If you aren't hip to the latest practices in the fitness world, you might be surprised when walking into Achieve Personal Fitness, 4170 N. Port Washington Rd. There aren't rows of stair steppers or clusters of treadmills or even a weight room or aerobic studio.
Instead, you'll find a modern, large space filled with natural light and a collection of workout paraphernalia, some of which may seem surprising at first. Like tractor tires, for example, which provide a great workout when flipped. Kettle bells, dumb bells, resistance bands, medicine balls, longshoreman ropes, ply boxes and Bosu balls are also in the mix of Achieve's fitness equipment.
Catherine Andersen – who owns the business with her husband, Michael, who is also a Brookfield police officer – says the basic idea is to rotate between different pieces of equipment for every workout so a person's body doesn't become accustomed to one type of exercise and therefore burns more fat / calories. It also keeps the exerciser engaged so he or she doesn't get bored with the same routine.
"It's very fast paced and there's something different all the time," says Catherine. "It used to be that only athletes worked out like this, but these exercises are ideal for anyone. They are made for the human body."
Achieve Fitness offers three basic programs, some of which are indoors and some outdoors, but they revolve around the same concepts. Every class focuses on either fat burning or strength building and a variety of stations are set up accordingly. Participants spend time at various exercise stations, which change every day. While at a particular station, they usually exert themselves for 50 seconds and then take a 10-second break.
"We're here to create result-oriented programs for all sizes," says Catherine.
Everyone who joins one of the programs goes through a series of preliminary tests so the Andersens – or one of their certified trainers – can assess exactly where the exerciser falls on the fitness spectrum.
"Our three programs are like the Old Navy, The Gap and Banana Republic of Fitness," says Catherine.
The first, Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp, is a four-week outdoor fitness program that offers instruction, nutritional counseling and motivation training. The 5:30 a.m. session is for women-only and the after-work class at 6 p.m. is co-ed. The classes usually have between 40 and 50 participants.
The exercises include core conditioning, short distance running (less than one mile), muscular strength, jumping rope, circuit training, hiking, sport yoga, fitness kick boxing, pilates, sport drills, obstacle courses and more.
Generally, after a four-week program, participants will shed five to 12 pounds of body weight and 3 to 5 percent decrease in body fat. For women, this sometimes results in dropping one or two dress sizes.
Adventure Boot Camp is open to people of all fitness levels. It is tailored to the individual, and those who need extra help receive it. The class lasts one hour and participants sign up for three, four or five-day-a-week four-week sessions. Three-month and 12-month packages are also available.
Small group workouts with 15 to 20 participants are also available. These classes are held indoors, are co-ed and are offered at various times throughout the day. Small group classes are available in three-month or 12-month commitments only, and participants get unlimited access.
Semi-private is the third option and involves one to three people working out together. Participants have a very customized program and they usually work out once or twice a week with a coach and once or twice a week on their own.
Prices vary, depending on the program and how many times a week a participant wants to attend. A four-week boot camp program, for example, is between $260-$300.
Catherine earned professional status in the fitness industry in July of 2007 at the USA Championships in Las Vegas. She is an IFBB Professional Figure competitor and is the first and only Figure Pro in the history of the state of Wisconsin. She and Michael started their fitness business in 2007 and opened the current facility in November of 2010.
The Achieve system, according to the owners, is a scientific alternative to traditional workout regimes. It combines appropriate cardiovascular and resistance activity to maximize fat burning along with professional assistance, nutritional guidelines and "scientific manipulation."
"This is where most people go wrong," says Catherine. "No program works for everyone and no program will work forever. As your body changes, so too must your program."
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.