Group X classes offer a nontraditional workout

WKU staff member Patti Whitehead, center, works out during the Sets and Reps class led by Group X leader Amy Winniger in the Preston Center early Wednesday morning. The weekly 6:15 class focuses on “muscle endurance,” said Winniger, and can be modified for any skill or ability level. Leanora Benkato/HERALD

Sydney Rae Davis

Becoming physically fit is a goal for many people, but working out alone in a dull, white-walled gymnasium can become repetitive and easy to abandon. Preston Center, therefore, has designed group fitness classes to get students excited about being active.

Group X classes incorporate fun and fitness in a group setting, and instructors keep students accountable about following through with their workout.

“I love the unique and fun structure of the workout. I never dread going to the gym because I know it’ll be fun,” Olivia Jacobs, a junior from Berea, said.

All Group X classes are free and offer a variety of workout styles. Certified students and officials instruct these classes on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Fitness coordinator Lindsay Thomayer is certified to teach all Group X classes except for Zumba. She often teaches H.I.I.T. and Cycle X.

“Cycling is something that you can come to and kind of get more of a mind-body experience as well as a good cardio workout with a little bit of strength component in there,” Thomayer said.

H.I.I.T., Thomayer said, is similar to the exercise program Insanity, but H.I.I.T. is more accessible to people of all levels of fitness. 

“H.I.I.T. is just a high-intensity workout, so if you’re having one of those rough days, come on in and get a good sweat,” Thomayer said. “It’s going to push you to your limit.”

Bardstown junior Laureen Filiatreau has been participating in Group X classes since spring 2015. She regularly attends yoga because it helps her relax and regroup. 

“It’s really nice because you can take 45 minutes out of your day and just relax,” Filiatreau said. “It doesn’t matter what is going on or how busy you are.”

Although she is a regular at Group X classes now, Filiatreau says she did not have a great deal of fitness knowledge in the beginning and learned a lot from the instructors.

The Group X instructors are adamant about allowing students to do what their bodies are comfortable with and not pushing their limits in a way that causes physical harm.

Filiatreau and Jacobs have also participated in many Group X kickboxing classes. Jacobs said the class isn’t just a workout, but a stress reliever as well. 

“It’s a great way to work the stress out, and I love that [the instructor] makes sure to target all the muscle groups for a really well-rounded workout,” Jacobs said.

Overall, Jacobs enjoys the fun and accommodating nature of all Group X classes.

“I appreciate how they use exciting and relevant music to supplement workouts and how they allow for any level of skill or fitness to feel included and improve,” she said.

A full list of the Group X courses is offered on the WKU Intramural Recreational Sports website.