Healthy Living — Personal trainers are ready to assist seniors

by Andrew Alonzo |

Upland resident Cynthia Pye is always looking for ways to improve her health. The 60-year-old has been active for as long as she can remember and sticks to health basics such as eating right and exercising regularly.

In addition to belonging to a gym closer to home, Pye also makes the drive twice a week to Claremont’s newest personal training facility, the Exercise Coach. There, she engages in a personalized, 20-minute workout routine, which according to Pye, feels like 10 minutes and is a lot of fun.

She admitted the short, signature routine was what initially intrigued her about the personal training facility, which advertised that it could provide the same results as a regular gym session.

“I came in [and] thought I’d just check it out,” Pye said.

At the beginning of February, Pye met Adam Smith, the Exercise Coach studio manager.

Smith explained what the center and its certified personal trainers had to offer, and after Pye did some further research, she gave the training a go.

“Today is I think the second day of my second month,” Pye said after her 10 a.m. session last Friday. “I’ve been here over a month and I do feel the progress.”

“It sounds like an advertisement,” Pye added, but “it feels like having a personal trainer every time I come in.”

Founded and launched in Chicago in 2000 by Brian and Gerianne Cygan, the Exercise Coach is essentially a downsized membership-based personal training franchise where, well … exercise coaches work one-on-one or in groups with clients to achieve their fitness goals.

“It doesn’t matter where they are [in terms of fitness]. If they’ve never worked out in the past or if they work out all the time, we can individualize the workout for them so they can get the most out of it,” Smith said. “We are just focused on strength training, it’s only 20 minutes [per session] and we recommend [sessions] twice a week as that’s when you see the best results … In that time we do seven or eight strength training exercises and a little bit of cardio as well.”

The studio serves all ages, with the 50 and up range being the franchise’s target market, according to its website. Smith said that in Claremont, however, the average client age is about 60, with a few older members in the bunch. The facility can also accommodate individuals with screws or full replacements in their knees or other pivotal joints.

“We have clients in their 80s though. We’ve got clients in wheelchairs, clients on walkers, and we have a blind client who comes in with his dog over in Glendora,” Smith said. “The biggest thing is that it’s individualized for them …. everything is tailored to where their fitness level is.

“Really for the older generation, we’re looking at just maintaining and even regaining that muscle that you naturally lose as you get older if you don’t keep those muscles active in a meaningful kind of way,” Smith said. “We also focus on some exercises that help with balance and just general strength. As you get older, just getting that strength [back] helps people.”

Aside from the personalized fitness sessions, what makes the Exercise Coach unique is its use of Exerbotics machines, the latest in fitness technology, provided exclusively to the franchise. The use of familiar machines such as leg press, chest row and other standard gym equipment with a high-tech twist are what gives the Exercise Coach its nickname, the “smart fitness studio.”

“The technology sometimes can be a little intimidating, especially to the older generations sometimes, but it’s very engaging and very straightforward,” Smith said. “[Clients] tend to really enjoy it once they see it because it does give you realtime feedback.”

“Plus, you have the trainers always giving you feedback and doing form checks and that sort of thing but the equipment itself, I mean it shows you exactly where your effort level is at every second of that workout versus where your goal is,” Smith added.

The Claremont facility is still fairly new, having just opened on January 10, according to Smith, who runs the Claremont location with his wife, Jennifer. It is located on the southeast corner of the Claremont Heights Shopping Mall off Base Line Road, between the Claremont Village Cleaners and Kumon tutoring.

It is the second Exercise Coach franchise the Smiths have opened along the foothill corridor in just two years, the first being in Glendora.

“Now, I don’t know there’s nine or 10 either open or in the process of opening in California, so you’ll see more of us popping up,” Adam said.

Since its inception, the franchise has opened over 100 locations across the United States.

Smith said the community response to the Exercise Coach has been remarkable. He shared that seniors in particular should take advantage of the high-tech facility as it can help improve their overall quality of life.

“We can get you strong again and have you healthy throughout the day,” Smith said. “A lot of our clients are just happy it’s easier for them to get in and out of the car, it’s easier for them to carry groceries, it’s easier for them to play with their kids … They can go for walks without getting winded with their kids or grandkids.”

“Everyone’s win is a little different,” Smith said.

For more information, stop by the studio at 578 E. Base Line Road or contact the Claremont group at (626) 788-2360. Visit for more details and pricing, and to claim two free sessions at your local Exercise Coach franchise. Smith said the Claremont location is currently offering a discount of $100 off your first month of one-on-one sessions.


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