There is a legendary story involving a college-aged me and my bestie. We declared that if we could manage to work our part time jobs, go to class, study, maintain a social presence at..ahem…Madison, Wisconsin’s finest houses and social establishments, AND still work out, then we could always find time for physical activity. Because we would NEVER again be as busy as we were then.
Ha. Ha. Ha…Add full-time careers, husbands, dogs, houses and three-year olds, and…well…at least we can laugh at our naiveté.
I love me some exercise induced endorphins and I’ve tried a lot of ways to fit them into my busy life. Mama has to stay sane somehow, right? We have a lot of really awesome fitness facilities and programs in the Twin Cities and I feel like I have tried them all. At this point in my life, hour-long classes are really hard to fit in between work, daycare drop-off/pickup, gymnastics and swimming lessons and “Netflix and chill”-me time. So when I heard that I could do 20-minute workouts twice a week and reap the benefits of longer workouts, I was intrigued…and somewhat skeptical.
Oh my glutes – The Exercise Coach is the real deal. I left every session shaky and sweating after a 20 minute circuit of 8-10 different exercises. The workout is intense but it’s also accessible to anyone. You’re only working against what you can do. We’ve all felt gym intimidation. You know, when the ripped woman next to you is doing 50 pull ups without breaking a sweat? Or you’re staring at a box with no idea how you are going to jump onto that thing without snapping your neck? That isn’t the case here. It’s customized to you. You only compete with your own baseline. You get stronger on your own terms. There are no weights the size of your head to intimidate. You have no idea if the person on the machine next to you is stronger or not. It doesn’t matter.
If you can’t tell already, this isn’t your typical gym scene. First, the staff is amazing. My trainer pushed me to keep my intensity up, keep the correct form and to remember to breathe. (To be honest, it reminds me a lot of the support from the nurses during labor with my daughter). The Eden Prairie location is owned by a local married couple who met at Bethel University and are now raising three beautiful little girls together in Eden Prairie. They get it – we don’t all have time to work out for hours each week. They wanted to bring an accessible, affordable option to Minnesotans. The facility is bright and clean with plenty of parking. It’s an intentionally small space. This is small group personal training so you may be sharing the space with a few other people, but the trainers help keep everyone cycling through the machines smoothly and keep you all motivated.
So how does it work? I’m sure the great people at The Exercise Coach could explain this in more technical terms but here is my layman’s description. The strength machines are all connected to a computer. They provide resistance – not a set weight that you have to lift. During your first session you set a strength baseline on each of the machines. When you do the real sets on those machines, a computer screen in front of your face shows you your level of effort against your strength baseline that you set previously. The feedback really increases your motivation and determination to get the most out of each rep.
Despite my best intentions, there have been times where the intimidation of the gym or the workout keeps me from continuing through a program. This isn’t the case at The Exercise Coach. I feel welcome and know exactly what to expect. The one time I had to miss a session due to a last minute work conflict, they sent a text to check in and make sure that I knew that I was missed and that I was welcome to come back as soon as I could make it work. No pressure, but the accountability is huge. You’re not an anonymous face to a rotation of trainers here.
So does it actually work? Well, I’m five sessions in and very happy with how things have progressed. Here are my observations:
- I don’t dread going. It’s fun, but even on my worst days I know I can do anything for 20 minutes and I’ll be happy I did.
- I’m sore post workout especially in my hamstrings – they have this crazy hamstring machine that is nothing I have ever seen before and it’s so intense. And so good.
- I already feel a little stronger and a little more fit in general. I’m sure this will continue as I keep going and make time for my fitness.
The Exercise Coach is also affordable. You can join their Small Group Training for as low as $21 per session. They also offer a monthly membership as well as flexible packages, which allow clients to work through their sessions at their own pace. A one-on-one personal training session ranges from $35-$38 per session. Standard personal training costs are $50-$100 per session, so The Exercise Coach is proud to offer the world’s highest quality training for a much more competitive price!
The Exercise Coach always offers 2 FREE sessions to everyone, but as a special offer to TCMB readers, they will offer $25 off towards their first month or pack if they mention TCMB. This offer will be good through September 30, 2017!
Seriously, go. Check it out. Make some time for yourself. It’s only a little bit of time and you’ll be so glad that you did.
PS: My hubby gave it a quick try and was instantly hooked as well. It’s not just for the ladies! 🙂