Long Over Due


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This is a very (very) long overdue post.

I apologize to everyone that I have not written any motivating fitness articles in months. I am not going to give you any excuses about being busy or distracted or lazy, but if you keep reading you will know the true reason for not having written lately and why I am writing now.

It is easy to fall to off the fitness wagon. It can happen to anyone and it happened to me earlier this year.

For me, my love of fitness and fitness classes began waning when I stopped seeing results. Due to dietary issues and performing the same fitness routine week after week, I began plateauing and eventually, going in the opposite direction than I wanted. Despite this, I still attended classes. I say attended because I wasn’t always giving them everything I used to, but at minimum, I followed the mantra that no workout is a bad one.

Then life happened. Mid January through April are very busy at my business and those months were made even busier and stressful by a rash of bad luck that hit our already stretched office staff. I often didn’t leave the office in time to make it the studio and other days I was so drained that all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch and watch TV. My once religious routine of being at S.W.E.A.T. five to six times a week turned into two or three times tops.

My S.W.E.A.T. friends all noticed my absence. They would send me texts before class asking if my spot needed to be saved or message me after class to see if I was okay. This was much appreciated but not enough to get back my former love of fitness. I found that once the routine was broken, it was very easy to not force myself back into it and it was very easy to get discouraged.

That being said, I didn’t completely veg on my couch for months. I did try to keep active whenever possible by going for walks, doing weight lifting routines at home and swimming laps at the local pool. Without the routine and support this was difficult. Just as you might think, this was even worse for my lack of progress than half heartedly going to class.

Eventually, life calmed down enough that it was again possible for me to go to the gym nearly everyday. That doesn’t mean I had the motivation though. It was all too easy to just stay at the office late or go right home.

Somewhere around this time I realized that I couldn’t let my fitness journey go. After nearly four years of listening to Jess talk about how fitness is a lifestyle, it became ingrained in me. I realized that I was never going to find a better fitness routine, in a place with more supportive people than I had at S.W.E.A.T.

keep-calm-and-get-back-to-the-gym-6This realization helped me reset my goal to working out five times a week and getting to the studio for all five workouts if possible. So even though I didn’t really feel motivated, I basically committed to fake it until I make it. Because my routine at S.W.E.A.T. was something that I once loved, it didn’t take long for the motivation to come back.

As you may have noticed, I am back at the studio most weeks four to five times. Work still tends to get in the way at least once a week, but I now have the motivation to get out of the office in time for class. When I don’t, I do some sort of workout at home so I can hit my goal.

I learned a few important things from (mostly) stepping away from the studio.

  1. Fitness really is a lifestyle and once you have made it your lifestyle it’s pretty difficult to remove it from your life completely.
  2. Fitness is about much more than losing weight. It’s truly about doing your best, getting stronger and accomplishing your goals.
  3. Routine and support are what get me through. I live and die by my routine so making a 5:30 class part of it nearly everyday ensures that I will workout. Seeing my friends at the studio everyday doesn’t hurt either  ;)

Hopefully, this post wasn’t too much of a downer. I really wanted to put my experience and thoughts out there to our S.W.E.A.T. family because I am sure I am not the only one who has fallen off the fitness wagon.


Progress Is Not Linear


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You arrived at the studio (or gym) pumped to tackle a good workout. You begin your warm up and are feeling confident.

Just minutes into your workout your body stops cooperating. Suddenly, the lighter set of weights that you are using feels like it weighs a hundred pounds. Every jump, kick and punch feels like you are fighting with a lead body suit. Your workout just turned to crap.


Bad Workout - S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Studio, PlainsSometimes it doesn’t matter how much you were looking forward to your workout or how prepared you thought you were. Sometimes you will have days when your body just isn’t feeling it.

Does that mean you are going backwards or have stopped progressing? Should you not even have come to the studio? And why did this happen?

All these questions are probably racing through your head during a crappy workout. I know they creep into my mind when I have an off day, like I did last Monday. I felt pretty good as we started the warm up for R.I.P.P.E.D., but as we began the first section and throughout the entire rest of the workout, I was EXHAUSTED. Seriously, I felt like I could take a nap, while everyone jumped, kicked and pumped weights around me. Since I was already there, I pushed through and completed the class.

So why do we have days when our bodies just aren’t having it? Honestly, we’ll never know for sure. There are many reasons our bodies don’t want to cooperate…. something you ate, lack of sleep, stress, overexertion, PMS, or maybe you are getting sick.

I read an article recently, on GirlsGoneStrong.com about this topic. One particular quote stuck in my head:  progress is not linear. Just because you have a bad day, doesn’t mean you are regressing. It doesn’t mean that your strength is leaving you. It’s a crappy workout, that’s all. It’s just a part of life.

As stated very nicely in the article, “Your body is going to respond to changes, sometimes favorably, and other times not so favorably. Some days you will crush your workouts and some days you will feel like your workout crushes you.”

The day after my crappy workout, I had a pretty good one with P90X. I don’t know why my body gave me a hard time Monday and not on Tuesday. I won’t dwell on it. It happens.

The most important thing to remember when you a crappy workout is always try your best. Whether you go in and kill your workout or you get by with lower weights and modifying all the push-ups, make sure you do your best.

The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do.


Set attainable goals for 2016


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It’s that time of year again, when we all want to start fresh for the new year. Whether your 2016 goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, stick to a specific fitness routine or eat healthier, we need to really think about actually attaining these goals.

It is so easy to make “resolutions” and not stick to them. But that’s not the point of setting these goals. We set these goals to accomplish something and feel good about ourselves. Here are some tips on how to set goals (not resolutions) that are actually attainable.

S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Studio Goals 2016


S.M.A.R.T. Goals
I have written about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals before and Jess has talked about them in classes and at meetings. If you aren’t aware. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. If you create a goal that follows all of these criteria, you are much more likely to actually accomplish them. For more information on setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal for yourself, click here.

Start Small
Just because it is the season for New Year’s resolutions, doesn’t mean you have to swear not to eat chocolate for a whole year (who could really achieve that!). Start small. Set a goal for January or the first week of January. Make sure it is something doable. Don’t say I am going to work out every single day this week if you know you have to miss three classes for family obligations. Promise yourself you will eat healthier on the days you can’t make it to class. When you achieve that goal, set a new goal and give yourself a little reward.

My goal for the new year over all is to eat healthier. I want to start in January by doing some research and getting some advice, while cutting out all the garbage I have been consuming the last month. Once I have my game plan, I can move on to bigger goals and maybe weight loss.

Write Your Goals Down
In the day of technology, we don’t write much down. Go old school on this one if it will help you. Keep a notebook with any notes related to obtaining your goals. Write down struggles you had or achievements pertaining to your goal.

Another option is downloading an app. Sure you can use MyFitnessPal or another app related to tracking calories and exercise. There are other apps out there for all kinds of goals. Apps like GoalsonTrack (free), HabitList ($3.99) and Lift (free) will help you not only with fitness goals but work goals, money goals and other goals.

Schedule Time for Your Goals
Life is crazy for all of us. Between work, kid’s schedules and household chores there is little time left for anything except sleep. To achieve your goal, you need to spend time working on it. Whether it’s fitting in that 5:30 pm TNT class or preparing meals for the week, force yourself to make time. You won’t be sorry you did.

Lean on a Friend
When you have a bad day or week and feel discouraged, lean on a friend. There are 358 members of the S.W.E.A.T. Motivation group on Facebook that would be happy to lend support. Post something, text someone, talk to someone in class. Everyone has been where you are and has a different outlook on how to keep going.

I hope this helps everyone think about setting attainable goals for 2016. Support and help each other so we can all reach our goals.

Happy New Year!

-Aimee, blogger for  S.W.E.A.T. Fitness StudioReBath Northeast and Edward’s Garden Center


The Soreness We Love to Hate

We all do it… love to hate that sore feeling after a tough workout. We call our instructors out on Facebook for beating us up. We tag each other in posts about our legs, chest and shoulders. We talk about how much pain we are in as we walk back into the studio to inflict more pain on ourselves like a bunch of crazy people. Admit it: We LIVE for the soreness.


Of course we assume if we are sore, we worked out REALLY good. But what if we aren’t sore? Did we not make as much progress? Keep reading for the truth about our beloved after workout soreness.

Delayed onset muscle soreness, better known as DOMS is an acronym that athletes and fitness buffs wear with pride. (DailyBurn.com)

S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Studio BlogWe experience DOMS the most when we introduce a new activity or exercise into our fitness routine, something we should do and the instructors at S.W.E.A.T. make sure we do to continue working out properly. That explains why we were so sore the days after we tried a new class like Insanity, P90X or R.I.P.P.E.D. or why days after a new TNT our whole body hurts.

So what if the days after a workout we don’t feel sore? Does that mean you aren’t working the muscle properly anymore?

MYTH: If you aren’t sore the next day, you didn’t work out hard enough.
TRUTH: Studies have shown that a soreness scale (rating 1 to 10) is a poor indicator of muscle growth and fat loss. There are so many factors playing into how a person perceives pain or soreness that it just isn’t a good indicator of how hard you worked. What is painful for one person may not be to another person.

MYTH: The more fit you are, the less susceptible you are to DOMS.
TRUTH: Definitely not the case. Of course your body will adjust to do the same workout or the same exercise, but being exceptionally fit does not play into this at all. Anytime you change up your workout routine, your body is going to be sore as it repairs the muscles. Since people respond to pain in different ways, someone who is really fit may feel pain very acutely. There is just no correlation between fitness level and susceptibility to soreness.

MYTH: Pre and post workout stretching will prevent DOMS.
TRUTH: Not necessarily. Studies have shown that just because you stretched before and after a workout, does not mean you will be free of DOMS. It is always a good idea to stretch to warm up your muscles and increase flexibility. Unfortunately, it does not mean you won’t be sore the next day.  

MYTH: The workout tore my muscles and that’s why it hurts.
TRUTH: Working out does tear away at your muscles which causes inflammation, but that’s not why you feel sore two days later. According to an article on Women’s Health’s website: “Though your workout is to blame for the inflammation, a healing process called the inflammatory response cascade is what’s really causing your pain 48 hours after your sweat session.” The healing process actually takes about five days. On day two after your workout, your body is in full healing mode, which is what makes it hard to walk.

So when you start cursing Danielle for that brutal Max Burn class this morning or calling out Jess for R.I.P.P.E.D. tomorrow night, remember you love to hate DOMS and it is in fact helping your body grow stronger. But if you don’t feel sore tomorrow or Tuesday, it doesn’t mean you didn’t have a good workout. The only bad workout is the one you DIDN’T do!


September Motivation Meeting Notes

Thanks to some chit chat on the S.W.E.A.T. Motivation Facebook page and Jess knowing when her clients really need something, many people attended the first of many monthly motivation meetings. If you were unable to come, please read the items below.

Motivation - S.W.E.A.T. Fitness StudioMotivation

  • Everyone plateaus, everyone has bad days/weeks.
  • To get past a plateau you need to change something…. exercise classes, types of exercises, number of times you exercise a week or diet
  • Jess recommends not writing off the classes you HATE… classes like Insanity, TNT, RIPPED and Piyo are hard for a reason. Try going to them, do what you can and you will see change.
  • Become goal oriented. Set goals for yourself… REAL goals (not I want to look like this celebrity)
  • Use the S.M.A.R.T. mantra… meaning goals should be
    • TIME LIMIT (Have one)
  • You have to really want it..sleep, eat and breathe that goal.
  • Have a plan to attain your goal


  • Fuel your body for your lifestyle.
  • Eat to be the person you want to be.
  • If you have an off day or you cheat on your meal plan, don’t feel guilty about it. Own it and move on. Do better the next day.
  • Jess eats every two to three hours to keep her body fueled and to keep from over eating. If you know you will eat again in a few hours, you’ll be less likely to take a second helping of something.
  • Plan and schedule your meals. If it the healthy food is available at your fingers tips, you’ll eat it and leave the other stuff.
  • Pick one day and prepare foods that are easy to eat or throw into a meal later in the week: chicken tenders, avocado, veggies, fruits etc

Easy Healthy Recipes (for better directions ask Jess)

  • Breakfast: Oikos greek yogurt, with fruit on bottom, 1 serving of muesli (oats)
  • Snack 1: Banana
  • Lunch: Egg whites, spinach (frozen), other frozen veggies and a grapefruit
  • Snack 2: Apple with almond butter (P28 found at Wegmans has lots protein)
  • Dinner: Hibachi: shrimp or chicken, cut up veggies (or frozen) like peppers, broccoli, etc., an egg, brown rice. Throw in a skillet with garlic and little butter.

Food tips

  • Drink water… not diet soda.
  • Sea salt is better than iodized salt.
  • No bleached white flour in your bread. (Read the ingredients)
  • Keep food as close to its original state as possible (eliminate low fat, low cal foods because of chemicals)
  • Cook for the whole family by preparing larger portions of the healthy foods.

Fueling before and after workouts

  • Before: eat a carb with a protein… example an apple with almond butter
  • After: high in protein if you did a strength workout, keep carbs to a minimum if you are going to bed in the few hours after eating.

Overall, we had a great meeting. We had lots of questions answered and talked about motivation. Hope to see even more people there next month, hopefully with some goals that were accomplished!

See everyone at classes this week!



The Men of S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Studio

Barry King, Mike Wyland and Frank Richards often stick out like sore thumbs in class. They are the only three men who attend classes regularly, surrounded by a room full of women.

Though S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Studio is not a workout space solely for women, women do gravitate toward group fitness classes like Zumba and Insanity to workout and have fun with others.

Being the only men in the group does not stop Barry, Mike and Frank from reaping the benefits of the instructors, classes and clients at S.W.E.A.T.

Barry, who has been attending the studio with his wife Shannon for years, first joined to support her in her quest to get into shape and be healthier. Though Barry initially had a few hang ups about going to a fitness studio, instead of a traditional weight lifting gym, Corey Sands (Jess’s husband) supported him and helped him get through the rough spots.

Friends Mike and Frank both joined S.W.E.A.T on the recommendation of friend Leslie Vaneke. Mike, Frank and Leslie all belong to a Karate school in Wilkes-Barre and were looking to get into better shape. Leslie had taken classes at S.W.E.A.T. and could see how they would be challenging enough for Mike and Frank.

Initially Frank and Mike only attended classes when both could be present. Mike did have hesitations about being one of the only men at the studio.

“When I first started to go to S.W.E.A.T. it did bother me that it was all women.” Mike said. “I did not know what type of workouts I was really going to get or if it was really going to challenge me. At first I felt out of place. Once I met Barry, I realized that there are other men who attend S.W.E.A.T.”

Mike quickly made friends with others at the studio and began to feed off their energy in class. It’s not unusual to see him without his buddy at class anymore or to see him get down to Danielle’s new hip hop moves or to jump in and take Adrianna’s Turbo Kick class.

Although each of the men came to the studio for different reasons and with different expectations, they are in agreement on one thing: the classes, instructors and clients make everyone stronger and healthier each and every class.

Barry, Mike and Frank all agree that the array of classes Jess offers are challenging and keep everyone interested. They also think the quality of the instructors that teach at the studio are exceptional.

Mike and Barry love that the classes change constantly. New routines and new classes help build muscle and keep your head in the game.

“S.W.E.A.T keeps me guessing I never know what I am going to get until I class starts.” Mike said.

More than anything, all three of the S.W.E.A.T. guys appreciate the energy and knowledge that Jess and the other instructors bring the the studio every day. Barry, Mike and Frank know that the clients at S.W.E.A.T. are lucky to have such knowledgeable and caring people running their workouts and it makes them want to work even harder.

Some men might think working out with a room full of women would be anything but motivational. Barry, Mike and Frank couldn’t disagree more. All three of them love to feed of the energy from their fellow classmates.

“It is my experience that the women in group fitness work out just as hard if not harder than the men do, which I find inspiring.” Barry said.

Barry, Mike and Frank no longer have reservations about working out with the many women of S.W.E.A.T. and they don’t want other men to have reservations about it either.

“It is the way of the future. Studios are the new trend versus a traditional gym. I would recommend it to all guys.” Barry said.

Mike doesn’t want any men to afraid to try fitness classes just because women gravitate toward them. His message for men who might be thinking about trying group fitness: “Don’t let it fool you. The women will put you to shame. That was the case when I first started. I couldn’t keep up.”

Hope everyone enjoyed this intro to our Men of S.W.E.A.T! 


Increase your flexibility for better exercise performance


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Flexibility is more than just being able to touch your toes. Flexibility is about more than just preventing injuries or showing off how low you can stretch.

Flexibility is what gives us the ability to perform many muscle building exercises, like deadlifts and lunges. The more flexible we become, the better we are able to perform these exercises and the better we can show off that muscle we built. Flexibility also decreases with age so becoming more flexible while you can, only helps as you get older.

S.W.E.A.T. Fitness clients know that we always warm up at the beginning of each class and stretch and the end of each class. We do this to get the blood flowing and to help prevent injury. Of course this is a great habit to maintain, but it may not be enough to increase your flexibility.

If you are interested in improving your flexibility outside of what we do in classes, take a look at these steps.

Increase your flexibility to help improve your performance at the studio! Photo credit: Men's Fitness.

Increase your flexibility to help improve your performance at the studio! Photo credit: Men’s Fitness.

Do a dynamic stretch routine before starting your workout
The days of staying in one position and holding it for a certain amount of time before your workout are over. Research now shows that a dynamic stretch is more beneficial that a static stretch. Dynamic stretch routines often include body weight squats, push ups, side lunges, jumping jacks or regular lunges. Each movement should be done 20-30 times or just a enough to work up a light sweat.

Include some static stretches in your workout, after your warm up
Static stretching is not totally out. Find ways to work some static leg, back and arm stretches into your workout. This will help loosen up muscles that get tight from lifting. Along with any muscles hit hard during the workout, also focus on the chest, lats, and hip flexors, as they tend to be tight on most individuals due to daily posture.

Concentrate on full range of motion stretching
Before getting really into your lifting routine, practice the same motion with lighter weights. For example, if you are planning to max out on your deadlifts, chose light weights for your first few reps. Go through the motions like you generally would. This will help you concentrate on form and increase your flexibility.

Sneak a massage into your week
I know we would all LOVE a weekly massage, but that’s not realistic. Massaging muscles helps break up knots that restrict movements. When it’s not possible to get a professional massage, use a foam roller. Focus on hitting the main muscles like the calves, quads, upper back and lats.

Learn to breath properly
Many people struggle with this one. Learn to breathe correctly when exercising. Focus on belly breaths where the belly button moves in and out with each breath. Spend five minutes a day working on improving breathing for a more relaxed and stress-free posture.

Dance classes are great for flexibility (and coordination)
If you are a Zumba or Hip Hop junkie, that’s great! Those classes are already helping with your flexibility. Dance fitness forces you to do many full range of motion exercises, which will help you lift in TNT, RIPPED and Focus Fit. See all that bouncing around and shaking your butt are actually helpful for more than calorie burn so keep at it!

Take a class that focuses on flexibility
Classes like pilates, yoga and PiYo are great ways to increase flexibility, while getting a great workout. These classes allow you to work on your flexibility through different stretches, dance moves and poses with an instructor that knows what she or he is doing. Check out the schedule page and make a date to try out PiYo with Marisa!

Hope you enjoyed this story and you learned something! Look for another story soon!



Don’t be a fitness bully


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While reading articles on fitness blogs and websites I stumbled upon a post called ‘Are you a Fitness Bully?’ on the blog Girls Gone Strong. The title got my attention at first because I thought “hey I’ve felt bullied at the gym before.”

As I was reading it, my realization was not that it had happened to me, but rather “oh… that has definitely been me…” as in, I have been a bully.

The author of this post, Jen Comas, describes a guy who she had seen working out at the gym, day after day, doing the same three or four bicep exercises. In her head, she began referring to him as The Biceps Guy and it irked her that he only ever worked on his biceps. One day, he noticed her and struck up a conversation.

“You’re pretty serious about lifting weights,” he said to me.

“I love it!” I gushed. “Being strong just makes life easier, ya know?”

“Yeah, probably. I just come here to escape,” he replied.

The way he said it, paired with the expression on his face, told me something was up. His home life, his job… who knows? He didn’t elaborate; he just wished me a good day and walked off.

That conversation forever changed the way she thought about the people she encountered at the gym and the poor people victimized on social media, just because they don’t work out the way others do.

S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Studio offers a helpful, friendly staffThe author goes on to talk about how her Facebook feed has more frequently been full of her friends and fellow fitness enthusiasts mocking people they had seen at the gym. She saw everything from women making fun of a man in the background of her photos who is lifting less than she is to people bashing others for being involved in Crossfit or Zumba.

Through reading her whole post, I felt less like I was the victim and more like I was one of the Fitness Bullies she was talking about.

Like the author, I was never the type of person who would video someone exercising to criticize them on social media, but I was guilty of other types of bullying, as are most of us. Comments with friends about other people’s form, giggling at someone as he/she dances around with their iPod on at the gym, even just glaring at someone because they are lifting heavier weights than you is all potentially harmful to that person.

We all see things at the gym or on the trail that we don’t like or agree with, but that doesn’t give us the right to judge someone. None of us have been in another person’s shoes before. You don’t know his or her whole story.

It could be that person’s first step in fitness and your unwelcoming sneer could make her turn around and leave. The person could just be taking a class to have fun with her friends and doesn’t give a damn about getting the moves exactly right or lifting a heavier weight. That one guy doing the same exercises over and over could be getting out the stress of his day or he could be just learning and does whatever is familiar. On the reverse side, the person who is lifting the heaviest weights and is showing off proudly may have just reached a personal goal. Wouldn’t you be just as happy?

I am guilty of fitness shaming as many of us are. But why? We are all working toward a common goal: to be healthy and strong.

So in closing, here is a challenge of the non-physical variety: next time you find yourself being a fitness bully, step back and put yourself into that person’s shoes. Like Jess’s video she posted today, we all have goals and we should help each other reach those goals.

Like the author of the post that inspired this one said: “Rather than bashing what we hate, let’s promote more of what we love. Let’s put an end to fitness shaming for good!”


Changes and challenges


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There have been several changes at S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Studio over the last few months.

We have had to say “see ya later” to Alex, who has been a loved member of the staff for over two years. We will soon be saying the same to Bree, who has brought so much knowledge and wisdom to clients for over a year now. Although we are very happy to know that they are furthering their careers, they will be missed in a big way.

Not all changes are sad, however. Thanks to some newly certified instructors and to Jess for finding room for them on the schedule, S.W.E.A.T. clients will have new classes challenge their abilities and help them progress.

To introduce these new instructors and their formats to you, I did a little Q & A with each of them.

PiYo with Marisa, Thursdays at 6:30 pm

Many of you already know, Marisa Schmidt, who has been instructing PiYo for the last few weeks.

Group Fitness Classes S.W.E.A.T. Fitness

Marisa is a natural on the stage, while teaching PiYo.

Why were you drawn to this program to begin instructing?
I really needed something quick and easy to get me started. I’ve wanted to try teaching for so long, but because I have a full time job and other hobbies, I had a hard time finding something that does not take forever and does not cost a fortune… For example, I love yoga but a basic certification takes at least 200 hours and is over $3,000. PiYo Live provides you with both music and choreography and it’s only a one-day certification! It allows me to teach moves I know and love but in an accessible way for my schedule. Now with this under my belt, I feel more confident to reach for other certifications.

What is the most challenging part about teaching this class?
The creators of PiYo do a great job making the class fun for everyone, but I knew that most challenging part would be getting people to try it! I know S.W.E.A.T fitness is known for high energy cardio and weightlifting classes, so something based off yoga and pilates might be a tough sell.

What do you think will be your favorite part?
My favorite part though is being able to make yoga/pilates open to all in ways that can be modified and in ways that make people sweat, which is what they come to this fitness facility to do!

Why did you want to make the jump from being a client to instructor?
Well, I’m 26 years old.. In the last 2 years, I bought a house and got married… and in the next couple years, I plan to start a family. I began to think, what goals do I want to reach just for ME? What do I want to do now in order to make it a habit for a lifetime? I always enjoyed sharing things I love with others, and I wanted to share my love of fitness and I knew if I did not do it now, it would be more difficult in the future. I also had finally found a fitness studio where I felt very comfortable and welcome which makes that scary step so much easier.

Do you think the program you are teaching is a good program for all fitness levels or is it geared toward a higher or lower fitness level?
I definitely think it’s accessible to all. It’s already designed to be low impact and without equipment, but it is certainly high intensity. It can easily be modified to downgrade the intensity. There is much repetition so breaks can be taken and there are tons of opportunities to catch on. It’s great for any fitness level because there is always room to work on flexibility and balance while increasing your strength in ways that dumbbells cannot.

Turbo Kick with Adriana, coming soon to Mondays at 4:30 pm and subbing other classes

Group Fitness Classes S.W.E.A.T. Fitness

Adriana might look cute here, but during Turbo Kick, she’ll be tough and ready to kick butt!

Adriana Serpico, the new Turbo Kick instructor, has been coming to classes at S.W.E.A.T for many years. Unlike Marisa, instructing was not something she initially thought of getting into. After some encouragement, she decided to get certified and is excited to bring this format to our studio.

Why were you drawn to this program to begin instructing?
Before getting certified in Turbo Kick, I was somewhat familiar with the format because I have the at home program “TurboFire” which was also created by Chalene Johnson. Jess1 approached me and encouraged me to get certified so I thought why not? I probably wouldn’t have made the jump to an instructor if it weren’t for Jess’s encouragement and guidance so I am very grateful for her support throughout all of this.

What is the most challenging part about teaching this class?  
The most challenging part of teaching (so far) is learning the choreography. I have never done anything like this before and usually learn by doing whatever Jess does but now I have to teach myself which is so much harder than it looks! However, the music is so fun and its such a great workout so its easy to stay motivated.

Why did you want to make the jump from being a client to instructor?
I probably wouldn’t have made the jump to an instructor if it weren’t for Jess’s encouragement and guidance so I am very grateful for her support throughout all of this.

Do you think the program you are teaching is a good program for all fitness levels?
Turbo Kick is super fun because anyone can do it. Although it is very high intensity, there are modifications to keep it low impact yet still provide an awesome workout!

Core class with Donna,  Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:30, coming soon

Group Fitness Classes S.W.E.A.T. Fitness

Donna Shimshock demonstrating a side plank, one of the many things clients will learn in her class.

Some of you may not know that a new instructor will be teaching a core class beginning this summer. Donna Shimshock, an all around fitness guru, has been coming to S.W.E.A.T. and training with Jess for a long time. Donna is always up for a challenge and so she wanted to make the jump from client to instructor. Although she did get certified in PiYo, she decided classes all her own would be a better fit for her.

What kind of class will you be teaching? What time slot?
I will be teaching a core class on Tuesday and Friday mornings at 9:30. My first class will be June 9th.

Why did you chose to instruct this type of class instead of a program like PiYo, Insanity or Turbo Kick?
The reason I chose to instruct a class that I developed rather than an already designed program is because I like being able to choose the exercises that I feel will benefit anyone trying to strengthen their core and hand picking the music is important to me. I am also having a blast doing it!

Why did you want to make the jump from being a client to instructor?
Why did I jump into instructor role? Exercise has been my passion for many years now. I have done every form of exercise there is, including boxing, and hard core Crossfit. Exercise has changed my life. I feel it is the answer to many things beyond the physical appearance of the body. Instructing was the next step, it’s where I feel I am meant to be. I have book knowledge on group instructing, I was certified in PiYo, and I learned a lot from Jess while spending many hours personal training with her.

What different knowledge do you bring to the class you will be teaching versus the other instructors?
What I can bring as an instructor to my class is countless hours studying the core exercises that will safely benefit and strengthen your body. But what I can bring most to my class is the fact that I personally hit rock bottom and exercise turned my life around in every single way! I understand and can relate to many. And I love people, I love to laugh, and have fun!

Personally, I am looking forward to trying all of these classes when I have the chance. I am so grateful for this studio and Jess, who is always challenging us with new courses, new exercises and new adventures. I hope all of the clients try these new classes and best of luck to our new instructors!

-Aimee, blogger for  S.W.E.A.T. Fitness StudioReBath Northeast and Edward’s Garden Center


The Best of Alex and Some Well Wishes


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Alex has heard many well wishes from his S.W.E.A.T. family over the last few weeks. His last class on Monday night was an emotional one, for him, Jess, his fellow instructors and all his clients. We are all going to miss Alex’s infectious energy and his creativity. The studio will not be quite the same without him, but we all know this is HUGE opportunity for Alex and so we send him off with great memories and happy thoughts.

While Alex appreciates the well wishes and the tears we shed for him, by nature he is an upbeat person. In true Alex fashion, I have collected some of Alex’s funnier moments and some quotes from instructors and clients so we can send Alex off to take on his new job, with a smile on his face.🙂

Alex’s Finer Moments at S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Studio

(Scroll over the photos for the captions.)

While, we have caught many of Alex’s famous facial expressions and funny moments in photos, anyone who really knows Alex is aware that to really capture Alex’s true nature, video must be taken.

We all know Alex is always up for a good time so it was no surprise that he was the hit of the S.W.E.A.T. Christmas party. (All of this video is not off Alex, but he really was quite entertaining that night😉 Jump to 1:05 for the mens’ rendition of YMCA and to 2:44 for some sweet Alex moves. )


A tribute to Alex would not be complete without hearing from some of his clients and fellow instructors.

Allison Pugh: Alex was onstage during my first Insanity class. Part way through, I was pretty much done. Alex looked at me and gave me his signature smile and keep going look. That’s what I will miss the most, his infectious positive attitude!!! I think it’s impossible not to be happy (and motivated) when he’s around.

Gina Boyle: Every time Alex saw me at the studio he yelled, “GINA!!!” and then gave me a hug. He was the motivator when he was in my class. I will miss his loud, heavy feet and energy. He always said to me, YOU ROCK!

Diane Zabriski: What I will miss most about Alex is how genuine he is. When he asks, How are you?, he really wants to know. He has a warm nature that is innate to his person. Yes he is fun, energetic, crazy, but people are drawn to him because he is real.

Danielle Gliniecki: What I will miss most is his energy and positive attitude. He lights up a room with his smile! Oh and his SWEAT! He works his butt off on stage and always gives 100%, even on bad days he looks like he is loving life! It is impossible to not have fun when you are in his presence, and his hugs are heartwarming. Some people are just irreplaceable!

Jess Hodle: Alex is such a genuine person! My favorite part of his class is anytime there is an outburst of booty shaking! He is the epitome of what it looks like to let go during ZUMBA! He’s always having fun up there and making anyone who walks in feel welcome because of his easygoing personality. I knew immediately he was an amazing person I’d never forget! If there is anyone who deserves to find the best for himself in this world it’s Alex1! I wish him the best luck on his journey.

Helene Zawadzki: I will miss Alex’s motivation and his all around great personality. I loved his Zumba classes and had so much fun! He always looked at you with a smile. I wish him all the best in his new career path and hope he keeps in touch with the S.W.E.A.T crew through Facebook with pictures and new things he is going to experience. Good luck Alex!

Shannon King: Alex has such a pure spirit. My favorite memory was the first time he called me “Boo Boo.”

Bree Zablotney: My favorite moment with A1 was during the Tough Mudder, it was my first time really hanging out with a few of the instructors outside of the studio and he made me feel so welcomed, comfortable to be myself and he made being frozen and muddy so much fun! I will miss his energy and spunk. He has the biggest heart, and he will be missed!

Bethann Hoffman: I will miss my Tigger, Alex 1. Zumba will not be the same without him. I enjoy his energy he brings to his class. I will treasure all my special moments we had together. Will miss seeing his face.

Maria Hall: I will miss his energy. It was the best energy to feed off of. Alex knew all his people in his class too and without saying any words he knew when you were happy and he knew when something just wasn’t right. He would feed off the crowds reactions and make you do it when you didn’t want too! I will miss being a part of his front row crew!

Cindy Timinski: I love all of his classes and will most of all miss his energy! He is one of a kind. I love when he yells…BOOM! And my favorite part is his cool down. I get totally lost in it and am thankful everytime I do his class!

Kim McDonnell: I am going to miss Alex a great deal. He has become such a close friend to me. My Ryleigh and I will miss his beautiful personality. He is so spontaneous and generous. His enthusiasm for life is contagious. We will miss his original Zumba flare and his great smile; not to mention all the countless adventures we share outside of classes.

Jessica Sands (from her speech on Alex’s last night): I am so proud of Alex and all he has accomplished. Little did I know the day he walked into my studio 3 years ago to take Zumba class that he would become a beloved, loyal, and helpful member of my staff but most importantly one of my best friends and a part of my family… my second husband, Corey’s “brotha from anotha motha”….This is not a good-bye, but a see you later.

It goes without saying that we will all miss Alex very much. I personally learned what a wonderful, humble person Alex is when I asked to spotlight him for the blog last year. Alex was never an unwilling to participate, but he did truly feel he wasn’t the person I should be interviewing. Well Alex, it is clear that everyone at S.W.E.A.T loves and supports you and everyone thinks very high of you. I personally wish you the best of luck in Atlanta and at your new job. I hope this job is everything you dreamed of when you decided on your career path. Please, please come back and crash classes as often as you can!

In closing, here is a video of just some of Alex’s awesome moves.