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Ditch that Treadmill

Ditch that Treadmill
Director of Health + Beauty, Wendy Nielsen, thinks reality TV and her iPhone are just as important as air, wants to kick cancer in it’s shins and a huge girlcrush on Gwen Stefani. Twitter: @Wendy_Nielsen

Group fitness classes have changed a lot from the days of white scrunchy socks and spandex shorts. This was totally apparent as I lurked in on the Flashback Hip-Hop class at my gym earlier this summer.

Yoga Standing Bow Pose on a Stride Airlite Stand Up Paddleboard - More info at:

I had just finished a pretty lackluster hour-long walk on the treadmill and decided that I would change things up a bit for my next workout and try the choreographed dance class. How hard could it be?

Well, good thing I took a spot at the back of the room because holy left feet – I was the most uncoordinated person in the entire class! A gray-haired man, closing in on sixty, wearing black dress loafers was killing the choreography. It looked like someone dropped me off at an audition of “So You Think You Can Dance?’ And I clearly could not.

That experience hasn’t totally dissuaded me from group fitness though. In fact, I really enjoy taking group fitness classes because the instructors and other students inspire me to keep going where as I’d likely quit early if I was exercising alone.

My gym offers nearly twenty different types of classes on a given day including swim, road cycling, and an aerobic “Brazilian Booty” camp. Those fitness classes don’t necessarily appeal to me but the following ones sure piqued my interest.

  • TRX Suspension Training – Whole body training to build strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, core and joint stability through the use of your own body weight and gravity.
  • ViPR (pronounced “viper”) – Another whole body workout to build muscle and burn calories while using the ViPR training tool (a big rubber tube) that can be lifted, dragged, thrown, and stepped on. Its weight ranges from 8 lbs to 40 lbs.
  • Barre Technique – High energy/low impact classes without any jumping, punching, bouncing, or kicking.  Workouts focus on toning and resistance exercises for the butt, legs, torso, and arms.

exercise class with ballet bar

  • Stand Up Paddle with Yoga – Stand Up Paddling is the fastest growing water sport around and now yoga has been added to the mix to make the body work even harder.  The extra balance needed by being on water intensifies the yoga routine.
And maybe the silliest…
  • “Stoked Primal” – An advanced conditioning class for those with a strong core and upper body.  Students “release their inner animal” by using their body weight to glide, crawl, jump, and push their way to a more agile and toned body.

Does your gym offer any classes like these?  And have you taken one yourself? Tell the Tribe about your group fitness experience!

– Wendy

Photo credit here and here

Disclosure: On occasion, contributors of The Trend Tribe receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not influence the contributor’s point of view or the outcome of the review. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect the reviewers experience. The opinions are their own.  


Wendy (30 Posts)

With a deep love for fonts and Foo Fighters, Wendy thinks coffee and her iPhone are just as important as air, that cancer sucks and mornings are overrated. @Wendy_Nielsen


  1. Wendy – ok. Paddle yoga is waay over my head. lol. but I’m 40 and I’ve only recently started to focus on really staying healthy with exercise. In the past year I have lost 25 lbs and for me (a person who’s natural disposition is NOT: I wanna go for a jog!) I have found that much like your post – changing things up is enough to keep me focused and interested.
    I admire anyone who does group classes, I always feel a tinge of jealousy when I see a group of women headed to an exercise class together but I have my own issues about exercising in public – and so I’ve found certain tapes to be a good way for me to feel inspired by instructors (and even the taped participants) and have helped me stick with exercising for over a year now. I LOVE Tony Horton from P90X, Insanity (while like the title – insane) makes me want to do better each time (and when I started I couldn’t even do the warm up all the way through!) but oddly enough my favorite tape is one I refer to as Psycho Sorority Moms….real title: Turbofire. I think I like this one best because I’m addicted to Real Housewives (yes – the ENTIRE series/every city lol) and the women participants in the TurboFire tapes all look like cast members of random unmade RH casts. And I tell myself – see? These women work hard to look like this – and I can’t expect to sit on my arse all day watching them and then get to stand up and look like that. So that’s how I motivate myself. The Treadmill? Never – I’d gain back those 25lbs in a NY minute if that were my only choice. 🙂

    • Thanks for commenting Kirsten!
      I actually have the entire P90X dvd set at home but haven’t tried it yet. Admittedly, I think I’m a little intimidated. I can hardly finish level one of the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred dvd!
      Here’s what I’ve learned about group exercise. No one is paying attention to you. Everyone is worried about themselves. Last week, I took a barre exercise class and I fumbled and fell over the whole class. But we all were. And it was fun to experience that together. PS, that class is no joke! Take one if you have one in your area!
      One last thing, Alexis from the OC Housewives works out at my gym. How about that for motivation when she’s sitting in front of you in spin class?
      Congrats on the 25lb weight loss! – Wendy

  2. Dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, parrots – who do you prefer? Or dialect mayhap what that bottomless animals – snakes, crocodiles, lizards, monkeys?

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