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Renewed You Challenge

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EDITOR vs. PUBLISHER

It’s easy to talk about getting healthy and promise yourself that you’ll start going to the gym once the new year starts or when you turn a certain age. It’s a whole lot harder to actually make good on your noble intentions. Or is it? From October 20 to November 20, Kristel Bulthuis (urbanicity Editor) and I, Martinus Geleynse (urbanicity Publisher) put our muscles where our mouths are, and took a fitness challenge with the gym genuises at Momentum Fitness in their new downtown Hamilton facility.

We called the challenge the “Renewed You Fitness Challenge”. The thinking behind this name was that this challenge was about more than simply losing pounds or building muscle; it was about genuinely renewing ourselves and transforming our lifestyle for the better. It’s easy for young professionals to get caught up in a lifestyle of long hours at work followed by long hours at parties and pubs. Personal wellness is often sacrificed for the sake of convenience and commerce. The ironic part of this lifestyle is that an unhealthy lifestyle ultimately decreases productivity and enjoyment in life. Enter the need for renewal. Enter the Renewed You Fitness Challenge.

Kristel and I met with Craig Spear and Brian Humphrey, the owners of Momentum Fitness as they were putting the finishing touches on their stunning new gym on George Street in downtown Hamilton. It’s located only steps from King/Bay and King/Main in the Textile Building, a red brick, great post and beam warehouse being brought back to life by Core Urban Inc. They explained their philosophy of fitness and wellness as being summarized by the name of their company: Momentum. We were immediately sold. Together, we crafted the Renewed You Challenge to be something that reversed the unhealthy life habits we’d grown into and instead help us gain momentum in a healthy and sustainable direction. Brian trained me three days each week while Craig trained Kristel. We changed our diets, daily schedules, bedtimes, and prioritized going to the gym. The results have been nothing short of transformational. Here’s how it all unfolded… -MG

GAINING MOMENTUM

If you ask most people, they will tell you that gyms are intimidating, dirty and full of meatheads and salespeople who care more about your wallet than how you’re feeling. We want to change that. When we opened Momentum Fitness in the old Dundas post office four years ago, we decided to change the way Hamiltonians experience exercise and fitness. We realized that the opportu- nities that existed for people to get fit and healthy were characterized by limited support and knowledge in conjunction with an intimidating and competitive culture. Only 10 percent of Ham- iltonians had a gym membership and Hamilton ranked as one of the least fit cities in Canada. By providing a non-intimidating, comfortable environment with a welcoming community, Momen- tum works every day to bring that change to Hamiltonians.
About a year ago, we were looking for our second location when we stumbled upon a 100-year- old beauty known as the Old Textile Building at 10 George Street in downtown Hamilton. Turns out we have a have a thing for old buildings! There seems to be something symbolic about helping to transform old buildings and then using those spaces to help transform people’s lives. We couldn’t be happier to be in downtown Hamilton, doing our part in the community to change the way people experience fitness. Four years into our venture, we now have a studio on Frid Street for fitness classes and the new 24/7 gym in downtown Hamilton, while our first location continues to positively impact the Dundas community. And still our mission remains the same: We continue to create clean, comfortable and non-intimidating fitness experiences that inspire people to live their best lives every day. — CRAIG SPEAR

KRISTEL, AGE 32, HEIGHT: 170 CM

PRE-CHALLENGE.
WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES TO STAYING ACTIVE AND LIVING A HEALTY LIFESTYLE?
Right now, it is exhaustion, and quite frankly, laziness. I had gotten into a routine of eating well and exercising and then I hit a rough patch and quit. Unfortunately, I then allowed work to con- sume most of my time and allowed these two things to suffer.

WHY IS EXERCISE AND LIVING A HEALTHY LIFE IMPORTANT TO YOU? I know that I feel better, and am much more effective when I am healthy and active. I want to be able to be the best person I can be, for my family, for my friends, for my job.

IS YOUR PURPOSE GREATER THAN YOUR CHALLENGE? YES OR NO. I know that I can overcome the challenges 100%.

MY PERSONAL MANTRA IS…. Do whatever you can do to make someone’s life a little bit better.

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WHAT A DIFFERENCE A MONTH MAKES!

Heading in this Renewed You Challenge, I was skeptical. How much could really change in 30 days? Well, let me tell you, everything can. Craig and I met 3 times a week for 4 weeks, and we worked hard. He pushed me, encouraged me, and helped me prove to myself that I am capable of more than I ever thought possible. Going in to this, I was picking up take-out regularly, not sleeping through the night, and definitely not physically active. After getting a meal plan, workouts that are forcing me to work hard, and working hard to find a work-life balance, I came out a more well- rested, healthier and happier KB. The best part was that Craig and the team at Momentum made working out enjoyable, non-intimidating, and accessible. I enjoyed going to the gym for the first time ever, looked forward to hopping on the treadmill and lifting weights. The social aspect helps as well, as many of my friends have joined and it allows us to spend time together over a treadmill, instead of over a glass (or two) of wine. I can’t wait to see what happens next, built on the foundation of the Renewed You Challenge. -KB

MARTINUS, AGE 31, HEIGHT: 183 CM

PRE-CHALLENGE: 

WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES TO STAYING ACTIVE AND LIVING A HEALTY LIFESTYLE?

I’ve developed unhealthy habits and routines that I find are difficult to break without a more appealing alternative readily available. For example, I’m not motivated to work out or eat healthy because neither practice has is more appealing than unhealthy (but tasty!) food or relaxing on a couch with Netflix.

WHY IS EXERCISE AND LIVING A HEALTHY LIFE IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Living an unhealthy life is sort of half living, and my daughter, Zoeya, is a pretty big motivation to begin really investing in my health. If I can live a healthier lifestyle, grow old with my family, and increase my professional productivity, it’s pretty important to do this sooner than later.

MY PERSONAL MANTRA IS….
Anything is possible! This has actually been my motto since I was a little kid. Solutions aren’t always easy, obvious, or enjoyable, but I have grown up to believe that anything is possible. Sometimes it just takes a bit (or a lot) of extra determination or creativity!

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30 DAYS LATER…RENEWED.

I’ve never had a health kick that stuck. This challenge was completely different from anything I’d done before, however. It’s not part of a phase or a “kick”, it’s become my new lifestyle. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I would meet Brian
in the gym first thing in the morning. He was tremendously encouraging, and explained each exercise we did so that I understood how everything worked together. This was critical for keeping me motivated (I like to know how and why things work!) and for equipping me to continue working out on my own. We talked about motivation, nutrition, and focus.
My goal was to increase overall fitness levels to result in higher productivity and quality of life. To this end, we worked hard
on cardio capacity and core strength. My abilities by the end of the challenge were exponentially greater than before it began. Every part of my life has been affected by this challenge. I traded my comfy office chair for a standing desk, I’ve become
a SoBi bike regular, cut my alcohol consumption dramatically, started eating three healthy meals each day, and shifted my bedtime and waking times about two hours earlier. My energy levels are very high, and my productivity has skyrocketed. This happened in only 30 days. It’s so, so very possible. -MG

PERSPECTIVE AFTER THE CHALLENGE

Not long after opening our new location at 10 George Street, we connected with Martinus and Kristel from urbanicity. We were so excited when they presented us with an opportunity to work with them for their 30-Day Renewed You Challenge. Sure, the exposure for us in this magazine and online was undeniably beneficial, but more importantly, we saw an opportunity to work with two people who are exactly the kind of people we want to work with at Momentum. Both Kristel and Martinus had negative gym and fitness experiences in the past and both had apprehensions about their current fitness levels.

None of that mattered, though. Brian and I knew we were going to make a significant and lasting impact on these two. My approach with KB was to make workouts fun, engaging and diverse so she never had a chance to think too hard about what she was doing (which turned out to be very challenging workouts). We implemented trivia, music, intervals and had philosophical conversations about life. Our workouts morphed into fun hangouts. We broke down a barrier for KB that I believe most of us have. We somehow believe that workouts have to be these hard, tedious and self- deprecating events. I think she would tell you that she dreaded her first workout but by the end of the challenge they became one of the highlights of her day.

Martinus and Brian took a completely different approach. After all, we are individuals and work- ing with a coach who is going to customize a plan that meets our individual needs just makes sense. The approach that worked for KB would not have had the same impact for Martinus, and vice versa. Martinus explained to Brian that his previous experience with a trainer had him doing too much too soon, which resulted in injury and a lowered self-efficacy. Brian made sure to ease Martinus into the challenge by focusing on flexibility and core strengthening. As the challenge progressed, Brian added more weights and cardio to Martinius’s program.

Despite these different approaches, both KB and Martinus saw unbelievable results in a short time. Many trainers would focus on the physical changes they experienced, but Brian and I are most proud of the shift in their confidence, motivation and ability.Though this was a 30-day challenge, Brian and I wanted to make sure KB and Martinus would continue on this path of health and fitness for the rest of their lives. I truly believe we helped them build a strong foundation and that they’ll keep building on this experience. — CRAIG SPEAR

 

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