March Newsletter 2016


OVAC Group Fitness Bingo Challenge With Fabulous Prizes!

imgFitness should be FUN and we love to encourage members to try new classes. So we are hosting a GROUP FITNESS BINGO MONTH IN MARCH.
Members will be stopping by the Front Desk to pick up a FREE BINGO CARD. After completing the tasks listed in the squares, members will ask their Group Fitness Instructor or the Front Desk staff to initial the corresponding box on the BINGO CARD. Members are then being asked to submit their completed card to the Front Desk (to be placed in my inbox) so that we may shower the member with prizes.


  • For every row a member completes DOWN or ACROSS they will be entered into a drawing for $50 CLUB CASH.
  • For every 10+ squares completed (not necessarily in a row), the member will receive a coupon for a FREE RECOVERY SHAKE from the Café.
  • For every 15+ squares completed (not necessarily in a row), the member will receive a coupon for a FREE MEAL from the Café.
  • For every 20+ squares completed (not necessarily in a row), the member will receive a FREE SMAL GROUP TRAINING SESSION IN APRIL.

OVAC Group Fitness Bingo ends March 31, 2016.

Fitness News…



Listen, transformation is not an event, it’s a process! The first step of that process is putting your trust into a fat loss expert. What makes a personal trainer a fat loss expert? RESULTS!

At the end of the day, results are what matter! As the leader of the Ojai Valley Athletic Club’s Dream Jeans Challenge, I have dedicated my life to helping people like you overcome the “impossible” and I KNOW what I’m doing. The Dream Jeans Challenge gets results. CONSISTENTLY. And we have fun doing it! What wouldn’t be fun about losing 6 inches in just 8 weeks (yes, I can make that happen).
Young or old…male or female…ectomorph or endomorph…average genes or amazing genes…deconditioned or pro lifter…it makes no difference!

I don’t care what set of obstacles life has dealt you…I am going to SMASH your genetics and incinerate the fat and make your body DRIP with confidence so you can LOVE your body 365-days a year. And I am going to make sure you have FUN along the way.

The next DREAM JEANS CHALLENGE starts SOON. Please see below for full details or email me at
Mar 1st-Apr 28th Tu &Th 9:45-10:45am with Danielle
Feb 29th – Apr 27th M & W 4:00-5:00pm with Danielle
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS You will bring in a pair of jeans that you would like to fit into. You should be unable to button these jeans. We keep the jeans here at OVAC. In 8 weeks you WILL be wearing those jeans.
*2 group training sessions per week for 8 weeks led by a certified personal trainer.
*8 more solo workouts designed by a certified personal trainer (2 per week).
*Nutrition program and journal.
*Fitting into your dream jeans.
HOW IS THIS PROGRAM DIFFERENT? You will not rely on a scale. This is not a weight loss program. This is a REINVENT your body FAT LOSS program. You will learn the importance of strength training and metabolic training in the quest to lose fat. You will experience breakthrough moments and the feelings of empowerment that come along with such moments.
COST (non-refundable) Reserve your spot with a payment at the Front Desk.
$198.50 billed Mar + another $198.50 billed Apr for members and $476 pre-pay for non-members.


As a long time fitness enthusiast who has taught Spinning, Kickboxing, HIT, and Stretch, I am passionate about creating a high energy environment that will invigorate people to become healthy and fit. Blending great music and innovative exercise is my recipe of choice to make exercise enjoyable. I am excited to participate in Spinning and I am determined to create this feeling for each and every class member so that exercise becomes something to look forward to. Spinning is an activity that caters to all levels of fitness .Come to my class and experience fun and good times!!


Based on a Lecture by Physical Therapist Gray Cook

Not being able to touch your toes is not as simple as having tight hamstrings, even though this is what you feel when doing the movement. In fact, the tight hamstrings are most likely just a symptom of the true problem.

So what might be the actual culprit? Commonly it’s either:

  • The inability to shift your weight backwards as you bend your upper body down and forward. This results in the hamstrings contracting to keep you from losing balance and falling forward.
  • A stiff lower back that will not round as your reach for your toes.
  • Stiffness in the mid back or upper back may also limit your distance.
  • Tension in one of the calf muscles, the gastrocnemius, which crosses both the knee and ankle joint. Tension here will generally be felt in the hamstrings.

These situations may have arisen due to bad training habits, training the muscles in the front of the body more than the back, lacking full range-of-motion in your training, or a previous injury that has resolved itself fully.

For those of you who can’t touch your toes, try this the next time you’re in the gym: Lay flat on your back on the floor with your toes pointing up and keeping your ankles bent 90 degrees. Place both arms next to your body with your palms facing up. With your right leg remaining straight and toes pointing up, raise your right leg as high as possible. Try the other side. If the raised leg is above or right about 80 degrees while the other leg remains completely still and flat on the ground, the issue is probably above the waist and can be addressed in the steps outlined below. If you can’t raise the leg anywhere near 70 degrees, the problem will probably be below the waist and is outside the scope of this article, but can be addressed with by an OVAC Personal Trainer.

1. Stand with the feet side by side and the heels and toes touching. Elevate the balls of both feet one to two inches on a board or similar lift.
2. Bend the knees slightly without changing the position of the feet. Insert a foam roll or rolled-up towel between the knees. This position will feel awkward. If you can’t keep the feet in position, swap the foam roller or towel for something smaller.
3. Now reach for the ceiling with the arms, palms facing forward. Pull the stomach in as deeply as possible without altering breathing.
4. Now, slowly and gently reach down to the toes. Squeeze the foam roll or towel at the sticking point. Remember to keep the abdominal area pulled in. Keep doing this until you can touch your toes. Exhale as you reach down. It’s very important to have success every time you reach, even if it means cheating by bending your knees slightly.

Phase 2 is the same as above except your heels will be elevated instead of your toes.
1. Stand with your feet side by side with your heels and toes touching. Elevate the heels of both feet one to two inches on a board or similar lift.
2. Bend your knees slightly without changing the position of the feet. Insert a foam roll or rolled-up towel between your knees.
3. Now, reach for the ceiling with your arms with your palms facing forward. Pull the stomach in as deeply as possible without altering breathing.
4. Now, slowly and gently reach down to the toes. Squeeze the foam roll or towel at the sticking point. If you can’t touch your toes, cheat by bending the knees a little.

Once these two phases are completed, get rid of the block and the foam roll or towel and perform the toe-touch movement. Reach up to the ceiling, pull in the abdominals and reach for the toes. You may feel slightly more tension in the lower back and hamstrings, and slightly less tension in the calves than in Phase One. At this point you should be much closer to touching your toes

Is it important to be able to touch your toes? The toe touch teaches relaxation of tension in the lower back, and teaches how to shift weight from the heels to the toes in a smooth and consistent fashion—both of which are vital to squatting and hip hinging (i.e., a deadlift) – two basic human movement patterns.

Toe touch case study 1: Elderly woman with low back pain
Renowned Physical Therapist Gray Cook tells the story of when he and a colleague dealt with an elderly lady who had some low back pain. As they started evaluating her, they found her balance was unbelievably compromised. She had a limited toe touch. It didn’t hurt to bend forward. It hurt to bend backward. When they asked her to balance on one foot, she was all over the place and had to catch herself or put the other foot down within three seconds. Gray said, “It was amazing she even walked into the clinic.” They checked this elderly woman’s active straight-leg raise and it didn’t look that bad but she couldn’t touch her toes. They took her through about 10 toe touches with the toes up, then took a rest break. Next they went through about 10 toe touches with the toes down, and took a rest break. Then Gray said, “Stand up. Touch your toes for me.” She had a full toe touch. “Would you mind also showing me how you balance on one leg?” He said they probably quadrupled her ability to balance on a single leg. Then they asked, “Would you mind bending backward?” She bent backward with probably twice the range of motion she could before and only had a little bit of discomfort at the end range.

Toe touch case study 2: Post-surgery knee patient
This patient of Dr. Cook had not extended his knee fully past 20 to 25 degrees in about a month. He had had surgery and probably didn’t participate as well as he should with his previous rehabilitation. The patient had walked around with a flexed knee for four weeks. He had a lot of doubt and fear about straightening it. They needed to put him in a situation where he’d be extending his knee without thinking about it, like with the toe-touch progression where he would be squeezing the knee.
Sure enough, they put him through a toe-touch progression, and each time through he gained more range of motion in straightening his knee.

Toe touch case study 3: Neck pain
This patient of Dr. Cook’s had a neck issue, but they couldn’t find a thing wrong with his neck. He had pain when he moved his neck, but they couldn’t find any restricted motion or reduced strength. His shoulders look pretty good, but he had one of the stiffest postures ever seen. They observed him walking and saw that his core, pelvis and low back were not working together. They then asked him to balance on one foot. He had to shrug the same-side shoulder just to balance. He had to use his neck and shoulders as if they were his core. When his core should have been engaging, he was using his upper body instead. What they had was a painful neck that moved pretty well and a non-painful low back that didn’t move at all. So what do they use? The toe touch until they got him touching his toes. Then they went back and visited the single-leg stance. He could now balance on one leg without using his traps.

Tennis News…

imgWow! I was not expecting that kind of weather for February! I know we need some rain here in Ojai but it was pretty sweet for tennis bums like ourselves. It has been great for all our leagues and I do have to say that OVAC teams are kicking butt! Covering all levels from singles to mixed doubles, we have been doing great this season and I hope we can all finish on a great note!
I want to take time to thank a few tennis members who put together a great fundraiser for The Ojai Tournament. The event was amazing and we had a great turnout. Many thanks to Susan Kasser, Taralee Schoen, Kelly Mays, Kathleen Rogers and many others who volunteered to put this event together. Look forward to next year!


imgFriday, March 4th 5:00pm
Cost $15
Drinks and chips provided

We are having our great Whites and Woodies Doubles Social coming up just around the corner. The event will consist of players dressing in white and being supplied a wooden racket. It will be intermediate/advanced doubles for both ladies and men. Look for a sign up poster in the lobby. Should be a great time!


imgFuture Stars Clinic
Level I Tuesdays at 4:00pm
Level II Thursdays at 4:00pm

Intermediate/Advanced Clinic
Wednesdays at 5:00pm

Tournament Players Clinic
Mondays at 5:00pm and Wednesdays at 4:00pm

Intermediate Adult Clinic
Fridays at 10:00am

Aquatics News…

All Swimmers All Ages Welcome!

8:00am warm-up 9:00am start

Meet Info/Registration:

  • Register by March 5
  • All swimmers will receive a t-shirt and refreshments
  • Entry fee $10 payable to OVAC
  • Results will be posted by March 14

Each entrant must swim 5 events which include:

50m Butterfly
50m Backstroke

50m Breaststroke
50m Freestyle

100m Individual Medley


imgApplicants must pass a swim test and pass a Lifeguard Certification Course (offered at OVAC) or be Red Cross Lifeguard Certified. Applicants must be willing to work weekends through Labor Day. Please apply in person at the Front Desk.


Pilates News…


By Julie Fox, Pilates Instructor
Injuries and pathologies. We've all had them or have them. As a young girl I was very involved in sports. I fell off balance beams, got bruised by wiping out while snow skiing and when I fell off of horses. But, I got right up, and continued where I left off. I was lucky that I never broke anything. When I was 22 years old I sneezed and felt a sharp pain in my lower back. I couldn't stand up straight without excruciating pain. I was diagnosed with a herniated disc. This…from a sneeze? I learned that there can be a buildup of stress on your body over time. That sneeze was the last bit of stress my back could take. L4 was the location of the herniation. I was anti-drug and determined to heal myself naturally. That didn't last long as the pain was just too much to bear. I had to find a way to prevent this L4 herniated disc from reoccurring; quite a few years later I was introduced to Pilates. Now, many years later there have been instances where I could have injured my back again, but doing Pilates and strengthening my core has saved me from that, I am sure. Core strength refers to the functional strength of the deepest, intrinsic muscles of the trunk; those muscles that support the spine and offer stabilization and movement emanating from the core of the body.

Pilates exercises and principles can help people recover from injuries as well as optimize function in those suffering from chronic conditions. Disc pathologies are quite common, and are often chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, stenosis, and spondylolisthesis. The goal of achieving optimal posture and functional strength is what Pilates strives for.
Most of us have injuries or pathologies at some point in our lives. It is vital how we deal with them to make a difference in our quality of life.


“I love Pilates because it helps me feel balanced in my body and allows me to work on building core strength while increasing flexibility and providing a good work out.” Pilates client, Susan Kasser, performing side lift with push through bar on the Cadillac.