Jessica Coupal leads Turbo Kick. She and other instructors are raising funds and gifts this weekend for the Christmas Bureau.
The multi-colored strobe light seemed to keep beat to the thumping of the bass as feet and fists flashed in the darkness.
Martial arts switched to dance as the women brushed off their shoulders, rolled their hips and bounced in their sneakers on the hardwood floor.
“It’s called Turbo Kick,” said Instructor Carrie Trombley between front and back kicks and a series of right jabs, her body keeping time with the rhythm.
She and other Turbo Kick enthusiasts are holding Turbo for Toys on Dec. 8, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the City of Plattsburgh Recreation Gym at 52 US Oval.
The event will benefit the Christmas Bureau and participants can Turbo Kick for nearly two hours.
Admission is $10 or a new unwrapped toy valued at the same amount. The proceeds will help the Christmas Bureau fulfill its wish list. The Christmas Bureau helps more than 1,000 families yearly, though over the past couple years the organization has seen an increase in new families.
“We wanted to figure out a way to give back to the community,” Trombley said. “We also wanted to bring awareness to a new kind of work out.”
Trombley lost more than 100 pounds through Turbo Kick, which mixes punches and kicks and some dance moves. It is a sort of high-energy kickboxing without gloves or bags.
“You burn so many calories,” Trombley said. “And you feel so empowered after.”
Trombley led Instructor Jessica Coupal and instructor in training Casey LaVarnway through a turbo set that started with jump-rope motions, switched to running in place and then high knees before moving into individual moves with a constant bounce as Trombley said, “Single, single, double, right.”
They typically work out for an hour, dripping sweat and nearly breathless when they are done.
“You definitely burn a lot of calories,” Trombley said. “It’s easier on the joints.
They feed off each other’s energy during sessions, taking turn guiding everyone through intense routines.
“The music is awesome, and you don’t have to have a dancing background to do Turbo Kick,” Coupal said.
On her most stressful days, she looks forward to class and releasing her aggression as the music echoes through the room and she exhausts herself.
She’s excited to blend one of her passions with giving back to the community.
People continue to struggle and lose their jobs, which makes helping during the holidays especially important.
There will also be a raffle at the event and everyone is welcome to try Turbo Kick.
“It is a good way for people to come try it and to give back,” Coupal said.
For more information check out Totally Turbo on Facebook or call Trombley at 420-9679 or Coupal at 569-3375.