New year, new you

Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Lacey Johnson, Boot Camp instructor at the Cassville YMCA, met with her class on Thursday evening to get in on last workout before the new year. Jordan Troutman/

Equipment upgrades, new app, new class at YMCA

At the beginning of the year, most people turn to their local gyms to take on their resolutions and find motivation to keep it going.

In Cassville, one of those beacons is the Cassville YMCA, which offers classes, program and equipment to start of any resolution with success.

Austin Johnson, YMCA member and Boot Camp attendee, started 2022 off right with an intense workout on Thursday night. Jordan Troutman/

In 2021, the Cassville YMCA saw some exciting new advances, including being open for 24 hours a day.

Rick Ragsdale, Cassville YMCA director, said an additional development in 2021 was the Core Weight Loss program.

“2021 was interesting, especially coming off of 2020 and being closed for so long,” he said. “Successfully, we found our new normal. In the start of 2021, we had all the machines spread out.”

In 2021, the Cassville YMCA replaced all the cardio equipment, including elliptical, treadmills, stairmasters, etc.

“So now things are less spread out,” Ragsdale said. “However, all of the Y is accessible now. Our coffee area and lobby is open back to the way it was, with the lobby being staffed from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.”

One of the most exciting changes came with 24-hour access to the facility.

“You have to be an adult, 18 or older, and have a membership to access the YMCA past lobby hours,” he said. “It costs an additional $5 per month on an individual membership to offset the costs of having it heated and cooled and lit up.”

Ragsdale said the 24 hour access has been wildly successful, with only a couple of instances where a membership was suspended in all of 2021.

“The security system is pretty tight,” he said.

“But, the members are really amazing and often times let me know what is going on. They love the Y and they make sure other people are taking care of it.”

Looking back at 2021, people can see the Cassville YMCA is always striving to make the experience better, and that isn’t stopping in 2022.

“We are focusing on adult sports in 2022,” Ragsdale said. “Once in June and once in October, we will be running a disc golf tournament. We also picked up a disc golf league, and we are trying to expand the disc golf experience.”

The city of Cassville has been focusing efforts over the past year in upgrading the disc golf course at the south park.

“They have done a great job of building that course, and we now have fairways, paved passages and a nice layout,” he said. “In addition, with work from Isaac Dotson, the YMCA family and youth coordinator, we will be running a School Day Out program that will take students for a day trip when school is out for in service days.”

The Cassville YMCA will take the best trips from the summer programs and incorporate those into four scheduled trips for the second semester of school in the 2021-2022 school year.

“Right now, we have a trip to Dogwood Canyon, ice skating at the Jones Center, indoor mini golf and Wonders of Wildlife,” Ragsdale said. “When school is out, this will give the kids somewhere to go and something fun to do. Pricing will depend on which trip a child is planning to attend.”

The Cassville YMCA is planning the same kind of program for its Silver Sneakers group.

“We are planning four trips: the Showboat Branson Bell, trams at Dogwood Canyon, and we’d like to do a couple of shows,” he said. “We understand that seniors are being more cautious because they are more susceptible, but we are trying to provide the opportunity to get out and do something.”

The Cassville YMCA has partnered with the Cassville Methodist Church for this venture, as the church has a shuttle bus that will be more comfortable for seniors.

“We will have a couple of new workout classes as well,” Ragsdale said. “Jamie Morris, who teaches Zumba and Zumba Strong, will add Fitness Fundamentals. This is a very basic class designed for people who have never done a workout class before.”

Fitness Fundamentals will be held on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. starting on Jan. 4, it is included in memberships, but the YMCA has guest passes for $8 per day or $5 per class.

“In addition, for YMCAs everywhere, there is a new app coming out called YMCA 360,” he said. “The old app just hasn’t done everything that we wanted it to do. So, Y-USA is releasing this new app that is more integrated into the Y’s schedule.”

Between soccer schedules and classes and programs, the new app will have everything at the tip of your finger.

“Also, there will be better communication between users and coaches,” Ragsdale said. “It will have some social media aspects. It [launched] Jan. 1.”

For the first month, YMCA360 will be free to all users, but after that, it will be tied to memberships.

“Tied to this new app, we are expanding to be a part of the video platform,” he said. “It is free for members and $10 to be a member through Y360 to access at home workouts. This is all tied to your email and membership at the YMCA.”

People can access workouts, yoga, kids yoga, cooking classes and so much more.

“The YMCA is so much more than a just a place to workout,” Ragsdale said. “This app and video platform add a lot more than just a gym to the YMCA. Also, content can be uploaded from all YMCAs.”

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