Five Minutes with Tracy Seman
Writer Tom Scanlon
Photographer Jamie Pogue
Have you heard about CrossFit? It’s an intense physical fitness program that involves a variety of exercises, combining cardio, gymnastic movements and weight training. And, according to one workout wonderwoman, it’s challenging, rewarding and fun.
Fitness trainer Tracy Seman believes in the concept so much, she opened Ironwood CrossFit in Anthem this year. The mother of two (Cameron, 15, and Taylor, 12) says her husband Jeff gave her the emotional encouragement she needed to launch the business.
What’s CrossFit all about? ImagesAZ spent 5 minutes getting the scoop from Tracy.
ImagesAZ: How long have you been a personal trainer and how did you get started in it?
Tracy Seman: I became a certified personal trainer in January 2010. Prior to that I assisted my running coach during his Fit Camps. I was motivated to get certified because I love helping people change their lives through proper whole food nutrition and exercise.
IAZ: Where are you from, and were you athletic when you were in high school?
TS: I was born in Wisconsin and raised here in Arizona. Athletics did not play a big part in my childhood. I really became involved in fitness and nutrition later in life. I have done it all at one time or another – marathons, triathlons, boot camps, traditional gyms, figure competitions. CrossFit has changed the way I workout and I can truly do this the rest of my life.
IAZ: How many days a week do you personally work out? Do you take any days off?
TS: In my perfect world, I get to CrossFit five times a week and take two complete days off a week to fully recover.
IAZ: Cross training is so big now, how do you feel about it, and do you recommend it for everyone?
TS: We have athletes at our gym from ages 6 to 65. They all perform the WOD (workout of the day). The workouts are scaled for all levels of all ages. I hear people say they want to try CrossFit but need to get in shape first. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The best part of CrossFit is the supportive community that is created by our coaches and athletes. I am amazed every day seeing what people can achieve when they are encouraged by their CrossFit family. There’s nothing like watching an athlete who is ready to quit get encouragement from their fellow athletes to finish strong and never give up!
IAZ: Just about everyone wants to lose at least 10 pounds. What’s the best way to do this, and what’s a reasonable time period to expect to lose those 10?
TS: Great question, and I may not have the response you would expect. I tell all of our athletes to throw out their scale and quit becoming obsessed with numbers. We coach our athletes to change their lifestyle and learn how to eat whole foods and no longer eat processed foods. We recommend you eat a balanced diet from grass-fed meat, fish, poultry, whole eggs, vegetables, healthy fats, nuts and fruit.
IAZ: What techniques do you have to inspire someone to keep going, not just during a workout but long term?
TS: Workouts and the gym atmosphere should not be intimidating. We have found a happy medium where we can give you a great workout but keep you smiling, hopefully that makes people want to come back. One of our favorite things we hear at Ironwood CrossFit is, “That workout was so hard I am never coming back! OK, see you tomorrow!”
IAZ: What’s the weirdest fitness fad you’ve seen over the years?
TS: Mostly diet-related. I hate the fad diets and diets in general. Anyone can lose weight by restricting calories and fat. However, that doesn’t last. Quick weight loss always leads to weight gain. I would rather you lose true body fat slowly while gaining lean muscle.
IAZ: Favorite healthy dinner?
TS: New York strip steak with sautéed mushrooms and onion in ghee (clarified butter), steamed broccoli with melted ghee on top.
IAZ: Favorite “cheat” food?
TS: My favorite treat is gelato.