Updated: Mar 14, 2020
Is Lifetime really worth the Hype? Can Bariatric Weight loss Surgery Patients benefit from a membership? Can we start slow and progress with programs at Lifetime? Here is my 3-month experience and why you need to visit Lifetime yourself to see it firsthand.
Upon arriving at Lifetime, I was sent an email visiter code. We entered through the massive glass doors; we were greeted immediately by two smiling faces, ready to scan our code.
Your eyes are drawn to the enormous stairwell in front of you, beckoning you to come forth. The crisp white wall to floor feel is very refreshing.
BONUS: You can sign in with membership card 💳 or wallet phone app 📲
As we sat and waited for account manager Cyarra Lacy, I made my way to the spa-like bathroom. I have never in my life encountered a gym bathroom so clean and spacious.
I know a woman had to have designed every aspect of this masterpiece from the individual spaces stocked like a girl's dream getaway. I think I will hang out here for a few days! The sauna, sauna chairs, and steam room are immaculate and cleaned daily.
WINS: The Bathrooms are stocked with Q-Tips, lotion, soaps, adapters, blow dryers, deodorant, and so much more! The supply of towels is raining from the rooftops.
BONUS: You do not need to bring a lock for a locker as you use your membership card and create a code.
As I made my way back out to meet Cyarra, I catch the LifeSpa out of the corner of my eye. The spa offers lots of services to pamper you after working out if you are in a hurry or just need to get it done.
WINS: I notice the nice, pleasant smell throughout the entire building. It does not smell like a sweatbox. That is important to me. I cannot stand strong odors, much less the nasty smell of an unkept gym.
Cyarra came around the corner with her big smile and asked questions as she led us around the large resort. I had some specific things I was looking for, such as yoga, pilates, trainers, and areas to be able to write and work before and after my workouts.
We made our way upstairs to the main floor, where the majority of the activity happens. You run straight into the roundabout desk full of trainers and the Inbody scale.
BONUS: The InBody Test provides a comprehensive view of body composition balance. Body water, proteins, minerals, and body fat, which are the components of the human body that closely relate to the status of our health.
These are my InBody scale results from only 2 months. While it is messy, I wanted to be honest and show my actual printouts. I love the numbers and being able to see it laid out like this. (OMG my body fat mass, lean body mass, my visceral fat, and so much more! I am not afraid of these numbers. They empower me; they arm me with so much data!)
We hooked a left to tour the pilates and yoga studios. The Yoga studio is situated off in a beautiful quiet corner by itself.
The main floor has an abundance of machines for everyone. Every day I find something new. If you can't find a piece of cardio equipment, then there is something wrong with you. A rarity I noticed the other day was arm bikes. I've used them in therapy for rehab after my rotator cuff surgery, and they're beneficial.
Yesterday I used a lateral elliptical machine! It works laterally changing your position in space from high to low, working inner thigh, outer thigh, and it also challenges you from a balance standpoint. Say what??
The main floor area has an abundance of cardio machines and dumbbells, Olympic weights, free weights, Cybex machines, cable machines, TRX systems, and so much more!
Then on to the cycling studio that includes many classes for all, including AMP, EDG, and PWR Cycling. You can start these classes at really any level and try them out. I love that you can pick your bike online and then have your email stats emailed to you after class.
My husband and I tried the Edge and AMP cycling classes. They are very active and high energy with a significant caloric burn. My husband is a cyclist and loves the PWR class.
As you exit the cycling studio, the barre classes for core and stability are across the hallway that I will be trying next very soon! The Lifetime facility at Fort Worth, Texas, has 10 Studio classes such as Xtreme Warrior, Sculpt Strike, Ringside, En Barre, Life Barre, Gluteus Maxout, Upper RX, Kettlebell, Kombine, and Barbell Strength.
We next went through the Zone Studio for Recovery, which is brilliant. It adds an extra element for those seeking help with muscle aches and pains. I worked with Lawrence Piotrkowski one day for my shoulder using a Hypervolt.
I was very shocked by my mobility and blood flow for days afterward. Definitely worth a try. Also, they have many other tools, such as Hyperice Hypersphere and Viper vibrating technology in the form of foam rollers and balls.
Another fascinating piece of equipment offered at Lifetime features is the Power Plate. Power Plate is a vibrating platform that helps you prepare faster, perform better, and recover quicker. It makes you feel better by stimulating natural reflexes, increasing muscle activation, and improving circulation. Power Plate enhances any movement, simple or complex, typically performed on the ground.
BONUS: You can see days & times of class on screens outside of rooms throughout the gym, which is excellent, so you don't have to keep asking the front desk or wandering aimlessly throughout the facility trying to find times and places. Also, you can find all classes on the Lifetime app. 📲
WINS: We made our way back downstairs to the well-stocked LifeCafe that offers anything anyone could ask for from smoothies, supplements, coffee, and meals.
BONUS: Next, we exited the backside of the LifeCafe by taking a long hallway to the enormous poolside property that you would only find on vacation resorts. Chairs are abundant and lots of shade, which I need with my fair skin.
We walk through another set of glass doors leading into the indoor heated pool areas. All the pools at Lifetime have chlorine, including 25-yard pools to swim. I don't smell the overwhelming chlorine odor smack me in the face as I enter, nor do I smell any chlorine throughout the building at all. It exudes comfortable lanes to do laps for swimming and aerobics classes.
After exiting the pool area, we head over to the kid zone area. Some great mentions here for safety are there are no photos or videos allowed of children and must show ID to check your child in and out. Exclusive perks for play areas, education center, camps, activity studio, sports, yoga, games, healthy snacks, and even a parent's night out! Sign me up!
WINS: Parent's night out, say what??? 🎉
After deciding to join, I started right away with Root Yoga and Surrender. I can honestly say that the Yoga Studio at Lifetime has completely changed my life. Learning in the Surrender class and working with these fabulous teachers have been so transformative. Ember, Erica & Mylinda are my favorites. Each brings a unique quality that is by far unmatched.
The mind is such a powerful thing, and we all have so much chatter going on inside. I was able to learn how to shut it off and just breathe. It's hard to describe in words how freeing it is and the positive energy flow. I walk out of there, ready to conquer the world.
The Yoga Studio has 6-classes such as Root, Sol, Flow, Fire, Surrender, and Be. Surrender would be by far my top favorite at Lifetime. I could do a single blog post just about Surrender alone. Most people often overlook and underestimate how breathing and learning how to breathe affects the body. The long-held stretches and meditative breathing to relieve tension in your body and mind are Epic!
I next set up an appointment with Personal Trainer Van Bedo for my first onboarding session that I received when signing up. Van showed me pilates on two different machines. We also did a weight scale analysis, including a squat analysis for body alignment. (Yikes, I need to get a handle on my bodyfat. The Keto diet I tried did a number on my body! 😤)
We discussed nutrition, gut health, cardio, strength training, supplements, and lab work. Van was very knowledgeable about the body, posture, and how to work on improvements.
I did one session with Van, as you can see below. I was coming from a place of past injuries and needing to start slow with low impact focusing on mobility improvement first. (This is me 9 pounds heavier, yes I have lost 9 pounds in 3 months)
I then met up with Lawrence Piotrkowski | Member Onboarding Manager because I had some additional questions. Lawrence listened to my concerns and worked with me for over an hour. We discussed my prior sports injuries and my current limitations. We talked about doing some therapy before working out. I left with 'no' pain after working with him. This is crucial for me.
The last thing I want is to work with a trainer who just throws me on machines or free weights and doesn't pay attention or help with form. Lawrence understood my prior injuries and surgeries and worked with them. His passion for wanting to help people is strong, and he is indeed a huge asset to Lifetime. (This is just a sample video assessment of my lower body core movement that needs work, not the most flattering but you get my drift. Also, 7 pounds heavier here!😱)
Next, I took the resting metabolic test. I set up an online appointment with Dillon Ponder | PT-Metabolic Specialist. Upon arriving for my appointment, we took my weight and went to a pre-setup room with a computer and chair. He placed an armband on me and demonstrated how to wear the mask. The test took a total of 20 minutes to complete.
Dillon was very thorough in administering the test. The results were available to me on the Lifetime App. My detailed 6-page result report yielded that I am a High Carb Burner. Some suggestions were using weights and higher intensity workouts. Also, tracking my heart rate more on the higher intensity workouts. (Below is only a snapshot of a chart on the report for my resting state)
I need to be careful with any weight training routines right now due to injuries, so I will need to stick to HIT training until I am approved to move to weights and more mobility training. (with the goal in mind to burn more fat since I am a high carb burner)
WINS: You are then set up with a nutritionist after your Metabolic test to discuss the results and to review any questions. I met with Mellissa to go over my test results and see where I can make improvements and tweak my fitness pal numbers and add different HIT training for better results.
We discussed my 1265 resting caloric intake from the test. It can be challenging being a bariatric patient and meeting specific caloric requirements. Some suggestions were to increase my fish oil to 2-3 pills for the inflammation that was showing on the scale, increase my good fat, treadmill incline to increase heart rate, elliptical, and stair climber for the fat burning. (Below is a snapshot of only of my resting daily metabolism)
My next steps will be to work with a trainer to work on my mobility and increase my strength after I finish up current therapy.
BONUS: Free Smoothie or Shake at the LifeCafe upon joining!
In the end, we need to do what is right for us and what we feel comfortable with. Lifetime has offered me so many positives that I can't deny the benefits. Currently, my routine consists of Surrender 3-4 days a week, cardio with high heart rate 3-4 days a week, and weight training 2-days a week as we work on my mobility.
Overall, I'm not looking to be a fitness competitor or model. I just want to be the best I can be for my optimal health without any further injury.
Lifetime provides so many options for bariatric patients at any level, whether you are just starting or a few years post-op. They offer the whole package no matter what shape, size, or condition. You can start slow, such as beginner level classes, mobility training, or water aerobics!
My account Manager Cyarra Lacy is such a Gem and a considerable asset to Lifetime. She offered to take any classes with me when I joined. (I want to extend that same offer to you. If you are in the Fort Worth area, come treat yourself as my guest for a day!)
How can you not find something here that works for you? There is something for everyone. Lifetime lives up to its name. And most importantly, you leave armed with routines useful while traveling for work or on vacation. (Join here and let me know so we can meet up for my favorite classes :)
You and your body deserve this! I'm pulling for you! Let me know if you need that extra push, love and support. See you there!