Armelle Gysen: “The understated elegance of a family club”
Belgian television viewers are on first name terms with her and know her face well: Armelle Gysen is one of RTBF’s star personalities. A host and presenter and mum to two little boys, Armelle juggles her professional and private lives. At Aspria, she’s found a delightful way to unwind as a family.
“I chose Aspria Brussels Royal La Rasante first and foremost because of its closeness to my home. I like the understated elegance of the club, the cosmopolitan membership and, above all, I chose a place for my children where we could all feel completely safe. The pool and garden were very important to me, so that my children would really enjoy coming here with me. Then I discovered the joys of the restaurant and every week we experience some time of pure happiness!”
Swimming and sharing meals….
“I’ve been particularly busy since I took over the ‘Les Ambassadeurs’ show on RTBF, and I’ve sometimes found it difficult to take time out to devote to my wellbeing. That’s why I’ve instituted a ritual with my children: a relaxation day at La Rasante, with a very specific programme. We start off in the little pool where they love to splash about while I relax in the Jacuzzi right beside them. Then we go into the big pool where my eldest, who is five years old, is learning to swim. With empty stomachs after swimming, we make the most of the restaurant: I choose a healthy little lunch and the children love their croque monsieur which has become a weekly treat, together with the fresh fruit juice of the day!”
….and some time for myself
“I discovered the joys of the dedicated facilities for children, particularly the childcare for the littlest ones. I leave my two sons there and then I can benefit from different group classes, with a preference for the ‘Body & Mind’ classes: Pilates, tai-chi, stretching and yoga… I adore them! It really is my little treat, my special time! And I must admit, I’m looking forward to the fine weather to let the children play and run around in the garden. This outdoor space is a real added benefit for me.”
A place to live and to meet people
“La Rasante is more than a sports club, it’s also a very friendly place. I meet old friends here, and social and professional acquaintances too. Because the club is so close to our home and their school, my children meet their school friends here too. I get to meet their parents, so it works really well.”
My favourite time…. for me
“My little two-hour personal programme counts as one of my favourite times at La Rasante: a Pilates or tai-chi class, fifteen minutes of swimming, into the sauna and hammam, an ice shower and then I finish up with a fresh fruit juice. And the children are well cared for the whole time. It’s the most invigorating and soothing thing possible!”
Gaëtan Vigneron: “A setting which promotes wellbeing”
A sports commentator specialising in F1 races and presenter of ‘Le Week-end sportif’ on RTBF, amongst others, sports fans will recognise him from their sofas with their eyes closed. When he’s not at the studio, Gaëtan Vigneron switches from journalism to playing sport himself, and he comes to recharge his batteries at Aspria Brussels Royal La Rasante.
“I knew La Rasante at the time when it was still just a tennis and hockey club. I used to go there now and then, sometimes to play tennis or just to get together with friends. It’s a bonus that it’s not too far from my home. When I saw the facilities of Aspria Brussels Royal La Rasante for the first time, I was delighted by the location, the décor, the ease of parking, the cleanliness and the green setting which really promotes relaxation and wellbeing.”
AspriaPro: a kick in the butt
“I’ve been on the AspriaPro programme for a few months. I started with the assessment test and calculation of my biological age. I wasn’t really convinced, but I have to admit it was a pleasant surprise even if my results weren’t excellent…. It sparked my conscience and motivated me for the next steps. I’ve changed my diet and I come to the club at least twice a week. After 2 or 3 months, I took a blood test with a doctor friend who told me: ‘You’re 55 and your results are superb – I’d sign up without a second thought to have the same!’ I was over the moon! As far as I’m concerned, the AspriaPro programme can only be a positive!”
No more sugar!
“I was a biscuit junkie, I ate them all day, as well as waffles, chocolate, desserts. The AspriaPro coach advised me to stop eating them. And that’s what I did! By eating in a more balanced way and becoming more regular in my sports practice, I felt a physical difference very quickly. And the people around me noticed it too, which was great. I’m sure, because I can feel it, that the second assessment as part of the AspriaPro programme will be even better than the first!”
Water… but not too much
“When the weather’s good, I try to play tennis once a week. But you have to admit that in Belgium, with the rain, it’s not straightforward…. If I’m not overseas following the F1 grand prix, I try to come twice a week for a Milon session and 20 or 30 lengths of the pool.”
Milon: “A super invention!”
“The Milon programme was recommended to me after my AspriaPro assessment. At first I was sceptical because I’m not a fan of gyms and their machines. The Milon is a superb invention! It’s not boring; each circuit takes about 17 minutes with 8 different machines and it’s very well laid out. Each machine adapts itself automatically to my body shape thanks to a magnetic card which stores my biometric information. There’s no need to do any fine-tuning. I usually do two circuits and I really don’t notice those 35 minutes passing. I go on to the pool and I feel in top form!”
Vanina Ickx: “AspriaPro: just like elite athletes”
She has motorsport in her blood: the daughter of Jacky Ickx, world famous under the name ‘Monsieur Le Mans’, she’s also a former professional driver. Vanina Ickx brought her career to a close in 2012, but she still lives life at 100km/h between the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium and her life as a mum. To keep in shape, she chose Aspria Brussels Royal La Rasante.
“I feel well at La Rasante. I find everything I need there to recharge my batteries and to work out. The setting is beautiful and the surroundings are refined. The welcome is always warm which is essential for me. I’ve also found a family dimension which is relevant to me too.”»
Never too much fitness!
“The AspriaPro programme is completely innovative. It allows everyone who’s concerned about wellbeing and healthy living to benefit from tests which were previously only available to elite athletes. This series of tests helps to draw up a comprehensive profile of your state of health and to determine your biological age… which is 34 years old for me! After the test, I really paid attention to the quality of the fatty acids I’m eating. I try to choose fresh, seasonal food, without preservatives, and preferably cultivated organically. I avoid processed products as far as possible. In terms of sport, I know that I need to increase my cardio activity.”
Coaching, a real benefit
“My personal trainer, Patrick Pindeville, has really brought me round to coaching. Before, it seemed absurd to do things with someone beside me, when I could do them perfectly well on my own with a little willpower. Patrick showed me that his role can add a completely different dimension. I do exercises with him that I can’t do on my own. We work muscle groups using movements from the circus or gymnastics. We hardly ever do the same thing twice! With him, I have fun. I lose track of time… but I can feel that I’ve moved on!”
The Functional Zone, “fun and modern” fitness
“I admit I haven’t made the most of the Milon circuit and the machines in the cardio area… When I can, I prefer to train outdoors to improve my cardio-respiratory capacity. But I discovered the Functional Zone. The first time I went there, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I really asked myself: ‘What can all these instruments be for?’ I admit I was quite reluctant at first, but I followed Patrick and he showed me how to use the apparatus at each session for a functional workout. A different approach, more fun and modern, to strengthen the muscles by using the body’s natural movements. This room will soon become an essential for me, all that’s missing is a trampoline!”
A very AspriaPro mindset
“After a few weeks of the AspriaPro programme, I can say that I feel well. I can even say I feel better. And I want to go further with it and to make even more progress. I have so much more to discover.”