Chad Leeson, a trainer at The Dalles Fitness and Court club, looks around what used to be a little-used racquetball court.
He gestures around the room: Tall metal frames on one side of the room will soon be used for the weight lifting area, pull-ups and weight squats. “We won’t be doing heavy weights over the head,” he quickly points out. “We will be very inclusive.”
In a corner by the entry are a pile of colored medicine balls of varying sizes. “They can be used for anything,” he explains. “They add resistance to the workout.”
Kettle bells — they resemble small bowling balls with handles — sit to one side. A stack of wooden platforms — box jumps — are neatly stacked out from the wall in four small pyramids.
Mats, a pair of rowing machines and other workout equipment is arranged here and there, along with a couple of tall work ladders. A door on one side opens into a courtyard, allowing access outdoors.
It isn’t finished, but Leeson is getting ready for the opening of the Life Fitness Institute, a new program at the club. It will feature, on the physical side,
cardio and strength training stations to be used for timed workouts,
competing against the clock.
For Leeson, the mental side may be more important. “We want to emphasize life fitness, a holistic approach,” he explained. The institute will explore nutrition, workout recovery and how to approach a workout.
“We will be focused on basics and fundamentals,” he added. “We want to be inclusive, conscious of our member’s needs.”
“A workout only lasts for an hour. We want to give people the tools to be fit the other 23 hours each day when they are not going to be working out.
“We want people to learn about taking care of your body, taking care of your muscles,” he said.
In addition to the Fitness Institute room, the program will take advantage of the many other fitness-related areas of the club and classes like yoga, Zumba and others.
To begin with, the Fitness Institute will have three trainers but Leeson anticipates it growing once people understand the benefits to be had in the program.
“It’s not just this room, it’s the whole center – It’s a whole new philosophy of fitness. The room just expands our ability to train and work with clients,” Leeson said. “It opens up new possibilities, new opportunities.”