Keeping It Real (Buzz)

by Joy Keller on Feb 01, 2007

Broaden the appeal of your classes with something for everyone.

Rope Yoga uses mindfulness techniques and deep breathing to complement a four-stage strengthening, stretching and relaxation workout. Using a special pulley system, participants go through a repertoire of 20 exercises while lying on a mat. The routine isolates abdominal muscles and focuses on precision and the body-mind connection.

Tom Stroup has two rules for his S.W.A.T. Workout (Serious Weight Loss and Toning): if it hurts, don’t do it; and when you get tired, simply stop or slow down and come back when you are ready. This approach has helped make his class accessible for people of all ages and abilities. “I have very heavy people and very fit people who do the workout at the same time,” Stroup says. The class builds cardiovascular and muscular strength in an intense routine that includes interval workouts with high repetitions.

IDEA members Carrie Ekins, MA, and Zoey Trap, MSc, created Qi Fit to combine qigong movements with wooden sticks. A land- or a water-based class (pictured), Qi Fit uses breath, movement and consciousness as its cornerstones and relies on tenets of martial arts training. Participants focus on building “inner power” techniques, such as visualization and verbalization, while flowing movements connect them with a “personal energy source.”

Fre Flo Do® is a “hybrid training regimen” that uses a piece of equipment called a Launchpad (it resembles a treadmill without hand bars). The workout, which combines yoga, Pilates, martial arts, kickboxing and dance, is marketed as a “progressive format that fully engages the athlete by overloading the senses.” Kappel LeRoy Clarke and his training team engage clients by using multiple Launchpads varying in speed and direction in conjunction with numerous pieces of equipment.

IDEA member Kelly Bliss, MEd, created the Real People Workout to help encourage self-care and acceptance among people of all abilities. The class, says Bliss, is remarkable in what is not included. “There is no body shaping, stomach flattening or body criticism,” she says. “We focus on body appreciation, functional exercises and self-esteem. This workout helps plus-size people feel comfortable with exercise.”

IDEA member Kristen Horler created Baby Boot Camp® out of necessity. After the birth of her first child, Horler wasn’t able to find a challenging postnatal fitness class that didn’t require hiring a personal trainer or a baby sitter. She relied on her own experience as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer and triathlete to create the stroller fitness program. Offered in 55- and 75-minute formats, Baby Boot Camp welcomes all fitness levels and includes cardiovascular drills, strength training exercises and stretching moves for a complete workout.

IDEA Fitness Journal , Volume 4, Issue 2

© 2007 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master.