The need to ground himself and to find some balance in his life was what drove Kevin Wimmer to create his outdoor fitness class at Woodland Mound Park. It started several years ago when Kevin was fulfilling his weekend promise to his rescue lab, Sonny, to take him hiking. They stumbled upon a Parcourse fitness trail where he began freestyling with some of his own gym exercises which turned into different circuits, and, eventually, an idea to make his ritual with Sonny into his business and the life change he was seeking. Many of us can relate to Kevin’s story and his background feels familiar to us. He worked in the corporate world, where he experienced success, advancing to be the creative director at a large branding agency. He enjoyed his co-workers. But he felt trapped from being able to spend time doing the things he loved and being with the ones he loved. He began planning the model for what would later become ELMNTL, while maintaining a 70 hour work week, and 9 months later he took the plunge. He juggled his demanding career and early morning and weekend ELMNTL sessions for 4 months until he made ELMNTL his primary focus.
Spending time outdoors creates such a different exercise experience and brings so many other elements to break up our routine. Connecting to nature, getting fresh air and a fresh perspective are just a few of the benefits.
I've had the pleasure, and will continue to enjoy, Kevin’s workouts with his amazingly supportive group of clients. From monkey bar variations to walking lunges with a log thrown over our shoulders, Kevin brings a very personalized feeling and a lot of heart to each of his several weekly classes. I assure you they will challenge your body more than your day at the gym. And my two year old is always welcome to hang out with his dog, Mason, while the adults get their workout fix, which is an added bonus!
One-on-One with Kevin Wimmer
The City Skinny: We know you like to exercise in this environment, but do you have other favorite workouts or types of activities?
KW: Consistent with my inspiration for creating ELMNTL Fitness, I love just about any activity outdoors! My wife and I both share a love for hiking, and of course, no hike wood be complete without Mason!
We enjoy kayaking, just wish we did it more! On occasion, I like to throw in a competitive event (OCR, WOD or race), just something to up the stakes a bit!
CS: What is the biggest change that ELMNTL devotees see in themselves after a workout out with you?
KW: Time and time again, the biggest thing I hear is consistency. Its also the hardest thing for any fitness business to generate. But more than just driving results down people's throats, I focus on the fun and confidence-building aspects of the workouts, which creates retention through consistency. If you enjoy your workouts, you'll do them more often, and THAT will produce results! More often workouts feel more like WORK, and that just creates another stressor versus a release.
CS: The ELMNTL sessions I have been to have been different and felt really "fresh" to me. What do you think motivates you, as a trainer, to keep you and your students engaged?
KW: ELMNTL Fitness is certainly classified as Group Fitness Training, however, I take the time prior to each class, to look at who is attending, and base the workout around the goals, abilities and prior workouts the majority of the group has done. This level of personalization creates that atmosphere of customization that makes each workout feel appropriate for each individual. I do my best to keep each class unique to the attendees and offer progressions and regressions to work each participant to the best of their abilities. This ensures an environment of learning (and engagement) without plateauing! And, of course, one of the other big stressors about working out is planning your workout. Most people don't have a plan in mind and default to the obvious, or easy, or what they "usually" do. Since the workout is planned for you, its always a complete, full-body resistance and cardio event without the stress! That is the way I prefer to workout, in a state of fluidity and open to change, and I think that variety is attractive to people!
CS: Who is your inspiration, fitness or other?
KW: My best buddy, Mason, was not just the inspiration for starting ELMNTL, but is a daily reminder to live each day to its fullest! Spend an hour (or two or three) outside, enjoy the fresh air (even when its cold), stretch out in the warm sun and run around in the snow with reckless abandon! And that guy is FIT!
It’s also impossible not to be inspired by my clients each and every day! They check their preconceived notions at the “door" and allow themselves to stretch their idea of fitness and what it means to be healthy with complete trust in my philosophy and methodologies! Seeing them accomplish their goals, not only at ELMNTL, but in the rest of their fit lives is a daily high every teacher feels.