Sunday, February 17, 2008

Is Your Gym Green Enough?

At home, you would never leave the AC, Heat, Stereo, Lights, and TV on all day, but it happens at most workout facilities 24/7! That’s not very green!

We should all be more active outside, but when I worked at a big gym I got worried when people cancelled memberships using that reasoning. I usually heard from them a couple months later lamenting how they didn’t exercise nearly as much as planned.

There’s no doubt gyms use a lot of electricity and need to start looking at how they can become more energy efficient. Someday, they’ll be generating their own electricity. In the meantime, here are a few tips on how to make your gym membership a little greener.

Go Carless to the Gym:

Whether you live or work close by, you’re much more likely to adhere to an exercise program if you’re within a 10 minute walk.

One mile in a car can equal up to 1 pound of carbon released into the atmosphere so every time you walk, bike or run, you’re reducing your carbon footprint.

Also, it’s a great warm up for a workout. You can stretch your arms, chest and back on the way, but the real benefit is increasing circulation to your extremities. Once you’re there, your muscles are warm and ready to get right into your workout.

Stay off the Treadmills:

Treadmills are the major gas guzzlers, but most other machines are self-powered or use no electricity at all. I really like the Cybex Arc Trainer.

Buy a Reusable Water Bottle:

Whether it’s plastic or metal, it’s a no-brainer. It might be placebo effect, but I find water from a stainless steel bottle to taste better as well. Whatever keeps me hydrated!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Green Microgym Featured in the Seattle Post Intelligencer

Bob Condor does a great job of describing what I'm all about! You can read the text below, or go the P-I website to read it.

Living Well: Local Trainer's Green Ideas are Generating Change


Late one afternoon last week, personal trainer Adam Boesel hopped on a spinning bike for his own workout. He decided to watch a movie on his portable DVD player while exercising.

All sounds very early 21st century. Even more fitting was Boesel's film of choice: Former Vice President Al Gore's award-winning documentary about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth."

Fitting because Boesel planned to use human power -- basically his legs -- to power the battery of his DVD player. At his self-described "green microgym" in Greenwood, Boesel has hooked up two spinning bikes to wind-generator motors so every rotation of the pedals generates electricity that can be used in batteries for the gym's music system and, on this occasion, a DVD player.

"You kind of have to see it (the bike power setup) to completely understand how it works," Boesel said. "The concept is based on reversing the motor's direction ... if you remember as a kid having a bike with a generator that lit up your bike light, that's one way to explain it."

Boesel said that about 20 clients visit his gym for multiple individual sessions and group training classes each week. They pedal more than enough to keep the tunes playing and, in fact, would be able to run the lights without any draw from City Light if Boesel could figure out a way to transfer the energy from the bikes to the circuit box.

Make that "when" rather than "if" he can hook up the bike power to someday switch on the lights. Boesel is determined to explore as many eco-friendly measures as possible at his gym. He believes saving energy resources doesn't have to be limited to our cars, houses, consumer packaging and clothing, to name a few.

"The potential of human power is great," he said. "We have to find ways to not only waste less energy but put energy back into the health club and gym system to help offset what we use."

The inventor in Boesel stems in part from his dad, who was a woodworker. That explains Boesel's love for tools and building things by hand. He laughed and said, "No," when asked if there were Erector sets in his childhood.

Another part of Boesel's enterprise is squarely inherent in his desire to gauge what's next in his field. For instance, as a trainer he focuses on "movement patterns" and balance workouts to help people feel good in all parts of their lives.

"When I go to a pro football or pro basketball game I am always looking for what the trainers are getting the players to do preparing for a game," he said. "You see a lot of dynamic stretching."

One example: When a Seahawks player does a lunge in warm-ups he will add a twist. The typical lunge starts with say, the right foot placed forward a step and bent at no more than 90 degrees. The left leg stays back and under the left hip. In the lunge position, the player then twists his body back by placing his right hand on or toward the left ankle. The move finishes by the player looking back and down at the left ankle.

"The Mariners do some similar things too," Boesel said. "You see them do side-to-side exercises, moving laterally but only for about six feet."

A visit to Boesel's Total Body Turnaround gym (check out his site) will turn up clients doing variations on push-ups and lunges -- "90 percent of the time the workout is different from the last one" -- along with assisted squats (Boesel helps them complete the exercise with resistance bands) and regular use of balance boards.

"I focus on improving range of motion for people," he said. "My goal is that no part of your body is holding back other parts of the body."

And, of course, the Total Body Turnaround program includes regular rides on the spinning bikes.

"I went to school at Evergreen College," said Boesel, laughing. "I met a lot of environmentalist friends who influenced me."

Boesel has plans to increase his gym space to 1,000 square feet, while acknowledging it is harder to be energy-efficient at considerably larger health clubs. He sees himself as a "rescuer of neglected exercise equipment" and outfits his club through Craigslist and other online used equipment sources.

For now, Boesel and entrepreneur friends are early innovators across the health club industry. One company, SportsArt Fitness, has introduced an "ECO-Powr"-brand treadmill drive system that is designed to use nearly a third less electricity than the typical treadmill. Response has been positive but not industry-changing.

One health club company, California Fitness, a wholly owned subsidiary of the 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide chain, is partnering with a firm called Motorwave to install cardio machines (computerized stationary bikes for now) that "repurpose" human energy to operate a club's fluorescent lights. In short, typical stationary bikes only use about 10 percent of their electricity to operate the machine and 90 percent dissipates in the form of heat. The heat will be repurposed. A Hong Kong club will be the first test case and pro basketball star Yao Ming has lent his endorsement.

Other club operators have used recycled materials for renovations, such as flooring made from second-use rubber or carpeting created from soda bottles. Some facility managers have installed low-flow shower heads when possible. But most observers see no real rush to go green in the cardio or weight spaces.

"Health clubs use lots of electricity and lots of water," said Pamela Kufahl, editor of Club Industry's Fitness Business Pro magazine based in Overland Park, Kan. "The cardiovascular areas use lots of electricity. Club owners are doing their best to serve members."

Kufahl conceded that most of us strive for energy savings "in our home life but not the club" or gym.

"Members see recycling bins for their bottles and newspapers and think, 'ooh, my club is green,' " she said.

For his part, Boesel is looking to deepen awareness of any who step into health clubs and gyms. He has performed patent research reaching back to the 1800s to see if his spinning bike setup has been attempted, without finding much.

"The whole green gym concept is in its infancy," he said, ready to cue up Al Gore's movie. "But we have to start somewhere."

Bob Condor writes about health and quality of life every Monday. You can send him ideas or questions at

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Free Spinning!

Come in, watch a dvd, and get in shape while you help generate electricity at Total Body Turnaround, a Green Microgym.

I'm testing my new equipment and could use your help. All you have to do is pedal!

Just email me at and tell me when you want to come in. No strings, no bait and switch, just the chance to burn calories and generate watts!

Ride as often as once a day for up to an hour at a time.

Now you really have no excuses!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Need a great Photographer?

If you ever need a great photographer for any event, please check out Barbie Hull's website:

She took some pictures of my gym and workouts and they turned out really well.

She's a pro!

Here's her blog post highlighting my business:

Adam is the owner and the greatest personal trainer at Total Body Turnaround – his green microgym in Greenwood. He is located right off of 92nd & Greenwood Ave. Check out his website -

He has come up with a fabulous idea – you’ll have to have him explain the technical part… but basically the gym will be completely self sustaining - it will be powered by the energy you burn!! Such a smart idea!! He had an opening not too long ago and we each took turns riding on the bike to see how much effort it would take to power a laptop.

Each week he offers personal training sessions throughout the day and group sessions in the evenings – we took some photos many weeks ago when the weather was borderline cold instead of freezing like now (I’m so behind in blogging) at three of his outdoor workouts. They are so much fun, if you want to get in shape and lose those pounds this holiday season before you gain them… give him a call! (You’ll see me there!)

There are a lot of photos because this is three shoots combined in one. =)

This workout was the Friday evening Beer Neutral at Kerry Park up in Queen Anne -


This was Thursday evening Hard Core workout at Golden Gardens


Here you’ll see people doing the Wednesday evening workout at Adam’s studio in Greenwood -

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Posted by Barbie Hull

Saturday, January 05, 2008

NotBootCamp - Start Anytime

NotBootCamp workouts are Safer, More Efficient, and More Personal than Traditional Boot Camp

All Spring, Summer, and Fall, we went all over Seattle, exercising in parks and playgrounds. It's changed the way I train, because I've found so many new, interesting, fun ways to get strong and powerful without having to be inside a gym!

In addition, we'll be able to take some of these sessions inside when the weather isn't cooperating at the Green Microgym in Greenwood!

I've also found a way to make these sessions more accessible to more people, both in price and difficulty level, while still keeping it challenging and new for those of you who have been kicking butt with me for the past years and months.

Here's the deal: We'll have classes every weekday at 6:30 PM (except the Friday class which start at 5:30) in the following incarnations:

Monday: "Scalable" - Circuit oriented workouts with easy and hard options, and choices of cardio or rest periods, depending on your energy and fitness level. 45 minutes.

Tuesday: "Sports Specific" - Power, movement patterns, agility, and metabolic training will be the order of the day for sports such as Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Ultimate, etc. 45 Minutes.

Wednesday: "Ramp Up" - This is an intermediate intensity class for those who aren't ready for the Thursday "Hardcore" class, but want to be someday. 45 minutes.

Thursday: "Hardcore" - For those of you who want a Real Challenge. Anything is possible! 45 Minutes.

Friday: "Beer Neutral" - You'll still have energy to go out, but you won't have to feel guilty about partaking in some pleasurable food or beverages that night! These workouts will be challenging, partner oriented, and just a tad easier than "Hardcore". 45 minutes.

We will still go to parks around the city such as Gasworks, Golden Gardens, Woodland Park, Karkeek, Discovery, and Sandel Playground. Every Sunday, you'll get an email outlining the week's destinations. If the weather is bad, you'll get an email the day of the class so you'll know to come to the studio instead.

Costs: Here's where it gets good! This is in line with my desire to make it cheaper for you the more dedicated you are.

8 weeks for $295 - Unlimited classes! (You'll still need to give me your schedule of anticipated dates so I can plan the workouts)

2 personal training sessions included!: 1 in the first 2 weeks, and 1 in the last 2 weeks of your 8 week session to set goals, learn exercises, and track your progress.

Exception: If you only can make 1 workout a week, the price will stay at $200 with no personal training sessions included.

Start anytime!

Let's DO THIS! Let me know if you're into it, and we'll get you signed up and locked in. If you have any friends who might be interested, now is the time to plant the seed.