New business aims to sweat pounds off

Barnwell residents can sweat a little more.

The Tone Zone, an aerobics studio on Allen Street, now offers over 12 classes per week to get residents into shape.

Amber Richard, an AFAA certified instructor said she has been exercising for a long time but wanted to open her own studio, especially for the women in the area.

"I thought Barnwell needed a place for women, where they could bring their children, exercise and have a good time," Richard said. "I love working out. It is my passion."

She also has childcare available to the afternoon classes, she said.

Currently she has the following classes on-going, among others.

Body sculpt - Richard said this class is designed to exercise every muscle possible in the body. It also offers core strengthening to sculpt muscles.

Step and tone - This class utilitzes an aerobic step throughout all but 20 minutes of the class. Those enjoying this class will punch and kick their way to a higher intensity of cardiovascular exercise, she said.

Body boot camp - This class has a little bit of everything and is a very high intensity class. As a bonus, this class burns the most calories, she said.

For those who may not be up to a full 60 minutes of intense exercise, Richard said she modifies each of the exercises for those just beginning their workouts. By this method, she said, beginners, intermediate, and advanced individuals can workout in the same class.

She said her clientele is mostly women but she does have some men there and the ages range from 16 to more than 60.

Richard has steps, mats, weights, exercise bands and most importantly, water.

Classes are choreographed to music and Richard teaches all classes using a microphone so everyone can hear, she said.

So why take classes instead of working out alone? Richard said women are more motivated in a class environment.

Richard also has a six-week challenge on-going. The winner will be determined by a formula which takes into consideration, body fat loss, inches and weight loss. The winner at the end of the challenge will get more than $400, she said.

Classes can accommodate up to 25 individuals and are on a first-come, first-served basis, she said.

There is no contract to participate in the classes and individuals can pay $5 per class they attend or they can purchase a punch card good for 10 classes for $40, she said.

The paperwork to get started is simple and quick to complete for most individuals she said.

Currently the Tone Zone only offers aerobic classes but may expand to other possibilities in the future, she said.