SKANEATELES | Close to 90 people are living healthier, more active lives thanks to a second round of P90X exercise classes offered at the Skaneateles YMCA and Community Center.
When the YMCA hosted its first P90X classes in January, 56 people - of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities - signed up, and all of them finished the 90-day program. This time, a total of 88 people are participating in the schedule of classes.
Classes are held at a few different times throughout the week and taught by four certified instructors - Lisa Wellington, Holly Falso, Anny Wallace, and Tracy Swietoniowski, who also serves as the YMCA's fitness director.
P90X is already a popular home fitness program. People follow along with a series of DVDs and work out from home over the 90 days it takes to complete the program, incorporating nutrition and other forms of fitness to lose weight, gain muscle and build endurance.
But, Wellington noted, doing it on one's own makes it hard to maintain focus and motivation, and more often than not, the DVDs sit on a shelf and collect dust. Also, regular people aren't properly trained to modify exercises to meet their needs and could end up injuring themselves.
As a result, Beach Body, the company that created P90X, started certifying instructors to teach P90X classes so that people can benefit from the program in a safe, motivating environment.
Wellington taught a well attended class of about 30 participants Friday morning, and she estimated around 80 percent of the original 56 participants came back for the second round.
"A lot of people do it with their spouses, their children, their friends," she said, noting the participants often motivate and encourage each other. "People are setting goals. Some are running their first 5K or their first mud run."
Wellington led the group as participants performed a variety of exercises - jumping jacks, pushups, lunges, planks and more, including intermittent laps around the ice rink.
She said the classes began in January to get people to work out and meet their New Year's resolutions and then started back up recently as the weather gets cooler and people head back inside for workouts. In between were a couple of abbreviated versions of P90X for people who wanted to keep conditioning over the summer.
"There's a lot of nice diversity in the group," Swietoniowski said, noting the variety of goals and abilities among the participants.
Swietoniowski said the local P90X program has already generated significant results. Participants are measured on days 1, 30, 60 and 90 of the workout schedule, and they quickly see achievements in losing weight and gaining muscle.
"You're competing against only yourself," Swietoniowski said, noting participants have the opportunity set goals during the workouts, such as trying to increase the number of pushups they can do. "That's a slight difference from other programs that are out there. You're getting better for yourself."
She pointed to one man who plays softball regularly but often struggles with hamstring issues as a result. He started doing P90X and building up his endurance, and now he no longer has problems.
"That's the stuff that gets us fired up," Swietoniowski said. "It's hopefully instilling in them that, regardless of shape, size and ability, you can do physical fitness. You're hopefully healthier for the long haul."