The WoW Power Walking program was created to help people get more fit from walking. We based the program on setting a goal for a distance event – whether it’s 5k, 10k, 10 mile, half marathon, 30k, 21 mile, or full marathon.

We believe that setting a fun and tangible goal is one important factor in the continued success of our programs and its participants. Still, a goal is only as good as the committed journey toward it. The coaches at WoW are our secret ingredient for making the journey work for you. We are committed to hiring coaches who are professionally certified by professional fitness certification bodies.

In addition, we are always prepared to re-evaluate our programming based on the latest research in the fitness and health industry – so long as the research appears authentic and comes from reputable sources. We’re not prepared to jump on the latest band-wagon but we do constantly evaluate our programming.

Take for example, the addition of our walking courses that offer strength training programming. We added these courses because, as safe as walking is, the constant repetitive movement can produce imbalanced muscles with the potential for injury. We introduced a Walk Circuit class that includes strength training to add diversity to the walking workout while building strength in propulsive and stabilizing muscles for improved performance.

The strength exercises we do complement your walking. We take care with this, as there are strength training programs that can reduce your effectiveness as an endurance athlete. And we will continue to pay attention to new research and to evaluate our programming vis-à-vis your continued success.

Indeed, after some research and evaluation of the Walk Circuit classes, we have determined that a better title would be Walking Strength and Balance. This reflects the fact that we will be doing 15 to 20 minutes of walking cardio in the class. This cardio portion will get the feel-good neurotransmitters, endorphins and serotonin, kicking in. Some days that portion of the class will be at the beginning and some days it will be at the end. Because research has shown that strength exercises on leg muscles will not be as effective if those muscles have been used for cardio exercise prior to the strength exercise, those days that we will focus on leg strength the walking cardio portion will follow.

The name change also reflects the fact that I’d like to see people working both strength and balance. Strength exercises will focus on a variety of muscles for general aesthetic toning (!) as well as improving walking performance for those participants who are interested in improving race times. Stability exercises do not have the same effect as strength exercises in terms of toning but they play a very important role in preventing injury. Also, have you ever noticed that what makes people look young is their ability to maintain balance (read stability) when their extremities are moving through all ranges of motion?

You may be working with a personal trainer or attending other programs that work on strength and stability, in which case it would be a good idea to review these with your coach to ensure that your program is complementing your walking goals.