How to Fit Exercise Into a Busy Lifestyle – Client Spotlight, Nadja Mencin
For Nadja Mencin’s crazy busy life, Vertex Fitness was the perfect fit. As a fourth year medical student of Drexel University set to graduate in May, Nadja will be focusing on physical rehabilitation at a facility in the Bronx, helping folks with spinal cord injuries and stroke recovery. Because of her background in medicine, she knew exactly how important fitness was to her life—but where to fit exercise into a busy lifestyle?
“I’m one of four kids, and an older med student at 29. Before med school I taught English, and then worked at an animal refuge in Bolivia. I eventually found medicine, and part of that was wanting to help people and wanting to help folks enjoy life and get the most out of it. Rehab is about getting someone to the new normal to get the most out of life that they can. I looked at myself and decided that I had to practice what I preach, but being really busy, at med school and then studying at home, I decided to do something that could get me in shape efficiently and help me do better at the fitness things that I was interested in.
We all struggle with what’s going to work for us, because there’s so much out there for fitness. There’s so many things saying, “try me”, “try me”. That’s what makes Vertex so special–it’s 30 minutes, it’s super effective, and you start seeing results from just those 30 minutes.”
Fitness and activity were already a big part of Nadja’s life and interests, as she spins, runs, practices Pilates, and takes boot camp fitness classes. The strength training at Vertex helped her enjoy doing all of these things safely and effectively, and not be intimidated by anything.
“I feel like a lot of women are afraid of strength training; they’re afraid of bulking up and looking like a man (See the Vertex Fitness Blog Post “Why Strength Training for Women is Essential”). The good thing about Vertex is that you don’t have to be real strong when you start; you will be guided at your level.”
That’s what made the difference for Nadja. She was looking for a way to do strength training, because she already knew about its benefits, but she didn’t expect to be able to do it.
“I ended up adding muscle to my body even though I’m physically smaller, but for years I assumed I had the body type that simply couldn’t. I thought I was just going to be one of those people who were going to be fast but not strong, even if I lifted weights.
I thought I’d give it a try even though I didn’t expect any results, because I thought only other people were strong. I was surprised that I was able to get stronger. I can do pushups on my toes now! One day I just found that I could do it.”
When Nadja first sought out Vertex Fitness in November of 2016, she wanted to try strength training but didn’t know how to start in a way that would be both safe and effective.
“I was looking for a way to do strength training. You want to push yourself, you want to be lifting weights that are challenging for you, but I didn’t want to go into a gym and just start lifting and hurt myself. It’s hard to know, how much is too heavy? What’s the right amount of weight?”
The trainers at Vertex Fitness start you out conservatively and work you up to your ability with form being the emphasis at first. This helps you discover what your boundaries are safely.
According to Nadja, “I trust them to know what I can do when they say “two more”. I wanted to learn how to do this, and do it in an efficient way, and I wanted to do it safely.
Even for people who are self-conscious in the gym, it’s great to get your introduction with personal training. It’s very one-on-one, and there’s usually only a few others there. You don’t know what you’re lifting compared to other people, you’re just doing your personal best and getting stronger.”
In just the short time since she’s been working out at Vertex Fitness, Nadja has seen results, just from a thirty-minute workout twice a week.
“I definitely feel like my arms are a lot more toned, and my legs are as well. I just have more of a shape than I did before. The biggest change is that I notice that everything I do, I enjoy more. I enjoy sprinting a lot more, I enjoy boot camp and yoga a lot more, I just have more to give.
My knees used to hurt all the time, but now that my quads are stronger, there is not as much strain on my knees. I feel like I’m in the best shape I have ever been. I’m 29 and I was an athlete in my early 20’s, and I feel like I am stronger than I was then.”
For someone who wants to try strength training but doesn’t think that they have the type of body that can get strong, Nadja has this advice to give:
“Saying ‘I just can’t do strength training’ is not something you can say if you’ve never tried it. I think society tells us that. Guys go to the gym, and girls do the elliptical. You can take a lot of your life back by doing strength training and spending less time working out.
Strength training is the foundation to doing everything else. You can do that yoga move you were never able to do because you didn’t have the upper body strength. Vertex Fitness is a no-intimidation zone, because you are only competing against yourself. It’s not just athletes that go there, it’s all different ages and all different fitness levels.
If you’re strapped for time and want an efficient workout that will get results, I would recommend Vertex Fitness to fit exercise into a busy lifestyle. I can’t think of any other training program that you can do for 30 minutes and still get results. I was doing it only once a week at first, and now I choose to do two a week.”
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