Posted on May 23rd, 2011 *Post last modified on December 6th, 2012
Fitness enthusiasts can be as fickle as the wind…or they can stay with their own established routine for years. The challenge, says Apex Center Fitness Manager Russell Van Marter, is to offer a variety of programs that meet as many needs as possible beneath one roof. Since opening its doors in 2000, the Apex Center has offered an all-in-one recreation experience, and the fitness/wellness component of the center mirrors that philosophy.
However, the program is constantly being evaluated to be sure that the quality and content meet or exceed customers’ expectations. “The Internet has created more savvy customers that are more in tune with their personal goals and limitations,” Van Marter said. “They also tend to have better body awareness, and in the case of older adults, better nutrition habits.”
As customers set the bar higher for themselves, they also zero in on fitness trends that go beyond the latest fad and are backed by solid research and results. The American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal recently published its top 20 fitness trends for 2011, and the Apex Center fitness program is very much in step with them.
For example, five of the top 20 trends have to do with personal training, a program that Van Marter says is “exploding” at the Apex Center. “The group personal training programs are especially popular. The groups are small, so people get the best of both worlds: personal attention and affordability.”
Again, these customers have a better idea of their expectations before they walk in the door, so they often have specific results in mind when seeking a personal trainer. The Apex Center currently employs ten personal trainers, all with broad experience and credentials, but also with areas of special expertise for those with specific program goals. That can be anything from preparing for a triathlon to developing a fitness regimen for the first time.
The Apex Center’s staff and program resources match up with many other trends on the list—including strength training, core training and functional fitness. Functional fitness, according to the ACSM, focuses on “building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions.” This is especially important for older adults who strive to stay active and independent. Older adult fitness is another booming area at the Apex Center. “We have about 5000 enrolled in the SilverSneakers program, and a number of activities such as Fit Over 50 and older adult weight training, that reach out to this group,” Van Marter said.
Other popular programs on the top-20 list target specific fitness interests, such as indoor cycling, with 15 classes per week at the Apex Center; yoga, with 13 classes per week; youth sport conditioning; and boot camp.
Boot camps are well-attended year-round, says Van Marter, with a heightened interest in the spring when thoughts turn to swimsuit season. Many participants also have specific events in mind when they start a conditioning program. “Most people would benefit by starting earlier,” Van Marter says. “Taking small steps makes it easier to sustain a fitness program for the long term. Good habits take time.”
Some fitness participants start a program as a result of a referral by a physical therapist or doctor – another item on the top-20 list. “We wish we had more of those,” Van Marter says. “Adding fitness and recreation activity isn’t a cure-all, but there aren’t too many situations where it doesn’t help.”
Evaluating current trends and looking toward future trends is part of the Apex Center’s success, Van Marter says. That consists of listening to clients and instructors, and responding to wants and needs as facility space, time and budget permit.
All group exercise classes, including Cycle Burn group cycling, are free with Apex Center admission. To see details on the Apex Center fitness programs and the group exercise schedule, visit http://apexprd.org/activities/fitness-wellness-programs. To learn more about specific fitness programs, or to arrange for a tour, call 303-463-4241. For information about Apex Center fees and multi-visit passes, visit http://apexprd.org/facilities/apex-center or call 303-424-2739.