What does “new year, new you” actually mean to you? It could mean buckling down at work or school to chase that job promotion or to snag straight As for the Spring semester. It could mean keeping your room tidier. It could even mean drinking more water. To Megan Flinchbaugh, it meant giving her fitness regimen a complete 180. Around Thanksgiving of 2017, Megan decided to hire a personal trainer, Kyle Suess, at the Lancaster Family YMCA. Her initial goals were to learn a bit more about weight training since her fitness background was mainly focused around running. Little did she know, Kyle would open her mind to so much more than just lifting weights.
Starting out with lifting and movement basics including the squat, deadlift, and bench press to increase overall strength, Kyle realized quickly that Megan had the potential and discipline to really make some waves in her movement quality, body composition, endurance and pure strength. Megan and Kyle worked together weekly to narrow down more specific goals and a plan for achieving them. Her main goal was and is to increase her overall well-being. She wants to continue traveling and enjoying an active lifestyle well into her later years. And with two young children, it is very important to her to be able to play and care for them appropriately, and this means having a capable body to do so.
As the training progressed, Kyle began to give Megan additional background; not only the ‘hows’, but the ‘whys’ and ‘whats’ behind certain movements and the science behind progressively overloading our bodies to elicit specific adaptations. Why do we squat? Why do we hip hinge? Why are we rowing and biking so much? What are energy systems? Why should I brace my core? What exactly is mobility? Megan mentions that having a long-term path for her plan towards achieving her goals was crucial to her progress. “[Kyle’s] support in all the areas of my training have been invaluable, and I assume that is part of what the Y trainers regularly do.”
Megan became engrossed by these principles as she could physically see and feel the progress week by week. Megan remarks that “when people ask me about my progress, I always come back to the word ‘discipline’.” Just to give a bit of insight, when Megan first started weight training with a purpose, her squat was maxed out at around 175 lbs on a good day. Today she is estimated around 225 lbs! Again, at the start of training, Megan’s deadlift topped out at around 185 lbs. Recently, she demonstrated raw strength by deadlifting 275 lbs. That’s almost a 50% increase in strength in just a little over a year! Megan not only lifts heavy weights, but she grinds through various rowing and biking intervals weekly to work her most important muscle, her heart.
Yes, weightlifting is fun, but we want to be able to have a repertoire of activities that we can enjoy later in life and extend our health span. Longevity should be at the forefront of why we come to the YMCA every day before or after work. Luckily, our YMCA personal trainers and group exercise instructors are professionals when it comes to helping others reach the goals they set out to accomplish.