Get Hungry. Eat The Frog.
by Lee Barnathan
Most don’t want to eat the frog. Bryan Clay, Mike McMahon and Kat McMahon are not like most. They welcome the frog. They love the frog. They are one with the frog.
They also know that the frog is a metaphor for something you don’t want to do. In this case, that’s fitness.
Clay, the 2008 Olympic and 2005 world decathlon champion, is co-founder of Eat The Frog Fitness. The McMahons own the Ahwatukee studio. They live by the mantra often attributed to Mark Twain: If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, you can go through your day knowing the worst is behind you.
“There’s this idea of don’t push off the things you need to do,” Clay said. “From a fitness standpoint, that’s exactly what we want. (The name’s) just quirky enough for people not to forget that.”
Clay and the McMahons hope everyone will come in, see how they do things differently, and stay. Eat The Frog guarantees results in eight weeks.
The key is in the customization. Everyone starts with a 30-minute fitness assessment that includes determining one’s maximum heart rate while exercising. Clay and Mike McMahon say this is critical because most fitness centers use the standard of 220 minus one’s age. A 50-year-old would have a maximum heart rate of 170.
“That’s a general rule,” Clay said, “but a runner or cyclist could be higher. If it’s supposed to be at 180 but you’re at 190, we’ll customize to 190.” “Customize” here means design an eight-week workout regimen of three types of classes: flexibility and core strength, strength training and cardio, plus recovery for each. How many classes one takes each week, and their intensities, depends entirely on one’s individual plan.
Another unique feature is the classes themselves. The rooms are equipped with two 11-foot screens. Classes might be instructor-led or not, allowing for anyone to do the workout at his or her convenience. Regardless, whatever piece of equipment is being used, it’s customized to the individual using it. So, a first-time attendee can be next to an Olympic-elite athlete and each will still get a maximum workout.
“We pride ourselves on the (customization) of the workout,” Clay said. “Group fitness is very cookie-cutter. If I want to lose 15 pounds, if Mike wants to run a marathon, if Kat wants to win an Olympic gold medal, what every other group says is, ‘Do this workout and all of you will reach your fitness goals.’ In the world of sports, that’s not how it works.”
It made a convert of Kat McMahon. She preferred low intensity workouts before trying it, and the spin bike intimidated her.
The first time she went to the studio, it was too intense. The second time was better. The third time, she said, “When are we going to the studio again?”
Others seem to agree. Clay said that Eat The Frog’s retention level is better than the industry standard, which he declined to state (the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association says it was 72.4 percent in 2015).
It’s not known how many of those stay because of the cool name.
“I told my wife I want to take a look at (investing in) Eat The Frog. She said, ‘You want to do what?’” Mike McMahon said. “And here we are.”
For more information about Eat The Frog Fitness visit www.eatthefrogfitness.com.
EAT THE FROG FITNESS
4722 E. Ray Road, Suite 13A
Phoenix, AZ 85044