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
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.”