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An HPU weight room for students, Where?

by Jayme Haitsuka, Lifestyles editor


For the past few issues, Kalamalama has been running a series of articles concerning health and fitness. Staff writers and editors have touched on the importance of exercising an hour a day and eating the right foods to stay in shape. However, many college students always seem to be short on two things: time and money. So, the question is how do students find time between classes and studying to exercise, and how will they pay for expensive gym memberships? Solution: take the weight-training class offered at the Hawai‘i Loa campus’ weight room. If you don’t need the class, just stop by and work out for free.

Weight training, taught by Justin Spanko, is a one-credit class offered every semester, and it is an easy way to integrate exercise into your schedule. According to Spanko, this class is a great way to introduce students to resistance training, so they feel comfortable exercising in any gym.

“The class is pass-fail,” said Spanko. “To pass all you have to do is show up every class ready to exercise.”

Renovated three years ago, HPU’s Fitness Center was transformed from a dingy room with a few free weights and a some out-dated exercise machines into a facility with commercial grade cardiovascular exercise equipment, 1,000 pounds of free weights, and several selectorized resistance machines.

This semester the class has 19 students—the most so far. Since the weight room is so small, roughly 30 feet by 24 feet, maximum enrollment is around 24 students.

“I try to work around the student’s schedule, so if they aren’t able to come when the class is scheduled, we can just find another time that works,” said Spanko.

Chelsea Wood, a freshmen majoring in literature, signed up for the class because she likes to work out, and since she lives in the dorms, working out at the fitness center is convenient.

“[This class] is really good because Justin is a great trainer and really helps us better ourselves physically,” said Wood. “I just think that the weight room should be bigger.”

On the first day of class, Spanko talked to each of his students and asked them what their fitness goals were. From that he’s able to design an exercise schedule that’s unique and effective. Then, half way through the semester, he slightly alters the routine so that students are able to progress further physically. This is because the body reaches a plateau if exercises and movements are not changed.

For students who lift weights seriously, the fitness center offers the “Big 4” lifting wall, which lists the records of some of HPU’s top lifters in different series of exercises; to have your name posted on the wall, you must beat the records posted.

The Fitness Center is located behind the dining commons, on the ground floor. It is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday Noon-8 p.m., and Sunday Noon-10 p.m.

“Students are welcome anytime,” said Spanko. “You don’t have to be in the class to work out.”




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