Resolutions gym review: Iron Therapy

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Build yourself by lifting weights, build others by lifting spirits. photo courtesy Troy Fleece

If detailed instruction is up your alley, this could be the place for you 

The month of January is here, and it is time to make New Year’s goals and try to make a ‘new you.’ Often a theme that comes along with the month of January is going to the gym to get yourself back on track after the holidays, and to get nice and fit for the summertime. Last year, we did a gym series where I went around to different gyms in the city, tried out a class, told you what I liked and did not like about the specific class, and did an interview with the instructor or the owner. Well this year, that series is continuing!

The first location I went to is Iron Therapy, located at 1763 Mcara Street in Regina. To give you a bit of a background about the gym before we get to the review, I’ll let you know a bit about Iron Therapy. The gym itself is owned by a woman named Brandi Smith; she claims herself an iron addict. She has a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology specializing in human kinetics, and she used her degree and her years of weightlifting to her advantage to create a space that is welcoming to all minds, bodies, and souls, as she makes very clear on the website and in the gym itself.

Now that we know a bit about the gym, let’s take you along with the session. When you first walk in you are welcomed by Smith herself, and you walk into a typical warehouse-style gym where you have a simple set-up with lots of options for gym equipment and everything. Once you get introduced and situated, it is time to get into the good stuff.

I attended a small group session, which included myself and two others, though typically these work in groups of four. How Smith works these sessions is that two go at once while the other two watch the others work out, watch their form, and cheer each other on. In today’s class, we worked on the upper body, and it was a good one. Honestly, I was quite shocked by all the little details, information, and advice that Smith had for us to assure that each one of us was safe, comfortable, and successful with the movements. She literally broke it down step-by-step on where your body should be, what you should be doing, where you should be feeling it, and – if you are doing parts wrong – how to fix it. We did bench press, assisted pull-up, started an overhead barbell press, and an arm circuit with two triceps and two bicep movements.

Now that you know a bit about the gym, how Smith works, and the workout, I am going to tell you the details I did and did not like. We jumped right into things with no stretch, so I would recommend that you show up a bit beforehand to stretch out if that is what you enjoy to keep yourself safe. Personally, that is the only thing I did not enjoy. Everything else was immaculate! The vibes of the gym were good, you were welcomed by the community right away, you cheered each other on and worked together, you got a good pump on, and you counted your own reps so you got that feeling of working on your own but with a personal trainer there to keep you safe and welcomed! With those vibes comes a great personal trainer. Let’s ask her some questions! 

What do you like specifically about teaching classes at the gym?

Mostly, I just love my clients. I have just bonded with all of them. We all have our own little relationships, so it is basically like getting to come to hang out with friends and teach them how to lift and train, and like, that we get to work hard and have a good time!

What keeps you personally motivated to be a fitness instructor? What inspired you to go

this route in the first place?

My motivation to continue is that I am a bodybuilder, so I do bodybuilding in the figure division. […] I got into training during university as [I was] interested in health and fitness obviously, so started training and fell in love with it and never stopped, and evolved and worked my way through gyms and started my own business.

Is there anything that you’d like to learn how to instruct in the future? What are your personal goals?

Bodybuilding I am currently working on getting my pro card this year, which would make me a pro athlete and pro bodybuilder. […]  For job-related, I just like always learning something new, so new ways of executing exercises, new cues to teach people, […] how to communicate things in different ways.

What is some advice you would give someone who is wanting to try out your gym for the first time?

Just do it! I think a lot of people are really scared; […] just book a class and try it! There is no commitment here, a lot of other gyms want you to buy a package, or commitment from you. I don’t like sales or pitching people. I like people to just try it and if you like it keep going, if not, everyone likes different things. Book a session and try it out, we have a very supportive community.

January is often the month of “New Year, new me.” What are some suggestions you have for people to not only have a “new me” in January, but to improve their lifestyle and habits past this month? What have you found helpful in making a resolution that sticks?

I don’t like ‘new year, new me’ because then that almost implies that you are not good enough as [you] are, and I think everyone is good enough as they are! But, we can all improve, so I like the new year, improved me, or better me! […] Advice for resolutions, work on small steps that make a big difference, start out with one goal at a time. […] Create a habit, then add something else in, and do not get overwhelmed. It should be easy and enjoyable!

So, here is the rundown for you from Iron Therapy! You got to learn a bit about the owner herself, got to read how an upper body day works when working beside Smith, got a feeling of what you may experience when there, and got to learn about Smith and why she owns Iron Therapy herself. It was a great time at Iron Therapy, and I personally see why people enjoy it. I hope you go and try it one day. Stay tuned for more gyms coming your way!

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