Hi, I am Jo Ann! I can be found working at the front desk, teaching Spin on Wednesday’s at 9:30am and two aqua classes on Monday morning beginning at 10am in the women’s pool! In addition to my Spin Certification, I also have my Personal Training Certification and sometimes sub in other group exercise classes when needed. In short, I have an extreme passion for all things fitness and enjoy living this lifestyle, while helping others every step of the way!

Now, I come to you looking to help you in a new and fun way. Switching up your exercise routine is key when trying to continue to reach your goals throughout your life, because you know what they say, “variety is the spice of life.” Unfortunately, it gets hard to step outside of your comfort zone and try a new, and sometimes what looks like a scary class. We ask ourselves, “what if it is too hard? what if it isn’t for me?” Lucky for you, I am taking away that intimidation and eliminating the “what ifs?’

To explain, every month I will be taking two different classes that are offered here at Toms River Fitness. I will explain what the class is all about, what to expect from the instructor and what I personally got out of the class.

So what do you have to do? Simple, read my blog and all of your answers can be found, both on here and the ladies locker room bulletin board. My #1 goal is to bring you  to the next level of fitness. Allow me to entice you to step out of your box and try something new!



I would like to introduce to you the woman that works very hard with her team to keep our “HOME” in tip top shape. Her name is Karen. Karen has been with us since 2002 as a part-time house-keeper. When she started working here she used to work the 5:00am to 8:30am shift. She did not really enjoy these hours because she is a night person. She is not a fan of the early morning hours; I’m sure just like a lot of us.

In 2004, Karen applied for the Mgr. Position in house-keeping. Shelley gave her a pair of rubber gloves with jewels on them to announce that she got the position and she still has them.

Karen confessed to me that the job was challenging at first because she had to manage her former co-workers. One of her first jobs as the manager, as per Ray, was to put a system into place with specific things to be cleaned on specific days to help maintain the gyms cleanliness.

Karen manages about 14 people which is no simple task. I don’t know if you have ever looked around at all the different items in the gym that need to be cleaned, if you haven’t take a look, you will be amazed. Karen has to run a tight ship to make sure that nothing is left behind and everything is cleaned and filled
on daily basis. The gym is split into 3 or 4 sections to be cleaned everyday depending how many people she has on staff that day. Her staff must clean the entire section they are assigned. Her staff must also do what we call “detail cleaning”. The best way to explain what detail cleaning is by saying it’s like cleaning behind your stove. You don’t see it every day but it still has to be maintained in a clean state.

Some of Karen’s other responsibilities as a Mgr. is to place all the orders for cleaning supplies and go buy the supplies for the coffee bar. She has to make and meet the budget for the supplies and her staff. Yes, if you were wondering she also gets her own section to clean as well. A few of her favorite things to do is
to balance the gyms credit card receipts on a weekly basis and to make the budget for her department because she loves numbers. Before Karen had children she received an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Brookdale Community College. With that degree she held a job in a bank as both a teller and as part of the commercial loan department.

One of Karen’s least favorite things to do is to clean up vomit. (Again, like so many of us) Can you really blame her? Her biggest pet peeve in life is when people don’t do their job or what is asked of them.

Karen loves her job here because she loves and cares for all the people she works with and for. She enjoys the flexibility in the hours she works and she loves to organize things. So as you can see this is the perfect fit for her. Karen has been married for 37 years to a wonderful man. She has 3 children, 2 grand-children and 2 on the way both due this spring. She is also very involved in her Church and loved coordinating Vacation Bible School for 15 years. She said “Everyday was like putting a large puzzle together trying to organize all the people and the activities.

I always tell new members when I tour the gym with them that TRF is the cleanest gym around. I owe that to Karen and her team and am very proud to say that. So, thank you Karen and your team.

If you see Karen or her team walking around with either a scrub brush or a vacuum just give them a smile to let them know how much you appreciate them keeping “Our Home” clean.


Maintenance Manager


Here is the man that keeps TRF in working order. Bill is our Maintenance Mgr. Bill and his team keep all of our machines, pools, saunas, floors, walls, doors & coffee pots etc.. In excellent working order. He is also the installer of anything new that we get here at TRF. He is our in house “Jack of all trades”. There isn’t a thing that Bill cannot fix, build or maintain. If you look in the dictionary under “Mr. Fix It”, there is a picture of Bill.

Bill’s start with us here at TRF is an interesting one. He did not start in our maintenance department right away. He started as an instructor of an “AB” class. I heard through the grapevine that his classes were always jam packed to the brim. He joined us in 1988 as an aerobics instructor teaching that ab class. He then started working at the front desk as well. Then one day someone broke into the back fire door to rob us and Bill offered to fix the door. The rest is history. He slowly started fixing more and more things around the gym. Back then he was a department of one.

His next job here a TRF was that of a Step instructor and he also taught an Aerobic class. So, from very early on in his career at TRF he wore many hats. He was fixing more and more things while working the front desk and being an instructor (a fabulous one I hear). As the gym got larger and larger Bill decided to go full time in the maintenance department in 1995.

Some of Bill’s responsibilities as the Maintenance manager is to make his department schedule & set priorities for what needs maintenance. He is also responsible for the mechanical operations of both pools and both spas. Besides making sure that all the members have a well maintained and functioning gym to
come to everyday, Bill also makes sure that everything we the workers, use at the gym to do our jobs is functioning 100% of the time. I honestly don’t know how he does all that and always, always with a smile on his face. I know Bill for only 6 years and never once have I ever seen him without a smile.

Bill loves his job for many reasons. One because it is different every day. He loves the people he works with and he feels great pride in his work when he restores something to its proper functioning order. His favorite part of his job is keeping not only everything running in great condition but making sure everyone is happy 100% of the time.

Bill met his wife at the racquetball club and has been married for 27 years. He has 3 children and 2 grandchildren. I would like to quote Bill because I couldn’t express how he feels in my
words. He said, “Despite being the go-to-guy I couldn’t imagine working in a better
place”. I feel that just shows the love that Bill has for his job and everyone here at

One day, a few years ago, I was at home just thinking about all of my co- workers at TRF. I thought to myself if we were all a real family that lived in the same house what roles would we all hold and what would our titles be. I wondered who would be Mom, Dad, crazy uncle Vinny and so on. I decided that Bill would be Dad because he is that person that you go to that will fix anything from the pencil sharpener to a wounded heart. He is the person that will do whatever needs to be done to make sure you are happy and taken care of. So from that day forward I do not call him Bill. I call him “DAD”.

Thanks Dad for all you do for us and for your smile and unwavering love for each and every one of us here at TRF. It is an honor to be your co-worker and friend.


Here is an instructor with over 3 decades of experience. So you can imagine the wealth of information the she possesses and shares with her students. Deb came to TRF 25 years ago teaching high and low impact aerobics. She also taught Step aerobics and Slide (which is a workout with the use of gliders) for us at TRF. Deb has experience teaching at other facilities as well. She taught at the “Sweat Shop” and at “Body Alive”, both for 5 years a piece. Deb stated proudly that that she followed the Jane Fonda trend back when the women’s exercise craze began.

Deb started her aqua career here 15 years ago. Even after so many years Deb said “I love teaching and will continue to teach my students”. This class, Liquid Cardio is a level 4 class which is a mid-level class. Deb structures her class on 30 minutes of non-stop cardio exercises then 30 minutes of toning exercises with the use of Buoys and/or the noodle. She offers her students to check their heart rate in between the two segments to make sure they are not working too hard or not working hard enough.

From my view on the pool deck the class looked challenging and fun. The ladies looked like they were having a blast which is easy to do with Deb as the instructor because she is very personable and encourages you to work hard. You will never get bored in her classes because she uses a different workout every week with different music.

My two favorite exercises she did was she had the class hold onto the side walls of the pool and do exercises there to tone your legs. It simulated Barre work in a ballet class. The second one I liked was she had the class leap across the short width of the pool in only 4 leaps. Sounds easy right? Well it’s not. The whole class was giggling at how hard it was.

Deb makes it very easy to follow along in her class. Her passion for her craft and her students shines through for the whole 55 minutes of the class. Deb is now retired from her job that she held for 15 years at Health South assisting Physical Therapists. She is also enjoying her 3 grandchildren and is over the moon that there is a 4th one on the way.

I liked Deb’s closing words of encouragement to her class. Her words seemed to put an exercise class into a different light for myself and I’m sure the class as well. She explained that in an average aqua class you take approximately 3,500 – 4,000 steps. It is important to try and take 10,000 steps a day for good heart health. So if you come to a one hour class you are half way there. So can you imagine the benefits you will reap from 2 – 3 classes a week?

Please join Deb on your way to better heart health. Your heart and soul will be glad you do! 



Aqua Aerotone is a great class if you want a toning and aerobic water workout. It is a level 4 class, which is a mid-level class but do not worry because Carol gives you many options to work a little easier or a little harder. She offers modifications to her harder moves to make them easier for you.

Carol divides her class into different sequences. She did a jumping jack sequence, a kick sequence and an abdominal sequence. In between she adds aerobic movements as well as toning exercises. She will keep her class the same for 4-6 weeks to ensure you master the moves and get the most out of each exercise. She does change her music every week to avoid boredom.

Carol is a Physical Therapist so she is very knowledgeable and shares her knowledge with you. She explains what muscles you are using during each exercise. She is very concerned about all of her students executing the moves correctly. She even had 2 students demonstrate a move to the newer students in
the class to make sure they were doing it properly.

Being in Carol’s class is like being at her kitchen table having a cup of coffee. She knows everyone’s name and speaks to them individually throughout the class. I absolutely loved that aspect of her class.

Carol started her career here at TRF in 1998 as an aqua instructor. She has been a swim instructor for 16 years as well. Carol has an extensive aqua background due to the fact that before she came here to TRF she was the director of a YMCA’s Aqua department in North Jersey.

For the past 17 years she has also been teaching an aquatic physical therapy class for those with Multiple Sclerosis. In that class she focuses a lot on core work, balance and coordination. Carol offers her students the opportunity to
walk in the water the way they used to walk on land before they developed M.S. This class is every Friday at 1:00pm for one hour in the co-ed pool. It is free to members or a minimal $5.00 charge for non-members.

Carol also teaches adult women how to swim. She enjoys giving them the confidence and skills to become a swimmer. I encourage you to take a class with Carol and get to know her. She is a hidden gem here at TRF. I promise you will smile, laugh and learn a lot of new information, both about yourself and exercise.

DECEMBER 6, 2018

For the past two years I have had the pleasure of attending our annual Holiday party. This is an event with a very long history. It started out as a pool side party for the aqua ladies and the aqua instructors with only about 20 people. From
there it expanded to the aqua members taking the instructors out to a restaurant to celebrate the Holidays together. Over the years the celebration grew and grew and when Sandy hit, the expense became too large for those affected by the hurricane. It was then that Shelley stepped in and offered to have it here at TRF. Since the very beginning the party was always the first week in December. From 20 people poolside the party has grown to over 100 members and their families this year at TRF.

This year I wanted to interview a few ladies at the party to see what this celebration meant to them. I was blown away by the love, appreciation and gratitude of the members I interviewed.

I spoke with Leona from table 15. She said she loved coming to the party to get a chance to socialize with the members and to do something with them that doesn’t involve sweating. Pat Kennedy said she loves meeting new people and learning about them. Susan said she always feels comfortable here at TRF. Faye said she notices an improvement in her posture and mobility since coming to the gym and Jan said everyone she has met here has become a friend.

As you can see the party was a great success. There is so much behind the scenes work that goes into planning such a great party. We start thinking of the theme in late October and making list of the employees that will perform each task. If you were to watch us prepare you would see we work like a very well-oiled machine. It is all done with love for our members and it is our great joy that everyone looks so forward to it every year and has such a great time.

So, thank you all for allowing me to share in your Holiday Party once again. I look forward to next year!!


What an absolutely wonderful addition to our TRF family!! Allow me to introduce Abby to you. She is a yoga instructor who found her way here to Toms River Fitness and boy oh boy are we lucky to have her. She has only been with us for a short while but I could never tell by the bond that she already has with her students. I felt a certain excitement in the air when we were waiting on the steps of Studio C to enter Abby’s yoga class. Everyone seemed ready to learn and practice Yoga with our newest instructor.

Power Vinyasa flow Yoga is a 60 minute class that focuses on core strength, balance and matching your breath to your yoga flow. This class will give you a strong body as well as a balanced and calm mind.

Abby has been practicing yoga for 14 years but she did not discover Power yoga until 5 1/2 years ago. It completely changed her life. She was completely both in touch and obsessed with the cathartic experience of yoga from that day forward. She is a nurse that had a very impactful career, moving into the world of educating and credentialing nurse experts in oncology. Two years ago she left her career to pursue teaching yoga fulltime. Since then she has dived into teaching, practicing and living yoga. It has helped her heal from a 13 year long career as a Pediatric Oncology/Transplant nurse and has helped her grow as a human being. She is also the mother of 3 children ages 4, 11, and 14.

While Abby has her plate full, she thrives on practicing and sharing her love of yoga with everyone. Abby held a 1 1/2 hour hot yoga class on New Year’s Day here at TRF. I heard it was a great success.

If you are looking to start something new this year, why not try Yoga? You will be amazed at all you will gain both from practicing Yoga and sharing that practice with our lovely Abby. Let me know what you think!


Who has the best, most contagious laugh on the planet? Sue does. Allow me to introduce Sue Minnitti to you. She is part of our member service’s team. 37 years ago Sue’s Dad was the milkman for the Toms River Racquetball club and had mentioned the place to Sue, saying maybe she should go check it out and get a job there. So, Sue followed her Dad’s advice. She walked in, met Shelley and it was love at first site. During my interview with Sue the one constant and repeating sentiment I got from her was, “She would not be who she was today if it were not for the love and guidance of Shelley and Ray”. She spent her life reveling in their happiness.

Sue has been part of the TRF family for 37 years. She started at the racquetball club working at the front desk handing out towels and keys, checking people in and filling the Gatorade cooler with the powder and water. (Yes, that is the way Gatorade came back in the day) Sue started her career here with a full time job and was paid $4.00 an hour. Also at the racquetball club she became certified in and taught Step Aerobics, Weight Training, “Old School Aerobics”, Spin and Personal Training. There was also a time in her career here when she drove all the way to Ocean Twp., to the Ocean Fitness Center for Women to take care of the member service needs at that gym also owned by Ray and Shelley. Sue’s responsibilities here include but are by no means limited to taking
care of all the member correspondences and handling public partnerships. She confirms by email all the changes requested for memberships. You can also find Sue behind our front desk and teaching Spin on Saturday at 8:00am.

I asked Sue what her favorite memory here was and she told me of a time a member had lost a necklace of great sentimental value to her and Sue found it. It wasn’t just the finding of the necklace that made Sue happy; it was knowing that we have great procedures set in place here to help our members in every way.

Sue strives to make all of our members happy and comfortable any way she can. She feels that when you walk into TRF you are walking into “Shelley’s Home”. Sue rolls out the red carpet for all the members when they walk into our gym. She is very proud to say that not only does she treat our members like that but so does the entire staff. Everyone here at TRF goes above and beyond for every single member.

Sue is also an Ocean County College graduate. A LMT, Licensed Massage Therapist. Sue is also a proud mother of 4 children and a very proud Grandmother to 4 grandchildren.

I will close with what her husband says to her. He tells her that if he wants a happy wife he calls here to talk to her because when he’s home with her he gets…”What do you want….” I feel we are all the same here at TRF when we are working, very, very happy!!


Here is an instructor that you can learn so much from. Laney has a degree in Dance with a heavy concentration in Anatomy and Physiology. When you take any one of her classes that educational background shines through very brightly. During your exercises she gives you an anatomy lesson explaining what is happening inside of your body to your muscles, tendons and ligaments. Laney plays great music, cues you right on the beat and talks you through every movement, all with a big smile on her face. She offers modifications for all exercises. She said many times that even the use of weights was optional in her class. She stresses the point of correct body positioning during all exercises. She might even come around to fix you if you are in the wrong position. Not to embarrass you, but to protect you from injury and to make sure you are executing the move correctly.

I particularly liked her class because she used compound movements and then stretched after each exercise before moving onto the next body part. I also love Laney’s personality. She is very funny and friendly. She wants everyone to feel comfortable and confident in her class. Most importantly, she loves to teach members that want to learn new things.

Laney has been teaching since the 1980’s. She was talked into becoming an instructor while she continued her dance career. She was a member of the Reebok Performance team back in the day. Laney also teaches S.L.A.M and Urban Rebounding here at TRF. Another passion of Laney’s is her One Size Smaller team, The Mermaids. She loves small group training because she can pay extra close attention to her members. Her team has had many wins and they are very proud of that.

Laney bases all of her classes on functional training which she feels is a very important part of exercise and the aging body. In her words “Work smarter not harder”. So please try one of Laney’s classes. I promise you will come out smarter and physically fit.


Allow me to introduce our Energizer Bunny to you. Her name is Sam. She is a nonstop, hard hitting instructor. What does that mean? Let me use her words to explain. When the class first started she told her class to “get comfortable being uncomfortable”. She wants her class to work as hard as they can and to get what they came for. I saw her going around to the members of her class encouraging them one on one to bring out the beast in them. She constantly gave everyone compliments and praises.

Sam is a stickler for proper form. She will make sure you are executing every move with the proper body alignment. During every exercise she explained what muscles you were working and where you should feel the burn.

This class started out with a 10 minute cardio warm up, followed by a timed workout called an EMOM which stands for every minute on the minute. That means that at the beginning of every minute for a specific time frame you will be doing a different exercise for one minute. Sam explained that this type of workout is a great way to get a hard workout in if you are pressed for time. So, for example one the EMOM’s were combined of 10 squats to an overhead shoulder press with weights, 10 burpees and 10 squat thrusts for 5 minutes. Then she gave us a break to recover but we had to continue to move our feet to keep our heart rates up. Then it was on to another EMOM made up of different exercises.

This class is very demanding and meant for someone who likes to work hard and push themselves to their mental and physical limit. Sam will welcome you and guide you through an excellent and yes, “hard work out”.



Hello, I thought it would be nice to introduce some of the other staff members here at Toms River Fitness. I feel it is important for you to get to know all the special people that make up our Toms River Fitness family. I would like to start with introducing Cathy Morris to you. She is one of the most positive and happy people that I know. You will never see her without a big smile on her face. She also possesses a tremendously positive attitude. She knows how much I look up to her and how
much I look to her for insight that only Cathy can give. Cathy has worked for TRF for 30 years and 6 months.

She started at our Racquetball club in 1988 doing laundry and working the front desk. She then moved onto becoming the Housekeeping Manager and working in the Member Services Department. She moved to our TRF and Aquatic Center in 1997 in our Member Services department and that is where she spends most of her time these days. Some of her responsibilities in Member Services are billing, processing request forms and inputting agreements for our new family members. Cathy wears many different hats here at TRF.

She can be found working the front desk, teaching a spin class in the spin room or opening the gym at 4:30 am. She is known among her co-workers as “Cathy said”. She will always do anything and everything in her power to help both her co-workers and you, our members. I asked her what her favorite part of her job was and she said “I love my job. I love to help the members by making them happy”. 

Before Cathy arrived here at TRF she obtained her Associates degree in the Social Sciences. She was a Marine from 1983-1987. She is a very proud, single mother of three amazing boys. She currently works 2 jobs and always finds the time to lend a helping hand when needed. Cathy’s moto she likes to live by is, “Ain’t no mountain high enough”. If you have ever had the pleasure of working with her or speaking to her you will know that is very true.


SPIN with Jill 

BRAVA!! BRAVA!! What an experience! I’ve always heard what a great Spin class Jill teaches but I’ve never had the opportunity to take one of her classes.

Jill starts off her class by welcoming everyone with a big smile and asking if anyone is new to Spin. During the warm-up song she gives a detailed description of the different hand and body positions that make up a Spin class. She worked very hard to make sure you were positioned properly on the bike
throughout all of the positions she was explaining to you. She also explained the reason you need to have good form and that was to avoid injuries. When Jill wanted to let you know how quick you should be pedaling your feet she showed you by rolling her hands at the specific speed. I found the visual example to be very helpful.

The songs Jill chose for this ride were excellent. I found them all enjoyable and I knew every one of them. So I was singing along the whole class. Jill gets on and off her bike and walks around the front of the room encouraging all to do their best. If you’re watching closely you will even see Jill throw in one or two dance moves.

As you can see I truly loved spinning with Jill. Her class was filled with joy, smiles and hard work. Her class is great for all fitness levels. Her cueing is on point and her music is wonderful. I blinked and 55 minutes of riding a stationary bike in the dark with loud music was over. I was very disappointed for the class to end.

I encourage everyone to add Jill’s Spin class to their workout routine. She also teaches Thursday mornings at 8:30 am. You will not be disappointed, I promise! It was one of the best spin classes I have ever taken. I will definitely take more. Let’s all meet in the spin room!


LITE BAR with Sandy 

What is “Lite Bar?” The Lite Bar is just like “The Bar class” in the fact that it  is a pre-choreographed class that stays exactly the same for 3 months. This type of class focuses on conditioning the major muscle groups of the body. The “Lite Bar” class differs from “The Bar” class in a few ways. First it is less intense than The Bar, which means the exercises are somewhat easier. Remember I said somewhat, it is still a challenging class. Second, typically you will use lighter weights in lite bar. Finally, the music is more retro than The Bar music. With all of these differences, this class is geared more for the person that still enjoys exercise but doesn’t like to beat their bodies up with many repetitions of hard hitting

I would describe the movements and exercises of the lite bar class as functional fitness exercises. There is an equal amount of balance work, muscle toning, stretching and core stability exercises. By functional fitness exercise I mean that you will train your muscles to work together and prepare them for
daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home or at work. Some of the benefits of functional training are improved balance and stability, increased flexibility and coordination. It also helps with joint pain and increases the ease of everyday life.

Sandy is the instructor for the lite bar class that I am spotlighting this month. I recently introduced you to Sandy when I blogged her Zumba Gold class. I always enjoy taking a class that Sandy teaches because of her great sense of humor and her caring nature for each and every lady in her class. I promise you
will always laugh and smile in Sandy’s classes and you will always feel very loved by her. If you’ve been thinking about broadening your horizons in your workout routine try Sandy’s lite bar class. You will not be disappointed in anyway, I promise.


BEGINNER STEP with Claire 

Excellent class!! Go Claire!! I must confess to you that a step class is very difficult for me to take because I am not the most coordinated person in the room. So I was very nervous going in to blog this class. I must say that with Claire’s expert cueing and functional musicality the class was instructed in a way that I could follow along.

Claire starts her class by asking if anyone is new to step. My hand shot high up into the air, I wanted it to be known that I have never done this before so everyone knew why I was so clumsy. Claire has 14 years’ experience in teaching step, so you have a pro for an instructor. Claire speaks very clearly which is quite important in a class such as step. Claire is very sweet and personable, so even if you do mess up she will work harder with her cueing so you don’t fall behind. She
also performs the entire class with you so you can have a visual reference as well as her verbal cueing.

The class starts with a warm up to slowly get your heart rate elevated then a quick stretch follows. Then it’s off to the races.

The routines start out slow and controlled. As the class progresses the intensity of the movements increase. Step has its own language, that as a “newbie” I did not know. Claire both speaks the name of the move as she performs it every time she asks you to do it, so after a few times you will know the name of the move. Just like anything else, the more you take the class the more you will know the lingo.

Claire teaches the combo’s one step at a time then expands on what you’ve learned by adding new moves. It was great to watch Claire in the front of the room because once she gets into her groove there is no stopping her and that much coordination amazes me.

Step is a great cardio workout as well as a great leg workout. It takes great effort to step up and down for 45 minutes. There are many modifications available to you if you wanted to take it down a notch or pick it up a bit as well. Claire will cue you for both options. Wait…there’s more…Claire also incorporates about 6-8 minutes of abdominal exercises into the class at the end. She gives you the option to stay or not.

If you’d like to add something different to your workout routine then by all means join Claire and her steppers in this beginner step class. You will work different muscle groups and get an excellent cardio workout as well.


BODY SHRED with Michele 

I have three words to say about “Michele” and her body shred class, “Best class ever”!! There are so many things I absolutely loved about this class that I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I will start with the breakdown of the class. It is a 3/2/1 class, which means you get 3 minutes of strength training, which includes weights, 2 minutes of cardio, which can include jumping jacks, jumping rope or burpees, aka as squat thrusts, then 1 minute of abs.

Michele starts her class with an explanation of how the class will work. She also tells you that during the cardio portion of the class you can do whatever works for you. You do not have to do what she tells you to do. She explains that this is your time to use the room and get your workout in. I absolutely fell in love at that point because let’s face it; you can’t always do what the instructor is asking you to do. So here is your chance to tone it down or up if you so choose to. She then thanks everyone for coming out to her class and gives all a big heartfelt welcome!

Michele starts her class with a very well-choreographed warm up that lasted about 10 minutes to slowly increase your heartrate. Then she added a nice stretch. Then off it was! Every move flowed right into the next one. You can see from the very beginning how much Michelle loves what she does.

This class had 5 different segments of the 3/2/1 workout. Michele did different exercises for each segment all while staying with the 3/2/1 format. It might sound hard but it was easier than I thought it was going to be.

For the first 3 minute segment your workout will contain weight training. She has you work all the major muscle groups while also including compound movements. For the 2 minute segment she will have you doing some sort of cardio. Michele also cues you when you’re one minute into the exercise, in case you want to change what you are doing. She has tons of examples of different kinds of cardio exercises you could do. For the last 1 minute segment it’s all about abs. Again, Michele offers all different levels of the exercises she is asking you to perform.

As you can tell I enjoyed this class immensely and here are few reasons why. Number 1, Michele, has impeccable cueing skills. I never lost a step in her class which is not very easy for me to do. I am not the most coordinated person in the room most days. Number 2, Michele is very knowledgeable with all the muscles of the body, muscle movements and with different exercises to offer amazing modifications to all her moves. My new name for her is “The Energizer Bunny”. She did not stop for a second through the entire class.

Michele holds many Bachelor’s degrees in all forms of exercise. I think that will explain her passion, commitment and knowledge for exercise and her students.

Please step out of your box and try this class. You will love it and yes, let me know what you think.


WATER WORKS with Cathi

Let me introduce Cathi to you. She comes to us from our Brick Fitness Studio. She is an aqua instructor and a floor aerobics instructor. I was very impressed with her knowledge of various exercises for the water. She kept her class engaged and performing different exercises for both your cardio workout and for the toning part of the class as well. She is very soft spoken but yields a big
stick when cuing her class. All of the exercises flowed seamlessly from the beginning of class to the end of class.

Cathi mixes in upper body toning with lower body training and adds in a cardio explosion when she want you to work a little harder. All is followed by some recovery time to bring your heartrate back down and to reset yourself for her next sequence of hard work. She includes abdominal exercises into a lot of her class. She so easily incorporates the exercises that you’re not even aware you are working your core. Towards the end of the class Cathi takes out the water buoys or the noodles to add functional training into the class and simply to have more fun. Who doesn’t like to play with toys in the pool? I know I do and am sure you
will too!

If you love aerobics, toning your body, water running and the use of aqua equipment then this is the class for you. Taking a class in the Co-ed pool is different than being in the women’s pool because you can intensify the exercises
by taking your feet off the floor and suspending your legs in the water. This is a level 3 or level 4 class, which means that it is good for the beginner aqua student, level 3, or for the more advanced, level 4. What that means is you can make this
work out your own. If you want to work harder than by all means go for it but also on the flip side if you’re new to aqua training then you can work at the beginner level.

THE BAR with Suzanne 

I’d like you all to meet Suzanne. She has an infectious personality, is very energetic and has a wonderful smile. She is such a sweet and genuine person, I am certain you will love her and her class. Suzanne starts her class with a big welcome to her students and then gives them a brief synopsis of the class, all the while encouraging them to do their best.

“The Bar” class is a class that is pre-choreographed by our wonderful Sandy K, our Group Exercise Director. The class stays the same for 3 months. You will do the same exercises to the same music for the course of the 3 months which is intended to build strength and endurance. You will get stronger each class. This was Suzanne’s first time teaching the new bar class but you’d never
know it. She was a pro! Suzanne made certain she said it was a new bar class and she will take her class slowly through it with very detailed explanations of all the moves. That is exactly what she did.

Suzanne offered many modifications through her class. She stressed the fact that you should never have pain when exercising and also offered her expertise at the end of class for any questions that arose for you during the class.
She offered continual body positioning cues during the class which I thing is the most important thing in an exercise class. Incorrect body positioning when executing a move can lead to serious injuries. She took the time to make sure everyone had good form.

At the end of class she stretched our muscles while explaining the importance of a post workout stretch. If you take her class you will not only smile, laugh, workout hard but you will learn a lot also.

My favorite part of Suzanne’s class was her jokes. I found her spirit very heartwarming and I am certain you will too.


STEP INTERVAL with Kristy 

Let me introduce you to Kristy. She is a wonderful instructor and cares very much for her students. She is an amazing step instructor. Her cueing can help even the most novice student through a fantastic class. She begins the class by introducing herself and asking if there are any new steppers in the room.

Then onto a great cardio warm up for about 8 minutes, followed by a brief stretch then onto the step we went. The step combos started easy on the step then got progressively faster. While on the step Kristy incorporated interval training with 30 seconds of an all-out cardio push.

From the step it was then onto the floor for the training part of the class. This week she used a body bar. We went through an upper body workout, inner thigh workout and a 1 min cardio push of jumping jacks while doing an overhead press with the body bar. The floor training part of the class lasted for about 10 minutes. Then we went back onto the step for the second time. The step combos were more intense this time and for a longer period of time. We then went back to weights for our interval weight training part of the class. Just when you thought you were done… was back onto the step for a final cardio push.

Kristy finished her class with a great cool down and stretch. She is a very motivational trainer. She pushes you to do your best throughout the class. Her music was perfect for this type of class. She always offered modifications for all her moves.

If you’re looking for a high intensity, cardio, strength interval class, whether you’re new to step or not this is the class for you.


AQUA AEROTONE with Pat Mermini 

WOW!! Talk about an exciting and entertaining class. I was amazed at the amount of energy Pat shares with her class. She gives so much of herself to her students. It is so plain to see how much both Pat and her students enjoy each other. Her students were constantly moving in the water. Every move flowed seamlessly into the next. Pat gives you a great core workoutwhile she tones and sculpts your muscles.

Pat starts her class with an easy to follow combination then builds on that combo. Sounds easy right? No, Pat expects you to put more and more effort into each round of the combination, so the class gets increasingly difficult.

Pat has two rules in her class. No. 1 is to make sure you breathe.
No. 2 is to SMILE!

Every Tuesday night Pat “shakes it up a bit for her class”. She will always have some sort of exercise surprise for you. I found Pat always encouraging her students to work harder and she was constantly giving her class compliments. You will work every muscle of your body. You will get your cardio exercise. You will work with water weights called buoys and or noodles. Then at the end of the class you will recover and stretch.

So, if you need to be surrounded by a sweet soul who has the biggest smile on earth, then come let Pat instruct you though one hour of exercise.

PILATES with Sheryl 

I had never taken Sheryl’s Pilates class before but boy oh boy was I pleasantly surprised with many aspects of her class. First, I loved Sheryl’s personality and her teaching style. She was very easy to follow and had a calm and soothing voice. She turned the overhead lights out, leaving just the rope lights on in the room. Then, her voice, calmed me down and helped me shut out everything that was happening around me so I could focus on just me and my work out for 45 minutes.

The music was soft and the exercises flowed from one to the next seamlessly. Now, I did not say it was easy…It was very challenging. Sheryl offered modifications to all moves to either make them easier for the beginner or harder
for the expert.

Second, I loved the fact that there was no strict set of repetitions for each exercise that we did. She said “Do as many or as few that feels right for your body”. To me, that was amazing because I was a little tired that day and really couldn’t work very, very hard. My workout was left up to me.

Third, there were many classic Pilate’s moves in her class. Then there were also some exercises to which Sheryl added her own flair to. My favorite part of the class that made a tremendous difference in my form and core strength was something Sheryl mentioned. She said “Everything you do in this class should be graceful; there should be no jerking movements”. I will confess, am about as graceful as a bull in a china shop, so once I heard her say that, I focused on my ability to be more graceful and that brought my experience in the class to a different level.

I will absolutely take this class again because I enjoyed Sheryl’s calm and relaxing teaching methods. I also enjoyed how challenging I could make the class if I so chose. I know it might sound strange, but if you want to relax and work hard at the same, time then join Sheryl for a great Pilate’s class!!!



If you have had a hard week at work or with the kids and need to unwind and let off some steam here is your class. If you’re looking to start your weekend off early and with a bang then again, here is the class for you. Nicole’s Zumba party starts from the first beat of the music and does not end till the last beat.

The class was full of both men and women of all different dance levels. Nicole’s choreography is fun and easy to follow for the beginner and you can add your own flare if you are a Zumba expert. Nicole plays excellent Spanish driven music as she dances all the classic Zumba dance moves.  She provides you with a complete head to toe workout as well as an awesome cardio experience.

I have taken many Zumba classes and Nicole has by far the most infectious personality I have seen in a Zumba class. She moves and dances around the room so you feel like you are actually dancing with her. Her musicality is amazing; she makes you want to be the best dancer you can be. Her energy is so contagious as well, I found myself not wanting the class to end ever!! Nicole turns off the big overhead bright lights and uses the rope lights along the ceiling as well as a black light to give that extra special affect.

Nicole is a master at the art of Zumba. I could not take my eyes off of her. She is such a pleasure to watch and learn from. So, either start your weekend off with a bang or dance out your frustrations from the week with Nicole!!

R & R (ROLL & RECOVERY) with Christine

What is Roll & Recovery and why do it? What is the best time to roll out your muscles and what can you gain from it? How will I know how to roll properly and what equipment do I need? Those are all the questions I had going into the class, so allow me to answer all of your questions.

Rolling out your muscles has many benefits. Once you start rolling, you will wonder how you ever performed your workouts without it. If you regularly roll out your muscles 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after a workout, you will help prepare your muscles for the workouts ahead and you will help your muscles recover more easily.

One of the benefits of foam rolling is deep tissue massage. It reduces inflammation, decreases muscle soreness, relieves joint stress, improves blood circulation to yourmuscles, improves flexibility and improves mobility.  It’s a pre-workout stretch and a self-massage post workout.

Now, what do you do in the class? Christine supplies the tennis balls, the foam roller and all of her knowledge and guidance to take you through a wonderful class. You start, lying on a yoga mat. Christine started class using the tennis ball to roll out the trapezius muscles of your back. She told you where to place the ball, what it should feel like while you were making small circles on the ball. Then she went around making sure you had the ball in the correct spot. She had us do 2 to 4 passes on each muscle and we finished with a stretch before moving on to the next muscle group. We stayed with the tennis ball and rolled over to our latissimus dorsi muscles, our gluteus maximus, performis muscles and our sciatic nerves.

We then switched to the foam roller to roll out the muscles in our legs.  We used the roller on our quadriceps, inner & outer thigh, I.T. bands and our calf muscles. Every time we switched to a new muscle Christine went around to everyone in the class making sure we were getting what we came for.

When the class was over, my muscles were singing with glee. My body felt so much better than it did when I walked into class. I could definitely feel the improvement in my muscles. I will say there is some pain involved, but it’s a good pain. The pain comes from the pressure you are applying to your muscles with the tennis ball or the foam roller.  You control the amount of pressure, no-one else. So if it hurts too much, just back off to the pressure.

If your muscles feel sore or tight, or if you just want a deep tissue massage, sign up at the front desk for Christine’s R & R class. 


WOW!! I have found my favorite class and yours too I hope.  If you love spin and love weight training this is for you. You will start the first half of the class in the spin room, spinning with about 20 to 30 other people that like me love to spin no matter what time of day or night it is.  Gary is a great spin instructor! He will take up hills and down flat roads to music that has a great beat and will keep you motivated. He will also guide you through with the proper form to avoid any injuries. He makes you aware of where your heartrate should be during the class, ensuring that you get the most out of the cardio part of the class.

After you have gotten your cardio exercise in, you will meet upstairs in Studio C for half an hour of weight training if you choose to. If not, you can just spin with Gary. Vice versa you can just take the weight training part of the class. Gary is very knowledgeable in the correct technique needed to lift weights and he makes sure everyone is executing the moves properly. He worked all the major muscle groups of the body. I felt like he didn’t skip a beat in the transition from one workout to the next even though we switched rooms.  

At the end of the weight training part of the class was an excellent stretch and cool down. Gary is so personable that he makes me want to get up super early just to workout in his class.  

If spin and weights in the same hour seem great to you, please join in the fun with Gary! Or if you only want a half hour of either one, than this is for you too. 

PILATES with Regina –

To me there is nothing better than a good, strict Pilate’s class to help you find your core strength. This class fit that bill. We did all of the basic Pilates moves plus some more advanced moves as well. 

Regina told you the name of every muscle and group of muscles you were working during every single move.  I was very impressed with her knowledge. Regina gave modifications for every single exercise. So if one was too difficult she explained an easier way for you to complete the move. 

Regina included moves like the Pilates 100, roll ups, roll overs, cork screws, single straight leg lifts as well as double straight leg lifts.  Then we did work on our lower backs which is a very big part of the Pilates class. We used Yoga blocks, the Pilates ring and gliders in the class to incorporate different moves. 

All the moves are done slowly and controlled so you feel the muscle that you’re working burn. Regina also challenged us for 30 sec during certain moves to work as hard as we can. Then she challenged us again for 30 more seconds plus 5 to make it 35 seconds of pure burn. You only do what you can, never push yourself even if you’re being challenged. You make the class work for you.

If you’re looking for a classic Pilate’s class that will strengthen your core in ways you never knew possible than by all means please join Regina on Sunday mornings for a great burn.

ZUMBA GOLD with Sandy

New to Zumba? Not sure of Latin dance steps? Have I found the class for you. Sandy is the best instructor for this class for two reasons. First, she comes to us as a professionally trained dancer and second, she has a wonderfully warm and loving personality. When you combine the two you get an instructor who cares for her class and is an exceptional dancer.

Sandy incorporates many Latin dances into her Zumba class.  You will do the Cha Cha, the Mambo and the Merengue just to name a few. Do not worry if you’re like me and don’t know any of the dance steps. Sandy will walk you through it as many times as necessary for you to get the steps down pat.

The ladies draw energy from each other in the class and add their own dance flare to the moves making the class a lot of fun as well as a great workout.

Sandy is a professionally trained dancer so her timing and form are impeccable.  I loved to watch her dance as will you too. She keeps the choreography the same for a few weeks so you have a chance to master the dance steps and then she will switch it up for variety.

We also used Rip Sticks (drum sticks) and pounded out a few songs while sitting in a chair, I especially liked that part. My favorite part of the class however was at the end; it was a chorus kick line. We joined arms and kicked our legs as if we were the starring lead in a Broadway musical.

So, bring your rhythm, your dance moves and your smile to Studio C on Thursday’s at 10:30 and join Sandy for an hour of great music and great dancing!!!



Just listen to the name of the class; Strength, Length and Tone. Who doesn’t want to do that?  In SLT with Marci you can achieve all three and I will tell you how.

First I will explain the class and how it came to be at Toms River Fitness & Aquatic center. Marci took a similar class at a fitness seminar and fell in love with it.  It fits her style of exercise and her personality. By that I mean it’s a fast paced yoga class done in a warm room with the option of using light weights. It is quite different than a regular yoga class in many ways. The music is nothing like that played in traditional yoga classes. It has a more contemporary up beat feel to it which helps motivate you through the class. Most of the moves are the same as in a yoga class; they are the standard yoga poses. You will be doing a vinyassa flow, a 3 legged dog, Pilate’s push-ups, downward dog and a lot of core work.

Now how does that sound to you?  I hope I peeked your interest. Allow me to explain how you will strengthen, lengthen and tone your body. The strength comes from your core while executing yoga moves with the light weights. If you choose not to use the weights, your body weight alone with still strengthens you as you go through the moves. You will also see the strength transfer through your biceps, triceps and the rest of your body. It’s like you gain an inner strength that just propels you through the class.

You will lengthen your muscles by holding the poses for an extended period of time. There is a lot of stretching that you do in the class after you work a specific body part that will then make you look long and lean. That was my favorite part, it felt so good.

Finally, the toning aspect. The results you will see in your body from taking this class are different than the results you will see from taking let’s say a weight training class. In a weight training class you will watch your muscles grow. If you take this class over a period of time you will see yourself start to look long and lean. You will notice changes in your posture, changes in your abdomen and finally and overall inner strength.

I highly recommend this class if you’re looking to strengthen lengthen and tone your body.




REBOUNDING with Karen 

Ever want to feel like a kid again? Here’s your chance. Join Karen on Tuesday’s in studio AB!  Revisit your childhood by jumping up and down on a trampoline that we call a rebounder, while getting a high intensity training workout. 

Rebounding is essentially floor aerobics that has been adapted to the trampoline. I personally think it is one of the most fun classes that we offer at TRF. The energy in the room is “off the hook.” From the music, to the instructor, and everyone moving in unison to Karen’s impeccable cueing.

Karen’s excitement at the start of class is contagious. You can see how much she enjoys teaching this class. Every class starts with asking if anyone is new, then she goes over the basic way to jump on the rebounder.

The class consists of basic aerobic movements; jumping jacks, heel jacks, jogging, squats and more. Karen includes a tabata workout (20 seconds of hard work, followed by 10 seconds of recovery – 8 sets.) She incorporates an upper body workout and lower body; bicep curls, triceps, walking lunges, running laps, burpees and pushups into the class. This might sound overwhelmingly difficult but Karen makes it fun!

For the grand finale, Karen gets you back on the rebounder for 10 minutes of a cardio blast. She calls it “digging time.” Its your final explosion of high intensity interval training on the rebounder.

To name a few benefits of this class…easy on our joints, the skeletal system and soft tissue with minimal impact on the body. The Rebounder absorbs it all. You will challenge and improve your balance and improve cardiovascular development.

Karen has been an instructor for 25 years. She is a nationally qualified figure competitor for 13 years and has won many titles. You can find her teaching spin, weight training, TRX and aqua classes and on the floor as a Personal Trainer.

If you’re looking for great music, a wonderful instructor, a true high intensity training class … try it out!


THE BAR with Alex

Come meet Alex at “The Bar!” Alex is one of our many talented instructors here at TRF. She starts off her class welcoming everyone and asking how everyone is doing. She also checks to see if anyone is new to the class which is very important for safety reasons. Alex gave modifications for all of the moves that will be performed in the class. This was very helpful in case a member could not do the advanced version of an exercise.

Being that “The Bar” class is a pre-choreographed weight class, meaning that each song has a specific move or group of movements, Alex showed the movement for that song before the song started which helped with my confidence. Alex was constantly making us smile and laugh throughout the class with her great personality and her funny sense of humor. She has a knack for not making it feel like exercise. At the end of the class, I especially liked her stretch segment. It targeted all of the muscles we just worked on in the class.

Come on out and join Alex at “The Bar!”, you will not be disappointed.

KIDS ZUMBA with Besiana 

Do your children dance all around the house? Do they love to learn new moves? If they do, come meet Besiana for Kids Zumba!

This class has it all. Composed of easy to follow choreography and high energy music, Besiana has put a lot of herself into this class. Making it easy for the children to transition from move to move without getting lost and feeling uncomfortable. Besiana made sure that every child was following along and having fun, while making sure they weren’t working to hard. It was hard for me to tell who was having more fun; Besiana or the children!

If you are looking for a fun and energetic way to introduce your children to dance and fitness, this is the class for them! Your children will thank you and ask you to come back every week! The class is only $5 per child, but the first class is FREE! So what do you have to lose? Parents are welcome to stay and watch as your children dance their hearts out.

Besiana said, “If your child loves to dance and has an open mind, they should come join me for 45 minutes of fun and fitness!”

SPIN with Darlene 

Let us welcome Darlene to our family here at TRF! She comes to us with plenty of experience in both the Spin & Aerobic room, bring you a high intensity and fun workout!

Darlene put us on many different roads in the 55 minutes; climbing steep heels, sprinting on flat roads and jumping in and out of the saddle in between. She also offered an upper body workout with the use of light hand weights. Stepping off the bike to instruct us on a few combos, working our chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps while still peddling the spin bike. Darlene made it a point to give the option to not use the weights, if it made you feel uncomfortable. Although the class was high intensity, Darlene gave plenty of breaks to allow our heart rate to recover.

The playlist was comprised of mostly music with a driving beat, songs that you would love to dance to. Darlene’s love for spin and spirit matched the music perfectly, allowing us to get lost in the music and enjoy a great ride!

If you’re looking to find a spin class, or change up your workout…join Darlene in the spin room and start your weekends off with a kick!