Walsh's first book, DIVA: The Fitness System To
Unleash Your Feminine Power, will be published
by Berkley in January '97. Terri's newest venture is
Revolution Studios at The Peridance Center, 132 Fourth
Avenue, NYC, (212) 505-0886.
by Wendy Niemi Kremer
Walsh, fitness pro, aerobic athlete, and author, hails
from Plainfield, New Jersey. She is nationally known for
her video, "Washboard Abs," her "Strength
Equals Beauty" outlook, and her regular appearances
on ESPN2, TV talk shows, and in many fitness & beauty
publications. This former Creative Director of
Programming for Crunch Fitness has trained many
celebrities but hates to drop names.
Terri is an
active Internaut, and regularly participates in the misc.fitness.aerobic
newsgroup. You may reach Terri by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WNK: Terri, the packaging
for your "Crunch Fitness: Washboard Abs" video
indicates that it's for all fitness levels, and my
Collage Video catalog doesn't give any indication of a
target fitness level, either. Who is your primary target
TW: Since this was my very first video, I
targeted the workout to the person who has never
exercised before; although all my clients use it and say
it helps them work better in class.
WNK: Could you describe the structure of the
video? How long is the workout?
TW: The workout has a thorough (7 min.)
warm-up, along with 3 six minute abdominal sections of
increasing skill-level and intensity. It's made to be
done section by section, learning & understanding the
form & technique in order to get the most from each
exercise. The thought from my end was "quality not
WNK: How does creating choreography for video or
TV differ from creating choreography for a live class?
TW: Well, the difference for me is not so much
the choreography, but the manner in which it's delivered
and the speed at which things are done. Live classes are
definitely faster--I feel it's more of a liablility
issue. I know I never wanted anyone to get hurt following
anything I've put on video. I wanted to establish my
teaching style first, and a technical base of strength in
this video, not that "I'm so fabulous
thing"...although I did manage to sneak in one of my
"weird favorites" at the end. I wanted to
introduce myself to the public in a way that showed what
I care about most--technique & understanding how the
body works matters more than a gazillion reps of
WNK: When did you decide to make a career of
fitness, and how did you get from that point to starring
in exercise videos?
TW: I walked into a health club, joined (I was
20 yrs old) 'cause the guy was REALLY cute -smile-. Then
I thought "This looks like fun, maybe I can work
here." I did, as a locker attendant. Then they
trained me & within 6-months I was running the floor.
As for the video thing, the Crunch video project let me
have more say than any other offer I've had, which is why
I accepted the offer, I didn't even make that much money.
They were really willing to let me be "myself"
and not a "robo-bunny" which was extremely
important to me, after all, I wanted to actually be
myself and not "acting" like a teacher, so if
you were to really come take my class you would know what
to expect. I think I also have a unique opinion on a lot
of things in fitness that also just happened to get me
noticed by the press at the right time, and I've been
teaching at high-profile studios ever since I came to NY
almost 10 years ago. It's impossible to survive that long
in NYC unless you're doing something right. Sooner or
later **someone's** got to notice! -smile- I've been
extremely fortunate....and patient.
WNK: Relatively few exercise video fans ever
participate in live aerobics classes. What advice can you
offer to people who rely on exercise videos as their
primary fitness activity? How can they maximize the
benefits of their video exercise program?
TW: I'd have to say that you should rotate
those babies as much as possible!!!! -smile- Seriously,
the best way to maximize any fitness routine is to
pick-up a sport or activity that you actually have to
learn NEW skills to perform, instead of relying on the
same relatively repetitive movements of aerobics.
Although I LOVE teaching aerobics, I LOVE all types of
motion and physical activity. I like to steer women into
skill-based activities that take the focus OFF what they
look like and put it ON their functional capabilities.
I've cajoled all my friends & clients into buying
skates, so now I have lots of pals to skate with and I
"train" their muscles for skating etc. in
class....so, I believe aerobics should be an adjunct to
other things, not the "thing" itself. Get
outside & do something!!!!
WNK: Is there anyone in the fitness industry who
has served as a role model or mentor for you?
TW: Actually, Molly Fox and Jim Shallal have
influenced my life more than they'll ever know.
WNK: Many home exercisers I've
heard from are upset that many of the quality cable
exercise shows like "Fitness Pros" and
"Step Reebok" have been canceled and replaced
with "bikini" shows that are...well...aimed at
a different target audience. Is this trend likely to
continue, or are you hopeful that shows like Crunch
Fitness and Fit TV network programming can flourish?
TW: Well, even Crunch Fitness has it's share
of "bikinis".....luckily I escaped (barely, no
pun intended) relatively dressed and with (hopefully) my
reputation and dignity intact. I do get ALOT of mail from
15 year old boys playing hookey from school, though.
Certainly not MY target audience, maybe they're watching
with their moms & sisters -smile-. All kidding aside,
we all know what drives
programming--$$$$$advertising--the commercials on these
shows are for hair replacement & motor oil, so I'm as
hopeful and fretful as everyone else is about the long
term staying power of the quality shows. The bottom line
is that the "anti bikini's" need to make more
NOISE than the ones yelling "Yo, vinny.....when's
she gonna bend over?" Hey, if they're showing more
women's sports on the Olympics (they could've spent MORE
time on the women's basketball), then we should be able
to make a much bigger dent in espn2. Please, if there is
a god in heaven....DON'T LET JOHN TESH COMMENTATE
"KIANA'S FLEX APPEAL!!!!" -smile-
[Editor's note: you can express your opinions on
this issue to ESPN2 by e-mail at ESPNET1@espn.com or by
filling out ESPN's Feedback
WNK: Until recently, you were Creative Director of
Programming at Crunch Fitness in New York City. How did
you come to part company with Crunch?
TW: Unfortunately, a trademark dispute came
between my "present" and my "future,"
and in the course of defending my rights under the law, I
was abruptly terminated. Unfortunate, uncalled for, and
definitely unfair...but, I learned a lot in Crunch and
have been lucky enough to have alot to show for my hard
work there. I have no regrets or ill will. I look at it
as an opportunity for change and I'll make it a positive
experience in the long run.
WNK: How has this experience changed the way you
view the fitness industry?
TW: It hasn't changed the way I view the
fitness industry because Crunch is not in the fitness
industry per se. Crunch is in the
entertainment/retail/media industry. ** I'm** in the
fitness industry. So, there's still hope.
WNK: Do you have any advice for other popular
instructors which might help them avoid a similar
TW: Yes. TRADEMARK, TRADEMARK, TRADEMARK. GET
LEGAL COUNSEL. It's worth the money. Don't give away your
ideas for free! Document them. And if they're
stolen......FIGHT BACK. Save every schedule that you've
ever had your name on. Ask for a contract, don't work
without one. Many instructors get taken advantage of
because they may not have the necessary buisness savvy to
play with the sharks. Remember your name is your only
calling card to the world. Do not do anything you can't
be proud of and don't compromise your beliefs for money,
or "promised money."
WNK: What are your current plans now that you are
on your own? Would you like to star in more videos in the
TW: I have decided to bring aerobics
"home" where it belongs....back into the
simple..pure atmosphere of an aerobic studio. I've
started my own studio, "Revolution Studios," at
The Peridance Center. I'm starting an instructor driven
enterprise where the instructor is not just a prop for
the "marketing concept", or the "cool
logo." People, clients and instructors alike, will
give Revolution Studios it's "hype," its color
and its energy. It's scary, but if ya never take a big
risk, ya never get a big reward!
I'd love to shoot a companion video series to go
along with my new book, entitled DIVA:The
Fitness System To Unleash Your Feminine Power.
The system is designed to grow with the reader so there's
room for different intensity levels, which will
definitely satisfy your more advanced readers.....I hope!