A new generation of fitness on Lopez

  • Fri Jul 16th, 2010 11:29pm
  • Life
The logo for the Lopez Dojo’

The logo for the Lopez Dojo’

The Lopez Island Dojo is a pleasant place to be on a summer evening. Resting at the end of Flicker Lane, it is a peaceful building with minimalist interior.

“Dojo” is a Japanese word meaning “the place where the way is studied.” This name is even more appropriate now that Greg Houle is using the building as his teaching space. A Lopez local since 1998, Houle is teaching a way of exercise that is as innovative as it is accessible and effective.

“Intelligent fitness,” as he calls it, is a full body work out with influences drawn from circular strength training and the Far East. Houle creates a unique blend of cardio, strength building and mediation. And it only takes 24 minutes.

“The vision of the class is to create a base level of fitness, health and awareness that can be a resource…for the everyday,” says Houle.

“The age range is from 23-68, and there are all levels of fitness,” says Houle, describing how the class accommodates a broad spectrum of body types.

One of the reasons it is considered “intelligent” fitness, is because it works to harmonize your body in exercise and therefore optimize the session’s effects.

The structure of his class; short, intense bursts of activity followed by rest, optimizes the production of lactic acid, which triggers growth hormone. This promotes the development of muscle, which burns more calories. Thus with more lactic acid, more muscle is developed and the body is left burning fat two days after the class. “Its about using your biomachinary efficiently. To watch the movements they have the grace of dancing, but the effort of a work out.”

One of the founding principles of Houle’s method is portability, there are no weights used and so the 24 minutes can be repeated anywhere. Another is that, because the class operates on a month to month basis, there is an incremental sophistication throughout the four weeks. “Evolving through the system is a key way to accelerate weight loss, optimal strength and muscle gain, it also keeps you excited to come back because you are always learning new skills,” he says.

The meditation and stretches are equally important to the experience, designed to leave you feeling stronger not only in body, but in spirt also. Houle puts great emphasis on joint flexibility, teaching students how to rotate joints through a full range of motion, soothing aches and preventing calcification.

The effects, both remedial and athletic, are championed by Houle’s current students. Husband and wife team Dave and Carol Wallis say the sessions cover all the bases, from self-esteem to help at work. Dave’s job is very physical and he says the strength he now has in his body’s core helps support him through the day. He also says that a colleague complimented him on his physique, his only reply to this comment being a smile and the line “training with Greg Houle.” Sarah Rabel, another participant says the class are “intense” but worth it.

“Once you come through the door you realise this is nothing you’ve ever seen before,” says Houle.

The class runs three days a week, 7:30-9 a.m. in the morning and 5:30-7 p.m. in the evening. You can pick a time-slot or go to both, the fee is $150 per month. For any questions, or to book a class, email Houle at greg.houle@gmail.com or call 472-1755.