Top 10 Maple Grove Exercise Classes

by | Jan 2010

Shelli Gilbert of Maple Grove can vouch for the healthy effects of the Bootcamp class at Life Time Fitness

Shelli Gilbert of Maple Grove can vouch for the healthy effects of the Bootcamp class at Life Time Fitness.

The New Year is here and let’s face it, it’s time for a new you.

The New Year is here and, let’s face it, it’s time for a new you. Shed those nasty pounds that might have come along with all the holiday cocktails and feasts. Make your “get fit” resolution, but actually keep it this year by getting involved with one of Maple Grove’s finest fitness classes. We’ve crafted a guide to the area’s top 10, all of which are guaranteed to keep you motivated, let you have fun and help you stick to your resolution all year long.

Boot Camp

Offered three times weekly, Life Time Fitness’s Boot Camp will test your strength, agility, endurance and speed through high-intensity workouts. Emulating some military techniques, this class isn’t intended for the faint of heart. Rest times are short-to-nonexistent and heart rates will be constantly high, so participants should be in good physical shape before attending. “This class is for people who want to get pushed past their limits,” explains instructor Kelly Tamm.

Tom Moorman—who’s been attending this class for over three years—claims that at age 61, he’s in the best shape of his life. “The class is a great way to gain access to the knowledge of a personal trainer without the price tag,” he adds.

Cost: $166.50/month

Contact: Tamm at 763.420.1878 or


Despite the dim lights and relaxing music, Pilates is one of the best exercises for strength training, especially when it comes to your body’s core—the all-important mid section—going beyond the surface muscles to focus deeper, increasing body stability, improving posture and lengthening the spine.

Jackie Goodwin, who teaches Life Time Fitness’s Pilates classes  emphasize that Pilates is great for all athletes and fitness-seekers, as it enhances performance and strength in other activities. Longtime class participant Becky Friedrichs, who credits the classes with increasing her strength and flexibility, extols the virtues of Goodwin’s all-encompassing teaching style: “Jackie makes everyone of different fitness levels feel welcome in her classes, and all of us are making progress at each level.”

Cost: Free to club members

Senior Fitness

As a joint venture with the Maple Grove Community Center and U-Care insuranceLife Time Fitness offers Fit Forever classes, catered to the needs of senior participants. Students can choose from both strength-training and aerobics classes, offering both standing and seated options. Classes, offered five days a week by Kathy Bennethum, not only help seniors stay fit and active, but also foster a tight-knit social circle for the participants.

As part of her treatment for her knee replacement surgery, Barb Young took the classes regularly both before and two weeks after her surgery. “The constant movement really helped in the flexibility of my knees,” Yong says.

Cost: Free to Life Time Fitness Members and U-Care insurance holders and $28 for eight sessions for non-members.

Contact: Maple Grove Park and Rec.


Offered by the Spine and Sports Institute, jonnyj’s advanced cycle class is an absolute must for serious cycling athletes. You bring the bike, and jonnyj will provide individualized attention for improving technique, pedal stroke, lactate threshold, power, speed and endurance. People like Valerie Boller love the class because it’s a workout that “beats all others as far as intensity.”

Classes are two hours long and 3-and-a-half on Saturdays.

“I push people to effort levels they didn’t know they could achieve,” jonnyj says. “Part of the appeal is that suffering is more easily tolerated in a group.”

Cost: classes are $15 per session, or are sold in discounted monthly packages; tri-club members pay just $13.

Contact: jonnyj at 612.964.8642 or

Deep Water Aerobics

Looking for twice the workout in half the time? That’s what Tami Zurbay promises with her Life Time Fitness Deep Water Aerobics class. Unlike land exercise, every move made in water faces resistance, providing an aerobic workout with full-body toning and core work. Participants wear an aqua-jogging belt, which helps with flotation and posture. Increasing endurance, strength and flexibility through challenging but gentle workouts.The class is perfect for folks of all fitness levels.

Cost: Free to club members

Multisport Functional Strength Training

Specifically formulated for competitive athletes and triathletes, jonnyj and the Spine and Sport Institute also offer the advanced Multisport Functional Strength Training class, attending to the needs of runners, cyclists and swimmers.

Jonnyj also focuses on correcting muscle imbalances, perfecting form and improving connective muscle tissue, which ensures that bodies develop properly and are less injury-prone.

Class participants consistently achieve new personal records. Valerie Boller participated in the class for just over a year and improved her Ironman race time by 2.5 hours.

Cost: $15/class or $13 for tri club members. Discounted monthly packages are available.

Contact: jonnyj at 612.964.8629 or


Focusing on the “healthy minds, healthy bodies” mantra, USA Karate offers dynamic martial arts classes ranging from white to black belt. Instructor (and sixth-degree black belt) Allan Kunstmann teaches classes for children—ages 3+—and adults, focusing on the unique techniques specific to the belt level. Students flock to the classes not only to get in shape, but also to improve their personal defense skills. Six-year student David Underbakke loves the confidence and discipline that come with the classes, and saw the fitness effects first hand as his son Timothy lost 100 pounds with the classes.

Cost: $14.95 two-week special

Contact: 763.420.8333 or

Barbell Strength

Kathy Ghostley’s Barbell Strength at Life Time Fitness is all about upping your muscular strength and endurance. The class is customizable for students of all strengths and sizes. Start with the three-pound bar—the primary resistance tool—and add on weights according to your capabilities and comfort level. Students thrive off seeing progress within their bodies, and in the growing amount of weight they can put on their bars. Participant Sherrie Lutgen, for one, can’t get enough of the fun, upbeat motivational attitude Ghostley brings to the class.

Cost: Free for Life Time Fitness members

Cardio Kickboxing

As an instructor at Life Time Fitness since the day it opened, Anne Pearson knows how to keep a kick boxing class energizing, fun, intense and easy-to-follow. With its interval training and mix of boxing and martial arts, Cardio Kickboxing promises to strengthen your heart and improve cardiovascular endurance. Pearson caters to people of all fitness levels. Learning a few moves helped class participant Brittany Kline, who explains, “Not only did I improve my fitness level, but I leave feeling confident and strong, which is especially important as a woman.”

Cost: Free with Club membership


Offered out of the calming studio space in her home, Dee James teaches a beginners, vinyasa flow and all levels yoga class. Working on strength and flexibility through various levels of positions and body contortions, the classes enhance students both physically and psychologically. Linda Steinberg, who has been taking the classes for years, notes: “Through yoga, I can calm my body and my mind when I’m stressed. At the end of each class I feel 100 percent better than when I got there.”

Cost: first class $9, $11/class after or buy a pass card package for reduced rates.

Contact: James, 763.494.0493. or


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