Flirty Girl Fitness. Bad Kitty Sassy Fitness. Yoga Booty Ballet. It is enough to make your head spin. What do all of these “fitness classes” have in common? “Extertainment“. As a fitness manager once told me when I was teaching cycle classes, “You are here to entertain.” Actually, I’m not. I’m sorry, but if you need to be entertained while riding a stationary bike for 45 minutes, then you, my friend, are seriously delusional and the fitness industry is in serious trouble. I don’t entertain. I coach. I instruct. I don’t shout. I don’t scream. I give you the program. I challenge you. But I do not pedal the bike for you. I do not make you work. That comes from you. I will encourage you. I will make you think about how and why you are working. But if you are here to party, I’m sorry. No party here.
Yet, all of these programs, and many others, seem to be here do just that. Make exercise one gigantic PAAAARTY. Exercise has to have pomp and circumstance in order for people to like it, right? It HAS to have people shouting and cheering – “You go girl!”, loud music, people gyrating and shaking their bodies as if they were having seizures for it to be exercise, right? Ummm, I don’t really think so. Please don’t get me wrong. ANYTHING is better than sitting on the couch, watching another infomercial for the Ab buster or worse, The Kardashians. I am all for people getting out and exercising. But if one more person comes up with another aerobic class and passes it off as the newest thing on the block (seriously, another one?), I will scream. Sure, it may be fun and you may sweat, but it cannot be all that you do. It is not going to build muscle. It is not going to build strength. In just two classes, your body will adapt to the movement and then what? You will do the same thing over and over again, week in week out, and your body will remain as is. Sure, you may lose some weight from the class, if you are really pushing yourself and watching what you eat. But how much weight will you really lose? How much bone mass are you losing as a result of only doing Flirty Girl and not lifting weights? How much muscle are you building (remember, muscle is GOOD) with Yoga Booty Ballet or Bad Kitty Fitness? How much stronger are you from doing a Flirty Girl class? I would say, hmmm, not much.
Yet, women flock to these classes, day in day out. They continue to wait for the elliptical machine and treadmill. Day in day out, they drag their bodies into these classes, onto these machines, putting their time in at the gym. Hoping and longing for a different body. The promises of these classes lure them in.
Enter Cori Ann Lentz , the creator of Bad Kitty Fitness. OOOOhhh. This is very entertaining. Take a look.
Here she is speaking to a group of women about her classes. These women need more than Bad Kitty.
“Working out should not be work. You work all day,” she tells the women. Uhhh, you mean all the sitting I do….sitting and more sitting – at the desk, in the car, at lunch. That is really hard work. ”It should be PLAY, like when you were a kid”. Okay I am with her here – play, as in climbing the jungle gym, hanging from the monkey bars, playing freeze tag, kickball, right? “…and you were in Junior High and you danced in front of your mirror when no one was looking. That’s what fitness should be like.” Whoah. Stop the presses. What??? Fitness should be like what you Cori Ann was just doing, hootin’ and hollerin’ and shaking your butt? Do any of those women in the video really need to shake their booty more, or do they need to strengthen their booties because you know, if they got stronger, they would not feel like crap from sitting all day. Just saying…..
But wait! This is the best part. If you read up about Cori Ann, you will discover that her favorite exercise(s) are, you guessed it, 1. Bad Kitty Sassy Fitness™ Classes, 2. The Sports Barre®, Dead Lifts – WHAT!, Squats – Wait a minute!, Stairs – No!, Jump Rope, Sprints – Really???, Pull Ups and Single Leg Balance Work – My head just exploded!!!!!. How can she call THESE her favorite exercises and then turn around and create Bad Kitty Sassy Fitness? Just as I suspected, she may not have gotten her body doing Bad Kitty Classes. Now, I have no idea how she squats or deadlifts (I tried to look for any videos on YouTube…nothing) but if she is including them as her favorite exercises, something has to give. What is she trying to sell to women? Oh right. Crap. Because crap sells.
Speaking of crap….
Flirty Girl Fitness
“Flirty Girl Fitness is an innovative approach to losing weight and getting fit without being subjected to boring workout routines. The creators of the Flirty Girl fitness program, Kerry and Krista Knee, have ensured that this results oriented weight loss and toning system not only produces unparalleled results but also accomplishes this goal in a fun and exciting environment.”
Oh please. Seriously? How is this REALLY different than Bad Kitty Sassy Fitness or all the other dance type aerobic classes out there? Is it really that innovative? I mean, I can shake my booty in a lot of classes. It doesn’t mean that I am “toning” up anymore than in the last class I took. In fact, I can only “tone” so much from doing the “Woot Woot” and the “No You Di’nt.” And what do they consider to be boring workout routines? Well, I guess if you only do tricep kickbacks and read People magazine while leaning on the stairclimber, then, yes, I guess it is boring. But I do think that my own training and the training that many other women do rocks. I put my music on and rock out to AC/DC when I squat and deadlift. I have my own party going on and it is all about getting STRONG. What are you really getting out of this class that you can’t get by going out to the club at night? Inner confidence? Because you can shake your butt without some guys drooling? What happens when you go to a club? Do you still have that inner confidence? I have a lot of confidence….because I know that I am strong and can lift and carry things by myself without help. That confidence came from lifting weights and carries on in AND out of the gym.
Yoga Booty Ballet – There are not enough words for this one.
I am not sure if this one is worse than the other two or better…it is a real toss up. What is up with the mash-up of styles of training? Why not just take Yoga? Too boring. Why not just take ballet? Too boring. Are we really that hard up and lazy that we need to take Yoga and Ballet and put it to hip hop music? What is wrong with the traditional styles? What is wrong with this world? The term “hard work” just doesn’t seem to exist in the fitness world. Everything has to come in a party package. If you aren’t smiling and having fun, then you must not be getting fit. Exercise should be fun and happy and we should all feel like we are at a party everytime we exercise because challenging ourselves and working hard is, well, boring….and hard. And who wants to train hard? Ewww.
Here is a quote I found in regards to Yoga Booty: “I didn’t notice that I was losing weight until a co-worker asked me if I had been working out. I weighed myself and I had lost ten pounds. So this whole “exercise” thing seemed to be effective! I kept it up, and the weight flew off. During this time, I gradually cut out fast food, started eating more vegetables [my emphasis], and did a YBB DVD four or five times a week. It fit really well into my life, too, which is vital. The longest YBB workout is an hour. Most are around 35-40 minutes. So I had a choice: I could sit on my patootie for another half hour a day, or I could get buff and hot. Decisions.” Interestingly, when you re-think your eating habits, the weight seems to start coming off. Funny how that works. And yes, ANYTHING is better than sitting on your patootie, but I can think of better ways to spend my training time than Ommming to hip hop music.
Now, I will be honest and come clean. I used to take aerobics classes when I was in my early 20′s. In New York, I loved my Funk Aerobics class. This was 1997. And I taught aerobics. And up until this past year, I taught a class called Dance Fitness to the Oldies and yes, I loved every minute of it. And do you know why? Because the women in the class were between the ages of 45 and 70. Yes, 70. And they rocked. It was their dance class. They were not there to tone up or firm up or lose weight. They were not there to shake their booty among other women because they were intimated to do it in front of men. They were there to keep moving and enjoy the fact that at 50 and 60, their bodies still moved. My class description was as basic as they come. “Workout to your favorite music of the 60′s, 70,’s and 80′s when it was recorded on vinyl! Your favorite dance steps combined with dance aerobics to make you feel great!” Nothing in there about toning, lose weight, get strong, get fit….just come and move. These women were fun and they enjoyed moving. Many of them did other activities but Friday was their dance day. And at a dance studio, this class was just right.
Now before you shout, but wait a minute! You don’t like Flirty Girl Fitness but your class was just fine?? No, I don’t like Flirty Girl Fitness if that is ALL that you do. Is it better than sitting at home on your patootie (I love that word!) eating Cheetos? Of course it is!!! But ask me if this class is really the best alternative for a 20 something or 30 something who is looking to change her body and I will say NO. You may make some changes but honestly, a young woman in her 20′s or 30′s who is looking to lose weight, lose body fat and get strong should skip the dance fitness and head into the weight room. This class may be “fun” but it is not a class I would suggest to someone who is looking to make real and significant changes in her body. All of the women who took my class knew that I did much more than just teach that class. They never looked at it any differently than what it was and I never tried to make it any more than what it was. They came. They moved. They felt better. End of story. For someone who is looking for real change, first take a hard look at your diet. Then take a hard look at your training. If you are eating crap or not eating at all, you will not look much different after hours and hours or twisting and shaking. If you change your diet and begin eating clean 90% of the time, then yes, you may lose weight. You may lose inches. But if you cleaned up your diet, hit the weight room or tackled a real kick butt conditioning class, you would lose inches, weight, gain muscle and get strong! And isn’t that what we all want? Only thing is, it takes work and it takes patience.
Unfortunately, some of us look only for quick fixes to our problems. Take this pill. Use this cream. Eat only____. Flatten your stomach in three days with these exercises. Drop fat! Lose weight! Nowhere do you ever hear the words “Get strong” uttered in these ads, commercials, videos. Get strong. What is so wrong about wanting to be strong? Tone up, get fit….words that sell to women. Why doesn’t strong sell. Too manly sounding perhaps. Perhaps. But real. There is nothing wrong in wanting to be stronger. We should all want to get stronger. Men and women alike. Think about it. The next time you walk into that booty shakin’ class, ask yourself, could I be doing more for myself? Then walk out, hit the weight room and get strong.