July Updates

Wow, what a month it’s been! Moving and setting up the new facility seems to have been the easy part, although we never would have concluded that at the time. Adjusting to the new space and finding a routine has challenged me extraordinarily, and has compelled me to become a better instructor and business woman. I believe that we must be challenged every day in order to stimulate growth and experience happiness. This month, challenge was not absent, by any means, on any single day! Challenge was the word of the month for June.

Our little program had meager roots. We started last June, in the back parking lot of Team Vic Fitness, with a mere six students, two times per week, learning how to deadlift, swing and perform Turkish Get Ups. I am proud and honored to say that four of those students are still with us and are some of our TOP performers and most hard working clients. Thank you to Jay, Mina, Peggy and Phyllis for ONE YEAR of dedicated training and congratulations on all of your amazing progress. You are truly remarkable and inspiring individuals!

The Original Group, July 2010

I am truly in awe over how much the program has grown in just one year, and am constantly making changes to it’s structure and programming to accommodate for this accelerating growth. Since June 2010, we have grown to an average of 30 group members, with a total of 8 classes per week-in contrast to the 2 we originally offered. That includes the weekly beginner class which is part of the Introductory Program I developed in response to the influx of eager students, which assesses every individual with the Functional Movement Screen and ensures their ability to swing and perform other movements before attending classes.

We have not only moved to a brand new, state of the art facility, but now have 60 kettlebells to train with (we started with just 15 and nothing over a 32kg!), 4 pullup bars and 4 TRX suspension systems. There is no shortage of equipment and people eager to utilize it-but there is a growing shortage of space due to the escalated interest in our unique program. This influx of new members is the main reason for all of the changes we will be experiencing over the coming weeks.

Over the past month, I have learned a great deal about how to structure and organize our groups to maintain quality and efficiency. I am sure I will continue to grow and learn, but this months updates are a result of what I have realized thus far. I would like to first thank you all for your enthusiasm and dedication to OPTI group training and our mission and vision. Without you, this dream would not have been possible. I cherish and appreciate each and every one of you for your loyalty and support, and the unique personalities that you bring to our group dynamic. Please continue to bear with as we attempt to get our wits about us in this new space! Remember that everything we do is an attempt to improve the program and enhance YOUR experience.


We are using a site called “Meetup” to track sign ups for our group training sessions. Classes are simply growing too large to accommodate everyone in an organized fashion, so I am asking everyone to join the site and RSVP to classes they plan to attend. This will ensure a moderately sized group and a better training environment. You can RSVP weeks in advance to secure a spot, but please remember to change your RSVP status should you choose not to attend so that someone else can take your spot. There is also a waiting list in case a class fills up that you would like to attend. Please refrain from signing up for classes, and not attending. We would like to keep this process as accurate and honest as possible.

I am going to be adhering to this very strictly beginning in July and will expect each and every individual in class to have signed up for the class they are participating in. This is imperative to our ability to run classes smoothly and effectively. To become a meetup member and begin signing up for classes, please visit the OPTI Meetup Page. This is expected to be starting in July, but I am sure there will be some growing pains and by August we will all be more comfortable with the process.


I’m very excited to add 3 new classes on the schedule the first week in July. There has been a lot of requests for an afternoon and Saturday class, so starting 5 July we will have a 12pm class on Tuesday and Thursday as well as Saturday 9 am class beginning 9 July. There is also a possibility that we will offer a 515 class on Monday and Wednesday in the future. It’s exhilirating to see something that you have created grow so rapidly and with such fervor. This group program is a source of much joy for me, and I will continue to add classes as it becomes necessary. Unfortunately, we are opting to pull the Metabolic classes off the schedule until further notice because they no longer work with my schedule. In the future, we hope to have other OPTI group instructors who can teach classes when I am not available.


When I started this program, it was so intimate that I opted not to utilize the Functional Movement Screen and simply eyeballed movement. As the program expanded, I incorporated the FMS and it’s corrective strategies into the group. As a result, every new member was given a custom warmup or “movement preparation” routine to perform prior to class. The existing students are going to be slowly integrated into this same format as time allows, based on their FMS scores. This will allow students to work on their weaknesses, and be more efficient with their warmup as it will be the same every time. As you are all aware, our program is not simply “group fitness”, but a program intended to identify and correct movement dysfunction, and the create strength and power out of that quality movement. The FMS allows us a reliable platform to do just that. Some of you may need to have your FMS scores revisited, and we will accommodate that as well. I am contemplating scheduling a “clinic”, in which we have a 2 hour window for individuals to come in, get screened, and receive corrective strategies. I will keep you all posted.


Our first happy hour in April turned out to be a great success. We had a great time and a pretty significant turn out. I really appreciate the time spent getting to know each other outside of the gym and building relationships with those we train with. The social aspect of our training is vital to our success; the support and motivation provided by your fellow students is an integral component to the group dynamic. I understand Summer is a painfully hectic time for most of us, so I expect that many will have to decline. We are planning our next happy hour for Saturday, 23 July. The location is still to be decided, but I am contemplating Facci in Laurel/Maple Lawn or Eggspectations in Columbia. Both locations have large areas that accommodate groups. Once the details have been finalized, I will create and event that you can RSVP to. I hope to see a lot of you there!


OPTI will be hosting an HKC with Master RKC, Andrea DuCane on Saturday, 17 September. This is a one day kettlebell certification offered by DragonDoor. If anyone is interested in attending with the intention of perhaps assisting with teaching classes, please let me know and we will discuss your readiness for such an event. Currently, Jamie and Mina are set to attend and I encourage anyone interested to look into the certification. 

Although it has been an incredibly challenging time for OPTI, I recognize that the transition has been trying for all of you as well and I appreciate your support. Thank you for all of your hard work and I encourage you to consistently embrace the challenges we face in class with intention and purpose. You all amaze me every day with your abilities and your zeal. I feel honored each and every day to be your coach. Here’s to the beginning of an exciting new journey!
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