Fit Science

Fit Science

By Hailey Mensik

Cerulean Advanced Wellness and Fitness offers cryotherapy, altitude training

Thanks to Cerulean Advanced Fitness and Wellness, you can experience the vertiginous, asphyxiating thrill of standing atop Mount Everest – without ever leaving Scottsdale.

The bright, fluorescent-lit fitness center in the Scottsdale Airpark offers a variety of state-of-the-art technology and workout equipment for its members, including antigravity treadmills, altitude simulator training rooms and arctic cryotherapy chambers to help people increase athletic performance, manage pain and even enhance beauty and wellness.

“We use different environments to stimulate the body and make the body stronger at the cellular level,” says Fabrice Dechoux, founder of Cerulean and CEO of Test Acuity Solutions, a Tempe-based semiconductor software company. “All this is to help you basically condition and de-age your cells, which is something that’s very possible. Just like you use a percentage of your brain, the same is true with your body.”

This month, the nearly one-year-old facility will debut a more holistic approach, with testing designed to help members not only achieve results, but also use data to create individualized plans and evaluate improvement from the start. “The body is like a race car and every race car has a different engine to be fine-tuned a certain way,” Dechoux says.

Members will undergo comprehensive tests to evaluate body composition, metabolism, hydration, heart and lung health and cellular health with medical-grade equipment that’s only available elsewhere at Mayo Clinic and select doctors’ offices.

According to Dechoux, places like LA Fitness that offer similar testing use equipment that produces almost 15 percent marginality in their results. “We measure within 1 percent,” Dechoux says. “So if I want to measure a VO2 max (maximum oxygen consumption), a gain of 2 or 3 percent is huge in one month, but if I have 15 percent marginality in my results, I’m measuring noise. Here we can actually measure very accurately what’s going on in your body.”

Once tests are complete, program coordinator Kevin Longoria helps members develop a plan to improve their health and meet their wellness goals using Cerulean’s technology and additional outside resources. “A lot of people are out there exercising, not really knowing what they’re doing but just winging it,” Longoria says. “We’re here to take the guesswork out and can tell you exactly what you need to do to see results.”

Cerulean is best known for its cryotherapy services, a non-invasive, therapeutic application of cold, used for a variety of purposes. Members can enter the whole body cryotherapy chamber for roughly three minutes as a nitrogen mist (below -200 degrees Fahrenheit) drops the body’s temperature. Another option is the localized arctic cryotherapy for problem areas, such as lower back pain.

Arctic cryofacials are also available, which are touted for boosting collagen production for tighter skin, minimizing pore size and enhancing skin tone and texture. “We use it because it resets everything in your body,” Dechoux says. “I see it as a stepping stone to do other things and help the body optimize itself.”

The service is virtually painless, according to Dechoux. “I would call it discomfort at best. After the first time, people actually look forward to it.”

Other services include compression recovery, which uses compression pants and a hyperbaric conditioning pod to simulate altitude changes and reduce inflammation.

The best part is that most of the training requires little to no physical activity. “Although it’s called training, with what we do, most people will sit or lay down when they train with us and there’s not really much activity,” Dechoux says. “There are a lot of things going on in your body at the cellular level, but physically, you’re not moving a lot.”

Alternately, the altitude simulator training room, one of the few available in the country, puts members to work. Inside the room, the virtual altitude reaches nearly 9,000 feet above sea level. Training in this simulated environment helps increase red blood cell count while improving endurance and recovery time. In fact, working out in the altitude stimulator room three days a week is comparable to a seven-day-a-week routine of the same workout elsewhere, according to Dechoux.

At nearly 1,000 feet above sea level, the Valley of the Sun isn’t too opportune for race preparation, especially for races held at higher altitude locales like Flagstaff. Members often use the altitude simulator room to train for high-altitude environments.

Additionally, the facility welcomes both athletes and non-athletes alike and has helped people with a wide range of physical abilities – from professional athletes to those who are wheelchair-bound.

Dechoux chose the Scottsdale Airpark location because of its accessibility to other parts of the Valley, standing right off the 101 Freeway and Via de Ventura and attracting members from all over the area with its revolutionary technology.

The new system in which members start with testing will help people see their progress monthly, and both Dechoux and Longoria are excited to provide tangible data on their personal wellness. “All these tests have been available, people just haven’t been aware of it,” Dechoux says. “All these tests are available in bits and pieces, so what we’ve done is brought all this here so we can do it from a wellness standpoint. The tests allow us to really demonstrate the value that we bring.”