Midtown Invests in Group Training with New Hire
Hayley Hollander, the new fitness director of Midtown Athletic Club in Bannockburn, Ill., has had a passion for fitness ever since she asked her parents for a gym membership at the young age of 15. That passion followed her to college, where Hollander pursued a degree in education in the hopes of becoming a physical education teacher.
In the process, she became certified in personal training by ACE, which put her at a crossroads. Should she pursue teaching, or begin training full time? On the heels of graduation, she chose training, taking her passion for education into the health and fitness space.
Now with 14 years of training experience under her belt, Hollander has landed at Midtown Athletic Club and plans to continue sharing her passion for fitness education within Midtown’s community. Currently, that passion is focused on Omnia, a small group training apparatus and corresponding fee-based training program, which Hollander worked on during her time at Technogym as a Master Trainer. Midtown Athletic Club plans to implement Omnia in all 10 of its clubs in 2014.
A great tool for small group training, Omnia allows personal trainers to train up to eight people at once, maximizing client interaction in the process. “[Omnia] fills the need to bring people together to share a commonality, to accomplish things, to compete and to even encourage one another,” said Hollander. “No other piece of equipment can do that.”
According to Hollander, the program has revolutionized how Midtown Athletic Club viewed and implemented small group training. “It unifies members, who would normally work side by side, to engage with one another,” she said. “I love group training. It feeds into the neuropsychology of human development.”
A Latin word, “Omnia” translates to mean “all things,” which according to Hollander, fits the equipment and program well. “It is inclusive of all movement tools and creates an environment and space that bridges the gap between a singular piece of equipment and movement interaction,” she said.
So far, Midtown Athletic Club has implemented Omnia at seven of its 10 locations to positive reviews. “People join a gym because they want to belong to something,” said Hollander. “They don’t join a gym to be by themselves, or else they’d work out at home.”
Outside of Omnia, Hollander has focused on rejuvenating Midtown Athletic Club’s youth fitness offerings. The Bannockburn club is remodeling its “Kidtown” to allow for more movement-based interaction, partnering with Pavigym to bring exergaming to kids. “Instead of going to Kidtown for essentially babysitting, we’re going to encourage movement,” said Hollander.
Group X at Midtown will receive a boost as well. Although historically, women have been primarily drawn to group exercise, Hollander hopes to encourage more male participation. “We’re bringing in new types of programs like KettleWorX, Pound and Jungshin [Fitness] to appeal to male members, and those that are already drawn to group programming.”
With a storied past centered around training education, Hollander is excited to share her past experience with Midtown Athletic Club’s trainers and members. “I’m loving it so far,” said Hollander. “It has been so rewarding.”
By Rachel Zabonick