Health and Fitness: Real Life Fitness puts focus on making everyone welcome

NEW VENTURE: After years of working for others in the fitness industry, husband and wife Sergio and Lisa Rossi have set up their own gymnasium called Real Life Fitness.
NEW VENTURE: After years of working for others in the fitness industry, husband and wife Sergio and Lisa Rossi have set up their own gymnasium called Real Life Fitness.

Lisa and Sergio Rossi are no strangers to the fitness industry and when they set up their own gymnasium last year they wanted to create a place where everyone felt included.

Lisa had 27 years of experience and Sergio 11 when the husband and wife partnership set up Real Life Fitness, off Industrial Drive in Mayfield East, in July of last year.

Just over 12 months later they have created a “community” vibe for over 250 members, who range in age from as young as five and include all levels of fitness.

“We wanted to appeal to the ‘normal person’,” Lisa said.

“That’s people who didn’t go to the gym because they felt uncomfortable or overwhelmed or intimidated.

“We wanted to cater to everyone and we actually have quite a few members now who had never set foot in a gym before.”

The gym has two parts. Downstairs is the strength area and they made a point of not having weights that are too heavy so no one felt intimidated.

Upstairs is open and where most of the classes are held, including boxing, cycling, functional training, barre, core, kids and school sessions.

“The kids classes are for ages six to 12 and are based on an adult functional class but everything is pegged back, so using skipping ropes and doing shuttle runs,” Sergio said.

“They’re getting popular because a lot of parents are seeing their kids using more technology these days and not doing as much activity.”

Classes are all freestyle and one of their most popular is called ‘Still got it’.

The idea is that no matter if you have never exercised or are coming back from injury or having a baby, for instance, this class makes you feel like you’ve still got it.

“We want everyone to feel comfortable and it’s about getting people started from any age,” Lisa said.

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Cycling event raises over $55K

The wet weather may have forced the second annual Variety Spin 4 Kids event in Newcastle indoors last Friday but there was no was dampening the spirits of over 30 groups who took part.

Teams, and in some cases, individuals pedalled for six hours straight to raise more than $55,000 for disadvantaged children.

It is not the only charity cycling event being held this month. Ronald McDonald House Northern NSW are also holding Ride for Sick Kids.

There is a community ride from Grafton to Newcastle starting Tuesday or individuals can raise funds with their own stationary bike challenge in September.

Charlestown’s Lyndsay Walker told me he plans to do a 12-hour continuous bike ride at Genesis Warners Bay on September 28 for the cause. 

In December last year he walked the Merewether stairs for 12 hours straight to raise funds and awareness for Soldier On, which helps ex-servicemen and women reintegrate into society.

Upcoming Fitness Events

Free Tai Chi, Civic Park, September 11 at 12.30pm: Revatilising Newcastle regularly hold health and fitness sessions and this week it is Tai Chi in the park. 

Tomaree Trail Run Festival, Fingal Bay, September 23: Courses include a half marathon, 11.5km, 6km and kids event. The scenic trails are through Tomaree National Park, the Samurai Dunes and Fingal Bay beaches.

Fernleigh 15, Fernleigh Track, October 21: A 15-kilometre course along the iconic Fernleigh Track. You can do the whole course as an individual or a team of five with change-over zones at each railway station along the track.

Spring Sessions Week #2

It is 12 weeks until summer.

Here is a session that requires four cones, set up in a large square at the park, and a set of weights.

Workout: 20 minutes continuous. Move in a clockwise direction around the four cones A, B, C and D. Start at A with 10 squats, run to B for 10 push-ups, walking lunges to C then 10 mountain climbers, run to D for 10 pull-ups, bear crawl back to A. On the second loop, A is 10 dead lifts, B is 10 ab rotations, C is 10 glute bridge, D is five burpees.

Add a warm-up and cool-down and rests as needed. Try this once a week until summer and see how you progress in that time.

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