Resolution No. 1: Lose body fat

Woodland Fitness debuts Thinner Winner contest

Pat Hill
Improving muscle tone is tops on the list for these women, who are receiving tips from personal trainers Jason Ramos and Ann Bunge. Pictured clockwise, starting at noon, are Ramos, Natalie Hibbard, Bunge, Kathy Speight and Sierra McFeeters. Not pictured, Linda Johnson.
Pat Hill
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If firming muscles or losing weight on a solo basis is a real bummer then working out as a team might just be the ticket to health and fitness. “There’s a synergy that happens when you have people exercising next to you,” said Mary Nein, who owns Woodland Fitness, a 24-hour workout facility.

To add oomph to 2014 resolutions, the facility takes a team approach to this year’s fitness contest, Thinner Winner, a twist on the Biggest Loser contest of the past.

“Peer pressure is pretty amazing,” Nein said. “There’s something to be said about somebody waiting at the gym for you.”

The contest kicks off Jan. 11 with weigh-ins and caliper testing to measure body fat. From there, entrants square off into four-person teams, each with a collective goal.

This year’s contest includes a personal trainer for each team. “I can see a little competition going on among the personal trainers,” Nein said.

The trainers will design a nutrition plan as well as a workout regime, each based on the contestant’s medical record and history of injuries.

With the team approach, the contest taps into the competitive spirit as the innate cheerleader. “It’s going to be energy-packed because everybody is going to be drawing off each other,” Nein said.

In addition to the machines, contestants have a choice of 100 fitness classes. “The hardest thing about making fitness your lifestyle is finding something you can do consistently that you don’t just hate,” Nein said. “Just find a class that doesn’t feel like you’re working out.”

A one-hour Zumba class, for instance, burns 900 calories. “A normal diet for a woman is 1,200 calories,” Nein said.

The contest offers equal opportunities. “The contest winner loses the most percentage of their own body fat,” Nein said. “That means trim people can participate, too. It’s not about pounds, necessarily. A lot of people will be gaining muscle mass which weighs more but takes up less space.”

An eight-week contest that ends March 9, Thinner Winner includes the personal trainer, the classes, use of the equipment, child care and 24/7 access. The fee for each member of the team is $49 for Woodland Fitness clients and $99 for non-members. The grand prize for the winning team is $1,000.

With all the perks attached to the contest, Nein envisions taking the challenge to another level. “We want to encourage employers to invest in the health and wellness of their employees,” she said. “If employees have a gym membership or a fitness lifestyle, their medical bills are less and their attendance is near 100 percent.”

Registration is capped on Jan. 9 with the kickoff at 3 p.m. Jan. 11. For registration forms and information, check woodlandfitness.com or call 686-8800.

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