Group Strength Training. Part 3

Coram’s class attracts women of all ages. She tells them to do as much as they can, and if they’re struggling, she tells them to back off. Women are comfortable in her class and organize their schedules around it, some taking a step class before. This works out well because “women can budget a set time to lift weights, [and] they can tell their husbands to be home by a certain time to watch the kids,” says Coram.

Northglen Parks and Recreation Center

Bob Schmitz of the Northglen, Colo., Northglen Parks and Recreation Center fitness facility, offers a Women on Weights Class, a Senior Weight Training class and Muscles in Motion classes.

The Women on Weights class meets Mondays and Wednesdays, and attracts about 16 women ages 30 to 50. This popular class begins with a stretching warm-up, and ends with a cool-down. In between, participants work out on a circuit, following their own pace. Class structure follows the lead of its participants; the program is designed around them, says Schmitz.

The Senior Weight Training class is organized the same way. Started in 1994, it meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 10:30. This time slot has proved to be a fantastic choice: Operating during a slower slot, it provides a social hour for seniors to meet. They look forward to the social interaction and often go out to lunch together afterward. The class gets them into the gym so that they’re working out, lifting weights and feeling better, says Schmitz.

Although a radio is on, neither class follows a beat, and participants work out at their own pace. The class is made up of about 65 percent women and 35 percent men, which corresponds with the demographics of seniors in the U.S. It is led by a 65-year-old professional weightlifting instructor, who serves as an example to other seniors for staying fit into old age.

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