One South Wacker Trainer Tuesday



Name: Vanessa Theis

Fitness Center: 1 S Wacker

Job Title: General Manager

My Inspiration:

I use to work in a corporate environment and understand how difficult it can be to find time for exercise. It was so easy to get caught up in your work and spend all day sitting at your desk in front of a computer. Whenever I let this happen to me, I noticed a decrease in my productivity, energy and mood. I tried my best to make sure I would fit in exercise, but at times I needed the extra motivation. My past experience continues to inspire me to want to help others prioritize their health and make it part of their daily routine. Members truly appreciate a convenient, fun and efficient way to workout. It’s a very rewarding experience to help create a workplace environment that will keep employees happy, healthy and productive.

It’s also an inspiration to watch members dedicate their time and energy to living a healthy lifestyle. I know how difficult it can be, so to see these members who have so much going on between work, family and their personal lives inspires me to give my best effort to help them each day. One of my first jobs teaching group exercise was for a senior fitness class. Their main reason for coming to class was to stay healthy and have fun. It was something they looked forward to each week and appreciated how it kept them active, mobile and overall happy. They made me realize how important it is to see exercise as part of your lifestyle and not just a short-term fix. I try to instill this mindset in clients or members I encounter today to help them stay consistent, healthy and most of all enjoy themselves. It's always rewarding to hear a client say they look forward to coming to the fitness center whether it's to train, take a class or simply do their own workout.

Fitness Philosophy:

Find something you enjoy and do what works for you. Not every form of exercise is for everybody. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is difficult and takes a lot of hard work. You can never compare yourself to others. You have to find what works for you to achieve long-term success and realistic lifestyle changes. If you don’t enjoy it, you just won’t sustain it.

Favorite Workout:

I really enjoy running and yoga. I like to vary my workouts with different types of runs such as strides, tempo runs, intervals and long runs. I also like to include sprints into my strength training sessions. We are fortunate to have a Woodway Curve treadmill at OSW Fitness Center. The Woodway is self-powered and manual, which makes the entire body work harder. I'll do a set of strength and then hop on the Woodway for a :30 to :60 sec sprint. It's a great way to pick up the intensity and add variety to a strength routine.

For yoga, I prefer a vinyasa flow class. This type of class not only helps with flexibility, but helps build strength and cardiovascular fitness as well. Many people don't realize the many benefits yoga can bring to a fitness routine such as improved flexibility, strength, increased energy, improved athletic performance, injury prevention and many more. It may not be as intense as other forms of exercise, but I think it's important to incorporate into an overall fitness routine.

Favorite Workout Snacks:

  • Pre-Workout: I like to keep it light before I exercise so I’ll have fruit (ex: banana, watermelon) or toast/cracker with peanut butter.
  • Post-Workout: I’m a vegetarian and have a hard time getting enough protein after a workout. I started using plant based protein powders and really like having them after a workout to help my body recover. I’ll either add it to a smoothie with frozen fruit and almond milk or mix it with oatmeal and yogurt.

Random Fact:

  • I use to play a number of different sports growing up including softball, basketball, soccer, volleyball and track. When I was in high school I played fast pitch softball. Once when I was up to bat I got a fast pitch directly in my face and it broke my nose. Needless to say, softball is the one sport I no longer enjoy playing.
  • I lived in Los Angeles, CA for 4 years working in advertising before I decided to pursue a career in the health and fitness industry.

Name: Nick Gallardo

Fitness Center: OSW

Job Title: Fitness Director

My Inspiration: The coaches whose work I follow and my clients whose work I see on a daily basis.

Favorite Teaching Moment:

A client who I had been training for around three months came up to me beaming before a session and told me a story about how she was able to carry two gallons of milk from here car into her house. Prior to us training, she struggled carrying even one gallon of milk. Something so trivial to the average person was a big step for her on her road to getting stronger. It's the little things.

Fitness Philosophy:

1. Do no harm.
2. Make you a stronger you.

Favorite Workout: Minimal equipment workouts are low-key my favorite. Using minimal equipment leaves little room for excuse not to work out and I oftentimes feel the most accomplished after these. I like to try to use one kettlebell, one resistance band, or even just my bodyweight.

Favorite Workout Snack: Greek Yogurt + Blueberries + Granola

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