Rec Center offers programs to help get fit for summer


A group of students take a basic yoga class at the KSU Student Recreation and Wellness Center on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.

Kelsie Britton

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center combines exercise facilities with hands-on coaching to help students get fit.

Ben Cope, fitness coordinator for the Department of Recreational Services, said the Rec Center seeks to provide students with the necessary tools to transform their health, such as nutritional counseling and fitness assessments.

“With the fitness assessment, you get tested for all the different realms of fitness, like muscular strength and endurance, body composition, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance,” Cope said. “Kind of getting the baseline of where you are. And the nutrition component, they examine your diet and see if you’re deficient in something and kind of teach you how to eat. A lot of people don’t understand that when they start working out, they have to eat for what they’re about to do.”

Cope said he recommends that students interested in getting in shape sign up for some of the center’s instructional programs.

“The cool thing about classes is there’s kind of an accountability involved where it’s a social thing, so you get to know people, and you don’t show up and one day and they’re like, ‘Where were you?’” Cope said. “Just coming down and freelancing and kind of doing your own thing and having no structure, that works for some people, but a lot of people need structure.”

Students may also attend any of the center’s free orientation to help get acclimated to the gym environment, or purchase a “Group X” pass, which is a pass to attend any of the 90-to-110 classes offered by the center each week, including Pilates, Zumba, spinning and water aerobics.

“Everything you can think of,” Cope said. “For students, it’s only $40 for a whole semester, so as long as you do two classes a week, it pretty much pays for itself.”

The Rec Center keeps six personal trainers on staff and offers a variety of personal training packages.

Andrew Balazs, personal trainer at the Rec Center, works with clients looking to improve their quality of life through fitness.

“There are half hour sessions, one hour sessions, and if you’re coming in with a friend, you can do a one hour session with two people,” Balazs said.

Balazs said there is also a new package called the Quick Start Program, which is essentially a test version of the personal training packages.

“It’s about getting them to understand that the gym is not a scary place,” Balazs said. “It’s not a place to feel intimidated. There is nothing you can really lose from coming in and seeing where you are physically or understanding where you’re body is.”

Cope said he agreed that some students might be intimidated about coming to the Rec Center, but that there is no need to be nervous or self-conscious.

“Everyone is really doing their own thing and isn’t overly concerned with anybody else,” Cope said. “If you were to ask, ‘What did this person have on? What color were their pants? What was their hair like?’ You wouldn’t be able to answer any of those questions. It’s almost like a false fear in a way.”

Cope said that the benefits of working out are worth the time commitment.

“Students in general have a lot going on, especially if they have jobs. ‘I have this much time in a day. Is this hour of my day, is it worth taking time and coming down here?’” he said. “You can have a really bad day and you work out, and you feel really good. Your body releases endorphins, the ‘feel-good chemical’ that literally makes you feel better. Your body rewards you for working out.”

Juliana Paixao, junior chemistry major, goes to the Rec Center almost every day.

“I think it’s really amazing. The downstairs workout station is my favorite part,” Paixao said. “I stay there for a long time.”

Students with at least five credit hours are automatically qualified for the center’s student membership, which provides access to everything from massages to instructional classes at discounted prices.

“We’re at the point now where if you walk around, people are working out in every nook and cranny of the facility these days,” Cope said. “It’s a good problem to have.”

Contact Kelsie Britton at [email protected].