Skeleton Krewe

Gasparilla parade pirate marches slow-cadence workouts to better bone density

 There’s a lot more to being a part of a Gasparilla krewe than what spectators see during the festival’s various parades, which is a band of merrymakers dressed in colorful costumes tossing beads from a float. 

Behind the scenes, there’s work to do. More often than not it’s charitable work. Certainly, that is the case with the all-female Krewe of Queen Anne’s Revenge, of which Joyce Trigg is a long-standing member. 

“We do charity work all through the year,” Joyce says of her and her approximately 200 fellow krewe members. “And every year we select a new charity to work with, so being part of a krewe is as much about giving back and helping others as anything.” 

Joyce, who is also a member of the charity group Mermaid Sisters of Tampa and sells real estate part time, has been giving back to the community in this way for 20 years. At age 75, she has no plans to slow down. 

“I’m having too much fun,” she says. “I’ll admit, though, that walking those parade routes can be tough sometimes. That’s a four- or five-mile walk in the hot sun, and I’ve seen some ladies drop out along the way. Thanks to 20 Minutes to Fitness, I keep going.” 

Tailored Training 

20 Minutes to Fitness is a physical fitness program designed to do what the business name implies: achieve results through a weekly 20-minute session. Joyce discovered it several years ago while rehabilitating a broken ankle. 

“I’d been through physical therapy and was going to a regular gym, but I wasn’t real crazy about the gym,” Joyce offers. 

Then she saw that a 20 Minutes to Fitness location was coming to Carrollwood, in northwest Hillsborough County. 

“Right away, I thought it was very interesting and decided to check it out,” she recalls. 

While attending the grand opening, Joyce was immediately intrigued by what she discovered about 20 Minutes to Fitness. 

Clients work out one-on-one with a nationally certified personal fitness coach, who creates and supervises an individualized exercise routine. 

The workouts are structured around an exercise method known as slow-cadence training, which calls for the coach weights are lifted in ultraslow movements on specialized equipment. 

Exercise repetitions take approximately 20 seconds, thereby maximizing muscle performance. The slow-paced movements create continuous tension on muscle fibers, which allows for greater benefits than clients would get from a traditional strength-training program that eats up three or four hours per week. 

“While each repetition in a traditional workout lasts for one or two seconds up, then one or two seconds down, we stretch that out to a 10- to 12-second count,” says Blake, general manager at 20 Minutes to Fitness in downtown Sarasota, one of three Florida locations. “It’s a huge difference that achieves far better results.” 

Each routine consists of six to seven exercises of two minutes each, with the goal being to reach what is known as peak performance. When muscles reach this level during strength training, blood flows to the site. That supercharges the body and helps it burn fat while it rebuilds and strengthens the muscle naturally. 

“Participants get the maximum benefit through one 20-minute workout per week,” explains Angela Begin, co-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. We work the entire body to keep it strong.” 

The program has years of research and plenty of science behind its success. The specialized equipment features a patented double-stacking system, where weight can be increased in increments of two pounds instead of the traditional five, 10 or 20 pounds. The equipment also is calibrated to work specific muscle groups without putting undue stress on joints or ligaments. 

“We have clients who are planning to have hip or knee replacements, and their doctors refer them to us because they know we can help them build the muscle around those joints prior to surgery,” Angela says. “This allows for a quicker recovery. Some clients have been able to hold off on surgery altogether because they’ve built up the muscle around the joint and may no longer need surgery.” 

Company research shows that in addition to improving strength, slow-cadence training can improve the immune system and balance, increase energy, help control arthritis, add bone density, fight symptoms of diabetes and reduce back pain. 

“Most of our clients are people who want to get fit or stay fit and don’t have the time or don’t want to spend hours in a gym and possibly risk injury,” Angela adds. “They want a safe, quiet, private studio environment. That, and the opportunity to build back the muscle that people lose as they age, is what we offer.” 

Angela points out that no client is too young or old. 

“We have teenagers who come in as well as people in their 90s,” she observes. “We have clients who have never worked out as well as athletes. But no matter who you are, we build your strength from where you are today, which is why we encourage people to come in and learn about this unique system and try it out. 

“We offer a complimentary orientation, with no obligation to continue, which is a great way to make an educated decision about whether or not the 20 Minutes to Fitness program will work for you.” 

Build Better Bones 

“I had never really stuck with a gym routine before, but I thought, 20 minutes once a week? This is something I can do,” Joyce notes. “And I really like the fact that you have a trainer there with you the whole time making sure you’re doing everything right.” 

Joyce says the workouts improved her balance, strength and stamina, and allowed her to maintain her busy schedule, which includes keeping pace with two teenage grandchildren. 

She’s also reaped another major health benefit. 

“Not long after I started going to 20 Minutes to Fitness, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis,” Joyce says. 

Osteoporosis is a condition in which natural bone growth diminishes to the point where bones become weak and more susceptible to breaks. Along with its predecessor, osteopenia, osteoporosis affects more than 54 million Americans, but Joyce is beating the disease thanks to her commitment to the 20 Minutes to Fitness program. 

The proof was found in a DEXA scan (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry), an imaging test that measures bone density.

 “When I first went to my doctor, my DEXA scan made it very clear that I had osteoporosis,” she explains. “But ever since I started the 20 Minutes to Fitness workouts, my DEXA scan numbers have been improving. 

“My doctor was actually amazed by that, and when she asked me what I was doing differently, I mentioned the 20 Minutes to Fitness workouts. She’d never heard of it before, but she said, Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it, because it’s working for you. 

“So, I gladly recommend 20 Minutes to Fitness to anyone. It’s a great exercise program for those who want to stay in shape, add strength, and for people like me who are fighting osteoporosis.” 

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photos courtesy of Joyce Trigg. 


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