By Stephanie Parry
In the new Mobility and Movement class at 425 Fitness Issaquah, the first thing instructor Carl Bennett will do is introduce himself. Next, he’ll introduce his leg.
Not every body part merits its own name, but in this case the name is well earned. You see, Carl is an amputee. (Spoiler alert: Carl’s prosthetic leg is named Steve, after Col. Steve Austin, the bionic main character from the 1970s television series The Six Million Dollar Man.)
Carl’s physicality was part of his identity his whole life. He stands 6’3”, played defensive tackle and nose guard for the University of Texas, and served as a county sheriff for 15 years. But after a drunk driver struck his car in 2007, the life he knew changed. Thirteen surgeries, an amputation, and four years in a wheelchair eventually destroyed his athleticism, cut his career short, and left him unsure of how to get back on his feet – both literally and figuratively.
He started slowly, finding community and support at the gym. During one of his workouts, a young man approached him. Carl was used to people being curious about his prosthetic leg, and was ready to field the usual questions. But this time it was different.
The young man had a proposition: he thought Carl should meet his mom. This was definitely not where Carl thought the conversation would go. Smiling, he remembers asking incredulously, “Who’s your mom?”
The mom in question was Mistilyn Miller. If her name rings a bell, you may have been around when Mistilyn was a regular instructor on the 425 Fitness class schedule. She has taught yoga to hundreds of members, and still subs occasionally. Mistilyn is a dynamic, positive force of energy known for her uplifting and challenging yoga classes. Not only is she a yoga instructor, but she is also a trainer of yoga teachers and a certified yoga therapist.
At first, Carl was skeptical. “First of all, black people don’t do yoga,” he laughs. “I’m a football player! I’m a wrestler! I’m not doing yoga!”
But Mistilyn’s persistence paid off. She and Carl began working together, incorporating yogaposes into his workouts and yoga philosophy into his everyday life. He learned how to adapt poses for his body, using props when needed. He also learned meditation and breathing techniques that helped him relieve anxiety, anger, and stress.
Mistilyn remembers their first meeting. “When I first met him, he could not safely get down off of a bench without falling […] He couldn’t walk straight when I met him.”
After six months of working together, Carl saw gains not only in his mobility but also his mental state. “Yoga is from the neck up,” explains Mistilyn. “He’s learned through yoga therapy […] how to calm his mind and be in acceptance of what has happened.” She had a hunch that Carl was uniquely positioned to share his experience with others navigating their way through injury, with an approach to yoga that not many instructors offer.
She encouraged Carl to get certified in yoga teacher training. In June, Carl completed his 200-hour Yoga Alliance teacher training, and he is now a certified yoga instructor. His Mobility and Movement class, at 425 Fitness Issaquah, debuted in early October.
What can 425 Fitness clients expect to get out of the Mobility and Movement class? A gentle, assisted approach to yoga that incorporates breath, movement, and mobility work. Students can take the class seated in a chair or on a yoga mat. Carl demonstrates yoga poses using props like blocks and straps. He has an easy rapport during class, and is happy to answer questions or pause to help people find a more comfortable approach to a pose.
Carl explains the class format: “It’s for mobility. Better mobility and better body movement, and recovery.” He wants to empower everyone to feel like there is a path to physical and mental recovery from injury and illness. “You don’t have to put all the control of your healing in the hands of a medical doctor or physical therapist. There are things you can do to help yourself.”
Susie White, Group Fitness Manager for 425 Fitness, is excited to be able to offer this new category of class. “The first day I met Carl working out in the gym and he told me the incredible and brave journey that brought him to our gym, I knew that this man was meant to change lives! Recovery from injury or illness, or simply increasing mobility, is key to the fitness needs of so many of our members. Carl will be able to help clients approach mobility and recovery from a place of compassion, empathy, and personal experience.”
When people finish his class, Carl wants people to see a new perspective. He wants to show them how they can take control of their own recovery, how they can improve their mobility, and how integrating elements of yoga into their physical and mental fitness can benefit their overall wellbeing.
He also hopes to change the way they see him. Yes, he is an amputee. Yes, he is a black man. Yes, he’s a former football player and sheriff. He is also a yoga instructor.
The Mobility and Movement class is currently offered on Fridays, from 9:30-10:30, at 425 Fitness Issaquah.
Stephanie Parry is a writer, marketer, and yoga instructor in Sammamish, WA. She is a substitute yoga instructor at 425 Fitness in Redmond and Issaquah.
Huge congratulations to Catherine Kelly’s client, Daniel, for loosing 16 lbs. and 7% body fat in 5 months!
Catherine Kelly is a Master Trainer at 425 Fitness Redmond with a Bachelor of Science in Health Education with a coaching minor.
She holds NASM CPT & NASM, CNC, ACE CPT certifications.
New research spotlights the dance moves that really make a difference. Read on to discover why dance benefits every body, and how to add effective dance workouts into your training routine.
When it comes to dance fitness, there are two camps. Those who love to unleash their inner Beyoncé at the drop of a beat… And the rest of us. Sure, us ‘dare-not dancers’ can see merit in the idea of moving to music, but lack of coordination and an unwillingness to let loose means we’re quick to overlook the many and varied perks that come from dancing. So what exactly are we missing out on?
Dance fitness is nothing new. Mainstream aerobic dance workouts first emerged in the 1970s, and ballet-inspired barre training has been around since then too (although back then it had surprisingly sexual undertones). In the 1980s jazzercize took off, and then Zumba became a pop culture phenomenon. Along the way, dance fitness became tarnished with the misconception it was just for middle-aged women looking to shake their hips like Shakira. But these days modern dance fitness spans everything from hip-hop to ballet. It’s diverse, dynamic, and anything but dull.
What’s more, it’s highly effective for boosting fitness.
A good dance session gives a seriously good cardio workout, burning a surprising amount of calories. It can improve muscular strength and muscle tone, and importantly enhance your coordination, agility and flexibility. Dancing can also help alleviate stress and ease depression, and unlock a wealth of exercise endorphins. Research also indicates dance can increase the number of cells in the brain’s hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for long and short-term memory as well as spatial navigation. This is one of the reasons why dance is known as the best exercise for staying young.
To further explore the benefits of dance, ACE recently enlisted the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse to identify the specific benefits of BODYJAM™, one of the globally-renowned dance programs developed by Les Mills.
The researchers recruited 19 healthy 18 to 22-year-old women, each with some aerobic dance experience and with no cardiovascular or orthopedic limitations to exercise. After practicing BODYJAM at least three times, they completed a 55-minute BODYJAM session in small groups. Each participant’s heart rate was recorded continuously throughout the workout and a rating of perceived exertion was taken after the warm-up, every three to five minutes during the workout’s “bust-out performance”, and after the cool-down.
The study found that during the workout, participants were exercising at an average of 73 percent of their heart rate max and 52 percent of their VO2 max, which falls into the moderate-intensity range. According to ACSM recommendations, training in this zone will improve cardiorespiratory endurance.
By the end of the 55-minute workout, participants had burned an average of 393 calories, which indicates it could be very beneficial for weight management. It is recommended that individuals expend 1,200 to 2,000 kcal per week (240 to 400 kcal per exercise session) to positively affect body composition (Donnelly et al., 2009).
IN A NUTSHELL: The study showed BODYJAM is an effective workout for improving cardiorespiratory fitness, as well as for weight loss and weight maintenance. Above and beyond BODYJAM’s aerobic benefits is the enjoyment factor. Each workout fuses the latest dance styles and hottest new sounds while putting as much emphasis on having fun as breaking a sweat. You’ll learn the latest dance moves, hear the freshest beats and walk away on an exhilarating party high. If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional aerobic exercise training, or want to add something new to your routine then dance – specifically BODYJAM – is a fantastic option.
Find a BODYJAM class at 425 Fitness Redmond (starting Dec 3rd!) or try BODYJAM On LES MILLS+.
KEEN TO EXPLORE OTHER DANCE OPTIONS? SH’BAM is a fun and playful dance workout that features simple dance moves and a party playlist. You can find a SH’BAM class near you or try SH’BAM On LES MILLS+.
LES MILLS BARRE is a modern version of classic balletic training that will shape and tone postural muscles, build core strength and leave you feeling beautifully strong. You can find a LES MILLS BARRE class near you or try LES MILLS BARRE On LES MILLS+.
LES MILLS DANCE is available exclusively on LES MILLS On LES MILLS+. The workout is shaped by international dancer and choreographer Gandalf Archer Mills and packed with music and moves you’ll love. Hip Hop, Contemporary, or House … these banging dance routines bring you some of the freshest moves out there. Try LES MILLS DANCE On LES MILLS+.
Discover Rachael Newsham’s favorite dance workouts: Now more than ever, people are looking for ways to lift their spirits and brighten their moods. Rachael Newsham, Les Mills Program Director, has recently pulled together her favorite mood-enhancing dance sessions.
Still not convinced dance is your thing?
Studies show we’re born to dance. According to experts, babies are born with a predisposition to move rhythmically in response to music. In fact, babies engage more with the rhythm and tempo of music than they do with speech.
But if you didn’t get hooked on dance as an infant, fear not, you haven’t missed the boat entirely. It’s easy to learn dance skills later in life. A good dance workout is designed to coach you through the moves. You’ll have plenty of time to get familiar with the steps and you can move at a pace that feels comfortable for you. Sooner or later you’ll find your rhythm, the endorphins will kick in and you’ll forget you were ever feeling apprehensive.
This piece originally appeared at lesmills.com.
Did you know that you can access your member information via a portal?? From here you can view/print invoices and receipts, change billing information and cancel your account. If your account is currently on hold you may not be able to access all information until your account is active. To access the portal:
www.myiclubonline.com – Click Register. Your email account must match what is on file. If you have issues accessing your membership number reach out to your home club.
I registered for myself to detail it for those of us who are more visually inclined!
Once you register your account you will set up your password and ID name.
Once you have completed that step you will see all green on the register page and will be directed to “Sign In”
Personal Info allows you to update address/phone/email
Billing Info will allow you to update your billing details
Agreement Info shows you your membership details – you can also cancel from this page
Payment History will give you any receipts you need
If you still have questions, reach out to your home club! Currently the portal will not allow you to freeze your membership – you must email your home club to freeze your account. Accounts can only be held from invoice date to invoice date; minimum of 1 and maximum of 4 and has an associated charge based on club location.