Group Strength Training. Part 4

Muscles in Motion meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday during lunch, and attracts area businesswomen ages 20 through 50. The class is almost exclusively women. It began in 1994, and usually draws between five and 10 people. Organized like an aerobics class, it uses steps along with hand and foot weights. The choreographed routines follow music and an instructor’s cues. The class focuses on stretching and toning areas that women want to target: the hips, thighs and abs, which are worked on fit balls. The class attempts to perform a total-body workout.

Schmitz points out that, because his facility is a small, municipality rec center, he lacks the space and draw of the big-name clubs located near him. “We have a lot of clubs near us, and a lot of businesses, but we need a bigger weight room. There is a lot of competition for the lunch hour crowd,” he says. This class has, however, been very popular with his members.

Schmitz markets his classes on the web, through word-of-mouth and fliers, and through two area publications: a tri-annual brochure/activity guide distributed to Northglen residents, and the neighborhood Neighborly News, which prints local news releases.

Hills Fitness Center

The Hills Fitness Center in Austin, Texas, offers three group muscle conditioning classes: Anything Goes, Muscle Conditioning, and Strengthen and Contour.

Taught by an instructor who became burned out and bored after years of teaching step classes, Anything Goes offers sports conditioning drills. Started in December, the class includes anything the instructor decides to do, from running laps to performing hustling drills to building up back muscles for swimming. While members at first resisted the change in format from step to sports conditioning, they soon got used to it. Today, the class attracts about 35 members per session.

Muscle Conditioning has been offered at Hills for 13 years, and provides a traditional group strength-training class. Using low-resistance weights, members perform high repetitions of exercises such as upward rows and biceps curls. The exercises are dynamic, and work separate groups of muscles. Participation in this class has remained constant since its inception, and has been moved to a larger room with more equipment to offer variety.

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