One Man’s Journey – Finding Functional Bodyweight Training with Total Gym
“Helping Millions of People Get Healthier.” That’s our mission at Total Gym and we know that healthier isn’t necessarily easier. It takes discipline and determination to make it a lifestyle. If you are willing, there are thousands of people around the world who want to help YOU succeed on your journey to fitness. Vlad Khlopkov, Owner of Fitnessolution Ltd., is one of those jewels helping a nation discover a new way to exercise on the Total Gym® Elevate Circuit™.
We interviewed Vlad on how he came to discover functional bodyweight training and what his thoughts were on the Total Gym Elevate Circuit. Here’s what he told us.
“My story starts in 1968. I was born in Baku (City of Winds), the capital and largest city in Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea. There, I began my journey and spent the next twenty-four years of my life.
Soon after graduating from high school, I studied engineering for five years at the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy. In the summer of 1991, the year that Ukraine declared its independence from Russia, I went to Kiev to visit my younger brother and something unexpected happened.
I remember it like it was yesterday; I was walking on the Bogdana Khmelnitskogo Street and suddenly I heard somebody calling my name. It was an old acquaintance of mine from school in Baku. While we were talking, he offered me a job to work with him in Kiev to which I agreed right away. And would you believe it, it took me nearly twenty years until I visited Azerbaijan again? I’m glad my life turned out to be this way. Even if I could go back and change it, I wouldn’t change a thing.
So, that’s how I ended up staying in Kiev and starting my career in the fitness industry. It was at a time when the first sports clubs just started opening in Ukraine and I was selling sports equipment to a totally new market.
It was a completely new industry back then and to acquire all the necessary information I needed, I had been actively attending exhibitions and trainings abroad. I found out about Total Gym from a commercial I saw with Chuck Norris in 2000. Later, at FIBO (International Fitness Wellness Expo), I saw a Total Gym booth and for the first time, I worked out on the machines. I really liked them and immediately realized the potential for Total Gym in the Ukraine sport club arena.
In 2008, I established my own company for sports equipment and three years later I became the Total Gym distributor in Ukraine. I was introduced to the Elevate Circuit during one of the Total Gym distributor meetings in San Diego in 2014. I could really understand and physically feel the capability of these machines and realize their potential.
But back to my story—in 2015, in the wake of the popularity of functional training in the Ukraine, I got this idea to open a separate functional training studio, where the Elevate Circuit would be the basis of training, since it’s easy to understand, easy to use, very effective and popular. The studio opened, simply due to the Total Gym Elevate Circuit!
Our studio and everybody who comes to our studio loves working out on the Elevate Circuit. It delivers huge results while taking minimum time and minimum effort. With our busy lives and crazy schedules, it’s what people need nowadays. It’s good for any body type, age or fitness level etc. Most importantly, and this is a good thing, people don’t tire of it or get bored.
Our members are impressed with how the Elevate Circuit uses bodyweight as resistance and how exceedingly effective training sessions are. Without even asking our members, I can assure that the most popular machine in the Elevate Circuit is the Total Gym Leg Trainer. Girls simply love it! They love working out on it and love what it does with their butts. Their most favorite exercises are the lunges.
A famous trainer, Igor Obukhovskyy, from Zvajeni and Schastlivy, the Ukraine counterpart to The Biggest Loser TV show, visited our studio to personally check out the Total Gym Elevate Circuit and consider them for purchase, for his trainings on the show. Mr. Obukhovskyy was extremely impressed with how effective the workouts were, even though they looked easy, and he was definitely recommending them for the show.
Our studio is not the only Total Gym Elevate Circuit representative in the Ukraine. The Fitness Manager of “Sky Fitness, one of the biggest Ukrainian sport clubs, Sergey Putsov, loves the machines for their comfort, effectiveness and thinks they are an ideal as a tool for personal training, as the foundation for a group training program. He is amazed how the Elevate Circuit has opened up a variety of totally new and interesting exercises for their members.
Now looking back at my childhood, I can say that I’ve had a “thing” for sports as long as I can remember. When I was about 10 years old when my mom took me to the track and field. Those classes, and taking part in competitions, have implanted a love of sports and fitness in me forever.
I love what I do and it is definitely not just a business for me, it’s much, much more. When I was young I always thought about living in a world of physically and emotionally healthy people; happy people—strong, confident, young looking and beautiful people.
I think in particular, physical activities must be in our daily everyday life and we should teach our kids to be the same way. Here they say, “With training your body, you train your mind,” and roughly translates to “A sound mind, in a sound body”. I strongly believe that people should be developing themselves in all different ways, including physical and spiritual development because it is necessary for a happy and full-fledged life.
Health is not only an integral part of every human but the essence of life! Unfortunately there are still a lot of people who don’t think about the way they eat or live in general and I really want that to change. Just like the saying goes ‘Wealth is nothing without health’, right?”