We’ve got another first on this week’s Addicted to Fitness. This on-location episode features my first workout at the Seminole Heights Athletic Center (website link) and a discussion about the history of the facility with the founders Karen & Marlo Tamayo.
Karen and Marlo grew up playing individual and team sports, but once they reached early adulthood, their approaches to fitness varied. Karen joined the coast guard which required her to maintain a certain level of fitness. Upon completing her military enlistment, she enrolled in grad school and later began competing in triathlons. She soon realized that the time investment involved in the triathlon training was substantial and made the decision to transition to crossfit training.
Marlo on the other hand continued her sport specific training while playing on the Florida Atlantic University varsity softball team. Her dedication to a regular fitness routine took somewhat of a backseat once she began her PhD program in the early 2000s. After 13 years of focusing a tremendous amount of her time and effort on her degree and career, she decided to make fitness a top priority once again. Much like Karen, this change in priorities led Marlo to discovering an affinity for crossfit workouts.
Snapped this gem during my visit to the Seminole Heights Athletic Center
Marlo & Karen were acquitances before they began training at the same crossfit “box” and even though they have a love for it, they knew that they wanted to take a different approach to fitness than crossfit offers. This led them to leading free workout sessions for friends, coworkers and neighbors at a workout space they created in their garage. Their fitness community quickly grew and required a larger space, which lead them to opening their current location in early 2017.
Seminole Heights Athletic Center (SHAC) offers a variety of exercise modalities including yoga and cardio boxing, but their primary workout tracks are SHAC FIT and BARBELL. Both options include high intensity interval training (HIIT) style workouts that are designed to boost endurance and/or increase strength & power output. The primary difference is that SHAC FIT uses more bodyweight exercises while BARBELL incorporates olympic lifting movements. Karen creates all the workouts and makes sure that they can be modified to match any fitness level.
Karen and Marlo operate SHAC in a manner that promotes a sense of community & acceptance. This is evident in the wide range of clientele that frequent the facility as well as their community involvement. They recently registered SHAC in the Tampa Police Department’s Safe Place Initiative (click here to learn more). This program allows anyone that is feeling threatened, or a possible victim of harassment/prejudice, to use the SHAC as a safe haven until authorities arrive. As a same sex married couple, Karen and Marlo have personal experience dealing with prejudice, which is why registering the SHAC in this program was a no brainer.
I was so stoked to have gotten the opportunity to speak with Karen & Marlo about their fitness journeys, but this wasn’t just an interview episode. We still had a workout to do!
Before I jumped into the workout, Karen put me through a standard 10 minute warmup that included several bodyweight & resistance band mobility exercises. After I was all warmed up and ready to go, I decided to tackle the SHAC FIT workout of the day which was 5 dumbbell squat clean thrusters (click here to see video demo), 5 hand release push-ups and 5 strict pull-ups.
I only had 10 minutes to complete as many rounds of the 15 rep sets as possible. It didn’t seem like much of a challenge at first but after the first couple sets, I was very happy that it was only a 10 minute workout. You’ll have to listen to the episode to find out how many rounds I was able to complete.
I can’t thank Marlo & Karen enough for allowing me to bring Addicted to Fitness into their awesome facility. One of the main functions of the podcast is to highlight fitness and health professionals that many people may not be aware of. Being able to do this in my own community is a huge honor and I hope you all enjoy these episodes as much as I enjoy creating them.
If you know a fitness professional(s) or facility that we should feature on the ATF podcast, please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or connecting with us on social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter). While you’re checking us out on social media, you should also check out the SHAC Facebook page (link). If you live in the Tampa Bay Area and want to get a workout in at SHAC, head to their website to see their class schedule.
Thanks again for all the love you guys constantly give us. Please leave us a rating & review in iTunes if you haven’t done so already. You know that we love hearing your feedback. Thanks for listening and stay healthy this week peeps!
Links for this week’s episode