Amen Iseghohi's studio features a high-intensity workout that uses the tires as weights and steps and obstacles.
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How are those new 2014 workouts going? Need a little inspiration boost? We talked to prominent trainers and fitness personalities in hopes of finding keys to helping you work out — successfully — for years to come.
All you need is some trash and some inspiration, says Amen Iseghohi.
As a kid, he worked on his grandmother’s farm, played sports and ran. He grew up to be an executive. But then, one day, “I saw a kid considered overweight, and I thought it was a pity,” he says. “He looked like he lacked self-esteem, the way he walked.”
And thus an idea was born: Iseghoni would bring what he learned from his grandmother to the gym. As a boy, he was taught by her to use what you have. And so, improbably, recycled tires are the basis of Amenzone Fitness, Iseghohi’s growing chain of studios. “My friends and family thought I had completely lost my mind,” he says.
The first studio in the L.A. area opened last year in Manhattan Beach, Calif. There aren’t any mirrors or elaborate machines. But there are plenty of tires and inspiration, including messages on the exposed brick walls and a saying at the end of class. It’s a high-intensity workout that uses the tires as weights and steps and obstacles. (There are also classes for children.)
Q: What two or three words best describe your approach to fitness?
A: Empowering, movement.
Q: If you could have just one piece of equipment, what would it be?
Q: Whom do you admire in the fitness world?
A: Billy Blanks (a fitness professional and martial artist), who opened the doors.
Q: What’s the biggest mistake newcomers to fitness make, and how could they avoid it?
A: They need to remember why they started when it gets challenging. There are going to be hard times.
Q: What innovations or ideas interest you?
A: How open-minded the public is being. People are not usually accommodating to change.
Lacey Stone is tall, blond, fit, and smiles all the time. "It oozes out of my pores that I want you to have fun," she says, alluding to her peppy, encouraging style of teaching.
But these days she's demonstrating that she's not perfect. "I've just started to take yoga, and I'm strong, and I'm terrible at it," she says.
And while her terrible might not be your terrible, she says she hopes that by playing to her weaknesses she will inspire the people who are good at yoga to try Spinning.
"Yoga is about flow, and I'm about force," she says. "To be balanced, you need both."
Actually, she adds, three aspects of life have to be in balance: professional, personal and physical. "If one of those is out of whack, you're unhappy. And that's really why you came to see me. We can work out forever and you'll still eat the cupcakes because your boyfriend's cheating on you."
Q: Words that describe your approach to fitness?
A: Happiness and energy.
Q: One piece of equipment?
A: Your body's own weight.
Q: Whom do you admire?
A: Jillian Michaels for showing that fitness can be entrepreneurial. And Mike Boyle, an intelligent trainer.
Q: Biggest mistake for newcomers?
A: They want results immediately and lack patience.
Q: Interesting innovations?
A: We're coming back to more organic workouts, like yoga — developing real strength in the core of the body.