Every fitness journey starts with a simple step

Cutting the Fat

Cut the Fat In Greater Trenton

Zumba and Strength Conditioning Classes by Simply-Fitness

By Alysia Welch-Chester (originally written in August 2011


Like many people, I look for fitness opportunities that are fun and effective. As the summer is winding down, my schedule allowed me to visit fitness classes by Trenton’s own Gail Williams of Simply Fitness.

Strength Training
Tight and Toned Class

I visited two classes; Strength Training (now called Tight & Toned) and ZUMBA®. I was interested in the strength training class so as I work to lose fat, I would also be able to build healthy muscle. ZUMBA® interested me because I heard that it was a fun dance class.

I arrived to class, checked in and jumped in for a few warm-up moves. I found a spot to set up my mat (in a middle row, but off to the side, I wasn’t exactly trying to hide but did want to be too easy for the instructor to see), weights and water bottle.

Let me tell you what I know about Gail Williams. She is a beautiful woman with a welcoming smile. As you would expect from a trainer with a slew of certifications, she is in fabulous shape. Conversation with Gail comes easily as she is pleasant and encouraging.

Then class began.

As we did exercises with weights and without, alternating between standing and laying on our mats, Gail put us through our paces. Her confident voice was always positive and never condescending. While I mumbled to my neighbor “I don’t like her anymore” in between exercises, I kept going. During another brief break between sets I thought out loud “Is it nap time yet?”, but I resisted the urge to revert back to my pre-school days use my yoga map to as a sleeping cushion.

I know that a good trainer will be able to push you to achieve, but all that common sense does not stop me from complaining all through the process.

I made it through the 40 minute strength training class and questioned if I was going to make it out of the gymnasium upright after the Zumba class. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need a full gym and a whole collection of weights to get some good strength training in. I’m sure I’ll be able to feel more of the fruits of my labor when I wake up in the morning.

Zumba class
Zumba Class

There were about 5 minutes to rest between the strength training class and the ZUMBA® class. I spent about 4.5 minutes trying to figure out how I would be able to muster the strength to gather up my belongings and then walk across the room to sit down for a moment. While asking the Lord to allow me to live to at least have another meal, I almost didn’t notice that Gail changed her ensemble. I am sure she did a Wonder Woman move by rotating at break-neck speed to appear in new clothes, shoes and one of those fun wireless microphones that celebrity singer/dancers wear while performing. I want one of those microphones.

Taking the ZUMBA® class, I found there was enough repetition in the moves for beginners to be able to catch on and keep up, but there is plenty of sass to keep the veterans coming back for more. While there is a good deal of Latin inspiration in ZUMBA®, I thought there were moves with hip-hop, African and Asian influences as well. I can understand how ZUMBA® has become so popular, it really is great fun! If felt a bit like I was a member of an organized dance group performing.

If you, like me prefer to get the heart pumping from something other than logging hours on a treadmill or elliptical machine, you need to pay Gail’s ZUMBA® class a visit. I know I’ll be back!


Here are a few suggestions for newcomers:

  • Make sure you eat throughout the day. Strenuous exercise without giving your body enough fuel is bad news.
  • Consider taking one class when you are starting out, especially if you aren’t accustomed to exercising for almost and hour and a half straight.
  • All ages will benefit from and enjoy Gail’s classes. There were seniors and at least one teenager in the classes I attended.
  • Men are welcome!