Find Your Community in Group Fitness

August 24, 2017

With nearly 30 different complimentary group fitness classes on the fall schedule, JCC members could almost try a new one each day of the month. For members who are early risers, they can choose to ease into the day with yoga or get revved up with an early morning Boot Camp. As the morning progresses, the class schedule explodes with options that include water exercise, interval training, kickboxing, strength training, Zumba, and more yoga. After work, members can stop by for an evening Boot Camp, a pre-dinner Zumba session, or – you guessed it – more yoga!

Many of the complimentary group fitness classes are taught by instructors who are also JCC personal trainers. Instructor Brynn Darga says that her experience as a personal trainer has inspired her to add in strength blocks to her Monday morning kickboxing class. “Kickboxing is different from other classes because it is a high intensity workout that increases a person's power not just strength. We have blocks of kickboxing paired with strength blocks ensuring a full body workout for all.” Brynn adds, “What I love is the wide range of people the JCC encompasses. There are so many different people from different backgrounds, age ranges, races, and it really is a place where everyone feels welcome. I love being challenged by all of the different fitness needs and fitness levels and finding ways to adapt for what is best for each client.”

For JCC members who like to keep mixing up their workouts, Kirsten Uphaus’ Revolve class is unique because the style of workout changes every two weeks. “This keeps the class fun and interesting, and we are always working our bodies in new ways,” says Uphaus. “We do workouts such as Tabata/HIIT, circuit training, kickboxing, boot camp and have incorporated equipment such as the step, bands, weighted bar, gliders, and stability ball.” Kirsten leads a positive, high energy class that is sure to leave participants feeling strong and uplifted. “I am honored to be leading such a fabulous group of JCC members who challenge their personal fitness levels every week. This is a challenging Level 3 class, but I give a lot of modifications of the exercises to fit the needs of different fitness levels.”

Complimentary Yoga makes the JCC a wellness destination. Kurt Braun started practicing yoga in 1993 to relieve stress and has been teaching for 8 years. “Anyone can and should try yoga,” says Kurt. He believes that yoga is an excellent complement to other workouts like running or strength training. “It provides a great balance to maintain flexibility. Stretching and toning also helps prevent injuries.” Yoga Level 1 is an excellent starting point for beginners to yoga practice and is offered throughout the week at the JCC. Many of Kurt’s classes bring yoga practice to the next level with offerings like Vinyasa flow, High Intensity Yoga Practice, High Intensity Cycle /Yogic Stretch, Zen Fitness and Yoga Flex. He says, “My goal is to have every participant leave the practice feeling better than they came.”

Members find that water exercise is made even better in the ozone-filtered pool of the Peck Aquatic Center. Instructor Janae Kakulis says, “It really makes water workouts enjoyable by not hurting your eyes and being gentler to your skin and your bathing suits.” Complimentary Aquafit classes are offered every weekday morning in both shallow water and the deep end. Janae notes, “Water exercise provides all of the cardio and resistance workout benefits you can get in other exercises without the impact to your joints. The deep water class provides a better core workout since a lot of effort goes in to remaining upright, with your shoulders back and in alignment, but both shallow and deep water aerobics use buoyancy and currents as parts of the workout.” The low impact exercise has a high impact on the health and happiness of the members who participate.

All of the instructors mentioned that they enjoy the camaraderie of the group experience with their regulars, but look forward to meeting the new class participants that join them each week. In talking about her Revolve class, Kirsten Uphaus commented, “I love seeing new members check out the class! We are a super welcoming group ready to meet new people and have a lot of fun working out.” With the wide variety of complimentary group fitness classes on the schedule, there are plenty of options for JCC members to explore. Group exercise is a great way to meet new people, increase your level of motivation with support from others, and challenge yourself to reach your fitness goals.