Transcendent Fitness: A Workout Playground for Adults
Jul 01, 2011 08:21AM
By Linda Sechrist
When Micah West, founder of Transcendent Fitness, stops moving long enough to talk about the progression of his interest in physical health and working out, he has flashbacks to his mother’s colorful spandex aerobic outfits with matching tights, headbands and leg warmers. "In the 1980s, my mother was an aerobic instructor, and I spent a lot of my youth cleaning locker rooms and helping out fitness trainers so I could earn a free membership in the racquetball courts where she taught," says this CrossFit level I fitness trainer and creator of Beach Body Boot Camp. "I started young and grew up in a supportive environment around good trainers, from whom I learned a lot."
A fast-forward to West’s workout space on Domestic Avenue, in Naples, reveals a radically different exercise scene than that of his youth. He offers nutritional consultations, holistic lifestyle coaching, one-on-one and small group personal training services and the hottest trend in exercise today: fitness boot camp, which focuses on efficient ways to work the entire body. By going from one fun exercise to another in a short period of time with no rest, the heart and muscles get a workout and calories are burned without boredom. West quips, "There’s definitely no monotony here. Clients take one look at our monkey bars, straps, medicine balls, sledgehammers and oversized tires, and describe our set-up as a playground for adults."
West studied nuclear engineering, but dropped the subject when he realized he lacked the passion for it. Although he never formally planned a career in fitness, his experience and enthusiasm made it a natural career choice when he moved from Decatur, Illinois, to Florida in 1999. "I got a job as a fitness trainer at the Bonita Bay Club Fitness Center and moved on to Palmira Golf & Country Club, where I designed and managed their fitness center for several years," explains West.
After eight years of working in country clubs, West began offering one-on-one fitness training on his own. Relying on individual appointments for income was challenging, so when his parents announced that they wanted to help finance his dream of a fitness center, he jumped at the offer. "I was able to open Transcendent Fitness in 2010 because of my parents’ support," he enthuses.
Although body transformation goals are largely met with custom-designed personal training programs and Beach Body Boot Camp, West emphasizes that nutrition has the greatest impact on body composition, health and performance.
"Whether you want to gain muscle, lose fat or just live healthy, good nutrition is what will feed muscle, shed fat and improve nearly every health marker you can measure," says West, whose eating habits resemble those he suggests to his clients. His diet is similar to the Paleo Diet, founded on the belief that the human body is best suited to digest meats from properly raised and fed animals; wild-caught fish; free-range chicken eggs; and organic vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit.
"All of these naturally occurring foods are easily digestible, anti-inflammatory, and help to maintain a healthy autoimmune system and proper metabolic health," notes West, who adds that without exception, all foods with an ingredient list, nutrition label or additives of any kind are strictly avoided. "Processed foods have been found to contribute to the majority of preventable disease and obesity that plagues our society today," he says.
With four nutrition certifications to his credit, West’s commitment to teaching others that diet is the foundation of good health and a fit body is founded in personal experience, as well as comprehensive nutrition education, that includes the essential science of sport and exercise nutrition. "My education as a Precision Nutrition level I coach is backed by a system developed by Dr. John Berardi and a team of top experts in the fields of health, fitness and human performance," notes West.
As part of a comprehensive fitness strategy, all Transcendent Fitness clients complete a movement screening assessment to determine their level of fitness. They also declare their goals, learn nutritional strategies and keep a journal. "We develop a plan and implement it slowly, so that visible results are what provide the motivation for moving forward," says West.
Transcendent Fitness also offers Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) classes with Nick Peretta. Location: 4646 Domestic Ave., Ste. 103, Naples 34104. Call 239-293-9984, email [email protected] or visit TranscendentFitness.com.