Beachbody Super Trainer Joel Freeman talks to workout participants on Sunday, Feb. 4, at the Dimond Park Field House. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Beachbody Super Trainer Joel Freeman talks to workout participants on Sunday, Feb. 4, at the Dimond Park Field House. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Working out with a Beachbody Super Trainer

I forget where I first saw the flier for a “one-hour live workout” with Beachbody Super Trainer Joel Freeman.

In any case, the miniature man (Freeman) smiling up at me on the sheet of paper caught my attention. I was hungry for inspiration to get in shape and thought the event would be a fun one to cover.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to form a Klondike relay team. The relay isn’t until September, but I wanted to start moving and tracking down old college buddies now and pitching the idea to them.

I spoke to the upbeat Freeman over the phone a few days before the workout. Then, on Sunday morning, I made the short drive from my house to the Dimond Park Field House.

I carefully selected my attire for the event in hopes of blending in: a teal tank top underneath a grey Nike long sleeve on top and black Under Armour shorts on the bottom.

The workout was very engaging and alternated between longer intervals of striking and kicking combinations and shorter intervals of high-intensity core and cardio training. I learned how to bounce in place like a boxer and I couldn’t help but smile as I raised my fists and threw jabs, blocks and crosses.

Occasionally, Freeman would stroll through the crowd with his headset microphone. It reminded me of a school teacher making the rounds in their classroom to keep students on task during a silent study session. Except there was nothing silent about this setting — bass-heavy electronic music radiated throughout the field house from four large speakers.

The workout lasted about 45 minutes. I felt bad I didn’t sweat as much as the others. I was running on seven hours of sleep and didn’t have much energy to give. I also struggled to step into certain kicks properly and was easily discouraged.

Freeman’s ongoing commentary and demonstrations were the highlights of my workout. The 35-year-old had a magnetic quality to him. He was funny, zany, positive and ripped.

He seemed genuinely interested in everyone who showed up — roughly 70 people. He hosted an informal question and answer session before the workout and dispelled the notion that he was somehow special because he was considered a “super trainer.”

“It is the stupidest title I think — ever,” Freeman said while introducing himself. “Like, super? Really?”

Freeman shared about his walk across the Mendenhall Lake (“You’re trying not to think about it a little bit.”), his bent for salty foods (“I would much rather each nachos every day”) and then opened the floor (or turf) up for questions.

The most insightful response he gave was prompted by a question by a local group fitness instructor. She asked him what to say to people who are reluctant to join a group fitness class because they want to lose some weight first.

“Get to know them a little bit,” Freeman said. “Why do they want to even come in (to the gym) in the first place? It’s not just to lose weight. Group exercise is a sense of belonging. That’s why it’s called group. It brings people together. It creates accountability.”

It’s reminded me why I even wanted to form a relay team in the first place: for a sense of belonging. Relationships are important in all facets of life — even when trying to shed a few pounds.

I think I’ll start looking for teammates in town now. Lord knows I need the accountability.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nolin.ainsworth@juneauempire.com.


Approximately 70 people attended a live workout by BeachBody Super Trainer Joel Freeman on Sunday, Feb. 4, at the Dimond Park Field House. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Approximately 70 people attended a live workout by BeachBody Super Trainer Joel Freeman on Sunday, Feb. 4, at the Dimond Park Field House. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

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