One Year of Health House

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I get a lot of questions about how in the world I get motivated to wake up and workout at 6 am every day. I am fairly confident this post will answer that question for you.

I have been a member of Health House in Kansas City for about one year now, so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what this place has done for me during that time. I’m sure a lot of you either belong to a gym or just workout on your own at home and don’t quite understand what the big deal is when I talk about Health House. You might think it’s “just another gym”, but to me, it’s so much more than that. It’s my community.

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This was a special Bumble BFF workout that took place at Health House, which is why there are only females in the photo. Just to be clear, there are a ton of males who workout here too, and absolutely love it.

I made the decision to officially join Health House last January after trying it for a few months on Class Pass. I loved everything about it and felt that it was time to commit and trust this one place with my fitness. I did this partly to push myself a little harder before our wedding in September, but more so because the workouts challenged me more than anything else ever had and I absolutely loved the energy and the way I felt every time I walked out of those doors. Ethan, my husband, decided to join with me, which has made the whole experience even better, but I’ll talk more about that later in this post.

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Photo credit: @kenziesheaphotography

The Best Way To Start The Day

I want to be completely honest with you all. Waking up at 5:00 every morning is still a huge struggle for me, but I do it because I know it will be so worth it. Throwing off those cozy blankets and getting your feet on the ground is by far the hardest part. Ever since Ethan and I got married, he has been an enormous help with this. Unlike me, he turns on the lights and pops right out of bed the second our first alarm goes off. (I mean, who does that?) I, on the other hand, lay in bed and groan for a few minutes, and then eventually drag my body out of bed approximately 6-8 minutes later. But hey, I’m up and that’s all that matters!


The second I pull up to Health House, walk through the front doors and hear the music blasting, I am reminded why I do this to myself. There is a contagious energy about this place. You feel it from the instructors, the music and everyone else around you. We are all here to accomplish the same thing. We are not competing with each other; we are a team, supporting each other and getting it done together. I have been a 6 AM-goer for a long time now, so I can’t really speak for the evening classes as much, but the people who show up at 5:30 and 6 AM do not mess around. They are there to crush the hell out of their workout and then get sh*t done the rest of the day. From what I see from IG stories, the evening classes are no different.

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If you think that doing morning workout classes before work sounds impossible, I urge you to try it. I truly can’t think of a better way to start off my day than getting in an amazing workout alongside some badass people who have become friends. When you see each other at 6 am every morning (looking really good, obviously) and nearly die alongside one another on the rower, a special bond is inevitably formed.

The Workouts

Okay, you’ve heard a lot of hype about the place, so you’re probably wondering what the heck the classes actually consist of. I want to give you a little idea of what you can expect at a Health House class. However, I will say that every class is different, which is what keeps it both exciting and challenging, because you never know exactly what to expect. Every trainer has a unique style, and they are all great in their own way.

Health House prides themselves on being “the first dedicated rowing studio that mixes rowing and strength training for the ultimate full-body workout.” So with that being said, each class is a combination of both cardio and strength training using a variety of equipment, including water rowers, dumbbells, medicine balls, Bulgarian bags, benches, jump ropes and often times, just your body weight. When I say cardio, you can expect HIIT-type (high intensity interval training) cardio, so most of the time you won’t do one move for longer than 30 seconds to 1 minute. You can do anything for just 60 seconds, right? ; ) Think: ball slams, burpees with weights, mountain climbers, jump squats, jump lunges, skater hops… you get the idea.

If you’ve never used a rowing machine before, you are missing out on one incredible piece of equipment. I have a major love/hate relationship with the rower, because it is exhausting and for lack of a better word, freaking hard, but I always feel like a badass after cranking out sprints or getting through those long, endurance rows. I’m definitely not the greatest rower in class, but you don’t have to be going 12 mph with a 1:30 split time to get an amazing workout in every single time.

Rowing uses 86% of your body’s muscle mass (legs + core + arms), providing a more efficient and effective full body workout. Once you learn the proper technique, you understand how important your legs and core are while you row, and your arms are not quite as important as you may have thought they would be.

At Health House, we work a different muscle group each day, which allows us to really focus on strengthening that particular part of the body, and then letting those muscles recover until we use them again. For example, Monday is Chest, Triceps & Abs, the next day is Legs & Abs, then Full Body, then Back, Biceps and Abs, then Butt and Shoulders, and repeat! Your core will be engaged in just about everything you do at Health House, so expect to use it pretty much every day, whether you are truly doing “ab” exercises or not. I have gained a ton of core strength since I joined, which I mostly attribute to the rower, but unfortunately, my bulging 6-pack is still hiding under there somewhere. ; )

Head to the Health House website to learn more about the specific classes that they offer.

Could I Handle The Workouts, Even As a Beginner?

I have had several people reach out to me saying that they are interested in Health House, but they were nervous that they weren’t “fit” enough to come try a class. I want to set the record straight on this. Yes, the classes are incredibly tough, but there are truly members of ALL different fitness levels who belong to Health House. That is the beauty of this place! It is a super friendly, welcoming and supportive environment. Absolutely no one will judge you if you can’t do something — people frequently modify moves as needed, which is perfectly fine. The trainers are great about helping with your technique if you need it, and you are welcome to use as light or as heavy of weights as you want, or no weights at all for some moves! Also, if you’re going slow as molasses on the rower or don’t reach 500 meters by the time you’re supposed to, no one will know besides you, and maybe the two people directly beside you. It’s no big deal! As long as you are giving it your all, you will get a great workout, and I guarantee you’ll feel better than you did before you came.

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If it makes you feel any better, I have been going there for an entire year, and I still struggle at some point during every single class. That’s just the way the workouts are structured. They push you to the point of exhaustion (in a good way), which is how gains in strength and cardiovascular fitness are made. If it was easy, then what would be the point?

On Working Out With Your Significant Other

As I mentioned, Ethan joined Health House with me back in January of last year, and I think it is one of the best things about our relationship. We have always enjoyed working out together; in fact, that’s one of the things I liked about him in college before we started dating. I always saw him working out at the K-State rec center, which definitely made me more interested in him, as well as a few other things. 😉 But it was obviously important to me to be with someone who valued fitness and health like I do.

Ethan not only helps me physically get out of bed to make it to class, but he motivates me to work harder once we are there. It’s so fun to workout alongside your person and watch each other get stronger. He totally kicks my ass on the rower, but he always encourages me to keep going when he can tell I’m struggling. Health House has become a huge part of our lives — the people, the workouts, the routine — and I can’t imagine not sharing it with him. Working out at Health House together over the past year has made us both stronger individually, but also stronger as a couple.

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Workout together. Laugh together. Eat cake together. ; )

If you’re still wondering how I get motivated to workout every morning, Ethan is one of the biggest reasons. If your significant other doesn’t necessarily like the same things that you do, or for some reason you can’t workout together due to schedules, that is totally fine, but I would encourage you to find another buddy to help hold you accountable and motivate you on the days when you just aren’t feeling it.

Group Classes vs. Solo Workouts

I used to be somewhat against group classes. I was the girl who just wanted to plug in her headphones (and hopefully not make conversation with anyone), blast some rap music, burn a crap ton of calories, and get out, and that worked well for me for many years. But after a while, that routine gets old, and I think a lot of you probably currently are or already have experienced that.

Before Health House, Ethan and I went to various gyms together and lifted weights, did some cardio and abs, etc., but you can only do so much on your own at the gym (in some cases). I always tried to push myself hard when I did solo workouts or workouts with Ethan, but it is really easy to get in a rut, become unmotivated and half-ass it when there’s no one there to tell you to keep going.

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Now that I’ve been a part of Health House for this long, I can’t imagine going back. The energy of the trainers is completely contagious. You can’t help but be pumped up when they are screaming your name and telling you that “you can do this”, and just “5 more reps”. They know what you are capable of, and they encourage you to push yourself to that point, and often times, even further. That’s how we become stronger.

I have honestly never left Health House thinking, “Man, I could’ve worked harder today”. How many times have you left the gym by yourself thinking that?

The Community

Throughout the past year, I have gained so many new friends through Health House. I have become friends with people I have met in class, or other members through my Instagram account, and I truly feel like I can call all of the trainers my friends. They make a point to get to know you by name and learn about who you are. I think that is one of the things that makes Health House so special.

Just a few of my favorite HH instructors (@tonyaforst, left, and @ravenactiv, right) 

I asked several of my girlfriends who also go to Health House to describe what HH means to them in a few words, and there was a common theme in all of our responses. The word “community” came to mind for all of us.

I wanted you to hear from some of them, so you know that what I’m saying is true. ; )

Kelsey of @seekelsgo:

Health House has created the perfect fitness community that Kansas City needed. I always leave feeling better than when I walked in. Good vibes, positive energy and a kick ass workout!

Heather of @mintedinthemidwest:

Health House is the only place I have found that actually makes me want to work out every day. The trainers are always so encouraging, inspiring and energetic! They have found a way to turn a gym into a community.

Kirsten of @sweatadventures:

It’s such an innovative experience for being in the Midwest. Typically, people don’t give credit to Kansas for being forward thinking, but HH really pushes the envelope time and time again with their workouts, equipment, studio design and instructors. I’ve taken classes all over and it still kicks my ass more than anything else in the best way possible.

Rachel of @rachcmorris:

Health House is my fitness home. As a former athlete, I crave challenge, camaraderie and the opportunity to better myself every day. In Health House I have found that.

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Another photo of the Bumble BFF event at Health House, hosted by the Bumble Queen herself, Rachel Morris!

Rebecca of @rebeccamarieblog:

HH pushes you to a new level. You’re surrounded by the most motivated people in KC and their energy is contagious. You’ll not only see improvements in your health and fitness; you’ll also see improvements in your work ethic outside of the gym! #crushfitness #crushedit #crush

The Cost

The cost of a membership at Health House may seem expensive up front, but what is your health worth to you? Could you cut back on eating out or driving through Starbucks several times a week to pay for that membership instead? It all comes down to priorities and what is truly important to you. I’m sure we could all find room in our budget to allow for a membership that will have a positive impact on our health and lives overall, and identify some costs we could eliminate that are not benefiting us.

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Thanks to Health House, I have gained a new perspective on fitness. Working out should never be punishment for something you ate; it’s a celebration of what your body can do, and should inspire you to fuel it with healthy foods so it can continue to perform at its best for you. I hope you all feel the same way.

I applaud you if you read all of that, but I truly hope you got something out of it. If you live in Kansas City and haven’t found a workout home yet, or you’re not happy with where you are now, please come give Health House a try! I would love to meet you and workout alongside you. And for the record, they are not paying me to say any of this; this is just truly how passionate I feel about this place. 🙂

Follow @healthhousekc on Instagram to stay up-to-date on what’s going on at Health House including new trainers, workouts, special promotions & daily motivation!

Now go CRUSH the rest of your week!

Shanna

#HealthHouseKC #HellYesCrushFitness

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