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Group workouts offer fitness, fun

Published: Monday, January 27, 2014

Updated: Monday, January 27, 2014 18:01


Staci Vandagriff, Staff Photographer

Rebekah Colvin, a mass communication alumni of Jonesboro, works out while reading a book Sunday night in the Red WOLF Center.

Students have the opportunity to make personal fitness their first priority this semester with group fitness classes offered at the Red WOLF Center. With strength training, cardio classes and Zumba dance, Red WOLF offers fun, friends and fitness that can extend far beyond a New Year’s resolution.

Engaging in group exercise can help keep people motivated and committed to fitness, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. The Red WOLF Center is home to a variety of group fitness classes suitable for every training need, from the fun and friendly to the heart pumping and calorie burning.

Membership in the Red WOLF Center is included with the Student Activity fee. Student admittance, including to fitness classes, requires only a valid student ID card and a towel.

“Our most popular class is definitely Zumba,” said Joe Paul Glidewell, junior nutritional science major of Newport and Red WOLF Center employee.

Zumba attracts 30-40 participants each class period and on occasion is moved from the second floor multipurpose room into the first floor MAC gymnasium to accommodate the continually growing class size.

The audience for this Latin and international music inspired dance fitness class is primarily female, according to Trey Hicks, associate coordinator of building services and campus recreation.

“There are a couple of guys in there every now and then, but it’s definitely a mostly female group,” Hicks said.

Participants get down and get active in this one-hour hip-hop/pop themed class, and newcomers to Zumba are always welcome.

Zumba is offered 6-7 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.

Yoga is another evening fitness class attracting a large following, according to Hicks.

“Yoga has been a very popular class for several semesters now,” Hicks said. “On the very first day we had 50 people (in the class).”

Yoga classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-6 p.m. and Fridays from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

For a more serious muscle-building workout participants can try their hand at High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT.

“It’s 30 minutes for a reason,” Hicks said. “That class would probably earn the ‘most-calorie-burning’ title.”

HIIT utilizes free weights, straight bars, body weight and cardio conditioning exercises to create a concentrated half-hour of full-body drills.

“That class is, for the most part, exactly what it says. High intensity interval training,” Kicks said. HIIT meets from 5:00-5:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.

Sports Conditioning is a new class taught by Ashley Olvera, a former A-State basketball player. This class consists of a variety of full-body exercises intermixed with cardiovascular workouts. Olvera has built upon her athletic background to create a full fitness class reminiscent of her college basketball training days.

Sports Conditioning meets from 8-9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.

Back for another semester is Cardiobox, taught by former Marine boxer Ryan Kalousek. This class highlights all kinds of cardio work and a variety of boxing styles taken from Kalousek’s military background.

“Predominantly, females show up for that one,” Hicks said. “You would think it would be more male, but this class is really popular with the females.” Cardiobox jabs, uppercuts and punches its way to fitness from 7-8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday nights.

Butts & Guts is also popular among the ladies of A-State. The class focuses on the core and glute muscles to target the areas students use the most. Jump roping, body squats and leg workouts combine to create a targeted workout, with a half-hour time that can neatly fit into any schedule.

Butts & Guts is offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30-7 p.m.

Power Hour is exactly what the name suggests: one powerful hour of strength, conditioning and flexibility.

“Besides in yoga, flexibility isn’t really focused on in other classes,” Hicks said.

But students aren’t going to be spending their time in this class sitting down. Free weight strength and core training will give all participants a complete fitness workout.

Power Hour is Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 p.m. and Fridays from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The late evening class WOLF Strong combines 11-12 different exercises in station format to keep participants moving and engaged in a variety of strength-training and cardio-conditioning activities. WOLF strong is an ideal choice for an active-at-night student, and meets from 8-9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In addition to the evening classes Red WOLF Center offers two 6:30-7:30 morning classes on alternate weekdays.

On Monday and Wednesday, Body Sculpt utilizes free weights, yoga balls, stretch bands and body weight exercises to formulate an early-morning full-body fitness routine.

The Tuesday and Thursday morning Spin class is 45 minutes of straight cardio, according to instructor Jordan McDaniel, sophomore exercise science major of Smackover and Red WOLF Center employee. The 6:30 a.m. class utilizes stationary bicycles to form an indoor cycling group traveling resistance-created hills, slopes and flatlands.

Spin’s attendance numbers have already increased from the fall semester. The early morning time, while off-putting for some students, can set participants on the right track for all-day energy and fitness.

“It gives you more energy, for sure,” McDaniel said. “It’s crazy how much energy you get from it.”

Motivation is a huge factor in deciding to participate in a Red WOLF Center fitness class.

“If you can get yourself up in the morning to do Spin, you will get in shape,” Hicks said.

Participants in every Red WOLF fitness class are encouraged to bring water and a towel, and arrive on time to properly warm up.

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