Kendra Peņa-Collazo, aka ZUMBA Lady, is the owner of Brickhouse Cardio Club, 2016 Spruce St., Leavenworth. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Military Fitness Specialist as well as ZUMBA instructor of specialties like Aqua Zumba and Zumbatomic (for kids).

Kendra Peña-Collazo, aka ZUMBA Lady, is the owner of Brickhouse Cardio Club, 2016 Spruce St., Leavenworth. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Military Fitness Specialist as well as ZUMBA instructor of specialties like Aqua Zumba and Zumbatomic (for kids). She also hold a Nutrition and Optimal Health Certification through Excelsior College.

1. Can you tell us about Brickhouse Cardio Club and how the franchise got started?
It started with a simple concept, that instead of traveling from place to place to take Zumba classes, to bring the classes into a facility built for Zumba that offered consistent classes at consistent times! That concept subsequently led to a studio which eventually led to franchising the concept and to a new studio here in Leavenworth. Brickhouse Leavenworth then expanded on the idea by adding other classes to focus on additional elements of fitness and giving members everything they need for total body wellness.

2. What is the biggest difference between Brickhouse and other exercise, health clubs and gyms?
Brickhouse provides a women-centered, supportive and comfortable atmosphere for our members. We provide consistent classes at consistent times in a studio built for group fitness. We really get to know and care about each member and we know when each of our members needs a hug, pat on the back or a kick in the pants to get motivated again. Our focus is on the success of our members in meeting their fitness goals. Not to mention that we have the best members. Members at Brickhouse love to motivate each other and give encouragement and this adds energy to each class. Our instructors and members are welcoming to new people that drop in for a class because we all understand that taking that first step into a fitness studio is sometimes the hardest and can be intimidating for some. You will be greeted with a smile because we are genuinely happy to see you.

3. Brickhouse has been named in the top 100 veteran friendly franchises by Franchise Business Review. Can you tell us about Brickhouse's commitment to helping veterans?
From a business perspective Brickhouse works very well to support Active Duty, Veterans and Spouses to pursue a sound business opportunity. There are a number of Brickhouse studios in close proximity of military installations all over the United States. With minimal upfront capital and financing anyone can start a new business.
Lots of businesses are hesitant to give franchising opportunities, loans and financial support to military families because they perceive military families to be "high risk" in terms of not paying off debt due to continuous relocating.
That is not the case with Brickhouse. By working with the military families they have awarded some of the best entrepreneurs the opportunity to truly give back to this great nation.
From a personal stand point, I am a military spouse and my goal was to not only create a space for my fellow military families to work out, I also wanted to create a space were I can give military spouses a job.
A large number of military spouses are only in Leavenworth for 10 months which makes it almost impossible for them to continue their fitness careers here. I work with spouses before they even arrive in Leavenworth so that when they get here we can hit the ground running so to speak. I have personally volunteered to provide alternative PT workouts for soldiers and offered our space for gatherings of military organizations and events. After years of working with the military in the fitness industry one issue that resonated with me was lack of child care. I made sure when we opened our studio we had a children's playroom to give parents the opportunity to work out knowing their child is safely playing in the next room. I will personally explore more opportunities to support my fellow military families in the future.

4. What types of workouts do you offer and could you give an example of a recommended workout for someone in their 20's and someone in their 60's or older?
I like to look at people as individuals. There are plenty of people that are 60 years young that are in much better shape than some people that are 20 years young and vise versa.
The key is to understand the individual's physical challenges and goals. All of the classes offered here at Brickhouse can be modified to fit every fitness level. We truly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to reach their health and wellness goals in a stress free and supportive environment.

5. Brickhouse offers a specially designed, easy-on-the-joints floor for members with joint issues or pain from fitness routines on carpet or concrete floors. How does this help members increase strength and duration while working out with minimum wear and tear on joints?
Our flooring is fantastic. Concrete is an extremely hard surface which forces your body to absorb the impact causing a negative domino effect all the way up the spine that can exacerbate previous joint or spinal injuries. A lot of people will notice that their joints hurt after a long run on the sidewalk or a high impact outdoor workout in a parking lot.
Over a long period of time it can cause some serious damage to the joints. Carpet on the other hand will help to absorb some impact but impedes the movement of the foot causing torque on the joints which again could lead to injury. Our floors have padding which absorbs a lot of the impact. Most members comment on how much better they feel after working out on our flooring than at home or in other places.

Bonus question: Brickhouse is known for its sound system. How important is the right music and quality of sound in getting members motivated to give 100 percent to their workouts?
Music is essential to any type of fitness program especially dance fitness.
Having clear music can really add energy to the class boosting the output of the participants. When the sound isn't clear people will lose focus on the workout and they can't get "into the zone" because they are distracted by static, or dirty sound.
After years of teaching all over the world I would have to take a portable sound system with me from location to location. When I would instruct a class in a large commercial space with a small sound system people in the back couldn't "feel the music." In fact, they could barely hear it.
For the instructor it makes it difficult to cue the next move because participants couldn't hear music changes or the nuances of the song to put in their own style elements and have fun and get creative. We removed that entire issue here at Brickhouse.
No matter where you stand you can hear everything! We have also added a stage so that in our larger class everyone can see the instructor. This makes it much easier for my shy participants in the back to still be able to see the instructor in class and be in a place where they feel comfortable.

— Rimsie McConiga