Making fitness the best part of the day

By on June 5, 2011

Photo: Kim Justice (left), owner of Take Action Fitness in Lily Lake, coaches Elburn Herald reporter Lynn Meredith on how to use the “battling ropes” on Thursday. Take Action has been open since April of this year. They have programs to help people get healthy, improve appearance and work on nutrition. Photo by John DiDonna

by Lynn Meredith
LILY LAKE—When somebody tells me I can not only look better, but get healthier at the same time, they have my attention. When Take Action Fitness in Lily Lake opened its doors with the promise of better and faster results, I couldn’t resist checking it out.

I was greeted with an engaging smile and a warm handshake by owner Kim Justice. I could tell immediately that she cared about the people who came through the door, and I soon found out she also knew what she was talking about.

As I looked around the gym, I could see right away that this was not your typical gym. It looked like a playground with all sorts of toys to try. Instead of rows of weight machines and treadmills, I saw ropes and rollers, kettle bells and straps hanging from the wall. A long green strip ran down the center.

“I want to change the way fitness is done. Most gyms don’t get you the results you want. I want to fill the void of 80 percent of the people who aren’t going to gyms. I want them to feel cared for and that they are getting results,” Justice said. “My number-one priority is for this to be the best part of their day, that they feel welcome and that it’s a regular part of their day—just like Starbucks.”

Justice has had the idea of owning her own club since she was 16. She spent much of her high school and college years running track and field and playing lacrosse.

“I’ve done a lot of training for sports, and I know what it’s like—being in that spot that you have to work hard and have goals,” she said.

I started my workout by rolling on the floor on top of a cylindrical foam roller. The roller helped to unknot tight muscles, or “hot spots” through what Justice called “self-massage” or “myofascial release.”

We then moved on to the flexibility and dynamic warm-up portion. As I lunge-walked down the long green strip, Justice adjusted my form and alignment, so that I could get the most benefit from the exercise.

“It’s basically stretching while moving,” she said. “We do a dynamic warm-up along the length of the green strip. You also do corrective work to prevent injury.”

As I got farther into the gym, I noticed that there was only one treadmill.

“We are a functionally-based facility. You notice we only have one treadmill. And it just sits there. You don’t need to (get) on a treadmill to get the results you want,” Justice said.

Justice explained that the gym is designed around the flow of the workout. Next we moved over to the kettle bells and weights for rows and goblet squats. Justice emphasized that these exercises work the total body. They engage not just the big muscles but the front and back of the body along with the core. To get to the core, I hit the mat and held a forearm plank for short intervals over many repetitions.

Another exercise I tried was holding the ends of thick ropes attached to the wall. I alternately swung the ropes and had to dig deep to stay balalnced. I could feel my heartbeat accelerate and felt it in my arms, core and legs. As I looked around what to try next, I couldn’t resist using straps attached to the wall that allowed me to lean as low as I could go and lift my body weight.

We ended the workout with what Justice calls the “Finisher.” I opted to try the “Prowler,” a heavy contraption that slides along the green strip. I ran and pushed it in one direction, and then got lower and ran and pushed it back. I was finished …

“It’s basically whatever energy you have left at the end of the workout, we’re going to annihilate it,” Justice said. “It’s really going to set your metabolism, so it’s going to have to go into overdrive after the workout.”

At the end I felt that I had gotten what Take Action offers: an experience that leads to results by people who are passionate about what they do. And best of all, I had fun doing it.

Take Action Fitness is a locally-owned center located one-half mile east of Route 47 on Route 64.
Memberships include fitness coaching in a semi-private setting that allows members to get all the benefits of one-on-one training in a group setting of two to three people.
Individualized programs change every four weeks in order to prevent the body from adapting to the same workout. The program also includes nutritional coaching and weekly accountability.
A one-month trial membership is available that allows clients to try the facility with all the benefits of full membership with no contract.
“Come in and workout for 30 days and by the end of the 30 days you won’t want to leave. Our sole focus is not on membership numbers—but on membership results,” owner Kim Justice said.
For more information, call (630) 365-9630 to schedule a tour or visit