Shelby Pierson gave Quinnipiac students a chance to sample six different fitness courses Saturday while also showcasing the new gym at York Hill’s Rocky Top Student Center.
The second annual Fitfest was hosted by York Hill’s resident assistants as a responsibility program to show students how working out can benefit their lives.
“It was also designed to highlight the fitness center because a lot of people don’t understand a lot of the different classes we put on, or a lot of people are intimidated by an hour-long kickboxing class. It’s just not convenient necessarily,” said Pierson, a senior resident assistant and athletic training major who spearheaded the event. “This is a chance for them to come and try it and see if they like it and work it into their schedule.”
Pierson said 40 different people attended at least one class, and they enjoyed free food and drinks – funded by residential life – for participating. Assistant Athletic Director for Fitness and Wellness Tami Reilly provided the prizes given away in a raffle, which included gift cards, a yoga mat and DVD, T-shirts and pedometers.
As Pierson expected, the most popular class of the day was Zumba, which once catered to a class of 60 students in Mount Carmel’s Recreation Center earlier this year.
“People just want something new,” Pierson said of Zumba. “It’s like dancing and a lot of people – college-aged – like going out to the clubs and dancing. It’s probably just a fun way to work out and it’s completely different from anything you’ve ever done.”
Yoga class instructor Jen Weber said she learned a lot from a Pilates class she attended and worked one of the weekly Pilates classes into her schedule.
“I think people are still learning where classes are and we’re going to adjust the schedule so the classes will be in more convenient times for students,” said Weber, a graduate student majoring in physical therapy.
Fitfest was promoted mainly through a Facebook group and e-mails, and Weber said if the event were held on a weeknight and promoted more there could have been a bigger turnout.
Reilly said this year’s event had more participants than last year, despite it being held at the less-crowded gym at York Hill. Reilly estimated 800 students go through Mount Carmel’s Recreation Center each day compared to 200 per day at Rocky Top’s gym.
Pierson said she wants to coordinate and promote fitness events like Fitfest professionally and wishes students of both genders would ask more about how to get involved in fitness classes.
“I think college students don’t have enough balance in their workout routine, both male and female,” Pierson said. “There are some people who definitely get it and do really well, but for the most part you are going to find guys lifting weights and get girls doing cardio for hours at a time. But if you cut it in half and do the opposite of what you’re doing, you’ll probably see better results, be in better health and make life-long habits.”
Photo credit: Fitness Center