels calls it a myth, and thinks poor habits are to blame. Some other sources say it’s real, and recommend eating less, while others recommend eating more, while at the same time others recommend exercising more, while others still suggest taking a break from exercising all together to allow your system to “reset.” Argh! Clearly, there isn’t much information out there that is concrete and helpful (and these “tips” even come from medical-oriented websites.)

For a while, I followed bad internet advice. I took a self-imposed one-week “break” from the gym to try and reset my system, which only succeeded in throwing a wrench in my previously-established good habits. Before I knew it, three whole weeks had gone by, and I had to work harder to make time for the gym again. I tried eating more, I tried eating less; nothing seemed to do the trick. Instead of spinning, I strapped on some boxing gloves and went after the punching bag. If nothing else, it used different muscles, gave me a new kind of cardio stimulation, and was incredibly satisfying and fun!  Not too long afterward, the scale started to move again, and I can’t say what it was that did it. It wasn’t one trick or one food item, or one routine – maybe it was just time and persistence, but it happened.

I didn’t learn the secret to breaking through a plateau, but I did learn three really important things:

  1. Don’t take bad internet advice.
  2. Plateaus are a real thing, and there’s no guaranteed formula to see you through. Everyone’s body responds differently to routines and to changes. Try changing things up a bit (gently, please!) and see what works for you. At the very least, hitting a plateau reminds us to assess where we are and where we want to be, and if we’re doing the right things to get there.
  3. No amount of exercise will do you wrong. Don’t focus on the calories you burned, or whether or not the time and energy you spent was “worth it” for your goals – any kind of exercise is worth your time. It’s good for your heart, good for your mood, and makes your body happy. THAT is worth it, and is far more important than a number on your scale.

superhero

I finally picked up a MyZone belt, and here’s what happened.

February 26, 2014 by Kendra

Signing up at the service desk for my MyZone activity belt.

This past week, I celebrated my birthday, which I have a very different perspective on in my cancer-remission world. Before I started out seriously on a path to health and wellness, I would celebrate my birthday in less healthy ways, but now, I see my birthday as an opportunity to reward myself with a gift that will help me on my new path. Last year on my birthday, I celebrated with an early morning workout and a massage. This year, I gifted myself with Club Fit’s newest toy, the MyZone belt. (If you haven’t heard of MyZone, check out this video to learn more.)

The MyZone belt is an ingenious little device that tracks your heart rate during your workout, and emails you a summary of your results after you’re finished! (What a world we live in, huh?) If you’re working out in the gym, you’ll be able to see your current heart rate, calories burned, and more, right on the nearest screen. I can keep one eye on it to see if I’m working too hard, or if I need to put more effort in, to get the most out of the time I’m putting into my workout. You can also take it with you outside the gym – it will store 16 hours of workout data, and then sync up again next time you get to the gym.

When I first started using my belt, I was really surprised to find that I wasn’t working as hard as I thought, and I needed step up my game a little bit. It also helped me identify the fastest activities to get my heart rate up, so I can use cardio intervals more effectively. It’s super comfortable to wear, easy to put on, easy to clean, and it’s just a really cool piece of technology that is so gosh darn fun to use! I mean, who doesn’t feel like a superhero with a bright red band around their chest?! (Secret superhero handshake, anyone?)

I’m SO, SO glad I made this investment. It has helped me immensely, and I’d recommend it for anyone who is serious about results from their training (or just wants to feel like a superhero.)

 

 

How I Learned to Run (Again)

September 10, 2013 by Kendra

Here's me, running on a treadmill. Words I thought I'd never say!

So… remember that time I said I hated running?  I never, ever thought this photo (left) would happen.  It’s still true that I do not enjoy extended running as general cardio exercise, but my trainer introduced me to interval workouts called Tabata training.  They let me run for only four minutes, with frequent rests, and still gets my heart rate up to where it needs to be.

Jenn explained to me that the varying intervals of activity and rest make your heart work harder, and boost your heart rate faster.  I run for twenty seconds, then rest for ten seconds, and repeat these cycles until I’ve finished four minutes – and by then, I am wiped out!  This is perfect for me, because twenty seconds seems to be my exact tolerance for running on a treadmill.  I can even use these Tabata intervals during strength training workouts to keep my heart rate up, and accomplish cardio and strength work at the same time.  Intervals also create “afterburn”, which boosts your metabolic rate for a period of time after you finish working out.  Talk about efficiency!

The best part about these workouts is that I really can feel a measurable increase in my cardiovascular endurance.  I can tell that they’re working, because each week, it gets a little easier (or should I say, I get better?)  It’s a great reminder that my body is totally capable of performing whatever I train it to do – I just need to put the work in.

Kickboxing: Don’t Be Afraid!

March 25, 2013 by Kendra

This is obviously not kickboxing; I learned quickly that kickboxing is no place for selfies. 🙂 This is me rocking out some TRX earlier this winter.

After crawling out from under a hectic schedule, I was looking for something to change up my cardio routine.  It’s been a while since I’ve tried a kickboxing class, and by that I mean somewhere in the ball park of a decade.  I vaguely remember it being a great workout, but also that it was really, really hard.  (I guess there was a reason I didn’t go back.)  It also brings up 90’s-era visuals of Billy Blanks in a shiny electric blue singlet, which may be either fun or scary, depending on your level of exposure to the “Tae-Bo” fad.

Anyway, I took notice of it on the group exercise schedule when I started here at Club Fit, but since it was labeled as an intermediate class, I stayed far away.  Even now, though I’ve been working out consistently for months, each new activity definitely makes me feel like a beginner again, and I wasn’t sure about jumping right into an intermediate class.  But this week, I considered kickboxing again, because I felt that my cardio endurance had improved (thanks to Spinning), and that my core stability had started to improve as well (thanks to Pilates), and that I had a pretty good chance of getting in a good workout without injury or a traumatically embarrassing fall.

There were definitely a lot of missed steps and a little bit of flailing around, but also a lot of sweating, a lot of using new muscles, and a lot of fun!  The music was definitely inspiring, the moves were fairly easy to follow, and there was a good amount of air-punching involved, so it’s definitely a great way to end a stressful day.  I probably shouldn’t have been so timid to try this earlier, but I won’t worry about it. Now that I’ve started to get the hang of it, I’ll definitely be back.

 

Check out my shiny new heart rate monitor!

January 29, 2013 by Kendra

My heart rate monitor!

My wonderful husband got me a heart rate monitor for the holidays!  It’s easy to use, comfortable to wear, and I’m so happy to have it.  It really helps me make the most of my workout time by helping me stay on track and in the heart rate zone that I want to be in.

A watch with a second hand and some quick mental math will serve the same function, but this neat little device is really nice to have.  All I need to do is press the button on the watch face, and I get a reading in a few seconds. It helps me to know when and if I’m over or under working, so I can compensate one way or the other.  For now, I’m focusing on the fat burning zone, because I’m working on weight loss, and this neat device helps me target my workouts.  It also counts my steps while I’m walking, and I really enjoy the satisfaction of seeing measurable progress while I’m exercising.

Do you use any gadgets to aid your workout?  Would you recommend them?

Running, running, running away…

January 11, 2013 by Kendra

On the Woodway EcoMill at Briarcliff. Walking, not running. 🙂

It’s no secret that I love spinning.  I talk about it all the time.  My deep dark secret, and the reason I gravitate so much toward a spin bike, is that I….hate…running.

It’s a scary thing to say out loud when you’re writing about exercise and fitness, but I really do hate running!  It feels like I great party I wasn’t invited to.  I’m so jealous of everyone who has ever described a runner’s high, or a gorgeous sunset at the end of an early-morning jog, but I just get no joy from the actual practice.  My teeth bump, my knees complain, my cheeks bounce, I tire easily, and I just keep feeling like I’m getting nowhere.  Even with music, it’s a fight to keep up that pace, because I just don’t love it.

I realized that I have been laboring under the delusion that when my fitness journey gets to a certain point, I will be gifted with love from the Running Gods.  That Nike herself might appear, graciously acknowledge my hard work, and show me the light!  All this time, I thought I was “working up to running.”  Then, I stumbled across a post on SHAPE magazines website that had 20 different profiles of super-fit women who don’t run. Reading through their testimonials, I saw women who were miles ahead of me on the road to fitness, but who shared my exact same complaints about running.  (You can check out the piece here.)  Guess what most of them named as their number one alternative for cardiovascular excercise?  Spinning!

I guess I’m not doing so badly after all.  I know I’ve said before that everyone’s journey is different, but sometimes we need to be reminded to take our own advice.

What’s your favorite cardio workout?  (It’s okay to say running!)  Let me know in the comments below!