For some students, the University Recreation Center's 6 a.m. exercise classes are just what they need to get their day off to a good and healthy start.
Effie Bates, a senior movement science major, works at the Rec center and sometimes works the early morning shift. Bates said she typically sees about ten to 15 people per class, but there can be as many as 20.
“We tend to see a very dedicated group of participants who attend the same class each week, especially for the early morning and lunchtime classes,” said Ryan Keller, assistant director for the Rec center.
Attendance is fairly strong for the 6 a.m. classes. Keller said it was not as high as evening classes, but there is usually a better turnout than for the noon classes.
Senior nursing major Jessie Carter is one student who has taken some of those early morning classes.
“I seem to have the most energy in the morning and I get my workout over with,” Carter said.
Carter said she has been taking 6 a.m. workout classes since her freshman year because they fit best with her schedule, making it easier for her to have a consistent workout regimen.
“I am not sure if it was the energy of the class or the instructors themselves, but it had me wanting to attend for more,” Carter said.
Carter said she really enjoyed taking the spin classes and Body Pump classes in the morning.
Body Pump is a Les Mills Program which uses barbells to tone muscles and burn fat, according to part-time group exercise instructor, Katie Henderson.
Henderson began teaching Body Pump classes after an instructor approached her during her workout and encouraged her to attend the class.
“After that, I knew I wanted to teach these classes because I could results physically and mentally,” said Henderson.
Henderson said early morning classes fit best into her schedule because she has three sons and wants to spend time with them in the afternoon.
“The instructors do get to choose their class times to an extent, but we make final decisions based on instructor availability, attendance numbers from previous semesters, and the goal of providing a good variety of formats,” Keller said.
Although Henderson elected to teach these early morning classes she does not always have an energetic character on a daily basis.
“I’m usually pretty spunky, but on the days I am not, I’ll eat half of an apple or banana and wake up during squats. They get me going,” said Henderson.
Although it is possible for student-employees to teach classes, many of the instructors this semester are non-student employees, Keller said.
Carter is certified with group fitness by SCW Fitness and has taught some early morning cycling classes at the university.
“Cycling allowed me to warm up the attendants gradually without shocking their systems with techno music or sprints across the gym and leaves you with a satisfying work out,” Carter said.
The 6 a.m. workout classes are offered Monday through Thursday because attendance usually declines towards the end of the week, Keller said.
Class passes are required for the early morning workouts. About 1500 class passes, including the all-class and individual passes, have been sold, Keller said.