Fitness Club Tailors Training to Individual Needs
by PAUL CATALA
Robin Chaddick of Lakeland has lost 6 percent of body fat since beginning a regular exercise routine and diet in April. She says the guidance, expertise, and patience of the staff at the Lakeland Athletic Club played a key role in her success so far.
Each New Year, people make resolutions to get back on track with an exercise routine, eat better, and improve their overall health. According to a survey by the fitness sports apparel company Sundried, of 4,000 people, 43 percent of people expect to give up their fitness goals after just one month. Their research showed 95 percent of New Year’s resolutions are related to fitness, but after about three months, only 10 percent maintain those resolutions.
Chaddick, a 63-year-old director of marketing at Allen & Company of Florida, is working to be part of that 10 percent. She says LAC staff and her coach, Blake Scheidt, have been very accommodating and understanding with her training needs during her rebound from a two-year hiatus from fitness.
“The venue here is excellent, and they also have great (fitness) classes,” she says. “But the thing I’m mostly here for is my coach – he monitors everything for me to succeed,” she says.
The success comes in various degrees, depending on the client’s drive and desire, says LAC owner Michael Knaisch, who co-founded the fitness center with his wife, Kim, in 2008.
Knaisch, 45, moved to Lakeland from Buffalo, N.Y., in 2003 and worked as an adjunct professor and athletic trainer at Florida Southern College until 2008. A baseball and football player in high school, he says the structure of proper fitness intrigued him enough to inspire him to open his own fitness center.
“I’ve always been fueled by the structure and discipline of fitness. I was never the most talented, but I was one to never be outworked,” he says.
At LAC, Knaisch and his staff of 10 part-time and full-time coaches work with two goals — to create fitness experiences that inspire and to educate and empower clients to excel physically and mentally.
Currently, LAC has an average of about 150 clients per month working individually or in groups at its facility just off Bartow Road in Lakeland. Each of them goes through four personal training sessions before joining any group classes. The training model consists of learning proper exercise form, posture, safety, and injury prevention.
Knaisch says he and his staff cater to what he calls “busy professionals” who don’t have much spare time for exercise. He says LAC staff provides coaching, how-to, support and encouragement.
“We work on having different workouts each time, encouraging and mentoring and challenging the body in different ways at each workout,” he says. “When someone plateaus and is looking for new challenges, we can offer that and it will be unlike any (training) program they’ve done before.”
Knaisch and Scheidt, along with the rest of the LAC staff, base their instruction on the facility’s five “main pillars” — consistent exercise, proper diet, proper sleep, hydration, and stress mitigation.
“We’re a client-based gym in the relationship business. We really care about the individual, whether in a remote class or personal training,” says Scheidt
And despite having to close in March and April of 2020 due to the coronavirus, Knaisch says the pandemic opened people’s eyes to the importance of health and wellness.
“It has motivated people to take better care of themselves through exercise and diet,” he says. “That’s the best pre-emptive medicine out there.”
For those needing a nudge to get into the gym after the holidays, Knaisch says the best way to jump-start a fitness routine is to get motivated, ditch doubt, and seek the guidance of trainers. LAC offers personalized programs, remote coaching options, custom nutrition plans, and one-on-one accountability.
“We try to keep you engaged, and what we do here is something new and fresh for most folks,” he says. “We want to make being here engaging, interesting, and fun with guidance that is consistent.”
With 7,500 square feet of free weights, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, rowers, skiers, bicycles, and plans to expand the center into an all-encompassing health and wellness facility, that’s not likely to be hard.
It’s everything Chaddick needed to reach and maintain her fitness goals while staying motivated.
“The reason I come to the Lakeland Athletic Club is because of Blake (Scheidt),” she says. “The reason I stay is because of the immeasurable results I get month to month. They monitor everything for me to succeed.”