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FitDegree app welcome change from instructors

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Marquette students were welcomed back to class this semester with FitDegree, the newest addition to our campus’s fitness arsenal. The new FitDegree app allows students to create an account, add friends, view fitness class schedules, preview class difficulty and register for the classes that interest them the most and fit into their schedules best. This is a change from the previous Fit Pass system that required students to pay $50 for access to these classes, but without the additional perks.  

Marquette fitness instructors saw a direct impact on their classes.  

Bobby Hoock 

Bobby Hoock, a junior in the College of Health Sciences and a third-year fitness instructor, said that he was inspired to get involved as an instructor due to his exercise physiology major and his background in dance.

Hoock began dancing at the age of eight and performed professionally in London. His passion for fitness also lead to his development of Fesi Fitness, a personal training business designed specifically with dancers in mind. However, Hoock’s Body Blast classes welcome people of all athletic backgrounds. His mixture of interval training, cardio and muscle building gives his students variety and the best workout possible.  

Hoock said that FitDegree is a wonderful addition to the fitness program at Marquette. Hoock said what he enjoys the most about the app is its ability to increase class sizes. While Hoock agreed that while there are some perks to having smaller classes, he much prefers a larger group.

“We as trainers work off the energy of our class,” Hoock said.

FitDegree’s registration system makes it easy to sign up for a class that works for your schedule. This means people with busy schedules can plan their classes ahead of time, and those who find themselves with a free afternoon can sign up on a whim. This allows all sorts to participate in fitness programming. The way Hoock views it, the larger the class, the more energy, and the more fun to be had.  

Hoock’s class, Body Blast, is in session Mondays and Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m., and Fridays at 2:00 p.m. 

Brendan Blaney 

Brendan Blaney is a sophomore in the College of Nursing. While not a professional dancer, Blaney has always loved dance as a physical and creative outlet. This appreciation for dance led him to participate in Zumba classes at Helfaer Recreation Center last year, and eventually become a certified instructor himself.  

Blaney said that he remembers what it was like as a student on the old fitness plan. While he said that he loved participating last year, he can already see the improvements that the new plan has made.

His favorite part of FitDegree is accountability. The app has a three-strike policy for missed classes. This may sound harsh at first, but as Blaney explains, it encourages students to carry through with their workout plans, causing students to be proactive athletes and keep classes free. Once students go to their first class, they quickly learn just how fun they can be.

“(Students) are going to the classes, they are very passionate about it and they are willing to have a good time,” Blaney said. He “Every class, people come in with a smile on their face, ready to have a good time. It adds to this aura of positivity.” 

Blaney teaches Zumba Fridays at 3:00 p.m.

Maggie Petri  

Maggie Petri is a senior in the College of Nursing. Blaney said that Petri was one of the instructors that he admired as a fitness student. However, Petri said that she became an instructor almost entirely by accident.

She had never considered herself particularly athletic, but when a former instructor had to stop teaching, she reached out to Petri to take her place. While she said that she was unsure of herself at first, Petri quickly learned that having fun was the most important part of any fitness class.

Petri said that the new FitDegree programming is a welcome change. She said she had been a supporter of free fitness classes since she began teaching at the rec, and is thrilled to see FitDegree in place, even if it is in her last year as an instructor.

Just as her fellow instructors note, Petri can see her class sizes growing, and her participants becoming more determined than ever. Her previous classes averaged at around 6-10 students a class, but since the beginning of the semester, she has seen over 20 in each class.  

Petri teaches Booty Bootcamp every Thursday at 5:00 p.m.

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

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