Fitness experts bring old school aerobics back to Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY — Amber Zenith and Emily Nelson are fitness gurus, but a few years ago they used to leave their workouts feeling unsatisfied.

“We just felt like there was this niche missing in the fitness industry of all the things that we loved combined into one,” Nelson said.

Zenith said the classes were either super dancy and kind of low intensity or super intense with the teacher instructing the class to pump out 100 burpees.

They put their heads together and decided to go old school.

“We got inspired by aerobics classes from days from long ago — the eighties and the nineties,” Zenith said.

Nelson and Zenith combined their love of classic aerobics with today’s high-intensity interval and plyometric training which includes squats, burpees, and tuck jumps.

“We made it more fitness-y, so that you do get that really intense workout that people love, but with the fun factor of old-school aerobics,” Zenith said.

They call it High Fitness. They said it stands for many things like high energy and high endorphins.

“Whether you are going to the high option or the modification, it’s creating that high within yourself,” Nelson described.

Intermountain Healthcare’s Dr. Libba Shannonhouse said finding an activity you enjoy will help you meet ACSM’s recommended guidelines of exercising at least three to five days a week.

You bond with these people that you barely know because you’re pushing each other to go higher. When someone is jumping next to you, you’re like 'OK, maybe I can do that.'

–Emily Nelson

One High Fitness student, Pam Rasband, said High Fitness reminds her of the good old days. “I’m old enough to have done it in the nineties,” she said.

Even with asthma, Rasband keeps up. The class is designed to offer modifications for people who don’t want as intense of a workout.

“Their options are great for people that feel like they can’t do the tuck jumps or star jumps,” Rasband said.

Nelson and Zenith said the class appeals to all ages and genders.

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“You bond with these people that you barely know because you’re pushing each other to go higher. When someone is jumping next to you, you’re like 'OK, maybe I can do that,’” Nelson said.

Zenith said their theme is simple: “Aerobics is back — bigger, better, and higher!”

High Fitness classes are offered in more than 250 cities in North America. Nelson said no matter where you go to a high fitness class, the songs and routines are the same, making it easy to follow along.


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