April 26, 2021 at 6:52 p.m.
“Just because you’re a farmer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work out,” said Adam, a fifth-generation dairyman on his family’s Stoney Springs Farm. “Being a fit farmer comes in handy – it’s very beneficial to you and your job. You can’t afford not to work out.”
Adam and his brother, Jesse, farm with their parents, Dave and Roseanne, milking 240 cows and running 600 acres near Appleton. Marie’s brother, Rodney, also works full time on the farm. Adam bought into the partnership in 2000, which was the year the McCarthys expanded and put in a milking parlor and freestall barn. Five years ago, they installed two Boumatic double robots.
“There’s not as much physical labor on the farm now that we have robots to milk the cows,” Adam said. “But having a gym this close helps me get my workout in.”
The fitness studio is used by more than family – it is also the home of Dairyland Fitness, a business run by Marie. A lifestyle coach who takes a holistic approach to health, wellness and fitness, Marie’s passion is to share her expertise with others. She previously owned a gym but came to a point where she found it more fulfilling to work with people individually.
“I wanted to give people more than a gym could provide,” Marie said. “I wanted to work with people on an individual basis to make more of an impact on their lives versus working in a large-scale gym setting. And it’s been great.”
Marie specializes in one-on-one instruction, teaching her clients about the human body and how to properly exercise while also caring for small injuries. Marie’s clients range from children to senior citizens and everyone in between. She also works with families.
Marie does not view exercise as one size fits all and tailors her program to the individual.
“I want to help people improve their lives,” Marie said. “I want my clients to be physically fit inside and out. That includes their mental health as well. It’s about getting to know each person and their lifestyle. We can then work through deficiencies and prior injuries.”
From biking and rowing to sprint work, cardio and weightlifting, clients of Dairyland Fitness receive a comprehensive workout. Clients have access to a variety of equipment, including rope pulls, sandbags, weights, indoor sleds, a bench press, treadmill, bikes, punching bag, rope climbs, rings, farmers carry handles and more.
“Hooking up ropes to a sled and pulling it toward yourself is a great workout,” Adam said. “It offers great strength with low impact.”
“It’s one of my favorite workouts,” she said. “I also love the farmers carry handles. They’re a good way to test if a person is getting stronger.”
Marie teaches her clients how to safely lift weights and also teaches skills like handstands and wall walks to those who are interested.
“There isn’t one exercise program that everyone needs to stick with forever,” Marie said. “It’s good to mix it up. The body needs something different, which is why I make sure we hit every muscle group with emphasis on a person’s weakness.”
Adam swears by Marie’s methods, having benefitted from the techniques she uses on her clients to help correct injuries and work through issues.
“I had bad body positions from milking in a parlor for many years,” Adam said. “My leg was crooked from walking against the wall, and I also had a lot of back pain. My upper posture was compromised as well because I was always reaching out in front of me. Being in the same position every day adds up over the years. We’re working on my internal muscles to pull everything back into place, and I feel a lot better now. My foot still turns out a little, but I stand straighter and have better posture.”
Much of Marie’s knowledge is self-taught, but she also studies movement, injury assessment, and anxiety and depression through mentoring programs to aid her in providing a well-rounded fitness plan to those who visit her studio.
“All of my clients are working on something – whether it be a hamstring, glute or back pain,” Marie said. “One of my clients had a heart attack and multiple surgeries, and I’m helping him recover. He’s getting stronger and learning how to use his muscles.”
When it comes to her work with kids, Marie focuses on structure and compound movements. The goal of her training sessions with youth is to build tendon, bone and muscle strength.
“I help settle out any imbalances from current sports and make kids bulletproof for future sports,” Marie said.
Saturday mornings are a special time at Dairyland Fitness where clients can work out together if they wish in a small group class. The studio comfortably fits eight to 10 people. Clients also work out independently at the fitness studio once they complete their initial one-on-one sessions with Marie.
“I’m still here if they need me,” she said. “I also give clients the door code so they can come work out whenever they like. There are no set hours. People can reach out to me anytime.”
Because of the studio’s proximity to the farm, requests for a tour are common, and sometimes after working out, Marie takes clients to see the farm.
“So many people don’t understand what a robot dairy is,” Adam said. “They’re curious.”
The gym measures 30 feet by 60 feet and has 15-foot ceilings and two large overhead doors, making it easy to transport equipment in and out and provide air flow on nice days. Elements of the farm were incorporated into the design, like the outside of Marie’s office which is painted white with black spots. The fitness studio was built by Fox Structures, who also built all of the farm’s agricultural buildings.
“Everyone in the family works out here,” said Marie, who has also taken up boxing along with Roseanne and Rodney. “It helps us stay healthy.”
From the comforts of the McCarthys’ fitness studio, Dairyland Fitness provides a personalized experience where workouts are developed for the individual in an exercise space that has been made to feel like home.
“Having exercise facilities on the farm has made things easier and gives me an opportunity to work out more,” Adam said. “I also get to see Marie a lot more.”
“This gym gives me so much freedom,” she said. “Plus, I’m close to the farm and can spend more time with Adam. When I run on the treadmill, I have a view of the dairy, which I love. This is a pretty unique setup.”
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