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The “New” Health Club

We created As One because we recognized a growing trend in the fitness industry. Several unique dynamics were happening in the fitness community.

The fitness craze started to take shape at its current participation rates in the late 60’s and early 70’s. You had a population that was moving farther and farther away from physical activity as technological advances reduced the physical demands of daily life. At the same time eating habits mimic that of an affluent nation with large portions of calorically dense foods which in the rest of the world were only consumed by the elite and wealthy. So, America started to experience not only a heavier and less active population but one that started to suffer diseases that other countries that were eating healthier and maintaining a more active life were not.

But due to lack of knowledge, apathy, laziness, and commercial success America was fed a bunch of misleading information from stating squats were bad for your knees (squats are great for the knees it’s the quality of squat that is bad) to moderate aerobic training is all that is needed to improve fitness. What it would take to change the body and what effort was necessary to keep it fit and healthy were lost but to a small population. If our lifestyles reverted back to the need for more physical activity just to exist that would be a different story.

Before the fitness craze of the late 60’s and early 70’s, if you went to a “health club” you would find a small number of people but all of them trained hard – they worked at intensity levels that were necessary to change their bodies. Once the craze hit and people realized that they could make money by perpetuating the notion that just showing up is good. So you have nautilus circuits that last 15 minutes, slow jogs of 3-5 miles, fat-free foods, sugar-free foods, ab rollers, 10 minute videos, etc. Everything possible to help you not work during your work out! The NIH will eventually recommend that everyone get 30 minutes of moderate exercise everyday of the week (I personally believe this is not enough) and yet you have facilities promoting a 30 minute workout once a week is enough! Human nature is to find the path of least resistance and our current eating and exercise habits demonstrate this with a population that is 66% overweight or obese! What does it take to truly change your body and make it strong – that is a long answer but suffice it to say you will have to work hard regularly and what does it mean to work hard – whatever is necessary to continually improve your current fitness level and counteract lifestyle and technological advances!

Go to any health club and you will find all of the cardio machines being utilized with people hanging on to the handles and everyone is watching TV, listening to music and reading a magazine. If your doing all that you are not focusing on the effort required and by the way almost all of these are non-impact, in other words they don’t work the muscles in relation to the moving the body against gravity.

Then when people hire trainers, the sessions are more about talking or emotional therapy or what new exercise the trainer has learned than what effort level needs to be approached with ground based multi-joint exercises to changes the body’s systems in order to affect a change in the individuals. Also, the trainer client relationship becomes “friendly” and the tension necessary to keep an individual pushing is missing and therefore the session becomes about rapport rather than training. But the blame does not lie only with the trainers but with the meteoric rise of personal training in the 90’s. Bodies were needed so all that was required was a test and a certification and you could become a trainer. The other side of the equation is the group fitness class, where one instructor is watching over upwards of 50 individuals. It’s too difficult to maintain quality of action and attention to intensity in a class of that size so the individual is lost, and once again the instructor typically does not have the skills and education necessary to cue individuals on that scale in proper movement patterns.

So what we have is an industry that is supporting an ineffective method of fitness and change and a population who can’t figure out why they are not getting any healthier and why they keep gaining weight even though they are “going to the gym”.

So what has happened is the move away from the health club of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s where it was a one stop shop and to smaller “boutiquie” facilities ran by career professionals with significant training and experience.

Enter the new era – without clearly understanding why people have gravitated away from the big health club and have sought out enclaves that can provide them specifically what they are looking for yielding results that are immediate and quantitative and under the guidance of highly qualified individuals.

The fitness industry has only certifications to qualify people to be trainers, instructors and coaches – this leaves a large percentage of instructors without the where withal to effectively help and guide people to a more healthy life.

So what you see now, albeit at a small level but due to increase in the near future, is the rise of the studio. Google fitness studios and you will find numerous small places that operate with a small instructor base.

Pilates, yoga, body rolling, spinning, pole dancing, cross fit, boot camps – now most of these are moving to larger and larger groups which is different from As One.

As One is unique and revolutionary – we are not a boot camp because our exercise selections are the basic full body exercises that are taught and are held to high standards of performance. Movement patterns must be successful before reps, sets and loads are increased. We are not a spin class because we train the big three – strength, cardiovascular, flexibility with quantifiable performance, you know that you are getting more fit, stronger, etc. because the test is the workout. We are not strictly a strength class because we use interval training with rhythmic steady state exercises. Our workouts are designed to be the cornerstone to any fitness training program. You will get stronger, increase work capacity, and improve flexibility and body awareness through our training program. Our programs build upon each other, we reassess training programs by looking at the collective needs of our clientele. We are able to change metabolism, increase strength, improve cardiovascular performance, work capacity, flexibility, neuromuscular coordination, body awareness, etc. at minimal risk! High intensity does not mean high risk in our facility, where that is not the case in other programs. We hold to the small class design and will not “pack them in” in order to raise revenues.

That is why we designed As One. To educate people on what it takes, to discover intensity, to mentally strengthen ourselves to counter act our current concepts on how to eat and exercise.