SportsFit, the large and lovely fitness facility located in Athens at 22423 US Hwy 72, (just east of the Publix Shopping Center,) is announcing its fall lineup of activities, contests, classes and fundraisers.
The list of amenities for SportsFit members is extensive and growing all the time. SportsFit is open 24/7, with members having unlimited secure electronic access. There is free tanning, a hot tub, a dry sauna in the men’s and women’s locker rooms, a swimming pool, exercise class room, state of the art equipment, and most importantly, a friendly staff. In addition, there is free on site day care during the following hours: Mon-Fri, 8 am-noon, Mon-Thur, 4pm-8pm, Fri, 4pm-6pm, and Sat, 8am-10:30 am.
Caleb Pope is the facility director, and between all the instructors and trainers, there are more than 20 years of combined experience from which members can draw. For a small fee, members can pay for a one on one session with certified personal trainer and Aerobics Director, 31 year old Erin Chambless. She can also provide nutritional coaching as well as set up a personalized exercise program for SportsFit clients. Erin has a real passion for helping people take back their shape as well as their health, and knows firsthand how tough it can be to lose the weight gained during pregnancy. “I love to help people get healthy, and this job also makes it possible for me to spend more time with my kids.” She is also in training to run her first half marathon, and her excitement is contagious.
Speaking of contagious, I got to chat with 66 year old Marcia Hemphill, who takes between 6 and 7 classes a week! Fitness was a part of her life for a long time, but like so many, running a business slowly took over, and she put on 60 lbs. She has dropped the weight, kept it off, and especially loves the Aqua classes.
If you are interested in getting fit in a group setting, the exercise class schedule offers classes which vary from Spin Cycling to Zumba. Zumba, the lively Latin dance based cardio work out, is one of SportsFit’s most popular classes. In addition, you can choose from Yoga, Kickboxing, Muscleworks, Step Circuit, Dance Fusion, Armed and Dangerous, and Guts & Butts. Classes are included in the cost of membership, which, by the way, involves no long term commitment. A new feature is that there are class-only memberships, and non members can pay for individual classes if they choose. Free three day passes are available, and if members have family or guests temporarily staying with them, there are special rates for them, too.
Erin gave me a more detailed description of how the classes are divided by intensity. High intensity classes are Kickboxing, Zumba, and the full hour Step Class. Medium intensity classes are Zumba Gold, (which Erin told me was added in July, and has been a monster hit,) Step Circuit, Spin Cycling and Muscle Works. Low impact classes are done in the water, and are described below.
SportsFit has an accessible pool certified through both the American with Disabilities Act and Arthritis Foundation, and it shares the pool with the Encore Rehabilitation facility located next door. To insure maximum comfort for all users, the pool is kept scrupulously clean, maintained at a constant 91F, and has a manned lift that can place those who must enter the pool from their wheelchair into it safely.
The Aqua classes are quite popular amongst those who suffer with arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation has specially designed classes that are low impact, but nevertheless most effective in making it possible for arthritis sufferers to get a great workout. Each class teacher must be certified by the Foundation before they can teach. Aqua classes are not just confined to those who are working to overcome arthritis, however. Those diagnosed with fibromyalgia and other related diseases can benefit from the Aqua Arthritis classes. For those who just plain love the water and how it feels to exercise in it, there is a class called Aqua Dance Fusion, as well as the Aqua Challenge. Some members use the Aqua Zumba class to learn the Zumba steps before they graduate to either Zumba or Zumba Gold.
SportsFit always gets involved in the fight against Breast Cancer during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month. There are specially marked elliptical and treadmill machines which are decorated in pink, and formatted so that for each mile walked on either machine is recorded, and 25 cents for each mile walked is donated to breast cancer research. If you are not planning on using the machines, SportsFit is also officially authorized to take donations. Both the Athens SportsFit facility,(as well as the one in Decatur,) participate annually in raising money to find a cure for the diabolical disease that affects 1 in 8 American women.
Everyone knows that the college football season in Alabama is a time of fierce rivalry between Alabama and Auburn. So, why not get in better shape during the season instead of spending it on the couch? To that end, SportsFit is sponsoring the Alabama Auburn Cardio Challenge beginning in November. This challenge will allow team members to earn miles on the treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes, and even through the spin cycle class. The team with the most miles logged wins the challenge, and gets put in the drawing for a prize. Hey, you could kill several birds with one stone: come to the facility during game time, get on a treadmill, watch the game, root for your team, and get in shape for the holidays!
Whatever your level of fitness or desire for it, remember this: SportsFit is the place where “Xtreme dedication brings extraordinary results.”
Address: 22423 US Hwy 72, Athens AL 35611
Hours: Open 24/7
Facebook: sportsfit athens decatur
Jonathan Henderson, SportsFit Regional Director, Caleb Pope, Athens Facility Director
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
By Ali Elizabeth Turner