Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pyramid Fitness and Oxygen Bar Q&A

After months of anticipation, Pyramid Fitness and Oxygen Bar opened in downtown Rutland, Vermont on December 21, 2010. Lovingly called P-Fit by the Pyramid team, we are very excited to have this new venue and look forward to building a healthy environment where people can work on their fitness in a unique center offering a holistic wellness approach to fitness.

Q: What do you mean by a "holistic wellness approach to fitness?"
A: By "holistic approach," we mean looking at the whole, integrated person through a comprehensive approach to wellness. So at Pyramid Fitness, our members and guests have the opportunity to work on their physical bodies through traditional fitness methods (exercise equipment and group fitness classes), but they also have access to other offerings, such as Yoga and meditation, massage therapy, the oxygen bar, and even a halotherapy room--all designed to help address overall wellness rather than just physical fitness.

Q: Where is Pyramid Fitness located?
A: In downtown Rutland, at 79 Merchants Row. This is the second floor of the building that houses the Boys and Girls Club, and is directly across the street from Three Tomatoes restaurant.

Q: What are the hours of Pyramid Fitness?
A: Monday through Friday, 6 AM to 8 PM, and weekends 8 AM to 3 PM

Q: What equipment do you offer?
A: We currently have a full selection of equipment: StarTrac treadmills, Precor elliptical machines, Nautilus Nitro selectorized weight circuit, an inversion table, a cable cross machine, free weights up to 50 pounds, kettleballs, medicine balls, stretching mats, and more.

Q: What classes do you offer and when?
A: Currently, we offer about 20 classes per week. These are spread throughout the week at convenient times like 9 AM, 12 PM, 4 PM, 5:30 PM, and 6:30 PM during the week, and 9 AM, 10:30 AM, 12 PM, and 1 PM on the weekends. Classes include cardio kickboxing, step aerobics, group strength, core strength boot camp, karate, kabox, meditation, Yoga, and more. In addition, members receive discounts on some classes at Pyramid Wellness Center (our sister facility at 120 Merchants Row in Rutland). Between the two Pyramids, we offer more ongoing classes than any other facility in the Rutland area, taught by the best instructors around. And because our instructors have years of teaching experience, they know how to put together an incredible, safe workout, and our classes promise not to be boring or waste your time. Our instructors regularly change routines and soundtracks, creating a unique fitness experience each time.

Q: Do you have to be a member to use the Center?
A: While it is more economical to be a regular member of Pyramid Fitness, we do offer drop-in guest memberships at $6 per class, $6 for the use of the fitness equipment, or $10 for a day pass.

Q: What types of memberships do you offer?
A: At Pyramid Fitness, we believe that you should only have to pay for what you want to use. With that in mind, we have created several different types of membership packages. For those who just want to use the fitness equipment, the basic price is $30/month. For those who just want to take classes, the basic price is also $30/month. For those who want to use the fitness equipment and take classes, the basic price is $40/month. In addition, we offer a limited discounted membership for those who could come between the hours of 8 AM and 10 AM or 3 PM and 5 PM. These special memberships are $20/month and are perfect for senior citizens and students. Further, we have a deluxe package that includes unlimited everything, plus the use of the oxygen bar, as well as separate oxygen bar memberships.

Q: Do you offer any special group or family discounts on memberships?
A: We believe that our pricing is rockbottom. For that reason, we do not usually discount membership prices further. However, signing up for a year gives members a free extra month, and through our referral program, members can earn up to $10 each month off their next renewal simply by referring their friends and family to P-Fit.

Q: Do you require initiation fees or long-term contracts?
A: Not at all! We do not really understand what an initiation fee is, anyway--a fee so that we can then charge you more fees to use our facility? It does not fit with the Pyramid philosophy of making things as affordable as possible. We will also never make you join for longer than you want. We want our Center filled with happy people who really want to be there. Although many health clubs make their money from selling memberships to people who do not come back, we want to create a vibrant fitness environment with lots of people who love the place as much as we do.

Q: Do you offer full locker room facilities?
A: While we do have private changing alcoves, for many reasons we did not want the traditional locker room environment to be part of the Pyramid experience. Typically, the locker room area is the most troublesome part of a health club for its members and management; often thefts occur in the locker rooms, bacteria builds and is spread via the public showers, fights often break out in the locker rooms, people are often embarrassed or uncomfortable to change in front of others, and sometimes even seedy things can happen in locker rooms. Of course, providing showers would mean that we would have to dramatically increase the price of memberships. We want to keep our focus on providing a high quality facility that is cost-effective to our members, and we can do this much easier without the distraction of locker rooms.

Q: Do you offer child care?
A: We have partnered with our neighbors downstairs, the Boys and Girls Club, and we have worked out a great child care arrangement. During regular school days, we will be able to offer child care through the Boys and Girls Club from 2:30-7 PM (and 9 AM to 5 PM during school vacation days). The best part is the cost--only $1/child or $15 for the entire school year! (Please note that children must be at least 6 years old to use this service.)

Q: What is the atmosphere like at Pyramid Fitness?
A: Our facility is the choice of everyone from brand new exercisers to elite athletes. Everyone is friendly and supportive. This is not a show or a meat market. You do not have to have the perfect body or the perfect workout clothes to be part of the Pyramid family. The environment is relaxing and positive. We do not have televisions because we want you to exercise in the moment and focus on your form, and we never have loud, blaring music. We encourage people who would like listen to music to bring their own personal music player, or we have several MP3 players to loan at the reception desk. Because it is a small facility jam-packed with features, our members get a very efficient, effective workout without a lot of waste.

Q: I would like to join, but I am embarrassed about exercising in front of people. Any suggestions?
A: This is a common situation, and a big reason why people often do not go or do not continue to go to a traditional health club. At the Pyramid, everyone is welcome. We have the bare minimum mirrors so you do not have to look at yourself (except when necessary to maintain good form) unless you want to. We recognize that everyone has to start somewhere, so we have several personal trainers who are available to help you jumpstart your fitness. For those who are very shy, we do offer individual training sessions in our private Personal Fitness Center at Pyramid Wellness. Speak to a guest services member if you are interested in this special service.

Q: I have belonged to health clubs before where you cannot find anyone to help you. Does Pyramid Fitness have people there?
A: Yes! We have a professional guest services staff in your line of vision at all times. Someone is always there to help show you how to use a machine, make sure you are not injuring yourself (we will correct your form if we see you do something dangerous!), and motivate you to keep going. We will even call, e-mail, or text you if we have not seen you for a while! (Extra fee of $5/month applies to this service.) In addition, we have a personal training staff that is second to none. If you want personal service and attention, Pyramid Fitness is really a great choice for you.

Q: Is Pyramid Fitness air conditioned?
A: Yes! Although we believe it is healthy to exercise in fresh air, we do have air conditioning and will use it when it is necessary to create a healthy environment.

Q: What is an oxygen bar?
A: Oxygen bars are very popular in other parts of the country and even around the world, but until now have not been available in Vermont so we spend a lot of time trying to introduce the concept to our guests. Although humans can go three weeks without food and three days without water, we cannot go three minutes without oxygen. Oxyen is a major component of air and is a vital element essential to life, but pollution and other factors reduce the percentage of oxygen in air. An oxygen bar is a place where people can go to take in concentrated oxygen to enhance overall well-being.
The main component of an oxygen bar is the oxygen concentrator--a hospital-grade machine that splits up air into its components; everything else is released into the air, while the pure oxygen is sent into the aromarizer infuser bar. Here, the oxygen is combined with natural essential oils, and the oxygen/essential oil blend is delivered to the guest via nose cannules, similar to those used in hospitals for oxygen.

Q: Are oxygen bars safe?
A: Absolutely! Because the oxygen is mixed with the essential oils and then outside air as you breathe it in through the nose cannules, you are receiving a high quality, safe oxygen blend. We limit our guests to two five-minute sessions per day, which is considered a safe amount by the American Medical Association. Each guest has his or her own nose cannule, making it even safer. Although the Internet is filled with claims about its dangers and ineffectiveness, one Oxygen Bar session will show you what a safe and positive experience this is. (For people will severe respiratory problems, we do recommend talking to your doctor before using the Oxygen Bar.)

Q: What is the Oxygen Bar good for?
A: We must state that the Oxygen Bar is not a medical treatment and therefore we cannot make medical claims about it. Participants understand that the use of the oxygen bar should never replace proper medical treatment. That said, oxygen bars are used around the world for a variety of medical treatments. A simple Google search will pull up some of these. Athletes often use oxygen sessions for improved performance and recovery time. Some people believe that oxygen sessions help eliminate the symptoms of a hangover. Mixing the oxygen with essential oils adds the benefits of aromatherapy. Currently we have wintergreen, peppermint, cherry, lavender, almond, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and lemongrass. Our essential oils are organic and offer a direct delivery of professional grade aromatherapy.

Q: How much does an oxygen session cost?
A: Everyone using the Oxygen Bar must have a nose cannule. You can bring your own, or purchase one from us at $1. For Pyramid Fitness members, each session costs only $2. For non-members, each session costs $5. We also offer special packages--a month of oxygen sessions (up to two per day) is $20 for members or $30 for non-members.

Q: Do you have a sauna?
A: Yes. We have a 1-2 person far infrared sauna at Pyramid Fitness (and a 2-3 person sauna at Pyramid Wellness) that is available whenever the Center is open. For Pyramid members, the sauna is 50 cents per minute; for non-members, it is 75 cents per minute. People using the sauna should bring three towels with them or be prepared to rent them from us--for sanitary purposes, one towel on the floor, one towel on the seat, and one towel to wrap and wipe with. Although the temperature of the far infrared sauna runs lower than a traditional sauna, participants using it for more than fifteen minutes will break a sweat. Unlike a traditional sauna, a far infrared sauna uses the very powerful far infrared light rays rather than heat--so the rays penetrate deeper into the body, offering an excellent detox for our muscles and organs. A simple Google search will reveal the possible medical benefits of far infrared, although we do not personally make any medical claims about it. Pregnant woman and anyone with current heat or blood pressure issues should consult with a doctor before using the far infrared sauna.

Q: What is the halotherapy room?
A: Halotherapy is similar to the Pyramid Wellness Center's Himalayan Salt Cave (www.pyramidvt.com) except that it uses a moist delivery system. The halotherapy room is decorated like an old Polish mine and contains a saline tower that creates a fountain effect. Participants sit in relaxing zero-gravity chairs, or we can remove the chairs and offer massage and other wellness treatments right in the halotherapy room. As participants relax in the halotherapy room, microscopic droplets of Himalayan salt-infused water are spread through the room by the tower and are taken in through the mouth and nose. Again, while we can make no medical claims for this room, halotherapy is used successfully around the world to treat many medical conditions. Our halotherapy room is primarily a relaxation chamber. Like the Salt Cave at Pyramid Wellness, the cost to use the halotherapy room is $10/person/hour. Personalized treatments are available in the halotherapy room for $40 in addition to the cost of the treatment.

Q: Are there other benefits to membership?
A: Yes! Pyramid Fitness members get special disounts on many Pyramid services...$5 off ionic foot baths, special pricing on the sauna and oxygen bar, $5 off massages, $10 off personal training sessions, special discounts on Pyramid workshops, and much more.

Q: This sounds amazing! Where do I sign up?
A: Thank you--we think it is pretty amazing, too! You can stop in during regular business hours to see the place in person and join, and all of our forms are available online if you would like to get that part out of the way. www.pyramidvt.com

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