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Fitness: Losing it with a lifestyle changeTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Bulletin graphics
Photo by Bunny Hinde
Bobby Coons of North Platte works out Jan. 7 on the Adaptive Motion Trainer at the Fire House Gym.
Photo by George Lauby
Jenny Curtis works out Jan. 7 at Basic Fitness, LLC.
Photo by George Lauby
Ricky Sandoval pumps iron Jan. 7 at the Nebraska Athletic Club, getting ready for football.
Photo by George Lauby
Lori Schanou of North Platte gets a good workout at Never 2 Late 4 Fitness.

Interest in good health is growing more...well... vigorous.

With a wide variety of choices and fitness centers in North Platte, anyone wishing to lose weight and get into shape has plenty of options.

From time-tested workouts to the newest technology available in the fitness field, North Platte has something for everyone.

With all the fine choices, many of which are listed below – including convenience, low cost, great technology and real results – there’s no longer any reason not to get fit and plan to stay that way.

Nebraska Athletic Club, 1701 E. 4th St.

Stick-to-it-tiveness is always the goal at the Nebraska Athletic Club, which offers a deep and wide range of cardio machines, free weights and fitness classes.

The club has operated on East Fourth since 2002. Highly experienced personal trainers are available for consultation. Encouragement is provided all along the way.

There are classes for kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu and boxing -- group fitness classes for all ages.

And, for anyone who wants an extreme challenge, mixed martial arts training is offered that will prepare a fighter to go all the way into the fighting cage if he or she wants to go to a higher level.

A group fitness class, along with gym membership, is currently just $40/month. New gym memberships start at $19.95 a month in January.

Sauna, showers and tanning beds are also offered.

“We want people to live healthier lifestyle, not just make it a short term project,” owner Justin Brockmoller said. “If their goal is weight loss, it’s not going to happen overnight, but it will happen.”

Brockmoller has a passion for helping others and he made a personal commitment to live healthier in 2004.

“I was always active in sports,” he said, “but I got really interested after a close friend got sick with cancer. Several of us made a pact to live a healthier lifestyle.”

A popular piece of equipment is the Jacob’s ladder – a stair step that resembles an escalator. Many club members enjoy the variety of free weights.

“I get motivated to see all the weights,” said Ricky Sandoval, a high school sophomore who is already training to be in top shape for football next season.

The Athletic Club is open 7 days a week.

Jazzercise Center, 1204 West A St.

Collette Sauer’s business doesn’t drop off after the holidays. In fact, a new year brings new resolutions and new commitments to get in shape.

Sauer is the local owner of Jazzercise, the lively, fun fitness dance program. Jazzercise centers can be found across the U.S., testifying to the success of the program.

Sauer has been a Jazzercise owner for five years as well as an instructor. She caters to everyone.

“We have all ages, from high school students to people in their mid-60s,” she said.

Jazzercise is all dance based, incorporating yoga, pilates and great music. Every routine, every move has a low impact version, offering a good workout for the beginner as well as vigorous routines for intermediates and advanced participants.

It’s also a great way to vent some steam and lift the spirit, Sauer said.

“We workout to the newest and greatest songs,” Sauer said, “by Pit Bull, Kesha, Christina Aguilar, even some Michael Buble for cooling down.”

“You get your cardio for 45 minutes, and then 15 minutes of weight training for your upper body, legs and abdominals,” she said.

Jazzercise is offering a discounted start in January.

Seven different instructors offer 29 classes each week to fit any schedule. Classes start as early as 5:30 a.m. and end around 7:30 p.m. You can attend as often as you like, even more than once a day, Sauer said.

Fire House Gym, 908 East 7th

The Fire House Gym is perfect for those who work odd hours, according to owners Bunny and Pat Hinde. The gym was one of the first in North Platte to give members a security card that opens the doors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The gym caters to railroaders, police officers, hospital employees and anyone who works different shifts. It is also open on every holiday.

The Fire House Gym is the largest in western Nebraska with more than 10,000 square feet. The gym boasts an amazing array of free weights. Cardiovascular equipment is available in a recently remodeled 3,000 square foot cardio room.

The gym can benefit the serious athlete who wants to go to the next level or the beginner who just wants to get in shape, Hinde said. "We meet with new members to help set up a program most beneficial to them."

The gym added new technology in the last year:

An Adaptive Motion Trainer is an elliptical stairs and treadmill all in one, with the latest readout screen.

A Nexersys with seven targets for boxers. The Avatar-like machine records the power, accuracy and speed of each strike, and it delivers a fake punch or kick that must be blocked.

The Nexersys can be set for beginning, intermediate and advanced boxers, with several levels for each.

Also, a free motion dual cable cross that works a person’s arms -- up and down and in and out -- with weights up to 80 pounds.

The Fire House is a good place for people who want a moderate workout or people who want to build their bodies, Hinde said.

Pat and Bunny, who are in their mid-50s, love to workout.

“It keeps you young,” Bunny said. “But the best part of being here is all the cool people we meet. Our members are awesome.”

Curves for Women, 521 North Dewey

The No. 1 reason for women not to exercise is a lack of time, according to Barb Moore, owner of Curves for Women in downtown North Platte. Because of that, Curves has developed an incredibly quick and fun workout.

The workout circuit alternates hydraulic resistance machines for strength with aerobic recovery stations, providing both a cardiovascular and strength workout.

Curves offers a mix of Jillian Michaels, Zumba and Body Basics as well as a new class in Yoga/TiaChi/Hula Dance from 10-11 a.m. on Tuesdays where everyone is welcome, members and non-members alike, for $5.

Dr. Shin of North Platte is the instructor. Bring a yoga mat, Moore said.

Overall, Curves offers 25 classes a week, including a Jillian Michaels cutting edge workout that is renewed once a month. Michaels, a national leader in fitness programs, changed her life at Curves years ago when she weighed 170 pounds. Curves put her on the path to healthy consistent exercise.

Curves’ fun, lively workouts takes just 30 minutes and Moore says anyone can do them, from ages 9-89.

“Everyone can spare 30 minutes,” she said. “Then you can go love your life.”

Curves for Women also provides a personalized weight loss and weight management solution that includes a customizable meal plan with one-on-one coaching and support, something you don’t always get at a traditional gym.

“We are having phenomenal results,” Moore said. “A woman lost 40 pounds in two months. Another woman lost 54 pounds in five months. We have a staff member who has lost 93 pounds over two years.”

“You stick with it, it works,” she said.

This time of year, lots of people are fitness minded. Moore said everyone has ability, but Curves helps them maintain “stick-ability.”

The basic Curves circuit workout costs a little more than $1 a day. It is free for seniors who have “silver sneakers” coverage through Medicare.

As exercisers move around the Curves circuit, enjoying music and staying motivated by an instructor, they get both a cardiovascular and a strength workout at the same time.

The addition of Jillian Michaels, known as America’s health and wellness expert, is showcased on a large screen TV, set to upbeat music.

Curves is open six days a week, with morning, noon and afternoon/evening sessions to fit anyone’s schedule.

Basic Fitness LLC, 220 Leota

One of North Platte’s newest workout places, Basic Fitness opened 3-4 years ago. The 24-hour facility offers aerobics, strength training and free weights in a cozy comfortable room.

Basic Fitness currently offers a “win by losing” competition for two-person teams with a nice payoff. The team that loses the highest percentage of weight in 10 weeks wins $1,000.

The competition started Jan. 13, manager Brian Blackwell said.

Basic Fitness is affiliated with Urgent Care medical clinic owned by Dr. Brian Nokelby. For people who want a weight loss program, the center offers a 12-month plan for $89.99 a month, with Nokelby providing consultation.

It is an exercise, diet and lifestyle program, Blackwell said. First, Nokelby evaluates where a person is and determines where they ought to be in 12 months. After the course is charted, Blackwell fills in the routines, monitoring progress and sending encouragements and suggestions.

The center is open 24-7 and caters to a little older crowd. People like the atmosphere and the opportunity to get in, get out and get done, Blackwell said.

Never 2 Late 4 Fitness, Westfield Shopping Plaza

Another relatively new workout center, Never 2 Late is in its fourth year and is open 24 hours, seven days a week. It was founded by Michael States and his wife Becky, who also own and operate the North Platte Chiropractic Clinic a few doors down.

The cost is a modest $30 a month, with a one-time fee of $30 for a membership card.

Personal trainers can also be hired.

The center is doing well, providing a handy place to work out, especially for people who live in the south and west parts of the city. The States also own another center in Ogallala.

“A lot of people in North Platte want to stay healthy,” Becky said. "We have a lot of neighborhood customers.”

Besides the workout center, Michael States is happy to put clients on a weight loss program that he created. His motivation to lose was personal. Confronted by his own appearance, States shed nearly 100 pounds.

“I went to a family reunion in 2006,” he said. “When I looked at the pictures I was amazed to see how much weight I was carrying. Both of us got back to fitness. I’m happy to say I’m in better shape at age 50 than I was 10 years ago.”

States’ weight-loss plan stresses the right foods – as much whole foods as possible – and regular exercise.

“The big thing is to broaden the palette,” he said. “If you eat the right foods, you are not limited so much to just eating a certain amount.”

“It’s a learning process, a lifestyle change,” he said.

States’ six-month weight-loss plan costs $1,000.

Inner Power Martial Arts, 122 N. Dewey

Martial Arts training is offered five days a week, plus a general workout program once a week on Wednesday nights from 6:30-7:15 p.m. The cost of the workout is $39 a month, owner Harold Haldeen said.

If interested in martial arts, training is offered to every level of competence, from beginner to advanced, Haldeen said.

North Platte Recreation Complex, 1300 South McDonald Rd.

The Rec Center, run by the city of North Platte, offers recreational and workout opportunities under one roof. Members can run laps or play basketball, volleyball or tennis on the cushioned rubber floor. The center has two racquetball courts that are also good for wallyball.

There are cardiovascular exercise rooms with a variety of treadmills, stair climbers, elliptical and stationary bikes, perfect for breaking a sweat and raising your heart rate. A fully-equipped room is available with free weights.

Under the big dome is a six-lane indoor pool with one-meter and three-meter diving boards. A favorite for the kids is the waterslide.

And, once a workout is finished, members can relax in the hot tub or the dry sauna.

The center also offers swim lessons, volleyball leagues, a tennis league and an adult basketball league starts in February, as well as open courts for pickup games.

One month family memberships cost $71, adults are $34, less with a three-month or longer commitment. Seniors and fulltime college students can work out for $28 a month, and children age 18 and under can work out for $20.

Cycle classes are ongoing and a variety of fitness classes are usually underway. Arrangements can be made for a personal trainer.

The recreation center also organizes and promotes the Platte River Fitness Series, a set of 5K or longer runs that usually include a fun walk/run and a bicycle race too.

“It’s amazing how much that series has taken off in recent years, said Braxton Fecht, who works at the rec center.

On New Year’s as the clock struck 2014, nearly 300 people went to the midnight madness 5K run at Cody Park, a part of the Platte Valley Fitness Series. Next up in the series is the Heart and Sole 5K and 10K run on Saturday, Feb. 15. Like most of the Fitness Series offerings, you can make it a fun walk or run -- the start of a lifestyle change.

Health Seekers Technology, 402 East Francis

Karen Gutherless, owner of Health Seekers, believes that getting in the right frame of mind is the key for taking off excess weight and keeping it off.

Health Seekers emphasizes weight management. Not everyone needs to lose weight, but everyone needs to know how to eat healthy, she said.

In addition to a strength and cardiovascular circuit, Gutherless offers nutrition consultation for all ages -- a holistic approach to weight control.

“You don’t have to starve to lose weight, you just have to learn to eat smart," Gutherless said.

“Gutherless said people are taking a greater awareness in their health.

“They want to be healthier. People have to take care of themselves, we are definitely seeing more of that as time goes by,” she said. “It’s very nice to see that.”

Gutherless teaches clients about high-glycemic and low-glycemic foods, stressing low-glycemic foods, and also provides about alkaline and acidic foods, and that no one should go no longer than 3½ hours without eating healthy, nutritional food. The main goal in regard to diet is to keep blood sugar stabilized, she said.

Health Seekers offers fingertip controlled, adjustable, pneumatic weight machines that exercise positive and negative muscles.

“Everyone has a niche,” Gutherless said. “Every machine we have correlates with an individual stretch zone. They are non-intimidating. You compete with yourself, not with everyone else.”

The low-impact machines are hard on the muscles but easy on the joints, she said. The strength training increases resting metabolism, causing the body to burn more calories while at rest. Increasing the amount of muscle and decreasing the amount of fat helps performance of recreational activities and reduces risk of injury, she said.

Health Seekers Technology also offers vibration platforms for an overall muscle workout. The vibration technology gives a light, all-over workout in 10 minutes. Also, the workout center has an ab coaster, which works on the core abdominal muscles.

Health Seekers is an open gym. Friendly staff members help you get familiar with the machines.

Business is steady all year, because the program is nutritionally and physically sound, Gutherless said. People from their teens to age 83 are currently participating.

The workout plan at Health Seekers takes about 30-45 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week. The center is open six days a week.

First published in the Bulletin's Jan. 8 print edition. (To subscribe to the weekly print paper, call us at 696-0052. We current offer a no-nonsense price of $30/year throughout Lincoln County.)

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 1/26/2014
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