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2014 Member Awards

December 19, 2014 2 comments

At the end of each year we honor our Cooper Fitness Center Dallas members who strive to live according to the mission of personal wellness. We are thrilled to announce this year’s winners. All of our winners were nominated by fellow Cooper Fitness Center members as well as Cooper teammates. These individuals not only lead a lifestyle of personal wellness incorporating fitness and proper nutrition into their daily habits, but they serve as role models to others and are active in their community. All winners were honored with Drs. Cooper and Cooper Fitness Center’s management team earlier this week—congratulations!

George Graffy, Male of the Year

George Graffy, Male of the Year

Male of the Year: George Graffy

George is a stranger to no one. While busy training with Robert Treece nearly every day of the week, he’s always eager to interact and meet new friends at Cooper Fitness Center. From two years of training, George has worked consistently to lose 20 pounds and build strong muscle.

George shared his time with Robert so that his son, Andrew, could combat a knee injury during his senior lacrosse season at St. Marks where he went on to win the State Championship. Along with his son, George’s wife also works out at Cooper Fitness Center with Collete Cole through the Female Focus program.

As a graduate of University of Penn and Northwestern, George is well-connected and an excellent ambassador for Cooper Fitness Center.

“George is a guy who always brings more to the table than he takes away,” said Robert Treece, Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer. “When interacting with him you feel encouraged yourself and you feel better off than before he came in.”

When George began his weight loss endeavors, he confessed that he paid his son $5 per pound lost for accountability. Aside from training with Robert Treece, George has also worked with Paul Nally, Joshua Cuellas and Lisa Hanley, all Professional Fitness Trainers at Cooper Fitness Center. The Cooper Aerobics campus has become a second home to George and his family, including his co-workers who participated in a corporate meeting at Cooper Hotel & Conference Center.

Vivian Dimas, Female of the Year

Vivian Dimas, Female of the Year

Female of the Year: Vivian Dimas

This time last year, in preparation for the National Duathlon Race in Arizona, Vivian encountered a terrible accident and was hit by a car while training, knocking her off of her bike by impact. Vivian suffered many injuries including a concussion, sprains, fractures, broken bones—it was a miracle she survived.

The most amazing wonder is how she responded to and returned from this traumatic accident. Within weeks of her return to Dallas, she visited Cooper to ride the stationary bike and to maintain muscle mass and strength. Within eight to nine months, she began to slowly restart her training.

Just a few months ago, Vivian placed second overall in the Esprit de She Duathlon in McKinney, finishing the two-mile run, nine-mile bike and two-mile run in less than one hour with our Fitness Director, Mary Edwards, by her side. Mary said, “This was her way of announcing she was back!”

“Her spirit of perseverance has shined as she has endured the physical and emotional trauma associated with her accident,” Mary said. “Vivian’s workouts before and after her accident were balanced and consistent. I believe this is at the core of what we preach everyday—she truly understands the importance of “exercising most days of the week” and “maintaining healthy weight.”

Aside from Vivian’s time with Cooper, Vivian is a pediatric cardiologist, involved in her church and helps with the local Greek Food Festival each year.

Cas Dunlap, Most Improved of the Year

Cas Dunlap, Most Improved of the Year

Most Improved of the Year: Cas Dunlap

Cooper Fitness Center Member Awards are not new to Cas’ family. In 1995 Cas’ grandmother and grandfather were awarded Mr. and Mrs. Aerobics and Cas’ mother has been a loyal member for more than 30 years.

Cas was introduced to Cooper at a young age when his grandparents brought him for a tour. While attending St. Marks School of Texas, he read Aerobics as required reading and now serves as a highly-respected upper level math instructor at Parish Episcopal School.

Through regular workouts with Professional Fitness Trainer David H. Williams and group exercise classes with Scotty Esquibel, Cas has lost 60 pounds over the past 14 months! Coming in on his own for personal workouts but also joining group exercise classes, it’s clear that Cas’ personal commitment is led by his great work ethic. With his diligent efforts in the gym, Cas has been an inspiration to all who knows him.

“No one works harder than Cas. He trains to the max from the warm up to the cool down,” Scotty said. “Watching his progress has brought me great joy!”

“I just decided to stop NOT exercising and I knew where to start, Cooper,” Cas said.

Well-deserving, Cas is a gentlemen and all-around ambassador for Cooper.

Orville Rogers, Classic of the Year

Orville Rogers, Classic of the Year

Classic of the Year: Orville Rogers

Breaking numerous world running records, including the first man over 90 to break the 10-minute mile, Orville is truly Cooperized! As a patient of Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s from the 70s and a member of Cooper Fitness Center, Orville is an inspiration to all.

Orville discovered Aerobics in a Chicago hotel 47 years ago and has been running ever since recording more than 40,000 miles. Cooper Fitness Center members and teammates recognize him by his famed shorts just as much as his red camaro as he still works out three times per week at 97 years young.

Orville credits Dr. Cooper with saving his life, “at least once, probably twice.”  They share Oklahoma roots and both served their country through the United States Air Force. Orville learned to fly airplanes at 24 and using those skills flying airplanes during the Cold War. 52 years later he took a Russian River Cruise from Leningrad to Moscow during a mission trip.

When introducing Orville at the luncheon this week, his dear friend and member, Harold Cox, said, “I could talk about his 11 world-records, his service in the military or his time as pilot for Braniff, but what has he done recently?” The audience laughed and listened on to hear just last week before the Dallas Marathon, Orville spoke at the American Medical Athletic Association’s Sports Medicine Symposium and is still running more than 5 miles per week, preparing for his next race in March.

Within the many nomination forms for Orville, one member said, “Orville has made mission trips literally to the ends of the earth, delivering airplanes from the factory to missionaries across the oceans and around the globe.”

Orville has truly proved that exercise can reverse the aging process. Dr. Cooper reflected on his relationship with Orville beginning with, “I remember the day I met Orville—March 19, 1972.”

For Dr. Cooper, he said what stands out most about Orville is his discipline—in all that he does, as he referred to Proverbs 13:18, “Discipline Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.”

Congratulations, Orville! We’re looking forward to your future records, in the 100+ age category.

Nick and Luke Maxtone-Graham, Youth of the Year

Nick and Luke Maxtone-Graham, Youth of the Year

Youth of the Year: Nick & Luke Maxtone-Graham

From their first summer camp in 2008, Nick and Luke have been hooked ever since. Meredith Rosson, Cooper Fitness Center’s Youth Programs Director said, “they quickly stood out with their eagerness to learn about sports and nutrition.” From IGNITE! to boxing and tennis to Teen TRX, they have taken advantage of all the Cooper Youth activities they can while excelling in lacrosse at Christ the King.

“When I think of a family to represent Cooper, they are the biggest Cooper Youth ambassadors,” shared Cooper Fitness Center Personal Trainer Paul Nally.

Their character and integrity shined through at an early age. Nick and Luke are well-known for being polite to everyone they meet with excellent manners. Always encouraging other kids in camps and cheering them in support, even if their team lost.

Even too young to account as “student members”, both boys have been actively involved in all programs. With the help of their parents, they learned to value fitness and health at an early age.

Rick and Carol Voirin, Mr. and Mrs. Aerobics

Rick and Carol Voirin, Mr. and Mrs. Aerobics

Mr. & Mrs. Aerobics: Rick & Carol Voirin

Utilizing all that Cooper has to offer, Rick and Carol are truly committed to their health. From group exercise classes to personal training to swimming, they both maintain a consistent exercise schedule—and always decompress at Cooper Spa!

With an active preventive lifestyle, Carol’s cancer was caught early enough to treat. Even through chemotherapy, she practiced good nutrition and a routine exercise regime to care for her body through such a trying time. Group Exercise Instructor and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Cooper Clinic, Meridan Zerner said, “Rick and Carol have actively crafted a very balanced lifestyle, both physical and social.”

Together and separately, traveling or working out at their home base at Cooper Fitness Center, Rick and Carol inspire others to exercise on a regular basis.

“They are exemplary members and role models without question,” Meridan expressed.

When presented the award, Rick also said he began running after reading Dr. Cooper’s first book, Aerobics. Truly honored, when thanking Dr. Cooper, Rick referenced an old adage, “you can count the seeds in an apple, but you can never count the number of apples produced from those seeds.”

Following Dr. Cooper’s recommendations of “age fast, age slow—it’s up to you,” it’s clear what they’ve decided to do.

For information about membership at Cooper Fitness Center, learn more about our facility and request a tour today.

Fitness Trends

September 23, 2014 Leave a comment
Mary Edwards, MS, Fitness Director at Cooper Fitness Center

Mary Edwards, MS, Fitness Director at Cooper Fitness Center

One of the things I enjoy most about working at Cooper is the opportunity to keep learning! To that end, I try to attend as many lectures and presentations as possible, with the idea that it broadens my base of health and wellness information, and stretches my mind to learn and think about new and different ideas. (For all of us worried about dementia and Alzheimer’s, there seems to be some research that our brain, just like our other muscles is one that we need to “use or lose”!) This month, Mary Edwards, MS, fitness director and professional trainer at Cooper Fitness Center, presented the continuing education session held for the Cooper Clinic physician team.

Patients who come to Cooper Clinic are typically more physically active than the general population, so it’s not unusual for the physicians to be asked specific questions about fitness and exercise. So Mary’s presentation goal was to educate the physicians on some of the top fitness trends for 2014. As a basis for her talk, Mary referenced the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) survey completed by 3,815 health and fitness professionals worldwide. Here are some of the highlights:

High Intensity Interval Training (HITT)is the number one trend of the year. In a HITT workout, there are short bursts of high intensity work, followed by a period of recovery. The heart rate is typically at 80 to 95 percent of maximum, and the goal is to drive the heart rate quickly up, and then back down. There are all kinds of HITT programs in the marketplace – P90X (the 90-day home workout plan); Circuit Training with 10- or 15 stations that also includes cardio; CrossFit; and outdoor boot camps, are all examples that incorporate HITT.

Twenty minutes of HITT is enough time for a workout, so Mary says this exercise is great for busy people! There’s also the bonus that science shows this type of exercise helps reduce abdominal fat, an issue for many of us. The downside of HITT is that it is potentially dangerous for non-conditioned people – taking an ill-conditioned heart rapidly up and down is a recipe for disaster, so you should discuss your interest in this type of exercise program with your doctor before diving in.

Number two on the list is Body Weight Training. Exactly like it sounds, body weight training requires little (if any) equipment and is strength training that can be done anywhere. In addition to squats, lunges, push-ups, and the like, modern day body weight training typically includes core conditioning – where there’s a focus on strengthening the “core” or trunk of our body. Total Resistance Exercise (TRX) classes, which use a suspension system for exercise, are an example of a popular body weight training program. Mary provided the factoid that TRX classes were started by a U.S. Navy SEAL who wanted to stay fit in a small, confined space, so he sewed together pieces of parachute material and made straps (which he suspended) for exercise. The exerciser uses their body weight and the suspended straps for an all-over body workout. Initially called “suspension training”, the former Navy SEAL came home and built the TRX business on this initial concept.

Cooper Fitness Center members posed for a fun group shot after a ViPR workout.

Mary reported that many outdoor boot camps focus on body weight training, with potentially the addition of terrain, and/or a few pieces of equipment. Boot camp classes cover the gamut – everything from “Mommy & Me” classes to military-style classes where participants use sandbags, truck tires and logs as their exercise equipment!Another general trend is Strength Training. Mary reports that strength training has been popular since the first ACSM survey in 2007, and that this exercise is appropriate for all ages and athletic and/or conditioned ability. In traditional strength training, exercisers use their body weight plus all kinds of toys – dumbbells, kettle bells, TRX, Sandbells and ViPR equipment. Sandbells are neoprene discs filled with sand that can be used as one would typically use a free weight, but they can also be thrown, caught, slammed and gripped. ViPR, which stands for Vitality, Performance and Reconditioning, is a weighted rubber tube with built-in handholds that looks much like an oversized “pool noodle,” and is used to perform task-oriented movement patterning – for example, scooping the ViPR across and up and over the body, or potentially holding the ViPR to do a squat and then overhead raise. Watch video demonstrations from our trainers with the Sandbells and ViPR equipment. Mary also told us about how kettle bells, a weighted metal device that looks like a small purse (with handle) to me, were created in Russia back in the 1700s!

With the numbers of aging baby boomers it’s no surprise that Fitness Programs for Older Adults is another trend. In addition to balance, yoga, Pilates and resistance training (AKA strength training), fitness programs for older adults also purposefully include “brain fitness” exercises, that focus on coordinated movements. So, for example, I might hold the ViPR in front of me and do a Romanian deadlift (RDL) combined with an overhead raise and a leg raise when I do the overhead raise. If my description sounds complicated, I think that’s the point – the idea is that the exerciser really has to focus and think about what they’re doing!

Good fitness programs for older adults also incorporate lots of functional exercises, designed specifically to help us prevent from turning a “trip” into a “fall”, or building muscle strength so if we’re down on the ground we can get back up. So, it’s not a surprise that Functional Fitness was another big trend. Mary shared how the trainers at Cooper Fitness Center have been focusing on functional fitness for years – the whole focus of conditioning in the gym is to support a great life outside the gym!

Yoga class in Cooper Fitness Center’s Mind/Body Studio. Hard work happens in this calm and serene environment. The accordion doors open for fresh air and cool breeze during seasonal weather.

The economy is likely influencing the trend towards  Group Personal Training. Like it sounds, two to four people share a trainer and work out together in group personal training. Larger than one-on-one personal training, but much smaller than a traditional group exercise class, group personal training allows the exercisers to have interaction and glean support from one another, but also reduces the cost of personal training. Here at Cooper, we launched Small Group Training in February, 2014. Professional Fitness Trainers conduct the classes, and are adept at customizing exercises based on specific injuries, limitations or disability. Mary reports that Small Group Training is perfect for those who are cost-conscious as well as anyone seeking the camaraderie and support of a group. Small Group Training allows for more personalized service than in a larger traditional group exercise and many of the sessions are targeted to specific exercise goals, be it weight loss, or being lean and toned for skinny jeans!

Mary mentioned that Yoga, another trend for 2014, is part of a 7 billion dollar mind/body business segment! Some classes are technically difficult, while others focus more on the breathing and relaxing, meditative aspects of the practice. The most popular type of yoga in the United States is Iyengar, where individual poses are held.

Mary talked too, about how the fitness industry continues to evolve, with more and more focus being put on certifications and credentials. At Cooper Fitness Center, Professional Fitness Trainers hold a college degree in an exercise related field and have a minimum of two years’ work experience in addition to industry certifications. (Many of the trainers also have graduate degrees.) When the gym adds a new member, the on-boarding process includes a physician supervised exercise Treadmill Stress Test at Cooper Clinic. From there, a Professional Fitness Trainer conducts a functional movement screening developed by Gray Cook of seven tests to assess movement of the body. The seven tests are squatting, stepping, lunging, reaching, leg raising, push-up and rotary stability. Each movement is scored between zero and three points. A zero is assessed if the movement causes pain, and a three is assessed if the person performs the movement perfectly. Anyone with pain gets immediately referred out to a medical specialist for treatment before continuing any exercise. The research shows that a score under 14 is a prediction of injury if the person just jumps into exercise, without undergoing corrective work first. Gray Cook, the founder, says “first move better, then move often.”

The old advice “don’t start an exercise program without first seeing your physician” is still good advice, and all the more important if you’re committed to re-engaging aggressively with physical activity.

Carla Sottovia Named IDEA Fit’s Program Director of the Year

September 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Cooper Fitness Center’s Carla Sottovia, PhD, was recognized as IDEA Fit’s Program Director of the Year! Carla is the CooperPT Mentorship Director and Cooper Fitness Center Director of Fitness and Personal Training Education along with Senior Professional Fitness Trainer, Pilates Instructor and Wellness Coach.

To say that she is busy is an understatement and with more than 20 years of experience she is helping individuals all over the world achieve their personal wellness and fitness goals.

IDEA Fit is recognized as the world’s largest association for fitness and wellness professionals. Prior to being named Program Director of the Year, Carla was recognized as IDEA’s Personal Trainer of the Year in 2005.

Last week Cooper Fitness Center members and Cooper Aerobics teammates (employees) gathered in the newly-renovated fitness center to celebrate Carla’s accomplishment with cake and punch!

Next time you’re in Cooper Fitness Center, say congratulations and sign up to try a Pilates session with Carla.

NEW! Teen TRX at Cooper Fitness Center

At Cooper Fitness Center, Dallas, our Youth Programs provide endless activities for kids and teens. Designed specifically for teenagers, this week we are introducing Teen TRX Hybrid!

Teen TRX Hybrid is a full-body workout that incorporates the TRX Suspension Training system and other equipment including battle ropes, kettle bells, slide boards and stability balls. In small groups of no more than six, the teens benefit from the camaraderie of group training and the individualized attention of personal training.

Professional Fitness Trainer Ryan Sheppard is excited to work with teens at Cooper Fitness Center. “TRX training is great for teenagers,” Ryan said. “It ensures that they are proficient with their own body weight before adding weight on the machines.”

He joined Cooper Fitness Center in December, but he first got a taste of being Cooperized in 2004 when he was an intern here. As an innate teacher, Ryan has also worked with The University of Alabama, Birmingham Southern College, Baylor University, YMCA and most recently, was the Assistant Strength Coach at Georgia Southern University.

With the use of the speed ladder and hurdles, teens also learn to move better and improve coordination. Register today!

Dates:
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:45-5:30 p.m.

Session 1: March 18–April 24
Session 2: April 29–June 5

Watch a video as Mary Edwards, Cooper Fitness Center Dallas Fitness Director, introduces TRX suspension training.

For more information, contact Mary Edwards at 972.233.4832, ext. 4230 or email medwards@cooperfitnesscenter.comRegister today!

Small Group Training at Cooper Fitness Center

January 28, 2014 1 comment

Take the camaraderie of group training, add the individualized attention of personal training and you’ve got Cooper Small Group Training—or as we like to call it SGT.

Led by Cooper Fitness Center professional fitness trainers, SGT blends the benefits of working out with a small group—such as accountability and encouragement—with a workout tailored to your fitness needs and goals. It will challenge and motivate you and take you to a new level of fitness. Each small group is limited to six participants.

Hear from Director of Fitness Mary Edwards below during a Cooperized Movement trial class with Cooper Aerobics teammates.

Cooperized Movement is based on the results of a Functional Movement Screen. This training incorporates corrective exercises to improve your mobility and stability for optimal movement. A pre and post Functional Fitness Screen is included.

Other available Small Group Trainings include: TRX, TRX Hybrid and Body SHOCK.

For more information on pricing and registration click here or email Mary Edwards.

MAT, Part III

December 19, 2013 Leave a comment

We started a video blog series with Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer and Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) Specialist Robert Treece a couple of weeks ago. In the first video we assessed a teammate at Cooper, David, to see how MAT could help him with his knee, see the first post here.  The following week we checked back in with David to see how the tightness in his knee was feeling after his first MAT session–you can see his progress in a video here. This week during David’s third MAT session, Robert demonstrated exercises on the gym floor for David to do to supplement his MAT sessions.

These video demonstrations were created to display the process of MAT at Cooper Fitness Center, Dallas. Each MAT Specialist assesses every client on a case-by-case basis. With David, Robert decided to work on his hips to help realign his knee, but there might be a different path for you.

For more information visit our website and sign up for a session by contacting Mary Edwards at 972.233.4832 or medwards@cooperfitnesscenter.com.

Vibration Training with the Power Plate

April 12, 2013 2 comments
Power Plate at Cooper Fitness Center Dallas

Power Plate at Cooper Fitness Center Dallas

Have you seen a piece of fitness equipment at your gym that looks similar to a space-age motor scooter? It’s probably a Power Plate, a vibration device used to improve strength and mobility.

The Power Plate creates instability in the body, requiring the muscles to contract to regain balance. When the vibration moves through the body, the nervous system responds in one of two ways. If there is high pre-tension in a muscle when the vibration is sent through the body, adaptations in strength will occur. If there is low pre-tension in a muscle, increases in mobility are realized. Pre-tension in the muscle is created by pre-stretching the muscle.

You can stand or sit on the plate (in a variety of positions) and vary the vibration. Changing the vibration frequency, or the speed of vibration, and duration affects the desired outcome.

The Power Plate can provide the following advantages:

  • Shorter training duration for similar results
  • Increased muscle strength and power
  • Improved flexibility and range of motion
  • Enhanced neuromuscular function
  • Increased blood circulation
  • Reduction of pain
  • Increased bone mineral density
  • Increased levels of key hormones-testosterone, human growth hormone, IGF-I and serotonin
  • Quicker recovery and regeneration
  • Improved balance and coordination

For strength training, Cooper Fitness Center Dallas Professional Fitness Trainer Shannon Edwards, MS, recommends using the Power Plate in conjunction with traditional weight training. For example, Shannon might have a client do a traditional push-up, and then go to the Power Plate and do a static hold in the push-up position on the Power Plate platform. The client would have his hands resting on the plate close to the bottom in a push-up position, with his feet on the floor behind them. The goal is to hold the body in the push-up position while the plate vibrates. As the trainer, Shannon sets the vibration speed/intensity and the amount of time the client holds the position.

Cooper Fitness Center personal trainers and fitness specialists have had Power Plate training and can assist members and guests in using the equipment. To schedule a personal training session or to learn more about becoming a Cooper Fitness Center member, call 972-233-4832 or visit cooperfitnesscenter.com.