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Get fit for free

Some students have stuck to their New Year’s resolution of losing that extra weight and working out more others, not so much.

The good news is it’s not too late. Whether you want a more toned body for spring break or just want to improve your overall health, finding a fitness class that you enjoy can be a fun way to get in shape.

Georgia State offers a plethora of classes at the recreation center, and the free fitness classes have been successful at bringing students in and allowing them to have fun in a judgement-free zone.

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Classes are available for students at all levels. Instructors are beginner-friendly, and the pace of classes are adjusted to accommodate for different skill levels.

There are six classes that have traditionally been offered at the rec center as well as seven new additions this school year. The six original classes are zumba, cycling, step, panther sculpt and two boot camp classes. The new additions are POUND, Express 30, stretch and flow, aqua zumba, core conditioning, learn to leg roll and the vixen workout.

Zumba (Mondays 12-12:50 p.m. and 6:30-7:20 p.m., Fridays from 6-6:50 p.m.)  Aerobic/Dance Studio

This class combines cardio, muscular conditioning, balance and flexibility.

Zumba is a unique Latin-inspired dance that blends different musical styles and dance moves, from reggaeton to belly dancing. There are also zumba styles that focus on toning down to building strength.

“One of the really good things about zumba,” explained Nicki Pickens, instructor for the Friday zumba class. “They actually have a preference for you to add other genres.”

Cycle (Mondays from 12-12:50 p.m. and 5:30-6:20 p.m. in Studio B, Tuesdays from 5:30-6:20, Wednesdays from 7:00-7:40 p.m., Thursdays from 12-12:50 p.m. and 5:30-6:20 p.m.)

Studio B

This class is catered toward cardiovascular health and endurance.

Cycling is an easy way to burn calories for anyone who isn’t a fan of dancing. The class combines a foundation of cycling movements with motivational coaching and musical guidance. Participants can go at their own pace and intensity level. Class sizes may be limited, however, by the number of machines available.

Step (Mondays 1-1:50 p.m., Thursdays 4-4:50 p.m.)

Aerobic/Dance Studio

Participants use steps and risers to tone their legs and improve cardiovascular endurance. Music is also incorporated, with the rhythm of the songs making the workout feel more like dancing.

Panther Sculpt (Mondays 4-4:40 p.m., Wednesdays 4-4:50 p.m., Thursdays 5:30-6:20)

Aerobic/Dance Studio

Panther sculpt is a full body workout that incorporates weights, steps, resistance bands and anaerobic exercises to get a full body workout.

Freshman Malia Banks-Cotton attends both the panther sculpting and cycling classes. A former athlete, Banks-Cotton uses the classes as a way to break away from schoolwork and get back in shape.

“So far I’ve been getting good results, but I’m tired,” she said. “[I’ve been] an athlete since I was 8. I was like ‘I can’t just let my body go,’ so I wanted to just get back to doing exercises.”

Boot camp (Tuesdays 4-4:50 p.m., Wednesdays 9-9:50 a.m.)

Aerobic/Dance Studio

Boot camp is one of the tougher classes, and it also incorporates a full-body workout into less than one hour. Participants mix aerobic and anaerobic activities and use different equipment to work as many muscle groups as possible.

HIIT Boot camp (Tuesdays 5:30-6:20 p.m.)

Aerobic/Dance Studio

This class is structured similarly to boot camp but with a high intensity interval training element added to it. This just means that it takes a cardio workout and adds short bursts of full effort, typically in 20-to-90 second reps. The point is to increase the intensity of the workout as opposed to endurance workouts like jogging. HIIT boot camp also uses plyometrics, weight training and cardio drills to improve strength and agility.

Students can use cross-training to improve all around fitness by going to different classes. This past fall four new classes were added, and three more were added in January for the spring semester.

Fall additions:

POUND (Wednesdays 6-6:50 p.m.)

Studio B

“Feel like a Rockstar with this full body jam session inspired by the infectious, energizing, and sweat-dripping fun of playing the drums. Class size is limited to 15 participants,” reads the Recreation Center website.

Express 30 (Tuesdays from 12-12:30 p.m.)

Aerobic/Dance Studio

For those who are on a tight schedule, Express 30 is a rapid cardio workout that can help give you a quick burst of energy for the day.

Stretch and flow (Thursdays 12-12:30 p.m.)

Aerobic/Dance Studio

This class uses yoga techniques to improve flexibility and mobility.

Aqua Zumba (Mondays 3-3:50 p.m.)

Aquatics Center

Aqua zumba is like doing zumba at a pool party. The resistance of the water adds an extra element to the workout. The combination of music and dancing makes it hardly feel like a workout at all, and participants can continue to enjoy the pool or head over to the sauna after the class is over.

Spring additions:

Vixen Workout (Tuesdays 6:30-7:20 p.m., Wednesdays 12-12:50 p.m., Thursdays 6:30-7:20 p.m.)

Aerobic/Dance Studio

This workout uses fierce, expressive moves with a lot of hip swinging and attitude. The eccentric style makes students feel empowered, confident and sexy.

“You just feel like you’re dancing on stage with Beyonce or Jay-Z,” said one student who attends the class.

Learn to Leg Roll (Thursdays 5-5:50 p.m.)

Aquatics Center

The benefits of foam-rolling muscles include increasing range of motion, improving blood flow and relieving tension from tight or sore muscles. The class also improves agility and incorporates core workouts to help burn calories as well.

Core Conditioning (Mondays 5-5:20 p.m.)

Aerobic/Dance Studio

Another quick class for students who don’t have much time, this 20-minute workout teaches different ways to target, train and strengthen your core.

The fitness classes at the recreation center are great for all experience levels and body types. Students have a place to express themselves through dance or just get a good workout with experienced instructors. Either way, the classes offer a healthy and fun way to stay active and meet people on campus.

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