Avoid the freshman (sophomore, junior and senior) 15 with Kosama

IV Githens does leg lifts during the hour-long exercise session Feb. 28 at Kosama on Main Street.

Emily Drees

The Freshman 15 is a legend in college history. Going to college means freedom, freedom to eat what sounds good whenever it sounds good.

It means piling on the food at the dining center, or indulging in french fries and ice cream for dinner. It sometimes can mean less exercise or late nights accompanied by caffeine and sugary snacks.

So how does one avoid the freshman, and sometimes even sophomore, junior and senior, 15? Iowa State and Ames offer many options for staying healthy and fit.

ISU dining centers do not provide trays, making it easier to pick up less food, which in turn leads to less wasted food.

Iowa State also has two gyms, Lied and State Gym.

Ames has many gyms available as well to the community and students, such as the Ames Racquet and Fitness center.

However, there is another option that Lindsey Conkling, junior in biology, said is “the best kept secret.”

That is Kosama.

Kosama’s website says “the Kosama studio is designed for high intensity classes and exercise programs built around the same principles used by world class athletes when they train but general enough for all fitness levels.”

Kosama is based around the idea of muscle confusion. When starting a new workout program, the body can show change quickly, but the body is smart.

Progress can slow and may even level off because the body adapts to a routine. Kosama switches up the routine daily with classes that include kettlebells, kickboxing, plyometrics, resistance bars, suspension training and weighted bars to keep the muscles confused and growing.

Owner of Kosama Ames, Kyle Van Winkle, said they encourage students to get involved by hosting sorority and fraternity nights, having team nights where different ISU teams go in to workout together and constantly offering different specials that accommodate students’ budgets.

“The first week is on me for students,” Van Winkle said. “I welcome new people in to give it a try to see if they like it before they commit to anything.”

Van Winkle said the atmosphere is different than most gyms.

“We want to make it like a family feel. We try to get to know everyone personally, whereas other gyms you’re just another name and number. We strive to make it a fun, friendly atmosphere that people can also get good results in.”

Mykel Carlson, one of the coaches at Kosama, said anybody can take advantage of this program, even if they are just beginning.

“It’s very accommodating to everybody. We tell you what to do every minute of the entire class, and we help you to get the perfect form to achieve the best workout. This takes out all of the guessing and ensures an awesome workout,” Carlson said.

Leigh Pomnitz, junior in kinesiology, said she goes to Kosama with friends every time, so it’s “not only a workout, but it’s something fun to do as a group.”

There are many options to be active, get involved, stay fit, stay healthy and beat the freshman 15.

“It’s safe to say the freshman 15 crosses everyone’s mind at some point or another,” Conkling said. “Between the facilities offered at Iowa State and the open doors of Kosama, I’ve been lucky enough to stay healthy and fit.”