For more than a year, 3 WINS Fitness classes have been held in the Northeast San Fernando Valley for free. Classes are provided by student trainers from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) with the aim to teach the community the importance of staying fit and crafting a healthier lifestyle.
The program founded in 2011 by CSUN professor Steven Loy, an exercise physiologist, started with a small group but has grown to have 25 to 30 participants, all taught by his team of trainers. The CSUN trainers rotate in and out every semester to get hands-on training with the program.
David Jimenez was one trainer who taught classes out of El Cariso Park. He started in 2019 when he was a freshman at CSUN while taking classes under Loy, who told his students about the program. Jimenez kept teaching the classes even after he graduated, up until two months ago when he became CSUN’s fitness training supervisor.
When asked why he was a trainer for so long, Jimenez said, “I believe it’s the sense of community. Just seeing the enjoyment that the participants have, being that they are from the same background as me – mainly the Hispanic population – feels like we’re our [own] small little family within the park. … It was a very welcoming, very inviting type of environment.”
The classes are held year-round, with a couple of weeks off in both the summer and winter. Each class – divided into three fitness levels – follows a structure each day, so participants don’t have to worry if they miss a day. The schedule roughly consists of a warmup, followed by strength exercises, then cardio and ending with a cooldown. Sometimes the exercises are changed up a bit to keep things fresh.
Although many participants tend to be older and primarily women, Jimenez said the program is open to anyone, regardless of age and fitness level. All they need is to bring their own yoga mat. Participants even trained for and took part in the San Fernando Valley Mile that kicked off the Dia de los Muertos festival on Oct. 28.
“That’s why the goal was to get three fitness [levels] because typically, the level one group is aimed a little more towards the older population because they are very limited in their capabilities,” Jimenez said, “but with multiple fitness levels, it’s meant for anyone. Age doesn’t define how physically fit you are, just what you’re capable of.”
Jimenez continued, saying that those who sign up “can expect [trainers] to cater to their specific needs … because the whole message behind 3 WINS is it’s a program that emphasizes that fitness is for everyone.”
3 WINS Fitness is also held at Las Palmas Park in the City of San Fernando, having temporarily relocated out of San Fernando Recreation Park. Classes at both locations begin in the early morning, around 8 a.m., and take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
For more information and to sign up, visit https://www.3winsfitness.com/.