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Monday, March 4, 2024 at 6:07 PM
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Fitness Without Filters and Feeling Great

Fitness Without Filters and Feeling Great
Karen Isbister behind her bar station.

Author: Photos by Jo Peterutti

While attending college in Reno, Karen Isbister started taking cardio kickboxing classes and loved them. Taking cardio classes made her feel so great that she got certified and hasn't stopped teaching since. She and her sister, Jamie Parker, own No Filter Fitness located at 131 South Maine Street where they offer a variety of fitness classes.

Isbister started teaching kickboxing in Fallon in 2004 and has since acquired 10 certifications in various forms of fitness and personal training. Those certifications include Group Fitness, Kickboxing, TRX, Yoga, Pilates, and PiYo, a fusion of Pilates and Yoga that she calls “pretty intense”. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer. Jamie started teaching in 2013 when they had a studio together in Sparks. She's certified in TRX plus she leads other classes too. Recently, they also brought in instructor Melanie Ludlow, who Isbister said is just awesome. “She taught in Las Vegas before moving here, is teaching cardio kickboxing, and is certified in TRX. She also teaches Pop Pilates which is somewhat similar to PiYo set to fun music.”

Isbister said TRX was originally invented by a Navy Seal in the 1990s. “It stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise and almost everyone that tries it likes it. It's good for all levels too, and we have clients aged 12 to 79 that do it. TRX is all about body angle. The exercises involve using tow straps with handles suspended from a bar near the ceiling that provide balance, form, and stability. The further one leans back while holding the straps, the more difficult the exercise becomes.”

She also runs a Balance and Bubbly class every other Saturday, where they do PiYo and then enjoy mimosas. She uses Avaline sparkling wine, which only has one gram of sugar per bottle and is made from organic grapes. “We chose that brand because we are all about having things in moderation and enjoying life. We didn't want to cut out wine, we enjoy it, and this brand is a healthier alternative.”

The sisters had initially found a little second-floor spot at 270 South Maine Street. They were, and still are, working their day jobs so just having a small space to teach after work was fine for them. Then the space at 131 South Maine opened up - first floor, street side, nice big windows. “As soon as we saw this space, we just loved it. The landlord had to level the floors for us before we could put in new flooring. We also painted the interior and had the TRX bar made and installed. We love that when people walk by, they can see us in here. The TRX exercises get the most attention because they're just so different.”

The No Filter Fitness name goes back a few years to when Isbister was lunching with girlfriends. “My friends were looking at social media exercise sites and kept saying, ‘This girl is so perfect.’ I finally said, ‘Enough, they've been edited, filtered. They're not real.’ I told them I wanted to show what can be done, what is real with no filters. That was when the No Filters name was born. We don't edit anything, all the pictures we post are real.”  She went on to say, “Everybody has a little cellulite, and rolls when they sit down. Nobody is perfect. We encourage people to just do what makes them feel good. Let's focus on what makes us happy and having less stress.”

She was kind enough to share a personal story about herself, which she permitted us to share here. In 2020, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she has since beaten. “It was such a surprise. No one in my family ever had it. I found the lump myself. That was a bad year, and through it, I felt helpless. I had been so strong and healthy, and able to do anything I wanted to do. Going from that to not even being able to walk sometimes was rough. Through that, I actually found a Cancer Exercise Specialist Certification, which I finished last year. It talked about mobility issues and how certain surgeries will make you tighten up in certain places. It taught how to work through those muscle imbalances and all of the concerns that go into working through cancer issues. And I'm happy to share my story with anyone who will listen so that women do their exams. It's so important, I would have never thought it would happen to me.”

 

Isbister described the beautiful furnishings she has in the studio as “industrial chic” which all came from Bassham Furniture. “This is fun, it's our hobby, and it's where we put all our extra time. We want people to leave here feeling good, so at the end of each class, we also provide them with a lemon or lavender-scented washcloth. The cloths are moist and chilled, and they use them to cool down with before leaving.”

More information and class schedules can be found on the NFF web site, https://www.no-filter-fitness.com/ or their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/NoFilterFitnessNV.

 



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