Tricia Roarty had a taste for adventure, and she wasn’t about to let anything stand in the way of living her life the way she wanted. The longtime fitness devotee had spent five years working as a professional personal trainer, but she stopped working full time to spend more time with her family, to travel and to volunteer. Even so, she continued to lead an active lifestyle—running in long-distance races, going on safari through the African bush, zip lining through the lush canopies of the Costa Rican rainforest.
Then, about two years ago, she realized she was getting to a point where she had to start thinking about the future. She wanted to make sure her body would have the strength and stability needed to pursue new adventures, even as she grew older.
“I don’t want any physical limitations,” says Roarty. “When I stopped working [as a trainer], I was still in shape, but I knew I wasn’t where I needed to be in terms of my strength and fitness. From my experience, I knew the best way to get results would be to work with a trainer who motivates you and pushes you harder, but in a safe way. That’s when I started working out with Dwayne.”
She’s referring to Dwayne Wimmer, owner of Vertex Fitness Personal Training Studio in Bryn Mawr. When she first visited the Vertex studio, she immediately liked Wimmer’s sci- ence-based approach to training, his vast knowledge and the one-on-one attention he provided. Fast-forward to a year and a half later: The 30-minute, twice-per-week workouts guided by Wimmer have helped her attain—and maintain—the results she had been seeking.
“My goal is to stay fit and strong, with good muscle tone and bone density,” she says. “I’ve definitely noticed that I’m strong enough to do the things I want to do. It could be something as simple as moving a big piece of furniture and not having to wait for my teenage son to come home to do it for me. I feel strong, I feel fit, and I’ve also received the cardiovascular benefits.”
Rooted in Science
Wimmer founded Vertex Fitness in 2001, following stints as a football coach at East Stroudsburg University and as a strength-and-conditioning coach at Villanova University. His client base includes individuals of all ages, abilities and fitness levels, particularly seniors and busy professionals, the latter of whom appreciate the efficiency of Vertex’s signature 30-minute workouts. While exercise fads will come and go, Wimmer rooted his approach in the “science of exercise,” as he calls it, designed to help clients achieve their health and fitness goals in a safe and controlled manner.
“Our approach is purposeful and meaningful,” Wimmer says. “Everything we do is targeted, like throwing darts. If you’re taking a systematic approach to the body, you can get results without creating any imbalances. As a result, you’re creating a more stable body, so it will perform when you call upon it to do things you like, minimizing the risk of injury.”
Wimmer’s approach spares clients from injuries associated with “excess force or excess repetitions,” as well as preventing over- or under-developing muscles. Such conditions may occur when people try to hone certain muscles in order to attain a specific look— rounded shoulders, for example, or a pronounced posterior—which, in turn, can make them susceptible to injury.
Vertex clients such as Roarty also speak volumes about the studio itself. The space is remarkably clean, quiet and understated. In some ways, the black, white and silver interior has an almost clinical feel—starkly different from most gyms and fitness studios, which are known for bright colors and brash music, not to mention the occasional grunt, groan and clang of metal plates. Wimmer says the difference is by design.
“We do have some music playing, but it’s low,” he says. “All the loud music and other things you see in other gyms or studios are distractions. We want people to come here and focus on what they’re doing.”
Vertex Fitness has all the equipment needed to have clients reach their goals, but recently Wimmer invested in some new equipment he thinks will “change the game.” He is excited when he talks about the addition of five machines from MedX Medical Equipment, a company founded by Arthur Jones, the man who also invented Nautilus exercise machines.
“It’s the most technologically advanced fitness equipment that’s ever been made,” Wimmer says of the MedX machines, which were designed primarily for rehabilitative exercise. “Each machine is designed to restrain the body so you can work only the specific muscles it’s designed to work. Each machine is hooked up to a computer, so it enables you to test and measure strength and the precision of dynamic exercises that are designed to help many of my clients.” The five MedX machines—Medical Cervical Extension, Medical Cervical Rotation, Medical Knee, Medical Lumbar Extension and Medical Torso Rotation—will comprise a separate program designed to help certain clients strengthen muscles and joints through isolation and reproducibility. Even so, Wimmer says some of his existing personal-training clients will use “a piece or two” to address a specific need.
For Roarty, this would likely apply to her knees and lower back.
She intends to keep both strong in order to maintain her active lifestyle. In past long-distance races she has completed—including several half-marathons, as well as a full 26.2-mile marathon in 2009—she noticed her knees would sometimes bother her. She thinks Vertex’s new MedX equipment may help, especially as she trains for the 2018 Broad Street Run, the 10-mile race through the streets of Philadelphia in which she, her husband and more than 30,000 of their closest friends will be participating this May.
Time Is No Barrier
Some people say they avoid working out because they “just don’t have the time,” because their demanding schedules prevent them from committing to the hours per week needed to see results. This is a common fallacy, according to Wimmer. He says applying the proper technique and intensity will help people have a strong, healthy body, both efficiently and effectively.
“If you take a systematic approach and you’re doing the right exercises at a high enough intensity, you can stimulate change,” Wimmer says. “In a pinch, you can get in a good workout in as little as 10 minutes. Leg presses, chin-ups, dips—do those things and you’re working the whole body.”
For those who think Wimmer’s approach sounds like what they need, Vertex Fitness offers a complimentary session so they will quickly see the award-winning Vertex methodology.
“You don’t want to buy a car without sitting behind the wheel, and it’s the same with an exercise program,” Wimmer says. “In that first session, we go over any issues someone might have health wise, talk about goals and then take them through the workout. That complimentary first session is the beginning of the program. Even if they never come back, they leave with some knowledge that can help them get to where they want to go.”
Ask Roarty, and she’ll say one visit is all someone will need to see and feel the Vertex difference.
“Dwayne is the right guy for people who want to stay fit for as long as they can, without being injured,” she adds. “He makes sure you have perfect form, and he makes sure you see results when you’re there. The fact that he does all this in the course of a half-hour workout is a real benefit.”
Vertex Fitness Personal Training Studio
931 W. Lancaster Ave., 2nd Floor
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
Photography by Jody Robinson
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life Magazine, March 2018.
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