The stress and strain of everyday life can take it’s toil. Pile on kids, work, life style changes, or all of the above and sometimes the toil can feel double, triple, or quadrupled. Local mom and JCC fitness instructor for Insanity Lauren Baumgarten knows how it feels. After having her second child Adina, she wanted to combat those feelings, and the sedentary lifestyle cycles that can come from them.

“Health and fitness had always been a huge part of my life, but after having kids, I lost my self and my drive. I suffered severe depression and got to the point where I knew I really needed something that was going to challenge me and take me to the next level.” Lauren had been bitten by the Insanity bug.

Known as one of the most challenging fitness programs on the market, Insanity is based off the fitness method “max interval training.” Max interval training has you work as hard as you can for 3-minute intervals, with 30-second periods of rest in between. It allows you to exercise without any equipment, using your own body for weight resistance. Making it the perfect recipe for a high calorie burning workout experience.

After going through the home program, Lauren wanted more. “Once I finished the home classes, it wasn’t just the results, it was the empowerment I felt, and I got so much support from friends and family. So I bit the bullet and got certified as an Insanity instructor, and haven’t looked back since. I’m also in the middle of getting my personal trainer certificate, and I’m an online fitness coach as well.”

Soon after becoming certified, Lauren worked with the JCC to bring Insanity classes to the Boonshoft CJCE. Community members, and even Federation employees have jumped in feet first. About a year in, and class members are already seeing more than results. They’re also seeing lifestyle changes.

Community member Sara Siegal recounts, “I first heard about Insanity class when we started taking David, our son, to JCC childcare. I thought how convenient, I can take him to the JCC and take class before I pick him up. I wanted to lose the weight I gained during pregnancy, so Insanity was perfect. I was nervous, but it is what it is, the name says it all, it is Insane. I couldn’t have done it without Laruen. She gets in there and keeps you going. She’s a great role model and motivator. She keeps things moving and keeps you wanting to come back to class. It helped me lose the weight I gained and kicks your butt. But, you can really do it at your own level. I keep trying to get my husband to go – we definitely need a couple guys in the class!.”

Jodi Phares, executive assistant for the Federation comments “It’s about me. It’s something that I do for myself. It’s an investment in myself. And it’s so much bigger than the number on the scale. We had been doing the Biggest Loser in our offices starting in January of last year, and this came afterwards, it helped so much. It became much more than an a competition with coworkers, it became a competition with myself to be a better person.”

“It gives me so much joy,” Lauren comments “to see improvement, not just physically, not just pounds lost, but mentally I see a huge change in these women and men. It’s so amazing to see that in other people. Being able to empower them to be comfortable in their own skin, it’s just fantastic. And the feelings are contagious, we grunt and moan, but really we’re also able to celebrate together at such a deep, personal level, it really brings everyone together.”

If you’re concerned about the intense nature of the program, Lauren points out “while the home classes can be extremely rigorous, the difference the live class makes is huge. You’ve got me, the instructor, here in front of you to help you move around any injuries or problem areas you might have, so you don’t hurt yourself or aggravate old pains.”

Class flexibility also extends to age. “I’m 100% open for kids to participate in classes, sometimes my oldest child, Noah, instructs right along with me.”

Have you heard about the Insanity buzz? Tentative to try it? You’ve got nothing to lose. With JCC’s summer offer of “Try it, you’ll like it!”, you can try out your first class at no cost. And with classes every Monday and Wednesday afternoon throughout the rest of the summer, it bends to the hectic schedules of summer. Get up, get in, and get Insanity!

JCC’s wellness class offerings are just one more way the Jewish Federation helps to fund and share Tikkun Olam here in Dayton, Ohio. Help us continue to make a difference in people’s lives by pledging to the Annual Campaign today. Contact Alisa Thomas at or 610-1796 today.

Help us spread Tikkun Olam via the web!

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