New year, new you: Meet 2022 fitness goals at Davidson Fitness Center | Article

Kristi Sexton, one of three group fitness instructors teaching classes at Davidson Fitness Center, runs a HIIT – an abbreviation for high-intensity interval training – class Wednesday. Group and individual fitness instruction is available on Fort Leonard Wood. Call 573.596.4359 for more information.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)


FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Many people make a resolution to get fit in the new year, and Davidson Fitness Center has the individual and group training classes needed to start the journey.

According to Jeff Barrett, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s chief of Sports, Fitness and Aquatics, just about anyone can benefit from a fitness class, from beginners to advanced athletes.

“One of the amazing things about our instructors is it doesn’t matter whether it’s day one or you’ve been doing it for years, they are going to accommodate your fitness level, your needs,” he said. “Everything can be dialed back, and one of the things our instructors do very well is work with our patrons to make sure their capabilities are in tune with what is being taught. Everything can be personalized. We just ask that you bring your ‘A’ game.”

Barrett said current classes include:

  • HIITor high-intensity interval training, a style of workout that requires participants to perform exercises with as much effort as possible for short bursts, then rest for quick recovery periods;
  • Pound!a full-body cardio session inspired by drum playing;
  • RIPPEDor resistance, interval, power, plyometrics — exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power, or speed-strength — endurance, core and a very important diet program, is designed to help anyone meet their fitness goals in a fun, group setting;
  • Zumbaa fitness dance class, consisting of dance and aerobic exercises set to popular music;
  • Cycle and Corea high-intensity, low impact program designed for individuals to gain muscle endurance and a high caloric burn with low impact on joints, followed by core exercises;
  • Strong Nation, which combines body weight, muscle conditioning and plyometric training, put to music; and
  • mixxedfitthat combines explosive dance movements with bodyweight toning.

Cost per class is typically $3, Barrett said. Due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols in effect at DFC, each class is capped at a maximum of 20 attendees, and staff are only accepting payments for single classes.

“In the past, passes could be purchased, and we look to be going in that direction again when we can,” Barrett said.

Barrett asked patrons to keep in mind that children 12 years and younger are currently not allowed in Fort Leonard Wood fitness centers due to the current health guidance. Parents bringing children ages 13 and up must bring official identification showing the child’s age.

Kristi Sexton is one of the three group fitness instructors teaching classes at DFC — two more are in the process of onboarding, Barrett said. Sexton has taught here for more than five years, and said she enjoys the camaraderie that is forged in group fitness classes.

“Everyone is welcoming and encouraging, with a can-do attitude,” she said. “My favorite thing to do is incorporate a short fun finisher at the end of the workout. It involves the group laughing and being a little competitive by working together, completing exercises or games.”

Additionally, Sexton said she specifically prefers teaching group classes because of the inspiration her clients gain when surrounded by others.

“When you see others giving their best effort, that drives you to get fired up and do the same,” she said. “Sometimes the hardest part (of working out) is simply getting to the gym. Friendships are forged in these classes, and that helps you stay dedicated while providing a level of accountability to show up and improve your fitness.”

Whether attending an individual or group class, Sexton said one of the biggest benefits a person gets is the coaching.

“You will be guided safely through your workout to prevent injury,” she said. “Instructors have a variety of movements, so you won’t plateau.”

One of Sexton’s clients at a cycling class this week was Jennifer Morgan, who has been attending fitness classes on the installation for more than 30 years — longer than DFC has been around.

“Back in the day, Nutter Field House was all we had, and that’s where everybody took their fitness classes,” she said.

Morgan said she takes as many classes as she can fit in her schedule these days.

“I love them all and that’s why I keep coming back,” she said. “It’s nice to be around people who enjoy the same things. It’s a community — we have a great fitness community here. All of the instructors are great. They’re engaging, they’re upbeat, they interact, they encourage people, they’re very well trained and they know what they’re doing.”

In addition to the above classes, instructors are on hand from 6 to 7:30 pm Mondays and Tuesdays to teach a free master swim class intended to assist with proper stroke form as well as provide pre-designed workouts for all levels of ability.

The aquatics staff has also organized a “Swim Across the World” challenge series, Barrett said. The free competition tracks participants’ miles swam during lap swim hours — 6:30 to 7:30 am, 11:30 am to 1 pm and 4:30 to 6 pm weekdays.

Call 573.596.4359, or check the FMWR Facebook page for the most up-to-date information on these and other upcoming classes and events at DFC.

Barrett said FMWR is currently looking for more group fitness instructors and personal trainers as well.

“It’s really a simple process, and we are absolutely looking for people to come in and join the program,” he said.

Call 573.596.6513 for more information on becoming a group fitness instructor or personal trainer on Fort Leonard Wood.

Barrett said both DFC and Specker Gym—which reopened today—are open from 5 am to 8 pm Monday through Friday, and 8 am to 6 pm on weekends. Specker Gym can be reached by calling 573.596.7377. Anyone with a Department of Defense-issued ID card may use the facilities.

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