Make Group Exercise A Part Of Your Routine: An Interview with Instructor Jamie Greaser
There is ‘strength in numbers.’ Group exercise helps gymgoers to stay motivated, and build a sense of community around their gym time. Research has shown that people tend to share activity levels with the people around them and that people tend to lose more weight if they can fit time in to work out with their friends. Luckily, at Chuze Fitness, we have built in small communities for you to be a part of. Our group exercise classes and Team Training sessions are a great place to make friends, and build friendships around your health. Our multi-talented instructor, Jamie Greaser, is here to tell you a little bit more about where to get started, and how to make group exercise a successful part of your gym routine!
1 | We are so excited to get to know you, Jamie! Could you let everyone know what you do at Chuze Fitness, how long you have worked here, and how you ended up on the team?
Hi! My name is Jamie, and I have been a group fitness instructor for the last seven years. I have been employed with Chuze Fitness for a little over two years now. I currently teach PIYO in the Westminster, Colorado club and BODYPUMP in the Broomfield, Colorado club, and was recently certified in BODYCOMBAT, which I sub from time to time and am super excited to add permanently to my schedule!
My love for teaching group fitness started about 26 years ago (I can’t believe I just said that). This was back in the days when it was acceptable to wear a thong on the outside of your leggings. LOL! (Hey, it was in style… no judging.) I taught a step class for a short time and decided to give it up when I got married and started a family.
Shortly after my twins were born, I went through the police academy and started my career in law enforcement which had always been a passion of mine. I knew back then that I wanted to be a positive influence in someone’s life, and being a police officer was the perfect job for me. It may sound a bit cheesy, but I have always had a strong passion for doing a job where you truly feel that you are making a difference. Both jobs are super rewarding for me.
2 | What do you love most about teaching group fitness?
Over the years, I have been certified in many formats to include Turbo Kick, Insanity, Hip Hop Hustle, Strong by Zumba, CIZE and Core De Force. In the past year, I decided to narrow down my focus and really concentrate on the formats that I absolutely love and fit my personality the best, PIYO, BODYPUMP and BODYCOMBAT. I love BODYCOMBAT, because it really fits me, and brings out my “badass” side. I love BODYPUMP because, seriously, who knew it was so fun to lift weights, right? And then there is PIYO. I call it my “soulmate” workout. It’s a class like no other. I like to describe it as Pilates meets Yoga, on crack. I can’t get enough of that class. It’s crazy to me that I still get butterflies before every class that I teach. I am a firm believer that it is the instructor that members fall in love with, and not necessarily the format that the instructor is teaching. When I teach a format I love, it’s very easy to make our members love it also. Our job is to instruct and inspire people in every class that we lead, no matter what it is so that they continue to come back and make progress. My goal is to make the members fall in love with me… and want to come to my class, no matter what I teach.
Being a group fitness instructor is very therapeutic for me as well. When you work in law enforcement, the stress from the job can be overwhelming. The second I walk into the group exercise room, I can leave my stress at the door and help the members have fun and forget about life, even if it’s for an hour. I often wonder if the members know how much they help me by just being there?
But my absolute favorite part about being an instructor is watching member transformations. I get giddy when I see a member who could not even get onto the floor from a standing position, now rocking a down dog like a boss. Or when a member tells me that they had to buy new workout clothes, because their old clothes were too big. Or when a member tells me they went off of medications because they no longer need it. This makes my heart happy.
3 | For people who are new to Group Exercise, which class would you recommend they try out first?
This is a great question that I get asked all the time. This would depend on the person, and if they are new to working out, or just new to group fitness. I would talk to that member to see what their goals are in their fitness journey. Some people are looking for more strength and flexibility, which would tell me that they would enjoy PIYO, Yoga, or possibly Barre. If the member is really looking at getting in more cardio, then I would suggest a BODYCOMBAT, Turbo Kick class or a perhaps a Team Training session. If they are looking to lift more weights, then I would recommend trying BODYPUMP. If they don’t love high impact classes, I would say to try a cycle class or Zumba! That’s what is so amazing about group fitness; you can always find a class to fit your needs!
Our job is to listen to our members and direct them to what will work best for their goals, even if it’s not our own class. Each and every instructor at Chuze brings something different to the table, and it is always good to mix things up.
4 | How would you suggest someone set up their workout schedule each week to include group exercise classes.
First off, half the battle is getting there right? People are busy with everyday life, I understand. Working full-time, odd hours, with four children, teaching classes on the side—I’ve been there, and I totally understand busy!
My suggestion is to make a plan! Set aside time for you. I have several friends who say they do not have time to work out, and—sorry, not sorry—but I am going to call them out on that. Anyone can find time to work out—period. Even if it’s for 30 minutes. I would ask, how much time do you spend on your phone every day? Find the classes that you like, and schedule it and show up. (Remember my no no-nonsense personality haha.) Once you get to class, you are never sorry. Action over excuses!!
I also think it is essential to mix things up and not stick to one format. Your body needs to be shocked, and a mixture of different classes is key to change. Plus, it’s fun to try new formats and different instructors as well.
5 | What are your main tips for someone who is new to group exercise in general?
If you are brand new to group fitness, my advice would be to take it slow, really listen to your instructor, listen to your body, modify when needed and just have fun! Don’t be that person who stands at the door looking into the group exercise room—get in there! I hear so many people say they won’t take a group exercise class because they are “too uncoordinated,”—well then, they should see me in a Zumba class! I am the person going left when everyone else is going right (and I taught Hip Hop classes), but you know what… I don’t care and neither should they. The group fitness members are so non-judgmental, and they will support you every step of the way. Once the music turns on, it’s a party! I mean, who doesn’t like a good party right?
I also love to remind new members that are intimidated by group fitness, that every single person in that room was “the new person” once. Every single person in that room is also on a journey to better themselves, just like you!
6 | What is the best advice you have received on your fitness journey?
The best advice I have ever received is that “people follow passion, and not perfection.” I am comfortable in saying that no one on this earth can question the passion I have for my jobs. No one is perfect, but when you have a passion for something, you can conquer anything. Love yourself, be confident without arrogance, show up and work hard. You make your path in your life, and if you don’t fix things that are wrong, you can only blame yourself.
Your happiness is your responsibility. So be happy!
7 | Do you have any hobbies outside of the gym that keep you happy and healthy?
My husband and I LOVE to travel. We make it a point to take two vacations a year, (sometimes more). Put me near the ocean, and I am a happy girl.
8 | Is there anything else that you would like to share with the Chuze Family?
I am honored to work for this company. I have been teaching for a long time now and have worked for several companies along the way. I absolutely love everything about Chuze; the clubs are beautiful and so well maintained, I love how every employee is approachable and helpful and happy to be at work, but I mostly love how the management of this company makes me feel that they are lucky to have me as an employee.
I also have to give a huge shout out to the Chuze instructor team. I absolutely love every one of you!! I love how much we help each other and lift each other up. I love how there is zero competition and only encouragement to each other. I could not ask for a better team to work with.
And last but not least, I adore our members. They are the reason that I show up every day. Thank you for being my therapy! Thank you for showing up and allowing me to share my love for fitness with you.