Embrace Your Fitness Resolutions at Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago

“Each and every one of us desires transformation, i.e. to become something we have not yet become, and without doubt mindset is the most crucial aspect of actually getting to where we want to go. Words such as ‘motivation’ and ‘discipline’ are often touted around this time of year yet it might be these are not what are most needed for change. For change to ensue we need both willingness and readiness. We are wired to make decisions both mentally and emotionally and our emotional brain tends to rule!”-Scott Hopson, Midtown National Fitness Director

Ah, at last, the new year is here and we all have, most likely, made our fitness/health resolutions. I’m sure you can agree with me that it’s much easier said than done, right? Much like anything else, you are more apt to do something when you enjoy it, and that is definitely the case for exercising. Thanks to Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago introducing OMNIA your resolutions just got much more fun!

What is OMNIA?
Designed and built by Italian-based Technogym, OMNIA offers thousands of different exercises that can be performed during any given hour-long training session. Rock n’ roll and Top 40 music is often pumped through nearby speakers, making workouts even more engaging and fun. Designed to facilitate multi-dimensional and more functional workout sessions, OMNIA accommodates up to eight people of varying fitness levels. Midtown’s OMNIA-certified coaches lead participants through a wide range of exercises that focus on building strength, endurance, stability, flexibility, coordination and speed, for a complete and fun total-body workout.

“Many factors contribute to the rise in small group training, possibly none more important than the social impact that is made when working out in a team environment,” says Midtown Fitness Director Brian Lyons. “Group training also offers several opportunities throughout the week to take a class, which is more convenient for members from a scheduling standpoint.”

To kick-start your adrenaline, we were lucky enough to get the inside scoop from Midtown National Fitness Director Scott Hopson, who just so happens to train at the Chicago location.

We know that getting in the right frame of mind for fitness is extremely important. What advice do you have for our readers to kick-start their fitness lifestyle to achieve their goals?
Each and every one of us desires transformation, i.e. to become something we have not yet become, and without doubt mindset is the most crucial aspect of actually getting to where we want to go. Words such as ‘motivation’ and
‘discipline’ are often touted around this time of year yet it might be these are not what are most needed for change. For change to ensue we need both willingness and readiness. We are wired to make decisions both mentally and emotionally and our emotional brain tends to rule! Therefore it might be most effective to start with the question ‘Why’. Why do I want change? Behavioral change is most successful when people have a sense of autonomy in the process. In other words we are most likely to be willing and ready to make change if we have a say in it! More than that we need emotional and rational brains to agree. If they disagree we get dissonance and avoid the chance of experiencing pain and failure. We stay in our safety zone even if it is not moving us toward the transformation we most desire. So how can we kick-start change with safety, willingness and readiness? Choose something that feels good to do and that is connected to your Why. When we find the Why we find the Way. Choose one thing you can be successful at because the pay off is in the process (e.g. if you like music and fun then take a dance class and don’t go near a treadmill). Once you take your first step forward you will invariably see further than before. Avoid making too many and too difficult changes – life brings us many of those as it is. Move your way! Small group coaching with like-minded people and coaches who can personalize the experience is a great place to find a solution.

With the class being only 8 people, what would you say to someone who may be intimidated by the intimacy of the class?
Who wants to be stuck in a room of strangers who might not even have the same goals and styles of training as you? We believe that active, social people live happier healthier lives and so our group coaching is built around having fun and connecting to ourselves as well as others. We start though by meeting you where you need to be met and delivering the movement experience you first expect / need, then build on that to create more of a ‘team’ culture. This creates a very rare environment for change. Once you / we experience something that’s safe and successful we do not fear ‘intimacy’. The key is to make it safe first, fun second, and personal third.

Is the class designed for both males & females? What fitness level does one have to be in order to take the class?
Absolutely designed for everyone. We also accommodate all levels and all goals. We have classes for Wellness, Performance and Mind Body, as well as classes for youth right through to active aging. We have lead off members (beginners) through to Go Ahead members (advanced) in our Programs. At Midtown we choose this language to avoid judgment: who wants to be a beginner? While we do have various levels of programming we more often than not find that our coaches can personalize the experience regardless of who is in it. Some of our most fun programs are when we find our top tennis athletes getting out-trained by active aging members! Shows that whether in the game of life or the game of sport we all want to win at something!

How does the concept for this class differ from other classes around the city? around the US?
The difference at Midtown is our Promise to inspire our members through movement, community and personal attention. This is not just a class – this is world-class coaching and programming that creates an environment for transformation. Our coaches have been developed to a world-class level where we personalized the experience for each individual. We consider your Goal, Style and Level of movement. More than that we learn your Why. Once we know Why you are here, what you desire and how you like to move we can physically match and emotionally attach the person to the program. This creates a very rare environment for change where the member gets the experience they need and not the one we think they need. For example our Omnia program (first in North America to launch and in all 10 clubs) has 8 innovative stations all centered within an interactive movement space. All team members perform each movement station but ‘how’ they perform it is unique to them. Omnia also delivers games, play and interaction within and between team members. The concept of Move, Train, and Play is deeply important to us and this program is the epitome of how all of us love challenge and competition, whether within others or ourselves. We find our members who move together also play and socialize together.

How often do you recommend someone to take these classes?
It would all depend on what else they are doing for movement throughout the week. We run 5 week programs that have a start/finish date and create a coach/team environment. However people can also drop in as they wish. Typically our members attend program 2x per week as they also have tennis, private coaching or another form of movement they do additionally 1-2 per week. If a newcomer to exercise came to small group coaching twice a week they would feel and see huge change. This would shift over time along with their goals. If this is your first time to exercise or its been a very long time then take just one step: come once per week, be happy with yourself, celebrate your change, and then see how far you can see!

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