Body Fit mixes fun, fitness in new program

By: Margaret Snider, Telegraph Correspondent
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As spring approaches and warmer weather nears, those striving to get healthy have a new option.

A program offered by California Family Fitness – Body Fit small group training – provides a mixed cardio and strength workout, with individual attention in a lower cost alternative to personal training.

“The Body Fit Program was created to help participants maximize their time, while also offering a dynamic workout that blends cardio and strength training.” said Jason Mathes, Fitness Director for California Family Fitness. “All sessions are taught by CFF Certified Personal Trainers, and groups consist of ten people or less. Small group training has been popular for a number of years, and at CFF we see firsthand every day the benefits of working out with others. It helps keep people motivated, hold them accountable to their goals and push them to work harder.”

The exercises chosen vary with each session.

“We’re running stairs, sometimes we’ll be hopping on the bike, on the rower, getting your cardio,” said Eli Gardner, Certified Personal Trainer and a Body Fit coach for the club. “(We include) all full body, upper body, lower body, core, center balance.”

Each exercise can be progressed, that is, increased in time or intensity, or regressed to be less rigorous depending on each person’s needs.

“It’s small group training that’s designed to increase strength and endurance and your energy level while having fun,” said Mathes. “If you’re not having fun with fitness, then why do it?”

The Body Fit program was initiated in November 2012, and around 200 members are now taking advantage of it. It is offered at 11 of the 16 clubs around the Sacramento area, Mathes said.

One of the advantages of the program, he said, is when you join, you can attend as many sessions as you like. If a participant goes to several sessions a week, the per-session price becomes nominal.

Many of the company’s employees also use the gym, and the Body Fit program.

“When they have time available, we also allow them to be able to come in and join our classes,” Mathes said. “They feel better; when they feel better, then we make our members feel better.”

Mallory Arcuri, communications and outreach specialist with California Family Fitness, tries to attend the Body Fit program twice a week, depending on her schedule.

“I’m currently training for the Shamrock’n Half Marathon,” Arcuri said. “Body Fit provides a great way to cross-train and switch up my workouts. I also love how the Body Fit coaches give modifications or ways to make each exercise more challenging based on each participant’s fitness level.”

Anyone considering Body Fit should just come in and take the class, Gardner said. “It’s fun and you can try it for free. It’s a demo and just a full hour. Bring a water bottle and a towel; you’re going to be sweating, but it’s a good full body workout.”

Cindy Rutledge of Rancho Cordova has been involved in the program for a few weeks. An athlete her entire life, she comes to the gym three or four days a week. She recommends Body Fit.

“It’s great for endurance, cardio, and strengthening, so it covers all aspects,” she said.

Joanna Mahaffy, who lives in Placerville, likes the length of the workout, as well.

“I really wanted to get a total body workout that incorporated both strength training and endurance and Body Fit’s the program for that,” Mahaffy said. “It’s easy to come in for just an hour and get a really great workout.”

One of the advantages of Body Fit training is the mixture of the work.

“It’s designed so that the exercise could last for maybe a minute or two minutes and then there’s a rest period as they transition to the next exercise and then it’s that circuit of movement,” Mathes said. “You don’t do the same thing over and over and over again . . . At the end of the day, just burn more calories and move more, and have fun doing it.”

California Family Fitness was launched in 1991 by Russ Kuhn and Larry Gury, the Elk Grove club being the first one. The 100,000 sq. ft. Folsom facility opened in April 2006. It offers full family services, such as rock climbing, group fitness classes, X-Bikes, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, child care, pools, racquetball and a variety of personal training programs.

For more information go to, or drop in at your local club.