I have a theory. Actually I have many, including one where all those random ipod glitches are part of the Computer Race’s master plan to accustom humans to automatically responding to seemingly haphazard signals. For the purpose of this blog however, let’s focus on my Gateway Exercise Theory. You’ve heard of gateway drugs. Pot, for example, is said to open the door to cocaine and heroine, though in my observation, it’s more often responsible for arguments over whether fast or slow moving zombies rock the hardest and over-reliance on the word “dude.”
I think everyone has a Gateway Exercise which, once discovered, helps you gain physical strength and mental confidence, thereby allowing you to try other forms of exercise, even those outside your comfort zone. To uncover your GE, think back to your childhood. What activity was effortless, fun? Me, I loved riding my bike, it felt easy in a way running didn’t—after all, I was sitting down. Predictably then, Spinning is my GE, though I worked out unhappily for a decade before I realized it. Once I started Spinning, it felt natural to branch out. Now I practice yoga, weight train, run and both teach Spinning and take classes. Best of all, I know if the fast-moving Zombies invade, I’ll be able to outrun them.
For physical therapist Shawn Babiarz, biking and swimming were GE’s of sorts, but when he found himself in a workout rut, he decided to further broaden his horizons. Says Babiarz, “I needed to come up with a piece of equipment that challenged my whole body and kept me mentally engaged.” After some trial and error, Babiarz developed KoreFit™, a system which “takes the principles of Pilates” and uses the “Variable Stability System to transfer air between both halves of the KoreFit™ creating a dynamic challenging platform.” Babiarz adds, “You control this challenge by turning the control knob in the center of the unit, allowing you to increase or decrease the amount of air that flows through either side of the KoreFit™.” Essentially then, KoreFit™ amplifies a formerly static workout by, among other things, engaging your abs at all times.
Maybe you’re thinking, that’s all very well and good, but I store seasonal cloths on top of my elliptical and my kid uses the treadmill to play “factory worker,” why would I go out and purchase another piece of useless equipment? Luckily you can see KoreFit™ in action at Xsport Fitness. This week, the chain launches KoreFit™ classes, a group exercise regime utilizing Babiarz’ invention. According to Leslie Grosshauser, Xsport’s National Director of Group Exercise, the classes provide a “challenging workout for those at a high fitness level [via] explosive movements executed on the KoreFit. [But] at the other end of the spectrum, all moves are shown with modifications, allowing even the novice fitness person to feel confident in class.”
Not only might KoreFit™ benefit you, but purchasing your own KoreFit™ can benefit others. Babiarz encourages the use of the system as a rehabilitation tool, and the company has donated KoreFits to The Wounded Warrior Project's TRACK, the first educational center in the nation designed for wounded service members returning to the US. When you purchase KoreFit™ a portion will be donated to the WWP.
As for Babiarz, his weekly workout schedule now includes not only biking or running, but yoga, “a double workout on Tuesday and Thursday: KoreFit™ workouts in the morning and strictly KoreFit™ abdominal exercises in the afternoons” and boxing.” Come the Zombie Apocalypse, he won’t even have to run; he can stay and fight.
Image stolen from Cranky Fitness
A freelance writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum, when not writing, supports herself as a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago's Story Studio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She’s kind of looking forward to it actually. IMPORTANT: the official Our Town site doesn't support comments. Join in the conversation by followingOur Town on Facebook and Sarah on Twitter: @SarahTerez