We joined the FORTE FITNESS Wellness Center in early September of 2019 and began training twice weekly with Andy Wells to improve our “functional fitness” needed for activities of everyday life. I (Steve) also want to improve my strength and stamina for my service as a volunteer firefighter with the Jasper Highlands Fire Department. After an initial consultation session, we established goals to improve upper body, lower body and core strength, as well as balance and flexibility. We decided to do back-to-back sessions with Andy instead of training together because our individual needs are somewhat different from one another. Though he is “a little bit” younger than us, Andy fully understands how to adjust for our age and individual physical issues while still challenging us. The variety of exercises that he uses in our workouts never ceases to amaze, and the ever-changing mix works every muscle group. Andy’s coaching on proper technique, encouragement, and continuous feedback set him apart and ensure that we get maximum benefit from every session. We do at least one additional workout together at the Wellness Center each week, applying a combination of the exercises Andy has shown us. After almost four months of working with Andy, we have never once repeated the same exercise! More importantly, we both feel great and notice the difference!
Andy and the FORTE FITNESS staff keep the Wellness Center impeccably clean, and the well-appointed locker rooms are very helpful when we need to shower immediately and head off to another commitment directly from a workout. The center is available to us 24 hours a day, so we can work out whenever we like without regard to business hours. The center offers a nice array of organized group workout opportunities led by the FORTE FITNESS staff, including spin, yoga, and group fitness. You can count on Andy, Alex, Melinda, and Kelli to keep it challenging and fun! We find working out to not be work at all because we enjoy knowing that we are being coached to use proper technique and work toward our individual goals. It takes a surprisingly modest time commitment, and the value is worth every penny spent.
We all need to “keep moving” as we age, because once we surrender the ability to move it’s very difficult to regain it. FORTE FITNESS and the Jasper Highlands Wellness Center are a great choice for all of your fitness goals. The most important step you can take in your fitness journey is the first one, so stop by and see Andy, Alex, or Melinda to get started. You won’t regret it, and we look forward to seeing you there in 2020!
Our membership with Forte Fitness began on August 1, 2019. The sole purpose was to get into better shape and strengthen our knees. I have bone on bone in my left knee and Suzanne has a torn meniscus in her right knee. With all the knee injuries, therapies and partial or full knee replacements going on we felt like we should be proactive rather than reactive. Who knows if we might have surgery, but for now, our knees are stronger and more flexible than they have been in over two years. One additional plus is (Larry’s) shirt size! When we started, I wore an XL workout shirt, then a Large and now a Medium. We enjoy working out as a couple. This allows us to push and encourage each other during our training sessions. Suzanne is in a lot better shape than I am. (Am I Captain Obvious or what?)
Whether training, with a personal trainer or solo, we have enjoyed our time at Forte Fitness. The entire team, at Forte Fitness, Andy Wells, Melinda Phillips, Alex Enter and Kelli Hays are very professional and fun to be around.
I started training with Alex in mid June. My specific goal was to increase leg strength for a ski trip in late January 2020. I also wanted to improve my “wind” for the weekly tennis clinics I attend. I’m fairly “old school” and have never experienced core training. I’m 60+, so Alex had her work cut out for her. She had to adapt to my age, lack of flexibility and poor wind. In tennis I’m known as a “fence hanger”.
It’s now been 3 months of being in the Wellness Center 6 days per week. Yes, I have gone off the deep end. In addition to the training sessions 3 times per week, Alex suggested I start spin classes. Spin has helped with both leg strength and regaining my wind. She also nudged me into trying yoga once per week. I have learned a new language: EMOMs, Tababta, RDL’s... something new in almost every training session. Diet is not an issue for me, I like to cook, but Alex can also assist in that area too, if needed.
After 3 months, the results have been fairly substantial. The training sessions combine both strength and cardio and have greatly increased both my wind and my footwork on the tennis court. Additionally, my legs are more than ready for the ski slopes. My flexibility is still a work in progress but is also improving. Alex’s knowledge base as a personal trainer is quite substantial. She also teaches spin and yoga. If you find yourself procrastinating about the whole “gym thing”, I suggest dropping by the Wellness Center and just ease into it. Try a spin class or some restorative yoga. Alex is patient, ready and willing to help you out.
I started working with Andy Wells shortly after the Wellness Center opened. I had a history of frequent joint and back pain. During the initial consultation session, we established basic goals to improve core strength and flexibility. The results are considerable. I am now able to engage in a variety of activities that previously caused distress. Simple things like yard work, riding in a car, or playing with my grandkids. Coach Andy calls this "functional fitness", which is exactly what I sought. I refer to Andy as "Coach" because he provides constant feedback and encouragement. I can honestly say that I look forward to each session with Andy. He changes the mix of exercises with every session, which makes it interesting and keeps me fully engaged. I've learned that it is imperative to "stay in the moment", both mentally and physically, to maximize the benefit of each session. I believe in voting with my wallet, and I just signed up for another block of one-on-one sessions.
When I was diagnosed with diabetes I knew I could not wait any longer to make a life change to get healthy. I knew that nutrition changes were critical but I also realized that exercise had to be a huge part of getting healthy. Deciding to commit to training is the best investment I have made in myself. I was not comfortable in a typical gym atmosphere so the private suites and personal 1-on-1 training was perfect for me. My only regret is that I did not take control of my health earlier in my life.
I have lost 110 pounds to date and am still losing. I am no longer diabetic. My blood sugar is controlled completely with my exercise and nutrition alone — no medication. My A1-C went from 10.2 to 5.2. I have back and knee conditions that make it more challenging to work out but my trainers have always adapted to my specific challenges and I have progressed to a level of workouts I never imaged I could do. The trainers can customize a plan for any fitness level. The trainers sincerely care about the well- being of the clients and offer encouragement and support. The trainers are genuinely excited and proud to see the progress of their clients. The focus is on health goals and not to be an exact size or look a certain way. I look forward to the fitness assessments that are offered every eight weeks to track a client's progress. It is amazing to see the amount of inches lost and the change in body fat versus lean weight as well as the progress in strength training.
No food tastes better than it feels to be healthy and active. I never exercised in the past, but now I look forward to every workout and it is a great stress reliever. As long as you are ready to make the commitment to getting healthy, [Julian and his trainers] can help with the rest.
Let me first start by telling you how I came to [Kyle and his team]. My wife, Kim, asked that I start an exercise program. The only condition was that I had to have a personal trainer. To give you an idea of what was driving this was the fact that I was32, with two kids and weighed 290, and I have a family medical history of diabetes and heart disease.
So, I started to research the different options in the Chattanooga area. I looked into traditional memberships at the YMCA, Rush, and Sports Barn. All of their programs required a membership and a fee for each training session. I learned about [Kyle and their program] from an article in a local magazine. I called and spoke to Kyle, who invited me down to their location for a complimentary session to get a feel for how a typical training session would go. One of the primary reasons I chose them was their studio lends itself to an atmosphere of 1-on-1 training.
Also, Kyle spoke about the importance of proper nutrition. The things I’ve learned about how and what to eat have been invaluable. So upon making the decision to join, Kyle shared with me a 12-week meal plan. The meal plan stressed the importance of eating whole foods and portion control. Working with Kyle, we came up with a plan where I would resistant train two days a week and do cardio training two to three days a week. Another added benefit is the use of the cardio equipment on days you do not workout.
So for anyone doubting the benefits of personal training with [Kyle's team] and following their advice on nutrition, let me share my results thus far. In the 12 weeks I’ve been training, I’ve lost 70 lbs, my resting heart as gone from 76 to 52. I’ve gone from 26% body fat to 11%. I’ve gone from wearing 40 waist pants to 34 waist. I cannot thank my trainer, Heidi, Kyle and the other trainers enough. Not only for the results, but for all of the encouragement. The entire staff has been so positive and friendly. I’ve learned how to have an effective workout and how to eat properly. Joining has been the best decision I’ve made and the best money I’ve ever spent. I’m in great shape, and have learned things that will serve me a lifetime.