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Cottage Grove Snap Fitness adds on-demand group workout

Snap Fitness general manager Josh Malaske (left) and owner Ben Cowan recently expanded the Cottage Grove fitness club to include an on-demand group fitness system. Bulletin photo by Scott Wente

A local health club has a new way to offer dozens of fitness classes - whenever you want to take them.

Snap Fitness of Cottage Grove recently unveiled its Fitness on Demand system as part of the 24/7 club's expansion. It's the first Snap in Minnesota beyond the company's corporate headquarters to offer the new training system.

Fitness on Demand is simply an exercise room with equipment and a drop-down projection screen. Users select from about 24 classes on a small computer. A class instructor is projected onto the screen in the exercise room and guides users through the exercise. Classes range from kickboxing to yoga, cycling to pilates. There are step classes, Latin-inspired dance classes and sessions tailored toward older club members.

"It's been a hit with the members, and people are using it," Snap owner Ben Cowan said.

The system allows from one person to many to participate in the class. Since Snap is open at all hours, someone could take a class in the middle of the night if that is when they prefer to exercise, Cowan said.

There are prescheduled classes during peak exercise times in the morning and evening. Outside of peak time, exercisers can select a class and start and stop whenever they choose. Only one class can be displayed at a time. Classes last from 20 minutes to about an hour.

The club has scheduled tutorials in the coming weeks so members can learn how to use the new system.

Snap's recent 1,800-square-foot expansion, of which the Fitness on Demand is the featured addition, nearly doubled the club's workout area. Cowan said he had wanted to expand and launch Fitness on Demand system for about a year, but had to wait for adjacent office space to open.

Cowan, who is part of a group that owns five Snap locations, said Fitness on Demand will show up in more of the clubs, but space is the main factor limiting is spread. The system requires at least 500 square feet of space. In Cottage Grove, the space dedicated to Fitness on Demand is about 750 square feet. At most locations it would be difficult to incorporate the system into existing space, Cowan said. Snap is at 8700 East Point Douglas Road.

This was the Cottage Grove Snap's second major expansion. In 2009, the club added showers and equipment and updated its tanning bed. Cowan said the latest changes are a significant addition for club members and responds to the growing popularity of the group fitness concept.

"The feedback we're getting from members is amazing," general manager Josh Malaske said.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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