My Week at Anchor Life + Fitness
Do you have a new year's resolution to improve your health? Are you interested in learning new skills? Are you up for a challenge?
If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, you should definitely check out Anchor Life + Fitness, a new wellness destination in the heart of downtown Kennett Square (112 South Broad Street) that offers physical consultation, personal training, healthy cooking demonstrations, and group fitness classes, like kettlebell and yoga. The owners, Charlene and Renee, have refurbished what was once a vacant space into a welcoming, modern, beautiful environment. Anchor is a far cry your typical mass-market gym!
Over the past week, I had the opportunity to try out Anchor, and I was completely impressed by the offerings and the staff. Across the board, everyone was incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, and encouraging. Here's what I was up to:
Functional Movement Screening with Leigh Anne: The first thing I did was a consultation to check my alignment and movement and ensure that I could participate in the classes safely. I filled out the paperwork ahead of time (an 8-page questionnaire about my health and fitness habits, any goals I wanted to make, etc), and then the actual consultation took about 30 minutes. I did it over my lunch hour, which was super convenient! Learn from my mistake: don't wear jeans! I was definitely not in my best form for some of the movements, but it turned out okay. I really appreciated that Leigh Anne explained everything I was doing and why, and how it factored into classes later. The consultation helped me feel more informed and safe as I anticipated joining classes.
Intro to Kettlebell with Aaron: There were 5 of us in this after-work class, and I was one of several total rookies. The purpose of the introductory class was to learn basic movements for kettlebell, focusing on correct alignment and muscle control to avoid injury. I was nervous because I had never even touched a kettlebell before, but Aaron did a great job making everyone feel comfortable and offering encouragement along the way. There was so much new stuff for me in this class! I had never done a "bear crawl" drill (kind of like crawling, but on your hands and feet), and it was my first time slamming a "jam ball" (kind of like a medicine ball) to the floor. Aaron was super encouraging the whole time, even though I definitely had my moments of feeling silly. My proudest moment of this class was managing to do the Turkish get-up moves WHILE BALANCING MY SHOE ON MY FIST! When Aaron told us that was our goal, I thought there was absolutely no way I was going to manage it, but I did! On both left and right sides! Bonus: I wasn't (that) sore the next day!
Kettlebell with Leigh Anne: My next class was a 6am kettlebell session, where I was one of just two attendees! Pressure! Thankfully, kettlebell is nice because my total lack of experience didn't hold anyone back. Leigh Anne put us through our paces with warm-ups and a wide variety of exercises, alternating squats and carries with 1 or 2 hands. Toward the end, she recommended that I "just use body weight" (AKA, giving me permission to put down the kettlebell, hallelujah) and I was really grateful for the modifications! I felt shaky toward the middle of the time because I didn't have anything to eat beforehand. Lesson learned! The class burns A LOT of calories, so you need something to burn, people! The class ended with 3 rounds of 3 circuits: workout ropes (another new thing to me!), jam balls, and planks. You know it's a hard circuit when the plank feels like a rest, right? Oh, man. I was SO tired at the end of it, and by the time I got back to my house afterward (translation: 5 minutes later), I could tell that I was going to be sore. For the rest of the day and the day afterward, my legs still felt the effects! I was never in pain, though, and I really appreciated the care that Leigh Anne took to ensure that I was using good form, even when I couldn't lift the weight. I can definitely see why kettlebell classes can be super challenging and interesting over the long term; there is so much to try in that universe.
Stability Series Yoga with Diana: Yoga is my comfort zone, and I was glad to get the chance to experience Anchor's take on it. The yoga studio at Anchor is pleasantly warm, and there are lots of cubbies to store things. I brought my own mat, and Diana gave me two yoga blocks in case I needed them. I'm used to a vinyasa-type class, which Anchor does offer, but the class I attended was more focused on strength and stability in longer holds for each pose, not as much the flow between poses. The hour went by very quickly, broken up into several series: standing, warrior, and mat work. Diana was very gentle with correcting alignment; she would first describe the adjustment before nudging me into the right position. At the end of the hour, I felt stronger, longer, and relaxed. It was a wonderful way to start the day.
I had such a great week at Anchor Life + Fitness! If you are looking for ways to mix up your workout or start healthier habits, I'm confident that you can find something that fits your style there. The staff is so attentive and helpful, and I really got the sense that they were all genuinely invested in keeping me safe, encouraged, and positive! Stop by their lovely location on Broad Street and learn more about how Charlene and the staff can help you pursue a healthier life!
THANK YOU to Charlene and the staff at Anchor Life + Fitness for the complimentary consultation and classes! All of my opinions here are my own, but rest assured that I had a great time!