burn boot camp

Burn Boot Camp Opens in West Boca

Session at Burn Boot Camp

Session at Burn Boot Camp

Girls run the world at Burn Boot Camp West Boca. The national fitness franchise opened its second Florida location on Monday, thanks to Jen Sawtell-Day and her husband Ryan. Jen, a Boca native, is super excited to have an empowering, female-only gym in her hometown. The couple opened its first Burn Boot Camp location in Naples almost two years ago and plans to open between eight and 10 locations in Palm Beach and Broward County over the next 3 to 4 years.

I attended Burn Boot Camp West Boca on Tuesday (the second day of camp), and it was intense—in the best sort of way. The 45-minute class focused on five different circuits (repeated three times each) and two ab exercises (with two repetitions and a finisher, which was bicycle abs for various intervals). My class included about 30-40 women between the ages of 20 and 50. Some brought kids, others brought their friends. But everyone had a common goal: to burn fat and build muscle. And boy, did we burn: abs, triceps, shoulders, and more abs.

Owners Jen and Ryan and head trainer Brittany

Owners Jen and Ryan and head trainer Brittany

Jen and Ryan kindly shared a bit of their Burn story with me. Here’s a recap:

Boca Mag (BM): How did you become associated with Burn? 

Jen Sawtell-Day (JSD): As a client. There was a Groupon. I started working out in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the headquarters location. It 100 percent changed my life. I had put on 90 pounds during my pregnancy with twins, and I had 45 pounds to lose. Free childcare [at Burn boot camp] was a big draw, and it was women only. It’s absolutely fantastic. One year after the Groupon, the CEO, Devan Kline, decided to franchise. It was Ryan’s idea to look into franchising. He had the dream of opening eight to 10 locations in Florida. Ryan had a finance background and I was a paralegal for 20 years. Both sets of our parents ran small businesses when we were kids. We talked to them and asked if it was crazy to leave our safe corporate jobs to open a gym in Boca—there are gyms everywhere. They said yes, to do it. Devan suggested opening the first location in Naples. It was my dream to bring Burn to Boca, which is my hometown.

BM: What makes Burn different from other gyms?

JSD: Burn [boot camp] made me a fitness junkie. I lost more than 40 pounds, and I’m in better shape at 42 than I was at 22 or 32. It’s so much more than a gym. It’s not cliquey or judgmental. It’s a 45-minute sweat session that empowers women. There’s free childcare, which is a draw for moms. There’s nutrition focus meetings every three weeks to help with coaching and meal plans, to look at fat/carb intake. Regardless of your health or fitness goals, we can tailor [plans] to meet goals in a reasonable amount of time. But I tell people it’s a lifestyle change. You have to commit to fitness and eating better. But the common thread is a sense of community.

BM: Who designs workouts? 

JSD: Headquarters [in Charlotte] determines group workouts. So Tuesday was arms and upper body at all the locations. But trainers at each location decide the exercises. So in West Boca, Brittany writes them, and Ryan and I weigh in.

BM: What’s your favorite healthy meal? 

JSD: I’m a simple cook: grilled chicken, corn, quinoa and black beans. I top it with salsa. I make big quantities and have it for lunch or dinner throughout the week. Meal prep is definitely important.

RD: Mine is a staple Burn recipe: egg, ground turkey, sweet potato and vegetable casserole. It’s great for breakfast. You can throw any veggies in there: peas, broccoli, carrots. The Burn Nutrition Facebook page has more videos, tips and recipes.

BM: What motivates you to keep going? 

JSD: For me it’s two things. I feel good—I sleep better, I have more energy. I don’t want to backslide. And seeing how it changes other people’s lives. To see the look on their face of, “I just did it!” and being surrounded by that for seven boot camps every day is amazing.

RD: I gravitate toward being on the floor. To help someone realize a goal, that’s what drives me every day.

To learn more about Burn Boot Camp West Boca (11411 A West Palmetto Park Road), visit its website.

Allison Lewis is the associate editor at Boca Raton Magazine and a native St. Louisan. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. In her spare time, Allison enjoys cooking, playing Ultimate frisbee, reading, traveling and watching sports.

Fitness Firsts: Cycling at Flywheel Sports

JCC_8076My fitness go-to’s lately include Frisbee, lifting weights and logging miles on the treadmill, but not cycling. (Yes, I know, who the heck likes to run on the treadmill?) I try to exercise at least five times each week, and some days, the treadmill or the weight machine just doesn’t cut it. On weekends, I’ll change things up: a bike ride, the driving range or something else. I’m more of a leisurely cyclist, and I prefer to keep my biking outdoors on the Lake Trail in Palm Beach.

But when I found out about Flywheel Sports in Boca, I decided to try an indoor cycling class—my first one ever. Most classes are between 45 and 60 minutes long, and there’s a few different instructors that teach throughout the week. Instructor Nicole Hoskens points out the tech pack on each Flywheel bike, which shows the rider the RPMs, resistance (torque), power and calories burned throughout the ride. Riders can also compare their stats to those of their peers on a screen in the cycling stadium.

I got there on time and found myself facing a crowded parking lot. Pro tip: arrive early just for parking’s sake. Flywheel is not in the biggest of spaces, but everything is compact and set up well. A small lounge area is directly across from a row of cubbyholes, and lockers and changing rooms are in the back. Oh, and there’s a Flywheel merch wall, if you’re so inclined.

I checked in, grabbed a towel and slipped into a pair of cycling shoes provided by Flywheel. Another pro tip: wear flip flops and bring socks, unless you own a pair of cycling shoes. Mine fit pretty well and felt comfortable during the ride.

Once in the stadium, I locked my feet into the pedals, set my towel on the handle bars and pedaled slowly. I looked around the room. About 50 or 60 stationary bikes were full of women (and about 10 men) between the ages of 25 and 50. The lights dimmed, and the instructor, Angela Lutin, appeared at the front of the room and got on her own bike.

Stadium Shot 4

Together, everyone warmed up while a remix with loud beats played in the background. We started the ride shortly after, and I could feel my legs starting to burn. I adjusted the resistance knob so that my torque was at about 15 or 16 initially. Lutin led the class through 30-second sprints with torque at 20 and RPMs of 90 or higher. I upped my torque to 17 and my RPMs between 70 and 75, at least the first half of class. Indoor cycling requires a rhythm, and I was finding mine.

I rode a few different hills, which required leaving the saddle, or bike seat. I could feel the burn in my thighs increase and the sweat glistening on my arms and face. About halfway through, Lutin said: “How you do anything is how you do everything.” I think it was her motivational mantra because she repeated it a few times more the second half of class.

“We want to empower members and clients,” Hoskens says.

I was pleasantly surprised when Lutin told us to reach for the weighted bars on the side of the bike. We used them for some light upper body strength conditioning, while continuing to pedal, albeit more slowly and with less torque. The class finished with another small hill, a couple more sprints, and then a strong finish.

The lights came on, and we all did a few minutes of stretching before leaving the stadium. I noticed little puddles on the floor around most of the bikes. Guess I wasn’t the only one who had been working up a sweat. I left the stadium, put on my flip flops, threw my shoes and towel into the bin for cleaning, and walked out exhausted but feeling stronger.

Allison Lewis is the associate editor at Boca Raton Magazine and a native St. Louisan. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. In her spare time, Allison enjoys cooking, playing Ultimate frisbee, reading, traveling and watching sports.
boca cosmetologist

LLScene’s Favorite Cosmetic Procedures for Younger Clients

*This information represents the opinions of Lindsey Swing and Lilly Robbins. They are reviews, and are not intended to diagnose or treat. Always consult a doctor and do your research before deciding to get any medical procedure. 

boca cosmetologist

We’re getting up close and personal with bocamag.com today, so buckle up.

As two 20-somethings quickly approaching 30, we’re committed to doing anything and everything it takes to remain looking young. You may think we’re crazy, but no matter what age you are, you will benefit from our post today. Growing up, we could eat whatever we wanted, drink whatever we wanted and bounce back in a matter of days. As we grow older, we’re starting to see the dreaded effects of all that “catching up with us” as that “bounce back” becomes a little slower each time.

LLScene girls Lilly Robbins and Lindsey Swing.

LLScene girls Lilly Robbins and Lindsey Swing.

It’s no secret. We are very open with sharing our tricks of the trade when it comes to anti-aging and beauty.

What do you do when you’re looking for a quick fix? You book an appointment with your trusted cosmetologist. In this case, our approach to cosmetic procedures begins and ends with Dr. Mylissa Graber from Dr. Mylissa’s Medical Boutique in Delray Beach.

Lucky for us, we’ve never had to go anywhere but Dr. Mylissa’s Medical Boutique. She has never steered us wrong or given us a treatment that we didn’t need. In fact, she had to tell Lindsey that she wouldn’t give her lip injections at one point because she thought she was doing too much.

Lindsey Swing

Lindsey Swing

What makes Dr. Graber different than some of the other doctors in the area? She is a board-certified emergency physician and has been practicing for more than 15 years, and she knows exactly what to do to ensure you leave her office with a naturally enhanced look.

You may be saying to yourself, “They’re not even 30. Why are they getting Botox and starting so early in life?”  We’re glad you asked. If you don’t start now it will just be that much harder to “bounce back” in the future. We decided to take the leap into the world of Botox and fillers when we noticed our makeup and foundation cracking and crinkling into our fine lines. The earlier you start getting Botox, the easier it will be to maintain when you get older, in some cases. There will be NO fine lines and wrinkles on these #SceneGirls ever again.

Lilly Robbins

Lilly Robbins

In order to ensure you get the most out of your Botox treatments, it is recommended that you go every three months. We waited a little longer than that and honestly saw a big difference, so it was a little like Christmas morning. There won’t be a line or crease to be seen or heard from again (well … at least for another three months). Our makeup goes on smoothly, without a dreaded crack or imperfection from our foundation. Ladies, you know what we’re talking about.

There are a million businesses out there claiming to bring you the fountain of youth through their groundbreaking procedures, but you should be very careful when choosing the right cosmetologist, aesthetician or plastic surgeon for you. We recommend Dr. Mylissa Graber to everyone we know because we’ve never had to go anywhere else, but we’re also “in the know” and well educated on the other medical spas that provide a wonderful experience with the same results. Here are some of the other LLScene-approved cosmetologists, aestheticians and medical spas and we recommend in the area.

Dr. Mylissa’s Medical Boutique

1441 S. Congress Ave., Delray Beach; 561/ 330-9444


Dr. Mylissa

A board-certified emergency physician, Dr. Graber (MD, FACP) has 15 years of emergency medicine experience. She is also talented in medical beauty treatments and is a compassionate physician to her patients.



Dermal Fillers

Exilis Body Contouring

B-12 Injections


IPL Photo Facials

Tattoo Removal

*Mention LLScene for special discounts!


15340 Jog Road, suite 202 Delray Beach; 561/501-3177



DelRaydiance was founded in 2016 by Domenique Massari, who holds a Masters of Health Science and is a Certified Physicians Assiants. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Central Florida. Massari focuses on cosmetic medicine and offers a wide variety of treatments, and she is especially knowledgeable about PRP injections. She expands her cosmetic and mecial knowledge by attending medical training conferences.


Botox & Dysport

Dermal Fillers


Hair Loss

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Allure Aesthetics

4700 NW 2nd Ave., suite 103 Boca Raton; 561/409-2791


Heather Allure

Heather Schwartzmann, MPAS, PA-C, is the owner and practitioner at Allure Aesthetics. She earned a Master’s degree in Medical Science from Keiser University and is passionate about performing cosmetic procedures to improve people’s self -confidence. She is especially adept at injections, taking the time to determine the right products for the right person and issue at hand.


Botox & Dyspot


Laser Facials

Chemical Peels

Laser Hair Removal

Double Chin/Saggy Chin

Boca Med Spa

600 S. Dixie Highway, suite 105 Boca Raton; 561/447-2240


Monica Tittsworth is the founder of Boca Med Soa. She is a licensed aesthetician and a Certified Medical Electrolysis, and Laser Specialist. She has worked in aesthetics for over 10 years with top dermatologists and plastic surgeons. Her business philosophy is based on combining her heart, mind and hands to achieve the best results.


Infrared Skin Tightening

Chemical Peels


Permanent Makeup

Skin Tag Removal

Lipo Cavitation

If you’re not ready to take the plunge into the world of cosmetic fillers and Botox, that’s fine! Each and every one of these medical spas offers an array of other treatments customized to your everyday needs. At the end of the day, what’s important is how you feel about yourself.

Want to know what the ladies of LLScene are up to on the daily? Visit ll-scene.com.

Lindsey Swing & Lilly Robbins are best friends and founders of LLScene, a fashion and lifestyle blog based in South Florida. Sharing the same enthusiasm for style and lifestyle trends, the ladies of LLScene bring an influential twist to “20-30 somethings” looking for a little more in life. Lindsey is a newlywed with a passion for innovative fashion movements and Florida State football. Lilly is a former Miami Dolphins Cheerleader with a desire to further her philanthropic work and brand lifestyle concepts. Until they’re fortunate enough to have children of their own, Lindsey & Lilly will continue to enjoy being “dog moms” to Bentley & Duke.
Cakes for a tea party baby shower. Photo courtesy of The Addison.

Boca Mom Talk: Ideal Summer Venues for a Baby Shower

An original baby shower concept is hard to come by these days. I honestly dread the idea of cheesy games and the inevitable ‘oohing and ahhing’ over pink or blue baby clothes. And why does it take so long to open presents? Sometimes it feels like if you’ve been to one baby shower, you’ve been to them all.

Let your guests do the cooking

Of course, I had to shelve my feelings once my sister became pregnant and we started brainstorming party themes late last year. I feel like we came up with a pretty good one, though, with our “Bun in the Oven” cooking theme at Publix Aprons Cooking School in central Boca Raton.

My sister, Lauren, at her baby shower.

My sister, Lauren, at her baby shower.

One of the aspects I loved most when it came to planning her baby shower at Aprons was that they pretty much handled everything for me. As a busy Boca mom, that is a huge plus. All you have to do is say the word to your assigned event planner! If you have 15 guests or less, you can put on a full scale cooking class at your party. If you have more than 15 (up to 44), then Publix Aprons will put on an entertaining yet educational cooking demo according to your theme. You pay per person for the demo and 3-course meal and can choose to add wine pairings as well. We definitely did.


Publix Aprons Cooking School, 5050 Champion Blvd., Boca Raton; 561/994/4461

Keep it classy

For parties like baby showers, it all comes down to the venue. And in downtown Boca, one of my all-time favorite party venues is making a baby shower, bridal luncheon or tea party totally accessible to savvy Boca Raton party hostesses this summer: The Addison.


Table decoration for a tea party baby shower at The Addison. Photo courtesy of The Addison.

How could you not dazzle even the most jaded of baby shower guests at a place like The Addison? This summer, elegant three-course menus start at $34.50 per person (plus tax/gratuity). I love a good tea party—especially if it has champagne. “A Baby is Brewing” was actually my baby shower theme! Feel free to borrow it if you book a date at The Addison. In true Boca fashion, I think they’ll go fast.

baby shower

Cakes for a tea party baby shower. Photo courtesy of The Addison.

The Addison, 2 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton; 561/372-0568

Visit www.modernbocamom.com for even more baby shower tips! And be sure to subscribe to Modern Boca Mom’s weekly e-newsletter: http://bit.ly/mbmsubscribe

Michelle Olson-Rogers, a native to Boca, is the founder of ModernBocaMom.com, a lifestyle website for the stylish & modern South Florida Mommy. Modern Boca Mom features family events, activities, classes, fitness, dining, travel, home improvement and shopping options—as well as a weekly MOMpreneur spotlight! She and her husband Andrew have one daughter, Avery.

Where the Fakawi? Ride Your Bike Through Who-Knows-Where Next Month



The Fakawi ride last year. Photo provided by Jimmy Toural.

The Fakawi Gravel Grinder is the annual mountain bike ride that takes local riders off-road to see remnants of Old Florida. The 50- and 30-mile routes meander through networks of levees, horse trails and abandoned farm roads.

This year’s event starts at 8 a.m., Sunday, May 21, at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida. For those who don’t want to do the 30- or 50-mile courses, there’s a 12-miler out and back on the levee.

Sunrise resident Jimmy Toural started the Fakawi ride. A competitive mountain biker, Toural and his friends were looking for ways to add miles to their bike rides to and from Markham Park. “I found some trails and thought it would be a good idea to set up a ride with some friends, and we did,” he said.

The event’s name came naturally, as Toural’s friends were constantly perplexed by where they were on the web of back-road trails. “We were just messing around, and a lot of the people that have been living in the area for years had no clue where they were,” Toural claimed. His friends kept asking, “Where the f*** are we?”

A lightbulb went off in Toural’s head: “Fakawi—that’s the name.”


The Fakawi ride last year. Photo provided by Jimmy Toural.

Since the first official Fakawi in 2010, which attracted 75 riders, it has become a legendary event for local cyclists. Attendance has grown to several hundred. I can attest to that; I did it last year (the 30-mile loop), and thought it was a blast. Toural, who is 42 years old and is vice president of the Miami-based Galloway Office Supplies, said he added the 30- and 12-mile options because word of the Fakawi reached families, and now kids do the ride with their parents. It’s a family affair, but it also offers hardcore riders a competitive option. It costs $20 to enter.

A few words of wisdom: Don’t attempt this ride on a bike with skinny tires (a traditional road bike), unless you enjoy making contact with gravel or have amazing skills. Bring lots of water. Riders, according to Toural, should be prepared to ride two to three hours for the event, and while there’s water in a few places along the course, it tends to be hot. Bring food to keep you energized during the ride. And if it has been raining the days prior, be prepared to get muddy. Most of all, be prepared to have fun!

The fun continues after you’ve finished and hosed off your bike. There will be food and music at Markham Park—a big party. For more information or to sign up, to wherethefakawi.com.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.

Dress to Impress at Trainerspace This Saturday


Trainerspace, Boca’s newest (sexiest) gym run by military veterans will host an All White Party at its facility in Boca Raton on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

There will be food from Fit Foodz, cocktails and a performance by Adriana Foster and Digital Vibez, a nonprofit that helps children become active and healthy through fitness, dance and technology. A prize will be given to the person who wears the funkiest sneakers to the party, so dress to win. All proceeds raised from the event will benefit Eat Better Live Better, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing, reducing and reversing childhood obesity.

Tickets purchased in advance are $15 and $20 at the door. You can register in advance here.

Trainerspace is a fitness center that focuses on scientifically guided, individualized personal training to help people reach their fitness goals. This space is not just a high-end, luxury gym. Owner Cary Reichbach and director of business development, Logan Skees, an Army vet and a Marines vet, respectively, have a greater mission in mind. They see the gym as a platform to serve others.

They are doing this by forming a foundation, which is in its grassroots phase right now. Its mission is to provide veterans with tools to allow them to help themselves, Reichbach said, particularly helping younger veterans reintegrate back into society after combat. Both Reichbach and Skees believe traditional veteran services like those the Department of Veterans Affairs offer do not address the root of most veterans’ issues. The foundation’s approach is focused on alternative, holistic therapies like acupuncture, sensory deprivation, massage therapy and more to help veterans deal with post traumatic stress.

Reichbach said that vets are perceived as liabilities. They are heavily invested in prior to service in the military, and then when they return home they have very little investment or support.

“What if we take those people and do a 180 and make them into one of the greatest assets in the community?” Reichbach asked.

While the Trainerspace Foundation is in it’s 18-month research and development phase, which will guide its approach to reaching its goal, Skees said that it expects to help 10 to 12 combat veterans during that time. Additionally, the gym wants to give back to the community as much as it can, and Skees said he wants Trainserspace to be known as an ethics driven company.

Also occurring Saturday, April 8 will be the first “Future Warrior Fitness Program,” which exemplifies the staff’s dedication to giving back and military service. Trainerspace partnered with local high schools and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) programs to bring the aspiring cadets into the gym for an intensive training session. The students will have the opportunity to train with Trainerspace’s military veteran fitness instructors at the facility.  “We have to help them [the JROTC students] prepare for reality,” Skees said.

To learn more about Trainerspace, visit trainerspace.com.

Shayna is the Web Editor of Boca Magazine. She is a 20-something sorta-recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism. Most of her time is spent fawning over cats and kittens; cooking food at home for her family; and observing Florida’s greatest asset: nature.
free yoga

Free Yoga This Weekend at Delray Marketplace Amphitheater

free yoga

Local yoga instructor and physical therapist Bea Gruman will be teaching a free yoga class at the Delray Marketplace Amphitheater, at 14851 Lyons Road, Delray Beach, Sunday, Feb. 26 at 2:30 p.m.

The event, called Yoga in the Park, is for all levels of yoga experience. People only need to bring a mat and towel.

While the class is free, any donations made at the event will go to support Lynn Cancer Institute and Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

The inspiration for the event came from a local network of teens, called Teens of Pink Ribbon. Teens of Pink Ribbon was founded in 2014 by Fern Duberman, a Boca Raton resident, professional interior designer and cancer awareness advocate. The group has evolved into a growing network of local teens and adults committed to wellness, education and fundraising, according to Duberman.

“[Teens of Pink Ribbon] is dedicated to advancing awareness and education about cancer, genetics, lifestyle choices, prevention, treatments and technological innovations [for] teens and adults, as well as fundraising to support local medical facilities and resources,” Duberman says. “This specific event was created by the teens, and Delray Marketplace went along with the idea and donated the space!”

Boca Raton resident and yoga instructor Katherine Karageorges Sharp, who is a cancer survivor, will close Yoga in the Park with meditation.

“My yoga practice really brought me to my meditation practice,” Sharp tells Bocamag.com. “Since beginning a regular meditation practice, I feel happier, lighter and more grounded. I am less reactive to external events—things I cannot control.”

Gruman teaches yoga at Synergy Fitness Boca, Life Time Athletic and Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton.

For more information about Teens of Pink Ribbon, go to: http://www.teensofpinkribbon.org/. For more about Yoga in the Park, email Duberman at [email protected].

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.

Anti-Bullying Martial Arts Class Free for Local Kids

Bullying is a scary thought for kids, parents and grandparents. I know that, as a grandparent, I’d like to do something to help my grandson feel less vulnerable and more empowered in school.

Well, here’s an idea. And it’s free.


The Institute of Human Performance (IHP) is offering a free anti-bullying class, Saturday, Feb. 25 at 11 a.m. to noon, with Danillo “INDIO” Villefort, a professional mixed martial artist, world-class judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.

The class is designed to empower children, ages 5 years and older, by combining self-defense skills, self-awareness and self-confidence, Villefort says.

Villefort doesn’t teach these classes because he was bullied when he was a kid. He does it because he was the bully.

“It’s something that makes me feel really ashamed.” Villefort says. “That’s why I teach kids how to protect themselves. It’s the very [least] I can do. My real mission is to create bully awareness and turn a bully into a shepherd.”

There’s more to the February 25 class at IHP. Instead of sitting around and waiting for their kids to finish the program, parents who attend can work out with an IHP trainer for free. IHP performance coach Marc Saint-Preux is offering a free functional training class to keep parents fit, while their children learn to bully-proof their lives.

To register for the free class, call Villefort at 954/290-1376 or IHP at 561/620-9556. To learn more about Villefort, go to IndioMMA.com.

IHP is at 1950 NW Boca Raton Blvd., Boca Raton.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
beyond fitness

Delray Gym ‘Beyond Fitness’ Fighting Parkinson’s with Punches

The gym offers fitness classes for kids with disabilities and adults with Parkinson’s. 

Colleen Greenhalgh during a boxing class at Beyond Fitness.

Colleen Greenhalgh during a boxing class at Beyond Fitness.

I get lots of press releases about how to get fit in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, but this news was something I hadn’t yet seen.

Beyond Fitness, a Delray Beach-based gym that focuses on fitness for seniors, began offering fitness classes specifically for kids with disabilities, including those with Autism, as well as classes for adults with Parkinson’s disease.

“We opened in mid-September, and originally we were focused on seniors only, then realized that the community needed other classes that we could offer” says Colleen Greenhalgh, Beyond Fitness’s owner and head trainer, and Delray Beach resident. “We want to be a place that offers something for everyone, and it’s always changing to meet the needs of the community.”

Greenhalgh has worked with people with special fitness needs, including children on the Autism spectrum or with Down syndrome, as well as with adults suffering from the progressive nervous system disorder, Parkinson’s.

Greenhalgh, 36, started working with seniors 13 years ago and loved it.

“It wasn’t until I went to Indianapolis to get certified in Rock Steady Boxing that I got into the boxing component with Parkinson’s. After leaving the training, I knew I wanted to have that class at our gym,” she says.

Rock Steady Boxing is a boxing exercise format that trainers use to reduce, reverse and delay symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, according to its website.

“Ever since then, I have taken certification after certification to learn as much as I can about the clients that I am working with,” she says. “I knew at a young age that I wanted to be a teacher and someone that made a difference in the world.”

Greenhalgh says Beyond Fitness aims to offer safe, challenging, fun, joyful classes, which offer an element of mindfulness. That’s regardless of one’s ability.


Included in the current lineup of classes for kids with disabilities, participants will also learn to dance. A class starting later in the month will be a mix of strength, cardio, yoga and meditation. The cost is $130 for 10 weeks of once-a-week classes.

For those with Parkinson’s, The Rock Steady Boxing class starts with participants introducing themselves, which creates connections and a family feel, Greenhalgh says.

“We do a warm-up with movements in all directions, balance exercises, strength exercises and coordination. We add some shadow boxing so they are ready for the combinations on the heavy bags …,” Greenhalgh says. “We then do some speed bags, which is coordination. [That] helps them stand up straight, and it just makes them feel good. We then go to heavy bags or focus mitts to work on strength, cardio, memory and coordination.”

Greenhalgh says people in the boxing class emerge more able to move and feel hopeful that they can do something about slowing down a disease with no cure. They have more energy, a support group, better balance, coordination and strength.

“We even have some doctors asking our members ‘What are you doing?’ and they [members] are saying ‘Coming to our gym and boxing,”’ she says.

All the trainers at Beyond Fitness have experience working with the populations they teach. The trainers also have big hearts and love what they do, Greenhalgh says.

In addition to her work with seniors, Greenhalgh worked in various positions, including fitness training, at country clubs for 13 years.

“I loved my last job and loved the members, but I couldn’t ignore this feeling inside. So after one night when I was meditating I began to cry and then found myself in this peaceful place. I went into work the next day and gave my notice. My boss was shocked and was wondering what I was going to do. I told him ‘I am not sure yet, but I know I have to do this,’” she says. “A few months later… we opened up the doors to Beyond Fitness.”

Greenhalgh seems to be finding her calling.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
chocolate hazelnut pizza

Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day With a Chocolate Hazelnut Pizza

Alina Z. Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat […]

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.