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Elevating Human Potential

Creating a Medical Fitness Facility was always a dream of Karla Wolford’s. “When I first was out of graduate school, the idea was so foreign, so new. I just didn’t think I could pull it off but I’ve been out for 12 years now. It was time to address people’s mental, physical, emotional, psychological well-being.”

Wolford is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician as well as the CEO and Clinical Director of EHP Performance. EHP stands for “elevate human potential”.

A medical fitness facility provides the necessary programming to safely and effectively help people to develop, initiate and maintain an active lifestyle that minimizes the risk of illness and promotes health and wellness, according to the Medical Fitness Association. For EHP Performance, this means providing individualized care and creating a supportive community to help members reach their goals and treat a variety of physical, mental and emotional ailments, all overseen by a network of medical professionals.

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“As a new athlete, you can come in and you have a sports physical with myself,” Wolford said. “Then we can go over any previous injuries, ailments, physical, mental, emotional. That way we can help you through them. Not just me but my entire team.”

Following an athlete’s initial visit they get an exercise prescription that follows the American College of Sports Medicine Guidelines. The exercise prescriptions include exercise plans and lifestyle changes. Each athlete is assigned a 90-day health coach that consistently checks in with the athlete over progress and goals.

“One of the greatest attributes is during our initial meeting with people, you meet with me for the physical and then you meet with our head coach who goes through a movement screen and a fitness assessment so we can see where you’re at,” Wolford said. “We have a couple of different program options based on where you’re at and also offer personal coaching if you need to gain some confidence before being in a small group setting.”

One thing Wolford emphasized is that EHP Performance is a place for everyone, from beginners to the more experienced. Many of the people that come into EHP Performance are just beginning their own fitness journeys.

“Feeling nervous and unsure are very common things that we usually discuss with people in that initial visit. Honestly, if people weren’t feeling a little bit of that, I would wonder what was wrong,” Wolford said. “Say you’re brand new, you likely aren’t doing as much weight. We’re really going to focus on your technique. We coach you through everything we do, not just instruct from the front of the class. We acknowledge the things that the athlete is doing really well, not just taking the athlete down for something that they can improve on.”

EHP’s coaches are degreed and certified to guide members through every movement, how to do it, how it should feel and how to get the right stimulus out of it.

The gym also utilizes heart rate monitors to do zone training for all members but it is specifically important for cardiac rehab.

Because of EHP’s designation as a medical fitness facility, it is able to help guide people through their recoveries. Wolford can work with a patient’s physical therapist to build a program to best support the member’s rehabilitation.

When asked what types of people are members at EHP, “We have a lot of moms who are just coming back from having kids, or people coming back from an injury or maybe COVID hit them really hard and they’ve just been out of caring for themselves for a long time. We typically modify workouts for people so they feel confident in what they’re doing, and just try to encourage them to trust the process. A positive healthy change is in the habits, the repetitions, the consistency. It’s not a sprint to the finish line here.”

There are many keys to staying motivated and healthy, but Wolford said the first and foremost is understanding your goals in life. If a health coach can understand your own goals, the easier it will be to achieve them.

Second, Wolford emphasized the importance of self-discipline. Keep a routine as best as you can.

Third, find a supportive community that strives for the same goals as you. “You tend to be like the five people you spend the most time with,” Wolford said. “So the more time you spend in a community of happy, healthy and fit people, the more you’re going to be happy, healthy and fit.”

The fourth key is understanding whether your goals are intrinsic or extrinsic. An extrinsic goal is externally motivated, such as wanting to look better in a swimsuit. These extrinsic goals are more concerned with the perception of others. However, understanding your intrinsic motivations can yield greater success. “Intrinsic comes from the inside, about what really fuels that fire,” Wolford said. “So if you can tap into your intrinsic motivators, you’re going to last much longer than if you’re extrinsically motivated.”

Wolford’s comprehensive approach to fitness and well-being fosters an effective and sustainable route for individuals to pursue their fitness goals as well as address any hurdles toward reaching those goals.

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“Sometimes people don’t realize how much life plays a toll in health and fitness goals. There are so many questions that factor in. Do you have kids? Do you
have a family? What’s your work stress? Financially, how are you doing with everything? That is all going to play a toll. How’s your sleep? Do you drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day or more? And the kicker is nobody likes to think they eat badly. What are you eating? What are you fueling your body with?”

EHP Performance team includes nutrition coaches and mental health professionals on the medical board in addition to its CrossFit trainers.

“We’re able to do all these things from a coached aspect, not just an instructed aspect,” Wolford said. “I think that makes us a really great place for anybody to start out. Our whole premise is elevating people’s human potential. No matter if you’re a beginner or elite, we want to bring you to your potential.”

EHP Performance
1400 25th St S
Moorhead, MN 56560

Written by Brady Drake

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