The Vertex Fitness Experience
“Cardiovascular fitness must be performed these ways; strength training must be done these ways.” That’s how I would sum up my experience in fitness through Dr. Ellington Darden’s book “Living Longer Stronger”. This book opened my mind to a new and better way to exercise than what I had been taught. It outlined full-body workouts consisting of about 10-12 exercises with one set to failure of each workout ranging from one to three times per week. I began training this way and noticed my workouts immediately became more efficient. I was in the gym for maybe an hour and a half per week, not per day.
When I graduated Temple, I began to search for a personal training job and came to a few realizations quickly- most gyms wanted me to train their way, not the way I had come to appreciate the most- High Intensity Training. So, I continued my search and came across Vertex Fitness. I researched the gym and came to realize that they embodied the ideal on exercise I had for years- brief, intense, and safe training. After interviewing, I began shadowing Dwayne at the gym.
The initial aspect that stood out about the gym was the equipment. Most of the machines are Nautilus and MedX machines . Nautilus is an innovative brand which was the first to include pulleys that maximized tension on the muscles while keeping the body anatomically aligned to focus work on the correct muscles and to keep the trainee safe. MedX is a similar brand that expanded on keeping the body safely aligned and even sells commercial equipment for hospital use. Then, the environment. The music wasn’t too loud and there wasn’t a large amount of people performing awkward, unsafe exercise while making unnecessary noises; it was one-on-one personal training where the personal trainers were intensely observant of their clients and their clients’ work. Strict form and coaching tips were highlighted in the social interaction between trainer and trainee. And the speed of the workouts, not the speed of each exercise, but the overall brevity of these effective, whole body workouts was what I noticed the most. Clients were in and then out in less than an hour. All left with a sigh of exhaustion followed by a variation of “thanks” and “see you next time.” It was evident that the clients knew they were getting a great workout.
When I started training clients on my own , I came to appreciate the protocol and the gym further. I worked with many continuing clients. With these clients, I noticed their dedication to strict form and an efficient workout. When I say strict form, I don’t only mean focusing on the correct muscles, I mean strict form down to breathing techniques and a minimization of excess mannerisms including grunting, yelling, or squirming. In addition to the so-called ‘veterans,’ I had a few opportunities to work with new clients. Although many of them were unfamiliar with the concept I had known for years, using tips I had learned from Dwayne and the other trainers, it was easy to describe what the new clients needed to do to attain the maximum outcome from these workouts. Regardless of past sport experiences, every new client was able to pick up on the technique rapidly and all explained with enthusiasm how much more effective the workouts were.
Continuing on as a personal trainer at Vertex, I look forward to exposing more and more people to this style of brief, safe, and effective exercising on incredible machinery in a controlled, personal environment where anyone can increase their strength, condition, health, and outlook on exercise.
Written by Vertex Fitness Staff