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Body Evolution in the Press - December 29, 2000
Power (lifting) to the people
Body Evolution works with clients on a one-to-one basisBy Ann Harmon Stewart
Kane County Chronicle Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2000
SOUTH ELGIN - "You need to lose some weight."
With the number of overweight Americans on the rise, millions of people hear this simple suggestion pitched to them by doctors, family members and concerned friends alike.
Difficulty is, losing unwanted pounds often involves lifestyle changes, such as a regular exercise program, that are hard to make stick.
However, an increasing number of Fox Valley residents are finding an ally in the weight-loss game in the form of Body Evolution, headed by certified personal trainer Ken Hedrich.
Instead of a gym or health club, Hedrich works with clients in a private studio on a one-to-one basis, an approach that he says maximizes effectiveness.
"My niche is that the training takes place in a private exercise studio instead of a public gym or health club, and a lot of people like that because they don't feel as comfortable in a public atmosphere," Hedrich explained from Body Evolution's 800-square-foot studio in South Elgin.
While many people would like to lose weight, the task is hard without a firm commitment, which is exactly where Hedrich says he can help.
"I provide the structure and motivation for people to achieve their weight-loss goals," he explained. "Whatever their goal, I can help them achieve it more effectively."
The holder of a master's degree in exercise physiology, Hedrich said he can offer a level of expertise greater than that of many other personal trainers.
"My degree and background is definitely a selling point for me," he said. "I can provide a more professional level of service due to my extensive education. My programs are based in research and science. Everything I do with a client, I justify through scientific literature and research."
A lifelong devotee of strength training and a competitive powerlifter, Hedrich emphasizes the role that weight training plays in reducing body fat.
The basic idea is that strength training increases muscle mass, and an increase in muscle mass elevates your resting metabolic rate, resulting in more calories burned," he said. "That's really the bottom line - the number of calories you burn. Any activity that involves movement is beneficial."
Most clients, who range in age from 40 to 55, visit Body Evolution twice per week in sessions of either 30 or 60 minutes.
Many also follow Hedrich's "at home exercise prescriptions" for supplementary aerobic conditioning between visits.
"Most programs with the goal of reducing body fat should include an aerobic component, and for that I take advantage of whatever exercise equipment a client has at home, whether it be a stationary bike, a treadmill, a stepper or something else," Hedrich explained.
In any exercise program, Hedrich helps clients focus on proper form and a proper range of motion. While exercise machines are popular, he said that using free weights for strength training offers distinct advantages.
"Most research points to the fact that free weights are superior to machines because when you use free weights, you have to balance as well as lift them. The act of balancing involves more muscles than just lifting, which again results in more calories burned."
In any program, Hedrich said he's careful to work only within each client's physical limits.
Getting to know clients actually begins the first time an individual walks through Body Evolution's door.
"When someone is interested in my programs, they can come in for a free consultation, which usually takes about one hour," Hedrich said. "The potential client can meet me, and I can go over my programs in detail.
What I try to do is get a good feel of what they're looking for, and what their goals are. I want to determine whether or not my services would benefit them."
Part of the consultation also involves a detailed health questionnaire, which helps identify risk factors and clarifies an individual's diet and exercise history.
While some clients work with Hedrich for a specific time period to achieve a certain goal, others continue on an ongoing basis.
While strength training has been a longtime passion, Hedrich didn't realize the path that would follow when he first picked up a weight as a kid.
"I started weight training at the age of 10, then at about 18 I developed a shoulder injury and went to see a rehabilitation specialist. He really helped me restructure my exercise program, and showed my how to do exercises the correct way. I thought that was really interesting, and decided to pursue a formal education in physiology."
It was the suggestion of a friend that pointed Hedrich in the direction of personal trainer, however.
"A friend from church needed help with an exercise program, so I set one up for him," he recalled. "After I got him started he suggested I try doing it for a living. It just evolved naturally as more and more people began asking me for advice."
While many with his degree choose to work in hospitals or in research-based fields, Hedrich said he prefers the one-to-one contact with clients each day.
For more information on Body Evolution, call (847) 931-8000. Appointments are available Mondays through Fridays, and on occasional weekends.
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