When did you start coming to AX Fitness and how did you hear about it? I started coming to AX around the fall of 2012. My wife and her bridesmaids had signed up for a Bridal Boot Camp before our wedding that summer. She recommended AX to me as a way to build core strength to help me get over some issues I was having with my lower back at the time.

What were your fitness goals when you started and how is AX Fitness helping you reach those? My main goal was to build core strength to take the stress off my lower back. I had tried physical therapy with limited results. AX took it to another level and I started feeling results quickly. I haven’t had any major recurrences since then – I give a lot of credit to AX for that.

Another positive result I’ve had that I did not expect is AX has made me a better runner by improving my mental and physical endurance. In the fall of 2013, I completed the Twin Cities Marathon, which would have been unthinkable to me a year earlier when I had never run more than 10 miles at a time and was dealing with back problems. In addition to helping me get past my back pain so I was physically able to run again, working out at AX also made me realize I can push myself physically much more than I ever had working out on my own, which really helped me through training for the marathon.

How would you describe AX Fitness to a newbie? I don’t have a lot of experience with other group fitness activities, so I have a limited frame of reference to try to compare it to. I have done a couple of Jillian Michaels videos and some elements of her workouts are similar to what we do at AX, but AX is more varied and more challenging.

What advice would you give to anyone trying AX Fitness for the first time? Don’t be intimidated to try it for the first time. At every session there are people of both genders and all different shapes, sizes and body types, as well as a mix of beginners and veterans. What really stands out to me is I’ve never felt that anyone is judgmental. Everyone supports each other and respects the fact that people have different abilities.

Once you’ve tried it, my advice is to stick with it. Make it part of your routine. You will really notice the difference it makes in the way you look and feel. When I think back to when I first started, I’m doing things now that I never could have done back then. And yet I still feel challenged every session and I know there is room for a lot more progress.

What is your favorite part of AX Fitness? No two workouts are ever the same, and Christine finds new ways to challenge me every week.

How do you stay motivated? Part of it is just not wanting to revert back to the back pain I had two years ago and realizing that if I don’t keep maintaining my core strength, it will happen. But on a more positive note, I can see and feel the changes in myself since I started and I want to see how much farther I can go!

Is there anything else that you would like people to know? Christine can name more varieties of burpees than Bubba from Forrest Gump can name types of shrimp. And if you give her enough time, she’ll introduce you to all of them.

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