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! 

-Aimee

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