Four years ago, David Poole, GAHP’s Enrichment Services Coordinator, was looking for creative ways to bring health education to the residents of Cuatro, a GAHP 55+ affordable apartment community in Albuquerque. He started calling various gyms to see if he could find someone to do some on-site classes with Cuatro residents. David connected with Morris White (Moe), a personal trainer working at a local gym and owner of Moe-Fit Personal Training. David and I hit it off really well,” recounts Moe, “It was the first time he was trying this sort of thing, so we started with one class a month.”
The class was an instant hit, and they quickly scheduled the class for twice a month. They were just about to offer the class weekly when COVID hit, and everything shut down. While it was very disappointing, Moe stayed in contact with David and as soon as it was safe, classes resumed with participants wearing masks and social distancing.
In the meantime, construction of Luminaria Senior Community, GAHP’s newest 55+ apartment community, was in its final stages. GAHP engaged Moe as a consultant in designing the fitness room at Luminaria - from the type of flooring to the specific equipment to include. Now Moe provides weekly fitness classes at both senior communities. GAHP sat down with Moe to find out more.
Moe knew he wanted to be in fitness very early on. Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, his pharmacist father expected Moe to follow in his footsteps. But Moe had other ideas. “I started sweeping floors in a gym while learning about medicine,” he reports, “I worked with a physical therapist who took me under his wing, and I learned all about how the body works.” Moe dropped out of pharmacy school and began his studies into personal training through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Now, 30 years later, Moe has found his unique perspective on exercise and personal training.
“With my learnings in far east medicine including Kung Fu training and Buddhism, I have evolved my approach into holistic training,”
Moe recognizes the connection of our brain to our bodies and feels he truly understands the art of what he does, rather than just the science, and is able to connect that to each individual with whom he works. “I love what I do. It is terribly rewarding to help someone feel better and improve their quality of life. It goes far beyond what you see in classes with 30 students doing whatever it takes to get through the class to the point where they end up compounding body imbalances and making things worse for themselves.” Moe’s approach is to work with a person’s natural limits, body motions, and body mechanics and then gently move them toward improved movement in a safe, mindful, and sustainable pace.
“No one gets hurt and we try to diversify it to make it fun.”
Working with Seniors
Moe received specialized training from ACSM to work specifically with older adults. “As we get older,” explains Moe, we lose the programming we had as children to move correctly. I try to help seniors return to that innate ability.” Getting people to come to class can be a challenge, however. Moe wants people to know that he is not like any trainer they have ever met. “I don’t use the word ‘workout’ because it implies discomfort, pain, suffering.” Rather, Moe works from students’ abilities and then helps them improve.
“I will not exceed anything that can’t be done. Our bodies are such wonderful things, and we can improve.”
How to work with Moe-Fit
Luminaria and Cuatro residents can take Moe’s class each Wednesday. Luminaria classes are from 2-3pm and Cuatro classes are 4-5pm. Each class session is 45 minutes and includes balance, flexibility, cardio, and strength training. The last 15 minutes of each hour is devoted to participant questions and additional instruction.
Morris White is an ACSM personal trainer who owns Moe-Fit, a personal training studio in Corrales, NM and provides personal training in people’s homes, at his studio, and virtually, nationwide. He is a member of the Sandoval County Health Council. He has been featured in Philadelphia Magazine’s article Eight Trainers We Love and, most recently, featured on the front page of "Corrales Neighbors" magazine, September 2021.
Find out more at www.moe-fit.com.