What Is Chuze Gold? An Interview with Mark Darwell.
We have talked extensively on this blog about how important strength training and group exercise are for seniors. So, we thought you might want to meet one of our instructors to find out more! Mark has been with Chuze since the early days of 2011 when the classroom also doubled —err, tripled—as a storage unit and a break room. We’ve come a long way since then, but what has remained is our passion for our members. Chuze Gold is a class geared towards seniors, and those who are looking to participate in a well-rounded and low-impact strength routine meant to help you in your everyday life. Find out more about Chuze Gold from our incredible instructor, Mark Darwell, below!
1 | We are so excited to get to know you, Mark! Could you let everyone know what you do at Chuze Fitness, how long you have worked here, and how you ended up on the team?
I became a team member in October of 2011. Nick, an owner, and current Chief Operating Officer was the manager at the time in Santee, CA. I was a member at the time that I was offered a position as an instructor. Nick approached me at the club, and that’s where it started. I had been a personal trainer since 2001. With this experience and a sparkling personality, I set out to become an exercise instructor and the first personal trainer in Chuze history. It was exciting and new, a real honor working alongside Buck and Nick. The classroom at the time was a storage and break room; we have grown leaps and bounds since then. It has been great to see everyone advance from the front desk at Chuze Santee into larger roles in the company. And yes, we all cleaned tanning beds, equipment, bathrooms, and became a major part of our members’ lives.
2 | What exactly is Chuze Gold?
Chuze Gold transitioned from a mat pilates class into what it is today. It’s currently formatted with stretching, core exercises with specific strengthening techniques to build stabilizing and postural alignment, along with flexibility and confidence.
3 | Can you take us through a class? What exercises will we do and what should we expect?
We begin with dynamic and static stretching using a balance pipe to facilitate the movements. Next, we use an elastic band to strengthen stabilizers in the hips, shoulders, and trunk. These also encourage balance. We then go to the floor to do core, abdominals, and glutes. In between I incorporate stretches, so we don’t all tighten up from the movements.
4 | How important is it for seniors to keep up a strength routine?
Strength is vital to maintaining stability, flexibility, and anatomical positioning. When these aspects are compromised, all sorts of muscular imbalances can develop, making life more difficult. It becomes challenging to overcome, and many end up in the medical hamster wheel, becoming more and more imbalanced. This class will help to prevent this from happening and slow down the degeneration process.
5 | We hear you keep the class fun! How do you connect with our Chuze Gold members?
I connect with everyone by explaining the reasons we do what we do, and by thanking them for participating in my class. Also, by doing the exercises myself and knowing their names. I take their fitness personally.
6 | What are your three main tips for someone who is new to Chuze Gold?
- Do what you can do.
- Don’t be discouraged by an inability to perform.
- Don’t give up!
7 | How would you suggest members schedule out their workouts for the week to incorporate Chuze Gold?
Make it a priority, you can’t afford not to.
8 | What is the best advice you have received on your fitness journey?
Be consistent and try new things, no matter what.
9 | Do you have any hobbies outside of the gym that keeps you happy and healthy?
I enjoy surfing and playing music. Also, to do the things that facilitate my own happiness.
10 | Thank you so much for sharing this information! Can you tell us the one takeaway you want our Chuze Family to remember from this interview?
You only have one life to live, so make sure you can be fit to enjoy it all.