A Class for Every Reason

by Joy Keller on May 01, 2008


Any excuse is a good excuse to create a fun, new format for your group exercise program.

IDEA member Melanie Johnson, in New Haven, Connecticut, created PowerFlowCIRCUIT for her more advanced Pilates apparatus clients (up to nine students). According to Johnson, the class “alternates between 15–20 minutes each of a choreographed, fast-paced reformer workout and a classic Pilates mat class. Each client also does an exercise on each of the following: wunda chair, tower, cadillac, ladder barrel, spine corrector and arc barrel.”

The University Club of Grand Rapids, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, encourages its members to get outside with City Fit Walk. The hourlong class involves a stroll through downtown and an eventual return to the club “for various stretching and ab workouts to complete the class.”

Along the same “outdoorsy” vein, Marysville Health & Fitness in Marysville, Kansas, offers Group Cycling —although not the type you might be thinking of. Participants in this specialty class actually take bicycles outside for a spin with “fellow cycling enthusiasts.”

Folks in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, enjoy a variety of classes at the Midwest Athletic Club. One class, Synergy, according to the official online schedule, is “a perfect blend of exercises focusing on core body, strength, joint stability and balance, with components of yoga and Pilates.”

The Thornton Family YMCA in Tulsa, Oklahoma, offers a diverse mix of classes to keep its members engaged, fit and healthy. One example is S.E.T., a class where “music and muscle unite” with “total-body strength conditioning, using a variable weight-plate loaded barbell system.” This branch also offers Tonga, “a fusion between toning and yoga” that combines weights, exercise balls and tubing, with at least 15 minutes of yoga-inspired stretches.

Hoopla, which is on the schedule at the Student Recreation Center at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, “is a fun, exhilarating, meditative and unique form of revolving movement art.” According to the online schedule, the 60-minute class “is dancing with resistance ... a form of self-expression as well as a way to release stress and connect spiritually. Hoopla is a holistic tool that shapes the body, calms the mind and soothes the spirit.”

The Vanderbilt Dayani Center at the Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, provides the right tools for its Swords class. Based on the principles of Samurai sword fighting, this offering does not require martial arts experience and “is designed for total mind and body fitness.”

The RiverPlex Recreation and Wellness Center in Peoria, Illinois, gives members a double dose of cardio with Dua­thlon Cycling. The workout combines group cycling and running intervals with an option to walk or power walk during the running interval.

SIDEBAR: Sharing the Buzz

Have you heard of a creative new class? Drop us a line and share the buzz. Send an e-mail, a letter or a fax detailing the class. We’ll be publishing your ideas in upcoming issues.

E-Mail: jkeller@ideafit.com

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San Diego, CA 92121-4339

Fax: (858) 535-8234

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About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master. Joy joined IDEA Health & Fitness Association in 2002, and brought with her a wealth of information about how to fine-tune communication channels, after having spent her formative career years specializing in business-to-business journalism. Before she even graduated with honors from the respected University of Georgia journalism school, Joy was offered a job at one of the most successful trade publishing companies in the southeast, Shore Varrone, Inc. She made her mark in the automotive aftermarket industry as a creative thinker and journalist with an intuitive knack for researching and understanding niche audiences. Joy has worked on several titles, including Auto Trim & Restyling News, Truck Accessory News, Digital Output Magazine, Retail & Construction News, Miata magazine, Ford Racing, and many more. Her passion, however, lies with health and fitness. She was the associate editor of ACE Certified News while working at the American Council on Exercise, and transitioned that publication from a newsletter to a magazine. She has enjoyed 17 years at IDEA, where she has launched several publications, including the award-winning Inner IDEA Body-Mind Spirit Review, IDEA Pilates Today and IDEA Fit Business Success. Joy is a content creator and media 2.0 advocate who takes pride in discovering the unique information needs of qualified audiences, and she is dedicated to serving those needs while following the highest available standards.