On October 1st, we debut our new Group Fitness schedules. Finally!
Back in July, I went to San Diego for the IDEA World Fitness Convention. I went to learn: What’s new? What’s hot? What’s right? What’s not?
I sought inspiration from industry leaders outside of Chicago and CAC’s walls -- and I found it! Fitness legend and Academy Award-winning actress Jane Fonda accepted the Jack LaLanne Award, honoring the significant and lasting contributions she has made by promoting the benefits of exercise and healthy eating to the public. I know, I sometimes make jokes in my classes about her in her 1980’s aerobics gear, thong leotard, leg warmers and head band included, but this iconic woman built the foundation for today’s group fitness.
At IDEA, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and experienced new formats, new equipment and different techniques. I worked out for literally six to seven hours each day. I was in love.
When I returned to Chicago, I began trying new things and using different spaces. For example, in July, we took Brady’s Tuesday night Water Workout up to the roof top pool at LVAC. The classes were at maximum capacity each week, so we extended the special schedule through August. In September, we are hosting Sunset Yoga at LVAC, each Sunday at 6:30pm. The first week’s weather was a little cool, but attendance proved it is hot. We added BODYPUMP™ to WAC in July. We opened WPAC in late-April with 25 classes on the schedule; starting in October, we will triple the schedule and offer 77 classes per week!
We have some proven heavy hitters (yes, also the name of one of our super-successful formats). I wouldn’t dream of changing our current classes that consistently have the highest attendance. But I have hired some new talent: 27 accomplished instructors, bringing decades of combined experience to our team. Add that to some workshops, certifications and continuing education with our current instructors, and I am excited to bring some new classes to CAC: The Climb, Rope Rage, Mommy & Me, Baby & Me Yoga, Strength & Stride, Tubing and Sweat Equity: A HIIT Class, just to name a few.
I have “borrowed” a few ideas from distinguished industry leaders and from that comes two new formats: CXWORX™ and Yoga Sculpt.
We are also making all of our pre/postnatal classes “All Access” for the moms-to-be.
Finally, we are getting some innovative body weight training tools from Lebert Training Systems: the Buddy System™ and the Equalizer™. You can’t miss the latter... it’s bright yellow! We had more than 30 instructors attend a workshop on the LTS equipment. It will be functional in many of our existing classes, as well as some new ones.
I am excited about the 523 total classes per week we have at CAC. Check out the schedules. Attend some classes. Remember: All Access Thursdays.
What comes after this Fall/Winter schedule release? LSAC’s 25-yard, five-lane pool will open later this year. We’ll have Water Workouts, Swim Training and other water programs. And, I am already working on some new programming and formats for Spring. Just you wait and see. The honeymoon isn’t over!
-Sarah Ruhl, Fitness Director