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Category Archives: Blog

PLUS SIZE FITNESS INSTRUCTOR ON POPSUGAR FITNESS

This is a photo of plus size fitness instructor and PlyoJam co-founder Stacey Beaman leading a workout on PopSugar Fitness with Christina Duerr and Deja Riley acting as her backup dancers.

Howdy!  I’m Stacey!  I love dancing, boxing, dirty martinis and comedy shows.  I’m also a plus size fitness instructor. At the end of July 2019, PopSugar Fitness released a video with me leading a PlyoJam workout. My dear friend, Deja Riley, is one of the new hosts on PopSugar and she recommended me to their producer. I sent over a highlight reel of me teaching PlyoJam and BOOM, the video shoot was scheduled!  WOAH! 

It’s taken me a couple months to write about this subject because I’ve needed some time to process the feedback and words I’ve received. 

HUGE OPPORTUNITY

PopSugar has an enormous platform and audience (millions!), and I was well aware that my video could strike a chord with many.  You see, I am most certainly not the typical fitness instructor that we all see in magazines, on videos, on billboards, at the gym, etc.  I am a plus size fitness instructor. When we think of fitness instructors, we think of washboard abs, sports bras and leggings showing off toned arms and legs, peppy smiles and positive “you can do it” attitudes. 

And guess what? I applaud each and every one of those instructors because it’s not an easy job. So many fitness instructors lead with grace and positivity, without revealing the daily grind, the tax it takes on the body, the hustle, and the days that they just don’t feel like putting on a smile. Those fitness instructors work hard and have discipline and while so often genetics plays a HUGE part in body type, I will never devalue or underestimate the work it takes to create and maintain a body like that. 

SIZE REPRESENTATION IN FITNESS

However, while I applaud those fitness instructors that fit the physical mold of what we envision when we hear the words “fitness instructor” or “trainer”, it has always left me wondering why there isn’t more representation of different body types in the fitness space. Does the world REALLY believe that only size 2s and 4s can be fit?  Does society REALLY believe that only washboard abs are capable of leading and motivating? Do people REALLY believe that only a certain cookie cutter size and shape is worthy of helping others live their best lives? 

I have been teaching PlyoJam for almost four years now.  My weight has fluctuated throughout the years for various reasons, my energy has fluctuated, my strength has gone up and down a bit. But never once have I given up on wanting to lead and inspire my students.  And I believe whole-heartedly that my fluctuations and ups and downs actually represent what MOST people go through, and therefore it’s very relatable. The love and loyalty my students show me has given me the courage and determination to continue on even during the hard times. 

FACING MY FEARS AS A PLUS SIZE FITNESS INSTRUCTOR

When asked to lead a video for PopSugar video I definitely paused for a moment. Would a much larger audience embrace me the way my own students do?  How would they feel about a plus size fitness instructor? I really wasn’t sure. They don’t know me the way my students know me. They may take one look at my video and wonder why a size 14/16 woman (who is 40 years old no less!) is leading a workout on PopSugar.  After all, PopSugar has never had a full figured fitness instructor actually LEAD a workout.  

But I chose to put all those concerns aside, because even if I could inspire just one person somewhere in the world to feel good and worthy of moving their body, then I would feel accomplished.  And I decided that even if I received some mean comments or hateful trolling, knowing I had inspired just one person would FAR outweigh that vitriol. 

I STRAPPED ON MY SPORTS BRA AND SAID LET’S DO THIS!

So I did it.  I strapped on my 38DD sports bra and my XL high waisted leggings (90 Degrees by Reflex keep me right and tight) and did my very best to do what I know how to do.  Shake my booty, have fun, smile and help others feel good. It helped to film my video with Deja and my other dear friend, Christina Duerr, both of whom I love so much and are so incredibly supportive.  

THE LOVE 

When the video went live I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t prepared for the outpouring of love and support and gratitude I received.  Women from all over the globe reached out to me. Hundreds and hundreds of women telling me they were so happy and excited and RELIEVED to see a body type like mine on their screens.  I received messages of love and praise and gratitude. I received messages of hope and relief and renewed sense of energy. I received messages from women who told me my video made them feel WORTHY of working out.  And when I tell you I received messages from all over the globe, I am talking Ethiopia, Israel, the Caribbean, Switzerland, India, Peru, all over the United States and so many more places.  

I wanted to share a couple of messages I received:

Thank you for stepping through the fear and doing this.  You have broken a barrier for women who feel like they can’t lead workouts or be in the front because of who they are.  Weight, size, none of it matters. What matters is who are when we show up and how we use our talents to help others. So thank you for being so willing to show all of us women out there that we can follow our dreams no matter what the world says.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I’m a curvaceous gal who works out every single day.  I’ve lost 40lbs doing videos with Anna and Deja and the other instructors.  But this video made me admire PopSugar Fitness even more. It’s a glorious thing to see a curvaceous woman unapologetically leading workouts and killing it!  OMG Stacey has the best dance moves. Thank you!

Hey Stacey!  I just saw your workout on PopSugar.  I can’t tell you how comfortable I felt workout out with you. We need more Stacey’s in the workout world. I just had my 3rd child and I’m the biggest I’ve ever been.  I started back into fitness a couple of months ago, and the weight is coming off. I have so many workout videos but get mentally frustrated because I feel so inadequate comparing myself to the workout leads.  I love what you are doing and I just know you are going to be a great success. We NEEDED this!!! God bless you!

This workout was sooo fun!  I was sweating and smiling the whole time.  Honestly I got a little teary eyed too. Thanks for sharing your JOY Stacey.

I adore Stacey so much, she is just so naturally positive and encouraging and she just has a way of making you feel so good about yourself.  I love PopSugar videos but this is by far my favorite for the fun dance moves and positive vibes. This video has gotten me motivated to workout so much more than any other video has in the past.  So thank you so much Stacey!

Dear Stacey, I came across your YouTube session and I just wanted to say how much you inspired me.  I have been dealing with food addiction for all of my life. I have had several doctors that want me to have bariatric surgery. They just don’t believe I can be healthy with just exercise and food portion control.  I started using the YouTube session a month ago. You are an amazing person. I was so impressed by your strength and vitality. It has motivated me to keep using your session again and again. Thank you.

IT WAS ALL WORTH IT

The messages go on and on and I am beyond humbled and my gratitude is through the roof.  Yes, I received some hateful, ignorant and just plain MEAN comments as well. But those mean words have nothing to do with me and everything to do with the person writing them. And they are like a speck of dust compared to the love I’ve received.  In some ways I feel like I have no right to receive this love. I struggle and I fail all the time. I get down, I get frustrated, but I always, ALWAYS get back up. And that’s the message I want to spread to every single person out there. You are worthy. Your size doesn’t matter. Be healthy, be strong, be brave and ALWAYS get back up. I am so happy I fought my fears and filmed the PopSugar video. Taking the risk produced an outcome that has far exceeded my expectations in every possible way.  Take the risk my friends.

Now let’s dance! Want to take live class with me?  Check out my schedule HERE. Want more online classes with me?  Try our online classes today! Click HERE for a free sample!

 

The Fitness Instructor/Student Love Connection

Instructor love

It’s a funny thing how some of us can become attached to our favorite fitness instructor. Whether it’s your Spin, Pilates or Cardio Dance instructor, the connection can be intense. I’ve seen this attachment firsthand with my own students. I’ve noticed how some of my students refuse to show up for class unless I’m teaching. For example, I have been told that some of my students have walked into the studio ready to get the workout of their life and have walked right out the moment they learned that I am not teaching that day. Believe me, I’m flattered, but the teacher subbing my class sure isn’t. On the other hand, I get it.  I am also a student, and when I find out there’s a substitute instructor, I am not motivated to attend class. But why? Why do our instructors mean so much to us?

Hot Fitness Instructor

Besides thinking they’re hot (lol), it could be their dynamic personality, their enthusiasm or simply their magnetic smile. These types of traits usually boil down to a person’s charisma. The definition of charisma is: clear, compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. Ding Ding Ding…Maybe it’s devotion that keeps people loyal? I recently read an article about the 3 pillars of charisma. What Makes People Charismatic, and How You Can Be, Too. Apparently this is something one can learn and practice. Couldn’t hurt, a little charisma could go a long way.

Reliability is Everything

Our time is precious and the last thing we want to do is waste it. To help you better understand how this pertains to your favorite fitness instructor, let me set the scene. It’s Tuesday night, your significant other is working late. You are rushing to feed your kids and to make sure their homework is complete. The babysitter is on his way. You have him arrive at 6:30pm, to give you just enough time to get to your 7pm Hip Hop class so that you are home by 8:30pm. This means you are only on the hook for two hours of babysitting time. You get to your class and you find out there’s a sub. Strike one. You stick around because the babysitter is already hired after all.  However, the sub is ill prepared and starts the class 10 minutes late. Strike two. The class begins and instead of the sub teaching what you are used to (Hip Hop) they decide to give a lesson in belly dancing. Strike three.

frustrated after a bad fitness classBy this point you are frustrated, so you decide after the class that you will complain to the studio owner. You not only feel that your time was wasted, but you’ve wasted your money. You are now late to get home and you owe the babysitter an extra hour of pay.  What a mess!  This scenario, which I’ve heard one too many times, may have zero to do with the sub himself, but everything to do with what you were counting on and being let down.

Finding the Comfort Zone

For some students, it took a lot of guts to get themselves to a fitness class.  But after finding the bravery to do so, many students start to find their comfort zone. They know what to expect from the fitness instructor, they know what to expect from the workout, they know where they like to stand in class, and they no longer feel that nervous feeling.  It’s kinda like a relationship…where you can finally let out a burp without feeling like your partner will jump ship.  Now that’s comfort zone.  And being comfortable with someone definitely leads to longevity.

comfortable with my fitness instructor

Attention Fosters Loyalty

Whatever the reasoning is, being a dedicated and loyal student says a lot about the fitness instructor. Frankly, it’s the loyal students that often help the instructor gain popularity. The instructor is obviously doing a great job if he or she has fostered this connection with you. Perhaps you like how clear your instructor announces the next yoga pose, or they‘re just easy to follow.  Or maybe it has nothing to do with the workout, but rather the attention you receive from your instructor. The acknowledgment you get when you complete a full set of pushups.

Fitness Instructor motivating student

The thumbs up or name recognition you encounter when you walk into class. I would gather that many people lean towards the latter. It makes sense. Most people thrive on being noticed in all parts of life. Why should it be any different in this case? It’s difficult to stay devoted to a workout regimen so if you’ve found a fitness instructor to make that commitment to working out more achievable, that’s gold!

Getting a good workout

Are you loyal to a fitness instructor? If so, what motivates you to regularly attend class from that fitness instructor? What prevents you from taking class from other fitness instructors?

 

3 Steps To Create a Killer Workout Playlist 

3 Steps To Create a Killer Workout Playlist 


I started teaching dance in 2011. Since then, with the help of our master trainers, we have choreographed dance routines to over 250 songs!  I’d love to take credit for all of them…LOL. As you can imagine, that is a lot of routines to try to remember. While 80 percent of the routines have been filmed, the remaining 20 percent still rest somewhere in my brain in fragments. When I teach, students are always requesting songs, but every now and then the routine doesn’t always make it to the top of my memory. If you are a dance fitness instructor, you may relate! Or maybe you’ve been the student requesting a song from the teacher. Either way, there is a lot to remember when teaching dance fitness. Here are some tips for staying organized and having a stellar playlist.

How to Stay Organized

Keep a running playlist on your phone. If you’re old school, buy a writing tablet, but honestly at this point you should have a smartphone!  There are many different apps that you can use to purchase songs and store them. Click HERE to see a list of free music apps! I personally like to use Spotify or iTunes. They both allow you to share your playlist, which is a perfect way to stay connected with your students. You should have at least three playlists at all times. At the beginning of each year, I will create a playlist call PlyoJam 2019 Master. By the end of the year this list may sometimes have over 50 songs. Then I create a second list call PlyoJam 2019 Old, again by the end of the year this will have over 50 songs on the playlist. Thankfully, with the apps I recommended, it’s very easy to move songs from one playlist to another. I then create a third playlist called PlyoJam 2019 Current. This is the playlist I review before each class to determine what I will be playing in class. The three playlists evolve throughout the year. If I have a special event or a demo to teach, that will always get its own playlist and labeled accordingly.

How Often Should a Song Be Played

How often you play a song in your class is important to consider. The more you perform the routine the more it will become ingrained in your head. The moves and transitions will become muscle memory. Another thing to consider is how much is too much? You do not want to over play a song in your class. You will become that teacher who appears lazy and lacking creativity. If you are a student reading this, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Big no no!

 

Teaching Schedule

Depending on how many dance fitness classes you teach on a weekly basis, a song should only be on your current playlist for four to six weeks. That is plenty of time for the students to master the routines. Any longer, and your students will get bored and tired of hearing the songs. After four to six weeks, that song should be moved to your old playlist. Be sure to keep your old playlist in the order you add the songs. That will make it easy to reference them later. Now here is the trick! Let’s use Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” as an example. You debuted the song in your class on January 1. You moved it off your current playlist and onto your old playlist mid-February. You put the song back onto your current playlist in 8 weeks, mid-April. At this point “7 Rings” can be sporadically played through the year, maybe once or twice a month. By this point, your students are no longer sick of the “7 Rings” and feel like badasses because they remembers the routine.  By keeping your old playlist in order, you will have a better gage as to the time of year the song was put on the playlist. If you want to be even more precise, you can create an OLD playlist for each month.

Take video!

Taking video will depend on how you get your choreography. If you are a PlyoJam teacher, the videos are provided and archived in the teacher’s dashboard. If you are someone who isn’t part of a brand, then taking video is highly recommended. Have a friend or a colleague film you on their smart phone.  Set up an account on Vimeo. The basic package is free. This site will not block or mute your videos. Vimeo allows you categorize and search for your video. They also have an app that you can download. I recommend getting this on your phone. You will want to be able to access the video easily when you’re building your current playlist. I often find myself in my car watching video to refresh my memory of the routine that I have completely forgotten.

Here’s is an example of what our Master PlyoJam Playlist looks like on Spotify!

Click HERE to listen!

I hope these tricks help!

YES! We Notice When Our Students Disappear From Our Fitness Classes!

A photo of a full PlyoJam dance fitness class.

Social media, with all its pros and cons, inevitably does something similar for all its users.  It reminds us of the past…whether it’s that Facebook “On this day 3 years ago” notification or Instagram’s Time Hop, we are constantly being reminded of what was going on last year at this time, two years ago, five years ago, etc. The other day I received one such notification and both notifications happened to have photos from my PlyoJam dance fitness classes that I teach in Westlake Village, CA.

FITNESS CLASS BLAST FROM THE PAST

As I looked at the photos, I realized how much my fitness classes have changed, grown, new faces added, old faces lost. And some of the faces I saw in those photos made me sad!  I haven’t seen them in so long!

A photo of a full PlyoJam dance fitness class.

STUDENTS ARE LIKE FAMILY

As a fitness instructor, we build relationships with our students.  We seem them regularly, weekly (or for some, even daily) in our fitness classes and it becomes routine.  Second nature. And as much as students feel they rely on their instructors, I am here to say that fitness instructors rely on their students JUST AS MUCH.  

In a world full of constant change, inevitable impermanence and sometimes chaotic uncertainty, isn’t it wonderful to have a place to go a few days a week to get an amazing workout. A place to go see the instructor you love. A place to sweat it out alongside the classmates you’ve grown accustomed to seeing each week?

WHERE DID YOU GO?

But then this thing happens.  A student who I’ve grown used to seeing week after week just disappears.  No word. No explanation. They are just gone. And boy do I notice. That “spot” (you know how everyone has their “spot” in class) is suddenly empty, or filled with someone new.  And I’m left wondering why Lauren is no longer in my back left corner or Maria is no longer center third row.

OUR PLEA

Dear students…your instructors love and value you.  We rely on you just as much as you rely on us. And we know life changes, schedules change, and sometimes the fitness class you once attended regularly no longer works for you. If you have been a regular at a fitness class for a while, and suddenly must depart that class…I beg of you, let your instructor know.  You may not think they’ll notice, but I promise they will. And I promise, we miss your presence.

And if you can make it back to a class, book one today!  Head over to SweatNow where tons of PlyoJam teachers have their classes listed!

What’s Holding You Back from Living Your Best and Healthiest Life?

Stacey Beaman finds her best life teaching PlyoJam dance fitness.

When I first started my journey taking dance fitness classes, I was about to turn 36.  I was overweight, unhealthy and unhappy. Having recently gone through a few bad breakups, stuck in a career I didn’t love and miles away from any kind of fitness regimen, I was just kind of lost.  

THE FIRST STEPS

I remember attending my very first PlyoJam class in the summer of 2014. You know what the biggest struggle was?  Figuring out what the hell to wear! I hadn’t worked out in ages, I was adamantly against showing my arms, nothing felt good, the struggle was so real! I would look in my closet and try convince myself not to go to class because I had nothing that fit right. I had done this countless times in the past, so the internal conversation of “I should just skip it” was alarmingly familiar. After trying on countless baggy t-shirts and leggings, I finally settled on something and headed out the door.

WALKING INTO THE STUDIO

Next hurdle…getting out of the car and walking into the dance fitness class.  I remember driving to the class, blasting Eminem, trying to pump up my confidence and quiet my fear. “You’re a great dancer,” I told myself.  “You will just stand in the back and do what you can!” So I got my butt out of the car. My memory is as clear as day of walking into the studio. Everyone seemed to know each other.  Everyone looked adorable in their tanks and Lulu leggings. It was intimidating AF!

GETTING LOST IN THE MUSIC

I stood in the back, eyes flitting around the studio, waiting to get started. I was so anxious, but once the music began, I felt a little more at ease. The music filled the room and I felt like I could almost hide in the folds of its rhythm and tempo.  As Jason began to teach, the moves felt super fast and hard to follow (funny to me now!) but OH MY GOSH it felt so good to move my body, to feel the sweat running down my temple! Four songs in I was addicted and I had this burning excitement in my tummy because I sensed something big could and would come from this class I had found!

FINDING THE COURAGE

I’ll never really know where I found the gumption to try that very first dance fitness class.  I’m not sure what finally quieted the internal “what’s the point, I’m not going” dialogue. I think it may have been the little voice in the back of my head that kept saying, “something has to change.”

Maybe I was tired of my own excuses.  

Maybe I was tired of feeling down.

Maybe it was some kind of muscle memory from years past when I used to be an athlete and I knew how good endorphins made me feel.  

Maybe my poor little soul was tired of my brain being so mean to me.

Whatever it was, I’m so thankful for that initial spark. 

But maybe I need to give myself more credit.  Yes I was fearful and unsure and embarrassed. But I have also had a really deep internal strength.  I’ve accomplished a lot and I’ve overcome a lot, so would I really let the fear of a dance fitness class get me?  Hell no!

WINDS OF CHANGE

And thank God I didn’t. I walked into that class and it changed my life forever. That day was the beginning of an 8 week mission.  It was summer break and at the time I was a teacher off for the summer. I ended up taking forty PlyoJam classes in eight weeks. I lost 26 pounds.  What I lost in pounds, I gained ten times over in confidence, health, inspiration, happiness and a newly found zest for life!

I’ll save the rest of my story (how I went on to become the co-founder of PlyoJam, teach privates to James Corden and Adelle, be featured on the news, and teach PlyoJam to hundreds of my own students) for another blog.

But for today I want you to think about what’s stopping you.  What roadblocks and hurdles are in your way. How can I help you find that SPARK to shove those roadblocks aside and take a chance on something scary and new?  Because trust me, it could change your life.

STRENGTH TRAINING JUNKIE OR CARDIO FANATIC?

As the creator of a dance fitness format, I’ve noticed something about fitness enthusiasts. Many are either slaying their strength training goals in the weight room or crushing their cardio workouts. I rarely meet people who place an importance on both strength training and cardio.

It seems that many don’t understand that both are necessary for optimal health. The two types of workouts offer different things: strength training is encouraged to build muscle mass and optimize calorie burn duration, whereas a cardio dance class focuses on having fun while promoting cardiovascular endurance.

COMMON COMPLAINTS BY DANCE FITNESS LOVERS

Let’s examine some of the things people say when it comes to why they prefer one method of exercise over another. I’m a dance fitness instructor, so I’m going to focus on what I’ve heard from my students. People who love dance classes don’t necessarily love strength training because it’s not as fun as dance cardio class. It’s boring, it can be intimidating and it may not provide that endorphin high or feeling of camaraderie a group fitness class provides.

GYM GOERS P.O.V.

On the flip side, people who love strength training may like the idea of a cardio dance class, but assume that they’re not going to get the calorie burn necessary to achieve optimal results. Or perhaps they won’t achieve the cut look they desire.

There are biases and assumptions from both groups of people, and those biases and assumptions aren’t helping anyone meet their fitness goals!

ARE CARDIO DANCE CLASSES NOT COOL?

There’s also the reputation that’s been associated with dance fitness. It’s unfortunate the bad wrap that cardio dance classes have gotten, especially from millennials. It’s pretty obvious at the gym, when you walk into the group exercise room and the median age is 52. It’s just not cool, right? Turn around and check out the weight room to find people usually under the age of 40 throwing weights around trying to build that bodybuilder physique! Definitely two different vibes!

FIND THE BALANCE

As for me, I prefer taking a cardio dance class over strength training. One is definitely more fun than the other! I try to find the balance in both. To be honest, it’s not fun or easy, but I try. I realize the importance of strength training and the benefit it has on my body, but I also know my soul and my heart appreciate a good gyration and booty bounce.

MY TRICK TO MAKING WEIGHT TRAINING FUN

I’m here to tell you that you can incorporate both strength training AND your favorite dance class in your fitness plan! How? You can achieve this with your favorite music!

Obviously, music is the key ingredient to a dance class. Finding the right songs with the proper BPM (beats per minute) can really help motivate you in the gym. It works for me! My suggestion for all you dance lovers that don’t do strength training outside of dance class is to create a strength training workout around a motivating playlist!

WORKOUT EXAMPLE

Here’s an example of what I do on a day I’m working out my chest and triceps. I first decide on the five different strength training exercises for those muscle groups. For every exercise, choose a song. For example, I would pick, “All I Do is Win,” by DJ Khaled, to do the tricep extensions exercise. The BPM on this song is just the right speed so that each extension would match the beat of the song.

The goal is to work out to the rhythm of the song. It’s the same feeling as dancing, just more controlled. This song is the perfect length to perform the three required sets for each of the five exercises. This formula would then be repeated for each exercise, with a different song for each exercise, of course.

GYM HACKS FOR SUCCESS

Hopefully this gym hack will help you dance fitness enthusiasts find a better balance between your time on the dance floor versus your time in the weight room. Feel free to give this a try and let me know in the comments below how it worked out for you! If you need suggestions for songs, please see our Spotify page!

DON’T BE AFRAID OF A DANCE FITNESS CLASS

As far as you gym rats are concerned, I suggest trying a PlyoJam class. Dancers love PlyoJam yet the class is designed for those that also have never taken a dance class in their life. The music in a PlyoJam class is contemporary and most likely up your alley. We promise this ain’t your mama’s fitness class at the YMCA. The combination of the plyometrics and Hip Hop dance moves will help you achieve the calorie burn you desire!

I hope I’ve done my job in letting you all know that strength training and dance cardio can coexist! In fact, it should! You no longer need to be an either or person! You are free to, and most definitely should, engage in both forms of exercise!

See you in class!

Online Dance Workouts That Keep You Motivated!

Online dance workouts sound ridiculous, right? But funny enough, online dance workouts are becoming a bit of a trend these days. I have been teaching dance classes now for over seven years. More specifically, I have been teaching PyoJam for the past three years. PlyoJam is a dance workout that incorporates jump training. If you had told me seven years ago that one day I would be teaching online dance workouts, I would have said, “bologna”.

But as times and trends changed, I saw the importance of offering this alternative and today I’m proud to say PlyoJam offers weekly online dance workouts. I am thrilled to offer these classes for many reasons and today I want to discuss the three benefits of an online dance workout like PlyoJam.

Benefit number one that tops the list is the mere convenience. Life can be busy and often the last thing on our list is working out. So how nice would it be to go home after a long day, greet your fury friend, grab a quick snack and throw on your workout clothes to get your sweat on from the convenience of your own home? You don’t even have to book a babysitter to get your workout in. Just have your kiddos dance along with your! Pretty great right?

One of the biggest questions is how do you stay motivated with at home workouts? Who is there to push you to keep going? Yes, I’ll be on the screen, but no one is actually there, which can sometimes be a problem. This brings me to benefit numer two of doing an online dance workout like PlyoJam. As opposed to popular infomercial driven workouts like P90X and Insanity, which can be grueling and just down right boring, online dance workouts are FUN. Now I know what you’re thinking. If you wanted to do a Zumba class, you’d call your mom and sign up at the local YMCA. You also may be thinking online dance workouts sound like something your Aunt Janet did when she popped in “Sweating to the Oldies” or when your older sister did those ridiculous aerobic videos from the early 90’s.  I get it, I too experienced all those types of workouts when I was younger and they seem silly today, no offense Richard and Jane. But hear me out. When I say PlyoJam is FUN, I’m referring to a workout that you actually look forward to and enjoy. Hard to believe, I know.  But seriously, I keep getting emails from our online subscribers telling me they LOVE the online class.  They feel like I am right there with them, I keep them motivated, give them a level of intensity needed to achieve results, and the music is AWESOME.

 

This brings me to my third and final benefit, RESULTS! Wouldn’t you love to subscribe to online dance workouts that actually deliver results, torch those calories away and help you feel amazing? You’re in luck and frankly will be thankful you stumbled upon this blog.  PlyoJam offers this type of online dance workout. Once you sign up for our online dance workouts, you will have immediate access to a sixty-minute PlyoJam class with me! Every Monday, a brand new sixty-minute online dance workout will be posted. Think of it as your very own private, just like the classes I teach to amazing celebs like James Corden and Kate Hudson! You will be up close and personal with no other students blocking your view and no fighting for your spot on the dance floor! The best part?  These at home workouts stay on the website for seven days, and you can watch and dance along as often as you’d like! This will fulfill benefit number one as to the convenience of doing online dance workouts.  What about benefit number two you ask?  I will personally motivate and keep you moving with not just my charm, (I promise I’m fun!) but also with a playlist of music that you will enjoy! The third and final benefit, RESULTS, will be achieved because PlyoJam incorporates jump training which is weaved throughout the dance steps to sculpt and tone your bod.  You will finish the sixty minute workout exhausted and exhilarated all at the same time. What are you waiting for?

Click HERE to learn more.

Up Close and Personal with PlyoJam COO Stacey Beaman

PlyoJam Co-Founder and COO Stacey Beaman gets real about taking risks, getting over fear and self doubt, and getting out there and doing things that might feel scary.  In this interview she talks about her own struggle to find a form of fitness that worked for her and how she was afraid to get out on the dance floor for fear of not looking a certain way.  Stacey is a huge advocate of body positivity and self love and wants every woman and man to toss their fears and insecurities away and do what makes them happy.  Stacey feels that far too many people let life pass them by without doing the things they want to do because they are too afraid, or they don’t feel like they meet the “criteria.”  When Stacey first stepped onto the dance floor she was extremely overweight and out of shape.  She had body image issues and felt terrible about herself.  In fact, it took her months to work up the courage to finally step on the dance floor.  However, she fought through those fears and realized it wasn’t worth it to continue punishing herself.  She decided to rise up against her insecurities and fears and her journey has been one of strength, growth and empowerment.  Stacey’s goal is to pass that strength on to others who have been holding themselves back.  No one should feel they don’t deserve happiness.  No one should miss out on the things they want to do because they don’t look a certain way.  No more waiting. The time is NOW. Love your body, be healthy, be strong, be brave.

Watch Stacey talk about her journey HERE!  Watch Stacey teach a meaningful PlyoJam routine HERE!

Plyometric Movements …PlyoJam’s Secret Ingredient

The tagline for PlyoJam is “dance powered by plyometrics.” However, people often ask us about the word plyometrics. Plyometric movements are the secret ingredient of the PlyoJam formula. Not only do PlyoJam routines contain sexy, sassy fun dance combos, but plyometric movements are peppered throughout the routines to really increase the intensity and calorie burn. What exactly are plyometric movements? Plyometric movements can be categorized as short, fast explosive movements. You can also call it jump training. Historically plyometric movements have been included in the training and conditioning of Olympians and elite athletes. Plyometrics are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength).

PlyoJam has about twenty signature plyometric movements that are used throughout various routines. You will see many of the following plyometric movements in a PlyoJam routine: jumping jacks, lateral hops, frog jumps, jump squats, star jumps and 180 jumps to name a few. While plyometric movements are excellent tools for sculpting and toning the body, they can also be very exhausting and take a lot of energy. The beauty of PlyoJam is how these plyometric movements are weaved throughout the routines and feel much less torturous then simply repeating the movements over and over in a stagnant manner. Other workout formats, like boot camps and circuit training classes, will often have stations where the student is required to do one minute of jump squats and then walk to another station and perform another one minute of some type of exercise. This is BRUTAL! Instead, PlyoJam has created this incredible formula where students end up performing just as many plyometric movements as they would in a typical boot camp or circuit training class, but the suffering isn’t there!

How did this idea come about? PlyoJam creator Jason Layden originally spent his days teaching a more traditional follow along dance class. His students loved his class, but they often felt they had to pair the class with something more intense to achieve the calorie burn and intensity level they desired. Many students would voice their wishes for a dance class that maintained the fun, party-like atmosphere, but provided an intensity level that could make students feel like they had really worked hard. Around this time, workouts like P90X and Insanity had taken off, designed around the idea of interval training and plyometric movements. Layden suddenly realized that dance fitness was missing these crucial elements so he started toying with the idea of combining the two. What if he could design and craft routines that maintained the fun, sexy, party-like feel his students loved, but also presented the intensity level they craved? He wanted to figure out a way to make his students train like athletes, but dance like pop stars. As he began choreographing his own routines, he looked for places in the combos where he could build and elevate traditional dance moves into a plyometric movement. He would take a simple side to side tap and build it into a hurdler jump. He would take a grapevine, and button the end with a pencil jump. By weaving these plyometric movements into familiar dance steps, the calorie burn was suddenly increasing and students were working up a major sweat. And thus, PlyoJam was born.

Students did not dread these plyometric movements, but rather embraced and welcomed them as a part of the routines and a way to shred calories and sculpt their bodies more effectively. The addition of plyometric movements to follow along dance routines continues to be an ingenious way to allow students to continue experiencing their love of dance, while achieving the level of workout they desire.

 

Dance Fitness …. Cardio Made Fun!

Ambassador Program - PlyoJam affiliates earn money for referring new members

A note from PlyoJam co-founder Stacey Beaman. I want to take a minute and share my story of how dance fitness, and PlyoJam in particular, revived my level of fitness and helped me stick to a cardio workout that I actually enjoy. But first, let’s go back to a younger Stacey. In my teenage years I was highly involved in sports and never had to think about how I would fit in my exercise. Drills, running and swimming, were just naturally built into my rigorous practice and game schedule and I was fit as a fiddle. I never even thought about “working out.”

In my twenties I became a bit more aware of weight gain and the need to exercise to stay in shape. However, it was pretty easy for me to maintain my fitness level by playing recreational volleyball, and on off days going to the gym and spending hours on elliptical machines and treadmills. At that time I knew nothing about dance fitness. The volleyball was fun, but those cardio machines were a major snooze fest! It was so boring, which of course lead to the frequency of my trips to the gym becoming less and less.

As I made my way into my thirties, I had given up rec volleyball and I could not stomach the thought of going to the gym. It was at that time I took my first cardio dance fitness class and realized that dance fitness might just be the thing that could help me attain a desired level of fitness once again. I needed to get back into shape! But as it does for so many people, life got in the way. Several challenging life events led to forty pounds gained, dance fitness was forgotten, and I was left out of shape and miserable.

Little did I know what was right around the corner. Jason Layden, creator of the PlyoJam format, was a friendly acquaintance of mine. When I attended his birthday party in June 2014 he asked me what I was doing for the summer. I was a school teacher at the time, and I had just been released for summer break. Even more exciting was the fact that I had a sabbatical planned and in the Fall I was going to Europe for five months. I had the whole summer to plan for my trip and work on my fitness. Jason invited me to his dance fitness class and it sparked my memory of the one dance fitness class I had taken years earlier and how much I loved the idea of dancing to stay in shape.

I decided to attend Jason’s dance fitness class, something called PlyoJam, and even though I was terribly out of shape and feeling a bit chagrined over my poor condition, I was hooked! I had no idea how fun a dance fitness class like PlyoJam could be. And PlyoJam was so much more special and amazing than that other dance fitness class I had taken years earlier. I felt like a kid in a candy store and was soon obsessed. I quickly saw that dance fitness could truly be the answer to my cardio needs and weight loss prayers!

I adopted the PlyoJam lifestyle and have never, ever looked back. I knocked off fifty pounds, became highly involved with the brand and the format, and am now COO and co-founder of this dance fitness brand that I adore so much. And I can say from personal experience that dance fitness is truly a way to get in fantastic shape while actually having fun! I have lived and breathed it, and I am thrilled to see dance fitness, and PlyoJam, changing lives as it has changed mine.