Fitness with Coach Doro


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Cambridge Center for Adult Education's picture

  • Doro Sadowicz teaches CIZE at the Cambridge Center
  • Doro Sadowicz teaches Insanity at the Cambridge Center
  • Doro Sadowicz shares her tips on fitness at the Cambridge Center
Doro Sadowicz at CCAE by Paul Sayed

With a background in molecular biology and bio-chemistry, Doro Sadowicz works as a researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute by day. By night she is a fitness instructor and health coach.  At the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, Coach Doro teaches CIZE and Insanity. According to Doro, she was not always an athletic person and used to shy away from exercising in public or in groups.  However, around five years ago, Doro decided to try out a workout program with her husband and saw major improvements in her overall well-being. Since then, she has been motivated to share that experience with others as a fitness instructor. Doro has always been driven to help others.  Although she feels that she does important and meaningful research at Dana-Farber, Doro may not see the results that her work has on people for decades.  As a fitness instructor on the other hand, Doro sees the immediate, positive impact her classes have on her students. Doro welcomes people of all levels of fitness, experience, and capabilities to her classes.  A few weeks ago Coach Doro sat down with Paul Sayed, CCAE Staff, to talk about her classes and her tips on fitness.

What is CIZE?

I’ve been teaching Insanity longer than CIZE. Insanity is a great physical program where you do standard things like squats and push-ups. But, that’s not for everybody since it is high impact.  For people with knee issues, older people, or those who may have never exercised, it can be too much.  By contrast, CIZE gives you a good workout without needing weights, without getting too low to the ground or working your joints too hard. It’s a fun program that teaches you real choreography put together by people who have been in music videos.  So they know how to put together routines to real songs with real moves.  In CIZE, it doesn’t matter if you have no back ground in dance or if you’ve been dancing for years. Through CIZE you will learn how to dance and get a great workout. In CIZE music is an important component. You have to be able to hear the beat and the rhythms in the music. So, there is a lot of training on how to feel the music out, how to learn where the repetitions are, and how to put your moves to the beat.

If someone is totally unable to feel the beat, what do you do then?

In class, we repeat everything. We build up from what we call eight-counts, which are eight beats in a song. Four sections of eight-counts form a phrase.  If you can’t hear or feel the beat naturally, I basically teach you one eight-count at a time. We’ll break it down into a slower pace and repeat it before we put it up to tempo and see how the moves fit with the music. Then we’ll add a new section at a time until we learn the whole sequence. The sequences themselves are about a minute and a half long that gets repeated within the song. Also I demonstrate the whole time. Even if you can’t hear it, you can watch me and follow along to see when to move and to see how things go together. It took me a while to learn how to catch the beat too. Sometimes it’s a matter of learning how to do movements. People aren’t always comfortable moving their feet around while moving their arms.  So I make sure to break it all down so that we all learn gradually and build it up. 

Once someone completes a term of CIZE with you at CCAE is there an option to move on to a higher level of CIZE or can they continue to take the same class with you each term to dig deeper? 

Yes definitely! There is room to grow and advance in different ways.  Each term, I’ll have new sequences and new songs so students can repeat the same class. Also, there are ways to modify the moves once students master the sequence to up the intensity. CIZE is dancing, so students can add what we call flair. Students may flip their hair to the side with some moves or get a little deeper into each step.   

Can you share more about Insanity and the difference with CIZE?

Insanity is a lot more intense than CIZE.  The idea with Insanity is you work really hard for short stretches of time, which is called max interval training – you work in intervals of maximum effort. We do a lot of bodyweight work so the class is cardio and strength training. In CIZE you still engage all your muscles because you will be moving around, but it's more cardio intensive than Insanity. Since CIZE is a lower impact workout, it’s better for all ages and all ranges. Insanity on the other hand is considered an advanced work out. If you are deciding between the two you need to figure out what you enjoy. If you’re into challenging athletic drills, if the harder someone pushes at you the harder you push back, then Insanity is for you.  In Insanity it’s you versus you. You are working at your own pace, which is different than my pace or anyone else’s pace.  If you are a self-motivator Insanity will be great for you. In CIZE, we do the routines and sequences together. If you want to dance and burn some calories with a group, sign up for CIZE. 

What types of students do you get in your classes at CCAE?

All kinds really! I was surprised that I had 20 year olds through 60 year olds, which I think is really neat. It’s nice to see a range. In my CIZE class, I know that a couple of my students used to dance and there are others who have never danced. It’s very cool that my class is a very mixed group of different capabilities, ages, and experience.

What are your secrets to getting started on fitness and health?


One thing that many people struggle with is exercising for the wrong reasons. I suggest to my students that they should figure out why they want to do something. Wanting great abs or a great physique may not be a good enough reason. Do you want to do be around for your children? Are you working towards running a marathon? Were you recently diagnosed with something and you want to fight that? Find the deeper reason. As goofy as it sounds, ultimately your reason needs to be big enough to drive you through those bad days when you don’t want to exercise. Often you hear about people make big changes after something dramatic happens such as getting diabetes or a heart attack. You need to find your reason before you get to that point.

Balance! Don’t go all or nothing. I eat healthy probably 90% of the time.  I love vegetables at this point and I pretty much just drink water. But, I’ll still enjoy a beer or have a doughnut and I won’t feel bad about it because I know that it won’t destroy everything. Being all or nothing builds you up to fail. People sometimes go cold turkey and it becomes too tough to stick to. I think it’s best to gradually find a happy balance where you’re comfortable making healthy choices and you’re also comfortable indulging every once in a while.

I think people get caught up on numbers a little bit too much.  But I think it’s important to stay motivated by setting realistic goals and celebrating little triumphs. People want to make huge leaps and get easily disappointed when they don’t. Go one inch at a time and do one extra rep. If you celebrate the little things and make them important it will help push you. Then you can say “okay I may not have reached my weight loss goal but I went to the gym every day, I ate vegetables every day, and cut out soda.” Those are big deals.

Don’t be afraid to start. This goes for any class but I especially tell this to my Insanity students because a lot of people come to that class feeling intimidated.  Insanity sounds scary.  But, I always tell my students to do their best. People sometimes set overly high expectations of themselves but it is okay to be not perfect at things and it is okay to be a beginner.  That is part of the learning process.  I even tell my CIZE class that if something isn’t clicking at first and you think you might look stupid, don’t worry! You are still moving around and burning calories. Eventually we will all get it.


To get more information on Coach Doro, visit her website here or follow her in Facebook here.

For more information on the Cambridge Center for Adult Education visit out website at

Edited and Transcribed by Paul Sayed All Photos by Paul Sayed