BILLERICA — Joanne Iozzo was between gyms last August and fighting menopause-related weight gain.
She walked into B-f.i.t.t.:60. One workout in, and she said she was hooked. Iozzo, 45, said the program has changed her life. She’s stronger, and more fit. She said she has been struggling with her weight for years, continually cutting calories to lose weight, She worried she was slipping back into the anorexia she suffered in her 20s.
Since she started at B-f.i.t.t.:60, she’s lost 20 pounds and about 7 percent body fat and gained muscle. “The best part is you’ve got some elite runner and someone who’s never worked out a day in their life next to each other, and at the end, they burn the same amount of calories and have a great workout,” she said.
Now, she’s receiving assistance in managing her nutrition to ensure she is eating the right kinds and amounts of food to meet her individual needs and sustain a high level of activity.
B-f.i.t.t.:60 began as a group fitness program within Best Fitness gyms two years ago, Wood said. As its popularity grew, the company launched studios dedicated to the expanded program, said Director of Group Training Rob Wood. The freestanding Billerica studio, at 99 Chelmsford Road, was the first to open in August, Wood said. The second, in Albany, N.Y., is inside an existing gym, he said.
Wood said B-f.i.t.t.:60 offers small classes with a personal feel and affordable access to trainers. The program follows the fitness model of “frequency, intensity, time and type,” he said, alternating workouts to keep participants from plateauing and stave off injury.
Classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are devoted to building strength and flexibility, while classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays focus on high-intensity interval work, Wood said. “The combination of those two workouts are going to build muscle, burn fat, increase your energy and help you get results,” he said.
Participants’ heart rates and calories burned are monitored every session, providing data that shows how they are progressing over time, Wood said. Each session is different. A workout might include Airdyne bikes, kettle bell weights and doing box jumps.
Attendees never know exactly what they’ll be doing when they walk in the door, and each month has a new fitness objective, Wood said. Trainers and coaches can find modifications to accommodate all fitness levels, he said.
Iozzo said she was confused when her classmates began complimenting her body and telling her that her back looked amazing. She said she “almost fell to the floor” when she finally saw it herself in a store dressing room.
Before, Iozzo said she couldn’t run. Now, she has the stamina to run 5Ks and finish obstacle races. She participated in the Blizzard Blast in Lowell at the end of January and lifted herself up to the top of a 15-foot-high rope on the course.
“I would never be able to do any of that stuff before,” Iozzo said.