24 HOUR FITNESS ANNOUNCES SUPPORT OF U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM AT 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES With just 100 days to go, we are thrilled to announce the kickoff of our campaign— “Our Gym is Going with Team USA to the Olympic Games” and it begins by unveiling our amazing sponsored athletes. So, a drumroll please for: two-time Olympic Gold medalist and beach volleyball wonder-woman, Kerri Walsh; three-time Olympian, Silver medalist and attacking Water Polo player, Tony Azevedo; Paralympic Gold medalist and the world’s fastest female amputee, April Holmes; and last but not least, one of our very own, 24 Hour Fitness trainer, 200 meter sprinter, and ﬁrst-time Olympic Hopeful, Rubin Williams.
OUR ATHLETES, OUR TEAM, EVEN OUR GYM IS HEADED TO LONDON
London 2012 marks our biggest ever commitment to the US Olympic team. We’ve given memberships to more than 500 Olympic athletes and hopefuls to help them pursue their Olympic dreams. We’ve donated our expertise and training equipment to the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. And, this summer, we’re taking an entire gym—plus an elite team of support staff—to power the U.S. High Performance Training Center in London, and help athletes make their final preparations.
And that’s not all. We’ve got a summer-long program packed with great content, contests, and news to bring you closer to the U.S. Olympic Team experience. Stay tuned by following @24hourfitness and the #24HFOlympic hashtag. Go team USA!
Celebrating my 2,000,00 page views with a classic post -
This article was posted on 06/2009
To discuss working out in the pool, I had the opportunity to speak with 24 Hour Fitness Master Instructor Doris Dodge-Thews. Doris has over 25 years of fitness experience, has run the Boston Marathon, the Nike Women's Marathon and teaches group exercise classes such as Aqua Aerobics at 24 Hour Fitness clubs throughout Orange County.
If you’ve never tried a water exercise class, select 24 Hour Fitness club locations with pools nationwide are giving you the chance on Saturday, June 13. As part of “Open Door Saturday” 24 Hour Fitness clubs nationwide are opening their doors to the public for free workouts. Non-members are invited to try all the amenities 24 Hour Fitness has to offer, including the group exercise classes such as Aqua Aerobics offered at select clubs on Saturday. Check-out 24hourfitness.com to find a club location near you offering the Aqua Aerobics classes! Joel: First off tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got interested in the fitness industry?
Doris Dodge-Thews: I was a high school and college athlete and just never stopped. I started instructing when I was in high school and have continued through today at age 42. Over the past 25 years, I have seen companies like 24 Hour Fitness serve the community and promote health and fitness. I travel around the country teaching 24 Hour Fitness instructors different group exercise classes. I’m passionate about helping others reach their fitness goals and I’m fortunate that 24 Hour Fitness allows me to do so for a living! Joel: For someone who has never attended an Aqua Aerobics Class what should they expect the first time in the water?
Doris Dodge-Thews: They’ll be pleasantly surprised by the environment. They'll learn that the best thing about Aqua Aerobics is its variety. Each class is different and so much fun. You can't help but smile when you are in the water! You’re constantly propelling through the water, and it’s a great non-impact way to improve your cardio while increasing strength and flexibility. Anyone can do Aqua Aerobics - runners and marathoners, basketball players, swimmers, weight lifters, walkers and anyone looking to build muscle and burn fat quickly. Members and guests should come to select 24 Hour Fitness clubs with pools on Saturday, June 13 to check-out an Aqua Aerobics class. It’s free!
Joel: What are some of the benefits of doing an Aqua Aerobics class?
Doris Dodge-Thews: When you are working in water at every move you are facing resistance. It's a fun challenging aerobic workout. The body is facing hydrostatic pressure which allows one to exercise more vigorously with less strain. You have drag at every turn which gives you the resistance for strength training. Aqua Aerobics is a cardio workout that has no impact on the joints, and you reduce your risk of injury compared to other forms of exercise such as running or weight lifting.
Aqua aerobics is a group exercise class at 24 Hour Fitness. It’s great because you’re working out in a group that is supportive and it motivates you to work hard. We encourage all of our members to work out in a group exercise class or with a partner. It’s a way to hold you accountable and you’re more likely to stick to a fitness routine if you’ve got someone to work out with.
Joel: Can you give the readers one basic Aqua Aerobics routine that they can do on their own?
Doris Dodge-Thews: One all around exercise is Flip and Kick. Grab a kick-board. Hold it out in front of you with face down and kick 6 times. Flip on to your side still holding the kick-board. Scissor kick 6 times then flip on your back. Kick 6 times holding the kick-board over your head on the water then flip to the other side. Kick 6 more times still holding the kick-board above your head on the water. It’s a great cardio workout and by holding the kick-board you are getting an upper body workout.
Joel: What got you interested in Aqua Aerobics?
Doris Dodge-Thews: Its variety. And I wanted to cross train. After running a marathon it takes 26 days for the body to recover. Aqua Aerobics doesn't impact the joints so it's great to be working out and be in the water. At triathlons you see the participants always getting back in the water after the race to allow the body to recover faster. Plus I love the environment of these classes and it's a lot of fun!
Joel: You also instruct 24 Cycle Classes. Now that is a whole different level of intensity then Aqua Aerobics. Or are they? Can you compare and contrast the two different activities?
Doris Dodge-Thews: When you are in the water you have constant drag. When you are on a bike you have gravity to deal with. 24 Cycle has a high caloric burn rate. In a class you can burn anywhere between 600 and 1,000 calories depending on your intensity and how fast you sprint. But both are important for a healthy lifestyle
Joel: In 24 Cycle Classes the instructors always give the cyclers a guide to level ones intensity. With each instructor having his or her own unique way of describing these levels. One instructor I know uses "ordering at a bar" and how at different intensities you can only order so much. How do you describe these levels to your cyclers?
Doris Dodge-Thews: That is called RPE, Rate Perceived Exertion, and 24 Hour Fitness instructors use it in all group classes. Each bike and person is different so it is what each person perceives. The RPE can be broken down into four zones: Easy, Endurance, Edge and Elite anaerobic. I use ordering at Starbucks since I love coffee. At the Easy level, I can tell you for an extended period of time all about coffee including what beans I favor. At the Endurance level, I can talk but I’m working harder. I can order my vanilla latte non-fat with two pumps of vanilla for 12-20 minutes at the Endurance level. During the Edge level, for 5-7 minutes, I could only tell you “yes” if you asked me if I like coffee. At the Elite level, I’m breathless and can only shake my head, I can’t talk, for 1-3 minutes. Joel: What type of music do you like to use in your classes?
Doris Dodge-Thews: In my 24 Cycle classes I play high energy music with a strong beat. My music will reflect my drills. Hill drills will have slower music while speed drills will have faster music. Then I also have recovery music. I try to have a variety of music that at the end of the class I've played something for everyone. In the Aqua Aerobics class I play either just background music or some cadence tempo music depending on the class.
Joel: Finally for those 24 Hour Fitness members which locations can they find you at?
Doris Dodge-Thews: I teach across Orange County at the Laguna Niguel, Irvine Center Drive and Irvine Spectrum 24 Hour Fitness clubs.
To celebrate my 2,000,000 page view I will be reposting some classic 17thman articles. Mostly cuz' I'm lazy!
This post was posted on 08/21/2009
The other day I was asked if I wanted to attend a class at 24 Hour Fitness called "Dance With Me" and I have to admit, I hesitated at first. Me in a dance related fitness class? With my two left feet? I eventually decided I'd go and hang in the very back of the class. I became more comfortable as the class filled up and I began to see everyone from teenage boys and girls to senior citizens in the group. At this point I figured I could do it. The first ten minutes were tough as I struggled to feel the rhythm and let myself go. But after a group line dance, my stress and worries went away and I was having the time of my life. I was laughing and cheering on others in the class. All in between learning a few new dance steps and sweating my ass off. By the time the one hour class was over I was ready for more. After class, I sat down with Billy Blanks, Jr and his wife Sharon Catherine Blanks to talk about the class. A little background on Billy Blanks, Jr and his wife Sharon Catherine Blanks. As you have probably already guessed, Billy is the son of Tae Bo Kicking exercise legend Billy Blanks. Billy is a professional dancer who has performed on Broadway in Fame and 42nd Street. His wife Sharon Catherine Blanks is a Broadway singer and dancer and has performed in Rent, Dreamgirls and others. Together they perform as a rock / soul duo called "The Blanx". Billy and Sharon have taken these years of Broadway experience and combined it with exercise to form the 24 Hour Fitness Group X class “Dance With Me” which is now offered to members at the Sherman Oaks and Hollywood Sport club locations.
What Is "Dance With Me"?
"Dance with Me" is a group excercise class that takes dance movements from hip-hop, Latin, ballroom, bollywood, broadway, belly dancing and jazz all mixed in with cardio movement. Classes mix it up with various dance styles. Each style offers a different type of workout for different parts of the body. Stretching, high intensity cardio, core work, strength training and pretty much an all around workout. Sharon commented that she is very excited about this class as it has grown very quickly. It's cool that different people attend these classes from all walks of life. A few weeks ago an older man approached her and told her he was just going to warm up during the beginning of the class. By the end of the class he was still dancing. Afterwards, he came up to Sharon and told her how excited he was about this class. The day I attended the class we warmed up before moving to some cardio to get the heart rate up with a bit of latin/samba music. For a bit we did some Broadway tunes and even did the Charleston. I gotta admit doing the Charleston was fun. Even when I danced into a few of the classmates.
Both Billy and Sharon talked about how you can’t help but smile when dancing. Both instructors have the attitude that in this class participants should just do the best they can according to their fitness level. Billy talked about one of the younger class members who at first told Billy that he had two left feet and he was a bit worried. Billy assured him that all he had to do was have fun. A few classes later this young man was in the front row of the class dancing up a storm. I got to tell you that story was just one of many I heard from people I talked to before the class started.
Sharon starts the class talking about the importance on breathing during excercise. She instructs participants to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. She called it "diaphragmatic breathing". Throughout the class both Billy and Sharon remind everyone to breathe. Sharon said that when she was on stage she gave 200% and was constantly working to be a stronger performer. She knew that by breathing correctly she would have more stamina. She commented, "Performers who sing and dance are in shape because they're breathing correctly." Sharon also reminds the class not to pant but to breathe. She warned that, "Panting is not controlled breathing and one can hyperventlate". She also commented that in class we need to be careful when reaching down to pick up the bottle of water as one can get dizzy. During the class Billy talks about the benefits of singing out loud while working out just like the military do on marches. This helps to build stamina and endurance. Also, by breathing correctly during excercise one can double the amount of calories burned.
One last thing about breathing is that Billy recommended that everyone should wake up 5 minutes early every day and just lay in bed practicing breathing. It may sound simple but 5 minutes a day of diaphragmatic breathing will make breathing while working out that much easier.
During the class Billy dances around the room interacting with the class members. Everyone is singing, cheering and having a blast. From time to time we pair up and form groups. You forget that you are working out. The class takes a life of its own. Sharon commented that she never experienced a trainer like Billy who encourages everyone so much. While I was dancing about and having the time of my life, I kept hearing Billy talk about taking out our daily stress out in this class by dancing and yelling out loud. When Sharon talked about how you can't help but smile when you are dancing it really is true. You just get all the days worries out of your head and just go with the music.
The Group X class "Dance With Me" is offered at two 24 Hour Fitness locations in L.A. – Hollywood Sport (6380 Sunset Blvd) and Sherman Oaks (15301 Ventura Blvd). For more information, check out http://www.24hourfitness.com/
While I was out running around Disney World with Mickey and the gang a few news items from the world of swimming happened. Here are a few of them...
1. Carolina Live reports that "Olympic swimmer Rowdy Gaines to teach class in NMB…Olympic swimming gold medalist Rowdy Gaines, also known as the "voice of swimming", will hold a South Carolina Masters Swimming clinic January 22 from 8:00a.m.-4:00p.m. at the North Myrtle Beach Aquatic & Fitness Center. Swimmers must be at least 18 years old and registered as a U.S. Master Swimmer. A one day U.S. Master Swimmer registration may be purchased for $12. The clinic is intended for swimmers of all abilities."
2. Check out "The Morning Swim Show, Jan. 11, 2011: Charlotte Davis Makes Successful Transition from Synchronized Swimmer to Masters Swimmer…Charlotte Davis has taken an interesting path to becoming a Masters swimming world record holder, and on today's edition of The Morning Swim Show, she talks about how her years in synchronized swimming helped her make a successful transition."
3. Speaking of Masters Swimming check out the New England Masters Newsletter (via google docs) online. The newsletter has some interesting swimming articles including "Dragging Around Half a Bowling Ball: A Scientific Approach to Holiday Weight Gain."
4. Swimming Is Back! USA Swimming posts "GRAND PRIX SERIES RESUMES THIS WEEK IN AUSTIN."
5. Swim Network looks at "Ryan Lochte's Work with Muscular Dystrophy."
6. It's actually a sad story from Swimming World as "USA Swimming's Swimnetwork.com to Merge Platform and Content Into USASwimming.org…The blogging elements on Swimnetwork.com will be de-emphasized. Webcasts and events will take on a greater focus for the organization. The brand Swimnetwork will no longer be used, but USA Swimming will keep the domain to re-direct traffic. The move will generate an estimated savings of approximately $170,000 in 2011 and $240,000 in 2012, according to USA Swimming." I'm going to miss Mike and posts and webisodes from the world of swimming and hope Mike starts a blog of his own about swimming. Swim Network was the official voice of USA Swimming but at the same time promoted aquatics across various other organizations including USMS Swimming. By consolidating these two web properties USA Swimming can build on the USA Swimming "brand". Also by consolidating USA Swimming can use the money savings for lawyers for the pedo-coach lawsuits. It's just a shame that another voice in swimming is going down the gutter. (post update with usaswimming.org's new pedobear-coach logo)
7. The Masters Swim Blog goes tv watching with the documentary "Men Who Swim". The documentary aired this past weekend on PBS. Check out PBS Online for clips and future airtimes.
8. Let's all sing along and sing the Kast-a-way blog a Happy 2 Year Blog Birthday!
9. Swimming World Magazine reports that "24 Hour Fitness and USA Water Polo Announce Partnership…24 Hour Fitness will provide memberships to the USA Water Polo Men's and Women's Senior National Teams to support their training for the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China, while also offering discounted memberships to USA Water Polo members."
10. The Science of Sport chimes in on" Power balance, placebo and perceptions…'It works, who cares why?' vs 'The fraud of Power Balance bracelets'" This weekend at the Walt Disney World Marathon the Power Balance folks had a booth and I did see lots of people checking them out. Maybe next year I'll come up with a crazy fake product and have my own booth. Maybe, 17thman Power Water which will be basically tap water from my water hose out back.