Michelle Douglas, 29, of Knoxville, Tenn., had never been a gym member. She signed up at The Rush Fitness Complex in Knoxville because she wanted to lose some weight and tone up — she never thought she would learn to love exercise.
“Exercising used to be something I dreaded to do,” said Douglas. “Now I enjoy it! I look forward to it. I never thought I would look forward to it. But it becomes part of your lifestyle.”
Douglas began working out with Personal Trainer Amna Collins, who came recommended to her. “She’s a very unique individual. She fits my personality well. She’ll let me complain about something, but then she says, ‘OK, but you know you’re going to do it, right?’ She and I work well together.”
She trains with Collins two to three days a week. Additionally, Douglas has tried small group training offered at her gym. The Rush Fitness Complex has a unique circuit training space called the “Ring of Fire,” an octagon-shaped platform specifically utilized for small group training. Members get put through a number of workouts on timed circuits. “The point of the circuit is to go from one thing to another,” explained Douglas. “Everyone is trying to push to finish and not give up. I like it — I focus better when we’re all rotating around than in personal training.” All the equipment and obstacles are close together in the circuit with a group between six and 10 people.
Since she started her training, Douglas felt she had definitely become stronger. “I’ve come a long way since I started. I could barely hold a plank for 14 seconds at first. Now I can hold it for one and a half to two minutes.
“My endurance has definitely improved. Running eight laps around the gym is much easier for me to do than it was when I started. It is easier for me to do, and I can do it faster. I remember one of the first workouts I had with Amna involved gliders. I had to get in a plank and pull my legs into my chest with the gliders under my feet. Then walk with my hands back into a plank and so on across the basketball court. It was extremely hard at that time. I’m not going to say that doing that same thing is easy now, but I can definitely see a change in my strength and endurance now compared to when I first began.”
As far as future fitness goals, Douglas wants to keep exercising and using The Rush Fitness Complex “I really just want to stay on the track that I am on and move forward even faster. I would like to continue to tone up my body and increase my strength.
“I didn’t work out at all. I didn’t do anything. It’s worked into my lifestyle now. You make changes and they all compliment each other.”
How can you get members plugged into different areas of your gym? Douglas began with a personal trainer, moved on to some small group training and even tried some Group X classes. Your staff should be working to integrate members into as many areas as possible at your club. Members, especially those that have never been to a gym before, don’t know what they are missing. Your potential members need you to show them! -CS
By Ali Cicerchi