One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to get in better shape. For most people, the most direct way of doing so is starting a workout regimen.
But in today’s world, that’s not such a simple endeavor.
It used to be that there were only a few ways to get exercise – lift boulders, climb things, run, swim. Now you can do things like ride stationary bikes with simulated video screens in front of them, climb electronic rock walls, punch and kick bags or do yoga in the sweltering heat. It’s all about whatever suits your fancy.
As you’re probably well aware, Concord is a city absolutely bursting at the seams with resources for getting in shape. There’s really something for everyone, no matter the age, gender, fitness level or experience level.
While you probably know about some of the bigger options – Planet Fitness or the YMCA, to name a few – we figured we’d look around and uncover some of the avenues you likely haven’t explored yet. After all, you might be someone who’s never worked out before only because you never found the right workout for you. We’re hoping that you’ll find something within this piece that might inspire you to get out there and start hitting it hard.
One of the best ways to get a workout uniquely tailored to your body and lifestyle is to use a personal trainer. Trainers can provide in-depth analysis and important guidance to help you get the most out of your workout and to make sure you’re doing things the right way – you wouldn’t want to negate the gains of a workout with an injury that will keep you on the sidelines.
Dean Carlson is a trainer at Get Fit NH on South Main Street. He has a slew of certifications from a number of reputable associations, none bigger than his 2010 Insider Cappies award for Best Fitness Trainer in the Capital Area.
In other words, he’s basically a fitness machine.
“We are a coaching facility, so every client who comes in is coached and gets their own plan within the group context,” he said of the format of Get Fit NH.
Get Fit NH essentially combines individual training with group workouts in a system known as Smart Group Training. Members work out together in a group doing the same type of exercise at the same time, but trainers work with individuals to fine-tune the specific exercise.
“We know what’s appropriate for you to be doing rather than giving everyone the same exercises to do,” Carlson said. “Let’s say we’re working on a squat pattern. Everyone can do some kind of squat, but maybe if you have a hip or knee issue, we’d work with a bodyweight squat.”
On the other side of town, Jeremy’s Boot Camp on Manchester Street offers an intense personal training workout. Owner Jeremy Woodward is a personal trainer, a marathoner, a triathlon coach, a cycling coach and an all-around fitness guru. He also has undergone multiple open-heart surgeries, but that hasn’t slowed him down one bit.
You can train for pretty much anything at the boot camp, and Woodward and any of the other nine coaches can work closely with you to ensure you’re getting the most out of your experience.
There are other personal trainers around, but we only have so much space. For more on Get Fit NH, call 344-2651 or go to getfitnh.com. For more on Jeremy’s Boot Camp, call 721-2830 or go to jeremysbootcamp.com.
For seniors, fitness can be a lot of fun. Take pickleball, for example.
Concord Parks and Recreation has a lively and active pickleball program for seniors that acts as a great way for people to get some exercise while having a little fun.
The game, which is similar to tennis and badminton, is played on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Green Street Community Center from 9 a.m. to noon. It’s on a drop-in basis, so anyone can show up at any time. In April, the game moves outside to the tennis courts next to Beaver Meadow.
“It is year-round, and they are die-hards,” said Laura Bryant, recreation supervisor. “We have a strong, core group that play three days a week year-round.”
It costs $3 to play, and they also have punch cards for $75 which gets you 30 visits, so it comes out to $2.50 per visit. Players need to bring their own pickleball paddles – you can get these online or at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Concord, among other places.
For more information on pickleball, contact Bryant at LBryant@concordnh.gov to get added to the mailing list. It’s not a bad idea, since she sends out a monthly calendar listing the schedule, as holidays and other events may sometimes force the sessions to be canceled. You can also find a bit more information on the Parks and Rec website.
One workout trend gaining a lot of steam right now is the boxing or kickboxing-style workout. While most people probably don’t have aspirations of becoming the next Rocky, plenty are signing up to work out like he did.
Concord just so happens to have a brand-new kickboxing gym, and it has its own approach to the technique.
It’s called 9Round, and it opened in late December on Fort Eddy Road in the Merrimack Center, which may as well be called the Self-Improvement Center (it’s home to 9Round, Planet Fitness, a tanning salon, hair and nail salons, Chaos Martial Arts and Smokeshow Barbecue, because every self-improvement starts with smoked meat).
The whole idea behind 9Round is that you can get an intense, full-body workout in 30 minutes with individual training and guidance. Another big element is no class times – circuits start every 3 minutes, so you just show up when it’s convenient for you and you’ll be kicking bags in no time.
“Personal training and no class times are some of the main draws,” owner Laurie Weingartner said.
It works like this: There are nine stations, or rounds, in the gym, each one taking 3 minutes. The first two are usually cardio related. The next six stations are boxing related – this is where you’ll punch and kick bags and things of that nature. The final round is a core workout, focusing on crunches and abdominal twists. And the whole time, a trainer is right there by your side to give you the pointers or encouragement you need.
While you work out, you have a heart monitor around your chest that sends information in real time to a big TV screen at the back end of the gym. This way members and trainers can keep an eye on everyone’s heart rate and related stats.
Members can work out as often as they want, and there’s nothing stopping anyone from doing the 30-minute workout multiple times in one day, though studies have shown there’s no need for more than the 30 minutes, Weingartner said.
There are loads of options for membership packages, with certain discounts available for military members or families. People can sign up for a month or two, a year – whatever works best.
For more on 9Round, go to 9round.com/fitness/ Concord-NH-x5818 or call 224-0900.
Title Boxing Club on Storrs Street also offers boxing-style workouts in 30-, 45-, 60- and 75-minute blocks. Like at 9Round, at Title you “get fit, not hit.” That’s a good thing.
For more on Title, go to titleboxingclub.com/concord-nh or call 219-0351.