Thursday, September 16, 2021

MSU recreational centers offer group fitness classes

September 1, 2021
<p>The entrance of IM West photographed on Aug. 5, 2021. </p>

The entrance of IM West photographed on Aug. 5, 2021.

After implementing a mandatory fee as a part of tuition for all university students, the recreational facilities at MSU will be offering fitness classes free of any additional charges. 

Rebecca Kegler, MSU’s assistant director for recreational sports with an emphasis on group exercise and fitness classes, manages the group fitness program through hiring, scheduling and training instructors while also leading some classes herself.

“I teach a strength training class called Sculpting with Weights,” Kegler said. “The exercises are adapted from a traditional weight room that uses machines and free weights and we do it in a group in the studio.”

The instructors consist of mostly students and staff members. Some of the students have formal certifications in certain trademarked fitness classes like Zumba or Spinning.

“These classes have been on campus for many years,” Kegler said. “The types of classes change over time, and when I started with the university 15 years ago, I introduced new exercise formats like cardio kickboxing and yoga.”

There is a diverse selection of courses described on the website from Belly Dancing to Tai Chi. Some of the most popular classes among students have been yoga for stress management, Zumba that uses a variety of international music, and indoor cycling because it has a strong cardio component implemented throughout the class.

For this semester, the recreational centers and the group fitness classes are offered to all current MSU students with no additional charge at IM West, IM East and IM Circle.  Currently, there are no specific sign-ups for certain classes and are all run first come, first served.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing into the fall semester, the group fitness classes will be following the university’s decision of mandating masks to be worn indoors in all university buildings or any activities.

Currently, Kegler is looking to hire instructors to go into either a mentor program or fully-certified instructors. Instructors in the mentor program will be training and working alongside a fully-trained instructor to learn how to lead future classes. Training for instructors depends on the individual and where they’re at — fully-trained instructors that are successful in their auditions will be assigned to a class to begin teaching in the fall.

“If a student is interested in becoming an instructor, they most likely are going to be attending two classes a week, but then they will have to make some additional commitment of time on their own outside of the regular classes to practice how to choreograph (and) to practice their routine before they present it in a regular class,” Kegler said. 

Students interested in becoming an instructor can begin their process on the group fitness classes webpage.

For future semesters, Kegler hopes to expand their student-instructor base to open up more opportunities for students to begin fostering a lifelong goal of fitness and healthy living habits. 

“As we have all learned, when you take enough time to take care of yourself, then you're going to be better at everything else that you do,” Kegler said. “You’re going to be just better capable of doing what you want to do if you take enough time to take care of yourself, and that’s part of the goal of what we do.”

For the fall semester, group fitness classes will begin Sept. 7, and a separate schedule will run from Thanksgiving through the last day of the semester. To find more information on which classes are being offered and where they will take place, they will be posted on the class schedule link on the group fitness main page, which will be released Sept. 3.

This article is a part of our Welcome Week print issue. The full issue can be viewed here.

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