Archive for October, 2017

Member of the Quarter- Phil Tofilon

Written by Jamie Potter. Posted in Blog, Member of the Quarter

Phil and Steve 2Phil Tofilon, a 62 year-old cancer research scientist at NIH, attends RCSC with his wife, Corie. Active in his youth, and an avid runner until 2013, Phil joined RCSC when lower back pain caused him to look for low-impact aerobic exercise and core strengthening.

Despite the changes in his exercise regime and ongoing physical therapy, his back problems continued. To alleviate pain and correct lack of mobility, he had surgery in January 2015 to fuse part of his lumber spine. Unfortunately, there were complications. Phil had to undergo three additional surgeries, spending four months in the hospital and two months in outpatient rehab to regain strength in his hands and to relearn how to walk.

Phil had been training with Steve Basdavanos in 2014. After his surgeries and rehab he returned to RCSC on walking sticks and started riding the recumbent bike. He then added intermittent training with Steve, which turned into weekly half hour sessions. A couple of months later they moved to 1-hour sessions, which they continue today. Phil’s goal was to walk well enough to hike the trails in Rock Creek Park with his wife and dogs. Through training with Steve, perseverance, discipline and motivation, Phil met his goal by Christmas of 2015. He has only continued to improve since that time!

Phil and Steve 3 Phil also works hard to slow any age-related decline in fitness. He now works out five days a week: three days focus on aerobics, flexibility and balance and two days on strength. One of the strength days is his training session with Steve, which also incorporates a focus on core work. Phil notes that today there is a great deal more information available on effective training methods as opposed to when he was younger, or even when his kids were growing up in the 90s. He appreciates that Steve has this knowledge and incorporates it their training sessions, creating challenging yet safe workouts.

“There are a number of ‘small’ muscles that are difficult to isolate, yet critical to balance,” says Phil. “Steve showed me the appropriate exercises to target these muscles, which I do on a regular basis. There is a fine line between working hard and risk for injury. It is important to have a qualified trainer that will push you up to the line”

Phil’s hard work is inspiring to anyone who has been set back due to surgery. If you see Phil, congratulate him for his perseverance and for being RCSC’s Member of the Quarter!

Welcoming Samantha Smith to the Personal Training Team!

Written by Jamie Potter. Posted in Blog, Meet The Crew, RCSC News

SamanthaWelcoming Samantha Smith to the personal training team! While Samantha has been teaching group fitness classes at the club for several months, she is now expanding her presence as group fitness director and personal trainer. A Grand Rapids, Michigan native, Samantha grew up in an active household. Throughout grade school she played all kinds of sports and fell in love with the way exercise challenged and changed her.

In her second year of college she had a professor who specialized in Athletic Training. It was she who inspired Samantha to become a trainer herself.

“I thought she was the coolest person ever,” says Samantha. “I told her I wanted to be just like her when I grew up.”

This professor showed Samantha where to start and how to get certified. Now, Samantha has been a personal trainer for five years. Her career started in 2012, at Fitness Together, where she did private personal training sessions for almost three years. Samantha and her husband then moved to Georgia where a larger facility introduced her to group fitness. Quickly, this became a passion of hers. Last December, Samantha moved to Maryland and a few weeks later discovered Rock Creek Sports Club.

The location was what was initially appealing about the club but as Samantha became more familiar with RCSC she was impressed with the community of members and staff and was eager to get more involved.

“I love the community and the positive atmosphere. I’m always in a great mood when I come in to the club, and the members have been so welcoming to me.”

Still fairly new to the team, Samantha says she is looking forward to meeting more people and becoming more connected with the members and staff at RCSC.

With five years of experience, Samantha has worked with clients of all ages, body types and fitness levels. She loves the connection of personal training.

“Not only do I get to help people become healthier versions of themselves, I also get to spend time one-on-one with my clients and really connect with them on a personal level,” Samantha says.

Samantha recalls one client in Michigan who lost over 50 pounds and was taken off his blood pressure medication completely. He no longer needed to use his CPAP machine because he reversed his sleep apnea.

“It was really incredible to watch his transformation, and watch him become more independent and confident.”

Samantha’s number one goal is to make sure clients are exercising safely and effectively. She is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and nutrition specialist through ACE and is Balanced Athlete certified. Samantha specializes in functional training and balanced training. Her fitness philosophy is to exercise to feel better, not to look better. For Samantha, improved appearance is an added bonus! She also stresses the importance of never using exercise as a punishment for poor eating choices.

Fitness and training is a passion and something she insists is absolutely necessary for total wellness. As for her own workout routine, you can find her doing anything that will make her sweat! Or, you’ll find her stretching.

“I LOVE stretching,” Samantha says.