2010 is coming to a close. Newspapers are printing their “Best of” and “Worst of” lists, Time has named its Person of the Year, Merriam-Webster has selected “austerity” as its Word of the Year (no surprise there), and people everywhere are reflecting on the year’s top stories.
I thought Midtown should get in on the action, so here are some of the club’s 2010′s highlights:
Kettlebells arrived at Midtown and have quickly become one of the more popular training methods. Kettlebells are being used in two of the new Group Exercise Classes: MXT(Midtown Xtreme Training) and Triple Fusion, which start in January. Check out the new class schedule and give them a try.
Personal Trainer, Psyclewerks superstar, and Group Cycle instructor Doug Rusho was named the Top Male Indoor Cycling Instructor in the nation. Doug won a Keiser M3 Stationary Power Bike (just like those in the Cycling Room). He also taught a class at the Indoor Cycle Instructor PRO Conference in Boston in October.
Personal Trainers Steve Lopes and Bruce Hedlund launched their new S.E.A.L. (Strength, Endurance, Agility, and Life) small Group Training Program this past summer. The class had a total of 16 participants and is running again in January.
Early this month, group exercise instructors underwent Keiser cycle educational training to better acquaint them with using the new M3 bikes, which are the same ones used in Doug Rusho’s Psyclewerksprogram. The bikes have only been in the club for a few week, and positive member feedback has been phenomenal.
In addition to MXT and Triple Fusion, two other new classes have hit the schedule: Cardio Aerobics, a fun cardio calorie-burner aerobics class for all fitness levels, which may include strength-training and abs, and Sports Conditioning, a challenging, fun class, which used various non-choreographed strength and conditioning drills to improve flexibility, mobility, strength, and conditioning level.
The new schedule also includes two evening Cycle Express classes, and a Saturday Spinyasa class.
Camp Midtown had huge participation numbers throughout the entire season.
The Midtown Currents Swim Team came in 3rd overall in the RPSL Championships (14 teams) with the younger swimmers winning their respective age groups. In two years, the team plans on being the fastest summer swim team in Rochester. Of course, it’s already the most fun.
The USTA recognized Midtown as a pioneer in the field of 10 and Under Tennis, and an industry leader in adapting to the needs of younger players and helping them to hone their technique. This recognition came after the USTA set in place new rules for teaching tennis to kids, all of which Midtown has been implementing for years.
Camp attendance continues to increase, and whenever there is a school holiday, parents have come to rely on Camp Kidtown as a place for younger children to have a blast in a creative, active, and fun atmosphere.
As for me, the year has been a mixed bag. I’m wrapping up my first year as a member, and I have nothing but positive things to say about my member experience. That’s the good.
The bad? Well, the Rochester Half-Marathon I spent months training for in the spring and summer never happened. Sidelined by a double calf strain, I enjoyed a pity party for one on a weight bench in the club as I watched the clock tick over to 7:45am on September 12th, the time the race was beginning.
However, eight sessions of ART (Active Release Technique) in the fall, followed by a strict regime of stretching put me back in the running business. And I plan on rocking the Flower City Half-Marathon on May 1st of next year.
2010 also marked the debut of this blog and the re-launch of the Midtown RochesterFacebook page.
What have you liked about the posts I’ve run on Meet Me at Midtown? What haven’t you liked? What would you like to see more of, or less of?
We also want the club’s Facebook page to be as useful for you as possible, so please let us know what you’ve liked and haven’t liked, or would like to see more of on Facebook as well.
One current Midtown member who submits their feedback in the Comments section or emails it to me at email@example.com will win this high-quality Midtown Sports Bag!
I will select one winner via Random.org on Tuesday, January 4th, at 5pm, and post the name of the winner on our Facebook page and here on the blog on January 5th.
It’s the last “Ask the Trainer” post for the year, and Kim Myga is answering your questions this month.
Kim began her career in the fitness field nine years ago after working for many years as a nanny to four children. She was inspired to enter the field after creating workouts and dietary guidelines for a diabetic friend, who after months of following Kim’s protocol, was taken off her diabetes medication.
In addition to training, Kim is also passionate about Pilates and teaches classes as well.
Reader Question: I read somewhere that the metabolic benefit of exercising in the morning or the evening depended upon your body weight. Is this true? What are the benefits of morning vs. evening cardio workouts?
Kim: I haven’t read any evidence that supports this. As for what time to do cardio workouts, keep in mind that it’s consistency and completion that’s most important. Your training needs to involve a routine that works for you. If you have more energy in the morning, get it done early. Just be sure to eat something before. If you’re an evening person, train later. Exercise does help with achieving better sleep; however make sure you leave enough time for the body to settle before going to bed.
Reader Question: I’m finding it difficult to find enough time to do cardio, weight training, and stretching/relaxation exercises each week during this busy holiday season. Is there a particular class or group of classes that you could recommend that would incorporate all these activities?
Kim: First, pencil yourself into your schedule. Just as you may plan a lunch date, plan a workout. Fortunately, we offer a variety of classes that combine activities. These include Spinyassa, Cardio Strength Conditioning, boot camps, Total Body Conditioning, Cardio Kickboxing and more. Or, treat yourself this holiday and check out our 30-minute classes, which include Kinesis and Pilates.
Reader Question: I have no fewer than 12 holiday parties to attend in the next month. Weight management is high on my list of priorities, and I don’t want to backslide (I’ve lost 30 pounds this year). Besides the usual advice of never going to a party hungry and not overdoing the alcohol, how can I make certain I don’t have 10 pounds to lose in January?
Kim: Weight management and mingling this time of year can be challenging. Try scheduling a complementary fitness evaluation so you are aware of your current progress. Then, write down your goals and read them daily. Stay focused and enjoy the company of your family and friends more than the cocktails and dinners.
Reader Question: My 14-year-old daughter is overweight and her pediatrician has encouraged me to assist her with healthy eating and exercise. I am cooking more healthfully at home, but what do you recommend in terms of exercise? Are there any machines she can safely use at the club?
Kim: It’s so important to teach children a healthy lifestyle, including nutrition and exercise. Midtown offers a “Teen Permit.” This includes a free orientation with a fitness professional. He/she will teach your child how to use the equipment safely. Also, check the schedule for kids after school classes as well. They are interactive, motivational, and fun.
Reader Question: I have friends who use Hydroxycut for weight loss. I know it’s dangerous, but I have to admit that they look pretty good. What is your professional opinion on using it?
Kim: It sounds like you’ve answered your own question. Your body is an incredible machine. Use your body and your mind to achieve your fitness goals. That’s all you need.
Reader Question: I have used a particular Midtown trainer a few times now to develop new weight-training programs. I have been very pleased, but I am starting to see some repetition in the programs and am considering trying a different trainer to change things up. Is this considered poor form? I don’t want to offend the original trainer but I also want to get the most out of my sessions.
Kim: Your trainer shouldn’t feel offended. I believe it’s important to have variety. Personally, I like my clients to work with other trainers when I’m out of town. Each trainer has different knowledge and skill sets. We can all learn from each other. I do advise you to speak with your current trainer before working with someone new. As a trainer, we want all of our members to get the most out of their sessions. Your goals are our goals too.
Thank you, Kim!
Do you have a question for one of the trainers? Post your question as a comment to this post, or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you email the question, I will ask it anonymously on your behalf, and post the question and answer (but not your name) on the next “Ask the Trainer” post. You do not need to be a member to ask a question.
Winters in Rochester can seem endless. The good news, though, is that beauty up there is opening up again in four short months.
And the club is hard at work using the off-season to make next year’s pool season the best one yet.
When the pool closed at the end of October, Tim Auerhahn, Aquatics Director, hosted a “Lap Swimmers’ Breakfast” to solicit feedback from the 2010 pool season. Tim said he received some great ideas, which he plans on discussing with others at the club over the next four months.
Here are a few of his favorite member suggestions to improve swimming at the club:
Get a covered area by the hot tub for towels in the winter.
Add electrical outlets around the pool deck for sun bathers with electronic devices.
Have the lifeguards do more “foot patrols.”
Install air conditioning in the poolside bathrooms and clean them more regularly.
Play more fun pool music, and less country!
Have Dive-In Movies for adults.
Run free clinics for flip turns and stroke techniques
Do you have any suggestions for improving the pool or outdoor facilities? Share them here, or email them to email@example.com.
A childhood illness kept me indoors for most of my elementary school years. I read. I wrote stories. But I missed the chance to experience the thrill, camaraderie, and teamwork of organized sports.
As a mom, I want for my children what I missed. And because “Midtown” and “Tennis” go together like “Snow” and “Rochester,” I thought this would be the perfect place to start their experience with sports.
In September, my four-year-old daughter entered the phenomenal Junior Tennis program. Peggy Schuster coached her Level 7 group lessons, designed for the preschool set.
Her nine-week lesson experience was, in a word, awesome. So much so that she’s now several weeks into another session of lessons.
Want to know why her lessons rocked?
Here are 7 Things You Need to Know About Level 7 Tennis at Midtown
1. The Lessons are 110% Designed Around Fun
Don’t get me wrong. The kids are learning the fundamentals of the game, including how to hold the racket, the different parts of the court, and how to correctly position their fidgety little bodies, but everything Coach Peggy does with the kids is centered around them having a blast. The drills have kid-friendly names, incorporate fun props like plastic dome hats to help with balance and cones for catching balls. The lessons are designed to teach kids how to play via a series of creative games.
2. Peggy Schuster has the Patience of a Saint
Trust me on this one. I’m Catholic and I know my saints. Level 7 tennis is for 3-and-4-year-olds, hardly the most attentive, easily directed, and focused age group to work with. But Peggy is the picture of patience. Sometimes the kids, my daughter included, are silly, goofy, and distracted. Peggy never loses her cool, talks to them on their level, and through some form of magical tennis pro power is able to bring them back into the lesson with a smoothness and ease she should package onto a DVD and sell for $29.99 to parents of preschoolers everywhere.
3. Your Child is Made to Feel Important and Safe
My daughter had a great start to her lessons. She went to the first two excited, happy, and fully engaged. And then something went awry in her little brain.
Suddenly, she no longer wanted to go to her lessons. She cried after walking onto the court for the third lesson. We had to leave. She refused to get into the car to go to her fourth lesson. She never gave a reason for not wanting to go. After a two-week hiatus, she agreed to return.
Coach Peggy welcomed her back. She placed a mesh dot used in some of the drills in one corner of the court and told my daughter that that was her safe place. If she was worried or felt sad, she could go to that dot and feel safe. She never needed to use the dot, but the special attention Coach Peggy paid my daughter made a difference. She finished out the remaining five weeks of lessons without feeling upset again.
4. Lots of Effort is Invested in Planning the Lessons
My daughter is only four, so I don’t yet have a lot of experience with organized sports lessons or practices. But if they’re all organized and executed like the junior tennis lessons at the club, I would be thrilled. It’s obvious that Peggy invests a lot of time into planning the lessons. The energy level is always high. The kids are constantly moving, and one game or drill is always followed quickly by the next, to minimize distraction and keep the kids engaged.
5. Creative Drills Turn Lessons Into Games
All the warm-up activities and drills have great names such as “Sharks in the Water,” a balance drill where rackets placed in center court are the “sharks” and the kids follow Coach Peggy along the lines with small plastic domes on their heads and attempt to stay out of the “water”). Other fun drills include “Lobster Claws,” “Cleaning House,” and “Spaghetti and Meatballs.”
The kids also run obstacle courses designed to practice split steps and correct body positioning.
6. Teamwork is Tops
While my daughter has attended camps and classes before, this is her first foray into sports lessons. Coach Peggy places a lot of emphasis on teamwork, a new concept for my four-year-old. The kids are often paired together for drills, they gather in a group to go over new games, and they always form a team huddle together at the end of each lesson, where the kids place their hands in a pile, one kid chooses “the word of the day,” and they shout, ”1-2-3 snowflakes” (or “ice cream” or “Superman”, etc.).
7. Your Child Will Improve
I will admit to being a skeptic about this one. My daughter would much rather glue macaroni to sheets of construction paper than race her bike down the street. She was not enrolled in Soccer for Babies. She’s not a natural athlete.
But she’s now able to hit the ball on a bounce. She can engage in a short rally with another player, and she knows the “ready” position. Her balance and agility are greater than when she started, and she’s able to keep her body positioned correctly most of the time. I can’t wait to see what she’ll learn next.
I am very impressed with what my daughter has experienced in her lessons. It’s easy to see why Junior Tennis at Midtown is so popular. It’s a professional, creative, well-run program designed to encourage interest in a great sport. Peggy Schuster is amazing with the kids, and my daughter adores her, often bringing her pictures she’s drawn for her.
I could not have asked for a better first experience with sports for my preschooler.
Do you have kids enrolled in Junior Tennis at Midtown? What do you think of the program?
I found myself getting depressed this past week knowing our first Psyclewerx session was ending. This week’s homework focused on threshold efforts in Z3 with a strong start and finish in zone 4. It was designed to prep our athletes for the 20-minute functional threshold post-power test. I was told it was the hardest yet, despite my aim to make it a little shorter and easier.
Before class started I could sense a lot of nervous energy around the room, because, after all, it was test day. My daughter Hannah was present making sure everyone’s water was up to par. I kept the warm-up protocol and the test exactly the same as the first test class.
I also used the same music to keep things as consistent as possible. The class settled down after our 15-minute warm-up and I could sense a change. People were less anxious and ready to go. I gave some last-minute pacing strategy advice and they were off. I think a few athletes were almost too excited as I could hear very heavy breathing after only 90 seconds. From there things settled down and they established a rhythm.
At the halfway point, we even heard some team encouragement, and it wasn’t coming from me. By the time we hit 15 minutes, everyone was in tune with their efforts and they crushed the last 5 minutes. New scores were recorded and collected as everyone recovered.
We started the celebration with a few uplifting songs like Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” and “Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine. We finished our final effort and the room just naturally filled with applause and cheering. I can honestly say I have never heard that kind of warm, fulfilling reception after any cycling class.
Everyone was very proud of what they accomplished and experienced together over the last 8 weeks.
I played a “danced up” version of “Listen to the Music” by the Doobie Brothers and handed out the graduation “diplomas.”
"Graduation" Diploma (w/new logo)
I will be putting together a post-grad packet including all of the previous homework assignments, bike set-up guidelines, FTP test protocol, and new power zone cards. I also am starting a power cycling workout service for those who want fresh training assignments and to continue their improvement. I hope to see my athletes out on the floor, continuing to be “power players!”
We still have a few athletes to test as one was sick and two others were out of town. Unfortunately we had 4 athletes “drop out of school.” But, on the very positive side of things, the average improvement for the whole class was 10.7%!!!!!!!!!!!
7 athletes were between 1-10%
6 were between 11-20%
and 3 between 21-40%.
I would like to thank the class for the gift and the thank you cards, and Ms. “Tabata” for the heartfelt speech. This was the debut class, and was very special to me. This program really has legs under it!
A very special team.
I would also like to thank Kristi Gaylord for giving me the opportunity to guest-post on this blog, and for editing my somewhat suspect writing skills!
I eagerly look forward to Psyclewerx 2.0, Session #2, after my wife and I settle in with our second child, who is due in a few weeks. I will immediately start collecting/editing music, and writing the next session. I don’t forsee any big changes to the program, but I have learned a few things that need to be tweaked.
If you’re interested in taking Psyclewerx the next time it’s offered, or in re-living what you’ve just finished, you can read about the past eight weeks of class here.