December Newsletter 2015

December 14, 2015

imgDear Members,

I am delighted to announce that the remodel of both the men’s and lady’s locker rooms will begin before the end of the year. We will be updating the tiling in the showers and on the floors, replacing the vanities and sinks, adding lockers with keyless entry, installing new ventilation fans, updating the lighting, and adding ADA compliant showers. In order to create the space for the ADA showers, we will be removing the saunas from both locker rooms. While the remodel is taking place we will supply temporary locker room facilities that will be located in the grass area between the pool and the parking lot. We estimate the remodel will take 90 days to complete. We appreciate your patience while we update our locker room facilities, and look forward to offering you a more comfortable experience once complete.

Our Holiday Member Challenge is off to a terrific start. For those that have not joined the challenge, there is still plenty of time to get involved. To date we have accumulated over 1.2 million MOVES between us. Awesome job everyone! Members at the top of the board include: Angie Hoehne, Jessica Bree, Norbert Hoehne, Craig Cignarelli and Robyn Russak. The challenge will continue through January 2nd to remind us all to stay active throughout the holidays. In 2016 we will be entering WAC in Technogym’s World Challenge where we will compete against other clubs throughout the world. The club that accumulates the most MOVES will win a circuit of strength training equipment that will be donated to a local school. It is a challenge for a great cause that I hope all of you will participate in. Stay tuned for more details in January.

Our new Personal Trainer, Peter Loncto, wants to help you get a head start on feeling better, looking better and performing better in 2016. Peter is offering new clients a complimentary one hour personal training session which includes a brief discussion of your wellness goals followed by a simple postural evaluation and a 35 to 40 minute workout. For members that were not able to attend our initial training sessions on the new equipment, this is a great chance for you to learn more about the Kinesis stations and what makes them a more effective means to strength train. Please leave your name, number and e-mail address at the front and Peter will be in touch to set up a time that works for you.

Swimmers Alert! Who's ready, willing and able for a Polar bear plunge, So Cal style?

60 X 100 = 6000yards
60 X 75 = 4500 yards
60 X 50 = 3000 yards
New Year's Day at 8am. Be there or be square . . .

As 2015 comes to a close, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of you for your support this past year. We realize there are many options for meeting your health and fitness needs, and we appreciate you choosing WAC as your partner in wellness. Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season.

Let’s Move for a Better World,
John Sutcliffe
General Manager

Nutrition Tip

Boosting Your Body, In Holiday Style!
By Anna Griffin

imgTraditionally holiday libations are associated with an alcohol fest, most usually in the form of calorie and cholesterol-laden, vodka/rum-heavy, and oh-so-delicious Eggnog, or for the tee-totallers, a tempting but sugar-loaded Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino. However, for those of us not looking to over-indulge in holiday cheer and keep our health goals in place through the season, the recipe options are a bit limited when it comes to festive smoothies, so let’s get creative!

This time of year is great for seasonal ingredients rich in nutrition, anti-oxidants and vitamins. Vegetables such as pumpkin, help you feel fuller (packing about 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce), boost vision, lower blood pressure, aid sleep, and most importantly of all, help you to have a healthier heart. So, it’s not all about the Pumpkin Latte!

As we are so close to Christmas, we’re choosing a traditional red, green and a splash of white theme, in the form of cranberries, pomegranate seeds, iron-rich leafy greens, and almond milk. Combining these ingredients makes for a heart-healthy, immune-busting powerhouse, great on taste and nutritional value.

Rich in vitamin-c, a half of a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories, and whilst protecting your immune system during cold and flu season, also assist in lowering risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain types of cancer, and decreased blood pressure.

Pomegranates are not only good for your heart and blood vessels, but have been shown to inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and leukemia, whilst aiding in preventing muscle cramps.

Spinach and other dark, leafy greens are rich in two antioxidants stored in the macula—lutein and zeaxanthin. The macula is a part of the retina that acts as a natural sunblock, shielding the eye from damaging light. Lutein and zeaxanthin absorb blue light, which is especially harmful to the retina. These nutrients can also help the eye detect contrast better, so eating foods rich in these antioxidants not only improves vision, but also helps maintain your vision long-term.

Throw in a cup of kale, an excellent source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B2, iron, magnesium, vitamin B1, omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus, protein, folate, and niacin, and you are on your way to a vitamin super power.

Wrap it all up in almond milk; low in fat, but high in energy, proteins, lipids and fiber, containing vitamins like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc, and you have a nutrient-rich and delicious prevent-all in a glass.

imgA Happy Holiday Smoothie. 

1 cup of almond milk
¼ cup of frozen cranberries
¼ cup of pomegranate seeds
1 cup of kale leaves
I cup of spinach leaves
1 sm banana, sliced and frozen
1 tbsp of raw honey or agave nectar

imgCombine all ingredients in a high-power blender and puree until smooth. Always choose organic produce for optimum results, remembering the body cannot function effectively on preservative-laden produce.
If you are in an intense training schedule, raid your fridge for additional proteins like your usual workout powder or peanut butter; antioxidants like blueberries, or go wild and throw in some watermelon for density and additional hydration. Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon for the brain, and you are set for the day, gym session included. Happy Holidays!

Tennis Stuff

This side of 50 on the Tennis Court: The Benefits of Mental Toughness.
By Karl Akkerman
imgContinuing with the theme that many members here at The Westlake Athletic Club are this side of 50, WAC honored many of those members on Veteran’s day on the morning of November 11 around 10am. We started off by sharing some stories of their “Tour and/or experiences,” or maybe a family member who served and did something or saw something heroic. But all attendees decided that no matter what your responsibilities were as a Vet, it held the truth that if you love your freedom we have our Veterans to thank. After everyone sharing their stories, a lovely young woman sang two beautiful patriotic songs in their honor. Some coffee and cookies and more stories followed to round out the event.

My Sunday clinics, as promised, have been including an aspect of Mental Toughness every week for 7 weeks now. To develop mental toughness it takes practice every time you go out. Being mentally tough will add more victories even though we may be getting a little older. Getting older gives us some more challenges on the court. The definition of Mental Toughness is a state of mind that allows us to perform at our peak performance even when faced with unusual challenges, like slowing down, loss of flexibility, or strength. Come join Tim Roche and me to learn how to practice Mental Toughness as well as some Thrills, Skills and Drills and a whole lot of fun.

Video clip from Chris Dudeck, Co-Director at WAC


Video clip from Calle Hansen, Co-Director at WAC


Fitness Tip

Chest Press
By Patti Markowitz

Technogym’s resistance machine, called the Dual Adjustable Pulley (DAP), contains two independent weight stacks controlled by pin loading, and offers a fully adjustable weight on each side of the machine. The resistance is performed by two cables attached to the weights, which can be lowered or raised to different heights depending on your exercise of choice. On each cable you can attach a different type of grip or handle, allowing for a versatile experience for a multitude of muscle groups.

This machine offers a level of free movement. The cable and pulley system allows rotation and movement in all planes, which challenges the core muscles and stabilizes muscles around the joints.

To perform the chest press, adjust the cables to chest height and attach the individual handles to each cable. Take the weight, stand with one leg in front of the other to stabilize yourself and press the weight away from you until your arms are extended, keeping your head down looking at the floor, so as not to put strain on your neck. Hold for 1 second and slowly return to the start with hands by chest. Repeat.



To make it more challenging, alternate your arms. This will make your core work harder, for better results.

Yoga Tip

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Easy Pose with Forward Fold)
By Cindy Zaveruha

Seated forward folds are a great addition to a variety yoga sequences. It can be apart of a restorative sequence or may come at the end of a more physical sequence, when it is time to cool down, stretch and relax. The key to unlocking the full benefits of this pose are as follows:

• Use props.
You do not have to be exceptionally flexible to practice Adho Mukha Sukhasana. In a seated position, inhale the arms up and as you exhale, fold forward as far as your body allows comfortably. Rest your forehead on the floor, on folded arms or on 1-3 stacked blocks depending on your comfort level. The key is to adjust until you are in a fully relaxed, "feel good," position with a slight, but not too deep, rounding of the back.

• Relax.
When you are relaxed and your body is supported you are turning on the body's relaxation response. This turns off the sympathetic nervous system and has a calming, restorative effect on the mind and body.

Seated forward folds cool the body. Great to incorporate after heating standing poses. When relaxing into the pose for 1-3 minutes, it allows for an overall calm and restorative feeling.


Training Tip

Lengthen & Stretch – Part Two
By Peter Loncto

Last month we talked about lengthening and stretching the lower body utilizing the Technogym FlexAbility Anterior machine. Today we will demonstrate a fantastic hamstring stretch on the FlexAbility Posterior machine.

The hamstrings cross and act upon two joints-the hip and the knee, and play a crucial role in many daily activities, such as, walking, running, jumping, and controlling some movement in the trunk. Serious athletes as well as weekend warriors all know what a tight hamstring feels like. Here's a stretch that can help alleviate that tightness and soreness you feel in the back of your thighs.


Lie down and extend a single leg onto the platform. Keep your knee straight and hold onto the handle to control the movement


Lift the brake with your left hand, and release some pressure on your left leg, descending into the stretch. When you reach the desired range of motion, release the brake and hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.
Please feel free to contact me through the Front Desk or via text or call on my cell: 805-341-2425 for a personal consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.

Swimming Tip

Off Season Swim Tips for Triathletes
By Natalie Bojko, CTS Senior Coach

For most triathletes, swimming is the sport that is first to get cut out when time gets short for training. Since it is the shortest part of a triathlon, triathletes can often justify spending less time in the pool during racing season since they can get more bang for their buck by spending their time working on improving the bike or run. But it is important to realize that while swimming may be the shortest leg of a triathlon, it sets the stage for the rest of the race to come. So when time does become available in the offseason it is best to spend some quality time focusing on your form and technique in the water, and also to building the biggest swim base possible so that when something has to give during racing season, you have something to fall back on.

The winter months may be cold and dark, but when you train in an indoor pool it’s the one sport that doesn’t really get affected much by the weather. Since it’s a controlled environment, the pool is the perfect place to focus on improving your swim technique and working on hitting specific paces. Once you can master these two things, it will not take much work to transfer it to the open water come springtime. The best way to improve your technique and get more consistent at hitting your goal paces is by spending more time at the pool. If you typically swim two times per week during racing season, bump that up to three to four times per week during the winter. Then you can focus one to two workouts per week on technique and two to three workouts per week on pace work.

When focusing on technique it can be overwhelming to try to think about all the details of refining your stroke. I encourage my athletes to think about the three most important parts of swimming that affect your efficiency. “The Big Three” are your body position, hip rotation, and underwater propulsion (or high elbows underwater). These things should be mastered in the order listed, so focus on one thing at a time before moving on to the next. Here are the best drills to work on each of these skills:

For body position:

Dead man’s float – To do this drill, simply float face down in the water and press through your chest and down with your head until the entire back side of your body is out of the water.

Kick-On-Side – Extend your right arm overhead toward the end of the pool and rotate completely onto your side. Your left shoulder and hip should be out of the water, but your head should be against your right shoulder with your face pointed down to the bottom of the pool. Breathe as necessary by rotating your head while keeping the rest of your body in line. With your body in this position, kick to the other end of the pool with your toes pointed and knees relaxed. The kick should originate from the hips and should be small and fast. When you get to the wall switch sides and come back with your left arm extended.

For hip rotation:

6-Count – Start by kicking on your right side with your right arm extended overhead and your left arm on your hip (like the Kick-On-Side above). Take 6 kicks then switch sides. Begin your rotation with your hips and then pull once with your right arm as you extend your left arm overhead. Repeat on the left side and continue switching every 6 kicks until you reach the wall.

Triple Switch – Same drill as above, but take three complete strokes between 6-count kicks. Focus on a high elbow underwater and rotating with your hips.

For underwater propulsion:

Catch up
– For this drill you will fully extend your right arm overhead while concentrating on the underwater phase with your left arm. Focus on starting your stroke with your hand entering the water at a steep angle (like you’re reaching over a barrel) so your hand and forearm are perpendicular to the surface of the water through your pull phase, keeping your elbow as close to the surface of the water as possible. Recover your left arm out of the water and fully extend it out front before starting your stroke with your right arm.

One Arm Drill – For this drill swim with one arm only. Your other arm should be at your side. Be sure to do a full rotation with your body with each arm cycle.

Distance Per Stroke – For this drill count the number of strokes per length of the pool and try to take one less stroke each time. Concentrate on gliding and kicking and getting the most power out of each arm pull.

The best way to get more consistent at hitting your goal pace on race day next season is by first being realistic about your goal pace. Take your best swim time from last season’s races and for next season aim for a goal time (in the same distance) that is about 10-15% faster. Break down that new goal time into its pace-per-100 yards/meters (depending on what type of pool you swim in). This is the pace that you will be trying to maintain for your race-specific workouts during race season. Between now and then, what you need to do is focus on hitting a pace that is even faster than that, but for even shorter intervals. You may need to start with 50- and 75-yard/meter repeats.

imgHere is an example of an off season workout:

500 Warm up
4×50 Build :10 RBI
10×50 at sub-new-race pace, 1:00 RBI
100 Easy
10×100 Distance per stroke :15 RBI
200 Cool down
Total: 2500 yards/meters

Now when you go back to swimming at race pace for longer intervals it will feel easy (sort of)! Remember to have fun at the pool and just think how good it will feel during racing season knowing how much swim fitness you will have built up.

Life At WAC

Life At WAC: A Year In Review . . .
By Anna Griffin

As we prepare to bid 2015 farewell, embracing a new beginning and all that the incoming New Year has to offer, we look back at a great 12 months here at Westlake Athletic Club. As our valued members, we have watched you work hard in achieving your health goals, pushing yourselves to greater heights and impressive fitness achievements.

Here at the club, we have experienced many changes, such as valued team members leaving and brilliant new ones joining, heralding a new face at WAC. We have created new group classes and wellness opportunities, and of course the many physical improvements within our four walls as we strive to offer you a great and improved club experience. And then there’s been our social scene, and many fun events and opportunities to connect. Here’s some of our wonderful year . . .

In February, we held our annual Super Bowl Sunday Tennis Tournament, courtesy of our fabulous Tennis Directors, Chris Dudeck and Calle Hansen. The Seahawks got the win!

In May, we saw our gorgeous new fitness center completed, with our top of the line Technogym equipment, which you all embraced with enthusiasm and commitment . . .



In June, WAC successfully hosted he 2015 National 45’s Hard Court Championships, having done so for 17 great years . . .


While our brilliant Front Desk Leader, Carrie Baumgartner, organized a “Couples Social Pot Luck Mixer,” featuring some great tennis, a smorgasbord of delicious nibbles, and a whole lot of fun . . .


On July 4th we celebrated not only Independence Day, but also Karl and Nancy Akkerman’s fabulous “Wimbledon Whites & Wood.” There was plenty of Pimm’s, strawberries and cream, English muffins, old-school tennis whites, and wooden rackets. Unfortunately not all of them made it through the tournie – just ask winner, Bryan Leiker . . .


In August, WAC unveiled its gorgeous new yoga studio . . .

But it’s not just for yoga . . . Our brilliant new yoga wall was soon installed, and great new group exercise classes, such as Body Sculpting and Barre were on the schedule . . .


In tennis news, our brilliant Junior, Emily Ackerman, won the Westlake Athletic Club Summer Junior Open, Girls 18 and under, beating some of Southern California’s top female tennis talent . . .

And in October, Westlake Athletic Club participated for the first time in the
Conejo Cup, an exciting, annual tennis championship with over 190 players competing from WAC, Spanish Hills, Sunset Hills, and North Ranch. Held at North Ranch Country Club, WAC proudly finished in second place winning silver, behind Sunset Hills in the group division, 11-3 in sets.

In other, exciting news, WAC member and devoted tennis player, Kelly Honig, won her seat in November’s Westlake Village City Council elections . . .

And with all the fun of new facilities and great tournaments, you were all working out hard, on the courts . . .


In the gym . . .


And in the pool . . .


And enjoying a little camaraderie and downtime, post work out . . .



Thank you for a great year. It’s been a good one for us all, and we look forward to 2016 with you, our valued members.

Wishing you a very happy Holidays, and a brilliant New Year! Enjoy!

Fitness Stuff

Meet your Trainers

imgPatti Markowitz
Patti has been helping people stay healthy and fit for over 20 years. Patti feels that fitness is the cornerstone to overall health and wellness and that getting fit is the first step to gaining a new and healthy lifestyle. As a certified personal trainer Patti specializes in custom training routines and likes to challenge and encourage her clients to surpass their physical and mental boundaries. As your trainer she will take your health and wellness personally, working alongside you to help achieve all of your fitness goals. With your determination and her dedication you can make anything happen.

imgBrooke Wedding:
Elite Spartan Racing Athlete
2015 World Championship Contender
NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
NASM Performance Enhancement Trainer and Personal Trainer
Tennis Professional PTR 10&U,11-17, Adult Development, High Performance

imgKatie Whittaker
Katie specializes in aquatic exercise, yoga, and meditation, as well as in strength, toning and cardiovascular training. She also offers nutrition counseling and weight management. Creator of "Aqua Yoga," she uses water and land exercise to compassionately assist clients both pre and post surgery. Katie is certified in fitness instruction by the National Arthritis Association, the Yoga Alliance, the Aquatic Exercise Association, the American Council on Exercise, and the National Association of Sports Medicine. Katie has guided hundreds of clients to better health for more than 10 years.

imgPeter Loncto
Peter Loncto is a longtime resident of Westlake Village and the newest member of our training staff. As a National Association of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and TRX Suspension Training instructor, he blends his passion and enthusiasm for fitness with his knowledge and experience to motivate and challenge his clients to feel their best.

"When I first met with John Sutcliffe a year ago and he shared his vision of a first rate fitness center, I was excited to have an opportunity to work with my neighbors in our fantastic community. After learning of his commitment to Technogym, I was all in! The Technogym philosophy of Wellness, their unique, elegant Kinesis One stations with an emphasis on adaptive, functional movement, and their unequaled interactive capability place them far out in front of any other traditional gym equipment. Some of you may have seen me in the Fitness Center over the last month, working out and becoming familiar with the literally thousands of movements possible with the Technogym system. Every day I am more impressed with Technogym's versatility and applicability to all levels of fitness. Whether your goal is a better backstroke, more tee-to-green distance, weight loss and toning, or just feeling your best, Technogym offers dozens of programs and the ability to customize a wellness program just for you.

I look forward to meeting all of you in the coming months and welcome the chance to assist you in identifying your Wellness goals, and working with you to achieve them. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. It would be an honor to be part of your Wellness journey.

Holly Butler
Influenced by growing up in Boulder, CO (aka the fittest city in America), Holly Butler has always lead an active lifestyle. As an adult, she was drawn to non-impact fitness, starting with the athleticism of Vinyasa yoga. While practicing yoga she discovered and fell in love with Barre classes and Body Sculpting classes using resistance training. Her 3 daughters were all in school and Holly thought it was the right time to get her certification and go back to work, doing something she loved. Holly spends her “off” time coordinating many school drop-offs, pick-ups and dance carpools for her daughters, being involved in charity work for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, volunteering school, and playing tennis at WAC with her husband. We are pleased that Holly will be teaching the Body Sculpting class on Mondays and Wednesdays at 12:30pm.

Amy Malloy
Amy Malloy hales from Chicago, Illinois and comes to SoCal by way of New Haven, CT and NYC. She moved to the area 2 years ago with her family and is happy to be working at Westlake Athletic Club. She is an actor, a mom, and a fitness professional. Amy received her MFA from the Yale School of Drama and her BA from Columbia College. Her fitness expertise is backed by certifications and almost 30 years of experience teaching group fitness and personal training. We are pleased that she will be teaching the Barre class on Fridays at 12:30pm.

Kim Leigh
We are pleased to have Kim Leigh as our newest Master’s Swim Coach. Kim has been coaching Master’s Swim for 5 years including open water swimming for triathletes and she actively participates in Master’s programs as well. She is a graduate of CSU Northridge with a BA and MS in Microbiology and has been a part of Amgen since 2003.

Group Exercise Schedule

 Day           Class
 Time  Teacher
 Mon & Wed Master Swim 12.00 pm-1.00 pm Scott
 Mon & Wed Body Sculpting 12.30-1.30pm Holly
 Yoga (Beg/Int)
 5:30-6:30pm      Cindy
 Mon Live Ball (3.0+) 6.30-8.00 pm Lorene
 Tue & Thurs Master Swim 5.30-6.30 am Katie
 Tue & Thurs  Yoga (Beg/Int)
 9:00-10am  Katie
 Tue &Thurs  PiYo 6:00-7:00pm  Katie             
 Tue Masters Swim
 6.30-8.00 pm Kim
 Tue Serious Tennis
 6.00-7.30 pm  Chris
 Wed Cardio Tennis 9.00-10.30 am Chris
 Wed Yoga (Beg/Int)
 5:30-6:30 pm Beth
 Wed Men’s Live Ball (4.0+) 6.00-7.30 pm Calle
 Wed Adult Tennis Drills 6.30-8.00 pm Karl
 Thurs Adult Tennis Drills 6.30-8.00 pm  Tim
 Fri Barre Class
 12.30-1.30 pm Amy
 Sat Master Swim 7.00-8.30 am Kari
 Sat  Yoga (Beg/Int)
 8:30-9:30am  Katie
 Sat Live Ball (3.0+) 10.30 am-12.00 pm Chris
 Sun  Yoga 9:00-10:00am  Katie/Cindy
 Sun Tennis Clinic (All Level) 9.00-10.30 am Karl/Tim


Masters Swim

imgKevin Lane, Swim Instructor & Coach

Kevin Lane is the Assistant Swim Coach of California Lutheran University Men's and Women's Swim Team. He is also an adjunct instructor at CLU, teaching swimming, and a Masters Swim Coach at Westlake Athletic Club (Certified USMS Level 2).

In addition to coaching, Kevin teaches swimming to all ages and levels here at the WAC. You may have seen him working with students in the pool.

He teaches private one on one lessons as well as groups of two students. His lessons run from 30 mins to an hour, and are for beginners, intermediate, all the way to the competitive student. Kevin has a reputation as a warm and caring instructor who is very intuitive when comes to each individual's needs. With years of experience, he understands how to get the best out of each student at every lesson.

Kevin started swimming and competing at the age of seven. Growing up in Connecticut, he continued to swim through his teen years on the club level, setting many Connecticut State records. He represented Connecticut Swimming as an all-star team member, and traveled and competed against other all-star teams. Moving on to Southern Connecticut State University, a top ten NCAA Division II School, he competed on the national level and set school records in the in the 200 fly and in relays. In his senior year he was elected captain of his team.

After college, Kevin continued to train, compete and coach, eventually winning the Masters One Mile Open Rough Water National Championship for his age group. For over 20 years Kevin has been teaching swimming, coaching on the college, masters and novice level. He has just completed his fifth year of college coaching at CLU.

Kevin brings to the Westlake Athletic Club an enthusiastic love of swimming, with over 20 years of experience as a swim instructor, swim coach and competitor. Kevin looks forward to helping others advance in the water, as they learn how wonderful and positive the swimming experience is. As spring and summer approaches, Kevin encourages all members and families to get out and start a regular exercise program that includes swimming.

Masters Swim Schedule
Mon & Wed 12 to 1pm
Tues & Thurs 5:30 to 6:30am
Tues & Thurs 6:15-7:30pm
Sat 7 to 8:15am

Match Finder

Steve Hamburger, Lynn Abroms, and Bill Ries are looking for USTA or self rated 3.5 players for doubles and mixed doubles. The group plays two or three times a week, week days 8:30am to 11am. Steve and Bill maintain an e-mail listing and help coordinate the matches. If interested please e-mail Steve at

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