Apr 24 2014

VIDA Fitness Client Profile — Norrisa Tworkowski

renclientTell us about yourself

I’m in my late 50s. I was very inactive and had substantial weight gain. Sitting all day at my desk and in front of the computer made matters worse. I got a wakeup call by the onset of heart related health issues. I recently took up running for fundraising but now I’m hooked on running.
I am most excited and thankful for my awesome Personal Trainer, Luciane, because not only have I gone from a size 16 to a size 10, but my cardiologist gave me a clean bill of health!

Why are you using a Personal Trainer to achieve your goals?

To keep from injuring myself by not using proper techniques; for motivation; and, personal accountability that forces me to get my workouts.

What do you like most about your trainer?

Luciane is very patient, but tough when you try to wimp out on her. Once she knows your goals she pushes you to reach them. She is truly a “master” trainer in every sense and mixes the workouts so training sessions are never the same.

What is your main goal?

Overall fitness, weight loss and some body building. I want to advance my running skills.

How has your trainer helped you reach your goals?

As a result of Luciane’s expert personal training, I’m a much stronger and lighter person.
I was able to run road races for the first time in my life! I completed a 5K and a 10K race last year and will be attempting my first half marathon in three weeks.
I’m ready to take on the streets of DC at the upcoming Nike Women’s Half Marathon with a strong finish. Thanks, Luciane!

Apr 22 2014

Find your VIDA Personal Training Match

By Danielle Michels
VIDA Fitness Blogger

Personal Training Pic 2There are times we could all use a little help.

This rings true for every aspect of our lives: sometimes it’s a professional mentor at work, a financial advisor, or a therapist for your romantic relationship or your relationship with the closest person in your life, you.

So if you’re having trouble in the realm of a healthy lifestyle, why go at it alone? Finding your fitness therapist in the form of a personal trainer might be just the change you need to hone in on developing and building yourself up on more of a physical level.

Even if you’re great at making working out a priority, maybe you’ve hit a plateau or you’re getting bored with your routine. Maybe you’ve given yourself a challenge to try out a new fitness feat and you need help navigating the waters to get where you need to be to rise to the occasion.

No matter the case, personal training is exactly how it sounds, personal. This means that although personal trainers are all certified to guide you through a workout, they all have their differences, and some may be a better fit for you then others.

Here are some tips guiding you to your perfect personal training match:

Determine what matters most

First things first figure out what your motivation is. Do you need someone that’s going to make you go hard non-stop for an hour, or someone who is going to go a little slower and show you all the ropes so that you feel more comfortable going solo in the gym? Dependent on your fitness goals and reasoning for seeking out a trainer, you may favor a certain style of training.

Most trainers also have various specializations and niches. Some have more of a background working with people recovering from an injury or serious illness, while others have done fitness competitions and can guide you based on similar training experiences.

Then there’s also male versus female. You may not care, but some people have a preference based on past experiences, or whichever sex they may feel more comfortable with. Your trainer will be evaluating your body’s movements and you’ll want to be comfortable with them being hands on to ensure you’re doing the exercises properly.

Take advantage of your consultation

When you initially signed up for your VIDA Fitness membership you got this thing called a vidafit. Part consultation and part workout, your vidafit is the tool that we offer to make sure you start off your membership on the right foot and know a trainer up on the main floor that serves as not only a resource, but also as a familiar face.

Now here’s a lesser-known secret: all you have to do is ask. You may not know that a vidafit is always available to you (at any point your membership) to help you get back on track, or answer any questions about training you may have.

Ask to speak with someone on the membership team to pair you with a trainer based on your things that matter most to you and schedule a time to meet for a vidafit. The membership team is there for you to make sure that you get on a trainer’s schedule and that the trainer you meet with will be someone that could be your match.

Test the waters

Go in to your vidafit session open-minded and honest. Your trainer for the hour is going to ask you some questions, and the great part about preplanning by figuring out what matters to you is that you’ll be armed with answers.

The more information and background you can provide your trainer the better. It’ll be key when it comes time to do your workout and you can really get a feel for how your trainer is going to respond to your needs based on what you talked about.

Also, know that if your workout is difficult, that’s a good thing. That shows that the trainer tapped in to your needs and gave you a preview on what you can develop and accomplish with their help.

Be realistic

Like with any goal you’re trying to reach you have to be realistic. What is the investment you are willing to make, both financially and with your time?

What are you going to do to measure your success and results? Sitting down and formulating the possibilities of making personal training part of your fitness or healthy lifestyle equation will help you in deciding which trainer to go with and how often you would like to train.

Make your Match

Take the plunge and get training!

Document your journey with a journal, pictures or exercise log to stay motivated toward your goals on days you don’t see your trainer, and to stay aware of what you’re learning and accomplishing in this new step on your personal health journey.

For more information on VIDA Fitness Personal Training please visit or see your club manager.

Apr 20 2014

VIDA Fitness Personal Trainer Spotlight — Luciane Guilmard

lucTell us about yourself:

Originally from Brazil, I earned my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Fatima and has over 20 years of experience. I have much experience in strength training, conditioning, cycling, yoga, aqua-aerobics, stretching, and injury recovery. I like to strive to stay current with and incorporate the newest trends and innovations in fitness. I am extremely knowledgeable about different body types and adjust exercises to the needs and desires of each client.

What made you become a Personal Trainer?

Since I was young, I was passionate about games and exercise, and being active, fit, and healthy. As a child, I was always running, jumping, climbing trees and fences. I loved playing volleyball and dodge-ball on the street with my sibling, friends and neighbors (usually I was the last one to be hit). I decided early on that I wanted to work in sports professionally. I went to University and studied to become a Physical Educator. Since then, I have been working in the sports and fitness field and remain passionate about what I do.

Exercise Tips:

Always warm-up before starting your exercise routine, use proper form to ensure you target the correct muscles, maintain consistent breathing throughout exercises, and finally, cool down with static stretches.

Nutritional Tip:
Don’t skip meals, keep to small portions, avoid fatty and sugary food, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep.

Tell us about one of your success stories:

It is so great to help others get fit and maintain healthier lifestyles. No matter what my clients’ goals are, whether it is to get stronger or reduce sizes, improve balance and flexibility, or recover from a injury and run a marathon, I step up to the plate. I have helped so many clients achieve their own fitness goals, while providing knowledge, motivation and encouragement to help them in the pursuit of health. I truly enjoy being able to see the body transformation and making a difference in someone’s life.

Apr 18 2014

Look Wedding Ready with These Tips

By Danielle Michels
VIDA Fitness Blogger

“Sweating for the wedding.” It’s a phrase that’s starting to crop up on Pinterest motivational boards and fitness gear, especially since we’re charging full-speed ahead in to wedding season. Run Bride

And don’t get us wrong, we want you to look HOT for your big day, but don’t you want to look and feel great for your marriage too? In addition to these tips below VIDA Fitness offers a wide range of group fitness and personal training options to help you look your best on your big day. For more information please see your club manager.

Here are some tips for how to not only look rock solid and move with ease in your gown, but also how to make fitness a part of your life with results that last long after the big party and down the road to wedded bliss.

After all, even though your wedding may have been the kick in the butt you needed to get in to the gym, we’re training for life here, right? Right. Great, now that we’re on the same page, let’s go:

1) Lifting isn’t just for men – We may be preaching to the choir here, but you wouldn’t believe how many women still think that lifting weights is going to make them look like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s long-lost twin. It absolutely won’t, we promise. We understand that cardio helps you lose fat, but not spending time lifting weights is going to prevent you from toning up and creating that sleek and firm muscle definition.

Getting a rounded booty and nonexistent back and armpit rolls comes from a balanced routine of cardio and lifting weights. Now that’s something we can all say we want year-round. If you don’t know how to lift weights for a workout try a class like VIDA Rx or Conditioning where you’ll receive a total-body strength-training workout that’s fun and maximizes your time.

2) Don’t spot train –Spot training means focusing on training one area of the body with the idea that training one thing in particular will cause you to see results just in that area.

For example, you may be planning to wear a strapless gown with a more full skirt, so you focus all your time on sculpting your arms (you do bicep curls and tricep dips like it’s your full-time job), but you do nothing to build your lower body. If you’re really looking to tone up, slim down or build muscle, even if it’s in one particular area, it needs to be a total-body effort.

Movements that involve working the whole body will allow you see those results in the area that you want faster, and as an added bonus other areas will start to tone up as well.

3) Establish a routine – Between work, everyday responsibilities and trying to have a social life it’s hard to establish a routine even when wedding planning isn’t in the mix. Whether it’s getting a personal trainer, finding a workout buddy who will attend classes with you or sitting down to map out all your own workouts for the week, creating that routine will help you navigate how to prioritize exercise so that you’re reaching your goals at a moderate pace and not freaking out when it comes time to do the final fittings.

Not to mention, exercise will help ease that wedding planning stress (it’s inevitable no matter how long you have to plan) and set you up so that once you’ve reached your wedding, working out is something you look forward to as part of your everyday life, setting you up for many healthy and happy years with your other half.

Apr 16 2014

Without THIS Investment, Your Career and Retirement is WORTHLESS

By Erik Strouse, MS
VIDA Fitness Trainer

broken-piggy-bank.ju.topWelcome back VIDA members! I have taken a quick break on the flexibility thread until later this month to talk about something else that is incredibly important. I teach at the George Washington University as an Adjunct Faculty member. It gives me the opportunity to share my knowledge with career minded individuals. The University setting is a wonderful place, and I love it. Students really value their future. They learn about their potential careers, and expand their knowledge on how to navigate the professional setting. But you know what is really awful about the secondary American Education System and line of thinking that it empowers students to have? By the pure nature of what secondary education stands for, it promotes heavy career-centric lifestyles, and empowers them to believe that their career and earned money are the most important investments needed to have a fruitful, lively future. The American Culture is just as guilty at this empowerment as the education systems it houses. What we are told by both is that hard work will earn us money and that money is needed to achieve retirement. With retirement comes a level of satisfaction and a freedom to enjoy all of our hard work towards the ends of our lives. We are taught to invest not only our money, but also our time to acquire this money to achieve it. There is obviously truth in this, and I am not here to say this is a poor line of thinking. But is this the whole picture? Is this really what we should be going “all in on” and that our savings account is really the most important “account” to invest in to enjoy a wonderful retirement?

What our system does not teach us is that our most important investment is actually not money and the time it takes to earn it. What it should be telling us to invest more in, or at least at an equal value, is maintaining our youth; our longevity; our body’s ability to actually move, operate, and think with ease. As American’s, we put so much into our careers that it directly influences our health and wellness, and we start as young as middle school and high school where we get students’ minds thinking about their careers. But lets bump to the more relevant group of people: You as the readers. To the regular DC workforce, it is fairly common to have a 40-60+ workweek in attempt to grow our monetary and career value. In this pursuit of obtaining a “successful career”, we forget that we need to keep our body well established and functioning at a high level. Our bodies are a “use it or lose it” kind of thing, and if we stay cooped up behind a desk for even 50 hours a week, it significantly impacts our ability and desire to want to work at keeping the body in optimal condition.

What good is a large savings and retirement if you are incapable of walking far distances? What good is that money when being able to explore the world is limited by poor mobility and balance? What good is it if all of our youth is spent grinding away at a career and earning that ever so important dollar? It does us no good to have large amounts of money if we have failed to invest in our ability to actually USE it physically and mentally. What if you have spent all of your years working incredibly hard at working and saving this money, but through the process never made it a priority to exercise regularly, to eat well, or to practice a balanced lifestyle that reduced total stress and be social?

Everything you have done from the day you were a child until your current stage of life is somehow going to affect your health and physicality in your later years, for better or for worse. There is no better time than now to start investing heavily in an account that is never taught to invest in: Your “Longevity Account”. What is the Longevity Account? How do you invest? Tune in later this month to find out!