Today, it's undeniable: Jazzercise is a worldwide empire, spanning more than 1,800 locations and 32,000 weekly classes across the globe. It's also hip; gone are the leotards and legwarmers of the 1980s, replaced with a high-intensity blend of cardio, strength training, kickboxing and power yoga performed to hits by chart-toppers from Shakira to Justin Timberlake. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set, with recent additions such as Fusion, Core, and Strike broadening the workouts' variety and application. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers?with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers?are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background. This sense of community keeps Jazzercise devotees coming back, but so too do the results; benefits ranging from weight loss and boosted core strength to increased flexibility and stress relief.
Jazzercise's continued success can be traced to the innovation of its founder, Judi Sheppard Missett. While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, she decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. Little did she know that this ?just for fun? class was the prototype for what would become the Jazzercise sensation.
VI Fitness?a workout mainstay with a dozen locations peppering Vancouver Island?splits its real estate between coed and women?s only gyms. Coed locations line the floors with a wide variety of strength and stability equipment, free weights, and cardio machines; women?s locations host a similar array of gear but in designs tailored specifically for women. The two gym models are otherwise similar, hosting yoga classes and group exercise courses such as VI Fitness?s signature indoor cycling.
Alternatively, each gym?s team of personal trainers creates customized regimens for patrons with the help of the Polar BodyAge system that measures individual fitness levels. The sessions also motivate athletes and ensure they use proper technique, significantly reducing the risk of injury, overexertion, or the embarrassment of accidentally bench-pressing a treadmill. The on-site child minding watches over exercisers? little ones while secure rental lockers keep personal effects locked up.
Sophin Sarin’s passion for fitness ignited when he started playing sports in middle school, and his desire to share it with others has not wavered since. He founded Twork It Out Fitness to help his clients fit into healthier lifestyles through hard work and discipline. His 35-minute boot-camp classes require resolve, as students power through interval-training workouts that build muscle and strengthen the cardiovascular system. As with any sustained period of intense exercise, metabolism stays stoked afterward, burning more calories in a 48-hour period without having to train yourself to sleep-jog. Classes meet six days a week, with morning and evening sessions to convenience an array of schedules.
The instructors at Two Bettys Bikini Bootcamp commit to a weighty promise—that their clients will be beach-ready in six weeks—and commit their charges to an equally intense workout regimen. The boot-camp classes blend running, stair climbing, hula-hooping, yoga, and even some moves on the ballet barre to set metabolisms racing. But that doesn't mean the teachers act as drill sergeants—to the contrary, each group session is rife with affirmations and support.
The buoyant instructors of WZ Latin Party Fitness, led by Celine Hall, are successful because they are certified Zumba fitness specialists who love what they do. There is something infectious about Zumba, be it the upbeat music, easy-to-follow dance moves, or enthusiasm of the instructors, and WZ Latin Party Fitness aims to help students of all levels dance their way to health.