What made you seek out and and join a program rather than just joining a traditional gym?
I joined Ambitious in the summer of 2014. I was tired of the traditional gym, where I would mindlessly run on the dreadmill or take the occasional body pump class, seeing no difference in my strength or fitness level. I liked that Carmen didn’t try to sell a “one size fits all” gym membership, and took the time to conduct a thorough assessment of each of his members before we signed up for the program, to get a sense of our strength, abilities, and where we needed work. Because Carmen takes the time to get to know his members, he is able to push each and every one of us both physically and mentally.
What I love most about Ambitious Athletics, though, is the social, communal aspect of it. I have met the most incredible people and made the greatest friends through the program. We encourage, support, and push each other; hold each other accountable for coming to the sessions (thanks, Yasmin, Will, and Jaclyn for the texts); and most of all, we have fun.
What do you view as your greatest accomplishment(s) since training at Ambitious Athletics with Carmen?
Since I started the program almost three years ago, I have noticed an incredible difference in my overall strength. I have found that my legs, in particular, have gotten a lot stronger, thanks to Carmen, who now refers to me as “Squat Queen, Reen”. In testing, I was able to complete 145 squats with 70 percent body weight, as well as complete 401 TRX lunges (not on the same day!). As a result of my training, I have become a much faster, stronger runner with far fewer running injuries than in previous years.
I also pride myself on helping Carmen organize social events for the gym, thereby helping him create an Ambitious community. We now have an annual 3 mile fun run in the fall and an Ambitious Scavenger Hunt (the Annual Hunger Gains!!) in December.
In 5 words or less, describe Ambitious Athletics to an outsider.
Ambitious Athletics is my workout fam.
If you were to be stranded on an island but could take one piece of training equipment, one music album to listen to, and your favorite food, what would you bring?
Training equipment – Sled (yes, that’s right, I said it, the sled). I would push that darn sled all around the island, albeit slowly, listening to my fav tunes).
Music - Beastie Boys – Ill Communication or my guilty pleasure album, Jock Jams Volume 1 (Best. Album. Ever.).
Fav Food - Everything bagel with bacon and cheddar cream cheese (from my favorite bagel store in NYC, Absolute Bagel). It would be great if I could also bring coffee to the island.
If you could share some words of wisdom to a new member at Ambitious, what would you tell them?
Stick with the program. Don’t be intimidated by the equipment or be discouraged if you have to start at the very beginning with little or no weights. You will get stronger. Push yourself (don’t underestimate how strong you are). Get to know your fellow Ambitious Athletes, who will be your biggest supporters.