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With Omaur Bliss, GTX Coach
GTX is a signature group training format at Life Time that’s a 50/50 blend of cardio and strength. But what is the class like? What results does it elicit? And how does it differ from other training programs? In this mini episode, Omaur Bliss, GTX Coach, shares those details and more about this format.
Omaur Bliss is NASM-certified and a 5-star ELI performer with more than 15 years of experience in the fitness, programming, teaching, and training industries. He’s also a software developer and DJ. He coaches GTX at Life Time.
Bliss speaks to some of the unique advantages of the GTX programming, including the following:
- An equal blend of cardio and strength. You don’t need to be a runner, nor do you need to be an avid strength-trainer to do GTX — but if you are one or the other, this class can supplement your efforts. And whether you’re a general exerciser or someone with no fitness experience, this class ensures you’re engaging in a balanced, full-body routine.
- A community of support. This class is for all fitness levels, so there’s a great sense of inclusivity. You’ll be led by a coach who’s there to support you wherever you’re at and give you the tools you need to push forward, however that works best for you on a given day. And you’ll be doing it alongside a likeminded group of others.
- A focus on heart-rate zone training. Identifying your personal heart-rate zones allows you to work smarter, not harder. You can tailor your fitness efforts so you’re working in the right zone at the right time for your body — and reach the results you’re going after.
Signature Group Training
Individualized attention. Progressive programming. A supportive community. GTX, Alpha and Ultra Fit are structured workouts led by nationally-certified personal trainers.
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Why Signature Group Training? With Nastassia Smith
Many people engage with group training programs for the community and accountability — and because, when designed based on science and research, they can offer fitness growth beyond what an individual might otherwise be able to achieve on their own. In this mini episode, Nastassia Smith shares the advantages of Life Time’s signature group training, and offers guidance if you’re considering giving it a try yourself.
Transcript: Why GTX?
Season 8, Episode 8 | February 14, 2023
[MUSIC PLAYING] What’s going on Life Time fam. We’re back with another great episode why GTX with Mr. Omaur Bliss. Super excited to have him here today. I’m David Freeman.
And I’m Jamie Martin.
A little background on Omaur. He’s a five star ELI performer with over 15 years experience in the fitness programming, teaching, and training industry. In addition to doing the day-to-day fitness, he’s also a software developer, DJ, chica, chick, and fitness contributor to several media outlets and holds also his certification in ASM. Welcome, Omaur. How are you doing?
I’m good. Thank you for having me. I like the chica chica, that was very–
He said that all together. Alright. So, Omaur, we’re here to talk about one of our signature group training formats at lifetime. We’re talking about GTX. Tell us about GTX and why it’s different from other sorts of training programs?
First, GTX, I always think about training programs as there’s two types. There’s this really industrial view of training where you are just there to grind it out and you check out, or there’s a community that’s there to push each other to grow a little bit stronger. So the big difference right away is I think GTX takes that community aspect.
It’s very important to connect individually with each person who’s there and what they’re there for, but it’s also to connect each one of those people to have that community of support. And so that’s one thing that you might see first off in a GTX class. There’s going to be, of course, music going, there’s going to be people working out, that’s why you’re there, but there is that coach.
And one thing that I relate with that coach portion is we’re there to motivate each and every person, but also to have fun with them, to make sure that they are supported wherever they are, and to give them the tools that they need to push forward or to find a breakthrough, however that works for them that day.
I love how you set that up. You were saying you have a coach there present with you to push you and challenge you to that next level. GTX itself, that whole acronym guided transformational experience is huge. So when we think of who this class is for and what they would be experiencing in these workouts, what would that look like?
I honestly think GTX is for everyone. The great thing about this class is you don’t necessarily have to be a runner. And in fact, some of the people I talk to about this class are very intimidated by running. So it’s a little bit easier to digest. OK, we start off with a simple zone one, that might be a brisk walk for some, that might be for those experienced athletes a little bit more than that. And then we build on top of that.
So wherever you’re coming from, be you’re an experienced athlete or someone who’s just new off the street, you need to change something up. I think there is that portion that invites people. And on the other side of that, we have strength training. So we have those experienced runners who can run marathons, but they know to get to that next level maybe they need to add this functional resistance training component.
Yeah, they’ve heard of it, but for some people if all you do is run that might be intimidating for you to do it by yourself. You go on the other side and there’s people with the 400 pounds lifts and all that. Although we know where they can go with that, this is a great entry point to that. So you have the best of those both worlds.
And if you are someone who has no experience with weights, or no experience with running, and know that it might be good for you to balance out whatever you’re doing in life, all of a sudden you have that entry point on all levels. So that, again, is something that, I think, is very unique, the combination of the two and giving people the tools that they want to use to advance their life or advance their performance.
Absolutely. So you talked a little bit about the balance between those two, it’s really cardio and strength. And one of the ways this class is described or this program is described as 50-50 between the two, cardio and strength. So if someone were to come into the class for the first time, what might, in general, an experience look like or a class be like for them? How would you start and how would you get through that hour long experience?
Well, first off it’s the welcome. You’re coming into class. If you’re new, or never been here before, where do I start? And that’s something that we often will feel and get from people. So I say, hey, we’re going to start on the treadmill. If it’s a really packed class and you’re on the floor, that’s OK. You can start wherever you are and we’ll work with wherever you’re at.
So as they’re starting, the main thing is to connect with them first and foremost, see if they’ve taken the class before. And again, if they’re new thank them for showing up. It takes a lot of courage to show up to something new. And so from there, we’re already setting this community foundation that, hey, I’m here to make sure you get everything you need and to make sure that you’re safe and you have a good time. And that’s the most important thing.
So I think that right away, we set this tone of inclusivity, connectivity. And we’re setting them up wherever they are, be it, again, first time here but I’ve worked out somewhere else, I’ve just not done this workout. OK, this is how we can get you set up on the treadmill, make sure you have your appropriate weights when those sets ongoing, and again, use me as a resource.
Something doesn’t feel good, I’m not only going to be watching, but you can talk to me at any time during the class. It’s not a, I’m going to sit here and talk and you guys listen, it’s a back and forth.
You can hear the experience as far as you being in this space, like you said, it starts with the welcome. And you guided us through each and other piece whether they start on the treadmill or the floor and they get the strength or the cardio element, and you bring about that community aspect, that push element as well. So now you’ve had to within your years of experience in this space have some success stories, or what are people saying in this space that take GTX with you?
Well, I think of success stories as coming in all shapes and sizes. I had one lady who was preparing for her son’s wedding and that was her focus. She wanted to just feel good in her body. And so she came to GTX three times a week and she really trusted the process and the programming.
And it was supposed to be, OK, I’ll do this for eight weeks, and then the wedding, and I’m done. And she still shows up to class because it’s now starting to become a part of her day. And I think really it’s the difference of, OK, we’ve done this strength training, we’ve built on this endurance. I now notice in my day-to-day life I can pick up things easier. I’m not as tired. Those are big things.
Another gentleman he just came back from some knee issues, he had double knee surgery. And so he’s not going to be the guy doing all the plyometric jumps and all that stuff, but this was good to get his hips back in action, to really help with the process of healing his knees. And one thing I can say about him is he’s dedicated and you can already see those subtle improvements.
And one thing I shared with him was, I had an issue where– as athletes you will experience an injury and I had a knee issue. And so what I really told him is take your time, don’t rush things, and keep moving. And he really has stuck with it and every single week he comes back. There’s a little bit more depth in his squad. He’s upping his treadmill a little bit more. He’s not on a full run, doesn’t need to be, he’s at the level that he needs to be to keep progressing.
Yeah. Well, I love what I’m hearing. It’s like meeting people where they are, and knowing them. And we’re going to have a longer episode with you, we’re going to dig into more about why for each person matters.
But I guess right now. I’d love to know about the why for you. How did you in the fitness industry? What led you here? And what’s a little bit of your story that led you to teaching GTX and connecting with these people and being such a great motivator for so many?
So you want to hear my villain origin story.
That might be some of my students, he’s a villain, he’s tough. No, actually I started– I played sports all through high school. And of course, one thing as an athlete, like I said before, you might encounter an injury, that’s something that you never want to have happen, but it can happen.
And so I experienced a pretty sizable knee injury in high school with– I had to wear the immobilizer, my ACL was pretty shredded. And so after high school, I really didn’t go back into sports and I developed some not so fun habits of lots of cigarettes and drinking as some 20-year-olds who are looking for fun do.
And so one day it hit me as I was trying to go up to the third floor in my building with laundry. I was too winded and I felt like I’m really too young to be this winded after climbing up 3 flights of stairs. And so I decided at this time to talk to a friend, who knew a little yoga. I mean, like five poses, nothing fancy. I think chair pose was one of them, the plank was the other one. Literally nothing fancy.
And so I started digging into it. Just got up one day and said, let’s try this. You are tired of feeling your knees hurt, and your back hurt, and you’re tired of having all these things that you’re complaining about, why not try it? If it doesn’t work, then it didn’t work.
Well, it worked. The next day I felt a little bit better. So I got up and kept doing it. And now, keep in mind I wasn’t even coming to a gym at this point. I was too ashamed to come to a gym because I felt like I would be the silly person in the back fumbling around and the teacher on a megaphone is pointing me out.
And so I did this all in my house. And I kept doing it every single day. I just knew that I needed something and maybe this was it. And about six months later, I started to notice changes. I think sometimes when we’re deep into things, we don’t necessarily notice until we notice. And what do I mean by that? One day I was doing an activity and it just seemed easier.
I didn’t like mirrors, but I decided one day, I walked past this tall mirror, and I noticed a little change in my neck and my face. And I started getting excited because those two things mattered, the feeling I got in knowing that I’m moving my body with ease every single day without pain.
And let’s face it, it feels good to notice a change in your body, to feel like, oh, OK, you don’t necessarily want to focus on that physical gratification, but you want to go– you see that as part of a sign of some change happening.
So I basically from there kept going and five years later, I decided to teach yoga. I got a yoga certification, worked for another gym for about five years, and then the great Bruce Camp and Jerry Hager came to one of my classes and said you must work for a lifetime. And I said, what’s this?
And they brought me over and I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me. All this in one spot? They’re like, no, this is just one of many spots. And so I basically from there just kept growing and kept wanting to learn more. And what’s been beautiful about it is Lifetime gave me opportunities. So oh, you want a personal training, here you go. Oh, you want to teach spin now? Alright.
OK, you like these alpha classes? Teach them. Oh, you find this GTX is really powerful for people and it makes you feel good to empower people? Here you go. And so yeah, that’s basically where I came to now. And of course, every day is awesome. I have no complaints. Yeah.
I mean, that is awesome. And you see a lot of times those who thrive in this space as far as coaches come from these experiences. So I’m glad you were able to share that with us. We got just a few minutes here as we close out. So Omaur, what we want to do to make sure our listeners can have. Is there anything you want to add around GTX before we sign off here that we might have missed?
I think the most important thing is whenever we are working towards change, or a goal, or just something in our lives, involving people is the key. For instance, no one says you raise a child alone, right?
It takes a village to raise a child. And really we as wanting to change ourselves or to grow into something else, it’s going to take a village as well. And so I can’t stress enough that GTX is for everyone. Come as you are and we are there to help you get whatever you need out of that.
Be it you want to improve your performance again, to improve your athletic performance, or you just want to feel better in your body, you want to feel more like you’re becoming yourself, whatever that may look like please come, that’s it.
I love it. I love the simplicity of that. And it’s like it doesn’t have to be more than that, but you’re going to get a lot out of it. So anyway–
You’re going to get a lot out of it.
And sometimes I don’t even like to talk about what you may get out of it, there’s the physiological stuff, but there’s that emotional thing that’s all for you.
Yeah, and that’s a really important part of it. So well, Omaur, we’re going to talk to you a little bit more in depth here in just a little while in our next episode. But for now, where can people find you and follow you if they want more information?
Well, I am at Lifetime. If you are in Minnesota, I trained GTX at Edina very early in the morning. Friday at 6:00 AM I would love to see anyone who is listening show up. I am there for you and so excited. Otherwise, you can find me on Instagram at Omaur Bliss O-M-A-U-R B-L-I-S-S. I’m super simple. As long as you remember the U in that Omaur, you’ll be fine.
We’re good. Well, we’ll make sure to link to that in our show notes as well. But Omaur, thank you so much. We’re so glad to have you on.
Thank you guys. It’s been a pleasure.
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The information in this podcast is intended to provide broad understanding and knowledge of healthcare topics. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of advice from your physician or healthcare provider. We recommend you consult your physician or healthcare professional before beginning or altering your personal exercise, diet or supplementation program.