By Deborah M. Walker
and TNCP Staff
Summer time has once again rolled around and that means many are rushing to start an exercise program and get in shape. Healthy group fitness classes are one of the best ways to get in shape and to obtain your ideal weight.
“The number one underrated and underappreciated thing in life is your body. I think that people need to appreciate their bodies so that they can live longer and have better and healthier lifestyles,” said La'Dontaye Garrett, owner and personal trainer at Elite Fitness.
Elite Fitness offers high intensity interval training, weight training, cardio kick boxing, a kid's fitness program and Zumba. They also offer pound and step classes.
They have classes that will fit into every person's life style. Their summer classes are at 5 am and 6:30 pm daily and they have a free for everyone Saturday class at 8 am in the summer. On Sunday they have a 7 am Muscle Up class, Zumba at 1 pm and a 2 pm group session class.
Exercise has many benefits said Garrett. In addition to the outward change in appearance, there are inner changes that take place as well. Garrett said exercise is good for mental health, relieving stress and detoxifying the body. For those who invest in an exercise program the results are priceless if you stick to it. Elite Fitness offers classes that fit many lifestyles and can be modified to physical limitations.
Obesity causes many health problems such as type II diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, liver disease and certain types of cancers said Garrett. The list goes on. Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can significantly decrease the onset of these diseases and prolong quality of life.
According to adultobesity.org, Michigan ranks number 11 for adult obesity in the nation. Currently 31.5 percent of adults are obese; if nothing is done these numbers will only continue to rise. It is up to the individual to make the change.
Not giving up and realizing that results will not happen overnight is essential. Even the fittest person had to have a beginning. Do not get discouraged or give up said Garrett. He also agrees that working in a group setting while exercising helps you stay focused and energized. Group settings also help you learn the proper techniques and the modified form if you need it.
“None of us woke up in perfect shape, everyone has to make the decision to live a healthy life. Working out is not only great for your body, but it helps spiritually and mentally.” said Garrett.
He became certified 5 years ago and started with one client who wanted to lose weight. He did not have a gym but he did have ambition.
According the excitement the members share on social media, Elite Fitness is not like any other group they have been a part of. They appear to be a group of people that are all on a journey together and who support each other with more conviction than you can imagine. They encourage high 5's, promote teamwork and comment about how they openly talk about their goals and fears.
If an individual is not in the best shape or is physically unfit for a vigorous workout, do not worry. At Elite Fitness the trainers make sure the client is comfortable at their fitness level. That means adjusting to make the program fit the needs of the client said Angie Morris, personal trainer at Elite Fitness.
“They are really good about doing a lot of modifications… you'll be in there working out with people who are doing every different level,” said Morris.
“I started working out at Elite Fitness in January. I had been having difficulties with extremely high blood pressure. I was hospitalized a little over a year ago. It was very frightening. I had assumed I was in fairly decent shape. Not ideal but I wasn't working out like I had during my younger adult years,” explained Morris.
She said she knew something had to change in her life. After meeting with Garrett to catch up, she decided she was going to take control of her health. It took her 2 months to contact him but since the beginning of the year she has lost almost 20 pounds.
Morris excitedly said, “I can wear pants I haven't been able to wear in 3 years! My doctor took me off one of my blood pressure medications and we are working on weaning me off the other.”
Everyone has been very welcoming and encouraging stated Morris. She explained that not only are the trainers pleasant but so are those who participate in the classes.
Morris also works with the Kids Fitness Program. It is a free weekly class for their member's children. It is Sunday at 2 pm and children of all ages are welcome. They believe that getting healthy is a family affair and that children benefit from exercise as well.
“Elite Fitness warms my heart daily. We have really created an atmosphere of trust. Anyone and everyone is welcome. No matter ability! When we moved into our new site, I approached the owner bout running the Kids Fitness Program. It was a natural fit for me and very close to my heart since I enjoy working with children.
Getting healthy is also the case for Margie Aimery, who takes fitness classes at Elite Fitness. She said she joined to gain control of her life and fitness goals. According to Aimery, Elite Fitness has great team work and instructors. She said the program is great for her and she is able to work around her injury.
“I do exercises that are modified because I had knee surgery, but I'm doing it because I'm trying to focus on me and getting healthy,” said Aimery.
For those who are sitting on the couch and are fearful of the "workout”, Garrett said that being afraid is all right. He added that getting in shape is going to be hard work and that can be scary at first. But sitting idle and letting life pass you by should be an even bigger fear.
“If you're fresh off the couch, a 5K enthusiast or you've been working out forever, Elite Fitness literally has every type of person in every session,” said Garrett.
His most memorable client started crying and became filled with joy at one of his sessions Garrett recalled. When he asked her why are she was crying, she looked him in the eyes and told him that for the first time ever she could look down and see her feet.
Do not worry about the cost of getting in shape. For someone who cannot afford a gym membership there are other ways for getting and staying healthy.
Affordability is also a top priority for Elite Fitness said Garrett. This cost is $50 for a private one hour session and $65 for the entire month of group classes. The monthly package gives you unlimited access to all the classes Elite Fitness offers.
“Elite Fitness is all about changing lives through fitness. So if someone cannot afford the outright monthly fee, we have payment plans. We will break down the monthly cost into 3 payments so that it is more affordable,” said Garrett.
Garrett said he does not want people to think fitness is only for people who have money. Working out is for everyone. Every day modern middle class and lower class people need to be healthy as well.
According to Garrett, one of the main reasons people do not work out is not for financial reasons. The true culprit is lack of child care. Elite Fitness is a child friendly environment and they offer child care for youths ages 4 to 12. Garrett said his job is to remove all obstacles to a healthy life.
Another reason why people do not work out is because they do not have someone to encourage them to continue. The support system is very weak in households where there are differences in beliefs about unhealthy eating habits and general overall health. Elite Fitness deals with that by suggesting that each member have an accountability partner.
“I've been working out and involved in fitness for many years and it's always better to do it together. My former high school coach, Marcelle Carruthers, would always drive home the empowering words “Together Everyone Achieves More”. We've taken the TEAM philosophy of dependability and accountability and instilled in our clients the importance of being committed and driven to themselves and their Elite Fitness TEAM. When we don't see your face at Elite Fitness, you better believe someone is sending you a motivating message to get you back focused and ready to go!”
Garrett said that his drive and determination was instilled in him by his father. He said that he knew it was time to take his business to the next level. His father taught him that a drive that is unmatched will put you ahead of the pack. He said that his father would work more hours than are in a day if he could and has watched him help people and be successful.
“I am literally excited about every day. This journey in itself is very challenging and difficult. Every class and every trainer is there to help change someone's life. It isn't something I take lightly. People are trusting me to help them achieve their goals. We want people to come and extend themselves past their comfort zone in order to be better,” said Garrett.
To find out more information about Elite Fitness, give them a call at 517-614-1138 or stop in at 1701 S. Waverly Road, Lansing, MI 48917.