29 Jun Mizner CC Steps Outside the Norm for Fitness
When Daniyel Gavrilov, the Director of Fitness at Mizner Country Club in Delray Beach, Fla., joined the staff about a year ago, he launched a program called Wellness Without Walls to offer pursuits that are outside the norm of daily activities. “The vision I had was to revolutionize fitness and wellness in a country club setting,” he says.
Sometimes when people go to the gym to work out, they simply put in the time and leave. Not on Daniyel Gavrilov’s watch, though.
When Gavrilov, the Director of Fitness at Mizner Country Club in Delray Beach, Fla., joined the staff about a year ago, he launched a program called Wellness Without Walls to offer pursuits that are outside the norm of daily activities.
“The vision I had was to revolutionize fitness and wellness in a country club setting,” he says. “I want to help people make fitness a part of their everyday lifestyle.”
As part of this initiative, he brought in DEKA FIT, a new sport started during the coronavirus pandemic two years ago by Spartan Race when the extreme wellness platform couldn’t hold its regular events.
“DEKA is made up of 10 different exercises that test your ultimate fitness level,” says Gavrilov. “They’re not typical exercises.”
The timed event includes burpees, reverse lunges, rowing, medical ball sit up throw, ski, box jump, farmer carry, medball wall over, air bike, and tank pull/push.
“It’s you versus you. It helps you understand your fitness level,” Gavrilov says. “People can set realistic goals. They do it to compete with themselves. It’s not about beating other people.”
Mizner CC joined with Gravity + Oxygen Fitness, a local boutique gym that is a DEKA FIT-affiliated partner, to run the inaugural challenge at the property in January. Gravity + Oxygen coaches timed the participants.
About 25-30 people ranging in age from 9 to 70 participated in the outdoor event. Others came to watch and support the competitors.
The program started with practice workouts, which were conducted by Gravity + Oxygen, in late November and continued into December and January. Gavrilov stresses that people need to train properly for the event rather than jump into it.
“It’s outside the norm. To be great, you need to do something outside the norm. But you need to put things in front of people for them to try,” he says. “A lot of people see things outside the norm as very intimidating, but this is age-friendly. Anybody can train for it.”
He says the event created a lot of positive energy and feedback among the membership.
“DEKA FIT was not something I would have signed up for on my own,” says Mizner member Britney Swan. “However, through training with our Mizner fitness team and my training ‘squad,’ I have gained so much confidence, strength, and endurance.”
Her fellow participant, Katie Vole, enjoyed the experience as well.
“DEKA FIT was an incredibly challenging, yet rewarding, experience,” she says. “The camaraderie when training with friends made it so much fun to practice and prepare for the big event.”
To promote and market the challenge, Mizner CC created a video about DEKA FIT and sent digital materials to members. Gravity + Oxygen personnel also came to the property to talk about the program.
Gavrilov hopes to hold three or four challenges a year, and some Mizner members participated in another DEKA FIT in East Boca Raton, Fla., in April.
In the next challenge at Mizner, which likely will be in the fall, Gavrilov plans to make a few changes. He wants to add more recovery aspects to the event by bringing in physical and massage therapists and by offering cold plunge baths and healthy snacks.
The Director of Fitness also conducts a DEKA class for five people each week. He likes to keep the class small so that he has time to work with participants individually.
“They’re serious about improving their performance,” he says. “DEKA FIT gives you a mission and a goal statement. It helps people increase their strength, endurance, and accountability.”
Gavrilov believes DEKA FIT “checks all the boxes” for a successful outing by providing a great workout and a welcoming social environment. He also feels that properties should never be afraid to try something new to engage their members.
“You never know what the response should be, but you should do your due diligence and know your membership,” Gavrilov says.
He encourages people to push themselves by stepping outside of their comfort zones, and the Wellness Without Walls program provides a foundation for Mizner members to improve their health and lifestyles.
“Fitness is the core aspect to anything you do,” says Gavrilov. “To play better golf or better tennis, or to feel better, it all starts with fitness.”