Fitness community weighs in on New Year’s resolutions and how trainers can help people meet fitness goals

The new year is often a time to turn over a new calendar and set goals for the coming year. For many people, fitness and health rise to the top of their list. 

Ashleigh Seely, who owns Trapper Fitness with her husband Dan Seely, said the gym usually sees quite a few new memberships this time of year.

“It’s already started to pick up,” Ashleigh Seely said. ”We had almost 40 people show up (Tuesday, Dec. 27) asking about joining. It’s good to see people already stepping up to work on their goals for the new year.”

Seely said that after the new year, group classes and personal training starts to pick back up as well, and Trapper tries to offer opportunities in the first part of the year that will help keep people connected and accountable with their goals. 

“The trend kind of goes that people may last five or six weeks,” Seely said. “I would say, ‘Do what you can where you’re at.’ Sometimes, we make it too complicated and we fall off. It can be a little easier to increase an activity you’re already doing and be consistent.” 

Trapper offers classes for yoga, bodybuilding, posing, mixed martial arts, jiu jitsu, boxing and cross training, as well as martial arts classes for youth. Seely encourages locals to look out for specials on gym and class combination memberships. 

“Especially if someone is trying to keep up on their fitness and weight-loss goals, those classes provide a lot of camaraderie and accountability,” Seely said. 

Trapper’s personal trainers lead challenges with local employers where the members of the group track their progress toward their goal. Participants who lose the most body fat and retain the most muscle can win incentives to help them continue their fitness journey. 

In addition to the increase in memberships in January, Trapper typically sees another spike in February around Valentine’s Day. Seely said that she may do a couple’s challenge in the first few months of the year where the couple with the most gym visits can win a three-month membership to keep them going strong. 

Robbie Roberts, who co-owns WHC Crossfit with his wife Angie, his daughter Ashley Vasquez and his daughter’s husband Sam Vasquez, said WHC doesn’t see as much of an influx of new members around the new year that open gyms may be seeing. 

Roberts said he doesn’t do New Year’s resolutions but rather aims to “take today and do something slowly.” 

From Robert’s perspective, Crossfit can be intimidating to people who are coming in off the street. When he first took over the gym, WHC had a tight-knit group of members who were like family. Roberts had never done Crossfit before, and he came from a background of weightlifting in open-gym settings. 

WHC has many trainers who do traditional Crossfit group classes in the mornings and evenings, and the gym also partners with another local Crossfit, LINS Fitt, to do competitions and events. But the vibe at WHC has also changed over the past several years, Roberts said.

Some clients were wanting to work out but not do Crossfit classes, so Roberts started meeting with clients in smaller groups in the mornings to focus on completing a scaled-down workout. The smaller groups provide a safe space for people to get started and get in shape before joining the regular Crossfit classes. 

Roberts said there are a lot of organizations in town that can help people get fit and stay healthy, and for anyone looking for a place to go, it’s important that people find someone who cares about them and will help them achieve their goals. 

Christalin Thompson, a local personal trainer, opened up Mindset Health and Fitness at 385 Ranney St. in early December. Mindset offers twice daily group classes for weightlifting and bodybuilding. 

Thompson said her goal is to keep her classes small with no more than six people, so the instruction on correct form and technique can still be personalized for everyone in the class. The inspiration behind the format was to provide a more intimate setting and one-on-one support that clients can’t always get from going to the gym. 

“Gym anxiety is a real thing, and I’ve had it myself,” Thompson said, adding that in the past, she would create workouts for people to do at the gym, but they wouldn’t do it because the shared space was too intimidating. 

Thompson said she has always been health and fitness minded, and personal training allowed her to meld her background of nursing and passion for fitness to help people improve their physical and mental well-being. 

Most of the classes at Mindset are nearly full, but Thompson also schedules one-on-one training or creates customized workouts for people to do at home.

As far as resolutions go, Thompson said, “Break one habit at a time, take one thing at a time, and start a new good habit one at a time. If you overwhelm yourself with trying to do everything all at once, you’re not going to accomplish anything.”

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