Creative Ideas That Inspire

by Joy Keller on Sep 08, 2009


Students dance to video games and hang from the ceiling in these unique offerings.

Joann Melgar, founder of Exceptional Body Pilates Studio in Abingdon, Virginia, created Pilates Pump for her more “hyper” students. “They just can’t persuade themselves that they don’t have to work themselves into a dither to get fit,” says Melgar, adding that her class is for “those who want their Pilates ‘sweatier’ and more breathless.” The interval class features short cardio segments and uses weighted balls, resistance bands, BOSU® Balance Trainers or “just plain speed with classical Pilates exercise segments.” “We adhere to basic Pilates principles and spend over half the class in traditional mat exercises, but some clients absolutely love the mix and feel better about the workout at the end,” says Melgar.

R-KAIDE® is a “rhythmic, kinesthetic, arcade-inspired dance and exercise group fitness program created by IDEA members Fred Hoffman, MEd, and Biray Alsac, MS. According to the official website, the class blends entertainment technology with exercise physiology and is inspired by popular dance-based video games. The format includes dance pads for each participant, a big screen and “groovy music.”

Core Pilates Studio in St. Paul, Minnesota, offers Aerialates to its members. The class is “dynamic exercise that combines the aerial arts with Pilates to challenge the body and spirit.”

Steve Nave of Competitive Performance Strategies in San Diego uses a unique piece of equipment to create a fun group atmosphere in the Bulgarian Bag/Speed Workout. The focus of this workout is on gaining strength and endurance by primarily utilizing the Bulgarian Training Bag, a half-moon-shaped leather bag made for wrestlers and “designed to allow for both upper and lower body training while emphasizing grip strength at all times.”

IDEA members Chuck and Shelly Gonzales, co-owners of Pacific Personal Training & CrossFit Hillsboro in Hillsboro, Oregon, take their CrossFit affiliation to another level. The classes are based on CrossFit’s model of “broad, general inclusive fitness,” and use “constantly varied, functional exercises executed at high intensity to reach that goal.” “We are continually adding new classes to the schedule,” says Chuck Gonzales. “We integrate various modalities found in personal training into some of the workouts. For example, if a workout calls for 45 pull-ups, we might have participants do TRX pulls instead. If a workout calls for body weight dead lifts for 52 repetitions, we might suggest a PVC pipe overhead squat for the same reps instead.”

Aruna Karen Andes, co-owner of WorldDance Fitness in San Anselmo, California, teaches Yoga Sling Fitness using OmGyms that hang from the ceiling. The class combines yoga and strength and cardiovascular training and includes both low and—if students are ready—high- flying stretches and inversions. “The slings let students stretch farther and do pull-ups and push-ups in different dimensions, providing significant core strength and delicious back relief,” Andes says.

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.


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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.