Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=210668
Story Retrieval Date: 5/18/2013 5:27:26 PM CST
Debra Lipson, Kelsey McQuade/MEDILL
RunThisTownChi is a free, weekly fitness session promoting health and wellness in a fun, social atmosphere in Hyde Park. Join the burn at The Space, 5307 S. Hyde Park Blvd., on Saturdays at 10 a.m.
Personal trainer Annie Padrid stresses 'functional fitness'
Kelsey McQuade, Debra Lipson/Medill
Personal trainer Annie Padrid leads exercisers through a squat series during RunThisTownChi's free Saturday session at The Studio in Hyde Park.
On the second floor of a Hyde Park coffee shop, a transformative health experience awaits in a gym gleaming with light.
State of the art exercise machines fill an entire room while treadmills and stationary bikes line the perimeter. The spotless white interior paired with floor to ceiling windows make the first step inside The Space seem ethereal.
For Annie Padrid, this is her heaven.
Padrid, 29, is the owner of The Space, which opened in March. She found the studio a few years ago and completely renovated it before opening her doors.
Previously a trainer at Bally Fitness and a graduate of the University of Michigan, Padrid allows others trainers to use her studio in addition to training her own clients.
The Space’s focus is on what Padrid calls “functional fitness” needed to complete everyday tasks. She wants clients to be able to pick up hefty pet food bags at the store or take the stairs without getting out of breath. She stresses that staying active with your to-do list is one way of staying fit.
Padrid offers personal training, group exercise classes and individual studio memberships. She also holds sunrise and sunset yoga classes, boot camps and stretch therapy.
For alternative health needs, Padrid refers clients to a massage therapist, certified dietitian for nutrition guidance and even a nail technician.
Padrid’s clients include individuals of all ages, sizes and health concerns. Carol, an older woman with terrible balance, has worked with Padrid since her Bally days.
Padrid guides Carol through a stationary bike and treadmill warm-up, then it is off to the ball for balance exercises.
“I have horrible balance and I truly know it,” Carol says. “But Annie gets me through it.”
Padrid encourages Carol throughout the sessions, calling her a “rock star.” She offers her hands when Carol finds herself wobbly, but never lets her give up.
“These are basic principles for daily living, and for Carol, being able to balance is a priority,” she said.
Another client is a mother of three who visits Padrid twice a week for circuit training.
They spend time talking about non-exercise related family matters, mixed with a few choice words about the rigours of completing the circuit regimen.
Despite their differences, clients share an important point of view – they say they return to Padrid because they see results from her positive, total body perspective.
One of Padrid’s most popular programs is her boot camp. A five-minute treadmill warm up is followed by quickened lower body exercises with a Bosu ball. Then, clients are led to the park outside The Space for a sprint – all while holding five-pound weights overhead. At every turn of the trail, Padrid challenges her boot campers to pump the weights twenty times.
The session isn’t over yet.
Returning inside, Padrid leads clients through pushups and squats. Then, as the sun slowly set in the distance, it’s back outside for more running. This time campers held their hands behind their backs and pumped out 10 arduous jump squats at each corner.
On the home stretch, it’s back to the Bosu ball to target lower body muscles and then a glory ride on stationary bikes.
Despite catering to a variety of needs, Padrid’s exercises always have the same theme. Padrid wants to improve strength, agility and endurance while still protecting the body.
Whether they are putting their luggage in the overhead compartment of a plane or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Padrid pushes clients to reach their health goals with a tough, keep-moving approach.
In addition to operating her own gym, Padrid also hosts a workout group called RunThisTownCHI, a social fitness movement founded in Detroit. Padrid connected with the founders and brought the party to her Hyde Park studio.
Every Saturday at 10 a.m., anyone is welcome to The Space for thirty minutes of mingling followed by an hour workout of the pushups, squats and uppercuts Padrid practices.
“The founders call it ‘networking out,’” said Padrid. “It is a great way to raise awareness about fitness and to let people socialize.”
Although RunThisTownCHI is in its early stages, the free workout and friendly atmosphere echoes Padrid’s perspective.
Even functional fitness isn't about overnight results. Rather, Padrid works to change lifestyles with positive attitudes as well as exercise.
Clarence Moore, fitness professional at The Space, works closely with the trainer and follows her healthy life outlook.
“You can’t learn everything in a week from Annie Padrid,” he said.