Workouts help win battle of the bulge

Health clubs can assist with designed regimens that work for the overweight

KINGMAN - With obesity prevalence steadily climbing in the United States, four local businesses work to combat growing waistlines with increased exercise.

Inactivity is one of the leading contributors to obesity. While working out in the comfort of your own home can help, the lack of structure and the expensive fitness equipment can serve as a barrier for those wanting to lose weight. Sometimes people also find it hard to know where to start or how to best go about losing the weight.

The Kingman Fitness and Racquet Club, the Heavy Metal Gym, Curves and the Del E. Webb Wellness Center all strive to help people get into a program that works for them and keep them at it.

The Kingman Fitness and Racquet Club offers personalized training to work toward fitness and weight loss. Owner Abe Dehaybi said he always loved exercise and likes helping people stay well instead of getting well.

The Fitness and Racquet Club has full racquetball courts, a heated pool, aerobics room, weight room and more. Cardio equipment includes treadmills, cross trainers, rowing machines, stair machines and stationary bikes. Dehaybi said that the Nu Step equipment he has is good for rehabilitation, handicapped members and those who are significantly overweight and need to start slow. The equipment resembles a stair stepping machine except the person is seated, therefore not having to support their full body weight.

Dehaybi said they offer step, yoga, Pilates, aerobics, bodybuilding, fitness ball classes and more.

When potential members come in to sign up, Dehaybi said he offers personal time with the person to discuss past workout history, current activity levels and goals. He will then recommend a program to meet those goals. He tries to describe the programs for the individual so they get the most out of the program.

Individuality is a key, he said. He tries to make people feel as if they are the only one there and really encourages them to strive for their goals.

The Kingman Fitness and Racquet Club also offers daycare Monday through Saturday.

Dehaybi started with the Fitness and Racquet Club as a manager in 1986. He had gone to medical school, but felt that preventative medicine was a better option. Now, he gets people healthy and tries to keep them that way.

In his duties as owner, Dehaybi offers personal training sessions and diet instruction for an additional fee. However, through the end of May, he said he is throwing them in for free for new members.

Membership at the Kingman Fitness and Racquet Club is $35 per month with a $75 signup fee. He is currently waiving the signup fee for new members through the end of May. If you are more than 50 pounds overweight, the first month's fees will also be waived.

The Kingman Fitness and Racquet Club is located at 1950 Kino Ave. For more information, call 757-1111.

Heavy Metal Gym

Heavy Metal Gym owner Jerry Homer said they have a good history with people who are overweight. Homer said people who come to their gym overweight have a track record of losing a significant amount quickly. He basically kicks people into shape.

As an award-winning bodybuilder with nine world records and a two-time former Mr. National Universe, Homer understands the health benefits of a strict exercise regimen. If people come in and have never had a serious workout regimen before, Homer said he discusses goals with them. Based on those goals, he maps out an exercise regimen and food program.

Through Heavy Metal Gym, Homer tries to instill how to lead a healthy life and lose weight through a combination of exercise and diet. Generally, his food programs consist of lowering the intake of complex carbohydrates and increasing the intake of protein.

Heavy Metal Gym focuses both on strength and cardio training. Because of his focus on bodybuilding (at least for himself and certain clients), Homer has equipped the gym with Hammer Strength and Icarian weight equipment. Hammer Strength equipment is the best weight equipment, he said.

Heavy Metal Gym also has Life Fitness equipment including treadmills, a step mill, stair steppers, three stationary bikes and TVs throughout the cardio room.

Membership includes a $30 sign-up fee and $30 monthly fee. For children under 18 with their parents, the monthly fee is $10. The Heavy Metal Gym is located at 3531 N. Bond Street. For more information, call 692-8088.

Curves

Curves focuses on helping women lose weight in a supportive setting. Curves is geared specifically toward women, helping them shed pounds and strengthen muscles.

According to owner Debbie Smith, Curves is a fast, fun and effective 30-minute weight loss center. Smith said Curves emphasizes 30 minutes of strength training on specially designed equipment.

The program has women working in a circuit that follows the level of the individual. Smith said Curves uses hydraulic equipment that allows each woman to work at her own level. The hydraulics also allows women to move quickly from station to station without tiring themselves or wasting time moving weight stacks. The women change stations every 30 seconds to continue working and giving each muscle group an adequate workout.

Smith said they encourage 30 minutes of cardio on off days. Just like anything else, the muscles need a day of rest in between strength training, she said.

Smith said they have a very positive, supportive staff working in the circuit with the members, encouraging the weight loss process.

While Curves offers a six-week weight loss class, Smith said they don't generally encourage new members to take the class right away. Many times trying to diet and get into an exercise routine is too overwhelming and people will stop altogether.

Once the exercise has become habit, after maybe two or three months, the weight loss class works to instill good eating habits. After people start to exercise more frequently, they often eat healthier on their own.

The weight loss class costs $99 on top of membership fees, Smith said, but only for the first time. If women want to continue with the class after the first time, there is no additional cost.

Monthly fees for Curves range from $34 to $44, depending on whether the person makes a 12-month or monthly commitment. While there is a sign-up fee, it varies depending on the various specials being offered.

Curves is located at 3531 N. Moore Street, Suite 1. For more information, call 692-0011.

Wellness Center

The Del E. Webb Wellness Center offers a wide variety of fitness classes and opportunities for any level of fitness.

In addition to a heated, indoor pool, cardio and weight equipment, the Wellness Center offers an eight-week "Biggest Loser" weight loss program. According to Dietician Dino Pierce, this program is geared toward losing weight the right way - through lifestyle change.

"The weight loss/healthy eating program will provide a fun, interactive, educational and supportive (group setting) environment," program material said.

The program pits two teams against one another to lose weight and eat healthier. During the first week, Pierce said they teach how to do a meal plan. Instead of giving them a list of what they can and cannot eat, Pierce said they help those signed up for the program to set up their own meal plans eating things they still enjoy, but in a healthier way.

The program follows up with participants once a week at weigh-ins. After the private weigh-in, they address potential areas of improvement, looking at calorie intake, type and frequency of exercise, and make changes for the individual if necessary to achieve goals. Pierce said each week the program addresses different types of things in regards to eating healthy, such as controlling you metabolism, the significance of small, frequent meals and more.

In addition to the weight loss class, the Wellness Center offers a plethora of classes, including aerobics, yoga, Pilates, boot camp, kickboxing, cycling and more.

Boot camp is an eight-week program designed to help members lose weight, body fat and increase metabolism. As part of the class, the eight-week weight loss program (Biggest Loser) is included at no additional cost. This program is available to non-members for $160 and members for $150. The Biggest Loser is available to members for $99. If people want to attend again, the cost is reduced to $49.

Memberships for the Wellness Center are $46 per month for an individual who doesn't have the money automatically withdrawn each month and $44 for those who do. Those rates are for members who sign up for a 12-month membership. One-month memberships cost $62 for individuals.

Membership also includes a mandatory initial evaluation, which costs $125. It includes a blood chemistry makeup (total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose), a one-hour session of exercise prescription and personal training, a Polar Body Age assessment (which gives new members a benchmark to measure progress) and a 30-minute consultation with a registered dietitian.

The Del E. Webb Wellness Center is located at 1719 Beverly, adjacent to the Kingman Regional Medical Center. For more information, call 692-4600.