News & Stories

See What's Happening at the Y

Staff Spotlight - Connie Klaas

Classes: Aqualates, Senior aqua, moving & stretching, preschool swim lessons

Hobbies and Interests: Gardening (flowers & veggies), stampin’ up (making cards), sewing, reading, watching birds at the bird-feeder.

Favorite Thing About Being an Instructor:

Adult Instructor: being able to help others get stronger, helping those with similar physical issues (fibro arthritis), realize that they’re not alone; supporting one another and making new friends.

Kid Instructor: watching them go from not being to swim to swimming by themselves, seeing their face light up when they accomplish a task and the way they make me laugh. I love to listen to them talk and tell me their stories.

Fun Fact: I have four kids; two boys and twin girls, two cats and a dog. I was raised in Denver, CO. I love dark chocolate and  sci-fi books and movies.


January Newsletter

Click here to read the latest Y announcements/newsletter

10 Reasons to Start Powerlifting

Whether you want to improve athletic performance, compete in powerlifting, or just get strong, there may be a reason for you to begin powerlifting.

10 reasons to start today!

#1 – Powerlifting is the safest style of weight lifting

While all weight lifting (and exercise for that matter) has an element of danger, powerlifting is relatively safe. Why? Because it rewards proper form. If you are powerlifting with the goal to set a personal best, your form absolutely must be spot-on. In bodybuilding, with the goal to fatigue muscles so they grow bigger (rather than focusing on the weight itself,) proper form isn’t essential and is sometimes thrown out the window.

With that ideal form, you are less likely to get injured.

#2 – Increase bone density

All resistance training will increase your bone density. Stronger bones help you avoid osteoporosis when you’re older.

Powerlifting, with its focus on heavier weights, should theoretically be the best training to improve your bone health.

#3 – Develop Full-Body Strength

When you do powerlifting exercises properly, each one is a full-body exercise. Each exercise requires you to drive power from your lower body through your upper body. Learning this technique is very useful for lifting heavy objects in real life (that you’d never be able to lift using your muscles in isolation.)

It’s no secret that most endurance sports do not develop full-body strength.


#4 – Improve Athletic Performance

Unlike in bodybuilding, the strength and power gains from powerlifting will actually help you in sports. For starters, you’ll end up running faster and jumping higher. With some on-bike work, you’ll be pushing those big gears easier than ever.

Play football? You’ll be able to tackle bigger players and/or run through anyone in your way. Play basketball? You’ll jump high enough for any rebound.

#5 – It’s simple

There are three lifts. You learn those lifts, then you do them. That’s it. While there are plenty of finer details for each lift, it’s easy to get the basics down quickly.

This is essential for anyone who already participates in skill-intensive sports (mountain biking, for instance) that takes up a lot of time and energy.

#6 – It’s rewarding

It feels great to see your weight totals go up every single week! It’s actually common to see steady gains if you’re on a good program.

With every little gain, you’re motivated to keep training. You don’t have to wait months or years to see progress – it’s almost instant gratification!

#7 – Build muscle

Though you aren’t doing a wide variety of exercises designed to enhance specific body parts, you’re still going to build some muscles and look good.

#8 – Build self-confidence

Confidence in yourself is essential for so many things in life. Being more confident will bring you more success in life.

As a powerlifter, there’s something empowering about grabbing hold of a heavy, loaded barbell and ripping it off the ground or heaving it into the air!

#9 – Practically everyone can do it

If you have a gym membership, you can do it. No fancy machines are necessary! You don’t have to be able to run a marathon or anything like that.

#10 – It’s fun to be strong

Being strong is just plain fun. You can do all sorts of neat stuff that you normally wouldn’t be able to do if your only training was for endurance sports.

December Newsletter

Click here to read the latest Y announcements/newsletter

November Newsletter

Click here to read the latest Heritage Club newsletter

Click here to read the latest Y announcements/newsletter

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

As diabetes rates continues to rise, few Central Iowa residents know they are at risk

[November 2017] – During National Diabetes Awareness Month, the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA is encouraging residents in Central Iowa to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and to take preventive steps to potentially reduce their chances of developing the disease. 

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that more than one in three Americans (84 million people) has prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it but with awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of diabetes.

“As one of the leading community-based charities committed to improving the health of our community, the Y wants all people to understand their risk for prediabetes and steps to take to avoid developing type 2 diabetes,” said Heidi Draisey, Marshalltown Y Health & Wellness Coordinator.  “Developing type 2 diabetes not only puts a tremendous strain on our health care system, but impacts the lives of millions of people and their families each year.”

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at Through this assessment, visitors can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk for developing the disease. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include race, age, weight and activity level. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.

The Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA is helping to improve health through programs and services for all ages.  The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention program helps participants reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

For more information call 641-752-8658 or click here to learn about Health & Wellness programs at the Y.

Member Satisfaction Survey

Dear Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA Members,

Thank you for being a valued member of the Y Family!  At the Y, we’re dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities.  Every day, our impact is felt when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a mentor inspires a child and when a community comes together for the common good.

As an ongoing member, we would love your thoughtful perspective on how we’re doing. We have created a survey designed specifically for ongoing members.  It will only take you a few minutes to complete, and it is completely confidential and anonymous.

If you are randomly selected to complete the survey, you will be receiving a questionnaire from our survey provider, Seer Analytics.  Your survey will be sent from beginning on October 19th, 2017 and includes a link to the survey that you can complete online.  We hope you will take a few moments to share your personal Y experience with us -- the highlights as well as the opportunities we have to improve our support of your goals.

If you need assistance please do not hesitate to speak with me or any member of our YMCA staff team.

We thank you in advance for your time and thoughts.


Carol Hibbs
Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA

2017 YMCA-YWCA Annual Campaign

[August 2017] – The 2017 Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA Annual Campaign has officially kicked off with Ronnie Manis and Samantha Vance leading a team of volunteers working to reach this year’s goal of $137,000.

Manis and Vance are both Board Members of the YMCA-YWCA.  Manis is Principal of Anson Elementary School in Marshalltown.  “The Y is a positive force in our community, and I’m proud to help lead its fundraising efforts.  In 2016, more than 2,700 people were impacted through the Annual Campaign.  We hope to serve even more this year.”

Vance, a Buyer Specialist with Five Star Home Team in Marshalltown, added, “I believe that being part of a community means supporting each other and making the world a better place.  The people and programs at the Y do that every day.”

The Y works to address three urgent needs within the Marshalltown community:

•       Improving health for everyone

•       Providing a safe place for children to grow

•       Strengthening families and developing future leaders

With support from Annual Campaign funds, more kids can have a safe place to learn and build self-confidence and more families can reconnect and grow together.  The funds also support programs offered free of charge, such as LIVESTRONG at the YMCA for cancer surivors seeking to reclaim health and Teach Them To Swim, which is available to qualified students from Lenihan Intermediate School. 

For more information about the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA Annual Campaign visit or contact Kim Jass-Ramirez at 641-752-8658.