LIFEcycle Fitness at The Forge is a program designed to diminish or counteract the loss of muscle mass during the rapid weight loss experienced following bariatric surgery. The seven-exercise circuit plan taught to participants is easily adapted to suit people with limitations. It also has the ability to be modified as participants become more fit.
“Many of these exercises have variations that I teach to even my highest level athletes,” says Leo Desforges, owner and head trainer of The Forge: Personal Training Studio.
Participants at the first of the monthly sessions, held on February 2, 2012, viewed a demonstration of each of the seven exercises, then had the opportunity to perform the circuit with Desforges watching to offer pointers. “The most important thing is to be consistent; to be committed, “ Desforges says. “People need to be active every day. The exercise plan we’ve provided is designed to be performed three days each week, and potentially more after people become more advanced. But, it’s important that people get exercise everyday. Walking is a perfect compliment to this, or any strength training program.”
Jacob Brier, co-founder of LIFEcycle, Inc. and the program’s coordinator, discussed the importance of this program, “after my [gastric by-pass] surgery, I remember feeling week. I had a lot of experience with weight training and exercise, but it was a while before I had the energy to get back in the gym. This routine that Leo developed for the program can be done by folks pretty quickly after surgery, in their home, with minimal equipment. That’s huge.”
“All patients are taught the importance of fitness and exercise in order to make their surgery successful in the long-term, but I don’t recall learning how to exercise or being directed as to the types of activities that would work well,” Brier continues. “LIFEcycle chose to partner with The Forge for this program because we know Leo’s level of expertise, and his ability to work with people of all abilities.”
A sign outside the door to The Forge reads “Human = Athlete.” That, as Desforges states, “is what I truly believe. All people are athletes, and here at The Forge, we train athletes of all levels to be the most fit, the strongest, and the best they can be.”
The program is promoted through The Miriam Hospital’s bariatric surgery program, and patients from any hospital are invited to attend. “We chose to work with The Miriam,” Brier explains, “because of its reputation and because of LIFEcycle’s close relationship with the hospital. As a bonus, it’s also where I had my surgery, so I feel connected and am happy to give back.” The Miriam Hospital was named a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in 2011.
LIFEcycle, Inc. is a Rhode Island non-profit organization, founded in 2008, with a mission to promote healthy, active living and support local healthcare. Primarily the organization hosts an annual bike-a-thon, Ride ‘Round Rhody, to support local cancer treatment. LIFEcycle is now also providing direct services, such as LIFEcycle Fitness at The Forge, to various groups within the community, including bariatric surgery patients and cancer survivors. For more information, visit www.lifecycleinc.org.
The Forge: Personal Training Studio offers personal training in both one-on-one and small group settings. With a focus on building strength, confidence and community, people train in a setting that was built to maximize their effort. The Forge uses time-tested equipment and techniques as part of an innovative program customized to achieve individual goals. For more information, visit www.TheForgeRI.com.