Fitness has been an integral part of my life for the past few years. I had been active my whole life, but by no means an athlete. I always had loved how a good workout made me feel. Unfortunately, as a physician, the ongoing demands of the profession often meant that fitness was placed on the backburner. As life got busier and busier, maintaining any semblance of fitness became less and less tenable. There was always some excuse and never enough time. The emotional demands of work were also wearing on me, and eventually I became determined to find a way to take better care of myself.
I started running when I was 17. 10 minutes. And then it was 3 to 4 miles. This led to free weights and bar work. I started to love working out. Fast forward to 34 years old. I’ve done everything from 5K’s, a half-marathon, kick-boxing, Pilates, spin, road biking hundreds of miles with my husband, and until recently, a CrossFit gym for 2 years. Over the years I’ve learned more about myself and what really challenges me. I learned that I love pushing myself to the extremes and with Ripped I can do just that. 2 years ago, I was doing CrossFit based workouts and at first, I loved doing something different and new. I mastered skills such as handstand push-ups, rope climbs and strict pull-ups. Over time however, I began feeling stagnant with the WODS (workout of the day) and I often left class thinking “is that it?! I need more!” I wanted to feel like I gave my all. I wanted to be breathless and sweaty. I soon realized what I need to feel fulfilled from a workout. Ripped gives me just that. The perfect combination of running mixed with HIIT exercises. I was hooked. I love leaving class breathless and dripping in sweat.
Most of you know me because I’m a trainer at RippedPHL. The photo of me on the left was taken last year in May 2017 during my senior year of college. I had just finished my soccer career at Ithaca as a center midfielder and in retrospect, I would say that I was “fit” – a VERY relative word that means something different to everyone. I could run forever and I could even do 10 pull ups in a row. During soccer season, I lifted twice a week with my team on top of two hour daily practices and once the fall season was over, I worked out 4-5 times a week (lifting and running). My lifestyle as a 21 year old college athlete was probably exactly how you can imagine: school, soccer, parties, pizza, alcohol, so. much. fun.
I didn’t really start getting into fitness until I was an adult. I never played a sport, I was a dancer from K-12 and then started running and weight lifting in college. During college, I never gained the freshman 15, in fact, I probably lost 10 lbs with my extremely unhealthy diet. I ate ONE bagel per day and then used fat burners to stave off any remaining hunger, yellow jackets to be exact. I was 110 pounds, five feet three and a half inches tall, and wore a size 0. I thought I was the model of good health. That became my permanent benchmark for where I thought I “should be” when it came to the scale. That became my most relied upon measurement for being in shape. Until now.
My journey to RippedPHL started through Class Pass. I have always been an active person. Whether it is gymnastics, ice skating, soccer or track in my child hood or running and going to the gym. For the past few years, I have trained and ran marathons and half marathons and have been a member of every ‘popular’ barre/yoga/dance studio in Philadelphia. I found that despite how committed I was to my barre class schedule/routine, I would get bored few months into it and would no longer feel challenged. I have tried home work outs through Beach Body, but I would struggle motivating myself to exercise alone at home.
I have always been an active person, running has been a part of my life since I joined the track team in fourth grade. It has been a familiar outlet for me when I am stressed and want to clear my head. Being a competitive person, it is also something I have used to continue to challenge and race against myself. I have lived in Philadelphia for the past 5 years and work demanding hours for a public accounting firm. Throughout the first few years of my time living and working in the city, I struggled to find a workout that kept me interested and challenged me enough to make a priority over my busy work schedule.
I have been a member at RippedPHL for almost a year now. I started my fitness journey a little under 2 years ago. I had always been an active person, but always intensely intimidated by fitness. I broke my ankle in 2011 and was not as active as I had been. So, frustrated and in actual physical pain because the extra weight I gained was causing me a ton of pain in my ankle and limiting my range of motion. I made a decision and became determined to change my quality of life. I started out spinning. Then I added kickboxing. I plateaued majorly doing both of those things 5 days a week, which was majorly frustrating. Everything I heard from fitness experts and read said weights were the key to changing your metabolism, losing weight and of course building strength. I’d heard about RippedPHL from one on my spin instructors and decided to try it. I require a class setting for workouts because I need an instructor to set a pace and tone. I also had no idea how to use weights or put together a workout that would produce results. The instructors at RippedPHL are all supportive and have great expertise that they share with their members. The other members are all encouraging and hardworking as well. The workouts are consistent, reliable, challenging and result producing. Because of RippedPHL I’m in the best shape of my life. I am also no longer intimidated by fitness (LOL). I look forward to my workouts at RippedPHL.
I have been a member of the Ripped family for over 2 years now, but it feels just like yesterday when I first took that long walk up those steep steps. Before Ripped I was searching for a hardcore workout that incorporated both endurance and conditioning (not just one or the other like most studios), in a short amount of time (I am all about time efficiency). Obviously I had high expectations, and I was hooked to Ripped from day one. I was a novice weight lifter, but the trainers knew exactly how to correct my posture, and demonstrate any modifications needed as I progressed. I love that each day has a focus, so I am never too sore to work hard, but always testing myself with new moves, speeds, and weights.