Recreation Services offers fitness classes for all tastes

Jesse Leonard, freshman in mechanical engineering, and Ronny Thom, junior in aerospace engineering, stretch out after a strength training session during the CYclo Cross fitness class at Lied Recreational Athletic Center. The Monday night class provides a workout geared toward anyone aiming to improve their fitness levels for summer competitions.

Joy Wessels

Finding new and creative ways to work out can be a challenge in itself. A growing trend for girls is finding a routine that will give them a slender, sexy body. Guys, especially at the college level, tend to want a workout with high intensity and includes heavy weights. So how can ISU students of both genders get the results they want?

Recreation Services offers a variety of group fitness classes to appeal to all skill levels. Eileen Stevens, group fitness student supervisor and senior in kinesiology, said each group fitness instructor gets to design their own class, after going through training themselves. 

“We learn the basics about the body, and then move into a more defined area depending on what each instructor wants to teach,” Stevens said.

Stevens can also see the division between males and females for different classes.

“In the past, kickboxing and yoga have been really popular among girls,” Stevens said.

Some new classes have been designed to interest more girls. One of these classes, Piloxing, combines kick boxing and Pilates. Zumba, a Latin dance and cardio class has also been introduced to Iowa State’s fitness classes.

“We’ve also started to see more guys coming to our high intensity classes like boot camp and extreme abs.”

But as more classes are designed, the mix of both guys and girls is evident as well. Though yoga is generally stereotyped as being for girls, the mental and physical discipline is attractive to some guys. Nick Schneider, sophomore in psychology, goes to a group fitness yoga class three times a week.

“Yoga isn’t for girls only, it’s just as important for guys to have flexibility,” Schneider said. “It’s a really good cross training activity for running and rock climbing, and pretty relaxing too.”

Another class that appeals to guys is Xtreme Fitness, taught by Collin Kilburg and Matthew Kenny, both seniors in kinesiology.

“The class is based on muscular endurance,” Kenny said. “It’s an extreme circuit without a lot of breaks.”

The class was designed to give male college students what they ask for — high intensity and large weights — drawing inspiration from military-style workouts such as P90X.

“We use dumbbells and resistance bands, with the goal of working to fatigue,” Kilburg said.

Whether students are looking for a class that lets them add some Latin flavor, a workout that will really push their bodies to the limit, or a little bit of both, there seems to be something for everyone with Iowa State’s group fitness classes.

For a complete schedule of fitness classes check out the Recreation Services website.