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Virtual Martial Arts Training Keeps Figueroa Family Active At Home

Carrie and Edgar Figueroa with their daughters, Vera (7) and Evelyn (6)

The COVID-19 pandemic has us all trying to find ways to replicate the gym experience. We all miss the sound of people hitting pads, coaches yelling and encouraging, and most of all, the community. When people first began staying at home, The Cellar Gym immediately uploaded taped lessons onto the website, and those worked well.

Soon after the taped lessons went up, the gym moved to “distance training 2.0” with daily Zoom classes that very closely mirror the actual schedule – and the actual experience. Now you can hear Coach Ben, Coach Darcie, Coach Kenn, and Professor Mauricio calling out the exercises in your own living room or basement. You can see your gym-mates sweating through early morning squats along with you. And if you want, you can access a recording of the class to check on your technique and see what you can improve on. The Zoom classes have been a godsend for the Figueroa’s, who have become accustomed to training and seeing their gym mates and coaches every day of the week.

“We are all going to the Zoom classes,” said Carrie Figueroa. “It breaks up the day. When you’re stuck inside all day, being able to take these classes makes everything a little bit better.”

Carrie and her husband, Edgar, and two daughters, Vera (7) and Evelyn (6), started training at the Cellar in March 2019. The whole family took to it immediately. Initially, Edgar was looking for a gym that could teach the girls self-defense and satisfy Vera’s growing thirst for kids martial arts. They ended up choosing The Cellar for a few reasons: the kids Brazilian jiu jitsu and Muay Thai classes meant the girls could learn how to grapple and how to do stand up; the fitness kickboxing classes appealed to Carrie, who wanted to get back to pre-baby form; and Edgar wanted to slim down, too. 

The family made the Cellar a part of their life. Carrie went to the Monday-Wednesday-Friday 6am kickboxing classes, so Edgar took the girls to school on those mornings. The girls started going every day, Monday through Saturday, in the evenings and both parents lost weight during the Fire and Ice challenge. Vera took silver in her first Bjj competition. 

“It’s made us all happier,” said Carrie. “It’s brought us closer together as a family, we’re healthier, have more energy. For the girls too, I think it’s amazing for them to see so many strong women like Coach Darcie, Coach Katie, and Pam-Bam … whenever Pam fights, the girls get really excited and that’s awesome to see …. ”

“I love the results I’m seeing,” Edgar added. “I went from 224 to 206, and Carrie is looking great. The girls love it. We’re happy.”

So when the gym closed down, the Figueroa’s had a fixture of their life replaced with the ennui of sitting at home waiting for the virus to run its course. When the Zoom classes went online on April 13, the whole family signed on right away.   

“The kids used to get very upset if they got in trouble or something and we told them we weren’t going to the gym,” Edgar said. “And during this lockdown, they needed something to let some steam off, get back to what they love doing, and at least see and hear their coaches.”

“The gym is holding up their end of the bargain,” Carrie added. “I know a lot of my co-workers have given up their gym memberships – at LA Fitness or one of those other big chains – but the Cellar has really come through for us during this lockdown.” 

“We’re very satisfied.” The Zoom classes are available to all members. For more information about the online classes and memberships, please contact Darcie at darcie@thecellargym.com.

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