The PEAK Difference 12

Local gym launches interactive program for members

It seems there are several small truths hidden under each year’s new methods for improving our well-being. Articles, commercials, and friends have told us—reminded us—of these simple solutions. Year after year we read and hear the same jingle: Eat better, exercise more, get some fresh air, quit smoking, and lose those extra few pounds we swear are from this winter’s hibernation. These truths cut right through our New Year’s resolutions and smirk at our already not-so-stellar track record of cheats.

So we march ourselves to our local gym. We’ve pictured ourselves here on the sunny side of winter with our new workout gear, new membership and a new mind full of expectations. However, somehow, by May or June, we’ve been rerouted, distracted. We silently slip in and away from these facilities perhaps never having taken full advantage of them to begin with.

Susie Turner, director of PEAK Health & Wellness Center, says she’s seen this happen year after year over a couple of decades. This month, they have started offering something different, a program called dotFIT, which caters to the four essential pillars of health to help create a more interactive experience for members.

“We want people to succeed,” says Turner. “Our goal is to build relationships with people and help them succeed in whatever avenue it is.”

The four pillars are nutrition, exercise, supplementation, and professional assistance. There is no order or necessity for all four to be included in each visit to the gym but they are available and easily accessible to members, new or current.

“Typically, people join a club for weight loss, but there are so many things that go along with that, whether it’s poor sleeping patterns because of how you’re eating, or poor nutrition, etcetera,” she says. “We’ve recognized that there are missing puzzle pieces. So we have a registered dietician nutritionist, we’ve got a health coach, and we have personal trainers, so we feel like we have all the pieces to the puzzle but potentially, in the past, maybe we haven’t had the eating part of it.”

Supplements, she continues, “are often no more than just a multivitamin.” There is a time and a place for them and the staff at the PEAK are now certified and comfortable selling third party–tested supplements in their juice bar because the supplements have been hand selected according to their purpose.

“It will be a very small part of what we do, but there are some people who will benefit and take advantage of it,” says Turner.

The bigger part, though, is not necessarily choosing one pillar over the other. It’s the club’s newfound pride in being able to deeply know their members and recognizing where they may need the most help and how to go about getting them to their goals the way that’s best for them.

“We want to be the one-stop shop, whether it’s getting your hair cut to getting your nails done to a massage to buying your multivitamins,” she says. She laughs and then whispers as if she is telling a secret to a friend that her staff will even go with you to the grocery store or help clean your kitchen, if that’s what it takes.

“We can have the most beautiful building, the most up-to-date equipment, but if we don’t develop a relationship with our people, it’s just a nice building,” she says.

“Somebody could come in…maybe [they’re looking] to lose some weight. The trainer is actually going to work with them, and they’re not, per se, recommending what they eat but they will guide them to our dietician to help them. The dietician may say these are just a few tweaks that they can make that will make a big difference.”

She talks about several members she’s known personally over the years. Their successes are the fun part, whether it means that they’ve run their first race or that they’ve perhaps left the club only to come back because of the unique communities it produces. One woman, a spotlight member just a few months ago, said the PEAK opened up a whole new life for her, enabling her to do things she may not have known she was capable of.

“We always say ‘fitness is a journey, not a destination’ because it is true,” says Turner. Their new pledge to members is to be the gold standard—to offer much more than their facilities.