Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Nov. 5, 2001

Getting in shape with the Winsted Fitness Center

By Ryan Gueningsman

"We used to work out in our basement, but there were just too many distractions," said Tara Helmbrecht.

"So, we wanted to make a place where people can come in at any time of the day, and work out in peace, without many of the distractions of home."

The outcome of their idea ­ the Winsted Fitness Center ­ has been in business for the past two years at 115 First Street North.

"We had all this equipment in the basement, and once you started working out, the phone would ring, or the washer would stop, or someone would come to the door ­ it was just too easy not to do it," said Tara.

They decided to move their equipment into the old Winsted Flower Shop building and start up. The Helmbrechts decided to do a "Key Club," which enables members to have 24-hour a day access to the fitness center.

"We really just did that for the convenience," said Joyce. "There are some people that come here at 3 or 4 in the morning, because that's the only time their busy schedules allow."

When people become a member of the fitness center, they will receive a key to the building to allow them access at all times.

The new member is shown all the equipment by either Joyce or Tara, and if they have questions, that is the time to get them answered.

"A lot of times, people are not sure what they need to do, or what they can do, without hurting themselves," said Joyce. "So we are there several hours each night to answer questions, and we also have a lot of books and magazines that show how to do the exercises."

Along with treadmills, exercise bikes, and bench presses, the Winsted Fitness Center also offers a variety of different equipment to get a full workout.

They have a Reebok Elliptical Trainer, which is a cross between a stepper, a bike, and a treadmill. It's really easy on the joints and uses the arms and legs at the same time, said Tara.

A cardio-glider is used for a total body workout as well, working the arms and legs, said Joyce.

There is also a multi-stack gym, which enables three people to work out on the same machine at the same time.

"The newest piece of equipment is a weight-assisted dip machine, used for pull-ups, which works the calves and quads," said Joyce. "We see all the stuff on TV ­ the infomercial stuff, and a lot of people ask us for those types of things, so we have a lot of that stuff too."

Joyce and Tara recommend trying to set yourself to a four to five times a week workout schedule.

Sometimes, however, that's not always possible, and some people don't work out that much, so it's really different with each person.

The Fitness Center offers the conveniences of home ­ without the distractions.

They have a TV/VCR so people can bring in movies to watch while they workout, and there is also a radio with a CD player, bathroom, shower, and lockers for members to use.

"We're planning on having another open house for people to come in and check out what we have here to offer," said Tara.

The open house will be Saturday, Nov. 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. with refreshments being served.

You can also contact Tara at (320) 485-1148 or Joyce at (320) 485-3969 to arrange an appointment to check out what the fitness center has to offer.

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