Ladies Workout Express owner Lisa West poses by the board displaying the weight loss of some of her clients. (Staff photo by Kait Kelly.)
Ladies Workout Express owner Lisa West poses by the board displaying the weight loss of some of her clients. (Staff photo by Kait Kelly.)

If there were one word to describe Lisa West, owner of Ladies Workout Express in Robbinsville, it would be “passionate.”

Before West took over the business in late July, she was working at the location as a personal trainer for previous owner Justine Monahan.

“I owned a health club before this in Montgomery Township,” West said. “It was bigger and co-ed. I never thought I’d own one again because of the long hours and having to deal with overhead.”

But West just couldn’t say no when Monahan was persistent in offering her Ladies Workout Express. Other than owning gyms and being a personal trainer, West has also worked as an aerobics instructor, health educator and program administrator. She said she’s always had a passion for health and wellness.

Her passion was obvious when as she described her business as a place where women can come socialize and get some support.

“It’s a place women can come and feel like there’s an ear to listen about the stresses in their lives,” West said. “Stress is a big issue.”

West said losing weight isn’t just about exercising. She said that in order to lose weight, food, exercise and stress must all be under control.

West said she is most passionate about the Big Loser Challenge. West described the program as a sort of “tune up” program. She said that it gives the keys and support needed to start good habits, so members can go out on their own and continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“The Big Loser Program is a structured program that’s been huge lately,” she said. “There has never before been a program, except maybe Weight Watchers, that’s come anywhere near the Big Loser Program.”

“I’m not a nutritionist; I don’t tell people what to eat,” West said. “No one ever diets in this program. I just push fruits and vegetables and make it clear that you cannot exercise away a bad diet.”

This is why West began the “Simple Plan” in her Big Loser Challenges.

“It’s a down-to-earth, open-your-eyes type of plan,” she said. “I did the best I could to come up with a really simple program for people.”

The keys to the “Simple Plan” are to eat at maintenance calories and to use My Fitness Pal—an online calorie counter that makes tracking your calorie intake quick and easy.

“I love to see people lose weight,” West said. “We all have stories and excuses for why we can’t workout. I’m just asking people to be aware of that. Be aware of the consequences before you’re hit by them.”

West’s current Big Loser Challenge has two teams of 11 contestants each who are competing towards their goals.

“We have prizes and events,” West said. “I try to keep it fun.”

The next Big Loser Challenge will begin on Jan. 9. It’s a six week program, and costs $65 for non-members and $22.50 for members.

West also excitedly discussed the SilverSneaker Program, a program for women 65 and up who are on Medicare and who have certain supplemental insurance. West said that checking availability is simple and can be done in a matter of minutes from the front desk at Ladies Workout Express. Eligible women will be able to workout at Ladies Workout Express up to 10 times a month absolutely free of charge.

“Ladies Workout Express is a great place for the SilverSneaker Program because our gym is small, safe and easy,” West said.

Aside from programs, Ladies Workout Express in Robbsinville also offers 10 classes a week. It has most of the traditional classes such as Zumba, pilates, trim and tone and body sculpting. It’s also in the process of starting up a yoga class and a boot camp—West is a yoga instructor and also runs Princeton boot camps.

Ladies Workout Express offers a “class only” membership for women who want to join strictly for the classes.

If you’re not interested in only classes, West is still working as a personal trainer at Ladies Workout Express. West’s trainees also get her “Simple Plan” at no additional charge.

West was also eager to discuss the gym’s Far Infrared Sauna. The sauna uses red light which West said is good for your skin, joint pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, cardio vascular disease and muscle soreness.

“People come out dripping wet, looking radiant and talking about how relaxed they feel,” West said.

You don’t need to be a member to use the sauna, and Ladies Workout Express is giving away free trial sessions.

West also said women who join Ladies Workout Express now get one month free and will not be charged the registration fee.

Ladies Workout Express is located at 1007 Washington Blvd. in Robbinsville. For more information, call (609) 426-8988 or visit ladiesworkoutexpress.com/Robbinsville.