Central group fitness classes

Samuel Beaumonte, Staff Reporter

With fall quarter coming to a close, the recreation center has begun preparing roughly 23 new group fitness courses for winter quarter.

“There are three different kinds of classes: mind-body, boot-camp formats and dance-format classes,” Health Coordinator Shayne Wittkopp said.

Students can attend these courses by purchasing a $3 one-class pass, a $15 punch card that allows them to participate in ten classes or a $40 quarter-long pass.

“The first week of every quarter is demo-week, where every student can try a class for free,” said Wittkopp. “I want everyone to feel good in their skin and about their health. I believe that everyone should exercise. If [students] need help fitting in or being a part of a community, they can always come here.”

Abby Mertell, one of the lead instructors for group fitness classes, has been teaching these courses for three years. Mertell currently teaches cycling, calorie crush and the rise, ride and reps classes.

“I think that students burn from 700 to 950 calories in my rise, ride and reps class,” Mertell said. “It offers the best workout of my classes by mixing weight training with cycling. It’s a good workout and it’s a lot of fun, you make friends and get to know others through the experience as well.”

Mertell enjoys seeing students progress throughout the quarter and enjoys being there at the end to see what kind of progress they have made.

“The best part about teaching is helping people to stick with a good healthy routine and help them to reach their personal goals,” Mertell said. “I enjoy seeing the students that stick through it and how they progress, build muscle and feel more comfortable with themselves.”

Another lead instructor, senior accounting major Alex Tansy runs some of the courses in her free time.

“I’ve been teaching for two and a half years through my undergrad,” Tansy said. “It’s really fun since you make a lot of friends with your students. At the beginning of class when you say hello, we share really exciting events that have happened through our week and get to know everyone.”

In addition to a Zumba course, Tansy also leads the killer countdown lesson, abs and glutes and a cycle class.

“Zumba is easily the most popular class, it’s high-energy and there’s loud music. You don’t really stop working out, you take a water break and you keep going at it,” Tansy said. “It’s a dance-format and as the instructor I create the routine for the students to follow. I like the course because it’s a workout, but you don’t realize it [un]til you’re finished and you’re exhausted and covered in sweat.”

In a typical Zumba class, Tansy believes that students burn somewhere from 500 to 1,000 calories.

One of the new group fitness courses being offered this quarter, melt my muffin top, is being taught by instructor Jackie O’Connor.

“We mainly focus on cardio and core, but each class is a bit different,” O’Connor said. “Pretty much every week we do something different to mix it up. I try to show variation for different fitness levels. We use a lot of body weight, hand weight and body-bar exercises.”

O’Connor has been teaching kickboxing and cycle courses since 2005, and likes to see a variety of repeat students and fresh faces attending her classes.

“I feel that by mixing it up and offering a variety of formats it makes the time feel like it’s going faster,” O’Connor said. “We try group and partner work in the class that makes it a lot more fun. I like to show different levels and modifications in class so that everyone can feel successful.”