Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 37
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton

SUPER SUSPENSION: “We have clients in their seventies as well as young athletes who are doing the suspension training.” Alex Obe, owner of P.T.S. (Personal Training Studio) Health & Fitness, is shown exercising on the TRX Suspension Training system.

Challenging TRX Suspension Training System Is Now Available at P.T. S. Health & Fitness

“We’re a small club, but we’re bigger than you think,” says Alex Obe, owner of P.T.S. Personal Training Studio Health & Fitness. “We offer lots of personal attention and a friendly atmosphere. It’s not intimidating here for people. We have clients who are skinny and also overweight. All shapes and sizes!”

Appealing to a wide range of people has been Mr. Obe’s goal since he purchased P.T.S. in 2006. After graduating as a psychology major from Bucknell University, he had a four and a half year stint in the corporate world, working at Price Waterhouse Coopers and I.B.M. Then, he decided he wanted to make a change.

“I felt I had a greater calling to help people be fit,” he explains. “I knew I wanted to shape my own business, and I wanted to command my own future. I thought, ‘what is it you really want to do?’ I realized I loved fitness and helping people.”

Mr. Obe had always enjoyed sports and working out as a boy. As he says, “I liked being fit growing up. Something felt right about it to me; I always felt most alive then. Also, I saw that people felt comfortable coming to me, asking what they could do to be fit.

“In addition, I know how to focus and get results. You get to know people really well when you do this. Why do they have this issue, this problem? What is their goal? What motivates them?”

P.T.S. offers personal training for all ages, from 14 on up to clients in their 80s. 12 to 14-year-olds can also work out, but only under the guidance of a trainer.

Nine Trainers

The nine trainers, including Mr. Obe, are all nationally and independently certified, and clients can work out on cardio equipment — treadmills, elliptical machines, upright and recumbent bikes, Stairmaster, and rowing machines. All of these have personal viewing screens.

In addition, a series of circuit machines offer strength training. These machines work most of the major muscle groups, and resistance work helps to create lean muscle and strengthen bones. Free weights, exercise balls, and group classes are also available.

Mr. Obe is very enthusiastic about a new addition to the facility. “We have re-designed our studio to accommodate our new TRX suspension training system. Basically, this training is all body weight-driven. You use your weight to lose weight and strengthen muscles.

“All of these workouts and exercises can be varied to individual clients, and almost all the exercises engage the core and abdominal muscles. This is important for balance, lifting, and general stability. It has become very popular, and a lot of female clients especially enjoy it because no machines are needed. Machines have been typically designed around the male physique. It is very important to work with a trainer to make sure you do the exercises properly, however.”

The TRX suspension training system was started by a Navy Seal, explains Mr. Obe. “He developed a system that was simple and could be used anywhere.”

Clients come to P.T.S. for a variety of reasons: to tone up, lose weight, lower cholesterol, or for post-rehabilitation work after an injury. Others want to build muscle, and athletes, including middle school and high school athletes, come for training to develop speed and agility.

Varied Goals

Mr. Obe welcomes the cross-section of clients and their varied goals and motivation. “Young people often want to be better athletes; Dad wants to go out and play with the kids; Mom wants to be able to run after the kids; grandparents want to keep up with the family. Our training is geared to people’s life-style.

“In fact, we have added a focus on functional training to help clients be more fit for daily living. That transcends gender, age, etc.”

Mr. Obe is especially pleased to see a number of Baby Boomers at the studio. “The idea is to keep moving. Just because you’ve gotten older doesn’t mean your fitness career has to end. Many of these clients play tennis, run 5-Ks, triathalons, and more, and they find satisfaction in fitness. People 30, 40, 50, and older can keep active in so many ways. This area has a plethora of sporting and fitness events.

“Also, exercising and keeping active helps balance. We have a client who is 86, and he has been training here for years.

Mr. Obe strongly advises people to check with a doctor before undertaking any fitness program. When anyone becomes a member at P.T.S., he or she has two free sessions with a trainer. The first is a basic assessment: checking body fat measurements, blood pressure, body circumference measurement, and a strength test.

Then, explains Mr. Obe, “We set up an appropriate schedule for strength training on the circuit machines, including the number of sets and reps. Each program is specifically designed to the individual client. We also offer nutritional guidance. We have clients who are referred by doctors and often by other clients.

How Long?

“The question most often asked,” he continues, with a smile, “is ‘how long will it take?’ If the client puts in the work, we meet them half-way, and they will see results.”

Three times a week is adequate, but four times is better, he explains. “Four days of activity at the club, in combination with a trainer or by yourself, is very good — it’s more days active than not. If a client comes in that often, he or she can see changes in two months or less.”

Many clients choose to work with a personal trainer, but for those who don’t, help and guidance is always available. “We are always there to answer questions and help out,” says Mr. Obe. “I will point out that working with a personal trainer is especially motivating. We make the sessions different and vary the program, so clients don’t lose interest. And it’s better for the body to have a variety of exercises.”

Whether the client wants to focus on personal training, weight loss training, sports training, or post rehab, they will find a welcoming, knowledgeable staff at P.T.S.

“We know people’s names,” points out Mr. Obe. “We greet everyone and ask how their dog is! We can be therapists too. Someone may have had a bad day, and we say ‘do another set!’”

A general membership fee is required, and different payment packages are available.

“I realize that people are looking for something positive that will help them feel and look better,” says Mr. Obe. “My biggest pleasure is when clients tell me that working with me or another trainer has actually changed their life. That’s special.”

P.T.S. is open Monday through Friday 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 8 to 4, Sunday 8 to 2. (609) 252-1117. Website:

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