TCB FITNESS: Family Fitness Featured In The March 19th St Albert Gazette!

The family that presses together …

Arth family improves health through group workouts

By: Amy Crofts



Most families socialize around the kitchen table. The Arths do it in the weight room.Every Monday and Wednesday, the family members take their spots on the circuit at TCB Fitness, a small gym in Edmonton’s west end. The group includes father Brad, mother Carol, son Bradyn and his wife Sarah.

Personal trainer and gym owner Andy Lewis pushes the St. Albert family through a gruelling 45-minute workout that targets their whole body.

“We don’t have leg day or chest day. The body is always used as a whole unit,” he says, adding the exercises can be adapted to the family’s individual fitness levels.

Wednesday’s workout consists of 40-second rounds of high-intensity intervals including SandBells to increase core and trunk stability, Kettlebell shoulder presses to develop deltoids and pull-ups on a TRX suspension apparatus to work arm and back muscles.

The gym is quiet, with each person focusing on his or her respective exercises, with the exception of some grunts and complaints.

“This sucks,” says Carol, 52, as she clambers through the “balloon station.” The goal is to keep a balloon up in the air by slapping it with your arms, while maintaining a plank position.

“I know!” commiserates another Arth.

Some days are filled with more chatter than others depending on how tired everyone is, says Lewis, noting he modifies the workouts depending on who can make it that day.

“We come to exercise, but we come to see each other too,” says Carol.

The Arths began working out together last year in preparation for Bradyn and Sarah’s wedding. They have now adopted it as part of a healthy lifestyle.

It would be easy to get into a routine of staying at home and watching TV after work, says 25-year-old Bradyn, but his family is the motivating factor behind making exercise a regular activity.

“It helps to know that Andy is waiting here. It keeps me accountable,” he says.

Working out with another person – whether it is a personal trainer, fitness partner or a group – gives you inspiration and security that you’re not on the road alone, says Lewis.

Scientific literature on exercise and human behaviour indicates that lack of a workout partner is one of the main barriers to exercise. Lack of motivation, time and access to fitness facilities or equipment are also factors.

St. Albert resident Debbie Morrison completes one-hour personal training sessions back-to-back with her partner twice per week.

While she is cooling down and he is warming up, they talk about how their workouts went and how they are progressing to their respective goals.

Morrison says having support for each other is important.

“It makes a workout so much more meaningful when you’re doing it with someone who is interested and knows what you’re talking about.”

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