What will 2013 look like for you?
If you want to make a commitment to a healthier you, now is the time to get a jump-start on that goal.
We’re launching a new program on January 5: the 90-Day Transformation Challenge.
It’s a team-based approach to losing weight and body fat, designed to not only change your body, but your mind as well. 10 personal trainers (Josette, Justin, Arlene, Vinny, Dina, Judy, Steve, Kevin, Dave, and Bruce) will each captain a team of 5 member participants. Your trainer will work with you both individually and within your group from January 5 through April 5.
Here’s what you can expect over the course of 90 days:
And since the program is a competition, we’ve lined up some amazing prizes for the top three male and female participants who lose the greatest percentage of body fat:
“This is an excellent opportunity to change your mind, change your body, and transform yourself,” says Vinny Mogavero, Group Personal Training Coordinator.
Here’s what you need to do.
On Saturday, 11/10, we’re placing a board listing each of the 10 teams near the trainers’ office. Sign up under the name of the trainer whose team you want to join. He or she will contact you shortly to schedule your initial fitness assessment.
Participation is limited to the first 50 members who register between November 10 and December 17. We expect this program to fill very quickly, so sign up soon.
The 90-Day Transformation Challenge will cost you just $50.
Are you ready to make 2013 your healthiest year yet? Take the first step by writing your name on that sign-up sheet tomorrow and registering at the front desk.
You won’t regret it.
“Welcome to Heat,” Vinny tells the members who are furiously pulling back on the rowing machines as the sweat hits the floor.“We’re breaking barriers here!”
MXT (Midtown Xtreme Training), the brainchild of personal trainer Vinny Mogavero, is one of the most popular classes at the club, so much so that the Saturday class had to be moved from the Group Ex Studio to the gym to accommodate it’s impressive number of participants (60 people regularly attend this MXT session). In the warmer months, the class is held on the Great Lawn on Saturdays. Watch the class in action here.
Its popularity has its roots in Vinny’s motivational style. As one who regularly takes the class, offered three times a week on Mondays at 7pm, Wednesdays at 12:15pm, and Saturday’s at 12:30, I can tell you that he makes each member feel like he or she is receiving an individual personal training session with his ability to be seemingly everywhere at once, dispensing motivation by the gallon.
Vinny recognized the need for a smaller, more intimate MXT experience, and so in February, he teamed up with trainer Dina Smock to create MXT Heat. Trainer Justin Bradt is often on hand to help too. Based on the MXT principles of high-intensity intervals, MXT Heat is limited to a maximum of 15 people, and utilizes different areas of the club, including the weight room floor, Kinesis studio, and cardio machines (similar to the areas used during a private personal training session).
The class I observe is broken up into three small groups of five members each. Each trainer is running his or her own “station.” Justin has a circuit set up on the weight room floor, Vinny mans the cardio machines, and Dina is in charge of the Kinesis studio (Kinesis is a training tool that engages muscles and movement at the same time via resistance cables). Each group moves in rotation several times among all the stations, under the watchful eye of a trainer, therefore making the class a very personal experience. I observe Justin stepping in to correct form, Vinny monitoring the numbers on each member’s cardio machine, and Dina jumping into an exercise right alongside a participant.
Despite tackling fatiguing repetitions, members are able to walk to each new station with a renewed sense of vigor. It’s obvious that MXT Heat combines the best of both worlds: You have the benefit of individual attention and focus, yet the momentum of a small group to push you forward and keep you competitive.
Make no mistake, though. This class is tough. I overhear the group members’ conversation (between heavy breaths) as they rotate from the treadmills to the Kinesis studio, congratulating each other on a job well done. One member says with a laugh, “Man, I hate Vinny!”
This is a sentiment shared by both his clients and his MXT family, and Vinny embraces it. He believes if you aren’t hating him, he’s not doing his job. “Hate me now, love me later!” is something he always tells his classes. And as the class ends with 15 exhausted members, trust me. The Vinny-love is not running over.
But later on, I overhear class members singing his praises. They are reaching new heights of fitness they never would have achieved on their own.
Vinny’s gift is in dispensing motivation, and in MXT Heat he has the ability to direct it to class members individually. As each participant is outfitted with a heart rate monitor, he is able to monitor their effort level and encourage them to step it up a notch, while confidently assuring them that they can do it.
Dina is equally motivational. She reassures the group entering the Kinesis studio rotation that “I’m not as mean as Vinny!” Maybe so, but I notice her energy level is certainly as high. She sprints through the rotation, demonstrating each unique exercise, which is performed during a one-minute interval, and immediately gets the class moving. Then she is everywhere – bouncing from person to person on each Kinesis “module,” hopping in with them, and encouraging them. “You’re out of here in 30 seconds!” she yells out, and participants kick up their effort a notch higher.
Justin Bradt, whose strength is inspiring, has a full-body weight circuit set up at his station. He keeps a careful eye on form as they perform different exercises with the kettlebells, medicine balls, and battle ropes. “This is your halfway point!” he yells to the tired group, before correcting a member’s kettlebell swing.
Between Vinny’s cardio, Justin’s weights, and Dina’s Kinesis and core work, class members are getting an amazing, calorie- blasting workout.
Science backs up the principles on which MXT is based. High-intensity interval training quickly produces noticeable results, and is proven to be one of the most beneficial forms of training and exercise. Heat participants are pushing beyond their comfort zones, exceeding personal limits, and transforming their bodies. This kind of change does not come easily, and it is very hard to achieve by yourself.
As the participants are sprinting on an incline on their treadmills, Vinny begins his infamous”countdown,” meaning he has you working at your maximum, but then demands you push it even further past that point for the final ten seconds. Thinking you were at your absolute limit and then “discovering” that secret reserve deep inside of you for a final push does wonders for your confidence and strength.
At the end of the hour session, the class gathers in the Kinesis studio for a quick cool down and stretch. The air is charged with positive energy and satisfaction. The Heat participants were an even mix of men and women, ages 20 to 50, and all told me they are already hooked on the class. In just a few short weeks, they have seen results and they are hungry for more. They are able to emerge with a badge of honor by having pushed their limits and come out on the other side.
MXT Heat takes place on Fridays, from 12-1pm. The cost is $26/class, and you can register by calling Vinny at 461-2301, ext. 272 or Dina at ext. 125.
And starting next week, the club is adding two more days of MXT Heat: Wednesdays from 7-8pm and Saturdays from 8:30-9:30am.
Have you tried MXT Heat? Please leave a comment and share your experience with us.
Member Blogger Kathleen Bush sits down with Certified Running Coach and Cycling Instructor Extraordinaire Missy Witte to talk about her new running program, yoga, and how she stays motivated to set and reach her fitness goals.
Randy Pausch, motivational speaker and author of “The Last Lecture,” once said, “You have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore.”
This quote, a favorite of Midtown Cycling Instructor and Running Coach Missy Witte, an obvious “Tigger,” has served as both her mantra and approach to life.
If Missy’s energy came in a bottle, everyone would want to drink it. As a role model for a healthy lifestyle for both her clients and her three active, young children, Missy’s genuine desire to help others achieve their fitness goals is obvious by both her work and positive demeanor.
Although perhaps best known for her invigorating cycle interval workouts, cycling is not Missy’s first workout of choice.
“Running is my true love,” she explains. “I have a good base, a good background. I have run eleven marathons to date. I’m definitely looking for more.” Missy is so passionate about running that she obtained her running coach certification. Her new running program launches this week.
Training New Runners and Seasoned Race Veterans
Missy’s putting her Certified Running Coach credentials to work in getting the club’s running program off the ground.
“There are three ways to work with me. For private or group training, you’ll run with me and/or a group of other Midtown runners of similar ability. You’ll also have one hour per week of endurance and/or strength training with me, in addition to training tips or support.”
Members who have enrolled in the running program communicate with Missy at least three times a week, and on Sunday, each person receives a personalized training plan for the upcoming week.
There is also coach-only training, with all the benefits of the private or group options, minus the hour-long training sessions.
The program is for runners at all levels, and for those who want to begin running. “Anyone can do this,” Missy explains. “It is a very open, friendly program. Whether you just want to be able to run a mile, or run your first race, or you are a veteran chasing a PR – this program can help you.”
This is Not Your Cookie-Cutter Program
“I’ve had a ton of success with one-on-one tailored programs,” Missy says. “The new running program I’ve created is not a cookie-cutter program you could find on the Internet. Following one of these doesn’t make sense. It’s like ripping a fad diet out of a magazine. It won’t work.”
Pointing out the benefits of training with a coach, she says, “I get feedback from my runners about their bodies and progress and I adapt it to meet their needs. It is very much about what works for you, and not what your friend is doing.”
Best of all? Accountability. “If I’m not hearing from you, you’re hearing from me,” says Missy.
Missy has always set goals and worked to achieve them. “I do a ton of visualizing,” she explains. “As I approach 40, I don’t want to give up doing what I love.” To those trying to stick with a fitness commitment, she offers this piece of advice: “The hardest part is making the decision to just go. Then the rest takes care of itself.”
How a Runner Became a Yogi
To help rehab a potentially debilitating muscle tear, Missy turned to yoga. “If you can find time to do one extra thing, make it yoga,” she says. “Before I started yoga, I thought, ‘Oh, that’s not for me. I need adrenaline. I need to sweat.’ But trust me, you will sweat. What a workout. I haven’t had to go back to the weight room since.” Her orthopedic doctor, also a marathon runner, was blown away by Missy’s increased flexibility and her rehabilitation after she began practicing yoga. She acknowledges, “If I can extend my running into my 70s, this is how I will be able to do it.”
What’s In Missy’s Kitchen?
Missy is quick to share her top foods. “Greek yogurt. My kids like it too – they say ‘Mom, this tastes like ice cream!’ Also I love Kashi cereal. I mix it in yogurt for texture.”
She also adds that she has a stash of dark chocolate hidden away, and a supply of fresh strawberries and blueberries are always in her fridge. She and her family also eat a lot of chicken for protein.
Some might be surprised to learn that Missy had a lucrative pharmaceutical sales job, which she left after the birth of her first son in order to obtain her certifications and pursue a fitness career. “I moved toward something that I really, really loved.”
And she never looked back.
For more information on Missy’s running program, which can help you start running, train for your first race, or PR your 50th, contact her at email@example.com or 461-2300, ext. 324.
While I haven’t set New Year’s resolutions for years, I periodically take stock of where things are and where I’d like things to go.
As adults, we feel that twinge of time passing. There is always more we want to experience and accomplish. New Year’s is momentous as it reminds us of the value of time. It is a point to remind ourselves that there is never a better time to act than the present.
Whether your fitness goals for yourself are to walk a mile or to establish a new personal best in the marathon, the club has the necessary tools for success. These tools come in the form of the facility itself, and also in the form of the network of people and professionals that work within it.
If 2012 is your year to finally achieve well-rounded fitness, you have unlimited options at Midtown.
Maybe you have a great physique and excel at swimming and cycling, but still find yourself often stressed and hurried. Try expanding into the peaceful, regenerative world of yoga and meditation. Perhaps you love the inner strength yoga has added to your life, but still find yourself slowed by extra weight. Try adding a cardio class to your routine.
Need help getting started? The club has a packed January schedule filled with events and classes specifically designed to help you kick-start all your goals.
Pick something that works for you and mark it on your calendar!
1. Intro and Launch Classes
If you are expanding your routine, or just beginning your fitness journey, but are intimidated to walk into a weekly group class, start with one of the many complimentary Intro classes Midtown offers in January. You’ll learn everything you need to know, as well as proper setup and technique.
Intro to Cycle: Wednesday, January 3, 7:00 – 7:45 pm
Intro to Group Power: Saturday, January 7, 8:00-9:00 am
Intro to Zumba: Sunday, January 15, 2:00-2:45 pm
The Launch classes introduce the new quarterly series of Group Step and Group Power.
Group Step Launch: Saturday, January 21, 9:30-10:30 am
Group Power Launch: Saturday, January 21, 11:00am – noon
2. Yoga and Meditation Classes
Bring balance to your life by trying these Mind/Body classes.
Sunday Afternoon Meditation with Suzanne: Sunday, January 8, 4:45-5:45pm
An Evening of Restorative Yoga: Friday, January 27 6:30-8:00 pm
3. A Proper Goodbye to 2011
What better way to end the year than with a great workout and drinks afterward to celebrate!
Boot Camp and Mimosas with Trainers Justin and Steve: Saturday, December 31, 8:45-9:45am
4. A Fresh Start on New Year’s Day
Kick off the New Year’s right with our packed New Year’s Day class schedule.
No matter what your fitness resolution is, Midtown will be there to help you achieve your goals.
Here’s to a healthy 2012!
Maybe we skip a planned workout. Maybe we indulge too heavily at a holiday party. Maybe we have three calorie-laden drinks when we really should have one.
These practices are common. We’re only human. But if you’re looking to kick off the official holiday season on Thanksgiving Day with some pre-caloric burn, there’s no better place to be than Midtown. The club is open from 7am until 2pm. Kidtown is open from 8:30am to 2pm.
Here’s our action-packed schedule for Turkey Day:
Bootcamp with Steve: Mr. Early Morning Bootcamp will lead you through a hardcore workout before the afternoon feast.
Thanks for Giving Power Vinyasa Yoga with Randi and Karyn: A hot and sweaty class of giving and gratitude. Held each year to benefit Bivona Child Advocacy Center, we would greatly appreciate monetary donations.
“It’s a Party” Group Power & Zumba: Rev up your Thanksgiving morning with 50 minutes of Group Power to various party theme songs, followed by Zumba with our awesome instructors.
Feeling Grateful Vinyasa Yoga with Susan S: Cultivate thankfulness and experience the sweetness gratitude brings.
Turkey Burn Pilates Mat with Kathy: Strengthen your core and feel the pre-turkey burn.
Pre -Turkey Burn with Missy: 90 minutes on the Keiser bikes increasing watts (or power) by combining resistance (gears) and speed (RPMs). Missy created the playlist for this class entirely from member requests. Work hard and have a blast doing it.
Thanksgiving Ride with Doug H.: An all-terrain cycle class guaranteed to make you sweat.
Turkey Cardio Tennis: Our tennis pros will bring on the burn as you enjoy the fast-paced drills and games of Cardio Tennis before the big feast. All skill levels are welcome. 100% of your $20 donation will benefit The Open Door Mission, and as our way of saying “thank you” for giving, we’ll provide you with a free Cardio Tennis Class.
Tough Turkey Team Obstacle Course with Tim and Vinny: Join us this Thanksgiving for an extreme obstacle course unlike any other. It will be tough. It will be cold. You will get wet. You’ll earn your Turkey before your in-laws wake up, without a doubt. Our Facebook page has all the details. Limited to the first 30 signups, so register soon!
Want to know what to wear? You won’t be able to pick up or abandon clothing during the race. So, if you want goggles in the pool, you should be wearing them at the start. If you want sneakers on the mud course, they’re going with you into the pool. Stay lightweight but prepare for some cooler weather (mid-40s). Compression tops and bottoms, light sneakers, and maybe some gloves will serve you well.
What are your Thanksgiving fitness plans?
MXT (Midtown Xtreme Training) has fast become one of the club’s most popular classes.
Part of the reason is the class itself. It’s physically demanding but not impossible for those in relatively decent shape. It includes a great mix of exercises and equipment and it changes all the time, so it never gets boring.
But a big part of the class’s success is because of trainer Vinny Mogavero, the creative force behind MXT.
Vinny’s teaching style, unwavering encouragement, and propensity for keeping the class fresh and interesting makes the class wildly popular and has members singing his praises.
MXT doesn’t have participants. It has disciples.
One such disciple is member Kathleen Hermann, who credits MXT and Vinny with changing her life and her body.
This is her story of MXT on the Great Lawn.
Like many, I read the MXT class description, deemed it harmless, and walked into my first class unprepared.
I snuck out halfway through class, thinking, “What was that?!” I should have paid attention to the “Xtreme”" part.
And yet, I came back. Again…and again..and again. You could say I’m addicted now, and there are many more like me who have been taking MXT even longer. You won’t be able to guess an MXT fanatic by age, sex, weight, or body type. The class represents a cross-section of all groups. All you really need to survive in MXT is the desire to get better, faster, and stronger, and the willingness to push yourself to the limit to achieve those goals. I have been trying to go to MXT three times a week, but I especially love the outdoor classes on the Great Lawn.
1) Vinny is a miracle worker in dispensing motivation. No matter the group size (which is often large as the class gets more popular), he will make you feel as if you are getting a private training session. He is everywhere, running from one station to the next, correcting form, yelling out encouragement, and jumping into the exercises with people. In fact, sometimes (for example, when you are flipping over a huge tractor tire), you may even hope he is not watching, as you stand back to take another break.
But before you can pause, there he is, right up next to you with words of encouragement. He always manages to be everywhere at once. He does such a good job that I almost feel like I should be paying him a personal training fee for the class.
2) There is a difference between yelling and encouragement. Don’t be scared to try the class because you think you will be ridiculed in front of everyone. Vinny doens’t do this, but he isn’t soft either. He doesn’t mind if you have to drop to your knees during a push-up exercise or modify a different activity as long as he can see you are trying your hardest. In fact, he often reminds us to not worry about what everyone else is doing and just work on doing the best that we can as individuals.
He will point out that what we think is the best we can do is often not; that we usually have a little more in us, and it is through pushing that tiny bit extra that we will see results. He will help push you to that point, beyond your perceived limits.
3) There are different props used throughout class, including body bars and kettlebells, along with a lot of body weight resistant movements. I’m pretty uncoordinated, so I was pleased to find there are no complicated choreographed moves to follow. In the outdoor class, fun things are added like huge ropes and tires, and we even use the ramp leading down to the Great Lawn. Don’t fear the kettlebells. Vinny will demonstrate the movements and help you if you feel lost.
4) MXT will not allow your body to “adapt” because every class is different. The exercises are never completed in the same order and the activities change class to class. You never know what will be thrown at you next.
On the Great Lawn, stations are set up and you move through them as a small group. This allows you to bond with your groupmates. There is something about mutual suffering that can really create a friendship between people.
However, there is little chit-chat during class. There is just not enough oxygen for it. But there areshared looks of understanding and soft utterings of, “I can’t believe I just did that.”
5) There is something motivating about exercising outdoors. There is plenty of room, allowing for activites that would be impossible indoors, such as sprinting or tire-flipping. On hot days, the club provides towels and water. With the heatwave of two weeks ago, temperatures were brutal, and the club provides huge buckets of ice for chilling our towels in, as well as complimentary sports drinks on ice. There is also a great stereo system that you can hear on all parts of the lawn.
6) You will see results. I am actually starting to see defined abs, something I thought had long vanished following two pregnancies. You will feel stronger, and fitter, and faster. You may find yourself standing in front of the bathroom mirror and flexing or doing a little dance before getting in the shower. Or maybe that’s just me.
7) Vinny reminds us that we are, indeed, strong enough. Before MXT, it had been awhile since I had crossed my own personal red line. I went up to it, brushed against it, and maybe peeked over, but then I backed off.
Now, I sprint over it, and then add a mile more.
Vinny reminds us that in order to achieve real results, we need to stop shying away from lactic acid and burning lungs. Only when we embrace fatigue and get intimate with it can we rise to another level. MXT is definitely about pushing limits, whether those limits are real or imagined. I think that is Vinny’s goal, as he often reminds us of this when we’re at the point of collapse and just want to stop. Here, Vinny tells us, “This is where it counts.”
But for me, the best part about MXT is not the feelings of suffering and resistance as I push it out, but the feeling that soars through me when I realize, “I’ve got this.”
MXT runs on Mondays (outside, weather permitting) from 6:15-7:15pm, 12:15-1:15pm on Wednesdays (Group Ex Studio), and 12:30-1:30pm on Saturdays (Group Ex Studio).
Have you taken MXT on the Great Lawn? What do you think of the class?