Today@Sam Article

Recreational Sports Offers Two Programs To Help Achieve Fitness Goals

Jan. 9, 2017
SHSU Media Contact: Lane Fortenberry

Sam Houston's Recreational Sports personal trainers use equipment featured in upcoming group fitness classes in their personal training studios. —Photo from Recreational Sports

What’s one of the most commonly picked New Year’s resolutions? You probably guessed correctly–hitting the gym and losing weight. Sam Houston’s Recreational Sports Department has a new program starting Jan. 16 that can help Bearkats achieve just that, as well as a new semester of the Women on Weights class and new hours for the Rec Sports Center.

GroupX is a rebranded form of group fitness classes that provides more than 50 classes a week to help people lose weight, get fit and get toned. There are a wide variety of classes in the four major categories: strength, cardio, mind/body, and cycling. Classes are held everyday except Saturday.

GroupX classes are a great way to start exercising because they are more structured than just going to the gym, according to Scott Berkowitz, Recreational Sports assistant director of fitness.

“The classes have a little more of a social atmosphere rather than when you go to workout alone,” said Berkowitz. “When you go to a group fitness class, everything is already planned out for you. It’s going to be a class that pushes you to work out a little bit harder.”

The classes are suitable for all fitness experience levels because all trainers are suited to teach at beginner, intermediate and advanced fitness levels, according to Berkowitz.

“It’s a good way to start a New Year’s resolution because you don’t really have to know anything about fitness or really have even exercised before,” said Berkowitz. “The instructor is going to teach you how to do all the different exercises. You don’t have to worry about not being motivated because there are 10 to 15 other people in that class with a certified instructor leading the way. All you have to do is attend and follow what’s going on.”

Attending four classes a week would reach the “2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans” physical activity recommendation.

“There are so many classes to pick from,” said Berkowitz. “We have low and high intensity cardio, cycling, strength, and mind-body classes. We have a new class called barre toning, which is actually on a ballet barre and it’s a mixture of yoga, Pilates and toning classes. It’s very heavy on core stability and using your legs and upper body to help keep you balanced, as opposed to just using the ground.

“The benefits from the classes really depend on what your goals are. You don’t want to stick with just one specific class, though. We encourage you to go to a variety of them,” he said. “If you want to start with the minimum of four classes per week, I would pick two strength classes, either one or two cardio classes, and maybe throw in a mind-body class.”

Both students and non-students can attend classes for free from Jan. 16-29 with an active Sam ID and a towel. The mats and weights are provided. There is also an incentive to purchase a semester pass during the trial period.

“We actually encourage people to buy their GroupX semester pass during that period because it’s discounted $10 from the normal rate,” said Berkowitz. “So the rate would be $35 for students and $45 for non-students. After Jan. 29, it increases $10, to $45 for students and $55 for non-students. That pass gets you unlimited classes through the end of the semester.”

Bearkats can complete the GroupX Fitness Challenge by attending a set amount of classes throughout the semester. Towels are given to people who attend 25 classes and water bottles to those who attend 40 classes. GroupX Challenge shirts are given to those who attend 60 classes.

Recreational Sports also developed Women on Weights, a program designed to assist women in understanding the basics of weightlifting and boosting their confidence in a gym environment.

“It’s a class geared towards teaching women how to be comfortable lifting weights and how to be comfortable in the weight room,” said Scott Berkowitz, assistant director of fitness. “The class is held in our personal training studio. It’s a very private environment led by one of our female certified personal trainers. She goes over how to have proper form and overall weight-room etiquette.”

Because physical activity recommendations for both men and women include 150-300 minutes of cardio and two to three sessions of weight lifting per week it’s important that women also lift weights.

“A lot of women will not lift weights because they either don’t feel comfortable or have read that cardio is the way to go to tone up and lose weight,” said Berkowitz. “In reality, you have to have that combo. Just being comfortable going to the gym to lift weights and not really worrying about how much you’re lifting is important.

“I’ve seen some women lift more than men on some exercises and that’s just the way it is. One person is going to be either more or less strong than the person next to them. So you can’t go to the gym and care what other people are lifting or what they look like; you just have to go in there and do what’s recommended.”

The first session of Women on Weights will be Jan. 30 through March 6. The second session will be March 20 through April 24. Women can attend either Tuesdays from 5-6 p.m. or Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. during the first session. The second session is only on Wednesdays. The price is $15 per session for students and $20 for non-students.

A Women on Weights 2.0 also will run March 20 through April 24, which is a more advanced class that teaches women about powerlifting and different ways to lift weights, including adding more weight. That class will be Tuesdays from 5-6 p.m. and is the same price.

“You should leave this class feeling comfortable to go in the weight room to lift weights,” said Berkowitz. “We have all the equipment in our personal training studio that you would find in the weight room. They should learn how to use those things in that room and then go into the weight room and use those things with confidence. That’s the goal of the class.”

The Rec Sports Department also has changed its weekday hours for the RSC, beginning this spring. Facility hours will be Monday through Thursday, from 6:30-8 a.m. and noon to 11 p.m.; Friday, from 6:30-8 a.m. and noon to 10 p.m.; Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, from 6-11 p.m.

For more information about Women on Weights, visit their event page. For more information about GroupX, visit their event page.

- END -

This page maintained by SHSU's Communications Office:

Director of Content Communications: Emily Binetti

Asst. Director Content & Social Media: Emilee White

Communications Manager: Mikah Boyd
Telephone: 936.294.1837

Communications Specialist: Campbell Atkins
Telephone: 936.294.2638

Please send comments, corrections, news tips to