Jeanne Allen February Member of the Month

Jeanne is a 60-year-old Garden Center employee.

Q: What got you started working out?

A: I had a Dr appointment for a check over.  Dr’s stated that I really needed to work on my core strength and my left side was pretty weak!  Shortly after that appointment a friend Kim B invited me to come workout with her.  Timing is everything!

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?

A: During the summer I train 3 days a week.  During the winter I train 1 day a week and take aging strong Mondays and Fridays.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?

A: I enjoy doing the lifts!

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?

A: Greek yogurt!

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?

A: Proper Technique.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?

A: My motivation comes from wanting to make memories with my kids and grandson.  A year or so ago I was able to go parasailing with my daughter, this yr I was able to go to trampoline park with my grandson and was able to have alot of fun..  I need more adventures!

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?

A: Go for it!! You are able! There is more to you than you believe. At The Strength Collective, they work with you as an individual, figuring out your needs to make your journey correct for you, motivating you to do more and be a better you!!  

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?

A: I wasn’t able to get off the floor by myself … now I have no problems getting myself up.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Building up my core strength and improving my cardiovascular health.

Q: What goals are you working on now?

A: Continuing to work on my strength and balance so I can be around for many more adventures with my kids and grandkids!

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:

A: I’m deathly afraid of heights and needles, but have a tattoo and went parasailing.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?

A: I love the community and the trainers.

Jackie Cain January Member of the Month

Jackie is a 42-year-old real estate agent.

Q: What got you started working out?

A: In my mid 30’s I started gaining weight. I had planned to lose a few pounds then quit.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?

A: I come to 3 semi-private lessons a week. I like to come in on the weekends sometimes too for some quiet cardio.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?

A: All the different types of squats.

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?

A: I love Kodiak’s Smores protein oatmeal.

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?

A: I have always hated exercising, so getting motivated to get up and go.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?

A: Having a regular routine and knowing I feel so much better both physically and mentally after working out.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?

A: Just start. Get into a routine. Once you do, your body will remind you how much better you feel when you go.

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?

A: Get up at 5 am… Honestly benching 100 lbs and squatting 200 lbs never seemed possible, but I have exceeded both.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: I don’t mind working out anymore. When I broke my wrist this past summer I actually missed coming to the gym. As soon as I was able, I got right back into my routine, and it helped me recover faster.

Q: What goals are you working on now?

A: I have to have another surgery on my hand coming up so my goal is to work on my cardio and eating during the time I cannot lift. 

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:

A: I love elderly people. I love the crabby, lonely, talking too long about nothing old people. They have so much to teach us about life, while still needing to be shown how to silence their phones. They are adorable.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?

A: The environment, both the size of the gym, as well as the people, make everyone feel like they belong.

Tessa Jones December Member of the Month

Tessa is a 29-year-old Communications Manager.

Q: What got you started working out?

A: Waaaaay back in the day, every Tuesday & Thursday, my dad would pick up my older siblings & I and take us to the YMCA to “workout” which was really just getting some shots up and walking around the track. That led into a sports career, so working out was a part of the regime. Now, being retired, I still love the endorphins working out provides and the feeling of moving my body and competing against myself. 

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?

A: Typically, I’ll be in the gym 3x a week, that’s my sweet spot. I’ve do semi-private group training and private. I’ve taken a few kickboxing classes, but otherwise I get outside and walk or run when I’m not in the gym!

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?

A: HIIT workouts, specifically, battle ropes. They may not like me back, but it’s such a rush & reward!

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?

A: VanDorn Nutrition Hydrate, Peach Mango flavored with an a Gala apple.

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?

A: GETTING THERE! More than half the battle is setting the appointment & sticking to it when there’s so much going on, I want to sleep in, or I’m just not feeling it. Once I show up, it’s all uphill from there. 

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?

A: The personal check-ins from Matt & Kat! The personal attention they give their clients is second to none and it truly holds me accountable. More so, they ensure the workouts work for ME whether I’m injured, traveling, or needing to switch it up. Having it tailored to what I need in that time is beyond helpful. Lastly, I have to give a shoutout to my accountability and life partner, Devon, who is just as competitive and prioritizes his health as much (if not more than) me. 

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?

A: Start with just an introduction talk. Just 20 minutes. Then, set out the clothes the night before (in the towel warmer if you have one). Next, set the alarm. Find your accountability partner & send them a snap or photo when you make it to the gym (or just set it to your story). Slowly but surely you’ll start showing up each day. Make it as easy on yourself as possible by preparing beforehand. 

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?

A: A Turkish Get-Up! I had never done the exercise before in my life, so it was quite the challenge!

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: In 2015 I was in an ATV accident that changed my life. I had to switch my major from Kinesiology to Communication Studies because I couldn’t fulfill the physical requirements of some of the required classes. While in ICU for weeks, my dad would follow me in the hospital halls with a chair, just in case I fell or got too worn out. When I was released home, the goal was to walk to the end of the driveway, then to the mailbox, then around the block. Finally, just over a year later I was back in the gym and lifting once more. Since then, I haven’t looked back & have been able to become a stronger version of myself, though slowly, but surely. 

Q: What goals are you working on now?

A: Two major goals: 1) Being more consistent in getting to the gym (currently in my busy season & traveling, so it’s been more difficult.) 2) Enjoying running and eventually train for a half marathon!

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:

A: I love cheering on marathon races!

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?

A: At the Strength Collective, there’s constantly new faces joining the classes & you may not know one another, but you immediately are welcomed with words of encouragement & motivation – it’s a great environment to be a part of!

Zach Shaw November Member of the Month

Zach is a 33-year-old realtor and self-proclaimed hot dog slanger.

Q: What got you started working out?

A: I need all the strength and endurance I can get in order to keep up with Harper.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?

A: I work out 3x weekly right now. Member of Strength Collective semi private training.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?

A: Bench and running!

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?

A: Bananas!

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?

A: Finding time to make it to the gym.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?

A: I like to push myself to new levels. Working out is pretty much just playing a bunch of little games with yourself. Have fun with it!

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?

A: Get your butt in here! In my opinion, the hardest part about going to the gym is going to the gym. Once you’ve been here a few times and start to develop a routine it gets kinda fun.

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?

A: General mobility. I can move around so much easier now than when I first started the gym.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Being able to run like Forrest Gump!

Q: What goals are you working on now?

A: I tore my ACL/meniscus and had surgery earlier this year. My goal is to get into better shape than before my knee injury. 

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:

A: I could watch pimple popping videos for hours.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?

A: Belonging to a tribe who wants to see me succeed. It’s great to have knowledgeable trainers who will keep you accountable and have your back. I also value the friendships I’ve made at the gym. You develop a camaraderie when you’re getting your butt kicked together.

Donna Benjamin October Member of the Month

Donna is a 58-year-old retired teacher!

Q: What got you started working out?
A: I needed to lose weight to have knee replacement surgery.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?
A: I work out 3 times a week. I am taking advantage of the semi private training sessions.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?
A: I love bench press, and stretching always feels so good!

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: I love an RLS! (ridiculously large salad)

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
A: Anything cardio is a challenge because my knee pain makes it difficult to do weight bearing exercise for any length of time. I have found that the recumbent elliptical and the rowing machine are my friends!

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?
A: Having the training sessions is a big motivator. I like the social aspect of it. Since I don’t work outside the home, coming to the gym helps me get out and about and seeing friendly faces. And obviously the knee surgery is a big motivator. I am also a singer, so being in shape helps me with that as well. I have to give a shout out to my husband, Bret Benjamin who is one of my best cheerleaders. Also, all of the staff are always so encouraging. Jenna, Kat, and Matt are always giving helpful hints and giving me things to think about to improve my healthy lifestyle.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?
A: Do it! Working out has helped me in so many ways! You will feel stronger. Your balance will improve, the feeling of accomplishment is worth all of the sweat you put into it. Think of it as an investment in yourself!

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?
A: I could barely get up and down off the floor. Now I can do it several times in a workout.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: I am most proud of the fact that I have made working out a habit.

Q: What goals are you working on now?
A: I have 10 more pounds to lose and then I can have my surgery! Also, the exercises I am doing will make the recovery better for me.

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:
A: I am a singer/songwriter and I am beginning to create content online.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?
A: I feel like there is a strong sense of community here. Also, it’s so nice to see Walter hanging out! He’s so cute!

Kristal Frisque- May Member of the Month at The Strength Collective Galesburg

Kristal in her natural habitat 🙂

This month’s Member of the Month is Kristal Frisque! Kristal is an artist and Owner of Art Defined Studios (check out the Facebook page here to learn more and get artsy!). She recently ran the St. Jude Half Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee. Read on to learn more about Kristal:

Q: What got you started working out?
A: My health. I knew that I needed to take better care of myself & have always liked strength training, so it was a good place to start. Plus, there’s lots of health problems that run in my family, so I wanted to be as proactive as I could be to fight off genetics.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?
A: 5 days a week; I take the lunch class at SC & run with my running group, Sole Sisters.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?
A: Riding my ElliptiGO! It’s super fun and great on your joints.

Kristal’s ElliptiGO! (It’s like a bike/elliptical hybrid!)

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: I’ve never really had a routine with this, but I have used Advocare Spark & protein shakes….beer is great too!

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
A: My workouts are mostly solitary, in that I go for long runs or bike rides in the country by myself. Being a long distance runner, I not only have to prepare my schedule for the time I dedicate to my workouts, but also the mental game. I know that I’m going to have my aches & pains, but I have to endure through them when I’m out in the middle of nowhere & accept that I have to run back using the muscles that hurt.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?
A: I love the pain! Seriously. The mental accomplishment keeps me going every time. The fact that I owned that workout is very gratifying.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?
A: Just do it! Don’t overthink it or you’ll never start. And your body, your level of fitness is enough. You do not have to fit a visual mold or wear the right gear. You are worth it & deserve to be healthy. We all come in different shapes and sizes, different areas of struggle. There’s no judgement at the gym. Everyone is super supportive and motivating.

After a hard Lean&Strong workout!

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?
A: My core muscles are so much stronger! I still can’t do those blasted pushups, but that’s a long term goal to do them well & in good form.

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:
A: I was born in Japan.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?
A: Hands down the support and one on one help. Lord bless her, Jenna is SO patient with me! And both she & Kat will correct my form, so I can improve. The group is also amazingly supportive.

Thank you for being an awesome member, Kristal! We love having you as a part of our community!

Warrior Strong Women's Kickboxing

Gin Gartin- April Member of the Month at The Strength Collective

April’s Member of the Month is Gin Gartin- she’s a 30 year old Distribution Coordinator at Dyna-Gro Seed from Galva and she has been absolutely crushing her fitness and weight loss journey since last June.

Q: What got you started working out?
A: Wanting to be more comfortable with myself and become a stronger version of myself.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?
A: I try for at least 4-5 days a week. 2 of those are of course the Warrior Strong kickboxing class which I love!

Left: Gin before starting her health and fitness journey.
Right: Gin at the end of February-so much amazing progress already!

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?
A: Um kickboxing of course!

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: I am sure this sounds lame but it’s a protein shake. Right now I’m working through the ice cream sandwich flavor I have. If you haven’t tried it you need to!

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
A: I am still really heavy so any of the cardio stuff is still a struggle for me but I am working on that!

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?
A: Seeing my results on the scale and my clothing fitting better.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?
A: Don’t think about it just go for it. Even if it is something small to start with just go for it! Everyone has to start somewhere. Find something you actually enjoy doing.

Left: Gin before starting Warrior Strong Kickboxing last October.
Right: Gin at the end of February

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?
A: Walk my dog around the block around the block without being out of breath.

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:
A: I probably have at least 20 pairs of Nike shoes if not more lol

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?
A: The support. From the ladies in my class to the coaches. Everyone is there for you to cheer you on and help you through it!

Gin, you are awesome and we are so proud of you! Thank you for being one of our amazing members, and keep up the hard work!

Dalton Buckman- March Member of the Month at The Strength Collective Galesburg

We have such awesome members that we wanted to tell you all about them, so we decided to start this new monthly feature so you can get to know the community that makes up The Strength Collective.

Our first ever member of the month is Dalton Buckman, a 20 year old Strongman competitor and huge supporter of The Strength Collective since we opened in July 2018. Dalton works at both Target and GNC in Galesburg. He is passionate about Strongman competition and is eager to spread his knowledge and love for strongman style training to others. One way he is doing this is by organizing an all-levels Strongman Competition in June 2019, hosted by The Strength Collective. His goal is to get both new and experienced Strongman competitors to come together to spread the word about the sport and encourage people of all ages to give it a try. Stay tuned for more information on dates and times as we will be releasing those soon!

Q: What got you started working out?
A: Lifting weights for football in high school and wanting to be stronger.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out?
A: 3-4

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?
A: Deadlifts and Yoke Walks

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal or snack?
A: Steak, rice, and a protein shake

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
A: Using time effectively. My workouts take a big chunk of my day making time management key to my busy life.

Dalton won 2nd place at the Strongest Damn Leprechaun strongman meet on March 16th. Member Kierstin Johnson also competed and won first place in her division. Congrats!

Q: How do you stay motivated to work out consistently?
A: Competing in strongman helps constantly needing to be stronger for meets. But all in all I love spending time at the gym, it’s like a second home. Even the hard days that I feel awful there’s no other place I’d rather be.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about starting or just getting started in the gym?
A: Find something that interests you about working out and become obsessed with it. If you can’t find anything a positive friend that will stick by your side will take you a long way. Having like minded people around will always be a huge motivator!

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: Taking second in the Teen division at a national level meet. Also holding a national deadlift record when I was 18.

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:
A: I take medication for ADD. I would say training helps me build my focus a lot and it does make school difficult sometimes but so far I’ve managed to be in honors almost every semester and will have my associates at the end of this semester.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?
A: The environment is very different from anywhere else in town and I can train how I need to in order to be a national level athlete. Being able to have access to the equipment I need and being able to store my equipment at the gym has made a huge impact on my training and I couldn’t be happier!

Thank you Dalton for your support and always encouraging others!