Workout of the Week: Evolution, Westport
For 14 years many of Westport’s fittest have been convening at a gym that’s hidden on Westport’s Post Road East. “Julie at Evolution” needs no explanation to her loyal followers, but for all others, this blog post is for you.
Evolution is a one woman show and Julie Migliaccio’s clients all find her through word of mouth. A die hard fitness fanatic, Master CrossFit Competitor, certified personal trainer and cycling instructor who also happens to have her black belt in Tae Kwon Do, she deservedly commands respect from her clients who are endurance athletes, corporate types (men and women), local moms and 20 somethings who realize the importance of a healthy lifestyle and an ass kicking trainer. (she even has clients who come from NYC to train with her)
I met Julie on a rainy Saturday morning for her “8:30 boot camp class”. I was clueless as to the type of workout and clientele that would await me. I was one of 16 participants (note it was Yom Kippur – she sometimes has as many as 24 in her studio at once) and after a quick survey concluded that everyone was in outstanding shape.
Each class is pre-programmed and is never the same. Classes always include a warm up followed by specific instructions on the white board. Some days it is tabata style, some days it is intervals, some circuits include box jumps, some include kettle bells and stationery bicycle. You never know what awaits you at Evolution but you can rest assured that Julie will challenge you to give 110% of your potential and you will get a total body workout.
In addition to the traditional interval and HIIT workouts using body resistance and weights, Julie teaches Cycology which is a departure from the tradition indoor cycling class. She uses a Keiser M3 Magnetic resistance bike with tracks RPM’s, distance, Watts and heart rate and calories. The class is constantly varied using interval training, Tabata drills, endurance and recovery.
Evolution is not a membership driven gym. On average Julie teaches 2-3 morning classes a day and is closed Friday and Sunday. Some clients will do a double of Cycology AND her more ‘traditional’ style of strength, cardio and conditioning workout. Many of her clients train with her 2-3x a week and go elsewhere for more cardio, cycling and CrossFit, etc.
Training with Julie at Evolution isn’t for everyone; it is best if you already have a solid workout repertoire and are looking to go to the next level although she will work with anyone regardless of their fitness level if they have a solid work ethic, are aware and accountable and willing to put in the time. Feel like you are working hard and have reached a plateau? Evolution may be perfect for you but remember, if it were easy, everyone would do it. 🙂
The verdict after completing two classes? I survived, felt a huge sense of accomplishment and was deemed “coachable”. I consider that a compliment and will happily take it and will certainly be back for more.
I cannot explain how much I enjoyed getting to know Julie. On paper she is quite intimidating but in person she could not be nicer. She has a great sense of humor but is also serious and focused. She is smart, witty, knowledgeable and confident. She is perpetually smiling and it is clear that she loves what she does and has found her true passion in life. She was beyond accommodating and happy for me to ask her a few personal questions:
What is your healthy eating philosophy? I eat clean. I don’t eliminate anything except for processed foods. I followed a strict Paleo diet at one time but my training demands more quality carbohydrates and many of my clients who are also endurance athletes need more starchy carbs in their diets.
Who or what inspires you? My husband Jim and anyone who is highly motivated and has an excellent work ethic.
Your greatest indulgence? Pedicures and pizza
Your favorite post workout snack? A shake from SFH (Stronger, Faster, Healthier)
Where can we find you on a Saturday night? At home
What three things are always in your refrigerator? Grass fed 1/2 and 1/2, Perfect food bars (found in the refrigerated dairy section at Whole Foods) and a pre-cooked protein
What is your favorite vacation spot? St. Barts
IF given 2 hours to do whatever you want, what would you do? Nap
What do you do to stay Fit in CT? My Coach is James Fitzgerald (OPT) who resides in Scottsdale, AZ. We Skype regularly and I visit there for training and education several times throughout the year. My training is diverse. I do a lot of rowing, strength exercises and sprint running in intervals. I have taken up gymnastics, something I never did as a kid.
Do you think you are up for the challenge and are interested in learning more about training with Julie at Evolution?
292 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880