Gone are the days of deciding between working out and spending time with your children, thanks to Marquise Griffin.
Marquise is a former college basketball player turned personal trainer, and a new mom who couldn’t wait to get back into the gym after having her child. While on maternity leave and not ready to leave her daughter with a babysitter or at a gym daycare, she would bring her daughter to her in-law’s facility at Griffin Elite Sports and Wellness Center and would work out with her baby by her side. She began inviting postpartum friends to join her, and the group began to grow. She found that it was a great way for mom to get a workout in while their little ones ran around in the wide open space. She encourages the kids to “workout” with mom/dad and realized how important it is for children to see their caregivers living a healthy lifestyle.
Like most brilliant ideas, Burpees and Babies grew organically from her need to adjust her fitness routine to her life as a mom. Realizing this was a struggle that most new parents or caretakers were having, she decided to open this class up to the public.
Burpees and Babies is 45 minutes of HIIT, held at 10am and 11am on Mondays and Fridays, and 9am, 10am, and 11am on Wednesdays. New moms, or dads, or babysitters, or grandmoms, or, in my case, aunts, are welcome to bring a little one or two up to 3 years old to class to “workout” with them. The space where class is held is a massive turf field that is set up with all sorts of toys, for both children and adults. Adults get step up platforms, speed ladders, and sand bags. Kids get little riding cars, bounce chairs, and soccer balls.
However, sometimes, they too enjoy the step up platforms.
Marquise runs the adults through a warm up, followed by two circuits that are taken at your own pace. Exercises at the class I attended included chest presses using sandbags, wall sits, high knee step ups, sliding bridges (you hold bridge, then slowly slide your feet out straight on a slippery surface while wearing cloth shoes), air bicycle, and, of course, burpees. She finishes up every class with an activity that adults and kids can do together. At the class I attended, we did a game using a parachute that the kids ran underneath while the adults held up the edges. It was a hit.
Throughout class, the kids are welcome to be with you at your side, or run around free. Marquise asks you to always be aware of where your child is, but she also does a great job at keeping her eye on them so that the don’t wander off too far. All of her exercises used sandbags and soft equipment to prevent injury to the little ones. We had ladies in class with newborns who kept them in their stroller next to them the whole class, then moms that had toddlers who burned off energy by running up and down the field kicking a soccer ball (talk about a brilliant way to get your kid to take an afternoon nap).
Every single person that attends class has a different fitness level. For instance, the mom with a 3 month old is most likely in a very different stage of recovery than the mom of a 2-year-old. Marquise adjusts the workouts accordingly so that everyone is staying safe and working at an optimal level. Marquise also strongly recommends that new postpartum moms get the OK from their doctor before attending class.
Click here for more details of this class, and some FAQs.
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PS How adorable is my niece, Mac?