Weather Forecast


Live it!: In part two of our exercise spotlight, we take a look at traditional workouts

Russ Gee, a personal trainer and manager of Anytime Fitness in Willmar, performs crunches on an abdominal machine during a recent demonstration (PHOTOS BY DAN BURDETT | LIVE IT! MAGAZINE)

We recently told the story of Andrea Swenson, a mother of three from New London, who is at the forefront of the local CrossFit scene.

CrossFit has grown in popularity in recent years, as its mix of high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics and strongman exercises, yield quicker weight loss results and keep workouts varied, practitioners say.

Still, there remains a tremendous demand among the gym-going sector for traditional exercise programs.

Anytime Fitness, located in the strip mall beyond the south parking lot at the Kandi Mall in Willmar, is one local gym that continues to draw members with more customary fitness objectives.

Rooted in a philosophy designed to keep its members committed to their fitness goals, Anytime offers 24-hour access to 16 weight and strength machines, free weights and nearly a dozen treadmills and elliptical machines, according to Russ Gee, a personal trainer and manager of the Willmar gym.

Live it! Magazine recently spoke to Russ about some traditional exercises and programs that can work wonders when incorporated with a healthy diet.

He offered the following three-part workout:

Cardio comes first

Russ promotes starting a workout with cardio — be it on a treadmill or elliptical machine.

He suggests 3-5 minutes of casual movement to warm up, followed by an intense 60 seconds of movement. 

He recommends repeating this process for 30-60 minutes, depending on the individual’s overall fitness as well as their goals.

“You want your heart rate to fluctuate,” he says. “That’s most important, but you don’t want to overdo it.”

Stretching is key

“It’s imperative you get some kind of stretching in,” Russ says.

He’s a proponent of post-cardio stretching and recommends 5-10 minutes of stretches until all the muscle groups are loose. It’s important to hold each stretch for 30 or even 60 seconds. This helps relax and release the muscle, and assists in muscle growth.

Maximize the muscles

Now comes the weight training.

Russ says weight and strength machines have proven most popular with his gym members.

Thus, he has set up what he refers to as a “circuit” of seven machines that, when completed in a specific order, work and strengthen core muscle groups — the back and abdominals — as well as the legs, chest, triceps and biceps.

“I find the circuit provides for a more intense and faster workout,” Russ says.

He also recommends three sets on each machine with 10-20 repetitions for each exercise.

Anytime Fitness is located at 1605 S. 1st St. in Willmar. For more information, call 320-444-2300.


New London woman makes a name for herself in the local CrossFit ranks

Dan Burdett

Dan Burdett is the community content coordinator at the West Central Tribune. He has 13 years experience in print media, to include four years enlisted service in the United States Air Force. He has been an employee of Forum Communications since 2005, joining the company after spending two years as the managing editor of the Redwood Gazette and Livewire in Redwood Falls. Prior to his current position, Dan was the presentation editor at the Tribune.

(320) 214-4338