Body by Bungee fitness operation opens on South Tamiami Trail
By Jane Bartnett
Peter Pan was such a trendsetter!
Who knew that flying, even if ever so briefly, through the air while attached to a bungee cord with a nice soft floor below could be so much fun?
At Sarasota’s first and only bungee fitness studio, students taking 35-minute sessions “fly” through a rapid series of jumping jacks, burpees and other cardio exercises. Designed to strengthen the core and improve cardio fitness, exercising in a secure harness while attached to a bungee cord completely rewrites traditional floor exercising.
Unlike many other traditional gym sessions, a good amount of laughing and good-will mixed in with sweating and hard work was on display at a recent class as 10 women went through their paces.
The brainchild of a 20-year-old fitness guru and entrepreneur Mariana “Coach Mari” Lynn, Body by Bungee opened its doors on Valentine’s Day. The concept of bungee fitness, she explained, started in Thailand about five years ago. It is now spreading across the U.S.
Gazing around her new 4,200-square-feet state-of-the art fitness center, decorated with brilliant white wings painted by local artist West Evans that convey the studio’s inspirational “flying your way to fit” mantra, the Niagara Falls native smiled.
“Sarasota has been wonderful. I really love it here,” she said.
Speaking of her passion for bungee and overall physical fitness, Lynn explained that bungee fitness is cardio-based.
“It’s low impact, high intensity and easy on the joints,” she said. “It also builds strength in the legs. When a student is wearing a harness attached to a bungee cord, it reduces the load by 50 to 70% — and that makes exercising easier and a lot more fun.”
Shown to provide greater mobility, increased endurance and lymphatic flow, students report greater overall body strength, weight loss and flexibility.
“You don’t have to be in great shape to join in and start bungee fitness,” Lynn said, noting that her students range in age from 12 to 80-plus. “We have a no-mean-girls philosophy here. Everyone is welcome.”
Each class has a maximum of 10 students. Once they step into one of the 10 secured bungee harnesses that hang from the ceiling’s steel beams, the fun begins.
“We have a 90-pound minimum and 240-pound maximum weight requirement to use the bungee,” Lynn said.
Classes are taught by Lynn and her mother, Christine Lynn, whom she trained. While Christine teaches and helps her daughter in the studio, it is Mari who owns and runs the business and directs the training.
Looking back on her journey to fitness and to becoming a certified fitness coach, Lynn said that it all began in her early high school days.
“I was overweight and self-conscious. I was clueless in the gym,” said the young entrepreneur. “I started to educate myself by watching fitness videos and after I got fit, I wanted to help other people to feel good about themselves, too.”
She earned her certification in fitness and nutrition from the International Sports Sciences Association and four years ago began coaching both men and women. Watching her students progress brings her great joy, she said.
Sarah Hennessy is one Body by Bungee student who can’t say enough about Lynn and the bungee fitness experience. When Hennessy heard about the studio’s opening, she decided to give it a try. That was three months ago. She is now a regular.
“I love it so much,” Hennessy said. “I’ve lost inches and gained so much flexibility. The atmosphere that Mari has created makes you want to be your best. There’s no judgment.”
While women have embraced the classes, Lynn says that men enjoy bungee fitness, too. “We’re planning a ‘Guy’s Night’ bungee fitness session, just for them at 6 p.m. on Tuesday evenings,” she said.
The new Guy’s Night will join the lineup of “Glow Bungee” nights, held with blue-light glow sticks and blackout curtains, along with Hawaiian-themed nights, and Foodie Fridays featuring treats from local businesses before and after class.
Classes are held Tuesdays through Saturday. A lightweights class as well as a low-impact Bungee Boomers class for students 65 and over is also offered at the studio.
Group classes are $30 per person for 35 minutes. The Boomer class fee is $25 for 30 minutes per student. Private- and group-session rates as well as the “Lil’ Buddy Bungee Class” for an adult and child can also be scheduled by appointment. First-time students receive $10 off their first bungee class.
In addition to the bungee classes, Lynn also offers private personal training sessions in a fully equipped private weight room, located behind the bungee studio. At her Barbells Fitness, and Balanced Bodies Nutrition sessions, “The focus is strictly on weightlifting,” she said. “I’m really big on form, technique and movement.”
Body by Bungee can be found online at bodybybungee.com, or call (941) 923-8703 for more information.
It is located at at 4156 S. Tamiami Trail.
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- Tags: Body by Bungee, Christine Lynn