Author: Andy Sharry

SPARTAN TO FENWAY!

TRAIN WITH THE TEAM!

8-WEEK PROGRAM

Thursdays at 6 pm and Saturdays at 10 am.
Participants choose which day they will commit to
training on and come only to that class.

•First Thursday Group Starts: 9/13 and runs to 11/1

•First Saturday Group Starts: 9/15 and runs to 11/3

On race day, November 11th, the team will travel
together and many will race as a group, feeling the
powerful love and teamwork that the Worcester Fitness Spartan Team is famous for.

Use your HD Membership!

Members - Buy 10 Class HD Package for $150
Non-Members - Buy 10 Class HD Package for $180

"NEVER give up!"

"Just a quick note to explain what the Worcester Fitness Spartan Program has done for me.  For years, I had seen these classes and was always interested in getting involved but felt I couldn’t possibly do so because I was “too old” and wasn’t “at their level” of conditioning and physical strength.  During a period of difficulties in my life, I was looking for a change, a challenge, something that I could focus on and do for myself.  After taking other classes in the gym a fellow WF member that was involved with the Spartan classes encouraged me to try it out.  So I tried my first class and after meeting Coach Tracy Riley and the other members of the team, who wholeheartedly welcomed me, I was hooked.  I loved the workouts, the Spartan philosophy of getting people off the couch and moving, and pushing yourself physically and mentally.

I signed up for the Fenway Sprint back in the Fall of 2016 with the intent of doing that one race and that was it.  Well, two years later I have 8 OCR races under my belt with another 2 planned this year and the most important thing I have gained from this experience is not the medals or the finisher shirts but the appreciation of a team of amazing people that I have come to love as a family.  Nothing makes me happier than to see a team member accomplish a goal, the look on their faces when they complete an obstacle they thought they never could, or seeing the gains they make in and out of class because they are supported by an amazing group of people.  Our Spartan Family supports one another, celebrates each other’s accomplishments both on and off the course, welcomes people of all ages and abilities, and pushes one another to be the best version of ourselves.  We have a phenomenal coach in Tracy and each member of this family contributes in their own way.  The lessons you learn through this program carries over into everyday life as well. I can personally say I am stronger physically and mentally because of this team and it’s empowering!

We learn to take each obstacle that comes our way one at a time.  You break each down into manageable pieces, work, and most importantly NEVER give up!  It was a life changer for me and I am so grateful for Worcester Fitness, the program, Tracy, and each and every single member of this team."

Deb S.- Spartan Team Member
September 2018

Worcester Fitness Team Spartan Training Team at the Spartan Beast April 29
Worcester Fitness at the Spartan Beast in New Jersey April 29, 2017

"This is YOUR year!"

For more information on the Worcester Fitness Spartan Team, please contact Andy Sharry, andy@worcesterfitness.com.

The team is ready to start their 8-week training program to prepare for the Spartan Fenway Event on November 11th and we want you to be part of this life-changing experience.

In addition, you can register for the event itself:

Register for the Spartan Fenway Sprint Race.

  • Choose Sunday November 11th
  • Search for Worcester Fitness - Riley's Rebels to join our team for the race
  • Choose the earliest time slot available

by Janine McCarthy

NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
Certified Disability Sports Specialist
janine@worcesterfitness.com

How do I get a flat stomach?

Raise your hand if you ever dreamed of having a flat stomach or some washboard abs?!!

Well, unfortunately, we can’t give you one specific answer on how to get there but a personalized workout and nutrition plan for you is certainly a good start.

The dream of a flat stomach or a "six pack" is nice and definitely a goal that can be reached someday, but that day is different for everyone! I do believe that core exercises are the most important aspect of any workout. It is extremely important for someone to create a stable core to help protect their spine during exercises that increase the workload placed on it. Once that stable core is created and maintained throughout your exercises, then a workout plan can start to progress to help decrease body fat leading to a leaner body type.

What is the best way to lose fat?

There is a large population of people seeking a gym membership because they would like to lose weight/fat.

They’ll ask team members at the club what the best way to reach their goal weight is and, although we would love to give a quick simple answer, there is no “best” way to lose fat that can be generalized for everyone.

Each person will react differently to exercise. But fat lost post workout does depend on the exercise intensity during the workout. Generally speaking, research shows that high-intensity workouts tend to increase the rate of fat oxidation compared to low-intensity workouts.  Many people might believe that they can come to the gym and hop on some cardio machine and lose weight. But if you really want to use the gym to its fullest and get the most beneficial workout, try adding strength training, getting more sleep, lessening alcohol consumption, and always remember- VARIETY!

Your muscles have a memory and your body will only make changes as long as you make changes. Too often we hear people mention that they feel they have "hit a plateau." Your body will only adjust to the amount of workload placed on it!

How do I get a flat stomach?

Raise your hand if you ever dreamed of having a flat stomach or some washboard abs?!!

Well, unfortunately, we can’t give you one specific answer on how to get there but a personalized workout and nutrition plan for you is certainly a good start.

The dream of a flat stomach or a "six pack" is nice and definitely a goal that can be reached someday, but that day is different for everyone! I do believe that core exercises are the most important aspect of any workout. It is extremely important for someone to create a stable core to help protect their spine during exercises that increase the workload placed on it. Once that stable core is created and maintained throughout your exercises, then a workout plan can start to progress to help decrease body fat leading to a leaner body type.

What are the best exercises to do?

People always want to know the "best exercises" they can do in the gym.

What defines “best” for one person may not be considered the “best” for another. When choosing an exercise - many factors should be considered such as,

• What type of cardiovascular workout will this be and what are the specific benefits?
• Which strength training method is more appropriate? Machines, free weights or just bodyweight exercises and how much?

The best exercises within a workout are dependent upon the person's goals. Working with a personal trainer to define those goals and help implement a plan to achieve them could be one of the more efficient ways to spend your time at the gym. Because it is PERSONAL training, a program BEST suited for your needs.

Why am I sore for so long?

Being sore after a workout is not a “bad” reaction.  it is very common for many of us as we increase our workout routine during a short period of time; we are then sore for a longer period of time.

This happens to be one of the most common “injuries” also known as DOMs, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

DOMS displays as discomfort within the muscles about 24-hours following the end of a workout but with higher peaks between the 24 and 72-hour marks. Generally, 48 hours is the when the sorest/most painful sensations are experienced.

A DOMS "FUN FACT": Exercise is the most effective means of alleviating pain during DOMS! (YAAAAAY!!!!)

What is the difference between weight and body fat?

Simply put: Weight is the degree to which a body is drawn toward the earth by gravity whereas Body Fat is the percentage of adipose tissue (fat) compared with muscle.

When/How much protein do I need?

Dietary reference intake states that an individual should have .8g of protein per kilogram of body weight OR .36g of protein per pound of body weight. As far as after a workout, if you are trying to maintain muscle, then the range is .54-.64 grams per pound of body weight.

Can I work out every day?

The body is meant to move everyday yes but we must also “listen” to our bodies

Doing the same exercises every day for a long period time could lead to improper body mechanics but it also creates that plateau mentioned earlier – if you do not make any changes then the body will not make any changes!

What is more beneficial- working out or nutrition?

Remember: You can't outwork a bad diet! Both a workout routine in conjunction with a well-balanced nutrition plan is the best route to go. More important though is always making sure that you are feeding your body the nutrients (macro and micro) that are needed to stay healthy with foods that increase the benefits rather than increase the risks.

When should I be stretching?

Static stretching means a stretch is held in a challenging but comfortable position for a period of time, usually somewhere between 10 to 30 seconds.

Static stretching is the most common form of stretching found in general fitness and is considered safe and effective for improving overall flexibility. However, many experts consider static stretching much less beneficial than dynamic stretching for improving range of motion for functional movement, including sports and activities for daily living.

Dynamic stretching means a stretch is performed by moving through a challenging but comfortable range of motion repeatedly, usually 10 to 12 times. Although dynamic stretching requires more thoughtful coordination than static stretching (because of the movement involved), it is gaining favor among athletes, coaches, trainers, and physical therapists because of its apparent benefits in improving functional range of motion and mobility in sports and activities for daily living.

Dynamic stretching is controlled, smooth, and deliberate.

Our team of highly qualified and experienced Health and Wellness Professionals work with a wide variety of people with uniques body types, diverse backgrounds, and experience levels.  

We hear so many questions from members that we wanted to share with you the most common and the thoughtful answers we share with our awesome members.

If you have questions not addressed here or need help reaching your goals, please contact our Fitness Director Andy Sharry - andy@worcesterfitness.com

Meet Certified Personal Trainer Samuel Kowaleski

Sam has been a W.I.T.S. Certified Personal Trainer for two years.  

He started as in intern at Worcester Fitness in 2017 and soon earned a position as the welcome desk and as a personal trainer.  

He also leads small group training sessions with a focus on teen athletes. He has helped teens and adults and seniors to build healthy strength and endurance.

Sam believes that nutrition and personal health are not just a job to him, but instead is his true passion!

Sam grew up in Rutland, MA and now resides in Paxton, MA.

He attended Wachusett Regional High School.  

Sam loves to play Disc Golf and hike in his free time away from Worcester Fitness.

Quote “A moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory”- Louis Zamperini

MAXIMUM OUTPUT CYCLE

Meg Paradis' MAXIMUM OUTPUT CYCLE is BACK!

Join this high intensity/maximum output cycle and strength class, that focuses on power, perceived exertion, speed, and strength! TWO new sessions!  Each individual will be building from their own base gear on the bike, and will have to reach specific watts designated for intervals. Short bursts on the bike, to follow with short intervals of strength exercises off the bike, with all receiving a high cardio intense full body workout.

Class each week will have a different format, more intensified and personal to the participants.

Summer Session 1

Tuesdays • 5:45am-6:45am
May 8 - June 12
5:45am-6:45am

Class Fee- $119-6 Weeks

Open to Members & Non-Members
Limited to 8 Participant

Summer Session 2

Tuesdays • 5:45am-6:45am
July 10 - July 31
5:45am-6:45am

Class Fee- $80-4 Weeks

Open to Members & Non-Members
Limited to 8 Participant

Last Sunday (March 4, 2018) Worcester Fitness hosted our very first "Spin for Kids" event as part of our Fitness for a Cause Program. The event was in support of our friends at Why Me Sherry's House. We welcomed Why Me families and friends, the Worcester Fitness team, and 55 different riders to the club.

What a ride!

As a group, we raised over $22,000 for for Why Me Sherry's House...in just four hours.

We want to thank every one of the 50+ riders who dedicated their Sunday morning  to raise money for this fantastic organization.

We could not have done this without our amazing sponsors. A very special thank you to all of our friends at S&G Business Consultants, Sansoucy Stone, One Off Apparel, Group Benefit Strategies, Creedon & Co., Barry Electric. We are also grateful to our photographers - Jim Ushkurnis Photography and Joe Santa Maria of  Kill the Ball Media

Still interested in making a donation? It is not too late... visit our donation page!

As we enter into our 40th year, we at Worcester Fitness can look back on a long history of connecting with our community with fondness and pride.  We've always held the fundamental belief that it is our responsibility as a local company to play a leadership role in supporting local charitable organizations who look to us for assistance.  We are a family owned and operated health and wellness club located in Worcester, and we've been here for 40 years.  Our Worcester roots run deep, and we're proud of that.  Staff and members affectionately refer to us as Worcester Fitness Nation.  In 2017, we in the nation answered the call and delivered help to those in need. 
 
2017 may have been our finest year for giving back.  When discussing charity and giving back, we are not just referring to the monetary and in-kind donations to countless causes that we make as a company.  We're talking about the time, effort and money that our members race to offer those who need it the most.  We believe in charity, and love providing the platform for our members to give, but it's the generosity and compassion of our members that drives our philanthropic efforts forward.  2017 saw more than $75,000 raised and donated.  $75,000 in one year, generated by this little health club on Grove Street and it's friendly, kind and generous members!  $75,000 that went to local partners in need such as Ivy Child International, Worcester Animal Rescue League, Why Me/Sherry's House, Veterans Inc, Dana Farber Cancer Center, American Cancer Society, Mary Beth Benison Foundation, Fit Club Foundation, Planting the Seed FoundationAbby's House and Homes for Our Troops.  
 

Staff and members are also strongly involved with the Worcester Public School Mini-Olympics program where we volunteer our time to cheer and support athletes in the Fall and Spring events.  We also provide uniforms for all students who participate, with over 35 colors unique to each school so the young athletes can proudly unify while representing their school.

 
We raised our money in unique and fun ways like our seasonal Touch the Tower  Run/Walk to Bancroft Tower and back.  Our annual Spin-a-Thon held every March has raised $31,000 in the last two years.  Our new Knock-out 90 breast cancer event was held in October and is sure to become a big part of our annual fundraising campaigns.  When two Worcester Fitness members were diagnosed with devastating cancer, Worcester Fitness Nation held a big bash and raised money to assist them in their drive to get well.  Our monthly Yoga for A Cause events raised money for several small, local agencies in Worcester.  The Worcester Fitness Running Team traveled to the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. and raised $34,000 for Homes for Our Troops.  Our year was capped off with our Merry Midnight Madness ultimate fitness and endurance event, we finished the year in style putting us well over $75,000 raised in 2017.
 

2018 is our 40th year, and we have planned a wonderful series of unique, fun, exciting, and innovative ways to engage our members while making significant contributions to local charities right here in Worcester.  For more on our connection to the community, past and future events, please contact me, andy@worcesterfitness.com

Valentines Yoga

Valentine's Day Heart Opening Yoga and Essential Oils

This unique and special class for those looking to make a deeper connection with ourselves, and each other. As you practice heart opening in your physical body, you can also experience an opening of the heart in your thoughts and emotions. This class is designed to open your chest, shoulders and heart. Come enjoy this relaxing practice combined with essential oils to pamper your sense of smell and experience connection on a deeper level.

Valentine's Day Heart Opening Yoga and Essential Oils- All levels welcome. Bring a yoga mat, a blanket for comfort and an open heart!! Members free - $5 for guests Sunday, February 11th 10:00 am -11:00 am with Refreshments to Follow

Get Registered!

Fitness Scramble Results!

By Janine McCarthy
Contact JANINE with Questions 
 
The first ever Worcester Fitness "Fitness Scramble" is in the books and today we announce the winners!
 
The Scramble team "Pittsburgh Steelers" were the Overall Winners even beating the Worcester Fitness Team of employees who had a huge home field advantage!Each member of the winning team will receive a free smoothie!
 
The Steelers Team was made up of these WF athletes :
 
• Megan Briggs
• David Fields
• Doris Gould
• Jane Raabis
• Jen Roche
• Leslie Quinn
• Tim O'Brien
• Jane Jackson
 
The Scramble's MVP was Jane Raabis who was awarded with an official WFN stainless steel water bottle!
 
Congratulations to EVERYONE who participated! Stay tuned for announcements about our next fitness challenge...

Fitness for Young Female Athletes

By Janine McCarthy
Contact JANINE with Questions 
 
Our fitness program specifically designed for young, female athletes is back for 2018!
 
This athletic development program is designed to develop well-rounded & strong female athletes with an emphasis on core stability, proper movement patterns, balance and strength. Increased confidence during practices, games, and most
importantly during non-sport times. Specifically designed for Middle School aged girls (grades 6,7, and 8).
 
Mondays
1/15 - 3/12
3:30PM-4:30PM
REGISTER
 
Tuesdays
1/16 - 3/13
4:00PM-5:00PM
REGISTER
 
Wednesdays
1/17 - 3/14
3:30PM-4:30PM
REGISTER

NEW CLASS • HD POWER!

By Andy Sharry
Contact Andy with Questions 
 
**Breaking News** Worcester Fitness Adds Brand New HD Class for January 2018
 
Tracy McDonald will be leading a brand new HD class beginning January 9!
 
Sweat, Run, Jump, Push, Press, Row and Curl your way to a highly invigorating workout to improve your strength, speed, agility, power, and flexibility. A fun mix of HIIT, Circuit Training, Strength and Resistance Training combined with intense cardio. You'll work all muscle groups to become a strong athlete. Class will meet Tuesday's from 6:00AM to 6:45AM.
 
This class is a high-energy, total-body workout that focuses on every muscle group at an intensity that will simultaneously improve your cardiovascular strength and endurance. Performed to motivating music and inspired by any and every sport, incorporates a variety of exercises and equipment to always keep you on your toes and eager to see what is next.
 
***SPECIAL OFFER***
Try HD POWER for FREE on January 9, 2018
Class Time - 6:00AM - 6:45AM

Special Holiday Classes!

By Andy Sharry
Contact Andy with Questions 
 
**Breaking News** Worcester Fitness Holiday Hours
Regular Hours on Saturday • Open 7-5pm Sunday (Christmas Eve) • CLOSED ON CHRISTMAS DAY!
Open Regular Hours on Tuesday December 26.

***SPECIAL OFFER***
Guests: ONLY $5.00 per person, per visit through the end of the Year!

We've got a FESTIVE weekend planned for you this holiday weekend...take a look at these awesome classes!
 

Saturday
• Camp with at 8am
• HiiT it Hard with Janine, 830am
• Spin with Tracy R at 9am
• Aqua Jam at 9am with Picky
• Spartan HD with Tracy R at 10am
• Yoga at 10am with Daniella
 
Sunday
• Christmas Eve Day Spin with Andy at 8am
• Christmas Eve Bootcamp with Lisa at 9am
 
Normal Hours Saturday
Open 7-5pm Sunday
Closed on Christmas Day
Open Normal Hours Tuesday
Guests: $5.00 through the end of the Year!

Charlie LeBlanc

By Andy Sharry and Meg Paradis
Worcester Fitness
 
Charles “Charlie” LeBlanc is a long time, valued member of the Worcester Fitness family dating back to 2000. His smiling face is a staple in our evening indoor cycling classes. He rides hard, but does so with good nature, high spirit and positive vibe. When not in the spin room, Charlie, 59, works diligently in the weight room to maintain his broad shoulders, barrel chest and overall imposing stature. “Charlie is an extremely deep caring, gentle giant’, says Worcester FItness Spin Instructor Meg Paradise.
 
“There is a song that I play as a cool down after spin class called "Humble and Kind". Whenever it plays, he lights up and says to everyone "This song is what it is all about."

Spending time around Charlie, you would never guess that his life story includes a very serious accident that nearly ended his life. As you’ll read, this tragic accident never stole away his faith that he would once again return to health and strength.
 
In July of 2002, Charlie and his friend went on a 14 mile bike ride in the late afternoon hours. Before leaving, he spoke with his wife, and left a message on his mother’s answering machine expressing his love for both. “One thing that this experience has taught me is to never leave anything unsaid. I love you could have been my last words my wife and mother heard from me.”

 
Charlie was travelling 40 mph as he rounded a bend in the road coming from a shaded area to bright sunlight area. There he saw a Dodge Ram pickup stopped in the left lane coming up the hill with its left directional on. Unfortunately, he never saw Charlie and accelerated into the turn. Charlie considered going around the back of the truck but there was traffic coming down the hill and didn’t want to get hit broadside, so he tried to make the turn with the truck. He collided with the truck just at the front fender. “My head hit the windshield and shoulders and upper chest took most of the impact.”, said Charlie. To this day, he really doesn’t remember much of the accident just yelling “NO” immediately before the collision occurred.
 
Moments later Charlie was discovered lying face up on top of his bike, covered in blood. The EMT found that his carotid artery on the left side of his neck was cut. Thankfully, the quick thinking EMT placed his fingers into his neck and straightened the artery, packed the wound and placed him in the ambulance
 
In the accident, Charlie cracked the windshield with his head, bent the windshield strut, took off the outside mirror, blew in the passenger window and crushed in the passenger door. Local police commented that the damage to the large pickup truck was very similar to the damage done when a car strikes a moose. Charlie credits his diligent work in the weight room at Worcester Fitness for saving his life, “This is where the strength training played an important role in my survival. At the time of the accident I was 6’ and weighed 230 lbs with about 12% body fat and I’m certain that my size and strength helped absorb the impact”
 
Charlie had broken the odontoid bone in his neck, fractured his jaw in three places, broke his right collarbone, separated his left shoulder, broke all ribs, collapsed both lungs, bruised his heart and cerebellum, and had a stroke to his brain stem. The doctors gave him a less than a 50% chance for survival and he received last rites several times over the next few days and flatlined a few times that first week.
 

Within a few weeks, Charlie was moved to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and was in a coma for more than a month. He and his family were informed that he would most likely be a quadriplegic and might have permanent brain damage. His robust weight went from 230lbs down to 180lbs, but Charlie was rapidly showing vast improvements in his motor skills. He amazed his family and doctors with how quickly he healed and improved. 6 weeks after the accident, he was transported to Fairlawn Rehabilitation in Worcester, MA where he learned how to walk again. In typical Charlie fashion, by the end of the first week he had discarded his walker for a cane and was mobile again. Finally, he was able to eat solid food, and gained back some of the weight that he had lost. Charlie used his time in the rehab hospital to do some deep thinking, “I could sit there and pity myself or thank God for letting me live. I prayed and told God that if this were how I would have to live my life I’d make the best of it.”
 
Eight months following the accident, Charlie’s returned to his pre-accident weight of 230 pounds, was riding the stationary bike and elliptical machine for 1 hour. The nerves in his leg were showing signs of regeneration and he was totally off all medications. Within no time, Charlie was back outside on his bike, riding for fun and for charity in races like the Great Mass Getaway for Multiple Sclerosis . Once again, he was riding 30, 50, 75 mile rides. “I can attribute my amazing recovery to the incredible people and spin classes at Worcester Fitness. I was fit before my accident, and I know that my high level of fitness helped me recover fully and quickly.”

When Charlie looks back over all that has happened in the 15 years since the accident, he says that all his experiences and relationships with friends and family have all been affected positively. “Several people have told me that this must have been the worst year of my life, and my answer to them is "It was the best year of my life". "I'm Still Here! Miracles Do Happen!” When asked about Charlie, Worcester Fitness Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor Denleigh Grniet said, “ Charlie teaches us how important it is to ask if what is bothering us now really makes a difference. If it won’t matter in 5 months, we should just let it go, focusing on staying positive and gracious.”
 
We at Worcester Fitness are thrilled to have played a role in Charlie’s recovery and return to strength. We love having him as part of our family and are inspired by his strength and resiliency he’s shown for the years since his accident. According to Meg, “Charlie is an amazing guy. It's an honor to know him, and hear his incredible story of strength and survival.”