Rec Center kicks up a variety of fitness classes

By Collin Leicht

At the Campus Recreation Center, a commanding voice echoed from one of the rooms: “Jab, twist, pull, punch, kick! That’s your target!”

The voice belonged to kickboxing instructor Bethany Bohlig. Her students followed each command, hitting their imaginary targets with painful combinations of punches and kicks.

Kickboxing is just one of many group fitness activities offered at the Rec Center in addition to activities such as yoga, hip-hop, step and the latest stationary-cycling trend, Spin.

Fitness coordinator Becky Lewis said enrollment in the group fitness programs has been good. At least 300 students and faculty participate in the group fitness program each semester, with most activity during the winter months, when students are not likely to get involved in outdoor activities.

Passes range from $30 to $55 for students and Recreation Services members and allow admittance to any aerobic activities offered by the Rec Center.

Lewis said the varied schedule provides different fitness experiences throughout the week, including instructors trained to teach multiple activities. She also said she chooses various programs based on “what’s hot;” students, instructors and the latest trends comprise the decisions that keep the group fitness program popular. Staying in vogue includes specialization; the Recreation Center Web site lists four different types of yoga.

Yoga is a system of exercises for attaining bodily or mental control and well-being. Yoga has roots in Hindu theistic philosophy, although the version popular in the fitness industry represents only one branch of the traditional artform.

Nikki Caiafa, a sophomore journalism major who attended last year’s classes, said although the yoga offered by the Rec Center is primarily a fitness program, she learned a lot more than just stretches.

One of the teachings in the class is a “sun-salutation,” which stems from a traditional morning ritual.

Caiafa said the spiritual aspects she has learned from the class will probably remain with her, even though she is not attending this semester.

“It’s too difficult to get a parking space,” she said.

For more information on the Rec Center Group Fitness program, call 753-0231 or visit