Going to the gym today is about more than just getting a workout, it is about creating a routine that will meet the member's specific fitness or weight loss goal.
"We can set a target for them," said Connie Gustafson, owner of Curves of Fort Dodge. "When they reach goal we continue to raise the target."
Gustafson said everyone's body is different and has various needs, which is why it is important to create a specific exercise plan.
-Messenger photo by Emilie Nelson-Jenson
Dena Sample lifts weights during a Cross Fit workout at Anytime Fitness. The Cross Fit Gym was new to Fort Dodge in 2012.
"We personalize it to the member's own body and their own needs," she said. "Everyone has their own goal."
More gyms are also creating programs that allow members to see and track their progress.
"We don't want them to just sign up," said Will Fiala, manager at Snap Fitness. "We like to give members their own goals. That way they can track their progress and see their success. We like them to see what they're doing at least every 30 days."
"Each member gets a Curves Smart Key they put in the machines," said Gustafson. "When they're done they put it in the computer and it tracks their progress. They can see how many calories they've burned, it shows them how to work harder; what machines they need to improve on and keeps setting a target for them."
Both Curves and Snap Fitness have complete programs available where members not only track their fitness but can also monitor their nutrition.
"Most people come in at a novice level and they love to learn," said Fiala. "They can track their nutrition, weight loss; it's like a fitness network.
Snap Fitness' personal training bios allow members to set and achieve their goals.
"We like to know how our members can get their goals achieved," Fiala said. "What works for one person might not be the thing for others."
The Curves Complete Program, which is new to Fort Dodge in 2013, pairs a Curves exercise program with diet plans and nutritional supplements.
"We're just starting the Curves Complete program," said Gustafson. "That allows members to start with online coaching and a one on one program. It's a 30-minute stop for their diet and exercise. It teaches how to adopt healthy lifestyles."
The 30 minute workouts put Curves members on several different pieces of equipment for a total workout that works on muscle, burning calories and cardio strength.
"It takes a half hour," said Gustafson. "It's a unique program in a community of women. It creates a comfortable atmosphere for them, and they encourage each other."
Fiala said Snap Fitness will be expanding its workout offerings by partnering with the Fort Dodge Community Recreation Center to open a new training facility in the former Fareway store building on Second Avenue South.
"We'll have kind of a gladiator fitness program and some cross training there," said Fiala. "We're going to be helping each other out. It will be good for our members who want to have classes, and it will be good for REC members because we are open 24 hours and they can come here after the REC's hours to work out on our machines."
Fiala said that as plans are finalized, the new facility could be opened within a month.
"We're pretty ambitious about it," he said. "We're hoping for mid-February."
Fiala said that Snap Fitness has also added a hydrotherapy bed as well as a shower room to allow members to shower on site before going home or back to work after their workouts. He said the possibility of moving to a larger facility may also be included in future plans.
At Anytime Fitness on Second Avenue North, new owners Josh Mason and Matt Moritz saw the potential to bring a program to Fort Dodge that was unlike any other gym workout.
Moritz and Mason, who acquired the facility in June 2012, opened a Cross Fit facility in the rear of the gym. The program offers a more intense form of exercise in a class setting.
"We knew the space was here and that gave us a good vehicle to be able to do this," said Mason. "The gym has been running and been a good gym for over five years and was our inspiration for the Cross Fit."
Moritz, an orthopedic physician assistant, and Mason, a chiropractor, had already been seeing the benefits of what a Cross Fit work out can do in their everyday jobs, which also influenced the opening of the new facility.
"With medical science we were doing Cross Fit every day without even realizing it," said Moritz. "Once we realized we were doing it and did the research it only made sense to bring Cross Fit to our community."
The Cross Fit program is a high-intensity workout with varying activities that incorporates functional movement, Moritz said.
"It's different for everyone, but what most say they have found most appealing is what it does for them outside of the gym," said Moritz. "This is the first time I have ever found an application for a workout outside of the gym, and that is what is appealing to me."
The Cross Fit program also comes with a nutritional component to combine diet and exercise.
"Everyone helps each other out and encourages each other," Moritz said. "There is a very strong community feeling about it."
Since its introduction to Fort Dodge last summer, the Cross Fit program has grown to include more than 130 members.
"There's really not a lot of mechanics to it," said Moritz. "The athletes are the machine; we focus on whole body movement with a steady combo of gymnastic, cardio and sports movement. We're up to 130 members and we could tell you what each of them has noticed; they have all seen a benefit from what they do here."
Moritz said that while it is intense, it is a program anyone could do regardless of their ability and fitness level.
"What we do is scalable, there are different classes," he said. "We have options for everyone."