<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=424649934352787&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Indoor Cycling Is a Good, Fun Winter Workout

There is nothing like hopping on a bike and riding nowhere. If this sounds dull and boring to you, you have never ridden with me. I teach RPM®, the Les Mills Indoor Cycling Program. Cycling is a great way to balance your workout and helps build leg strength and cardio fitness. With the weather turning cold, this is the time to try indoor cycling. Honestly, it can be terribly boring when done on your own, but a group class always makes it better and the workout factor is not one to be missed!

A Lower-Impact Workoutindoor cycle

My love/hate relationship with running is what brought me to indoor cycling. I love the feeling of the burning in my lungs and the pride of finishing in a sprint up the driveway, but my ankles and shins are not always fans of the inevitable high-impact movements associated with running. A few years ago I was fighting injuries from running and my doctor recommended I ride a bike as an alternative workout. This worked really well until it got cold. That is how I ended up in my first RPM® class.

Honestly, I was dreading the thought of doing it. The concept of sitting on an uncomfortable seat in spandex going nowhere was less than appealing. But I dragged myself there and am so glad I did! I found I could achieve the same physical feeling of running without all of the high impact. High-impact activities have their own benefits and I enjoy them; I just need balance in my workout, and RPM® gives that to me and can provide it for you as well.

Join the Fun of Indoor Cycling

RPM cycleDuring these cold months, do yourself a favor and try out a Cycle or RPM® class. The worst part is getting used to the seat. But after that, all you will notice is the strength building in the legs and the cardio party in your heart. Put that all together with epic music and you’ve got one heck of a workout. Outdoor riders, you may find that you miss the scenery, but the instructors are all pretty entertaining in their own ways, so you won’t be bored. We may not be physically relocating, but we are moving forward with our fitness level. Take a class regularly and you may find your outdoor rides and runs are a little easier next summer! I know mine always are.

Check out the Group Fitness Schedule and pick a class time. Come a little early so the instructor can get you set up on the bike properly. As with any group fitness class, try the class three to five times before deciding if it is for you. Have fun and ride it like you stole it!

Not a member yet? Request a FREE CLASS PASS!

This blog is written by Tasha Nichols, the NIFS Fitness Center Group Fitness Coordinator and Les Mills National Trainer and Presenter.

Topics: winter fitness cardio group training cycling Les Mills

NIFS 25th Anniversary: What Keeps Charter Member Pat Marshall Motivated

NIFS Indianapolis is celebrating our 25th anniversary throughout the month of November by highlighting some of our Charter Members that have been around since the beginning. These members have participated in countless group fitness classes, training programs, have lifted more weight over the years than we can keep track of and have logged many miles on our cardio equipment.  NIFS 25 logo

We want to give a HUGE thanks to these members who have really been with us through it all. To do that, we are highlighting these charter members by learning more about their stories and what keeps them coming back to NIFS.

First up, we have Pat Marshall, who became a loyal NIFS member on November 14, 1988.  Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication Pat!

What keeps you motivated to have a healthy lifestyle?

  • I have a history of diabetes on my mother’s side and a history of heart disease on my father’s side. I also think weight control is extremely important.

What is your favorite program/favorite instructor/favorite piece of equipment?

  • I love Body Pump and Cycle
  • The Ellipticals
  • The Spin bikes
  • The indoor track

How has your fitness routine changed throughout the years?

When I first joined NIFS I did so because of the indoor track. I liked to use that for my walking.  Then NIFS got the new Elliptical machines and stair master so I started using those more.  Then the group fitness was added in so I started attending classes.  Now I seem to be going back more to the cycle.

Anything else you would like to add?

NIFS is a top notch facility! It’s very clean—the locker rooms and fitness center offer a lot of variety of classes.

The timing of the classes is really good because people can do it before work or after work.

The location is great as well.

Basically the keep up over the years has been great, as well as addition of new equipment.

I also love the hours that you open early and stay open late.

This blog was written by Tara Rochford, NIFS Membership Manager, Group Fitness Instructor and author of Treble in the Kitchen. Meet all of our NIFS Bloggers.


Topics: NIFS fitness fitness center group fitness anniverary Les Mills


Les Mills® BODYPUMP™ has changed my life. There are hundreds of workouts to choose from, but this one…it’s all mine. It’s my workout rock, the base of my week, and the base of my training. Why do I do it? Keep reading.Tasha Bodypump

How I Got Started with BODYPUMP™ and Why I Stay With It

I have to give credit to my sister for starting what some would call an obsession. She discovered BODYPUMP™ and became an instructor. She knew I wanted to be a group fitness instructor and she showed me how to do it through Les Mills. She invited me to take her BODYPUMP™ class and I fell in love with it after the first class. I very clearly remember her telling me that I burned 400 to 500 calories and I thought, “That’s like an extra meal!” I was hooked. The music, the repetitions, the strength behind it; it’s not traditional weightlifting—it’s better!

After the initial love bubble, the true test of a program comes: will you keep coming back? What kept me coming and still does to this day is the effectiveness of the workout. Before starting BODYPUMP™ I was unable to do a single pull-up on my own. After about 6 months, I was able to do one. Then two… then three…without actually practicing pull-ups. It doesn’t matter how many different workouts I try, I always own them and continue to impress others with my strength. I may be small, but I’m mighty and I wouldn’t have gotten there without BODYPUMP™.

The Dynamic BODYPUMP™ WorkoutTasha Bodypump 2

Les Mills BODYPUMP™ is a very dynamic program. It’s always changing and evolving. It’s stable enough that I know I will always get a good workout, but it’s never stagnant. It continues to push me and my fitness level with every release. I am now a National Trainer, Presenter and Assessor for Les Mills BODYPUMP™ and I see every day how both new participants and experienced weightlifters can be both welcomed and challenged by this program. When I look out in class and see 20+ people waking up at 6am to work out with me and do BODYPUMP™, I know we have something special. I can speak from experience that we get stronger with every class. We are more than just a group of people who work out. We are a team of friends working toward a common goal of increasing our fitness and enjoying the feeling of success that only BODYPUMPers know when they finish a set with 8 bottom halves.

BODYPUMP™ has made me strong and keeps me strong. And that is why I do what I do. BODYPUMP™ is offered every day of the week, so check out the Group Fitness Schedule to find a class that works with your schedule. Aim for 2 to 3x per week for the best results. Request a class for free and enjoy!

This blog was written by Tasha Nichols, Group Fitness Manager and Program Coordinator at NIFS and a Les Mills US National Trainer, Presenter, and Assessor. Meet our NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS group fitness workouts group training muscles strength Les Mills

What It’s Like to Be an Intern at NIFS

Each semester, including the summer, NIFS welcomes a new class of fantastic interns to come learn what it takes to work in a fitness center. With each group that we welcome with open arms, there is a point when we must say goodbye. Our most recent group of interns is wrapping up their final presentations and parting ways with the friends, coworkers, and clients they have met along the way. intern Rachel

Rachel Potter interned with NIFS for three months during the summer of 2013, and although we know she has to move back to her home state of Oklahoma to begin her career, we sure will miss her! Here is her perspective about what it’s like to be an intern at NIFS.

If you had told me five years ago that I would move to Indianapolis for a three-month internship, I would have said, “NO WAY!” Having moved to Oklahoma from the San Francisco Bay area, my perspective began to change and I began to realize how open I was to exploring the rest of the country.

Coming to NIFS was one of the best decisions I could have ever made. Sure, it was tough being away from my nice, comfy bed; three months on an air mattress seemed like a great idea in the beginning. The reward is everything I learned from the experience and the confidence I have gained in the process.

intern at NIFSI came into the internship with a strong fitness background, so I chose to work with the actively aging community, a setting way out of my comfort zone. It was tough at first knowing that I wasn’t familiar with the population and sometimes feeling like a chicken with its head cut off. I remember the first class I taught. I did about fifty things you aren’t supposed to do! Luckily, I had great instruction from my supervisor and eventually began to settle in to the site.

What was so unique about the internship at NIFS was the option to explore the different departments offered. Because NIFS encompasses multiple facets of their industry—including corporate wellness, active aging, and athletic training—I was able to shadow different areas, which allowed me to see the differences between each place. I also learned how diverse the sites were. Seeing what each position entailed helped me realize the avenues I liked and may want to pursue further and the things I would never want to do in a million years.

Having learned so much more about myself and being able to apply my education to so many different areas, I could not have asked for a better intern experience.NCAA Frog

This blog was written by Rachel Potter, NIFS Intern and Les Mills BODYCOMBAT and BODYPUMP certified instructor.

Topics: NIFS fitness center senior fitness Les Mills

Tackling Your First Group Fitness Class


Taking any class for the first time can be terribly intimidating. You aren’t quite sure where to start, where to stand, what equipment you’ll need, if you are fit enough, and so on. What was supposed to be an energizing and stress-relieving workout session is now giving you a nervous stomachache! Here are a few easy steps to ease you into your first class.

1. Introduce Yourself to the Instructor

Introduce yourself to the instructor and let him or her know it is your first class. In most cases, the instructor will probably recognize that you are new and take the first steps. But sometimes as instructors, we can get distracted. The instructor will be able to tell you exactly what equipment you will need and what to expect. Your instructor is key to making the class a success. If he knows it is your first class, he will be sure to cue extra options (both higher and lower intensity) to make sure you can work out at whatever fitness level you are currently at.

2. Meet Your Fellow Fitness Participants

Introduce yourself to someone standing next to you. Group fitness participants are generally by nature social people. The idea of running solo on a treadmill is not our idea of fun, but working out with others, being pushed and motivated by the music and the people around you? Absolutely! Your fellow classmates will have valuable information on how to handle the class, and probably the instructor. They will fill you in on all of the details the instructor left out—like how the day after your first BODYPUMP™ class, your thighs cry a little when you try to walk up the stairs! (Don’t worry, that goes away after the first few classes. You get stronger quickly!) Remember, they had a Day 1 at one point, too, and have stuck with it, so they have the inside track.

describe the image

3. Try Three to Five Group Fitness Sessions

Try a class three to five times before deciding whether it’s for you. Each group fitness class has its own skill set and its own learning curve. Go in prepared to learn and try something new. For example, if you are taking a cardio class set to music (such as BODYCOMBAT™, Zumba, or Step), you will have to learn the moves first before you can really rock out. To get the most out of strength-based classes (such as BODYPUMP™, Boot Camp, or BOSU classes), you will need to learn where you are strength-wise so you can correctly choose your weight selections. These things take time and experimentation. Allow yourself the time to learn the moves and assess your strengths before deciding whether the class is for you.

That’s it! Three easy steps and you are on your way to becoming a group fitness rock star! Check out the Group Fitness Schedule and pick a class to attend this week. Follow these three steps and soon you’ll be as confident as the other members of the class. Then one day, someone will introduce themselves to you as a new participant and you’ll have the opportunity to pay it forward!

Ready to try a group fitness class at NIFS for FREE? Click here to request a pass!

This blog was written by Tasha Nichols, Group Fitness Manager and Program Coordinator at NIFS and a Les Mills US National Trainer. Meet our NIFS bloggers.

Topics: cardio group fitness group training strength Les Mills

How to Make Group Fitness Classes Work for You

If you want to increase your fitness level, lose weight, become healthier, or say good-bye to any unwanted fat on your body, you have to work out with a plan. You have already done the hard part: you committed to becoming more fit and you got your butt to the gym, so make the most of your time and work out with a purpose.

les Mills Bodycombat

Try Group Fitness Classes

This may be overwhelming to you. No worries! It is very simple and affordable. Try group fitness classes! They are highly energetic, effective, and motivating. All of NIFS’s classes are designed by fitness professionals, so you can trust they are safe and effective. Les Mills classes are backed by ongoing scientific research and are always being tested and proven to bring results—and bring results quickly. Let me say that again in case you missed it: scientifically based and proven to work!

Creating an Effective Group Fitness Workout Plan

Okay, so all that info is great, but how can you apply it? Easy! To create an effective workout plan for all-around fitness, you need to combine strength, cardio, and flexibility. Try one of the following plans:

Les mills bodypump

Working out three days per week:

Working out four to five days per week:

  • Two to three strength classes (BODYPUMP™, Boot Camp)
  • One to two cardio classes (BODYCOMBAT™, Cycle/RPM™, Step, BODYJAM™)
  • One mind-body class (Yoga, Pilates)

RPM Les Mills

By smartly combining the different varieties of group fitness classes, you can create an effective workout plan that will get you the results you want without adding extra cost to your gym membership. Remember, each class will feature some strength, cardio, and flexibility, so use the class descriptions to get a feel for whether it will fall into a strength-based or cardio-based category.

Make sure to check out the NIFS Group Fitness Schedule to see which classes will fit your schedule and help you reach your goals.

Sign up for a free class pass today!

This blog was written by Tasha Nichols, Les Mills US National Trainer for BODYCOMBAT™, BODYJAM™, and BODYPUMP™.

Topics: NIFS cardio fitness center group fitness group training flexibility strength Les Mills