Fitness – Our Group Fitness Classes at Fit 4 Life

Group fitness classes are great because there’s something about having a scheduled time, that makes us get over our procrastination and get our bodies going! It is also helpful to have an instructor tell or show you what to do.

Group classes can be great for those who want to work out with others, adding that social element as we can do it with friends. They are a nice alternative to other activities like running, walking or swimming, especially if the weather is bad and it is a weather-reliant sport or activity. (Which we may encounter in Auckland!)

Personally, I like to stand at the back in group classes as I get really self-conscious about my movements. I do enjoy them once I do them a few times though, so if you are a bit shy of classes like me, give them a shot!

At Fit4Life we try to provide a casual and relaxed feel. Class sizes are also not huge, so they are not too intimidating for the different fitness levels.

Currently at Fit4Life, we have two group fitness classes going on, Zumba and K-Fit!

Many of you may already know about Zumba as it is popular in many places. It is led by our enthusiastic instuctor Careen and it is a class based on Latin-dance moves and a lot of fun. It is also for all fitness levels! Careen is an experienced Zumba instructor who makes it easy to follow and get into.  If you feel a bit ‘un-co’ at first like I did, don’t worry, it take a few tries to get into the groove. It is the kind of class where you won’t notice you are working out until the song ends- or at least not quite as much as other activities.

If you are into something of higher-intensity and up for more of a sweat, try out ** K-Fit **, our BRAND NEW class led by our own energetic staff member Kirstie. It is a full-body work out combining cardio, resistance and core

Feeling the burn during our K-Fit class

work. You will probably feel the burn but it may be a good class if you want to take your fitness to an improved level. (A few men have tried it out too and enjoyed it so don’t think that these classes are just for the girls!)

Here are our class times:

Zumba- Wednesday 6pm and Saturday 11am

K-Fit- Monday 6pm and Thursday 6pm

Free for members, and $10 for a casual entry.

Do check out our website for more details- www.fit4lifefitness.co.nz

Sarah – Fit 4 Life Staff


Fitness – Summer Tips to make Working out Fun and Comfy!

Are you one of those people who complain that there are never enough hours in a day to do all things you would like to do? I am! So, I have found what works for me is to multi-task things together so I can make the most out of my day! And that includes my fitness!

I love summer and being in the outdoors so I will often walk or run with the girls I mentor or my friends. That way I’ve caught up with friends, done some exercise and enjoyed our beautiful country we live in as well!!   It’s always motivating and lots of fun when you are with someone else.   Plus you can encourage and be encouraged at the same time!

Because I love being with friends and working out at the same time or training for running races (especially long distance runs)…I’ve realizedthat there are 2 essential items that I need other than the obvious of great supportive walking shoes!!  They are: Ankle stockings and Elastoplast.

It seems that my feet are prone to getting blisters.  So I’ve learned that if you put on ankle stockings before you put your socks on then you can prevent blisters occurring.  It sounds bizarre but it’s true and has allowed me to keep enjoying my exercise with friends blister and pain free.

If you already have blisters on your feet (because you forgot to wear your ankle stockings J, or maybe you have them from a new pair of shoes or jandals) then I recommend you use ‘Elastoplast’ -Spray Plaster.  It’s not too expensive and a great thing to keep in your handbag to pull out for yourself or anyone else when the need arises.  I personally love the spray-on plaster coat because it’s transparent so you can’t even tell it’s on your feet when wearing jandals or opened toed shoes. Everyone hates that “half peel off at the corners” that plasters do which looks tacky and is annoying. This way you are still protecting your feet and preventing bacteria from coming in and can be more comfortable as well.

So enjoy the summer whether working out with your friends or come along and bring a friend down to Fit4Life.  Work out together in our weights and cardio areas or our Zumba classes where it is so fun to work out to great music and with great people (plus there are lots of cool fans going!!)

Try out my 2 essential items and let me know what you think!

Looking forward to seeing you down here at Fit4Life!!

Kirstie – Fit4Life Staff


Fitness – Aerobic Fitness – What if you don’t wanna run?

A couple of weekends ago my wife and I got up early to go and watch some friends running the Auckland half-marathon. Personally, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of aerobic exercise. I’ve always preferred anaerobic exercise like lifting weights over aerobic activity. I also think my position is somewhat justified, because none of the thousands of runners that ran past us while we were waiting for our friends to come by looked happy to me. (Two hours of running – or four hours or more for some who were doing the full marathon – is a long time to be miserable! Our friends were pretty cheerful though)

Still, aerobic exercise does have some great benefits for the body such as helping with weight loss, increased endurance, increased HDL levels (the good cholesterol), and keeping your body limber and active  (See the website link below for 20 benefits of aerobics

(Of course, there are also some physicians who believe certain people receive no benefit at all from aerobics, although that’s depressing! Check out this article.

So because the many benefits of cardiovascular fitness cannot be denied, I do include some aerobic exercise in my weekly workout routines in spite of my personal preference for lifting weights.

Here are a few tips I’ve picked up over the years to make my aerobic sessions at least semi-tolerable.


a. Keep aerobic sessions to 20 — 40 minutes in length.

We’re not all called to be marathon runners, but the great news is you don’t need to run for two hours.

You can get 80% of the benefits of aerobic exercise by doing some reasonably energetic cardio work for 20-40 minutes just a couple of times a week. In fact, there are some medical professionals who believe you only need 10-15 minutes of aerobic work a couple of times a week to receive most of the benefits!

To get the most benefit in the least amount of time, I do my cardio sessions twice a week for 30-40 minutes to supplement my weights workouts and bring some positive stress to my cardiovascular system. When it comes to cardio work, for me it’s ‘get it done and get out – as quickly as possible’!

b. Do something you like

You won’t keep something up if you don’t like it, but the good news is there have been a lot of new creations in the world of cardio exercise over the last 40 years in the fitness industry. Group classes like Step Up, Body Combat and Zumba have taken off. Also, new machines and designs such as Concept II Rowers, Cross Trainers, Recumbent Bikes and so on, now mean there’s a lot more choices for people who want to improve their aerobic fitness.

Of course at the most basic level, you can always go for a run – but I hate running. I have tried it (honestly… I have) but it doesn’t suit me. All those years of doing heavy squats at the gym have left me with sore tendons in my knees, and the pounding on the pavement stress that running brings exacerbates my knee pain, so I don’t run.

Instead, I prefer using the Concept II rower for 20-30 minutes which gives a great whole-body cardio workout, working both lower and upper body. At the end of my rower workouts I also include 10 minutes on the punching bag combined with step ups, which is a great way to keep your heart rate up for a bit longer (not to mention the benefit of also releasing some aggression over things that are currently bugging you!)

c. Vary your intensity

I’ve learned through the years from my weights workouts that it’s not good to train at high intensity at every session. That’s a quick way to get injured, plus it’s mentally tough to keep lifting your heaviest weights in every session. The same thing applies to cardio/aerobics work.

In my weekly cardio sessions, one of them is performed at a lower intensity while the other is a harder session. Try mixing it up with hard/medium/easy sessions so that you actually look forward to your workouts – both weights and cardio.

One way I vary the intensity of my cardio sessions and make them more effective is by including burst intervals in them. Burst training has been shown to develop improved VO2 max levels – which is generally regarded as the best measure of a person’s aerobic fitness level.

(The science of burst training is not complicated, but the explanation is quite lengthy of how it works so read Clarence Bass’ article on Japanese scientist Dr Tabata’s research on how to involve burst interval training in your aerobic work, to improve your VO2 max results).


d. Know your priorities

Aerobic and anaerobic work requires different methods of training to be maximally effective. Unless you’re a decathlete or something like that, most people will naturally be drawn to one type more than the other.

If you’re trying to increase muscle mass and size then you’re going to focus more on anaerobic exercise. If your goal really is to try and run a marathon, then you’re going to have to focus more on aerobic work and less on the weights.

And that brings me some perspective on how I approach my weekly exercise schedule. Although I am now in my mid-40’s, I still love trying to lift as much weight as I can and be as big and strong as my genetic potential allows. That means I am always going to put more energy and intensity into my weights workouts than I do into my cardio work. I am primarily a lifter, not a runner!

My weights session last between 1 to 11/2 hours twice a week, whereas my cardio work – while also being two sessions (carried out on alternative days after I have done my weights workout to allow better recovery) last less than half the time of my weights sessions.

Also, if I ever feel my body getting a little run down then I will drop one – or sometimes even both – of my cardio workouts during the week rather than miss one of my weights workouts. (However, if I am ever sick with the flu or something like that then I don’t do any exercise at all, but rather let my body recover!)

The key is to know what type of training you prefer and then to focus your training on the kind of exercise and routines that will produce the results you want, which is why my weekly exercise schedule is tilted more to weights than it is to cardio exercise.

I respect and admire my runner friends who tell me they really love it. (I also keep reminding them that if God truly wanted us to run marathons then he wouldn’t have given us cars!) But for me, lifting weights is always going to be my first love when it comes to exercise. Aerobic exercise is something I try and incorporate as efficiently as possible! See you in the gym…

Bryce – Fit 4 Life Staff

Fitness – Zumba at Fit 4 Life

Come and check out our Zumba classes at Fit 4 Life. We’re fortunate to have Careen as our Zumba instructor. She’s a lot of fun and brings a great energy to the class. Zumba’s for everyone – male or female, young or not so young!!! Zumba’s a great cardio workout, but you can take it at your pace.

Check it out at:

Fit 4 Life Fitness Centre

65D View Road, Glenfield

Thursdays      6pm to 7pm

Saturdays      11am to 12pm

Tuesday night classes starting in August.

Classes are free to Fit 4 Life Members and $8 for non-members (concession cards available for $70 for 10 visits)

Fitness – Gasp, gasp….I can do it!!- Getting Fit in my 40’s

Exercise and me are like oil and water!! We don’t really get along, but I’ve hit my 40’s and after a decade of having kids, raising kids and basically neglecting the whole exercise thing, I’m back in the gym. It certainly has helped that the hubby and I have opened Fit 4 Life  and I can go for free!!! The Lord knew I needed that.

I was pretty scared though. There is something about being the most unfit person in the room and wondering if you can truly do the exercises, wondering if you will be crippled with pain the next day (I hate sore muscles!!) and wondering if there will be any lasting impact from today’s puny effort. It took me a few weeks to really feel confident enough to get back into the gym, but a new weights program helped. My kind hubby made one for me and a friend. It’s been a lot of fun!! I have seen some weights go up and I haven’t been crippled by muscle soreness which is good (maybe those weights need to go up?)!

The next challenge was a group fitness class. About 6 months ago I purchased the Zumba Fitness DVDs and finally got round to working out. I actually enjoyed it!!! I was dying from un-fitness, but enjoyed it. The last time I did any kind of group class was in 1994!!!! I never LOVED them so when Zumba Fitness started at Fit 4 Life last week, I was once again filled with trepidation!!! Will I make 50  minutes? Will I look like an idiot? Will I die? 🙂

I pushed all my doubts aside and plunged in!! It was like I had just been swimming by the end because my hair was soaking, my face was like a beetroot, BUT I had a great time and even more important, I conquered a fear!! My hubby told me so many times how proud he was that I had done it ( I think he had  his doubts that I would turn up!!).  Zumba Fitness was so much fun because it really did feel like dancing and I love to dance and I had a great time doing it with friends and people I have met at Fit 4 Life.

Exercise is still not my favourite thing, I long for the day when I look forward to it, but for now I am trying to get fit in my 40’s!!!! If you’re like me and it’s been awhile since you and exercise have been “friends” come and join me down at Fit 4 Life. We want to promote a healthy fitness philosophy here at Fit 4 Life and that  means just getting up and doing something everyday….not being a ‘superhero’ exerciser!!! The perfect place for someone like me!!!!!

Christy  – Fit 4 Life Staff and fellow “exerciser”