As a Zumba instructor, Diana Blandon saw how much people enjoyed burning calories while swiveling their hips to the Latin-inspired beats, so she decided to open her own Zumba studio. She recruited a team of certified instructors and decked the studio walls in yellow and purple to complement the high-energy classes.
Less than a year later, her studio's grown faster than she ever thought it would. "I'm actually looking for something bigger," she says. "Every [class], I'm getting more people."
Diana attributes the overwhelmingly positive response to a few factors. As patrons attend classes, they can rest assured their wee ones are safely frolicking with free childcare. Kids can watch movies, play games, or use the WiFi to work on homework assignments or download longer and more boring homework assignments. And then there's the workout itself: "It's a fun way to burn calories," Diana says.
In addition to adult classes, Diana hosts kids Zumbatomic classes, leading wee ones in games, dancing, and exciting exercises—welcoming their parents to join in and then stay for the adult class afterward. Her instructors also offer a weekly yoga class and dance lessons in Latin styles such as salsa and merengue.
Registered Dietitian Lori R. Lee and certified personal trainer Bob Lee's marriage resulted in more than a family: it produced a business that united fitness and nutrition. The couple has spent a combined 40 years working in the wellness industry. Clients at The Wellness Center of Northwest Jersey experience the sum total of their experience, knowledge, and desire to share both at this facility recently reestablished for women only.
The center's staff of experts teach 30 small group classes per week including Pilates and yoga geared toward clients ranging in age from teens to mature adults. In addition to their Reader's-Choice award-winning workouts, certified exercise specialists guide novice and experienced athletes through injury or post-injury rehabilitation exercises or assist teens and adults with management of chronic pain and overall body conditioning. Lori herself uses the science she learned as a Registered Dietitian to help clients reboot their diets. She reminds them that, "You are what you eat, except you never grow chicken wings."
Fit Boot Camp's team of certified trainers and CrossFit coaches lead students through motivational fitness adventures featured in New Jersey Life. Each 45-minute workout incorporates plenty of personal attention and modifiable exercises to prepare the body for everyday physical challenges such as hoisting groceries and moving the refrigerator from room to room. Bucking traditional gym exercises, engaging workouts such as tire dragging, tire flipping, rope climbing, and sledgehammer swinging help shed weight, tone arms, tighten torsos, and strengthen sinews. Plyometrics such as box jumps cultivate power and speed, saving people the hassle of having to simulate those qualities with foam barbells and strobe lights.
Equipment: Yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, back care
Students should bring: Yoga mat, but if they forget or don't have one, we also have yoga mats available at the studio.
Average class length: 60?90 minutes
Number of Staff: 5?10 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Our meditative vinyasa yoga focuses on alignment for all levels, and is both challenging and calming.
Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
We offer alignment-focused vinyasa classes that challenge students while encouraging them to be mindful and listen to their bodies. These classes also teach them how to tailor their practices to their unique needs. We explore pranayama, chanting, meditation, and the deeper aspects of yogic philosophy. Students love how these practices help them connect to the physical world, as well as what lies beyond it.
Our teachers also walk the walk. They practice, and can therefore share and teach from a place of understanding, compassion, and personal experience. They provide a supportive, receptive space that is conducive to exploring time-tested practices in a way that helps students understand how the mental, emotional, and physical can work together as a whole. They invite students to take a good look at habits and patterns, to press boundaries, with the understanding that this helps to develop trust in our own experience and a healthy sense of self and discernment. The development of self trust?and the ability to flow with the ups and downs of life?is powerful.
What is the biggest mistake you see people make when trying to get fit on their own?
Beginners often become frustrated with yoga because they tried it without a good teacher. But the truth is, yoga welcomes everyone. It doesn?t matter what age you are, or whether or not you can reach your toes. It is a practice of awareness that nourishes the mind, body, and spirit. I also think that it's important to create a strong foundation in the basics so students take care of their bodies and their unique needs. This is especially important for beginners and is best achieved with guidance from a receptive, knowledgeable teacher during in-person lessons.
What is a typical session of your program or class like for a student?
We start with exploring some aspect of the ancient philosophy or psychology of yoga. Then through chanting and breathing, we warm up to focus the mind and add ingredients that we will be emphasizing in the physical practice. We do a meditative flowing vinyasa with mindful sequencing to challenge and press boundaries in a safe way. Eventually, we wind down with cooling, calming poses and meditation.
You won’t see rows upon rows of intimidating training equipment at Chizel Fitness. Instead, a dedicated staff of expert trainers welcomes you into one of their many varied fitness classes, which are also different from a standard gym’s lineup. They lead ballet barre classes, pushing patrons toward sculpting lean, dancer-like muscles with small, isometric movements performed at, of course, a ballet barre. During real cycling classes, cyclists plug in to the multirider Computrainer system—which accommodates four riders—to virtually pedal through any course, training for a triathlon or reliving your paper-route glory days. They also offer weight-resistance and plyometrics classes that use kettlebells and TRX suspension training, and Pilates classes on mats or equipment including reformers and towers.
In addition to teaching youths and adults to punch and kick properly, Rockaway Fight Center imparts self-discipline, self-confidence, and self-respect. Instructors specialize in Israeli combat tactics including knife fighting, ground survival, and HaganaH, a full-contact form of self-defense that incorporates krav maga and hisardut. The center also offers combat fitness classes, which condition bodies using HaganaH fighting techniques, as well as Zumba classes, which eschew combat in favor of pure calorie burning. For an East Asian approach, the center’s Brazilian jiu jitsu lessons teach students to overpower a larger attacker or a declawed grizzle bear using chokes and holds, while taekwondo classes focus primarily on striking and thrusting with kicks and punches.