By Stephanie Van Ness, CSCS
The Elkhoury family - mom Grace, dad Rich and daughter Leah - are regulars at the 6:30 pm ARX classes, usually working out together in a small, fast-moving group. To say they are competitive with each other is an understatement. "We like working out together so we can push each other," Rich said. "I can't let them win!"
That's a heavy task, though. Grace, a yoga and spin instructor, is a tornado of movement, easily lifting, pushing and pulling weight that impress those around her. "I heard about ARX through Groupon," she said. "For me working out is part of my everyday life. I do it for my health, both body and mind. I was looking for something new because my body was getting too adapted to what I had been doing. I like ARX because it offers an effective strength and conditioning program featuring functional movements using body weight or a number of tools in a nice, big space. And I definitely appreciate the importance given to warming up at the beginning and stretching at the end."
Leah, who can be found dancing during every single workout - even when she hates the music - has the benefit of youth as a high school student working out with a crowd of adults. (Her mom promised her a shopping spree at Lululemon if she agreed to try ARX for a week. That was a year ago.) She counts band work among her favorite exercises. "I like anything we do with those bands around the ankles because I can always feel it the next morning. I know I've been working," she said.
As Grace and Leah excel, Rich takes it all in stride. A business owner with a penchant for fitness and fine cigars, he eggs Grace and Leah on at every turn. If Grace can jump over five foam blocks, Rich has to leap six. If Grace can box jump the tallest box 10 times, Rich has to do it 11. And on and on. Good-natured one-upmanship rules in this family!
When asked how he got started at ARX, Rich said, "My wife dragged me." But clearly, he's enjoying his time here. In fact, he's been known to throw in a split leap or two during the warm up. To that, Grace and Leah just roll their eyes. "Of course I love my parents," Leah said. "But if it ever looks like I'm trying to avoid them, I probably am. I get enough of them at home. Grace who? Rich who?"
But all joking aside, Grace offers insight on what all the Elkhourys feel about ARX. "What I like about the workouts are the knowledgeable trainers - they're quick to offer a modification or substitute a different exercise if I need it - and the fact that classes are offered morning, noon and evening so there's no excuse not to exercise. And there's a nice camaraderie among all the ARXers."
"I especially love that I get to spend an hour almost every night with my husband and daughter, working out together," she said. Family bonding by swinging a sledgehammer together. That's what ARX is all about!