Modern aerobics put twist on convention

With new techniques in fitness, exercising has diversified beyond the basic “grapevine right” into more exciting and innovative calorie-burning routines.

One fitness center, Curves for Women, combines a traditional aerobic training program with weights and music.

The program Quickfit Circuit Training, encourages weight loss by emphasizing the development of lean muscle in the body. Quickfit features strength-training machines that offer proper amounts of hydraulic resistance and aerobic recovery stations. Participants move to new stations every 30 seconds.

“The program is arranged in stations, so you don’t have to wait for an instructor,” said Vickie Davis, manager of the Curves for Women center located on Thomasville Road. “Your station begins when you get there.”

The fast pace of the workouts enables participants to burn up to 500 calories during a 30-minute workout.

Another calorie-burning workout is kickboxing. Kickboxing began in the United States during the 1970s and has since become a more popular form of physical fitness.

With the help of professional instructors, participants learn techniques like sparring, kicks, punches, kick blocks, shadow boxing and wood breaking.

In the past, this activity was limited to male participation. Now, more women are becoming involved.

Gallop’s Karate School responded to the developing female interest by becoming the only fitness center in Tallahassee to develop a women’s kickboxing program.

“Our class is exclusively for women,” said Kristal Franklin, co-owner of the school. “Therefore, participants don’t have to feel uncomfortable.”

The adult women’s kickboxing class at Gallop’s is a 45-minute program designed to burn anywhere from 800 to 1,000 calories. Gallop’s offers the course Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, participants spar against their instructors to demonstrate the knowledge they have gained from the class.

A new program at Gold’s Gym in Tallahassee is gaining increased popularity. Gold’s Gym is the only local fitness center that offers the Johnny G Spinning Program, which the club describes as a complete mind and body exercise routine that provides heart rate stimulation in a unique indoor cycling environment.

Jonathan “Johnny G” Goldberg, a world-class cyclist, developed the program in 1987, and opened the first spinning facility in 1989.

The basis of the training is a series of five movements performed on a Johnny G spinning bike, a bike that Johnny G designed specifically for this type of training. This group exercise enhances the participants’ physical and mental well being by combining high-energy training and motivational encouragement.

“Johnny G Spinning completely changed my life,” said Jim Burgin, instructor for Gold’s Gym.

Burgin said he lost 65 pounds in the three months that he participated in the spinning program. He has since taught over 300 classes of 24 riders each class. This participant-turned-instructor said his classes are frequently full.

“Some people come as early as an hour before class to reserve their spot,” Burgin said.