CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Whether you want to pump iron, jog, “spin” or even stretch your way into fitness, a number of traditional and alternative exercise programs might help those with resolve achieve a more fit physique in 2015.
From a style of specialized stationary cycling called “spinning” to an intensive boot camp-style training program, fitness experts believe a plan for success involves customization, consistency, variety, regular assessment and a deadline.
“First thing to do is consistency. You want to start off right, start off slow and start off easy. You want to get some professional advise,” said Patrick Bonner, manager of Marble Falls Athletic Club, 2312 U.S. 281. “A good trainer is going to help you assess what your goals are, see what your limitations are and then design your program from there, get you started and push you through your workouts as you proceed.”
While places such as the athletic club offer everything from boot camps, circuit training, treadmills and free weights, a newly opened facility wants to give clients new training techniques.
“We’re the first official ‘spinning’ studio in the Hill Country,” said Brenda Morris, owner of InnerZen, 609 Main St. “I want to give people an alternative to regular exercise or boot camp exercise.”
The so-called boutique-style training facility emphasizes small class sizes and low physical stress cardio training.
“Getting in shape for everyone is a necessity. As we age, it becomes more of a necessity. At some point, our bodies do not heal or respond to the same things, so it’s time to change, mix up your exercise program,” Morris said. “People over 50 may be sitting around doing nothing. They don’t want to spend hours and hours at the gym. They want (their workouts) more personal and something smaller.”
The spinning technique utilizes a specialized stationary bike that emphasizes various hand positions and body movements at key times during a timed workout, typically 30 minutes, followed by strength, flexibility training and/or yoga.
“Cycling is one of the easiest things you can do for your knees, your cardio. It’s fabulous for your heart. You can burn up to 700 calories per hour. What we’ve tried to estabilish or design is a studio that does functional training in 60 minutes or less,” Morris said. “We want to try to get your cardio in, your strength, your flexibility. We want to try to do it in a fun and supportive way. If they feel intimidated, they need to come to one of the free classes, which is introductory to spinning.”
Consulting with a trainer or other fitness expert will determine the extent and evolution of a client’s exercise program.
“Everyone has to start somewhere,” Morris said. “There will be a class that can fit your fitness level.”
Bonner added that the most important approach involves setting realistic goals and embracing the health benefits.
“It’s a great resolution because fitness or exercise is the best medicine. It’s good for you both physically and mentally. It helps with your day. It gets you started,” he said. “Find out what kind of limitations they have first. If they’re 65 years old, then they’re going to be doing certain exercises. If they’re 25 years old, then they’ll be proceeding at a different rate.”
Marble Falls Athletic Club, the largest fitness facility in the community, features stationary bikes, treadmills, eliptical machines, Olympic lifting equipment and circuit-training accomodations.
The gym recently launched a 5 a.m. weekday boot camp class that has become popular with club members.
“The important thing is to give them a realistic idea of what they hope to achieve,” he said. “You don’t always get what you want, but you do get what you work for.”
To find out more about the Marble Falls Athletic Club, go to www.marblefallsathleticclub.com or call (830) 693-9393.
To find out more about InnerZen, go to www.innerzen.info or call (512) 755-3906.
FIND YOUR PERFECT FIT
Customize your fitness needs in 2015 with knowledge of the myriad of workout programs from a list courtesy of Hill Country Memorial Hospital:
• Bodyweight training — uses one’s own weight through exercises such as push-ups and squats to provide resistance instead of using free weights or other equipment.
• High-intensity interval training (HIIT) — involves short bursts of maximum-effort intensity followed by a short recovery period.
• Strength training — uses resistance to induce muscular contraction, anaerobic endurance and muscle.
• Nutrition programs — go hand in hand with weight loss and fitness goals.
• Yoga — utilizes a series of specific body postures for health and relaxation.
• For older adults — group classes such as aerobic strength, Tai Chi, Sit to Be Fit and most aqua classes emphasize low-impact strengthening.
• Indoor and outdoor group personal training — involves small groups with individuals sharing the expense of a trainer.