Extended gym hours bring new fitness sessions

Campus Recreation recently received approval from the Board of Trustees to expand gym hours department-wide for the upcoming fiscal year. The change will affect the Independence Blue Cross Recreational Center, recreational activities in Pearson and McGonigle, Temple University Fitness and Temple Administrative Services Building’s corporate fitness center.

“About two or three years ago we took a 2 percent budget cut and trimmed down hours during breaks and summers,” said Steve Young, director of campus recreation. “Because the facilities have become more crowded, my vice president, Theresa Powell, found the expansion of hours to be a priority.”

Young said that on a normal weekday about 5,000 people visit the IBC and TUF facilities alone. He said that the addition of Morgan Hall also helped to make the case.

“With the foot traffic from Morgan Hall, the demand for sessions like Zumba, and the large volume of people in the weight room, the only way that you can avoid squeezing is to expand,” Young said. “This should make everything a much more safe and pleasant experience for the students.”

Due to the expansion of hours, new fitness sessions will be offered at the IBC this fall. Anthony Alongi, a fitness coordinator from Campus Recreation, is in charge of ordering new equipment.

“The equipment is a pretty substantial addition, which is a pretty big thing,” Alongi said. “It’s incorporated in student fees so we don’t really go about buying a lot usually. It’s up to the group fitness leaders to decide which new ones they want to use.”

Alongi said that the new sessions will include loaded weight bars and Bosu ball equipment, which Campus Recreation recently acquired.

“We used to only have body bars that were restricted with certain weights,” Alongi said. “The loaded weight bars will definitely help participants in our full body toning, 30/30 Cardio with strength training and boot camp sessions.”

Among other strength training sessions coming to the IBC this year are Tabata – an intense, open-ended 20-second interval workout – and Bosu Pilates, which focuses on balance and muscle stabilization via the Bosu ball.

“Bosu balls are really good for any type of workout,” said Kristine Polizzano, a group fitness leader who will be teaching a Bosu boot camp session at the IBC. “When you do squats on it, for example, it works your quads and glutes way more because you are exercising the tiny muscles surrounding them. It is hard to do that when someone does squats normally.”

Polizzano said that any exercise during a regular boot camp fitness session can incorporate the Bosu ball.

 “Boot camp is a high-impact all-over body workout, so the Bosu balls will definitely mix things up in a good way,” Polizzano said. “The fact that you can you can do all of the boot camp cardio on it will help students get a really good workout during the session.”

A hip-hop session will also be offered this year to give students more cardio options, Alongi said.

“We’ve seen such a rise in our Zumba sessions that we thought that it was a great idea to add the hip-hop,” Alongi said. “The hip-hop will give students the opportunity to get a similar workout to Zumba so that there will be less crowding.”

IBC hours will increase by 10 percent each week beginning this fall. Pearson and McGonigle basketball court hours will also increase by 10 percent, TUF will increase by 5 percent and the Pearson McGonigle pool hours will increase by 18 percent. TASB will additionally be open later from Monday through Thursday, and all of these facilities will now have evening hours on bookend days after breaks.

“We’re all here for the common reason that we enjoy working out, but we also want to share knowledge with others to help them reach their goals,” Polizzano said. “When you reach that goal it’s something that no one can take away from you.  It’s so rewarding to see that.”

Sienna Vance can be reached at sienna.vance@temple.edu

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