They moved it.
They lifted it.
They shook it.
Fort Bliss Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Group Fitness staff threw down the gauntlet once again with a July fitness challenge, dubbed “Move it, Lift it, Shake It,” at Sgt. Joshua W. Soto Physical Fitness Center at Fort Bliss, Texas, July 9, 2022.
Led by instructors Alina Rodriguez, a Bliss Group Fitness instructor, and Scott Smith, a strength and conditioning coach and fitness instructor who teaches on-and-off post, and also serves as an Army civilian employee with the Bliss Directorate of Human Resources, the second floor fitness room at Soto PFC was transformed into a frenetic, party-lighted fitness zone. The event started with an open dance floor where fitness-goers “shook it” – and either followed the instructor’s dance moves, or rocked some of their own for a three-song set of high-energy, Zumba-style dance music.
After a short break, it was time to “lift it” as Smith took over the challenge with a strength-training session that mixed in several muscle groups and stressed the importance of fluid repetition for safe and effective training.
And last – they “moved it.” After a couple of laps on Soto’s indoor, elevated track, it was off to the spinning room, located in another corner of the spacious 96,000-square foot facility, for a raucous spin class session as the group biked together, led by Rodriguez, who made a point to work with riders individually to teach them proper seat and pedal positioning throughout the session.
The morning challenge ended with a raffle, where all guests left with swag as Rodriguez and Smith raffled off gift bags with fitness equipment or 60-minute fitness consultations with Smith.
“We wanted to do something that everyone could enjoy,” Smith said about “Move it, Lift It, Shake It.“ “We know that a lot of people like Zumba, and then a lot of people like to do strength and conditioning, and from there, the one ‘X factor’ was the spin classes.”
He explained that since spin bikes were less common outside of fitness studios, he and Rodriguez wanted to introduce students to the bikes in the chance that they were new to them.
Throughout the fitness challenge, the pair made a point to share the proper form for the activities, to not only maximize the effectiveness of the movements, but also minimize the risk of injury, encouraging fluidity and motion over speed and exhaustion.
“‘Form’ teaches you how to move,” said Smith, “and as you get older, you’ll tend to build muscle memory for it. If you don’t know form and you’re just flailing around, you’re going to tear tendons, muscles, and joints. As long as you’re focusing on your form, you can practically do almost anything that you want to do.”
In the time since the COVID-19 shuttered FMWR facilities on post in 2019, and then with a gradual roll-out of getting facilities back online, as well as new trend of people trading in-person instruction for more virtual choices, following the July 9 challenge, Rodriguez said Group Fitness class participation is down and she wants the public to know that, with continued respect for public health parameters, she and the industry-certified Bliss Group Fitness staff look forward to serving the Bliss community at pre-pandemic levels
“We know how to modify training to meet people’s needs,” Rodriguez said of in-person instruction for challenges like the July 9 “Move it, Lift it, Shake It,” or the variety of classes and services they have throughout the year. “If you’re just starting, it’s very intimidating to go from nothing back into [a fitness regimen] – I think that’s one of the hardest steps ever. We’re all here, we’ve been there, and we want to see you win.”