Tonya Eckert talks about fitness after her sports injury.

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Tonya Eckert talks about fitness after her sports injury.

 

Meet Tonya Eckert, AKA " The Gymnast". Tonya has been a member at AX Fitness for more than three years now. She is an amazing member of our community. We love her work ethic. Tonya helps to provide a healthy competition between many of our athletic members. She often sets the bar for the rest of our community. As her Trainer, I have to work hard to stay ahead of her, and it is frustrating when I cannot beat her in our monthly challenges! Having Tonya around holds us all accountable.

Our in-studio journalist, Melissa Wolfe caught up with Tonya to ask her about her sports injury and how AX Fitness benefits her at this point in her life.

1) What physical challenge do you face going into your workouts?

I had a lumbar fusion, fusing my L4 and L5 vertebrates, due to a sports injury.

2) How has AX Fitness helped you continue your commitment to your fitness goals, despite the challenge?

AX Fitness has allowed me to continue working out, but being able to modify when necessary. It's a safe environment, where if you are limited to do doing something you don't need feel bad about it. There's always modifications that can be done that give you the same benefits of the full workout. 

3) What advice do you have for others who might be struggling with the same challenge but really need that push to help them believe they can do it?

It really just comes down to the individual, you have got to want to get better. It's going to hurt, but eventually it won't hurt as much. I was a gymnast for over 18 years, I couldn't just stop working out and I needed direction in workouts. AX Fitness has helped provide a place I feel safe to workout in, and I know what my limitations are. You know when you can push your body and when you can't. If you can't it's totally fine, just modify! 

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New Years Resolutions: Healthy Eating

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New Years Resolutions: Healthy Eating

We asked our clients to set some fitness goals for 2017. We are following up with them over the next few weeks. This week we connect with Stephanie and Jax to talk about how they focused on healthy and clean eating. Thank you for sharing your experience!

We asked:

1) Tell us about your healthy eating goal? What steps have you taken so far to help you to achieve your goal?

2) How do you feel so far? What are you experiencing as a result of you diet changes?

3) How do you power through those weak times where all you really want is a bowl of ice cream covered in brownies with a side of donuts? How do you stay motivated?

Stephanie:

I feel like I have more energy throughout the day.
— Stephanie

1) My goal to eating healthy is to cook 2-3 times a week. Using whole grains and excluding white starches and flour. Some steps I have taken to help me achieve this is to plan out my meals a week in advance. For me it is hard to decide what to cook. So I had to throw myself into it and make my own recipe at first. As I began to experiment I could think about what types of healthy recipes I would like to try next week and so on.

2) By doing this for the last month, I feel like I have more energy throughout the day. I feel like my waistline is slimming down and I just feel better! Cutting sugar out is a big help in this department.  

3) Sometimes, it's just plain hard to eat healthy all the time. When I really want a cookie or a bowl of ice cream, I will usually eat an orange or berries! I also make protein balls made out of honey, oats, flax seed, protein powder and peanut butter. It helps cure the sweet tooth and fills you up! Keeping consistent with working out is a huge motivator for me. The people I work out with at AX Fitness and Christine the trainer are my friends and they help me stay accountable!

Jax:

I certainly am sleeping better and don’t wake up in the middle of the night!
— Jax

1) I have cut sugary treats and as much processed foods as possible from my diet. The first step was to clear out all those kind of foods from our existing food supplies. Then to make sure we don't get bored, lazy and back to bad habits, we make a concentrated effort to plan out meals for the week. Lunches are pretty easy, I usually make up some bean-based soup (I am vegetarian) that freezes well and pair that with some veggies and fruits and that keeps me out of the Maple Grove fast food utopia during the work week. Plus when I'm sick of it at the end of the week, the extra leftovers make for good meals when I've forgotten all about it. For dinners, I plan out a couple of dishes where elements can be made ahead of time. This week we're enjoying some bean/temp-eh mix that can be utilized for tacos, rice bowls, or scrambled with some eggs.

2) I certainly am sleeping better and don't wake up in the middle of the night! While I haven't lost any weight so far, it seems that stuff has moved around a bit if that makes any sense. At the grocery store, my cart is probably 3/4 perishable foods which is fun to see! 

3) Yeah, about that :) The first hiccup was when we both came down with rotten colds and didn't have the energy to go shopping much less stand around and cook a good meal. Needless to say, pizza was ordered. Luckily I had some of that frozen soup I love talking about so much so that helped. I cannot say enough about meal planning thinking about stuff like "what snacks do I want to have at work?" When you're bored/frustrated it is way too easy to trot on down to the vending machine. Make sure you keep a variety going in your diet! If you only know how to make one thing, you're going to get sick of it. Buy a new cookbook and start flagging things that look good. Then whenever you sit down to plan out your next few days, you'll have some ideas already and can go from there.

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The Johnsons, Member Spotlight Interview by Melissa Wolfe

Johnson

1. How long have you two been members of AX Fitness? We have been going to AX Fitness for 2 years and 2 months

2. What are each of your fitness goals? Jessie: I want to be lean and of course look good in my bathing suit, but I also want to be strong so I can be active and do the things I want without worrying about injuring myself, as well as to minimize pain and injury as I age.

Nate: I want to be healthy and physically fit to enjoy life.

3. How has AX Fitness helped you to achieve your fitness goals? Jessie: AX Fitness has challenged me to go beyond what I thought I was capable of doing.  AX has pushed me to limits that have allowed me to feel confident in what I do and what I am now capable of.

Nate: AX Fitness has helped me to become stronger and physically able to do more things on vacation or in everyday life.

4. Why AX Fitness and not some other gym? Jessie: The people at AX are why I keep coming back!  Christine is a charismatic trainer that brings the AX community together, and the members of AX fitness are friendly, welcoming and competitive in a healthy manner.

Nate: I like the creative workouts, the down to earth people, and personal style training received from Christine.

5. Do you ever get a little competitive with each other in class? Jessie:  Yes and no I get a little pouty when Nate runs faster or jumps higher than I do, but I am sure there are things I do better than him…he just won’t admit it! 

Nate: No, I am just glad we found a great place to work out and be ourselves.

6. If you had to pick an animal that best exhibits the qualities of our head trainer, what would it be?

Jessie: Cheetah

Nate: Squirrel!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Member Spotlight: "French Nathalie"

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Member Spotlight: "French Nathalie"

1) How long have you been a member of AX Fitness? I started October of 2015, so it is coming up on 11 months! Time flies when you have fun...;-)

2) What are your fitness goals? When I came to AX, I had one goal in mind: to get toned. After one class, I understood that getting toned should be the least of my concerns...instead I needed to work on my endurance, expand my lung capacity, and strengthen my entire body. I am mainly focused on strengthening my bones, the muscles around my joints, and keeping a strong core for good posture. If I get toned in the process: bonus!

3) How has AX Fitness helped you achieve your fitness goals? AX Fitness offers variety. You can join at the easiest level and sweat your way to more challenging classes. That is key. I started with the Cardio Box class which made me realize how 'out of shape' I truly was. I had done yoga 3 times a week for several years and had flexibility and some core strength, but my endurance was shit! That first class was brutal :-) Within 5 months, I could end this class and not feel exhausted. It was rewarding and empowering. I knew I was ready for the next step up. AX Box has been a fun change of pace providing some weight training in addition to some boxing. I am already looking forward to trying other more challenging classes in the future. Since joining AX, I lost fat, gained muscle and started jogging... A few years back, I would feel pain in my left knee every time I jogged. I know that my weekly workout at AX is making jogging possible again without pain.

4) What is it about AX Fitness that keeps you coming back for more? Christine and her approach to coaching: she is a beast of a trainer. She knows exactly what exercise you need to do to push a little farther every single time and yet keep it attainable so you don't get discouraged. Her classes are never boring. Never. How amazing is that?? Beyond the desire to remain healthy and fit, my time at AX has made me 1) appreciate the community I joined and the friendships I have developed, 2) enjoy the emotional well-being that exercising provides, and 3) understand that exercising/fitness cannot be a phase in someone's life; it needs to be sustainable and sustained; it is as necessary as eating healthy and brushing your teeth daily.  I keep coming back because all of these benefits are priceless and I am having fun :)

5) How do you say "the trainer loves burpees" in French? Hahaha! "L'entraineuse adore les burpees" :)  Really, I googled it. There are no French equivalent to burpees... probably because no French person would ever come up with this type of self-inflicted torture!

Nathalie Squire is pictured below on the left with the Trainer. She recently had a film crew come in to AX Fitness. They filmed her and took photos as trained. They will be using it to encourage others to live a healthy lifestyle.

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Member Spotlight: Karim Gaston

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Member Spotlight: Karim Gaston

1) How long have you been a member of AX Fitness? I have been an actual member since April 2016. I started coming in February because my husband bought me a groupon. I loved it from the start!

2) What are your fitness goals?
My fitness goals are to of course lose weight, gain lean muscle and to be healthier inside and out!

3) How has AX Fitness helped you meet your fitness goals and stay motivated?  My goals are what keeps me motivated, so far I have done the ax box and cardio box super fun not easy at all but I love the push Christine or whomever is doing the class gives us! They want to see us be successful and meet our goals!

4) How is AX Fitness different from other gyms you have tried? This gym is different because it feels like a family, from my first day coming everyone was welcoming and helpful! The trainers know your name and are helpful and let you go at your own pace until you catch on, after that its go time no excuses get to work! You get out of it what you put in! When you walk in you feel comfortable and it's super fun! When I started coming I could not do 1 burpee, now I am able to do them and I even do them outside of class!!!

5) Since coming to AX Fitness, do you think you have a better chance of out-running a grizzly bear? Lol, I think I am very close to being able to out run a grizzly bear! And the classes here are helping me to get there.

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Member Spotlight: Ameya

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Member Spotlight: Ameya

1. What are your fitness goals? My primary goal is to become leaner and stronger. I would definitely want to make fitness as my habit as staying fit makes me feel good about myself.

2. When did you start coming to AX Fitness? I wasted the entire 2015 without exercising, starting 2016 I wanted to start exercising and regain fitness. I came across AX Fitness through Groupon in the last week of December ' 2015. I checked that AX Fitness offered first class free. As the place is just 0.5 miles away from where I stay I decided to give it a try. I signed up for the first free class in first week of Jan ' 2016 and have been a member of AX Fitness since then.

3. Why come to AX Fitness and not some other gym? I have always liked group fitness rather than working in a gym on my own, so AX Fitness suits me. Each class in AX Fitness is unique and challenging . Due to lack of exercising, initially I was not confident of getting through the classes, however AX Fitness is one place were you can work out and build strength at your pace.  Christine understands the fitness and abilities of all the members and keeps pushing everyone to work harder. I have done exercises and challenges at AX Fitness which I thought could never do. The members of AX Fitness are welcoming and encouraging. All in all AX Fitness workouts and the community keeps you motivated and pushes you to achieve your goals.

4. What is your favorite classes?  All the classes in AX Fitness are unique and challenging but, AX Box is my favorite. It is a mix of Cardio Boxing and AX class and so builds strength along with Cardio. It is a perfect class for someone with beginner to intermediate fitness level. Lately I have started attending AX classes which are more intense and I have started liking them to.

5. Do they have tough workouts like this back home?  I did Kick Boxing classes about 3 years back in India and they used to be very intense. However it never gets easier in AX , each class would test your strength and endurance.

This is Ameys's last month at AX Fitness. He will be returning home to India. We are so glad that he chose to spend time with us at AX Fitness! Good luck Ameya, we will miss you!

Initial interviews are conducted by AX Fitness extraordinaire and my dear friend, Melissa Wolfe.Thank you for everything you do to keep our community strong and growing!

 

 

 


 

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May Madness Sale

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May Madness Sale

MAY ONLY SALE! Your are running out of time! Buy one full year of unlimited classes for an upfront fee of just $1250! Purchase online anytime before the June 1st.

What does this include?

  • Two months FREE at this price
  • Two free Personal Training sessions (some restrictions apply)
  • One week guest pass FREE

Can I buy this if I have a current contract? Yes you can. You can bank this package to kick in at the end of your current contract.

NOW HUSTLE! This is a limited time offer! This is the last time you will ever buy a year of unlimited classes at AX Fitness for this low price!

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Member Spotlight: Heather Houston

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Member Spotlight: Heather Houston

1. What are your fitness goals?
To become stronger and have more defined muscles in order to be a better lumberjack! (I was recently certified by the US Forest Service on the Crosscut saw. LOL - true!) To be able to jump and sprint without being anxious, feeling like I’m going to spew. (I started self-training, running stairs, to help combat this. It is working!) To be able to do even just one friggin’ pull up.

2. When did you start coming to AX Fitness?
A couple years ago -- I needed to get my tail in shape for MN Roller Girls Boot Camp. I’ve been coming on and off, ever since. Lately, I’m more “on” due to being more serious about reaching and maintaining a desired fitness level to feel good and promote better aging. I want to be alive and thrive for a long time. Ax is helping me do that.

3. Why do you come to AX Fitness and not another gym?
It’s all about Christine! She athletically motivates people in a way unlike anyone I have ever met, can. Each session is so varied and fun, you almost want to keep coming back just to see what new thing she’s going to do next. She is also very aware, and respectful, that everyone is at a unique level; she knows how to push each person to their individual limits. What a great feeling to think “I am not sure I can do this.” and then prove to yourself that you CAN. Lastly, Christine is never boring! What other trainer busts a (dance) move like she does?! 

4. What is your favorite class?
I love AX Box because it intertwines Cardio box, which is pure fun, with strength training and conditioning. It’s the perfect combination, for me.

5. Do you ever wonder how the head trainer comes up with soooo many variations on burpees?
Yeah, and I am so glad she does. Keeps it interesting.

6. Do you think AX has adequately prepared you for the zombie apocalypse?
I’m close to perfecting my “David-Lee-Roth” kick to the head (in self- defense, of course) to combat zombies and criminals, alike!   

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The Trainer and Multiple Sclerosis

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The Trainer and Multiple Sclerosis

I wrote this to help explain why we want to donate to the MS Society as part of our Gofundme campaign. You can check the campaign out at:  https://www.gofundme.com/axfitness

What is the deal with the MS Society and The Trainer?

When people look at me they don't see MS. It's not something that is visible. I don't look sick. I don't act sick. I'm usually a little embarrassed to mention it. I think it's important that people know that I have to work hard to be who I am and do what I do. I think it's important for you to know that I have to overcome adversity almost every day and that I am willing to give all the good parts of myself to you. Some things that you may not know:

When I look in the mirror, I don't see the same me. I see that my face has paralysis and that I don't like having my photo taken because of it. Some days I slur (without beer) and lose my words. When I drop something it's because my brain is not making the connection to my hand to close it, which happens entirely too much. I lose my balance for no good reason. I'm a germaphobe because my immune system is weaker than others and since I am the one that runs my small business...I don't have time to be sick. Sometimes I have a low grade fever for days/weeks at a time, which exhausts me and makes recovery and healing harder for my body to achieve.

The majority of lesions on my brain are located in the frontal lobe, which is directly connected to emotion. My fuse can be short, my temper quick, my laughter loud, my feelers more sensitive and I can't really control it even when I know it's happening. I don't have a regular sleep cycle, which is normal for MS folks, so I get pretty testy when people criticize the hours I keep...like its a choice. Stress can, and usually does, promote the onset of an MS episode. On certain days I feel like my eyes are playing tricks on me, even when I can actually find my glasses. I have numbness and tingling throughout the left side of my body. It is particularly bad in my fingers and my gate is off when I run, which breaks my heart because running has always been my thing. Some days I have muscle weakness for no reason at all which is infuriating considering how well I take care of myself.

I know that I am much more fortunate than many MS folks...at least for now. I don't know how it will affect me in the future. I try not to think about it much and hope that research can continue to find ways to fight this disease. I try to concentrate on being as healthy as possible. I want to get the most out of each moment. I think sometimes it makes me a person with high expectations. Time is a funny thing and I don't want it to slip by without me giving as much as I can in the best ways I know how. I want to experience everything I can...all at once.

Expanding into a better facility with more space, equipment, and class options for my clients and friends while also having the opportunity to offer a program for women's sports teams is a battle I gladly engage in. It's the good fight. It means I am alive, dreaming, and hoping to give as much as I can of myself until I have nothing left.

If it never happens, I know that I have been fortunate enough to change some lives for the better. I also know that I have been fortunate enough to call so many of our community members my friends. I do know that they appreciate what I bring to their lives and I hope they all know what they bring to mine.

Maybe you know others that suffer more drastically than myself. In any case, the more money we can raise, the more we can give to the MS society to help the fight this disabling disease. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Make sure you get out and do something for yourself today and tell the people you love how much they mean to you. Life is a precious commodity.

Trainer Out!

https://www.gofundme.com/axfitness

 

 

 

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