Fitness & Aquatics Updates

Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Posted by: Robin Fortenberry, Director of Fitness Services

Group Exercise Update

We are pleased to announce that we are increasing in-person Group Exercise classes beginning Sept 29. Some of these classes will be held inside in the main building while others will utilize the outdoor facilities at the main campus and the Merfish Teen Center on the outside basketball courts. The health and safety protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19 that are already in place will also be in effect for these classes and all programs and classes that happen in-person. A copy of those guidelines can be found here.

In addition, we have added other elements for safety for these classes. Indoor classes except cycle, will be held in our downstairs exercise/dance studio in the main building. Max capacity for these classes will be 6-7 members and one instructor. If there is a greater demand for these classes we will look to move to a larger area so that we can increase the capacity while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

Exercise Studio Spaced Out

Outside classes will be held in large enough spaces to accommodate 12-15 people while still maintaining social distancing guidelines. Cycle classes will be held in the Cycle Studio in the Fitness Center. These will also be limited to nine members and one instructor. Bikes are already placed more than 6’ apart. Attendance for all in-person classes will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Cycle Studio

All members will be required to wear masks when entering the building but may remove their mask during class as long as 6’ between members can be maintained. The J may furnish some workout equipment for certain classes. Any equipment furnished will be properly disinfected before and after each class. The J will not furnish towels or mats. Members must bring their own and a water bottle.

Here is a list of the new classes we will be adding to the schedule:

Sunday 9:00 AM Vitality Yoga BAS Pool Deck Millette
Tuesday 6:00 AM Turn & Burn Cycle Studio Robin
Tuesday 9:00 AM Ball Mat Blast Room 109 Dena
Wednesday 9:30 AM Combat HIIT Merfish Basketball Court Brian
Wednesday 4:30 PM HIIT Mat Pilates Merfish Basketball Court Traci
Thursday 9:00 AM Reformer on the Mat Merfish Basketball Court Unique 

Our complete schedule including all in-person and virtual classes can be found here.

If you’re not quite ready to return to in-person classes, we still have our complete virtual schedule available including our archive of recorded classes. Access the new J @Home platform here. Remember you will need to create an account and login in order to access our virtual classes.

We also have a new virtual barre class starting at 6:00 AM Monday, Oct 5. Here's a preview of this class:

For more information regarding Group Exercise or anything fitness related, please email Robin Fortenberry at

Water Exercise Class Update

We would like to thank you for your participation in our water exercise classes this summer and would like to announce that we will continue these classes through the fall, winter and spring months.

Starting Monday, Oct 5, all three weekly classes will be moving to Wolfies Swim School until May of 2021. Wolfies is located at 5230 Cedar in Bellaire. Classes will be at 8:00 AM and end at 8:45 AM. J members, instructor and one staff person from Wolfies will be the only people in the building at that time. Wolfies opening time and class schedule begins at 9:00 AM.

Participants will be required to continue to take the daily Health Survey from the J website and wear masks entering and exiting Wolfies. Wolfies pool is large enough to accommodate 16 participants and still allow for social distancing. The pool area also has large garage style doors that can be opened to allow outside air in depending on the outside temperature. In addition, Wolfies has created one-way traffic coming in and out of the building as well as one-way traffic in the pool area.

Here are the classes that we will offer at Wolfies:

Monday 8:00 AM Aqua Yoga Betsy
Wednesday 8:00 AM Combo Water Fitness Betsy
Friday 8:00 AM Combo Water Fitness Unique


Swimming Continues at the Outdoor Pool

Thank you to all of our members for a great summer at the pool. Despite the challenges that members and staff were faced with this summer, we look at our overall summer season as one of great success. We hope that you have enjoyed your time at the pool this summer.

With warmer weather hanging around, we will continue to keep the outdoor pool complex at the J open for lap swimming until the outside temperatures lower the pool water temperature to below 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Family recreational swim will end on Sunday, Oct 11. The upcoming fall holidays will limit the availability these last few weeks, particularly on Sunday, Sept 27, Saturday, Oct 3 and Saturday, Oct 10. Check our complete fall pool schedule for updates, including holiday closings.

For more information regarding the pool schedule or aquatics, please email Lee Hutchens at