Because his office is so close to the weight room, students often drop by Steve Woita’s desk, requesting new weight training classes at the Creighton University’s rec center. Starting on January 25, the assistant director of campus recreation could finally tell them about a new program: a kettlebell class.
When bringing any new class or program to the recreation center, Woita, said the first step is to establish the demand of student interest or of trends in the fitness industry. “If a style of class or something else is popular, we should be following the trends of what’s popular in fitness. Second, I want to make sure first and foremost that it’s a safe form of exercise and our environment or space we’re going to offer the class in is safe to have those forms of exercises,” said Woita.
The Kiewit Fitness Center at Creighton University was fortunate to have a personal trainer who already had a kettlebell certification and experience teaching classes at another gym.
The third step, Woita explained, is setting up an area for the new class. One reason the university could not bring Olympic lifting at this time was because of the equipment and flooring needed to ensure the safety of the students, as well as the safety of the facility.
“However, we do have the ability and space to allow the kettlebells,” added Woita. “That made that decision a little bit easier. Once we have a good understanding of the safety, the environment and the space we have to work within, next is evaluating the cost of the equipment and knowing what are all the expenses that would need to go into bringing on such a program.”
Creighton University has two rec centers, but only one group fitness room. The kettlebell class will be offered in the Fieldhouse, on the turf surface, so the bell-shaped weights wouldn’t damage the wooden floors of the fitness room.
And though the new class was not taking time away from other classes held in the group fitness room, Woita still had determine the best time to schedule the new class. “We did have to look at scheduling and kind of sandwich it in between some athletic practices that happen in the mid-to late afternoon in the facility and with the late evening intramural events that happen in there as well,” he explained.
The class was introduced with a free demo session for any students who wanted to try it. The opportunity was meant to gauge student interest, and Woita said it went well. Plus, he finds word of mouth is the best way to market new classes at the university.
“I would say about every two to three years, we’re adding something new. And sometimes it’s just a subtle tweak to our class schedule and most of our group fitness classes are pretty consistent,” said Woita. “That’s really just what’s the interest of the people and the students and what’s kind of popular in society at the time.”