By Sarah Unger
Rising from the crypt of Trinity Cathedral on West State Street, up winding stairs and past the Altar Guild Shop’s glass-cased artifacts, collectibles and icons, thumping bass notes fill the air.
There, on the smooth gym floor beneath the historic, vaulted ceilings, about 25 men and women of varying ages are kicking and sliding and punching the air as The Jacksons’ “Can You Feel It?” pulses from boom box speakers.
Leading this third of eight Boot Camp Blast classes is fitness expert Gail Williams — equal parts ringmaster and taskmaster — making the rounds as class members rotate among stations such as free weights, hula hoops, and footwork.
“Get ready! And, Switch!” Williams shouts, her kerchiefed dreadlocks whipping past her toned shoulders. The men and women move on quickly.
“OK, now stay hydrated for me!”
“Keep your pace!”
Williams describes Boot Camp Blast as a nonmilitary physical conditioning class that focuses on cardiovascular training and toning.
“All fitness levels are welcome,” she said, “from beginners who want to get in shape to someone who wants to supplement their regimen or someone who fell off the wagon and wants to get back on.”
She also teaches a 6 a.m. class on Tuesdays at the pavilion in Cadwalader Park.
“The classes came about as a result of requests,” Williams said.
While they provide clients an alternative to her primary services as a personal trainer, they still go a long way toward investing in one’s health.
Williams provides one-on-one training sessions once or twice a week, and with a variety of fitness goals, depending on the client.
Having left finance for fitness nine years ago, Williams opened her business in 2006. She is certified through the American Counsel on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and holds a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania.
“I took the leap to leave the certain income of a corporate paycheck,” she said. “I’m feeling really good about what I’ve done not only for myself but how I’ve helped change lives and give people confidence. There’s not only the physical side, but the psychological as well, as people feel better about themselves and their appearance.”
With husband Keith, Williams built and outfitted the custom gym she operates from their Berkeley Square home, while Keith, a computer professional at Bloomberg, designed the Simply Fitness Web site. Visitors to simply-fitness.net will find Williams’ exercise and health philosophy, her scope of fitness and nutrition services, and a blog with topics ranging from hydration to fiber to a review of the Wii Fit system.
Williams markets her services mainly through E-mail and by networking through Trenton’s neighborhood associations. A member of the Berkeley Square Neighborhood Association, she said, “I want to stay connected to the community and reach out to our neighbors and the greater community.”
Simply Fitness can be reached at (609) 610-3413 or at simply-fitness.net.