To help women avoid cravings for cookies, cakes and savory, calorie-packed holiday treats, Monda Parsley and her fitness instructors hope to empower women by teaching them that healthy choices are not seasonal, but a lifestyle.
“It’s a lifestyle, not a seasonal thing. I love the New Year, but my goal is when they walk into these doors after their New Year’s resolutions that they keep it a lifestyle. It is not a seasonal thing. If we do ever get ill, then we will be physically able to make it through the illness or the disease. I have had members that have had colon cancer, popped right back out of it and are physically active again,” said Parsley, owner of Fitness In Training (F.I.T.) by Monda.
F.I.T, 1331 Airport Road, is a female-only gym where clients do not work out alone. Instead, each client either works with a personal trainer or participates in a class. Parsley said a lot of gym-goers end up hurting themselves at other gyms because they walk in and do preset workouts that are not for their level.
“It’s your workout; work at your own pace. They never feel like they can’t do something. Our job is to empower them that way. There is nothing they can’t do at their level because once you start working outside of your level, you get hurt,”
A membership is $74 per month, which includes unlimited classes as well as a challenge meal plan. With all the holiday food, Parsley said a lot of women ask her to tell them exactly what to eat. Clients get one free meal on days six and seven and the meal plan starts back over each week.
“I believe when you tell a woman she can’t have something, she is going to want it more. You can’t have chocolate. Then, that is on your mind. ‘I’m going to get it,’” Parsley said.
Parsley said during the winter a lot of women become depressed, and she strives to help her clients not only in the gym, but with their daily struggles. F.I.T is a Christian-based gym that has Bible studies and she says members are family.
“I feel like when women walk through here, we built each other up in so many
different ways. It is much more than a gym. When a woman walks through here and becomes a F.I.T. member, she is part of our family and we go through struggles together when one does. We laugh together. We are all here for each other,” Parsley said.
As women, mothers and wives, stress levels can be high taking care of others and Parsley says taking time for physical activities may help.
“When you are feeling good about yourself, you are more likely to do all of those
better. When your self esteem is up, you’re physically feeling good, you are a better mother, a better wife. You are overall better,” Parsley said.
“She needs to take time for herself especially through the holidays.”
Parsley said F.I.T is the only gym in Arkansas to have Indo-Row. Clients are on their own rowing machines and do different waves where they speed up to music. The row machines work nine different muscle groups. They are also certified to offer Shockwave, a cardio strength rowing class.
“The resistance is the water so when we are rowing as a team, we are on the water. It sounds really good,” Parsley said.
F.I.T offers classes of CrossFire, a boot-camp style class similar to CrossFit without heavy weights, Ignite, senior classes, Zumba, Indo-Row and Shockwave.
Parsley and five additional instructors work with clients and Parsley said each fitness level can participate in any of the classes, at their own pace.
“I really believe that so many women walk in these doors with their heads down because life has beat them down so many different ways. When they walk in here and see themselves getting stronger and the motivation and energy in here builds them up, that head starts to lift so they can walk out these doors and deal with whatever life throws their way,” Parsley said.