Doing the Right Thing

Once-a-week workouts reverse osteopenia, build strength and balance.

It’s been about 20 years now since her husband’s loathing for Chicago’s long, cold, snowy winters and his love of golf brought Lynne Bennett to Florida, where retirement has gone just about as well as the couple hoped it would.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Eveline (left) coaches Lynne through a typical
20 Minutes to Fitness workout.

With one exception.
About three years ago, Lynne was diagnosed with osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis, a more severe condition in which bone mineral density becomes so low that the risk of fracture increases markedly.
Lynne’s doctor was equally concerned about her strength and balance, and even went so far as to suggest she get a walk-in bathtub to reduce the possibility of a fall.
Concerned by the diagnosis, Lynne, 79, immediately began looking for a place where she could develop the physical strength and fitness that can sometimes help combat the conditions that threatened to ruin her retirement years.
She found it during a visit to her neighborhood country club, where she introduced herself to a woman who had become noticeably more fit and trim over the previous year and asked her how she developed such a healthy appearance.
“It turns out that she had the same health issues I had,” Lynne explains. “I asked her how she was doing, and she told me her issues were gone. When I asked her how that happened, she told me about this place she started going to called 20 Minutes to Fitness.
“I decided right then and there that I needed to go there. I was thinking, If it helped her, it may help me. I went down there and signed up the very next day. I’ve been going ever since, and I really enjoy it.”

Tailored Training

At 20 Minutes to Fitness, clients work out one-on-one with a nationally certified personal fitness coach who creates and supervises an individualized workout program. The program is designed to do exactly what the business’ name implies: achieve results through one 20-minute session once a week.The workouts are structured around an exercise method known as slow-cadence training in which the coach guides the client’s pace and form as weights are lifted in ultra-slow movements on highly specialized
equipment. Repetitions during each workout last approximately 20 seconds, thereby maximizing muscle performance.
The slow-paced movements that comprise each workout create continuous tension on the muscle fibers, which allows clients to get more physical benefits from a 20-minute, once-a-week workout than they would get from going through a traditional workout program three or four times per week.
Each 20-minute, full-body workout consists of six to seven exercises that last for approximately two minutes each. The goal is to reach what is known as peak performance, the point where blood flows to the muscle and supercharges the body. This helps burn fat while the muscles are rebuilt and strengthened naturally.
“Participants get the maximum benefit through one twenty-minute workout per week,” explains Angela Begin, general manager and part owner of 20 Minutes to Fitness. “By going slowly, we get down deeper into the muscle fibers and force them to work at their peak performance. And we work the entire body to keep it strong.”
The program has years of research and plenty of science behind its success. The highly specialized weight-
training equipment is part of that success. The equipment features a patented double-stacking system, where weight can be increased in increments of 2 pounds instead of the traditional 5, 10 or 20.
The equipment is also calibrated to work specific muscle groups without putting undue stress on joints or ligaments. Research has shown that in addition to improving strength, weekly 20-minute slow-cadence training sessions can also help improve balance, increase energy, control arthritis, increase bone density, fight symptoms of diabetes and reduce back pain.
“We have clients who are planning to have hip or knee replacement surgeries, and their doctors referred them to us because they know we can help them build the muscle around those joints prior to surgery,” Angela adds. “This allows for a quicker recovery after surgery.
“We’ve even had some people who have been able to hold off on those surgeries because they’ve built up the muscle around the joint. But most of our clients are people who want to stay fit and don’t have the time or don’t want to spend hours in a gym and possibly risk injury.
“They want a safe, quiet, private studio environment, and that’s what we offer, in addition to building back that muscle that people lose as they age. The other thing is, you’re never too young or too old to do this. We have teenagers who come in, as well as clients who are in their nineties. We have clients who have never worked out as well as athletes. We build your strength from where you are today.”

“No Excuses”

Since she first joined 20 Minutes to Fitness a few years ago, Lynne has worked with several coaches. Most recently, she has worked with coach Eveline Grondin, who says Lynne’s attitude toward the workouts has aided her success.
“She is very serious when she comes in because she’s very goal-oriented,” Eveline reports. “There’s no standing around the water fountain and talking with her. She comes here to work, she makes no excuses, and she’s seeing the benefits.
“Since she first started coming here, she has increased her overall strength by thirty-one percent, which is equal to two hundred and eighteen pounds. That’s the total amount of weight she is now lifting across all of the machines during the workout.”
Lynne says her motivation to improve her strength is not the only reason for her increased strength. She says the assistance she receives from her coaches, especially Eveline, has played a critical role in her success.
“All the trainers are great, and Eveline, well, she won’t let you do one single thing wrong,” Lynne notes. “If your shoulder isn’t right where it’s supposed to be, or your back isn’t tight, she’ll fix that. She’s forever making you better.”
Better is exactly how Lynne describes herself now. She says that, thanks to the 20 Minutes to Fitness workouts, her osteopenia has abated and she feels much stronger and is physically more confident. They also helped her recover from what could have been a tragic mishap.
“When Hurricane Irma was coming through last year, I was hurrying through the house, getting ready to evacuate, and I slipped on a scatter rug and broke my hip,” Lynne explains. “That took me out of the fitness program because I had to have surgery.
“I was out of the fitness program for a couple of months, but it would have been longer had I not been going to 20 Minutes to Fitness all along. The strength I’d built up from going there helped me heal quicker, and now, I’m back to normal again.”
Lynne’s new normal includes encouraging friends, family members and casual acquaintances to go to 20 Minutes to Fitness. She even encouraged her husband to try it out.
“If somebody tells me they have osteopenia, I tell them, Well, if you want to get rid of it, go to 20 Minutes to Fitness,” Lynne says. “I just can’t say enough great things about the program, the coaches and all that it’s done for me.
“One of the things I like most about it is that I feel so regenerated after my workouts. I just feel better about myself, and in my head, I know I’m doing a good thing – the right thing – for me by going there.”

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    • 20 Minutes to Fitness

      20 Minutes to Fitness is different. Using scientifically based strength-building methods, they make it possible to achieve in one weekly, 20-minute session what might require three or more hours a week in a traditional fitness center. You wil... Read More

    • Eveline Grondin

      Eveline Grondin is a certified personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes to Fitness, where she has worked since 2009. With a lifelong interest in health and fitness, Eveline has always loved sports and has taught aerobics. She worked in the med... Read More