ATOM MAY 2020 – DECLAN CANDELA – Quarantine BOD!

1) Before joining RL what was your biggest struggle? What were your biggest frustrations?

I had been doing functional fitness style workouts on and off since 2014 and I had always enjoyed the challenges and overall fitness results, but I kept finding myself getting injured one way or another and having to sit out for extended periods. Typically injuries would be from slight issues in technique or form and I found it frustrating that I would have to take time away from the gym and that I wasn’t actually improving my form, leading to repeat injury and more time away.

2) How did your struggle and frustrations affect your life? What did you feel like before joining RL?

Being injured and benched because of it does not feel good. When you have a hyper extended elbow, commuting for 80 minutes a day in a car hurts. When your back is thrown you might not even be able to work. And without the ability to work out the stress and laugh with friends at the gym, the situation can almost seem hopeless. Just before joining I had been working out consistently in a more traditional fashion but felt the itch to try to make a return to the high intensity full body style routines I had grown to love. I wasn’t currently injured and done some research on my own on how to adjust my technique on a number of movements and was ready to find a new gym.

3) What was it about RL that made you join?

Honestly, the first reason was its proximity to where I had just moved. It’s not even a five minute drive! I had been away from these types of workouts for awhile and was becoming dissatisfied with the traditional commercial gym lifestyle, so I figured I would try to get back in the saddle. Plus, RL was one of the most well reviewed gyms in the area at the time with a lot of online presence which I saw as a good sign.

4) What made you stay with us? What do you enjoy the most about RL?

By and large the community at RL is one of its strongest assets. Never so readily have I been welcomed into the fold and within weeks of joining I found myself at extra-curricular gatherings whether it be for a Spartan race, celebrating a birthday, or just trying to have a good time after a terrible work out. The gym atmosphere fosters a community of people who have shared with me their interests and invited me into their circles which has led to my own life being enhanced and bettered by knowing them.

Additionally, members take a genuine interest in each other’s improvement and well-being which bolsters my resolve to improve both consistently and safely.

5) How did our program help you? How is Life different for you now?

The coaching staff shows genuine interest in the improvement of RL’s members and the efficacy of their movements and techniques. This has led me to improvement in both my lifting and gymnastics. The focus on correction and healthy movement helps keep me from injury and I can enjoy the fitness I’ve earned along with the other RL members. I’ve found that I’m less at risk for injury and when something doesn’t seem right, the knowledgeable RL staff is ready and willing to help find ways to mitigate and eliminate faults in my technique or methodology.

6) Were there any specific goals that you reached that you are particularly proud of? How did it make you feel?

Achieving a consistent level of fitness again was my original goal and I feel I’ve reached it and then-some with the help and support of the RL staff and members. I also look forward to forming and conquering new goals with everyone. But if I had to be specific… I’d probably go with achieving a six pack. Despite all the years of activity, I’d never hunkered down and gone for it so I’d have to thank again the members and staff of RL for their individual contributions to motivating me to get it done. How’s it feel? Hungry…

Shout out to Coach Jon’s ABs class and all the members who participated for helping me stay consistent and introducing all kinds of new horrifying AB routines.

7) What would you tell someone interested in joining RL?

I would tell them if you want to learn about home brewing, do tequila shots after a work out, and make a slew of new friends to party with, all while getting fit AF, then RL is a gym they should consider.

8) Is there anything personal you would like to add?

I admire and appreciate Charly for the effort he puts into making the RL members feel more like a community than a group of people who happen to work out together. Throughout the worst of the quarantine he and his staff worked constantly to find ways to engage members and try to bring some light into their lives when they no longer had the gym to get it.

… I still wish I could take my shirt off at the gym…

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