Walking onto the second floor of the Health and Wellness Center after classes, you see every bicycle, treadmill, stair machine and elliptical being used – and a line of people waiting their turn. It’s that time again. It’s time for the “Spring Break is three weeks away and I have to fit into my bikini” fever.
Sophomore Joy Gendzel has caught the fever. She’s at the gym seven days a week in anticipation of her Spring Break in the Dominican Republic.
“I always work out, but Spring Break’s coming up, and I definitely want to lose weight,” Gendzel said.
The quickest way to get in shape for the week of fun in the sun is to do a combination of strength training and cardiovascular activity, said Brooke Fischer, graduate assistant and personal trainer at the Wellness Center.
“Do a half hour of cardio or any form of aerobic training like the treadmill, elliptical or even just walking to get your heart rate up,” Fischer said. “And do a half hour of strength training or weight training.”
Fischer said this combination helps burn fat and calories. She explained the best way to measure progress is by noting the way your clothes fit, not what the scale says.
“Muscle weighs more than fat but takes up less space than fat . I wouldn’t obsess over your scale weight,” Fischer said.
Fischer also discourages overly concentrating on one muscle group, such as the abdominals. She said the best thing to do is to treat your abs like any other part of your body.
“You won’t be able to see results in your abs because of the layer of fat over them,” she said. “You might want to focus on cardio and then do some abs – 500 crunches alone are not going to work.”
Senior Amir Faghfoory said he works out at the Wellness Center up to six days a week and plans to go to Cancun or Spain for the break. He said he works on different groups of muscles when he comes to the gym and wants what everyone guy wants: a six-pack.
“For Spring Break, you need to look like you’ve been going to the gym like an ongoing thing,” Faghfoory said.
Fischer recommends using the pec deck, bench press or incline chest press to shape up the pectoral muscles and crunches for abdominal muscles, in addition to regular cardio workouts.
For freshman Michele Paramore’s Spring Break in Florida, she is focusing on her stomach and hips.
Paramore said she has been using more weights in anticipation of Spring Break, especially for her upper body.
“Maybe if my shoulders are bigger, my stomach will look thinner,” Paramore said.
Paramore said she has also signed up for the nutrition sessions the Wellness Center offers.
The Health and Wellness Center offers many programs to help members get in shape and stay fit in addition to sessions with a nutrition specialist.
“We have fitness orientations where they teach you how to use the machines. You can set up appointments with the Recreational Sports Office in HWC 217,” Fischer said, “We (also) have body-fat testing, a good motivational tool. It’s a $10 deposit to secure an appointment, but if you show up you get it back. So it’s basically free.”
Fischer said weeks before Spring Break and right after New Year’s are some of the busiest times for the gym. She advises students that the earlier they come to the center the better it is for them.
The Health and Wellness Center is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.
Gendzel said she is more excited to go to the Wellness Center with Spring Break fast approaching.
“I’m able to stay with my routine because break’s coming up, and I’m going to be in a bathing suit,” Gendzel said. “It also helps to get a head start on tanning. I’m gonna start two or three weeks before Spring Break.”