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Why Olympic Training Is A Big Part Of One Health Club


Fitness Formula Clubs in Park Ridge (Illinois) impresses anyone who walks in the door. The 66,000-square-foot fitness facility on the northwest edge of Chicago has ample cardio equipment, a large weight room, a functional training area with a SYNRGY360 system, a climbing wall, two pools and plenty of group exercise studios.

But the Performance Training Center is one of the first things an exerciser sees when they walk onto the main floor. The green artificial turf of the 5,500-square-foot performance strength training space is adjacent to a multitude of adjacent cardio and strength training equipment. When small group training is in session, the area is filled with exhausted exercisers committed to self improvement.

FFC unveiled its impressive Park Ridge location in December 2016. From the day it opened, the club understood the importance of incorporating Olympic and performance strength training into group workouts and high-intensity interval training.

 “We use barbells, bodyweight, kettlebells, dumbbells, but what we’re really doing is teaching basic strength and conditioning principles,” explained Sam Gonzalez, an elite trainer at FFC. “It’s good for (experienced exercisers) to mix things up and make their workouts better, or to get (beginners started with) the correct way of training—a more functional, result-based driven routine.”

Trainers utilize a Hammer Strength HD Athletic Rig configuration to put exercisers through a variety of lifts and bodyweight exercises. The large turf area is used for deadlifts, pushing weight sleds and anything else that a trainer can come up with. Regardless of each trainer’s specific philosophy, exercisers can expect to be challenged.

“We’re usually asking for a commitment from them when they join (PTC classes),” said Gonzalez. “They know it’s not going to happen overnight. We’ve had people who’ve been here since the beginning of the club when it opened in the winter that started off lifting a 12-kilo kettlebell and now they’re lifting almost 200 pounds on the barbell for a deadlift.”

That kind of success can be contagious in a health club. FFC runs 10 paid classes each week in the Performance Training Center and members have been filling them consistently.

“In the beginning people were sometimes a little hesitant to join because they might think it is kind of an advanced system of training,” added Gonzalez. “But once they’re in, they’re coming three or four times a week. The results are through the roof in terms of strength, body fat loss, improvement in their movement, less pain, pretty much a comprehensive win for them on all levels of fitness.”

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