Welcome our new column Fit File, a spin-off from Style File, where we'll be profiling the best and brightest Baltimore fitness classes and instructors. Have someone in mind? Nominate your favorite fitness instructor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven't had the chance to take a class taught by fitness instructor Pam Bennett, have you really lived? Our answer would be no. Bennett's classes are unlike any we have been to before and are probably best identified by the high-pitched squeals of excitement or incessant laughing that you hear by simply standing outside of one. Whether it be spin, yoga, barre, or any of the other routines she specializes in, Bennett's energy is contagious and will push you to new fitness heights while permanently attaching a smile to your face for the rest of the day.
Where are you currently an instructor and what classes do you teach?
Pam Bennett: I teach at ACAC in Timonium, Core Cycle in Timonium, and at the MAC in Harbor East. I teach spin, barre, yoga, pilates, step, body pump, Insanity, bootcamp, pretty much everything except for Zumba.
How long have you been teaching and how did you get started?
PB: I've been an instructor now for 30 years. I started by teaching step, and then from step I got into aquatics, and from there it just snowballed.
What are three things that are essential to your classes?
PB: You have to have fun. You have to have results. You have to be safe.
What is your favorite song to workout to?
PB: "Unstoppable" by the Charm City Devils! It's a local band and I love it. For spin, I love "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum, and really anything current that bops and is loud. Also Halestorm. I love Halestorm!
How do you prepare the music for your classes?
PB: In barre, I like to rock out because it is unexpected. In spin, of course you rock out. In yoga, you can bring back the Joni Mitchell and the Jim Croce, something a bit more mellow. I just try to make sure the style of music goes with the style of class.
What makes the Baltimore fitness scene so unique?
PB: I've lived in Baltimore all of my life. It's wonderful because it's just a palette of different people, cultures, ages, and styles. That is why I teach in all of these different clubs. Every gym has a different style and character and I like the diversity of them all. One club I may get a more urban feel, another i may get the soccer moms, and another I may get the retired people, so its fun to get a mix of that. It's never boring.
What is the most embarrassing fitness trend you ever participated in?
PB: Who could forget the thong? Once it was there, it was there . . . it never moved. But yeah, we put our butt cheeks out in public.
Where is your current go-to place to shop for fitness wear?
PB: I'm pretty busy, so I like Fabletics because I can shop right from my phone.
What would you tell people who are intimidated about trying out a fitness class?
PB: I would say fear is the best attribute you could have because if there is no fear then you won't have anything to conquer. You just can't sit on the couch and be surrounded by fear. You have to keep testing the waters and get over it. And when you do, you'll think why did I wait so long? It's a lifestyle. It makes you look better, feel better, and gives you that power from your heart to keep going.