As president of the Running Revolution, I was pleased when our local SNAP Fitness offered Revolution members free 30-day trial memberships and special training support for new runners. However, since I was unfamiliar with the services SNAP offered, I felt an obligation to investigate the process and share what I found.
Then Ryan showed me a metabolic assessment tool called easyFIT. It is an accelerometer device akin to the Bodybugg featured on The Biggest Loser. EasyFIT monitors are worn on the hip and gauge caloric burn rates through user motion. By tracking calorie output, the easyFIT encourages wearers to meet daily burn goals, strive for points, and generally empower more healthful diet and exercise decisions. Though I learned that an easyFIT would not be happy if I took it in the pool for a swim, it would track the rest of my cardio work quite well. The easyFIT is an optional item that – if you chose to purchase – would cost around $49.00.
Ryan started to discuss results-based training, the keystone of the SNAP Fitness philosophy. Ryan’s passion for his work was clear as he talked about helping people learn what and how much to do to get the fitness results they desired. With pride, he referenced the numerous success stories featured in frames on the wall, each detailing the particulars of a local member who had improved their health.
At this point, SNAP personal trainers guide new members through a half hour fitness assessment targeting the “Basic 8” muscle groups…chest, back, quads, hamstrings, biceps, triceps, calves and abdominals. Results from this test – along with client fitness and weight loss goals – become the baseline for workout routine recommendations. SNAP trainers are available for a limited number of orientation sessions, or may be hired for ongoing training.
Then Ryan showed me something more…SNAP has partnered with Truestar Health to provide members with virtual trainers, nutritionists and health advisors. Ryan created an online Truestar account for me and proceeded to type in my personal information including medical conditions like allergies, food dislikes and my desire to train for athletic performance in multi-sport races. Then hay presto, up came 52-weeks of nutrition and exercise training regimens designed to meet my needs.
These programs were so dense that I am going to write more about them as I have a chance to explore them, but on first pass they are quite interesting. My nutrition program stipulates three meals and two snacks a day designed to help me reach my lean endurance muscle goal while providing hormonal, PH and caloric balance and eschewing my allergy-provoking foods. Menus are alterable, may be comprised of homemade or eat out options at ratios you control, recipes are scalable and may be printed, and you can print shopping lists for a day, a week or two weeks. For someone like me who wants to eat healthfully but lacks the knowledge, the food creativity, and possibly the drive to do the investigatory work to learn how to feed myself better, this program appears to be a godsend.
The exercise program Truestar Health prescribed fell short of my expectations in syncing with my current exercise regimen, but it began with anatomical adaptation (improving strength and flexibility and preparing the body for upcoming training), which is a safe starting point. Still, the workouts and exercise options this program suggested were vast and impressive. I am hopeful that with some additional tinkering the program will better match its workout recommendations to my current abilities. I am excited by the concept of a personalized sport-specific training program that builds to a goal or race date.
The Truestar site also offers a medical encyclopedia where you can look up medical conditions and peruse recommended treatment options and a spiffy yoga builder program with pre-built sequences and the option to build your own. The site also has supplement, attitude and sleep programs, but I have not explored those yet.
As soon as my orientation was over, Ryan invited me to stay and workout. I could not stay right then, but it is pretty swell to think that I could take him up on the offer 24/7.
I went to my local SNAP Fitness gym for an orientation that would allow me to share the experience and encourage others to get the support they need to improve their fitness level wherever they could find it. I left realizing that I had found some support I had been missing.