New businesses can help residents keep resolutions
by Megan Thornton
January 05, 2013 11:26 PM | 1635 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CrossFit is catching on as one of the most popular workout exercises and new gyms are popping up all around Cherokee and metro Atlanta. Chris Combs, co-manager of CrossFit Emerge in downtown Woodstock, demonstrates one of the more difficult ways to do push-ups as part of the CrossFit program.
CrossFit is catching on as one of the most popular workout exercises and new gyms are popping up all around Cherokee and metro Atlanta. Chris Combs, co-manager of CrossFit Emerge in downtown Woodstock, demonstrates one of the more difficult ways to do push-ups as part of the CrossFit program.
CrossFit member Alex Geyling works on a set of up/downs during his training session on Thursday morning.
CrossFit member Alex Geyling works on a set of up/downs during his training session on Thursday morning.
With many people already dedicated to New Year’s resolutions focused on getting healthy, Cherokee residents have plenty of new options for getting in shape that put a unique spin on fitness and health.

NexSlim Medical Weigh Loss

New to the Towne Lake area, NexSlim Medical Weight Loss offers a free evaluation for all new clients at its location at 200 Parkbrooke Drive.

The weight loss center is led by Dr. Jeff Donohue, who is also the director of NexSlim International. Donohue recently received certification from the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

The Towne Lake location is the only one operating in Georgia, with other locations throughout the Southeast.

Managing Director Holli Edie said potential clients are weighed and introduced to the NexSlim food and exercise plan that is specified for each client and takes into account an individual’s lifestyle.

“We help people lose weight safely but also teach them how to keep it off for a lifetime,” Edie said.

If a client decided to commit after the initial evaluation, he or she will start on the high-protein diet with supplemental multivitamins and an FDA-approved lipo-B shot as recommended by the physicians. Edie said the shots help burn fat, increase energy and improve mood.

“It’s like an energy boost that gets people more energy to move,” Edie said.

Clients also meet with a nurse practitioner two to three times a month.

“We have a very detailed body composition analyzer that helps us measure their progress,” Edie said. “The additional protein builds lean muscle mass in the body and since muscle weighs more than fact, the machine we have separates the lean muscle from the body fat and body water.”

Edie added the scale has the ability to tell if a person might be retaining water from being on an airplane or if a woman is on her menstrual cycle.

Since opening July 1, Edie said NexSlim has seen a rush of clients.

“We already have people off the plan because they’ve completed their goal,” Edie said. “They still come in for vitamins and injections, and we like to maintain lifelong relationships to ensure wellness.”

For more information about the NexSlim program, call (678) 888-0332.


Those looking for a new workout regimen can head to CrossFit Emerge in downtown Woodstock, where owner Chad Venezia works to maintain a fitness community rather than a solo workout experience.

CrossFit is a type of exercise that uses free weight and body weight workouts and intense cardio routines.

“I think CrossFit is going to be the fitness of the future because it’s functional movement and it’s fun,” Venezia said. “The community of people that come here—you have people anywhere from 20 years old to 60 years old. It doesn’t matter where you finish, first or last, you get cheered on to the end and I think that’s what brings the camaraderie and everyone together because you feel a part of something bigger than just your fitness.”

Venezia, a former Marine and CrossFit certified instructor, opened his gym at 8690 Main Street in downtown Woodstock with business partner Chris Combs in August to much success.

Venezia, a trainer of three years, said newcomers are asked to attend his 9 a.m. class on Saturdays to get an introduction to the program.

Every Thursday at 6:30 p.m., Venezia gives a nutrition class about his preferred diet for all of his members, the Paleo diet. Also referred to as the caveman diet, the Paleo diet consists mainly of fish, meats, vegetables, fruits and nuts, and excludes grains, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar and processed oils.

“It stabilizes everything in their body and gets them off to the right start,” Venezia said. “It’s so important in CrossFit because you bring so much more intensity into workouts.”

He said CrossFit is an entire lifestyle change, and one he was introduced to by his brother, who owns his own CrossFit gym in Louisiana, three years ago.

“I started doing his workouts and I got a big slice of humble pie because I thought I was a good athlete,” he joked.

Venezia said the programming is always varied and emphasizes balance, accuracy, power, speed and agility. In the coming year, gym members will participate in a local Spartan Race and a Battle of the Boxes, where they will compete for the best times in specified workouts against another local gym.

“Sometimes we do barbecues when it’s warmer outside,” Venezia said. “We also do a lot of charity. We participated in Toys for Tots this year and I ask each new member to bring non-perishable food items to donate to a local food pantry or church every month.”

Gym member Jeremy Meyers of northeast Cobb said after he and his wife completed a half-marathon at Riverside Park in Roswell last August, they were looking for new workouts to do together.

Meyers said he thought CrossFit might be a good fit, as it combines weights, cardio and agility exercises. He found a Groupon deal for CrossFit Cherokee in Canton and after the deal expired, decided to find a gym closer to home.

“I guess we’ve been doing it for about three months total,” Meyers said. “I just went out over Christmas to buy a new pair of jeans and dropped four inches.”

Both in their mid-30s, Meyers said he and his wife feel great to get back to their college sizes.

“For my wife, she’s attracted by the social aspect of it instead of just working on it by yourself,” he said.

Meyers said the gym is also kid-friendly, as the couple will sometimes bring their 5-year-old daughter who either plays with the gym-provided toys or jumps in the action with the rest of the gym members.

“She actually holds the record for burpees,” Meyers said. “All the tough guys were in here doing it and she ended up blowing everybody away.”

As a consultant, Meyers said he travels about 80 percent of the time and it was important for him to balance his work schedule with staying healthy.

“Chad has been really flexible with that and even given me programs I can do while traveling,” he said.

Meyers said he disliked the aspect of having to motivate himself to go to other so-called “big box” gyms every day.

“Here, you pay a similar amount and you’ve got somebody watching out for your personal development,” he said.

On the gym’s website,, members have access to a message board where they can post their times for different workout and discuss their progress.

Venezia posts a daily workout and those who don’t post their times in more than a week can look forward to a call from Venezia.

“There’s an accountability that they know I can see when they’re not working out,” Venezia said.

Venezia said most people just going to an average gym only work strength and cardio, but CrossFit incorporates balance, accuracy, agility, coordination, stamina and flexibility.

“All that equates to power and speed,” he said. “We work on it all.”

Individuals can pay per class or purchase a monthly membership. Monthly memberships costs are $150 for an individual and $260 per couple. First-time clients attending a class pay $15 and all following drop-ins are $20.

There is no contract but a 30-day cancellation notice is required. All military members and first responders receive a 10 percent discount.

The gym is open Monday through Friday and a list of class times is available at For more information call (678) 373-7057.

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