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New classes at the rec

By Chelsea Tirrell, Special to The Chronicle

On Sept. 13, the University's Fitness Center held their first round of classes - some new, some old - and pulled in more attendees than anticipated. The following day, more than 100 students gathered, setting a new record for class attendance.

Turbo kick, Epic Abs, Zumba and personal training are among the new offerings. Pilates, Body Sculpt and Aikido are older classes that have stuck around due to their popularity.

"The decision to bring new classes into the Fitness Center was [made] to keep up with current fitness trends and also meet the needs of our campus community, particularly those of our students," said Director of Recreation and Intramural Sports, Patricia A. Montagano.

According to the American Council of Exercise, such fitness trends include cost-conscious workouts, group training and time-efficient workouts. Considering the activities are free, taken by multiple students at a time and an hour long, they're targeting these trends. 

Aside from attending for these reasons, students are also hoping they'll be in better shape by correcting their biggest exercise mistakes.

"When they do pushups, they usually just go down and sort of jolt their heads on the way up," notes Body Sculpt instructor Jean Telefort, who has been teaching since fall of 2008. "When someone comes to my class, they get the foundation of doing it properly. We do quality over quantity and that's good for anyone trying to lose weight."

Body Sculpt class incorporates aerobics and muscle work, an ideal combination that "provides the best of both worlds," he said.

Montagano believes the exciting classes and excellent instructors will encourage students to make them a part of their fitness regimens.

"We want students to be excited that these opportunities are offered on their campus. We want them to take part in them, and overall, we want them to have a fun and healthy fitness experience!"

"I was a little uneasy about the new rec classes," said sophomore Jenna Masnyk. However, after attending them and working with the instructors, I realized that they're not only fun and energizing, they also appeal to many different types of students."

Zumba, a class that burns calories and energizes by incorporating Latin-flavored movements with up-beat music, is responsible for breaking the attendance record this past week. The trend is persistent; students fill up half a basketball court every class.

Telefort is hoping that by taking the classes, students will achieve great fitness, quality of life, balance and a sense of accomplishment.

"It's truly rewarding to see the transformations," Telefort concluded.

Classes are held seven days a week. Schedules for the fall semester can be found online or at the Fitness Center.

Turbo kick, Epic Abs, Zumba and personal training classes are now offered. (Michaela Papa/The Chronicle)

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