Rocktober! Happy birthday to us … and more!

This month, Ypsi Studio turns eight! Our fearless leader and founder, Julia Collins, started in a small one-room studio on Packard Avenue. She jokes that her first indoor cycling class she taught to herself. Not a single person showed up.

These days, things are a lot different. Ypsi Studio is thriving, and its members form a rock-solid community of people who care about each other and care about health and wellness. October is the perfect month to come and join us on this marvelous journey!

To celebrate the eight-year milestone, Ypsi Studio is offering some amazing specials, which you can read about by clicking here. They include an eight-month unlimited pass to all classes PLUS two hours of personal training for $375 (an unbeatable deal), not to mention lots of personal training deals and other goodies. So check it out!

October also has an unbelievable array of new classes and offerings!

SHOPPING FOR FOOD AND GOOD HEALTH: Many of us wonder, “What do I even buy at the grocery store? Are rice cakes good for me or bad for me? If I’m lifting weights, should I eat different foods?” Personal trainer, firefighter, and all around amazing woman Jen Wenzel will be taking a group to the grocery store on October 21, from 12:30 to 2:00, to shop for health and fitness. If you’re interested in signing up, or have questions, call the Studio at 734.845.0542.

NEW WILLPOWER AND GRACE CLASS! Casey Dawson, the Studio’s newest willPower & grace instructor will be teaching classes on Wednesday mornings at 6:00 A.M.! Early birds, this awesome class is for you!

RUNNING BASICS: Ever think, “I want to run, I just am not sure I’m doing it right?!” Then this class is for you! Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:45 P.M., our trainer Moe will help you learn the basics of running form, technique, stretching, and goal-setting.

That’s not even all! There’s ballroom dancing, a willPower infusion, and an intro to cycling class. Really, you must click here!

And while we’re at it, let’s give a rousing shout-out to Julia, for pouring her mind, soul, heart, and body into Ypsi Studio — and all of us — for eight whole years. Thank you, Julia!!

Ready, Set … Write?

As August draws to a close, the cries of “Where did the summer GO?” can be heard far and wide. Time slips by so quickly that it’s easy to lose track of all the things we wanted to do.

Fitness is sort of like summer in that way. You can look around and say, “My gosh, I’ve been going to the gym a whole YEAR? Where did the time go?” And maybe, just maybe, you might be a little frustrated if you’ve been going to the gym all this time but haven’t seen the results you’ve wanted.

One way to ensure you’re spending your time (both in and out of the gym) in the most productive way possible is to set goals for yourself and write them down. A Harvard study found that people who simply had a goal performed better than those who didn’t — financially and otherwise — but that those who wrote down their goals were among the top three percent of earners in the nation. Written-down goals are powerful things. Want to see results at the gym? In your life? Write down your goals using these five tips:

Make it as specific as possible. Instead of just saying “I want to lose weight,” try assigning a number or date to it. For example, “I want to lose five pounds by January first,” will keep the target in front of you and give you and end-date by which the goal should be completed. Most of us work better with deadlines!

Keep the HOW in mind. If your goal is to complete a half marathon by the spring, get advice on the best way to train. Running might not be all there is to it. Cross-training might help, or even a boot camp class. Ypsi Studio is full of lots of experts who will happily assist you with the “how.”

Keep them visible. Write down your goals and then tape them somewhere you can see them. On your bathroom mirror. On your refrigerator. Inside your car. Wherever you’re likely to look at them and remind yourself what you’re working to achieve.

It’s okay to edit. With the exception of Mount Rushmore and a few other structures and sculptures, very little is set in stone. So don’t worry if you need to alter or change your goal. Life happens. Your goal may take more time than you think. Be nice to yourself. Modify if you have to. As long as you’re striving for something, you’re on the right track.

Keep it positive. Instead of saying “I will not stay home at watch TV,” try phrasing the goal positively. “I will go to the gym at least two days each week for the next month.” Or “I will try at least one new class in the next month,” instead of “I won’t do the same thing over and over.” Giving our brain positive reinforcement instead of negative will actually help!

And, hey, if you’re brave enough, speak them out loud! There is power in our words, as the Word of the Week lets us know!

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

Committed for the Long Haul

Everyone’s fitness journey is different, but those who make dramatic improvements in their lives while on this journey can’t help but be inspiring. Ypsi Studio member Stacie Larabell is one of the people whose changes in the past four years showcase how a commitment to a regular workout schedule can produce amazing results. But how does someone stay committed for the long term? And what if the results aren’t happening as quickly as you want? Stacie chimes in with her thoughts about the journey.

Q: Four years ago, you were much heavier than you are now and not on a regular workout routine. How did you even get started at the gym?

Stacie: I started with indoor cycling. I fell in love with it and had a lot of fun doing it. It was an ideal workout for me. It’s such an individual thing, you can tailor it to your own abilities. Plus the lights are usually off and it’s kind of meditative. It’s not like you’re sticking out in this big group class or anything.

Q: That must have been hard, though, starting up a brand new workout routine. What did you do on the days you just didn’t want to come?

Stacie: I was highly motivated to lose weight, so that usually got me to the gym. What kept me there was the community of people I got to know and who supported me. Julia in particular is so supportive, and you know you’re going to feel good at the end of a workout with her. It’s so much easier to skip workouts when you’re at a big box gym where no one knows you or cares about what you’re trying to accomplish.

Q: You added running to your workout routines eventually. What was that like?

Stacie: I hired Julia as a running coach. I credit her with inspiring me and giving me the courage to run races. I never imagined I could run even a 5K race but Julia was there to help me believe I could.

When I began, it was so hard for me to even go a mile. But I just kept at it. I ran fifteen 5k’s (3.1-mile races) in 2009, and I’ve run seven 10K’s (6.2 miles), and also participated in the Sylvania Women’s Only Duathlon and the Iron Goddess Duathlon. In 2011 I ran the Detroit half marathon, and I am gearing up for the Dexter Ann Arbor half marathon right now.

Q: How much weight have you lost?

Stacie: I’ve lost about 40 pounds.

Q: The weight hasn’t come off “quickly” the way fad diets sometimes make it seem like it should, but the amazing thing is you’ve been able to keep it off. Why do you think that is?

Stacie: I’m not worried about the timing because as long as I continue going in the right direction, I’m happy. I have always wanted to be athletic, and I feel like I’m becoming that person. That’s exciting, and I don’t need to rush it. It doesn’t matter if my progress is slower in reaching my goals because that’s just part of the journey.

The weight loss and fitness journey for me has been taking it day by day and being consistent. I will always try to set new challenges and goals for myself, either with training or running races. I want to be as strong and fit as I can be, and still be running races 20 years from now.

Ypsi Studio, and in particular Julia, have been so influential for me. I seriously would not have accomplished what I have without the support she and the Ypsi Studio community provide!