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February 5, 2014

Gym dandies: Some nationally trending fitness activities take hold locally

NEW CASTLE — The beginning of a new year always signals a return to the gym for many to make good on resolutions.

Along with this fresh fitness start comes a new set of exercise fads, and according to U.S. News and World Report, there are plenty of new fitness trends to take advantage of in 2014.

Those looking locally will find that not only is what’s “in” being offered at area gyms, but also some old fitness favorites.

CrossFit — a high intensity interval training — is trending both nationally and locally, with gym owners in New Castle reporting a surge in clients looking to take advantage of the program.

“CrossFit is really big, and really upcoming among our members,” Pat McVay, co-owner of Body Structure Fitness, said. “It’s a really intense workout for both men and women. There are quite a few CrossFit gyms popping up in the area.”

Jeff Cwynar of Pro Fitness Plus Neshannock also noticed a surge in  popularity among his clients, but warned against undertaking the exercise without proper gym supervision.

“A lot of that stuff is too intense for the average user,” Cwynar said. “You need to do a lot of that in a more controlled fashion with safety. The program was designed for athletes, and average users are getting into things and getting injured.”

Also trending on a local and national level are personal and group training sessions, as well as exercises and classes suited for both young and old.

“Kid are getting more into things,” Cwynar said. “They’re working more towards getting ready for sports and athletics.”

Stephanie Hobel, co-owner of Intense Fitness and Training, is integrating popular adult trends into workouts for children with youth-approved classes including circuit training, Zumba and Hydraulics.

Kids aren’t the only ones taking advantage of fitness, though. New Castle owners are noticing a spike in membership among the elderly, as well as husband-and-wife teams.

Some once-popular trends were no longer considered “in” by U.S. News and World Report, but locally, these activities continue to show staying power.

Spinning and Zumba were among those considered “out,” but Hobel reported that quite the opposite seems to be happening in New Castle.

“Right now, spinning and Zumba are really popular with our customers,” Hobel said. “I don’t think spinning and Zumba will ever go out of style.

“With spinning anybody can do it; you’re able to control your resistance and sit and pedal while burning calories. If you have a good instructor, they can modify the spinning to suit you.”

Fellow gyms owners agreed with Hobel, with Body Structures offering a Yogalates course that combines Yoga and Pilates and Pro Fitness Plus Neshannock seeing a surge in attendance for its spinning classes.

“Remember crazy fitness fads are always coming in and out,” McVay said. “What’s considered out could always be picking up again.”

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