The Hippo


May 31, 2020








Cathy Dispensa

And when you’re looking for something different...

Looking to change up (or start) your routine? Here are some examples of classes that can mix up your workout regimen. Many gyms offer similar classes so check your favorite workout spot if you can’t make it to one of these locations.
Aerial Yoga
Where: EVO Rock + Fitness Climbing Gym, 10 Langdon Ave., Concord
What: Yoga moves that are done while suspended from the ceiling
When: Dates and times TBA
Aqua Zumba 
Where: Health Club of Concord, 10 Garvin Falls Road, Concord
What: Like a traditional Zumba dance class but in water
When: Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., and Thursday, 9 a.m.
Barre classes 
Where: Local Beauty Barre, 217 W. Hollis St., Nashua
What: Full-body workouts that incorporate ballet basics designed to elongate muscles
When: Once a week at varying times and dates. See the schedule at
Brazilian jiu-jitsu & mixed martial arts
Where: Team Link BJJ and MMA, 1338 Hooksett Road, Hooksett
When: Monday through Saturday at various times. Check the schedule at
Circuit Class 
Where: One2One Fitness, 2 Pillsbury St., Concord
What: A class that combines strength training and aerobic conditioning in one workout
When: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:30 a.m. or 5:30 p.m.
Fight Fit
Where: The Knights Hall, 55 Lake St., Suite 4, Nashua
What: Feature high-intensity interval training, using Tabata methodology, body weight exercises, kettlebells, isometrics and cardio training
When: Classes are held on Monday and Wednesday evenings starting at 7 and 7:30 p.m.
Intro to Aerial Fitness 
Where: Kama Fitness, 55 S. Commercial St., Manchester 
What: Utilizes split silks fabric with 15-foot-high mill building ceilings to explore climbs, wraps and drops to promote flexibility and build strength
When: Tuesday, 6 p.m. 
Lightsaber class 
Where: Granite State Lightsaber Academy in Concord/Nashua
What: A combination of martial arts, various weapons styles, theater and exercise that incorporates the favored weapon of the Jedi knights from Star Wars.
When: Monday nights 8 to 11 p.m. at 55 Lake St., Nashua; Wednesday nights  7 to 8:30 p.m. at 221 N. Main St., Concord.
MyZone Burn 
Where: Gateway Hills Health Club, Nashua Health Club and Fitness Center, 100 Innovative Way, Nashua
What: Small group training cardio class
When: Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, noon and 5:30 p.m.; Friday, noon
New Rider 101
Where: All Out Cycle, 345 Amherst St., Nashua
What: An introductory fitness cycling course that familiarizes riders with basics
When: Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.
Ride 43
Where: 43 Degrees North Athletic Club, 2 Home Ave., Concord
What: Eco-friendly power bike classes that include electronic tablets equipped to give you the ability to control the cadence on your bike
When: Mondays at 9:15 a.m., and Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:15 p.m., once the gym opens (expected Jan. 29)
TRX Bootcamp 
Where: Fortitude Fitness, 775 Canal St., Manchester
What: A fun, high-energy combination of strength training on the TRX straps along with the cardio and strength benefits of bootcamp
When: Visit for updated schedule

Class is in session
Find your perfect fitness class

By Angie Sykeny

 Cathy Dispensa is the owner of Gateway Hills Health Club in Nashua. She leads the MyZone group training classes and Surfset classes, and she is yoga and spin class certified. 

What kinds of fitness classes are there? 
Whether you just want to stretch or get a real workout or something in between, there’s something for every person. There are different types of yoga — hatha style, yin style — boxing classes, Surfset, barre, spinning, Zumba, Crossfit, TRX. … Then, there’s MyZone, which is really popular. It’s like a small group training class, with a 12-person cap on it. There’s one for “burning,” which is focused on cardio, and one for “building,” which is focused on weights. A personal trainer runs it, and it’s something different every time you take it. 
What happens in a fitness class? 
It’s different in each class and with every teacher, but it always starts with a warm-up of some type. Some teachers will write out what they’re going to do up on a board while others just say, “This is what we’re going to do.” They’ll teach you how to do things the right way, how to use some of the equipment, and they’ll teach you things that you can do during your workouts on your own. Then, they always end with a cool-down. 
Why is a class a good option for working out? 
If you don’t want to come up with [exercises] on your own, you can just have someone guide you and tell you what to do, and you can let your mind go. You can relax because they’ll watch your form for you and correct you if you aren’t doing things the right way and make sure you don’t injure yourself. You also tend to push yourself harder, because the instructor and everyone in the class is there to help motivate you and cheer you on. It’s like a little family. You build a rapport with the other people. It’s a good thing to have that accountability. 
Who should take a class as opposed to working out solo? 
It depends on the person. Anyone who has the ability and wants to improve the way they work out can do a group class. If you’re someone who is unfit and not familiar with working out at all and you’re shy about it, maybe a group class isn’t a great option for you. There are beginner classes, though, and the instructors are made aware of new people in the class and can give them individual attention and help them along. 
How do you figure out which class is right for you?
I tell everyone when they join our club to try every class that we offer. Go out of your comfort zone a little. You never know your passion until you give everything a try. Maybe you’ll love power yoga. Maybe spinning will be your passion. You might be surprised at what connects with you. If you’re a beginner, I recommend going to the morning classes, because they are slower and more relaxed, and there are less people, so you can get more individual attention. It can be intimidating at first if you’ve never worked out before, but we love helping people grow and find something they’re passionate about. 
How often should you take a class? 
It depends where you are in your fitness level and what kinds of workouts you’re doing. There are so many options, so if you do a variety of classes, you could do one every day. You can do a class with weights three to four times a week, and then do something less intensive like yoga or barre on your “off” days, or something that’s just straight cardio like spinning. It’s important to mix things up, because it can get boring if you do the same repetitive things, and when you do the same exercises over and over, that’s when injuries happen. 
What should you wear and bring? 
Wear something you’re comfortable in. Moisture-wicking workout clothes are always good. Try wearing layers so that you can take things off as the class goes on. Wearing the right, comfortable footwear is also very important. For our classes, we provide mats and all the equipment you need. Just make sure you bring plenty of your own water and that you’ve had something light to eat beforehand. 
Are there ways to increase or decrease the intensity of a class? 
We have members from [age] 18 to their 80s, so we have to have different progressions and regressions. A progression is a way to make the exercise more difficult, and a regression is a way to make it easier. Every exercise has three to four different modifications. You can never outgrow a class; we can always make it harder for you. For a squat, for example, we could add a jump to it or add weights. If you want more of a challenge, talk to the instructor after class and tell them that you really want to push yourself, and they’ll give you harder things to do. 
— Angie Sykeny 

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