If there’s anyone that can inspire a mom to lose that post-baby fat once and for all, it’s Jenn Bradsher.
The Yulee mother of four, whose Jazzercise fitness program debuted Jan. 4, 2012, used to wonder if she’d ever get her figure back. Then she asked another mom how she managed to slim down so quickly after pregnancy. The secret: Jazzercise.
Bradsher joined the dance fitness program shortly after having her second baby and lost a whopping 40 to 50 pounds. After two more pregnancies, she continues to have that slender, fit look that makes you marvel that she’s had any pregnancies at all, let alone four.
Now the 32-year-old has taken it a step further: she’s a certified instructor, and she’s ready to share her secret to fitness with our community. Jazzercise is offered four times a week at TNT Dance Studio on Amelia Concourse in Fernandina Beach. Even better: an on-site babysitting service is included at no extra cost.
Bradsher moved from Orlando to Yulee in 2009, when her husband, David, became pastor of Yulee’s Grace Community Church. The nearest Jazzercise centers were in Jacksonville, so she tried a number of other gyms and fitness programs in the Amelia Island area. Nothing compared to her beloved Jazzercise.
“With the other cardio programs I tried, I had to be at the gym an hour-and-a-half to two hours. As a busy mom, my time is too precious for that. Plus, I found that I got the most results from Jazzercise,” said Bradsher, whose children are 11, 9, 6 and 3.
So what makes Jazzercise so special?
Bradsher says it’s the program’s “smart, efficient” approach, which packs an intense workout into one hour. There’s cardio, strength and stretching, all set to popular music like Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera songs.
“We don’t do any Wiggles songs,” Bradsher joked. “For a mom, it’s like, ‘I’m getting to listen to grown-up music!'”
All kinds of techniques are incorporated in the workouts, including kickboxing, pilates, yoga and others. Weights and workout mats are provided on site.
Bradsher said the cardio program takes up 30 to 40 minutes of the hour-long workout. The other components, strength and stretching, are also choreographed to music.
“Strength training is so important for bone density and maintaining that core strength and balance,” Bradsher said. “As women, we tend to overdo the cardio and underdo the strength.”
Jazzercise is open to men and women alike, but it attracts a primarily female audience. Stats from the company show that 98 percent of participants are women.
Bradsher said her first Jazzercise instructor became more like a life coach and a friend to her, and she’s found that’s typical of Jazzercise instructors.
“You’re not just a number. We take the time to get to know you,” she said.
Jazzercise offers educational components she said she missed when she tried other programs. In class, instructors talk about injury prevention as they teach the dance moves. They offer easy modifications for low intensity as well as more advanced options. And Jazzercise, a national chain, offers videos on its website to help participants break down any move they might be struggling with step-by-step.
It’s also unique in that it doesn’t lock you into a contract.
“There’s no penalty for backing out,” Bradsher said.
On the other hand, when you pay for a month of Jazzercise, you can work out at any Jazzercise outfit, whether it’s here, or in Jacksonville, or in California, for that matter.
Walk-ins are also always welcome.
If you want to try Jazzercise:
When: 9 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 6 p.m. Tuesdays and 8 a.m. Saturdays
Where: TNT Dance Studio, 96537 Parliament Drive, Fernandina Beach, FL
Price: Rates vary depending on when you sign up, and for how long. Current rates allow you to sign up for 12 months and pay $35 per-month plus a $40 joining fee or sign up for 6 months and pay $40 a month plus a $60 joining fee.
Online: Visit the Fernandina Beach/Yulee page on the national Jazzercise website or visit their Facebook page.