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Freshmen Fitness Class: What is It?

The new Fitwell uniforms.

Entering my freshmen year at Grove City College, I knew that there was a required fitness course, but I had no idea what to expect. I figured it would be some sort of unorganized mess of putting students in a gym and having us play various sports for the required 50 minutes, twice a week. However, my expectations were wrong. The required fitness course is called “Fitwell” and is very organized.

According to the Department of Physical Education, “The required Fitness and Wellness courses for both men and women are designed to give each incoming student an awareness of personal fitness and wellness. The evaluation process for each student is comprised of written examinations, skill tests, special projects, swimming evaluations, and fitness appraisals. The ultimate goal is to provide an opportunity for each student to develop a personal responsibility for his/her own lifestyle.”

Fitwell is a one-credit course which freshmen will take both their fall and spring semester. The first section of the course covers about half of the fall semester. It is lecture based, and men and women are split up. In the lecture section, I learned about nutrition, injuries, living a healthy lifestyle, and health disorders. I also had to complete a weekly meal log and recorded all of my meals for a week. Then I looked at the nutrition breakdown charts and compared them to the suggested calories for my specific height, weight, and activity level. It made me more aware of what I was eating and how it is a choice of whether to eat healthy.

The second half of the first semester, and the rest of the spring semester is lab based. Students will pick their top lab choices and then will go to work-out during the allotted time for Fitwell. There are many choices which include: circuit training, swimming, aerobic conditioning, walk/jog/run, weightlifting, and more.

The first lab I chose was circuit training. This involved high-intensity workouts for about 60 second intervals. Some of the stations included: step ups, jump rope, and planks. Circuit training is used to increase endurance and stamina. For the end of the lab, we had to come up with our own circuit training program. We had to take pictures of the various exercises and decide how many reps to complete. I enjoyed this lab because it was a great workout and changing stations made the workouts interesting.

The second lab I did was called aerobic conditioning. It involved longer workout sessions. One of the workouts we did were kickboxing, we watched a video and followed along. At the end of every workout, we measured our heartrate to see if we were in the target range for our specific age group. I also enjoyed this lab because of the wide variety of workouts and the longer workout sessions.

The last lab I did was walk/jog/run. This was a more individualized course because we went at our own pace and counted how many laps we completed in a certain amount of time. We also ran the mile at the beginning of the course, and then tried to improve on that time by the end of the course. I enjoyed this lab because it was so individualized, and inside the gym there is a track which made it easy to know how far I had run.

Overall, Fitwell is a great way to meet new people in the freshman class and get a break from the lecture atmosphere!

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