Amy Parks treats her workouts like appointments.
At the beginning of each week, she opens up her calendar and plots out her workouts. That way, she’s committed to the routine. And if something pops up on any given day, she finds a way to reschedule.
The Omaha woman hits the gym six days a week for a mix of cardio and strength training.
During a recent session, she joined a handful of fellow gymgoers in an outdoor weightlifting class. They tackled burpees, planks and pushups outside the Pinnacle Fitness Club in downtown Omaha.
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Q: When did you start working out and why?
A: I started working out when I was young by running with my dad. He was a jogger, and he’d take us with him. As I got older, I felt it reduced my anxiety level if I stick with a workout routine. I’ve been at Pinnacle Fitness since 2011.
Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?
A: I vary it. I do weights and cardio. For cardio, I mix it up with running, rowing and the StairMill. Then I go to the group weight lifting classes. I work out six days a week.
Q: What is your current fitness goal?
A: I want to reduce my body fat by 1% and lose a couple pounds. Overall, I want to stay active and healthy.
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment?
A: I completed two marathons. My goal was 4 hours, 15 minutes. I finished in 4 hours, 8 minutes.
Q: What has been the toughest hurdle and how did you overcome it?
A: The toughest hurdle is finding time in your busy schedule to make it a priority. I schedule my workouts at the beginning of the week.
Q: What helps you stay on track?
A: My friends at the club. And my own personal drive to continue to push myself to be better. And so I can enjoy yummy food.
Q: What is your gym pet peeve?
A: When people play on their phones while I’m waiting for a machine. Come to the gym to work out, not be on your phone.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?
A: I love live music and going to concerts. My husband and I are into wine and dining out. We like trying new restaurants in town. We also like hiking and anything that gets us outside.
Q: What is the piece of equipment, supplement, clothing, etc. that you can’t live without?
A: If it’s a solo workout, my iPod. I do a protein shake every day.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?
A: Stick with it, even if it seems hard at first. Schedule it in. Make it like an appointment that you have to commit to.
Gymgoers share what motivates them, pet peeves and their proudest accomplishments
You never know who you might run into at the gym.
There's the man who's exercising as he waits for a heart transplant. Or the woman who's made Jazzercise workouts part of her life for more than 30 years.
Some workouts see moms accompanied by babies. Elsewhere you'll find folks well into their 90s who stick with exercise.
Check out their stories.