It was one year ago that Vankleek Hill Zumba instructor Louise Stephenson became one of a handful of Canadian instructors licenced to teach bungee fitness. If you don’t know what bungee fitness is — it uses suspended bungee elastics which allow participants to safely soar into the air while doing workout moves.

Introducing bungee fitness at Zudio involved considerable investment, says Stephenson, who says that the equipment and infrastructure — bungees are firmly attached to the main floor of the Zudio building — was a big risk. Yet she gambled that it would pay off as it was a new type of fitness and would also pave the way for aerial yoga classes to be offered at Zudio.

But bungee fitness took off for Stephenson, in every sense of the word. The new fitness offerings proved to be extremely popular – so popular, in fact, that she quickly realized that she needed routines for her expanding classes — and they simply did not exist.

The equipment and safety training course which was provided by a specialized American company only took her so far, she says. That’s when she put eight years of Zumba expertise to work and used her experience to make each workout feel like “exercise in disguise.” She has more than 40 routines that she has created for her Zero-G Bungee Fitness classes.

Over time, it came to Stephenson that she should create her own brand, “Zero-G”, to share her expertise and bungee choreo routines with other instructors. She figures that if she couldn’t find any support to create bungee fitness routines, she would be filling a need. Stephenson shared this news in a big “reveal” and unveiled the logo (designed by Eddy Earwigg) and logo-bearing shirts, too as part of her Tuesday evening (August 27)  open house.

Louise Stephenson and her husband Dale Eaglesham, hold the new logo during the launch event on Tuesday at Zudio.

“Since I was building my own program, I thought I might as well build by own brand,” she said.

Stephenson explained that bungee fitness offers cardio, core and strength training all in one workout. While the open house was an opportunity for other instructors to demonstrate what they do (Zudio has classes offered by instructors in integral yoga, aerial yoga, Dramatikids (theatre classes for kids) ballroom dancing, Zumba for Kids, Zumba, Zero-G Bungee Fitness and as announced Tuesday, karate classes beginning this autumn.

As Stephenson continues to offer Zumba and Zero-G Bungee Fitness classes, she continues to expand her dream of filling Zudio with classes offered by local instructors. The facility, located at 144 High Street, includes Zudio A on the main floor, Zudio B downstairs, a private practitioner’s room convenient for those who do not need a permanent location but prefer to use rented space and in the rear warehouse portion of the building, Primal CF offers conditioning and cross-fit training classes.

Zero-G Bungee Fitness was included in the demonstrations at the open house/launch and Stephenson invited some of her students to share their feelings about the classes.

Pat Roy has become a huge fan of bungee fitness.

“I was fearful about it at first. But it’s joyful and liberating. You challenge yourself in a unique way,” says Pat Roy.

Martin Lacelle says bungee fitness got him started on healthier eating and fitness and that he loves the music, which doesn’t adhere to the Latin-music standards of Zumba.

Stephenson said that participants range in age from eight to 81 and include everything in between.

You can find out more about the offerings at Zudio by visiting the website.