PETALUMA – When the president of the company is also a football coach at Marin Catholic High School, you can be sure that he encourages employees to tone up and stay active both on and off the job.

Several GCX managers attended Terra Linda High School at the same time, played in basketball leagues and participated  in 10K runs, so there is a legacy of athleticism in a firm that now places strong emphasis on weight loss and fitness.

“Our president, John Kruger, leads by example when it comes to inspiring us to take better care of our health, workout at our company gym or participate in events like a Warrior Dash Race,” said Michelle Bradley, human resources manager for GCX, a global manufacturer of medical instruments and IT mounting solutions with a local office at 3875 Cypress Drive in Petaluma.

[caption id="attachment_44784" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="A collage showing several GCX employees working out in the company gym"][/caption]

The firm has 230 employees worldwide with 125 in Petaluma. About 30 use the gym on a daily basis.

GCX has taken the lead in offering its employees advanced workout options, such as the Tony Horton Power 90 Extreme (P90X) fitness program with its 12 sweat-inducing, muscle-pumping exercises “designed to transform the body from regular to ripped.”

P90X includes a nutrition plan with a high protein carb-balanced diet along with combination of cardio, core body and yoga stamina-building exercises.

“We added an Insanity Program to our mix that features plyometrics, a fast-paced regimen where participants change quickly from one form of exercise to another to build strength, power and burn calories.”

GCX started its own version of the Biggest Loser weight loss program last October featuring a weekly weigh in to help everyone slim down and firm up before the holiday party in December.

Even with minor setbacks caused by Halloween candy, those involved are losing two to three pounds a week. One employee lost over 60 pounds and has kept it off for two years.

Finalists from all three GCX divisions (office, manufacturing and production) will receive Wii consoles as prizes to help them maintain active workouts at home.

The company has a fully equipped gym with elliptical, cardio, TRX and other gear designed to do the job in brief 15 to 20 minute workouts. Kettle bell weights are used to focus on core shoulder strength combined with calisthenics, pushups and situps. A cardio Arc Trainer was recently added for longer impact running and high knee workouts.

Ms. Bradley, a former Marine, also teaches at gyms after hours. She believes that fitness programs increase confidence as well as improve employee attendance and safety.

 “We’re planning a Turkey Boot Camp that will include weights to target every muscle group, pushups, stair runs and cardio equipment to shape employees up before the holiday by switching the activity every ten minutes,” she said.

“We care about our employees long after they punch out for the day and want them to be healthy and happy.”