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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Weighing in on the women's fitness issue

Sunday, March 26, 2006

(Photo)
Lisa Neumeyer, standing, wo owns Contours Express with her husband, Roger, talks with trainers Corien Sullivan and Traci Skinner.
SIKESTON - When the staff at Contours Express talks about putting the weight on - they are talking about their weight-bearing equipment and how it can take the weight off women who participate in the fitness program.

Located at 227 N. Main St. in the new shopping center developed just off the intersection of Main and Malone, Contours Express is designed to help women become fit no matter their age, said Lisa Neumeyer, who owns the business with her husband, Roger.

"Contours Express offers women a real workout using real weights. You get a quick workout of every major muscle group and the cardiovascular system," explained Neumeyer. And, she pointed out, the workout takes less than 30 minutes which works well into the busy schedules of today's women.

Neumeyer said she and husband were researching business opportunities when they learned about Contours Express. "We like their philosophy of offering a fast, fun, friendly environment to get fit," said Neumeyer about the company.

What else she likes is the use of weight-bearing equipment especially designed for women. Weight-training exercises, she said, have many benefits such as preventing osteoporosis and arthritis as well as increasing metabolism and fighting obesity.

(Photo)
A member uses some of the weight-bearing eqiupment.
"And strength training is important for cardiac health because heart disease risk is lower when the body is leaner," she said. "The old adage 'exercise adds life to your years as well as years to your life' is true. It slows down the aging process and can increase a person's aerobic capacity as one gets older."

Following training at the corporate office in Nicholasville, Ky., the Neumeyers opened their franchise on Jan. 30.

Members range in age from 10 to 84, according to the owner, "and they are every fitness level, size, shape and in between." Already, Neumeyer said, they have passed their 100-member mark and are still signing up new members.

For each new member Neumeyer or one of the two other trainers on staff, Traci Skinner or Corien Sullivan, will do a strength assessment and develop a personalized fitness program. Initially the staff works with the new member as they begin the workouts to ensure the proper technique and form is used.

The Contours Express fitness program includes two circuits around the 16-

stations, alternating strength training machines with aerobic stations. Each of the machines is marked with an explanation of what muscle groups are being worked. A cue tape keeps members moving the circuit at a fast pace under the supervision of one of the fitness trainers.

"We are trying to break down fitness for women and take out the guess work," Neumeyer said. "We constantly monitor our clients to make sure they are getting the most out of the equipment, especially on the cardio board to make sure they keep their heart rate strong and are burning fat."

Reaction to the workouts have been positive, Neumeyer said. Clients have not only noticed a loss in inches but also an increase in strength and energy. The trainers also design exercises to improve clients' flexibility and coordination.

Another plus to the program, according to Neumeyer, is that clients can continue to improve as they master the skills along the circuit by increasing the weights used on the equipment.

"Our philosophy is keep the clients interested by utilizing the equipment to their advantage," she said. After six to eight weeks as muscles adapt to the weight being lifted, the client can increase the level so they can continue to challenge themselves and continue gaining strength, Neumeyer explained.

Additional workouts are also offered by the staff. These, such as the "butt and gut workout," target specific areas women want to work on. Many women according to Neumeyer will alternate the circuit workouts with specific workouts to keep their exercise programs varied and their bodies working efficiently.

According to Neumeyer, membership cost is reasonable. "It breaks down to less than $1 a day to stay fit and keep fit," she said, adding the membership fee and the monthly costs include unlimited use of the gym and a free weight-loss program.

"And yes, it does require a personal commitment to want to take care of your body and your health," she concluded. "Too often women tend to put their health on the back burner but they need to make it a priority so they can be healthy and take care of their families."

Contours Express is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3-7 p.m. Friday; and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.