By Lauren Avellino Turton
The 2017 summer season has come to a close at the Jersey Shore. It’s time to shake the sand off our flip flops, and get back to work and school. But, that doesn’t mean our beach physique has to go into winter hibernation.
Chris Lambert is the owner of Atilis Gym, with five locations across the resort region, including one in Ocean City. Located at 1214 West Avenue, he and his experienced team offer something for everyone, and every body type.
“We have weight training, conditioning workouts, and also offer advice for eating healthy,” said Chris. “It’s not about one or the other, but a balanced combination, and promoting overall lifestyle all year long.”
Atilis has quickly become known for welcoming all levels at each location.
“We’re no frills, and have a great selection of people of all ages and backgrounds, from serious weight lifters and lifeguards, to locals and vacationers just looking to stay in shape,” he said. We have some people coming in and it’s their very first time handling weights. They’re new and want to learn, so we begin by giving them a complete tour of the facility, and demonstrate how to properly use the equipment.”
Chris says Atilis also trains many very talented student athletes from around the region.
“These teams are passionate and hit it hard – in football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, and so many other sports.”
Atilis carries three options for weight training, which include selective machines that have adjustable pints, plate-loading machines, and free weights.
“We have a great selection for everyone,” adds Chris. “Members are regular people working hard. Everyone supports each other. We’re like a family here. It’s phenomenal.”
Chris attributes much of that to his core team of employees, two of which are his sons, Cody, 21, and Brandon 15. Cody runs the Atilis Sea Isle location, while Brandon leads Avalon.
“They’re my world,” he said.
Chris says he also likes hiring college interns who attend school across the region, and are looking to break into the business.
“College interns, I find, are some of the best employees around,” he said. “They want to do the best they can and learn as much as possible.”
Helping Chris manage his employees is personal trainer, Claire Krebs. Claire has become the face of the Atilis Gym brand. If a particular location needs something, she’s the go-to point person. While she moves from location to location each and every day to ensure smooth operations, Claire primarily manages the Ocean City gym.
“They call me the ‘bouncer’ since I’m always running from one location to another every day. Everybody knows me and knows I’m willing to help,” said Claire. “I’m like Chris’ right arm. When he opens a new gym, he relies on me to hire staff, and coordinate day-to-day business. Since Ocean City’s the newest spot, the newest ‘baby,’ I’m here to nurture it and help it grow.”
Claire says her mantra is “keeping her clients balanced. I’m also a life coach, so I work on the overall well-being of a person. I look at their limitations, flexibility, and overall fitness ability. I can also put together a nutrition program for clients.”
With fall just around the corner, Claire has some tried and true moves to keep us in shape throughout the holiday season and beyond.
“It’s all about going back to basics,” she said.
Here are five exercises you can do at the gym, at home, on the beach, anywhere you’d like:
Push Ups Start in a high plank, placing hands directly under your shoulders and hands firmly placed on the ground. Lower your body, keeping your elbows close to the body and back flat, until your chest just touches the floor. Push yourself back up in a controlled manner. Here, you’ll target the triceps, pectorals, deltoids and core.
Sit Ups Lay down with knees bent and feet placed flat on the ground. Cross your arms over your chest so your hands touch opposite shoulders. Tighten your abdominal muscles and draw your belly button into your spine. Slowly sit up until you’re at a ninety degree angle. Hold the position for a second, then lay back down. Sit ups primarily work the rectus abdominis, as well as surrounding assisting muscles.
Jumping Jacks Stand tall with your feet together and hands at your sides. Quickly raise your arms above your head, while jumping your feet out to the sides. Immediately reverse the movement to jump back to the standing position. Jumping jacks engage all of your muscle groups at once, including the calves, glutes, and delts, plus they increase flexibility and tone.
Squats Keep feet shoulder width apart. Sit back with your hips and bend at the knees, then power through your legs to raise back up. Keep your head and chest up, knees over your toes, and knees out. Squats target the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings.
Lunges Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed, and chin up. Always keep your core engaged. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until the front knee is at a 90-degree angle. Be sure not to extend the front knee over the ankle. Keep your weight in your heels as you push back up. Repeat on other side. Lunges work your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
For beginners, Claire recommends three sets of eight, and as you advance, she suggests three sets of 15.
Claire’s happy to create a custom program for anyone.
“It’s all about you, what you need and want,” she said. “It’s a comfortable place here, a safe place. The energy is happy and there are no bad days.”
Jim Rodgers, one of the die-hards, can attest to that.
“I was an athletic trainer for years and years, and am now into my retirement,” says Jim. “I love the energy here, and I love that I can offer members a tip or two.”
Atilis offers discounted pricing for students, senior citizens, and first responders, like police, fire, and emergency personnel.
“As a former police officer in Lower Township, I wanted to be able to give back to the community,” said Chris.
Atilis is an all-access gym, open 365 days a year.
“We offer just one membership, which gives you the ability to hit all five locations,” says Chris. “And new members receive a one-on-one tour, and a free personal training session.”
Atilis customers are not bound to a contract, and can pay as they go. Pricing is quite affordable, with $10 for a day pass, a whole week for $40, or entire summer for $135.
“Depending on your needs and goals, we’re always here to help, every day of the week,” said Chris. “To me, this isn’t work. I love it, I love what I do, and appreciate the community who gives us amazing support.”