2010-05-27 / Business

‘Solution’ is movement & fuel, instead of diet & exercise

Fitness Solutions in No. Brunswick puts new business model into ‘motion’
BY JENNIFER AMATO Staff Writer

NORTH BRUNSWICK — The focus at Fitness Solutions on Livingston Avenue in North Brunswick is movement, more than just exercise alone.

“You know you have to move for the rest of your life … so let’s find better and more creative ways for you to move so you can start living life to its fullest,” owner Michael Rizk said. “We are using someone’s ability to move successfully to gain more strength and range of motion.”

Over the past five years, Fitness Solutions has developed into more than a gym; it’s become more of a wellness center, focusing on personal training, strength training, cardio workouts, pain and injury management, and nutrition counseling. Within the past year or so, the entire business model has changed, adding new programs and services to increase clients’ overall health and well-being.

In terms of group training, there are over 60 45-minute classes offered each month in groups of four to 12. Kettlebells, yoga, running, and total-body circuits are available as total-body conditioning classes or as a supplement to personal training. Each class includes a warm-up and cool down, joint mobility, and three-dimensional strength and movement conditioning. Attendance can be once, twice or unlimited classes per week, based on a month-to-month fee schedule, without any contracts.

In conjunction, a free techniques workshop is held every four to six weeks to make sure everyone has the correct form to reduce the risk of injury.

A new service offered is movement therapy, based on Risk’s training during a 40- week mentorship program called GIFT. He is one of five fellows of applied functional science in New Jersey, and he said he is the only fellow who also has soft-tissue therapy and personal-training skills.

The GIFT program focuses on how the body works biomechanically: why a person is in pain, what the actual cause is, and how to get the person out of pain.

For example, Rizk said, if a knee hurts, it could be the result of the ankle at the bottom of the tibia bone, or the hip, which is at the top of the femur bone, more than just pain in the knee itself. The knee is simply stuck in the middle with few places to go and no place to hide.

“We assess three-dimensionally to assess functionality,” Rizk said. “Everything is connected to everything.”

Through the use of functional manual reaction, Rizk would essentially put his hands on a person’s bones to see if the person is getting the right motion at the right joint at the right time to create the right reaction. The movement therapy is a combination of soft-tissue therapy, functional flexibility and movement conditioning, but is not physical therapy, is not invasive and does not involve medication. The body has an amazing ability to heal itself if given the proper environment to do so, Rizk said.

“We want to create the proper reaction, getting the right bones to move at the right speeds relative to one another,” he said.

An example Rizk used is when a person takes a step, the arch of the foot collapses as it touches the ground. At the same time, the shinbone rotates inward, but faster than the femur bone rotates because the shin is closer to the ankle. This is the correct movement, but if the femur moves more quickly, it could cause knee pain.

“If bones move correctly, the muscles move correctly, and so the nerves become re-educated. … It’s helping the body use motion to get more motion,” he said. “We look at differences in the requirements of the body as specific to the task. … In most pain experiences, some parts of the body are moving too much and some parts are not moving enough. The areas moving too much are often the sites of pain. Through movement therapy, our goal is to manipulate stress to allow for healing to occur.”

Therefore, through triangulation measurements, Rizk can find the angle, height and distance a person can move comfortably, and once pain or restrictions are felt, he can assess why the pain exists, what the actual cause is and how to improve function through manual therapy, functional movements and stretching.

Through coordination, balance, agility and focus, different movements can be tweaked in an infinite number of ways so that “the movement stays the same, but the components of the movement change.”

Rizk said this program is appropriate for anyone suffering from pain, going through rehabilitation, or trying to enhance performance.

Another new program offered is Fuel for Function, held in 12-week private, semi-private and group settings by a registered dietitian. It is based on eight foundations that constitute good eating habits to teach a healthy lifestyle, instead of just telling a person what to eat. The goal is to empower each individual to make the right decisions based on sound principles of nutrition.

Rizk said the average person can lose 25 pounds in the first three months if he or she makes a commitment.

“It’s the right foods at the right time to create the right reaction, based on a scientific standpoint,” Rizk said.

Overall, Rizk said his company’s new business model reflects educating clients so they can continue living healthy, vital lives while teaching others to do so as well.

“Don’t waste your time exercising in a machine — become one,” he said. “Teaching our clients how to explore their bodies’ individual capabilities is the key to longterm healthy movement.”

Fitness Solutions is located at 1014 Livingston Ave. For more information visit www.AFitSolution.com or call 732-249- 9000.

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