CINCINNATI – The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati has a new fitness program aimed at keeping those New Year's resolutions from falling flat, and the family-centric gym is among the first in the world to offer it.
The Y rolled out In-Trinity this week, becoming the first Y globally and one of the first fitness facilities in North America to offer it. The class is part yoga, part pilates and part martial arts, but with a kick.
All movements are performed on an incline, versus a flat surface, using an hourglass-shaped board that's In-Trinity's signature component. The class offering is a unique win for the region, too – programs like this traditionally catch their first waves on the west coast, not the Midwest. Classes debuted Monday morning.
"This is such a unique opportunity," Elizabeth Frazier, Y wellness director, said. "It's going to be huge in the way we exercise, and it's just a great experience for the Cincinnati area to be the first to try it."
In-Trinity is the brainchild of fitness guru Johnny G, who also created the first indoor cycling bike and original Spinning program. At the heart of In-Trinity is the board, which took nearly a year to evolve. Because of its incline, users can go deeper into movements and "exercise in a way they never could before," Frazier said. She said the program builds strength, deepens flexibility and increases agility, balance and coordination.
"It just incorporates so many different backgrounds, and it's for all abilities and all ages, whether you're an advanced yogi or someone working out for the first time," Frazier said. "I actually have an instructor who just came back from knee surgery, and she's teaching the class. So there's all sorts of different modifications. Also, given the way the board is designed – with the incline and decline – if you're doing pushups, for example, into the upper quadrant of the board, it's going to be a little bit easier. But flip your posture, do pushups in a decline, and it totally changes everything."
Frazier was first introduced to In-Trinity last summer while visiting Matrix, a maker of commercial gym equipment, as part of the Downtown Y's $27 million rebuild. She started playing around with the boards. She said they liked them so much, they bought up every last one – part of the Y's most recent $300,000 investment in gear for the New Year.
The boards were delivered in December. Class instructors trained the remainder of that month and into January. The inaugural class at Blue Ash was packed.
"We definitely bought into it wholeheartedly," Frazier said. "It was one of those things: right place, right time, and we just fell into it. Everyone has worked extremely hard, and we handpicked these instructors. We were very selective and wanted to make sure we had the right people to get this going."
It's no coincidence In-Trinity started just days after Jan. 1, either, when gym memberships soar nationwide with promises of fitness resolutions. Kathy Lehr, the Y's vice president of marketing and communications, said their December enrollment numbers topped those from 2014. She also expects this month to be "very strong."
"How awesome is it, that in January, people are committing to a whole new lifestyle, and we have this new opportunity," Lehr said. "It's exciting."
The class is now ongoing at six Greater Cincinnati Y locations, including R.C. Durr in Burlington, Campbell County in Fort Thomas, the Clippard Family Y in Colerain Township, Blue Ash, the Y at Duck Creek in Madisonville and M.E. Lyons in Anderson. Class size is limited, so attendees are asked to check with their respective branch to make reservations; the class is free to members.
Frazier has high expectations class quotas will stay at their max.
"I anticipate them all being full," she said. "We've had great interaction with our members, doing demos in our lobbies and in our group exercise classes. Hopefully, we can start adding more here in the future."
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