Turbo Kick

High-stepping classmates
take fitness workouts to the next level

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(March 2007) – At a time of the year when most fitness gyms experience a drastic drop-off in the number of people working out, Fit For the King on Madison, Ind.’s hilltop has been experiencing a sharp increase in visitors.

Turbo Kick

Photo by Konnie McCollum

RaeAne Lynch (left) leads a Turbo Kick
class at Fit For the King gym in Madison.

A new fitness class called Turbo Kick has people literally flocking to the gym to get in on the action. The fun-filled, power-packed cardiovascular workout is the hottest trend in fitness in the entire country, say instructors RaeAne Lynch and Jennifer Sproles.
Created in 1997 by Charlene Johnson, the program combines kick boxing, body sculpting and fun dance music for a 60-minute intense, calorie-burning cardio workout.
Experts in group exercise and physiology and martial arts experts worked together to develop movement patterns, combinations and techniques specific to the ancient sport of Muay Thai Boxing. The class starts with a sport-specific warm-up, bouts of intense intervals, easy to follow combinations, kickboxing strength and endurance training and a Tai-Chi type of cool down. Each Turbo Kick instructor has to go through a rigorous training course in order to be certified.
Lynch, 32, began taking the home edition of Turbo Kick, which is called Turbo Jam, because she was trying to lose weight she had gained due to childbirth and inactivity. “I knew I had to do something,” she said.
She was watching late night television when she saw an infomercial about the program. She ordered it but didn’t get it out of the package for months. When she finally did try it out, she fell in love with it.
“There is just something about Turbo Kick that is addictive.” She attributes the success of the program to the upbeat music, the energizing moves and the new rounds that come out every three to four months.
Last August, Lynch traveled to California to participate in three days of intense exercise and training. She helped film round No. 28 of Turbo Kick, and she was also part of the infomercial that is shown on television.
Lynch said that anyone, regardless of age or weight, can do Turbo Kick. “It takes a bit of time to get the moves, but people should try it a few times before making an assessment.”

RaeAne Lynch
RaeAne Lynch

The ages of the participants in the classes range from teens to senior citizens.
Sproles, 35, has been an avid workout enthusiast for more than 11 years. She said she has tried it all, including running, weight lifting and all the different aerobics classes. “I went to one Turbo Kick class and was hooked. It just fits me.”
Between the stretching, the complete muscle workouts and the fitness advice, the program offers the whole health package, she said. She believes the program will continue its popularity because it is constantly changing with new choreography and music, although many of the moves in each new round are similar to the previous rounds.
“About three times, and a person will get the hang of it,” she said.
While the gym has offered the Turbo Kick classes since August 2006, the program didn’t really become popular until a few weeks ago when Lynch decided to offer an eight-week Turbo Kick Challenge with some great winning packages as incentives. Lynch started Turbo Kick at Fit For The King with just one class and a few people. It has now grown into five classes with as many as 55 people in each class. At some point this coming summer, a Turbo Kick Kids class will be added to the schedule.
One of the winning packages, called “Help My Hair and Nails are on Their Own Turbo Kick,” includes a body massage by Jen Wright, a shampoo, cut and blow dry, compliments of Sproles, and a manicure, compliments of Dee Dee Goins.
“People love the incentives, and the participants in the challenge have learned that exercising can be social and fun,” said Lynch. Anyone can join at any time during the challenge, which ends March 21.

Jennifer Sproles

Jennifer Sproles

Lynch said the purpose of the challenge was to let people know that they can come and have fun while getting into shape. She said she has had many people come to her and say they want to lose weight but don’t know how. She offers health and diet tips during the class, including information on calories, how to decrease caloric intake and how to increase energy expenditure in order to lose weight.
The whole atmosphere of the class is positive and encouraging because Lynch said her goal is to “get everyone up and moving.” During class, the instructors routinely joke and have fun with people, offer positive reinforcement and try to make them feel good. “It’s an upward spiral in that you lose weight and you feel good; you feel good because you lost weight.”
Sproles said that the most common thing she hears from people is ‘I can’t come to Turbo Kick because that’s for fit people.” Her response is usually, “You won’t be fit until you come.”
It’s not just the instructors who are raving about the program. Robert Huber, 44, started the class about six weeks ago. He said three of his employees loved the class and convinced him to try it out. He tried it and has decided to stick with it. He has noticed since taking the class he sleeps better and he is losing weight. “My blood pressure has dropped, I breathe better and I feel good,” he said. Huber has a pre-diabetic condition and is controlling his sugar through the diet and exercise offered with the Turbo Kick program.
Amy Lutz, 27, decided she needed to tone up after having children. “I’ve been here for three weeks and love it,” she said.
Kim Ford, 46, said she is trying to lose weight, tone up and deal with all the problems that go along with the onset of menopause. “This is fun, and it’s making me feel good,” she said.

• For information about the Turbo Kick class schedule, call (812) 273-1543.

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