Monday, April 14, 2014

April Client of the Month - Gray Powers

Most guys think Barre is girly, easy and just not for them.  This month, we wanted to let you get to know one of our regular "Barre Men."  Gray Powers always comes to class with a smile and a positive attitude and we love how he, like so many other of our male members, has discovered that Barre class isn't just for the ladies.  We'll just let him tell you how it's made a difference in his outside sports and maybe you'll decide to give it a try too.
I have been a regular exerciser for a number of years, strength training twice a week and using a recumbent bike at home. I play tennis at least twice a week and am an avid golfer, hunter, camper and back packer. I used to run quite a bit but, long term, that is hard on the knees. Despite being active I still found myself slowly losing flexibility and balance. In January I was looking for something to do to to remedy the situation. I live in Lakewood and had driven by Crowbar on a number of occasions and always was a little intrigued by the idea of Barre classes but was worried that it would be beyond my abilities at my age or that it would be only women. I was curious enough to check out the website and was pleased to see that there were a variety of classes including cycling and rowing  and that there were men as well as women in all of the classes. So I thought maybe I could check the place out and take an Indo Row or CROW class and then maybe "ease into" barre and or perhaps even yoga.

I took my first Indo Row class on January 8, 2014 and really enjoyed the class and the instructor Debbie Boone. The class is a great cardio workout with stretching and ab work as well. I loved the emphasis on proper technique and my legs, arms  and back felt great. I took two more rowing classes that week, one taught by Karen, and I began to see that everyone who worked there was top-notch. Technically competent, friendly and helpful, and they really seemed to enjoy working with people. I was emboldened to try the Barre class with Vlada the next week and I have to admit I felt like a total klutz. However, by the end of that first class I noticed that I was balancing a little better and stretching a little further. It was very hard but I made it through and I made a commitment to do the Barre class at least 20 times.  I soon joined as a monthly member. In three months I have taken 41 classes at Crowbar, including CROW, Tsunami and Techno Row in addition to Indo Row and Barre. I have taken 13 Barre classes out of my committed 20 and I realize now that I won't stop at 20.

The cardio conditioning has certainly helped my tennis game. In addition I find that my footwork and quickness have improved considerably and it is easier to reach that nice high toss on my serve. My golf game has benefited as well. I am able to make a bigger shoulder turn and my balance is better so I am better able to transfer my weight through he golf swing. Greater flexibility and balance improve every aspect of an active life.

All this benefit and it is really fun too. I love the small classes which allow for individual instruction. I am still a bit of a klutz, but less so than when I started. I get better with every class. All of the staff at Crowbar are friendly and knowledgeable and they truly take an interest in their clientele. Online scheduling makes it so easy to plan my week and I always look forward to every class.

All I can say is keep up the great work.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March Client of the Month - Hayley Dawson-Owens

Hayley today, ready to rock Barre class
The lovely Hayley has been a member of Crowbar Cardio almost since the very beginning.  We love having her smiling face in class every week and are so impressed by the changes she's made and how this busy mom of two young boys has found the time to fit fitness into her life!

pre-Crowbar days
When my friend Laura asked me to try a barre class at Crowbar Cardio with her, I wasn't sure what to expect. But I did know this: my youngest was almost 2 years old, and I was holding on to about 15 pounds of baby weight with no health or fitness plan in sight. I never considered myself a fitness class person; it was too structured, too competitive, too intense, and - let's face it - what if I couldn't do it?

I remember struggling through that first barre class and looking at the clock 15 minutes in, desperately hoping that the hour was almost over. But when I got home that night, I remember standing in the kitchen and feeling more alive than I'd felt in a long time. I felt healthy, empowered, energetic, and complete. Exercise is what I had been missing, and it only took one hour-long barre class to figure that out.

I've been coming to classes at Crowbar for over a year now, and the changes I've experienced are amazing. I am stronger physically, and I am also stronger mentally and emotionally. The environment at Crowbar is welcoming of all bodies and all levels, and it is within this context that I was able to start from scratch, grow in my abilities, and advance to levels I never imagined. I feel stronger now than I ever have, and this confidence shows in all areas of my life.

Over time, I've figured out how to fit more classes into my weekly schedule, and I've also broadened my skills to rowing and cycling. The team challenges have really forced me to expand by maximizing the number of workouts per week, setting high goals, and being held accountable. Crowbar has taught me that I can do anything, as long as I commit. Before coming to Crowbar, I had a mental block that kept me from leading a healthy lifestyle and losing the extra pregnancy weight.  I didn't think I had the time to dedicate to it, and I didn't think I had the strength to succeed.  But, in reality, I do have the time, and I do have the strength.  I just wasn't trying hard enough.
amazing. I am stronger physically, and I am also stronger mentally and emotionally. The environment at Crowbar is welcoming of all bodies and all levels, and it is within this context that I was able to start from scratch, grow in my abilities, and advance to levels I never imagined. I feel stronger now than I ever have, and this confidence shows in all areas of my life.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

February Client(s) of the Month - Renee Richeson & Tom Gunning

In honor of Valentine's Day, our client(s) of the month for February are an amazing couple who enjoy their solo workouts and love to come exercise together, Renee Richeson and Tom Gunning.  They always come in with smiles and great energy and we love having them in the building.  And they've been a part of the Crowbar Crew since the first month we opened.

Just before the holidays, Renee told us a little about her experience with The Barre at Crowbar and how fitness has helped her with footwear.  It was a great reminder that a fitness success story is not always about a big weight loss.  Sometimes the small victories are just as sweet:

"My first Barre class let me know I needed to add it to my workout life on a regular basis, even if all the 'dancy' bits were way out of the box for me. I used different muscle groups in class than I use in running or at the gym.  Because there is so much attention paid to the feet, I thought it would be a great way to tell my neuromas to quite bothering me.  What I didn't realize until about 3 weeks ago is that it is also great training for "playing dress-up".  My normal footwear is either cowboy boots, tennis shoes or teva's.  Just before Thanksgiving, I donned really high spiky heels for a party and wore them all night without a single complaint from my feet!  Yippee!!  Just goes to show you that there are many kinds of 'fitness'!"

Unbeknownst to Renee we recently asked Tom why he likes Crowbar and more specifically, why he enjoys working out with his wife in Indo-Row classes:

"Renee and I like going to Row class together because no matter how fast I row, she's right there with me! And if either of us feels like taking a 'slack day,' nobody else will know. Except Debbie.  I like Indo-Row because it keeps me lean & mean.  I've also kept competitive- getting 1st place in Masters at SWEAT the past two years. Thank you Karen and crew!"

Working out with a friend or a loved one can make the process more fun, so encourage the people you love to spend time with you join you at Crowbar.  Happy Valentine's Day Crew!  We love you!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January Client of the Month - Kathy Grant

Our First Client of the Month for 2014 is the lovely Kathy Grant.  Kathy has been coming to Crowbar for a few months now and recently, she won our Holiday Fitness Challenge!  Hear in her own words how she feels about her experience at Crowbar:
Kathy (November 2013)
I joined Crowbar Cardio on August 29th 2013. I weighed 158.5 pounds. I recently moved to lower Greenville and wanted to start working out and losing weight. I looked up the web site and decided to do the trial week. I loved that it was close enough to walk. I started doing the Triple Threat and Crow classes. I have also enjoyed the Yoga class.  I try to go everyday to a class since I joined. My son came in town for a week during Labor Day, I only took 1 class that entire week.

I knew I didn't want to join a "gym" I have had memberships in the past and I get better results when there is a scheduled class to come to.  My goal is to get to 135, I haven't been under 140 since I was in my 30's.  I'm 46 now, so it has been a while!! I've also begun 1 on 1 training with Vlada When we started, we weighed and took measurements.  I weighed 150.4 and am excited about my new goals!!

I really enjoy all of the instructors and the atmosphere at Crowbar.  Vlada is really positive and encouraging. ( everyone is!! )  I feel like she is as excited as I am about reaching my goals.  I have already noticed that I am more flexible. I am shocked at what I have accomplished in the Yoga class.

Erin encourages everyone to have a headstand in time. When she first said that I was thinking I will try but didn't think it was possible.... now I know I will get there!!  During one Sunday's class I did a back bend from a reverse downward dog ( I think that is what it is called).  I was sooooooo excited!! I didn't get my head off the ground but I did have the back bend!!!  Another goal to achieve.

Kathy in September 2013
I am so happy I found you guys and cant wait to reach my GOALS!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Laura Eigel - My Fitness Journey

Read how one of our clients has found fitness success.  We love you and are so happy to have you as part of our crew!

I've been coming to Crowbar for about 9 months now - which is conveniently the same amount of time it took me to gain a bunch of weight in my pregnancy with my son. I didn't work out much during pregnancy but ate well (probably too much...). After Mason was born, I didn't prioritize working out or eating right - showers and sleep won out instead. Then I went back to work three months later and it was about balancing work and life, still no prioritization of fitness. By then I had some of the weight I'd gained during pregnancy, but had to buy new work clothes in bigger sizes, and let's be honest, I was still wearing some maternity clothes too.  My friends had some successes with new classes they had taken - boot camps, cross fit, etc. I've never been one of those people to who loves to work out - it has really been a chore - a means to an end.

I drove by Crowbar and checked it out online. I asked my BFF Hayley if she would do a Barre class with me - should be fun, we can go together and see if we like it. 10 minutes in, and I gave her a look like OMG it has only been 10 minutes... I made it through one class full of skinny women that I compared myself to, and left thinking this was not for me. But Hayley wanted to go back and urged me to, so I did. And then we went back again, and again. Once a week at first, then sometimes twice a week. Then we got brave and branched out to a Triple Threat class and loved that too. A few months later I had lost 15 lbs and started to feel more confident about my body, and stopped comparing myself to others. I felt stronger, and actually was sad if I missed my "regular" class because of a work or home conflict. Then we signed up for the summer challenge and I got even more results. Now I workout at Crowbar 3 times a week pretty regularly (Barre is still my favorite). My husband is amazing and encourages me to go as often as I can.

The physical change in me after 9 months of Crowbar - 35lbs down.  In February I was a size 16, and today I wore a size 6 skirt to work that I haven't worn in over 2 years.  I weigh less now than I did before I even got pregnant. The emotional/mental change is even more substantial -  It is about challenging myself - not comparing myself to others. Knowing that I'm strong enough and good enough to do it. I have much more self confidence - which makes me a better mom,wife, and friend. When I think about Crowbar, I think about a positive place where you can challenge yourself to new levels doing new things. The instructors are amazing , fun and super supportive. The other clients are too - it is always a happy place to be. I couldn't have done it without my Crowbar peeps.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to Stay Fit AND Enjoy the Holidays

Here are some words of advice from on of your fearless leaders, Molly.

The holidays are fabulous.  The holidays are also crazy, and they often totally derail our normal routines and lifestyles.  Infrequent drinkers are suddenly throwin’ them back every-other night at cocktail parties, very strict eaters are enjoying Grandma’s pumpkin pie and egg nog, and the most dedicated exercisers are hitting the snooze button in the morning or driving past the gym on their way to another event.   It’s enough to drive a person crazy.  So what’s your mental state heading into Thanksgiving?  Are you panicked?  Are you scared that you’re going to enjoy the food and the time off from exercise so much that you won’t ever go back to your current regime?  If so, I want to assure you that you can stop worrying today and start enjoying the holidays.  It’s true, the food is good, but is any of it anything you couldn’t get during the rest of the year?  Is any of it anything that you need to gorge yourself on because you won’t see it for another year?  And even if you do spiral down into a gluttonous frenzy for the next month, do you think that any weight you do gain will be on you forever?  A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips, right?  Wrong.  Any weight you put on from eating more and exercising less will fall right off you once you get back to your routine after the New Year, and believe me, you WILL get back to your routine.  Eating right and exercising have become integral parts of your life.  They have become part of who you are.   You need to hear what I’m saying, though.  I am not saying you should go completely bonkers for the next month and forget all dietary “rules” and sit on the couch 24/7, but I am suggesting that you try and let go a little bit.  Hang on to your core healthy values, but be willing to let the boundaries bleed a bit.  Lose the guilt, lose the body-hating thoughts.  Don’t hop on the scale every day, don’t spend angst-filled minutes examining every angle in the mirror, and don’t tell everyone you talk to how lazy you’ve been.  Just enjoy.  The holidays are too short.  Life is too short.  Be happy with the healthy habits you’ve established today, enjoy going off the reservation a bit over the holidays, and be confident in knowing that you WILL return to your regularly scheduled life in a few short weeks.   This is not a permission slip to go crazy, it is a permission slip to do what you were going to do anyway and feel okay about it. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Safety for Children

Last Friday evening, Ex-Navy Seal Ryan Parrott gave a great lecture to Crowbar staff and clients about situational awareness and how to stay safe in everyday environments. He also left us with some great safety tips for kids, which we wanted to pass on to all our Crowbar moms and dads.
Start with the Basics
•Make sure children know their full name and address (city and state), and their phone number with area code.
•Be sure kids know how to call 9-1-1 or "0" in emergencies. Practice making emergency calls on a make-believe phone.
•Tell children never to accept rides or gifts from someone they or you don't know well.
•Teach children to go to a store clerk, security guard, or police officer for help if they get lost in a mall or store, or on the street.
At School and At Play
•Make sure your children are taking the safest route to and from school, stores, and friends' houses. Walk the routes together and point out places they could go for help.
•Set rules and guidelines for your child's internet use, monitoring the child's use of on-line services. •Instruct your child to never give out personal information to anyone they talk to on-line.
•Advise your child not to arrange a face-to-face meeting without your permission with anyone he/she meets on-line. •Encourage your children to walk and play with friends, not alone. Tell them to avoid places that could be dangerous like vacant buildings and alleys.
At Home
•Always leave a phone number where you can be reached. Post it by the phone, along with numbers for a neighbor and for emergency situations.
•Have your child check in with you or a neighbor when he or she gets home.
•Make sure your child knows how to use the window and door locks.
•Work on an escape plan in case of fire or other emergencies. Rehearse the plan with your children.
•Tell your child never to let anyone into your home without your permission, and never let a caller - at the door or on the phone - know that there's no adult home. Kids can always say their parents are busy and take a message.
Some simple steps can help you and your family have a safe holiday season and these great tips will continue to protect your littlest loved ones throughout the year.