Living Your Potential at EPIC Fitness

For Stephanie Karlovits, owner of Ottawa’s EPIC Fitness, working out isn’t only about getting stronger or losing weight. She has a philosophy that takes into account what an individual needs not only in the gym, but in order to become better in all aspects of their life.

EPIC’s objective is not about lifting the most or gaining muscle mass the fastest, in fact the physical perks of working out there is almost a side effect. Its objective is to help you be the best version of yourself you can be.

shoot sept 24 2014 5Karlovits graduated from Carleton University giving her a background in psychology and exercise science. Throughout her undergrad and after graduating, she worked as a trainer at GoodLife and was very successful in connecting with her clients and helping them to reach their goals. Karlovits slowly attained the viewpoint she would go on to share with the Ottawa community by creating EPIC Fitness.

“It’s about making people understand where their motivation comes from, getting them to think about that on a regular basis and getting them to fuel their energy from that place,” Karlovits explained. “What that place is, is finding the ideal you. What is the ideal you in your mind, what kind of choices would that person make and are you making those choices.”

This way of thinking is truly reflected in the tagline of the gym: Live your potential. EPIC’s goal is to help people realize their potential exists within themselves and EPIC aids in doing whatever is necessary to let that shine through.

The understanding of functional training allows EPIC to show clients what they are capable of. This concept takes into account the three planes of motion for a person’s body used in everyday life. The sagittal plane involves movements going up and down, the frontal plane is side to side and the transverse plane covers rotation.

“Our muscles are designed to be able to move in all three directions seamlessly,” said Karlovits. “And arguably, we need to move in those three directions equally in order to be healthy.”

Functional training is better for the body as a whole, improving energy, digestion and posture. Karlovits explains when these aspects are enhanced, strength increases (because better posture allows you to lift more), weight is lost faster and it becomes easier to gain more muscle mass— the happy coincidences of being healthier. There is so much variety in designing these kinds of programs so people do not become bored doing them.

In a traditional gym setting a lot of the equipment only allows movement in the sagittal plane, so it was very important for Karlovits to be able to include all three at her gym.

Coupling functional training with her philosophy, Karlovits has recognized the importance of taking people as they are and accepting all facets of not only their personalities, but emotional states as well.

“When someone walks in the door of the gym, they aren’t just a physical being. They come with a psychology, they come with emotions, they come with pain, joy, past failures, past accomplishments and even certain chemical reactions, maybe hormonal problems, stress,” she stated.

In seeing this, EPIC is not about making people do certain exercises no matter what. They are able to encompass all these aspects and accommodate them so that the individual is still able to get the most out of their time at the gym. With their clients, programs are very specific. Karlovits feels it is her job to understand their needs and wants in order to build a respect and trust.

“Sometimes there is fear involved when you have lost your spark or you get comfortable in life and lose sight of your dreams or what your dreams used to be,” Karlovits said. “As teenagers we all wanted to do spectacular things. Those dreams aren’t dead; they just need to be found again.”

IMG_5893Karlovits has 15 trainers and 21 staff total, including reception staff and yoga instructors, all dedicated to keeping with the authenticity of the brand. But with 60 members and 150 clients, EPIC’s successful impact speaks for itself.

Karlovits makes a good point that is the foundation of her philosophy: “That person that you look up to or admire, why can’t it be you?”