Teacher changes subjects, teaches fitness

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) – Inside an empty gym at the Fishers YMCA, Julie Voris reaches down to pick up a platform that sits on the gym floor. She lifts one side of the oversized platform and begins to quickly walk backwards, dragging the mass of wood to the other side of the gym.

“This is my warm up,” Voris says with a smile as she reaches the area that will serve as the front of her class.

Voris is preparing to teach Turbo Kick, an intense combination of kickboxing and dance focused on strength and endurance. Her classes at the Fishers YMCA are so well attended they were moved from the group exercise room to the gym to accommodate the 115-plus people who often attend.

“We like being in here so we can spread out,” says Voris, who won’t admit she has anything to do with the high attendance numbers. “It’s just a big party that’s kind of disguised as a workout.”

The turning point

The “big party” almost didn’t happen. Voris was a high school English teacher who had moved many times for her husband’s career as a college football coach. Jeff Voris has served as Butler University’s head coach since 2005, but coached at Carroll College in Wisconsin, Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, DePauw, Texas and Illinois before that. Julie was with him for every move.

“It wasn’t until we had our third child and we moved for yet another time that I wasn’t teaching high school,” says Julie. “An instructor at the YMCA in Wisconsin where we lived at the time sat down next to me on a bench where I was sitting waiting for my children and said, ‘you need to start teaching classes and it needs to happen in two months.’”

Within two months, Voris was certified to teach group fitness and in 2001 her new career began.

“I’m still teaching, now it’s just a different classroom,” says Voris.

Within two years, Voris had become one of about 30 Master Trainers for BeachBody, the company behind in-home health and fitness products like Insanity and P90X. She 2013 Master Trainer of the Yeartravels the U.S. training instructors on how to teach TurboKick, Insanity, PiYo and P90x. Voris is also featured in six BeachBody workout videos produced specifically to train instructors for certification. In 2013, Voris was named Master Trainer of the Year.

“You can’t imagine the home workout library we have at our home,” says Voris. “I’ll work out at home when there’s a snow day, but I prefer that community of people in the group fitness setting.”

Fitness mantra

When Voris first began teaching group fitness her three daughters were ages 5, 3, and 6 months.

“It was never easy, but I still found time to move,” says Voris who now advocates women commit to some sort of daily physical activity.

“I think what’s important for women to understand is that fitness will look different in all phases of their life. It might be that when you have a newborn that you’re just going for a 30 minute walk and that’s OK – that’s part of your health journey. There’s really no greater gift as parents we can give our children than to be healthy role models; healthy people are happy people!”

Motivational master

The bass from the music vibrates the YMCA gym. More than 100 people are moving, sweating in synchronized movements. Over the microphone, Voris shouts to the class the motivation to forget the TV cameras and push harder.

“Someone’s going to see you and get off their couch and move today because of you!” Her words are accentuated by the movements, as she exercises along with the group she leads.

It only takes one class, one conversation to understand what separates Julie Voris from other group fitness instructors: she is a master at motivation.

“My job is to get you to believe that you CAN do more, because they CAN do more,” she says emphatically. “There’s so much potential in people when they work out and if they can figure out that they can do more in their workout, they can transfer that to every other aspect of their life.”

For a full list of Julie’s class schedule, click here:

Mondays

  • Fishers YMCA 9:30am Cardio Extreme
  • Fishers YMCA 10:30am PiYo Express

Wednesdays

Thursdays

  • Fishers YMCA 10:15am Turbo

Fridays

  • Fishers YMCA 9:30am Insanity
  • Fishers YMCA 10:15am PiYo
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