Challenging, fun and motivating
In this new year many people have resolved to make fitness a priority and lose weight. To help them stick to their resolutions and work toward their goals, Baha Mar’s fitness center now offers personal training to non-resort guests giving them the opportunity to get motivated and learn new techniques with trainers who work with people of all ability levels, with workouts that are both challenging and fun.
While I haven’t made any resolutions, the goal always has been to be the best me possible. And that’s not to say my efforts have not come without challenges, because there are times when I’m on my A game, and other times when well … let’s just say being a “couch potato” can have its comforts. But in the final analysis, I always get to that point where I need to move and do something – and a little direction from an expert is always a good thing.
I took advantage of a recent personal training session, followed by a detox scrub at ESPA Spa just to round out my day, and the result was a workout that was challenging and energizing, followed by a spa experience that was luxurious, decadent and relaxing on my muscles after being put through my paces by personal trainer Tavette Darville.
But while we all think go to the gym, workout, head home – something happened that was surprising to say the least. As Darville and I went to exit the fitness facility as she escorted me to the spa, she stopped me in the center of a room and told me to say something positive. I was a little confused, because her request came out of nowhere; the only thing I could think of was how I was feeling in that moment which was exhilarated and energized, so that’s what I said. To my surprise my words bounced back to me and resonated in my psyche giving me a feeling of calm. She was allowing me to have an affirmation experience, a self-talked statement aimed at impressing positivity into the subconscious, and I rather liked how speaking positively about how I felt after my workout made me feel that much better about myself.
While I made my affirmation as I departed the fitness center, I realized that it could happen in reverse as well, and that before entering the facility for my workout I could have said something positive to get me going as well. The way the room is built, the sound travels to the ceiling and bounces back down to you. And at Baha Mar their tradition is to ask fitness facility guests to say something positive by putting it into the atmosphere so that it comes back to them. It was just an interesting twist to a fulfilling experience.
Prior to my workout Darville sat me down for a conversation. She wanted to know about me – what I like … what I don’t like – to give her an idea of how she would formulate my workout.
“It’s really important to find out what a client’s fitness level is – what they’ve done before or might be familiar with, just because that first session should be comfortable enough where the client enjoys it, but also challenging where you know that there will be progression moving forward from that first session,” she said.
I began my workout with a warm-up mile run on the treadmill, even though she learnt during our chat that running is probably one of my least favorite activities and some days it’s a breeze to get through and other days a real drag.
“Even though it’s something you may not enjoy all the time, it’s something that you’re used to doing and can get through it. And it’s a great way to get your body warmed up, because your body is already used to the run,” she said.
We then went into circuit training as she realized I am partial to HIIT (high intensity interval training) and I like a lot of jumps, plyometrics and balancing. We hit TRX which turns every exercise into a challenge for the core and a great way she said to get my body ready for an unstable environment. We then moved on to the steps and the ropes.
While I found myself bent over with my hands on my knees at times during the training, I did so with a smile on my face, because I just felt so energized, and I was happy with Darville’s training style. She was encouraging and motivating, all the while ensuring that I maintained proper form.
In turn, at the end of the session she said she liked my self-motivation and that she noticed I was more comfortable with a cheerleader-styled training versus the drill sergeant trainer or the general motivator style of training.
The cheerleader style of training is a more gentle approach allowing the client to push themselves with the trainer stepping in during those movements when you might seem a little defeated and need that extra gentle positive push. The no-nonsense trainer makes you do the exercises no matter what, and are constantly in your ear, which some people respond well to. And the general motivator constantly gives personal affirmations throughout a session to keep the client in a really good frame of mind.
“You do very well with pushing yourself and being honest; for instance, that moment when I missed a count you would not cheat yourself, you gave yourself that extra rep. You just want to feel challenged, but not overwhelmed or discouraged.”
She had me pegged to a T.
As people respond differently to different types of training and personalities, she said great trainers adapt to the person.
“The important thing about being a personal trainer is that you can’t do the same work out with every single individual. You have to understand what your client is going to respond well to, what they need, and also what they like. It has to be a mixture of everything. You can’t just build a program and then just insert people’s name; it’s the other way around.”
At Baha Mar’s fitness center she said their training is personalized and fits the individual’s needs in terms of both fitness and nutrition and that they’re working on a lot more things to create a well-rounded wellness program.
And then there’s the workout with a view that they are proud of. When I first arrived I hoped on a spin bike on a balcony as the sun arose to take in the beautiful view. If you prefer the indoor they have all the cardio equipment you can think of – treadmills, ellipticals, recumbent bikes for anyone that may have any injuries, as well as the spin bikes and the rowing machines which are outdoors on the balconies and terraces which allow the user to have a great outdoor workout while taking in the best view in Baha Mar.
They also have outdoor turf area where the more functional equipment can be taken outside like the tires, the ropes, and the Bulgarian bags which have various handles to enable a vast range of spin, press or squat exercises and have an outdoor workout. And then there’s the variety of athletic training tools that can be brought out.
For non-resort guests to utilize Baha Mar’s fitness center, personal training packages have to be purchased and they include validated parking and access to steam and sauna rooms on training days, as well as associated discounts throughout the spa.
After my workout I availed myself of ESPA Spa’s detox scrub and back massage, which included gentle dry brushing my body to remove dead skin cells and stimulate circulation. From the first few gentle brushstrokes from my therapist I felt relaxed – and in that zone where you feel removed from your body. I knew right away that I was going to enjoy the treatment after my challenging workout. Dry skin brushing is also said to stimulate the lymphatic system aiding in detoxification, reduces cellulite and offers both stress relief and invigoration. As for the scrub itself, the salt and oil were exceptional in skin-softening body exfoliation with its combination of sea salts and essential oils which left my skin nourished, smooth and supple. And the massage worked out all those everyday work stressors and kinks that I carried in my shoulders and back.
At ESPA Spa, the best description is probably pure indulgence. It’s where they invite you to breathe, relax and take a moment for yourself.
I left Baha Mar’s fitness center and ESPA Spa invigorated and ready to tackle whatever came my way the rest of that day.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.
Education: Saint Augustine’s College, BA in Mass Communication