This semester’s group fitness classes at the Student Fitness Center include dance, cardio and strength training, with classes like cycling and high intensity interval training.
Helen Nelson, a senior nursing major from St. Charles, Missouri, teaches Cycle Express, a 30-minute introductory cycling class. She said she tries to make the class fun by offering themed rides such as a Justin Bieber ride, an ‘80s ride and a Britney Spears ride.
"I incorporate a lot of different types of cycling, so I incorporate sprints, flats, climbs, standing climbs. I do different resistances throughout the rides which just add some fun to it,” Nelson said. “I think it mixes it up for people that have never done cycling before and it’s a good beginner class.”
Nelson said people should at least try group fitness, because they might like it and if they don’t, they never have to go back. She said to accommodate beginners, she takes time to show them how to get on the bike step by step, so all participants are on the same playing field.
"If anybody needs help getting up, getting on the bike and getting set up, I'll step off my bike and take the time to help them get set up so that they're comfortable,” Nelson said.
Nelson said cycling is a good way for people with joint issues to do cardio.
“It's non-weight bearing, so [for] anyone who has issues with their knees or hips or anything like that, it’s really good,” Nelson said.
Charlie Hubbs, a graduate student in the kinesiology program from Millstadt, Illinois, teaches the high intensity interval training class. He said he likes HIIT because it requires little to no equipment.
"A lot of barriers to exercise are lack of equipment and lack of time,” Hubbs said. “It combines both of those things. We can combine a workout, intense work periods with short rest intervals and we can compress it into half an hour and you can still get the benefit of an hour.”
Hubbs said the hardest part of joining a class is getting started.
"If you come to class, you might make a friend, you might find something you really enjoy, it might lead you to try something else. If you don't like this class, maybe you’ll try another one,” Hubbs said.
Ashlyn Tocco, fitness program coordinator at the Student Fitness Center, creates the schedule for group fitness classes. She said some may prefer group fitness over an individual workout because it’s more secluded.
"Some people don't want to be on the weight floor and part of a bunch of people, so being in that group in this room, it is a private space, and it doesn't feel like as much of a workout because you're not having to think through it for yourself,” Tocco said. “An instructor has it all planned out, you just have to follow what they say.”
Tocco said students should register for classes on the app IMLeagues, but walk-ins are welcome unless they’ve hit capacity.
"You register on IMLeagues with your SIUE email. It's super easy, and you just make an account and then you pull out this register for group fitness classes and intramural sports, so it has a dual purpose,” Tocco said.
The group fitness schedule can be found on Campus Recreation’s website.
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