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New group fitness classes to challenge students

Buckeye Bootcamp and Zumba Step fitness classes on Wed., July 27th, 2016. (Morgan Clark/ Ohio State University / Office of Student Life)

Buckeye Bootcamp and Zumba Step fitness classes on Wed., July 27th, 2016. (Morgan Clark/ Ohio State University / Office of Student Life)

Students now have even more ways to stay fit at Ohio State.

This semester, the Office of Student Life will be offering a total of 112 group fitness classes each week. Eighteen of those will take place at the newly-opened North Recreation Center, which will offer crowd favorites of circuit cycle, yoga and dance-based classes.   

New offerings at the RPAC include Zumba step, yoga inversions and Buckeye Bootcamp. The Women’s Field House will also introduce candlelight power yoga.

Krista Bonikowske, a second-year graduate student in sports management, will teach Buckeye Bootcamp on Wednesday evenings in the South Gym of the RPAC. The hour-long circuit-style class of agility and conditioning drills will utilize newly-obtained tires along with water rowers and ropes.

“The focus of the class is really to try to provide a higher intensity for those looking to change out the workout, but also to pick movements that are much more functional to everyday lifting, carrying and moving,” Bonikowske said.

Bonikowske thinks that it will appeal to those who like structure and familiarity in class as well.

“They can see what’s coming up next,” she said. “It’s definitely going to be one of those classes where people can anticipate how they want to make the workout either more or less challenging.”  

In the middle of the class, which is limited to 32 people, the group will split up into teams and complete some sort of team challenge, such as a relay race. Bonikowske said this builds community, something she and Alice Adams, group fitness coordinator, both said is an important part of group fitness.

“All of our instructors work really hard to build community in their classes so that if you are someone who hasn’t worked out before, you will instantly feel welcomed and comfortable,” Adams said. “You hopefully won’t feel like you don’t know what you’re doing because you’ll have not only the instructor but all of these people in the class who are learning and figuring it out as well.”

The yoga inversions class, taking place on Friday evenings, was introduced to the schedule this semester because of its popularity when it was introduced on Reading Day last semester. It focuses on any poses that bring the head below the heart, working to get participants strong enough perform headstands and other inverted poses, Adams said.

A step class may bring to mind fitness of the ‘80s, but Zumba step — offered on Friday afternoons — has a twist to it, Adams said.

“It still definitely has the fun and the rhythm of the Zumba,” she said.

The new candlelight power yoga at Women’s Field House offers more of a studio feel with battery-operate candles and caters to the late-night gym crowd at the recreation centers, Adams said.

She also emphasized the idea that anyone can participate in group fitness, no matter one’s fitness level.

“Any of our offerings can be adapted to anybody, so that if a beginner wants to try Buckeye Bootcamp we can definitely get them ready for that,” Adams said. “But for those people who have been working out for a while and coming to our classes for a while, some of these new classes will be an added challenge for them to switch up their workout.”

The full group fitness schedule can be found on the Recreational Sports website.

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