Getting To Know Gene Sun: Creator of Power Xtreme!
Personal Trainer Gene Sun has been with VIDA for less than a year, but he’s already launched a successful and constantly growing small group training program at VIDA Verizon. Power Xtreme (PX) is Gene’s home-grown strength and conditioning workout that uses creative interval training techniques to maximize performance and bring out the inner athlete in all of us.
Gene studied architecture at the University of Maryland and graduated with his B.S. in 2012. He accepted a job working in an office during the week, but was spending his weekends competing in Spartan Races, Tough Mudders and other ‘adventure endurance’ events. His interest in fitness and nutrition was growing, specifically using periodization to build strength and endurance over time.
After two years in an office job, Gene decided to invest in his passion for fitness and earned his NASM certification in 2013, followed by his ACE certification in February 2014. He made the transition out of the office into training full time and joined the VIDA team this past summer.
“I immediately loved the culture and community at VIDA. They really integrate their personal trainers into the entire gym and allow us so much opportunity to form relationships with the members,” says Gene.
Aside from training clients one on one, Gene wanted to expand on his small group training experience and create a program designed for people seeking high intensity interval training.
“Tami approached me about creating a workout that would blend together classic group fitness exercises w/ moves that target different heart rate zones. I came up with Power Xtreme as a workout for those already athletically inclined looking for a way to burn fat and optimize performance,” he says.
The format for PX stays the same, though the exercises rotate and change each week. The 50 minute class consists of two main components, strength and cardio, which you’ll alternate doing with a partner or on your own based on the number of participants that day.
In the strength portion Gene includes a general muscle-specific warmup,strength-centric skills practice (more technical movements) and then some max effort explosive training (i.e. tabata exercises with minimal rest intervals) for full-body strength training in less than half an hour.
Then it’s time for more cardio! You’ll actually leave the studio and hop on a treadmill for this portion – which makes for a unique change of scenery not found in regular group fitness classes.
This isn’t your average treadmill run, however. You’ll be completing 60-90 second intervals using inclines, pacing, speed work and the ultra-fun dynamic mode (which most people don’t even know exists!) to target different heart rate zones and generate maximum power on the machine. In between your intervals you and your partner will switch out doing push-ups, core exercises or other floor work while the other gives it all they’ve got on the treadmill. We promise you’ll never look at a treadmill the same way after a PX workout!
Gene has a handful of participants that have been in the PX game since it’s launch in August, and says he’s seen a noticeable improvement in his students technical movements, strength and speed.
PX currently meets Wednesdays and Fridays at 7:30am. Gene recommends taking the class twice a week to see maximum results, but adds that even adding it to your regular lifting and cardio schedule once a week will provide benefits to your strength and endurance levels.
He adds that while PX is totally modifiable for people of all fitness levels, it does require running on a treadmill for the cardio intervals, so it would not be ideal for those needing to avoid high-impact exercises.
“It does require running, but the intensity and speed are totally scalable to your fitness level. People should come expecting a fast paced butt-kicker workout using lots of different equipment and new variations of traditional exercises,” says Gene.
Not only will you get a killer workout, you’ll also form close relationships with your fellow PX participants due to the small group structure of the class. Space is limited to 8-10 participants at a time, so you’ll see the same people over and over as you all get stronger every week.
“I strive for people to be very present in their workouts and focus on getting the most out of every rep. I’m a big advocate of noticing incremental progress – no matter how small it is. If you can push one inch farther or run a mile five seconds faster, that’s progress to me,” he says.
If you’d like to join the PX movement or have any questions about if the class is right for you, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions. We look forward to seeing you in Power Xtreme!