Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Friday, July 20, 2018

AU Gyms 101: The ultimate guide to navigating AU Fitness

Find exercise you can enjoy

By Anusheh Khan" />

For new students moving onto campus, leaving behind your favorite local gym can be a bummer. The stress of classes and the infamous freshman 15 can be nerve wracking. With help from Chris Nasti, the assistant director of fitness and wellness, The Eagle created this guide on how to navigate AU’s Recreation and Fitness centers.

Nasti’s job is to help ensure that the fitness centers on campus are places where students will be able to come have a great workout, make friends and have fun in a safe and welcoming environment. You can usually find him at the fitness centers answering questions and welcoming students to the gym. He also answers questions via e-mail from students about our fitness centers and programs and helps with the management of our Group Exercise and Personal Training programs.

What gyms will be open this semester?

According to Nasti, Jacobs and Cassell Fitness Centers will be open for drop-in use during the school year, while Congressional Fitness Center is only open for specific fitness programs. Nasti said via e-mail, “the big benefit of having Congressional Fitness Center is that, by moving some programs out of Jacobs and Cassell, more space will be available for students to work out in those facilities.” For new students, Nasti recommended that they try both Jacobs and Cassell, then make a habit of going to whichever they like more.

What equipment can be found in the gyms?

“We always tells people, the best exercise is whichever exercise you enjoy,” Nasti said via email. Both Jacobs and Cassell have a variety of cardio and strength equipment. Attached to Jacobs Fitness Center is the Sports Center, which includes two indoor swimming pools and Bender Arena. Bender is a great place to play basketball and volleyball.

Later in the fall semester, both Cassell and Jacobs will get more StepMills. Nasti said he believes this piece has become increasingly popular with students, so more equipment means students won’t need to rush to claim StepMills anymore.

Where and when can fitness center paperwork be completed?

Students are required to fill out liability paperwork before using the fitness centers. Students over 18 can fill out their own liability paperwork, but those under 18 need a parent or legal guardian’s signature. This semester, students now have the ability to complete their fitness center paperwork online in their myau portal. Nasti recommended students do that as early as possible. If you have any trouble with the online paperwork, you can visit either Cassell or Jacobs for assistance or to complete a paper copy.

Does AU offer fitness classes?

AU Recreation and Fitness offers both group exercises and personal training. Aside from the physical benefits, Nasti said that “group exercise classes are fun and a great way to meet other people who are also interested in fitness.” Group exercise classes do have an additional cost, but classes are free during the first week starting Aug. 28 and on Friday afternoons. Students can purchase an unlimited pass before Sept. 4 for only $70 at the Cassell or Jacobs center front desk, according to the AU Recreation and Fitness’ website. Purchase your unlimited pass any time after Sept. 4 for $75. A schedule of the fall group exercise schedule can be found here.

Personal training is a great option for students who are just starting to work out and want individualized instruction. It is also a great option for students who want to take their fitness training to the level. Students who are interested can fill out an interest form on the website and can purchase individual sessions for sixty minutes or thirty minutes, as well as buddy training sessions or small group programs. The buddy program offers a trainer for two individuals, while the small group program allows three to six individuals. An initial fitness assessment costs $35, and trainings range from $80 to $885, depending on the session length and number of sessions purchased.

Are there any other benefits of AU’s gyms?

In addition to group training, personal training and fitness classes, AU Rec and Fitness has many other great programs for incoming students, Nasti said. Intramural sports and club sports are great options for people who like playing competitive sports and the center offers swim lessons for students who want to learn to swim. A number of other programs and initiatives are designed to help students learn to lead healthy lives. Check out more on their website.

How can incoming students avoid the ‘freshman fifteen’?

Nasti advised on using your first year at college to establish healthy habits. 

"Challenge yourself to exercise most days of the week, eat healthy and get a full night of sleep,” he said. 

Set healthy habits during your first year that will stick throughout your entire time in college. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are lots of great programs and services across campus that are designed to help you thrive.

akhan@theeagleonline.com


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