October Newsletter 2017

Dear Members,

Happy Fall! As we continue to improve your experience here at Westlake Athletic Club, I am thrilled to announce that the Matrix equipment for the outdoor fitness has been purchased, and is expected to be arriving by November 7th. The equipment selection includes: (2) rowers, (2) spin bikes, (2) self-powered treadmills, (2) functional trainers, (2) adjustable benches, Dumbbells, Kettle bells and (4) TRX bays. This area will be focused on functional movements, core strength, speed, agility and High Intensity Training. This area will be used for personal training, small group training, and group exercise classes such as TRX and other circuit training types of classes. When classes are not in session, this area will be open for members to use on your own. Please familiarize yourself with our great new outdoor workout space, and enjoy the perks of our lovely Californian weather even in the cooler months!
As we near the completion of the outdoor fitness area, this is a good opportunity to discuss the benefits of working with a personal trainer. A personal trainer is an exercise professional with the knowledge and experience to offer advice and guidance in the areas of exercise and fitness. There are numerous benefits to working with a personal trainer. They will help create a unique workout plan to fit your individual needs and goals, and can accommodate an injury or other obstacle that might otherwise prevent you from exercising. A personal trainer can help you find ways to make healthy living and exercise a priority in your life. When you hit plateaus in your exercise routines, a trainer will help you push through it and achieve better results. People of any age or fitness level can see better results and live a healthier lifestyle when they elect to work with a personal trainer.

If you are discouraged about your current fitness results, we strongly encourage you to try working with one of our trainers who will help you reach a higher level of fitness. Any members, who are not currently working with a trainer, are welcome to take advantage of our one-time offer of $99 for three one-hour sessions. Start your quest for a healthier life today, and sign-up with one of WAC's great trainers! You can get more information from the Front Desk.

I would like to thank all of the members that have been placing their used tennis balls in our new recycling bins. In addition to reducing our environmental footprint, you are also helping keep the property cleaner and neater, for all our enjoyment. Thank you for your help!

Have a Healthy Day and a Great Month,
John Sutcliffe
General Manager


Tennis Stuff

Video clip from Chris Dudeck, Co-Director at WAC

Video clip from Calle Hansen, Co-Director at WAC

Tennis News

By Christa Nonnemaker

Adult Tennis:
In-House Leagues

We wrapped up the Summer 2017 In-House Leagues with an end-of-season party on October 5th, with a great time and competitive match play enjoyed by all. The Fall 2017 In-House League season starts the week of October 16th, and there are still a few spots open. If you are interested please contact Shari Gianini at [email protected]. If this season doesn't work for you plan on the Winter 2018 season, which will begin in January with registrations in December.

Congratulations to all the winners of the Summer 2017 season!

Monday Men's Singles: Ron Syfacunda

Tuesday PM Ladies: Maryam Rassouli & Lisa Bedigian

Wednesday Mixed – Flight A: Kathy Schatz & Michael Schatz

Wednesday Mixed – Flight B: Reza Afshar & Maryam Rassouli

Thursday Men: Scott Feldstein & Woody Coale
Thursday Mixed: Paul Gianini & Karen Rosenberg


Fall USTA Tournament
The annual Fall USTA Tournament just took place at Westlake Athletic Club on September 30th and 31st. There were divisions for levels of Open, 4.0, 3.5 and 3.0 in singles and doubles for men and women. Quite a few WAC members participated . . . Jonah Dennis, Kevin Daniel, Keith Burger, John Halloran, Matt Seegers, Katie Tavasoli, Jen Burger, Ramona Halloran, Tanja Daniel, Michelle Sabbagh, Alex Campbell, and Nancy Akkerman to name a few. Thanks to all who participated and made this a fun tournament!

Winners of the 3.5 Ladies Doubles, Suzie Yamamoto (L) and Alex Campbell (R)

Finalist, Katie Tavasoli (L), and winner, Kim Kinberg (R), in Women's Open Singles

Finalist, Steve Wilde (L), and winner, Bryan Swatt (R), in Men's Open Singles

The Conejo Cup
The Conejo Cup took place on Saturday, October 7th, and WAC made it to the finals before falling to Sunset CC. Congratulations to the players who participated and helped make it so successful and fun! And thank you to the captains of each of the divisions:

Women's 3.0 Patti MacNamara
Women's 3.5 Mary-Rose Bleier
Women's 4.0 Marla Peck
Women's 4.5+ Lorene Whitehouse
Men's 3.5 Joe Dotzler
Men's 4.0 Bill Fried
Men's 4.5+ Dave Macnamara

In each division, there were three courts of doubles, which played a total of eight games against their opponents. Each court played the other courts. This year they also allowed subs to come in during a match, as they do in World Team Tennis.

All the players stayed on those assigned courts throughout the two-hour session and as soon as all six courts finished, they started the next rotation immediately. After three rotations, scores were calculated and posted on a large scoreboard for all divisions, with updated scores throughout the day.
WAC 3.0 Ladies

WAC 3.5 Ladies

WAC 4.5 Men

WAC 4.5 Women

Junior Tennis
The Junior Team Tennis program has five teams this fall season with a 10u team captained by Douglas Johnson, a 12u team captained by Gina Reese, a 14u team captained by Brooke Gabbey, another 14u team captained by Steve Felsen, and an 18u team captained by Christa Nonnemaker. As the season has just started, the teams have finished their first round of matches. Other clubs that participate in JTT include Pierpont, Los Posas CC, Spanish Hills CC, and Ojai Athletic Club along with some park and recreation teams. JTT is a great way for junior players to have a team experience!
JTT practice on the courts

On Saturday afternoons, Junior League and Junior Development League continue to be quite popular with those who are beginning to play tennis or who want to improve their match play skills. This program is geared toward beginner through Intermediate level players, and information about JTT and Junior League/Junior Development League is available on the WAC website under Junior Tennis.

Our Wednesday afternoon Junior clinic is always fun . . . Bring our younger members out to participate in drills, start to learn or improve their tennis skills, and enjoy a great time and team spirit on the courts!




There will be a Family Tournament coming soon in either November or December so stay tuned for more details. Happy Fall, tennis lovers!

Fitness Stuff

Video Fitness Tip from Holly Butler – Using the Wall For Both Upper & Lower Body

Training Tip:

By Patti Markovitz

When you can barely squeeze a workout into your day, taking time to focus on flexibility may feel like, well a stretch, but stretching is an important part of fitness. It can improve your range of motion, increase circulation, and calm your mind, which may help fend off injuries and illness, as well as bring on a better night's sleep. To limber up try these stretches and if you feel any strain or pain, stop.

Reclining Pigeon

Lie face up with your knees bent and your feet flat on floor. Cross-flex your right foot over your left thigh, hook your arms around your left hamstring, and lift your left foot a few inches, keeping your back and shoulders on the floor. Gently pull right leg in toward you, until you feel a stretch, and hold for 30 to 40 seconds. Lower back to the starting position, switch your legs and repeat.

Bridge With Leg Reach
Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your arms at lying by your side. Extend your right leg in front of you to knee-height, and slowly lift your hips toward the ceiling. Press your upper back into the floor, and hold for 30 to 40 seconds. Return to the starting position and switch to opposite leg, remembering to keep breathing as you go.

The Seated Back Twist
Sit on the floor with your legs straight. Bend your right knee and step your right foot over your left leg. Put your left hand on the floor while bending your right elbow, placing the back of your arm against your right knee and gently turning to the right. Pressing your arm into your leg and looking over your right shoulder, breathe out as you twist. Hold for five breaths before returning to the center and your starting position. Switch sides and repeat, feeling and enjoying that stretch.
[email protected]


Aqua Exercise Tip

By Katherine Whittaker

Using water for exercising your abdominals, is a safe yet fun and effective workout that builds core strength and tones that tummy. In her private Poolates sessions, Katie can take you through a simple and gentle routine that is designed to get results as part of your overall fitness program.

Core engagement:
Relaxing back in the water with a pool floatie bent to support each shoulder, Pilates exhale out mouth with your hips rocked under you, extending your legs straight in front of you.
Create a "V-circle" with both legs while you inhale, keeping that belly IN! Circle both legs down and around in a circular motion, and exhale.

Return to starting position and hold . . . Then repeat five times inhaling and exhaling as you go, and keeping that belly taut for best results. For an extra boost, add some ankle weights and really get those abs working!

Tri Corner

Speed Training
By Logan Franks
Training in the off-season, when we often dedicate this time to getting in those base miles and running slow. I wrote an article a few years back regarding the importance of training slow in the off season and how it was important to get those base miles in, to injury-proof ourselves, and build our durability. My opinion on this matter hasn't changed much. I do believe that an athlete coming off a long training season needs to spend some time recovering, and easing back into any type of quality training. I also believe that an athlete with very little athletic history, needs to spend a decent amount of time focusing on base training or training volume with little, to no quality training. When I refer to the word quality, I mean speed work, interval training, and low training stress. The main goal of these recovering or new athletes should be consistency. Consistency is the one thing that we, as athletes, can do to prevent injury.

I used to spend a considerable amount of time building up those base miles with my athletes. When it comes to base training, this is where my opinion and coaching style has changed through the years. Three plus months of the athletes training used to be spent focusing on developing the aerobic energy system. Since then, I have changed training protocols. I now recommend four weeks of base training before we insert any type of interval training. This number can be shifted left or right depending on athletic history, race schedule, and durability of the athlete. No two athletes are the same. So, there's no magical number or protocol that's going to work for everyone.

After four weeks of base training, give or take, I believe it's important to start focusing in on speed. There are two numbers I like to focus on while obtaining data from my athletes: Training Stress Score (TSS) and Intensity Factor (IF). Training Stress Score and Intensity Factor is a term coined by Joe Friel, a very knowledgeable coach who, in my opinion, has revolutionized coaching within the sport of triathlon. The system calculates every second spent in each training zone and assigns a numerical value to it, to calculate how much fatigue a specific workout has had on an athlete. It goes much deeper than that, but that's TSS & IF, over simplified. While working with athletes in the off-season, I think it's important to have a high Intensity Factor and low Training Stress Score. An example of a high IF workout with low TSS would be:

• Run
• Warm up: 10:00 Easy
• Main Set: 5x100 meter sprint with 2:30 Recovery
• Cool Down: 10:00 Easy

Though sprinting 5x100 is going to feel strenuous at the time of the training session, the training volume is significantly low, so it will result in a high IF and low TSS. The Intensity Factor is high because they were anaerobic type efforts, and the Training Stress Score is low due to the lack of volume and time spent in the more demanding training zones. Now that we have a clearer understanding of TSS and IF, let's talk about why I have people training fast in the off season, as opposed to running slow and getting those base miles in for months on end. Let's specifically talk about running so I don't need to bounce around three different sports.

Let's pretend Kevin wants to run a 1:14 half marathon. Kevin needs to learn how to run 5:38 pace for 13.1 miles. I can give Kevin three months of 80 mile weeks at 10:00 pace, but running 10:00 pace isn't going to get Kevin comfortable running 5:38 pace. What would most likely happen in the situation is, Kevin would have a slower than expected half marathon but due to the high volume training, he would feel like he could run another 13 miles at the same pace. Volume builds endurance, not speed. My point is if you want to run 5:38 pace for 13.1 miles, you aren't going to do it, training at 10:00 pace. You will have to reduce the volume within your training, which will lower your Training Stress Score, and increase the Intensity Factor by working on speed. This should be done at Goal Race Pace (GRP) or faster. As the year goes on, you should gradually increase volume and time at intensity. This will result in a gradual increase in TSS, as the year progresses.

The issue I see amongst most triathletes is that they train slow in the off-season, and their volume is often times, too high. They do all their speed work on tired legs and their body never has enough rest to perform at a faster pace or more demanding training zone. I've seen it while coaching Masters swim. The athletes swim 3,000+ yards every workout, all year long. Their 200-yard time trial pace is nearly the same as their 50-yard time trial pace. This is a red flag for me and screams that the volume is too high, and it doesn't allow for a higher quality workout. They must pace themselves out, to survive the 3k swim. My solution, reduce volume and time at intensity, while increasing intensity. Instead of doing a 3k swim with the main set being 10x100 on 1:30 pace with 15 seconds rest; give the athletes a 2k swim with the main set of 4x100 on 1:15 pace with 1:00 rest. As the year goes on, move that to 6x100 on the same pace, and then 8x100 and so on. Once you have the athletes up to 10x100 on 1:15 pace, manipulate the rest time and start bringing that down. Eventually, using this strategy, you should be able to get the athletes to 10x100 on 1:15 pace with 15 seconds rest, over time.

If you want to swim, bike, and run fast, you need to train fast. In order for us to train fast, we need to be rested. That being said, every workout should not be fast. As a coach and athlete, I believe that athletes need to understand that fast workouts are fast, and slow workouts are slow . . . Or as I tell every athlete, "Slow is slow and fast is fast." Running fast all the time is a recipe for injury. So, take your time on those endurance swims, rides, and runs. Understand the purpose of each workout. Always think about how you can build off the current training session. Last but not least, look at the week ahead and ask yourself, "Is what I'm doing in the current training session going to have a negative impact on some of the quality work later in the week?" If the answer to that question is yes, decrease volume or increase recovery time.

Members of the Month:

Mary Rose & Steve Bleier: Sports, Sports, & More Sports!
By Karl Akkerman
This month we have the pleasure of finding out about two members who are very involved at WAC with lessons, clinics, and Leagues during this past year. Let's find out a little more about them that most folks don't know . . .

Most of us are familiar with Mary Rose Bleier as the Pied Piper Captain for one of the women's 3.5 USTA teams. She is always known for being supportive in attending many of the great social events that WAC puts on, but did you know that she was on the Olympic team 1984? Yep. Here is her story.

Mary Rose's family always had horses growing up, and she got on her first horse at the tender age of two. When she was nine years old, her father went in with five other families and purchased an Equestrian Center, which led to her competing in Equestrian Hunters and Jumpers.

Mary Rose got her first show horse at age eleven, a little Arab that could not jump very high but she was still young. Finally at age 14, she got her first real jumper . . . English Toffee, a purebred thoroughbred that came from the Bay area. Competing all over California, Mary Rose was 15, when they moved English Toffee to Calabasas where the competition was much more serious.

In 1980 she tried out for the 1980 Olympics but was too young, needing to be a least 18 to compete. She and English Toffee continued to compete, eventually breaking into the top 25 and travelling to AZ, OR, WA, and NY. While attending CSUN, Mary Rose continued to ride, teach, and compete and tried out in 1984 LA Summer Olympic Games. There were 120 riders and she was chosen with only 21 others that would be looked at for consideration. Just entering into this elite group was quite an accomplishment in itself, but eventually she was named an alternate for the 1984 Olympic Team and it was a dream come true. Mary Rose is truly a world class Equestrian!

Now we know why Mary Rose is such a competitor on the courts. Recently in a tennis match, she had to play the last four points on one leg to win and take the team to league playoffs. She had torn her calf muscle and could hardly stand, let alone run and hit, but she gutted it out and won the match.

Mary Rose is married to Steve, a dentist in Sherman Oaks, who loves sports more than anyone I know. He is an avid fan of his alma mater, USC's, football team and also watches several other College football games every Saturday. Steve was a shortstop baseball player and basketball player on Varsity all four years in High School, and has taken this competition from these sports, applying it to tennis and having one of the best serves among his friends at WAC.

Steve and Mary Rose have three very athletic boys (shock) who they have both coached for many years growing up in Westlake. Ryan, their oldest, competed in the Junior Olympics for Volleyball his sophomore year, while also playing basketball for four years at Westlake High School (WHS), and graduating from UCLA in 2015. Brendan, their middle son, played on multiple AAU travel basketball teams and played four years at WHS, now currently a Senior at UCSB. Kevin, their youngest, is a Junior at WHS and is the starting shortstop, just like his Dad. He is currently in the recruiting progress to play college baseball upon graduation from WHS.

Sports, sports, and more sports are the family's favorite pastime, so don't forget to say a hello to Mary Rose and Steven when you are next on the courts, as they extol and enjoy the benefits of membership here at WAC, embracing the benefits of a healthy, athletic lifestyle.


Nutrition Tip

10 Tips For Seasonal Wellness
By Anna Griffin

With cold and flu season approaching, this is the perfect time to focus on healthy eating to help boost your immune system and keep your body strong. Food alone may not be able to prevent the common cold or flu, but it can potentially decrease its duration, severity and frequency. It takes more than any one particular food, nutrient or supplement, but rather, a consistent and varied combination of foods high in antioxidants and compounds that enhance our immune function. Adequate rest and sleep, physical activity, hydration and not eating too much or too little are also key factors in a healthy immune system. Don't forget, hand washing is actually is one of the most effective preventative measures from spreading the common cold.

Facts About Colds

  • Healthy adults have about 2 colds per year.
  • The common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract caused by a virus.
  • Cold weather doesn't cause a cold but cold viruses tend to thrive better in colder temperatures with less humidity.
  • Cold viruses can survive for several hours on hands, tissues and hard surfaces so hand washing throughout the day is key.
  • Viruses can lie dormant in the body until they are triggered by a weakened immune system so having a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, staying active and stress management are very important for keeping the body strong.

10 Immune Boosting Tips

1) Vitamin C

  • Research has shown that consuming vitamin C can enhance immunity and impact the frequency, duration and severity of a cold.
  • Vitamin C is not made or stored in the body, so we need to consume a daily intake of foods rich in vitamin C. Major sources come from fruits and vegetables.
  • The Daily Value for Vitamin C is about 90 mg per day for a 2000-calorie diet. The upper limit (UL) is set at 2,000 mg. Larger doses are associated with diarrhea and kidney stones.

Best Food Sources:
Bell peppers, kiwi, oranges, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit, brussel sprouts, spinach, kale, orange juice.

2) Chicken Soup

Your grandma was right, chicken soup might just be the natural remedy you need at the very first signs of a cold, according to a handful of studies.

  • The warm broth soothes a sore throat and the other ingredients such as carrots, onion and garlic have antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  • Some research suggests that chicken soup may also exert an anti-inflammatory effect on the upper respiratory tract, reducing duration of a cold.
  • In one study, hot chicken soup was more effective than hot water at increasing the movement of mucus and secretions i.e. runny nose, which helps the body rid of pathogenic viruses and bacteria.


3) Turmeric

  • Curcumin is the orange, yellow part of turmeric that has been shown to possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and can also help boost our body's immune system.
  • Turmeric is best absorbed by the body when consumed with some black pepper.
  • It can be easily be sprinkled on foods such as chicken or fish when cooking, or add it to vanilla yogurt, or tea. Try Gaia's Golden Milk, which is a blend of turmeric and spices such as dates, cardamom and black pepper, for a delicious and calming way to end your day. It can be added to milk of choice, such as almond, coconut, dairy or soy.


4) Probiotics

  • According to a review from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, regular consumption of good bacteria called probiotics found in yogurt may help our immune system work better, along with improving digestion. It also is a great source of Vitamin D, another nutrient involved in our immune health.

Best Food Sources:
yogurt, kefir, fresh sauerkraut, kombucha tea.

5) Vitamin D

  • Low levels of vitamin D can negatively impact the immune system's ability to fight viruses and bacteria.
  • The Recommended Daily Value is 400-600 IUs and the UL is 4,000 IUs.
  • In the winter, with less hours of sunlight, we may need to make more of an effort to get more vitamin D in the diet.

Best Food Sources:
rainbow trout, tuna light canned, halibut, sardines, sockeye salmon, fortified milk, egg yolks, mushrooms.

6) Green Tea

Green tea contains antiviral properties (polyphenols) that may help fight influenza virus and stimulate production and activity of specific cells associated with combating viruses.
Plus the benefits of consuming a hot liquid to stay hydrated and loosen up mucous.
Think twice before adding some milk, as the proteins bind to the polyphenols, preventing them from doing their job.

7) Zinc

  • Zinc is a key nutrient in boosting and enhancing our body's immune response and helping to fight bacteria and viruses.
  • The Daily Value is 15 mg based on 2000-calorie diet and the upper limit (UL) is 40 mg/day.
  • Zinc lozenges or in syrup form can be beneficial for reducing the duration and severity of the common cold if taken within 24 hours of onset of symptoms. Research has found that taking zinc knocked an average of 3 days off the common cold.
  • Vegetarians may have a hard time getting enough zinc as some of the highest sources come from animal foods.

Best Food Sources:
Oysters, beef, Alaskan king crab, lamb, pork, turkey, lobster, beans, wheat germ, fortified cereal.

8) Echinacea

  • It may be helpful to take Echinacea supplements at the very first signs of a cold to boost immune system.
  • It is recommended to take up until symptoms go away and do not take for longer than 3 months.
  • It should not be used by people allergic to ragweed, during pregnancy, or while nursing. Consult with MD if you have diabetes or heart disease.


9) Elderberry

  • Elderberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A (beta-carotene).
  • Research has shown that symptoms from the flu were relieved an average of 4 days earlier when supplementing with Elderberry syrup. Always check with health care provide prior to supplementation especially in children.


10) Exercise

  • Research supports the role of regular physical activity on keeping our immune systems strong. Moving around helps to loosen built up mucus and fluids during the common cold, but it is not recommended if there is a fever. Incorporate daily activity for prevention.



Healthy Travel

Eight California Wellness Spas to Kick-Start Your Weight Loss Program Into High Gear!
By Anna Griffin

It's October already. Where has the year gone, while all of a sudden we are facing winter and with it, the holidays? Have we kept our well-intentioned health and wellness New Year's resolutions this year, or have we slipped a little and gained the odd pound here and there?

Embracing a philosophy of being proactive rather than retro or re-active, there is no better time than the present to get a jump-start on our weight-loss goals for 2018, especially with the treat-laden holiday season around the corner.

California has some of the best destination wellness spas in the world, luxury boot camps that will kick your weight-loss program into high gear. They'll help you drop pounds, learn to eat healthfully and discover how to reduce your stress level. You'll be able to tackle that weighty resolution that's hanging over your head — and showing up on your scale — on a weeklong spa vacation.

With a goal to help participants regain control of their lives, wellness resorts and spas encourage healthful living and try to educate vacationers about nutrition, fitness and stress relief. Here's a look at eight of the best-known facilities in and around Southern California.

Cal-a-Vie: This luxury spa, which straddles a ridge in northwestern San Diego County, isn't just a hotel, it's a 200-acre Provençal-style village, complete with a 400-year-old French chapel and 32 plush guest cottages with antique-filled rooms that feature oversized beds and fine linens. A regular "World's Best" winner in polls by Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler magazines, Cal-a-Vie draws wealthy clients from around the world.

The workout: Start your day with a hike, and then choose from 120 classes such as CrossFit, Zumba, weight training, yoga and stretching. If you need motivation, don't worry; Cal-a-Vie has a 5-1 employee-to-guest ratio. Daily spa treatments — massage, facial, etc. — are part of the program.

Golden Door:
Despite its venerable age — the Golden Door opened in 1958 — this spa in northwestern San Diego County was named the top destination spa in the world for 2015 by Travel & Leisure magazine. Designed to replicate a Japanese village, the spa encourages guests to leave behind their worries and stress when they enter the shiny golden door at the entrance. Inside they find an emphasis on mind, body and spirit, along with rigorous physical activity.

The workout:
Guests hit the dramatically landscaped trails daily at 5:30 a.m. for hiking. There are two pools, group exercise studios, tennis and a hilltop retreat for private fitness sessions. Each guest has an individually planned program and receives a daily in-room massage.

The Oaks at Ojai: This downtown Ojai fitness hotel calls itself "America's best spa value" because of its weekly rate of $2,415 per person ($1,820 double occupancy). Just need a day or two? The Oaks at Ojai has a plan for you too, with a daily rate of $345 ($260 double occupancy). The program is popular with guests; 60% return for a few more days of activities and treatments at the restored 1920s Mission-style hotel.

The workout:
Choose from 14 activities each day, including walking, hiking, swimming and fitness classes such as stretching, dancing, cardio sculpting, yoga and Pilates. Guests are encouraged to take as few or as many classes as they would like.

Premier Fitness Camp, Carlsbad: Backsliders note: If you think a week or two won't cut it, check out Premier Fitness Camp, which sets up a 12-week accountability program for guests after they leave the camp. Based at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, PFC emphasizes behavior change, nutritional guidance and low-impact fitness training. Participants stay at the resort, use a custom training facility and attend nutrition lectures and cooking classes, take grocery store tours and receive dining-out tips.

The workout: Fitness activities include beach boot camp, calisthenics, weight training, tennis, yoga and other cardio routines with personal trainers. Guests can work out for up to six hours a day. PFC also emphasizes mental wellness through weekly group sessions with licensed therapists.

The Ranch Malibu: If you're looking for a tough-love program that will help you get serious in a hurry, check into the Ranch Malibu, which prohibits meat, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gluten, processed sugars and artificial sweeteners. No surprises here — with a regimen like that you're going to succeed. Guests may experience lower cholesterol levels, significant weight loss, toned bodies and looser clothing when they leave. And they learn to love vegetarian food, especially when it's prepared Ranch Malibu-style. The spa, which attracts a fair share of A-listers, is an A-lister itself, with top awards from Travel & Leisure and Lonely Planet.

The workout:
Great food isn't the only plus at this rambling hillside property in the Santa Monica Mountains. Participants love the program, which requires a four- to five-hour hike each morning in addition to participating in other workouts. Meals total 1,400 calories a day, and participants have afternoon massages and take a daily nap.

Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico: Rancho La Puerta, three miles across the border in Baja, is the first true fitness resort and spa in North America, founded in 1940 and still considered a leader in the field. Set on 3,000 acres of gardens, mountains and meadows, the program's approach to wellness seeks a mind, body and spirit balance. The resort was named best destination spa in 2014 by Conde Nast Traveler.

The workout:
Although the resort considers its program to be a mix of food, nutrition, exercise, relaxation, education and expression, it doesn't impose anything on guests. Take a morning hike up Mt. Kuchumaa or an easy meadow walk, and then choose from instructor-led exercise classes. Or spend the day reading in a hammock.

Ranch 4.0, Westlake Village:
If you can't commit to a weeklong fitness break, you might like Ranch 4.0, based at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, which offers a four-day program from Thursday afternoon through Monday morning so you can jump-start your fitness plan with a long weekend break. An offshoot of the Ranch Malibu program, Ranch 4.0 is a luxury boot camp held in conjunction with the California Health & Longevity Institute at the hotel.

The workout:
As with its sister program in Malibu, participants take part in eight hours a day of rigorous exercise, including four hours of mountain hiking every morning. There are afternoon exercise classes and stretching, massages and cooking demonstrations. Meals are organic vegetarian cuisine.

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Rancho Santa Fe: This Forbes five-star resort in north San Diego County doesn't have an all-inclusive weight-loss program, but it illustrates the possibilities available at some high-end resorts. You can build your own program, creating a weeklong menu of activities and spa treatments. Rancho Valencia is set on 45 acres of gardens and olive groves and has extensive recreation facilities.

The workout: Build it yourself at one of the resort's 18 tennis courts or at the yoga pavilion, Pilates studio or pools. Then join exercise programs and fitness sessions led by resort instructors.

Meet your Trainers

imgLeticia Willingham 
Leticia Willingham is a certified yoga instructor based in Westlake Village, California. She has led her life down a path of healthy eating and working out for more than twenty years, discovering yoga while trying to help deal with severe anxiety. The results of practicing yoga were dramatic . . . providing the ability to calm the mind, find inner peace, and strengthen the body. Leticia's 500 hour teaching certification is through YogaWorks in Westlake Village, California; mentored by Lainie Devina.

Leticia believes that everyone can benefit by practicing yoga. She focuses on providing each student, whether they have just been introduced to yoga or have been practicing for years, with insight, encouragement and the opportunity to help guide them on a positive journey and achieve their own personal goals. "I know how amazing the benefits of yoga can be because I have experienced them first hand. Yoga truly changed my life, and I want to provide the opportunity for others to affect positive change in their lives as well."

imgPatti Markowitz
Patti Markowitz has been helping people stay healthy & fit for over 25 years as a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Aerobics Instructor. Her tenure at the Westlake Athletic Club (WAC) began back in 1993 where she has trained hundreds of members who continue to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle augmented by hours spent building strong bone, muscle, and piece of mind through exercise & resistance-training. Patti believes that when you change bodies you change lives, and that being a Personal Trainer is about much more that just knowing the exercise or routine, it's about living the lifestyle, and being able to motivate and inspire others to move toward healthier and happier lives.

As one of WAC's leading Certified Personal Trainers, Patti specializes in designing customized programs in training for strength, weight loss, and functional fitness. Her attitude and presentation makes workouts fun and motivating; never routine, dull or boring. As your trainer, she will take your health & wellness personally, working alongside you to help achieve ALL of your fitness goals.

An accomplished marathon runner, avid swimmer, and someone you will most likely bump into in a Yoga class at the Club, Patti's attention to her own fitness reflects her commitment to well-being. With your determination and her dedication you can make anything happen.

For an opportunity to train with Patti, you can call her directly at (805) 208-9578, or inquire at the front desk at WAC.
[email protected]

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.

[email protected]

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.


imgTamara Goulden
Learning to swim at a very young age, Tamara fell in love with being in the water, playing water polo and swimming competitively with her local Parks & Rec throughout middle school, and competing on the school swim team in high school. Playing on the women's UCSB water polo team in 1988, Tamara competed in the State Championships, and by teaching swim instruction and aqua fitness, was able to pay for graduate school at LMU, earning her Masters in counseling psychology in 1995. Tamara established her company, Premiere Aquatics, in the early '90's in which she uses water as a therapeutic milieu for swim instruction, exercise, personal training, phobia counseling, and injury rehabilitation.  She finds teaching water fitness at WAC a fun and rewarding way to engage with members and see them benefit by this unique type of workout, as she herself is happiest when in the water.

Group Class Schedule

Click here for a pdf of the fitness schedule


Masters Swim

Logan Franks
WAC is pleased to have Logan Franks coach our Masters swim program.

imgLogan Franks served seven years in the Marine Corps infantry. During his enlistment, he raced on the Marine Corps Triathlon team. He was 1 of 6 Marines selected to represent the All Marine Triathlon Team at Armed Forces Triathlon Championships in 2011. Logan also competed as a professional triathlete with a primary focus on long course triathlon. In 2010 he was ranked 52nd in the world for Ironman and he posted the fasted American run split of the day at Ironman world championships, crossing the finish line in 9:02.

Logan was also collegiate runner for the University of Delhi, located in NY. Though he was a fast runner, his success in triathlon was being hindered by his lack of swim knowledge and experience. Knowing this, Logan went to a number of swim clinics and trained under the guidance of some of the best triathlon and swim coaches in the United States. Logan soon became a front pack swimmer, often coming out of the water in the top six of the pro division for Ironman and 70.3 races.

2013, Logan shifted his focus to coaching and put his athletic career on hold. Logan currently owns a military focused triathlon team. He coaches prior service members and active duty military. He also coaches paratriathletes and other wounded vets hoping to compete in the Paralympics. Logan is a Level 2 Masters Swim Coach, and is very approachable, always willing to help anyone on deck. 

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 5:30-6:30am Logan
Mon & Wed 12-1 Kevin
Tues & Thur 6-7pm David
Sat 7:15-8:30am Logan


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 [email protected].