Music plays while 14 women jump on and off bosu balls, do lunges, run on the spot, use small weights for bicep curls, then stop briefly as a bell chimes before springing into action again.
The women are participating in Tabata training, led by fitness instructor Marci Manness in the gym at La Salle’s LSCU Complex on a Tuesday morning. The exercise technique consists of intervals of 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by a 10-second rest.
Their sweat-producing workout ends with a cool-down and stretches on mats before they head home to shower.
While their moms are exercising, about half a dozen youngsters run around the gym, playing with hula hoops and balls.
Manness said she enjoys teaching in this informal class environment after running her own fitness centre in Winnipeg for 19 years. She closed Fitness Edge last fall, and was pleased to be able to sell most of her gym equipment to the La Salle Community Club for the new LSCU Complex’s fitness centre and to be used in exercise programs.
She can now incorporate some of her old equipment in the classes she teaches at the complex.
"It was just such a natural transition," she said, adding that she doesn’t miss dealing with a landlord and the other woes that can come with running a business.
"It was time to close that chapter of my life," said the 42-year-old mother of two daughters. She’s now able to spend more time with her children and arranges to instruct classes around their schedules.
Originally from Starbuck, Manness has lived the Domain area and knows many of the people who now attend her classes in La Salle and Oak Bluff.
During July and August, she’s instructing classes at the LSCU Complex on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:15 a.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. All classes are co-ed.
Manness said she prepares ahead for all her classes, finding suitable music and planning the exercises she will lead.
"I asked my mom what type of music people her age would like," she said.
She also makes a point of switching the type of exercise her class participants will do.
"Every time I teach, I’m always changing things," she said. For example, the women who attended her Tabata training class on July 8 could find themselves spinning on stationary bikes or getting a cardio workout in a step class the next time they attend.
Manness also teaches at Winnipeg’s Reh-Fit Centre one day a week and says she enjoys working with older adults. But she doesn’t take it easy on them. As with her younger participants, she encourages each person to push themselves to see what they can accomplish.
"Exercise needs to be challenging to make changes," she told her morning class.
In September, she will teach more classes in La Salle and resume teaching Tuesday morning classes through the Macdonald-Headingley Recreation District.
Manness also works as a personal trainer.
For more information on her classes, contact Manness at email@example.com or 204-771-7930.