Pole & Aerial Fit­ness of SWFL

Sexy and fun work­outs, hang­ing out in Bonita fit­ness stu­dio

Cape Coral Living - - Publisher's Letter - BY NICK CILETTI

What started as a sim­ple girls’ day turned into some­thing much more for Mon­ica Gut­ten­felder. “I im­me­di­ately fell in love with it,” Gut­ten­felder says of the fate­ful night she was hooked on a fit­ness craze. “It was new and ex­cit­ing.” It could be ar­gued that any new work­out rou­tine pro­vides cer­tain ex­cite­ment, but the class Gut­ten­felder vis­ited rose to com­pletely new heights, per­haps be­cause it in­volved a pole, as in fire or flag. Only this pole is to keep fit, some­times well above the train­ing floor. The same stu­dio also of­fers aerial work­outs. “Women at work poke a lot of fun at me for it,” Gut­ten­felder says of pole fit­ness classes in South­west Florida, “but I’ve been do­ing it so long now that it doesn’t bother me.” Gut­ten­felder is a reg­u­lar at Pole & Aerial Fit­ness of SWFL. The stu­dio, lo­cated off Old U.S. Route 41 in Bonita Springs, has been around for about seven years and has been cre­at­ing a splash. “It’s def­i­nitely mixed re­ac­tions!” ex­plains Mikal Mount, the stu­dio owner. “In the past, many peo­ple in­stantly as­so­ci­ated pole fit­ness with ex­otic danc­ing, not a work­out. Peo­ple are now much more fa­mil­iar with the work­out and re­al­ize we are just a ladies' gym, with a touch of sexy!” For Mount, it re­ally was about find­ing and cre­at­ing a fit­ness pro­gram that not only held her at­ten­tion, but also mo­ti­vated oth­ers to keep in shape, to ex­plore out­side com­fort zones and also one that re­volves around busy lives. Pole and

aerial fit­ness are a per­fect fit. “We do it be­cause it’s a great work­out, but it’s also fun,” Mount says. Pole classes can run from an hour up to 90 min­utes, tak­ing your body (and con­fi­dence level) to new places. “Many ladies are anx­ious to try it out but are al­ways ner­vous their first time,” Mount says. “Once they are there and re­al­ize they are with other ladies who are feel­ing ex­actly the same way, a bond is cre­ated. They re­al­ize it’s tough but they are all go­ing through it and they all are gen­uinely sup­port­ive of each other.” Gut­ten­felder ac­knowl­edges the pro­gram was at first dif­fi­cult, but real phys­i­cal and emo­tional changes hap­pened. “Slowly but surely you be­come stronger and your skin thick­ens up,” she says, “and be­fore you know it, the pain is noth­ing, you’re com­fort­ably hang­ing up­side down 10 feet off the ground while tran­si­tion­ing from move to move while hang­ing by noth­ing but the skin of your thigh!” Pole ba­sics in­clude learn­ing how to spin, how to grip the bar, how to align your body and proper strength train­ing. From there, there are a num­ber of eye­catch­ing classes that in­clude “Floor Play,” “Cleo’s Rock N’ Pole” and “Floor Tw­erk.” But Mount’s stu­dio of­fers more than just pole danc­ing―aerial silk classes and lyra, which is an aerial hoop or ring. “We teach all the ba­sics of these aerial ac­tiv­i­ties and, of course, more ad­vanced train­ing for those who are ready to take it to the next level, she says.” For Terri Daven­port, the ben­e­fits of aeri­als are tough to ig­nore. “I don’t weigh my­self any­more, be­cause even though I’ve gained weight, I’m more toned from the mus­cle growth,” she ex­plains. Daven­port says aerial train­ing also boosts con­fi­dence and self-esteem. “You don’t need to start strong,” she ex­plains. “Aeri­als will make you strong! Ev­ery class there is pro­gres­sion. I started when I was 40. Now I’m 43 and stronger than I’ve ever been … I feel younger and sex­ier at 43 than I did at 23.” And feel­ing bet­ter about them­selves is per­haps the big­gest ben­e­fit Mount says her stu­dents no­tice. “Many of my clients are look­ing for a new work­out, a harder work­out or some­thing that they will stick with,” she says. “Oth­ers are just look­ing for a con­fi­dence boost or to feel more fem­i­nine and sexy. “But the re­al­ity is this is one of the only work­outs that does both.”

And feel­ing bet­ter about your­self is per­haps the big­gest ben­e­fit.

Aerial and pole fit­ness stretches and tones the mus­cles we don't of­ten reach in tra­di­tional work­outs.

Along with pole fit­ness, aerial silks and lyra classes (left) are among the hottest work­out trends in South­west Florida.

At a Glance Pole & Aerial Fit­ness of SWFL 28380 Old U.S. Route 41, Unit 2, Bonita. 239-410-4105, pole­an­daeri­al­fit­ness.net

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