Michelle Ronsen’s life changed forever a few years ago when she walked into a hip and happening gym in the meatpacking district of New York City. The gym was called AEROSPACE High Performance Center and was founded by world renowned trainer Michael Olajide Jr. Little did she know that she would be opening his first satelite gym and franchise here in Ashland, Oregon. AEROSPACE is not your average fitness center; there are no televisions, no clocks and no distractions. Members get right down to workouts that are both intensive, exhilarating, and super charged. AEROSPACE offers over 27 classes per week with members having unlimited access to participate as much or as little as they choose.
With a state of the art sound system, impact room every professional boxer would dream to train in, and upscale locker rooms with showers and many other amenities, you can count on getting the best work outs of your life at Aerospace HPC Ashland. We decided to meet up with Michelle to learn about Aerospace HPC Ashland and discover exactly what she has brought to Ashland.
Michelle, thanks for spending time with us today. You’ve just opened the hottest new gym in Ashland. You not only take fitness seriously but those who are joining you are in love with the intensive workout routines. What changed for you when you first met Michael Olajide Jr. What did you set out to do here with Aerospace in Ashland?
Thank you Shields for your interest in Aerospace. I have always been a fitness fanatic, but when I walked into Aerospace in NYC I definitely saw a new light. I found a regime I couldn’t live without. It was fun, it was hard, it was exhilarating! I left on the biggest workout high ever, and knew that day I would figure out a way to be able to have this a part of my life.
Tell us more about Michael Olajide Jr. Who he is, what he does and why his style is totally different than anything else we have seen in the valley?
Michael is a former middleweight champion boxer. When he retired from his boxing career, earlier than anticipated due to an eye injury, he began his career in fitness. He created the Aero Methodology and his theories and styles are different than anything I’ve ever seen. First of all, he is an amazing person, kind and soft. But put him in front of a class or in a one-on-one session and he makes you want to push and achieve the perfection he demands from you! AEROSPACE goes beyond boxing to create the ultimate fitness experience. “Using the techniques of professional athletes is the best way to perfect every physical and mental attribute – endurance, dexterity, power, speed and focus. It’s the most efficient, effective, fun and rewarding workout on the planet.” says Michael.
Michael doesn’t necessarily believe that one needs a machine to work out with, but that rather that your own body is the machine. Can you tell us more?
Yes, Our philosophy is that if you leave the machines behind you can focus on the power you have inside. Our group classes help clients look and feel great by building muscle strength, promoting cardiovascular health, improving body tone, bolstering endurance, and enhancing confidence. This is done all without the use of machines and heavy weights.
So, how did your own fitness and views on fitness begin to change when you started AEROTraining?
Well for so long I worked out out of necessity, to stay in shape and for the health benefits. Since I found Aerospace I now crave the workouts. It is no longer something I have to do, but what I want to do. I believe that exercise is a very important part of ones life for many reasons, and with Aerospace I have finally been able to connect my mind and body, really let go and be fully engaged in what I’m doing, instead of being on an elliptical or treadmill trying to distract myself by reading, watching tv, or creating my to do list for the day.
What are some of the results members of Aerospace are experiencing?
There are so many: upper body definition, in arms, core( abs), cardio endurance, jump rope progression….going from the basic jump to being able to do a variety of tricks like cross overs, doubles, etc. overall strength! Oh, and confidence!
Aerospace is not exactly the type of work out that most will look for. Some people are going to enjoy watching TV’s in the ‘Y’ while riding the stationary bike.What you are doing here is really a much more intensive and a fully engaged full body work out. Can you say more about what types of people really are loving what you have to Aerospace has brought to town?
It’s funny, so many people ask this question and I’ve thought hard about this. I don’t have a certain demographic. I have members from 11-60+, people of all income brackets. It all comes down to a certain personality. A common goal. The person that wants a change, something engaging, to be a part of a group, to encourage and be encouraged,to be held accountable, to find a place that is like home to them. We are becoming a small family here, that is special in and of itself!
You currently offer over 27 classes per week and members of Aerospace HPC are able to drop in and out of classes on an unlimited basis. What the philosophy behind this?
Our membership is unlimited, which means if you are a member you can come to as many classes as you want as well as use the facility during all hours we are open. Some people come to two classes a day while others do 3-4 a week. Some come in and punch bags or practice jumping….or take a shower after a long run. I want for people to get what they want and need out of Aerospace HPC Ashland. This means if you have time for half of a class that is fine, if you have time for 3 In a row, well bring it on!
Give us a run down on the actual classes you are offering. Where does one get started?
The following are the classes we offer. You can start anywhere, but in my opinion Aero3, AeroBarre or AeroImpact are great classes for a first timer.
AEROBOX® : inspires clients to perform blazing multi-punch combinations in rapid-fire sequences combined with intervals of jump rope and upper/lower body toning drills. Every muscle in the body battles against gravity in this ultimate fitness class designed to enhance endurance, speed, stamina, power, coordination, recall, tone and muscle strength.
AEROJUMP® workout helps clients perform like pro athletes, increase metabolism and burn more calories than any other workout on earth. AEROJUMP® leads clients through training moves including crossovers, double turns, one-leg and slow motion jumps. Benefits include enhanced muscle strength, cardiovascular health, endurance, concentration and weight reduction. “AEROJUMP® is the evolution of fitness” says Olajide.
AEROSCULPT™ :Combining isometric and plyometric workout techniques, AEROSCULPT™ incorporates challenging, original muscle isolation exercises, explosive reflex training and high-speed movements with light weights to increase muscle definition, boost strength and burn optimum fat. Clients’ upper body moves work the bicep, tricep, shoulder and back while lower body moves shape thighs, calves, quads, hamstrings and backsides to create a sleeker core. “It’s more effective than any surgeon’s scalpel,” Olajide says.
AEROIMPACT™ Utilizing AEROSPACE’s impact training center that features double-end bags, speed bags, heavy bags and body snatchers, clients don hand wraps and boxing gloves for a thorough, user-friendly workout that hones their skills like professional boxers. Working individually and with partners, clients develop endurance, speed, cardiovascular health and agility by practicing jabs, hooks and uppercuts.
AEROBARRE™: Based on the basic maneuvers performed by all dancers at the barre, these training moves give dancers the long, sculpted, lean yet strong muscles they are so famous for. This class has been specially developed for non-dancers to give quick sculpting results through high repetition of basic muscle endurance and fatiguing exercises. Developed by former professional ballet dancers and made accessible to anyone looking for sleek muscle definition.
AERO3™ This three in one class takes all the strengths of AEROBOX®, AEROJUMP® and AEROSCULPT™ and melds them into a 60 minute sculpting, strengthening and cardiovascular enhancing hour of creative, challenging and empowering maneuvers that will leave you thoroughly conditioned and all of your fitness demands, fulfilled.
Let’s talk about the punching bags and punching classes you offer. What’s one of the first things you notice or hear from your clients when they first begin or are considering taking this class?
Oh, everyone LOVES the impact room! At first some are intimidated because they have never punched anything before, maybe they thought it’s not “right” to punch something or want to punch something, but everyone leaves wanting more! It is fun, it is hard, you will sweat like you never have before! You will look forward to doing it again. There is something so therapeutic about losing yourself in combinations and actually hitting bags! It definitely unleashes something inside.
This sounds exhilarating.
It is amazing! Truly amazing! Who needs therapy when you can hit a bag or two! Haha.
What do you say to people who might be intimidated by the level of intensity and energy that one might exert in one of your classes?
I tell everyone that they can go at their own level. When you need to stop and breathe or get water, that’s ok. everyone has to start somewhere and it’s great to see someone make that commitment to themselves, to make a change! Again, we are all very supportive, like a family here, nothing to be intimidated by.
As I mentioned above you are a members only club and currently your gym is limited to 250 members, why the cap on membership?
I want my members to feel special, have that personal every day attention that comes with a small gym. I don’t want the classes to be too full or have long lines for showers. I like knowing everyone’s name that walks in the door and I like the dynamics of a small, intimate gym.
Michelle, another of Michael’s philosophies is that just because you are not a professional athlete should’t mean that you can’t work out like one.
Yes, just because you chose a different path in life does not mean that you can’t be in amazing shape. Everyone can train as hard and intensely as they will allow themselves to push and be pushed. Here at Aerospace we will push you to take your fitness and your health to the next level. To attain those goals sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone, and we will be there with you for the journey!
Your work outs are not focused on bulking up but rather developing long lean muscles, core strength and upper body strength, take us behind the scenes of why this is the primary focus of Aerospace?
So many workouts today focus on the legs especially when doing cardio: dancing, running, cycling…here at Aerospace you use your arms and core, so you are getting your cardio while sculpting beautiful arms and abs as well as your legs. With our workouts you are using light hand weights, body bars and jump rope, you don’t need heavy weights to sculpt a beautiful strong body.
You then have a class that you offer exclusively for teens and I’ve heard that they are simply loving it. Can you tell us more?
I am offering teen classes because I feel strongly about kids and fitness! I think it is an important part of their foundation and needs to be introduced at an early age. Here we give both competitive teen athletes and non-competitive teens a chance to get an amazing mental and physical workout in a group atmosphere. They are thriving! I am watching kids learn to jump rope, punch, do boot camp classes…..I love watching them get stronger and gain confidence! These are skills they can take and use throughout the rest of their lives.
Music is a huge part of each work out. Can you tell us more about the role it plays?
Music is an intriguel piece of Aerospace. We get all of our music from Michael, all of our classes are set to a certain BPM and choreographed to music, even the impact classes, (hitting the bags). The music keeps you going, you get lost in it!
With little, to no distractions in the gym it sounds like you stay really focused on your work out.
Yes, we have no clocks, scales, televisions. You come here, you work your butt off and that’s it. The music is loud, during classes you have no choice but to engage 100% mentally and physically.
So, what you are saying is that people are not lollygagging around, people aren’t watching tv, just killing time between reps?
There is really no opportunity for this here at Aerospace. When class is going, that’s all you are doing, concentrating and working hard. After class you can catch up with a friend, but while you are working out, that’s all you are focussing on.
Ok… give us a run down on Aerospace Trainers in Ashland, super powers, stats, and street credits.
Well, I started my search for my Aero Team about a year ago. I was searching for the whole package, athletic as well as mentally strong. As a trainer here, you have to push yourself as well as others further than you or they have been pushed before while looking at perfect form and execution. It takes a certain individual to be a trainer here.
Once I found my team, I took them to NYC to train in all theory’s of aerospace under Michael. It was an intense time for all of us, training and learning 10-12 hours a day. Everyone did awesome and came back strong, educated and ready to lead and teach.
Brandon Baldwin is a former wrestler and SOU football star. He has the athleticism, intensity and heart of a professional athlete. He knows how to motivate and push others. He is an amazing instructor and trainer!
Sarah Holgen was a SOU volleyball star athlete and is a pre-med student, so she is not only physically strong but a mental powerhouse! With everything, she takes it and runs with it! She is a natural leader and instructor and will push you beyond your limits.
Aisha Wand was a professional dancer and now is a dance teacher here in town. She brings the dancing and choreography background and blends it beautifully with boxing and sculpting. With many years of teaching dance behind her, she is an amazing AeroBarre and Aero3 instructor and trainer!
Calysta Cheyenne was raised in the world of dance, but also found boxing and MMA at an early age. She is expressive and creative and loves motivating and pushing others in a fun and dynamic environment. Her classes are high energy and fast paced!
Michelle, what do you say to people who are still reading this interview and thinking to themselves,“Hey this sounds cool, but…”?
Come in, try a class, try a week….no obligations! There is nothing to be intimidated by. We have all levels of fitness here, from beginners to advanced. Everyone here has heart and determination! There is no better time than now to make the decision to a healthier, happier lifestyle! If you are still reading, you should stop and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a tour and discuss your fitness goals.
Bringing Aerospace to Ashland for you is not only a business venture for you but also a dream come true for you. Can you tell us more about the passion you have and that has become an essential part of your life?
The Aero Lifestyle is truly a huge passion of mine. It changed my life a few years ago….I went from working out every day because I wanted to look good and live longer, to being so excited to get into the gym I couldn’t believe it! The workout experience that I have at AEROSPACE™ is incomparable to any other I’ve experienced. Physically it is hard, intense and pushes me past my limits, invigorating, and fun and fulfilling. Mentally it is challenging and therapeutic. When a class ends I am sad, I cant believe I have been there an hour or two, they just fly by because I am so wrapped up in what I am doing. The workouts, the atmosphere, the camaraderie, the music, the mental, physical and spiritual challenge, the feeling of having just had the best workout of my life while being at one of the hottest nightclubs on the circuit. This is my passion and I can not wait to share it with all of Ashland!
I presume that Michael will be coming to Ashland at some point in the future to teach some classes?
Yes, he will be. The dates will be announced in the near future. I can not wait for him to meet my members! And of course I can’t wait for AEROSPACE HPC Ashland to
experience Michael first hand!
Finally what was it like working out with Michael, the energy and inspiration that you have brought to Ashland because of this experience?
Working out with Michael is intense! He trains you like you are a professional athlete, he pushes you hard and expects perfection. It is hard, but when you are done you feel amazing and on top of the world! We strive to emulate Michael’s training style here in Ashland. I want for Ashland to experience this intensity and energy, and they will here at AEROSPACE HPC Ashland!
Ok, It’s the January 2013. Time to start the New Year right. What invitation would you like to share with our reader as they prepare to get in the best shape of their lives this year?
I would like to have you come in, give yourself the gift of health this year. There is no better time to make the decision to challenge yourself, change your life for the better! We are offering a New Year Special. Try a week, no obligations, unlimited classes for $25, you will be hooked!
Aerospace HPC Ashland
1522 Siskiyou Blvd.