Member blogger Kathleen Bush recently observed Midtown’s hottest new class, MXT Heat, and shares her experience with you.
“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.
The Evolution of Heat
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.
“Hate Me Now, Love Me Later.”
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.
Motivation on Tap
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.
The Science Behind MXT
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 Hermann reflects on the fresh beginnings a new year brings and how Midtown can help you achieve your 2012 fitness goals.
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
We tend to loosen our belts this time of year, figuratively, and sometimes literally.
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.
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 Yogawith Susan S: Cultivate thankfulness and experience the sweetness gratitude brings.
Turkey Burn PilatesMat 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.
On Friday, November 25th, all regularly scheduled Group Exercise classes will be held. In the past, we’ve cancelled the 6am Cycle Express class, but not this year. So instead of shopping, come work out.
You’ve seen the in-club poster. You’ve read about the event on Facebook. You’ve seen the YouTube video.
This post is not about the buzz surrounding our Ultimate Xtreme Challenge on Saturday, September 17th.
It’s about the little boy whose memory we’re honoring. It’s about the Midtown family coming together to help the foundation created by one of our own. It’s about directing the love of a good challenge toward something wonderful.
Member Kathleen Hermann talks about giving back, pushing hard, and making a difference.
Studies have shown that people who give –whether in the form of time, money, or support – are more satisfied with their lives. In fact, one of the best ways to overcome stress is to do something that helps someone else.
This is why I am so excited to participate in the club’s Ultimate Xtreme Challenge on Saturday. To have the chance to give back to a very worthy cause (and knowing that 100% of the proceeds go directly to that cause) while doing something that provides a hefty mental and physical challenge is a win/win situation.
We all like to make a difference. Giving feels good – especially when you are able to give back to yourself along with it. Proceeds from this event will benefit “Crosby’s Fund.” Crosby was a courageous toddler who fought through a disease no child should ever have to experience – a rare form of childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma, which affects the sympathetic nervous system. All who knew Crosby were touched by his life and inspired by the bravery and strength demonstrated by someone so young.
Crosby’s family has belonged to the club for many years.
This event is about the Midtown community, and Crosby’s community of family and friends, coming together to support a cause greater than ourselves.
Crosby’s Fund was created through The Wish List Society, a group of young professionals who support the Wilmot Cancer Center. The Wish List Society’s new mission is to create a research grant for pediatric cancer research, which they’ve named Crosby’s fund.
The challenge itself is a training course where members and guests push our limits at different stations to accomplish as many reps as possible in a set period of time. Although there are awards for the top three males and females (calculated by points earned at each station), everyone truly wins, as the challenge is a personal one.
Fun and food will follow the event. However, those with busy schedules, take note. The challenge will not take you four hours to complete. The hours are set between 8:45am and 12:45pm, which is really just a window of time during which, at any time you choose, you can complete all the stations. The harder you push, the sooner you’ll complete the challenge.
Marathon great Hal Higdon once said, “Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring at the specter of self-doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside you, if you look closely enough.”
His words apply to this challenge in many ways.
They apply to Crosby, who endured with bravery and spirit a disease that waged war on his young body. His words apply to Crosby’s family and friends, who grieve their loss of Crosby’s time on Earth and are using their pain to raise funds that help all childhood cancer patients.
And they apply to many of us, who on our personal journeys to fitness often need to test our limits to remember how strong we really are.
It’s not too late to sign up for this exciting event by calling the front desk at 461-2300.
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