Wish you had a personal trainer, but it isn’t in the budget? What if I told you that you could have a custom workout created for you at your local Delaware Y branch…for free? When I joined the Brandywine YMCA four years ago, I met with a floor coach initially, and she wrote up a program card with several exercises of I could perform on the weight machines. She filed the card in a filing cabinet where it stayed. Those 8-10 exercises seemed like a dull way to spend my time when there were so many fun group exercises classes on the schedule.
Years passed, and I was looking for something new. While I loved the small-group classes and instructors, they didn’t always fit into my schedule or budget since I have two kids in college. Without those classes, I was missing a strength component in my weekly workouts. Enter FitQuest.
FitQuest is a custom program designed to meet your specific fitness needs. The best part – it’s included in the cost of your Y membership! The first thing you must do is set up the first of three YMCA FitQuest appointments. At the Brandywine YMCA, I made my appointment at the desk in the fitness center. I met with a coach who tested my strength on different machines. He asked me about my fitness goals including the length and frequency of workouts I wanted. I chose to focus on strength as my goal. I set my workouts for a duration of thirty minutes with a frequency of twice a week. With these parameters, as well as the information from my strength tests, we set up my program using the ActivTrax App which I downloaded onto my phone.
At my second appointment, a different coach showed me how to use the app and led me through my first workout. My program was a mix of machines and free weights, and while it was an all-body workout, the focus of that first workout was on my back muscles. ActiveTrax gave me the weight for each exercise and a repetition range. The weight machines are numbered making the program easy to follow. If I had never done the exercise before, I accessed an animated tutorial video that showed the proper stance and range of motion. Of course, the fitness center staff was always there to answer any questions. I did the program about ten times on my own before I set up my third and final FitQuest appointment. It is good to understand how the program works for you before scheduling the last of the three appointments.
My last appointment happened to be with a personal trainer. She asked me again about my goals and showed me how to tweak my workouts. In the ActiveTrax App, she demonstrated how I could eliminate exercises that didn’t work for me and add in new ones, using equipment that I liked. After taking small group classes in the past, I knew I especially enjoyed using the TRX, which I have now incorporated into my program. Even after your final appointment, the staff is always available to give recommendations for new exercises or equipment to add in if you need to tweak your program for any reason. The best part of this program for me is that the app keeps track of my progress and creates a new workout, based on the feedback, every time I come in. I don’t get bored, and my muscles are constantly challenged. ActivTrax also has features to track cardio workouts and diet. I haven’t used them…yet, but they are on my radar.
One note: my thirty-minute workout generally takes me closer to forty minutes by the time I go back and forth between the designated equipment. Add in my ten-minute warmup on the treadmill or rowing machine and ten minutes of post-workout stretching, and my workout comes out closer to an hour in length. This is something to keep in mind when you are setting up your program. Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to select the YMCA branch you will using the most. While you can most likely do your workout at other branches, the numbering of the machines and the equipment available may be different. If you change YMCA locations in the settings of your ActivTrax app, you will lose the information from your usual YMCA branch. In this way, it is best to stick with one location. I find that now that I am used to my program, I can easily adapt if I am visiting another YMCA location. As always, the staff is available to guide you.
Don’t wait to schedule your YMCA FitQuest appointment. Jumpstart your custom fitness program today.
Contributed by: Jill Althouse-Wood