Monday, December 8, 2008

Greetings to all of you! “Tis the season of joy, frenzy and chaos as we all try to get everything done in a short period of time. It’s especially hard when we want to “be there” for everyone important in our lives and at the same time try to keep sane as we attempt to do it all. Let’s just agree on one thing, don’t let your fitness and health suffer the consequences of the season. You’ll obviously have to make changes but being adaptable and creative to situations is one of the true marks of a fit person. Speaking of fit I want to make sure you are aware of the FITT principle. It’s an easy acronym to remember and by thinking in these terms and how they relate to each other it will allow you a bit more flexibility in how you approach fitness each day of your life:
Frequency = How Often?
Intensity = How Hard?
Time (duration) = How Long?
Type = What Activity?

We all have those days where we are too busy, too tired or too stressed and the last thing we want to do is workout. Often it is exactly what we need to do in order to reduce the stress and fatigue and the cycle between the two. FITT are all factors in an exercise program that are interrelated and can be effectively manipulated by you. Intensity becomes an important element in your program especially when the frequency and/or duration are challenged with a busy schedule. In other words, getting the most bang for your buck with the time you have. This is not to say that the weekend warrior mentality is the smart choice. If your body isn’t physically ready for an intense workout it may cause soreness or injury to the point that you are out for a while. But for those of you that work your way up and progressively get stronger intensity training can be the boost you need. Look at the last one, type. Step out of the box and see fitness as activity. It doesn’t have to be in the gym (although we love seeing you). In fact your gym workouts should have the ultimate goal of getting you fit for life outside. For example find ways to broaden your sports skills, do that needed outdoor yard work, walk the sad dog…who is just waiting… vacuum the house again! The list is endless with potential for burning calories and challenging your muscles, including your heart. In terms of frequency we are often asked can I workout everyday? Take a look at these components below:

Five Components of Physical Fitness:
1. Cardiovascular, or Cardiorespiratory endurance = the ability of the body to sustain prolonged exercise
2. Muscular Strength = the maximal force a muscle or muscle group can exert during contraction
3. Muscular Endurance = the ability of a muscle or muscle group to exert force against a resistance over a sustained period of time
4. Flexibility = the range of motion, ROM, possible about a joint
5. Body Composition = lean body mass and body fat ratio

Look at your training schedule as a jigsaw puzzle of getting all of those first four into your week. By mixing it up you are not only challenging the body in different ways you are creating a stronger, more efficient, more elastic frame to work with. You are allowing parts of the body to rest/recover by focusing on different components at different times. Daily workouts can then have positive effects. You will never get bored because there is always something to do, to learn, to master. Since this is the holidays include your family and friends in some of this fun…nothing better than all feeling good together.

So the bottom line is Energy In >> Energy Out. Your body will reflect the balance or imbalance of the two. All the fantastic treats of the season should be enjoyed and then burned so get out there and DO SOMETHING…anything active. If you need some inspiration come see us since we have innovative trainers and instructors just waiting to help you get motivated and stay on track. Let’s keep the gym hopping in December so that we all have a head start in making 2009 the best year ever!
Cheers, Kari

Friday, November 14, 2008

It all began over 30 years ago....

Welcome to my new blog opening up a great forum for you to share, inquire, inspire…vent? …hope not…all things related to fitness, wellness, and life! We are somewhat unique here at ProRobics, one of the few gyms still open with original owners for close to 3 decades. The changes we have lived could fill a few volumes of entertaining Seattleite “memoirs” (which may still be on the way)… stories of which you probably wouldn’t believe. I am also happy to say many of you are still here, some with grown children working out at your sides, which proves the point that fitness can and should be a lifetime, shared event.

One thing you may not know is that ProRobics started out as a class. ProRobics, “the workout for athletes and potential athletes” was the name of my workout. The workout took place M-W- F 3x each day in the basement of Nordic Heritage museum, formerly a grade school gymnasium and it was filled with a wild mix of guys and gals expressing themselves the high impact way. Those were amazing times and I reminisce and laugh often with people who were part of it. The success of the classes gave birth to Queen Anne location, a scary step at 25. I pulled talented members from class to see if they wanted to become instructors so we could actually open a real studio with classes everyday. Queen Anne ProRobics was born…only the studio….no front desk, no lobby, no dressing rooms or showers, certainly no weight room… the waiting line-up was down a stairwell and out onto the sidewalk. 1530 Queen Anne Avenue North received many visits from the fire department regarding blocking fire way exits with waiting bodies…the 80’s, those were the days. The fire department secretly wished they could stop work and take class! Our café, Après Vous, would fulfill all pre- and post- workout needs as well as provide the bass beat through the walls to keep everything shaking. It was a constant reminder to work off what you just put in.

Some of your favorite instructors were in on that first or second wave. Instructors were born from class so they knew what they liked as members, were type A, and had a deep desire to share their talents. So there you go, we do have one of the deepest lineage of historical instructors in the NW, if that means old to you what can I say. With experience comes dedication to bringing you the best so that is where our heart is!

So my challenge to you is to branch out this coming New Year. If you haven’t entered into our Group Ex program yet now is the perfect time. There are so many choices in the types of workouts available between the 2 gyms. We are one of a few gyms (if not the only) in the city offering Body Pump™, Body Step™, Gravity™, Ballast Balls™ and soon to come Beaming™. We are in a league of our own with continuing popularity of HiLo, Dance, Step and Reach™. Our circuit style/equipment-based workouts, cycle classes, Pilates and yoga are some of the best in the city.

As an instructor team our goal is to develop well-balanced, multi-challenged, “can do” members…are you up for it? What is your personal workout “trigger”?
Do you like to sweat? Do you feel a workout should make you feel something the next day? Do you like fast pace? Do you like mental pressure? Do you like simple, repetitive work? Do you like to challenge your coordination? Are you comfortable stepping out of your comfort zone? Do you need to have your established personal space to feel most comfortable? Do you want strength? Flexibility? Coordination? Agility? Balance? Better aerobic fitness? Better posture? To lose weight? Improve your memory? Improve your health? Do you like slower, more focused movement? Is speed important to you…can you slow down? Do you prefer music or no music? Do you like working with lots of equipment? So you like dance? Do you like to challenge memory through more complicated, lengthy movement patterns? Do you want to be “pushed” by the instructor? Would you like to meet some fantastic people?
If you answered yes to any of the above we have a workout for you. Ask around, approach an instructor with your questions but most of all open that studio door and step in! Everyone has a first day, for many it was the best first day of their life.

On behalf of your dedicated instructor team…see you in class!!