Radan Sturm Gives the Inside Scoop and Why He Founded LIFTONIC To Change the Way We Weight Train
“I don’t want to lift weights. They make me bulky.”
We’ve all heard this. I used to think this way when I was younger. I don’t know where this myth came from but it’s there. Even though it has been debunked by a lot of research. And boy am I glad. Because even back then, I knew that if I wanted to gain muscle and have the shape I hoped to achieve, there was no way of getting it without lifting weights. Tone, defined arms and a lifted, shapely butt would only happen through weight lifting.
There is a steady stream of boutique fitness studios popping up all over Manhattan and quickly spreading to other areas. These studios aim to turn a type of workout into an experience in a group setting. Cycling has transitioned from the outdoors or on a gym stationary bike into a studio with pulsing music and choreographed lights. It has transformed into a meditative experience that claims to change your body AND your soul. Running has converted from an individual sport into a collective experience in a boutique setting. Rowing, which has long been considered a serious athletic workout in the form of a team sport, has flourished into a group indoor full-body workout. The list goes on and on…
There was one element missing in the thriving group fitness scene. Until Radan Sturm founded his new studio in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan. His goal was to fill in this gap. Lucky for me, Radan developed the LIFTONIC method and transformed weight lifting. I couldn’t wait to check it out! Now I can say there is nothing like it.
Radan is a 15-year vet in the fitness/training industry. He founded LIFTONIC with one simple goal in mind: to teach weight training exercises in a contemporary, improved, and cutting-edge way. To create a routine that’s fun, uplifting, and more important than anything, effective.
I got the inside scoop on how weight lifting can change a woman’s body and transform the way we work out. Here is my interview with Radan.
Why did you decide to open LIFTONIC? I’ve never seen a weight training class offered in the style of a boutique studio, even in Manhattan which has all types of studios?
For exactly that reason. I saw people use weights in the weight room, but no one had made it interesting. Everything else was already turned into an experience, rowing, running, swimming, cycling, etc. Weight lifting has old-school connotations. I am trying to change that.
Can you explain more about the concept, method, and principles?
LIFTONIC is about increasing the weight every time you come. This is the only way to achieve results and get stronger. Usually in other types of classes, the format is the same and people’s muscles adapt. This causes little change given that people plateau.
The principle behind it involves trying to get people to concentrate on what they are doing and be present in the workout. There are too many forms of exercises that many people do just to get in and get it done. It’s a rush, instead of a process, which is what I’m trying to create. I wanted to create a studio where people enjoy the experience of working out.
Part of the experience is giving people their own personal space. Here, everyone has their own workout bench and set of dumbbells.
I believe that plateauing is very easy for people that have been active all their lives, what do you recommend to this group?
Changing their workout every 6 weeks. At LIFTONIC we do the same exercise pattern for 4 to 6 weeks before changing the routine. This gives people time to get stronger, and then we mix it up so people don’t plateau. There has to be a balance of progressing and changing.
What does resistance based methods of movement do for a woman’s body?
It makes women lean, firm, and prevents fluctuating weight. It builds muscle and muscle tones the body and creates a better body shape. Cardiovascular training such as spin classes, running, and bootcamps may increase your fitness level and help you lose weight, but only a resistance based method actually builds and tones muscle, burns fat, improves posture, and helps you maintain results.
For me one of the most common misconceptions related to weight training for women, is that lifting weights, especially on the heavy side, bulks you up. What are your thoughts on this?
This is the number one misconception and is entirely false. Genetically, it’s impossible for women to bulk up. The majority of women can lift really heavy weights without bulking. Instead, what happens with weight lifting is that the more muscle that is put on, the more fat is burned. As a result, your metabolism increases and that’s what makes you lean. Women will still look small and be small because they will ultimately have less fat.
What are other misconceptions in the fitness world for women, especially in the strength training realm?
Weight training has connotations with being manly and unfeminine.
Side note: That connotation is debunked at LIFTONIC. We don’t just lift heavy. There’s work on balance by using the bench while working the glutes. We work in the plank pose while also doing rows to target the arms. So, balance and posture is constantly worked on which is key for women.)
I’m trying to get definition and know that diet is very important – probably key. If I love to eat, how can I approach this in an easier way?
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. Diet is 75 – 80% of being healthy. There are lots of strategies to achieve this, counting calories, no carbs, no sugars… all different strategies to achieve the same goal. You have to find the one that works for you and your body. If there is no clean diet, some muscle will be built, although not as much, and it will build under the fat. But, the fat will remain.
Many women are looking to get a bigger derrière, is this possible with specific exercises or is size something you are born with?
Only with using weights can it grow. All of the other forms of exercise, running, spinning don’t make the muscles grow like weights do. This comes back to the idea of shape building, which is behind LIFTONIC. Here you build a better shape instead of just getting thin.
If a person attends LIFTONIC a minimum of three times a week, and tries to eat clean five times a week, what are the results they can expect?
They can expect to drop inches around the mid-section and arms while toning muscle for a lean body shape. Definitely more toned shoulders and arms, especially under the arms. We work the glutes a lot too, so they can expect a toned and firm butt.