Trainer Spotlight: John Wierzbicki

With over 15 years of combined coaching and personal training experience, John is extremely passionate when it comes to helping others reach their health and fitness goals. He is a believer that everyone is an athlete, regardless if they’ve ever participated in a sport or not. In addition to challenging his clients, John currently challenges himself by training year round to compete in Professional Beach Volleyball tournaments and Stand Up Paddle Board races. If you plan to come to one of John’s classes at TRAINology, come ready to work! He loves to be creative with his programming and his ultimate goal is to give participants, regardless of their age or abilities, the opportunity to feel like an athlete.

 

How did you get started in the fitness community?

Long story short… athlete since I could walk, started coaching youth athletes at the age of 15, played volleyball collegiality and continued to coach club volleyball… this is when I started to develop a passion for fitness for myself as well as for my athletes. Became a professional volleyball coach out of college, transitioned out of coaching volleyball full time to run a fitness center in the northwest suburbs, slowly realized that I wasn’t happy with my job as a manager and wanted to find a way to make my own schedule but still have the ability to have an impact on people’s lives similar to when I was coaching volleyball. Received my personal training certification and the rest is history :)

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What drew you to the industry?

The ability to have a positive impact on people’s lives every day is really what drew me in to becoming a fitness professional. I missed coaching both individuals and teams and becoming a Personal Trainer provided me with the opportunity to do both again.

 

Tell us about your journey to Trainology. How did you get here?

I learned about Trainology from Trainology’s very own Mitch! He told me about how great the classes were and even more so how amazing Michael was. He was not mistaken about either.

 

What do you love most about working at Trainology?

Besides meeting a new group of individuals to challenge on a daily basis in my classes, I really love the people I work with. We have an amazing staff of trainers here! Everyone has a story similar to mine with a their own unique start in the fitness industry and I truly believe we make each other stronger because we all bring our own individual experiences and strengths to the table to make us a great team.

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How do you motivate clients?

I try and constantly remind my clients about why they are there training with me. Remind them about their health and fitness goals and why those goals are important to them. Usually we as individuals are the best motivators for ourselves, sometimes we just need a little guidance and inspiration from time to time to get us back on track… that’s where I come in! I also believe in practicing what I preach, so I constantly challenge myself when it comes to my daily workouts in addition to living an overall healthy lifestyle to show my clients that it is possible. You just need to want it!

 

 

Some days can be long and draining, especially as the temperatures drop. How do you stay energized?

I am a unique breed… borderline Energizer Bunny. I contribute a lot of that due to the healthy lifestyle I live. I get to bed early, wake up early (3:30 am almost every day), eat a large breakfast, bike everywhere year round, and workout 5-6 days a week for 2 hours. Most people would read that and it would make them tired just thinking about it, but due to the fact that I am so active, it believe it provides me with a lot of energy to get through every day.

 

Who inspires you? Why?

Far too many people to list, but if I were to pick just one it would be my high school physical education teacher Mr. Ring. He had an amazing personality that was contagious. Fun, upbeat, and also challenged you to be a better person, not just physically, but as an all around human being.

 

How would you describe your fitness personality?

Scary enough very similar to the person who inspires me, Mr. Ring. Whether I’m teaching a class, training a client, or working out myself, I like to think I have fun, bring high energy to the table, but also inspire others to be the best version of themselves.

 

What can we expect in your class?

– I will challenge you with a lot of body weight movements along with weights

– Lots of kettlebell work

– LOTS of burpees :)

– Emphasis on technique and form

– Wide variety of music

– Fun atmosphere that will push and motivate you through your workout

 

When you aren’t at Trainology teaching or training, what can we find you doing?

Training my clients, going through one of my 2 hour workouts, playing beach volleyball at North Ave Beach or Oak St. Beach, standup paddle boarding on Lake Michigan, eating!

 

What does your personal fitness routine look like?

Usually lasts around 2 hours…

5-10 minutes of foam rolling

10 minutes of dynamic/mobility warm-up

20-30 minutes of power work with olympic lifts; barbell and kettlebell

30-60 minutes of strength training

15 minutes of core training

10 minutes of stretching

5 minutes of foam rolling

…want to join?!

 

Are you training for anything currently? If so, what?

Next summer’s beach volleyball season as well as a professional standup paddle board race in North Carolina in April.

 

What’s your fitness mantra?

Everyone’s an athlete

 

What’s your pre and post-workout go-to fuel?

Pre Workout – Lots of water and fresh fruits. Usually nothing within an hour of working out.

Post Workout – Gatorade Protein Bar or Muscle Milk w/ lots of water or preferably a full meal

 

What are some of your favorite local Chicago spots to frequent?

North Avenue Beach

Oak Street Beach

Lake Michigan

Lincoln Park Zoo

Fiesta Mexicana Restaurant

Hawks games!

 

 

 

 

Halloween Tricks & Treats

With Halloween just around the corner, we rounded up some favorite tips and tricks, along with

festive photos, from our TRAINology instructors. Questions asked to our lovely TRAINology team:

  • Favorite Halloween costume?
  • In a nutshell, what does your normal daily diet look like?
  • Favorite Halloween treat?
  • Favorite Halloween trick?

Enjoy the fun our TRAINology team had in their answers!

April Torneby:

  • My mom made me a ladybug costume when I was a kid. It was adorable with a huge black and red shell made out of lots of felt. This is definitely my all time favorite costume.
  • I try as often as possible to eat clean. Whole foods with an emphasis on lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean plant based proteins. I also try to eat mostly foods I prepare myself. I find this keeps my diet healthier and less
  • Anything pumpkin!
  • I love seasonal themes so I try and take that spin on healthier options such as homemade pumpkin protein bars, pumpkin smoothies, and pumpkin spice oatmeal.

Michael Wollpert:

  • Lady Gaga — bad romance album.  Amazing wig.
  • No breads, Very high in veggies balanced protein and I love Hummus!
  • Almost anything chocolate!
  • Fav trick when I was a kid — I put a filled Dixie cup of water on top of my sisters door…so when she pushed to open it; she got soaked!  Tip: have the door slightly ajar to ensure the push and have the cup slightly on the outside of the top of the door.

Mitchell Arce:

  • I have had a few fun and original costumes, but my absolute favorite is being a secret service agent to a cardboard cutout of Barak Obama. We guarded him all over the bars at Iowa State and even got to cut the lines since we were rolling with POTUS.
  • I do my own meal preps once or twice a week. This means I have a lot of my meals ready to go on a daily basis. Lately it’s been something like this: Mini egg frittatas w/ green or red juice, Ground turkey & Quinoa meatballs, Slow cooked chicken and pepper stew w/ basmati rice, Vegan protein and avocado smoothie
    Chicken, hummus, and salsa wrap. Snacks: Energy balls, Kind bar. Fruit: plums, clementines, mango, pineapple. Whole fat yogurt w/ granola and honey. My meal preps only take a couple hours so it frees up a lot of time for me during the week. This is very important for me because, as you can see, I eat a LOT.I have done a lot of research on what I should eat, when I should eat it, and why it’s important to have in your diet. I’m my own guinea pig. This is also why I try to emphasize how important it is to do your own research and find out what not only works, but what works for the individual. It can be overwhelming but once you figure out what works for you, you’ll find yourself feeling less guilty about indulging in those Halloween goodies 😉
  • It’s my mom’s homemade pumpkin pie. She would make it from scratch and I could eat the entire thing in one sitting if someone would let me. Nobody ever has though…
  • Energy balls! NomNomNom! They’re all natural and give quite the energy kick midday when your sweet tooth kicks in. A friend made them for me on my birthday. I have yet to be able to replicate them myself.

Meredith Meravy:

  • My all-time favorite Halloween costume was dressing up as Hulk Hogan. So much fun letting my inner hulkamaniac run wild…brother!
  • I am gluten-free and stick to clean-eating as much as possible. I find this is what makes my body feel the best and gives me tons energy!
  • I am a SUCKER for Candy Corn, especially the ones shaped like little pumpkins :)
  • My favorite healthy snack is SO easy it’s crazy: banana “ice cream”. All you do is put a frozen banana in a food processor and blend it up until it becomes creamy. You can jazz it up with some cinnamon/peanut butter/cocoa powder, or add in some of your favorite berries. The possibilities are endless!

Lucy Stubler:

  • A horse
  • Coffee and yogurt in the morning, Grape tomatoes and cucumbers with balsamic and pepper as a snack, chicken breast or quinoa over spinach for lunch, dinners are always a protein, roasted veggies, and a grain usually
  • Reese’s!
  • Self control – monitor my candy intake!!

Tori Karsten:

  • I love costumes that are a play on words, I like to try and be crafty and think beyond the standard cat, mummy or clown (nothing wrong with those at all, yes I have been them all in the past too). I’ll never forget my teacher coming in as the world-wide-web. She made a globe and put a spider web all around it.
  • Normally I look to find protein (usually chicken, fish and eggs) at every meal and a lot of veggies and some healthy fats. Meal planning is key and having a good snack on the go is important for me! Mixed nuts are my weakness for sure!
  • The sugar pumpkin cookie from my bakery in Oak Park is a favorite of mine. Best sugar cookies anyway with the Halloween pumpkin decoration!
  • Pumpkin Spice Granola! All the right amount of sweetness and fall spices you need! Add a little almond milk, yogurt or just eat it plain…YUM!

Wes Showalter:

  • Sorority Girl in Delta Iota Kappa
  • Eggs and meat or avocado in the AM, some form of carbohydrate with protein in the afternoon (depending on lift/training that day) and healthy dinner in the evening with snacks sprinkled throughout the day, sometimes dessert as well
  • CANDY CORN
  • Ding Dong Ditch/Prank Phone Calls

Jessica Ribaudo:

  • I was ghostbusters with a friend one year and it was an awesome homemade costume!
    • Breakfast hard boiled eggs or Greek yogurt and fresh fruit. BLACK coffee and a lot of it!!
    • Lunch: salad with lean protein – salmon, chicken, or chopped nuts. Dinner: protein, whole grain (quinoa or brown rice), roasted veggies
  • Non-chocolate candy!
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds with olive oil and chili powder & garlic powder!

John Wierzbicki:

  • This is a hard one to answer as I had so many awesome Halloween costumes growing up. I was lucky enough that my mom was very gifted and hand made all of my costumes. Some of my favorites would be a Ghostbuster, Mad Scientist, and Superman, but if I have to choose just one I would go with when I dressed up as a Cowboy. I remember even after Halloween playing with that costume on a regular basis. One of my favorite adult costumes was when I dressed up as Marty McFly, which included the classic puffy vest and a portable cassette player with Huey Lewis & the News blasting through those spongy headphones. I also really enjoy my go to 70’s costume! Although the leisure suit is a one sit fits most, it fits me as if it was tailored specifically for my body. It’s scary! Along with the high top boots and huge afro, it’s like I’ve traveled through time.
  • Very clean and healthy, but I consume a lot! I’ve been referred to as a bottomless pit. On average I’ll consume anywhere from 4-5 thousand calories a day.
  • No question, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!
  • Favorite Halloween trick… classic Ding Dong Ditch. Of course not completed until all candy has been collected throughout the neighborhood.
  • Healthy Alternative Snack… Diana’s Banana Bites. Their chocolate covered frozen banana bites. Great alternative to ice cream! 100 calories per serving so they won’t break the bank and ruin your day if you’re watching your calorie intake.

Liz Dannenberg:

  • This rabbit coming out of the magician’s hat was my favorite Halloween costume.
  • My daily diet is mostly vegetarian, all whole foods – nothing processed – gluten and dairy free.
  • Homemade caramel apples.

 

reFreshii with TRAINology

TRAINology Fitness is excited to announce our latest partnership with local health food restaurant freshii! We’ll be teaming up next week to bring you fitness and nutrition education and advice from two top industry experts – TRAINology’s own Michael Wollpert and freshii’s Alex Blair. Please join us next Wednesday, Nov. 4 areFreshiiTrainology jpgt 5 p.m. at the new 1871 freshii location on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart for a fun evening of food and fitness education!

Michael is the owner of TRAINology Fitness and has more than 15 years of experience in the fitness industry. His passion translates into high-intensity but obtainable workouts as he believes fitness should be accessible to everyone. As a triathlete, Ironman, marathon runner and adventure racer, he has developed in-depth knowledge and expertise regarding nutrition and how to properly fuel your body to be its best. Alex has extensive experience as a personal trainer and is also incredibly passionate about exercise and a healthy lifestyle. He’s a freshii franchise owner and is well-versed in all things nutrition.

Michael and Alex will be giving an hour-long talk about fitness and nutrition moderated by A Sweat Life’s Jeana Anderson Cohen. There will be 15-30 minutes after their talk for Q&A from audience members.

Join us this coming Wednesday for this awesome event. TRAINology and freshii will provide food and giveaways all night long! RSVP to allison@trainologychicago.com to secure your spot! We’ll see you there!

 

 

 

TRAINology Indoor Workout Tips with Athleta

At TRAINology Fitness, we’re thrilled to say we’ve had a blast so far as Athleta’s studio of the month. Coaches Wes, Mitch, Lucy and Meredith have instructed fabulous complimentary TRAINology glide/core classes each Saturday in October with great student showings. It’s been so much fun!athleta meredithAdditionally, Meredith sported Athleta’s new Unstinkable apparel that can be worn for multiple workouts without stinking up. Check out their new line and stock up for your fall and winter workouts!

The best part? The fun’s not over yet! Join Coach Tori this Saturday, Oct. 31st for the final TRAINology Glide/Core class of the month! Sport your best Halloween fitness costume and workout in style with her! Finally, keep your eyes peeled for events with TRAINology and Athleta in the near future – lots of fun stuff in store and we can’t wait to share with you all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRAINology Happy Hour

To those whoIMG_6703 came out to the TRAINology happy hour, thank you!

We always always enjoy the opportunity to chat with our members outside of the gym.  We had a lot of  fun and had a great turn out. To those who couldn’t make it, we missed you!

Be sure to check out our blog or Facebook page for upcoming events! We have a lot of great things planned for you at TRAINology!

 

Train – Track – Transform

 

 

 

 

TRAINology Fitness at the Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon is one of the greatest running traditions this country has. Team TRAINology Fitness supported a number of our own athletes running the race this past weekend, including Goce Ristevski, Ella Wood, Karen Corken, Emily Stubler, Jennifer Felner, Kristen Basa, Fiona Carlon and Lisa Harris.

At TRAINology, we are thrilled to support all of the athletes participating in this year’s marathon, including our own! We’re also happy to announce that any runners who bring their bib number in can redeem a free week of TRAINology classes. If you’re interested in training at TRAINology Fitness to prepare for a race, email us at info@trainologychicago.com.

 

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New TRAINology Instructors + Class Times

To keep with the changing of the seasons, we’re changing up our schedule big time! Beginning this week, we’ll be introducing four new instructors and a handful of new class times. Of note, we’re adding 5 a.m. classes on Tuesday and Thursday, and shifting the remaining weekday classes to 6 and 7 a.m. All early morning classes will now be 50 minutes long and start on the hour.

Please note the following class changes:

• Tuesday + Thursday: 5, 6 and 7 a.m. classes

• Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 6 and 7 a.m. classes

• Saturday: 11:30 a.m. class shifting to Hike / Lower Body format • Saturday: Adding Strength45 class at 12:40 p.m.

• Monday – Friday: No longer offering 8:30 a.m. classes

We’re also planning to add a Saturday afternoon Run Total Body class in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that to pop up on the schedule.

We’re thrilled to welcome four new, talented members to our TRAINology team – John Wierzbicki, Liz Dannenberg, Mitchell Arce and Tori Karsten.Please see the full TRAINology schedule to find out when they’ll be teaching beginning this week, and check out the instructors page to learn about their previous experience and background.

We’d love to hear your feedback about our new instructors, class times and anything else TRAINology-related, as we’re always trying to discover new ways to cater to our athletes. Please share your comments, questions and suggestions to info@trainologychicago.com and we’ll get back to you with our thoughts!

TRAINology Fitness: Athleta’s Studio of the Month

 

TRAINology Fitness, Chicago’s best studio for cross-training, is excited to announce we’ll be featured as Athleta’s October Studio of the Month! The TRAINology team will be onsite at the Oak Street Athleta each Saturday throughout the month of October teaching a free 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Glide/Core class. Please join TRAINology team starting Oct. 3!

We’re thrilled about this partnership, as Athleta is an iconic athletic brand with a mission to educate and equip strong, fit and active women with the tools they need to be the best versions of themselves. Athleta strives to be the premier fitness fashion brand for women who see being healthy and fit as vital to life, which aligns with TRAINology’s fitness lifestyle mindset perfectly.

Please join us for a complimentary class at Athleta each Saturday in October. Our Glide/Core class will combine glide board cardio intervals, similar to skating, with core exercises off the board. You’ll burn calories and tone your entire core.

The TRAINology instructor schedule is as follows:

  • Oct. 3 – Wes Showalter
  • Oct. 10 – Mitchell Arce
  • Oct. 17 – Lucy Stubler
  • Oct. 24 – Meredith Meravy
  • Oct. 31 – Tori Karsten

Learn more about our TRAINology Instructors

Athleta is located at 101 E Oak St., just around the corner from the Magnificent Mile and steps away from the scenic playground that is the Chicago Lakefront. After class, step out for a fun activity like running, biking, sailing, paddleboarding, jetskiing – you name it!

To learn more about our partnership and these classes, please visit Athleta’s website or check out their blog to get a better feel for their awesome brand.

Join our Fall Into TRAINology Challenge! #FallIntoTRAIN

Whether it’s back to school, back to work, or simply ramping up for a busy fall, ensure you don’t fall off the wagon with the changing of the seasons! We all know there’s nothing quite better than feeling your best physically and mentally, especially with the holidays approaching.

That’s why we’re encouraging you to #FallIntoTRAIN with us for the month of October! We’ll challenge you to rack up as many MyZone points as possible at TRAINology between Oct. 1 – 31 to kick those bad habits and reclaim your fitness routine so you can get back to feeling like you — amazing.

We’re kicking off the #FallIntoTRAIN fitness challenge at TRAINology on Oct. 1 with a special prize for whoever gets the most points in each class that day! From there, we’ll cheer you on to tally up as many points as possible within the month at any class. The top two participants who get the most miles in will win a grand prize. To participate, just wear your MyZone heart-rate monitor each class. They are available at the front desk for free rental. #FallIntoTRAIN

 

TRAINology Fitness at Bright Pink’s #FitFest

Team TRAINology Fitness participated in this year’s Bright Pink FitFest, a daylong fitness festival to save lives from breast and ovarian cancer. Bright Pink, the only national non-profit organization focused on prevention and early detection of these cancers, is focused on empowering women to live proactively at a young age and put awareness in action. Our team worked hard to fundraise over the months leading up to FitFest to support Bright Pink’s efforts.

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FitFest Chicago, held at the FFC above Union Station, started off with an opening ceremony featuring Olympian Carmelita Jeter, educational information by Bright Pink ambassadors and several touching cancer-related stories to inspire participants as we kicked off the day with a cardio warm-up.

There were endless fitness, health and beauty vendors hosting raffle giveaways and giving out free swag. Team TRAINology participated in not only supporting the beauty vendors to support the cause, but also various fitness classes.

Sweaty, happy and a little bit sore, we called it a day after that. All in all, it was an amazing day benefitting a remarkable cause, and we were so glad to be a part of it! We’ll definitely be back next year – hopefully, teaching!

Team TRAINology has been fundraising to support Bright Pink’s efforts for the past month or so, and is continuing to raise money until Oct. 16. You can donate here.