O2 Fitness offering free outdoor classes through April

sbarr@newsobserver.comApril 10, 2014 

Paul Clash, Joseph Bell and Ryan Batts, all of Raleigh, enjoy a free outdoor exercise class at City Plaza hosted by O2 Fitness.

SARAH BARR

— Nearly 50 people turned out Wednesday for a free downtown fitness class where they jumped over hurdles, hefted kettle bells and crab-walked across the turf at City Plaza.

The class was one in a series O2 Fitness is offering on the turf through the month of April on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m.

The company started the “Shape Up Downtown” three years ago as way to bring fitness classes to more people and contribute to the neighborhood.

“We're highly invested in seeing downtown grow and be a vibrant place,” said Michael Olander, Jr., chief executive at O2. The company’s home office is just blocks from the turf.

The trainers who lead each session, whether Zumba, yoga or bootcamp, offer variations on each workout that are appropriate for all ability levels.

“We want everyone, regardless of their physical activity level, to come,” Olander said.

At Wednesday’s class, Julie Miller had arrived with a group of co-workers who make regular trips to the series.

“It’s just neat to have something that we can all do together,” she said.

The workouts regulalry draw more than 50 people with as many as 70 attending some sessions.

Jake Giamoni, a trainer, said he’s glad the classes have drawn a mix of club members and others who just decide to drop in. “It’s amazing,” he said. “It’s great to have new faces.

A full schedule is available at o2fitnessclubs.com/

shapeupdowntown.

The classes are first-come, first-served.

Barr: 919-836-4952; Twitter: @barrmsarah

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