Stay Focused. Get Results.

Do you workout once a week? Twice a week? Maybe you workout with a trainer or take classes. But what kind of exercise do you do when you’re alone? Do you push yourself as hard as you could? 
What kind of results would you get if you did all of the homework your personal trainer gave you? Our two-month Health Rx program is designed to show you exactly what you’re capable of. This is not a competition and the prize at the end is a stronger, healthier you. 
This is two months of EXCUSE-FREE workouts guided by a strength and conditioning coach. Meet every weekday to take the guesswork out of your fitness and really reach that next level you’ve always wanted.

REGISTER TODAY for the upcoming September session beginning Monday, September 14. 

Job opening at Magna!

It’s that time again! Magna is looking for another stellar personal trainer to add to the team! Our awesome community of diverse clients continues to grow with the Downtown East development and so do we. Our mission is to teach, not tell our clients, what it means to be healthy for life. So, we aren’t just looking for anyone. We’re looking for the right person to join our team. Is that you?

Not only will you work in a sunny and beautiful, 7500 sq. ft facility, but also side by side with a team of experts, including a chiropractor, nutrition coach, acupuncturist, massage therapists, group fitness instructors, and other personal trainers to provide the very best in health and fitness.

Must be available weekday mornings.  Associates degree and/or NASM, NPTI CPT preferred. Please send your resume and cover letter to for consideration.

A Coach’s Plea to Stop the Donut Crawl Madness

By Laura Horne

This Saturday marks the second annual TC Donut Crawl. What is it you may ask? It’s a fundraiser! It’s social! It’s fun! It’s even sold out this year so it must be good!

You will NOT find me there.

Listen, I’m all about fundraisers and doing things for the greater good. But there has to be a better way to raise money than by encouraging people who live in one of the top ten of the healthiest cities in the US to eat 10 donuts all in an effort to combat local hunger. Oh the irony.

My whole reason for doing what I do is to help people be their healthiest, best selves. When a handful of my clients told me that they are participating in this ridiculousness, I had to speak up. Yes, I understand that you paid $35-$500 for these tickets. You used your hard earned money to donate to those in need. Must you consume 10 donuts too? That is not helping anyone. Just donate the money and go on your way.

No, this is NOT what I mean when I tell you that it’s important not to deprive yourself.

I am all about having treats once in a while and definitely don’t encourage my clients to rob themselves of sweets entirely. But there’s a difference between having a treat and going on a full out binge on a box of donuts.

No, you can’t “work it off” later. It might feel like it after me or whoever trains you gives you the hardest workout of your life (and no, it’s not a coincidence – we do plan these things just to torture you) but the sugar sitting in your body is immediately toxic and doing all sorts of damage (that’s for a later blog, I won’t get into that here).

So deliciousness aside, you’re going to feel like crap afterwards. Those pleasure hormones we call dopamine and serotonin that are released when eating junk food are short-lived. Just wait. Your stomach will soon be bloated, immunity compromised, and blood pressure spiked. You’ll have a major sugar crash, feel tired, and be irritable, just to name a few. Hello! This is your body talking. It’s trying to tell you that something isn’t right and that it’s had enough.

So, my plea to my clients and to anyone who is planning on participating – donate the money then meet me for a group run instead.

Click HERE to donate to Second Harvest Heartland and help feed those in need without eating donuts.

Wendy's Continued Success

In her own words...

I thought I knew a lot about food. I did, because I had lost 60 pounds through healthier eating and exercise. But, as I now know, losing weight is not a straight, downward line. In the fall of 2014, about 12 pounds crept back up on me. Ugh. I'd worked so hard to lose the weight, now I'd have to lose it again! Gearing up for New Year's resolutions in December, I thought I would seek a quick tune-up for my eating. Jenny Halstead, owner of Magna, said something like this to me: "Laura can do amazing work with you." So after a meeting with Laura, I dove in all the way with the Phase 1 Nutrition Program. This is a 4-month program that involves working very closely with Laura and a weigh-in and lesson every two weeks. Of course, there is homework.

I am so glad I went all in! Since Christmas, I have lost 14 pounds, 10.25% body fat and a total of 23 inches! I am in a pants size that I have not seen since the '90s. More importantly, I feel fantastic. Laura also encouraged me to set a new goal so I ran a 10k. I had never run 6 miles in my life before this, but I did, and I finished it according to our plan. Laura helped me with a training schedule and calmed me down when I worried about my training when I got sick, started back up too quickly, and then suffered from my old knee pain. 

Back to my statement that I knew a lot about food. This was not entirely true. I didn't know that I wasn't eating enough protein. I didn't think it would be alright to have both a morning snack and afternoon snack and then even an evening snack. At one point I said to Laura after a weigh-in,  "I want the weight to just fall off!" Looking back on my progress, it did. 

I've been eating 5-6 times a day and losing 1-2 pounds at every weigh-in. I'm not hungry and I'm not feeling deprived at all. At a dinner recently, I was asked,  "Are you still dieting?" I said, "It's not dieting, I'm eating healthy." Laura's method is to make a few changes each week, get into new habits, and you start seeing results. Nothing is more motivating to keep going than when your pants start falling down around your hips.

"Wendy's two biggest keys to success was openness and willingness to change.  When exercising, it is important to choose the right type of workout that fits your goals. Wendy kept an open mind and changed her routine so it would better match her outcome goals. She was also open to my nutrition suggestions and stayed patient as we slowly made changes in her lifestyle. Often times clients come to me who have gone through weight loss programs in the past where the weight falls off rapidly, but that isn't sustainable. I really stress the importance of making changes slowly and changing one thing at a time so it becomes a healthy habit that you use for life. Wendy did just that. I am so proud of her!" - Laura Horne

They say "you cannot out exercise a bad diet." My diet was pretty good but I did feel that if I worked out hard enough that would carry the day. Now I see the impact of food on my shape, my muscle definition, and weight loss. To be successful, it's taken both eating and exercise. Everything Laura says is true. Listen to her. 

Can too much HIIT hurt?

High intensity interval training–also known as HIIT—is all the rage, but why? For starters, it’s usually takes just 30-minutes and packs a greater punch than most other cardio workouts out there. Jumping into that anaerobic heart rate zone, the one where you can’t breathe and your heart is pounding out of your chest, has been proven to give athletes that extra oomph in their sport, helping them to bike harder, run faster, or swim longer. HIIT workouts are a great addition to every training plan. But where do you draw the line? Can too much HIIT actually do more harm than good?

“High intensity” is exactly what it sounds like. It’s meant to stress your body and challenge your muscles, which in turn improves your cardiovascular system’s efficiency. But too much HIIT will cause a torrent of problems. Excessive stress becomes distress and the results are grogginess, fatigue, and increased risk of injury. Your body’s repair mechanisms can’t catch up, so it’s important to know when to take a break or switch up your routine.

How much is too much? If your goal is weight loss, then you should do a maximum of three HIIT workouts per week. Make sure you’re allowing your body to properly recover with well-balanced meals, post-workout recovery drinks, and plenty of stretching. If you’re an athlete looking to gain speed and crush your opponents, no more than two HIIT workouts a week are recommended. Also note that HIIT workouts should be done during the off-season. Your primary workouts should be goal or sport-specific.

HIIT workouts are an excellent way to burn calories throughout the day. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories and fat you’ll burn in the background. However, keep in mind that your body is like a car, and the bigger the engine, the more fuel it’ll need. People often take this as license to gorge themselves on unhealthy foods in exchange for the hard workout they’ve done, which completely negates their efforts. This is why a well-rounded approach to training is critical to weight loss, and far more sustainable. 

Is HIIT right for you? Talk to a personal trainer, explain your fitness goals, and learn how to best incorporate a HIIT into your training plan.

Finding Time to Exercise With a Busy Schedule

Did you know that 1-hour of exercise takes up only 4% of your entire day? Does an hour seem unmanageable right now? How about taking 2% of your day? Here are a few ideas to help break the time apart while beginning a new exercise regimen:

  • Mark down in your schedule 10 minutes per day, 3 times per day, 3 times per week for some exercise
  • Schedule your workouts 30 minutes per day, 3 times per week

Feel like you don’t have the time to get up from your desk to exercise? There are still a few small things you can do each day to help your body! 

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Use a copy machine that is further away 
  • Park your car at the last spot in the parking lot
  • Do jumping jacks while you are waiting for a conference call to start (with the phone on mute of course!)

You can also try these exercises without even leaving your desk:

  • Sitting in your chair, lift one leg off the seat, extend it out straight, hold for 2-5 seconds; then lower your foot (stop short of the floor) and hold for several seconds.  Switch; do each leg 15 times.
  • To stretch your back & strengthen your biceps, place your hands on the desk & hang on. Slowly push your chair back until your head is between your arms and you're looking at the floor. Then slowly pull yourself back in.  Again, 15 of these. 
  • To strengthen your triceps, squat in front of your desk chair, with your back facing the chair, & place hands on the edge of the seat.  Slowly bring yourself down so your thighs & triceps are parallel to the floor.  Then come back up again & repeat 10-15 times.

Image credit: GaborfromHungary

15 Classes in 30 Days? No Problem.

Magna didn’t have brackets in March, but we did have a challenge to attend 15 classes in 30 days. With more than a dozen class formats and sixty classes a week to choose from, our teams had their work cut out for them. Teams of three students joined forces and competed to diversify the types of classes they took. And boy, did they eat this challenge up!

Team names were spectacular and creative! 

  • Kicking Assets
  • Triple M
  • Iron Maidens
  • The Protein Balls
  • Globo Perkisystem
  • Team Booty Pop
  • Team BSE
  • Just Grumpy
  • All About That Bass
  • Sharknado
  • Kittenpawcolpse
  • The Bombshells
  • Top Knotch
  • TheBombDotCom

HUGE congratulations to Gayle, Leah, and Kim of TEAM IRON MAIDENS for winning Magna’s 15 IN 30 challenge, by all completing their 15 classes first. These girls really set the bar high for the rest of us!

"I am a competitive person by nature, so give me a challenge and it is "Game On!"  But what made the 15in30 (and even more so with the 30in30) attainable is the variety of classes and different times that Magna offers them.  It made it easy to do two workouts in a day and not feel overexerted or burnt out.  We weren't doing the same thing every day.  And it actually felt great to do a cardio class and weight training class in the same day...or one of the interval training classes followed by yoga.  And with all the different times that classes are offered, I could still get work outs in around my work schedule and personal life.  That and all the different instructors are awesome and somehow make the classes enjoyable while still making you work your butt off!  Now that the challenge is done, I am almost feeling like a slacker for only doing one workout a day!" -Gayle

This challenge was an amazing success! Everyone got involved: clients and staff alike. We all jumped in to new classes we’d never dreamed of trying and really pushed ourselves. Sometimes it’s easier to settle into your comfort zone with the same old workout routine. After all, it can be a little (or a lot) intimidating to pick up a loaded barbell for the first time, or to try to plié without an ounce of grace in your body. But we all know that the real progress comes from pushing yourself to try new things and test your limits. That’s exactly what we asked everyone to do. 

"The 15 in 30 team challenge introduced me to classes I would not have taken, maybe ever, but now I’ve taken them each at least twice and will continue to take them as they fit in my schedule." -MJ

Look at our regular, Friday night, Grumpy Fitness crew, for example. While well accustomed to intense cardio and strength training with heavy ropes and tires, the micro-movements and small muscle group training of a barre class proved to be unexpectedly difficult, but a lot of fun. Likewise, many of our barre students had never smashed a sledgehammer against a tire. We changed that.

Our mission at Magna is to teach people to be healthy for life. This was a great way to challenge our awesome community to reach for new goals and feel the rush of success once they’ve been met. Many teams not only reached the goal of 15 classes in 30 days but also formed great friendships along the way.

Some even went a step further and conquered 30 classes in 30 days. A very special shout-out goes to Gayle, Kym, Abbie, and MJ for climbing that mountain!

Coach Laura on the News

Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10, Minneapolis, MN - March is National Nutrition Month and Magna's brilliant nutrition coach Laura Horne was featured on both KARE11 and FOX9. She provided viewers 5 simple tips for better nutrition. Tips included drinking more water, using your hand as a guide for portion control, making a super shake, planning ahead when dining out, and switching up breakfast. Watch both of the segments below.

Interested in working with Coach Laura on improving your health and nutrition? She can help! Schedule a free consult HERE!

Portion Control

Calorie counting is often complicated, tedious, and inaccurate, so weʼve come up with an easier way to control calorie intake. No weigh-scales or measuring cups; no calculators or smart phones. You just need your hand and the ability to count to 2. To build your meals, include:


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2 palms of protein dense foods

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2 fists of vegetables

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2 cupped hands of carb dense foods

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2 entire thumbs of fat dense foods


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1 palm of protein dense foods

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1 fist of vegetables

1 cupped hand of carb dense foods

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1 entire thumb of fat dense foods

Trisha's Success Story

I came to Magna for a number of reasons. The first being that I was tired of looking and feeling the way I did: from the dreaded swimsuit shopping in the beginning of summer, to the constant feeling of disappointment looking in the mirror each day. And that was just the physical appearance. Prior to starting at Magna, I had tried countless times to lose weight, get in the habit of working out, eat healthier, etc. I would always say, “This is the week I’m going to change, this is the week I’ll do things differently”. Yet it never happened. Clearly I was doing something wrong and I was so discouraged. I knew that if I actually wanted to change, I’d need guidance.

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This is where Alex Badrawi comes in. Alex and I went to high school together, so when I heard that he had become a personal trainer, I immediately contacted him to find out more about where and how I could get started. During my first consultation with Alex we discussed my goals. It was hard for me to set a measurable goal. I couldn’t think of an exact amount of weight I wanted to lose; All I knew was I wanted to lose weight. I think my exact first words were, “Alex, make me skinny”.

"I needed someone to push me past my comfort zone."

Well, he did much more than that. He taught me how to be healthy, in all aspects of my life. Alex worked with me individually for one day a week. He focused on strength and weight training, as well as cardio. Each week he sent me homework, which I would complete on the side. He checked in to make sure that I was following the homework guide, making healthy eating choices, etc. He genuinely cared and that was very apparent. In the beginning of training I expressed to him that I needed a push. I needed someone to push me past my comfort zone. He did just that. Knowing that he was keeping tabs on me throughout the weeks held me much more accountable. I also attended different classes at Magna such as HIIT.

On average I was working out between 4-5 times per week. It wasn’t easy, but once I saw even the slightest progress like my jeans being too big, or the scale going down just a couple pounds, I was hooked and I knew there was no going back. Each week it got easier and became more habitual. I looked forward to going to the gym, I looked forward to cooking new and healthy recipes and most importantly, I looked forward to waking up each day with a new outlook on life. It was a complete lifestyle change, which led to my physical transformation. 

January 2015, just a little under a year from when I started with Alex, I went in for measurements. I lost a total of 50 pounds and 32 inches. I started with a body fat percentage of close to 35% and now I am down to 18%. But for me, it goes much further beyond the numbers. There is no metric for describing how much happier I am in life. Throughout this transformation, Alex has instilled my confidence back in me. He has given me the essential tools that I will use to continue to be successful in my journey.

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step in your life; tip toe if you must, but take that step.”  -Unknown

Magna has changed my life, forever.

Barre Sponsored by Athleta

Join us for FREE Cardio Barre every Monday in March at 12pm.

In addition to a fun and energized 50-minute Cardio Barre with expert instructor Christine Reiser, each class will feature awesome giveaways. Stop in to the Athleta at 50th and France Ave in Edina after class with the flyer you receive to enter a raffle for a $25 Athleta shop card and a special gift from Magna. Magna gifts include a t-shirt and shaker bottle, foam roller, and even a 60-minute massage!

Questions from Our Clients: Detox

Q&A with Magna’s health coach, Jenni Floring

There is a lot of buzz around our Group Detox beginning February 1st!  Here are some of the questions we have been getting from our clients…

Q: Why detox?

A: The detox is perfect for people looking to “reset” or to get rid of any sort of propensity towards sugar or carb addiction (we’ve ALL been there!). It can also help to increase energy, decrease inflammation, loose weight safely and naturally, and uncover food sensitivities. The program is designed to allow you to discover the foods that work best for YOUR unique body, and the best part?  We eat REAL FOOD.  No pills, no powders. All of our programs are designed to allow you to carry what you have learned into your everyday life. I believe in teaching sustainable practices that allow my clients to have to tools necessary to be healthy for life. 

Q: What does the detox entail? 

A: Each day, you will receive an email guiding you through the detox that is broken down into three phases. Phase One is four days and is the “pre detox”. During this phase you essentially read through all the materials, look through the recipes (there are over 60!), and review the meal planner and shopping list. Phase Two is the actual detox that lasts seven days. During this phase we remove all of the common allergens such as dairy, wheat, grains, soy, alcohol, yeast, nuts, eggs, caffeine and refined sugar, and we eat whole, unprocessed foods.  Phase Three is the “post detox” where we slowly begin adding the removed foods back in, and this is often where people identify hidden food intolerances that have been draining their energy and making them feel less than optimal. We also work with a lot of the emotional aspects of detoxing. When I work with my clients, I work with their entire wellbeing: emotional, physical, and mental. Although nutrition is important, it’s not the only factor we need to consider when looking at complete wellness.

Q: How can I benefit from doing the detox in a group?

Have you heard the phrase, “It takes a village?”  When we surround ourselves with community, we foster an environment of support and encouragement. At Magna, we are running the detox in a group format, which I am super excited about.  We will meet at 10am for 90-minutes every Sunday for three weeks.  We will discuss the detox, challenges, successes, and come together as a community to support each other through the experience.  We will also be incorporating yoga/meditation and mindfulness practices during the workshops.  If you can’t attend the meetings, you can still be part of the community through our private Facebook forum, which is a fun way to keep in contact.  If you would rather go through the detox on an individual basis, we also offer that as an option. 
Q: How do I know if this program is right for me? 

A: Let’s chat! At Magna, we offer free consultations intended to discuss your goals and how we can help you reach them!


BODYPUMP® Launch Party at Magna

Saturday, January 17, Minneapolis, MN – This past weekend, Magna hosted a launch party of the latest version of Les Mills BODYPUMP®. With displays from local businesses, Lole and Sprout Nourishment, it was an exciting morning. Clients were given a chance to check out this awesome resistance training class for free!

Every three months, Les Mills releases a new BODYPUMP® to keeps things fun and fresh for students. Ten choreographed resistance training sequences are paired with some of today’s most popular music for a challenging and high energy workout. This type of high repetition and low weight training is an excellent way to burn fat, build strength and endurance, and gain lean muscle mass.

“I was really excited to introduce BODYPUMP® to so many new students!" explains Coach Kim. "It’s a great workout and a perfect way to cross train and complement your weekly Barre classes.  Like I said on Saturday, I teach hard classes! It’s a tough workout, but it flies by because of the music and the strong group energy.”  

Interested in checking out BODYPUMP® yourself? Register now!

Susan's Success Story

Imagine being able to eliminate chronic pain, for good, without medications or surgery. Envision a treatment plan that’s not accompanied by a daunting list of side effects and doesn’t have the potential for worsening symptoms. With treatment options that include chiropractic and acupuncture, Magna clients are benefitting and seeing improvements in their health everyday through natural and drug-free plans.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common conditions we see in our clients. It is pain and inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes. If you have it, you know it, and it is painful. It can affect anyone from runners and athletes to people who are sedentary or those that wear shoes with poor support. The majority of people suffering from plantar fasciitis are forced to live with it because there aren’t any treatments that seem to work. Over the counter pain relievers and ice only provide temporary relief and while orthotics can alleviate symptoms, they often don’t address the core cause of symptoms. Steroid injections yield a handful of nasty side effects and surgery runs the risk of permanent damage to the arch of the foot.  

The stabbing heel pain of plantar fasciitis was all too familiar to Susan. After two years of chronic pain from the condition, she came to Magna in July of 2014 hoping to find relief. She explained that, “After trying physical therapy, religiously using shoe inserts, and wearing a brace at night, nothing worked to completely resolve the pain I had with walking.” The integrated team of health and fitness providers at Magna decided to attack Susan’s heel pain from multiple angles, with a primary focus on chiropractic care.

“After about 2 months of weekly adjustments and ultrasound treatments from Dr. Tara, the pain is completely resolved and I’ve been pain free for several weeks now, without using the inserts or the night brace. I’ve been converted to a true believer through the course of therapy Dr. Tara prescribed. I am so appreciative of the well-rounded care offered by Magna, where I’m also benefitting from acupuncture, as well as fitness and nutrition coaching.”

Magna’s acupuncturist Emily Clark explains: “Susan is a great example of how consistent treatments can restore balance within the body and ultimately facilitate it to heal itself." Both Acupuncture and Chiropractic are practiced around the basic premise that our bodies have an innate intelligence and are self-healing. Well-trained practitioners in both fields are able to identify imbalances that deter healing and set a course of action to restore balance. This is not just covering up symptoms; it is identifying the root cause and setting up a treatment plan focused on removing the cause of the symptoms altogether. Ultimately, this helps people move toward optimal health and function. Symptom relief is really just a fantastic side effect. 

Fight Like a Girl

In light of recent situations downtown, Magna hosted a free Krav Maga workshop on Sunday, November 16th. The workshop, led by Paula Meyers, International Krav Maga Federation Certified Instructor, was held specifically for women working in the downtown area. These gals were taught the self-defense skills to help protect themselves and remain focused under stress. 

Krav Maga, from Hebrew קרב מגע (k'ráv-magá), literally meaning “contact combat", is a form of self defense and is the most effective self-defense system offered today. It's easily learned, can be implemented quickly and is accessible to everyone. Krav Maga is based on instinctual principles and large motor skills drawing on three main principles:

  • Address the immediate threat
  • Attack the weakest part of the threat
  • Attack the attacker

Everyone had a great time in this workshop and was thrilled with how much they learned and could take away from the experience. 

One of the participants, Chelsea, was psyched to share that, “Paula was an amazing instructor! She really broke down each move to something easily accessible, no matter the strength or skill level. Everything we learned could be applied to several different scenarios, and she really emphasized building automatic responses rather than hard-to-memorize sequences. While I'd like to avoid any and all knife fights in my life, I feel moderately more prepared to react to them should they arise. I would certainly do this again!”

We're proud of the relationships that we develop with special instructors, like Paula, as they bring a unique variety of services to Magna. We're committed to teaching people to be healthy for life, and workshops like these allow us to do just that. 

Paula is a certified MMA conditioning coach and ranked Expert Level 2 with the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF), the highest rank possible in the US. She is also the only person in the US with instructor certifications in Civilian, Women, Children, VIP and Security and Military. Paula is an undefeated professional MMA fighter and holds a first degree black belt Tae Kwon Do and second degree red belt in Shin Bu Do. Paula focuses on equipping people to defend themselves every day. She recently trained in Israel as part of Operational Israel. View the video here.

Would you like to work with Paula? Check out for schedules and pricing. 

952-847-3332 | | 7355 Washington Ave S.,  Edina, MN 55339


The Great Injustice

By Kim Wyatt, Personal Trainer

Why do men burn a greater number of calories than women during the same workout?

Men have larger bodies, and these bodies hold more muscle. When these bigger bodies move, it requires more energy, hence the difference in caloric burn. Also, the male body possesses more testosterone, which is a powerful hormone that affects everything from muscle bulking to caloric expenditure. It’s not fair, but knowing that we women have to bust our butts to get a serious calorie burn while building muscle can give us a way to focus. 

Here is a take away for women: you have to be smart and efficient with your workouts, like in a BODYPUMP®, GRIT, or strenuous resistance training program or class. Don’t waste your time slowly slogging through on the treadmill.  It’s boring and it’s not going to get you the gains you want. You have to really push and make your body do challenging things.  

For example, if you have taken my BODYPUMP® class already, you will undoubtedly have heard me preach a few very important things:

a) Brace your core to protect your back; 
b) Mind over matter and hang tough when it comes to those last 8 reps; and 
c) A 150 pound woman will burn approximately 450 calories over the course of the one
hour class, while men will burn an average of 600. This I refer to as The Great Injustice.  

Here are a few things that we should clarify. What the heck is BODYPUMP®?  

I blame the 80s and step aerobics for our strange stigma that group fitness is just for women. It’s not called Women’s Fitness. BODYPUMP® is a full hour class that incorporates heavy lifting, explosive power lifting moves, and total body strengthening. The focus is different from a one-on-one training situation in that you’re not lifting heavy or to failure, but instead you’re challenging your endurance by lifting lighter weights with high, high reps. We’re talking 5 minutes per choreographed song. I’ve made participants do 140 overhead extensions. That’s not rare. And when I say choreographed, I do not mean dancing, because I’m not that kind of person. The choreography does include counting, yes, but it’s more about coaching through challenging weight room moves and guiding you through isometric and eccentric moves that are, again, different from the focus we’re used to in a traditional gym setting. You’ll get a challenging total body workout, but still have enough energy to get through your day.  

So come check out a class. I’ll sweat my way through with you, commiserating and encouraging all the way. It’s fun, and you’ll be hooked. 

A Very Grumpy Success Story

We’re always pleased to talk about our clients’ journeys, because the longer we do this, the more we all realize there are different ways to measure success. It’s not always about the pounds lost, the inches shed, the pain eliminated, or the energy gained, although those are benefits. Often the greatest success is a change in habits. That’s our mission here at Magna; we teach people to be healthy for life.

In 2013 we realized that the majority of group fitness classes were targeted toward women or the aggressively enthusiastic. There wasn’t a whole lot of room for people who maybe weren’t in the best shape, who were men, or who might have really adverse feelings towards fitness in general. In order to change their habits for the better, these people needed a new environment.

Since its inception, Grumpy Fitness has been one of our most popular classes. More and more people are joining each week, and this builds a real sense of community. Why do they love it (or love to hate it) so much?

Here some of what the Grumps, as they call themselves, have to say!

Ever since I moved from having a job where I was outside and working to a desk job, I've struggled to get back into a reasonable shape. Getting older hasn't made that any easier. As I got farther and farther away from a healthy shape, it got harder and harder to work on it. I had been a pretty serious soccer player, but now, getting around the block on a jog was tough. Hell, it was embarrassingly tough, as in, it was NOT possible. 
We started picking up the class in March as a group of peers who didn't want to be there. And frankly, didn't want anyone else to be there either. We were going to struggle, but at least we were going to struggle together. I think Coach Alex was worried I was never going to come back after my first session. I'm just a little stubborn and maybe pushed myself a little too hard.  It hurt for a couple of days. But we went back. And then again. And again.
By May, I was starting to look forward to the Grumpy Fitness class on Friday nights. By June we had started to invade the Monday class and hit it twice a week. We started to recruit more guys who look like me. And it started to work.
Coach Alex has been watching our little group carefully. He's pretty sly about it, but I've noticed the workouts have gotten progressively more difficult as we, as a group, have been able to handle a little more. He's diligent about how the exercises will work, and tailors it around when we bring in new rookies to get them started. He not only tailors the class to the group, but to the individuals; watching to see who he should push and who he should just encourage. I think he's probably as happy as we old men are about the progress, maybe even a little more than we are actually. He takes it personally.
My main reasons for going are my two little girls. I'm blessed with two daughters, 12 and 9.  And when we'd play, I'd get winded pretty quick. It really made me start thinking about what sort of future I was going to have with them, and with any kids they might want to have. My mom lost her dad when she was eighteen. It seemed like if I wanted my daughters to have a different experience, it was going to be on me to make that happen.
 I got to coach my eldest daughter's soccer team again this fall. I got to run with those 12 year old girls. And it was awesome, because this year, I could keep up with all of them. First time in many years where I had to remember to get them a break before I was tired. Played again on an adult rec squad as well.
It's been really good. The hardest part was the starting. The best part has been seeing the results. –John K.


Grumpy Fitness has had a significant impact on my fitness level. For years before I started getting Grumpy, I led a sedentary lifestyle which was significantly affecting my ability to remain pain-free. Specifically, I was dealing with backaches on a daily basis. Very quickly after starting the exercise routine, the aches and pains subsided and my energy level increased significantly. Additionally, the camaraderie of Grumpy Fitness is a motivating factor. It seems I am incapable of maintaining a fitness routine alone. So, the fact that other people are expecting me to be there instills the discipline necessary to continue my progress. I am thankful for Magna; the incredible people and trainers (yes, even Mean Alex). –Steve T.


Over the last 4 or 5 years I had slowly put on a lot of weight through lack of meaningful activity and bad food choices. At my age, I certainly didn't have youthful metabolism doing me any favors. I've never been athletic and I abhor fitness centers. My self esteem tells me that they are mostly "pretty people" who are constantly judging me to be unworthy. Silly, but effective enough to keep me away.
My friend John started attending the Grumpy Fitness class and told me to look at the class description on the Magna site. The class description hit me with deadly accuracy! It described my lifestyle perfectly and offered up the only solution that I would find acceptable: "at your own pace. No races, no competition, no spandex-wearing fitness enthusiasts. The class will be as fun as you make it. " 
Still, I resisted attending, and John kept inviting me. Finally I ran out of convenient excuses and attended. The other guys that were attending were obviously kindred spirits and in the same place I was. I immediately felt comfortable and included. If anything, the "outsider" was the instructor, the only fit person in the room. It was exactly what I needed. Sure we were all "grumpy" with the activities we were doing. Comments like "You want us to do WHAT?" and "We are paying you to do this to us?" were (and still are) often heard and actually eased the tension for everyone.  
Sure, I was incredibly sore following that first experience, but I came back again. It took a month of missing a couple before I started my regular attendance, and after a month, we even expanded to Monday nights as well. After 3 months, I have lost 15 pounds, several percentages of body fat, added muscle, and feel more healthy.
 I'm very impressed that our primary instructor Alex Badrawi, and even the "substitute instructors" that occasionally fill in, are able to endure our "grumpy" attitudes and maintain a very positive and encouraging environment. The entire Magna team has been positive and supportive and I look forward to continuing the classes. – James S.

Grumpy Fitness has never been for the spandex-clad fitness junkie. It has never been run by overly enthusiastic coaches who shout motivational phrases at you in a manner reminiscent of a 1980’s Olivia Newton John music video or a Jane Fonda’s Buns of Steel. It has never been about who can lift the most or run the fastest. Instead, it will always be an environment where it’s safe to struggle, overcome obstacles, and improve habits, however begrudgingly it need be.