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5 Benefits of Superhero Training at POW! Kids Chicago


by Ashlynn Elliot


Working at a gym with such an amazing kids program definitely requires a tremendous amount of energy and focus; but also gifts some of the most rewarding moments. Each day is different and exciting, which is why my creativity fits in perfectly here at POW! Kids Chicago.  My favorite part of the week is teaching Superhero Training class on Sunday mornings for kids ages 3-6. The hour-long class is always filled with movement and missions that are fun and entertaining.  Some might call it organized chaos. I’ve taught many sessions of this course in the past year and here are some of the benefits of Superhero Training.

1. Foundation of Basic Athletic Skills

The best way to get kids to work out is to camouflage the fact that they are working out. In Superhero Training, “workouts” consist of fun games, obstacle courses and missions that kids eagerly jump into. Every class introduces new and repeated movements and skills that the “superheroes in training” can practice and master. Balance, jumping, running, strength, self defense, and core work are all key exercises that are used in class (without the kids even realizing it!) This class creates a foundation for a lifetime of fitness.

2. Teamwork

Every class is a great opportunity for children to learn about sharing and working together as a team. It is a hard concept for kids this age range to master, but I have seen great improvement in the way kids interact with one another week after week. We discuss, nearly every class, how important teamwork is for all of us, but especially for superheroes. Kids learn how to take turns while also working together for ample strength on a mission.

3. Imagination in Action

One of the best parts of being a child is the endless imagination that is granted. Somehow this fades little by little as we grow older. As an adult looking at the course set up for Superhero Class, you might see simply colored dots, big black boxes, thin balance beams and a few hula hoops. But for a 3-6 year old, they see boulders sinking into quick sand, tall giant buildings with someone atop that needs saving, bridges connecting them from one side of the city to the other, and portals that can transport them to their next mission. It is such a joy to watch their creative young minds glisten as they take on each activity. It always leaves me inspired to be more imaginative in my own everyday life.

4. Setting Goals and Reaching Them

Whether it is a four, eight or twelve week Superhero Training course, the great thing is that this class builds on each week. We talk each week about how vital it is to set goals and work towards them each week. If a kiddo is having a hard time on the balance beams the first week, I try to talk with them about how they can keep improving that skill each week. I have left the gym so many times filled with immense joy solely because one of my students mastered a two foot hop or reached the top of the rock wall without any fear. In an environment like POW! kids learn the valuable lesson of “try and try again”. 

5. Confidence

There is nothing better than watching the growth of a child over the course of a few weeks. The more skills they learn and master, the more their confidence blossoms. Friendships are made, challenges are conquered and new passions are found. Some of the most quiet children that don’t say a word for weeks slowly open up and feel enough pride to have full on conversations with the entire class. I love watching the class leave the studio on the last day with a “diploma” in hand and a HUGE smile of pride on their faces. 

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