February 4, 2016

By: Sonya Francis

If you’ve taken a yoga class before, you may have seen someone quietly rolling up their yoga mat and gathering their things at the end of class, just before savasana (full relaxation pose). While some may be leaving for other obligations, many find those last 7-10 minutes of class downright difficult. As a yoga instructor, I realize some of the class may be making grocery lists, to do lists, or a things-to-worry-about lists in their head during this time: not relaxing. Relaxation can be hard to indulge in when those lists wait outside the door. With that being said, those minutes are some of the most physically as well as mentally valuable moments of class.

Unfortunately, heart disease is the number one killer among both men and women, and in order to take care of our hearts we have to understand them. People that are more prone to hostility, success driven, or extremely schedule orientated tend to be more at risk for heart attacks. These behaviors are commonly known as type A behaviors. If this sounds familiar, having a hard time relaxing during savasana probably does too. All in all, if savasana seems difficult, then we just need to practice it more.

In honor of heart health month let’s shed some light on what exactly the practice of yoga does for our hearts. Many people start taking yoga as a form of physical exercise. If practiced with intensity the heart rate will speed up causing the yogi to reduce risk of a heart attack. Yet, the true gold mine of yoga is the stress relief. With stress reduction will come a spiral effect of other healthy decisions, one of them being weight loss. In other words, lowering the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body will then cause the body to decrease eating desires as well as keeping fat from remaining on the tummy area. Fat in the abdominal area will in fact create resistance to insulin, which will then raise blood sugar, and continue to increase the risk of heart disease. In other words, enjoying the last 7-10 minutes of class during savasana can actually lower stress levels enough to also lower cortisol, which will then make it easier to not only lose weight but also make the heart happy!

Practicing yoga is a wonderful, healthy, natural way to create a more optimistic life for oneself. Happiness in itself is paramount to creating a fit, full life with ease.

For more, try these other delightful heart healthy tips:

-Add more omega-3 fatty acids to the diet to fight inflammation (ex: salmon or flaxseeds)

-Always more fruits and veggies! These foods contain phytochemicals (bioflavonoids and antioxidants) that fight heart disease.

-H2O. H2O. H2O.

Source: Timothy McCall’s “Yoga As Medicine.”


January, 12 2016

By: Lisa Kent

Behind her step (and on, around or over the top), wearing the latest lululemon color-coordinated outfit, hair in a ponytail, mic on, music cued up, you’ll find Sara McGuire in her happy place. 11 years ago she wasn’t quite so sure. Just an hour into BODYSTEP® training she thought, “there is no way I’ll be able to teach this class. It’s just too hard.” Well, she was wrong. She’s been teaching BODYSTEP® ever since. Not only that, it has become her favorite class; it makes her happy. And when Sara is happy, her participants are happy; she rocks her classes and gives them workouts that are super fun and intensely challenging.

Sara loved BODYSTEP® so much that when she came to Wilson’s 9 years ago, she proposed adding the licensed program to the schedule, pitching her skills and the allure of the class to management. With permission to demo the program for 3 months on the condition that if it didn’t fly, it wouldn’t stay, she was told, “A lot of people come to us with big ideas and within a few months, they’re gone. Let’s just see how long this lasts.” And that was the beginning of a revolution in group fitness at Wilson’s. More and more programs were added. New instructors were trained. Special events were held that built enthusiasm and excitement for group fitness. And participation exploded. We are all happy Sara loves BODYSTEP®!

Sara’s career began 12 years ago with an AFAA certification in group fitness. A student at MU, she saw a flyer at the Rec Center advertising the training to teach aerobics and thought it sounded fun. Once she got a taste of being an instructor she never looked back. Everything about it felt right. A natural leader with both an instructive and supportive approach, Sara blossomed as a group fitness instructor, loving the experience of teaching and helping people reach their potential. She was passionate and took more trainings to broaden her scope. Since she’s been at Wilson’s she has added certifications in BODYPUMP®, BODYCOMBAT®, BODYJAM®, BODYATTACK®, BODYFLOW®, SH’BAM® and GRIT®. She’ll be adding a 9th Les Mills® certification to her resumé this weekend at training for CXWORX®.

One of Sara’s favorite memories is the ‘Party Launch.’ In April 2009, Wilson’s group fitness staged an off-site event at the Courtyard Marriott. Featuring 4 programs and 20 instructors, it was an enormous undertaking. “We had no idea if anyone would come to a Friday night launch off-site.” Over 100 people showed up; it was a huge success that would lead to many more events like the annual Fitness for a Cure which is on it’s 5th year.

Another favorite, that she didn’t expect, was teaching SH’BAM®. “I went to training simply because Catina was switching one of my step classes to SH’BAM, and I ended up falling in love with it. It’s the first time I’ve ever had fun working out. In other classes, I’m aware how hard I’m working. With SH’BAM® I just have a good time!” Sara loves going to quarterlies with her teammates and has met many program directors and national trainers. But the highlight of her career would have to be when she met Sarah Robinson, a.k.a. BODYSTEP goddess and star of nearly every DVD release. When Sarah (with an h) visited, Sara (without an h) had the opportunity to meet her; but even better, she got to teach with her! It was literally a dream come true.

What Sara loves most is the ‘group’ in group fitness; a chance to exercise with others in a social way. She loves the music, using it to motivate herself. She loves to get her class members to respond in a similar way and will even sing if the mood strikes. “I enjoy group fitness because after a hard class, everyone is sweaty and exhausted and we know we all finished together. I still look forward to every class.”


December 7, 2015

By: Lisa Kent

Chuck Archer uses an iPhone piped into the stereo speakers through a auxiliary cord to play the music in his spinning classes. But back before iPods or even CDs, there were cassette tapes (young ones, ask someone over 40). Chuck used his boom box to record music from radio stations onto cassettes. That’s how long he’s been teaching.

Before he became an instructor at Wilson’s he started by working the front desk. The year was 1997 and the north location was on the corner of Vandiver and Providence (many fond memories were made in that place). A triathlete, Chuck found that spinning was great cycling training and he started going to classes. At the time, spinning was brand new. The hottest fitness trend in the gym, the classes were packed, and as an employee Chuck had to relinquish his bike for members. After being booted from class numerous times, he realized the only way to have a guaranteed bike was to get up front.

Eager and excited, he practiced by himself in the cycling room when there were no classes. He cranked up the volume of his favorite hard rock songs to drive him on. His break came when the existing group of instructors needed subs.

Eager and excited, he practiced by himself in the cycling room when there were no classes. He cranked up the volume of his favorite hard rock songs to drive him on. His break came when the existing group of instructors needed subs. Chuck says he bugged James Dean until James gave in. For his first class, Chuck made a special playlist of all heavy metal and hard rock songs. The members who took that class never came to another. From this he learned to cater to the members when choosing his music.

As for his teaching style, if you’ve ever been to one of his classes, you know that Chuck has a ton of energy and pushes his participants to their limit. Charming and funny, he also uses his goofy personality to make the workout fun. It’s easy to see why he’s developed a very loyal following over the years. 18 years to be precise. Chuck estimates he has taught 2,800 classes and still enjoys it just as much as he did when he started.

He trained through Mad Dog Athletics and has a certification for the original Johnny G Spinning program. He’s a Dad with three kids, Amanda (25), Tyler (21), and Westin (11), and when he’s not in the gym teaching or weight training you can find him cruising the Missouri hills on his Harley Davidson.

Chuck doesn’t see an end in sight to his career as an instructor. “Perhaps when I get too old to enjoy Metallica or do high speed sprints or endless intervals I might retire, but until then, I will be foaming at the mouth, screaming into my mic and riding as hard as my legs can take me.”


November 12, 2015

By: Ashten Travis

As I headed off to my normal cardio routine, I was just checking off a box on my to-do list. It really wasn’t something I wanted to do. I controlled my weight by my diet, restricted how many calories I ate, and I was constantly hungry.

I needed a change. I took some advice from a friend, and started working out with a personal trainer at Wilson’s. Working out with my trainer, Lindsey, is so fun and challenging! I LOVE it! I feel so much better, and I continue to see results. As much as I love training, what’s even better is what it has brought to my family.

I started noticing my oldest son, Connor, was not the happy, active guy he has always been. He was grumpy and lacking self-esteem. I convinced Connor to give personal training a shot.

Connor started working with trainer Ericka, and things started to turn around! Our fun loving, positive son is back! He’s not only losing weight, but gaining confidence. We have our own bonding time at Wilson’s, and have brought our light-hearted competitions back to the whole family.

Hands down…it has been the best money I have ever spent! Getting a personal trainer was one of the best decisions I have ever made. – Jill Kyle


November 6, 2015

By: Lisa Kent

Maggy Danley has a secret. And it’s a doozy. Everyone knows this talented aqua instructor teaches water aerobics at FIT. Everyone knows she’s well loved by her participants. Maggy holds an AEA (Aquatic Exercise Association) Instructor Certification and is an AquaStretch Facilitator; it’s common knowledge that she specializes in high intensity water intervals, low impact, deep water, core, aqua flow and arthritis programming. Her charming personality and contagious smile complement her versatility and competence. She teaches because she likes to see the joy on the faces of her participants when their lives change for the good. She likes hearing their success stories and helping them work through challenges. But this is no surprise.

Maybe it’s that Maggy’s been working out in the water for 30 years. A natural leader, she started teaching the day an instructor didn’t show for class. That was 15 years ago and she’s been teaching ever since. She started at Wilson’s the same way; six years ago, a class with a no-show instructor ended up being her first Aquacise class. In between, she owned and operated a health club in the San Juan Islands (Washington state) where she taught both studio and pool classes, had personal training clients and managed the business. While many may not be aware of these impressive accomplishments, this is not the BIG secret. No, her secret is heavier.

Maggy is a POWERLIFTER! As in, a competitive powerlifter, setting national records in not one, but three lifts! She holds ADFPF (American Drug Free Powerlifting Federation) records in squat, bench press, deadlifts & total (the addition of all scores). And that’s not all: Maggy most recently set a WORLD record in bench press!

We have a champion in our midst and her next competition is right here in Columbia on October 17th. Let’s get out and show her how proud we are. Here’s to powerful women, to Wilson’s warriors, to amazing instructors. Here’s to YOU, Maggy!


October 20, 2015

Getting into a pool usually involves a relaxing vacation or a refreshing dip on a hot summer day. Swimming for fitness, on the other hand, may evoke a very opposite feeling. Don’t let it!

Just because swimming laps doesn’t appeal to you, don’t rule swimming out all together! Take advantage of the newly renovated pool at the Forum location and change up your workouts! The benefit of swimming is that it offsets all the damage you’ve previously done. Swimming in the water will essentially take care of those muscles, tendons, and ligaments that have been damaged from your heavy training or exercise.

Swimming is an amazing cardio, completely 0 impact on your joints and a calorie-torching total-body workout! Before you fall into the preconception that pool therapy is only for older adults, note that some of the best athletes in the world train in the water as well as land.


It’s crucial to mix it up. Swimming is ideal for working muscles that have been unintentionally overlooked. Ideally you’ll want to get into the pool a couple days a week to complement your current fitness routine. Swimming is a huge benefit to your aerobic fitness. It forces your body to learn a new breathing pattern. Things to do in the water besides laps…

  • Run in place: This may be harder than it looks. Your tendency in the water will be to tilt your shoulder and pelvis forward and tilt your head back to keep yourself from sinking.
  • Jumping jacks: Keeping yourself vertical with your arms out to your sides. (you should hold water dumbbells here), thrust your legs outward like a jumping jack. As you jump back together with your legs, raise your arms out to the side.
  • Tread water: Moving into the deep end of the pool, tread water making circles with cupped hands and move feet in scissor like motion to keep above water.
  • Aqua Group Fitness: Wilson’s Fitness has two indoor pools with a wide variety of aqua group fitness classes! From Soft Joints (stretching to increase range of motion) to Extreme H2O (challenging total body workout) there is a mix of classes for all fitness levels. FIT Schedule Forum Schedule 


September 29, 2015

By: Ashten Travis

My fitness journey may not have started like most, but it has been one of the most empowering and rewarding experiences yet. After my name was drawn for some free personal training at work, I was a little bummed… I didn’t win the tv I was secretly hoping for. After a few days, I realized this was it…this was my time to make a change.

My trainer, Cam, helped immensely as he created workouts that were best for me, assigned homework, and helped with my nutrition. Not only did I not want to let myself down, I knew I couldn’t let my trainer down! I completed a half marathon and lost over 50 lbs. However, the biggest accomplishment from this journey has been the self-confidence I have gained!

Having a full time job and being a single mom to 3 boys, gym time either comes early at 4:30AM or late at 10:00PM. It seems overwhelming when you look at the big picture, however, you have to take it one workout, one meal, and one day at a time. Once you decide you are ready for a change, nothing can stop you!

-Mary Ward


August 20, 2015

By: Ashten Travis

Fitness has long been a family value of ours. After moving back from northern California, we were anxious to continue with fitness and joined Wilson’s Fitness Centers.

Once Chris and I started working with our personal trainer, Ericka Hill, we discovered the importance of strength training. It is so empowering to lift weights and encouraging to see results. Plus, Ericka is terrific; she is motivating and hilarious! All of the pools at Wilson’s are also a huge bonus for our family. Both children love to swim at the summer pools and last year I trained at the indoor pool for my first triathlon.

On Saturday mornings you can almost always find all four of us at the gym. Chris is lifting weights. James is running on the treadmill. Lila is racing down the slide at the Play Center. And I’m dancing at Sh’Bam. Wilson’s has helped us transform our fitness hobby into a family habit.

-The Fishman-Weaver Family


July 29, 2015

By: Ashten Travis

Being transplants from North Carolina, my husband and I moved to Columbia with high hopes of starting a family together. Having no luck because of my PCOS, we decided to take charge and met with Mid-Missouri Reproductive Health. I was referred to Wilson’s Fitness in the District for personal training to complement my fertility treatment. I came to Wilson’s Fitness expecting a regular, intimidating gym, but that is far from what I experienced.

The friendly faces I met quickly became my friends and family. I honestly feel like I belong there no matter what my size is. My trainer, Ryan, is ALWAYS in my corner encouraging and pushing me. Losing weight with PCOS is an uphill battle, but it will be worth it. More than just losing weight I have changed my lifestyle. I have more energy, I watch what I eat, and I feel stronger after every session! With so much commotion going on with buying a house, working out has been one thing I have kept constant. It is empowering seeing a difference in how my clothes fit and I find myself excited to go to the gym (which I never thought I would ever say).

-Morgan Owen



July 21, 2015

By: Lisa Kent

You might not know when you take a yoga class from Anne Janku what depth lies beneath her quiet demeanor. Anne brings a wealth of education and experience to her teaching; not only her 200 RYT, but also four college degrees, including an MA, an MS and a PhD. She’s traveled extensively throughout the world, living in Europe and West Africa, and she speaks French, German, some Spanish and enough Russian to get her into trouble. In addition, she was once a competitive runner, biker, and triathlete, winning the distinction of being the first female finisher in any number of races. She no longer runs but still trains for physically active vacations with her husband and three adult children; this summer they are biking from Prague to Vienna. A former college professor, Anne now works as a social science researcher for the state court system in Jefferson City. All of this poured into her teaching … who knew?

Soon after moving to Columbia in 1985 Anne joined Wilson’s Fitness, but it wasn’t until 2004 that she became an instructor. As a student, her own yoga teachers were impressed by her positive energy and encouraged her to take the next step to become a teacher. As they had foretold, Anne’s transition from student to teacher was a natural progression. Initially she took YogaFit Level 1 and taught for a few years. A new job caused her to stop for a period, but she missed teaching and returned to Wilson’s with a desire to advance her training. In 2011 Anne completed the 200-hour yoga teacher training through Element Yoga and Health Studio in Columbia. This impressive achievement enhanced her skills, but she continues to grow by attending classes when she travels, getting new ideas to share, and by committing to doing ‘something different’ in every class. She loves this intellectual challenge and her students appreciate her approach.

“I have yogis who have been practicing with me for years. They keep me inspired to continue leading the journey. I have moved our yoga practice beyond the physical aspects of the asanas and incorporate yogic philosophy and beliefs into each class to provide the students with an inner journey that transcends the physical. I have some students who come to class knowing they won’t be able to do all of the physical practice but they like to experience the inner journey.”

Anne’s students have proven their support to her, particularly after an accident a few years ago. On a bicycle ride, she was attacked by pit bulls and thrown off her bike, breaking her elbow and requiring surgery. Only five days post-op she returned to class, coaching with one arm and nearly passing out. Her ultimate concern for her students’ practice, knowing she’d have two months without doing poses, lead her to offer them a substitute teacher. But they wouldn’t hear of it and insisted she continue, her very presence the inspiration they relied on.

“There’s a thrill at the beginning of each class, like stepping off a cliff and not knowing how you will land. The thrill comes from not knowing if the students will come with you on whatever yoga journey you have created for that day. And they always come along!”


July 10, 2015

Modern life is full of deadlines, demands and frustrations. Too much to do and not enough time can cause stress to become a way of life. In small doses, it can be beneficial, but beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, mood, productivity, relationships and quality of life. Reducing overall stress and improving your coping skills can be achieved through techniques like yoga and meditation, but what about those moments when you’re stuck in traffic or in a disagreement with your spouse? You need rapid stress reduction; solutions that are immediate and accessible and can help you let go in the moment. Seeking sensory input is a great way to relieve stress quickly. Calm and energize using your sense of sight, sound, taste, smell and touch no matter where you are.

  • Look at a cherished photo
  • Bring the outdoors inside with plants
  • Close your eyes and picture a peaceful place
  • Listen to music that evokes feelings of well-being
  • Hang wind chimes near an open window
  • Light a scented candle
  • Stop and smell the roses…literally
  • Feel a breeze on your face
  • Soak in a hot bath
  • Pet a dog or a cat
  • Indulge in a small piece of dark chocolate
  • Eat a perfect piece of fruit
  • Drink a refreshing cold drink


Stress is one of those hidden features that people neglect to factor in when examining their exercise program. It’s important to keep sight of the fact that exercise is a stress on the body. When a given stress (exercising), your body adapts to that stress (improvements in cardiovascular system). But like most things, too little won’t have the desired outcome, and too much can affect the body in ways we never intended. Stress and its accumulating effects on the body may be the biggest contributors to lack of progress. Continued stress may lead to health issues like increased abdominal weight gain, thyroid problems, poor sleep patterns, increased insulin resistance, and decreased leptin sensitivity, just to name a few. Without understanding the specific stress response of exercise, you could actually cause your problems to worsen. If you think stress could be deterring your results, talk with one of your trainers at Wilson’s Fitness and we will see what we can do to get you back on the right track.


June 22, 2015

By: Ashten Travis

At over 280 lbs., I was the biggest I’ve ever been and I could hardly bend over to put my socks on. My second daughter was born with a very rare syndrome that put us in the hospital for 8 weeks. Fast food and hospital food quickly became the norm. With my daughter’s disability I soon realized a lot needed to change.

Joining the service seemed like the best thing I could do for my family. However since I was 65 lbs. overweight that was not an option. I was ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle, and make the changes needed for the military. Every day is a challenge, but I am determined. I’m currently at my goal weight of 220 lbs.! Not only will I be able to provide a better life for my family, I will most importantly be able to play and keep up with my kids! I couldn’t have done any of this without the training and support Wilson’s Fitness has given me for my past, present, and future.

-Dennis Milnes



June 9, 2015

By: Lisa Kent

Brenda’s love for life radiates from her whole being. The warmth of her smile conveys how passionate she is about working at Wilson’s where she’s taught group fitness classes for 32 years. That’s right, Brenda started teaching in 1983 and after all these years it still makes her happy. She loves teaching because of the members that come to class. “The members are the glue of Wilson’s, and I care about each and every one of them.” For Brenda, what she does as an instructor is about more than fitness; it’s about people. And the people in her classes know that. They feel good about themselves because she lets them know she cares. As Brenda recounts years and years of memories, it’s evident that she’s instrumental to members in achieving goals, making progress, enjoying significant results, and building confidence. And when they give back their trust and admiration to her, the positive momentum just keeps on going.

Brenda holds Group Fitness Certification through AFAA. Using her versatile skills she has taught high-impact aerobics, step, slide, hip-hop, and interval training. She currently teaches TBW. Brenda’s day job is working in her family business, General Printing. When she’s not working she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family, including her beautiful daughter, Lauren, who will be a senior in high school next year.

“Wilson’s has been my life. I have members who’ve been with me through all my years of teaching, and I’ve made new friends because I love sharing what I do with others at this wonderful place. I believe every instructor truly cares about that at Wilson’s. We are one big family.”


May 27, 2015

By: Ashten Travis

        -Amber Quest

Working together for 5 years, Judy and Amber shared more than just a workspace; they developed a special bond that will last for years to come.

It all started with our working lunches, and Judy and I would laugh as we questioned each others’ meal choices. Eventually my go-to-excuse of “I’ll start a healthy lifestyle after I’m done having children” fell short. I decided there would never be a perfect time, and I just went for it! 2 years later and 90 pounds lighter, I’m so glad I did!

Judy was my biggest advocate and introduced me to Laura Lee’s Healthy Plate for delicious healthy meals and snack options. I then began bringing my children to the playcenter and joining the group fitness classes! I can’t explain to you how amazing and convenient the group classes have been for me!

Judy and I have such admiration for one another. It helps to have such a motivating friend to set and share goals with.


May 19, 2015

By: Lisa Kent

Kelly Lancey likes to move it, move it. Being on stage is as natural as breathing for this Southern California girl who grew up dancing. She says at the end of the day she’s ‘just very happy (most would find me boring), ordinary me.’ Anyone who knows her would beg to differ. There is nothing boring about Kelly Lancey, on or off the stage.

She and husband Bob moved to Omaha so he could attend medical school. While there, in addition to working in a daycare for high-risk children, she obtained her Master’s in Public Administration at University of Nebraska-Ohama. They moved to Indianapolis and Kelly stayed active, walking their two young children in a double stroller. In 1999, the family moved to Columbia and Kelly joined Club Woodrail which would later become part of Wilson’s. She attended a group fitness class when the instructor was injured in an accident. Volunteered by her neighbor, Kelly taught class the following week and hasn’t put the mic down since. The secret of her success? The passion and spontaneity she radiates to all her participants. “I love that my life at Wilson’s gives me the opportunity to draw people out of their ‘this is how I must act’ comfort zone. While I’m teaching a class – even Barre, I am completely in sync with the music, the beat, and the feel of those around me! I believe people need a positive place to dance their @$s off, where self-expression is applauded, appreciated and allowed to do without judgement! Movement is what makes me feel alive. It connects me to my emotional and physical self.”

Kelly is certified in Les Mills BODYJAM, Aerial Yoga and Pilates, and has trained for TRX and Studio Barre in-house at Wilson’s. She is open and always seeking to grow. “In every class I attend, I try to learn something from the instructor; coaching, a new move. Everyone has their gifts.” She sees her teaching as an honor; participants trust us with their most precious commodity—their time. “We hold the opportunity to give them not only physical enhancement, but mental, spiritual, and emotional balance. We are all striving to make our time on Earth the most positive it can be. When the physical body is functioning on its highest level, then we are able to allow the rest of us to blossom.”

While Kelly loves much about her job, her favorite thing is that teaching has given her the very best friends in her life and experiences she treasures. Coming together with those who share a similar mindset defines her very life. She shares wisdom given to her by a veteran instructor: “Never miss an opportunity to experience life because of a class.” Kelly doesn’t use this as an excuse for being irresponsible, but she encourages any instructor to “be sure to keep themselves in balance.”


April 24, 2015

By: Ashten Travis

During the weekend of May 1st – May 3rd, we will be featuring our amazing Mind & Body Studios (both Forum & Rangeline locations)! During this time, we invite everyBODY to give a class or two a try! Members (do not sign up online during this time, unless specialty classes are included in your membership).

Have you tried Studio Barre? This fun class uses a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines like yoga and Pilates. The barre is used to balance during challenging isometric strength training. High reps of small range-of-motion movements result in a burn that will tone and strengthen your body.

How about Pilates? Studio classes incorporate classic techniques that strengthen the core and the entire body, using Pilates principals such as concentration, centering, control, breathing and alignment, and props like weighted balls, magic circles and foam rollers.

What about Aerial classes? Decompress your spine and joints, improve your circulation, including to your brain, stimulate your hormonal systems, and increase strength, agility and flexibility all utilizing a fabric hammock. Spread the word about our Open House and let your friends know that all classes are free on Friday, Saturday and Sunday!


April 8, 2015

By: Lisa Kent

Ted Brandt started working at Wilson’s Fitness in 1995 as a personal trainer. He had served in the United States Air Force, and separating in 1994, headed from there to college. During school and the early days of his career working at Boone Hospital, he trained clients, until about 2001. While obtaining his M.B.A. and M.H.A. Ted worked as a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant, for six years. Upon graduation, he moved into a hospital administrative role and is currently the Director of Clinic Operations at MUHC. Throughout his academic and professional endeavors, Ted has always pursued an active lifestyle, staying fit by running competitively (including marathons), biking, strength training, hiking and repelling, and getting dirty in the occasional Tough Mudder. He loves to get outside no matter the season. You can spot him running the streets of Columbia in his signature ball cap, or if it’s cold, you might recognize his be anie-covered head. ted In 2009, Ted started teaching Les Mills RPM because he enjoyed indoor spinning and favored the LM approach of Position, Push and Pace. His experience with patients in physical therapy has guided his approach to training others: helping them achieve muscular balance, strength and flexibility. Walking the walk, Ted’s goal is to incorporate a weekly yoga class into his own training. His exercise philosophy is “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” He keeps it simple by using basic moves and focusing on the proven formula: power = force x velocity. It’s safe to say Ted loves what he does, and his participants and team members most definitely benefit. “I choose not to get paid for teaching cycling at Wilson’s because I enjoy it too much and don’t want it to feel at all like a job.”

5 WAYS TO HIT 10,000!

April 1, 2015

By: Ashten Travis

Here are just a few fitness tips to keep your body and fitness tracker HAPPY! If you’re not moving, you’re missing out on key health and weight-management boosters. No matter what fitness level you are on, setting a goal can be a motivating way to improve your overall health. There are numerous methods to keep track of your fitness, from heart rate tracking to pedometers. The American Heart Association suggests walking 10,000 steps a day to maintain your fitness and to decrease the risk of disease brought on by a sedentary lifestyle. Struggling to meet that goal of 10,000 steps a day?Walking..

1) Walk and Talk! Talking on the phone is a great opportunity to get in steps without thinking about it. Whether it’s a work call you can take outside or a personal call with a friend, those minutes on the phone can add up.

2) Step it up! We’ve certainly all heard the tip to take the stairs over the elevator, but are you doing it? You’ve got to get there anyways, so you might as well torch a few extra calories doing so!

3) Buddy Up! Set a time to meet a friend for a routine walk. Time will fly chatting with a friend and you’ll be less likely to ditch the walk if someone else is counting on you. Could you add in a family walk after dinner?

4) Wear it! Wear a fitness tracker and take advantage of it! This reminder will encourage you to get more active and track your progress throughout the day. Many of these trackers also let you interact and challenge friends!

5) Redirect! Break out of your habits and take a new way to work! Park in the back of the parking lot or use the furthest entrance! Can you find a new route to the copy machine or water fountain?


March 3, 2015

By: Lisa Kent

When Betty Bohon started teaching group fitness classes 28 years ago, Wilson’s on Forum (the big house) didn’t exist. What is FIT and the MAC now, was Club Woodrail then, and that’s where Betty taught Hi/Lo Aerobics. Barefoot. On a mat. Much to the relief of her poor feet, Nike invented the pump shoe and Reebok came out with their iconic white high tops with the double Velcro strap. Wearing shoes, Betty taught step aerobics and strength classes, and for Slide classes, she covered those shoes with attractive booties. (If you don’t know what Slide is, watch here: As times have changed, she’s kept up with fitness trends. She’s added cross-training and adopting new programs to keep working out as fresh and exciting as ever, as an instructor and as a strong, healthy woman of a certain age (ask to see a photo of her grandson, Luke). Betty has seen the variety of classes grow exponentially—there is literally something for everyone of every age—and she loves to see people find the right fit for them. She currently teaches BOSU, RPM and Hot Barre. _DSC6014Betty was almost 30 before she worked out for fitness; she had no school sports, no cheerleading, no dance. Every fitness class she taught was a new adventure for her and she realized if she could do it, anyone could.

After her first child was born in 1978, to lose baby weight, Betty started running and playing racquetball and was quickly hooked on fitness. Many 5Ks, 10Ks and marathons later, she added aerobics class to her routine and fell in love with the combination of fitness, music and people. Betty had already been teaching racquetball clinics to kids at Spaulding Racquetball Club in Columbia, and in 1996 when she started teaching racquetball at Wilson’s Fitness (the old location on Forum), her pals and fellow instructors, JoAnn Wilson and Fran Welek, coaxed her into becoming a group fitness instructor and a star was born. A high school teacher by trade, she was a natural, and found her passion motivating people to get fit and live longer. “I have always believed in the fact that our bodies are a gift and we should take good care of them. This was instilled in me by my parents and my faith.”

For over 30 years she’s been inspiring people and telling them, it’s never too late to start. “Work out one hour, live a day longer!” she is fond of saying. What she loves most about teaching is the high, the joy she gets from her members which hasn’t changed in all these years. “When I am teaching group classes it’s like the world stops and everything slows down; worries go away and I don’t want it to end! I enjoy seeing people getting excited after completing their first class and that look of ‘I really made it!’” Betty has seen the industry change vastly over the course of her career. For example, music has always been an important motivator, but, now rather than spending hours making cassette tapes, recording 3-5 seconds between songs, or waiting for ordered pre-designed aerobic music to come in the mail, now she can make a playlist on her iPhone right before class. (She also loves dry-fit clothes vs. 100% cotton since her nickname is Sweaty Betty.) When she talks about the “maturation process (I don’t call it aging)” she says she is older but wiser and she’s determined to stay ahead of the game. Physically her body continues to change from the time she first started; she is much stronger than she ever was. But, rebuilding her fitness level after taking time off, facing challenges with nagging injuries, these are realities for any fitness professional and for Betty, they just made her fight harder. ”I tell my classes not to let injuries get them down, but to fight and come back from them, stronger.” Betty is an inspiration to us all and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if she were teaching for 30 more years at the rate she is going. “The people that I get to see every day in my fitness classes mean the world to me. I have made so many friends! We are all on this fitness for life journey together. I can’t imagine every stopping and that is why I’m still here. Our RPM class mantra is ‘FIND A WAY.’ I have found a way and have loved every minute of the trip so far. See you around the gym!”


January 8, 2015

By: Ashten Travis

Understanding where you’re starting your fitness journey may be more important than where you would like to finish. Ideally, a functional movement screen would be a must for everyone starting back into a fitness program and a good idea for anyone looking to see how well they really move. It’s important to put yourself in the best starting position you can. In less than 15 minutes we can see what major movement issues you have and determine some correctives to address those problem areas. You will also receive information on what movements you should avoid to minimize your injury risk. If you are starting some cardiovascular and/or strength training program- start in your comfort zone and see how your body responds to it. Don’t lift to complete muscular failure the first few times, this will just lead to DOMs (Delayed Onset Muscle soreness), a few missed workouts or an outright injury. Smart training leads to consistent progression over time and this is the key in reaching your longtime fitness goals. Remember…don’t only focus on your desired outcome, because understanding where the path starts is just as important as the end goal.


November 21, 2014

By: Jeff Powell;

To heal, to recover, to get the most out of this life, you need to breathe. After training people for over 25 years I have come to a simple conclusion: The most important thing a person can do to improve their fitness (mental, physical, spiritual) is to practice breathing. We have all been breathing our entire lives but few of us practice the act. Few of us breathe with focused intent. Few of us reap the exponentially greater rewards found in using breath to connect with our actions and our thoughts. Here are a few things that breathing facilitates:

  • Increased blood flow
  • Improved lymphatic flow
  • Better flow of cerebrospinal fluid
  • Higher activation of deep lumbar stabilizer muscles
  • An overall shift of the nervous system towards parasympathetic

To understand how each of these improves recovery, healing and therefore performance, I will expand on each item briefly:

  1. Blood Flow – Increased blood flow is synonymous with healing.  To heal, you require blood and all the oxygen and nutrients it brings along with it.  You also need it to carry away waste.
  2. Lymphatic Fluid Flow – Improved lymphatic fluid flow supports your immune response, recycling of blood plasma as well as your ability to move toxins out of your body.
  3. Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow – This is the stuff that cushions and nourishes your brain and spinal cord.  It needs to flow smoothly to perform its job optimally.
  4. Deep Lumbar Stabilizers – Activating these muscles acts as a link from your upper torso to your lower and vice versa.  Without good lumbar stability, you are forced to compensate your movements which leads to greater inflammation and slower recovery times.
  5. Parasympathetic – When your nervous system is shifted towards parasympathetic, you are geared for recovery.  This state of the nervous system is often referred to as “rest and digest”.  You can easily add “recover” to this list.  If you are able to shift rapidly to parasympathetic, you will have a greater ability to recover faster even during strenuous activity.  This is also the optimal neurological state for sexual activity.


November 3, 2014

By: Ashten Travis

The holiday season is rolling in…the temperatures are dropping, leaves are falling, and many holiday recipes are being passed around. While the holiday spirit is filled with cheer, it leaves many of us with a mix of emotions. The actual holiday festivities are so exciting, however the disappointment we’re bound to experience shortly follows. You know what we’re talking about. You dread the fact that your self-discipline may fail again and again during what we may call “the eating season.” Make a point this year to end the cycle! Instead of squeaking into the New Year with weight gain and a loss of fitness, this is the year to get in better shape during the holidays! You don’t have to do it alone, recruit some friends or join Wilson’s Fitness in the quest to break the cycle this holiday season. 

1)     Plan ahead. Write down your intended workouts each week including the time, group class, or plan.

2)     Make it a date. Even if it is with yourself, write it down or tell a friend. Once someone knows or it’s written down you’re more likely to follow through.

3)     Switch it up. Don’t stick to your same old routine. Try a new group fitness class, or branch out and try something new to keep your workout fresh and exciting!

4)     Bring a healthy dish and eat beforehand. Skip the temptation of over indulging by eating beforehand and bring a healthy option to share!

5)     Drink lots of water. With lots of sugary holiday options around you- staying hydrated will keep you full and keep the cravings at a low.

6)     Get your friends involved! Turn a least one workout a week into a holiday party. There is no reason you can’t be festive with your workouts.

7)     Be resourceful. When you’re pinched for time, choose a far away parking spot when you’re running your errands.

8)     Keep moderation in mind. When you simply can’t say no, choose 1 portion of your favorite holiday treat and stick to it. 


September 25, 2014

By: John Stull, NSCA-CPT, FMSC, ViPR-PT

Applying healthy habits to your everyday eating patterns accelerate your results towards a happier, healthier, leaner body, and mind. If you can keep these five habits in mind at every meal, you will soon improve your body composition as well as your mood, energy, sleep, digestion, and workouts!


Have you ever left a restaurant or the dinner table feeling satisfied only to be hit by the stomach pains of overeating? Eating slow is critical in making changes to your diet. Slow down, listen to hunger and appetite cues, and finish eating at the right time. It takes about 20 minutes for food to travel from our mouth to our stomachs and for our brain to get the signal that our stomach is full. Attention to this habit could quickly put you on track and keep your from consuming too many calories. 

Tips from Dr. Berardi and the Precision Nutrition Team

  • Have a seat when you eat 
  • Slow Down 
  • Turn off the TV 
  • Eliminate distractions 
  • Take smaller bites 
  • Chew the food completely and taste it 
  • Put the fork down after every few bites 
  • Have a sip of water between bites 
  • Chat with your dining partner


Be intentional with the habit of eating protein at each meal and you will be well on your way to having to body composition you desire.  Why eat protein dense foods with each meal? Protein keeps you full for a longer period of time, and it promotes lean muscle mass in which the more lean mass we have, the higher our metabolisms stay.  Protein also offers the building blocks necessary for tissue growth and repair, improves bone density, promotes better sleep, lowers blood pressure and increases life span and quality of life. To ensure that you get enough protein in your diet, try to eat at least a palm sized portion of protein 3-4 times a day.

Here are some examples of protein dense foods;

  • Proteinslean meats such as beef, chicken, turkey, bison, venison
  • fish such as tuna, cod, salmon, (wild caught is always the safest and best tasting)
  • eggs
  • beans, legumes, peas, tofu, tempe
  • Protein supplements
  1. milk-based: whey, casein, milk protein blends
  1. plant-based: pea, hemp, rice, so

If you want to fast track your health and fitness to achieving the best you possible, eating protein dense food with each meal is a necessary habit to implement in your everyday nutrition. Looking for a great protein supplement, recipes, or more tips? Visit


“Eat your vegetables”, something we have all heard from as far back as we can remember. We all have our favorites and we all have those we despise. Hopefully this will motivate even the hard headed veggie haters to try to get a little more veggies in at every meal. Science has demonstrated that in addition to the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) packed into vegetables, there are also important plant chemicals (phytochemicals) that are essential for optimal physiological functioning. Even more interesting is that vegetables (and fruits) provide an alkaline load (a food intake that generates a slightly higher pH value in the body; base forming) to the blood. Since both proteins and grains present acid loads to the blood, it’s important to balance these acids with alkaline-rich vegetables and fruits. Here is how to ensure that you are getting enough vegetables:

Include at least two servings of vegetables and or fruits, (emphasis on vegetables) per meal.
Remember, one medium-sized fruit, 1/2 cup raw chopped fruit or vegetables, and 1 cup of raw, leafy vegetables each equal one serving.
Work up to getting around 10 servings a day for ideal function.
Here are 5 super fruits and veggies you will always want in your diet.

Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower)
Mixed berries


Do you like bread, pasta, rice, and or other starchy carbohydrates? Well the good news is that you do not have to forgo these foods you love. Follow these two guidelines and carbs can actually work in your favor. 

  1. Eat starchy carbohydrates after vigorous exercise lasting more than an hour. 
  2. Choose the unprocessed and unrefined carbohydrates. Yes, that means kick those pop tarts and sugary cereals to the curb! 

After bouts of moderate to vigorous exercise, your body can best tolerate carbohydrates and actually store them as good energy in the form of muscle glycogen rather than store the carbohydrates as fat. If your goal is to lose fat then you probably have plenty of glycogen in your muscles for energy, if you eat an excess of carbohydrates at a time when your body is not in need of them, then you will just pack those excess carbs on in the form body fat.  starchy-carbsExamples of starchy whole foods to utilize after workouts:

  • corn
  • quinoa
  • oats 
  • long grain rice 
  • sprouted or whole grain breads and pastas

Examples of *refined sugary carbs to avoid;

  • fruit juice
  • soda
  • sports drinks 
  • most nutrition bars


In the 90s, the “low-fat” fad was in full force. Every other food package advertised LOW FAT! Well we now know that about 30% of a person’s diet should come from a balance of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. Consider this, healthy fats are what we consider a calorie dense food meaning; they pack a calorie punch! So when adding more fats to you diet, most people only need one thumb sized portion of fat at each meal. This means only 8-10 almonds, 1/4th of an avocado, or 1 tablespoon of natural nut butter. You can achieve an optimal balance of healthy fats through eating a balance of foods such as; 

  • monounsaturated fats 
    • extra virgin olive oil
    • some nuts
    • avocados
  • polyunsaturated fats 
    • some nuts
    • some vegetable oils
    • fish oil supplements
  • saturated fats 
    • lean beef
    • fish (wild caught)
    • poultry

If you feel like your diet needs a serious overhaul and you have a lot of bad dietary habits, then you should tackle these habits one at a time. If you overeat at every single meal and always feel bloated and miserable, then your main focus should be on Habit 1: Eat slowly and stop at 80% full. Once you get a grip on Habit 1, then you can move on to habit 2.   REFERENCE: THE ESSENTIALS OF SPORT AND EXERCISE NUTRITION. JOHN BERARDI, PHD; RYAN ANDREWS, MS, MA, RD.  2013 PRECISION NUTRITION. INC. PG 346-352.


September 12, 2014

By now you’ve probably heard of Hot Yoga, and hopefully you have experienced the laundry list of benefits that accompany radiant heat. Since the Hot Studio has opened at Wilson’s on Forum we’ve introduced two of the most popular fitness trends and combined them into one building the first Hot Barre program! It is the fastest, most effective program to burn calories and get toned! What could possibly be next? Say hello to one more incredible hot class we’re adding into the mix! We’re bringing you Hot Pilates!

With a mix of Mat Pilates and the added benefits of radiant heat, Hot Pilates will strengthen your core like never before! The program will incorporate magic circles, balls, and bands to add challenge and variety. Modifications will be utilized to assist in proper form. Your muscle will build with progressive abdominal movements and back strengthening exercises. The heat will get your muscles warm and ready to work as we strengthen and lengthen for a strong core and better posture.

Now at the District we’re bringing you Hot Yoga, Hot Barre, and Hot Pilates! Make your way to class with your mat, towel, water bottle, and get ready for the new 30-minute burn at 95 degrees!


August 5, 2014

If you haven’t driven by Wilson’s Fitness on Rangeline lately, you’ll have to make a detour and come check it out! The progress is speeding up and the windows were installed before we could post the new photo! You see the large expansion, but what’s the plan inside?

1. Mind and Body Studio. High ceilings and huge picture windows create a beautiful atmosphere conducive for specialty classes Studio Barre and Aerial Yoga. 2. Group Fitness Studio. Located behind the Mind and Body Studio, the room is twice the size of the current group fitness studio with all new sound equipment-controlled up front by instructor- and state of the art speakers. Lights hung from heigh ceilings enhance the experience. Equipment including kettle bells will be stored behind the galvanized steel doors (think, garage doors) that will lift with the push of a button. 3. Foyer For Studios. A comfortable area to gather before and after class with cubbies for storage and couches for easy socializing. Doors for both studios open onto this foyer. 4. Cardio/Weights. Cardio equipment will line the wall overlooking Big Bear through spacious windows. Expansive floor space for weight equipment and free weights increases the current offering exponentially. 5. Stretching Area. L-shaped padded floor under high ceilings for stretching and floor work overlooks the intersection of Rangeline and Big Bear through big beautiful windows. 6. SGPT Area. Large space for small group personal training housing the Synrgy 360 and other equipment will be available to members when groups aren’t in session. 7. Multi-Purpose Room. The current group studio will house 12-foot wide turf for 2 sleds, a heavy bag, a deadliest platform, boxing stations for sparring practice, and stations for battle ropes. Some BodyPump equipment will remain as GRIT classes and GRIT games will be held in this room. 8. Retail Spaces. Underneath the main level several spaces for lease are available to vendors. Potential for shops, offices, and even restaurants with an available patio will enhance convenience for members as well as attract the public. And with a drive-thru on the property, can anyone say, coffee, please? Interested in leasing? Contact 573.881.6010 9.Additional Parking. In front of the retail shops, an extended driveway and parking space.


By: John Stull, NSCA-CPT, FMSC, ViPR-PT

July 29, 2014 MAKE YOUR GOALS S.M.A.R.T.
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-focused, and Timely!

Look at the big picture first, where do you want to be? To set effective goals you must first identify the mountain top you want to climb. Then work backwards and plan how you will get there.

July of 2024, I am a competitive sprint athlete and I place in the top 5 every race at 225lbs.
July of 2019, I won my very first Triathlon and beat my personal record of 61 minutes in the Clydesdale category.
July of 2015, I just competed in my first elite division triathlon and finished in the top 20 with a time of 71 minutes.
January of 2015, I can swim freestyle with little effort and great technique, because I hired a swim coach and have been practicing 2-3 a week for the past 6 months.
July 17th of 2014, I make every workout session and I am committed 110% to my training program.
Whether it be in my career, my fitness/health, or in my personal life, I always like to set a 10 year goal, a 5 year goal, a 1 year goal, a 6 month goal, and a 1 month goal for each area. Every month I check my plan, adjust according to my results, and get back on my path. WHAT QUALIFIES AS A GOAL?
Specific: Goals should be simplistically written and clearly define what you are going to do. Specific is the what, why, and how of the S.M.A.R.T. model. Measurable: Goals should be measurable so that you have tangible evidence that you have accomplished the goal. Usually, the entire goal statement is a measure for the project, but there are usually several short-term or smaller measurements built into the goal. Attainable: Goals should be realistic, make smaller goals along the way to get you to your long term goal.

Results-focused: Goals should measure outcomes, not activities.
Time-bound: Goals should be linked to a time frame that creates a practical sense of urgency, or results in tension between the current reality and the vision of the goal. Without such tension, the goal is unlikely to produce a relevant outcome.Writing your goals as if they already happened will put the end in your reach. Revisit your goals daily and visualize where you want to be over and over again. Then get to work. Dreaming is not enough, you must put in the hard work. Goals are dreams with deadlines.

Be careful, share your goals with the wrong people and negativity will likely infect your dream. You should share your goals with, positive, like minded people. Positive people will hold you accountable and support you on your journey!

John is a NSCA-CPT. John specializes in small group personal training and loves to instruct Boot Camps for fitness and weight loss. John’s favorite motto is “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work” because there is nothing more powerful than the support of a community!

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