The J.B. O’Keefe Fitness Centre at St. Thomas University will begin offering free fitness classes to students, staff, and faculty members starting this week.
There will be two classes per week, both held in the basketball court in the gym.
Strength training is scheduled Monday evenings from 5:30 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. , and circuit training is Thursday mornings from 6:45 to 7:45.
Sabina Marco has been a fitness instructor at STU for six years and will be doing the strength training this year. Prior to training at STU, she has been a personal trainer and fitness instructor for 15 years at UNB and the YMCA.
“I got my first certification at the YMCA in Fredericton,” said Marco. “And I get upgrading through Fitness N.B. every three years.”
Marco’s strength training class is for every age and fitness level. It is conducted through the use of dumbbells, barbells, stretch-bands and music. Marco said its like lifting weights to music with warm ups and cools downs.
“You choose your equipment before class starts and I lead them through the class. Everyone can go at their own pace, and use the weights that work for them,” said Marco
Each year, a handful of regulars attend her classes. “I have a pretty consistent crew with people who work on campus (but) there is a higher turnout rate for students because students come and go,” said Marco.
She said anyone interested in the class can show up 30 minutes before and will be required to fill out a fitness questionnaire regarding history and fitness level.
“(They) just need a water bottle and a good pair of sneakers. Everything is provided by STU,” said Marco.
Marco’s says she plays up-beat and up to date dance music to keep the young crowd happy.
“The reason I teach this type of class is for students to learn to lift weights properly. I teach proper techniques in order for them to learn what to use in the weight room.” She said that people who take her class will often go into the gym at other times and do what they learned from her class every Friday night.
She is also planning on a six-week, Friday night boot-camp class. This class will be offered to non-members of the J.B. O’Keefe gym. There will be a fee associated with the class but the price is still un-determined.
Marco’s sister Susi Chamberlain is the fitness instructor for the Thursday morning circuit training class.
Chamberlain is also certified through Fitness N.B. where she studied Fitness Theory and Group Fitness which taught her how to lead a class. She said she teamed up with her sister at STU because Sabina needed help so and decided to get her certification and get involved.
Chamberlain’s hour-long class will involve moving from one workout station to another in 50 second intervals with a 10 second rest period in between. Each station will be equipped with workout equipment for every fitness level.
The class will focus on strength, core and cardio training, with a 10 minute cool down at the end to stretch.
“It’s open to anybody (that has a gym membership),” said Chamberlain, “You make it as hard as you want it to be.
” If a person has a certain type of injury, Chamberlain will modify the workout stations to adapt to certain restrictions.
Chamberlain is hoping for a big turnout this year and is running her program till Christmas but will extend it throughout the school-year if numbers are up. She also plans to incorporate a Tuesday class depending on numbers.
“All you need are your gym shoes, a water bottle and a towel,” said Chamberlain.
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