Body Attack stresses sports to get fit

BY CARLOS SOSA | JULY 18, 2012 6:30 AM

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Fitness and sports go hand in hand.

Athletes, minus a few baseball players, are usually in shape. But not everyone is an athlete. With Body Attack, a new workout regimen, everyone can feel like an athlete.

"It's very sports-based, very athletic, and it doesn't have a dancey reputation," Body Attack instructor Daniela Haase said. "It's a real intense workout that professional athletes do around the world. [People] know that they'll get a killer workout."

Athletes do a variety of unique workouts specific to their sport in order to stay in shape, but they have fun while doing it.

Body Attack is a choreographed aerobic workout. It mimics sport techniques in accordance to the music inspired by the sport. Similar to the exercise craze Zumba, Body Attack participants all move the same way at the same time, but instead of relying on dance, the class relies on sports maneuvers.

"A trainer from another class introduced me to [Body Attack], and I fell in love," co-instructor Jamie Noack said. "It was amazing. It was so challenging, but it made me feel good afterwards."

Everyday people who work out may just run or do free weights, but that's not very appealing for someone just starting to get in shape.

With Body Attack, however, participants are forced to work with different motions specific to different sports in order to get fit.

"We'll have [music] tracks inspired by snowboarding," Iowa junior-to-be Madeline Gage said. "So we'll have to get in snowboard positions to work out. They also include tennis and soccer. We'll have to do different kicking motions and backhands and forehands."

Body Attack was originated in New Zealand by former Olympian Les Mills, who competed in shot put, discus, and weightlifting. The workout is inspired by sports and includes an arguably better cardiovascular workout than simply running on a treadmill.

"I take a lot of workout classes just because they're so fun," Gage said. "I get bored just running on an elliptical. It makes the time go by fast, and I'm still burning a ton of calories."

According to Mills' website, a 55-minute sports workout should burn an average 735 calories.

For an hour, people are able to incorporate many different types of workouts: running, or push-ups and jumping jacks, or whatever sport-inspired workout is new.

"The routines are different," Noack said. "We have a new workout every four months. Every quarter, we have new music and some new moves to keep it different, and so, it's not boring."

Body Attack was first introduced to the Iowa City and North Liberty area by Core Fitness gym. So far, it has been able to attract more than just college students trying to stay in shape.

"I think the workout does it," Haase said. "Just because it's so challenging for everybody. We're not cheerleaders. We're helping them and doing [the workout] with them. Were just not drilling them."

Haase and Noack are very active in the workouts and participate along with the members of the class. They sweat just like the rest of them.

"The way we were coached to teach, we're just normal people," Noack said.

Normal people work out, and normal people aspire to be athletes on their own. With Body Attack, they have that opportunity.

"There are so many different levels," Gage said. "If you're new to fitness, you don't have to run and jog — the super intense stuff. But yet if you're in shape you can bump it up a notch."

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