JABS BY GINA
If you have been following along with our Instagrams stories lately, you may have noticed that we’re a little obsessed with Project by Equinox. If you were wondering - no, you don't have to be an Equinox member to take class and yes, you should go try it out right now! You know we’ll be giving you the full run down on the studio - we’re doing a major round up of all the classes, so stay tuned! But, FIRST we wanted to call out an amazing female instructor who is new to the Project by Equinox schedule - Gina DiNapoli and her class Jabs by Gina.
Gina has been teaching The Cut at the Equinox gyms and has only recently developed her own class - Jabs by Gina. We first met Gina when we attended her first class at Project. Even though it was her first class at Project, she had a whole fan base of girls in the class who were cheering her every move and really added a whole new level of energy to the class.
We want to categorize her class as kickboxing, but it is so much more than that! She has, very thoughtfully, combined elements of kickboxing and HIIT into one super fun workout that with make you SWEAT (and so sore for days).
What is so different about her class from a typical kickboxing class is each move is that each move is choreographed to the beat of the music. You know this is major for us! We have gone back to class a few times, and each time Gina adds a new move or combination to always keep you on your feet. But, you’ll have to come with us to her class to see just what we are talking about.
We’ve searched all around NYC trying to find another female powerhouse to feature and Gina was no doubt our top pick. She is not only a kick ass instructor, but is a big supporter of The Class Cult and so fun to be around. So, here it is! Keep on reading for our 2nd instructor spotlight with Gina DiNapoli! She gives The Cult the low down on how she became an instructor, more about her class, and some super valuable advice for anyone who’s thinking of becoming their own free agent instructor.
Tell us a little bit of background about yourself. How you got started with group fitness/kickboxing?
I am from Albany, NY, went to Syracuse University, and moved to NYC post college. Working out wasn’t really my jam in college. Bagels, Chipotle, and late night nachos were. 3 months into living in the city, I finally decided I should do something about my freshman 15 that I still had going for me. After taking one group fitness class at Equinox during a trial period and feeling totally challenged and inspired, I joined the gym and started going to classes, and about a month in I found The Cut which was a game-changer. I grew up competitively figure skating so was immediately drawn to the idea of moving to the beat, and focusing on my form and keeping up with the combinations. It took my mind off of the fact that I was working out. 45 minutes and boom. My workout for the day was already over. 3 months and boom. I had lost 15 pounds, felt amazing, and found a workout I loved.
I was so inspired that I wanted to teach the class. My instructors said I had the natural talent and the energy, and I had a lot of coaching experience with figure skating as well. Equinox ran a competition where members who wanted to teach could compete for the top spot to become an instructor, and the rest is history. Of course that’s a whole story in itself, but at a high level, that’s pretty much went down.
How did you start up Jabs by Gina? Was there a particular moment where you wanted to turn this into more than just a hobby?
My Equinox members are so dang good that I wanted to give them harder content. I’m not allowed to do that though. I need to abide by the workouts Equinox provides me, since The CUT is a signature Equinox class format and they want to keep the class content, music, combos consistent across all locations. I am also a bit of a Personal Trainer hopper - I’ve had a few different ones as my personal fitness goals have evolved and I've learned a lot of highly effective exercises that I knew could be translated into a group format. A traditional kickboxing class is mostly cardio, but with the addition of HIIT exercises and drills throughout class, your heart rate spikes and gets tricked into having highs and lows so that you burn calories hours after the workout, and the targeted exercises result in lean muscle, "toning", if you will.
I also had a vision of doing "combinations" that move ACROSS the floor (versus staying in one spot), and have brought this to life. I keep them "simple" so they're easy enough to follow/ pick up, but physically will make you work hard. This way, a kickboxing background is welcomed, but not at all necessary!
One more thing - this gives me the opportunity to put together my own playlists - so I make up fun routines to stuff you won't hear in your average kickboxing class - everything from 2000s hip hop and rap, to Pirates of the Caribbean, to some fun bohemian music, and even Britney. If you're having a tough workout and your fav jam from your high school days comes on, it'll distract you, make you happy, and you'll nearly forget that it feels like your arms are on fire!
What is your goal for the class and your students? What's next? Goals for the project?
First and foremost, to make working out fun. And for this class to be as/ more effective as a personal training session would be - and at about 1/4 of the cost. For my repeat members, I’ve already become aligned with their fitness goals and make sure my workouts cater to them. Every class I have a weights section or mat section that focuses on one muscle group (i.e. Triceps, Inner Thigh, Core, Booty. etc.) and I choose this based on member feedback, and announce it in advance via Instagram before the class goes live for booking.
The studio at PROJECT fits 24, but I cap my classes at 16 to provide a personalized experience, that still feels very team/group focused (I split the room into teams / partners sometimes). The class is probably more of a boxing-inspired HIIT workout than a boxing workout. But you’ll feel like a badass the entire time, I promise.
Yeah, we've noticed you have a pretty big following, tell us more about the Jabs by Gina groupies.
They’re freaks. They’re so good. They trust the crazy things I make them do. They keep me updated on the days they aren’t taking my class, or even if I’m on vacation or they are!. They’re just super committed and in return I give them everything - whether it’s that person who comes to every class, or the one who comes 1-2x a month. I love getting new people who want to commit to their goals and need a community to do it with. We’re very welcoming and we all push each other to work harder and be better with each workout.
So, what workouts do you do on your own time?
Whenever I teach I do about half of each of my classes - which even just that 25 minutes of work is enough for the entire day because it does enough to my heart rate where I'm burning calories after the class. The other 1 or 2 times I either go boxing or do a "Jabs Run-Through" - do the entire class to test it, usually somewhere fun outdoors like in Madison Square Park.
It’s a very competitive space - so make sure what you are offering is different. Take classes all around the city so you know what’s good, what’s bad, and most importantly what's missing.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to start as a free-agent in the fitness industry?
ARE YOU THINKING WHAT WE'RE THINKING?
You can train with Gina at Project Equinox at the times below:
FIND HER AT PROJECT BY EQUINOX:
M - PROJECT BY EQUINOX 7:10PM
Su - PROJECT BY EQUINOX 11:00aM
P.S. No, You do not have to be an Equinox member to come, despite the name.
Also - quick plug - The first 2 classes are Buy-One-Get-One free if you book on MindBody!!
Signed, The Class Cult.