I Tried…Step Class

August 17th, 2017


One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 was to try things outside my comfort zone.  One of my “Better Bodies” resolutions is to try every class we offer.  I killed two birds with one stone when I tried Kathy’s Saturday morning Step Class!

You may have noticed the stack of steps in the Group Fitness Room.  People use these adjustable-height steps for several classes including CORE and Power Pump. Step class, however, is a whole different animal!

Saturday Step

High-energy, low-impact

Gin Miller invented Step Aerobics around the same time as Better Bodies got started.  A trainer suggested she rehab a knee injury by stepping up and down on a milk crate. She ended up using her porch step and eventually custom-made her own perfect-height step to use instead.  She set it to music, and voila step was born!

Step Class involves choreography that revolves around some basic moves:

Basic: Step up and down with the same foot

Lunge: Keep one foot on the step and bend into a lunge when your other foot hits the ground

V-step: Step out wide one foot at a time and then back together one foot at a time

L-step: Stepping up forward and then off the step to the side

Repeaters: Step up with one foot, raise your opposite knee, step back with that foot gently and repeat for however many counts is called

These steps are very familiar to anyone who has ever done any type of aerobics class before.  Luckily, I have.  But…I am not very coordinated, and I was nervous about the choreography that everyone else seemed to be familiar with.

Here’s the thing about Step Class, though.  I looked around the room and a lot of people were doing modifications.  I was one of two newbies, but even the seasoned step veterans were making modifications where they needed or wanted to.  Some people didn’t have any risers under their steps.  Some people had several!  Some people didn’t do the fancy up-and-over moves or L-steps.  Instead, they stuck to the basic step during those counts.

On the other hand, some people added their own flair!  Step Class always sounds like a party with lots of whooping and cheering and laughter!  More advanced members added spins and even managed to use the steps of the people around them without crashing or causing any disorder.

I didn’t have to worry about looking like an idiot.  In reality, nobody else cares!  Someone did stop me during class—to tell me my shoe was untied.  People smiled, said hi, introduced themselves, welcomed me to the class.

No need to be intimidated!

No need to be intimidated!

The class itself is high-energy but low impact.  I’ll be the first to admit that I should do more cardio, so this definitely wasn’t a class I was used to.  There aren’t breaks between songs, but you can leave or stop at any time to get a drink, take a minute, etc.  The energy in the room is contagious—by the end of the hour, I was yelling the countdown with the rest of the class and caught myself smiling and laughing.  And it’s a great workout.  I definitely got my heart rate up and was sweating.

Step Class Advice:

  • Introduce yourself to the instructor and let her know that you are new
  • Check your self-consciousness at the door
  • Double-knot your shoelaces
  • Stick to “basic” when the choreography gets too tricky
  • Try the class more than once before you decide if it’s for you
  • Have fun!


Step Class is offered Monday at 9:15 am, Tuesday at 6:15 pm, Wednesday at 9:15 am, and Saturday at 9:15 am.

-Bridget, Membership Coordinator

Fit Feature Friday – Meet Ellen

August 11th, 2017


We like to share our members’ stories because everyone works out for different reasons.  Ellen has been a long time Better Bodies member.  We thank her for sharing her story in her own words below!

Ellen working out with Leeanna

Ellen working out with Leeanna


 I started working out in 1985, attending Kathy’s aerobic classes at the wrestling club location which preceded Better Bodies. Yes, we wore leg warmers! I chose to begin working out because I had just graduated from college and started a new job. Having a desk job in a new career meant a big change (reduction) in physical activity.

Over the years, going to the gym became a habit; the habit was established mainly due to remembering that I was always glad I went, regardless of whether I felt like going in the first place. And the fact that NOT going could quickly become a ‘slippery slope’, where an excuse could always be found to skip class. Going to the gym was a given, and I scheduled other things around it. I’ve always enjoyed the variety that Better Bodies has to offer: aerobics, power pump, spinning, group challenges, and personal training.

Of course, there are those days when you think ‘I HAVE to go to the gym’, and it’s all you can do to get yourself there. I would tell myself ‘just go and at least walk through that door’. Once there, the motivation does come. And again, when it’s over I’m always glad I went.

In May of 2014, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. What followed was a year of treatment including chemo, surgery, and radiation.

I got back to working out, once able. There was disappointment at not being at the same level as before, but at the same time it was so good to be there again (and do something ‘normal’!). A recurrence happened in October of 2016. After 5 more months of treatment (more chemo, and targeted high-dose radiation), I am happy to say that I am back AGAIN. I’ve opted to return to personal training with Leeanna, in which she provides personalization to my workouts, not to mention her gift for extra encouragement, motivation, and positive attitude, which is what I need right now. I plan to return to more classes as my recovery continues.

It goes without saying that heading into this ordeal in good physical condition went a long way in helping me tolerate the aggressive treatments that the medical team put me up against. What I did not realize was the effect it had on the mental aspect. When I was going thru treatment, it was the ‘carrot’ hanging out there; I missed feeling strong. I may not ever be in the same condition I once was, but now I think of it as ‘I GET TO go to the gym’! I won’t ever forget how much I missed it.

Fit Feature Friday – Meet Judy!

July 28th, 2017


This week’s fit feature is Judy!  Judy has been a member at Better Bodies since January.

Judy Lat Pulldown Side

One of Judy’s favorites – lat pulldown machine

Judy admits at first she was intimidated by Better Bodies.  There are so many machines, and each one does something different, so at first, she stuck to the treadmill.  Judy also started taking BLAST classes on Mondays and Wednesdays.  She learned about personal training when Kathy brought it up in class one day.

Judy signed up for personal training with Tyler.  She mainly wanted to get more familiar with the machines and what they do.  The results?  She has lost over 10 inches since January, is much stronger, and she feels so much better.

Judy enjoys Group Fitness BLAST class because there is a little bit of everything in an hour: cardio, weights, stretching, meditation.  The other class members are very inclusive, and they will check in on you if you miss a couple weeks.

Judy joined Better Bodies after learning about it from a friend at work.  Since then, she has convinced her husband to join, too.  “I just like it here.  It feels good,” she said.

One of Judy's favorites - lat pulldown machine

One of Judy’s favorites – lat pulldown machine

Independence Day

June 30th, 2017

What does independence mean to you?  Not just the independence of the United States but for yourself as an individual?  And does health and fitness play a role?

Personally, fitness has made me a stronger person–physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Knowing that I can lift something, carry something, or even powerwalk across the airport from one gate to the next with no problem affects how I live my every day life.  I’m more confident.  I feel healthier.  I’m a better parent (because working out offers stress relief and I know I’m being a good role model to my kids).  Overall, being physically fit has allowed me to be more independent!

What about you?  What is your story?  We would love to hear it, either in the comments or shoot me an e-mail.

Better Bodies will be open July 3-4 but different hours.  We also have a special large group class July 4 at 8:30 am with trainers and $10 for non-members.  Come in and burn some calories before you start lighting up fireworks! 


We hope to see you, and have a happy and safe 4th of July!

-Bridget, Membership Coordinator

Kids Kamp Starts June 27!

June 17th, 2017
Kids Kamp Indoors

Skills and drills for kids

It’s time for another Kids Kamp!  This Kids Kamp will be 6 weeks long on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting June 27. Personal Trainer, Tyler Kottas, will be teaching the classes.  Tyler has a B.S. in Exercise Science from UNO and is a NASM certified personal trainer.  He is also a 3-time state wrestling champion!  Tyler will be teaching the kids skills and drills to teach them agility, strength, and other fitness skills.  

Kids Kamp is great for any kids who might be done with summer sports, getting into fall sports, or just want to be more fit.  It’s also great for parents who are looking for an outlet for their kids’ boredom and summer energy!


When: 10:30 am – 11:30 am Tuesdays and Thursdays (no class July 4)

Where: here at Better Bodies.  The kids may be indoors or outdoors based on weather and the activities planned for that day.

Who: kids ages 10-15

Cost: $99

Deadline to sign up is June 24, so please let us know as soon as you can to make sure you get a spot!

Please contact Bridget bridget@betterbodies-omaha.com or 402-333-5001 to sign up or get more information.

We are looking forward to another fun Kids Kamp!