Jump into fitness – Oct. 2017

Jump into fitness: CA’s free JumpStart program helps new members take the leap

By Tracy Dye, October 2017

I recently decided to try out Columbia Association’s new JumpStart program, which is designed to help new CA Fit&Play, 1Fit and Golf Fit&Play members get the most out of their membership plan and maximize their workouts.

The JumpStart program includes two free sessions — one focusing on coaching and the other on fitness. The coaching session consists of an in-depth questionnaire that will help the coach understand what your specific goals are and how to tailor a fitness program to your personal needs.

“The first session is a discovery process. We learn what your goals are and we dig deep to uncover the reasoning behind those goals,” said Leslie Flynn, general manager of Columbia Athletic Club, one of CA’s three fitness clubs (along with Columbia Gym and Supreme Sports Club).

One of my goals is to get stronger. Carrying groceries can leave my arms throbbing to the point that I sometimes just opt for takeout. My sister lives in California, which means I’ve spent my fair share of time on planes. It also means I’ve spent my fair share of time precariously attempting to hoist my luggage into an overhead bin.

I knew it was time to get serious about building my physical strength when I made the decision to move out of the townhome I share with two roommates and into my own apartment. I didn’t want to have to rely on a friend every time I want to rearrange my furniture, carry groceries up the stairs or — heaven forbid — twist open a particularly stubborn jar.

One thing we talked about at length during my session was how inconsistent I tend to be with exercise. “I typically stick to a workout routine for a few months, then eventually I lose motivation.”

We tapped into what usually got me motivated and discovered I need specific goals and a deadline in order to stick with a program. For example, my sister wanted me to join her in running a 10K last year. Once I paid the sign-up fee, I didn’t have an issue training, given that I had a specific goal for which I would be held accountable.

We also discussed which exercises would be appropriate for me. As a bubbly, energetic person, I’m someone who has difficulty sitting still, which is why I tend to choose fast-paced cardio workouts over things like strength training or yoga. Flynn recommended 30-minute personal training sessions that involve circuit training.

“A 30-minute circuit can keep you engaged during the entire workout so that you won’t get bored,” Flynn said.

The notes from my coaching session were then passed on to a personal trainer, who used the information to design a program tailored specifically to me.

A mere 30 minutes were packed with mountain climbers (a mat exercise where you are in plank position and jog in place), kettlebell exercises, modified pull-ups using a TRX®R suspension trainer, crunches, push-ups and more. The session flew by and my muscles were burning. I already felt stronger and was actually excited to book another appointment.

Each member’s prescribed program will be different. I discovered that — at this point — I do best with one-on-one training, but others may thrive in other settings, like group fitness classes.

“I feel like this program really sets us apart,” Flynn said. “We’re going to have members who are successful,who are going to enjoy their time at the fitness clubs, and it’s also a great way to connect them with more programs, staff and other members.”