Some members of a YMCA in St. Paul, Minnesota, are protesting a change in group fitness programming.
The St. Paul Midway YMCA is shifting away from Les Mills programs to MOSSA, and the change will eventually be rolled out to all 22 Twin Cities YMCA locations by the end of this year, according to a KARE 11 report.
The changes were made after attendance declined in two of 70 classes offered (Les Mills Body Step and Les Mills Body Flow), and followed two years of research and surveys from members and instructors, according to the KARE 11 report.
“There has been deep research done; this decision has not been taken lightly,” Menk told KARE 11. “We are shifting and creating a bigger platform based on the feedback we were receiving. So now we are able to offer many more classes under a different umbrella.”
A petition to the Y's leadership opposing the programming change was submitted by some members in January, and an online petition is collecting more signatures for those who missed the initial petition. A similar petition is circulating at the Lino Lakes YMCA, and petitions have started at other branches, according to the website for the movement, savelesmills.com. The website encourages members who want to keep Les Mills programming to wear red shoelaces and a wristband.
"As members of the YMCA Twin Cities, we would like to express our opinion on the conversion from Les Mills programming to MOSSA programs," reads the online petition, which has more than 170 signatures and 80 comments. "We believe that changing group classes to another program would have a negative impact on the classes we attend. MOSSA classes do not seem to provide the same workouts that we look forward to taking and paying for everyday at the YMCA. We attend group classes not only for the workout, but also for the energy and the instructors who make the class something to look forward to. As paying members, we strongly urge the YMCA to consider keeping all of the Les Mills programs which include BodyStep and BodyFlow."
The St. Paul Midway Y formally opened its new 50,000-square-foot facility this month after a $16.4 million renovation. The facility has a fitness center with studios for group exercise classes and weight machines, an aquatic center with two pools, a flex space for basketball and other sports, a demonstration kitchen, child care, metabolic assessments and a rooftop patio.