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In the News and on TV

Dr Oz Show  "High Heel Workout" Segment


On a brisk November morning, a dozen sneaker-clad women ranging in age from 26 to 64 are finishing their weekly "PUMP" class at Kathy Henkel Fitness.

As they cool down to the sound of Elton John singing "Blue Jean Baby," all the women look triumphant. They have worked hard for an hour at Henkel's attractive studio on West Street in New Milford, but it's something they enjoy doing.

On the fitness studio's website, "PUMP" is described as "one hour of pure weights -- working the entire body and all muscle groups."

Weight training is, in fact, central to Henkel's fitness philosophy.

"It's essential for every woman," said Henkel, who noted weight training helps build lean muscle and increases bone strength.

Most of the women attend classes at the studio on a regular basis.

That's for two reasons.

The first is that Henkel believes optimum results can only be achieved by working out at least four times a week.

The second is the women feel a sense of camaraderie and support from one another; this aspect of "getting fit" is just as important as the workouts.

Brittany Gmuer, who lives in Southbury, has been a member since March and has taken a variety of classes.

"It has been the most positive experience that has happened to my life," she said. "When I leave there I am always in a great mood. It is completely uplifting."

Henkel opened her studio in 2010 after her employer, Positive Energy, went out of business.

That turn of events was, in a way, fortuitous, as she had always wanted to run her own business.

"One door closes and another one opens," Henkel said. "It was meant to be."

Prior to working at Positive Energy, Henkel worked at Gold's Gym and The Club in New Milford for many years.

All told, she has been in the fitness industry for more than 25 years, although she studied fashion merchandising in college and worked in the cosmetics industry for a decade.

She said she has been athletic her whole life, however, and easily segued into a fitness career.

"It's my passion," Henkel said. "Once I started teaching, I realized it was something I really enjoyed."

She is particularly passionate about helping women achieve their fitness goals. While weight loss is important to many of her members, Henkel encourages women not to focus on the scale.

"It's not about weight -- it's just a number."

By building lean muscle, women will lose inches which is, in the long run, more important than trying to achieve a certain weight, Henkel said.

And there are many ways to "get fit with Kathy."

Regularly scheduled classes include "Energy Sculpt," a combination of cardio and strength training; "Hoop and Core," a ballet inspired class that lengthens, strengthens and stretches; and "Shred," 50 minutes of challenging exercises with a kettle bell.

Barbara Roper, who has been taking classes with Henkel for years, travels to the studio from New Fairfield almost every day.

"I go six to eight hours a week. Her classes are so phenomenal," Roper said. "There's no way to describe the energy."

Henkel, who is certified by thw Aerobic and Fitness Association of America in group fitness and personal training, offers her members regular fitness challenges throughout the year, such as the Little Black Dress Challenge.

In January, members can participate in the Skinny Jean Challenge, a motivation for the women to fit into their favorite (slightly tight) pair of jeans.

During the month of December, members can experience Holiday HIT, a high intensity training circuit, which Henkel has dubbed the "Twelve Days of Fitness" with 12 different exercises incorporated into the circuit.

Although people are busy at this time of year, Henkel encourages her clients to stick to their fitness schedule through the holiday season.

With both day and evening classes, it's easy to do that.

Women have the opportunity to try classes like "Muscle Mix," an hour of weights, mixing up muscle groups week to week; "Rock Out," a total body conditioning class using drumsticks; or "Burn it Up"," power sets using pump bars.

Most of the women who try a class usually decide to join, Henkel noted.

"You just want to come back -- I was hooked and joined after the first day," Gmuer said.

Henkel offers the first class for free, with no commitment to join.

For those who decide to join, there are a variety of options from which to choose, including five-, 10- and 20-class passes, as well as monthly unlimited class passes.

In addition to the classes Henkel conducts at the studio, she also participates with clients in events such as the Run, Santa, Run 5K Run/Walk, held recently in New Milford.

Earlier this year, she achieved a fitness milestone when she and several friends completed Tough Mudder, the premier obstacle course series.

"I'm in the best shape I've ever been in," said Henkel, who admitted she's proud of her recent accomplishment.

Perhaps her greatest triumph, however, is in the success stories of the women she trains.

Roper has lost five dress sizes as a result of working out at Kathy Henkel Fitness, and she gives Henkel credit for helping her achieve this goal.

"Kathy is such a motivator," she said. "Such an inspiration -- you want to do better."

Kathy Henkel Fitness is located at 143 West St., Unit Q in New Milford. For more information, visit www.getfitwithkathyhenkel.com or call 203-947-0265.


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News Times Article


Women at ease in New Milford gym

Published: 10:48 p.m., Thursday, December 23, 2010

"All right, ladies, keep it up!" said Kathy Henkel, owner and fitness instructor of Kathy Henkel Fitness, shouting over the music to the 20 female students in her energy sculpt class. "Just eight more, count 'em off."

Moving hand weights in time to the rhythm, the women followed Henkel's lead.

The fitness center, which opened in June at 143 West St., in New Milford, is designed specifically for women, with class offerings such as belly dancing and a boot camp fitness class.

"I wanted to have a place where women could take classes with other women," said Henkel, who has been a fitness instructor in other local gyms for 21 years. "When I was teaching at the other gyms, I really listened to the women and what they wanted."

Henkel said many women feel uncomfortable simply walking into conventional gyms. She said some women have expressed uneasiness at working out with men and "buff" women.

Perhaps because of her understanding of this need in the market, the 52-year-old mother has created a following of students ranging in ages and body types.

"I love my job and the women who come in," she said in between goodbyes to her students. "My favorite thing is to see them happy and reaching their goals."

Meagan Longinotti, 31, of New Milford has taken Henkel's classes for more than a year.

"She's so positive and really cares about everyone," Longinotti said. "There's a certain closeness here that you don't find at conventional gyms. She really helps you embrace your femininity."

Deviating from the typical gym, Henkel offers commitment-free passes to attend a variety of her classes. The passes can be bought in groups of five, 10 or 20.

"The first class is free," she said. "But the women always come back."

Her favorite class "is a tie between belly dance fit and kickboxing," she said.

Kickboxing is the only class where men are allowed to participate.

"Right now I only have one guy in there," Henkel said.

For more information on Kathy Henkel Fitness,

visit www.getfit


Read more: http://www.newstimes.com/default/article/Women-at-ease-in-New-Milford-gym-918603.php#ixzz19F7djCRb

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