Fitness classes at Mansion House
Photo by Ralph Stewart
Summer: a time for ice cream, backyard barbecues, relaxing on the beach and...looking good in a bathing suit. No other season's pleasures seem so misaligned.
The folks at Mansion House Health Club in Vineyard Haven are here to help soothe summer's turmoils, and help ease you in to a good fall routine. They know just how hard it can be to work off those burgers or tear yourself away from the sea breeze and toward the gym, so they've created a spate of new classes with catchy names and the hope for eye-catching results to fit into your schedule, whether you're an Islander, a summer resident, or a weekend visitor.
"We get all sorts of people coming here in the summer, some here just for the weekend, a lot of people staying on the Island," says Brenda Wallis, Mansion House Fitness Director. Accordingly, the health club offers a number of pricing options, suitable for any length of stay on the Island, plus a host of morning classes that will have you out the door and onto a full day's enjoyment in no time.
Whether your goal is to greet the sun with slow-moving rooftop yoga, dance your cares away with the Latin-inspired dance workout Zumba, or push yourself to the limit with the strength-training Power Hour, there's a class for you. Need more motivation to pry yourself off a deck chair? Admission to any class gets you full-day access to the 11,250 square-foot facilities, complete with a cardiovascular and circuit room, a free weight room, a strength circuit, and a pool. "You get a good bang for your buck," says Ms. Wallis.
The following is a list of their seasonal offerings, which should remain in effect through September. Ms. Wallis says the schedule may be tweaked a bit thereafter, but is likely to remain similar throughout the year.
"All of our instructors are year-rounders," she says, and "we want people to know what to expect from Mansion House."
Those unfamiliar with the club can familiarize themselves with the amenities at free community classes in varying modalities, held each Sunday at 5:30 pm. Personal instruction is also available for an additional fee.
Wednesday, 6:15 am; Friday, 6:15 am.
Wake up your mind and body with a morning class held on the roof deck of Mansion House, overlooking the harbor.
Wednesday, 9 am.
A fast-moving form of yoga that incorporates traditional postures and breath work while focusing on continuous flow.
Saturday, 8 am.
An energetic, challenging form of yoga that focuses on strengthening and stretching the body with the power of the breath.
INNER BODY YOGA
Tuesday, 8:15 am; Tuesday, 5:30 pm.
Fusing yoga, structural bodywork, and oriental medicine, the mixed-level class is designed to release stress and promote relaxation by moving through a series of stretching and strengthening poses.
Sunday, 8:45 am; Thursday, 8:15 am.
Suitable for all levels, including beginners, the class focuses on maintaining proper body alignment while moving through a series of postures.
Monday, 8:15 am.
Pilates, designed to strengthen, align, and lengthen the body without stressing the joints, focuses on the core stomach area of the body. Though challenging, the instructor will modify any movement to accommodate all fitness levels and body types.
PILATES AND PILATES POWER MAT
Friday, 8:15 am.
Gentle enough for beginners, this mat class, based on Stott Pilates principles, is tough enough for the athlete looking to cross-train. Light weights are used to build upper-body strength.
Wednesday, Friday, 4:30 pm.
A variety of equipment is employed to tone and strengthen muscles, with a focus on total body conditioning.
Monday, Friday, 9:30 am.
The name says it all: Hard Core is all about firming the deep internal core muscles and strengthening the back with the use of gliding discs, stability balls, and resistance bands. Light discs are placed either at the feet or hands to provide a stretching element; the ball is used to train large and small muscle groups while focusing on balance, posture, and stabilization.
Tuesday, Thursday, 9:45 am.
A mix of low-impact aerobics, balance training, and weight training, this class focuses on the gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps, and hip flexors for a backside worthy of displaying on the beach.
Monday, 4:30 pm.
Similar to 'Butt n' Up', Power Hour combines strength-training, body conditioning, yoga, and Pilates moves. Though open to all levels, this class comes with a warning: "Be prepared to sweat and find your edge!"
Monday, 8:30 am; Wednesday, Friday, 6:30 am.
Out of bed and onto the bike: this vigorous cardio cycling session will have you sweating out the previous evening's toxins. Attendees are encouraged to bring water and a towel.
Tuesday, Thursday, 7 am.
Can't stand to spend a sunny day trapped inside a gym? All Out heads to the great outdoors, leading cardio and strength drills around Vineyard Haven. Participants meet in the Mansion House lobby, where they'll collect portable equipment.
Tuesday, Thursday, 4:30 pm.
New to the Mansion House lineup, Kettlebell class combines fast-paced, explosive movements to increase heart rate and strengthen every muscle group. Known as a popular alternative to weight training, it focuses on muscle stabilization, coordination, and endurance.
Monday, Wednesday, 5:45 pm.
Part dance class and part fitness program, Zumba combines Latin rhythms and beginner steps from Meringue, Salsa, Reggae, Hip-Hop, African-style dance, and Samba to burn calories while dancing up a storm.
Wednesday, Friday, 7:30 am.
All it takes is 15 minutes to tighten and stretch your abdominal muscles.
Monday, 11 am.
Unsure of how to use an elliptical? Want to learn the best techniques for beating the summer bulge? Mansion House's fitness director leads you through the basics. Participants should sign up in advance for the class at the front desk.
Sunday, 5:30 pm.
No strings attached! Every Sunday evening Mansion House opens its doors to the public for a free class. Each week features a different modality. Check the website, mvmansionhouse.com, for the current week's selection.
Mansion Houses offers 1-month, 3-month, and 1-year adult membership for $99, $199, and $659, respectively. Discounted rates are available for seniors, senior couples, Martha's Vineyard Regional High School students, and families. Most classes are included with membership. A 1-day adult pass costs $16; 12-visit punch cards are available for $129, and 24-visit cards for $199. Discounted rates are also available.