Member Spotlight | I Felt Like a Broken Man

Member Spotlight | I Felt Like a Broken Man

The sun rises and a new day begins. You get up, get dressed, and take on the day’s varying tasks. Some days are good, and some days are less so, but nonetheless, the day passes. You get ready for bed, close your eyes, and the cycle continues.

Until one day – a question hits you and breaks you from the routine of your everyday life. It’s as if the ticking of a grandfather clock suddenly stops. You’re left standing in the middle of a typical day, and yet it’s like your eyes have abruptly opened. You ask yourself, where has the time gone?

Meet Michael R., of Baton Rouge, LA, who joined LA Fitness in September 2016 after suddenly realizing that he felt like a broken man. He had let himself go, ignored the problem, and procrastinated until it all amassed to a breaking point. He knew it was up to him to take action. And so, the change began.

While the beginning of any journey has its uphill climbs, Michael was lucky enough to find support and motivation through the team of staff at his local LA Fitness. He began by sharing exactly what it was that he wanted to accomplish, and the very next day he met with another associate named Kale.

Kale listened intently, took notes during their meeting, pictures, and measurements that very same day. Michael recalls Kale saying “You will never look like this again”, which helped fuel a fire in him and generate an excitement knowing that his goals were obtainable and that he had a team that was confident in him.

In exchange for Kale’s confidence and support, Michael committed to listening and doing everything in his power to do his part, even outside of the gym. This included making changes to his current diet. Michael recalls that this is when the fun began.

He was teamed up with an LA Fitness Pro Results® personal trainer, who knew exactly what Michael was wanting to accomplish. She had him engaging in a variety of weight training exercises, isolating specific muscle groups on designated days, and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and cardio on non-weight training days.

After some time, Michael was then paired with another Pro Results® trainer who took training to the next step. Patrick V., Michael’s current trainer, made sure to have Michael focus on form, positioning, and the mental aspect of working out.

“The thing I like about Patrick is that he understands what I am wanting to accomplish and he is providing me exercises to get me there. Some mornings, I may not like his methodology, but I know he knows best and I trust him.”

Michael R.

LA Fitness Pro Results® Client

When Michael first began this journey in September 2016, he weighed in at 238 lbs. He knew he was overweight, and he felt out of shape. Cut to just a little over a year later in December 2017 –  Michael weighed in at 195 lbs. and is leaner than ever!

By working day by day, week by week, and month after month, Michael’s goal of becoming a healthier version of his old self has finally come true. There’s no turning back now. Michael has made his new healthier routine a lifestyle and he shared how overjoyed he is with the success he has achieved with LA Fitness.

“Much of [my] journey consisted of exercise and making smart food choices and the incorporation of fresh fruits, vegetables, and berries as part of my meal plan.”

Michael R.

LA Fitness Pro Results® Client

“If nothing changes, then nothing changes! Dare to get out of your comfort zone and take suggestions from trusted people who have done what you are trying to do so you can create your own success story! Now, that I have accomplished just a few goals, health and fitness wise, I feel confident sharing my experience with others.”

Michael Roberts

LA Fitness Pro Results® Client

Social Handles:

Before: September 2016

After: August 2017


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Could Your Gym Membership Equal a Tax Break?

Could Your Gym Membership Equal a Tax Break?

On July 25, 2018, the 2018 PHIT Act was passed by the U.S.  House of Representatives. Now PHIT heads to the Senate.

If written into law, this bill would allow for some fitness expenses to be deemed a write-off, meaning your gym membership could be one step closer to qualifying as a tax break.

Aside from a gym membership additional activities and expenses that would be covered if the bill becomes law include safety equipment used in an exercise program performed in either a formal setting or self-directed.

Additional eligible fitness expenses would include:

  • Exercise Classes
  • Personal Trainers
  • Dumbbells & Free Weights
  • Medicine Balls
  • Race & Fitness Event Registration Fees
  • Resistance Bands
  • Treadmills, Elliptical & other equipment
  • Martial Arts Classes
  • Yoga accessories
  • Training Aids
  • Fitness Trackers

According to an article released by CNBC,

The tax break would be limited to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for heads of households and couples who file joint tax returns.

To receive your tax break, you would need to count your medical expenses against your income and itemize your deductions. The eligible health care costs would need to exceed a certain amount of your AGI (adjusted gross income) in order to be a deductible. “For 2018, that threshold is 7.5 percent. In 2019, it goes to 10 percent,” as stated by CNBC.

Gym memberships, weight loss programs, and fitness classes are currently only deductible for taxpayers who have a qualifying medical condition that meets certain criteria.  If this new bill becomes law, it could help the many others who are looking to make an investment in their health.

For those unfamiliar, in 2017 a nearly identical bill was proposed known as PHIT America which promoted individuals to get active and encouraged healthy physical activity.

You can find the full PDF version of the bill here.

Sources:

  1. O’Brien, Sarah. “That Gym Membership Is a Step Closer to Being a Tax Break.” CNBC, CNBC, 12 July 2018, www.cnbc.com/2018/07/12/your-gym-membership-is-a-step-closer-to-being-a-tax-break.html.
  2. Erb, Kelly Phillips. “Congress Considers Bill To Make Gym Memberships, Fitness Classes Tax Deductible.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 19 July 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2018/07/14/congress-considers-bill-to-make-gym-memberships-fitness-classes-tax-deductible/.
  3. Smith, Jason. “Text – H.R.6312 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): PHIT Act.” Congress.gov, 19 July 2018, www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6312/text.

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Quick & Easy Workouts for a Busy Morning

Quick & Easy Workouts for a Busy Morning

The alarm clock rings. You open your eyes. Hop out of bed. Get dressed. Feed the kids and/or dog or cat. Check your schedule. Check the clock. Feed the kids and/or dog or cat. Wait… you’ve already done that. Run out the door. Forget your keys. Run back into the house, grab your keys. Get in the car. Realize you’ve forgotten your coffee. Exhale – already exhausted.

Hello, work day. Great to see you again.


With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, how on Earth is it possible to make time for working out? Especially in the mornings!

Between taking care of the family, putting in the hours at work, paying the bills, and still managing to make time for others, you are the Hero-of-the-Everyday.

However, every great hero needs to make sure they are putting in the time and effort to stay strong enough to keep being their super-selves.

And that’s why self-care is so important.

Exercise helps us function, move better, feel better, and make healthier choices throughout the day.

Here are a few quick and easy workouts to get the blood pumping and those endorphins flowing so you can conquer your day.


PLANK AWAKE

Drop and give me a plank till exhaustion! Assume proper plank position and hold it for as long as you can. Don’t forget to keep your core tight and engaged, and your body in correct alignment. Don’t let your bottom half start rising upwards towards the ceiling.

BEDFRAME WAKE UP PUSHUPS

Grab a hold of the edge of your bed (the bed frame) and make sure it’s strong enough to support your weight. Take a few steps away from your bed, with your arms still firmly grasped to the framing. Once you’re at a proper angle to begin pushups, go ahead and get started! Complete as many as you can.

MORNING MADNESS BURPEES

Get some cardio in quick with early morning burpees. This full body exercise uses your own bodyweight to work your arms, legs, and core. It’s a fast way to increase heartbeat and quickly burn off some calories while simultaneously building muscle strength.


Bonus: If you’re able to wake up extra early to make it into an LA Fitness, we offer early morning Group Fitness classes that may help jumpstart your day and give you the extra motivation you need to push yourself harder than you would on your own. Just don’t forget to grab a pre- or post-workout snack!

This article is sponsored by belVita – breakfast for your mornings. For a list of hours to visit your favorite LA Fitness gym, click here.


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AAT: Ep. 26 – How Long Would You Recommend Spending in The Sauna?

AAT: Ep. 26 – How Long Would You Recommend Spending in The Sauna?

Ask A Trainer: Featured Question of the Week

LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Stone T., and get his advice on how long is an optimal amount of time to spend in the sauna.


Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

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**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.


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I Took a Body Works Plus Abs Class, and It Was One of the Best Workouts I’ve Ever Had

I Took a Body Works Plus Abs Class, and It Was One of the Best Workouts I’ve Ever Had

If you had asked me a year ago if I knew what a Body Works Plus Abs class was, I would have told you it sounds like something to avoid at all costs. Now, I’m a moderate gym user who goes a few times a week. But I’ve had a lot of non-starters when it came to regular exercise; canceled gym memberships, workout clothes gathering dust in my dresser, yoga mat stashed in the back of the closet. I had to literally drag myself to the gym and I would go alone, put my headphones in, and chug dully along on the elliptical.

It was a sad sight.

Then, I discovered group workout classes, and I finally found a fun and challenging exercise experience that I actually felt motivated to do.  Whether it’s Yoga, Zumba®, or Pilates, Group Fitness classes are mini-communities that are forces of positivity and personal growth.

That’s what led me to the Body Works Plus Abs class at my local LA Fitness one Tuesday night. I had skipped a few sessions, so I was ready to work hard and push myself. The class opened with some light stretching, followed by digging in with everyone’s favorite – squats. Upbeat tunes blasted through the speakers as we moved up and down, followed by lightly jogging around the room to stretch our legs; our sneakers pounding against the floor to the beat of the music.

Then, our instructor broke us into pairs and had us work out together. My partner and I high-fived our way through a series of exercises: planks, sit-ups, lunges, and everyone’s second favorite – burpees. Fully feeling the effects of the high-energy leg workout, we had just conquered, we sat down on our mats and moved onto the second part of the class, the abs. For this section, our instructor took us through 10 ab exercises in 10 minutes, one minute per exercise.

This section of the class is the true test of how much you push yourself. We grinded through the fifth exercise, working to maintain the same amount of energy we had in the first exercise. It was exhilarating and hard, yet I felt empowered. What makes Group Fitness classes so appealing is that you have the energy of the rest of the room working with you to push yourself towards the finish line.

And by the finish line, I mean a good long stretch as soon as the last crunch is done. We laid on our stomachs and arched our backs into Cobra pose; slower, more relaxing music played above us then.

 

There is truly no greater satisfaction than the feeling after an intense workout; I now understand why cats and dogs love doing it so much.

 

What I love most about group workout classes is the camaraderie that comes with them and the LA Fitness experience is no exception. The instructors are energetic and supportive, you get to meet more of the LA Fitness community, and it’s a solid workout whether you’re looking to relax with some Yoga or shake it out with Zumba®.

So, what are you waiting for? Check out the schedule here.


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